It’s chilly here today, so what I should be writing up is a post about amazing hand knit/crochet items, but one of my new favs can’t be posted yet, and the other isn’t photographed. It’s too gloomy to get the light right today but I might even post up a crochet pattern for you once I get a sunny day.
In the meantime, I have just enough time to write up this tutorial on how to turn a men’s shirt into a mitered square cloth napkin before I have to run car pool. This project is a great way to use up scrap fabric in prints you love, too. And it’s an awesome project for beginners.
We’ve given ourselves some time off this week. But how can we ring in the new year properly without paying tribute to 2010? So, here’s a link back to a tutorial or post from each month this year. I hope that 2011 brings you much thrifty creativity, and a warm comfortable nest.
I’ve been washing my hair with baking soda shampoo & a vinegar rinse for conditioner. This is my first natural shampoo & conditioner experiment that makes my hair feel & look really nice. Supposedly the baking soda is good for cleansing, and the vinegar is a similar pH to regular conditioner. It is a little quirky though. I have to be sure to remove all the baking soda otherwise it makes my hair feel like it has too much hair product in it when it’s dry.
I got the instructions from the book No More Dirty Looks. They say to dissolve 1 tbsp baking soda in water, put this on your head & scrub, then rinse. Then dissolve 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar in water, pour over hair & rinse. (I use red wine vinegar instead because that’s what’s in the fridge.) The vinegar smell goes away, don’t worry!
my hair, just washed & conditioned, without any hair products added
In my quest to learn more about chemicals in our body care products, I really liked the scope of this book. The authors have done lots of research which is easy to read. They give suggestions for products you can buy or ones you can make. It’s not an alarmist book, but they help those who have never considered toxic & unregulated ingredients in body care and walk them through how the FDA & cosmetic industries work. Plus, they used to be the women who loved their fancy beauty products and told the story of how a nasty hair experience with formaldehyde led to their quest to find safer alternatives that work.
So, while I wouldn’t recommend the baking soda & vinegar hair concoction to everyone, it is amazing how it works so well. I like how I know exactly what ingredients I’m using. But it does take a little time to mix before each wash & can easily look bad (or at least good for ponytails only) if you don’t get all the baking soda out. Regardless, I think it’s important for us to find body products we feel safe about. Do you have any name brand shampoos or conditioners with healthy ingredients you’d recommend? I’ve tried a couple & haven’t found anything amazing yet.
Sending my daughter off to school with a packed lunch was going to get really expensive. Even though we reuse resealable plastic bags at home, it’s not really feasible to expect my 5 year old to remember to bring home her ziplocks when the lunch monitor is throwing all the trash away.
I imagine this happens to a lot of people who bring a lunch along, even occasionally, that you don’t want to haul around a plastic sandwich bag after the sandwich has been eaten from it. Enter, the reusable sandwich wrap. It’s perfect for bringing along, as well as a more attractive way to wrap up your BLT. And making it is simple. So simple, I would call this project a novice sewing project. You just need to know how to thread your machine, and change the stitch to zigzag. Read more »
We were attending a wedding last weekend and I really wanted to dress up my outfit since it was a friday evening wedding. I thought about a necklace, but my blue dress had a ruffled neckline so that seemed a bit too much. Then I thought I should wear a slight veiled pillbox hat, but I don’t have one! So since I know how to make fascinators, and I had some blue crinoline in my stash I went to work on this beauty.
To make it was a piece of cake. I cut a 10 inch circle of crinoline and folded it in half so that the edges did not quite match up. Then I fanned the folded side about 4 times to give it dimension, leaving the ends straight. I stitched through the fan folds and used the stitching to attach the crinoline to a head band.
Then I decided it needed more drama, so I used acrylic paint to tint the edges navy blue, and used a vintage broach as a focal point. The bonus was that the broach covered my stitches that held it onto my headband.
Apart from drying time, this really only took me 15 minutes. And I let the paint dry while I got dressed and did my makeup. It was a really fast way to dress up a simple dress, and make a subdued statement. I can’t wait until I can wear it again!
I recently bought this thrift store skirt & needed a necklace to match. I made this necklace without buying anything new, just finding things already in my stash. Here’s how I made it:
I used a beading needle & strung tons of beads onto the string (while keeping the string in one long piece on the roll so I wouldn’t have to guess how long to cut it). Then I crocheted the string, catching a few beads with each single crochet. When the necklace was long enough I attached a clasp with crimps.
Two years ago we checked Sand Castles Made Simple by Lucinda Wierenga out from the library before heading out to the beach for a week. I was the only one who was really into making the ultimate sand castle, but my family humored me and tried it anyway. We never succeeded in making one that stood up, and I didn’t think anyone really cared to try again.
But this morning my 5 year old, Olivia asked me about the book, and wanted to know if we were going to be bringing it with us on our trip. I don’t have time to go check it out again, so I went to the trust Google to see if I could find a refresher on how to build a good castle. I found SandCastleCentral.com, which has some of the same information and I’ve been brushing up on the rules for proper sand stacking. Both resources recommend stacking up sand and carving away, as opposed to filling up a bucket and dumping out a castle shape. I think it might be worth it to give it one more shot to build that awesome castle. I’ll let you know how it goes.
I’m still waiting on my swim fabric to arrive in the mail. I am running out of time to finish this project before I leave for the Outer Banks. In the meantime I have been watching videos on Youtube to give me a heads up for what to expect when I get to this daunting task.
This video was very helpful, and is most likely what most home sewers would use to sew in the elastic casing. I have a serger, so I am planning to use it to attach the elastic with nylon thread (it has a bit of stretch) and then when I roll it over I will finish it with a zig zag stitch on the outside. I’ve looked online, but I can’t find a video of the serger/elastic method. If I have any time at all before I go out of town I will make one. This is not a promise, I am running out of time and will probably end up buying a swimsuit I don’t like from Target at this point.
Once again, thanks a million Cal Patch. Her book, Do It Yourself Clothes , is just awesome. If it weren’t for this book and the principals I learned in it, Olivia wouldn’t have had a costume for her international festival. I waited until the last minute, of course, and my plan to buy a brown hoodie and whip stitch fur to it fell through the cracks when none of the three stores I shopped had any brown hoodies.
Instead I bought some brown fleece and used a hoodie Olivia wears all the time and the directions from Cal’s book to draft a quick pattern. It only took me an hour an a half to make the costume from pencil to sewing machine. And she loved it. Three cheers for Cal Patch! Hip Hip Hooray! And seriously, if you sew even a little bit, go buy her book!
Have you ever read the Ramona books? I had read most of them when I was little, and now my five year-old Olivia is reading through them with me. In Ramona and Her Father Ramona makes Tin Can Stilts and clanks around the block singing 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall.
This was enthralling to Olivia, so we made a set from Juicy Juice cans. The process is so simple! Just cut off the end of the cans to empty them and give them a good wash. Then turn them over so that they are bottom end up and poke two holes with a nail about one inch from the end and on opposite sides of the can. Thread some string through both holes and tie it in a knot so that they are about the length of your bent arm to your foot.
Grab the string on each can in your hand while you climb up on the cans, and figure out how to clank around, annoying the neighbors and generally having a great time. These cans have lasted a good week already with almost no wear. And the two cans of juice only cost me $2.30. Not a bad investment, especially since we also drank the juice!