Sew-Along Preview

Stay tuned for a swim suit sew-along just in time for bikini season!

I’ll give you time to get back to the gym before we get started¬†ūüėČ

Here’s a sneak peak courtesy of verypurpleperson and BurdaStyle:

 

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30 Days of Creativity – Day 1

It is finally June,¬†which means you all should be in the crafting state of mind! Today’s inspiration for the 30 Days of Creativity¬†is BIKES! I am so excited that there is finally some nice, clear weather in Wisconsin so that I can finally ride my bike to work. It’d be a little more impressive if I lived more than a mile away from work I suppose…oh well! It still counts as being green, right? :p

Although I have my summer class, work one job, and then work at another until 9pm, I am going to try my hardest to participate in the first day of the challenge Рpartly because I love the idea of crafting every day in June, but mostly because I. love. my. bike!

Isn’t she beautiful?

I can’t imagine a better way to let others enjoy the beauty of my bike than to make a stencil of it! (Disclaimer: Tagging is illegal no matter how pretty it looks)

StencilRevolution has a great tutorial posted by Gheek that shows how to make multi-layer stencils, if you’re feeling adventurous. You can also use the first steps of his tutorial to make a one layer stencil.

If you’re not comfortable with photoshop and still want to try your hand at stenciling, I have used stencils from Stencilry. They have a ton of pop culture stencils that you can use for free, which is nice when you need to make a quick gift for someone and you have a plain t-shirt lying around. *If you’re going to be stenciling on fabric be sure to pick up some Fabric Paint Medium and use up all of those $.99 acrylic paints you have lying around. Just mix two parts paint to one part medium and you have fabric paint! Stencilry has the best tutorials for beginners, including ones about what paper to use, how to deal with islands and bridges, and how to make stencils if you don’t have illustrator and photoshop.

My personal preference is to use freezer paper for one-time stencils, and actual stencil sheets if I have a small stencil that I’d like to use multiple times. Cardboard also works well for multi-use stencils. You can pick up uncut stencil sheets at Michaels, or use transparencies as well.

Right now I am in the process of cutting out a giraffe stencil:

If your friend loves a certain band – even if you can’t stand them – stenciling is a great way to personalize a simple bag, and will get your friend lots of compliments! The best part of crafting is when the compliments come back around to you, and people can’t believe you made this or that. I found this bag at Target and¬†made two simple¬†stencils to dress it up a bit.

The bow was my way of wrapping the gift. When you put a lot of time into making gifts, you generally spend less time wrapping them. Well, maybe I’m just lazy.

My favorite stencils that I’ve ever made would have to be the small ones I did of Bret and Jemaine from Flight of the Conchords. I had to use my mini craft iron to get these to stick to the shoes so that I could paint them. Hardest project for sure, but definitely one of the most rewarding.

There are so many possibilities for stenciling, most of which are perfectly legal. I will be working on my bike stencil tonight, hopefully I can get that finished and debut it on the blog tomorrow. I’d love to feature a couple stencils along side my Schwinn, so e-mail me if you have any that you’ve made, or if you make one today!

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Free Ice Cream for a Year

Not too much information about the competition yet, but check out Ready Made’s website for details on how to win a year’s supply of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

Craftster‘s website has a little more information:

Enter: Go to readymade.com/pintchallenge
Submit
: A photo or a sketch about your pint project (you can enter multiple times!).
Deadline: The Pint Challenge contest is now open and entries must be received by 11:59 p.m., E.T. on 7/24/11.

And yes, you can count this as one (or more!) of your crafty days in June ūüôā

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30 Days of Creativity

There’s still time to pledge to participate in the 30 Days of Creativity¬†challenge!

30daysofcreativity

Check out their 30 Reasons to Participate¬†if you’re feeling unsure about participating. I think it would be a really fun challenge and I would love to feature all of the creative things that I know¬†each of you¬†can make!

They have great resources to help you stay inspired for…30 days hath September…April…June! 30 days, including this awesome calendar that you can print out and keep by your paint/crafting¬†supplies.

Inspiration Calendar

If you think you might be interested in their challenge, be sure to take a look at their website, and read Ready Made’s article if you have the time. The gist of it is to get you to be creative from June 1st (tomorrow!) to June 30th. Simply pledge to get creative by telling¬†them on Twitter, take pictures and use the hash tag #30daysofcreativity¬†to show their followers what you’ve created. The agency behind the movement will also be¬†hosting¬†everyone’s projects on their website, so be sure to upload your photos there each day for support. I’d love to share what you guys come up with each day, so make sure you e-mail your photos to me as well!

Good luck, and enjoy the craftiest month of the year! Ps – My birthday happens to fall on Picnic day ūüėČ

#30daysofcreativity – A How To Guide from 30 Days of Creativity on Vimeo.

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Slouchy Hat Tutorial

I have only ever completed one crochet pattern in my life. Granted, I went a little nuts and made everyone I knew one of these hats last Christmas…but that’s beside the point! It just goes to show you that even if you have very little crocheting experience there are still awesome patterns out there for you to use. The best part is, most are free!

I found this pattern for a slouchy hat on Craftster and was excited to give it a try, since all I had made before this was a scarf once upon a time. The great part about this pattern is that it works up very quickly, and although it is easy to follow, it ends up looking much more complicated. I only ended up using one skein for each hat, so it is also an inexpensive project.

The hat uses a couple different stitches which are fairly simple to pick up, but if you’re having trouble a great resource to use is NexStitch, which has short video tutorials and pictures of a lot of frequently used stitches.

I used a couple different types of yarn, depending on the color I thought my friend would like best, but my favorite brand by far is Stitch Nation. I found it at both Michaels and a local craft/knitting shop.

You may be surprised by this, but I used Klutz books to learn both crocheting and knitting. After I learned the basics I read The Happy Hooker, and once I get a little more comfortable with knitting I plan on purchasing Debbie Stoller’s prequel to The Happy Hooker, Stitch N’ Bitch. Don’t be put off by the names, they’re wonderful books with a lot of really cool projects and tips.

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Free Pattern Month

Free Pattern Month is coming to a close over at Grosgrain. I love this blog because she does A Frock by Friday, which walks you through make a garment in one week. She posts pictures of each step, and the tutorials are really easy for beginner sewers to follow.

Head over to Grosgrain and take advantage of all the free patterns from some amazing bloggers!

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The Oil Cleansing Method

I thought I would share this DIY facewash/makeup remover that I found on ReadyMade.com. ReadyMade is an awesome DIY magazine that shows you how to repurpose, create, and build many fun and creative projects. Their blog and website also have a lot of really great ideas, and Plover, WI was even mentioned in a blog post awhile back!

This article on their website talks about the oil cleansing method¬†and what oil combo worked best for the author of the post. Having extremely dry, sensitive skin with a ton of skin allergies, I was excited to try this method. The great thing is that the castor oil acts as a dirt and makeup remover, so you can throw away those harsh makeup removers that really shouldn’t come within 5 feet of your eyes. For my dry skin the combination that works best for me is 1 part castor oil (the cleanser) to 3 parts extra virgin olive oil (the moisturizer). According to the post, “Acne.org recommends three parts castor to one part EVOO for oily and acne-prone skin, one part castor to three parts EVOO for drier skin and one to one portions of each for those with “normal” skin.” ¬†I bought my extra virgin olive oil at the grocery store (its Crisco!) and the castor oil at the Co-op.

Experiment and see which one works best for you! Try it for a week and e-mail me your results!

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