Friday, July 22, 2011

Off to Brazil!

I cannot believe that tomorrow morning I am leaving for Brazil!  

I am so excited and increasingly getting more and more nervous. 
I'm not so nervous to actually be there, but to be away from what I am used to.  However, ironically, that is what I am excited about and is the exhilarating part of travel.

While I am there, we are supposed to be researching a topic of our choice.  
So, I am planning to focus a lot on where individuals get their artistic influences and inspirations from.

I am keeping a journal and camera with me at all times, while I am on the hunt for :
I intend to gather personal inspiration as a result from everything I see, hear, and feel.
Of course, I'll come back with pictures and experiences to share, as well as more projects!
So many good things are waiting for me -  I am off!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Make Your Own Braided Belt

Here is a great way to make a belt out of an old tee-shirt which is my new favorite material to use for everything!
I got this dress for when I need to look all professional and stuff in 90 degree weather, but I was wearing it my cowboy-kind-of-boots and belt and I felt Taylor Swift-esque! Lovin it!

 First, you'll need a big t-shirt in the color you want your belt.  
I got an XXL tee from the dollar store. ( I would love to make another one with a purple shirt!)
Cut off the seam from the bottom, and measure up 1 inch for each of the 3 strips that you will then cut across.  
I measured on both ends and in the middle to draw a line across in pencil to get a straight cut.
You'll end up with 3 large loops, just cut them on one end so you have 3 long strips of fabric.

 Next, I used a large button which will work as the buckle, but you can use whatever you please.  
If using a button, just thread the strips through the holes in the button and tie a tight knot so it doesn't come undone.
( When threading, you may need something to help push it through, I used a bobby pin, but whatever you have around you should do the trick.)

Next, you just braid the 3 strands that are on the other side of your button.  
Don't know how to braid??
Check out my last post!

 The greatest thing about this belt is how simple it is - with your button, you can just slide it in part of the braid to make it tight.  The fabric is stretchy enough that it will fit under a spot and stay there.

 This is really why I wanted to make the belt. 
 I can rock the preppy look if I'm feeling it one day this sweet summer!

I made a skinny belt, so it can be worn in many different ways, but if you want a bigger belt, you just have to cut out larger strips. Easy peasy.

How to Braid

Basic tutorial on how to braid:

1. Start with 3 strands of string and tie in knot.

 2. Move left string (red) into the center of 3.

 3. Move right string (white) into center of 3.

4. Repeat pulling tightly.

Basically you just are always alternating sides, and moving them to be the center string.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Clothespin Calendar

Okay, so I am back - with a great way to organize your week in a colorful, playful way!

But, first, I must say how EXCITED I am after my experience last week.  I spent everyday with 1st graders creating art, singing, dancing, and acting.  It was so fun and completely confirmed my decision to be an art educator.  The creativity that kids have trump anything I could ever come up with - it was very refreshing to be around people who are constantly happy and looking for new answers.

For those of you who do not know me very well, one thing you probably don't know is that I love to organize!  I've been told it is deceiving about how much I love having things in order and in a place, but it is truly the only way I can get anything done.

If there's any others out there who have this same obsession or wish you did, here is a simple way to organize your week so nothing gets forgotten:

 Just start with regular, old clothespins.  I used 7, but maybe you only need 5.

 Next, just paint one side of the pins. 

  I picked some bright colors to liven up my dull office/computer area!

 When paint is completely dry, write each day of the week on the pins.

Then you just need a string of some sort to drape from each side on the wall ( I made a braid out of an old tshirt).  Clip on your clothespins and cut out some recycled paper to write your agenda on for each day.  
I imagine this would be really helpful if you have kids or an actual job perhaps, but right now, my weeks aren't too busy.  But now I have no excuse to forget anything!

And for those who can't read it, Saturday I am leaving for BRAZIL!  
I am going with a group from the art education department from my school and will be gone for about 2 weeks.  I can't believe how fast our departure date has crept up on us!  So this week, I have a bunch of crafts, diy fashion, and tips to share, but after that I will be m.i.a in South America!  But, I'll share more on that later this week.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Upcycle Old Jeans into New Shorts

I'm sure every person has an old pair of jeans that they no longer wear.  I have so many that are too short or have been branded with paint, so I decided to make a new pair of denim shorts with a playful touch added to them!

 Here is how I did it:
 1. Get out an old pair of jeans that still fit your waist and measure the length you wish to cut, mark, and cut. 
 I planned on folding them up so I cut them just an inch longer than I want them. (I actually ended up cutting them more times by the time I was done, I embrace the term short shorts!)

 2. Once you have tried them on and reached your desired length, move into a place that you can work with bleach worry-free. I worked in a kitchen (so I do apologize for the poor lighting in my photos).
Lay your shorts out as flat as possible with an old rag/towel in between the shorts to absorb the bleach so it won't bleed through to the backside.

 3. Use a sponge to trace and cut out a circle that you'll use to create the polka dots. The circle should be a little smaller than what you want because it will bleed out a little.

 4. Prepare your bleach by pouring it out in a container. I just used the lid to avoid any cleanup.

 5. I highly recommend using a glove, then dip in your circle sponge into the bleach.

 6. Blot onto shorts in random pattern. You will probably need to dip back into the bleach after 2 or 3 dots. You can use a hair dryer to speed up the drying process before flipping over and doing the same to the backside.

7. Let dry completely, then fold up bottom and iron bottom to have a solid crease.

And now you have some cute shorts that didn't cost you a dime!

I do want to let my fantastic followers know that next week I am taking on an internship at a local arts camp here in Ohio and BEYOND excited! 
So I am either going to be completely inspired to work on projects, or completely exhausted after spending an 8 hour day with 6-7 year olds.  We will see!  
However, do expect more fun things to be shared at some point!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Using What You Have

I know I have been slacking a little on my blogging, however it is summer and I am not working.
Oh and I forgot to mention there is a pool 50 feet away from me!  
So I have been really busy doing this :
 Can you really blame me??

I do want to share some simple ideas that you can do in your own home by 
Using what you have, to make what you need:

 If you have a lot of necklaces like I do, you can have them all visible by hammering some nails in your wall in any order and draping your necklaces over them.  I actually used nail polish to paint a little color on the nail head after hammered in and now it is like a little display!

Using a cigar box is a great way to keep all your bracelets or other items together.  Having them in a box that is able to close makes for an easy travel companion!

I save all glass jars we go through to keep my markers, pens, and pencils in!  Because they are clear, the colors are easy to find.  I also keep my fabric scraps in a big, reused container.

 Here is another cigar box that I transformed into a tiny sewing box.  It is the perfect size for my thread and needles.

Here is a coffee mug that I use to hang all my earrings on - it doesn't take up a lot of room and keeps them all visible.
I have already moved onto my 2nd mug, after all the shrinky dink earrings I have made!

I've been working on a project, that I will be sure to post tomorrow.  
Until then, Enjoy Your Day!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

No-Sew Homemade Dog Scarf

So last night we saw out first round of fireworks! We brought our pup, Sienna, with us, and its actually no surprise that she loved them - loud noises and bright lights …. its a puppy's dream! 
 Realizing now that this could be her favorite holiday (yes, I am one of those pet owners), I made this cute, little patriotic scarf for her – and of course I want to share how easy it is to make for any others out there who are completely obsessed with their pet!

Basically this scarf will just slide right over your pet's collar.  I used an old tee-shirt and I planed on painting it when it has its shape. This was a quick project, but a quicker method would be to work with an already patterned fabric you can find in stores. There are so many fabrics out there - take your pick!  

 1. Start with a large enough square of fabric with straight edges. Place your dog's collar at the top and fold over, make sure of 2 things: 1) the collar fits in the fold and can easily slide in and out and 2) the clasps are on the outside. You will need to trim down your fabric square to work with the collar.

2. Use a ruler to find the middle of your square, and lightly with pencil draw a straight line vertically down the fabric. Draw a diagonal line from the bottom of the halfway point up to both sides of the bottom of the fold. You can measure for accuracy, but I just went with it.

3.  With the top still folded down, use sharp scissors to cut those diagonal lines, so you are left with this shape. 

4. Place on ironing board and iron over entire piece. Make sure fold is still in place – want it to be a sharp crease.

 5. Move to a place you do not mind to get messy, and use a hot glue gun to glue the bottom of the fold down. 
 Note: you do not want to glue the entire piece because remember this is where the collar will slide in and out of. 
 Also, if you do have a sewing machine, this would be the spot to use it – I rely heavily on my hot glue gun because I am too broke for a sewing machine … one day!

6. Flip over and start creating! 
 I outlined and taped what I wanted to do then used acrylic paint. Fabric paint would be ideal, but I just used what I have. One negative of using acrylic is that it dries stiff - however, since this isn't the thickest fabric, it actually ended up being a positive and helping it retain its shape.

And now the sun is finally out here in Columbus, so I am off to enjoy the holiday weekend!  
Hope you all enjoy it as well!