Saturday, December 28, 2013

Indulging with Berries

This is what I do when I have berries on hand ... and time ... (rare combination, right?) ...

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas Nativity

Merry Christmas! I made this little nativity scene this year to celebrate the reason for the season.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Signed, framed picture - a present from the primary

We gave this framed pictured, with signatures from the primary children, as a thank-you present to the departing primary president. I love how it turned out. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

New desk

New desk - perfect height for this window. Objective was to maximize on space in an attractive way so the table was as tall as I could find, yet still fit UNDER the window sill. I use a drafting chair with it, or treat it as a standing desk.

Monday, December 16, 2013

How to Hem Jeans (and Other Pants)

If you can operate a sewing machine, you can easily hem your own jeans. The professionals do this a bit differently but my way should last the life of your jeans and only takes about 10 minutes for one pair of jeans and 5 minutes for each additional pair.

You will need:
- the jeans you want to hem
- your pants that are the perfect length
- scissors
- iron and ironing board
- sewing machine
- thread

1. Align the crotch of your favorite jeans to the crotch of jeans that you want to hem. Notice in the pic below that when I do this, the jeans I want to hem are several inches too long.

2. Carefully cut your jeans about 1 inch longer than the length of the inseam of your favorite jeans.  I usually just keep the pair of jeans on top of the jeans I am hemming while I cut, but you could also mark the length an inch past the length of your favorite jeans. This is your most important step - using a reliable length from a favorite pair of jeans to decide how much you need to cut off the bottom. If you try to wear your jeans and fold them where you want to hem them while you are wearing them, you run a big risk of making floods.

3. Turn the jeans that you want to hem inside out. Now take that inch and fold them back. Your jeans should still be inside out. Iron this area so that you have a sharp crease where you plan to hem.

4. Sew your jeans at your new length. Jeans tend to be a mustard yellow thread color, but some are white, blue, etc ... if you want your jeans to look more professionally hemmed, match the color of the thread to the thread used in other areas of your jeans. Now, simply sew down your new hem using a straight pattern. Cut off loose threads.

5. Turn your jeans right-side out.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Look at the stars, Look how they shine for you - ( DIY necklace for the holidays )

I was gifted four vintage star brooches one Christmas. Individually, none of them are really my style, but together, they make a lovely necklace. I receive compliments whenever I wear this piece, and it only took about five minutes to put together!

How I did it

Chain - I bought mine for about a $1 on a going-out-of-business sale at a craft store.
Brooches - Find them in vintage shops, in your jewelry box, or even online!

1. Simply open the clasp and lock each brooch onto the chain. There's no alteration done to the brooches so you can pull them off at any time. Keep them close together, even overlap them a bit, so that the pins behind each broach don't show through.
2. Tie a ribbon through the opening at the end. This is your necklace clasp.


If you buy a smaller chain, you can always buy a jump ring and lobster clasp and actually turn your chain into a "real necklace," or just buy a necklace with big links. My way cost about $1 though :) 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Healthful Raspberry Mint Drink

I threw some fresh raspberries and mint in a glass of sparkling water, then let it sit in the fridge for a few hours. The water slowly turned light pink, and just had a super mild raspberry and mint flavor. So good!

This is overnight - not as pretty but even more yummy!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

My DIY Skinny Belt

My DIY red, skinny belt to give this dress some pop.

Inspired by some paracord bracelets I taught my niece and nephew to make this summer: (Great tutorials on how to make paracord bracelets all over YouTube!)

I considered using the pattern I used to make paracord bracelets, but that would be difficult for a length much greater than a bracelet.

I also considered braiding three cords together but I liked the look of two, simple lines. This same pattern works great for a spunky necklace, etc. I wouldn't put a ton of weight on it, though, or expect it to hold up your pants, since one end is just melted together ... this is simply to give your outfits some pop in a fun, new way.

To make the belt you will need: paracord (twice the length of your waist), a small belt buckle (make sure your buckle has belt openings for each side), scissors, and a lighter.

1. Double the paracord, then wrap it around your waist to ascertain length. Cut the paracord, giving yourself a little extra cord to work with - maybe six inches.

2. Fold the cord in half.

3. Stuff the cord, at the fold, through one of the buckle openings. Pull the two ends through the opening until only a small bit  remains, which looks like a loop.

4. Draw the ends of the paracord through the loop. You should now have two even lengths of paracord hanging from one side of the buckle.

5.  Draw the two cut ends of the paracord through the loop. 

6. Now, melt the two ends together using the lighter. Simply hold the lighter up to the two ends at the same time, then when they start to melt, quickly hold the two pieces together. You do not want to melt the two ends until AFTER you draw them through the buckle or they will not fit through the opening in the buckle. You can use thick paper to wipe off some of the melted paracord. It should not look as bumpy as the picture below - this is was just so I could quickly take some photos for you :)

7. Tie off the second loop the same way you tied off the first loop by drawing the entire length through the loop you just created in the second buckle. 

8. Voila, skinny belt. Your belt should be longer than a pair of scissors. I just cut off a small length for demo purposes :)

Happy belt-making! 

If you try this yourself and you make it too big, just tie the belt in a knot in the center - still looks great but you've shortened the belt a bit.