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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bandana Pinwheel Headband Tutorial

Here's my guest post from a few weeks ago over at Domestic Deadline for those of you who missed it!

I thought long and hard about what I wanted to share with you today, what would say Summer to me and to you...and it was a gradual chain of events that got me to this.
First, I promised my sister-in-law I'd make a couple headbands for her birthday present.
Second, my husband works with the youth in our church, and he came home from youth conference with a hot pink bandana.  (He was the leader of the hot pink group. Isn't he lucky.)
Third, I was admiring the spunky look of pinwheels.
And then it all clicked.
So today, I have for you my new Bandana Pinwheel Headband.
You need:
One bandana
A contrasting solid fabric (I used a black broadcloth I had on hand)
A rigid headband (mine was metal)
Heat N' Bond Iron On Adhesive
An iron
A hot glue gun

Okay, first you'll want to cut a 2.5 inch by 7 inch rectangle out of the contrasting fabric and a slightly smaller rectangle out of the Heat N' Bond.
Next, place the Heat N' Bond on the wrong side (if there is a wrong side) of the contrasting fabric rectangle you just cut out, with the paper side up.
Iron over the Heat N' Bond, paying particular attention to the edges.  The instructions say about 2 seconds per spot, but I found that wasn't enough.  I spent probably 30 to 60 seconds running the iron all around the rectangle (just make sure you keep the iron moving).
Let that cool for a minute, then peel off the paper.
Place the contrasting fabric rectangle with the adhesive side down on the wrong side of the bandana, over the portion of the design you want to have on your pinwheels.  Iron into place, making sure it fuses completely.
Let it cool, then cut out (1) 2 inch square, (2) 1.5 inches squares, and (1) 1 inch square.  (Make sure you cut the squares out one right after the other, right next to each other, or you won't have enough fabric.)
Next, take each square, and lightly mark the exact center.  Cut diagonally from each corner about two-thirds to three-fourths the way to that center mark.
Now fire up your glue gun.  Take the largest square (2 inch), and lay it down with the contrasting fabric facing up.  Put a small dot of hot glue in the center of the square,
then take a corner and fold it down, sticking the tip in the glue.  You may have to press it down and hold while the glue firms up a bit, but don't burn yourself.
Next, put another little dot of glue right in the center on top of the corner you just folded down, and fold down the next corner.
Repeat for the next two corners, and you have your first pinwheel.
Repeat these steps for the smallest square (1 inch).
Take the  two 1.5 inch squares, and instead of having the contrasting fabric facing up, have the bandana fabric facing up, and repeat the above steps to form the pinwheels.
Now that you have all four pinwheels, you can hot glue a button or bead in the center of each, to hide the hot glue and to look pretty!  Now put the pinwheels aside.
Next, we're going to wrap the headband.  Cut a couple half inch wide strips of fabric from the bandana.  Put a little bit of glue on the end of the headband, and stick the end of one of the strips to it.
My bandana was polyester, and therefore a tiny bit sheer, so to avoid being able to see the hot glue through the fabric, I glued only on the inside of the headband.
Put some hot glue on, and wrap the fabric strip around, pulling it up diagonally, but making sure it still overlaps with the previous layer.  Only put down about an inch of glue at a time, or it will harden before you are able to wrap the fabric around.  Continue until you are about to run out of fabric, then trim off the end of the strip so it is on the inside of the headband,
then glue the next strip on over it, so the seam is hidden on the inside of the headband.
Continue wrapping until the headband is covered.  Again, clip off the excess fabric so the end piece is on the inside of the headband where it won't show.
Time to glue on your pinwheels.  First glue on the biggest pinwheel.  I positioned mine like so:
Next, glue on the middle sized pinwheels, one on either side of the largest pinwheel.  And finally, glue on the smallest pinwheel, next to the middle sized pinwheel on the top of the headband.
And you're done!  You have a darling spunky summer accessory!

Monday, August 22, 2011

August Card Club

Every couple months for Card Club, we do food.  We each bring something delectable, according to an agreed upon theme, and have a copy of the recipe for each other on a lovely 6X6 card.  This month, we did a luncheon, and OH the food was good.  So here's my card for the month:
Stacked paper and cluster by Captivated Visions

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Indelible book review

Indelible by Kristen Heitzmann
From the book jacket: Rescuing a toddler from the jaws of a mountain lion, Trevor MacDaniel, a high-country outfitter, sets in motion events he can’t foresee. His act of bravery entwines his life with gifted sculptor Natalie Reeve—and attracts a grim admirer.

Trevor’s need to guard and protect is born of tragedy, prompting his decision to become a search and rescue volunteer. Natalie’s gift of sculpting comes from an unusual disability that seeks release through her creative hands. In each other they see strength and courage as they face an incomprehensible foe.
When a troubled soul views Trevor as archangel and adversary, Redford’s peaceful mountain community is threatened. Together with Police Chief Jonah Westfall, Trevor presses his limits to combat the menace who targets the most helpless and innocent.

I loved this book.  I found it fascinating.  My degree is in Psychology, and the workings of the mind have always interested me.  One of the main characters, Natalie, has eidetic memory.  There is much debate over whether or not eidetic memory such as this actually exists, but the idea of it is more than intriguing.  I loved that the author took such a concept and created an entire story around it.  She did embellish eidetic memory a bit, in that Natalie did not just have faces locked in her head, she saw right through people, to the honest good and bad.  Fascinating, the idea that such an ability could exist.
And the story itself is gripping.  Couldn't put it down, as the cliche goes.  And though the events were perhaps extreme, I think it still maintained a sense of believability.
Adventure, danger and of course, a little romance.
Good book.  I'll be reading more from Kristen Heitzmann for sure.
I give four out of five stars.
And I did get Indelible for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for this review.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fabric Button Earrings Tutorial

I was originally planning on sharing a T-shirt remake with you today.  I got it all finished, and it looked cute.
And then I put it on.  It was like the puffy pirate shirt....only...puffier.  I could not in good conscience tell my readers..."Hey!  You should totally make this shirt!"  So I've been kinda scrambling, trying to come up with something new to show you.  And then it dawned on me.  Why not share an old favorite technique that you've never blogged before?
I love jewelry, and earrings are my favorite kind.  I wash my hands a million times a day as a stay at home mommy of two little ones, so rings are out.  Bracelets also just get in the way (how life changes, as a carefree kid-less gal, I was addicted to bracelets).  Necklaces just get yanked on.  So do earrings quite often, I have to admit, but they are easier to protect from little hands!  Which makes them my go-to accessory.  I don't quite feel complete without them.
Which brings me to today's tutorial:
how to make fabric covered button earrings.
Okay, first you need the necessary tools.  Head over to JoAnn with a coupon, and pick up one of these in the smallest size (I think it is 5/8 an inch).
Cut out the button pattern circle from the packaging,
and use it to cut out two circles of the desired fabric.
Next, place one of the fabric circles on the white rubber thingie :), roughly centered.  Then place one of the metal button forms on top, roughly centered.
Push it down into the center of the white rubber thingie, trying to keep the excess fabric even around the edges.  It may take a few tries to get it right.
Next, use your fingernail to tuck the fabric down into the center of the button form.  Try to smooth out any wrinkles along the edges as you do this.
Then take the button back, and remove the loop (I use my regular jewelry pliers to do this).
Then place the button back in the center of the button form, and put the blue plastic thingie on top.
Using one hand to hold in place, take your other thumb and press down evenly and firmly on the blue plastic thingie.  This pushes the button back down into place.
It should secure all the loose ends BENEATH the button back.  If it doesn't, you can give it another try.  Just take a paper piercer (don't use your seam ripper just because you have it on hand and you're too lazy to go find the paper piercer...that will mean you have to go buy a new seam ripper like me) and stick it in one of the holes of the button back and gently wedge it out.  Then go again.
Once you have the button back properly in place, pop it out of the white rubber thingie.
Time to attach an earring post.  I buy my posts and nuts from Blick Art Materials.  You'll want to use the 8 mm posts for this.
Get out some E-6000,
and get a wee little dollop of it on a toothpick, and spread it over the back of your earring post. 
Place it into your button form, centered on the button back as much as possible.  It's likely it won't lie perfectly flush, as the button back may not be perfectly flat.  Don't worry about it, the E-6000 with adhere it anyway.
Now, place your earrings somewhere WAY out of reach, and DO NOT touch them for 48 to 72 hours, while our beloved E-6000 cures.
Once it's done curing, you have yourself a lovely set of new earrings!
What I love about this project is that it requires literally scraps of materials.  Or, for example, you can take the ugliest fabric known to man,
and make some pretty awesome earrings out of it.
Endless possibilities here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Eat, Pray, Love book review

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
From Publisher's Weekly: "Gilbert (The Last American Man) grafts the structure of romantic fiction upon the inquiries of reporting in this sprawling yet methodical travelogue of soul-searching and self-discovery. Plagued with despair after a nasty divorce, the author, in her early 30s, divides a year equally among three dissimilar countries, exploring her competing urges for earthly delights and divine transcendence. First, pleasure: savoring Italy's buffet of delights--the world's best pizza, free-flowing wine and dashing conversation partners--Gilbert consumes la dolce vita as spiritual succor. "I came to Italy pinched and thin," she writes, but soon fills out in waist and soul. Then, prayer and ascetic rigor: seeking communion with the divine at a sacred ashram in India, Gilbert emulates the ways of yogis in grueling hours of meditation, struggling to still her churning mind. Finally, a balancing act in Bali, where Gilbert tries for equipoise "betwixt and between" realms, studies with a merry medicine man and plunges into a charged love affair. Sustaining a chatty, conspiratorial tone, Gilbert fully engages readers in the year's cultural and emotional tapestry--conveying rapture with infectious brio, recalling anguish with touching candor--as she details her exotic tableau with history, anecdote and impression."

Finally, finally done. There were parts here and there that I enjoyed. Little nuggets of wisdom delivered without being self-absorbed, preachy or superior (unlike the majority of the book). But overall....let's just say there's a reason it took me over two months to get this baby finished.
Eat, Pray, Love
had the components of a book I would love: travel, seeking self, seeking spirituality, finding balance. But I found Liz so very egocentric, condescending and...well, IRRITATING, that I only finished it because I don't like to leave books unfinished.  It honestly surprised me, I expected to love it, like everyone else (including many friends whom I respect and love).
I WILL say that Elizabeth Gilbert is a good writer.  She offered up a lot of research in this memoir, which was interesting (most of the time).  And she was very honest.  Still didn't like it though.

At least I can say I read though, right? Though now I am intrigued as to how in the heck they took this book and made a movie out of it. Don't know that it is enough to make me actually watch it. Not even Julia Roberts can save this one for me.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Pink Garage Sale Bike to Sleek and Spiffy Boy's Bike

Here's the guest post I did over at Infarrantly Creative a few weeks ago if you missed it:

So today, I want to show you how I took a pink garage sale bike and turned it into a sleek and spiffy little boy's bike.
We picked up this little gem at a neighborhood garage sale.  
For $5.  That's it.  It's in great shape, a little rust here and there, but otherwise a solid little bike.
Only problem is the child we bought it for is a boy.
But when you have vision, it's just an excuse for another project.  ;)
So here's what I used to turn this second hand little girl's bike into something spiffy for my boy.

A razorblade (get one with a little handle, like this)
Goo Gone and a rag
LIME A-WAY and an old toothbrush
Rustoleum Protective Enamel Spray (also known as spray paint) in Orange
A whole lot of painters tape, saran wrap, plastic grocery bags, etc.

Okay, so first things first, you've got to remove the old peely (ugly) stickers.
Here's where the razor blade comes in.  Be careful, you don't want to cut yourself or someone around you, and more importantly (I'm kidding!), you don't want to nick the bike.  The goal here is to remove the stickers, not gouge the bike's enamel.
Once the stickers are off, in all likelihood you'll be left with a sticky mess.
Hello Goo Gone!  (I seriously love this stuff).
Spray it on, making sure all the sticky is covered, and let it sit for ten minutes or so, then come back and wipe it off with a rag.  Repeat as needed unil the sticky is gone.
Next, let's address any rust.  LIME A-WAY.  Spray, let sit for a few minutes, then scrub with the toothbrush.  Repeat as needed.
Wipe your bike down thoroughly to remove any residue from our trusty (not) rusty cleaning supplies, and let it dry.
Next, take your bike apart.  And take a good photo and/or write things down so you'll be able to put it back together!
Okay, now how well the bike turns out depends in large part on how well you tape.
For example, I taped around that silver piece in the middle, because I knew just painting over it would make it look like, well, a spray painted bike.  So be thorough and careful in your taping.
And start the spray painting.  REMEMBER, you must be patient.  Lots of thin coats will equate a nice smooth even finish.  Get impatient or careless, and you'll likely end up with drips.
Next, to protect the finish, I gave it several coats of  glaze.  The Krylon product I used said to spray on a full wet coat, and let dry.  That's tricky.  You need it to be full wet so it dries glossy, but not so full wet that it drips.  Tread carefully.  And don't despair if you get a couple drips, you can scrape them off with the aforementioned razor blade and do some patch work, or you can smile and say, "No one is going to notice them anyway, least of all my 4 year old boy."
And Viola!!!
A sporty spiffy bike for my boy.
I had originally intended on doing some designs on the cross bars, and his initial on the front below the handlebars, but frankly by the end I'd lost all enthusiasm for the project.  Plus, he loves it as is.  :)
Just to recap:
Three things I will say: 1) the hammered finish was a waste of money, as it didn't work; 2) if you are going to do this, make sure the parts you can't paint (the handle bar grips, the wheel wells, and plastic pedals) are an appropriate color; and 3) I would only recommend this for a small child's bike, i.e., one who is on training wheels and won't be wiping out much...

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