May 10, 2015

Blue Jeans Baby!

                      Another Up Cycled Denim Design.

                      An artful Apron.
                      Stuff a set of oven mitts in the pocket and gift it to work in the kitchen.
                      Put paper, paints and a brush in the pocket and paint a starry night!
                      Supply sandpaper and incentive and employ it in the workshop.

The artfully up-cycled Apron

 The basic Apron shape. 
I cut the pattern from an opened leg making use of the original hemming as the bottom hem of the Apron.
The pockets of course are salvaged from the jeans and stitched onto the apron.
I start stitching the binding at a bottom side and go up and all the way around.
Up Cycled Denim Apron

 Seam Binding
I like to make my own seam binding for the Apron edges and ties.
 I prefer working with cotton as it presses well and is available in a huge range of patterns and colors.

Start by cutting the selected cotton into strips
approx. 2 inches wide.
Be mindful of the pattern and which direction you want (in this case) the stripes to lay in the finished garment. Cut accordingly.

Sew all strips together at ends, with right side together. Press seams flat.

                The Artful Apron

Fold over (1/4 inch) on one edge of entire cotton binding strip
 and press.

Up Cycled denim

 Pics are now blue binding. 

Pin unpressed edge of cotton binding 
 with right side down
onto wrong side of Apron fabric .
Be sure to fold in end edge (at thumb area) first.
Stitch binding in place around entire outer edge of Apron.

 Turn Apron over now with right side up.
Bring binding to front, tuck in corner at bottom edge, allow pressed edge to fold under and pin into place.

Top stitch binding in place.

Up Cycled Denim Apron

 The ties for the neck and the back area are also made from the cotton strips.
 Fold over and press in a smaller edge on both sides of the cotton strip. Fold in half and top stitch over folds.
Press. Cut to desired length and stitch in place for neck loop and back tie

 Applique Heart

Up Cycled denim apron
 Alleen's Glue to the rescue.
Paint the back of your heart with a layer of Alleen's glue.
 Let sit for a minute of two before turning over and applying heart to apron front.
Although it takes 24 hours to really set it is not easy to move because of the glue residue that will be left from the first placement.
Be sure of where you want the heart the first time.
Craft Apron

Zig zag over the edges of the heart with your machine.

Blue Jean Apron

Squeeze on a thin line of Fabric Paint.

Up Cycled Denim Apron

 Set to dry overnight.

I don't know why this will not sit up
The artful Apron can be washed in machine and dried in the dryer.

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A baby denim Sunsuit on a handsome little model.

I have had this pattern running round in my head for over 20 years. 
The last time I made denim summer suits my oldest Son was about 2 and happily modeled this version of the summer suit for me. 

Denim Summer suit @ Craft Blog here

I made his suit in 1992. Here it is!

I purchased the seam binding and the snaps.
I decorated the denim with both the fabric paint and acrylic paint spatter after it had been stitched.
The white paint was a puff paint and so required that I bake the garment for about 7 minutes at 250 degrees. 
It is machine wash and dryer safe.

These are the 2015 version of the summer suit.
 Fashioned from the leg of blue jeans these adorable sun suits are a super summer solution for little boys and little girls alike.
Velcro and or buttons and snap enclosures help to make putting on the denim summer suit as easy as ABC
Open the suit up at neck and sides and lay it flat out. Lay the baby in the back bum area.  Pull the bib up at front and secure shoulder and sides.
Add  suede baby boots and a cute t-shirt to the outfit and smile out loud at the outcome. 

Denim Summer suits @ craft blog

      Thanks to little Landon 
                     for being such a happy, 
                                     handsome and willing model.

Lillian the Domestic
                      in spite of the fact he was a bit too small for his britches.


 I love summer and babies too!!

Sew, are you up to it?

Apr 26, 2015

Plant your own Garden

Love yourself


After awhile you learn the subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul, 
and you learn that love doesn't mean leaning and company doesn't mean security
 and you begin to understand that kisses aren't contracts and presents aren't promises 
and you begin to accept your defeats with your head held high and your eyes open 
with the grace of a woman and not the grief of a child. 
You learn to build your roads on today 
because tomorrows ground is too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way of falling down mid flight. 
After awhile you learn that even sunshine burns 
if you get too much 
so you plant your own garden and decorate your soul instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers
 and you learn that you really can endure, 
that you are strong and really do have worth 
and you learn and learn and you learn 
with every goodbye you learn

        - Author Unknown

Apr 2, 2015

Denim- Second time around

Denim wear- second time around

                       All that glitters is good!
                       Spring is the season of the joys of new life. 
                     A season of clean outlooks and fresh starts. 
Spring cleaning?
 Get started in your closet by hanging all the garments in your closet on a backwards hanger. I typically hang my hangers with the C facing away from me and over the rod  So instead I hung everything on the hangers with the C coming towards me from the back of the rod. 

Throughout the course of a year, as the clothes are worn and returned to the closet they are hung back on the rod in the opposite direction.
 The year end review of what garments to keep and what to toss will be clearly evident by the direction the hanger faces. 
Anything that remains hanging in the closet with the C facing forward has not been worn in at least a year and should be considered for removal.

This is the stuff in your closet that should be weeded out. You have proven to yourself that in fact you have was not worn it for at least a year.

You probably won't have to look far to find a deserving recipient of your donations.

 I was recently the grateful and appreciative recipient of exactly that. A garbage bag full of new to me, gently used garments.

One of those pieces happened to be this treasured little denim vest.
It is a girls size
Denim is always in style. Dress it up with some glittery leggings and a cotton top or go casual in a denim shirt and vest with cowboy boots and a pair of jeans. Denim is always in.

This vest was easily altered in the course of an afternoon.

Denim Vest

A little dab will do ya!
Aleene's fabric glue ensures that the finished piece
 will please.
The fabric to be added is cut to the finished size and simply glued into place.
Any trim that is desired  is then glued to the fabric edges.
 After allowing to dry for 5 minutes the edges of the design can then be finished with a sewing machine zig zag stitch or with a serger.

Denim vest- second time around.

Denim Blue Jean Vest

Denim Vest remake

The trim I chose has the finished appearance of being a zipper half.
I was quite pleased with the result.
The word JOY was easily accomplished by also using the fabric (good to wash) Aleene's glue.

Using the glue, simply spell out on the fabric what you want it to say. 
Wait a couple of minutes until the glue becomes tacky and then apply the trim.
Finally, zig zag a stitch directly over top the trim. I used a black thread that is not easy to see as I wanted to keep the zipper effect. Contrasting thread would certainly add another dimension to the project.

Remember there are no rights and wrongs, if you are pleased with your project then you have been successful!

Mar 27, 2015

Having it all

Life is a busy place.

Ever find yourself stumbling over the piles 
of stuff all bought in the name of having happiness?

Ever complain about the cost of living or the price of gas 
while en route to Walmart to save more cash?

Ever feel like you've had enough of buying into having the stuff
that piles up on the floor in front of us?

Can't see the forest for the trees anymore? 
Can't bag the joy that you're looking for? 
Having a tougher time justifying the cost of having it all 
 and yet
just can't get enough of that sugar crisp..... 

Money can't buy you love but can it really buy you happiness?

    We buy, we gather, we collect, we hoard, we sort, 
   we pack, we keep, we stash....we amass!
   We buy, we gather, we collect, we hoard, we sort, 
   we pack, we keep, we stash, we amass.

 We teach our children to desire the riches that only money can buy and they in turn buy into the tradition of the spirit of success.
And so it goes until a loved ones passes....

 After the grief
we sort through the pile that rises up over the course of time. 
We seek to keep the "precious" memories of a life out of the garbage bags with everything else. 
The value of the stash it seems is often correlated to the size of the pile and the pile amounts to the perceived value of a life now gone..
  If having it all is living the dream
  why does it look like a nightmare in here?

How do we value a happiness 
that is ever foreshadowed by the cost of having it?

Give up on it. 
Re invent yourself and the purpose for your being. 
The cost of having it all is much much higher than we are willing to see. 

Can't see the trees through the forest of need
can't see the ultimate result of our greed
can't see the forest for the pile of trees
that now sit transformed in front of thee?

Can't believe the insanity that we are buy into 
now more than ever from the face of a window?

What can you do about the piles of the past now tripping you
on the road to your future?
Sort, pack, keep and trash!

Can you repair, remake or reinvent a purpose for it?
Can you give it to a Senior in need or a young family that lives down the street? Can you donate it to the local charity store for the many others who need?

 Do you really need it?
Next time you head off to the market to buy
a little bit of happiness from the jingle guy
remember to ask yourself why, oh why 
would you buy into the notion of a happiness pile
that will never amount to having lived a good life.

Image result for piles of stuff
 Not Buying anything Blog
 Really great read. Do check out their great Blog.

You may also like Happiness

Be good to yourself and kind to one another.

Mar 5, 2015

The Greenlid

 Greenlid Compostable Compost BinCheck them out HERE

I happened to see these young entrepreneurs on Dragons Den the other night. 
I wanted to give a shout out to their new Canadian Company by drawing your attention to their new ingenious product. The Greenlid.


Committed to reducing waste through composting & living a sustainable life by making eco-friendly choices easy!
The Greenlid is a combination of making daily life easier so more people compost and making a sustainable choice for the environment. By using materials such as recyclable plastics and cardboard we don't harm the environment in the process!

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Distracted Driving

We have had a terrible winter on the roads in Alberta this year.
Distracted driving, inexperience, impairment, impatience and a lack of indicators are all in part to blame.
The resulting loss of life is no ones gain.

The winter snow, ice, sleet and frigid temperatures most certainly play a part in helping to hinder our experience behind the wheel out there but the absence of common sense is even a bigger deal...breaker.
What the heck are we doing behind the wheel out there?

Beware. We are weaving in and out of traffic on our journey to survive
while engaged in everything but the practice of drive.

With a meal in one hand and a cell phone in the other
we steer on with our knees and the hopes of avoiding each other.

We floss our teeth and dress ourselves while tuning tunes and drinking java.
Indicators are obviously optional to some whom are too busy to see
 but know where they are going anyways!?

On the highway to avoiding our own avoidable death, we seem to enjoy tempting our fate.

We talk, we message and we post things too without the worry of what we would do
 if suddenly we had to react to the car next to us and what they did or did not do.

In an effort to pass one another on the highway to our lives
we continue to sacrifice one another in the name of saving time.
Isn't it time we practice what we preach? 

5 routes to the path of safety.


 #1. Pay attention

GET OFF the phone, get your head out of the clouds and engage yourself in the act of driving.
The most important part of the process of driving is to see and be seen.
And speaking of looking- our children are watching our every move.
Their safety does not sit in a seat belt alone.

That which you show your children will come back to haunt you on the very day
that your new driver finally drives away, alone in your car.
The time you spend awaiting their safe return will haunt you with the memories of what they saw and learned.

Did you tell them not to text when they drive but on more than one occasion show them otherwise?
Did you teach them to turn on their lights so they may see and be seen when they drive, day or night?
Did you teach them of the responsible they have to their riders and their right to arrive alive?
Did you remind them to pay attention to the road when they drive? 

Distraction is detrimental to our health.
Change the path you are on by steering in the right direction.

#2 Slow down.
 Signal and get into the right lane. Enjoy the ride.
After all how many times have you caught up to the car that sped past you a couple miles back at the
set of lights? What is the hurry anyway?
Slow and steady does win this race as long as you are paying attention.
The fast paced world of high speed information and super speed highways have helped to lead us
down the wrong road. The joy in the adventure of getting there, being half the fun, has become a journey
of terror for some. I hope that there are others out there paying attention who also feel the same.
How can you see where you're going while your playing that game?

#3.Drive defensively

  Look out for yourself. Literally. Did you look? Did you see?
Assumptions  and second hand information can be dangerous.
Although vehicles do come equipped with signal lights intended to be used as indicators of intention, 
the indicator light does not always indicate the other drivers intent. Exercise caution before proceeding.

Be aware of whats in front of you, behind you and beside you, before you need to know. 
What if... is what you have to know.
Be aware of how aware those around you are. 
Do they know their signal light is on, do they see yours? 

Keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the wheel.
Driving is a  responsibility, it's a really big deal.

 #4. Apply common sense and courtesy

Common sense should dictate that applying your signal light in the turn is doing so just a little late.
The indicators on cars are not reminders to self that we are turning, they are meant to be used
as a sign of ones indication to everybody else.
Now if only everyone else would apply themselves.
Applied common sense should also make clear that vision can be impared by a dirty windshield.
I have passed vehicles on the road  that have more snow on them than there is snow on the road.
The little peep hole that the defrost had exposed in the windshield  before they set out
is frosted over every time they breath. Geez Louise...I don't see. What's the hurry?
A brush off and 5 more minutes in the driveway would make it a safer trip for everybody.

Use your heads lights. Clean them. Inspect them.
Headlights improve the odds of being seen by other vehicles on the road
as sure headlights help in the process of seeing the road.
 Fog, snow, sleet, rain, ice, sunlight, dust, dusk, dawn and darkness are all common sense situations
 that give great justification to the application of headlights.

Buckle up. It's the Law. What's holding you back?

Courtesy should be applied where ever you would expect the same.
Pay it forward, let them in.
A feel good moment is what you win. What have you got to lose? A couple of minutes or maybe two.

The next time you have to follow a senior citizen down a single lane highway, think first of your parent or your grandparents on their way before you pass the vehicle and before you holler and say...things you probably wouldn't say to the elders in your own family.

Consider those around you. It's your job as a driver to do.
The courtesy is optional but nice when we do.
We can lengthen  lives by enjoying the ride.
Slow down a bit so you've time to smile.

Distracted driving

#5 Know the rules of the road. 
Your life may depend upon it.
What is the proper protocol when passing emergency vehicles on the road?
Can you turn left on a red light? 
Who has the right of way at a corner? 
What is the speed of travel in un-posted residential areas?
What is the speed limit in a school ground? In a play ground? 
When is it necessary to do a shoulder check?

Slow down. Take the road less travelled. 
You may only pass this way but once.

Don't be a distracted driver dying to get there.
 Get off the phone and drive. 
You can talk face to face when you arrive alive.

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Feb 26, 2015

A Biker's Bikini

Round and round it goes..
Tire Tube Bikini

I am the proud parent of four Sons.
I have paid my dues if you will.

Minor Hockey Fees, 
local Baseball fees, 
School Volleyball fees,
the Bike Club Whistler dreams, 
the field trips
and yup, even the magazines 
has all led me right to here. 
or is that Fed me up right up to here? 

Our garage has consumed almost as much equipment as the boys have food.

 Some of the things do manage to get chewed up and thrown out 
but a large assortment of almost useful pieces 
continue to be found laying lifelessly around on the floor or
can be otherwise located quietly hanging around. 

A local radio station contest prompted the motivation for this creation.
$1000.00 was up for grabs for the best, original, homemade Bikini.
 I headed to the garage on a mission.

 Fashioned from used tire tubes and hockey laces this Biker Bikini
 was an easy sew on a basic machine. The tubes were lovely to cut and work with and the laces were the perfect answer for the trim.

Best  Craft Blog- Lillian the Domestic Engineer


 One tire tube was sliced open,  the full width of which was employed for the Bikini top.
  The four metal eyelets on the top front were punched through the tubes and set with a hammer.

The Bikini bottom required an extra width. Two tubes were stitched together before cutting.

 The skate laces were utilized as trim by stitching them directly to the bikini.
 The side straps were left long so they could be tied in a bow.
The air valves were utilized as adornments on the bikini bottom. 
They were to infer that the waist tube could be inflated, transforming the bathing suit into a life saver!
It was later suggested that perhaps the air valves should have been used to create an inflatable chest?!

 Bike Tube Bikini

First place was awarded to a Bikini original
titled Guns and Roses. 

Second place was given to a creative Bikini
crafted from Lego! 

The Biker Bikini secured third place.

Feb 21, 2015

Suck it Up.

A clean vacuum is essential in the process of vacuuming with purpose.
 Unfortunately the cost of  replacing  vacuum bags can run as high as $10.00 a piece.

Re Use your Vacuum bag

To re-use your vacuum bag, care must be taken to ensure that the cardboard hole
for connection is not damaged or destroyed in the process of removing the bag from the vacuum.

With a package of Velcro and a half hour time invested
 it is possible to triple the life of a "disposable" vacuum bag.


Re-Use a "Disposable" Vacuum Bag
#1. Cut 1/4 inch off the bottom end of the vacuum bag,
This cuts off the seam and allows
 the bag to open.
This was a used bag.I emptied the contents and turned the bag inside out. I gave it a good shake out and turned the bag right side out.

#2. Trim an additional 1/4 inch
off of 3 sides of the vacuum bag.
The front and both sides.
The back of the bag is left uncut.
It remains approx.1/2 inch longer
than the front and sides of the bag.

Remember Velcro has a front and a back.
I recycled the Velcro on this bag so it happens to be stitched  on in 2 inch strips.

Velcro is attached.
  #3. A piece of Velcro Front  
is stitched to the OUTSIDE of the bag.
Sew along the front edge and down both sides
TO THE CENTER of the folds on either side only.

 #4. Onto the back (remaining) part of the folds
a strip of Velcro Back  is attached.

The velcro front and velcro back create a good seal in the bag folds.

#5. A piece of Velcro back is then stitched to the INSIDE on the (longer) back flap of the bag.

Lillian the Domestic Engineer

      #6. Tuck in the side
 meeting velcro front with velcro back at center fold.


#7. Fold the back flap over the front of the bag.
       Re insert bag into vacuum.


Turn it on and Suck it up.

 Oh Kirby!
 I have now worked at the feat of sucking it up for over 40 years!

 Canisters, uprights, built in, bag less, useless, wonder less and hopeless...
 Like it or not Vacuums are a part of us.

I remember the day a door to door salesman arrived on our doorstep lugging his shiny upright vacuum.
It was red hot. It had a light on the front of it. It had a cloth bag with a scraper built in to clean itself and it came with a handful of cool tools. It was 1975.
 I remember him coming in and dumping a line of dirt on the carpet in an effort to impress.
 I remember him claiming that there was nothing out there that could compare to the likes of his

  ... KirbyVacuum

And then he turned it on.
I remember the noise of it. You couldn't hear yourself think.
I remember the power of it. The dirt disappeared.
I remember that the weight of it and the improbability of carrying it.
I remember the cost of acquiring it and the payment options
that came with that.

I remember the proud look of ownership on my Mothers face.
I recall the cleaning schedule that she then made.
Saturday would become my vacuuming day.
I remember her request that we follow up the vacuuming
with the combs of a rake!
Yup,we were to groom the shag carpet for heavens sake!

Recently I ran into old Kirby at my work place. The moment I turned him on he blew dust at my face.
The bag was filthy and the zipper was out of place.
Suck it up suddenly meant something else to me.Mean, mean machine.

Kirby whined and Kirby wurred as the memories of his success became more blurred.
I parked him back in the closet with my fond memories and got out the compact Kenmore
 that was next to it. Sometimes size does matters!

The tools of the trade may be changing but the fact remains
that with a dirty vacuum bag one will work in vain.

Feb 15, 2015

Wired for Display

 Craft away!

Craft a Wire Picture Stand

  These Great Stands are made

 using 9 gauge, coated bottom wire for chain link fencing.
 Use of pliers are required to bend wire.

* Pictures *Cards * Recipes
 *Lists *Note Holders.

Coat hanger wire will work but a heavier wire is preferred.
Use a coated wire hanger for a finished look.
OR try spray painting the wire for an awesome effects.
 Spray after forming the stand to avoid scraping off paint with pliers.

 For the added adornments
 you are limited by the diameter of the wire. 
The hole in the adornment must be big enough to fit over the wire.
Above I fed on beads and jewel baubles.

I created paper beads to thread on which were coupled with plastic beads
in the knotted and looped stands above and below.

The stands are all created with a single length of wire.

Potato Stamp Card