Saturday, March 28, 2009

Punk Rock Princess

Lea asked me to make her a tulle skirt to wear over jeans. (That's sort of a lie. She asked me to make her a tutu.)

I had some pink tulle lying around (don't you?) so I said, let's give it a shot. Keep in mind, please, that I am not a seamstress, so anyone who actually sews could probably do a lot better job of this, but this is what I came up with:

Cute, right?

Here's how I did it:

I had an approximately 2 yard length of tulle. I folded it in thirds lengthwise, then folded the top over about an inch and a half to form a casing. I pinned this fold in place and basted it down.

I cut along the bottom folded edge, now giving the skirt three distinct layers.

Then, along the lower edge, I used black crochet cotton to define and clean up the raw edges. Using a very small crochet hook, and working directly into the tulle, I created a simple single crochet-chain three border. I did this for all three layers.

I then fed 1 1/2 inch elastic cut to fit Lea's waist through the casing and she tried it on for size. It looked pretty cute, but there was a lot of bulk around the waist. Lea is quite slender, so she can sort of pull that off, but I still wanted to clean it up a little bit.

My first thought was a wide black ribbon belt, tied in a big pretty bow in the front. Every time we tried to use ribbon, though, it slipped and scrunched up. This called for something stronger. We found a black leather tie belt (from an old coat, I believe) and thought that would fit the bill. It worked pretty well, but we quickly realized we were going to need belt loops. I wanted to use black ribbon, but we didn't have any around the house, and at this point I was bound and determined that we were going to complete the full project without spending a penny. So we used a sheer pink ribbon. I cut four lengths of ribbon about the length of my arm and folded them over the casing. I held them in place by sewing some decorative skull buttons. (Which, yes, I also just happened to have lying around...)

I never DID do more than baste the casing down, but since Lea (and her friends!) love the skirt and it may see more than a little wear, I think I'm going to have to attach that more securely.

Here's the total look. Not bad for a mom who can't sew, eh?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pay it Forward

A few days ago I received the following note from a friend on Facebook:

The first five (5) people to respond to this post will get something made by me.
This offer does have some restrictions and limitations so please read carefully:

- I make no guarantees that you will like what I make.

- What I create will be just for you.

- It'll be done this year (2009).

- You have no clue what it's going to be. It will be something made in the real world and not something cyber. It may be a mixed CD. It may be a poem. I may draw or paint something. I might bake you something and mail it to you. It may involve yarn. Who knows? Not you, that's for sure!

- I reserve the right to do something extremely strange.

And in return, all you need to do is post this text into a note of your own and make 5 things for 5 others.

Now I was immediately intrigued, particularly since the person who posted the note is a gifted painter and I am not. Hoping for an original piece of art for my home, I quickly responded and re-posted the note. I almost immediately had my five responses.

My gut impulse was to find a satisfactory design and make it for all five. A purse, perhaps. Something pampering. Something like that. Then I re-read the post. What I create will be just for you. How could I, in good conscience, treat it like an assembly line project? Besides, it was supposed to be almost a surprise, even though they signed up for it. Give it some time to slip to the back of their mind, then when it arrives it will be a lovely surprise.

I posted a note with all of their names on it above my desk, where I look at it many times throughout the course of the day. As I learn things through their posts about these women, I write them on my notes. Interests, dreams, favorite colors... and the ideas started coming. I won't say they're coming fast and furious, but they're coming. I know for sure what I am making for two of these gals, and I am happy with my plan. I am sure I will become equally inspired by the other three as our conversations unfold.

I think this is an awesome idea! I love working on things for people that don't have that deadline of 'birthday' or 'Christmas' or anything else. Just within a year. When I think of the right thing. Just for you.

When I've completed all five projects, I'll post them, but not before. You never know who's poking around on the interwebs and I sure don't want to ruin anyone's surprises!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday the 13th

Honest, sometimes I make things that are not pop culture references. (sometimes I say things that are not pop culture references, too, but it doesn't happen often...)

First, let me give credit where credit is due. CakeWrecks inspired me. Now this is a blog which makes me laugh almost daily, but it usually doesn't inspire me. My cake decorating skills are not even on a wreck-worthy level. But today? Well, I thought I could do something with what she presented today.

So without further ado, I present to you: Friday the 13th Jason Voorhees cookies.

Inspired, but not directly copied by the designs presented on CakeWrecks as well as the links within that post.

Here's the quick and easy cheat:

I purchased chocolate chocolate chip cookies and fondant. I sandwiched 2 cookies, using strawberry jelly as a filling. I rolled out the fondant then cut out large circles for each mask (I used a sandwich crimper - use what you've got - freestyle, if you have a steadier hand than I) I then cut out eyes using small cookie cutters. Again - use what you've got. I used a thick toothpick to place the rest of the holes. I pressed the fondant 'mask' over the cookie sandwich and, voila!

I did almost ENTIRELY rip off the note John M. posted on CakeWrecks. Since mine were for adolescents as an after school snack, I changed the cautionary portion a little bit. Mine went like this:

Hey Guys!

In honor of that hockey mask wearing patron of this unlucky day, I have made you some delicious Jason Voorhees cookies. Much like the diabolical monster, these tasty treats are dark and ugly on the outside, but they have a sweet, red, gooey inside (like many of his victims. You just won't need a machete to find it).

So, enjoy! And remember, it's never a good idea to make out with your boyfriend/girlfriend. Ever. Especially not in the woods. Or anywhere. Ever. Jason hates that.


If I were to do it again with the advantage of a little more forethought, I might make chocolate cupcakes with a jelly center and proceed to decorate them the same way. I might also use a chocolate chip or a jelly bean or something to define the nose on the hockey mask. But given that I did these on the fly, I think they came out pretty good.

So tell me? Who's the coolest after-school-snack-making-mom-on-Friday-the-13th? Aw, you don't have to answer that. I am.