Friday, April 27, 2012

If You Give a Girl a T-Shirt...

Before I say another word, I should make one thing perfectly clear:  I. Heart. Threadless Tees.  I love that their shirts are consistently soft and comfy, I love that their designs are clever and I love that their prices are reasonable and their sales are frequent.  That's a lot to love. 

A couple weeks ago they posted that they had had thousands of Tees come in that didn't measure up to their high standards.  Rather than throw them in a landfill, they offered to send a box of tees to anyone who would host an up-cycling party.  For free.  Zero dollars.

Now Lea has been up cycling tees for some time.  The bulk of her wardrobe is comprised of T-shirts that have been repurposed into skirts or deconstructed and reconstructed into tops.  It is very cool and very punk and I am pea green with envy.  Lately she has taken to making bracelets and key chains with T-shirts and pop-tabs.  You could say up-cycling T-shirts is definitely her thing and I don't believe you'd find anyone to argue with you.

So for zero dollars?  We were in.

All they asked for in return was a few pictures.  I was drinking sangria and may not have been the best choice for event photographer, but I'm what they got.

Twenty-four T-shirts, 2 moms and a handful of teens later, this is how it played out:

Lindsey and Jessie modeling two very different zombie dresses
The girls started slowly - not wanting to take scissors to the super-cool abundance of T's before them right away.  All of them tried out one of Lea's favorite tricks:  Find a T that is a couple sizes too big for you, slip it on so that the neckband is under your arms, tie the sleeves together behind your back.  Bada bing, bada boom, sexy cool.

Karen and Addie working on a plan

Addie modeling the completely fabulous result

Addie knew she wanted a skirt and she and Karen worked together to come up with this absolutely great one.  I can't wait to see it with a plain little summer top... This was one of my favorite projects of the evening.

Jessie, Lea and Karen working together on a design

Jessie liked her zombie dress so much, she decided to go for a tube top as well.  This is how it came out:

Bad photographer.  Good Jessie.  Great top.

Lea sporting a Trojan Seahorse.
Lea has a whole wardrobe built around tops like this.  Her skirt is made from a T, too, for the record...

Addie made a tote bag.  You could, too, if you're not chicken...

Karen and I made totes, too.  Large enough and sturdy enough to carry a happy teen...

Ok, I have to tell you.  When I opened my box of free T's and this one fell out, I squeed right out loud.  I have loved this design since it first came out and it has been in and out of my buggy many times.  I always ended up taking it out because I was pretty sure I didn't want the focal point of anything to be on my hip.  But now I have this design and it's on a bag and I love it.  Looks like Karen is pretty happy with hers, too...

Addie and Lea made non-sparkly vampire halters.    Addie closed hers in the back with safety pins and Lea closed hers with more of those tied fringes you've already seen so much of.  Both were excessively cool.
The morning after the night before.
So that ended the party - but I think I see some potential flowers, maybe a few necklaces, and definitely some more of Lea's bracelets and keychains in that pile of scraps on the floor.  I'm not going to throw anything away quite yet.

Thanks to Threadless for such a fun night.  This is only a fraction of the fashions that the girls created - and, like I said - the party's over, but the designing is not.

Thanks also to Pinterest and Generation T for the inspiration.

Free T-shirts.  Teenage girls using their powers for good.  Time with one of my besties.  Sangria.  And an excellent soundtrack.  Yep.  I think we can put another mark in the win column.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Odds + Ends = Bracelet

A month or so ago, I told you about Chinaberry Beads.  My stash finally arrived.

Such good things come in Peanut Butter jars!
I was thrilled and couldn't wait to play with them.  Let's call them the odds.  Why?  Because they are nature's beads!  They are detailed, which is cool, but perhaps even cooler is the fact that they have a natural hole straight through them. In the original post, I told you we drilled holes in them - and we did - until we discovered that that step was absolutely unnecessary!

They just come like this!  Like Mother Nature was saying, "You ought to have some jewelry."

It's not nice to fight (or fool...) Mother Nature.

And I'm very nice.

Ask anyone (except my kids).

Allow me to digress for a moment.  We'll get back to the Chinaberry Beads, I promise.

Any knitter will recognize the next picture.

All the little snippets that remain after the knots have been tied back during the finishing stages of a project.  In this case, that project was my little hearts and the snippets were wool.

Wool, as you know, felts.

So I filled a little bowl with very warm water and a little bit of dish soap.  I grabbed a little handful of snippets , dipped them in the soapy water until they were soaked, and then rolled and rolled and rolled.  When they were the size and firmness that I was looking for, I quickly ran them under cold water and gently squeezed out the soap.  When they dried, they looked like this.

Let's call them the ends.

They sat in a pretty little ceramic bowl on my side table for months, waiting for a project to find them.

When my odds met my ends, I came up with this:

What do you think?  Pretty cool for some scraps and seeds, no?