Ever been sucked into the YouTube Abyss?

Whenever BratzBasher catches me watching YouTube videos, she says, “Don’t get sucked in!” It’s usually too late. If she comes back and I’m still at it, she tries to physically remove me from temptation. Sometimes it works. Sometimes I say, “You have to see this!” and she gets sucked in, too.

Yesterday, I discovered “Kid Snippets” by Bored Shorts TV. They record kids acting out scenarios (without a script) and then dub the audio onto a second video recording of adults acting out the parts. It’s dang funny. One of my favorites is the Batman v Superman Trailer. I haven’t seen that particular movie, but perhaps this parody trailer will prove more entertaining.

It occurs to me that these videos are most easily appreciated by parents who have heard/seen their own kids playing pretend — whether making up their own stories or already using well established fandoms. The things kids ad lib can be pretty hysterical, such as in the Kid Snippets version of the famous Star Wars Cantina scene when Obi Wan and Luke try to place an order at the bar and are told there’s only “blue milk”.

If you’re a parent, or someone who can appreciate children’s improv, and have some time to spare — or, better yet, have a buddy that will agree to come pull you out of the abyss if they haven’t heard from you after a certain time period has passed — check out Bored Shorts TV on YouTube. It’s pretty awesome.


More Upcycled Jackets — and a dress

As promised, here are three more projects that I completed for the fundraiser’s silent auction. I don’t know what people wound up paying for them because I wasn’t paying attention to the auction sheets at the end, but I doubt any of them went for less than it cost to make. In the end, I had three jackets and a baby dress. (See previous post for jacket #1, which turned out to be my favorite.) As usual, you can click on any image to enlarge it.

Floral Patch Jacket:

Floral Heart jacket

The graphic was originally off-white with a navy blue outline of the flowers, but I colored it in with fabric markers. The colors were pretty saturated at first, but I ran it through the wash to get this cool watercolor effect before the ink fully set. Yeah, I totally did that on purpose. Can’t you tell? Trust me — it looks way better now.

Frozen Jacket:

Frozen jacket

I found the t-shirt I used for the patch at one of our local Goodwill stores. There were about a dozen of the same shirt, and all of them had the same manufacturing defect: patchy lettering. The letters were originally a thick, sparkly turquoise. I embroidered over them with a satin stitch, and they look better than the original would have, I think. I also embroidered a large snowflake at the top of each sleeve. I’d purchased some snowflake iron-on patches from Hobby Lobby, but I decided that they didn’t really work after all. I think this jacket turned out great. There were a couple of moms in a bidding war over it — don’t know how heated. I heard the winner’s little girl wore it almost the entire next day. That made me happy.

Fairy Dress:

Fairy Wings dress

I found this dress at Hobby Lobby. On the front, I embroidered a pixie dust border graphic I found on the internet. On the back, I used the same colors to embroider wings. The outline of the wings and the stars from the pixie dust are in glow-in-the-dark thread. This dress was the most time consuming of all the projects, but it turned out pretty great. I used the top of a onesie to line the dress so the threads wouldn’t irritate the wearer’s skin. Sorry I didn’t get any pics of this one in the dark.

So those are my most recent, completed projects. Now I’m back to working on BratzBasher’s kimono. I’m using Simplicity 4080 for the pattern and some gorgeous brocade in a dragonfly pattern I found at JoAnn a couple of years ago. I’ll post pics when I’m done.


Upcycling, which is way better than chucking(…or “up”chucking)

I’m starting to think it might be a realistic goal to post once a month. We’ll see.

I wanted to show you a bit of what I’ve been up to lately. I have two major projects on my front burner: BratzBasher’s deluxe kimono and a new cover for my dad’s patio swing. Both of these have been temporarily put on the back burner so I can whip up a few things for the silent auction our church ward is having to raise money for youth camps this summer. It’ll be going on in the background during Trivia Night this Friday.

Merkin is in charge of the kitchens Friday night, and he has appointed BB as kitchen manager, or something. He is, of course, “executive chef”. He’s actually got everything organized like a real restaurant so that the kids on his staff can gain real job experience. He’s offering professional referrals to anyone who does a good job. But I’m not involved in the kitchen stuff, so I’m not going to elaborate on any more of that. Instead, I will show you one of the five projects I’m donating to the auction. It was inspired by BratzBasher’s Killer Rabbit jacket, and it’s already my favorite item. I hope other people like it as much as I do — like enough to pay good money for it and help send kids to camp.

I started with a basic denim jacket from Baby Gap (size 2T/3T), a graphic t-shirt, and a really cool iron-on applique from Hobby Lobby. Sorry, no pictures of the process, but you don’t need photos for this project because it’s super simple. Here’s my technique:

  1. Cut the front graphic from the t-shirt (I basically just removed the front of the shirt from the rest, so I still had plenty of margin to work with) and apply fusible interfacing to the back of the entire piece for stability.
  2. Trim the image to the size you want. It’s easiest to work with just a basic rectangle, so I used a rotary cutter and straight edge.
  3. Position patch on back of jacket and pin in place. I like to pin all over, not just around the edges, so that the piece really stays put during the next step, which is…
  4. Sew patch to jacket with a straight stitch all the way around the edge, leaving a margin of about 1/4″. When you get all the way around the four edges, keep going maybe an inch past the first stitch and then backstitch to lock everything in place. You can use matching or contrasting thread. I prefer to use contrasting because I like the “obviously customized by a cool person” look. Be mindful of the tag inside the jacket during this step. You don’t want to wind up sewing your care instructions face down onto the fabric. Depending on where your stitching and tag are, you may need to pin your tag up or down out of the way. In my case, I had to pin it down.
  5. Remove pins (except for the one keeping your tag in the desired position) and sew all the way around the edge of the patch again, using a zig-zag stitch. I set my stitch width to 4 and the length to 1. Again, I didn’t want it to look too professional. Center the zig-zag stitching between the previous straight stitch and the raw edge of the patch. Backstitch at the end, same as in the last step. Because the backstitching is more obvious on the zig-zag, you will probably want to start/finish in a lower corner. (In the photos below, you can kind of see where the stitching is darker/denser in the lower left corner.)
  6. Extras: I added the awesome “ROCK” applique I got from Hobby Lobby. I had originally thought it would go on the front, but the jacket had pockets on the chest with big snap closures. BB suggested I put it on the upper arm instead, and I think that’s much better. It’s an iron-on, but I never trust those — especially ones with odd shapes that could peel up around the edges, so I hand stitched it in place after ironing it on.

Here are photos of the finished product. I had a terrible time getting the flash working right, so the only one that’s true to color is the close-up of the ROCK applique. The lightning bolts on the patch are neon green, and the patch is hot pink with black, purple, pink, and blue print. Click on an image to see it full size.

girl's rocker jacket

left sleeve

Rock!

 

Girls Rock patch

Jacket: $3 (Goodwill); T-shirt: $2 (Goodwill); Applique: $1.99+ $0.16 tax (Hobby Lobby); Black Thread and Fusible Interfacing from my stash: FREE!

Total Cost: $7.15

Having the most rockin’ jacket on the playground: Priceless

It’s a shame I didn’t stick something like a dollar bill next to the jacket for size comparison. It’s even cuter when you realize how small it is. Maybe I’ll have to take another pic and update this post. So what do you think? I don’t think it took me an hour from start to finish. Stitching the applique on was the most time-consuming part, and that was because it was so intricate. I’ll post pics of the other projects when they’re completed. There’s even a little  dress with glow-in-the-dark embroidery. You’ll love it.


NOTE TO SELF: Pizza at 2:00 AM is never a good idea.

I had a seriously crazy dream last night involving:

  • an old high school boyfriend
  • Neil Diamond
  • toe rings
  • a de-aged brother-in-law
  • high school marching band

I can’t even begin to explain all of it, but I will say that Neil Diamond had taken a page out of Jane Seymour’s book and started his own line of jewelry called “Diamond Love”, and the father of a friend of mine had surprised his wife with His/Her toe rings from this collection for their wedding anniversary.

It was sausage pizza, by the way. That always seems to be the riskiest topping for midnight pizza snacks.


What did you get for Christmas?

Star-Wars-Christmas-5

No, Christmas isn’t about the presents, but they’re a fun part. There’s a great feeling to be found in presenting a loved one with something that makes them smile. I still remember the way BratzBasher’s face lit up when she unwrapped a brand new, pink and white winter coat years ago (back when she still thought pink was cool). She hugged that coat tight and wore it most of the day — even indoors. I remember another Christmas even further back when Mom unwrapped that brand new mixer from Dad. She actually cried. Her old mixer had long ago broken down, and she’d missed it more than we’d realized. (Note to husbands everywhere: normally you should never buy your wife something that plugs in or reinforces a traditional female gender role, but there are exceptions to that rule.)

So do you have a special gift or memory of a gift, given or received? Please share it in the comment section.


Merry Christmas!

corn husk nativity

               (This colorful nativity set was crafted from corn husks in Mexico.)


It’s a Merry Steampunk Christmas

My Christmas isn’t exactly running like clockwork. Actually, clocks do seem to fit in with my Christmas as they represent the inevitable, unstoppable passage of time as I race to finish everything. Christmas will always arrive precisely on schedule. I just might not be ready for it. I’m pretty sure I’m doing something wrong. Oh well. My family knows all about my tendency towards tardiness, and they love me anyway.

I was looking for something fun but pretty to decorate my blog today when I decided to try googling “steampunk Christmas”, and I rediscovered a great website called Urban Threads, which offers unique and fun embroidery designs (mostly machine embroidery, but some hand embroidery patterns as well). I already have a couple of their designs. (Not any of the ones below, though.)

clockwork reindeer

clockwork bird

clockwork snowflake

Steampunk Dirigible

Steampunk Santa

I think my favorite is the snowflake. And the bird. And Santa’s dirigible. And…

If you’re into embroidery, whether by machine or by hand, you should definitely check them out. They do more than just steampunk. However, if steampunk is your thing, they have plenty of that.


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