Monday, July 29, 2013

Zippered pouch tutorial!

As promised, I worked up a little tutorial, filling y'all in on how I make my little zippered pouches (I knew you were just dying to know!)  Check out the full tutorial after the jump!  As always, I would love to see any projects you come up with, so I hope to hear from you soon!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Adventures in Dip-Dyeing

Hello, there!  I've spent the last few days trying my hand at some dip-dyeing, and I'm so excited to share what I came up with!  This recent dyeing experiment came out of a valiant, if vastly unsuccessful attempt to right a pair of my sister's pants that had been quite wronged by some hand sanitizer.  By that, of course, I mean that she tried to remove some tree sap from her pants with hand sanitizer.  While it took out the sap brilliantly, it also seeped through to the front of the pants and caused some massive bleach stains (oopsies!)  Of course, my first response was "don't even worry about it, we can dye them" only to realize that bleach stains don't really want to be any color than white (or really, some gross yellowish variation of actual white.)  After employing many creative (read: ridiculous and very messy, even for an outside project) dyeing techniques, I threw in the towel (or pants: I literally threw the whole pair of pants in my dyeing bucket in an effort to unify the color, to no avail) and moved on to Plan B, which was dying some lace to match the pants, cutting the stains out of the pants, and adding the lace behind the holes.  We'll just have to see what happens with hair-brained scheme #2.

However, the real up-side to this dyeing disaster was that the pants in question are a great coral color, which I matched by mixing two boxes of Rit dye: magenta and orange.  It seemed such a shame to make a whole batch of dye for just a little bitty stain, so I planned a few projects, picked up come unbleached cotton, and had a blast experimenting with dip-dyeing.  For the most part, I just dipped parts of the pieces into the dye, leaving the other portions white.  For a few pieces (once I had some confidence in my dipping skills, really) I folded the fabric to make stripes, which I'm pretty proud to say actually look like stripes.  I've been making my way through the dyed pieces, cutting lining pieces to match and sewing them into little pouches, wallets, and bags, and I have just a few to share with you today.  

These four pouches were the simplest of my planned dip-dyed projects, so I started with them.  I interfaced all of the dyed pieces, cut linings from some great metallic prints I found at JoAnn Fabrics, and just added a 9-inch zipper to each to make some simple pouches.  I have been meaning to try a half-circle pouch for a while, and I love how they came out!  The only thing missing from these little pouches is a great zipper pull.  I'm thinking…tassels?  Maybe a little pull made out of lace?  So many possibilities!

In other news, I'm working up a simple photo tutorial on how to make your very own zippered pouches.  They've really become one of my go-to projects…they're simple, quite quick to whip up, and leave lots of room for customization (the world is your oyster with this kind of simple project template.)  I hope to have that up tomorrow, so stay tuned!

I spent the rest of the weekend doing lots of running, practicing, spending time with my sister, and of course, with this guy.

  I hope your weekends were as lovely and relaxing as mine was.  

Friday, July 26, 2013

Mountainous Adventures

Hiccups really are the worst.  I'm trying to remember if I've done something karmically tragic that would have incensed the powers at be and afflicted me with the worst case of hiccups known to man, but I'm just not sure.  I suppose it's possible that it was that post-dessert chocolate bar that I ate.  But how could something so delicious cause something so terrible?  I may be being a little melodramatic.  

On a lighter note, I just returned from a magical trip to Banff, Alberta, Canada, where I participated in a music festival for most of July.  The trip itself was less than magical (twenty-four hour travel days plus a cello and waaaaaay too many clothes jammed into waaaaaaay too many suitcases makes for a rough day of travel.)  While everybody thinks they are being just so clever when they think to ask you and your cello "do you have a body in there?" or to exclaim "that's as big as you are!" or to knowingly inform their child "that is a guitar, sweetie." or to just shout the word "cello!" at you each time you pass by, it's really just part of the charm of traveling with a  large instrument.  Who doesn't like to have a little extra attention thrown their way when they're making their way from gate to gate in a busy airport?  Speaking of extra attention, my cello got lots of it on our travel days, including being strapped down like a wild beast in this contraption, which took the ENTIRE CREW OF THE PLANE (including two pilots, three flight attendants, and two men of the ground crew) to strap onto the seat.

Air Canada does it right.
It was just like being in first class, except that we were in row thirty-four, and I couldn't see the window or straighten my legs because my cello was in the way.  I mean, twelve of one and a dozen of the other, if you ask me.  Anyway, it was all worth it for the trip, which was incredible.  Can you think of a more beautiful place to spend a few weeks?  Not to mention the amazing people I met, worked with, played with, and got to know over the course of my program.  I'm one lucky girl.

Beautiful sunlight on the way up to the top of Tunnel Mountain

Myself (left) and friend, Rachel, on top of Tunnel Mountain (photo credit to the sweetest German traveler, who we met up at the top)

Lake Louise

A small lake on the hike up to Lake Agnes

Lake Agnes

The view from the main dining room.  Can you think of a better way to enjoy your morning coffee?

But now, it's back to the grind in Pennsylvania, which means spending a few wonderfully relaxing weeks of swimming, playing with dogs, cooking, practicing, and sewing, before I return to school in a few weeks.  It's a lot to ask, but somebody's got to do it.  

I've got quite a few projects on my plate for the coming weekend, including adventures in dip-dyeing, and lots and lots of little bags and pouches.  Can't wait to share them with you all tomorrow!

And just like that, folks, my hiccups are gone.  Like magic.  Thanks a bunch!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Home again, home again

Hello, hello, hello!  I've made it safely back from the land of practicing and hiking (also known as Banff, Alberta, Canada) to the land of practicing and crafting (also known as Pennsylvania.)  Although he's pulled a few naughties since I've been back (he sure does love those trash parties...) I don't think Oliver gave my parents too tough of a time in my absence (or perhaps, compared to their little monsters, his naughties just didn't stack up…)

My little guy's nose and a book, what a little gentleman!

My parents' dog, Ricky, just being weird.

But since I spent so much time away from all things bloggy, I really do have a few things to catch up on.  First and foremost: pies.  It happened like this: the other day, I mentioned to my parents that I wanted to try strawberry rhubarb pie.  My mom wrinkled her nose and offered a non-committal response, and my dad informed me that rhubarb is "hillbilly food."  So, I went to the store and picked some up.  After whipping up Smitten Kitchen's strawberry rhubarb pie recipe, I decided that my parents were undoubtedly and unequivocally wrong about my new best friend rhubarb, and I'm already planning to make another pie in the morning.  I also stopped by the farmer's market in town this morning and picked up some fresh blueberries and peaches, and made them into a pie today, too.  Pies really are something to write home (or online?) about.  

Also, before I left on my long Canadian adventure (pictures to follow, if I ever get around to uploading them onto my computer) I whipped up some packaging for the goodies in my little Etsy shop.  I picked up some tags at JoAnn's (about $1 for 20 tags), tissue paper, butcher's twine, and some stamps, pads, and gold pens.  I made the polka dots using a regular old pencil eraser on a stamp pad (I didn't not feel proud of myself for thinking up that little idea) and now my goodies are all packed up and ready to go!…hint, hint…

Speaking of my Etsy shop, I have some new things in the works, hopefully to be added soon!  I spent the day playing around with some dip-dyeing techniques, and I can't wait to post some pics of the finished products!...Once I get around to finishing them, that is.  Back with more soon, thanks for stopping by!