Monday, December 3, 2012

Never Too Old...

As this quarter wraps up, there are more and more projects to do and less time to be creative and have fun--but I found a way. I had to do a "creative element" (yes, very open-ended) as part of a final, so I whipped out my muslin and my crayons and my needle and came up with this funny little pillow:
There is some contrived deep meaning in this about gender, but I made it up in about fifteen seconds. 
This technique is something that my great-grandmother did--I don't know how well-known it is, so I've prepared a little tutorial to walk curious people through the process. It just goes to show, you never outgrow crayons!

You Will Need:
-Muslin or other solid cotton fabric
-Freezer paper
-Hard surface
-Cutting supplies (rotary cutter, mat, scissors, etc.)
-Thread, needle, stuffing--any supplies you need for your project.

Once again, I apologize for my lack of an available camera that takes high-quality pictures. We will have to make do.

Start by cutting a piece of fabric a little bigger than you need for your project. I'm making a coin purse out of this one.
Next, cut a piece of freezer paper the same size as your fabric (if you have to choose one, have the fabric be bigger as opposed to the freezer paper.) Set the iron to cotton and iron the muslin to the freezer paper, with the shiny plastic side in the middle. The freezer paper will stick to the fabric and make it more stiff.
Now the fun part--color on the paper with crayons in whatever design or lack thereof you choose. The heavier you color, the better, and direction will have an impact on the finished product.
Bring out the iron again--this time set it a setting or two lower and turn off the steam. Cover the top of your crayon-colored fabric in printer paper and go over it with the iron for a while. Some of the crayon wax will transfer over to the printer paper. The point is to melt the wax into the fabric and remove excess. 
Take off the printer paper and freezer paper, use your rotary cutter to square everything off, et voila!
A new piece of fabric just waiting to be sewn into something marvelous. 
Keep in mind this fabric will be stiffer than normal. Also, you don't have to color in the whole piece--that's just what I felt like doing. 
Have a great week!
Hannah =)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Black Thursday.

Hey all, hope you're having a lovely Thanksgiving =) It's just my dinky little family of four today, and we've been half-heartedly cooking a few dishes throughout the day. In maybe half an hour we're going to eat, then knowing us, watch Thor (because it just came in from the library.) 
I made my favorite dairy-free chocolate mousse recipe and ladled it into four adorable mini trifle dishes...I noticed it wasn't setting properly and took a little taste. A few moments later, I washed all the runny, metallic and just plain horrible tasting chocolatey stuff down the sink :( 
Today, we utilized the beauty and professionalism of self-timer to take our first family picture in quite a while:
Um. Yeah. We'll never be self-timer-photograph geniuses. I promise to try to get better pictures soon and introduce y'all to my quirky little family :) 

I don't usually wear so much makeup--eyeshadow and eyeliner on the same day is rweserved for photo shoots, special events, and/or singing on-stage.
I'm choosing to ignore the sketchy origins of Thanksgiving and just have fun and be thankful--God has blessed me with SO much, no matter what I've been through or will go through, and that is something I can always lean on. I'm particularly thankful for...
Christmas. =) I've been belting Christmas tunes off and on today, but my brother says it's not acceptable until after dinner tonight. Psh. Crazy man.
Tonight I'm going midnight black friday shopping with a friend. We're going to see what all the fuss is about =)
Have a lovely weekend! 
Hannah =)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


This little clip has been on loop on my computer most of the last two hours. 
Just passing on the love :)
I guarantee every time it loops, your day will become better somehow.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

For Laughs.

Tuesdays are homework days, but I thought I would share some things that have been making me giggle lately.
My first attempt at filling in the numbers on this week's little tear-off calendar. Who knows where my brain was!

Have a wonderful day full of adorable and hilarious things! 
Hannah =)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wednesday's Inspired Project

Hello all! As I may have mentioned before, I have a new and growing obsession with candles. Unfortunately, candles involve matches, and match-boxes are extremely unattractive. Here is my solution:
All you need is a box of small matches, a little jar (preferably with a cork stopper for cuteness--mine cost 50 cents at the craft store), scissors and glue. Simply fill the jar with the matches, cut off a little strip of the strike-able part of the box, and glue it onto the bottom of the jar where it won't be seen. Et voila! Match storage that you actually leave out on purpose. 
(Thank you to my mother for owning a working camera :)
More projects to come soon--just wait until you see the scarf and wristwarmers I have made/am making for fall! How could some people not love the coming time of year?
Pumpkin spice candles just may be in order. 
Hannah =)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Tutorial: Ruched T-shirt

UPDATE: I have seen a lot of joking around on Pinterest about the faces in my Before and After pictures. This is making me laugh because it was completely unintentional--I am a HORRIBLE auto-timer picture taker, and these were the best ones I ended up with. I also have no control over when I do the smoulder. It's a disease. I love how many of you are enjoying and using this pattern!

Hello lovelies! I'm sitting down to my lunch of cherries, fresh-picked snow peas, and barbecue Kettle chips. Last time I did a T-shirt remodel for Pinterest it was a hit, but alas, I failed to do a tutorial. This time around, I have learned my lesson. Re-making a t-shirt is the most forgivable sewing project I've encountered as of yet--surprising for it being stretch fabric! Just remember: nothing has to be perfect, scissors are your best friend, and raw edges are cool.

You will need:
-a T-shirt that is significantly too big for you (I usually wear a small or x-small, sometimes a medium--the shirt I used was either a large or x-large), either men's or women's.
-Access to a sewing machine and similar color thread to the shirt
-Lots and lots of straight pins (light bulb! Safety pins would work amazing for this project too.)
-Waxed dental floss
-Embroidery needle

Here is a horrible picture of what it started out looking like:

Step 1: Remove the sleeves. Cut off the sleeve and the seam that attaches the sleeve to the rest of the shirt. Your shirt will now look like a strange tank top for men to work out in.

Step 2: Turn the shirt inside out and try it on. (It will look like a horrid smock. Don't worry!) Bring your pins with you to a mirror, and pin along your wonderful curves until the outline is the way you want it. I used straight pins, but they do fall out sometimes when you remove the shirt to sew. I highly recommend trying safety pins for this step!
Put the first pins on either side of your natural waist, which is the narrowest point on your torso. This will help guide the rest of your pins and keep the sides even. Once you're done, it should look like this:
Imagine it 90 degrees clockwise. Technology is hormonal today.

Step 3: Remove the shirt (good luck!) and fix the pins so that nothing is super lumpy or misshapen. By no means does this have to look perfect, but we don't want any puckers while sewing or odd bulges when the shirt is done.
Step 4: Sew along the pins. Since the material is stretchy I went with the longest stitch my machine would allow. Don't forget to backstitch! Do your best to line up the bottom hems, but as long as they're close it isn't a big deal. If they are too far off but the rest looks good, just cut off the entire bottom hem all around and call it good ;) See what I told you about forgivable?
Step 5: Try on the shirt right-side out to make sure nothing is funky. (I had to fix the upper part so that the sleeve holes were smaller.) If anything is weird, re-do all or part of the seam where it needs help. Remember that we're not done yet! 
Step 6: Once you're happy with the shape of your shirt, cut off the excess inside. Make sure to leave some extra seam allowance--we'll need it in the next step. 

Step 7: Begin the ruching! Decide how far up from the bottom you want your gathers to go. I put mine up to just under my natural waist, but the decision is yours. Put a pin where you want your ruching to stop.

Step 8: Cut a long piece of dental floss, two or three times the length of the section to be ruched. Go to your sewing machine and zigzag stitch the floss onto the extra seam allowance of the bottom part of the shirt (the zigzag stitching acts as a kind of casing for the floss--do not sew into the floss! It needs to be able to move!). Here's what it should look like:
And at the ends:

Step 9: Thread the bottom end of the floss onto an embroidery needle and tack it down. Do several stitches to make sure the floss is firmly in place, then tie it off well. 

Step 10: Take the top end of the floss and pull on it, working with the material to gather it. Gather it as much as you like--I pulled it as much as it would easily go without making it overly bunchy or putting strain on the floss, then flattened the last inch or two. Once you are satisfied, thread that end of floss onto your needle and use several stitches to tack down the floss. Even out the gathers and begin tacking those, working your way down to the bottom. Once that's done, do some more tacking stitches and then tie off. Here is a blurry and sideways picture:
Repeat steps 7-10 on the other side. Turn right side out, and you're done!

I hope you have enjoyed my technology-tantrum tutorial. Let me know if you have any questions or suggestions for other things I can do tutorials of :) Have a lovely day.
Hannah =)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

T-shirt Remodel

This afternoon was a sick-and-exhausted-from-a-weekend-away-but-in-a-creative-mood afternoon. I felt especially adventurous, so I pulled out one of my brother's old t-shirts from one of my gloriously full crafting drawers. Less than an hour of trying on, pulling off, pinning, sewing, and snipping, I had turned a men's XL t-shirt into a fun, rather fitted shirt for my small self. This is officially the most forgiving project ever, and even though T-shirts aren't really my "thing", I may have to start mass-producing them :)

The sleeves were actually removed entirely, as the shoulder part was long enough to cover my shoulder and provide a substantial cap sleeve. If anyone would like, I can make a tutorial sometime for the fitting of the body, although it involves little more than trying the shirt on inside out, carefully pinning the sides the way you want them, and sewing along the pins. The bottom hem has been entirely cut off because I didn't take the trouble to make it all match up...who knew scissors could hide such a multitude of mistakes and lazinesses?
After uploading this to Pinterest, I realized that I probably should have worn jeans instead of my ridiculously skin-tight jeggings. 7 likes, 1 comment, 28 repins, and less than half an hour later, I have officially learned my lesson.
Happy Weekend!
Hannah =)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Hand Soap

Between yesterday and today I tried this recipe for homemade hand soap--after a few alterations to the recipe, it ended up working like a dream. I actually used a natural soap from the dollar store, and it smells like lavender <3 
The recipe calls for an 8 ounce bar of soap, 2 tablespoons of glycerin, and a gallon of water. Upon noticing that my bar of soap was only 4.25 ounces, I cut the recipe in half and only used half a gallon of water and a tablespoon of glycerin. But it was waaaay too thick. So I melted it down again and added another half gallon. Still waaaaaay too thick. After a gallon and a half of total water, it finally worked. Here is my finished product:
This batch ended up making nearly a gallon and a half of hand soap for barely over $1. My mom loves the scent and can't wait to put it in every dispenser of our house. I have read that the creator of this recipe also made body wash by using the same recipe. 

I am now the proud owner of a ukulele (thanks to my brother for selling me his for dirt cheap.) Now to learn how to play the thing...
Hannah =)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Plarn Dish Scrubbies

If you haven't heard of plarn, you've been missing out. Plarn is yarn made out of plastic grocery bags! Some people use it for fashion, but I prefer its more functional aspects. Knit up in garter stitch with two strands, these little plarn dish scrubbies have a rough, ridged surface on both sides, making them perfect for scrubbing tough-to-clean dishes like pots and pans with cooked-on food.

Here is the method I used to make my plarn, and here is another, perhaps slightly easier way that creates the double strand automatically.
I used two different patterns: one was the traditional Grandmother's favorite dishcloth pattern (although much smaller), and for the other, I cast on 15 stitches and worked garter stitch until it was somewhere in the vicinity of square. The latter pattern turned out to be much simpler ;)
These work really well; my mom has already "stolen" two or three (with permission)!
Happy plarning!
Hannah =)