Saturday, March 30, 2013

Christmas Ornaments of Christ

I know this is super early for the season but maybe not so inappropriate with Easter being tomorrow.

Some time last Christmas I was talking with my mom and I was telling her how excited I was to have bought a white Christmas tree and what new decorations I was going to do with it.  We then got talking about what she wanted to do to redo her tree.  A number of years ago she had some ornaments that depicted the life of Christ.  I remember these.  She is now down to one left.  She said that she wanted to have those again and I suggested that maybe over the summer we should do a Christmas in July project and make some.

Well, I'll be honest, I couldn't wait quite that long.
After we talked about it I just got too excited about the prospect of making these for her as a surprise gift.

I roped in my hubby and got his advice and then raided our wood pile for good sized logs and cut them into slices using his miter saw.

I cut the pics down using one of my scrapbook scissors that looks like torn paper.

Then I got busy Mod Podging them on.
Once they were all dry, I drilled a hole in the top for a loop of twine and then added a little ribbon for some contrast. She ended up with about 2 dozen ornaments.

In the drying stage

I gave these to my mom for her birthday earlier in March.
She was very surprised and very happy.
I was pleased with how they turned out.

Happy Birthday Mom!

Bought the picture packets from Deseret Book, but you can order them online.
  • If the Savior Stood Beside Me by Greg Olsen
  • Beautiful Savior by Greg Olsen
  • Wood slices 1/2" thick or less. ( I like less if you can do it)
  • Mod Podge at least 2 coats.
  • Make sure you don't have any air bubbles 'cuz that'll make you super mad.
  • Jute for hanging the ornaments
  • 20 yd. spool of 5/8" ribbon cut into about 12" lengths for the bow. ($3.99 per spool--but don't forget to use a 40% off coupon.)
I'll have to get a pic of her tree later this year.
I also gave her some red bead garland that I found at the Thrift store to use along with her white lights.
It'll be so fun to see it all done up.

Here is another way to do this same theme/idea.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


change: [cheynj] a transformation or modification; alteration

It has come time for some change here on the blog.  
After much consideration we have decided to split up or creative lives in order to more fully allow each of us to grow and evolve in the directions we want to go.  While all of our past projects will remain archived on this blog, Renae will be the sole contributor of new content here. Emily will now be posting over at her new blog Leslie will continue to jump in every now and again on both blogs.  

We feel blessed to have had the opportunity to create and craft together for the past four years!  Thanks to all of you for following us along this path.  We hope you continue to support each of us as we embark on our new adventures.

(The Creative Chicks)

Monday, March 25, 2013

I Love Invisible Zippers

It has been a long time since I've sewn in a regular zipper on a dress that I've made for myself.  I absolutely adore good topstitching, but invisible (or concealed) zippers just seem to me to be so much more professional and polished on dresses.  And to be quite honest I do think they are easier to do than a regular zipper.

I've had this dress pattern for some time and finally got motivated to get it done.  I love the yellow version the most.

And hey, I made myself a yellow version,

I'll probably wear this for Easter this year, unless we are still too cold here in MN, which is highly possible with Easter being in March and we are still in the 30's around here.  Or maybe I'll just go ahead and to heck with the wintery weather.  We should just think positive, don't you think?

Notes on invisible zippers:
  • There are written instructions on the inside of the invisible zipper package to help you, but if you need an in depth tutorial you can search online and there are a number of really helpful videos that I saw.  You can also check here for good written instructions and pics.
  • An invisible zipper foot is great to use if you have one for your machine (see pic below).  This foot has a groove that keeps the zipper teeth to the side so that you can get a close seam.  Check your manual or online for parts to order one for your specific model.  When I bought mine a number of years ago (like 15) it was $5.99.  Now online it sells for $16.
  • You can put in an invisible zipper with a regular zipper foot, just not quite as easy as with a concealed zipper foot.  
Dress Details:
  • Butterick 5638
  • Pale yellow linen from the stash.  Leftovers from this dress project.
  • Added about 6 inches in length to the dress and then also moved the front slit up slightly.
  • Used the A/B cup version and didn't have to make any adjustments on the bust for me.  Yeah!!
  • Super comfy dress.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Selling chairs

Hubby starts a new job next week.  It extends his commute quite a bit, especially since he's been working from home since August last year. ;)  Besides this new opportunity there will probably be some other changes going on here---like a move down the road.  But we'll have a HS senior in the Fall and that complicates things.

In the mean time, mentally I am doing some planning (and plotting) for a move.
I sold a pair of these chairs on Friday via Craigslist for $20.

They may not look like much but hubby and I bought these originally in 1995 for $1.50 each at D.I. in Provo and they were painted some yuck color and had vinyl seats.  We stripped them down, stained them, and then reupholstered the cushions.  This current seat, which looks awful, is round 3 of cushions since we've had them.

They have served us well.  AND we made some money on them.  As a side note, we bought a couch from D.I. while at BYU for hubby's schooling and when we left we donated it back to them.
As much as I love the lattice back on these chairs....LOVE them....we just don't have room and I can't have them sitting around waiting for us to maybe have room.

The couple who bought them from us were thrilled, and daughter #1 almost started crying when they left the house. Have I mentioned before that my entire family is much more sentimental and has greater hoarder tendencies than I do?  I, however, feel relieved to do something, anything, to get the ball rolling.  It'll be an interesting process.  That last time we moved we had 1 kid and a futon.  Next time around will be much more exhausting.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Stella McCartney Color-blocked Dress Knock-off

Although it is technically Spring, per the calendar, you sure wouldn't know it around these parts. On Wednesday, the first day of Spring, it was -5 degrees with windchill at the bus stop for my kids.  Ouch!  We are so done.

But because of such "lovely" weather I haven't really been able to take any pictures of Spring projects I've been working on.  Since I'm not sure when it will really warm up around here, and the drifts of snow at the end of my driveway melt away, I'll go ahead and post anyway.  Just excuse the not great pictures--I don't have fabulous lighting in my house.

I've seen this dress on various celebrities and just love it.  It is color-blocked in front and one color in back with a zipper closure. But there is no way I would pay $795 for a t-shirt dress, which is basically what this dress is, even if I had the money to do so.  I knew I could duplicate this and I've been wanting to make a version of it all Fall and haven't got around to it, until now.  There are a number of patterns out there that you could use to duplicate this dress but I used the Project Runway pattern Simplicity 2146.

Originally hubby told me to make the sleeves exactly like the Stella dress--fitted short/elbow length.
I wasn't sure so I made the cap sleeve and 3/4 bell sleeve, exactly from the pattern, to make a determination.  See below.

Basted the sleeves in, asked my family to tell me which one they liked best, and the long version above won out.  (Judging the sleeves were me, daughters #1 and #2)

Then I basted in the sleeve my hubby preferred and it won out over the 3/4 sleeve.

Daughter #1 was all over the 3/4 sleeve.  That is her personal favorite but I when I asked her what looked better on me and not what she liked best the elbow sleeve won out.

Hubby loves it when he's right--'cuz as he said, "I called it first."
He was spot on with the sleeves once I tried them all on.

Final Version:

  • Simplicity 2146 cut & lengthened 8 inches.  Comes in petite and misses sizing.
  • Made the red/black version without the contrasting "belt" in front.
  • Altered sleeve using the bell shaped pattern piece and then shortened it and took it in at the underarm seam to look more fitted.
  • To make the contrasting band along the top neckline I just found the spot I liked, and cut the white piece adding 5/8" seam allowance.  Then did the same for the top navy piece--adding the 5/8" seam allowance.  Love how it looks!
  • Navy and white linen from my stash.  This pattern is not for knit fabrics although the original dress is made from spandex/knit.
  • Invisible zipper
  • Machine blind hem stitch used for both the dress hem and sleeve hem.  Because I am all about using my machine any time I can and avoid hand sewing.

Other pattern options: 
Simplicity 2648 
McCall's 6432 (out of print) if you prefer a raglan sleeve style.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Amy Butler Weekender Bag

I've thought long and hard about this post, ...'cuz I'm not sure I should share my true feelings about this pattern.  Tiffany and I made this during our girls weekend in February and although we expected some issues,  and after making sure we had the 6 pages of corrections printed out so we wouldn't screw it up, and reading all sorts of blogs from others who have made this bag, I still think "Curse you Amy Butler!"

And I know how to sew.
I've made wedding dresses for crying out loud.
Yes dresses, more than one--3 actually.

O.K. now that that is out of the way I sure do love the way it turned out---a full weekend of sewing later, when I had planned on making a couple OTHER items too.

It should never have taken that long.

I blame Amy Butler.

Sorry, but I do.

This funky striped one is mine.

We made it with 2 zippers that meet on the top middle.  I really like it this way.

My equally funky lining.

This one was going to be for my daughters to share, but Emily wanted one too, so we worked out a trade.

Not sure I'll make another one, and I can't imagine why anyone would make these to sell on Etsy.  All the ones I've seen are pricey, but after making my own, I'm not sure that money is worth the trouble.

O.K. ...I'm really done now.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Broken Chevron Quilt Finished

Remember this quilt top?  It is finally finished up and ready for its new home today.

I sent it to Lynn to get all fancied up and then finished off the binding when I ran away from home last month for our girls weekend.

Found some great brown polka-dots for the binding.
And the backing is a piece of some lovely designer print that I found on clearance at my fabric store.
Emily knew who it was right away just by looking at the fabric.
I can't remember who it was and don't have a selvage to get the info.
If you really need to know she could tell you.
I just am not into that and buy what I like--designer or not.

Back view.

I had intended to make and give my friend Andrea something awesome last year for her birthday.
It didn't happen.
So Happy 1 yr. Anniversary of your 40th Birthday Andrea!
I'll see you at lunch today.

Finished measurements:  58 inches wide by 75 inches long

Monday, March 4, 2013

Love this Knit Pattern

In December I picked up the book, "I Have Nothing to Wear" by Jill Martin & Dana Ravich at my library.  I've been mostly hating my wardrobe, or at least the body that has been going in it, and so I've been slowly revamping my closet.  Although I don't have a friend nearby that I can trust to give me good fashion opinions/advice (as suggested in the book) I feel like I pretty much know what works for me and what doesn't.  And definitely I know what style is me--and it's not bohemian surfer girl.

One of the suggestions in the book is to get rid of all clothes that don't make you look and feel like a "10".  That means anything stained, really worn, or just plain unflattering and not your personal style.  So some things have left my closet--especially items that I rarely wear, because I don't just LOVE them.

And then,of course, I needed some new pieces to replace some of those throw-aways.

Last pattern sale at Jo-Ann's I bought a couple new patterns.
Love, love, love view ABC on this pattern: Simplicity 1716.

And for $.99/ea. it was a bargain to not have to figure out on my own how they did that funky twisty neckline.  And I have another shirt that someone gave us that is VERY similar to this pattern that we were going to try and duplicate.

I had a cream knit piece I had bought at my thrift store for about $1.50 and decided to use that as my "sample" to make sure I didn't need to make any adjustments on the pattern: i.e. raise the neckline some.  It does have a seam down the entire back, which I don't love, but I did it for this first shirt.  I know that they put it in to give the shirt a little more shape and fit to your body, but I find a seam down the back of a t-shirt a bit annoying.  Not sure I'll do it on the next one.

Really however, I just love this shirt.

Then I used it to make myself a new LBD--little black dress.  Oh yeah!!
I have to say that the fabric probably makes this dress more than anything.

  • Fabric--4 yds. of "fashion" knit at my fabric store for $1.59/yd. on sale with a coupon = $6.36 dress. Actually it would be less because there is enough to make another shirt and a tank top from this piece of fabric.  I actually made View B out of this black for me and then didn't like the flutter sleeves on me.  So daughter #1 has it--I just need to take it in a little for her.
  • This is another one of those awesome pieces of fabric that you can throw on the floor and leave it there for days and when you come back to it there are no wrinkles in sight.  LOVE it!
And here's daughter #2 with her version of this top--View C, with the ruched sleeves.

Skirt pattern: Simplicity 2258.
We'll be making this one again.  Super easy and super comfy--elastic waist, pockets.  I'm thinking chambray for me and we have a fun orange piece that will be great for her for Spring/Summer.


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