An Upcycled Newsboy Hat for Me

It all began a few months ago when my husband brought home a Stormy Kromer hat. 

It's classic, stylish, and functional design was perfect for this soon to be homesteader!  I tried it on and knew I wanted one just like it ~ Except for the shape. And the brim. And the size. {I'm sure you're as picky about your hats as I am}  I set to making a pattern;  cutting, sewing, and rejecting a small fortune in soft fuzzy sweaters.  Frustrated, and a bit defeated, I set the project aside knowing that one day I'd figure it all out. 

Two months later, as I was ironing some linen for a pair of waldorf doll pants, I noticed the iron plate was the exact shape I was looking for!  I measured and voila, perfect fit!!

A few handmade silver buttons gifted to me by my dear friend over at HorseTribe, and it's finished!

I LOVE the way it turned out, and you'll definitely be seeing a few of these upcycled newsboy hats in the shop~

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Dreaming in Green

~ I'll take one of each, please.  Especially the shoes.  I ♥ shoes. ~
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Tail or no tail, that is the question.  My grownup girlies said yes.  My kiddos said no.  So we went straight to the source...

If the long floppy ears were any prediction of how the tail would fare, Madison would have most definitely pulled off the fluffy pom pom tail I had in the works.  We're headed to the conservatory for a photo shoot with a few dozen bunnies.  Ears firmly intact.  No tails.

Have a wonderful weekend~
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Cabin Fever Contraption Challenge

Cabin Fever Contraption Challenge: Use only the items on the table to make a workable contraption.  No time limit.  Imagination required.

 Lucas rigged up a blow dart gun using a clamp, a skewer, and a straw.

Cole rigged up a zip line using a fishing reel, a cow bell, and a gaggle of vintage army men.

Jake equipped our hallway with a trip wire that sent a giant ball of mesh hurling at your knee when activated. 

I, on the other hand, created something slightly less violent.  A yarn swift made from bamboo skewers and a kleenex box.  It really works!!

What are you doing to thwart off cabin fever?

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Psych out Spring

Remember last week when it was 52 degrees for a few days, the sun was shining and we had a wee glimpse of Spring, Psych out Spring it's been called?  That was nothing more than a loathsome trick February played on us, because we woke up this morning to a 10 inch blanket of white powdery snow and it still continues to fall.  The boys and I decided to embrace the blizzard this morning and walk to the sledding hill for a few short minutes of snowy bliss, then back to the house for some hot cocoa and water color painting.

Even under a blanket of snow, Spring is definitely in the air.  You can smell it in the wind or the way the trees have lifted their branches to the late afternoon sun, and even the lone Robin, Jake said he saw trying to make it's way home.  I've been trying to bring in the spirit of Spring too with some new upcycled eggs and ultra soft cashmere bunnies stuffed with hand carded wool, along with some unique upcycled Japanese Zakka baskets.

It's a good thing bunnies reproduce so fast, as many of them have already been spoken for!  I hope to have them all finished and in the shop next week!

What signs of Spring are you noticing in your neck of the woods?

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Upcycled/Recycled T~Shirt Tutorial #4: Waldorf Doll Clothes Pattern

I spent an entire afternoon last week searching Google, trying to find a free doll clothing pattern to suit my style.  Eight {or more} long hours of research and I can tell you there are none that appealed to me.  Arms too long, arms to narrow, legs too short, neck to big, rise to short, lots of tiny sleeves to sew....  What's a girl to do???  Fuse all the qualities I love from other patterns and create one perfect {to me anyway} Waldorf Doll Clothes Pattern!  And best of all, if you upcycle them out of recycled t-shirts, no edges to finish!!
The green striped shirt was made from one of Jake's well loved t-shirts and the pants were made from one of my t's that had a grease stain on the front!  The other outfit was made from a white cotton dress shirt and a linen skirt I found at Goodwill last summer!  I love the wide legs and sleeves, along with the well fitting elastic neck. Easy on and off for little hands! 

Inspired by the generosity of others, such as Snazzle CraftWeWilsons, and Echos of a Dream, please feel free to use items made from my pattern however you'd like!
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Stop~Motion Animation

Inspired by their friend, Parker, Jake and Cole have become enthralled with stop~motion animation this week.  Cameras in hand, they each have taken to creating their own versions of the old school films.  It's a fantastically magical art form that is created by moving an object in small increments between each photograph.  The photos are then uploaded onto movie maker (both the standard Apple and PC version work well for this) where music and text may be added!  I'm not allowed to share their films just yet, but here are a few shots from Cole's perspective.  I'm probably slightly biased, but I do believe Cole has a gift for photography! 

Here's a list of links to help your kiddo's get started:
youtube: stop motion animation

Don't forget to stop back tomorrow for part 4 of the t~shirt tutorial!!
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The Ugly Sweater

I have never been one to give up yarn easily or think of any fiber as unequivocally ugly or unusable, so when I received this yarn last year for Christmas I knew it was headed straight for the stash that goes under the bed, never to be seen from again... until Lucas discovered the two skeins of Plymouth Encore. 

He declared they looked like the strawberry oatmeal he eats every morning for breakfast and could I please, please, pretty please use it to knit him a vest for Spring.  First of all, this yarn is 75% acrylic.  {usually, a deal breaker}  Second, I despise machine made dye jobs with their symmetrical repeats and shallow color palate.  However, when Luke looks at me with those adoring five year old eyes, all my knitting logic goes out the window.

My first reaction was that this yarn was going to be a bit {girly}, so I tried to {man it up} a little with a handsome brown stitch pattern.  To my dismay, Luke stated quite matter~of~fact, "That's not my sweater."

I explained to Luke my reservations, but he assured me that it would be better without the brown and could I please start his sweater now.  

Fast forward a week...  I finished the body and arm hole shaping, but decided I needed to try it on him before I grafted the shoulder seams together.  I slid it on his over his head and can you possibly imagine what came next...  "Mom, I'm not wearing this.  It looks like a girl's party dress!"   {This is where I kept my mommy cool and refrained from screaming "I TOLD YOU SO" in his face}

Furiously, I tore out the arm hole shaping, and finished it off with feminine cap sleeves and two vintage  buttons. 

After all the drama subsided, I planned to donate the sweater to our local Woman's Shelter, in hopes that it would lighten the heart of a little girl. However, on the morning I was going to deliver it, I found Cole wearing it over his pajamas.  He said he got scared in the night and the sweater smelled like me, so could he keep it and wear it to bed every night.  {sigh}  The Ugly Sweater stays.

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Today, I'm grateful for...
*A healthy family with no more sniffles
*A thirty degree shift in temperature {even if it's only for a few days}
*Giant white fluffy snow flakes
*Wool mittens
*Seed Savers catalog

What are you grateful for this weekend?
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Upcycled/Recycled T~Shirt Tutorial #3: Memory Blanket

You know those t'shirts packed in a box way in the back of your closet that mark moments in your life;  first kiss (yep, I've got one), senior year summer concert tour, road trip through the mountains, first pregnancy...  Well go dig them out and come back, because we're going on a trip down memory lane!

At least one friend (it's really no fun going down memory lane alone!)
35 large t's
hemp & organic cotton jersey for the borders
paper or cardboard for the pattern
rotary cutter or scissors

Note:  the blanket will be double thick with raw edges on the back side.  You're free to back the blanket if you don't like the look of raw edges.

*Cut an 18" square template out of cardboard or freezer paper.

*Lay your t'shirt out flat and position the template where you'd like it to be.  Cut out the square, making sure to cut through both layers of fabric.   If you don't have a rotary cutter, trace around the template with a marker and cut through both layers with a scissors. 

*Clear all the furniture out of your living room (well I have to anyway, because our living room is really small!) and lay them in 5 x 7 rectangle.  

*Next, decide if you're going horizontal or vertical and sew up each square using a serger or the over edge stretch stitch on a regular sewing machine.  Now you'll either have 7 rows of 5 or 5 rows of seven, but either way, sew those up too!  

*For the border, measure the width of your blanket and cut 2 - 3" wide strips of hemp/cotton jersey.  Sew one to the top and one to the bottom.  Now measure the length of the blanket (including the top and bottom borders), cut 2 - 3" wide strips of hemp/cotton jersey, and sew them up.  

*Wrap up with your favorite sweety and make some beautiful new memories~

Thanks so much to Jay for the photos &  inspiration!  
You can find all her amazing eco~conscience hand dyed hemp fabrics, clothing, and accessories at Noonday Textiles.

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Sniffles, snuggles, and spinning

The plague has settled in around our house this week and seems to have taken up permanent residence.  We're combating the sniffles and sore throats with some snuggle time and quiet projects like this...

Don't forget to stop back tomorrow for week three of the upcycled t-shirt tutorial (it's even better than the underwear!)

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