Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Make your own custom tshirt

So my husband likes to hang on to clothes. For a LONG time! I can't really put my finger on how long because he has several items that he's had before even meeting me in 2001. Yep! And a lot of those items would include t-shirts. College team t-shirts, old athletics event tshirts...etc etc.

I can't at this moment in time remember where we were, or what we were doing, when I saw him wearing one of his favorites, a Duke Basketball shirt. I had never paid much attention to it before, but this time would be the last! The only thing I DO remember was that we were out in public with no option for a quick change. Drats!!

As lovingly as a wife could be in this situation, I turned to him and said something along the lines of......

"OMG! That shirt is so old! Look it has a big hole at the neckline and it's ratty! You have to get rid of that thing!"

And he replies.... WHY???? I love this shirt. I've had it forever. *pouty face*

"EXACTLY!!"

I don't think he saw what was coming next.  "What if I got you a NEW  Duke shirt? Would you finally throw this one away?" And he said yes! He doesn't seem to remember it too well, but he said yes.

So the wheels get to turning. And that's when I ran across this tutorial over at Crap I've Made. Pure Genius I tell ya! So I had what I was going to do. Now to find the shirt. you would THINK that finding a plain royal blue tshirt in his size would be semi-easy. I checked 3 thrift stores, Wal*Mart, and Big Lots before heading to Michael's. I didn't expect to find this
The ONLY one! And it happened to be in his size! The long drawn out search had ended.

So to the design. I googled the Duke logo. There were a couple options. But I knew being me, that I would need to take on the most complicated version.
Yep. That's the one. The one with a million and one cut outs. Hmm...was I making the right decision? All for love, right?

I'll walk you through my process. I feel like I need to add a disclaimer here first.
DISCLAIMER: read this entire post before starting. You'll see why!

Supplies:
-Plain tshirt in choice color
-freezer paper
-cutting mat (mine is a small one from Creative Memories)
-cutting tool (mine happens to be a scalpel, but could have easily used my exacto knife)
-ink pen
-cardboard (to put in the middle of the shirt to prevent bleach going through to the back)
-iron (with no steam)
-bleach in a spray bottle
Ummmm....I believe that's all. A lot of what I used should be typical household items.

So I started out with tracing the design. For this I just used my laptop screen!! Oh I almost forgot, when cutting the freezer paper from the roll, make it large enough that you have some leftover around the design. That will help prevent any outside bleed or accidental spots :)


Trace the design onto the non-waxy side of the freezer paper. I would recommend tracing lightly if you use my method. I used light pressure as to not damage my screen! If you don't have a laptop that you could use in this manner, I'm sure you could print out your design and trace that.  

Once I had the design fully traced, I compared it to the original to make sure that I had gotten all pieces. And got started on cutting it out. Make sure to keep all of the loose pieces. It will help when positioning your design onto the tshirt. Or may provide useful later on. (As I soon found out)

It was at this point that I wondered what the crap I was thinking trying to use such an intricate design.
I even contemplated leaving the design like this:
I tried to rationalize it to myself. I could see what it was supposed to be. Who cares if it didn't have the detail. But being the perfectionist that I am strive to be, I googled to see if there were any manufactured shirts that looked like my half done cut out. Nope..of course not! Dang it. Ok I'll keep cutting *pout

When you have it all cut out, place the freezer paper waxy side down onto your shirt. Iron the paper onto the shirt. When the waxy side is heated, it adheres lightly to the shirt just enough to provide a great stencil. Make sure not to move the iron from side to side..it could get caught on the smaller pieces and possibly rip or tear them.

Then using a spray bottle of pure bleach (do not dilute. It won't work as well), lightly spray over the cut out areas until fully covered. The problem for me was that I didn't do it too lightly. I wanted to make sure that I was thorough. I used a little but too much and it ended up soaking through the inside of my stencil. Darn it!

So what I had was a big bleached out D without any inner design. NO!!!!!! All that work?? For nothing??

But wait....what about painting it? Remember me saying to keep all the pieces you cut out?? Yep, those came in handy! I positioned the leftover pieces back onto the shirt and ironed them on. This time I used some craft acrylic paint and used the leftover pieces as a stencil. A lot of people recommend using a textile medium added to your paint. But I didn't have any and have used this technique in the past and didn't need it. Do what you think will work for you.

Being my own worst critic, I wasn't sure if it liked it or not. So to make the bleached out spot look more like it was on purpose I randomly sprayed outside of the design.

What do you think?


I was nervous for my husband to get home. I wanted it to turn out perfectly, and what happens if I can't get him to trade in his old ratty shirt???? I was not prepared for that..lol.

Well I lucked out. He loves it! He said that it looks like a professionally made shirt. Either he really does like it, he's just trying to be nice, or I have him trained really well. Either way....he agreed to finally let go of  his old one.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"Healthified" Pumpkin Bread

I have to admit even after seeing all the fall posts all over blog-land, that I have not been able to get into a fall mood recently. We live in Texas and it's no where close to being fall weather quite yet. (Although the last couple mornings have been a LITTLE cooler, it quickly warms up by noon.) But it all started when we had a bunch of bananas go bad.

And what else do you make when you have an abundance of overripe bananas? MAKE BANANA BREAD!!

Oh it was so delicious. I used this recipe from All Recipes.com.
But it really wasn't what finally put me in the mood for fall.

It was Andrea's Healthified Pumpkin Bread that did me in. Oh boy did it!

I had remembered seeing her post about the recipe on her blog, but at the time I didn't really see myself making anything "healthified". Which due to some recent back and forth healthy debating, I feel obligated to mention that in no way does she claim that it is "healthy". It's just been modified in a way to use ingredients that cut down on some of the "yucky for you" stuff. (Can you tell that was in my own words?? I'm sure she could do better at explaining)

ANYwho.....I decided to make it today! We had most of the ingredients already, so that was already a plus. A quick trip to the grocery store was in order for the can of pumpkin and whole wheat flour.

Before doing a single thing this morning, I started on  the recipe. I let it bake for 50 minutes instead of the hour / hour and a half that was in the instructions. And that was only because my banana bread had cooked in about that time the day before.

Cue the angels!!

How do you like my makeshift cooling rack?
It's the rack that goes inside of my microwave,
on top of 4 cans of corn. Does it make any more
sense if I mention that I'm not usually a baker??
Ok so you caught me. So I sprinkled some powdered sugar
on top of some healthified pumpkin bread?? Don't judge me!


So far I have managed to ONLY eat 3 slices. Hey! That leaps and bounds better than I did with the banana bread the day before. Oh and I also have to share that this is the very first baking venture that came cleanly out of the container on the first try!! It's the small things people! No matter how well I grease cake pans, muffin tins, and now loaf pans......my food always sticks. Not today baby!!

Whooo Hoo!!


Total random sidenote...Blogger spell check highlighted
Whooo for being misspelled but didn't get Hoo????


Friday, September 24, 2010

A week in the life Fridays

So what was I thinking? I was expecting myself to take a picture every day? HA! Yea right!

I got through two weeks. And then simply forgot to take any pictures. I'm actually pretty surprised that I made it that far! I've never been a good "routine" follower. I envy people that can be. 

So I am letting myself off the hook with saying that I may still post more A Week in the Life Fridays.....but only when I've remembered to take the pictures.

For now, because I can't bring myself to have a picture-less post:

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Before and After

From time to time, I get bored. Big shocker I'm sure! And when I get bored I try to channel my creativity to try something new. That may mean by doing a DIY project around the house, shopping for supplies for said projects....but a lot of the time it means experimenting with photography and utilizing my photoshop skills to come up with something new.

Cue this new kind of before and after, all in one picture.



Before and after getting dressed for a party.    :)

Wanna know how I did it? Leave me a comment. If I get enough interest, I'll share my tips.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

So excited!!

I am beyond myself at the generosity of people some times. I try to do things for others a lot. Unfortunately it feels a little one sided at times. But when it reciprocated, it's oh so sweet! Don't get me wrong, I don't do things for people in the search for something in return. I am a natural born giver.

But just the other day, I was chatting with my friend, Andrea....and she offered to make me one of these!!
A ruffled camera strap!!

So I know you're pretty jealous right about now. I would be for sure! So I showed her a few fabric patterns that I like, but ultimately left it up to her as to which fabrics to use. My only requirement???

That it includes my signature green of course!! But the best part was that she said she already knew that that would be a must.. :)




Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Spot the differences

You see them all the time in popular magazines. They encourage you to find the 6 differences in the two pictures. I always get to 5. And can not for the life of me, find the last one. So I usually end up cheating after searching for what seems like forever.

So I thought it would be fun to torture you test your difference finding skills.

See if you can find the 6 differences.

Picture can be enlarged by clicking on it. And I promise none are hidden under my logo.








Oh and don't bother looking down here for the answers. Those will be posted later... ;)

Have fun!


Monday, September 20, 2010

A softer place to land

Once upon a time (mid 2006), my husband, daughter and I were living on the Kitsap Peninsula of Washington State. We had been there for a little over 3 and a half years. So naturally it was just about time to move again. But before we were set to move, I begged my husband to buy a new dining room set. The one we had at the time was our first set that was bought at the Navy Exchange and annoyed the bejesus out of me! It was a tile top table with rubber like "grout". Every piece of crumbs or dirt stuck to said "grout".


 Anyway....while doing a little window shopping we came across a table that I instantly fell in love with. It was a pub height table, with a fold out leaf that makes it a 52" square. And it had a 50% sale ticket on it! It was a little more than we had expected to spend, but I knew I just HAD to have it.


Fast forward 4 years and it would be the first piece of furniture that I would sell in a heart beat. It didn't take long after assembling the tall beauty in our home to realize that the chair seats weren't deep enough to comfortably sit in for an extended amount of time. Eating dinner as a family each night wasn't an issue. But when having friends over to play cards.....let's just say that everyone left wishing we hadn't sat in our chairs the whole time.

And because of that I have loathed that table for some time. But I couldn't dare tell my husband that! No way! I had begged him to buy it.

Then my friend Andrea over at Walking in my Socks posted  pictures on Facebook about reupholstering her dining room chairs. Why didn't I think of that? That would be perfect. Almost.

There was still the issue of the seats not being deep enough for comfort. So as luck would have it, one night while playing Phase 10 with friends with our butts killing us, I mentioned that I would love to know how to make new seats for said chairs. And that's when it happened. My great friend, Nick, nonchalantly said that such a task would be easy and that he'd help me. Woah! what?? Awesome!!!!!

So I was on am mission to gather the supplies:

-a sheet of plywood
-batting
-and my chosen material to cover them

We used several tools as well. I had a couple and he brought what we didn't have.
- a jigsaw
- belt sander
- staple gun
- various cutting tools (scissors, scalpel , and trauma shears) *hubby is a corpsman that likes to have various tools of the trade around. I'm sure fabric scissors would have done the job just as well

So let's start with the pictorial tutorial. Ready? (Forgive me, but I didn't get to take any pics of the very beginning. I was being the helpful assistant)

It all started with the piece of plywood my husband picked out at Lowe's that I shared here.
Nick used the current seat as a template to trace onto the plywood. Then together we talked about how much larger we should go with the new seats. Keeping in mind that we shouldn't go too big because the chair bases were made to support the current size and shouldn't push the envelope too far. I believe we agreed on 2 and a half inches for the depth. And we added about 1 inch to each side.

So we used this high tech working station to begin working on.
Bet you're jealous of our ultra fancy work table right about now. We even sat it on top of another table so that we weren't breaking our backs as we worked. But it was also used so that if we accidentally nicked it, I wouldn't mind :)

So we had the seat traced out, and Nick got to work on cutting it out with his jigsaw. Then using the sander in the picture above, sanded the edges smooth. I could start to see that this was going to work!! Yay!!

To show you how much bigger the new seats are ......


 Oh yea, baby! I can't believe that this is actually coming true...lol. And only after 4 years of totally hating these chairs.




















So after we had them all cut.

It took us a little longer than we had expected to get them all cut out and sanded. And Nick still had to go to work that night. So we hurriedly took one of the sanded seats inside to work on upholstering them. Knowing my husband's knack for hording collecting medical supplies, he asked him if he had any scalpels. Yes those kinds of scalpels. The ones surgeons cut human flesh open with. I was actually shocked when he came out of the garage with some. I guess he had them left over from his "stay" in Iraq. We used them to cut the fabric to get it to lay as flat as possible.

Together we stumbled through the process. Almost literally. I watched him first to see if he had any simple solutions to all the rounded corners. As to which he admitted he was just as clueless as I was.

See?

If those aren't hospital corners, I don't know what is....HA!

Once we had gotten to this point, I was pretty sure that I could finish up on my own. I appreciated Nick's help and didn't need to keep any longer than I already had.

Before I go on,  I want to stop to say Thank You Nick for all your help! I would have never been able to come up with this fix. You have saved our butts....literally!! :)

Before going to bed, I came up with the grand idea to paint the bottom of each seat black so that when I did a hack job on the upholstering, that maybe it wouldn't stand out so much. So I painted them and let them dry overnight.


Hey look at that! My fancy work table also doubles as a painting chair. Who knew??


So today I worked on the other million chairs. Ok you got me...I don't REALLY have a million chairs. But isn't 8 pretty dang close? I certainly think so.






The hammer was to pound in any staples that were stubborn
I had to keep reassuring myself that this side normally wouldn't be seen


Ready for install

If you're still with me, you're a real trooper! You deserve that cookie calling your name! Oh wait, those calls are from MY kitchen. Well at least I'll have some comfy seats to sit on while enjoying them ;)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Under Construction

Thanks to a good friend, I'm in the middle of a much needed DIY project.
I can't wait til it's complete.
I've been dreaming of doing this for a long time now!
Til then I leave you with this picture of our very very first step ;)


(sorry about the crappy cell phone pic. I didn't really plan to take any pics)

Friday, September 17, 2010

A week in the life Fridays (Sept 13-17, 2010)

Monday
(flying home from a weekend trip to NJ)


Tuesday
(came home to see that the bulk pickup that our neighborhood
was told about had still not happened, and our whole neighborhood
looks a lot like this)
this is not my house btw :)

Wednesday
(after seeing much of what everyone was getting rid of, I
drove by and picked up a few things. One of which will hopefully
soon be made into something for my wall)

Thursday
(walking up to my daughter's school as I do every day,
I spotted a van from Radio Disney and only had my cell phone)

Friday
(the more I think about it.... in order to get this posted on Friday,
I think I'm going to omit a picture for Fridays. I'm only on week 2 and
already close to forgetting to take at least one picture per day..lol. So
my weeks will only include Mon-Thurs from now on.)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Missing the beach

After having lived within 15 minutes of the beach, living in southern Texas has made me miss it terribly. Not that we went too frequently while we were still in North Carolina, but we had the option. Having it taken away sucks!

So when I saw some bags of shells at my local Goodwill I knew that I wanted to finally have a piece of the beach in my house. You see....I've always liked beach themed decor. The clean modern kind of course (sorry no lighthouses for me), but never thought it would fit in with the rest of my decor. So ironically never tried it when I could find anything my heart desired close by. I waited until Texas. And as I was walking around, I came across a couple glass pieces that I thought together would make a nice place to display the shells I had just found.

You see, a while back I came across a genius party planner, Michelle from Maddycakes Muse. And one neat trick that she had shared for easy party food displays was to use gorilla glue to adhere various glass objects together to create stands. I don't normally have a need for food displays, but knew that some day I would find an opportunity to use the same technique.

Start with these materials:


*large glass vase
*glass candle holder
*gorilla glue
and something heavy to hold the glass pieces together (in my case it was a couple books)

Once putting the glue onto the wider part of the candle holder, I turned the vase upside down on the table and placed the candle holder glue side down in the center of the vase bottom. Then placed a couple heavy books on top to help strengthen the glue's hold.



Let that sit for a couple hours to really get a good bond. To me that's the hardest part. I am SO the type of person that wants instant results. INSTANT I say! But I was good and left it alone.

I have to say that this glue is the bomb-diggity! (Yes, I know no one really says that anymore, but it was the first thing that came to mind) It has a very strong bond and isn't hard to use.

So here's a quick after shot, after filling it with the shells. It isn't quite complete just yet, as I would like to fancy it up just a little more. Just don't know with what just yet. But for now, I am in love!



Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Some recent finds

Before leaving on a weekend trip to New Jersey, I did a little shopping at Goodwill. I didn't expect to find much, but I was out while my daughter was in school for the day, so I had all the time I needed to have a good look around.

Items include-
*a mosaic type Christmas decoration. (it happens to match the colors I decorate with..SCORE!)
* bag full of shells
* white glass urn
* glass candleholer
* large glass vase
* beat up nightstand to makeover for my daughter's room
* cool detailed picture frame

But you'll have to tune in later to see if any of these items get used in any new decor ideas.

Friday, September 10, 2010

A week in the life Fridays (Sept 6-10, 2010)

Welcome to my first installment of "A Week in the Life".

Monday
(Labor Day = pool time)

Tuesday
(Hurricane Hermine hits Texas coast and shares
pouring rain and high winds. Resulting in downed
tree limbs. Yay!)

video
Please forgive my first video share if it doesn't work...lol

Wednesday
(Some instant motivation to find a
place to park while we're away in NJ)

Thursday
(All packed up and ready to go)


Friday
We have arrived in NJ. And I'm setting this to post
on time. So I unfortuantly don't have a picture of
my own for today.  But I'll share a cool picture anyway.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

All in due time

I've done a few projects since my last post. They involved a few blank tshirts for my daughter, a small white decorative urn, and some glass pieces. Not put all together of course!

But right now I'm on borrowed time. (Even though I'm not EXACTLY sure what that means....lol) Our family will be airborne soon. We are going up to the Jersey Shore with my husband's family for their annual beach trip. And no...it's not THAT Jersey shore. ;) And that means I need to get my butt into gear packing for everyone. Why do women need SO MUCH STUFF when we leave the house for longer than a day? There's clothes, socks, unmentionables, makeup, hair brush, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, hair dryer, hair flat iron, several pairs of shoes, bathing suits...and the list goes on. Too many to mention!! And yet my husband could most likely pack his belongings in a backpack. So frustrating.

But the most frustrating about it all is that ALL of the above mentioned has to still be used the morning you leave. So it can't actually all be packed up, ready and waiting for your departure. It's always a last minute pack job hoping you don't forget any of the absolute necessities.

Oh...and I forgot to mention that since living on the East Coast for the past 4 years, we haven't had to fly to see any relatives. It's been nice. I'm not afraid of flying....we used to have to fly all the time when we lived in WA state. But it's been so long and haven't had to experience all the extra baggage costs. I'm dreading it!

Ugghh....so that was my soap box rant for the moment. So when I return from our weekend trip, I promise to get posting about those recent projects. Until then...how do get yourself and family packed for a trip? Any helpful suggestions to make things a little smoother?

And just because I REFUSE to let you go without any pictures....I give you a couple Jersey hot bodies!!







                                     And a little cutie running off the food snatching seagulls....
                                                Both taken on our last trip in 2008.


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