Tag Archives: DIY

Free Motion Embroidery

17 Jan

Free motion embroidery Kukui nut

Last year I made a gift for my daughter’s teacher, who was my son’s teacher, who happens to also be my husband’s aunty.  Anyway, she’s special and I wanted to do something special.  I’ve always wanted to try “drawing” with my sewing machine.  It was a small space and I thought it would be faster than doing an appliqué.  I really hate preparing my fabric for appliqué.  It’s a Kukui leaf and nuts, which has special meaning to her and her class.  
IMG_2510

Until tonight, I had no idea there was such a thing as “free-motion embroidery.”  I’ve been wanting to do more with it since this first project and now I’m really inspired!  If only I had the time to go with it.

 

 

Gifts for Tweens Are Hard

17 Jul

I have a ton of tween nieces.  All fabulous.  They are so hard to shop for.  The cutesy stuff no longer applies and the stuff they want often comes with that picture of an apple on it; and I wouldn’t dare try to buy clothes for them.  I decided a bath wrap was kind of spa-ish (I saw lots of ideas for spa baskets…but no one ever really uses that stuff) and functional.  I like functional.
Tween gifts Bath wrap tutorial

I found a bunch of tutorials, but this one made the most sense to me.  This one inspired the ruffle.  As always, I followed it loosely.  Many tutorials call for terry cloth, but I like the large and super plush towels that Costco & Sams club sell.  Plus, they are huge!  I cut off about a third of this towel.

My favorite part is the ruffle…although it killed two of my sewing machine needles.  I free-motioned her name to personalize it.  I think tweens are probably over appliqué.  I kind of want one now.

Easy Drawstring Bag Tutorial

11 Jul

I’m usually a room parent for my kids’ classes, but I opted out this past year since I spent a good portion of my pregnancy in the horizontal position.  I know the amount of time and work that goes into helping out the classrooms, so I wanted to thank them some how.  I found a great tutorial for drawstring bags online.  I think it’s one of the easiest around.  I filled them with a bag of cookies and a thank you note.

Drawstring Bag Tutorial Teacher Gift

They would work for teacher gifts too, but we ended up doing personalizing water bottles instead.  Thanks to my sisters for their Sillhouette & Vinyl.

Teacher Gift Ideas

You could make a bazillion of these for so many things!  Here’s the link to the tutorial:

Best drawstring bag tutorial!

Remove Gum With Coconut Oil!!!

11 Jul

remove gumI had to share this!!!  My daughter got a LOT of gum stuck in her hair.  And she tried to get it out herself without telling me, so you can imagine what a mess it was.  I wished that I had a picture because it was bad.  Coconut oil has become my “cure all” over the past year and I thought it might work better than peanut butter or butter.  I was right!  I wish you could see how bad it was because I got it out in less than two minutes…maybe closer to one.  No tears, no lost hair.  It was awesome.

Lucky for me, I got to test my theory again on the carpet (rug).  Here it is after I pulled up as much gum as I could without anything.

remove gum with coconut oil

I just put some coconut oil on the gum.I used my nails to pull up the gum.

remove gum with coconut oil

I wiped some of it with a wipe up and used a little more oil.

remove gum with coconut oil

Then I used a little bit of Dawn soap and water to get the oil up.  Look how perfect it worked!

remove gum with coconut oil

It was about two minutes!!  Hope you find this tip useful.  I thought it genius (If I may say so myself)!

Armoire Makeover for Sewing & Fabric Organization

17 Feb

My super-Craigslist-finder sister found these awesome (and kinda ugly) armoires for $40.  In Hawai’i, we don’t have very many options when it comes to furniture.  Pressed board furniture does not do well here.  Solid wood furniture is preferred, but it costs a FORTUNE!  It’s often cheaper to buy quality furniture on the mainland and ship it here via ship cargo.  The best furniture finds are usually at Costco.  But, you’re limited to the type and it’s only seasonal.

Anyway, this piece is solid wood.  It’s very sturdy and all the drawers glide easily.  PLUS, it has the adjustable shelf clip thingys (I’m sure there’s a name for this) already installed.  Often times armoires aren’t outfitted for shelves on top.  And…with the push of a lever, the drawers all lock.  Perfect for little two year old hands and seven year old fabric lovers…who sometimes forget to ask before cutting up fabric.I broke up the hubby’s work day and told him that he needed to leave and pick it up within an hour and a half…nowhere near his office.  He was less than pleased (to put it nicely :)).  I was very happy!!!  He couldn’t park in his office building because it wouldn’t fit in the parking garage, so he parked at his mom’s apartment building and walked back to work.  All this in his “office attire.”  Thank you babe!In the beginning, I went after it with OIL BASED paint.  YIKES!!!!  Who knew it was so awful to work with?  I hated it.  I couldn’t stand the lines.  Now I know why everything grand-dad painted had those paint lines through them.  He was a painter.  I always thought he just used really good thick paint that left lines because it was so “quality” thick.  On top of that, I wasn’t even sure it would dry this month!  So, although I was very grateful for my dad’s free paint….I ended up stripping it all off the next day.  You can see here that I also attached paintable wallpaper to the doors and created a border with wood strips.  The wood strips were leftover toe kick boards from my kitchen remodel.  I just cut them on my table saw.This is how she looked inside before.And these are her insides after.  I used wrapping paper and Mod Podge.  I know it’s kinda wrinkly…but I wasn’t too worried about it because once everything’s in, it won’t show.  I had the same attitude with painting MANY coats on the shelves.  I just needed it to be “generally” white.

I drilled new holes on the drawers so that I could add knobs.  The knobs were brushed nickel, so I had to paint them.  I also removed the hinges to spray them black.Now, it’s not organized yet.  I just wanted to see if I could fit everything that I was hoping to inside.  I’m so excited!  Everything fits!  Anyone free to help me organize all my fabric into something that’s functional and pretty to look at????  All my favorite fabrics are in the drawers.  Did you notice that “keyboard drawer” and how it fits all of my sewing machine “stuff” perfectly?  I should probably screw a board on to the back of it so things won’t go falling off.In a nutshell, here’s how it went down.This was so fun.  I LOVE IT so much!!!  Now, to clean the house that was very neglected during this project. *sigh*

Gifts I Made This Past Christmas: Wooden Toy Airplane

12 Jan

My son asked for a wooden airplane.  I imagined a simple, sturdy, old style airplane. One that my grandpa Jesse might have made if he were alive.  Something like this:But then my wonderful hubby intervened made some suggestions and this is what we ended up with.I cut out all of the wood on my “I can’t believe it’s still alive” table saw.  The “safety” key does nothing.  The only way to start it up is to plug it in.  The only way to turn off the blade is to un-plug it.  Anyway, I was impressed with the tiny pieces I was able to cut without losing my finger.  All of the pieces were scraps I had lying around.He is happy and it was handmade with love, so even though it wasn’t the airplane I imagined, he loved it.It’s still lacking a paint job.  We just primed it so that he could decide how he wanted it painted.

Cold Flu Sore Throat Home Remedy

4 Oct

Well, we’re now on to week three of sick germs and cooties in my home.  Fortunately for me, I’ve accounted for about 50% of the germs.  I keep thinking the worst is over and then I’ll have another bad day.  Yuck.  I’m sick of it.  Here’s the one thing that’s brought me comfort (other than some alone time with my sewing machine).
Ingredients:

Honey

Water

Lemon Juice (fresh squeezed lemon is best)

Ginger

Herbs of choice

A friend gave me some chocolate mint leaves and a lemon something.  Can’t remember.  All I know is, it tasted yummy and I could feel all those herbs and that strong ginger killing all those cooties.

Just mix your ingredients and either microwave it in a mug or if you’re cooking for the whole family, throw it all in a pot.  I add all ingredients to taste.  Sorry, no measurements.

A rough estimate for one cup would be about a cup of water, 2 TBS of lemon juice and 2 TBS of honey.  Heat it up to a temperature that works for you.

Hope you’re feeling good.