Posts Tagged ‘diy’

Sewing: Penelope’s Bridesmaid Dress

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Instead of buying a dress, I figured I would make Penelope a dress for my brother-in-law’s wedding. I was already making my own, so I added hers to the docket as well. It was an incredibly quick sew, too. AND SHE LOVES IT. So much so that she’ll wear it while playing with the boys in our neighborhood. It’s adorable to see her hang with the boys in such a girly outfit. That’s my girly tomboy!

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I used the same printing technique with the front of her dress as I did with mine using a rose stamp borrowed from my friend Miriam. I hadn’t quite nailed down the ink consistency with the imprint, so some of the roses are much lighter than others. I figure she’s going to destroy this dress in a matter of a few wears anyway, so I’m choosing not to care a whole lot about it.

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I used the Recess Raglan (blogged here and here) as the base, then added a little extra length to the bodice (which I didn’t really need to) and a pleated skirt. I left the edges on the sleeves and hem raw, they’ve curled up nicely with wash and wear. For the pleats I cut a strip of fabric 2 1/2 times the width of her dress and eyeballed the pleats starting from the center front, working my way out; pinning them in place. Super easy, but some good eyeballing required.

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This girl cracks me up with her sassy posing. She loves being in front of the camera.

Handmade: Letterpress Business Cards + Motivators

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I had the opportunity to participate in this year’s summer Alt Summit, and boy did it sneak up on me! I barely had the chance to recover from January’s conference.

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I wanted to do something completely different for this session’s business cards, but I ended up doing everything last-minute. And by last-minute, literally making business cards the night before the conference.

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The cards have the same general vibe as they did previously, with a little motivator and acrylic stand, but I approached the printing and calligraphy differently.

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Instead of doing one kind of motivator (“You are awesomesauce”), I decided to switch things up and write out different adjectives. The monoline style is quite different from last time, too. I used watercolor paper and a sumi ink to create moody washes on the backs of all the papers to create a moody texture. Then lettered with white ink overtop. The texture of the black wash gives the card more depth, in my opinion.

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The printing was a little different as I was using a watercolor paper and not a thick letterpress paper. There’s still a deboss from the printing process, but it’s not as stark. I went with the watercolor so that the lettering on the back would be easier to create. Last time I had a heck of a time lettering on that soft letterpress paper.

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I also had a problem with the ink in the letterpress printing bleeding, making the hairlines a tad garbled. Above, you can see different experimentations on printing. The top right is using regular letterpress ink, you can’t tell a whole lot from the image, but it’s feathering a little bit on the paper. Then I tried various blind-deboss printing techniques, then applying ink afterward. That didn’t work quite like I had envisioned. Then the top left is when I discovered inking up my letterpress plates with a stamp pad. The stamp pad from Silhouette’s stamp kit is quite tacky and worked perfectly for inking up the plates. The printing was more crisp and the clean-up was a million times easier with the water-soluble ink. Major win! I’ll be using this method for printing with the L-Letterpress in the future.

DIY: Gold and Leather Bolo Necklace

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I’m hating the silence over here. We’ve been busy packing up Black Friday orders, driving 700 miles, nursing some serious head colds and doing laundry. Anxious to get some creative time under my belt this week, I made a couple necklaces with Penelope. She rummaged through my jewelry stuff and strung any kind of pendant and bead onto a leather string. I played around with some leather and metal and came up with this. I love how my new necklace turned out. It’s reminiscent of a bolo tie because of the length and windsor knot-like shape of the leather piece.

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I found this laser cut scale leather in a scrap bin at Michael Levine back in May when I went to LA. It’s such a small piece. It’s so nice to be able to use small scraps for things like this, I feel like there’s no waste that way!

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Make one with me!

Leather Gold-Dipped Bolo Necklace Tutorial

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Supplies

  • gold chain 11-18 inches
  • 20 guage gold wire
  • 4 jump rings
  • closure
  • leather strip, 8 x .5 inches
  • scissors
  • jewelry pliers
  • liquid gold or gold foil
  • junk brush

If you’re going the vegan route, go for felt instead of faux leather. Felt will wear and look better over time than faux leather.

Click below to read the rest of the instructions!

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Sponsored: Easy Thanksgiving Decor

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This post is sponsored by Way Basics - your source for eco-friendly, light-weight and strong organizational systems. Each of their products is designed for the world’s easiest assembly. 

We don’t have any holiday decor. Holiday decor isn’t something that can be purchased all at once like a couch, or bed linens. I feel like these things are collected over time. So this year I’m working on making and buying festive decor that will easily store and last for years to come. I’m hoping that my efforts this year will make a dent and make next year’s decorating for the holidays just a little bit easier.

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Just before Halloween, I found a few of these paper mache pumpkins while at Michael’s. They’re not there any more, but I’ve since found them online here and here.

I love that they offer a blank slate. I had them out as-is, but recently decided to give them more of a Thanksgiving/Fall theme the other night.

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Is it strange that I’m still making fall/Thanksgiving decor even though most people have already decorated their homes to the gills for Christmas? Sometimes I feel behind the times, but I remind myself, “NOOOOO!! I’m going to enjoy Thanksgiving FIRST.”

I simply grabbed a #2 liner brush, white ink and went to town on my little pumpkins. While “thanks giving” may lend itself most towards the holiday, it’s a great mantra to have in the house all autumn long. I think these little babies will be a permanent part of my fall decor.

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On another note, this is the first wall shelf that I’ve mounted in our new house (besides the utilitarian ones in my studios). I love having parts in my home strictly for decor that can be “untouchable”!

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I loved how easy Way Basics’s wall shelves were to mount. I actually mounted this during a late night, it was 3 in the morning and it was still easy to install in my sleep deprived state. Total win.

I was compensated for this post, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

DIY: Ikea Hack Photography Studio Lighting

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Dear professional photographer friends, don’t hate me. I hope we can still be friends even with my ghetto lighting ways.

Sometimes I have to burn the midnight oil in order to get any blog posts up. We’ve been a busy family this fall! It’s nice to finally have a way to take decently lit photos without having to wait until the perfect time of day to shoot. Usually that perfect time of day lands during lunch time or mid-morning when I’m still in pajamas, sans makeup or shower.

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There are a few things that I do to allow for more photography time. I have the 35mm prime lens which allows for a 1.8 aperature. It’s slightly wider than the 50mm so it allows me to park my tripod only 8 feet away from me for a comfortable head-to-toe shot, without too much distortion. But a 1.8 aperature can only get me so far.

Let’s talk artificial lighting.

I took the above photo at midnight. I boosted up the ISO and lowered the aperature, but the light is still too harsh. That’s where lights come into play. Professional lighting systems can be expensive, so I made a hack to see if a pro lighting system was something that I should invest in. I’ve been asked by a few people what my solution is, so I figure I’d share it for all to see.

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I’m using two Ikea LERSTA lamps. They’re cheap, portable and effective. I think I’d get a third lamp or a fourth if I were doing more night-time style shots, but the two lamps are great for small objects and for fill-light when the sun’s not doing what it’s supposed to.

Here’s how to do it:

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Step 1

As you’re assembling the lamp, wrap the inner part of the lamp with tin foil. Make sure the foil is sort of crumpled so it will bounce more light around.

Step 2

Buy a daylight fluorescent bulb. They’re on sale at my local Home Depot. We’ve changed nearly all of our indoor lights with these. And they are awesome.

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Step 3

Get a large bowl and cut out a circle from some white (like white, white) fabric. I’m using a white quilting cotton.

Step 4

Measure the circumference of your lamp’s opening, cut a length of thin elastic just shy of the circumference.

Step 5

With your sewing machine on zig zag stitch, stretch the elastic as you sew it onto the outer edge of the circle of fabric. It won’t be pretty, but it’ll look sort of like a shower cap.

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Fit that over your lamp and done!

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Now you can illuminate basically anything.

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I used the two lamps and my room’s overhead light to light up the above outfit. Not bad for a 10:30 pm photoshoot, right? And since you’re using daylight bulbs to illuminate the room, there’s no need to adjust white balance. BOOYAH. Mic drop.

Was this DIY helpful? What will you light up?

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