Sunday, June 30, 2013

Bloomin' Marvelous Series - Succulents

I know, I know....I just did a succulent planter as a guest post for my friend Karen, but I gave that one to her as a birthday gift.  (Was that not tricky....making her a gift and then using her gift as my guest post for her?)  This one is mine!
It has some different plants in it and it's an entirely different shape.  I used this little Frankoma dish that I've had for years as a planter.
I put some cactus soil in it.  (So technical...I know.)

Then I added these awesome succulents that I got at Lowes.  Check them out...they were around $2.50 a piece and I only needed three of them.  This one is called Silver Coral and I used it in my first planter as well.  It's very cool and kind of keeps peeling it's skin as it grows taller.
This next plant is called Baby Toes...they're pink and cute as a babys' toes. (duh)
The last plant is probably my favorite.   It's name is Stone Faces, but really it looks like brains to me. 
I messed around with these until I found an arrangement that was aesthetically pleasing to me and planted them in the container, adding a little more dirt to top it off.
Please take a second to admire those cute Baby Toes again, ignoring the fact that they are right next to the creepy, brain-looking Stone Faces and the skin peeling, octopi-like Silver Coral that appears to be reaching out a tentacle to pick off a toe!
I like to put something on the top of the dirt to kind of hide it and to keep the dirt from splashing out when I water it.  I used some aquarium gravel in a lovely shade of green.  It also helps hold a little moisture in the soil.
Spooning it on with a plastic spoon is the best way I know to do this without making a mess.  Better right?
Here are the two succulent planters I made, side-by-side.  Which do you like better.....the oval one or the round one?
If you have a garden, either one you've already done or one you want to do, we hope you'll share it with us at the Bloomin' Marvelous link party at the Inspiration Cafe on July 29th.  We'd all love to see what you've done!

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Saturday Weekly Wrap Up 24

Happy Saturday!!!!
It's that time of the week again, come on over and check out what we've been up to all week...

We launched our new "Bloomin' Marvelous" series this week. 
Natalie kicked it off with:
Summer Garden

Have a great weekend

 Nat, Mary, Heather, Danni and Mel
Inspiration Cafe is looking for guest posters and contributors. If you would like to guest please let us know, we would love to have you. If you would prefer a feature instead, feel free to drop us a line. New or old posts welcome.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Men's Remodeled T - Stone Cottage Adventures

Marci is here today from Stone Cottage Adventures... 

How exciting to become part of the Inspiration Cafe team!  I just can't stop grinning about it!

I have a new project for you, but first, let me set the scene!
Basic T-Shirts are a staple for Summer.  They are comfy and cool.  I struggle to find T's that fit because, well, let's face it.  This Old Gray Mare just ain't what she used to be!  I'm short.  I'm curvy and I'm not a size 2.  (sigh)  My budget isn't all that great either.
My solution?  Remake men's T-Shirts into ones that fit!  Sometimes I get lucky and find good ones at yard sales or thrift stores.  Have you noticed those packs of men's T's that are something like $10 for four shirts?  Those are GREAT for remodels.
Last August, I figured out how to turn a T into a Tank.
It saw a lot of wear when our temps were so brutal in late summer.

 Lil Fashionista got one, too!  Check it out here!
This graphic was a total score from Yards and Yards of Yard Sales and only cost $2.00.  It became A Boatneck,  my favorite shirt for grocery shopping early in the morning.  (Oh, and by the way...  If you are one of the people who wear their pajamas to the store, please stop it.  Sew yourself a cute T and get dressed.)

If you are interested in the other T-Shirt Remodels, check out my Sewing Page.

Are you ready for today's project?

It is a Maxi Dress!

All you need is:

one T-Shirt (two if you mess up the first one)
Fabric for the skirt

A Shirt or Dress that fits to use as a pattern.

 (Brace yourself.  My hair is naturally curly and it's really humid today!)


 I found a three pack of V neck T's on sale for only $5.00!  Score!

The first thing you need to do is try on the T you are going to remodel.  Does it fit anywhere?  I liked the fit of the collar, so I left that part alone. 

Using the same technique for My Basic T, I placed a dress I like on top of the T for a pattern.

I cut down and sewed the sides to fit.  The next part was kind of tricky.  Wanting an empire waist dress, the first try was cut  WWAAAYY  too short.  (It's a good thing I had three shirts!)  Back to the drawing board.  On the second try, I cut it about three inches longer and that worked out well.  What can I say?  My chest is about the size of Connecticut. 

Make sure the top part fits before adding the skirt.  You may have to start over!  'Just sayin'.

 I was torn about adding sleeves or not.  Thanks to messing up the first try, I experimented with cutting the shoulder just a little long.  I like that smidge of a cap.  I think I'm leaving the dress sleeveless.  I don't know.  Maybe I should cut it right and add a sleeve.  What do you think?

Next, the funky red fabric (found at a yard sale from Pickin' Time on 59  for 50 cents  WOO HOO!)  was measured about 1.5 times wider than the bottom of my remodeled T.  The red fabric was sewn up the sides to form a tube and then slightly gathered until it was the same width as the top.  With right sides facing, they were sewn together. 

Even with having to completely make over the top, this project only took one evening!


I picture this dress floating as I walk along a beach at sunset. Wait.  We don't have beaches in Arkansas.  Maybe I can wear it to Farmer's Market?

It's comfy, cool and vibrant!  Perfect for Summer!

Do you think I should change the sleeve?  What about accessories?  Which jewelry?  Belted, or no?  I'd love to hear your thoughts!

What is your favorite summer outfit?

;-)  -Marci

Ruffly Waist Tie Skirt - Mammy Made

 Adele is here from Mammy Made, today...


Hi everyone. I'm Adele and I live in England with my two gorgeous babies, Leyla who is 4 and Naomie who is 2. I am so excited to be contributing to Inspiration Cafe again today!

I usually blog over at Mammy Made. I like to write about crafting, cooking and homeschooling, although I am only homeschooling part time at the minute. I have tons of tutorials on there so come by and say hi, I’d love to see you! I am also currently blogging about growing vegetables in my small back yard so come and check that out :)

This month, I would like to share a beautiful skirt I made last Easter for my eldest daughter. It turned out so cute and actually still fits her over a year later. She gets lots of compliments on it, which makes my day :)

Do you want to learn how to make one?

First of all, take your little girl's measurements. Mine were 20" waist and 11" waist to knee for my skinny 3 year old. These are the measurements I will be using in my tutorial today but I will show you how to easily change this to your measurements. 

Second, add 3" onto your waist to knee measurement. This is the length. The width will depend on how wide your material off the bolt is. Mine was 44" for the main piece and 58" for the ruffle. I didn't think you could get 58" wide material but apparently you can!

To make your own you will need:
  • 1 x long rectangle, in colour A, measuring the full width of material" x length", mine ended up being 44"x14" (this is for the skirt)
  • 1 x long rectangle, in colour B, measuring the full width of material" x 4", mine was 58"x4" (this is for the ruffle)
  • 60" piece of sheer ribbon, mine was 1-1/4" wide

Cut the selvages off the large piece. This took my material to 43.5"x14". Fold the two short ends right sides together and stitch with a straight stitch followed by a zigzag stitch in the seam allowance. Oh, speaking of seam allowances, I always use a 1/4" seam allowance. It makes it much easier to just line my material up with the edge of my presser foot. I find I get much neater lines if I do it like that! Make sure you backstitch a few stitches at the beginning and end of your line of stitching. You will end up with a tube of material.

Make the hem on the bottom of your skirt. I always struggle getting perfect hems so I have come up with a cunning trick to make sure they are always perfect. I usually fold over 1/2" then another 1/2" so all raw edges are enclosed. To make sure I get this perfect, I take my washable marker and my long ruler and I draw a line 1" above the raw edge, all the way around. I then fold my raw edge up to meet the line and then over again, iron it down, and there I have my perfect hem. I like to stitch it with two lines as it looks more professional that way :) Remember to backstitch a few stitches at the beginning and end of each line of stitching.

To make your ruffle, cut your width x 4" material in half, lengthways, so you end up with two width x 2" pieces. Stitch the short ends, right sides together, with a straight stitch followed by a zigzag stitch in your seam allowance. You should end up with a really long, thin tube. Zigzag around both of the raw edges. You want one side of your zigzag to be on the material and the other side to be over the edge. This will stop the material from fraying. I went round both edges twice, to make double sure they wouldn't fray. You don't want to get your skirt out of it's first wash and realise your cute little ruffle is ruined! 

Set your stitch length to its longest then do a line of stitches right down the middle of the tube, making sure NOT to backstitch at the beginning and end of stitching. A nice little trick when making ruffles is to set your tension to the tightest, then stitch as above. Your fabric should automatically ruffle. Depending on how long your material is, you may have to further tighten it (I did because mine was especially long) but this way takes most of the work of ruffling out for you!

To attach your ruffle to your skirt, you want to mark the four quarters on the skirt and on the ruffle with pins. Match the pins, adjust the ruffles if needed then stitch down. I stitched mine just a little bit above the hem lines. Make sure you readjust your tension! I nearly didn't. I know a lot of people like to unpick their basting stitches once their ruffle is sewn on but I don't bother. I just try and line up the two rows of stitches as well as I can.

Nearly done :) Now you need to make your waistband. I used 1" wide elastic cut to my 20". To make the casing, you will need to fold over 1/2", iron down, then fold over another 1-1/2" and iron down. Pin down and then stitch as close to the top of your waistband as you can get, remembering to backstitch at the beginning and end of your stitching. Mark two points on your casing, preferably at the back seam, to insert your elastic through. I used a red pin and a green pin because I'm a geek like that. Start sewing at your green pin, remembering to backstitch a few stitches. Sew all the way around your casing, as close to the edge as you can get, until you get to the red pin. Backstitch! I know I've said it a lot but it's important to stop your stitches unravelling.

Take some 1" elastic and cut it to your waist measurement. For Leyla this was 20". Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic then insert it into the casing, Use your fingers to guide the pin around the casing until it comes out the other side. Overlap the elastic 1" and stitch together, making sure it is not twisted. Rearrange the gathers and try the skirt on your little girl. If it fits then great! If not then you will want to unpick the stitches on your elastic and shorten/lengthen it slightly.

Next you will want to stitch the opening in the casing shut. Pull the fabric tight and stretch the elastic. Make sure you do not stitch the elastic down when you're sewing or it will not gather! I learnt this the hard way back when I started sewing. Attach a label if you have one. I made mine out of cotton tape, a laundry marker and my iron! Nice and simple and it adds a professional touch.

Looks cute already, doesn't it? You could leave it like this if you wanted. I wanted to add a little bit more cute factor though and what better way than with a bow!

To make sure my ribbon was in the right place, I put the skirt on my little girl and tied the ribbon around her waist and into a bow. I made sure it was sitting right, then checked where the sides were on the skirt and pinned the sides of the ribbon exactly where I wanted them to fall. This makes the ribbon a bit gappy on the front when it's not on, but it needs that gap to stretch with the elastic when the skirt is on. I pinned two sides and one in the front, then I stitched two lines of straight stitch down the sides of the waistband.

I wasn't going to stitch the front because I thought it might look a bit messy but the ribbon kept sliding up so I had to in the end. It looks really nice though and I'm glad I did it. I just stretched the elastic out to match the ribbon again and sewed along the top and bottom. I think it looks quite fancy because it slightly ruffles the ribbon to match the waistband!

So there you have it. Your very own Ruffly Waist Tie Skirt for the very lucky little girl in your life :)

I hope you all enjoyed this tutorial. Thank you so much to everyone behind Inspiration Cafe for letting me contribute again. It's been fun!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

DIY Statement Sunglasses - MotherCrafter

Hey Everyone, today we are so excited to have our newest contributor join us! Vanina from MotherCrafter is here to share a cool diy! 
Please join us in welcoming her to the team...

DIY Sunglasses- Mother Crafter copy

Last month, May 25th to be more exact, was MC second birthday! Two years already! This blog means a lot to me, and I am so happy you are all enjoying it with me. What started as a creative outlet as I was transitioning to become a Stay at Home Mother, is now a wonderful medium to share creativity, inspire others and meet other creative minds all over the world. 

To celebrate our 2nd birthday, I am sharing a mini tutorial to make your own statement sunglasses. Have you seen them? They were on all the Spring runways, and they have become a must for Spring/Summer. I went to Bottle Rock music festival last month and saw so many of them! I love 'em. They are fun to wear, make people smile at you, AND turn you trendy. You can't go wrong with any of that.

statement glasses

To make your own you will need a pair of sunglasses, glue and embellishments like beads, pearls and/or resin flowers. Thick or cat eye frames will work best (I got mine at Target), and I used resin flowers in different colors that I got a while back at The Plaid Barn. Glue them to the frames in a pattern you like at the corners.

MotherCrafterDIY Sunglasses and Giveaway
Mother_Crafter DIY-Sunglasses-Giveaway

BOOSH! They are done. Now wear them and go and make people smile! 

DIY Sunglasses copy

You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Bloomin Marvelous Series - Summer Garden

Hey Everyone, 

Today, I am so excited to be kicking off our next series called Bloomin Marvelous and it's all about Gardens - anything to do with gardens! 

So I'm going to be sharing an easy Statement Necklace tutorial based on a strip of ceramic flower shaped beads that just reminded me of a Summer garden.

What you need for a necklace:

1 headpin, jump rings, chain, a clasp, beads and a focal bead.
Pliers (not pictured) 

What to do:

1. Thread focal bead and other beads onto the headpin
2.  Bend the headpin at a 90 degree angle.
3.  Using round nosed jewelry pliers, bend the headpin back around to form a half loop.
4. Measure the middle of your length of chain and hook the headpin through a link in the chain 
5. Twist the wire of the headpin around the loop.
6. Keep twisting around the loop, pulling the wire neatly in a circle. tuck and tighten the end.
7. Thread seed beads on to jump rings.
8. Work your way along the chain, on either side of the focal, adding the seed beads.
9. Complete the necklace by adding the clasp.


Easy right? So easy!

 It turned out much better than I pictured! Don't you think?

Because I was loving the colour combination so much I whipped up a simple bracelet to match.

I just loved this challenge! I had so much fun making these items.

And they just shout Summer Garden.

I hope you were inspired today and I hope you all enjoyed my tutorial.

Don't forget to stop by next week for our next post in the series.

Take care everyone

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