If you have read some of my other Teach Me Tuesday posts, then you will know that I LOVE to upcycle other things into a new thing… especially clothing! Clothes can be given new life as something else if you put a little creativity into it.
Today, I am showing you how to take one shirt that is stretchy like a t-shirt or something similar and make it into 3 headbands. You don’t need to sew or glue anything just tie some knots and you are good to go. This is also a great way for a child who is learning how to tie knots to practice and make their own headbands for the summer.
Spring is in full bloom in our area which means flowers, birds and planning for the Summer. It also means rain and lots of it! How do you keep kids occupied when they can’t go outside and play? Find a fun craft to keep them occupied… here are 3 different ideas that relate to the Spring season and upcoming Summer season.
Now, if you are like me, you are the type that hates to just throw things away or just recycle them but everything can be repurposed to work as something different if you think outside the box. One thing I hold onto is milk cartons because I can use them for so many different things. Something I love to use them for are rainy day crafts to keep Danyella occupied when it is raining out.
*Please note that these crafts need parental/adult supervision and help because it requires a knife or scissors to complete.
Idea Number 1: Milk Carton Planter
Paint the carton with acrylic paint. You may need to have the kids let a coat of paint dry and paint again. Once the paint is dry, the parent/adult can cut the top out of one side of the carton. Add soil and seeds/seedlings. The kids can watch the plants grow in their new planter!
Idea Number 2: Milk Carton Bird Feeder
Paint the carton with acrylic paint. You may need to have the kids let a coat of paint dry and paint again. Once the paint is dry, the parent/adult can cut the top out of two or all four sides of the carton. Put a hole on the opposite side of top opening. Put a string through both holes and tie the ends together. Fill the bottom with bird seed. Hand the bird feeder on a favorite tree or porch to watch the birds eat.
Idea Number 3: Milk Carton Bank
Paint the carton with acyrilic paint. You may need to have the kids let a coat of paint dry and paint again. Once the paint is dry, the parent/adult can cut a slot on the top of one of the sides of the carton. The coins can go in the slot and the bills in the top hole! This is a project that the kids can add stickers or other decorations as well!
For some reason, when I am going through stressful situations my creativity takes a fast nose dive towards the bottom of the creative ocean. This time it was the move and that all of my craft supplies are in boxes and bags and out of sorts. When they are out of sorts so is my creative brain.
It is frustrating because no matter what I do to get those creative juices flowing, nothing seems to work. Or should I say, the ideas that I get just don’t appeal to me. At this moment, the ideas should be overflowing because St. Patty’s Day is next weekend and a couple weeks later is Easter. Add that to Spring and Summer coming and the ideas should be coming easily….
This is not the first time I have hit a creative slump and it takes one great idea to get me out of this funk. Sometimes the idea has come from a solution I am looking to solve, a pattern that I want to try or an order a customer puts in. It has been so long since I was in this funk that I can’t remember what got me out of it the last time.
Until my creative slump is over, I will be posting some simple crafts on Teach Me Tuesday for kids and tweens. Cross your fingers and toes that my slump doesn’t last too long!
Since Evelynne is our Rainbow Baby (if you don’t know what a Rainbow Baby is I will explain below), I knew that her color theme would be Rainbow for her first blanket but it was finding a pattern and yarn that were going to be the hard part. When it came to patterns, I didn’t want the “new” chevron fade blanket because it didn’t impress that much (currently singing Shania Twain in my head now) or a Granny Square because it just was to old fashioned. As far as yarn, I was assuming that I would buy the different skeins of colors I wanted to use…. until the Lion Brand Mandala yarn came onto the market! (This is going to be a whole lot of gushing about this yarn but it not paid or sponsored or anything like that just my opinion and love of this yarn BUT if you do click my link to purchase the yarn, I could be compensated for your purchase)
Back in the Spring, the Mandala yarn came on to the market in select Walmart stores (none were even a driving distance of me) and the ones online sold within minutes. Yarn lovers were in their glory over this yarn.
Now, Caron had similar yarn called Caron Cakes then Hobby Libby’s brand started making their own cakes but both were a 4 thickness compared to Mandala’s light and airy 3 thickness. I do have a bunch of cakes and have created vests and clothing from both brands but the moment I saw the Mandala yarn at my Walmart (I had given up on waiting), touched its soft, soothing texture and found Gnome (rainbow colored) I knew I found my yarn for Evelynne’s blanket. Now for a pattern….
Click the image or text to find the Lion Brand Mandala Yarn in Gnome
I joined a Mandala Lover’s Facebook group and as I browsing the amazing creations people made with this yarn I found it… I found the pattern! This dragonfly baby blanket was exactly what I wanted to make with my amazing new yarn. A dragonfly represents change in most cultures which having Baby Evelynne is a major change for our family in the happiest of ways.
I will admit I did change the pattern a little bit to fit the flow of my hands a little more. This is a super easy pattern that beginners can pick up easily. You can find the pattern at Charmed By Ewe
So what is a Rainbow Baby? A rainbow baby is a baby born after a miscarriage (or multiple miscarriages), stillbirth or infancy death. It basically means that this baby is the hope and light after a storm. Anyone that has dealt with the loss of a baby that they were never able to meet or only held for a short time deals with a storm of emotions and floods of tears. This is the parents “pot of gold” at the end of the rainbow because we get to hold and love our “Rainbow Baby”.
Overall, I love this pattern and yarn and the final product! It only took 1 1/2 cakes (that is the name for this type of yarn compared to skein) which means I have some of this yarn to create something else for Baby Evelynne which means I am on the hunt for a new pattern! Anyone have a suggestion or idea for a small baby item I can crochet or knit?
Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to my Baby Daddy, Happy Birthday to You!
I had to start my post out today with a special birthday shout out to my Baby Daddy aka my boyfriend. He is in the middle of inventory at work and finishing a job so I only got to see him as he got into bed at 6:30am and when I left at 9am but I still wanted to make feel special because celebrating others is something I love to do.
My Birthday Gift to HIM:
Of course my idea came from Pinterest because most of my ideas are inspired by others on Pinterest. Doug loves Sharks so this tackle box filled with candy is just up his alley with a cute little saying for him. I headed to Walmart and purchased the tackle box (not sure that is the correct term because I don’t fish lol) for $2.44 plus Smarties (his favorite candy that has yet to make him any smarter lol), Gummy Lifesavers, Gummy Worms and Swedish Fish. All of this was under $10 and made a cute gift that he can snack on while he is at work plus use the tackle box after he done eating his candy.
Plus the candy (except Smarties because just yuck!) that didn’t fit made a nice snack as I assembled the box last night. Baby Evelynne and I were happy with our late night sugar rush!
A few weeks ago (possible longer), I blogged about being in a creative funk and needing to find a new passion to create and indulge my love of art again. In the yarn world, the latest craze is over these yarn cakes which are multicolored yarns the create stripes as you knit or crochet. Me being me…. I pushed again indulging in this craze but I couldn’t resist any longer so I bought on Caron cake, then started buying Bernat Pop and long to buy the Lion Brand Mandala (out of stock until September and my Walmart will never receive them which is blog post for another day).
I started making the Mandala vests that went viral on Facebook (I have 2 stretching on hoops right now) which I liked but way to time consuming. My best friend Megan is pregnant with a baby girl so her pregnancy has inspired me to start a baby girl dress line. I started taking these cakes and creating baby girl dresses (see the picture above). The patterns whip up pretty quickly which I did amend the original patterns to fit more of what I was looking for in these dresses. I love the way the stripes laid out as I crocheted them. The left over yarn created a diaper cover (cute for pictures) and summer hats. I have some of the dresses in Kaella Boutique now and some that I need to finish the diaper covers and list them. The hats I will be listing as a separate item to purchase alone because they will match with any adorable summer outfit. This was the start of my Baby Girl Dress Adventure….
About a month ago (almost certain it might be 2 months ago), I was given huge black bags of fabric in brand new condition. Now if any of you are seamstresses or quilters, you know how expensive fabric is (on average $5-8 a yard but usually more!). Well once I sorted all of this yarn, I filled 2 extra large tote bins and 2 average size tote bins! This is 1000s of yards of fabric worth $1000s of dollars if sold in the store!!! This is the biggest blessing for a seamstress.
I finally sat down to sew after finding the perfect baby girl dress pattern. A pattern that was simple, easy and quick to sew up. Well my sewing machine was missing a crucial part that is needed to work. Found the part and then the motor went. Well to fix the machine would cost more then I could afford so I used my tips one day and bought a cheap sewing machine from Walmart so I could start indulging the fire that I started with finding this pattern.
Here is my first creation:
The dress is a 9-12 month dress with an elastic top and simple dress that reminds me of a pillow case dress.
When I finished the dress, I was so proud of myself that I couldn’t wait to make more. Last night, I spent the time to trace the smaller size patterns on tissue paper, ironed more fabric and cut out patterns for 3 more dresses to whip up tonight!
I can’t wait to keep on sewing these dresses plus I have a handbag and apron in the works now! Visit my shop Kaella Boutique to take a look at my other creations.
Let me start by saying that my black thumb is as dark as black garbage bag my dead plants end up in after I kill them. I have always had a love for flowers, especially roses and lillies (that is where my daughter’s got their middle names) but every attempt to keep a plant alive has been met with an untimely demise caused by my inability to grow anything!
A few years ago, my youngest Danyella and I, purchased tomato and pepper plants that we replanted into pots for our second floor apartment deck. We successfully grew a few tomatoes and peppers that Danyella happily enjoyed eating after she picked them. There may only have been a few veggies that came off those plants but it was a huge success for a black thumb like me.
This year, since we are in a house with a yard, Danyella requested that we grow a garden full of different veggies. I would love to say that I was excited about this when she first asked about it but the fear of failing at growing this garden is huge because I don’t want to disappoint my child. It seems like all the planets alined with Danyella’s request because every store is selling starting kits with mini pots, seeds and the disc thing that becomes the dirt. Most of the kits that I have purchased for $1 were from Target because they have a whole little gardening section in their $1 bins (no idea what they really call them but the area where all the products are $5 and under). For Danyella’s birthday, I bought her forget me nots, pansies, strawberries, cucumbers and tomato seed kits. Since then I have purchased lavendar, mint and basil seeds plus a couple of adorable planters and marking sticks. Add that to the Rose bush my boyfriend bought me for Valentine’s Day (another story for another day), succulents I bought at the Philadelphia Flower Show and the Calla Lily plant that Danyella received on her birthday and we have lots of plants to try to keep alive!
In New Jersey, it is still very cold at night (averages in the 30s) and warms to 50-60 degrees during the day. We are getting alot of rain this past week (after a 2 foot snow storm March 14th!) which is drenching the ground. Since the weather is so up and down, I did some research and asked friends that grow plants before I started the process of starting to make my pots. The past couple of days, I have started our little pots of seeds and are keeping them in boxes and baskets so I can transport them outside when the whether is nice.
I have a tendancy to either forget to water the plants or over water them so this is going to be finding a balance and doing more research on how to keep our plants alive. I am very excited and nervous to try and make this garden grow to feed my daughter’s curiosity and tummy. I’ll keep you all updated on our garden endeavor and please feel free to leave me any tips for my black thumb to maybe turned a green tinged gray.
When you are a creative person, your heart and soul craves the feeling of creating something with your hands (or other body parts if it suits your artistic craving). Having run my handmade business the past 9 years, I have created many beautiful things including clothing, accessories and so much more. Most of the things that I created were at the request of a customer looking for a custom item. I love some of the creativity that my customers challenge me with but something has been missing in my soul.
I am not sure what exactly is missing yet but I am feeling creatively unsatisfied. The feeling of needing to find my artistic passion grows with everyday so I need to start to explore my artistic options. There is a huge world to explore my creative senses and find my passion but where do I begin?
Let’s start with my artistic skills….. I can crochet, knit, sew, draw, paint and create beautiful art out of unwanted items. So with all of these artistic skills, why can’t I find something that lights my passion? That is what I want to set out to answer by creating something new every week.
I have gotten into the habit of finding something popular among my customer base and making a bunch of them until I get mentally exhausted and begin to hate the creation. So, I want to change things up and try new things in my creative endeavors. Since I am Pinterest obsessed, I plan on getting most of my ideas from Pinterest and will be blogging about my new item each week. I am excited to see where this leads me and artistic cravings!
This is my current project (thanks to my mom’s friend who is a grandma of twin gi
rls). I am making bunny hats in purple and pink for the twins to have pictures done for Easter. The yarn used in the pictures was difficult to find in purple, locally at least and to pay the shipping costs was outrageous! I am using a similar fluffy yarn but it is a bit thick since it is supposed to be a blanket yarn. So far I have the hats done and just need to make the ears. These are super simple to make and I can’t wait to see the girls wearing them.
Normally I am so overly creative that I have multiple projects going at once but the past few days I feel creatively numb. I was making Messy Bun hats for customers and now that I’m done making them nothing is calling out to me.
I love finding new projects to start and get my creative juices going so this stand still in my creative process is unknown territory for me. I could make scarves or hats or blankets or a million other things. I mean I have my own patterns to make things, hundreds of patterns in my pattern folder not to mention the thousands and thousands of patterns on Pinterest but not one is peeking a little bit of interest.
What do you do when you lose your creatively? Do you push yourself to make something hoping it will come back? Do you make yourself take a creativity break?
Right now I’m pushing myself to keep creating because it’s an income for my family but I will keep you updated on how this artist block goes. If anyone has tips please feel free to share.