Wednesday, August 29, 2012

DIY Baby Boy Gift!

As promised, I'm here to write about the gift I made for my dear friend who is having a baby boy this October.  The first part of the gift was a tie onesie!  This is definitely not my original idea - just google "tie onesie tutorial" and you'll find tons of instructions.  I didn't use a tutorial because my boyfriend's mom taught me how to make them.  I just picked up some plain white onesies in different sizes and some fabric with cute-looking designs.  Note: I bought 1/4 yard of each color and that was WAY too much.  All you really need are a couple scraps.  Don't be silly like me and buy new.  If you don't have any scraps, I'm sure you can find some cute, inexpensive pieces at your local thrift store!  That's my plan for next time.  Anyway, here are the finished onesies (please don't judge my sewing ability; it's not my forte):

Plaid tie (ignore the distracting background).
Close-up of the plaid tie.

Striped tie.

Different placement of the stripes.

Close-up of the stripes.
I got a basket to pack them in - but had to get a few more supplies first.

I stopped at Target and got a few burp clothes that my friend had on her registry.  I also brought some tissue paper from home, and picked up a few fake flowers.  I rolled each of the items into a tight roll and taped them closed.  Here's what it looked like after everything was arranged in the basket, modeled after a gift basket I saw for sale but figured I could make myself:
A baby boy flower basket!

Another view.

Close-up of of the "flowers."
This gift was a hit at the baby shower!  And it was fun to make - I loved combining something handmade plus something off of her registry into a pretty gift basket!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Upcyclers Creativity Challenge: August!

Here I am with my submission for the August Upcyclers Creativity Challenge!  You can read more about the challenge in my previous posts:  here, here, and here.  I also have a previous challenge item listed in my shop here.  Here's the description of this month's challenge:  "Whether you're male or female, you probably use a handful/a ton of grooming products every day. They all come in colorful bottles, glossy boxes, plastic cases and other enticing outer shells that beckon from the shelves. And they all end up in the trash because most are not compostable.  So: Let's make something beautiful from what helps make us beautiful! A vanity reciprocity!"

My creation is pretty basic, but it's going to be super functional for me!  I forgot to take many process pictures, but here's what I have:

A hairspray bottle, a conditioner bottle, and a pill bottle.
I removed the writing from them using this pin as a guide.  (The hairspray one also needed to be sanded to remove all of the writing.)  Then I cut off the tops and sanded them smooth.

Major mishap with the pretty blue one.
 The blue one got recycled instead of upcycled.  :(  And if you look closely at the picture, you'll see that I own a pretty blue car that matched the bottle.  One of my favorite colors.  Anyway, I don't have any more in-progress pictures, so the next ones are the finished products!  I also found a light blue cover from a hairspray bottle that didn't need to be cut and didn't have any writing on it.  And the biggest surprise find was a tiny travel shampoo bottle that I discovered in the garbage after a friend had been visiting from out of town.  You better believe that I dug that baby out of the garbage (and cleaned it), peeled off the stickers, and cut a slit in the side.  Ready for the finished product?  Here it is:

All the items screwed down to a heart-shaped piece of wood that I painted.

From the side...

...and from the front.
 Still not sure what it is??

It's a packing/shipping station!!

It holds business cards, note cards, tape, scissors, pens, markers, and pencils.

Simple, sweet, and oh so handy!!
 I anticipate using my shipping station all. the. time.  I normally have these items strewn about my workspace or am digging in the closet to find them.  I'm so pleased to have them all in one place.  Pretty please check out Team Upcyclers and check out everyone's entries (to be posted within a few days) on the Upcyclers Creative Challenge Board.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Fun Fashion Finds! (part 1 of 2)

So I've decided to stretch my blogging wings and write about a different topic than usual: fashion!  To be honest, I know nothing about fashion, but I love getting a great deal and mixing/matching to make fun looks.  And I've been reading a few other bloggers who write about fashion so it has had me in the fashion mindset lately.

I'm going to apologize in advance for the poor quality pictures from my cheap camera.  Here we go!

I found this top and pair of shorts at my local thrift store.  They were having a 75% off sale so the entire outfit was $2.25!!  Both of the pieces are from Old Navy originally and I happened to have a pair of old Old Navy sandals that matched the look.  WIN!

Found this top and sandals at TJ Maxx for around $30 total.  The top looked a little crazy on the hanger, but I loved it on.

I had been looking for a pair of metallic sandals for quite awhile.  Love the combination of coral and gold.

Also found this coral shrug at TJ Maxx the same day!  I didn't realize I had found an entire ensemble until I was in the fitting room!

Also perfect for the office when paired with brown dress pants!  (They were purchased about a year ago from a thrift store for a couple dollars.  I love thrifty finds!)
 I was also able to pair a top from StitchFix with the same brown dress pants!  If you're not familiar with StitchFix, you need to check it out.  I learned about it while reading this blog and decided I had to try it.  How it works:  you sign up with StitchFix and then you get to fill out a fashion survey and describe what you're interested in getting.  A personal shopper picks out five items for you based on your survey and mails them directly to you within a few days!  You try them all on in the privacy of your own home.  You keep what you want and send back what you don't want in a pre-paid package.  You have to pay a $20 fee to participate, but you can subtract that amount from any items you decide to keep.  I have to say that this approach is outside my normal comfort zone (and budget) but it's SO FUN!  I didn't take pictures of everything I received (wasn't planning to blog about it at the time) but below is the shirt that I kept!
I know what you're thinking, "That's a little matronly and sleeveless doesn't really suit you for the office."

That's better.  Tucked in and styled with a Target on-sale cardigan makes it work-appropriate.

The cardigan can also be worn buttoned up.  My StitchFix shirt was $28.  Very budget-friendly in the StitchFix world, and also I only had to pay an additional $8 after the mandatory $20 fee.
Versatile too!  I plan on wearing it with this tan sweater when winter arrives.  If you want to try out StitchFix, feel free to click on one of my links in this post!  I get a credit for referring people.  Gotta get help where ever I can!
So, these are the first of my fashion finds!  Stay tuned for part 2, which will feature a few more of my 75% off thrift stores finds and a few summer dresses that I found on clearance!

My other upcoming blog topic... baby boy gifts!  Two of my dearest friends are having baby boys this fall, so I'll going to show off a DIY gift idea for baby boys.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Treasury Sale!

Hi all,

I just want to share a treasury that Luci made for Team Upcyclers! It's a SALE treasury. Everything in the treasury is 15% off through this Sunday, August 12th, at 11:00 pm PST. And not only is everything in the treasury on sale, but also everything in the featured shops (mine included). Awesome! Check it out here:

'IT'S ALL ON SALE!! ' by IdleHandsYarn

Use coupon code UPCYCLED15 to receive 15% off everything in every shop on the board! Sale ends on 8/12 at 11pm PST. All items on the board are upcycled or vintage and all shops are eco friendly. Shop away! It's all on sale and eco friendly!

Jute Wrapped Vase Zen Inspired Upcycled Bottle - Rinnovato
Jute Wrapped Vase Z...
pink spagetti-strap shirt with colorful hummingbird - frogwears
pink spagetti-strap...
Recycled T Shirt Yarn Pastel Bundle - 4 Balls Totaling 128 Yards 4 WPI Lot2 - IdleHandsYarnSupply
Recycled T Shirt Ya...
License Plate Sign - Love - Rustic Wedding Decor - SweetSomeday
License Plate Sign ...
lavender and spelt eyepillow - fragrant, relaxing and colorful - frogwears
lavender and spelt ...
License Plate Star - Small Size - Minnesota - SweetSomeday
License Plate Star ...
Muppets Animal Bag - Upcycled Less Talkin More Rockin - urbangirlscoutart
Muppets Animal Bag ...
Set of 3 girl burp cloths: orange and green - littleoneslove
Set of 3 girl burp ...
Blue Flower Scarf FREE SHIPPING - ChrysalisReCreations
Blue Flower Scarf F...
Beatles newborn baby gown - littleoneslove
Beatles newborn bab...
Vintage Art Glass Vase Green - RinnovatoVintage
Vintage Art Glass V...
Plate Flower Blue and White Butterflies - As Featured In Valley Homes & Style Magazine - GardenWhimsiesByMary
Plate Flower Blue a...
Nebraska License Plate Vintage/Upcycling Supply - SME/Truck Plate - IdleHandsYarnSupply
Nebraska License Pl...
Garden Totem Centerpiece Floral Teapots - As Featured In Valley Homes & Style Magazine - GardenWhimsiesByMary
Garden Totem Center...
Leaf Coffee Cup Sleeve  Embroidered Repurposed  FREE SHIPPING - ChrysalisReCreations
Leaf Coffee Cup Sle...
Pirate Scarf - Upcycled Grey and Red Stripe - urbangirlscoutart
Pirate Scarf - Upcy...

Treasury tool by StylishHome.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Craft Sale Fun!

I've done a few craft sales, but I have to say they're not my best market at this time.  I prefer being able to sell my things on Etsy and make my own schedule.  However, when I was asked to participate in a 3-hour event in my home town that was geared toward my target market, I decided to go for it.  It turned out to be a really fun event, including lots of shopping, food, music, etc.  The only real negative was that the heat was sweltering, so thankfully it was only three hours long.  Here are a few pictures of my table:

My table.

Recently built this display for my license plate art.


Another view.

Colorful picture frames.

The sale was a success, in my opinion!  I was able to network with lots of local people and made a small profit!  Also, it forced me to make some more items so I'll be able to stock up my Etsy shop soon!  (If there's anything you want and can't find it in my Etsy shop, just contact me directly and I'll get it figured out for you!)

It also forced me to think about my display options and I ended up making the pallet display for my license plate art (ok, with a lot of help from my boyfriend).  It was actually really easy to make - I'm hoping to do a tutorial eventually, because I think it would be a great display for pictures at home as well!