Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, March 12, 2018

Easy Sew Wreath

Last summer I went to visit my folks who reside in Arizona. Notice the word summer. Ugh, it was hot! Ok, that was to be expected. Anyway, knowing we would be indoors for most of my visit, my mother came up with this fun project to keep us occupied.

Her idea came from this pattern she found on Amazon:

 fold N Stitch Pattern
Cut N Stitch Wreath Pattern 

She then found these easy, pre cut squares of foam. Sold in a pack of 12 6x6 inch squares, one side already had iron on interfacing which makes creating this wreath so easy: 

Bosal In-R-Foam 6x6 One Sided Fusable Squares
Now, she had only ordered two packs of these squares, one for her and one for me, but we got really into making these and decided to try to make our own by purchasing foam by the yard and iron on interfacing since the pre cut squares were not available at our local fabric and craft stores. It might sound like the way to go in a pinch, but I will explain further on why this didn't work as we expected. So, my advice is order the foam pre cut with the iron on interfacing on one side already.

The next step is to cut the fabric. For this project you can choose two or three fabrics based on your design idea. I chose to use three fabrics. I played around with them prior to cutting using the photo on the pattern. This helped me decide which fabrics would be the back, front, and middle square. Using the instructions I cut the squares of fabric. Two of the fabrics are cut to 6.5" and one of the fabric is cut to 5.5". 

This is the fabric my mother chose for her wreath. Fall appropriate, no?
She chose to go with two fabrics. 
Once you have all your fabrics cut, it is time to start sewing. Place the two of the 6.5" squares of fabric right side together. Center them on the side of the foam squares that have NO interfacing. Sew the seam around the foam square. Carefully cut an X in the center of ONE of the squares, the one not touching the foam. Now Carefully turn the square right sides out through the hole the X created. If you did this correctly, you will end up with the X side on the interfaced side and the foam sandwiched inside. 

Next, layer on one of the 5.5" squares you cut and iron the square so the X is as closed as it can be and the smaller square conceals it. Using a decorative stitch, stitch down the edges of the 5.5" square. Voila! You have a square finished. Do this 11 more times.

Using a hard piece of plastic or a piece of cardboard, make yourself a template of the stitching line pattern. I made mine out of a piece of stencil plastic. Mine looked like this: 

Stencil plastic was used to make my stitching guide. 
Side note: Have you tried those clips you can see in the picture above? OMG, my mother gave me a bag for Christmas and I don't think I will ever use pins again! They are super easy to use and hold tight without poking your fingers or getting lost in the carpet only to be found later when you have bare feet. They looks like this: 

You can get a bag here.

Ok, back to the sewing. Use the guide to determine where to sew your squares together. You must be consistent in order for the circle to be accurate and lay right.

Here you can see how the squares are lined up and sewn together. This was my fun Halloween wreath. Once all the squares are sewn together you will find a circle has formed. It should look something like this: 

Wreath once squares are connected
At this point, you begin sewing the points together. First you want to hand stitch them like this: 

Sew the points together. 
Next, I chose to add a little button as an embellishment. You don't have to, but I thought it turned out nicer, looking a little more finished. Don't you agree? 

Adding a little embellishment for extra pizzazz.
Once you have them all sewn together you can add a hanger to the back to hang the wreath on a door, or, as I chose, make it a centerpiece for your table. The pattern shows additional bows and decorations for a door wreath. I put a candy bowl in the center of mine.  

Finished Wreath
So there you have it. Easy as pie for just about any skill level. 

**Oh, remember how I said I would tell you the problem with cutting your own foam? Ya, well I cut mine a little smaller for the Halloween wreath without considering I would need more squares to make a circle that would lay flat. My Halloween wreath does not lay flat. As a result, I stuck a jar shaped like a pumpkin full of candy in the middle to hold it down, but in hindsight I should have cut more squares. 

Notice how this one does not lay flat? 
Happy sewing! If you give this fun project a try, be sure to post a picture in the comments below!

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Why is it so Hard to Find Other Blogs?

Lately I have been taking a breather in the morning before I leave for work. Instead of rushing around, I sit with a cup of coffee and try to read a little, then I start my day. I really enjoy reading blogs of a wide variety written by folks who are living their experiences.

Something I have noticed it how difficult is is to just find new blogs to read. There is no real directory and most of the time I stumble upon them by accident. Keep in mind I am not talking about the popular blogs that are boosted by advertising on social media and email your inbox endlessly about offers and past posts. I am speaking of ones like mine, written by by everyday folks, not those who have an endless budget and a marketing team. You know what I mean?

Sure some small time bloggers have managed to parlay their blog into a good source of income, but most of the time those blogs turn into a great big advertisement, repeat the same information over and over, and really do not engage me long term. I read blogs almost as a voyeur; I get a chance to peek into the lives of others, seeing the good and the bad, the ups and the downs of their day to day lives. Those are the blogs I feel are genuine and interesting.

So, I thought I might do some of those smaller bloggers a solid and mention them with a link here in my blog. There are a wide variety of folks to follow in this list. Some are religious while some have quite the colorful vocabulary, some are on a budget, some are living in ways we may never considered. Here are five of my favorites:

  • The Broke Costumer: This gal creates amazing costumes on amazingly small budgets. She really has a knack for recreating the past on a dime. I love how she can reuse parts from other costumes to stretch her budget. I also love that she details how she goes about saving and explains her inspiration for her creations.  I also enjoy the history lessons tucked into each of her creations. She truly is an artist.

  • The Paratus Familia Blog: I stumbled on this blog years ago and have been a faithful reader. This family lived in a Shouse in a very rural area and embraced a semi-off-the-grid-life. I found the blog while researching cooking on wood stoves. This blog documents the ups and downs of their lives and Enola Gay (yes that is a pseudonym and you get 5 points if you make the connection) even produced a cookbook (you can find it here) on prepping along with cooking and baking on a wood stove. The family recently made a big move and opened a Butcher Shop to process meat for hunters.

  • Can We Have a New Witch? This One Melted: An irreverent and explicit blog, I adore Leanna. A self-described Texas Housewife, Leanna has some significant health struggles and helps keep a positive spirit by blogging. Dirty jokes, political opinion, and lots of cussing keep this blog on my radar. I crack up reading all the memes she has skimmed and posted each week, as well as the stories she tells about her husband, David. If you like dirty humor and don't get offended easily, check her out. 

  • Sadie Seasongoods: Sadie is truly an inspiration when it comes to upcycling and recycling goods. Sadie scours thrift shops and resale shops then turns what she finds into relevant, updated creations. I am amazed by her endless creativity. The bonus is she sells a lot of her creations in an Etsy shop. If you like a particular creation, you may just be able to purchase it! 

  • WindTraveler: The family this blog follows lives in the British Virgin Islands on Tortola. They live on a sailboat and run their own business of excursions on other sailboats. Together with their three children they live a "tiny life" on a boat. Well, they did, until Hurricane Irma destroyed Tortola and sank their boats. Thankfully the family was in the states visiting family when the storm hit. Life has not been the same for them since. They recently, after four months of being displaced, returned to Tortola. Their lives are an epic journey and now we can all follow along as they rebuild. 

How about you? What blogs do you follow? Please leave some links and info in the comments below.