DIY Tokidoki Unicorno

Hi everyone, I’m back. Sorry I’ve been gone for so long this time. I had a lot going on here and the blog just goes to the back burner when life gets a bit hectic. Today I have something new to share.

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This little guy is a Tokidoki Unicorno. If you don’t know who they are you can read about them here. Basically I’ve loved this brand for some time. Years ago they did a collaboration with Smashbox and one of my favorite blushes of all time was from that collab.

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This photo is from what appears to be a now defunct blog, but she talked a bit about this blush on there. It was very purple, so ideal for cool toned skin! I bought a few other things from the line and loved them all. I also bought the totally impractical (yet amazingly awesome) brushes they had when they did a collaboration with Sephora.

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If you click on the photo it’ll take you to Tokidoki’s blog when they first announced the line. I still can’t believe that was in 2010! Crazy! In that post they share some of the other things that were going to be included in the line (though not everything) and I did of course indulge in some other treats. 🙂 Like I said, I’ve loved them for years.

But like so many things, a person forgets. I know they did a collaboration with Hello Kitty years ago (they’re very collab happy) and I loved it. Well, it looks like they’re doing another. It’s not very big, that or I missed most of it. But I was in a comic book shop in Seattle and I spotted some Tokidoki x Hello Kitty blind boxes. To say it reignited the love affair is putting it mildly. I bought two on the spot and have since gone on to buy far more. Oops.  I love them all though. Another thing I love is the Unicornos. For the record, I’m not one of those unicorns and rainbows girls. Well, okay I kind of am. But I’m not really into this kind of unicorn.

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Yeah… You know the type. Flocked paintings and such. It’s not for me. What I am into is more this.

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They’re totally cool and fun right? Girly, but not uber girly. That yellow one in the front is a boy after all. 😉 So yeah, I love these guys. The big ones are from the series 4 blind boxes (full disclosure the yellow one in front is a Chaser so odds of getting him are lower). The one with the Hello Kitty is from her blind boxes, and the little ones are “frenzies” and they’re series 2 blind boxes. These guys all just sort of combine a bunch of things I love. For starters COLOR! I’m totally digging the rainbow of colors you see here. Next would be their size. I love little things. That sounds weird to say but I don’t know of another way to put it. Tiny Swarovski figurines, Pandora beads (OMG Pandora beads!!!!), and Tsum Tsums. They also have that element of surprise. I got into blind box videos on You Tube because of my son, but these days? I’ve been known to watch them even after he’s gone to bed. There’s the collection element too. I like limited edition things. Two lipsticks that are basically the same but one is LE, yep, I need the LE one. These being part of a limited series somehow makes them “better” to my warped brain.  I’m also enthralled with the detail work on these. Sometimes you get figurines and they’re just kind of blah. The faces are weird/deformed, the paint is sloppy, etc. These are crazy good quality. Honestly. I was actually really surprised. I don’t know why, Tokidoki never does anything halfway, but still. If you’re the type that likes to collect this stuff you’ll be impressed with the quality.

I’m loving these guys so much that I’d like to think it’s understandable when I about lost my mind after seeing the DIY Unicorno. I don’t want to make my own, I need to. I’m already brainstorming ideas. I don’t expect to complete it anytime soon. The responsibility is too great to rush such a thing, lol. I really just want to be sure I’m going to be happy with the design. There are quite a few of them out there, and Tokidoki held a contest a while back, so there are some seriously impressive ones out there. Aside from the super cool ones they themselves make of course. I think I really want to look over all of my favorites, and try to combine them somehow. I’m thinking a floral theme featuring blues and purples. But plans are subject to change of course. I need to do a few drawings. Maybe I’ll share them here? If nothing else the finished product will be featured here. I do know that no matter what, it will feature some accessories. If you noticed things like the butterflies and snowflake on some of the little ones, I want to mimic that. It’s something I loved in  the existing ones.

The finish on this is very different than I expected it to feel like. Take a look at it out of the box.

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If you’ve ever handled their blind box figurines you’ll know they’re smooth for the most part. If a figure is white, it’s solid molded white plastic. This is a bit different. This feels almost as though it’s been painted. I looked over my existing Unicornos and discovered some parts of them that looked and felt similar. On the manes of Yuki and Lily (the butterfly and snowflake ones) in particular they had something similar going on and those parts are painted. Now I can’t be sure but I suspect this white base coat, as I’m calling it, is more or less a primer to help any paint or markers you use work better. When these first came out they came with Tokidoki branded Sharpies. They were real Sharpies that simply featured Tokidoki characters. These new ones do not come with the Sharpies (though you can still buy the special markers on the website). You can also buy an “Adios” vinyl figure like this one that comes with two. Personally I can’t see spending $6 on three markers in colors I have right next to me just because they have a cartoon on them. But everyone likes different stuff I suppose, spend your money on what you like. I know a lot of people on You Tube have opted to paint them, I’ll probably go that route.

Either way this is a totally cool craft for any kid or adult. Personally I started coloring as a kid and never stopped. The world has recently caught on and finding quality coloring books has certainly gotten easier! But if you’re ready to take your art off the page and try something a little different this would be a great option. I bought mine from Barnes and Nobel for $15. I have their membership so I got an additional 10% off which was nice. And since this is classified as a toy I was able to get Kids Club points (Kids Club is free but the membership is $25 a year). I was spending so much that day I decided to bite the bullet and get the membership. It almost paid for itself in that one transaction alone, gulp. I’m still glad I have it. They offer coupons several times a year to card holders and with the Kids Club ($5 coupon for every $100 spent on qualifying purchases) picking up more blind boxes and such will be far less expensive! If you don’t live near a Barnes and Nobel you can find it here for the same price on Amazon. There’s even free one day shipping for Prime members! They also have the Donutella version on there are well. 🙂

As always I bought everything with my own money. I’m not getting anything from Amazon or Barnes and Nobel if you buy from them either. All photos link back to their sources too!

Goodbye until next time!

Reimagining The Sweater

In my last post I talked about my shirt/sweater angst. It’s tough being tall if you’re a woman. But that’s okay, because anyone can learn to sew. And once you can sew, a lot of doors open to you. Maybe just your closet doors. But still, doors are opening. This is good.

I’ve been sitting here thinking about my sweater situation. A little silly given that at the time of this writing I have flowering bushes in my yard and buds are sprouting on trees. By the time this goes live, spring will have sprung around here! But it’ll still be February and I’ll still need sweaters for a while. It’ll also only be spring and summer for a while, the cold weather does return eventually. This time I’ll be prepared. 🙂

Right now I have a bunch of sweaters that have sleeves that are just too short. The body on some of them is still too big despite this. In the past I’ve thought about resizing my sweaters. You know, just taking them up at the sides so that they’re not so baggy. But it always seemed like such work. That and, the sleeves were already borderline so wouldn’t I risk them riding up if the body were smaller? I’m not sure why this never occurred to me, but today it has. I think I’m going to start looking for sweaters two to three sizes too big. The bigger the sweater, the longer the sleeves (sometimes). Then I’ll alter them to give me the size I want, with the sleeve length I need.

Here’s a sweater I’ve wanted for, oh, I don’t know? Forever? Yeah, forever feels right…

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I’m sure all of you have seen this sweater a million times. It’s just Ralph Lauren’s classic cable knit sweater, they’ve been making it forever. I always want one, and I try them on year after year with the same disappointing results. A body that fits fine, and sleeves that are two inches two short. Not anymore. The next time I’m in the store I’m going to steer clear of the Mediums and head straight to the X-Larges, maybe even bigger. Hopefully the bigger sizes will give me a longer sleeve.

I don’t particularly care if I have to dismantle the entire thing before cutting it down and stitching it back together. It’s doable. I also love the thinish sweaters Tommy Hilfiger makes. I have the same problem there. Body fits fine but the sleeves are just not cutting it. I think when I’m out at the Outlets next, I’m going to be combing the sale rack so I don’t have to feel bad about experimenting on a “real” sweater. But I think this is going to work just fine. I do have those ones I’m going to be donating soon. So I may just do a trial run with those.

There are some tutorials out there that show you how to do this. I liked this one. I actually used to have a sweater that looked just like that! This is more or less exactly what I had been thinking of doing. There’s also this tutorial that shows a different method on a different type of sweater. This is far more labor intensive but she was making significant alterations. I think if all goes according to plan, you all can expect to see me add a similar tutorial to the blogosphere.

I have decided I’ll be going with the Granville Shirt pattern from Sewaholic. Here’s the fabric I plan to use for my first button-down.

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It’s fun for a button-down right? It’s not so thin that you’ll be able to see a bra underneath, nor is it so think that I couldn’t wear it in summer. It’s a pretty solid mid weight cotton. This is from Jo-Ann’s premium cotton range and the brand is Two Daughters. You can see all the info here. It says it’s out of stock online, but they had plenty left in my local store. If you like it you may still be able to find it in your local store as it’s still listing availability for some places.

I’m thinking I’ll go with a PDF pattern from Sewaholic and I’m not sure how I’ll run the tutorial (should I do one). I had considered sharing how I make semi-permanant pattern pieces but given this is one you just print out (and I could reprint it a million times should I choose) I may just skip that. So I’m not sure if I’ll start after I’ve made my muslin or what. But there will probably be a tutorial, if nothing else I’ll do a review of the pattern.

That’s all for today. So lots of sewing posts to look forward to in the coming weeks and or months. It’s been a long time since I did a ballet post. I should probably try to sneak another one of those in there, just because. I do have a lot of readers who are here just for the ballet stuff. I don’t want them to feel neglected. But I do, do a lot of different stuff and I like to talk about all of the things I do, not just some. I don’t have any new leotards to review and probably won’t for some time. Maybe come summer. There just haven’t been any new fabrics on ElevĂ©’s website that have really jumped out at me. I try to wait until they’re running a big sale or there’s a fabric I’ll die without. They’ll probably do a Valentine’s Day sale, but I may skip it. Yumiko was supposed to be retiring a bunch of colors this spring. So if I do buy from anyone, it may be them. We’ll see. Either way it would be quite some time until those leotards got here. So sorry ballet readers! You’re stuck with my sewing and crafting posts until then!

See you all next week!

 

Sugarplum Fairy Costume

Hello everyone! I’m back from hiatus and ready to get back to work. I think I’m going to need to take an annual vacation from the blog but September and October will just not work in the future. I feel bad knowing I like to post sewing/costume tutorials and I dropped the ball when people need time to prepare. So if this can’t help you this year, then I hope it can help you next! With that out of the way, lets get to it shall we?

In preparation for this year’s Halloween costumes I decided to present my son with some options. Unfortunately for me, he decided to be difficult. I suggested Beauty and the Beast and he told me “I Belle, you Beast”, same went for basically everything else I suggested. He wanted to be the girl and I had to the the boy. No. I want the frilly dress. I suggested we both be the girl and both he and my husband didn’t like that. Fine. New route. I suggested a ballet theme and it’s what we’re going with. I’m sooooo not changing this again now. I thought about being Clara initially but decided against it. Most people picture Clara and think nightgown. Boring. I want to be the Sugar Plum Fairy! Everyone loves her and she totally has the best costume. Plus, tiara. Do I really need to say more?

I first bought this leotard.

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I bought it in the light pink color and I have to say it veers slightly peach. Not a deal breaker. But then I got to thinking, wouldn’t something that looked like a real bodice look better? So then I (stupidly) went and bought this one.

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It only came in white and black and obviously that’d never do. So I dyed it. I used these Dylon dye packets as they specifically stated it would work on synthetics.

I used an entire packet of Flamingo Pink and about a third of their Intense Violet and was left with the most stunning orchid color. The stitching didn’t take but you can only tell if you’re holding it to your face. If you wanted a deeper color I don’t know if that could be achieved with these dyes and the white stitching might be more obvious, but I’m happy with the outcome.

There is still a problem though, I don’t think this leotard/bodice is going to work out. The rhinestone appliquĂ© doesn’t fit that collar (it does fit the other leo) and it’s sleeveless. This really wasn’t very well thought out. It’s okay though. I’ll need something to wear at Disney World (where it’s usually pretty hot, even if it’s not you work up quite the sweat getting warmed up) if my friend and I do ballet photos. She loves taking pictures, I love ballet, we both love Disney and are totally princesses so I need to have some sort of outfit for our next joint trip. So I’m thinking I’m going to hold off embellishing that top and do it once I get closer to that trip. The long sleeved leotard is more practical for a cold climate, though there’s still another problem, it’s the wrong color. That’s okay, I’ve learned $5 and an hour of my time can fix that. 🙂

I bought this collar from LaceNTrim on Etsy.

I plan to tack it down as best I can so that the neckline will still stretch, but so it’ll lay flat. Sadly the quality isn’t quite what I was hoping for, and really I’m not 100% sure what I thought I’d get. Basically this is a long strand of rhinestones on a piece of plastic vinyl that has an adhesive side. The spots where the flowers are in the center of the design? Yeah, just stuck down onto the glue. So I can’t even peel it off and sew it down, there are just some elements I’d have to totally lose if I did that and it’ll totally fall apart. I could try it, and would probably be successful. But the amount of work versus the payoff? I don’t think it’s worth it for a Halloween costume. I also bought some lace trim from the same seller and it’s actually top notch. Not the best quality I’ve ever seen. But for what I paid for it it’s much better than I thought it’d be. Equally as good as anything Joann’s is selling or even better, but for less. It also came super crazy fast. Like less than two weeks! So do plan ahead just incase if you’re going to use a Chinese seller, but know this seller doesn’t just sit on orders!

Next up is the skirt. I was going to use a pancake tutu but that proved impossible to obtain. Discount Dance sent it out with insufficient shipping and I had to go to the post office and wait in line for 20 minutes then pay the difference. They eventually credited me for that, but they still sent me the wrong size. Then they shipped me out the right size, but it looked like it had been trampled by a herd of wildebeest. No amount of steaming was going to fix that. I thought about trying to buy another, but decided the shape and size was probably just too impractical overall and I didn’t want to deal with Discount Dance anymore so I scrapped that. I actually wrote a pretty bad review for this particular tutu and Discount Dance apparently decided not to publish it. I guess they don’t want anyone knowing they know there’s an issue with the way they’re shipping this tutu because it’s happened to other people (according to the guy on the phone) and they’ve done nothing to fix the issue. Oh well, I’m telling you all anyways. Don’t buy the Natalie pancake tutu from Discount Dance. The carry bag will be filthy ripped to shreds and probably missing one or more of the handles, it’ll be crushed, the hoop might be bent, and you’ll have to go pay out of pocket to pick it up from the post office. And even though they know there’s an issue with the way they’re shipping this tutu, they’ll require proof you had to pay. So don’t get rid of the door tag or receipt!

I bought what turned out to be way too much tulle (I was going to embellish the tutu which only came in white) but now I’m going to do a romantic tutu. I know it’s not traditional, but it’s not a “real” costume so who cares? I only hope I’ll have enough to do what’s in my head. I’m going to need to measure and see if it’ll be long enough (I bought 108″ wide tulle) or if I’ll need to piece it together. I’m going to do my usual circle skirt thing because again, this isn’t a real tutu and it’s easy. I am going to line it as well because I don’t want to be walking around in a sheer skirt. I got lucky and was able to find some of the foiled tulle (that’s what it’s called, but I don’t think it’s especially descriptive) that I used in my other, shorter, circle skirts and I think it’ll look really nice as an overlay. The only thing left to consider is embellishment.

I have the lace from my Etsy order (note: I only got the lace on the left, and the light pink on the far right bottom).

I’d planned to use it on the platter tutu because well, it works on such a tutu. On a romantic one, I don’t know? I’ve been thinking about sewing it onto the hem, but I’m afraid it’ll look awkward. I’ve also considered sewing it to the top of the skirt by the waistband, but I’m not sure how that’ll work either. I am lining this skirt, and sewing it onto the lining is a possibility, but I think with the fullness it just hanging underneath it might look sad. I might also want to place it onto the leotard, or add a ruffle to the (slightly too short) sleeves. I like the idea of adding sequins or beads, it’s easy and you can do as little or as much as you’d like. I’m still fleshing it all out. We’ll see what ultimately happens.

All in all this is a pretty simple costume to construct. If you’ve read my post about the circle skirts here then you know how to put this skirt together. The only difference is that I’ll be using several pieces rather than just one layer of tulle. The process is the same though and I’ve done multiple layers before, I just hand baste them all one by one before sewing them down. It’s really the secret to making the construction of a tulle skirt as painless as possible. Otherwise it shifts out of place, tulle stretches, bunches, and I could go on and on… Trust me, just hand baste unless you want to hate your life.

Lastly is the topic of shoes. I have two options. Wear dead pointe shoes, which isn’t that big of an issue. I’ll have killed another pair between now and the end of next month (probably two pairs, ugh) and I’m a sadist who finds them comfortable. If I’m going to be inside it’s no issue at all either. My other option is these.

I own them in both this color, and black. They are both thrilling and comfortable. I actually saw a woman trying them on the other day and told her how much I love mine and that she had to buy them. The only thing is, I always used to feel like something of a fraud wearing these. Like, they look like pointe shoes but they’re obviously for pretend and I do dance, but I wasn’t en pointe until this summer. So, well… It’s was just weird. But now I feel like I can wear them. Granted it’s getting cold out now so I don’t want to…

So these are my options. I can wear “real” pointe shoes that’ll still look pretty darn good and brand new with it’s shiny unmarred satin, or I can wear regular shoes and feel a bit more secure. I guess we’ll see what we’re doing and decide from there what I want to do. Maybe both?

I do still need to sort out a headpiece. I have one, very, very nice tiara. But it cost hundreds of dollars and I’m not sure I want to wear it for play. So I’ve been considering this one from Amazon.

I am mildly concerned about quality, it gets good reviews but a lot of Amazon reviews have been paid recently. It is less than $30 though, and it only really needs to last one night. If it goes past that I’d see it as a real bonus and will totally use it on that Disney trip I mentioned above. And if I’m being honest, I’ll probably keep wearing it to Disney (and at home) because I’m secretly only five. Amazon does have a lot to pick from, and they’re selling for very little. I feel like I need to make my decision by the beginning of October, just incase it needs extra time to ship.

Next up will be my son’s costume. I asked him if he wanted to be the Nutcracker himself, or the Rat King. He proclaimed the Rat King “naughty naughty” and was unwilling to go along with it. The Nutcracker however peaked his interest (probably because next to Clara he’s the fancy one, lol). We went to Joann’s and he picked the trim himself (trim that includes, but is not limited to, red sequins). He’s also announced he wants a tutu of his own so I may whip up a tiny black one for him. The materials alone would probably run me around $4. He’s so tiny a yard of $2 tulle will do. And I may just do the no sew method. He’s a kid, and kids want the poof. This will keep it nice and short (so it doesn’t snag on anything) and he’ll be happy. Plus it’ll take me like 15 minutes, win win.

That means my husband will have to be the Rat King. I think this one will be somewhat tricky as I’ve never done this before. But I’m going to pick up a simple grey hooded sweatshirt from Target and add ears and a crown to the hood. He doesn’t really like dressing up and allowing him to wear either sweatpants or jeans with a t shirt and a hoodie is like his dream come true.

The only thing that will come as a crushing blow to either of them will be the lack of swords though. There’s just no way. Someone’s going to lose an eye. Yes, I’m that mother.

So those two costumes will be coming up over the next couple of weeks. I hope to finish off the month with a complete reveal of what my costume looks like. I wish it could be included in this post but I suspect I’ll still be working on it right up until the last minute. I’m writing this in advance and honestly, I haven’t picked up a sewing needle at all. My craft room furniture has finally been assembled and I have a number of projects that need to happen urgently. Nothing is put away and the place looks like a disaster area. I’m going away again next week (end of September) so it’s just crazy for me right now. I never know if I’m coming or going anymore. Hopefully I can get something done on it before I leave next week, I’ll probably start work on the skirt tomorrow. Or at least unbury my poor serger and start laying out all the supplies I’ll need for this in a box so I don’t have to fish for stuff while I’m working and I can put off organizing until I really have the time for it. I also need to get out and get more dye or see if I can get it on Amazon. Because as soon as I dye that leo, I can start embellishing it!

How To Make Storage For Play Food

I’m still on vacation but I wanted to do a little tutorial to keep everyone entertained until I’m back. I also wanted to get this up sooner rather than later just because I know some people are looking for Christmas crafts and the more time they have to do them the better. Although even if you only had a day to do this it can still be done, I did this today and it literally took me minutes. It was especially simple since I had everything I needed on hand, but you can easily pick this stuff up at any Target or Walmart type place. I bought my contact paper from Fred Meyer but they sell it looks of places and you don’t even need to use it, I was just trying to keep things simple and unfussy.

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m actively looking for play food storage. Today I found this in my refrigerator.

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What better to use for play food storage, than real food storage! I actually have two of these, one is almost half gone and this one was pretty much empty. We eat a lot of this delicious, delicious cheese. I seriously can’t get enough, started the day I got pregnant and it’s turned into the never ending craving. I’ll have a matching set of eight in no time, lol.

Once I polished off the cheese (yum!) I washed the container. The labels are plasticy so I didn’t really worry about them getting wet and becoming stuck forever. So check your sticker type if you’re hoping to remove it! You don’t need to but it’s better to remove as much as possible if it’s a paper sticker. Just cause they tend to get weird and your new label might not hold up as the one underneath it deteriorates. I decided to remove my stickers after I noticed how poorly stuck on the one on top was. It was already curling on one side and folded on the other, so I just pulled slowly and it came right off. To make the replacement stickers I used contact paper. I’m thinking bright pink will be an accent color in my kitchen. Since I plan to have my son’s kitchen near the real one I decided I should use complementary colors. My son also likes pink quite a bit so thats just a nice bonus.

Since I was removing my labels I decided the easiest way to cut my new stickers to size was to stick them to the backing of my contact paper.

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All I had to do after deciding where to put my label was to cut around it.

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Super simple right? I forgot to take photos when I made the big label on the front, but the process is the same. Look at the front of your contact paper and decide what you want to cut out. Then mark the back, place your label, and just cut around it. My labels were on the package a little lopsided and I just played with the alignment prior to peeling off the backing and sticking it on. I just sort of held it up where I liked it and made a note of where it looked best (the space was larger than the sticker). Then I just sort of eye-balled it and stuck it on. Contact paper is usually reposition-able for a bit, but I didn’t need to fuss with it.

Here’s my (mostly) finished container!

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Pretty cute right? Now all it needs is a label to identify the contents.

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I picked this pack of labels up for less than $2 and I’ll have more than enough to mark all of the containers I plan to make. I didn’t stick it down because I’m not 100% sure what I’m going to put in here yet. Probably pasta but I’d rather wait until I’ve finished everything. I will use these containers as general storage as I finish each food and I’m sure during that time it’ll become clear what should be stored in which container.

So this was a super fast, easy, and inexpensive to do and the results are so worth the time it took to do this. The total cost for this project was less than thirty cents too. I was buying that cheese no matter what and would have just tossed the container so that was free. Then I had the contact paper and it was around $5 for two rolls. I used such a tiny amount from one roll and the label works out to about six cents. Awesome!

This would be a great craft for older kids and the opening is more than wide enough to store things like toy cars or small blocks. I could fix more than a dozen matchbox cars in there easy, but it’s not too big to be used for something like crayons so there are a multitude of uses. You can also get super creative with what you use to cover this. Scrapbooking paper with some packing tape to cover it (so it can be washed) would look cute. Or you could even just pull off the label and let your kids go to town putting stickers on it. There is no right or wrong way to do this. And it’s so simple that even if you’re not crafty and are planning to just buy things like play food, you can still make these and feel good about yourself. This is definitely one of those Pintrest things anyone can do for a little mood boost!

I am still keeping an eye out for containers. I have this one lined up next.

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I’m sure it’ll be horrible having to eat all those cashews, but I guess I’ll just have to sacrifice. 😉 Here’s a revamped Nutella jar. This one took three times as long to clean out as it did to decorate.

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I also have a peanut butter jar that’s about met it’s end and I’ll wash that out tonight. Basically anything plastic with a wide mouth will work well and there’s no need to go out and buy these things. You already have plenty of these items laying about the house you just need to be looking at them with new eyes to see their potential.

If you already have some containers you think would work but still have some stuff in them, mark them. Otherwise they run the risk of being tossed by others in the house who aren’t thinking about your project. It’s also a good way to remind yourself when you spot a good container so you don’t do it yourself!

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It’s just a bit of painters tape I wrote on with a Sharpie. So simple! I really need to go through my pantry and start marking off things I’d like to save…

Stocking A Play Kitchen

Hello All! I’m still on vacation but in the meantime I wanted to share something I plan to start working on when I get back. I do have to make some new pants and they are getting priority, but this is another little craft I’ll be slowly working on in my free time.

As you may remember I mentioned I’m moving in January. My current apartment has a very tiny galley kitchen and we have a baby gate in the entryway (it’s seriously that tiny, we have a gate designed to work in a doorway blocking the entire entryway). The new house will have a huge open kitchen. It looks great, but it’s not ideal with a toddler running through the place. I do not want my son anywhere near the oven or range while I’m cooking. I plan to put down some painters tape and teach him never to cross those lines, but it would also be helpful to have something to distract him. So I’m planning on buying him a play kitchen. He’ll be the perfect age for it when we move, a smidge over two. He enjoys playing “picnic” with his little leapfrog picnic basket and he really loved the Melissa & Doug wooden vegetable set (it’s one of the ones with velcro so you can “chop” the veggies!). In fact he’s been playing with just an empty bowl and fork while I write this. He’s totally into pretend food right now and I don’t see him suddenly losing interest.

He really liked the Pottery Barn kitchen set in the past and was playing with it the other day while we were in store. I’ve debated purchasing it but I’m probably going to just go with a Kidcraft set off of Amazon. They have some great ones that are very gender neutral. Costco has a Kidcraft one for $100 (very decent price) but it’s pink and flowery. A little ridiculous if you ask me. Especially when you consider most top chefs are male, and it’s a very male dominated field. But nope, if you’re playing house you must be a girl. It infuriates me to no end. House play stuff should be gender neutral because both boys and girls live in houses and like to imitate their parents. And with the rise in stay at home dads it’s a little insulting that the message that’s still being sent to children through their toys is that it’s only okay for girls/women to do laundry and cook dinner. So I’ll be getting him a cool set that any kid would like, they even have some with stainless steel appliances! But what to stock the kitchen with?

I had a gift certificate and a big honking coupon for Pottery Barn, so we bought that wooden vegetable set, as well as a few other toys. But he’ll still need little things like pots and pans, utensils, and of course extra food and storage. I plan to pick up these great sets from Ikea.

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If you click on the images they’ll take you to Ikea where you can look at the product info. But basically they’re child size cooking things and each set is $10. That’s fine by me since I really don’t want to spend more than $2 per item for this kitchen. If I can get it under a dollar an item though I’ll be even happier. My goal is to do this for as little as possible. Simply because in doing that it forces me to be even more creative and as a result I can be sure my son ends up with a kitchen stash no one else will have. It will also force me to recycle more and that’s always a good thing! The recycling will also allow for a bit more creativity and I love doing projects, so it’s a bit of a present for me as well. 😀

Since I have from now until January to do this I’m going to start keeping an eye out for things I can repurpose, or that are super duper cheap. I actually found some awesome things today! I took my son on a walk and we had some things we needed to get at Target. While there I came across these plastic containers in the dollar section.

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Each one comes as a set of two and costs $1, so thats fifty cents a piece! Not too shabby. 🙂 They also had these in black but I figured white would be easier to work with and less likely to show scuffs over time. These are tiny and the perfect size to hold play kitchen supplies, I can see myself adding a bit of washi tape to jazz them up and maybe some of those chalkboard labels so we’ll know what’s on special at Chez Chicken Little! Now these aren’t the sturdiest of plastic containers, the rectangle ones are a smidge thin (the ovals actually aren’t bad at all) but I’m positive they’ll hold up to quite a bit of play. Just so long as my son doesn’t use them as step stools…

I’m forever getting gifts with purchase and that means I have more than my fair share of tiny little bottles in both deluxe trial size and travel size. That’s fine though, they’ll make perfect “condiment” containers!

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These are just a small sampling of some of the tiny bottles and containers I have laying around. Right now they don’t look like much. But removing the labels, and adding a bit of decorative tape, contact paper, stickers, and new labels will change that. I’ve been known to glue shut my empty cosmetics and I’ll probably do that with some of the tiny caps. It might also be fun to add a bit of water, glycerin, and glitter to some of the bottles before I seal them. E600 glue works best in my experience. I’ve used that on some empty Eos lip balms and an empty mascara tube and I can put them trough the dishwasher without them coming apart. It just melts the plastic together so I’m not worried about leakage.

My husband also likes Wet One’s and any house with babies and kids is usually overflowing with empty wipes containers. I think they’ll be perfect for various food storage as well. I may start looking for products that come in nifty containers. Usually I buy things once (like hand soap or wipes) and then just get refills. But I might want to buy things just for the package for a bit. It’s an inexpensive way to get some extra containers.

Condiments and such aside, this kitchen will also need food. What good is a syrup bottle if you have no pancakes to “pour” your syrup over, right? When I get back it’ll be the second week of October, that means all the bolts of cool Halloween fabric will pretty much be gone- but the remnant bin will be full! All those crazy fabrics in small quantities, at discounted prices -they’re calling to me. Play food doesn’t use much fabric and having a crazy variety on hand will ensure a variety of foods. I’ll probably also buy some felt, but I’m hoping for lots of different textures. And the remnant bin is easier to search if you’re looking for lots of little bits of different stuff. Not that I’m opposed to going through the entire store touching everything, but there’s no real need. Besides I don’t want the ladies behind the cutting counter hating me when I come up asking for 12″ of thirty different fabrics. We need to maintain a good working relationship.

The stuffing is probably going to be the most expensive thing (and it’s not really avoidable for some things). So I’m going to keep an eye out for things like clearance pillows and such. Maybe take up some of the stuffing space with unconventional things likes plastic beads, to give certain things weight and a fun feel. Like pumpkins, cause pumpkins should be “heavy”. It’ll also look cool if I make things like tea bags. I saw some where they used rice or something and you could sort of see the dark “tea leaves” under the white fabric, it was pretty cool.

There are some great tutorials online and even some patterns for felt food. Here’s one site that has a ton.

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This site, American Felt & Craft has dozens of tutorials for felt food. They also offer free patterns and I haven’t really looked around much (save to pin a ton of tutorials) but I believe they also sell the supplies to make them. They’re also a great resource if you’re looking to learn a bit of hand sewing. They have graphics  showing how to do many of the stitches they show in their tutorials. So check them out if you need a brush up or are learning for the first time. For me I know how to sew and I’m really just after inspiration photos. But I’ll never say no to a free template, or twelve!

My mother sent me this pin

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I love this sushi set. There are lots of different food images out there. Tutorials and templates are nice, but for the most part you don’t really need them.

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This pasta set was on Etsy going for $20. The seller seems to be making doll clothes now but even still, $20 is pretty steep for a piece of felt cut into strips and a few rectangles sewn together. I have a mat and rotary cutter and I’ve been meaning to pick up some pinking shears, but this is something anyone could make. Even someone with no sewing experience since some of these don’t require sewing and the rest can be done by hand with a few simple stitches. I’ll be making my son a variety of pasta shapes, and have plans to also make “sauce”. Pancakes are a pretty popular felt food and the syrup is basically two pieces cut out in a random shape and sewn together, I’ll be making my sauce the same way. Here’s an idea of that that looks like.

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This image is from Fiskars website and they’re one piece pancakes. They have the templates and tutorial for free, but are advertising their products in the tutorial. No matter, you can still use the tutorial even if you don’t buy their stuff (although lets be honest, everyone already uses Fiskar).

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I’m enamored with these sugar cookies. I love that the person who made them actually took the time to hand bead them, it really makes the sprinkles look real! There’s a lot of love in these cookies, that’s for sure. I’ll probably be doing the same. Although you can totally do this with just a bit of embroidery thread as well, it’s a great way to add variety and practice your French knots! If you buy a variegated thread you’ll only need one or two skeins! Further keeping them on budget as a single skein usually runs around thirty five cents.

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These are sugar snow peas but they could totally double as edamame. Perfect for the little chef who wants to offer up a healthy appetizer or a stir fry!

There are just so many food options and there are plenty of images to inspire you on Pintrest and the web in general. You really don’t need a tutorial to make any of them, just the image alone should suffice many are so simplistic. I mean has bacon ever been this easy to make? I think not! So I’ll be keeping an eye out for containers I can reuse as food storage and such. I’ll also be making little foods here and there, and you can be sure I’ll share the process and any little tricks I may have found to make things go faster or easier. I suspect many of these will come together very quickly and a person could create an entire entree in a single evening while front of the TV.

Anna Costume, The Completed Bodice

Sorry this took so long to get up. I had meant to post this sooner, but I ran out of the trim. Couple that with the fact I had to pick up my new embroidery dongle, and the manager of the sewing store is only there certain days, and…. Long story short, I was forced to wait so this wasn’t finished until the other day. I am done now, and here’s my completed bodice!

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I like it, and I think it looks pretty good. If I had to do it over I’m sure there would be changes but I’m not 100% sure what those would be. I suppose I would raise the center design slightly and maybe widen the shoulder straps. Possibly trim the trim, I’m not too sure. I feel the trim is the right width, but to widen the straps would make them too wide. I couldn’t bring them out any  further, so they’d have to come in, eating into the neckline. I suppose that would be okay, but to me the size of the neckline feels right. I guess this is where the difficulty of creating a real life dress based on a CG one comes into play. I know a lot of people have complained about Elsa’s dress because the color shifts throughout the film. Anna’s bodice is one of those things that’s a bit difficult to bring to life. The embroidery is also slightly wonky on the back. In reality it’s only slightly off, but the trim seems to exaggerate it, it’s also on the form a smidge lopsided. Everything else was pretty much a mirror image though so I can’t complain. The fact I managed to hoop everything separately (and not even really hoop everything but float it) and have it come out so symmetrical is pretty amazing considering it was my first time doing, well, all of it. I’ve never floated anything before, I’ve never tried to do matching designs, and I’ve actually only used the embroidery feature a dozen or so times since I bought the machine. I can’t see beating myself up over a few millimeters given all that.

The skirt is going to be another issue, but probably not a huge one. As you can see I’ve pinned my (junky wrong color) fabric to the dress form adding four large pleats. It’s obvious in certain scenes she has pleats (like the moment she’s about to jump out that window into the storm with Olaf), but in other scenes it looks like a basic a-line. I’ve pretty much decided on pleats because it’s going to enable me to keep the right volume, pattern on the bottom, and it is the “right” design at least some of the time. And I don’t know if I mentioned this previously, but the green skirt she wears at the very end of the film has more obvious pleats. Here are some of my reference images.

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The blue skirt appears to be designed in a very similar fashion. I’m no expert but I’m guessing we don’t see that detailing because it’s usually covered by her cape, and it’s a lot of time and money to spend adding such a tiny detail that’s very rarely, if ever, seen. I just think it’s fair to assume these two skirts would be designed similarly if Anna were a real person. In the time period she’s supposedly from (1840’s, but I’m guessing more 1890’s due to Anna’s hemlines and the bicycle) it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume most of the dresses and skirts available at that time were basically the same. So I feel pretty confident going with this design. It’s also really easy to pull together without a pattern. I just hope I have enough fabric, the fabric I’ll ultimately be using kind of shrunk a lot- like a lot, a lot. Really the fabric drama has been more stressful than necessary. I’ll eventually do a post on what’s going to become known as The Fabric Incident of 2014. But for now I need to focus on just getting the skirt done.

Last night I trimmed and hemmed the skirt fabric, and I added in the horsehair braid (yeah, I’m using horsehair braid). I’m planning to measure and cut the lining material and will probably also add the ric rac tonight. I don’t know if I’ll get more than that completed tonight. I’m hoping I do but I’m trying to manage expectations. I’ve been extremely tired lately and I haven’t a clue as to why. I’ll be so glad when this is all finished. Although then it’ll be time to start my husband’s Kristoff costume. Stay tuned….

Sewing A Ballet Leotard

I did it, I’ve sewn my first leotard! It went really well, and I’m a bit surprised. I’d never worked with stretch fabrics before, let alone something as crazy as spandex. But it was easier than I thought it would be and I can’t wait to make my next one. I hope to try out a few different styles, the first one was pretty basic. I want to just start by saying this isn’t a very detailed tutorial. I just didn’t take enough photos for that and I’m not always great about remembering all the details of my sewing projects as I tend to make things up as I go. But I hope this can help people out since there’s really nothing about making your own leotards online. Especially ballet ones. There are some skating costume and gymnastics outfit tutorials, but for ballet I’ve only found one. I hope to make more of these and I’ll try to take photos of the process with those if I make a different style. Just to sort of ensure something’s out there for people who want to sew their own. The first thing I did was make a paper pattern. To do that I needed to prepare my paper. I could buy paper, but why when Amazon is happy to send me that stuff for free. 🙂

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This is the packing paper Amazon sends in their boxes. It’s a great size, thin enough to pin through easily, and of course you can draw on it. Also I don’t worry about messing up and “wasting it” because it was free and they’re only too happy to send me more, lol. It does usually show up pretty wrinkled but I just iron it on medium high heat, no steam. You may still see a few wrinkles in the photos but I promise you this was 100% flat.

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After I ironed it I laid my best fitting leotard onto it and traced the shape.

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The front part gave me a bit more trouble cause I couldn’t fold the rear fabric out of the way to do the crotch. So I laid a scrap piece over the front and used my finger nail to press a line into it around the edge of the crotch. Then I marked the beginning and the end, cut it out, and laid it over the pattern I was making and traced the line. Presto! Perfect pattern lines without the hassle.

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After I cut out my pattern I cut two front pieces (it was a smidge sheer), and a back piece. I used a rotary cutter to cut out my fabric, I would never have tried this with regular scissors the fabric was too slippery for that and the likely hood of error was too high. After I had my pieces I hand basted the two front pieces together and then basted the front to the back. At this point I tried it on and it fit well. I had already made a practice one with plain jersey so I suspected it would fit, but this fabric didn’t have as much stretch and when you double it up it can make it stretch even less though this particular fabric seemed to still function fine.

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I decided to use FOE on the leg openings. I liked it and it looked really pretty, but I felt like there was too much room in the rear so instead of grabbing my seam ripper, pulling it off, and cutting down the openings I decided to just fold it over.

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As you can see (seam on the left) it looks fine and fits much better. Though I’ll be making adjustments to the leg openings in the future it fits okay. I just forgot that my butt is flat and my leotard had a bit too much room in that area before I made the pattern. It’s okay though, those adjustments are easy.

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Here it is, the finished garment. The crotch looks weird because I didn’t bother to move my dress form’s pole, it looks better on me. 😉 I used FOE for the straps and I like the way it looks.

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As you can see I used the FOE to bind the back as well. I could have just hemmed it but I thought this looked better.  It was also much easier.

All in all there’s a lot I’d change in the future. I dislike the top of the front it didn’t come out well, and I don’t like how the straps are attached. But for my first attempt at something I’ve never made, with a fabric I’ve never used, I think it’s pretty good to get a wearable garment. I wore it to class today and it was very comfortable, I felt like I was wearing nothing. I’m very happy with that, I want to be focused on my dancing not some rubbing seam or loose strap.

I did order a bunch of swatches from Spandex World and despite a small hiccup I hope to have them by next week. The next one I make will be a solid color with contrasting straps. The fabric I got for this came from JoAnnes and I really like it. It’s “Performance Spandex” and wasn’t labeled as being for dance but it works very well for it. It was very fast drying and comfortable, but it was also thinner. I would use it again.

The Making Of A Leotard

I’m headed back to Hawaii for a bit this week and whilst there I’ll be taking class again. I’m a bit sad that I can’t wear my new Yumiko, but I expected to be taking class here, in the winter. When I got sick plans changed and it’ll be a while before I can wear it. A leotard with long sleeves, in 80 degree weather, in an un-airconditioned studio just seems risky health wise. So I’m stuck with my stupid boring So Danca camisole leo (that admittedly fits better than all the others but the quality is seriously lacking, and again- it’s boring). I do have a really pretty Gaynor Minden one, so I’ll probably make the most use of that one and keep the So Danca as backup. There is a small problem with my Gaynor Minden leo, and it’s something others have complained about as well. But I’m going to tell you how to fix it!

This is my pretty leotard.

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If you click on the picture it’ll take you to Discount Dance. I first saw this there but they didn’t have my size in store and I didn’t want to buy it online. So when I was in NYC I stopped into their boutique and bought it in person. The ladies there are lovely and I highly recommend stopping in to try stuff on if you’re in the area (pointe shoe fittings are by appointment though!). 

I really love this leotard, but can you spot the problem? Yeah, it’s low cut (like so many leotards) but the stretch lace is, well… Stretch lace, and it stretches- a lot. By the end of class, with all the sweating, it has a tendency to sag dangerously low. And unless you’re looking to do an entirely different form of dance, you need something to wear underneath it. Even then, I still feel compelled to yank it up because I don’t want to be flashing everyone my entire bra. I had planned to sew those ugly plastic straps into it. I had some (came with a strapless bra) but tossed them when I was cleaning out my closet cause I was never going to use them. I’m glad I did cause while I planned to buy more but got lazy and that gave me time to find a better solution. 

I was watching First Position and noticed the straps on Miko’s competition dress (Don Quixote Kitri variation) blended in really nicely with her skin. Much better than those clear straps, which lets be honest, are obvious. Upon closer inspection I realized they were made of fold over elastic (or FOE). If you’re not familiar FOE is the stuff those fashiony headbands and hair ties are made out of. You can buy it on Etsy, Ebay, and at most sewing stores. I just so happened to have some black FOE laying about for another project that was sidelined. It’s basic, Dritz, and seems better quality than the stuff they make those hair ties out of. 

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I held some up behind the lace and it blended really well. I cut the pieces and plan to hand sew them on after my son goes to bed. Hopefully it hold up well but I won’t know until after I wear it to a class. Obviously I won’t jinx it and go braless, but if it goes well I probably could. I do wish Gaynor Minden thought about doing something like this in the first place though. It’s gets a fairly high rating on DDS but the sagging is a known issue. It seems like more of a ballet inspired piece than something that was intended to wear in class. They do actually show the model wearing it with jeans and say it works great to go from the studio to dinner. But I don’t know who does class, gets all hot, sweaty, dusty, then just tosses on a pair of jeans and goes out to a restaurant. I think it’s unrealistic. 

 

The last thing I was going to talk about today is making leotards. There’s almost nothing online about actually sewing your own leotards. Which is weird because you can find way too much about pretty much anything else you ever wanted to know about but there’s nothing on this. So I’m going to try and help fill the void. 

I’ve already prepared the paper I’m using for my pattern pieces and traced my leotard. Despite my loathing for my So Danca one it is the one I used to make the pattern with. I mean it’s a good basic leotard, it fits really well and is reasonably flattering. However the dye still runs on it. One drop of sweat and my tights are covered in black dye, I’m sick of that stupid leo ruining them. And despite treating it like glass (hand washing it in stone cold water the second I get home and letting it air dry) it’s loosing it’s stretch. It was not worth what I paid for it, but if I can successfully use it as a pattern then as far as I’m concerned it’s redeemed itself. And it’s basic shape will enable me to modify it to make a few different styles quite easily. Also it’s long enough, I have a hard time finding leos that are long enough. My Yumiko is, but only just, and it’s difficult to gauge with the GM one due to the lace issue. I have a couple of cotton ones that were but for some reason they shrank. I hand washed them in cold and drip dried but they still shrank a ton. I’d say I just gained weight, but I didn’t get taller. It was like every time I washed them I lost another inch or two and eventually it couldn’t stretch enough. 😩

So I told Chicken Little we’re probably going to take a field trip to the fabric store tomorrow. Assuming I actually get out there I hope to make at least one leotard before I fly out. I have a 50% off coupon so it makes sense to at least buy the fabric. If I can make it in the next two days then I’ll be able to test drive it during class and let everyone know how it goes. I’ll take photos and try to get a tutorial up before then though. I’ve already taken photos of the pattern making process. Assuming all goes well I plan to try and branch out into some of the more exciting stuff. Spandex World has an epic selection and I’d love to have at least one or two leotards that incorporate that patterned mesh like in Eleve Dancewear leotards. I like the fabrics they use but I’m not really a fan of most of their styles so I can’t see myself buying from them. I might also want to have a leotard with long sleeves, not just 3/4. And if I want them long enough then I’m either going to have to make it myself or commission it on Etsy and I rather just do it myself.

So here’s to hoping I get to the fabric store tomorrow!

Monogrammed Madness

Okay so I have some more cool apps for all of you. Like the last ones, they only really exist to make things pretty but that’s fine by me. Here they are!

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Monogram – Wallpaper & Backgrounds Maker HD

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Stencil – Monogram Wallpaper Backgrounds Fashion Skins Themes

 

They’re both by Yellow Lab Inc. and I think they’re great. In fact I made both images in about a minute because I couldn’t find a big enough photo to add here. Here’s the links to Apple’s preview page for Stencil, and then Monogram.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/stencil-monogram-wallpaper/id694556679?mt=8

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/monogram-wallpaper-backgrounds/id647594931?mt=8

Overall I like both apps, but I love the Stencil app. I just find it to be so much more versatile. Monogram is great in that it has so many more Badges (the design that frames the monogram) and fonts. There are also more color choices, you can even have glitter letters! This is not possible in Stencil, I really hope they add it though. If they were to merge the two apps it would be incredible. 

Now these are paid apps, but you can get a lite version of the monogram app. I downloaded that and quickly realized the paid version would be worth it. It was only $1.99 so I went for it. The only thing is, once you’ve paid for the app you still don’t get all of the features. This is not something they tell you about before you buy it. To me, this feels misleading. So far, with the two apps I own both have had this problem. Now, do I feel these apps are worth the real cost after you add in the “extras”? Yes. They’re very good apps, they work well and produce great images. But I sort of wish they’d stop being so sneaky, because that’s what this is- sneaky.

I have made some in app purchases, but I haven’t bought everything. Pretty much just all the fonts. There are some wallpapers, but because you can use your own image I didn’t feel the need to purchase every wallpaper pack. Here’s a quick screen shot of the only wallpaper pack I didn’t buy.

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If you click on any image you get the option to buy all 18 of the backgrounds in this folder for 99 cents. It’s not bad, but there are about 100 others I can choose from that are included in the purchase price. I also have the option to just look for one of those designs elsewhere online and use that photo. If you look at the swatches underneath the wallpaper previews you’ll see the colors you can change those backgrounds to. There are 38 color choices and just clicking on one will change the whole background that color, here’s an example.

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This is a result of clicking on the flower background and the purple swatch beneath it. As you can see you get varying shades of that purple in the design. If you went with the houndstooth to the far right you’d get just that purple and white. That’s basically how it works. There’s also some glitter backgrounds but you just get a glitter design and the rest of the background is white, I don’t care for it. I really wish you could pick a secondary color. For example, purple flowers with a teal backdrop. Giving the option to make any of it glitter would be even better. Hopefully that’s something we’ll see in the future.

Here are some designs I’ve come up with for my family, and some that I made just for this post.

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This one was created with a background I found elsewhere. 

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The entire design here is from the app alone. 

 

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I sourced the background from a different app, the “doodles” and monogram from this app. As you can see the little snowflake drawings are different sizes and colors. All of that was done with this app, it was pretty simple.Image

This badge was created by layering different badges to get this design. In fact that’s pretty much how I did all of these.

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This is one if the glitter designs available. They have a few “doodles” and a few badges to pick from in the glitter category. I really wish there were more.

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This is a really simple high contrast one I whipped up for my contacts. If you have an iPhone then you know each contact has a little circle next to it where you can put a photo. But how many of us have a photo for every person we know? I plan to do the whole alphabet and make a folder for them so I always have an image to go with each contact. 🙂

 

Some of these took longer than others to make. I can create one in a few minutes, others take much longer. It really depends on the complexity of the design. For the most part I mix different badges to create a unique look so it can take some time. I also like to create shadows behind my letters. I’ll duplicate the text two to three times offsetting it just slightly each time before laying my top color over it. So I can have as many as four layers for the text alone. Here’s an example.

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This was done on one of the glitter backgrounds. I’m very underwhelmed by it, it feels unfinished.

Now some wallpapers don’t seem to work well with this app. For example, my Cuptakes wallpapers don’t appear in the window when I try to add them, I have no clue why. But I’ve found simply going to photos and taking a screen shot will get around that. In fact that seems to work for any image that won’t appear on the app. 

The developers have a Pintrest page, and an Instagram account where you can share your images. They seem to be big on sharing, and that’s great. You can pull inspiration from people all over the globe. They also give you permission to do whatever you want with the images you create with their app, that’s even better! So as long as you use their backgrounds or copyright free images (available on lots of free apps, I used a bunch to make the images above) you can do as you please with the artwork you create. I see a custom Zagg in my near future! It would be cool to use the images on things like custom Sigg’s from Cafe Press, or family T-shirts for reunions and more.

This developer has a few more apps and I plan to check them out. I really like what I’ve bought from them so far. Now in general I hate to buy apps, or spend money in apps. But I love these so much and I can see myself using them for years to come, so to me it’s worth it. I hope the developers continue to improve these apps and add to them. If they do I think they could go far. There is a demand for these sorts of apps, and well made ones are few and far between. 

I plan to contact the developers soon to ask if they plan to make some of the changes I’m hoping for. If they do I’ll update this. Fingers crossed, I want my glitter fonts!

 

Makeup Brush Storage

When my husband went back to Hawaii last week he was able to grab all my makeup brushes. Yes, I forgot all but three of them. Since I knew he’d be bringing them I knew I’d need a place to put them and I set to work. In Hawaii we don’t have many stores (at least on my island) so you take what you can get. My old brush storage was just three 4″ square vases from Ace Hardware and Bright Fill Moon Drops. I paid way too much for them but it would have cost more shopping for this stuff online. Now that I’m on the mainland I decided not to settle, although not at first. Here’s what I almost bought.

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Yes, more of those 4″ square vases. Joann had them and they were $5 each. At first that seemed like a steal, then I realized I’m no longer stuck with my first option. In fact my first option is just that, the first of many. On Hawaii first option is usually code for only option, so I paid over $7 for these same vases there, ugh. 

It was at the checkout I decided to put them back because I remembered there was a dollar store just next-door. I had to go there anyways since I’d promised Chicken Little he could have a balloon weeks ago. While there I found an array of small vases, they had some smaller versions of the ones I’d just put back, as well as some that were (IMO) way better. Here’s what I bought.

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I love the rounded shape of these so much more than the square ones. And they were only $1 each as opposed to $5! It doesn’t get any better than that. 

Now you may be wondering what I used to fill them with. I was going to buy just the same Bright Fill stuff I bought before, but on the next aisle was the David Tutera wedding line. They had these small acrylic round brilliants (perhaps you recognize them from my Valentines Decor post?). They were on clearance for $5 and I figured they were worth the risk. I found that these mixed with the bright fill work way better than the Bright Fill on it’s own. I think it just gets too densely packed because of the shape and the little acrylic crystals keep that from happening. Either way it’s so much easier to push my brushes in. If you can’t find the David crystals there are still similar options out there. They’ll be in either the floral section or the wedding section, they’re “table scatter” just plastic crystals you can throw around a centerpiece to look pretty and you can pick your “carat size”. I used a mixed bag of them in my Valentines Decor post and you can get them in the different craft stores or Amazon.

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Don’t they look pretty together? They actually sparkle quite nicely for being plastic. And when they get gross (and they will because makeup and dust will fall in there) I can just put them in a mesh garment bag, scrub them, and hang them to dry. I’ve done it before and it works quite well. 

If you were wondering what Bright Fill Moon Drops is, this is it.

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This stuff is great. It comes in a dozen colors and you can find it at pretty much every craft store. I bought my first bags from Ace Hardware, they had a small Ben Franklin crafts section and this was with the flowers. It was also a much larger bag. I got my new ones at Joann, and I know they have them on Amazon. It costs around $10 a bag, don’t pay more than that. 

They’re really quite nice for this project. They’re little flat backed cabs and they’re so vibrant. I have purple and red in my old place and the colors are so deep. You really can’t see the brush handles at all even if they’re placed close to the glass, at least with the purple and red. I went with clear this time because I didn’t want the royal blue they had at Joann’s (they only had a few colors) so I opted for the clear and when I saw the crystals I thought it would be fun to mix in some teal.

This whole project cost me $17 to make, not bad considering some companies will charge at least that much if not more just for the “specialized” containers. I’ve also seen people use bean bag filler, rice, plain vase filler, sand, beads, and all sorts of other things to fill the vases with, but I’ve found these to be the prettiest, cleanest, and most effective. They’re not overly expensive either. If you don’t like the clear vases you could paint them or even look for pretty cups at places like Home Goods or TJ Maxx. I’d considered doing that but just decided to go with the less expensive clear vases. They work and I like the simplicity of them.

Enjoy!