Sunday, October 6, 2013

Time for fall and....costume ideas!!

So I learned something important about myself....I am terrible at blogging when the weather is nice. The minute those promising rays of sunshine start to peek from behind the clouds, I completely forget about my poor computer. For several months.

But, now the air is getting crisp and cool and I remembered: I was supposed to be documenting cool stuff to share with you. And I did...I documented it to myself on my phone and in photos. I just sort of forgot to do anything else after that. So we will be playing a bit of catch up in the future, but for now, it is time to talk about my favorite time of year: fall!!

Now if you ask me what my favorite time of year is, I will tell you I love summer, because everything is green and warm. This is a lie. Okay, not the "green and warm" part, but the part where I tell you my favorite season is summer. It's not. I love pumpkins and cider and hot cocoa. I love the cool air and buying school supplies, and cozy sweaters. But most of all...I love HALLOWEEN!

My absolute favorite is deciding what costume I will wear this year. I spend all of September and nearly half of October coming up with ideas of things I can put has to be creative, fairly inexpensive, and something I can wear to work and in public (so nothing too scary or revealing). The best part is just thinking about all of the different options. Do I want to be funny or odd? Should I dress like a pun (party animal) or a cartoon character, or an inanimate object?

This year, I'm pinning my favorite ideas to Pinterest, so if you want to follow along, check out my favorite ideas on my Clever Costumes board. I'll leave you with one of my costume ideas from years past: the human windsock!

TheBreelyn dressed as a human windsock holding a normal windsock!

This was very easy to make, and only involves a $20-$30 budget, a trip to the hardware store and the fabric store and maybe and hour or two of your time. Its great for a budget, surprisingly easy to sit in, and pretty lightweight.

If you're interested in the instructions for how to make this costume, stay tuned...I'll post them soon!

UPDATED: how to make the human windsock costume

- two 5-foot lengths of 1/2" diameter hot/cold PVC pipe (you can get these at Lowe's for less than $4 each)
- two couplings for 1/2" diameter pvc pipe
- two yards of blue lightweight fabric (I used ripstop fabric, but feel free to use whatever you like, or whatever's on sale!)
- 1/2 yard of green lightweight fabric

Cut the blue fabric into two sections 30" wide by 34" high. On both sections, fold the top 1" down and sew in place. This will be the top of the windsock. Fold the bottom 1" up and sew in place.

Cut the green fabric into three-inch strips. Leave the strips long for now - you can cut them shorter once they are on the costume. Cut 10 strips.
Sew five strips to the bottom of each blue section. Sew along the same line you used to sew the pockets.

Now, thread the pipe through the top pocket of both blue sections of the windsock. Thread the second pipe through the bottom pocket. Use the couplings to connect the pipe sections together....and taaadaaaa! windsock!

To wear the windsock, you can try to balance the top ring on your shoulders, or do what I did and attach a few strings to a colander and put it on your head. Once you are wearing your costume, trim the green strips as long as you would like, I'd recommend about ankle length, so you don't trip on them. To top it off, find an actual windsock and take it with you. Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Summer bright fabrics

One of my favorite blogs, Stitched in Color, is celebrating summer colors with a contest, and I couldn't help but enter! It appeals to all of my favorite things: colors, fabrics, organizing the colors I picked just make me happy. Here's my entry:

Go to the Stitched in Color blog for more details and contest rules. Happy coloring!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Stripe-scape quilt top completed

I finally had enough time yesterday to finish a jelly roll quilt top I've been working on for a couple months. I picked up the jelly roll at a quilt show last year and it sat on my shelf for a while because I was "saving it for something". I do this with fabric I really will star in several grand schemes in my imagination, but ultimately remain untouched in reality. I adore the unrealized potential of a good fabric bundle.
But this time, I made myself commit to a plan, so I sketched out this offset stripe pattern. The colors and the patterns make me think of landscapes. I look at the blocks and I see the green grass, the red fence, yellow fields, under blue sky.
The jelly roll is "A Stitch in Color" by Malka Dubrawsky (for Moda). I made a plethora of extra blocks, so they will probably make an appearance on part of the backing, or feature in their own future quilt.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Contemporary Backsplash quilt

Okay, so this is actually a quilt I made about six months ago, but I wanted to share it here because I really like it. It's a completely original design I created after working on a home improvement project. Last spring, my husband and I updated the laundry sink area in our house. The old sink area needed plumbing updates that necessitated the addition of a false wall, plus the tile and counter was outdated and the sink itself was so shallow that anytime you turned on the water, it would just splash all over the place.


As a part of this, project, I got to shop for new backsplash tile!! For the record, I could look at jewel-toned sheets of glass, and tile, and marble for weeks and weeks just for fun. In reality, I only got to look for a few days, until we found something we liked for the new sink area.

So that was nice and everything, but I got a little bit obsessed with looking at backsplash tile. I particularly liked the tile patterns that were different-sized rectangles. After a while, I thought to myself, "You know, I bet there's a quilt idea in here somewhere". I spent about a week coming up with the design idea in PowerPoint, and then a day or so calculating the sizes that I wanted to use.

Essentially, the quilt uses three "tile" sizes: each larger tile was a multiple of the length of the smallest tile. So,. the medium tile is 2x the length of the small tile, and the large tile is 3x the length of the small tile.

And here's how the final quilt turned out, about two months later:

Looks pretty close to my original idea, right? The only major difference is that the original idea used skinner 'tiles', and when I got to measuring the fabric, I decided that I wanted the smallest tiles to be a bit closer to squares. I quilted in the ditch around each tile, to enhance the feeling of tile and grout, and the border is random swirlies. Here's a detail shot showing the tiles close up and the quilting:

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Craft Recipe Saturday - Spring finial

So, today I'm going to give you a craft recipe. That's right, a recipe. It's not a tutorial, just a list of ingredients and some general, fairly nebulous directions. The recipe is for a spring decoration that you can put just about anywhere. It makes a great centerpiece, and could even be used as a cake topper, if you're the sort who likes making tiered cakes to celebrate the changing of the seasons.

- 1 empty spool of wide ribbon
- 2 wooden skewers
- various craft papers, old dictionary pages, etc
- 1 piece vellum
- ribbon, tulle, or lace scraps
- crepe streamers
- votive candle holder
- misc floral decorations
- small animal figurine

Directions: Glue decorative paper, ribbon, and lace scraps around the center of the empty spool. Use vellum to make a folded paper medallion. Glue medallion to bottom of spool. Cut a flat circle base and glue to bottom of medallion ( I also added tulle between my medallion and base).
Glue votive holder to top of spool. Decorate any viewable part of the spool top. Stick skewers into spool and twine floral accents, ribbon, wire, etc up the skewer. String ribbon or floral wire between the two skewers (this keeps them from tilting all over the place).
Attach figurine and flowers to front.
 Last, to make the banner, take a 2" strip of scrapbook paper and fold in half longways. Cut into 1/2" wide strips, then cut the points on the opposite side of the fold. Add your letters. Then place the folded part over the string that connects your two skewers and glue the two sides together.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I never get anything I want

Conversation between myself and TheHusband the other day.

I'm actually more concerned with why he thinks they don't make paper towels anymore.

Monday, February 11, 2013


Have you heard of Polyvore? No? Me either, until a few days ago.

I was innocently browsing through Pinterest the other day and saw someone had posted a series of outfits. They were pretty cute, like something that a fashionably thin and trendy twentysomething year old would wear. And everybody was pinning it.

Turns out, Polyvore appears to be a fashion collage tool. And it had an app. I was immediately hooked.

It may not come as much of a surprise to those of you who know me, but I am not a fashionista. I can safely say that I do not own a pair of sweatpants, and I'm not frumpy, but I really only wear dresses for Easter, and my "fashion" style could best be described as "monochrome tops with jeans". Most of my wardrobe consists of solid colors, and an occasional striped sweater.

But suddenly, with Polyvore, I could dress an imaginary version of myself as though I was actually trendy and cool. I could assemble an all-pastel wardrobe, pick out a new pair of Christian Louboutin pumps, and coordinate them with a purse from the 2013 spring collection. And to top it all off, I could arrange these items that I liked into a visually appealing collage. It was like I was 8 years old again, bringing out my Barbie dolls, and dressing them with scraps from the sewing box for hours on end.

As if this was not enough, people could "follow" my sets and like my arrangements. I can be socially validated for attempting to be stylish!

See that? I made that. I would wear all of those clothes, if my bank account were an infinity symbol.

In summary, if you want to spend any amount of time creating fashionable layouts and pretty outfits, I highly recommend Polyvore. If you're interested, you can check my Polyvore profile out here.