Category Archives: Crafts

Re-Styled Bib-Front Tee

Some time ago (almost exactly a year ago), I came across a quickie tutorial on Made By Lex on how to make a nautical bib front top. I thought it had potential, so I tucked it away in my “tutorials” bookmark folder, and then promptly forgot about it. Until now:

Re-Styled Bib-Front Tee

I started out with an old long-sleeved blue shirt from Smart Set that I’d stopped wearing long ago (mostly, I think, because I was just sick and tired of it), and a brand new white t-shirt from Joe Fresh….the latter had been purchased for my boy, but was a little too tight. Seeing as it was so cheap, I couldn’t be bothered to return it. And, of course, some miscellaneous buttons I had hanging around.

T-Shirt Restyle Materials

T-Shirts Before

Roughly following the tutorial, as well as making things up as I went, I cut off the blue shirts’ sleeves, as well as made the neck a little larger. Using paper, I created a pattern for my bib, and experimented by pinning it on the t-shirt to ensure I liked the size and placement of it. Once satisfied, I pinned the pattern to the white t-shirt, cut it out, and then pinned it into place on the blue tee, and sewed it into place using my sewing machine.

Re-Styled Bib-Front Tee

To add a little decoration, I cut a few 3/4″ strips of white t-shirt to create a ruffle around the outer-edge of the bib, and added three buttons.

Bib Detail

And finally, I finished off the sleeves using a strip of blue material (cut from the original long sleeves) folded in half, and sewn onto the raw edge.

Sleeve Detail

I think it turned out quite nicely! It’s the first time I’ve used my sewing machine in a LONG time (well, for something other than a simple hem). Unfortunately, I doomed myself by telling my boy the front piece was a “bib”…all he can talk about is eating lobster when he sees it.



Type Tuesdays: Cross-Stitch Samplers

There’s something about vintage cross-stitch samplers that I find extraordinarily intriguing. Putting aside how beautiful some of them are, I think it has to do with their representation of alphabets. Each letter stitched is there for its own sake…without any intent whatsoever to form a word, sentence or paragraph.

Instead, they were made to practice and/or demonstrate one’s skill in needlework. They weren’t meant to be anything other than artistic, and beautiful to look at.

Which makes me feel a lot less crazy for being so enamored and in love with typefaces…because they are beautiful, and they can exist just for their own sake, and not only for the sake of some graphic layout.

The above beauty was actually stitched by a child named Catherine Archer in eighteen-something-or-other while at the Muller orphanage in Bristol, England…the photo comes courtesy of The Cross-Stitch Guild.

If you’re like me and doubt your cross-stitch skills, you can still get the look on your computer with Home Sweet Home – a Larabie typeface available in OpenType and as a WebFont at MyFonts (you have to register and go through their checkout, but it’s all free of charge).


Picture Frame Alternatives

A little while ago, while I was dreaming about my future home which I am just itching to decorate, I shared a DIY from Design*Sponge for super cute paper picture frames. I just love the idea of finding alternatives to real picture frames, because the real things can be so expensive, or it can be really hard to find exactly what you’re looking for.

So since then, I’ve been keeping my eyes open for more interesting alternatives to the traditional picture frame that I can use as I continue to decorate my make-believe home in my head (and that I can hopefully use in real life sometime soon). Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

Lindsay from LDC Designs has a very economical twist on the DIY picture frame – using contact paper…not only is it easy to find, but it’s affordable and comes in a variety of colours and patterns. Add to that, there’s no hardware required…just cut out the shapes you like, stick it up, and pull it down when you’re in the mood for a change. See the tutorial here.

If you’ve got a slightly larger budget, you could find high resolution photos of picture frames you like, and then get them printed directly onto vinyl to make your very own vinyl wall decals. This is what Danielle from Thompson Family-Life did for her son’s nursery, and it looks just spectacular. Visit her site to get the full low-down on how she did it.

If you’re lucky enough to own your home, and don’t have to worry about removing anything you put up on your walls, then picture frame wallpaper is another option…this awesome black and white frames wallpaper by Graham & Brown is actually meant to be embellished – with your photos, drawings, illustrations, whatever…what a great idea (and what a fantastic way to foster creativity):

Or…if you’re super duper creative, you can forget the wallpaper and just draw or paint the frames (and whatever you decide to put in them) yourself. That’s what Timothy Goodman did for his artistic contribution to New York City’s Ace Hotel:

Holy moly! He drew 99 picture frames to create a “wall of discovery” about New York, highlighting interesting facts, things or places he loves about the city….I think this is super cool.

I also think, however, that the permanence of it might freak me out (I’d be soo worried that I’d mess it up). A little more error-friendly, would be an erasable wall of hand drawn frames on a chalkboard wall…something like what Anthropologie had in their July catalogue. Chalkboard walls are still super trendy at the moment, and I’ve been just salivating to paint something (anything) in black chalkboard paint:

So that’s what I’ve been able to dig up, so far…I’m particularly partial to the whole idea of chalkboards, but I’m also pretty in love with the wallpaper…though the paper, contact paper, or vinyl frames would be much more practical (and easy….you can have just one, rather than a whole wall of it!).

Have you come across, or made, something else instead of using a traditional picture frame? Please share!


Yea or Nay: Shrinky Dink Pendants?

Awhile back I went on a mad, obsessive, hunt for Shrinky Dinks. Not just any Shrinky Dinks, but ones that could be printed on. I found them at Michael’s (bless their hearts), and started some very expensive experimenting…(Shrinky Dinks don’t come cheap).

The general idea was to use Shrinky Dinks to create custom pendants…either from interesting images I’d found or scanned (from magazines, comics, newspapers, maps, whatever), Photoshop brushes, vector graphics, etc. For example:

…and then, incorporate them into jewellery designs, like this one:

I quite like octopuses…I think with all their tentacles, they’re very visually interesting.

So…what’s the verdict? Is this interesting and fun? Or lame and junky? Would you be willing to buy jewellery with Shrinky Dink components?


Cat Scratch Camouflage

I have a cat. He’s adorable. He’s talkative. He’s recently been diagnosed with feline hyperesthesia (poor little bugger). When he isn’t hiding as a result of it, he loves to have his belly pet. He loves treats, duck and green pea cat food, and the scratch post my dad made for him. His name is Weasley:

Sometimes, however, he’s a total brat and decides his scratch post needs a rest, and attacks my couch instead….until now, I’ve mostly made sad attempts to clean up his mess by “trimming” the fabric he pulls out. When I get fed up, I try to dissuade him from continuing to scratch by covering the areas he gravitates towards with aluminium foil. It’s effective, but ugly.

I came across this idea by Amy Gross the other night, however:

Granted, it doesn’t fix the problem, but with a few doilies, I can at least make it a lot nicer to look at. I’m going to keep my eyes peeled for pretty doilies starting now…and if I find some, project cat scratch camouflage will be put into action!

Does anyone else out there have a cat that enjoys ruining your couch? How do you deal with it?