Archive for June, 2015

June 30, 2015

I CAN Change a Leopard’s Spots

A few months ago, my husband and I celebrated our ten-year, first-date anniversary. (Yes, we celebrate out first date! But only because we got married on Christmas Eve–all the ladies say “awww”–and the holiday season is usually sucked up by family time, so it’s easier to celebrate just Us on a different date.) I bought this midi skirt for our big night out because it looked so beautiful online and I had the perfect outfit in my mind. Well, it’s technically a midi skirt, but on me it’s more of a maxi. 🙂

Once the package arrived, I couldn’t remember why I thought it would look so great. It’s absolutely not my style at all. I think longer skirts tend to make me look shorter, and I manage that effect organically as it is. I even tried it on as a dress and…

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No.

So I decided to turn it into a tank top instead! Click for the tutorial.

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June 29, 2015

Pretty-ish in Pink-ish

Life is full of little indulgences. Then I guess my life is pretty good because I buy myself a lip gloss every time I see them on display, and I don’t even know why. I don’t wear them all that much. I tend to reach for my Chapstick or lip balm because it’s simple and I don’t feel bad about immediately eating them off since I’m a grazer by nature, and a coffee addict.

But when I saw this NYX Intense Butter Gloss, I had to have it. It’s adorable! I’ve been wearing it with everything! So I don’t feel bad, since I’m actually using it.

I CAN change a leopard's spots.

Even though the pigment in most NYX lip glosses are very strong, the pink color turns out almost nude on me. Probably because I have very naturally dark lips, which I loathe. I can never wear colors I really love, and some glosses just don’t look well because they’re not tinted or pigmented enough. Don’t even get me started.

I like the color, but I guess it’s a good thing it looks nude on me since it’s not hard to match. So I wore it with a bunch of outfits. Here’s a sneak peak on some upcoming dress tutorials. 🙂

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It goes perfect with this pink swimsuit cover-up. More pictures and tutorials will be released soon, I promise!

Stay tuned for the next few weeks to see these dresses in action!

June 26, 2015

And It Was All Yellow

Well, not all of it. Some of it is lace.

This year marks a record-breaking low in temperature at my office. Meaning I either freeze to death, bundle up, or drink tons of hot tea and coffee. Even in the middle of summer, it’s freezing, so I’m always dressed for winter inside and then look like a weirdo when I leave for lunch.

I bought this yellow jet set knit to create the lining of a bodycon dress (which I’m going to reveal soon!), but since I usually need less than a yard to clad my munchkin height, I had a strip leftover.

I also have some stretchy lace lying around that I bought years ago as a five-yard bolt for $5 at Walmart. I really miss that Walmart, but since I’ve moved back to Southern California, I can’t find good deals like that anywhere. Not even at Joann.

To tone down the brightness of this piece, I cut out the same length and width in lace, and then made an infinity scarf.

There are tons of infinity scarf tutorials out there, but my favorite has always been by SecretLifeofaBioNerd, who was the YouTuber that inspired me to start sewing in the first place.

I was so happy to wear this to work and add some color to my usually somewhat dull work outfits. But then my coworker said I looked like a flight attendant, and sort of burst my bubble, haha. It doesn’t matter because I love it and that’s all I care about! 🙂

I need to figure out what else to do with the rest of the strips of fabric left over from my dresses. It seems like such a waste to throw it away, but what can I do with it? What do you usually do with your scraps?

June 24, 2015

Here I go Again: Another Joann’s Fabric Haul

Okay, I know I said the deal was that I’d use all my fabric from my last shopping haul before I could go back and get more. But I seriously have no idea what to do with this!

Can someone tell me what to do? Each little bundle is a little more than half a yard, so I didn’t want to panel it off to make a dress. It’s woven cotton. Maybe a skirt of a dress? I have no idea… I’m sure inspiration will strike eventually.

To be fair, aside from the impulse grab above, I used up all the other fabric I bought! Which is a real accomplishment because I was sewing all day Saturday, and that was about five yards’ worth of finger-pricking goodness, not including the ones I pulled from my secret 10-year-dust-collecting stash. And in even more excitinglyishness, it’s going to be part of a new, awesome, back-breaking project that I’m going to reveal to you…. drumroll…

NOT TODAY! HAHAHAHAHAHA.

Just kidding. Not really. Sorry for being mean. Okay fine, here’s a sneak peak.

But that’s all I’m going to say about that project.

Here’s what I got on my latest trip to Joann’s. I’ve been meaning to get some fabric from other reputable online stores, but I’m dying to make a few particular outfits right now, and I just don’t have enough patience to wait for shipment. So I’ll have to make do with these purchases.

The first and only time I’ve ever worked with chiffon, it was the most stressful experience of my life. But this one doesn’t look too silky, and the print was too pretty to give up. Plus, it was a one-yard remnant, so I got it for half off. And hey, if worse comes to worse, I’ll turn it into a scarf. 🙂

Apparel knits are all still half off! So I grabbed this lacy/crochet-y pink number to make a swimsuit cover-up. Can’t wait to see how it looks!

I needed lining, so this is more of a necessary purchase, but well worth it. I’m going to use this under some lace to make a fit and flare dress.

I saw this black swimsuit lining fabric in the remnants section, so of course it’s an immediate steal. I don’t think I’ll use it for a swimsuit, however. Maybe just a dress to wear to the beach. Another cover-up? We’ll see!

I promise to reveal my secret upcoming project soon. Just need to get cracking on my sewing, and everything will hopefully be up within the next few weeks!

June 23, 2015

Crocheted Knit-Like Hat

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My husband always complains that I never make him anything, while my closet is overflowing with clothes. So I finally got down to business and made him a very simple hat. It’s crocheted but the stitches look knitted, and it took about half an hour to make. Really, it’s that easy.

Don’t believe me? I made a tutorial to show you just how simple it is. 

I used a size 10MM crochet hook and some Bernat Soft Chunkee yarn. Here’s the simple pattern:

Cast on 26 single chains or enough so that the length measures from the crown of your head to your eyebrows. If you want a fold at the brim of the hat, cast on a few extra single chains.

Half double crochet in the BACK STITCH ONLY for the next row, and then for the rest of the hat until it is wide enough to wrap around your head.

Once you’re finished, you should have a crocheted rectangle. Again, the length should be equal to the crown of your head to at least your eyebrows, and the width should be equal to the circumference of your head.

Fold your “fabric” in half, making sure the stripes or rows are vertical. Stitch down the side with a knitting needle. (In the video, I didn’t have one on hand, so I just used my crochet hook.) Then either with a knitting needle or a crochet hook like me, gather the top of the head with a piece of yarn, tighten, bind the yarn, snip, and flip it inside out.

You can add a pom pom for extra oomph! But since this is for my husband and he has enough oomph as it is, I decided to leave it out. 🙂

Voila. You have a crocheted hat that looks like it was knitted. And it will only take you about half an hour to make, depending on how awesome you are.

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June 22, 2015

Painting with my friend

My friend and I have both been on a painting, arts, crafts, and sewing kick, so she asked me to teach her how to paint. After searching through the Pin boards, she finally picked something similar to this painting, so we got together. It was so fun painting with someone else for a change, because usually it’s such an isolated process.

Here’s what we learned:

Branches are harder to paint than they look.

So is drawing the beak.

I have too many bird paintings, so I drew an owl instead. I love it! What are you guys planning to paint?

June 19, 2015

Joann’s Fabric Haul

I know I’ve got a serious shopping addiction, but fabric doesn’t count right? I mean, it’s more of a necessity than anything, like groceries or utility bills. Y’know? Right?

After making sure I’ve got my Joann’s coupon with me (and then promptly forgetting it in the car), I headed to the nearest store, which is this huge superstore during my lunch. I KNOW. I WORK NEAR A JOANN’S SUPERSTORE. I pretty much knew that I wanted to work in this office when I saw the Joann’s. Just kidding. But not really.

I was so happy to discover that all apparel knits were on sale for 50% off! Yipee!

Then of course, I proceeded to the cutting table, where about twenty ladies were waiting in line. This place is so huge that you have to take a number in order to get your fabric cut. Not to worry though because Joann ladies are super fast and get you in and out quickly. I had enough time during my lunch to browse fabric, get it cut, grab some extra needles, and head for the front lanes–it’s probably a good thing that I go during lunch, otherwise I’d be there forever and end up emptying my bank account into the store.

So here’s what I got:

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A couple lovely floral knits, both half off.

What do I plan to make with this? you ask silently in my head. DRESSES. Cute, summer dresses. Because who can have enough sundresses. No one. Not me. No matter how many times my husband says so. Or how many new hangers I have to buy to supplement my clothing addiction.

But enough about me, on to the fabric. I’m going to make some fit-and-flare dresses out of these because I’m so in love with that cut right now and it’s flattering on just about any body shape. Mostly though, I just want to re-create one of my favorite dresses:

This thing has shrunken to become more like a shirt because I’ve worn and washed it that much. It fits lovely still, but just a tad too short for my comfort. I hate to see it die, so I’m going to keep it around to make more! And maybe upload a tutorial along the way. 😉

Of course I can never leave Joann’s without buying half the remnants section. Everything here is a great deal because it’s all half off. The only problem is I go a little crazy and then I buy a lot of fabric that I willllllll eventually get around to one day some day maybe I don’t know when I have time this weekend or next year or something who knows.

Jet set knit

I love using jet set knit for lining because it’s light and inexpensive. Also, it’s one of the few knits that are extremely easy to work with.

Maybe I’ll make a tank dress out of this lovely navy blue lace, and use the yellow lining underneath? I love pairing blue with yellow. What do you think of that?

I seriously have no idea what I’m going to do with this floral print. I just really love it. I’m obsessed with floral, teal (or any derivative of aquamarine) right now so it’s no wonder that I grabbed this.

This coral arrow print was another impulse grab. I don’t know what I’m going to make with it! Someone give me some inspiration, please. 🙂

The deal is that I have to use up all of these fabrics before I can go back and buy anything else. And right now I’m dying to grab some mustard yellow chunky yarn to make some beanies. Yes, in the middle of summer. My itch to stitch comes at the worse times.

What are you guys planning to make this summer?

June 18, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Totoro Amigurumi

Remember this little guy? Most of them sold out on Etsy, but I kept one for myself. Now every time I see him in this photo, I’m hit with a wave of nostalgia for our life and beautiful apartment back in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Not that I don’t love our new home in Southern California (nothing beats the weather, seriously, nothing). But I will always look back on my New Mexico time with love and shiver (because it was always freezing, duh).
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Anyway, since I’m an adult now and I’m trying to make more space for my other craft projects, this last guy is going up on Etsy. Maybe I’ll do a tutorial on how to make him, if anyone’s interested? Let me know!il_570xN.237087003

June 17, 2015

Underwater Sea Turtle Acrylic Painting

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I told you I’ve been bit by the painting bug! Here’s one of my favorite paintings so far, and I love it so much I don’t even want to part with it, but I’m seriously running out of space. I realize I’ve been doing a lot of silhouette paintings lately, but I love the way the black images pop against a bright color.

Want to make your own? Of course I made a video tutorial:

I mentioned this in the video’s description, but this was inspired by an art class taught by PaintNite. I’ve never attended a PaintNite class before. I just thought the image was cute so I decided to give my own stab at it. I love turtles. I actually had a few growing up. (Unfortunately they all died. I know. Sad face. One of my baby turtles that I bought in China Town still lives with my mom in Georgia. It started off the size of a quarter, and is now the size of her hand! Pretty cool. Yes, I realize the irony of the fact that the only surviving turtle I ever had was one I didn’t raise myself.)

I love that the seafoam/aqua undertones in the painting matches almost perfectly with my mail organizer. I didn’t even do it on purpose! Thus it has earned a permanent spot at the entrance of my home.

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June 16, 2015

Sunset Tree Silhouette Acrylic Painting

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I’ve been bit by the painting bug. All I want to do is paint! So I made a tutorial on this lovely sunset tree silhouette acrylic painting. Wow, what a mouthful.

Don’t you love the cute mail organizer? I’ve been searching for one for so long. When I finally saw this one at Marshalls for about $20, my friend was like “Just buy it!” and I was like “Okay!”

See the video tutorial to make your own. It’s super easy!

I’m excited to share this video because I asked my sister, Vy, to make a jingle for my tutorials. She did an amazing job. It’s upbeat and cute, and I love it. Goes perfectly with all my fast-paced how-to’s. I’m trying to convince her to come up with some more. 😉 She has her own YouTube, so check out some of her Vietnamese musical covers.

If you’re feeling lazy though, I’m also selling it on Etsy here. I love my paintings, but I really want to share them, and it’d be awesome to know it’s hanging up in someone’s home for them to smile at when they get home. Also, I have been painting so much! I need to make room for my other creations.

You can see it’s still kind of wet in the next picture:

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I’ve got so many new projects coming up. Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for some more awesome tutorials coming up. Summer is coming, so I’m looking forward to making cute, floral dresses, upfashioned shorts, and beach-y things. Seriously, it’s my favorite season and since I’m back in sunny California now, I can’t wait to sew some lovely summery clothes to complement the weather. Happy creating!

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