Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Sunny Days Sundress || Tutorial

 Hey friends! Did ya miss me? Or at the very least miss some sewing projects? (even though my sister is back and better than ever with some great skin posts)  I think life comes in waves, at least it does for me does it do that for you? I get in a motion where I have a great schedule and flow and sew something everyday and my kids get tons of new clothes, then I have a wave come through where everything gets super busy life moves at a hyper speed and my sewing machine? Well it collects dust. (well besides the occasional work on some new exciting patterns coming soon) Then in almost a perfect harmony the sweet and amazing Kelle from Ann Kelle contacts me and asks if I by any chance want to play with her new fabric line.  Ummm yes! I knew it was just what I needed to get back into sewing. How sweet is this flip flop fabric??? So perfect for summer.
 So I whipped up a quick and easy sundress/swim cover. It's so quick and easy and with the swing back  with a single button it's so easy to throw on over a swim suit or to wear as a sundress. (paired with a diaper cover, or shorts)
 Making one is super easy you need minimal pieces and only 3 measurements.
Chest (wrap the measuring tape around the chest just under the armpit) Multiply by 2, then add 2" for overlap in the back. This will be the width of the rectangle piece.
Length from the underarm to as long as you want it. I took mine to the knee. Then since I wanted a band along the bottom I subtracted 3" so I cut one rectangle the width of the first measurement and the length here, as well as a second band that is the same width and was 6" (so folded it would be 3") that is for the band.
Last measurement is from the underarm up over the shoulder to the other underarm this is the strap measurement. (more on that in a bit)
 Now to start things off hem the top edge of the rectangle by turning it under 1/4" and again by 1/4" then sew 10 rows of shirring (using elastic thread in the bobbin then stitch like normal, finish by steaming with an iron so they shrink up)
 Now for the shoulder straps. I made mine kind of "bow shape" Cut 4. (the length from armpit to armpit) Sew 2 right sides together along the sides. Then turn it right side out. Repeat so you have 2.
 Now the reason I made mine "bow shaped" was so I could pleat the bottom to add a little something to the straps. Sew the pleats at the top and bottom.
 Now to place the straps. Find the middle of the rectangle, then measure 2" over and place one strap by sewing it in place. Then 2" the other direction (from the middle) and place the other strap.
 Then fold the back so the back edges meet at the center middle point. Then mark the same placement as the front of the straps and sew the back of the straps. They will make loops like so...
 Then either hem the bottom or as I did, fold the band in half and sew it right sides together to the bottom of the rectangle. Then press it downward and topstitch in place.
 Now for the back edges You could just turn and hem but I like finishing them with bias tape. So I made some but cutting 2" strips on the bias. Then you fold the strips in half and then fold the raw edges in toward the center fold. (it's not shown folded here I did that as I sewed but it is easier to do first) Sew the bias right side to wrong side of the back edge fold up the bottom and top edge by 1/2"
 Then press the bias out flat and fold towards the front, which is re-folding the folds from the bias tape or folding the raw edge under and then folding it again toward the front. Then sew along the edge of the bias tape to secure. Repeat with the other back edge.
 Then add a button hole and button to the top back so that they overlap. Then you are done.
 That's all there is too it. Quick and easy and for this girl on the go go go it may become a summer staple.
 The cute little swinging back keeps things cool and comfortable during the hot summer days. (hot is coming soon :)
The fantastic fabrics used for this sundress were provided to me from Kelle of Ann Kelle and I used:

From This to That || Garden
Remix || Summer

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

DIY Headache Relief Facial Steam






Like many of us out there I often get headaches, and nothing ruins your day more. I like to try different natural ways to cure these annoying headaches, this headache steam helps to relieve the pounding and the scent really helps to unwind and de-stress.



Ingredients:
  • Ginger Root (sliced)
  • Basil Leaves (fresh or dried, a good handful)
  • Mint leaves (fresh, a good handful)


Natural ingredients have a lot of qualities that can help your skin look and feel great, and many can be found right in your kitchen. Why these ingredients?

Ginger Root:
  • Calm inflammation
  • Control muscle contractions
Basil Leaves:
  • Anti-stress agent
  • Pain relieving and decongestant properties
Mint Leaves:
  • Relaxes blood vessels
  • Calm inflammation


Step 1:
Gather ingredients and place in medium pot filled half way with water.

Step 2:
Bring water and ingredients to boil.

Step 3:
Carefully pour contents of pot into a medium sized bowl. (Be advised that the outside of bowl will be hot)

Step 4: 
Drape a towel around bowl placing your face inside the towel (like a tent). Keep face inside towel for as long as you can tolerate (up to 10 min) and take deep breathes in through the nose and out through the mouth. Repeat until your headache and stress subsides.

Want to try other facial steams? check out Relaxing Lavender Steam

Saturday, April 19, 2014

DIY Egg White Skin Tightening Mask





Who doesn't love a quick and easy mask to tighten & tone your skin? If you are needing a little skin pick me up this mask is perfect to help shrink large pores and achieve radiant skin. Its simple, cheap and loaded with benefits!
Ingredients:
  • One Egg White
  • Lemon (organic)
  • Grater 
Natural ingredients have a lot of qualities that can help your skin look and feel great, and many can be found right in your kitchen. Why these ingredients?

Egg Whites:
  • Helps shrink large pores
  • Promotes wrinkle free skin
  • Hydrating & moisturizing


Lemon Peel:
  • Fights off acne causing bacteria
  • Lightens skin discoloration
  • Rich in antioxidants 





    Step 1:
Take one egg and separate the egg white from the yolk. Whip with hand mixer until egg whites are light and fluffy.

    Step 2:
Grate lemon peel, about one Tablespoon. (I recommend using an organic lemon so that the skin wont contain added pesticides)

    Step 3:
Whip ingredients until evenly blended.

    Step 4:
Apply mixture using fingers to pat onto skin. Leave on for 15-20 min or until it dries. Cleanse off and reveal smooth and radiant skin!

Looking for more skin care ideas? Check out my other posts here:

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Master Bedroom Reveal

 If you have been following along here for a while then you know that almost 3 years ago my husband and I bought an old (70's) house. It was… well charming, and in desperate need of TLC. So we have been making it over room by room.
You can see the other posts here:
Kitchen
Dining Room
Living Room
Play Room
 So it was time to do the Master Bedroom. Our bedroom was really really bad. When we first walked through the house I saw potential in every room and really loved the house, then we walked into the master bedroom and I about threw up. No one had been living in the house for 2 years, so the master was dark dusty and had cobwebs in the corners. The ceiling and wallpaper had glitter (yes glitter) all over it. Where ever there wasn't wallpaper there was dark brown wood paneling, and shimmery curtains.  and let's not even discuss the pink carpet.
 So the bedroom was in need of a serious overhaul. Top to bottom. So here are some before and afters and a low down on what went down.
 To start we painted. We painted the paneling, which needed to be primed first then painted using Grey Opal from Valspar. We painted the trim with bright white. We put in all new doors and knobs.
 The room had some funky things going on, like glitter and textured wallpaper on two of the walls. and brown trim on some of the corners and ceiling. We didn't actually hate the wallpaper, the texture is cool. The color was a dirty ivory, and have I mentioned the glitter yet? So before tearing it down which I was not excited about, we decided to try painting it. We used the same Grey Opal. It turned out great, the glitter was gone but the texture remained, just toned down a little.
 One wall has sliding doors that lead to a deck, the wall had floor to ceiling wall to wall curtains. I didn't actually hate the soft feel the curtains added to the room, and in keeping with the Mid Century Modern feel that we like, we were ok with the idea, just not the curtains. The creamy shimmery dusty, dirty smelly curtains had to go. We also made a cornice box that went from wall to wall across the top and we matched the wood tone to the furniture in the room instead of covering it in fabric and padding. It adds some warmth to the room.
 We installed crown molding. This can be tricky, there are a lot of angles and math and my husband and I spent a few hours really wishing we had paid more attention in geometry. So after a few failed attempts we cheated and at Lowe's we found these corner pieces. They were so easy to just nail in place and then all the straight pieces were just cut straight to go into the corner pieces. No more you tube videos, no more pulling our hair out and now we had fancy corners.
 We re-did all the flooring in the house and so the pink carpet was out and new carpet was in so we also replaced the baseboards since the the old ones were the really small. We painted them with bright white.
 We decided to keep all the main bedroom colors and bedding neutral and light, one because we were so tired of the dark depressing room before and because then when we get bored with the mustard color we can swap out the curtains and the accent pillows and we have a whole new look.
 We got a new bed. (yes total room makeover) My husband hadn't been sleeping well on our old bed, and after having kids I found the bed to be too firm. (like every pregnancy dramatically changed the type of bed I needed) So we were both sleeping on a bed we hated and decided this was as good a time as any to get a new one especially since we had been wanting a king and that meant all new bed frame and bedding anyway. So we tried out TONS of beds did an endless amount of research and finally settled on a sleep number bed. I don't want to be super dramatic and say a bed changed my life but this bed changed my life. One because I am a 40 and  my husband is a 75 so being completely different we are still in one bed, but we both get what we need. Also if I find that I need a firmer bed again I don't have to buy a new mattress or let my sleep suffer I just change the number, and I have never slept better in my life, I could go on forever seriously, but back to the room design :)

 We searched high and low for lamps, and then finally on a whim we walked into hobby lobby. (I know gasp I almost never go into hobby lobby) That's when high up on the shelf we found two of the most perfect lamps on clearance, it was fate.
For the bedding we wanted texture, texture and more texture. I wanted white, my husband wanted whatever I wanted. I seriously stubbled finding bedding I wanted, I looked everywhere. Then we went to west elm to order our bedroom set and on display was the most perfect bedding, fluffy white and dreamy. So I said "that's it! That's the bedding" So took it all. Yep master of bedding right here, I just re-created the display in my room.

So that's it. It only took 18 months to complete from start to finish since there were so many darn decisions to make. Anyone else seriously struggle with making decisions?

Here is a rundown of the details:
Bedframe || Dresser || Side tables || Bedding || Curtains || All from West Elm
Starburst Mirror || Home Depot
Lamps || Hobby Lobby
Tissue Paper Calendar || Handmade by our dear friend Olivia
Paint || Grey Opal by Valspar
Bed || Sleep number bed


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

DIY Eye Cooling Pads

 Hey Guys Morgan here, it's been a while but I am super excited to share some fun beauty stuff with you all. You can check out some of my past posts here:
Skin Brightening Toner
Avocado Mask
Pumpkin Mask
Lavender Facial Steam
Today I have some great eye cooling pads for you. If you are anything like me all it takes is one semi salty meal to wake up with puffy swollen eyes in the morning. This is a great DIY treatment to reduce puffiness, dark circles, and help to smooth out those fine lines (that become less fine each day)
 It can all be done with a few (3) simple things almost anyone would have on hand.

  • Cucumber (fresh, peeled, and sliced) 
  • Basil (fresh or dried a good handful) 
  • Cotton rounds 


Natural ingredients have a lot of qualities that can help your skin look and feel great, and many can be found right in your kitchen. Why these ingredients?
Cucumber: 

  • Fades dark circles
  • reduces puffiness in skin
  • helps to relieve eye strain
  • cooling


Basil:

  • Prevents swelling
  • skin rejuvenator
  • helps reduce the appearance of fine lines.


 Step 1:
In a blender or food processor blend the cucumber and basil, add a tablespoon of water if needed or desired to help get things moving.  Dip cotton rounds into the blended mix.

Step 2:
Squeeze off excess.
Place pads (1 on each eye) Lay back and relax for 10-30 min (or whatever time life provides for you)



Store extra mix in an air tight container and place in fridge. It should keep for a week (or longer), discard if the color or odor changes. Dip a cotton round in the mix and apply to eyes whenever needed throughout the week.

Monday, April 7, 2014

How to make your own book || Tutorial

 Back in January I shared a book that Jude and I made together. I gave a little explanation of how I put the book together, but nothing super detailed. Since I have gotten a few emails asking questions I thought I would put together a step by step tutorial for how I created the book, including where we got it printed, and showing you the second book we made.








 It was a lot of fun having Abbey be a part and after the first one Abbey insisted that she be a part of one too. The first book was written by Jude, this one was written by me as I wrote down quotes and story lines of their imaginative play one day. So here is how I did it:
 I have a mini studio set up in my sewing studio that I use but you don't need a studio to make this possible. All you need is a white background. I use white seamless paper backdrop that I picked up at a local camera shop, it's a large roll of card stock thick paper, I use this since it's wrinkle free and white.
Why white? If you photograph in front of white then the pixels outlining the subject will be light and solid. So when the background is all erased they will blend into the white background of the book seamlessly. As you can see from the original picture the whole picture does not need to be white. All you need is good lighting and a smooth light background and it will be easy to edit. You can also see the fan off to the side, I used that to get a little "wind" so it would look more real.
 Next. Create a new page you want it to be the size of the page you want for your book.
Mine was about 25"X16" and 240 dpi (high resolution is good for printing) Then copy the photo and paste it on to the blank page. You want the photo to be a second layer.
 Then use the eraser tool and erase all the background around the subject. Depending on how white your background was it will depend on how close you need to clean it up.
 For the drawings I had Jude draw on regular white printer paper. Be sure to draw as dark as possible. Then I scanned the images into the computer. They scan a little lighter than I wanted so first I opened the drawing up and adjusted the brightness and contrast to boost it up a bit.
 Then I copied and pasted the drawing on to the same book page as the picture. I placed the drawing layer behind the photo. As you can see the proportions were not quite right as Jude was way too big for the boat.
 Using the "free transform" I adjusted each layer to make the proportions right.
 Then since I wanted Jude to be standing in the boat I used the eraser tool to erase the picture layer, simply erasing the bottom of his feet so he would be "behind" the front of the boat.
 You can add more layers, combine photos and drawings until you have the scene you want. Then add text to the page and you are done. Continue making pages until you complete your book. Make sure each page is the same size.
For printing. I used Blurb.com
I have used blurb to make instagram books before and I liked the quality of the books so I thought I would give them a try with these books. I LOVE the way it turned out. Great print quality the pictures were crystal clear and great page quality. I went with the soft cover book.

Pros:
Great Quality
Quick Turnaround
No minimum order

Cons:
You have to have at least 20 pages

(yep literally the only complaint I have is that it's hard to fill 20 pages. We combined both stories to make it)
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