31 Days · creative habit · DIY · Fall · Home

31 Days: Creative Habit – Day 30: Fall Leaf Garland

Full Disclosure: I’ve been busy all day working on Halloween costumes, so I’m going to post an old project. It’s something I made last year but never posted. I added new pics today from the new house, so it’s not COMPLETELY old.

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Last year’s garland in this year’s home. :)

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Last year, after I made my Fall Leaves Wreath, I had some leftover leaves.

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I punched holes in the corners of each leaf and threaded brown ribbon through the holes.

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In the old house, I tied the ribbon in a loop and strung the garland around a mirror in my entryway.

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It lived right by Edgar Allan Crow’s home in the branches by the front door.

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Wait, I’ve never introduced you to Edgar Allan Crow? We bought him YEARS ago for a Halloween, and he never left. I don’t really notice him, but I’m sure visitors wonder why the H-E-Double-Hockey-Sticks we have a crow right by the entryway year round. I know my friend who is FREAKED OUT by birds shudders every time she comes over. But he’s sort of become our little mascot. He even gets fancied up for Christmas!

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Anyway, Edgar found residence by our front door as soon as we moved into the new house. He loves to watch passersby out the front windows and keep guard over the incoming mail.

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And here’s the new home of the leaf garland – draped across the mantle in the new house.

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The mantle is still a work-in-progress, as is everything else in the house. I feel like we just moved in, even though it’s been over two months. It still takes 20 minutes to find almost everything. There is no real plan for house projects at this point.

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But I have up my fall garland, so I guess that’s something.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a post about Halloween costumes! And it will be my last post for 31 Days. See you then!

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This post is part of a 31 day series. Find all the posts in this series here.

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31 Days · creative habit · Sewing · Style

31 Days: Creative Habit – Day 29: Superhero

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So, today’s project time felt like it was going to be another fail. It started going badly right away, but I dug in, did some problem solving, and just kept going. It wasn’t until I saw the after photos that I realized that I really LOVE this project. Whew!

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If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you might remember this dress. My friend, Jenn, gave it to me when I was doing The Thrift Project last October.

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It is a lovely dress with velvety flowers, embellished with hand-sewn beads. There were a few problems with the dress – missing beads in a few spots and a seam coming loose – so that made me feel a little better about what I was going to do with this piece. If it had been in absolute pristine condition, it would have been really hard to touch it.

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But those tiny little flaws told me it was okay. I measured the width of the front of the dress at several points, made chalk marks, and cut the entire dress open in the front.

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For a few minutes, I stared, wondering what exactly I had done. Along the raw edge where I cut the dress, little beads started popping off and rolling around on the floor. I was really unsure if I could actually make it work. And then I took it to the sewing machine to try to hem the raw edges. Turns out beads and sewing machine needles don’t really work well together. I mean, I sort of knew this, but I thought I’d give it a try anyway. The results were disastrous – broken beads, skewed stitches, threads catching everywhere.

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So I took a deep breath, took the dress to the floor, and started removing beads. I used my seam ripper to pull the threads for every bead within a half inch of the raw edge. I hand tied all the little threads to keep the remaining beads intact. Then I did a little rolled edge on both sides of the opening. It totally worked.

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I still wasn’t sure how it would look. A kimono was my inspiration, but kimonos usually have sleeves. And belts. And someway for them to close. This has none of those.

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So maybe it’s more like a vest.

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Or a scarf with arm holes.

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BB said, “It’s a superhero cape!” BG said, “With sparklies!” Yes, that’s it. It’s my sparkly superhero cape. Now to come up with my superhero name….

UPDATE: Let’s be honest. If I were a superhero, it would totally be this one:

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This post is part of a 31 day series. Find all the posts in this series here.

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31 Days · creative habit · Fail · Kids · Sewing · Style · Thrifts

31 Days: Creative Habit – Day 28: Blue Clutch Fail

So, this isn’t really a “Mommy Blog”, but I’m a Mama, and today’s project ended up being more about being a Mama than a Project-Doer. Just keeping it real over here.

Well, there’s bound to be at least one fail every 31 Days, right?

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I had the idea that I would try my hand at another clutch. My first one is still my most popular project here on the blog, and I get visitors from all over the world daily because of that one.

I wanted to thrift some blue leather to make a clutch to go with my royal blue necklace. Sometimes, I’m overly optimistic. I was sure it would be totally easy to find something made of blue leather. I would have been happy with pleather.

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First, I found these boots.

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Great, right?! Hard to know why anyone gave these away. {sarcasm} Real leather, although clearly not enough to make a clutch.

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So I expanded my vision into using another blue fabric and adding leather touches. Still great in my mind.

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My original inspiration for this clutch was this zipper – kind of random, I’m aware. It was leftover from my apron skirt, and I thought the navy would pair well with royal blue.

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I cut one of the boots apart. Cutting apart a shoe is surprisingly challenging.

Well, after some quiet time in his room (he’s transitioning away from naps), BB came into the living room to hang out with me while I worked. Sweet little guy, he just wanted to watch me cut and seam rip. That’s when I heard, “Uh-oh.” I looked over to see the zipper unzipped and in two pieces.

I took a deep breath, because I know that I know NOTHING about zippers, especially ones that have been cut from another garment and are just loose at the end. BB started to get upset, and I realized that this was one of those moments. My mind flashed to Mary’s blog and her writing on living out the things we tell our kids, especially “People are more important than things“.

I was super frustrated, to be sure, and I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to finish my project. BB tried encouraging words, “You can find another zipper, Mama. You can go get one right now.” I bit my tongue to not say what I was thinking, that this was The Inspiration Zipper, that BG was napping and we couldn’t leave the house, that naptime was my only shot at getting this done. (Full disclosure: I may have said one of those.)

But I pulled him over to me and explained that it wasn’t a big deal. I told him it was just a zipper, that people ARE more important than things, and this was just a thing, a silly little project I could figure out later, that I know he didn’t do it on purpose, that it was just an accident. He told me he was sure I would figure something out (sweet little guy), and then he went outside to ponder. I watched him through the back window, mulling over the whole thing while he dug little holes in the dirt.

I tried in vain to put the zipper back together. I tossed it in the garbage and went in search of another zipper. Twenty minutes later, I found an orange one in one of our unpacked boxes in the garage. BB was back inside by then, to see how I was feeling and to tell me that orange is his favorite color anyway, and that he thought it would be even better than the navy one. (I’m totally crying as I type. He really is such an amazing little person.)

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So we worked in tandem for a while, me on my purse, him on a snowman project.

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In the end, the purse just wasn’t working. Mostly because, without it being entirely made of leather, it looked like a makeup bag, not a clutch. The zipper wouldn’t have made any difference.

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So I piled everything in a box and just let it go. Maybe I’ll come back to it with a better idea in a few days, maybe not. But it’s okay. Because I always find that the lessons you learn with failure are much more important than what you learn with success.

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This post is part of a 31 day series. Find all the posts in this series here.

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