Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Altering a shirt that is too short

In my closet, I have a lot of shirts that are just too short for my taste. I prefer to think that over the years they have shrunk. I have toyed with a lot of ideas for turning these shirts into useful items, you know, to help save the planet and everything. I actually made Kaelan a hat and scarf set out of three t-shirts. She's not particularly fond of wearing the scarf, but if I can get her mind off the scarf, she's fine. Anyway, I digress. For these shirts, I decided to see if I could fix the length.

I started with one plain white long sleeve t-shirt that hit right at the top of my pants and one brown t-shirt that was entirely too tight to be worn in public. Anyone know how to turn these pictures around?Using my handy dandy rotary cutter and mat (to avoid slicing my hardwood floor) I cut the brown shirt right across the chest under the armpits. This creates a tube which I shortened by turning wrong sides together.
I then pinned the right side of the brown tube around the right side of the white shirt as shown below.
Make sure the yucky edges of the brown shirt (that you cut) are matched up nicely with the bottom of the good t-shirt. Next you're going to sew across the bottom of the three layers.

There are some things to note when you do this.
  • Make sure that you sew above the seam on the shirt so that it doesn't show when you're finished.
  • Make sure if one shirt is smaller than the other one that you create darts by folding one shirt over (you can see this in the picture below). I chose to do this on the seams on the sides of the shirt. If you do this, make sure that the darts face the back of the shirt and not the front.

When you are finished, you might want to trim down the extra fabric along the seam. This was my finished product. Again, anyone know how to turn these pictures around?? So sorry!!
Hopefully you, too, can help save the planet and turn around global warming (cooling??) by refashioning a shirt.

Monday, December 8, 2008

My realization

Recently, I have come to a realization. A rather simple one, really, but one that totally changes the way I look at life. God wants us to depend on Him. He wants us to look to him for everything. He wants us to be totally dependent on Him. And if He wants us to depend on Him, that must mean that He is going to completely meet our needs. Not that we need to just sit around and be waited on hand and foot, but that there is no need to worry about anything because the God of hope can make even the most hopeless situation turn around and be used not only for our good, but to bring us to a better place than before. I'm trusting that that is what He's going to do for us. I know that many families are hurting right now because of job losses and pay cuts. In a sermon I heard recently, the pastor said that we should remember that God can't work miracles when there is still a way for us to work. We must be at the end of our rope before He can step in with a miracle. I know that my family is there right now, and we are waiting, expectantly, on God to do His part.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Making Laundry Detergent

I thought I would try again to make my own laundry detergent. My first attempt produced some cloudy sludge that I used, but was not thrilled with. This attempt was better and so far I'm pleased with the results. It was super-easy and not nearly as messy as the first version. This is the recipe I would recommend.
What you need:
1 bar of soap grated into small pieces
1 cup of baking soda
1 cup of Borax

Combine above ingredients. Use 1 tablespoon per load of laundry. Ta-da. You're done.

I used Dove the first time and the smell wasn't quite as strong as I was hoping for. This time I chose Irish Springs, and I LOVE the fresh smell that greets me when I open the container (even though I don't like the smell for my showers). I grated the bar into small pieces and then put it into our blender to make the pieces microscopic. When this is done, mix with 1 cup of Borax (I found this in the laundry aisle at Wal-mart) and 1 cup of baking soda. Yes, I know that some sites suggest washing soda, but a) I couldn't find any at any of the stores I tried, and b) I read that it can be quite caustic and so I opted to go for the safest, most environmentally friendly route.

Zesty Italian Chicken

This is a yummy dish I borrowed from the Kraft Food and Family magazine I get in the mail. If you cook, you MUST sign up for this free magazine. It is wonderful!

OK, here are the ingredients you need:
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 in. pieces
1/2 cup Italian dressing (we use the low fat kind)
2 cups broccoli (fresh or frozen)
8 oz. cooked pasta, drained
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup thinly sliced onions
1 1/2 cups chopped red peppers
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

We aren't big fans of onions and peppers, so I leave those out, and I never keep parsley on hand, so I just didn't use it. I used frozen carrots instead.

Directions:First, go ahead and start heating the water so you can cook your pasta. Cut your chicken into small pieces. Put it in a skillet (I used a wok so I'd have lots of room) with 1/4 cup of the dressing and cook until the chicken isn't pink. I'm a real fanatic about cooking chicken, so mine was REALLY done. Add your vegetables of choice and cook until they are tender.

Toss the results with the dressing and your cooked pasta and sprinkle with cheese, and you've got a tasty, healthy meal. Enjoy!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Week: My Daughter

It is Kaelan’s day. I am extremely thankful to wear the name tag that says “Momma” or “Mommom” as Kaelan sometimes says. The last year has turned my world upside down, but I have cherished every minute of it. She is such a sweet, loving baby. She has started being very generous with her hugs of late and everyone loves it! She is learning so many new words and is understanding and responding to so much more that I say! It is such a joy to spend my days with her. I am so thankful that I am now the teacher of one little one (for now :-) and that God has blessed me with this awesome responsibility.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving Week: My Husband

Today I'd like to say how thankful I am for my husband. John was brought into my life by the grace of God at a time when I wondered if I would ever be married or have a family. He is exactly what I need. He is incredibly kind, loving, and patient. He is a good listener and sympathizer. He works hard at his job because he sees it as a way to reach the lost for Christ. He works hard to support his family and allows me to stay at home with Kaelan. He is an incredibly gifted writer (and is almost finished with his first novel). Even though he works full-time, he does everything he can to help at home and spend time with Kaelan and me. Above all, he loves the Lord and serves Him with ALL his heart, soul, and strength. That's my favorite part. But it is a really great plus that he's exceptionally good-looking!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanksgiving Week

Since this is the week of Thanksgiving. I want to take some time and express thanks to God for the blessings He has given me. First and foremost, I’m SO thankful that I know the One to whom I am thankful. Everyone celebrates Thanksgiving but not everyone stops to think about to whom they are thankful. He is the One who saw fit to bless my life with goodness. Every good thing comes from the Father. I am so glad that I know Him and my relationship grows deeper in Him every day! He is definitely working on my faith and reliance upon Him this year. One song I know says, “We don’t want blessings. We want You.” I can now truly say that. I want to know Him more this year than I ever have before.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Kaelan's Birthday (Logistics)

For Kaelan's birthday, being the aspiring Martha that I am, I wanted to do as much homemade that I could. I made homemade cupcakes.

I enlisted the help of my fearless husband for the making of the cupcake toppers.

I made a banner that said her name.

I decopauged a notebook for guests to leave her a crayon drawn greeting by following the tutorial here thanks to Grace Violet. I even made her birthday present. It was my first attempt at doll making and I found the process extremely rewarding and slightly addictive. For her birthday, Kaelan received a Molly Monkey, courtesy of mmmcrafts Molly Monkey pattern.

I have to say that the more I craft, the more I get into it. I'm even going mostly handmade for Christmas. Yup. I've already started. :-)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Kaelan's Birthday

Kaelan's birthday week was lots of fun for the whole family. On Monday, November 10th, my grandparents stopped by on their way to Florida and we had a mini-party with them. She was not impressed by the singing birthday candle or the mountain of whipped cream on her cupcake. Nope. Instead, she started crying. She did, however, enjoy the toys that Mamaw and Papaw brought her. On her birthday, we had a small dinner with Nana and Papa Doc. We tried a piece of chocolate cake that night and she said, "Mmmm. More." It was a definite go. So, Saturday, for the big shin-dig I made chocolate cupcakes complete with Kaelan cupcake toppers. But, did she get to partake of these scrumptious delights? Nope. The waiter thought it would be more fun for her to have her own cake (HUGE chocolate cake covered with whipped cream and chocolate sauce). Once she figured out that the white foam that covered her hands was edible, she enjoyed the experience, even sharing with Momma (in the hair). It was so great to have friends and family there to share our wonderful day and the blessing of our one year old daughter! My, how this year has flown!!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Publishing First Scrapblog

OK, I’m trying a new way of doing the scrapblog. Scrapblog.com has discontinued their printing feature and I don’t want all of my hard work stuck on a website, so I have discovered the world of digital scrapbooking. The learning curve was a bit steep because I had to figure out (with John’s help) how to use Photoshop Elements (which he happened to already have a copy of). But once I got the hang of it, I really liked it and found it to be as easy as scrapblogging. So, we’ll try it out together and see how it goes. If you find something that is really annoying or doesn’t work, please let me know and I’ll do my best to make it better. Thanks so much for sharing these special times with us and I hope you enjoy every minute you spend here. We’re praying God’s blessings over you and yours!