Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Man in the Yellow Hat Costume is now YELLOW

Woot, woot! My hubby ran to Meijer for milk late last night after the kids went to bed, and I told him to pick up a box of yellow RIT dye too. (In case you missed the post yesterday, I made a white "Man in the Yellow Hat" Halloween costume for my son, and I'm dying it yellow).

Last night I upcycled my sister-in-law's white linen skirt into white pants for Joel. The waist band is a little a lot girly, so I'm going to have to put some testosterone into it, but other than that, I'm lovin' the outfit!

This morning, the screaming darling baby and I came downstairs. Armed with a bottle of formula and a cup of coffee, we got to work dying the costume yellow!

I did it in a stock pot with just over a gallon of hot water and the entire box of dye. I did put it on the stove on low, but I was afraid of melting the plastic lid so I didn't turn it up high at all. The water never boiled and really wasn't all that hot. I only left it in the dye solution for 10 minutes, then I started rinsing. (And in case you're wondering like I was, RIT dye water CAN be saved for use at a later date! I wanted to keep the yellow water in case Joel outgrows the dress shirt. It's a 3T, but with my luck, he'll need a 4 by then. If he does, I'll just thrift another cotton dress shirt, and dye it too :) I have the water saved in an old milk jug with "DO NOT DRINK!" written all over it.

Back to the how-to... I put all three articles of clothes (the 100% cotton dress shirt, the linen pants, and the t-shirt material mock necktie) in the dryer on EXTRA low. Once again, I was worried about melting the plastic piece in the mock necktie, but it was just fine.

And now, drumroll please, I introduce to you Joel's Halloween costume this year.... The Man Who Still Does Not Have a Yellow Hat!

Ok, so I still need to make la piece de resistance, the yellow hat.

Here are some ideas I pinned:

Aren't they cute?! These ladies are awesome :)

Linking to
Delightful Order Thursday Linky Party!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Mock Necktie Tutorial

For Halloween, I thought it would be cute to dress up the baby almost-toddler as a monkey, and my preschooler will be the man in the yellow hat. My son loooooooooves Curious George, but the main reason I made the decision is that I found a 18 month monkey costume on clearance for $5 after Halloween :)

(And by the way, I do realize it's not even Independence Day yet!) Anyway...

I plan on taking one of his dress shirts, a pair of white pants, and a tie, and dying them all yellow with RIT dye. That way, all the yellows match. Aren't I smart? :)

I'm going to make him a pair of pants out of a white linen skirt that my sister-in-law didn't fit anymore. For the tie, I thrifted a white t-shirt with large black polka dots for $1. When I saw the fabric, I knew it was just right!!!

Since this fabric is t-shirt material, I thought I'd just make a mock tie. (You know, a tie that's not really a tie at all). T-shirt material is just way too wonky for the real deal. I must warn you: there's hot glue involved. It just needs to last one day. This is the quick and dirty way to get the tie look without all the time it takes to make one the right way.

I took a few pictures as I went, but they're not the best. So sorry. It's hotter than @*#%^&$#, and I just didn't feel like going outside to get better lighting.

I drew and cut out a tie on a piece of newspaper for a pattern, held it up to my son, figured the size was just about perfect, and got to cutting the fabric. With right sides together, I cut two ties out and sewed them together. I sewed all the way around except for the top - I used the top hole to turn it right side out. Iron flat if you're perfectionist. If not, that's cool too. I sure didn't. You can topstitch the opening closed once the tie is right side out. I didn't, but it would look a little nicer from the back if you do. It won't really matter because the back is not going to show, so either way is fine.

Now it's time to start the faux knot. You will need a hot glue gun, some polyfill, a little more matching fabric, and something thin and plastic that you can cut... like a butter lid or something like that. I used a lid from a plastic Gerber baby food container.

Freehand a knot onto your plastic lid and cut it out. Hold it up to your tie to make sure it's the right size. Take your fabric scrap, wrap it around your knot, and begin hot gluing it down on the back. Hot glue down all the sides except for the top of the knot.

Before you glue down the last side of the knot, stuff in a little poly fill until you're satisfied with the look of the knot. Then go ahead and glue the last side down. Make sure you remove all the hot glue stringy things. You can see I forgot to do that before I photographed it.

Then I hot glued the knot to the top of the tie, added some stick-on velcro to both the back of the tie and the shirt, and voila, you're done!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Operation Finished Basement: Two Toned End Tables

We've been in our new house for almost two years now.
(When does a new house stop being a new house?)

We've been slowly but surely crossing things off our to-do list. When we first moved in, we remodeled the laundry room, painted 90% of the house, recarpeted the living room, and changed out many of the lighting fixtures. Eventually we swapped out the ugly builder grade bathroom mirrors for ones with frames and painted the kitchen. Last summer we put in a patio.

This summer it's the basement!!! (Paid in full by Uncle Sam's Tax Refund Check!)

Thank goodness for large tax deductions for having our children.

We have an awesome next door neighbor who is a contractor. We hired him to do the job. While he's been toiling away in the basement, I've been getting all the decor ready. As soon as he's finished, I'm going to swoop in and get my Nake Berkus on.

Here are my two-toned end tables that I finished this week (and in case you missed it, here's the two toned furniture I did last summer). They used to be a drab wood color, but I can't complain because they were free from my ex-boyfriend's mom. At my old house, our basement had a water problem, and the bottoms of these legs got damaged. I had to use Kilz primer to block out the stain, and then I painted most of the dresser white.

I like the two tone look though, so I decided to stain the table tops in a dark cherry. I <3 how they turned out!

mop it up mondays

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Button Placket Pant Legs

My sister-in-law and her family are moving to Cincinnati this summer, and so she's doing a lot of weeding out of stuff they don't wear or use anymore.

Enter me. The annoying scavenger relative who always wants other people's trash!

I was lucky enough to intercept the box of clothes before it went to the thrift store. Now I can make some upcycled clothes for the kiddoes :) I did tell her that I would make her daughter a few shirts and skirts. I thrifted a 30c girls clothes pattern (still new in the package, never cut) just for the occasion.

I was excited to find a plaid shirt to cut up because little boy plaid shorts are all the rage, you know.

Because I wanted the pocket to be on the butt, I aligned the pattern to make sure the pocket was in the right spot. Doing so put the button placket (although technically they're snaps) from the shirt on the side of the pant leg. I wasn't sure how I felt about that until I was out shopping and saw some shorts with the snap buttons up the side. Now I'm digging it. I even got compliments on the placement of the button placket from my neighbors :)

Now go raid the closet and make some button placket shorts!

mop it up mondays

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Nightstand turned Kiddy Play Sink

At a garage sale years ago, I bought two nightstands for $5. Each nightstand had 4 drawers, but between the two of them, there was only six good drawers. I put four operational drawers in the one nightstand, modpodged it with sheet music, and took it to work for my office (I'm a music teacher).

And then junior high kid wrote the F-word on it. *Sigh*

The other nightstand just sat around in my basement for awhile until I got the ingenious idea to turn it into a play sink for my son.

At a garage sale, I scored a metal bread pan and a chrome soap dispenser. The bread pan is the sink. I envisioned the soap dispenser becoming a fully functional spigot. The water goes in the bottom part that would normally hold soap. There used to be a chrome outer sleeve to cover up the ugly white part, but I tossed that since I didn't need it. After I got rid of it, I had the idea that I could have used it as a pencil holder or something. Oh well!

I got out my trusty little jig saw and cut out the openings for the bread pan and the soap dispenser. And then it sat. For two years.

At the moment, we're getting our basement refinished (yay!), and when we were cleaning out the basement, I found the half-finished kiddy sink from way back when.

My. Son. Loved. It. It's a car wash! It's a rock wash! And so much more!

He had so much fun playing with it that now I have to finish it. I decided to just make shelves instead of trying to fix the two broken drawers, so I used luan plywood that I had lying around in the garage (free from a construction site a few years ago-- just make sure to ask first!) Don't look too close at the luan shelves- I'm not the best jig-sawer.

I envisioned a sink apron to cover up the ugly make-shift shelving. I used a cup hook on each side connected with a dowel rod (all of which I already had on hand) to create a curtain rod, and a piece of $1 kitchen-y printed fabric (that I thrifted eons ago) to make the sink apron.

Nightstand + Bread Pan + Soap Dispenser + Luan + Cup Hooks + Dowel Rod + Fabric + Paint = One Happy Boy :)

Crafty Confessions

Friday, June 22, 2012

1895 Pineapple Custard and an Old Fashioned Codfish Pie

When I'm not sewing, painting furniture, or staring at Pinterest, you'll find me doing genealogy or other history-oriented things. One of the things I love to do is find historic recipes in old newspapers and make them. I'll leave you with a few (some look good, others not so much).

On tonight's menu is Pineapple Custard from 1895.
And french toast with the leftover egg/milk/nutmeg mixture ... it seems that 6 eggs and a pint of milk were too much. I even put in two cans of Dole pineapple, one crushed and one chunked. I served it with Cool Whip. I love me some Cool Whip. Unfortunately, this got mixed reviews at our house. My son loved his first bite. I have a feeling it was a bite of 100% Cool Whip. He spit out his second bite. *Sigh* I think it's alright, but I probably won't be making it again. It's pretty eggy. Or perhaps I would halve the amount of milk and eggs in the recipe and add yet another can of pineapple.

Pineapple Custard, 1895
"Fill a deep dish with a can of 'Home Guard' pineapple, cut into small pieces; add five large tablespoonfuls of powdered sugar. Beat six eggs very light, mix them with a pint of milk and four more spoonfuls of sugar, adding some grated nutmeg. Pour this over the pineapple, set the dish into a moderate oven and bake half an hour. Serve when cold. This will make a delicious custard."

Steamed Corn Bread, 1893
"Did you ever try steaming corn bread in place of baking it? If not, do so. Use my favorite recipe. This one has proved very satisfactory: Two cupfuls of cornmeal, a cupful of lour, 1 1/2 cupfuls of buttermilk, half a cupful of molasses, butter the size of an egg, a teaspoonful each of salt and soda. Steam 1 1/2 hours, bake 10 minutes."

Corn Beef Hash, 1902
"Equal parts of boiled prime corn beef and potatoes are prepared. The beef is chopped as fine as possible, the soft, mealy potatoes are cut into tiny cubes. A small onion is minced to add flavor to the mass, and the dishes are rubbed with a head of garlic. Another garlic head is wrapped in a piece of the fat and thrown into the center of the mass. The whole is then mixed thoroughly and nicely browned in a big skillet or frying pan. During this operation disks of Bermuda onions, cut so that each round shows every ring of the onion, are thrown into a deep dish of pure lard and browned separately. When these disks are crisp, they are used to garnish the edge of the platter, and the hash is served garnished with parsley or herbs and the usual condiment is a squeeze of a lemon."

Blackberry Shortcake, 1902
"Sift together three cups of pastry flour, a tablespoonful of salt and six level teaspoonfuls of baking powder. With the tips of the fingers, well floured, work in a third of a cup of butter, wet with about a cup and a half of milk and water and mix to a soft dough; spread in two buttered pans, smoothing the dough with a knife of spoon. When baked, butter the under crust and put together with two baskets of blackberries that have been standing with sugar sprinkled over them."

A Fruit Sandwich, 1902
"If other sandwich-fillings fail, try one of dried or candied fruits. A recipe to fill fifteen sandwiches calls for a quarter of a pound of candied cherries, a quarter of a pound of seeded raisins, and a quarter pound of dates chopped very fine. Mix, add a quarter of a pound of grated cocoanut, and moisten with the juice of half an orange and a quarter of a cupful of grape juice. Cut thin slices of white sandwich bread info fancy shapes, butter and spread the filling between." {I want to try this one!! Seems kid friendly and a good way to get in more fruit without all the added sugar in jams and jellies}

A Fruit Cake Recipe, 1893
"If fruit cake you essay? to make,
One pound of sugar you must take
Three pounds of raisins, flour one pound,
Two pounds of currants, cloves, well ground,
Three quarters pound of butter, one
Gill of molasses. This being done
One and one quarter pounds you'll take
Of citron and eight eggs you'll break
One nutmeg and one half, and one
Half gill of brandy add this done,
And all well mixed, with care you'll bake,
Twill make eight pounds of fine fruit cake."

An Old Fashioned Codfish Pie, 1890
"The codfish pie of our grandmothers makes a famous dish for frugal Friday and Lent. Here is an old recipe for it by a Connecticut lady. Line a deep baking dish with a good pie crust, or with a good soda biscuit crust made in the following manner. Sift together four cups of flour, one heaping teaspoonful of soda and two of cream tartar (or three heaping teaspoonfuls of baking powder), and one teaspoonful of salt. Rub in one half cupful of shortening. Add milk enough to make a medium soft dough- about a pint. Some flour takes more than others. For the upper crust spread butter on twice and fold and roll out. Cut out a round piece in the center.
Take a pint of picked up salt codfish, cover with boiling water, let it stand two minutes, drain, pour on more water, let stand and drain dry, put a layer of this codfish in the dish which has been lined with the crust, sprinkle with bread crumbes, pepper and a little salt if the fish is very fresh, put on bits of butter and some cream sauce which has been made by thickening one point of boiling milk with two tablespoonfuls of flour, and seasoning with salt and pepper, break in three or four eggs according to the size of the dish, piercing the yolks, repeat the codfish, bread crumbs, cream sauce and eggs, put on the top crust, and bake a delicate brown."

Um, not so sure about that last one...


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

I got to sew girl clothes for once!

My neighbor wanted to dress her little girl in some bandana dresses, so I got to sew some dresses for a change!

Let me tell you. Easy. As. Pie. (It's even waaaaaay easier than pie. Making a pie is pretty involved and time consuming actually).

Seriously. I'm talking, like, 10 minutes. Stitch up the sides, leaving about 6 inches for arm holes. Make a casing at the top, and then pull the ribbon through it. Done!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Planning a Pirate Party

I have 8 months until my son's 4th birthday, but today I have been busy planning his birthday party. If you think THAT'S bad, you should talk to my husband. He truly thinks I'm crazy. I have a box in the basement that I've been filling since he was born. It's full of piratey stuff :) Everything from cups, plates, napkins, to toys, books, clothing, fabric, etc. Most of it has been thrifted, and the rest has been bought on clearance :)

I found a cool website today that had a treasure map template. Using that template, along with my mad poetic skills, I created this treasure hunt for the kiddoes.

Feel free to use this treasure hunt at your next pirate party!

mop it up mondays