Tag Archives: fun

DIY: Bedazzle Your Cargos

Once upon a time, a long time ago, a young girl bought a new pair of cargo boots. It wasn’t that she really needed them, but she just couldn’t pass up the very affordable price of this particular pair. She wore cargo boots every single day because they were incredibly comfortable, incredibly durable, went well with jeans and leggings, and were easy to slip on and off. The new, very affordable pair were black but because she already owned a pair of black cargo boots, she decided that she would save them for a very special project that she had in mind.

Time passed. More time passed. And eventually the young girl realized that the (not so) new, very affordable black cargo boots were still sitting under her desk, untouched. So the young girl pulled out her supplies, got to work, re-fashioned the boots, and came out with a beautiful (and quite practical) pair of black cargo boots that had a touch of floral. The young girl loved her pair of new, very affordable, partially recycled, black with a touch of floral cargo boots and she lived happily ever after (okay, so it’s only been one day, but she’s been happy for that one day).

Okay, so the fairytale isn’t really that magical. But I must say that I was pretty excited when I finally got around to re-fashioning my inexpensive boots. This may, perhaps, be my favourite DIY project to date. In case you haven’t realized from some of the designs on my blog, I love floral. And in case you didn’t clue in, the “young girl” in the fairytale above is, in fact, me. I love cargo boots. So what results, you may ask? Well take a little gander at the picture above and then you will understand. Hence my excitement.

Want to know the best part about this project? It is so incredibly easy! The original idea came from A Beautiful Mess, and so I hereby take no credit for developing this DIY project (head over that way to check out the boots they created–it may give you a little more inspiration)! The project requires only a few materials that you will most likely find around your home (minus the boots…unless you want to re-fashion an old pair of yours–all the power to you!). They are also partially recycled through the use of thrifted or scrap fabric.

  • a pair of cargo boots
  • thrifted, recycled, or scrap fabric (it does not need to be floral–try stripes, polka dots, paisleys, etc.)
  • scissors
  • white glue
  • a paint brush
  • a cup or container
  • a small amount of water
  • scrap papers or newspaper
  • an exacto or japanese paper knife
ONE: Gather all of your materials. Remove the laces from your boots and mark the sections that you would like to cover. Cut your scraps of fabric large enough to generously cover these areas. In your cup or container, mix equal parts of white glue with water. Lay down scrap papers or newspapers to prevent any mess. TWO: Working in small sections at a time, glue the fabric to the boot. Use the pure glue for the first attachement of the fabric. This may require you to cut the more general shape of the area you are covering out of your fabric as you work. Ensure that you don’t cut too much though, as the excess can be removed later. Once the fabric is glued to the boot, allow it to dry completely. This may take most of the day or even through the night, but be patient. The better it is stuck on the more durable it will be. Repeat for the second boot. THREE: When the first glue layer is completely dried, cover the entire fabric area with the glue-water mixture. Allow it to dry solid. FOUR: Once that layer is dried, using the exacto-knife cut around the edges, trimming off the excess fabric so that it fits nicely into the desired area. This may take a bit of patience and effort. If the edges aren’t glued down completely, you may be able to indent the fabric and then use the scissors to cut the line. Either way, ensure that the fabric fits into the desired area. FIVE: Cover the entire fabric area, especially the fresh-cut edges with the glue-water mixture. Allow to dry and then repeat. Continuously add more glue-water layers until you are satisfied (I did 4-5 coats). Allow to dry over night. Re-lace your boots and take ’em for a spin!
_________________________________________________________________________
There you go! Sure, it takes a little bit of time with all the glue-applying-and-drying required, but all in all it is a very simple project! I hope you are inspired to take it on and bedazzle your old or new boots (minus the cheesy bling, of course). Thanks for stopping by and reading. I’m off to break these bad boys in with a lovely little walk around the block!
Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Top Five Friday: “My Week in Photos” Edition

I can’t believe another week has come and gone already. My oh my, how time flies. As I pondered what I wanted to post about in this week’s TOP FIVE FRIDAY post, I realized how enjoyable and special my week really has been. Since I finished school for the summer, I have had oodles of free time. I have been maxin’ and relaxin’, knitting, crafting, and enjoying the sunshine. Oh yeah, and in case you haven’t realized, I have also been updating more regularly (which I am so happy to be able to do!).

This week has provided me with many opportunities to do some of the things that bring me joy. I am going to share with you some of the special moments from the past week in the form of photographs. Ready for a countdown?

NUMBER FIVE

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to go to one of the cutest little towns in my area. This picture shows a small section of Main Street Unionville. It is one of the cutest little historic main streets, making it a tourist hot spot. It is full of little specialty shops and cafes in historical homes and buildings. On the day that I went, the sun was shining and there was a beautiful breeze, making it that much more enjoyable. This is where I dream of opening up my bake shop. One day…

NUMBER FOUR

One of my favourite foods is potato leek soup. I love tackling anything “home-made” (I think it is just so much better than packaged food) and potato leek soup has been on my radar for the longest time. I finally got around to asking my grandparents for their delicious recipe and so yesterday I decided to take it on. To be honest, I had no idea what leeks even were. But I am happy to announce that the soup turned out delicious and it is almost completely gone. I was so happy to be able to get that off my “to try” list.

NUMBER THREE 

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to take a nice little stroll through the park. I love going for leisurely walks (especially with great people!) so this was a nice highlight. I came across this beautiful tree along the path. Although you can’t really tell in this photograph, it was a massive tree. It was so thick around and so tall–I could tell that it has been around for a long time. There’s something encouraging about that. Our earth is constantly changing and that’s not always for the better. Massive amounts of deforestation are occurring and ecosystems are being destroyed. Although this tree was not really in a forest, it was encouraging to see that it was still standing strong. It made me wonder how many little critters and organisms call this beautiful tree “home”.

NUMBER TWO

My sister and I went to our Grandma and Grampa’s house for lunch on Wednesday. I love hanging out with my grandparents. They always share so many wonderful stories of their past. One of my favourite things to do is look through my Grandma’s old photo albums. She can always tell me a story with every photo. I’m a lot like her in that I appreciate our family history. I ask her so many questions and she is always so happy to answer them. I cherish these memories because unless they’re passed on, they don’t last forever. I can’t wait to share them with my grandkids (when that time comes around). The photograph on the left is from my grandparent’s honeymoon. I believe it was taken in Chicago, but I just thought the composition was so interesting. The photograph on the right is of my Grandma’s sister with her kittens. In our time and culture, photographs are so meaningless sometimes. There are so many that they lose their uniqueness and story. I love that these photographs are one-of-a-kind and hold a special value. Even though they’re so simple and black and white, they are also so special.

NUMBER ONE

My sister and I have always been really close (one room + two sisters = about as close as you can get). We are called sisters, but I’d say we are more like best friends! As we’ve gotten older, our lives have gotten busier and busier. She works really hard at school and work and juggles lots of extra things that take up her time. But this week, we had the chance to hang out for an afternoon and just appreciate each other. We did a little photo shoot (as you may have seen with the DIY: Elbow Patch Cardigan post) and then enjoyed the rest of the day in Unionville. She is a beautiful person (as I’m sure you can tell from the photo above) both inside and out! We always laugh because people never know that we are sisters because we look so completely different. But we are close in spirit and in love. She is seriously the best!

Well that’s it. I hope you all have a fantastic weekend and enjoy all of the small (but special) moments that it brings. Many blessings!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Knitting 101: Slipper Mocs

For the first time, I attemped knitting in the round. I have always been very intimidated by the process and was determined to avoid it at all costs. However, I came across one of the most adorable knitting patterns for little baby moccasins. Much to my dismay, the pattern required double pointed needles. The baby mocs were so cute that I just couldn’t pass them by. So I pulled up my big-girl panties, drove to Michaels to buy my first set of double pointed needles, and sat down with enough determination to make a cute little pair of baby mocs.

Much to my surprise and delight they turned out absolutely darling! I was left on such a knitting high. My knitting hands felt unstoppable! I began to scan the interweb for a slipper pattern that I could adapt into a pair of knitted slipper mocs for myself. I came across a great slipper pattern that seemed do-able from the search for awesomeness but made a few adaptions to turn the slippers into Native-American inspired moccasins. I made note of all my adaptions and decided to share them with you!

Before I lay out the pattern I just want to make a couple of notes. First of all, this pattern will make a woman’s size seven slipper but it can be adjusted to make them larger or smaller. The pattern will note when these changes can be made. Secondly, this pattern requires using a double strand of wool. I have found it easiest to do this by using two separate balls of the same wool and joining the strands from each ball. However, if you only have one ball of each colour, you can still do a double strand by combining the two separate ends. This may just require a little bit of organizing and un-tangling beforehand. Finally, you may find it useful to have a scrap paper and pencil on hand to note how many rows you have done. Since this project entails making two separate slippers, you want to ensure that they match exactly. This requires that you follow the pattern precisely. Now let’s get ready…

  •  1 ball of wool in a main colour (MC) (I used Loops and Threads Impeccable brand wool in Topaz)
  • 1 ball of wool in a contrast colour (CC) (I used Loops and Threads Impeccable brand wool in Aran)
  • scraps of additional colours of wool for the sewn in design (I used Loops and Threads Impeccable brand wool in Chocolate and Vanna’s Choice brand wool in Brick and Silver Blue)
  • one set of US 8 (5mm) double pointed needles
  • large sewing needle
  • scissors
  • a stitch marker

Now let’s get to the knitting…

CUFF
Using two strands at a time, cast on 36 stitches in the CC. Place the stitches on three different double pointed needles, (12 stitches on each). Join the stitches to work in the round. Be sure that the stitches are not twisted.
Row 1: K1, P1, continue to repeat to the end of the first round. Place a stitch marker at the end of this round to mark the start of the round.
Row 2-12: Repeat Row 1 for the next 11 rows, for a total of 12 rows.
Change to your wool to the MC.
Row 13: knit.
Row 14: purl.
Repeat rows 13 and 14 an additional two times each, making a total of 6 rows.
HEEL
You will now prepare the needles to work on the heel component. Re-arrange the stitches so that the needle you will be working with next has 18 stitches on it. This can be any stitches, just be sure that the working strand is at the end of this needle. The other two needles should each have 9 stitches on them. These 9 stitch needles can be ignored for the next little while. The needle with the 18 stitches on it will form the heel. On this needle, you will be working the following back and forth:

Row 1: *(s1 knitwise, k) and repeat from the * until the end of the row. It will end on a knit.

Row 2: s1 purlwise, purl until the end of the row.

Row 3-15: continue alternating between these two rows for the remaining 13 rows. You will end on a Row 1 pattern.

Now you will do some decrease rows so the three-dimensionality of the heel will begin to develop. Follow these rows exactly.

Row 16: s1 purlwise, p9, p2tog, p1, turn

Row 17: s1 knitwise, k3, k2tog, k1, turn

Row 18: s1 purlwise, p4, p2tog, p1, turn

Row 19: s1 knitwise, k5, k2tog, k1, turn

Row 20: s1 purlwise, p6, p2tog, p1, turn

Row 21: sl knitwise, k7, k2tog, k1, turn

Row 22: s1 purlwise, p8, p2tog, turn

Row 23: s1 knitwise, k8, k2tog.

This will leave you with 10 stitches on your needle and the three-dimensionality of the heel beginning to show.

PREPARING FOR THE SOLE

Next you will have to pick up some of the stitches along the side of the heel that you just knit. To do this, hold your slipper so that the cuff is on the left, the back panel you just knit is down, and the heel shape is on the right. On a separate needle, pick up 9 stitches along the side of the heel panel. This new needle will be NEEDLE A.

Transfer all of the stitches that are on the two needles that have been ignored while creating the heel onto one needle. Do this by slipping 9 of the stitches knitwise onto the other needle. This needle will be NEEDLE B.

On the opposite side of the heel panel, pick up 9 stitches with another needle. This will be NEEDLE C.

Knit 5 of the stitches from the heel needle onto NEEDLE C. Please note that this will require you to break the working yarn and re-position it. Slip the remaining 5 stitches onto NEEDLE A. This will leave you with three needles (A, B, and C). NEEDLE A and C will each have 14 stitches and NEEDLE B will have 18 stitches.

  BODY OF SLIPPER

The total number of stitches will be 46. What you need to do is get back to the initial number of stitches (36). This will require you to decrease the number of stitches on NEEDLE A and NEEDLE C so that each needle contains 9 stitches. To do this, follow this pattern:

 Row 24: NEEDLE A: knit to last three stitches, k2tog, k1; NEEDLE B: knit across; NEEDLE C: k1, ssk, knit to the end.

Row 25: Knit entire round.

Row 26-39: Repeat these two rows an additional 4 times each. When this is finished, NEEDLE A and NEEDLE C will have 9 stitches each and NEEDLE B will have 18 stitches.

 Now you will begin just knitting in the round to build the body of the slipper. This section will affect your sizing. The following will create a Woman’s Size 7 slipper, but for larger or smaller slippers, adjust the number of rows. Note that the toe aspect of this pattern will be approximately 2.5 inches, so take that into account when adjusting the number of stitches.

Row 40: Knit the entire round.

Row 41-65: Repeat Row 40 an additional 24 times for a total of 25 knitted rounds.

NEEDLEWORK

This step really could be saved for the end, but I prefer to do it while the toe is still open for easy access to the inside of the slipper. You can now sew in a custom pattern to give your mocs a Native-American flare. I chose to use a light blue, rich red, and dark brown to create my pattern, however, the possibilities are endless. There is no rhyme or pattern to this, you just have to sew in whatever you would like. This is an image of the pattern I sewed in if you would like to use it or you can come up with your own!

Thread your needle with a long string of your desired colour. Sew in the desired pattern. Leave long tails to be sewn in when the slipper is complete.

TOE

When your needlework pattern is complete and you are satisfied, it is time to return to knitting. Using your A, B, and C needles, follow this sequence:

Row 66: NEEDLE A: k to the last 3 sts, k2tog, k1; NEEDLE B: k1, ssk, k to the last 3 sts, k2tog, k1, NEEDLE C: k1, ssk, knit to the end

Row 67: Knit

Row 68-75: Repeat Row 66 and Row 67 an additional four times.

Row 76: Repeat Row 66. This will leave you with 3 stitches each on NEEDLE A and C and 6 stitches on NEEDLE B. Knit the stitches from NEEDLE A onto NEEDLE C so that you only have two needles.

FINISHING

Using a Kitchener Stitch, finish off the toe. Do this by threading your sewing needle with the working strand (double) and using it to finish. Look online for instructions on how to complete this stitch. It may look difficult but it really is not hard at all.

Flip your slipper inside out and sew in any loose strands. Flip to the right side again, fold over the cuff, and try on your new slipper!

Repeat for the second slipper.

There you have it, friends. A lovely little pattern for your very own pair of slipper mocs. Please notify me if there are any corrections or issues. If you make this project and use your own needlework pattern, please let me know! I would love to see how you personalize your own pair. Now to leave off, I thought I would show you the cute little baby mocs that inspired this project. If you are interested in making a pair, you can access the pattern from The Purl Bee.

If you would prefer to reference this slipper moc pattern in PDF form, you can access it by CLICKING HERE.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Top Five Friday: Photo Adventure Edition

I’m just going to put it out there…I am a blogging jerk. I have been neglecting my blog for the past two weeks. Trust me when I say that my neglect has not been by choice. As a full time student, I have spent the past month in crazy panic busy mode, finishing up all of those end-of-the-term papers and cramming in some late night (and quite frankly, every other spare moment) study sessions. But I am happy to announce that I just wrote my second exam this morning and I don’t have to write another one for over a week. So I have decided to give my poor little brain a much needed re-couporation break over the weekend (let’s just say that memorizing the exact artist, title, date of creation, historical context, and formal qualities of fifty-two different American art pieces has fried the intellectual membranes within my brain) by sleeping, relaxing, and doing some of those things that I love best–crafting!

To kick off my weekend, I am going to share a TOP FIVE FRIDAY post featuring five of my favourite photos that have been taken to date. Before I begin, I must put a little disclaimer out there that I am by no means a professional photographer. I’m a little more keen on creating my own images by drawing or printing instead of photographing what is already there. But, I have dabbled in the field (just for funzies) and so I am going to share some photos from some of my favourite photo adventures!

Let’s count down, shall we?

NUMBER FIVE

I snapped this photo one warm evening while on a vacation on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. My sister, friend, cousin, and I cleaned ourselves up after a long day on the beach and headed down to snap some photos on the beach at sunset. I just love how vibrant my beautiful sister looks in front of the calming and peaceful blues of the vast ocean. She makes a pretty darn great model, doesn’t she?

NUMBER FOUR

Every summer I venture up into the beautiful cottage country of Northern Ontario to work at an awesome summer camp for 8 weeks. This time away always creates many special memories, especially since the natural surroundings are so beautiful. This is a photo I took last summer of one of my best friends. We ventured onto the “Hiawatha Trail” (fun fact: did you know “Hiawatha” is an aboriginal word that represents peace?) and got a little creative. I love the light in this photo. From the bright, blown-out upper left corner to the unique light reflections splotting the image–I love it all! Turns out this really is a peace trail.

NUMBER THREE

You may be looking at this image and saying to yourself “What on earth is so special about that?”. The truth is that I probably can’t really answer that question for you. It was taken in complete darkness with a 5 second long exposure time and nothing but a flashlight. I completed it for a photography assignment for one of my classes. It’s a massive stack of all the letters I have kept and collected over the years. Basically, it represents a lifetime of memories collected but stored away in the darkness of my mind, only to be exposed every now and then. Without getting too technical on you, I love the simple composition and asymmetrical sense of balance. Too “artsy”?

NUMBER TWO

I have two words for you–New York. Our family goes on an “Annual Wideman Family Road Trip” every Spring and last year we finally braved the Big Apple. For the three days that we were actually in the city, it rained cats and dogs (to say the least). But we still had so many adventures, including a double-decker bus tour that resulted in a ridiculous number of photos of random (but cool) buildings that I will never remember the name of. This photo was taken from out of our hotel window. My mom freaked out when she saw me hanging out to get this shot, but I couldn’t resist! The window had no screen, easy access, and was nine floors up. I loved the result–the hustle bustle of the city street mixed with the rustic old sign of the rustic, old (and somewhat creepy) hotel that we stayed in. Oh, the memories.

And to finish ‘er off…

NUMBER ONE

This was a completely random and flooky shot that I captured while just playing around with my camera and my dad’s string-instrument collection. I love how simplified and almost minimalist this image is. The string and shadow combo just gets me every time. Once again, you may be wondering what is so great about this image. And once again, I can’t explain it. I just like it. Period.

So thanks again for checking in and reading. I promise that this blog will be more active and will be taking no more two-week sabbaticals. Here’s to a little inspiration and here’s to a happy weekend!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

DIY: Recycled Candle Holders

When the day is cold and the mood is lazy, something about candles just helps to warm the soul. But who says that your candles have to lack style? I completed this DIY project a few months ago, but I finally decided to post it in celebration of my appreciation for candles on this cold and lazy Saturday…

My Mom is a candle enthusiast. I like to think that my love of candles comes from her. I light candles whenever I can…in the bath, on my desk (I choose to believe that lit candles help you get those gruelling essays done in a more efficient manner), when company comes over–and the list goes on. They create such a wonderful warmth and ambiance!

I came across this DIY project while scanning the web. It was inspired by a post on Fellow Fellow (the original post can be found by CLICKING HERE) that used old glass jars. Instead of using up all of my Mama’s jam jars, I took a trip to my local thrift store instead. The glass pieces I picked out had unique shapes and were the perfect size for a little tea-light candle. The best part is that they were only $0.50 each!

While at the thrift store, I also scanned the clothing section. I won’t go into too much detail about thrifting fabrics (you can expect a post exclusively about that soon), but I will just say that by doing this you can find some awesome cost-efficient fabrics. “Grandma Shirts” (as I prefer to call them) often possess delicate floral prints and fun bright colours. I scanned through the racks and came across a few shirts that I knew would be perfect for this project. If you decide to thrift old fabrics for this project, look for light fabrics that aren’t too thick.

Now let’s do some crafting!

  • Glass jars or thrifted pieces (pictured above)
  • Thin, recycled fabric of choice (whether it be thrifted or scraps)
  • Scissors
  • White glue
  • Water
  • Cup or plastic container
  • Old paintbrush
  • Tea-light candle

ONE: Start by preparing your materials. Wash out your jars or thrifted glassware with warm water and soap. Dry the glass really well. Measure the approximate height of your jars/glass so you know how long to cut your fabric strips. After laying your fabric out flat, cut strips about 1″ wide and the appropriate height for your glass. Mix about one part white glue with two parts water in your cup or container. The mixture should be fairly watery.

TWO: Dip a fabric strip into the glue-water mixture so that it is covered with glue. Ring out all of the excess glue by squeezing the fabric strip between your fingers. Lay the strip vertically on the inside of the jar so the pattern of the fabric faces out. Using the paintbrush, push out any air bubbles that are trapped between the glass and the fabric. Repeat until the entire surface is covered.

THREE: Double-check that all of the air bubbles are out of the fabric. Allow the glue to dry over a couple of days. The thicker your fabric, the longer it will take to dry. Ensure that the glue is completely dried before you use the candle holder.

FOUR: If desired, add any additional details to your candle holder, such as a ribbon bow tied around the outside. Pop in your tealights and you have a completely customized (and recycled!) candle holder!

There you have it, bloggers–a completely adorable way to upcycle some old candle holders, jars, or other glassware! I would just like to conclude with a couple of thoughts. First of all, be logical when lighting your candles. If the tea-light candles are too close to the edge, consider using a battery operated candle instead. Secondly, if you didn’t check out the Fellow Fellow post that was linked above, you should consider clicking over that way! She has some adorable examples and the photos are stunning. It may inspire a little more creativity in you when you take on this project. And finally, these make awesome gifts! Do a few at a time. They are great to have on hand or to show someone a little appreciation and love. With that said, I’m off to conclude my lazy Saturday with a few candles, my knitting, and good a movie (Breakfast at Tiffany’s, anyone?)

As always, my friends, many blessings on your crafting endeavours. Check back for more posts coming your way. I hope you are inspired to find your smile today!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,