Sunday, June 26, 2011

Celebration Banner / Adapting Instructions

I’ve thought about creating a banner for quite some time now, but hadn’t until yesterday. It wasn’t until I saw Joann’s Fabrics’ “Patriotic Flags Banner” post on my Facebook page that prompted me to actually do it! They offered a free download with instructions and an example drawing that ended up being the perfect size for my girls!

I adapted their instructions, however, to fit my specific needs (which also made it much easier)! You can follow their directions, mine, or a variation of the two… you’re the creator!

I recently completed a “Proud to Be An American” series for 18” dolls using different red, white, blue fabric combinations. I had all but one piece that had enough leftovers to make the size flags I wanted. After cutting out the template from a cereal box, I began tracing around it, on the back side of the fabric using a #2 pencil. I then cut them all out!


(I tried using a rotary cutter around it, but didn’t work well with my hands.)
Rather than cutting 2 pieces per flag as they instructed – and sewing together, turning right side out – I only did one, then used the HeatnBond product (following to the T its instructions). I sacrificed a pillowcase in the process! But, better than my ironing board cover!

Once all had the HeatnBond applied, and pieces peeled off the pillowcase, I did trim off (using the rotary cutter & a straight edge on the forgiving mat) the plasticy thingys around the edge. You’ll see what I mean if you use this product.

I finger-pressed the casing part, then began sewing them all together without breaking the thread in between. You’ll see I started off with a scrap square. I do this most of the time when sewing anything as it keeps the threads from twisting & looping all over the place when first starting off!

Once all sewn, I clipped the connecting threads and took them back to the ironing board, to spread out and place them in the order I wanted. Satisfied, I stacked them up, took them over to my “working” tv stand and began threading them together using curling ribbon. I made sure I had a BUNCH of extra to the length before cutting the ribbon! Secure BIG knot in the ribbon at the beginning. Wait until all the in-between ties are in place before knotting the end.

While watching television, I used our portable telephone as the length measurement then cut the red/white/blue curling ribbon for each tie in between the flags.


TIP: When working together with multiple spools of curling ribbon, keep the ends of the ribbon taped together & stuck to the surface when not in use (can use same piece of tape over & over again! It saves so much time rather than fishing for it each time. I didn’t pre-cut each color the appropriate lengths as I didn’t want to keep up with little pieces of ribbon! But, maybe that approach will work for you.That’s it! I adapted the instructions and created a super Celebration Banner, perfect for my girls!

Bottom line: Don’t look at a set of instructions and think you must follow them to the letter! Adapt, modify! Change it up, shake it up! Create! Make it work for you!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Making a Statement

Someone asked me yesterday if I had a prepared a business plan for Lanetta’s Creations. In part, yes. Then she posed another question: did I have a vision statement. Interesting. I’d never considered the difference between “mission” and “vision” before her question. It prompted me to do an Internet search this morning and found numerous discussions regarding creating the plan and writing a mission and vision statement.

I want to share one site in particular I found uplifting and informative in writing a personal mission/vision statement. Within the Life Tools for Women site, she wrote a specific phrase that stood out for me when describing the living, always changing, vision statement: “through life’s different seasons…” Love it! Aren't we all ever evolving, changing, growing! Hope so!

I appreciate the information so much, I created a new board “Inspirational” just to pin the site! Its words will give me much to consider while working on the red/white/blue doll clothes! Hopefully, by the day's end, I’ll have my personal vision statement that will also apply to Lanetta’s Creations.

True words of wisdom always helps, too!

I stumbled upon this wall hanging during my early morning quest for knowledge.
The lovely decorated words touched my heart.
The creator of this display has many delightful things, and for a small fee, she offers tutorials how to create them yourself!
Although I’ve not yet personally taken a tutorial,
I've pinned her site under crafts.
It may just be what you’re looking for to make that
perfect gift for someone special in your life.

I’m not a big Oprah fan. But, from what I understand, she ended her show with grace, and encouraged us all when she said: “Everybody has a calling and our job in life is to figure out what that is and to get about the business of doing it.”

Indeed! I must figure it out! Have you figured out your life’s calling?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

I love Pink!

Yes! I love pink! I’ve shared this throughout various posts. Yes, pink is my favorite color. It’s not to say I don’t like other colors, especially the combination of red/white/blue, but the color pink seems to soothe my soul. There is no color I “hate” as I’ve heard others refer to certain colors. There are some I prefer not to wear, or use to paint a wall with, or even use in accenting my home. But, pink ~ well, I’ll just say again, I painted my entire guest/office/sewing room in a soft pink, trimmed in white. It’s beautiful, if I do say so myself!

The other day I received a brightly flowered padded envelope (something I’d never seen before!) from my sweet cousin, who lives in Colorado. I was thrilled beyond words when I opened the package and discovered several items and a sweet Thank You note.

Oh, my, goodness. Who would have thought – pink leather work gloves! They fit beautifully and arrived just in time for me to wear while helping Bud load some metal! She said when she saw the pink work gloves she just knew I had to have them! Indeed!

In addition to the gloves, Teena also sent two rolls of “fun” duct tape! I didn’t realize duct tape came in different fun colors until she made a comment on Facebook. Not until I opened the package did I realize the tape also has fun print, too! The leopard print, as she later mentioned, is kinda sexy! Indeed! (Too bad tape hurts when pulling off the skin!) Anyway, my mind is racing with all the fun things I can do with the tape!

Again, thank you, Teena!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Typical Summer Day at the Ranch

Ah! First day of summer! Summer’s officially here! However, with the 100+ temperatures and lack of substantial rain, it feels like it’s been here for several weeks already! I love the true four seasons we have in the Texas Hill Country. I wouldn’t have it any other way!

I start my day by drinking a glass of tap water. Wetting the gills with plain well water is something I consciously make myself do throughout the day. I’ve seen what dehydration can/will do to the body! Then I always step outside with my first cup of coffee in hand and look up into the awesome early morning sky. Whether it’s filled with stars, or covered with promising clouds, I thank God for the new day and all the possibilities before me.

In the wee hours of the morning ~ my quiet time ~ is when I’m online. It’s then I’m searching for the ten new things I want to learn everyday. It’s this learning of new things, networking, catching up with family & friends, marketing Lanetta’s Creations and spreading the word about National Doll Day, recommending others, begin writing an article (it takes me off/on all day!), and reading the news that fills my usual early morning routine.

When temps are so high, I get my exercise in early. Usually about 6:15 you’ll find me heading out to do at least one mile of fast-paced walking. I change up the route as not to get bored! Sometimes it’s simply walking from cattle guard to cattle guard on the county road that cuts through our place. Other times, walking out across the pastures provide a different type of workout (it also keeps the mind sharp so not to step on a rattlesnake)!

Because Bud’s walking with me, I don’t listen to books on tape (but have them ready whenever he’s doing something else). Instead, we talk when breath allows ;) – today’s high humidity made it tough, though. We also see how close we can get to the white-tail deer before they scurry off into the cedars.
(A pic I took several years ago!)

Usually the jackrabbits simply freeze, trying to blend with the terrain. They quickly give up as we pass, disappearing into the brush. Cottontails are rare these days. They often run off at our first mutual sighting and it will span several days before seeing another one. It’s entertaining watching the critters.

(Both rabbit pictures I found via Google Images)
After breakfast, if I don’t have anything ready to start sewing on, and before we close up the house and turn on the a/c, I utilize the kitchen’s island to cut out several items. I did this the other day – all doll clothes! All are a version of red-white-blue.

I’m excited with the projects! The outfits will have at least two or three coordinating pieces, some more. A couple of dresses will have aprons to go over them. I’ve created two handbags for the girls. A couple of outfits are pants with blouses and maybe an apron, I don’t remember! Hair accessories will complete the look.

Rather than working through each outfit until complete, I started with everything that needed dark blue thread in the sewing machine and serger. Next was red. Today I hope to find a light shade of royal blue in my thread stash for some pants & T-shirt. I’ll have to use white thread on the serger, but that’s okay. My girls won’t mind. Then I’ll begin using white thread, which is the most!

After lunch and dinner, we usually watch a movie or a few primetime shows we’ve previously recorded. I work throughout the day to gather handwork projects especially for this period. Sewing on buttons, snaps, making yo-yo’s, preparing my “Doll Store” (more details later!), etc., are things I do while watching the tube. I can’t just sit and watch…

Oh, yeah, most days I take a nap – summer or not! Since I usually wake about 4:00, an hour nap restores my mind and body and gives me the energy to go another round! It’s not until 10:00 p.m. before the ole head hits the pillow again. In time to watch TMZ!!! I love ending the day with a bit of laughter before I close my eyes and give my Lord thanks for another day!

This is my typical summer day at the ranch. What's your usual routine?

(NOTE: There is a reason housework is not mentioned! It's not "typical" here!)



Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day!

I hope everyone has a marvelous Father's Day! If possible, spend time with Dad, as it's a priceless event! Reflecting on times shared can warm the soul.

Whatever situation you find yourself, may you have a blessed day.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Art of Apron Pockets

I think most would agree an apron needs pockets, except maybe a hostess apron. Although at times, I'm certain the hostess may consider a hidden pocket would be a nice asset! Then the question: What kind of pocket? Where? Size? Style? I wanted to share some of the pockets I've done. It's also my ready reference when my mind goes blank when creating a new apron!

In some cases, I match the pocket to the print:

Sometimes prints have a "natural" piece that make special pockets:


Not the usual... different shapes are fun, too!


Sometimes, such as the Harvester aprons, the pockets need to be HUGE!


And, some are trimmed to draw attention to their "specialness" ...



Pockets ... I love them!

How about you?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Reid’s Super Hero Cape

So many people are such crafty clever folks! I love the Internet and the generosity of people sharing their ideas and how-to’s. While looking for something to make for our soon-to-be six year old grandson, I came across a Super Hero Cape! The perfect gift for a Batman-themed birthday party! Reid’s going to love it!

The original poster provided step-by-step instructions, so no need to re-invent the wheel here! I simply want to share what I did following her directions!

Papa selected which T-shirt from his stash I could use, then I began cutting! First, I cut off the sleeves…


Then up the sides…

Trimmed T-shirt into a cape shape and removed a section from the neck binding.

As recommended, I attached Velcro for the neck closure, but rather than sew it on, I used a fabulous product, Liquid Stitch!


Then I made a logo:
From the T-shirt sleeves, and a piece of lightweight iron-on interfacing, I cut out the Batman shape. After attaching the interfacing, using Liquid Stitch, I attached Batman to a yellow-goldish color rectangle of felt. Once dry, I trimmed the felt into an oval shape.

Using Liquid Stitch again, I attached the logo to the cape’s back. Once it was totally dry, I top-stitched around the Batman and also around the felt’s edge, securing it thoroughly for all the upcoming hero action!


It’s done!

Once I get a picture of the birthday boy wearing his cape, I’ll post a picture here! Better yet, here is a video of the super hero in action:

video


By the way….
In addition to the Batman Cape, we’re giving Reid a “big-boy” fishing rod/reel. Yes, the little guy snagged the largest fish of all during their visit here over Memorial weekend using a “toy” rod/reel!

His dad became the Super Hero when taking his time pulling in the catfish without breaking the line!



I would love to know if you also make a Super Hero Cape!


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