Posted in Ta-Da! Tuesdays

Ta-Da! Tuesday: Make a Wish

While I’ve done quite a few crafts in the last several months, my lack of posting them on my blog, and more specifically lack of posting what’s on my original craft-to-do-list , makes it look as if I’ve not done much at all.  So I guess it’s time to get caught up.   This June was an amazing little girl’s 4th birthday party.  Quite frankly, I love this girl (she’s my friend’s daughter) because she has so many endearing qualities:  she loves to read, she’s creative, she’s sassy, she’s intelligent, she’s caring, and she’s brave.  She’s not afraid to just burst out into a song and dance routine.  One day, when I have a kid, I can only hope she’ll be like her.   She’s like most girly-girls her age, loving sparkles and puffy tutu-skirted dresses, pretending to be a princess and throw tea parties.  She also loves making wishes.   There is one particular memory I have of her:  picking up a dandelion with the utmost care, as if it were fragile china.  She blows on it gently, saying that those wishes were very valuable!   I kept this memory in mind as her birthday approached, and decided to make her a necklace of wishes and glitter and purple (her–and my–favorite color).  To go with it, I made a birthday card with a dandelion on it; the stem being the real stem of the special dandelion I picked for her necklace: 101_6493 101_6495 Being someone who isn’t much of an artist, I’m proud of how this turned out.  I looked up a tutorial online (which unfortunately I can’t find now, otherwise I’d link to it) and did many drafts beforehand.   Then came the necklace!  I looked up tutorials online, but nothing quite fit exactly what I wanted to do, so I did a hybrid of sorts.  Here’s what I did, in pictures:

Step #1: Find a nice, magical-looking dandelion. One that you think can grant lots of wishes. Pick it and put it immediately into a Ziploc bag to prevent any wishes from blowing away. Put seeds into a container with lid.
Step #2: Gather all your supplies. I have a washer, nail polish, Sharpie, glass bottle charm, loose crystals/rhinestones, ribbon necklace chain, and chopsticks or pen.
Step #3: Paint the washer whatever color you wish with nail polish or acrylic paints.
Step #4: Very carefully, put one wish into the glass bottle. If you like the way that looks, keep it like that.
Step #5: If you want extra bling, add glitter, confetti, or like I did, loose crystals.
Step #6: Add more wishes, if preferred. When you get your desired look, roll cork in super glue and put on top to secure the seal.
Step #7: Admire your work and take copious pictures to document your awesome craftiness.
Step #8: When one side of the washer is dry, write what you want on the other side (or paint that side as well and let dry). Thread through or attach to ribbon chain, along with your glass bottle of wishes.
Finished product, far away.
Finished product, close up on charms.

Step #9:  Give away as gift, or gift it to yourself!  🙂   I loved the way it looked so much, and have enough materials leftover, that I may make one for myself!  The beautiful thing about this necklace is that it spans ages.  It’s just as fun for a thirty-two-year-old as a four-year-old. What was the result, you ask?  She loved it.  After she opened all her presents, the first thing she asked was to put on her necklace so she could make some birthday wishes.  And also, it matched her pretty purple birthday princess outfit so well.  And then she proceeded to go play in the mud.   Have I told you yet how much I want my daughter to be like this little lady???  🙂

To Never Being Too Old to Wish on a Dandelion!



Posted in Ta-Da! Tuesdays

Ta-Da! Tuesday: Saint Valentin a Paris, DIYer’s Cut

As mentioned in my last Ta-Da! Tuesday post, I had to break up the awesomeness that was bringing Paris to us into two parts.  Today I’ll go through the processes of what I made for the date, in as brief a manner as I possibly can.  So here we go!


I thought it was of the utmost importance to sport a beret on our Paris date in order to get us into the spirit.  I had neither the time nor the money to buy some, so I decided to hit the Interwebs for some inspiration.  I found this link and followed it until I got to the whole “cut triangles into the fabric almost up to the seam” part.  I accidentally cut the wrong part (FYI, for super-beginners like me, you’re supposed to cut from the outer part of the circle towards the inner part, rather than the inside out), so I thought I needed a second opinion before attempting it again.  So I found this YouTube video as a reinforcement and had better success the second time around.  Instead of putting in elastic or using the stretchy part of a sweater like the video suggests, I sewed a ribbon into mine in order to make it adjustable.  For the hubby’s, I cut a triangular notch out at the back so it would help to stretch and slip over his head since I didn’t have his exact head measurements.

Almost-finished hubby’s beret, pinned up and ready for its last seam to be sewn.

3D Eiffel Tower:

I found inspiration from The Vintage Farmhouse blog but tweaked a few things.  I was originally going to use one of the big boxes leftover from unpacking, but they had all since been recycled, so I took a trip to the craft store for one of those 3-paneled presentation poster boards (boy, did that take me back to elementary school science fairs!).  Obviously, I didn’t decoupage it in sheet music (though I was debating book pages for awhile) and didn’t add tissue paper, though it had quite a cute effect for what she was doing.  Instead of decoupaging anything on it, I practiced how to draw the Eiffel Tower over and over and over (and over…AND OVER…I should’ve taken a picture of the nearly-dozen index cards I practiced on.  I’m an absolutely horrible artist!  My dogs look like dinosaurs).  When I felt comfortable enough, I drew it onto the poster board then cut it out with an exacto knife.  Then I took the other two sides and formed a little trifold stand to prop it up.

“Couture” Burlap Background:

This kinda came about accidentally, but the result was so much more fun than if it had gone the way I originally wanted it.  I had seen a Parisian-themed printed burlap print on the JoAnn Fabrics website and was really wanting to buy that, but when I got to the store, I found they had sold out.  So I went back to the drawing board and saw other things that might’ve been okay, but I really had my heart set on the burlap because it made such a nice, neutral backdrop.  So I thought, “Why not make my own?” I had the idea to turn the whole creation of the backdrop into a “stop at a couture house”.  First, I just took some stencils and a black Sharpie and did a cute stencil at the top.  Then, as an additional flourish (and because I wanted to show off my newly-acquired Eiffel Tower drawing skills), I sketched the Eiffel Tower next to it.  Come Paris Day, I introduced what we were going to do with a “making of” video from Chanel’s couture line.  Afterwards, we sewed scraps onto the burlap to make a masterpiece.

The stencil was straight when I started, but of course burlap stretches.  I still love the way it looks.  Also?  Contrary to what you may believe, the hubby actually made the masterpiece on the right.  I made the abstract weird sculpture thing on the left.  🙂  Yep, he won artist.

Props for the Photo Booth:

I found this link and drew inspiration from it to try and make my own.  Basically, I found lots of cute free clip art on the web, printed it out, and taped it to some wooden skewers.  Super-cheap and super-cute!  It added a lot of fun to our photo booth session.  (I also freehanded the moustaches, and I feel really proud of how it turned out!)


Fondue Recipe:

Though we do own a fondue pot, I didn’t feel like combing the town to find the right candle thingy for it (the proper name escapes me at the moment).  So I used a modified version of this recipe that doesn’t require a fondue pot.  This, I think, was really the only oopsie of the whole date.  I was so looking forward to the deliciousness that was going to be the fondue.  The chocolate that I used was 100% cocoa, so needless to say, it was extremely bitter.  I knew hubby liked pure cocoa, so I got the purest cocoa I could find, which was a mistake when it came to fondue.  We added a bit of hazelnut syrup and some sugar water and a little more cream to sweeten it up and take out the bitterness, and it was okay, but it wasn’t out-of-this-world good.  It was disappointing…

Until the next day, when the refrigerated leftovers settled into a mousse-like consistency.  THAT was just heavenly!  🙂

French Onion Soup Recipe:

I pretty much followed this recipe to the letter, except I halved it because I was only cooking for two.  I also used three kinds of onions:  red, yellow, and sweet.  I used an Australian Traminer Riesling that tasted not very sweet when I had it by itself, but when reduced in the soup and combined with the sweet onions I put in, the soup ended up being a little too sweet for me.  Perhaps that’s the way real French onion soup should be (I’ve consistently found that the French onion soup I get at restaurants tend to be much too salty), but I think next time around I’ll not use the sweet onions and use a less-sweet wine.  It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t as good as I expected it to be.  The Swedish meatballs I made from it, though (see recipe in answer #4 in this post), turned out to be absolutely delicious.

There were many more little crafty flourishes that I added to the date, like making a sachet of Herbes de Provence, wrapping a baguette of French bread in a French newspaper, and the little chalkboard sign I made for the basket, but for the most part, I think I covered  the things that took the most time.  I hope you enjoyed!  🙂

To Your Own Flashes of Creativity!  🙂


Posted in Ta-Da! Tuesdays

Ta-Da! Tuesday: Skirting the Issue

I’ve been wanting to make my own skirt for awhile now.  The problem is that I’m quite the amateur seamstress.  I’m amused and a little ashamed that my husband taught me to sew, not the other way around.  Well, I did learn how to sew in the eighth grade, but if you count making a pair of boxer shorts with twisted elastic and uneven legs learning how to sew, then…well, no.  If you think that’s learning how to sew, then I need to sell stuff to you!  😀  Kidding.  Anyhow, my husband taught me to sew originally because I wanted to eventually make a quilt.  Then Pinterest came into my life, and I found many, many other reasons to want to learn how how to sew.  I started with a ruffle shirt (to be featured in the future), and crossed that off my Pinterest list of things to do.  Then, on my own volition, I decided to make a cute wine bag in which to place my mother-in-law’s birthday present.  I wanted to work my way up slowly to a skirt, then perhaps a dress, and then a quilt.  Baby steps and all.

Oh, but then!  Then I ran across this gorgeous fabric at JoAnn Fabrics:

Floral Fabric:  Keepsake Calico #10793065, “Invigorate Oro”.

      It was one of those instances where I saw it and loved it, but I’m so picky about what I spend my money on that I left it there and decided I needed to sleep on it.  The very next day, I decided I NEEDED it and went to the store to buy it, and lo and behold, they didn’t have the fabric.  Of course, that made me want it even more.  So I did research and after finding that many of the stores in the area were sold out of it (FYI, if you want the fabric for yourself, take my wild goose chase as a memo that it’ll probably be hard to find.  They don’t have any in the warehouse either, so that means they probably won’t get in anymore.), there was one store about a half-hour away that only had 6 yards left!   So of course I put it on hold and got it.  Which makes me love this fabric infinitely more than when I originally set eyes on it.  So when I actually make a skirt out of this fabric, I want it to be impeccable.  Therefore, in the traditional Violet way of thinking, I needed to make several test skirts to perfect the skirt-making craft before I moved on to the real thing.
(Short version:  In reference to a Gilmore Girls episode, I need to make a couple of “first pancakes.”)  In other words, an unbelievably awesome skirt made out of that above fabric is to come.  But until then, I bring you this!

I was looking through my “to-donate” pile of clothes to see if there was anything I could cut up and use for “test skirt” fabric, then ran across this shirt:

Shirt:  a.n.a. (gifted).

I’ve never worn it because the style didn’t look good on me as a shirt, but I did love the colors.  So I thought I could turn it into a skirt.  Somehow, as I was looking at it, I folded in the sleeves and realized that it looked like pockets.  And that’s where my idea was born:  upcycle a long-sleeved shirt into a pocketed skirt!  It’s relatively easy, and you don’t have to hem the bottom because it’s already hemmed!  Genius!

1) Trim sleeves to be roughly as long as your hand, and cut off collar so the top is straight (you don’t have to be perfect about this because you’re going to hem it later).

2) Turn shirt inside-out, then cut the sleeves, shaping them to resemble pockets (you’ll round the sleeves off).

3) Sew sleeves together around the open edges.  These will become your skirt’s pockets.

4) Keeping your shirt/skirt inside-out, fold down the top part (previously the collar).  Iron this down if you wish, and hem it so that the top of your skirt doesn’t have an unfinished edge.
(Sorry, I forgot to take pictures of this part because it was getting to be about 2 AM at this point.  I’m lucky I even remembered how to sew at that point!)

5) Turn your skirt right-side-out, tuck pockets in, and voila!  You’ve got a skirt!  😀

*Note:  I made this skirt with a stretchy fabric so you don’t have to be so perfect in its execution.  My next move will be to make this with a stiffer/crisper fabric, and I’m pretty sure it’ll work out the same way, but I’ll have to be more precise.  If you are a sewing diva, by all means feel free to try this out with another type of fabric.  Or, you know, just make your own skirt without having to upcycle a shirt because you know how to make clothes already and don’t need to make “practice” articles of clothing.  😉

To Your Own Small Successes Via (not-so) Baby Steps!  🙂

Posted in Ta-Da! Tuesdays

Ta-Da! Tuesday: Okay, maybe just the Da…ffodil.

Crafting Projects I Want To Do:
4) Guest room decorating

So I have to confess that the craft I wanted to get done today isn’t complete.  So it’s not a full ta-da!  It’s half a ta-da.  Just a da, if you will.  I plan to add the “ta” part of it, as well as a picture of the completed project.

Life gets in the way, as I’m sure you understand, but being that this is my first blog week, I wanted to be able to actually post something every day of the week for good measure.

Here we go!

I have books.  Many, many books.  I am a self-proclaimed bookworm.  I have so many books that I started to lack places with which to place those books.  So I ventured out to the local thrift shop to find a hanging shelf.   I found one pretty quickly, a plain white one with scratches.  I snatched it up with the intention of doing some sort of decoupage on it.

For my guest room, I planned on doing a daffodil motif on one wall.  It’s my favorite flower and it goes really well with the colors of the bedsheets.  So I started collecting daffodil pictures from the spring grocery store ads.  And then I remembered I had a paperstack of cardstock with daffodil pictures on it from when I bought it for my wedding scrapbook. (Daffodils were my wedding flowers.  Also, yes, finishing my wedding scrapbook is on my to-do list.)  An idea had sprouted!  🙂

2 daffodil papers and green & yellow papers: TC Cottage Garden Designer Paper, Tim Coffey for K&Company.  Bronze & cream papers:  Premium Stacks Latte Stack, DCWV.  (All papers purchased at JoAnn Fabrics)

At first, I thought I wanted to do a vintagey-looking paper collage background with different textures and ripped paper.  I looked for tutorials online but couldn’t find one that quite had the look I was going for.  So I went to the library to see if I could find something.  I ran across Magenta Style Paper Magic by Nathalie Metivier & Leslie Conron Carola and was immediately inspired by the beautiful paper crafts on the cover.  Right then and there I completely changed what I wanted the shelf to look like and decided I wanted to do a paper quilt pattern instead of the collage.  I saw the Bargello variation pieced paper frame and was immediately hooked.  Since I already loved the way my papers looked, I skipped the steps where you dip it in ink and stamp it and went straight to the cutting and piecing.  (Also, I’ve fallen deeply in love with this book.  I think I want to do every single paper project in it.)

I’m a sucker for doing “test runs” of projects with stuff I don’t care too much about so that when I used the real stuff, I would’ve already had practice.  Also, I didn’t know if I wanted to do a random piecey design or a carefully-measured out, equal-sized look that formed a “V” pattern, so I played around with both:

Different-sized, more random and piecey look (Author’s note:  the book actually shows a more random and piecey look even than this, and it actually looks really cool, but I think in the back of my mind I wanted some sort of structure for this particular project.  I think I want to do the super-random version on another project in the future.)

All papers:  Premium Stacks Latte Stack, DCWV.

More equal-sized pieces forming a “V” pattern.  (I didn’t feel like doing the whole gluing down and cutting and piecing process; I just wanted a general idea of what it would look like. Thus the gaps in between the pieces of paper.)

For good measure (and to soothe my slightly OCD-like tendencies), I wanted to do a third try and lay it out on the computer before continuing because I wanted to see what it would look like with the paper colors I actually wanted to do:

quilt pattern

When I liked what I saw, I got to work on covering the shelf:

Shelf:  thrifted!  🙂  Glue (to adhere papers to shelf):  Elmer’s Rubber Cement.  I also used Zots for extra reinforcement.  When I was done, I used a thin coating of Gloss Mod Podge to give it a nice top finish.

I’m loving the way it’s turning out so far, but I really want to cover the entire shelf.  This is also great practice for when I want to make a real sewn quilt with fabric blocks.

So…no checkmark yet.  I want to legitimately finish it, even though I guess I could technically check it off because it is contributing to my guest room decorating.  Stay tuned!  🙂  I would love your opinions and comments on what I have so far.  Do you like the color choices?  Do you have any suggestions on how to improve the project if I decide to do another one?  Do you think I made a mistake choosing the more structured design and think it would’ve looked better with the random piecey one?  Please let me know in the comments section below.

By the way, if you love how this looks and want the steps on how to make it, I will include those steps (and corresponding more detailed pictures of those steps) when I finally finish the project.  Something to look forward to, and a reason to light a fire under my butt to finish it! 😀

Random tidbit:  Daffodils are the flowers that symbolize regard, and when there are a bunch of daffodils, it symbolizes joy and happiness.  So I’ll sign out by saying this…

Wishing you the warmest regards, joy, and happiness,