Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Refashion - Couch Cushion Cover to Dressy Skirt

I have been so fortunate to receive fabric from various people over the last year. A random Jehovah Witness lady came knocking on my door one day and caught me while I was sewing.  She later brought back a bag of fabric that she left hanging from my door.  This couch cushion cover below was one of the pieces included in the bag of fabric she gave me.  

I used the same pattern I used for my St. Paddy's Day Skirt, only this time I used pattern B.  I added a waistband to this skirt (as I did for the St. Paddy's one as well).

Only trouble was I interfaced the wrong side and sewed it wrong side facing out.


Not only that, but somehow the measurements didn't quite add up to fit all the way around ....

... not sure what happened there.

I didn't give up hope.  I seam ripped off the waistband and cut/prepped a new one.  I had a little left over fabric to work with, so I cut some strips to fill the gap in the back on each side.  I did an exposed zipper for the back. 

Here is the skirt with the waist band exposed.  

Exposed zipper with a closed end.

I will most likely wear it with my shirt or sweater covering the waistband and top of the zipper.

I love the gold metallic glow it has.  It almost has a disco ball type feel, which gives it that little bit of funk I love.  It is on the dressy side for me, but I probably need a few more sophisticated pieces in my weird and wacky wardrobe.

I never thought I'd make a skirt from a couch cushion!

Oh the things you can refashion ...


So rewarding.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Pot of Gold Weekend

St. Patrick's Day weekend was gorgeous.

Full of luck, metaphorical rainbows and pots of gold.

On Saturday, I took my doggie on a sunset hike at the beautiful Vazquez Rocks in Santa Clarita Valley.  

We both really needed this freedom run!

Sunset was spectacular.

And the star filled sky at night was magical.  

What a wonderful day.  What a wonderful world!


Originally, I had no plans for St. Patrick's Day, but I had some of this cute St. Patrick's day themed fabric I had been given (from Dee - thanks Dee!).  I decided to whip up a cute little skirt to wear, even if I only ended up wearing it to Trader Joe's.  There wasn't much fabric, so I worked with what I had.  I used pattern A, below.

I had about 1/4-1/2 yard of fabric, so it's much shorter than the pattern.  I added a waistband and the zipper is at the side.  Here is the finished product:

I love the little pipes with clovers in them.  Totally novelty, but I think it's cute!

After I got home from my fun evening with the rocks I hung out with my awesome neighbor, Kevin.  We've been talking about whale watching forever and the topic came up again.  He got us tickets from groupon for a whale watching trip the next day.  


Not only was I stoked to get on a boat and look for whales, but now I had somewhere way cooler than Trader Joes to wear my cute holiday themed skirt.

Here it is blowing in the wind!  

I seriously had the time of my life.  I belong on a boat!

Me and my buddy, Kevin.  Thanks again, Kevin!!  :)

We saw so much sea life, it was awesome!  We saw 2 or 3 Fin Whales, the second largest animal on Earth.  Hundreds of dolphins, seals, pelicans ... it was the perfect whale watching trip.  Luck was with us, for sure.

I don't know if this video will work or if you can even make it out, but that is the Fin whale.  

You Rock Whale!

And so did my weekend :)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Harry Potter Birthday Party and Book 3 Movie Party

I'm a little behind on my posts, but that is ok ... I've been having lots of fun!

We celebrated a birthday in the Jackson house recently.  My beautiful little girl turned 6 in March.  She wanted a Harry Potter birthday party.  Her wish is my command :).

I had a very limited budget.  We wanted to get this pretty little talented girl a new piano, since she has done so well with her lessons over the past 6 months and shows clear talent.  I told her she could only invite two of her friends along with their sibling, so we had a total of 6 kids (including my two kids).  We did it on a Wednesday after school in the park, so I didn't have to worry about reserving anything or crowds.

The fun part of having a small party is that I have more chance to get creative and make cool stuff for the kids to really get into character, be creative, and imaginative with the party theme.

As I mentioned, my budget was small, so this entire party was brought to you by the 99 cent store and Mom's elbow grease.

First, every Witch and Wizard must have a wand.  I found this cool tutorial for how to make a wand using chopsticks and hot glue.  I added some jewels for an extra cool touch and also to make each persons wand easily identifiable, to avoid any squabbles.

We needed some game ideas, so of course I wanted to try to do something with Quidditch.  I wanted to try to make a cool broom stick like this.  I was going to go hunting for cool branches like these, but there isn't a whole lot of drift wood on our beaches like there is back home.  I ended up finding mops at the 99 cent store that would work perfect!  

I bought 6 of the zebra striped mops, plus one blue polka dot one for me, so I could use the extra 6 mop heads over time to clean my home.  :) Bonus!  I had a neighbor cut them down to 28" long, so the kids wouldn't take each other out with the long sticks.

I cut some black felt to look like this.  Two pieces for each broom.

I started by laying the first piece under the broom stick with the stringy ends facing the opposite direction (toward the stick).

I used a staple gun to fix it to the broom stick.

I rolled the loose end around and stapled that to the broom stick.

Then with the second piece of felt I did the same thing.


Wrap around and staple again.

Then fold the stringy ends down over the staples.  Now it looks more like a broom.

I cut some small strips of white felt, wrapped them around the broom part and hot glued them into place.

Here is what it looks like finished. 

No Quidditch game is complete without a Snitch!  I used some of my white felt and gold fleece and hand sewed it together, then stuffed it.

Finished Snitch!

At first I was going to separate everyone into the different houses at Hogwarts, but with the young kids I thought it would be best if we were all in the same house.  Aubrey and Bayne love Gryffindor, so I made red and gold scarfs for everyone to wear.

These came in handy because it was chilly that day!

For invitations, I made these cute little parchment paper scrolls.  I used nice water color paper and painted it with coffee to give it an aged look.  I think I wrote on it first and then painted it.

I did a separate sheet for the back side and glued them together, so the ink wouldn't show through on the back.

Then I rolled it up and tied it with a hair band and attached a ribbon.  

I loved the idea of delivering it via Owl Post, since that is how they do it in the Wizarding world.  I was only passing these out to two homes, so it wasn't too hard for me to make two owl balloons.  The kids loved it!  I copied my owl from someone else.  I found the image on pinterest.

My dog loves balloons.  Not sure she knows what to do now that it's staring back at her.

As luck would have it, her birthday fell near St. Paddy's day, so they had pots of gold for the holiday.  To me they looked like perfect cauldrons for the party favors.  I grabbed the wiffle balls to act as Quaffles.  I got the little plastic containers for their sweets from Honeydukes.

Here is what went into each of their cauldrons.

We also played a game with plastic insects I got from the 99 cent store.  I never got any pictures of that, though.  I threw the insects out all over the grass and had them search for each kind of bug.  For example, I would say find the beetles and they would all run around looking in the grass for beetles, but they were only allowed to bring one back to their parent at a time.  It was an easy game, but fun!  They had to collect them to make their "potion".  Each kid got to take home what they found in their cauldron.

I also picked up 6 hula hoops and some twine to make my Quidditch arena.

I hung them from the trees and created a race course.  I separated 3 on one side and 3 on another and put the snitch in the middle on the grass.  Each kid had to ride their broom stick and throw the quaffle through each hoop and race the other rider to the Snitch.  It was fun, but there was a little fighting and crying with the young ones, so I switched it to a time trial where they went individually, trying to get all six hoops and get the the Snitch.  Eventually, they just played on their own however they wanted.  Everyone walking by loved it.  Even the police officer must have thought it was cool because it is apparently illegal to hang things from the trees at the park.  He let me off with a warning and let us leave them up for the remainder of the party. :)

Our little set up!  I brought chips, kettle corn, carrots, apples, and cupcakes.

It truly was a magical party complete with a real rainbow!!!  Can you see it?  
 It was a great day and a big success!!  The kids loved that they got to bring home so many fun toys, too.

We also just finished our 3rd Harry Potter book!!!

Which means MOVIE PARTY!!!

Since I went so crazy over the birthday party, I didn't do much for the movie party.  I did, however, want to try this Butterbeer Recipe I found.

Aubrey liked it a lot.  I did, too, but I went into a sugar coma after.  It was a bit too much!

Bayne and Pops didn't like theirs much.  Again .. way too sugary!

Next time we will just use plain old Cream Soda for our "Butterbeer" :).

We just started book 4 - Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.  It is a whopping 750ish pages long, so it's going to be a while before our next Harry Potter movie party.  I love how much these books have inspired their imaginations .... and apparently mine, as well!