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Etsy: Valentine’s Day Hair Accessories

Can you believe it is already February? January was busy and cold and gone as quickly as it came. Since February is now here that means Valentine’s day is quickly approaching. I always liked Valentine’s day. I mean of course you should celebrate those you love everyday but having a national holiday dedicated to showing your loved ones how much they mean to you, how fun!

Valentine's Day Bobby Pins (1)

I wanted to throw together some sweet little hair accessories for my niece this Valentine’s Day and decided to make a few extra to put in the shop, SweetLittlePeonies. If you are looking for small treats for your little ones this Valentine’s day, consider checking out these simple and sweet petal heart bobby pins. And of course, whatever you do and whomever you decide to celebrate Valentine’s Day with, I hope your day is filled with joy and laughter and time spent with those you love most and who love you.

Valentine's Day Bobby Pins (4)

Valentine's Day Bobby Pins (6)

Valentine's Day Bobby Pins (8)

Valentine's Day Bobby Pins (9)

Men’s Shirt Refashion + Farmer’s Market

I think the best thing about Summer and Saturdays is the Farmer’s Market. I don’t know if there is a better excuse for waking up early on the weekend. This weekend, Kristin and I manned the Aunt Willie’s Wildflower station at the Kingsport market and had such a great morning.

I think she was a bit more awake than I was at this point. We’ve also started taking instagram photos of our last year together so here’s a look at that one too.

The shirt I am wearing in these pictures takes me to my next topic of discussion–clothing refashions.

Some of our friends were thinning out their closets last week. I peeked into one of the bags destined for the college “share closet” and stole this men’s dress shirt. Of course, when I tried the shirt on it was incredibly long with sleeves that extended about 8 inches past my hands plus oodles of growing room under the arms and around my middle (sorry, no before pics that are worth showing you). Here is a quick and dirty tutorial to give you an idea of how easy it is to take in a shirt.

To start, I buttoned the shirt and turned it inside out. Next, I lined up the front and back pieces, set my sewing machine needle in 2 inches from the original sew lines (or however much you need it to go in) and followed the shape of the original line down the shirt sides. Where the original line curves for shape (which is very little for men), I exaggerated the curve so it would hug in the right places (think man shape vs. woman).

For the sleeves, I followed the same guidelines as above, moving my needle in from the original sew line and continuing to sew up the arm, around the armpit and connecting it to the line I sewed down the shirt sides.

Next, I cut the sleeves at the elbow, folded a cuff and sewed it in place.

Not the fanciest sew job but to the untrained eye, it looks pretty darn good (and it only took 15 minutes). Now I have a fun dress shirt to go with my skinny jeans. So, next time you are thinking about throwing out the husbands old shirts, think again and see what fun fashions you can come up with.

Memorial Day + Decorative Paper Flags

Hello friends! I hope you are all out enjoying your holiday weekend. This weekend the hubby and I decided to throw a last-minute Memorial Day BBQ for a few friends. I didn’t have much time to prep but I thought I should still throw together a few decorations for the event.

paper flag sticks Memorial Day

These fun paper flags are great for either adding color to your table or labeling your food (just stick straight into your dish). If you are baking a Memorial Day cake, consider frosting the outside with white icing and adding the red and blue flag sticks on top in varying heights.

You can also add ribbon to your skewers or dip the edges of the paper into glue and coat in glitter. The possibilities are endless.

The simple version pictured above uses two pieces of 8-1/2 x 11 inch paper. Cut 1-inch strips across the narrow side of your paper. Then fold in half and cut to a point at the end. Last step–use double-sided tape to attach the paper flags to the skewers (just wrap it around the stick). That’s all it takes for these easy-peasy paper flags.

Hope you all have a very relaxing Memorial Day!

Tee to Tank Tutorial

Working on a farm in the summer, in Tennessee, tends to get a little hot and a lot humid. I wish I could say I’ve become accustomed to the humidity but every time I think I’m beginning to adjust, the summer ends and we start the adjustment process all over again the following year.

Is there a point to me rambling about the heat? Why yes, now that you mention it, there is…working on a farm you learn quickly the value of wearing long pants and long-sleeved t-shirts to stay cool and keep yourself protected. Unfortunately, I’ve never been able to handle the long-sleeved t-shirt. Maybe its psychological but it feels SO HOT. Instead, I opt for tank tops, lots and lots of tank tops. Of course, that means a lot of shirts end up ruined. I decided this summer, I had to come up with cheaper dispensable farm clothes.

I saw this tee to tank tutorail on Crafterhours, but the idea is from Upcycled Education. Here’s my own little documented attempt at the tank.

First, choose an over-sized t-shirt that you never wear (mine was a $3 pink craft tee from Michaels).

Next, make your cuts.
Cut #1: Lay the t-shirt flat and cut off the sleeves just inside the seam.
Cut #2: Cut a straight line across the top of the shirt just under the neck.

Cut #3: Cut the bottom seam off the tshirt plus another small strip immediately above. The strip with the seam you can throw away, the second strip needs to be cut into 2 equal strips.

If your tee is a bit too large, as mine was, turn it inside out and lay it flat. Place pins 1/2 inch inside the original side seam all the way up to the armpit on both sides. Sew along the pins. Remove excess fabric and turn right side out. Tada!

Hem the top edges of the tee, leaving a 1/2 inch loop. Once the hem is sewn, thread one of the fabric strips from the bottom of the tee through each hem loop. I poke the end of a skewer through the fabric strip and pushed it through the loop, however, the smarter method would be to place the fabric strip on the shirt edge before folding it over for the hem.

All that’s left is putting on your newly fashioned tank and tying the front and back ties together at the height that suits you best. There are lots of ways to tie the drawstring so put on your creativity cap.

That’s it–a $3 tee shirt turned tank that’s loose, comfy and won’t bum me out if it gets ruined on the farm. Tomorrow I’m planning to turn some large print tees into work shirts too, I’ll share pictures soon.

Be sure to head over to Upcycled Education and thank Jen for the great tutorial inspiration and check out the actual tutorial on Crafterhours.

Mother’s Day + Small Tribute

Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there. Today is one of my favorite days because I love my mother so very much and I love having an entire day set aside for the sole purpose of honoring and celebrating her life, the sacrifices she has made and the person she is today.

My mom was recently offered a job in the Chicago area, a career opportunity of a lifetime for her. After much deliberation and conversation with my father, they decided she should take advantage of this opportunity, even though it means leaving my dad back home in Oregon until he can retire.

While this decision may sound crazy to most, and at times to our little family as well, I couldn’t be more proud of my mom. None of the decisions she and my father had to make regarding this position were easy. Moving across the U.S. to live alone, leaving the home you’ve poured so much time and effort into in exchange for a small apartment, trading the beautiful greenery and mountain settings of Oregon for the “concrete jungle” of a big city, and of course leaving behind all those you love most to pursue a dream that may or may not pan out…

I know many of you understand what it takes to make difficult decisions like these so you understand what must have gone into making the final decision to move. Despite all the so-called-craziness of this move, I am so proud that my mom took the job. She recognized the rut she was in, the day-in-day-out dead end job (you know the kind), and she took a chance. A very big chance. Decisions like these are the ones that make me respect my mother. Of course, no parent is ever perfect but it is always in the critical moments that I truly appreciate the example she sets.

My mother didn’t just tell my sister and I to follow our dreams and shoot for the stars, she didn’t just tell us to hold our heads high and put forth our best effort, she didn’t just tell us how to be strong confident women–she showed us. She showed us all these things when we were young and she continues to show us still today.

I am so proud of my mom and so grateful for her presence in my life, a gift not all can claim. I am grateful for the example she has set for me throughout the years, the encouragement she gives through every endeavor I undertake, the pride she takes in her family and in her work, her adventurous spirit and her persistent attitude. I am grateful that my mom has taught me to be confident in who I am, be proud of where I come from and to never give up on my dreams.

Thank you mom for all you do and all you have done for our family throughout the years. You do not go unnoticed. We love you more and more each and every day.