Friday, July 29, 2011

*CTSB* Blow the Blues Away. . . with Blow Painting

 Hasn't this series been refreshing? I have been so inspired by all these crafty ladies. My crafty To-Do List has gotten larger but I am so excited. Here is my little contribution;

If you are like our family, this summer has been full of swimming, parties, fireworks, beach, vacations, road trips, crafts, and anything else fun we can squeeze into our Summer Holiday before school starts. Now, however we are winding down and the exciting adventures of summer are becoming dull and repetitive. We have been needing some new creative activities to occupy our time. Well, this twist on painting has occupied my girls for hours (literally, I had to beg them to come in for lunch) and perhaps this can blow some creative juices your way as well.

Blow Painting! This is so much fun! The girls and I wandered across this painting activity at the Lavender Festival. Seriously, that festival was so much fun and so motivating and inspiring. All you will need to do this activity is probably already in your home or easily acquired. It is for all ages, young and old, and is quite a forgiving art project. So here is what you will need:
water color paints (or acrylic paints well watered down)
paint brushes
straws of all diameters
water (a lot)
bowl for the water
mat board (tag board, card stock, or heavy paper)
We went outside to paint, but you can paint anywhere that is comfortable to you as long as it is protected from colored water.

Really wet your water color paint so that it drips well from your brush (the paint needs to be thin, so if you are using acrylic craft paint, just add a bit of paint in a bowl and add water to it). Drip some paint on to your mat board, then take a straw and closely blow the paint.
 See how the paint moves with the pressure of the air? You can change the direction of the paint but blowing beside the drop or on top of the drop. You could also use a dropper to drop thicker paint, but it is MUCH harder to blow the paint around.
Make sure you change your water often as the water will get muddy, and then in turn, muddy the paint colors.
 I like this activity because it allows the artist to enjoy the randomness of the paint and still control it to make a pretty picture. Just be careful not to get to wrapped up in the painting and blowing as you could become a bit lightheaded (ha ha, don't judge me, I had fun).

And of course when you are finished, you wash off with water. And if that turns into a run in the sprinkler, well, it just makes the summer day more enjoyable, right?

I hope this helps to blow some of your Summer Time Blues away. Enjoy the rest of your Summer Holiday,

Heaps of Love,

Thursday, July 28, 2011

*CTSB* - Boy's Builder Bedroom - liZ from Simple Simon and Co.

It's almost the end of Cure the Summertime Blues!  I'll tell you what would cure my summertime blues - having all of these stinkin boxes out of my house!!!  We have a PODS coming today so we can start that process, but I'm soooooo ready for it to be over!  I'm also ready to get back to crafting/sewing - I'm having withdrawls and it's making me cranky.  Anyway...for those of you who can decorate, today we have liz from Simple Simon and co. - she is sharing an update to her son's bedroom - it turned out really cute. 
Take it away liz!

Hi! I'm liz from over at Simple Simon and Co. There my super talented sister-in-law (who's name is also Elizabeth) post our daily projects, ideas, tutorials, and adventures in homemaking. But today we are so excited to be here at Sew Home Grown. We "met" Jessica awhile ago and have loved her and her blog ever since.
This past week our cure for the summer time blues was to spend an afternoon indoors. We opened the windows, turned on some music, and did an afternoon bedroom remodel. (Ok. SO, it wasn't a total was more like an update.)
Recently we let Simon (our soon to be 1st grader) choose a paint color for one wall in his room. He chose his favorite color, grass green. It's a little loud but it's his room so we went with it. Then my husband built him some much needed shelves to display all his "good stuff" on. This is how it turned out:
Simon loved it and has already rearranged the shelves several times. However, the rest of his room was still decorated in semi-cowboy gear. Including a wall with red and brown stripes. Which wasn't working with his idea of a builder/inventor room. So on this particular afternoon we decided to change things up.
We started by "dirtying up" the stripes and adding a green one to match the green wall.

To do this we taped off the new stripe and painted it in a solid green. Easy enough.

As for the dirtying of the stripes I just did an average dry brush technique---dip your dry brush into a little dab of paint (I used bottled acrylic paints that can be found at any craft store) and brush it onto the paint in random areas.
The colors I brushed over the top of the stripes were a darker shade of green, a darker shade of red, a medium brown, and a yellow.
When the paint dried I went over the top of each stripe with a coat of gloss and pulled off the tape. (The tape is great but I have those dang orange peel walls so the lines weren't perfectly crisp---something that bugs me so after removing the tape I touched up any under the tape paint leaks with white paint.)

Meanwhile the kids were having a movie party on the mattress and bedding removed from the bedroom.
(They "needed" a rest. They spent the first half of the afternoon armed with baby wipes to clean bedroom baseboards and Magic Erasers to wipe off any scuff marks on the walls. It sounds lame but the kids had fun cleaning while I painted and then had fun again lounging around in the family room while I finished up with the gloss and touch ups.)
Finally we added a much anticipated element to the top stripe---Simon's name painted and designed by Simon himself.
For this project we spread the letters (found at any craft store---they even sell similar ones at Wal-Mart) out on the grass and turned him loose with the black spray paint. He covered them thoroughly and they dried quickly in the hot sun. Then before hanging them I ran the sander quickly over the edges. Black letters done.
As for the letter M. Simon wanted it to be "metal" so we sprayed it with aluminum colored spray paint and then turned him loose with a bowl of glue and a bucket of random nuts and bolts. This is what he came up with.
In the end his wall looked like this. It is still a little bare for my liking however his new aluminum colored bunk bed is supposed to be here Friday and will go on this wall (I hoped it would be here before this post.) and fit nicely just beneath the green stripe. Meanwhile I'm on the lookout for something cool to hang, paint, or string across the remaining empty space.
So, how do we cure the summer time blues? By washing, taping, painting, and spraying of course! Then by the time we're done we need more of that summer vacation. (Just kidding, but that's really what we did. And are going to do it again next week when we turn Gracie's room back into a nursery for the new baby.)
Thanks again Jessica for letting us spend part of our summer here with you! We were so happy to be invited!
Simple Simon & Co

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

*CTSB* - "Grass Babies" a kid's craft with Sunni from Love Affair with my Brother

Hi! I'm Sunni from Love Affair with my Brother. I was so excited when Jessica asked me to contribute to Cure the Summertime Blues. A little about me: I am a mommy of 2 little girls. I write a blog with my dear friend, Melissa. We chronicle our constant love and affection for our sewing machines by showcasing craft and sewing projects. Come by and see us!

It seems like the entire country is experiencing scorching heat, but here in the Pacific Northwest, we seem to be having an extended spring. Lots of rain and low temperatures (60's). So, unfortunately for my girls, we are still spending quite a few days indoors!!
So, I had to come up with a summery activity that anyone across the country could do. This is not my original idea. I have seen it elsewhere, but I am going to give you the details to make your own!! My daughter calls them "Grass Babies" I call it a "DIY Chia-head". Call it what you may, it is cute!!
And they are so cheap and simple to make.

You will need:
pantyhose (I used the freebies from the shoe department)
grass or wheatgrass seeds
tray or jars to put them in
buttons, brads and foam decorations

I'm guess that you have most of this in your home or stash. The only thing I bought was the wheatgrass seeds. I used wheatgrass because stores don't sell tiny packets of lawn seed. So, if you are reseeding your lawn soon, just set aside a little of those seeds.

So, open up a pantyhose sock. I doubled up on a few, because these were so cheap and thin. 

Pour in some seeds.

Pour in some soil. I used a little from my vegetable garden.

Once you have a nice little ball, tie it off with a rubberband or knot.

Using a small rubber band, grab up a little mound and add a nose. I only went around the nose once, because the dirt will get pressed out if you fiddle with it too much.

Add some ears in the same manner. Your little Grass Baby is really coming together!! 

I used brads and buttons to add a face. I thought foam stickers or shapes would be fun to add, too, but we couldn't find any!!

When sewing on a button, I don't recommend using cotton thread. It might get moldy or mildew. Ewww. I used invisible nylon thread and looped it through a couple of times. Then I just tied it in the front with a knot. That should do it!!

Now just water your grass babies in a tray or place them in a jar with the tail sticking in the water. Water should wick up the pantyhose. I checked them every couple of days and added a little water, because I didn't trust the cheap pantyhose to wick it (wick it good).

The best thing about wheatgrass is that it sprouts so FAST! We had sprouts on day 2. As far as gardening goes, this is instant gratification. You can practically see it! It's as fun as watching grass grow!!

The wheatgrass is pretty to have in your kitchen or a windowsill. I sneak it my girls' morning smoothie because it is so nutritious. They will never know!

Thanks Sunni! I know Charlotte will love this!  Leave her some comment love everyone :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

*CTSB*: Sweet and Spicy Pork Lettuce Wraps - Tristin from Two Girls Being Crafty

Happy Tuesday friends!  I hope you're enjoying this summer series as much as I am!  Here with us today is Tristin from Two Girls Being Crafty - get ready for a yummy summer recipe!

Hello pals!  My name is Tristin and I'm visiting from Two Girls Being Crafty.  While my blog is dedicated to crafts, my first love is actually food, so I am excited to get to share a yummy recipe for you to enjoy today!

Lettuce Wraps 017

I realize that a slow cooker doesn't exactly scream out "Summer".  When I think of a slow cooker I usually think of thick soups, hearty stews, pot roasts, etc.  Don't you?   Well, friends, slow cookers can make fabulous summer food, too!  Who wants to stand over a hot stove during the summer?  And sometimes grilling outside can become such a hassle to say the least because summer afternoons bring rain showers--not to mention that it's just so dern HOT!  It's fabulous to return from a day at the beach and to have dinner waiting for you.

Lettuce Wraps 019

So, in this case we'll make a light summer meal using our crockpots.  No joke.

Alright, let's make this happen.  You'll need:

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chili-garlic sauce (found in the Asian aisle of the supermarket)
  • 1" knob of fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder (if it's not already in your pantry, just leave it out)
  • a few shakes of black pepper
  • 3 lb. boneless pork roast (I use a Boston Butt) trimmed of excess fat and cut into 2-inch pieces
Combine all ingredients except for the pork in your slow cooker.  Once well-combined, add the pork, tossing to coat.  (It will look like there's not enough liquid, but don't worry, it's plenty!)

Cook on low for 8-10 hours, or on high 5-6 hours.  Remove pork from slow cooker and use two forks to pull it into delicious, tender shreds.  Discard ginger chunk.  Reserve cooking liquid to use as dipping sauce (though I highly recommend skimming the fat off of the top).
Lettuce Wraps 004

To serve, you'll need:
A head of iceberg lettuce separated
Your favorite toppings - this time I simply used shredded carrots, cucumbers, and tomatoes.  Radishes, scallions, sprouts, cilantro, chopped peanuts, etc. also make great toppings!
And don't forget your reserved sauce--it's seriously delicious!

This recipe was adapted from Real Simple's Slow Cooker Sweet and Spicy Asian Pork Shoulder.

Lettuce Wraps 008
I served these yummy lettuce wraps with some steamed and salted edamame and a surprisingly delicious Ramen Cake.

To sum it all up, don't be a slow cooker hater this summer.  And please, stop by Two Girls Being Crafty to see what my blog-mate Sharon and I have been up to.  If you like snarky comments, occasional gangsta talk, and inexpensive crafting, you're sure to enjoy Two Girls Being Crafty.  Or maybe not.  But why not give it a try?  Here's a smattering of our projects...

Thanks Jessica, for hosting this wonderful summer series.  I'm off to enjoy a glass of ice-cold lemonade (aka scarf down some leftovers while standing over the kitchen sink) and lounge by the pool (aka tackle mountains of laundry).  A girl can dream, right?

Thanks again Tristin!  Up tomorrow is a fun post for the kiddos by Sunni from Love Affair with my Brother!

Monday, July 25, 2011

*CTSB* - {DIY}Anthropologie-inspired Bracelet - Beverly from Flamingo Toes

Hello Sew Homegrown Readers! I am so happy to be here today!
This Cure for the Summertime Blues series is a blast and I have so many great projects added my to-do lists!
My name is Beverly and I blog over at Flamingo Toes.

I love doing home decor, sewing and jewelry projects - but my favorite things to make are knockoffs!

It's so fun to be able to recreate something that is fun at a fraction of the price in the store!
So when it came time to decide on what I wanted to make for Jessica's series - I went "shopping" at my favorite place to knockoff - Anthropologie!

I fell in love with their new Weights and Measures Bracelet and had to recreate it!
Here is my version . . .

And here is Anthro's!

Isn't it great?? I love the combo of the pearls with the chains!
Here's what you'll need to make your very own.
• small amount of fabric (I used linen because I wanted something a little heavier than the chiffon they used)

• pearls (mine were 5mm and I used about 56. You'll need more or less if use a different size of pearls)

• small chain - at least 84" (the smaller the chain, the easier the bracelet will be to tie)

• needle and matching thread
Begin by cutting out the fabric for the bracelet.
You'll need one long piece 2" x 14" and 2 smaller pieces 1 1/2" x 5".
About 3" from each end of the longer piece, trim the ends so they come to a point.
Find the centers of the long piece and one of the shorter pieces. Line them up with the shorter piece on the back of the longer piece.
Tuck the ends under and pin them. This will stabilize the area that you sew the pearls to.
On the front of this section, draw out with a disappearing ink marker the lines that you are going to sew your pearls on. Stay 1/2" away from the edge, this will be part of the hem.

Begin sewing down your strands of pearls. Add the pearls for each row to your thread and sew them down.
Sew down the strand between each pearl also. This will help the strand lay flat.
Continue to fill up the center section with rows of pearls.

Working on the back side of the bracelet, turn the raw edges over in tiny folds to create a hem.

Continue working your way around the bracelet until both sides are hemmed.
Now we're going to work on the chain. Cut the short pieces for the sides next. You'll need 24 - 2" pieces.
Lay out a longer piece of chain (at least 18") to begin sewing down the long side of the bracelet. Start sewing the chain to the bracelet 2" from the end of the chain.
As you sew this long piece down, you're going to add in the short pieces. There are 6 short pieces of chain on each end of the bracelet, on both sides.
Hopefully that made sense. ;)
Evenly space out these shorter pieces and sew them on as you go, working your way down the side of the bracelet.
When you get to the other end of the bracelet, cut the chain so there is a 2" piece that extends past the end of the fabric.
Repeat for the other side of the bracelet.

And that finishes off your super cute new knockoff!!

To wear, just knot the ends loosely!
Isn't it fun? I really like how it turned out. I hope you do too. :)
I'd love for you to come check out Flamingo Toes sometime!
You can see some of my other Jewelry knockoff's here.

And on Sundays I host a fun Link Party where you can show off all your fabulous projects!
Thanks so much for including me in the series Jessica - it was a blast!

Wow - I just love it don't you?!  It reminds me of something a mermaid might create from treasures she found on the ocean floor - I am definitely making this one!!  Hope everyone had a lovely weekend - coming up tomorrow is Tristin from Two Girls Being Crafty- see you then!

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