Hiatus, much?

So, I know I haven’t posted in a while, but I’ve had a good reason! Not only did I start a new full time job – I moved to a new city. The big city! The Big Apple to be precise! Exciting right? I couch surfed for a month and now have my very own overpriced, undersized death trap slice of heaven. My first DIY has been installing the A/C (as it has been crazy hot here!) But I’m going to post mostly how I’m making my new space a home on the quick and cheap. So if you have a small/rental space you can use some of the ideas too. Wish me luck and stay tuned for the adventure!

Craft Testing: Doctor Who Modge Podge Screen Printing

I remember in college making shirts for EVERYTHING! Concerts, parties, holidays, Friday night movies – the Old Navy t-shirt section was never safe. Back in the day I invested in the whole screen printing kit: frames, screens, bulbs, photo emulsion, the whole nine yards. It was expensive and time consuming, but the shirts always turned out great and that was enough for me. This week I decided to try my hand at a more budget and time friendly option – modge podge. Yes, that wonder glue can really be used for anything.

About the design:

It’s no surprise to the people that know me that I am a big nerd and I watch a LOT of television. My favorite show of the moment is Doctor Who. As the longest running show on television, there is no way to sum it up effectively, but here is the super cliff notes version: it’s about an alien who can travel through all of time and space with his spaceship (accidentally) disguised as a 1960′s police call box, and usually has a human companion with him on his adventures.

In one episode, companion River Song uses her hallucinogenic lipstick to escape her space prison cell. The guard thinks he has her detained, but it is really just a drawing. I thought it would be cool not only to put this design on a shirt, but to embroider a set of lips on it as well.  Get it?  Yeah, I know, nerdy awesome!

Check out how it went after the jump. Allons-y!

Tracing ImageTa-da!Smaller AreasReady, set...Oh heeey! Is that lipstick on your collar?


What you’ll need:

  • T-Shirts (got some for my favorite Whovian fellas from Target)
  • Fabric paint
  • Small brush (for the details) and Foam brush for the larger areas (note: the brush will be ruined after this so use a cheap one)
  • Silk Screen and frame (I had left over screen and an old picture frame I stapled it to. Depending on the size of your design, you can use an embroidery hoop and even a pair of pantyhose instead)
  • Squeegee
  • Design
  • For embroidery: fabric stabilizer, embroidery floss, needle, and hoop, straight pins

Step 1: I’m very high tech, so I traces my image straight off the television with a pencil and tracing paper :) I then traced it again on my sheet of screen fabric with a sharpie to make sure I could see the lines clearly.


Step 2: Starting with the details, I painted the modge podge with the small brush onto the screen. You can hold it up to the light to make sure you are filling in all the holes. Remember: whatever space you miss, paint will show on your shirt


Step 3: I taped around my design just to make sure my painting surface was secure. I poured on the white paint in a thin line in the taped area and used the squeegee to spread it across the design. I went back and forth to make sure paint saturated all of the design.


Step 4: Because the shirts I used were so soft, I had to use a fabric stabilizer and embroidery hoop to ensure my hand stitched design would not pucker. Once again I used my high tech method of tracing, this time off of the computer screen, on to the tracing paper, then again onto the fabric stabilizer. I used the water soluble kind because I think it’s the easiest to clean up (just wet it to wash it away). I cut a square slightly larger than my design to pin to the shirt. With this type of stabilizer since it is so thin you will need to layer several sheets (3-5 will work for a design this size). I outlined the lips in a back stitch and filled it in with a split stitch.


And ta-da! River Song was here!!! Here is my buddy and fellow Whovian, Quenten showing off his limited edition shirt!!!!

Quenten has had a brush with hell...in high heels!

Quenten has had a brush with hell…in high heels!

All in all, modge podge screen printing is definitely a cheaper alternative than the more robust traditional version. That being said, I think it also works best for simpler less detailed designs. It gets a 8.7 rating from me in the quick and dirty DIY department. If you guys try it out, let me know how it works for you. And remember to beware of time travelers reapplying lipstick!

Things I Made Last Week

Sorry for the random post, y’all! I’m in NYC (again!) and definitely scrambling around (but thats the New York way isn’t it?) For once I’ll be here all weekend instead of just one afternoon. There’s a blogfest with a bunch of design expos I’ll be covering, so I’ll make sure post pictures of all my adventures this weekend. And yes, this is basically my excuse filled way of saying there is no Friday Five Round up! But hopefully Allons-y Craft will be chock full of awesomeness this special weekend that you won’t even notice…other than me pointing it out right now :)

But below are some things I spur of the moment crafted. If you remember those left over branches I had, I used the rest in my room to make a hanging jewlery organizer. Saves space on top of my dresser and helps me see all my bling! Plus it looks pretty cool :)

I also had a small, clear vase from Michael’s that I just kept shoving receipts in, so I decided to glam it up! I used liquid gold leaf on the inside (waaaaay easier to use than the foil) and two coats of powder blue spray paint on the outside. I used painters tape just to give it a fun angle instead of just half and half.

And finally, I made an embroidered felt barrette for the Cubs game I went to. It was super easy and only used two types of stitches! I totally suggest you make them for your favorite team this season.

Have a great weekend and keep checking back. Allons-y!



Friday Five Roundup

Happy Friday everyone! The end of the week is here, so let’s see it out in our special roundup way! Allons-y!

I’m not going to beat around the bush – I am so freaking excited about the Great Gatsby coming out this weekend!  I love the book! I love the original movie! I just…I can’t wait. Then I found these great illustrations by Danish illustrator Mads Berg and I got even more excited (how is that possible? I don’t know but it is!) They aren’t Gatsby themed per se, but it just evokes that feeling in me (the one of the couples dancing is my absolute favorite!)

Mads Berg Mads Berg Mads Berg

I always think it’s so funny when people are amazed when I make the simplest craft. To me it’s nothing, but to them I’ve made something they never would have thought of. Granted that’s the same way I feel about engineers or programmers. Everyone has that thing that just makes sense to them. But there are some basics that every man, woman, and child should know – crafty or not – and that is sewing on a button! To me that’s a non-negotiable skill, like making a PB&J. So make your great-granny proud and head over to Papercut Patterns to school yourself. Who knows, you may catch the sewing bug!

Sew a button

I mean, once you can sew on a button the next obvious step is upcycling old stuff around the house into awesome works of art, right? I’m pretty sure that’s what Peter McFarlane did. Buttons pops off blazer, sews it back on. Goes to garage, makes Native American-style headdress out of lawn mower blades. The obvious progression of skill!


So if there is one thing you should know about me, it’s that I’m always hungry. I love food. It may or may not be close to 1AM as I actually type up this post and I may or may not be eating a bowl of noodles (it is and I am – sorry I’m not sorry). So when I stumbled upon Foodiecrush Magazine, I had to get a snack halfway through surfing the site. The pictures are amazing. The blog posts are inspired. And the recipes make me want to go grocery shopping to restock the pantry. So grab a snack, then check it out (trust me, you want to do it in that order!)

Chocolate-Cream-Pie-FoodieCrush.com021 Chorizo-Grilled-Cheese-FoodieCrush.com-011-Edit Sticky-Glazed-Asian-Ham-FoodieCrush.com-019 70-Mexican-Recipes-FoodieCrush.com_

And if there were two things you should know about me, it’s that I love to travel. If I’m not in another city/state/country/continent every few months, I go stir crazy. It’s like my whole life is cabin fever until I am on a plane, train, or automobile headed to a new locale. So to fight the wanderlust, I visit the Cool Hunter’s Amazing Places page. They are now up to six, and the images are so amazing. Places I never knew existed and I’m not quite sure where some of them actually are! If I had to sit in a cubicle all day, this would be a mini-vacay (serenity now!) So this Friday, I give you a mental trip around the world. You’re welcome.


DIY Mothers Day

No really, Mothers Day is in 3 days you really shouldn’t be waiting until the last minute! And at this point if you only show up with a card on Sunday, she will know it’s because you forgot. No worries, if you’re an über procrastinator like me, I found a few quick DIY’s to save your butt. Allons-y!

Bath salts that won't make your mom eat your face

bath salts that won’t make mom eat your face (allons-y!)

Classy DIY bling for mom

classy DIY bling for mom (allons-y!)

let's face it, she's totally going to cry looking at the adorable picture through the cut out

let’s face it, she’s totally going to cry looking at the adorable picture through the cut out (allons-y!)

Who's that cool lady with the awesome bag at the farmer's market? Oh, that's just my mom!

“Who’s that cool lady with the awesome bag at the farmer’s market?” Oh, that’s just my mom! (allons-y!)

You make the tray and mimosas, someone else can do the dishes!

You make the tray and mimosas that go on it, someone else can do the dishes! (allons-y!)

So this year score brownie points for actually making something á la your elementary school self. And trust me, these are waaaaaay better than a macaroni necklace.

Friday Five Roundup

This Friday is leading into a very exciting weekend! Saturday you can grab your hat and watch the Kentucky Derby. And on Sunday Funday, you can spend your winnings buying rounds of margaritas for everyone for Cinco de Mayo! So here are some things to get you through the rest of Friday before the epic weekend begins. Allons-y!


Gizzi Erskine is a punk rock food angel (and even has the tattooed wings to prove it!) I had the pleasure of seeing her cook at the Taste of Dubai in March. She was funny, beautiful, and made food delicious and surprisingly healthy food I would make for my friends. She’s kind of a big deal across the pond, so I suggest you find any of her great cookbooks, turn up the Clash, and rock the kitchen!

Country Living

Country Living has a new book full of decorating, DIY, and gardening solutions you should check out. I reviewed it over at Mochatini and included some of the amazing pictures. Somethings are fast and fun, while others are weekend warrior overhauls. Either way you should snag it and get your house/apartment/lair ready for summer entertaining!

Gift Guide

Also over at Mochatini, I have my top picks for Mother’s Day gifts. Yeah, it’s next Sunday so you might want to get on that sooner rather than later.

ibis_sleep_art-1 ibis_sleep_art-2 ibis_sleep_art-3 ibis_sleep_art

I totally love this new app I have for my phone called Ibis Sleep Art. You start the app as you’re going to bed and it records your tossing and turning in the form of a beautiful visualization when you wake up.

Last night, I was invited to see The Red, an 8-minute psychological thriller about…wait for it…wait for iiiiiiiiiit…student debt (gasp!). All jokes aside it was a good film from Borderline films (they made Martha Marcy May Marlene). It focuses on the the fear a recent graduate faces with student loan debt, and how you can’t hide from it. I was impressed with the non-profit organization, ASA, who decided to do something totally different to approach this topic and start the conversation with students. [insert PSA voice here] So if you or someone you know is running from student loan debt, have them watch the movie and visit SALT for help (and enter to win $10,000 to pay off loans – woot!)

Have a great weekend, I’m going to get started on the my mint julep-ritas now!

And They’re Off! DIY Derby Hat


There are only 4 days until “The Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports” and you don’t have a derby hat?!?! Fair enough, as they can cost an arm and a leg, especially one for a large and in charge version. Have no fear! My friend Selena and I got together to make one for her upcoming derby party she’s attending. Full of feathers, ribbon, and flowers, this hat has everything sans the huge price tag. Check out the our full how-to after the jump – allons-y!

tools of the trade First flower attaching large feathers Getting bendy IMG_20130429_114046_resized Close up

What You’ll Need:

  • wide brimmed hat
  • a tall bottle (you can put the hat on it to work)
  • wire cutters
  • hot glue gun and glue sticks
  • faux flowers in different sizes
  • wire rimmed rbbon
  • feathers in different sizes
  • scissors
  • small jeweled buttons (optional)
  • a piece of tape

Front of hat

While the glue gun heats up, remove the stems from the faux flowers and set aside. Use tape to mark the front of the hat

Wrapping 'round

Since the ribbon we used was sheer, we doubled it and glued it to the hat. Here’s where the wire-rimmed ribbon comes into play – you can pull the wire ends to make sure it sits flat against the hat and won’t have a gap

Ta-da! First flower

Glue the largest flower to the hat at the top of the ribbon, if you glue it closer to the brim, it will create a dip that will make the brim constantly in your face (to make sure the hat has a bit of pop in the sunlight, we glued the jeweled buttons into the blue flowers)

De-fluff Getting bendy

With smaller feathers, remove the lighter, fluffier parts leaving the flatter pieces. To shape them, run your thumbnail along the stem creating indentations. The closer they are, the more it will curve

Reshaped attaching large feathers

Curve the larger feathers as well and glue them to the hat making sure to leave space for the other elements we are going to add

Feather bunch

We cut the discarded stems into smaller pieces and glued the smaller feathers to them. You can glue them directly on the hat, but we wanted them to have a bit more depth

Close up Adding in pink flowers

Add in smaller faux flowers making sure they are where you want them to be first and glue into place

Twist base Loop, swoop...Peek at the back

Using left over pieces of ribbon we created loops twisting the wires and glued them into gaps

All done! From the side

For the finishing touches we added smaller, fluffier feathers to create accents

IMG_20130429_114046_resized Stylin' and profilin'

And there she is! The derby queen! Grab your mint juleps, place your bets and rock out your hats in style!

Spring on the outside, spring on the inside

One of the crappy things about working freelance is your paycheck may sometimes be at the mercy of people less organized than you. Case in point, I was asked to make an arrangement out of huge branches painted white.  Unfortunately the person went MIA and now I have a small snow white forest in my craft area. But not being deterred (and not particularly feeling like lugging them all outside), I decided to use them as decor in my house. So here is my DIY wall art, that took no time or money at all. Full how-to after the jump. Allons-y!

Supplies Sizing Down Cut out Fluff up Flower

Side View

What You’ll Need:

Painted branches
Tissue paper (since this was spur of the moment I used the colors I had on hand)
Green pipe cleaners

Using a couple of different templates for making different types of tissue paper flowers, I halved the size because I wanted smaller flowers.

Out of all the branches I had, the one I used had the most smaller branches coming off to make it look like a real tree so I went with that.

Close up

Close up of orange flower

I attached the tissue paper flowers with green pipe cleaners to the branches. I wanted it to look like spring so I added them sporadically and the green pipe cleaners look like leaves.

Sorry the quality is so bad, the paint in my apartment combined with the crazy lighting can be less than stellar

Sorry the quality is so bad, the paint in my apartment combined with the crazy lighting can be less than stellar

And there you have it! When life gives you lemons…add ice, vodka, and go make something!