Friday Favorites–On the Road Again

For some reason, my family tends to take a lot of end-of-summer vacations.  I can’t even blame procrastination.  It just seems that by the time we’re done flipping calendar pages to find a time we’re all available, that’s where we end up.  One year we came skidding into the driveway sideways from a cruise to Mexico the day before my son started school.  He politely requested that we never, ever do that again.  This year we’re giving him a whole week.

Travel DIYs - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

One of my favorite things about traveling is the anticipation.  I want this Vacation Countdown from the Dating Divas, and I want it to always have a number on it.

DIY Vacation Countdown from The Dating Divas

This Vintage Postcard Travel Journal from A Beautiful Mess is so pretty, I might actually remember to write in it.

Vintage Postcard Travel Journal from A Beautiful Mess

We, as a society and definitely my family, travel with an abundance of electronics these days.  They all need juice, which means cords.  Pin-N-Tell shares a smart idea for keeping them from exploding like a peanut can snake all over the inside of your suitcase.  My personal electronic advice:  invest in a wall multi-plug surge protector.  Many hotels haven’t quite caught up to the plug-in needs of today’s traveler.

Travel Charger Organizer from Pic-N-Tell

I like taking a bag on airplanes that’s large enough to hold lots of stuff, but small enough I can stuff it under the seat in front of me, rather than fight the overhead bin battle.  This Large Patchwork Bag from All People Quilt looks just about right.

Large Patchwork Bag from All People Quilt

Ok, those these don’t exactly travel, but they’ve got the look so I’m slipping them in.  Maybe you can make one, using the instructions from The Bark, so your dog has somewhere stylish to hang out while you’re gone.

Dog Airstream from The Bark

Studs and Pearls was able to make these Lace Aviator Sunglasses for under $7, and was probably able to do her nails to match.

DIY Lace Aviator Sunglasses from Studs and Pearls

Unless your kids fall asleep the moment their little behinds hit a car or plane seat, and don’t wake up until you’ve arrived, you have to keep them busy.  This Clipping Toy from Kids Activities Blog seems like it would buy you a few peaceful miles.

DIY Clipping Toy from Kids Activities

Back to that sleeping thing – even if they don’t sleep the whole time, you might be able to coax a nap out of them with these Travel Pillows from Imagine Gnats.

Travel Pillows from Imagine Gnats

This DIY Secret Hanger from Plan B is a great idea.  I could also see it used to hold the accessories to go with whichever outfit is hanging on it.  I love the map fabric she used!

DIY Secret Hanger from Plan B

This one isn’t a craft, but still a good idea.  Visit Stuffed Suitcase to find out how and why to back up your data before you take off.

Backing Up Data Before Vacation Matters from Stuffed Suitcase

Have you done all your vacationing for the year, or will I run into you in Disneyland in September?

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Cedar Log Ring Bearer Box

I don’t remember how it started, whether my son volunteered or my daughter asked, but it came to be that my son, Tucker, was assigned the job of making something for the ring bearer to carry the rings in for the wedding ceremony.  It seemed appropriate since Tucker was the best man and would have to remove them from whatever he came up with in front of a crowd of people. 

Cedar Log Wedding Ring Bearer Box - Crafty Staci 1

Tucker took all the metals classes his high school had to offer, and threw in wood shop near the end.  His dad is a wood worker, so he had a bit of experience in that area already.  Recently, he’s also taken up leather working, so he didn’t have any trouble coming up with an idea for the ring box.  He spent hours in the school shop, then at home after he graduated, lovingly turning a plain log into an heirloom his sister and new brother-in-law will treasure forever.

Cedar Log Wedding Ring Bearer Box - Crafty Staci 2

Once he had finished the box, we talked about what should go inside.  He had carefully carved out a rectangular hole, which seemed perfect to fit a pillow into.  He was planning to sew the pillow himself, but time was running short, so I took care of it for him.  I’ll be explaining more about this in a future story, but I made the pillow out of a piece of my cut-up wedding dress and a leather cord.

Cedar Log Wedding Ring Bearer Box - Crafty Staci 3

The ring bearer, my nephew Greyson, carried that box like a champ.  He’s a little hard to spot in this photo, but it’s the only one I have of him so far.  He was the best ring bearer ever!

Cedar Log Wedding Ring Bearer Box - Crafty Staci 4

I was a little worried it would be hard for Tucker to unbuckle those leather straps when it was time to hand over the rings.  I should have known better than to think he’d do that to himself.

Cedar Log Wedding Ring Bearer Box - Crafty Staci 5

I don’t know if I’ve ever seen my son work on something with such care for so long as he did this box.  He and his sister are very close, and I know he wanted to make her something special, not only for the wedding, but as a keepsake to remember what a great day it was.  He hit it out of the park.

Cedar Log Wedding Ring Bearer Box - Crafty Staci 6

Undercover Tourist News and Giveaway

This post is sponsored by Undercover Tourist.

As you all know, I’ve been working with Undercover Tourist for a year now, sharing one of my favorite craft themes:  Disney!

Disney Crafts on Crafty Staci

Until recently, Undercover Tourist was focused on Florida attractions, but recently they’ve branched out into southern California.  You can now purchase discounted tickets for Universal Studios Hollywood, SeaWorld San Diego and San Diego Harbor Cruises.  This is great news for my family since we’re on the west coast and spend lots of time vacationing in California.

To celebrate their new offerings, Undercover Tourist has unveiled a newly redesigned website.  In addition to the discount tickets for Florida and California, you’ll find handy features like Crowd Calendars, Touring Plans and a Wait Time app.  They also have planning guides for Orlando, Las Angeles and San Diego covering all the different aspects of your vacation, like where to stay, what to eat and when to do it in the first place.

While visiting the new website, take a minute to check out all the Disney crafts by their other crafty contributor, Crafting in the Rain.  She has some cute crafts and recipes for my fellow Disney fans!

Mickey Mallow Pops by Crafting in the Rain on Undercover Tourist

If all this has you in the mood for a vacation, don’t miss your chance to enter Undercover Tourist’s Hopping into Southern California Giveaway.  Jump over to their website to find out how to win a 4-pack of tickets to Universal Studios Hollywood, SeaWorld Sand Diego AND a San Diego Harbor Cruise!

Undercover Tourist Hopping into Southern California Giveaway

My family is visiting Disneyland next month, so we’ll get southern California all warmed up for you!

Friday Favorites–Shark Week

So, sharks.  I can’t say it’s likely I’d be talking about them right now if there weren’t a popular television channel that has been dedicating an entire week to them, but here we are.  There are some great crafts and DIYs on the subject, but personally, they freak me out a little.  Thankfully, I’m not likely to ever come face to face with one of these toothy guys, because I am completely incapable of swimming.  Not even to save myself from a shark.

Shark Week DIYs - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

Some of the footage shown throughout the week might be a little too much for some of the little ones.  Okay, maybe some of us *ahem* not-so-little-ones too.  Let them play along anyway with this shark memory game from Molly Moo.

Shark Matching Game by Molly Moo Crafts

This Shark Fin Shirt from Dollar Store Crafts is just the kind of thing my son would have found hilarious at that age.

Shark Fin Shirt by Dollar Store Crafts

This Shark Bag from Small and Friendly reminds me of a cartoon that was on when I was a kid.

Shark Bag by Small Friendly

What could be more perfect than a Shark Hoodie Towel, like this one from Just Crafty Enough, for hanging out at the beach?

Shark Hoodie Towel from Just Crafty Enough

I’m not sure how I’d cope with these guys looking up at me, but if you’re intrigued you can find the crochet pattern at stacie71’s Etsy shop.  She also has a few made up for those of us who are crochet-challenged.

Shark Slipper Socks Crochet Pattern from stacie71 on Etsy

Rather have the shark eat your head than your feet?  Check out this Shark Attack Hat from pie popper on Instructables.

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You can also go all in with this Shark Costume from Create Craft Love.

Shark Costume by Create Craft Love

Okay, even I have to admit this Shark Pencil Case from Patchwork Posse is pretty adorable.

Shark Pencil Case by Patchwork Posse

And this Watermelon Shark from Spoonful is pretty amazing.

Watermelon Shark by Spoonful

But I think it’s this Shark Trick-or-Treat Bag from Stitched by Crystal that’s finally lured me into shark infested waters.

Shark Trick or Treat Bag by Stitched by Crystal

Inside Dress Bra Strap Anchors

This week I’d like to show you something I did for myself for my daughter’s wedding that made my day much smoother.  It seems like a small thing, but trust me, it was important.

Do your bra straps slide off your shoulders?  It seems like no matter what style of bra I buy, this happens to me.  It drives me crazy.  Then I bought a dress with little loops to attach the strap to the inside and it changed my life.  When I chose my mother-of-the-bride dress and it didn’t come with those magic loops, I knew immediately that I needed to add them.

Inside Dress Bra Strap Anchors - Crafty Staci 1

All this requires is some skinny twill tape or ribbon, 1/4 – 1/2” wide, and two small snaps. 

Inside Dress Bra Strap Anchors - Crafty Staci 2

Cut the twill tape to 3” long.  Fold one end over a couple of times and sew one side of the snap to it.

Inside Dress Bra Strap Anchors - Crafty Staci 3

Fold the other end under a couple of times and sew it to the inside of your garment with the snap side down.

Inside Dress Bra Strap Anchors - Crafty Staci 4

Sew the other side of the snap in the appropriate place on the garment so the snap sides will match.

Inside Dress Bra Strap Anchors - Crafty Staci 5

That’s really all there is to it.  Mine ended up in slightly different places on each side of my dress, but it doesn’t really matter as long as they can hook around the strap.

Inside Dress Bra Strap Anchors - Crafty Staci 6

With your garments on, slip the twill tape under the bra strap and snap in place.

Inside Dress Bra Strap Anchors - Crafty Staci 8

These tiny loops kept everything in its place all day long.  I had enough to think about, so that was a HUGE help.  I kinda want to do this to all my clothes!

Inside Dress Bra Strap Anchors - Crafty Staci 9

Book Review: Basic Black

I’m here today to share another book review courtesy of Tuttle Publishing.  They have provided me with the book, but the opinions are all my own.

I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing Happy Homemade Sew Chic Kids, Happy Homemade Sew Chic and Stylish Skirts so far, and I loved things about all of them, but I’ve unintentionally saved the best for last.   I have lots of black clothes in my closet, so I was bound to find a few things here I liked, but I was pleasantly surprised at how many that turned out to be. 

Book Review Basic Black - Crafty Staci 1

This book was written by the talented Sato Watanabe.  It started as all the Tuttle books have so far – with photos of each finished garment.  Not that it has anything to do with the sewing aspect, but one thing I really liked about this book was the cheerfulness of the model.  With all of the garments being black, the happy expressions versus a typical starving model pose set a good tone.

Book Review Basic Black - Crafty Staci 2

I had a hard time narrowing down which favorites I wanted to share with you, but the first one that stood out to me was the Dress with Stitched Skirt.  I love the look of white embroidery on black.

Book Review Basic Black - Crafty Staci 3

While a good part of the book features cold weather items, like this Zip-Up Vest with High Neck…

Book Review Basic Black - Crafty Staci 4

…there are also plenty of things for the warm season too, like this Whimsical Vest in Chiffon Lace.

Book Review Basic Black - Crafty Staci 5

This High Neck Shirt with Three Quarter Length Sleeves would be great for that transition from summer to fall.

Book Review Basic Black - Crafty Staci 6

I love the neckline on this Flannel Short Coat. 

Book Review Basic Black - Crafty Staci 7

I haven’t made anything from this book yet, but it seems like there’s a pretty broad range of skill levels required for the different projects.  There is a page detailing the different tools needed, as you might find in a book for beginners.  There are many projects with only a small number of pieces to cut out and one page of instructions, like this Asymmetrical Blouse with Tape Trim.

Book Review Basic Black - Crafty Staci 8

But there are also a few more complex projects for those who’d like to stretch their wings, like this Seersucker Shirt with Collar, which requires several pieces and has three pages of instructions.

Book Review Basic Black - Crafty Staci 9

The patterns come in XS, S, M and L and need to be traced onto drafting paper or pattern tissue to use, as they’re overlapped on the pattern page included.  If you wonder why they do this, here is what 26 ordinary sewing patterns look like.

Book Review Basic Black - Crafty Staci 10

Compare that to this book, with it’s skinny envelope in the back.  Makes sense, right?

Book Review Basic Black - Crafty Staci 11

My thanks to Tuttle Publishing for asking me to review their books.  It was a real pleasure!

Book Review Basic Black - Crafty Staci 12

Friday Favorites–If the Shoe Fits…

I used to live in flip flops.  I had a favorite leather pair that I wore for years.  Then suddenly one day I couldn’t tolerate the strap between my toes.  I don’t know what happened, but I have to be very picky about what I wear now.  I made myself some flip flop covers a few years ago, which made them a little more tolerable, but they’re still not my favorite.  It makes me sad, because I love the convenience and style options! 

DIY Shoes - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

There is nothing cuter in this world than baby shoes.  The irony is, they don’t need them.  For a pretty solution to unnecessarily covering up those tiny toes, try these Barefoot Baby Sandals from Craftaholics Anonymous.

Barefoot Baby Sandals - Craftaholics Anonymous

For the littles that are old enough to need shoes but have trouble keeping them on their feet, Make it and Love it has the solution with these Interchangeable Flip Flop Back Straps.

Interchangeable Flip Flop Back Straps - Make it and Love it

I have some shoes very similar to the ones used by Me Making Do for this wedge sandal refashion.  This might have to happen!

Wedge Shoe Redo - Me Making Do

I love the black and white ribbon used on May Arts for these embellished flip flops.

Flip Flops with Flair - May Arts

The easy tutorial makes these Dip Dyed Shoes from Frankie seem doable.

Dip Dyed Shoes - Frankie

I’m intrigued by these DIY shoes from Pikkpack.  Apparently, you choose the ribbon and leather colors and they arrive flat-packed, Ikea-style, for you to assemble.

Pikkpack Shoes

My daughter loves her Toms.  In fact, she, all the bridesmaids and her flower girl wore them for the wedding.  Eventually, they do wear out though.  I’ll have to show her how she can give them a second life with this tutorial from Midwestern Thread.

DIY Toms Sandals - Midwestern Thread

Now here’s a flip flop I could consider.  This fabric makeover by The Mother Huddle makes them look much more toe-friendly.

Knot So Hard Flip Flops - The Mother Huddle

I wear slippers in the house, even in the summer, but sometimes it’s too hot.  These Summer Slippers from Lady Harvatine would be great for those sweltering days.

Summer Slippers - Lady Harvatine

These Macrame Sandals from My White Idea look as fun to make as they would be to wear.

Macrame Sandals - My White Idea

Personalized Drinking Jar Wedding Favors

Welcome to my first Wedding Wednesday!  I made a list of all the different things I want to tell you about, and if I actually find photos and address one per week, we should be done somewhere around Easter.  I’ll try to condense a little.

I want to start with one of my favorite and most lengthy projects – the wedding favors.  My daughter wanted to feature mason jars, so we decided early on that we’d use them as drinking glasses.  From there it morphed into painting them with a little chalkboard paint so guests could write their names on them, to painting the names on with glass paint, to cutting the names from permanent vinyl and adding a lid with a grommet and straw and making them the take-home wedding favors.  With about 225 invited guests and extra jars for surprises, it was an ambitious undertaking but one I was happy to take on.

Personalized Drinking Jar Wedding Favors - Crafty Staci 1

Last winter, my husband decided I needed a Silhouette Cameo.  I didn’t think I really did.  I figured it would be fun to play with once in a while, but would mostly just take up space.  Let me tell you, much of what I made for that wedding couldn’t have happened without it.  This post is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Silhouette, I’m just here to tell you that I’m a huge fan now.  I found the software easy to use, the prices and selection for art very reasonable and the learning curve to get started with the machine wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected.  Commercial over, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

I set up a template page for the names and just returned to it each time I needed to start a new one.  There were many, many pages.  I bought grey permanent vinyl on Amazon, which by happy accident ended up looking a little like the glasses were etched.

Personalized Drinking Jar Wedding Favors - Crafty Staci 2

I used cheap, clear vinyl over the top as a transfer medium, then cut all of the names apart.  All that was left once that was done was to wipe the jars down with rubbing alcohol and apply the names.

Personalized Drinking Jar Wedding Favors - Crafty Staci 3

While I was working on the glass, my husband was crafting the lids.  After doing a couple by hand, he did a little shopping and found this contraption.

Personalized Drinking Jar Wedding Favors - Crafty Staci 4

It was $65 on Ebay and came with some grommets.  When you’re looking at making nearly 20 dozen of these, that cost is so worth it.  To start, he drilled holes in the center of the lids with a 7/16” drill bit.  He ultimately used his drill press because he ended up with smoother holes and it took less time, but a regular drill can work too.

Personalized Drinking Jar Wedding Favors - Crafty Staci 5

He inserted the larger side of a #2 size (a tiny bit shy of 1/2”) grommet into the hole and slipped the smaller side onto the back.

Personalized Drinking Jar Wedding Favors - Crafty Staci 6

A quick punch with the grommet-squisher…

Personalized Drinking Jar Wedding Favors - Crafty Staci 7

And we had lids that straws fit into perfectly.

Personalized Drinking Jar Wedding Favors - Crafty Staci 8

Of course, since the wedding colors were yellow and grey, we searched the world for yellow straws.

Personalized Drinking Jar Wedding Favors - Crafty Staci 9

I couldn’t be happier with the way these turned out.  They worked well for holding the tea and lemonade we served, and the lid kept out the pesky bugs.

Personalized Drinking Jar Wedding Favors - Crafty Staci 10

We wanted to make sure guests understood that they could take these home, so I again used my Cameo to make a sign.  We just used 1/8” hickory plywood that my husband cut to size, added the lettering, and I found that cute mason jar (with the word Love on it already) in the Silhouette store.  I improvised the yellow vinyl straw.

Personalized Drinking Jar Wedding Favors - Crafty Staci 11

These were a huge hit with our guests and a great way to help them find their seats.  In fact, we only had one jar left behind at the end of the night!

Personalized Drinking Jar Wedding Favors - Crafty Staci 12

Late Summer Preview

It’s August, and last time I really felt like life wasn’t made of pure chaos it was April.  I was absent from this space for much of July, but now I’ve caught my breath and I’m ready to dive back in.  To start out, I thought I’d give you a glimpse into what you can expect coming up.

First of all, the wedding was fantastic, and I have so much to share with you!  For the foreseeable future, we’re going to have Wedding Wednesdays.  I have some tutorials for things my husband and I made, and even one from the bride and groom. I also want to show you some amazing stuff, like the ring bearer box my son spent months crafting.  Don’t worry, I’ll try to slip some non-wedding projects in between those Wednesdays.

Here’s a sneak peek from their fantastic photographer, Heather Fitch.

Codi and John

I have a couple of sewing books I’ll be reviewing soon.  Super Stitches Sewing by Nicole Vasbinder and Basic Black by Sato Watanabe have been patiently sitting next to my computer.

Basic Black and Super Stitches Sewing

I also have some exciting news to share with West Coast vacationers from my friends at Undercover Tourist.  Especially timely, since I’ll be among you next month!  You can expect a new Disney craft to add to my collection soon.

Disney Crafts on Crafty Staci

All of my customizable items have been returned to my Etsy shop, including the pencil coffee sleeve that can have your favorite teacher’s name hand-embroidered on it.

2013-11-24 005

So, there’s a bit of what you can look forward to in the coming months.  I hope you’ll join me!

Friday Favorites–Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries

We’ve spent most of this week recovering from the wedding.  I’ll be talking about some of the details soon, but it couldn’t have been better.  Everything came together just as we imagined it, the weather was perfect, the bride and groom were very happy and they’ve started their adventure as newlyweds.  And the bride’s dad and I were exhausted.  Since we were busy getting ready, then too tired to cook, there were several days of take-out.  Now I just want some fresh fruit and vegetables, and one of my favorites is a bowl of cherries.

Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries - Crafty Staci's Friday Favorites

Ok, so maybe this isn’t entirely the healthy food I was talking about, but I’m really intrigued by the idea of roasting the cherries before whirling them into this Roasted Cherry Milkshake from 52 Kitchen Adventures.

Roasted Cherry Milkshakes by 52 Kitchen Adventures

This crocheted set of pin-on cherries from Sewing Adicta gives a little more dimension than embroidery or an ordinary brooch.

Embroidered Cherries by Sewing Adicta

These Cherry Tablecloth Weights from Just Something I Made are a fun twist on a summertime outdoor necessity.

Summer Cherries Tablecloth Weights by Just Something I Made

These Chocolate Maraschino Cherry Mice from Frugal Coupon Living would be great for keeping the kids busy for a bit.

Maraschino Cherry Mice by Frugal Coupon Living

Technically these Cherry Lollipop Valentines from The Tomcat Studio are out of season, but I don’t see why you couldn’t make these any time you wanted to share a little cherry-flavored love.

Cherry Lollipop Valentines by The Tomcat Studio

Ah, the wedding favors.  One of my biggest recent projects (again, I’ll be sharing soon).  Before we landing on our final plan, we looked through LOTS of ideas, like these Cherry Bomb Wedding Favors from Martha Stewart Weddings.

Cherry Bomb Wedding Favors by Martha Stewart Weddings

With some premade pie crust dough and canned filling, these cherry tarts from Frankly Entertaining could be pulled together in a matter of minutes.

Cherry Tarts by Frankly Entertaining

This Cherry Garland from Willow Day is a fun décor idea for a summer party.

Cherry Garland by Willow Day

All I can say about these Quilled Cherries from Manuk is wow.

Quilled Cherries by Manuk

I have got to make myself a pair of these Cherry Earrings from Anna Pika.  So cute!

Cherry Earrings by Anna Pika