7/13/16

Backyard happenings....

We extended our outdoor buffet table in our pirate backyard--- although this was finished about a month ago-- I'm just now getting around to sharing it. I have so many projects going on at once...it just seems like I finish up one project and then just transition into finishing up something else like it is just one ginormous project. When I finally do sit down to blog about "something" I'm at a loss as what to share because everything just seems like it is all one big project and all a work in progress!  Any-who... here it is... Taaaaaa~daaaaaaaaaa! We have added another 30' of buffet/counter space to the already existing 25' we had previously made.
 The bottom of each section is open to showcase pirate treasure~
When creating these sections we added plywood sheets to the top/back of each section so I could have another place to decorate with odds and ends of pirate treasure.
 Today I added some rope to the boxed posts to use as a gentle reminder not to fall into the pool. We have only had ONE person fall into the pool--- it still makes me laugh when I remember that!
So, now the entire length of the back of our house is a usable space with a l-o-n-g counter along it. The space is perfect for when we have large B.B.Q. parties in our backyard. We have even added several power strips along the buffet table to plug in crock pots or anything needing electricity.
 I have a lot of fun jewelry tucked inside these little shadow boxes. My friend stained and sealed these for me... sweet huh.
 Sometimes I randomly pluck a blingy-ring from these boxes and wear it while I goof around in my pirate yard....
 The bottoms are looking a little bare, but before you know it, they will be bursting at the seams with treasure.
 Occasionally, my dog will be running around with a gold doubloon in her mouth, but for the most part she is an angel considering all there is in the backyard that I'm sure tempts her daily. At six months old, she now weighs in at 45 pounds...
I finally found a fun place to hang one of the many pirate flags I have...
 It is wonderful having a pirate themed backyard, it is great when I'm tired of something inside my house to be able to put it in my backyard and still enjoy it. (Silver champagne bucket with the Ivory colored Roses)
 Here is a shot of the entire length of the back of our house showing 55' of buffet-table-space. We generally use the 25' of buffet table way at the other end of this photo. This new area will be perfect for an upcoming Halloween party or two..or three.... where everyone brings a bag of candy and we have a "candy exchange" party.
 At the very end of this buffet table I had to stop short because of the cement sloping down and of course the gate opens inwards-- so I added some netting and sea shells to this area to cover up the wall.
While treasure hunting this past weekend I found a few fun pirate treasures to stash in my backyard.... A few more pirate hooks and some silver items to play around with.

I was looking for another round table for my backyard... I have five already, why on earth do I need another one?.... The asking price on this table created using one of the rounds off of a wooden cable spool was $50... I got it for $25.00. I think it is pretty darn cute! I am planning on staining it with a nice oak stain to help seal the wood and give it a nice aged appearance.
I am getting ready to host a few more parties this month, I've just got a few tiny projects to get completed before hand. I only wish my shoulder wasn't acting up... blah. I've got Adhesive Capsulitis... a.k.a. Frozen Shoulder. Hurts like a sun-of-a-gun...
Oh well... could be worse right? Could be better... but it could be worse.
big hugs,
Cheryl

6/30/16

Animator Doll Undies

My grandaughter's Disney Animator dolls were all going commando under their outfits that I had made them months ago... we can't have that now can we? So, making doll underwear has been on my to do list for awhile now.
The only thing holding me back was not having any stretchy elastic lace trim. Well guess what I found? Yards and yards of stretchy elastic lace trim...for only.50¢. I couldn't find any doll underwear patterns online that would fit this size doll, so I whipped up my own. It was fairly easy, I only had to rework the pattern I was making a few times to get it to fit the doll correctly.

Some of the doll clothing I had made for my grandaughter's Animator dolls were made using old baby clothing.
I saved all of the larger fabric scraps of cotton jersey knits so I could create some doll undies at a later date. Since finding the lavender stretchy lace trim, it was time to get to work, no excuses now.

Here is a quick tutorial on how to make your own undies for a Disney Animator Doll....

Here is the pattern I whipped up to make the underwear that will fit a Disney Animator doll. Print at 100% and when you cut it out, do not add any seam allowance as it is already added to the pattern.
 *Helpful Tips*
*The seam allowance is 1/4" ---I like a big seam allowance when I sew with knit fabric. Once the seam is sewn, I cut it to about 1/8" of an inch to get rid of the extra fabric.
*Back stitch every seam. You have to keep in mind little hands are going to be tugging these on and off of their dolls for (hopefully) years to come.
*You can use old baby clothing, or any nice adult or childs t-shirt or any outgrown childrens clothing that is made with the jersey knit fabric.

Using the pattern I created, trace two of the pattern pieces onto some cotton jersey knit fabric. I use a regular ball point pen to trace the pattern onto the fabric.
Place the fabric right sides together and stitch the middle center piece of the undies, back stitch both starting and stopping stitches. Again, use a 1/4" seam allowance and trim the extra fabric away once you've stitched this seam. I have white bobbin thread and I'm using a lavender top thread so that both threads match the garment... although the center and side seams will be both white and lavender-- the seams are little and hardly noticeable at all once the piece is finished.

Lay open the newly stitched piece and pin-tack some stretchy lace trim to one edge of a leg opening, I just use one pin to hold the lace in place to get started, then I just match the edges and sew along as I go. *Another Tip* I do not cut the stretchy lace trim to fit the area I'm sewing, I cut the trim after the area has been sewn. I am forever cutting pieces "to short" to use, so this helps solve that problem.
I use a wide  zig-zag stitch to maintain the stretchiness of the fabric. When using straight stitches, sometimes the stitches might ‘pop’ when the fabric is stretched or pulled. Repeat for the other leg opening...

Once both leg openings have the stretchy lace sewn in place, fold the underwear right sides together and sew along just ONE side of the underwear. Trim off excess fabric.
Next, pin-tack the stretchy lace at one edge of the waist band lining up along the edge as you go at the sewing machine and zig-zag into place.
When sewing the trim along the waist band the piece is a little wonky-- but take your time and adjust the fabric as needed under the presser foot and it will be easy peasy.
Almost finished! With right sides facing, line up the one side seam that is needing to be sewn.... sew the seam and trim away the excess fabric.

Lastly, turn your garment right sides out and there you have it! Doll undies to fit your Disney Animator Doll!
Little Anna is so embarrassed to be showing off her undies. *wink* These little undies whip up so fast, I easy made three pairs in about 20 minutes.
I'm pretty happy with how these little undies have turned out, I'm sure my grandaughter is going to be happy with them as well!
big hugs,
Cheryl

6/19/16

Recent Treasure

Last weekend I scored big time on some fabulous treasure... PEARLS!
I have a love affair with pearls. *swoon* I got my very first real pearl on a trip to Hawaii when I was seventeen. There was a little Kiosk on the main floor of the hotel we were staying at that I stopped at every day to look and admire the pearls. They had oysters in salt water that you could buy and they opened them right on the spot and revealed your pearl. After budgeting my spending money for the week, I finally decided to take the plunge and buy one. Once the oyster was opened, out popped an absolutely beautiful large golden-pearl. On the spot I decided to pay the additional amount to have a gold bail inserted in the pearl so I could wear it :-) What good is a pearl if you can't wear it right?

In total, I got one-hundred-thirty-eight items of fresh water pearl jewelry.
 What would you have paid for all of that?
 I got necklace sets with matching earrings...
 Single strands and multiply strands of fresh water pearl necklaces...
 Different colors too...
 These below have no clasps so I was going to pull them apart to play with them when I'm into making jewelry again.
One-hundred-thirty-eight pieces of fresh water pearl jewelry... Curious as to what I bought it all for? Forty buckaroos... $40.00... F-O-R-T-Y.  The original asking price was $50... of course I had to haggle the price down right? I tried to get it all for $20, that is just how I roll...then I tried $30, and finally she agreed to $40. Soooooo dividing 138 pearl items by $40 bucks... means I paid .30¢ each. Not to shabby.
 In keeping with the jewelry treasure theme... at a yard sale I bought a lot of little bags of  ornate bails and small ornate blank bezel pendant trays... both with a lovely antiqued/oxidized patina. Each little bag was .50¢ Also I bought a large baggie of pearls and beads for $2.00. You can never have enough lovely colored pearls and beads. If nothing else, they look wonderful in a jar.
I may sell some of my pearl loot on my Etsy site... but a lot of it will be given away at my pirate parties. Pearl door prizes? Yes, please :-)
big hugs,
Cheryl

6/14/16

My Lagoon

The Lagoon area in my pirate backyard is newly updated and I couldn't be more pleased. I added about four more additional feet to the lagoon area which doesn't sound like much, but it has made a world of difference. We pulled down a 10' x 12' sunshade covering and created a more substantial roof over this area. At one of the stairways  into the step down lagoon I added some sheer curtains to frame the entrance...
 As you step down your warned to beware of pirates...
 This is the view to the right of the stairs as you step down...
The view to the left of the stairs..

This is the view standing on the stairs looking into the lagoon. Now that this area is larger, I now have a great space for a cozy seating area.
 I have enough seating in the lagoon for seven people to sit comfortable-- with room to spare!
 I decided not to create a long table across the back wall and opted to just use the space to showcase a few things.
As you can tell, I've really got it packed with a lot of stuff.

At a later date I may change my mind and do something different, that is how I roll~
 Because this is an area where people can sit and linger for longer periods of time, I tried to pull together interesting things to create little vignettes for people to gauze at...
 Inside this pirate chest I've been tossing some nicer pieces of jewelry and other nicer odds and ends.
 Behind the couch I've added a triangle table sitting on top of a whiskey barrel for added display space.
 Past the couch is the remnants of our pirate ship.
 I think the ship looks so much better here than on the cement pad where it was originally moored...

At the front of the ship is a fabulous area filled with a pirate chest and TONS of gems and jewels. Unfortunately my puppy thought the area looked enticing-- and had started to dig in the jewels--- so I had to fence off the area. I am hopeful that by next year she won't even give the area a second glance. Fingers crossed. 

Just past this area is another stairway entrance into the lagoon.
So as you come down these stairs you'll see the couch to the right.... With more seating to the left...
From this view you can see the other stair entrance in the back...

We have already had one lovely party recently and I foresee many-many more on the horizon!
big hugs,
Cheryl