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October 29, 2012

A long time coming… table

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Yep Celina jacked this from your Facebook Account but you will still love me.
This week we are going to be highlighting some refinishing done by us and some of our cute amigas. Today we are happy to have Celina; who is bubbly, sassy and just fun. And we LOVE Spending time with this crazy girl. 

My husband’s parents gifted us an old table a year or so ago, and we welcomed it gladly(hey, who doesn’t like free stuff?). The thing with this table is, I can really only think of 2 words to describe it: “eye” and “sore”. No, really. I might describe the color as ‘royal green’ (it’s REALLY green!) and needless to say it's the only thing of its kind in the apartment anywhere. Something needed to be done. I really actually like the style of the table, but the green (and don’t get me wrong, I LOVE green) kind of kicked me in the eye every time I walked by. So I decided to refinish it.

First, we sanded ‘er down. BOY. There was WAY more paint on that table than anticipated! It took all day. And that’s no exaggeration. We started around 11 in the morning and didn’t finish til the sun was setting. I already liked it so much better! I almost considered staining it rather than painting it.
Buuuuut I already bought the paint! So we went ahead and primed and painted her black. A coat or two of oil-based primer/sealer/stainblocker, a light sanding, and she was ready for paint. 3 light coats of a water-based “satin black” and it was lookin perty. We (and I keep saying “we”, but let’s be honest: I did most the work ;) ). Topped it off with a Polycrylic finish, 2 coats, and that’s a wrap!
In retrospect, this was a really fun project! I’d totally do it again. And I probably will, what with other inherited furniture around just wanting to fit in.
October 26, 2012

CailaMade: PR&P Sewalong Recap

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We are ecstatic to have another talented seamstress and joyful mom. I found her blog the week she made the Jess dress I loved how she combined different fabrics and textures to create something beautiful. One of my favorite things she has made is the Jess Dress cardigan and I was excited when she posted a tutorial for it on her blog. Last week she showed how to make a peasant dress with long sleeves which I was relieved to have a tutorial for because Idaho winters are cold and we live in a city with the nickname Iceberg. It will be so nice to make a long sleeved peasant top for Brooklyn. Go check out her blog, you should probably follow it she is making some pretty rad stuff and uses the cutest fabric.
The Jess Cardigan Tutorial
Long Sleeved Peasant Dress

Hello everyone! I'm Caila from CailaMade and I'm so happy to be here at Shaffer Sisters today. Some of my favorite things in the world are my children, fabric, and bright colors. You're going to see all three of those today. Thanks for having me!

I was asked to share a little bit about my experiences from sewing along with Project Run & Play. It was such an exciting and stretching experience--I can't wait to do it again!

Bias & Buttons Dress for Week 1

1. What was your favorite thing about participating in PR&P?

I think my favorite part about the PR&P sewalong was that it pushed me to try things I've never done before. While sewing my Bias and Buttons dress, I honestly did not know if it was going to work! The whole time I kept thinking, "If this works out, it will be a miracle!" I'm so glad the dress turned out so beautifully, because it taught me to go with my instincts and be courageous.

I have one more favorite, it that's allowed, and it was sewing along with so many talented sewists. I seriously cannot believe how much talent convened in one Flickr group!

2. What was your favorite clothing item you made this season?

I love how striking the Bias and Buttons dress is, but honestly, The Jess Dress is my favorite piece. It was much more technical than Bias & Buttons and I'm somewhat proud of myself for pulling it off. Just a few months ago I wouldn't have been able to design and make this dress from scratch. My daughter, Abby, never wants to take it off and there's something so pleasing about the way the skirt hangs.

I wish I had participated in more of the PR&P weeks, but I launched a blog series and participated in KCWC at the same time. Alas, I only have so many hours in the day. Next year, I plan on doing more. For now, I'm enjoying what I did accomplish.

If you would like to see more of what I've sewn, head on over to my blog, CailaMade! I love making new friends and taking shop about sewing.

1. Bias & Buttons
2. Little Cap and Raglan Tee
3. Long-sleeved Peasant Dress
4. Gold Fever Shorts

3. Lastly, what is your favorite part about being a mom?

This may sound cheesy, but my favorite part about being a mom is being my kids' mom. I think my three children are fantastic people. I've never met anyone I liked so much as I like them! I feel privileged to be a part of their daily lives and to be the one they look to for guidance and love. Mothering is hard work and there is never any rest, but I have gained so much in return. I'm really a lucky woman.

Thank you so much for having me, Shaffer Sisters! It was so wonderful getting to know you and many other talented sewists/designers during PR&P. I look forward to the next one!
October 25, 2012

Precious and Few: PR&P Sew-Along Recap

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We are pleased to have a Shannon here today. I was blown away by so many members of the Project Run and Play Sew Along Pool, I was impressed by how she made stylish but still functional items. Then I went to her blog and I was blown away by what a fun family she has, if you haven't you really should check out her blog. 

Hi, I’m Shannon from over at Precious and FewI want to thank the Shaffer Sisters for asking me to be a part of their PR&P recap. I have always enjoyed making things and, although sewing has been one of my primary mediums for creating since I was 10, sewing clothes for children is one of my newest endeavors.  

What your favorite thing about participating in PR&P?

My favorite thing about participating in the PR&P sew-along is that I could. Back in February of this year, I recall checking out the PR&P season at that time (I have followed PR&P from the beginning), and desperately wishing that I had the time to participate in the sew-long. However, at the time, I was filling every spare moment with studying for licensing exams. Between kids and establishing my career, I had had little extra time for anything else since they had been born. Fast forward to this season of PR&P. My licensing exams are over and I now have more time for family and friends, church activities, and my hobbies. I began with the first week of the sew along. It was 8pm the night before the first project deadline, and I thought to myself, I can do this! Sewing clothing for little girl truly fed my soul over the past few months.

What your favorite clothing item you made this season?

I think it would be the grey bubble dress that I made for the fall holiday challenge: 

I spent a lot of time thinking about what I might do for this project and, to be honest, was relieved that it all came together! I combined aspects of two patterns: Anna Horner's Handmade Beginnings Baby-in-the-Hood Jacket and Growing Up Sew Liberated Crossover Tee (which only came in sizes 2-4T so I had to alter it to a smaller size). I then added a bubble skirt which I mostly figured out from looking at one that my daughter had in her closet. For the legging, I was able to upcycle a t-shirt that I have had on hand for at least a year that I had picked up with the intent of making leggings for ‘A.’ I am a complete newbie to altering patterns so I was very pleased when the project worked out.

Following the picture are the links 
to my blog for my PR&P projects:

And your favorite part about being a mom. 

My favorite part of being a mom is the love I feel towards my two little ones and the love that they give back. ‘O’ (my 4-year-old) frequently says “I wuv you sooo much,” and I recently started saying back, “I wuv you too.” He then says in a matter-of-fact way, “Why did you say that?” referring to my pronunciation of love (completely unaware of how he says it). ‘A’ recently started giving kisses. She also frequently pats me on the back when I pick her up and repeatedly says "mommy" is the sweetest little questioning voice whenever she is riding in the car. 
October 25, 2012

Good Laugh

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Warning: Jo don't read this blog post while Hubbins around unless you want him to turn a permanent scarlet.
In preparation for next season's Project Run and Play, I was looking up needle felting. The first video I found was this one. I love this lady's fun energy and then at 2:34 she realizes what her initial demonstrative piece looks like:

Al and I were sitting her crying as she tries to fix her accident.
It was a good reminder not to take yourself to seriously when things don't work out quite right!
October 23, 2012

Project Run and Play Round Up of Sew Along Challenge {Fall 2012}

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Wow I feel like the last eight weeks have been a whirlwind with the Project Run and Play Sew Along Challenge and extended family fun. While participating in the sew along challenge I drove to Utah twice, half way across Idaho, into Montana to meet my sister with her kids, to visit Jo and her family in their new house (which according to my calculations is 2040+ miles, luckily most of that was on the interstate so it went a little faster). I also planned, crafted and hosted Rhett's 3rd birthday party which was a homemade fall carnival.
Even with everything that was going on I felt like Project Run and Play Sew Along challenge taught me that one day I would really like to compete in the real Project Run and Play competition. Though at times it was stressful I think it was good for me to sew on a deadline. Often times I find myself tweaking project until I am satisfied with the results, but that process can take months. With such a tight deadline I had to set aside time, plan my projects and execute them. With that I also had to change my mind if I realized that I wasn't going to have time to finish a project.
My favorite thing about the Sew Along Challenge was watching other people design and create. It was neat to get compliments but even more rewarding to give them in return. Here are a few of my favorites from the six weeks:
Quilted Autumn Play Dress
It's Okay to be Biased Skirt
Getting "Twiggy" With It.
Jess Dress and Cardigan
Purpledicular Dress (this was made from white sheet!)
18 month old Jacket (white sheet again!)
There were so many boy crafts it excited me because it gave me so many ideas for Rhett beyond shorts, tie shirts or ties. Don't believe me check these out:
Mack the Knife
Hidden Pants
Super Boy
Cool Kid
Jeans, Sweatshirt, Slouchy Beany (great ideas for a boy even though her model was a girl)
I love this outfit for an older boy
Thanksgiving Dinner Time
Crocodiles and tortoises
Rebel Without A Cause
There are so many talented designers I tried to share as many as time would permit but I have already spent way too much time on this post and way too little time on sweeping and mopping my floors (when the kids are asleep momma will clean). Here is a link to the pool you should go look for yourself what amazing gals (their might be some guys but I don't think I have come across any yet).
I was talking the whole experience over with Al last week and I felt so renewed in that I had been able to survive and pretty pleased with some of the things that I was able to create. Here they all here for you to look at:
Optical Illusion Skirt with Matching Shorts and Tie for Brother
Dior Inspired Dress
Surely Stylish Scarlet
Leaf Monster Suit {Mini-Ghillie Pancho}
Thank Goodness for Little Girls Pillowcase Dress
Contemporary Mock Wrap

If you enjoyed our sewing projects for Project Run and Play you might enjoy some of our other kids sewing projects. 
We have some exciting things planned for next week with some refinishing furniture projects and maybe by the start of next week we will be able to show off some of our Halloween costumes for your viewing pleasure.
October 18, 2012

Scary's Signature Style: Cozy Contemporary Mock Wrap

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This is the last week of Project Run and Play Sew Along Challenge (well for this year anyway) and I have really enjoyed every project I have made. I am hoping next week to do a round up of my favorite Sew Along Challenge Peers. 
I love being cozy, so much that more than 50% of waking hours I am found in t-shirts and workout clothes. But when I get dressed up I really like to dress up, I like dramatic colors, textures, patterns. So I used scraps from a few refashioning projects to make this little number.
Miss Boston looked so beautiful in this little number but a few minutes after she put it on she came down with stomach flu. So we decided to give her the day off from modeling and throw it on her 3 month younger boy cousin. We were glad that Heber was willing to model this little number. And Al took the pictures so I could take care of my little bird.
The top is made with a Caftan (yep love caftans, like I did here). If you want to make your own Caftan check out Simple Simon and Co. tutorial about it. I then used the ties from the dress that the damask fabric came to make the ties for this little dress. This will give Boston lots of growing room but also allows for great fit.
Then I used the bottom of a dress that I had cut off to make a dress. It is all super stretchy soft knit. And the project cost me NOTHING, since it was made from scraps. The flower on the top of the dress is a removable broach so it could be replaced by any color flower or accents.

October 16, 2012

Jo & Hubbin {Just Another Day in Paradise Photography with a Large Family}

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Jo & Hubbin have the most energetic family of 7, I have ever been around. Jo stays crazy busy with homeschooling the 3 oldest and loving the 2 youngest. The last time I had a chance to take their family pictures was when her 3rd was a baby, when I was headed to Montana to visit her she requested that I take her family's picture. When I asked her what poses/pictures she would like she said that she had no expectations but that I should just go with the flow and really try to capture the spirit of her family.
Here is my easy going photo shoot (or little to no-posing) of Jo's family. With the older 3 boys I tried to give them themes and then just shot what ever actions they made.
Warning: this post is going to have a lot of pictures

October 12, 2012

Thank Goodness for Little Girls

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From the Mouth of Jo:
A few years ago I remember sitting in a friends living room and crying.  I was watching my friends husband dance with his daughter, while she was standing on his feet.  As they spun and twirled, I sat silently with tears streaming down my cheeks.  I thought of all of the times I had wished that Hubbin could dance with his very own little girl.  I mourned for women who weren't married or couldn't have children.  I mourned for friends who had lost children.  I knew that if I felt such sorrow when I had been already so blessed, I was sure that those women must really be hurting.  I prayed for them and yearned for their prayers to be answered.  As I was praying and crying I realized that if I loved a little girl that I would have some day soooo much, then Heavenly Father must really love me.  About 2 years later I finally got my little girl.  She means the world to me.  I thank Heavenly Father every day for sharing her with me. 

Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays not only because of the AMAZING food but because it was a time to celebrate family and all that we have been given.
The vintage pillow case is beauty without being abundance. The sleeves made out of an old button up shirt remind me of the beautiful accent colors we have in Idaho from the colorful sunsets to crunch leaves. The bias tape at the skirt bottom, bow and headband I found at this cool thrift store Jo showed us in Helena.
This sleeved pillow case dress (aka peasant top dress) was probably one of my favorite projects for one of my favorite little people. I wanted to make sure that it fit and that this little sweetie wasn't going to be covered in fabric but had just enough room to move but not to drown. To do this instead of using the full width and height of the pillow case I used 1.5 times her largest measurement as the width and measured from shoulder to tea length as the height.
October 03, 2012

Leaf Monster Suit

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I had my ideas what I would do for Boy Week but that all got changed when Rhett said to me, "I want a Leaf Monster Suit for my Birthday".
Now for the back story: last week Power Shoes celebrated his birthday, one of his birthday presents was a Ghillie Pancho for duck hunting. Rhett looks up to all of his uncles and watches to see what they think is cool and tries to imitate.
At that moment I realized that my dreams of sewing a little church suit for Boy's Week were going out the window and what my son really wanted/needed was a Leaf Monster suit. How could I say no to the cute birthday boy.
The pancho was made using tricot (so it would be soft); spray painted with brown, gray and black. The hood was lined with a light brown fabric that has a warm soft texture. The leaves were cut out of quilters cotton and placed with Heat-n-Bond Lite using a Silhouette. After I randomly placed hundreds of leaves I ironed them down and then sewed lines across the poncho every inch which ended up being 64 lines.And then I sewed the leaves on the hood on individually.
It totally made his birthday to get a "Leaf Monster Suit". Each individually place leaf added a depth to the suit.
Here is how to make your own (Pancho): 
1. Use the hood of the sweatshirt that fits your little monster as a pattern, add 5/8" for seam allowance (I just pinned it directly to the material). Cut one from tricot and one from lining fabric.
2. Measure from wrist to wrist (width) and from shoulder to ankle (height). Using these measurements cut two (for my very tall 3 year old this was 30 by 32).
3. With the sweatshirt folded in half measure from the middle of the neck to the edge of the neckline (mine was 5 1/2"). Measure from the top of the shoulder down to the neck line in my case this was 1 1/2").
4. Sew right sides together for outer hood. Then sew right sides together for inner lining. Then sew the right side of the lining to the right side of the outer hood.
5. Sew the right sides of the two panels together.
6. Turn the panels right side out and fold on seam.
7. Fold in half and use the measurements found in 3 to cut the neckline.
8. Sew the right sides of the hood and the neck of the panels.
9. Spray paint the tricot; with brown, gray and black.
10: Iron Light Heat-n-bond on fabric (I used a 1/4 yard of 5 fabrics)
11: Cut out Leaves (we used the Silhouette)
12. Randomly place leafs
12. Iron Leaves on to pancho.
13. On the wrong side of the fabric mark lines every 1"
14. Sew along the lines and individually tack leaves on hood.
15. Throw it in the washer to fluff up leaves.
16. Clip your strings and let your little monster enjoy.

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