Monday, November 21, 2011

My legs are WARM!

I am obsessed with tall boots with long socks or leg warmers. Yes, leg warmers. No, I'm not confused about what decade it is. I'm not talking about 80s leg warmers over spandex in neon colors. These leg warmers are worn under boots so no one will ever know that they aren't really socks. I've seen them all over at stores and online. Some for as high as $80!!

I'm on a budget and even if I wasn't, I could never spend $80 on a pair of socks. So I decided to make my own. $12 at Salvation Army got me 6 fairly ugly sweaters in random sizes - and now I have 6 new pairs of leg warmers to wear as boot socks!

Like them? Do you want to make some too? Here's how:

( I used a serger, but I think you could zigzag stitch all the places I serged and still end up with the same effect.)

Step 1: Acquire some ugly sweaters at a thrift store. Make sure the knit has some stretch to it because, in all likelihood, your legs are bigger around than the sleeves of most tops.

Step 2: Measure from your heel to the back of your knee and add 1 inch. Measure that length from the cuff of your sweater.

Step 3: Cut both sleeves off. Stay perpendicular to the sleeve - don't follow the shoulder seam.

*At this point, slip the sleeve on your leg. If it is loose at the top (3 of my 6 pairs were), turn them inside out and serge up the underarm seam to make them smaller. 

Step 4: Cut a small (1/2 inch) slit at the underarm seam and serge all the way around the raw edge.

Step 5: Flip the edge in and ZIGZAG stitch with about 1/2 inch seam allowance.

And you're done!

Unless you're not done. I thought I was, but then went a bit embellishment crazy.

I sewed buttons on 5 pairs and trim on 3.

Learn from my mistakes: Decide from the beginning which will get trim and buttons - then put the trim on BEFORE the buttons. I sewed the buttons on first and they were constantly in the way when I was trying to put the trim on. Also, don't forget to zigzag trim on and stretch the knit a bit as you sew. You need to be able to get them over the widest part of your calf, even if the trim doesn't have any stretch.

I left the argyle ones unadorned, but they are super long so I can put them up high above my knees or slouch them down a bit for knee high length.

Good thing I have seven pairs of tall boots because I want to wear a pair of these every day!

Update: Here's a really bad picture I took with my cell phone this morning but you can see the cream lace pair with brown riding boots.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Produce pouches

It seems silly to use plastic produce bags when I make the effort to use fabric totes at the checkout lane. I have purchased several sets of mesh bags that work wonderful for fruits and veggies at the grocery store or at the farmers market. Somehow they always seem to wander off. I'm not sure if I'm accidentally throwing them out occasionally, if they're blowing away when I'm not looking or if some of the friends, family and strangers who are always so impressed with them "borrow" a few here and there. At one point in time, I had 20 in 4 different sizes. The last time I took count, I was down to six!

Simple solution? How about $3 for 12 in two sizes! 1 yard of mesh on sale for $1 plus one spool of ribbon for $2. Less than two hours later, I had 8 small bags and 4 large ones!

I just serged around 3 sides and around the opening at the top. Flipped the top down about 1/2 an inch and zigzagged that all the way around. Snip two little slits on one side and use a safety pin to slide the ribbon through. Tie a knot and viola! They're cute, they're cheap and they are environmentally friendly. Never a reason to use plastic bags for produce again!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Wee li'l pumpkins

Last month I visited a friend in Brooklyn. She had the cutest tiny velvet pumpkins that she had bought in Kansas City. I very badly wanted to pack them up in my suitcase and bring them home. However, she appeared to be rather attached to them too, and she'd been nice enough to let me stay the weekend at her apartment, so I thought better than to repay her kindness by stealing her things! Instead I came home and made my own.

My camera was really struggling with these. I think it was actually the bowl they are in. Clockwise from left they are navy, red, purple, green, burgundy, magenta and orange (center). I bought gourds and small pumpkins, snapped off their stems and let them dry before glueing them on.

I just love how the stems look on the fancy, jewel-toned velvets. Makes me think of Cinderella for some reason.

I started out with five. Then decided I wanted more colors, so I went back to the fabric store (and grocery store for pumpkins) and made two more - one of each color for a total of seven. That wasn't enough, so I made a second of each color. What the heck am I going to do with 14 tiny velvet pumpkins? No idea. Don't care. I love them.

These three are my favorite. Again, the colors are off. They are magenta, navy and burgundy.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

It's another giveaway!

Not mine this time but over at Andrea the Kitchen Witch's blog she's giving away A Cook's Book for Cooks by Stephen Crout.

The giveaway is open until Wednesday and is super simple to enter, so take 5 minutes, read the post and enter to win!

Monday, November 7, 2011

And the Ghastlie winner is...

#129 Julie!

Julie will receive:

Ghastlies half apron

Ghastlies coffee cozie


Ghastlies bookmark

Congrats, Julie! Thanks to all 157 of you who commented and entered to win! And a BIG thank you to Madam Samm for putting this Ghastlies Blog Hop together.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

One amazing lady

Today my Grandma Vera passed away. She was definitely a one of a kind. She had 13 children and more than 80 grandchildren and great grandchildren. Her and my grandpa have been married more than 65 years. This photo is from their honeymoon to California in the 1940s and is my all time favorite picture of her.

I believe this is her senior picture. 

Rest in peace, Grandma. You were one heck of a lady. We'll miss you.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Día de los Muertos

This year for Halloween I was a Day of the Dead skeleton bride. 90% of the costume was the makeup, which I thought turned out fabulous. I used Tulip brand face paint, which was wonderful! Great coverage, went on easy, stayed dry (with baby powder), and washed off clean at the end of the night. I used Tulip brand rhinestones and skin glue - which also stayed on perfectly. (No, I am not being paid to endorse Tulip, I was just that impressed!)

I put two black roses and a feathered head piece from Mood in my hair.

I painted a black turtleneck from Good Will with the filigree bones and glitter. The dress is compliments a costume swap with Andrea.

I even carved my pumpkin like a Day of the Dead bride!


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