Decorating a Sunhat | DIY

I had originally titled this post “Hat Porn” Well not REALLY porn, of course. In my innocence (for which I’m grateful) I had no idea that was a THING, so I’ve retitled it, cos I never meant to be misinterpreted! Ewww.

The issue is that our titian-haired girl refuses to wear a sunhat. With that bright hair and her fair skin, it’s important that she’s protected. She’ll wear a Peppa Pig baseball cap I bought a long time ago, but a sunhat is imperative.

So…I decided to take a sunhat that I already had, dye it pink (her favorite color), and embellish with appliques and flowers.

First I cut out and chainstitched a sparkly adorable cat from a piece of material I found. When I ironed it flat, the iron got too hot and melted a bit of material so I had to add other embellishments to cover up the damage. That’s where the butterfly and flowers are located.

The final part was to sew a row of embroidered flowers across the brim. I guess I could have embroidered the flowers directly onto the hat, but I acquired these from the fabric store.

Here’s my scheme and I hope it works because it worked with her big brother a couple years ago.

When T was about two years old, he wouldn’t wear a hat either. No matter how many times we’d put a hat on his head, he’d rip it off in less than two seconds.

I decided to try a little psychology on him. One day I bought a cute sunhat with little sailboats all over it and wore it on a visit. He took it off my head, promptly put it on his own head, and never again resisted wearing a hat. I knew he would like it! In fact, he still wears it every single time he goes outside. Hee hee. A little psychology worked wonders. One day I’ll tell him what I did.

I figured if it was successful that time, a similar strategy might be just what will encourage Char to wear her hat.

I’ll let you know if my devious plan is successful. You gotta admit, that sunhat is TOO adorable, right?

Black and Blue

Sunday afternoon in SoCal was warm, sunny, and windy. I was intent on my project, hanging outdoor lights from the deck all the way to the grape arbor.

Picture me standing on the highest rung of a medium-sized step ladder. As I reached my arm as far as possible to secure a line of bright lights, I felt one of the ladder feet sink deeper into the soil than the others, creating an uneven support system.

In a split second that seemed to last an eon in slow motion, I knew before it happened that I was going to fall, that there would be no way to recover, nothing to hold to break the inevitable tumble.

And so I fell.

Arm still outstretched, I became airborne as I crashed to the ground, step ladder tangled in my legs.

I thought for sure I broke something (I’m no stranger to broken bones) but I suffered only bruising, no more damage than black and blue discoloration to remind me to be MORE careful in the future. My luck might not hold out if I tempted fate again.

If anyone had been filming me, I’m sure it would become a viral vid on YouTube or TikTok with the hashtag #stupidity, but alas, I was alone with my bunnies and butterflies and the lizards that got scared and ran off to hide under a rock.

There are more planets than Mercury in retrograde; maybe this was a message from one of them? I dunno, but I can verify that the lights look festive and perfect for late nights in the garden, just the effect I was looking for, well worth the pain.

DIY Garden Paver Project: Stepping Stones

This simple DIY project reallyreally exacerbated my OCD issues. However, I was determined NOT to give up until my inner demons were soothed.

The fifth time was a charm, at least I think so. I’m not good at math but I used sixteen pavers with the exact same distance between each one. The middle of the arch aligned perfectly with the big living room window and that made me SO happy. It’s a nice transition between the pygmy palms and the ponytail palms and my dry river bed. I realize the standard rule is to leave 24 inches between each paver or stone, but I’m short and that’s a big leap for me, ergo the reason why they are so close together.

I have an unending supply of these adorable little mounding succulents that are ideally suited to completely fill the spaces between the pavers. If I remember correctly, it’s a kind of spreading sedum and seems to love it in my backyard garden. It won’t take long for them to grow.

I thought about painting or stenciling the gray concrete but it would have spoiled the theme of the dry river bed. The rest of my front yard is planted with California natives; coyote bush, sages, buckwheat, and this gigantic Rhus integrifolia, also known as lemonade sumac or lemonade berry. It began life as a one gallon plant and must really love it in that spot because it’s as big as the house!

(I probably don’t need to tell you that you wouldn’t want to be here when I hang a picture on the wall.”Move it just a bit to the right, I mean to the left; up a tiny bit. OK. PERFECT.”)

DIY: Sewing a Chelsea Collar

I found these three adorable dresses for Angel Girl at our local resale shop. I brought them home to wash, disinfect, and iron.

May be an image of outdoors

But something was missing. They needed an embellishment to become perfection. The kitty cat dress didn’t seem to need it, but the other two did.

They needed a collar! While Peter Pan collars add a modern yet retro vintage touch, in order to be called a Peter Pan type, it would need rounded edges. What I created is more of a “Chelsea” collar with pointed edges.

This was a fun and easy project. I downloaded a free template and then I had a brilliant thought. To make this project even easier, I could simply cut out and attach different types of lace. This would keep the actual sewing to a minimum; no fabric, no turning of the collar. EASY!

I went to Jo-Anns and found the right material to complement both dresses. Thrifty girl that I am, each piece cost about two dollars.

The next step: Cut out and pin the collars to the dress. Make sure to allow enough room to turn/sew the raw ends under.

Finally, sew the collar to the dress at the neck. It can be done by machine or by hand. This time I used my sewing machine. I have a very old machine and it needs a tune up as it’s acting up a bit, but since it weighs about fifty pounds, I haven’t wanted to fight with it to bring to the repair shop.

This is the finished product. I added the contrast of narrow blue satin ribbon and a bow.

I love this one too. The eyelet lace perfectly enhances this bright and beautiful party dress. With Char’s titian hair, it will look AMAZING.

Now I’m searching in my own closet for a dress that needs an embellishment because I’m obsessed with collars!

Enchanting Seashell Bouquets

For #ThrowbackThursday, I reached into the vault of previously written posts and found this one from 2012.

I reworked it a bit and added a few more photos of the seashell bouquets that I’ve crafted since then.

At the time, I needed a new project and somewhere. probably on Pinterest, I saw a bouquet of seashells and starfish and thought that it looked easy enough to re-create, so I did!

An added benefit to the seashell bouquet is to make as a gift for anyone who’s allergic to flowers. The irony here is that I’m allergic to roses. With a name like Rosebud, that’s pretty funny, not that I’d toss them out if someone wanted to send me a dozen, but we can’t be in the same room at the same time.

How to make the seashell bouquet:
1. Get craft sticks of all sizes; I even used chopsticks.
2. If you don’t have a glue gun, get one! I can’t live without mine, that’s for sure. For this project, you don’t have to be perfect, obvs you need to use more glue for the heavier starfish
3. Florist’s foam, that would be a good idea and it’s easily available at craft stores and the dollar store, which is where I got mine.
4. It’s pretty simple: glue the seashell or starfish or sparkly treasure to the stick.
5. Insert into foam cut to fit snugly inside the vase.
6. Done!

Voila! Here’s the finished product. This vase is at the bottom of our stairs up to the second level and is the first thing you see when you come in the front door. 

I used sticks from the garden because I wanted a natural, organic creation. The vase came from a vintage consignment shop in the village.
The vase came from Anthropologie; I embellished it with the seashell collar. Yay for glue guns!

Are you crafty? Let me know what you’ve been doing all the many months of being isolated during the Covid Pandemic. The next time I get to see Angel Boy 2.0, I think he’s old enough to help me make one, and I think he’d love to create a seashell bouquet. Of course, he’s still too young to use a glue gun, other than that, it’s a great project for children.

Easy DIY Mod Podge Candle Decor

We had our first winter storm today with some hail, so I needed an indoor project.

I love to embellish pretty much everything, usually with seashells, but not always. This time I decided to Mod Podge a silk scarf onto plain glass candles that came from the dollar store.

The scarf was an old Laurel Burch cat scarf that I must have inherited from my mom because I never was really a Burch fan. I’m not sure why I had originally cut it up, but there was enough material left over to beautify three candles.

The art of decoupage is so simple yet so satisfying.

1. Cut the fabric to the size of the glass container.
2. Brush a good amount of Mod Podge on the glass.
3. Carefully place the scarf on the glass and press firmly.
4. Brush on more Mod Podge. The silk adheres really nicely to the sticky glue and there’s enough time to push out all of the air bubbles.
5. Let it dry for about an hour and then paint another layer of Mod Podge onto the surface.
6. Let dry.

That’s it!

I’m beyond pleased with the results!

All lit up and glowing. They look even better than I thought they would. The best thing is that when the original candle burns out, I can replace it with a votive.

DIY Yule Wreath

As promised, I’m posting my homegrown Yule wreath. I used a ten-inch wire circle and all the rest of the ingredients were foraged from my garden.

Toyon berries:

Rosemary, lavender, pine boughs…

Manzanita, the star of the show with her lovely pink/red flowers:

Getting started, with a ten-inch wire circle and the bendy manzanita…

…to the finished product, ready to manifest all kinds of positive energy and magic for the solstice and 2021…

If I feel like wearing it on my head like a flower crown and dancing in the moonlight, I might just do that.

I feel very witchy today.

Moonday

Happy Winter Solstice!

Since we’re still in the midst of a surging pandemic and travel of any sort isn’t a great idea, I’m going to honor they day by making a Yule wreath with some pine boughs and rosemary branches from yesterday’s garden project and a few bright red toyon berries. If it comes out OK, I’ll post a photo.

Along with the shortest day of the year, if we’re lucky, we’ll be able to see the Christmas Star, the Great Conjunction with Saturn and Jupiter that hasn’t been seen since 1623. Best times for viewing in the San Diego area is 4:47 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.

Taken with Canon Rebel T3I

Did anyone see the sunrise at Stonehenge?

Easy Halloween Decorations

I sent all of my Halloween decor to my Angel Boys and Angel Girls so I was left with nothing.

I went to the nursery, made a beeline for their discounted plants, and saw this festive orange ornamental pepper for one dollar. ONE DOLLAR!!! (I love to rescue these tossed out plants. With a little TLC, I bring them back to life.)

After that, I went to my other favorite store, DollarTree, and got a Halloween themed bucket and a sparkly door hanger. Much better! That bucket is the perfect size to display a medium-sized plant.

I don’t know if anyone will be trick or treating this year, but it feels a little more seasonal around here now.

obsesh/confesh [DIY Fairy Garden]

My new obsession confession….

Maybe because I loved the fairy garden I sent Angel Boy, or maybe it was the smokey skies that made being outside harmful to my asthma, but I had to find an indoor project or it was going to affect my mental health, too.

I thought to myself, what could I craft without having to buy any new supplies?

Pinterest and the internet offers a plethora of ideas by amazing people.

There are step-by-step videos for nearly EVERYTHING DIY.

My first attempt was a craft stick (popsicle stick) door. I have a package of 200 sticks that I was saving for projects with AB and I always have glue and paint. PERFECT.

The door was so aDORable with addition of the button for a doorknob that I painted gold, so I felt confident building the bench. Also easy and also way cool. I painted it white and added a touch of my own…miniature pillows, each stuffed with 1/2 a cotton ball.

The little tables were made out of pieces of broken costume jewelry glued to a wine cork. (Yes, I do save everything.)

Check out the little broom I made with a toothpick.

I’m also obsessed with windchimes and mobiles (another post) and came up with the brilliant idea of a mini-mobile made out of an old costume jewelry ring. I have no idea where the ring came from, but it was there in the box of broken things.

I attached tiny seashells and gems using silver jewelry wire and fishing line.

Not perfect, but not bad for a first attempt, right? Next, I’m going to try to build the picnic table.

I didn’t really want to do a step-by-step DIY tutorial because mine wouldn’t be nearly as detailed and precise as the ones that are already out there, but here’s a few photos of the process:

I think I might attempt to pierce the veil between worlds and open that door. It was especially magical last night when the solar lights came on and sparkled the glass rock pathway.