Saturday, November 26, 2011

Inspired By Pinterest: Recycled Scarf

 I saw this wonderful tutorial on how to make a scarf out of an old T-shirt, I was just itching to have a go at this project. It is better to get the largest t-shirt you can find so that you will have more rings. More rings = longer scarf = more warmth.  I apologise for the grainy quality of the pictures here, I am using my old iPhone 3GS in a night time setting. Here is a new with tag shirt I picked up from a thrift store. If it weren't a size M, I would have been tempted to keep it!

I cut it in 1 inch strips.

Laid them all out on the table:

Tied them together and it was a fairly long scarf.

I like to wear my scarf pretty tight because I want to keep warm. Excuse the miserable rag of a dish towel in the background.

Pretty pleased with how quick it is to make this. I will make another two more - this time I will try to do them in tighter circles.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Australian Table At International Night

The boys school held an International Night on Friday. My husband was the main star of the table because he dressed as Crocodile Hunter. I wanted to make a plush crocodile to drape around his shoulder but time got away from me and we ended up with a wooden crocodile.

This is his outfit. I was in stitches when I saw him. Nevermind that the weather outside was 1 deg C when he wore that!

Matt is a great baker and cook. He made Honey Joys and Anzac biscuits, which are Australian treats.

We had kids running back to our table repeatedly to grab more of our honey joys. They went fairly quickly! Surprisingly, the Vegemite was quite well received. I thought there would be people spitting them out but most were very polite and saying it was nice!

So here is our space, our boys did a great job telling people about Australia. I wanted to do this for my oldest, since he would be at the school for another year and a half and I wanted him to have good memories of participating. We also had an activity area where kids were painting aboriginal art using chopsticks. It got pretty messy but I was so thrilled that they had fun.

Children had to visit each table and get a stamp on their passport but Matt wouldn't stamp on theirs until they said "G'day mate!" It was very funny to hear even the parents attempting this.

There were 25 other nationalities there, from Nepal to Russia to Cambodia. DC is a very diverse area indeed. I was unable to see much because I was looking after the table. Oh yes, I was dressed as a "Bogan" (redneck) with my Australian Ugg Boots and flannel shirt.

Inspired By Pinterest: Leg Warmers

There is a neat tutorial on Pinterest - see this link here and I got all excited about creating my own leg warmers. So last week, I picked up a couple of sweaters from the thrift store and brought them home. However, I found it really hard to cut away the sleeves just for this project. It just felt like I was "wasting" a perfectly good sweater to put on my legs. In the end, I chose one that I didn't feel so bad about cutting up, because it was too big on me.

Can you see a reflection of my 10 year old in this picture? He is so sweet, taking my photos for me. I wasn't thinking about "styling" my look when I took this photo and my sweater is way too short with a pair of leggings.  I was just excited about the end product. I thought it would be fun to choose one that was colourful since everything is so gray and dreary in winter. This picture was taken before it got really cold.  It went from top of 17 C on Wednesday to suddenly top of 7 C. We were suddenly facing temperatures of negative 2 C in the mornings. Half our household is sick (myself included) from the weather.

Cost of project: $5 for the sweater. I can use the extra materials to make a sweater skirt later. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pinterest Inspiration: Bright Blue Jeans

Went thrift store shopping last week and picked up a number of clothes but the one I am blogging about today is the electric blue jeans I found. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it. The tags were still there and it was brand new. It is from Delia's - another store aimed at the teens but that's good for me because it meant that it was small! It was a bit loose around the waist but nothing a belt couldn't hold up and it needs taking up at the hem. $7 ka-ching!

One thing I have learned through taking my own photos and blogging, is that I don't realize how awful I look until I put it on the screen.  I have always been a shorts and t-shirt kind of gal, having lived in the tropics for so long, it was just uncomfortable to have anything that was to clingy or that was not cotton. I hated wearing accessories because the sweat would just stick on to your necklaces or bracelets and it would just turn yellow with the stains over time. Ick!  When I moved here, I was suddenly confronted with so many choices, fabrics, layers. I have been learning a lot just by looking at Pinterest.

Last week, I wore it out to the mall and realized after that I took this photo the jacket was too short overall. I look short! The flats don't help either.

So I tried another jacket/coat. I have this fabulous Ted Baker trench coat I bought back on a 50% sale when I flew into NY from Singapore for a shopping weekend with my cousin in 2009.   He is a splurger, as opposed to me, a thrifter so you can imagine what the outcome was like! I ended up buying something I didn't use.

 I am not sure if I like this put together. I changed out my flats to wearing something with a little heel.

I like the inside of the coat because it is lined with the softest of silk and it is like a painting, with streaks of colours!

Hmm...I don't know. It's a work in progress. Which works better? I would like to know if any of you have been inspired by Pinterest like I have, and tried to put clothes together that you never would have tried. Do share your link as I would love to see what you have come up with!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Union Jack Beds

Finally! I put them up on Craigslist today!

I pulled them into my study, dragged away all my other furniture because I wanted to take it in good lighting. What would have been perfect is that I put mattresses on them and "dress" the bed up but I cannot imagine dragging the heavy mattresses from the boys' rooms and then lugging them up again. I hope it sells! The link is here.

I will be linking this up on Miss Mustard Seed's Furniture Feature Friday!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pinterest Inspiration: Fur

I am a major hoarder. I keep so much stuff that I am surprised that there was room for my family when we lived in a little apartment of under 1000 sq feet in Singapore. So when we moved here, my husband thought there would be more room for my junk, but no! Gleefully, I acquired more stuff. Oh well!

But this fall, I am so glad that I hoard because back in the 1990s when I lived in Australia, I took up some sewing lessons and made myself a fur coat out of teddy bear faux fur. I never completed this fur coat and when we moved halfway across the world to the Middle East where temperatures are above 100 F or a constant 40 deg Celcius, I could not bear to throw it away because of all the work I put into it. (Mind you, I even have clothes from my high school days, and I am thankful that my body has not changed much over the years)

Fur has come back this fall with a vengeance! Happily, I was able to dig out my trusty old fur coat, which I have never worn by the way.  We have lived in the US for the last 2 years and I never wore it because I never knew what to wear it with! Pinterest is a great way to learn how to put things together, and I spotted this recently.

Image from - a really neat website, go check it out!

This is my take on it.

The temperatures have certainly dropped over the last 2 weeks. Last night it was close to 5 - 6 deg C when we went out to dinner. We had snow last weekend and the days are getting shorter. The leaves are starting to fall from our trees. Aren't they pretty?

So here is where I have not completed the coat - I have not hemmed up the sleeves nor the length of the coat so when I stick my hands down the pockets, you can see the lining of the pockets sticking out from the bottom of my coat. Ugly!

And there are only three buttons. I have no idea why I stopped at three but I remember that I had to hammer it down pretty hard, using a real hammer, no less.Yes and I kept ALL my notions with me, through the Middle East, Singapore and now here!

This was my second big sewing project, I had a good sewing teacher. For those of you who live in Melbourne, Australia, Dragana Edwards is the lady to go to! She teaches you how to draft your own patterns and you are not a slave to buying patterns!

Time to get to completing this fur coat before I have to wait another 20 years for it to come back in fashion!

My coat made to my specifications: AUD$80 or less for materials,  more than 20 years ago!
My Hilfiger jeans: old pair, sale from Macy's $40
Grey long sleeve top: Cherokee, bought from Duty Free Shop in Malaysia for RM20, 3 years ago
Boots: Ann Klein leather, sale from $49 but I had this for over a year now.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

International Night

My sons' school is running an International Night where families volunteer to set up a table to represent a country of their heritage. We are mixture of cultures, and have lived in different countries so we are happy that we have choices but in the end, we chose to represent Australia as all of us, except me, are Aussies. (even though my boys have never lived there)

We went out and bought some display boards so I can put up facts and maps of Australia. My husband will make some Anzac biscuits and Honey Joys. We are also going to make some Vegemite sandwiches but I don't think they will be a hit. Let's just say that they are an acquired taste.

We have a large Australian flag, some soft toys like koalas and kangaroos, a boomerang, and I am painting some aboriginal pictures using chopsticks to make the dots. I still have a long way to go but I used brown paper, tore it up and stuck it on to give it the appearance of painting on bark. Then I used leftover latex paint to do the dots. The boys will start doing some of their own work too.

I called up the Australian Embassy here and got them to send me some flyers and maps. I asked the lady from the public relations department if she knew where I could find an Akubra (not sure of spelling) and she was like, "What is that?" After describing it to her, she exclaimed, "Oh, they are called Outback hats!" and I knew she was definitely not Australian!

We decided to make one as they can be very expensive to buy. Akubras are hats with corks hanging from them to chase away the flies. If you have lived in Australia, the flies settle on your face - not on the food and there are hundreds of them. I only ever find that flies do this in Australia. So the natives came up with a brilliant idea for a hands free fly chasing hat. I used a foam hat with a 50% voucher from Michaels and bought some cork. My son will wear this with his Australian gear. Hmmm..what do Aussies wear typically? I have to think about this one!  I am trying to see if my husband will go as Crocodile Dundee and I will get a fake crocodile from somewhere.

My son wearing his home made Akubra.

We are also going to find some aboriginal music to play on a radio plus some old episodes of Skippy The Bush Kangaroo. This is a hilarious TV show that uses a dead stuffed kangaroo that aired in the 70s. In the meantime, Kylie Minogue does a wonderful rendition of Waltzing Matilda:

It is going to be so fun!