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Silk Screen Printing Obsession

My newest obsession is finding things to silk screen a cute quote or picture on. I love seeing cute shirts on Pinterest or Amazon and hate paying $25 for a shirt I can make for under $10! I’m crafty so I set out to create my own cool shirts and much more!

Last year, I made dance mom shirts for the Elite moms but it was a long and tedious task. I hand printed every single letter and dancer on 6 different shirts. It was a lot more work then I had anticipated.

This year we wanted new shirts but I didn’t want to go down the same stamping road again. At Hobby Lobby, I found silk screening kits. This was perfect. There was a $50 and $150 kit. Honestly, I have no idea what the difference between the kits were but I wasn’t prepared to spend $150 on something I didn’t know if I was going to screw up.

I purchased the $50 and used my 40% off coupon (I am a savings queen so this was a must do!) which cost me about $33 with tax. The box included the silk screen, a paint brush, a jar of black ink, special paper, exacto knife and the scraper. All I need shirts to print on…

So the instructions were completely confusing and explained different ways to silk screen which required buying more products. I was feeling overwhelmed and confused as hell! Maybe this was to much for me??

I went back to the box and figured out that they printed their design on the special paper then cut it out with the exacto knife. I did my first design, printed it out, cut it out and began my first experiment…

What a disaster of ink every but where I wanted on the shirt!! I didn’t realize that the paper gets taped to the underside of the screen. I had to go look up YouTube videos to understand what I did wrong and what I needed to do.

So, I started the process over again design, print, cut… now tape under the screen, add the ink and scrape it across the screen onto the shirt. (Thanks Doug for the donation of one of your shirts!) Wow it looked freaking awesome!!

Another thing that I learned the hard way, is that you need to clean the ink off your screen ASAP or it will stain the screen. I thought I could leave the design on the screen until I was ready to print the real shirts. Nope!! Clean that ink off ASAP!!

Next I found these super soft, stretchy purple shirts. The purple color is the Elite’s color and these shirts were perfect. I designed a shirt to say “I’m a crazy dance mom 5678 dance”. I did one for my Christina and myself. They were a huge hit with the moms.

I then had orders for moms shirts, an Aunt shirt because Aunt Emilee needs a shirt too and a dad shirt. It became an assembly line of printing and hanging them around my dining room. Plus, Evie needed a “I’m a crazy dance baby” onesie!

Once I got the directions correct, these shirts looked freaking awesome! The moms and Aunt Emilee wore their shirts to the competition plus the baby had her onesie on until she peed through all her clothes. I now have plans to make the dancers and their teacher special end of season gifts with my silk screen printer!

One of the dance moms with her adorable girls

I would suggest the $50 kit from Speedball because it’s pretty simple to do and really fun. For kids, the ink will stain so have them wear disposable gloves. There is so much you can do with a silk screen printer! I can’t wait to make more in the future!!

*please not this post is not sponsored in anyway, shape or form. Just my own personal review of a product I purchased!

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In A Creative Slump

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For some reason, when I am going through stressful situations my creativity takes a fast nose dive towards the bottom of the creative ocean. This time it was the move and that all of my craft supplies are in boxes and bags and out of sorts. When they are out of sorts so is my creative brain.

It is frustrating because no matter what I do to get those creative juices flowing, nothing seems to work. Or should I say, the ideas that I get just don’t appeal to me. At this moment, the ideas should be overflowing because St. Patty’s Day is next weekend and a couple weeks later is Easter. Add that to Spring and Summer coming and the ideas should be coming easily….

This is not the first time I have hit a creative slump and it takes one great idea to get me out of this funk. Sometimes the idea has come from a solution I am looking to solve, a pattern that I want to try or an order a customer puts in. It has been so long since I was in this funk that I can’t remember what got me out of it the last time.

Until my creative slump is over, I will be posting some simple crafts on Teach Me Tuesday for kids and tweens. Cross your fingers and toes that my slump doesn’t last too long!

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St. Patrick’s Day Quote Sharpie Mug DIY

Irish Quotesharpie mug

One of my favorite holidays is St. Patty’s Day because there is so much more behind the day besides green beer and dressing in green. This day began as a celebration of Christianity arriving in Ireland with a day of feast. Since the first St. Patty’s Day, this holiday has become one of the most celebrated around the world. It is celebrating the luck of the Irish, the good fortune life has brought into our lives and looking forward to the greatness the future holds for us.

Now, I am not Irish or at least that I know of but my 3 older children are Irish on their father’s side so I have embraced celebrating this holiday for them. I love to make brisket and cabbage with soda bread. I am not a beer drinker but I will do enjoy drinking some Bailey’s Irish Cream in my coffee. Of course, we dress in green and decorate the house in a fun Irish way with shamrocks and rainbows.

I LOVE and collect fun coffee mugs but haven’t found one for my St. Patty’s “special” coffee or one that was affordable (sorry I won’t pay $10-$20 for a cool mug unless its keeping my coffee hot for hours). I decided to take matters into my own hands and make my own Irish inspired mug.

Something else I love is quotes which includes Irish Blessings. I have some Irish Blessings that are displayed in my house year round because they have a special meaning that I cherish. These blessings are so beautiful and inspiring that I wanted one on a mug for the special day for my special coffee.

I grabbed my sharpie markers and bought an affordable, white mug from Walmart to do this Sharpie Irish Mug project. A lot of people prefer to use Sharpie oil-based Paint Markers but regular markers will work just as well and less of a mess for kids to make a mug of their own. The difference in the permanent marker and paint marker is you will want hand wash the permanant marker whereas you can put the paint marker mug in the dishwasher,

I chose “May Your Day Be Touched With A Bit of Irish Luck”which started on one end of the mug and wrapped to the other end. Then I added a shamrock, a rainbow and a pot of gold. I wish y green sharpie would have been brighter but it was still cute.

This is the tricky part… for permanent markers set your mug on a cookie sheet in the oven THEN turn the oven to 350 degrees. Once the oven reaches 350 degrees, bake the mug for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes, turn the oven off but DO NOT take the mug out of the oven until it is completely cooled so that the mug doesn’t crack from cooling to fast. I usually keep the mug in the oven for at least an hour. For Paint markers, you will want to do the same instructions EXCEPT the oven will be set to 250 degrees for 30-40 minutes depending on how thick you applied the paint.

Now its time to wash your mug, enjoy some special coffee and celebrate St. Patty’s Day!

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Kids Tissue Paper Heart Craft

Today’s Teach me Tuesday is for the kids but adults can have making these too. With Valentine’s Day only a couple weeks away, I wanted to do a cute craft that kids could make and give as a gift or use to decorate their room. Plus, after the baby shower I have a TON of tissue paper because I just can’t throw it away so I am recycling it.

Now depending on the age(s) of the child(ren) making this craft will determine how much help they will need from an adult. An adult will need to cut a heart shape from cardboard which I used an exacto knife to do. For younger kids, an adult will need to cut the tissue paper into small squares.

Supplies:

Heart shaped cardboard cutout, tissue paper squares 2″x2″s, Elmer’s liquid glue, paint brush and string or yarn.

Directions:

Cut the heart out of the cardboard and put a hole at the top to put the string through later.

Cut the tissue paper into 2″x 2″ squares.

With the pain brush put a little bit of glue at a time on the heart so it doesn’t dry to fast.

Take the tissue square and squish it to create the texture and put it on the glue.

Keep doing these 2 steps until the entire heart is filled but make sure you don’t cover the hole at the top.

Once dry, thread the string through the hole and tie into a loop.

Now the heart is ready to be a gift or decoration.

This is a great way to let kids get creative with colors and make a handmade item.

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Upcycle Old Sweaters into New Slippers

Anyone who wears sweaters, has old sweaters that are out of shape, dull in color or out of style. I love to take old items that most people throw away and make it something new again. For the next 2 Teach Me Tuesday posts, I will be showing you how to upcycle an old sweater into something new just using the sweater, scissors, yarn and a yarn needle!

Today we are upcycling an old sweater into new slippers which are cozy and cute! My best tip is to use a machine knit sweater because they don’t unravel as easily as a handmade sweater.

Step 1: Cut the sleeves off of the sweater.

Step 2: Take a pair of shoes or flip flops to cut the sweater to create the soles for the slippers. You can use a marker to trace and cut the soles as well.

Step 3: Line up the sole to the cut end of the sleeve. I did pin them together just to make it easier for me. You might need to stretch the sleeve end to fit the sole.

Step 4: Cut a large length of yarn and sew the sole and sleeve together. I used a stitch that wrapped the yarn across the edge of the two pieces by threading the yarn through the yarn loop. You can use any stitch that is easy for you. For added strength, you can stitch 2 rounds.

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Step 5: this is optional! I added a weave of yarn at the top of the sleeve so I can tighten the top if I want to wear them different ways.

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Now I have a new pair of slippers for this snowy night we are going to have in New Jersey! Next week, I will be taking more of the same sweater to make mittens so be sure to stay tuned!

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Vacation Savings Jar DIY #savingsunday

savings jar

This week we are getting hands on with our savings by making a savings jar! The kids love this part because we hit Michaels and the Dollar Store for fun stickers and a jar. I like to pick out a jar with the chalkboard stickers because we can write where we are going and a countdown on the sticker.

The kids love to decorate with the stickers and talk about how we can save money for the cool trip. They can come up with some awesome ideas on how they can help us save money. Usually it consists of giving up a favorite food they like to eat so it is one less thing to purchase in the grocery order or giving up toys or other things to sell on the yard sale groups. I love hearing them get into all of this and it gives them satisfaction to be a participant in the vacation planning and saving instead of the adults telling them what we are doing and how we are saving for it.

Our jar is Disney themed but you can find cool beach, camping and other destination stickers and you can reuse the jar by taking the stickers off using Goo-Gone or soap and hot water which saves for the next trip. Even if you are using this for your spending money on the trip, it teaches the kids how to save and have fun doing it.

What are you going to put on your Vacation Savings Jar?

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DIY Pumpkin, Ghost and Spider Yarn Garland with Picture Tutorial

Beauty is a light in the heart.It is that time of year to decorate for Halloween! My family and I can’t wait until it hits October because then we pull out the awesome Halloween decorations we have made or bought over the years. My first Teach Me Tuesday DIY tutorial is a really easy Halloween themed yarn garland that the kids can help make for their rooms too!

All you are going to need:

Yarn in orange, white, black and green (or if you want to get colorful other colors)

Scissors

Your hands or piece of cardboard 2-3″ to make the pom poms

Here is how to make the Ghosts:

To make the spiders, follow the same steps as the pumpkins just cut the yarn short to make them look like legs.

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This is the spiders which is the same steps as the pumpkin but I cut the black yarn to create a short pom pom.

Photo Oct 03, 4 21 31 PM

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Baby Evelynne’s Rainbow Dragonfly Blanket

Since Evelynne is our Rainbow Baby (if you don’t know what a Rainbow Baby is I will explain below), I knew that her color theme would be Rainbow for her first blanket but it was finding a pattern and yarn that were going to be the hard part. When it came to patterns, I didn’t want the “new” chevron fade blanket because it didn’t impress that much (currently singing Shania Twain in my head now) or a Granny Square because it just was to old fashioned. As far as yarn, I was assuming that I would buy the different skeins of colors I wanted to use…. until the Lion Brand Mandala yarn came onto the market! (This is going to be a whole lot of gushing about this yarn but it not paid or sponsored or anything like that just my opinion and love of this yarn BUT if you do click my link to purchase the yarn, I could be compensated for your purchase)
Back in the Spring, the Mandala yarn came on to the market in select Walmart stores (none were even a driving distance of me) and the ones online sold within minutes. Yarn lovers were in their glory over this yarn.

Now, Caron had similar yarn called Caron Cakes then Hobby Libby’s brand started making their own cakes but both were a 4 thickness compared to Mandala’s light and airy 3 thickness. I do have a bunch of cakes and have created vests and clothing from both brands but the moment I saw the Mandala yarn at my Walmart (I had given up on waiting), touched its soft, soothing texture and found Gnome (rainbow colored) I knew I found my yarn for Evelynne’s blanket. Now for a pattern….

Lion Brand Yarn 525-209 Mandala Yarn, Gnome

 Click the image or text to find the Lion Brand Mandala Yarn in Gnome

I joined a Mandala Lover’s Facebook group and as I browsing the amazing creations people made with this yarn I found it… I found the pattern! This dragonfly baby blanket was exactly what I wanted to make with my amazing new yarn. A dragonfly represents change in most cultures which having Baby Evelynne is a major change for our family in the happiest of ways.

I will admit I did change the pattern a little bit to fit the flow of my hands a little more. This is a super easy pattern that beginners can pick up easily. You can find the pattern at Charmed By Ewe 

So what is a Rainbow Baby? A rainbow baby is a baby born after a miscarriage (or multiple miscarriages), stillbirth or infancy death. It basically means that this baby is the hope and light after a storm. Anyone that has dealt with the loss of a baby that they were never able to meet or only held for a short time deals with a storm of emotions and floods of tears. This is the parents “pot of gold” at the end of the rainbow because we get to hold and love our “Rainbow Baby”.

Overall, I love this pattern and yarn and the final product! It only took 1 1/2 cakes (that is the name for this type of yarn compared to skein) which means I have some of this yarn to create something else for Baby Evelynne which means I am on the hunt for a new pattern! Anyone have a suggestion or idea for a small baby item I can crochet or knit?

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Birthday on a Budget for the Men

Photo Aug 16, 8 20 25 AMHappy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to my Baby Daddy, Happy Birthday to You!

I had to start my post out today with a special birthday shout out to my Baby Daddy aka my boyfriend. He is in the middle of inventory at work and finishing a job so I only got to see him as he got into bed at 6:30am and when I left at 9am but I still wanted to make feel special because celebrating others is something I love to do.

My Birthday Gift to HIM:

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Photo Aug 15, 10 35 17 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

Of course my idea came from Pinterest because most of my ideas are inspired by others on Pinterest. Doug loves Sharks so this tackle box filled with candy is just up his alley with a cute little saying for him. I headed to Walmart and purchased the tackle box (not sure that is the correct term because I don’t fish lol) for $2.44 plus Smarties (his favorite candy that has yet to make him any smarter lol), Gummy Lifesavers, Gummy Worms and Swedish Fish. All of this was under $10 and made a cute gift that he can snack on while he is at work plus use the tackle box after he done eating his candy.

Plus the candy (except Smarties because just yuck!) that didn’t fit made a nice snack as I assembled the box last night. Baby Evelynne and I were happy with our late night sugar rush!

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Summer Fun to Feed my Creativity

Summer-Baby-Girl

A few weeks ago (possible longer), I blogged about being in a creative funk and needing to find a new passion to create and indulge my love of art again. In the yarn world, the latest craze is over these yarn cakes which are multicolored yarns the create stripes as you knit or crochet. Me being me…. I pushed again indulging in this craze but I couldn’t resist any longer so I bought on Caron cake, then started buying Bernat Pop and long to buy the Lion Brand Mandala (out of stock until September and my Walmart will never receive them which is blog post for another day).

I started making the Mandala vests that went viral on Facebook (I have 2 stretching on hoops right now) which I liked but way to time consuming. My best friend Megan is pregnant with a baby girl so her pregnancy has inspired me to start a baby girl dress line. I started taking these cakes and creating baby girl dresses (see the picture above). The patterns whip up pretty quickly which I did amend the original patterns to fit more of what I was looking for in these dresses. I love the way the stripes laid out as I crocheted them. The left over yarn created a diaper cover (cute for pictures) and summer hats. I have some of the dresses in Kaella Boutique now and some that I need to finish the diaper covers and list them. The hats I will be listing as a separate item to purchase alone because they will match with any adorable summer outfit. This was the start of my Baby Girl Dress Adventure….

About a month ago (almost certain it might be 2 months ago), I was given huge black bags of fabric in brand new condition. Now if any of you are seamstresses or quilters, you know how expensive fabric is (on average $5-8 a yard but usually more!). Well once I sorted all of this yarn, I filled 2 extra large tote bins and 2 average size tote bins! This is 1000s of yards of fabric worth $1000s of dollars if sold in the store!!! This is the biggest blessing for a seamstress.

I finally sat down to sew after finding the perfect baby girl dress pattern. A pattern that was simple, easy and quick to sew up. Well my sewing machine was missing a crucial part that is needed to work. Found the part and then the motor went. Well to fix the machine would cost more then I could afford so I used my tips one day and bought a cheap sewing machine from Walmart so I could start indulging the fire that I started with finding this pattern.

Photo Apr 27, 8 59 07 AMHere is my first creation:
The dress is a 9-12 month dress with an elastic top and simple dress that reminds me of a pillow case dress.

When I finished the dress, I was so proud of myself that I couldn’t wait to make more. Last night, I spent the time to trace the smaller size patterns on tissue paper, ironed more fabric and cut out patterns for 3 more dresses to whip up tonight!

I can’t wait to keep on sewing these dresses plus I have a handbag and apron in the works now! Visit my shop Kaella Boutique to take a look at my other creations.