22 April 2011


It's the night before Easter, perfect time to do one last "craft".

DieselBaby loves lollipops (or "lick its" as he calls them - he likes to crunch them and we keep saying "Lick It!". Hence the name.) I thought I'd "Easter-up" his lollies.

The egg carton houses a friend.

** On January 10, 2011, CBC news reported that a Kinder egg was seized from a woman's car during a random inspection when entering the United States from Canada. She was informed that bringing the egg into the United States could result in a $300 fine and sent a 7 page letter regarding the egg's disposal. I mean seriously...it's a candy. And a toy.

Hoppy Easter!

21 April 2011

Earth Day shirt

What do you get when you take a skirt your husband accidentally bleached* and add leftover fabric???
This skirt is the first thing I made with my new sewing machine - made a top to match. Wore it once, then it met a rag soaked in bleach. I've had it sitting in my scrap pile trying to figure out if I wanted to try to fix it (huge patch?? tie dye??). Along comes Earth Day and I decide the time has come to give this skirt new life...

I wanted to cut out a map, but knew it would be too difficult to cut the fabric with all those curves. I used fabric stiffener to make the green fabric stiff (obviously....). I was then able to cut the intricate map much easier w/o having to worry about fraying. (I just print out a globe and used it as my template.)
I looked all over for a picture with both North America and Australia, but one couldn't be found. So he got just North and South America. I added the "heart" and "r" to make it an "Earth Lover" shirt.
Close-up of the intricate work. It was actually easy to cut once stiff and the applique sewing wasn't that hard (as long as I took my time).
Big Earth Day hug to you!
(shirt made using 90-minute shirt pattern from Made)
COST: free
all material on hand/repurposed

*(we never use bleach, but DieselBaby had a nosebleed one night. a HORRIBLE nosebleed. All over the bed. In our fully furnished apartment. We tried everything to get the blood out. We had to resort to bleach to get the blood out of the mattress. DieselBaby and I left the house during prime fume time.)

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18 April 2011


During my pregnant/"bed resting" days, I came across this rocketship. I bookmarked it in case we had a boy. Well, the day has come to make my boy a....
DieselBaby has been diggin' the rockets recently. He has PJs with rockets and planets. We see the moon every night when we walk home from 'school'. He knows you have to take a rocketship to get to the moon and that we live on planet "Earst".

I used double layers of fabric to make it sturdier. Not because of grand design, bc of a "oops!". I forgot to separate my layers before i started sewing the circle/astronaut hole. I used
this tutorial to make the circle. Super easy!

I decided to add the monogram to his rocket. Although now I'm not so sure that was the best idea. He is totally in the "
C is for crocodile", "M is for Mommy", etc stage. "A is for rocket"?
As luck would have it, we had a huge pile of laundry to do (see this post about the great laundry debates). I used the dryer lint as stuffing in the rocket. It didn't fill it up - we didn't have that much laundry!
Lucky it's Easter time. I actually found these eggs at the craft store.
Astronaut DieselBaby...ready for take-off

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tater tots and jello
skip to my lou
sugar bee crafts
sew much ado
fireflies and jellybeans
Thirty Hand Made Days

15 April 2011

new skirt love

I remember when I was a teenager, my mom bought my sister some sailor pants. My mom said she loved them and that they were very figure flattering. My sister and I, both not caring about our figures b/c we were skinny-minnies, made fun of those pants. We called them "diaper pants". Not sure where that name came from....

Fast forward XX years (20?? no...I'm not
that old!) to my new favorite skirt. When I cut out the pattern, I added a little extra width to the hem. I like the look of A-line skirts.

There is a hidden panel connecting the 2 sides. This really helps to keep my post-baby belly bulge in check.

The fabric is a Home Decor fabric I found at Lincraft. It reminds me of Carolina from Alexander Henry. I like that the added weight helps to keep the shape of the pattern.

Back side panels mimic the front. Slight ruching might disguise the extra padding I've developed on my hips.

And course it wouldn't be "Sewing with DieselMonkey" without a little OOPS! I even followed the instructions this time. I never follow a pattern. In my defense, it was my first time ever sewing a zipper.

I plan on making a corduroy one for the winter. Not sure what color. I'm thinking maybe a nice plum...

COST: $28.60
1.4 m Hibiscus fabric $18.00
.25 m black chino fabric $2.00
thread $2.50
buttons $6.00

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14 April 2011

cheap pattern storage

I realize it isn't rocket science....

Recently, I have been drafting my own patterns for DieselBaby and myself. The papers were becoming a bit unruly and I needed some way to corral them. Out of desperation, I reached for an empty cereal box on it's way to the recycling area.

I folded all the little pattern pieces inside a large piece and tucked it in the box...instant "organization" On the outside piece, I wrote what the pattern was for so I could grab at a glance. In the future, I might pick up some manila envelopes to slip all the pieces into.

I could have taken the "classy" route and covered the cereal box with pretty papers. I've done that with some boxes for DieselBaby's color books. I was desperate (for organization). lazy. and cheap.

I opted not to cut one side down like a magazine holder. I feel like it hold the papers in better.
Reminds me of my old drafting days in college.

If I get a few projects going at the same time, I could use a box per project. Putting the pattern, fabric pieces and notions in the box. Then I could just grab the box and start working instead of trying to hunt down all the parts of the project.

13 April 2011

everyday is a rainbow...

DieselDaddy and I were trying to help DieselBaby understand when things were going to happen - like church, swimming, treats. Unfortunately, toddlers can't really understand "you will go swimming on Sunday/4 days". So we came up with a chart so he could visually see when he would be able to do something.

I originally had the numbers 1-5 (the days he goes to school), but I found it easier to say "you have 3 more school days until...."
Now, we say "Today is Tuesday, Orange day. That means you will go swimming on Sunday. Pink day. How many days until swimming?" The visual has also helped cut down on the whining. "I want a treat" We tell him to go look at his calendar and tell us how many more days until he can have a treat.

After doing it for a few weeks, I actually found myself dressing him in the colors of the day. It doesn't always work that way, but....

Best of all...I used things I had on hand :)

Tip Junkie handmade projects

11 April 2011

remnant skirt

There is a hoity toity fabric store on the walk to DieselBaby's school. The fabric is waaay out of my price range. Why do I stop by? Because the have an awesome remnant bin.

The fabric has threads stitched in the geometric pattern. Nice color combo for fall. I have a mauve/rose nail polish that matches :)

I used a (H&M $10 linen, drawstring) skirt that I liked to draft a pattern.

I took the top of the skirt measurement x2 to make sure it was at least the same length as my waist circumference. Then I added 2 inches for seams and comfort.

For the length, I measured the lenth of my H&M skirt. Then added 1.5inches (1.25 inch hem and 1/4 inch for folding at top).

For the width of the skirt, I measured my H&M skirt and added an 1 or so for some flare. I like the A-line look so I wanted to make sure my hem was a bit wider than my waist.

I connected the waist line and the hem line and ...voila...my pattern.

Turn right sides together and stitch up the sides and hem.

wow that looks really LONG

I folded the top edge over a smidge, then about 1/8-1/4 inch (using the thread lines as my guide). I like to enclose the raw edges so they won't fray. Then I zigzagged the elastic on the top (pulling the elastic gently as I stitched). I wore the skirt to work today with a tuxedo top from H&M. I got heaps of compliments on it :) I was almost embarassed to say how easy it was to make. I think the drafting of the pattern took me longer than the actual sewing....

(gotta love how formatting is either smooshed together or spaced far apart...)

Bowling anyone?

Reduce, REUSE, recycle

Been saving up 2L Diet Coke bottles for a bit.

Ok, not really saving, I just hadn't gotten to the recycler for a while. (and sadly it did not take me long to get this many bottles. i love Diet Coke) I need to get a Soda Stream...

This weekend, I lined the bottles up and.....STRIKE! We bowled.
I originally thought tennis balls would be best, but our soccer ball had the best knocking power.

I've thought about spray painting these. I should also rinse them out (made evident by the above picture) and glue on the caps. Nice little choking hazards...

Sorry...no action shots. We were having a blast bowling. I did more setting of the "pins" than actual bowling, but fun none-the-less.

09 April 2011


Just a little preview of some upcoming posts.
(don't judge the cereal. We were desperate for cereal one nite and the only thing open was the market downstairs. We paid thru the nose for our yummy nutty cereal.)

Love this fabric. It actually a home decor fabric but I had a vision


07 April 2011

deodorant - revisited

A little over a year ago, I raved about the crystal deodorant. Since then, we moved to an area that sees 40+C/100+F summers. I brought a "conventional" deodorant/anti-perspirant "just in case". I am happy to report that I have not needed to break it out. I have survived the extreme heat, walking to and from work/daycare (some days carrying DieselBaby) using just the crystal.

A few months back, I dropped my crystal. It shattered. I took the big pieces and saved them thinking I could rub them on my pits. Um..no. Sharp edges. Sensitive skin. Salt stick. Ouch. So, I went looking for a new crystal. $7 for the crystal? I bought mine for $1.30. I couldn't pay $7. Never mind the stick lasts me several years.

So I went to the Body Shop to try their $16 new deodorant. It does not work. Break-thru stink by mid-morning. Time to take matters into my own hands...

I took those chunks of crystal and dissolved them in a cup of water. Boiled it for a bit to make it concentrated. Then I poured it into the roll-on bottle that the Body Shop deodorant came in. Success!! I roll it on the pits (it drips, but it's water and salt). After the water evaporate' I can see the glisten of salt crystals my skin. And NO STINK!! I have since used all that dissolved solution up and bought the $7 crystal. (only to have DieselBaby drop it and shatter it). So I dissolved the chunks. Again.

06 April 2011

Mission Organization - shoes

One of my daily blog reads, iHeart Organizing, is having a purge-a-thon. Since we recently moved halfway around the world and only took 7 suitcases worth of stuff, I didn't think I'd have much to "purge".

It's true...I don't. I only brought two pairs of work shoes, and trainers (I did bring back my beach shoes when we were home in January). Since I rotate my work shoes each day, can't get rid of those. And my trainers...what if I actually decided to work out. Gotta keep the beach shoes bc I don't want sand in my trainers or work shoes.

What I
can do is organize our shoes. We have a little "nook" under the kitchen island as you walk into the apt. We always just chuck off the shoes, turning them into one big shoe pile. I see it as a learning tool - DieselBaby has to find a PAIR of shoes each morning. See...he's learning!

But seriously, the space needs some organization.

I had picked up some big foam letters and various wooden pictures when we were state-side. I put the foam letters up over the area DieselBaby would put his shoes. I added a little helicopter ("hell-i-doctor") and a hook for his school bag/hat.

For DieselDaddy and my shoes, I just lined them up. We'll see how long that lasts....

Oh...and I totally miss my shoe collection. I had 2
Ikea shoe organizers that I had filled with a rainbow's color of shoes. I loved my shoes. My pink shoes. My red shoes. My green shoes . But sadly, they didn't all make the cut to get their passport stamped...