Wall Tapestry DIY

Wall Hanging Finished

I spent a good bit of time online looking for something to hang on the blank wall above our bed.  Because I needed something quite large, I decided on a tapestry.  The only issue is that when searching for wall hangings or tapestries, the only search results were hangings of the hippy/India/mandala style. I rather like the hippy style personally but I was wanting something with a bit more flowers and a lot less tie dye.  Also, I was looking for something that didn’t just look like a square blanket hanging on a wall.  I wanted something with some shape to it.  So, as per the usual, when I can’t find what is envisioned in my head, I set out to make it myself. Below are the steps to recreate.

Materials:

2-3 yards of fabric (I got the extra wide type from the home fabric section)
Iron
Measuring tape
Fabric pencil (or a pink colored pencil)
Straight pins
Sewing macine
Adjustable curtain rod

Instructions (see pics below):

  1. Cut fabric to be evenly square or rectangle (size of your choosing – my finished product is 6′ x 4′)
  2. Find the middle of the fabric and measure 18″ from the bottom (or measurement of your choosing). Make a mark in this spot.
  3. Lay a long ruler or your measuring tape from the mark made diagonally to the corner of the fabric and make a line with your pin pencil.  Repeat on the other side as well.
  4. Cut out your triangle from the bottom middle of the fabric.
  5. Flip the fabric over and iron all edges over except for the top.  I did about 3/4 of an inch.
  6. Sew all your edges.
  7. Make a 2″ loop at the top of your fabric and pin in place.
  8. Sew the loop.
  9. Hang and enjoy

Wall Hanging Material BeforeWall Hanging Cut TriangleWall Hanging Ironing EdgesWall Hanging Pinned Top

Mid-Length Skirt DIY

Skirt Side Laughing
Skirt Hemmed Edge Skirt Elastic Pinned Seperate from Material Skirt Material Pinned to Elastic Skirt Sewn Finish Outside Skirt Sewn Finish Inside Skirt Looking Down Skirt Side View Looking Down

This past weekend was a full on craft fest.  I hadn’t dedicated any time recently to sewing, projects or crafts, so it was past due.  This skirt project cost a whopping $4.50 to make!  Below are the steps to make this easy flowy mid-length skirt.  Enjoy!

Materials:

1 yard of fabric (your choice)
Elastic to match your fabric
Straight pins
Thread ripper
Sewing machine and thread
Scissors

Instructions:

  1. Double fold one long end of your 1 yard of fabric and sew.
  2. Cut the elastic just long enough to fit around your waist, slightly stretched.
  3. Fold the elastic in half and mark the center with a pin. Then fold each half in half and mark each quarter point with a pin. Fold each segment in half again and pin for each 1/8 point.
  4. Repeat the same process along the top edge of your fabric.
  5. Match up the pins on the elastic to the fabric, gathering the excess fabric between each pin.
  6. Sew the elastic to the fabric stretching the elastic as you go.  The stretching will create a natural “gather”.
  7. Sew the two edges together.
  8. Double fold bottom of skirt and sew hem.
  9. Optional: Use thread ripper to remove pocket from a men’s button-up shirt and sew onto the front of the skirt.

Lately

I have to apologize upfront for the lengthy post. If you’re bored, read on. (pictures below)

I know I have been MIA from the blog for a while now. Life has been quite crazy lately. To be perfectly honest, 2015 has been a “B”. Life is hard. Life is difficult. And sometimes life just plain sucks but on the flip side there are always bright spots and things to be grateful for.

You always hear that when you are pushed out of your comfort zone and endure many trials, this is when God can do the most work. All I can say is that God must be doing something big. I have no idea what, but something big. Life is hard. Life is tough.   It just is. If we allow ourselves to be swayed by our circumstances, we will most certainly exist on a roller coaster of emotions. I try to reside above my circumstances and see my life from God’s point of view, but I fail miserably all the time. I’m learning and trying to allow God to mold and shape me along this journey; to become the person that He wants me to be. It’s only April but I’ve learned many life lessons this year, and particularly two lessons stand out to me at this moment and time. First, you have to look at your blessings. If you’re busy being thankful for what you have, you have no time for complaints (I fail at this often – just ask my husband). Second, is to rise above your circumstances and view your life from God’s point of view. It’s difficult but when you do this, that issue that seemed like the biggest thing in the world, becomes only a small blip on your map of life.

Life has been crazy; some things good, some things bad, some things horrible and probably everything in between. Here are a few; my mom’s tragic car accident with a roller coaster of life and death moments, the long continual journey to her recovery, my Granny becoming sick twice, my Granny finally passing away, celebrating my daughter turning 18, celebrating my mom’s 59th birthday (which we weren’t sure we’d get to do), planning my daughter’s senior prom, planning for her high school graduation, planning a graduation trip and trying to land a huge 3 year long technology project at work (in which I am leading).

The topic of my mom; where do I even start? It is been miraculous, yet devastating. I have in some ways become a back up caregiver, supporter and mother to her this year and will continue to do so for as long as it takes (probably years). This area can and does easily become a big roller coaster of emotions but I am forever grateful to God for saving her life and slowly brining her back to us. I will say that celebrating her 59th birthday was the most special birthday celebration of all because, honestly, three or four months ago I wouldn’t have thought it would be possible. Then there’s my dad; my poor sweet dad. His life has flipped upside down and inside out. He had to leave his job, sell several properties, fight with insurance (daily), move across the country, take over the rental business, start paying all the bills and biggest of all has had to become the caregiver for my mom. The crazy thing is that he does all of these things simultaneously. He has always been the rock of our family and he still is but my brother and I have been there to help hold him up when he just can’t go anymore. He’s giving it all he has in an extremely difficult situation. As I tell him weekly, “I’m not concerned about mom. She’s coming back. I’m concerned about you.” (posting daily on her CaringBridge site)

My Granny. Oh, my sweet Granny. I’m not ready to talk fully about this yet but when I am, you’ll most likely see a blog post about it. I will state it simply like this. She was more than a granny. I was a daughter to her and she was a mother to me. I meant the world to her. We had a one of a kind special relationship. I have her wedding ring on my finger as I type this post and every time I look at it I cry. There hasn’t been a day that has gone by since Easter that I haven’t cried over losing her. She is by far the closest person to me that I’ve ever lost.

In all of this darkness, there’s the bright spots in my life. I get to watch my little girl turn into an adult, plan prom, pick out a dress, witness all those last moments of her high school career, plan for her upcoming graduation, plan an exciting graduation trip to celebrate, pick a college, pick a major, and plan her future. How exciting this has been. The excitement and joy on her face makes everything better. Yes, there are many difficult things happening this year, but on the flip side of that, there are all these exciting moments that I am so blessed to get to be a part of. This is the biggest, most monumental year Danica has ever had. I am loving every minute of it. These are all lasts to experience and I plan on being there for every one of them. For me personally, it is emotional for yet very exciting at the same time. I can’t think about all if it too hard because I will cry. I can’t believe we have reached this moment in her life. I feel like she should still be that sweet little sassy southern girl with a twang in her voice. I cannot wait to see what her future holds. There is no doubt in my mind that she will do amazing things.

Then there’s work. I never really talk about work on the blog but this year is a big year. My manta last year was that 2015 would be a big year for me (without my mom’s accident happening) due to the launch of this project, Danica graduating high school and going off to college. I work in technology for a local non-profit. This project is three years in the making and it is huge. We are literally replacing the entire technological infrastructure of the organization. God is in this and I am certainly trusting in Him.

When I reflect on everything that my life holds at this moment in time, I can easily get overwhelmed. What I have to remember is that God has a plan. Only He knows the big picture. I’m learning to take each day, one day at a time, which has been a monumental lesson for me as I am a dreamer and a planner. Honestly, for my own sanity, I have no choice but to operate this way and it works. Life is short and fragile. In a moment it can be flipped upside down. The people you love the most won’t be there forever. Your children will grow up fast and move on with their lives. Soak up every moment of this day. Let the ones you love know how much you love them. This may be the only opportunity you have to do so. Enjoy each and every moment with your children because before you know it, they will no longer be living under your roof.

All I can say is this.  Live for today. Life is short.

Here are a few pictures of life lately.

Mom and Dad at LaunchDee FAU ShirtMom and Nell at LaunchNell & GrannyMom & Dad on Moms BirthdayGranny RingNell & Dee at the Beach 18 BirthdayCR Beach

Impact

“Often people who are not in the limelight in the church feel they are not as important as those up front.  Some even feel they are second class.  The truth is we are all number one, because God has no favorites.  The Bible tells us that God is impartial.  There are no little people, because we are all special to Him.  We all have a congregation and a sermon to live.  The Bible says, ‘Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven’ (Matthew 5:16).  In our pulpit, the work place, God has people who will never attend a church and He is depending on us to be a living sermon to them” -Power of the Pew Warmer by Charles Pearce

Unfortunately, many times we don’t really see someone’s true value or their true impact on others until they are not around.  This is the point in which you really feel and see their void.  At least, this is what I had always heard, but never really experienced.

My mom has been in ICU for 26 days and I can honestly say that I truly understand this now.  My mom’s reach and impact on others has been deeper and wider than I had ever realized.  She truly lived out the caption above to the fullest degree.  She was out there being a doer of the Word each and everyday.  Being a light to her family, friends and everyone around her.  She was bringing the love of Christ to others.  Quilting for the homeless, crafting for the needy, volunteering for the animals, donating time, donating money, supporting and caring for her children and grandchildren; and this was all above and beyond her regular duties of managing a rental business, caring for her home, renovating a retirement home and caring for her husband.

How often do we get so wrapped up in our busy day-to-day lives and miss out on all the important things?  I know that I do.  I fall into this trap over and over again.  I’m too tired, I’ve had a long day, I don’t feel like stopping, I don’t want to take time to talk to that person; wah, wah, wah….me, me, me.  Not my mom.  She always found the time to do all the important things. To do those things that really matter; the things that have big impacts on individual lives.  The things that change lives.  She invested of herself.  This has been abundantly evident by the outpouring of love, support and prayers that we have received.

A tragic event such as this will put life into perspective.  You realize very quickly the things that matter most; people.  My mom is an inspiration.  She is my inspiration.

Three Generations American Heart Association Walk dogs Hair Donation Christmas Wreath Christmas Angel

Anthropologie Refashion DIY

Anthropologie Shirt Front Anthropologie Shirt Side View Anthropologie Shirt Back

Do you have an old tee (or seven) in the bottom of the drawer that you don’t wear anymore?  I certainly do.  I saw this cute Anthropologie tee the other day (that is no longer for sale) and realized it would be pretty easy to make since it is simply a refashion or upcycle of an old t-shirt.  The shirt only took about 30 minutest to make and I was able to make it with items I already had at home.  Here are step-by-step instructions. Enjoy!

Materials:
Old t-shirt (not too fitted)
1/4 of a yard of chiffon (or similar) material in a pattern of your choice
Straight pins
Sewing machine

Instructions:

  1. Cut back of t-shirt including the side seams and up to where the armpits begin.
  2. Lay out your chiffon material with the piece you cut from the tee.
  3. Cut your chiffon about 1 1/2 times wider than the piece of cut t-shirt and about one inch longer.
  4. Pin the chiffon to the tee all the way around making a gathered stitch in the top middle portion on the chiffon material.
  5. Sew along all sides.
  6. Hem the bottom into either a straight edge or curved edge.

 

DIY Half Apron

Apron On Apron Hanging 2 Apron Side View

I own only one apron and I find myself always folding it and using it as a half apron.  I had a good bit of light weight denim and canvas fabric so I thought I would use it to make a true half apron.  It turned out even cuter than I expected. Here are step by step instructions. Enjoy!

Materials:
30″ x 36″ base material (I used denim)
5″ x 72″ contrasting material (I used canvas)
Pocket from old pair of jeans
Heavy weight white thread (if you’re sewing with denim or canvas)
Size 18 needle

Instructions:

  1. Cut your base material and contrasting material to the measurements above.
  2. Do a double fold and iron one long side and the two short sides of the base fabric.
  3. Sew the three ironed sides.
  4. Double fold the other long side to create a 3″ fold.
  5. Sew the long side.
  6. Fold the contrasting material in half long ways and iron.
  7. Sew the material along the cut edge.
  8. Attach a safety pin to one end of contrasting material (tie) and pull through to turn right side out.
  9. Double fold, iron and sew each end of the tie.
  10. Feed the tie through the 3″ sew long edge of your apron.
  11. Pick a spot of the pocket and pin into place.
  12. Sew the pocket on all three edges.

The Bag Sewing Project

White and Brown Canvas Bags Hanging 800Brown and Black bag hanging rack 800 White Canvas Bag hanging wall 800 Brown and Black Bag On 800 White Canvas Bag on 800White Canvas Bag hanging wall full 800
I have had so much fun making these heavy duty canvas bags. Each bag is created using a heavy-weight canvas material. The bags are completely lined with a nice, thick cotton material. I created each bag with a leather shoulder strap. The off-white bag is designed so that it can be grabbed by your side by the two small canvas handles or used as an across body style bag with the leather strap. The brown bag fits a laptop along with other items very nice and is carried by a double leather strap. These bags are durable, large and fun. All the bags are made and designed by myself and handmade with care.

I had so much fun making these bags that I decided to add them as made to order options in my Etsy store. Click here to check them out… {mamanellie designs}. I would love to know what you think. Enjoy!

Upcycled Bag

Denim & Leather Holding in Front Denim & Leather Purse Hanging Denim & Leather Purse Hold Out Denim & Leather Purse On
Here is another fun upcycled item I made this past weekend.  Once again I made this upcycle from mens/boys clothing.  I cut the leg off an old pair of my husbands pants to make the bag, used some left-over black fabric for the inside lining, and the leather straps are made from a boys belt.  The only tricky part (and time consuming) was sewing the leather straps onto the bag.  Because the belt is made of thick leather, I had to hand sew the straps on.  This was such a fun project and turned out really cute. I like how deep the bag is because it fits a ton of my junk.

Upcycled Skirt

Upcycled Skirt Front View Upcycled Skirt Laughing Upcycled Skirt Side View Upcycled Skirt - STOPShirt Before
I love taking old clothes and making something new.  My husband cleaned out his closet not long ago and was getting rid of this old denim shirt.  Because my husband is 6’2″ and I’m only 4’11”, I thought there would be enough material to turn it into a skirt.  I used the bottom of the shirt for the skirt cutting the shirt beneath the arms and used the sleeves for the waist band.  I was pleasantly surprised.  The skirt turned out perfectly!

Just a Weekend :: Happiness

Upcycled Skirt - STOP Surf Sitting Room Trey and Banana Yarn Sewing Living RoomBanana Dining Room New Piper Sandals D Ombre Spinning
Sometimes you read something online and it really sticks with you.  This happened to me recently.  I read something on Instagram posted by the lovely @kaehope and it has stuck with me everyday since.

“Happiness – is letting go of what you think your life is supposed to look like & celebrating it for everything that it IS. A new goal I’ve set: to be contagiously happy. ”

This is so true and since I read this on Instagram, I’ve heard the same message in other ways…Bloom where you are planted.  We are only given today so LIVE, I mean truly live for today.  Enjoy your life right where you are. Celebrate your life for everything that it is.

These are pics from my weekend, just everyday life truly enjoying the moment; sewing, hanging with the hubs and kids, redecorating the house, crocheting, enjoying new shoes, loving our fat cat.  Happy weekend, happy life.