Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Building a new Home: Groundbreaking Party

Ever think you'd see a picture of a porta-potty on MADE?  I tried to make it look as pretty as possible.  And after posting about our new home adventure last month, we've made some progress. We've broken ground! Woohoo!
The neighbors thought I was funny when I started snapping photos of the bathroom...and the lovely orange construction fence.  But they were all so exciting!  They were SIGNS!  Signs of something, anything happening.  Porta potty one day; construction workers the next, right?
My good friend Katherine said we should definitely have a groundbreaking party to celebrate the fun.  YES!  So I quickly purchased cheap little shovels, spray-painted them gold, and just as I had hoped....workers were there the next day!
First this showed up and plowed down anything in it's path.
(minus the important trees.  We're keeping those)
Then this guy showed up to haul it all away.  It was so refreshing to see the site cleared...and easier to visualize a home sitting right in the middle.
A few days later....lumber!, the beginnings of a foundation frame, and some goofy kids.
Lucy and Owen love visiting the lot which makes me happy because I know they'll love having a backyard of land to explore.  They're great at creating fun from the simplest anything.  And I think Owen's spent a couple hours at the lot just throwing dirt clods.  Pure boy.

So a few weeks ago, we grabbed our shovels and invited our friends over to the lot for a small groundbreaking celebration.
And there you go!  Hooray!  The house is happening.
Might be fun to frame this photo and put it somewhere in the house to remember how tiny these kids were when we started this project: Lucy 7, Owen, 5, and Clara 14 months.
The token dirt toss.
And Cheers! in cheap cups,
with cheap pizza to go along.  Yay!  Just how the kids like it.  Pizza Pizza.  Drink Drink.
Thanks friends for coming to celebrate!
Hopefully this is poured concrete soon.
And just a little peek at what's going on inside.  I'm looking for a mirror for the downstairs bathroom.  You guys were SUPER helpful on my last post with input on fireplaces, chandeliers, and decks. THANK YOU.  I've actually decided to go with Gas and made other adjustments from your recommends.   

So here's what I'm looking at.  I'm really loving this and this....and the Abby mirror comes in way too many cute colors.  How could I ever pick just one??
Or to save money, maybe I'll just make my own white frame with cool tiles on the inside?  Check out most of these on my Tile Board.
Any cool mirrors you've come across?....something that'll fit in a beach cottage type bathroom?
Thanks friends! 

Thursday, April 25, 2013


I'm Dana and welcome to MADE!
I'm a 36 year-old mom of 3 kids living in Austin, TX with my husband Casey.
I love to sew, make, DIY, photograph, write, and share.  So blogging is the perfect marriage of loves for me.

I've written a book called Fabrics A to Z, which every sewist and fabric enthusiast should own.
I've got a slew of Tutorials and Recipes for you to try out.
And if you just need a cheer of encouragement that's totally what I'm here for.  My goal with MADE is to help you realize that YOU CAN DO IT, using everyday items from around the house, with or without patterns, and with crazy make-it-work moments. 

Never tried sewing?  You can learn.
Think you're not creative?  Nonsense.
There's a creative spirit in everyone.  And the best way to find it is by just getting started.

Never fear.  Just do.
And figure it out as you go along.

Thanks for stopping by!
- Dana

Friday, April 12, 2013

TUTORIAL: Tin Can Caddy for Earth Day and Mother's Day

Everybody loves a good tin can project, right?
So. many. options.
And today I'm teaming up with 3 other bloggers: Make and Takes, Prudent Baby, and Petit Elefant and a great online site called Consumer Crafts to share a craft that works for Mother's Day....and Earth Day.
 I basically went from this pile of fun:
to this....which you could even stop right there, filling them with mom's favorite flowers, plants, or treats:
Or you can lash a few cans together with twine and rope to create other fun options:
 (which should definitely include a few Dandelion pom poms)
Okay, you only need a few supplies which are all found on consumer crafts.com.  And I gotta say, I was really impressed with the selection on their site.  They have party decorations, art supplies, stuff for kids, all your basic craft needs....even American Girl-ish doll clothes! (Lucy's excited)....oh and Perler Beads! (Owen's excited)

Now you could use spray paint for your cans.  But I found that acrylic paint has a bazillion more color options, is cheaper, and more Earth friendly.  Ding!  I also found that mixing the paint with a bit of glossy Mod Podge gives the dull paint a bit of shine and adheres to the cans a little better.

So grab your mod podge, paint, bakers twine or hemp, brushes, and whatever cans you have lying around.
I love using old baby food containers for mixing paint because they're just the right size, and have lids.   So in a small container mix equal parts Mod Podge and acrylic paint.  Then start painting it on your dry, clean can.
I found that painting worked best in layers, using a blowdryer to dry between each layer.  Some colors needed about 3-4 coats of paint.

And just like that you've got a rainbow of tin can beauties!
Seriously, these colors just make me happy.  
Now let's lash or link a few together.  This reminds me of my Girl Scout days when we lashed 4 boogie boards together with rope and made a big raft at the beach.  Totally fun (and I guess pretty impressionable to a 9 year old).

So from this totally messing photo diagram below you basically want to start at one can and do Figure 8's around the other cans. Wrap one way direction on the first can, then wrap the other direction on the next can, then go back and forth between the 3 cans, etc.  Don't always follow the same path on the same can so you can vary the way the cans are linked together. 
Do the same method on the bottom of the cans and you've got a cool silverware caddy for a summer party.
Now using the hemp rope is a tiny bit trickier only because it can be kind of stiff (softer, pliable hemp is ideal).  For two cans, dab a bit of hot glue on the first can to hold the rope in place, then wrap it around and over to the other can in a Figure 8.  Wrap the rope a few times, then cut the end and glue it in place (hide the ends in-between the two cans).  Do the same for the bottom of the cans and then shift and shimmy the ropes till they're right where you'd like.
Boxwood plant vase!
For the Craft Caddy, let's lash 8 cans together.
Start by linking 4 cans and 4 cans separately (this makes the whole thing easier to manage).  Then put the two lines together and weave in and out around the 8 cans.  Some of the cans may shift so do your best to keep them straight (as you can see, I did not.  But it works).  Then lash the cans together at the bottom as well.
 To make the little handle....
Braid 3 strands of hemp together, stick one end of the braid in between the last two cans and hot glue it in place.  Do the same on the other end of the cans. 
Then fill the caddy with your favorite supplies!
 And carry it wherever the crafting may go.
Any mom would love a colorful tin can surprise on Mother's Day.  I'm sure. 

And for even more options, check out what Marie from Make and Takes did with washi tape:
And we've got two more Earth Day DIY projects, sponsored by Consumer Crafts.....
Upcycled Carnival by Prudent Baby.
 And T-shirt Necklaces with Petit Elefant:
And for a ton of Earth Day DIY ideas, check out our Earth Day Pinterest Board.

Okay. One last bit of fun.  Want free money to Consumer Crafts?....enter with the rafflecopter below for your chance to win a ConsumerCraft.com bundle worth $250, so you can get started crafting up a storm for Earth Day DIY! Be sure to visit ConsumerCrafts on twitter, facebook, and see their Crafts Unleashed blog for more craft ideas.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
This is part of Celebrate MOM, a series with gift ideas for moms and women.

Here’s what we’ve shared this week:
Dishtowel and Napkin Totes
Fabrics A to Z book Giveaway
Dandelions Pom Poms
the Vintage Pearl Giveaway 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

TUTORIAL: Dandelion Pom Poms

I've wanted to make these for two years,
...ever since Lucy, Owen, and I stumbled on a grassy field full of dandelions.  The kids were dying!  I was dying.  It was so fun!  And so cute.  Isn't it odd that a weed flower can be so adorable and entertaining? 
 Who can say no to this?
Or this?
Dandelions that never wilt or die.  Of course you can't blow them away but you can still make a wish....and decorate your house.
Okay.  This is real easy.
It's the same pom pom tutorial I shared a couple years ago but we're adding a stick, and using a speckled yarn.  You can also use pure white yarn but I really like how the flecks of dark mixed with cream give the dandelions an earthy texture.
 No special pom pom tools needed.  Just use your hands and some yarn!
1. Start wrapping yarn around 3 fingers.  For smaller poms use 2 fingers.  For larger poms use a book or something wide and be prepared for a ton of wrapping. 
2. Wrap till the ball is pretty full
3. Carefully slide the ball off your fingers and lay it over a separate piece of yarn
4. Tie the yarn string tightly around the center of the yarn ball
5. Use scissors to cut all the loops on both sides
6. Give the pom a hair cut.  Keep trimming till all the sides are fairly even (doesn't need to be exact)
7. Insert a wooden dowel (found at most craft stores), or a wooden skewer or pencil, or candy stick, whatever works.
8. Squeeze a bit of hot glue on the end of the stick
9. Carefully push the stick into the center of the pom pom

And there you go.  Dandelion Pom Pom
Stick some in a vase and you feel like a kid again.
This is part of Celebrate MOM, a series with gift ideas for moms and women.
Here’s what we’ve shared this week:
Dishtowel and Napkin Totes
Fabrics A to Z book Giveaway

See you tomorrow!