Friday, August 29, 2014

Mastering Zipper Techniques

Do you ever worry that life will be too short to learn everything that you want to??
About once a year I think, eek!  I still need to learn to build furniture, and play the guitar, and use Photoshop, and C-walk (Yep. That's high on the list).

Well thank goodness we live in a digital playground where there are so many, many resources available for learning!  I love to share tips and ideas with you guys; and I love to learn from others as well.
And this month I decided to improve my knowledge about zippers.
You see, I am not a master of zippers.  I know my fair share, but I wanted to learn more.  So I did a most logical thing...I headed over to Craftsy and clicked on their free Mastering Zipper Techniques class.  FREE!  Yay!

Of course before I could even click on the sewing class category, my eyes wandered to all the other fabulous categories they improving my photo skills....

And what??  There's a class on making artisan bread??  I need to do that.  Today.  YES.

If you're new to Craftsy, like me, just start clicking around.  Because there's really something for everybody (and probably a lot of things from your must-learn bucket list).

In a nut-shell: Craftsy is like an online school full of interesting courses, taught in a video/lesson setting by interesting teachers.  In fact, some of the instructors will be familiar faces!  Many classes you pay for, and in return you have access to the videos and download content forever and you're also able to ask the teacher questions.  Some classes are offered as Free mini-classes---like this one I took here---and give you a good taste of the Craftsy brand before jumping in.

And get to learn about zippers!
I clicked on the Sewing category and checked out this: 

The class is called Mastering Zipper Techniques with Sunni Standing.

And it walks you through 6 different lessons, from a very basic zipper, to invisible zippers, and even how to sew one into tricky spots where there are linings and facings, etc. 
It might sound complicated.  But you know what....with the way Sunni talks, in her really calm manner, and how carefully she walks you through the steps, it makes you feel like you can sew a wedding dress, with zippers at every seam.
....which sounds like a horrible design idea.
But really.  She makes you feel like you can do it all.
The class really gives you a grasp on all types of zippers, what the differences are, and how to install them.
And since I'm a girl who likes to wing-it most of the time, I appreciated learning all her proper methods (so that I know when I'll want take short-cuts. At least that's my philosophy).

Want to become a zipper master too?  It's easy....just click the link and hit enroll.
And if you're interested in other Free sewing courses, click through all the categories because each one offers a few mini-classes.
Have fun sewing!

This post is sponsored by Craftsy.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Before and After: Front Porch furniture

Back when we were just thinking about building a home, I knew there needed to be a front porch.
I mean, there's always a front porch.

...but how bout the kind where you can actually have furniture? 
And sit outside with a cold beverage, watching the kids ride bikes and scooters down the street?
Or....maybe a porch is just an excuse to go shopping at the thrift store and not feel guilty about walking out with an entire bench and two chairs?  Let's just be honest.
And when I saw this patio set at my favorite antique store in town, I just couldn't pass it up!
The style was perfect.  Kinda beachy.  Kinda craftsman.  Very simple.
They just needed a little facelift.
My first thought was to paint them orange like the flower vase above, or yellow like the basket below (which I also "had" to buy at the antique store.  Isn't it cute??)
I asked on instagram (find me @danamadeit) for your input and the ideas were all over the board!
"Navy Blue!"
"Turquoise, kelly green, black, white, red....."
So I went with the obvious decision,
I called my mom.
And she painted the whole darn thing for me.
Is she the best mom or what??
She and my dad were in town and asked what projects they could work on for me.  So we pulled out the sander, pulled out the brushes, and they finished the whole thing for me! 
Thank you mom and dad!
And thank you Sherwin Williams #7005 Pure White, for always being a fantastic paint choice.
Yep. I went with white.
Actually I really considered Navy Blue or Black.  But against the gray color of the house it just had to be white!
And I love how it turned out.
Now I just need to make some pillows, and get out the bikes, and make some lemonade.
Favorite input?
Have a great day!

Monday, August 18, 2014

ice cream, bacon, and balancing on 5 chairs: the OC Fair!

Summers in Orange County, CA as a kid always meant a visit to the OC Fair.  The fair!....this magical playground of lights and food that rolled into town for a few weeks, then rolled off to another town to enchant new kids (and empty new wallets)

I always loved the fair, and the rides and overall atmosphere.
And from the moment we arrived my brain was scheming what special treat I was going to buy.
I mean, the food. The food!
It's overwhelming.

So on our month long adventure this past month we joined our cousins for a morning adventure on the same rickety old rides.  And they loved it!  Owen was nervous to try the rides but was easily swayed by peer pressure...and always exited the ride later claiming, "Best. Ride. Ever!" 
We all loved the Family Fun Circus where a dude did a headstand atop a stack of wobbly chairs. 
Clara wanted to touch every single toy and rubber ducky in sight.  And she absolutely loved the animals. She's an animal girl.  It's in her heart.

Lucy loved everything about everything and enjoyed being the "older" kid with her cousin Ava, making sure all the kids were part of the fun.  She's always been my peacemaker kid. 

And for me?
Yep. I got a treat.  And it was bacon-dipped.
But the real highlight was glancing over to see a sight that looked all too familiar.....
Another family taking pictures for a blog post.
and um....wait, look at that cute gingham dress....and those girls....Is that Ruby?
It was!  What are the chances that I would run into Ruby Ellen of CAKIES and her 4 sweet girls? (more on Ruby and her book in this post here) She is just as charming and cute and adorable as you can imagine.  A virtual friendship come to life.  I love those moments!    
And her girls were perfect models.
Mine was not.
Probably because I told her to stop touching the rubber duckies.
And that was an Orange County Fair adventure.

We topped off the experience with treats all around.
And the Frozen Banana dipped in dark chocolate and bacon did not disappoint.  The bacon was actually kind of subtle, adding the perfect amount of salt to the sweet.
Till next year!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What would you like to see on MADE? New videos, posts, patterns....

Hello friends! I'm alive!....and back from many travel adventures.   I can't wait to share photos from our Norway/Sweden/Denmark trip!  What a gorgeous part of the world.

In the meantime.....I'm looking for input on my blog and the new sewing show---
MADE Everyday, with Dana.
You guys are always good with the feedback.
And it's good to take inventory of the blog from time to time.  Because YOU are the reason I love blogging and making videos and sharing ideas!  So I'd love to know how I can make things better for you.
What do you think of the site?  How do you read and follow blogs?  What projects would you like to see in the future? 
And most specifically....what type of videos would you like?

We're getting ready to shoot Season 2 of MADE Everyday, with twice as many episodes as the first batch (there are still 2 more episodes to come in this season--hopefully one later this week)  So let me know what you hope to see.  It can be a MADE classic or something new!

To make the feedback easier, we've created a small survey below.
If you have a few minutes, we'd love your input!
Simply toggle through the questions below, or leave a comment in this post.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world's leading questionnaire tool.

And as always, thanks for tuning in!
You guys make this adventure a fun one.