Thursday, June 27, 2013

You're A Grand Old Flag (pt 2)

Finally finished...not gonna lie, the hood was hard to paint.  It just doesn't lie flat well enough for you to get your stars ironed on where you want.  Anyway, here's what it looks like prior to washing.  I'm a bit concerned that the colors will all run or that it won't soften, but will stay stiff.  The red sections that were "spray" painted aren't really stiff at all, but the blue where I sponged the paint on is super stiff....

I threw it in the washer by itself for a quick (8 minute) wash cycle with just a bit of soap and crossed my fingers.  It came out of the wash and wasn't stiff and the colors hadn't run!  Success!  So very excited :)
Here's what it looks like after the first wash and dry:

It's not as dark blue, but it still looks great.  I would suggest though, that if you're not going to paint the inside of the hood (still not sure if I will - I don't really have more paint), that you tape off the inside edge of the hood.  If you look closely in on the right side of the photo on the hood I got blue on the inside edge.  Also, here's a downside to sponging on the paint.  As you can see from the photo, there are parts that are darker because you got more paint than on other sections.  For some reason there's also little white spots (almost as if I didn't cover everything, but I know I did!).

Well, there you have it - my "review" of a DIY Flag Sweatshirt.  Good luck!

You can find Part 1 of this craft here

Flag (noun)

a piece of cloth, varying in size, shape, color, and design, usually attached at one edge to a staff or cord, and used as the symbol of a nation, state, or organization, as a means of signaling, etc.; ensign; standard; banner; pennant.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Flushed: How the Plumber Saved Civilization
by W. Hodding Carter

"The unsung hero of human history was, of course, the Brain of Drains, the Hub of Tubs, the Power of Showers, the Brewer of Sewers...the humble plumber." -- W. Hodding Carter

Here's a quick description/summary from Amazon -

When we consider the amenities that really make a difference in our well-being, surely good plumbing must rank near the top. But rarely have we taken the time to appreciate the engineering marvels that bring clean water into our homes with the turn of a tap and the flip of a lever. Until now.
Witty, anecdotal, and thoroughly entertaining, Flushed chronicles the long and notable history of plumbing, while following Hodding Carter's travels and travails around the most underappreciated pillar of civilization. It's a winning combination of history, science, and firsthand experience -- a book that will both entertain and educate those who have never contemplated the hidden intricacies of this miracle of everyday technology.

This book is amazing :)  I have no idea what made me put in a request for it on, but I think I read somewhere that it was a fascinating book.  To be honest, it sat on my shelf for quite awhile until I finally decided that I should just read it so I could put it back on paperbackswap.  It blew me away - I'm not one for "bathroom" talk or anything related to suchthings (as anyone who knows me could confirm), but he presents the information in such a compelling way!  It's easy to read, but also gives a lot of information.  Plus, at the end he gives some great things happening in India where they could really use some sanitation help.  The inventions are fascinating.  It's been a few years since I last read it, but I could read it again...maybe this will be my beach reading this year.

civ·i·li·za·tion  (noun)
1. an advanced state of human society, in which a high level of culture, science, industry, and government has been reached.
2. those people or nations that have reached such a state.
3. any type of culture, society, etc., of a specific place, time, or group.
4. the act or process of civilizing or being civilized
5. cultural refinement; refinement of thought and cultural appreciation

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Great Debate: Modesty

It would seem that suddenly there's a conversation going on about Modesty.   Jessica Rey's talk/speech on modesty, entitled "The Evolution of the Swimsuit", has been making its rounds on the internet (and it's definitely thought-provoking) and I just came across this article that gives a great look into the issue of modesty.

My favorite line from Jessica's speech was: "Modesty isn't about hiding ourselves, it's about revealing our dignity."  That line reminds me of Ms. DeRosset's book (you can read my post on her book here ) and why dignity and modesty go hand-in-hand.  I grew up being taught (ok, often forced) to dress modestly, but the reasons given always made me mad.  All I ever heard (regardless of how my parents phrased their response) was, "guys can't control their minds, so you have to do your best to help them out".   That never seemed like a very good answer to me, but I did as my father asked (although "modesty" was probably the biggest thing we disagreed on - and often).  I've since learned a lot about modesty, especially through some great books, but I'm not gonna lie - I still struggle with it.  It's so much easier to wear whatever I want without thinking about it, and often it's cheaper too! 

Anyway, I'm off on a rabbit trail - all this to say that Rachel Evans makes some great points in her article and it's definitely worth a read.  While I generally agree with her points, I would caution on her second point, that just because something is culturally acceptable doesn't make it modest.  I think that the opposite would be a better guideline for you.  When something is culturally immodest then you are being immodest regardless of your personal feelings on the matter.  In Liberia (and many African nations) it was immodest for women to wear pants.  That is changing, but when I visited it was true, so we wore skirts. 

I especially like the statement she made at the end of her second point: "We don’t stop lust by covering up the female form; we stop lust by teaching men to treat women as human beings worthy of respect." AMEN SISTER!  While I realize that "Men are wired differently than us, it is implausible to assume one can teach the testosterone out of them", I do think that teaching respect for women is very important and would certainly not hurt.

P.S.  Jessica's designs are great, but I've never purchased one so I can't vouche for them.  I have bought some of the Hapari Swimwear tops and loved them.  They're not all modest, but they do have several modest options and they have some great sales.  Another great option is LimeRicki - just in case some of you women are still on the hunt.

bathing suit (noun)

a garment worn for swimming.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Combining your hobbies

By now you might have figured out that I like to travel and I like doing crafty/creative things.  So travel related crafts are at the top of my favorite's list. Here's a fantastic gift made by one of my SUPER-DUPER creative and talented cousins (I have a lot of cousins).  I'm not 100% certain, but I believe this is what she did.  She took a canvas and painted it the color of the background on the map she was using.  She then cut up the map (it was larger than the canvas) and modge-podged the sections of the world that I'd visited already onto the canvas.  At first glance you don't even realize that it's not geographically correct (that's how good she is).  Then, because she's so talented, she wrote on one of my favorite quotes.  Had I made such a masterpiece I'd have had to trace out my lettering or something...  Isn't it grand? The perfect gift for a travel junkie like me :)

Now, this craft is for all you tourist T-shirt hoarders (I'm not judging, I have my own stash).  For whatever reason you decide the t-shirt is too great to pass up.  You bring it home, and it sits in your closet.  You don't want to get rid of it because, well, you paid for it, and it was a great trip!  I realize you can only make so  many pillows, but I think this pillow turned out pretty great :)  I'm honestly not even sure why I bought a shirt that said that because I would never wear it....I think the phrase was just too tricky for me to pass up.

a·bil·i·ty  (noun)

1. power or capacity to do or act physically, mentally, legally, morally, financially, etc.
2.  competence in an activity or occupation because of one's skill, training, or other qualification
3. abilities, talents; special skills or aptitudes

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Creative Weekend

Lots of thoughts tumbling around in my brain; possible life changes ahead (and some changes that have already taken place)...  But I'll leave all that for another time.

Anyway, I got to do lots of crafty/creative things this past weekend so that was nice.  I love all the ideas that Pinterest gives me, and lately I've taken to redoing T-shirts like it's going out of style.  I'm not very big, so a lot of tshirts just don't fit right, even when I buy a small.  So, I've started making lots of tank tops and making other tshirts more fitted & feminine.  Thankfully, it's super easy (especially the tank tops), because, despite taking home-ec & sewing in 8th grade, I'm not much of a seamstress.  I won't give you a tutorial or anything (there are tons already on pinterest, and I don't really have any new information), but here are some of my favorites (sorry, no "before" pictures).

For some reason I have lots of shirts from Europe that have "funny" necklines.  They make me look like a linebacker and...well it's hard to explain, but despite loving the shirts I would rarely wear them.  Now, this fantastic shirt has a new life & it's soooo incredibly comfortable!!  Besides - who doesn't love Paris?

This great shirt was never my size to begin with - it's a long story, but I got soaked during a rainstorm in Rome and 2 of my friends bought me this new (dry) shirt to change in to (who says chivalry is dead?) after watching me shiver my way through a museum tour.  I never got rid of it, but of course never wore it again because it didn't fit.  You might not be able to tell, but I really should have taken in the shoulders somehow (and maybe I still will at some point).  I really didn't want to have to hem this shirt and I kind of liked the long "tunic" look - so I just decided not to sew the whole length of the sides.  You can sort of tell in the photo that it's split at the bottom....

This great shirt had a hole in the armpit and was a bit big/baggy, so it also got refashioned into a tanktop (the tank top redo's work great for shirts that have armpit stains too by the way).

Why yes, I am standing in front of a door :)

cre·a·tive (adjective)

1. having the quality or power of creating.
2. resulting from originality of thought, expression, etc.
3. originative; productive usually followed by of).

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

You're a Grand Old Flag (pt 1)

Good Day!  So I pinned this great sweatshirt craft idea from Oh Pish Posh over a year ago and always planned on making one of my own.  I even found a white sweatshirt in the clearence section of Michaels once.  Only to get it home and realize it had BRIDE written across the back in sparkly crystals...yeah NOT going to work.  So I continued to check the thrift stores and craft stores for a white sweatshirt and finally found one I thought would work.  I basically followed her instructions, which were pretty great.  The Freezer Paper stars were a fantastic idea, but sometimes mine didn't stick that well (and other times they did).  Not sure if there's a particular heat setting on your iron that works better, but if anyone figures that out let me know.

I started with the red stripes (I did the torso first and then the arms).  She said to use masking tape, but I used wide painter's tape and it worked great for me.  One strip for one stripe! After I had the stripes all taped I covered everything else that was going to end up blue with plastic bags to protect it.  I found Tulip fabric spray paint on sale so I decided to go ahead and use that. 

I had found a pin once for making your own spray paint (using a spray bottle and acrylic paint + water), which is much, much cheaper, so I thought I'd do that for the blue (more on that later).  Anyway, I used one whole bottle of the red Tulip paint for the shirt and it worked out great, but the end result turned out more pink than red.  So I ended up needing another bottle.
Red stripes all done :)

Time to move on to the blue & the stars.  For the blue I decided to try the 2 parts acrylic paint + 1 part water mix.  I decided where I wanted all my stars and ironed them on (after taping off all the red/white striped section).  I decided to do one side at a time because I was having some trouble with the stars sticking completely. 

So, I'm not sure if there wasn't enough water in my mix or my spray bottle was the wrong kind, but this definitely did not work.  Not to be deterred (I'd already mixed the paint and I purchased it specifically for this project), I decided to sponge it on.  WAY more time consuming, but it seemed to work well.  As you can probably see it was hard to get an even layer, so some sections had more paint then others, but in the end I decided I kind of like the mottled look. 

I'm still trying to decide if I should paint the inside of the hood as well.  I probably won't be wearing it with the hood up much, so you'll see the inside of the hood...  I guess I'll wait and see how much paint I have left.  A work in progress that will hopefully be finished by the 4th of July (yes, I realize it will be too hot to wear it) :)

**Update: You can check out the finished product here.

Flag (noun)

a piece of cloth, varying in size, shape, color, and design, usually attached at one edge to a staff or cord, and used as the symbol of a nation, state, or organization, as a means of signaling, etc.; ensign; standard; banner; pennant.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


My sister is getting married, and over the course of the last few months, and especially these last few weeks, I've been noticing little things about myself.  Sadley, they're not things I'd really like to notice. It's just so easy to overlook your own faults many times!  I generally get along with everyone, so it's easy to let Satan lull me into thinking that I'm a pretty good person.  But I'm not...  All this wedding planning has made me realize how judgemental and selfish I can be - and it's not pretty.  So many times I catch myself thinking, "it's not about you, get a grip", when I'm annoyed with decisions made (or sometimes the lack of decision making).  It's easy to let all the focus on things pertaining to her and her upcoming "event" make me frustrated.  So, I've been trying to remember 2 Corinthians 10:5 "...we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ."  It is far too simple to just let your thoughts run wild (and I'm definitely guilty of that).

judg·men·tal (adjective)

1. involving the use or exercise of judgment.
2. tending to make moral judgments.