Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I Finished a Refashion!

My Goodness...

As a simple, starter project, the ruffled scarf seemed like a good first 'refashion' for me.

Yeah, Right!

My boyfriend has been so good to me, he's on the local freecycle and scored a bunch of second hand clothes which I'm putting to use in my refashions.

The thrift stores around here seem to have price tags like the retail stores to me. Of course, I'm originally from Ohio and I scored 20 shirts for $5 once (some of which i'm still wearing and that was oh, 15-20 years ago?!?). So maybe it's me...

Here's what I started with:

way small, knit, workout pants, slight stain, soft white color, soft to the touch, obtained Jan'10

The ruffled scarf jumped to mind. Not many of these have given me what they want to be yet, this most definitely did!

I read everything I could get my mouse on from Nikki's Wardrobe Refashion site and I started cutting. I'm pretty good at cutting. And that is the best part of this story.

I actually got 4 lengths total out of the pants, trimmed into long rectangles...

So Far, So Good!

Next comes, you guessed it, sewing these lengths together to form one long, Long, LONG rectangle!

Only one problem, I don't have a sewing machine.

Enter Laura who loans me a machine and I'm in business, right? Riiiight!

This machine is very reminiscent of mine and perhaps you remember me talking about how moody it is? Well, Laura's machine isn't quite as moody, not quite...

So I basically stitch these 4 lengths together...

Which actually didn't go too badly.

I used white thread on the white fabric and did the pieces 'back to back' (i use "" marks because by now, i couldn't tell!) then I opened up the length and sewed the seam down to the length, all this was with a straight stitch.

So Far, So Good STILL!

THEN, I get to try out this edging business which should make the edge do some nice lettuce leaf look... um, not so much with this fabric:

This took a LOT of thread too.

And I had to use some Navy thread to finish... it's kind of hard to tell so not to worry overly...

Big, not very lettuc-y

And something happened to the tension after awhile. And it didn't go away until I sewed on some paper of all things!

Actually, none of this was all that hard, just little frustrating and a lot of work to keep the tension on the edges to get what I did even with the lettuce edge attempt. It just didn't work out the way I thought it would.

And the final step, to thread some ribbon thru the center. Sounds simple, right?

Ice Cream ALWAYS helps, you know! :)

First off, I couldn't get my ribbon threaded needle thru the darn fabric. The weave was very tight. I actually DID get it thru the ends as I wanted the knot to work. Oh, I even bypassed that idea by putting a decorative bead on the ends.

Needle being stubborn!

Ha! Fixed that!!

Actually, I'm getting ahead of myself.

Oh, I did all that. Only I didn't like how it bunched up with the weight of the cloth which left some of it spread quite thin, unless it's REALLY bunched up.

So I pulled the ribbon out...

And tried looping the ribbon around a couple of places to help distribution a little better.

Still not happy with it. It sure is warm! Just in time for our dip back into winter weather.

Did anyone else have this problem? Perhaps the fabric is heavier or something. I might just bunch it up more tightly all around.

bunchier... looks a little better...

Got any tips? Leave me a note!

Pam Hoffman

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Royalty Over the Rainbow

What an amazing adventure participating in Scrapbook Royalty's "Royalty Over the Rainbow" last weekend!

I'm especially grateful to Elena & Nanci for enabling me to be there:

Nanci & Elena

I got to try out new techniques I never tried before...

Like altering pages in a book by painting on them and sewing on them, right in the book!

...and creating ribbon layered hearts of felt (in Rainbow colors!)

Thanks to Cheryl, pounding into damp chipboard with special tools!

The food, by Zele, was wonderful and rejuvenating, all catered. It's Royalty alright!

I stayed up all night and enjoyed the peace and quiet and productivity without distractions.

Lots of people were there and art for sale, a silent auction and craft supplies galore!

Almost forgot, the goody bag, bucket w/tools, the Fairy Flybys!!! So wonderful. It's too much to put into a blog post. You gotta join us some day!

Have you been on a crafts retreat? Has it been awhile? Check out Scrapbook Royalty for ways to get away AND do good at the same time!

Pam Hoffman

I got a LOT done at this retreat!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Use What You Have!

I read a blog post by Wanda Eash recently and it got me all excited. You see, she made a confession - she has a lot of craft stuff! You know, I do too!

So I followed her very nice explanation and took a bunch of stuff I have now...

And created this:

It's almost done!

"This is a great way to use up some of those crafting leftovers." ~Wanda Eash

I just LOVE this concept as I've had some of the pieces on this hanging around for YEARS! And now I have a beautiful charm bracelet I love and I love wearing it.

What do YOU have around that you could put to use? Have you done that before? What did you create?

Post a link in the comments and I may just do a blog post centered around YOUR work of art and link back to you from here.

Pam Hoffman

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

First Official 'Refashions'

Earlier this month, I told you that I made a commitment to 'refashion' rather than purchase from new. Ok, not a huge stretch since I haven't bought anything new in quite some time. Still, challenging for me since I'm not much of a 'thread and needle' person...

According to Nikki Shell, on her Wardrobe Refashion blog, this is taking something else and making it into your wearable clothes. It could be yarn, fabric, you could have something handmade for you (or buy from another person who makes things from these materials say from etsy...) so there is some room to work with, even for someone like me.

Freecycle item, way smaller than we are!

I started cutting some freecycled items and old t-shirts at the monthly Crop in Orange, in preparation for my first, official refashions, and figured I'd be somewhat stuck there for want of a sewing machine.

T-Shirt that fits

Well, some friends and I worked up a crafting session last Sunday and I borrowed a sewing machine from one of them, who let me keep it around for a bit to continue working with.

Now this thing isn't brand new yet it performed WAY BETTER than mine ever did!

So I have a couple of things that are just about ready to be worn. I've taken bunches of photos so I'll do some detailed posts about them as soon as they are finished!

Have you transformed something that no longer fit or that you loved yet it was too worn, into something you CAN use again? Have you SEEN all the cool things people have made at the Wardrobe Refashion site?

Pam Hoffman

March 13th, at the Crop in Orange!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Magazine Swap

I have acquired several magazines, which are duplicates of some I already have.

I scanned the covers here [in no particular order]:

If you have extra or duplicate magazines (or something ELSE you'd like to swap!) and you would like to arrange a swap with me, leave a comment or email me directly; my contact information is located on a new 'page' on the blog.

I got these from a 'freebie' table at a crop so I don't know if they are in perfect condition, they do look quite good and I could take a look, upon request.

Have you had a blog swap? What did you offer to your visitors? How did it work out?

Pam Hoffman

Monday, March 8, 2010

Volunteering at the UCI Arboretum

Yesterday, my boyfriend and I spent the day volunteering for Laura over at the UCI Arboretum.


Everything was so 'bright' & 'full' from the rain we’ve been getting here in southern California!

We helped with getting the tables & chairs set up again, replenished the potted plants on the wire shelves and then we did check ins and sales.

Aeonium "Sunburst"

It probably wasn’t a super busy day for the arboretum; it WAS just wonderful to be around all the plants and all the really nice folks who came to look at plants and/or to buy plants.

I took bunches of pictures of plants that I found interesting. I carefully captured the information tags with the plants to get the info Laura put with the plants to think about what might be good where in our own garden.

Arctotis "Burgandy"

Aloe Plicantilis aka Fan or Candelabra Aloe

An Amazing specimen of Aloe Plicantilis in the Arboretum!

Laura was very kind and allowed us to pick a plant when we were done to take home. What a departure from sitting in front of my computer all day most every day!

need to find out what these are!

The rain stayed away and we got a mixture of clouds, sun & blue sky. It was nice to be out in the sun and soak up some 'filtered' rays.

General overview of the sale area

If you are ANYWHERE near the UCI (University of California Irvine) campus, I urge you to check out the UCI Arboretum. Hours, map & other info are on their website, just click on the link!

Most open days are no cost and this is just a pleasant way to spend some time with nature, learning new things with visually exciting plants, some quite rare, and be outdoors!

The Next Events at UCI Arboretum...

Mar 20 2010 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM Saturday Plant Sale
Apr 10 2010 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM April Showers of Flowers
May 1 2010 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM Spring Perennial Sale
May 2 2010 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM Spring Perennial Sale

Details on these and future events on the Event Calendar

Pam Hoffman

Playing around at Crafty Chica's booth, CHA Jan'10 in Anaheim, CA

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I Made a Commitment!

I am a Wardrobe ReFashioner!

Wardrobe Refashion

Here's the official pledge:
I __________________ pledge that I shall abstain from the purchase of "new" manufactured items of clothing, for the period of 2 / 4 / 6 months. I pledge that I shall refashion, renovate, recycle preloved items for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract. I pledge that I will share the love and post a photo of my refashioned, renovated, recycled, crafted or created item of clothing on the Wardrobe Refashion blog, so that others may share the joy that my thriftiness brings! Signed__________________.
Only, I need to amend this slightly for my handicap(s)...

You see...I'm not very good with the needle & thread. Perhaps I shall change that for myself by taking on this challenge.

I haven't bought anything new for myself in a very long time. That has more to do with budget than my particular skill set.

OH, and I don't have a working sewing machine at the moment...

You KNOW that I'm 'green' so this is a no-brainer.

I'll do the very best I can to work with 'preloved' clothing items and create something new from them for myself rather than buying new stuff from the store; for the rest of my life!

I must admit, I'm not a big fan of clothes shopping in the first place so this opens up a world of possibilities in that respect as well! I don't think my 'size' on top and bottom are in sync...

So Here Goes...

I, Pam Hoffman, pledge that I shall abstain from the purchase of "new" manufactured items of clothing, for the rest of my life, as best as I can.

I pledge that I shall refashion, renovate and recycle preloved items for myself with my own hands in fabric, yarn or other medium for the term of my contract to the best of my ability.

I pledge that I will share the love and post a photo of my refashioned, renovated, recycled, crafted or created item of clothing on the Wardrobe Refashion blog, so that others may share the joy that my thriftiness brings!


Pamela Hoffman

Funny thing, I LOVE to embroider, so perhaps I'll start there!

I know I'll continue to get a ton of help and inspiration from Nikki's Wardrobe Refashion blog anytime I visit. It's a wonderful community!

There IS a bit of wiggle room in the rules [tho i'll try not to abuse them!] so we'll see how this works out.

Do YOU refashion anything in your wardrobe or your family's wardrobe? Do you like to sew? Won't you check out Nikki's site? :)

Pam Hoffman

The sleeve of a worn out turtle neck shirt becomes a
'fingerless glove'! [the 'thumb hole' was already there! ;)]

It's a start...

Monday, March 1, 2010

"I'm Sweet, Smart & Green"

Christmas present from a friend...

Speaking of "GREEN," it seems to be a big deal to be 'green' these days.

Have you changed your habits in the face of this new wave of thinking? Perhaps recycling and such is something of a new concept for some people. For me, it's been SOP (standard operating procedure) for decades now, only I always called it 'spaceship thinking.'

Ponder if you lived on a spaceship, even a very large one.

Wouldn't you have to do things a little differently?

Would you dispose of that wrapper in the same way that you do now?

I suppose it helps to live in a community, like ours, that collects separate bins in which you put the different items. We create very, very little actual 'waste' at this time... when I had a compost heap, it was even smaller.

And when you've been at this a very long time, you start seeing the creative possibilities in practically EVERYTHING!

Here are some examples...

Body: plastic from Mel
Markings: photo 'twins' from other people's scraps & pens
Antennae: wire from my stash
All but the wire is from otherwise discarded material*

A 12x12 'Layout' ready for your photos...

A close up: all of them are strips cut from the unwanted photos from other crafters. I LOVE all the textures from these scraps! They also work very nicely in a punch.

I go to a couple of crops (crop=a gathering of crafters) per month and many of the other folks generate various scraps from cropping photos, cutting papers, and other things.

If I see that they have pitched them, and they are still dry (not covered in actual debris like food) I ask to have them.

This does a couple of things right away...

It keeps these things out of a landfill. Yes, my particular contribution may be small (over the decades it has added up no doubt!).

Endless Supply!
It has the added benefit of alerting others to my particular process and consequently, I get a whole bunch of great scraps now and they are freely given.

Maybe Even Inspirational
I like to think that I may be leading by many people have remarked on how amazing it is to get something from such scraps. They bring me theirs and maybe, just maybe, they will create something from something that might have otherwise been discarded unnecessarily.

I'm certainly inspired by the scraps from others!

I've been at it so long, I can even see ways to create things with the packaging that almost ALWAYS gets thrown away:

The Packaging - had Lil Davis buttons in between the layers

I thought it might make a good double 'shaker box' with the two layers...

Testing the Layers

The Finished Product:


& Back

What are you doing with your discarded items? Are they ending up being recycled some way or do they go to the landfill? Can you put some of them to good use instead?

Pam Hoffman

*The completed 'butterfly' was sent to the Holocaust Museum Houston, for The Butterfly Project