Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Baby Quilt

I made this quilt with a pack of cut squares I found at Joannes, it takes more than one pack because  I had to cut 5 extra squares in two other colors, now I know for next time to buy two packs. Tell me what you think, I had a few squares left so I made a matching bib.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

My Pretty Peacock

I am an artist through and through, I can't focus on just one genre, I have so many ideas and so much in my brain that there will never in my lifetime be enough time to do everything I want. I went through my painting stage last year and whipped up tons of paintings and I wanted to share one with you here. I love bright colors and to see them all on a bird well, that's just awesome! It's like hitting the feathered jackpot!

I love dots and details and I just like to mix and match my style to fit my needs. I hate rules, never follow them, and make up my own as I go. Painting is a great release and it's one thing you can do all by yourself without anyone telling you how it should be done. I have paintings all over my home that I have created and I move them around the house all the time depending on my moods.

This painting is an acrylic done on a 16"x 20" canvas. You should never be afraid to express yourself and I just wanted to share this with you so you can see there are not rules about everything in life, sometimes you can hang out in your pj's and whip up a work of art.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and wow I love this beauty! Thanks for visiting me and I'll see ya 'round the block!

Friday, July 1, 2016

I am having a free giveaway over at my Facebook page, all I'm asking is for 75 likes and you could be the winner! check back here and the announcement will be made  as soon as I hit that magic number of 75 like on my Facebook page: 
 https://www.facebook.com/Christydowntheblock/  join in the fun and come like my page!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Michigan Fun

I can't recall if I ever told you I live in Michigan, but I do. We have the only state where a person can ask where you are from and you just point to a spot on your hand. As a matter of fact, when you meet someone and ask where their from here,this is a pretty frequent occurrence. I live in west Michigan and about 40 minutes from the beach. I love this state, it is one of the few with four full seasons and we really do have something to do in each season. Our old rail lines and converting over to bike tracks faster than I ever thought they would and our city streets are all getting bike lanes, it is a great plaec to raise your kids, enjoy the arts and in Grand rapids it's a great place to go see a show at the Arena. We have had some pretty big stars come through my town and housing prices are skyrocketing because of the high demand. I just wanted to share a little about the place I live so you can better understand why I love this state so much and why so much of my work is inspired by my state.

I make these little pillows all of the time and give them as gifts to friends and family. I don't know a better way to tell someone you love them than by making them something from the heart. I like to personalize my little pillows by adding a button or charm to the city that my receiver is from! You can easily make these for any state, but I'll bet its not as fun as playing in the Mitten.

See you later, on my block!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Toddler tops from Men's Shirts

I have explained that I do like to take those old things and turn them into something new while having no resemblance to the item they were created from. I took a few old shirts and once again, and searched online to find something interesting to make. Not only do I like to make things, I want the item to be unique and different. I want to make one of a kind items that nobody has, that's what makes you who you are, so I want that to be what my items are too, one of a kind pieces with no two items identical.

That is my buddy Slim Shady, he chills out with me when I'm in the sewing mood. He loves to be the center of attention too. So, I took all of these shirts that I got at the local thrift shop down the block and created the following little tops and dresses. 

I thought I would have this bright idea of selling them on Etsy but Etsy scared me because of a huge, long, warning about children's clothing and all of the rules and regulations there are about selling them, I am not one who wants to be sued by that one crackpot so there they sit in my closet. I guess they will all have to become gifts for people because I am not willing to put my neck on the line by trying to sell them through my store. Anyway, I thought it was a great project and you could make them too, it was a lot of fun.

Summer fun

As you know, I love to do a little up-cycling. I found a pattern for a 2T jumper and decided to use it on my morning project. I found an old prom dress at one of the thrift stores down the block and, well, since it had a little bling, I just had to buy it. Yes, I know I'm kind of like a squirrel, anything shiny makes me want it! I love the bling, shiny, bright and crazy and try to tone it down for family.

The dress hung around and teased me once in a while from the closet, it called my name a couple times but then I came up with this bright idea. It has cute lines and I decided a little baby avantgarde with an asymmetrical hem.

 It was fun taking the pattern and changing it to my own design, I loved using the original dress lines to fit into my baby dress style too. This is the finished dress with the little asymmetrical hem in the front size 2T came out so cute, this baby would definitely be the bell of the ball. it is fully lines and adorable if I do say so myself!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

My fun Michigan Tees

Well if you know me, you know I love my Michigan, I have lived in several states and two countries and I always end up right back where I started.  I made these tees to show some pride, gift some friends and have some fun!
I made these Tees for fun but I am going to add them to my little Etsy store so I can get rid of them and make room for more. I love creating  and sewing and it is just another form of art for me. If you like taking time to relax, this is one of the best ways to do it, you get and gift some of the cutest things and they are all made with love. 
This little pink gem is my favorite, there is a great picture on the background and it just feels like summer time every time I look at it. If you ever get bored or stressed out, I recommend doing a little art project to take your mind off the stress and you will find that your mood changes fast!

Start a blog....have some fun, create a piece of art, whatever you do, love it and thanks for visiting me on my block!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Tunisian Flat Bread

Today is May 15, I live in Wyoming, MI and it is literally colder today than it was on Christmas Day here. We had rain all week last week, hail last night and I woke up to temperatures in the 30's this morning! This made me want to do absolutely nothing today but curl up in a blankie, but instead, I decided to make some home made goodies for lunch.

I lived in Tunisia for a few years when I married and I miss my mother-in-laws bread. Yummy food is all I can say. The flat bread I made today is a Tunisian flat bread usually stuffed with red pepper paste, sauteed onions and some sheep fat for flavor. 

Here in Wyoming I still make the saute with onions and tiny red and yellow peppers and then add a little harissa (pepper paste) for some zing. My husband and I are big garlic fans too so I can never make something from Tunisia without the garlic.

First I pull out the handy dandy bread machine, because I let it do all the dirty work for me (yep, I'm a little cheater) I add 2 cups Semolina flour to 1/2 cup Tunisian Olive Oil (dark) with a touch of salt and pinch of baking powder. Once I have it all in the machine, I let the machine do the work until it stops for the first rise. 

I pull the bread dough out and separate it into 8 balls, I roll out the balls as thin as I can possibly get them and add my sauce to the center of the bread, I fold it, pinch the edges and cook it on my iron comal.

. Here is a picture of my finished product, this was a yummy treat on such a cold day in the middle of May but it brought back memories of family and friends and we enjoyed every last bite!

Cute ID Holder

I have so many pieces of scrap fabric I just don't know what to do with it all, I made a pattern for these cute little wallets and think they came out great!

I made all of these little buggers in about an hour.
The simplicity of the pattern makes it fun and is a great starter pattern for someone just learning how to use interfacing. I used 3 pieces of iron on interfacing to give the wallets a little "meat" there is nothing I hate more than a flimsy floppy wallet!

I made them just large enough to hold a state ID or credit cards and the length is perfect for slipping all of your Tubman's in and running to the fabric store. 

There are times I don't want to carry a purse but I still need to know who I am and I always want to have some cash on hand for those pop up sales I pass in the summer so this little Wallet was the perfect fit! 

If you are interested I can post a little tutorial on how to make the wallet, for a beginner, this is the perfect project and something you can play with to change the design or style to fit you taste. 
Gotta run so I'm grabbing the green wallet and heading to the sales!

Happy sewing and thanks for visiting, see you down the block!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Cute little Burlap Gift Bags

So I had some more scraps that I wanted to get used up and this was a simple little project. I first had to decide how big I wanted to make my little bags, these bags that are shown are about 3 inches tall, not an exact measurement. and I added one little handle across the top.

I made sure to double stitch the sides so the handles would not fall off. These little bags are plenty big to carry an 8oz mason jar and I added one in the bag so you could get the feel of how big the bag is.

If you think this bag is cute it can be yours if you click the Buy Now button below. and as always, thanks for visiting me, and I will see you down the block!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

I Have an App!

I am so excited to announce that I have an App! you can go to the google play store now and download my free app! I have the best IT guy and he is very demanding!

Even the rich and famous start at the bottom so this is part of my start, please go and download my app and tell me what you think. From my app you can visit my blog, check out my store and keep up to date with what's going on down the block.

Here it is! just click, download, like and share, we all have to start somewhere and it all begins here for me.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

An Up-cycler can't live on used product alone

I do love a good up-cycle, but life is all about moderation. I know how awesome it feels to turn something unusable into that one great thing that you just have to have, but sometimes you have to get something new to give your item that little extra pop that makes it special. 

Here's what I'm talking about;

  I took an ugly old button down shirt and turned it into this cute little dress. not only is it a great up-cycle, I added some fabric that I found that with a Paris theme and gave the dress that little extra pop that made it perfect!

I think the fabric took the boring out of the peach colored jumper made it fun. I added a small ruffle around the bottom and just love the way the dress turned out. Up-cycling doesn't always have to be about just using used pieces, you can add a touch of new to make the plain turn out pretty. Tell me what you think!

You can find this dress for $10 and other great items in my Etsy store by clicking the Buy Now button. Remember, I keep my prices low so everyone can afford  something this cute.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

My Sharpie T-shirt Experiment

I love making things unique and giving them fresh makeovers and Tee Shirts are no exception. I have tried a new idea and wanted to share it with you here.

I found a site on youtube that talked about using sharpies and alcohol to create cool tees, this was my first attempt at that idea:

I colored the tee shirt with lines using my sharpies because in the video they made it look so easy. The video says  that once you add the alcohol, it will spread and create an awesome look to any tee. I scribbled my lines all over this white tee shirt with a board placed under the top layer of the shirt so the ink would not pass through to the back. Once I got the lines done, I pulled out the alcohol. I took an old paint brush, soaked it with alcohol and let it drip onto the shirt, it bled a little, it spread somewhat, but my tee didn't get the full affect of what I had pictured in my head. I cut the sleeves into slits on the side to give a little boho beach look and this is the final result. The video was true, once it dries it stays. I did let it dry then I washed it in cold water, I stuck it in the dryer and it really did stay so I am happy with that. I think as a first try it came out good, I learned what I will change for next time and I will do another tee shirt using all of what I learned.

Have you ever tried putting the sharpie project to work on one of your
Old tees? if you have, feel free to share what your idea was and if it turned out the way you thought it would. I am going to try a new idea and share it here to see if my new idea comes out as the picture I have in my head. I don't post these to show you that everything is a breeze, my posts are to show you that a lot of work really does have to go into each idea. Sometimes you think you're going to have a prefect result on the first try, but I bet the people making those videos make a whole lot of mistakes before that get that one perfect idea that finally comes out on video.

Thanks for visiting my page and don't forget to like my page and come like me on facebook! See you next time.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wristlet made from men's shirt cuffs

Remember all the fun I had when I made my first apron? Well to refresh your memory, I used these two shirt sleeves from and old men's shirt that I had packed away in a box.

When I made the apron I cut off the cuffs of the sleeves but didn't want to throw them away, I was thinking, what can I make from these? I could have added some junk and made bracelets, but that was too crafty for me, I wanted to turn them into something that nobody would have ever thought of. I know... now days there is already usually an idea out there with the same concept, so I din't even look on the internet, I just came up with my own smarty pants idea. 

I thought about a wristlet. One cuff is way too small for a hand bag, it is not big enough for a phone, not even a license can be crammed into that little sucker so, I decided to sew the two together.
I used a zigzag stitch and I did it on the widest setting my machine has. Now I can't leave it looking like this because, um, well, gross! so I added a little white racing stripe down the center of the wristlet to cover the seam
After getting the seam covered, I found a little scrap of polka-dot fabric and added a little lining to make it look a little more professional
I added a cute little strap after sewing up the sides, and wallah.....

My finished product!

Apron from Men's Shirt

I have to give credit where credit is due. While surfing through the endless pages of Pinterest I came across a post of an apron made out of an old men;s button down shirt. If you click on the picture it will bring you to the board I used as my inspiration.

upcycled t shirt ideas | Upcycled Apron made from Men's Dress Shirts by DontBlameTheBacon:
This got me to thinking, I can easily make one of my own and see how it turns out. I am all about the up-cycled product and finding good uses for forgotten things that are no longer being used.

I have a shirts I am going to work with that is a very good quality fabric it's nice and thick, it feels almost like a canvass so I am going to choose that one for my base for sure. How can you expect something to protect your clothing if it is too thin...pink is out unless I use a backing.

So step one was to iron my shirt, they have been sitting in a box for a while waiting for me to decide what to do with them. My husband and I are moving (hopefully soon) to a new home as soon as we find one that we like and I have lots of things packed away so I don't have to rush and get it all done in a day. So this shirt will now have a new life if all works out.

Next I cut the sleeves off.

After that, I searched the internet for a few measurements and found this:


Size NameWaist SizeHip SizeLength
x-small26" - 27"33" - 34"19"
small28" - 29"35" - 36"19"
medium30" - 31"37" - 38"20"
M232" - 33"39" - 40"20"
large34" - 35"41" - 42"21"
L236" - 37"43" - 44"21"
x-large38" - 39"45" - 46"22"
2X40" - 41"47" - 48"22"
3X42" - 43"49" - 50"23"
This chart is great for the next time I do an apron, but as a first timer, I am going to use my sleeves as is and work with them to make my life a little easier. I cut the seams out of my sleeves and sewed the two pieces together.

Next I cut out two pieces of contrasting color for my apron strings, I like mine long so mine were cut 88 inches long by 3.5" for the width.

I sewed the two pieces together and pressed them then I connected them to the top of my apron

I have to say, I do like the little button detail that was on the sleeve, I saved it and incorporated into my apron and it gave it a little vintage look.  I made sure all of my seams were clean, all of my hems were sewn and I had no loosey goosey strings hanging around.

This is my final result.

I am definitely going to make more aprons and try some new styles, but if you are like me, you want to try everything at once and forget about all of the rules. Don't be afraid, I had fun and the entire project took about 2 hours with all of the planning, changing ideas, figuring out attachments and so on, but I think the next one will really take less than an hour now that I know what I'm doing.

Don't forget to follow my blog for my newest updates and I will see you one day, down the block! 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Blue Jean Bag

I wanted to share this little bag that I also made with those baggy britches. I searched the internet to get ideas and came up with this cute bag. Once again I would change the order of some of my construction, but all in all I think it came out pretty cute. Please let me know what you think of this bag.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

4th of July Wristlet Project

I have recently talked to you about the Jo-Ann  text coupons that I get and last week happened to be one of the weeks that I received my text, I got my text on Wednesday and had to suffer through two more days of work before I would have time to go to the store and pick out my next discount item. I was so excited dreaming about all of the possibilities. Well when I got to the store, to my BIG surprise, they had all of their fat quarters on sale for $.75 so of course, I swooped up tons of them for these cute little wristlets that I wanted to try to make.

I spent the rest of Saturday cutting out all of my fabrics and sewing all of the handles for all of my bags, on Sunday I whipped out the rest of my bags and I have just enough of them to get them into my Etsy store.

I figured $8.00 per bag with free shipping is a great price, that will give me enough to buy more fabrics, threads and zippers to make more later down the road.
 All of my little bags are lined and they hold a lot too, I can get my phone, ID, sunglasses and even tissues, candies and whatever else I need in this cute little bag. I don't know about you but there are times when I would rather not be lugging around a purse, especially if I am going to be out in public, shopping, or even going to the beach. Tell me what you think. and if you want one, you can always come over to my Etsy Store and pick out your favorite.

 Just click on the  Buy Now button and you will be directed over to my store. I hope you enjoy the bag as much as I do. These are hard to keep in stock because every time I share the photo with a friend, they want the one I just made, so hopefully you will be able to find the one you want in my store, if not, just message me, tell me what you're looking for and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Notions and Bobbles and Bits, oh my!

I have to tell you, I love my weekends. Saturday is my play day and when my husband works, more play shall be had. I love traveling over to the second hand shops and searching for awesome finds.

One thing I have learned since sewing became an obsession is that it can be very expensive! I have gone to the fabric store and walked away with 1 tiny bag and $50 gone out of my pocket. I don't know about you, but this up-cycling idea has become an obsession for me. I don't want to pay a bazillion dollars for a fun little hobby, I want to pay tiny bits of money, make something special out of it and sell that item to buy more fun things to work and create with.

That being said, I went out yesterday to Twice as Nice which is a little second hand shop in my city.  I know, in the past few years second hand has become the craze so you do have to be careful because this store, as well as other, gets their items by donation and sells them at sometimes outrageous prices. a used sofa in this store will cost you nearly $800 dollars, I would go to Art Van if I wanted a sofa at that price and the only cooties on it will be my own, thank you very much.

Traveling into the dark recesses of the store I find a little "sewing section"  the sewing machines are $100 used....nope...cross that off the list. When I sink  down into their little shelves I dig and find a few little bargains! I found some scrap fabric, a light fleece in cream color (thinking it will be great for mittens) and some sew in and iron on interfacing. Not only did I find these things but I found a vintage little plastic container for my spools of threads, 2 packs of vintage lace and 3 rolls of ribbon, which you can never have too much of.

The cost of this haul you ask?    $7.00. The lace is adorable and the fabric scraps are just big enough to find something to make out of them.

The reason I posted this story in particular is to show you don't have to have a lot of money to start learning and earning money, I can sell my little items at great prices and at the same time, I can save some money to buy those big ticket items I have my eye on at the store. I also signed up at Jo-Ann Fabrics for their text coupons and never miss using my 50% off coupon when it comes to me. Don't pass by the second hand store next time your out, pop in and see what you can find, I don't always find something but I do always look.

Thanks for visiting me on my block, I hope you had fun.