Category Archives: Inspiration

Return from paradise


We just returned from a cabin on the shores of lake Superior. The husband and I woke each morning at 5 am to a cup of jo and this view. (Confession: we were usually back in bed by 5:45 am). It was a splendid time spent completely unplugged enjoying our time as a a family of 4. If you want to see the instagram version of our life…feel free to follow me at littledtales.


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May Review

Since there is 17 minutes left to May 2012 (it will actually be June by the time I post this) I thought I’d blog-lift an idea from Maryann @ Domestically Speaking who did a month in review.  While I didn’t feel overly productive this month, I realized that there were several tutorials and a few fun project this month.  By the way, if you don’t follow or haven’t checked out Maryann’s work…you are going to want to hop over there.  She’s my burlap inspiration, and I’ve peppered my pinterest with many of her projects 🙂  I digress.  So, May 2012 looked a bit like this at Fostering a Creative Life…

We kicked off the month with a tulle flower tutorial

which might be the easiest accessory I’ve ever made.  You might see some versions of this in future posts, just sayin’ is all!
Then there was the tissue paper wall art which utilized a long lost technique that I have since remembered.

Grateful to finally have something on the walls in my bathroom!
It helps if you hang them straight…thanks to 3M for this handy trick to take care of this problem every time the closet door opens.

Getting back to some fun infant girl accessories.  One of my more popular posts was when  I repurposed a white t-shirt to make this headband with a little help from Ashley @ Make it & Love it (The goddess of all things sewing and fabric. I loathe and envy sewing, yet she makes it look so dang easy- no pun intended).

and finally a few tips on how to clean and preserve your wedding gown.  We pay enough for the wedding, no need to spend a fortune on cleaning your gown.

You will learn the motivation behind why I cleaned my gown on Sunday as I unveil one of my scariest projects yet. You can also expect a tutorial for this summer essential

Hope to see you around.

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No Sew Beach Bag

With the official start of summer, I thought I’d share my Duct tape beach bag.

This is the EXTRA large yellow one.  It’s made with colored duct tape and window screen. This baby is so big we can fit an old queen sized quilt (aka the beach blanket) 4 towels, snacks, beach toys and life jacket, with a little room to spare.  Being that is was SO big, I made a second smaller one…

I’ll be featuring a tutorial on how to make these DIY no sew Duct tape beach bags later this week.

Update: the Duct Tape Beach Bag tutorial is available here!

Linking to:
Domestically Speaking 


Filed under DIY Projects, Inspiration

Tomorrow’s snack


I thought we’d be a little festive and have some red, white, and blue fruit pizza. A sure thing with my family. I hope everyone has a safe a happy holiday weekend. Please remember to take the time to thank a service man or woman. Let us not forget the reason for this holiday!

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t-shirt headband {repurpose}

Since the arrival of my little girl, I am all about creating accessories for her.  While she was blessed with a full head of hair, I’d love to add “pretties” to dress her up, however her hair is so fine and slippery that nothing (including headbands) stay on her head or in her hair.  But that doesn’t mean I won’t try…

In celebration of her 1 moth birthday I thought I’d try something fun.  I used my husband’s white t-shirt to make this little headband.

Using a sleeve from a white t-shirt, I cut 5 strips then pulled on them to make the edges roll.

Initially I planned to just braid it, but it seemed to thin and boring.

Then I found a tutorial for a 5 stranded braid, which was more of what I was looking for.  Since Ashley from Make-it & Love-it has a fabulous tutorial on a 5-stranded t-shirt braid, you can go there for the complete tutorial.

Source: via Heidi on Pinterest

After completing the braid, I simply sewed the ends together and glued (e-6000) on a fabric flower (recycled from gift wrap).  I think she looks pretty darn cute with the little accessory.

Sharing at:

Not just a Housewife, Home Stories A to Z, Cherished Bliss


Filed under DIY Projects, Inspiration

Ruffle newborn skirt tutorial {Sewing}

If you read my Lesson in Recovery, you may be aware of my desire to sew, but fear in inadequacy.  I have since been practicing and stepped it up a notch to make my first little girl outfit.

The inspiration for this outfit came from a sales rack at Babies R’ Us where I saw an adorable ruffly dress sewn to a onesie.  With a sale price tag of $17 I knew I could create something just as cute with the fabric I had.  Of course I can’t find a picture of the original dress, but here is something similar that was available online with a price tag of $34.00 at

I did pick up a 1/2 yard of white satin fabric (at 40% off of course) for $3.00 to make this, the rest of it I had. Thanks to the help of my friend who is helping me convert my wedding dress to a baptismal gown, I learned the art of gathers, which I prefer to call “puckers.” So I used that skill and a few different colors of tulle to make a little tulle ruffled satin skirt for my newbie.

I apologize for my lack of pictures in this post, I got a little caught up in making it that I forgot about capturing the process.  If you have questions, feel free to comment below and I’ll do my best to walk you through the steps 🙂

To begin I cut 6 strips of tulle, 6 inches wide by 16 inches long. The length should be about double the width of the skirt.  Then fold the tulle strips in half and in half again so I had a double thick fabric to create fuller ruffles.  Then I ran a straight stitch down the center of my double thick tulle strip.

Make sure to keep your threads long on either end of the stitch.  You will not see this stitch, so don’t worry if it’s not straight.  It just needs to go through all of the layers.  If you have some really uneven edges, take a scissors and trimmed them in line with the others to make it a little cleaner looking.

Next on both ends of the tulle take one of the threads and pull, gathering the tulle toward the middle.  Make sure to do it evenly on both sides.  On my skirt the gathered tulle strips needed to be about 8 inches long.

For the base of the skirt I used white satin so it would be soft and smooth on my newborn’s skin, but most knit fabrics would work too.  I cut the satin into  two 8″ x  8″ pieces  Because satin is a fabric that frays very easily,  I ran a 1/2 straight stitch hem along the side edges just to prevent the edges from fraying while I was working on it.  On the top and bottom I ran a 5/8″  straight stitch to prevent fraying.  Then I folded over and pinned for a 1/4″ hem.  I should note that since this was a newborn skirt I was simply attaching the skirt to a onesie, so I didn’t need to add an elastic waistband.  If you plan to do so, you’d want to make sure to add a channel and run the elastic through the waist line too.

Now the fun part.  Take all those gathered tulle strip and pin them onto the skirt. You’ll want to make sure the gathers are somewhat even or all your ruffles will be to one side. (I took this picture before I decided against the brown, same process though).  I pinned the ruffles with my pins pointing up and down so that I can sew over them rather than pulling the pins. It helps to make sure everything stays in place.

Over each strip your going to run a straight stitch hem, with back-stitch, directly over the first straight stitch in the tulle to adhere it to the skirt.

The final piece is to turn the skirt inside out so rights sides are facing together.  Pin an angled side seam to create the skirt. I used a zigzag stitch on the side seam.  Then trim down the edges (about 1/4″ to 1/2 inch from the seam) and turn right sides out.

Because I wanted my accessorized onesie to be used with other outfits, I hand-sewed snaps to attach it to the inside of the skirt.

And there you have it.  Stay tuned for another tutorial on creating ruffle tulle flowers and accessories. Granted my time is invaluable, but this project cost me less than $8 and I have plenty of supplies remaining to make other fun girly stuff. In fact the tulle is still left over from our wedding!

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Filed under DIY Projects, Gift of Thrift, Inspiration, Tutorials

Excuse me while I stare endlessly at my latest creation!

I haven’t abandoned this blog, I’ve just been busy with an entirely different sort of DIY project.

On April 12, we welcomed a daughter into our family and I can’t stop staring, snuggling and capturing her every move!  Let me formally introduce you to EllaMae Sandra…

Our family has indeed grown by 2 feet! For those who were guessing she was born Thursday April 12 @ 5:07 PM weighing 7 lbs 15.5 oz, and measuring 19.5 inches long.  If you want her birth story details you’ll need to head over to my personal blog (Enjoying Life).

Life with 2 kids is definitely different, but I will say that I feel like we have the best life ever.  My Boys (husband, 2-year-old son, and 4-year-old dog-child) have taken quite a liking to little miss EllaMae.  I think we’re all a little smitten with this princess 🙂

I do have a few projects to share and plan to get back to my regularly scheduled blogging in the next few days!


Filed under Inspiration, Photography