DIY Racerback Workout Tee – Hippie Style

right before a nice long run

I have a new favorite tee my pals. 

My friend Carly posted a pic of a super cute workout tee a couple weeks ago.  She assured us it was easy to make and posted the link to the tutorial she used.  After I read the instructions and realized it would take about two seconds to whip one up for myself, I was all over it.

Of course I chose a tie dye shirt, duh.  The results are perfect – a super breezy lightweight workout tee that’s the perfect length.

Verbatim copy and pasted tutorial from Rabbit Food For My Bunny Teeth:

DIY Workout Shirt
Makes 1 sexy little tank

Ingredients:
1 old T-shirt
1 pair of scissors
20 minutes

1. Start with a pre-washed T-shirt. Any old shirt will do! The bigger the better.

2. Cut away the ribbed neckline and bottom hem. For the sleeves, cut downwards starting from the shoulder, determining how thick you want your straps. Cut straight down and then begin to curve down below the armpit seam.

3. Determine how low you want your front neckline, and cut away.

4. Flip the shirt over and make a narrow racerback, curving inward from the armpits.  Then cut a deep “V” shape from the top neckline.

5. Using the excess bottom hemline, stretch it out until it becomes one long string of fabric. Knot the string a couple of inches above the bottom of the “V” shape.

6. Wrap the string all the way down around the center of the racerback, and back up to meet the other ends. Knot the ends together tightly. Trim the loose ends.

7. To give your tank a high-low look, lay your shirt sideways, flattening it out evenly. Starting a few inches up at the front of your shirt, start cutting diagonally until you reach the back.

Throw it on with some cute yogis, grab your water, and hit the gym!
Post or email your photos if you make a shirt! I can’t wait to see your creations!

If you loved this DIY, you may also like my DIY Multi Strand Scarf! No sewing required! 

And here’s the pic by pic for each step of the way, from their original tutorial post:

 

Now, here’s my super hippie’d out version:

started with a tie dye tee, a pretty big and baggy one

the colors look more yellow than they really are

Then I followed the steps exactly as they are up above, except for doing the high/low thing with the bottom.  I actually love that look and intend to cut and angle the shirt, I just actually forgot the day I made it and now it’s in the dirty stinky laundry pile.

running tank!

racerback

maybe i should have tied it around the v on back a bit higher? i do like it as it is anyways, though. 

 

it’s cut pretty low on the sides, i could have saved a bit more fabric if i wanted to wear it as a regular tank. but i only plan to don it over a sportsbra or bathing suit.

see what i mean? it needs a something underneath it!

when it was chilly out, it worked perfectly over a longsleeve tee

Well.  There ya go!

I know it’s nothing creative on my part, seeing as I totally got the idea and instructions elsewhere.  BUT- I love love love this tank, it’s my new fave.  And I’m going to make some more for myself soon.  It’s just so EASY and fun, I wanted to pass the idea along to y’all so you can get to cutting and tying up your own versions.

As always, thanks for reading! 

xoxo, HHR

30 Days of Blogging Honesty – Day Eight

Now I’m catching up to speed, huh?  I’m finally about comfy with where I’m at.  And now I really mean it – I’ll slow down to just one a day, and I’ll try my very best to keep up with the one a day. 

I’m participating in 30 Days of Blogging Honesty, a blogging event created by Tom Baker and Cherlyn Cochrane; you can check out the rules and see all of the prompts right here.

Day 08 — If I could afford it, the piece of famous artwork you would find in my home is…

Perhaps one of these large George Korsmit pieces?

stole this pic from the artful desperado's blog.

another george korsmit, this one is from over here.

Check out more about Korsmit here, at a cool blog that I love to regularly read, The Artful Desperado.

What I’d probably love to have the most is a display of Charles Clary boxes.

The Artful Desperado also did a recent feature on these amazing handcut paper boxes made by Charles Clary.  I just recently learned of this artist and his technique, but I am so into them.  I find myself looking up pics at random times, and I keep imagining how they’re made… I fantasize about trying to do something similar on my own.

The cuts are so cool or ornate, and the color palettes are so perfect.  I’m in awe of artists who have such an awesome command of colors, and who goes with who, complimentary tones and shades.

Idk, these just evoke so much wonder for me.  Check them out:

a charles clary box - looks like stalagmites, right?

it's like a brain or the magical insides of some flower.

i found this one on a tumblr of tagged charles clary boxes. so awesome.

Art is one of those things, it’s SUCH a huge topic.  Just pick an art you like.  Oh man.  I like oh so many arts.  I can literally think of thousands of pieces I’d die to own.  And my house is hardly the kind with gallery walls and legit lighting.  But still, I love artwork of all kinds.

One of my recent regrets is never truly studying art.  I wish I’d have taken at least a survey class at some point.  I wish I had a command of art school jargon, so I could talk about a painting that I like and not sound like an idiot/hack/poser/child.  I wish I could stroll through a museum and cough up a reasonable reaction to what I see.

It’s also like having a song in your head.  As long as I’m looking at these Charles Clary boxes, I just can’t think of other choices.  I’m trying to avoid being trite and saying something famous enough that everyone and anyone can recognize.  And I don’t want to be a snooty jerkenstein and try to mention something all fancy and rare, unheard of – just for the sake of knowing/liking stuff that isn’t mainstream.

And well, just spitting out a couple recent posts from a blog I follow isn’t very original or clever either, now is it?

I’d be HONORED to own any piece from Jake Roth’s Pathways collection.

here's an image from pathways, one of the safest ones that i can post here.

Be very careful, these are artistic nudes and they are so NSFW.  They’re incredible though.  Here’s the link to buy prints, so you can see the collection. Jake is an amazing photog and a personal friend, I love this series and I’m honored to actually be a part of it.  I won’t pretend that mine photos are the best though, and there are so many others I’d prefer to have over my own.

It’s still so cool to be a part of something so pretty, that’s so well received by most everyone who encounters the collection.

My Dad and Stepmom own one of the coffee-table books that Jake printed, and I think it’s really awesome actually.   They’re very supportive and not judgmental, they appreciate the project for the beauty of what it is.  Maybe that’s weird for some people, but I’m comfy with my participation in Pathways – it’s natural, it’s very symbolic (I was able to choose my path, and the locations I shot in represent a lot to me), and it’s all about coming through life’s challenges, making our own paths, finding our way – and I’m proud of my own path, where I’ve come from and where I’m going.

and finally…

I’d be cool with having a Herakut mural in my house.

a herakut piece in germany, link here.

Typically street art, it would be kinda wack to have something just up in my living room – and I could never imagine anything contained in a frame.  But to have them actually come and make something inside our house would be so rad.

The style is so creepy and dark, I’m not sure if actually having one in my house would weird me out sometimes?  I wonder what visitors would think.  I’m so cheerful and homey is my decor choices these days, lol.

When I was in NYC in 2009, my friend Lynnie and I went to a teeny gallery that was showing some Herakut stuffs.  We hauled way out of our way to go check it out, because I’d heard about the show on Wooster Collective and I really wanted to see it in real life.  I totally liked it, thought it was super cool, and just the feeling of reading something on a blog and then being able to go seek it out for myself was very rad (and not something that often happens when you’re from the sticks!)

my own snapshot from the nyc showing in 2009.

So there you have it: Kormit, Clary, Roth, and Herakut.  Interesting hodgepodge, huh?  That’s so me, though.  I could keep going, I assure.  And if I did… the mix would just wackier and wackier.  I’m sure I’d start to get some tacky Americana handicraft stuff, Amish quilts, more photography… who knows what else.  Like I said, this is one of those things that’s so massively wide open and broad, it’s just about impossible to make any kind of real narrowing down.

Glad you came by to read yet another post TODAY.  I know I’m a beast, but at least I’m good and caught up now!

As always, thanks for reading!! xoxo, hhr

Want to see who else is playing?  Check out this list: Cherlyn CochraneJenn MikoLJMelanieLast Civilized WomanPrincesa MusangPrimadonna ZelCarolineKoiAurathenaTerriblethinkerSleep and SalamiMarliz3ePrysmatiqueDLonelyStarAnonymousBurnNicoleSylvia GarzaMarianaNenskeiMyNakedBokkieBluefiadiarriesVeehCirra,BannatreasuresSajeevHappyhippieroseTheFerkelTom Baker*Sofia*Everything Love & Lust*TemptingSweets99, Sites with an * contain NSFW material. If erotic or sexual material is offensive to you, please do not visit these three blogs.

Read the crap I’ve already spewed as part of this 30 Day craziness: Here’s my introDay OneDays Two, Three and FourDay FiveDay Six, Day Seven.

Moto Friendship Bracelet Making How-To

Dommie, one of my most bestest friendests and I looooove to make friendship bracelets.  It’s a rad craft that I’ve mentioned here a time or two before.  Back in ’09, Dommie and I invented these cute moto bracelets, we posted pics and then all of our forum pals wanted to know how we did them.  The how-to portion isn’t incredible, but it’s enough to get the idea.

I copy and pasted both of my own posts from 2009.  The original content was all mine, so why not re-use?  Go green.  I had to re-vamp the formatting and I used new links, otherwise the content is unchanged (hence the weird punctuation and grammar).

It’s easy-peasy to Google bracelet making instructions, there are even a few links in the second post.  While Dommie and I were missing our deployed boys, we made ourselves “moto bracelets” – some were desert colored, others patriotic (we’re all about the YRN: Yellow Ribbon Nation!) to wear while they were in Afghan.

If you make any of your own, share some pics, will ya?

Moto Wrists (post one):

so dominique and i have gotten a BIT carried away with the friendship bracelets …. we look like 12 year old girls who have been at summer camp for WEEKS.

but, its so awesome! we can’t stop… the ankles are next. what’s rad is we’ve learned and figured out all kinds of wacky stitches and ways to mess around with them. we’re getting pretty good at this.

dommie:

rosie (me):

what started as one deployment bracelet has turned into my MOTO WRIST. i got some USA patriotic action, some yellow ribbon stuff, desert digi, 550cord in woodland camo, and some random regular camo-ish in there too. dommie is trying to catch up on her moto wrist… we’ll see how far she gets.

The How-To (post two):

okay… so lotsa ppl keep asking “how” we (me and dommie) make the camo friendship bracelets. here’s a super detailed how-to thread just on this.

we just make regular kind of friendship bracelets… i found some sites to show you how to tie if you don’t already know. we get the string from crafts stores, and its a REALLY cheap hobby!

links:

http://www.how-to-make-jewelry.com/how-to-make-friendship-bracelets.html

http://friendship-bracelets.net/

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Friendship-Bracelet

i used REALLY simple knots/stitches. i use variations of flat or twisting chinese stair cases (the stitch where you make a “4” and tie it around the other strings in your bracelet):

step one: choose a string you want to show. make a “four” on top of the remaining strings (these will get tied in the middle):

feed the end through the loop:

pull it TIGHT. holding tight the strings in the middle:

the only string that will be visible for that stitch is the one you made the four with. if you make the four in the same direction (point to the right for example) the subsequent knots will twist. if you alternate directions (right, tie. left, tie. etc.) the subsequent knots will be flat.

you can also do a double version of this stitch:

the green and the brownish strings on the side will BOTH show on this stitch.

the green is the first “four” on top. then make a four with the brown going under and feeding into the green’s loop:

pull tight and you have a double chinese staircase.

to twist, keep the same SIDE on top (the top string will alternate bw the two you are using, ex: one with green on top, one with brown on top – the result will look like green and brown stripes, one stripe is each stitch, the middle is twisty and harder to see) … to make it flat, use the same STRING on top each time (it will switch sides with every stitch, green on top every time – green will be on the outside of the finished stitch, brown in the middle, its flat so the middle is easy to see).

….

an idea i made up that i am in love with is braiding the string before i make a bracelet. instead of using just individual strings, i make braids and then use them as if a braid was one string.

to make desert digi i made several braids first.

1. tan, tan, brown
2. tan, tan, black
3. tan, tan, creamy beige

bc of the way a braid looks, just little specs of the black, brown and cream show, and the majority of the bracelet looks tan. it seriously looks EXACTLY like desert digi.

i’m pointing to the finished desert digi:

next to that is my red,white, blue and yellow.

for my red, white and blue… i also made a blue and white braid first, 2 blue, 1 white – so the white would be small specs like stars in the flag. then i used solid red and solid white for the stripes of the flag. the yellow is just a single string wrapped around after each “flag.”

for the woodland camo i made four braids first:

1. black, black, cream
2. brown, brown, green
3. green, green, cream
4. black, brown, cream

then i did a mix of flat and double chinese staircase stitches, mixing up the two visible strings all randomly.

finished:

my pic quality is kinda crappy bc its just my webcam that i’m using, but IRL the “camo” effect is pretty awesome.

As always, thanks for reading, and happy crafting!  xoxo, hhr

PS, they original posts were on good ole msos – the mil spouse craziness that i totes owe my life to!  (i should so blog about that someday).

New Wrist Candy

Being at retreat earlier this month totally got me into a bracelet making mode and now I just can’t stop!  At women’s retreat I brought a big bag of embroidery floss with me and a bunch of us had fun tying new bracelets, yay!

Now, every night before bed I find myself working a little on one, it’s so relaxing.  And with all the crazy weather we’ve been having, I keep telling myself it’ll be a fun hobby to have on deck for when the power goes out again.

our backyard getting crazy in the high winds

the first hail i've seen in hawaii - it woke me up at five in the morning last week, pelting the house with a ton of fury!

Speaking of retreat, I am so aware that I’ve been a slacker in writing some more post-retreat blog posts.  I’m working on it – life these days is busy!  We’ve had terrible weather, work has been busy, I haven’t been feeling great, and we’re moving soon – lots and lots of excuses, I know, but legit all the same.

So back to bracelet talk – 

A few weeks ago I finally took off my usual friendship bracelets and went bare.  It had been a good long while since I’d made any new ones and the ones I’ve been rocking were old and well on their way to yucky.

Within like ten days, I’ve totally made myself a whole new arm of stringed fun!  Check it out:

my recent wrist

Isn’t that thick oranges and yellows number on the end awesome?  It took forevs but I’m so glad I went for it.  It’s 12 strings across, and since it’s the kind that goes string by string tying the knots, it was time-consuming!  I love it though, it’s super rad (despite that obvious one mess up in the middle, grr).

a fun, albeit time consuming, new bracelet to make!

The new threads look so great with my other newest piece of arm candy, the L.O.V.E. metal bracelet everyone at retreat was gifted:

this makes me so happy!

christmas crafting!! care packs, con’t; cards and more cards (and a CUTE lil’ surprise)

Here’s the final rundown of the rest of our Christmas Crafting.  Enjoy!

More Christmas Care Packs!

So, I posted a pre-Christmas look at one of the boxes we sent out.  Now, that all of the gifts have been shipped and opened, and the big day is over: here dear readers, are the rest of the beautiful boxes we sent out to our families.

The McKay Box – sent to Long Island!

ta-daa! the mckay box

The other McKay box, sent to Tennessee!!

my christmas vertical poem, a real treasure (haha)

it got all bleached out by the lighting - but i sketched and colored in the ko'olau mountains for the hawaii and then drew some granite and pine tree kinda mountains for tennessee!

And the last care pack to show off, the Gioia box – that went to a whole ton of fam down in Florida:

Now… here’s the surprise I mentioned in the title.  So after we’d decorated all these boxes, to my great happy surprise, I open up one of the boxes sent to us from family, and what do I find?  A decorated box!! From my cousin (my differently aged twin), Nicole!

She is SO SWEET and ADORABLE:

I started opening it and saw the decor and i just squeeed with excitement!

she did such an awesome job!!

Nicole drew tie dye and a drawing of JJ.  Oh man, what an awesome gift.  Turns out that when she saw the box I sent to her and her fam (the Florida box), she opened it and said, “Hey! Rose stole my idea!”  hahaha.

She didn’t even KNOW I had decorated her box. How cool is that?!?! She and I are such twins, it’s almost freaky.  We always do stuff like that.

Cards!

We had SO MUCH FUN making the care packs, that we decided to crank up our hand-made card production.  I know I mentioned in an earlier post that we were making cards to bring/send to a VA hospital.  Well, that ended up not working out (not our fault, just logistics with the hospital) – so we decided to find another great place that some handmade cards could deliver smiles:  the local assisted living facility, Aloha Rehab Center.

On our way to Church on Christmas Eve, we dropped off the cards.  Hopefully, they spread some smiles.  We made Christmas, Hanukkah, and Happy Holiday Cards.

Our Cards:

these are the fronts, they look so great, yeah?

the backs - duggs did 100% of these,. by hand. amazing, yeah????

just a diff pic of some of them!

Sorry the photos are kinda crummy, I was rushing.   We crafted right up until the last minute!

Duggs started out just being the guy who cut out everything (my cut man).  But once the volume started ramping up, he started helping out so much more!  Thank you so much, honey, it was so fun to work on these with you – and for such a nice purpose.  I think we ended up making 30+ cards.  I never got a final count, as we were working down to the last minute.   (We want to make more cards for Aloha Rehab, and our next goal is 100 cards!).

Thirty may not sound like much.  But all of those little trees are hand painted, samesies with the snow flakes.  Yeah, they took longer than expected, but I’m so proud of the final products.

After all the Christmas crafting we did, I can easily say that making snowflakes is my most favorite to do! I think I got pretty durn good at it by the last one I made.

Finally, our card for this year: 

Merry Christmas, everyone! 

As always, thanks for reading!!  xoxo, hhr

Okay, okay.  One more surprise… here’s the card Duggs made for me!!

it's a christmas tree, made out of glitter paper. i found it on top of all my presents!

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah – CARE PACK SNEAK PEEK!

So.

I promised myself I wouldn’t leak a single festive photo of our holiday handicrafts until they were good and distributed, and all inteded parties had opened everything.

But.  Since I’m impossibly unable to wait for anything: I’m showing y’all one box now!

Altogether, we sent out FOUR decorated boxes, and I *think* that despite the nasty grimm forewarnings of my local poste employees, they all made it on time, as per normal non-holiday timing would have predicted (yeah, they scare you and say because it’s the holidays everything will go slower.  Well, knock on wood, things are going as they should so far!).

My Dad, Stepmom and Grandma received this multi-holidayed gem:

it's my half and half box! so rad, yes?

Half Christmas, Half Hanukkah (just like the best of us)..

this is my favorite part, see what I did there? with the color swap? ya see that? clever.

I’m realizing now that I don’t have photos of all the gifts, but it’s okay.  After everyone has opened all of our gifts, I’m following up my It’s Good To Give Part 1 post with a Part 2 that dishes some of the highlights of gifts we sent.  I make gift-giving this super intense process, and yeah anyways… like I said, after Christmas.

But for now, I hope y’all like getting to peek at one of the cutest boxes ever made.

Oh, the best part – my fam had no clue we were decorating, so what a surprise to open it up and find a colorful treasure for the eyes like this!  (YEAH. I really like the boxes I decorate.  And I’m proud of them.  So WHAT?!?).

I say “we” becauseOle Stinky Duggs was quite amazing this past weekend.  He was sick, didn’t feel so hot, and yet he gave up his Friday, Saturday, Sunday-all-nighter-till-10-a.m.-Monday to help execute these boxes.

He was my cut man (cutting out the little doodads I color, draw, and write) and he’s also the world’s best gift wrapper. Seriously!   Thank you, for all your help Duggs.  We make a good team any time, but at Christmastime, man we’re some kind super duper duo. Yeah!

Thanks for taking a peek at my combo-holiday care pack!

And to ALL my readers, friends, family and loved ones:

MERRY CHRISTMAS

HAPPY HANUKKAH 

HAPPY YULE

JOYOUS KWANZAA 

and just… Happy Holidays!!!!

as always, thanks for reading! xoxo, hhr

cute and EASY christmas crafts, cards and decor ideas!!

It’s so fun to really get into the holiday spirit by jazzing up your home, work on some holiday-themed crafts, and wish your loved ones a happy holiday via card (or strangers, for a random act of kindness).  Here now are a few easy and fun ways to do so:

Cute and EASY Christmas Crafts, Cards and Decor Ideas!! 

1. Christmas Blocks

My friend Ashley came up with this idea, and her husband Jed made and cut all of the blocks for us, thank you so much you two!!  Once Jed handed over the blocks, Ashley and I went to town painting them.  Now she’s in the process of making something more sculptural, involving clay snowmen (very ambitious!) and I just went for painting them.  I cannot believe how cute they turned out:

how cute are these?!

Jed brought us the plain wooden blocks, and I painted all of the sides a solid color background using dark green, light green and white acrylic craft paint.   You don’t have to make the blocks yourself, either… check hardware and craft stores for pre-cut blank blocks (the Tanners hand-made ours to get the perfect size!).

plain block getting painted with some greens

For the non-lettered sides, I stuck with easy-to-paint very recognizable “holiday” shapes.  I did bells, and wreaths, Christmas trees, snowflakes, Angels, stars, ornaments, candy canes, hearts (because I love hearts)… now come to think of it, I didn’t paint any Crosses, oh man, I so should have done some crosses! Doh.

so pretty!

I freehanded everything, but it would be easy to make stencils (or buy stencils) and go with that.  You can print stencils from just googling around for them!  I chose things that are super easy to do though, snowmen (circles), ornament (circle), candy cane (hook with stripes), the angel was easy too – it’s just a circle for the head, with a ring around the circle as the halo, and then a triangle body with wings coming out of the top.  Easy-peasy!

designs, yay!

the blocks on our mantel, aka: top of the tv stand! (we have no real mantel here. boo!)

2. Let It Snow – Paper Snowflakes

I did this one last year, and I saved the snowflakes and re-did it this year too!  I live in Hawaii where we are without snow, and thus to make a sparkly flaky Christmas, I had to take matters into my own hands.

I literally just made paper snowflakes and then taped them to the ceiling in our front hall.  This year I upped the anty by wrapping the framed crappy art in the hallway with snowflake wrapping paper.  Ooooh, fancy!

I think this is one kids would have so much fun with.  Also, you can do the classic snow-flakes-taped-to-a-window thing.

snowing, yay! (this is last year)

love the masking tape, classy!

3. The easiest Christmas Card you’ll ever hand make

I featured one of these cards on a post a couple days ago:

simple, but cute!

It’s a flat card, like a postcard.  Just write your holiday message on the back.

I made a whole mess of trees, and Duggs (my wonderfully supportive and awesome husband) cut out the cards from a big posterboard that I had.  We chose to use white because it’s what we had on hand, you could use any color though!

some of my painted "trees"

As you can see, the “trees” are just triangle with a litany of squiggles, stripes, polka dots and what-not.

trees and cards

now put the trees on the cards, any ole way you like!

Glue them down, I use those photo stickers from scrapbooking.  Just affix the trees to the cards, and then bust out some markers to decorate.  And then! You’re done.

Now all you need is someone to give your card to.  I suggest bringing them to a soup kitchen when they serve Christmas dinner, or maybe to an assisted living facility.  Or maybe your brother-in-law.  It’s up to you!

These would also be great for other holidays or occasions.  Cut out yellow stars of David onto blue paper = super cute Hanukkah card!

4. What to do with last year’s cards!

I kept all of my cards from last year.  It’s an easy up-cycle and a way to fill up a wall or hall, or wherever you need some Christmas cheer!

wall o' cards!!

This is a wall in our kitchen.  Usually there’s a big tie dye sheet that hangs up there, but now it’s become a giant card collage.  I love it!

when trimming the tree, i had this leftover weird beaded garland thingy. nice, huh?

Now, all said and done… It can be a little difficult to warm up the coldness of a base housing home, everything is so industrial!  But I’ve tried my best this year, and I think I’ve done okay for myself.

One last photo, of the ole gift-wrapped photos on the walls:

cozy christmas couch!

Good luck with your own holiday decor attempts … if anyone has any other idea ideas, post them, or link me to them!  I’m still in the mood to keep going and going.  (Besides, this stuff all stays up ’till after New Year’s anyways!).

Happy Crafting, everyone!

And as always… thanks for reading.  xoxo, hhr

 

P.S.  BONUS!!!

Ashley made this really great Christmas sign.  So there’s one more idea for you.  I give her all credit, it was her project entirely.  She took a big piece of wood, and just painted it.  She wrote “Merry Christmas” on it, then adorned it with some painted snowflakes.  She finished it with a snowy border of white paint!

especially since she's wearing my "smock," i think she and i look alike - but here's ashley, painting her great christmas sign!

I don’t have a photo of the finished product, but you get the idea!  It’s super easy and will look great in your home, or maybe out by your front door.

Okay, now I’m really done.  Love you all, thanks for reading!!

operation christmas child part 2: seven new awesomely crafted care packs

I asked and y’all answered!

OCC Part 2 – Seven More Boxes Made With Love, Thanks To You!

My Church, Hope Chapel Kaneohe Bay, participated in this year’s Operation Christmas Child project, a drive to send shoes boxes stuffed with toys, gifts, candy and what-not to underprivileged kids world-wide.  The church’s goal was 3,000 boxes.  Matthew and I made two on our own.  When we turned them in, our church was well under it’s goal.  I solicited an offer – if anyone funded the cost of a box, I would do all the legwork to create, shop and fill a box.

I wrote this blog about OCC a couple weeks ago.

Seven more boxes were funded, packed with love and turned in – thanks to y’all!  My friends and family came together to help us with this amazing project. And ultimately… our church reached it’s goal!  3,002 total boxes are being sent to kids in need.

AMEN!

How awesome is that?!?!?

Thank you: Miss Alice (my wonderful mother-in-law), Viper and Anna (my Dad and step-mom), Claire and the Williams Family, Kayla and the Hayes Family, Staci and the Ostrowski Family, and my lovely friend Ariana!  With all of your love and funding we were able to make SEVEN boxes to go out and send some love to seven more children.  How amazing is that?

I’m so appreciative.  I love this project and just believe in it so much!

So, because I’m too lazy to sort through all these pics… here’s a big mishmash of the assembly and turn in process, including what the inside of each box looks like.  Check ’em out:

Just to mention, every box got a hand-written note from me… I finished them so late on Saturday night though, I was too tired to snap any pics.  I used some nice stationary I had, and I just kept the letters simple and sweet.  For those of you who OK’ed it, I included your name, photos and address!   I basically just said that God loves them (the kids) and that we’re thinking of them.  And for each of you, I gave a couple generic/simple sentences about what you like to do… “We like going to the beach” or “I live in New York!”  etc.

THANK YOU SO MUCH EVERYONE!

operation christmas child: cute crafts that bring big blessings, you can help too!

Operation Christmas Child

I’ve totally found the most perfect charitable project for my skill set: Operation Christmas Child!  The important part is that it’s an awesome project, delivering gifts to children in serious need.  The fun part is that I get to make care packs, and not just regular care packs, Christmas care packs!  How perfectly rad is that?!?!

And there’s more… you can help me! 

christmas care packs for an amazing cause

Samaritan’s Purse is a world-wide ministry that brings food, medicine, clothes, vocational education, supplies, and love to the world’s most vulnerable populations.  Operation Christmas Child (OCC) is a project that delivers hand-packed boxes of small toys, candy, clothes, toiletries, personal letters, and The Gospel to children in 130 different countries.

My church, Hope Chapel Kaneohe Bay (HCKB), is participating in OCC this year with a pledge of 3,000 boxes!  National collection week is later this month, and our boxes are due by November 20.  (Boxes are actually collected year-round at Samaritan’s Purse HQ, but HCKB’s 2011 drive has a hard deadline).

the OCC pod at church, handing out empty shoe boxes and then collecting the full care packs

so much empty space that needs to be filled with OCC boxes - this whole pod needs to be packed!

This video moved me to tears when they played it during our Sunday service a couple weeks ago: 

So how can you help?  My church is shy of their goal.  We haven’t turned in 3,000 boxes yet.  Duggs and I made two, and while we wish we could make a million boxes, we have financial limitations of our own.  Here’s where I’m asking people for help:  if you would like to fund a box and send me some cash money, I’ll do all the legwork and handicrafting! I’ll shop, decorate, pack and pray over a box that will have your name, contact info and any personal touches you’d like me to include (if you want I can put pics of you in there, we have a photo printer, and if you give contact info some children will write back as pen pals).

It’s up to you how much you’d like to spend per box, and you can pick if you’d like it to be for a boy or a girl, and what age group.

you decide!

Samaritan’s Purse does ask that $7 be included with every box to help cover the shipping and handling, so please keep that donation in mind as well.

If you’d like to just donate directly to the organization, you can always just do that.  Go to http://www.samaritanspurse.org/index.php/occ/ and you can give money online to help kids get boxes that way.

I know there are so many charitable organizations to work with, and there are so many projects this time of year.  I know that so many of you are tapped out and pulled in many directions.  Please don’t feel like I’m panhandling… I’m just putting the offer out there: if you’d like to fund a box, I’d love to put it together for you.   Matthew and I had such a great time making our boxes this past weekend, we’d be honored to keep it going.  Something about OCC has seriously touched my heart and I just feel so compelled to do as much as I can.  If even just one more child gets a box, that’s a great thing to me.

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve picked some kind of service project to do at the holidays. It used to be because my Mom made me… but the tradition stuck and I’ve kept it up as an adult, happily!  Since being married, my hubs has gladly jumped on board (thank you Duggs, for sharing your hard-earned money with those less fortunate than us). This year, making the boxes and having such a hand in the actual gift the kids will get, felt so special to me.

I love how personal OCC is.  I like actually selecting the items, the possibility of being pen-pals, that every single box will be unique.  OCC is specialized, it’s different, and I really know and believe in my heart that these boxes will have a great impact on the children who receive them.  Based on the religious nature of the project, I know it’s not for everyone.

I’m so pumped to work on the boxes, to give these kids a smile, and to offer them the hope and peace that is the love of God.   In the darkest of places, God’s Light is needed the most!

….

Check out the boxes we already made: 

i busted out the glitter glue, of course!

our boxes are going to mongolia, so i looked up how to write "merry christmas and happy new year" in mongolian cyrillic!

tie dye was included!

all the goodies we packed on in

costume jewelry!

we wrote personal little notes and included pics of our lil fam

packing it all in there was no easy feat. but i mean, i am a care pack expert.

i used every inch of space i had

As always, thanks for reading and looking at my photos.  If you are interested in funding a box, we have just less than two weeks to get it done!  Email me: happyhippierose@gmail.com or just comment here.  THANK YOU!!

sharpie tie dye: my first try, how-to with pics!

Thank you, RAIN!  It’s all my friend Rain’s fault that I had to go and try yet another style of tie dye.

Let me tell you how this all came about.  It’s been kind of a blah-ish day; I’ve been sick all weekend, so today was a stay-at-home, take-it-easy, kinda day.   I was Skype-ing with Rain, my dear pal, and she mentioned this new “sharpie tie dye” technique.  She’s throwing one of her girls a tie dye themed birthday party, and she’s wondering if this style would be cleaner, easier, cheaper, less hassle then doing traditional tie dye with dozens of kids.

Shaprie Tie Dye – My First Try

my finished product... pretty neato, huh?

According to the internet, it’s all the rage.  It’s evolved past mere artwork and it’s being touted as science.  Science!  That’s so fancy.  (I’m such a scientist now. Eeps!!).

Rain gave me a couple links to show me.  And as we continued to discuss the idea, I realized I had all of the needed supplies on hand.  So here we go!

Links:

I’m not gonna lie, some of the kids on these other links have done a cracker jack job with this technique!  I think I did okay for my first try.  Matthew is going to get some more sharpies/better colors tonight on his way home, and perhaps my next try will be even better or brighter.

What  you need: a garment to dye, rubber bands, plastic cups, rubbing alcohol, and Sharpie markers in a variety of colors.

my supplies, all ready to go!

How-To

According to SteveSpanglerScience.com – it goes like this:

Warning: Rubbing alcohol is very flammable and must be kept away from any open flames or heat. This experiment must be conducted in a well-ventilated area, preferably outdoors or in a room with open windows.

  1. Place the plastic cup inside the middle of the t-shirt. Position the opening of the cup directly under the section of the shirt that you want to decorate. Stretch the rubber band over the t-shirt and the cup to secure the shirt in place.
  2. Place about 6 dots of ink from one marker in a circle pattern about the size of a quarter in the center of the stretched out fabric. If you like, use another color marker to fill in spaces in between the first dots. There should be a quarter size circle of dots in the middle of the plastic cup opening when youSharpie Pen Science are finished.
  3. Slowly squeeze approximately 20 drops of rubbing alcohol into the center of the circle of dots. DO NOT flood the design area with rubbing alcohol. The key is to drip the rubbing alcohol slowly in the center of the design and allow the molecules of ink to spread outward from the center. As the rubbing alcohol absorbs into the fabric, the ink spreads in a circular pattern. The result is a beautiful flower-like pattern. Students often remark, however, that the design looks like the colorful surface of a compact disc.
  4. Apply as much or as little rubbing alcohol as desired, but do not let the pattern spread beyond the edges of the cup. Allow the developed design to dry for 3 to 5 minutes before moving on to a new area of the shirt.
  5. It is important to heat set the colors by placing the shirt in the laundry dryer for approximately 15 minutes. Teachers have also suggested rinsing the shirt in a solution of vinegar and water as a means of setting the colors.

Enjoy experimenting with various patterns, dot sizes, and color combinations. Instead of using dots, try drawing a small square with each side being a different color, or use primary colors to draw a geometric shape and accent it with dots of secondary colors. Half circles, wavy lines, and polygons all make unique patterns when rubbing alcohol travels across the ink. Your designs are only limited by your imagination. Try as many different patterns as you like. The secret is to keep your patterns small and in the center of the design area on the shirt.

I essentially followed these steps, but ended up getting bored and jazzing it up a bit.  I used WAY more rubbing alcohol than he said to use!   I added dots in weird places and not just a little cluster in the center.  I also did lines and some squiggles.   Sometimes they worked, sometimes I think they just kinda fell flat and the ink didn’t travel the way I thought it would.

A couple tips:

  • the tighter you had the section of the shirt over the cup, the better it seemed to work
  • the darker and more concentrated the color dots, the better
  • open a window, your house will reek!
Photo How-To:

my first attempt, before i dropped any alcohol on

the only dropper i had

my little dots starting to spread out

go colors, go!

I only had three cups (old MikeyD’s big plastic cups I use as water cups when I paint), so I could only on three little spots at a time.  This is a craft that requires patience.
So I just kinda went up the shirt, doing the front first, and then the back.  I actually like how much white space I left untouched on this one.  It would be fun to do a super intense shirt, full of tons of little sharpie spots.  But I liked being restrained on this specific tank.  It looks pretty, subtle.
My first little sharpie bud flower was in the bottom right corner of the shirt, and I just kept working my way up.  After I would do two buds, and I’d take off the rubber bands and un-do it, I’d go in and do a little bud in between.  Rubber banding around the mouth of the cup puts an automatic distance between each one you can do at the same time, so you have to go back in and fill that space in.
Does what I just typed make any sense to anyone? Haha.  Hopefully you know what I mean… the cups put space between the designs, so you have to go and fill it in on your next turn.

so far, so good

three at a time = my primo setup

finished product!

Rain had the very clever idea to connect the “flowers” with a vine.  So I made a teeny green vine with a fine point green sharpie and I dripped alcohol over it so it would be all blurry and in the same style as the whole shirt.

the front, you can see the vine that i made

It came out so cute, and I lurve the vine idear!
The shirt has been hanging up drying for the past few hours, and it hasn’t changed at all.  I’m going to wash it soon, and hopefully washing it doesn’t change it too much.  I like how it looks now!
Thanks for reading – love, happyhippierose
P.S. – This specific shirt is already taken, Rain called dibs on it. Sorry! But if you’re interested in purchasing one, you can always email me at happyhippierose@gmail.com or go to my FB page, http://www.facebook.com/happyhippierose