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

Advertisements

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

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!!

my bff dommie sent ME a care pack, yay!!

I know I’m slacking at blogging again.  Oopsies!  But srsly, last week was a doozy.  It was awful.  I was just sad, and missing home, and having just all sorts of stressors… not to mention that I wasn’t feeling so hot to begin with (I got sick over the weekend) and then Duggs and I got food poisoning or some kind of stomach virus.  Whatevs, we were vomming and it was a nightmare.

Okay, so last week was just totes awful.

And then, my little lovah-from-Louisiana, Dommie, sent me a care pack- Hooray!  It was so very very fun to be on the receiving end of such a treat!  And it just really cheered me up, I really needed it.

Thank you, Dommie!! I LURVE YOU! 

she demanded that we skype her while opening the box!

So, turns out that Duggs was not only in on it, but that he was all too prepared for the glitter bomb that she tried to put in the packing tape.  If we had not so carefully opened it, it would have been a glitaster (a glitter disaster)… but you can’t bomb the original glitter bomber herself, it just doesn’t work like that!  So Duggs craftily opened the box over the trash and kept our floors nice n clean.  Good work, Duggs!

crisis averted

okay, thats alotta glitter my friends. lots and lots!

The box was decorated for me, how fun! It said “I love yer face,” one word on each panel, it’s a common Dose expression (Dose is Dommie + Rose, we’re a beast when our powers combine).   And then on top of exquisite decor, there were oodles of prizes and treats in there.  For me and my fbff (furry bff), JJ!

decoration! yay!

what's bigger: my nose or my iphone?!?! sheesh.

aww cute!

i did eat them, and they were amazing!

There was so much candy in there, I’ve been on a sugar buzz all week.  Awesome!

the most awful book anyone has ever sent me. AWFUL.

so fun! what are these called, silly bands? silly bracelets? whatevers, i like 'em!

She really hooked up the pooch, which is so great.  He deserves to get hooked  up, he’s a good sweet boy.

a toy for my pooch

a photo of jj from yesterday, destroying his new toy. he looooved it!

treats for the good boy

very cute

the cutest magnets ever, and i love fun magnets so this is extra fun for me

a picture she drew for me, posted on my fridge ... with the magnets she gave me, next to an older picture that she colored for me!!

a really cute craft involving GLITTER and my FBFFs jayjer and rascal! so crazy cute and fun!

There were so many more fun things and treats in here, but I didn’t get pics of each and every thing.  She sent me an awesome pink Supah Coop sweatshirt, for her cousin, Cooper, who got a spinal cord injury playing football.  I’m proud to where that, so rad!

the box with all my goodies in it! you can see my new pink hoodie, love it!

So there ya have it!  I still have doggy cookies to bake, and a BEDAZZLER to play with.

Did I mention that?!  She gave me a BEDAZZLER!  I’m so excited!  I’m going to bejewel everything I own, pretty much.

Getting to actually hang out with my dommie in person would be best, but for now… having a care pack from her is pretty sweet!  I love you and I miss 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

girl’s night out – women of hope april 2011 event

Hope Chapel Kaneohe Bay’s women’s ministry is the Women of Hope.  Almost every month there’s a different event for us and April’s was “Girl’s Night Out.”  Held on Thursday, April 28th 2011 – Girl’s Night Out was a really relaxed and fun night of fellowship, meeting new women, and getting some tools for us to go out and be the best, strongest, most graceful women we can be.  So rad!

And I got to use the Britney Spear’s handless mic, so you know it was an awesome event.  (Yeah, they let me have a microphone, please read on for the full explanation!)

As always when I write a blog – this is just my own reflection/rambling based on my point of view – nothing official, okay?

Girl’s Night Out


The whole mentality behind the Girl’s Night Out event was for us to have a more casual way to fellowship, but yet not a free-for-all.  Tami, the Women’s Pastor, approached me a while ago.  She really buttered me up and told me the women at retreat had so much fun making tie dye and that it was such a hit.  So just when I was all placated by the flattery, she asked if I would be interested in teaching the women how to make friendship bracelets at an upcoming event.  How could I say no?  (I would have said yes without all the flattery, but that part was nice so I let her go on.  haha!)

Not only was the bracelet-making going to be a fun activity and something new for a lot of the women (and something fondly nostalgic from childhood for many of us), but it would be a craft that reiterates a really cool verse from Ecclesiastes that spoke to Tami.   I love when things all connect, and this whole bracelet thing was one of them.  Not only did the craft tie into the Word, but now all of us who attended would have matching bracelets.  So rad, right?

My Prep

all the strings

At the planning meeting for the event it was decided that all of the women would have the same colored string.  Like true “friendship bracelets,”  we’d all have matching ones!  So cute.  So Tami and I played around with the colors, and found this coral pink, a soft blue, and white that all looked very pretty together.

I took home a giant sack o’ string and set to work prepping it all so the night of there’d be no measuring, cutting, and all that stuff.  While I was sitting at home making all of the little bracelet starters, I was thinking about the shells we got at women’s retreat.  Tami told us that she had prayed over all of the shells before we all got one.  So while I was touching all the string, prepping it, I just thought about all of the Women of Hope.  I thought happy thoughts for everyone, and I prayed for each person who might end up with a particular string.    It just felt nice and positive, and I felt so honored and humbled to get to do such a thing.  I’m so new to Hope Chapel, being welcomed in the way I have been is just awesome.

one table's worth of string

The Event!

We had a great turnout.  It’s so awesome to see so many women make the time to come up to church on a weekday evening and spend some time with their sisters.   All twenty tables had people at them – so that means there were almost 180 women present! Good job!

the view from standing right outside of the sanctuary. the mountains, the big cross lit up. i just thought this was a pretty scene. this was taken right before the event started.

The event was in the Clamshell (the sanctuary), which had been set up into tables of nine.  There were some pretty paper lanterns hanging.  And the vibe was just really casual.  We were coming together to worship and learn, yes – but to just chat and get to know each other as well.  The design of the seating was so that we’d meet new people.   Even though that whole concept was a little harder to pull off in practice than it was in theory – I think everything ended up working out just fine.

all set up and ready to go

(Not to dwell on the plan that didn’t work perfectly – but to explain it I’ll say… The plan was for everyone, as they entered, to draw from a basket a table assignment.  That way, people who came together would sit at different tables and meet new people.  It was a great idea – but ended up being a bit tough to pull off seamlessly in real life.   It’s of no matter though: the intention of the idea did work out, a lot of the tables had mixes of women who don’t necessarily hang out all the time or know each other).

All of the tables had a “hostess,” who led everyone in the ice breaker game and just sort of facilitated the evening.  A big thank you to the 20-ish women who stepped up at hostess tables.  What an awesome thing to do to help ensure a great time was had by all.  Thank you hostesses!  (I don’t have a copy of the list or else you betcha I’d thank everyone).  Patti was my hostess and she was such a pleasure to be seated with, she’s so sweet and fun!

Oh, the snacks were awesome!  Veggies, humus, pita chips, and more.  The food is always such a highlight for me, I totally have a problem.

the awesome table of snacks

dessert table

Two Truths and A Lie

As an ice breaker, we all played this cute and easy game at the table.  Everyone had to give three statements about themselves – two of which are true, and one is a lie.  Everyone else tries to guess which is which.   You end up learning fun little things about each other, and the chosen “facts,” usually lead to a story or two and a lot of laughs.  Our table was totally giggling the whole time we played, and I could other tables busting out into laughter at various times as well.

The whole point of an ice breaker is to get people warmed up, talking to each other, and to help us get to know each other.  So hopefully for all of the tables the mission was accomplished.  And it was accomplished in an easy-going, fun way!

here's carly lying away about pink being her favorite color!

I’m trying to remember what my three things were… I know one of my truths was about swimming the English Channel, and my lie was about doing a semester of study abroad in Singapore.  Shoots, I can’t remember my other truth.  I’m sure whatever it was it was rad, because well… I’m rad. (hehehe).

Rikki Talks About the Strength of Lady Friends

Next up was the beautiful and sweet Rikki Wurlitzer praying with us, and saying some words about what Ecclesiastes 4:12 means to her. The verse this whole bracelet thing is based on, is as follows:

A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. (NLT).

Rikki talked about how when we’re together, like a triple-braided cord, we’re stronger.  She told us that the enemy tries to isolate us, make us think that we need to be alone, and that is such a lie!   It’s good to need each other, and to want to be together as sisters in Christ.

because of the lighting, it's so hard for me to get decent quality pics - but here ya go, here's one of Rikki on the mic

She gave the example about that girl, we all know one (or maybe we are one), who says the ole I don’t like women!  This is another lie.  Rikki spoke out that we do need our sisters.  And she gave the illustration of life being like a game of red rover.  When hard times gets hurls at you, if you’re standing there with your arms tightly linked around your best girlfriends – you’ll be able to resist breaking down and getting beat up by life’s challenges. Afterwards you’ll still be standing tall and intact.

First of all, I totally related to the “I don’t like women” statement, and I just loved the red rover analogy.  I used to be one of those women.  I used to have all guy friends, and I used to think that being friends with girls just wasn’t for me.  I went through a couple different stages of this kind of thinking. Once was in high school when I was a total surfer chick, and all my pals who I surfed with were boys; it seemed like the girls didn’t really like me back then.  I said, in a way to protect myself, that I didn’t need those girls.  Later in college I was in a sorority, and after being hurt by some of the women who were supposedly my “sisters,” I was very defensive about gal pals, and again donned the “I don’t need girls” attitude.

But it sure isn’t true these days.  I LOVE my lady-friends, and I have no idea where I’d be without them.  I’m blessed to have a whole army of awesome women I know I can count on.  I do have some guy friends, but they’re really tiny in percentage compared to the amount of women in my inner circle. I’ve come to love and embrace all that is being a woman, and I’ve come to love and embrace having women all around me.  I relate to women, I get advice from them, they help me as I help them.  During deployment, I feel like my gal pals and I really pull each other through.  I heart girl’s nights. And finally… I cannot imagine the look on my husband’s face if I told him I was going to hang out with my dude friends. Haha!  That would be a riot.

Looking back, I see that when I was in anti-girl mode, I was doing it out of defensiveness.  I was saying it because I was scared that they wouldn’t like me back.   Now I see how great having female friends really is.  And every time one of my girlfriends tells me that they don’t like women I need to point out that I happen to be a woman!

Back to what Rikki said, the red rover analogy was just so cool.  As she was talking I got this awesome mental image of me linking arms with all of my best gal pals and just daring bad things to try and mess with us.  Seriously, we’re pretty hard to take down and we know it!

Rikki shared some really wise and sweet words with us.  I love that she was shooting from the heart, talking to us all with such love.  I totally see a Pastor-in-the-making, as she was well-spoken, comfortable on stage, and so right on with her words.  Well done Rikki, you had such an awesome contribution to the evening and to all of us who were blessed to hear the thoughts that God put on your heart.

My Turn- Bracelet Making Time

Because it’s my blog and all I do is talk about myself, I’ll keep this short and sweet.  I basically just stood up there, showed everyone how to make the bracelets using three cords and a really simple knot.  Then I wandered around to the tables and helped out anyone who asked me for a bit of help.  I used the term “y’all” a lot, and I was probably louder and more nasally in real life than I am in my head.    I did have one sweet thought that I shared with everyone:

Seeing as we were all making these bracelets together and they’d all be matching, I thought that maybe it would be cool to remember this evening whenever we looked at the bracelet.  I told the ladies:  Maybe if you wear it on your wrist every time you see it you’ll think about church, your sisters of hope who sat with you on this night, maybe you’ll think about praying, and seeing the bracelet will remind you to do so.  Whatever the connection is that you have with it, I hope it’s happy and positive.

here i am, barking away instructions

adjusting the hands-free mic, lol. of course i had to mess with it and fidget. my mom is sighing just reading this, lol.

I had a really fun time helping out, and honestly I was honored and humbled to do so.  It’s just so flattering that everyone has such a fun time with these little crafts that I do enjoy so much.

We didn’t really go out of our way to advertise “friendship bracelet making” when the event was being promoted, for fear that no one would come.  For a lot of people, the thought of making bracelets is probably a turn off and sounds boring, not fun, or whatever.  But all in all, I think it was a hit.  Or at least it was tolerable.  Some women really surprised themselves and had way more fun than they thought they would.  In the days since, I’ve had a couple gals tell me they can’t stop making bracelets on their own and they’re having so much fun with it.

And the gift that keeps on giving?  The Dom Rep mission team is going to take the leftover string with them on their trip and use bracelet making as a way to bond with girls they meet in the DR.  How cool is that?  I love that this is being paid forward!

Kacie told me that she made 9 knots in each color, for every woman at her table.  Then, after repeating that a bunch of times to make the whole bracelet she finished it off with 33 white knots: one for every year that Jesus lived.  How cool is that?  I love that Kacie took the concept, and made it her own and made it special and as a remembrance of this evening, her sisters, and Jesus.  So perfectly done!

kacie's bracelet, groups 9 with 33 white knots at the end. so awesome!

here's what my bracelet looked like

Worship

The Women’s worship team moved us all with three songs: Blessed Be The Name, Came To My Rescue, and How Great is Our God.  Kacie, one of the women’s worship leaders told me after the event that she was almost in tears as she was leading us through “Came To My Rescue.”  All three songs were beautiful.  And as 180ish women stood and sang together, I was honored to be part of such a pretty tribute to our God.

the women's worship band

every lady in the house was on her feet and singing to God!

Since three songs were played, Kacie pointed out to me that the worship team was giving us all a musical triple cord braid, how cool is that?  Another connection.  I love it!

Tami’s Sermon

The meat and potatoes had yet to be served.  Tami, our Pastor, gave a sermon after the games and crafts were done.

The main idea of the whole evening was about equipping ourselves, strengthening ourselves for whatever may come our way.  And while having our sisters with us is one way of equipping ourselves, prayer is another.  Prayer is something that any of us can do, in any situation.  Tami’s message was about different places to find prayers (for when we don’t have the words on our own), and different ways in which prayer equips her to be the strongest, fiercest warrior-princess she can be, as a means to inspire and motivate us all.

Tami told us that no matter what happens to her, prayer is her first reaction.  As we’re told in First Thessalonians to “pray without ceasing,” Tami prays all the time, and for any and everything.  As an aside: this is so true!  I’ve tried to watch a movie with Pastor Tami, and she spends the whole time praying for the characters.  It’s so cute, her heart is pure gold.

tami speaking from the heart

In Hebrews 4:12 we’re told that “the word of God is alive and powerful.”  Tami told us that something she really loves about our God is that He’s a living God.  His word is alive just as He is.  Meaning that, what He’s told us rings true now and always and we have the privilege of calling on our God and interacting with Him whenever we need Him.  This is amazing.  He’s alive and accessible and open to us.    And our way of accessing Him is PRAYER.

Tami opened up to all of us about some of her more personal struggles.  She’s talked about social situations that were like salt in a wound for her, but all she could do was sit and smile and trust in her God.  (I don’t want to disclose all of Tami’s personal business on my blog – but she opened up about her own fertility issues, a struggle that can pang so deep into the heart of women that long for babies but aren’t able to have them).  I was sitting at the table crying, knowing the feeling now myself, of congratulating another pregnant Momma and wishing so badly that it was me.

But it’s in these sad and hard times that we have the option to pray.  We can ask our God for solace, for comfort.  We can ask our God for whatever it is that we need in the moment we need it.  That’s what is amazing about loving and interacting with the real and living God:  He’s always just a prayer away.

For some people, prayer is a challenge because choosing the right words is hard to do.  The Bible has a verse for just about every situation you could ever find yourself in, or at least there’s a verse that can apply to just about every feeling you could have.  So in those times of needing to pray, but not knowing what to say: use God’s Word!  You can pray the Word!

It’s one of those things that seems so simple and so obvious for some people.  But for someone like me (I grew up in the Catholic church), praying the Word back to God is new to me.  It’s unfamiliar territory.   Hearing Tami speak about how our God wants us to learn His Words, understand the Word, and say them back to Him – it was like turning on a light bulb.  Of course I can do that, I should do that, I need to do that!

Tami printed up these really cool cards for all us and they’re full of the Word.   There are a couple dozen bullet points with different Words to inspire us, to remind us of how much He loves us (His daughters!), to show us where in the Bible we can go for different needs (healing for example).  The last bulletpoint simply reads, “Pray His Word.”

the cards Tami made for us

In John 10:10, we know that Jesus came so that we may have life and life and live it abundantly.  It’s the part of John 10:10 that people always focus on.  But the first part of that verse is telling us that there’s a thief – the enemy.  And the enemy comes to steal and kill and destroy (NASB).  So to battle this thief, and to enjoy life abundant – we must equip ourselves as best we can.  Prayer is essential in this way (Ephesians 6:18).  Tami, at this point, literally pulled out a cardboard sword and brandished it for a minute.  Giving us the visual of fighting.   Her point is that in real life we don’t carry around swords of metal – but we can brandish the word, or use a prayer to fight back the thieves we encounter, the enemies that attack us.

a blurry washed out photo of tami waving a sword

Finally, the point of us all being connected by the triple-cord braid is that just like we can use prayer for ourselves, we can use it for each other!  When one of our sisters falls down, we can pick her back up with prayer!  (I totally got the Sister Act song in my head “if my sister’s in trouble so am I” – remember that from the movie Sister Act? It totally came to mind then and now, lol).

So, at our tables we all had these little cards.  And since we were seated in groups of nine, we were asked to get into groups of three, and make a commitment to be prayer warriors for each other.  To be there for one another spiritually.  This is bold and important commitment, and one that I was so honored to make.  What a cool idea, that not only are we connected by having fun times, fellowship, worshipping together – but we’re not becoming three-cord bracelets of prayers!

Tami ended the evening with some closing words and then by praying for us all.

I have to say:

I hope that the women had a great time.  I know that there were aspects of the evening that were very new to some of us.  I’m not used to speaking in front of a big group like that.   I don’t think many of the women were used to sitting at tables with new people, working on a craft like bracelet making. But sometimes getting out of our comfort zone is a good thing, and I appreciate the effort everyone made.  And hopefully we can all learn that when we’re with sisters-in-Christ, we’re always in our comfort zone.

i started a tie dye business!

happyhippierose has branched out:  I started a business selling tie dye!

A group of my friends suggested it one day, and I was giving them all these reasons why it wouldn’t be a good idea.  I was saying it would be too much work and not enough money,  no one would want to buy tie dye, yadda yadda yadda…  Finally, my friend Jenny made the whole concept sound feasible. Something about the was she presented it to me, it just clicked; I knew I had to do this.

I started brewing all these ideas, but I wanted to wait until Matthew called till I started to do anything. (my husband Matthew is currently deployed) The next time Matthew called, I told him about the idea and he was all about it, and even joking that he can’t believe I hadn’t tried to do this sooner.  It was so awesome how supportive he was on that first phone call, and how supportive he’s been on every call since.  He’s so excited to get home and get involved, I love that!

So once I knew my husband was supportive and cool with me starting this, I didn’t waste a minute!   I ordered some pro grade dye right away, and then went out and got some baby onesies, toddler tees and shirts… once my dye came in the mail, I was off and running, and I haven’t looked back!

For the past few weeks I’ve been a dying fool, creating so many awesome happy garments! I’ve been having a blast.  Every time I tie dye, I have fun doing it.  I was worried that I would start to hate it (it was one of my fears in starting a business selling it), but nope, the opposite has happened!  every time I dye I get all excited to see what I can do.  I’ve really been experimenting a lot with my technique and trying to keep stepping up my skill level one garment at a time!

There’s been a lot for me to learn business-wise, but I like a challenge and it’s been hard in a good way.   I’m really proud of how I’ve been managing the financial aspects of this company, keeping up with my balance sheet, and just staying really organized.

You can check me out online:

I’m really proud of how far I’ve come in about a month.  I’ve already dyed and shipped out a fair amount of orders, and everyday more are coming in. And the best part?  So far, my customers are loving my work and they seem really pleased with the garments they’ve bought from me!   I love my customers so much, and I’m grateful for them beyond words!

THANK YOU amazing customers, xoxoxo!!