Thursday, December 27, 2012

One Day She Will Fly

The things I have learned this year:

- When I tell myself 5 minute limit on the computer it ends up being 15. Maybe I should start aiming for 1 minute...

- Laundry doesn't do itself.

- Listen.

- Good enough is an excuse for a crappy job.

- There is never a "right time" to quit.

- Being the dumbest in the room is a good thing. It means you are the smartest in the room to surround yourself with those who would lift you up.

- Telling myself to "just do it" gets more done than "I need another cup of coffee for that."

- Baby gates only work for babies, not toddlers.

- I would rather buy a toy for my son that buy myself anything.

- Every second counts. Ever minute is precious. Every day is a gift. Every year is a giant opportunity to succeed.

- Eat well to live well.

- The sooner I get dressed the more I will accomplish.

- No matter how high up you hide the sharpies the child will find them.

- Fashionably Late is a lame excuse for "I didn't care enough to be on time."

- I have control issues.

- There is always room for improvement.

- If you are not moving forward you are moving backward or stagnating - either way is not good.

- The ability to accept help does not show weakness. The ability and willingness to return the help is where you show strength.

- Be Organized.

- Show others you appreciate them every day.

Not bad for a year... I'm only that much more determined to make next year even better now. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

DIY Lace Patch for Clothes and Jeans

5 Simple Steps to Patch old Jeans with Lace

      Recently one of my favorite pairs of pants started ripping at the back. For a while I sucked it up and wore them with shorts underneath but the hole just kept getting worse every time I wore them so I decided to do something about it. In my massive piles of sewing odds and ends I happened to have lace... lots of lace (Thanks Grandma.) Follow along to see how I fixed my favorite pants to make them even better!

1) Lay clean pants on a flat surface with lace on top of the hole. My hole was big enough I needed two rows of lace to cover it. Cut the lace about an inch too long (1/2" extra for each side of the rip). If you don't cut the lace long enough your patch won't cover the entire hole and it will continue to rip further. 

2) Since my lace needed to be wider to cover the hole I just cut two pieces the same length and cut a piece of hemp cord (about 2" longer than lace segments) to use as a stabilizer for joining the lace. I then placed both lace segments back to back with the hemp in the middle. To join them I used the widest zig-zag stitch on my machine with a short stitch length for the maximum amount of strength in the seam. I stitched down the middle ensuring the hemp cord was captured inside the zig-zag and both pieces of lace were secured together. I decided to use hemp because I have it on hand, it is cheap, and I like the natural look of it with the lace. You could use any type of strong cord pretty much.

3) After joining my two lace segments I cut the hemp cord to be 1/4" longer than the lace on each side. I left the hemp longer so I would be able to turn it under and prevent unraveling. 

Broken needles happen... just make sure you pull out all the little metal pieces or it can really damage your machine. My needle broke while I was sewing around the extra thick seams in the crotch. If you advance the needle by hand in the thickest parts it's less likely to break.

4) (Showing stitches inside jeans) I first zig-zag stitched a big rectangle to secure the lace to the jeans. Make sure to turn your cording under and zig-zag over it extra well if you had to use it to stabilizer. If you don't the stabilizer cord will pull out and your patch will fail. I tried to only zig-zag on the busy parts of the lace to hide as much of my thread as possible on the visible side. The rectangle will keep the lace in place but you still need to sew down any ends that are loose so they don't stick out when you wear your pants. I did this by using a straight stitch to sew around the outer edges of the lace patch. You can see this in the photo above where the straight stitch makes little triangles outside of the zig-zagged rectangle. This way I don't have any loose lace bits flapping around on my butt.

 5) Last Step! Cut any loose thread ends and try pants on. Now brag because your favorite pants just got even better!

This took me about 30 minutes to do (even with taking photos) and maybe half a brain cell. When I wash these pants I try to turn them inside out to protect the lace from snagging on other clothes. So far the patch has held excellent with no damage. Let me know how your lace patches turn out!

 Tiny Tipis is a small handmade company providing environmentally friendly products to help customers reduce their carbon footprint. We focus on using high quality materials with attention to detail and running our company as close to zero waste as we possibly can. All shipping materials are recyclable, compostable, and/or biodegradable. See more of what Tiny Tipis does for our planet at any of the links below: 

 Thank you for being environmentally responsible!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The Greatest Gift of All

Yep, you guessed it. It's that time of year again when the reindeer are out and Santa is about. People scurry to and fro to get the latest gadget to give them more mojo... and bloggers become poets who don't even know it. Oh my!

I'll keep this short, sweet, and to the point: COUPON CODES!!!

For 10% off your entire order from use HOLIDAY2012

If you prefer FREE SHIPPING check out the new Tiny Tipis Website! We just added the option to purchase directly from us and are offering free shipping through December 2012 on all orders.

BONUS!!! All orders shipped in December will be gift wrapped so you don't have to worry about it! Nothing says Christmas like a pretty present under a tree.

If there was ever a time to buy it is now! Shop happy, stay warm, and keep safe through this holiday season.  :)

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Monday, August 13, 2012

As You Wish...

     Sometimes relationships aren't all they are cracked up to be. Sometimes you butt heads and chase each other round and round about daily worries. Sometimes the stress of life works it's way into our happy place.

     With the move coming up and a bunch of other major changes coming up in our life my honey and I have been finding the rough spots. As a loving wife I feel it is my job to find creative ways to brighten his day and help put him in a good mood. One of my simple ways to show him I care is to write a message for him on the mirror in our bathroom. I use our sons bath crayons that he never plays with and change the message each time I clean the mirror. Today I wrote "As you wish..." for him because he loves The Princes Bride movie. It's a small way to show him I care that doesn't cost me anything (maybe 5 minutes of time) and who wouldn't want a little positive message every time they look in the mirror!?

     If you don't have bath crayons (also called soap crayons) you can use dry erase markers. The darker colors work better. Sometimes if the message isn't easy to read you will need to make the lines thicker. The only downside to dry erase markers is that when the bathroom gets really steamy from the shower the message can start to run. It's not a huge deal but you will want to use the soap crayons for messages that you want to last longer.

     My honey had to run off to work before I changed the mirror this morning so I will have to wait till he gets home to see if he likes it. Some of the other messages I've left him are "You make me Smile!" and "You're Amazing!" but a simple "I love you" is always nice too.  :)  What messages are you going to leave?

For more updates like me on Facebook or follow me on Pinterest! Also make sure to check out my Recycled Urban Garden Blog if you love a green thumb. Thanks for Reading!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Secret Summer Recipe

There is a small thing I have been doing this month that not only helps keep my body healthy but reminds me to take little breaks. I have a secret recipe for a summer beverage that I think I may be willing to share finally and I promise you'll love it. I call it Health Tea. My hubby calls it "That Tasty Water Stuff." My son even drinks it and he can be kinda picky!

I make it in bulk and freeze portions not only to save money but to save me time. I will first cover how I make it in bulk and I will give the portions toward the end to make it in single batches in case you only want a little to try first. This beverage is beneficial for your body in how it helps you shed toxins, keeps you hydrated, gives you vitamins, and tastes amazing! Oh and did I mention it's cheaper than soda? Healthier too!  ;)

Items you will need:
2 Lemons
4 Limes
1 Large Cucumber
1 small chunk of Ginger Root
Apple Juice
A pitcher (1-2 liter)
7-8 Ziploc Freezer bags

Wash all ingredients well. You will be leaving the skin on everything so make sure it's clean.

Slice Cucumber into 1/8" slices with skin on.

 Slice the limes into 8 sections going from tip to tip. Slicing them in this direction keeps the pulp in the drink to a minimum.

You will cut the lime in half, then cut the halves in half, and then cut the quarters in half to make 8 slices from each lime.

 Slice the 2 lemons the same way you sliced the limes.

 I use very little ginger root because it is so potent. You will need less than 1 cubic inch and will slice it as thin as possible while still making it thick enough to stay in tact in water. The end result is slightly smaller than a quarter and about as thick.

Pull out 7 to 8 freezer safe bags. I use the 1 quart size. You will need 8 if you plan to freeze it all or 7 if you are making 1 batch to drink when done.

Into each bag you will put 2 lemon slices, 4 lime slices, 1 ginger slice, and 4-5 cucumber slices.

 Fill each bag 1/2 way with water. Get as much air out as you can before you seal it. Label the bags so you know when they were made and then put them in the freezer.

I stack mine in the freezer to save room.

 When you are ready to drink a glass pull a bag out of the freezer and put it in your pitcher. Pour fresh water over it until the pitcher is full. Once the ice melts you simple mix it 50/50 with apple juice and drink. I prefer to mix mine in the glass (I just eyeball the halfway point) because if you mix the apple juice in with the water it won't last as long in you fridge. If the water has too strong of a flavor for you add more water to dilute. I normally end up with 1.5 liters of water from 1 frozen bag.

I try to remove the floaters (the lemon, lime, ginger, and cucumber) from the water with a slotted spoon anywhere from 1 hour to 12 hours after the ice fully melts. If you leave the fruit in the water longer the taste becomes bitter. This will keep about a week in your fridge before you will need to make fresh.

 The portions for a single batch are 1/2 a lime (4 slices), 1/4 of a lemon (2 slices), a small slice of ginger root, and 4-5 cucumber slices. When not freezing let ingredients sit in the water 12-24 hours before removing with a slotted spoon. Mix 50/50 with Apple Juice when ready to drink.

 Slicing the ingredients every time you run out makes it seem like a lot of work. This is why I started making it in bulk. A nice variation if you want something a touch more refreshing even is to add a few mint leaves to the bags before freezing. It makes this refreshing beverage even more thirst quenching!

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think of this and if you came up with any variations of your own.

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Thursday, August 9, 2012

All the Small Things

This month has been a busy one. July marked the first charity event I've ever led in my life. I've also been trying to play catch up with cleaning at my grandfather's house. He's been slowly loosing his vision for years and the outcome is that he stopped being able to clean well. Years of dirt and grease caked on everything takes more effort to remove than you could ever know. But he is a wonderful man with amazing stories and I don't mind it so much.

I'll be moving again in less than a week. The house I signed a lease for has a greenhouse and enough yard that I will be starting a chicken coup ASAP. If all goes according to my master plan (Mwahahahaha!) I will have 5 polts (teenage hens) before winter. I already picked out the names for them... Brittany, Miley, Christina, Salena, and Gaga. Yep, I'm naming my hens after female pop stars who's music I never listen to. I think it's somehow fitting.  :)

Handmade Cards for my Mother-in-law
One of my most recent projects was making cards for my mother-in-law in trade for composting worms. The theme I went with was shadows. I ended up making her one with flower shadows and the other was the shadow of two people holding hands on the swings. I left them fairly plain so she could scan them into her computer, add her own inspirational text to fit the occasion, and print. Sort of an everything card if you will, she can make it say whatever she wants.

Lacto-Fermented Veges
I've taken it upon myself to learn skills that would be useful in a Zombie Apocalypse situation. (The zombie part is really a generational thing. Many pointless hours of my youth were spent discussing the in-depth dynamics of zombie behavior.) I think self-sustaining practices are a golden way to survive though, zombies or not. This is why I made my first attempt at Lacto-Fermentation.  I had made a batch of farmer's cheese and was in need of ways to use my leftover whey. Part of it went to make bread (and it was AMAZING) while the last spoonfuls went into jars of chopped carrots, onions, and celery. I put some herbs and spices in the jars as well with the salt water and left them on my counter for 5 days. The taste test after the 5 days proved I had indeed succeeded. The jar on the left was a wild idea to add cinnamon... I don't recommend adding cinnamon to salt based preservation methods. That jar got tossed. This is something I plan to keep experimenting with though.

I have a million more projects in the making. Some of the posts you can look forward to include a Super Secret Summer Beverage Recipe, frugal ways to entertain a child in the shower, cloth book making, an upcyled shirt tutorial, and how I made my amazing Home and Meal organization binder. Keep watching and reading!

I'll leave you with the amazing photo I took of the baby praying mantas I found chilling above my front door. He only stayed for a day but his company was a refreshing change from all the wasps and ants. Check out those spiked forelegs!
Praying Mantas in Colorado

To keep up with all the new items and specials in my shop like me on Facebook or follow me on Pinterest. I also recently opened a Zibbet store. If you prefer to support the artist and not the middle man Zibbet is a great place to buy.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


This morning my husband and I started discussing Westboro Baptist Church over our coffee. The members of WBC are fond of protesting (pretty much everything) in highly inappropriate situations. Our discussion took a turn for the sarcastic when we decided to Google "Westboro Baptists Church Fail." The following is a collection from this search that my husband and I found most entertaining.

To Clarify:  I do not hate these people. I disagree with their views, values, and the scandalous manner in which they protest. The title Haters refers to the view I feel WBC projects in their protests. I encourage opinions and philosophic discussion in the comments but I do reserve the right to delete comments that are hurtful, threatening, unrelated to the topic, spam, or bashing any group without a point. This is, after all, my blog.








Fred Phelps is the pastor of Westboro Baptist Church...

As for the Pastor's Wife...



One of my favorite directors, Kevin Smith, protesting the protestors.

A great shirt for those who WBC hates... well that's pretty much everyone.
Buy It Here

Normally I would link to the homepage of the party I am talking about but I don't want a link to the God Hates Fags site anywhere on my blog. For those interested in my own opinion it is as simple as this: Love All... or least give it a good try.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Confessions of a Crazy Crafter

     Sometimes I think Springs and Summer are my favorite months. I feel incredibly productive with so many hours of light! One of the things on my plate this summer is leading a charity event for an animal shelter. I chose the Teller County Regional Animal Shelter to help on behalf of Artist's Helping Hands for many reasons.
     - They are a no kill shelter meaning they do not put animals down if they don't find owners.
     - They aided many people that evacuated during the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado.
     - When our dog found his way to their shelter they called to let us know and took such good care of him while he waited for us.
help furry creatures
Cassius the Great and my wonderful little man pose for me.
I'm excited to collect donations during the month of July 2012 for them and have already seen a great show of support from the charity group. I hope to hand out treats to some of the animals when I deliver the donations. If I am able to I will make sure to take pictures and post them.

     One of my personal projects this month is a cloth book of shapes for my son. Using an old pair of jeans and some colorful fabric scraps I've managed to cut out squares, diamonds, circles, rectangles, ovals, stars, and triangles. I am then sewing these onto large pieces of fabric which will become the pages. I can't wait to see the look on his face when I give it to him. Books are his favorite "toy."

     As I face moving in some 45 days I find myself hoping this next home will be a place I can stay for a while. With 3 bedrooms, a greenhouse, and an area inside large enough for me to start making full sized tipis it sounds like heaven to me. The yard is a decent size as well (though it needs a lot of work) and I hope to get permission from the landlord to keep chickens. It's a big move. The house needs a lot of work... cleaning, repairs, TLC, and such. The price is right though and despite all my nervousness I'm really excited to start on such a large project.

grocery bag shopping tote quality canvas sack     As far as Tiny Tipis goes I must say it is well. I recently filed my LLC forms making it an official company. It's the first step in taking things to the next level. I've also been evaluating ways to expand and offer more choices. One way I plan to do this is by offering hand painted bags. These are fairly easy to do, don't take up extra space in my currently small home, and the end result is making my customers very happy. For each new design I keep a stencil that can be traced on the canvas and then paint each one by hand with acrylic paint. I could cut corners and iron on printed designs but I don't want to loose the personal touch the hand painting adds not to mention the higher quality end result. I plan to start a line of more modern ones as well that will feature graffiti style art.

     For my own closet I decided to go through it and start recycling and upcycling my old clothes. A work in process is this thin shirt. It had holes at the hip seams that needed fixing and I decided to start giving it a new life. As soon as I finish it I will post a step by step blog on exactly what I did to it. Of course I had to add some lace to it.  ;)

recycled top feminine
I love lace  <3 <3 <3

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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Step-by-Step Vintage Hunting Vest Upcycle

     I was browsing the items at a yard sale one day when I found this treasure of a hunting vest. The piece had character and had seen many days of love and use but lacked any kind of style that would make me wear it in public. So I decided to redo it! With a little lace and an hour of my time I transformed this beast into a beauty. Here's how:

     1) I removed the fabric on the back that just kind of hung there using my seam ripper. This took maybe 10 minutes.

2) I got a bit impatient and added lace around the collar next. To do this I buttoned the vest and marked where the left and right sides came together above the buttons. I don't use pins when I sew so I just folded the lace under and started using a zig-zag stitch to attach it where my first mark was. I didn't cut the lace to length until I was perhaps 2" away from having it fully sewn on the front. Then, I tacked the lace down every so often to keep it from rolling up around the neck while being worn.

3) I used my seam ripper to finish separating the fabric below the arm. I wanted to give the vest a more feminine shape so to accomplish this I measured 1" in on each side at the base of the back. I connected this to the top where the armhole comes together. That's the brown line you see in the photo. I cut the excess off and sewed the seam back together. If you aren't confident in your altering skills you can always pin and try it on before you trim.

4) The last step was to add lace along the back where I took the old fabric panel off. To do this I once again folded my lace under at the edges and used a zig-zag stitch to attach it to the vest. Again, to avoid wasting lace, I always sew first and cut the lace to length when I'm a few inches away from having it completely sewn on. This eliminates concerns about elasticity differences between the vest and the lace.

     I left the back of the vest shorter than the front as a style choice. I like the way it causes the fabric to add even more of an hourglass shape around the waste. This can make boobs look bigger, mid sections look slimmer/longer, and hips look more feminine. Below is the end result... it's hard to get good pictures of yourself! This vest can be purchased on my etsy store if you like it as much as I do.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Where Do You Sleep

It's hard to explain being poor to someone who has never wanted for anything. I wouldn't even know where to begin. Priorities change as one gains wealth. Children suffer from poverty silently. They lack the ability to change many things about their life and depend on others for nearly everything. They tend to make the best of every situation because they don't have the life experience to know that there is something better out there. I've slowly been evolving as a person as I see poverty and grief all around, not just in America but everywhere. Today, I share this photo series by James Mollison called Where Children Sleep. Open your eyes for a moment.

Kaya, 4, Tokyo Japan

Indira, 7, Kathmandu, Nepal

 Alex, 9, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

 Alyssa, 8, Harlan County, USA

Ahkohxet, 8, Amazonia, Brazil

Lewis, 10, Barnsley, England

 Lamine, 12, Bounkiling Village, Senegal

 Prena, 14, Kathmandu, Nepal

Nantio, 15, Lisamis, Northern Kenya

Risa, 15, Kyoto, Japan

Kana,16, Tokyo, Japan

 Bilal, 6, Wadi Abu Hindi, The West Bank 

 Joey, 11, Kentucky, USA

 Dong, 9, Yunnan, China

All Photos in this post are from here.