Bollywood Inspired Pattern Hack

 This past week, I celebrated turning 44! Every year I have a themed birthday party to ring in another fabulous year, surrounded by good friends, all dressed up. I love it. Truly, it is the most fun way to age. To prepare, I ususally make myself something to wear (see 2010, 2012, 2014 and 2015). For this year’s theme, I was inspired by Bollywood. The colors, the music, the fashion. I turned to Pinterest for some design inspiration, since I knew I didn’t want to make a sari (although it was tempting! Knowing me, it would untuck in the middle of the party, and the whole thing would fall to the ground, and NO ONE wants to see that.). The party would be more of a nod to the genre, and culture. This particluar pin caught my eye. So began my Bollywood Inspired Pattern Hack.

Bollywood Inspired Pattern Hack

I turned to a pattern I have used before in the book Sew Many Dresses (affiliate link). The bodice has princess seams, and made a good base. First, I started by taping the front and side panels of my paper pattern together, and then cutting the center piece out. This was done by holding it up where it would roughly sit on my chest, and drawing a line around the place I wanted it. The center panel was created by freehanding a sweatheart neckline, and marking where it would be, once it was connected to the (now cut) front and side panels.

Bollywood Inspired Pattern Hack

I did muslin this first, and that was a  very good thing. There was a bit of tweaking to be done, because the fit wasn’t quite right, and I ended up with a gap near the armscyes. Of course, I turned to the fabulous ladies over at the Capsule Wardrobe Sewalong FB group for help. And they did! They are some good peeps (I don’t really think I can pull off using that word, but I have made it my goal to work it into my daily vernacular, much to my family’s embarassment). I ended up adding a dart on the side panels near the armscyes and it fixed the problem.

Bollywood Inspired Pattern Hack

That skirt was self-drafted. It was just as challenging as the bodice to figure out. I could not think of a way to get the side pieces to look good in the back, so I cut them into two seperate free-hanging panels, and let them cup my sides. I love the effect.

Bollywood Inspired Pattern Hack

The outer fabric is brocade from Cali Fabrics, and the gold is silk from the huge rummage sale I attend every year. It is a bit stained, but you can barely see it because of the way I placed the fabric. I hand stamped the pattern on my shawl, with acrylic paint (which you can’t really see from these photos).

Bollywood Inspired Pattern Hack

A realization hit me when I was about to tackle this project. About 75% of my creative process is in my head. I think about sewing something for weeks before I even touch a pattern. I go to sleep thinking about how to tackle any problems, and how I would alter existing patterns to fit my design. I think about it when doing household chores, while driving, and showering. Borderline obsession, really. Then one day, it has gestated enough to the point that it is time for labor, so to speak. I have no idea if this is unique to me, or if others work this way too, but find that if I have enough time to let it marinate (as my chef husband would say), the final result is closest to my vision.

Bollywood Birthday Party

photo credit for above photo: Dawn Weber

Bollywood Birthday Party

The party was a lot of fun, but seriously the strangest weather we have had so far.

Bollywood Birthday Party

It rained, then the sun came out, then it poured, then it stopped. All the guests were very good sports about the whole thing.

Bollywood Birthday Party

YUM.

Bollywood Birthday party

You may recognize this outfit from here.

Bollywood party

My husband wins the year with this outfit, in my book. He is wearing our daughter’s (the Bee’s) pants!

Bollywood party

Another notch in the old aging belt, done with style.

I would love to hear from you…what is YOUR creative process?

Fourth Recap

Brace yourselves for another year of a crazy amount of Fourth of July parade photos.

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I made another skipper top for my youngest (like here, here, and here) so she would have something festive to wear to this year’s parade. She paired her stripey shirt with her Wonder Woman skirt, and she was good to go.

After the parade, we actually watched fireworks! In the 19 years we have been out in WA state, we have never seen a fireworks show. Our Falafel came up to us and said it was her dream to see “actual fireworks”, you know, not just the animated ones, and we realized we needed to make this happen.

We are all exhausted, but had a fantastic day, all together. AND it didn’t rain! WOOHOO!

How was your fourth?

Recycled Plastic Bag Christmas Wreath dressed up for the Fourth of July

Recycled Plastic bag wreath dressed up for the Fourth of July

Remember this wreath I made from recycled plastic bags? Well, my Falafel wanted to turn it into a Fourth of July wreath. She took one of her ripped up fuzzy blue socks, and cut it into strips, and tied it on the wreath.

Done.

Pretty clever 10 year old, huh?

I think we should use this one for Valentine’s Day  too. Just add some hearts. I like this reuse business. Makes decorating a little easier.

Do you decorate for the Fourth?

Happy Independence Day!

Make Dad a Tie: Happy Father’s Day!

Make Dad a Tie with a Free pattern

Make Dad a Tie

I must start by telling you that my husband generally doesn’t wear ties. He doesn’t need one for work, and we rarely go to events that require them. BUT I couldn’t resist making him one this year after seeing all the brilliant ties out there being made. Ha!  Plus, it is tradition, right? Give Dad a tie. Or in this case, Make Dad a Tie.

Make Dad a Tie with a Free pattern

I found a FREE pattern over on Craftsy by Sweet Shop Sewing.  I made the feather print tie first, using this pattern. Only, it came out too small. It would definitely fit a little boy.

Make Dad a Tie with a Free pattern

So I gave it another try. This time I used Four Corners Circles Fabric and stripe gray sparkle fabric by liZ and Elizabeth from Simple Simon. I lurve this fabric.

Make Dad a Tie with a Free pattern

I used the same pattern, only I lengthened the back piece to match the front piece. It worked out to be 58 inches long, which is perfect for my 5’11” guy.

Make Dad a Tie with a Free pattern

Insert your favorite Dad, and you are done!

Make Dad a Tie with a Free pattern

Now he is prepared for any occasion that requires a bit of fancying up.

Make Dad a Tie with a Free pattern

Happy Father’s Day to all you fantastic Dad’s out there! You are so needed in this world, and you are loved.

Happy Mother’s Day

The reason I am a Mother. My husband and our girls.

My husband and our girls are the reason I am a Mother, and I am grateful and thankful every day for all three of them.

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My weekend is off to a good start. I took our youngest to a Tibetan Monk Mandala Ceremony yesterday.

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It was a pretty incredible experience for both of us.

Tibetan Monks at the Mandala ceremony

Falafel was entranced. She loved the chanting. She said it brought her peace.

sand mandala

A highlight for me was when they swept it up. They actually gave out bags of it to the huge crowd that was there, so that we could place them wherever we thought needed the most help, or blessings. We have both decided to think about it, before placing them.

Blossoms

I have always been facinated with this ritual. I love the symbolism. It is a great reminder to appreciate what you have now, because the world is ever changing, and nothing lives forever. Life is so incredibly beautiful because of it’s impermanence.

Cottonwood

On the walk back to our car, I took photos of all the beauty I saw. Nature that may not be around in a week or even another day. I captured their images so that I can remember the delicate intricacy that made up these blooms.

Lone iris

To celebrate Mother’s Day, I look forward to us all being fully present with eachother. Well, that AND not doing any dishes. The kids always stress about what to get me, and really if I don’t have to do dishes, it is a good day.

poppies

I wish all of you a thoughtful, peaceful, beautiful Mother’s day with those you love.

Floral head garland for Prom

My daughter had the pleasure of attending a prom with her boyfriend, that her best friend invited them to, given by her friend’s church. For her outfit, I made The Bee a floral head garland, since the theme was “Enchanted Forest”.

  Floral head Garland for Prom

It was super simple to do with silk flowers, and I think it added a little bit of whimsy to her outfit.

Floral head Garland for Prom

Did you know that I was a floral designer for many, many years? It’s true! So glad to be able to use my skills for my kids.

Floral head Garland for Prom

More details on that stunning dress here.

Floral head Garland for Prom

I kept it fairly sparse, so that the brown covered wire would show through, and give it more of a foresty fairy look.

Floral head Garland for Prom

Floral head Garland for Prom

Their attempt at a Charlie’s Angels type pose. I love these two silly girls.

Floral head Garland for Prom

Her first corsage.

Floral head Garland for Prom

 Ack! When did my baby get all grown up?!

Anyhow, please leave a comment below to let me know if you want a tutorial on how to make this simple head garland, and like magic, I will!

What have YOU made today?

Comicon 2016

Emerald City Comicon 2016 recap

As you may know, I took our girls to Comicon on opening day. My poor husband had to work, and missed out on all the fun. Luckily I did end up taking a few photos.

Emerald City Comicon 2016 recap

Emerald City Comicon 2016 recap

Emerald City Comicon 2016 recap

Emerald City Comicon 2016 recap

Emerald City Comicon 2016 recap

Emerald City Comicon 2016 recap

Emerald City Comicon 2016 recap: Weta Workshop crew

Emerald City Comicon 2016 recap

Emerald City Comicon 2016 recap

Emerald City Comicon 2016 recap

Emerald City Comicon 2016 recap

Emerald City Comicon 2016 recap

Emerald City Comicon 2016 recap

Emerald City Comicon 2016 recap

Emerald City Comicon 2016 recap

Emerald City Comicon 2016 recap

Above in the photos, that was one of the nicest Storm Troopers ever. And those paintings? Made from jelly beans.

This was the first time we had ever gone to Comicon, and I think the best word to describe our experience is “overwhelming“. There were thousands of people and the convention center is huge. When we arrived, The Bee was impressed by the giant sign they had (and it was written on our passes) “Cosplay is not Consent“. It seemed to ease any anxiety she had about being out there in a tight costume. You never know what to expect from a large crowd of people. But what we got was respectful behavior from everyone. Seriously. I think the people were one of the highlights. She also had a lot of requests for photos! About every 5 feet or so, I would look around, and she was posing with someone else (so keep an eye out for her on social media everywhere). Even my Falafel was getting requests, especially from the little kid crowd. It was completely adorable. I got lots of compliments on my costume, but I was the designated pack mule for the day, so no photos of me. Believe it or not, there were three other Lady Thors there!

One of the highlights for me, personally, was seeing some of the weta workshop crew. They are just amazing, and in my book, are complete rock stars of the movie magic world. I was frozen in awe. My kids were laughing at me.

Overall, we had a very memorable day. This Spring Break has been so much fun!

Have you ever gone to a Con?

Free Printable Natural Egg Dye recipes

Cutting it close again this year, we just dyed our eggs yesterday, and I thought I would share the recipes and methods we used, as they have evolved slightly over the years. I am so glad that today I can share my free printable Natural Egg Dye recipes, with you.

Free Printable Natural Egg Dye Recipes by Falafel and the Bee

Brace yourself for a long informational post.

Free Printable Natural Egg Dye Recipes by Falafel and the Bee

Free Printable Natural Egg Dye Recipes

We tried something new this year. Onion Skin dyeing with imprinting plant material.

Free Printable Natural Egg Dye Recipes by Falafel and the Bee

We gathered up a bunch of pretty leaves and flowers in our yard.

Free Printable Natural Egg Dye Recipes by Falafel and the Bee

I placed the flowers and leaves around the uncooked egg, and covered it with a piece of old tights and knotted the end.

Free Printable Natural Egg Dye Recipes by Falafel and the Bee

Place onion skins along with the wrapped eggs in a pot and cover with water. I added 1 TBSP of vinegar. Bring to a boil. Reduce to low and cover for 20 minutes.

Free Printable Natural Egg Dye Recipes by Falafel and the Bee

Remove from stove, carefully pour out water, and run cold water over eggs. When cool, snip the tights off.

Free Printable Natural Egg Dye Recipes by Falafel and the Bee

Please excuse my daughter’s dirty fingernails and fake arm tattoo.

 What we didn’t realize is that the pattern on the tights would make an imprint too! We both liked it even better than the imprint left by the flowers and leaves.

Free Printable Natural Egg Dye Recipes by Falafel and the Bee

Next we made a Turmeric dye (and we even dipped the imprinted ones in it too).

Free Printable Natural Egg Dye Recipes by Falafel and the Bee

This one is the easiest out of all three and produces such lovely yellow eggs! First boil your eggs. Cool and place aside.

Free Printable Natural Egg Dye Recipes by Falafel and the Bee

In a pot, boil 4 cups of water, 1 TBSP vinegar, and 1 TBSP salt. When it comes to a boil, remove it from the heat (or else it will boil over- believe me) and add 4-6 TBSP of turmeric and stir to dissolve. When it is cool, place your eggs in. We placed ours in the fridge for a few hours to set. Be careful with this one since it stains everything it touches! Take out and dry eggs in egg carton (if you have it) and place whole thing on towel so it doesn’t stain your counter or table.

  Free Printable Natural Egg Dye Recipes by Falafel and the Bee

Last, we did my personal favorite, and the smelliest one of all. Red cabbage!

Free Printable Natural Egg Dye Recipes by Falafel and the Bee

Boil eggs and cool. Place aside. Take a whole head of red cabbage and chop it up roughly. Place in large pot with 4 cups of water (or enough to cover), 1 TBSP salt, 1 TBSP white vinegar. Bring to a boil. Then reduce to simmer, and cover for 30 minutes. At this point you may want to open some windows or air out your home because it will smell like boiled cabbage (unless you like that sort of thing, and in that case, enjoy!).

Free Printable Natural Egg Dye Recipes by Falafel and the Bee

Drain out cabbage pieces, and cool liquid. Once cooled, place your boiled eggs in and put in the fridge for a few hours or until desired color is achieved.

  Free Printable Natural Egg Dye Recipes by Falafel and the Bee

The two dark eggs were brown eggs that we dipped in blue.

Free Printable Natural Egg Dye Recipes by Falafel and the Bee

Admire your incredibly beautiful eggs.

Free Printable Natural Egg Dye Recipes by Falafel and the Bee

All three recipes are on this handy dandy printable so you can dye eggs without your electronic device.

Onion Skin, Turmeric, Red Cabbage Egg Dyes

Ingredients

    For Onion Skin:
  • Flowers, leaves, or anything you want to imprint
  • Old tights/ stockings (if you use one with a pattern, there is no need for anything else to imprint)
  • Onion skins (the more the merrier)
  • 1 TBSP white vinegar
  • Water to cover
  • Pot to boil in
  • Eggs
  • **********
  • For Turmeric:
  • 4-6 TBSP Tumeric, 1 TBSP salt, 1 TBSP white vinegar
  • 4 cups of water, pot to boil in, and eggs
  • **********
  • For Cabbage:
  • Whole head chopped red cabbage, 1 TBSP salt, 1 TBSP white vinegar
  • 4 cups of water, pot to boil in, and eggs

Instructions

    For Onion Skins with imprint:
  1. Place leaves or flowers on top of your uncooked egg then wrap with a piece of stocking
  2. Tie a knot in the end
  3. Fill a pot with onion skins and the uncooked egg bundles
  4. Cover it with water and add TBSP of vinegar
  5. Bring to a boil
  6. Reduce to simmer and cover for 20 minutes
  7. Remove from heat, and run under cold water until eggs are cooled
  8. Cut open on a towel (or surface you can get dirty)
  9. Let dry
  10. For Turmeric:
  11. Hard boil eggs first and cool. Place aside.
  12. Boil 1 TBSP salt and 1 TBSP white vinegar together
  13. Remove from heat and stir in Turmeric.
  14. Allow to cool, then add your eggs
  15. Place in fridge to dye for a few hours or until desired color is achieved.
  16. Take out and dry eggs
  17. For Red Cabbage:
  18. Hard boil Eggs first and cool. Place aside.
  19. Boil chopped cabbage, 1 TBSP vinegar, and 1 TBSP salt.
  20. Reduce to simmer and cover for 30 minutes.
  21. Drain out cabbage pieces, and cool liquid
  22. Once cooled, add your eggs to dye
  23. Place in fridge and leave for a few hours, or until desired color is achieved.
  24. Take out eggs and dry
http://www.falafelandthebee.com/2016/03/25/free-printable-natural-egg-dye-recipes/

Free Printable Natural Egg Dye Recipes by Falafel and the Bee

I love that we use all natural ingredients. I feel better about my kids handling them, and even eating them. Please let me know if you use my recipes! I would love to see how yours turn out.

Happy Egg Dyeing!

Chalk on the Wild side review with Valentine Chalk printable PDF

I was given Chalk on the Wild Side to review (*affiliate link*), so the first thing I did was hand it over to my youngest! I knew she would be the perfect judge of what this book had to offer.  I told her to look in it to see if there was anything she wanted to make.

Chalk on the Wild Side Review with free printable PDF

Um, yes. EVERYTHING.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

Chalk on the Wild Side Review

We settled on a few projects to start with. The first we made was the multi-colored chalk. It turned out to be perfect to use for Falafel’s classroom valentines! I came up with a free PDF printable for those of you who want to do the same.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

The chalk was super easy to whip up, and the only thing we didn’t already have in the house was plaster of paris.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

We packaged them individually in these tiny cello bags, and stapled the tent card on the top.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

The directions in the book are very clear with great photos. Our 10 year old had no problem following them. We did it together, but let her lead. That makes all the difference, sometimes.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

There are more than 25 different projects to make and multiple recipes to follow. My child was ecstatic reading the possibilities.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

Her classroom doesn’t allow sweets to be passed out with the Valentines, so this is a perfect alternative!

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

The next project we tried out was the chalk dough.

Chalk on the Wild Side Book review: making chalk dough

This one was also right up my girl’s alley. She LOVES getting her hands into it!  Messy?? Then YES.

Chalk on the Wild Side Book review: making chalk dough

She got to make this one all by herself, and she was beyond thrilled.

Chalk on the Wild Side Book review: making chalk dough

Even though it was not warm out, she played outside with this stuff for a good long time. It is crumbly, but if you press it together, it sticks.

Chalk on the Wild Side Book review: making chalk dough

The projects in here are not just for Summertime! There are some indoor chalk projects, bathtub chalk, as well as some that you can even use in the snow.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

This book is definitely one that we will keep as a boredom buster and a reference. A great addition to our crafty library.

DIY Valentine Chalk with Free Printable PDF tag

*Even though I recieved a copy of this book in exchange for a review, all opinions are mine, mine, mine.