Sneak Peek - New Project!

July 2, 2012

I've been wanting to make a set of cornhole boards for a while now. One of my friends (a UNC Asheville alumnus and fellow basketball junkie) just moved into a new house which gave me the perfect opportunity to make the best cornhole set ever! 

Here's a peek at one of the boards:
Please excuse the poorly lit cell phone picture. I promise better pictures and a more detailed post when they are both complete. But until then, I've got a lot of painting to do!

**UPDATE 2.13.13: Some marginally better pictures and an overview of how I made my own set of custom corn hole boards can be found here!

Did-It-Myself American Flag Shorts

June 14, 2012

DIY American Flag Shorts by Hey It's SJ

Do a quick search on the web for "American flag shorts" and you will find several a) pictures of celebrities rocking these patriotic pantaloons, b) any number of retailers trying to sell you their (usually over-priced) version, and c) numerous DIY-ers showing you how they made some from an old pair of jeans/shorts and some paint/fabric. So even though I won't be winning any Nobel prizes for originality, I figured I would share with ya'll how I made mine!

I started with this pair of jeans that I got from Old Navy for $4 circa 2006:
Jeans before being made into DIY American Flag Shorts
Blah. I haven't worn them in years, but they still fit me well and were in good shape. So what do I do with this perfectly good pair of jeans? Cut them up of course!Here is a good tutorial on how to make a cuffed pair of shorts, similar to what I did with mine. I prefer the more finished look of cuffed shorts, but I have also seen some really cute versions of these American flag shorts as cut-offs.

After my jeans got upgraded to shorts, it was time for some painting. Following the instructions on the bottle, I mixed a textile medium with regular acrylic craft paint. I have used some "ready-to-use" fabric paints in the past, but they have a tendency to dry a little stiff. Since the entire front of the shorts are covered in paint, I opted to use the textile medium that is a bit more flexible when it dries.

To achieve the American flag pattern, first I applied my navy paint mixture to one side of the shorts with a cut-up kitchen sponge. After that dried, I stenciled on the stars with my white paint mixture. At first I used a sponge with the stencil, but when that didn't give me the coverage I was looking for, I went back in by hand with a brush. For the stripes, I used painters tape and sponged (is that a word?) on the red, removed the tape and painted on the white with a brush. I wasn't worried about getting perfectly even coverage or making sure all the lines were straight because I was going for more of a vintage, handmade look. After all the paint was dry, I followed the directions on the bottle of textile medium to heat-set the design. And just like that, I had a festive new pair of shorts.

I finished 'em just in time to wear on a Memorial Day trip to the river!
Finished DIY American Flag Shorts at the River
Before and After DIY American Flag Shorts

So I had a revelation...

June 13, 2012

When I first decided to start blogging about my craft/sewing/painting projects, I was really excited, thinking "I'll write up tutorials and I'll take pictures of all the steps and people will be able to follow along and make their own [insert project here]!" So I had some ideas in my head of what I wanted to do and write about, and when I finally sat down to write up my first post, I realized two very important things:

1. I HATE writing. My mom is an English teacher and it kills her every time I say this, but it's true. I'm not bad at it, I've been told I write well, I just don't enjoy it.

2. I don't like stopping my creative process to take pictures. I absolutely love to paint and sew; in fact, there is nothing I enjoy doing more. When I sit down at my sewing machine or with a blank canvas and a paintbrush, I put on some music or old episodes of One Tree Hill on Netflix and I get lost in whatever is in front of me--that's what I love about sewing and painting. When I have to stop and make sure the lighting is good and none of my mess is in the background (I'm not a very tidy person, especially when it comes to crafts), it sucks some of the fun out of the process.

So what do these revelations mean for my blog? Well, it means I won't be writing up long, in-depth tutorials or how-to's. I want my blogging experience to be something I enjoy, and forcing myself to write means less fun and more work. So what will I post? Pictures! And some tips and tricks and general overviews of my processes. I merely want to document the things I accomplish outside of work and school.

 Want to know what inspired me to start a blog? Check out my About page!


June 12, 2012

Yay, you found my little piece of the web! Everything here is a work in progress, but feel free to browse and click around. 

You can check out my About page to learn a little about me and why I decided to start this blog, and the Project Gallery has links to all of the posts I've written for finished projects. 

Thanks for stopping by!