Market Challenge + DIY Cute Pocket

In April I started doing what I call the “Market Challenge” (read this post for more info). On my last trip to the local market nearest to my home I picked up this top along with a few others (one of them that I removed the decorative detail from to add to the top of this pocket for extra intrigue). This top was 1,000/=. That looks like a lot but in dollars it’s approximately thirty cents. WINNING!

I loved the striped pattern and ruffled edged sleeves/cap…and with that price how can you say no? After bringing it home and trying it on I saw that it was missing something. DUH! A pocket! Who doesn’t love pockets? But what color/type of pocket? I had the larger striped material lying around from a top I got from the same market about a year ago, it has sat in my sewing pile for some time waiting for me create something new with it. This was the perfect opportunity!

I used a sewing machine for this project, but if you don’t have one a needle and some thread will work too!

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What do you think? Are there any small or easy things that you do to transform any articles of clothing into creative pieces of art?

Ruffled Stripes + DIY Embroidered Jeans

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This particular season in life has been a busy one. A week and a half ago I was spending 14 hours a day with 500+ young people. It was a phenomenal 3 days spent worshiping God together with so many others. Being that the youth ministry my husband and I lead was the one putting on the conference….we were a bit busy in the weeks leading up to it and days of the event itself. That said…the days and hours of being frazzled from busyness were worth it!

Exactly one week ago….last Monday….on my day off I started trying my hand at embroidery. Since then I’ve made a cute couch pillow with “love” embroidered on the front, a baby shower gift of two framed embroidered words, and added some character to my already DIY’d jeans. Embroidery is much easier than I expected, and although I’m a amateur in every sense of the word it’s so and fulfilling. Giving a great sense of accomplishment after a simple project is finished! Something that I love, feeling accomplished after completing a project that took 30 minutes 🙂

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I tried 2 different types of embroidering. A zig-zag stitch as pictured here.

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And a straight stitch as pictured here. Don’t mind my dog sniffing my rear.

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Check out these links for some awesome embroidered denim:

Flowered Embroidered Mid-Rise Jean (I love these ones!)

Rolled Cuff Embroidered Jean

Tribal Embroidered Jean (My fav and the best deal of these 3)

Do you have an current favs? Or simple embroidery ideas? I’d love to try them out!


Make-it Monday: Unisex T-shirt Turned Crop-top

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Ever since I can remember I’ve been snipping, spray painting, sewing, dyeing and ripping my way through life as far as clothes go. My mom taught one of my older brothers and I how to sew when I was young (maybe 9 years old?)…our first project obviously being pajama pants. That’s a given for anyone that has ever learned how to sew in America. Her creativity, is what I think, jumpstarted my creative mind. She gave me liberty and license to use my imagination and let me use her sewing machine and whatever other sewing supplies she had in the house. My mom never yelled at me over broken needles or whatever else she had to fix after my mishaps, if you know her, you know that she is literally the best.

I love being able to use the creative mind my mom gave me as an outlet. Life is sometimes too busy, too stressful, too tiring, too “have-to” that if I don’t use my brain to do something creative I feel too stuck in a box. Whether it’s at work or at home, when I get to use my hands and mind to create something it’s takes me out of the “have-to” mindset and reminds me that I “get to”. I get to live an awesome life. I have an awesome husband, I have awesome friends, am apart of an awesome church, serve an awesome God and live in an awesome country. It’s amazing how doing something you’re made (or just love) to do can give you a better perspective on life (spending of time with Jesus helps too).

Back to “Make-it Monday”. The shirt that I’m transforming in this blog is one that I got to design (hooray for getting to be creative at work) for the upcoming youth conference put on by the youth ministry that my husband and I lead out of Life Church here on this side of the world. It is your basic unisex t-shirt and every year I like to make mine unique to me.

Here’s a picture after cutting and pinning before sewing.

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I cut the bottom off of a black slip that was too long for all my skirts and used it to add contrast and flair to the design. Trimming up and folding, then sewing in and up the sleeves was an added bonus. In unisex sizes I generally wear a size small but I bought a large to be sure that I could cut and sew as I pleased.

And here’s the finished product.

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Obviously no outside pictures at my house are complete without at least one of my dogs joining in.

Sometimes people don’t realize how easy it is to make something your own or add your own personal touch to something that a million other people own to make it one-of-a-kind. I love doing things like this! What do you do to use your brain for fun and creativity?


diy: Cute Little Plant In A Mug


This is just about the easiest diy there is. A cute little plant in a mug can brighten up a window sill or coffee table in a matter of minutes. The hardest part about it is remembering to water it. Just ask me, this is my second time planting in this mug (my favorite thrift store find that I brought to Uganda with me when I moved….I had a small collection going but brought only a few of my favorites). Last time….about 9 months ago when I first added some life to “Mustachio” I was always forgetting to water him. He put up a good fight and finally died for real after I was away for three weeks and he lost to the battle of dehydration. My goal this time around is to keep him alive.

The requirements are a mug, a plant, and a bit of dirt. I’m not sure what type of plan this is but it’s cute and has the sweetest little purple flowers. Originally I bought a white flowering plant as well as this purple one but made the mistake of leaving them outside where my dogs could reach them and the white flowering one fell victim to Hamlet. I woke up the next morning to find dirt and bits of green strewn about the driveway. My bad.

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My absolute favorite mug!

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diy: Friendship Choker

Honestly….I’m not sure the chokers I wore for about a week during my baby teen years were ever cool but for some reason they seem to be more than cool now.

Often times I feel a bit behind the times as far as fashion goes. Really it all depends on where in the world you base the latest fashion trends coming from. For me, being that I was born and raised around Portland, OR, USA but now reside in Kampala, Uganda I base the latest fashion trends on what I see my American friends posting on Facebook (basically the best way to make you feel sorry for yourself because Target isn’t two miles away). Lately I’ve seen so many chokers….so, obviously I decided I NEEDED to try it out. And why not really, it takes me back 13 years to junior high when I was 13 years old. Seriously though…where has all the time gone?

Here’s what I can up with: The Friendship Choker

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Whipping this dark teal baby up was so nostalgic. Because come on, we all made friendship bracelets at one time or another. I realized as I made mine that it’s sort of like riding a bike. Once you learn, you just know, even if you haven’t used your skills in about 10 years.

I made mine with all one color and only four strands of thread…but I’m thinking that I’ll try it again with a few colors and maybe a bit thicker next time.

Wikihow has a great tutorial if you want to try your hand at choker and you weren’t homeschooled like me and didn’t make them on every road trip and during every movie.

Wikihow – Friendship Bracelet

Do you have a favorite choker style? What do you think about them?? Yay or nay?

Here are a few of my favs that are available online:

  1. Kinda punk: Target – Layered Choker
  2. Cute bow: Forever21 – Bow choker
  3. Classy rhinestones: Nordstrom – Rhinstone choker

Birthday Dress Re-Fashion

Let’s talk clothes. Clothes often hold a huge part in our lives. I happen to love clothes. Living in Uganda has both benefits and disadvantages to shopping for the perfect pieces of clothing. While there are a number of malls and retail clothing stores, they tend to be quite expensive. Most of my shopping is done at a local outdoor market. If you don’t mind chaos and washing your new finds when you reach home it can be a lot of fun. The biggest problem I have found with shopping at a market is that you can’t try anything on unless you put it on over your clothes and it’s hard to go looking for something specific because due to the nature of a market there is only one article of each item and the one you like may not fit. Personally I have a lot more fun shopping at the market if I go with a few things in mind (in no certain color or too specific of a style) like a pair of casual shoes, a new top, or a pair of pants. That way it leaves all the options open and I don’t go home disappointed that I didn’t find the perfect pair of black skinny jeans or red heels.

The plus side of going to the market and coming hope is that I have a trusty sewing machine that I can use to tailor things a bit to get a better fit if the things I purchased don’t go perfectly on my square figure. Don’t be afraid to pick up something from the thrift store or a garage sale and test out your sewing skills a bit. If you ruin it you have nothing to worry about if you picked it up for a dollar or two at your neighbors sale. You might surprise yourself and turn up with your new favorite blouse and improve upon your sewing skills at the same time.

A few months ago I was given a lovely dress by a friend for my birthday. Only one problem, it didn’t fit properly and therefore was highly unflattering. Check this out:

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With just a few snips and stitches I was left with this (a much more flattering version of my birthday dress):

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As you can see…the latter version is much better fitting. Don’t be afraid to try something new or snip the wrong thing. I’ve learned so much from my numerous mistakes and had a lot of fun along the way (as well as some frustrations). The most fulfilling part is wearing the finished product and the satisfaction in knowing that you made it perfect. What projects/clothing items have you changed for the better?? Or the worse?