Kraken maternity tee- Bleach design tutorial

There’s a saying that Necessity is the father of invention.  I say, being unique makes inventing a necessity.

I’ve never fit into a specific scene with my tastes in anything.  I love pop culture, nerd culture, rock culture, hippy culture… music, clothes, food, lifestyle… all sort of mesh into a web of seemingly random, eclectic preferences.  

That’s not to say I like everything.  I am actually very picky about the different things from different scenes that I enjoy.  So being a 20 something mom is hard.  Because I want to incorporate this small piece of that, with a dash of this, and a glob of that-thing-over-there into my personal and parenting style, but there’s NOTHING OUT THERE.

It’s become easier with the popularity of pirates, but they’re slowly being elbowed out by things that I don’t like, so I don’t pay attention.  Most pirate things for women and girls are pink and/or insanely sparkly, which I don’t mind in moderation, but I’d like to go out in public without making someone want to vomit rainbows.

So I’ve had to get crafty.  Which usually I am totally okay with.  Sometimes though, it’s just a pain.  Why can’t there be a designer out there that has a direct plug into my brain that makes the things I want, for a decent price?!  Anyway…  

If you follow me, you know that Baby #4 has been dubbed The Kraken.  The few maternity sites I have found that carry alternative style clothes are ridiculously expensive.

So, as stated before, necessity and invention. 

I needed a unique t-shirt for this pregnancy.  I don’t have $60 to spend on said t-shirt.  Hellooooooo, Pinterest!  

I’ve seen dozens of bleach tutorials.  A lot of them say to use a spray bottle, make your own bleach pen, use parchment paper to put your design on and iron it to the shirt so the bleach doesn’t bleed underneath.  I’m a rebel lazy, so I chose to skip a majority of the recommendations.

I got my t-shirt, got my bleach, a small glass jar, a new paintbrush, cardboard, tape and a piece of paper.  Sketched out my design, cut it out, and taped it to the t-shirt, which I put the piece of cardboard in to avoid bleeding through the back.  Painted around the edges of my design with the bleach then flicked it around a few times for some ‘bubble’ spots, and voila!!

One of the tutorials I’ve browsed mentioned that different black shirts will bleach to different colors!  Not sure how to tell the difference, but don’t be surprised if your shirt comes out a color other than orange.

At the moment the shirt is in a gentle wash cycle with a touch of homemade laundry detergent to get any extra bleach out before it eats a hole in the shirt fibers (I took that pic while the shirt was still bleach damp, and now I smell like a sparkly bathroom!).

I am incredibly happy with the way it turned out (will update if the wash changes anything) and fully intend to raid my local thrift store for more plain maternity tees to play with!  I’m also thinking the baby needs a custom Kraken onesie, so keep an eye out for that post, too!

Have you done any bleach products?  I’d love to see/hear about them!

Pinterest Inspired Valentines: Salt Dough Ornaments (with link to tutorial)

Aren’t these ornaments from On Clever Mode cute?!

Since we started eliminating sugars wherever we can, the idea of handing out dyed and processed goodies for Valentine’s Day just doesn’t appeal to me.  Between Cabin Girl and Cabin Boy, we needed nearly 40 Valentines.  These salt dough ornaments were just the thing and one batch was more than enough!


We hope everyone had a wonderful Valentine’s Day!

Quickie craft: Bracelet

My crafting plans for the day were derailed by procrastination and an inability to find inexpensive, plain tees.

Thankfully, Michaels came to the rescue with an outlet for my left-handed brain by way of their 50% off bead strands.  

Amethyst, fluorite, and hematite caught my eye this morning and, adding some spacers and a glass crescent moon that I already had, here is the result:

Happy Friday!

Handmade Gifts: The Captain’s Football Scarf!

As I mentioned in my 3 Cowls post, everyone’s gifts last year were late.  After taking a break from the Captain’s gift to knit Gabby the Garden Monster, I finally finished his scarf!

I had SO much fun doing this.  It was a bit intimidating, being my first attempt at following a chart pattern, and it took 3 tries before I finally figured out which way to hold the yarn while slipping stitches (even though it says how in the directions!), but once I got the hang of it, it went very smoothly.

In the beginning.

It did take a while though, because it takes 9 repeats of the chart.  I hope to incorporate some footballs into some other projects using Verdigris Knits‘s free pattern. 

All wrapped up and cozy.
Finished in time to watch the Seahawks in the playoffs!

I think this is my favorite knitting project so far.  It’s also inspired me to try my hand at making a charted pattern, but I won’t have time for that until I finish the rest of the late Christmas presents!

When Tragedy Strikes, Knit a Monster

Like many who turn to blogging for comfort, the day of the Sandy Hook shooting I wrote this postThen, in my grief and search for comfort (because what parent didn’t need comfort after imagining those horrors) some friends helped me find Knitters for Newtown and  600 Monsters Strong.

The Captain asked me to put his Christmas present on hold so that I could make a Monster for a child affected by gun violence and I’m SO HAPPY to share her with you today.

This is Gabby the Garden Monster.

She‘s from Rebecca Danger‘s Big Book of Knitted Monsters.  My initial hope, like all the knitters in the 600 Monsters group, was that she would go to a child or family in Newtown, but the cause has gained so much momentum that it’s expanded to include ANY child affected by gun violence. 

It feels like such a small gesture, compared to the terror these little ones go through, but I can’t just do nothing.

I’m waiting on my 2 skeins of yarn from the Knitters for Newtown group, which hit their goal of raising $10,000 for families in Newtown.

I’m proud to be part of this movement.  When I have idle needles I plan on making more, to keep the flow of love and hugs going for children who need it.  I invite you to join me, whether you knit, crochet, sew, or have $5 you can donate towards causes like this.

Be the change you want to see in the world my friends.  You could very well change a child‘s life for the better.

3 Cowls

This holiday season the Captain and I discussed doing homemade gifts for everyone.  Which roughly translated to me making gifts for everyone.  Which translated into, everyone’s presents are going to be late, late, LATE, including Captain’s.  

There were 3 gifts I DID finish on time though!


Mom’s a Ravenclaw, but her heart belongs to Gryffindor.

Mom wanted a cowl that wasn’t tight against her neck, but I know how cold she can get, so I made hers long enough to double up.  It’s a simple pattern I came up with on the fly, done in the round, knit 6 rows in the main color, purl 4 rows in the contrast color, repeat until your desired width, ending and binding off with the main color.

Dad works outside a LOT.  Every day he has a project or two going on, so he wanted something snug.

He’s a hunter, so I went with a color that would match his camo.

This was just a basic knit 2 purl 2 in the round pattern.  Super stretchy, squishy soft, and warm.

My mom’s sister, who the kids call Gabby, is pretty trendy and loves the color purple almost as much as I do, so when I saw a skein of scrumptious purple Chenille yarn at the store, I had to get it.  AND, it included this free pattern!

She still hasn’t sent me her picture, so she doesn’t get to be immortalized on my blog for MILLIONS to see.  Hah.

I almost kept it.  But that would have been rude.

I still have a giant bag of yarn waiting to be made into lovelies for family and friends, so I’m off to knit!!

What great things did you make as gifts? 

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