Sunday, April 29, 2012

Customizable Sticker Giveaway from PrintRunner

Hooray! I have a giveaway to share with you.

PrintRunner is giving one of my readers your very own set of 250 personalized stickers. You can personalize them however you would like. I will also be receiving some to try for hosting this giveaway (Woot!). I plan on having them printed as return stickers for books and DVDs. I am a paranoid person- probably because I have forgotten to return things myself. Eeep.

I haven't decided yet how I want it to look. 
You can either design your stickers on the website or you can upload a completed file. They are the standard set at 2x3.5 inches. You can chose from black and white or full color.

Cooking temps and times could be written in the "notes" section.

You could chose to have your stickers made into freezer labels. I often forget to write dates on frozen packages and have no clue how old some food is. Like tonight. I added some nasty freezer burned broccoli to my pasta surprise (a nice way of saying really random ingredients prepared in the easiest way possible). Of course, you could just write on the package, but if you don't use the right kind of marker it will just rub off.

Use your imagination! They don't have to be boring like my examples. PrintRunner also offers a lot of other products, in addition to sticker printing services that you can print online.

The giveaway closes at May 20th. Orders will be processed at the end of the month and ship in three business days. 

This is open to only U.S. Residents who are 18 or older. If you won a giveaway from PrintRunner in the previous two months, I am sorry, but you aren't eligible to win. 

How to enter!
Leave a comment below with an idea of how you would like your stickers to be printed.

Optional entries (leave a separate comment for each)
1. Follow Verdant Bents 
2. "Like" Verdant Bents on Facebook
3. Follow PrintRunner on Twitter
4. "Like" PrintRunner on Facebook

Saturday, April 28, 2012


Oh my word. I don't even want to know how much time I have spent on reworking the design of this blog. It looks different, but phew! HTML can be so complicated! I am a complete novice at it so a lot of the time I spent reading tutorials. I suppose it is better than watching TV- at least I will tell myself that so I don't feel bad for all of the time that I spent to change things that probably didn't matter very much to begin with.

So, this is a picture-less post. If you are reading this in a reader, I implore you to pop out for a moment to see the new design and tell me what you think. I kind of overdid it on my favorite font, so I have to tone it back somewhat, but NOT TODAY! :)

Thanks <3

PS, I have a fun giveaway coming up soon!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Turn an old dress to a maxi skirt

Sometimes the best fabric for making new fabulous things can be old clothing. Ok, so I apologize if you liked the original dress. I do think it could have potential, but it was the wrong size, super low cut and, well, since I already had my wedding years ago, I didn't have use for it. But there it was on the thrift store rack screaming, "I want to be a skirt!" Pretty much everywhere you look there is some version of a lace maxi skirt. I have been wanting to make one for quite some time.

I have been shopping for lace skirts (shopping = looking at them online and being too cheap to buy one) for a long time. Ultimately, I decided to sell this one, so you can buy it on Etsy if you want and I'll be your BFF. This means I am still skirt shopping for myself! I will probably find the perfect one after they go out of style. I like this one a lot- but I would like one more of a off-white color. IDK, maybe I just want to sell it because I paid too much for it at the thrift shop.

But enough of that. Here is how to make one for yourself. It is mostly glaringly obvious, but there are some parts that I had to ponder longer than I would like to admit, so I thought these tips would be helpful to share.

An old dress. The one I used came with a contoured liner and zipper which made it more complicated since I wanted it to be used with an elastic waistband.

Thick/wide elastic- 1-3 inches smaller than your waist.

Now you see how much I paid for it. I would like to note that it was previously on a red tag clearance for $20.00.
Since every dress will be different there are a few things you will want to look for.

Find the waistline. Is it sewn to anything else? Is it lined? Is it already ruffled, or is it an A-line?

In my case there was a thick trim covering the waist. I had to remove it from everything else, so I got to work with my trusty seam ripper.

I saved the trim for something else. It is hard overcoming these fabric hoarding tendencies. Ha.
You might end up using some of the bodice material before you are finished, so try not to cut too much of it.

After separating the skirt, I noticed that the lace was already ruffled, but the liner was contoured to a specific size. This meant that I would have to add gussets to make it big enough so that it could be put on without a zipper.

My next step was to get rid of the zipper. I seam ripped it out and sewed up the opening with two straight seams and one zig-zag stitch.

If your waist line is not contoured, you can skip the next few steps. Time to make those gussets! A gusset is a fancy term for a triangular piece of fabric sewn into a seam to make it bigger. This is where the leftover bodice pieces came in handy.

Since these were not going to be seen, I didn't over-exert myself in making them perfect. You can find out what size to make them by measuring your hips (and adding a few inches for wiggle room) and comparing the size to the waist of the skirt.

Seam rip some more to make openings for the gussets.

I used French seams when I added the gussets to prevent fraying. Gah, I have been French seaming almost everything. I will get a serger one day!

At this time, you are nearly finished! Since the lace was already gathered, I had to rip it out and baste it (to gather it again) so that I could remove the basted stitch after it was sewn to the elastic. It would be nearly impossible to remove if it wasn't resewn. Baste both the lace and the liner (if your dress/skirt has one) and gather to fit your waist band.

Sew your waistband so that it is 1-3 inches smaller than your waist. Use an elastic stitch if you have one. If not, do multiple rows of zig-zags.

Sew the skirt to the waistband using a zig-zag stitch. If you use a straight stitch it will not stretch. Try not to sew over your basted thread as that makes it a lot harder to remove- which you must do after sewing to the waistband. If you can't get it all, that is OK. Just make sure it can stretch.

I like to finish my skirts by adding elastic lace to cover the hideous seams. Of course, it is not that anyone would see it, but isn't it nice to know that it looks good on the inside? You can find very cheap elastic lace on eBay.

And voilĂ , you are done!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Vintage wedding dress skirt

I made this skirt last week from a vintage wedding dress that I paid too much for at the thrift shop (If it is over $10 and at a thrift shop, I start feeling like I might burst a blood vessel), considering it was being sold for one penny less than the original price tag (granted, it was a red-tag clearance, but still!).

Shirt: J Crew
Skirt: Made by me and you can get it here
 I will be putting together a post on how to turn an old dress into an elastic banded skirt. As easy as it sounds there are actually a couple of tricky parts if the dress has a contoured waistline. Still, most of it is palm smacking obvious.

As a side note, I really have to come up with a new pose for these things. I think it is because I feel about a thousand times less awkward if I am not looking at the camera. I am also living in mild fear of my neighbors seeing me as I am in plain view from several windows. Haha.

  pleated poppy WatchOutForTheWoestmans Momma Go Round

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I haven't done one of these in a while.

Shirt/dress Modcloth
Skirt: Banana Republic (thrifted years ago)
Belt; Thrifted (10 cents, I think)
Lace socks: Burlington Coat Factory
Shoes: Dr. Scholls!!!
And the cardigan version for church. 

And... a new family picture. Someday we will all be looking at the camera... or all smiling.

I still like it though!

We took these pictures on Pascha, aka Easter. Orthodox Easter was a week after Western Easter this year. It was pretty boss. The service started at 11:30 pm, Saturday night and ended at about 4am, Sunday. It was beautiful and the babies did remarkably well. I wish I had good pictures of it. After the service we had a giant party that was filled with meat and cheese (traditionally given up during Lent). We came home around 6am and I went to bed at dawn. For the past few days to make up for the lack of sleep we blacked out the babies' windows with blankets.

Linking here

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Shakespeare Lolz

I am a pretty big fan of Shakespeare.

I designed this shirt a few hours ago. Zazzle had a sale for 50% off shirts today. I wanted a literary shirt to add to my collection ("Collection" meaning one other shirt). I didn't like the ones that I found very much, so I designed one. This is the shirt that I already have. I am in love with it. The problem is that now I am afraid to wear it. Dang.
I would highly recommend Zazzle. There are some offensive shirts which I am not a fan of, but there are a lot of great ones out there. I have also made mugs and magnets with family photos as gifts.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Eleven Things

I have never done one of these before, but since I was recently tagged, I thought I would join in the fun! 
1. You must post these rules. 
2. You must post a picture of yourself.
3. Each person must post 11 things about themselves on their blog.
4. Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post and create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
5. Go to their blog/twitter and tell them they've been tagged.
4th of July 2008: On the summit of Mt. Marcy (I am in the middle of my cousins with a light colored shirt)

Eleven Random things

1. I used to write letters in Elvish. Ha. Deep dark nerd secrets coming out!

2. Once, I had pneumonia when I was about 14. My brother sat with me for hours on my bed playing Monopoly. In the the most notorious game (we did bend some of the rules) he had houses and hotels on every piece of property on the board and soon after that all of the large bills from the bank. I will always appreciate the time he took for me. It is one of my fond memories.

3. When I was a kid I not only ate frog legs (fried), but I also procured them... and prepared them...

4. I kill houseplants. Right now there are two dead/dying plants on my table. I already removed one.

5. I wish I didn't kill houseplants.

6. Somehow I can get plants to thrive... outside.

7. I went to England and Scotland once and would do just about anything to go back.

8. I got my first sewing machine when I was 8. It was a kid's machine so don't start freaking out.

9. When I was about 7, I wanted to be Amish when I grew up. I started hand sewing a dress in anticipation.

10. My cat is one toe short of tying with the world record.

11. The picture above is from a hiking trip in which we hiked Mt. Marcy during the day, then waited for dusk to see all of the fireworks go off around it. You could see from a state away. Then we hiked down. In the dark. Then we couldn't find a free camping area and fell asleep in the best clearing we could find. 

Eighteenth of May's questions:

1. On holiday: city or wilderness? Wilderness! (Unless it is on a different continent, then I would probably want to see cool stuff in cities)
2. Favourite bible verse? That is a tough one! I really like Psalm 116:15 "Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints." (KJV)
3. Books or magazines? Books. I love getting into stories. I like magazines a lot, but books have so much more.
4. Rock or pop? Erm, whatever Coldplay is. 
5. If there was a movie of your life, who would play you? Sense and Sensibility: Marianne Dashwood. 
Source: via Rebekah on Pinterest

6. Where would you go if you had all the money/time in the world? Basically, everywhere in Europe. 
7. In the park (pretend your a kid): swing or slide? I still go on swings!
8. Are you afraid of anything? Rabies.
9. Favourite colour: A muted pink
10. If you could ace one sport, what would it be? Soccer! I played for six years and never made a goal in a game. I loved it though! AND, I was a pretty good defender.
11. Your favourite thing about yourself? Being a wife and mother. Well, and more importantly following Christ. 

My questions to pass on
1. What is your favorite movie/
2. What is your favorite era?
3. Retell one of your fondest childhood memories
4. Modern fashion or vintage?
5. Eeek! There is a snake (non-poisonous) in your garden. What do you do? 
6. If money were not a problem, would you rather take a road trip or fly?
7. Uh oh! The power went out for the night. What will you find yourself doing to pass the time?
8. Share a tip for others a way that you try to go green.
9. 45x(4-5p) + 47.8p(34x(45-8) + 7) + 1=
10. Just kidding
11. Share something that made you happy today.

I don't really know who to tag, so I will just say- consider yourself tagged if you would like to be. :) I mean, seriously, who wouldn't BEG to answer my awesome questions. ;) (Especially the algebra one.)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Make your own easy top

The Spring Top Pattern

I never made a top before and in the past few days I have made two. It is addicting! You see, a while ago I decided to rummage though my "summer" clothes in storage as I couldn't find anything to wear. Well, that was when I found out I didn't have summer clothes in storage. Consequently, I needed more!

This has been modified by making the top longer and omitting the sashes in the back.

At any rate, this time I made my own pattern that is easily reproducible, so I thought I would share the steps with you.

What you need:
1. About one yard of fabric for the outside and another for the inside lining. I used an old curtain for the lining of this one. The fabric for the outside was given to me, so this was basically free to make.
2. 16 Inches of thin elastic (I used 1/2 inch)
3. (optional) 40 Inches of lace trim

I bought a shower curtain from the dollar store and have been using it to make patterns. You could do this so you have something to use again, or you could just be super careful and cut the fabric using these measurements. I am roughly a small/medium. Just add a little if you are a size larger. Remember, since the front is made with elastic, you can adjust the size there.

So, from the top to the bottom, measure 28 inches. The front panel is 23 inches wide while the back panel is 17 inches. I cut the straps at 4.5 inches, but kind of wish I had made them a teensy bit wider. It is up to your taste. From the top of the shoulder to the neckline is 6.5 inches in the front and 6 inches in the back. I have given generous seam allowances (about .75 inches per seam). In order to get the best fit, I try the top on several times while sewing so that I can go back to make adjustments if needed.

Katherine likes to help!
Cut one of your printed fabric and one for the lining of each piece. If you want a tie in the back, cut this piece now. A good size would be a long rectangle of 20x3 inches (cut two of these).

Sew the tops of the shirt together (The seam that runs along the shoulder)

Next, sew the inside (around the neckline together) of the printed fabric and lining together. After that, press the seams. This will give it a crisp look and will be much easier to work with.


Before turning right side out, clip along the edges of the seam in the back. Since it is curved, clipping the edges will help it to lay right. 

Now that your shirt is pressed and turned the right way out, you will make a place for the elastic to go in the front. Sew a seam on the front of the shirt between the shoulder straps. You will need one along the very top and another two seams just below the bust. To get the right fit, try the shirt on to determine where you want the second strip of elastic to be. 

Using a pin to thread the elastic makes it a million times easier. 

Thread the elastic through the tunnel you have just made. I used about 8 inches of elastic for each part. You can try it on to make it fit your size perfectly (use safety pins to hold the elastic in place). If the elastic is too long, your undergarments may show. After threading the elastic, sew it in place by making a small stitch on the outside of the shirt. If it helps, look at the next picture to get the full idea. You can email me ( or leave a comment if you need more explanation for this part).

Um, yes, that is a slightly uneven stitch on the bottom. *cough*cough* Don't do that.

It will look like this!

I forgot to take a picture of the arm holes, but it isn't really necessary. Just turn the raw edges in and do a top stitch around them.

Next, sew the sides of the shirt. Add the ties at the same time. I put then level with the second strip of elastic.

 Leave about five inches at the bottom for a slit on each side. This will make it easier to move in. 

For both the slits and the sleeves, I sew a little line at the edge to make it much more sturdy.
Now, sew the slits at the bottom of the shirt. Do this by turning the raw edges in and sewing a top stitch over them.

You are almost finished!

Add the lace as you turn the raw edges and top stitch the bottom.

You are done!

It was so easy to make!

The tie in the back helps it to fit a variety of sizes.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Spring rolls

I went to a friends' house a few weeks ago and had some delicious spring rolls. I decided to make some a few days ago. I can't say it is authentically Asian by any means, but it did taste good.

This may not be the most appetizing photograph.
I shredded some lettuce and cut some vegetables (thought they may have come previously cut {sheepish grin}). I used carrots, radishes, fresh ginger, fresh garlic, lettuce, carrots, cabbage, and mushrooms. I didn't cook it or anything. All spring rolls that I had previously eaten had been fried. I guess I should get out more. At any rate, then I whipped up some dipping sauce from this recipe.

It was easy and quite tasty- just in time for the end of Lent. ;)

Since, as Orthodox Christians, we normally abstain from meat and dairy twice a week, and all the time during Lent, I thought I would start linking up with this group on occasion. It is a link up of meatless recipes.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...