Friday, May 27, 2016

Teen Tee Parties

When my girls were little, they loved tea parties. They would dress up, and then using a real, lovely tea set that I purchased from an antique shop, they would pour the tea and sip and chat about all sorts of things. They loved it and would do this for hours.

Then when my girls turned into teenagers we would do "Tee" parties. I had taught them all to sew but our interest in refashioning blossomed at our Tee Parties. We would gather big old T-shirts and cut them, sew them, tie them, etc. until they turned into something fun and new. We got our inspiration from the book, Generation T: 108 Ways to Transform a T-Shirt by Megan Nicolay. (Warning: this book has, what I think, to be a few very immodest recreations of T-shirts, so preview it first.) Of course there would be refreshing iced tea to sip while we worked!

T-shirt refashioning is so much fun. Jersey fabric doesn't frey so it's easy to work with. You don't even need to sew, if you don't want to. Many times I preferred the finished look of a sewn hem but my daughters liked the just-cut look. We made sleeveless summer tops, skirts, pillow cases, quilts, and tees with braids on the sides or fringe on the bottom. The sky is the limit!

The best part of our Tee Parties was the fun we had being together around the kitchen table sewing to our hearts content. We talked and laughed. Ahh... memories.

But then we were privileged to teach our techniques to other teens. My girls gained teaching skills by hosting parties for their friends. And now I'm doing the same thing with some girls in my class who expressed interest in my refashioning. The fun doesn't stop!

And since it's so much fun, I am having my own personal Tee Party with a shirt I got from World Vision after sponsoring our youth group's 30 hour famine. It was a large, so I cut a few inches off the bottom and sleeves. Also I cut off the collar rim.
 Next, I snipped itty bitty slits around the neck so I could weave a strip of contrasting jersey.
 Strips from an old T-shirt make great ties by stretching them. 
 Then I weaved the tie in and out of the slits, all around the neckline.

 It's going to be about 90 degrees tomorrow. I'm glad I have a cool T-shirt!!


Friday, May 13, 2016

The Temper Tantrum

When your child has an all-out temper tantrum it can be maddening, frustrating, hilarious, troubling, perplexing, time-consuming, etc., etc., etc. A new parent approached me a few weeks ago to ask how best to manage their 1-year old's tantrums. Children can be VERY young , less than a year old even, when they begin expressing themselves with all-out screaming fits.

I think there are two main things a parent should do right away. First, always make sure there is nothing hurting the child. You would hate to ignore a screaming child when she has a pin stuck in her behind or something, right? But when you know she has a clean diaper, her belly is full, and nothing terrible happened, then you move to the second thing you should do.

Always reassure your child that you love him. Give him a hug and a kiss, and verbalize your love. Even when you know your child is reacting to an adult's, "No, you can't have that", you affirm your love. You are reinforcing that your love is unconditional and that no matter how upset she is or how crazy out of control he is, you love him.

Now comes the tricky part that really depends on the situation. Often temper tantrums come when a child is tired. That's easy to remedy - just put him to bed! And often young ones just need to blow off steam. Pop her gently in her crib or a playpen to scream it off for a little while. Put on some quiet music, gently reassure her you are right there and you love her very much. Most of the time children settle themselves and go to sleep.

Sometimes temper tantrums come when he wants something that he can't have. Please remember that you are the adult. Your "no" should mean "no". Don't give in. If he screams and cries and stomps his feet and you give him what he wants anyway he will learn really quickly how to get whatever his heart desires. Another no-no is to make deals. By making deals with your little ones you are teaching them they can still get their way. Again, your no should mean no. But be consistent with your rules. It confuses a child to be allowed to have something one day and not the next.

Effective techniques include sitting behind your child and wrapping your arms around his body in a gentle hug, helping him to calm himself. Another one is to place the child in a safe place, a crib or a playpen, but just as soon as you hear the child quieting down, reward him by allowing him to get up. Once the child is old enough to reason with, you should ask the child if he thought about anything. Guide him into recognizing that while you love him very much, you do not like the screaming and he is never allowed to throw his toys. It is disrespectful. "What is a better way? Yes, use your words."

I hope that helps!  And now for a refashion...

Here is a very pretty dress that I wore many times. But it was just a little tight in the hips on me and sure enough when I bent over it ripped. No worries, I just patched it back up. But then it happened again. Alright, now I just need to admit that it doesn't fit me. What to do?

Refashion into a top, of course:

 I just shortened the sleeves, and cut right below the back zipper. I hemmed it up and in about one hour it was ready for me to wear.

I am wearing one of my steampunk necklaces I created out of keys, buttons, and watches.

And the back...



Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Between the Lines and Regailing

Katie from Katherine's Corner put the call out to bloggers over age 50 to participate in her Between the Lines series. I accepted the invitation because I'm... well 54. I'm relatively new to the blogging world, having just started nine months ago. My daughters learned to blog way before I did but I figured you're never too old to learn something new! Quite honestly it has helped the Empty Nest Syndrome which has hit me pretty hard.

I have four amazing children and I homeschooled them all the way through. So for twenty five years I had the time of my life learning with my kids, traveling, going to museums, putting on plays, doing lab experiments and science fairs, dissecting cow's eyeballs, you name it!  And then one by one they each spread their wings and flew off like I knew they would, just like I trained them, but wow... it sure is quiet around here.

 I realized that I did a pretty good job (can't take all the credit as it was God's grace in my life and lots of wisdom, love, and help from my beloved hubby). I have a strong passion to pass on some of that experience to young parents.... so why not try my hand at blogging? To fill up the empty hours in my days I returned to the classroom and began to teach seventh and eighth graders Math and English. Our small private school decided to spend this year focusing on the habitat and wildlife in our backyard which happens to be an amazing wetland. I thought it would be a terrific motivating study to have my students regularly blog about their observations of the wetland. But yikes! I'd have to get serious about learning to blog first! And so regailing was born.

My hobby is sewing and creating things out of old stuff. So I thought I'd regale about that too. I really enjoy reading other people's blogs, particularly ones about refashioning and sewing. I enjoy trying out their new techniques. I've enjoyed viewing the blogs Katie features in her Thursday Favorite Things Blog Party.

Here are a couple of my refashions. I just take old clothes from my closet and turn them into something more updated!

Here's another Before and After for you. I started with a man's shirt from the thrift store and made a short jacket that's just right for a day that's on the cool side.

I also like to regale about my my jewelry.

Here is a necklace I made using keys, buttons, and mechanical doo dads - they call it steampunk. Fun! I hope you enjoy my blog.  Be sure to stop by and see the other 9 featured bloggers over 50! Blessings!