Saturday, August 25, 2012

a trip to the zoo

Yesterday was a perfect day to spend at the Oklahoma City Zoo.  School is back in session which means a quiet zoo day.  Just the way we like it.  We love that zoo.  It's a beautiful, clean, safe zoo.  We think a membership might be in order next year.

I took lots of pictures.  Here are a handful (maybe a few handfuls) of my favorites.

At the petting zoo.

One landed on my head.  I might have been just a little shocked/freaked out/grossed out.
I didn't have to put a bird on it.  The bird put itself on it.

Mesmerized by the sea lions.

We fed the ducks.

A picnic lunch.

When did he get so big?!  Can you believe he'll be TWO in just over 2 months?!!

Pygmy hippo.
I want a hippopotamus for Christmas...

These are beauty berries.
I think they live up to their name.

Travis' favorite part of the zoo.
The nocturnal exhibit.

Grizzly bears, keeping cool.

First time we got to actually see the otters enjoying their little corner of the zoo!
I might want an otter for Christmas, too.

The gorillas were quite active (it was feeding time).
They put on a show.  Gorilla quarrel and all.

It was a wonderful, family day.  The only way the day could have been better is if it was about 15 degrees cooler and we were wearing sweaters.  

See ya in November, zoo!  With sweaters on.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

one sweater, two projects

I love texture.

source - Pottery Barn

I've had my eye on sweater-knit pillows for some time now.
The texture gets me every time.
Ya know, because I love a good chunky knit.

My concern with making a sweater pillow, up until this point, was the fact that the sweater front would pull, shift, and stretch out even when sewn together as a pillow.

Pillows get abused around here.  The dog curls up in them, Callan tosses them off of the sofa and around the room, so shifty fabric wouldn't hold up to the action that these pillows see on a daily basis.  

I finally figured out how to make a sweater pillow work for me.

At the thrift store last week, I found a sweater ($2.99) that would make a great candidate for a pillow.  After a sanitizing cycle, with some other linens that I had found, in the washing machine, this sweater was ready to be repurposed.  I just cut a square, 18x18", out of this not-quite-flattering-sweater (of course I tried it on before I put scissors to it.  I couldn't cut up a sweater if it actually looked half-way decent on me.)

To prevent the sweater from stretching too much, or getting wonkified (yes, that's a word.  at least in my world, it is), I zig-zag stitched another piece of fabric to the back of the 18x18" sweater.  

And then I zig-zag stitched at intervals to hold the sweater in place to the fabric backing.  This step, paired with the fabric backing itself, is what makes the concept of this pillow work for me.

From here, I went on to install the zipper and back of the pillow.  As I would with any other pillow.

I used a vintage, thrifted pillow case for the back of the pillow, fused with interfacing to give it a bit more heft.
One sweater isn't enough for two pillows, so to get two pillows out of this one sweater, I needed to use a different fabric for the back.

But that's okay with me, because I actually love the contrast of texture.

Here's what it looks like, all done!



And here's the back side.
The back is adorable, so I totally consider this pillow reversible.  


I'm pleased with the way it turned out!
Now I can move on to a second pillow of the same kind.

I'm sure you've seen this idea floating around blogs or Pinterest.
Jars or candle holders looking all cozy and ready for winter.


Well, from the sleeves of my thrifted sweater, I was able to make my second project - a few cozy candle covers of my own. 

Just one sleeve made these three.  I have a whole other sleeve to make more!

They'll be cute clustered on the mantle or on a shelf during the winter months.

I tucked these projects away until I'm ready to put all of my Fall decor out.
September 1.
That's the date I gave myself.
Hopefully September brings the cooler weather that I'm longing for!

Have you repurposed any thrift store finds lately?