Monday, August 18, 2014

T-Shirt Pillows

Every so often, a shirt comes around that is just too great to be stored in the closet. You might try to wear it as frequently as possible to share the awesomeness with the world. After all that sharing with the world, eventually it starts to wear out. That, my friends, is a sad, sad day. This is a story of two such shirts.

Behold the awesomeness that is this pink Elvis t-shirt that was a Birthday gift from my best friend, and this Golden Girls shirt my Gram gave me as a Christmas present. I have had a slight obsession with both Elvis and the Golden Girls since high school, if not before. Yup. I’m so hipster I liked these things before it was cool to ironically like them. Adjusts unnecessary glasses and sips PBR.

They’re both made of very thin material and were starting to get a little worn over the years. I was worried that a hole would develop and it might be lost forever. The best course of action was obviously to turn these great t-shirts into great pillows.

You Will Need:

Nerdtastic t-shirts
Chalk or Pencil
Sewing machine (or needle/ thread/ perseverance)
Straight pins
Embroidery floss (optional)

Square Pillow

Lay your t-shirt flat and decide how much of the main image you want to be featured on your pillow. Take a deep breath and thank the inanimate object that has been worn so many times and started so many conversations. Tentatively, hesitantly, and mournfully cut the sleeves and collar from the shirt. Have second thoughts. Decide to continue and tell yourself you’re giving it new life. Cut up the side seams of the shirt and across the shoulder seems, separating the shirt into two pieces, front and back.

Turn halves inside-out, use the ruler and chalk or pencil to draw a square on the shirt featuring the design as desired. Pin the two sides together inside your lines. Carefully cut out your square.

Use your sewing machine to stitch around the edges leaving about 3-4” open at the bottom of the pillow. Remove the pins and turn it right side out. Stuff your pillow A little fuller than you think it should be; the filling will flatten out over time. You can also use a pencil to help get the stuffing all the way into the corners. Once it’s full, use a slip stitch to sew up the last few open inches. You can stop there OR you can add tassels. And when you have the option to add tassels, why wouldn't you?

To make the tassels, don't listen to me. I kind of just messed with embroidery floss until it worked. Seriously. Each one is slightly different. Since I can't be trusted when it comes to tassels, this tutorial will be much more useful. When they're finished, just run a few stitches through the center of the tassel into the corners of the pillow.

Circle Pillow

The circle pillow shares a lot of steps with the square pillow but you have to be extra careful not to tug the fabric while machine sewing the edges or you'll end up with a lumpy circle. T-shirt material is notoriously difficult because it is so stretchy. I used a lamp shade as a guide for a perfect circle because I'm a classy, classy lady. Don't forget to leave a few inches open to turn right side out and stuff. Afterwards, stitch it up and you're all done.

Any favorite t-shirts laying around that need a makeover? Do you know how to make a good tassel? I'd love to know!


Monday, August 4, 2014

Life Day 2014!

Do you know what today is? Today is the second anniversary of my car accident. Last year on this day, I retold the story of the car rolling off the interstate and me walking out (through the windshield) with little more than bruises and scrapes, with lots of pictures and details, and declared August 5th to be Life Day. It seems unnecessary to relive those details this time around but very important to hold on to the ultimate feeling of blessing, joy, and love. Life Day is a reminder to celebrate all the little things around us that make life special that can be so easy to forget and take for granted. It's especially impactful after having spent last weekend with four of my closest friends in the world for our annual Girls Weekend trip.

We just got back yesterday from our long weekend trip in St. Augustine, FL. We had an amazing weekend full of lots of delicious food, amazing adventures, and plenty of laughs. There was one moment in particular that hit me; all four of us were back in the hotel room eating junk food and playing Cards Against Humanity and suddenly we were all laughing uncontrollably. It just got out of control. I laughed until my sides literally ached. What about you ask? Nothing in particular. Just a series of words that all of a sudden were the funniest thing we'd ever heard. At that moment in all the laugher I was crying. Part of it was because of laughing so hard, the other part was because I just felt so incredibly complete around these women and thankful to be there to share it with them. Of course, I said nothing at the time or I would have totally ruined an otherwise hysterical moment with my excessively emotional ramblings.

Since my last Life Day I've moved to Greenville and have become happily settled. I've found a job that I love and created career happiness. I've learned to deal with a lot of the feelings that we were still causing trouble last year. I adopted the sweetest, cutest kitten ever (even if she is nipping at my toe at the moment because she wants me to stop typing and cuddle).  I've met some lovely new people and grown even closer to some already in my life. One bestie is about to have her first baby! Another just got engaged! My family continues to be loving, wonderful, and close even from hundreds of miles away. Big things are happening and I'm so grateful, especially on Life Day, to have the opportunity to take it in. And also, I'm grateful to be able to share it with a group of small but loyal readers and internet friends. Update: Smudge has compromised by cuddling on my shoulder and still letting me type with one hand.

I hope you have your own life day but under much happier circumstances! Anything you're particularly grateful for when you take a minute to think about it? I'd love to know!

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