Review of Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up

I picked up Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up last summer, read it and plunged into tidying the KonMari way. She has a particular method that she insists works for all people and as long as you follow her method, you will have a clutter-free home and a changed life. Hmm… I could use a clutter-free home whether or not it changes my life. I figured it was worth a shot.

She insists on starting with clothing, specifically your sock drawer, move on to underwear and other clothing. Then do books, miscellany and momentos last. I feel like she leaves out big sections of the modern North American home (like the basement, movie collection, kitchen stuff, outdoor clutter, etc) but since she is based in Japan, I am assuming that these aren’t big categories there and to her, all this stuff would fit under miscellany.

I did do my sock drawer first but I didn’t really take pictures of the process so we are going to look at pictures of my makeup collection being tidied.

The Method:

So, as a (part-time) makeup blogger, you would expect me to have tons of makeup. Well, I think I fall in the middle. I have lots of makeup, more than the average person, but not as much as the average beauty blogger. I kept the majority of my makeup in the top dresser drawer of my husband’s dresser but it didn’t all fit inside the drawer and was always spread all over the top of the dresser in a big mess. The goal was for all of my makeup to fit inside the drawer.

I did Marie Kondo’s first step: find all the similar items from around the house and spread them all in one place. In this case, the floor.

I tried to group them by item: brushes, palettes, lipsticks, eyeshadow singles, blushes, sponges, eyelashes, etc. There was a big mess in the middle-right where things didn’t really have a category so mascara tubes are mixed in with concealer and foundation and primer.

The easy part was then to throw away anything that was broken, almost empty or not useful. Next I took each item in my hand and carefully measured my reaction to that item, looking for items that “spark joy”. This is the part that sounds totally hokey when you read it in the book but when you are doing it, it makes a lot of sense. You can tell when you hold something what your emotion is about it. Excited, wonder, exasperation, disgust, guilt, anxiety… it’s kind of amazing how many emotions you have about the stuff in your home. Then, based on my emotional reaction, I sorted the items into two piles. If my emotion wasn’t a positive one then I put the item in one pile. If it was positive, I placed them in another pile.

To decide my emotions about each lipstick, I did swatches on my arm and sorted according to my reaction to the colour. Daughter was super pumped that we were playing with lipstick and also did swatches on her arm. I can’t remember why I didn’t take pictures of that as it was adorable.

Initially I didn’t think my giveaway/discard pile would be that large but I was pleasantly surprised to see two small MAC bags bursting with beauty items to give to my friends.

I then sorted the items I decided to keep further into categories to decide how best to store them. I put the drawer on the floor along with some Ziploc reusable containers and a couple small glass candle holders that I had re-purposed into makeup or brush holders. Within a short time, the items easily fit into the containers and started to make sense in how they would go into the drawer.

Eyeshadow palettes, on end on the left; eyeliners in a glass jar; mascaras in a glass jar (because I use minis/deluxe-sample-sizes, they stood up easily, this didn’t work for full-size mascaras); lipsticks and glosses together in another glass container; the two boxes in the middle are a mis-mash of items, concealer, foundation, primer, sponges, samples, false eyelashes, unopened items, etc; the big container on the right bottom was eyeshadow singles; above that was MAC pigments; above that was blush and highlighter singles. My brushes continue to stand in two glass containers on top of the dresser but they are the only items whose “home” is on top of the dresser. Everything else has a space inside the dresser drawer and while it can get left on top of the dresser occasionally, it now takes less than five minutes to put everything away in it’s place.

Things I love about the KonMari Method:

  • I enjoy the new concept of discarding that she provides, that items should be discarded if they don’t bring you joy even if they are still useful. I was able to get rid of items that I had been previously hanging on to because they of possible, future usefulness. Now I understand that if items aren’t useful to me then maybe they can find a new home to give someone else joy.
  • Marie Kondo doesn’t encourage buying organizational or storage items. She believes that most people have already bought enough storage items and you can usually use something around the house to store the items after you have finished discarding.
  • I really love how the few areas in my home that I have used the KonMari Method to tidy make me feel when I look at them. My underwear drawer is literally a heart-warming place for me. My sports bras are separated from my everyday bras and my full-coverage panties are separate from my thongs and there is even a place for all of my swimsuits. I can open the drawer in the dark and still find the type of underwear I am looking for.

I’m happy to report that this drawer still looks like this and it’s been six months. I don’t think I will ever go back to the mess that was this drawer before.

Things I don’t love about the KonMari Method:

  • She constantly talks about throwing things away. It wasn’t until the end of the book that she talked about giving away things in a positive manner. She makes an excellent point about not pressuring relatives and friends to take the items as then it is likely that the items will not bring them joy. Perhaps in Japan they don’t have the same kind of second-hand economy that we have in North America? I’m not sure. While I threw away items that were not useful to anyone, I did sell some of my clothes to Plato’s Closet, put items in the Salvation Army bins, donated old books to the Children’s Hospital book drive, and took my bags of makeup to book club to be picked through by friends. While throwing out things would’ve been faster and easier, it was much more rewarding to find new homes for the items.
  • The way she recommends folding clothes is really smart. She teaches you how to fold all clothing items so they are small rectangles and can be stored on their side so you can see all your clothing items at a glance in the drawer instead of piled on top of one another (pick up her second book, Spark Joy, for a more indepth guide to folding). The storage of clothing I really love…. the folding is another story. Don’t get me wrong, the folding isn’t hard. What is hard is that I have folded my clothes the same way for more than 25 years. I can do it watching tv and not even really paying attention to folding. Consistently using the new folding method is hard. I have to pay attention to what I am doing and it takes much longer than my old method. It’s getting easier the more I do it but I still grump every time it’s folding day.

Overall, I give the book two thumbs up and have already recommended it to friends. I am currently re-reading the book to help motivate me to continue with the KonMari Method for other areas of my house. She recommends spending six months discarding and tidying your items. While I started this method just over six months ago, I am still far from completing my house. Writing this review has reinforced the memory that in the areas of my home that I did the hardwork and took the time to use the KonMari Method either still look perfect or are less than five minutes from perfect (and one of those places is under my bathroom sink!).

Have you read this book or tried the KonMari Method? I would love to hear from you. Please leave me a comment. Happy Shopping!

How to Dye Your Hair Crazy Colours

So this really more a post about how I dyed my hair pink. I wasn’t planning on doing a post but there has been so much interest in the products and process I used, I thought I would do up a quick one. Apologies for the quality of the photos, they were meant for Instagram.

So, after tinting my hair lavender for the 42nd time around New Year’s, I decided it was time to branch out into other colours. I’ve done pink before:

Reading @albinwonderland yesterday and missing my pink hair from 2008 #tbt #nofilter

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but it’s been a long time. And back then (almost a decade ago), the colours weren’t pastel. Pastel was not a colour range that was in style in the 2000s.

This time, I definitely wanted more of a pastel pink and not the bright pink I’d had before. Husband was stopping by Chatters and I sent fairly specific instructions of what I wanted. He sent back photos of this colour range and, despite my protests, had me speak to the colourist on staff there to confirm what I was looking for.

On her advice, I purchased a tube of Soft Pink (far right) and Rose (second from right). She mentioned that while Rose was the pastel shade, it had turned peach/orange after a couple of washes on a client’s hair. She suggested mixing the darker pink in to help keep it pink and combat the pastel colour’s tendency to fade poorly. I understood what she meant. I picked up the Lilac colour in this range and when it faded, it faded to kind of a denim blue, which ended up turning green. Light, pastel green but green nevertheless. Green is not a colour that one hopes their hair turns when aiming for purple.

Again, apologies for not taking any pictures of process but I wasn’t planning to turn this into a post. Here is the one picture that I posted on Instagram where you can clearly see I was mixing the two shades of pink:

Stay tuned #pink #pinkhair #diy #joicocolorintensity

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While this shows about a 1:1 ratio, I actually varied ratios around my head. At the back, I did about 75%:25% Rose to Soft Pink ratio, about 1:1 in the middle section around my head and 25%:75% Soft Pink to Rose ratio around my face and the top of my head. It’s a subtle differentiation but if you look closely, you can definitely see the variances.

Don’t rush putting the dye on your hair and make sure you have enough. I used both 4oz tubes completely on my hair and had to go back to the store to get another one for my daughter.

Like mother, like daughter #latergram #pinkhair

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The process of putting dye on my hair took about an hour. After I was done, I put a shower cap on my head to help keep the heat in. The directions suggest leaving the colour on for 20-25 mins. I left mine on for about 4 hours. Because it’s not bleach, it doesn’t damage your hair so it’s not harmful. When I used to colour my hair with Manic Panic, I even used to sleep with in and rinse in the morning.

So here we are with freshly coloured hair. I think the colour was actually more vibrant than shown in the picture as it was evening and there isn’t great lighting in our bathroom.

Matching Valentine's Day hair #matching #latergram #pinkhair #sofun #pinkhairdontcare

A post shared by Tiffany Creaghe-Harder (@tlcshoppingwpg) on

 

Better pic of how the dye is really vibrant on the ends of Daughter’s hair, where it’s the lightest. Excuse the laundry in the background.

I felt the real test would be to see how the dye held up after I washed it. It’s suggested that to keep your coloured hair more vibrant you should wash it in cold water. And even though it’s Winnipeg in February, I did exactly that. Brrrr!

The cold shower was worth it – the colour faded slightly but into an even more beautiful rose-toned pink.

No filter on this photo but it was taken in direct evening sunlight.

Overall, I’m really happy with the way my hair turned out. I’m a little worried about my next hair wash as I always feel like the second wash is the one that strips the most colour from your hair but I think this will fade nicely. I will definitely be trying more of the Joico Color Intensity dyes in the future.

Tried a candy-coloured look? What dye did you use? I’d love to hear from you. Happy Shopping!

Feb 26, 2017 UPDATE:

Here is the colour after five washes and two weeks. It’s very faded but still pink and I’m still really enjoying it.

Quick Eyelash Tutorial

Hey folks, in honour of New Year’s Eve, I whipped up a quick tutorial for putting on fake eyelashes. Happy New Year and Happy Shopping!

Products used:

MAC Maleficent lashes (Maleficent packaging was limited edition but according to Temptalia, these lashes are #36 and permanent in MAC’s collection)

MAC Fluidline in Avenue

Maybelline Dream Velvet Foundation in Ivory

L’Oreal Magic Lumi Light Infusing Primer

Makeup Geek eyeshadows in Shimma Shimma, Ritzy and Havoc

Tarte Amazonian Clay 12Hr Blush in Amazed

MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish in Show Gold

Gosh eyebrow pencil in Brown Gray

MAC Versicolour Stain in Energy Shot

Buxom Lash Mascara

Note: While I am an on-call MAC employee, none of these items were provided for my consideration or at a discount. My opinions continue to be my own. 

Christmas on a Budget

Since I was jobless most of the year, I have been coming up with creative ways to still have Christmas. I mean, Husband and I aren’t getting any presents but it’s important to both of us that Daughter and nieces and nephews still get something from us and have a nice Christmas. Luckily for us, I am a shopping expert and have come up with some ways to save some cash this holiday season.

Who has change just hanging around? Since the penny has been taken out of circulation, I think most of us aren’t sure what to do when we find them and we all have a stash. I took all our change to St. Vital Centre. They have a change counter there, near Customer Service, that counts your loose change and exchanges it for a gift certificate for almost anywhere in the mall. I tried this a couple of weeks ago and got almost $50! It was super easy and the change counter doesn’t charge you for counting your money, the way most other change counters that I’ve seen do (anywhere from 5-10%).

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Here is my stash of coins in the counter. I actually filled it too much and had to take some out and then put them through.

Most every store has a free points card and I’ve signed up for pretty much all of them. When you find yourself strapped for cash at holiday time, check the balances on all of those cards. They can rack up balances quickly, especially if you had them for awhile. Shoppers Drug Mart Optimum Points, Hudson’s Bay Rewards, Airmiles, Superstore PC Plus, Chapters iRewards, The Lego Store VIP Card, Canadian Tire Money Card… these are just a few of the points cards that are helpful to get either dollars off of products or free products to help make Christmas a little cheaper. Note: purchasing products on Airmiles requires 4-6 weeks of possible shipping time so this option may not work for Christmas gifts.

Another great tip is to look for add-ons when you are buying things. For example, when you buy a $40 Cineplex giftcard, you get a Holiday Bundle that also includes a Free Popcorn, BOGO Free Admission, Free Premium Ticket Upgrade, Extra 100 Scene Points, and $6.99 Wednesday Admission. Keep them for yourself or include some of them in a card for someone else. Sephora is another place that has some great free gifts you can add onto your purchase when you buy online – check the Beauty Deals section or sign up for their emails.

One of my favourite things is the one-day sales around this time of year. Joe Fresh was doing some in the week leading up to Black Friday and Hudson’s Bay is doing their holiday ones now. The idea is that one or two specific items are on sale for a bargain-basement price and/or a category of specific items are on deep discount (40% or higher).  I love getting Hudson’s Bay’s emails every morning telling me what’s on sale today. In fact, I got a really nice pair of gloves there the other day, on sale for 50% off as outerwear was the deal-of-the-day.

If you shop online, stop reading this and go sign up for Ebates IMMEDIATELY! (If you would like to support my shopping addiction, please use my affiliate code to sign up here.) Ebates is similar to using AirmilesShops.com in that you go to the website first and then search for the storefront that you would like to shop at. Click on it and continue shopping as you normally would. Shops can return anywhere from 1% to 10% of your purchase amount (minus shipping and taxes) in an account. Three or four times per year, Ebates sends you a cheque in the mail for the balance of your account. I’m assuming they are data-mining your shopping trips and purchases and selling the information but Amazon does that and doesn’t give you anything. I collected $32 from Ebates this year, just from buying things I would normally buy.

Well, those are my tips for helping with the cash crunch during the holiday season. Do you have any other tips? I’d love to hear them. Happy Shopping!

*Note: While there is one affiliate link, it is clearly marked for your information.

Disney World Trip Tips

Now that you’ve read my Disney World trip post, here are my tips for your own amazing vacation at Walt Disney World. Just FYI, for the most part, the pics are just random ones of our trip. They don’t necessarily correspond to the tips ahead.

Like this one:

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I’m a huge fan of research before a trip. I’m also the family member who decides where we will go, what we will see and where we will stay, so I do kind of have to do some research. I pretend I don’t enjoy it but I’m kidding no one. For this trip, I went to Chapters and flipped through their travel section and bought Walt Disney World with Kids 2016. I highly recommend this book. I’ve already lent mine to a friend who is going later this year. It makes excellent recommendations about scheduling ride times, using your FastPass+, where to eat, and it even has it’s own app that you can buy to that helps you decipher wait times while you’re in the park. Both the book and the app were super handy and I definitely recommend them.img_0692

FastPass+ – the book goes into all sorts of detail about it so I’m just going to give you an overview. When you buy your DW ticket(s), each ticket holder gets three opportunities to schedule a time when they can “jump the line” in a particular ride. You can schedule these as soon as you buy your tickets, up to thirty days (sixty days if you are a hotel guest) in advance. Specific rides have a “FastPass+” entrance (you see them everywhere) with a clock over the entrance. When your time comes up, you walk up to the FastPass+ entrance, scan your ticket, or wristband, and voila, shorter lineup to get on the same ride. For example, we had a FastPass+ at 10:30 am for Splash Mountain, which is valid between 10:30 am and 11:30 am. At 10:40 am, we scanned our cards at the FastPass+ entrance and went into a lineup that was ALOT shorter than the regular lineup. We walked past the regular lineup people for close to 5 minutes. I’m so not even kidding. We walked and walked and walked and walked, passing people who were in the regular lineup (some of whom were glaring at us as they clearly had been waiting a long time). Within 10 minutes, we were on the ride that others were waiting over an hour to get on. This is definitely a feature that is well worth looking into. You can even download the Disney World app and change your FastPass+ reservations while just wandering around the park. They also have kiosks set up for those who don’t have the app or just don’t want to use their phones.

If you have a toddler or preschooler, I would bring your own stroller. You can rent strollers in the park but you park your car FAR from the entrance. At Epcot it was probably about a kilometre, but at Magic Kingdom parking was probably closer to a mile away from the entrance. There are trams all day but during busy times you have to wait for them and it was a toss up on whether it was faster to walk or ride.

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For those of you worried about losing your stroller or having it stolen, have no fear. Husband (who is a chatty guy) was talking to a security guard who was watching over one of the (many, many) stroller parking lots (so not kidding) about how much theft they see. The security guard told him that theft isn’t a problem there, but they had a huge problem with abandoned strollers! I have two theories about that: 1) exits to rides often aren’t near the entrances. If you’ve parked your stroller by the entrance, you often have to wander a little to find the entrance and your stroller. 2) Occasionally, stroller parking gets a little out of hand. People just leave them everywhere or they are grouped untidily. Security guards or other staff will come around and arrange the strollers so they look more tidy. If you think you’re stroller’s missing, just keep looking, it’s probably just nicely placed a little farther down the line or in the legitimate stroller parking area.

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Having a great time, even though it’s raining

We rented a car, even though our hotel (which wasn’t on Disney property) had a bus service to and from the park and I am so glad we did. It was about a 10 – 15 minute car ride from the hotel to the parking lot of either Epcot or Magic Kingdom but it took AN HOUR from the time you were leaving the hotel until the moment you entered the park. How can this be, you say. Well, there’s the car ride, then it takes you between 5 – 20 minutes to park, depending on the time of day and if other people are idiots that can’t figure out how to follow the dude in front of them. Then there’s the 1 km – 1 mile walk to the entrance where you wait for a ferry or a tram to take you across the lagoon to where Magic Kingdom actually was. It was a little shorter to get to Epcot but not much. By the time you get through security and actually into the park, you left the hotel an hour ago. I can’t imagine adding waiting for a bus that makes 6000 stops on the way to your hotel/the park onto this trip. Rent the car, you will totally appreciate it because….

The book suggests that you take a minimum four hour break in the middle of the afternoon, go back to your hotel, have lunch and naps or a swimming break. The first time I read that, I thought that was just the craziest thing I had ever heard. I mean, I travel all this way to Florida, and spend $100 per person, per day to come to this stupid park and you’re suggesting that I take a four hour break in the middle of the afternoon?!? Are you insane??? No, they are brilliant. We did it and next time we go, we will do it again. First of all, it cut down on spending since we were able to have lunches in our hotel (and since we had a kitchenette, lunches were way cheaper than a restaurant) and having that time to take a nap everyday was amazing. I napped every single day we visited DW. Daughter napped most days (you win some, you lose some). And when we would return to the park at 4pm, we were refreshed and raring to see more sights and ride more rides. By 5 pm, you could see the parents and the kids who had been there all day start to meltdown. And we would walk around them and get on our next ride. Trust me, take the break.

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So those are my five tips on visiting Walt Disney World as well as the plethora of great information you will find in the book.

Have you visited DW? Any tips that I missed that you would like to add? I’d love to hear them. Happy Shopping!

I’m Back and Where I’ve Been Pt 2 – House Renovation Edition

Hey folks, I thought I’d show you some pics of what I did/worked on over the summer. For those of you following on Instagram, some of these will be repeats but not all.

Thing #1: House renovations

I live in a 107 year old house. It has, as you might imagine, some lovely character-type aspects that come with living in a house of that age. There are other things however, that are not so awesome. For instance, the front of my house:

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From the front, it looks… neglected. What the hell am I saying, it looks neglected from the outside, period. Husband and I aren’t really handy. I can paint walls and he can fix cars but everything else we need help with. So, this summer, we contracted my dad, who drove in from out-of-town everyday to guide our child-like minds and hammer-flailing talents to transform the front my house into something our neighbours are no longer embarrassed to live next to.

First, we Dad lifted and levelled the porch.

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And I scraped paint.

Then we took down the walls.

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And I scraped paint.

And Dad built things.

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And I painted them. And scraped paint off of other stuff.

In fact, four weeks after we started the project, Dad took three weeks off as I still had so much scraping and painting left to do. Let me tell you, I did not know hard work until I spent six hours on a ladder, with my arms above my head and a paint-stripping gun, scraping paint off of an overhead beam. And I now know how to scrape paint off of just about any surface. I’ve used a heat gun, chemical stripper, power sander, sheer force…. I am a paint-stripping master.

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Finally it was time to start painting, which was only slightly less painful than scraping had been. Luckily, Husband took pity on me and painted a lot of the things since I just couldn’t be on the ladder anymore.

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And caulking.

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Once we were done painting, Dad could come back and build more. Flooring was installed by a goofy dad:

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Walls went in.

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And then screens were built. And siding was added.

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It was a long project that I seriously felt would never end. Big thanks Dad and Husband for all the work they put in. And Daughter who played so good by herself when Mommy, Daddy and Grandpa were all working on the house.

Have you done any renos? Did you run into any problems or setbacks? Did you run over schedule? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Happy Shopping!

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DIY Tinkerbell Halloween Costume

Obviously I meant to get this up before Halloween but I’m always of a mind set that it’s better late than never. Of course, this doesn’t apply to work or to going to the movies. You get to that  sh*t on time!

Anyways, here is the step-by-step process I went through to put together this darling Halloween costume for my girl.

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This particular picture was for ballet class where ballet shoes were required. I forgot to get a picture when she wore the Tinkerbell shoes to daycare on Halloween. Oops!

First step was to brainstorm which things I could make (tutu) and which things I would have to craftily-McGyver into parts of the costume. I decided to use an old white tank top from the summer and picked up some ballet slippers from H&M and dyed them green.

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Dyeing clothing is super easy. Hot water, sink, dye and then BAM, new clothing!

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Obviously the colour is much darker than the colour you are going to dye the items. This freaks me out every time but it always mostly turns out okay. Since I wanted a really vibrant green, I kept the items in there probably an hour or two longer than the directions suggested.

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Ta-da! Green tank top.

I have no idea what those green spots are on the tank. They sure weren’t there when it was white. I thought about it for awhile and then picked up some silver holographic sparkles to hide the spots. I figured it could look like stars and pixie dust. I also picked up some ribbon trim with tulle attached and sewed it around the tank top sleeves.

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Phew. So glad those sparkles covered those spots. I was really worried about that.

While the tank top dried, I went to work on the ballet slippers. Since the slippers were baby pink when I bought them, when I dyed them green, they hadn’t become as vibrant as I wanted them. So I decided to use more glitter glue and cover the slippers to make them more green. Thank goodness for dollar stores. Cheap, primary-coloured glitter glue was available in a huge bottle!

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I spread the glue over the shoe with my finger and let it dry overnight.

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One ballet slipper with just green dye, the other with one coat of green glitter glue. I ended up putting on two coats of glitter glue. Make sure you let each coat dry throughly so this process takes a couple of days.

Now, onto the tutu. I’d been to the fabric store two times while deciding how to put together the tutu. In the end I decided to buy a length of elastic, trim it down to go around my daughter’s waist and then tie lengths of tulle around the elastic. This worked like a charm!

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Once I started tying on tulle, I realized that the white didn’t scrunch down as much as the green did, even though they were the same width. So I came up with the following pattern so there would be primarily green in the tutu: white (wide), dark green (narrow), light green (wide), dark green, light green, dark green, white, etc. I didn’t sew the elastic together until close to the end but since the tulle was tied on, it could’ve been sewn at the beginning.

Back to the shoes! I found some large pom-poms and sewed small bells to the underside so they would tinkle when she walked. (I forgot to take a picture of that step.) I then hot-glued them onto the shoes, making sure I didn’t hot-glue the clapper inside the bell because then it wouldn’t tinkle. In hindsight, I should’ve sewed them on. When I picked her up from daycare on Monday evening, the pom-poms had come off.

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Oh well, they were cute while they lasted.

Here are the dress rehearsal pics:

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Note: she is wearing white bike shorts under the tutu. On the day of, I also decided to layer them with her white ballet tights for extra warmth.

The wings were purchased by Auntie for her birthday. They were light-up and from the Disney Store.

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Photo courtesy of DisneyStore.com

Yes, I could’ve just gone to the Disney Store and bought a complete Tinkerbell costume but frankly, I didn’t want to. I love putting together her costumes.

So that’s how I made the Tinkerbell costume. I really love doing it every year and I’m always so happy when my daughter has a great time wearing them.

Do you enjoy DIYing your own Halloween costumes or do you prefer buying them all put together at the store? I’d love to hear from you. Happy Shopping!

DIY disasters

Every once in awhile (definitely less now that I’m a mom), I get inspired to make or change a piece of clothing. I’ve sewed shirts and skirt and even a dress and I’m constantly knitting something. I’m not too bad at it either, most times people are surprised when I tell them I made it.

So, when I decided to bleach and dye a pair of jeans I’ve had forever and ever and change them into some cute capris, I thought – no problem! Well, my friends, there is a problem. These poor jeans may never see the light of day again.

First of all, I have to say that these jeans owe me nothing. I bought them in 2005 and wore them through my fat phase and my skinny phase and every other phase. The sister pair, which is black but same brand and style, ripped a big hole in the butt and yet I hold on to them for nostalgia.

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So here are the jeans, rolled (as I was wearing as capris) and unrolled (so you can see the jagged edge where I cut them off to shorten them so the roll wouldn’t be too bulky). They are a nice, dark blue. And I thought, hey, wouldn’t it be great if they were gray??

So, I read up on how to bleach your jeans. I used instructions I Googled from the interweb.

First, I filled a mopping bucket with really hot water and added a couple of cups of bleach – nope, didn’t measure. Maybe about 3/4 water, 1/4 bleach?

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Next, I smushed my jeans in. There was enough water to cover them and they could move around fairly freely and I could stir them easily.

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And then, I waited…. (actually, I went grocery shopping)

I checked on them about two hours later and they had definitely lightened…

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But they were turning orange! Don’t panic, I told myself. It’ll all be okay.

When I took them out seven hours later (nine hours total), they were definitely not okay. Not only were they orange, they were splotchy.

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Very Splotchy. So, what to do. The article had warned me that bleaching them too long may cause the material to weaken. I’ve had jeans split at the bum before and I don’t want to ever repeat that experience. I then got the bright idea to dye them. I had found a box of black dye when Cally (my 11-month-old) had been playing under the bathroom sink (ya, I know, there goes the Mother-of-the-Year Award) and pulled everything out. What luck! A box of black dye I didn’t even know I had. Excellent. I hate making trips to the grocery or drug store for one thing, especially when that one thing is to cover up for a f-up dyeing job.

Anyways….

I filled the sink with cold water and mixed up the dye like the package says.

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(Sorry, I just realized I never got a picture of the pack of dye or wrote down the brand or anything).

And then mixed them together. And added the salt.

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And finally, put in the jeans.

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They say to agitate for 10 mins. I was already agitated, so that was fairly easy. Then I left them for two hours (one hour more than the recommended maximum), agitating again every 30 mins or so.

At the end, I rinsed them well and then through in my washing machine for it’s three rinse and spin cycles. And when it came out, they were…..

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SPLOTCHY!!!! DAMMIT!!

So, that was a week ago. I am currently punishing the jeans for being splotchy by hanging them in the bathroom and ignoring them.

So, what do I do? I’ve read this article, that suggested they should be bleached three times before they will be white enough with no splotches. Do I bleach again? Do I buy another box of dye and try to cover the splotches? Do I banish them to the back of my closet and try again next summer? Let me know what you think. Happy Shopping!