Halloween Candy Corn Skirt Refashion

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(Bringing out a final project from the THRIVE archives before Tuesday when you'll be able to find 100+ costumes you can make for $3 or less. Hope to see you Tuesday!)


And it begins.

My daughter’s convinced that she needs an extensive Halloween wardrobe.

I’m convinced that it’s not gonna happen.

Luckily for her I have a closet full of  these ripped, stained and worn out gems.


Toss in some thin elastic and scissors and I came up with this candy corn themed, ruffled skirt refashion in a single nap time.


Ah, compromise.

And this has got to be one of the easiest sewing projects ever. Start with a white t-shirt that easily fits around your girl’s waist.


When you flip the cut-off rectangle upside down, you see that you’ve got a handy-dandy skirt base with a pre-sewn waistband all ready to go. And since t-shirt fabric doesn’t have to be hemmed, that raw bottom edge doesn’t need any sewing at all.


You’ll need to cut and piece together strips of white, orange and yellow t-shirt scraps to make the ruffles for each layer. The width is up to you and how long you want each layer. The length of all your pieced together strips for each color needs to be double the width of your t-shirt base.


My t-shirt base was 15” wide so I made sure my strips totaled 30” long.  I stitched my scrap strips together to make three long loops of fabric …


… and then ran a long basting stitch along the top edge of each one. I gently gathered each loop of fabric until they were the same width as my t-shirt base.

(Make sure that any screen printing, stains, etc. are facing the inside of your ruffled layers!)

Pinning and attaching each ruffle layer to the t-shirt base was a quick and easy.

Candy Corn Skirt Refashion Choose To Thrive 10

And the best part was using that already-sewn bottom shirt edge as a casing for the elastic. Love that.

Candy Corn Skirt Refashion Choose To Thrive 11.jpg

The only thing left to do was sew the elastic ends together!

Sweet! Done and done!

In less than an hour I wound up with a cute t-shirt skirt refashion in time for Halloween that’s the cat’s meow.

Um, apparently.


And while I was cleaning up, I put those left-over scraps to good use.

I cut some rag ribbon for easy piggy tail love, Halloween treats, or whatever.


So there you go!

I hope you take a look at your fabric stash and have fun whipping up something awesome during nap time!

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Brave and Beautiful

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I am Brave and Beautiful - a beauty movement that is sweeping the globe.

Colbie Caillat started it with her recent song and video called TRY. My blogging friend Megan of Brassy Apple wanted to push this movement along and invited women from all over to share what they looked like without make up and I joined in!!

Colbie's song says, "Take your make up off. Let your hair down... Look into the mirror at yourself, Do you like you? Cause I like you... "

Megan and her friend Cobi of Peacefrom6pieces have been the team behind this whole project. Their worldwide vision included creating their own video inspired by the song TRY. The talent of Robbins Creative made it possible for them to pull it off. You have to click play and see the beauty and bravery displayed and you might even recognize a few faces in there.

I have joined with 101+ other blogging women from different backgrounds, religions, ethnicities, ages, shapes and sizes have decided to be Brave and Beautiful! You can join in this movement too by sharing what you look like without makeup on.

You don't need a blog either!

Just tag your photo with #IamBraveAndBeautiful on Instgram and search the hashtag to see who else has joined in. ALSO, if you tag it with a second hashtag - #ColbieTRY we just might be able to get Colbie Caillat's attention since she was the inspiration behind it all!

Are you brave and beautiful? I am, here I go!

No make up, no styling, no editing, no photoshop -- this is me.

A few years ago I would have cringed at this image and deleted it outright (or at least erased the lines, softened the bags, deleted the blemishes and filled out the lips). Today, though, I LOVE this picture because it's the very first one I've ever taken that captures what my children love so much:

the mother they see everyday.

It's been a slow process, but over the last few years my children have helped me see how much I am loved and valued--not because of how I look or what I've accomplished--but simply because I am theirs.

And oh what that love has done.

When my children smile up at me, they don't see the hair and enamel that are thinning and brittle after a decade of rampant bulimia in my teens and twenties like I sometimes do. They see their Momma who is calming them after a bad dream and rocking them to sleep with a lullaby.

When they throw their arms around my neck, they don't see my double chin and extra moles they way I sometimes do. They feel love for the one who cares for and protects them.

When they climb up onto my lap and ask for their favorite story to be read 'just one more time Momma,' they don't see the soft stomach or the chubby thighs the way I sometimes do. They feel the love of someone who made time just for them.

I have struggled with weight my whole life and have spent years destroying myself with powerful self loathing, hiding from cameras and depressively fantasizing about all of the amazing things that I could accomplish once the weight came off. But as I've slowly allowed to see myself the way my children see me ... as my Father in Heaven and Savior Jesus Christ see me ... and how my husband, family and friends see me ... I've realized that I don't have to wait for anything to be happy, loved or accepted.

The truth is that I've accomplished more in the last few years of my life than I have in decades--just the way I am. And while taking better care of myself and becoming more healthy are still goals that I work towards, I've realized how hollow the world's standard of perfect-beauty-acceptance is.

I was elected to a prominent position witin our city not long ago that seemed so utterly out of my league a few years ago. After the vote came down, I realized that I'd sacrificed years of progress waiting for a version of perfection that was so destructive. The talent and abilities that landed me my new position were always there; I'd just bought into the lie that said that nothing short of perfect could ever be loved or valued.

How wrong I was.

So something funny has begun to happen ....

I am okay with seeing this girl in the mirror, all made up for a night out ...

... and rolling out of bed with drool on my cheeks and some wicked bed head.

And I love her. I'm proud of her.

I'm seeing that thinning hair and teeth as a sign of a girl who walked away from bulimia before it destroyed her completely.

I see in that big nose, thin lips and square face the resemblance of the family members I love most who came before me.

I see in that squishy tummy with the c-section scars and stretch marks the proof that this broken, infertile woman who was never supposed to have kids is momma to six of them.

I see in those thick legs a woman who is strong and confident, chasing kids around and working outside her home to help provide.

I see a woman who is imperfect and flawed, yes, but a daughter of God who is loved, valued and cherished simply because I am me.

And me is good. And me is working on being better--not because I hate what I see--but because I'm loving her more everyday and wanting to treat her with more kindness and respect.

share your natrual beauty - brassyapple.com

Don't stop here. Get clicking around - its a blog hop! Below are more brave and beautiful women bearing more than their natural beauty. They each have a little bit of their heart to share with you. Some get very personal. Some share stories. For some this was very hard to do yet they gathered their courage and did it anyway. We hope as you click around (and YES pin these different posts!) you will feel the importance of it, the empowering effect it has and that it encourages you in some way.

Important info! Blog Hops often have glitches the first day. If the link has an ERROR, simply click on the HOME button for each site, or google the blog name next to the link, and you should see their brave and beautiful post there. Links will be updated as soon as possible.

women sharing their natural beauty - no makeup
women with our makeup on and what makes them beautiful
women from around the world share their face with no makeup on - BrassyApple.com
Mommy bloggers share their face without makeup and what makes then beautiful
Natural beauty untouched photos
raw natural beauty - join the movement
beauty and bravery - women wearing no makeup - Brassyapple.com
#colbietry #iambraveandbeautiful

Ready in join in?

Snap, hashtag and share! Tag @BrassyApple and @Peacefrom6Pieces if you can too!
Also follow our Bravery and Beauty PINTEREST board for more inspiration!

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Halloween Rice Crispy Treats with tips and tricks

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This week while my kids were off track, we drug out the food coloring, cookie cutters and went totally crazy with dessert staple.


I mean holy-cow-that’s-a-lot-of-food-coloring crazy.

Behold the Extreme Home Makeover edition of the basic Kellogg’s Rice Krispy treat.

Sept 2011 BLOG4-5

I kinda love them.

The end result was crazy-bright, marshmallowy mash-ups that are so stinkin’ cute and not much harder to make than the original.


The sky’s the limit here for the colors, patterns and shapes you could use. Here’s what we came up with:

Ghosts & Stripes




Pumpkins & Stripes


Plain Stripes & Even Quilt Block Shapes (ha!)

Sept 2011 BLOG4-6

Mini Bites

Once you get started it’s sorta hard to stop.


Everyone knows how to make these so I’ll skip the full tutorial thing. However, there were a few tweaks I made to pull these off that I’ll pass along:

1. To get the color super saturated, you’ll need copious amounts of food coloring – like a full teaspoon of the Wilton jells for most colors. For the black, it’s more like a full jar … um, seriously.  (Try not to think about it … it’s only once a year. :)

First batch with 1/4 tsp. food coloring jell: too pastel-y


Second batch with a generous 1 tsp. jell: much better


2. The other trick to getting a solid color is to use half the amount of cereal the original recipe calls for. Here’s what I wound up doing:


3. To make the stripes, cut long strips from solid blocks of color (like on the tray above) and mush them together.

Sept 2011 BLOG4-2
This worked much better than taking small clumps of each color and trying to form it by hand.


4. Use a generous amount of non-stick coooking spray on the cookie cutters. You’re welcome.

5. Let the cereal cool for 10-15 minutes at room temperature before cutting. That way the cereal mix will be somewhat set, but easier to work with. Once your shapes are made, go ahead and refrigerate to set.

Have Fun!


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5 FREE Fall Decor Items You Can Score Right Now!

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Now is the time to start watching for those inviting, organic accessories for your fall decor: corn stalks, grape vines, wheat bundles, and changing leaves.


So how do you get those things for zero out of pocket if it’s not growing in your own yard?


Do you know what it is? Have you ever done it?

Gleaning is basically collecting left over materials that the owner doesn't want or need. For fall that means lots of opportunities to score left over wheat, corn stalks, grape vine, etc. after the main crop has been harvested.

If you’ve never tried it, you need to!

But before you start tromping through fields with scissors in hands, consider the following:

1. First and foremost, always always always ask before you take anything. Gleaning without permission is the love child of stealing and trespassing. Knock on the door or call the property owner and make sure it’s okay to glean.

2. If you don’t know who the owner is or how to get a hold of them, call the city or county recorder’s office and get the owner’s contact information.

3. Make sure you have an exact (or very close) address when you stop by or call a city/county clerk. The more information you provide, the quicker and easier it will be for them to help you.
BAD: “I’m looking for the property owner of that big field over by the freeway.”
GOOD: “I’m looking for the property owner of the field on the northeast corner of John Street and 80th Avenue.”

4. When you go to glean, be quick, be respectful, stay out of their way, bring your own equipment (scissors, garbage bags, etc.) and don’t ask for special accommodations. Remember: they’re doing you a favor.

5. Send a thank you note to anyone who helped you: the city clerk, the property owner, whatever. It only takes a few minutes and will make it much more likely that you’ll be welcomed back next year.

What and Where To Glean

My all-time fav:


Remember this project from the THRIVE archives?


I made this project using gleaned wheat from my neighbor’s garden after she picked what she wanted. This would have run $20+ at a craft store after the coupon discount.

This year my neighbor didn’t plant wheat so I called the city recorder of the town where I saw a huge field that had just been harvested.


Turns out the city owns that field and they gave me permission right then. Score!


That tiny row of left over wheat right along the dirt patch yielded a bucketful. For wheat, oats or any other cereal grain, put the cut stems in a bucket—using a garbage bag for collection makes a huge mess and often breaks the stems.



I use them every year on my front door and will this year, too (even though I’m planning some fun, big changes).

Talk to your to friends and neighbors with garden patches now about gleaning their left over stalks. Commercially harvested fields may now have a lot of stalks left over, but small patches that are harvested by hand are great places to look. Bring twine and hedge clippers to lop through and bundle your stalks. Green stalks will need a few weeks to dry completely and acquire that wonderful parchment color.


Love, love, love.

But those shapes can get pricey, even with the wonderful 40% off coupons. Making your own shapes is easier than you may think so look around. Ask neighbors, friends, etc. if you can help trim back vines when their grapes have been harvested.  They get some help and you get the raw materials to make wreaths, swags, frames, pumpkins, whatever. Win, win.



They’re pretty much everywhere which makes this easy. Picking up leaves at a park or along a public walk way is usually no big deal. If you’re worried, it never hurts to call the local city public works department and double check.  If you see great leaves on private property, again--always ask before collecting! I’ve seen great leaves on lawns while I’m out running errands, pulled over and gone and knocked on doors before.

My favorite way to use leaves is to string them together on twine or fishing line for a simple, pretty bunting.

I usually store leaves in between the pages of large books while they dry out. The flattened, leathery leaves are easier to use for projects than the more brittle, curled shape you usually get with regular air drying.


husk.pics Images: 1. Growing Corn 2. Amazon.com

Sure, you could go guy these at the grocery store, but you can also just save those husks after your next bbq. Trim off the thick, curved bottom end and press the individual husks in between book pages (just like leaves) so they dry smooth and flat. Husks are so under appreciated and versatile. Seriously, make sure you save some.

So go put some scissors, gloves and a bucket in your car and try your hand at gleaning!



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