Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Oh Baby! Just Stay Little Minky Blanket for Baby Girl or Lovie

I can't believe it's already the last day of the old year...and mere hours to the new! Hope you are enjoying this holiday season while it's still here!

Just wanted to give you a quick peek at the newest item in my shop. The fabrics from Sarah Jane Studios are so sweet, aren't they? I couldn't resist making a minky blanket with her "Just Stay Little" fabric from her Children at Play Collection.

Makes the perfect lovie or child's blanket to cuddle up with or the ideal baby shower gift for a new mom. Snuggly soft and oozes sweetness.

Available here
It also goes with this matching sweet little pillow
girl lovie, blanket, bedroom decor or nursery baby girl from handmade blanket I'm looking forward to sharing a few of my favorite things I've been learning about lately and DIY projects for 2014!

Stay tuned and try to stay awake to ring in the new year (as for me, I'll be upstairs asleep) ha!
HAPPY NEW YEAR! ♥

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happiest Holidays to you!

I'm supposed to be baking a pie crust while simultaneously making the filling, a midst cutting cream cheese into small cubes for our family's famous pink salad recipe while prepping for tonight's casserole but I wanted to step away from from the juggling hoopla to wish you and your families the Merriest of Christmases and Happiest of Holidays!

Looking forward to sharing more sewing tutorials, crafting projects and decorating adventures in the coming year! May your Days be Merry and Bright!
xo Shannon


Happy Holidays sewing tutorials, craft projects, decorating ideas from Shannon Sorensen Designs
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Happiest of Holidays! xo

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Holiday Savings and Promo Codes!

It's December 1st! The countdown to Christmas is on! 

Enjoy 20% off all kinds of goodies in my etsy shop 
through the end of the year! 
Happy December my friends!

2013 holiday promo codes, coupons, savings handmade etsy shop SSorensenDesigns
{http://SSorensenDesigns.etsy.com - SAVE 20% THROUGHOUT THE SHOP!}

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Gift Idea for Him: Soft Shaving Cloth Set from Fairface Washcloths™

softest wet shaving cloths for men great father's day gift idea Men are the hardest to buy for, in my opinion. Women are much easier. We like pretty things and pretty things are easy to find.

But men? How many tools, pairs of socks or ties can you give a man?

This year, cater to his softer side, with a set of Men's Soft Shaving Cloths from Fairface Washcloths™ - for a soothing and gentle shaving experience.

Does the man in your life dread shaving because it's irritating to his face? Fairface Washcloths™ are more than just the softest washcloths for sensitive skin, they are also the perfect set of shaving cloths for men.

With the new Men's Shaving Cloth Set from Fairface Washcloths™ with 1 Original Fairface Washcloth™ and 1 Delicate Fairface Washcloth™, he can use 1 for wet shave prep (shaving cream application & hot towel steam) and the other for a gentle, soothing finish.

Fairface Washcloths™ are:
  • Made with a premium 100% soft cotton flannel and absorbent terrycloth
  • Available in Original (soft cotton flannel front and absorbent terrycloth back)
  • and Delicate (soft double-sided flannel)
  • Packaged in convenient sets of 2
  • Size XL 9"x9" for optimal coverage
  • Non irritating for sensitive faces

A review from one of our happy Fairface Washcloths™ shavers:

"As a man that wet shaves daily, I have always been in search of the perfect face towel. I have finally found it! Shannon Sorensen has developed a perfect towel to add to your shaving, The Fairface Washcloth. It preformed very nice in the pre shave beard preparation. The excellence showed up after the final cut. The softness of the towel was a major comfort to my face. Wet shaving is a wonderful experience & this towel is the embellishment of wet shaving! I’m very grateful for Shannon’s work and plan to add at least a dozen to my collection. It would be great to see her towels in the top men’s shaving stores! Those guys are missing out!!"
Best Father's Day Gift Softest Shaving cloths for wet shaving men

Give your man a little pampering this year. 


Fairface Washcloths™ Men's Shaving Cloth Set
the softest facecloths for sensitive skin 

 He'll be glad you did.


Fairface WashclothsFairface Washcloths™ are an exclusive product from Shannon Sorensen Designs

TO PURCHASE: visit our etsy shop location: Fairface Washcloths


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Black Friday Sale Promo Code!

Your promo code is here! 
Shop Shannon Sorensen Designs' Black Friday Sale, 
11/29/13 from 12am - 11:59pm 
and save 25% on everything you buy! 

Use Code: BLACK34 at check-out 


Happy Thanksgiving!


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Soothe your sensitive skin with Fairface Washcloths™

Fairface Washcloths I have truly been amazed at the outpouring of positive feedback I have received from the many happy customers who have found soothing relief from using Fairface Washcloths™ for their sensitive skin. When I first created them a few years ago, I never imagined how many people I could help!

Sensitive skin comes in all ages, shapes and sizes. Some have reached out to me during chemotherapy treatments looking for a soothing cloth to calm tender skin; some have come searching for a soothing facecloth that won't hurt or irritate their sensitive faces when washing, others have come searching for relief from unstable skin due to health problems, sensitive skin conditions such as Rosacea, Dermatitis, Eczema, and Acne, and changing skin due to pregnancy, aging, shaving, and more.


It is my mission to help everyone with sensitive skin find soothing, gentle relief with Fairface Washcloths™, the softest, most gentle way to care for sensitive skin.


Please help me spread the word!

Like Fairface Washcloths™ on Facebook

Fairface Washcloths™ ~ the softest washcloths for sensitive skin, made specifically for those with Rosacea, Ezcema, Dermatitis, Acne, and all other sensitive skin conditions.
Fairface Washcloths

PLUS, by liking Fairface Washcloths™ on Facebook, you will be eligible for promotions, product announcements and tips for helping to keep sensitive skin healthy and glowing!

Thank you for your support and helping many more with sensitive skin find soothing relief!

xo Shannon

Fairface Washcloths are available:
Fairface Washcloths Shop  
FairfaceWashcloths Blog



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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Black Friday Sale Preview!

Black Friday Sale Etsy Shop Pillows and Nursery Decor
{Black Friday Sale Preview: SSorensenDesigns.etsy.com © ShannonSorensen}

I'm excited to be offering 25% off everything in my etsy shop: Shannon Sorensen Designs on Black Friday, 11/29/13, from midnight until the 11:59pm.

Stay tuned to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or here on my blog, for the discount code. Simply use the promo code during check-out and receive 25% off everything!


 photo shop-etsy-sale-black-friday_zps2fcb3d71.jpg
{Black Friday Sale: SSorensenDesigns.etsy.com © ShannonSorensen}

PLUS! New items that will be released, 
just in time for the sale!



 Think holiday gift giving, think pampering yourself (!), think upcoming baby showers and birthdays... something for everyone.

Sales don't come around very often, so take advantage of savings while you can!

***Remember to check back Thanksgiving Day for the promo code, (after you've taken your last bite of turkey and pumpkin pie, of course!).

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Stop your ruler from slipping while cutting fabric: Great Sewing Tip!

how to stop your acrylic ruler from sliding when cutting fabric
{Cutting fabric straight© ShannonSorensen}
I can't be the only one this happens to: Trying to cut fabric using an acrylic ruler, while carefully spider walking my fingers across the ruler to keep it straight, while cutting with my rotary cutter in the other hand...only to have the acrylic ruler slowly begin to slide out of place so the edge is anything but straight. Aaaaakkk!


How do I cut a straight fabric edge?
How do I keep the ruler from slipping 
while cutting fabric?

 Stop an acrylic ruler from sliding while cutting fabric

...and it all begins with a shower tool. 


By attaching a detachable suction cup shower handle to your acrylic ruler, it evenly distributes the weight across the ruler and holds it in place. It's like you have two hands down on the ruler and a 3rd to cut. Go team! I wish I'd found this a long time ago. It's like magic.

how to cut fabric straight without ruler slipping
{Stop your acrylic ruler from slipping while cutting fabric © ShannonSorensen}
how to cut fabric straight without ruler slipping
{Perfect straight edge for cutting fabric: acrylic ruler + shower handle © ShannonSorensen}

Here's a short video demo showing just how effective this new fabric cutting tool can be.
No more slipping = straight edges! Hooray! And it only cost me about $5.00 with a coupon at Harbor Freight. Even better!
Happy cutting 



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Saturday, November 2, 2013

Men's Shirt to Women's Cardigan Refashion

As promised, I jumped on my next refashion project shortly after my successful sweater to cardigan refashion. My sister-in-law said this men's-shirt-to-women's-cardigan refashion, had Anthroplogie appeal...very nice compliment indeed!

refashion men's shirt to women's cardigan
{Refashion: men's shirt to women's cardigan © ShannonSorensen}

When my husband came home and saw my newly refashioned cardigan, he jokingly asked if he needed to lock up his clothes when he left the house, for fear they'd end up women's clothing by the time he came back. I laughed, but secretly my mind started scanning his side of the closet to see if there was anything with potential.

Turn a Men's Shirt into a Women's Cardigan
(husbands beware)


  • Lay out your shirt.
  • Fold shirt in half to find the center.
  • Mark the center with a washable pen.
  • Cut up the center line of your shirt.
  • Unpick any necessary seams.
  • Remove any unwanted tags.

turn a mans shirt to womens cardigan refashion
{Refashion tutorial: shirt to cardigan © ShannonSorensen}


  • Decide on coordinating binding. I cut up a soft xl clearance men's gray turtle neck.
  • Measure how long your binding needs to be.
  • Cut two strips for each side of your cardigan opening. Mine were 2" wide.
  • Trim off any excess or unwanted fabric from the cardigan before you add your binding.
  • Lay the binding right sides together, edge to edge and pin.
  • Using a ball point needle, pressure (1) and slightly wider stitch for stretchy jersey, stitch binding to cardigan. 


DIY sewing project shirt to cardigan
{DIY cardigan from a man's shirt © ShannonSorensen}


  • Your binding should now be sewn to your cardigan.
  • Roll it over to the inside opening of the cardigan, measuring evenly. Mine was rolled over 1".
  • Pin into place. *For the top and bottom edges, see the pictures in the next segment.
  • Check front to make sure the binding looks even.

shirt to cardigan refashion how to add binding
{Add binding to create your cardigan: shirt refashion © ShannonSorensen}


  • *To finish binding at the bottom and top, fold under the stitched edge so it's lined up.
  • Next fold the excess binding up over the edge of the cardigan.
  • Now roll the whole binding over and pin.
  • Again, check that binding is even.
  • Stitch on the front side of the binding, avoiding pins, as close to the inner edge as possible. Your stitches will catch the binding inside and secure it.


alter a shirt to a cardigan tutorial
{Refashioned shirt to cardigan: adding binding © ShannonSorensen}

  • To add faux pockets, cut a strips of coordinating bias tape. I wanted to use more of the gray jersey, but it ended up too bulky.
  • Put the cardigan on and determine where you want your pockets, then pin the bias strips evenly on either side of the cardigan, folding under the raw edges on either side. 
  • Stitch as close the the side and bottom edges as you can, leaving the top open.
  • Add lace embellishment if you choose.

how to add / sew faux pockets to a top or cardigan
{How to add faux pockets to a cardigan: refashion © ShannonSorensen}


  • After finishing this much of the cardigan, the front dark gray binding by itself, still felt a little too masculine, so I added a strip of lace to either side of the cardigan opening.
  • To give the back a little detail, I cut a 2" wide strip of the dark grey jersey, folded it over and sewed it closed. After turning it right side out, I pinned the piece down to the middle lower back and embellished it with matching lace.
  • To finish the sleeves, I cut off the binding and simply folded the edges under and sewed.


add lace and hem sleeves to a cardigan refashion

And voila! One man's shirt is another women's treasure.
From shirt to cardigan just like that.

before and after refashioned shirt to cardigan
{Men's Shirt to Women's Cardigan: before & after © ShannonSorensen}

I love the details, especially the back. It gives it just that little something.
turn a shirt into a cardigan tutorial

Not sure what's next on the horizon, but with my to-be-refashioned-pile a mile high, I'm sure there will be something! :)


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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Ikea Swedish Meatballs Gravy Recipe {low-fat version}

ikea swedish meatballs gravy low fat recipe
A few days ago at dinner time, I found myself with 1/4 bag of frozen Ikea Swedish Meatballs, but no gravy mix. Gasp!

Not wanting to eat them dry, or drive the 45 minutes to Ikea just for gravy, I crossed my fingers and googled "Ikea Swedish Meatballs Gravy Recipe". And BAM! Like magic, it was there.

All I needed to do was use an online tool to convert ml to cups, substitute milk for cream, and test out my newly adapted recipe.

As I shared on Instagram, this swedish meatballs gravy recipe was a total hit! And it's healthier than the original by subbing milk for cream, and tastes like the real thing. No more gravy packets needed!

Here is the deliciousness, that is Ikea swedish meatballs gravy:
(sorry, not ambitious enough to make the meatballs myself. yet.)

Ikea Swedish Meatballs Gravy Recipe

*low-fat version adapted from the official Ikea Cookbook

Ingredients:
1/2 c milk (substituted instead of cream)
1 c beef broth
2 tsp soy sauce
1-1/2 Tbsp flour

Directions:
Heat broth & soy sauce in saucepan on the stove. Dissolve the flour in milk. Add milk/flour mixture to broth mixture. Bring to a boil & thicken. Simmer about a minute. Salt & pepper as needed. Serve with Swedish Meatballs and rice, boiled or mashed potatoes.

*This may be my new go-to for quick, delicious gravy for any meal!



Linked to:

party

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Monday, October 21, 2013

Spooky Halloween Stories for Kids (with happy endings)

{image}
I had the BEST day at work on Friday telling spooky Halloween tales to the kids in the After-School Program! We dimmed the lights, sipped hot chocolate and spooked and giggled ourselves silly.

I had searched for Halloween stories that would be appropriate for 3rd through 5th graders, but found that everything labeled "scary stories for children" either ended with severed heads or dead bodies.  I don't think so.

I searched for "spooky stories for kids with funny endings" & stumbled upon this site: Bare Bones for Storytellers that labels each story by funny, scary, etc. and found the perfect mix to share with the kiddos. Spooky story time was a HIT! And definitely the highlight of my week. Also makes a great family night activity!


Spooky / Funny Halloween Stories for Kids
*successfully tested out on 3rd - 5th graders 
**can be adapted as needed
***some stories were adapted/embellished (see the link above for the originals)


THE GRAVEYARD VOICE
John and Mary were an ordinary couple, and their children, Jimmy and Jeannie, were also ordinary, except for the fact that they lived beside a graveyard.

John walked to and from work through the graveyard every day, and never worried about a thing. When daylight savings time kicked in, and it was dark by the time he came home, however, he stared to feel very uneasy. One night as he was walking home through the graveyard, he heard a voice in the darkness saying, "Turn me over, turn me over!" He was so scared, he ran all the way home. His wife and children laughed at him and told him there was nothing spooky in the graveyard, nothing to fear.

The second night, he heard the voice again, moaning in the darkness, "Turn me over, turn me over!", and ran all the way home. And again they laughed at him.

The third night was Halloween. Clouds covered the moon, and the night was pitch black. This time, when he heard the voice, he followed it. Through trees, past bushes, down a dark graveyard path, he saw a huge marble crypt, surrounded by a wrought iron fence. He pushed the gate (cree-eeak). He walked down the steps (13 of them).

The voice was coming from behind the huge metal door. "Turn me over, turn me over." He put his shaking hand on the doorknob and turned it slowly, cree-eak . . . and looked inside.

He saw a pile of red hot coals. On top of that was a metal grill. And on top of the grill was a hamburger, done on one side. He picked up the spatula, and turned the hamburger over.

It said, "Thaaaank youuuuuu."


THE BLOOD-COVERED VAMPIRE aka THE BLOODY VAMPIRE
The vampire went home to his castle one night, flying in through the window to find a bunch of vampires waiting for him. When they saw the blood on his face, they began to get thirsty and asked: "Where did you find the blood?"

He answered: "I can't tell you - it's too embarrassing!"
The other vampires said: "Please, tell us! We are so thirsty!"
The vampire said: "Okay, follow me!"

He led them into the dark nights sky and suddenly off in the distance there was a big dark tower.
The vampire asked: "Do you see the tower?"
The other vampires answered: "Yes, we do."
"Well, I didn't!"


RUBY RED LIPS 
(somewhat more scary than the others - adapt as necessary)
Once upon a time there was a girl named Lucy who was very excited about moving to a new house. She was going to have her own room for the very first time in her life! Lucy loved her bedroom on the first floor near the back of the house by the old, oak tree. The first night her parents went to bed. Then Lucy went to bed.

She was in her room...all by herself..in the dark..when she heard a tap, tap, tap, tap outside her window. She looked outside too see a woman with long, wild, black hair, a pale white face, long boney fingers, and long red fingernails. The woman cried out, "Lucy, do you know..what I can do..with my long red fingernails...and my ruby red lips?" "NO!" said Lucy. "And I don't want to know!" She slammed the window shut and jumped in bed and pulled the covers over her head. She did not move all night.

The next night when she went to bed she heard the tap, tap, tap, on her window again..and the same woman was there "Lucy, do you know..what I can do..with my long red fingernails...and my ruby red lips?" "NO!" yelled Lucy and slammed the window. She stayed under the bed all night.

The next night when she went to bed, she heard the tap, tap, tap on her window..."Lucy, do you know..what I can do..with my long red fingernails...and my ruby red lips?" Again she yells, "NO!" and slams the window. She stayed in the closet all night.

The next night when she went to bed, she put the pillow over head, but soon she could still hear the tap, tap, tap at the window. "Lucy, do you know..what I can do..with my long red fingernails...and my ruby red lips?" Well, Lucy was TIRED, Lucy was UPSET, Lucy NEEDED to get some sleep, so Lucy opened the window and yelled, "What, what, WHAT? Every night you come here. Every night you say, "Lucy, do you know..what I can do..with my long red fingernails...and my ruby red lips?" Well, I don't know! I don't know! And I don't care! Answer the question yourself. What do you do with your long red fingernails and your big red lips?"

The creature looked at the girl, smiled hideously and slowly reached up with one of its long, long red fingernails, and reached toward its two big red lips and went "B-b-b-l-l-b-b-b-b-l-l-l-l-l-l


SHORTEST SCARY STORIES IN THE WORLD
1. A boy sat down on a park bench next to an old woman. She turned to him and asked, "Do you believe in ghosts?" "NO!" said the boy. "Well, I do," said the woman, as she disappeared.

2. A man awoke in the middle of the night, and terrified, he reached for a flashlight. It was placed in his hand.

3. The last person on earth was alone in a house. Suddenly, there was a knock on the door.


THE MUMMY
This is a story told by a man working late at the St. Louis Art Museum. One night, as I was closing up the mummy exhibit, the guard was called away. I promised not to touch anything and to lock up when I was finished. As I was about to lock the door, I noticed a piece of the white mummy wrapping coming loose, and reached over to tuck it back in place. Suddenly, the mummy sat up and reached toward me. I jumped and backed away, but he stood up and began to follow me. I ran out the door and he was there. I ran down the hall, and he was there. I ran over to the closet, and he was there. In a final desperate attempt to get away I crouched down underneath the staircase. I was trapped. I had no where else to go and covered my head with my trembling hands. There under the staircase, as the mummy slowly approached me, I could hear him dragging his long wrapped legs behind him. Slowly, he reached out toward me and touched my arm, and said, "Tag, you're it!"


THE GHOST WITH ONE BLACK EYE
Once there was a baby who lived with her family in a little house at the edge of town. Her favorite drink was apple juice. One stormy night, when the electricity was out, there was no apple juice left in the kitchen. 

Baby: I want my apple juice, and I want it NOW!
Father: Okay, I’ll go to cellar for your apple juice.

Father walked down the dark, creaky steps with his dim flashlight to the even darker cellar. As he opened the cellar door (creeeaaak) and began to walk inside, in the blackness he heard, I AM THE GHOST WITH ONE BLACK EYE

Father ran upstairs as fast as he could! "I don’t want to go down there any more!"

Baby: I want my apple juice and I want it NOW!
Mother – I don't want to go down there!
Big brother – I don't want to go down there!
Big sister – I don't want to go down there!

Baby gets down from her highchair and says, Fine! I'll get it myself!

Baby walks down the creaky steps to the dark cellar. As she opens the cellar door (creeeaaak) and begins to walk inside, in the blackness she hears, I AM THE GHOST WITH ONE BLACK EYE

Baby: Well, I’ll give you two black eyes if you try to stop me from getting my apple juice!

The ghost was never heard from again


HAPPY HALLOWEEN! 

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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Sweater to Cardigan Refashion Tutorial

How to turn a sweater into a cardigan
{image Sweater to Cardigan Refashion © ShannonSorensen}
It's sweater season again and I've been rummaging through my bags of forgotten sweaters. The ones that don't fit, yet I can't seem to part with.

This v-neck pink argyle sweater has always been one of my favorites, but one day it started fitting tighter and haven't worn it since. Until now.

Give any old sweater new life, by turning it into a cardigan, with this easy refashion tutorial!




How to Turn your Sweater into a Cardigan

1. Choose a coordinating binding. You can make your own or use bias tape.

2. Measure the front of your sweater and cut that much bias tape + extra to tuck under on the top and bottom edge. Measure and draw a straight line down the front of your sweater.

3. Cut the front of your sweater using the line as your guide (no turning back now!).


refashion your old sweater into a cardigan with this tutorial
{Sweater to Cardigan Refashion © ShannonSorensen}

This binding will be turned to the inside of your sweater. If you want the binding to show on the outside, follow these steps with the sweater inside out. I'll have a tutorial for this method soon.

4. Pin the binding down with the shorter side flush with the edge of your sweater cut.

5. Fold the top and bottom edge of your binding over and pin.

6. Using a ball point needle (best for sewing with knits), and low pressure (I set my dial to 1) stitch down the creased fold all the way from the top to the bottom edge.
Refashion tutorial turn your sweater into a cardigan
{Refashion: Sweater to Cardigan © ShannonSorensen}

7. Fold the stitched binding over to the inside, covering up the raw edges.

8. Pin the folded binding from top to bottom. Be sure to tuck under the top and bottom edges.

9. Stitch as close the the edge of the binding as you can (the inside edge). My machine has a setting that moves the needle to the left hand side, so that is what I used.

10. Admire your handy work. You're all done!

Sew your own cardigan from an old sweater
{Transform your old sweater into a cardigan step-by-step © ShannonSorensen}

I'm so happy I'll be able to wear this sweater again, transformed into a new cardigan.

turn your old sweater into a cardigan refashion
{Sweater to Cardigan Refashion © ShannonSorensen}

I love the peekabo turquoise accent inside. You would never know it wasn't made this way in the first place.

How to turn a sweater into a cardigan
{Turn a old sweater into a cardigan: tutorial © ShannonSorensen}



refashion project, turn a shirt into a cardigan
{image © ShannonSorensen}
My next project is refashioning this men's long sleeved striped shirt into a cardigan...the wheels are turning! Stay tuned!

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All Things with Purpose

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Add water bottle holders to a fanny pack

how to add water bottle holders to a fanny pack
{photo: Add water bottle holders to a fanny pack © ShannonSorensen}
Sometimes I embarrass myself. Sometimes the thrifty-crafty-I-can-make-it-myself side takes over and I should hide my head in shame, but instead I share my faux-pas on the internet.

Since taking up biking, I've needed a fanny pack with water bottle holders for long rides. Many of the good ones are a little pricey and don't have 2 water bottle carriers, so I've been left toting a heavy backpack. Ugh.

In a *frenzied moment* when I was due to go out on the bike in 15 minutes and couldn't bare the thoughts of lugging a heavy backpack again, I grabbed whatever I had on hand (enter: thrifted shower curtain loops + elastic) and slapped this baby together. And I do mean slapped.

It wasn't my best work by any means (mismatched fabric, thread and elastic) and I'm a little embarrassed when "real bikers" pass me and pray they don't laugh at my DIY fanny pack bottle holders, but it did the job. Who needs dignity anyway, when you're wearing biking shorts that feel like a big adult diaper? At least I'd be hydrated.

Here are some quick how-to's:

Add water bottle holders to a fanny pack

easy way to add water bottle slings to fanny pack
{photo:  © ShannonSorensen}
What I did, in the hurried / thrifty version was to cut loops off the top of a thrifted fabric shower curtain to use as the bottle slings, and elastic to secure the water bottles. In my perfect version, I would have used coordinating fabric or nylon webbing (like backpack straps) + matching elastic.

1. Determine the length of your slings.
If there are water bottles you use most often, measure their length to determine how long you need your slings to be. The elastic will help make up for differences in width, but if your bottles are longer, you'll need longer strips for your slings.

2. Cut strips of coordinating fabric for your sling strips. Choose fabric or material that coordinates with your fanny pack or use nylon webbing (like backpack straps). The sling length should be a little over 1/2 to 3/4 the length of your water bottle. The width should be about 1-1/2 inches or more.

3. Sew one end of your sling strip to the waist belt of your fanny pack.

4. Cut 4 pieces of coordinating elastic. Two for each side. Measure the length of elastic by wrapping it around your water bottles and cut it so it fits snug.
make a fanny pack with water bottle carriers
{photo © ShannonSorensen}

5. Sew the elastic to the sling strips - 1 about 1/3 of the way up from the bottom and the 2nd at the top of the sling strip which you will also attach to the waist band of the fanny pack.

And that's about it. It really doesn't take a lot of time and has been a life saver on longer bike rides.

Every time I use this water-bottle-toting-fanny-pack the gunslinger song from old westerns goes through my head and I feel like spinning my water bottles and tossing them back in the holsters.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Arrows T-shirt DIY with stencil and fabric paint

arrow t-shirt with stencil and paint diy
{DIY Arrow T-shirt © ShannonSorensen}
I just realized I haven't posted since September. Time has whirled by since school started!

We had such a beautiful Seattle summer, but last weekend it started raining again. I mean a lot of rain. Buckets.

During our torrential downpour, I decided to put my craft on. Time to give some life to this plain blue t-shirt.

I love all the arrow designs I'm seeing lately, so I decided to create my own.


How to Make a Stenciled Arrow T-shirt:


PRINT: Find a clip art image online. Print it on paper or heavy card stock.
CUT: Cut out the shape of your stencil with a cutting tool.
STENCIL: Use your heavy cardstock stencil or trace your stencil on heavier material and re-cut. 

how to create a stencil for arrow t-shirt design
{Make an Arrow Stencil © ShannonSorensen}

1. PROTECT YOUR FABRIC: I ironed a piece of freezer paper to the inside of my t-shirt so the paint wouldn't go through. You can also use a piece of cardboard.

2. FABRIC PAINT: I like SoSoft fabric paint because it leaves a flexible, soft finish. Put a piece of saran wrap on a plate or surface for easy use and clean up.

3. APPLY PAINT: Hold down stencil and use a foam brush or other applicator and gently blot paint through the stencil on the shirt. Move stencil as needed and repeat.

4. FINISHED DESIGN: Let your painted design dry. SoSoft Paint doesn't require ironing to set the color, but once dried, you can heat set paint with a dry hot iron (using a cover cloth) for 2-3 minutes.
Instructions for making a stenciled painted t-shirt design with arrows
{Instructions for making an arrow painted / stenciled t-shirt © ShannonSorensen}

I love the way it turned out! It's fun by itself and a pair of jeans, with a black long-sleeve t-shirt under it, or paired with a jacket or cardigan.
DIY Painted Arrows T-shirt finished
{DIY Arrow Stenciled T-shirt © ShannonSorensen}

Arrow t-shirt, how to make your own with paint and stencil
{Painted Arrows T-shirt DIY © ShannonSorensen}

The wheels are still turning as I try to come up with a design for my other plain t-shirt...and speaking of turning wheels, it's time to go for a bike ride. It's been a week or so since I've been able to go because of the rain, but we're getting a break today!



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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Exercise is no longer a bad word

biking in seattle, getting in shape
This has got to be one of the more productive years of my life! Did aliens take over my body? I have made goals that I'm actually achieving, had a very productive summer, started work back at school with a bang, and have been biking my own socks off.

For years I hated exercise. I enjoy hiking every now and then because I get to see beautiful things and breathe clean air; plus it doesn't feel like exercise! But the monotony of going to a gym or hopping around to dreaded workout videos doesn't work for me. Blah!

Last summer I watched my first city bike race up close and personal. Wow, to be able to ride like that. Amazing.  

I've had thoughts of doing something BIG, like a marathon (not likely w/ my knee) or a mud run (somewhat possible) or the STP (2 day bike ride from Seattle to Portland - 205 miles). My dad did the STP 5 times. Wow. My brother even joined him one year. It seems so far off for me, but is something I want to do.

The bike I bought 5 years ago has been collecting spider webs and rust out on the deck. I had "planned" on cleaning it up and riding all summer, so that when I went back to my regular work schedule I would already be in the habit. Each time I saw my bike out of the corner of my eye, I would shamefully look away. 

Then one day in mid-August I would have it no more. I asked my husband to grab his air compressor, give my flat tires some life, wipe off the dusty seat and get me off my duff and start riding.

bike riding for exercise
I have to admit, I was a little afraid I wouldn't be able to ride without looking like a freak show. Many years ago, I hopped on a bike at my parents house, pushed my feet firmly in the shoe clips, began peddling and proceeded to dump over in the bushes. Wah, wah.

But as of today, I have logged about 90 miles since August 14th and am going strong! I never knew I was going to love it as much as I do. Remember what it felt like to ride down the street with the wind blowing across your face as a kid? It's like that. Only better, when you know you're getting healthier with each pedal.

I knew I would kick myself for not starting this a long time ago, but sometimes you just have to start where you are.


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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Protect your Online Photos: 4 Easy Steps

How to make a copyright on your photos to protect them
{image: Protect your online photos}
I had the unfortunate reminder a couple weeks ago, that images floating around the blogosphere can be stolen and claimed as someone else's if you're not careful. Not only had someone stolen my images, but was also claiming she had made what was in the photo. Double slap.

When confronted, the thief said she found my photo on Google and used it since my "name wasn't on it". The image clearly referenced my blog, but didn't have my name on the image. It still obviously wasn't her picture or her work, but I will be smarter from now on and leave a digital fingerprint so thick not even an experienced thief will want to mess with my photos! Take that!

There are several ways to protect your online photos by leaving your own digital fingerprint all over them.

Here's how:

How to Protect your Blog & Online Images

1. Put a copyright watermark on your photos.

The first, most visible way to protect your online images is to put a copyright notice directly on your image. You can do this by popping your photo into Photoshop or an online photo editing site and slapping a copyright directly on your photo.

You can add a watermark across your image or add text to the bottom. Being an avid user of Photoshop, I happen to know that text can easily be erased if it's at the bottom. It's harder to erase when it's written over at least part of the image and even harder to erase when it's across your entire image. It comes down to what you're comfortable with, since it does impact your image to some degree.

how to protect your blog images with a watermark
{Put a watermark on your photos © ShannonSorensen}


2. Add your Copyright to the Title of your Blog Photo

Have you ever hovered your mouse over an online image, and a text box pops up with a little description of the photo? This is an easy way to incorporate your copyright onto your photo without impacting the image itself.

While editing your post in blogger, click the image and a bar will pop up.
Then click Properties.

Protect your online pictures by adding titles with copyright
{Add titles to your photos to protect your pictures © ShannonSorensen}


An Image Properties box will pop up, giving you the option of adding Title Text to your image (alt text is something different.). Add a short description + your copyright.

Add digital fingerprint to your images with title tags
{Add extra protection to your online photos with Title tags © ShannonSorensen} 


Now when anyone hovers over your image, the text box will pop up, giving more information about your photo, along with your copyright. When your mouse is not on the image, the text box goes away (same for my pinterest pin button).

How to prevent your online pictures from being stolen
{Prevent online images from being stolen by adding a title tag with your copyright © ShannonSorensen}

3. Add your Copyright to the Caption under your Blog Image

A caption is the text that shows up below your image. It's a chance to give readers a little more information about your photo, and another place to add your copyright.

Simply click on your image in blogger edit mode, and the bar will pop up (below).
Click on Add Caption.


Show ownership of your online pictures by adding a caption with copyright
{Add a caption like this to identify your copyright © ShannonSorensen}


Add a description of your image and include your copyright.

How to prevent having your online photos stolen
{Take ownership of your photos with copyright protection © ShannonSorensen}


4. Add your Copyright to your Image File Name

This may be the least effective way, but it still leaves your digital print on your image. When you save your photo to your computer, before adding it to blogger, add a short copyright to the end of your file name: chevron-pillow-ssorensendesigns.jpg. You want it at the end so it won't interfere with seo.

Although image file names can easily be altered once you've uploaded your picture to the internet, and sometimes sites encrypt the title anyway, it doesn't hurt to slap your copyright on the file name.


You've worked hard to take great photos and make quality products. Don't let someone rip off your talents and hard work without a fight! Protect your images online by adding your copyright in these 4 easy steps, giving thieves a reason to look for stolen images elsewhere.


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