Friday, March 25, 2016

Upcycled Labyrinth Tee Dress

I am sure I am not the only one with a large collection of graphic tees! I have every type of graphic tee from bands to movie characters to just weird or funny sayings. Of course some tees wear out and develop wholes over time from washing and wear. Some of these end up being relegated to just "around the house" tees. But how many around the house tees do I actually need? Ugh. 

It always fun to upcycle the tees that are in bad shape instead. Turn them into something more useful for a second life.  Sometimes I turn old tees into pillows or quilted blankets. The designs can be cut out and used as patches on jackets or shirts also. Or they can be turned into something completely new like a t-shirt dress! 

This Labyrinth tee has seen better days. I bought it ages ago at a horror movie convention. Unfortunately the fabric was very unstable and the shirt started to disintegrate in the wash very quickly.  I loved the design because well, it's Bowie!, so I thought I would try and save it by using the front as fabric in a dress. 

The first thing I did was cut the top apart. Normally I use the back of the tee also but in this case the material was so bad I only recycled the front part with the design.  

Next I cut out a back, sleeves, and skirt out of new fabric. My blacks do not match perfectly but when do they ever match perfectly? I used one of my own patterns. A design I use over and over again so it's tried and true. 

I serged the pieces together in the usual way using a 4 thread overlock stitch. 

The neck step was to add some trim. I chose a sparkly silver ruffle for the neck and a silver and black lace for the hem and zig zagged it on. A little bit of sparkle seems appropriate on a Bowie tee doesn't it? 

Unfortunately there was a small hole on the front of the tee also. So I needed to add some trim to cover that hole. I decided to make it seem like it was supposed to be there all along by adding rows of lace and a small fabric rosette. To make a rosette just pleat and gather trim as you zig zag. I then take the gathered trim and roll it into a rosette.  The rosette is just zig zagged on top of the other trim on the tee by the neckline. 

And here is the finished dress! I'm going to be careful washing this dress from now on by using cold water and hanging it up to dry so that hopefully it doesn't continue to disintegrate. 


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

For the love of Sedona Arizona

My Hubby surprised me this year with a very special birthday gift. He planned a week to spend in beautiful Sedona, Arizona. We were blessed with unseasonably hot weather for February the week we were there. Most days were bright and sunny and in the 20s (Celsius). Originally we were supposed to go to New Orleans for this trip but we kept getting signs to go to Sedona. Several different people mentioned it to us including a psychic who told me I would have a spiritual epiphany on this trip.

Sedona has two sides to it. The expensive tourist trap side and the mystical spiritual side. If you are careful to avoid the first side and plan your days around the second side it can be a truly magical place to visit. Sedona is full of beautiful scenery. The red rock mountains are always in the background no matter where you are in the city. There is plenty of outdoor activities to keep you busy all week long including hiking and cycling. This was the view from our hotel room. Spectacular! 

We spent our first day getting acquainted with Sedona by taking the Trolley Tour and walking around the Main Street downtown. I can highly recommend the Trolley Tour. It was a good first thing to do because they highlight everything to see in town including a stop at the Chapel of the Holy Cross. The Chapel is built right into the side of one of the mountains. You really have to see and experience the positive energy in person. The chapel is built on one of the many energy vortexes in Sedona. A feeling of peace and serenity surrounds it. It was the first energy vortex we experienced on the trip. A word to the wise though, be careful not to fall for any of the cheap deals advertised in town on Pink Jeep tours or helicopter rides because it's actually a Time Share company preying on unsuspecting tourists. Buy your tickets for the tours by the companies that actually run them. Buyer beware! 

The next day we took a Pink Jeep tour out to the Hopi ruins Honanki. It was another excellent tour. The ruins are full of hieroglyphs that are thousands of years old. We learned all about the Native American tribes that lived in Sedona including the peaceful Hopi. We learned how they not only survived in the desert but thrived there. I found the Hopi legends and mythology especially fascinating. I love to learn about ancient cultures so I did my own research later at the hotel and learned more detail about Kokopelli and Spider Grandmother.  

We also hiked Bell Rock that day. It was the second energy vortex we visited on the trip. One of the special things about Sedona are the natural energy vortexes. An energy vortex is a subtle swirling of earth energy. Some spots felt like the the energy is swirling up (masculine) and some felt like it was swirling down (feminine).  You know you are in the right spot when the Juniper trees start to look all twisted and misshapen. I am extremely energy sensitive so I could feel it as soon as we arrived in Sedona but some spots are much stronger than others. You can read more about the energy vortexes on John and Micki's Metaphysical Site. Bell Rock felt energized with positive energy. People love to hike all the way to the top for the views. 

The next day we rented bikes from a local shop and spent the day mountain biking with friends. We were very lucky to meet up with some cycling friends from Ontario. They showed us some beautiful trails but I also realized just how much I need to train before cycling season. Ugh. And then we went for dinner and drinks. Drinks must always follow a day of mountain biking. There are no exceptions! 

On to the Grand Canyon next! We took another Pink Jeep tour to the Grand Canyon. It was an all day affair. Our guide drove us there and back. He wasn't all that talkative but the scenery pretty much speaks for itself. Spectacular views the whole day. There are no guard rails around the canyon. So watch your step, it's only a 6000ft. drop to the bottom!  

For our last day we took the time to explore a few more energy vortexes. We stopped briefly at the airport vortex but there were no available parking spots. It was just as well because I really hated the masculine energy at the airport. It felt angry and irritating. Not at all what I want to experience while on vacation.  So we set out to find Buddha Beach at the foot of Cathedral Rock instead. It was a long hike in but so worth it, because it was the most magical place in the whole city. It's hard to put the feeling in to words but mostly it feels like Mother Nature is giving you a giant bear hug. It's peaceful and tranquil.  The perfect spot for meditation and building rock art. If Faeries live in Sedona they most certainly reside on Buddha Beach. 

Oh look... It's a goth in a tree! 

We finished the trip with a nice afternoon stroll around a quaint little Mexican village filled with pretty boutiques. The village looks like it's hundreds of years old but actually it was built in the 70s. The designer studied authentic Mexican architecture and then copied it in a pretty spot by the river filled with large oak trees. We didn't buy a thing that day but we did have a fantastic dinner at the Mexican restaurant. The best shopping in Sedona is actually all the mystical shops. They are everywhere but my favourite one was called Crystal Magic. There are beautiful crystals, tarot cards, and metaphysical books in every store and psychics too. I did not get a reading while in Sedona, it's just to expensive. I'll wait and visit my favourite psychics at home. 

We can't wait to go back again.  A week was just too short. Until next time Arizona. Cheers!