PDP Exclusives by Rebecca

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Giving Handmade- The BVG Aftermath

For the past month or so, we all have been talking about giving handmade for the holidays, and sharing our wish lists with you. We even have been getting photos of handmade items our readers have given and/or made this holiday season! So the question we ask of you all, why stop now? Let's keep this ball rolling! There is not one occasion that I can think of that does not deserve a bit of handmade amazingness when given as a gift. I am going to share with you all the handmade goodies that were under MY tree this year, and even give a few more suggestions!

First up was a play pirate map from Enchanted Dandelions. This was a perfect little stocking stuffed for my littlest guy! He has had lots of fun using it to scout out where the buried treasure is in the back yard, and for his dolls to use as well. These would make really cute party favors for a pirate themed birthday party, or as a gift when paired with the handpainted gold coins she offers, as well!

Also from Enchanted Dandelions, were a set of 8 beanbags for the little guy. He has had lots of fun stacking them, tossing them into a bucket, and counting them. They are WONDERFUL for working on his math skills, and they are very well made, and sturdy!
 We all know how hard it is to find gifts that are handmade for the guys in our lives. Uncle Bryan received a really cool Burn Buster from The Biting Gnome. In cool pinstriped with lime lining, this is a perfect small gift. These would be AMAZING for end-of-the-year teacher gifts, for small birthday gifts, or as thank you gifts!

My mom and my older son both found some really cool hats under the tree from Julian Bean. The toddler in the house already has 2, so big brother wanted one, as well! Her hats are EXTREMELY well made, are machine washable, and are SO warm. Character and animal hats are hot this winter, but this way, you can grab one that is custom, and supports a WAHM! She also makes newborn side hats, which would make an amazing baby shower gift.

And last but not least, my little guy got an amazing pony from Manely Recycled. I am astonished at how well made these ponies are, Amy really outdoes herself. He took right to rising his pony around the living room, and has played with it every day since! Amy will do custom orders, and usually has some ponies in stock as well. She does a lot of upcycling in her ponies, so a ton of the fabric you see on ponies comes from other DIY seamstresses! (Look closely, there is a lot of BVG fabrics in there!)
Sorry I don't have an awesome picture of his pony, he really couldn't stand still. But here is one that Amy has ready to ship! These would make awesome birthday gifts for kiddos!!!!!
So as you can see, giving handmade does NOT need to be reserved for the holiday months, you can give the gift of handmade ALL year. Not only for birthdays, but as thank you gifts, as "Just because" gifts. In the summer, we have graduations, and kids going off to school for the first time, why not toss some beer soap their way? A handmade blanket for their bed? Etsy and Artfire are also FULL of really awesome handmade toys to give kids, as well as birthday party supplies, and candy and goodies to fill gift bags! You can also keep checking back here on the Modern Rosies blog, we always have new tutorials on how to handmake really cool items yourself! The possibilities are endless! Let's make 2012 the year for handmade! Who's with me?

Brooke is the owner and seamstress at Brooke Van Gory Designs. She lives in The Chicago suburbs with her two kiddos, and her rock star husband! You can shop BVG here, and follow her on Google+ here.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

DIY gift tags- Upcycle those Christmas Cards!

The holidays are over, but that doesn't mean you can't re-use some of that gift wrap to use throughout the rest of the year, or store for next year! Our friend Arjay from Kisszombies DIY gives a cool gift tag tutorial today.
Growing up, I used to tease my mother for her money-saving tricks, especially when it came to gift-wrap.  Now, I follow in her footsteps, stashing gift bags, clothing boxes, and star bows to use over and over again, not because I have to, but it just makes sense to reduce, reuse, and recycle.  Here is a great little tutorial that I came up with to save a little money, and give your gifts a little more homemade touch!

What you need:
Used holiday cards (I do this same thing for birthday gifts, as well!)

Figure out which parts of your card that you would like to turn into a gift tag.  I really liked the red bird on the tree, so I cut past that to the crease of the card, and folded the strip in half so that I can write on the inside of the new mini-card tag.

Other cards still have some really great images to cut out, but no space to fold them over, so just cut out around the images however you would like.   Rather than folding it and then taping it to your gift, you can just tape it down flat and it can still be lifted up to read.

Some cards don’t have an actual image to use, but have patterns or textures that I like so I still make tags for those to use on holiday gifts, birthday gifts, or any other occasion that it would work for.

I only had a few cards that were completely unusable, but look at all of these tags that I didn’t even need to buy!
Wrap your presents, label your tags, attach and Voila!

This purple and silver tag that I made went great on my friend’s birthday gift!
The holiday tags make my paper bag wrapped gifts look festive and rustic!
Arjay Smith hails from Salt Lake City, where she lives with her fiance, and a slew of fur babies. She is the owner and creator behind Kisszombies DIY. She has an Etsy shop, an Artfire shop, and you can also find her on Facebook, so there are many ways to find her!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Beauty Buzz - Candy Cane Body Polish

Congrats! You've successfully survived the holidays! Now... what to do with all of those left over candy canes?! Every year I like to take mine, smash them with a hammer and make Candy Cane Body Polish!

Do you still have some last-minute gift giving to do? Or maybe more family functions to attend? This is a great project to involve the kids in. Grab some empty mason jars and some candy stripped ribbon and you can turn this scrub into one lush holiday spa gift for someone special!

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup finely crushed candy canes
  • 1 cup almond oil; soybean or hazelnut may be substituted
  • 2 teaspoons ginger; powdered
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon; powdered
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg; powdered
  • 40 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 30 drops cardamom essential oil

  • In a medium sized bowl, combine all ingredients except for the essential oils.
  • Whisk ingredients together making sure to break up all clumps that may have formed.
  • Once everything is mixed thoroughly, add essential oils and stir to blend.

  • Gently massage (don't scrub!) a small handful of polish onto wet/damp skin using circular motions.
  • Rinse off with cool water.
  • Perfect for all skin types just be extra gentle with more sensitive skin.
  • Use twice a week to keep your skin looking fresh.
  • Store in air tight container at room temperature.
  • Good for up to 6 months.
  • Makes a great lip scrub!

Mo is the beauty and brains behind Madd Style Cosmetics. You can shop with her on Artfire, or follow her on Facebook. Her page is ALWAYS full of makeup and beauty inspiration!!  

Friday, December 23, 2011

Spot Removal: Think Outside The Cage

Krissi has returned from the successful Help Hank project and is posting on Modern Rosies again!  Today she has one of those great "off label" uses for a product every house should have - especially if you have children or pets.  Or husbands...  ;)

I keep a product in my house that is nothing short of magic.  A little birdie told me about this product.  OK, he wasn't little.  And, to tell you the truth, there were two of them:

Oscar (Military Macaw) and Charlie (Blue & Gold Macaw)
Macaw parrots I met during my days as Development Coordinator
for a  parrot rescue and education organization.
The magical product is called "Poop-Off" and is a biodegradable product intended as a completely non-toxic way to clean bird cages.  Anyone who has tried to remove dried bird poop from their car will know it isn't easy to clean up.  What you may not know is that birds have very different respiratory systems than other vertebrates and are, as a result, susceptible to poisoning from airborne particulate matter and toxins that you and I wouldn't even notice.

by "I Have No Shirt"
You see, that's why coal-miners carried canaries with them. When Mr. Canary went feeties-up in his cage, the miners knew it was time to leave the mines lickety-split and get some fresh air.  Of course, by then, it was too late for the canary, but that's not what we're here to talk about.  I've only mentioned Mr. Canary so you know that if a product is safe enough to spray around birds, then it is safe to use around humans! Yep, even around babies or if you have allergies, asthma or chemical sensitivities - I know.  Cool, huh?

So now that we've got the safety aspects covered on this, let's get on to what truly makes Poop-Off so magical.  IT REMOVES EVERYTHING.  Well, most everything.  It doesn't work on mothers-in-law, but it really is miraculous.  We always keep a couple of spray bottles and a gallon of Poop-Off in our house.  So far we and our friends in the know have used this to remove:
  • Outdoors
    • Bird poop from cars, lawn furniture, etc. (duh)
  • Carpet Spot Removal (includes upholstered furniture and your car interior!)
    • Cat pee smell   <--- this alone should tell you how magic this is
    • Cat and dog pee stains
    • Barf stains (Kid, cat and dog in origin)
    • Kitty/doggy poop
    • "Who spilled something?" mystery stains
    • Kool Aid  and wine spills
  • Laundry Pre-Treatment
    • Grass stains
    • Berry stains (blueberries, strawberries, etc.)
    • Protein drink stains
    • Chocolate
    • Blood
    • Poop (new Moms will appreciate this)
    • "What did you spill on this?" mystery stains
How to use this magical product.

  • Blot up as much of the offending spillage as possible (DO NOT RUB)
  • Saturate area with Poop-Off
  • Allow it to sit for a few minutes
  • Blot up Poop-Off (DO NOT RUB)
  • Repeat as necessary
  • For laundry treatments, I saturate the spot as soon as I discover it, and once again before putting it in the washing machine.
Poop-Off is relatively easy to find online.  It can be ordered from Drs. Foster and Smith and if you have a local PetCo, you can find Poop-Off in the bird section.  But don't be fooled into thinking that you can get whatever enzymatic cleaner your local pet shop has on the shelf.  I've tried them ALL and this is the only one the actually works.  It's the only one that is magical.  

Go get some before the holiday spilling really gets going!

Krissi Sandvik is a mixed-media artist, DIY group Corporate Rejects member and the owner of Krissi's Art Studio, home of Skelekitty and Friends. She was recently named "best tutorialer on the web" by her friend Rachelle Rose and she publishes a tutorial or "Ask Krissi's Art Studio" feature on Fridays here at Modern Rosies.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Mail Art - Wenchkin Style

Starting now, the Union Riveters are slowly starting to think about New Year's Resolutions. Wenchkin has a really cool idea that almost EVERYOINE could get into. Getting mail is AWESOME , and it it is mail art, then it is 10 times more amazing! This would also be a really fun project for kids!

For the new year I had decided instead of making a resolution I would instead take on a 365 day project inspired by Noah Scalin, whose project grew into Skull-A-Day who I have actively followed for awhile now. As many skulls as I draw I was not sure I wanted to do a skull a day myself and after having started screen printing my own cards and sending them to fans someone mentioned mail art.

I asked what is mail art?
I was told, you make art, you mail it. There are no rules.
I started networking and sending stuff back and forth to other people and I am hooked. I love getting stuff in the mail that is not bills.

I first started out just printing my own cards and sending them to anyone willing to send me an address since most mail is done postcard size and a postcard stamp is only 29 cents. I like to make flat note cards and send them in envelopes so it costs me 44 cents each but in my opinion the little bit of change is worth the smile.

Now I had originally planned to start this January 1st but I got myself into the habit weeks ago of getting up getting coffee and making a piece of mail art right away before I go on with the rest of my day. I just decided three days ago to stop waiting till the first and just start doing it, if you care to watch me loose my mind trying to keep this going over the next year you can do so here.

Here are just a few

Now, the other thing I wanted to mention is when I started talking about this I had a few people write me saying they were inspired to send people stuff themselves. I think this is great. You do not have to be a mail artist or even an artist per se to be able to mail people fun stuff. Buy old cards from a thrift store and send them to friends for fun. Like I was told there are no rules to this, just do it for the fun of it. Who does not love mail??

Wenchkin is an amazing artist, specializing in muerto-inspired drawings, and thick black outlines. You can find her on Google+, on Facebook, or you can shop her ArtFire shop! She currently resides in Albuquerque with artist Scott Krichau, and their tripod Jack Russell "P."

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Brooke Van Gory Zipper Tutorial

 Here you have it, Merry Christmas. You all have been BEGGING me to do a tutorial on how to do a zipper, so I went all out, taking as many pictures as I could. Now, for the record, I am very non-conventional when it comes to zippers. I have been doing them for so long, that I don't really use pins on a lot of parts that most people do. So rule of thumb, if you feel like it is gonna slip, pin it! And if you pin it, GO SLOW and take the pins out when you come to them. Anywhoo, you are going to need 2 squares of an outer fabric, 2 squares on an inner fabric, and one zipper. Cut the squares in the width of the zipper itself, and the other direction whatever looks good. This pouch is 9x7 with a 9" zipper.
 Now, always remember when you are sewing most anything, that if you sew fabric together, the RIGHT SIDES NEED TO BE TOUCHING. Otherwise you are going to be inside out. SO sandwich the sipper in between one of the printed pieces, and one of the inner pieces. The RIGHT side of each fabric should be touching the zipper. The TOP part of the zipper (the part that would be on the outside of the finished pouch) should be TOUCHING the outside fabric of your pouch.
 On your machine, you need to have on a zipper foot. See the foot on the right side? That is a zipper foot. Your user's manual will tell you how to swap out your feet. TRUST ME. Zippers are always better with a zipper foot.
 Sew a straight seam so that you are attaching the inner fabric/zipper/outer fabric.
 See? That zipper is all nice and warm right in between those two fabric pieces.
 And this, my friends, is what it will look like after that seam is done.
 And if you flip the fabric over, this is what you will have! A zipper sammich!!!!!!
 Now take the other two pieces of fabric, and do the same thing on the other side of the zipper.
 See? This is what you are going to be sewing. Remember that the RIGHT sides of the fabric TOUCH the zipper.
 After you complete that seam, this is what you will have. Don't cry, I know it looks weird, but then you work a little topstitch magic.

 You spread the fabric sides and inners to their correct sides, and topstitch a seam alongside each side of the sipper.
 During this step, go REALLY slowly. Still, to this day, even after taking over 10 hours of intense classes on sipper sewing ad constructing, I sometimes have to seam-rip this step, because the OTHER side of the inner gets caught up in my topstitch.
 So now you have this! Good job, you! You are doing GREAT!!!!!
 Now flip the pouch so that the two inner pieces are touching their right sides together, and the outer right sides are touching. Where the sipper is, it should look like this. Pinch the zipper so that the lines you just made on the outer fabric with your topstitch are lined up and touching.
 Then stick a pin right alongside that sipper, close to the teeth, to hold it in place.
 Pin the squares so that they don't shift while you are sewing them.
 Start sewing around the WHOLE pouch. When you get to the zipper go REALLY slowly, and remove the pin before you sew over it. I STILL to this day cringe when I sew over the zipper part. And be careful of the metal parts of the zipper, you don't want to hit those, you light lose an eye from a broken needle. ;)
 Leave a little section on the INNER fabric part of the pouch, so you can flip it right-side-out.
 Here is my pouch flipped!! Now all you have to do is to stitch the opening shut, and press it if you want, and you are done!
I know a lot of this may seem really confusing, and a bit overwhelming. But be confident, go slowly, and practice. A LOT! GO to the bargan area of your local fabric store, and just pick up some old zippers for cheap, and sew them into pouches with old fabric scraps. When I first started zippers years ago, I think everyone I knew got a really badly sewn zipper pouch "just because" I was still perfecting my skills. And now, I admit, I have a bit of a zipper obsession. I love them.

I hope this helped, and I hope you all enjoyed this tutorial. Please ask any questions in the comments section, I can respond to them there!

Brooke is the owner and seamstress at Brooke Van Gory Designs. She lives in The Chicago suburbs with her two kiddos, and her rock star husband! You can shop BVG here, and follow her on Google+ here.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Beauty Buzz : Give the Gift of Cleanliness!

The holidays have snuck up on us. With Christmas less than a week away there is a good chance that, if you are like me, you are scrambling to get some last minute gifts together. Well I've come up with a great idea to help with that. It's handmade, inexpensive and, best of all, personalized!

Before we get started with the ingredients, let's grab a few other items we will be needing for this.
You will need: scissors, ribbon, a clean and empty soap pump or plastic squeeze bottle, full-sheet labels (can be found at your local wal-mart or office supply store) and a good attitude! To make this a more personalized gift, you will be printing your own labels! I found a wonderful template here that is easy to use and pretty much full of win. Now, on to the good stuff...


  • 8 oz bottle of castile soap, unscented (this is good for 1 gift)
  • 1/2 cup floral water (I prefer lemon balm hydrosol or rose water)
  • 1/2 cup distilled water
  • 1 teaspoon jojoba oil
  • 12 drops spearmint essential oil
  • 12 drops peppermint essential oil


  • Aside from the bottle, I purchased all of these items at my local craft store.
  • Good for up to 1 year.
  • Gentle enough to use daily.
  • Not intended for severely dry/damaged skin.

    Mix all of the ingredients together; stir or shake to blend. Pour into your container and you are ready to rock! Get crazy with the decorations and you are sure to have one gift that stands out this year! Happy Holidays!

    **This soap can be used for either a hand soap in the bathroom, or as a body wash! Dual purpose, baby!!**

    Mo is the beauty and brains behind Madd Style Cosmetics. You can shop with her on Artfire, or follow her on Facebook. Her page is ALWAYS full of makeup and beauty inspiration!!  

I Love Black & Green

Black & Green Stuff!

My name is Ranon, and I like stuff that is black and green :)

Black & Green Kitty Battle Scar Beanie, by AnimeHot

Wedding Guest Book & Feather Pen, By ItsMyDay

VooDoo Doll Pin Cushion, By BatGirl93

Spikey Mug, By SymmetricalPottery

Spring Plushie, By Yumusakseyler

Beaded Wire Crochet Necklace, By HettyMarie

I hope you liked those!

Ranon is the owner and creator of Rocky the Zombie designs
Cute character clothing and art for all ages!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fiber Optic Beer Can Tree

You know what rules? Holidays that some people find serious, and others can have FUN with. Wenchie is a master of FUN THINGS, and this project is no exception. Viva la PBR tree!!!!!

Yes it is obvious I do not have kids and I do not take the holidays very seriously. With that I bring you every cheap beer drinker's tree of choice, the beer tree. But I jazzed it up by using the cans to decorate the tree instead of be the tree this year.

I try to keep my "how to" blogs as cheap as possible so there is a good chance you can get a small fiber optic tree at a thrift store for less just plug it in and make sure it works. For piece of mind and so that this lasts longer then just this project I caved and bought a new one.
This white fiber optic tree I picked up at my local wal mart for 13 bucks they also had tree colored ones but I opted for white thinking it would better suit the cans I am choosing color wise.

So this is basically easy as long as you remember one thing. Hot glue will not stick to the tree no matter what you do so avoid even trying to glue anything to the tree directly. It will just melt the plastic parts, ruin the fiber optics, stink to hell and back and make you very unhappy.

So to start all I really used is
a 24 pack of empty cans,
a hot glue gun,
extra glue sticks,
a sharp knife.

I take the tree out of the box and fluff down the first layer to make a base for my first row of cans to sit on top of.

Then because I do not want the glue to melt the tree I assemble a circle of cans off the tree first leaving the last one out. Sorry my picture leaves something to be desired but I run a bead of glue again on the insides where every can meets just for added stability.

I then place it on my tree on top of the bottom row of branches

and glue the remaining can into the circle

Then because I am not thrilled with the way the bottom branches are sticking out so far I bend each one of them back in a z shape still leaving the end of the branch sticking out at that it the part where the fiber optics are.

So now it looks something more like this.
You do not have to do this, it is just how I want to shape my tree.

Now I start taking the next row of center branches and bending them down and over the first row of cans all the way around the tree.

And for some reason I seem to be missing the next photo, awesome except for the fact that all it showed was me repeating the same make a beer ring minus one can, make it one can smaller then your previous ring, mine went 7 cans, 6 cans, 5 cans, 1 can. and continue to pull down branches and fluff them out where you want the light up ends to be.

For the final can I used a sharp knife to cut the bottom out then I pulled the last longest branch of the tree through the mouth hole.

and plugged it in

Wenchkin is an amazing artist, specializing in muerto-inspired drawings, and thick black outlines. You can find her on Google+, on Facebook, or you can shop her ArtFire shop! She currently resides in Albuquerque with artist Scott Krichau, and their tripod Jack Russell "P."