Category Archives: Artsy Fartsy Things

“Write on” and other puns writers probably don’t use, ever.

Originally posted on findingLA.wordpress.com

When I turned 11, my sister gave me a journal. It had Tigger on it, and blue paper. She liked to journal, and thought that I might enjoy it too.

Fast forward 27 years and 40 some odd blank books later, and I’ve discovered that I love to write.

Writing is something that’s just stuck with me. Journals, stories, one completed slightly true to life story of my freshman year of college, letters, blogs, poetry, anything that involves writing words down involves me.

So, you can imagine the annoying feeling of incompletion that I face anytime I have writer’s block. I’ll be staring down at a blank page, trying to think of something – anything– to write that isn’t trivial. And I’ll have nothing. Thanks for the Blank Space, T.Swift, but I’ve got nothing more than a name to fill you.

I’ve tried a few tricks over the years. I’ve used the scrapbooking technique, I’ve tried writers’ prompts, I’ve even attempted to type when I’m feeling incredibly blocked. But that comes with the dreaded delete button, where you might be able to take away everything you think is wrong but at the same time, you could be deleting something that could be really write right. 

Again, with the puns.

Yesterday, I was in the middle of a coloring day with the Boo. He had a doodle book, I had an adult coloring book – all the rage right now. And in the midst of this coloring, I felt a strange calmness come over me. Coloring within these lines was practically therapeutic. All you had to worry about was filling in the blanks and that was all she wrote. Er, drew.

So with that, I busted out my old school Gelly RollsBack in the day, I had a few dozen of these in every color and texture. Um, lightning ink? SIGN ME THE EFF UP.

Gelly Rolls

Something about the color on the page made me feel better instantly. It wasn’t just this terrible white page I had to fill, and it seemed suddenly more do-able. I doodled on a few pages, not filling the whole page, but giving myself blanks to fill, and things to remember, and goals to reach.

FullSizeRender 2

It made me feel more like I wanted to write, and less like I would cramp up within 30 seconds of cursive (Left handers, for the win). I even started busting out my collection of stamps and washi tape, to make things more interesting. And then, when I was done with that, I sat. And I wrote.

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What are your cures for writer’s block? Let me know in the comments!

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Artsy, Fartsy

So, I live in this city called Grand Rapids, MI. It’s a nice city.

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It’s a nice place. You know, museums, hockey team, symphony, etc. etc. And not only that.

There comes a time in Grand Rapids, MI where we are a little more widely known. People come from all over to see the great display of Art Prize.

IMG_4432Art Prize is a giant explosion of stuff in downtown Grand Rapids. The whole downtown area is like a giant canvas for artists. People cram into downtown like sardines and get to vote on what their favorite piece is. Yay, public opinion!

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There is an excellent part about Artprize – the constant debate on what defines art. As far as I know, anyone can enter Art Prize. Last year, a tapestry won. Another year, Jesus won. The variety of art spans from musical performances to musicals, to sculptures and paintings, and to this furry box located in front of the hockey arena with eggs inside. There was a year when a giant pig was art. And another year that a penny made of pennies was art.

 

And this year, Boo decided to define art as only a six year old can.

 

Boo: Mom, look! It’s more art!

Me: Boo, that’s not art.

Boo: It’s in artprize!

Me: Boo, it’s a garbage chute.

Boo: Oh, I thought it was art because it was so tall.

Me: Nope, just garbage.

Boo: Now why would anyone put garbage into artprize??!

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Boo’s Art Prize 2k14 exhibit.

Vote on, Grand Rapids.

 

for the pain and the pleasure

This guy I knew once, way back when, offered to pay for my first tattoo. Every once in awhile, I debate texting him, seeing if his number is still the same, and asking if he’ll still pay for that tattoo.

He had lots of tattoos. I somehow have a photo of one.

He had lots of tattoos. I somehow have a photo of one, because I have photos of everything.

I’m not exactly subtle about how terrible I am with pain. Once, I put my hand through a window and had to get five stitches. The nurse laughed at me because he had to use three times the normal amount of anesthetic to stop the pain. And I totally lied to him when he asked if I could still feel it. I still felt the needle and that shit hurt.

I had another offer today for a free tattoo. For some reason, when I say that I really don’t think I can do it, this says to people that they should try harder to convince me. They want to be my tattoo spirit guide, and tell me the places it will hurt the most and at what point the vibrating needle becomes more of a nuisance than a pain.

People just seem to want to know if it’ll make me cry.

Him: You don’t want a tattoo?

Me: No. It’s not that at all. I know what I would get if I were to get a tattoo. I just can’t get one.

Something like this.

Something like this.

Him: WHY NOT?

Me: L.A. DOES NOT DO PAIN.

Him: But that’s the thing. Everything is going to hurt you.

Me: This isn’t helping your argument, Bob Marley.

Him: Tattoos are different. They mean something to you. 

Me: Not having needles poke me lots of times means something to me.

Him: But you choose this pain.

Me: BUT WHY ON EARTH WOULD I CHOOSE THE PAIN?!

And then we drew ourselves tattoos because I'm basically a 7th grade girl still.

And then we drew ourselves tattoos because I’m basically a 7th grade girl still.

Signed, sealed, delivered, WHAT THE BLEEP IS IN MY MAILBOX.

I got a letter from my lovely Lina the other day. It was a bittersweet moment, because on one hand, I was all…

I’VE GOT MAIL, BITCHES.

…and on the other hand, I was like…

How long has it been since I’ve sent mail, because so much stationary and so much envelopes and mother-fecking Harry Potter Stamps?!

Which loosely translates to me realizing that I’ve got all this stationary and all these stamps that I have neglected to use.

I have these stamps, guys. And I cannot figure out why I have not sent any of you magical, magical Harry Potter Owl Mail. Image from Yahoo! News.

Of course, this lead me to sorting out all my stationary, and finding my fountain pen, and searching all over etsy for a new-old-working typewriter that I can put on my childhood desk that my father and I are attempting to refinish for me. A girl needs a place to pen her life. Somehow in the course of all this, I found myself on a website that I come across every few years.

I’ve debated joining the Letter Writers Alliance for awhile now, but always told myself not to until I have more time to write. It occurred to me then, that I am never going to have more time to write. If I want to write letters, I need to find time and write letters. So, this is me, dedicating via blog, that I’m going to do just that. New Year’s Resolution style, I’m going on a #LettersFromLA kick, because it’s something I love to do.

And on that note, here are the top five things I would really appreciate finding in my mailbox:

5. Maybe not this exact barrel but…

this is from the 1920’s and was used to ship silver and china. Photo from http://plentyofcolour.com, click photo for link.

I always wanted to get something from Tiffany’s in the mail because you see that blue and you just know that’s where it’s from. Granted, this barrel wouldn’t fit in my mailbox, but still. Tiny version maybe?

4. Unique stationary of any sort…

The personalized mail from suburbanpenpal.wordpress.com is absolutely awesome. Click photo for link.

Freshly pressed definitely knew where my head was at this morning when they featured SuburbanPenPal.wordpress.com. Her letters are so unique, I did that awkward girl sqeeee just looking at them.

3. Here is a Pinata.

Ole. Courtesy of afewofmyfavorites.com. Click photo for link.

Seriously, it’s a pinata. In the mail. Enough said.

2. The Police put it best.

Yes. That is a message in a bottle. Photo from olderandwisor.com. Click the photo for the link.

Sending out an SOS? YES.

And finally.

1. Put a bird on it. Or put it in a bird. Or something like that.

Courtesy of that site I might finally join, the Letter Writers Alliance. Click the photo for the link.

It’s just like having your very own Carrier Pigeon. But he’s dead. I mean, fake. He’s not alive. And he goes in the mailbox. Someone, mail me a bird.

 

So, I’m pulling out my fountain pen later, kids. It’s letter writing time. I think I might actually keep this Resolution.

 

No one mourns the WICKED. And by WICKED, I mean, douchebags checking their phones during the theater.

I tend to start all my thoughts with the word “so.”

So, this month, one of my favorite musicals of all time was in town.

Wicked (musical)

Wicked (musical) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CoSi and FunSized and I are all music freaks, so as soon as we found out about, CoSi was iMessaging us that we needed to go. We bought tickets, we planned, and last Saturday, off we went.

FunSized, CoSi, and yours truly.

FunSized, CoSi, and yours truly.

I, of course, cried.

When For Good is performed, I get all these mad flashbacks to my freshman year of college when 202 and I sang it for the Broadway Revue, and it’s just such a good song. Then, of course Defying Gravity is pretty much the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen happen on a stage and I DARE YOU NOT TO LOVE THAT MOMENT.

Somehow in the mist of all this good witch/bad witch/emerald city action I came to my post for today.

Twatwaffles at the theater

In no particular order, this is my list of things that bother me at live theater events.

1. Jeans

Any live event obviously took a lot of time to prepare. I sing with the Symphony Chorus in Grand Rapids (we’re performing Missa Solemnis in two weeks, by the way), and we’ve been practicing this piece for months. And we’re the volunteer choir. That’s not even the amount of hours that the symphony, or the soloists, spend practicing. In a musical, they have to memorize their lines, their movements, their staging. All this work to prepare a show, for you, the theater goer, and you couldn’t even be bothered to dress nicely?!

We personally opted for dresses.

We personally opted for dresses.

2. LipSyncers

I’ll be the first to admit that yes, I love Wicked. Yes, I know the majority of the words. YesI have even performed songs from Wicked in my lifetime. However, does this mean I should be “performing” during the musical? No. Does this mean that the person in the row behind me who was SINGING ALONG THE ENTIRE SHOW pissed me off? Yes. You’re not on stage. You’re not as good as the people on stage. And, in case you missed the memo. You come to the theater to listen, asshat.

3. The latecomers

But L.A., you say. You’re ALWAYS FUCKING LATE. This is true. I’m late 95% of the time. However, this is the type of thing that I’m nearly always on time, or GASP early for. Nobody wants to be the douchecanoe making everyone in the row stand up during the show to get to their seat which of course is at the center of the row. Be on time. Be respectful to everyone else. Or at least wait until there is a pause in the show — like during applause or something. Does this mean you might have to wait for a good portion of time to sit down? Yes. You should’ve been on time.

4. Talkers

I brought a date to the symphony once last year, and partway through Brahms Symphony No. 2, he leaned over to me and whispered, “This might be a dumb question, but is this supposed to be happy or sad?” It was a small conversation about the music, and was actual proof that he was listening to the music, and not just along for the ride. However, I’ve been to concerts and shows, where people carry on full conversations. I remember once in particular, I went to my old high school’s musical, and the person behind me…

“Oh, there’s so-and-so.”

“Where?”

“Over there! He’s in blue!”

“That one?”

“The other blue! He’s dancing now! Look at him dancing, he must get that from you!”

For. Half. The. Show. Please. Shut. Up.

5. Leaving before curtain call.

The show ends.

You liked it.

YOU THOUGHT IT WAS AWESOME.

WHY, praytell, are you rushing out of here then? Beating the rush out of the parking lot? Gotta buy that souvenir before there’s a line? That’s not a good reason. The show isn’t over. There are a long list of people that put a lot of effort into this work that deserve your attention. You gave it to them while they were performing, so give it to them now. Acknowledge that you appreciated what they did. Sit the fuck down. Or stand up, if it was that good, because standing ovations are acceptable too.

 

Do you agree? Do you have pet peeves when you go to the theater? Share in the comments! And if you live in the Grand Rapids area, seriously. Missa Solemnis. May 11 and 12. Check that shit out.

 

Can’t take it with you (90’s Style)

So, in the midst of closet cleaning, I discovered a number of things that I may have…how do you say…err’d in purchasing. I mean, you never really know exactly what is in your closet, until you’re cleaning it out.

Like…

The colored jean trend. Colors in my closet: blue, teal, purple, rose

The colored jean trend.

Instagram == not nice for embedding. Peplum == nice for everybody.

Instagram == not nice for embedding. Peplum == nice for everybody.

Various trends that come and go as fashion does, and fill up your closet until you…can’t…close…the…door*.

This got me thinking.

I don’t really shop anymore, at least not like I used to, now that I thankfully don’t work in retail anymore and thankfully am better at saving my money. But I’ve definitely (with the exception of my colored jeans, and the peplum shirts, for which I’m taking the trends with me) gone through a few…how you say…

Fashion Faux Pas.

And now, in no particular order, stages of L.A.’s fashion history that would probably make the world a better place if we could just cut them out.

1. The belly shirt

Oh yes. I went there.

The number of times I got in trouble in high school for a “bare midriff” is actually pretty embarrassing  in retrospect. I was always very thin growing, up, and so it just happened that my shirts would become too short while fitting just fine everywhere else.

Growing pains. It’s acceptable. 

Continuing to wear the shirt, because I was just that cool, was not. After graduating high school, I wore too short t-shirts all the time. Just because I could.

2. Clogs

Everyone had these. They’ve even come around twice in the fashion world since I’ve been around. We all wanted them in 5th grade, and then again, when I got into high school. I had a pair the first time around, but mine were different from everyone else’s, and I hated that.

Then, high school came around and I could make my own fashion errors with my own money… I couldn’t afford whatever the actual brand was, so when they came out at Target with the looks just like it pair, I snatched them up. It was my redemption for fifth grade. Unfortunately, that means that I wore them freaking everywhere. Seriously. They’re in my senior photos. Sad to say, you can’t erase those kind of memories.

3. I’m so sorry.

This was me, basically the entire first two years of college.

4. Old Navy Performance Fleece Tech Vest

Old Navy! Old Navy! Old Navy Performance Fleece!

I hope you’re singing that jingle in your head now, because it’ll be stuck in mine. Imagine this. 12 year old me, on the skating rink. I have on Kristi Yamaguchi roller blades. I’m wearing a baby blue baseball tee, flare jeans bedazzled with snowflakes, and my brand new baby blue Old Navy Tech Vest. My first boyfriend and I started dating at this moment. That’s what I was wearing. That’s what I’ll never forget.

Old Navy! Old Navy! Old Navy Convenience Store!

5. I tried to keep this purchase alive. I wore them in grade school. Got new ones in high school. And proceeded to keep them, up until this last purge. I kept saying that one day I would need them. Maybe that day when I decide to be Daria Morgendorfer for Halloween. Maybe when baby doll dresses come back into fashion, or Courtney Love is a role model for young women everywhere. Maybe when Nirvana is played on the popular music channels. Either way. I had them. I loved them.

I’ll remember you fondly, combat boots.

And this sums up today’s post of L.A. likes to embaress herself via public blog! Feel free to steal the blog button I’ve made for the side of other blog type thingys!

COPY THIS!

<a href=”https://chicksinthemitt.wordpress.com”><img src=”http://i1282.photobucket.com/albums/a521/LA_thegirl/BlogButton_zpsb7d38687.jpg&#8221; /></a>

And COMMENT, because you were probably an awkwardly dressed teen once too!

 

You could fit a small child in there. I’m talking about my purse.*

A few new blogs that I’ve been reading have done this post where they take the contents of their purse, and artfully display what’s in it, and it’s actually very fascinating to me.

I’m like…wow. They’re so organized. Their purses are so cute. They carry around very little. Meanwhile, I’m walking around with so much stuff that I could get kidnapped and be fine for the next few days by the amount of stuff I carry around.

Their blogs are aptly titled: What’s in my bag: Vacation/School/Uni/Etc Edition.

What’s in Camie’s Bag — from wild-spirit.net

So, after some hemming and hawing I decided to do my own post of this.

Mine will be aptly titled:

What’s in my bag: I’m a hoarder Edition 

Here is my purse. My kid fits inside it.

Here is my purse. My kid fits inside it.

Or maybe: What’s in my bag: Why I have back problems edition.

Here is all the shit inside it.

ALL OF THE THINGS

ALL OF THE THINGS!

This is what is in my purse in no particular order.

  • Matching wallet — I’m particular. I like my bra to match my underwear. I like my wallet to match my purse.
  • Random receipts — because a trash can is always too far away.
  • #LettersFromLA — if I’m out shopping, or not shopping, or doing something that’s not shopping while I’m actually really shopping and see something kitschy that I want to mail to a pen pal, I’ll throw it in my purse to remind me to mail it. And then probably forget about it.
  • Guitar picks — because the guitar just didn’t fit in the bag.
  • Ticket Stubs — I always say that I’ll scrapbook things like this so I save them. Plus, they’re fun to mail off sometimes.
  • Make up — when I say make up, I mean “lots of chapstick because I forget I already had one in my bag.”
  • Sunglasses — Multiple pairs. See make up.
  • Cameras — Multiple cameras, multiple medias.
  • Hockey laces — just because.
  • ALSO: snacks, a blue power ranger, my missing set of spare keys, mittens, my kid’s hat, passport pictures, and A DOLLAR, GUYS. I FOUND A DOLLAR.

I’d like to re-title this post. L.A. CLEANS OUT HER PURSE. MISSING PERSON FOUND AT THE BOTTOM.

*Yes, my uterus also applies, as I have had a small child basically growing** in my uterus.

**Full-on growing. Not basically growing. Growing babies is hard.

It’s T-Shirt Time [again]!

You may remember a little while ago, when I taught ya’ll how to make that fringe-y masterpiece? Well, if you follow me on instagram…

(@LA_thegirl, btw)

…then there is a solid chance you remember me posting another few t-shirts that  I swore I would do tutorials, that I never got around to doing. Well, there was one shirt in particular that seemed to garner an excessive amount of attention.

The popular t-shirt from the last artsy round of fun.

And as much as I wanted to post how to make this guy, I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t like the end result, as fun as it looks, so I didn’t wanna teach everyone how to make something that could potentially suck. So here we are, trying again.

1. Cut up your t-shirt.

This involves really cutting the shirt into whatever shape you plan on wearing it — keeping it a t-shirt, making it a tank top. I always recommend cutting off thick hems that are hard to cut through or work with. Plus it gives you more variety when it comes to the neckline especially.

I took off the neck and then v’d the back. Sorry that I made it black.

2. Details, details.

I did the same detailing that I originally used on the back of the yellow shirt. It’s actually really easy to do.

This is kinda the pattern I follow. But straighter lines. And the same length. Don’t use scissors if you’re drunk.

3. Weave and other things.

This is where it gets hard to explain. The cuts you’ve made make strips of cloth that you’re going to weave within each other. Get it? No? That’s okay, me neither.

Pull the inner strip of cloth AROUND the end strip. It makes a loop hole. Then, you pull the NEXT strip through that loophole you made.

You keep following the loophole pattern until you reach your last strip. I actually combined the two sides — which basically means I pulled one strip of cloth through two loopholes.

4. Tie it off.

This is pretty simple. When you reach the last strip, you pull it through the INSIDE of the shirt and tie it with the loops before.

You can [sort of] see where the last loophole will tie. This is the inside of the shirt.

Voila. This may have been easy to understand. If not (sorry for the black shirt again) then you can always e-mail me at la.thegirl6@gmail.com and I’d be more than willing to make you a shirt for a decent price.

Voila.

If you check out the picture of the yellow shirt, you can see the detailing better. But that’s basically how it turns out. Ta-da, and other words!

 

 

 

 

It’s T-SHIRT time.

I know you won’t admit it, but you’ve probably seen the big muscles/small brains of Jersey Shore walking around chanting about how It’s T-Shirt Time!

Well, it is t-shirt time. Only I’ve made my own t-shirts, and did not record myself getting dressed. You’re welcome.

Last weekend, I headed out with Alto to this Bottom40 event that happens every couple months in Grand Rapids. I’ve gone twice, and it’s tremendous fun. Namely because the events are themed, and I love themes.

So, with the help of GoldDust via iMessage, I dressed up in my best impression of Yo! MTV Raps, which ended up being a fly girl copy from In Living Color.

I do not dress like this on a regular basis. Shirt: G by Guess. Shorts: Forever 21. Tights: Betsey Johnson. Shoes: my mom in the 90’s.

Despite the fact that I hate my stomach, the outfit went over well, and I actually got lots of compliments on my shirt. The shirt is G by Guess, and I love it, and I’m glad I bought it, but let’s face facts. Normally, I would not pay $29.50 for a shirt that doesn’t even hide areas of my body that I hate. So, in true L.A. does craft time fashion, GoldDust and I packed up the equinox and headed for the craft store!

Step One: Supplies

Fun colors make any design you do pop a little more.

We went to JoAnn’s Fabric, but really any craft store will have basic plain t-shirts for cheap.

You want to buy one that is baggy on you. Try them on in the store. It’ll give you a feel of how much extra fabric you’ll have to work with. I went with an adult male small. I cannot stress enough–if you are recreating a shirt to fit you better, do not buy a fitted shirt. You will be making it to fit — don’t buy it that way!

Cost: $10 for 4 t-shirts

We also bought some Singer scissors. This fabric isn’t difficult to cut, but if you’ve got crappy scissors, you’re going to be wasting more time and energy.

And you’ll get pissed off, possibly throw scissors, cut someone you love, and go to jail.

Get some good scissors.

Cost: $7.99 for 3 scissors.

Step Two: Chop, chop.

There’s a good chance you won’t use any of the finished edges on the shirt, so I always cut those off first the edges of the sleeves and the bottom hem. Those are thicker and harder to cut through, so it’s best to just dispose of them. Then, if you haven’t really don’t this before, it helps to turn the shirt inside out and trace out the outline that you want for your neckline and back. The outline I did just sheered off the sleeves entirely and gave the back a razorback. 

Remember when you trace a design on to make it a little bigger than you want, because you might have to cut off the lines you draw.

Step Three: Designs and Embellishments

I wanted that fringe look, so I cut about five inches in length, an inch apart. The strands will get longer as you pull as them, so it’s best to cut them shorter than you want. After that, I knotted each strand right up next to the body of the t-shirt. If you’re doing knots, make sure you tie them the same way every time. That’ll give it a more uniform look and won’t look as messy.

Up close and personal with fringing.

Step Four: Try it on.

The best way to have it fit the way you want is to try it on. Figure out any spots you have to edit. I decided I wanted mine to have a tighter neckline, so I ended up tying a few more knots to make it fit me better.

Voila!

My finished product was made for approximately $6 bucks, once you divide the cost among the four shirts I made altogether. A lot better than $29.50, huh? Once again, feel free to follow me and chat me up on Twitter if you’re interested in me making one for you — @LA_thegirl.

And next time on t-shirt time…GoldDust and I rock out our own version of the skull tees.

Dye, Dye, my Darling!

Last weekend, I was perusing the interwebs when I saw them:

these are the f[e]cking coolest shorts I’ve ever seen.

I found the site, http://www.coalnterryvintage.com, through the magic of instagram (You can follow me on instagram @LA_thegirl), and then discovered the shorts while searching for new summer clothes.

Somehow every year, I end up giving away my warm clothes during summer and my summer clothes during winter. When it comes to the time that I need them, I basically have the choice of shopping or dancing naked in the streets. And my mom doesn’t approve of public nudity. She probably doesn’t approve of private nudity either, but I’ve never asked.

So, it was off to shop. I wanted these shorts because I hate when I end up dressing like everyone else. It’s much more fun when people ask you, “Hey, where did you get your various pieces of clothing?” And then I respond with “well, they are from this, that, or the other fabulous place. Go buy them! They are awesome!”

However, in the case of these shorts, I would not respond with that. I’d respond with, “I made them, bitches. I cannot be replicated.”

Seriously. If you look at the prices of these shorts, you’ll notice that they are $90. Even if I were able to, I don’t think I could bring myself to spend that kind of money on a pair of shorts, when I have such a great clothes reputation of losing them by the time the season was over.

Thus, I corralled GoldDust and we set off on a crafty afternoon.

Step One: Supplies

We hit K-Mart first. We wanted some cheap shorts, so in case they didn’t turn out the way we wanted, we wouldn’t really lose any money. We didn’t find any shorts we liked, so we picked up some bleach and randomly bought matching fake Sperry’s on a whim. That has nothing to do with these homemade shorts. They were just cute.

We bought the K-Mart brand of Bleach, since it all works the same. We also made sure to pick a kind with a scent so we wouldn’t have to deal with the nasty bleach smell. The picture is of the lemon scent, but I picked linen fresh. Nothing says arts and crafts like fresh linen.

Cost so far: $1.79 for Bleach.

The next stop we made was Old Navy. Old Navy is notorious for a crazy cheap clearance rack, and shopping this time was no exception. GoldDust found a pair of white shorts for $6 bucks (she’ll write about her craft time later) while I found a pair of jeans for $5.02. I bought jeans because that way, I could decide on the length of my shorts, and would have enough denim to make them cuffed or do cutoffs.

Cost so far: $6.81

Step Two: Prepping

First things first, I got my supplies together.

  • Large bucket. I used one of those plastic tubs you can get for really cheap from target. Everyone should have something like that roaming around.
  • Rubber gloves. I was messing with bleach, and those chemicals really can mess with your skin.
  • Scissors. For cutting the jeans, obviously.

Next, I mixed up a bleach and water mix. I wanted to lighten the jeans first because they were a really dark color — a little too dark for my liking. I mixed one part bleach and three parts water so it wouldn’t lighten them too much. I made sure to have enough of the mixture in the tub to completely submerge my jeans.

After that, I tried the jeans on and cut them just above the knees — bermuda length. That gave me a lot of fabric to work with after they were dyed.

Step Three: Dye, Dye, my Darling! (Two points for anyone who gets that reference)

I dunked the shorts completely into my bleach mixture. They were completely submerged, but I still stirred and rearranged the denim every few minutes to make sure that the bleach got into all the nooks and crannies. After about ten minutes, I took them out, dumped the bleach, and rinsed the shorts out a few times until the dye stopped running. I wanted to get all the bleach out because it will continue working as long as it’s in the fabric.

Step Four: Roll ‘Em Up.

I just rolled one side of the fabric up and kept it out of the bleach to get the half and half effect. I also used a different mixture of bleach and water — a much stronger concentration, because I was scared of it not working well enough. One thing you should remember about bleach: it will keep working after it’s submerged. Air and sun help it react faster, so you won’t necessarily see the results until later.

You can see how I have half of the jeans rolled up and kept out, and the other side is completely submerged again.

Step Five: Rinse, repeat.

After you’ve bleached to your heart’s desire, rinse out the denim again. You want to rinse them out as completely as possible. I rinsed mine a few times, then left them to dry in the sun. After that, I put them through a rinse cycle on my washer to make sure all the bleach was out. The way I rolled the denim to bleach the side actually ended up leaving a pretty sweet design.

Step Six: Cuff ’em.

The nice thing about the extra fabric was being able to decide exactly where I wanted the length, and getting to decide how large the cuffs were. I wanted to do studs like the ones we saw, but neither Michaels nor JoAnn’s fabric had them, and I didn’t have the patience to order them online. So I went without. I might add studs in the future. We’ll see.

The FINAL PRODUCT.

ALL IN ALL.

I love arts and crafts days. Plus, I managed to make a sweet pair of shorts that I found for $90….for $6.81. Not bad. I definitely recommend making these instead of buying them. They’re easy to make, and cheap. Win/win. Or, if you’re lazy. Shoot me a tweet. I’ll offer you a fair price for my efforts.

I MADE THEM, BITCHES.