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photo (9)In an effort to share some “how-tos” with you I’ve come to the conclusion that I do some really easy things that don’t need explaining.  Oh well … perhaps you got dropped on the head as a child and can’t figure these things out on your own and this blog is where you go for such obvious tutorials.   If that is true … read on …

Birdie Cage – Years ago I saw the most marvelous thing on Etsy.   A very talented woman had handmade bird cages with tons of colorful birds in it.  I NEEDED one to hang in my living room.  Alas her bird cages were actually hanging lights and I didn’t need the light part.  (They looked something, and yet nothing, like this – click here.  The woman I had seen years ago doesn’t seem to be selling them anymore.  This one is somewhat ridiculous.  Look at those birds!  Those birds are clinging sideways to that “cage” for dear life.)  At that moment I decided I’d make one myself.  Years of searching for the perfect “cage” came to an end at the clearance aisle of Target earlier this year.  I had FINALLY found the perfect cage.  It was actually a candle holder but it was bird cage-like so I was good with it.  It was tiny, like I wanted, it was all black and not distressed, like I wanted, it was practically perfect in every way!  It was the Mary Poppins of faux bird cages!

image (21)It took me a few months but I finally went to Michaels and bought some colorful birdies and a fake branch thing.  When I got home it took mere minutes to put it together.  The branch I had purchased had wire in it so it was easy to clip off the amount I needed for each perch and twist the ends around the cage to hold it in place.  All that was left was to clip on the little birds and hang it up!

It sat in my dinning room for months but this weekend I found a hook and some ribbon (that I had to pry out of Asscher’s jaw earlier in the week) and I got it hung up in the living room.  TADA!

Ballerina Slippers – As you know I use ballerina slippers in Bar Method class.  As you also know I bought a new pair earlier this year and they have been sitting on my chest of drawers mocking me.  My new pair required me to sew the straps on and that seemed so tedious and awful.  Everyday last week, while in class, I was horrified at the shabbiness of my shoes.  They were not ballerina perfect!  It was what I needed to kick myself in the bum and get my work done.

Last night I grabbed the shoes and was ready to make it happen.  Then I thought I shouldphoto (10) probably look up how others do it to make sure I was sewing correctly.  Whoa …. my mind was blown by what I learned.  Now I want to pass that knowledge on to you!

1. Put the slippers on your feet and find where the shoe lines up with the highest part of your arch.  My slippers are fancy and actually have different fabric in that area so I did not need to mark the spot.  If your shoes aren’t as cool as mine you will have to mark each side of the shoe at that spot with a pin.

2.  Pull the straps over tight, but not too tight, and mark where they should be attached with a pin.

3.  Grab some needle and thread.  Double knot for safety.

4.  Sew the strap on below the cinch line edge.  Go one way, and then go back over it the image (19)other way for safety.  Unless you are me and your thread breaks so one of the sides of one shoe is only done 1 1/2 times instead of 2.  Also be careful not to wrap the thread around the elastic band while sewing.  Don’t laugh.  It’s easier to do than you would expect.  Personally I had to start the same side 3 times for this very reason.

5.  Put the shoes back on to make sure they fit and you didn’t screw up.

6.  Cut off the excess elastic.

7.  Put the shoe back on and cinch it up so it is comfortably tight on your feet.

Time out – for YEARS I’ve been wearing ballerina slippers to class and have been tying the cinch strings in a bow on the top of the shoe.  It’s annoying.  The bow constantly comes out in the middle of class and you look like a moron who doesn’t know anything about ballet.  I knew I was doing something wrong but then I’d get home from class and not think about it until the next day when I pulled the slippers on my feet.  Last night YouTube taught me that I’ve been a fool.  No one ties those elastic strings into bows.  I’m so ashamed.  It’s like I only took a day of ballet in my entire life.  Wait.  I DID only take a day of ballet in my entire life.  It was a horrible childhood experience.  I don’t want to talk about it.

8. Tie your cinch strings in a square knot (right over left, left over right).  If you tie it in aimage (20) bow people will silently laugh at you for the rest of your life.

9. Pull the strings down toward your toe and cut the excess off at that point.  When wearing your shoes tuck the loose cinch strings under (between the top of your foot and shoe) so you have perfect ballerina feet!

TADA!  I’m telling you … that no bow cinch string thing really through me for a loop.  I’ve been so foolish.