Category: How to




Booklet’s front pocket’s contents…


“Do you want to color-in your picture?” “No.” “Okay.”




Little Heart Vs. Illusion






Paper Bag Booklet Page






Dr. Seuss Paper Hat Booklet Page


Hat Brim Booklet Page



Accessible Earth-Friendly Art That Inspires…

This semester, my young’un art students no longer wait for a recycle bin at their school (we waited and waited and waited…no recycle bin…)…they now just simply re-use paper from the “scrap bin”. Consistently, this Helenbobelen has been modeling various art projects using “recycled” paper and often times in a jokey/ironic way, depending on the paper’s written content…(yes, I’m giving this Helenbobelen a proverbial pat on the back…)

But in general, getting this to Earth-friendly art to happen is a shared joyeous victory and now these kiddos can see how beautiful the random colored scraps can look.

This morning, I came across Kirsten Dirksen’s video of Thomas Dambo who, along with Elon Musk, show that it’s indeed cool for men to recycle and care about our children’s future Earth.

It takes energy to recycle. It takes energy to care…and truly create.



DIY Merino Wool Skirt from a Sweater

Merino wool sweater to soon become a merino wool skirt…handwashed/drip-dried for any possible shrinkage…disregard the gathered marks in the middle created by drying on a hanger…they’ll disappear with usage…


Cut sweater. I chose to cut the sweater a bit higher because the top will be folded down into a waistband casing for a ribbon (aka: a gathered waist…).


Voila! Skirt cut! (…now what to do with those wingy-dings at each side…)


Hmmmm…still pondering those wingy-dings…don’t know since this is purely off-the-cuff DIY…(but hey, look at the grosgrain ribbon!)…


Ok. Let’s draw, using a contrasting pencil, a diagonal line that blends into the side seam…


Stitch the line…my students know I use three stitches…1) basting stitch 2) straight stitch and 3) blanket stitch…


After the basting and straight stitches, trim away the excess fabric (including the wingy-dings)…5/8 inch allowance is the industry standard but I say forget industry standards, this is DIY your way, use less fabric allowance and securely sew that blanket stitch (which you’ll see in the next photo)…do it with LOVE and TLC…


See? Nice and tidy (enough)…


Now the other side (otro lado/autre cote…this is haute couture so I’m going to use some foreign languages…I digress…)…you can fold the skirt in the middle to match the skirt edges/side seam to ensure an even drape…


Voila…voila…voila! Okay, now we gotta get the skirt to STAY on once we put it on…waistband next…


Wait…back to the hem (and waistband)…one interesting note…the front hem should be slightly shorter than the back hem (depending on the size of your derriere)…and the front waistline will slightly dip lower than the back waistline…(if in doubt on this part, look at your other skirts to see how the hem and waist lines drape…mimic…breathe…remember, this is an old sweater and you’ll practice with other sweaters/t-shirts/fabric…besides…interesting mistakes lead to interesting innovation…breathe…)


Turn the skirt inside out. Fold over the skirt’s waist portion.


Figure out how much foldover you need according to the ribbon’s width.


A little bit of fabric “wrastling” with the rolling edge (on the other hand wool has an automatic “finished hem” if you need one…)…here I set the band to be 1 inch and 1/8 and pencil in a line…I used all three stitch-types and then cut away the excess rolling fabric…kinda tricky…but doable…


I forgot why I took this picture…oh yeah, it’s because I turned the skirt right side up and folded it in half vertically to make a line on the waistband’s middle point…I’ll be cutting two flanking holes (from the middle point) through which to thread the ribbon and for the ribbon strands to come out of and be tied…


Holes cut…(then I’ll take a needle and thread and reinforce the hole’s raw edges…reference a sweater’s button hole to see what that looks like…mine’s a bit less-machine-like, but still does the trick…)…almost done…


Thread the ribbon through the finished holes using a safety pin to lead it through the waistband. Figure out how long you want the ribbon/bow to be. Cut. Then, fold the ribbon tips in half, cut at a diagonal, and take a match to the edges to keep it fray-free…now you have a $500 stink-free, bacteria-free, parasite-free merino wool (handwash & wear/drip-dry) skirt…xoxo, H.

It rained yesterday…(…sunnier today). Yesterday, I created this skirt. It costed me $7.57 for the 100% merino wool sweater and $2.00 for the on-sale grosgrain ribbon…Back in the 80s, I saw a red 100% merino wool skirt priced at $500.00…this one’s not lined…so I figure it’s probably worth the same dollar amount except this one’s Earth-friendly and custom-fit to this Helenbobelen.

You, too, can make this skirt for yourself. Just take your favorite skirt to the men’s sweater section of any consignment/thrift store and hold it up to any 100% merino wool sweater…and if it looks like it’ll fit (and if it’s gathered at the bottom, it can be a bubble skirt), then take it home, and make it!

Wear it!



P.S. You can do this with oversized t-shirts (if you can swing it, use OEKO TEX organic cotton fabric, it’ll feel better and is healthier for you and the planet).

P.S. Why merino wool? You can check out my other blog posts about it…in addition it’s pill-free, unlike cashmere and angora.

P.S.S. Be kind to animals. Purchase used wool whenever possible…

P.S.S.S. Yes, I’ll be making something out of the sweater’s upper part…


From now until March 31st, for every purchase, a pair of Sterling Silver Thinnest And Strongest Thin Hoop Earrings will be donated to a 501c(3) benefitting children, animals, and/or the environment. 

Thank you for your kind feedback and purchases!


If/when a 6th Annual December Blog Celebration is announced, all purchasers will be automatically entered!