Snuggly Owl Blanky

Sewing for me is an absolute joy. I LOVE it. Mostly because you turn bits and pieces of fabric into something functional, beautiful, enjoyable. It’s a hobby that you can get increasingly better at, there’s always something new to learn and try.

I’ve been working on a lot of fun projects lately. One of my most favorite, was plucked out of my vivid, ever-changing imagination. Without a pattern, you are challenged to think through dimension and get creative with what you’ve got. My new little niece Sayla had a party coming up, and I knew that was the perfect opportunity to make something altogether new.

I’ve had a yard of pink paisley minky lying around my house, which I thought would be perfect for a blanky project. But how to make it original and fun? I sketched out some ideas, and ultimately created a snuggly owl blanky.
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The inside of this little owl here is made from a precious old daisy pillowcase, which belonged to Sayla’s recently passed Great Grandma. IMG_9111Loops of textured ribbon are great for babies self soothing skills. They love to play with them.
IMG_9119 IMG_9117 Layered pieces of felt create dimensional sleepy eyes that look like they need a snuggle. IMG_9118 IMG_9115 The blanky is big enough to wrap a little one up nice and tight. IMG_9128If you’d like to know how to make your own snuggly blanky, just say so and I’ll put a tutorial together! In the meantime, what from your inspired imagination are you going to make reality this week?

DIY Paint Pen Mug

Right…I know you’ve seen this on Pinterest. I mean really, it’s hard to miss. I gave it a try for Valentine’s day and was pleasantly surprised by the result. Awesome and easy.

My Hubby loves him some coffee. And he loves him some big mugs and knowing that something is homemade and unique is enough for him to love it. So I figured for Valentine’s day I couldn’t go wrong with a big custom mug. Aaaannndddd stuffing things full of candy doesn’t hurt. IMG_8798

You may have seen the little tag line that comes along with this project, “Sharpie, 350 for 30 mins – done!”. But actually it’s not that simple. I read over and over that using a regular sharpie was not cutting it. The ink would run off almost immediately after “firing”.

Here’s what I did…and it worked so I’ve got that going for me.

A grabbed a black paint pen from Micheal’s Craft Store. Dollar Tree mugs were way too small and girly so I grabbed a few from Fred Meyer for $4.00 each. I printed the quote/font I wanted and practiced writing it.

IMG_8740Honestly, after I practiced a few words/letters and I just went for it and started writing. I couldn’t get the “M” in Matthew just right, and I wondered if nail polish remover would work as an eraser. It worked beautifully. Just use a cotton ball with a little bit of nail polish remover and it wipes away easily. I was satisfied with the 7th “M” I drew.

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Next, put your mug in a cold oven. Heat to 375 degrees and then set your timer for 30 minutes. Once your 30 minutes is up, turn the oven off, letting the mug cool completely in the oven. This part takes a while.

IMG_8751Once they cool, they should be good to go! I tested mine by running water over it and gently towel drying. These mugs need to be hand washed gently. Other tutorials say you can dishwasher them, which may be true. I always play it safe when I give something as a gift…you want to be sure it’ll last!

IMG_8799The possibilities are endless! I’ve seen some amazingly creative designs which I can’t wait to try. Are you gonna make one??

more happy mail

Honestly…you know it and so do I. Getting mail is the best thing ever. So having a sweet little package from a friend delivered on Valentine’s Day has to just be awesome. I wanted to share some of that potential awesomeness with a few of my closest girlfriends.

Firstly, I made some cute simple bracelets with fancy little tags. Some of them looked like this:

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Secondly I washi-taped, stickered and stamped the crap out of the bracelet boxes.

IMG_8519 IMG_8524 IMG_8525I wrapped them individually in brown craft paper, and proceed to again washi-tape the crap out of them (see a theme?). I clearly labeled the return address and double stick taped it to the back.

IMG_8509After making address cards and placing them on the front, I covered each box in clear mailing tape to seal the labels.

IMG_8528Then the best part…stamp it up! IMG_8612

I’ll give you ONE guess as to which of these five love languages is my most prevalent one: quality time, physical touch, words of affirmation, gifts, or acts of service.

FYI: You can take items like this into the post office, or you can calculate it’s price if you know the weight online here. You should select the package option and enter the ounces. Then check the “first class mail and other options” sections – the first class parcel mail will be your price and you can calculate how many stamps you need. 

valentines happy mail – 13 ounces or less

I’ve been so inspired by a new trend called “13 ounces or less“. It’s simply a reminder that you can mail just about anything that weighs 13 ounces or less. Stick stamps and an address on anything…and brighten someones day. I decided to brighten the day of three of my favorite people in the world. Giana, Samuel and Owen. My niece and two nephews. I’ve got another niece Sayla, and while she is one of my top favorite people, she is also 2 month old. Soooo I don’t think she’d appreciate happy mail like the others.

First I knew right away that valentine’s day was going to be my opportunity to mail some sweet goodness. Secondly, I chose to use some small Odwalla bottles to hold all the goodies. A pleasant decision since it required me to drink tons of it. So I drank those up and washed them out.

Next I filled them with all sorts of goodies from the dollar tree. Stickers, mini flashlights, candy hearts, erasers, chap stick, candy necklaces, etc. I even crammed some toy cars and other weird little things in there like hair clips and mini locks with a key. photo (12)

One thing I read over and over again when reading about sending “happy mail”, was to make sure the address and return address were clear. After getting all the necessary information on them I decorated them with washi-tap and fun colored sharpies, sealing the whole thing with mailing tape to prevent the labels from smearing or falling off.

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I slapped stamps onto them, and viola!!!
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Who wouldn’t love getting this in the mail!?

(You can take your item into the post office, or you can calculate it’s price if you know the weight online here. You should select the package option and enter the ounces. Then check the “first class mail and other options” sections – the first class parcel mail will be your price)

By the way…look at the fun stamps they are selling right now at the post office! How awesome are those for little tykes?!

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Happy mailing!

simple valentines bunting

IMG_8562During our short stretch of snow days I, as could have been predicted, spent countless hours on Pinterest. Of course people are pinning all sorts of valentines ideas which I normally pass up and don’t spend time on. But the past few days, I’ve had nothing but time. So I decided to follow up on a pin that led me to felicityjane.com where I printed off the bunting from this free template. 

I’m so glad I did! Simple, cute, quick and not flashy or overly pink. Love it.

IMG_8564I printed two pages onto a nice burlap-brown colored card stock. Simply staple the top corners together. It creates a great hinge for the two triangles.
IMG_8563IMG_8571 IMG_8561You putting up any simple valentine’s day decorations?

I think I can…

I know this could be awesome. I’ve got a pile of projects waiting to be…well serged. But dammit I can’t even thread the thing.

IMG_5776Honestly…I’m not really sure how it was even created in the first place. It almost seems mistakenly put together. I imagine a bunch of people in lab coats and protective goggles standing around: “Well folks, I don’t think we can get this thing…oh wait!…Ok yes, we got it working…does anyone know how we did that?”

Besides all the hemming and altering of clothes I currently own, here are two projects that I can’t wait to get going on:

This absolutely adorable jersey bubble skirt – I can already see my niece running around in this. Bubble1 These fabric napkins must be in my hands as soon as possible. The pop of color and lovely slub linen are just too perfect for me. I think they’d make great Christmas gifts. Napkins

Sigh. I’ve got a serger. One that I can tell is awesome. Lent to me by a lovely women. Now…to thread it.

Fabric Clips = Heaven.

I’ve discovered my new favorite sewing gadget. If you love sewing, or know someone who loves sewing, buy these.

Fabric clips…seriously the best thing ever. I really don’t know why they don’t get more hype! You can use the clips to hold several layers together, very firmly. Instead of jamming/bending a needle into it.

IMG_3901 IMG_3905When you sew with fabric like oil clothe or laminated cotton, pins leave holes. Enter, the fabric clip.IMG_3908If you’ve got a project that is a bit dainty, where the hem is delicate and it’s hard to pin it in place without the fabric moving all over the place…these are wondrous!
IMG_3944You can find these bad boys over in the quilting section of Joann’s Fabrics. But go prepared with a coupon to save $$. They’re spending without one.

Pinterest Fail – Watercolor Streamers

Well it’s happened again. I turned to Pinterest for help with some cheap DIY party decor. And once again, I botched a project.

A dear friend of mine has a baby on the way. I was decorating for her shower at our church. Church baby-showers are not typically supported by big budgets. So I figured I would try out this streamer water color idea. Cheap, cute, unique. And I had several roles of white Dollar Tree streamers left over from who knows what. How could it go wrong?

Here is the original pin:

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IMG_8142Now I thought the outcome of the above project was subtle but cute. I bet I could make them more vibrant.

Here’s how it works:

Mix food coloring with water until you get your desired color.

IMG_2749Dip the streamer into said water. IMG_2750 Give it a second. Pull it out. IMG_2751 Let it dry. IMG_2753

Seems simple enough. I started this project 2 days before the shower. (The shower was on a Sat morning…I made these on Thursday morning). Who would have thought it would take 2 whole days for these to dry? Not I.

Well. It didn’t take two days to dry. It took 8. EIGHT WHOLE FREAKING DAYS.

In the original post, she mentions the whole drying-slow thing and she actually took a blow dryer to hers. I was not in the mood for blow drying streamers. HENCE why I gave myself 2 WHOLE DAYS of buffer time.

Beyond the whole drying thing…here’s how they turned out:

First off, they became really brittle and crunchy. And Secondly, most of them ended up looking more like something in a surgeons trash can. (Which I noted would be handy come October.)

IMG_2873The colors bled, which could actually look cool…
IMG_2874…IF the color actually soaked all the way through the streamer. Instead the colors ended about 12 inches into the darn thing.

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They also soaked up rust off my old-craft cooling rack I set them on. Good for the crappy cooling rack…bad for the streamer.
IMG_2875I even set them out in the sun at one point, to get them dry faster. One rolled off and landed in the dirt. Ugh.
IMG_2876All in all, the lessons I learned for this are as followed:

#1. Use less water. Like a 1/4 cup is enough. But you probably won’t see the color by the end of the streamer…I’m guessing. And I’m not going to do it again to find out.

#2. This will be most handy when you actually need a bloody-gauze look. Halloween.

#3. Buy colored streamers.

/Cra’ft-i-tis’/

“{Craftitis; Definition: A temporary (hopefully) mental dysfunction marked by hysteria and emotional sensitivity – specifically caused by sewing and/or crafting more than 10 hours in a day, for several days. }  ;  Symptoms include but are not limited to: Unkept appearance, misplacement of items – such as Brita water filter being placed in the pantry, Murmurings about zippers, interfacing and seam-ripping, hastily thrown supplies on every available surface, hot-glue burns on fingers and wearing pajamas all day. ;  Exacerbating factors: 1. Sewing for more than 5 straight hours. 2. Over-consumption of coffee, 3. Not cleaning up after oneself. ; Prognosis and treatment: Patient will be fine once removed from the house. A nap and Thai food will speed recovery. With each occurrence, Craftitis develops more quickly and patients are especially susceptible during the holiday months.”