Designed and Made by J: Monkey & Sheep
It's been a while since miss J has wanted to sew up something. But, when I told her she could design and create something for her two baby cousin's birthdays she jumped at the opportunity. She made her drawing (below) and picked out the fabrics from my stash. It's a good thing I have a lot of fleece and felt for all her projects!
I ended up doing most of the sewing but she did help stuff them. She was so excited to send them off to her cousins! Oh that her little heart will continue to grow big, full of love, spilling over into the lives of others!
See more of the Designed and Made by J series here.
I still have one more thing from Valentine's week to share before February is over and that is some decorations I did for a conference at church. I always feel very happy when I am able to use my passions to help and bless others, even if it is just in a creating some decorations. Since it was Valentine's Day and all, I went with more of a girly theme. This type of decor would be great for a wedding. I made a ton of tissue paper flowers and cut out leaves from cardstock, found some frames at a thrift store and spray painted them white, and then learned a few lessons from trying to put this together.
I knew I wouldn't be able to put nails in the wall, so I tried gluing/tying the frames together to stand upright while leaning on a wall. While that kind of worked, they were so fragile I was afraid it might fall and I didn't want it to fall on a person or food. Fortunately we had a pallet in our garage I could attach them too that. If I had given myself more time before putting it all together I would have done something to create more contrast between the pallet and the frames/sign, but I am still happy with how it turned out.
The decorations are now waiting to be used at a bridal shower and whatever survives I hope to reuse in some fun way. I love that decorations can be inexpensive and yet look so wonderful!
Durathon Iron Giveaway!!!!!
It's been a while since we have done a giveaway, so let's do on for a Durathon Electric Iron with Retractable Cord by Hamilton Beach. Ok? :)
I don't know about you, but I have found an iron to be a huge part of my creating process. The iron we had was one we picked out when we first got married (over seven years ago!). At that point in time, we were buying the cheapest stuff we could to make it fit into our budget. That meant some of the things we bought were not the best. The iron was an iron, but not an awfully good one and I wanted a better one. I received this iron c/o Hamilton Beach and was more than happy to send my old one away. It's been a lot better with this new one to use during my sewing projects...take that wrinkly fabric! But I really like some features that we didn't have on our other iron, like the retractable cord and the large opening to pour the water in. I haven't spilled any water yet ;)
This iron is one of their best-selling irons they have had in their history (and they’re over a 100 years old, so that’s a long time). What makes it great for crafters, sewers and DIY’ers is its amazing steam performance. It also has a non-stick sole plate that is suppose to be virtually indestructible - so they gave it a ten year warranty! You can read more about the iron here. Now for the giveaway. I was able to set it up on rafflecopter so it's super easy to enter. It is only for US residents. Enter up to four different times. Winner will be contacted once giveaway is over and iron will be delivered via the Hamilton Beach distribution center.
A Bee Themed Valentine's Card Box
One of the many activities that I did last week was help miss J create a box for the Valentines she would receive at school. Her school even turned it into a contest this year to encourage the creativity. I guess you could say that she was on the same wave length as me because when I asked her what she wanted it to look like she chose a bee theme. She had no idea that I was doing a bee themed gift for my friends because I hadn't even started on it yet. Crazy, right? She's my daughter for sure.
I promised myself a long time ago that I would let my children do their own thing when it came to creating. Even if that meant that other children's projects might look better because mom and dad helped them more (if you know what I mean). I asked her to design her box by drawing what she wanted it to look like first. Then I wrote down notes about the specifics she wanted. This was all her doing. I did buy the box for her and found some of the supplies just because their wasn't time to take her out shopping for them. But I stuck to her desires. I found some yellow honeycomb paper to cover the box and we found the other scrapbook paper and sticker letters in my stash to use.
She drew the bees and cut them out. I did cut out the pieces of paper for the box, but she had to glue them on herself. She also drew and cut out everything else and put the stickers on where she wanted them. She ended up not wanting to put everything on she had originally drawn, but she was happy with it. I was so proud of her and she was proud of herself. She didn't win the competition, but it was a learning opportunity to teach her about doing her best and being true to herself in her designs and in life. I'm blessed to have her and her little sis to share in special holidays with.
"You are the Bees Knees" Free Printable
Valentines Day is almost here and I have been slowly getting things ready. I like to celebrate not only my love for my husband and children at this time but also my friends. I started making a special gift for my friends last year and I hope to continue to do this for years to come. They are a very important part of my life and help me in so many ways, so I want to always recognize them and let them know how much I appreciate them. I played around with the Sketchbook app on my Ipad to make these. I plan on learning Illustrator one of these days, but until then Sketchbook is a good alternative for me. For some reason I had bees on the brain.
I created a printable pdf for a page of six small bee prints and a pdf for a page with a card on it. Both are available for download here.
I cut mine out inside the black lines and then glued them onto honeycomb scrapbook paper I found at Michael's. Then I added some decorative tape to the top and bottom (tape from scrapbook aisle at Target). I wanted to add some candy because I also found these cute bee bags at Micheal's to fill up. I got most of the candy from Party City which has a great color coordinated candy section now by the way. I was impressed. The last time I went there a few months ago they did not have that.
I have handed a few out and have quite a few to get in the mail tomorrow. I hope that it is a sweet surprise for my friends and that they know how much I appreciate them. Are you doing anything special for your friends this week?
Knotted Bow Tutorial
I have two little girls so there are never enough hair bows. I have about two boxes full, but I still make and buy hair accessories all the time. The bonus is that they actually like wearing things in their hair. I wanted to try a different way to make a hair bow and was quite pleased with the result. The best part? It's such an easy hair bow to make! And it's a great way to use up scraps too.
I made some big ones and some little ones. The bigger ones were easier to do when it came to the knotting, but the small is doable. It just might take a bit more strength getting it pulled tight enough. Especially if you are using a thick material.
First, let's talk how to make bows with non fraying materials like felt, fleece, and thicker knit fabric. These just need to be cut into the correct size. Grab your scissors and cut a 1.5" x 4.5" piece for a small bow or a 3" x 7.5" piece for a big one.
Then just tie them in a knot. Make sure the knot is in the middle. Fluff out the edges and you are all done.
If using fabric, it's best to sew two pieces together. You also want to cut the two fabric pieces larger than what is stated above to make room for the seam allowance. I added about one inch to each measurement for this. Place the two pieces together, right sides facing. Sew around the edges, leaving an opening in the middle of one of the longer sides. Cut small notches on the corners for a prettier point when it's turned.
Turn right side out and fold in edges at opening. Sew opening closed. If you made sure to leave your opening in the middle like I did, the sewn part will end up in the knot and not be seen. Otherwise you can hand sew using a slip stitch to shut the opening so no thread will be visible.
Then knot the fabric. I found it harder to knot the fabric as it didn't have as much flexibility as the other materials. It is still cute though and works out in the end.
Now that you have your bows you can add whatever you want to them. I used some hair accessories I had in my stash like an elastic headband and different hair clips/bobby pin. You could also make these into bow ties if you wanted or add it to a present. They are so easy to make they are great little presents (or present toppers) when in a rush.
The Praire Rose Pattern Tour
It's my turn to share some outfits I made for the Prairie Rose Set Pattern Tour. Anneliese of Aesthetic Nest created an adorable set of patterns consisting of a top, pants, dress, and skirt. She gave the outfits she made a vintage feel and I wanted to do that but was having a hard time finding the right type of fabric. So I took a trip to Hobby Lobby and determined to pick fabric from there. I hate dragging miss E around, so I try to be as concise as possible when shopping.
I found the pretty pink aztec print first. Then to coordinate a bit, I used a lightweight stretchy "jean" like polka dot fabric and a breezy aqua fabric. I was nervous about sewing with that breezy fabric, but it went really well. I just made sure to take my time.
I ended up making pants and a top for miss E. I left out the elastic waist and arms because it just looked so pretty all flowy like that. The pants are just fabulous. I want to use this fabric to make some pants for myself, although no ruffles for me! haha
Miss J has become a little more picky about her clothes as she has gotten older. She still likes things I make, but likes pieces that are more simple. So I went with the skirt for her. The fabric is a bit thin, so I added a half lining underneath. It fits well and is just her style.
You can see more specifics about the pattern here and it can be purchased here. It's a good addition to have and can also be a good foundation pattern to add your own additions too. Thanks Anneliese for creating the pattern. It's been fun sewing up some new clothes for my girls.