Dec 9, 2014

A Giving Christmas with Paisley Roots

Today I am sharing a series that I was a part of thanks to Karly from Paisley Roots. You can see all of the great ideas and tutorials to help get your children involved in giving this Christmas in her series 'A Giving Christmas'.  I meet Karly through pattern testing and have come to adore her! I am so delighted to be a part of her 'A Giving Christmas' this year.  I think that Christmas is such a great time of year to get kids to think about other people and instill in them a desire to give and not only receive. I have 5 beautifully crazy children ranging in ages from 10 to 2 years. We are a house full of energy and life. For the past few years I have been using pictures of our family in the previous year to create a Calendar for my Grandparents; whom we call Grr-Grr and Big Papa. This year my grandparents are reaching an age where I begin to wonder how many more Christmas' will we have with them. So, rather than compiling photos for a 2015 Calendar my children are going to create their own pictures based off of memories that they have had this year with Grr-Grr and Big Papa.

I found this great Keepsake Coloring Calendar at our local Deseret Book Store and knew that this would be the perfect gift that my children could create for their Great-Grandparents. The first thing that we did was talk about Grr-Grr and Big Papa. Then I had each child write down 2 of their favorite memories or times spent with them.
Then they each took turns drawing those memories onto one of the calendar pages. Obviously my 2 year old could not participate fully in this activity but he got two pages that he was allowed to destroy with crayons and so he loved it!
The completed calendar is now not only a tool to keep track of the days but also a reminder to Grr-Grr and Big Papa, every day of every month, that they are loved, cherished, and treasured! I think that this will become our new traditional Christmas present for my Grandparents. It was a great way to show my children that we do not need to just go to the store and get something new or pretty for other people, but that we should share our love with others. For LOVE is one of the true gifts of Christmas!

Dec 3, 2014

Sliced Wood Wreaths for 12 Days of Christmas

Hello again! Today I am going to show you a project that has been occupying my house and life for almost a month now. It all started with a big and nasty wind storm that swept through our area. The next morning we had no power but plenty of downed trees and branches! My kids and I started to collect all this wood for our fire when I remembered a picture I had seen of a sliced wood wreath. So I convinced my children that heat in the winter was overrated and that I really needed these branches for a project! Luckily my children were very understanding...

Wood Branches or pre-cut Wood Slices (you can find these at JoAnns & Michaels)
Craft Ring -I am using a 12" for this tutorial (also available at Michaels & JoAnns)
Wood Glue -I used Gorilla Glue, it is my favorite

So the very first step in this project is to either buy the pre-cut wood slices from a craft store or to make them yourself from nature. I choose nature, or rather nature choose us! I used my hubbies Chop Saw and sliced off varying widths ranging from 0.75" to 0.5".
Once your have your wood slices cut you need to dry them a bit. If you have purchased wood slices, skip this step. I placed the wood slices on a cookie sheet.
Then, using the 'shoe rack' for my dryer, I set the cookie sheet into the dryer and ran the wood slices on a normal drying cycle. At the end of each cycle, I would check for for wetness or cracking to determine if my slices were ready to use.
Next you will need to sort your wood slices into 2 categories based on the sizes; 'large' and 'small'. I know this seems silly but it will really help later on.
Now take all but a few of your 'large' wood slices and combine them with 3-4 of the 'small' wood slices. Grab your craft ring and lay out this gathered set of wood slices on top of the craft ring. Move the wood slices around until you are happy with the look.
Now we glue. Pick up one wood slice and place a layer of wood glue onto the craft ring. You will also put wood glue onto the bottom side of the wood slice. Then gently press the wood slice back onto the craft ring. That's it! Just repeat this step until your base layer of wood slices are attached to the craft ring.
Now you can grab yourself a drink or take a quick break, allowing the wood and glue to set for 3-5 minutes. Once you have done this you need to layout your second layer of wood slices. So, take the remaining slices and gently set them on top of your first layer. Mix up the exact positioning of this layer of wood slices by letting some hang over the center of the ring and others hang off the back. Again once you are happy you can start to glue these slices onto you first layer in the same fashion as you did previously.
I try to remember to leave a space, halfway down the right side of the wreath, where I do not add a second wood slice layer. This is the spot where I will add ribbon for a bow and I like having the bow flush with the wreath.
Once you have glued down all your wood slices I would recommend that you place flat heavy objects onto of the wreath to insure that the glue sets. Leave this out over night or for at least 2 hours while the glue sets. After the glue has set you should seal it if you plan on having outdoors.
Now that your wreath is assembled you get to decorate it even though it is already amazingly beautiful in it's raw and natural state. I used a staple gun to add some pine bows. I carefully stapled the thick ends of the pine bows to the backside of the craft ring.
I like a good organic ribbon that has a bit of texture to it. So, for this wreath I choose an amazing red glitter snowflake on a natural jute wired ribbon. It gives me a punch of color and who does not love a little glitter at Christmas!?!
For design purposes you should try to create a visual triangle and work in sets of 3 or 5. This means that I needed to add one more element to the wreath to balance it out. I choose to add one of my wood slice ornaments that I had made the other day (that tutorial will be coming soon). I used thread and a needle to hand-stitch the ornament to the ribbon. This will allow me to change out the ornament without destroying my bow if I want to change it up after Christmas.
Now that you have created this delightful Wood Slice Wreath you need to find a place to hang it. 
You could choose your door, put it on a wreath stand, or your mantle. 
Get creative, it is good for your soul.
 I love these wreaths so much that I had to make some in different sizes. I made some with 8" craft rings, 12", and 18".  I also choose different types of wood for each different one. 
They all came out perfect and unique.
Thank you so much for stopping by today. Don't forget that over at SewMcCool, Deanna is hosting a daily round up for the 12 Days of Christmas Blogger Challenge. There are so many wonderful creations that will be shared and you will have the chance to vote for your favorite project. The project with the most votes will earn its creator a huge smile and a great prize!

***It's time to VOTE! Follow this link and cast your votes and if you can't decide you could always vote for me ;)

I am also gonna link up to some of my favorite parties so come see what other people have been creating too! Much Ado About Monday @ Huckleberry Love, Mad Skills @ Mad In Crafts, Motivate Me Monday @ Keeping it Simple, Inspiration Monday @ Scattered thoughts of a Crafty Mom, Do Tell Tuesday @ Crafting in the Rain, One Project at a Time @ A Bowl Full of Lemons, Inspire Me Tuesday @ A Stroll Through Life, Show & Tell @ SNAP
12 Days of Christmas Holiday Blogger Challenge with large
Don't forget to visit all of the bloggers who are creating tutorials for the Sew McCool 12 Days of Christmas challenge! Voting will begin on on December 13 and go through 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern time on December 20. The blogger with the most votes will win $100 - just in time for Christmas!
December 1
December 2
Natalie @ Sew Outnumbered *Deby @ So-Sew-Easy * Ajaire @ Call Ajaire
December 3
December 4
December 5
Beth @ Beth Jarrett * Jen @ Just Joshin
December 6
December 7
December 8
Addie @ Addie K * Michelle @ Not My Tree
December 9
Ula @ Lulu & Celeste * Sara @ Made By Sara * Chelsea @ GYCT Designs
December 10
Nichole @ Bluebird & the Boy * Darcy @ Ginger House Designs * Shelly @ Coral & Co.
December 11
December 12
Maegen @ Mae and K * Jess @ Gracious Threads * Jone @ Knot Sew Normal

Dec 1, 2014

Ruffled PJ Jammies Holiday Tour

Hi, thanks for visiting our blog today. If you are new here, please take a few minutes to look around. You can also find us on Facebook and purchase our favorite fabrics and handmade items at our Etsy Shop Phat Quarters. We hope that you are following along on this pattern tour and getting all the inspiration you need to create the perfect pair of Ruffled Pjs by Once Upon a Sewing Machine. This is a simple, quick and fun pattern. If you have been blog hopping with us through this tour you will see that this pattern is great as is and easy to modify to create jammies that are perfect for your little one. The jammies that I made are for my youngest daughter. She will turn 7 in May and she is growing from a child into a little lady much too quickly. Of my three girls she is the most frilly-ist (is that a word?). She still loves ruffles and lace. So I knew that this PDF pattern would be perfect for her. I choose two of my favorite fabrics in our shop right now; Emmy Grace's Ripples Pond in Grey by art Gallery and April Rhodes Modern Southwest Peach in Art Gallery's Arizona line. I also added an aqua zipper and white lace. I love how these bright colors pop off the slate grey!
I made a few modifications to this pattern to make it my own and I am exited to share these with you and hopefully inspire you to mix up this pattern so that you can use it over and over again! The first modification that I made was to replace the buttons with a zipper. I choose to do this because my girls have a lot of hair and they sleep like crazy people. I can not tell you how many mornings we have spent trying to gingerly unwind strands of hair from around buttons.
The second thing I did was to widen the Bodice Ruffle. I wanted to add a third layer to the bodice simply because I hate even numbers (I know - I have issues!) and for me sets, of three are more pleasing to the eye. So I choose the lace as the third but top layer. The problem was that the lace I choose was wider than the ruffle and I wanted to see the ruffle and its pop of coral. So I simply added 3 inches to the width of the ruffle (making it 6"x 27"). I am so happy with how this turned out!
The pants for this pattern came together so quickly! The pattern gives you the option to create a cuff or leave the pant as a straight leg. But.....I figured that since I was going all out with the ruffles and lace I should carry that to the pants too. So sticking with the rule of thirds, I added two layers to the bottom of the pants leaving the hem sticking out as the third layer. It was the perfect end to a great pattern!
I simply used the measurements for the Cuff Option to create the ruffle. I used my serger to finish the length of both sides of the cuff. Then I stitched a hemmed on one long side at 1" and gathered the opposite side. Next I used a long stitch to attach the lace to the gathered side of the cuff. Then I stitched these, right-sides together, to the pant cuff 2.25" above the hem of the pant leg. I pressed the ruffle and lace down and top-stitched them with a 5/8" seam allowance. Now my pants are just as frilly and fun as the top!
My daughter is delighted in her new jammies and is so excited to wear them on Friday as her school is having a PJ Spirit Day. Now that you have seen what I have done with Once Upon a Sewing Machine's Ruffled PJ PDF Pattern it is time for you to go purchase the pattern, gather some fabric, and whip out your own pair. This pattern is on sale all week for $5! I promise it will be worth every penny. If you need more ideas and inspiration keep following along this tour and see what other people have been up to! Thanks for the visit, we hope to see you again.

Image Map

Nov 26, 2014

A New Handmade Pledge

Have you ever had the desire to make someone a really fabulous present? Maybe a birthday gift, a Christmas gift, or another special occasion? Where do you start? A crafting book or magazine? Do you blog hop and search gifts? Do you get on Pinterest? I do all of these. I think about the person, the event, their hobbies; and then I might spend hours looking for tutorials on blogs, creating multiple searches on Pinterest for the perfect gift, following links, searching Etsy shops.
Once I find something I try and figure out the process of creation. Was is simple? Do I have the supplies and tools on hand? How much money will it cost? All of these things have their place in my process. This is exactly what I was doing when I ran across this image while searching for 'special occasion word art.' 
It was a link to an Etsy shop called Randys Desgins. Of course I then spent an additional time checking out their shop and falling in love with multiple prints that are available. In the end I figured that I could make the print I wanted on my own. I have a silhouette machine to cut vinyl, I have crafting paint, I could find a canvas. I could DIY-it. I could even write a tutorial on how I did it. The plan was set. I went to bed.
As I was reflecting on my day I tried to understand why my little Etsy shop was not doing as well as I would like. That's when I hit me. How can I expect others to support my particular set of talents and skills when I would not support theirs? Yes, I could DIY this amazing print and my brother and his new wife would never know, but I would. I would know that I was not using the golden rule on this shop and therefor, I should not expect others to come support my shop. Now before you panic I am not saying that we should not DIY-it ever. We have an innate desire to create and we inspire each other all the time with original creations and knock-offs. But,...
from time to time I am saying that we should support each other! We should PURCHASE something rather than creating it for ourselves. If WE can not support the Handmade community who will? And so I have a made a new Handmade Pledge to myself this Christmas season; I will purchase 3 items this from 3 different Handmade shops. I will then blog about these shops and the amazing creations that they have created with their talents and skills. I hope you can all join me in this pledge. You can start this Saturday as it is Small Business Saturday and pick 3 items that you would have DIY-it for gifts this Christmas and purchase them from the shop where you found the idea. You can even join me and blog about it and send me the link and I will keep a list going here. Help support Handmade community this Christmas by making a purchase not a DIY knock-off.
Another way to support small businesses would be to purchase a Pattern from a favorite designer and then create that look or item. This gives you the best of both worlds. We have some great designers on our side bar who would love to share their talents with you too! Just click on one of the images and find the right pattern for you! Friday I will introduce you to Randys Designs and show you the amazing print that I purchased for my Brother and his new Wife. See you then!

Oct 10, 2014

Ghost Buntings

As I was working on pulling out letters from a sheet of fabric that I ran through the Cameo to spell 'Trick or Treat' for a Halloween bunting I saw something on my table that inspired me. Can you see it?
The insides of the letters, aka all the scraps, looked like little eyeballs staring at me! This year we introduced our children to 'Casper the Friendly Ghost' and they are loving it! How fun would it be to turn these scraps into little ghost eyes?! That is how the letter scraps turned into this;

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