November 18, 2014

Picking a Christmas Card with Minted

It's that time of year again where it's time to gather up the kiddos and head outside and take those dear family pictures.  Once you check that off the list you get the joy of trying to decide which picture you like the best, but most importantly which Christmas card to choose.  My absolute favorite card company is Minted. They have the best selection with unique indie designs and even offer free addressing, which I really love!

Well, I sat down the other day perused them all and narrowed it down to my seven favorite cards.  No easy task, I assure you.


# 2

#3 -- This year they offer foil pressed cards that are so lovely and shiny.



#6 -- Here's my second favorite card, another foil pressed card.  I almost went with this one.

Great cards, right?  But, wait, didn't I say 7?  Well, the seventh was ordered today.  I'll be happy to share it with you when it arrives (PLUS-- a little something special).

Check out Minted for more.

November 17, 2014

Canvas Winner!!

Congrats to Stephanie F. on her new Easy Canvas Print.

Everyone else who didn't win, don't worry, Easy Canvas Prints is having a 75% off sale right Now.  Check it out!

November 11, 2014

Easy Quilted Christmas Stockings

Last year I was a guest on U -Create where I shared how to make these stockings.

I'm happy to share this project here with you today with plenty of time left to make stockings until Christmas.


Last year I started this project and got five of them completed...with a baby due any day and not quite positive on the name we were going to name her, I didn't make ever make the 6th.  A couple days ago I had a free afternoon and finished my sixth and put together this tutorial for you.

ALSO, I will mention for the sake of internet safety I've removed all my children's names.  They are actually on the quilted tops and they look darling.  Sorry, I can't share them with you.

Want to make your own?  Here's how.

2. 1/2 yard of thick felt (purchased from the bolt)
3. 1/2 yard of fabric
4. 1/2 yard of quilted cotton fabric
5. Lots of matching fabrics scraps
6. Print out of the name, using a word document

STEP ONE: Collect all your fabric. Jo-Ann's has the best deals on Christmas fabric about a month before Christmas.

 I have matching fabric scraps in each stocking.  I love how it ties them all together.

STEP TWO:  Cut out the main pattern pieces and tape them together, lining up on the orange lines and abc spots.

STEP THREE:  Flip the main pattern piece to the backside and cut out one main stocking piece out of your nice fabric, to be the stocking back.  Cut out your scraps and decide how you want them to be place.  Sometimes I do three scraps in a row, sometimes two, sometimes just one long one.  I just cut out random rectangles to suit my liking.  I always add two or three rows past the size of my stocking.

STEP FOUR:  Connect each scrap by sewing all your pieces together, placing right sides together.  Sew using a 1/2" inseam.  Press seams open.  Continue until each row has all its scraps connected.

STEP FIVE:  Now with right sides together, connect the rows together.  Sew on a 1/2" inseam and press seams open.

STEP SIX:  Press from the front smoothing everything out.  Place pattern on top and pin in place.  Cut out main stocking piece (make sure it's facing the opposite direction as your back piece). 

STEP SEVEN:  Cut out two pieces of felt.

STEP EIGHT:  Place main stocking pieces on top of felt and pin together.  Using a double needle (or stitching twice, like I do) quilt through both layers.  Then, space 1 1/2" over to the left and start again.  I use a 1 1/2" piece of felt to be my guide. Continue the length of the stocking. Repeat with the back piece.

STEP NINE:  Place stocking pieces together with right sides facing and stitch around the entire stocking.  Finish the edges with a zig-zag stitch or serged edges.
Hubby gave me an early Christmas present this year-- a Serger.  I'm so excited about it!  This was my first project using it.  I had a little trouble with the curve--still figuring out this beast.  I really should have left it how it looked when this picture was taken.  I tried to go back over it a couple of times-- and really shaved it waaaay down.  Darn it!

STEP TEN:  Cut out your two stocking top pieces on the fold using quilted cotton.  Make a print out of your name(s), using a word document.  I used the font Honey Script. Then, using an exacto knife I cut out each of the letters. 
If you have a fancy machine that cuts things out for you, this would be ideal.

Placed the now stencil, on the bottom half center of one top piece and use a pencil to write the name in place.

STEP ELEVEN:  Then, following the pencil marks I embroidered each name using my normal sewing machine.  I just use a super tight tension and a zig-zag stitch and move it really slowly, my zig zag stitch varied from 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 depending on how wide I wanted it to be.  I pull the material slowly forwards and backwards, as needed.

STEP TWELVE:  Make a hanger from a piece of the quilted cotton to your desired size.  With right sides together stitch up both sides, making sure to add the hanger in between.  Fold right side out. 

 STEP THIRTEEN:  With the main stocking inside out and the stocking top right side out, place the top stocking piece inside the main stocking facing the front side.

STEP FOURTEEN:  Sew around the top piece and the main stocking piece.  Finish the edge with either a zig-zag stitch or a serged edge.

STEP FIFTEEN:  Flip right side out!  ALL Done!
You can see how I shaved off the top of my boot here.  All my other stockings follow my normal stocking design.

 I love the matching cheer these stockings bring.

 Thanks so much for having me!!
For more please visit my blog and shop!

Merry Christmas, Everyone!!

November 10, 2014

Easy Canvas Prints GIVEAWAY!!

Hi Friends.

Don't you love this time of year?

Leaves are beautifully changing, there's a cool crisp in the air, and people's minds start to turn to giving thanks.

I would love to take this time to give thanks to you, dear readers, for reading and following my blog!

I truly am grateful and find so much joy in sharing my projects here and hearing from you.  

Recently I was graciously contacted by Easy Canvas Prints to see if I'd be interested in trying out their awesome canvas prints.

Well, I quickly grabbed a friend to take a new family picture of us all.  I was tempted to use something we already had, but decided to go with something new for our walls.

The quality is really fantastic!  It was so quick and easy to make.  I love the easy customizing options they give you.  And it was so quick!  A couple days after ordering it was at my door.

Want your own?  Join this giveaway for chance to win a FREE 16 x 20 Easy Print Canvas PLUS Free Shipping!

Leave a Blog Comment, sharing what picture you would turn into a canvas.
Enter the Rafflecopter for more entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

>> This Post was sponsored by Easy Canvas Prints.  All opinions are my own.<<

October 27, 2014

The Pirates of the Caribbean Costumes (What I bought-- What I sewed)

 Sometimes you get an idea in your head and you just start running with it!

Hence, our Halloween outfits this year:

I suppose this idea started a couple months ago.  We had a few family date nights where we sat around, ate pizza and watched The Pirates of the Caribbean together.  Any scary parts, we'd skip over.  It turned out to be so much fun -- after a couple of weeks we had watched all four movies together.

This fun ended right when it was time to start scheming our Halloween outfits -- well, this turned out to be an obvious choice.

 We got out first opportunity to dress up this past Saturday for a church party. (Luckily no one in our family is too Frozen crazy.)  Amidst all the Elsas and Annas at the party we were a motley crew.

The kids really loved staying in character and you could tell they all felt pretty cool as Pirates!

Here's the breakdown of our outfits and our inspirations:

My oldest wanted to be Will Turner -- but not the early movie version, the cool one from the 3rd movie.

I bought him a purple shirt and black pants (from Goodwill).  The purple shirt was a Mens size XL.  So I cut it up and resewed it to fit him.  The black shirt is actually my shirt, straight from the closet.  I sewed on the shiny buttons and added the black head scarf made of black knit material and some orange fabric I had on hand for around his waist.

My second wanted to be Jack Sparrow.

I bought his blue pants from Goodwill.  I bought some dark red knit material for his head and sewed on some beads to the side of it.  I sewed up the blue vest, using the Schoolboy Vest pattern.  I stretched the pattern and added lot of length to make it extra long. I sewed on some shiny buttons.  Then I serge some red and white fabric to make his sash.  Pair that with some belts, a sword, and boots and we're set.

This little cutey really wanted to be Angelica, the girl pirate from the 4th movie.  It was so funny hearing her tell her friends she wanted to be Angelica-- and them all having no clue what she was talking about!

I bought a $1(magician) hat from Target, but recovered the whole thing with felt to make it suit my needs (tutorial forthcoming).  I sewed up a schoolboy vest for her but really altered the fit of the vest, giving her a real unique design from fabric I already had on hand.  She is wearing a felt Spanish inspired cummerbund, but you can't really see it.  The shirt and pants we already had on hand.  Then last minute we tied a gold sash around her waist.  Last, we gave her my church belt and called it good!

Initially my husband informed me he really wanted to be Davy Jones, complete with squid face, crab hand, and peg leg.  I laughed, "There is NO WAY I can make a Davy Jones costume for you!"  I'm creative, but that would be insane.  Eventually he conceded that Captain Barbarossa would work well and baby could be Jack-the-monkey.

Jack-the-monkey was really fun to make.  You may remember the monkey suit from this costume.  All I had to do was sew up a red vest (in crushed red velvet), using the schoolboy vest pattern.  Pair that with a white church shirt, on top of a monkey costume and we were good!

Captain Barbossa was the very last costume I completed.  I was having some concept issues.  I couldn't figure out how to complete this look.  I bought him some black pants from Goodwill.  I also bought a small (cowboy) hat there, too.  Eventually I figured out how to make that hat into a large pirate hat (tutorial forthcoming).  I sewed him a faux leather double breasted vest.  After making three vests, I had the whole vest sewing thing figured out pretty well.  I just traced out one of his work shirts to get a good fit.  Then I made it extra wide in the front so it would be double breasted.  Lastly I sewed on all those shiny buttons.  He paired that with an unrolled church shirt and black suit coat and some belts and we were golden!

Lastly, everyone voted on me being Elizabeth Swann.  Of course I chose to be the pirate Elizabeth Swann, I wasn't going anywhere close to those dresses she wore in the first movie.

I bought the brown pants and white shirt from Goodwill.  I borrowed the awesome brown hat from a friend.  I sewed up the vest, using one of my shirts as a guide.  Then I sewed on all those shiny buttons.  To be honest all those buttons were my biggest expense.  But I don't think I'd get the authentic look I was going for with plastic buttons with holes in them.  I let my hair air dry that day, added a bit of makeup and a few belts and got my pirate Arrrghs going.

The party was really fun!  We even won "Scariest Costume" as a family.  I can see why!

October 15, 2014

Easy Superhero Body Art


As Halloween approaches parents are often scrambling to find the perfect look to complete their child's costumes.  
Masks certainly have their place, but I love the look and comfort that face paint can bring.

Tulip body art is really simple to use.  And they produce really awesome results!

I asked my children if I could practice some face painting on them.  They all agreed enthusiastically!  I told them each to pick their own character and I'd try to reproduce it for them.

Here's how to make Iron Man:

 1. Always wet your brush (included) in water to wet the paint
2. & 3. Outline the face (like so) in yellow
4. Add the red helmet on top
4. Last outline everything in black.  I also added a little orange on top of the yellow for a more Iron Man look. And I added a little white inside the eyes.

(green teeth -- courtesy of eating an airhead ...)

This cute girl asked to be a red batman.  Sounds good to me!

1. With a wet brush outline the face in red
2. Fill in the red
3. Outline everything in black
4. Add eyebrows and other details.  Outline eyes in white.  I added a little pink, last on top of the red.

Doesn't take much for her to get into character.  Fierce, huh?

Lastly, we have Captain America!

1. Outline everything in blue.  Add the white block letter A on the forehead.
2. Add the iconic wings in white.
3. Fill in all the blue.
4. Outline everything in black.  Outline the A with red. Draw on some crazy eyebrows!

And I know not everyone wants to freehand body art. 
 Luckily Tulip offers lots of great stencils too.  This makes the process super simple and fun!

 1. Cut out and add your sticker stencil.
2. With a wet paint brush add your color however you'd like.
3. Take the sticker stencil off.
4. Smile!!

Time for some Saving the world...!

  I wrote this post as part of a paid campaign with Tulip Body Art and Blueprint Social, but as always all opinions are my own. For more on Tulip please visit them at FacebookTwitterPinterest and their Blog.