Y’all! This was my first ever box swap and I absolutely loved it. Chasin’ Mason, The Chronicles of We and Sweet Turtle Soup organized the big ordeal and I couldn’t wait to sign up. This year was my first Mother’s Day without any kids still living with us, so I was not looking forward to it. And, then, like a bright and shiny light, I read about this box swap and I jumped at the chance to get matched up with two partners; one to give a gift to, one to get a gift from.
When I received the email from the organizers saying I was partnered with Stephanie Cox of WifeMommyMe fame, I was surprised at the coincidence, since we are, in fact, friends IRL. The punchline is that she knows me well enough to know about my aversion to shipping things, and reveled in my necessity to 1. hit a deadline and 2. visit the post office.
I had a blast making Stephanie some fun running accessories to support her new hobby in style. You can check out her post about her exchange here.
When it came to my second partner, I was matched up with Johanna from the Sirois Family Blog. I was excited to get my questionnairre from Johanna and was really looking forward to what she put together for me, and she didn’t disappoint. She embraced my love for rainbows and shared with me some of her favorite things as well. All bases are covered with a Starbucks gift card, tea packets, Godiva chocolate bar, eos lip balm and hand lotion and a rainbow of nail polilsh and post-it notes (which I love) all beautifully packaged in colorful tissue. It is always great to get mail and I can’t wait to do another exchange. Thanks again to my partner, Johanna.
You may recall my Mother’s Day plan to spend the entire weekend grounded to my craft room #groundedformothersday. I’d like to thank all of you who followed along with my progress from the craft room and cheered me on. While I wasn’t able to get everything on my list accomplished, I was able to churn out quite a few items.
Here’s a review of my project list:
The Laura Tote from Schlosser Designs and Iza Pearl Design
Saturday, May 9, 9:00 AM CST I entered my craft room full of caffeine and ambition. My task at hand: The Laura Tote. Now, while I love this tote just as it is, I wanted to try my hand at my own version of the applique which is what really brings the personality to this piece. So, I chose to create an applique of my beautiful daughter. I found a picture of her that I liked, and sketched out the pieces until I came up with this:
About an hour later, I was ready to cut out my pattern and applique her cute little face onto my bag. 10 hours later, I had a finished, fully quilted, quite large tote bag that I’m very proud of.
Here’s a virtual tour of the bag in action.
Sunday, May 10th, Mother’s Day 2015, 10:30 AM CST I enter my craft room. Sunday’s project list was daunting considering I only finished one thing on Saturday. Sunday needed to be quantity without sacrificing quality. I decided to tackle the bento bag. I made two of these bags in the past, and I love them. The design of these bags is so unique and gives you a chance to use up all of those cute fat quarters you have lying around. I ended up going with some Moda Daysail fabric which I love. Anything nautical really, I can’t get enough. BUT, I had promised to make one for my friend, Tori. So, the solution was simple. Make two bags assembly line style. I can’t recall the name of the fabric I used for her bag, but I can tell you I bought it at Joann’s. If you know the name, please let me know in the comments so I can update the post. 🙂
By the time I finished these two bags, I was feeling pretty good about how much I had accomplished in my marathon crafting session, but I was getting hungry and it was time for my wonderful husband to serve me my Mother’s Day dinner, cornbread stuffed chicken, mashed potatoes and corn. MMMmmm starchy.
I really wanted to finish at least one more project, so I decided to go with the Mega Credit Card wallet because, to be honest, my wallet is ripped and needs to be retired. I love the fabric used on the inspiration piece, so I wanted to be sure to put a lot of thought into my fabrics. Then I remembered this pretty ensemble I picked up from The Cloth Pocket at the Dallas Quilt Show.
How cool would it be to have a #rainbowtized wallet. I set to work cutting out strips to make the pockets while Medium played on Netflix in the background. The clock was ticking. Mother’s day was coming to an end. Finally, at 10:59 PM CST, I descended the stairs with a completed credit card wallet.
And here’s a virtual tour of my fun new wallet.
I have to tell you, this was so fun for me. I really enjoyed the tutorials and patterns I followed. I look forward to tackling the one-hour weekend bag and finding out if it really only takes an hour. Rest assured I’ll let you know how it goes. Until then, I’m going to keep taking my new wallet out of my purse and flipping through the pages and stroking the fabric. I <3 handmade.
Hope you all got everything you wished for this mother’s day. What did you do?
This year will be my first Mother’s Day with no children living at home. About a month ago, that fact hit me, and it made me sad. But…
When I feel sad, I stop feeling sad, and be awesome instead. #truestory (Thank you, Neil Patrick Harris)
So, when my husband asked me what he could get me for Mother’s Day this year, I told him, “I want to be grounded to my craft room for the entire weekend”. The good news is: he agreed. So, now it’s up to me to compile the greatest to do list ever. 2 days and 3 nights of glorious uninterrupted craft time. It’s like going on a retreat all by myself.
So, this is the story all about how my life got flipped, turned upside down…I taught myself to sew. About seven years ago, I found out that I had Grave’s Disease, a thyroid condition. After many months of treatments and trying to control my endocrine system, the decision was made to radiate my thyroid. The process was simple. I had to take a radiated pill that would be absorbed by my thyroid and in essence…kill it. The reason I share this little anecdote with you, is because as a result of the possibility of radiation exposure to my family, I had to be quarantined in my own home. Basically, I was grounded to my craft room for 4 days. We added a cot, I had my computer, an attached bathroom, room service and the sewing machine my husband had bought me years before that I didn’t know how to use. This was my crash course in sewing.
While I can’t say this was the first time I sewed, it was the first time I sewed on a modern machine. When I was very young, my great grandmother let me help her sew using her vintage 1920’s peddle powered Singer to make pillows out of upholstery samples my grandfather would bring home from work. **I still have the antique Singer in my entry today**
In my opinion pillows really are the easiest beginner project. With that I give you this project that takes old t-shirts and turns them into pillows.
Once you master making and stuffing pillows, you can move into making custom pillowcases to match your new duvet cover, your guest room, or even to give as a sweet wedding gift personalized for the bride and groom. I made this pillow case to match a toddler quilt for the sweetest little 2 year old as a moving away present. I love the video tutorial from Missouri Star Quilting Company found here on YouTube.
Here’s another quick little project perfect for gift giving or for rocking some handmade love for your own nest. These pot holders can look totally different depending on your choice of fabrics and bias trim. Just be sure to use the heat resistant padding inside. You can find it at Joann’s or your local fabric store.
Now if you’re going to be giving some of these projects away as gifts, why not sew up a super-cute drawstring gift bag to package them in. I mean really, how cute is a color coordinated gift set. Everyone will ooh and aah over your craftiness. You can get really creative with this project, too. The tutorial below shows you how to add a burlap accent piece to this bag, but you could also, use rope or ribbon for the ties to get a totally different feel for your bag as well.
And let’s not forget one of the most popular posts on Rainbowtized to date: this darling birthday crown I made for little Lennox on his second birthday. It’s cute, cutomizable and quick to put together for your little ones or again, as a gift. I mean, look how cute he is. He loved wearing it, too!
I hope you’ll jump in and make some of these beginner sewing projects. They really are a good way for you to get your sewing feet under you and build some confidence before you branch out to more involved projects. If you do make something you saw in this post, please share your images with us in the comments.
I love a good gallery wall. In fact, the gallery wall in our new house was the first bit of decorating I finished (other than my craft room, of course). I think the idea of interspersing “art” with your family photos really takes things to another level and gives you a chance to express your personality. That “art” being free printables from generous artistic people on the interwebs is even better!
In an effort to collect some new art to add to my gallery wall, I have scoured the interwebs and I bring to you this Top 10 List of Free Printables For Your Gallery Wall. If you click on each image you will be taken to the original source for each free download. Check the sites for download directions.
What do you think of this collection of free printables? I can’t wait to print them out and get to framing. Do you have any free printables hanging in your house already? As always, I’d love to see any pictures you have or links to your posts about your gallery walls in the comments section. Enjoy!
It may sound impossible to organize your fabric stash in one afternoon, but I have done it myself, so I know it’s possible. (Although maybe you have a bigger stash than I do 😉 When we moved, I ended up with a little more than 6 tubs full of fabric, and with my memory the way it is I would never remember what I had if I couldn’t see it. So, I set out to organize my stash and display it in the two Martha Stewart Shelving Units I bought to fit in the corner of the craft room.
Each of the cubbies on my shelf are 13″ wide and I wanted to fit two stacks of fabric in each side by side. In order to do that, I needed each stack of fabric to be less than 6 1/2″ wide. Want to know my secret weapon? My quilting ruler. That’s it! I used my 6″ wide and 24″ long quilting ruler. I set up an assembly line on my cutting table. A stack of unfolded fabric in a pile on the floor to my left, ruler on the table, and the organized fabric was then sorted by color and type and stacked on my right.
Want to know how to organize your fabric?
Fold your fabric in half lengthwise with wrong sides together. This worked best with my quilting cottons since they’re usually 45″ wide, when you fold them in half, that’s 22 1/2″. So, when you lay your 24″ long ruler over that you have a little bit of ruler sticking out on each side.
Starting at one raw-edge end of the length, start wrapping the fabric around the 6″ wide ruler. The ruler serves as the bolt in theory.
As you get to the other end of the fabric, you’ll have to make a decision. If your last turn around the ruler leaves you with at least 3″ of fabric across the width of the ruler, it should lay flat. If however, you end up with a scant inch or so, you’ll want to unfold one wrap and fold your raw edge under to finish neatly.
Now your fabric is wrapped neatly around your ruler. Gently slide the ruler out until you have 11″ of ruler still inserted, then fold the length in half. Now you have a neat little bundle of fabric roughly 11″ long and 6″ wide. Of course these measurements will change depending on your yardage. I usually purchase between 1 and 3 yards of fabric, and so far this method works beautifully.
This isn’t the only way to organize your fabric. There are so many great ideas to be found online. These are some of my favorites:
File Your Fabric Stash
Display Your Fabric
Hang Your Fabric
No matter how you do it, the important thing is that you have your stash organized and ready to create. Nothing puts a damper on your creative energy faster than a messy space where you can’t find anything. Pretty soon I plan to have my craft space all organized and ready for a tour.
Want more ideas on organizing your craft room, or just organizing in general? Check out my “Craft Room Redux” and “Pretty Organized” boards on Pinterest. How do you organize your fabric stash? I’d love to see pictures or tips in the comments section.
For my husband’s 30th birthday I sent him on a treasure hunt that took him on a journey from his childhood home, to where he played midget football, to where we had our first date and beyond. It was a gift that my husband, who is not an overly-sentimental man, still talks about years later. He even saved the riddles through two moves.
When you set out to plan a treasure hunt like this, the first thing you need to do is come up with your landmarks. You want to shoot for between 5 and 10 locations. Your final number will depend on two factors: 1. the distance between your locations and 2. the number of people willing to help you. We’ll talk more about this later.
Some suggestions for points of interest to include in your treasure hunt.
Where he was born
His elementary school
His childhood home
His first apartment
Where you had your first date
A landmark from one of those stories he tells all the time
(I included the bus stop where he was dropped off by mistake in Kindergarten)
His place of employment
You get the idea, right?
Once you have a handle on the landmarks, I suggest you map them out. Drop a map pin (Google Maps is a good tool to use) in each location and calculate the route you will send him on. The order of the clues will determine the path he takes. For example, I started by giving him an envelope at home that held his first clue.
Happy 30th Birthday! Time for a trip down memory lane. Go to the place where you entered the world wearing your birthday suit.
His first clue took him to the hospital where he was born. So, he drove to the hospital. Now, here’s where your helpers come in. I arranged to have his mom waiting there in the parking lot with an envelope that held his next clue.
His next clue read:
It was a happy, happy birthday for me the night I met you, here.
Since we met during a party at his best friend’s apartment, I arranged for that same friend to be waiting for him outside the old apartment with the next clue.
The clues continued bouncing him around from one happy memory to another where he was greeted by friends and family each presenting him with another envelope. Another option would be to have someone who works at a given location agree to deliver your clue for you. This is a great alternative for anyone living away from family.
His final clue was delivered by a mutual friend. It directed him to a favorite restaurant of ours. Here, I gathered all the helpers, friends and family for a big celebratory surprise dinner. The night was full of funny stories and shared experiences. While we met at a restaurant, we could have just as easily met back at our place for a home-cooked meal.
This is such a great, free and thoughtful gift to give to anyone you love. They are guaranteed to remember it for a lifetime. Who would you create a treasure hunt for?