Wreath-a-palooza

It was a year ago last April that I closed on my house, but it was a year ago this Memorial Day weekend that I moved in! And what a glorious year it has been.

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I love living in a house that I’m proud to call home and I love my neighborhood (in other words, I love amusing myself by reading the ridiculous complaints the residents have on the neighborhood Facebook group). Woot woot.

I’m a little slow when it comes to decorating decisions, but things have been creep-creep-creeping along throughout the year. There are still a lot of blank walls to fill (but at least they’re not boring white walls!)… and I still have a number of small furniture pieces and throw rugs on my wish list. But in my defense, the list of accomplishments is long, too: I’ve built about a billion pieces of furniture, power washed the back porch, replaced my ancient hand-me-down Christmas tree, installed new hooks above the garage for my legendary Mickey Mouse wreath, conquered dry wall anchors and, a few weeks ago, even installed a new toilet fill valve all by myself. Bam.

But, back to the decorating (or lack thereof). One decorating decision that has been incredibly easy and fun is creating seasonal wreaths to hang on the front door. My front door faces the street and is in full view of anyone walking down the sidewalk, so I thought it would be fun to make it clear that someone lovely lives here! Wreaths are also non-commital (therefore non-scary) decor, so I had no problem jumping right in.😉

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I looked at lots of ideas on Pinterest before making my first wreath, and decided I liked the look of a simple grapevine wreath the best. I liked it so much, in fact, that all of my wreaths have ended up being simple grapevine wreaths with similar one-sided layouts. What can I say, I’m a girl who knows what she likes!

Wreaths

If you’ve never made a wreath before, I’d recommend the grapevine wreath for a lot of reasons. One, it’s really inexpensive, so if you mess up, no big deal. The wreath forms I pick up at the craft store are usually in the $3-6 range. And two, they’re really easy to work with – you can wedge your flowers (or whatever) in between the branches and play around with the overall layout before gluing anything down. And when it does come time to glue (I use hot glue) – there’s a lot of twisty surface area for the glue to drip down and cling to.

Wreath-winter

You really don’t need many flowers for these projects – just two or three small bundles would be more than enough, or, in the case of my patriotic wreath, just one large, pre-mixed bunch.

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I made the pennants using fabric scraps!

The part that I find to be the most fun is looking for the accessories – aka, the little stuff-on-sticks (like that adorable scarecrow) that easily sticks down in between the branches to mix it up. Make sure to circle the entire craft store for these items – sometimes the best accessories aren’t necessarily found in the floral department. You never know where you’ll fine something that might work!

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I love that scarecrow so much!

I now have these four wreaths ready to go for upcoming fall/winter/spring/patriotic seasons, but I’m not going to stop there. I definitely need to add a Valentine’s Day wreath to the bunch, at the very least! And maybe a birthday wreath. But monthly wreaths would be pretty magical, too. <3 <3 <3

Happy Wreath-ing!

LindsaySignature

 

Mother’s Day: I passed with flying colors

My mom knows the drill: Mother’s Day is the “homemade” holiday, and therefore, Mother’s Day gifts come from my craft room (whereas her birthday, one month later, is the “Amazon” holiday… LOL). Previous Mother’s Day gifts included a jewelry roll and a nail polish tote.

How do you thank the woman who taught you the invaluable life skill of using a photo booth?

This past year, my mom has really embraced the “adult coloring” craze – aka, the trend where adults get high-quality coloring books with really intricate designs, using colored pencils or gel pens to meticulously fill the page with color. Her coloring book collection has grown exponentially throughout the year and I’ve had fun sitting at her kitchen table coloring with her whenever I visit my parents. My mom even started a coloring group where a bunch of ladies get together and color and talk about life a few times a month.

But I’ve got to hand it to my mom – her coloring skills are top-notch, and she has much more patience for the intricate designs that I do (I usually abandon my coloring page a quarter of the way into it). Even though my mom claims not to be creative, crafty or artsy – she’s always been a rock star when it comes to coloring. Whether it was a school project or a children’s menu in a restaurant, I remember watching her and thinking, “WOW. Moms are so good at coloring.” Turns out, it’s not all moms that are good at coloring. Just my mom!

Here are a few of her finished works of art…

Coloring

Given my mom’s love of coloring, this year’s Mother’s Day gift was a tote bag (possibly for toting her coloring books!) made with coloring-book-esque fabric… and of course, paired with fabric markers so the bag can be COLORED!

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The “coloring book” fabric is My Little Garden by Olivia Henry on Spoonflower (fun fact, this fabric is also available as WALLPAPER you guys – how rad is that!?) and the tote bag pattern is the Outta Time Tote by Dog Under My Desk. I have written about Dog Under My Desk patterns many times in the past and I really can’t gush about them enough. They’re the best bag patterns I’ve ever worked with and worth every penny.

I used black zippers (which killed me, because you know how much I love bright-colored zippers – but it was the right decision) and lined the bag with a generic black and white leafy print.

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I anticipated my mom would open the gift and immediately say, “I can’t color this bag! It’s too nice! I’ll ruin it!” Therefore, I also made this zipper pouch with leftover fabric so she could “test” the fabric markers and her coloring skills.

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Turns out, my mom’s reaction went exactly as planned, so the add-on was a good call. Plus, she really loves having the extra zipper pouch for carrying her colored pencils to her coloring group.

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Another Mother’s Day, aka Homemade Holiday, on the books! Till next year…

LindsaySignatureP.S. – For other completed Dog Under My Desk projects, check out my previous posts:

 

 

 

Simplicity 2685 (aka, the six-year-project)

Let’s take a moment and go back in time, to the beginning of my sewing journey back in 2010.

Back to the future meme

When I first decided to start this sewing adventure, I was enthralled with the idea of choosing my first pattern. I scoured all the patterns available from the “Big Four” (Simplicity, Vogue, Butterick, McCalls) trying to decide which pattern would make the cut.

It’s important to note that this was before I learned how many freebies and tutorials the internet had to offer – nowadays, my advice to beginners is always DON’T USE COMMERCIAL PATTERNS when you’re a complete newbie – but alas, I chose a Big Four pattern because I just didn’t know any better.

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After much deliberation, Simplicity 2685 won me over – an accessories pattern that included four different purses. I had seen the pattern listed on a review web site, described as, “easy for beginners.” Awesome! Continue reading

In hot pursuit of an adventure: our experience at International Hot Glass

If there’s one thing I love more than sewing, it’s mini-adventures. I call them mini-adventures because I’m not talking about climbing Mount Everest, here. I’m talking about one-day experiences that typically include one or more of the following elements (mix and match as you please):

  • Close to home (no more than a day trip away)
  • A “hidden gem” activity that most people have never heard of (something more interesting than eating out or going to a movie)
  • An activity with local flair (I love being a tourist in my own zip code)
  • Trying something new (even if it’s just new to me or my friends)
  • And of course, as someone who writes a sewing blog… bonus points if it’s a crafty activity!

Past adventures that I’ve participated in, that I feel meet some of the criteria I’ve outlined above:

Well shoot, look at that long list of adventures! And to think there’s still so many more on my list that I have yet to conquer. For that reason, I try to plan a mini-adventure every year for my birthday. In years past, I’ve gone camping at Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort (hence the archery lessons!) or dragged all of my friends to one of those “make a fancy canvas painting while drinking wine” type places.

Archery lessons for my 25th birthday with my previous roomie, Elizabeth.

Archery lessons for my 25th birthday with my previous roomie, Elizabeth.

This year, I decided to go crafty with a glass art workshop!

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Hippy-Dippy Birthday

Hey y’all – today is my birthday!

Celebrating my first birthday with a Hostess cupcake... back in the day before "smash cakes" were a thing.

Celebrating my first birthday with a Hostess cupcake… back in the day before “smash cakes” were a thing.

Today’s (self-serving) blog post is all about meeeeeeeeee! And more specifically, my personality as determined by my birth date and Disney character pairing, outlined in the book Disneystrology — which “combines astrology, numerology and the magic of movies to help readers understand their own personalities.” I was introduced to the book and this concept some years ago in a team building event at work where we all learned which Disney character was matched up with our birth date, and therefore, was supposed to be a reflection of our personality.

<i>Disneystrology</i> by Lisa Finander

Disneystrology by Lisa Finander

I had to laugh when I was told my birthday, February 7, had been paired with Fillmore – the hippy-dippy Volkswagen bus from the movie Cars. My first reaction was, “Ummmmm what?” I mean, there are definitely more awkward characters out there to be associated with (Stinky Pete? Did anyone out there actually get paired with him? LOL…) but I failed to see the connection to this one at a glance.

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Then I read the description for Fillmore a little closer, and the connection actually makes a lot of sense give my love of creativity and crazy ideas. Since then, I’ve been emotionally attached to this hippy-dippy bus!

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And the nominees are…

Recently, someone at work heard about my sewing blog and asked me which project was my number one pride and joy. A simple question that should have had an easy answer, but… I was baffled that I really didn’t have an answer.

The first pathetic thought that came to mind was, “my most recent project.” Whatever my most recent project is – I consider that the “new, shiny toy” that I am currently taking the most pride in. But that’s a kind of lame answer. How could I not have one standout project that is my favorite?

The second, less pathetic thought that came to mind: my favorite projects are the ones that I have made as gifts that are actually being used out in the real world. Remember the the Mustaches and Elephants quilt I made for baby Liam some time ago? Well, Mr. and Mrs. Liam recently sold their house, and I got to see the quilt displayed on Liam’s crib in the photos on the real estate listing. That was pretty fun! It’s one thing for people to tell me they like the gift – it’s another to see proof that they like the gift.

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I also regularly see my friend Joe’s “man bag” / toiletry kit in photos. Every time he travels, he sends me a pic of his bag in action!

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Yes, this was a Snapchat, and yes, I took a screenshot – blasphemous.

More gifts in action –  Maggie’s birthday countdown wall hanging and Sophia’s quilt!

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Another Snapchat screenshot on the left!

I continued to ponder this question, determined that there should still be a clearer answer – which project is my pride and joy? I eventually decided that I have a bunch of favorites – but each a favorite for different reasons. So I decided to break my favorites down into ten different categories of favorites. Because I can never do things the easy way…

Favorite fabric combo: Brittany’s shoe-themed jewelry pouch. The shoes are already so cute, and the fact that pink polka dot lining matches the polka dots on the pink shoes? Perfection. Throw in the minty zippers and ribbon with glittery chevrons? Stop it. I’m in love.

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I made a hat

I know the title of this blog post gives away the grand reveal, but… hey guys. I made a hat. A hunting cap, to be more specific.

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I’m not into selfies, so let’s just take advantage of this Snapchat…

Why? Just because. I had a pattern and wanted to try it. Also, making a hat or some sort of headwear was a bucket list item on my list of 100 No Pressure Projects.

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#SewMyStash 2015 – Year End Recap

Happy New Year, gang!

Last January, I wrote about #SewMyStash2015, a fun internet-based initiative invented by my bloggy friend Leasa (Project Leasa), who challenged fellow crafters to use up their stash of (hoarded) fabric in 2015 instead of buying new fabric, whenever possible.

#SewMyStash2015

The brainchild of Leasa at ProjectLeasa.com!

It was so much fun throughout the year to participate in Leasa’s challenges and follow the hashtag on Instagram to see what else my peers were making! I thought it would be appropriate to do a wrap-up post to highlight the projects I made throughout the year using fabric that was from my stash.

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Chris’s (Mega) Birthday

Here’s the thing about birthdays: they happen every year.

In the words of Michelle Tanner… DUH.

Michelle Tanner Duh

But for me, that means that someone I’m sewing for this year may have already received something crafty from me last year… so I need to mix things up!

Remember my friend Chris? Last year, he had a birthday… this year, he had another birthday.

Chris. You’re so stressful.

A non-birthday celebration with Chris... drinking from mason jars in Disneyland.

A non-birthday celebration with Chris… mason jar twins at Disneyland.

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