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. 😉

wreath---spring

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!

wreath---fall

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. ❤ ❤ ❤

Happy Wreath-ing!

LindsaySignature

 

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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:

 

 

 

Sewin’ and Sergin’

A little belated, but Merry Christmas, my friends!

Santa was oh-so-good to me this year and brought me a Brother 1034D serger!

Serger love + Winnie photobomb

Serger love + Winnie photobomb

There have been a number of situations in the past year or so where I’ve thought, “I wish I had a serger” while working on one project or another. I even included “use a serger” on my list of 100 No Pressure Projects. Now I have no excuse not to cross that goal off my list! Continue reading

Mother’s Day: nailed it!

One of my earliest Mother’s Day memories is my dad taking me to the cosmetics section in the grocery store to choose a bottle of nail polish for my mom. I couldn’t help thinking about that as I constructed this year’s Mother’s Day gift – a small tote for my mom to carry her nail polish and related supplies around the house.

Some time ago, I was showing my mom all of the sewing projects I have pinned on my “Sewing (Someday)” Pinterest board and the Portable Manicure-Pedicure Kit tutorial on Positively Splendid caught her eye, which made it really easy to choose what to make for Mother’s Day.

This is what it looks like folded up – a strap with a Velcro tab keeps it securely closed.

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Easter Peeps Bunny Bunting

Happy (Early) Easter!

After posting ten inspirational Easter tutorials last week, I wanted to actually make one of the projects I showcased. My only rule was that I had to be resourceful and only use supplies that I already had on hand. For awhile now, I’ve felt completely overwhelmed by the amount of fabric and supplies that I already have. I have to draw the line somewhere. No more!

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Ten Easter sewing projects: free tutorial roundup!

Spring is here! I wish I could say that I’m spending time outside today, but the pollen count is so high in Florida right now that I’m stuck inside taking allergy meds. Yuck.

But this springtime weather has me feeling inspired, so I’ve raided my Pinterest boards and pulled out ten of my favorite Easter-inspired projects for this free tutorial roundup! Scroll down for links to all of the projects shown below.

10 Easter Sewing Projects: Free Tutorial Roundup on the SewLindsaySew blog.

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I love sheep!

Did you know I love sheep? Well, I do. I can’t really explain why – it’s just one of those things – but I love sheep in all forms: pictures of sheep, plush sheep, edibles that use marshmallows to look like sheep, the real sheep that “baa” and even sheep measuring cups.

Sheep measuring cups

Maybe you thought I was kidding about the measuring cups.

I know, the sheep thing is a little weird, but so am I. My loved ones are kind enough to just embrace it! I have a steadily-growing plush sheep collection above my desk at work, and more than half of those sheep have come from my family and friends.

So imagine how excited I was to stumble across this Little Lamb Pillow tutorial at The Purl Bee – and just in time for Easter!

Little lamb pillows

Photos & tutorial courtesy of http://www.purlbee.com

Magical, right? I love the way the wavy cutting lends itself to the lamb’s “wool.” Can’t wait to try these out!

Do you have a strange favorite animal, too? Or am I the only one?

November and December in 15 photos or less…

I haven’t updated my blog since Halloween, and tomorrow is Christmas Eve. Talk about MIA!

I could write a novel about what I’ve been up to since then, but instead, I’ll show you… iPhone-photo-library-style…

Lindsay and Gizmo

I went home to Chicago for Thanksgiving… I spent some time cuddling my brother’s dog, Gizmo, in the backseat of the car while we drove to Wisconsin.

Baby Cow

We spent our Thanksgiving on a dairy farm!

Spool of Thread Ornament

On Thanksgiving, my family was a part of a very special tradition in which we each received a special ornament. The little spool of thread fit me perfectly!

Christmas Tree

Back to Florida, and put up the Christmas tree. We don’t have a tree topper, so the Mickey ears Santa hat is our traditional solution.

Winnie and the Minnie Wreath

Winnie proudly admires the Minnie Mouse wreath I made two years ago. We have the most magical house on the block!

Clothespin Wreath

Put the finishing touches on my Christmas card clothespin wreath. Since then, we’ve filled it up by clipping our Christmas cards on all of the clothespins! I promise we’re more popular than this photo portrays. 🙂

Mickey Popcorn Bucket

Found this lil guy sitting on my desk one morning and felt really happy!

Corn Chowder

I tried to keep it healthy one week and made some delicious corn chowder. As you all know, Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday, so I use my heart-shaped measuring cups all year long. The hearts were a welcome break from all of the Christmas madness! A lovely reminder that my favorite holiday is just around the corner. 🙂

Sewn Christmas Cards

Sewed a few Christmas cards by quilting some fabric panels and sewing them onto blank cards. It was my first attempt at free-motion quilting. Man oh man! Free-motion quilting is crazy, you guys! As you can see, I didn’t do a great job – LOL! More on that later…

DAK Lodge

My mom came to visit and we spent a lovely weekend at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. We loved watching the zebras and giraffes outside our balcony when we weren’t hitting up the Disney parks!

Zebra Domes

Delicious zebra domes were the snack of choice when we returned to our room each night. 🙂

Christmas lights on Cinderella Castle

It wouldn’t be Christmas without seeing the sparkling Christmas lights on Cinderella Castle… caught this pic post-fireworks at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party with mom.

MVMCP

Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party!

WIzard of Oz inspired zipper pouch

Squeezed in some craft time and sewed this lovely Wizard of Oz inspired zipper pouch! Ruby slippers and a yellow brick road…

Studying with Winnie

And of course, through it all, I’ve been doing schoolwork. This morning I worked on my accounting exam while Winnie snacked on my accounting textbook. Nom nom!

Well, 15 iPhone snapshots later, and I’ve covered November and December!

So… what have you all been up to?

I did not sew this wooden birdhouse but I’m writing about it anyway

Happy Father’s Day!

Here’s the sewing-related Father’s Day blurb: a free necktie tutorial at The Purl Bee!

Father's Day tie sewing tutorial

Photo and tutorial courtesy of The Purl Bee

My dad rarely wears neckties in his profession – he’s a dentist and can most often be found wearing scrubs. However, I have some guy friends who often wear ties to work, so I have tucked this tutorial away for a future project!

Now, the non-sewing related Father’s Day craft that I’ve been waiting to share. My dad really enjoys birdhouses, bird feeders and pretty much any other device that attracts birds into the yard. He spends summer nights sitting on the back porch with a glass of red wine, looking over his land and watching the birds take advantage of the whimsical sanctuary he’s created in the yard.

In recent years, I’ve taken to painting a new birdhouse each year for Father’s Day. One more thing I should mention is that my dad dreams of driving the monorail at Walt Disney World when he retires from dentistry. So, I present to you… the Father’s Day 2011 birdhouse inspired by the oh-so-magical highway in the sky:

Walt Disney World Monorail Birdhouse

Like the backdrop? It's a Disney Snuggie. 😉

Happy Father’s Day, Dad! You can bet that the next time you hear birds chirping, they are surely saying “Por favor mantengase alejado de las puertas!”

How soon is too soon?

First things first: HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!

Now, onto the blog talk. 🙂

One of the things I love most about my office is the communal coffee mugs and a dishwasher to clean them at the end of the day. The mugs in the cabinet are the epitome of the word “hodgepodge” and you never quite know what you’ll get each morning. My personal favorite is “World’s Greatest Godfather,” but this morning I experienced holiday cheer with every sip of my coffee as I used this festive Christmas mug:

Christmas Mug in June

Christmas in June! At least, in my office.

So, despite 100+ degree Central Florida summer temperatures just outside the door, I had the holiday season on the brain and started wondering: How soon is “too soon” to start crafting holiday gifts? Is there such a thing as “too soon?”

Let’s face it, I’m new to sewing and exceptionally slow. Projects that would take an hour for a seasoned seamstress to complete take me an entire day, if not longer, as I carefully analyze each step and spend a lot of quality time with my seam ripper. Therefore, working on holiday gifts 6-7 months in advance is probably a good idea, especially since the holidays are notorious for being sneaky and making time move exponentially faster as they approach.

On the other hand, how disheartening is it to complete a project and not be able to show and tell? I’m not very good at keeping sewing secrets.

I’m also incredibly excited to try the list of summer sewing projects that I posted earlier this week. If I started worrying about holiday gifts, would I just miss out on the present? Get it… the PRESENT?! Ha ha ha. 🙂

How far in advance do you start thinking about the holidays?