Finally-Finished-It Friday: Summertime Watermelon Bunting

Today’s “finally-finished-it Friday” post is brought to you by… sweet summertime watermelon bunting!

Sweet Summertime Watermelon Bunting

Last Halloween, I made some bunting inspired by candy corn. For Easter, I made bunting inspired by marshmallow Peeps. I started this project months ago – the idea has been in my head for awhile. All of those little pink triangles have been sitting on my cutting table since I abandoned them sometime during the spring. I finally decided to finish up so I’d still have a chance to enjoy this summer decor!

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The blogger on the milk carton

I know, I know – it’s mid-July and I’ve been MIA since Easter! Don’t panic! You can take my photo off the milk carton, now!

Missing Milk Carton

Ahhh! Get me outta this box!

I have some really exciting news, though. The reason I’ve been missing for so long is that I was preparing for, then experiencing, and then recovering from a glorious world tour! And as a result, I have some really great stories to share – even sewing stories. Wheee! Although I wasn’t able to blog while I was abroad, I did my best to update my Twitter account – @SewLindsaySew – as much as possible. I hope some of you were able to follow along!

Lindsay's International Adventure

My glorious adventure included six countries, with flight layovers in two more!

As a part of my MBA program, I traveled to Istanbul, Turkey and Budapest, Hungary to experience the international business world and some cultural fun with my classmates. And even after the academic portion was through, I extended the trip with some friends and traveled to Vienna, Austria; Stockholm, Sweden; Helsinki, Finland; and St. Petersburg and Moscow, Russia. WOW! As someone who had never left the United States prior to this adventure, I feel incredibly blessed that I was given this unbelievable opportunity and able to experience it with such great people.

Red Square

Flying high during an excursion to Red Square in Moscow!

I refuse to refer to my international trip as “once-in-a-lifetime,” because I still have a pretty long lifetime ahead of me and my adventurous spirit won’t be fizzling out anytime soon. No, I will never experience this exact same trip again with the exact same countries and the exact same people – so in that context, I supposed it’s okay to refer to it as “once-in-a-lifetime.”

But as far as ADVENTURE goes, I know that this is just the first international escapade of many! I have a European electrical outlet adapter and a whole pile of international currency waiting to be put to good use one of these days.

I can’t wait to share my stories and photos with you now that I’ve come out of hiding and returned to my blog. Stay tuned! 🙂

The Quilt Cottage & other tales from up North!

With some of the world’s most popular tourist destinations at our fingertips, have you wondered where we Central Florida “Disney” people go on vacation? Well, here’s the answer – in my case, at least:

Wisconsin postcard

Mooooooooooooooove over, Mickey Mouse!

My family started taking annual summer trips to Minocqua, Wisconsin long before I was even born – my dad’s family started going when he was a kid. We spend more than a week residing in lakeside cabins with a large group of our closest friends.

Ideal Minocqua days are spent water skiing, boating, kayaking, jet skiing and swimming in the lake; Evenings grilling, playing board games and passing out from exhausting, activity-filled days.

Dad water skiing

My dad is really, really good at water skiing!

Of course, there’s always at least one dreary day in Northern Wisconsin – it’s not the Sunshine State, after all! This year, my mom and I visited The Quilt Cottage, a warm and welcoming Northwoods-y fabric shop.

The Quilt Cottage

The Quilt Cottage on Highway 51 in Minocqua, Wisconsin

The store was homey and friendly, and definitely had an overall woodsy feeling. Most of the fabrics were very muted without many bright or bold colors. I spent a lot of time checking out the small selection of bag and purse patterns. I liked more than a few of them, but I refrained from getting any knowing how many patterns I have sitting at home! Even though I didn’t purchase anything, it was interesting to see how regional differences can affect the overall tone of a fabric store.

Now that I’m back from vacation, I do have a rather large scale sewing project in the works, but as usual – it’s top secret and I can’t write about it until it’s finished! Of couse, my “to sew” list is pages long, so hopefully I’ll have a new project to write about soon.

Although not completely responsible for my month-long blogging absence, my vacation preparation and recovery time have definitely taken a toll on my sewing adventures this past month. 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?

Sunny Summer Sewing Projects: Tutorial Roundup

It’s summer! And unlike most people, I love summers here in Florida. I love spending scorching sunny days poolside with a good book and a LOT of sunblock! Lucky for me, the Florida summer lasts about six months instead of the standard three, so I don’t feel guilty spending some time inside crafting even when the sun is shining. 🙂

Of course, I plan on keeping my project list bright and summery. No plans for heavy quilts or winter projects! Check out some of these FREE (!!!) tutorials I’ve recently added to my summer project inspiration list.

Summer Sewing: Free Project Tutorial Roundup

This adorable strawberry bag folds up into a tiny take-along strawberry when you’re not using it. Hello, Farmer’s Market! Click here for the free strawberry bag tutorial at ikatbag!

Strawberry Bag Sewing Project

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

What’s a day at the pool without a hooded towel? And these aren’t just for kids — I’m 27 and may or may not have hooded towels with Mickey ears folded up in my bathroom closet. Click here for the free hooded towel tutorial at Obsessively Stitching!

Hooded Towel Sewing Project

Photo and tutorial courtesy of obsessivelystitching.blogspot.com

Although these are usually advertised for carrying cloth diapers, wet bags are perfect for carrying damp swimsuits! Click here for the free wet bag tutorial at A Lemon Squeezy.

Wet Bag Sewing Tutorial

Photo and tutorial courtesy of alemonsqueezyhome.blogspot.com

This insulated picnic tote is perfect for keeping groceries cold on a sweltering summertime car ride home. I desperately need one of these! Click here for the free insulated tote tutorial at Punkin Patterns.

Insulted Tote Sewing Tutorial

Photo and tutorial courtesy of punkinpattern.blogspot.com

Check out this quaint little bike bag for that special cyclist in your life. Click here for a free bike bag tutorial from noodlehead. 

Bike Bag Sewing Tutorial

Photo and tutorial courtesy of noodle-head.com

Any picnic blanket is a nice-to-have item – but a tote bag picnic blanket is a must-have! Click here for a free picnic blanket tote tutorial at Craft Buds.

Picnic tote sewing tutorial

Photos and tutorial courtesy of CraftBuds.com

This garden apron is so cute that I don’t think I could bear to get it dirty! Click here for a free garden apron tutorial at Make it Do. 

Garden apron sewing tutorial

Photo and tutorial courtesy of make-it-do.com

Just look at these giant strawberry pillows. Honestly. Have you ever seen anything more magical? I’m in awe. I just love these. Click here for the free strawberry pillow sewing tutorial from The Purl Bee. 

Strawberry pillow sewing tutorial

Photo and tutorial courtesy of purlbee.com

Believe it or not, these projects are just the tip of the iceberg. I found tons of inspirational summer sewing tutorials out floating around the internet – it was really hard to narrow down my favorites!

What’s on your craft list this summer?

LindsaySignature