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…

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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:

 

 

 

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DONUT underestimate the power of paper piecing

This post is about donuts. And paper piecing.

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…
Bright frosted DONUTS that haven’t been bitten…
Quilty techniques on the gifts Santa brings… 
These are a few of my favorite things.

I looooooooooooooove donuts.

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Donuts complete me.

So does my roommate Katie. When one of us says, “I want donuts,” the other roommate says, “NOM” and then we’re in the car en route to our local donut provider in a matter of minutes. We have donut ornaments on our Christmas tree. And the dog has donut toys.

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I’ve already told you about how Katie is crafty (or rather, “Krafty”) so this year’s Christmas present for Katie was a combination of our mutual love for both donuts and crafts.

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Mom’s Zip and Go

Tis the season for sewing gifts (“Let it sew, let it sew, let it sew”) and this year, the most adventurous pattern I tackled was the Zip and Go bag from Dog Under My Desk. I’d previously written about one of the free tutorials offered from the pattern maker, Erin, on the same site (see my post about earbuds zipper pouches) but I’ve always wanted to try one of her paid patterns. The pattern was worth every penny – loved it!

(I apologize in advance for the lame lighting in these photos – I was antsy to wrap this and put it under the tree as soon as I finished, so I rushed through the photos on a cloudy day…)

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I decided my mom needed the Zip and Go for her new lifestyle in a Florida retirement community. She’s not retired, but she’s got one foot in the retired lifestyle and attends lots of craft fairs, farmers markets — that sort of thing. I liked the Zip and Go because it looked light and compact, but big enough for day trip essentials like a phone and keys. Continue reading

My friend furoshiki

I initially thought this would be a really basic story: “Look at the cute gift I made for my friend Melanie’s birthday! The end.” But this story ended up having a cool, coincidental twist! Read on.

My lovely friend Melanie (who, by the way, was the ringleader for our 2014 Disney Princess Half Marathon running group) lived in Tokyo for a few years and once told me she really loves cherry blossoms because they remind her of her time spent in Japan. I have always remembered this fact because I, too, love cherry blossoms — but I really have no reason for loving them, other than I like the way they look (sadly, I have not visited Japan) (yet) (hint hint, Tokyo Disneyland anybody?).

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I had a bit of cherry blossom fabric leftover from some other projects, so I put it to the side for Melanie and revisited it while working on her birthday project. And the zipper, which matched perfectly, came from my crazy bulk zipper stash – I’m slowly working through those and finally starting to make a dent!

In the spirit of trying new things, and also tackling my 100 No Pressure Projects List, I decided to make a bow pouch that I had seen on Pinterest some months ago. As I tend to do with all zipper pouch projects, I used a mashup of tutorials — the Little Bow Clutch Tutorial on This Big Oak Tree and my favorite zipper pouch tutorial on Make It Perfect.

And I love the way it turned out. Love, love, love.

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I lined the inside with a charcoal/black calico print I already had on hand because it seemed to flow with the floral theme. I never, ever line zipper pouches with the exact same  fabric I’ve used on the outside. Because that would be boring!

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But here’s the fun (and educational) coincidence. Do you know what furoshiki is? Yeah, neither did I… according to the trusty (ha) Wikipedia, “furoshiki is a type of traditional Japanese wrapping cloth traditionally used to transport clothes, gifts, or other goods.” Apparently when Melanie was living in Japan, she received a baby gift that was wrapped in furoshiki and looked just like this bow pouch – so not only the cherry blossoms, but even the design, is sentimental for Melanie.

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An example of furoshiki from the Wikipedia.

So how coincidental is that? I had no clue. I just picked the bow design because I wanted to try something new and I thought it looked cute – but Melanie was destined to receive this design. It was obviously fate!

But whether it’s a bow clutch or furoshiki – there will definitely be a lot more of these bow clutches in my future.

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PS – After I wrote this post, it sat in my blog queue for awhile because I wanted to make sure Melanie approved before I posted. Between the time I wrote this and the time I posted it, Melanie brought me the most wonderful book — Furoshiki Fabric Wraps by Pixeladies. The book has beautiful photos and detailed instructions for wrapping all sorts of gifts in fabric! I AM IN LOVE WITH THIS BOOK. You can bet I will be writing about some of these wraps when I try them out. And now I’m convinced I need to buy a serger so I can serge all of my fabric and use it for furoshiki!

Furoshiki Fabric Wraps Book

 

 

 

 

The force is strong with this one!

Whenever I come across licensed character fabric in the remnant bin, I feel compelled to buy it. Licensed fabric is expensive, and remnants are a great opportunity to get the fabric for 50-75% off, depending on the sale. So that’s exactly what happened a few days ago when I came across some Star Wars fabric in the bin. I’m not really a Star Wars fan, but I have plenty of friends who are. And my association with Disney in recent years has made me familiar enough with the franchise that I knew I could put it to good use.

When I got home and added the purchase to the ABYSS I call my fabric bin, I felt guilty for being such a fabric hoarder. I definitely buy more fabric than I use. I’ve been pretty good about avoiding fabric purchases for some time now, but like I said, I have this thing about licensed fabric. So I decided I needed to immediately start using up some fabric for something — anything. Starting with Star Wars.

The Star Wars print, which was supposed to look like a bunch of comic book covers, had a rectangular shape on it that looked almost exactly the size of the zipper pouches I like to make. So I had to try it.

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It’s Tea Time!

Here’s a fun little project I recently whipped up for my coworker Sylvie. We’ve been “cube neighbors” for six months, but she was fulfilling a temporary assignment and her last day was this week. The office will definitely be a lot lonlier without her!

Every afternoon, Sylvie likes to partake in “tea time” – aka, a trip to our friendly neighborhood Keurig machine for a cup of tea. So when I saw a tutorial for a zippered teacup pouch, I immediately knew that I had to make one for Sylvie.

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If you’re wondering what the faux “tea bag” says, here’s another fun fact: Sylvie is French and often takes the opportunity to educate our office suite about French culture (mostly because we interrogate her with silly questions). So the tea bag says, temps de thé – aka, “tea time” in French. At least, that’s what the Google told me the translation was. Maybe it actually translated to something inappropriate and Sylvie just didn’t want to tell me… let’s hope that’s not the case!

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For my buds…

A few weeks ago I was in the mood for a quick project, so I decided to try this Circle Zip Earbud Pouch Tutorial over at Dog Under My Desk. I’m so appreciative that the internet is chock full of these great, photo-heavy tutorials. My sewing journey would be completely hampered without all of these incredible resources at my fingertips.

I use earbuds at work from time to time, but they are always floating around between drawers or crammed at the bottom of my laptop bag. Now I have this little guy hanging on my cube wall, ready to provide my buds at a moments notice.

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Farewell, Florida Friend

I moved to Florida in late 2006 and didn’t know a single soul when I arrived. Sometimes when I step back and look at my “Florida Life,” I can’t believe how many wonderful relationships I’ve developed in eight years!

I met Jamie just a few months after arriving in Florida, so she’s always been a staple in my “Florida Life.” For about four years, we worked on the same team with side-by-side offices. It wasn’t unusual to find us taking a juggling break in the hallway. Yes –  actual juggling – flying objects and all… it’s a great stress reliever on a work day! As long as it’s done safely. 😉

An office selfie with Jamie… back in the day, before selfies were a “thing.”

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