I’ve had the BEST Mother’s Day weekend! Cute cards! Thoughtful gifts! Phone calls! Dinner! Flowers! A music theater production of my favorite book, Little Women! And most of all, lots of love. As as I think about my mom, mom-in-law, and grandmothers, I fondly remember my sweet aunts, too. You’ve heard about Aunt Vitha, wearer of fun earrings . . . she always had a cookie jar full of Oreos. And my other aunts . . . what a heartfelt visit I had with them this spring. I cherish every moment with my dear nieces and nephews, and my sister Susan and seven daughters-in-law have the most amazing auntie skills I’ve ever seen. So hats off to you, dear aunts . . . thank you for being our “other” moms. ♥
How cute is this “Sissy Bag”??? It’s created by Sarah and Katie of s&k boutique, and I can’t wait to gift it to a special girl in my family! I LOVE what Sarah and Katie share about themselves on their blog:
We are Sarah & Katie, and we launched s&k boutique in March of 2012. We design and make totally unique and original purses, clutches and totes. Every bag we design is inspired by the materials found, the world around us, or the need for the perfect accessory. As friends and business partners, we inspire, motivate, and encourage each other to be our best. We bring our own individual style to the drawing board and then allow our designs to evolve. Collaboration gives us the freedom to be bold and unique with our creations. We love using new and upcycled fabric to create one-of-a-kind purses that are unique and special. We also love using inspiration from textiles, colors, trends, and life to create collections of purses for s&k boutique that are bold and different. Designing and creating purses for s&k boutique is our dream and passion, and there is nothing else we would rather be doing.
at their blog,
at their Etsy shop,
on their FB page,
or anytime from my Shop Love! page above. ♥
Thank you to Jeanna at Drama Queen Seams for such a lovely post about the recent Origami Owl Living Locket giveaway sponsored by designer Tiffany Scraper! You MUST see all of Jeanna’s stunning photos wearing her new chain, locket, charms, and tag!
Have you discovered Global Girlfriend yet? Besides my friends’ shops, it’s my favorite shopping spot EVER! This fair-trade boutique sells handmade clothes, jewelry, handbags, accessories, bath and body products, and paper goods from all over the world, and the money goes to help craftswomen make a living to feed their families. They also have gift certificates, which the special girls in my family LOVE to get for their birthdays . . . even though it can literally take hours to decide which gorgeous items to spend them on! Right now, in honor of Earth Day, Global Girlfriend is offering FREE SHIPPING for $25 U.S. orders (code: FREE25) and $50 international orders (code: FREE50). Please check them out if you get a chance . . . it will definitely brighten your day! They’re also on Facebook here and my Shop Love! page here. P.S. Below is one of my favorite GG purchases, a set of inspirational cards made from handmade paper. I love them so much that I’ve also displayed them on my office wall! ♥
As you know from my Lucky Save post, I’m still in preschool as a crocheter! So when my blogging friend Orit Hadad asked me to review her “How to Crochet Jewelry” pdfs, I confessed that I was sadly lacking in both crochet and jewelry-making skills. However, Orit replied that this made me the perfect candidate, because her pdfs give step-by-step directions in crochet as well as jewelry techniques, so they would help me with my yarn projects, too! Then I was delighted to help, especially since I’ve long admired Orit’s gorgeous crocheted rings, earrings, and pendants in her Etsy shop. So please feast your eyes on the amazing earrings above, and then check out her jewelry and pdf patterns here. But first, let me summarize what I found in my review:
- Orit currently has three pdf tutorials that you can buy separately or as a set: How to Make Crochet Beads, How to Make Crochet Earrings, and How to Make Crochet Rings. (Seriously, you HAVE to click on these last three links to see close ups of Orit’s amazing work!)
- The crochet technique works for all types and colors of stones, so you can add variety to your designs.
- Orit recommends beginning with simple craft wire and then moving on to fine wires after you feel comfortable with the technique.
- She includes a materials list and step-by-step directions supported with close-up, full-color photographs and interspersed with text boxes containing helpful tips.
- Orit was right . . . I CAN learn to crochet with yarn using her instructions, so maybe crocheting a pendant someday isn’t an impossible dream for me after all!
Thank you SO much to everyone for entering the Origami Owl Blogger Locket Giveaway and for all your lovely, encouraging comments. Seriously, every time a new one popped up, I said to myself, “Oh . . . I hope SHE wins!!!” But the time came to draw one name out of the hat, and the lucky winner is . . .
Jeanna of Drama Queen Seams!
Congratulations, Jeanna! As soon as you email me your mailing address, I’ll send your prize and Tiffany will send the extra charm you chose—the crystal clear crown. And for all of our other blogging friends . . . thank you again for your enthusiasm and support for small businesses, and feel free to contact Tiffany at email@example.com, her Facebook page, or her web site if you have any questions about creating your own Living Locket or becoming an Origami Owl independent designer. You’re the best! ♥
As you know from my Shop Love! posts and page, I’m all about supporting small businesses.
That hasn’t changed!
But . . . I found a “big” business item that I just have to share!
I bought these gorgeous scarves from the Kohl’s Cares Jennifer Lopez Collection for FIVE dollars . . . and ONE HUNDRED percent of the net proceeds goes to breast cancer research!
The collection includes other scarf designs, too, as well as t-shirts, pajamas, tote bags, jewelry, and other items . . . all priced at $5, $10, or $15.
Who doesn’t love fun and affordable accessories??? Oh, and if you haven’t already, please visit my other recent “accessory” post and sign up for the Origami Owl blogger locket giveaway! ♥
My lovely art teacher daughter-in-law Tiffany just became an independent designer for Origami Owl. Have you seen these amazing “Living Lockets” yet? You choose your locket size and design, fill it with hand-picked charms, and (if you like) add plates, dangles, and tags. Then you either purchase a chain or wear your creation on a chain or ribbon you already own. They’re absolutely beautiful! So Tiffany and I put our heads together and came up with a “blogger locket” giveaway that we think you’ll love! It includes:
- the large silver Living Locket with crystals,
- 5 charms: a laptop computer, a camera, a pair of scissors, a cup of coffee (or tea!), and the April stone,
- an 18-inch silver ball station chain,
- and an “Inspire” tag that can be worn either with the locket or separately.
You can see close-ups of all the components below!
To enter this giveaway, you only have three easy steps to follow:
(1) “Like” Tiffany’s Origami Owl Facebook page here. (But if you’re not on FB, no worries! You can still enter by skipping to Step 2! )
(2) Go to Tiffany’s Origami Owl web site and find your favorite charm here. (Click on “Charm Collections” on the “Living Lockets” page.)
(3) Leave a comment below telling us you’ve liked the FB page (see note on Step 1) and what your favorite charm is.
That’s it! A week from today (Monday, April 8) we’ll draw a name out of a hat and announce the winner right here at Pillows A-La-Mode. And not only does the winner get the blogger locket, but Tiffany will mail her the other charm she chose, too! So please join in the fun, and thank you for visiting Origami Owl today or anytime from my Shop Love! page above. ♥
P.S. I forgot to mention that Origami Owl’s packaging is amazing—a drawstring bag for the tag and a “fortune cookie” made of kimono fabric to keep your locket in, all delivered in a cute little take-out box! Oh, and Tiffany has also put together a Shutterfly book with design ideas. You can check it out here.
I am the VERY excited winner of the recent one-year blog anniversary giveaway by Linda (aka LubbyGirl) of the REmissionary! From a pair of jeans, Linda created this cute bag with two pockets on the front, a big pocket on the back, a zippered pocket and a snap pocket inside, and a tab and button closure . . . and I love the way she attaches the strap to the front on one side and the back on the other to make it lay perfectly flat against your body when you hang it over your shoulder. Linda doesn’t have an online shop yet, but I hope she opens one someday with her fun creations like this and this and this. She has also inspired me to start saving old jeans that family members no longer love so I can do some projects of my own. Besides collecting jeans, I’ve been collecting links from my blogging friends! If you have a jeans refashion/upcycle project that I don’t have on my list yet, would you be kind enough to put a link in the comments so I can add it? Thank you! And thank you to Linda for the lovely gift! ♥
- Denim Projects
- Denim Projects
- Denim Projects
- Denim Projects
- Denim Pillow
- Denim Jewelry
- Denim Basket
- Denim Basket
- Denim Bunting
- Denim Clutch
- Denim Purse
- Denim Purse
- Denim Tote Bag
- Denim Mini-Skirt Bag
- Denim Pocket Organizer
- Denim Potholders
- Denim Potholders
- Denim Rag Rug
- Denim Vest
- Denim Water Bottle Carrier
March 2 is Dr. Seuss’s birthday! When I taught first grade, we always celebrated by wearing Dr. Seuss T-shirts, cooking green eggs and ham in the classroom, and reading all the kids’ favorite DS books. But now that I’ve moved on to a different career, I decided to use this well-loved T-shirt for my next “What can you make with a . . .” refashion.
- First, I used the bottom of the shirt for the no-sew spaghetti t-shirt scarf that I shared last month.
- Next, I used the “Sam’s Ham” graphic and back for a pillow (which is now on its way to some sweet little guys in Florida along with a copy of the matching book). I love that the T-shirt had a Dr. Seuss label that I could stitch into the side seam of the pillow!
- The fabric from the shoulders became a travel neck pillow with “Ahh . . .” embroidered for a-la-mode. (You’ll find a fabulous tutorial at The Cottage Home!)
- The rest of the scraps were stitched together into a rectangle and paired with a colorful remnant to make a little mat to put under a centerpiece or plant.
- Oh, and did you know that a t-shirt neckband makes a perfect no-sew headband for around the house or working out??? Happy birthday, Dr. Seuss! ♥
Today I’d like to feature my blogging friend Giselle of D’arc Creations! I’d long admired this lovely birds-nest necklace, and when I ordered it, Giselle added earrings with matching stones! I was so touched, and I know they’ll make lovely gifts for some lucky girls in my family. Please visit Giselle’s blog here, her Etsy Shop here, and her FB page here from this post or anytime from my Shop Love! page above. Thank you for the lovely shopping experience, Giselle! ♥
I got this bright red, gently-used sweater along with a couple of other items for free at a consignment store with a Groupon gift certificate! It was too wide and too short and stretched out here and there, so I immediately knew it was going to become my next What can you make with a . . . project.
First, I made the heart mini-pillows I shared in this post. Then I made the big sweater pillow I shared in this post. After that, I made a business card/gift card/credit card/reward card case with floral pockets and a vintage earring button closure (click here for a great tutorial from The Crafty Cupboard) and three flower brooches with vintage earring centers. The neck and hem ribbing I hadn’t used up as ruffles on the big pillow will be package wraps (picture a small box wrapped in kraft paper with these pretty red buttoned bands stretched around them). Finally, I cut all the little bits into triangles and made bunting by stitching them onto the fun button-design ribbon I recently bought from Lizzie Rose Jewelry.
Another fun haul! ♥
In honor of Valentine’s Day, I have a little story to share. For me, it started with this sweet post from Claire of The Penguin Theory about an amazing artist from Portugal named Sandra. When the Etsy community learned that Sandra had faced a great loss, they banded together for a fundraiser sponsored by Esther and Estella of Star of the East (with an Etsy shop here) who invited fellow artists to make a donation toward a raffle with more than 50 Etsy items as prizes. The response was overwhelming, and I know all the winners are just ecstatic! Others have ordered items from Sandra’s own Etsy shop called Azulado, where I found this gorgeous ceramic heart. It arrived this week just in time for the holiday, beautifully wrapped in a handmade box tied with ribbon. Please visit Azulado when you get a chance (and also Etsy angels The Penguin Theory and Star of the East) from this post or anytime from my Shop Love! page above. Love and prayers to you and your family, Sandra! ♥
In the spirit of Valentine week’s focus on pink and red . . . how cute is this??? It’s a little girl’s bag upcycled from a little girl’s smocked dress that will make a perfect gift for a little girl in my family! You can see creations like this one at my blogging friend Vicky’s Etsy shop called Vicky Myers Creations, including drawstring bags, corsage bags, messenger bags, shoulder bags, bucket bags, and knitting needle cases. As Vicky describes her business, “I love making new items out of recycled materials, upcycling fabric remnants and old clothes into new bags. Using many textures, colours, and patterns, I create unique handmade bags. Each bag has a label describing where the fabric has been sourced.” Please check out Vicky’s blog, her shop, and her FB page from this post or anytime from my Shop Love! page above. Thank you for my adorable purchase, Vicky! ♥
Welcome to the Collectively Creative Lovey-Dovey edition, hosted by Kelly of Cobwebs, Cupcakes & Crayons! My project this month is felt conversation heart mini-pillows. They were so much fun to make! Here’s how:
(1) Buy a bag of candy conversation hearts for . . . um . . . er . . . research.
(2) Create a pattern with a free-hand drawing or googling a heart template—or do like I did and use a heart-shaped cookie cutter.
(3) Trace around your pattern on two pieces each of white and various pastel felt.
(4) Lightly pencil a candy saying on a heart of each color, then embroider all the sayings in red.
(5) Put the hearts of the same color back to back and attach the edges with a blanket stitch using a coordinating color of embroidery floss. Stop a couple of inches before you’re done to add a bit of fiberfill stuffing, then close them up.
(6) Use your hearts for valentines, brooches, magnets, hair accessories, sachets, mobiles, or gift-wrap, wreath, or pillow a-la-mode; display them in a pretty bowl or shadow box; or . . . make GARLAND! I added in some of my red-sweater hearts as well for the perfect Valentine mantle decor.
- I Love You More Than… – (Cobwebs, Cupcakes & Crayons)
- Top Ten Romantic Movies of All Time - (The Thinking Closet)
- DIY Heart T-Shirt - (NorthStory)
- [DIY] 12 Pre-Planned Date Cards - (Inspire and Indulge)
- The Love Letters - (Mrs. And The Misc.)
- Valentine’s Day Bon Bon’s - (Happy Little Kiwi)
- Lovey Dovey School Lunch Ideas - (Time With Thea)
- Loving These Products - (Neaten Your Nest)
- Kniting Hearts - (Gentle Stitches)
- A Little Lovie Magic - (The Thing About Joan)
- Sending Hugs - (Cul de Sac)
- Give a Fortune of Love- (Green Door Hospitality)
- Will You Be My Valentine? - (A Ponytail Kind Of Day)
- Love Languages – for adults and kids! - (My Healthy ‘Ohana)
OK, blogging friends . . . don’t be mad at me . . . but I somehow won another amazing giveaway! After much anticipation, this GORGEOUS button ring made by Dawn of Junebug Jewelry Designs arrived in the mail. I absolutely love everything about it! I also love following Dawn’s blog and seeing all her unique, beautiful necklaces and earrings, which she sells in her Etsy Shop called Designs by JuneBug. Please take a moment to click on her links, and you can find easily find Dawn from now on in my Shop Love! page above. THANK YOU for my lovely gift, Dawn! ♥
I’ve been following Christina at Le Trango: An Illustrated Accessories Company for quite awhile and always get a smile when I see her adorable illustrations coming through my WordPress reader. So I decided to check out her Etsy Shop and found this sweet set of notecards I can send to my friends and family. The shop also features Christina’s whimsical creatures on canvas tote bags, pocket mirrors, and stuffed toys. Click here for Le Trango’s blog, here for the Etsy Shop, and here for the FB page from this post or anytime from my Shop Love! page above. Thank you, Christina! ♥
Claire of The Penguin Theory made these lovely earrings, which will someday become a birthday gift for a lucky girl in my family!
Claire has other jewelry and fun sewn items in her Etsy shop.
I you’ll get a chance to check out her links from this post or anytime from my Shop Love! page above.
Oh, and be sure to click here to read how Claire came up with such a clever name for her blog and shop!
Thank you for my fun purchase and top-notch customer service, Claire! ♥
I have a Neldee hat! Have you discovered them yet? They’re lovingly crocheted by Jackie of the Neldee blog. Besides amazing hats, Jackie also crochets scarves, gloves, dog clothing, bags and covers, and other custom items. To order or make a request, simply email Jackie at the address on her About page and she will email you back a PayPal invoice once your item is ready to send. You can also find Jackie on the Neldee FB page and on my Shop Love! page above. Thank you, Jackie! ♥
My newest Shop Love! post features my blogging friend Allison of Thoughtful Creations who makes AMAZING handpainted, collaged, and mixed media zipper pouches for her Etsy shop called Open Hand Creations. Allison also included this beautiful bookmark with my purchase, which I’ve tucked into my winter wreath along with my favorite red cardinal ornament. Besides her blog and Etsy shop, you can follow Allison on her FB page as well. Thank you for the lovely purchase and inspirational quote, Allison . . . I can’t wait to gift it to someone I love! ♥
I’ve been following Hey Hey Heather K (now known as Glitter in the Air) for a long time, but I only recently had a chance to explore Heather’s Etsy shop. I LOVE my first purchase, this stylish chevron black and white crocheted headband. Although Heather’s shop mainly features her crocheted headbands, hats, scarves, and cowls, she is definitely an all-around crafter with lots of fun project to share. You can check out Heather’s blog here, her FB page here, and her Etsy shop here from this post or anytime from my Shop Love! page above. Thank you, Heather! ♥
Last week I had a work-related training meeting in NYC. By the time I came home to Kansas I’d been in four planes, one train, and numerous cars and cabs, including a four-hour airport layover. Luckily, I’d brought along a project that hardly took up any space in my bag . . . hand-stitching little hearts made from the sleeve of an old red sweater. (If you predict a What Can You Make With A . . .? post coming up, you’re right!) I cut the shapes at home using a small cookie cutter for a template, then joined each pair together with a blanket stitch on my travels, leaving a small opening for stuffing and closing when I returned. What will I do with them? So far I’ve thought of:
- adding a pin to the back for a Valentine brooch,
- tying them onto baker’s twine for gift-wrapping,
- displaying them in a pink heart-shaped bowl,
- sewing or tying them onto a small wreath,
- sewing them onto a pillow, and
- stringing them together for garland.
Your ideas are welcome! ♥
I love reading about my blogging friend Hannah’s projects at Hannah Ackroyd.
When Hannah’s birthday was approaching, she wrote a “22 Before 22” list.
Can you guess which item caught my eye? Yes . . . “Sell a handmade item.”
So when I saw Hannah’s first ever knitted headband, I asked if she would make and sell me one.
She did, and it’s my new prized possession . . . my favorite color, cozy for winter, and beautiful stitches and a-la-mode.
I also loved the sweet note Hannah included about her hopes and dreams for the future.
She hasn’t opened a shop yet, but I know that someday she will.
Thank you for my lovely purchase, Hannah! ♥
A few days ago my tote bag handle triggered a sensor on a sink faucet in a ladies room, causing water to pour into the side pocket where I kept my cell phone! The bad news is that the phone was ruined, but the good news is that I got to trade it in for a much more up-to-date touch screen version. (Even the uber-polite sales assistant at the Verizon store laughed at my dinosaur phone! But I didn’t mind. ) Since the temperature was ten degrees, I soon learned first-hand what I’d always heard about gloves and touch screens. Luckily, I’ve also heard about DIY-ing your own conductive gloves, so I decided to give it a try. I found conductive thread on Amazon.com (I’m sure it’s available lots of other places, too), cut a 6-inch length, stitched a small asterisk design on the index finger of my glove (making sure that the thread went all the way through so the inside will touch the skin of my finger), and tied it off. It works! It took five minutes, and I have enough left to do all the gloves in the house. Yay for new phones and successful DIYs! ♥
My newest Shop Love! post is for my blogging friend Wendy of Clouds N Cups. I ordered these lovely vintage earrings and jeweled bracelet, and Wendy graciously added in the necklace that matches the bracelet because she wasn’t 100% satisfied with how a coupon I had went through (which is now fixed, of course) . . . that’s SO kind of her! Her creations are even more lovely in person, and she has many more one-of-kind earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and rings in her shop. Click here for Wendy’s blog, here for her FB page, and here for her web site/shop. Thank you, Wendy! ♥
I recently bought this fun tote pattern from my blogging friend Michelle of Sew Michelle. I can’t wait to make it! Besides the detailed, photo-filled e-book, Michelle includes a unique feature called a “Sewnopsis” at the end of her patterns—a reference tool that has the supply list, cutting instructions, and important steps all on one super-handy page. Michelle has other amazing bag patterns as well and has also been kind enough to make some FREE patterns available to us! Click on the “Tutorials” link to find projects such as this “Owl Sweet Treat Holder”—PERFECT for Valentine’s Day!
“I have taught sewing classes for many years and have learned that including detailed instructions with lots of pictures makes it seem like I am right there with you when working on your project. My mission is to ‘Inspire You to Sew’ and I hope you will go and do just that,” shares Michelle. Please check out Michelle’s patterns at Sew Michelle from this post or anytime from my Shop Love! page above. ♥
. . . for all the kind comments, wishes, and prayers you sent our way after my last post. I keep being amazed at the love and care you so freely share, and I’m determined to pay it forward every chance I get.
We’re home now after spending many treasured hours with our family. So, as Vida would want, I’m ready to go back to “making stuff” and sharing about other people I admire who do the same.
One of my resolutions this year is to learn to crochet, and I was ever more inspired while watching my sweet daughter-in-law Tiffany (who JUST learned how!) finish this adorable scarf for cutie Miranda last night while we were all piled into our hotel room chatting. The Bernat Pipsqueak yarn is about the softest thing I’ve ever felt, and I LOVE how it designed itself as she worked.
Thank you to Tiffany for all the tips and to Miranda for modeling. And please watch for a new series of Shop Love! posts while I travel to attend a conference for a few days and then catch up on some projects of my own! ♥
My newest Shop Love! post is for my blogging friend Christina of Christina Designs Art. Just look at these gorgeous handmade earrings and the pretty hairpins-with-a-la-mode! These will make such lovely, welcome gifts for some of the sweet girls in my family this year. Click here for Christina’s blog and here for her Etsy shop, where you’ll find many other styles of earrings and beaded hair pins as well as memory wire bracelets and acrylic paintings. Thank you, Christina! ♥
I absolutely love to send people cards made from original art and photography reproductions, so I was very excited to find these in the Redbubble Shop of my blogging friend Rita from Australia! Rita has her own studio and gallery, teaches classes, hosts exhibitions, and has MANY creative irons in the fire including quilts, fibre and textile art, mixed media, and collectibles. Here are Rita’s links, which you can locate anytime in my Shop Love! page above:
- Gone Rustic WordPress blog
- Gone Rustic Etsy Shop
- Redbubble Shop
- Pilgrim Cottage Collectibles Etsy Shop
- Stitched Up Mama WordPress blog
- Stitched Up Mama Etsy Shop
Thank you for the beautiful cards, Rita! ♥
I now have two more pattern stores on my Shop Love! page!
(1) I can’t WAIT to make this Ailsa Large Market Bag pattern I bought from Susie D Designs! Susie also has patterns for many other tote bags, travel bags, diaper bags, hobo bags, shoulder bags, wallets, iPad and Kindle sleeves, and more, and her customer service is SUPER. Check out Susie’s blog here, her Etsy store here, and her Craftsy patten store here. Thank you, Susie!
(2) I won a pattern for this adorable Charlotte Skirt from Joanne at Stitch and Witter. Joanne’s blogging friends at Stitch Me Softly have recently created By Hand London, and I’m one of the lucky ones who gets to try one of their brand-new designs! Thank you Joanne . . . you’ll be seeing one of these skirts on Pillows A-La-Mode soon! ♥
My sweet daughter-in-law Christin is getting SO crafty! She made this beautiful blue no-sew spaghetti T-shirt scarf for me after seeing a how-to video on TV. I LOVE it! And, of course, I HAD to figure out how to make one myself! I found a tutorial on Margo Is Crafty that matched it perfectly, and believe it or not I finished it in TEN . . . yes TEN minutes! If you have old or extra T-shirts lying around, try this! And if you’ve already posted a tutorial for a T-shirt scarf, will you please comment with a link so I can add it below? I know there are lots of styles and techniques out there that will be fun to try. Thank you! P.S. Christin used pinking shears to cut her strips to add extra texture, and I used my regular sewing shears. I love it both ways! ♥
Other T-Shirt Scarf Links:
Do your New Year’s resolutions include using more of what you already have in your crafting, gift-making, and home decor? Then you’ll want to meet Mahe at The Altered Upcycling Blog and Altered Upcycling. Mahe explains that she has a Master’s degree in Operations Research, works at a software house, and is an avid altered artist who is constantly looking for ways to make the world greener one small craft project at a time. And, if you sign up on her blog or web site, you’ll receive her FREE pdf book called The Ultimate Guide to Upcycling for one-of-a-kind jewelry, cards, gift bags, wall art, and more. Mahe sends out free ideas and how-to videos in her email newsletter as well, such as how to make a beautiful card from a dinner napkin, old dictionary page, leftover ribbon, and glue! Mahe writes in a friendly, conversational style as if she’s sitting right beside you, includes what worked and DIDN’T work for her, and supports her ideas with step-by-step directions, photographs, and alternatives. You can get your copy by clicking on the link in this post or any time from my Shop Love! page above. Thank you, Mahe! ♥
My newest Shop Love! artists made two of my Christmas and birthday gifts this year!
Their friend and colleague (my art teacher daughter-in-law Tiffany!) sent me this adorable chicken from Zuliganz and these gorgeous felt-ball earrings (made by the same artist who created the measuring tape earrings Tiffany gave me last spring) from Wired for Impact.
This husband/wife team sell their creations locally in the St. Louis area and at their Unboxed Art Etsy Shop in support of causes near and dear to their hearts.
My blogging friend Sheri of Awesome Sauce and Asshattery was kind enough to send me a complimentary copy of her new book Confessions of a Refashionista: Life on the Zig Zag. Sheri autographs the books AND includes an item to refashion to get you started! My gift was a beautiful thrifted scarf, which Sheri suggested making into a scarfigan (page 6), crisscross vest (page 63), infinity scarf (page 64), or even a new neckline or sleeves for a shirt (pages 44 and 58). How cool is THAT??? You can read all about her book (and see fun photos of Sheri!) in this post . . . but here are some of my favorite parts:
- You can learn to refashion/redesign/embellish shirts, pants, shrugs, skirts, and flip-flops and make amazing accessories like ruffled flowers, scarves, wristlets, and bangle bracelets.
- You can learn to make a dress form from duct tape, sleeves from socks and aprons, a boho blouse from a vintage nightgown, a skirt from a tablecloth, and an amazing tunic from a BEDSHEET!
- Do you have neckties . . . doilies . . . dishtowels . . . lace? You’ll use them in amazing new ways!
- You’ll even learn to make an instant, no-sew skirt from a man’s shirt!
You can read a review of Sheri’s book at Designers Against AIDS (where Sheri donates a portion of each sale) and purchase Sheri’s book at Sew Much Fun or Dawanda. Oh, and Sheri has another store, too: Mensch T’s. And remember that you can find Sheri’s book anytime in my Shop Love! page above. THANK YOU, Sheri! ♥
I’m SO fond of my blogging friend Josée of Cul de Sac! She’s always so kind and encouraging about my sewing and crafting projects, and once she even sent me a box of laces as a surprise gift! Her blog is full of amazing creativity, too . . . and when I found out she has an Etsy shop, I couldn’t wait to visit it! I chose this adorable necktie clutch, which a special girl in my family will LOVE for her birthday this year! Josée also creates lots of other purse, tote bag, and pouch designs as well as dolls, mittens, scarves, and iPad sleeves, using upcycled materials whenever possible. Oh, and she sent me some “Chocolatey Chai” herbal tea bags, a coupon, and a sweet note along with my purchase . . . totally unexpected “extras”! Please check out Josée’s shop from this post or anytime on my Shop Love! page above. Thank you, Josée! ♥
We had such a wonderful Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with our family! And I have the week off . . . and the sun is shining . . . and I have lots of fun projects to do . . . I could go on and on! But instead, I’m going to share my newest Shop Love! post in honor of my blogging friend Catherine of Lizzie Rose Jewellery. I absolutely love these feather earrings, which will be a lovely birthday gift for someone special in my family. Catherine also creates bracelets, necklaces, anklets, and charms and sells the cutest ribbon . . . like these measuring tape and button designed ribbons that will definitely be appearing on some of my projects this year! AND, her packaging and customer service are superb! Catherine is originally from England but now lives in Singapore, and her shop is named after her daughter. You can read Catherine’s blog here and visit here Etsy shop here from this post or anytime by clicking on the Shop Love! page above. Thank you, Catherine! ♥
Today I’d like to highlight three more of our WordPress blogging friends who have lovely handmade items you’ll want to check out! Read about them here today and anytime on my Shop Love! page above.
(1) I Love Cards & Design: Click here for Patricia’s lovely blog and here for her Etsy shop. I LOVE these chevron cards! You can choose your own colors (or a mixture like these) and get any name or message on the front. I asked for “Happy Birthday” so I can use them for extra-classy greeting cards in the new year. Patricia also has other fun items, such as calling cards, favor boxes, and birth announcements. Plus, her customer service and packaging are SO professional! Thank you, Patricia!
(2) Jewels for All: Click here for Stefanie’s fun, creative blog and here for her Etsy shop. These gorgeous red earrings will be a gift for someone special . . . if I can part with them! Stefanie also has many other one-of-a-kind earrings, bracelets, and necklaces. I really love your work, Stefanie!
(3) I’d Rather Be Crafting: I just met Eleanor, a new WordPress blogger here, but she makes the cutest coin pouches and matching keychains (along with other crafty items) that she sells on her Eleanor’s Creations Facebook page. To order, simply write “Sold” in the comment section and message her the email address associated with your PayPal account, and she will email you an invoice. I’ll have fun gifting these to some girls on my list, Eleanor! ♥
The beautiful vintage sewing machine earrings I won in the Hugs & Kisses blog giveaway inspired me to take all the danglies out of my overcrowded jewelry box and hang them on the wall. Since I already had all the materials on hand, it was free, too! Simply wrap an old frame in fabric strips (I used a faux suede remnant), staple strips of lace across the back, and poke the earring wires through the holes in the lace. It’s easy-peasy, pretty, and makes choosing just the right pair of earrings a breeze. P.S. One of my Thanksgiving guests exclaimed, “That’s just what I need!” so now I’m making one as a gift for her, too! P.P. S. (1-3-13) I was just going through some bookmarked websites and found THIS! I couldn’t remember before where I got my inspiration, but now I know! Thank you, This Italian Family! ♥
Today I’d like to highlight four amazing WordPress bloggers’ stores where I did my Cyber-Monday gift shopping this year. Each one has BEAUTIFUL products and EXCEPTIONAL customer service! Here are their contact links along with a little photo shoot of my lovely purchases (plus a few freebies they added!). I hope you’ll get a chance to check them out yourself soon! P.S. I now have “Shop Love!” page in my header to promote my blogging friends’ small businesses. I’d love to add more, so please leave a comment or send me an email if I may feature YOUR store! ♥
After making a peppermint wreath and peppermint Christmas tree skirt, I had three little felt peppermints left, so I wrapped a headband in red bias tape and stitched the candies on top to make a festive accessory for a special little girl. This was another free-to-me activity since I already had all the supplies on hand . . . don’t you love it when that happens? There’ll be no more peppermint projects for me this Christmas since I used up all my red felt remnants and have vowed to use up my stash before buying more fabrics (we’ll see how THAT goes!). But several of you have said you’re on it now, so I can’t wait to see what you make! Now . . . on to some Christmas gifts . . . and Christmas pillows . . . and . . . ♥
Once some of my kids and I were watching House Hunters on HGTV and EVERY time the couple saw a new room in EVERY house, they said, “Oh, wow!” It made us laugh . . . but that was the FIRST thing I said when I opened my beautiful blog giveaway gift from Hannah at Hugs & Kisses!
Besides the vintage Singer sewing machine/scissors earrings she had pictured, she sent another gorgeous pair of earrings AND the loveliest note you’ve ever seen!
Thank you, Hannah, for giving me an “Oh, wow!” that I’ll cherish forever! ♥
Awhile back I wrote a post about my blogging friend Laura of As Time Goes . . . Buy and how she inspired me to do the Good Neighbor Award project and refashion for my one year blog anniversary. Laura has been traveling, and I’ve been sewing, but she’s home, and I’m finished . . . so today is the reveal! Laura, your coat is now on my “What Can You Make With A . . .” page, and your package is in the mail! I was able to make:
- A pillow . . . of course!
- A fabric flower with beads from a vintage earring in the center
- A coffee cup cozy
- A tissue cozy (Thank you, Little Bit Funky!)
- Two jacket-sleeve notecard pouches
- A Chanel pouch makeover
- An embroidery-hoop wall hanging with Laura’s blog name
- A framed fabric-under-glass for writing notes, menus, or welcome messages for guests
- A garment dust jacket for one of Laura’s lovely outfits (Thank you, Schlosser Designs!)
- A tote bag with a jacket pocket on each side and a braided leather belt handle
- And, last but not least, all the leftover bits made into mini-bunting! ♥
Here’s a little project I made for someone special to keep her hands warm on the way to work while getting a *hug* from the two loves of her life. Filled with rice, just pop them in the microwave for a minute or so and put them in your pockets. Please visit Trixie’s Blog for a tutorial . . . thank you for the inspiration, Trixie! ♥
My mom-in-law LOVES Chanel face powder . . . and I love it when she gives me the little black drawstring bags it comes in! Of course you can leave the famous brand name on the front, but where’s the fun in that? Instead, I like to cover the label with a teeny remnant. This bit of green fabric with embroidered flowers was perfect (does it look familiar? ♥), and I added some colorful “reverse blanket stitch” on the edge for extra a-la-mode. Now it’s ready for its new life as a pretty jewelry pouch . . . or even a wristlet. ♥
All three of the leafy placemat tote bags I made last spring have finally found a niche. I shared the red one a few days ago—it’s hanging on the wall in the dining room filled with dried eucalyptus branches. The green one is now on the coat/umbrella rack by our front door filled with pretty scarves and gloves to grab on the way out. And the orange one . . . well, it’s the perfect autumn running-around tote . . . for now . . . ♥
As you know, I’ve been having tons of fun with my “What Can You Make With A . . .” series (see page in header), so I MUST share who inspired me to offer a “makeover” for my one year blog anniversary prize! Following one of my posts, I had the following comment conversation with my blogging friend Laura of As Time Goes . . . Buy:
Laura: Okay, that’s it. I can’t take it anymore. Either you are going to have to adopt me or I am sending you all my old clothes so you can turn them in to cool new things. Of course you’ll have to send the new things back to me.
Me: Actually, now I want to do that!!! Because you have such a beautiful wardrobe, I can only imagine what fun I’d have! Send me an item you no longer wear . . . and I’ll work my magic and mail it back to you, and we can both blog about it. Okay???
Laura: Seriously?! That is so cool! Now I will be up all night thinking about what I can send…but I have a thought. I’ll email you tomorrow. I’m soooo excited!!
Me: Yay!!! Can’t wait!
So, I thought if Laura would think this was fun, maybe someone else would, too. Thank you, Laura! And check out the A-M-A-Z-I-N-G jacket Laura sent (and click on the photo to see the beautiful embroidery!) . . . all the way from Australia to Kansas, USA! I’ll be posting on it sometime in November . . . stay tuned! ♥
For my one year blog anniversary, I invited you to nominate people you’ve met through the blogging world whom you would like to have as next-door neighbors . . . and to tell why. It was SO heartwarming to read the lovely comments that came in from all around the world! The blogger with the MOST nominations was then invited to send me a once-loved garment to remake into some fun treasures (a-la “What can you make with a flannel shirt?,” “What can you make with a lace tank?,” and “What can you make with a polo shirt?“) and return. The winner was Kelly of Cobwebs, Cupcakes & Crayons! Kelly said, “After the shock wore off I ran to my closet to decide what I was going to send. I chose a little sundress that has a lot of happy memories attached to it, but now that I’m a mama seems a little, well…SHORT. I know that I will never wear it again, so I am very excited to send it off!” So . . .today is the big reveal! In addition, this project will have a permanent home on the “What Can You Make With A . . .” page on my header.
- I couldn’t resist using the bottom of the sundress with its lacy underskirt for another dress . . . this time for Kelly’s adorable daughter Annabelle! A bright pink T-shirt from Target made the perfect top. (Click here and here for more little girl’s T-shirt dress ideas.)
- The zippered back of the sundress was perfect for the back of a pillow cover, and I added the pretty label and butterfly that I snipped from the inside neckline. The pillow front is a combination of dress fabric, T-shirt fabric, a vintage hanky, pale pink lace, and lime-green embroidery.
- The bodice of the sundress is now a jewelry pouch! The ribbons form the casings, and the dress straps are the strings. The lining of the pouch is made from the dress lining for a soft, shiny finish.
- With seven circles of fabric, three stacked buttons, and a bit more of the lace from the bottom of the sundress, I made a fabric flower to pin onto a jacket, hat, or headband.
- A small rectangle of dress fabric and T-shirt fabric along with a bit of green dotted fabric and some buttons and ribbon were just the right ingredients for a Christmas mini-pillow ornament.
- While pondering Kelly’s blog name, I thought of embroidering three C’s onto a bit of fabric and framing it. Suddenly I thought, “Hmm . . . if the Scrabble letter C is worth 3 points, I could use that instead.” I ran to look it up, and . . . it is! I KNOW Kelly didn’t choose “Cobwebs, Cupcakes & Crayons” based on this fact . . . but I was excited! After several experiments, I ended up with a collage of dress fabric, T-shirt fabric, lace, scrapbook paper, and a paper Scrabble tile in a hot pink frame. (The back of the frame is also magnetized for a frig or file cabinet.)
- Finally, I was down to a small pile of random scraps. Not ready to give up quite yet, I decoupaged them onto a plastic bangle bracelet.
Done! Kelly . . . your package is in the mail! ♥
Do you have toy dinosaurs in your toy box? I do! Now one of them is holding my bangle bracelets! He’s so cute . . . and a surprise pop of fun in the room. P.S. Check out these dino ring holders on My So Called Crafty Life, too! ♥
I recently saw thimble necklaces posted by two creative bloggers on imacraftaholic and Dollar Store Crafts. Since I have a small collection of thimbles from my grandma, I decided to use one for a necklace charm.
(1) Make a hole in the top of the thimble with a hammer and tiny nail.
(2) Poke a jewelry wire through the hole.
(3) Bend the end of the wire inside the thimble with jewelry pliers so it won’t come back out.
(4) Curve the other end of the wire through the opening on the charm bar and tighten with jewelry pliers. (See lost earring necklace for another example, and click photo for a larger view.)
(5) Wear the thimble alone or with other charms. I love combining it with my scissors!
I hope you’ll get to use one of these ideas to make your own thimble necklace. Enjoy! ♥
When I recently received a collection of laces as a gift from Josée of Cul de Sac, I immediately fell in love with the bright purple one and used it to a-la-mode a placemat tote. Then, while toying with the leftover bit the other day, I realized it was just the right length for a bracelet!
I had some fasteners left over from my button necklace, so I simply turned under the ends of the lace, hand-stitched with matching thread, and stitched on the fastener pieces.
Making the bracelet only took about 15 minutes, and I LOVE it! Now I can’t wait to go through the rest of my laces and make more! ♥