Look at this GORGEOUS clutch crocheted by Sarah of Photosarah Crafts! She had a recent giveaway, and I was the lucky winner! I love the color combination, and Sarah’s work is impeccable. Please check out her blog for all sorts of fun projects, like pouches, scarves and mittens, bunting, baby clothes, cards, and quilts. You are one talented lady, Sarah! ♥
First of all, THANK YOU for all the lovely comments, good wishes, and over 100 LIKES on my Christmas Bunting post! I met my writing deadline for work and had an extra-special time with our Thanksgiving guests. Before I straighten the house and start decorating for Christmas, I want to make sure you’ve heard about our friend Mahe’s newest “green crafting” e-book that you can get TODAY through DECEMBER 4 for FREE by clicking here! (If you don’t have a Kindle, you can get a Kindle app for your computer—also for free—right here.) The book includes step-by-step photos and directions for a Christmas tree, snowman, package toppers and tags, ornaments, placecards, a mobile, bunting, cards, envelopes, gift bags, and LOTS of fun handmade gifts. Most of the projects are designed by Mahe herself but (as always!) Mahe welcomes guest artists, such as:
- Danielle of On the Upcycle
- Vicky of Vicky Myers Creations
- Cherie of Down In Fairy Dell
- Cristin of Eve of Reduction
Have you ever heard of 9-hole buttons? And did you know you can use them for words and monograms??? I didn’t until I read this fun post by Nicole on Diary of a Mad Crafter! And Nicole is so clever that she even made her OWN buttons!!!
I found mine at the yehuting Etsy Shop . . . only $4.98 plus shipping for forty. This lovely shop owner has TONS of other amazing notions, too. Do pay her a visit!
We’re having a big family reunion in June that falls on Father’s Day weekend. I wanted to make cards for all the dads who’ll be visiting, and the wooden buttons on plain kraft cardstock worked perfectly for a masculine monogram. I have quite a few left over, too . . . so more projects to come! ♥
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! ♥
Last September I wrote a post about how I designed the gravatar I use for my WordPress blog and gift tags. I was very happy that many of you checked out the Design-her Gals business, and some of you even made and shared your own “gals!” For example . . .
- Just look at this fun version of Liz at A Ponytail Kind of Day with her Cavalier King Charles and Diet Coke!
- And this fun version of Kelly at Boomdeeadda with her camera and cats!
Now, sadly, Design-her Gals is closing its doors on April 15 . . . UNLESS someone else takes over the business. Could that be one of you? If you’re interested, please explore their web site and then email the owner, Jeanne Fitzmaurice, at Jeanne(at)designhergals(dot)com. As Jeanne says, “Spring is the perfect time for a new owner to lead Design-her Gals forward with a fresh perspective!”
And ALL of you can use the promo code GOODBYE to get 35% off business cards, notecards, and other paper goods with your very own “gal” on them (in an outfit and accessories YOU put together!) through the closing date. Remember that a portion of every purchase also supports Stage IV breast cancer research! ♥
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! ♥
Have you discovered the Nicky Grace Vintage Fabric & Gorgeous Things blog? It’s a feast for the eyes! And when I checked out Nicky’s Etsy shop, I just had to buy this beautiful set of 10 fabric collage cards, two each of five designs. Look . . . some of them even have HEARTS on them . . . perfect for Valentine’s Day! Nicky also has other fabric collages, embroidery, hearts, ceramics, paintings, bunting, pillows, bags, dolls, pincushions, and even shapes cut from vintage fabrics for crafting. Click here for Nicky’s blog, here for her FB page, and here for her Etsy shop from this post or anytime from my Shop Love! page above. Oh, and you MUST check out these photos of Nicky’s amazing Pop-Up Shop! Thank you, Nicky! ♥
I recently won a 2013 Art Calendar by Blue Sky and Egg Press in a giveaway sponsored by my blogging friend Molly of Charlotte’s Fancy. It’s PERFECT for my home office! Then, generous person that she is, she also added a whole BAG of cards and labels—some artistic, some crafty, and some cute. I put a few of them in the collage below . . . I just love them all! If you’re not already acquainted with Molly, please check out her blog, including the “About” page where you can find links to her projects that have been featured on other blogs and even in magazines! Thank you Molly! ♥
See these beautiful flowers? They’re painted on a vinyl record album!!! I love it! This work of art was created by my friend Kristin and her parents. Kristin was a student teacher in my school and is now a full-fledged teacher, newlywed, and brand-new Etsy shop owner. I’d like to invite you to check out Kristin’s blog here and her shop here—featuring painted glassware, handmade cards, candle holders, and more—or anytime from my Shop Love! page above. Thank you again for the lovely gift, Kristin! ♥
As you know, I LOVE writing to people on notecards with original art. My New Zealand blogging friend Bec of Clouds of Colour has gorgeous prints in her Etsy shop, and when I asked her if she could transform this beautiful pink doily crochet watercolor into cards, she jumped right on it! I know you’ll enjoy checking out Bec’s work from the links in this post or anytime from my Shop Love! page above. Thank you for the lovely purchase and customer service across the ocean, Bec!
P.S. Please help yourself to Bec’s adorable and FREE downloadable, printable gift cards, perfect for Valentine’s Day and other special occasions. Just lick HERE! I can’t wait to use them . . . thank you again, Bec! ♥
Ooohhh . . . MORE cards with reproductions of original art! And they’ll be PERFECT for invitations for a big birthday party I’m throwing this summer for the head cowboy in our family, thanks to my blogging friend Beverly of Beverly Dyer Fine Art and Stationery, who also sells her beautiful creations in many stores in the Chapel Hill, North Carolina area. She even added this beautiful memo pad to my order! Click here for Beverly’s web site, here for her blog, and here for her Etsy shop featuring painted art prints, cards, pendants, and pillows, or find her links anytime in my Shop Love! page above. Thank you, Beverly! ♥
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! ♥
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! ♥
We had our “Walker Family Christmas” yesterday, and when my daughter-in-law Shannon walked in with this cute owl tin, little did I know that a surprise birthday party was inside! A few weeks ago, Shannon secretly emailed as many of my blogging friends as she could and invited them to join in a card shower for my birthday today, and W-O-W, was I ever showered! I stayed up until all hours last night reading and shedding some tears over the beautiful cards and sweet messages from all over the world. I can’t thank Shannon enough for this incredibly thoughtful gesture, and I can’t thank YOU enough for being my wonderful friends and encouragers. As this card that Shannon made for me says, “One kind word can warm three winter months.” New Year blessings to all of you, with love from Pillows A-La-Mode. ♥
Last week I put out my first “Shop Love!” post.
I wanted to start promoting our blogging friends’ small businesses.
I’ve done a little more shopping . . .
and I won a giveaway . . .
so today I’d like to highlight four more bloggers and stores.
Once again, each one impressed me with both their BEAUTIFUL products . . .
and their QUALITY customer service.
Here are their contact links!
You can also check them out ANYtime on my new “Shop Love” page above. ♥
(1) The Original Thread: I fell in LOVE with this inspirational 2013 calendar, which is designed by Melanie of The Original Thread blog and sold as a fabric panel in her Spoonflower shop at Madex Designs. She has many other gorgeous fabrics as well!
(2) Terri’s Notebook: I recently won a lovely giveaway from Terri’s Notebook—two pdf patterns. I was going to wait until I made the items to share them . . . but that hasn’t happened yet, so I’ll share what they WILL look like. :) The first pattern is for Stuff Baskets and the second is for a Checkerboard Set, and both are for sale at her Patchwork Trails Etsy Shop. You can also visit Terri’s portfolio here and her paper goods shops here. Terri’s motto is “Explore. Dream. Create.” Don’t you love that? ♥
(3) A Kitschy Kitchen: I’m just starting to make aprons myself, but I know someone on my gift list who will LOVE this one! It’s from Megan of A Kitschy Kitchen: The Life and Studio of an Apronista who sells her creations at her Etsy shop. Notice, too, the adorable fabric gift card holder! Stressing quality as well as beauty, Megan’s motto is “Buy Well, Buy Once.” She also has some other lovely items in her shop, such as embroidery, cocktail napkins, and coasters.
(4) TheHighNoteDotNet: I’ve followed Darilyn’s lovely blog thehighnotedotnet for a long time now and was so excited to receive my first purchase from her Etsy shop, which specializes in vintage music projects. Darilyn even included a little gift . . . a copy of my favorite quote, which I embroidered on a pillow and she offers to all of us for free to make an iron-on transfer. She graciously provides tutorials for her projects as well. And check out her craft room . . . it’s amazing!
I know . . . I’ve been winning WAY more than my share of blog giveaways lately! But . . . they’re so much fun! :) And look at these BEAUTIFUL handmade cards I received in the mail from my new friend Vickie of Horsemark Cards!
Please take a moment to get acquainted with Vickie by clicking here for her blog, here for her FB page, and here for her store. Vickie—they’re spectacular, and I can’t thank you enough for such a lovely gift. ♥
I got the sweetest giveaway gift in the mail today . . . stationery, notecards, and a memo pad designed by the fabulous designer Kara of Karalynn Creative . . . plus, the most amazing pencil I’ve ever seen made by Anthropologie! Besides Kara’s WordPress blog, she has a lovely Etsy shop for you to visit, too. Thank you, Kara! ♥
If you’ve ever wondered where my WordPress Gravatar originated . . . now you get to find out! It’s from one of my all-time favorite online businesses called Design-Her-Gals. If you LOVE putting together outfits, you’re going to love this site! You pick your “you,” then dress and accessorize her and put her on stationery, business cards, mailing labels, notecards, aprons, mugs, caps, luggage tags, and all kinds of other cool items. PLUS, Design-Her-Gals supports research for Stage IV breast cancer. PLUS, they have the BEST sales! For example, right now they have 37% off all their stationery and paper products! They even have print-order and print-at-home options available! So, even if you’re not in the market for something like this right now, please explore their site when you get a chance, and get on their mailing list, too, so you’ll know about their frequent sales. I have a card for my writing business in one outfit and square gift cards for my sewing and crafts in this outfit . . . and check out the fabric swatches and sewing machine! ♥
A few years ago I found this beautiful lined stretch-lace tank for $5 on a sale rack at JJill! But . . . it turned out that the color made my already-pale skin looked even more washed out . . . and it got several snags from a clothes-eating teacher’s desk . . . so I decided to get out my trusty scissors to rescue it from its lonely existence at the back of the closet. Here’s what I made:
- A headband
- A flower pin and hair bow (each with a vintage earring in the center)
- A mini origami lotus bag (paired with a bit of coral velvet from a robe my mom-in-law made and some thin gold cord)
- A bracelet purse (paired with a cotton remnant in the same color family for lining)
- A luggage tag (lace back paired with the same remnant and some burlap ribbon)
- A contrast-corner pillow (lace back paired with the same remnant and the lace from the tank’s neckline across the corners)
Loved it . . . hated it . . . now love it again! ♥
When I put together the Persian Plum kit I received from Books Quilts and Sewing’s giveaway, the first step was to sew a small, neutral-colored square onto a larger colorful solid or floral triangle and then cut the tips off both. This left me with a stack of perfect little triangles, and of course I decided I must do something with them as well! I always keep a stash of blank notecards and some craft glue handy, so here’s what I came up with (adding a tiny strip of one my other remnants for the trunks). I think they’ll become a nice little gift for a friend or family member someday soon! ♥
Since kids LOVE to see their baby pictures, I decided to use this idea for a simple homemade birthday card for one of our grandchildren. I printed a photo from my computer, trimmed it, and glued it onto the front of a folded sheet of cardstock, wrote about how cute and sweet and smart and funny he is on the inside, signed it, addressed the envelope, and mailed. Now it’s on its way to Germany . . . Happy Birthday, dear Logan! ♥
P.S. I may try this for other family and friends, too . . . perhaps using a photo of a fun time we’ve shared.
Two of my good friends have birthdays today, which is also our state’s birthday. So, for their Year of Homemade Gifts cards, I trolled the internet for Kansas symbols to cut and paste and came up with this design. While it’s doubtful that any of my readers are in the same situation, perhaps you have friends and family whose birthdays fall on other “obscure” holidays. Click here for ideas! (Today is also National Cornchip Day, so it’s not too late to celebrate, but I’m sorry to report that you’ve already missed National Step in a Puddle and Splash Your Friend Day this year.) :)
Several months ago I purchased some blank note cards at Michaels hoping to come up with a way to use them someday. While brainstorming ideas, these crayon-colored cards + crayola fabric + quotes about color all collided in my mind at the same time, and I think I actually saw a light bulb go on. :)
Here are the steps:
(1) Type up the quotes and print on a piece of cardstock. Cut the quotes apart with pinking shears.
(2) Cut out fabric rectangles the same size as the cards.
(3) Following the directions on a package of iron-on bonding adhesive, attach the fabric rectangles to the front of the cards.
(4) Use a smaller piece of bonding adhesive to attach the quote to the top of the fabric.
(5) Wrap and give to someone you love! ♥
I can imagine all sorts of other themes . . . horse fabric with horse quotes, kitchen fabric with cooking quotes, alphabet fabric with quotes about names . . . the options are limited only by your fabric finds and imagination.