I’ve never won anything at the aforementioned benefit auction, but this year I did! I came home with this beautiful decoupaged pumpkin made by an artist name Alyson who is also in my writing group and this gorgeous handmade necklace made by a busy mom, teacher, and grad student named Linda. I decided that the pumpkin could wear the necklace for the rest of the autumn season, because “Joy” and “Thanksgiving” go hand-in-hand, right? ♥
Two of my ruffle aprons are heading to a silent auction benefiting my favorite youth group’s mission trips next summer. I fancied up some hangers by wrapping them in coordinating fabrics and added rolled-flower brooches to the aprons for a little a-la-mode. Maybe someone will be wearing them to prepare Thanksgiving dinner this year! ♥
More aprons . . .
- Shirt Apron
- Little Girl’s Apron
- Wonder Woman Retro Apron
- Coffee Time Ruffle Apron
- Country Village Ruffle Apron
- Mix Things Up Ruffle Apron
- Kansas College Ruffle Aprons
- Pink Ruffle Apron
- Pastel Ruffle Apron
- One-Hour Apron
- Music Lover’s Apron
- Lacy Apron
- Fancy Apron
- Art Apron
- Wonder Woman Art Apron
- Wichita State University Apron
- Kansas State University Barbecue Apron
- His and Her Team Aprons
- Cupcake Apron
One of my favorite bloggers, Crafty Staci, designs and sells reversible coffee cup sleeve kits in her Etsy shop. They’re only $5 and come with instructions, two coordinating fabrics, insulated interfacing, elastic cord, buttons, and a tag. All you add is your own sewing thread and pins! They’re perfect to stitch up as gifts OR to give as is to people who love to sew. I gave a kit to my friend Faye when she was having surgery and needed some fun things to do during recovery, and I sent some to my niece Amanda because we love doing the same projects across the miles from Connecticut to Kansas. One of Amanda’s is below . . . so cute! They would also be fun for kids to sew as gifts for teachers or coaches. Please check out the wide variety of kits at Staci’s Etsy shop, and be sure to stop by her blog, too. Enjoy! ♥
When I saw this fun fabric on Pick Your Plum, I HAD to get one each for grandchildren Allyson, Kira, Miranda, Brody, Tyler, Ryan, Joshua, and Kaitlyn. It’s exactly the right amount for a “sweet dreams” pillowcase, but it would also make a perfect cape, tote bag, or other personalized item. The photo below is Joshua, who immediately snuggled in and told his mom, “I sleep on it!”
If you sign up at Pick Your Plum, you’ll get daily emails with fun crafty items and accessories at amazing discounted prices. With a little luck, this fabric treasure will come up again soon! ♥
I got my undergraduate degree at Wichita State University here in Wichita, KS where Dave and I now live. WSU has a huge basketball following, which grew even larger when the Shockers went to the Final Four last year! So I decided to make a WSU apron for a youth group silent auction fundraiser this fall. I love how it turned out! Then I made aprons for the other two state favorites–the Kansas University Jayhawks and the Kansas State University Wildcats. Fingers crossed that they raise lots of money! P.S. Both black/yellow fabrics and the three ruffle fabrics on the purple apron are from my bloggy friend Laura’s LC’s Cottage Etsy shop. All other fabrics are from Jo-Ann. ♥
I got a lovely gift in a pretty lime green Coldwater Creek shopping bag that had the store name written across both sides, but I wanted to reuse the bag for a homemade gift. So, I cut out some flowers from last year’s calendar and glued them on the sides . . . perfect! P.S. The lace hairbow on the card is from my recent vintage dress upcycle . . . a little extra gift to go with what’s inside. ♥
Make & Mingle has these fun “emporium of craft” boxes in their Etsy shop now! Even though I’m loving spring and looking forward to summer, I decided to go with the box of autumn colors. It will be so much fun to come up with projects for all these fabulous materials! I also ordered a little packet of “felt bon bon roses,” which will go on some accessories I have planned.
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!
When Linny J Creations posted last fall about the upcoming Nancy Drew fabric at The Fat Quarter Shop, I was in! I bought my first ever charm pack just so I could see a tiny sample of everything. Thanks to inspiration from Feathered Nest Studio, these fun little designs are now a set of 24 coasters. It was so easy . . . just stitch two squares right sides together along with a square of quilt batting (leaving a small opening for turning), trim the corners, turn, and topstitch. We’re having a B-I-G family get-together at our house in June (more on that to come!), so I’m all ready in the coaster department! P.S. The beautiful basket is from 1840 Farm Mercantile. ♥
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! ♥
How cute is this pillow??? I won it in Jill’s giveaway at Nice Piece of Work and it *flew* all the way from South Africa to Kansas, USA! I just love the colors and the touches of crochet, and I even found this beautiful crocheted heart tucked in its wing! Jill has more owl cushion covers (including one just like mine!) in her Jam Tarts SA Etsy shop, as well as several other cushions, crocheted slippers, a gorgeous needlepoint vest (aka waistcoat), and some fun embroidery kits. Please give her store a visit from this post or anytime from my Shop Love! page above. Thank you, Jill!
P.S. My owl cushion will look PERFECT in the guest room with my David Bromstad Owl Print! I just checked, and the free printable version is still available here. (Scroll down to the bottom of the page to the word “click” to get the pdf.)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
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! ♥
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! ♥
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! ♥
And, speaking of love . . . I just had to share this gorgeous fabric ribbon I bought from The Dizzy Izzy Shop.
It’s full of hearts with a sweet saying for Valentine’s Day or any day.
It will be so much fun to use for projects, wrapping, and labels!
The shop also sells bias binding, button, felt, felt balls, notions, and other supplies.
Thank you for my lovely purchase, Helen! ♥
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! ♥
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! ♥
My blogging friend Karen of KRS Designs has SO many creative outlets, so I couldn’t wait to add her to my Shop Love! page. I decided to go for the fabric and bought this gorgeous piece from Karen’s Spoonflower Shop. Won’t it be perfect for a kitcheny project?
Thank you for my lovely purchase, Karen! ♥
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! ♥
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! ♥
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! ♥
When my blogging friend Judy of Grandparents Plus 2 emailed me about her daughter Jennifer’s small business, I couldn’t wait to check it out! I purchased this beautiful handmade coiled fabric berry basket from the 1840 Farm Mercantile, and I just LOVE it. Plus, I found out that Judy and Jennifer use to live in my state (Kansas)! What a small world! Besides baskets, Jennifer creates and sells lovely knitted and fabric items. Please check out her links from this post or anytime from my Shop Love! page above. ♥
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. ♥
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! ♥
Today I’d like to introduce my blogging friend Linda of Country By Design. I checked out Linda’s Etsy Shop and ordered this beautiful handsewn gift card case . . . but she also sent me a matching quilted bookmark! How sweet is that??? Linda also has quilted table runners, place mats, pencil cases, cosmetic bags, pouches, tea wallets, and other fabulous fabric items.
Click here for Linda’s blog.
Click here for Linda’s Etsy shop.
Or, find them anytime on my Shop Love! page above.
Thank you, Linda! ♥
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! ♥
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 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.
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! ♥
One of my VERY favorite bloggers is Liz from a A Ponytail Kind of Day. Every time I saw one of her unique creations, I’d think, “I sure wish she had a shop!” Well, now she does! It’s the Sincerely Liz Boutique, where you’ll find all kinds of beautiful handmade items for your home. Since I was looking for gifts for specific people, I ordered these fabric hangers, a set of rag coasters, and this way-cool bowl made from a Christmas record album. Then, friend that she is, Liz also put in this “Keep Calm and Sew On” framed art AND an AMAZING vintage dress and lace overlay that she bought for one dollar because she knew how much I’d have fun using it for a “What Can You Make With A . . .” project! What a sweetie! Please check out Liz’s boutique from this post or from my Shop Love! page above, and THANK YOU, Liz! ♥
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! ♥
Today I want to give a shout-out to my blogging friend Laura of LC’s Cottage. She has an AMAZING Etsy store where I found these patterns (the clown was a bonus . . . wasn’t that sweet?), beautiful fabric, and (as my granddaughter Miranda declared) the most adorable embroidery scissors in the world! She also has LOTS of other fabrics and patterns along with gorgeous threads and other goodies. Please check out Laura’s blog and store . . . you’ll be glad you did! ♥
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! ♥
Have I ever mentioned that we have LOTS of guys in our family? As in a blended family of seven sons and no daughters??? I love to make things for our beautiful daughters-in-law and grandbabies, but I haven’t ventured far into homemade-for-men land. So, when I saw a tutorial for a zippered toiletry bag on The Purl Bee, I decided to give it a try. The first challenge was fabric. I wanted to use oilcloth to make the bag easy to clean, but all I could find was gingham, fruit, vegetables, animal prints, and floral designs. Then I stumbled on this fun plaid online at Mendel’s, and it just happens to be the colors for the University of Kansas, the birthday guy’s favorite college basketball team . . . how lucky was that? The bag was easy and fun to sew, and I have plenty of fabric left (and plenty of KU fans left!), so I’m sure I’ll be making more. 8-7-12 UPDATE: Today I added a little guy a-la-mode . . . a zipper pull made from a Jayhawk keychain. ♥
I made a quick dash by the remnant bin last time I was at Jo-Ann and found this adorable “Monster Mania” fleece, which made two soft, cuddly 14 x 15 pillows. They definitely didn’t require any alamode, and I don’t think I’ll have any trouble finding some little monster lovers to give them to! ♥
As you know, I love to make pillows from cloth napkins I find in the bargain aisle of various home and department stores. My latest find was a loner for 48¢. Once I got home, I discovered four tiny, perfectly-centered holes which were were easily camouflaged by some burgundy-bead alamode that matches the remnant I used for the back. I love the rich colors and design of this finished 16 x 16 pillow!
I needed to pick up an item at Bed, Bath, and Beyond on Saturday, and after the success of my last “napkin pillow,” I decided to browse the clearance aisle for potential fabrics. To my delight, I found these reversible napkins for 99¢ apiece. By getting two of each, I could use the floral sides for the pillow fronts and the striped sides for the backs. I also added some vintage buttons from my grandmother’s collection for a little a-la-mode. The finished pillows are 16 x 18. ♥
I don’t know if you can read the price tag on this gorgeous cloth napkin I found in the clearance corner at World Market, but it’s $1.48! So, of course, I immediately snatched it up for a pillow. The back of the finished 19 x 19 inch pillow was a curtain in its previous life, and I added a little a-la-mode in the form of a shiny, marbled, 2 x 2 inch vintage button from my grandmother’s collection. So far I’ve given all my pillows away, but this one looks right at home on my sofa, so it may be here to stay. ♥
Here are the finished gift baskets for the Art and Mission Market this Saturday!
(Click on any photo in the gallery for a larger view.) ♥
Although we’ve only had a few flakes so far, some of you have already experienced your first blizzard of the season. One of the perks of working at home is not having to worry about driving in iffy weather . . . but I’ll admit I’ll miss hearing the early-morning news announcer say those magic words: SNOW DAY! this winter. As much as I loved teaching, this pronouncement always brought on a giddy anticipation . . . fireplace, hot chocolate, good book, nap . . . The front of this pillow was a decorative dish towel, and I simply embroidered the word as a little a-la-mode and chose a matching solid red for the back. The finished 12 x 12 pillow is now part of a gift basket for the upcoming Arts and Crafts Mission Market. Now . . . stay warm, everyone! ♥
My friend Janet gave me this pretty Christmas print square. I added a little a-la-mode by outlining the pictures and designs in embroidery and sewing on red wooden beads for holly berries, and it’s now sitting in one of the gift baskets awaiting the silent auction at the Arts and Crafts Mission Market at Calvary United Methodist Church on November 19 from 9:00-4:00. All the money goes to the prenatal program at GraceMed! They’ll also have craft booths, baked goods, and a German lunch (homemade bierrocks . . . yum!). Maybe I’ll try a booth next year? Or maybe I’ll have a brand-new hobby by then! (insert groan from Dave . . .) 🙂
I made these tiny (5 x 5) pillows from two coin purses I bought for $3 each from the clearance page of my all-time-favorite shopping site, the Greater Good Network. They were really too small for their original purpose (picture these flat with three corners folded in and the fourth corner as a flap that closed with a button), but I LOVE the fabric, which has all kinds of embroidery stitches and eyelets with little mirrors inside. The lining of the purses became the backs. They could be pincushions in their new lives . . . or just something pretty to look at on a bookshelf.
I had the best time at Needle in a Haystack on Saturday! Everyone was so friendly and chatty . . . I’ll admit that I bought more from the other vendors than I made! The shop itself is amazing. The lovely owner, Cynthia, bought two of my pillows, Chic Chicks and Pooh. My mother-in-law Vida gave me this remnant, which included a perfectly-centered picture of Pooh, and I added a button from a long-ago sewing project to the flower. The finished pillow is 16 x 16.
Now (surprise, surprise!) I’m hatching yet another plot. The upcoming Arts and Crafts Mission Mart at my church is selling donated gift baskets by silent auction with the proceeds going to various community-assistance projects. So . . . I’m thinking I could choose a couple of pillows that have the same color or theme . . . add some other small, related gift items . . . arrange them in a basket . . .