Friday, November 14, 2014

12 Handmade Days of Christmas: Throw Pillow Day 6

Target is selling fabric! Random, right? I bought this beautiful teal hummingbird burlap. The fabric is sold in 1 yard pre-cuts or fat quarters. I have a very large fabric stash, but I couldn't resist the impulse. I'm a sucker for fabric.

Materials Needed:
  1. 1 yard of pre-cut burlap fabric from Target.
  2. Batting: I think pillow forms are ridiculously over-priced so I used a standard $4 pillow from Target and it yielded two throw pillows.
  3. Thread
  4. Needle 

Step by Step Directions:
  1. Cut 16x16 Squares from the burlap. Cute 4 squares or two sets if you plan on making two throw pillows.
  2. Place one of the 16x16 squares ontop of the other. Rightsides together. Pin.
  3. Sew around the square leaving an opening at top of one of the sides. Don't forget to backstitch.
  4. Trim the seams and corners.
  5. Turn inside out and Press.
  6. Fill the square with batting through the opening. (If you used an inexpensive pillow, cut the pillow open and tear out batting in chunks. This allows you to fluff the batting as you go along.)
  7. Slip stitch the opening closed with needle and thread once the pillow is nice and full. Et, Voila!
Here is today's Sweet Reminder....

Sweet Reminder No.6: Stress during the holidays is a choice!
You don't "have to" do anything during this time of year. You don't have to bake, host, make, or create anything if you don't want. I hear a lot of "have to" around this time of year; coupled with a whole lot of resentment. Be clear and honest about what you can and cannot do. If you choose to live in a state of stress and chaos during the holidays, remember your stress is a choice. You don't "have to" do anything. 

Have fun with the tutorial. Any questions on the directions, please feel free to comment below.

Click the link to see more projects in the 12 Handmade Days of Christmas Series.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

12 Handmade Days of Christmas: Day 5 Handwarmers

Are you still with me? It is Day Five of the 12 Handmade Days of Christmas! Today's tutorial was inspired my husband's family. They are chronically cold and have been rumored to fall asleep with the blow dryer on under the covers. Como se dice, Firehazard?!

This tutorial is simple, but takes some finesse with filling the pockets with rice. I am notorious for splitting bags of cereal, rice, potato flakes, etc... wide open and getting stuff everywhere. I called in the Pookie for help on this one. 

Materials Needed:
1. 5x5 Squares. I used five in different shades and prints of blue.
2. Pinking Shares
3. One pound bag of rice
4. Thread
5. Funnel or Piece of Paper

Step by Step Directions:
1. Layer two of the 5x5 squares on top of each other. Wrong sides together.

2. Mark a 4x4 square within the 5x5 square. 

3. Sew on the 4x4 square line leaving an opening to pour rice into.

4. Create a funnel out of a piece of paper. (Use a funnel if you have one.)

5. Pour the rice in. I filled mine 3/4 of the way.

6. Put the 5x5 square back under the sewing needle. Sew the opening closed carefully. Some rice might spill out, but that's okay.

7. Take the pinking shears and trim the edges all the way around.

Sweet Reminder No.5: Christmas doesn't have to be perfect!
I'm looking at the sachets and I can see all of the lint from the pinking shear scraps all over the sachets. MY PHOTOGRAPH IS NOT PERFECT, but that doesn't take away from all of the love and the joy put into each and everyone of these sachets! 

Every cookie, pie, craft, meal, etc... will not be perfect. A crust will crumble, cookies will burn, a craft will turn into an epic pinterest fail. Stop and laugh at yourself. Christmas doesn't have to be perfect. After all, think of the baby in the stinky manger. Certainly not the perfect place to go into labor. Relax. The day will come and go whether your creations are perfect or not.

If you need help with the tutorial, feel free to comment in the section below. What are projects are you working on?

To See More Projects in the Series, check out other projects in the 12 Handmade Days of Christmas Series.
Partying at: ShineBlogHop#25, LivelaughRowe

Monday, November 10, 2014

12 Handmade Days of Christmas: Tote Bag Day 4

Are you still with me? Have you started sewing? For those of you without sewing machines, look at Craigslist or your local Facebook yard sale pages. People are always selling or giving sewing machines away for free or for real cheap. I recommend swooping up any Kenmore, Brother, or Bernina sewing machines that you find for sale.

Sweet Reminder No.4: Christmas doesn't have to be a fight!
I have a few friends that dread every Christmas because it becomes a fight between family members. Whose house are you going to? When will you be here? When will you be there? Ahhh!! Stop the freaking madness! Christmas does not give YOU or ANYONE license to act like the world's most obnoxious micro-manager. Manage your own expectations. Be honest about what you are hoping will happen and who you would like to be there, but also understand that people have their own lives, their own families, and their own Christmas trees to decorate. 

Be honest about what you can and cannot do. Be kind to people you have to tell, "No." 

Get over it if somebody cannot do what you want them to do, when and where you want it done. Christmas is not about you!

Now... onto the tutorial!

Materials Needed:
1. Black Webbing
2. Felt in a cute a print
3. Thread

Step by Step Instructions:
1. Cut 12 x 15 inch rectangles. I made two bags so I cut four.

2. Cut set of 2 webbing handles 15 inches long. I cut four.

3. Pin the webbing handles at 3in. and 9in. Pin the webbing to the rightside of the tote body.

4. Sew the webbing to the tote body.

5. Turn the top of the tote body to the wrongside, creating a hem at the top of the hem body. It should be about a 1/2 inch hem at the top. Sew across the top. Repeat on the other side.

6. Lay the tote body pieces rightsides together. Sew the pieces together. 

7. Trim the edges and the corners. Turn inside out. Iron.

Do you have any family feud issues this time of year? If so, how do you resolve them? Do you have a system, please please share! 

To See More Projects in the Series, check out other projects in the 12 Handmade Days of Christmas Series.
Partying at: ShineBlogHop#25, LivelaughRowe

Saturday, November 8, 2014

12 Handmade Days of Christmas: Day3 Slouchy Clutch

Welcome to Day Three of the 12 Handmade Days of Christmas! Today's tutorial is the slouchy zippered clutch. I made mine from some sweet purple upholstery suede I found on sale at the fabric store. I bought the 16 inch metal zipper in the Los Angeles garment district. If you are ever in the LA area, check out the stores on Maple Avenue between 8th and 9th streets. They have great notions and knit fabrics.

Here is what you will need for this project:  
  1. 16 inch Metal Zipper
  2. Fabric with enough yardage to cut two 17 x 20inch rectangle from your main fabric and your lining fabric.  I used purple suede and some striped purple lining.
  3. Matching Thread  
  4. Interfacing (optional for extra body)

Step by Step Instructions:
1. Cut four rectangles 16 x 20. Two rectangles from the main fabric and two rectangles from your lining fabric.

2. If your fabric needs extra body, cut interfacing and iron it onto your main fabric. My fabric was upholstery fabric; I only added interfacing to one side of my main fabric so the fold side would hold up better.

3. Unzip your zipper so you can attach the body pieces to it. On one side of your zipper layer your pieces: Lay your lining right side up, your zipper right side up, and your main fabric right side down.

4. Pin and Sew the pieces together on one side of the zipper and repeat on the other. (Some people prefer to sew with the zipper closed. There are multiple ways to skin a cat. Do what is easiest for you!)

5. Pin the fabrics together so the main fabric is touching rightsides together and the lining fabric is touching rightsides together. 

6. Sew the side seams of the lining fabric. Trim the edges

7. Sew the side seams of the main fabric. Trim the edges

8. Push the lining fabric into the main fabric of the clutch. 

I had some left over suede and lining fabric so I made a small envelope clutch and added some pleats to the front for details. Have fun with this tutorial. Don't stress over it. It is meant to be big, slouchy, and relaxed. It does not require everything to be perfect.

Sweet Reminder No. 3: Christmas is not only about traditions!
Christmas is about traditions. I hear this a lot. "Each year we do this or that and have done this or that for 20 years. Therefore, we must continue to do this or that even though we hate it because we have always done so." Now, does that make sense to you? Or does it just sound super exhausting and soooo not fun at all. Traditions are only traditions if you say they are. If you adhere to them slavishly then they become an obligation and not a sweet celebratory ritual. Check your heart and be honest with yourself. Who needs your obligation? Nobody.  If you don't want to do this or that, then don't! Free yourself to have a sweet peaceful Christmas.
Enjoy the tutorial! If you need help, feel free to ask in the comment section!!

To See More Projects in the Series, check out other projects in the 12 Handmade Days of Christmas Series.
Partying at: ShineBlogHop#25, LivelaughRowe

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

12 Days of Handmade Christmas: Day2 CheckBook Covers

I gave everyone a day off to go and make dozens of infinity scarfs. If you didn't catch the first tutorial in the 12 Handmade Days of Christmas Series, you can check out the the whole series here. Now, for day two, quick and easy checkbook covers.

This is a great scrap buster, as well as a useful everyday item. I love making handmade gifts, but I especially like to make gifts that make ordinary items prettier. There is no point in making stuff just to make stuff.

Sweet Reminder No.2: Christmas is not a contest!
It is a ton of fun to craft and to become a pinterest maven. Christmas is the time of year to show off your decor, baking, and cooking skills. Christmas is not a showdown contest between you and your neighbor, your fellow church ladies, your sisters, your co-workers. The passive aggressive competition craziness between women this time of year is insane. Don't get cray cray and put added unneeded pressure on yourself to outdo anybody. It is good to give handmade, but I think it is even better to give with the right motivation. Okay on to the tutorial!

Dimensions and Materials Needed
I used a gray and white houndstooth cotton for the main fabric and a bright orange cotton for the lining.

Step by Step Directions

If you have any questions about the directions, please feel free to comment below.

To See More Projects in the Series, check out other projects in the 12 Handmade Days of Christmas Series.
Partying at: ShineBlogHop#25, LivelaughRowe

Monday, November 3, 2014

12 Handmade Days of Christmas: Day One Infinity Scarf

Welcome to the first day of 12 Handmade Days of Christmas. First up, the Infinity Scarf. I will likely make a few dozen of these to give away. 

I chose a black and white striped jersey. When working with jersey, I recommend using a ballpoint needle in your machine. Depending on the stretch in your jersey, it may be better to use a zigzag stitch; otherwise use a serger. 

I also recommend playing the Rudolph Mambo while making these scarves for Christmas. This song just makes me happy. It also makes me want to prance around my sewing studio. 

Anyway, I digress. Back to the infinity scarf!

Dimensions: My fabric was 60 inches wide. I folded the fabric selvedge together. I measured 12 inches down. Laying flat the infinity scarf dimensions 60 (w) and 12 (l). I like my infinity scarves extra long so I can loop them around twice.

Find the steps below:

Some of you may be wondering why make gifts you can easily buy?

Sweet Reminder No.1: Time is not money. We can choose to convert our time into money. We can also choose to convert our time into gift giving, gift making, listening, loving, encouraging, etc...We can do whatever we want with our time. It is a beautiful and precious gift, but we can't make more of it. We cannot purchase it. We are all allotted the same amount. Time is not money. As this Christmas season approaches, don't skip over the beautiful precious gift that you can give of your time.

I choose to convert my time into handmade gift giving. How will you choose to convert yours?

To See More Projects in the Series, check out other projects in the 12 Handmade Days of Christmas Series.
Partying at: Blissfulbee  / LiveLaughRowe 

12 Handmade Days of Christmas

Welcome to the 12 Handmade Days of Christmas. Each Day is dedicated to a handmade gift tutorial + a sweet reminder that Christmas is not about "having all the things" or "doing all the things." Practice "Peace Be Still" this holiday season.

Day One: Infinity Scarf
Day Two: Checkbook Cover
Day Three: Slouchy Zipper Clutch
Day Four: Tote Bags
Day Five: Hand Warmer Sachets
Day Six: Throw Pillow
Day Seven:
Day Eight:
Day Nine:
Day Ten:
Day Eleven:
Day Twelve: 

I am also partying at: LiveLaughRowe  

Saturday, November 1, 2014

November 2014 Goals

I was home most of the month of October. My doctor hadn't cleared me to exercise so I took that as license to eat tons of candy and cereal. (I seriously have a Lucky Charms problem!) Despite being confined to the couch, I was able to do a lot a of "when I am well" planning.  I started my 101 in 1001 list last month. Here is a quick recap of last month's goal progress and what I hope to accomplish next month. 

October Goals Recap:
  1. Pray daily
  2. Purposefully encourage 5 people daily
  3. Finish Skillshare class (Instead of worrying about my logo, I decided my time could be better spent pattern making.)
  4. Make a plan for starting my fashion line
  5. Get closer to my goal weight (I gained a few pounds while I was recuperating at home.)
November Goals:
  1. Pray daily
  2. Stay in sync with Bible reading program
  3. Save $300 towards mini emergency fund
  4. Lose 10 pounds
  5. Drink 8 glasses of water everyday
  6. Finish Round 3 of the 21 Day Fix
  7. Start Round 4 of the 21 Day Fix
  8. Complete November series the "12 Handmade Days of Christmas"
  9.  Launch Shopify Store
Most of my goals involve what I call the Daily Five: Prayer, Read the Bible, Exercise, Encourage Others, and Pookie Time! 

Some of my goals will require little to no effort, like sipping water all day. The rest of my goals will require a little more effort and a lot more baby steps. I will check in half way through the month in order to keep myself on track. 

I am off to work on my blog and fashion line! What are your goals for this month?