We Made It by Jennifer Garner: String Art Photo Frames

Recently I had the opportunity to participate in  JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores We Made It Campaign by Jennifer Garner. The We Made It Campaign by Jennifer Garner is a collection of more than 100 creative kits and projects designed to promote imaginative exploration among children ages 4 to 11.  JoAnn Fabrics and Craft Stores along with Jennifer designed each of these products. You can tell that they put a lot of thought and quality into each and every one one of the kits. When I first saw the products I was thrilled to see that they were not only fun for the kids to do but also well put together. These are the types of crafts that are going to last for years to come! IMG_0641I was sent the The String Art Photo Frames to work on with my kids. The kit comes complete with everything you will need to complete the project.IMG_0642We started out by staining our frames as well as the tiny clothespins. I really wanted the frames to match the decor in my house a little better since I knew they would be hanging for a long time. Plus this also gave us more time to work on the project together. My kids are huge crafters! We craft daily in our house.
IMG_0675We used a Minwax stain and sealer on the frames and then let them dry over night. The next day we set up a blanket outside on the front porch and started crafting.IMG_0698Each of my kids took their time threading the needle and then pulling the thread through each hole. It was fun watching them  decide which hole they wanted to go into next. My youngest wanted to thread through every single hole…and that she did. The kids needed a little assistance with tying the thread as well as pulling it through the holes at times. I was actually surprised that the craft took us more time to make then I first had thought. I figured they would be done in no time but we ended up spending a few hours working on them. I love crafts that take more then a few minutes to complete. My kids have really good attention spans when it comes to crafting. I guess they get that from their Momma, IMG_0701 Once the frames were finished I thought it would be fun to use them to display a few mementos and photos from some of our favorite trips. The kids absolutely loved this idea! So together we picked out our favorite pictures and a few small light weight mementos that could easily hang on the strings. IMG_0724 IMG_0725 I love that we now have a cute way to display all of those fun little mementos that we have collected from our favorite trips.IMG_0734 IMG_0739IMG_0743 IMG_0745JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores is currently holding a sweepstakes that started June 21st on Instagram. Just simply share a photo of a We Made It craft that you have done with your kids or share some of your crafting advice with everyone. Tag your photos with the #wemadeitsweepstakes and #joann hastags. You can find out more information on the sweepstakes here.

Thank you JoAnn Fabric and Craft Stores and Jennifer for allowing me to participate!

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Catching up through instagram

I can’t believe how long it has been since I last sat down to write a post, yikes! Let’s just blame it on one long cold winter. Here is a little snippet of what we have been doing the past few months…

I’ve been sewing a little as well as working on the house.

A day late for finished but perfect for today's wear @thedailyseam. #desertrosedress pattern from @cailamade #thedailyseam

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My husband has been trying his hand as tin smithing.

For Valentine's Day my hubby made me a few #buckets from sheets of tin. Pretty cool huh? #tinsmithing

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We have been playing in the snow.

#snow fun for this little one.

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We took a litte trip to California.

Such a beautiful and hot day in the desert.

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And we even had our hair curled for the first time.

My sweet little girl with curls.

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Don’t forget you can always follow me over on my instagram where I post frequently. One of these days I will get back to blogging…I kinda miss it.

snowmen at night

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2014 in Review

It is always fun looking back to see what I made over a years time. Here are just a few of my favorites…2014 reviewLayered Lace Curtains Tutorial, Small Fry Skinny Jeans, The Marina Romper, Cargo Duffle BagDiaper Bag, Knight Hoodie, Mermaid Dolls, Perfect Pattern ParcelUptown HatFlip This Pattern: Ethan Shirt, Julia Cardigan, The Big Tote Bag

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 Grocery Tote Bag, Princess Halloween Costume, Princess Fairy Halloween Costume, Sewing for Kindergarten, You and Me SeriesTooth Fairy PillowPraying Mantis Halloween CostumeRowan Tee

liberty of london key chains

 I am always in search of nice, handmade and useful (but fairly inexpensive) gifts to give to others at Christmas. You know, just a little something to let them know that we are thankful for them.

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So this year when I came across these key chain kits here from Sun and Moon Craft Kits I thought they would be perfect! I even purchased some of my most beloved fabric from Liberty of London. I bought this bundle here. Most of the fabrics are perfect to work with on small or tiny projects like these little key chains.

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I did run into a few issues while making these at first but the people over at Sun and Moon Craft Kits were so helpful and shared all of their tips and tricks with me. They are amazing!

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Watch out, making these little key chains can be highly addictive!

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our house to yours!

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bottle cap fishing lures {handmade christmas presents for men}

I think we can all agree that coming up with handmade gift ideas for men is tough. Like rack your brain for days tough! Well thankfully about a month ago I was perusing Pinterest and saw these beer cap fishing lures and thought they were such a great idea. They are the perfect gift for those men who love to fish or drink beer…or do a little bit of both…at the same time.

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Of course you don’t have to use beer caps. You could use soda caps as well.

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While I was hoping this would be a fun project to do with the kids it turned out to be a little tougher then I had expected. There are just too many sharp parts for those little fingers.

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 Instead my husband helped with drilling the holes and bending the caps. We found that bending them by hand gave us the best result but after a few even my fingers were sore. I didn’t think of it at the time but I bet wearing rubbing gloves would have helped a bit.

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As you can see, these are super easy and cheap to make. You just need some bottle caps, treble hooks, swivel snap connectors and some round slip jump rings. I purchased all of my items from Amazon. Start off by pinching the caps together with your fingers. Now you will want to drill the ends of the caps right in the pinched crease. Measure with the split rings to see where you should drill. You may need to flatten the pinched end of the cap just a tiny bit to get the drill in there easier. Plus it makes getting the split rings in easier too. Just use a screwdriver or any small blunt item to flatten them. Drill the other side. Now insert the split rings into the drilled holes. Next attach the hook and swivel to the split rings. And that is it.

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How cute are they?!

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I think they make the perfect handmade Christmas gift for any man or fishing lover. And the best part is you still have plenty of time before Christmas to make a few.

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christmas pictures 2014

Of all the pictures I have taken over the past year very few of them have all three of my kids in them. So this weekend I decided to try and take some of the three of them. Of course I had to do a little bribery but in the end I ended up with some pictures that I just love!

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Sewing to Sell Blog tour {and giveaway}

Recently I had the opportunity to read Sewing To Sell by Virginia Lindsay. It is a newly released book that covers just about anything you ever wanted or needed to know about selling your handmade items locally and/or online. The book covers everything from how to start up a business  and/or an etsy store, to the equipment you are going to need and how to price your items.

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 The book not only talks about starting up your own business but it also shares photography tips, ways to organize your craft space and how to present yourself and market yourself. Plus the book has a ton of copyright free patterns to help you get started. I really wish a book like this existed when I was starting up my etsy shop years ago. It really would have made things much easier! It took me years to learn what I could have learned in a few hours of reading this book.

 To help promote Virginia’s Book I decided to sew up one of the patterns in her book, The Grocery Tote. With Christmas right around the corner I thought these would make great gifts! Everyone loves and needs a bag right?!

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The Grocery Tote is a really quick and easy sewing project that only takes one yard of fabric to make. As you can see below I made five bags. I find it much easier to make a few items  while I have the pattern out. The more you make the faster you will get. Plus you learn new little tips and tricks that will make the process go smoother.

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You may notice that the construction of my bag is a tiny bit different then how it is done in the book. I used a technique that I learned from this pattern for the handles instead. It is just how I have done it in the past and find it easier for me. In her book Virginia encourages you to come up with your own unique designs or techniques. She gives you the basic foundation with the patterns but then you can customize them to meet your own personal style.

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And that is what I did with these bags. If you look really close at them you will see that three of my bags have handles on the same side and two of my bags have handles going on opposite sides. Again, make it your own and what works best for you.

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For each of my bags I used either a medium weight interfacing or a fusible fleece to give it a little more shape.

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I also ended up adding a pocket to the inside of the totes. Nothing fancy but a pocket big enough to hold keys and a small wallet.

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My littlest heads off to kindergarten next year and I plan on selling my handmade creations again. I have been a bit nervous about it and wonder if I will make any money…or if I should take a job elsewhere. By reading this book it has helped me better understand the business aspect of selling my handmade goods and how to actually make a career of it. I felt like I was ready to get started with this whole sewing to sell business thing once I finished the book and that I could really do this. I love seeing another mother take her passion for sewing and make it into a business…and even better she shares her tips and tricks for doing so!

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If you are thinking about selling locally or online I would highly recommend you reading this book first! Seriously, it will save you do much time and effort. You can focus more on the making end of things instead of the set up and logistics of the business.

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Now here comes the fun part! How would you like to win your own copy of Sewing to Sell by Virginia Lindsay? Simply enter the Rafflecopter below. Giveaway is open to US residents only and will end November 25th.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don’t forget to follow along with the rest of the blog tour. I am sure you will be seeing some other amazing creations!

Blog Tour

You can purchase a copy of Sewing To Sell through C & T here or from Amazon here.