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.
My husband has been trying his hand as tin smithing.
We have been playing in the snow.
We took a litte trip to California.
And we even had our hair curled for the first time.
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.
It is always fun looking back to see what I made over a years time. Here are just a few of my favorites…Layered Lace Curtains Tutorial, Small Fry Skinny Jeans, The Marina Romper, Cargo Duffle Bag, Diaper Bag, Knight Hoodie, Mermaid Dolls, Perfect Pattern Parcel, Uptown Hat, Flip This Pattern: Ethan Shirt, Julia Cardigan, The Big Tote Bag
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.
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.
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!
Watch out, making these little key chains can be highly addictive!
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.
Of course you don’t have to use beer caps. You could use soda caps as well.
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.
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.
How cute are they?!
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.
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?!
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.
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.
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.
For each of my bags I used either a medium weight interfacing or a fusible fleece to give it a little more shape.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
Recently I had the opportunity to review a product of my choice from Uncommon Goods.
Have you ever heard of Uncommon Goods before? If not, it is the perfect time right now…especially with the holidays right around the corner. Their site is full of handmade and personalized gifts as well as fun and unique items I have never seen before. The best part is that half of what is sold on Uncommon Goods is Handmade or created right here in the USA. Plus one-third of their items are made from recycle or upcycled materials. How wonderful is that?! As you can imagine, I had a really hard time choosing what I wanted to review but in the end I decided on this beautiful Kantha Blanket.
I chose one of the warm colors in hopes that I would receive a blanket with some orange in it. Well much to my surprise the entire blanket was orange. I was completely thrilled! Kantha blankets are made from strips of saris that are hand stitched together. Once the blanket is piece together they use bright, ticked kantha stitching throughout the blanket to give it the textured look. The fabric itself is very soft and comfy against the skin. I am very pleased with the look and feel of it. It does not look cheap at all and kinda has a vintage look to it. It is a lightweight blanket which is perfect for layering on your bed or for using it in the living room as a throw blanket. I happen to be using mine as a throw right now. I have to say that my favorite part of the whole blanket is that cute little square of contrasting striped fabric.
Lastly I have to mention all of these kids arts and crafts kits. I am a huge fan of giving crafts to kids. That way they can explore their own creativity and it encourages them to be makers. I think it is so important to encourage to use their minds as well as their hands.
Next time you are looking to purchase a handmade or personalized gift make sure you give Uncommon Goods a chance. I promise you will not be disappointed!