Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hello. How are you? {Giveaway!}

Hi. How are you? It seems like forever since I've seen/talk to/interacted with so many of you!

I feel so out of touch with most of my fans, especially on Facebook. I'm trying to think of fun ways to reconnect with you AND hopefully gain new followers. My goal is to post interesting content that you WANT to see and, hopefully, I am doing that, giving you a reason to click that "like" button or even leave a comment, here and/or on Facebook. 

So, with that goal in mind, I'm running a giveaway for an adorable 
Tiara headband on my Facebook page. 

Photo curtesy of Forever Photos by Ivette

The winner will get to pick the color and size of the Tiara. It even has 3 glass pearls, one large one in the center and two smaller ones on either side. You can choose either an elastic or tie back. 

It seems the app for the giveaway on Facebook isn't mobile device friendly,
so I'm posting it here as well.

Giveaway ends at midnight (EST) this Saturday, July 21st and I'll announce the winner mid-day Sunday. 


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Handmade Gift Exchange - part 2

Today, I'm linking up the gift I made for Craftaholics Anonymous summer Handmade Gift Exchange.

{you can find the details of the exchange and what I received here}

My person was Michele. I wasn't entirely sure what I'd make for her, but was leaning toward something sewn, rather than crocheted. My hubby got me a beautiful Bernia (Bernette) sewing machine for my birthday back in February and I had just completed my first project: a checkbook cover from Amy Butler's Style Stitches. It was a gift for a friend and I finished it literally just before we left to meet up with her for dinner so I don't have any pictures. You'll just have to take my word that it turned out pretty good, especially for my first in-depth sewing project all by myself. 

My original thought was to try out another "easy" bag pattern from the book, but even with fabric half price at Joann's, it is was going to cost double what I had budgeted for my gift. After a few questions to my giftee, Michele, I found out she has a Kindle and she likes the colors blue and green. I typed
"kindle slip case" into google and found this wonderful little tutorial by Park House Love which I pinned to one of my Pinterest boards for safe keeping.

                                                                       Source: via Crystelle on Pinterest

How cute is that? The tutorial was for the ever-so-slightly larger Kindle than what my giftee had, but since I was using mid-weight upholstery fabric it ended up working out perfectly.

Here are my pieces cut out. I used the left-over upholstery fabric from the checkbook cover and cut up a flannel receiving blanket that I found in my son's dresser, buried and never used, for the inside lining to keep her Kindle protected.  

Amy Butler calls for A LOT of interfacing for stability, so I interfaced the flannel lining and was going to pad it with fusible fleece as well, but I was afraid it would make it too tight and I didn't want the seams to be bulkier than they already were. As it was, I had to rip out a few seams a couple times and ended up having to sew the lining a tad smaller than the outside so it would fit better inside. 

I taped together several layers from a cereal box the same size as her Kindle (4.5" x 6.5") to slide inside to make sure I hadn't made it too tight and just to be sure, I loaded the kids in the van and we drove to Best Buy to double check. I forgot they put those huge anti-theft devices on electronics so I was only able to slide the first 2.5" in the case, but it seemed to fit. 

Overall, I am really pleased with how it turned out. I cut out the pattern on the pockets so they would be the same and incorporate the most blue. I added a large, white shank button and placed it so the elastic would lay relaxed over it to avoid puckering at the top. Since I didn't have the 1/8" elastic, I used just a tiny cord of elastic and had to hand stitch it into place. 



If I were to make another case like this, I'd either use a less bulky fabric (and NOT wash the upholstery fabric - that green fabric did not want to de-wrinkle no matter how many times I ironed it!), I'd only do one pocket or make the back pocket taller so the seams were off-set to decrease bulk. 

I don't think I'm very good at the whole pretty packaging thing, but I slipped it in a craft ziplock baggy (just in case somewhere along the postal route it gets dropped in a puddle), wrapped it up in a few layers of light blue tissue paper and tied it together with light green twine.

I wrote a little card and slipped it under the twine and then mailed it off to Michele. 

I hope see loves it and will get good use out of it. 


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Handmade Gift Exchange

This June I signed up for Craftaholics Anonymous' twice yearly Handmade Gift Exchange. 
I never participated in an exchange like this before and had no idea what to expect. Linda of Craftaholics Anonymous used a website called Elfster to host the exchange and it turned out awesome.

I was able to create a list of things I liked and wanted (and even one of things I didn't need) and the participants where able to secretly communicate with each other to ask questions about favorite colors and such in order to taylor the gift to the person who would be receiving it. Overall, it was super easy and I really want to participate in the next one in November.

You can find more details here:

My mother-in-law told me of beautiful things she's made for exchanges like this, sent hers off to it's recipient and in return received Humpty Dumpty's left overs. This made me a bit leery of what I might receive. However, I couldn't be more delighted with what arrived in the mail from my "secret elf". 

I received a cutely wrapped gift and handwritten card from artist, Angela Spencer, 

Inside was this beautiful amethyst necklace. Not only is amethyst my birthstone, but purple is my favorite color!

So pretty, right?
(it went well the new cake stand I just got from TJ Maxx)

Thank you, Angela, for this beautiful necklace! 

I encourage you to check out the next exchange. Here's the linky party with some of the other items that where made from professional crafters and novices alike.