Monday, April 27, 2015

photography and tote bags

I recently had some of my bags photographed by a lovely photographer, Violet lufkin Photography.
She specializes in babies and families but does other bookings as well. I was very pleased with the outcome and love the settings chosen to show off my bags.
If you are in Northern Utah, near Bountiful, you can book a session with Violet to get your adorable children photographed.

These Mommy totes are perfect for a trip to the beach, the pool, the park, and other summer outings. They fit a few rolled up towels and magazines, water bottles, diapers and other important items!

Do you want to win your own Mommy tote? You can win the red and gray dotted tote bag shown above.
Just head over to Maggie Whitley designs  to enter with the Raffle copter. The Spring/Floral giveaway includes nearly $800 worth in prizes.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

what's in my purse and how I organize it

I've had some messy purses over the years. I've lost my keys plenty to the darkness that is the bottom of the purse. I've learned that I function best when my purse is organized and every thing has a place. I hate fumbling around for my keys, or for something specific and taking forever to find it.

Organizing my purse has been so easy and it's it's been so rewarding. No more scrounging around for the tin of mints, hearing them rattle inside my purse, but not knowing where they are.

The best invention to organize my purse has been zipper pouches They are so useful and I don't think that you can have too many. In my purse I have four pouches to keep things nice and tidy. They come in all sorts of sizes and shapes and can be used for many things, not just organizing your purse.

Last year I started using my blue and aqua hobo bag as a purse. It doesn't have any inner pockets like my other purses do so I've have to rely on my zipper pouches to keep things separate. There is a selection of hobo bags in my shop now that do have the option for an inner pocket.
When I want to use a different purse, I just transfer the pouches that I need over. It takes seconds and nothing is forgotten!

Starting on the bottom right, I have my gray sunglasses case. I made it just for myself. I rarely sew a specific item for me but this time I just had to, my old one was really old and worn.  It has the edeenut "exclusive" triple ruffle front. My sunglasses are always in reach and the lenses are scratch free. My eyes are pretty sensitive to the sun, all year long. Summer sun and Winter sun always require sunglasses for me.

The next pouch moving to the left is a Gussy Sews pouch. I love the size of it because it fits a dollar bill flat without having to fold it. It's my wallet and gift card pouch. This is the pouch I grab if I don't want to take my entire purse and just need a "wallet".

This green linen pouch is perfect for my personal items. It is an edeenut original. You could also call this my braces cleaning pouch. It's pretty jam packed holding a toothbrush, flossers, bands, oral wax, toothpicks, chapstick, mints, hair elastic, granola bar, and even another little pouch for lady things.

Next is my receipt pouch. I made it a long time ago with some favorite Denyse Schmidt green plaid fabric. It's usually jam packed with receipts, I just purged. It holds my travel measuring tape, pen and pencil, paypal card reader. My keys for the cabinets at church are clipped to one of my edeenut wrist straps and only come out once a week on Sunday. I keep little buttons and ribbon and fabric swatches handy to match when I go to the fabric store in here too. The black thing you see, is a tripod stand for my phone. To store it in here, I have to keep the two parts separate.

Here is the phone tripod all set up. This comes in handy a lot when I want to take pictures of my family and don't want to ask a stranger to do it.

Every now and then I add lots of other stuff to my bag, but this is the basics and I like to keep it to the basics, nice and simple.

Monday, April 20, 2015

weaving is addicting & my secret tool for weaving.

I have fallen in love with all the images of weaving lately. There is so many creative designs all over. Instagram has been my favorite place to see the eye candy. Just search #weaving and you'll be hooked!

For Christmas, I got my son a Melissa and Doug weaving loom on a whim. I actually hadn't even seen the weaving sensation sweeping the internet back then. I was just thinking what a creative gift for a 7 year old to figure out. We tried it out together from the instructions included, and he was pleased. He had more of an attention span than I thought he would have. So far, the loom has been used by him, me, and even my 12 year old son!

The loom came with some rainbow yarn, a large wooden needle, and other supplies to get started. I pulled out my selection of yard from the closet and we bought quite a bit more from the store for a variety of colors and textures.  I tell you, it's hard to just buy one skein of yarn!

I wanted to do more complex designs so I did some searching and found some great information on A Beautiful Mess. They have a few posts that walk you through step by step. Start with Weaving Class: the basics and you'll get the hang of it in no time!

This is my first completed weave and I hung it up on my newly updated gallery wall.

My 12 year old used the ipad with the weaving posts on A beautiful Mess, and he was able to create his own weaving.

When I started making my first weave, I was sitting comfortably in bed and didn't want to bother with the huge wooden loom. Instead, I got a piece of cardboard, made slits in it and used that. It was easy to lay aside and pick up again another night.
I didn't have a large blunt needle to use so I decided to use this little thing. It was the best happy accident!

It's from JoAnns fabric store and is originally used to poke out corners when you sew, or to pull elastic though casings or flip skinny tubes right side out. It's called a Bodkin.
It was perfect for weaving and I plan to buy another one to keep with my weaving supplies. The ball on the end is great to guide the yarn in and out of the warp. The larger hole is easy to thread the yard through too.
This post and info is also shared on the blog Sisters and Sidekicks.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

string art heart banner

Before I did the large number 4 string art for my wall, I decided to try a smaller sample first.
I received this painted chalk board banner from HomeShed, along with my number 4, and thought it would be the perfect test subject.

A heart is pretty universal and can go with many sayings. As I need a change, I can easily erase the wording and add a different saying.

I used a very thin jute twine to wrap around the nails and I think it turned out perfect. My handwriting is not perfect, but I have gotten over that...

Here it hangs on my recently re-decorated piano wall with the gallery canvas. The canvas giveaway is still going on until Friday so be sure to head on over to that post and enter.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

string art for the wall

I have a large wall that I've slowly been adding things to make a gallery wall. There is one empty spot that is kind of awkwardly shaped and I decided a #4 would be the best thing to fit in there. We have four members of my family. I decided after I got the four, I would do string art on it to add texture to the wall.
In sixth grade, as a class, we did a nice colorful string art for our parent's Christmas gifts. It was so fun, and I thought if me as a sixth grader can do it, then I can do it now as an adult, right?

My husband doesn't own a scroll saw so I thought I could buy a small hand held one to do this project. After thinking a bit more, I decided I didn't want to find the time to cut it out myself. Deciding I would buy the 4 cut and unpainted, I set out on my search of people who do that sort of thing on etsy and on Instagram. I fell in love with HomeShed on Instagram and loved the shapes that she has previously cut out. I felt that Jessica was more than capable and I contacted her through her etsy shop. Soon the number 4 came in the mail, sanded and ready to paint. There was even a sawtooth wall hanger included and I was super excited to get this project done and hung up. I knew if I put it off then the space on my wall would never get filled.

After painting the number four, I marked the spots for the nails to go and started hammering. This is the worst part by far. It took forever! I had it stationed on my table and would hammer in a few nails here and there while I waited for dinner to cook, or while I helped my child with homework.
My hammer missed the nail more than a few times, marking up my nice paint.

Finally, after a couple days of nailing, I sat down to my shows for the night and started stringing.
The stringing went fairly fast and was brainless. I just went around in all sorts of patterns. I may have gone overboard but I wanted the nails to be filled with string from top to bottom.

Things I learned from doing string art:
Sixth grade was a long time ago!
It is time consuming.
Those who do it and sell their art, don't charge enough.
I won't be doing it every day, and maybe not ever again...
Nailing is loud.
Nailing is not fun and sometimes you miss and make a mark on your painted board.
The finished project is worth it (but I still don't think I will be doing it again any time soon).
If someone gave me pre-nailed shapes I would string all night long (hint hint).
It adds a nice texture to your wall.
You should at least try it once.