Category Archives: Craft Club

Fabric Scrap Bunting and “Chalk Board” Wedding Invitations

IMG_3834You know there’s going to be bunting. And chalk boards too. I set the tone for our wedding from the get-go with our wedding invitations. We skipped “Save the Date” cards and went straight to the invitation. I made each one by hand with more love than you can imagine and I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out.

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I found a solid rectangle stamp, in two different sizes, which I used to create a chalk board on each one. When the ink was dry, I used a thin-tip sharpie to draw a border around each black rectangle to make them look more like slates. The little nails really did it for me. There’s something Shel Silverstein-esque that I just love about them. I used a white gel pen to write our initials on each chalkboard. Yes, I did every one of our invitations by hand this way.

IMG_3733Next, I cut out hundreds of mini, scalloped bunting flags using a rotary cutter and the tons of scrap fabric I hold on to for just this sort of occasion. I glued each flag onto the cards with a dab of Tacky glue. Finally, I sewed a line through the top of the bunting flags using my trusty sewing machine.

IMG_3715Of course, no wedding invitation would be complete without a matching RSVP card. I used the same technique to create the easels on each card. We asked our guests to write a quote on the back so that we can incorporate them into the decor of our wedding (you’ll see where I’m going with this later). It is so much fun to see who’s coming and even more fun to read the special quotes that speak to our friends.

IMG_3837No matter who checks the mail, Eric and I wait for each other to be present to open each card and we savor the moment together. Clearly, we are smitten and are loving every moment of this blissful road!

Naturally-Colored Eggs for Easter

photo (8)You can probably imagine my delight when I discovered that Eric’s step-sister is in the business of creating botanical paints. Through her company, Glob Colors, she sells all kinds of eco-friendly art products that are made with fruit, vegetable and herb pigments.

IMG_3611She was gracious enough to share some samples with me so I could play and since Easter is coming up, I decided to start with the egg coloring kit. This weekend, I dyed eggs, naturally!

IMG_3615The first thing I noticed when I mixed the pigments together with water was how flavorful they smelled! There was something pleasantly savory about them! The Easter egg kit comes with three packets of natural pigments – radish, cabbage and annatto.

Image (1)I’ve always loved how brown eggs look when they’re dyed. The colors are so bold and more jewel-toned than white eggs. Turns out, when they’re dyed with these incredibly rich pigments, they’re even more dramatic and beautiful!

photo (9)The kit comes with suggestions for dying the eggs in multiple pigments in order to achieve different colors, like dying the egg in the yellow annatto color and then in the blue cabbage color to get green. I don’t think it works out quite as well with brown eggs and yet I love the double-dipped brown egg colors all the same. I just think they’re lovely.

Clearly, Sprocket did too. And since the dyes are all-natural, I didn’t stress when he wanted to get a taste. So the verdict? I had as much fun dying eggs as I did when I was a kid. I can only imagine what I’ll feel when I break out the paints!

Love Notes

IMG_3281Just before my flower and garden show presentation last week, as I battled the first-time jitters, my love looked at me and said, “Just remember, who you are speaks so loudly, I can’t hear a word you’re saying.” It’s one of his favorite Emerson quotes – what he says to me when he wants to gently remind me to show up and be seen.* It’s how he reminds me that being myself and speaking my truth is  more important than anything I think I have to say. I find it incredibly nurturing and grounding.

IMG_3279I wrote it on my refrigerator chalkboard, a large piece of foam board I’ve spray painted with chalk board paint. It’s a blank canvas for whatever kind of inspiration is needed at the time. It’s large and eye-catching – where I can see it and be reminded as I come and go.

IMG_3273Of course, no love note would be complete without strings of hearts. I cut out a couple handfuls of paper hearts and strung them together on the sewing machine. A couple of mini-clothes pins holds them in place. It’s a love note for my love and a reminder for me.

*I was introduced to Brene Brown when I stumbled across her TED talk on vulnerability. What she had to say about shame and vulnerability really moved me. I’m in the middle of her book, Daring Greatly, and as I continue to push my comfort zone in pursuit of my dreams, to show up and be seen, I find her message and perspective comforting and inspiring. 

Make a Microwaveable Neck Wrap

I can say with pride that I had a bumper crop of lavender last year. There was enough lavender for me and all of the neighborhood bees this summer. I tried to sell some of it, but still ended up with an abundance. I scored over two quarts of dried buds not including the large bouquets that I dried and strategically placed in different areas of the house in blue mason jar arrangements.

IMG_3314Needless to say, I’m having fun with lavender this winter and you can expect to see a series of posts to come on what I’m doing with all of it. The best part is every time I crack open a jar, the intoxicating smell of sweet lavender gives me a big dose of summer. On these cold winter days, I can use all the reminders I can get.

Got any ideas or favorite ways to use lavender? I’d love to hear them! Leave me a comment and tell me what to do with all of this lavender! I will be grateful!

IMG_3750Microwaveable  Neck Wrap With Lavender

(a.k.a Super Easy, but Awesomely Rewarding Sewing Project)

This project reminds me of my mom. She totally had one of these. For mine though, I used some fun, modern fabric to put my own hip twist on it. This neck wrap consists of two parts: a narrow, rectangular pillow filled with rice and lavender and an exterior sleeve that slips over the pillow like a pillow case, which can then be washed.

Lavender13Step 1: Cut Fabric for Interior Pillow and Exterior Sleeve

For the interior pillow, cut two pieces of fabric, about 19 inches by 4.5 inches.

For the exterior sleeve, cut two pieces of fabric, about 20 inches by 5 inches. I used two different coordinating fabrics for the exterior pillow case.

IMG_3410Step 2: Finish Exterior Sleeve Edges

Take one of the strips of exterior sleeve fabric and finish one of the short sides by using an iron to press the raw edge over and stitching a straight line across to hold it in place. Repeat with the other piece of exterior sleeve fabric.

thumb_IMG_3416_1024Step 3: Add Velcro to the Inside of the Exterior Sleeve

Along the finished edge you just created, on the backside of the fabric, add once piece of Velcro. Repeat with the other piece of velcro on the other piece of fabric. I used iron-on velcro in order for the outside of the sleeve to be mostly seamless. Plus, the brand of velcro I used said it strengthens when washed. Bonus!

thumb_IMG_3417_1024Step 4: Sew Together the Exterior Sleeve

With the right sides pinned together, sew the three sides of the exterior sleeve, leaving the velcro side open and obviously, unstitched. Turn inside out to end up with the finished pillow case.

IMG_3743Step 5: Sew Together the Interior Pillow

With the right sides of the interior pillow fabric pinned together, sew along three sides like you did with the exterior pillow case. Since this part will be hidden inside of the pillow case, I left the fourth edge rough rather than finishing it like I did the exterior pieces.

thumb_IMG_3418_1024Step 6: Fill the Pillow

Fill up the pillow 2/3 of the way full with rice. I held the opening of the pillow around the bottom of a canning funnel, which worked wonders for filling. For every couple of handfuls of rice, I added a spoonful or two of lavender buds. This is personal preference. I love the smell of lavender, so I was pretty liberal with the buds I added. I love how peaceful and calm it makes me feel when I use this at night.

No dried lavender buds? No problem! Add a few drops of whatever essential oil you love into the rice and mix it around before you fill the pillow.

thumb_IMG_3420_1024Step 7: Stitch Close the Top of the Pillow

Once filled, stitch across the top to close. Placing the stitches on the outside of the pillow makes it easier to rip out the seam when you’re ready to replace the filling, which should probably be done every six months or so, depending on how much you use it. That way, you can discard the filling, wash the case, refill and stitch it up again!

IMG_3427Step 8: Heat Up and Relax!

Place the pillow in your microwave for 90 seconds. If you want it hotter, continue heating in 30 second increments, checking often. It never feels very hot when I first take it out of the microwave, but always seems to be perfect when I put it around my neck after 90 seconds. Just try it out and see what works best for you! Slip the pillow in the pillow case, put around your neck and chill while your neck gets some much-needed TLC.