Archive for the ‘holidays’ Category

The Purrfect Valentine

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Penelope found my Paper Source catalog last month and basically flipped out when she saw the front cover featuring these little Kitten and Puppy Valentines. It didn’t look like they had pockets, so I thought it would be fun to DIY our own version.

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Instead of having 6 parts that need to be assembled, I made it into 3 parts (including googly eyes) with a pocket for a special treat.

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This one I made for my sister-in-law who is heading out to Spain soon as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I included some stickers, postage (’cause I want mail from her!) and a temporary tattoo.

I didn’t do any calligraphy for Penelope’s handouts. I wanted Penelope to have artistic control over assembling. She ran with it! She decided to give the kittens winky faces. Then she grabbed spare hearts from the kittens to use for eyes. She had fun. And she owned the project!

I used Illustrator, my Silhouette and My Mind’s Eye paper (paper provided by MME) to complete this project. Side note: MME plain cardstock takes ink remarkably well! WIN!

DIY: Love Letters, 3 Ways

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This week has just zoomed by so fast. We’ve been struck down with Rotavirus and RSV. The ultimate double-whammy for winter illness, if you ask me.

on Wednesday, I was on Studio 5 sharing 3 fun ways to write a love note. See below for tips and the full segment.

Chris and I don’t exchange gifts on Valentine’s Day. It’s usually a simple love letter. We’d like to try and get out, but usually the day is so crazy it doesn’t end up happening. We keep it simple to say the least.

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So how to write a love letter? When it comes to the actual writing, refrain from using “I” first. Is the letter about you? No. Start with “You”. Example:

I think you’re amazing. Really? Does it really matter what I think? 

You are an amazing inspiration to all you know. Ahh, that’s more like it.

I’m no pro at prose, but thinking in that direction has significantly helped me write more interesting letters. On to the crafty fun!

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The School Girl

This is a playful note meant for the young or young-at-heart. Fold up an origami heart using your lined paper and seal it with a kiss or some gloriously kitschy stickers. Glitter glue doesn’t hurt, either. I used the below video for folding the heart:

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The Heart Attack

Perfect snail mail attack of hearts. Rough cut a bunch of hearts and write things you love about that person. Add confetti or glitter for even more fun. But be sure you’re sending glitter to the right kind of person. It’s kind of like the measles of crafting supplies. Out. Of. Control.

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The Romantic Novel

I like to write my man love notes and I like to add a little pizzaz to them! Go for maximum masculine impact with black lined paper and a white pen. Add some silver washi tape for just a little bit of glam. ;)

The Ultimate Calligraphy Gift Guide

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As Christmas is fast approaching (it’s likely too late for this guide, but I don’t care – I want to put this together anyway), I thought I would post the ultimate gift guide for calligraphers, beginners and calligraphy enthusiasts. I’m always scouring the web for interesting things, I may as well share with you my favorite items along with a few that are on my wishlist as well!

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For the beginning calligrapher:

For the intermediate/advanced calligrapher:

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BOOKS!!

Grow your library with these must-haves:

Art!

Everyone loves pretty letters. Grow your art collection from one of these fabulous artists:

Check out my pin board for more calligraphy-related giftable items.

*Affiliate links are used in this post. This doesn’t change the price of the product, it just gives me a small kick back. Each affiliate link is to a product I personally own and absolutely love.

Halloween Recap Part 1: Black Widow Penelope

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Several months ago I found a gigantic black widow spider in the garden. Since then, Penelope’s been obsessed with them. In a I’m-afraid-of-going-to-my-room-alone-because-I-might-get-bit kind of obsessed. When talking to her about Halloween costumes, she asked what was the scariest thing she could be. I returned the answer by asking her. She quickly responded, “A black widow spider!”

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I can’t remember where I put her costume schematics, but she was the one who planned this whole thing out. I just executed. The girl is so creative! I can’t get over it. In a way, I can’t wait for her ideas next year.

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Executing was simple. I bought an over-sized tee, appliquéd with a red hour glass, cut up the sides and inserted the stuffed legs.

If I had been smart, I would have bought a hoodie instead of a tee, so I added a hood to the tee and stuck on some googly eyes. Done.

Felix’s costume was far easier. I bought it from a neighbor. But it turns out that his head was too big to really fit it over his head. We got some cute Halloween photos of him, but not in costume. Next year I may be more on my game. I’m hoping that will be the case anyway.

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In all, the costume took about an hour to complete. It was a win-win. She got exactly what she wanted and I didn’t have to kill myself to do it!

I also love that we now have another gender-neutral costume that can go down the line to Felix and maybe some day Juniper as they get older. I’m a huge advocate of hand-me-downs!

What did you do for Halloween costumes this year?

Sewing Stockings With Leather & Chambray

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This Christmas threw me for a loop. It fell so close to Thanksgiving (apparently it’s the last time in a million something years it will happen that way). I felt rushed.

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I also got sick. The state of Utah has all been passing around some miserable intestinal bug. And I caught it. I was in bed for two days. Leaving Christmas to the last minute. Literally.

I had the fabric laid out and the patterns all cut, but it wasn’t until 1am Christmas morning that I was able to sew these babies up.

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Instead of embroidering the names on the stockings, I just made quick calligraphed tags and tied them on with baker’s twine. It was simple, but created a really fun, simple Christmas feel.

I was channeling a more traditional style after watching The Polar Express. Has anyone else noticed the calligraphy in the note from Santa at the end? Maybe that’s just a me thing to do? I decided that Santa likes traditional Copperplate stylings.

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I drafted the stocking pattern by hand. I wanted to get as many stockings out of the 3/4 yard of chambray I got from Michael Levine as possible. I used this mocha chambray, courtesy of Michael Levine.

So this was the size I settled on. It’s something like 7 inches by 20 inches. Plenty big for candy bars and art supplies (my ideal stocking stuffers).

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The top of the stocking is made out of an interlock knit, kind of a-typical, but softer and fluffier than cotton but not felt. I didn’t want to do fleece or felt. I feel like sometimes felt doesn’t age well (unless you get the nice stuff, and I didn’t have any around at 1am). If I were to do it again, I might go for a minky or faux fur. But the interlock is soft and simple.

The interior is a simple white cotton poplin.

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I also used a bright red leather for the tabs at the top. It’s a fun little detail that screams “Melissa made this”. Maybe next year I’ll have a mantle to hang these stockings from! We already have the fireplace, I just want some kind of shelf or mantle above!

I hope your Christmas was fun and family-filled! Also, anyone else leave Holiday decor or gifts to the last minute like me? I’d love some solidarity here.

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