Archive for the ‘sponsored’ Category

Sponsored Style: Sweater Tunic with Indiesew

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This post is sponsored by Indiesew. Get bundles of PDF patterns from your favorite independent apparel pattern makers at a discount!

Find patterns, browse projects made by community members and beef up your sewing skills all in one spot!

I’m thrilled to be partnering with Indiesew to help debut their spring collection! It’s been fun to find out about new-to-me designers through their collection bundles.

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The Marianne dress from Christine Haynes really caught my eye. I love the possibilities for pattern play in View B and the sweet collar in View A is screaming to be made out of some sweet floral (which I need to find).

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Mother Nature has a funny  sense of humor this year. We have absolutely NO SNOW in our mountain (we should have 4-5′ of snow drifts this time of year). I’ve even seen a couple of tulip sprigs pup up between the mounds of dirt in our front yard. We need snow! I need more winter!

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It’s still fairly chilly, so between that and my desperation for more snow I sewed up a sweater tunic variation of the Marianne. Printing and taping the PDF took longer than cutting and sewing the pattern. The instructions are very straight forward and the fit is true to size. Even with hemming and finishing edges (I like lots of topstitching), this still took me about an hour to make.

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Here’s what I did differently from the pattern:

  • I cut the sleeves 19″ from the shoulder seam notch, tapering them in gradually just like the pattern
  • I cut the front and back bodice short to make it a top. Front piece is 16 inches and back is 17.5 inches (not including seam allowances)
  • Since I was planning on the side slits, I didn’t cut as dramatic an a-line for the bodice
  • I sewed the side seams to just about 9 inches below the armpit seam and made slits on both sides

I’m thrilled with the final piece. I didn’t do any tailoring or fitting afterward. Mega win. The only thing that I could have changed was that I accidentally cut the bottom knit perpendicular to the grain. So it stretches vertically instead of horizontally. There’s still some horizontal stretch, so it works. But if you look at it closely, you’ll see the knit is horizontal when it should be vertical. OOPS! That’s what I get for rushing. :)

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I’ve been kind of in a little bit of a dark grunge zone lately. The black nail polish, monochromatic clothing and acid wash jeans are all things I’m totally crushing on lately. Now all I need is the right leather jacket and I’m set! I found one this weekend that’s close, but the fit wasn’t quite there. Any suggestions on places to hit up for a leather jacket?

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Outfit details:

Save an extra 10% for the first 25 people that purchase the spring bundle! Use code: SPRING15

This post is sponsored, but all writing/thoughts/opinions are my own.

Sponsored: Learning How to Contain Calligraphy

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This post is brought to you by The Container Store. It’s like meth. Or what I would assume meth would be like because I can’t seem to get enough. Now that we have a store nearby I seem to find myself there a few times a month picking up new shelving, boxes, organizers, gift cards, etc. Also, did I mention this is a calligrapher’s paradise?! There’s a container for everything. Basically.

Right now, The Container store is offering a 30% discount on all Elfa® shelving until February 11th.

We love to take advantage of this sale, and now that we don’t have to pay for shipping it’s hands-down my favorite sale of the year! Since we moved in over 2 1/2 years ago, we’ve been slowly working on transitioning all of our closets over to the Elfa® system. If you’re not familiar with it, you screw a top track into the wall near the ceiling, insert the hang standards and click everything in from there. You don’t have to mess up your walls in order to have amazing storage and you can change it up as your heart desires. No need to go into construction mode after hanging the top track. If you’re not sure where to start? Get in touch with a designer to help you plan your space!

If you’ve been in my house, it’s likely I’ve shown you my closet with my eyes glossed over with hearts. I’m that much in love with all things Elfa®.

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AAAAnyway. . . My studio has been a complete disaster. If you follow me on instagram, I gave you a sneak peek at how awful it’s been lately. I can’t be productive when my space is that disastrous.

When we first moved in, I spent a weekend transforming the yellow room into a blank white canvas. It was alright, but the furniture I used to store all of my supplies was bulky and I didn’t have nearly the desk space I needed, either. Oh, and I hated that wobbly old desk. Chris bought it in his bachelor days, so it had seen a fair amount of use. And it had been moved about 9 times.

Two Christmases ago, Chris bought me a new desk, with slightly smaller real-estate, but a much more stable surface. He got it on super-duper-uper sale at Copenhagen Furniture while visiting Phoenix. Mega win, but I was collecting more and more calligraphy supplies so the desk was feeling cramped and less than effective.

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Turns out Chris and I were both experiencing the same crowded ineffective space. So we upgraded in a major way with help from The container store!

The minimalist in me would have bought white opaque boxes to store everything, but I’ve learned that I need to see all of my supplies so I’ll be able to quickly find them and put them away. I went for a white and acrylic scheme here and it works amazingly.

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The utility board keeps the scissors at hand, but off the precious desktop. The acrylic drawers keep my glitter glue on hand and I can see the lovely rainbow collection from my chair. Without much effort I can grab for my favorite brush markers and switch up colors and keep tidy as I work.

The boxes on the pegboard hold extra tape, glitter, gum (an essential resource for late-night calligraphy work) and iphoneography equipment.

I have the pliers easily accessible so I can change out nibs quickly. My favorite inks are safe in their own shelf above so I won’t tip them over. And Felix won’t get tempted by them when he sits at my desk with me.

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I originally had a pegboard behind my computer screen (which is wall-mounted now, thus saving even more desktop space!), but it was wobbly and cluttered. I switched that out for a metal magnet strip. It was advertised to be mounted horizontally, but it fits perfectly in the space between my shelves and the door.

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Did you know that toothbrush holders make for amazing pen holders? Which reminds me, I could probably get rid of a few of those old plastic pens.

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Now the only things that stay on my desk top are my bare essentials (water jar, keyboard, mouse, graphics pen). My goal in 2015 is to maintain this level of cleanliness!

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Let’s keep it real: with all this vertical storage, I’ve opened up 8 square feet of space in my office (that’s a lot considering my room is 10×10). Which has opened the floor up to more ink stains. :( The one pictured below my desk happened last night. Still left on my things to do in this room:

  • Switch up the art
  • Tame those cables (aka: another trip to the container store)
  • Get new flooring

*This post is sponsored but all opinions and thoughts are my own. I love the container store this much!

Sponsored: Symbols of Christmas Printable Book

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Disclaimer: I don’t pretend to think that all of you are Christians or even like religion. If you are a Christian, you might really enjoy this post and sharing this printable with friends and family. And I sincerely hope you do! If not, please don’t take offense. This is simply a project that I feel in my heart I’ve needed to make and share here in case others may find it impactful for their holiday celebrations.

If celebrating Christ’s birth at this time of year is not your thing, I would love to hear more about your personal beliefs and traditions for this time of year in the comments below*.

This month has been insane. So many things to do and so little time. I’ve actually had this project completed for weeks, but I haven’t had a chance to photograph and write about it until now. I figure Sunday is the perfect time to publish, since this takes a more spiritual tone.

Unfortunately I haven’t had the chance to do my annual candy box. This project ended up taking its place. I have so many ideas for the candy box, though. I may have to publish a New Year’s or Valentine’s candy box. :)

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At church I’m in charge of the activities for our women’s group. We meet at least quarterly for spiritual, service-oriented, social or creative activities. When we were planning I knew I wanted to make a little keepsake/quiet book for adults and children alike to be reminded of the true purpose in Christmas: Christ’s birth. I’m glad I worked on this project. It’s been a busy time of year with a lot of work (a fabulous problem to have, for that I’m humbly grateful!), so carving out time to research symbols of Christmas and coordinating scripture was a great way to get in the spirit.

This printable by no means includes all of the symbols of Christmas (I realized I left out the wreath – oops), the 7 included simply serve as a prompt for discussion and pondering on the other things around us that remind us of Christ and God.

I wanted it to be something that could be enjoyed by kids and adults alike, so I made little calligraphed illustrations that could be colored and kept the design simple to appeal to adults. It’s all small enough that it can easily fit in a purse to be toted around all season long (even though it’s almost at it’s end).

I printed off a few and plan to give them to my grandparents and parents this year. The ones we made for our women’s group activity were a huge hit. We prepped 30 kits and even though we didn’t have 30 in attendance, all were spoken for! It was a thrill to see women take extras to share with others.

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The book includes symbols on: The evergreen tree, the star of Bethlehem, the candle, the poinsettia, the candy cane, the stocking and holly berries. At the end there are a couple of pages for thoughts so you could use it as a holiday journal or as a way to write your personal thoughts on the season to give to someone else. Or write in some of your favorite holiday traditions/memories.

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Each symbol has a brief explanation and a scripture. Each scripture is taken from the King James version of the Bible. Mostly from the New Testament.

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To assemble, you will need:

  • printed sheets
  • hole punch
  • needle
  • thick thread
  • bone folder
  • 6×9 inch piece of leather or felt**

Download the printable (link at bottom of the post) and print. Print double-sided and DO NOT fit to page (print at 100%). 

Cut the paper in half width-wise so that you have 8.5 x 5.5 sheets. Rearrange your papers so they are in order. I like to go by the odd numbers on the bottom right hand side. Use the blank half sheet on the outside of the title page.

Punch holes in the guides on pages 10-11. Center your pages over the leather, mark the holes on the leather and punch.

Thread your needle and sew the book: Start on the outside front cover in the middle hole. Go to the inside of the book and leave a 4 inch tail. Go through the bottom hole, then thread through the top hole and then back through to the middle hole. Your tails will be coming out of the middle of the book. Tie a knot around the string running up the spine and finish with a bow. Fold in half and crease with a bone folder.

Now you’re finished! If you batch these, you can make 10-20 books in about half an hour. They’re great for gift giving! Enjoy!

 

This post is sponsored by Mormon.org | check out their video “He Is the Gift“. It so beautifully conveys the nativity with song. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

*This blog is a positive, creative space. Comments that attack any religious faction will not be tolerated or published. 

**Leather provided by Leather Hide Store.

Sponsored: Penelopes Studio Revisited

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This post is sponsored by Sprout furniture for kids. This flat-pack, eco-friendly furniture is easy to assemble and transport.

The friction fit makes for a sturdy piece that will last for hours and hours of imagination and creativity. Connect with Sprout on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.

For Penelope’s birthday in 2013, we converted a utility closet into a studio just for her. Her own little space. Needless to say that it’s been a huge hit. Neighbor friends of all ages (and genders!) have flocked to this space to make many a creative masterpiece. It’s heavenly to hear the quiet whispers of creative plans among friends. However, the space hasn’t been perfect. We’ve found a few issues with the space that we’ve had to remedy.

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  1. The narrow space was really only inviting for 1 person. Maybe a friend, but not more than one.
  2. The closed off, one directional seating made Penelope feel separated from everything so she would often spend time crafting on the floor in the hallway. Tiny shreds of paper in the carpet drives me nuts.
  3. While the little pink boxes were cute, Penelope rarely put things in their own boxes to keep them organized.
  4. The pink boxes would roam the house (as would the loose supplies).
  5. Her completed artwork would typically pile up until I would recycle it or put it in a storage box. Rarely on display.

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Thanks to Sprout Kids, we replaced the two tables and chairs with one table and three stools. We got rid of the filing cabinet so it opened up room on the sides for friends to come sit. The sturdy stools make it easier for older kids (and adults) to join in the fun, too.

Tangent: Assembly was a breeze. Even Felix and Penelope helped. I had to bust out our trusty rubber mallet to get the pieces to squeeze together, but they’re fabulously sturdy. Especially the stools. I want grown-up sized stools like this for having company over!

I was nervous about the exposed MDF with Penelope’s watercolors, but so far it hasn’t been an issue. I plan to seal the exposed edges with beeswax, but I haven’t had the time yet. 

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Now that the filing cabinet is gone (it’s now in Chris’s office closet), Penelope can sit with her back facing the wall so she feels less secluded and more involved in family happenings.

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Those tip-prone pink boxes had to go. I cleared out her unused supplies as well and fit all her good supplies in a little plastic caddy she can take with her anywhere. All of her supplies go and everything has a place. Since the compartments are clear, it’s easier for her to keep track of where things are supposed to go.

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No more stray supplies. They stay contained!

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I found some cork drawer liner with an adhesive backing. I plastered that onto the wall so now Penelope instantly has a place to display her gorgeous drawings and sculptures. She’s really gotten into sculptures lately. And the tooth fairy (that’s a whole different blog post, though).

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The updates are very subtle, but have made such a huge difference to keep the hallway clear of debris. It’s so great to walk to my room without stepping on scissors and shards of paper!

It’s been a thrill to see Penelope’s artistic side flourish, particularly in these last few months. She has such a wild imagination, I hope she keeps going in this awesome direction!

This post is sponsored by Sprout Kids, but all opinions and thoughts are my own. 

 

 

Sponsored: 6+ Ways to Address an Envelope

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This post is sponsored by Tiny Prints. They provide excellent quality printing and amazing printing options to make your holiday cards stand out this year.

I’ve got 6+ easy ways to embellish your envelopes this year. Don’t get stuck with boring print labels or chicken scratch! Make your snail mail pop with a few tips that require little to no technique. :)

If you want to get some technique under your belt, check out 5 Easy Steps for Improving Your Handwriting, or take my calligraphy class!

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Getting fun snail mail is possibly one of my favorite aspects of this time of year. I love getting something other than business offers and bills! Colored envelopes will certainly help make those invites pop.

I went through Tiny Prints for my Christmas cards this year and got one of their laser-cut designs (See all of their offerings here). It’s unique, well designed and I didn’t have to spend a million hours getting it squared away. Major win! I’m dedicated to having enough time to enjoy the holidays this year. No chicken with her head cut off over here, please!

I’m incredibly partial to Kraft envelopes (greengrocer kraft is fabulous). They work well with both light and dark pens and they stand out in a pile of mail. The envelopes featured in this tutorial are from Tiny Prints. I’ve been incredibly impressed how well they handle ink and how easily I can write on them with my super sharp calligraphy nibs.

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Next up, gather all random scrapbook supplies you own. Heck, head over to Walmart and browse their crafty section. You’ll find some great stuff for next to nothing.

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To do the techniques seen above, you’ll want to collect a few things:

You’ll want a few different patterns of washi tape, and perhaps a few different widths, too. When in doubt, collect all the black, white, gold and silver washi tape you can get your hands on. It goes with practically everything and every season.

You can use any kind of pen for these techniques. I used dip pen and ink for many of these samples, but just use any kind of pen you have. Ballpoint pens, however? NO. Throw all of those out of your house right now. They’re terrible. Shame on you for having them around. :)

Learn how to use a pointed pen with my online calligraphy class: IStillLoveCalligraphy.com. I’m happy to teach you! Side note: our kit makes for the perfect gift. 

So let’s get going, shall we?

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When doing your addresses on a straight line, use the chalk pencil and the clear ruler to mark out those lines. Otherwise:

DECORATIVE GUIDELINES

Use washi tape as a decorative way to keep your lines straight.

Tape a vertical and horizontal strip and write in the bottom right section OR use it to slant your baseline. Layer multiple strips of tape for more depth.

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RANSOME NOTE

Use alphabet stickers to draw attention to different letters.

For a cursive style, use block letter stickers for the first letter of each name. For block style writing, replace a random letter with a sticker.

I found these stickers at Walmart for about $1-2 each. I’m sure you can find them at just about any craft supply store as well.

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AROUND AND AROUND

Use circular sticker labels (I used Avery 2 1/2″ labels) to structure your envelope’s layout.

Print or letter just the address within the label (this is great if you want a hand-lettered touch, but you have LOADS of addresses to do) and write the name outside the sticker.

In the top version, I used the border of the label as a baseline and wrote the name around the diameter. It looked a little empty so I drew a little holly berry illustration on there. You could draw something there, or keep it simple and stick the circle in the center of the envelope.

Wrap the label around the back and write the name on a large scale all the way across the envelope.

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GLITTER GLUE DETAILS

Glitter glue is my best friend. It’s all the sparkle of glitter without the mess of loose glitter everywhere (I swear that stuff multiplies). My favorite brand is Stickles. Sparkliest of them all.

Pipe out a wavy line in glitter glue. Use that line as your guide for the baseline of the recipient’s name.

Or Letter out your address and use glitter glue to add accents on hairlines and at the terminals of each line.

 

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LARGE-SCALE NAME

Grab a marker and go to town! Write out the first name as large as the envelope will allow. Cursive styles work best. I used a Tombow dual brush marker here. You can use a casual, grungy style nicely. Then letter the rest of the address in a normal style, save for the ZIP. Make the ZIP huge.

ADD SOME BLING

Letter the address as you would prefer then stick some rhinestones on it. Yup. Simple. But it’s so fun go get in the mail! I like to use PVA glue to fasten them on. It’s a strong glue that dries clear.

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I hope you have some fun sending out mail this year!

*This DIY is free for personal use and should not be distributed/republished without my consent. Altering any files is NOT ALLOWED. If you would like to use this freebie for commercial purposes, please email me. Thanks!
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