Giveaway Winner!

Thank you to all who visited my blog last week for the giveaway! I truly enjoyed reading all of your comments briefly telling me how you’re caring for the Earth. My free time this morning is quickly slipping away, since the Littles are awake, so I’ll get right to it!

The winner is:
Commenter #10 – KATIE!
“I bike to work and try to walk or bike when I can. I also try to use reuseable bags, but after hearing this information, I’m even more motivated to do so! Thanks for the great giveaway!”
Katie, please send me an email with your shipping address so I can have ship your prize package to you right away!
Ok, I’ve really got to get going now. But I’ll try to squeeze in a longer post either this afternoon or tonight.
Have a great day, everyone!

Earth Day Giveaway

Hello Readers!

I’m happy to say that I’m back from my very long blog hiatus.  You all know how it is with life changes taking place, right?  Nothing major has happened, the girls are just getting bigger and demanding more attention and time. I’ve been trying to manage my time more wisely and I’m still learning how to juggle everything.

I’m pretty excited that my return to blogging is actually a giveaway post!  I actually celebrated my 32nd birthday yesterday, but one of my lucky readers will be getting some great gifts.

One of my favorite people, Natalie Slater of Bake & Destroy fame, is also PR extraordinaire for is an online company passionate about helping customers live a life reducing, reusing, and saving.  Natalie told me that is happy to offer a few prizes to Early Bird Special readers to celebrate Earth Day!

I got to do the fun part of shopping for the giveaway goodies, and I picked out a collection of eco-friendly bags with the stitcher/crafter in mind. 

  1. Reuseit Produce & Snack Bags made of Organic Cotton Muslin.  Forget the single use plastic bags for your produce, and put your greens in these!  These bags would be great for snacks, gift bags, or craft supplies! I would love to put current projects, floss, or hoops in these bags. For this prize I’ve selected: 1 Extra Large + 2 Large + 2 Small Bags = 5 Produce & Snack Bags.
  2.  Reuseit Workhorse in Hemp.  This is the natural fiber version of one of Reuseit’s best-selling bags. It can hold up to 25lbs, and it can be folded up and stored in a compact pouch attached inside the bag.   I’m not sure how well the folding up and compact storage would go if you plan to embroider or cross-stitch on these bags.  You don’t want to hide your stitches away, now do you?  For this prize I’ve selected:  1 Blue + 1 Natural + 1 Acorn + 1 Green = 4 Hemp Workhorse Bags.
  3. Reuseit Hemp & Organic Cotton Napkins, Set of 4. Ahh yes, the classic cloth napkin. You can’t go wrong here. Reuseit says this set is a blend of organic cotton and hemp, so they’re soft and durable.  Sounds perfect.  For this prize I’ve selected: 1 Set of 4 Napkins in Natural.
  4. Reuseit Dual Handled Tote in Hemp.  I love embroidering on totes, don’t you?  However, my fingers don’t always love the stiffness of canvas.  Since this tote is made of a hemp and organic cotton blend, it’s lightweight but strong.  Did you know that hemp fabric is 4x stronger than cotton fabric of the same weight? Also, the more you use your hemp products, the softer they get.  Learn more about nature’s super fiber, hemp.  Oh, and this tote gets extra points for sporting short and long handles. Score.       For this prize I’ve selected:  2 Dual Handled Hemp Totes in Natural.

After writing about the prizes, I’m this close to buying all of this stuff for myself. I think it’s that cool! I hope you like it too.

So what do you have to do?  It’s pretty easy really. I encourage you to read these fast facts about the plastic bag pandemic.  Then in the comments, tell me the fact that hit you the hardest.  For me it was hard to narrow it down to just one, but this one, “Every square mile of ocean has about 46,000 pieces of plastic floating in it.” really packed a punch for me.  Now I want to cry while embroidering a sampler of dolphins crying. Damn you, plastic bags.

Ok, so maybe you’re not having a stellar day, and you don’t want to be bummed out by plastic bag horror stories.  Then leave a comment telling me what you’re doing in your life to lessen your impact on the Earth. Are you a gardener? A second-hand clothing extraordinaire? Home Thrift Home?  Got a tried and true natural cleaning method? Tell me all about it in the comments!  Winner will be chosen at random on Earth Day – Friday April 22, 2011.

Good Luck!

UPDATE:  I’ll be leaving the comments open to allow for more entries until 11:59pm CST tonight! I’ll email the winner, then post all about it this weekend. Again, good luck! 

Handmade Owl Costume

With just a few days left before Halloween, I thought I should get this posted before it’s too late! Pretty much right after Darcy’s birthday projects, I jumped in to Halloween and costume mode. For a few weeks she said she wanted to be a unicorn, then last week she changed gears and said she wanted to be a, “WOO! WOO! AN OWL!”
Honestly, crafting an owl costume sounded a lot more fun and exciting than a unicorn. Nothing against unicorn costumes, it just seemed like it was going to be another embellished hoodie costume.
I didn’t wast anytime and jumped right on the owl costume production. Originally, I had one idea in mind, then the ideas just kept coming, and I just. couldn’t. stop. But I did it! I finished Darcy’s owl costume.
What you’re about to see is actually a mish-mash of 3 different ideas I found online.

What do you think? Is it too much? Over the top? Or is it super great, OMG?

Unfortunately, my little model came down with a sickness last night, and is in no mood to try on her costume. She’s way too busy today with sneezing, coughing, fever and napping. I sure hope she gets well by Saturday evening. We were hoping to take her to Haunt the Zoo at the OKC Zoo tonight. But maybe tomorrow or Sunday will be better for that.

So there are 3 elements to the costume: shirt, wings & mask.

The shirt idea came from a very cute last minute costume idea by Ellen Baker of The Long Thread. She posted this last year on Alpha Mom, and I fell in love with it then. I tried to get Darcy to be an owl last year, but she wasn’t having it.

Ellen’s owl costume tutorial also includes a mask. But since I’m an overachiever and I’m always looking for an excuse to embroider, I decided to make my mask out of felt. I tweaked her original design just a bit, added some inspirational ideas from Lori Marie, and came up with my own design.

I made the mask last night, and I’m still crushing on it. I still need to put a final top stitch on the inner right eye (for any of you attention to detail types), but that shouldn’t take too long. I kind of want to make a larger size for me!

The wings. Oh, the wings. The wings came from an adorable owl costume idea from the Martha Stewart team.

See? Adorable, right? But the instructions are supposed to be suited for a baby. Reading some of the comments on the website, a lot of the people were saying the suggested template enlargement of 375% was way too huge for a baby. So I just decided to “wing” it (har!) and print wings #2 – #4 on to a regular sized sheet of paper. For the base wing, wing #1, I cut it in half and printed each half on to a piece of paper. Using those measurements, the wings are just the right size for Darcy.

The issue I ran in to was a color issue. When I purchased the felt, I bought light pink for the largest wing. But with only 4 wing layers, I just couldn’t get it to look right. I decided it was the light pink that was throwing it off. But I’m stubborn, and didn’t want to purchase more felt in a darker color, so I just added another wing in the chocolate brown. There. Problem solved.

The wings have strips of velcro underneath the shoulder, and they attach to the top of the shirt. I also added some elastic arm bands under the wings to help hold them in place, but I might end up adding more velcro. I think the elastic might end up being too tight or bothering Darcy after too long.

If you decide to use any of these ideas for an owl costume for your kiddo, hopefully my information will be helpful to you.

What are your kiddos dressing up as this year? Are YOU dressing up?

Hugs & Stitches,

Hand Embroidered Pillows

Just checking in with a couple of photos of a new project I started last week. I’m so in love with it, I just have to share it with you!

Isn’t she sweet? I have 3 more all stitched up and I’m hoping to get them sewn and stuffed tonight. Hopefully I’ll be able to put these in one of the local shops, along with some more new plush I’ve been working on. (This project was made with the Cute Little Heads pattern by Sublime Stitching.)

I have more to share with you, but I’m really short on time right now. I just wanted to pop in and say hi and tell you I miss you! *sniff*

Busy just never stops around here. 😉

Hugs & Stitches,

Handmade Father’s Day

Darcy has been on a drawing kick lately, and we’re really enjoying it. It’s so awesome watching her drawings evolve, and the different shapes and faces she comes up with for her people and animals. One of my favorite drawings she’s created was a picture of John. I knew right away I wanted to embroider it and make it a snuggly for one of John’s Father’s Day gifts.
Ok, so a quick and funny story about the picture she drew of John. Darcy likes to pretend she is a pony named, “Honey Pie” & John is the bad guy named, “Licorice.” Licorice hates lots of things and just about everything makes him angry. Especially ponies. So Licorice would capture Honey Pie and lock her up in an invisible cage and Honey Pie would kick the cage door open and gallop her way to freedom!

They would play this game for an hour at least every night when John got home from work. So much fun to watch. 🙂

The picture she drew is John as Licorice, and it’s the best thing ever.

All snuggled up:

John really loved this gift and I’m pretty sure he got a little misty eyed. I love it when that happens. You make something for someone and they’re so overjoyed they get a wee tear in their eye. Best. Feeling. Ever.

Hugs & Stitches,

Tote Bag Up for Charity Auction

Hey guys! I feel like I’ve been living in a time warp this summer. I’ve been SO busy around here with family life, and having lazy summer days, blogging’s taken a backseat to the daily routine. My 12 year old stepdaughter is visiting us for the summer, and it’s been so much fun having an older kid around to help and have new conversations with. Plus my husband was on vacation last week, so we all enjoyed not being tied to a clock for a week. But he’s back on the daily grind, and so are we. So I thought I’d try to take back the early morning hours for blogging, before I surrender myself to the kiddos.

My favorite food blogger and baker Natalie, of Bake and Destroy is on a new mission. She is determined to help those with cancer by any means necessary – through online auctions, bake sales, you name it. If you don’t already read Natalie’s blog, you’re really missing out. She posts the most mouth watering cupcake recipes, she’s hilarious, literally cute as a button, and she loves helping people who need it the most. This is really only a very small summary of Nat’s amazing talents and accomplishments.

Natalie started an online auction appropriately called, “Bake and Destroy Cancer.” When I heard about this, I wanted to help too, so I offered one of my embroidered items, and she happily accepted. So up for grabs in the Bake and Destroy Cancer auction is the Floral Fantasy tote bag I embroidered a while back!

I would L-O-V-E it if you would take the time to place a bid and help us donate money to Grind for Life. It’s a win-win situation, really. You get a gorgeous new tote bag AND you’re hard earned money is going to a great cause. 100% of the final sale price will support Grind for Life.

If you’re on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, or you want to post about this auction on your blog, that would be great. Be sure to bookmark Natalie’s eBay account, as she will be listing more items periodically.

Spread the word and fight the fight!

Hand Embroidered Doll

Keeping with my last post of embroidered snugglies, here’s another one I made over the weekend.

For this doll, I used the Black Apple designs for Sublime Stitching. The artist series are not part of the licensing program, so I guess I’ll just have to keep this cutie for myself, or give it away to someone special. 😉

Guess what? Mr. Fox was purchased this morning, so he’ll be headed to his new home tomorrow! The hedgehog is still available, though. 😉