Guest Post @ The Grant Life {or cuddly blanket!}

I finally finished Emma's baby blanket. I am over the moon with this wonderfully cuddly gem! Come check out the tutorial at The Grant Life.


The Creative Exchange {or get ready for some fun}

Last summer, Kelley, Brooke, and I co-hosted a handmade gift exchange. I had a blast seeing the new friendships that were made and the awesome goodies that were created.

Did you love the last Creative Exchange? Are you just itching to get in on a handmade gift exchange? Well stay tuned for more info and sign ups! March 1st is the magic day to find out all the info you could ever want!


Consignment Prep for JBF {or a giveaway to jbf fort worth!}

*Giveaway Closed*

Last fall I shared with you the amazing deals I scored at Just Between Friends Fort Worth sale. With the spring sale fast approaching, I wanted to share with you how I prep to sell....and a pretty sweet giveaway!

What's JBF you ask? JBF is a twice yearly consignment sale ran in communities throughout the country. Fort Worth's sale is the largest of its kind in Texas. You can sell your kiddo's old clothes, toys, and equipment and buy just about everything you could need for a kiddo! Only items in excellent condition are accepted so you can shop knowing you're going to get a good deal.

To me, prepping to consign is a bit of a daunting task. It can take some time but you get a big reward! You get 60% of what you sell {70% if you volunteer} so it's worth taking the time to make it look great.

Clothing items, shoes, and some equipment {like car seats} are inspected before they hit the floor. You should only be selling clothes that are in excellent condition, free of stains and holes. Equipment and toys must be in working order, have all parts, and have working batteries.

The JBF site has a huge section on how to get your items ready to sell. Sometimes I find their site a bit hard to navigate. However, their Facebook page also often posts great tips. Plus, you can post a question and get a rather quick response from one of the co-owners of the Fort Worth sale.

My biggest tip for getting toys and equipment ready is to stock up on Target brand magic erasers. The Up&Up erasers are cheaper and I think work far better than the Mr. Clean. These little miracle pads will take off all kinds of dirt, junk, and scuffs with very little effort. The better your items look, the more likely they are to sell.

All clothes must be hung. JBF recommends using wire hangers because they won't break. I got my hangers from Adorable Boutique in Fort Worth. The JBF ladies will occasionally sell hangers and tagging guns. Facebook will update you with when and where.

When hanging items, make sure the hanger forms a question mark. They are really picky about this. You also have to put your tags all on the left hand side of the item {right hand side when you're looking at it}. If you're using a tagging gun, the barb has to go through a tag or serger-seam as to not damage the item. Also, use safety pins to secure the clothes to the hanger. That will reduce the likelihood of something getting lost.

Speaking of tagging, the system is very easy. You use My JBF Tags to enter all items you want to sell. Tags should be detailed. That way, your tag and item have a chance of being reunited if something goes amiss.

Before drop off, I make sure to sort all of my clothing items by size. At drop off, you put all the items on the sales floor yourself {except shoes}. Since I have to take my daughter with me {which I totally don't recommend!}, I want to make this process as quick and streamlined as possible.

It may sound like a lot of work, but I swear it's worth it. In past years, I've sold unneeded or unused clothes and equipment and always made enough to cover what I needed to buy at the sale. Plus, if you sell items you get into the sale earlier than the general public!

Now, for the exciting new! JBF Fort Worth is offering one of my readers a $15 gift certificate to use at the Fort Worth sale. Since each JBF is independently owned, the gift care will only be good at the Fort Worth sale. You can check out the full sale calendar here. Use the Rafflecopter to enter!

Good luck! $15 goes a long way at this sale!


A Bit of My Heart {or the best of two worlds}

I mostly use this blog as a way to connect with the larger blogging/crafting community. It has given me a sense of belonging and purpose as I struggled with the transition between working and being a new, stay at home mom.

Other than the occasional deep thought, this blog has been light on the topics and filled with my crafty endeavors. I think its because I haven't wanted to stick my neck out too far, be too much of a downer or outside of the crafty niche that you guys come here for {which still blows me away and makes my heart full with thankfulness}.

I've been struggling with finding the time to create as I complete my Master's in Social Work field placement. I'm spending twenty hours a week on two very special school campuses. While I miss my sewing machine, I am also loving being back in the trenches working to improve the lives of vulnerable kiddos.

One such kiddo I've had the pleasure to meet was a victim of human trafficking. He was welcomed into the home {and this country} under false pretenses. Long story short, this kiddo ended up homeless in a foreign country.  His story has a happy ending. He is still in school and living in a great place for him. However, I never imagined I would end up apart of a story like this.


I was wrestling with this desire to express more of myself on my blog as I sat down to catch up on some blog reading. Jessica over at Me Sew Crazy posted about a partnership between a few bloggers {spearheaded by Andrea at The Train to Crazy} and the She's Worth it Campaign. The desire is to provide women who have been victims of human trafficking with handmade zippered pouches or bracelets to make a statement...that they are thought of and loved.

There's some pretty terrible statistics out there about human trafficking both here in our backyards and aboard. Rather than bring those out here, I hope that you will learn more on your own. Organizations that I know are wonderful resources are:
UNGIFT- United Nations Global to Fight Human Trafficking
CAST- Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking

What spoke to me about this partnership is that they are bringing together my heart for spreading kindness with my enjoyment of crafting. I figured I might not be the only one who is looking for these small opportunities  So, I knew I had to share.

If you want to participate me, check out The Train to Crazy. Andrea will fill you in with a lot more details. I'd hope you'll join me!


Ruffled Heart Shirt {a Valentine's Day craft}

I shared this 30 minute Valentine's Day shirt that can be worn all year long over at The Grant Life last week. I wanted to make sure you all got the chance to check it out. I have put Emma in this top twice a week since I made it. I'm just in love!

Want to make your own? You'll need:
A plain t-shirt
1/8 yard of fabric {for toddlers...you'll need more for a bigger kiddo}
Rotary cutter/mat
Disappearing ink pen
Iron/ironing board
Heart template

This project requires some ironing. Ick. But you don't have to pin, so be sure to take the time to iron.

Start out by ironing the shirt to and fabric to have good materials to work with.

For a toddler, cut your fabric into two strips measuring 2 inches by 22ish inches {half of whatever your length of fabric happens to be}. You'll need to do three strips for a bigger kiddo.

Fold a strip in half, right sides together, hot dog style. Sew up the long side using your presser foot as  your seam allowance.

Turn your tube and press well, hiding the seam. Repeat for the second tube.

Now, its time to ruffle. There's all sorts of ruffling methods out there. If you have a favorite, use that. If not, use mine!

Set your stitch length to the longest you can and your tension to the tightest {for me this is a 0}. This will help your fabric ruffle up all on its own. While you sew, hold the thread right next to the spool with a bit of pressure. This will make the fabric ruffle like crazy without having to pull infuriating strings!

So, for this project, you'll want to sew a ruffling stitch right down the middle of both your fabric strips. Make sure you tuck in all of the ends so you don't end up with a fraying mess after the wash.

If you're the free handing type, draw a heart onto your shirt using your disappearing ink pen. If you're like me and that idea scares you, make a template and trace it.

Starting at the bottom of the heart, sew the ruffle to the shirt. Back stitch to start. Follow the pen marking. Go slow and turn often. Leave your needle down and lift your presser foot adjusting as needed.

At the top of the heart, back stitch. Then, add the second ruffle. Be sure that you overlap the two ruffles so there's no gap. When you get to the bottom of the heart, overlap and back stitch.

Ta-da! You're set.

Want to make a matching hair clip? Come on over to Covered in Mod Podge and I'll show you how!

Have a blast dressing up your little ones for Valentine's Day. I just melt over toddlers all dressed up in pink and ruffles!


Valentine's Day Mantel {or at least I decorated for this holiday}

So Christmas came and went without dragging out the Christmas decorations. Other than Emma's little Felt Christmas Tree, we were void of the festiveness. Well I'm making up for lost time with this Valentine's Day Mantel!

My favorite part of this mantel? It was no buy! Gotta love free!

The heart canvas was made from a random piece of scrapbook paper I had and a canvas I found in my garage. I'm I the only one who buys craft supplies and then they disappear for weeks or years on end?It's the simplest piece I've made! Just three different sized hearts and a quick stitch down the middle and you're set!

I designed the "be mine" print at work one day {don't tell!). The frame normally lives in Emma's nursery.

This little owl was a $3 score from Home Goods. He lives on my mantel year round.

Technically the plate was bought for this Valentine's season. It's $2 from Target. I decided to get it the moment I laid eyes on it. Rather than hold on to it until Emma uses plates, I threw it up on the mantel. Brad made the stand out of a card and some hot glue.

The XOXO was made from a cereal box and then decorated with Washi tape. I mounted the letters onto a strip of cereal box using hot glue. The last O is a little out of line and is driving me nuts! But...not nuts enough to fix it!

The hearts are wrapping paper I got on after Christmas clearance from Target. It was $1.50 for a giant roll. Birthdays, Valentine's Day, Christmas next year? All red polka dots! Be prepared family and friends. I used my Silhouette to cut the hearts.

Finally, there's a vase for a little height. It's a sabina that I got from Linens and Things when they were going out of business. Its a set of three that I used in my wedding. It's filled with accordion folded scrap book paper and "table scatter" from the dollar store. The used the "scatter" hearts in this month's wreath {which I'll eventually get around to sharing}. It's sitting on some random iPhone gadget thing that Brad's aunt got him for Christmas. He didn't have an iPhone at this point!

And we have a decorated house for a holiday. Here's to hoping that we get it down at a decent time!

Come party with me! C.R.A.F.TMommy By Day, Crafter By NightShwin & ShwinTip JunkieSouthern LovelyUncommon DesignsSomewhat SimpleYesterday on TuesdayHouse of Hempworths52 MantelsThe CSI ProjectSerenity NowTatertots and JelloFamily Ever AfterThe Grant LifePositively SplendidI {Heart} Nap TimeIt's Overflowing


Fabric and Tulle Clip Tutorial {or taming the toddler's hair}

When I found out I was having a girl, I started making all sorts of headbands. I just love a sweet little headband on a sweet baby girl's head. My daughter made it very clear she did not feel the same way. She still thinks headbands are for the birds.

However, I'm starting to get her to wear clips. So, I'm back to making cute little accessories for my little miss. Plus, she has thinner than thin curly hair that goes every which way. Clips are starting to become necessary to tame her bangs. So, when I had a bit of fabric left over from my Thirty Minute Valentine's Day Shirt I knew it needed to be a clip.

Want to make your own? You'll need...
Fabric scraps
Tulle scraps
Disappearing ink pen
Circle to trace
Button/other center item
Hot glue/gun

Start by cutting out nine circles from your fabric and eight from your tulle. I've found Washi tape to be a great size for things like this.

I used pinking sheers because I think it hides my poor cutting skills. Also, they make for a nice texture. You'll want to trim one of your fabric down to about 2/3rds the size of the rest of your circles.

To keep my tulle from shifting while I was cutting, I clipped them together.

To make your petals, fold your fabric petal in half, wrong sides together.

Then, fold in half again.

Repeat with your tulle and stack the two petals.

Glue the tip of both petals to the center your smaller circle.

Repeat this process with three more petal sets. This will make your first layer.

Now, do the same thing with your next four petal sets. This should give you a full and fluffy flower.

Glue your button/other embellishment to the center of the flower. I added a little felt heart to the top of my button.

Glue your flower to a clip/headband of your choice and you're all set!

Come check out a matching 30 Minute Valentine's Day Shirt over at The Grant Life.

Come party with me! C.R.A.F.TMommy By Day, Crafter By NightShwin & ShwinTip JunkieSouthern LovelyUncommon DesignsSomewhat SimpleYesterday on TuesdayHouse of Hempworths52 MantelsThe CSI ProjectSerenity NowTatertots and JelloFamily Ever AfterThe Grant LifePositively SplendidI {Heart} Nap TimeIt's Overflowing