Sunday, July 31, 2011

The exciting shop news!

Ok, since I told you forever ago that there was exciting shop news, and then didn't say anything for a long time, I figured I can at least give you part of the fun right now. Yay!
So, here's what happened.

Lora and I were praying, asking the Lord what I could do in the handmade community to encourage and bless people, that would set me apart from other sellers. Then, as soon as I asked God, He whispered to me: "What have you lived and what do you know?"  Confused. But I realized what He meant after only a moment.

I have lived through autism and I know Jesus.

But what does that have to do with Etsy?

Then I figured it out!
Moms need encouragement, and they need to know that God has a destiny for their little ones.
People love giving things to moms of kids with special needs; I think alot of time it's because they don't know how else to love and encourage them in that way. 
But how does this play into crafting? 
I think the Lord is giving me the ideas of items in this regard. Pillow covers with encouraging scriptures.  Embroidered wall art with awesome and pretty pictures of things that will remind them that there's always hope.
Ya know, stuff like that.

So, I've got the ideas. Now I just need the time...

That's what's been taking so long for me to tell you! I wanted to have some of the things made before I launched the new 'line', but alas, it could be a while. I'm just happy now that I've got some clear direction.

Next on the agenda: A name for the new shop (because I'm hoping to open a separate Etsy shop for this!), a new header, and some specific ways in which I can encourage.

Here's where y'all come in.
Which scripture verses are most encouraging to you?
Which ones remind you that God is in control, created you for a purpose, and will never fail?
That you were meant for great things and He loves you?

Any name ideas for the new shop? I have a few that I'm throwing around but could always use some inspiration.

Hit me!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Running on low...and a mini-DIY

I have a love-hate relationship with teeth.

We obviously need them to chew, speak, etc.  I'm fine with that.
But when my babies are actually getting the teeth...that's the hate part. And did you know that, while in the baby's gums, the teeth have secret meetings where they conspire to only do their growing at night?!  True story.

It's a good thing these kids are cute.

So as you can guess, today, I'm not firing on all cylinders. As a result, this blog post may be a bit choppy.

I wanted to share with a little mini-DIY. I say 'mini' because I forgot some pictures of some of the steps. But you'll get the idea.

So my friend Aimee invited me and two of my kiddos to her kid's birthday party this past weekend, and since I didn't have a single dime to spare to buy them gifts, I thought I'd make them something instead (which people usually want more than store-bought anyways). I knew she'd appreciate the thought and time put in, cuz she's sweet like that.
I had lots of broken crayons in my little crayon bin, so I thought, why not make them some homemade, molded crayons?!   The kids are ages 4, and 2, so this is something they can use.

Here's your DIY:

Lots of crayons
Chocolate molds of different shapes (Any craft store has these or you can buy them online)
A medium sauce pan
A smaller sauce pan, or a tin can (this will make your double boiler)

Gather your crayons. I used a bunch of the crayons that were broken, peeling, old, or just plain cheap! Dollar store crayons are also great to use for this.
My sweet friend, Mona, doing the peeling.
I separated my crayons into like colors so that I could blend them and make an assortment.

Start some water to boil on the stove in a medium sized sauce pan.  While the water is on, go find a tin can or a smaller sauce pan to use as your double boiler, where you will do the melting.

While the water is boiling, stick your tin can or small sauce pan in there. (Make sure if you use a tin can, that you do not touch it with bare hands. It gets very hot!).  Grab your lightest color of crayons and dump them in the smaller sauce pan.  

This is the part I forgot to take a picture of. But basically, you just stir the crayons until they melt completely into a liquid. Make sure the pan isn't too hot, because your wax could burn! 

I did the colors in order from light to dark, so that you could just dump the next color in without having to wash the pan in between. If you get a little yellow into the next color, which would be orange, not a big deal. But if you did yellow and then say, purple, that'd make a different purple than you're probably going for. Get me?

K, next step. 

Look at cute baby is patiently snacking.
Moving on.

Very carefully and slowly pour your first color into the desired molds. Fill as many molds as you want, then move on to your next color. Dump that one in the sauce pan and stir until liquified, then pour that into the molds. Repeat until you've completed all of the desired colors and shapes.

Put your molds into the fridge to set.  This will take about 10-20 minutes.   They're done when you can poke them and there's no 'squish' or give to them. 

Turn the molds over, and your new crayons should just snap right out, lookin' like this!

Make cute little gift boxes out of scrapbooking paper, using this tutorial.
I printed off some coloring pages with Biblical themes from the internet, rolled them up, and attached them to the boxes. Then I wrapped ribbon around to complete the package!
And voila! A new present for a friend.  Enjoy! Come back and let me know if you do this project, and take some pics for your blog or facebook, and let me know you did!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Storytelling #4

4. What do you create with and why?

It's not secret that I have an obsession with fabric. My husband thinks I'm crazy, and when my friends walk in to my house and see my shelves loaded with the soft, cottony goodness, they are amazed that I can acquire so much. But ya see, here's the thing. It calls to me in the store.  Or in that cute little etsy shop where it's on clearance and it's just so dang cute and how could someone not buy it and what business does that seller have in even SELLING that gorgeousness?!

But I digress.

So, I use fabric. And lots of elastic, thread, buttons, etc. Lately, I've been crafting with other things as well, for decor purposes. Like hoops, as seen here, and picture frames, scrapbook paper (but not for scrapping. I'm not a scrapper, see.), etc. 

I use fabric because I see the most possibilities and quite frankly, it's the prettiest crafting item that exists! You can find a fabric with almost any print on it, and when I see it, I immediately think of a gazillion things to do with it. Curtains. Pillows, Shirts. Oh my!

Here's one of the bags that is up in my shop that I had so much fun making. I thought I'd show you what I mean by 'pretty fabric'. You can't even tell me that's not gorgeous!!
Reversible Diaper bag
Mmmm....writing this post has me thinking about sewing a new goody.....

Thursday, July 21, 2011

DIY Hoop Wall Art with Fabric

Hi all! I'm priveleged enough to be hosted by Lauren at for a frugal, weekly DIY post! (PS This is not the exciting Etsy shop news I mentioned in this post. That news is still to come!) I was shocked and honored that she asked me to be her contributor and I'm looking forward to being forced to make something to show you every week.   I think you'll like all the projects I have in my head; they're all frugal and recyling/re-purposing projects.   Stuff you can do with things that you most likely have in your house already, or that you can find at your local thrift shop.

On that note, today's DIY is some gorgeous hoop wall art. Made with embroidery hoops, fabric scraps, scissors,  a pen, and....that's it. Ha! Easy peasey lemon squeezy!  So, let's get to it, yes?

First gather your supplies.
I got my hoops at a thrift store, which is clearly pretty old, judging by it's original price tag. Ben Franklins?! Does that still even exist?!
If you can't find hoops at your local thrift shop, you can print off a Joann's, Michaels or AC Moore coupon from their websites, and use that at their stores. You can usually get any regular priced item for at least 40% off. And get this; Joanns' takes ALL competitors coupons. Go get 'em.
Also, if you don't have fabric scraps, there are LOTS of things in your house that will work. Old pieces of clothing (I love repurposing clothes that my kids have grown out of that I loved!), cloth napkins, stained tablecloths that you can cut up, etc. Be creative and go dig!

I like pinking sheers because it helps the fabric not to fray, but plain scissors work just fine. Next step;
Loosen the little screw thingy at the top of your first embroidery hoop and remove the inside hoop. This is what we will use as a guide for the size of our first piece of fabric.

Next, I started with the smallest hoop and my smallest fabric scrap; some Amy Butler blue deliciousness.  Lay the fabric down with the back side facing up, and place the inside hoop on top.  (Notice the wrinkles. I do not enjoy ironing and make no qualms about it.)
 Trace around it, leaving about an inch all around.
Then, cut!
Grab the outer hoop and place it underneath your fabric and inner hoop, and gently and carefully shove it in, making sure that you have enough fabric sticking out to pull it taught once it's all in. Then, tighten up the screwy thingy to secure the fabric!
Trim off the remaining fabric,  and voila! New wall art!
I made three. And will proceed to make 194 more.
 Are you in love? I am. Have fun, and thanks for visiting! Come back next week for another DIY, or come back even sooner to see what other projects/news Make Mine Blue is up to. Keep calm and craft on, friends!

It's hot.

So hot in fact, that I got alittle nauseous and had to lie down. I'm better now though, and we're heading over to the in-laws with some pizza, because who the heck wants to cook in this heat? Seriously. If you do, you're crazy and we might not really be friends. Because I'm not friends with crazies.  I'm serious kidding.

This is how I feel about the heat.
But when I realized it could be a lot worse...
Thanking God for my window AC unit and my huge fan.

Stay tuned for another post this evening...exciting news from Make Mine Blue! Here's a hint...
Come back tonite or tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

busy-ness and life

We have had quite a busy week here in our house. Lots of company, family visiting, time spent outside enjoying summer, thrift store shopping, and relaxing.  I now own WAY too many pairs of almost identical skinny jeans. 
This pretty lady visited...
my gorgeous sister
as well as my other sis and mommy, on a separate visit.  I so love living close to my amazing family. We had a very relaxing time.   I can't express how much these people mean to me. Missed my other sis, bro and daddy though.

I also had decided, in light of some recent discussions Joel and I had, and some conviction from the Lord to kind of 'reset', to take a week off of blogging. We did a media fast (except for facebook, since that's house I communicate with the outside world. :)  So instead of watching Cosby while I folded laundry, I listened to a teaching. And instead of checking the one bazillion blogs I get in my reader every day, I prayed and read the Word. Oh my gosh! I didn't realize what I was missing until I went back to a scheduled, focused time with God in the mornings.  So incredibly refreshing.

It was glorious. I love doing my blog; don't get me wrong! But there is something incredibly refreshing about taking time off and just focusing on other things for a while. It kind of put my life in a clearer perspective without so many distractions.

But..I'm back now. :) I could never leave you guys forever!

I have some exciting shop news coming up soon.  I've been asking the Lord what 'my thing' is. What's my niche in the handmade community? What can I make that can encourage people, and sets my business apart from what most others are doing? Last night, Lora and I were praying together for wisdom, and we both heard back! God's good like that. Where two or more are gathered. :)

Sorry for the teaser, but you'll just have to stay tuned to find out what's next for 'Make Mine Blue'!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Friday, July 8, 2011

Storytelling #3...and other things

1. Where do you live & how does it influence you?

 I started my little shop when we lived in Charlotte, and it was at the prompting of some very sweet friends who swore I could make money making little baby gifts. I lived in very close proximity with many young moms (like, on the same street), and we had at least one baby shower per month. I had a lot of opportunities to figure out what new moms needed, and since I was a new mom myself, I knew what they'd appreciate.  So, I started with very basic diaper totes, wipes cases, baby blankets and nursing covers. I loved it and I still do! 
Now, we live in central New York, on Lake Ontario, and my customer base has changed dramatically. Not as many young ladies having babies around here, so now my products are becoming more geared towards a larger audience. Purses, sewing supplies (mostly fabric). I think it's forced me to broaden my abilities and learn new skills, and I am loving it! I still do love to sew the old goodies I used to make, but I feel like over the years I've gotten better at those and now have an idea of other things I could make and sell.  I buy all of my fabrics online, if I want the stuff that is super trendy.  If not, I go to Joanns. I get all my notions, etc there too. But I am a mega sucker for Etsy shops. Especially the ones that sell designer fabric...Actually...I'm obsessed. Shh.
I do have some nieces and nephews living in the same town as me, and several close friends who have little ones, so even though I haven't been sewing much for the shop, I have REALLY been enjoying making gifts. You've seen in my previous posts that I have been working on clothing. I hope to get really good at that soon, so that people won't be able to tell I'm wearing 'handmade', although don't get me wrong! Ain't nothing wrong with handmade. I love me some handmade. 
Again, probably too much. You'd be surprised at how much time I waste browsing Etsy. It's worth it though! I love supporting others who love to work with their hands. 
I think making gifts is what inspires me to sit at my machine. Knowing that I'm making something for someone gives me such joy; and even more so when I know that I may see them using/wearing it. I dont know why. I guess I'm proud of myself. :)

In other news, I just returned from from a surprise getaway that my hubby and good friend Ry have been planning! Ry surprised his wife as well; and we had a blast. We've been very close with this couple for over 10 years, and haven't had time alone with them in years, to just relax! It was glorious. We each had our little babies with us, but that was NOTHING. So peaceful! We kept saying 'It is so quiet, we aren't doing anything at all, and we are not bored in the least!'. Boredom wasn't even in our vocabulary, right Sooz?  We all slept in, ate out for almost every meal, Sooz and I went shopping (which was AH-mazing.), and ate some more. Played Settlers of Catan and laughed our heads off.  I so love my friends, and I love my husband for giving that gift to me. He knows how to make my little heart happy. :)
Here's a photo of my dearest friend at the beginning of our getaway, where we stopped at the beach for lunch and ice cream at a lakeside restaurant on our way out of town:
 And here are our beautiful friends at dinner at the pizza was so yummy!

Have a glorious weekend! We are going to spend it with these good friends and all of our kids, and then on Sunday, Ry is preaching and leading worship at church!  And PS, if you haven't heard his music yet, go to his website and give him a will NOT regret it.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I bet you were wondering if I'd sewn myself a shirt lately.

*If you are looking for my DIY 4th of July project round up, go here!*

I have had this shirt saved in my bookmarks for months, maybe even a year.  I was delaying in trying it because quite frankly, I was afraid I would fail and it would look horrible. I'd never sewn a shirt that involved a neckline or sleeves before. But, I finally sucked it up and made it. I sat down at my coffee table, put on The Cosby's (which if you haven't seen it in a while, or ever, you must. And start at the beginning.)  And guess what? I really love it!! It's super cute.

I'm in lalalove. That belt just adds a little 'mwah' to the outfit. Yes?  Since I had to stay home this morning with a sick little baby, I had a few hours to sew in quiet, with just the voice of David Pawson teaching me about Jesus in the background. It's been a long time since I did that, and it was really relaxing. 
Go make this shirt; you won't regret it! I'll probably knock out 2 or 3 more of these this week, maybe add some pockets,  and then move on to my next project.

Friday, July 1, 2011

5 Things I love Friday - 4th of July DIY Roundup

I am so proud to be an American. (Do you have the song in your head now? I do.)  But really, I am! I love that we live in this country. So many people complain about many things, but when I get in that mentality, I remind myself of how many freedoms we have here.   This weekend, I encourage you to make a list of reasons you are glad to be living in the States. What do you love about your country?

In the meantime, here are some amazing DIY ideas to help you celebrate your weekend in a more frugal way. Enjoy!

1.  Water bottle labels, banner letters and more from this super cute crafty blog!

2.   Red, white and blue chips and salsa. Must. Have. Now.

3.   Martha is at it again. I want to have these cute pompoms on my table all year round. Would be cute for Christmas too, eh?

4.   Cupcake toppers.  I would make cupcakes just to use these cute toppers. Actually, I would make cupcakes for any reason I can think of. But these toppers make it more fun!

5.   These would look so cute in the evening, after the sun is down and the fireworks are beginning. How pretty! And genius!

Happy fourth!!