7.30.2011

sissy kisses


Just some Saturday night shenanigans. Summer is so great, ain't it?

Some things:

Swap signups are now closed. If you signed up, you should have received an email with your partners' contact info. 
If you signed up but didn't get an email, let us know.

Is anyone interested in some tutorials on how to use Gimp (like Photoshop, but free)? 
That's what I use for all my graphic design + photo tweakage, and I'd be happy to share some how-tos. 
Let me know in the comments.

We are soaking summer up to the max. I hope you are, too!

*kissy kissy*

7.26.2011

shop update: rainbow bias tape


Rainbow bias tape! Now available in the shop.

last call for swappers!

We're baa-ack! 

Contrary to all appearances, we spent most of last week traipsing around New England, falling in love with Portsmouth, NH and the beach in York, ME (although the water only feels good on 90-100 degree days, take my word for it, and we had a couple of those). 

We had an awesome time, but I didn't take one single picture. Oh well.


I have been making lots of friendship bracelets, thanks in part to my friend/anchor The Wild Thing. 

I have also gotten my gluteus maximus back into workout mode to finally get rid of my empty baby house (because that baby is now, um, 2). My man and I started working out together (he is a total machine, it's incredible) to the tune of P90X, which is super fun (if more than slightly intimidating), even though I thought there was no way we'd ever work out together. Woot for doing stuff together!

And tonight he is taking me to see Harry Potter. DOUBLE WOOT.

Tomorrow is the last day to sign up for the swap, so if you've been fence-sitting, email us, stat!

7.22.2011

friendship bracelet inspiration gallery

I hope you've enjoyed our little friendship bracelet soiree! 
To wrap things up, I thought I'd share some favorite friendship bracelet images from the week (sources linked below each image)...







Simple and snazzy, multicolored and monochrome, we love 'em all!
Hope you've had a knottin' good time this week -- remember that swap signups are open through July 27th, so email us, already!
Thanks for playing along -- group hugs + big wet smoochies all around!

7.21.2011

guest blogger: jeni from in color order + how to choose colors

Today I am thrilled to my toes to introduce you to Jeni (and her bunny George!) of In Color Order!


Jeni's blog is one of those that I always read first in my Google Reader if she's got something new posted. Her content is unfailingly fresh, pretty, and always so beautifully photographed. Each of her posts makes me want to go sew something right! now! Her Flickr stream and vintage sheet Etsy shop are also utterly delicious, and fabrics from her shop frequently jump into my Etsy shopping cart of their own accord.
Add her to your reader -- you won't be disappointed!

Today Jeni is here with some tips on choosing colors for making awesome friendship bracelets. Take it away, girlfriend!


Personally, my favorite part about making Friendship Bracelets is choosing the colors! There are so many different colors of embroidery floss, it's like candy for crafters! I know however, that it can be overwhelming, especially since you're usually only choosing 4 or 5 colors! How do you narrow it down? I'm going to walk you through how I choose three different types of color palettes. I hope it makes it easier for you to put together your own color combinations!

1. Inspiration Fabric or Photo

This is my go-to method for choosing a color scheme. Find a fabric, photo, item of clothing, or any other object that has an appealing color scheme to you. If you can, take it along with you when you shop for floss and match colors to your item. Easy! For my scheme, I choose this plum Heather Ross Mendocino print. I choose colors from the background, the mermaid's hair, her tail, and the octopus. I ended up choosing the following DMC floss colors: very dark grape (154), dark mauve (3803), very dark cranberry (600), and dark straw (3820).

2. Monochromatic

Especially if you're doing a funky patterned bracelet, a monochromatic color scheme can create some cool effects! So, choose a color that you like, then choose the same color in different values (light--dark). And don't forget about neutrals! For my monochromatic scheme I went with gray. From light to dark I choose the following DMC floss colors: winter white (3865), ultra very light mocha brown (3866), very light brown gray (3024), light beaver gray (648).

3. Two-toned

If you still find yourself struggling to choose colors, this is a great, easy way to put together a color scheme. In this method, you're letting the floss do the work for you! Choose any two colors that you like. In my case I choose tangerine (740), and dark seagreen (958). Now, for the next two colors, I simply choose a lighter value of my first two colors. So to pair with tangerine, I choose medium tangerine (741). And for dark seagreen, I paired it with light seagreen (964)!


It's a lot easier, and more fun, to shop for floss in person. Most craft stores carry a good selection of floss! Don't be afraid to play around with different color combinations, it may take a few tries before you find something that you like! These are just a few of the many ways to put together color schemes! :)

I would like to point out two great online resources if you're using DMC brand embroidery floss. The first is a Color Descriptions Chart. This lets you look up the floss by # and find the color name. The second is a Color Chart. You can see a preview of each color along with it's color #.

Thanks for sharing your color-choosing prowess with us, Jeni! Check out her series The Art of Choosing for a more in-depth discussion on color, fabric, and stash-building. Then jump on her Warm/Cool Quilt-Along! (See, I told you she's incredible.) 

Thanks for coming over, Jeni! Don't forget to visit Jenn to see what's cookin' at her place today!

7.20.2011

best snazzy pattern source + printable knot-tying cheat sheet

Just a short post today -- in case you're in the mood to venture beyond chevrons, friendship-bracelets.net is totally rad. There's tons of free patterns, but figuring out how to read them can be tricky. Here's a really useful tutorial on how to do just that.

You'll need to know a few basic knots before you can tackle most of the patterns. 
I've bumbled my way through a few of them so far, but I still need a little cheat sheet! 
Here's a little one just for you; you can scale it down to make it whatever size you prefer.


Now go get snazzy -- and don't forget to visit Jenn to see what she's got for today! 

7.19.2011

guest blogger: jenn from ruffled sunshine + friendship bracelet packaging printable

Happy Tuesday! Today Jenn is visiting from Ruffled Sunshine, aka the brains behind this operation! 

Jenn and I are pretty new friends, but we clicked right away + I was totally thrilled when she brought up the idea of doing a friendship bracelet swap together. If you haven't already subscribed to her darling + totally inspiring blog, you need to! Anyway, enough from me. Here's Jenn with a great post on packaging your friendship bracelets (and a free printable, to boot)!
Hello Friends!  I'm so excited to be here!  Amanda and I have been on pins and needles waiting to share the friendship bracelet swap with you guys and I'm so happy that you all are so excited about it too! My name is Jenn and I blog over at Ruffled Sunshine.  I share a little bit of what I've been up to from time to time.  I have a spunky little girl, Ivy that keeps me on my toes, but she is my biggest source of inspiration. 

 

Somehow our summer seems to be getting busier and busier.  It is our favorite time of year so we try to spend as many hours of the day outside as possible!  So I know when it comes time to mail my bracelets I'll be scrambling to have some cute packaging.  I took a few minutes this weekend to come up with a simple way to package up your friendship bracelets to your new friends.  Then you won't be scrambling if your summer is anything like ours!




I got to practice my photoshop skills {cuz they definitely need practicing} and used this letterpress tutorial from Pugly Pixel to make a sheet of cards.  


All you have to do is cut them up.  Easy peasy.
This one is for one of my good friends from college.  I wrote a little note too, to let my friend know I've been thinking of her.  


Then I used some of my Modern Marigold fabric tape to stick my bracelet right to the card.  It fit perfectly  in a card envelope so I sealed it up with a little more fabric tape and mailed it right away.  I got a little excited to send it so I forgot to take pictures.  Oh well!  

Sooo...
Don't forget to sign up for the bracelet swap!  And be sure to stop by some time.  I'd love to have you!

{and thanks Amanda for having me! xoxo}

Photobucket


Thanks for coming over, Jenn! Don't forget to email us to sign up for the swap!

7.18.2011


Hi there! I'm Amanda, and I love flowers and sunshine. I love finding frogs and bird's nests with my two little chickies. My favorite food is BREAD (mmm bread). I blog about vintage/modern style, sewing, and my domestic (mis?)adventures over at The Modern Marigold -- come visit, ok?

And do you know what else I love? Friendship bracelets, of course!
(Jenn is a genius for dreaming this swap up.)
And I'm so glad you decided to swap. (You emailed us, right? Right!)

I love wearing friendship bracelets, but I don't want to wear them 24/7. Although they would make awesome imprints on your face after you've slept on them all night {sah-weet!}. I couldn't really find any tutorials for how to make a button closure, so let's have at it, shall we?

First, you'll need to start your bracelet with a loop. 


{clockwise, from top left}
1. Cut embroidery floss to size. Fold in half.
2. Knot to form a small loop. This is your buttonhole.
3. Make the friendship bracelet {just pretend it's in the same colors, mkay?}
4. Braid an inch or so at the very end.


5. The braided inch.
6. Knot the end of the braid nice and tight.
7. Thread one strand through a needle.
8. Starting below the button, bring the strand up through a button hole.



9. Pull the strand through.
10. Send the needle back down through the button hole opposite.
11. Pull all the way through.
12. Pull so that the button is snug with the knotted braid.


13. Thread a second strand. Repeat steps 8-12 using the other two button holes.
14. Alternating button hole pairs, thread all remaining strands through the button.
15. Braid a nice little tail and knot tightly.
16. Et voila!

In case you want to try some different closure methods, here are 4 more ideas for making your bracelets removable:


{TIP: Remember to get your partner's wrist measurement if you use a non-adjustable closure method.}


Thanks for reading, friends, and thanks for having me over, Jenn! See you real soon!

it's friendship bracelet week!


Welcome to Friendship Bracelet Week 2011! {fireworks! applause! emotional hugs! yaaaaay!}

Are you excited yet?? I totally am. Jenn totally is. So let's talk about the swap so that you can get going on some rad bracelets, shall we?

Everyone is welcome to participate in the swap, whether this is your first swap ever
or whether you're a seasoned swap-vet, whether you're 9 or 99 years old...everyone.

To sign up, email us at

braceletswap@gmail.com

with your

NAME
email address
{and}
blog URL, if you have one

...and then get your knot on!! You will be making THREE bracelets to send to THREE new friends (so you'll send one bracelet to each person). Jenn and I will send you an email letting you know who your swap partners are, along with their contact info. It will be up to you to contact your new friends to get their snail mail addresses.

Signups are open through July 27th. We send you an email with your partners' info by July 29th,
and you'll need to mail your bracelets no later than August 5th.

We'll have lots of tutorials and links to some great friendship bracelet stuff over the week, but here's some resources to get you started!

Basic Chevron at Honestly...WTF
Stripes, Chevrons + Diamonds at The Purl Bee
Jenn's bracelet board
My bracelet board

Part of our goal for this swap is that everyone makes some new friends!
So let's all get to know our swap partners + get some happy new connections, mkay?


Spread the word! We want to get lots of new friends in on this! Grab a button for your blog, Facebook it, Tweet it, whatevah.

Don't forget to read Ruffled Sunshine and The Modern Marigold all week long for tons of friendship bracelet awesomeness!

Now get out there and get knotty! (bwa ha ha)

7.15.2011

swimming hole


Chalk one up for our cute little town: $5 for 4 weeks of swimming lessons at the pond/pool. It is the best.

(Little Miss M is tolerating her exclusion admirably well.)

on the work table

Yay for Friday! Anything fun going on? We are getting together with friends -- hopefully the bugs won't be too bad so we can hang out on the back porch and let the kids run wild in the yard.

My work table has been overflowing lately. I have no idea how many WIPs/UFOs I've got hanging around, and so many more wanna-makes than I could ever get to! It's the blessing and the cursing of the Internet. So many amazing people sharing so many amazing ideas!

This week, I've been working on new skirts for the shop...


Awesome mail yesterday -- an NPR postcard from Jentry (so jealous) and pretty new washi!

...and a lovely bundle of new floss in gorgeous, saturated colors for the friendship bracelet swap, thanks to the brand-new fancypants Jo Ann we just got in town, yee haw. I have been seeing color inspiration everywhere lately and think I might need to go back for more!


Have a happy weekend!

7.14.2011

friendship bracelet swap!

Guess what??! It's almost time for...



Time to fold a cootie catcher, put your hair in a side ponytail, and dust off those friendship bracelet-making ninja skillz (I know you've got 'em), 'cause next week is Friendship Bracelet Week!

I'm teaming up with the fabulous Jenn from Ruffled Sunshine for a week full of friendship bracelet fabulousness, including tutorials, guest posts, inspiration galleries, and a great big friendship bracelet swap for everyone who wants to play!

Excited much??

7.12.2011

sisters in service: the joyful life library


Welcome to Sisters in Service, a series designed to lift, inspire, and motivate us to celebrate the (many!) different ways we can serve our brothers and sisters while we're here on earth. Each post will spotlight a project or idea that's lifting others and serving the Lord in ways big and small. There are so many ladies out there who are doing some amazing things!

To kick off the series, I've got a special treat for you... it's Heather from Life Made Lovely!


(Don't you just want to hug her?!)

Heather blogs about faith, family, creativity, and choosing a joyful life. Her positivism (and realism) is wonderfully refreshing, as is her cute style! She also has a special project going called the Joyful Life Library, which provides joyful books for families in pediatric intensive care units (PICUs) across the country. So... take it away, Heather!

In a sentence, what's your project?
The Joyful Life Library aims to create children's libraries in as many PICUs around the country as we can as a way to bring a bit of comfort from home to the hospital.

Why is this project important to you? 
While we were in the hospital and hospice home with our newborn son, for all but 3 days of his 6-week life, we discovered the difference small bits of comfort can make on your life.  Each small moment of kindness we experienced during those days helped us to keep putting one foot in front of the other.  We learned firsthand that as parents, there wasn't much we could do to participate in our son's care, but by reading to him it helped us to feel involved.  It helped to relax his heart rate and helped to relax us too, and now we want to make books available to all families whose children have been thrust into a similar medical crisis.

What's your long-term vision for this project?
I would love nothing more then to see this project expand to sponsor a library in every pediatric intensive care unit in the country, and of course be able to keep all those shelves filled with joyful children's books.  

How can I get involved?
One of the things I understood very clearly when God put this on my heart was that it was not MY project.  It's HIS and he wants as many hands touching it as possible.  Because of that, we are constantly looking at new ways to get people involved.

If your heart feels compelled to help us bring comfort to kiddos in the midst of a medical crisis, you can:

- Help us establish a Joyful Life Library at your local children's hospital
- Host a book drive for one of our sponsored hospitals that's near you
- Host a virtual book drive (use our joyful life library Amazon wish lists; see two of them here and here) for any of the hospitals we sponsor
- Become a sponsor of my blog, which allows you to buy books for a sponsored hospital AND advertise your business or blog

You can read more about the Joyful Life Library right here.  Thanks for visiting, Heather, and for sharing your amazing project with us! 

7.11.2011

simplest curtain tutorial(ish)

So, I hesitate to call this a tutorial, 'cause there's not much in the way of bright ideas going on here.
But then I remember when we were newlyweds -- wait, can I show you?? aawww --


(look at his beard!!! what a hippy!)

I desperately wanted to make curtains for the storage room in our little basement apartment (oh the spiders! *shudder*) but had no idea how. I think I spent like 3 days on the Internet, trying to figure out how to make some simple curtains. In the end, my first curtains looked terrible (I had no measuring tools, so the hem slanted at about a 40-degree angle), but I was so proud!

My point is, curtains are really not rocket science. So, if there's anyone out there who wants to get their feetsies a little bit wet with a little home dec sewing, this is about as simple as it gets...


...And then you'll have a cozy little curtain!


I'll be back tomorrow with a sweet new feature: Sisters in Service! Our first special guest is super exciting + it's gonna be awesome!

7.07.2011

garlic-rosemary grilled butterflied chicken


I had been thinking to myself, "Hum, that chicken sure is smelling chickeny!" and somehow didn't think to check on it. Good one, 'Manda. Sigh. Lucky for us, Richard thought of the burgers in the freezer, and dinner was saved.

Anyway, that was not on the 4th, but I'm still not quite over the red white + blue thing. We spent the 4th with friends, eating Mexican food and cupcakes and chit chatting while our kids peed played in the kiddy pool (at one point Maren trotted up to Richard and declared, "Daddy, I PEE PEED!!"). Awesome.

We have been summering it up around here with swimming lessons, library visits, late bedtimes, and popsicles on the porch. Summertime is amazing here -- it's usually in the high 70s or low 80s. Seriously the most beautiful summer of my life. Hope you are enjoying yours!

7.01.2011

friday finds: vintage girl scout dress + clip art freebies


How cool is this?! I found this vintage Girl Scout dress on sale for $20 at this fabulous little local shop. It fits perfectly, except that I need to do something to make it just a smidge longer (ideas? please??). As far as I can tell, it's from the 1930s(!) and is industrially made with several hand-stitched alterations. I am in love with the inverted box pleats at the sides and (of course!) the merit badges.

I wore this dress the other day when the girls and I went to get the car's oil changed. The Mobil on our little main street is a happenin' place -- it's where the old guys hang out (no really -- this is the awesomeness of living in a village with no stop lights -- they insist on filling your gas for you, remember your name, and notice when there's a chip in your windshield they didn't see last time).

Anyway. An old guy hanging out at the Mobil asked me if I was in Cub Scouts. I told him no, I just like the dress. I think he thought I was crazy.

And lo! I did a little scanny-scanning, et voila! The badge file is in PNG format, and the fabric is a really huge JPG for backgrounds + the like.

Have fun with these!