Archive of ‘happy happenings’ category

Support a Dreamer & an Artist

Support a Dreamer & an Artist

I feel positively bombarded with advertising every day and I think I’ve noticed it more these days because I’m not shopping for clothes for myself.  So, I decided to do some advertising for the dreamers and artists and the whimsical makers in my life. These are products made or dreamt up by my friends and comrades in the world of handmade…and that may make me biased but it also means that I can guarantee a purchase from one of these shops goes directly to a family.  The money spent on these things will go to groceries and haircuts and all those everyday things.  But beyond that it supports dreamers and artists so they can keep dreaming and artist-ing.  If our money is a vote, let’s vote for art, huh?  It’s a bit of a random list of things I really like right now.  Enjoy!  (more…)

Kids’ Clothes Week :: Cozy Winter Robes

There is a funny thing that happens at our house and it happens every. single. day.  C & J run around the house like mad after school, usually playing soccer or basketball.  It makes them sweaty and hot so they peel off any warm sweatshirts or long-sleeve tees.  As a result of their near-naked status they start to shiver once they are sat down (and still!) for dinner.  Combatting this phenomenon is why I’ve had robes on my to-make list for a while now.  Kids’ Clothes Week was just the motivation I needed to finally make these cozy winter robes!

Cozy Winter Robes for Boys | Made by Melissa Q. at a happy stitch

The pattern is from Purl Soho, I picked it as a freebie when I signed up for their newsletter. I am pretty happy with it but it is a little tight around the armholes for C, which is a bummer because comfort is key when it comes to a robe.  It fits J perfectly, though.  (more…)

april happy happenings

no matter what, it always seems like a good time to sew.  in january it is the perfect time to stitch together a warm cozy quilt and sit hand-stitching the binding while watching a movie.  (speaking of movies, I finally saw “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and it is unreal. I thought about it for days. don’t miss it.)

and, now in april, it feels like the perfect time to clean up, organize the sewing studio and crank out some breezy warm-weather clothes.  judging from everything that is going on in blogworld, I am not the only one with the spring sewing bug.  sew-a-longs abound!

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I have to start with the huge news that Meg from elsie marley, who already led the semi-annual and unbelievably popular kids clothes week challenge has partnered with Dorie of tumbling blocks to build a whole new blog dedicated to hand-sewn kids clothing.  it also has a new name Kids Clothes Week (I know, so different, right?) and they have announced that the sewing challenge will now be seasonal!  wahoo!  if you have never joined in on kids clothes week, now is the time to jump in.  the spring challenge starts april 22 and involves dedicating one hour a day to sewing clothes for kids.  simple idea but it’s amazing what you can get done and doing it along with hundreds of other people is incredibly inspiring.  I am already plotting out what I want to make.

kcw plans

the best part is sewing for kids is so much easier than sewing for grown-ups.  kids are basically shaped like planks of wood so there are no complicated darts and things.

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if, however, you are inclined toward a grown-up sewing challenge and want to perfect those darts and side zippers then you can take the time from now to April 19 to take part in Made By Rae’s spring top sew-a-long!

 

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I have got plans to make this shirt from collette patterns. I think it is about time for some complicated, challenging sewing on my part. plus, I am falling hard for peter pan collars. join me?

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if you would rather take a back seat, skip the sewing and cheer on fellow sewists (maybe you have gardening to do, for pete’s sake!) then you will be happy to know that Nap Time Crafters is holding a sew off! the contest is already into week 3 and the competition is steep.  be sure to check it out.

sew off

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and, I’m positively thrilled that the uber-talented abby glassenberg has a new book out on how to make stuffed animals.  not only does it look chock-full of inspiring stuffed animal projects (including a stuffed animal with a zipper mouth!) but it is also carefully designed to teach specific techniques that make it easy to learn the basics behind making stuffed animals so you can develop your own designs.

stuffed animal book

you can see her fun, generous personality and get a sample of the book projects in her video here.

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go make shit. that is the idea behind this blog started by jill from made with moxie and rachael from imagine gnats and lots of other awesome contributors including the ever-inspiring thomas knauer.

and, they have a good point and a great conversation has started here.  the idea is simple.  just go make shit. don’t let fear of fitting into or arbitrary divisions about modern or traditional making get in the way.  feel like making it? have a good idea about something that needs to be made? good.  go make it.  make it well or make it poorly.  make it pretty or make it ugly.  just make shit.

it doesn’t matter one iota if what you make reflects someone else’s idea of beautiful and wonderful, there are worlds upon worlds of shit to be made, so make it your own!  wahoo!

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march happy happenings

march is here, somewhere.  in these parts that has meant some rain, mud, and finally..snow.  um yeah, we were out building snowmen two days ago.  but the spring flowers are still working their way toward the sunshine.  and that means it is time for some happy happenings…my round-up of awesomeness living out there in the internet this month (or in prep for next month).  I was so happy to have stumbled on and can’t wait to share.

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I am a huge fan of breaking bad and so I nearly flipped my lid when I saw this round up of breaking bad inspired crafts  over at make:craft.  I really want  need  the bald Walt softie. I mean, who doesn’t?

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it is true that brooklynites are having the most arty-fartsy fun.  especially now that they have brooklyn craft camp on march 16th!  this day long camp-for-grown-ups is a d.i.y. heaven filled with good food, cocktails and craft workshops.

craftcamp

a full day (!!) with amazing teachers and making, making, making…everything from knitting to paper cutting to printmaking and even terrarium making.  the fact that I can’t make it only solidifies my long-standing belief that I need a clone.

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my husband is Irish and ever since we started dating I have enjoyed St. Patricks Day just that little bit more.  it’s hard not to, considering how loudly and passionately he can sing the irish rover.  this martha stewart project seemed like a good one to get the kids into the spirit, too.  she uses a heart stamped in 3 directions and a green stamp pad to make easy decorations.  sometimes you gotta hand it to her.  so fantastic!

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another kid project, this lovely paper egg bunting project from two straight lines has been on my to-do list for a long while.  just love the simple design and the pleasantness of it.  it’s a great easter project with the kids that doesn’t look overly Easter.

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baseballs, puppies, cars, trucks and product placement…that pretty covers the options for boys clothing.  in short, it is nearly impossible to find funky, fun clothes for boys. even most sewing patterns are all girls, girls, girls.  and that is why it a good thing that dana met rae and together they created  celebrate the boy.  it’s a crazy, mind-blowing collection of handmade clothing for BOYS! it seems the whole world has joined in and the results are unreal.

celebrate the boy

things are really getting hopping in the boy world! three cheers for that!

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the inimitable heather ross believes that anyone can learn to draw and she is holding  a contest to prove it.  sketch something every day for ten to twenty minutes for three weeks and send it to her…the person who improves the most wins some of her newest line of fabric. how sweet is that?!

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this project is absolutely going to happen at my house and soon.  in fact, I  bought fabric dye today.  they are amazing hand-dyed tea towels with wax resist, basically writing with wax crayons on fabric and then dying it!  think of the possibilities…wedding day readings, song lyrics, quotes from kids books!  I am so excited to have found this idea from the lovely women behind a beautiful mess. a beautiful mess, indeed.

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if you are a modern quilter then you were probably either at quiltcon or wishing you were at quiltcon.  I did not head to Austin, TX for this inspiring and amazing modern quilt guild event and, consequently, I was singing the ‘quiltcon blues’ but I was heartened to learn that there are highlight from the event and quiltcon lectures over on craftsy! yay! now, I can put down my banjo and watch away.

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and last but not least is the covert robin, of course.   what kind of co-host would I be if I didn’t mention it!?  if you signed up, you should have your partner’s information and possibly even be doing some making.  if you need inspiration, check out this helpful blog post from clover and violet and the mega-tutorials list from made with moxie.

covert robin

enjoy! swapping handmade is like hatching goodness, little chicken.

february’s happy happenings

there are just so many exciting crafty things happening right now!  I was dying to share them and threw together a big fat list when I decided that I ought to do that every month!  because, really, there are always so many happy happenings!

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hurry! hurry! quick! quick! quick! there is only one more day to buy an amazing bundle of e-patterns…18 patterns from 10 well-known designers for only $24.95!  it’s called the sew fab e-pattern sale and it is sponsored by the southern institute and the fat quarter shop.  the patterns are geared toward mostly kids clothing; check out the e-pattern selection here at this link.  even if the patterns don’t interest you, there is a wonderful giveaway going on as well!  and, it won’t happen again so if you like the look of these patterns, jump off the fence and go for it! 

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heather ross, the prolific and amazing fabric designer, has a little teaser on her blog about her new fabric line coming soon! keep an eye on that, she always comes up with the cutest, sweetest (but not sticky sweet) fabrics.

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the lovely daisy janie has a new fabric line out as well and it is vibrant and lively and awesomely organic!  with the release of the new fabric, she also hosted a bee block blog hop and gathered, along the way, wonderful tutorials and quilting block ideas.  it’s a vibrant-organic-tutorial triumvirate of awesome.

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if you are a creative person and in the business of running your own business you know it can be overwhelming to find high quality products and services…there is a huge sea of offerings these days and it’s hard to know who to choose for business cards, packaging materials or website development.  but, the genius minds over at oh my handmade goodness are in the midst of transforming this marketplace.  and, they are offering everyone a chance to get in on it…as it grows from the ground up.  sound goods, right. for $150, your shop can be included in their first 100 vendors and be involved in getting it up off its feet!

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there are a handful of free online classes and tutorials on craftsy right now…including a class by the talented and experienced steffani lincecum about how to use various machine sewing feet and a bag-making class from kristin link, the brilliant mind behind sew mama sew.

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is improving your quilting on your resolutions list?  if so, don’t miss the great new quilt basic series at the sew4home blog.  it looks like it will be promising!

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makerie venue_montageI will admit, I have saved my favorite for last...the makerie’s sewing retreat.  the makerie is a wonderful creative retreat that happens in the hills of boulder, colorado and for the first time they have started up a retreat dedicated just to sewing over a weekend in mid-april.  the whole thing was even featured on the martha stewart blog!   in addition to yoga  and local food every day there are workshops with some of the best, most inspiring teachers out there including amy butler.  who, by chance is also leading an intense mind-body workout.

now, I am not the type to pamper myself.  in my life I’ve had a total of 4 pedicures and even fewer massages…just not my thing.  but, a sewing retreat.  well…that is another story.  so, after much prompting from my husband I took every penny I made last year and I registered (squeal!).  come april I will be packing my bags and heading to Boulder!

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