Archive of ‘family’ category

Hand-Stamped Tote with Leather Handles :: Secret Valentine Exchange

Hand-Stamped Tote with Leather Handles! Designed and made by *a happy stitch*

Every year I try to sign up for Sanae and Ute’s fabulous Secret Valentine exchange.  I have managed it for the last two years and that is a good thing because when the deadline slips past me I end up super bummed and kicking myself with regret. The reason I love it so much is mostly because it feels so warm and fuzzy to be a part of secret exchange of handmade goodness.  But, I also love the exchange because it gives me permission and freedom to create something with no real agenda.  Ah, the beauty of open-ended making! This year I decided to make this hand-stamped tote with leather handles and shipped it off to South Korea, it’s new home. Isn’t it great that the secret valentine exchange is global?! I like the thought of sending something made with my hands around the world. It reminds me that the power of the handmade is amazingly universal and these days that reminder feels especially potent. (more…)

All You Need is Love Table Setting [See Kate Sew – Book Review]

All You Need Is Love Table Setting_ See Kate Sew Book Review // A Happy Stitch

I am a sucker for two things: a handmade Valentine’s Day and a pretty table setting. So, when I got a copy of the book See Kate Sew * for review from Fons & Porter and was immediately smitten with the adorable, pocketed placemat and little wallets, I decided that our family needed a little “All You Need is Love” table setting for our Valentine’s breakfast. Ok, I’m a sucker for three things. I also LOVE breakfast. But, that is beside the current point.

All You Need Is Love Table Setting_ See Kate Sew Book Review // A Happy Stitch

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Awkward Monster Pajama Shirts

Awkward Monster Pajama Shirts | sewn by A Happy Stitch

You know your mom is a blogger when you are on vacation, getting ready for bed and she says, “Oh my gosh! The sunlight is so good right now! Get out on our teeny, tiny, snow-filled deck so I can take pictures!”  My poor children.  Actually, I think it’s pretty clear from these pics that they loved it.  How can you not love these awkward monster pajama shirts!? These are the sort of monsters that would definitely snuggle and kinda,sorta, maybe even protect you. (more…)

Not about Money. Other Reasons to Sell at a Craft Fair

Other Reasons to Sell at a Craft Market! Connections and Creative Fire __a happy stitch

{peg fairies by Sophi Karkeek}

Ack! It has been over a month since I wrote here! I always find it a little embarrassing when I neglect the blog. I do this funny thing where I talk in my head to you guys but don’t match it all up with pretty pictures and non-imaginary words and then lose track of just how long it has been. Silly brain parts.  I just finished up a holiday art fair and had a great time mixed with the usual bit of stress and mental wrestling.  I thought a lot about the financial benefits of a craft fair versus the other reasons I think you should sell at a craft fair and I thought I’d write it all out in case anyone else is pondering these same questions.

The past month has been so busy.  I know everyone can relate to that.  This time of year is intense, man.  For makers it’s even more intense because it’s often the most lucrative time of the year.  Imagine adding to the steep increase in holiday parties, family obligations, school events and gift shopping by having to create ten times as much as normal then promote and attend a craft fair.  It’s kind of insane. I’ve been having heart  palpitations for the last month and I only do one holiday sale! I’m sure other artisans have it much worse.

In the midst of my crazy, stressed-out, not-stopping-to-shower efforts I asked myself, “Is this really worth it?” (more…)

Ice Painted Tee Shirts

Tee Shirts for Boys _Ice Painted | a project by a happy stitch

A few weeks ago the boys and I tried out ice painting and made some really fantastic ice painted tee shirts.  At first glance, they look a bit like tie-dyed tees but they are so much more painter-ly (that a word?) when you look closer.  Awesomer, too.  Way awesomer.  Making t-shirts has become something of a summer tradition around here.  Last year we tried tie-dying and sun printing dyes and loved it. There seem to be these unplanned, looser, low-key moments in summer that allow for messy projects. It’s one of my favorite things about summer with the boys at this age.  I got the idea to try ice painting from a Sweet Paul Magazine video on Facebook, which I unfortunately can’t find anymore. Sorry.

The good news is that I took lots of pictures of what we did and remember it all so I can share our tee shirt making with you. (more…)

Dutch Treat Boxer Shorts

Dutch Treat Boxer Shorts in four colors_ a happy stitch

There is something new hanging on the clothesline and it’s for dudes….boxers!  It has been a long time since I stitched something for my husband, K.  In fact, his handmade pajama pants are so well-worn they are nearly thread-bare at the waistband.  I just don’t sew for him very much and to be honest, I find it hard to sew for dudes.  What would I make? He wears t-shirts and neutral colored shorts for the most part. Not that exciting. If I could knit, I think I would have more options but as it is, I am limited.  So, when Betz White asked me if I wanted to play with her new fabric line, Dutch Treat, I decided it was time to make something for K.  Thankfully, I took one look at her charcoal and yellow print and saw boxer shorts written all over them.  Hence, the cheeky name Dutch Treat Boxer Shorts!  I made it my Project Sew It challenge for June to create a boxer shorts pattern that fits him. (more…)

Boredom Busters Kit :: Making Summer Rad

Boredom Buster Kit_color the rainbow_a happy stitch

Every summer I make the same mistake.  I think to myself, “I don’t need any help or planned activities for the kids this summer! School is so structured and scripted, they need summertime freedom! They need a chance to get bored and make something up!” And then the boys spend the first few weeks of summer begging me to watch TV or play games on the computer.  Eventually I cave and they end up watchings screens way more than I would like. Or I spend my evenings scrolling Pinterest and then scrambling to find random supplies so they have an activity to draw them away from those magnetic and brain-draining screens.

Well, I’m not repeating that mistake this summer! I teamed up with Andrea from Andrea’s Notebook and nearly a dozen other talented bloggers to create a Boredom Busters Kit. The kit includes 10 different projects and bonus printables like a calendar and coloring page.  Each project just needs to be printed out and it’s ready to go. (more…)

Write A Book :: Mini Makers Summer Fun Series

Write A Book! Mini Make's Summer Fun Series |a happy stitch

When my friend Carla from Small + Friendly asked me to join her Mini Maker’s Summer Fun series, she described it as ‘simple projects to combat the inevitable “I’m bored” syndrome’.  I jumped on board and immediately started to think of really elaborate projects that required lots of adult assistance. Yep.  Somehow missing the simple message.  And also forgetting parents want things kids can do on their own, for hours at a time.  After running through lots of very-involved ideas (ooh, what about…dried glue and tie-dye on a t-shirt! Or, windsocks made out of fabric scraps, paint and toilet rolls!).  I decided to run some of these ideas by C, who happened to be sitting happily on the porch writing a book. He looked up when I asked him, “what kind of activity do you think other kids like you want to do so they don’t get bored?” and before I could regale him with my ideas he said, “write books!”  It was so obvious and simple and easy and perfect!  So, this post is brought to you by my ever-astoundingly clever son.  Here is how to write your own story, provide hours of quiet fun, nurture creativity, build writing skills, drawing skills, and inspire a life-long love of books…all without any parent involvement! Can I get a Woot Woot!? (more…)

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