Archive of ‘holiday’ category

Midnight Village Advent Calendar :: a printable activity advent DIY

Printable Advent Calendar :: Midnight Village activity advents designed by a happy stitch

For the past three or four years our family has celebrated the build up to Christmas with an activity advent calendar.  As much as I love chocolate (and I really love chocolate! Make no mistake) I find the advent calendars with candy add unnecessary sugar to our diet and the holiday season is already a super-charged sugar-fest.  Plus, the spirit of Christmas is so much sweeter when we spend time together and do things for others….see what I did there? So, last year, when I was invited to create a holiday post for Skip To My Lou, I decided to design a printable advent calendar with activities; calling it the Midnight Christmas Village Advent Calendar.  I created easy activities intended to encourage family time and neighborhood and community connections. Some of them are a simply as giving each other a hug while others are more complex, i.e. “bake cookies for the neighbors”.  These are, after all, the things that really remind us how much we love each other.  A bit of chocolate or a toy just doesn’t have that lasting impact.  (Of course, if you use my design to make an advent calendar and fill it with toys and chocolate I won’t judge you.  Dude. I get it.).  Anyhow, this year I thought I would share this project here along with a few other alternative ways to use the same printable in a different style. (more…)

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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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…)

Costa Rica :: Our Family Trip in a World of Color and Life

Costa Rica : Our Family Trip // a happy stitch

Our little family just returned from a most wonderful week-long vacation to Costa Rica. I had, of course, heard people talk about Costa Rica and heard their wondrous stories of vacations. But before we went ourselves I had no idea what a spectacular place it truly is.  Nestled on the Central American isthmus between Nicaragua and Panama, Costa Rica has a staggering amount of biodiversity…5% of the worlds biodiversity in fact, the densest of any country. Totally mind-blowing. It’s truly a world of color and life; warmth and vibrancy. We are smitten.  Did you know they have no standing army, only a National Guard? Did you know Costa Rica has extremely low crime?  That they have strict wildlife protection laws and all hotels must meet specific ecological standards?  Did you know I have a background in public policy and it is really shining through right now? Bear with me because I was geeking out about this stuff. (more…)

My project for Mollie Makes magazine

I have been bursting with a secret for about a month now but haven’t been able to say anything. So here it is: I have a project in the most recent Mollie Makes magazine! Issue 58 to be specific.  Well, sort of.  It is an exclusive project, meaning it’s included as an insert, a special gift to subscribers.  But, I’m not one to split hairs especially when it comes to something as exciting as this.

A Happy Stitch in Mollie Makes Magazine

(Look! It’s me!) This is the cover of the insert. I’ve been a long-time subscriber to Mollie Makes and just adore this magazine. It’s so good at mixing old crafts like sewing and crochet with a modern aesthetic and pretty much everyone I admire has been featured there (along with new friends I meet all the time).

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Spring Break Stay-cation

2015 Spring Break Stay-cation

It’s been pretty quiet around the blog for the last week and a half!  My apologies about that. The boys had their spring break last week and after much debate we decided to try our first stay-catation.  This decision was made, mostly based on the sad state of our bank account after our cat’s surgery.  Um, cat surgery is pricy.  Super pricy.  You have no idea, unless you do and then you can relate. It’s a good thing we love her so much. (more…)

“love”-ly smoothie sippers!

lovely smoothie sippers | easiest way to decorate a straw on valentines day

It is almost Valentines Day!  The boys both had their classroom parties today and came home so excited about all the valentines they got.  All of which means tiny temporary tattoos and glossy pieces of paper are scattered all over every surface (because everything must be looked at in its entirety).  It also means our household has an additional six unsharpened pencils that I will promptly add to our junk drawer, which is mostly full of unsharpened pencils.  I swear pencils are this generations version of double bubble gum from…the supply seems endless as does its popularity as the completely safe gift nobody wants.

Our family, however, has one plan for Valentines day and it’s a big, celebratory breakfast.  We decided on our menu over dinner two nights ago.  The plan is that J will make a fruit salad with only red fruit (strawberries, watermelon, red grapes, etc.), I will make pancakes and my husband and C are making smoothies.  It’s going to be spectacular.  I decided to make some special straws for our smoothies and that is how these “love”ly smoothie sippers came to be.  It’s totally the easiest thing ever but here is how I made them, just in case.  (more…)

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