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Sewing Tutorial: Decision Cube Pillow

Sewing Tutorial: Use your Silhouette Cameo to create a funny cube shaped pillow reminiscent of the magic 8 ball
Moms, you are going to love this sewing project! It's a basic cube shaped pillow, but each side has an answer on it, reminiscent of a vintage Magic 8 Ball.

When your little one asks if they can play video games for one more hour just roll the die and... "probably not!" And when your teen asks if they can borrow the car tonight... "I don't think so." You aren't the bad guy today.

I'm a pretty strict mom, so you only have a one in six chance of getting an affirmative answer when you roll my decision die. That's likely better odds than if you ask me outright ;) The six sides of my pillow say: yes, no, never, maybe later, I don't think so and probably not. Feel free to come up with your own choices.

Materials



Cut six 9-inch squares from the white fabric.

Use your Silhouette Cameo to cut the six answers from the heat transfer material. I used different fonts for each side just to make it more interesting.

Make sure your words are less than 8 inches wide.
Follow the heat transfer material package directions to iron the words onto each square of the fabric.
Pin two of the squares, right sides together, and stitch along one side. Use a 1/2-inch seam allowance now and throughout this project.
Carefully press the seam open.
Pin a third square to the first square, right sides together, and stitch along one side.
Carefully press the seam open. See how the squares make an "L"?
Next you are going to pin the top square of the "L" (Maybe later) to the bottom square of the "L" (I don't think so square).
Do this by folding the "L" in half, right sides together, as shown. Pin and stitch.
Press the seam open.

You have created half of the cube.

Use the remaining three squares to create the other cube half in a similar manner.
Pin the two halves of the cube, right sides together, and stitch them together with a 1/2-inch allowance.

Leave an opening of about 3 inches on the last edge you stitch.

Turn the cube right side out and fill the it with polyfill. Finally hand stitch the opening.
Next time your kids ask a question, let them roll the die and take their chances... if they dare!

Sewing Tutorial: Use your Silhouette Cameo to create a funny cube shaped pillow reminiscent of the magic 8 ball




Crafty Saturday Show and Sell #25

Thanks so much to everyone who shared their lovely blue and green items at last week's "Blue Skies and Green Grass" link-up.

I shared six of my favorites earlier this week on my "Crafty Saturday Show and Sell Favorites" Collection on my Wanelo page. I also pin every item to my Crafty Saturday Show and Sell Pinterest board.

Two other items that I enjoyed from last week's link up were:




Handknit scarf by LuckyLucysLovelies
Summer Watercolor by DoritKohStudio

Let's start linking!




Like this link-up? Share your favorite items on Facebook or Twitter. Just hover over your favorite item then click the F or T icon that appears.





Crochet Pattern: Swim Cover-up

When we were in the Dominican Republic last month, we spent much of our time on the beach or at the pool. I was a little jealous because many of the women had beautiful swim suit cover-ups. As soon as we got home I decided to make one of my own so I would be ready for our next beach/pool vacation, wherever that may be.

This crochet pattern is probably a bit unconventional because it uses the same type of cotton yarn that you would traditionally use to make crocheted washcloths. I chose it because there were plenty of fun colors of yarn available and, since it's cotton, the finished product is quite cozy. It measures 44 1/2 inches wide x 26 1/2 inches long and fits a women's size small-medium. (There is a note about advanced sizing options at the end of the pattern.)

Materials



Gauge


14 rows or 13 sc = 4 inches

Directions

Ch 146

Row 1 (WS): 1 sc in 2nd chain from hook, 1 sc in each ch across, turn. (145 sc)
Row 2: Ch 1, sc in each sc across, turn.
Row 3: Ch 1, sc in each sc across, turn.
Row 4: Ch 1, 1 sc in each of first 3 sc, *ch 5, skip 3 sc, 1 sc in each of next 5 sc,* repeat across, omitting 2 sc at the end of the last repeat, turn.
Row 5: Ch 1, 1 sc in each of first 2 sc, *ch 3, 1 sc in next ch 5 space, ch 3, skip 1 sc, 1 sc in each of next 3 sc,* repeat across, omitting 1 sc at the end of the last repeat, turn.
Row 6: Ch 1, 1 sc in first sc, *ch 3, 1 sc in next ch 3 space, 1 sc in next sc, 1 sc in next ch 3 space, ch 3, skip 1 sc, 1 sc in next sc,* repeat across, turn.
Row 7: Ch 5, 1 sc in next ch 3 space, 1 sc in each of next 3 sc, 1 sc in next ch 3 space, *ch 5, 1 sc in next ch 3 space, 1 sc in each of next 3 sc, 1 sc in next ch 3 space,* repeat across, ch 2, dc in last sc.
Row 8: Ch 1, 1 sc in first dc, ch 3, skip 1 sc, 1 sc in each of next 3 sc, *ch 3, 1 sc in next ch 5 space, ch 3, skip 1 sc, 1 sc in each of next 3 sc,* repeat across, ch 3, 1 sc in 3rd of 5 ch at the beginning of the previous row, turn.
Row 9:  Ch 1, 1 sc in first sc, 1 sc in next ch 3 space, ch 3, skip 1 sc, 1 sc in next sc, *ch 3, 1 sc in next ch 3 space, 1 sc in next sc, 1 sc in next ch 3 space, ch 3, skip 1 sc, 1 sc in next sc,* repeat across, ch 3, 1 sc into next ch 3 space, 1 sc in last sc, turn.
Row 10:  Ch 1, 1 sc in each of first 2 sc, *1 sc in next ch 3 space, ch 5, sc in next ch 3 space, 1 sc in each of next 3 sc,* repeat across, omitting 1 sc at the end of the last repeat, turn.

Work Rows 5-10 ten more times.


(Note: If you would like your cover-up to be longer, buy an additional skein(s) of yarn and work Rows 5-10 until your wrap reaches the desired length,)

Row 11: Ch 1, 1 sc in each sc and 3 sc in each ch 5 space across, turn.
Row 12: Ch 1, *1 sc in next sc, ch 3, skip 1 sc,* across, sc in last sc, finish off.

Tie Strings
Ch 80.

Row 1: With wrong side facing, sc in each ch across the top of the wrap (145 sc), ch 81, turn.
Row 2: Sc in 2nd chain from hook, sc in each ch and sc across, finish off.

To wear, wrap the cover-up around your body and tie once, loosely at the front. Bring the tie strings up around your neck and tie in a bow.

Care Instructions

Machine wash in cool water on a delicate cycle. Tumble dry low on a delicate cycle.

Advanced sizing options


If you would like to increase the size of this wrap, you can do so by making the width of the wrap your bust size plus 10-14 inches depending on how much overlap you would like across the front.

The stitch pattern will work as long as you chain any multiple of 8 stitches +2 at the beginning.

If you are increasing the width and/or length, make sure to buy additional skeins of yarn before you begin the project.

Happy summer!



Etsy Experience: Make the Most of Wanelo

Earlier this year, I discovered a site called Wanelo. As an Etsy seller, I was very excited about the potential usefulness of this site as a marketing tool and as a way to reach new customers.

If you've never heard of Wanelo before, it's a platform very similar to Pinterest, except it is dedicated exclusively to shopping. It's free to set-up an account and if you are already familiar with Pinterest, it's fairly easy to use.

How do you get the most out of Wanelo as an Etsy seller?


The first thing you will want to do is complete your profile.

This is the profile on my Wanelo page.


When you set up your profile, make sure to...

  • Add an avatar - It could be a picture of you or a picture that represents your shop.
  • Link your social networks - Not only does this give you the ability to post stories directly to your Twitter and Facebook feeds if you choose, but if people click on the icons in your profile, they will be taken to your pages. Maybe they'll follow you on your other social networks as well.
  • Claim your store - I can not stress how important this part is. It only takes a couple of minutes to submit the application and a day or two for Wanelo to process it. One benefit is that a link to your Etsy items on Wanelo will be included in your profile (where it says Managing your-shop-name). It also helps people who like your items find your Wanelo page. Finally, Wanelo sends you a monthly update about how many of your Etsy items are saved each month. It could help you decide what kind of items people are most interested in.
  • Complete the "All About You" section - It's a short and sweet 140 characters (or less) message that helps you connect with customers.
  • Add your location - Don't worry. It's not your street address. But people may be interested in what city, state or country you are from.
  • Include a link to your website if applicable - The link should go to your blog or business website if you have one. If you don't have a blog or website, you could use a link to your Etsy shop.

Once you've saved your profile, make some collections.

Collections on Wanelo are like boards on Pinterest. When you create a collection make sure to...
  • Give your collection an appropriate and specific title
  • Add a brief (140 characters or less) description
  • Select a category
These steps help people find your items in searches.

I have two types of collections on my Wanelo page - Collections of my own items and collections of other people's items.

Collections of your own items

It's okay to add every single one of your Etsy listings to your Wanelo collections.

Since Wanelo is all about shopping, you are not going to upset your followers by sharing all of the items available in your shop. However, be sure to differentiate collections that are made up of your own items. I do this my including my shop name in these collection titles.



Collections of other peoples items

Like Facebook, Twitter and  Pinterest, Wanelo is a social platform. One way to build your network is by promoting other people, too. What goes around, comes around. Make collections of other items you like.


Share your news by posting stories.

Did you just list new items in your shop? Are you running a sale? Did you just add some great seasonal items to your collections?

Share the news with your followers by posting a story. You can use #hashtags to highlight keywords, add up to 9 item pictures, and send the story to your Twitter and/or Facebook feeds.


 I look forward to seeing you on Wanelo. Happy sales!



Crafty Saturday Show and Sell #24

This weekend, we welcome summer! (Although here inTucson, it's felt like summer for weeks with temperatures soaring over 100 degrees.) Hopefully you will get to enjoy plenty of sunshine, blue skies and green grass over the next few months.

Before we start sharing links, I'd like to send a big "THANK YOU!" to Natalie from HanjiNaty, Diana from joliefemme and Andrea from WookNook13 for creating Crafty Saturday Treasuries from my list of almost 1000 Etsy items that have been shared so far this year.
I love the way so many Etsy artists take the time to promote each other!

I shared six of my favorite items from last week's link-up on Wanelo. Feel free to stop by and check it out.

Now, in honor of a summer filled with blue skies and green grass, you are invited to share blue and/or green items from your shop.








Photography Tip: Magic Hour

In case you missed my last post, we recently took an amazing vacation to the Dominican Republic and stayed at  Barceló Bávaro Palace Deluxe. I highly recommend it!

Whenever we travel, my husband and I each take our own cameras. We both have very different styles of photography. If you looked at each of our pictures from the same trip side by side, you may not even realize that we were on the same vacation, experiencing the same things.

My husband is much better than I am about getting "action shots" when we are on vacation. On this trip, he did a great job taking pictures of everyone swimming, eating, boating, playing ping pong and enjoying the beach. I get so caught up in the moment, that I forget to dig my camera out.

I like to capture the little things that might otherwise get overlooked. My shots are sometimes a little more artsy. On this trip I was able to talk my daughter and husband into joining me on a little "magic hour" photo walk. If you've never heard of it before, magic hour is that time between daylight and dusk. There is still plenty of outdoor light, but it has a softer look and is a great time for taking pictures.

First stop, the grand fountain in front of our rooms.


Then we discovered a lovely bridge over a little stream.


I love the way the light was reflecting off the water and lily pads.


This was my favorite magic hour shot.


There were tons of flowers around the beautifully maintained resort property.



We also found some unique and fun backdrops.






And Finally, some more flowers.




After every vacation, I upload both my husband's and my photos to Shutterfly so I can make a photo book.

Shutterfly Photo Books

The combination of our stylistically diverse shots make for some page turning, photographic memories!



Barceló Bávaro Vacation Top 10

Today, I'm going to take a break from my normal crafty content so I can share a little bit about our recent trip to the Dominican Republic. It was a septo-gradu-versary-ment vacation. We were celebrating my mother-in-law's 70th birthday, my daughter's high school graduation, our 20th wedding anniversary, and my father-in law's retirement. All of these events occurred between January and July this year, so it seemed like a good excuse for a trip together.

Since our little group ranged in age from 17-70, we decided to try an all-inclusive so there would be something for everyone, all in one place. My wonderful husband, our travel planner, chose Barceló Bávaro Palace Deluxe and it was absolutely AMAZING!

Here are my top 10 favorite moments and memories from the trip.

#10: Everything was multi-lingual. My first language is English, y hablo Español, pero solo un poco. I was really impressed by the number of languages we heard. I have a hard enough time expressing myself in English, so I was amazed by all the people switching seamlessly between multiple languages.


 #9: Cheese at every meal. Must be my Scandinavian heritage, but I was thrilled by the lovely selection of cheeses at the buffets and in the restaurants.



#8: Gazpacho in an ice bowl. I've eaten gazpacho before, but never had it served like this, in a bowl of ice. Super chill!


 #7: Golf and a day at the spa. Well, I didn't play golf, but it looks like the guys had a great time. While they were on the links, my daughter and I were relaxing at the spa. Sorry, no photos.







#6: Kayaks and Paddleboats. There were sail boards, too, but I was afraid I would get blown out to sea.














 #5: The boogie tour. We got a little muddy, but it was well worth it. We visited a beach, learned about cocoa, coffee and cigars, and explored a hidden grotto.


#4: Swimming with the dolphins. This one's been on my bucket list for quite awhile and now I can say I have swam with the dolphins. It was unforgettable!


#3: Sand between my toes. I love the sun, surf and sand between my toes.


  #2: Swimming in the pool. For those times when you don't want to get sand between your toes.


#1: I kissed a dolphin! How cool is that?

Now, I need to head over to Shutterfly so I can make my traditional, family vacation photo book.

Shutterfly Photo Books



Happy septo-gradu-versary-ment!