Saturday, October 29, 2011

My #1 Fan

I am HOME! :) 

I had a great time visiting my family in Utah! 

While I was gone, my blog hit some awesome milestones! 
Before I tell you what they are, let me start with a back story. 

Since DAY ONE my husband has been my #1 fan. He was the one to encourage me to make my blog and he has been SO supportive to me throughout this whole blogging journey. During the summer when I started out, he took both girls on countless daddy daughter dates so that I could get sewing and posting about it. And was always willing to have little "helpers" color homework so that I could work on a project. I guess what I am trying to say is that I am one lucky girl to have a hubby that is so supportive of me and encourages me to have time for myself and to live my dreams with this blog. 

Back in July (only one month after starting my blog) my husband made a prediction that I would hit 100,000 views by Halloween. I had a good laugh with that one- but he was dead serious. I can remember him telling me "Mark my words... it's gonna happen." 

As time went by, I still thought it was a shot in the dark that I was going to be anywhere even close to that, but last Wednesday while I was home visiting my family, I got a text from my husband telling me that I was 1,000 views away from hitting that goal and that he was going to be my 100,000th view. How sweet is that? A few hours later I got another text saying that he had been so busy studying that he had missed being my 100,000th view by a couple hundred views and that he was so sorry that he had missed it but that he was so proud of me. Ummm.... Can you say "HE MELTS MY HEART??!?!?!?" I know that I am pretty biased, but I think he is the best husband in the world. (and not just cause he looks at my craft blog and cares about it) 

Also while I was away, Mommy by day... Crafter by night hit 500 followers. You guys are the best!! I can't tell you how much I appreciate every comment, every follower, and every person that has helped inspire me to create things and blog about it. The list is endless, so I won't even try to name you all, but I hope you know how grateful I am for you all!

While I was away, I had 14 very talented ladies guest post for me! Did you happen to see all the posts? If not, here is a recap:

Toddler Quilt by Patty Trends
ABC Love Book by Love Notes By Lauryn
Tube Top to Skirt Refashion by North Meets South
Tissue Pouch by Hand Me Down Designs
DIY Wedding Gift Idea by My Handcrafted Home
Quick Kool Aid Frosting by Bear Rabbit Bear
Intro to Family Ever After
Photo 101 by Kristen Duke Photography
Felt Flower Pillow Tutorial by Southern Lovely
Pumpkin Trio Set by Lolly Jane
Halloween Jar Labels by Lil Luna
Hair Tutorial by Split Ends and New Beginnings
Fold Top Snack Bags by My Very Educated Mother
Festive Banner Tutorial by Seven Pretty

Thank you so much ladies! You are amazing!
(If you didn't get a chance to guest post for me and you have an awesome tutorial to share, email me because I am looking for some guest posters in December)

So, to celebrate my milestones I have a big surprise for you all! 
Wondering what the surprise is???

Well you are going to have to wait a little longer to find out!

Don't you just hate when people do that-
leave ya wondering what in the heck they are going to say.
Me too.

Guess you are just going to have to come back next week to find out! :)

xoxo

Guest Post: Seven Pretty

Hello, Mommy by day...Crafter by night friends! My name is Summer from Seven Pretty and I'm super excited to be here today!
I'm a stay at home mom who likes to stay up way too late making stuff. Most recently, I have been learning to sew, one project at a time, and have discovered that I love making clothes for my kiddos. I started my blog to document all my crafty pursuits and hopefully inspire others to learn to sew.

Today, I'd like to share my festive fabric banner tutorial.
Fabric banners make me happy. I love 'em. They make such fun birthday and party decorations and can be used over and over again. And since the banner is so...ahem...festive, I decided to make one for Halloween and I put together a tutorial while I was at it.
What you'll need:

-fabric for the rectangle fronts (approximately 1/2 yard)*
-fabric for rectangle backs (approximately 1/2 yard)*
-fabric for the letters (1/4 yard)
-1 package (3 yards) extra wide double fold bias tape (or a half yard of fabric to make your own)
-rotary cutter and mat (optional, but much faster than scissors and a ruler)
-ric rac (optional)
-and of course a sewing machine

*The exact amount of fabric you will need will depend on the length of the phrase you are spelling out

To make my "festeggiamo" (translation: "celebrate" in italian) banner, I cut my rectangles from different fabric scraps and used 1/2 yard of unbleached muslin for the back. I love the look of muslin and if no one will really see the back of your banner, then it is probably the cheapest option.

For the "trick or treat" banner, I had a 1/4 yard of four different prints, giving me 1 yard total. Since I had enough, I went ahead and used it for the front and back rectangles. I also had a 1/2 yard of another print to make my own bias tape. More on that in a bit...

To get the most bang for your buck, you could make a double-sided banner and put a different phrase on each side. Or maybe a boy birthday color scheme on one side and a girl birthday color scheme on the other. There are so many options!

Anyway, here is my fabric:
The first thing I do is make my bias tape. What is bias tape? Dana has a very thorough tutorial telling you all about it and how to make it. Check it out!
In a nutshell, double fold bias tape is a type of binding that can be used to finish off raw edges. It is cut from fabric at a 45 degree angle (called the bias) which allows it to have a little bit of stretch.
The easiest option is definitely to buy it prepackaged. They have a fair number of solid colors available at Joanns or Hobby Lobby, and one package contains the exact length you need (3 yards).
If you want your bias tape to be patterned (my fave), you are going to have to make your own. It's not hard, but it is time consuming. Again, read Dana's tutorial to learn how to make your own.
Here is my homemade bias tape:
* Notice how the stripes are at a 45 degree angle...that's what happens when you make bias tape from striped fabric. Pretty cool.
Okay, you have your bias tape, now it is time to cut out your rectangles.
Cut (1) 5.5 X 7.5 rectangle from your front fabric and (1) 5.5 X 7.5 rectangle from your back fabric for each letter in your phrase. *I also like to use a blank rectangle for the spaces in a phrase, but you could leave a blank space in your banner if you prefer.
Once the front and back pieces are sewn together, your finished rectangle will be 5X7. The number of rectangles you need will depend on what you want to say.
Here are all my rectangles cut out:

Once all your rectangles are cut out, iron them to get out any creases and then take your front and back piece and place them right sides together. Sew down three sides with a 1/4 inch seam allowance leaving the top edge open. I'm sorry it is so hard to see...


Then, clip the bottom two corners (this helps the corners look nicer when you turn them right side out):
Now turn your fabric right side out and make sure to push out your corners all the way (using a chopstick or something similar helps).
Time to prepare your letters. First, follow the package directions to adhere a 9X12 piece wonder under to your lettering fabric (that should give you enough space to cut out all of your letters).

There are several ways to cut out your letters:

1) If you are brave, you can free hand the letters.

2) Or, find a font you like on the computer (that has some substance to it), spell out your phrase, blow it up until the tallest letter is about 4 inches tall, and print. Then cut out the printed letters, and use them as a stencil to cut your letters from the fabric.

**I really like Arial font (as seen on the "festeggiamo" banner). It is basic and looks really nice. I used a more playful font for the "trick or treat" banner.

3) Or, you can use a cutting machine, if you have one. I happen to have a Silhouette SD cutting machine (which I love), and it makes this step very simple.

Here are my letters:
Next, iron the rectangles so they lie flat.
If you are using different fabrics in your banner, lay them out so you know what order you want them to be in. Then, remove the paper backing from a letter and place it on the appropriate rectangle. I place mine 1.5 inches from the bottom of the rectangle and eyeball it to center it. Once it looks good, iron on the letter (per package directions).
Repeat for each letter.
Almost done. You still with me?

Next, use a pin to mark the center of your bias tape. Then begin placing your rectangles, beginning at that center point with the middle of your phrase and work your way out.

**Bias tape is made so that one side of the fold is slightly wider than the other. You want the thinner side to be on the front of the banner. That way, when you sew close to the edge on the top, you will still be "catching" the other side of the bias tape on the back.
Sandwich the top of your rectangle between the bias tape and pin it in place:


If you want to add ric rac, slip it in between the bias tape as well and pin it in place:
Continue pinning with each rectangle touching the one next to it:
Once all of your rectangles are pinned in place, it is time to start sewing!

Take the end of your bias tape and open it up:
Fold down the top edge about an inch:
And refold the bias tape, giving you a nice finished edge:

Start at the end of your bias tape, with the thinner side up, and sew all the way across the banner (about an 1/8 inch away from the edge), backstiching at the beginning and end:
And you are DONE!









Now go hang your new banner and admire your work!
Thanks for having me Ashley!! And please stop by Seven Pretty for more sewing and craft inspiration.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Guest Post: My Very Educated Mother

Hello Mommy by Day…Crafter by Night readers! I’m Erin, and I blog over at My Very Educated Mother*. I’m a homeschooling mother of three and when I'm not busy with my little scholars I like to spend my time creating, designing, and well, making things. My blog is a place for me to share stories, ideas, and inspirations and it’s such a joy to be able to share this tutorial with you!

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Fold-Top Snack Bags


Everyone uses snack bags, whether it’s in lunch boxes, picnic baskets, diaper bags, or even purses. And while I try to do right by recycling and re-using my baggies I wanted another option. I could just buy re-usable bags but why when I can make them myself? Plus, the idea of crumb encrusted Velcro doesn’t sound appealing to me. The bag I came up with is reminiscent of the fold-top bags I had in my lunch box, circa 1984. They stitch up in a jiffy and in addition to being great snack bags, they make great treat bags for parties or gifts themselves.

Materials Needed

2    18” x 7” rectangles of fabric
Matching thread
Sewing Machine
Iron

Directions

1.  Start off by sewing both pieces together along one of the 7” sides. Turn and press seam.
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2.  Fold the sewn edge down approximately 2”, and pin in place.
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3.  Now the unsewn edges are going to be folded up, 2 to 3” above that 2” fold, in opposite directions.   The pictures explain this much better than I can. 
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4.  Once everything is folded and lined up, pin in place and sew along the sides; leaving the top open. 
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5.  Flip the bag right side out and sew shut the top opening.
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6.  There you have it!  A fold-top snack bag that’s good for you and good for the Earth! 
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*My Very Educated Mother is part of a mnemonic device I learned as a child to remember the planets in order from the sun. The complete statement went, My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas. Of course, since the whole Pluto fiasco, kids are left with Nothing...or maybe Noodles?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Guest Post: Split Ends and New Beginnings

Well, hello Mommy Crafters. I am Mallory from Split Ends and New Beginnings and Ashley asked me to guest post for her today. Ashley is sort of my blog mentor if you will. She is super encouraging when it comes to making my blog a better place for all things hair and beauty, but I just don't seem to have the blog skills that she possesses. With her guidance, I am sure I can find my inner blogger. I am just so happy that she asked me to guest post so I can work on said blogging skills.
Let me tell you a little about myself. I have been doing hair now for over 10 years and I LOVE it. I think your hair is your BEST accessory. I say "accessory" and not a "feature" because you can change it and adjust it to your mood and to whatever look you want to show for that day. You can do so much with it and it can do so much for you. I feel my best when my hair has fresh color and cut. After having so many of my clients ask me how to do their hair in different and fun ways I decided to challenge myself by styling my hair different for 30 days. I got the idea from my good blog friend over at Hair Romance. It was such a fun challenge and it really helped to inspire both myself and many of my clientele. After finishing the challenge I decided to try and keep my blog going with the occasional hair and beauty tips and ideas. I think it is very important to look and feel your very best. Even in a pair of sweats and no makeup, we can still learn to appreciate the beauty that we possess inside (I sound like a Whitney Houston song.) Anyways, I am getting a little off track. I just want to share the love of all things girlie.
I have a few video tutorials on my blog and I made one special for all of you who follow Ashley. I have to warn you, I am a little embarrassing. When you watch yourself doing your hair or looking at yourself in the mirror, it is totally awkward. I drop things, I repeat myself, my throat gets totally dry and I get a really itchy nose once the camera starts recording. At least I remembered to put the toilet seat down this time and I was able to edit out the two phone calls that I received. Oh, the joys of blogging! Enjoy!
If you have any questions, let me know on my blog, and I will get back to you.

Have a happy hair day!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Guest Post: Lil Luna

Hi there Mommy by Day, Crafter by Night Readers!!
My name is Kristyn, and I blog over a Lil' Luna.
Come on over and say hi and you will find lots of fun and easy tutorials, recipes, crafts, printables and more!

I'm so happy to be here today.
I love Ashley!

Isn't she a doll?
We have never met in real life, but I like to pretend we are friends IRL{we event text!} LOL

Any who, I wanted to share with you guys some fun and spooky Halloween Jar Labels.



I made 4 kinds as well as blank ones so you could add your own text.





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{To download, click, then click again,
 and then right-click and save}.




I wanted to show you guys one of the many uses for them.

I wanted to add mine to a candy-filled jar to give to a friend for Halloween.






I didn't have sticker paper, so instead I printed out my label to the size I wanted it, mod podged it onto some vinyl, and then let it dry. From there, I cut it out, peeled off the back {so it became a sticker} and added it to my jar.


Easy, right?!

You can even cut it out, hole punch it and tie it around a bag of candy.

Super easy. Super cute. And Super creepy.

And if you are looking to make some DIY Apothecary Jars like the one I have above, you can find tutorials all over Blogland, but there are some HERE, HERE, and HERE.

I hope everyone has a SPooooKY Halloween filled with lots of tricks and treats!

Be sure to come on over and say hi over at Lil' Luna.
And if you're looking for some more Halloween fun, you can check out some of my latest Halloween Creations on my blog!






{Just click on the pics above to go to that tutorial}

Thanks again for having me Ashley!

XO - Kristyn