That Hole In Your Shirt… Show it Off!

Have you heard of Mend It May? I hadn’t until I stumbled upon My Make And Mend Life last year. It totally opened my eyes to how wasteful I am.

I was always taught that a hole in a garment was a reason to throw it away. But I’m learning about the value and beauty in restoring items.

  • Toe sticking out of a sock? Darn it! (As in mend it. Haha!)
  • Shirts with hole? Patch that up!
  • Crack in the laundry bin? That’s why duct tape was invented!

If you want to make a statement while you mend, try some simple embroidery to highlight a hole in your shirt and bring attention to the value and beauty in restoring clothes rather than pitching them! Here’s how I did just that…

Materials:

  • Cute shirt with hole in it
  • Piece of fabric (I used leftover jean fabric from cutoffs I made)
  • Embroidery hoop
  • Embroidery floss
  • Crewel needle

Stitches:

  • Satin Stitch – to reinforce the edges of the hole and prevent future fraying
  • Running stitch – to reinforce the jean patch and highlight the mend
  • But you can do anything you want!

fullsizeoutput_7a4d

What do you have that can use some mending? Let me know and I can help you figure out how to mend it. I’ve started a board on Pinterest called Mend and Restore just for mending garments and restoring items.

Follow the board and send me a message and I’ll add you as a collaborator and you can add pins related to the items you want to revive! Let’s work together and produce less waste!

PS. Speaking of making less waste, have you checked out our CLOTH NAPKINS? They’re the perfect size for tucking into your lunch bag or bento box! Use, wash, and reuse! Plus, I just added some cool new ones– mermaids, superheroes, and astronauts, oh my! Check them out here: SHOP CLOTH NAPKINS

How The Best Baby Gift Ever Started As a Handkerchief

copy-of-copy-of-pinata-10-3

One of my favorite parts of my job is collaborating with a customer to craft the perfect gift! And I just have to share this recent collaboration with a repeat customer and fellow hand maker. (Check out what she does with foraged wood here at her Etsy shop). Amy had the most thoughtful idea and I got to help find the right fabric and create her vision! What an honor!

Custom Bandana Bib Request
fullsizeoutput_4eef

Fabric Selected

She chose the red bandana print, because it doesn’t get more perfect than her original vision. And I ordered those other prints too for my Etsy shop, because I fell in love with this country cuteness and wanted to share it!

Just For Baby

Here’s the final product! Thanks for letting me be a part of your special gifts! It means the world to me to add to the smiles in the world!

 

If you ever want me to help you make your perfect gift vision a reality, don’t hesitate to contact me! It would truly be an honor!

Brown Astronauts and Mermaids with Natural Coils: Representation in Art

So if I’m being honest, I didn’t create kids wall art featuring children of color on purpose. I didn’t start my creative process thinking, children’s walls ought to be more multiracial. When I created these pieces, I was thinking… Here are some fun prints! Oooh this unicorn! Cute astronaut kid! Sweet mermaid!

African-American Mermaid and African American Astronaut
In our family, a little snippet of diversity occurs every time we sit down for dinner. And we encourage learning about and respecting other cultures and backgrounds beyond our shades of brown and white…

Inclusivity in baby room and kids room decor
But it wasn’t until I had kids that the purposeful inclusion of multiple races was so important to me–books, dolls, figurines. This inclusion often means buying two dollhouse families to make sure family representations can include more than one shade or ethnicity. Or more recently, I bought a car track set for my two year old and had to purchase an extra car driver, a black girl, because all of the pictures on the car track and the two car drivers that were included were white.

pen&thimble family
(This is the only picture I could find with all of us in same frame)

 

Even as a brown mom with inclusivity in my mind, it wasn’t until I was trying to come up with listing titles and tags on Etsy that I realized that I needed to make these searchable for parents like me, looking for diversity in their kids’ rooms. And then despite being of multiple races, growing up in a multiracial family, and raising my own, I had trouble coming up with the search terms I wanted. (Huge thank you to my community of awesome Facebook mamas and friends for supplying me with a great list!)
African American Mermaid with natural hair

Now that I’m in multicultural art sales, I realize that there still isn’t a lot of art with kids that look like me or my kids’ friends. Or maybe I haven’t quite found the right search terms. But I hope to change walls one framed piece at a time. And now I have a purpose. A purpose that wasn’t on purpose is now my purpose!

PS. This new art is now listed in my Etsy shop. Already mounted in a 12 inch square frame, behind glass, and ready to be hung up with a nail or command strips! (Only $80 +shipping.)

PPS. I highly recommend The Barefoot Book of Children to start conversations about diversity–skin color, foods, customs… Have you seen it yet? We love it! Look for it at your local library or bookshop!

Truth: There is No Balance in Growing a Business and A Family

My youngest is turning 2 years old in Thursday. 2 you guys! So I’ve been feeling nostalgic and flipping through photos and realizing how wonderful and challenging it’s been to grow my handmade business and my family together at home.

My studio has moved and grown with my family. My family has grown in the studio. The days I feel like I balanced mom-life and work-life well are rare. Some days I feel like I haven’t gotten any work done. Sometimes a week goes by and I can’t remember the last time I had some good quality family time. But that’s the “work-life balance.” It’s a pile in one direction or the other with the hope it all balances out in the end.

And one thing I know… No matter where my studio is, my pajamaed kids in my sewing chair makes my heart so happy! 🙂

PS. To see the handmade bibs, placemats, and kids decor I make  alongside my little shop assistants CLICK HERE!

pen&thimble handmade business