pen&thimble for spring&summer

I am so excited for warm weather! Thinking about those family picnics, hot days at the museum, park playdates, camp, and swim classes. And my featured spring&summer prints go so well with it ALL!

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Napkins on the work table. They look like fabric balloons!

Primary Pandas

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Lunch Buddies

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Science Center

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Picnic Pals

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Mealtime Magic

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What print is your favorite? Choose from these featured prints and many more at my Etsy shop. Or make your own 4-placemat or 5-napkin bundle!

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I personalize too! It’s simple to add that option in most listings in my Etsy shop!

I Heart You, Valentine! DIY Heart-Shaped Crayons

It’s time to make some bright and colorful Valentine’s Day treats! Reblogging this oldie but goodie!

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Do you have a toddler? Kid? Then perhaps you have a lot of broken crayons in your house too? Turn those broken crayons into Valentine’s Day gifts with my simple tutorial. This is seriously a no-fail, simple activity. Low on time-investiment and high on super cute outcome!

Supplies:

1. Broken crayons (I used multiple brands and sizes)

2. One silicone heart mould tray

3. Oven

4. Baking tray

To Do:

1. Peel the papers off of your crayons if they still reside there.

Next task: Find a use for these pretties! Next task: Find a use for these pretties

"Those crayons are nakie!" “Those crayons are nakie!”

2. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

3. Break crayons down further to fit into the moulds. Great stress relief — snap! snap! crack!

Heart tray + broken crayons Heart moulds + broken crayons = Meant to be

4. Put broken crayons into moulds. There does not appear to be a right or wrong way to do this. I…

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Santa In October? But I Just Want To Be A Burrito!

Autumn is my favorite season. I think I write that sentence in a blog post every year around this time. My reasons change a bit each year, but my love of the season is mostly about boots,  food — butternut squash, brussels sprouts, warm apple cider — and the free pass to snuggle indoors. #hyggelife

As a human person who wants nothing more than to read under a quilt by the fire without worrying about ice dams on my roof, I never want autumn to end.

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Image Credit: lillisketchtumbler.com
As a small business owner, autumn is something entirely different. It’s when THE HOLIDAYS are meant to be start. No, not Halloween or Thanksgiving. Autumn marks the beginning of Christmas and Hanukkah and gift-buying and gift-giving (my favorite part). So instead of wrapping myself like a book-loving burrito by the fire, I’m supposed to be thinking of snowmen, gift wrap, and eggnog.

And each year, I rebel against The Holidays coming so soon — even as a business person — because my human-burrito side just wants all the autumn all the time! And if I can’t have it all the time, can I just have it during autumn? Pleeeease!

This year, the answer is no. No I can’t. pen&thimble is starting The Holidays “early” this year. Which is really just “on time” with all the other shops. Holiday items have been made and photographed and are just waiting for me to finish one last bite of an apple to be listed on my Etsy shop.

This year, I’m offering a gift wrapping option too!  Bright hand-stamped (by me) stars and a gift note wrapped in twine. It’s already designed and photographed and waiting to go live as an option soon! But first I’m going to slide on my boots and crunch up some leaves and maybe start a fire in my fireplace and read a bit.

Post Update: Holiday Items have rolled into the shop. Gift wrapping option coming soon! 

Summer is For Stitches

Poison Ivy isn’t the only thing I’ve gotten into this summer! I’ve also been sewing my heart out! (See what I’ve been working on at gillianstitches)

But I haven’t been cooped up in the studio! No… I’m out in the backyard, on the deck while the girls splash in the paddling pool, long car rides across 5 states, at the breakfast table, even in bed watching Netflix! This summer, I have taken sewing away from the machine and to… well, everywhere else!

English Paper Piecing

I’m working on a giant English Paper Piecing (EPP) project. For those who don’t know it is a technique of sewing quilts by hand using paper backing to stabilize your fabric and thus making your fabric easier to piece together.

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From this…

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To this…

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Taking papers out..

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Ta Da! One 12″ quilt block done!

Hand Embroidery

We took a long car trip across 5 states and 1100 miles with our two kids under 5 years-old. They had Netflix downloads, my husband had the wheel, and I had hand embroidery (I had the best deal of everyone).

Since I was cooped up in a car, I decided to stitch up some nature with these garden boxes. It was so fun to stitch and when I didn’t know what to do with an empty box, I took suggestions on Instagram! Stuck in a car collaborating with other creatives — it was heaven!

garden box hand embroidery

Do you like to get your craft on in the summer? What do you like to do? Tell me in the comments below!

Want To Stitch With Me?

Have you ever wanted to pick up a portable craft like embroidery or EPP to keep your hands busy while you schlep the little ones here and there? Let’s make a little crafty mom club! I’d love to help you get started! First, follow me on Instagram @gillianstitches and send me a message letting me know that you want to stitch with me!