Do I Look Like Santa? Imagination + Costume Bin = Our Summer

Both of my girls have been BIG into dress-up this summer! And it is getting hilariously whacky and fun! It started off as putting on a princess dress and claiming to be… a princess. But lately, their imaginations and costume bins are taking them to amazing pretend-play places!

July Dress-Up Photo Gallery

Super Hero
My Super J!!
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“Me Moana!”
Poppy from Trolls
“If ever you see Poppy, the funnest troll in Troll Village, it’s just me your daughter, Josephine.”
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My favorite nerd!
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“Do I look like a Viking?” Yes. Yes you do!
honey bee costume
My honeybee!
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“If ever you see a scary monster. Don’t be frightened. It’s just me your daughter Josephine.”
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“Do I look like Santa?” Nailed it!
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If ever you see my family out and about this summer and we’re hanging out with a gnome, don’t be surprised, that’s just our daughter Josephine.

Crowns For All Occasions

Want to enhance your kids’ dress up bins? Well, there are always pen&thimble crowns like these that helped transform Phee into Maui and Jasmine. And the one that helped Ivy…eat a bagel poolside. Find your new favorite bagel-eating accessory HERE!

DIY Costume Accessories

Or if you’re looking for a DIY project to help you cool off on a hot day, check out these pins in my craft and DIY board on Pinterest:

DIY Felt Gnome Hat: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/477240891753427865/

DIY Troll Hair Headbands: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/477240891749938644/

DIY Origami Paper Crown: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/30117891241093479/

DIY Color-Your-Own Paper Glasses: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/477240891753427936/

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!

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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

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

The Cost of A Quilt

Quilts are kind of my favorite thing right now. They are the cozy marriage of beauty and function. They are a comfy place for baby to enjoy tummy time, they keep us warm when we are reading a good book in the winter, they comfort your sick kid when you’re warming soup on the stove, they make spaces beautiful.

So during vacation I decided to treat myself and my family, by making us a Christmas quilt. I chose a free quilt block pattern of Christmas trees to save costs (find the pattern and tutorial here). I can’t wait to tell you just how much money I saved making my own quilt!

I made the festively colorful quilt pictured below with the dimensions 38 x 45 inches (96.5 x 114 centimeters). Take a guess the cost of the materials for the entire quilt… fabric, binding, batting, thread, tools. Jot it down even! In fact, write down your guess now before you see the cost of materials below.

Oh! Before I reveal the cost of materials, I want to mention that the price of the materials is not counting the time (hours/days) it took me to:

  • pair prints and colors for the tree blocks,
  • make the quilt blocks (each of those 8 Christmas trees),
  • arrange the trees and sashing to my liking,
  • trim the blocks to uniform size
  • sew all of the blocks and sashing together to make the quilt top,
  • quilt the top, batting, and back together,
  • hand sew the binding (that red fabric tape around the quilt that hides the inside layer from view.

All told the cost of materials was: $80.11. Is that more or less than you expected? Let me know in the comments below!

Compare the materials cost to the 50 x 60 inch finished quilts I saw on Amazon for $13.85 and $20.99. Those prices include shipping too if you are a Prime member. You can see for yourself by searching “throw quilts” on Amazon. So money saved… um, none. But I knew that going in, of course!

Breakdown of Cost of Materials (Retail Prices):

  • $33.55: Beautiful Christmas-y Fabric for Top
  • $9.49: Batting
  • $17.98: Backing Fabric
  • $11.60: Binding: (I spent more $ by not making my own, but saved $ in time)
  • $7.49: Spool of Thread, Machine Wear, New Needles, Use of Quilters Rulers, Rotary Blades, Shears, Thread Snips, Seam Ripper, Cutting Mat.

The real reason I made my own quilt was not to save money. In fact, I tend to choose handmade expecting it to cost more. It should! It is special. It is unique. It tends to be a higher quality.

I made this quilt because I’ve caught the quilting bug. I can’t wait to share some of my more recent projects with you. (Squeee!) You won’t see any of these creations in my shop just yet, but I wanted to share this bit of my handmade journey with you. And in case you hadn’t considered it before, I wanted to share the exact cost of materials of a little handmade quilt. 🙂

Hope you are all having a happy New Year so far! I’ll be posting again next week!