Handmade Holiday- Map Embroidery

I know so many people that just LOVE where they live, myself included. So, I made this really simple craft that makes a wonderful, thoughtful and personal gift.

First Print a map of your chosen city. Make sure to print the map to be the same size as the frame you’d like to display it in. Next draw a heart shape around the city on the map using a pencil so you can adjust it if you make a mistake. Then using 3 stands of red embroidery thread, stitch over the heart you drew. There are many different stitches, but I think that a back stitch looks best on this type of project.

Once you have finished your heart, tie off the back and frame the paper in a coordinating frame.

Super simple, easy, cheap, and cute!

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Handmade Holiday- Applique Pillow

I thought for this next edition of Handmade Holiday I’d try something for the home. This can make a great gift to give away or keep for yourself.

First decide what size you would like your pillow to be. I would recommend basing it off another pillow you have at home, measuring the dimensions of that pillow and cut two pieces of fabric that size. I wanted an oblong pillow for mine, so I cut my pieces in that shape.

Next cut your trees out of three different holiday fabrics. The best way to do this is fold the piece of fabric in half so that the tree is symmetrical.  I decided to make a large, medium and small, but you can cut them how you like and whatever fits best on your pillow.

You should iron them out and then pin them on one of the larger pieces of fabric according to how you want them arranged.

Next stitch the trees onto the fabric staying as close to the outside of the tree as possible without going off the edge.

Then take the tree stitched fabric and the other side of your pillow and pin them together with the trees facing inside the pillow. Stitch all around 3 sides of the pillow.

Flip the pillow inside out and stuff with filling.

Next, fold the open sides in and pin together making sure that no fabric edges are exposed.

Sew a straight stitch where you have pinned the pillow closed in a matching thread so it won’t be noticeable. Enjoy your new pillow!

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Handmade Holiday- Gift Card Holder

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Well friends… I am smack dab in the middle of Christmas shopping, or gift planning as I like to call it. In my house we’re big fans of making gifts. We make a big list of everyone we want to get gifts and we plan out projects from there. It makes for a crazy December, but it’s all worth it when our friends and family get to open projects that mean something a bit more than a trip to a store and buyers remorse when we get our credit card bill in January. With that I have come up with some easy DIY projects that you can create for those on your list.

This first one I wanted to share with you is a great way to add some personal flair to an otherwise impersonal gift, the gift card. Try making this cute little plush coffee mug gift card holder to go with the coveted gift card to Starbucks or one of your favorite local coffee shops. Lux is my favorite here in Phoenix, just sayin’.

First you will need 4 pieces of felt. The size will depend on how big you would like your mug to be. I used a mug from my kitchen as a template. Place your mug face down on your felt and draw around the outside of it creating your circle. Next wrap the felt around the outside of the mug and cut the felt according to the height and length it takes to wrap the mug.  You should have 2 circles for the top and bottom (one in the same color as your sides and another in black or brown), a larger piece for the sides and a smaller piece for the handle.

Next cut another piece in the same color as your mug using any gift card as a guide just making sure it isn’t longer than the height of your mug. This will be the pocket for the gift card to slide into. Stitch that piece onto the outside of the largest piece of felt around each side and across the bottom. It doesn’t really matter where as long as it isn’t too close to the edge.

Next take the smaller piece and roll it up long ways. Use a little bit of hot glue to secure it together. Fold it into a ‘c’ shape and pin to the inside of the larger piece with the pocket. Make sure that the handle and the pocket are on the inside of the fold. Stitch these pieces together. I went over this several times to make sure it was really secure.

Next, take the circle that is the same color as the large piece and place it on top of your outer piece. Make sure that the mug is still turned inside out. Stitch the two pieces together, creating a little  rim all around the mug. I chose to use my sewing machine on this part as well, but if you feel more comfortable, you can hand stitch this part. Just make sure your stitches are small and tight.

Flip the mug over and repeat the same thing with the black or brown circle piece. Don’t sew the entire way around. Leave a space open so you can flip the mug right side out.

Now, turn the mug right side out and stuff with poly fill pillow stuffing. Make sure to shove the filling down in all the sides to plump out the mug. Once the mug is full, carefully place the rest of the black felt circle inside the mug and hand stitch the rest of the way around the mug closing up the gap.

There you have it! A great little gift to accompany a coffee gift card. If you have questions about this tutorial, feel free to email me at chickswhogiveahoot@yahoo.com

More DIYs this week. Happy Handmade Holiday!

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Shopping With Purpose Recap

Last Friday night I had the pleasure of participating in Shopping With Purpose at the New City Studio. People gathered to do their shopping with a specific purpose in mind, to help others in the process. Each vendor gave a portion of their proceeds to a social justice project or charity. It was one of the most gratifying experiences to watch people interact and purchase my items. Even more gratifying was being able to give half of all my proceeds from the night to Mercy Ministries.

I was set up next to Ransom Me. She had some of the most beautiful jewelry made from bullet casings and feathers. 40% of her proceeds went to Streetlight USA. 

One of my favorite new organizations was there also. Wallets for Water makes wallets out of old neck ties and the proceeds build water wells for villages in India. I got the privilege of volunteering with them not that long ago sewing wallets.

Rayetta’s Homemade Treasures was also there. Rayetta sews quilted handbags and donates a portion of the proceeds from every sale to assist people in the Phoenix area living with HIV/AIDS.

Barrio Bikes: Barrio Bikes offers new and used bicycles and parts, quality repair services, and educational training as a burgeoning micro-enterprise of Neighborhood Ministries in downtown Phoenix.

Natalie Gammill, Henna artist, provided temporary tattoos. 100% of the donations go to support the Ashish Center.

One of my favorites of the night was Hand and Cloth. I’m so happy I met them and was able to hear a bit about their mission.  Hand & Cloth works with the women of Bangladesh, helping them gain job skills, develop into leaders and entrepreneurs, and experience Biblical values lived out. Working together, the women stitch kantha, a traditional two-sided blanket made from repurposed vintage sari cloth.

It was such a pleasure to be involved in such a great event. I met so many amazing people with a heart for others. I can’t wait to do it again in the future.

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Shopping With Purpose

Well, tomorrow is First Friday! I love this day of the month as Downtown Phoenix gathers for a large art walk. We have been a part of this art walk more than once. We showed our art at the New City Studio a few months ago. We had such a good time, we’re going back! This time will be a bit different though. Instead of displaying some great art pieces, we will be participating in “Shopping With Purpose” with many other great vendors. Everyone there will be donating a portion of their proceeds to a social justice project or a charity of some kind. Donations will help everything from people living with HIV/AIDS to hunger.

Here is the flier to the event and all of the relevant details.

First Friday Flier 1211 2nd (not to edge)

My shop Chicks Who Give a Hoot will be there selling all sorts of fun things and I will be donating half of all proceeds to Mercy Ministries. They have been on my heart for a while and I have financially supported them in the past. Mercy Ministries have been providing hope and healing to women seeking freedom from life-controlling issues for years. The waiting list for their bibically-based program is just heartbreaking, but the work they’re able to do without any government funding in astounding!

I have been a busy bee getting ready for the show. There is so much that goes into the preparations for a show like this and I can’t wait to be a part of this event and show off all my handmade things. If you’re in the Phoenix area… heck, even if you’re not, I hope you’ll stop by the New City Studio to do some shopping. This is really a great way to make a difference with your gift giving this year.

For more information on the other vendors participating, go here.

Also, be sure to go to the Facebook event and check that you’ll be attending, oh and spread the word!

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And We’re Back!

Hi there…

Remember me? Well, it has been a while since I have shown my metaphorical face here. After being overwhelmed and stressed from rising self expectations, I decided a break was much needed. I have spent the last several months facing some trials, dealing with personal obstacles and making great gains. I have also spent a deal of time re imagining this space and evaluating what I wanted from it. All in all I have made some choices and I’m ready to share them with you.

First of all I have decided to move my blog and merge it with my shop site. This will create a far more cohesive space for me to mange and update. Plus there is nothing like owning your own site and not really using it to its full potential. So…I’m smack dab in the middle of a complete re haul and I hope you’ll stick around a few more weeks to see it complete. Until then I will be posting here. I will let you know when the move is official.

Another great big step is involving Dawn more in the blog. She is my partner in this crafty venture and it only makes sense for her to take a larger role in the blog as well.

Another change that I have decided to implement will be slightly more internal. I have ideas, and man do I have a lot of them, but I was really letting the blogging world get to me and dictate what sort of blog I ran and what I should feature. I would really love for this blog to be a full time thing at some point, but I really want to make this about Dawn and I first. When ever and if ever next steps come, we will have a foundation we can be proud of. That being said there will be more theatre posts here on this space. I hope you all can deal with some culture. We will show you how to critique a play and let you know which ones are happening around the Phoenix area. We may even include some behind the scenes stuff 🙂

Thank you so very much for sticking around and coming back. Your loyalty and readership means the world to me. I hope you’ll join Dawn and I at our new space and get ready for all we have for you.

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A Little Break

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I have decided to take a little blogging break.

I’m pretty sure I knew it was coming over the last week as my posting has diminished, however I thought I would make it official.

I originally started this blog as a way to share my ideas and catalog my many projects. However, it quickly spiraled into something so much more. I discovered this whole world of blogging that made my heart melt. I met some wonderful people and learned so much. Lately though, this space has been more of an obligation and another deadline to accomplish rather than being just a creative outlet. After a failed giveaway which I anticipated to do pretty well, I started thinking. The feelings of inadequacy crept up when up until now, I have done a pretty good job of keeping them at bay. Then I had my birthday party last night. I made all these wonderful plans for the food table, a photo booth and a pinata. None of these ideas played out! I went to bed last night upset at myself for not figuring it out, making it better; somehow salvaging my ideas. I was upset that my planned blog post on the party couldn’t happen because I didn’t have any pictures to show for it. I even forgot to take a picture of the cake I made. I forgot to really break out my camera at all. Then I remembered that I had a great time with friends and family. Our house was filled with people we love and I’m sure no one else really cared about my table cloth. My mind is getting bogged down with things that don’t really matter and in that I’m losing out on things that do.

I need to re asses what I want for this space, where I really want it to go and how I’m going to make it work in my life right now.   So, I’m going to take a little break. I’m not going to arrange for guest bloggers, this will be a true break. I’m so grateful for all the people who read my little blog and I hope you will come back again to visit once I sort through a few things.

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