Wednesday, April 23, 2014

DIY Apron Mother's Day Card

My mother's birthday was in early April, and as I flipped through one of my paper craft books, I found a darling idea for a card.
Putting my own twist on it, I created a little handmade apron for the front of her card, pictured above, and she was delighted with it.  So were my friends.  :)  And so began my journey in making variations of these cards for sale to friends and in my Etsy shop.  However, I won't keep all the fun to here is a DIY tutorial in case you want to make your own.  :)
Make a little cardstock pattern for your apron...4" x 3 1/4" and cut out your fabric.

Iron a 1/4" hem on the two short sides and one long side.

Sew those 3 little ironed down hems.

Along the unhemmed long edge, sew a basting stitch about 1/4" from the edge, for gathering.  Leave long thread ends for pulling, as show.

Gently pull the basting thread on top of the right side, to gather.  And pull the basting thread underneath on the left side, to finish gathering.  If you pull the top threads on both side or the bottom threads on both sides, your thread will lock up and not gather.  Spread your gathers out evenly.

Next take a coordinating piece of ribbon, about 5" long (give or take) and either pin it or spot glue it to the top of your apron, covering the basting thread and the top edge of the fabric.  If either the top edge of the fabric or the basting shows after you stitch on your ribbon, you can trim them/remove the basting thread til it looks clean.  I like to use a zig zag stitch to attach the ribbon to the top of the apron, to create it's waist band.  The pinning or spot gluing just helps hold it in place while you sew.

Hope you can see the zig zag stitching which attached the ribbon to the apron's waist.

Next you want to adorn the hemline of the apron with rick rack or some decorative stitching.  I have fallen in love with the vintage look of the decorative stitching.  #13 is my favorite pattern for this.  

For best results, have your thread be a coordinating color that will show up well.  I sew that stitch about 1/4" from the hem stitching at the bottom of the apron.

Ta Daaa!  Doesn't it just make you want to get out your childhood Barbies and try it on her?!

Next, clip miniature clothespins to the top of your apron.  Prepare your card with a pretty cardstock mat on the front and use a glue gun to attach the clothespins to the card.  Angle your apron as seen in the finished photo.

Type out some different sayings to go on the front of your card, and print them.

I glued my sentiment to a pretty coordinating cardstock, then matted that with a piece of a vintage book page.  I attached it to the card with a foam block, to add dimension.

Are you in love yet?  Want to wear the apron yourself?

Add caption

Finish it off with a coordinating punched heart or flower attached to the back flap of the envelope.  Pretty.  Special.  One of a kind.

And you are finished!  If you do not sew or have time to make these, please visit my Etsy shop called Perfect Darlings to purchase one from me.  :)  Or make your own and have a great time!  As a courtesy, I would greatly appreciate it, however, if you would refrain from selling yours on Etsy...I'm sure you can appreciate that.  :)

Happy Mother's Day!
Your comments always brighten my day!

Be Blessed,

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Monday, April 21, 2014

eBaying Our Way to St. Louis!

With our parents, siblings, grown children, and little grands spread out between Kansas City, Chicago, Northern Indiana and Southern Indiana, we have to create situations where we can all get together to visit.  It's important that our grown kids get to see their grandparents every year.  And that the great grandparents get to see their little great grands every year.  We not only have distance separating us, but different work situations and careers...we have a youth pastor, teacher, cafe manager, and more.  Finding time when everyone we can take off work is a challenge, too.

So this past winter, we were able to coordinate dates and pick 3 days to meet up for a family gathering.  We chose St. Louis as our place to meet, as it is centrally located and has so much for families to do!  We found a house to rent for us and our grown kids, and the other family members will stay in a nearby hotel.  So with a location and some dates chosen, the next step was to pay for this shindig!  :)  With our youngest son having expensive dental and orthodontic work done, and my husband gazelle-intense on saving for retirement, I wanted to get creative with the finances of this trip.

About the same time, my husband and I began cleaning out some closets.  We normally donate everything to Goodwill and take a tax credit from it.  This time, however, we kind of hated to just give away some of the nicer items.  Just for kicks, we listed 2 things on eBay. This was our first time to try to sell anything on eBay...we just kind of learned as we went.  But we were totally shocked that our son's Nike basketball shoes sold for $28.  And REALLY surprised that the old dvd series I bought for $2 at a garage sale some years back, sold for $43!  We were hooked!

Since then, I have been systematically going through the house, looking for things that we don't need, that might sell on eBay.  And my goal in all of this is that I might pay for most of our St. Louis trip by this method.  I've had good success with selling dvds, children's books, homeschool curriculum, and name brand clothing.  We've sold a Vietnam War mess kit my mom found in their new house's attic, a miniature tea set, and the graphing calculator that our older kids used for a bit in high school.

Some sales are just $1.99 plus shipping.  Our largest sale has been the dvd series and the graphing calculator for $57 plus shipping.  A friend told us that he recently made $250 by selling his too-large Big and Tall men's shirts on eBay.  He said they sell like hotcakes.  So when I came upon some nice, name brand B&T men's shirts at a garage sale for $1 each, I took a chance and bought 2.  After listing them a week ago, I was tickled to sell them for $5.99 and $7.50 each plus shipping.

Mostly we have just sold our own items.  So the $464.00 we've made since January, is purely 'found' money.  Our house is losing weight...and our paypal account is gaining weight!

I just wanted to share this fun story with you, in case you want to make some extra cash right from the comfort of your own home.  I'm making about $100 a month, and not spending much time at it at all.  I'm hoping to have $600 by the time we go on our trip...that will pay for our lodging and gas, at least.  Since I'm a stay-at-home Mom, homeschool teacher, and Etsy shop owner, I find particular joy in helping out financially without having to leave home and go to a job.

Inspired?  Already an eBay seller?  Would love to hear your story, too!

Be Blessed,

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Handmade Sympathy Cards Using Hymnal Pages

This week I needed to send two sympathy cards to friends.  We didn't have any that I liked, and these friends are very special.  So I decided to make some.  I sat down at my ironing board (an ironing board, lowered to table height, makes a great craft table in a small space!) and looked over my paper crafting supplies.  Then I knew what I wanted to do...use a vintage hymnal page of a hymn about heaven, to make the cards.  I have 2 old hymnals that I use for making special crafts...I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

I like to use pre-made white cardstock cards from Michaels, and decorate the fronts of them as well as adding a little coordinating embellishment on the back of the envelope.  The card with the bird on it is for a man who lost his brother recently, so I tried to add a bit of masculinity with some burlap layered under the bird.  Using decorative scissors in the antique pattern made the hymn page look torn on both sides.

Handmade cards are always a gift.  And hymns comfort our souls.  When put together, I hope it brings comfort and love to our friends who have said an earthly goodbye to their loved ones.

Be Blessed,

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