the one year birthday of my book!

book party book party book party book party book party book party book party

I can’t believe it’s been one year since the release of my book, Let’s Sew Together! I’m still very thankful for the opportunity to have written a book, and it’s kind of strange to think I’m an author (even if it’s been out for a year). Still weird. I think the hardest part of having written a book is the self promotion that comes along with it. Like I said, blogs are kind of narcissistic already, but then to keep having to remind people that you wrote a book and that they should buy it, that’s kind of tough for me. The whole business aspect of my creative job doesn’t come natural to me.

Since, we are on the topic of my book (duh!), and if you do want to learn how to sew and make some projects for and with the little ones in your life, I think you’ll really like my book! The projects in the book are totally new and have never been shared step-by-step on my blog, so you aren’t just buying blog material that is given here for free (in case you’re wondering). In the past, some of you have asked for a tutorial for my world map quilt and giant dollhouse pillows, and those are both in my book.

The photos above were from the book release party, which was a year ago. I’m totally lame because I’m way so late in sharing this. After the book party, summer happened, off we went to Singapore, then Williamsburg, and then life kept happening, so it just never got shared. Also, I was waiting for the edited pictures from my friend, Reese, and the video from my sister. Here we are a year later and I’m finally sharing it. Better late than never, right?!

Thank you to all those who attended and showed their support! It was so lovely to meet so many of you and it’s so strange for me to sign books. Sorry if I wrote all messy because when I’m nervous, my penmanship is atrocious. I remember I even spelled a simple word wrong! Oh goodness. You all (and all my friends and family who were there too) were so awesome! The whole book thing was such a dream, with the most amazing editor & publisher (shout out to my editor Caitlin over at Potter Craft/Penguin Random House), and I’m just filled with gratitude for it all. While it was an amazing thing to accomplish, I still learned that even an accomplishment like that never fully satisfies, only Jesus can fill my empty hole.

A special thanks to Danni & Oh, Hello Friend for hosting the party at their shop, also to my favorite dynamic duo, Me & Mr. Cassidy, for serenading the crowd. Thank you to Reese Tibayan for your photography skills, and to Reinna Cruz for putting together such a fun video! Also, thank you to my mother for making all the delicious desserts and drinks! Another round of thanks goes to these sponsors and their wonderful gifts that were given to the guests at the party: Totes from Hello Apparel, pillar stud earrings from Lisa Leonard, soaps from SQ Apothecary, craft kits from  Treehouse Kid & Craft, craft supplies from Oriental Trading Company, fabric bundles from Ann Kelle, and accessories from Burdees.

Here’s the first post I ever did about my book (I kept it a secret for so long!), and if you want to see the video we made for release day last year, check it out here. Happy May 20th friends!

 

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denim kimono jacket

denim kimono jacket denim kimono jacket denim kimono jacket I got the sewing itch to make something like this, but in denim, and then I went hunting for more inspiration and came across this one from Ro & Ro General Merchants. I merged the two together in my head, and went to drawing out some patterns. I used a kimono I had as a guide (this one), and tweaked things here and there. I had about 1 1/2 yards of this denim fabric, and I knew it would be a tight fit to figure this out. I wish I had 2 yards, because I could have made the collar strip one continuous piece, but with a little tinkering, I think it came out just fine.

My jacket is 3 main pieces (1 back, and 2 front pieces), with a 5″ strip (folded in half) to go around the collar and down the sides. I’d like to tinker some more and try making another with some black linen. I don’t have any on hand though, so that project will have to wait. This is the perfect lightweight jacket for the summer and spring months. It will probably work all year round since I’m in Southern California. This would have come in handy last week as I was traveling; the airplane rides were a bit chilly.

When it comes to sewing, I just go, so even though I made a pattern, it’s not perfect, thus I’m not quite ready to share it. I’m a cut and sew on the spot kind of person, it just goes faster for me that way. If I ever get a pattern just right for this, you bet your bottom dollar I’ll share that here!

If you’re a buy instead of make kind of person, this one from Madewell is similar, or you might like a sweater one from the Gap. If you want something with more coverage, here’s this one from Free People. Don’t forget this cool one from Ro & Ro General Merchants, it might be my favorite one with the Madewell one in second place!

 

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diy: giant mother’s day poster

DSC_8490 copy DSC_8453 copy DSC_8471 copy Giant Mother’s Day Poster

Directions:
We took some photos this past weekend, and I chose one to use for our poster. In Photoshop, I switched the color image to black and white, added the Mother’s Day greeting, then saved it to be printed as a 24″ x 36″ poster. I went to our local copy store, and asked them to make a blueprint copy of the file. It prints out in black and white on thin paper (ours came out to $3.89 each). Since this is something we will be giving to our mothers, Ben’s and mine, we had the girls write “grand” (using paint marker) in parenthesis next to the word mother. I guess we could have gone with “Happy Grandmother’s Day!” on the poster, but I thought if the kids wrote the “grand” part, it would give it a sweet touch.

I got a poster shipping tube to send it off to Ben’s mom, and we will see my mom, so we can hand it to her in person. If you don’t have access to Photoshop, just have the children (or yourself) write the greeting onto the print. I think the large poster packs a nice punch, and of course, what mother or grandmother wouldn’t want a large poster of her children/grandchildren?! You can also keep this idea in your back pocket for Father’s Day!

DSC_8174 copy DSC_8142 copy DSC_8185 copy DSC_8157 copy DSC_8178 copy One thing I just realized is that none of my girls like spaghetti strap tops or dresses. Now that I think of it, I don’t either. I got this cute romper for Glow, but she didn’t want to wear it without a shirt underneath. She put up a fuss, until I offered her a top to wear under. I’d totally wear Brave’s romper and True’s dress (seriously considered ordering it in an XXL), and pair it with those exact shoes too! The fabrics are nice and light, perfect for the summer temperatures we had this weekend. Soul was super excited to get her own pair of slip-on sneakers. True and Brave have some that they share, so she’s been wanting that style to be like them… and now she can!

on true: chambray embroidered dress, c/o old navy. biker boots, gap kids (similar here). on brave: chambray romper, c/o old navy. checkered vans, shoes.com. on soul: stripe dress & slip-ons, c/o old navy. on glow: shirt, misha lulu. jersey romper & sneakers, c/o old navy.

This post is sponsored by Old Navy. In honor of the 101st Mother’s Day celebration, Old Navy is partnering with artist to bring some of your favorite memories as a a mom, or with your mom, to life in watercolor. To enter, see here for details. Thank you for the support you give me, this space, and the brands I choose to partner with!

 

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diy: paper plate cake stands

paper plate cake stands Paper Plate Cake Stands

Supplies:
Paper plates
Cups (be sure it’s proportionate to the plate and not too small)
Glue gun/glue stick

Directions:
Add some glue to the bottom rim of the cup, center it on the bottom of the paper plate, and attach to set in place.

paper plate cake stands paper plate cake stands paper plate cake stands I needed 9 cake stands for True’s mini hotel party, and I thought about lugging 9 small cake stands with me, but decided against it once I saw these patterned paper plates at Daiso. I put these together in our hotel room (see here), and once all the mini bundt cakes were eaten, to the trash the cake stands went. It’s basically a paper plate on top of a paper cup, but it did the job I needed it to do, and they looked cute while doing it! I’m not sure how it would hold up with a larger cake, but I think for mini ones like these, they worked great.

paper plate cake stands paper plate cake stands paper plate cake stands paper plate cake stands The cakes here are from 85 Degrees, one of our favorite local bakeries; one cake was chocolate chiffon, and the other vanilla bean chiffon. It was so light, fluffy, and mildly sweet. The cake didn’t come with the berries and cream, I just added that myself. My girls would agree that it complemented the cake nicely, and it was the perfect cake to use for our paper plate cake stands!

 

 

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spider-man dress from t-shirts

spider-man t-shirt dress spider-man t-shirt dress spider-man t-shirt dress spider-man t-shirt dress spider-man t-shirt dress spider-man t-shirt dress spider-man t-shirt dress Brave’s still adores all things Spider-Man. When she started, we thought it might be a phase that would end, but it’s still going strong. Typically, she insists on wearing blue or red (with her faux black rimmed glasses like Peter Parker) to represent Spider-Man, but she’s been getting into Nancy Drew the past year, so she also tries to dress like a detective. What you get with Brave is a Spider-Man meets Nancy Drew kind of vibe.

We thrifted these t-shirts and thought it would go well together for a Spider-Man dress. I cut off the sleeves from the Spidey shirt for the dress top, and then cut off the bottom of the larger shirt to make the skirt. Next, I gathered the skirt, and then sewed them both together. It was my first try at this style, and I’m not completely satisfied. I think mostly cause I wish we found a larger Spider-Man shirt for the top to make a looser style of dress. I wanna try again soon, and once I get it exactly right, I’ll share the tutorial here. You can get a rough idea from what I did in the pictures above. I’m not super wild about this one, but Brave is, so I guess that’s all that matters!

She was so excited when I made this dress, and what she doesn’t know is the reason I made the dress. It’s all in preparation to go watch Marvel Universe Live, so the girls are going to get a big surprise this weekend! We will have to round up all our Spider-Man gear and get all the girls decked out, but I can’t wait to see their faces once we enter the arena. They will flip out from excitement, especially my Brave.

MUL_20140710_0860-Edit marvel universe live Marvel Universe Live will be going on at The Forum, which I haven’t been to in ages, from Friday, May 1, until Sunday, May 3. A special discount ticket offer is now available for all city of Los Angeles/Inglewood residents for Marvel Universe Live! If you’re local, you can receive 30% off tickets by using promo code: CITY in the offer code prompt on Ticketmaster. Click here for tickets. Offer valid through May 3, or while supplies last. This is a touring show, so if you aren’t local, it might be coming to a city near you. Just check out Marvel Universe Live for more info.

Eek!!! Ben and I can’t wait to surprise them!!! Now, I just have to make sure Brave doesn’t read this post before then (they like to read my blog).

This post is in partnership with Feld Entertainment as a Feld Family Ambassador; complimentary tickets for the show were provided. I’m always so thankful opportunities such as this, and also for the time you take to support me and this space.

 

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her ninth birthday dress

true turns nine true turns nine true turns nine true turns nine true turns nine true turns nine If you follow on instagram, then you know our biggest girl just turned 9 this past weekend! I can hardly believe it! I remember the day she was born so clearly, just as if it happened yesterday. These past nine years have been really hard, but not because she’s difficult, but it has been a battle of fighting my own self-centeredness. I’m the difficult one. I have no clue how these kids live with me! Being a mother, at least a good mother, is a role that demands a lot of selflessness, and honestly, that doesn’t come natural to me. It’s taken a long time for my heart to understand denying myself, trusting in Jesus, and living out grace. Even still, I suck at it and that is precisely why I need more Jesus. Every single day goes like this… I mess up, ask for forgiveness, pray my heart believes the grace and mercy given at the cross, and things are fine and dandy, but then… boom! And repeat all of that about twenty times over.

I chose a pink fabric for her birthday dress because pink is her favorite color. I was going to do grey and something similar to my eye dress, but knew she would like pink much more. Just like the eye dress, I had initially planned to do a shift style, but with the girly glitter shoes she was going to get for her birthday, I thought a drop waist would be much more adorable. To make the nine tally marks, I just used black fabric paint and hand-painted them on. If you have my book, you know we are all about creating our own patterns on fabric. And of course, before you do any painting or sewing on your fabric, it is best to wash your fabric first. Next, iron it, and then go to town painting (or sewing). To heat set the design on, I allowed the paint to dry completely, and then press the fabric again to heat set in place (use some scrap fabric between in case any of the paint bleeds off).

Happy birthday my dear True! We love you whole heck of a lot! 

*I got the 9 sparkler from Nothing Bundt Cakes, but this one from amazon is similar.

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