Hey! I'm Emily... homebody, amateur philosopher, professional photographer, mama and wife. This is my little world-- a place for me to preserve the little snippets of my life that bring me joy, make me think, or show my creative leanings. I'm so happy you're here. If you get a minute, please introduce yourself in the comments. If you like what you see, you are invited to follow my blog through your RSS Reader. Just click the link at the bottom of the page to add me.
Thank you for being part of my little world... :)

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Monday, December 7

Gettin' Crafty! Tutorial Week, Day 1

In the midst of the packing and the editing and the mothering and the "wife-ing" and all the other "ings" I must do to make my life flow smoothly, I find that somewhere in there, I need something for ME. I think we all do.

I'm blessed to have such a sweet husband who understands this, and who perceives this need within his wife, helping me to get moments to myself. Given these pockets of time, I have two pet ways to spend it. The first, more indulgent way, is to go away from home, get a luxury hot chocolate at Starbucks (Pumpkin spice in the fall, Gingerbread or peppermint in the winter), and either go window shopping at pretty stores (Anthropologie, Pottery Barn Kids, Urban Outfitters, City Sprouts, etc. etc.) or catch a movie by myself, tucked in the dark with some chocolate and a soda. I live for these outings. They take me back to the "free self" of years gone by.

But though I love these adventures, more commonly (and less expensively) I have been taking moments for myself in front of my sewing machine. This dear machine, a wedding gift from my parents, has become, more and more, my sanity. The place I can be creative without the added burden of BUSINESS attached to it. The tool I can use to create things that are lovely AND useful, handmade and real and all my own. Made in the USA. And as my skills have grown, my satisfaction at my completed projects gets deeper and more profound. I truly LOVE this release-- the "escape" of making things with my hands.

And so, though I have been entirely too busy to talk much about it, or show my handiwork here, I have been sewing as much as I can find time for-- my sponge-mind always soaking up way too many "future ideas", a basket of started projects waiting for the spare moments I can sit and move them along a bit. I love it. I love the conception period of a project, love the gathering period, love the preparation period, love the making period, and adore the "sitting back and seeing it done" period. Love.

Now it is the holiday season, and some of these projects have started to fit into gift plans. And I think perhaps it might be a good time to share some of my little obsessions and completions with you, in case someone needs a last-minute gift idea-- something to try for your own purposes. And at the very least, even if there's no time or money left for you to make Christmas gifts, you can bookmark these next few blogs posts of mine for future "winter blahs" projects.

So. Starting tomorrow, Tuesday, I am going to post a tutorial a day... Show you what I've been making, show where I got the inspirations (and sometimes even actual patterns), and show you some of the steps visually, to walk you through it. I have several cool things to share.

In fact, one of my very favorite projects ever will be revealed at the end of the week, and you won't want to miss it. It is RIDICULOUSLY cool/cute... A piggybacked idea I got last year, and thought about for months before attempting my own design. something so cute, I think it deserves to be given away in a blog contest.

Oh yes, my friends! Tutorial Week needs to also be Contest Week--- just in time for Christmas!

So here's what you'll need to do to be entered to win this as-of-yet-unrevealed prize: come visit me all week. Leave me a comment on EACH post (can't skip one!). You will be entered into a drawing if you do this. And if you want an extra entry in the drawing, blog about Tutorial Week and tell me you did, and you'll get another entry.

And if you need to know more about what you are entering to win, a few clues: It is based off of something darling I saw at Anthropologie last year. It is perfect for ages 3-12 (or, as my 32-year old friend said when she saw it, "I would want this!" So it is charming for us 32-year olds, too. But in a "kid" sort of way). It involves sewing, of course. It would be a wonderful gift for your child. And I am in LOVE with it.

So, to recap:

Tutorial Week is beginning!
One tutorial every day, from Tuesday to Friday.
Grand Prize is revealed Saturday.
Contest winner is drawn Sunday.

Leave your first comment tonight, and we'll see you tomorrow! First up, The "Celebrate" banner you see in the storyboard above. :)

I hope at least a few of you are as excited about crafty tutorials and ideas as I am... It truly is my sanity and release these days. I can't wait to show you more.... to share this piece of me.

Until tomorrow, good night...

*

65 comments:

  1. I can't wait to see what the picture is of the little truck. Is it a car playmat? Cute ideas.

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  2. thanks for the blog comment! i love making new friends, and i'll definitely be bookmarking your blog. i have "etsy envy" and see that you are able to turn your ideas into reality, so i'll be following along with your tutorials for sure. and how funny is this- i used to live in st. charles and my whole extended family lives in south county and surrounding areas.
    and yes, "RS" means what you think it does. :)

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  3. I'm curious about what the arrow looking things are going to be....and the flowers are fabulous. Did you burn the edges?

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  4. I'm so excited for this! I'm always looking for more things to make! That banner is fabulous!

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  5. Ok, I'll play -- and file away sewing tutorials for the one day I: a) get a sewing machine; b) learn to sew! :)

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  6. Ohhhh, I'm so excited! I'm getting a sewing machine for Christmas and these posts will be great inspiration. Keep 'em coming!

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  7. From one Emily to the other, I have been making my own homemade goodies this year for presents. I'v been making ornaments (at a pottery place) and homemade lavender bath salts! Smells so good...and relaxing! Love the banner and cant wait to see the rest of the creations. I'm in the market to buy my own sewing/embroidery machine in the next several months...what kind do you have?

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  8. You know, I have been pondering the idea of asking for a sewing machine. Now that I have a little one, there are a dozen different things that I could make and want to make, and I TRY to believe that I could make them if I JUST had a sewing machine (and well...skills...)

    So maybe I will be inspired by your craftiness and will get a sewing machine of my own.

    My craftiness is generally kitchen-oriented. I am making my own vanilla as we speak (OK, it's easy peesy, so I'm not really DOING anything right now...)

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  9. Y'all are gonna die when you see what this 32-year-old friend squealed over. Even though i don't have a baby, I want one!!!

    ~genny :)

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  10. I mean...I want the Mystery Item.

    A baby....maybe sometime in the future. ;)

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  11. Oh, this will be fun! I got a sewing machine last year for Christmas and I'm only just exploring it for the first time since Home Ec in middle school. I love tutorials :) They're perfect to learn on.

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  12. Ooh....I am so excited. I love craftiness. And you are one of the craftiest people I know. I can't wait!

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  13. I can't wait to see what you will share with me...I mean "us," the followers of your blog.

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  14. I'm in! Can't wait to see every post this week. I'll blog about my projects in my house-will that count? I've got to install a fireplace facade, will that count as getting "crafty"?
    Love you lady.

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  15. I love making things! especially during christmas time as gifts. I'm crazy busy on my own little projects... so fun~

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  16. Oh I'm so excited!

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  17. How fun. That is so nice that you get to steal away those moments for yourself. I think that I need to do that more often. Hopefully I will get my sewing machine soon.

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  18. Ok, Ok, I'm like a few hours late, but I didn't get any computer time yesterday, so let me IN!!! Pretty pretty please???? :)

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  19. Great! Christmas ideas.

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  20. Perfect! I will definitely post about this on my blog. I don't have an ounce of creativity, so if I can steal yours I will take it.

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  21. Okay, you are one of the coolest people I know Emily. I love this and I needed this. I have been going crazy as the at-home mom and your first paragraph of ideas is exactly what I needed. Why do you not live closer? Do you want to move to CA?

    Also, I pine to be entered into this contest. Anthropology is one of my favorite stores to gawk at (SO expensive to purchase!). And that "Celebrate" banner in your first photo is so stinking cute, I can only imagine about your give-away item! SO, I am officially in this thing! Thanks for the fun Emily!

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  22. I left you some love on a 2peas thread a week or so ago, but since one can never hear it enough (and, okay, because I want to get entered in your awesome contest), here it is again:

    I love reading what you write. I love looking at your photos. Like the PP, I think you should move your family to CA and be friends with us. :)

    Thanks for your generosity with the tutorials and the contest!

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  23. Oh I gotta enter this! Hope you are well girl!

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  24. Tutorials and a giveaway! Count me in, please.

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  25. Sounds awesome! I can't wait to see what it is! I am amazed that you are doing this THIS week when you are moving. You are crazy. And we all thank you for it. :)

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  26. I knew you had been holding out on all of your craftyness lately. Bring on the tutorials.

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  27. Emily~ You continue to amaze me with all of your wonderful talents! I can't wait to see how to make these crafties!:)

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  28. I love when you do things like this. I would love to do contests and such myslef, but I am not entirely sure anyone even reads my blog. So I will settle to live vicariously through you. =)

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  29. I'm excited to see your work!

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  30. i will be watching each day.....

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  31. I can't wait to see the tutorials! :) Not sure I could accomplish them, but why not look? :)

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  32. I ended up on your blog looking at your photography a while back...I think from the Jodified blog? But I can't wait to see your tutorials!

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  33. ew, what will we see? i'm excited.

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  34. Sorry I'm a day late but I can't wait for the tutorials!!! You are amazing and I hope I can make these crafts to look somewhat like yours!

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  35. I just found this. I have you on my favorites that I visit and I would love to learn to make those cute bags and those flowers. I hope those will be coming in the next few days.

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  36. I love it and have been meaning to make a banner for celebrations for some time. Thanks for walking me through it.

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  37. I love this! Thanks for the tutorials!!!

    P.S. I remember you from the BabyCenter boards for Nov. 2007 babies, although I didn't stick around there once us "confession" girls got shut down (we have a different board now). It was cool to find your blog and see how you were doing although I was barely a passing acquaintance! I read your blog regularly now!

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  38. oh, how I wish I lived closer to all of you uber crafty people.. that banner is AWESOME!

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  39. whoa, that's a lot of comments :) I love this! I wish I had more of a fun fabric stash, I see so many fun scrap buster things and I have no scraps to bust. And I'm very intrigued by the gift.

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  40. I am going crazy over that fabric with the cursive writing on it. ACK! The ex-teacher in me NEEDS that fabric.

    Amelia, buy fat quarters! That's what I do to get scraps. :)

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  41. My mother and I have already copied your snack bags (they will make the perfect Christmas cookie packages)! I cannot wait to see all you have to share!

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  42. I used my snack bag this very day :-) I like the idea of them as cookie packages, but alas, I'm not the one making them and I'm not giving mine up :-)

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  43. ack, i can't wait for the rest of the week!

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  44. I'm late to the party, but I *love* this idea in general and the two projects I've seen so far!

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  45. You are such a rock star Emily! I'm already behind but I cannot wait to see all the tutorials!

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  46. Oi, this is a lot of competition. But Emily gives the best prizes, so I'm in!

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  47. I wish I was as crafty as you....I wish I had half your photog skills....at least we have the same name! LOVE the snack bags :)

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  48. Thanks for sharing your tutorials!

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  49. Fun, fun stuff, Emily! I'll try to blog later this afternoon. I haven't blogged in forever, but hey...whatever it takes to win that mailbox! lol!

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  50. Thanks for doing these tutorials, Emily!! What a wonderful idea!

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  51. Thank you for the inspiration on a chilly Sunday morning - it's like an invitation to a great party I didn't even know was happening! Now off to blog about your amazing week!

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  52. Love the tutorial!!!! Thanks for doing it!!!

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  53. Your creativity never ceases to amaze me. I'm working my way backwards through the tutorials and have bookmarked every single one for future reference. Thanks for sharing all of these great ideas during what is probably a really stressful time for you. Lyn(say)

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  54. Thank you for all the tutorials! Loved them all. Thank you Emily!

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  55. I just bought my felt for this!!!

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  56. Cant wait to get started!!

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  57. I love seeing your crafts... you inspire me that when I have time "Someday" I can be super creative and just attempt some of the things that you have!

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  58. Better late than never right?

    The doughnut pin cushion is hysterical! love it.

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  59. I'm catching up like some of the most recent commenters... I am a horrible blog lurker, always reading and enjoying, and never commenting. Here's my chance to change that!
    I love my sewing machine... it turns out that my son's nap time is when I get the most sewing done. It makes me feel good to be able to create something!

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  60. wow - really great idea to use the computer to make the letter templates. I have just always free handed it and it never turned out that well. I would love to make something like this for our Christmas decorations.

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  61. I know I am late to the party but here I am to comment on each post. (Of course you did this the week I did not religiously clear my overloaded Reader.)

    I agree with the above commenter--why don't I use the computer to make letter templates! Or the Cricut. I may need a crafty intervention.

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  62. Unbelievable. Where do you find the time? hugs -

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