SMP Craft
30 Sep

How-To Tuesday: Make Your Own Label and Sweeten Your Life!

It’s my pleasure to introduce Kim Harrison… our guest blogger this week.

By day, Kim’s COO of Simon Sinek, Inc. By night (and often weekends) she transforms into… SUPER CRAFTER! Kim sews, crochets, and knits–quilts, blankets, afghans, aprons, plush baby toys, bags to hold liquor flasks… and she promises to share her projects with us throughout the year (yippee!) which means we have some fun cool crafts and insight to look forward to!

For this post, she encourages us to sweeten our lives by adding personal LABELS to our homemade projects. YES!

photo 3

Here’s how:

For years I talked about learning how to sew. I had some basic skills my mom and grandmother taught me, but didn’t really know how to do a project from scratch. About five years ago I received two amazing gifts for my birthday.  My boyfriend got me a sewing machine and my mom got me a serger.  This was the year I really began to experience the magic of crafting. I didn’t really have a choice! When you live in New York City, everything in your apartment has to be used and these two machines took up quite a bit of room. I couldn’t justify keeping anything that I don’t really use.

I currently spend two to ten hours a week working on sewing projects. Mainly gifts for people I love.  A few years ago my best friend Lissa suggested I make my own label for my projects.  It seemed like a silly idea being as though I don’t sell my wares, but I explored it with her anyway.  We came up with the idea that hand made gifts “sweeten your life” just a bit. We were working with a “sweeten your life” theme when one day she called me and said ‘Dab of Honey. A little honey just makes everything better.” I loved it!  We decided it would be our collective label.  Lissa isn’t much of a crafter, but she helps me pick fabrics, choose projects, and is the receiver of many of my homemade gifts.

I gotta admit, having my own little label makes a project feel polished.  It’s a nice little touch and I feel a great deal of pride when I see something I made at a friends house featuring this little tag. They are very inexpensive to produce and make a very special addition to any sewing project.photo 4A few tips:

1) Spend some time brainstorming about what theme or images inspire you. photo 1

2) Doodle away even if you don’t consider yourself good at drawing. The clearer you are on what you want, the cheaper and faster the design turnaround will be. If you don’t have a friend who is a designer (which I fortunately did), I suggest using one of the amazing design websites out there to help find someone, like 99designs.com. photo 2

3) There are countless options for labels. I ordered 100 labels made with satin/polyester for about $20. If you google “printed garment labels” or “fabric tag labels” you can explore fabrics, sizes and colors. Etsy has some fantastic options. I plan to use inkaprint for my next print run.

Make your own label. Sweeten your life!
Dab of Honey


For your serging needs, we think you’ll find Julia Hincks’ The Serger’s Technique Bible: The Complete Guide to Serging and Decorative Stitching incredibly useful.

9781250042729_FCAmazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Powell’s Books


Check out our new September and October titles!

3D_50-Ribbon-Rosettes-100x1453D_SewingMachineEmbroider-100x145

3D_Wild-Things-to-Sew-100x1453D_toteallyamazingbags-96x140

7 Sep

Goodreads Giveaway: Game Day by Cindy Cummins

 

Friday night, I watched the Miami Marlins crush the Atlanta Braves in an 11-3 victory. I have no loyalties to either team, but I like the description ascribed to Miami–the fighting fish–and the font they use and their official team colors.

Miami-Marlins-Logo

Whether you’re in my camp, the side that enjoys an exciting well-played match and has affinities influenced by factors other than a particular loyalty to one team or another, or are at the other end and have, say, transformed your daughter’s room into a Chicago Cub’s den, we assure you that Cindy Cummins’ Game Day: 50 Fun Spirit Fleece Projects to Sew will be invaluable to you if not right this instant, then in the future. Game Day

At some point, you’ll find yourself searching for that perfect gift for the sports fanatic in your circle or headed to a frigid NFL football game and need to show support for your sweetheart’s favorite team but don’t own a bright green puffy jacket. It’s moments like these where you’ll be relieved to have Game Day in your library.

 Game Day includes fun and stylish fleece fabric projects, including items for the entire family (and pets!). The projects are designed to be fast and easy to make; few take more than an afternoon to complete, and many can be made in less than an hour. Fleece is wonderfully forgiving for the newbie sewer and comes in literally thousands of textures, colors, and prints.

And… guess what? You’re in luck. Our Goodreads Giveaway of Game Day starts today! Enter now for the chance to win one of 20 copies.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Game Day by Cindy Cummins

Game Day

by Cindy Cummins

Giveaway ends September 11, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

 

Crunched for time? Need more than one copy ASAP? We’ve got you. It’s available to purchase now at your favorite bookstore and online retailer:

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
iBooks
Indiebound
Walmart

Check out our new September and October titles!

3D_50-Ribbon-Rosettes-100x1453D_SewingMachineEmbroider-100x145

3D_Wild-Things-to-Sew-100x1453D_toteallyamazingbags-96x140

 

26 Aug

How-To Tuesday: Cardboard Mailbox

Y O U ‘ V  E   G O T   M A I L  ! ! !

Finished-with-letterLast year, a pal confided that she thought texting and email was unattractive and tiresome. She also expressed concern that her seven-year-old daughter might never know the true beauty of the handwritten word if she didn’t start teaching her now. She decided shortly thereafter to unplug (as realistically as she could) and declared that she would help restore the dying art of carefully crafted handwritten letters.

I’ve since received several letters in the mail from her. She handwrites that she’s still going strong, using her cellphone strictly in its traditional form and has greatly reduced the frequency of emailing with her clients. And in recent letters, I’ve noticed her daughter has become a more prominent participant in the process–her notes and doodles accessorizing every envelope.

Which got me to thinking about other means of making letter-writing appealing to kids. The “mailbox” came to mind and how great it would be for kids to have their own physical personal mailbox. Just a small mailbox, I mumbled to myself. For little notes. For sharing… Teachers could use it in their classrooms. My niece and nephew could use it with their neighborhood friends. They could leave each other surprises.

TheCardboardBoxBookSo this week’s how-to post is a mini version of the mailbox from The Cardboard Box Book by Sarah Powell and Roger Priddy with illustrations by Barbi Sidobox. The Cardboard Box Book is family friendly, eco-conscious, and uses the cardboard box as the foundation for learning and creating. It shows kids that by using easy-to-find art and craft materials, the ideas, templates, and stickers included in the book, PLUS a ton of imagination, simple cardboard boxes can be transformed into a robot costume, a princess castle, a circus, and, of course, a mailbox!

I didn’t actually use a cardboard box or the stickers in the book to make my version of the mailbox. Mine measures about seven inches long and three inches high and I used instead the leftover cardboard packing material I had laying around–two pieces, sturdy, and used the terrifically illustrated and simple instructions from the book as a guide.

To make my version, I also used masking tape, scissors, white paint, stickers, glue, and designed/pseudo washi tape to decorate and personalize. Here’s how I did it:RoofInstructions

First, I CUT one of the cardboard pieces into a 12″ x 3.5″ strip. Next, I DREW the base as shown. cardboard-formThen, I CUT away the base, front and back, and door, SCORED and FOLDED the two center lines. Because of the size of my mailbox and thickness of the cardboard I used, I skipped the reinforcing brackets that you’ll notice in the instructions. Completely unnecessary. Cardboard-scoredNext, for the roof, I WRAPPED a long piece of cardboard around the mailbox base. I first used masking tape to stick the cardboard to one side of the base and then ROLLED the cardboard around the mailbox.Tape

I TAPED the connecting parts and cut the remaining excess cardboard. FormedMy last steps involved slapping on a coat of latex house paint. While waiting for the paint to dry, I CUT out the flag, “latch” to keep the door closed, and the letters M A I L from the cardboard scraps. For the last steps, I glued the cardboard letters on and used the designed tape as borders and accents.

Ta Da! Our How-To Tuesday Takeaway?  Try to find balance between the realm of the inbox and the mailbox. mailboxinbox

You’ll find the original big version of this mailbox and a slew of other fabulous cardboard box projects in The Cardboard Box Book, on the shelves and at your favorite online retailer:

TheCardboardBoxBook

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Powell’s Books

 
 
 

Check out our August and September titles:

3D_50-Ribbon-Rosettes-100x1453D_SewingMachineEmbroider-100x1453D_Wild-Things-to-Sew-100x145

 

22 Aug

Freebie Friday: Stencil It!

For this Freebie Friday we decided to mix it up a bit. Instead of a pattern or project download, we’ve given you some FREE TIPS on using paint and a stencil brush from Stencil It so you can get started on your next design project immediately!

stencil 1   stencil 2    stencil 3

stencil it

There are lots of ways to customize your home: paint, new furniture, fancy home decor items from those fancy catalogs you never seem to ask for…but by far, one of the most expressive—and least expensive—is stenciling. Did you know stencils have been used for centuries to decorate interiors? It has come a long way these past few centuries! Helen Morris, founder of The Stencil Library, has kept stenciling a popular craft by developing numerous designs, styles, and techniques. (She’s even stenciled on glass, mirror, concrete, and even plaster.) Stencil It shows 101 ways to stencil in your home. From lamp shades to walls and even furniture, you’ll learn how to achieve new decorative schemes by using various configurations and color combinations to create a range of dramatically different looks. Stencil It comes with 15 specially-designed stencils to help you turn your entire home into a blank canvas.

Ready to start? Buy your book now!

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
Indiebound
Walmart

Check out our August and September titles:

3D_50-Ribbon-Rosettes-100x1453D_SewingMachineEmbroider-100x1453D_Wild-Things-to-Sew-100x145

Tagged with: Advice, books, Crafts, DIY, free, smpcraft, Stencil, Tips
3 Aug

Goodreads Giveaway: 10 Secrets of the LaidBack Knitters by Vicki Stiefel and Lisa Souza

On Friday, SMP Craft showcased our newest star: Melvin the Musical Monster and offered him as a free pattern download.

MelvintheMusicalMonster

We discovered Melvin in 10 Secrets of the LaidBack Knitters: A Guide to Holistic Knitting, Yarn, and Life by Vicki Stiefel and Lisa Souza. He was hanging out with gorgeous scarves, beautiful sweaters, a purse, socks, elegant shawls… and urged us to check out his colorful world.

And so we did.

10 Secrets includes a bevy of exciting patterns aimed at knitters from beginners to experienced, and encourages us to relax and have fun, to see that knitting can be as much about process as about the finished product.

It didn’t take much time to convince us that every knitter needs to relax and have more fun and so we’ve decided to spread the good word with a Goodreads Giveaway of 10 Secrets. But, as we all know, all things, even good ones, eventually come to an end. This giveaway ends August 7, so if you don’t want to miss out on the chance to win a free copy of 10 Secrets, enter now!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

10 Secrets of the LaidBack Knitters by Vicki Stiefel

10 Secrets of the LaidBack Knitters

by Vicki Stiefel

Giveaway ends August 07, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Patience not one of your virtues? Don’t fret. Purchase it this instant.

Cover_10-Secrets-of-LaidBac

 Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million
IndieBound
Walmart

 
 
 
 

Check out our August and September titles:

3D_50-Ribbon-Rosettes-100x1453D_SewingMachineEmbroider-100x1453D_Wild-Things-to-Sew-100x145

Author of the Month

This month we sit down for a Q&A with expert sewing machine embroiderer Liz Keegan, author of The Sewing Machine Embroiderer's Bible. Liz launched, compiled, and edits Flair, the U.K.'s only machine embroidery magazine. She also teaches and lectures about machine embroidery. With expert advice about what to look for when buying a new machine and a troubleshooting section for solving common mistakes and problems, Liz's new book will help you get the most of out of your modern sewing machine.


The Sewing Machine Embroiderer's Bible

Project of the Month

Pencil Case






Happy September! It’s officially that time of the year again. It’s back-to-school week here in New York City and we’re reminiscing about all those ‘first days’ of school. A new year means all new supplies, clothes and accessories. So, our Project of the Month is in honor of those who want something different from their pencil cases. We pulled this Pencil Case pattern from Sweet & Simple Patchwork Gifts by Hisako Arai and Yoko Sanjo because it offers not one but two methods of making the case--one with a zipper and one with a spring clasp!

My Recent Pins

Follow Me on Pinterest 
My Pinterest Badge by: Jafaloo. For Support visit: My Pinterest Badge