How-To: Barkcloth Needle Case

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I’m back from an amazing few days in Texas enjoying some vacation time with good friends and, of course, several days as an attendee at the now-annual Quilt Con, presented by The Modern Quilt Guild. My attention the past few weeks has been getting ready for the conference, from making DIY accessories to packing up all of our goodies to take on the road. Over the next few days I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the conference, so look out for that!

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I saw so many wonderful vendors and fabrics at Quilt Con. My suitcases weighed A LOT MORE leaving Austin – I’ll leave it at that. One of my favorite vendors at the show was Cloud 9 Fabrics. Their soft, organic-offering cottons always catch my eye, but at the show last week they offered ready-to-go fat quarters and a look at some of their coming-to-us-soon fabrics that really caught my attention. My favorite had to be the new barkcloth “Time Warp” options coming from Jessica Jones. (more…)

I’m a Fan Of: Minted

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Oh, Minted. I am such a devoted fan of Minted.com. There are a lot of fantastic stationery options online right now, but me I always select Minted. From Valentines to your own business cards, Minted has a paper offering for the occasion. Here are some of my recent purchases from them.

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The very first purchase I made on Minted was actually last year! I bought these adorable school-ready Valentines that I gave to my co-workers at the museum. Part retro, part plain silly, these were perfect to surprise my colleagues with.

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Minted artwork proudly hangs in our home. I love their collaboration with independent artists in their artist marketplace. I’ve been turned onto so many new individuals this way. And there’s great representation from Michigan makers, too!

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My business cards are from Minted, too. Recipients of these cards always have fantastic things to say about them, which is a-ok by me.

The Minted team reached out to me and asked if I’d share my thoughts on their offering of save-the-date cards. Of course, I was happy to oblige. As someone who had a VERY DIY wedding, finding just the right save the date is a huge first step in showing off your wedding to your guests. If you’re hosting a DIY event in the future, take my advice – make as much of the goods as you can, but save a few items to purchase, like these save-the-date cards. You’ll still be representing your DIY spirit, but saving a little bit of your sanity, too.

Minted offers more than 700 options/variations when it comes to save-the-date cards. While that might seem overwhelming, you can filter your search by format, price, style, etc. You’ll find that once you know the look you’re going for, the card will come to you quickly.

Your save the date doesn’t have to be just a flat card. Minted offers postcards, magnets… you name it. And the color palettes available can match just about any event color scheme. They’re fresh and modern.

Once again, Minted has done a great job offering state pride options for folks looking to plan a destination wedding or use a hometown theme for their event. This California-themed save the date is not only reflective of a couple’s love for their home, it also doubles as oversized hang tag. Great idea!

Gold foil is HOT right now! I’m seeing everywhere, from my favorite craft shops to big-box retailers. Minted knows a good thing and has a whole selection of foil-pressed save-the-date cards, like this one. The gold is subtle and perfect – just a hint of shine to add to your finished product. (For us Michigan lovers out there, check out this amazing foil-pressed Michigan mitten print!)

A save the date doesn’t HAVE to have a photo on it. Mine didn’t and I loved it. This watercolor-inspired save “our” date doesn’t have a photo on the front and it’s totally elegant.

Here are a few more of my favorites to help you with your search:

Give yourself lots of time to search Minted’s website so that you can find the save-the-date card that’s perfect for your event. There’s nothing more exciting than the feeling of knowing you’ve picked the most perfect card possible for you!

Make sure to keep an eye on Minted’s blog, Julep. (I’ve even written about the blog for The Henry Ford magazine!) It’s one of my favorite and always provides with so much inspiration. Example? These fill-in-the-blank Valentine’s Day cards!

Are you a fan of Minted? If so, tell me what you love about it!

Lish’s Note: Minted asked me to review their products for my blog. The opinions expressed here are my own.

Make Your Printable Calendar Long-Lasting

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I love calendars! I love mini calendars and big calendars. I love desk calendars and pocket calendars. If it’s a calendar, I’ll probably love it. I have three calendars in my office at any given time. Why so many?

  • One is a desk calendar that I keep close to my computer.
  • One is a pretty monthly calendar, like this paint chip calendar from Paper Source, that’s currently on display behind my desk.
  • And one is a printable calendar that shows all the months of the year at once for quick glances.

My all-year calendar is always a printable calendar from a blogger or Etsy seller I admire. It’s a tough choice picking THE calendar for the year, but this design from Sacred and Profane is the 2015 printable winner for me.

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To make my calendar friendly for constant use all year long, I do a few things to ensure it’s long-lasting. If you’ve found a printable calendar you love, try these ideas to make it ready for daily use.

  • Mount it: I printed my calendar on regular copier paper, so I mounted it to a cover-weight sheet of paper to give it more strength. This year’s calendar is mounted on Paper Source’s Antique Gold 8.5 x 11″ cover weight paper. I trimmed it a bit to better fit within the gold paper and rounded the corners.
  • Laminate it: I laminate my calendars so that they’re ready for action. I’m frequently grabbing my calendar and poring over dates as I work on editorial plans. Having a covering like this keeps the calendar safe and looking great. I have a Scotch Thermal Laminator in my craft studio and it’s perfect for a task like this.
  • Punch it: With a screw punch or hole punch, add holes to the laminated calendar for easy display. I offset the actual calendar on the gold paper so that the holes wouldn’t interfere with actual dates on the calendar.
  • Dress it up: I added a piece of satin black ribbon as the finishing touch so that it can hang gracefully on my office wall.

Still on the hunt for a printable calendar to call your own? Here are some of my favorites for 2015 that are available for free to download.

How-To: Faux Duct Tape Mosaic Flower Pot

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This past weekend I gave my succulents some New Year’s TLC – checked on their pots, cleared away old leaves, etc. I also had a few new succulents left over from my Christmas centerpieces that I had purchased from Lowe’s. I felt so bad for these poor plants – they were tucked away on dark shelves and seemed like they were in desperate need of water. I put some of them into my Christmas plants and saved the others to plant in pots I had on hand.

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For one of the succulents I decided to give a plain 4″ terra cotta pot a quick makeover. Metallic duct tape, from Duck Brand, was one of my favorite New Year’s Eve crafting mediums not too long ago, so I used a Ducklings mini roll to make a faux mosaic-covered pot.
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