Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Leather Headband

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Fashion isn't normally my thing.  So when I was given the opportunity to participate in Cricut's Design Space Star challenge, I was a little wary.  But, pushing myself is one thing I love to do, and I have been dying to play with the new Explore for a while, so I went for it.
What I came up with were these fun leather headbands.  I used my Explore, thin leather, colored elastic and some fabric scraps to create this colorful accessory.

 I had so much fun, I made two different versions.  If you have a Cricut Explore you can find the file for the chevron headband here, and the file for the triangle headband is here.  I'm sure there were more sophisticated ways to create the headbands than what I did, but that's what I love about this new Design Space software- you can do what works for you.  You can upload your own files, use the files purchased from Cricut- or a combination of the two.  With so many options, the possibilities are endless!
Because the leather I used was so thin, and because my mat was brand new, I didn't purchase anything new for this project.  However, if your mat isn't super sticky anymore, or your leather is softer or thicker- you will probably want to purchase the super sticky mat, and a deep cut blade.
Once you cut out your headband,  you will simply glue a scrap of fabric to the back to cover the openings.

The last step is to tie elastic to the ends.  Super easy.  I purchased the leather and the elastic from Hobby Lobby.  The leather was a remnant bag so it's hit and miss what you'll find in it, but it was pretty inexpensive, especially when I used my coupon.  The elastic was over by the ribbons and trims in the fabric department.  They had a couple of widths and lots of colors.  I like the thicker 1/4" elastic better because it seems to hold better on my head, but the 1/8" worked too.
You'll want to figure out the length of elastic to tie on based on who is going to be wearing it.  You don't want the elastic too tight or it will slide off, but you don't want it too loose either.  I'd shoot for a bit longer than you think, because it's easier to tie it tighter than to make it longer.


And that's it.  A simple project, but one that makes a BIG statement.

So, my question for you is, are you big into fashion or are you like me and avoid it at all costs? ;)

xoxo,
Amy
**Disclosure:  I was given a Cricut Explore so that I could participate in the Design Star contest.  I am not compensated for the posts, but could be eligible for cash prizes.  The opinions and projects are all mine.

Monday, August 11, 2014

A soft place to fall {a MOM-day post}

Monday, August 11, 2014
I don't really read the news anymore.  I don't watch it either.  Ever since we cancelled satellite t.v., I just sort of checked out of the current event scene.  I don't know if it's good or bad, but I figure if I really need to know it, it will likely show up on social media in some form.

But then, sometimes, what does show up on social media, becomes so polarized that I'm not sure I even wanted to know. 

Take this story for example: a young mom changes her routine and accidentally leaves her 11 month old in the car.  Tragically, the baby girl passed away. 

The story is not what I'm going to talk about today, what I want to talk about is the response to this story.  So very many people were critical, judgmental and harsh in their opinions about this poor mother.  They were frustrated, angry and downright mean.

It was awful, I agree.  I think about that poor baby and my heart just breaks.  But, when I think about that mother, my heart shatters into a million pieces.  She will live forever with the weight of that day on her heart.  She will ache, cry, agonize and relive that day over and over for as long as she lives.  I cannot begin to imagine the pain that will be her constant companion for the rest of her life.

My first response to all the angry comments was to remind people that EVERYONE makes mistakes.  If your mistakes don't end up in tragedy, it doesn't make you better it just makes you lucky.

But the more I have thought about it, the more I want to emphasize the truth that EVERYONE makes mistakes.  Your sister, your best friend, your children.  Think about those you love, and how you would feel if they were the ones whose misstep resulted in a devastating outcome.  Would you jump on them?  Would you rail against them and beat them up about it?  Would you constantly remind them of how horrible a person they were because they made a mistake?


When you post your rant on Facebook or social media
about this, that or the other, do you pause to think about how those in your life might feel?  Maybe your sister never told you about her near miss with forgetting her child in a car, maybe your best friend almost ran over her own child, maybe your dear neighbor got busy doing something and her child nearly drowned?  And guess what?  Now they never will.  You are no longer a safe place for her to share her imperfections.  She knows just how you feel about someone who does THAT, and that someone is her.

Perhaps, instead, we can be a safe place for each other.  A place that we can share our imperfections, own our mistakes and learn from them, and maybe even teach others about them, so they don't have to suffer the consequences of tragedy. 

We do this by being compassionate.  By being open about our shortcomings.  By being forgiving of faults and imperfections in others.  By being forgiving of the imperfections in ourselves.

Before you post your opinion, please stop and think, would I say this to my sister, about something she has done?  Because if not, it probably shouldn't be said about or to anyone.  Instead of creating hurt and pain, let's be there to support, uplift and encourage each other. 

I think it would be beautiful.

xoxo,
Amy

Saturday, August 9, 2014

New Master Bedroom Pillows

Saturday, August 9, 2014
This is my bed.  Pretty boring.  Well, except for the two year old in the middle- she is anything BUT boring.

There are a million pillows, but none that stand out or add interest.  The small blue pillows are too small for the bed, old and dirty.  Blech.

I do still love the coverlet, and the blue throw is so soft and lovely, it's one of my favorite parts of the whole room.  But the rest, well let's just say this sadly neglected space has finally hit my list because I'm so annoyed with how bland, boring and NOT ME it is.

When I attended the IKEA catalog launch party sponsored by SNAP I received a $25 gift card.  I knew immediately what I was going to use it on.  Pillows for my bedroom.   When I attended a sewing class at SNAP we were provided pillow forms supplied by IKEA.  They were down, full and lovely.  I had no idea that such great quality forms were available at IKEA, I had only ever bought the very cheapest forms I could find, and they were fiber, got lumpy and broke down quickly.  I was concerned that the forms at IKEA would be expensive, but I was super happy to find that the large 26" ones were only $10. (the name of the forms I bought is Fjadrar)

So, I bought 3 forms and went home to start sewing.  I had purchased some fabric 2 years ago to make curtains in the basement, but the decor down there took a turn in a different direction and the fabric would no longer work for the space.  But, luckily, it works perfectly in my bedroom.

Again, the model makes everything look better. :)



I love how much impact these pillows add.  I think I'll turn the brown pillows (bought on clearance at TJ Maxx) into yellow pillows for even more color.  Eventually, we will paint the walls, change the bed and update the decor.  But until then, I'm going to enjoy a bit more color, and great new pillows for lounging in bed in the evening.

Which begs the question- t.v. in the bedroom or no?  My husband really wants one, but I really don't.

Happy sleeping,
xoxo,
Amy

Linked up to Snap Ikea catalog link up.
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