Sewing Style: Comfort and Joy

Since having June over 2 1/2 months ago, I’ve been obsessing over the joggers and over-sized sweaters. Part of it is because the 90s is in full swing and I’m embracing it whole-heartedly and the other reason is that it’s just SOOOO much more comfortable than wearing real pants.

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I mean, come on. When given the option to wear elasticized joggers/leggings or wearing poorly fitting pre-pregnancy pants, one is always going to go for the most amount of elastic. Let’s be real here, my pants only fit when I’m fastening them with an extra bit of elastic (like this).

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This oversized sweater from White Plum is a postpartum must-have. The heart graphic, boat neck and long length give it some great style while still feeling like pajamas. I’ll wear out this sweater before the winter is through.

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I’ve had this tribal-esque sweater knit for nearly a year, in the hopes to make a pair of joggers. After obsessing over the hudson pant by True Bias, I just had to make myself a pair. I ended up making two. One out of this knit and the other out of a light-weight  chambray. I can’t wait to share that with you soon. I LOVE THEM!

It’s been MONTHS since I’ve had the time to sew anything and GOSHDARNIT I miss it terribly! This week I’ve made myself two pairs of pants and a top. I don’t want to stop! I’ve got more plans for baby clothes (lots of friends and family with new baby girls, I can’t help myself), I just need to square away some time. These pants were made instead of sleeping. I was up until 4am putting on the finishing touches to my new pants: hence the grainy photos and tired look.

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Seriously, this is an outfit I plan on throwing on often. I’ve been utterly slammed with family things and work this last month, so I’ve rarely been able to get out of my pajamas. These pieces are effortless and fun. Perfect for those pajama days, but without looking like a disheveled mess (because my pajamas aren’t cute).

Outfit details:

  • sweater: c/o White Plum (get 25% off your order through 12/25 with code LOVEYOUHOLIDAY25)
  • scarf: gift
  • earrings: gift
  • jacket: Forever 21
  • joggers: handmade, pattern c/o True Bias
  • shoes: JCPenney (I know, right?!?)

 

Sponsored: Penelopes Studio Revisited

This post is sponsored by Sprout furniture for kids. This flat-pack, eco-friendly furniture is easy to assemble and transport.

The friction fit makes for a sturdy piece that will last for hours and hours of imagination and creativity. Connect with Sprout on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.

For Penelope’s birthday in 2013, we converted a utility closet into a studio just for her. Her own little space. Needless to say that it’s been a huge hit. Neighbor friends of all ages (and genders!) have flocked to this space to make many a creative masterpiece. It’s heavenly to hear the quiet whispers of creative plans among friends. However, the space hasn’t been perfect. We’ve found a few issues with the space that we’ve had to remedy.

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  1. The narrow space was really only inviting for 1 person. Maybe a friend, but not more than one.
  2. The closed off, one directional seating made Penelope feel separated from everything so she would often spend time crafting on the floor in the hallway. Tiny shreds of paper in the carpet drives me nuts.
  3. While the little pink boxes were cute, Penelope rarely put things in their own boxes to keep them organized.
  4. The pink boxes would roam the house (as would the loose supplies).
  5. Her completed artwork would typically pile up until I would recycle it or put it in a storage box. Rarely on display.

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Thanks to Sprout Kids, we replaced the two tables and chairs with one table and three stools. We got rid of the filing cabinet so it opened up room on the sides for friends to come sit. The sturdy stools make it easier for older kids (and adults) to join in the fun, too.

Tangent: Assembly was a breeze. Even Felix and Penelope helped. I had to bust out our trusty rubber mallet to get the pieces to squeeze together, but they’re fabulously sturdy. Especially the stools. I want grown-up sized stools like this for having company over!

I was nervous about the exposed MDF with Penelope’s watercolors, but so far it hasn’t been an issue. I plan to seal the exposed edges with beeswax, but I haven’t had the time yet. 

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Now that the filing cabinet is gone (it’s now in Chris’s office closet), Penelope can sit with her back facing the wall so she feels less secluded and more involved in family happenings.

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Those tip-prone pink boxes had to go. I cleared out her unused supplies as well and fit all her good supplies in a little plastic caddy she can take with her anywhere. All of her supplies go and everything has a place. Since the compartments are clear, it’s easier for her to keep track of where things are supposed to go.

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No more stray supplies. They stay contained!

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I found some cork drawer liner with an adhesive backing. I plastered that onto the wall so now Penelope instantly has a place to display her gorgeous drawings and sculptures. She’s really gotten into sculptures lately. And the tooth fairy (that’s a whole different blog post, though).

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The updates are very subtle, but have made such a huge difference to keep the hallway clear of debris. It’s so great to walk to my room without stepping on scissors and shards of paper!

It’s been a thrill to see Penelope’s artistic side flourish, particularly in these last few months. She has such a wild imagination, I hope she keeps going in this awesome direction!

This post is sponsored by Sprout Kids, but all opinions and thoughts are my own. 

 

 

The Ultimate Calligraphy Gift Guide

As Christmas is fast approaching (it’s likely too late for this guide, but I don’t care – I want to put this together anyway), I thought I would post the ultimate gift guide for calligraphers, beginners and calligraphy enthusiasts. I’m always scouring the web for interesting things, I may as well share with you my favorite items along with a few that are on my wishlist as well!

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For the beginning calligrapher:

For the intermediate/advanced calligrapher:

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BOOKS!!

Grow your library with these must-haves:

Art!

Everyone loves pretty letters. Grow your art collection from one of these fabulous artists:

Check out my pin board for more calligraphy-related giftable items.

*Affiliate links are used in this post. This doesn’t change the price of the product, it just gives me a small kick back. Each affiliate link is to a product I personally own and absolutely love.

Sponsored: 6+ Ways to Address an Envelope

This post is sponsored by Tiny Prints. They provide excellent quality printing and amazing printing options to make your holiday cards stand out this year.

I’ve got 6+ easy ways to embellish your envelopes this year. Don’t get stuck with boring print labels or chicken scratch! Make your snail mail pop with a few tips that require little to no technique. :)

If you want to get some technique under your belt, check out 5 Easy Steps for Improving Your Handwriting, or take my calligraphy class!

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Getting fun snail mail is possibly one of my favorite aspects of this time of year. I love getting something other than business offers and bills! Colored envelopes will certainly help make those invites pop.

I went through Tiny Prints for my Christmas cards this year and got one of their laser-cut designs (See all of their offerings here). It’s unique, well designed and I didn’t have to spend a million hours getting it squared away. Major win! I’m dedicated to having enough time to enjoy the holidays this year. No chicken with her head cut off over here, please!

I’m incredibly partial to Kraft envelopes (greengrocer kraft is fabulous). They work well with both light and dark pens and they stand out in a pile of mail. The envelopes featured in this tutorial are from Tiny Prints. I’ve been incredibly impressed how well they handle ink and how easily I can write on them with my super sharp calligraphy nibs.

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Next up, gather all random scrapbook supplies you own. Heck, head over to Walmart and browse their crafty section. You’ll find some great stuff for next to nothing.

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To do the techniques seen above, you’ll want to collect a few things:

You’ll want a few different patterns of washi tape, and perhaps a few different widths, too. When in doubt, collect all the black, white, gold and silver washi tape you can get your hands on. It goes with practically everything and every season.

You can use any kind of pen for these techniques. I used dip pen and ink for many of these samples, but just use any kind of pen you have. Ballpoint pens, however? NO. Throw all of those out of your house right now. They’re terrible. Shame on you for having them around. :)

Learn how to use a pointed pen with my online calligraphy class: IStillLoveCalligraphy.com. I’m happy to teach you! Side note: our kit makes for the perfect gift. 

So let’s get going, shall we?

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When doing your addresses on a straight line, use the chalk pencil and the clear ruler to mark out those lines. Otherwise:

DECORATIVE GUIDELINES

Use washi tape as a decorative way to keep your lines straight.

Tape a vertical and horizontal strip and write in the bottom right section OR use it to slant your baseline. Layer multiple strips of tape for more depth.

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RANSOME NOTE

Use alphabet stickers to draw attention to different letters.

For a cursive style, use block letter stickers for the first letter of each name. For block style writing, replace a random letter with a sticker.

I found these stickers at Walmart for about $1-2 each. I’m sure you can find them at just about any craft supply store as well.

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AROUND AND AROUND

Use circular sticker labels (I used Avery 2 1/2″ labels) to structure your envelope’s layout.

Print or letter just the address within the label (this is great if you want a hand-lettered touch, but you have LOADS of addresses to do) and write the name outside the sticker.

In the top version, I used the border of the label as a baseline and wrote the name around the diameter. It looked a little empty so I drew a little holly berry illustration on there. You could draw something there, or keep it simple and stick the circle in the center of the envelope.

Wrap the label around the back and write the name on a large scale all the way across the envelope.

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GLITTER GLUE DETAILS

Glitter glue is my best friend. It’s all the sparkle of glitter without the mess of loose glitter everywhere (I swear that stuff multiplies). My favorite brand is Stickles. Sparkliest of them all.

Pipe out a wavy line in glitter glue. Use that line as your guide for the baseline of the recipient’s name.

Or Letter out your address and use glitter glue to add accents on hairlines and at the terminals of each line.

 

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LARGE-SCALE NAME

Grab a marker and go to town! Write out the first name as large as the envelope will allow. Cursive styles work best. I used a Tombow dual brush marker here. You can use a casual, grungy style nicely. Then letter the rest of the address in a normal style, save for the ZIP. Make the ZIP huge.

ADD SOME BLING

Letter the address as you would prefer then stick some rhinestones on it. Yup. Simple. But it’s so fun go get in the mail! I like to use PVA glue to fasten them on. It’s a strong glue that dries clear.

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I hope you have some fun sending out mail this year!

*This DIY is free for personal use and should not be distributed/republished without my consent. Altering any files is NOT ALLOWED. If you would like to use this freebie for commercial purposes, please email me. Thanks!

Very Thanksgiving Giveaway

I hope y’all are having a fabulous Thanksgiving! There are so many things I’m thankful for. I would be writing it all down for the rest of my life, the list is so long.

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To celebrate this glorious day, I’m hosting a giveaway on Instagram.

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I’m giving away a calligraphy kit and subscription, a hand-turned holder from Salvador Mendez, Clairefontaine paper, glitter glue, an assortment of vintage nibs and a set of 5 hand-calligraphed thank you cards along with matching envelopes. Value: over $230!

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Winner will be chosen after 9 AM MST on Friday, November 28th, 2014. Head over to Instagram  (@melissapher) to enter for your chance to win! 

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