Local Calligraphy Workshops Coming Soon!

Hey y’all! I’ve been partying it up in the sort-of sunny Las Vegas this weekend with fellow calligraphers. It’s been a blast learning new techniques on gilding, style and color.

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I’ll be teaching this week in Salt Lake City with the lovely Valarie Williams. We’ll be doing a double-header calligraphy workshop! We’ll include pointed-pen basics and how to make your work pop with color-blending and flourishing. Dinner and materials are included.

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Join us for a fun night out, downtown Salt Lake City and learn how to write calligraphy! Click here for info and sign up.

The following Saturday (March 14th) I will be teaching a calligraphy workshop from my in-law’s home near 40th and Shea in Phoenix. In the 3 hour calligraphy workshop, we’ll learn pointed-pen basics and how to make your own style. Lunch included.

Click here for info and sign up. 

Bummed I’m not in your area? My online class is always ongoing! If you’d like a live workshop in your area, feel free to fill out this form.

Sewing Style: Hawaiian Print Scout Tee Dress

Last night I had a neighborhood meet-up of the artists in the area. I love our neighborhood. There are a surprising amount of creatives and artists. Many of them are young kids. It’s a thrill to see their creativity ignite as they learn new things.

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This is my neighbor Sam. She’s got the raddest style. She’s had such an independent style since I started working with the youth when she was 14. A month or so ago, she approached me to see if I could help her sew a variation of this dress she spied on Urban Outfitters.

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The inspiration dress was made out of a knit. She had in mind using this cotton woven she picked up from Hawaii recently. The print is amazing. Ultimately she wanted a bold version with sleeves and the tunic-style slits.

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We had just about a yard of fabric to work with, so getting the prints to match up was nothing short of magical. They don’t match up exactly, but there’s great horizontal continuity with the seam matching.

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I loved doing the color blocked sleeves. It was a happy accident, really. She had mentioned she wanted a longer sleeve, but I forgot when we were cutting out the sleeve. OOPS! After realizing this, we brain stormed a little and decided to color block instead of cut out new sleeves. I love happy accidents like those.

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I love how this turned out. The best part was that she really owned the project. I helped her pick out the pattern (Scout tee), size the pattern, make slight adjustments, but then it was all her. I made her do all the sewing, and she rocked it! I did the neckline for her, since that’s a little difficult dealing with biased tape, but other than that, she did it all.

I’m so proud.

 

Foodie: Salted Caramel Snickerdoodles

Before I go into specifics, I just have to say, I hate the color of my walls. They’ve been slowly driving me more and more bonkers the longer I’ve lived here. In photographs the walls take on this awful magenta tan. #firstworldproblems amiright?

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Last Saturday (our weekly cheat day) I was in the mood for some good junk food, but we hadn’t bought anything the night before. So I went to the pantry and decided to make something. We were limited as we didn’t have chocolate chips, but that didn’t stop me!

After recently acquiring a cream whipper, we’ve amassed some awesome Torani flavorings so I thought I would experiment with my favorite of the bunch: Salted Caramel.

After sifting through my mom’s cookbook, I found a snickerdoodle recipe and a lightbulb went on. We just bought Swedish pearl sugar for our liege waffles, why not roll the cookies in that?

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At first glance, the white granules look like oversized salt, the kind that you coat your pretzels in. But it’s the exact opposite. When biting into one of these cookies you get a blend of opposites, the crunchy exterior and a soft, pillowy interior and a splash of sweet with a hint of savory.

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I cooked up a dozen cookies Saturday night, thinking that would be enough for our little binge treat, but they disappeared so fast! I had to make up a second batch this morning because Chris ate all the cookies and Penelope didn’t get a chance to eat any. Poor girl, missing out on the deliciousness.

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Salted Caramel Snickerdoodles

from MelissaEsplin.com | makes 18-24 cookies
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup Torani Salted Caramel
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon soda
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar

Whip butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs and Torani syrup. Sift together dry ingredients and add to the butter mixture slowly. Chill dough for 10-20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Roll out 18 1/4 cup balls. Roll each ball in pearlized sugar or raw Turbinado sugar and cinnamon. Bake on a lined cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes.

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The Purrfect Valentine

Penelope found my Paper Source catalog last month and basically flipped out when she saw the front cover featuring these little Kitten and Puppy Valentines. It didn’t look like they had pockets, so I thought it would be fun to DIY our own version.

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Instead of having 6 parts that need to be assembled, I made it into 3 parts (including googly eyes) with a pocket for a special treat.

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This one I made for my sister-in-law who is heading out to Spain soon as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I included some stickers, postage (’cause I want mail from her!) and a temporary tattoo.

I didn’t do any calligraphy for Penelope’s handouts. I wanted Penelope to have artistic control over assembling. She ran with it! She decided to give the kittens winky faces. Then she grabbed spare hearts from the kittens to use for eyes. She had fun. And she owned the project!

I used Illustrator, my Silhouette and My Mind’s Eye paper (paper provided by MME) to complete this project. Side note: MME plain cardstock takes ink remarkably well! WIN!

Sponsored Style: Sweater Tunic with Indiesew

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This post is sponsored by Indiesew. Get bundles of PDF patterns from your favorite independent apparel pattern makers at a discount!

Find patterns, browse projects made by community members and beef up your sewing skills all in one spot!

I’m thrilled to be partnering with Indiesew to help debut their spring collection! It’s been fun to find out about new-to-me designers through their collection bundles.

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The Marianne dress from Christine Haynes really caught my eye. I love the possibilities for pattern play in View B and the sweet collar in View A is screaming to be made out of some sweet floral (which I need to find).

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Mother Nature has a funny  sense of humor this year. We have absolutely NO SNOW in our mountain (we should have 4-5′ of snow drifts this time of year). I’ve even seen a couple of tulip sprigs pup up between the mounds of dirt in our front yard. We need snow! I need more winter!

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It’s still fairly chilly, so between that and my desperation for more snow I sewed up a sweater tunic variation of the Marianne. Printing and taping the PDF took longer than cutting and sewing the pattern. The instructions are very straight forward and the fit is true to size. Even with hemming and finishing edges (I like lots of topstitching), this still took me about an hour to make.

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Here’s what I did differently from the pattern:

  • I cut the sleeves 19″ from the shoulder seam notch, tapering them in gradually just like the pattern
  • I cut the front and back bodice short to make it a top. Front piece is 16 inches and back is 17.5 inches (not including seam allowances)
  • Since I was planning on the side slits, I didn’t cut as dramatic an a-line for the bodice
  • I sewed the side seams to just about 9 inches below the armpit seam and made slits on both sides

I’m thrilled with the final piece. I didn’t do any tailoring or fitting afterward. Mega win. The only thing that I could have changed was that I accidentally cut the bottom knit perpendicular to the grain. So it stretches vertically instead of horizontally. There’s still some horizontal stretch, so it works. But if you look at it closely, you’ll see the knit is horizontal when it should be vertical. OOPS! That’s what I get for rushing. :)

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I’ve been kind of in a little bit of a dark grunge zone lately. The black nail polish, monochromatic clothing and acid wash jeans are all things I’m totally crushing on lately. Now all I need is the right leather jacket and I’m set! I found one this weekend that’s close, but the fit wasn’t quite there. Any suggestions on places to hit up for a leather jacket?

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Outfit details:

Save an extra 10% for the first 25 people that purchase the spring bundle! Use code: SPRING15

This post is sponsored, but all writing/thoughts/opinions are my own.
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