Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tutorial: Lovey Buddy

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Kim, from Poppy Seed Fabrics, sent me some BEAUTIFUL and SOFT Frosted Minky in Camel a while back. I told you how much I loved this material in THIS post. This material is seriously incredible.

I thought it would be fun to make a little puppy dog for Jace from it since he instantly fell in love with it (his way of showing love is by stuffing it in his mouth). I looked around online for some stuffed dog tutorials/patterns, but didn’t find any I loved, and kind of hit a creative wall for making my own (after all, I didn’t want to waste any of this precious fabric). But then, today, I was looking at a pillow that I just wasn’t in love with and thought it might be fun to somehow utilize a pillow. And so I came up with a Lovey Buddy for Jace.

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-Frosted Minky (she carries it in coral and ivory as well!)
-Pillow Form
-Enough stuffing to fill the head
-Three buttons
-Thread, sewing machine, etc.

Kim sent me a yard of the minky, and I think I might have just barely used a quarter of it, so I have plenty left for future projects!

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I started by drawing rounded corners on the top corners of the pillow form with a Sharpie.

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Then pushed the stuffing further into the pillow so the corner didn’t have any in it. I then pinned off the corners and sewed them with my machine and cut off the excess fabric.

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It was ok if the corners didn’t match exactly because they wouldn’t be visible when the project was finished.

I folded the minky and put the middle of the pillow on the fold, and cut around the pillow and cut around it (remember to leave yourself room for seam allowances).

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I then used that piece to cut a matching one for the back, two rounds for the head and pieces for the ears.

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Warning: this material sheds a lot. But that’s ok, because once it’s all sewn and the raw edges are hidden or finished off, it won’t shed anymore. The shedding just comes from the raw edges.

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I then sewed two large buttons and one small button on for the eyes and nose. Jace wanted to help with this part of the process.

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I cut the ears so I just had to fold them in half and sew around the bottom and one size. Leave the top (where it attaches to the head) open so you can turn it right side out.

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I then pinned the head to the body where the neck would be and then attached one head piece to one body piece, and did the same with the other head and body pieces.

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You can see that my seam was about 4-5 inches long.

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I laid the front of the animal right side up and put the ears where I wanted them so the raw/open edges were lined up with the raw edge of the head.

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Then put the other body piece on it, so the right sides were together and pinned around the whole thing, leaving an opening at the bottom.

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Sewed the two together with a 5/8” seam allowance. (Kim has some tips for sewing with plush fabrics here). Make sure that when you sew around the outside, you stitch up to your seam where you sewed the head to the body, so you won’t have a hole there.

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Now your buddy is ready to be stuffed! I stuffed the head with some extra stuffing I had around, and left the ears unstuffed so they would be floppy. Then I just pushed the pillow into the body and stitched up the opening. The beauty of minky like this is you don’t have to worry about how your stitches look since the “fur” hides it.

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I originally meant it to be a dog, but it kind of looks like a bunny too. He’s kind of like a pillow pet, but has some vintage throw back, don’t you think?

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I do think he has a super sweet face. A gingham bow around the neck was the perfect finishing touch.

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Jace’s favorite part is the buttons on his face.

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He does like laying his head on this Lovey Buddy, but didn’t appreciate me forcing him to do so for pictures. (He’s already entered the terrible twos at 15 months and is very good at throwing emotional fits for Mommy.)

Want to make one yourself? Be sure and stop by Poppy Seed Fabrics to order some of this amazing Minky! Also, according to her Facebook page, she has some GREAT giveaways coming up in June, so be sure and follow Kim to get the latest details!

***UPDATED DISCLAIMER: Be careful with the buttons as they are choking hazards. Because of this, I don't let my son have this in his bed or when I'm not supervising him.***

Thanks for stopping by!

Be sure and check out the awesome link up parties I’ll be participating in:

***While this material was provided to me by Poppy Seed Fabrics, the opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own.***

We have a winner!

Oops! I got the new giveaway post all scheduled and then lost track of time and didn’t get it updated with our winner! So for those of you who are so anxiously waiting….


The winner of the beautiful Turquoise Earrings from Molly the Pirate’s A Bit O’ Shine is…




Comment number 56:




Congratulations Toqua! Send me an email at nolanandjill {at} gmail {dot} come with your address and I’ll send it along to Molly!


Thank you so much, Molly, for this fabulous giveaway!!!

Giveaway: More Crafty Things!

I’m excited to introduce you to the shop More Crafty Things today!


This shop is full of all kinds of flowery goodness and cute clips! I think these shoe clips would be adorable on a pair of blue and white striped shoes I bought at H&M recently…

bridal hair shoe clips

And the best part about them? You can have them made in just about any color and backed in the kind of hardware you prefer!


But the cuteness doesn’t stop there… how adorable are these Spotted Flower Puffs?

spotted flower puffs

I can think of so many adorable uses for them. But I think my absolute favorite in the shop is this sweet Mini Tulle Rose Necklace.

mini tulle rose necklace

For just $12 you get the necklace with five different pendants. How great is that deal?

Angelina, the artist behind the shop, is generously offering a flower of your choice to a lucky winner!


Choose from: Flirty Lace & Fuchsia, Yellow & Black Pansy, Sweet Baby Blue & Pink, Black Widow, Morning Glory, or Lily Pad. These can be either a hair clip (alligator, snap or barrette) or a broach.
But even if you don’t win this prize, you still get something special! If you purchase something from More Crafty Things and leave a note in the buyer’s notes that you found the shop through Made it on Monday, Angelina will throw in a surprise gift for you!

To enter to win (leave one comment for each entry):

-Mandatory: Visit More Crafty Things, look around, and then come back and tell me which item you would want if you could have anything from Angelina’s shop for free.
-Like More Crafty Things on Facebook.
-Tell us your favorite color combination… Angelina would love some inspiration!

This giveaway closes on Tuesday, June 7 at 10 am Pacific Time. Good luck!

Monday, May 30, 2011

In Memory


While I’ve always appreciated military service and been proud to be an American, the reality of those who have given their lives so I can enjoy the life I live didn’t become strong until my younger brother enlisted in the Army. He spent his years of service as a guard at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. He was honored to pay respect to the men and woman who gave the ultimate sacrifice—especially those who remain nameless. Even though his service ended four years ago, our family is still greatly impacted by that season of his life. This past fall, one of the men he served at the Tomb with was killed in action in Afghanistan. The reality of what Memorial Day stands for is so much greater to me because of this.

In honor of those who have given their lives, I thought I would share a short editorial I wrote in September of 2003 about my brother’s choice to join the army. I’m sure his thoughts and emotions described in it represent those of so many who have gone before and after him.


“I need a reason for everything I do,” my 19 year-old-brother told me five months ago. “Why should this time be any different?”

As Michael said goodbye to me on August 30, he reminded me of his reason for joining the Army. “I’ll defend your freedom, Little Sister,” he told me as I stood there, looking up at his 6-foot-1 frame, tears tugging at an older sister’s heart. “I want to make a difference in the world.”

“Thank you, Little Brother,” was all I could say.


Until the past few months, my awareness of the military was almost nonexistent. Thanks to September 11, 2001, I could say that I’m proud to be an American. But beyond that, I easily went about my days giving little thought to the country I am fortunate enough to live in.

When the war in Iraq started, Michael began talking about joining the Army. I didn’t take him very seriously at first, thinking he couldn’t commit to something as big as putting his life on the line. But in mid-April he filled out the necessary paperwork to enlist and then gave me the pen he signed them with. Because he doesn’t do anything halfheartedly, he told me: “I don’t want to just be in the Army. I want to do Special Forces. For now, though, I’m looking at the Rangers.”

The Army scheduled him for delayed entry. Basic training would be at Fort Benning in Georgia and, immediately after that, jump school for Airborne Infantry. In the months we waited for his departure, news flashes caught my eyes and ears. No longer were unknown men and women willing to die for their country. It became someone’s brother, sister, son, daughter or friend. It could be my brother someday.


While hearing the national anthem sung one day not long ago, I became emotional. My brother wants to help allow that song to be true. He could someday watch our flag wave by the dawn’s early light. He could someday see the bombs bursting in air.

A friend in the Army once told me he owns a piece of the flag because he fought for it. I understand now that I see my brother willing to die for it.

Michael has to have a reason for doing this. I am only one of those millions of reasons.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Stylin’ with Stripes

Two of my girlfriends and I had a fun shopping trip up to Portland a few weeks ago. It was great to get away from the babies, admire clothes out of our price range, and be overwhelmed and feel old together in Forever 21. I did find a few good items—a striped shirt and belt at Forever 21.

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I’m loving stripes these days! You can’t tell in the pictures, but this top has adorable layered ruffled cap sleeves. I’ve also been loving the use of belts in Nina’s and Ashley’s outfits, so I picked up a thin belt for only $3.50 at Forever 21 (yay for a good deal! Belts like these are $12 at Target!). Rather than buckling it, I tied it in a double knot and liked the kind of rosette affect.

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Cami: Maruices
Shirt: Forever 21
Cardi: Target
Belt: Forever 21
Jeans: Gap
Necklace: Maurices

I’ll be linking up with Momma Go Round’s Real Momma, Real Style.

Cupcakes and Crafts

The women’s ministries at my church has regular Girl’s Night Outs. Pattie, the director, thought it would be fun to combine two things we ladies love—cupcakes and crafts. So my friend Debi and I took over coordinating it and we were all thrilled with the results!



(Spring cupcakes, Caramel Chocolate, Chocolate Dr. Pepper with Maple Bacon, Toffee Cheesecake, Peanut Butter Chocolate, Brownie, Lemon & Chocolate)


There were two parts to the night—a cupcake contest…



(Cinnamon, Chocolate Caramel, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough)


Ladies wanting to participate in the contest were invited to bring a dozen cupcakes. Six were used for the display and the other six were set out for everyone to help themselves to right away. For their entry in the contest, we had tent cards for them to fill out with their cupcake name and any other details they felt were important for the judges to know about. We had 3 judges evaluating the cupcakes to award four prizes: Best Taste, Best Theme, Best Execution and Best Overall. Everyone who attended the event also got to vote for their favorite. This category was “Girl’s Choice.”



(Strawberry Dream, Chocolate Fudge, Triple Chocolate Caramel with Marshmallow Fondant Flower, Cinnamon Cappuccino)


We were blown away with the cupcakes all the ladies brought! (And there were so many to enjoy eating!) The next part of the night was craft time!




I had some incredibly crafty ladies coordinate the different craft options for the evening—candle decorating, wreaths, flower accessories and card making. We also had tables set up for ladies who wanted to work on ongoing projects that they brought from home.




Each lady who wanted to participate in the provided crafts purchased a punch card at the door. It was $5 for two crafts and then $2 each per craft after that. At each table, the coordinator would mark off that they did a craft and instruct them on how to make their project and how many items a punch was worth. At the wreath table, one punch equaled one wreath. At the flower station, one punch equaled three flower accessories, etc.




Flower accessories was the most popular station. It was so cute on Sunday seeing lots of little girls wearing headbands and clips their mommies had made.




I also loved how many girls joined their moms for this event. The ladies all had a great time chatting and crafting, and had to be shoed out after 3 hours of crafting.




The event was a hit and we look forward to many more!



Parties I love to link up with:

Hoo’s Got Talent, The Sunday Scoop, The Sunday Showcase Party, Made By You Monday, Market Yourself Monday, Making the World Cuter Monday, Weekend Wrap Up, Motivate Me Monday, Frugalicious Friday, Feature Yourself Friday, Just Something I Whipped Up, Mad Skills Party, Get Your Craft On, Anything Related, Make it Yours Day, The Shabby Nest, Kojo Designs, Tea Rose Home, Whatever Goes Wednesday, Real Momma, Real Style, Idea Sharing Wednesday, Creative-ly U, Tutorials and Tips Tuesday, Sew Cute Tuesday

Friday, May 27, 2011

Wanna Be a Guest Poster?

***UPDATE: I have enough guest posters for VBS week. If you are interested in guest posting in the future, though, let me know! Thank you!!!***

My busiest week of the entire year is coming up in less than a month. Since it’s also my favorite week of the entire year, I’m really excited for it. June 20-24 will be Vacation Bible School week at my church where I’m the Children’s Ministries Director. It’s an exciting time—300 kids having a BLAST while learning about Jesus, singing songs, playing games, doing activities and eating snacks. It’s high energy. It’s how I lost the last of the baby weight last year. It’s amazing. And it’s tiring. Because of all this, I know I will not be in a very crafty or bloggy mood during that week.

(If you have a minute, feel free to watch this recap video from our program a few years ago. I’m the girl who’s on stage helping lead motions and jumping around.)

Which is where you come in! I appreciate all of you so much—from your sweet words of affirmation, your consistently stopping by, and the amazing creativity you exhibit on your blogs. Made it on Monday has seen quite a bit of growth over the past few months and it’s exciting to welcome so many new friends to this little corner of the blogging world. I would love to showcase some of your projects and have you share your creativity with my followers. If you are interested in sharing a tutorial or something you’ve had fun making, let me know! Email me at nolanandjill {at} gmail {dot} com and tell me about what you’d like to share. I’ll give you more specifics over email, but I’ll need your post by June 18. Then, it will post on here sometime during the week of the 20th. Also, for helping me out in this way, I’d love to put your button in the advertising section of my right side bar for the month of July.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Trouble Commenting?

****This post has been updated. See note at the end of the post.****

I’ve heard from different people that they’re having trouble getting their comments to post on various blogs, and then one of my readers let me know that she wasn’t able to comment and enter in Molly’s giveaway. If you’re having the same troubles and would love a chance at winning these earrings, just send me an email at nolanandjill {at} gmail {dot} com with all the details for your entries, and I’ll make the comments for you!


Enter to win these earrings HERE.

One of my sweet readers, Toqua's Crafts, left this great comment for how to work around the problems:
I too have been having problems posting. It is highly frustrating.
Here is a link that may help; http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/blogger/thread?tid=4bd36d5355dbcf8c&hl=en

I followed the instructions about clearing the cache and cookies, opening blogger.com, but pressing Cntrl & F5 before logging in and it seems to have worked... somewhat for me. I can now comment on blogs, but I am still unable to "Like" a new blog.

In order for me to “Like” a new blog I’ve had to download Firefox. This is the one I used; http://www.mozilla.com/en-US/firefox/fx/ but if you’re not from the US you can go here too: http://www.downloadfirefoxbrowser.com/


Upcycled Wooden Crates

I found these crates at Goodwill a few months ago. Since they were the color of the day, I only paid $2 each. One probably held cheeses or jams for a gift basket from Hickory Farms while the other was for oranges at one point or another.

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I figured they’d be really cute painted and could be used as display containers for the Farm House show. I started by removing the label from the orange crate and sanding the “Hickory Farms” off the front of the other. Then stained them both with Minwax’s wood finish in Red Chestnut (the same stain I used for my Blue Gate).

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(More to come in a later post about the other pieces I stained.)

Then the small crate was painted with Behr’s Black Suede (I LOVE this color… I’m tempted to paint everything with it), and the larger crate with a creamy white. Both were sanded at the corners for an older, distressed look. They turned out beautifully!

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The black one was used to hold embellishment pins at the show…

black basket

And the white one held flower clips.

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I put price tags on both incase someone wanted to buy them. But, since they didn’t sell, I’m excited to use them in my craft room (which I’m working on getting all organized and clean. I’ll show it to you soon!). The black one is perfect for holding spools of ribbon…

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And the white one is perfect for strips of fabric I’ve cut for making flowers with.

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And now back to sorting and organizing all my supplies so I can show you my crafting space!

Parties I’ll be linking up with: