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Craft Room!!!

IT’S DONE!!! THE CRAFT ROOM IS DONE!!!! Pardon the all caps but this has been quite the project and I’m so flippin’ happy that its complete!!! I’d like to take this moment to thank my Mom for financially assisting me in making my dreams come true, and my sister friend Christine for helping me organize and making my vision come to fruition… (yes..I feel like I’m accepting an award right now haha). Oh and I can’t forget my friend Craig for helping me put all the Ikea furniture together. So after a lot of hard work here it is folks…my craft room!

So first off you’ll see that I have way too much yarn…and I need to get to work on crocheting all the things, however, I think the yarn shelf is my favorite part of the room. It adds so much color and brings a fun bright vibe to the room. This is where my sister Christine’s organizational talents really came in handy! She took all the piles of yarns I had and made sense of it all somehow.

The next best thing…my giant craft table!!! I wanted something that was long and wide for when I need to cut fabric, or when I’m trying to plan out a large project, and I also wanted something that was higher than most work areas to make things easier on my back when cutting fabric. I ended up getting an oak kitchen island top from Ikea paired with their adjustable legs. The legs aren’t quite as sturdy as I would like but it gets the job done and overall I’m super happy with it.

And then there’s my chair! I saw this chair in Ikea (I promise I’m not sponsored by Ikea hahaha) and I thought it looked way too cute to be comfortable. Holy cow I was wrong! SOOOOOO comfy! It’s the perfect crocheting chair, and also perfect for my Mom to come over and hang out with me while I craft.

I also added a smaller shelf for my “office” supplies and electronics needed for our shop. Eventually I think I’ll add a tv on top so I can have F.R.I.E.N.D.S on whilst crafting, which is a must for me and Jen haha. I also added some caster wheels on the bottom to make it easy to move to plug items in if i needed to.

So that’s it folks! My craft room. I honestly never thought I’d actually be able to have one. It’s a dream come true for me! If you have any questions please feel free to contact me and I’ll be more than happy to answer them! Thank you for hanging in there for the journey!

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Life Update for the Hedge Hog

Hey there! It’s been FOREVER since I’ve posted anything, but I’m finally on vacation and have some free time to actually sit down and write!  Jen mentioned how busy we were with making flowers for her brother and sister in laws wedding, and on top of that I volunteered us to help with my work’s Dispatcher Appreciation Banquet which happened to coincide with the wedding! So needless to say we were up to are ears in crafts; more specifically – hot glue haha.  Life itself has also had its challenges which has taken up a lot of my time; thankfully these challenges have been for the better, and overall things are more amazing than they have been in a long time for me personally.

Dispatcher Appreciation

Every April there’s a week dedicated nationwide to acknowledge the unseen first responders; Police & Fire Dispatchers.  It’s not very often we get recognized for the hard work we do and what we go through, so when this time of year comes around we tend go all out.  Each year the agency who is hosting picks a theme for our celebration, and then we all join together for a fun night of dinner, drinking, prizes and recognizing those who went above and beyond that year to earn themselves the title of “Dispatcher of the Year” for each agency.  There’s a lot of hard work and time that goes into this event from a lot of different people, so you know I had to volunteer Hedge & Fox to help out!  Jen and myself worked on my office’s “Brag Board” which shows pictures of everyone who works there and of course competition for best brag board! The theme for this year was Denim & Diamonds, so we covered a display board with denim then went to town with some hot glue and rhinestones.  I’m pretty sure between the rhinestones and the felt flowers Jen and I have burned off most of our finger prints haha!  I also made a crocheted blanket for the silent auction, which one of my co-workers won!

My favorite thing about the photo of my blanket is seeing Jen with my niece and nephew in the background laughing and enjoying each other; it just warms my heart!

My Life in a Nutshell

My life lately has also gone through a pretty large overhaul; I went from having two roommates to no roommates.  While overall I’m extremely happy about this, it’s also been a large adjust financially. However, the best part about it is, I GET A CRAFT ROOM!!!!!!!! Let me tell you how excited I am to have a place to put all my supplies (that isn’t my bedroom floor in organized bags)!  It’s going to be a bit of a slow process because of the financial adjustment I mentioned before but the transformation has begun.  I have a super talented friend Lauren who paints, and she painted exactly what I envisioned for my room; a place of peace, happiness, and creativity.

 

I can’t wait to show you all the fully finished after photos! It makes me so excited!  I’ve also begun the “decluttering” of my house (I make up words sometimes, don’t mind me haha).  Thankfully with the help of my sister friend Christine we’ve made huge strides in getting rid of things I don’t need and making room for those that I do in an organized fashion.  I’m so lucky to have a sister who literally loves organizing and purging, its like having my own personal Marie Kondo, and the best part is Christine is bringing all the joy and love with her!  We got rid of no less than 7 large bins of stuff just from my kitchen.  It’s crazy the stuff you find when you empty everything out, like why in the world did I have 15 spatulas?!?!  It’s such a freeing feeling to get organized, brings a whole new feeling of peace and accomplishment.

The other big change in my life is my new family member Stella!  A couple years ago I had two yorkies, Dharma and Greg, who both got hit by a car and killed at the same time.  I was devastated.  It was a lot for me to handle as my Dad had also just recently passed.  It’s taken me awhile to be ready for a new pup in my life, and I’ve also been waiting for an opportunity to present itself.  I wanted to adopt but didn’t really know when the right time would be.  Then one night at work a friend of mine asked if I wanted a dog because her Aunt was trying to rehome their son’s dog.  Along came Stella (formerly named Mahina).  She’s a Pit-bull Dalmatian mix, and full of love. She’s my new ride or die; seriously this pup was made for me.  She’s almost six years old and just overall amazing and sweet, God truly knew what I needed in a pup and when I needed it!

Up & Coming!

Jen and I are also preparing for a local craft show in October, making products, planning our booth set up, and did I mention making products??  I’ve been crocheting myself silly with crochet orders from co-workers as well as inventory.  Jen and I have also been working on our “surprise” that we keep mentioning. We’re so excited and proud of it, but it has been more work than I think either of us really expected.

Well now you are all caught up on my life!  I hope this post finds you all thriving as well!

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Felt Flower Frenzy

Clearly, it’s been a while since Katie or I have posted anything. To be honest, we kind of burned ourselves out from all of the crafting we did around Christmas – more than we initially even realized. And again, in full disclosure, that’s kinda my (and her) usual mode of operation after the rush from Christmas crafting and gift making. But we got started back up again and have been working on some big projects. Thing is, we were so busy with these projects and our deadlines that we didn’t even get a chance to document any of our processes!

March Madness

The main thing I worked on kept me busy all through March. I, along with the help of Katie and my mom and my sis-in-law, made a gajillion felt flowers for my brother and SIL’s wedding. I wanted to bless them somehow and knew they were on a tight wedding budget, so I made it my mission to add as many felt flowers as possible which went perfectly with their country-boho-chic themed nuptial decor.

It was at times a little stressful but mostly just a heck of a lot of fun. I was able to try out a lot of new techniques that made a huge impact in the way my flowers turned out and got me all re-inspired on trying new ones. Some of them took FOR-FREAKING-EVER – seriously – and some of them were so quick and easy that we were able to bust out a whole bunch with minimal effort. I’ll get into those techniques and details for each flower in other posts later on…but here are a couple of shots mid-process that I managed to snap:

Since the focus was getting the flowers done for the wedding, I didn’t stress about photographing each step, supplies, etc. I’ll have to re-do some of them another day and provide instructions and templates, but today is not that day. Today I just feel like we have been quiet for too long and need to provide some sort of an update – so here it is! We are still live and well and crafting our butts off.

Pictures!

So, here are literally the ONLY photos I have of these Completed flowers right now. I even missed taking photos at the actual wedding (to be fair, I had to do the bride’s makeup, my niece’s hair, my mom’s makeup, and my hair and makeup, place the flowers for the reception, be in family photos, dance with my hubby and son and daughter, have fun and visit with people I hadn’t seen in forever, etc…so I’m not at all upset about forgetting to take pictures)!

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New Things Coming Your Way!

It’s been a minute since we posted anything on our blog, but rest assured that doesn’t mean we haven’t been working on some really great content to share with you all!!!

We have an exciting announcement to make soon. We aren’t ready just yet to share all of the details but we will say that a totally re-vamped Hedge & Fox is coming and we couldn’t be more excited about the changes!

Stay tuned for more….

xo

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Handmade Bows

Happy New Year everyone!! I hope you all had an amazing holiday like Jen and myself.  We are jumping into 2019 with newfound vigor and ideas for our blog and couldn’t be more excited for things to come!

One of my favorite things to do while wrapping presents, any time of year, is making a gorgeous bow.  A nice handmade bow can make any gift look expensive and glitzy!  And lets be honest, it will also make anyone you give a gift to “oooo” and “ahhhh” over your gorgeous masterpiece. My mom taught me how to make bows when I was a teenager and it’s been one of the best craft secrets I’ve ever learned; and today I am passing down the knowledge to you!

Supplies

  • Sharp scissors
  • Wire Edged Ribbon

The Ribbon

The best ribbon to use is wire edged ribbon, which you can find at any craft or fabric store.  You can use non-wired ribbon as well but it’s more difficult to shape, especially when starting out.

Pictured above is the ribbon I will be using.  It’s important to note which side of the ribbon is the font side and the back side.  On some ribbon it’s quite obvious, and with others like this it’s a bit more difficult.  In the picture on the far right the piece of ribbon that goes to the left is the front side and the other is the back side.  You can tell this by two factors: the front side is more shiny or bright and the back side is dull and mate, also the wired edge sits on top of the front side and is flat with the back side (see the middle photo).

Bow Making

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Make your first loop as pictured above, making sure that you have the front of the ribbon facing outwards.  However big your loop is, is about how high/wide your bow will be.  These directions will work with just about any size bow you’d like.

 

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You’ll then pinch the middle of your ribbon where you’d like the base of your loop to be, this will be the middle of your bow.

 

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Next, make another loop, making sure the front side of your ribbon is facing outward, you may need to twist the ribbon in the middle to make this happen.  I use my thumb to measure out the bottom loops and my index finger for the top loops.  This helps in making each loop approximately the same size.

 

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Continue this process until you have 5 loops on each side, you can do more if you like, but 5 is my go to amount.  The more loops you make the fuller and more dense your bow will be.

 

Once you’ve reached your 5 (or more) loops, grip your bow in the middle and cut the ribbon leaving a few inches for the tail.

 

Cut an additional section of ribbon to tie around the middle and secure your loops in pace.

 

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Now you begin to “fluff” your bow.  I do this by taking a loop with my index and middle finger inside the loop and thumb on the outside.  I push inward towards the middle with my thumb to fluff out the loop.  Continue to do this with all the loops.  This is where the wired edging helps tremendously!  You can pull and push and bend the loops in any way you’d like until you get a look you’re happy with.

 

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And….Voila! You have a gorgeous handmade bow.

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New Year, New Projects!

We are a little late in saying this but HAPPY NEW YEAR! Katie and I took some time off during the holidays so we could focus on our families and our holiday plans, so it’s been a minute since we posted anything. I spent a lot of time making felt ornaments for family members…I can’t wait to share how I took the DIY Tree Ornaments to a whole different level with you all (saving that post for next Christmas!). Katie was lucky enough to go to Disneyland and Monterey during our break. And I know she spent a lot of time catching up on crochet orders that she has received (her stuff is AMAZING!!!).

The First Project of the Year

Today I’m sharing my very first experience with the vinyl transfer process just in case you can learn from my trials and errors and final success. 🙂

Step 1: Lettering

I’ve been excited to get into using my Cricut Maker to cut vinyl but hadn’t attempted it yet until this month. My project was simple but detailed: I wanted to turn the quote I digitally hand lettered on my iPad with my Apple Pencil from November into a pretty little framed piece for one of our giveaway winners. This is the file I had to work with:

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As an aside, and this is something I plan to post more about another day, I love hand lettering! I have been doing it since high school. I wish I still had copies of the hand lettered pages me and Katie and our girlfriends would make for each other. We would write out a friend’s name in a cute, custom font and add all sorts of doodles around it and then pass them to each other between classes. But I threw out all of my old notes in a fit of purging years ago, knowing as I did it that I’d regret it some day. In the moment I just wanted less clutter and fewer boxes to store! Oh how bummed I am now – especially since I had a sweet little poem from an elementary school “boyfriend” (and my first kiss) who turned out to be famous years later. The only line I remember was something like “I like you so much. Your skin is like smooth Dutch.” Hah! Needless to say, he isn’t famous for being a poet (he is a painter).

But I digress, BIG TIME. Back to talking about cutting this quote out in vinyl….

Step 2: Cutting

So while I wasn’t layering different colors of vinyl, I did have some really detailed bits with small lines to deal with. I was nervous, first of all, that some of my letters were too thin for them to cut properly on the Cricut. Secondly I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to get them to transfer correctly. Thirdly I was just kinda nervous in general because I didn’t want this project to be a total bust!

Thankfully, the Cricut had ZERO issues cutting all of the letters out. So at this point I breathed a huge sigh of relief. And was all the more impressed with this amazing cutting machine.

Step 3: Weeding

The next step was what is called weeding – removing all of the tiny bits of vinyl that don’t easily peel off (think of the middle of an “o”, or the little inner semi-circle part of an “e”). This is tedious, but incredibly necessary. I used a Weeding tool from Cricut that reminds me of what dental hygienists use when cleaning your teeth. It’s a metal hook with a sharp point at the end. You stick a corner of vinyl you want removed carefully and pull the piece up/away to get it out without messing everything else up. I got mine in a kit from Hobby Lobby during one of those rare moments when Cricut accessories go on sale (it was all 40% off!!!)

Step 4: Transfer Paper

After taking plenty of time to carefully weed my quote, I was ready to move it to transfer paper so that I could then place it onto the final product (paper in this case). This step is all about taking some clear sticker-paper (think Contact paper, the kind you line shelves and drawers with) and adhering the top of the vinyl, the part you will have showing once all is said and done, to it. Doing so enables you to have your “sticker” of vinyl all in one piece when you apply it to the final product.

For me, this was definitely the trickiest step. First, because I tried to go the cheap route after reading on some forums that others have done so successfully. So I bought actual clear home-use style Contact Paper and tried, with vigor, to get my vinyl to stick to it. No luck, whatsoever. Katie and I took turns pressing as hard as we could, using the scraper tool that came with my kit. It’s like…using a credit card to apply pressure to something…only this scraper tool has a much better and sturdier grip.

While some of the vinyl stuck, not much of it did. I gave up for the night and figured I would get some actual cutting-machine-vinyl-purposed transfer paper the next day.

Upon attempt #2, this time with standard transfer paper (I also bought strong grip transfer paper but haven’t tried it yet) learned a few more things.

  1. If you’re having trouble getting the sticky part to separate from the backing, use the weeding tool and pry up the corner of the transfer paper. This is the quickest method from what I’ve found.
  2. For the really small letters/thinner lines, it’s best to use your scraper tool and follow the boarder of the section in question all the way around. What do I mean by this? For example, on the letter “t”, you would take your scraper and trace around the letters pressing down as you do, to ensure all edges – every square centimeter – adheres to the sticky part of the transfer paper. Tracing the outline of every part ensures things stick much better.
  3. Once you’re sure everything is properly “stuck”, peel the transfer paper off at an angle, but not too sharp of one.
  4. Make sure you’ve paid attention to the lines on your transfer paper and haven’t applied it to your vinyl crooked. These lines are key in centering your piece and making sure it is straight on the final product.

Step 5: Applying the Vinyl

This is the fun, and not too difficult, part! Now that you have a properly aligned and ready to go vinyl “sticker”, line it up accurately to your final product, stick it on, scrape it to get a good adhesion, and then peel off the transfer paper. Voila!!!

As an aside, I read many forums that recommend pulling the transfer paper off at a 45 degree angle from the paper. While this worked, I actually found that my letters remained in place and stuck to my paper if I peeled it off with the transfer paper being pulled back, parallel, to my paper. I’m not sure if this is the case with other materials you’d transfer vinyl to, but I’ll test it out in the future.

I mounted the final product to another paper that was a beautiful dark green and placed it in a frame:

 

I was pretty pleased with how this project came out and am looking forward to more ways I can use my cutting machine and vinyl!  I hope you enjoyed the read….and am very excited to share more projects with you as the year goes on!

 

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I’m Dreaming of a Felt Christmas – DIY Tree Ornaments

Tis the season for custom-made Christmas presents!  If you’re like me and have a large family but a small budget, making gifts for everyone is a must. We actually draw names for gifts between the adults, but I like to come with a little something for everyone regardless of that.  Giving is the reason for this season of celebration and I like to take part and make something from the heart for each member of my family if my budget and time allows. The Man of the hour said it Himself, “It is more blessed to give than to receive”

Last year I made hand-lettered coffee mugs for everyone which was fun but also a lot of work!  I didn’t have my iPad and Apple Pencil yet so the design part took a while, a lot of erasing and re-doing, but all in all I think my designs came out great.  I found a quote or phrase that spoke to each member of my family and used Sharpie oil paint pens to write them out, then baked them in the oven to really let it set.

This year, with the help of my new Cricut Maker and my iPad/Apple Pencil setup, I created templates to cut out and sew together cute little felt ornaments.  Personally, I think we have some incredibly cute designs for all of our amazing Hedge & Fox fans who are into making things and would like to give this one a try! If you’re interested in any of these let me know in the comments and I can send you the details! 🙂 You don’t have to use a cutting machine – trust me (up until a few months ago, I never used one to cut out my felt projects)!  So don’t let that stop you from giving this a try.  It’s actually really easy and there aren’t all that many pieces to cut which is great.

This is a fantastic project to do with kids but takes some prep work beforehand if your kiddos are between 3-10 or so years old.  The amount of prep all depends on your kids abilities, of course, so if you have a little sewing genius on your hands you can probably skip some of the steps outlined below in the tutorial.  Another thing to note is that you can use all different types of hand sewing stitches when sewing these together… a running stitch being the quickest and easiest method.  Check out this amazing post for more info and video tutorial instructions on different types of beginning stitches!

Supplies:

  • Felt in multiple colors, depending on which template you use and what overall result you’re hoping for
    • On a side note, while I didn’t do this myself, I would recommend using premium felt for these – especially
  • Embroidery thread (or yarn) matching the colors of felt you selected or in a contrasting color of your choice
  • Embroidery needles (or yarn needles)
  • Stuffing
  • A small hole punch (if you have small kids doing the sewing….I have a leather hole punch which I found on Amazon
  • Depending on which item, you may need an assortment of add-on supplies (as little or as many as you want):
    • Glue and glitter (or glitter-glue! My son used this to decorate his H&F Christmas Tree ornament)
    • Beads (you could use these to make the face and buttons of the snowman, or the eyes of any of the ornaments needing them.
    • Tiny pom-poms (I used a red one for the reindeer’s nose…but if you get an assortment of colors you could use them in many different ways!)
    • There are a lot of other things you could use, like ribbon, buttons, tiny jingle bells…let your imagination go wild!

Since I have a mini supply of kid-friendly craft supplies, I just used what I had around already, like glitter-glue and beads.

Cutting the felt:

  • Start by cutting out all of the pieces you’ll need. third color if you choose!).
    • If you are using one of the templates that has a scarf (for the snowman or the penguin), you can add some fray at the ends of each side of the scarf by snipping four ½” slits like so

Putting the ornaments together:

Here is where the instructions will vary piece by piece.

General:

  • Depending on the ornament you’re making, if you are going to add details like eyes or buttons or noses, do this FIRST before sewing any pieces together!
  • If you have small kids doing the sewing on this, you’ll need to punch holes around the edges of the felt so they know where to sew and don’t have any trouble getting their needle and thread/yarn through the pieces.
  • Before getting your kiddo started, take a safety pin and pin the two pieces of fabric together for them to keep them in place.
  • If you’re planning to embroider the year or any wording, write out what you want the ornament to say first in a marker that’s close to the color of the felt. This will help ensure your embroidered lettering/numbering turns out the way you want it to, and as long as your marker color is close enough to the felt color, you won’t even see the line once the threading is done.
    • Make sure you explain where to start and where to stop, having them stop early enough to leave space for adding your stuffing before sewing the piece shut all of the way
    • Note: If you have a kid who maybe isn’t ready for sewing yet, you can get everything prepped for them to just add the accent pieces once it’s already sewed together and stuffed!

    For Santa:

    • Start by sewing the front piece that is for his beard/hair to the background piece that is his face, then add your details for eyes and nose and/or mouth (if you’re adding those, that is).
    • Next sew the back hair piece to the front hair/beard piece.
    • Sew the hat together, leaving the bottom open like a real hat so that you can place it on his head and tack it down once you’re finished
      • You can either sew the white rim and ball to the red pieces before sewing the hat together or you can glue them on, it’s your choice

    For the Penguin:

    • After adding his eyes and beak, start by sewing the white accent part of the body to the black piece that will be the front.
      • You can glue the feet and beak on, if you’d prefer, to keep things easy

    For the Snowman:

    • Be sure to add all details to the front before sewing the 2 pieces of white felt for the body together (eyes, nose, mouth, stick arms and mittens if you’re
    • When sewing the piece together, start with the hat but leave the brim open – sew the front brim to the front part of the snowman’s head.  Then sew the back brim to the back of his/her head.  Last, sew the body pieces together and then add stuffing.

    For the Reindeer:

    • When sewing this guy together, place the antlers in between the 2 pieces for the head/body until they line up perfectly.
    • If adding a pom-pom for the nose, take your scissors and cut a little flat space on the bottom of the pom-pom for where you will place the glue (I find that the nose sits on the top a little better when doing this)

    For the Christmas Tree:

    My 4 year old decorated this for our tree and I love it!

    • Place the trunk piece in between the 2 tree pieces at the bottom and pin together before sewing
    • If you’re gluing on all of the décor pieces, sew the tree together first and add your stuffing before decorating.

    One last thing I like to do is add the year to the back of any ornaments I make. For these, I just grabbed a fine Sharpie marker and placed “2018” on the back. I also added my son’s initials for the ones he helped with so that I always know which ones were his and how old he was when he made them. I find this is a lot of fun to talk about years later when pulling ornaments out to decorate the tree!

    What do you think about how these turned out?  I absolutely adore them.  My favorite is the Christmas tree that my son decorated.  I know I will treasure it for years and years and have fond memories of making it with him every time I unbox it and go to put it on our Christmas tree!

    If you’re interested in using any of my templates let me know!

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    ‘Tis the Season to Get Cuddly!

    Hello my favorite Hedge and Foxers! Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving like Jen and I did.  It’s finally starting to rain here (I LOVE the rain!!), and that makes me want to cuddle up in my favorite blankie, eat some chili and watch F.R.I.E.N.D.S.  So that’s exactly what I did with Jen and her family the other night, except we needed another blanket for the couch.  My mission was clear, make a super soft cuddly blanket ASAP and make some homemade chili!

    First let’s talk about this chili I made.  I’m currently doing Weight Watchers, so I was looking for a chili recipe that was good for points and good for those who aren’t dieting.  I ran across this receipie on Pinterest, and let me tell ya…it was delicious!! So if you’re looking for some good chili check out this Zero Point Chili Receipie.

    So now that you’ve got your chili cooking in your crockpot, time to make a cuddly blanket! If you’re thinking, “I wont be able to get a blanket done in 2 hours!”, well I’m here to tell you that you can!!! Let’s get started!

    Supplies

    • 2 yards of fleece in two different patterns (2 yards in one pattern and 2 yards in another for a total of 4 yards) – I suggest getting the “anti-pill” fleece, it’s softer and wont get those annoying little balls all over.
    • Measureing Tape
    • Sharp fabric scissors or rotary cutter and mat
    • Masking tape
    • 4×4 template

    These tie fleece blankets are so easy to make and fun!  This is something you could totally do with your kids as well.

    Step 1

    Take each cut of fabric and trim the edges off.  Generally one side will have a white edge in writing and the other will have a slightly curled edge. One of the best things about making this blanket is nothing has to be exact, meaning don’t worry if you’re edges aren’t straight, it won’t matter in the end.

     

    Step 2

    Check your fabrics and see if there’s any difference between the sides.  The fabrics I picked below are slightly blurry on the “back” side.  Place the back sides of the fabrics together as evenly as you can.  Again, it doesn’t have to be exactly even, just as close as you can.

     

    Step 3

    Next you want to make yourself a 4”x 4” template with some cardboard or something else semi sturdy. Once your template is cut place it at the corners of your fabric and cut around the edges as shown below.

    Step 4

    533B62B1-FBD1-4F5D-9558-5E5E7787F9BBNext take your masking tape and stretch it along the side of the blanket from the corner of your cut edge to the other corner as shown in the photo.  Once your tape is in place start cutting strips about an inch in width and stop at the tape.  Continue cutting strips until you’ve reached the end and repeat this process around the blanket.  I eye-balled the strips, because once again…. it doesn’t really matter.  At the end of the day you won’t be able to tell if there are any imperfections.

     

    Step 5

    Now is the fun part (at least I think its fun). Start tying the bottom and top strips together. Be Sure to tie the first one tight and then tie it one more time.  Continue this around the whole blanket.

    Step 6

    Your yummy chili should be done, so scoop yourself some into your favorite bowl, grab your new blanket and turn on your favorite TV show and relax!

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    These are great for Christmas gifts and can easily be put together at the last minute for anyone who is a procrastinator like me haha!  Have fun!!

     

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    Happy Thanksgiving!!!

    The day is here! If you’re American, like me, then today is all about three things: Pausing to give thanks for all of the things you are grateful for; spending time with the ones you love; and feasting on roasted turkey (or maybe deep fried or cooked in some other fashion), mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, casseroles, and pumpkin or sweet potato pie!!!! I love this holiday for all of the aforementioned reasons, and in honor of today I am also going to list 10 things for which I am thankful like Katie did in our last post. These aren’t exactly in order of importance because it’s hard to say one is more important than another, but here goes….!

    1. My husband

  • I married an amazing guy, folks! He is hilarious, sweet, sexy, and he is also my best friend. I was a ball of crazy when we first started dating (ok, still am sometimes!) and his patience in helping me through a lot of the emotional baggage I had at the time was unbelievable and incredibly selfless. And more than I think anyone could ask for, but exactly what one should hope for from a life-long mate. And today he is still the same way.
  • 2. My kids
  • Like most parents, I could gush on and on about how amazing I think they are. My son is 4 (and a half! That’s a big deal, ya know…) and is so much fun. He is silly, unbelievably smart, and a natural at almost any sport. I always figured I would have at least one athletic kid since I never was really into playing sports myself, and boy do I!!! We have a ton of fun playing soccer, flag football, and baseball in our backyard. My daughter will be 9 months in a few days and she is just the sweetest little thing ever. She brings us so much joy and has added so much more fun to our lives. She is babbling a ton (and will give you an earful when she feels it is needed, let me tell you!), cruising around on the furniture, says a few words already and is crawling everywhere. She started waving hello recently which is so cute to watch her do out and about with random people. I honestly can say that having 2 kids is way more fun than just having 1!
  • 3. My parents

  • They’re wonderful and fun and wise and they help us out in more ways than I can count. We live about a 5 minutes away from them now (we moved this year) and we really enjoy it! They help with childcare during the week and even on weekends sometimes, give us great advice but typically only if we ask for it, and are just generally fun people to be around. My mom is one of my best friends, and I am and have always been an unashamed daddy’s girl through and through. I adore my father! And I treasure the relationship my parents have with my kids. It is a blessing to watch them together and makes my heart so very glad.
  • 4. My mother-in-law

  • Yes, I’m dead serious about this. I think I have the best MIL ever. She also lives nearby (within walking distance) and helps is with childcare and just in general quite often. I truly value the relationship I have with her and the one she has with my children as well. She is always so sweet and helpful. I know this is a huge blessing – I’ve heard and seen horror stories about in-laws throughout my life and was always worried about this dynamic, but thankfully I do not have that situation to deal with. And for that I am eternally grateful! And I treasure her relationship with my kids and am blessed to watch them together.
  • 5. My siblings

  • (including my sisters-in-law)! I have 2 big brothers who are buckets of fun and both are married to women I love, am close to, and get along with well. And my husband’s sister and her husband are incredible, too! We all live around each other and are able to get together as often as life allows, which sometimes is a lot and other times not nearly enough. My brothers have always been there for me, made me feel loved, protected and safe, and have been there to make me laugh harder than almost anyone else. I treasure the friendships we have developed in our adult lives and also the times from when we were kids and they would actually let their kid sis be around and play.
  • (I need to take more photos with these awesome guys…learned this lesson while searching for something to post!)
  • 6. My friends

  • I have the best, most amazing, most drama-free group of friends! Of course my sister-friends, Katie and Christine, are in that bunch. I love them both so much and am so grateful for our friendship. The memories we share are truly priceless! And Miranda, my BFF, mommy-friend, and the mom of my beautiful god-daughter. She and I became best friends shortly after Dan and I were married, at a time in my life where making new close friends was a scary thing (that’s a long story that goes way back to pre-Katie stuff which I won’t get into). Miranda is one of those friends who always checks in on you, calls you out on your BS but in the most loving of ways, and is a total blast to be with. I am so grateful for her and for our friendship!!! And for the amazing god-daughter she has given me – I love my Baby Girl sooo much! I am also thankful for her sister, Nicole, who is another close friend of mine. Nicole and I encourage each other during tough times and during great times, too. Her heart is made of the sweetest of things and she walks with an air of grace and love that makes I want to emulate. I have many more friends I want to mention but this post would go on forever and ever if I did! I love and appreciate you all so very much <3
  • 7. My job

  • I feel so blessed to have the job I do – one that I enjoy and one with amazing coworkers. I am a geek for data and for process improvement and I get to combine these things and find data-driven process improvements! I work for a large company where you’d thing the inter-personal part of things might be lacking, but my company and my co-workers are actually really amazing! To top it off, I am able to work from home and have for over 5 years now. While working from has its challenges, overall it has been a huge blessing for this full time working mama.
  • 8. Our new house

  • I LOVE our new home, being so close to our families, and the neighborhood we moved to. It reminds me of the neighborhood I grew up in and felt like home the moment we turned the corner to go and look at the house the first time. It was all by the grace if God that we got this house when and how we did. It was by accident that we even came to look at it with our realtor – I had seen it on the real estate apps and knew it was perfect but out of our price range. When we saw it for the first time I didn’t let myself say out loud “I love it!” because I didn’t want to be let down when we didn’t get it. Low and behold, 2 weeks later our realtor called to say they had received no offers (at a time when houses were selling left and right) and that the owners were willing to negotiate with us. It was miraculous and I am soooo grateful! Dan and I still look at each other at least once a week and say “I cannot believe this is OUR house!!!”
  • 9. My pastor and my church family

  • Folks, I feel like I found, hands down, the most amazing church to be a part of in existence! Dan and I have been members since we first started dating when he got invited to go, having never been a church goer before (I on the other hand grew up in church all of my life, even went to Christian school until I graduated 12th grade). What God has done through the ministry at our church has dramatically changed our lives. I had all but sworn off going to church if I’m being honest – and this is a long story that I won’t get in to now – but after going here and really receiving a revelation of God’s love and grace, I’ve been completely changed. Which brings me to the next item, and it is the MOST important one in my life.
  • 10. Receiving the revelation of God’s grace and the gift of salvation.

  • I remember what I was like, my view of life, before I learned about real and true grace, and I don’t miss that life at all! Am I perfectly “Christian” now, never struggling with sin? Far from it!!!! That’s not the point! I still struggle with sin, some great and sin small, on a daily basis (or minute my minute, really!). But now I walk in confidence that God’s grace covers my sin through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and sees me as faultless. And so I can confidently go to Him with my praises, pains, joy, sorry, frustrations, and struggles with sin, knowing that He hears my cries and turns His heart toward me. Not because of anything I’ve done or will do, but only because of what Jesus did! This is the greatest thing in my life for which I am thankful and I want to SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS!!!!
  • Ok, I’m off to finish up the mac and cheese that I’m bringing to dinner. I hope and pray you have a wonderful day celebrating all of the things for which you are thankful and that you don’t get too stuffed on turkey and all the good things that go along with it! May God bless you and your family, and keep you all in His protection this holiday season and always.
  • Let me know what you’re thankful for in the comments if you have a moment to spare and can do so!
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    What are you thankful for?

    November is one of my favorite months; the air is crisp, the leaves are changing into their beautiful fall colors, and Thanksgiving and its glorious food is around the corner!  This time of year also reminds you to be thankful for the large and small things in your life; and I’ve always found writing these things down to be soul soothing, so that’s what today’s post is about!  Here are ten things I’m thankful for this year (in no particular order):

    1.  My Mom

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    Besides giving birth to me, which let’s be honest is a big deal, my mom has been and continues to be my biggest supporter in everything I do.  She’s my best friend who I know will never leave my side.  She loves me for who I am, what I believe and does so without judgement. She’s always been accepting of my friends with open arms and has taught me to be the caring woman I’ve become.  She’s probably the most selfless person I know who is always willing to help anyone in any way she can.  She’d give you the shirt off your back if you needed it.  I strive daily to be more like her, and don’t know what I’d do without her. Love you Mom!

    2. My Sisters

     

    I refer to these two amazing women as my sisters all the time.  They may not be my sisters in the conventional sense, technically I’m an only child, but they’ll always be in my life and I love them like they’re family.  As long as we’ve known each other their families have treated me like family and vice versa.  Their kids call me Auntie Katie which warms my heart every time I hear it.  So to Jen & Christine, I’m so thankful for your loving spirits and loving hearts. I love you both!

    3. My Friends

    I’ve been so lucky to have some really incredible friends in my life, friends that are truly like family.  I know that no matter what happens my friends will be there for me if I need them.  If I call broken down on the side of the road, I know every single one would come and help me, no doubt in my mind.  Also, my friends are hilarious, hands down the funniest people ever! (And if you’re not pictured, I love you too don’t worry! haha)

    4. My Best Friend (aka Craig)

     

    IMG_0448Now saying my “Best Friend” is a difficult statement to make, because a lot of my friends I consider my Best Friend.  But this friend in particular holds a very special place in my heart.  Not everyone has a friend who is so willing to help their friend’s Mom whenever she needs a man’s help.  Since my Dad passed a few years ago, Craig has taken over helping my mom whenever she needs it, no questions asked.  Craig treats my mom like his own and that’s more than I could ever ask for.

    5. My Job

    There’s not a lot of people who get to do what they love.  Yes, my job is stressful.  Yes, my job is tiring with long hours.  However, my job is AWESOME! I get to help people and help support our law enforcement by being their first line of defense.  The excitement and adrenaline rush I get from my job keeps me going!  Also, I’ve met some of my favorite people through my job.

    6. My Landlords

    I’ve lived in the most adorable little house for over 6 years now and not once have they raised my rent! If that’s not something to be thankful for then I don’t know what is!

    7. Pizza

    Well…because Pizza.

    8. Hedge & Fox

    I’ve had so much fun thinking of creative things for our new blog and most of all spending the with Jen and her family.  I get to see my niece and nephew on a weekly basis and catch up with Jen & Dan, it’s been a blast!!

    9. My Aquarium

    Ever since I lost my two dogs a couple years ago I’ve not been able to bring myself to get another one yet.  But, I have invested in an aquarium which has brought me a lot of joy.  Maybe not as much as a dog would but my fish & friends have helped fill that void.

     

     

    10. All of you!

    Each and every person who subscribes to our blog and supports us means the world to Jen and myself.  We work hard every day with our full time jobs and we work hard on bringing content to you as well.  Thank you for being there 🙂

     

    So what are you thankful for?  I challenge you to write down ten things you’re thankful for!  In fact that is this months giveaway entry!  Post a picture on Instagram of one of the ten things you’re thankful for with “#HFThankful2018”! Winner will be announced on December 1st!

     

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