An Unplanned Blogging Break, kinda

I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but I haven’t been blogging on my usual schedule lately. Have you noticed? I’m kinda curious!

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I’ve seen a few other bloggers take an August break from blogging and I thought to myself, that’s a good idea, but then didn’t plan on it. But my family and I have gotten bitten by the end of summer travel bug and I haven’t been able to keep up with my blogging like I usually do because we’ve been off having a fantastic August!

I don’t usually share too much about my life outside of crafting and sewing on this blog, but since I’ve been a bit sporadic this month, I thought I’d show you what I’ve been up too!

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The first weekend of this month, we headed ended up with a random camp spot at this place that we probably would never have picked out for ourselves, but we had a good time! It was down on the Hood Canal, a bit south and west of Seattle. Max’s first tent camping experience! No that he’s new to camping! Oh, no, he’s been going since he was about 6 months. We usually have a little trailer where we camp. And I found a MASSIVE amount of sand dollars! I’ve never found a full sand dollar on the west coast. We also love our happy face rock!

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Then we went to Bellingham, a nice getaway, but nothing spectacular. And then came the most fun weekend… Mt Rainier and Mt St Helens! Not long ago the kiddo had compared something to Mt Rainier and I realized that he had never been there! So we went! And the little kiddo climbed almost 1000 feet up Mt Rainier! It was awesome! I’ve wanted to see a marmot for YEARS and now I can say I saw one!

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We stayed in a teepee! How cool is that? I’d seen it last year and knew we had to check it out. It just happened to be right between the two mountains. So the next day we headed to Mt St Helens. I thought it would be a little drive in, look around and drive back. Um…. It was that, but so much more than that. I was shocked at how cool it was. We went in through the blast side and the force of nature, 20 years later, is still magnificent! That white stuff in the lake… is trees. Thousands of trees uprooted from the blast! And we found a million frogs! Some still tadpoles. A fantastic science lesson for the kiddo!

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We had such a great time that we came home on Monday night, figured out a road trip for the next weekend, and headed out again on Saturday. This time we headed east, to Eastern Washington. Again. Amazing! It’s so amazing how Seattle is this lush green place that you think of when you think of the Pacific Northwest. But the state changes dramatically as you drive over the Cascades Mountains! We headed east, visited friends, went fossil hunting and did some more camping! I was just in awe of the changing landscape the whole time! And back home on Tuesday night!

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Soooo…. See why I haven’t been crafting and sewing too much this month? I hope you don’t mind! We did collect all sorts of things for crafting though. I just might have a sand dollar craft coming up…. And we collected a lot of driftwood down by the teepee for Driftwood Monsters and then we’re going to do a little crafting with our fossils too! Fun things coming up!

In short, I didn’t take a full on break, but I’ve been busy having a blast with the family and the blog hasn’t been top priority! Summer is winding down and I’ll be back full force in September with fun things!

Did you do much traveling this summer?

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Fab LIttle Pincushion Swap

another swap… yep!

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This swap is called the Fab Little Pincushion where you make a pin cushion for your secret partner. Since I’m obsessed with hexi’s, I decided to do a hexi pincushion. With little hexi’s. (so addictive…)

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Then I put it all together and it got big. I had an idea in my head about how it was going ot look. It didn’t really turn out that way.  I do like the hexi top, though. I knew it was getting too big, but I couldn’t stop myself!

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Luckily, my partner wanted a larger cushion! whew!

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I had a few hexi’s left over, so I added them to the coordinating needle book I made. Whiel I wasn’t completely in love with the cushion, I am in love with the needle book!

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And on to what I got!! Thank you so much  for all the beautiful work you put into my package! Everything is beautiful!

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I love all the work that went inot this for me. And everything is tiny, just like I like it! The pinchion has a front and back (of course) done with the hand stitching! I love the embroidery work on all the pieces. I’ve reently fallen in love with needle books. And my son is trying to get the thread catcher for himself! No, no buddy!

 

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Busted.

A crazy thing happened this week. My etsy shop was busted. Is it a good thing or a bad thing? Is the glass half full or empty?

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As most of you probably know I started an etsy site where I sell party supplies. It actually started with the Dr Seuss party food labels and invitations. Then came my Dragon Wings. And lastly the pirate party. I’m working  on more parties now. I got pretty close to finalizing the Dinosaur party when I got sucked into my LEED certification! Anyway….

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The etsy shop has been doing well, with all three parties. But I’ve always debated if selling my Dr Seuss things was the right thing to do. And there’s really no debate. It’s not. But I kept doing it. Knowing in the back of mind that it was wrong.

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Then this week I got a notice that etsy had deleted one of my listings. Supposedly, someone from the Dr Seuss foundation has complained. I was out to lunch, but as soon as I got back to my computer, about 10 minutes later, I deactivated the rest of my Dr Seuss inspired party listings.

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I’ve been reading a lot lately about people getting mad at etsy for shutting down their sites or deleting their listings, etc. Honestly, this has been a weight off my shoulders. I had no choice but to deactivate the listings now. I can’t keep debating with myself.

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My shop is doing well, but I do no promotion. I know it could be even better if I promote it better. But I haven’t wanted to draw much attention to the shop because…. My good conscious kept telling me the truth!

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It does make me wonder though…. After this happened, I typed Dr Seuss into the etsy search engine and 12,225 items came up. I wonder why me? And what about all those other listings? It doesn’t matter. I’m not challenging etsy’s decision to contact me or delete my listing. I’m not going to report or challenge the other sellers. But I do wonder!

Luckily, they just deleted the one listing. Technically, they didn’t say to take down the others, but…. Like I mentioned, I have heard too many stories about people’s whole site being deleted! For me it was only the one listing and I did the rest!

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And now I just have to work even harder to get more parties up on the site to share! I can promote my shop without any misgivings. I’m excited to make my own p I’m planning superheros, dinosaurs and a spy party. What else would you like to see?

Summer Thyme e-book Giveaway!

You’ve probably already realized that I love the books from the ladies Bittersweet Walnut Grove!! I showed you what we made from the Spring Thyme book Here, and the Summer Thyme fun here! Now the ladies are giving away one e-book to a lucky reader!

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This volume is full of fantastic recipes, simple sewing projects, refreshing drinks and, my favorite, their stories of growing up in the country! Their stories, combined with all the fantastic DIY’s, give you a wonderful reason to slow down and enjoy the last bits of summer before the fall sets in!

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Have you taken the time to sit back and see if you’re kiddo likes lemons! Well, if not, grab a copy of the book and see if you get a ‘I love lemons’ look or a look like this one….

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‘Ok, I don’t love straight up lemons!’

In addition to the e-book one lucky reader will receive, everyone gets the link to the printable that we used a cupcake topper!

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You can get your printable here! What will you do with your printable??

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If you can’t wait for the giveaway, you can buy the book here… either the kindle edition or paperback, at Amazon.

Ready to WIN? You have SIX ways to enter! And come back and leave a separate comment on this post for each entry!

1) Follow Bittersweet Walnut Grove on Twitter.

2) Become a fan of Bittersweet  Walnut Grove on Facebook.

3) Become a fan of Feelin’ Crafty on Facebook.

4) Subscribe to Feelin’ Crafty.  

5) Subscribe to the Bittersweet Walnut Grove Newsletter here.

6) Follow Bittersweet Walnut Grove on Google +.

That’s 6 possible entries! You must comment on this post to win. The giveaway will close on Sunday, September 1st at 11:59 p.m. PST, and we’ll choose one winner using Random.org.

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I have been compensated with either payment or product for this post. All opinions are my own, honest opinions!

Our Mending Bag

I’m baaaaacccckkkkk! I wasn’t planning on taking a blogging break last week, but I obviously did! I was cramming and cramming to get my LEED professional credentials updated and some other projects, a swap and some etsy orders, before we went out of town for the weekend. And I got it all done! Yeah!!! So now I’m back!

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What do you do with all the clothes and toys that need fixing? We have a ‘mending bag’ as we call it. Unfortunately it’s kinda overflowing! But not too long ago, we were able to get come things out of the bag and fixed! These are just a few of the things in the bag!

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Do you watch Doc McStuffins? The cartoon about the little girl doctor who fixes all the neighborhood kids toys? She always make up names for her patients problems! I totally feel like her when I’m fixing the toys! This one here had ‘shoulder outplacisha’, brought on my out dog ‘cousins’.

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But we got it fixed. Along with Blue Bears ‘crackia skull-itis’, the sponge camera’s ‘lens teariosis’, and the plane’s ‘rear wing fracture.’ It’s tough work, but as Doc Mcstuffins says, ‘The Doc is in!’

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Then a lady on our parents email group asked if any one could sew and restuff a beloved lion stuffy. So I had to tell her that I could help. We’re in the same boat with our beloved stuffie, but I haven’t restuffed him yet. So I took on the lion’s ‘tough love anorexia’ and restuffed him back to a healthy weight!

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This guy is ready to get back to his pals! The kiddo was pretty adamant that I needed to do something about the Lion’s mane, but I didn’t!

The toys and stuffies are my favorite to mend for two reasons. First, I have this weird thing in that I give inanimate objects a bit more personality than they have (as in I kinda think Toy Story is a true story…..) and I know they are super excited to be fixed and out of the mending bag. And secondly, the kiddo is always so excited to get his toys back! But I do need to get in there and get the clothes done too! Have you done any mending lately?

 

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And the Toothbrush Winner is…..

Thanks to everyone who read and commented on the Toothbrush giveaway Washington Dental Service! I got some good ideas for those days the kiddo isn’t excited about brushing! If you didn’t read the comments, check them out here!

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Now to what you’re waiting for… The Winner is….

And here’s my traditional drum rolllllllll……

 

Comment #8!

Random

via Random.org

Yea! Diana! You’re the Winner!

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And thanks again to the Washington Dental Service for the awesome giveaway and great tips and information! Thank you!

 

If you have a bag, You need a Tag! A Luggage Tag Tutorial at Go To Sew

I know some of us are still trying to get in a last minute trip for school and fall! And if you’re like me, you have a bag and your bag needs a tag…

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Be sure to jump over to Go To Sew for the whole tutorial and template! It’s another super easy, half hour or so project!

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WIP Wednesday!

What are my Works in Progress?? If only there weren’t so many!

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You know I’m in love with hexi’s… I finished my Madrona Road Hexi insert. Now I need to finish the quilt it goes in!

 

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Since I finished one hexi project I had to start some more! So I started 2 more hexi projects! The first one is tiny little hexi’s for a swap. Luckyily it’s a pin cushion, or else it could be taking years! I was debating between all random or mostly green and blue with a couple of orange pieces thrown in. I’m going with the latter!

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And I started a double sided hexi scrap quilt! With the batting already inside! It took me a while to figure out how to actually make it work with sewing the four pieces together at once. Now this one is going to take forever. And I’m ok with it! I raided my scrap bags and have started, but I’m trying to only use scraps on this one, soooo… I’m planning on it taking a while!

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It’s not sewing, but…. And my party shop! it needs something new! How about dinos? I’m working on dinos now, but at the same time, in my head a spy party and a super hero party are floating around. Hopefuly soon they will all be for sale!

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And lastly, another not sewing project… I’ve got to get in 30 hours of continuing education credits to keep my LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) certification before mid August! Yep. You heard right. mid-August! AHHHHH!!! So I’ve been taking a bunch of online classes and each one has a quiz at the end. Last night I passed a quiz on Brownfield sites. Lovely subject. But the response to passing the quiz was nice! All tests should end this way!

OK, now I need to go take another one!

Nurture Groups June do.Good Stitches Quilt

Yep, the Nurture Group of the do. Good Stitches Bee got another quilt done thanks to the wonderful effort of our new friend Carla from the Modern Bias Blog!

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This was the first time that someone in the group gave us the finished design idea right from the start!

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I love her ‘sketch’ of her final design idea. We sent her more blocks than she was counting on, so the final quilt ended up a bit different from her original sketch, but it’s still pretty close! And really cool!

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These are the blocks I sent. Can you find them in the final design?

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I sent some extra because during this month we lost a group member and I was making up for her not being with us anymore. I guess I didn’t need too, but the blocks were so easy, I just kept going!

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The block tutorial that we used is from A Pieceful Kwilter’s blog for her No Waste Flying Geese Tutorial . A great tutorial! And Carla gave us all the dimensions we’d need for the exact size ‘geese’ she needed.

I think I’ve mentioned it before, but part of what I love about this group is trying something new. Something I might not have tried otherwise. And seeing the traditional patterns sewn together with a modern twist!

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I love the back of the quilt too! How cute is this fabric? Well, the next month is back on me again, so I better get moving!

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Let’s Talk About Teeth, Baby… Clean Teeth! And a Giveaway!

Let’s talk about you and me… (hearing the 90’s beat? Sorry, I don’t know where that came from….) Anyway….

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I was recently contacted by GreenRubino, the PR folks for Washington Dental Service, asking me if I’d like to write a post about kids dental health. I have to admit, the timing was spot on! We’d just been camping with friends and had a pretty long conversation about our kids dental hygiene! I mean, how often do you talk about that while camping? Then I get home and got this email. Kinda odd, right? The timing was just too perfect to say no!

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So then came the new toothbrush! Washington Dental Service sent the kiddo his very own Sonicare Kid’s Brush! I can’t tell you… I’ve never seen a kid more excited about a toothbrush! I wish I had had my camera, but this was one moment that I didn’t have it ready! He was stoked! It makes fun noises, it’s colorful and you can change the colors!

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It’s summer and sometimes routines get off track, but brushing our teeth is something that always stays in the loop! Even when we’re camping! (hence our camping conversation!) Did you know that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tooth decay remains the most common chronic disease among children. The CDC recently reported that tooth decay affects more than one-fourth of U.S. children ages 2–5 and half of those ages 12–15. Yuck! I had no idea! Luckily, tooth decay and gum disease are nearly 100 percent preventable –even during summer vacations.

Dr. Ron Inge, Dental Director at Washington Dental Service, recommends the following tips for keeping our teeth sparklin’ clean this summer!

  • ·         Pack properly. Be sure to pack extra travel toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss in multiple bags or purses where you can get to them easily. In case you wake up in-transit or lose your luggage, you will still have a chance to keep your smile bright, white and clean.
  • ·         Protect your toothbrush. Toothbrush caps are great for protecting brush bristles from germs and damage from being packed in your bag. Once you arrive at your destination though it’s best to uncap it. Covering wet bristles can trap moisture and encourage bacteria growth.
  • ·         Bring disposable products. If you will be traveling in a place where you won’t have access to clean water or a sink, taking steps to clean your teeth are still important. Be sure to pack floss and look for products like disposable toothbrushes or tooth wipes, which don’t require paste or water. These can be a great resource in a long car-ride or a delayed flight at an airport.
  • ·         Watch what you eat. While on vacation, people tend to change their eating habits and indulge themselves. The increased exposure to sugar can affect your teeth. Try to limit the number of times your family enjoys sweets while away from home. Chew sugar-free gum sweetened with xylitol on long flights or car rides to help stimulate saliva production and rinse away food particles.
  • ·         Pack healthy snacks. Pack a cooler or a bag of snacks, but be selective. Choose tooth-friendly foods like carrots, celery and apples or healthy snacks like string cheese, yogurt, whole grain crackers or plain nuts. Pass on soda and sugary drinks and opt for water instead.
  • ·         Rinse with water. Even if all you have is water, rinsing well after eating or drinking can help rinse away sugars.

So let’s just talk about another reason I decided to elaborate on this subject. We go camping a lot during the summer and I always just throw our toothbrushes in the toiletry bag. Every time I look at the toothbrushes. I look at the bag. And I say to myself, I should probably put the brushes in their own bag. Then I throw them in the toiletry bag anyway and off we go.

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Right about the same time I heard from The Washington Dental Service, I saw The Train to Crazy’s tutorial for a perfect, quick and easy solution to traveling with a toothbrush! I made our travel case in about 5 minutes!

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And it’s perfect! It keeps our brushes separate and clean. And it’s soooo easy to wash!

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And what’s an I’m Feelin’ Crafty post without a project?? Here’s a fun one that they shared with us! What do you do with your old toothbrushes? DId you know that you are supposed to change them every three months?

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I usually keep ours for cleaning grout and little spots around the house. But that’s no fun, huh? Making bracelets sounds like much more fun! And it was! And I never would have thought of this!

Turn your Old Toothbrush Into a Fun Recycled Bracelet

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You can download directions here.

We had a fun time making these! So first you have to remove the bristles….

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It took us a little while to figure out the key to it. At first we were only getting about one bristle at a time and I knew we weren’t going to work on it for days at a time!

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So what I figured out was that you use the needle nose pliers, grab a bunch of bristles down low, and roll the pliers over. Then the whole batch comes out at once!

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Then boil the brushes like the instructions say. The instructions also say to use the simple plain toothbrushes. It’s true! I had grand plans of using our super man brushes, etc… Nope! They were too stiff. We boiled and boiled and reboiled when Dad came home, cause he’s ‘stronger than Momma’ (according to the kiddo). Still they didn’t bend well. Then we found the cheapo brushes. Perfect! much easier and faster, just like the directions say! Imagine!

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They are actually quite fun!

And not only is doing these toothbrush activities fun, but it also makes them more important in the kiddos eyes! He’s so excited to have his new one, but he’s also making sure we take better care of the brushes and our teeth!

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Does your kiddo need a new toothbrush so you can turn their old one into a bracelet??? Washington Dental Service is offering one lucky reader a brand new Sonicare Kid’s Brush!

Ready to WIN? You have FOUR ways to enter! And come back and leave a separate comment on this post for each entry!

1. Leave a comment letting us know how you get kids excited about brushing. (one entry)

2. I’m Feeling Crafty followers, via email or RSS Feeds, or Facebook, get another comment.  Leave one comment. (one entry)

3. Follow the Washington Dental Service Blog  via Facebook or twitter  and leave a third comment. (one entry)

4. Tweet, Facebook, Pin or blog about this giveaway and leave a third comment. (one entry)

That’s 4 possible entries! You must comment on this post to win. This giveaway is for US readers only. The giveaway will close on Sunday, August 11th at 11:59 p.m. PST, and we’ll choose one winner using Random.org.

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I have been compensated with either payment or product for this post. All opinions are my own, honest opinions!

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