GIVEAWAY: Enter to win!

Enter To Win: #adventuresinmkg Swag Kit #giveaway #win #swag
Today we are hosting our very first giveaway! Hurray! To start off, I want to tell you about the PRIZE that not one, but three lucky winners will receive! The official Adventures In Making Swag Kit contains a mini notebook (designed and made by us), a set of pretty scallop stickers (designed by Rachel), and an official A-I-M pencil. We had a lot of fun designing these and hope that you’ll love them as much as we do.

swag-kit-7
swag-kit-3

Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty on how to get your hands on one of our Swag Kits…

How To Enter

• Leave a comment below telling us your favorite summer activity (required)

Optional additional entries:

• Follow our blog on Bloglovin
• Like our Facebook Page
• Share this tweet: I just entered to #win an awesome #swagkit at @adventuresinmkg! You should too! #giveaway (click to tweet)
• Add an A-I-M button to your blog or website (click here to get buttons) and leave us a link to your site in the comments below.

Enter all 5 ways to increase your chances of winning!

The giveaway ends on Sunday, June 29 at 11:59PM. We will announce the three winners (chosen at random) on Monday, June 30. Good luck everyone!

UPDATE

This giveaway is now closed. Thank you to everyone who participated!

Welcome To Adventures In Making!

Adventures In Making: A new community blog for creative people #diy #craft #adventuresinmkg

Welcome to our new site and home to Adventures In Making: a blog devoted to crafters, designers, and artistic types of all sorts. We can’t wait to share our latest DIY projects, craft tutorials, recipes, creative business advice, our favorite tools and techniques and more.

Our goal is to create a growing resource that supports creative business and creative life. We want to share our skills and experiences, support our fellow creatives, and inspire YOU to start your own path of making.

How It All Started…

Alison and Rachel met in 2008 while working as graphic designers. They became fast friends and supported each other in their adventures in starting their own creative businesses. Over the years they have turned to each other for constructive feedback and support- and of course enjoyed spending countless afternoons working on crafty projects together.

Adventures In Making: A new community blog for creative people #diy #craft #adventuresinmkg

Read more about Alison and Rachel on the About Page.

Help Us Spread The Word!

We would love your help in letting people know about Adventures In Making! For starters we invite you to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Also feel free to join us on Pinterest and Instagram where we’ll be sharing our latest inspirations and projects. Take a look at our Spread The Word page for shareable images, tweets and more.

Take A Look Around

We’ve been secretly blogging for the past few months so be sure to take a look around our site. We’d love to hear your comments and questions. We’ve got lots of fun things in store for the summer including maker interviews, giveaways, guest bloggers and a new Adventures In Maker shop! We hope you’ll join us and be a part of our new creative community.

DIY: Aromatherapy ‘Cat Nap’ Eye Pillows

DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal

I’ve been struggling with neck and back pain for over a year now. Chiropractic and physical therapy haven’t seemed to be working so I’ve been looking for alternative, DIY treatments to manage my pain and heal. The first thing I’ve started is learning and practicing yoga. I’ve found that the gentle stretching and relaxation techniques that yoga promotes help to calm my nervous system and relax tight muscles. One of my favorite poses that I do every day is called Legs-Up-The-Wall. I try to hold the position for 10-15 minutes at a time and always feel better afterwards!

A prop I like to use while doing the Legs-Up-The-Wall pose is an aromatherapy eye pillow. I find that it really helps me to relax! Rather than going out and buying one, I decided to make my own. Inspired by my own feline pets, I made this cute ‘Cat Nap’ eye pillow. It was such an fun sewing project, I wanted to share my pattern and process.

DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal

I ordered my herbs in bulk from the San Francisco Herb Company. Beware that they aren’t joking when they say ‘bulk’! I have A TON of these herbs on hand now. I’m ok with it as I know I’ll find more ways to use them. But you can also look for a local herbal apothecary in your area. Here’s a little info about the herbs I chose:

Lavender: Soothing, relaxing and eases headaches.
Chamomile: Calming, relaxing, and said to keep bad dreams away
Lemon Balm: Relieves stress, anxious and nervous feelings, insomnia, stress, and headaches.

Check out The Mountain Rose Blog for more herbal suggestions and their effects.

‘Cat Nap’ Eye Pillows

Note: This is an intermediate level sewing project. I used my sewing machine, but this project could also be done completely by hand.

Also, I have included links to videos on how to do the basic embroidery stitches I used for the cat face. Another alternative if you don’t want to embroider is to buy fabric markers and simply draw the face on.

DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal

Supplies:

‘Cat Nap’ Eye Pillow Pattern
• Cotton fabric (I chose fabrics in calming colors like blue, purple and green. Plus some pink for the inside of the cat’s ears)
• Pink and black embroidery floss
• 3 tablespoons of each: dried lavender, chamomile, lemon balm (I ordered in bulk from the SF Herb Company)
• 1 cup flax (purchased from the bulk section at my local grocery store)

Tools:

• Sewing machine & thread
• Fabric scissors
• Pins
• Craft scissors
• Pencil
• Transfer paper
• Iron & ironing board
• Small embroidery hoop
• Needle

Step One: Cut Out Your Pattern

Print out the pattern provided and cut out with craft scissors. Following the instruction on the pattern, cut out all your fabric pieces using fabric scissors. Iron all your pieces flat.

DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal

Step Two: Draw the cat face

Pattern piece A is the front of your pillow and also where you will embroider the cat face. Fold your fabric in half and iron. This fold will be your center guide for the face. Lightly sketch the eyes, nose and mouth freehand with a pencil. If drawing freehand isn’t your thing, you can also use transfer paper to trace the cat face directly from the pattern onto the fabric.

DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal
DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal

Step Three: Embroider the cat face

Cut a length of black embroidery floss and thread it through your needle. Using a Back Stitch, embroider the eyes and mouth of the cat.

DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal
DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal
DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal

Next cut a length of pink embroidery floss and and rethread your needle. Back Stitch the outline of the cat’s nose, then use a Satin Stitch to fill in the outline (note: you’ll notice in the video, she uses a split stitch as an outline instead of the back stitch. Feel free to do either).

DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal
DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal
DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal

Now that your cat face is complete, you can begin sewing your pieces together!

Step Four: Sew the Cat Ears

To sew the cat ears, put two pattern C pieces together, right sides facing in. Use a small pin to hold in place. With your sewing machine (or by hand), sew around the top sides of the ears leaving a ¼” seam allowance. Repeat for the second ear. Turn both ears right side out and press with an iron.

DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal

Take pattern piece D and pin to the center of each ear. Sew again along the top sides of each ear, leaving about a ¼” seam allowance.

DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal

Step Five: Sew the pillow

Next it’s time to sew all the pillow pieces together. Pin the ears, front side facing down onto the top of the cat face. Be sure to place them equal distance apart from the center. Next place piece B on the top, right side facing down and pin together with piece A.

DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal
DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal

Sew all the way around, making sure to sew through the edge of the ears, leaving a ¼” seam allowance. Leave about a 2-3” opening at the bottom edge (so we can fill the pillow with the flax and herbs).

DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal

Trim notches where indicated on the pattern (be sure not to snip through your stitches) and then turn right side out and press with the iron.

DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal

Step Six: Fill the Pillow with Herbs

Add 1 cup of flax plus 3 tablespoons of each herb of your choice. Carefully hand stitch the opening closed.

DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal
DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal
DIY: 'Cat Nap' Eye Pillows + Free Sewing Pattern #craft #herbal

DIY: Herbal Sachets + Free Sewing Pattern

DIY: Herbal Sachet Pillow + Free Sewing Pattern #tutorial #spring #craft

These sachet pillows are a simple sewing project and make gifts or favors for any occasion. The best part is that you can coordinate your fragrant herbs and fabric to match your theme, color palette and season. I chose to use lavender, chamomile and lemon balm for their relaxing effects and fresh spring scent.

Supplies Needed:

• Cotton fabrics (three different colors/patterns of your choice)
• Herbs (I ordered mine in bulk from the San Francisco Herb Co.)
• Tablespoon & funnel
• Sewing machine, thread & pins
• Iron & ironing board
• Sewing scissors
• Kraft scissors
Free sewing pattern

The first step is to wash and iron your fabric. Then download and print the free sewing pattern. Using kraft scissors, cut out the template pieces. Then pin them to your fabric and cut out with sewing scissors.

DIY: Herbal Sachet Pillow + Free Sewing Pattern #tutorial #spring #craft

Next take your two front triangle pieces and place them together (right sides facing in). Use your sewing machine to sew along the longest side of the triangle leaving a ¼” seam allowance. Iron open to form a square and trim the triangle edges where indicated in photo below.

DIY: Herbal Sachet Pillow + Free Sewing Pattern #tutorial #spring #craft

Place your front and back pieces together, right sides facing in, and sew all the way around with a 1/4” seam allowance. Make sure to leave a 1-inch opening on one side (see photo below for reference).

DIY: Herbal Sachet Pillow + Free Sewing Pattern #tutorial #spring #craft

Trim the corners, making sure not to cut too close to the seam (you don’t want to make a hole in your pillow!)

DIY: Herbal Sachet Pillow + Free Sewing Pattern #tutorial #spring #craft

Turn your pillow right side out using the opening you left and iron flat. I like to use a pencil or pen to push out the corners completely.

DIY: Herbal Sachet Pillow + Free Sewing Pattern #tutorial #spring #craft

Using a funnel, fill your pillow with herbs. I added about 2 tablespoons of each to make a nice plump looking pillow.

DIY: Herbal Sachet Pillow + Free Sewing Pattern #tutorial #spring #craft

The last step is to carefully hand-stitch the opening closed.

DIY: Herbal Sachet Pillow + Free Sewing Pattern #tutorial #spring #craft

DIY: Herbal Sachet Pillow + Free Sewing Pattern #tutorial #spring #craft

Personalized favor tag courtesy of Evermine.com



Note: This DIY was created for Evermine.com. We love collaborating with like-minded companies to create fun DIY projects. Have a product you’d like us to review or share with our readers? Email us at info@adventuresinmaking.com

DIY: Quick & Easy Peep Skewers

Peep Skewers #easter #favor #gift #candy
Spring is here and Easter is right around the corner! I love coming up with simple, fun ways to celebrate the season and this year I decided to make these colorful Peep Skewers to give to my friends and family. I absolutely LOVE bright colors and making these candy favors was just what I needed to get me excited for spring.

Peep Skewers #easter #favor #gift #candy
Peep Skewers #easter #favor #gift #candy

Quick & Easy Easter Favor: Peep Skewers
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert Favor
Ingredients
  • Peeps® marshmallow candies (1 package of each color)
  • Bamboo skewers
  • Cellophane Bags
  • Ribbon
  • Custom favor tags from Evermine.com
Instructions
  1. To assemble your Peep Skewers all you need to do is open up all your packages of Peeps® candies (I chose the chicks but bunnies would be cute too). Choose whichever color order you want and then start poking them onto the bamboo skewer one at a time. I used a total of 5 peeps per skewer.
  2. Package however you like. I slipped my Peep Skewers into large cellophane bags and tied them closed with coordinating ribbon and a custom favor tag from Evermine.com.

Peep Skewers #easter #favor #gift #candy
If you want to gift a little something extra, pair each skewer with a bar of chocolate and a package of graham crackers– because we all know that Peep S’mores are the best!

Peep Skewers #easter #favor #gift #candy

Note: This DIY was created for Evermine.com. We love collaborating with like-minded companies to create fun DIY projects. Have a product you’d like us to review or share with our readers? Email us at info@adventuresinmaking.com

TOOLBOX: Martha’s Score Board Review

Toolbox: Martha's Score Board Review #productreview #marthastewart #craft #paper #tool
My awesome mother-in-law got me this Martha Stewart Score Board for Christmas. I have to admit I was excited by the possibilities (envelopes!) but didn’t see immediately how often I would use it.

Cut forward to the invention of the FlipOver planner and my elbow, sore from using a rotary scoring blade. I pulled out the score board, and I’ve been using it since.

Toolbox: Martha's Score Board Review #productreview #marthastewart #craft #paper #tool

To Love:

• I heart the square corner to line up in, and the ruler. I often will put a piece of masking tape on a score point I plan on using again and again.
• The 1/8 inch divisions usually give you all the options you need. Also, if you would like to make something like a curved/flexible spine you can do a few scores in a row, and they are all parallel and perfect.
• There’s a little box at the top of the board that stores your bone folder, or anything else you might like to keep in there. There is also a corner guide for scoring on 45 degrees that slips into a slot at the bottom of the board.
• The score result is lovely, straight, consistent, and deep
• I really like how flat and compact it is (especially compared to my rotary cutter). It’s a lot easier to find a home for it.

To Hate:

• DO NOT TAKE YOUR EYES OFF OF WHAT YOU’RE DOING. Do not glance away. Do not blink. If you blink the Angels will make your bone folder slip and will ruin what you are doing. I plan for 10% failure rate on this because I get distracted easily.
• The bone folder they provide is clumsy at best, and danged uncomfortable at worst. I replaced mine with a slightly sharpened bone folder from an art store. (I’ll tell you how I sharpened it, if you ask nicely.)
• I want to score everything, and I really don’t have time to make all my own envelopes.

Note: I did not receive any kind of compensation for this product review. At Adventures in Making we love sharing information about our favorite tools and resources because we believe knowledge should be shared and that we can all learn from each other’s experiences.

SHOW + TELL: Handmade Paper Envelopes

Show + Tell: Handmade Paper Envelopes #adventuresinmaking #crafting #craft
Tara over at Ephemera Press started a great new project called the Elevated Envelope. It’s just what it sounds like, a chance to brighten some people’s day with an artsy envelope (made by you); and you get cool envelopes back! The theme was “Summer,” so I used my summer obsession with handmade paper to my advantage.

Check out my full tutorial and paper making adventure here.

I started with a blended concoction…

Show + Tell: Handmade Paper Envelopes #adventuresinmaking #crafting #craft

which included cotton paper scraps, cut off pieces of cover paper, and (of course) junk mail. I did my usual process (blend, screen, roll out, dry) with one big change.

Show + Tell: Handmade Paper Envelopes #adventuresinmaking #crafting #craft

For these envelopes I did some quick-pressing to get plants I could add into the paper. I used the microwave, board and rubber bands to get nice flat pieces I could embed.

When I pulled the screen out of the pulp, I laid a few leaves on top, and gently poured more pulp over them with a spoon. I then went ahead with the rolling and drying process.

Show + Tell: Handmade Paper Envelopes #adventuresinmaking #crafting #craft
Show + Tell: Handmade Paper Envelopes #adventuresinmaking #crafting #craft

A few days later (so I knew it was really dry) I trimmed and embossed the paper to fold into an envelope. I decided to stitch the ends together with my sewing machine rather than glue it like a normal envelope. (This was both creativity and laziness on my part.)

Show + Tell: Handmade Paper Envelopes #adventuresinmaking #crafting #craft

I included an extra piece of handmade paper inside of a little story. Some of the pieces were seeded with wildflower seeds. (If you want to add this to your paper, make sure you have really small seeds, and add them before straining your pulp. Don’t blend them or try to sprinkle on top.) I put the whole thing together and sealed the flaps.

Show + Tell: Handmade Paper Envelopes #adventuresinmaking #crafting #craft

So now these little envelopes are headed out all over the world. It was an awesome excuse to do my favorite summer things (wander around my yard picking flowers and making paper.)

Now back to the real world.

DIY: Handmade Paper Tutorial

DIY: Handmade Paper #tutorial #craft #recycled
I have always wanted to make paper. It seemed like a magic trick.

I mean, you’re gonna make paper out of only paper? AMAZING.

When Rachel asked me what I wanted to do on our upcoming craft retreat, this was the first thing that popped into my head. What follows can only be referred to as an adventure… in magic!

DIY: Handmade Paper #tutorial #craft #recycled

What You Need

• Recycled wastepaper
• Paper shredder
• Blender (I would recommend buying one second hand and only using it for paper making)
Large Dip Handmold
• Bucket
• Large dishpan or container
• Sponge
• Piece of cloth or sheet
• Warm water

For those of you who don’t know, you can make paper out of your trash. This part I found particularly exciting because it fit in perfectly with my hoarder tendencies. (No, I don’t keep my trash, I just hate throwing it out. Especially shredded paper which the recycling “man” won’t take.)

My Process

We shredded paper using a paper shredder, and our hands (when the shredder died a loud horrible death, making a noise that Patrick referred to as a cry of “just let me go.”) We sorted it by color (which meant that the resulting papers were slightly different shades of gray.)

I dunked it all in a bucket of warm water to soak for a while.

DIY: Handmade Paper #tutorial #craft #recycled

Here I am, excited about a bucket full of water and shredded paper.

I took these handfulls and put them in a blender (ala Goodwill) along with more warm water. I then blended them until they were the consistency of…. pulped paper.

DIY: Handmade Paper #tutorial #craft #recycled

I poured several batches of the pulp into a larger storage container filled with more warm water.

There are several ways to build the “pulp catcher.” I cheated and bought one on clearance at a craft store. (It’s an Arnold Grummer.) It’s basically a thick screen with small holes sandwiched between a wooden frame (deckle) and a hard plastic screen. I slipped the whole sandwich underneath the water and brought it up slowly until it was above the water and evenly coated in pulp.

DIY: Handmade Paper #tutorial #craft #recycled

This is what the pulp looks like at first (and when it starts feeling like magic.)

DIY: Handmade Paper #tutorial #craft #recycled

The kit also included a thin piece of screen. After removing the whole kit from the water, I removed the wooden deckle, and laid the piece of screen over the top.

DIY: Handmade Paper #tutorial #craft #recycled

I have to admit from here on out the tasks were a little tedious. First I had to press most of the water out of the pulp, through the screen, using a sponge and all of my wringing strength.

DIY: Handmade Paper #tutorial #craft #recycled

Then I got this piece of magic… something that looked like a piece of paper!

DIY: Handmade Paper #tutorial #craft #recycled

After flipping the thick screen over onto a piece of old sheet, and sponging the back of it some more, I was able to separate the paper from the whole kit. I sandwiched the piece in between two cotton sheets, and ironed it like crazy (highest setting) until it was mostly dry.

IMG_0070

I left all the pieces between two heavy wooden planks over night… to see what happens next check out this post on Handmade Paper Envelopes.

During this adventure I learned…

• Paper is magic, and putting your hands in warm pulpy water is therapeutic.

• Don’t use your fancy appliances for crafting. I killed the shredder and blender. (Though, I think it was shoddy modern manufacturing what did them in.) The iron…

• The iron got coated in some sort of ick. Fortunately I used our old iron, AND discovered that the ick was easily removed by white vinegar and a little scrubbing.

• After doing the paper making process a few times, I actually got rid of the ironing step. Now I roll the sheets out between 2 shamwows (I know…) and then place them on extra cardboard while they are still pretty damp. Once they are dry enough to hold their form, I transfer them to a clothes line to dry, until I move them into a stack to dry fully between two heavy peices of wood.

• When you use junk mail, your paper is going to be gray. Most of the tutorials I read recommended using blank papers, and colored tissue paper. I’d rather have gray paper than create more trash in the world, but we’ll see how things go.

• Thick flower petals and pieces do not work best for this project. I ended up with a couple of very lumpy pages. Also, predried flowers often have dyes on them that do not bleed how you think they should.

• Rachel is a great crafting cheerleader and documentorian, and Patrick loves me, and proved it by ironing paper for hours.