20 minute crafter - How to make a boys bowtie!

This year my oldest child requested a "bow tie and suspenders" for his Easter outfit.  Since they don't ask me to sew much of anything for them, I jumped at the chance to make a couple of cute bow ties from fun fabrics they chose!  This method is EASY!  You can substitute hand sewing where I use hot glue if you like, I just HATE hand sewing and to me, there is no difference in using hot glue except it goes a little more quickly.  Have the little guys in your life pick out some fun fabrics and get started! 
Ready to make some? Here's what you will need:
1 rectangle of fabric 5in by 12in with interfacing attached (follow directions on the interfacing) (this is the BOW piece). (for an infant make this 4in by 10in)
1 rectangle of fabric 2 1/2in by 18in (I like to make it extra long so you can remove if needed) (this is the NECK piece).  (you can also just use wide ribbon).  (for an infant make this 2 1/2in by 14in)
1 rectangle of fabric 2 1/2in by 6in (this is the KNOT piece).
Some sew in velcro (2-3in)

Hot glue gun ready to go!

Start by giving them all a good pressing.  
 Ready to get started!
Fold both of the larger long rectangles (the BOW and NECK) in half length wise and sew along the one long edge.  
 Turn right side out and press. 
Fold one end of the non-skinny tube (the BOW) in about 1/4in and press. 
Tuck the non-folded end into the folded end...
Sew along the middle of the bow like shown above. 
 Grab the KNOT piece.  Fold one side in by 1/3 as shown and press...
 Fold the other side in 1/3 as shown and press again.
Fold your bow up as shown above to get a good looking crease.  You made need to fiddle with it a bit to get it to look the way you want...
When you are ready, add a dollop of hot glue to the side and middle of the BOW piece as shown above.  
Place the end of the KNOT piece on that bit of glue and hold in place until the glue dries.  
Now, snuggly wrap the bow with the knot piece.    You can put a small dot of glue here and there in the center if that helps. Stop when your bow looks like the above...
Lay your NECK piece across like so, centered.  Adhere it with a dot of glue. 
Then continue rolling it around the bow one more time.  
When you come around again, as shown, you may need to trim a bit off...do so and fold under like above...
 And glue into place.
 Here is what the back of mine looked like. 

And the front (you can fluff it a bit if you want). 
Now try it on your subject.  This is the best way to determine the right length.  If you can't do that, go for a length of 16-17in.  Fold the ends in as shown above, press and sew on your velcro, using that sewing to close up the ends. 
And you're done!  I hope you enjoy making a few!  Can't wait to see your dapper gentlemen in their new bow-ties! :)
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20 minute crafter {how to sew a simple (peg) bunny}! Free Bunny Pattern and Tutorial!

Are your Easter baskets still needing a little something to love?  How about a quick little peg bunny?  These bunnies are VERY simple to sew, straightforward and nothing to them!  They require very little in the area of supplies and time!  I made one in about ten minutes!

All you need is the pattern (You can download it HERE).
A little solid color fabric (a 12in by 12in square would do)
some fabric scraps for the ears and belly
a pink button and two black buttons
a little polyfil
Cut out your pattern and use that template to cut out two body pieces, four ear pieces and one belly. 
Sew the belly on using a zig-zag stitch.  Placement is up to you! :) 

Now right sides together, sew around your ears, leaving the bottoms open. 
 Clip the corners as shown...
 And turn them right side out (you can iron them if you would like to).
 Choose placement of your eyes and nose and sew them into place! 
Pin your ears as shown above...
 ...and place body pieces right sides together...
...sew all around the edges, leaving the bottom open. 
 Turn that right side out and stuff him silly!
Machine or hand sew the bottom opening closed!  And that is it!  See? I knew you could do it! 
Now go make a couple!  But don't leave them alone...you know how bunnies are! :)
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Finding freedom

Good morning!

Today is one of those days where I just feel compelled to post and share a slice of life with you.  Often I've learned that these compulsions are a result of someone else needing to hear that we are in the same boat, unified in our struggles as humans trying to love Jesus.

This year so far has been tough.  I won't lie.  The first two weeks or so weren't bad, but from there it's been downhill.  Death, illness, finance issues, struggles.   

Don't get me wrong. I realize fully that in the midst of struggle there are always lessons.  Just like in a field of wildflowers there are thorn bushes.  It all depends on what you are dealing with currently that aides in your interpretation.  I love the learning, hate the teaching.  Love the flowers, hate the thorns.    
My words for the year are "freedom" and "confidence".  Choosing a word for the year always seems harmless enough but when you fully commit yourself to it, you learn, the road to those goals is never straight or easy.  My word last year was patience.  Oh man.  That was tough.  I felt as though every opportunity led me to exercising this skill like a weight lifter constantly adding weights to his bar thingy (that is totally what it is called right?). But at the end of it, I DO feel like I'm growing in that area.  For sure.

So I am learning the path to freedom and confidence.  Just think about those words for a moment.  It's not easy to pinpoint just where or how those skills would be exercised right?  How does one learn freedom? (I might have to address confidence in a later post).

I'm learning that we learn it by giving it.  I was thinking last night as I fell asleep about the things we hand out in a day in terms of thoughts and actions. What's the quickest thing that we give away, all day every day?  Judgment.  What's the slowest to come to mind? Grace.  Those two things seem to set the scale of "speed with which dispensed" with Judgment setting the pace for fastest and Grace the slowest.  Why the heck is that?  Aren't those the things we want the least and most?

We are extravagant with judgment and stingy with Grace.

Wait, what?  Isn't that the total opposite of who we strive to be like?  I know that is the case for me.  I want to be like Jesus.  Judging not and smothering people in Grace, just how I want to be treated.   

So how do we get there?

By giving it. 

Once again, I've been dealing with people copying my work.  I will admit that it is endlessly frustrating and difficult, not to mention anger inducing and heartbreaking.

Mostly because people think two things are true: 1)If everyone on Etsy is doing it, then it is OK and 2)If you find an idea on Pinterest, it's up for grabs.

Yes, there is a HUGE cloud of people who think this justifies their actions.  I've dealt with it enough that I could write their responses to me.  Over and over I've gone down this road.  Why?  Because I LOVE my job, love my creations and this job pays my bills, feeds my kids, helps ministries and friends.  It means a lot to me.

In the past I've put a lot of energy into trying to get people to see that it's not ok to copy anothers work, no matter where you find the idea.  And I've recently discovered that it is a losing battle.  One I will never win.  Never or ever.   

It's taken me some time (as any good lesson does) but I know now that that kind of work is about as useless as Sysiphus'.  Once I get that rock up the hill, it's only going to come back down on me.

So, I'm gaining freedom by giving it away.  I am freeing myself from trying to get people to understand my side of things and am going to focus on just living.  Creating to the best of my ability.  Increasing my product quality and ingenuity.  Focusing on the business God has given me and letting those who copy it be dealt with by a higher power.   I am freeing myself from trying to regulate anyone and that gives me freedom in time and thought!  Because let me tell you, that kind of work takes a lot of time, energy and emotion.  It just TAKES.  Freedom GIVES, it fills, it overflows your ability to just LOVE. 

It seems that we gain freedom when we give it away. And if I were an English teacher I would point out that it takes action.  You cannot GIVE without effort.  Since our human tendency seems to be to GIVE judgement it would seem that to do something against our nature, as humans, will take great effort.  I'm guessing it will take me some time, focusing on this work, day in and day out before it feels even remotely natural.  Because wrong FEELS wrong and we want to RIGHT it.  The truth is that we can't.  We have zero control over others.  BUT we can give them freedom.  Freedom from our judgements and criticisms.  Freedom to go on about their life, having FREEDOM in knowing that God sees all and knows all.  All of our rights and WRONGS.   

The great thing is, that the more we exercise restraint in judgement the more freedom we have to give grace.  We need to make OUR business our ONLY business.  And our only business is to LOVE.  Love and grace go hand in hand.  And unless LOVE is the fiber of a relationship, your judgment wont be heard ANYWAY!  What a duh moment for me.

Who are the people who seek our advice (judgment per se)?  Those who LOVE us, who trust us, who take measure in our opinion.  Who doesn't seek our judgment?  Strangers.  Who don't care or love us.  Without LOVE, judgments (or opinions) are not taken as lovely.

Get me?

If you haven't chosen a word to focus on for the year, I highly suggest it.  It's an amazingly simple way to get complex results in your life.  Simply pray about it.  Think on it.  Ponder it.  And choose a word that will give you focus.  And then SEEK it in everything around you.  Look for lessons and you will find them there.

We all need a little focus.  A clear photo of the person we want to become.  We can all use a little shining, a little freshening up.

Find some freedom by releasing others from our judgments.  Find freedom by freeing others.


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20 minute crafter--How to make a wonky star (pincushion!)!

I've been creating these cute little masterpieces as a way of relieving stress lately!  Something about focusing on something so small makes the BIG things in life I am dealing with a little less burdensome to carry!  They are simple enough to create, just take a little time and patience.  I've been posting them on my Instagram account (@littlebitfunky) and several people requested a tutorial, and well, here it is!

To make these tiny pin cushions you will need some fabric scraps, an iron and a cutting mat and ruler.  You could probably make due without the last two if you really wanted to. 
Start by fussy cutting your center square.  I used two inch squares for this project but the steps are the same for any size you'd like to do.  Having a clear cutting guide helps here because you can center your square precisely in the middle of what you are cutting, as shown above.  Cut the two edges... 
 ...like so.  Flip the square over...
 ...and cut the other two sides. 
 Like so. 
Next cut eight additional squares.  These squares will be your background.  You can make them all different if you would like, but for the sake of simplicity for this tutorial, I made them all the same.  
Next I like cut (freehanded) some larger scraps.  These are about 3in squares.  These will form your star points.  Again, they can be all different but I wanted to make this simple to follow.  
You will work with the squares missing from this photo and your star scraps (yellow fabric here).  
Start by laying your yellow fabric on top of your background fabric like shown above.  You have to make sure that you can only see ONE corner of the background fabric and that your yellow fabric will cover that entire corner when you fold it over after sewing....
 Sew like this...
Then fold back.  See what I mean? You can't see any of the background fabric peeking out from behind the yellow on the left.  You can iron here if you would like.  I usually just press with my thumb nail.   
Repeat with the other corner...
 ...like so. 
 Then fold back and press. 
This is what the back looks like.  
Repeat those steps four times.  Then iron them nice and flat.  
Flip it over and using the background fabric as a guide, trim off the excess yellow.
And you end up with four neat squares.  
Arrange them so you know the right order...
Sew them in rows first and press the seams in opposite directions as shown.  
Then sew the rows together, lining the seams up as shown above. 
And press!
Then cut a backing fabric the same size as your new wonky star square. 
Sew all around the edge leaving a hole.  I like to start on the right of a seam and end on the left (as shown above) to prevent pulling the seams when I turn it right side out.  
Trim the corners. 
Turn right side out and press.  
Sew all around the edge again, fill with poly-fil and sew the opening shut! 
You're done!  Wasn't that simple?!  You can easily make the square larger (or smaller eek!) and make pillows or lots of them to make a quilt!

I hope you have fun making some! :) 

Don't forget to enter to win $100!  Just for leaving a comment! :) 

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