Happy New Year friends!

I hope your holidays were a much needed break from the normal routine—but still packed with parties, gifts, and treats.  I’m pretty sure I gained 5 pounds in donuts.
Mmmm. Donuts.

Christmas Card ideas on MADE

My husband is on a personal quest to find the best donut shops in the US.  And since we took an impromptu trip to the South….well….there were more donuts to eat.
But we’ll save the South for another post.
Back to Christmas card mayhem.

You know it’s funny, for a few years I never did Christmas cards—I’m not really sure why?  I think it felt like such a time commitment.  And it totally is.  But one day I decided that it’s kind of like giving a small gift to all our friends.  And I often feel like I should stuff each envelope with little stickers or something extra that our friends can use?  Maybe next year.

So.  After four years of consistency, I guess I can say I’m a Christmas Card person.

It’s really fun to look back and see how our own kids have grown.
And how some things never change.

And as you all know too well, it’s a hassle to wrangle them in.

There are plenty of motivational speeches,
(candy bribes)

Encouragement,

Presumed innocence,

And threats.


Doh.

And so this year we just want to say: We feel you.
Through the good, and the chaos.

Because you love ‘em to death.


and sometimes, as the song says,

Funny Christmas Cards on MADE
real life christmas cards on MADE

From the Willard family to all of you:
Merry Christmas!
Happy Holidays!
And hooray for a New Year!

Thank you for being part of the adventure with us.
Here’s to a bunch of sewing, and making, and spending time with your families this year.
Cheers!

You can check out our Christmas cards from past years by clicking on an image below:

http://www.danamadeit.com/2013/01/cheers-to-a-new-year.html     http://www.danamadeit.com/2013/12/a-merry-2013-christmas-card-from-our-family-to-yours.html      http://www.danamadeit.com/2015/01/a-merry-2014-christmas-card-from-our-family-to-yours.html

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How to tie the PERFET BOW on a gift

Christmas is one week away!
Have you started wrapping gifts?

How to tie a BOW on a gift on MADE
HOW to tie a BOW perfectly every time

Don’t forget How to tie the PERFECT Bow!  Every. Single. Time.
Even when you have a tree-ful of presents to wrap.

How to tie the PERFECT BOW every single time
How to tie the PERFECT BOW on a gift every single time

Yay!  It’s a trick I learned working at a chocolate shop in high school.
And it uses the perfect amount of ribbon, without any knots or wonky loops.

So share it with everyone you know!
Let’s make the world a more wrapped-up place.

…cause you know, it’s the little things.
and chocolate.
and Christmas cookies.
and caroling.
It’s all of those.

How to tie the Perfect Bow on a gift each time

Okay, just hit play below.
Or you can watch it directly HERE:

Have a great weekend!

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sewing + gifting: favorite zipper pouches

by Dana on December 16, 2015

zipper pouches on MADE
I’m definitely a creature of habit.
When Casey’s out of town, I’ll eat the same meal for dinner four nights in a row–till I realize I’m being weird.
And then I just keep doing it till he gets home.  Cause why disrupt things when you’re in a good Strawberry Asparagus Salad zone?
Exactly.

And when it comes to sewing gifts, I guess I’m not much different.
Skirts, pillow cases, crib sheetszipper pouches!

How to make a Zipper Pouch
easy Tote Bag tutorial and video on MADE

I love sewing zipper pouches!
They’re so easy, and cute, and yep….they’re perfect inside all those tote bags.

So I guess the unpredictable part of the Zipper Pouch gift, is the way you mix it up.
Because I love a good surprise fabric inside.
Like wearing a red bra?
If I ever did that.
Maybe I should….

zipper pouch

I love fabrics that coordinate with the outside but make you excited to see what’s hiding within.

I also adore a good zipper, with metal teeth, and an interesting pull.  And the color and size of the zipper often determines which fabric I will use.
Who knew there could be such analysis of zipper pouches?

I buy most of my zippers here and here.
In fact a bundle of zippers makes a really fun gift.  I gave some to one of Lucy’s friends who’s gotten into sewing.

I just stuffed them in a little zipper pouch.  Done!

how to sew a zipper pouch

Because the stuffing and gifting is also the fun part.
And there are so many fantastic things to stuff inside!—handmade bias tape, piping, candy, fruit, recipes, jewelry, note cards.

how to make a simple zipper pouch
how to make a zipper pouch on MADE blog

I made this stripey pouch for a good photography friend who doesn’t sew much. So I thought these sample swatches would be an easy way for her to get crafty and make a garland.

how to make and gift simple Zipper Pouches on MADE

And of course there are my favorite Wonder Clips.
Perfect for any sewing friend.

Wonder Clips and zipper pouches on MADE

And if you’re feeling extra punchy, tie some vinyl or a pom pom on the end.  It will only make you happy.

how to make a simple pom pom and zipper pouches

Ready to make gifts?
Here’s the video again (just hit the play button):

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St. Lucia Day float + Scandinavian love

by Dana on December 14, 2015

St. Lucia Day Float

Have you ever traveled somewhere and suddenly felt like you were part of the people?  Like you were meant to be there all along?
I know.  I feel that way every time I step into Target and IKEA.

Scandinavian towel

But what I wasn’t expecting was how I felt traveling through Scandinavia last year with Casey.  We’ve been to various parts of the world over the years, and when we landed in Oslo—it was like a missing part of me was suddenly found.  The people, the architecture, the colors, the design, the 7-Elevens (with free wifi), the stripes!  YES.  There was a museum exhibit all about stripes!  What?
It all felt so normal to me…..and so much, like home.

Scandinavia 1
Scandinavia 2

I suddenly felt this connection to an entire culture that embodied what I love about creative arts and design.
THIS.
This is what I love!
Or in other words—I had a total DUH moment.
I guess I prefer Scandinavian design?
I guess these are sort of my people?
I do have Danish roots….so I guess it’s sort of in my blood.

Scandinavia 3
I love Scandinaviayellow house in normway on MADE
desserts in Sweden

And while I don’t mean to sound so naive…I guess what I also wasn’t expecting was how bright, and airy, and happy these old buildings made me feel.  I have traveled throughout Europe and while I love and appreciate the magnificence of the Sistine Chapel and the grand scale of Notre Dame, walking into this church brought such joy into my heart.  The bright white alone captured my eyes.  I didn’t know old churches could look this way.  It was ornate in the details, but simple in design, with a large beautiful statue of Christ at one end.

church in Scandinavia 1
church in Scandinavia 2

And on the other end was a magnificent organ, which on that early morning was playing some of the most beautiful music I’ve ever heard in a church–It was a spiritual moment for me.   I wish I could go back to this spot.

Well. Who knew this post would get so serious??
Haah.  This was supposed to be about Lucy’s school project!

church in Scandinavia 3
church in Scandinavia 4

But I couldn’t very well talk about St. Lucia day, without sharing my love for the Scandinavian culture and how it’s inspired me.

So.  Moving on to the less serious part of this post….
I was thrilled when Lucy came home with her assignment for their class “floats” project.  Each child was asked to make a shoebox float based on a person or an event, which they would parade down the hall and share with other classes.
And I’m sure it’s no coincidence that LUCY was given St. LUCIA Day.
Here’s what she wrote about it (which was celebrated yesterday!  December 13)

St. Lucia Day project

Thankfully she had a few points of reference to come up with the float design.  She LOVED reading the Kirsten book series by American Girl (such a sweet book set).  And as she researched more about the holiday, she remembered the cover of one of the books—an illustration of Kirsten walking into the room dressed like St. Lucia.

St. Lucia Day

She wanted to create a tray that looked just the same, with cookies, hot chocolate, and a candle-lit crown like she wears on her head.
St. Lucia Day treats
So I made some Rice Krispie treats (because they were quick, and would stack easily–I really should have made Gingerbread softies)  And for the hot chocolate, we melted vegetable shortening with some chocolate chips and mixed in a bit of yummy sugar cookie oil (it smelled amazing).  Then we poured it into some mini cups and glued fake paper handles on the sides, so they looked like mugs.  We used Oilcloth for the tray and plate.  And IKEA play spoons.

St. Lucia Day float project

The candles were made from construction paper and a small set of battery-powered star lights, which (thank you Casey) were rigged up inside each paper tube and secured under the box/float.  The crown was made of Christmas tree remnants and M&Ms.
And then came the final detail of decorating the float.  I showed Lucy some beautiful towels I had from IKEA and she mimicked the designs on the sides of the box. I loved how transformed the white box.

How to make a St. Lucia Day float

Part of the project was to give an oral report of your celebration, and I suddenly remember the beautiful St. Lucia day paper doll created by Lily + Thistle, which you can download for free HERE.

St Lucia Day paperdolls

So along with her report, we printed off paper dolls for anyone in the class who wanted one.
Then we dressed Lucy up as a modern-day Lucia and she was off to school.

St Lucia Day paper doll

It was so much fun to see the other floats out in the hallway, waiting to be trailed down the hall.
shoe box floats project

Oh how I love school!
I’m thankful every day for the great teachers and the school that my kids get to be part of.

St. Lucia Day on MADE

So from our house to yours, happy one-day-late St. Lucia’s day!

And this post has made me realize two things:
1. I need to post all the pics from our Scandinavian trip.
2. We need to celebrate St. Lucia’s day every year….maybe we’ll make gingerbread softies or saffron buns?

Do you and your family celebrate the tradition?
I’d love to know what you do!

St. Lucia Day canles
Scandinavia colors

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