Category Archives: creative endeavors

Holiday Deer Napkin

It has again been a month since I have posted!  Sometimes I feel as though my life is just FULL of good intentions that have a hard time becoming reality — this blog is no exception.

But to cut to the chase, I have a new tutorial!  The Holiday Deer Napkin …

Around my home I have started working on projects for the holidays.  This was today’s!

I chose the “deer” design in an attempt to have a Thanksgiving & Christmas relevant napkin.   We will try to pass it as a buck, it is hunting season after all, during Thanksgiving and as a reindeer during the Christmas season.

If you want to make your own set, you will need to get your hands on some cloth napkins.  I happened to find mine at Target on sale ($1.75 per set of 4) a few months back!  They measure roughly 18in x 18in and I find them a great size!

You will also need some fabric for your deer appliques, beads, embroidery floss, no-sew iron on adhesive, needle and thread, a sewing machine (optional), a computer & printer (to print the pattern for the applique), and an iron.

I started off by washing, drying, ironing, and folding all my napkins so I could determine accurate placement of the deer.  If you want to fold you napkins like I did here is how …

Notice I made a point to hide the Room Essentials tag on the inside fold.

I then traced 12 deer profiles (I am making 12 napkins total) onto a no-sew iron-on adhesive.

Here is the pattern for the deer applique ( it is in the form of a word document):

Holiday Deer Napkin – Applique Pattern

Make sure when tracing your deer profiles you trace the mirror image!

Following the instructions for your no-sew iron-on adhesive, attach the adhesive to your fabric.

And then cut all your deer profiles out!

Again, following the directions for your you n0-sew iron-on adhesive, remove the paper backings from you deer profiles/appliques and iron them on to your napkins.

(On my first napkin, I centered the deer applique on the napkin.  But I realized it may be best to off-center the applique slightly left to account for the antlers that are added later.)

With my sewing machine set to–what I consider–standard top stitch settings…

I sewed a top stitch around the deer applique with grey thread.

You could also get a similar look embroidering a straight stitch around the applique, but using the machine was a time saving maneuver.

Next, I set out my beads and embroidery floss to get an idea of how to lay out the remaining embellishments.  And I took a picture! Once all the beads fall off the napkin and you have to sew them on, it is hard to mentally recall the visual!

And then I sewed on the antlers …

… alternating beads and straight stitch.

As you can see I used ordinary thread, and not embroidery floss, for the antlers.

Lastly, embroider the body design and nose on the deer using 3 strands of embroidery floss.

I used multiple straight stitches to create the nose.

And a split stitch to create the body design.  I copied the design from the book Doodle Stitching.

That’s it! One holiday napkin created!

I am playing with the idea of creating the body embroidery in grey and red as well…

What do you think?

(If you have any feedback or questions please let me know!  If you make some napkins yourself I would LOVE to see what you come up with!)


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What I’ve Been Up To…

Today has been one of those sleeping-in-rainy-day sort of days, and I thought it would be a good day for an update.

By this time, you have already seen glimpses of a lot of the things I have been working on.

To start with, there were the first few bag tags I made …

Followed by the 5 tags to launch my Etsy store, The Golden Heel …

And with the first purchase from The Golden Heel came my exploration into packaging/gift bags….

Then with excitement I finished a bathrobe for my friend’s little girl ….

And threw in an additional bag tag just for fun…

I started and finished knitting a Christmas stocking for Gabe …

I will be lining it with a Christmas fabric I picked up at Hancock fabrics.  And I will also be making another for his brother.

You can find the pattern on Ravelry:

I then got started on my first kitted felting project.  It was a pair of fingerless mittens that I adore.  I listed them on Etsy and they quickly sold to my dear Aunt!

I am now in the process of two more pairs.

And just today I finished another new project.

A checkbook cover…

I was debating what to do with it–keep it, sell it, etc–but I packaged it up as a surprise gift instead!

OH! And how can I forget the purple hats!  You already saw the finished project but I will include them again and check it off my list…

And the big project I tackled for church.  Easily the most fabric I have ever sewn with at one time…

Lastly, before this heat wave struck, I made a few long sleeved shirts for the boys.  Hopefully we will be circulating them into our wardrobe again soon!

A few of Gabe modeling…

And a few photos of Nolan just to even things out.

“HONK!” yelled the dump …

He saw a puddle and he tried to swerve!

Up at a gallop ran the big brown horse …

All together – one, two, three … one last push and the trucks were free!

Beep! Beep! Beep!

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New Etsy Listing!

Wool Felted Fingerless Mittens

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Insecure Creativity & Lessons Learned

Ok, ok, I know I haven’t listed a whole lot in my Etsy shop.  The process of starting it and working on creating inventory has had a learning curve associated with it.  And somewhere between creating the store, making new things, and trying to come up with more inventory I have been hit by a wave of insecurity.

Yesterday it came somewhere between taking pictures of a few items-non Etsy related-and packaging them to send.

This insecurity stuff has a tendency to creep up in the weirdest moments.  And for whatever the reasons are that trigger it, I am trying to learn from them…

Lesson #1:  Packaging matters … and it should match the style of the item inside.

I put together a gift package for my friend and was completely bummed when the packaging I picked just didn’t look right with the gift.  In an attempt to not over think things, I left the gift wrapped in the packaging as was.  I know she will appreciate it, but in the future I will think this through better.

Lesson #2:  Read the rules ahead of time…

I packaged my purple hats for the Period of Purple Crying campaign and only after everything was sealed did I stumble upon the guidelines.  Turns out I was supposed to stay away from “pom poms”.  I actually opened the package  and debated cutting off the pom poms I had sewn, but once I pulled on them and realized they were secure and were far too large for any child to choke on, I decided to leave them as is.  I have no idea what will happen to the hats once they arrive, but I am crossing my fingers.

When I continued looking at pictures and related blogs and seeing all the newborn hat patterns, I only started to doubt myself more.

In the end I gave myself a pep talk and reminded myself of why I chose the patterns I did – 1) they will stay on a baby’s head, 2) they are replicas of the hats that were given to my boys when they were born.

I tried hard not to let these things get me down and breed more insecurity.  And with that mindset, I worked on more merchandise for The Golden Heel today.

So how about a sneak peak?

I started my first felted knitting project.  They are fingerless mitts.  When I sat down to work on some embellishment I was reminded of another lesson.

Lesson #3:  Contrast matters … especially when speaking of embellishment

I am really liking how these fingerless mittens are turning out, but in a perfect world the deer would stand out a tiny bit more.

And then I worked on this…

A gnome bag …

I’m not sure where this guy will end up, but he was a fun project.

Just like my children, naps came in twos today and that helped me get a bit more done than usual-ahem-creatively that is.  Insecurities and all I am happy.

Sending joy your way!

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Thanksgiving Inspiration

I’m not big on Halloween.

I never really have been; and quite possibly this is because personally dressing up in costume and knocking on strangers doors are two of my worst ideas of fun.

bringing nature inside always inspires my festive fall side

So today I found my mind wandering past the holiday and thinking on Thanksgiving. We will be hosting again this year, and since I am not working (unlike last year), I realized I have plenty of time to pursue creative turkey-day endeavors.

So how about some inspiration?

I put together a treasury list on Etsy today.  If you are not familiar with a treasure list, it reminds me of the concept of Pinterest,  or what I understand of it anyway.

So take a look and be inspired.

Here is a sneak peak …

Hopefully more t-day creativity to come!

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New Adventures … and some old…

Oh people, I have been having SO much fun!  So much fun that I have yet to catch up on this weeks episode of Parenthood.

For starters, I bought this the other day and it makes me plain happy.  Joann Fabrics was kind enough to provide me with a coupon which made this purchase even better!  There are 26 colors total.

And, beside being close to finishing up multiple projects I’ve had in the works for some time now, I  lined up all my ducks and created an Etsy store!

Which I have titled The Golden Heel. (

This is making me learn how to take better pictures, which is still in the works.

And is causing me to learn how to do things, like take pictures, faster and better the first time.

I tend to have this sickness where I take 50 pictures of the same thing, find one good one in the batch, and stash the rest away because I-for some reason-cannot part with them.  And those of you that are my Facebook friends know this all too well; all those similar pictures I post of my boys …

I would love to update you right now on all the projects I have completed and am close to completing, but since some of them are gifts I will have to wait until they arrive at their destination before I post pictures.  But I am excited to show you everything!

And lastly, I found a new love today!

Creating packaging …

Or should I call them gift bags …

Either way, I’m debating trying to sell a few at The Golden Heel.  I will just have to see if I can come up with a few that make a feel-good set.

Until next time, be loved!

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Crocheted Egg (part 1)

Yay!  I have pictures, boys are napping, and I already did the dishes this morning which means I can walk you through the crocheted egg project!

For those of you who are fluent crocheters, or who have crocheted toys, you will find this project a snap and possibly not worth a tutorial?  But, I know I have friends out there who have expressed a desire to learn how to do something creative, or crochet, and this could be a great first project!  If you can master this egg you will have the basics for tackling many crocheted toy projects and/or the duck and frog bibs I have posted links to previously.

So here we go … first craft tutorial.

Materials:  I used a size F crochet hook and a thin worsted weight acrylic yarn.  Also gather stuffing for the egg, a scissors, and a darning needle.

You will also need a basic understanding of crocheting, a trusty internet crocheting resource, or good ole’ friend who can crochet to walk you through some of the basics I won’t be covering, such as how to create a chain or do a single crochet etc…

So here we go… please don’t look too closely at my cuticles.  I did my best to hide my thumbs but failed…

Step 1:  Attach the yarn to your hook using a slip knot and chain two. (ch 2)  parenthesis provide instructions in shorthand

crochet chain

image of 2 chains

Step 2:  Insert your hook into the first chain, aka second chain from hook, and single crochet six to create first round. (6 sc in 2nd ch from hook)

image of 3 single crochet in the 2nd chain from the hook

Step 3:  At this point you will have a little ring and will be starting round 2.

image of creating first single crochet in round 2

Starting back at the first single crochet you created, create two single crochets in each stitch around the ring.   You will have a total of 12 single crochets when finished.  (starting at 1st sc, 2 sc in ea sc around — 12 sts at end of round 2)

image of round 2 completed

Step 4:  Starting round 3, create two single crochets (2 sc) in the first single crochet (sc) of round 2.  Create 1 sc in the 2nd sc of round 2.  2 sc in the 3rd sc of round 2.  1 sc in the 4th sc of round 2.  Repeat pattern of 2 sc followed by 1 sc four more times and until you reach the end of round 3/beginning of round 4.  At this point you will have a total of 18 stitches.  (*2 sc in 1st sc of round.  1 sc in next stitch.*  rep from * around — 18 sts)

Step 5:  Starting round 4, single crochet (sc) in each stitch around.  You will still have 18 stitches at the end of round 4.

image of egg after 4 rounds

Step 6:  Repeat step 5 until you have completed between 9 and 11 rounds.  The more rounds you create the taller your egg will be.  You can choose how many rounds you want to complete.  I like a variety so all of my eggs are not the exact same size. (rep step 5 five to seven more times)

Step 7: Starting your next round, single crochet the first two stitches together. Single crochet once in the next stitch.  Repeat this pattern 5 more times until you reach the beginning of your next round.  You will have 12 stitches total at this point.  (*sc2tog, sc*, repeat from * around — 12 sts)

*tip* when single crocheting two stitches together, I recommend keeping your stitches tight to prevent large holes in your finished egg

image of single crocheting 2 stitches together (part 1)

image of single crocheting 2 stitches together (part 2)

Step 8: Stuff the egg.

image of stuffed egg

Step 9:  Starting your next round, single crochet the next two stitches together.  Repeat 5 more times until you reach the end of the round.  You will have 6 stitches total.  (*sc2tog*, repeat around — 6 sts)

image of single crocheting 2 stitches together

Step 10:  Cut yarn leaving a tail about 5 inches long and fasten off.

image of fastening off

Step 11.  Using tail, sew top of egg closed.

image of sewing hole closed. i like to weave my darning needle between two stitches as shown in the picture. i repeat this around and pull yarn tight.

Step 12.  Weave in and snip loose ends.

image of finished egg

Way to go!  You have made your first egg!  Only 11 more to create to make a dozen! 😉

Crocheting 12 of the same eggs not sounding exciting?  Or did you realize, like I did, when playing with your children that nothing happens when you crack the egg open?  I hope to post the tutorial for making the “crackable” fried egg (part 2) next!

In the meantime, any suggestions for improving my next tutorial?

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