9 Favorite Children’s Books

Whether you have a little one (or twelve) of your own and are wondering what books you haven’t discovered yet, are expecting your first child and wondering what on Earth you’ll do to entertain them, or have friends/family with little ones you might want to get a gift for at some point, this list is for YOU!

Andy has always loved “reading” (yes, we realize our #BabyGenius cannot actually read yet). The Hubs and I genuinely love reading to her. Children’s stories are so fun – I love the rhyming and excuse to get really animated while reading (#Nerd). We started reading to her in the beginning because, honestly, what else are you going to do with a newborn? Plus, we knew how beneficial talking to her is for her language development and it’s kind of hard to come up with your own stories when the listener can’t respond yet…so books are great! 😉

Before Andy was born, my sister (who is not only a Reading Coach, but also a true love of books!) stocked our nursery with more books than we ever thought we’d read (wrong…we’ve read almost all of them. Most of them over & over). If you don’t have a book-loving sister willing to dump stacks of baby reading material on you, check out your local Facebook sales groups (Moms love to hang out in these places & they sell some pretty amazing “used” things) or browse your local thrift stores (great place to find classics!).

The books below are in no particular order – we love them all equally!

 1. Cloudette

This book is about a cloud that’s smaller than all the others (as a short gal raising a fellow tiny gal, I truly appreciated this perspective!). While she acknowledges the advantages of being small, she struggles with the limitations. In the end, she shows that with hard work she was able to make the impact on the world she wanted to.

Perfect for: the vertically challenged tots on your list 😉

Buy Cloudette here.

2. Bear Says Thanks

Bear wants to throw a feast but his cupboards are empty. One-by-one his friends show up with something to contribute to the gathering. I like this book because it shows how special time together with loved ones can be (even if you have nothing to contribute but stories – like Bear).

The first time we read this book together, it was before we were heading to gather with family for a potluck lunch. It was very appropriate!

Perfect for: Because of the theme of gratefulness and the gathering of friends (with food!), it would be a great book to read at Thanksgiving. It could also be a good book to read when learning about manners (Bear thanks each of his friends as they bring food for the gathering).

Buy Bear Says Thanks here.

 3. Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon

This is a great story about embracing what makes you unique. Molly Lou encounters a bully at her new school. Because of the confidence her grandmother has instilled in her, she knows how to handle the bully and ultimately (no surprise 🙂 ) they become friends.

Perfect for: This would be a great story for a child who is moving and/or starting a new school where they will be making new friends. Also a great story for children dealing with bullying.

Buy Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon here.

 4. Olivia and the Fairy Princesses

A few books from the Olivia series arrived on our doorstep unexpectedly one day. Andy’s Aunt Olivia had sent them to her!

While I try to be cautious about Princess-y books (and clothes and nicknames…), this story is a good one! Olivia is fed up with everyone wanting to be Princesses – honestly, I really like the way her fierce personality shines through as she rants about this.

#SpoilerAlert: I do wish that in the end she decided to be something other than a Queen (sorry for giving away the ending!). Nonetheless, this is still great inspiration for being unafraid of standing out.

Perfect for: Encouraging little ones to follow their heart – there are no wrong choices on the path to discovering who they are. While the title and cover (and most of the images) are very gendered, I think this is still a good story for both girls and boys. It’s also a great book for newborns because a lot of the interior images feature red, black and white – good contrast for little ones who can’t yet see all colors.

Buy Olivia and the Fairy Princesses here.

 5. Lily the Unicorn

The author of this story also illustrated the book which I found really impressive (having the imagination to create a meaningful story + the ability to illustrate such beautiful pictures is quite an impressive pair of skills!).

The story is [obviously] about Lily the Unicorn. She loves making new friends, but her newest friend doesn’t feel quite the same way. She works hard to find ways they can connect and shows him all the fun possibilities that await him.

Perfect for: While the cover print may make you think this is a “girly” book, I assure you: it’s one for all children! The high contrast of the drawn images inside (notice the thick black lines around the images and letters on the cover) are great for newborns. This is a great book for a wide range of ages – the pages contain short sentences/few words, but are scattered with accompanying images with smaller text…a great option to incorporate more discussion/lengthen reading time as the child gets older. The story is perfect for children who are entering a phase where they will be making news friends (i.e. starting daycare or school).

Buy Lily the Unicorn here.

6. LMNO Peas

This is the Hub’s favorite book! He reads it to Andy every morning and then sings the ABC’s to her (he is literally the best, right?!). I was hesitant to read it at first because some of the ABC books are quite boring, but this one is really creative! I love how the peas are all sorts of things (as the Hubs pointed out when he was trying to convince me to read it, there’s a quilter and a weaver!).

Perfect for: Not only learning the ABCs, but also learning about all of the cool occupations and hobbies that exist!

Buy LMNO Peas here.

7. She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World

No surprise that this book is an absolute favorite. It was one of the first books I read to Andy. The nonfiction stories within the book are truly inspiring.

There’s another version of the book, She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History – it’s on our wish list!

Perfect for: Any kid! But because of the strong message of female empowerment: especially girls.

Buy She Persisted here.

8. Lily Wool

I found this book when the Hubs and I took a day trip to Greenville a few weeks before Andy was born and stopped into M.Judson Booksellers.

I love the story of Lily Wool! She is an endlessly creative sheep who doesn’t fit in. She learns to use her creativity to contribute to her herd in a positive way and becomes a creative entrepreneur!

Perfect for: Inspiring young ones to follow their passions and find ways to use their creativity for good. Also a great book for those with an entrepreneurial spirit.

Buy Lily Wool here.

 9. Beautiful

This book is so cleverly illustrated! My sister got it for Andy. I love that the statements in the book are sayings that we hear about girls all the time, but the illustrations show a spin on the saying by flipping it to show basically the opposite of the stereotype. It’s really a neat book!

Perfect for: Any and every girl! The content paired with the illustrations is really powerful, but not in a hard-to-understand kind of way. It’d be a great gift to a girl in your life to show her that beauty is defined in so many ways.

Buy Beautiful here.

*Disclaimer: For convenience, I’ve included links to the books so you can buy them online, but I highly encourage you to try to find used copies OR (better yet!) visit your local library and rent them! #SaveThePlanetOneUsedBookAtATime. Also, I don’t understand affiliate links and I’m certainly not popular enough to be bribed into a good review so you can rest-assured the statements in this post are totally unbiased.

PS: I’ve posted about several of these books on Instagram. If I did, I’ve linked the picture to the original post so you can read more there and see what others shared in the comments. Just click on the pictures and they’ll take you there!

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2017 Holiday Gift Guide – To Make

I’m always torn on whether to make or buy holiday gifts. I have this debate with myself annually: Will the recipient appreciate all the hours of labor I put into making this? Will I become bitter from the stress by the time I finish making this? Wouldn’t it be easier to just buy something? Will I feel as excited about gifting something I’ve purchased instead of made?

Do you ever find yourself spinning in that same internal cycle?

Well, if you’re like me and your DIY spirit animal usually wins, here are some fun handmade gift ideas!

Gifts to Sew

1. Ultimate Sleep Mask by Ohhh Lulu

I have long been admiring Ohhh Lulu’s patterns and makes on Instagram and her sleep masks are so classic!

Find the pattern here and more inspiration here.

2. Mug Rug

Mug rugs are the best for practicing your piecing and quilting skills! Also a good way to use up stray blocks. They make the perfect gift when paired with a cute mug and some cocoa mix.

You can find mug rug inspiration and a free printable gift tag in this post!

3. Drawstring Bags

I have now made 6 of these and have several more planned. The bags are intended to be knitting project bags, but I think they are so handy for anything! And they’re a great bag to wrap up a few little goodies.

{See another version I made in this post}

You can find the tutorial from Very Shannon here. These are great for assembly line sewing – cut out several to sew at a time.

4. Biased Bibs for Baby

If you’ve got babies on your list, bibs are an easy go-to! For the perfect set, make a matching diaper cover!

bib front

bib back

I made this bib for my newest niece! I followed See Kate Sew’s tutorial with a few modifications: I chose to quilt the bib rather than use fusible fleece because I had a ton of batting scraps lying around. I drew the grid onto a big square of sandwiched fabric and quilted it before cutting the pieces (to avoid it shrinking too much). I also made my own bias tape from the lining of a Lilly Pulitzer dress I chopped up.

These elephant baby bib & binkie holders would also make an adorable baby gift!

Gifts in a Jar

Check your local thrift stores for glass jars with lids to use for these fun gifts!

You could even upcycle glass jars from your pantry – run them through your dishwasher if you have one and that should loosen up the labels. Alternatively, you could soak them in hot soapy water with a few drops of lemon essential oil {see my process in action here}. If the stickiness from the labels is stubborn, add a few drops of lemon essential oil directly to the area and scrub {it’s magic!}.

1. Gluten Free Cheerio Mix

This is a great idea for the GF friend on your list. As someone with a self-inflicted dietary restriction {I’m a vegetarian}, I find it so thoughtful when someone gifts me something that shows they remembered and/or took it into consideration.

Dress it up by putting it in a mason jar and adding some festive fabric to cover the lid.

2. Chocolate Chip & Oatmeal Quickbread

This recipe looks super easy and sounds delicious! You could turn it into a basket gift by wrapping it up with a loaf pan and spatula.

3. Carpet Powder

Gifting carpet powder to someone may be weird unless they are an unapologetic neat freak like several members in my family. The carpet powder can double as an odor absorber in any room just by adding a ventilated lid or leaving the lid off.

Find the tutorial here.

4. Shaving Cream

Anyone else find it near impossible to find DIY gifts for guys?! Shaving Cream or Beard Oil are my go-to’s. For the perfect gift, pair them with a new toiletry bag!

Find the tutorial for the shaving cream and beard oil here. For more ideas, you can find 7 DIY Beard Oil recipes in this guide from WiseBeards!

5. Infused Olive Oil

Not only do these look incredibly chic, but they look super easy to make! For the perfect basket, pair them with a loaf of fresh baked bread (if you’re not a baker, find your local bakery and support them!).

Find the tutorial here.

Don’t forget to whip up a handmade holiday card to go with your gift! You could even make your own envelopes to go with the cards – use any large paper scraps you have lying around (paper grocery bags work great!).

For more DIY gift ideas, check out this post!

Mug Rug Inspiration and Free Gift Tag

I am on a kick with mug rugs lately! Not only are they super fun to make (and don’t take near the amount of time an actual quilt would), they make great gifts so I’m stocking up for the holidays 😉

In addition to sharing some of the mug rugs I’ve had fun constructing, I’ve thrown in a few extra goodies – links to free patterns & tutorials as well as FREE printable gift tags designed by yours truly especially for you!


mug rug blog post

“What’s a mug rug?” you ask? A mug rug looks an awful lot like a potholder, but functions like an oversized coaster + mini placemat.

I have one on my desk at work. Not only does it add a pop of color and pizzazz to my office decor, but it keeps my smoothie and water bottle from smearing condensation all over my desk.

I gifted the one pictured below to my stepmom and she said it’s been very useful on her desk as well!

mug rug

I picked up a quilting book from Red Hen Fabrics a while ago. The book teaches you how to build several different quilt blocks. The pinwheel design caught my eye so I figured I’d give it a try for a mug rug. It was much easier than I thought and I’ll definitely be visiting the design again!

If you’re interested in trying out the pinwheel block design, here is a great tutorial for how to make the perfect pinwheel.

mug rug 2a

{Front of the Liberty of London scrap mug rug}

The mug rug above is made from Liberty of London scraps I snagged from Mad For Fabric on Instagram. The pieces are mostly too small to sew as a traditional block so I used some pretty messy zig zag stitching to keep them in place.

As you can see on the back, the zig zag was pretty crazy, but it looks kind of fun, right?!

mug rug 2b

{Back of the Liberty of London scrap mug rug}

Perhaps in the future I should attach the scraps to the batting and add the backing fabric after all the craziness 😉

One of my favorite mug rugs so far is this one (which I’m saving for my sister):

mug rug 3

Last month I joined the Palmetto Modern Quilt Guild and at my first meeting the President showed up with 3 gallon size bags FULL of beautiful scraps. She let us pass them around to plunder and take what we wanted. She had a lot of modern designer fabric that I have been admiring online, but hadn’t splurged on yet. I jumped on the scraps to use for mug rugs!

Here is a great tutorial for how to create a frame quilt block (a great way to “frame” a design like I did with the mermaid above – except that the tutorial includes a way cooler frame design!).

mug rug

I think the mug rug above is the one I’m most proud of! I followed this tutorial from Owen’s Olivia (linked again below). This could be a newbie issue, but once I had the top pieced together, I realized that it was much smaller than the backing I’d cut. This worked out great because I was able to wrap the backing around for the binding (yep, no separate binding attachment! A great time saver).

Here is a great tutorial for how to bind a quilt with the backing. Speaking of binding, here’s a helpful post from Crazy Mom Quilts on how to bind tiny things.

Even by “cheating”, the mug rug still came out to the specified dimensions: 8 1/2 inches square.

Mug-rug-gift-making-hack: If you are following a tutorial and cutting specific sized pieces, cut double what you need so that you can make two at a time. Since they are pretty quick to sew, it’s much easier to sew them simultaneously than one at a time (for the same design at least).

Want to make your own mug rug?

You totally should! I’m sharing some fun [free] patterns and tutorials I’ve found around the blogosphere and beyond. Each image links directly to its source – if you see one you like, just click the image and you’ll be routed to the tutorial.

I don’t usually follow a specific pattern when I’m making my mug rugs. I’ve been using these as opportunities to build my quilting skills. I just find a quilt block tutorial I like and give it a shot. When I get it to a size I like, I stop and add binding. It’s been a really great way to build my quilting skills and knowledge as well as use up a lot of fabric scraps 🙂

If your quilt block comes out too big, just turn it into a pillow cover {PS: my Pillow Ideas Pinterest Board might be of help here 😉 }

Mug Rug Patterns & TutorialsNote: these are not my tutorials nor have I followed all of them (yet!) unless otherwise noted. They all look fabulous and I intend to try them out, but in the meantime I wanted to share them with you and also to credit their source – please click the image to find the artist’s tutorial.

Honeycomb Mug Rug from Going Home to Roost

honeycomb

Honeycomb Mug Rug Pattern and Tutorial from Going Home to Roost

Mini-Hexie Mug Rug via Craftsy

hexie 2

Here’s another hexagon-themed mug rug – you can find the free pattern & tutorial on Craftsy

Peppermint Twist Mug Rug via Fort Worth Fabric Studio

peppermint

Peppermint Twist Table Runner and Mug Rug Tutorial from Twiggy and Opal via the Forth Worth Fabric Studio Blog

Half Star Mug Rug from Owen’s Olivia

half star

Half Star Mug Rug Tutorial + How to Match the Binding to a Design from Owen’s Olivia

Looking for more ideas? Check out my Quilting Pinterest Board!

Tips on How to Gift a Mug Rug

The obvious choice is to pair a handmade mug rug with a mug when gifting.

Mug recommendations:

  • Handmade mug from a local potter (My favorite: Kyle Smith – I can’t say enough great things about Kyle! His pottery is incredible quality and he’s just a super cool guy [who, btw, teaches art – including pottery! – to middle schoolers…bless him!] you can find him most weekends at the Soda City market and he’ll also be at Crafty Feast! Follow him on Facebook to stay in the loop.)
  • Vintage teacup – hit up your favorite thrift store and search the shelves! {For teacup inspiration, check out my recap of the DIY Bridal Tea Party my sister helped me throw for my BFF Caroline!}

Accessories you could pair with the mug rug:

  • Handmade tea bags & blends – use this picture to inspire you to make your own hand-stitched tea bags! You can find loose tea in most specialty grocery stores or google around to find some recipes.
  • Share your favorite pre-made tea bags with this adorable paper teapot (DIY it with some pretty scrapbook paper) to hold them!
  • Got a techy tea-lover on your gift list? Gift them this super fun robot tea infuser!

FREE Printable Gift Tags!

Because your recipient may not instinctively know your beautiful mini-quilt-of-sorts is actually an incredibly useful mug rug [and you don’t want to risk it being called a potholder because that’s a real downer], I’ve designed a FREE Printable Gift Tag for you to attach!

Below is an image of version 1 of the gift tag. Click here or on the image to open a printable document.

mug rug tag

{Click image for free printable!}

The document contains 2 different versions of the tags: on page 1 there are 3 larger, rectangular tags (like the one pictured above). On the second page, there are 6 smaller, rectangular tags (like in the image below). Just pick your preference and print the corresponding page.

You can print these on card stock and punch a hole in the top left to attach with yarn or ribbon (like I did in the picture below) or you can use the version on the first page to wrap around the mug rug. You could even glue the tags to scrapbook paper or other colorful paper to frame them. Be creative! 🙂

mug rug 2

Note: You are welcome to use the printable for personal use (to attach to gifts). Please do not use my tag to profit in any way (selling of the document/images or attaching the tags to sold goods is not permitted). Feel free to contact me {find my info here} if you have any questions on how you can use the gift tags. 

Thank you for supporting this little blog of mine! I would love to see your mug rugs – tag me on Instagram (@jordslice11) or post your image on the blog’s Facebook page.

Happy mug-rug-making! 🙂

Handmade for the Holidays Blog Hop – recap

I sure hope you enjoyed last week’s Blog Hop as much as I did! I am so full of handmade gift ideas – my creative brain can hardly process it all!

To save you some searching later, I’ve gathered direct links to all the posts from the Blog Hop below. To save yourself even more time, go ahead and pin the image below to your favorite “gift ideas” board on Pinterest for future reference!



HH Blog Hop 1

I’m so honored to have all of the talented bloggers below participate in the Blog Hop with me! These ladies keep my creativity alive and inspire me constantly through their friendships with me (and blog posts!).

I hope you’ll take some time to read through their posts and explore their blogs!

The links below will take you to each blogger’s post for the Blog Hop. As you saw on the introduction post, each of us have different skills and interest areas so you can bet the variety of tutorials will keep you inspired (and very busy!).

If you’re local, follow Columbia’s Etsy Market Team on Facebook to stay in the loop with upcoming events where you can find local, handmade businesses and all things crafty in Columbia.

What are your favorite handmade gifts to give or receive? I’d love for you to share a link to your favorites in the comments below!

Happy [Handmade] Holidays!

Handmade for the Holidays Blog Hop

I’m so excited to be kicking off my very first Handmade for the Holidays Blog Hop!

Today I’m going to be sharing some DIY tutorials you can use to make handmade holiday gifts this year. And for those you feeling not-so-crafty, I’m going to share with you some of my favorite handmade businesses (and local events that support them) with some ready-made gifts for those on your list.

hh blog hop image2

Remember to follow my fellow participants who will be sharing more gift ideas on their blogs this week – read all about each of them in last week’s introduction post!

DIY Gift Ideas & Tutorials

1. Upcycled Sweater Pillow Covers {tutorial}

sweater pillows

A few months ago a friend-of-a-friend asked me if I could make some pillows for her. Her brother had passed away and she had an argyle sweater vest of his [right] and a cashmere sweater that he had gifted to her [left] that she wanted made into pillows. We ultimately decided on pillow covers so she could remove them to dry clean – if you look close you can see silver ribbon tying the cover shut at the bottom of the pillow. The tutorial I followed had some great tips for sewing with sweaters – not for the faint of heart (only because sweater material can be tough to sew on your machine), but worth it in the end if you’re looking for a functional, sentimental gift for someone you love.

I did some pretty extensive research before making these pillows so I’ve got quite a collection of other pillow tutorials on my Pillow Talk Board on Pinterest if you’re interested in browsing. 

2. DIY Lace Necklace {tutorial}

lace necklace1

You’ll be shocked at how easy this is! If you’ve ever framed a picture, you have the skills to make this necklace. I made two of these for my sister’s 1st wedding anniversary [and kept one 🙂 ] using lace from the train of her wedding dress. You could use any lace or scrap material [even paper!] you have on hand that you think your recipient would like. You could even cut out additional inserts so she could change them up depending on her mood or outfit.

Looking for more DIY jewelry ideas? Check out this board on my Pinterest page.

3. Fabric Statement Necklace {tutorial}

Pink teething 1c

This is one of the first projects I made with my sewing machine. It’s actually a tutorial for a teething necklace, but I really liked the style so in my book it’s a statement necklace 😉 I made it using material from a sleep shirt I never wore, but loved the fabric too much to toss.

After making my statement necklace and loving how bohemian the frayed edges of the braided loop looked, I was informed that the stray strings could be a choking hazard to babies – so please be cautious if you decide to make this an actual teething necklace!

4. Infinity Scarf {tutorial}

scarves

I recently saw a scarf where someone had used furry material for the inside which I thought was just brilliant! With all the cold weather we’ve been having in South Carolina recently, our scarves are going to have to be more than just fashionable this year 😉

I had some bright green minky fabric left over from a baby blanket I made recently so I decided to pair it with some knit and cotton prints I had.

If you want to use minky or faux fur for the “inside” of the scarf, just split the recommended width in half plus a half inch for seam allowance. Stitch one long side of the minky to one long side of the cotton or knit (right sides facing) and follow the tutorial like normal.

Handmade Businesses I Love

For those of you feeling a little less crafty this year, I’ve gathered some of my favorite handmade businesses below with links to their shops so you can browse what’s available for the holidays.

I hope you'll join me on a mission to support handmade businesses this season!

I hope you’ll join me on a mission to support handmade businesses this season!

1. Sup-Dog Co.Collars for your furry friends

{Click the image to be taken to this collar in the shop}

{Click the image to be taken to this collar in the shop}

Don’t even think about forgetting to buy your pooch some new neck bling this year! I absolutely love Ashley’s handmade collars and so do all my pets (even Norton the cat!). Browse all her available collars in her shop on Etsy.

2. Tiny Quiltingbeautiful framed, hand-sewn mini-quilts

tiny quilt

{Check out this framed log cabin mini quilt in Audry’s shop by clicking this image.}

I’ve long been admiring my friend AJ’s (aka: Audry) amazing quilts on Instagram. Recently she opened an Etsy shop, Tiny Quilting, where she shares her beautiful, hand-sewn tiny framed quilts with you! They’re absolutely gorgeous and would make the perfect gift this season.

3. Rachel Tennybeautiful cards & custom watercolor paintings

Click the photo to find these cards in Rachel's shop!

{Click the photo to find these cards in Rachel’s shop.}

How awesome is this card? I think it’s the best way to tell someone just how much you really love them! 😉 Rachel’s shop is stocked with beautiful cards and custom watercolor paintings. Remember that family portrait my sister had painted for my birthday? Yep, that was from Rachel! She’s so talented and her custom portraits are sure to make an unforgettable gift this season.

Looking for more handmade businesses? Check out my recap of Vintage Charlotte – full of gift ideas from local artisans!

Local Events that Support Handmade Shops

1. Crafty Feast – Sunday, December 14 from 12-6pm at the Columbia Convention Center

  • Local indie craft fair [wall-to-wall handmade businesses!] just in time for the holidays!

2. Soda City market – every Saturday from 9-1pm on Main Street

More Handmade Gift Ideas

Don’t forget to follow along the Blog Hop for more crafty gift ideas!

Read more about each blogger in last week’s introduction post.

Continue to support handmade businesses by following Columbia’s Etsy Market Team on Facebook where you’ll stay in the loop with upcoming events and all things crafty in Columbia.

Handmade for the Holidays Blog Hop – starting next week!

By now, you all know my love for all things handmade! I’m super excited to announce my first-ever (and hopefully annual!) Handmade for the Holidays Blog Hop!

hh blog hop image2

This series will start on Monday, December 1 and run through next Friday, December 5, 2014.

Here’s how it will work:

Each day one blogger will share with you links to some of her favorite handmade gift tutorials. In addition, we’ll also share with you some handmade shops we’re looking forward to supporting (hello, gift ideas!) and some local craft fairs and other events where you can support local artisans this season.

I’ve got 5 amazing bloggers joining me for the hop. Here’s the schedule:

Monday: Jordan of resliced by Jordan

  • I’ll be kicking the week off. Chances are that if you’re reading this blog, you already know all about me, but for those of you who don’t: I’m a full-time data nerd with a fierce passion for making things by hand. I own a small handmade business (resliced) where I focus on upcycling to create one-of-a-kind jewelry and purses.
    • My favorite crafts include: sewing, jewelry making, calligraphy and just about anything else!

Tuesday: MaryAnn of Life is a Maker Faire

  • MaryAnn spends her days training teachers to better utilize technology in the classroom. To escape the Monday-Friday grind, MaryAnn makes cards and other paper goods for her handmade business, M.A.S.W. Designs. Read more about MaryAnn here.
    • MaryAnn’s favorite crafts include: Anything paper – cards, treat bags, banners, etc; Sewing; Baking- cookies, cakes, or any sweets.

Wednesday: Rachel of Sew Happily Ever After

  • Rachel spends her days chasing children around the classroom as an elementary teacher and her evenings chasing her adorable toddler around (and she’s got another little one on the way!). From making you a custom t-shirt quilt to sewing up some seriously impressive clothing – you name it, Rachel can sew it! Read more about Rachel here.
    • Rachel’s favorite crafts include: sewing garments (womens & girls), home decor sewing, and quilting – anything with fabric and thread! Rachel also enjoys photography and cooking.

Thursday: Addie of Addie K.

  • From a wedding dress to a 20 foot boat cover, Addie has been there and sewed that! Addie has been sewing for more than 20 years and has spent the last half of those teaching others to sew. In addition, Addie is also a talented pattern designer. Read more about Addie here.
    • Addie’s favorite crafts include: sewing clothing, quilting, embroidery, kid-friendly crafts and upcycling / finding creative ways to reuse things.

Friday: Shanika of Life is Pichey AND Emily of Butterfly Vintage

  • We’ll end the week with a BANG – one day, two talented bloggers posting their favorite DIYs!
  • Shanika loves to craft so much that she founded Gather & Craft as a way to encourage members of the community to come together and create (gather and craft). Recently, Shanika started offering her handmade goods to the public through her new shop, Sebastian Harper. Read more about Shanika here.
    • Shanika’s favorite crafts include: anything fiber related, sewing (hand and machine), knitting, crocheting, natural dyeing.
  • Emily is a former art teacher turned vintage fashion expert {browse her shop on Etsy}. In addition to stocking my closet full of vintage clothes, Emily is also a graphic designer with Sandra Mack Studio. Read more about Emily here.
    • Emily’s favorite crafts include: painting, repurposing, minimal sewing, paper crafts, garlands and anything that incorporates vintage material.

I’ll be back to recap the Monday after the hop is over to give you a run down with links to all the posts. I hope you’ll “hop” around and support the bloggers participating – subscribe to their blogs, like their Facebook pages and share the love with these gals!

Continue to support handmade businesses by following Columbia’s Etsy Market Team on Facebook where you’ll stay in the loop with upcoming events and all things crafty in Columbia.

Marley Lilly Themed Gift Guide

Black Friday is almost here! Have you mapped out your shopping route yet?

You know, I’ll admit it to you: waiting in long lines with strangers who will soon become my enemy as we’re fighting over the last big-box-of-whatever in the wee hours of the morning isn’t my favorite cup of tea. Yes, I’ve done it before, but this year I think I might just pass.

For those of you who aren’t particularly keen on standing outside of your neighborhood big-box store the day after Thanksgiving, consider supporting your favorite businesses online! Lots of companies are running some great sales that you can partake in while remaining in your pajamas (win!).

One such sale brings me to my big announcement: Among 250+ applicants, Marley Lilly selected me to be a part of their Blogger Review Program (can you believe it?!)! I’m really excited to support this South Carolina business on a mission to monogram ALL THE THINGS! 😉

Monogrammed gifts come in as a close second (to handmade, of course!) for thoughtful gifts to give. As you all know, most of my gifts are handmade, but a gal only has so much time – so I’m relying on Marley Lilly to help me out.

Today I’m going to share with you the details of their Black Friday Special {which starts tomorrow!} and give you some gift ideas for the girly-girls on your holiday list.

My last ML package was stuffed full of coziness…

Doesn't the plaid just make you want to grab a hot cocoa and snuggle back onto the couch?

Doesn’t the plaid just make you want to grab a hot cocoa and snuggle on the couch?

In my package was a preview of both the Black Friday and the Cyber Monday freebies {stay tuned – I’ll post the latter on Monday morning!}

In honor of Black Friday, Marley Lilly is giving away this Christmas Plaid Blanket Scarf with any purchase over $100!

scarf ML

Confession: I included this picture because the model is a billion times more stylish than my attempt below!

And yes – it is as soft as it looks! Like I do with all new clothes/blankets (it’s a weird neat freak habit of mine), I immediately washed and dried it to see how it would hold up. The blanket maintained it’s size (no shrinkage!) and – believe it or not – got even softer! WIN!

It’s lightweight (yet cozy) and folds up nicely – thus, I believe it will be traveling to England with me in a few short weeks. 🙂

One time I saw a very stylish lady wrap a skinny belt around a scarf and she looks tres chic. I attempted to do the same and I can’t say I nailed the look, but man was it comfy!

Any excuse to wear a blanket as clothing and I'm ALL THERE.

Any excuse to wear a blanket as clothing and I’m ALL THERE.

With the holidays fast approaching, I’ve decided to share with you a Marley Lilly Themed Gift Guide!

I’ve included links on all the pictures to take you directly to the item on ML’s site so keep those pajamas on and happy shopping!

For the Young Professional:

ring

Help build up her “sophisticated-jewelry-stash-reserved-for-fancy-things-like-work” collection with the Monogrammed Sterling Silver Zara Ring

Photo source: Instagram

Browse the full collection of ML Monogrammed Rings here.

For the College Student:

Help her stay dry while walking to class in the rain with this monogrammed rain coat!

Help her stay dry while walking to class in the rain with this Monogrammed Eddie Bauer coat!

Photo source: Instagram

Browse all ML Monogrammed jackets here.

For the Fashionista:

vest

The black herringbone + gold monogram is just so chic!

Photo source: Instagram

Browse the full collection of ML Monogrammed Vests here.

Have I told you how much I love vests?! They are easily my favorite winter clothing item.

For the Wanderluster / Travel Genie

How about the Monogrammed Sunshine Satchel Duffle Bag!

This tote is a great size for a carry-on bag so it would be perfect for the girl on your list who loves an adventure!

Photo source: Instagram

Browse the full collection of ML Monogrammed travel bags here.

For the Newlywed:

Get her a clutch with her new initials - the perfect date night accessory!

Get her a clutch with her new initials – the perfect date night accessory!

Photo source: Instagram

Find the Monogram Luxe Clutch in Burlap pictured above here or browse all the clutches here.

For the Fitness Buff / Gym Rat:

Send her a holiday "Namaste" with a monogrammed yoga mat!

Send her a holiday “Namaste” with a monogrammed yoga mat!

Photo source: Instagram

Order the Monogrammed Yoga Mat from Marley Lilly here.

For the Baby Girl / New Mom:

How about one of these super soft Monogrammed Lovies for her little one!

How about one of these super soft Monogrammed Lovies for the little one!

Or maybe a Monogrammed Hoodie Baby Towel?

For the Tech Lover:

phone cover

Get her a Monogrammed Phone Cover!

Photo source: Instagram

Browse all ML Monogrammed accessories for your cell phone and devices here.

For the Little Girls:

How pretty is this Seersucker Monogrammed Hair Bow?!

How pretty is this Seersucker Monogrammed Hair Bow?!

Photo source: Instagram

Browse all ML Monogrammed Hair Bows here.

For the New Homeowner:

A Monogrammed Dish Towel - perfect for her new kitchen!

A Monogrammed Dish Towel – perfect for her new kitchen!

Photo source: Instagram

Browse all ML Monogrammed Towels here.

For the Teen who just got her Driver’s License: 

A Monogrammed Tassel Key Chain

A Monogrammed Tassel Key Chain

Photo source: Instagram

And in case you’re wondering how to style your Christmas Blanket Scarf (after all that shopping for others, shouldn’t you get to keep the treat?!), here’s an idea:

blanket scarf

Follow Marley Lilly on Instagram for more styling ideas (and to keep an eye out for sales!).

While you’re on the IG, let’s be friends! Find me here.