valentine’s day diy: heart elbow patches.

valentine’s day holds a special place in my heart for obvious reasons {pun intended & it is my birthday}. i thought it would be fun & festive to share a few valentine’s day diy projects over the next two weeks, well 11 days.

this first project is something that i have been wanting to do for a few years. i had an old j.crew hoodie {my fav} that i literally wore the elbows thru {sad story, i know}. i wanted to put patches on the elbows but it has taken me a while to figure out what i wanted. in thinking about valentine’s day, i figured it would be fun to put heart patches on the elbows. worst case, i could take them off & try something different!

supplies:

  • sweater/sweatshirt/shirt with worn-out elbows {or not, the patches could be decorative}
  • red felt
  • red thread
  • scissors
  • paper or cardstock {for stencil}

i started by cutting out a heart-shaped stencil from cardstock. to keep the shape consistent on both sides, i folded the cardstock in half & drew out just one side. also, it is important for an elbow patch to bigger than the hole; this sounds obvious but the first heart stencil i cut wasn’t quite big enough. fail. after i made a stencil that was the right shape & size, i cut two hearts out of felt.

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then, i pinned & sewed the hearts over the holes. the holes were a bit off center on the sleeve, so in order to avoid putting huge heart patches on the elbows {i thought that may be a bit much}, my patches are off-center.

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happy elbows!

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have you patched anything with hearts?

M

highlights of 2012.

2013 lets do this{via}

happy 2013!

i love reading yearly highlights on other blogs & even though i try to keep up on the updates via this blog, there are hopefully a few fun things to share that you haven’t heard before. here’s the rundown of 2012:

january: i donated blood for the first {& last} time. we dined at emmer & rye in queen anne with my friend beth ann who was in town visiting. we survived snopocolypse 2012. the repairs on the jetta were finally completed from my rear-ending in november. sadie had surgery to get a small lump removed & have her teeth cleaned.

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february: we took a trip to new england & managed to visit all six new england states. we spent a long weekend in boston. i celebrated my 27 {yikes!} birthday & valentine’s day with my love in manchester, new hampshire. we celebrated thanksgiving in february with my law school friends {this is a reoccurring event in which my friend miriam cooks up a big thanksgiving dinner at various times of the year}. we celebrated leap year!

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march: my mom visited for a long weekend. i oversaw work to the townhouse {new venting for the dryer}. we house-hunted on the weekends with our realtor padraic. i started & completed all three books in the hunger games series. we saw the hunger games at the IMAX. we saw {& were disappointed by} king tut at the pacific science center {no tut, just his stuff}. aaron took a work trip to vegas. we made our first {& only} offer on a house. our offer was accepted!

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april: we took a post-offer tour of our new house. we celebrated easter dinner with my grandmother. we showed the townhouse to potential new tenants. i co-hosted a baby shower for amanda. we packed up all of our belongings for the big move. we closed on our house after signing lots of paperwork & handing over a very large check. we moved.

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may: we were rear-ended {this better not become an annual event}. my mom & dad visited for a long weekend & helped with some house projects. we celebrated my grandmother’s 90th birthday! we celebrated aaron’s 29th birthday! i took on my first pro bono case with VAIJ. we hosted a small dinner party with old idaho friends kami, travis, & their adorable daughter olive. we spent a night on the town in bellevue at aaron’s organization’s ship party with lots of aaron’s co-workers.

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june: we saw dia frampton in concert at chop suey. we hosted a small dinner party with my law school friend marcus, his then-fiancée katy, & their beagle maggie. padraic & his partner justin threw us an awesome housewarming party! we ventured down to alabama for andy & hailey’s wedding. i had lots of phone interviews.

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july: we attended herschel’s first birthday party {the son of one of my law school friends}. we celebrated the fourth of july! i started going to fitness classes with my neighbor leanne at community fitness. we hosted a small dinner party with andy & hailey, just back from their honeymoon! we attended thanksgiving in july at miriam’s. sadie & i drove down to idaho. i got my haircut & had drinks with my CBC {high school} girlfriends. we loaded up the car & took a roadtrip {sadie included} to stevenson, wa for marcus & katy’s wedding. we saw the dark knight rises at the IMAX.

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august: we celebrated our second wedding anniversary with a picnic dinner at greenlake! we attended our first neighborhood potluck & met lots of our neighbors. we joined a summer bocce ball league with ben & sarah. i did yoga in the park with our neighbors – the friends – & tens of other people. i shopped & noshed with my friend ashley who was in town on a work trip. we attended the pratt’s housewarming party {a couple i met & befriend while i was in americorps}. we attended padraic’s wig birthday party. i met my pro bono client. i was offered a position doing media license management & started working. my bff carlie came into town – our first house guest! we attended a moroccan dinner feast at ben & sarah’s house. aaron’s parents visited seattle for a week.

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september: we attended a final farewell summer bbq. we visited indiana to see family & surprise meg at her baby shower. we attended a colts game with our friends colt & erin. we celebrated sadie’s eighth birthday!

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october: we visited peru & got to hike around one of the new seven wonders of the world machu picchu. my mom & sister anya visited for a long weekend. my friend meg was in town to visit! aaron made an unexpected trip back to indiana to attend his late grandmother’s service. we attended ghouls near greenlake, ben & sarah’s annual halloween bash, as a somecard. we celebrated halloween with our very first trick-or-treaters!

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november: aaron attended a week-long conference for work & stayed downtown. i watched the election results while painting the bathroom trim & texting aaron updates. we hosted our first {vegetarian} thanksgiving. we spent the long holiday weekend working on the house.

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december: we attended a housewarming party for amanda, george, & madeleine. we brunched with our neighbors – the friends – at the 5 spot in queen anne. my mom visited for a long weekend. i brought back a pinterest christmas & recruited some friends to join in on the fun. we celebrated the holiday season with six holiday parties with friends & co-workers. i won rookie of the year at work. we enjoyed a double-date night in bellevue with some newly engaged friends. we loaded up the car with presents & made the trek to idaho for the week of christmas. we celebrated christmas! we made it safely back to seattle only one day delayed. we plan to ring in the new year with friends & watch the space needle firework show.

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reflecting back on this year, i am reminded how blessed we are & also how different this year has been than the year previous. it has been such a wonderful year & ringing in a new one is a bit bittersweet.

how was your 2012 – was it a year to remember or are you itching to start 2013 already?

M

see highlights of 2011 here.

a visit to new england: new hampshire & vermont.

from boston, we rented a car & drove north to new hampshire. we stayed in manchester, NH for the remainder of the week, sort of a jumping off point for the rest of our time in new england. manchester is a really cute little town with an amazing number of restaurants right on elm street in downtown. while it may have been nice to stay in other places, like say a bed & breakfast, it was so nice to have to unpack & repack only once! we celebrated my birthday & valentine’s day with a five-course dinner (which we split) at XO on Elm – it was delish! we also had to try the highly recommended dancing lion.

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after settling into new hampshire, we took a short day trip up to vermont. it still amazes me that you can get to another state in just two short hours (that doesn’t happen where we live!). our first stop was in waterbury to visit the one & only ben & jerry’s factory. it was amazing! we got a tour of the factory & got to sample a never-been-released coffee cake ice cream.

we also drove just a little bit further into vermont to visit the von trapp family lodge. you probably only know of one von trapp family. are you quietly singing “doe a deer a female deer”? if you are, you are right on! the von trapp family was made famous from the movie the sound of music which was loosely based on their lives in austria during ww II. apparently waterbury, vermont looks much like the “mountains” of austria (i put mountains in quotes because any one who has actually seen a mountain cannot actually say that anything in new england is actually a mountain). originally the von trapp family just had a lodge but today it is quite the winter resort.

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have you ever ventured into vermont?

M

happy valentine’s day!

happy valentine’s day!  i hope your day is filled with lots of love & sugar-filled treats! (don’t you wish we still got lots of valentine’s from our friends? i am super jealous of elementary school kiddos today!)

if you do nothing else (& didn’t have time to make your own valentine’s day coffee sleeves) you can get a festive cup of joe from starbucks! {sidenote: i may love these just a teensy bit more than the red holiday cups!}

and if there are any skeptics out there that think valentine’s day is just a hallmark-endorsed commercial venture, check out the historical roots of the day of love.

how are you celebrating your valentine’s day?

xo M

valentine’s day bunting.

i loved the christmas bunting that i made so much that i decided we needed one for valentine’s day too. i think bunting banners are a fun way to decorate & they are pretty straightforward to make. i used pretty much the exact same steps as the christmas bunting.

{if you need any inspiration for a valentine’s day bunting, check out this cute one from pinterest. i love how the flags are printed pages, perhaps i will make a similar one next year.}

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{pinterest link: valentine’s bunting.}

supplies:

  • fabric for flag
  • felt for hearts
  • sewing machine or needle
  • thread (i used red to sew the flags to the ribbon & pink to outline the flags)
  • fabric scissors
  • pinking shears (optional)
  • cardstock (i used to make templates for heart & flag)
  • ribbon
  • tacky glue
  • pins

{first i used my triangle template to trace out my flags. i used the template i created for my christmas bunting.}

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{sidenote: a tip for saving fabric. because the template i created is half of a perfect rectangle, i found that you can alternate the triangles when tracing the template onto the fabric. this saves fabric & reduces cutting as the angled edges share a cut with the neighboring triangle. make sense?}

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{i traced my heart template onto red felt using a black marker and then cut them out.}

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{i glued one heart onto each flag. like i did for the christmas bunting i used pinking shears to cut the flag edges.}

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{i used two spools of glittery red ribbon – one bunting had eight flags, the other had seven. i pinned each flag to the ribbon with two pins. i lined up the top edge of the flag with the top edge of the ribbon; this way wherever my seam was sewn it would hit the ribbon & the fabric. i found that it was easiest to lay out the ribbon on the edge of a long, flat workspace – in my case this was the edge of our office couch. this makes pinning the flags so much easier.}

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{then i sewed a simple straight stitch to attach the flags to the back of the ribbon.}

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{the finished bunting over our chalkboard. i am loving the festiveness of these heart buntings to our eating area & i think they may be cute enough to keep up for the next few months (until the next holiday i make a bunting for!).}

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is a valentine bunting in your future? i hope so!

M

diy sewn paper valentines.

i heart valentine’s day, genuinely. who wouldn’t like a holiday that is all about love? i saw these little cards floating around pinterest & knew they had to be my valentines for this year!

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{original pinterest link: sewn paper valentines}

supplies:

  • heart template (see website above or make your own)
  • pencil
  • fabric
  • cardstock for cards
  • sewing machine
  • thread (i used red & white)
  • scissors and/or paper trimmer
  • wasabi tape (optional – i used mine to seal the envelopes)

{first i printed out the heart template from the website above & made my own heart template from cardstock – much easier to trace than computer paper! then i traced the hearts onto my fabric – i recommend tracing on the back of the fabric so there are no pencil lines that show especially if you are using a light-colored fabric – and then cut out the hearts.}

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{i cut out my cardstock, two pieces for each card. the dimensions of each card were 4 1/4 x 6 inches.}

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{next i sewed three stitches onto the “cover” of each card; i sewed about a 5/8 inch seam – i lined up the right edge of the cardstock with the right edge of the foot. i used red thread for the top seam & white thread in my bobbin; this helped tremendously with the next step & also to keep the back of the card looking neat & clean. i made sure to leave the excess thread at both ends of my stitch long so that i could tie each off with a knot; i think knotting the thread works best for this project because doing a back stitch shows too much on the paper.}

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{the fourth stitch on the card attaches the back cover. it is exactly the same stitch, you just add the back cover underneath.}

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{after all of the cards were stitched together, i sewed a fabric heart onto each card by hand with red thread. {sidenote 1: i sewed all the backs of the cards on before i hand sewed the hearts mostly because i wanted to be done with the sewing machine. it would be a bit easier to sew on the heart either right after the first three stitches of the card, or even before you stitch the card at all. sidenote 2: i originally planned to use my sewing machine to sew on the fabric hearts, as per the original tutorial. after many attempts, however, i admitted defeat!}

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{sidenote: i ended up without a picture of the card front. would one of my valentines mind sending me a picture of your valentines card so i can post it here? thanks!}

{i wrote my valentine’s day message inside the card & each card went into my diy envelopes! i used wasabi tape i bought from etsy to seal the envelopes.}

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{i think the wasabi tape was a fun way to seal the envelopes. if you don’t have wasabi tape you could use regular scotch tape, use a sticker, or even glue the envelopes shut.}

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did you send out valentines this year?

M

diy envelopes.

i have an obsession with paper goods. there, i said it! i still write thank you notes by hand & send them snail mail (isn’t there something so romantic & lovely about receiving mail!) and i jump on any chance to send paper mail. while i no longer get to go to school & receive valentines from all of my classmates (wasn’t that the best?) i did want to send out a few valentines to my close family & friends.

i knew i wanted valentines that had some form of diy & when i saw these whimsical envelopes on pinterest, i knew i would be making at least the envelopes this year.

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{original pinterest link: paper envelopes}

supplies:

  • envelope to use as template
  • printed paper (i used square scrapbooks sheets, but size depends on the size of the envelope)
  • ruler
  • pencil
  • gluestick
  • paper tags or labels (optional – i knew addresses written on printed envelopes would be difficult to read)
  • letter opener (optional – i used it to make clean cuts on my envelope template)

{i started out by finding an envelope & using a letter opener it up.}

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{i laid down my template on the wrong-side of my paper (so any leftover pencil marks would be on the inside of the final envelope) & lined up the corner edges and sides of the template with the corner and sides of the paper (to reduce the amount of cutting). then i cut out the envelope.}

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{while the places to fold in are really clear from looking at the cut-out, i found that it was pretty easy to end up folding a crooked fold. i remedied this by lining up a ruler edge on both sides of the fold edges and then folding over the ruler. this gave me a nice straight fold.}

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{then i flipped the envelope over & folded in the pieces starting with the sides & then the bottom – this is the way the original envelope was folded. i added a very thin line of glue to the bottom edges of the side flaps. be sure that there isn’t too much excess glue on the bottom of this edge as you may inadvertently glue the envelope together!}

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{i used these little cut-out tags that i picked up at michael’s. while the package says there are only 6 pieces, there are actually 12 – score! i firmly glued one tag on the front of each envelope, staggering the tag on each: bottom left corner, bottom right corner, middle. i always put my return address on the back flap of the envelope. i used our address stamp from etsy & the black ink was bold enough that i stamped it right onto the envelope, not needing to add a tag to the back.}

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{the final touch was adding a LOVE stamp. you can see that i chose three different prints for my envelopes: stripey, polka dot & hearts.}

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stay tuned for my valentines cards!

what do you think about pretty paper envelopes – a waste of time or can’t get enough?

M