Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Photo Story

Hey, Pennsylvania! Are you enjoying this unusually warm weather?

Yeah. I brought it with me from the sunny South.

**wink-wink**

I'm traveling right now.

And I miss my boys.

Looking at their pictures lifts my spirits! I got a giggle from this series.







Clearly, it was quite a task.

**smile**

Saturday, February 11, 2012

You've Got {LOVE} Mail


I don't really decorate for Valentine's Day, but these little mailboxes were too hard to pass up for $1 at Target. They are so cute! 

It was one of those mental commercial moments... do you have those? I suddenly saw images of these little boxes lining my mantel and the kiddos' happy faces as they each open their own little mailbox to find it filled with treasures.

{Who am I to deny them that Hallmark moment?}

Of course, they had to be dressed up a bit! Silhouette vinyl and vintage fabric was all I needed to gussy them up just a bit.


Isn't this fabric precious? I've wanted to use it for ages so I was thrilled it fit in with this project.


I first cut the decals using my Silhouette. I'm happy to share the studio files with you if you have a Silhouette. Just message me at rachelhgarza{at}gmail{dot}com.


I cut the fabric to back the letters and...


Added the decals to the mailboxes.



I love how the fabric gives the decals a soft, dimensional look. Such a nice touch!


Like it? Pin It

This was a really quick and simple project, which is about all I have time for these days. I'm deep in the weeds with my graduate studies this semester so I have less time to devote to my creative "to-do" list! 

Please bear with me as I surge through the next couple of weeks.

Happy Valentine's Day week, my friends!

Late One Night...

I bought this:


to make this:


and wound up with this.


Yuck!

Wrong fabric. Poor fit. Too shear.

Unwearable.

So, I did this:


And this:



Sewed the band to the bottom, and finished with this:


Ahhhhhhh... much better.



Saturday, February 4, 2012

Good in Theory

Are you ready to run down one thousand rabbit holes?

Let's start with my husband.

I mentioned that I would like a clear case for my iPhone for Christmas so I could do this:

Love this!! Found it on Pinterest {of course!}.

So, a clear case like this runs around $30. Imagine my husband's delight when he found "clear" silicone cases online for $3.


Sadly, not quite the same thing {but thanks for trying, honey!}. I sort of tucked it away in my nightstand and forgot about it.

Fast forward to my blogger "friend" Dixie, from DixieDIY.com.

Last week, she posted about a beautiful case that she embroidered. I've seen these online ($20, plus shipping) and was tempted to purchase before. Once I saw hers, I was very inspired. It. Is. Gorgeous.


My wheels started turning... and turning... I wondered if I could figure out a way to embroider my case.

I should tell you now that I've never hand embroidered anything, but my case was only a $3 investment so I decided to give it a try.

I started on my computer - designing subway art with inspirational phrases from the Gypsy Girl's Manifesto.

{Yeah, I don't make it very easy on myself, do I?}


Feel free to download this for yourself! 
Just add your own initial in the middle.

I printed my artwork on a piece of graphic cardstock, cut it to size, and began my embroidery journey!


WHAT WAS I THINKING?!!!!!!!

Small letters are VERY hard to embroider through silicon. Painfully hard to embroider. Brutally, painfully hard to embroider.

Having said that, this concept is working great!! It is so easy to follow a printed pattern through the clear silicon. This would be a brilliant technique if my artwork was simpler.


The options are as broad as your imagination!

As for me, I'm going to fight my way through this one and order a few more cases. It won't be perfect, but it will be fun!

Hey! For $3 a pop, I might create an entire wardrobe for my cell phone.

Hope you're having a great weekend!!!

Art Center Update

Well, I'm not finished yet, but I wanted to share a quick update on the kiddos' creative space.

Remember the before?


Here's where we are today.


I can't tell you how many times this week that my oldest son has disappeared - only to be found furiously drawing and coloring in his revamped space.

{Success!!!}

A friend of mine gave me these GREAT "old school" student desks - two of them! They are covered with years of graffiti {which my oldest son wants left unchanged, but I don't know about that}! I'm brainstorming ideas about how to refinish them so please add to my list if you can!!

I was able to utilize the existing little art table to create another art nook for playdoh (see it in the background?).


I still want to jazz up the wall a bit. My March Winds Wreath just isn't cutting it.

Maybe another art display piece? Small bulletin boards?

Hmmmm....

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I Think It's Called a Blog-iversary?

So, yes, I celebrated my one year blog-iversary a couple of weeks ago. I really celebrated {party of one!} the fact that I kept up this project for an entire year. This has been such a rewarding experience for me.

{Enjoy a few of my favorite personal photos from the past year as you read.}

{The Backstory}
Before I started this blog, I didn't even read blogs. I knew nothing about maintaining a blog or even what ground had already been covered in the "Blogosphere." In January of 2011, I finished reading "The Happiness Project" by Gretchen Rubin and was mulling over all of the ways that I could rekindle personal happiness in my life.

I love to write. I love to sew. I love to give. I love to... wait for it... get crafty!

{Yes, I have learned to say the C-word.}

Blogging seemed like a great way to tie all of these things together for a purpose and stay in touch with my creative friends. I was also intrigued by the possibility of connecting with talented women across the World Wide Web.

I wound up so much more than I bargained for.


{91,000+ Pageviews Later}
I now have a very dear group of followers - through Google, Pinterest, Facebook, and Bloglovin'. I've corresponded with women all over the globe. I've developed "friendships" with a few who I correspond with on a regular basis. I've been so richly blessed and truly inspired by each and every one of these encounters.

I was humbled {and more than a little shocked} to receive a Blue Ribbon Blogger Award by Country Living Magazine in the fall. In addition, my projects have been featured by CRAFT Magazine, CraftGossip.com, SewMamaSew.com, Ohdeedoh.com and quite a few others - including websites in Iceland, Brazil, Spain, and Italy.

I never would have imagined that so much could happen in a year.


{Getting Here}
Those who have been with me since the beginning know that I try to keep things simple. This blog is meant to bring happiness - not stress or worry. So, I've made it a point to step back and reevaluate what I'm doing and why. It's important for me to stay true to who I am.

I only blog about the projects that I would be doing anyway - with or without an audience. And, I typically only blog on the weekends, when I can. Life balance is important and it's easy to fall out of that rhythm.

I mentioned being totally in the dark about what it takes to host a successful blog. A few weeks into this project, I tried to reach out to a few bloggers that I have grown to admire - to seek their advice and suggestions for improvement. Only to receive responses like, "I'm really busy right now" and "It just takes a lot of hard work."

It's not hard to read the meaning behind those lines.

Eventually, I found my way to a few link parties and started blog-hopping with others. This girl has gone from reading 0 blogs to following more than 100 posts on a daily basis. It's one of the best parts of my day. Inspiration overload!


{Playing Nice with Others}
My heart has been so heavy this week as I've read accounts by a few bloggers who attended the ALT Summit this past month {big blogger convention, I gather}. These are women who I follow regularly, confessing to feeling shunned or having less-than-pleasant interactions with other bloggers at ALT that they have admired. I feel the angst of these writers and it really troubles me. It's so disappointing.

Blogging is such an intensely personal action. It takes a lot of courage to put your thoughts out there for the world to read. I can't imagine why ANYONE {even the most successful bloggers} would want to make others feel unworthy.

We should all support each others' efforts. Embrace and respect those who do their own thing. It is likely that they were inspired to pursue their passion because you pursued yours.

Think about that... YOU are an inspiration to others. Everyday.


My favorite thing about this blog is interacting with you. That's why I made the commitment to respond to each and every comment left on these pages. They all mean so much to me.

I am definitely no expert {at anything}, but you are always welcome to message me with questions. Your comments are delivered directly to my inbox, but you can always send an e-mail to rachelhgarza{at}gmail{dot}com.


{Moving Forward}
So, who knows what's ahead? This year will be hard to top! I'm having one heck of a great time with each of you lovelies and I don't intend to stop until the inspiration runs out.


Happy Wednesday, dear friends!! See you this weekend!
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