11.12.2015

DIY Gift Guide: Gifts for Him

Well, today is the last post in the DIY Gift Guide series, and I hope you've enjoyed it so far!



To wrap up the series, I'm sharing a few DIY gift ideas for him.

Gifts for Him



Leather Glasses Case



DIY Bottle Opener


Leather Card Holders



DIY Tic Tac Toe Board



 T-Shirt Quilt

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Thank you for following along as I've shared my DIY Gift Guide! Happy making and gift giving :)


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11.10.2015

DIY Gift Guide: Gifts for Kids

Do you have a niece, nephew, or another little person that you'd like to give a gift to? Make one of these projects for a fun and special gift!


Gifts for Kids










Boutique pillowcase

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And for the last post in the DIY Gift Guide series, I'll be sharing a few DIY gift ideas for the man in your life.


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11.05.2015

DIY Gift Guide: Gifts for Friends and Family

Today, I'd like to share a few DIY gift ideas for friends and family!



As I mentioned in the first post in this series, I really do enjoy giving gifts and sharing my love of making with others. Keep reading for a little gift giving inspiration!


Gifts for Friends and Family







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In the next post of the DIY Gift Guide, I will be sharing a few DIY gift ideas for kids!


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11.03.2015

DIY Gift Guide: Gifts for Coworkers

I absolutely LOVE giving gifts, and I try to incorporate at least one DIY element into every gift I give. To share a little inspiration for the upcoming holiday season, I'm doing a mini DIY Gift Guide series.



I have made and given all of the ideas I'm sharing, and the tutorials linked to are what I've used as a guide for each gift. If I can do it, so can you!

Today, I'm sharing some really fun and easy DIY gift ideas for coworkers.

Gifts for Coworkers






White chocolate covered Oreos




Hot cocoa ornaments


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What are your go-to coworker gifts? Let me know in the comments! I'll be sharing DIY Gifts for Friends and Family for the next post in the DIY Gift Guide series, so stay tuned :)

10.23.2015

Easy Swaddle Blanket DIY

*This post originally appeared on Totally Stitchin'*

It has been baby girl central in my world lately, and I couldn't be happier and more excited to sew all of the cute pink things! I've been working on bow holders, and now I'm onto swaddle blankets. Keep reading for a super easy, beginner-friendly DIY swaddle blanket tutorial!

Totally Stitchin': Easy DIY Swaddle Blankets

 For one swaddle blanket, you'll need:
  • 1 yard flannel or double gauze/swaddle cloth
  • Serger
  • 3 cones serger thread
  • Embroidery machine, design, thread, and stabilizer (optional)
  • General sewing supplies

ONE: Prep your fabric for sewing. 


Pre-wash your fabric, preferably with fragrance- and dye-free detergent. Once washed and dried, cut your flannel or double gauze to 36" square. This will be a decent sized swaddle blanket, but if you want a bigger square, purchase 1 1/3 yard of fabric and cut to 44" square.


TWO (OPTIONAL): Add embroidery to your blanket.



Totally Stitchin': Easy DIY Swaddle Blankets

So far, I've made two sets of swaddle blankets and used different types of embroidery for each. For the first set, I added a monogram that I created in EmbroideryWorks.

Totally Stitchin': Easy DIY Swaddle Blankets

For the second set, I used this sweet embroidery design. I used my go-to Ultra Soft Fusible Stabilizer from Baby Lock for both the monogram and embroidery design.

THREE: Get your serger ready for sewing. 


For a rolled hem finish, set your serger up for a 3-thread narrow rolled edge with a length of 0.75-1 and a width of 3.5. Thread your serger with the thread color of your choice.

 Each set of swaddle blankets featured slightly different colors in each set. Because of this, I used white thread for one set and light pink for the other. If you haven't experienced the awesome-ness that is Jet-Air or ExtraordinAir threading on Baby Lock sergers, I highly recommend taking one for a test drive! Since it's so easy to thread a Baby Lock serger, it wasn't an issue at all switching thread colors.

 To finish the swaddle blanket, simply run each side through your serger, encasing the raw edge within the rolled hem.
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Now that you've made one swaddle blanket, it won't take you any time at all to make a couple more. For gift giving, roll each one up to create a little bundle and tie with twine or ribbon. With just a little bit of effort, you've created a special, handmade gift that will be treasured for years to come!


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10.15.2015

11 Must-Have Sewing Supplies

*This post originally appeared on Totally Stitchin'.*

New to sewing and unsure what you need to stock your sewing space with? Well, keep reading for a list of my must-have sewing supplies that will get you going on your sewing journey. Every sew-er has their specific preferences when it comes to sewing necessities, but today I'm sharing my oft-used and favorite sewing supplies!
Totally Stitchin': 10 Must Have Sewing Supplies
Keeping all of these things on hand makes it easy for me to work on whatever project happens to be on my sewing table. Not only does this prevent me from having to run to the store before every project, it also ensures that I'm using the appropriate tools when I'm sewing. Using the appropriate tools prevents accidents and increases the chance for a successful sewing outcome!

Totally Stitchin': 10 Must Have Sewing Supplies

Variety of machine needles

It's important to change your needle regularly and use the appropriate type for the project you're working, i.e. an embroidery needle when doing embroidery, etc.

Totally Stitchin': 10 Must Have Sewing Supplies

Pins

I personally like to use flower head pins because they're cute, but as long as you have plenty of pins that's all that matters in my book. I like keeping two cushions full of pins, so if I have one project all pinned up, I can work on other projects too and still have plenty of pins to use.

Totally Stitchin': 10 Must Have Sewing Supplies

Wonder Clips

Similar to pins, I like having plenty of Wonder Clips around to use. These are great for using in place of pins on bulkier or tricky fabrics.

Totally Stitchin': 10 Must Have Sewing Supplies

Fabric scissors

I personally prefer Gingher shears in my sewing room. Find what you prefer and ONLY use them for fabric. This will help them stay sharper longer!

Totally Stitchin': 10 Must Have Sewing Supplies

Rotary cutter and mat

Yes, if you want to take up sewing as a hobby, then you'll probably want to have both fabric scissors AND a rotary cutter. I use my rotary cutter and mat for cutting larger amounts of fabric. This method will save time and increase accuracy!

Totally Stitchin': 10 Must Have Sewing Supplies

Clear Quilting Ruler

Now that you have your rotary cutter and mat, you'll also need a clear quilting ruler. There are all kinds of sizes of these rulers available, but I prefer the 6"x24" ruler.

Totally Stitchin': 10 Must Have Sewing Supplies

Steam iron

Ironing fabric and pressing seams make a huge difference in the look of the final product when you're done working on a project. Because of this, it's always a good idea to have a decent steam iron in your sewing space. I use an inexpensive iron that I picked up from Wal Mart awhile back, but when that one dies, I definitely plan on upgrading to an Oliso or Rowenta!

Totally Stitchin': 10 Must Have Sewing Supplies

Clover Hot Hemmer

I use this thing almost every time I sew. It makes folding and pressing seam allowances so much easier and definitely more accurate. It was a random find that I no longer can live without!

Totally Stitchin': 10 Must Have Sewing Supplies

Variety of Thread

If you're just starting out, you may only want to buy thread as you need it. But, when you sew more regularly, you'll probably want to have a stash of thread on hand to use for different projects. Start with all purpose machine thread, then add quilting, embroidery, and serger thread as needed.

Totally Stitchin': 10 Must Have Sewing Supplies

Extra bobbins

Save thread and time by having extra (empty) bobbins around. If you only keep a handful of bobbins, then you'll most likely finding yourself emptying a bobbin (wasting time and thread) to change it to another color.

Totally Stitchin': 10 Must Have Sewing Supplies

Seam Ripper

I love this particular seam ripper because it does double duty. First you use the seam ripper part (hidden under the cap in the photo) to undo the stitches, then you use the rubber-like end to grab and remove the threads.

Other fun stuff that comes in handy

Basting Spray Ultra Soft Fusible Stabilizer Canned air (for cleaning your machine) Fabric marking pen Extra rotary blades Fray check Sewing Machine Screwdriver Set Pinking Shears
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10.08.2015

Pet Update

When we first brought JoJo home, I did regular posts on how things were going. Now that he's out of his puppy stage (THANK GOODNESS...so much pee and so many chewed on things), there's just not as much to share. But, since it's been awhile since I've shared about both JoJo and Shanny, I figured it'd be a good time to give a little update.

Shanny


A photo posted by Tori Thompson (@tori_m_thompson) on

Where do I even begin with my sweet girl? I've had her for a little over 5 years, and she's around 8 or 9 years old. She weighs about 17 pounds, so she's on the bigger side of the Miniature Schnauzer spectrum. She loves sitting in the window in our living room, watching over the neighborhood. I swear she was a cat in a previous life!


I'm starting to see some subtle differences in her that let me know that she's getting to be an older gal which of course makes me a little sad. But, she still holds her own with her bubba of a brother, so I know she's still in good health and will be around for awhile.

JoJo



He is the funniest, sweetest, craziest dog I've ever met. He has more energy than any of us know what to do with, but he is also the cuddliest, sweetest baby there ever was. JoJo is a mama's boy and my little protector. He will be 2 in January and is 60 pounds of love.

A video posted by Tori Thompson (@tori_m_thompson) on

JoJo LOVES his Shanny Mae, and she does a good job of tolerating him. He helps keep her young and active, but she lets him know when she's had enough of his shenanigans. Another point of note about JoJo...he can jump SO HIGH, like a solid three feet straight up. He could jump up and head butt me if he wanted to...don't worry he doesn't :)

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Dogs (and cats too) are awesome, and I thoroughly believe that having a pet makes the world a brighter, happier place. I'm also a firm believer in adopting from a shelter and NOT going to a breeder. There are too many lovable pups that need homes that currently live in a shelter and not with a family.

So tell me, do you have a pet? What kind?


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10.01.2015

Quilted Hair Bow Holder

I mentioned in my last post that I wanted to share a couple project finishes with you, and this is the first one I had in mind. This one I'm pretty proud of, too. A little back story...

So, I've mentioned it before, but I work for a sewing machine company as a Digital Marketing Specialist. And, since I am also a sew-er, I get to contribute sewing projects here and there for use in different promotions, etc. A couple of my past projects can be seen here, here, and here.

My latest project was created as part of a blog hop featuring Amy Barickman's new fabric line, Vintage Made Modern. I designed and made a Quilted Hair Bow Holder with a few of the fabrics in the line, and I LOVE how it turned out.



Since I'm still not overly experienced when it comes to creating projects from scratch, I was a little nervous to submit the project. I crossed my fingers and hoped it would suffice and go over well. So far, the feedback has been great, and I am SO thankful for the opportunity to share my creativity and love for sewing with kindred spirits.

If you'd like to make your own Quilted Hair Bow Holder, find the project instructions here on the Indygo Junction blog.

Happy sewing!

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9.29.2015

7 Healthy Snack Ideas

Hello? Is anyone there? A lot has happened since we last spoke! I graduated with MBA, I visited my Dad in Florida (where my phone went swimming in the ocean...), stayed busy at work, and just enjoyed life in general.

There are a few things I will be sharing over the next few weeks, mainly sewing/DIY projects, but today I want to share a few healthy, Weight Watcher-friendly snack ideas.



1. One apple, sliced, and a sugar-free pudding pack (1 PointsPlus)

I like to get the chocolate/vanilla swirl kind and dip the apple slices in it. I will sometimes swap a banana for the apple and it's just as yummy. Good for dessert!

2. A peach and a cheese stick (2 PointsPlus)

I eat the Sargento Mozzarella/Cheddar blend cheese sticks.

3. One ounce roast beef and a slice of ultra thin cheddar cheese (2 PointsPlus)

Layer and roll for a quick and filling snack.

4. Slice of hearty whole grain bread, toasted and topped with a couple sprays of I Can't Believe It's Not Butter and 1 T of all fruit blackberry spread (3 PointsPlus)

I'll eat this for breakfast, too.

5. Two tablespoons Hummus and carrots/celery (1 PointsPlus)

Easy peasy on-the-go snack!

6. Unsweetened applesauce cup and a Jennie-O turkey hot dog (2 PointsPlus)

Weird combination, but I like the sweet and savory. It appeases my sweet tooth AND my craving for something salty. 

7. One tablespoon peanut butter and a banana (2 PointsPlus)

Classic and delicious.

Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
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I tend to want to keep my snacks under 3 points or so. But, I also like to have a few low-point ideas for the end of the day to use up any points I have left. So, these have been my go-to Weight Watchers snacks lately. 

What about you? What are your favorite healthy snacks?




5.26.2015

Take a Break Tuesday: Craft Stores on Instagram

I love any and all craft stores...Hobby Lobby, Michael's,  Jo-Ann, etc. Their respective Instagram accounts are equally as awesome. Here are a few of my favorites from their feeds:

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Need more of a break from the crazy? See more Take a Break Tuesday posts here.

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5.20.2015

Tooth Fairy Pillow Project

I've mentioned it in passing here and there, especially on Instagram, but I am diligently working behind the scenes on a few projects that I am able to talk more about around these parts.

The most exciting project is that I had another sewing tutorial published! My Tooth Fairy Patchwork Pillow project is a free tutorial on the Baby Lock website and was featured in their most recent enews. This particularly special because I came up with this cute project in honor of my niece losing her first tooth! This is the Tooth Fairy Pillow that I made for LJ...


I actually added a little bow after I took this picture before I gave it to my niece. I love the feminine touch of the eyelashes...it's all about the details for me.

Here's the Tooth Fairy Pillow featured in the tutorial for Baby Lock:


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A few other projects I'm working on...

I am SO close to getting my craft studio finished! I've tweaked the layout of the space and am finally happy with how it looks and functions. The last few things I'm working on are going through boxes and getting rid of stuff, organizing the items that don't have a home, and decorating the space. I love my craft studio so much it's ridiculous. Sometimes, I just go in there and sit. It just makes me happy. 


Also, I bought a tabletop photo tent that came with an iPhone tripod, lights, and interchangeable backdrops. I've only used it once so far, but I love it and think it will come in very handy!

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