Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Getting Ready. {Shop Re-Launch}

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Just a quick little post to let you know I'm working on some behind-the-scenes stitching at SoChick, and will be re-launching the embroidery shop very soon... how soon?  In time for the holidays!

XxOo~ Melissa

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A Nut-Free Dip Recipe {School Lunch v.1}

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I enjoy packing school lunches for my girls every day... of course, this is mostly only enjoyable when I have planned the week's menu, which I normally do, and don't have to put much thought into lunches the morning of.  An hour spent menu-planning on the weekend is totally worth it come 6:30am on any given weekday. *wink*

Here's a peek at some lunches I've packed recently:

Today it was Sunbutter & Jelly for the little chick (bottom) and Sunbutter & Honey for my 5th Grader, both on whole wheat bread; Carrots, apples, Rold Gold Pretzles (they are nut-free), and a Cocoa Crispy Treat.  I put wax paper around the sandwiches to keep the insides from coming out and so that the bread doesn't get soggy from the fruits/veggies.

 This lunch included whole wheat waffles, that I had made over the weekend with my new waffle iron (which i love and can't figure out why it took so long for me to buy one!), Apples, Cukes, Strawberry & Kiwi mix and Sunbutter Dip (See below for recipe).

My youngest chickie goes to a nut-free school, so to make things easier, I just leave nuts out of both lunches and also don't include nuts in our breakfast so as to avoid cross-contamination.  Some students have very severe allergies and I like to do my best to avoid anything that may affect them.

Sunbutter Dip:
This can be made with peanut butter as well.  It's super delicious with graham crackers, apples, waffles, etc.

1/3 c. Plain Greek Yogurt
1 Tbsp Sunbutter (or Peanut Butter if you're not nut-free)
1 Tbsp Honey
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon

Mix all ingredients together and refrigerate unused dip.  Enjoy!

XxOo~ Melissa

Monday, October 14, 2013

Embroidery and Zombies, Boo! {Handmade Halloween Fun}

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Here's a quick post to show you the fun designs I've been stitching...

I found this I Heart Zombies design and knew my 5th grader would love it, so here's a shirt I stitched up for Halloween:

I also have a friend who is a huge fan of The Walking Dead, so you know I needed... NEEDED... to make a shirt for her...

And finally, because Zombies and human hearts may be a bit much for my 4yr old's Pre-K class, I stitched up a cute "BOO" Halloween shirt for her...

I'm having so much fun; machine embroidery has always been a favorite and I love finding such awesome designs!

XxOo~ Melissa

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Sew-Easy Criss-Cross Coaster Tutorial {Halloween Edition}

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Here's a sewing project that you can find all over a Google Search for "Easy Coasters to Sew" and "Coaster Sewing Pattern (or tutorial)".   My Mother-In-Law has a set in her living room, which were gifted to her, which led me on my search in the first place; accompanied by the actual need for coasters in our living room.  Once I made a set for myself, I felt the urge to make a set for Halloween... after all, it is Halloween Season, right?!

Each tutorial I came across had slight variations for using an interlining on the bottom fabric piece of the coaster.  Some chose batting; others used fusible web.   For my first set, I decided to forgo both, using only my fabric layers.  So far, they have done an awesome job of catching condensation from our glasses of ice water (my youngest daughter being the ultimate tester as she always has a glass of ice water which leaves puddles of condensation on my tables; these coasters have eliminated that completely).

I decided, though, that I like the cushy feel of the coasters when they do have some sort of interlining, so I decided to make the Halloween Edition with fusible fleece.

Anyway, here you go:

Sew-Easy Criss-Cross Coaster Tutorial {Halloween Edition}:

Materials Needed for one coaster:

- Six 4.5 in or 5 in charms of the fabric prints of your choosing.

(I cut 4.5 in squares from my spooky fabrics, also, I only had 5 spooky prints on hand, so I doubled up on two prints)
- Fusible Fleece cut into four 4in squares
- Thread

Planning to make a set of Four Coasters to gift?  You will need to cut four squares from he six prints you plan to use, for a total of 24 squares, plus four Fusible Fleece Squares.


Fold four of the six squares in half, pressing the fold.  

Decide which of the remaining squares will be the base square of your coaster, and which will be the lining square (and probably not visible).  Iron your fusible fleece to the wrong side of your base square. 

Stack your base and lining squares with wrong sides together with your base piece (with fleece) on top.

Next, place your first folded piece onto the base fabric, lining up raw edges and being sure that the fold is towards the middle. 

Continue with the next three pieces, stacking and aligning each with the fold to the center and the raw edges lined up with your base piece.

With the final folded piece, you will lift up the edge of the fist folded piece and put the last folded piece beneath it... like so:

Make sure all of the raw edges of your stack are aligned; I then went ahead and placed a pin on each of the sides where the folded pieces overlapped, just to keep things from shifting.

Now, sew around your stack, using a 1/4 in seam allowance.  You will sew all the way around the stack.  

Next, clip your corners (be careful not to snip the stitches)... 

...and turn your coaster right-side-out through the center of the folded pieces.  

Poke out your corners with the tool of your choice (I use a mechanical pencil); finish with a good pressing and, Voila, you've made a coaster! 

 Now, go ahead and make three more for a complete set!

I gifted this set to my friend Andrea, of Keepin' It Thrifty, along with this personalized mug rug that I stitched and machine embroidered...

What a festive way to enjoy your coffee or beverage of choice, don't you think?! 

Happy {Halloween} Sewing!

XxOo~ Melissa

Friday, October 4, 2013

{Friday} On My Mind.

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I see a red tree out my kitchen window... this is the first time in a long time that I can recall seeing the leaves change and I love it. 

So, I was checking out my blog stats and posts the other day and realized a few things:

- We have lived in Western North Carolina for 6 months now, four of which in our new home... time is flying by.

- While time has been flying by, I've posted six times on my blog since moving into our new home... what the heck!?

- In the midst of "Settling" into our new place, new routines, new everything.. I've totally let my blog and passion slide, almost to the point of calling it quits.  Gasp! I know, right?!

Lets talk about that last part...

Excuses, Excuses... that's what I've been feeding myself the past few months whenever I've had some brilliant topic to blog about.  I've also convinced myself that no one wants to see my recipes or know about any of the Mommy stuff that I do, like packing lunches, home DIY projects, etc... because this is a sewing blog and all of a sudden anything that isn't sewing related isn't "good enough".  What is the deal?!  

I'm also going to confess that I now know first hand that comparison is the thief of joy... like all of those Pinterest pins have told me.  When I'm not blogging I'm looking at everyone else's fabulous life via their blogs and Instagram and freaking Pinterest.  Which I love, by the way... have you seen my recipe board? I'm on it daily, no joke.

Today I stop.  Today I begin again.

I really freaking love where I'm at and what I do.  I really want to share that with you, and while I have big HUGE dreams for my business and were I would like it to be one day, I'm going to embrace where I am now.  Right now.

I love being a Mother to my daughters, I love being a wife and friend to my husband, and I love selling fabric, sewing, learning, creating, and everything that SoChick! is all about.  So, I'm embracing my life as it is, bigger things will come for SoChick! in due time, but for now I'm happy with where my focus is, and finding that happiness and balance again has reignited my passion.  Not to mention, I am so ready to get back to connecting with all of the awesome people I have met through blogging... have y'all noticed how slack I've been in most social media platforms?! I miss you guys.. uh, gals.. and guys?

No more excuses.  Just doing, living and loving.

Whats on your mind this Friday?

XxOo~ Melissa
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