Week 4 of 52: Fish

We’ve been treated to a number of bugs this past week and as a result the crafting phenomenon of my life has largely remained untouched.

In the past two days nearly two feet of snow has fallen and the banks keep piling up, feeling like the walls are really closing in.

Anyways onto Week 4 of my 52 week project. This week my theme was fish. I’ve seen this drawstring fish bag on Pinterest that I’ve wanted to try for some time. And now it finally happened!

The fabric I used were just pieces from my bins. The outside is a small blue and white checker cotton, the eye and mouth piece are a black denim. I lined it with white cotton and the drawstrings are from a grey knit.

I drew the pattern myself and the only thing I will change about the next bag is to move the eye back towards the tail a tad.

It would be fun to make a few in bright colors and some funky patterns. Do you have any recommendations for some fabric?

Most importantly it’s kid approved!

This summer I am revamping my trailer so that I can sell souvenirs to the tourist that frequent our town (more on this later). I have been making some keychains and decided to make up some fish ones since they are such a big part of Alaska. I hand drew patterns and cut these from leather scraps. I then used modge-podge to put them together and painted unique designs on them with white chalk paint.

Although I haven’t always been able to complete each project within a weeks time I have really been enjoying this 52 week thing.

Stay tuned for next week and all the others to follow.

Week 3 of 52: Blue

This week has been a little hectic as I’m getting a little cabin fever and signing on to do another project. Together with one of my friends we have decided to do a booth at a local craft fair in April. All of these projects feel like a good way to keep my brain working creatively as well as providing a good outlet for cabin fever.

For the theme I decided to try out a few different crafts. First I completed this set of three drawstring bags that I have had cut out forever! These bags would hold soap, hair accessories and be a great way to organize if you are traveling.

The next item I made were these tye-dye scrunchies. Confession: I’ve never been a scrunchie person, I’ve thought they look ugly. But the only scrunchies they made that I remember where ugly ones back in the late 90s or something. Anyways I tried one and I love how they feel in my hair and that it doesn’t feel like it’s pulling the hair out of my scalp. Cause let’s face it I got a lot going on and my husband totally rocks the non-existent hair deal and I don’t want to compete with that. A few of these are available for sale in my Etsy shop here.

The last item I made, well making, are these little mountain bracelets. They are made from real blue leather and topped with a little white chalk paint I have yet to finish them because I need to get to the store to grab some clasps.

Anyone else doing a 52 week project?

Week two: Leather Scalloped Clutch

The funnest part about doing a 52 week project is putting projects on there that have been pinned on your Pinterest boards for years or months.

Once when scrolling thru Pinterest I came upon a small clutch or coin purse with what looked like to be leather scallops and thought it would be a wonderful way to use up my small leather scraps. I can no longer find that pin, so I can’t show you the original inspiration.

The size of the clutch is,(inchesxinches) and is made from green suede. Suede can be tough to sew with as it moves around more than leather does. I lined it with white cotton. All of the leather used for the scallops are cut from leather jackets that were picked up at thrift stores for $5-$10 a piece.

This was a challenging and fun project for week two. I am thinking about making another one up to put for sale in my Etsy shop, what do you think?

Week one: Baby Details

I have never done a 365 day or 52 week project despite thinking the idea was pretty neat. Now with a growing Pinterest page and pins that never seem to happen I decided to embark on a 52 week project to get al those projects done that I have thought about for so long.

I drew up my list for every week, drawing some ideas from Pinterest and others from life. I put in a mixture of activities, themes, colors and objects.

For the first week I chose baby details. All those precious little features on babies that seem to grow out way to fast. On our littles ones it’s a button nose, wrinkled knees and long toes.

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I put together a few collages in hopes that one day I will blow them up into 16×20 prints

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to hang in my nursery that I currently do not have 😝.

Plans for Oliver’s Meadow

Plans for Oliver’s Meadow

Unfortunately we did not meet our goal for our Kickstarter Campaign to fund the remaining of the illustrations process for our children’s book. However, we still believe in our project and are still passionate about getting it from words in a notebook to an 8×10 hardcover book that you can read to your children in your home.

We will still self publish through Ingram Sparks and our goal is for every three books sold we will donate a book to a parent who has lost a baby or infant in hopes that they would find comfort in our story. 

We also would like to spread awareness and donate copies of the book to hospitals for them to put in care packages that they gift to families who have experienced loss.

We will continue to post on our Instagram and Facebook pages and will update you all with the date of our intended release for the book, so stay tuned.

Lastly, I would like to thank all of you who pledged to our campaign, shared our story and believed in our project, it really means the world to us and it is amazing to see how far a project can go with help and support from others.

Hope you all had a beautiful, magical holiday season and remembered those who have angels up in heaven. 

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Much love,

The Haatajas

Oliver’s Meadow: Edited

My children’s book, Oliver’s Meadow has been sent out and edited.

This is an exciting step to have completed, along with the hope of launching our Kickstarter Campaign this coming week. With the money raised from our campaign we will be able to fund the rest of the illustrating and design work and to get it listed on IngramSpark for printing.

This is the cover of our book, a beautiful watercolor done by a very talented artist, Hannah Bradford based out of Utah. She has been a gift to work with and through her work my vision for this story is taking shape.

Stay tuned for more details on our campaign!

Small Business Spotlight: Stitches by Giddy

Location: Etsy (Since 2016), based out of Longview, Washington. Visit her shop here.

Product: Wide array of pillowcases, headbands and baby items.

Time: Is 3-5 days

For her Instagram page, click here.

We got three hats made by StitchesbyGiddy in the mail. I requested matching ones for the twins, black with a white stripe and a solid black one for our big boy. I usually pick neutrals as it gives you so many options with different outfits. Our big boy LOVED his hat, begging me to put it back on if it fell off.

The hats were not too heavy, could be worn around the house and especially nice for weather like this, the coming of winter.

Pros:

-These hats are amazingly soft, so beautifully gentle for babies heads.

-There are light and thin, perfect to wear on a semi-warm fall day, but also could be worn underneath a warmer hat.

-The fabric is light and airy, so it does not create a mark on the babies head.

-Can be folded up small to fit in a small pocket, or tucked into a smaller space.

-VERY reasonably priced.

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Cons:

-The material does slip down a little (the size may of been a little large) causing a slight (YIKES) panic attack on the twins as they do not like anything covering their eyes.

We were really impressed with the softness and light feeling of the GiddyBands. They would make a perfect stocking stuffer or gift.

Sidenote: Would you like to send a product for a review? Email me at lhaataja10@gmail.com.

Small Business Spotlight: KTJBABY

Location: Etsy (Since 2012), based out of Buffalo, New York. Visit her shop here.

Product: Organic bibs, burp cloths and vegan teethers

Time: Is 3-5 days

For her Instagram page, click here.

For her Facebook page, click here.

My latest battle with my 21 month old son is mealtime, Getting him to eat is not the issue, getting him to eat and not having him wear another set of dinner is. It gets in his hair, all over his shirt and pants and in the end it would have been better to just have “clothes are optional” all day. With three clothes changes every day, the laundry piles up so high, it may need to get hired out.

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And then this wonderful event occurred, the owner of KTJBaby, an Etsy shop contacted me to conduct a product review on her AMAZING bibs. She sent a baby bib for my oldest and two bandana bibs for the twins. I even got the pick out the colors of my bibs, olive green, grey and white with black raindrops on. I like to pick out colors that seem to go with everything, but it was hard to pick as there are many fun prints.

Pros:

-These bibs are made from organic, high quality cotton terry cloth.

-The baby bibs are BIG, which I love because they catch so much more food than smaller bibs. Theres nothing like putting on a bib and the shirt getting dirty anyways because the bib is too small.

-The solid colors are so vibrant and the patterns are modern/minimalistic.

-The snaps are plastic, and they are very easy to open and close. Sometimes I have had clothing or bibs that have snaps that are hard to open, but you won’t find that with these.

-Price is reasonable at $10 a bib.

 

Cons:

-My boys have big cheeks and hardly no necks so the bibs fit them a little snuggly with little extra room. They are 2.5 months so I think as they get older they may fit a little better.

-Since the bibs are thick they could tend to get warm (mostly in the summer months), however if using them for eating, as opposed to babies spitting up this seems irrelevant as a baby or toddler would wear them for a short period time.

But, overall my boys and I are extremely impressed with the bibs, the colors are awesome, as well as the size. If you are looking for a good gift or for your own children, I would highly recommend them.

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Sidenote: Would you like to send a product for a review? Email me at lhaataja10@gmail.com.

Small Business Spotlight: Artifact Uprising

 

I take so many pictures in a year and so many times they just end up going on my external hard-drive (yes I have crashed a computer because I did not back up all these photos and learned my lesson). I decided that I wanted to print them or at least have a hard copy so that I don’t have to look at them on the computer.

 

I created a yearbook on November and December of 2015 and the year of 2016. I wanted to print photos that share our life and different adventures we have had throughout the year. On a two page layout I used one page to journal a memory or write a letter to by family and on the other page photos.

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I went with a linen hard-cover book with the half-page dusk jacket (there is an option for a full page). The color I chose is a grey color. The smaller book choice has 52 pages which is what I went with.

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Pros:

-The linen hardcover is absolutely beautiful and it looks amazing sitting on the shelf. It has a much better look than a photo hardcover.

-The size of the book enables you to see photos even if they seem small when you are making it. This also lets you pick a smaller font size so that you can write more.

-The coloring of the photos seems to represent the true color as though they were in a regular printed form.

-Artifact Uprising periodically has sales and so I had my book done and shortly after the first of the year they sent out a 10% off coupon which I used. I think with shipping I paid right around $70. This may seem high for one book, but $70 for an entire year’s worth of photos is pretty cheap!

-Artifact Uprising is a small business based out of Colorado so you are supporting small, always a bonus!

 

Cons:

-The layout options for the book give 4 photos per page at most. In some of the pages I wished that there would have been more spots, say nine or even twelve so that more photos could fit on the page.

-You may fall in love and deplete your savings account to buy lots of photo books!

 

Overall I was extremely satisfied with Artifact Uprising and I am in the process of creating my yearbook for 2017. The only change I made was to upgrade it to 100 pages so that I could fit more photos and writing in this year.

Small Business Spotlight: BlankSpaceStudios

So, the new craze (well its kinda old now) seems to be Instagram. And further more finding brands on Instagram. I stumbled upon this brand a little while ago. I LOVE the freshness of it, because I feel like its the first of its kind. Anyway, the shop is on Etsy and its called BlankSpaceStudios. It sells one of a kind wood geometric boards and they are beautiful.

The owner of the shop, Krista Makela is really sweet and talented. She is committed to providing that unique art piece for the space you are trying to fill. She also is extremely generous, part of last year she gave away a percentage of her sales to her friend who’s baby was having medical issues that resulted in large hospital bills. It is always so AMAZING when small businesses give back, a true sign that they care about their customers and the community.

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Location: Etsy, based out of Austin, Texas. Click here to visit her shop.

Product: Geometric wood boards, one-of-a-kind. Also dabbling into making headboards.

Time: Shipping varies based on the product purchased

For her Instagram page, click here.

*If you become a follower of her Instagram account you will be kept up to date on all of her latest work as well as participate in her spontaneous giveaways she hosts.

Customized work? Yes she does, shoot her an email or message on Etsy.