The Holiday After Groundhog Day

I think we all know what’s coming up, that holiday all about love. It seems like every year there is always some controversy and about Valentine’s Day. I’ve heard people who are single saying they feel left out and people in relationships say things like, “We should celebrate love every day!”

While I don’t disagree with celebrating love every day, I also think we should be thankful every day, but no one seems to have an issue with Thanksgiving. We should probably be doing a lot more things every day. And while I’m not against Valentine’s Day I don’t do anything huge to celebrate either. Last year David make a special breakfast before work, and in the evening I made a nicer-ish dinner. I used my pink and red fiesta-ware plates and we called it a day. Before David and I were dating my mom took pretty good care of me with care packages in college and a little gift in the morning growing up. So, my Valentine’s experiences haven’t been rough.

I’ve enjoyed looking through some of the funny Valentine’s Cards that Etsy has and I’m sure you’ll find them funny no matter which side you fall on the debate.

Funny Valentine Card - Valentine's Day Card - I Still Love You

From Roo and Bear

Discount Chocolate Day Anti Valentines Day Card with Envelope blank inside

From Buck and Libby

If you are into gifting for Valentine’s Day or you just want to treat yourself to something special, check out this wristlet from Bobbin and Co. 

Red Wristlet with Music and Swirls- Clutch/Wallet/Zipper Closure

The red swirls make a bright, pretty outside

And there is a music-note inside. And a bonus- if you give this to a music lover, they can play the music inside. Ha!

I first made a set of these wristlets for my friend Gina’s wedding (take a look at her brand new blog Mrs. Dessert Monster). I had a little leftover fabric when I was finished with her order, and was happy to put a few extra together for the shop.

Happy Friday, Happy Valentine’s Day next week, or Happy Anti-Valentine’s. What are your thoughts? Love the holiday or love? Hate it? No real opinion? Let me know in the comments.

Thank you, Heifer Donation, and Goals

Hey Readers, what’s going on?

My blog has gotten a little dusty as of late, and it is high time that I check in again.

First things first: A big thank you to everyone who supported Bobbin and Co. over the Christmas season. Whether you purchased an item or told me something in the shop was cute, I appreciate you. I was kept busy in December packaging orders and making runs to the post office several days a week, I loved it!

In addition to a good number of sales during the season I was also doing a Heifer International promotion. 15% of the retail value of all of my November and December sales went towards Heifer International. I spent one summer in college volunteering with Heifer International, and agriculture development projects are near and dear to my heart.

I’m pleased to say, that thanks to you, the shop raised $100 to donate. We were just shy of the amount needed for a goat donation, but we were able to purchase the gift of rabbits, honeybees, and 1 share of a goat.

together we have power overpoverty

Photo courtesy of Heifer International

And now we’re on to another new year. I’m not one to set a lot of resolutions per se, but I am big into setting goals and working for them. I suppose its almost the same thing, I just prefer the word goal to resolution.

I’ve got some goals and ideas for the shop and I would love to hear your input.

1. Develop at least 3 new items. Some ideas floating around my head right now are: a large weekender style bag, a new men’s item (grilling apron?), and something else that uses bright, pretty fabrics.

2. Restock my shop. I’m out of the mini-makeup bags and a few of the men’s bag colors. I want to re-up the full inventory, and add lots of different color and pattern options for my existing items.

3. Participate in a craft show. I think I’d like to do this around the 2015 holiday season, I will spend time looking through the options around here and then decide if it is feasible for me.

What are some other goals that you have for 2015? Is there anything you would like to see from Bobbin and Co. this year?

Not the happiest books

It’s book review time again with Modern Mrs. Darcy’s Twitterature Linkup.

Lately I’ve been reading more avidly than before. Hence the slower rate of blog posts, less clean home, etc. I’m going through some long ones, so I feel like I should have more to “show” for my reading time, but alas, I’ll just have to look at word counts to feel like an adequate reader.

I finally made it through A Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin. The depth and level of detail is pretty amazing and I’m hooked into the story. Only semi-complaint, these books are LONG. I was reading the book on my nook and wondering why I was being such a slow reader, then I saw a hard copy of A Clash of Kings at the bookstore and understood that it was much lengthier than my nook would have led me to believe. There were more differences between the book and show for this volume and it was fun to make comparisons as I read. Since I read two books in this series in a row I’m now going on a bit of a break to squeeze a few short novels in between.

Next on the list is Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. I had heard good things about this book, and it’s petty new so I was excited to be on the front end of reading it. I had heard that, yes it’s another post-apocalyptic story but you won’t want to miss this one. I did enjoy that this was a story in the post-apocalyptic genre that was for adults, it’s filled with Shakespeare, and Star Trek references, and it did a good job going back and forth between time before the deadly virus hit and the years following. While I appreciated the different points in time and eventually seeing the stories connect, there was a little too much back and forth that I didn’t quite feel like I spent enough time with any of the characters to fully appreciate them.

In progress: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, The Stand, and The Secret Keeper.

I’ve also got a huge library stack that I’ll never get through. Has anyone read The Queen of the Tearling? The library copy had a beautiful spine and a ribbon bookmark that pulled me in. I’m trying to decide if I should make that one a priority in my tall stack of books.

What I’m into

Linking up for the first time with Leigh Kramer’s What I’m Into series

Running: I’m training for a 5k and each week my runs get a little longer. I’m one of those people who feels like they are being tortured during the actual run, but at the end there is a huge feeling of accomplishment. Which brings me to my next point…

Dry Shampoo: Still trying to form opinions about this one. Last time I got my haircut I was told I should wash my hair less often. As someone who works out 4-5 times a week this isn’t exactly an option. She suggested a dry shampoo for workout days that weren’t quite as strenuous. I have mixed feelings.

Fabric: I’m addicted and want to buy more. I’ve told myself that I’ve already purchased everything I’ll use for items to be sold around Christmas, but when I get a positive response about items I’m planning it’s hard to not buy more to prepare.

English Muffins: Breakfast of choice for the last two weeks.

TV: Walking Dead Season 4 and the Final Season of How I Met Your Mother are finally on Netflix. Yes, I’m a season behind. No, don’t tell me what happened.

College Football: Still cheering for the Hokies, but since Texas A&M and University of Florida are also on my radar, so far at least one of my teams wins every weekend. We’ve also had a standing date to watch football with friends most Saturdays, and that has been fun to look forward to.

Knitting (a little): In college I knit a ton. Then I moved to Texas, then Florida. Knitting is not quite so appealing in warmer weather so my needles have been on a break. I’m working on a little infinity scarf that I’ll probably add to the shop when I finish. This won’t be a regular shop item, but it’s been fun to pick up the yarn again.

Following directions: My food processor bowl has a Max Liquid Fill line. I ignored this over the weekend to my detriment. Never again will I blow off suggestions from my kitchen appliances.

4 Ways to Gift the Mini-Makeup Bag

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The more of these mini-makeup pouches I make the more I am loving them.

Initially, these pouches seemed like a perfect complementary item for my larger makeup bags. They are a simple one layer that matches the inner oilcloth of their larger counterparts and they are great for organizing a few smaller items within the bigger bag.

However, the more I look at these bags, the more I realize that they really can stand on their own.

The tiny bags are perfect for gifting, here are a few of my ideas:

 

The Traveler

For your favorite lady always ready to trot around the globe, think about gifting some travel sized items in this bag. You really can get travel sized shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, a little bar of soap, and maybe even a travel toothbrush inside.

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A Quick Thank-You

When you want to show a little appreciation for someone who helped you with a special favor, fill this bag with a few small pieces of their favorite chocolate or a selection of tea and add a little note expressing your thanks.

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Teacher 

Fill the bag with post-its, funny paper clips, or some mini-highlighters as a holiday gift for your child’s favorite teacher.

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Gift Card Holder

These bags are the ideal size for a holding a gift card. Pair it with a small bottle of nail polish, a little necklace, or whatever little touch your friend might enjoy.

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What else would you put in these cute little bags?

Etsy Favorites: Harry Potter Style

Over the last year I’ve been listening to the Harry Potter books on audio. I’ve read all of the books multiple times, but this is my first time listening my way through the series.

To say that I love this series is an understatement.

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Throwback to the midnight release at Barnes and Noble when I got the 7th book.

Anyway, I’m currently listening to the last book in the series and I’m on a bit of a Harry Potter kick. Here are a few of my favorite Harry Potter items I’ve found on Etsy:

 

Flying Snitch Locket, Shiny Gold with Silver Wings

There are a lot of Golden Snitch jewelry options out there, but I like this locket option from Pretty Little Charms UK the best. You’ll find other items for your favorite fiction series at this shop too.

 

 

I’m loving the creative take of the Harry Potter vintage travel poster from 716 designs. Now, to convince my husband that we need to have a Harry Potter themed home.

 

 

Harry Potter Bracelet - When in Doubt Go To the Library - Hermione Bracelet - Hand Stamped Cuff Bracelet

This “When in doubt, go to the library” bracelet from Spiffing Jewelry says it all.

 

Harry Potter Necklace Harry Potter Quote Necklace Harry Potter Jewelry Hogwarts Necklace Hogwarts Jewelry Book Quote Necklace Quote Jewelry

What I love about this necklace is that at first glance it could pull off as a cute little piece that would stand on it’s own, but upon closer inspection you get the “Wingardium Leviosa” spell and a happy connection with Potter fans everywhere. Find other elegant pieces from Dreams by the Sea.

 

 

Dumbledore 'One can never have enough socks.' Harry Potter Necklace, Harry Potter Jewelry

Socks are my favorite article of clothing (even though I don’t get to wear them as much as I want living in Florida) and I couldn’t agree more with Dumbledore’s statement. Find this necklace and similar others at Beneath Glass.

I’m only reading long books

This month seems to be the month of in-progress books and only the long ones.

Right after the last Twitterature with Modern Mrs. Darcy I finished A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin and then followed it up immediately with starting the next book in the series: A Clash of Kings. I’m not quite halfway through. I’m certainly liking this series, it just takes a while to read.

In more exciting news, I figured out how to read while running on the treadmill. While reading through this series I’ve set my nook to a gigantic font while running and it has revolutionized treadmill time. The nook covers up that annoying circle that tells you how far you’ve gone in a quarter mile. Still working out how to read (without an audio book) while running outside.

Continuing with the long book trend, I’m listening to The Stand by Stephen King, it’s a story about a killer virus and all the events that follow. I’m doing a combination of audio and reading the hard copy for this one, mostly audio. Unfortunately it was due at the library and someone else had a hold on it. Alas. It would seem that this particular book will be a longer term project because it will certainly take a few library checkouts before I can finish it. Can’t wait for my hold to come up again!

In between listening to to The Stand I’ve got Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling going on an audio book as well. Harry Potter (like the rest of the world) is one of my top favorite book loves. In middle and high school I read all of the books multiple times. As in- I have passages memorized, I know I’ve read the 4th one over 10 times. BUT- I have only read book 7 once (probably since it came out right before I started college), so listening again is fun since I can’t remember every single detail as well as I do with the other books in the series. Listening to this while sewing Etsy items makes time fly.

And finally the last book I’m working through is The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman. It fits with my accidental WWII reading theme for the year. This one is super short compared to the rest of the books in this post, but I’m going through it slowly. I need to have it finished for book club by next week! Looks like I’ll have to put down my fiction for a few days to finish.

Happy reading!

 

A few essentials for the newly sewing inclined

Earlier this year I made my first quilt, it was for a friend who was expecting a baby. Since precision is critical in sewing projects, there were a few new tools I needed to make the quilt. Before I actually bought the rotary cutter that was needed I was having this inner struggle. I’ve fallen down the crafty slippery slope more than once, and I did not want to buy something that would rarely be used.

I am happy to report that the rotary cutter, mat, and ruler I purchased for that particular project are used several times a week these days. At the time, I would have appreciated a list of the top items regularly used for sewing so I could figure out exactly what I would need without going overboard and buying every accessory and gadget in sight.

To help the newbie seamstress wondering what tools you will need to get by, I’ve compiled a list of my sewing essentials.

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Sewing Machine

First, and most obviously. If you aren’t ready to make the investment in a new sewing machine try out a project or two using a friend’s to see if it’s something you’d like to continue with. I’ve even heard that people have snagged a good machine at thrift stores.

 

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Scissors

Get a small and large pair. Make sure you specifically get fabric scissors, and never use them on paper (it will dull the blade). The large scissors will cut fabric and the small ones are good for cutting those tiny threads. Cute scissor case made my your mother: optional.

 

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Bobbins

You will be surprised how quickly these fill up with different colored thread once you have made a few projects, so go ahead and get a big set of empty ones. My tip: For a color you will use a lot, fill up 3-4 bobbins of that color at a time, this will make things go faster when you are at the machine.

 

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Bonus Essential: Rotary cutter with mat and ruler

I’m listing this one as essential because I use the rotary cutter almost as often as the sewing machine itself. You can tell I’m in full working mode when the sewing machine, ironing board, and cutting mat are all sitting out.

The rotary cutter and mat are essential if you want to quilt, need perfectly measured pieces, or need a clean cut. BUT there are still plenty of projects like curtains, aprons, and some bags that will be fine with just cuts from scissors. Try a few simple projects before you buy the rotary cutter, but if it’s a hobby you would like to further pursue, these tools are definitely worth it.

 

Whether sewing, knitting, or anything else crafty, what is the one tool you can’t do without?

Making the most of the weekend

Last weekend I traveled as far south as you can go in the states.

That’s right, I made it out to Key West.

David and I finally took advantage of the fact that we live within driving distance of the Keys and spent a fairly spontaneous weekend on the very edge of Florida.

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We didn’t actually stay over night on Key West, there was a cute Bed and Breakfast (that I would highly recommend) on Big Pine Key, about 45 minutes from our final destination. The B&B included bikes to get around the island, a small spot on the beach with lounge chairs and a hammock, and use of a glass bottom kayak. Not  bad at all!

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We spent all of last Saturday on Key West itself.

There are certainly an abundance of attractions and sights on Key West, but the cost can add up quickly so we prioritized a visit to:

The Hemmingway House (and the 6 toed cats that live there)

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and Truman’s Little White House. (No pictures allowed).

Aside from indulging in some delicious conch fritters and sampling Key Lime pie we stick to some of the free things to do.

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Like a visit to the Key West Cemetery complete with this gem:

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We also stopped by mile marker 0 on US 1 and the official southern-most point of the states.

On Sunday we took advantage of the glass bottom kayak and paddled around Big Pine Key, and I had a Snow White moment with one of the adorable Key Deer.

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All in all the weekend was an absolutely lovely break from normal routine. We are already planning a camping trip down that way when the weather gets cooler.

 

Favorites on Etsy

Here is a little collection of a few of my favorite things I’ve found on Etsy lately.

From Bindhi and Brutus

Tiny Gold Farfelle Pasta Pendant Necklace on Delicate 14-16" Gold Filled Chain - Gift for Her, Valentine, Just Because

How could you not smile at this pasta necklace?

They also have a beautiful collection of scarves. This pink one caught my eye.

From Marolsha:

Bakers Necklace. Measuring Spoon, Silver Miniature Baking Tray Muffin Necklace. Gifts for Chef. Little Baker. Cupcake Lover. Mother Day Gift

Apparently I’m really into food necklaces right now. This baking one is too perfect.

And finally, from 716Designs:

20% Off SALE Lord of The Rings Inspired Hobbit Diet Typography Poster, Lord of the Rings Wall Art, Modern Home Decor, Wall Art

This word art outlining a hobbit’s meal plan would be an ideal kitchen decoration.