Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Why I Tried Kreation Krate: A Review + Double Winner Giveaway


As I've mentioned before, I've been cutting back a bit with product reviewing & giveaways over here, but today's crafty item is something too good not to share.  It's really got something different that's worth telling you about.  TWO lucky readers will get their very own to try out too.  Read on and see what makes this crafty goody extra special!


Kreation Krate is a unique subscription box - it's not just craft projects/supplies in a box.  It combines learning a new craft with doing some kindness for someone else.  Each month, you receive a box filled with supplies to make 2 different crafts.  One is for yourself, and one is to create and gift to others as a random act of kindness.  This idea of of a craft box giving & encouraging kind acts really struck me as a departure from the usual me-centric kits out there, so I was all for trying this out.  


Our crate arrived like a lovely present - full of crafty goodies and two postcards explaining what projects were included.  Ours was the Paper Bag Scrapbook & Kind Cards for Hospitalized Kids:


There was a pretty large assortment of supplies provided: note cards & envelopes, scrapbook papers, a book of card stock prints, stick-on felt shapes, brads, adhesive photo squares, tacky glue, paper flowers and a bunch of paper bags.  Even after making our album and decorating the cards, there was a lot left to go into our craft supply stash.


The first project was a paper bag photo album.  Truthfully, I was a little skeptical about how it well would work.  I'm not much of a scrapper or paper crafter, so with my lack of skill & creativity in that department I was a little worried it wouldn't turn out looking too good.  I'm really glad it forced me a bit outside my crafting comfort zone because it ended up being cute and a fun mommy & me project to do with my daughter.  



Plus, I finally have an actual photo album of our last vacation instead of just another folder with unnamed files on my laptop!   A fun memory of us preserving more memories:)  


The bag openings cleverly work as portrait oriented photo pockets:



A decorative pull tab makes it easy to get them out without finger-printing them up in the process:


Here's my little lady hard at work with the glue.  Oh, how she loved helping with the gluing (and surprisingly didn't get it everywhere).
  

Being an impatient sort of person by nature, I really liked that you could get started crafting right away.  The project postcard had photos to show how to put things together, but there was also a handy video on the website for us visual learners.  It was quick to watch and didn't have annoying narration which was great (so many how-to videos out there are painfully long and over talked!). We got the idea of what to do and went for it in under 2 minutes.  The hardest part was waiting for the glue to dry after making the album so we could start adding the photos & embellishments.  A half hour in the sun on the front porch helped speed it up though.


The kindness gift project was to make homemade cards for hospitalized kids, as September was Childhood Cancer Awareness month.  It included info on places to send the cards and what kinds of messages to write to bring a smile to & share some hope with the recipients. My 5 year old kind of took charge of the card making (as in she wouldn't let me do much at all), but she did let me add a flower to one.  Her big brothers will get to do the writing inside & address them and we'll all mail them together.  It's feels good to spend some time turned away from our own personal preoccupations to bring a little unexpected happiness to someone else.


Subscriptions to Kreation Krate are $26 billed monthly, shipping is free, which is pretty reasonable considered how much stuff you get in each box.  And you can buy specific boxes individually if you just want to do a particular box.  Previous months boxes are available in their store for $31, as well as some of the individual Kind Crafts. 

I'm excited that Kreation Krate is coming out with a kid-version box for ages 4-12 as well. As much as I hate to admit it, I don't craft as much with my kids as I'd like.  Between homeschooling, making things for them and all their other activities - 4-H, swimming & the like - I tend to fall short on time to plan and put together projects for their skill level on a regular basis.  Getting a little help so we can have craft time together AND use it to spread some kindness to others is something I'd love to start.  I'll be looking forward to getting the Kreation Krate Kind Kids when it launches.


Kreation Krate is offering TWO Sew Can Do Readers a 
chance to win the Kreation Krate of their choice!


Which one would you pick?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck Everyone!


I received this Kreation Krate to review.  The opinions are completely my own, based on my honest experience with this item.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Craftastic Monday Link Party!


Can you believe October is just days away?  I sure can't.  Fall is the one season that always seems to be blink-and-you-miss-it fast around here.  I'm already knee deep in Halloween sewing and hope to have a few things to share soon.  Come share yours below!  

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Want some FREE advertising for your blog/shop?

After linking your latest project posts below, head over to the Sew Can Do Facebook page to join in the Craftastic Monday Mixer.  It's a way to let even more people see your site or its FB page and find some new sites you might love at the same time.


How It Works:
Instead of a specific post, share your blog, crafty shop or Facebook page link on the Sew Can Do FB page.  More exposure for your crafty site every week!  Click HERE to go link up now!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now let's see some Craftastic picks..

Vintage, Paint and More showed how to make this cute Fall wreath using paper leaves:


This Silly Girl's Life made these fun Frankenstein pops:


For a sugar-free "treat", Mon Petit Four shared a great tutorial for this sweet faux raspberry tart:


Etcetorize whipped up a sweet & sassy librarian dress with a vintage pattern:


Howling At The Moon made this neon, Ibiza-style, crochet bolster pillow:


If you're one of this week's features, be sure to grab my Featured On button over on my Buttons Page to share the good news.  

I also feature these projects on Sew Can Do's Craftastic Picks Pinterest board 
AND share each of them on Twitter too for even MORE exposure!

Follow me there to see more great projects (and see if yours is one of them)!   
  
Follow Me on Pinterest



Ready to link up your crafty creations?


 
Party rules are simple:
  • As long as it's crafty, and made by you, it's Craftastic (no links to giveaways, shops, link parties or other people's work).  Add the link to your specific post (not the main page of your blog).
  • Grab my party button & put it on your post or blog somewhere.  The code can be found HERE.
  • Check out some of the other fabulous links and share some crafty comment love.  We all love getting comments!!



   

    An InLinkz Link-up
   

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sew Unusual: Making A Feedbag Tablecloth


Today's sewing project is a bit on the unusual side: a patchwork feedbag tablecloth.  I know it sounds totally random.  Since we live in the suburbs it kind of is...but it's something newly tried. Plus, some of the things I learned may be helpful if you're ever faced with a weird, not really meant for sewing, kind of material yourself.

A little backstory: My kids are in 4-H thanks to a nearby university-extension training farm. It's a full working farm set on 160 acres that is practically across the street from a giant mall. This means our citified kids get to participate in caring for animals, growing a garden and running their own farm stand, amongst other things.  It's a really great place and a wonderful opportunity for the kids to learn responsibility and some real hands-on physical skills.  Their club leader was looking for someone who could sew to try to create a tablecloth from leftover feedbags for the farm stand table.  Of course I volunteered - never having made anything even remotely like that before.   How hard could it be, right?



I naïvely assumed feedbags were still made of fabric like cotton or burlap, so I figured this would be a really quick & easy project.  I was a little stumped on how to proceed when I was handed a pile of 3 foot tall, giant, woven plastic sacks. Some still had bits of feed left in them!  
I cut tops & bottoms off the sacks and then cut out big panels from the front & side of each bag.  I did it outside so feed dust and crumbles didn't end up all over my house - my own lil' animals (I mean kids) do enough food mess making around here, thanks.  Not all the sacks were the same size so I had to trim a bit to get roughly the same dimensions on each one. With these being plastic the usual easy rotary cutter or fabric shears were out of the question. 

Handy tip #1: Use an old pair of kitchen shears (the kind for cutting chicken) for tough plastic material like this.  We have a pair we use for opening packages & non-food stuff. They got right through a double layer of this stuff on the first pass.



The bags were pretty crumpled, but being plastic I knew ironing wasn't an option.  I laid everything out on my front drive and smoothed them down as much as I could with my hands + a little walking over them to flatten.  My neighbors probably thought I was crazy carefully arranging giant feed bags...or were afraid we were buying a goat or two and ready to call the subdivision association on us.  I decided to sew them two bag pieces together first - the bottom of one to the top of the other. 

Handy tip #2: Use a heavy duty needle, heavy duty thread & a walking foot when dealing with super tough material - especially if it'll be subject to a lot of wear like this tablecloth will.

Each of these panels was several feet long.  I'd probably have run out of pins and was afraid to leave a bunch of pinholes anyway, so I used a mix of my hands and a few clips to hold 'em together while I sewed. This stuff was super crunchy, kind of like sewing with some really stiff potato chip bags.  It didn't want to nicely fold out of the way, so it was a bit tricky to keep things straight.  Hence the giant seam allowances to help stay on track.



Then I sewed each pair's sides to another pair, until all eight bags were now a giant rectangle.  Then I was able to fold the whole thing in half and use a yardstick & marker to mark it a bit to even the edges with a little scissor trimming.


Originally I planned to finish off the sides with a hem & make a slightly more elaborate patchwork design. Then we lost power for 4 days, right when I planned to work on this, so I had to keep it simple to make sure it would be ready in time.  I literally took this photo as soon as I finished - the night before I had to bring it to our weekly meeting:


The farm stand weekend was a few days later, during the big Fall festival at the farm:  


I wish the pics were a little clearer, but I had to rely on my husband's phone for them and wasn't about to shoo away customers for a tablecloth photoshoot.  Even though they're a little fuzzy, you can still get the general effect:


The kids ended up having selling quite a bit of the produce they grew & products they made. I'm glad I could lend a hand with making their stand a little more eye catching and see them working hard to sell their wares.  



Now that I've gotten my feet wet sewing with this stuff, their leader's got another project idea in mind, so another wacky feedbag project will be on the horizon!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

An Extra Big Craftastic Monday Link Party


Ok, this week's party has expanded a little in the features department.  I couldn't help it. There were so many great projects linked last week, I HAD to feature them all.  Your links are way better than Pinterest for easily finding great projects!  It's just what I need while working on reclaiming my crafty mojo.  And it doesn't make me feel "craftatonic":




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Want some FREE advertising for your blog/shop?

After linking your latest project posts below, head over to the Sew Can Do Facebook page to join in the Craftastic Monday Mixer.  It's a way to let even more people see your site or its FB page and find some new sites you might love at the same time.


How It Works:
Instead of a specific post, share your blog, crafty shop or Facebook page link on the Sew Can Do FB page.  More exposure for your crafty site every week!  Click HERE to go link up now!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now let's see some Craftastic picks..

How adorable is this pincushion ring from Ella and Nesta?!?  I totally want one!!


Sew Crazy About Crafting showed how to make a cute clay genie lamp (complete with video):


Restyled Junk has a a great crochet pumpkin tutorial - perfect for Fall embellishing:


Little Red Window wowed me with this unique & fun post office-themed birthday party (check out the mailbox she made too):


Kuka and Bubu showed this upcycled robot plush.  He was made from old jeans and the eyes even move.  I really love one of a kind cuties like this:


Lilikoi Joy used some transfers to make this festive pumpkin pillow:


Rejoice for the Day make this colorful & eyecatching dress that is just about guaranteed to work with any color in the closet:


And Sum of Their Stories shared a tutorial for making these sweet little button keychains:


If you're one of this week's features, be sure to grab my Featured On button over on my Buttons Page to share the good news.  

I also feature these projects on Sew Can Do's Craftastic Picks Pinterest board 
AND share each of them on Twitter too for even MORE exposure!

Follow me there to see more great projects (and see if yours is one of them)!   
  
Follow Me on Pinterest



Ready to link up your crafty creations?


 
Party rules are simple:
  • As long as it's crafty, and made by you, it's Craftastic (no links to giveaways, shops, link parties or other people's work).  Add the link to your specific post (not the main page of your blog).
  • Grab my party button & put it on your post or blog somewhere.  The code can be found HERE.
  • Check out some of the other fabulous links and share some crafty comment love.  We all love getting comments!!



   

    An InLinkz Link-up
   

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