Quick & Easy Printable Valentines! Mini Bubble Flags

Are you ready for Valentines Day yet? My son and I are part of an exercise class for kids and moms, and it’s so much fun! We are getting ready to bring some healthy Valentine treats (that’s non-candy Valentines…bananas, oranges, granola bars), and I decided we should try bubbles this time. My son loves bubbles, and I can’t even blame him!

Free Valentine Printable Kids Classroom Bubbles - Craft Buds

I couldn’t find just what I was looking for in terms of a Valentine’s Printable (using only black-and-white ink… very quick and easy), so I made my own. I love this printable because it won’t take a lot of ink.The cutting doesn’t have to be precise, and you can get your kids involved to help you.

You can download the free printable here, which makes 9 bubble flags per sheet!

Valentine printable how to

  1. Once you’ve printed the Word doc, Trim apart each row with scissors, leaving the full text on each side (left and right). This will wrap around the bubbles, so the message appears on each side.
  2. If your child is old enough, have them draw a heart and write their name in the center with colored pencils.
  3. Fold each flag in half an use a pair of scissors to remove a “v” shape from each end to make a flag or pennant shape on the short, cut edges.
  4. Open the flag. Use a glue stick to apply glue on the entire back of the flag. Place the folded edge on the bubbles, then fold in half, joining the pennant edges you just cut. Press both sides of the flag together, smoothing out any wrinkles!
  5. If you want, you can roll the flag around the bottle and tie a piece of Baker’s twine or even a scrap piece of fabric around it (as pictured above, in the first photo) to make it like a secret message.

Free Valentine Printable - Kids Bubbles (Non-Candy Valentine) - Craft Buds

I picked up my bubbles 8 for $1 at Dollar General (I only spent $3 total on Valentines for my son’s class!), but if you can’t find them, here’s a quick substitute on Amazon (affiliate link).

There you have it! This is a quick and easy Valentine, and you can use this free printable for personal use. If you’re looking for a Valentine for your child’s teacher, here’s a great idea from Mary!

Making a Scrapbook the Easy Way with Project Life

Easy Scrapbooking for Beginners

Project Life Baby Scrapbook 1

You guys, I’m excited to share the scrapbook I’ve been working on with my mom! For Christmas this year, I printed off all of my favorite photos of Elliot from age 1-2. I packaged them up with some new goodies from Project Life so my mom and I could work on a scrapbook together. Since we live a few states away, it was a fun project to do while we were together over the holidays.

Project Life Clementine

It’s been a few years, but I first discovered Project Life a few years ago, when I tried out their Clementine Edition (full review posted here). As you can see, this kit comes with color-coordinated cards that you can simply slip inside the special photo dividers to accompany your pictures and help tell a story.

Project Life supplies

In addition to the Core Kits like that one (the Clementine is no longer in print… but you can shop for gobs of new Core Kits at Project Life), I tried out four new things I’m really excited about. If you are a beginner to scrapbooking, I can’t recommend these enough to go with your Project Life album and variety pack of photo pages. (affiliate link)

  1. These zoo themed cards are so sweet and you get a lot of bang for your buck!
  2. 6″ x 6″ boy paper pad for making your own accents or putting together a 6″x”6 mini album
  3. Bright overlays (and fun frames!) for photos and cards will make your photos pop off the page
  4. Mini kits! This Childhood mini kit comes with all of the super-inspiring phrases you’d expect from a Core Kit, but at a fraction of the cost. This is a great way to dip your feet in the water with Project Life.

Project Life Baby Scrapbook 3

The cards I had left from my previous project life kit pair really nicely with this quote from the Childhook mini kit! We cut our own solid scrapbook paper for some of the slots to complement the colors in the photos.

Project Life Baby Scrapbook 4

If you think you are not creative enough to scrapbook, Project Life makes it really easy to just dive right in. If you have your own stickers and scrapbook extras, great! If not, you can get so much mileage out of a simple Core Kit or Mini Kit.

Project Life Baby Scrapbook 5

Since we are getting ready for Valentine’s Day, I had fun looking at this V-day layout with memories from last year at this time. Kids grow up so fast! The “So Cheeky” pictured is an example of a Project Life overlay layered on top of a journaling card.

Project Life Baby Scrapbook 7

Elliot’s first birthday cake! How can I forget? Thanks for Project Life for making it easy for a busy mom to plan a scrapbook project. I’m so thankful I got to share this experience of putting together these memories with my mom!

Have you tried Project Life?

Did you know there’s a whole world of Digital Project Life? You can arrange layouts on your computer and print them later. Awesome

Disclaimer: I received Project Life products free in exchange for my review, but was not otherwise compensated. As always, all opinions are 100% honest and completely my own.

‘Machine Quilting with Style’ Book Review + Giveaway!

If you are a quilter active online, you’ve undoubtedly run across the beautiful work by Christa Quilts. I had the chance to meet Christa a few years ago at Sewing Summit, while we were waiting to grab lunch. She’s very passionate about teaching and modern quilting, and a great person, too!

Machine Quilting with Style book review

Machine Quilting with Style: From Walking-Foot Wonders to Free-Motion Favorites by Christa Watson is a recent release from Martingale. I noticed they are running a great deal where you can get both the print book and e-version together in a bundle. This is nice if you like flipping through a book, but also prefer to have access to patterns on your laptop or tablet, to take back and forth to your machine!

Machine Quilting with Style book review

“Little Man’s Fancy” quilt

So, I own quite a few books on free-motion quilting. In fact, my goal last year was to become really confident at my quilting and branch out into different patterns. Although I can rock the meandering stitch and interlocking squares, I have to admit that I’m afraid to branch out and try different techniques. I almost never venture into straight-line quilting, but then I see a dynamic quilting motif like this (in the “Little Man’s Fancy” project), and my mind is blown. Why didn’t I think of that? So doable and yet so striking.

Machine Quilting with Style book review

“Square in a Square” quilt

The truth is, you can do some really great things with quilting designs that I’ve never thought of! Christa teaches you how to do all this on your home sewing machine. The book covers 8 designs you can quilt with your walking foot plus 10 for your free-motion foot. Add to this the 12 patchwork quilt patterns, and you have everything you need help you piece AND quilt your next masterpiece. This “Square in a Square” quilt is one of my favorites from the book, and Christa shows you how to combine straight line quilting and free-motion designs in the same project.

Machine Quilting with Style book review

“Focal Point” quilt

 

Quilting a continuous spiral is something I’ve only attempted once in my Turntable Quilt, and honestly, I just winged it. It came out a little oblong. The next time I try this quilting pattern, I’m going to use Christa’s tips to get an accurate circle. This “Focal Point” quilt is another fun patchwork design from the book, and I like this one because it’s a baby quilt size. Very doable and would make a great gift!

This is an outstanding book, and I’m so glad to have added it to my library of quilting resources. Want to win a copy for yourself?

Giveaway!

Martingale is generously offering a copy of Machine Quilting with Style to one lucky Craft Buds reader! Leave a comment on this post telling us your biggest challenge when it comes to quilting (any stage of the process), and we’ll choose a random winner on 1/19/16! Good luck!

If in the U.S., the winner will receive a hard copy. International winner will receive a digital version.

Congrats to commenter #11, Cecilia!

Bigelow Tea, Oatmeal Apricot Bars & Downton Abbey

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #MeAndMyTea #CollectiveBias

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With the start of every new year the thing I’m most excited about is the start of another season of Downton Abbey! I know this season is the last so I’m looking forward to seeing how they wrap up the story I’ve followed for years now. Each week I get together with some friends to watch the show. We get out the fine china and create a different tea and baked good pairing. Today I’m sharing the recipe for one of our favorite combinations, Oatmeal Apricot Bars with Bigelow I Love Lemon tea. I picked up my tea at Walmart where they have a big selection of Bigelow varieties.

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Oatmeal Apricot Bars

These are super easy to make! To get started, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups quick oats
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Add 1 1/2 sticks of semi-softened butter (3/4 cup) and mix until uniformly crumbly.

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Press 2/3 of mixture firmly into a 9×13 pan. Stir an 18 oz. jar of apricot preserves and spread over top. Try not to disturb the bottom layer, but don’t worry if some of the crust gets pulled up by the jam.

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Crumble the remaining flour mixture over the top and press down lightly.

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Bake for 35 minutes until edges are light brown and bubbly. Let bars cool before cutting.

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Then brew yourself some tea, pinkies up, and enjoy the show! Our favorite tea with the bars is Bigelow I Love Lemon. It tastes like tea with fresh lemon juice (and it includes a daily dose of Vitamin C!). The tart tea goes well with the sweet apricot bars, especially if you add a splash of milk to your tea. If you prefer a less bold lemon flavor, Lemon Lift is a combination of lemon and spices that’s a little more subtle. Both teas are caffeine free and each teabag comes in individual foil packets.

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Are any of you readers fans of Downton, and do you have a favorite tea to drink while watching? Let us know in the comments! And, if you’d like to find out more about Bigelow Teas and all the varieties they offer, check out their site here!

Giveaway! Join the 2016 Tribal Block Club with Amy of 13 Spools

We have a really exciting giveaway today! Our friend Amy at 13 Spools has recently launched a new quilt club, which you can join for 2016. Comment at the end of this post for your chance to win a membership (that’s a $39 value), or go sign up now to get the early-bird discount.

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Registration is currently open for the Tribal Block Club!

EEEEEEEEEEK! I’ve been waiting to show you all. I’m so excited! Fully tested, detailed tutorials & quilt patterns, coloring pages, free motion quilting discussions, etc. The whole shebang people. Because I love to teach, love these quilts & blocks, and ….. I mean, that should be enough, right?

Anyway, if you’re looking for your next project, boom it’s here! (And if you’re not, you can always sign up and work on it later!)

If you sign up before January 1st, you’ll get the early bird price of $29. After that, it’s $39. The class starts on the 15th. (Purchase here or keep reading for more details!)

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What you’ll get:

– 6 block tutorials: Each block tutorial will be available in blog post and and PDF format for greatest ease of use. These blocks range in difficulty, giving everyone enjoyment. Each block has been inspired by antique tribal patterns in Navajo & African works.

– 3 quilt top patterns: Don’t know how to use those blocks? Look no further – these three patterns do all the heavy lifting for you. Jump right into a project you love with great tribal flair.

– Endless possibilities: Do you love designing? The blocks are all made with easily combined sizes, making it even easier to design your own projects above & beyond the quilt top patterns provided.

– 18+ weeks of content: You won’t get bored! These projects will last you well into 2016, and even longer should you go on to create your own quilt block combinations. There are three “units” in the club, each lasting 6 weeks and including 2 block tutorials & 1 quilt top pattern. The full content of each unit is released at its start to allow you to go at your own pace. Want to save it all for later? That’s cool, too! You’ll have unlimited access for as long as 13 Spools is here.

– A community: Each tutorial & pattern post will include a linkup for you to enter a photo or blog post of your finished block. Peruse other students’ entries to gain inspiration & offer encouragement. Need more than that? We’ll have a Facebook group just for students to chat all things Tribal Block Club, post WIP photos, and cheer each other on to help forge even deeper relationships & communication.

– Design support: Coloring pages for every block tutorial & quilt top pattern take away any second guessing. Have questions about how to combine blocks for a new quilt top design? Ask away!

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Q & A:

1) How much paper piecing is there? There is only one block that is paper pieced, and it is a very simple block. If you hate paper piecing, don’t worry, you’ll still love this club!

2) How will I receive my content? All content is provided on a members-only section of this website, which you will access with an account you create. You’ll also receive emails every time new content is posted so you won’t have to worry about checking back to see if anything new is available!

3) What if I have a question about one of the tutorials? Simply post your question on the appropriate blog post, email me (13spools@gmail.com), or post your question in the Facebook group – we’ve got you covered!

4) Do you offer shared accounts for groups, such as my local quilt shop, or my guild? Yes! If you are an official guild or brick and mortar shop, you are more than welcome to contact me to chat about group memberships & teaching licenses.

Giveaway!

Leave a comment on this post telling what fabric designer or collection you think would look good with the tribal quilt blocks. I’ll choose one random winner on Jan 4th to win access to the Tribal Block Club for FREE!

If you’ve already purchased, you’ll receive a refund. Don’t delay… the price goes up after January 1st! Sign up here!

 

 

Stamped Christmas Gift Tags with Expressionery

Today we’re partnering with Expressionery for these adorable stamped gift tags! Every year I like to make a box of baked goods for our UPS, Fedex, and USPS delivery guys as a thanks for the million Amazon.com boxes they deliver each year, especially at Christmas! This year’s box includes chocolate dipped oreos, bourbon balls, and butterscotch bars. To finish off the box I used the Merry Christmas banner stamp to create a gift tag and wrote in the delivery guy’s name (kid names are blurred in the photo, but it looks perfect in real life).

Baked-Goods-Gift-Tag

For presents to our kids I used the Inspector Elf stamp. I thought this one was a lot of fun. One night we asked our kids what they thought elves might be named. Then I cut out squares of craft paper and stamped them, then used a calligraphy pen to write in the names of the different elves the kids had suggested. Then I used rubber cement to glue them to the packages like an actual approval sticker. The stamp can be customized for both the wording on the top and bottom, and for the elf name. I chose to leave mine blank but if you want to have an elf name put on the stamp (like the name of your elf on the shelf) you can do that!

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The stamps are high quality self-inking stamps that come in their own little muslin bag. The stamps have a lock on them that’s great to prevent your 3 year old from stamping elf approvals all over your dining room table (I discovered the lock too late).

Expressionery-Tags

One of my favorite parts of ordering from Expressionery is the preview window! As you customize your stamp you get an instant preview of what your final stamp will look like.

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There are tons of stamp designs to choose from and right now you can get 30% off by using the code VERYMERRY!

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