March 5th, 2012 at 6:00 am

 Materials: a giant Hershey’s kiss (I found mine at Walmart around Valentine’s Day for $3, they are also available on Amazon) , a paper mache paste mixture (I used 1 cup of all purpose flour, 1.5 cups of water, 1/2 cup of white school glue, and a pinch of salt), aluminum foil, paper bag or newspaper (for first layer of paper mache), tissue paper strips (for a smooth final paper mache layer), long piece of paper (for your list. i found a roll of receipt paper at Goodwill, but you can cut a  strip from craft paper roll or 11×17 sheets of paper and tape together if needed), pen, and a  knife, cardstock (not pictured), cup (not pictured)

2) apply first paper mache layer using paper bag strips

3) trace and cut a circle for the base

4) place circle on base and paper mache and let dry

(repeat paper mache with tissue paper for the final layer)

5) cut opening in the bottom of the base

6) cut wide opening in the top of the kiss

7) write your I-want-to-give-you-a-big-’ole-kiss-because list to your husband (and don’t be shy!)

8) feed list through the top of the kiss (I found this to be easier than beginning through the bottom)

9) roll your list up and place it inside. (PLEASE practice to make sure your list doesn’t get caught or ripped. Adjust the size of your top opening as well as the length of your list accordingly)

10. cover your kiss with foil

February 29th, 2012 at 6:00 am

 …needless to say, after reading the list he gave me a big kiss too.

The little gift above would be a great surprise for a man who loves “words of affirmation.” A large chocolate Hershey’s kiss, and supplies you probably already have at home could have your hubby smiling ear to ear in no time.  Check back soon for the tutorial.

Also, did you take the Five Love Languages Quiz I mentioned here?  If so, were there any surprises? I  couldn’t believe I had two love languages with the exact same score (though my loved ones would probably believe it).  And I thought I knew myself better than that, go figure!

February 28th, 2012 at 6:00 am

Have you ever read the book “The Five Love Languages“?  If you haven’t, maybe you’re like me and just skimmed it, took the quiz, and read the suggestions  in the back ;-) Well, its such a good book that I find myself going back from time to time and assessing the flow of  love in my marriage (and friendships).

Recently, I’ve been thinking about how easy it can sometimes be to overlook the most important person (second only to Jesus) in our lives — our husbands. The truth is, if you have small children you have plenty of reasons why you might not have the time or the energy to invest in the most important human relationship you will ever have on this earth. But I’m not going to settle for that — and I hope you don’t either.

I want to challenge you to find out your husband’s love language — and your own as well! You can take the quiz here.  You might understand why a well kept house and home cooked meal might not fully communicate love to a husband whose love language is “words of affirmation”.  Stay tuned to meek+chic because   I’ll be featuring some creative ways to express your love to your husbands in a language he can understand. Here’s to intentionally showing love to our husbands!

February 27th, 2012 at 6:00 am

Sometimes you need a little reminder that you’re on the Lord’s mind. Psalm 139:17-18 should help!

“How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee. ” ~Psalm 139:17-18

This would be a great “just because” gift for someone who feels forgotten or is struggling with a difficult test. It’s a simple craft with a big message .

I found my bottle at Goodwill for $1, used  leftover  paper from the Purposeful Playdate,  food coloring from the Sweet Heart Pancakes, and table salt.

I made my colored “sand” using the DIY Glitter recipe from Planet Pals.  I simply combined 1/4 cup of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of red food coloring and baked on 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

 

 

February 22nd, 2012 at 6:00 am

I finally grew tired of scribbling my blog information on the back of church programs or random receipts and created a card. While they’re not the rounded corner letterpress cards that originally danced in my head, these handmade cards were pretty easy on my pocketbook . I ended up creating two designs but I need your help deciding which I should move forward with, as both still need a little work.

this card includes a safety pin at the top…just in case you find yourself with an emergency wardrobe malfunction and in need of a modest solution. Also, the safety pin represents my attempt to “connect” faith, style, and creativity.

this card has been machine sewn and can be folded, torn, and shared…each half has the same information on it (thanks to the reverse double sided design) so you can share meek+chic with a friend and keep half for yourself.

So dear readers, if I met you in the grocery store and passed you a card which of these designs would make you want to check out my blog? 

February 20th, 2012 at 6:00 am

My gig at the Chicago Children’s Museum is almost  over and has been going great!  I am really enjoying myself  but I’m looking forward to getting back to normal (once I figure out exactly what normal is).  While I wrap up my workshops and get things back on track around here,   check out this tutorial I recently created for  MoMoMod readers.

Create a slimmer waistline without sewing (or counting points) ?! I think the mothers will be able to appreciate this one!

Since becoming a mother my wardrobe has shifted a bit… my knit tops, maxi skirts, and cute high heels have been replaced with structured blazers, cardigans, midi skirts, and flats or kitten heels (usually on Sundays… unfortunately, denim skirts and Pumas have become my weekday staples but I’m working on that!). A big no-no has become anything that gives the appearance of a not so toned stomach. The last thing a mom wants is to be mistaken as a pregnant woman when she’s not.

In addition to blazers being an instant modest solution, if the blazer is structured it can be modest and slimming as it can cinch the waist  and quickly trim inches off the midsection. Boxy blazers  on the other hand are modest but can sometimes add bulk. With this tutorial you can take advantage of all the beautiful colors and fabric choices of popular boxy blazers  and open front cardigans without adding inches to your waist.

supplies: fray check, ribbon, hot glue gun, scissors, (2) suspender/ mitten clips

step 1: slip mitten clips on your ribbon

Step 2: Turn ribbon over

Step 3: Tie a bow

Step 4: Adjust your bow. The distance between your clips determines how much you are able to gather your blazer (meek confession: the first time I created the bow my clips were too close together and would unsnap if I moved the wrong way, so more space is best. )

Step 4: Add dot of hot glue to clips

Step 5: Glue clips to your bow. I placed glue on each clip as well as underneath the middle section to be sure my bow was secure

Step 6: Add fray check to the edges of your bow so your ribbon doesn’t unravel

Step 7: Add your clip to a boxy blazer, shirt, or cardigan!

February 16th, 2012 at 6:00 am

I hope you all had a Happy Heart Day.

Valentine’s Day is over, but we’re still celebrating love around here! I am signing off from blogging early this week but will be back next week to share some of the things I love— and give ideas on spreading love beyond Februray 14th.

Also, if you are in the Chicago area you should bring your children to the Chicago Children’s Museum this weekend– I’m the visiting artist this month and will teach children how to make their very own “wearable art.” More information’s available on the museum’s website.

February 13th, 2012 at 1:00 pm

Hi there. I hope you had a great weekend- mine was action packed! We had our first “purposeful playdate” and it was a blast. Find out more about purposeful playdates here and get the details from the very first one below:

The Invitation:

I tried to keep the invitations simple and retro with a modern twist. It was also important to create a design that could be used over and over again.  I used a hole puncher to indicate the time and date, I was inspired during a recent train ride when they punched my ticket. I used paper and envelopes from Paper Source, printed on my home printer, and rounded the edges with a corner punch thingy.

(meek confession: I was so determined to keep things simple that I originally created a neutral color combo for the invitation.  I eventually decided I could use the same invitation but change the colors to match the decor for future playdates) 

The Theme:

Yes Jesus Loves Me

The food:

We served heart shaped grilled cheese sandwiches, apple fries, milk, mini red velvet cupcakes

(meek confession: it’s hard to host and monitor grilled cheese sandwiches. Hence, the dark sandwiches!) 

The jars in back with candy inside were made using this tutorial from Eighteen25.

In Psalm 17:8 David says “keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings.”  That scripture and this DIY sweetie pie from Twig & Thistle inspired these apple fries:

The personalized heart straws were inspired by Garnish and were so helpful in keeping up with the kids drinks during the event

Mini red velvet cupcakes for the kids and the regular sized cupcakes were for the mommies.

The super delicious cupcakes were provided by Sweet Milestones.

The Message:

We sang  ”Jesus Loves the Little Children” and “Yes Jesus Loves Me”

and read “Jesus Loves Me” by Ideals Publications (Illustrated by Laura Logan)

God Loves Us, Little One by Allia Zobel- Nolan

The Craft:

The children used stamps and fabric paint to personalize their T-shirts (with help from their mommies)

February 9th, 2012 at 6:00 am

When trying to find a backpack for my daughter I fell in love with the Tulle-Around Backpack from J.crew, but I was not in love with the price! So, I had one of those “I-can-make-that-moments” and I set out to recreate a bag I had never seen in person. I was successful but I do have a few meek confessions  1) tulle is pretty but can be a pain to work with  2) perfection is not necessary the fringes are very forgiving and 3) what you don’t pay in money you sometimes pay in elbow grease.

The great news is that you can customize this tutorial for your needs/ preferences/budget/ skill level. The size of the bag in this tutorial is best suited for a girl 4+ years old. However, you can easily make it for a younger girl by shortening your rectangle, tulle strips, and adjusting your circle.  I used cotton webbing for my straps, but you can make your own, I used a slider and loop set, but you can use D rings.  You can make adjustments to fit your budget,  with the use of  coupons and shopping around you can spend half if not less than the cost of the Jcrew bag. While a confident beginner may be able to tackle this sewing project, the steps involved makes this more of an intermediate/ advanced project. So, if you would rather invest your time rather than your money into a Tutu Sweet Backpack check out the tutorial!

 Supplies
1.  10 yards of tulle
2.  1.5 yards of heavy fabric (I used duckcloth)
3.  1.5 yards of coordinating fabric for lining  (don’t be confused I switched to a cool houndstooth pattern fabric after this picture was taken) 
4.  Wide Grosgrain Ribbon
5.  2 yards of the cotton webbing*
6. Extra large eyelet kit
7. Thread
8. (2)   sliders
9. (2) loops*
10. 1.5 yards of interfacing (not pictured)

(* I bought 1.25 inch cotton webbing and wide mouth slider and loop set from SewingSupplies.etsy.com)

Preparing the pattern
Cut a rectangle 12x 24 inches from your heavyweight fabric, lining fabric, and interfacing
Cut a circle (using this pattern) from your heavyweight fabric, lining fabric, and interfacing

Preparing the tulle
You’ll need your tulle, ruler, and scissors

1. Cut your tulle into strips 3 by 24 inches long

2. Stack 3 of the strips on top of each other and sew straight down the middle, you have your first “layer”

 

3. Fold this “layer” down so your stitch is on top, then fold across twice. It’s time cut your fringes and it is much easier to cut tulle when it’s all folded up.

4. Cut your fringe about ½ inch thick. Remember it doesn’t have to be perfect, just be sure not to cut through your stitch!

5. Stack three of these fringed layers together and you have one “row”

Making the Exterior
You’ll need your heavyweight fabric and your fringed rows 

6. Pin your first fringed row to your rectangle about ½ inch from the bottom of one of the long sides of your rectangle and topstitch.

7. Continue in this manner all the way up your rectangle.   You want your fringes to overlap the previous row. The closer the layers, the more work, but the more fullness!  You can space your layers further apart (but not too far or the results won’t be the same). I ended up with about 21 rows (which equals 63 fringed layers- but it was so worth it).

8. When you get about 3 inches from the top of your rectangle leave a gap between your rows big enough for your eyelets to be placed later.  This is where our ribbon drawstring will go later. (For my extra large eyelets I left a 1.25inch gap between two of my layers)

9. Leave about ½ inch seam allowance at the top of your at rectangle.

10. Fold rectangle right sides together and sew along the short sides, creating a tube (meek confession: I had issues with my bobbin and I didn’t bother to make sure my rows were straight or evenly spaced as you can tell from my stitches above. Again, say it with me: perfection isn’t necessary=) 

11. Carefully trim the ruffles near the seam

Preparing the Exterior Bottom
 You will need your circle from your heavyweight fabric and tulle rows (which are optional- read below) 

12. First, you have to decide if you want fringes on the bottom of your bag as well. If not, skip this step. If so, starting in the middle of your circle sew fringed rows in a circle until you get to the edge of your circle. When one row ends just place another one next to it and continue.

Preparing Your Straps
You will need your cotton webbing, sliders, and loops

13. Cut cotton webbing into four pieces (2) 32 inch pieces and (2) 4 inch pieces.

14. Place one of the 32 inch piece around the middle bar of your plastic slider and sew as close to the slider as possible. (repeat with your other 32 inch piece of cotton webbing and slider)

15. Place one of the 4 inch piece around the plastic loop and sew as close to the loop as possible ( repeat with your other 4 inch piece of cotton webbing and loop)

16. Now, take the unfinished end of your 32 inch strap through your plastic loop.

17. Then feed it through your slider. (repeat steps 16 and 17 for your other strap)

Putting the Exterior  Together
You will need your exterior circle, your exterior tube, and your two straps 


18.  Begin pinning your circle (right side in) on top of your tube.

19. When you get to the back near the seam , insert your  straps on each side of the seam . (My straps were about 4.5 inches apart). Pin your straps in place.   Make sure your slider is right side facing out so that you’re your raw edges are facing the fringes when placed  inside the bag. (If that’s too confusing just pin all the way around and turn the bag inside out to make sure the buckles are in the right direction).

20. Sew all the way around your circle, which is the bottom of your bag.  When turned right side out, the outside  of your backpack  should look like the picture above (Note the direction of the buckles on the picture).

Preparing the Lining
You will need your interfacing, lining rectangle, lining circle 

19. Follow instructions on your interfacing and iron on to the wrong side of your lining fabric.

20. Turn fabric right side in, pin and sew short ends together to create tube, and sew circle to the bottom (just like you did with the exterior)

21. Place your exterior  inside the lining bag (right sides together) and make sure your straps are stuffed inside and out of the way.  Line up your seams and sew around the edge leaving an 8-9 inch opening in the back.

22. Pull bag right side out through your opening.

23. Place straps inside the opening, pin and sew close.  (My straps are placed about 2 inches apart)

Preparing Finishing Touches (and confetti to throw in air)
You will need your eyelet kit, hammer, ribbon, and confetti 

24. Find the space (from step 8) that you left near the top of your backpack, and make marks for your eyelets which is where we will insert our ribbon drawstring. Refer to the instructions on your eyelet kit (trace, cut, insert, and hammer in place through both layers of fabric)

I used 8 in all- two in the front 2 on each side and 2 in the back to be sure that the backpack gathered the way I wanted when closed.

25. Now, slip the ribbon through your eyelets, (if using) put fray check on the edge of your ribbon, and tie a big pretty bow.

26.  Throw confetti, your done!

February 7th, 2012 at 6:00 am

Today is February 8th and I just took my Christmas wreath down. I know I should have tossed it a long time ago, but  I thought it made our home feel a little more welcoming. But today I did it, I finally got rid of it and replaced it with this beauty. It was really simple to make- -I used a wreath form, yarn, felt, and ribbon. I’m so glad I made it and I bet my neighbors are too.

Ladies, please tell me I’m not the only one who leaves decorations up from holidays and parties long after the event has passed because its pretty to look at?