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The Simple Quilted Blanket ~ A Tutorial

Ready for another simple handmade home project? One of the things on my to-do list in preparing for our foster family homestudy was getting beds ready. Foster families rarely know what age children are going to be coming into their home, so having beds and bedding in every size from crib to toddler to twin is a necessity! Add to that, the fact that you’ll need bedding sets for boys and for girls, and the cost for comforters or quilts can really add up. (Experienced foster parents will tell you, too, that you quickly become a master at rearranging every bedroom in the house in a few hours!)

I had a terrible time when I started my hunt for toddler bedding. Cute, quality, non-character toddler bedding is really hard to find at a reasonable cost. So, I went to work making a couple of simple quilted blankets using measurements to fit a toddler bed, and I snapped some pictures along the way to write up a tutorial for you!
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Things to Finish in 2015 ~ Part 1

What motivates you to get things done? I’m one of those people who is motivated by lists! There’s just something about a notation on a list just waiting to be crossed off that makes me want to get it done, and the feeling that comes with scratching off another list item … well, there’s just nothing quite like it. The Finish Along, hosted by Adrianne from On the Windy Side this year, is the perfect challenge for those like me who need a list to keep you focused! You can find all the details by clicking on the button below, but basically, you create a list of unfinished projects at the beginning of each quarter, work on your projects throughout the quarter and share as you go along. Oh, and there are prizes, too!

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

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A New Year Begins

The beginning of a new year always seems to be a great time for change … a fresh start. I’ve been mulling over how the last year has gone for my family and for my business. Actually, my husband and I and our kids have been doing a lot of chatting and praying about what changes should and need to be made. Because I work from home at all hours, my family and my business are intertwined.

I’ve been doing a lot of reflection over the last few days, as well. What kind of legacy do I want to leave behind? Surely, one of hard work and dedication, but I don’t want to miss out on life to have a successful business. With that in mind, some things will be changing for Fishsticks and for this blog.

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Little Embroidered Hoop Ornaments ~ A Tutorial

This is my favorite of the projects that I completed this Christmas because these ornaments hold such special meaning for our family! I’m so excited to share it with you! A little over eleven years ago, my husband and I attended an orientation meeting for prospective foster parents here in Florida. We had four children at the time, ranging in age from 13 to 4. Since Florida only allows foster families to have a total of five children in their homes, we wondered if we really could make a difference. We felt like God was calling us to do this, though, so we began the process to become a foster family. We were licensed in June of 2004, and our first placement – a newborn baby girl, straight from the hospital – arrived a day later. That little one stayed with us just a few months, but she became a forever part of our family’s history. She was followed by twelve more little ones, all age 6 and under who came into our home for long and short periods of time, each one finding a forever place in our hearts as we poured ourselves into their lives and their families’ lives while working together to support them through reunification or placement with relatives. In November of 2006, we said good-bye to our last foster daughter, just weeks before we left for a new job in Texas.

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Jethro the Christmas Elf

I loved the idea of surprising my two little guys every morning with something sort of Elf-on-the-Shelf-style, but more fun and less naughty. I’d intended to start on December 1st, but that just didn’t happen. Instead, I went with inspiration from the 12 Days of Christmas. Since we’re only through Day 5, though, and I’m totally making this up as I go along, I’ll plan to share the whole 12 days with you next year. In the meantime, here’s a peek at what Jethro’s been doing here at our house.

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A Christmas Quilt & the Fastest Tree Skirt Ever

How are the holidays going at your house? We’ve been enjoying our traditional advent calendar activities, visiting with friends, cooking, crafting, playing … all the things that I want our Christmas memories to be made of. I posted a picture on Instagram a few days ago of a fun (and messy!) afternoon spent decorating some very yummy but not very pretty sugar cookies hashtagged #notpinterestworthy, and a sweet friend reminded me that life is not Pinterest-worthy! Before I move on to my crafts for today, I forward that reminder on to you. Have fun, make a mess, and enjoy this Christmas season!

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Looped Fabric Christmas Tree~A Tutorial

Have you ever run across something in a store, picked it up and turned it over and thought that you could surely make it yourself? I know most of you are crafty people, so it probably happens to you often, right? This project was the result of one of those moments for me! The tree that I saw in the store was made with burlap, and while I realize that many of you probably love burlap, I’m just not a big fan. I figured I could make it work with cotton quilting fabric, though, so I headed home where I knew I had a giant styrofoam cone in the garage. (I think I actually had plans to turn it into a tree of some sort a few years ago.) I went right to work, and I adore the result enough that I thought I would share it with you!

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Fabric-Wrapped Decor Balls~A Tutorial

These fabric-wrapped balls are super-easy to make, and they work beautifully as Christmas tree ornaments or as everyday decor! There are a number of tutorials out there already, but I tried a few, and I just wasn’t thrilled with the results. I wanted the fabric to sit flush up against the ball without having to glue the entire strip down. The trick? Cut your fabric on the bias! When you cut on the bias, you get just enough stretch to allow the fabric to fit around the curve on the ball, and you only have to glue the ends down. Ready for the quick tutorial?

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Totally Terrific Ties
Recipes

Game Day Dip

GF Brownies

Granola Cookies