Wednesday, July 31, 2013

CUTE little things!

I love cute little things that you can put other things into, and so the moment I made one of these little heart coin purses, I knew I was hooked!

This is just a little sample, but a whole bunch of them are heading to the store next week! Perfect for little girls or ladies like me who just love cute little things!
till next time...........Penny

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Studio Tour {MamaBowers}

 When we were house hunting for our first home my list of wants was much larger than my list of needs. It's fun to dream of places and spaces that you can finally call your own. The first time I laid eyes on the interior of our house I knew it was "the one".
My favorite piece of furniture holds my tiny ironing board, and a few old suitcases filled with vintage sheets.
 With three living areas, one of those being a formal dining and living room, I knew it had plenty of space for our family to spread out and grow. And because we aren't really formal living or dining room people that space became the family craft space.

I adore hoop art. Each of these has a special memory or meaning, and that makes all the difference.
 We filled one half with books, cozy places to read, and plenty of crafting supplies for the kids, the other half became all mine. And it was a dream come true.
An inexpensive dresser from IKEA holds a multitude of supplies.
 I have had a lot of fun over the last 2 years turning this room into a place where I can feel inspired and where I truly love to be any chance I find the time. I love to collect things, but over the course of my life I've realized that if I have to stare at little collections everyday the clutteriness of it will drive me crazy!
This yellow dresser was listed on an estate sale website, a 40 minute drive later and she was mine. Totally worth it, she holds almost all of my fabric, though it's normally spilling out the front!
 So to keep me sane, and the rest of my house looking relatively neat, I keep all my collections on display in my room. It makes for a very happy and colorful space.
Quite possibly my most favorite corner in our whole house.
 I love being able to look around and see things given to me or made by friends, and I love to see things that I've made. It helps remind me on days when I'm feeling blocked that I do have the potential to make things, even if I feel like I will never touch my sewing machine again!
A thrifted crewel piece, a re-purposed frame, and the "map" for my Mom's queen sized quilt (my latest BIG project).
Every item has a story and a memory attached. Those are the best kinds of things. I'm definitely a sentimental person. I think that comes from moving around a lot as a child. I hold on to memories as best I can. (and it's very rarely this clean, I am a seriously messy crafter, but when it is I just want to dig in a mess it all up!)
$30 dresser took a lot of love, time (and paint), but in the end it was SO worth it. I will never tire of this piece, or of my B collection!
 All those years of having only a corner of the closet to keep my supplies, and having to lug it all out to the kitchen table to use it, only to have to clean it up before the next meal, has allowed me to be very grateful for this space I now call my own.
Using an old wooden toolbox as a catch-all makes the clutter not seem so bad. Always a few frames waiting to be painted hanging around!
I hope you are able to find a corner of your own home to call your own and create away. Even if it is just a few drawers in the closet and the kitchen table, creating is so good for the soul!


Monday, July 29, 2013

made it monday

This week it's all about the hoops! We love using embroidery hoops to make art. They are such a versatile medium, and make an instant frame that can be embellished in a multitude of ways! This time we've got a little something for everyone, in a range of shapes and sizes!

Giant 18x26" inspirational hoop. Mustard frame with navy and coral letters. $47

Petite 5x7" spunky word art. Bright multicolored fabric wrapped frame with hot pink chevron and shiny letters! $15

Large 12" hoop. Embellished with a butter yellow rosette and large hot pink rick rac. Comes with two mini clothespins to hang art or a photo of your choice! $30

Medium 10" hoop.Sweet butter yellow rosette and lace detailing and scrabble tile family embellishment. $20

The beauty is in the details! Each hoop is finished nicely with a coordinating ribbon to ensure your art doesn't fall apart!
Man, I am just in love with these hoops! Don't forget to stop by our booth inside Wishes and Dreams on Park Row and Bowen in Arlington if you're local. If you aren't, don't fret! We will ship almost anything, and only for the actual cost of shipping and supplies. Follow us on facebook to see more of what we have up for sale.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Living Up to Yourself

So we usually keep it pretty light around here but this weekend I've done a lot of pondering and hope that you don't mine me sharing.  I was blessed to be able to attend a funeral of a woman, that I knew, this past Saturday.  I didn't know her very well but had worked with her in some of our church functions.  As I sat thinking about her and her life, all I could think of was the amazing smile she always had for you.  She always let her light shine and was always there to lend a helping hand.

It's in times like these that I reflect on my own life.  See how I feel I am living up to the goals I have set for myself and how might my Heavenly Father feel if I were to die right now and head up to those pearly gates.  Would he be proud of me?  Probably.  Would he feel I could have done better?  Probably.  Would he still love me, despite my shortcomings?  Most definitely.  But as my work is not yet done here on the earth (since I am still alive currently) I ponder on how I can become better.  Be like those around me that I look up to.  As we all know that we are not perfect, I want to always have that desire to become better.  As much as I would like to look at a book and it enter my mind without me having to take the time to read (wouldn't that be fabulous!)  or decide I'm going to change and POOF it happens, I look forward to these little goals I have made.  My first is to actually read a book.  I can't remember the last book I read, so at least 1 hour a week I will read.  It's small and simple but as we all know that life is not simple, nor does it usually stay small, I look forward to seeing if I can make this goal happen.  What are your goals?  Who are those people that you wish you could be more like?  Take that one goal or that one attribute you like about someone else and begin integrating it into your life.  See where it takes you. Have fun with it!  No matter where life takes you, enjoy your journey!  If you find that your life isn't moving in the direction you were hoping for, find out what tweaks you need to make.  Set that new goal and go for it!  Thanks for letting me share with you today!
Enjoy your week!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Back to School is Almost Here!

Can you believe the beginning of school is right around the corner?!  Luckily, we don't start back until the end of August but we know some of you will be gearing up for that first day of school in a couple of weeks.  My oldest will beginning kindergarten this year!  While I can't believe that she is old enough to go to school, I am super excited for her to start her new adventure.  I know she will love it and enjoy almost every minute of it.  Being that it's our first official year of school, we headed to the store this week to buy all of her school supplies.  It was really fun helping her pick out all of her notebooks and fun looking pencils.  Of course, there are a few things we still have left to buy but we have a few more weeks to fit that in.

How are you and your family doing with all of the back to school madness?  Do you have everything done and shopped for?  School clothes all ready?  Or what about that back to school gift for their teacher?  While we can't go shopping for your kiddos, we can help ease the burden of last minute gifts for their teachers.  They work so hard year round for our kids that a little gift goes along way.  We have all kinds of things in the shop for your teachers.  Handmade zipper bags or even custom made pencil bags are a hit!
 Some teachers have sinks in their classrooms so why not a few hanging towels?

Or a super cute apron for your favorite art teacher!

We even have fun baby items for those expecting teacher mommies to be!

Whatever the occasion may be for your new/favorite teacher, always be sure to get them something useful that they can use over and over and over again (and be sure to buy it from us....hahah....j/k...but seriously....we do ship).

Thank you all for supporting our little shop.  We love watching it grow and we love more than anything, being able to fill a need for others.

P.S. And as always, be sure to follow us on Instagram @thegaragingmavens or for the most up to date selection and pricing!  We love to do custom orders as well so send us a message!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Organizing MUST be cute......continued!

Okay so its been a week since I got that cute HUGE frame to use as an idea/to do board and I'm just too excited to contain! I spent all week looking for the perfect paint, and I think I finally found it.  Here is my inspiration color that I was trying to match.....
See the vase? It is the perfect color to go against my Sea Foam green wall!! The only problem? I went through a cherry red before I got to this color and so we actually ended up painting it twice....once with the "almost right" color and once with the "perfect right" color!! It is Valspar red from Lowes and it is aaaaaammmmazzzing!!!!!
Just a reminder, here is the before....

And here is the after.....

I'm sooooo happy with the way it turned out! Now to figure out what I am going to do with the center! It seems big metal pieces at the hardware store are quite pricey, so I will have to get creative for sure!
But for now, I am just enjoying the color and I will think about the rest tomorrow!
till next time..........Penny :) 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Poppin' my favorite thrift stores

I love to thrift, LOVE it! There is nothing quite like the thrill I feel when I find something I've been needing (or wanting) at an incredible price! Probably over 70% of my home decor, if not more (I'm too lazy to check, ha!) is thrifted, and you can't even tell! I find my second hand treasures at many different places. Beside the obvious garage sales, there are a handful of thrift stores in my town that I try to frequent on a semi-regular basis.

I encourage you to hunt out some thrift stores in your town, you may be surprised at how many there are! And if you're in the local area (Arlington, TX) then you are in luck! Because I am going to link to all my favorite treasure spots here for you!

1. Kiddo's Kloset (2223 W. Park Row Dr. Arlington, TX 76013): It's not a thrift store, it's a kids and women's clothing resale shop, but it's definitely my favorite place right now! I always find amazing clothes for my oldest (9) and they are constantly having great sales. You can sign up for emails and they will let you know what the deal of the week is. Totally worth a look if you are in the mood to save a buck (or $20) on some brand name clothes for your kids!

2. Thrift Town (1517 E. Abram St Arlington, TX 76010): Don't be fooled by the janky exterior. This place is a gem! Super clean (as far as thrift stores go) and very organize. I never walk out of here without a treasure or two. I'm always finding empty frames begging for spray paint for .69! They have a great selection of clothes, and are always having sales on top of the normal weekly color tags at 50% off.

3. Dollars and Sense thrift and gift (2401 W Pioneer Pkwy, Pantego, TX 76013): Small, but clean and packed full of stuff. I can always count on walking out with a squeal worthy steal when I leave this place. They have a little bit of everything, and just expanded their furniture section. Also, the proceeds from this store benefit a local private school for children over the age of six with Downs Syndrome. Shopping for a good cause AND saving money? Win/win!

4. Salvation Army (1301 E. Abram St. Arlington, TX 76010): Absolutely THE place to go if you are in search of furniture! This is the closest one to my house, but any Salvation Army family store I've ever been in always has a great selection of furniture to choose from, and generally always good prices!

This is seriously just a sampling of the many places around town, but those are my favorite! Here are a few more that may be worth checking out if you have time time:

1. Collins Park Thrift (817 E. Park Row Dr. Arlington, 76010)
2. Veteran's thrift (1304 W. Arkansas Ln, Arlington TX 76013)
3.The Estate Warehouse (3008 W. Division Ste B, Arlington TX 76012): LOVE this place.
4. Nu 2U Resale (2400 W Pioneer Pkwy, Arlington 76013)
5. Texas Thrift (2100 S. Cooper Arlington 76013)
6. Goodwill (1100 W. Arkansas Ln. Arlington 76013) My least favorite, but no list is complete without it!

There are two more, that I've seen driving around town, but the names escape me, and I can't find them on Google! I guess those are meant to be saved for another post, another day! There are also numerous ones outside my city limits, that's the beauty of living in a metroplex, lots and lots of thrift stores to choose from!

I hope this helps you get started on a new thrifting adventure. You never know what treasures you will find, so ditch the kids (it's easier to dig without them, let's be honest) or pack some snacks to keep them busy, and head out to find your next great steal!

Monday, July 22, 2013

{made it monday}

So we are going to start a new little feature here on the blog! Every Monday I will share some of our new products we've made during the week, and also spotlight some old favorites! Having a shop that is ready to buy rather than made to order means that we are making things, and making things often! Some days I feel like I hardly come out of my crafting space, but that provides me other days where I can rest easy knowing I've worked hard! How do you find a balance between getting your craft on as much as you want/need and spending your other "free" time doing other unpleasant things like cleaning and stuff? I'd love ideas!

Here are some of my favorite products headed to the shop this week. Every Monday new merchandise goes to our booth at Wishes and Dreams in Arlington, TX, which means Tuesday is the day to shop shop shop! And don't forget, we will ship almost anything we make, and we love to do custom orders (which reminds me, we should showcase some of our custom stuff....putting it on the list!).

I am absolutely in love with the fabric pairings on these new burp cloth sets. Made with 100% cotton prefold cloth diapers, these are super absorbent, and durable. Bound to last through many machine wash and dry cycles! Only $12 a set, and most will have a matching diaper and wipes cozy next week!

These whales are so sweet, and I always love the lime and bright blue combo for boys or girls!
 Adorable sock monkeys. I can't even handle it. I wish I had this fabric when my littlest was still in need of burp cloths! As it is, I think my purse needs a diaper cozy with this fabric!
 Pretty little owls paired with a dainty floral. Love these!
 Some fun new hanging towels in a variety of colors. I hate using any other kind of towel now! Drives me insane when I constantly have a pile of towels at the base of my stove or towels randomly shoved into the stove handle (you know what I'm talking about!) from multiple child uses. These eliminate that problem! Only $5 per towel, and they have a snap closure for durability.
 And last, but not least, these bright ruffled accent pillows. Each pillow measures approximately 12 x 16 and is perfect for a bed, couch, or chair! The flat ruffle means it will never fray or lose it's shape, and the case is made in the envelope style for easy removal. We love making things that will last, and the ability to wash the cases to keep them clean is a major plus! $20 each.
Hope you enjoyed this little peek at some of our new products. We have almost all of our things for sale listed on our facebook page, we'd love for you to follow us there!

Until next week!


Sunday, July 21, 2013

DIY - Making a Chevron Template

I've always wanted to make a chevron background for my button art, but quite frankly it intimidates me.  Plus, the added time of making the grid, then erasing the lines, or using oodles of tape every time makes me frustrated just thinking about it.  But one night, not too long ago, I decided to tackle it.  I came up with a solution to help me save time and I hope that it can save you time as well.  Since I use the same size canvas,  I figured I could just make a template to follow, saving me time!   This template will be best used for those that will be using it more than once.  It's definitely great for one time uses, but won't necessarily save you time.  :)

 I completely forgot to take a picture of the original grid, but basically you take any cardboard you have lying around and measure out the size of the area you are covering.  I am using a 9x12 canvas so I drew a 9x12 rectangle on the cardboard.  Then I decided how far apart I wanted my "peaks" to be and how far apart I wanted each zig zag to be.  You might have to use a little bit of math to figure it out.  I got lucky with 9 and 12 both being divisible(never thought I would ever use that word again) by 3 and made each peak to be about 3" apart, making the whole process look even.  Then each zig zag was about 1.5" apart.  Basically, each square was 1.5" by 1.5".  So once you have figured out all that mess, you make your grid.  Drawing all your lines horizontal and then vertical.  Then, you add your diagonal lines.  You can see the basis of the grid below. 

Now here's the fun part!  As you can see in the picture above, I also added in a few lines on the part of the zig zag that I was not going to need.  I wanted my template to stay in tact as one piece.  Now you can start cutting out the parts you don't need.  On the inside pieces, it's easier to use an exacto knife instead of a pair of scissors.  The more cardboard you begin losing, the flimsier it gets and you want it to keep it's strength.
Below is the finished product!  It probably took me about an hour to make but it's so worth it!  All I did was line it up on my canvas and traced the lines!  Bam it's done!  Just add paint!  

Here's the finished product!  And next time it will be super duper easy to add my chevron to any canvas!

I hope this tutorial helped you make your chevron projects a little easier!  Please let me know if you found ways to improve your template!  As always, share with us on our Facebook Page all that you have created! 

Happy Chevroning! Shellie 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Button Organization

Can I get a shout out from all of my OCD fans out there?!  This girl right here is super OCD when it comes to being organized.  It may not always show in my house because I have 3 young children and a husband who loves to shove random stuff in random places, but I like being organized.  There's nothing worse than looking for something you can't find!!  So this post shouldn't surprise you when I tell you that my buttons are organized by color.  I recently bought a new button organizer and I LOVE it!  I used to have 2 small organizers, similar to something you store your beads in but I needed an upgrade.  With all of the button art I keep making, it was time to find something new.  Luckily, I was at Joanns the other night during Coupon Commotion when I spotted this amazing caddy!!  
Below you can see how my buttons are organized by color.  They are all in their own storage box.  Before I would try and dig my fatty little fingers in the thinly rowed box and inevitably it would allow the purple buttons to be mixed with the pink, which of course is a no-no. 

The storage container is meant for storing and organizing your 4x6 pictures but now it's dual purpose!  

AND you can close it all up, latch it, and carry it around!  Isn't it so awesome!!  I'm absolutely in love with it!  Plus, using a coupon I was able to get for $20!
 You may have seen my other post about Button Art, so I thought I would add a fun tip for you to use.  I love using buttons as accents.  Here you can see I used a few buttons to embellish this E hoop art I made for my home.  The silver button is an antique button from my great grandma that adds even more special meaning for me.  
Until next time, have fun creating, organizing and crafting!  Send us your pics of ways you have used buttons as art at!  We might feature your project next!

Over and out! Shellie

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Organizing MUST be cute!

Surely I can't be the only one that thinks this way..... If I "have" to be organized, then I must have it also look as cute as possible! The fact is I have a smart phone, I have an Ipad, I have a computer BUT nothing touches my visual senses more than a cutsie tootsie frame that is ready to be transformed into my dream idea and to do board! One of my very best friends (and business partner) eh hem Shellie gave me the huge frame to make my dream happen! I plan to paint the frame a coral red color so it really pops off the wall (thank you Shannon for a great idea) and then fabric cover a metal board and attach it! And then this monster can be the best organization tool my studio will ever have! 
I'll make sure and post the progress, but I can say that this will be one project that won't sit around for very long unfinished!!!

till next time.........Penny :)