I KNOW I’m not the only one saying that about 2020. So. Much. You’re all well aware of the traumatic and sad things that happened. They were real. They were hard. I cried, I researched, I learned, I felt a lot of pain.
I do NOT want to minimize the pain of last year. At the same time that pain was happening, I also grew and learned new things about myself and the world around me that made me a better person. This list barely touches the surface, but here are a few highlights.
- The world slowed down a little bit for a little while. We were able to spend time in our studio (aka our house) doing “nothing” which means snuggles on the couch, and reading lots of books. (Until November hit, then WOAH!!)
- I was able to hire 10 local friends to help cut felt, something they could do safely from their homes, and something that helped my business immensely. Shout out to Anne, Ashli, Ava, Bailey, Ella, Gabby, Hunter, Rem, Sarah and Whitney.
- Another shout out to my immediate family, who sacrificed the living room, a bedroom, home-cooked meals, and any concept of free time.
- My siblings and mom watched the babies, and came over to cut felt, and kept checking up on me to see if I was still alive.
- And a HUGE shoutout to my buyers! I love you all! You bought a LOT of felt walls. Around 1400 in fact. 131 of you bought from outside of the United States.
- It was hard having your kids home! You were a parent and a teacher and employees. You bought felt walls to entertain your kids, to help the kids in your daycare centers, to support my small business, and probably many other reasons. Then you sent me kind and inspiring messages about how you were using your felt walls, and how much you love the cause.
- Because of you, the buyers of Em Is Crafty, we were able to donate over $3,000 to the Rocky Mountain Mother’s Milk Bank! I am blown away! Like most places this year, the milk bank had some rough months, and I was giddy that we were able to send a little extra cash to them this year, even if it is a tiny drop in their bucket.
Thank you for supporting me. Thanks for not blaming me that I had zero blog entries in 2020. Thanks for continuing this journey with me. And, also, thank you to Joann’s Fabric for delivering box after box, and bolt after bolt of felt to my very cramped garage.
Here’s to another adventurous year!
2020 Stats & Fun Stuff
First 2020 Buyer: Ian from the UK
Last 2020 Buyer: Brooke from California
The amount of Sarah’s that ordered: 19
The Best Reviews:
Thanks to your support and generosity, we were able to donate over $800 to the Mother’s Milk Bank at Rocky Mountain Children’s Health Foundation!! That money goes directly to fragile babies who need lifesaving, nourishing breastmilk. Human milk is so critical during the first few days of life. Here are some stories that will make you bawl!
Seriously, you’re my heroes!! Now let’s get even more to them in 2020.
Y’all bought over 150 oceans and rainbows:
You inspired me to design more clothing:
And you ate up the frog/plumeria tropical leggings!! 😍😍😍
You requested (and I made) 3 new felt wall designs:
Noah’s Ark & The Human Body & Polar Play
What’s that you say, Photoshop?! I totally don’t Photoshop my daughter into multiple pictures.*
Help me out? I’d love to share your photos of your kiddos enjoying their felt wall in exchange for some awesome stuff! Send me a DM at @feltwalltoys.
*Yeah. I do.
And … Coasters!!
I am currently offering three designs with shoutouts to Puerto Ricans, gamers and (randomly, but not that randomly, because my brother is one) dentists! I am taking custom requests.
Thank you for your kind reviews.
Thank you for your orders.
Thank you for supporting my family, and tiny babies in NICUs across the country.
I love you.
Sometimes my projects are more clutzy than crafty. Okay, let’s be honest, there doesn’t even need to be a project involved for the clutz to show.
I was holding the car door funny while I shut it. OWWWW. Black thumbnail, and TONS of pain. The progression of the wound is very interesting to me, especially the last 2 days when a big chunk just fell off and an almost normal nail was behind it. Our bodies are freaking incredible.
After 10 hours, I kind of wanted to cut my thumb off. So. Much. Pain. I did a bunch of research on what a US instacare does/charges for this. Then consulted a bunch of friends with similar experiences. Then went to a facebook wood-working group who told me to drill a hole in it. (WHAT THE ACTUAL!?) But pain. And $200 to save. So I twisted a drill bit into my nail, and I’m so glad I did.
Here’s to more crafts, more smashed thumbs, and more healing.
Hi Crafty friends! I have a super strong friend, Whitney. She’s strong in many ways – physically, mentally, emotionally. And she’s got a strong baby girl. And they’re part of a strong family. She’s giving us some amazing thoughts today!
What is “Strong is strong” and why does it matter to me?
“Strong is strong” is pushing back against the “strong is beautiful” message. “Strong is beautiful” is something that has bothered me for awhile now.
I think that “strong is beautiful” was started with good intentions. But, it is messages like these that trap us in the mindset that our bodies, our strength, and most importantly our “self” is there for someone else. It tells us that we can be strong as long as it is still beautiful. That, really, beauty is really what we should be focusing on. That above all else, we should always try to stay beautiful.
In our culture, a woman’s value is based nearly 100% on her looks. It doesn’t matter what else she has achieved her looks will always be talked about (and often will be the first thing talked about).
For me, this all really hit home when I got pregnant in July 2018. I have always been an active person and knew that I wanted an active, unmedicated labor. Since I have trained for many half and full marathons, I thought I would train for labor like I trained for my races (that didn’t work out, but THAT is another story 🙂 ).
When I Googled things like, “exercises for a strong pregnancy” and “how to build strength during pregnancy” none of the results were actually about health. The results were all about “how to have a belly only pregnancy,” “how to avoid weight gain in your thighs during pregnancy,” and similar results.
I hated it! I was flat out angry. Pregnancy is a time, more than ever, when a woman should be focusing on health and caring for her body. Not worrying about weight! Especially since the weight gained during pregnancy is CRITICAL to recovering from labor and delivery and for breastfeeding (fun fact: your body stores fat in your hips and thighs during pregnancy because that is where it pulls from to make breastmilk).
This is all a long way of saying, “I’m over it.” Women are more than the sum of their parts. Women are more than their looks. Women, and all people, have intrinsic, unalienable value.
Strong isn’t beautiful. Beauty is overrated bullsh*t. Strength is so much more than that. Strength is real. Strength is lasting. Strength is earned. Strength is hardwork. It takes grit. It takes work. It helps you get through times when you just want to give up. It isn’t something that someone else can give you. Strength doesn’t fit into a box. And your strength, what it means to you, truly cannot be defined by someone else’s standard.
Strength comes in all forms — physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. So, let’s celebrate strength for itself, for who it makes us and how we’ve built it.
In April, my daughter was born. I think a lot about the world I grew up in and about the world I want to fight for her to have. I want her to know that she doesn’t have to be anything other than who she is or worry about if her looks will define her as a person.
I want her to know that she can be strong and that … strong is strong.
We turned Whitney’s idea into this awesome shirt. Celebrate strong with us.
Buy cheap lumber from Lowes/Home Depot:
4″ Strips of wood
Qty: 2 strips, cut to 31.5″ each. 6 strips total for the background.
2″ x8′ Strips of wood
Qty: 2 strips, 2 cut to 31.5″, the next 2 cut to the height of your sign (line them up, then make a pencil mark).
Paint the 1x2s white, and the 1x4s brown. I use cheap apple barrel paint.
Glue and nail the top and bottom frame edges to the panels.
Glue and nail the sides on, use a clamp if you can to hold all the panels as close together as possible.
Design your layout in illustrator/silhouette/cricut software.
Cut your layout out of vinyl, then put transfer tape over the vinyl.
Apply vinyl to wood, remove transfer tape. It takes a little finessing to keep the vinyl down, especially if your wood has lots of character.
Dab paint onto your wood sign through vinyl stencil, then remove vinyl. I do it while it’s still wet so the paint doesn’t crack.
Coat the sign with polyurethane. This is my biggest expense, and makes the sign look amazing. Don’t go cheap on this product. Buy the real thing. From my link, or from the hardware store. I don’t care, just get the real stuff.
Me (in my most annoying big sister voice):
Draw an iconic Hawaii thing in Sharpie and send me a pic! I’m making a gift for Dad (who lives in Hawaii, and is a minimalist, and has everything he could ever need).
My siblings and nieces (with very little grumbling):
Me after many hours in Illustrator:
Except, of course, I got much more than a fat quarter. 🙂
Me after USPS shows up:
The gift after a lot of hours of sewing (but not too much unpicking!):
Over the past decade (when did I start evaluating my life by decade!?), I’ve made a few wedding things. I’m finally showing them off here for you to all “ooh-and-ahh” over. Please. I mean, I don’t want to sound desperate, but I love the encouragement. 😉
Sparkly paper WIN!!!
To mail these, we put a clear circle sticker around the non-sewed side, then a stamp and an address label on the back. One of my favs!
Wedding Day Decor:
And then came the baby in the baby carriage. 💖
Wedding Day Stuff:
The cake topper was so fun to make! She brought the idea, then we put string and white duct tape together. So simple and beautiful.
Shower Glasses & Hair Ties:
Wedding Day Gift:
And hey, guess what! I sell this last board in my Etsy shop!
Hey guys! I’m getting a Master’s in Education! And it’s one of the most fun things I’ve done. For real. I love learning. One of my classes is “Arts Integration” so duh. It is inspiring, enjoyable, memorable. All the things I hope to bring as a teacher one day. One of my assignments for the class: create some lesson plans that teach core subjects while integrating art.
The 4 lesson plans are:
- Felt Dinosaurs: Visual Art + Fractions & Geometry
- Puppet Friends: Drama + Characters & Storytelling/Getting Along
- Mountain Mirrors: Dance + Landforms
- Thunderstorms: Music + Weather (adapted from my sister Mitzi!)
They’ll be going up on TPT soon, but for now, you can download them for FREE!
This comes from a place deep in my heart, much like my love art did. Someone recently called me racist, and it hit me way hard! Like, couldn’t sleep, hard. I’ll spare you the details, because the whole thing was so unreal. Moral of the story: ignore the haters; look at intent; be nice. I turned the hurt into art. A very therapeutic thing for me.
I’ve had Eric Carle on my mind a lot lately, between reading his books with my girls, and seeing his work in my pinterest feed! When reflecting on my recent hateful experience and who inspires me to rise above hate and assumptions, Rosa came to mind. Thus, Eric meets Rosa meets Photoshop. I already feel better.
It is composited in photoshop from newspaper clippings, photos, her signature, police reports, etc. Here’s where everything comes from:
I love the irony in the police officer’s hair being the highlight on the bus, and on Rosa’s lips. And the seating chart in so many places. This was such a fun, healing project!
Did you hear about the one thousand and ten dollars we raised?
We donated it to a Health Foundation that helps out newborn babes.
You see, the foundation runs a Mother’s Milk Bank.
For all the work they do for kids, they deserve a giant thank.
So many babies face illness or are premature, needing a mother’s milk to thrive.
Thankfully, selfless mothers willing to donate to the bank so often arrive.
We couldn’t have raised these funds without you.
And by you, of course, we mean you, you and, yes, you.
Abigail, Adam and Adeline, thank you for your purchase.
We hope you enjoy your felt world map, Andreas.
Bronx and Boston bought theirs together, and, wow, they sound tough.
Bradbury, for your purchase, we just can’t thank you enough.
We sold items to Chelsea, Charlaine and Christine.
And, of course, we can’t forget the one-and-only Dominique.
Thanks to everyone who shopped in their own special way.
Here’s looking at you, Emma, Ethan and Faye.
Thank you so much, Hayley, Jacky, Karyn and Lorena.
Can you believe we have customers from Salt Lake City to Valencia?
We really love your style, especially you Maria.
Before we forget, same to you Natalya, Oliver and Pia.
We can hardly believe the generous hearts of Rita and Sukee.
You’re definitely the best, Tracy, Vanessa and Whitney.
Yaro and Zsuzsanna, you made such a difference for children.
And to any buyer we didn’t mention:
Thank you, thank you, thank you a million.
Written by my friend Jaime, thanks man!
So…I might’ve gotten a *little* too excited when they announced the new Come Follow Me program for families since it combines my 3 favorite things (my family, teaching, and Jesus) and couldn’t wait to try to figure out how to teach it to our super young girls. My husband and I came up with some ideas using different pictures and activities and figured we’d share. Just a few things about it:Continue reading “Come Follow Me 2019 – Lesson Plans for young kids”
And cuteness sticks to these kids!
And command strips come off your wall easily without damage (they’re included!)
And I can’t get over how cute these kids are! Head on over to @modernfarmhousefamily to check out this adorable family.
But seriously!! How cute are these kids. And how talented is the photographer!! In love.
❤ ❤ ❤
How to make a custom baby blanket.
First, have a conversation with your neighbors who are having a baby girl!! Maybe one like this:
Me: Have you chosen a name?
Him (excited!): Yeah! Lyra!
Me: Is there meaning in it?
Him: Yes. We’re both into music. In Latin, a Lyra is like a harp. My wife is into astronomy too, and Lyra is a really cool constellation.
My brain: This. Needs. To. Be. A. Blanket.
First, paint some outer space textures.
Then pull out your tombows and do some lettering. Do a lot and write “nope” next to the bad ones.
Next, pull it all into Adobe CC to isolate your shapes, colorize them and create a repeating pattern. Save as jpg.
Headto spoonflower.com to order the fabric. Sew the edges, run through the wash and bam.
My 5YO got into dual immersion Kindergarten! I’m so excited for her! I decided to do “Spanish Kids Night’ once a week so she’s not overwhelmed when she starts. I hope DI opens doors for her later in her life. We did colors last week, and learned an AWESOME color song in Spanish! It’s sung to the tune of Frere Jacque:
Rojo, Red, Rojo, Red.
Azul, Blue, Azul, Blue.
Amarillo, Yellow, Amarillo, Yellow.
Verde, Green, Verde, Green.
Blanco, White, Blanco, White.
Negro, Black, Negro, Black.
Gris, Gray, Gris, Gray
Café, Brown, Café, Brown.
Anaranjado, Orange, Anaranjado, Orange.
Rosa, Pink, Rosa, Pink.
Morado, Purple, Morado, Purple.
Los Colores, Los Colores.
And since I’m a designer by day, I made this poster for her and the other kids to reference while we did some other Spanish color activities.
What’s the best way to get your Pinterest views up to the hundreds of thousands? Millions? There are a few ways. But the only 2 important steps are:
1. Make a product.
2. Pin it.
That’s it. You’re done. You’re going to be a millionaire in no time. Okay, okay, chances are, if you’re reading this, you’ve already done those 2 steps, and you’re not quite a millionaire. But you’ve done what most won’t. I offer a sincere ‘congratulations’ on doing the creative work. Sometimes that’s the hardest step! Now it’s just a matter of putting Continue reading “How I got my Product Viewed 180,000 Times on Pinterest.”
Holy smokes! You guys made 2017 AMAZING!! You bought felt walls, you bought prints of sloths, you bought greeting cards painted with breast milk (it’s weird, I know)! You placed orders from January through December; from down the street and across the globe. Add it all up and what do you get? One phenomenal year.
The first order came from Colorado on January 2. The last, was placed on December 30, and went all the way from Utah to Maine! In between, another 485 orders were made from 42 states (plus a military base, DC and Puerto Rico) and 22 countries.
The furthest? All the way to New Zealand – that’s over 7,200 miles! The country with the most orders (excluding United States)? France with 15 orders. I also got to send a few to Czech Republic and one to Cyprus! Next time, I think I’ll stuff myself into one of those packages.
The state with the most orders? California with 47 orders, then Texas with 36 orders, then Florida with 28.
But of all these numbers, one is the most important: $1,068.
That’s right, we donated $1,068 to the RMCHF Mother’s Milk Bank. That equals 267 ounces of breast milk that the they were able to process thanks to your generosity in 2017. But they process WAY more than that every single day. So let’s keep this going! I’ll keep making crafts, if you’ll keep buying them! I was able to fly out to visit them in January, and I was bawling the whole time! The amount of milk they process is insane! The lab techs pour milk sent in from selfless moms, then they pasteurize it and ship it out to hospitals around the country. This is the lab where the magic happens:
I can’t even explain how awesome I think they are.
And how awesome I think you are. Thank you for buying crafts. Thank you for supporting my little family.
I give you, my buyers, and the Mother’s Milk Bank ONE COLOSSAL, GIGANTIC, ENORMOUS THANK YOU!!!
You guys! This dinosaur wall was my 1,500th sale!! 1,500 of you have bought from my shop. We’ve helped feed lots of babies with that $. I love you all!
My sister talked me into a craft fair last week. I compiled a list of all the felt walls for the show, and it was rewarding to see how years of work have led to so many fun felt walls. I keep thinking my babies will get sick of them, but they haven’t yet! Every day, my 4-year-old asks ‘what kind of felt wall haven’t we made yet?’ Follow us on FB or insta see what we create next.
I had one bag of frozen breast milk left. Three ounces of a drink, but it represented a year of breastfeeding my first babe, and two years of breastfeeding my second babe. All the emotions. Lots of moms make jewelry from milk to commemorate this achievement. That’s not quite weird enough for me. In fact, the paintings I make with breast milk aren’t even weird enough. What’s weirder than milk jewelry and painting with breast milk? I made glue with the proteins from my last bag of milk. Milk that my body made to feed my beautiful babies. Then used the glue as papier-mâché to build a topographical map of Soldier Hollow in Midway, Utah. The place where I discovered my strength. Continue reading “Making Glue with Breast Milk. It’s weird, I know.”
My cousin is on an LDS mission in Oregon. He sends a fun little update every week, and this week’s email had a message that inspired me. He shared this spiritual thought: