November 29, 2012

it's time for prizes!

It's my turn on Sew to Speak's Ruby Star Wrap Along blog tour! If you're popping by my little slice of the blogosphere for the first time, WELCOME! If you're a regular {me and elna} reader- what up, yo! Nice to have you back. ;)

I've seen Melody Miller's and Allison Tannery's new book "Ruby Star Wrapping" popping up around the blog world for a bit now and love the mission behind it- to give gifts in packaging that is not just thoughtfully prepared but that can be re-used by the recepient. Two gifts in one! What's not to love, I ask you? + I love, love, LOVE re-purposing items! Here's a peek at one of the little cubes to the left of my sewing area at home:
 I keep safety pins for basting in an old shredded wheat tin box (and that mother is oooooold, let me tell you), the pearl cotton thread and needle that I'm currently embroidering with in the ivory canister that once housed a candle and all of my frequently used sewing tools- rotary cutter, snippers, seam ripper, etc.- in a vintage Pyrex refrigerator dish. Me and re-purposing go way back, you see. So- me and "Ruby Star Wraping"? We pretty much go together like chips and queso. :)

Anywho- onward to the goods!

April from Sew to Speak asked me to make a couple things from the book to share with y'all- it was so hard to choose which ones to make! I poured over the book daily for a good week before deciding on three items to make- a drawstring bag, an apron wrapped up in itself so that its ties become the ribbon and a re-purposed canister.

On page 40 of "Ruby Star Wrapping", Melody and Allison share a super easy tutorial for how to make a drawstraing bag.

I choose some Laurie Wisbrun fabric that I had been hoarding saving for a rainy day and also decided to rummage through my scrap bin for some fabric to add a coordinating top. I effing LOVE scraps and save pretty darn near every bit of fabric I have left over from a project! You never know when fabric scraps will come in handy and they definitely did with this project. I think I'll whip another one of these bags up and fill them with Christmas gifts for my twin neices. All they want is X-Men and skateboard stuff, so this will appease my girly side juuuuuuuust enough. ;)

I'm in a secret santa swap with some friends of mine and when I saw the apron pattern on page 117, it had my partner's name written all over it! In the spirit of gift giving and all that is holy, I mustn't show you the apron before she receives it (womp, womp...) but here it is all wrapped up in itself!
So cute it almost makes you wanna slap your mama, right?! But don't- that's disrespectful.

On pages 25 and 63 of the book, there are two great (!!!) tutorials on how to re-purpose common household boxes (think cereal boxes, shoe boxes, etc.) to make into quaint re-usable boxes. I really like this idea as everyone has boxes in the pantry that at some point are going to become empty and the skill level for this project is pretty basic. In my pantry, I found a close to empty oatmeal box to glitzy up but instead of using fabric, I chose to cover it with chunky off-white yarn with several strands of blue yarn around the top.
To secure the yarn, just use a bit of craft glue or hot glue- depending on the age of the person making the project. This would be a really fun project for kids as it's VERY forgiving and shouldn't require a heck of a lot of guidance; I'd recommend 8+ years. You can cover the top in fabric or simply paint it!
I really like the way this project turned out and would love to receive a gift in this! I would totally put this on a shelf in my sewing room- I think it'd be the perfect spot for storing itty bitty scraps, ribbon, lace or even buttons! Wouldn't that be a fun goal- fill this mother UP with buttons?! :)

 Another fun thing about this book is that it doesn't just focus on making things to put gifts inside, but on embellishments too! Though I haven't gotten around to making them yet, a fun tutorial for making teeny tiny fabric bunting (page 155) would be a great use for scraps (see a theme forming?) as would the ribbon tutorial on page 153! I have a canister full of selvedges and long strips of fabric that I've been saving after first hearing of this idea in "Zakka Style" so I was super excited that Melody and Allison shared two ways to make fabric ribbons in "Ruby Star Wrapping."

Suffice it to say, I freaking love "Ruby Star Wrapping" by Melody Miller and Allison Tannery! Making handmade gifts is so meaningful and personal- much more so than something store bought, in my opinion. + being able to help reduce waste (all of that dang wrapping paper that we RIP off and throw in the garbage every Christmas!) while providing something else usable to the recepient is a win-win.

How would you like to win your very own copy of "Ruby Star Wrapping"?! You know you want to... :) Sew to Speak will be drawing a winner tomorrow of these lovely prizes:

A copy of Melody and Allison's book, 1/2 yard of some yummy Melody Miller fabric (I DIE!!!), one yard of pom-pos, one yard of wide vintage style ribbon, one yard of Anna Maria Horner chevron ribbon, one yard of ric-rac + some other goodies that are too fantastic to appear in print. All you have to do to be entered in the contest is to head over to their blog and leave a comment on TODAY'S post- the one featuring me, yo. That's it!

And that's not all folks! ;)

In addition to Sew to Speak's contest, I'm having one too! Just leave a comment on this post and I too will pick a winner tomorrow morning to win something handmade by ME! You don't have to tweet this contest, you don't have to shout it from the mountains- just leave a little ol' comment and I'll draw a winner tomorrow morning; oh, but do tell me what your favorite color is so I can personalize your gift. :) And, of course, all international peeps and welcomed and encouraged to comment- I ship everywhere, yo.

Oh! And don't forget to check out the other lovelies who are part of the Wrap-Along! There's even another chance on December 7 to win more faboulous prizes. :)
Peace out, Girl Scout!

xo, Kara


  1. You are so delightful and crafty; I am so proud to have you as my cousin!

  2. Adorable, adorable, adorable! Huge applause! (and thank you for taking the time to write such a thoughtful review :)

  3. Looks like you did get some good crafting genes from mom!

  4. So crazy creative I'm jealous!!! I can't believe you know April from Sew to Speak...that's so worlds collide crazy....I dig when "the world is so small" type stuff like that happens....craft on friend. KR

  5. i love the idea of using up cereal boxes and oatmeal cartons! we could have so much fun with these ideas!

  6. You're so nuts and I love it. My favorite color is green. No orange. No hot pink and orange. Ok, green. But orange and hot pink and very close seconds. :)

  7. I really enjoyed your post! I'm new to your site, but I can't help liking fellow elna folk. :)

  8. Kara. I really want to win. No, but seriously. I've had my eye on winning since the day before Turkey Day when you told me you were going to be featured. :) My favorite color is yellow. You should probably pick me. ;) (Or convince the random number generator it should choose me. I'm really quite nice!)

    Also, you did a kick-butt job on your projects, and I want to see the apron!!!

  9. I haven't checked this book out yet, but your review made it seem like I should! Thanks for doing the giveaway. My favorite color varies based on my mood, but right now I'll say a lovely shade of blue. (not neon) :)

  10. Your drawstring bag is SO cute! And so does that sneaking peek of the apron! This looks like a great book! Thanks for hosting a giveaway! I don't have a favourite colour- all colours have something special to say!

  11. Ok, I'm dying to see the apron bc I bought some of that fabric awhile ago and can't figure out what to do with it. Also, I'm dying to go buy the book now, all of your projects are super cute, and since I hate clutter and extra stuff, I love the idea of reusing the wrapping. And I love me some pink!

  12. Very cute goodies you made! And now, I want chips and queso... sigh :)

  13. Is the apron for me? Is the canister for me? Is the bag for me? (are you noticing a theme? :) )

  14. Great repurposing and I haven't seen that fabric before(horses wearing gumboots - stinkin cute!)


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