Craft Buds is a collaboration between Lindsay Conner (Lindsay Sews) and Mary Jaracz (Bugglebee). We hope to share our experiences and inspire you in your handmade endeavors, both creative and business related. If you’re here to find craft tutorials, blogging tips or fresh ideas for promoting and running your handmade business, you’ve come to the right place!
Practicing arts or crafts brings a lot of advantages to the table. Through such an activity you get the chance to express your own creativity and originality, but also develop some useful skills. Kids however, gain a LOT more from these kinds of hobbies than us adults. It might not be that obvious but it is certainly true.
Which is why you should definitely have your children enter the amusing and beneficial world of arts and crafts. It’s obviously far better than letting them stare at their computer or smartphone screen all day until they become a passive, unambitious zombie. But how exactly is it better? What can they acquire along the way? Helen from HelloSewing shared with us some of the huge benefits of arts and crafts for kids!
Benefit #1: They’ll have something to motivate them!
Kids are usually extremely energetic, especially when they’re really young. Because of that, they always seek something that is fun, but doesn’t tend to become monotonous or boring after a relatively short time period! If they find such a thing, or activity, to be more precise, they will treasure it and turn it into the most important thing in the world.
Now, looking from a parent’s perspective, this is a good thing but it is also a sort of double-edged sword and it could potentially become a bad thing as well. It’s good because they’ll be motivated by it, and will become obedient and behave well, as long as you reward them by allowing them to practice their favorite craft. But if the mentioned hobby turns into the one and only thing in the world, they might reject everything else and go wild if they don’t get to do their thing.
Don’t worry though, you can easily avoid the bad scenario by properly dosing the activity. Just make sure that they don’t spend more than two hours tops daily on it and everything will be fine.
Benefit #2: They’ll develop a work habit and becoming more disciplined
If your kid starts making arts or crafts, they will surely become more diligent than before. It doesn’t really matter which craft we’re talking about, because all of them require discipline and order. You can’t paint a picture without preparing the canvas, brush, brush and colors first. You also won’t be able to start sewing on a machine before you’ve first made a blueprint, then cut the fabric into pieces and lastly set up the machine.
These things might be boring at first but they’re necessary, so they can’t be avoided. After a while, it will become a habit and your kid will forget that it used to be tedious. This kind of thinking will reflect on their daily lives and without a doubt make them more organized and disciplined, making their adult lives just a bit easier later on!
Benefit #3: They will acquire some useful skills
Let’s explain this with a practical example. Sewing. If your kid starts sewing simple projects with a machine, not just hand stitching and patching, they will obtain a handy skill that will prove itself to be useful as soon as they start living on their own or earning their own loaf of bread. Knowing how to fix garment rips or tears, or create them from scratch can save, or earn you a nice amount of money. And when you’ve just started your independent life, every cent counts.
Having said that, if you notice that your kid has an affinity towards sewing on a machine, get them a beginner friendly model as soon as possible and let them nurture their creativity and ingenuity.
These were just top three benefits of arts and crafts for kids but they are more than enough to demonstrate just how useful these activities are. All in all, they are fun, which is probably enough on its own for your kid to enjoy them. So, you should definitely let them have a go at one or a few of them.
Did you practice arts of crafts as a child? What were some of your first favorites?!
Looking for a fun, Easter-themed STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) activity? Make a graham cracker Peeps house! This fun and edible craft will get your kids thinking like little engineers as they discover which structures are the most sturdy.
Marshmallow Peeps and other candies for decorating
Coconut (for grass)
Sharp knife to break graham crackers evenly (parent help required!)
Use food coloring to dye the shredded coconut and icing if desired. We started with green coconut and then tried blue. It was my son’s idea to dye the frosting (a little bit at a time, so we could do different colors), and I think it turned out great!
Don’t be afraid to use a lot of icing when attaching the graham crackers. You can let your kids choose the design, and assist them with attaching the pieces. You can also use a hot glue gun, unless you want it to be completely edible. We just used frosting and chose a box-like shape for the base, adding on small roof pieces to the top. This meant we’d have to cut off the top of the bunny’s ears sometimes, but I let my son decide which structure was his favorite, and he chose the sturdiest!
You can frost and decorate the graham crackers before building, or after. It’s up to you!
After getting the structure together, you can let your child fill the inside with a Peeps chick or bunny, jelly beans, chocolate eggs, coconut grass, or anything else you’d like. I think these turned out pretty cute for our first time! We even walked one over to our neighbor as a thank you gift for helping with some yard work.
Have you always wanted to start your own business selling your crafts and doing what you love? The good news is that this dream isn’t as difficult to achieve as you might think – as long as you know what you are doing.
To help you with this, we have gathered some tips and tricks on how to start your own craft business and we are going to discuss them in this article. Keep reading to find out more.
Find The Right Space
The first thing that you are going to need to think about when starting your own craft business from home is the space that you are going to be based in. If you have a spare room, then this might be perfect but if not then you are going to need to get creative. One option that a lot of people are utilizing is steel buildings. The leading provider in this industry is Armstrong Steel who offers easily to assemble metal buildings that would be perfect for this activity. On top of this, you can enjoy the fact that you are outside, away from any distractions that you’d find in your home. If you think a steel build would work in your garden, you can take a look at Armstrong Steel’s website here.
Order Bulk Materials
If you are going to be running a business, then it is a good idea to think about the materials that you are going to use. It can be hard to know how many orders you are going to get initially but it is a good idea to think about ordering materials in bulk. While it might take you a while to get through them, you will find that it is much more cost-effective to order this way. You might even be able to get a discount for ordering more than you need so make sure to consider this.
Do What You Love
It can be easy to get bogged down with only making things that you think will sell well but if this business is going to last then you need to think about making what you like to make. Think about your favorite craft, whether that is sewing, knitting or even making stationary. It’s a good idea to stick to this initially and make sure that you get good enough at it to make some money. Once you are up and running you can worry about venturing into other crafts and giving customers more of a choice.
Our final tip for those who want to start their own home craft business is to get online. While your business might only be local right now, social media can be an important tool in helping local businesses get their message out there. You can easily get your friends and family to share your work online and you might even get some new customers this way. If you really want to make a good impression, think about creating your own website to showcase your work.
If you are thinking about starting your own home craft business, make sure to consider all of the handy tips and tricks that we have given you in this article!
Have you ever cruised before? My husband and I just took a week-long cruise on the amazing Harmony of the Seas! It’s an Oasis-class ship of Royal Caribbean, meaning it is just shy of being the world’s largest cruise ship (second only to its sister, the Symphony of the Seas). This ship is absolutely incredible, and one of my favorite parts of cruising on Royal Caribbean is that there’s just so much to do. Broadway shows at sea, a zipline, water slides, huge hot tubs, food everywhere, and even crafting.
Before you even get on board the ship, you can fill your cruise calendar with fun classes like cupcake decorating, making sushi or guacamole, or dining at a specialty restaurant. There are other crafty classes on board like scrapbooking and jewelry making.
A few years ago, I took a cruise on the Oasis of the Seas and had fun decorating cupcakes onboard with my mom, a fellow crafter! So I knew I wanted to try out the cupcake class on Harmony of the Seas, too.
When I showed up for my class, the second morning of the cruise, I entered through the doors of the spectacular Wonderland restaurant. The menu here is inventive, based around molecular gastronomy. It has to be one of the most creative places to eat while sailing on the ocean!
The decor reminds you of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. Walk past the golden door and enter a world of culinary possibilities. Mmmm!
Although my husband and I didn’t eat at Wonderland during our cruise (we loved several other specialty restaurants, like Jamie’s Italian!), I was really thankful to sit inside of the beautiful, two-level space for my cupcake class.
About 12 people showed up to take the cupcake class (a mixture of couples, women, and older children). Each participant sat in front of a plate with a fresh-baked vanilla cupcake, a tub of cream cheese icing, utensils (including a plastic spoon and tooth picks), a different color of food coloring, and colorful balls of almond paste.
Without giving away the “secret identity” of our cupcake, our instructor led us through a fun class with easy-to-follow instructions about rolling the almond paste into balls and hot dog shapes. When we got close to the end, someone was able to guess that it was a penguin, and won a prize: a special lovebird cupcake!
After finishing our penguin cupcakes, we were giving a second cupcake to decorate with the remaining M&Ms Minis, sprinkles and frosting! We all quickly scarfed down our second cupcakes and carried our “pretty” ones back to our rooms.
Overall, I really enjoyed the chance to do some crafting at sea! The entire experience on board the Royal Caribbean Harmony of the Seas was one I’ll never forget. The cupcake was quite tasty, too!
Cheers! Thank you to the staff of Royal Caribbean for arranging our VIP welcome gift of champagne, a fruit and cheese plate, and Evian water. There’s really no better feeling than leaving Indiana in the middle of winter to be treated to a week of warm weather, a beautiful ocean view, and the exuberant joy that comes with sailing on the world’s largest cruise ship!
Welcome to our stop on the Sew kraft-tex Bags blog tour! This is a new book from C&T Publishing that explores the many ways to use kraft-tex to construct bags, pouches, and purses, either as the main fabric or as an accent.
If you aren’t very familiar with kraft-tex, it’s a fabric-paper hybrid that looks like leather but sews like fabric. It can be washed, screenprinted, dyed, embroidered, folded, woven… so many things! It comes in several colors, and in both unwashed and prewashed varieties.
I’ve had several chances to work with this material, and have found it to be a portal to unlock so much creativity! I decided to remake the “Man Clutch” by my Craft Buds co-editor, Mary Jaracz. It appears in the book On the Go Bags, which I co-authored with Janelle MacKay.
Mary originally designed this clutch with leather accents, and it has been updated with kraft-tex, a vegan leather. In the introduction to Sew kraft-tex Bags, the authors provide thorough instructions on using kraft-tex, including washing, drying, cutting and sewing, plus hints and tips for using kraft-tex in your own favorite bag patterns!
Back to this project! It’s a little fabric folder with a zipper pouch in the middle. I’m going to use mine for a travel sewing kit, but it’s a really cute little clutch you could use for almost anything (chapstick, keys, credit cards). For the kraft-tex accents, I did not wash the material (just sort of rolled it around and crumpled it in my fingers), but if you did wash it, you’d get a softer and more supple feel. I like it a little bit crisper for this project.
The striped fabric is a print I picked up when my family vacationed in Switzerland, and I had a vision of pairing it with kraft-tex when I bought it.
The book has 17 bag patterns with their original instructions (all made from fabric), with a kraft-tex variation, and project-specific helpful hints for each bag. There’s lots of variety, from simple sewing projects like this one to more elaborate bags with patchwork, weaving, hardware, and unique construction. Something for everybody!
Follow along with the blog tour to see more amazing kraft-tex creations!
This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. This content is intended for readers who are 21 and over. #Yuengling190 #CollectiveBias #SpreadYourWings
Do you have a big family reunion coming up? Looking for some unique ideas for things to do? We hear you!
Each summer, I attend a friend reunion that is like coming home to family. The families that attend have been gathering for 6 years, and this upcoming summer will mark our seventh year all together. We are so grateful for the long weekend of time carved out to catch up on life, cook together, play games, and enjoy a relaxing and fun weekend in the company of friends!
Among this group are some of my longtime girl friends. Since I don’t have sisters in my nuclear family, it’s important to keep close ties with the women in my life… the people who’ve seen me through ups and downs, and who know me inside and out.
I recently heard that Yuengling is operated by four sisters, who represent the 6th generation of their family business. Jen, Wendy, Debbie and Sheryl Yuengling have grown up in the business. Together, they have 60 combined years of brewery experience, and they work as a team to lead the company.
I can’t help but think it’s a wonderful thing to share your business with the women in your life who are there with you through thick and thin! The Yuengling sisters run their family business in a way that they put a strong focus on enriching the lives of the local community around them. In fact, they call this their extended family. This just makes me think of my own girlfriends and how proud I am to be in their “family.”
190th Anniversary Cans
Yuengling, America’s Oldest Brewery, is celebrating its 190th year in business with 5 commemorative cans, one released each month through April 2019! The next time you’re shopping, keep an eye out for limited-edition cans in select 12- and 24-packs. These designs reflect on the family company’s history (fact: they were once called “Eagle Brewery”) and the entrepreneurial spirit that continues.
Now through 5/1/2019, get $2.00 off 12 pack OR (2) 6 packs or $4.00 off (2) 12 pack OR a 24pk or (4) 6pk with a MIR (mail-in-rebate). Please note that the offer may vary by state, so check your local store.
10 Family Reunion Ideas
Ready to have the most memorable family reunion ever? Get your plans started with these fun activities, food/drinks, favors, photo props, and more! Review this list for your favorites, and find the links at the bottom of this page.
Make family tees
This is somewhat of a requirement for important family reunions! My friend Meredith designed an image to print on t-shirts for our fifth anniversary of our annual friend reunion, which we affectionately call “McBees Family Vacation.” You can get shirts printed online. Or if you prefer a more handcrafted approach, try a fast and easy project with some homemade applique letters and a little stitching. Do it in advance of your family reunion, and you can all have matching name shirts!
Set up a cool drink station
Don’t have any great containers? Make your own “galvanized” metal drink stations by spray painting plastic bins from the dollar store with metallic paint.
Play corn hole
Here in the Midwest, it’s a real thing! If you don’t know, corn hole is an outdoor game that’s great at parties and family reunions because it’s easy to learn and a little competitive. You can sew up your own bean bags and make your own board from plywood.
Or if you don’t have the time to make your own set, look for a croquet set to buy or borrow. Outdoor games are a great ice breaker!
Make your own ice cream and hot fudge
Pair rich, thick, intensely chocolate flavored fudge with minty fresh ice cream, and you’ve got a memorable dessert for your next family reunion! It’s also easy to make.
Make a collaborative quilt
An art project has a great way of pulling family members together! We love this idea for a group handprint quilt, with fabric squares that can be decorated at the event, and then sewn together once they’ve dried.
Find Someone Who… Bingo
This is a really fun idea that you can easily customize to fit your group! Make it safe and easy to play, or make it as silly as you’d like!
Make a photo booth wall
This idea is really fun! Set up a photo booth wall with easy printable props, or go all in with this DIY project. Enlist the handy friends in your family to build and decorate it for you, and create memorable family portraits at your next reunion.
Sew the perfect blanket for outdoor reunions
Take your family on a picnic with this blanket that is waterproof on one side and easy to store. This is also be great for beach family reunions, and keeping the sand away! You just need a shower curtain or vinyl table cloth on the bottom, a blanket on the top. The should strap makes it easy to carry when you’re coming and going.
Make memorable party favors
Mini mason jars with treats, homemade body scrubs, customized mugs… the possibilities are endless! Making a custom party favor for your family reunion is sure to make it a fun time for all.
Play lawn Twister
Make your grass way more fun with some colored spray paint and a little prep work! We love this idea for a giant, outdoor Twister game for family gatherings. Try a kids round and a round for the adults, and then find the ultimate winner.
Hey guys! This is Lindsay, and I’m super excited to tell you about a brand new online quilting conference, organized by the ladies behind Simple Simon and Company.
It’s called the Mod Bee and it is 3-day quilting conference with live classes taught every 2 hours by quilting bloggers from across the country. I’m super excited to be TEACHING!
The best part? You don’t need to travel to attend. In fact, you don’t even need to leave home! You can attend this conference from the comfort of your own couch and in your pj’s if you like because this 3-day quilt-a-palooza is held online! How awesome is that?
During Mod Bee I will each be teaching a 1-hour class to show you how to make this cathedral windows pillow!
Read more about the event below, including the 12 free PDF patterns that are included with your ticket, the PRIZES you can win, and special discount code for my readers!
Today I’m are excited to announce that tickets sales for Mod Bee are now open!
Mod Bee is 3 day, online conference full of interactive quilting classes taught by some of the Internet’s favorite quilters.
This year Mod Bee will be held:
Thursday March 14th,
Friday March 15th, and
Saturday March 16th
(With classes running every 2 hours from 9am to 7pm)
Access to a private Facebook group where 6 classes will be taught each day during the conference (Making that a total 18 classes!)
12 PDF Patterns sent to you via email prior to the
conference beginning so that you can be prepared to sew along with the
classes of your choice
Automatic entry to win daily prizes during the conference
Continued access to the videos that will remain posted throughout the remainder of the year.
Ticket price for this 3-day event is just $75 (get an extra $20 offwith the coupon code LINDSAYSEWS)
The Mod Bee is a modern twist on an old fashioned quilting bee…a chance to gather together quilters from across the country into one location to learn, visit, be inspired and enjoy the love of
And, we hope you will join us.
The team of teachers gathered together this year include:
Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, MARS Wrigley Confectionery. All opinions are mine alone. #RaiseTheChocolateBar #CollectiveBias
Every Friday, my husband and I host a game night with good friends. We are so lucky that they live nearby and are willing to let us host at our house, which makes it easy to put our kid to bed and still enjoy late-night games!
We usually trade off on who cooks or brings dinner, or we can order delivery for those really busy weeks. But the consistency of weekly game night has done wonders for our souls.
Want to host your own weekly game night? Here are some ideas to get you started!
Step 1: Gather your games
After dinner, we’ll set up a strategy game, like Settlers of Catan, Azul, or Century Spice Road (a new favorite). Sometimes we go on long stretches playing the same game, and we love it! Other times, we’ll invite more friends and mix it up with a big-group game like Seven Wonders.
No pressure party games: If you are inviting new game players who aren’t into really strategic games, maybe start with a fun party game like Scattergories, Balderdash, or charades.
Beginner strategy games: Some introductory and easy-to-learn options for adult strategy games are Splendor, Camel Up, and King Domino.
Advanced strategy games: Looking for more advanced games for experienced game players? Some other favorites that we’ve played are Pandemic Legacy, Suburbia, and Dominion.
Step 2: Shop for treats
Next, the treats come out! Our go-to and easiest-ever treat is chocolate bars, but we’ve also done birthday cakes (depending on the occasion), ice cream, or homemade cookies. Most recently, we served scoops of cookies & cream flavored ice cream with bits of M&M’S® Milk Chocolate chocolate bar on top.
These bars are new at Walmart, and they are ideal for sharing. They are easy to cut or break into bite-size pieces. And surprise! Each bar is filled with colorful M&M’S® minis!
They come in 5 fun flavors, and each one has M&M’S® Minis inside a big 4-ounce bar. We all thought the Milk Chocolate version was just perfect! The blue-wrapped M&M’S® Crispy Chocolate Bar is filled with crisp rice plus the M&M’S® Minis, and the addition of peanuts to the M&M’S® Peanut Chocolate Bar is super yummy.
Step 3: Set up a hot beverage bar
I also picked up some M&M’S® Almond Chocolate Bar at Walmart, to add to our hot beverage bar. We regularly keep a stash of flavored hot chocolate and tea bags near our coffee station, which we can pull out for game night! My husband, the resident coffee drinker, always makes sure there’s coffee, too.
Looking for New M&M’S® Chocolate Bars at Walmart? Check the big candy aisle in the grocery section (not the checkout) and look for the golden yellow box displays. You can’t miss them.
Try these candy bars a sampling event near you! In-store demos will be at Walmart from 1/31 to 2/2/19! See if your store is participating here.
Step 4: Have fun!
The more excited you are about game night, the more fun it will be for your guests! Why not build the enthusiasm by pulling out ALL the games, and letting last week’s winner pick the next one? Set up a table for the games (like we did for our New Year’s party) and display them with some festive paper decorations!
Looking for more delicious ideas for your game night in? Check out this link for inspiration!
M&M’S® Milk Chocolate Bar: Serving size 1/4 bar. Calories 150. Total fat 9g. Sat fat 5g. Trans fat 0g. Cholesterol 5mg. Sodium 20mg. Total carb 17g. Dietary fiber <1g. Total sugars 16g. Incl 14g Added Sugars. Protein 2g.
M&M’S® Peanuts Chocolate Bar: Serving size 1/4 bar. Calories 150. Total fat 9g. Sat fat 5g. Trans fat 0g. Cholesterol 5mg. Sodium 20mg. Total carb 16g. Dietary fiber <1g. Total sugars 15g. Incl 13g Added Sugars. Protein 2g.
M&M’S® Crispy Chocolate Bar: Serving size 1/4 bar. Calories 150. Total fat 8g. Sat fat 5g. Trans fat 0g. Cholesterol 5mg. Sodium 20mg. Total carb 17g. Dietary fiber <1g. Total sugars 15g. Incl 13g Added Sugars. Protein 2g.
This shop has been compensated by Chobani. All opinions are mine alone. #GimmiesFun #CollectiveBias
Coming up with healthy options for my son’s lunch is tricky. I always like to make sure he has some other food groups in there as well, to help him have a good day at school and not feel sluggish.
That’s why I’m so excited about the new Chobani® Gimmies™ Crunch mix-in yogurts for kids and Chobani® Gimmies™ Milkshakes at Walmart. They are all natural, non-GMO, with no artificial sweeteners, thickeners, preservatives! And they are fun to eat, so it doesn’t feel like I’m tricking him into something.
The Chobani® Gimmies™ Poppin’ Cotton Candy mix-in yogurt is super fun for lunches or an after school snack. Each Chobani® Gimmies™ Crunch mix-in yogurt has a section of yummy flavored yogurt and another corner with fun mix-ins. After peeling off the lid, my son can easily bend the container to pour the sprinkles onto the yogurt himself. What kid doesn’t like sprinkles?! Our favorite flavor was Chobani® Gimmies™ Ooey Gooey S’more, and I feel good about giving it to my kid. Also look for flavors like Chobani® Gimmies™ Choco Chunk Cookie Dunk and Best Birthday Ever, which are packed with protein and essential nutrients.
In fact, I think it’s a good lesson to have my son pack his own lunch from the healthy options I’ve stored on the bottom shelves of the fridge and pantry. This way, he gets to choose something that’s fun for him to take, and I can be sure he’ll eat it! I’ve found that presenting healthy food choices, and modeling good eating habits, has encouraged my son to try different foods that are healthier than normal kids snacks. Even broccoli sometimes!
Here are some healthy options that are our lunchbox go-tos:
hummus and pretzels
turkey sandwich with cheese
The Chobani® Gimmies™ Cookies & Cream Crush milkshake comes with a straw on each one that is easy to poke into the foil top. Hallelujah! We love these Chobani® Gimmies™ milkshakes with its own extendable and bendy straw, my son can easily handle this new yogurt drink. I’d even feel good about bringing this in the car for my son to drink while running errands or after picking him up from school. With the straw, I don’t need to worry about spillage. Also look for the Chobani® Gimmies™ Bizzy Buzzy Strawberry flavor, which was my son’s favorite.
You can find the NEW Chobani® Gimmies™ yogurts at Walmart in the kids section of the yogurt aisle. I was even happy to find several with $1 off coupons!
If you’re not wanting to take your kids out on a grocery run, but need to fill up your kitchen, check out the convenient Online Grocery Pickup! It’s so easy, and quite a time-saver to have someone else shop for your grocery order for you. I didn’t try it this time, but I have in the past and it’s so easy to do.
The kids are out on winter break, and that means lots of time around the house cooped up indoors! My preschool-age son is really into helping me sew, and he also loves his growing stuffed animal collection.
Yesterday he asked me if we could sew a stuffed animal. Having a bit of experience with making 3-D stuffed animals, I wanted to set him up with a project he could succeed with! Luckily, I found this easy sewing tutorial from Make It & Love It for stuffed snakes. We didn’t follow the directions exactly, but roughly cut out the snake shapes from fabric (quilting cotton and suede), picked out buttons and ric-rac, and emptied out some abandoned throw pillows for stuffing.
The first snake we made measured about 2 1/2 feet long. My son chose the clear button eyes, which I think is kinda fun. The fabric mimics a snake skin pattern, so that’s pretty festive, too. We cut each fabric strip 6″ wide, and then rounded the corners.
This is the second snake we made. It is so big! I bet it is as tall as my son. We cut each fabric strip 7″ wide and then rounded the corners.
This was a fun and easy sewing project to do with my son, who is almost 5. If you are sewing with kids, it’s important to have a lot of patience, and involve them in the process each step of the way (picking out fabrics, working at the sewing machine, and cleaning up).
Oh, and in case you were wondering, he also talked me into making him a stuffed elephant. So much for the “easy” snake stuffed animal idea!