Sunday, March 10, 2013

Girl Friday Sews & a Giveaway



Image courtesy of decor8

I am addicted to office supplies. 
  
Something inside me does a happy dance every time I walk through the store and look at all those color coordinated paper clips, thumb tacks, and rubber bands. I love filling my cart with spiral notebooks and file folders, and every year I need a new day planner…or two. It’s not a recent addiction. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been excited about the start of each school year. To me, it meant new faces in the classroom, new books to read, and new worlds to conquer. That stack of supplies waiting by the door for the first day of school to arrive was a reminder that I was getting another fresh start, and I loved it.
 
When I became a teacher, my favorite part of the job every year was getting my classroom ready for the kids. I absolutely loved creating an environment where they would be excited to learn and grow. My advice to new teachers was always the same: “You’re going to spend as much time here as you’ll spend in your own home, so make it a place where you feel comfortable.” And as I started adding more personal touches to my classroom, I realized that it made my students more comfortable too. The same was true later on when I had an administrative office. I dressed mine up with retro touches -- WWII era posters, a CD player made to look like a vintage radio, an old fashioned coat rack in the corner -- and people often told me it was the most welcoming room in the building.

Now that I’m a stay-at-home mom starting the process of homeschooling my three daughters, I’ve found that it works both ways. Just as I once tried to bring the comforts of home into my workplace, I’m now trying to make my home into an environment where productive learning is happening every day. Creating school supplies for my girls not only gives me a personal connection to their education, but it makes them feel special.  There’s nothing my daughters love more than using something that Mommy sewed just for them. And I've found that I enjoy working at my own desk so much more when it's dressed up a bit. Surrounding myself with things that I love makes me happier to be there, and I find that I get a lot more accomplished that way.

For quite a while now, I've been wanting to do a blog hop about making items that can be used in an office, a home office, a classroom, a child's study area -- you get the idea. We spend so much time in these places where we learn and work. Why not make them beautiful?

 

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, it was back in 1940 when someone first coined the term "Girl Friday" to refer to "a female assistant entrusted with a wide variety of tasks." I couldn't think of a better way to describe what I do on a daily basis as I organize and accomplish the millions of tasks involved in caring for my family -- and, yes, do a little sewing along the way. And so I invite you to join us this April for the Girl Friday Sews Blog Hop. I have some wonderfully talented friends and incredibly generous sponsors coming along for the ride. Take a look...

Mon., March 11 -- Blog Hop Launch @ Fabric Mutt (Craftsy giveaway: free class)
Mon., March 18 -- Blog Hop Promo @ Fabric Mutt (Pink Chalk Fabrics giveaway: $25 certificate)
Mon., March 25 -- Blog Hop Promo with Tutorial @ Fabric Mutt
Mon., April 1 -- Heidi Staples @ Fabric Mutt
Tue., April 2 -- Kristy @ Quiet Play (Pink Chalk Fabrics giveaway: $25 certificate)
Wed., April 3 -- Becca Bryan @ Bryan House Quilts
Thur., April 4 -- Amanda Woodruff @ A Crafty Fox (Westwood Acres giveaway)
Fri., April 5 -- Lee Heinrich @ Freshly Pieced
Mon., April 8 -- Svetlana Sotak @ SOTAK Handmade
Tue., April 9 -- Beth @ Plum and June (Sew Me a Song giveaway: fabric bundle)
Wed., April 10 -- Taryn @ From Pixels to Patchwork
Thur., April 11 -- Lori Hartman @ Lori H. Designs (Fabricworm giveaway: Robotic fabric bundle)
Fri., April 12 -- Leanne @ She Can Quilt
Mon., April 15 -- Blog Hop Recap at Fabric Mutt

My deepest thanks go out to our sponsors: Craftsy, Fabricworm, Pink Chalk Fabrics, Sew Me a Song, and Westwood Acres. They've provided some fantastic prizes to share with you!

You can grab your own blog button using this code:

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You can also join our Flickr group at http://www.flickr.com/groups/girlfridaysews/. Email me at hjstaples@gmail.com with any questions. Help us get the word out!

Now let's kick things off with our first giveaway. I may not be Craftsy's number one fan, but I think I must be somewhere in the top ten. If you've never had the chance to visit this incredible website, drop everything you're doing and go spend at least five minutes looking around at www.craftsy.com. While you're there, I highly recommend that you sign up for their mailing list so you can stay on top of the classes they're offering. You'll find everything from knitting to quilting to cake decorating, and each of the teachers are at the top of their fields. I'm currently in the middle of three different classes, all of which I'm loving, and I can't wait to start watching their free footage from QuiltCon.

The marvelous people at Craftsy are giving away one free class valued at up to $50 for one lucky winner. Just leave me a comment telling me an item that you would love to make for your work space. A new gadget case? A work tote? Pillows for your office chair? Do tell! Followers, both old and new, get an extra entry. I'll choose a random winner on Friday morning. International entries are welcome -- just be sure that you have an email address in your comment if you're a no-reply blogger!

*** THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED! THANKS FOR ENTERING!! ***

I'm looking forward to a wonderful blog hop next month. Join us!

Linking up to the Let's Get Acquainted Monday Link-up.

66 comments:

  1. New curtains would be great!

    carrie dot hare at gmail dot com

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  2. I would like to make the dress I signed up to make but have never got around to doing it :P

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  3. I would love to make some fabric bins.
    Thanks!
    Www.whatthebobbin.com

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  4. Oh great idea. Thread holder - long skinny thing. That's what I need!

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  5. Oh I'd have to be in the Top 10 Craftsy fans with you for sure!!! As a SAHM, I'd love to make some curtains to change out with daggy cupboard doors in the playroom/sewing room.

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  6. I'd make a back pillow for my sewing chair so I could sit their longer without backache!

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  7. I need some boxes, bags, books, storage, cushions... Just everything I think. My next project is a portable cutting mat and ironing case though.

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  8. And I'm a devoted follower. Love your stuff.

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  9. I need to make me a new tablet case. Nothing really wrong with my old one. But I am wanting to change to a neww one in different brighter colors.

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  10. An ergononic pillow would be great.

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  12. I'd like an ironing station next to my sewing machine so I don't have to keep getting up and crossing the room!

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  13. Some fabric storage baskets I think, made from some of my favourite texty fabrics! :o)

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  14. I would make a pillow for my office chair seeing as I sit all day!

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  15. I need to make some scrap buckets....but I wish I could make a drop in table for my machine.

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  16. I want to make a pin cushion that ties around my sewing machine.

    mcsweeney.erinatgmail.com

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  17. I'm a follower

    mcsweeney.erinatgmail.com

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  18. I would make some very small containers to hold paper clips and the like!

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  19. Baskets... big, little, fun....

    Susie
    legato1958@aol.com

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  20. I need to make an iPad cover:)

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  21. Heidi I have been meaning to make a reading book, colouring book holder for the car, does that count? Good to see your list of hoppers.

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  22. Been following since the Zakka Sew Along.

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  23. A pillow to make my work chair more comfy or maybe a mug rug for my water to sit on!!

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  24. I am a follower since the Vintage Holiday quilt along. That was a very fun project. The first quilt along I did! Hopefully the first of many. Thanks.

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  25. I would love to make a structured, fabric tray.

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  26. Cushions for my office chair would definitely get my vote.
    Great idea for a Hop.
    I am looking forward to it.

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  27. I NEED to recover my office chair (of course, the "office" is the playroom, schoolroom, laundry and weight room) It's ugly black and needs some color!!

    brookeali(at)hotmail.com

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  28. I would like to make something that will write my dissertation for me. Please tell me which week on the hop will be covering that! ;)

    But really, something like your navigators pouch would be nice for me to have when I go to archives and can't take bags in with me.

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  29. Well, I work in a low volume, high quality dog boarding facility...only 12 spaces. Each animal gets quality cuddle time as part of the deal. I'd love to make pillow covers! Each dog gets a big fluffy bed, but they are all kinda plain. I've made two so far and working on the rear, nice zippered covers! So, that's what I want to make for my workspace!
    I'm so glad I found your blog!

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  30. I think I'm a follower....I have you bookmarked and check in on you everyday over morning coffee and evening beer!

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  31. Id love to recover my office chair - pieced and quilted with pretty Fabrics.

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  32. I would like to make a beautiful wall quilt like Camille Roskelley has in her sewing room..

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  33. I gave been a follower for quite some time!

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  34. I would definitely make a large work tote/bag. Thanks for the giveaway! wonderlandbyalyce at gmail dot com

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  35. I follow your blog also, thanks! wonderlandbyalyce at gmail dot com

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  36. I need to make several fabric bins.

    rmk815 at gmail dot com

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  37. I really want to make some fabric baskets. I don't know what is holding me back as I have quite a stash of fabric... Thanks for the giveaway.

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  38. I am a follower, well officially anyway!

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  39. Sounds like fun!! I like office supplies too :o) I think I would like to make a new wrist rest for my mouse pad and/or keyboard. The ones I have a fun and squishy, but I would like something covered in a fun fabric!

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  40. I am a happy Mutt follower too :o)

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  41. love it! i just went back to work full-time (after 4 years at home) and so far i've made a quilted snack mat, scrap-covered push pins and a picture frame for my desk... i agree - so important to make it feel like home! i love that idea of a pillow for my chair, so that's my vote. thanks for the chance!

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  42. I'd like to make some cute notebook covers. :)

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  43. I need to paint my wall of fame so I can display all the lovely gifts I have received.

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  44. I need a cover for my sewing machine, so that is the work area project I will be making next.

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  45. I would love to make fabric bins for my bath room.
    Susanne

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  46. New wall hangings,moved into a dusty old apartment and need to cover up some stuff.haha

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  48. Well, I would actually like to make 2 things right away. First off is a sewing machine cover. I just never use the plain vinyl one that came with the machine, and it gets dusty, even if I DO use it. The other item is a mat type thing that would sit under my featherweight. It hangs down in front and has pockets for seam ripper, snips, etc. I love the Craftsy classes as well, ty for the chance to win.

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