Monday, October 31, 2011

Rainbow Lizard (Happy Halloween!)

Happy Halloween!! I hope you are enjoying the day so far with happy kiddos, fun costumes and too much candy.

Ben's preschool's Halloween Party was last Thursday and (shocker!) I was up until way too late Wednesday night finishing up his Rainbow Lizard costume while swearing at my sewing machine. But, it got done on time and my little dude was SO happy. He was so very proud of his costume and had fun explaining during the show and tell that he drew the "dee-zign" for it.

Jenny: Rainbow Lizard Costume

I am pretty happy with the final result but it's a good thing Halloween only comes once a year. That was a lot of work! You can see my previous posts about this project here and here.

Here's a little recap and comparison between the original drawing by Ben, and sketches by me, and the finished costume (we added the spikes on the tail after the sketches):

Jenny: Rainbow Lizard

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Jack O Lantern Garland: Kid Craft!


Friday was a gross rainy day for us. I was busy cleaning the house and doing laundry, getting ready for friends visiting over the weekend. Ben was getting antsy and asking me for an "activity". Inspired by a little jack o lantern foam craft sent by my mom, I pulled out our craft felt, some scissors and some white glue and let him have some fun.

Jenny: Jack o Lantern Garland (kid craft!)

He cut out a bunch of shapes and glued them into ghosts and small pumpkins. I then cut out various pumpkin shapes and a bunch of mouths and triangles, and let him assemble some jack o lanterns.

Jenny: Jack o Lantern Garland (kid craft!)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011



Happy Tuesday! I hope this week is going well for you so far. I am running on way too little sleep between a baby who's working on his two front teeth and shipping my first few orders for the Etsy shop. Man, this Etsy business is not for wimps. I guess the good thing is I've made some sales, yay! But the amount of work required to make it all happen is a bit overwhelming. It's all good and exciting though, and I'm sure I'll get into a groove soon enough.

Moving on... Sew Mama Sew shared a Salon article on their Facebook page yesterday, called “Put a Bird on It”: The aftermath. The article discusses how the Portlandia sketch "Put a Bird on It", which poked fun at the ubiquitous bird in today's design and craft products, affected crafters and hipsters -- or not.

Here's the sketch if you've never seen it:

I love that skit, it's hilarious and silly and kind of right on. Disclaimer, I read the article quickly, but it made me think a lot. The essence of my reaction was: I don't care. I like birds and I'm going to keep putting them in my projects when I feel like it. If people like birds too, then they'll like my project. If not, well, that's okay.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Guest Post on Whip Up!


I'm so excited to be featured on Whip Up today with a guest post: a tutorial for making your own birdie burlap wall art!

I know, I know, it's all about the burlap art for me lately with the launch of my Etsy shop. What can I say? I'm a little obsessed. But isn't it pretty? I love how this project turned out!

Jenny Bartoy Handmade Designs: Sneak Peek!

This burlap art is made from an upcycled coffee bag and a mix of colorful fabric scraps. It features two birdies having a conversation across the woods at sunset. It was inspired by my neighbors, who found each other and fell in love despite hailing from Alaska and Mexico respectively. They told me their story in our backyard in Seattle on a lovely day at sunset.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pumpkin Burlap Art


I don't know about where you are, but here in Seattle, autumn has firmly landed. Rain is back, there's a chill in the air, leaves everywhere and the light has changed. As much as this weather doesn't thrill me (especially after a much too short summer), I love the wealth of activities this season brings with it (Leaf collecting! Acorn gathering! Pumpkin picking! Pie baking! Cider drinking!) and the anticipation of the nearby holidays.

As I was creating items for my new Etsy shop, I decided to try out a few seasonal things. I love the shape and color of pumpkins. I always get a kick out of seeing them at the stores and markets, and on all our neighbors' stoops this time of year. They pop up here and there randomly as if growing overnight out of steps and porches. Ben gets so excited about seeing the latest jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin collections around our neighborhood. So, I got out my sketchbook and a few days later...

I am so happy about these pumpkin pieces!! I think the style is really different depending on the background -- boldly stamped coffee bag or plain burlap. I love both for different reasons. (They are for sale in my shop now, click on the photos above to go to the listing).

I thought I would share a little bit about my process for creating these, in case you want to make a similar project. I'm also assembling a few kits for my shop with the template, instructions, burlap and fabric to make these. I'll update here when they're ready and listed (probably tomorrow at some point). Kits are in the shop now! Here's one. Update: I've also listed the PDF pattern for this pumpkin art in my shop here.

Open For Business!


Hello Angel and friends! Quick post to let you know I am open for business. The shop is launched. Yeehaw!

Jenny Bartoy banner

Here are a few links:
- Etsy shop
- Website
- Facebook page

I hope you'll subscribe and "like" me on Facebook! I'm so nervous about this whole deal, but very excited too.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Progress on the Rainbow Lizard!


Hello! Quick post in the midst of Etsy shop launch madness to update you on our progress on the Rainbow Lizard costume. The last time I wrote about this, we had a "dee-zign" by Ben, some sketches by me and a whole stack of eco-felt ready to roll.

The first part we tackled was the largest: the back with all the scales. I used one of Ben's shirts to get a rough idea of the size and traced the outline on the blue felt. Ben helped me trace scales on all the different colors of eco-felt. I cut them and sewed them on, in the order he chose, on the back felt.

Jenny: Progress on the Rainbow Lizard!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Link Love: Halloween!


Halloween is fast approaching. Are you ready? We've been working on our Rainbow Lizard costume and, slowly but surely, it's starting to come together. Can't wait to show you the progress! I still need to figure out what Henry is going to be. I'm thinking caterpillar or spider, we'll see.

Aside from costumes, I want to have some fun with Halloween decorating this year. I have been pinning lots of fun stuff on my Halloween board on Pinterest. Here are some of my favorites.

(Oh, speaking of Pinterest, my mom is on there and getting on a roll with pinning some cool stuff. She used to have her own decor and mural business. I can't wait to see what she puts on her boards! Follow her if you'd like. (She's probably going to strangle me for putting this on here, ha ha.))

All right, moving on with the Halloween links! I'll let the pictures do the talkin'.

Source: via Jenny on Pinterest

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sneak Peek!


Launching an Etsy shop is way more time consuming than I had ever imagined. I keep pushing off my opening date. I think I should finally be able to launch it by this weekend. I think. Don't quote me on this.

I am so excited though, I wanted to show you what I've been working on! So here's a little sneak peek. Let me know what you think!!

Jenny Bartoy Handmade Designs: Sneak Peek!

Jenny Bartoy Handmade Designs: Sneak Peek!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Welcome October Sponsors!


Happy Monday! We're so excited to welcome sponsor friends, old and new, to Stumbles & Stitches!

These are some great small businesses that we are happy to support. We hope you'll give them a click and go check out their offerings. After all, it's time to stock up on supplies for holiday sewing and crafting!

Drygoods Design Online

Drygoods Design Online offers a fabulous selection of modern fabrics and handmade items, with free domestic shipping and low international rates. Owner Keli is a Seattle mom of two. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest where she loves to plan projects with fabrics from various collections. During October, she is honoring Breast Cancer Awareness with 30% off all pink fabrics. 10% of proceeds from purchases made with code PINK30 will be donated to Susan G. Komen foundation.


A Child's Dream Come True

A Child's Dream Come True is a fantastic online source for wool felt, natural crafts and more. We love their 70+ colors of Holland Wool Felt for all kinds of projects, it's perfect for making Christmas ornaments! A Child's Dream just received a new shipment of beautiful wood puzzle toys from Russia, they can be found here. Owner Debbie is inviting Stumbles & Stitches readers to use the code STST to save $5 on your order of $30 or more. Good through October 23. You can find A Child's Dream Come True on Facebook here.


Fat Quarter Shop

Fat Quarter Shop has all the fabric you'd ever need to make a quilt and more! Owner Kimberly is proud of their excellent customer service and super fast shipping. Visit their website for exclusive quilt clubs, quilt kits and a huge selection of fat quarter bundles. They've recently unveiled their new It’s Sew Emma pattern company (website coming soon here). You can find Fat Quarter Shop on Facebook, Twitter and on Kimberly's blog The Jolly Jabber. Stay tuned for a Fat Quarter Shop giveaway coming soon!


Fashionable Fabrics 400x52

Fashionable Fabrics specializes in novelty and unique fashion fabrics. They have a great selection of Alexander Henry prints among many other designers. Check out their Halloween fabrics (Ghastlies!) and Christmas fabrics (Christmas Candy!). Fashionable Fabrics offers a $4.95 flat shipping rate on all US orders. You can find them on Facebook and Twitter.


We are grateful to these lovely businesses for sponsoring us and helping us continue the work we do on this little blog.

For more information about advertising on Stumbles & Stitches, please visit our Sponsorship page.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Halloween Prep: Rainbow Lizard!


Well, I've got my work cut out for me! A few days ago, I told Ben we should start thinking about his Halloween costume, and he told me he wanted to be a lizard. Here's how the conversation went:

Me: Do you know what kind of lizard you want to be? What color?
Ben: I want to be a rainbow lizard, it's got all kinds of colors. And it eats salmon berries, not bugs. And it can see in the dark. And it has claws that look like metal so that bugs don't eat him.
Me: Oookay. Sounds good. Do you know what you want it to look like?
Ben: Yeah. I'll draw you my dee-zign.

(In Ben-talk, "design" is 2 words.)

So this past weekend, we sat down together and Ben drew me his dee-zign from which I then drew some sketches. While I was sketching, he asked his dad for a printout of a lizard he could color to show me the order of the colors in the tail. What can I say, the kid has vision. (He's a little bossy too. I wonder where he gets that, ahem.)

Jenny: Rainbow Lizard


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