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Best of 2012: Reflections on the Year

I cannot thank all of you enough for being apart of my life, whether you lurk or comment or I know you in the real world, I am happy to have you. Last week I shared my most popular posts from 2012 and today I want to share some of my personal favorite blogging highlights from the year.

By far the best part of my blog life this year was getting to know many of you and other bloggers better and being able to meet them in person. I have had an absolute blast connecting with many awesome Utah craft and book bloggers as well as many wonderful out of town folk that have come through my area. I have also enjoyed guest posting, hosting guest bloggers and participating in fun blog series here (Hunger Games and Halloween) and on other blogs. It has been amazing. I am absolutely looking forward to more of that next year

I have long wanted to share My Etsy Journey with you guys. It has been a lot of of work but I love that I’m my own boss and I make my living being creative. I know many of you have considered opening shops or have just been curious about how things work in my world. My Etsy Life series has been a lot of fun. I hope to do more this coming year so if you have an questions let me know since everything is so normal to me I forget what kinds of topics might be helpful and interesting.

To continue my getting to know you guys better I finally have gotten my tush in gear and started connecting more on various social media outlets. It has been great getting to know so many of you on a new level. You know sometimes you want to share something but it doesn’t really justify a whole blog post. I have loved peeking into your lives, meeting your children, and connecting over the little moments of our lives. I am excited to continue to visit with you all, be able to support you in the frustrations and celebrate with you in the wins on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

And just for fun, here are some of my favorite posts that weren’t featured in my Top 10 post on Friday.

Guest Posting: Harry Potter Snitch Shirt and Stencil

I am hanging out today over at Heron’s Crafts for her weekly Story Book Crafts series. I’m sharing a new Harry Potter shirt and how to do reverse stencil. Stop by and say hi!

If you’re visiting from Heron’s Crafts welcome it’s great to have you. I hope you have a peek around. You can find some of my readers’ favorite projects in the widget on the right and see all my bookish posts by checking out my Book Geekery and Harry Potter labels :)

And here’s a printable you can use for a stencil :) Just click on the image to enlarge and then right click to save it.

UDATED: tutorial reposted below
I also have a slight weakness for fan related shirts. I may have over 10 Potter shirts alone. So today I want to share with you how to make a fun Snitch shirt.

What You Need

  • Fabric paint (I used both metallic gold and gold glitter)
  • Foam brush
  • Freezer Paper (it’s like wax paper but only has the coating on one side)
  • Paper cutting machine or Exacto Knife

Make your stencil. I cut my stencils out on my cricut but you can just print your design and and then cut it out of the freezer paper with an exacto knife. You’ll want the shinny side to face down.

Iron your stencil (shinny side down) onto your shirt. Make sure to take your time and check that all the edges are sealed. For the snitch I just used it as a basic stencil but for the lettering I did a reverse stencil and put the cut out letters down and then painted on top of them so the lettering was the color of the shirt.

Put something in between the layers of the shirt. I just use a pieces of freezer paper shinny side up.

Start painting. I find that with this technique it is much better to blot and avoid brushing since you don’t want to accidentally pull up the stencil. For mine I used the metallic paint first then did the glitter paint.

Allow to dry for about 1 hour.

Pull off paper. The paint will still be tacky so be careful when removing the paper. I like to use s straight pin to hold down the shirt while I pull off the stencil.

Allow to dry completely and you’re done.

I hope you try it out. It’s SO much fun. Feel free to visit my blog to get a printable of the snitch that you can use to make your stencil. If this went a bit fast for you feel free to check out my Freezer Paper Tutorial that has a bit more thorough instructions and lots more pictures. And definitely let me know if you have any questions.

The Mortal Instruments Movie and a Shadowhunter Shirt

I have had so much fun watching the beginnings of the The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones Movie pop up all over the interweb. You guys know that I love Cassandra Clare and her Shadowhunter world! I said it before but I think that this movie is going to be huge! The books are fantastic if you haven’t read them you need to. Although my crafty geekiness has already been established but I may have reached a new level of dorkiness with this one.

So yes I totally LOVE my shirt (tutorial for sewing the actual shirt to come soon) but I felt like such a silly girl standing in the store after rearranging the books and taking pictures of myself. I went to Walmart though since I figured I wouldn’t be bugged by employees (it’s not like you can even find one when you want too) and let’s be honest I definitely wasn’t going to be the weirdest person there, even with my fangirling.

You see I did try to take some pictures at home but even attempting to channel my inner Izzy, I don’t think I pulled off “tough shadowhunter”. But I did want to show off my shirt.

If you want to make your own. Here’s the image I used for the words and you can use it for your freezer paper stencil.

And if you’ve never done that before (you must try it’s so much fun!) here are my full step by step freezer paper stenciling instructions to help you out with the tecnique. Let me know if you have any questions.

I Shop the Hob Hunger Games Bag Tutorial

Are you guys checking in with all the amazing links in the Hunger Games link party? Well I have been like every couple of hours it is so fun to see all of your creations. Also have you had a chance to enter the awesome paper doll giveaway, they are so cute that I plan on framing mine!

In preparation for all the wonderful book suggestions we’ll be getting from the amazing book bloggers that are joining us for this blog party I wanted to share a tutorial for making a fun bag possibly to hold all the titles you’ll be itching to pick up. A few weeks ago my friends got together and made these adorable bags, they each made slightly different ones and I love them all. You can use store bought bags in fun colors like Linda‘s blue and white one, or mix color and glitter ones like Tanya and Alexis’ gold and black ones, or make your own bags from old T shirts and use bleach like Heidi did.

What You Need

This will show you how to make the black and gold basic one like my sister made but you should easily be able to tweak it to fit your own taste.
  • bag
  • iron

For the I Shop the Hob Side

  • freezer paper (it’s like wax paper but only coated on one side)
  • fabric paint (I like the stuff tulip makes)
  • brush (I like the foam ones)

For the Mockingjay Side (see picture below)

  • Ultrahold Iron on Bond
  • Background fabric (optional -black in the picture)
  • Mockingjay fabric (gold in the picture)
 For the I Shop the Hob Freezer Paper Stenciling 
If this goes a little fast for you check out my original freezer paper stenciling tutorial with more pictures back when I was making Harry Potter shirts ;)
  1. Make yourself a stencil design and cut it out of freezer paper. You can do this with a cutting machine like a cricut or with a steady hand and a razor blade. Make sure the shinny side is down.
  2. Iron your stencil onto your bag.
  3. Insert a piece of freezer paper shinny side up inside your bag to protect the paint from seeping through. Apply your paint and let dry. I find it’s better to blot rather than brush.
  4. If you want to add a glitter layer do that and allow to dry.
  5. Carefully pull off stencil.

For the Mockingjay Iron-on 

I’ve talked about making iron-ons here and here so I’ll keep to the key points today but if you’re feeling a little lost you might want to review those post.

  1. First make your mockingjay template you can get the image I used here. I use my cricut and a program called sure cuts a lot but you can also just traced the design onto your Ultra bond. You need to decide how big your image is going to be.
  2. Make your gold iron on fabric the appropriate size (for me that was 6×12 since that’s the size that I can run through my cricut. Do this by ironing the gold fabric to the bumpy side of the Ultra bond. (It’s best do turn the iron down to medium and put another fabric in between because that shinny gold stuff is delicate and likes to melt on to irons, not that I’ve done that or anything ;)
  3. Cut your mockingjay (either by tracing and using scissors or a razor blade) or using a cutting machine.
  4. Next make your black iron on fabric the same way you did the gold.
  5. Then using your gold mockingjay as a stencil trace the inner circle onto the black fabric (or the paper side of the black (now iron-on) fabric) and cut a little larger than your circle.
  6. Peel the paper off of your iron-ons and arrange on your bag.
  7. Iron down.
  8. Fill your bag with books, groosling or dead rabbits, okay maybe just books or groceries.

And maybe while I was helping them put together these bags I had to make my own sassy ode to Katniss shirt using the same freezer paper technique after receiving this mind numbing meme in my email inbox.

I’m so loving this Hunger Games blog party all the projects, guest and giveaways, so much fun. If you’re just finding this post be sure to check out all the others fun posts in my “book geekery” category.

UPDATE: I am now selling I Shop the Hob Bags in my Etsy shop for those of who aren’t craft or don’t have the time to make your own!