Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Little Once Boutique Feature Company: Bon Bini Print & Design

We're so excited and honored to be doing a local feature this week! Meet Derica Justice, Owner & Creator of Bon Bini Print & Design, a custom stationery business that specializes in event invitations and unique stationery. Her products are each specially designed for her customers. We are also excited to be offering a free finger print holiday card printable, designed by Derica.

Aside from being a wife and work-from-home mom to a busy 16 month old and expecting another in January, Derica’s passions include scuba diving, running, and travel. She especially loves the Caribbean, hence her shop name, Bon Bini. Pronounced “Bon Beh-knee, it means welcome in Papiamentu, the native language of the ABC Islands (Aruba, Bonaire, and Curacao).

Derica got started with her designs 7 years ago, with her own wedding invitations. Shortly thereafter, she found herself designing for friends and co-workers, until her official launch in April 2008.  In addition to wedding invitations, Derica’s designs have now expanded to party décor, business logos & marketing materials, as well as the gamut of invitations from parties to showers. Where ever design and paper are involved, she’s happy to help!

Derica truly enjoys the creative process that goes into creating something unique for each customer. “I’m known to be quite picky when it comes to making things just right!” She says. Coupling her eye for design with her detail oriented personality, she comes up with nothing short of amazing work! She lives for seeing the final product just as much as her clients do. “I love speaking with or meeting with a client and taking their ideas or themes and seeing a design come to fruition. It is a lot of fun to play around with color/font options and create new designs for each client.” 

She offers truly unique stationary, apart from impersonal, cookie cutter papery found in big box stores. “Pick stationery that speaks to you or have it designed to fit your personality, let your true colors shine!” Her philosophy, “If you love it, you will use it more!”

When planning an event, remember that the invitation is the very first thing that your guest will see. That means it’s the first impression that they will get about your event. Don’t be afraid to hire help for your stationary needs, to make that good first impression. Some advice for those seeking a little design help, choose someone you love! Derica points out “You will be spending a bit of time communicating with this person, so make sure they are willing to work with you until you are 100% satisfied”.

In speaking with her, I could immediately tell that she was the kind of person, who takes the time to hear what you have to say. Working with her, was like ordering stationary from a girlfriend. The final outcome, she far exceeded my expectations! How often do you get that?

Derica's passion for great product’s and customer service has allowed her work to stand out in the Raleigh, NC area.  She is on the Vend Raleigh directory and also ships her products all over the U.S from her online shops. You can read more about Derica and Bon Bini Print and Design on her website, Facebook, and on Etsy.

Stop over here to see a FREE holiday card printable that Derica Designed just for Little Once Boutique!



Finger Paint Print Holiday Card with Free Design Template / Kids Crafts

The Holidays are upon us, the kids are home from school. Are you looking for a memorable way to celebrate the season, and entertain the little ones? How about decorating an adorable finger print holiday card! Bon Bimi Print & Design, our feature graphic design and stationary company, has graciously created these fun Holiday cards for you guys! I know my little one had the best time putting her little prints on these and I can't wait to send them to the Grandparents. We simply used water color paint for the finger prints and the cards turned out beautifully!


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Thursday, October 17, 2013

Quick Decorative Throw Pillows with Zippers

Get ready to redecorate for a new season, or add something fresh to a room or patio with these easy decorative zippered throw pillows.

Materials for each throw pillow:
1 zipper ( a few inches shorter than your pillow form)
(2) fabric squares 1 inch smaller than your pillow form
(1) pillow form
fabric marker

1. Lay the squares on top of each other with the wrong sides facing each other.
2. Pin one end closed and stitch in only an inch or two. Repeat on the other end.
3. Open the ends of the fabric and press the seam open. Stay stitch the two raw edges of the seam open.
4. Place your closed zipper, face down, on the wrong side of your fabric so that its aligned with the opening.

5. Using a fabric marker and a ruler, center the zipper, and make a guide mark to stitch the zipper down on one end. Stitch over and back several times to secure the end of the zipper.
6. Now stitch down the side of the zipper, to get started unzip the zipper several inches to move the slider out of the way. Once you have stitched down the zipper a few inches, zip the zipper back up and continue. Keep your needle down, while doing this. Stitch across the bottom of the zipper and up the other end. Go slow!            
7. Unzip the zipper and align the other 3 edges of the fabric together, with the wrong sides together and stitch 1/4 inch seams all around the edges. Don't forget to unzip the zipper before you sew up the sides.
8. Pull the fabric right side out through the zipper and poke out the corners. Stuff with your pillow form, zip, and your done!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Remembering To Cash In On Cash Back

This simple tip can help you maximize earning money back when checking out.

Ever put the milk in the cupboard and the cereal in the fridge? That would be me. I use to be smart, before having a child and the severe state of sleep deprivation I'm in. This post is brought to you by my hubsband, simply because I can never remember which credit card to use. Maybe it's because, while shopping, I measure success by getting 80% of my list scratched off with minimal kicking and screaming.

This easy solution helps me remember which cash back credit card to use, keeping up with what's what, and maximizing our dividends.

We check monthly or quarterly to see what special cash back offers each card is running, and update the labels. Sometimes I get a chuckle out of a cashier, but mostly comments on how simplistically smart the idea really is, thanks honey!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Tutu Cute Leotard

Isn't this tutu cute? Little girls are so much fun! Create a simple tutu leotard for your little gymnast or dancer.

Danskin Leotard $7.50 from Wal-Mart (also avail. in black)
6" strip of tulle
Water Soluble Fabric Marker
Sewing machine

Before you begin, please remember to go slow, tulle can be tricky, but, because we are making ruffles, this project is very forgiving.

Mark a line straight across the back of your leotard, where you want your tutu. You can do one, as shown, or several to make ruffles.

Now cut a piece of tulle triple the length of your line on the leotard. Then fold the tulle in half lengthwise and stitch the tulle along the top of the open ends. This is to keep the tulle folded for the next step to make the ruffles.

Set your sewing machine to a long stitch length and high tension to create a ruffle in your tulle. For additional details on how to make ruffles, look here.

Set your machine back to top stitch the ruffle onto the leotard. Start by aligning the tulle to the line on the garment. Pin it in place every so often.

Slip the leotard onto the sewing machine and sew. Remember to go slow when you stitch the tulle on. Try to stitch the new stitch right over the old stitching on the tulle.

To embellish the front, I used my embroidery machine to add a monogram. You can leave the front blank or add a heart or some other simple shape, using this DIY Applique Technique.

Happy Sewing! Don't forget tutu check us out on Facebook!


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Monday, September 30, 2013

Delicious Pumpkin Pancakes

Once the cooler weather rolls around, and fall fills the air, I start to get in the mood for everything pumpkin. I love to cook, especially in the fall. Last year, I unsuccessfully made pumpkin pancakes from scratch. (my dear husband raved, but truthfully, they were pretty bad)

Spending the week in Maine, has really inspired me to embrace all the wonderful sights and smells of the season. This state is absolutely breathtaking! After a day of leaf peeping in the northern part of the state, I was re-energized to give my pumpkin pancakes another try. There is nothing like waking up in a cabin on the lake, to the aromas of cinnamon and pumpkin. Maine made, rich, dark maple syrup on top of a golden stack of pumpkin pancakes, mmmm mmmm! This was too good not to share!

1 1/4 cup Flour
2 Tbsp Sugar
3 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp. Ginger
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 1/2 cup Milk
3/4 cup Canned Pumpkin
2 Tbsp Butter, softened
1 egg

Mix dry ingredients in a large bowl. add remaining ingredients and whisk. Pour a small amount (approx. 1/4 cup) on a lightly greased skillet or griddle on low heat. Cook until bubbles form in the batter and the edges do not run when you slide the spatula under it. Flip and cook for 2-4 additional minutes until both sides are golden brown. Makes approximately 12 saucer sized pancakes.

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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Quick Burlap Garden Flag With Applique

In the craft world, the latest buzz is burlap....and chevron.  If you've been to my shop yet or seen my last post, you know im all about personalizing some thangs, especially chevron! Since I love them both, I decided to make a burlap garden flag with a chevron applique.  With summer coming to a close in a few weeks, its time to start thinking fall!

I must admit, it is my favorite season, probably because I live in NC where fall is amazing! Fall decorating is fun to me because I really love all the colors. Burlap is a great medium for a lot of great fall crafts, because the colors blend nicely with it'snatural, rustic, look.
So here you have it! All wrapped up in one cute little flag! This project was created, with love, for my readers and anyone else with just the slightest sewing ability. A simple DIY'er, no sweat.
The hardest part of this project is cutting the burlap, but fret not, because I know the trick to make that a snap! First, figure out the size you want your flag to be (anywhere from 10 x 14, all the way up to 13 x 18, is considered “Standard size”. ) Once you select that, cut your burlap down to a workable size allowing plenty of excess on all sides. My flag is 12"x 16", in case you were wondering. 
Now for the trick: carefully tug on a thread, about 5 strands in. Don’t yank it, as it may break. Slowly pull and work it out. Do this on all 4 sides. When you are done, take a look, you will have an easy cutting guide to make straight, perfect cuts, all the way around.
Trim down the frayed edges to even them out, using your line as a cut guide. Then take some sewing thread that is as close a match to the burlap as you can find, and seal up the edges. To do this, set your sewing machine to its longest zigzag stitch and stitch the edges of the burlap all the way around, this will prevent the raw ends from unraveling. Be sure to stitch over top the part of the edge where it is still woven.
Fold the top of the flag over ¾ inch and stitch across to create a casing for the flag pole to slide through. 

Now for the fun part, create a stencil to use to cut out your fabric. You can find all sorts of free ones online, you can draw one by hand or you can design one on the computer without any fancy software. I decided to just make an “E” for our last initial. I used Microsoft word to print one. (but you can just as easily use a shape in clipart.) I selected the font style "Rockwell" because it is bold, has a nice shape, and is all straight edges; meaning no curvy lines to stitch on the sewing machine. I then enlarged the font size size 700, but you can make yours any size you want. You may need to also select the landscape layout so it prints on one page. I then cut out the “E”and used it to trace and cut out the fabric for the applique. You can pin the letter on and then cut out the fabric, or just trace it with a pencil on the back side of your fabric, if its a light colored fabric. (make sure your letter is backwards and oriented correctly with the pattern on the fabric.)
Once your applique fabric is cut, position it on the burlap and stitch it on. To keep the fabric in place as you apply it, you can either pin it or use iron on adhesive, such as Heat n' Bond lite Hem tape (which is what I used). Just remember to follow the directions on the package, it’s VERY simple to use, just iron it on!
Now time to stitch! Select a nice coordinating thread color for both your top thread and bobbin thread. Keep the setting to the zigzag stitch on your sewing machine. Play around on a scrap piece to get the size and length stitch that you desire. You can make the stitch really small and close together if you like a clean stitched edge-called a satin stitch, in embroidery talk. If you prefer the raggedy, raw-edge look, as I do for fall, keep the stitch length a decent size. I selected "4" as my length.
Slowly, and carefully stitch around the outer edge of your fabric. Remember to back stitch at the beginning and end of the applique. This will secure the fabric better. Keep your needle down when you turn the corners. Lastly, trim your threads and your flag is ready to be displayed! 

You can use this same technique to make personalized children's tees. Customize your child's next holiday or birthday!
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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Personalized Drink Coaster Re-do



 What a great way to personalize an upcycle! Re-use drink coasters with a monogram, or match your home decor with pretty printed papers. How cute for a college student even? Who can resist this chevron print paper? This really is a simple, beginner craft project.

To get started you will need:

Several drink coasters (I got mine from a restaurant)
Decorative paper
Mod Podge (I used the Matte Finish)
A paint brush
Paper cut outs (if you want to add a monogram or design, you can even use photographs or magazine clippings, stickers and more- think of your favorite sports teams colors and logos)


Using your coaster as a stencil, trace the outline of it on the back side of your paper. Cut out the paper square and add a thin coating of Mod Podge on the coaster.

Next, carefully place the square onto the coaster so that the edges are aligned. Press gently to adhere the paper to the coaster. Let the paper dry fully before the next step.



 If you wish to add a monogram or design, simply glue the design onto the coaster and allow it to dry. For my design, I used my Silhouette Cameo to cut 2.5inch scalloped edge squares and initials. I layered the cut outs and glued them in place before going over them with a top Coat of Mod Podge

To finish, seal the coasters by applying a thin and even topcoat of Mod Podge, over the paper. Let it dry 15-20 minutes and repeat. Do this 4-5 times, until there is a thick coating, sealing the coaster. This will help protect the paper covered coaster from moisture.

 That's all there is to it! Have you been to our facebook page yet? If you enjoyed this post, stop by and like us to show some support!
This easy to do technique can be used for numerous other home décor projects, like these adorable wooded initial décor, perfect for a family room or nursery décor.
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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Little Once Boutique's Featured Company: Olive Ann Designs


Little Once Boutique is so very excited to be featuring Olive Ann Designs this week. Ann Blair and Mandy Fritz, a Mother/Daughter couture clothing design team, are based out of Portland, Oregon. This duo creates Fun and playful patterns for children that are also practical and simple to make. Their motto: “Easy to make. Easy to fit. Easy to wear.”
For this feature, I was able to select a pattern to make and create a tutorial on just how adorable and easy to follow, Olive Ann’s patterns are. With all the cute designs that these ladies offer, my choice was difficult. But, my eye just kept going back to the “To Tie For” dress pattern. As you can see this dress is so stinkin’ cute! It is comfortable on and super easy to make.

I asked Ann how they got started in this business 5 years ago, “I wanted to make clothes for my grand kids and take advantage of all the beautiful fabrics available now.” It was hard for her to find patterns that fit real kids- both in terms of size and practicality. Ann makes a really good point, “Kids clothes should be easy to make because they grow out of them so quickly and they should be comfortable enough that kids will actually want to wear them.” With some help from Anns' sister, Barbara Brunson, owner and designer of Vanilla House, Ann opened her own shop in 2009.

Each one of Olive Ann’s designs are made so that even those who are new to sewing can create a beautiful outfit for the special children in their lives. “I write my instructions keeping in mind that my daughters, who don't sew, should be able follow them” says Ann. She has always enjoyed creating things, even back in grade school. “I started sewing outfits for my troll dolls - they were mostly glued but there was some sewing.” :) She has come a long way since those early days. Her inspiration now, is her grand kids. What she loves most about making these clothes, is seeing her grandchildren wearing them, “they are definitely not trolls as you can see from the pattern covers”, she adds.

Whether you are new to the art of sewing or not, these precious designs are worth a look. Ann offers some crucial tips to those taking up sewing, “use your IRON and remember sewing is not perfect so don't stress if what you are doing is not exactly right.”. “Sewing should be fun” She adds.

What I adore personally about these unique patterns: most of them also include doll versions of the design. “We want the kids to be just as excited about wearing the outfits as their moms and grandmas are, and matching doll clothes often does the trick!” So clever!

Little Once Boutique was pleased to create a photo tutorial on Olive Ann’s “To Tie For” dress pattern…Enjoy! Please be sure to stop by their shop and facebook page to check out more cute patterns for yourself! You may also purchase this pattern there for a very reasonable price!

To head on over to the tutorial on how to make this beautiful dress, click here!

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Reversible Boutique Childrens Dress Tutorial

Is this not the sweetest little dress? This tutorial will guide you through this easy to do pattern by Olive Ann Designs, a Portland, Oregon, family company. This pattern is called "To Tie For" and it is a great pattern for those just learning to sew.

What I absolutely love the most about this particular dress pattern is that it is literally two dresses in one, and the details on this dress are so charming. It features an easy applique design on one side and adorable pockets on the other. It also ties at the shoulders, so the dress can "grow" with your child, allowing longer wear. An added bonus, you do not have to fuss with zippers or buttons, making it truly a super easy sewing project. All of Olive Ann Designs are geared towards making sewing easy and fun for everyone! 

To get started, bi-fold your fabric like pictured so that the two selvages (sealed/finished edges) line in the middle.

Lay your pattern on the fabric to pin and cut it out. I always trace-transfer my patterns onto tissue paper so I can reuse my original pattern. *Tip- Iron both the fabric and pattern paper before pinning and cutting for best results.
Align the "fold" labeled side of the pattern to the fold in your fabric. Mark using a special water soluble fabric marker where the pockets go on side 1, and the appliqued giraffes will go on side 2.

To make the pockets, I stuck a pin right through the pattern and fabric and marked the fabric. This will tell us where to align the pockets when its time to sew them on.

Prepare to sew on your pockets to side one. Fold down the top of the pocket and stay stitch it.
Now its time to stitch around the edge of your pocket like this (Shown below)
Here is how you do it. Notice from the picture above, we start at the fold line. Stitch loosely around the edge. Stop, drop your needle, and raise your presser foot to turn the corner. Drop your presser foot and continue stitching until you need to turn the next corner. (look at picture below)

Stitch the top down, trim the corners, and fold right side out.

Now fold in the edges following the stitching and press. Pin to dress making sure you align the pockets to the marks on the dress and stitch in place.

Using your fabric marker, trace and cut out your giraffe applique designs for side two

Attach your giraffe appliques to side two using iron on adhesive. (For this I used Iron on Hem tape instead) lay down a barrier to protect your iron board. Trim away any excess adhesive afterwards.

Place your giraffes onto side 2 of your dress, lined up with the marks and iron on, again using a barrier.

Add iron on tear away stabilizer to the back of dress, side 2. Then Zig-zag stitch (using a short stitch length) around the outline of the giraffes. You may wish to practice this stitch on a piece of scrap to get it how you want it.

This is how it should look on the back and front. Cut loose threads and tear away excess stabilizer after you finish.

Placing the wrong sides of you dress together, pin and stitch up the sides of the dress for sides one and two. (you now actually have two separate dresses. Its time to attach dress 1 to dress 2.
Slip dress (aka side 1) into dress 2 (aka side 2) such that the correct side of the fabric for each dress is facing each other.
Aligning the 2 dresses (check to make sure the front of each dress is aligned) pin and stitch around the collar, under the arm and along the shoulder ties. (if you are having trouble getting them aligned check to make sure the front of one dress is not aligned to the back of the second.
After you stitch, trim away the excess edges of fabric along where you just sewed, careful not to cut to close to your stitching. This will reduce bulk when you turn your dress right side out.

Fold the dress right side out and press. It should now look like a reversible dress.
To do the hem, lay the side with the pockets (side 1) facing out. Fold the hem of side one under by 1" . The wrong side, of side 2, should be hanging out the bottom now by about an inch. 
Take the hem of side 2 and fold it up and over the right side of side one. Press.

Fold the raw edge of side 2 in on itself again and press so that it hides the raw edge (for me, this was the trickiest part of the whole dress, so take your time and be friends with your IRON!
Stitch the hem down and you are done! Remember to take your time and remember to pull out your fabric as you stitch, so it does not bunch. If you need to stop to pull out your fabric, always remember to drop your needle into your fabric before you lift your presser foot.
See how cute this hem is!
This dress can grow with your child, I purposely made this a half of a size up so as fall roles in, she will still get some wear out of it with some leggings and a shirt underneath. This pattern can also be made into a top. Equally adorable as both!
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