Giveaway: The Wait is Over- The Big Happy Planner is Here

{Update: We have a winner! Random.org picked #158 as our winner.

Congrats to Chelsea! Check your email, girl… I need your address :)}

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Big Happy Planner Giveaway

I’m terrible at waiting.

Winter is so hard for me because I spend the entire time waiting for spring to come. If I could only embrace the snow and ice and bitter cold that so many people seem to enjoy, I’m sure winter would go by faster.

I’m getting better, I suppose… life with children will do that, right? I don’t want to know how many minutes of my life I have spent waiting on a little person to get dressed, put his shoes on, go to the potty, pull up his pants, or pick up his toys. (Actually, who am I kidding– I don’t have the patience to wait on little people to pick up their toys.) I know patience is a virtue and all that… and I’m sure I will continue to have many opportunities to practice waiting. But it sure is nice when winter is finally over and the wait for spring comes to an end. (For example)

And it’s even better when something comes along and you realize that instead of having to wait, say three months to use your favorite planner, you can actually start using it next week. (For example)

MAMBI Happy Planner Giveaway

I found the Big Happy Planner at Michael’s last weekend and fell in love. It’s so pretty. And spacious. And pretty. I knew the calendar inside didn’t start until July but I wasn’t worried because I have a couple of other planners I can use. But as soon as I actually held it, I wished that I could start using it right away.

Big Happy Planner Dated Inserts, April, May, June 2016

And so, I did what I do best. I figured out a way to avoid waiting!

I designed some dated calendar inserts for April, May, and June and am really happy with how they turned out. They are printed on thick 28# paper which makes them look sooo nice!  (Update- I just added them to my Etsy store if you’d like to purchase them!)

In celebration of the arrival of spring (yay!) and in honor of not having to wait if you don’t have to (double yay!), I am giving away a Big Happy Planner and a set of my April-June inserts!

“What?!”

Yes- I am GIVING AWAY a BIG Happy Planner.

“Free? As in you’ll ship it to me and everything?”

Yes, free. And I’ll ship it to the winner (domestic or international!)

Big Happy Planner Dated Inserts, April, May, June 2016

I know there are a lot of folks who haven’t been able to find the Big Happy Planner and so I want to spread the love a little. Here’s how to enter:

  • Head over to Etsy and favorite my new shop (for PRINTED inserts!)
  • Leave a comment on this post sharing your favorite planner tip/trick

Big Happy Planner | MAMBI | Dated Inserts for April, May, June 2016

You can get additional opportunities to enter by following me on Facebook and Instagram (All my followers will be entered- yay!) I’ll choose a winner from the comments/Facebook/Instagram on April 2nd and email the winner. So let your #plannernerd and #plannerjunkie and #planneraddict and #plannergirl friends know… unless, of course, you want to increase your odds of winning. In that case, you probably shouldn’t tell anyone. Ha!

Happy Planning!

Flag Banner {Tutorial}

I have fallen in love with all the flag banners (also called bunting) that I’ve been seeing around the web. I’m sure that I am fairly tardy as I hop up onto this bandwagon, but that is pretty typical for me. No one has ever accused me of being a trend setter.

I made the above banner for a baby shower a few weeks ago, and then decided that I wanted to make one to hang in the play room. There is quite a bit of open wall space in that room that is just crying out to be adorned with colorful triangles.

As I was making this banner, I tried to take some photos along the way so I could share my method. This project took me around an hour, but I was also messing with my camera for part of that time.

Materials you will need:

1) Fabric (I used scraps that I already had, but if you’re buying fabric I would get around 1/4-1/3 of a yard of each print) 2) Rotary cutter, mat, and ruler 3) Double-fold Bias Tape (4 yards) 4) Sewing machine and thread

Start by ironing your fabric (I didn’t actually do this because I always try and cut corners. However, I ended up ironing the triangles after I had cut them, so I should have just done it to begin with.) Then, with the fold of the fabric lined up horizontally, cut strips that are 5″ wide.

(See how wrinkled the fabric is? Whoops!)

After cutting all your strips to be 5″ wide, take one strip and turn it so that the fold is now lined up vertically on the left. You are going to measure 2 3/4″ from the fold. Because I’m using a cutting mat, I just count the 1 inch blocks when I’m measuring. I find using a measuring tape to be a huge hassle.

Next, line up your ruler so that it goes from the top left corner down to the place you marked (with either your finger or a pencil.) Being the corner-cutting-person that I am, I just put my finger on the bottom edge at the place that is 2 3/4″ from the fold. Line your ruler up and cut.

That first cut can be a little tricky, but everything else is pretty easy. Now you are going to count 5 1/2″ along the top edge, put your finger there, and line your ruler up with that point and the bottom. Now cut along the ruler edge.

Now, do the same thing, counting 5 1/2″ inches along bottom edge, line up ruler, and cut. Keep alternating bottom and top edge until you run out of fabric. Depending on the length of the banner you want to make, you’ll need two triangles per foot. So, for a 4 yard length you’ll need about 22-24 triangles.

We’re ready to stitch the triangles together. If you cut them as described above, they will already be in two layers (don’t pull them apart… you want them this way!) The wrong sides should be facing one another. This method leaves you with raw edges, which I kind of like.

With two triangles lined up (wrong sides together), stitch along one edge leaving a 1/8″ seam allowance. You will only be sewing along two of the edges, because the third edge will be tucked inside the bias tape.

When you get close to the point, just pull up your presser foot and swing that triangle around! It’s not necessary to lock your thread and start a new seam. It does help to make sure that the needle is down so that when you twist the triangle around you keep the stitch in place.

When I’m sewing lots of pieces like this, I use the “chain method.” (I’m not sure if that’s really the name or if I just made that up.) Basically, I just feed another triangle under the presser foot as the previous one is finishing up. I make sure there is a little bit of distance, maybe 2-3 stitches, but this saves me time because I don’t have to lock the thread each time I start a new piece. You’ll get a chain of pieces that are all linked together once you are done. Just snip them apart with some scissors.

We’re almost done! The last thing we need to do is sew everything together with the bias tape. There are different types of bias tape and I’ve probably used them all. The type I like the best for this project is the double fold (normal width.) The wide width is easier to work with, but I don’t like the way it looks as much.The single fold that is shown below will work and give you the same look as mine, but it’s more of a pain to work with. Ironing is involved…

For this step, decide how much of a “tail” you want on each end. Then, open up the tape at that point (I usually leave a foot or so) and insert a triangle. Make sure the edge of the triangle is all the way inside the bias tape- it should be at the crease.

Most people will tell you to use pins and put a pin on each corner and one in the middle. But, that seems like a lot of work to me. I actually tried doing it that way on my first banner and it took me way longer to get the pins in the right place than it did to just sew it without pins. So, use pins if you want but I think it’s simpler to do it without.

Helpful hint: if you aren’t using pins, make sure that you get the triangles completely inside the bias tape. I found it easy enough to stop sewing right at the end of one triangle, insert my next one and make sure the stitches caught the triangle in the seam, then arrange the rest of the triangle. These are relatively small pieces with straight edges, so it shouldn’t be too hard to do without pins.

Make sure your seam is pretty close to the edge of the tape, that way you are less likely to have parts of the triangle escape and not get caught in the seam. Continue sewing until you’ve used all your triangles, or you’ve come to the end of your bias tape. Hang the banner up, step back, and admire your craftiness!

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