a little shop update ♥ stitch the states US map pattern

summer's officially over here.
but some happy news!
that pattern i talked about a bunch of weeks ago??
that giant US map pattern??
i finally finished it and it's listed 
as in as soon as you purchase it, you download it, you print it and you start! 
yay no waiting!

i've had a few questions about the pattern and some how-to's once it's downloaded ...

this pattern is only for the outline of the map and each individual state just like the picture, and it's to be made as you would make a counted cross-stitch. the actual stitch you are using is called a back stitch 
... it's really simple.

i recommend making it on 14 count Aida cross-stitch material, that can be purchased at most craft stores. you can make it on smaller or larger count fabrics, but i cannot tell you what the dimensions would be (smaller count would actually make the finished piece bigger - larger count would make it smaller, think opposite) the finished piece on 14 count fabric is approx. 14" wide x 10" high and fits nicely into a large oval quilting hoop (that can be found in the quilting section at joanns)

as fas as how to "fill in" the states, that's completely up to you... get creative!!
i filled them in using a simple straight stitch all the way across from one end to the other over & over until i got to the bottom of each state, that's it. 

or you could could fill them in with just regular cross-stitch

the floss i used is called variegated pearl cottom floss by DMC that i also found at Joanns.
the DMC website has a color chart and a really cool video on how this specific floss is made in France, it's pretty cool ... but that has nothing to do with the pattern :)
just sayin. if you're bored. an wanna watch it.

the pattern is also very large so it's easier to see.
it's spread out over 9 pages of counted cross stitch graph paper. once printed all nine pieces can be pieced together to get an idea of the layout... the arrows on the pattern make it easy to keep stitching when moving onto the next page while working on your canvas.

i think that's it!
if you think of any other questions please feel free to leave them in the comments below 
and i'll answer them as best i can! 

find me (@raisinguprubies) on instagram and you can keep up with my progress too!
and be sure to share your ig photos with me by using the #stitchingthestates hashtag!
hurry get started now! can't wait to see all your work!

little basket of lunch packing supplies ♥

we have just a few weeks of summer hoorah left here
but i'm seeing so many littles on social media that are headed back to school already ... so i thought i'd share a few pictures of a little basket i keep in our snack drawer, that is full of fun things i use to pack lunch for the girls during the school year.

grab a basket, raid your cupboards & craft stash (since most of this stuff you might already have)
grab a basket, bin or container and fill it up with the following goodies to keep handy in the kitchen where you or your kiddos usually pack lunch

when i make wraps or tortillas in wax paper i use washi tape to keep it tightly rolled

ya know all those birthday party napkins you always have left over and are hanging around somewhere in a drawer? use them in your kids lunches! sometimes i find some fun ones at yard sales (still in the package) and add those to the stash

cupcake molds from the craft store are great for grapes, carrots and berries
or even goldfish or little pieces of candy

this picture is from my instagram feed ... this was the lunch i made my girls for valentines day ♥
just to give you an idea of how i used the molds

 find a little tin or container to store lunch box notes in ...
i find these metal recipe boxes at thrift stores all the time

i have a small laminator that i use to laminate the jokes once they're print & cut
 ... they survive the sticky applesauce and leaky juice boxes that way
... keeping them around for a while longer

i have a whole board on pinterest just for lunch ideas & links to free printable lunch box jokes
go get some! ... and here's another picture from instagram of my laminator

and of course a variety of containers (especially heart ones) are great for packing pretty much anything you can think of ... these were from target last year

at the beginning of  the last school year i purchased some re-usable snack & sandwich bags from one of my favortie handmade shops ... and Shannon (who is the hustlemama) is super sweet & hard-working!
she's always coming up with new products and everyone i know who has ordered eco-friendly goods from her, has been so pleased. even my mother-in-law couldn't resist after she saw mine! 

i just got a few new things from her shop ... 
washable lunch napkins (in rainbow colors. or course.)

washable sandwich wraps 

which of course my littlest little was over the moon about

Shannon has offered my readers a 15% discount on any purchase
just use the coupon code RUBIES when you place your order

she said this almost makes her want to start school right away. 

happy nutella sandwiches with sprinkles 
(lots of sprinkles)

what do you guys do to make your kiddos lunches extra special? do tell ♥

linking up here!

rainbow button bracelet ♥

it's so sad to see people starting school already!
and i always feel about a month behind in the blogging/social media world during end of school & beginning of school time. we're still right in the middle of summer! we still have another full month of swimming, crafting, eating, pj's and sleeping in ... 
and really ... what else is there?

my older daughter found this project sheet at joanns last week. 
(not cause we're there a lot or anything) and she was excited to make it.
and you need to make one too ... or your daughter does, sister, niece whoever. just make one. 
it's super cute. and rainbowtized. so you'll need a few things which are listed on the back of the project sheet but we hit a few little road bumps along the way, so what we ended up buying (a few returns later) is on this list right here...

the project sheet said to buy jewelry chain that you could cut into a bracelet and attach a lobster clasp to, but we just bought a pre-made bracelet in the jewelry section right there next to the chains ... if you have a larger or smaller rist you might prefer to buy the chain so you can size it to your specifications ... the premade one fit my daughter just fine, and fit me as well.

 ... the project sheet said you needed random assorted buttons... but the 10mm jump rings did not fit into any random assorted buttons that i have. and believe me. i have a lot of them. so i headed back to joanns to try to find the buttons that were pictured on the instruction sheet ....  they were these pictured below in little candy store type containers ... now the only thing was each container had just one color in it ... all different shades, but in one color.
 (and there was no multi-color container option) a sign above me that said "50% off all buttons" caught my eye and i smiled.

a container of each color ended up being only three dollars or so and i think i bought 6 colors.
aaaaaand i had a 20% off your total purchase coupon. 
all six containers ended up costing $14 and some change ... 
regular price would've been close to $40 with tax! that's why i love joanns :)
the button container was a must since i knew she would want something to store all the buttons in ... 
and i figured she'd make a few more bracelets for some of her friends. 
and really it was just cute. so i bought it.

start by adding the smaller jump rings to the bracelet in whatever color order your little heart desires. use the pliers to open the ring and then close it once it's on the bracelet.
she spaced her rings into every other link going in rainbow color order.

once you add the small ones, you can add the buttons to the larger jump rings and then attach the larger jump rings to the small jump rings, keeping them all color coordinated

there were no yellow jump rings in the assorted color packages in either size, 
so we used gold for the yellow & orange buttons

once they're all added that's it. done!

this girl is so much like me... and in so many ways so different than me
she's growing up so fast. it feels like two days ago she went to kindergarten. it's sad in a way ... that people always say not to rush, to enjoy your kids because time will fly by. i always laughed and shook my head in agreement when i heard an older person say that. never really thought much about it.... until this past year.
i'm thinking a lot about it...

she loves crafts and baking ... and fishing and bugs ... oh and cars. 
yeah that's a thing her and her daddy got goin on. 
cause mommy doesn't care about cars ... or fishing. (or bugs) 

happy middle of the week ♥

linking up here!

gold striped mason jar caddy ♥

nothing earth-shattering ... just a little idea here for ya 
i had this caddy on my kitchen counter, it held four plain glass mason jars with all of our silverware in them.  i think i got it at Walmart last year in the same section as the canning jars but i cannot remember the brand that makes it ... sorry!
i'd been wanting to do something fun to the caddy and the jars for a while but just couldn't decide what.
since there's lots of color in my kitchen, i wanted to do something different ... a little more on the neutral side

i found this project here ... and knew what i wanted to do!
especially since i had just brought 2 cans of shiny metallic gold spray paint 
home with me from home depot for a different project.
i gave the jars a quick coat of flat white spray paint first
then taped them off with painter's tape just like she did.

i couldn't decide whether to leave them clean & crisp or rough & sanded
a quick poll on instagram still had me undecided ... 

but i think most people liked the sanded ones better
and since i'm more into the chippy not perfect look right now i went ahead and gave them a light sand ... sprayed the caddy white too, and done! 

our silverware has a pretty new home and my kitchen has a pop of gold
i have a few other little ideas for the kitchen i want to tackle too ... 
that might involve gold polka dot burlap of course :)

happy new week!
linking up here:

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