Today, I want to share something wonderful with you…
This is my friend Alex and her family.
Alex and I first met in college. When we joined the same Household (the equivalent of a Catholic sorority), Alex and I became good friends. We’ve been pen-pals, shared clothes out of each other’s closets, we even share an anniversary date — although she was married 5 years before me.
Alex and I have always had a special connection, even though life has separated us by distance. She’s currently in Minnesota, while I am baking in the heat down south in Georgia. Despite the distance, we stay in contact with one another quite frequently… sometimes writing letters… but more often I’m commissioning some sort of project from her. You see, Alex is an incredible seamstress–and I am not over exaggerating.
I first discovered this in college. Alex was walking around with this incredibly cool bag that was the envy of lots of girls on campus. When we discovered that she had designed and made the bag herself, we all started placing orders for a bag of our own! A few years later, after graduation, I contacted Alex to see if she would be interested in making some curtains for my bedroom. She obliged. Later that same year I purchased one of her “Happy Birthday” banners as a birthday gift for my friend Lizz (who I knew would absolutely love it– I mean, how could you not? Look at this thing…)
A few years later, my sister was getting hitched. I wanted her to have a nice “bride to be” sash that we could use for all the future weddings in our family. I contacted Alex, and she delivered.
When I got married a year and a half later, I got to use the sash at my own bachlorette party too. At the same time, I was struggling to find bow ties for our five adorable ring bearers. I turned to Alex… and once again she delivered…
Then about two months ago, I got a surprise in the mail that I did not order…
Alex had made me some hair bows as a gift for my unborn daughter. My love for all things Theological combined with pregnancy hormones had me crying when I opened the package. Not only did she send me adorable hair bows, but she made one of them from the same fabric that she used for our wedding party. A visual reminder of that sacramental day can actually be worn by our daughter — how sweet and thoughtful is that?!
Alex has previously joked with me that it wouldn’t be a major event in my life if I didn’t contact her to make me something to go along with it. I hadn’t realized it until then, but she is absolutely correct. I return to Alex for things time and time again because her creativity is unmatched and the quality of everything she has made me is top notch. I have no doubts these items will all stand the test of time!
About a month ago, Alex happily jumped aboard when I asked her if she was interested in being a part of my Mother’s Day Giveaway. She contributed one of my absolute favorite items: The Happy Birthday Banner
It was highly coveted by many (including me) and was one of the most popular items of the giveaway. If you were one of those folks who was pining after a banner of your own and did not win it for yourself, I have great news; Alex’s shop —Philomena Design Co. –has become an official affiliate of The Swap! If you go to her shop and use the code 20GRACESWAP, you will receive 20% off your order (and a small portion of your purchase goes to benefit me and my little family as well)!! You can also follow her on Instagram — and she’s a good one to follow! Beautiful home, beautiful family, beautiful products…
You have to check her out!
A “Hello” from the Artist
I am originally from central Indiana, but we are currently living in the Twin Cities area while my husband completes his orthodontic residency here at the University of Minnesota. I am a teacher-turned-SAHM to our three kids: Anthony, Sebastian, and Zoe. My passion for art and creating has always been innate to me, but my love of sewing was definitely instilled by my grandma; she gave me a tin of buttons, a needle, and some thread when I was 7 and my first sewing machine when I was 16. I have been sewing (mostly self-taught) since high school and selling on Etsy since college, and I feel the most creative when I am making my own patterns. Over the past 7 years my Etsy shop has seen bags, banners, bow ties, bows, and more — nearly all of it made from vintage, recycled, or remnant fabrics. I love giving an old piece of fabric new life! I recently renamed my shop and dedicated it to St. Philomena, a saint who is very dear to my heart for her purity, faith, and powerful intercession.
Here are the items I have readily available in my shop, as I make these on a regular basis.
These can be made in almost any color or style! They’re perfect for seasonal decorating, birthdays, playrooms and nurseries (complete with your baby’s name). My oldest son Anthony is pictured above with our own “Happy Birthday” banner that I made for our family right before he turned one. I am a total sucker for traditions and this has been one of my favorite traditions to continue for each birthday. Likewise, this is my FAVORITE item to make for people.
Whether it’s for a holiday, a wedding, or family pictures, I can easily whip up a bow tie for any of the little men in your life. You can order some of the ones I have pre-made, but since most little boys don’t like to dress up, I don’t keep a lot of them on hand. This actually gives you a lot of freedom and creativity to choose what you would like, and I can still get them shipped to you fast!
If you visit my shop, you’ll see I have a plethora of hair bows readily available. I can make them as clip-ins or head bands, and I can make them for any occasion you’d like! Order direct or contact me for something more custom!
I absolutely love getting custom orders. There is something so rewarding about being a part of someone else’s creative process and handcrafting something they’ve envisioned and love. If you are ever looking for something specific, or see something you like in my shop that sparks an idea — let me know! I’d love to work with you to craft the perfect piece. It can be something similar to what I already make, or something completely different. As Grace mentioned, I’ve made her custom curtains, a bride-to-be sash and custom bow ties for her wedding. I’ve also tailored old shirts into new looks, made some fabric dolls, as well as fabric messenger bags.
With each piece I make, as I’m cutting, piecing and sewing, I pray for the family that will receive it and imagine how many family gatherings it will witness. I’d love to make something unique to be a part of your own family traditions — contact me and we can brainstorm together!
Use code 20GRACESWAP for any and all purchases, receive 20% off, and help to support Catholic Artisans!
Interested in my other recommendations?
Check out Catholic Box: Frameable Faith.
You can read about my connection with their business here.