hug life embroidered heart tote

hello friends!  

I'm already keeping up with my goals- two posts for January!  And today's is a fun one.

Last week was a day off school for my kiddos, so what do you do?  Well, friends, you go to the dollar store.  I had my arms full of neon paints, Valentine's decoration and matches and we headed up to get in line.  I was staring off into space, as I usually do, when out of the corner of my eye, I spied this.

I had seen this tote before.  My friend, Andrea at Harlow and Thistle- made this KILLER tote for Christmas.  (Click on over and see it, it's awesome.)  I even loved just the bag itself- and hello?  $4?   Um, yes. Please.

So have tote, need idea.  I went downstairs to my boxes of supplies and found some pink felt.  Ok, now we're cooking.  I really like pink and grey together and quite honestly, my other friend Alex at Northstory had posted this cute Valentine-y wreath and I had had hearts on the brain ever since.

Felt.  Check.
Heart.  (thanks to the Valentine decorations I bought) Check.

Now what to do.  I tossed around the idea of a plain heart, but I like goofy wordy stuff, so I knew I needed to word it up.  And then I remembered this little sign I made.....

Yup.  Just goofy enough.

Now how to put it on.  Paint?  Nah, paint on felt doesn't make for a neat project.  For me, anyways.  

I've also been inspired lately, by these amazing AMAZING sweaters by Lingua Franca

Be still my frigging heart.

The only problem is, I don't know how to embroider.  Thank you Pinterest. I did a quick search and looked at a few different tutorials and figured out how to do a back stitch.  Woo hoo!

I wrote out my wording, and grabbed my black embroidery floss and went to it.

I also taught myself how to blanket stitch so I could put the heart on the tote.  Not too bad for a beginner.

Now, all I needed was my little blonde assistant to help me with some photos.  In the rain.  

I added a couple of pom poms for her too.

I love this tote.  I think it's fun and pretty darn cute.  I will use it and my daughter will steal it from me.  Perfect for a library bag, a shopping tote, crap bag, whatever. 

And all for under $10!  

The bag (at Dollarama)     $4
Felt- 1 sheet (Dollarama)  $.68 (their felt is 2 for 1.25)  
Embroidery floss- 1 skein  $1  (I'm ballparking this, you can get packages of it at the dollar store too, so this might actually be less)
Total                     $5.68

Pretty much 6 bucks AND I made it in an afternoon- perfect DIY project in my books.

I've got some other Valentine-y ideas cooking for next time!
Until then,
choose the hug life friends.