• Welcome to Sew Creative, a blog about creative living. Blogger Crystal Allen lives in beautiful Vancouver, BC with her husband & children. She tries to inject "creative living" into every day & hopes to inspire and be inspired by others. Email her at

  • Mommy Monday- Spring Break Is OVER!!!

    Spring Break

    Oh mama!!! Does it make me a bad mommy if I say that I’m so happy that spring break is over? I love, love, love my kids and I love spending quality time with them… but spending quality time while you are ALSO supposed to be working??? Well it just doesn’t mix!

    You may (or may not) have noticed that I didn’t post a single time last week. Not once! A month ago I posted a story about a video that made me cry, and quite frankly feel like a bad mom. The video is all about spending quality time with your kids, undistracted, down on the floor, imaginative, playtime… That’s something that I feel like I don’t have much time for these days, so I decided that during spring break I was going to do just that– I was going to be present. I was going to take my kids to the park EVERY day. I was going to create with them. I was going to cuddle with them, read with them, imagine with them… and I wasn’t going to worry about the stuff that wasn’t getting done.

    You see, I had this realization–

    It’s the moments where I feel split between work life and mom life that cause me to lose my mind!

    I can handle doing “Mom Stuff” when I am not silently counting the million and one work things I’m not getting done for work.

    I’m a super woman at my job… if I’m not feeling “mommy guilt” because I’m not spending enough time with the kiddos. 

    I attended BlogHer last summer and the moment that I keep going back to again and again is when I heard Danielle Smith from Extraordinary Mommy speak. Danielle said that she had been asked how she would want her daughter to remember her when she’s gone. The answer?

    “She did both.”

    Aka she was an extraordinary mother and she did something for a living that she was passionate about. 

    My kids know that I am passionate about my work, so I decided to spend spring break enjoying their company. Work was put on the back burner last week and the 3 of us spent time together– without the distraction of work, without the intrusion of taking photos to use for blog content and without that nagging feeling of “…BUT THERE IS SO MUCH TO GET DONE!!!”

    I was present and I feel really, really good about that. 

    Now Monday is here, spring break is over, I’m back in full swing, and my to do list is a mile long! 

    So tell me… how was your spring break? Were you split in two? Did you have any time to spend one on one with your kids? Are you playing catch up now too???

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    Treasures and Flavors of the Salish Sea in Vancouver at Salt Spring In The City

    Salt Spring In the City

    My family is long overdue for a vacation. I think we’re all a bit burnt out, need to escape from reality for a bit and reconnect as a family. Our last family vacation was the summer that Turtle turned 1 and it was more of a long weekend away with a couple of other families. 

    The mom in me wants to relax on the beach, read a book, make sandcastles and splash in the water. The creative in me wants to be inspired by artists, eat delicious food and witness how people are living a more “Back-To-Basics” lifestyle, living simplistically and creating amazing things they are passionate about.

    Sand Castle

    A photo of Bean and I that was taken during a fabulous family vacation… way too long ago!

    Living in Vancouver we have our choice of incredible vacation options right at our own back door. When I think of my “wants” for our vacation I keep coming back to the same place over and over and again in my head– Salt Spring Island

    Salt Spring Island is known around the world for their amazing cheeses, lavender, bakeries, artisans and their Saturday market. The Hubs and I started looking at availability for vacation properties on the island this summer and the one thing I’ve been the most adamant about is: We must be there for one entire Saturday. We can’t be arriving on Saturday or leaving on Saturday… I don’t want to miss a minute of the market.  (more…)

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    Mommy Monday- Leaping for LeapTV

    Mommy Monday- Leaping over the LeapTV

    My girl is smart, creative, caring and imaginative. Coordination? Not exactly her strong suit. What can I say… she takes after mommy! We encourage Bean to read, write, create and explore her surroundings (do you think we’re a right brained family?)


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    Sew Pretty For Little Girls Giveaway and A Quick & Easy T-Shirt Dress

    Sew Pretty For Little Girls Giveaway and A Quick & Easy T-Shirt Dress People often ask me about the name, Sew Creative. I get two questions frequently.

    1. Oh! That’s such a cute/clever name! How did you come up with it?

    2. Oh! You must sew a lot! I wish I had time to sew/ had time to learn to sew/ knew how to sew. How do you find time to sew so much with two kids, work and a blog?

    The answer to both questions go hand in hand. Before I started Sew Creative I had an Etsy shop called Lilikoi Lane. In the store I sold appliqued shirts for kids. In our old house (pre-Turtle) I converted one of the bedrooms into a sewing studio. I was constantly coming up with new designs for my appliques and when I would show them to people they would often reply “I love that! It’s so creative.” In my head I turned that into Sew Creative, and I loved the saying so much that I had it turned into a vinyl wall applique that was on the wall of my sewing studio. Around that time I started a tumblr page called She Is Sew Creative- Those and That Which Inspire Me.

    Fast forward a few years, Turtle was 6 months old, I was on maternity leave and I decided that the idea of the website that had been floating around in my head for years needed to be brought to life. That was when the blog, Sew Creative was born.

    When I started Sew Creative the plan was to do a lot of sewing projects on the blog and possibly sell them in my Etsy store… then the reality of blogging while working full time and being a wife and mom set in and I realized “Ain’t nobody got time for that!” 

    I shut down my Etsy store and the sewing projects became a bit less frequent than I had originally planned.

    That being said, I ADORE fabric (some might call me a fabric addict), I’m inspired by beautiful projects and I love the sound of the whir of my sewing machine. So when sewing opportunities knock… I jump on them!

    Sew Pretty For Little Girls
    When Stitch Craft Create contacted me and asked me if I wanted to participate in a blog hop for Alice Caroline’s new book, Sew Pretty For Little Girls (AKA Little Lady Liberty for those in the UK), the answer was obvious… Ummm yes! (more…)

    Posted in DIY and Craft, Favorite Things Friday, Giveaway, Sewing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments
    Mommy Monday- I Heart Handmade: Bean, Age 6
    Mommy Monday, I heart handmade, Bean Age 6 Sew Creative

      I love, love, love the stage that Bean is at right now. She is 6 years old and she is so much fun. She still loves to hold my hand when we walk to school (even in the hallways). … Continue reading

    Posted in Daily Life, DIY and Craft | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment
    Favorite Things Friday: Fabric Giveaway from Fat Quarter Shop & Milk, Sugar & Flower Fabric Collection
    Win $50 to Fat Quarter Shop with Sew Creative's Favorite Things Friday

    Hi, my name is Crystal Allen and I am a fabric addict. I first became addicted to fabric when I opened my Etsy shop, Lilikoi Lane. During that time I had a cover for my addiction… mom’s were wanting to … Continue reading

    Posted in Eye Candy, Favorite Things Friday, Products I Love | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 104 Comments
    Back-To-Basics: Raspberry Vanilla Chia Breakfast Pudding Recipe
    Delicious, nutritious and super easy Raspberry Vanilla Chia Breakfast Pudding Recipe from Sew Creative Blog

    Breakfast has never been my friend. My poor mother, struggled the entire time I was growing up trying to figure out what I should eat for breakfast. I’ve never had an appetite in the morning… food just doesn’t sound good … Continue reading

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    Mommy Monday- A Pair of Rough and Tumble Kamik Boots For My Rough And Tumble Boy
    A pair of rough and tumble boots for a rough and tumble boy- Kamik

    I love when traditions I had as a child are adopted by my own kiddos. When I was in my early teens, my Dad bought my mom, sister and me, each a pair of Kamik boots for Christmas. It happened … Continue reading

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    Back-To-Basics: How To Roast Asparagus Without Oil AKA Dry Roasted Asparagus
    If you are watching your weight & trying to load up on veggies and cut out fat, this is the recipe for you. As part of Sew Creative's Back To Basics series she shares how to roast asparagus without oil!

    For the last couple of months I’ve been on a weight loss journey. One phase of the program that I was on had me eating a very low fat diet. I was allowed to have lean meat and fish but … Continue reading

    Posted in Back To Basics, Cast Iron Skillet Cooking, Food and Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment
    40 Day Weight Loss Program Complete… How Much Did I Lose and Now what?
    Crystal from Sew Creative Before and After Polo Weight Loss

    This morning I woke my kids up for school, got them fed, dressed and off to school/daycare and then went for my morning walk. I don’t wear headphones or listen to music while I take my morning walk. It’s my … Continue reading

    Posted in #PoloWeightLoss Blogger Challenge, Health Fitness & Beauty | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments
    Back-To-Basics: How To Make Chicken Bone Broth In Your Crockpot
    Back To Basics with Sew Creative. How to make Chicken Bone Broth in your crockpot

    I have memories from childhood of the scent of turkey broth simmering on our stove. Every Thanksgiving my mom would take the carcass from our Thanksgiving turkey and make broth with it. The whole house would fill with the scent … Continue reading

    Posted in Back To Basics, Food and Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments
    Ginger, Cinnamon and Everything Nice Spice Tea Recipe (The Perfect Chai Tea Base)
    This tea makes the perfect chai tea base, or if you aren't a fan of black tea, the perfect mug of herbal spicy tea! Ginger Cinnamon & Everything Nice Spice Tea Recipe from Sew Creative

    A few weeks ago I went out to tea with a client and had one of the most delicious cups of tea that I’ve ever experienced. It was hot, spicy and delicious. The spices tickled my tongue and hit me … Continue reading

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