Make Easy Felt Gift Tags

Easy Felt Gift Tags - a free tutorial from Shiny Happy World

Four years ago I posted a tutorial showing how I make reusable fabric gift bags. We don’t use any gift wrap anymore at the holidays – just these bags.

This was a really popular tutorial and people loved the bags – but I had a lot of people ask how we stuck tags to them.

I’m finally getting around to that post!

For a while we just used paper tags tucked into the ribbon – but that didn’t always stay in place, so a couple of years ago I made a bunch of felt tags and they’ve been AWESOME.

First – a note. Mine is a small family – just three of us – and we all have different initials. So for us it worked really well to just have tags with a first initial. You may need to adapt the idea a bit to work for YOUR family, but the basic technique can be used a lot of ways. πŸ™‚

First cut a 3 inch square of felt.

Why 3 inches? It’s a number that allows me to get 12 squares out of a single sheet of felt with no waste. πŸ™‚

Cut out the felt letter you need. I used this free alphabet pattern.

It’s easy to cut shapes like those letters if you use freezer paper.

  1. Trace the letter onto the paper side of the freezer paper
  2. Fuse the shiny side of the paper to the felt.
  3. Cut out the letter – cutting through the felt and the paper at the same time for super accuracy
  4. Peel off the paper and use it again.

Stick the letter to the felt square with a dab of glue stick. Sew around the letter using a simple straight stitch on your sewing machine. You could also hand sew the letter in place using fancier stitches, but I wanted to make a big stack of these in an afternoon. (Keep reading for a no-sew option.)

Cut a slit in the felt on each side of the letter.

Easy Felt Gift Tags - a free tutorial from Shiny Happy World

I don’t measure these or worry too much about precision – most of the slits are about an inch tall, and roughly half an inch from the edge of the felt.

Done!

Now – here’s how I use them.

I make two kinds of bags. The main kind – the ones I use most often – have the ribbon sewn to the top edge of the bag. They’re designed for the ribbon to wrap all the way around the gift, like this. . .

Fabric Gift Bags - free tutorial from Shiny Happy World

For those I just slide the tag onto the ribbon anywhere on the front of the package. It looks like this. . .

Easy Felt Gift Tags - a free tutorial from Shiny Happy World

This is a gift for Jo. πŸ™‚

The other kind of bag I make has the ribbon sewn into a side seam near the top of the bag. Those bags are meant to gather up at the top like a classic Santa sack, with the ribbon tied around the neck of the bag – not the gift itself.

For those I thread the tag onto one of the loops before I finish tying the bow. Here’s what it looks like.

Easy Felt Gift Tags - a free tutorial from Shiny Happy World

Another gift for Jo! πŸ™‚

Both ways are super easy, and post-gift-opening cleanup is a breeze. The ribbons are attached to the bags, so I just fold up the bags, and make a little stack of the tags. The bags and the tags all fit in one small plastic tub – maybe the size of two shoe-boxes. πŸ™‚

Here are links to everything you need. . .

I like the way the stitching looks, but you could make a completely no-sew version using Heat & Bond Ultrahold fusible adhesive. Remember – this is the heaviest weight they make and you should NOT sew through it. (It will gunk up your needle.) If you use this option, you’ll need to fuse a little hotter/longer than the package directions say in order for the heat to fully penetrate the thick felt and melt the adhesive. Everyone’s iron is a little different, so just experiment with temperature and time until you get a solid fuse.

Happy crafting!

Best,
Wendi
Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World

Wednesday Swoon! Christmas Tree Ornaments

Swoon! Christmas tree ornaments collected by Shiny Happy World

I’m bringing back the Swoon!

What’s the Swoon? Simple. It’s me swooning over things other people have made. πŸ™‚

I used to do this all the time (I keep finding them when I go through the archives for the newsletter) and I think it’s time to bring them back.

This week’s theme is felt Christmas tree ornaments. There are so many cute ones out there! None of these are patterns – the links (these are affiliate links) go to listings where you buy the actual ornament.

Top Row

Middle Row

Bottom Row

Plus one extra-special swoon for this adorableΒ Needle-Felted Mouse from MillaKnitt.

Needle-felted mouse from MillaKnitt

He’s far more expensive than the other items I collected – but look at the detail! The craftsmanship! The cuteness!

I’m swooning. πŸ™‚

Best,
Wendi
Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World

Join Us in a Holiday Craft-Along!

Holiday CAL 2017 - Shiny Happy World and FreshStitches

Did you see the big Shiny Happy World/FreshStitches news?

One of the things they do really well over at FreshStitches is Craft-Alongs. The big alliance won’t be official until January 1st – but we’re jumping in now with a shared holiday Craft-Along! πŸ™‚

Join in the fun!

It’s easy.

Pick a holiday pattern. Any holiday pattern from Shiny Happy World or FreshStitches. It can be a Christmas pattern or a winter pattern or a new year’s pattern – whatever you and your family celebrate at this time of year. (It can be a free pattern or a pattern from the shops. Keep reading below for some suggestions and links.)

Hop on over to the Shiny Happy People and tell us that you’re participating and what you’re making. You can share photos of your materials and your work in progress as we go along. We’d love to see bits and pieces as you make it!

There’s a Holiday CAL post pinned to the top of the Shiny Happy People page – so it will be the first thing everyone sees. πŸ™‚

With about a week to go until the end of December we’ll pin a new post to the top of the page – a new one especially for sharing your finished project. Entries close on December 31 and we’ll pick a winner from all the photos/comments on the new post. There will be a prize!

Squee! Prizes!

Here are some pattern ideas with links for more. . .

Christmas Amigurumi Patterns

Make a holiday amigurumi! Scroll through all the FreshStitches patterns here.

Christmas Quilt patterns from Shiny Happy World

Make a Christmas quilt – or a tote bag, stocking, or something else with some Christmas applique on it. All of my Christmas quilt patterns are free and you can find them here. You can find other quilt patterns here.

Christmas Dress Up Bunch doll patterns from Shiny Happy World

Make something seasonal for your Dress Up Bunch doll! You can find all the patterns for dolls and doll clothes here.

Christmas Felt Ornament Patterns from Shiny Happy World

Stitch up a Christmas ornament! You can buy discounted bundles in the sets as shown – but all the patterns are also available individually so you can pick and choose your favorites. Find them all here. You can also find a few free ornament patterns here.

Christmas embroidery patterns from Shiny Happy World

Do a little festive embroidery! You can find all the free patterns here, and all the patterns in the shop here.

No matter what your craft of choice is and what holiday you celebrate – Shiny Happy World and FreshStitches are sure to have a pattern for you. And we can’t wait to see what you make!

Happy crafting!

Best,
Wendi
Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World

FreshStitches + Shiny Happy World = One Awesome Crafty Resource!

If you’ve been in the Shiny Happy People group last night or this morning, you’ve gotten a sneak peek at some really big news.

Shiny Happy World and FreshStitches are joining forces to become one awesome crafty resource!

Let me back up a little. . .

When I started Shiny Happy World, I deliberately gave it a name that didn’t reference any particular craft because I play around with a lot of different ones – and I wanted to keep that arena wide open.

Stacey did the same thing when she started FreshStitches. She immediately became famous for her crocheted stuffed animals and ended up specializing in that, but in the background she’s always made softies, done a lot of knitting, some embroidery – and she’s currently working on a gorgeous EPP quilt.

Stacey and I met online and we’ve been friends for years now, and we’ve even collaborated on a few projects. It was time to bring our worlds together in an official way. πŸ™‚

Before I get into the nitty gritty details of what that means for you, let me tell you a little bit more about Stacey.

Stacey Trock - the gal behind FreshStitchesLike me – Stacey is fond of rainbows and cuteness. πŸ™‚

Also like me – she has always specialized in designs that are accessible to beginners.

She’s an amazing teacher and pattern designer!

I’ve been crocheting all my life. Really. I actually don’t remember learning. It’s just something I’ve been able to do forever. But I didn’t do anything fancy. I knew how to single, double, and triple crochet and how to do things like scallop borders – but I never learned to read a pattern and I only crocheted things like scarves and blankets.

Stacey taught me How to Crochet Things That Are Not Flat and it opened up a whole new world!

I started with her hat class on Craftsy. I have a big head and I can never wear store-bought hats. They dig a groove in my forehead and give me headaches. πŸ™ Stacey’s class taught me how crazy easy it is to crochet in the round – and make a hat to fit my enormous head.

Once I learned how easy it is to crochet in the round, of course I had to try to make some stuffed animals that way. πŸ™‚ Once again – Stacey’s Craftsy classes showed me the way!

(If you want to jump right in to learning to crochet – you can find all those classes that I learned from here – in the new Crochet Patterns section of Shiny Happy World.)

So – what does this grand alliance mean to you?

MORE AWESOMENESS!!!

Seriously. We’re not taking anything away from either group, but we will be bringing the best of each group to the other.

For example – Shiny Happy World has an amazing Facebook group full of incredibly warm, supportive, enthusiastic and positive Shiny Happy People. FreshStitches will be joining us there. In fact – they’re already joining up! There’s a post pinned to the top of the page inviting everyone – newcomers and existing residents – to introduce themselves. Pop on over to the group and give them a warm welcome!

FreshStitches does really fun CALs (crochet-alongs) and we’re going to be bringing some of that fun into the other crafts already here at Shiny Happy World. They just started a Christmas CAL and we’re expanding that to be a Christmas Craft-Along. Make any Christmas (or holiday or winter – whatever this season means to you) pattern from either Shiny Happy World OR FreshStitches and enter to win. There are prizes! You’ll see a new post next week – pinned to the top of the Shiny Happy People group – for you to show Works in Progress on that. I’ll announce it in the newsletter too.

We’re moving the FreshStitches shop into the Shiny Happy World shop as soon as that inventory arrives at my house and I can get it added. You guys! Wait until you see the awesome fun eyes! There are big googly comic eyes!

In short – the transition should be pretty seamless for all of you. You’ll just start to see more crochet awesomeness popping up on the website and the Facebook group!

FreshStitches and Shiny Happy World

What a great way to start 2018!

Happy crafting!

Best,
Wendi
Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World

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Free December Calendar

Free December 2017 calendar from Shiny Happy WorldHappy December!

I know it’s a day early, but I have a HUGE (and super fun) announcement to make on the blog tomorrow, so I’m getting this out there early. πŸ™‚

Mrs. Claus!

You can make your own with the free pattern here!

Make a pillow, a stocking, a placemat, or a gift bag! (You’ll find free patterns for all those things here).

Or combine her with my other free Christmas applique patterns to make a wall hanging or quilt! You can find links to those other Christmas applique patterns in the post for Mrs. Claus. πŸ™‚

Choose the size you need and click to download. Easy peasy!

Free December 2017 calendar from Shiny Happy World

Click here to download the one for computers/tablets.

Free December 2017 calendar (for phones) from Shiny Happy World

Click here to download the one for phones.

Enjoy!

Best,
Wendi
Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World

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Mrs. Claus – free applique pattern

Mrs. Claus - free applique pattern from Shiny Happy World

There’s a new free applique pattern for you! Merry Christmas! πŸ™‚

This Mrs. Claus pattern is the same size and style as the other free Christmas applique patterns (10 inch finished blocks). There are four now so you can make a square wallhanging!

Free Christmas applique patterns from Shiny Happy World

Here are links to the other three. . .

Download the Mrs. Claus pattern pieces here.

Here’s how to make her!

Step 1

If you’re using Quilt As You Go, quilt the background to the batting. I’m showing mine from the back so you can see the stitching more clearly.

Mrs. Claus free applique pattern from Shiny Happy World - step by step photos

(If you’ve never done QAYG or applique with fusible adhesive before, go get signed up for the Let’s Make a Quilt workshop. It’s free and you can work through the lessons using any pattern you like – including this free Mrs. Claus pattern.)

Step 2

Print or trace the pattern pieces onto the paper side of fusible adhesive.

Mrs. Claus free applique pattern from Shiny Happy World - step by step photos

I love these printable sheets of Heat & Bond Lite because I’m lazypants and don’t like to trace.

The pieces have already been reversed, so no need to flip anything.

Step 3

Roughly cut out the pieces, leaving a little extra all the way around each piece. Leave a little extra extra wherever there’s a dotted line. That edge will tuck under other pieces for a clean finish.

Mrs. Claus free applique pattern from Shiny Happy World - step by step photos

Fuse the pieces to the back of your fabric, following the instructions on your fusible.

Step 4

Trace the features onto the front of the face fabric.

Mrs. Claus free applique pattern from Shiny Happy World - step by step photos

If you hold it up to a window, you’ll be able to see the lines very clearly through the fabric.

I trace just inside the lines marking the position of any applique pieces – like the eyes.

I trace directly on any lines to be stitched – the nose and mouth.

I just use a fine tip black Sharpie.

Here’s what it looks like without the light shining through.

Mrs. Claus free applique pattern from Shiny Happy World - step by step photos

Step 5

Cut out all the pieces neatly.

Mrs. Claus free applique pattern from Shiny Happy World - step by step photos

Cut directly on the solid lines. Leave a little extra seam allowance past the dotted lines.

Step 6

Peel off the paper backing and layer up all the pieces.

Mrs. Claus free applique pattern from Shiny Happy World - step by step photosRemember – those dotted line edges will tuck behind other pieces. For example – the bottom of the bun has a dotted line, showing it tucks behind the top of the head.

Line up the lower edge of her shoulders with the bottom edge of the block. You’ll trim away the excess when you trim your block down to size so you don’t see that cut edge.

Fuse the design in place, again following the instructions on your fusible package.

Step 7

Stitch around all the pieces to secure the edges. Stitch right over your traced lines for the nose and mouth. (This video has tips for stitching those tight curves.)

Mrs. Claus free applique pattern from Shiny Happy World - step by step photosI like to use a simple straight stitch in thick black thread. (This is what I use.) I think the cartoony outline suits my simple designs, but you can use matching thread and any stitches you like.

This post has more info if you’re trying to figure out in what order you should stitch the pieces.

Step 8

Trim it down to size and you’re finished! I recommend starting with an 11 inch square and trimming it down to 10 1/2 inches if you’re making a quilt or a wall hanging – but you can also use this design to make some placemats (free placemat pattern here) and that will need a different starting block size.

Mrs. Claus free applique pattern from Shiny Happy World - step by step photos

Happy quilting!

Best,
Wendi
Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World

Mrs. Claus - free applique pattern from Shiny Happy WorldFree Christmas applique patterns from Shiny Happy World

Mini Stockings Advent Calendar Pattern

Mini Stockings Advent Calendar Pattern from Shiny Happy World

The Mini Stockings Advent Calendar pattern is finished and it was so much fun to make!

You get patterns for 25 mini stockings – just the right size to hold candy, small toys, gift cards and more. Open a stocking every night to count down the days until Christmas!

One of my favorite things about this pattern is that you’re getting 25 different repeat patterns that are very easy to stitch. (I only used the four most basic stitches – all of which are covered in my free Embroidery 101 class. The pattern also has links to the how-to videos for all of them.)

You can use these designs on so many other projects! I’ll be showing some samples of other things you can make in the weeks to come. πŸ™‚

My other favorite thing is that you stitch the designs on a grid – which makes it so easy to get your stitches perfect! Here’s an example of what one stocking looks like all stitched up, before I soak away the Sulky Sticky Fabri-solvy.

Mini Stockings Advent Calendar Pattern from Shiny Happy World

See how easy it is to get the stitch length perfect and the spacing perfect?

And here’s that same stocking after soaking.

Mini Stockings Advent Calendar Pattern from Shiny Happy World

I just love how those thread colors glow against the dark purple felt!

Speaking of colors – I stitched all of my samples using the Tutti Frutti felt and thread bundles – but you could do any colors you like!

This red thread on white felt is so fresh and pepperminty!

Mini Stockings Advent Calendar Pattern from Shiny Happy World

And I especially love the way the white thread on Tahitian sunset felt looks like royal icing on gingerbread. πŸ™‚

Mini Stockings Advent Calendar Pattern from Shiny Happy World

Your family will pull hang this advent calendar every year and have so much fun finding surprises in the stockings every night!

Are you ready to stitch up an heirloom?

Get the Mini Stockings Advents Calendar pattern here. πŸ™‚

Happy stitching!

Best,
Wendi
Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World

Free November Calendar

November 2017 desktop - free calendar from Shiny Happy World

Happy November!

We had our first snow the day before Halloween, so things are definitely feeling autumnal here. πŸ™‚ I decided to make a design just for the calendar this month, using some of the trees from the Woodland Critters quilt. I think they’d make great placemats – there’s a free pattern here you can use.

I’m doing fewer sizes this month, because it turns out the sizes I was using were way outdated. πŸ™‚ Now there’s just one for computers/tablets and one for phones.

November 2017 desktop - free calendar from Shiny Happy World

Click here to download the one for computers/tablets.

November 2017 phone - free calendar from Shiny Happy WorldClick here to download the one for phones.

Enjoy!

Best,
Wendi
Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World

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Think BIG! Fun and Easy Giant Applique Class

Think BIG! Fun and Easy Giant Applique Class from Shiny Happy World

Think BIG is here!

It’s a brand new class covering everything you need to know to do GIANT applique.

  • How to enlarge any applique pattern to any size you like – including an easy formula
  • How to work with that giant pattern
  • What to do when the pattern pieces are bigger than the biggest fusible adhesive you can buy
  • What to do when your applique is way bigger than your ironing board

You’ll get general information that you can use for any applique of any size for any project – but you’ll also get all the pattern pieces and instructions to make four fun projects.

Make a BIG poster.

Cat poster from the Think BIG Giant Applique Class from Shiny Happy World

You’ll get the giant cat pattern, the alphabet, and the instructions to make a big poster.

I made this reminder to hang in my new studio – but you can make anything you like! This would be a great project for a new baby. Make a baby quilt, then enlarge your favorite block from the quilt to make a matching poster with baby’s name and birth date!

Make a BIG pillow.

Fox pillow from the Think BIG Giant Applique Class from Shiny Happy World

You’ll get the giant fox pattern plus all the instructions to make a big pillow. Mine is 26 inches square – but the class includes instructions to enlarge to any size you like. Make a big floor pillow to match one of the blocks in your favorite applique quilt!

Make a BIG bunny baby quilt.

Big Bunny Baby Quilt from the Think BIG Applique Class from Shiny Happy World

This bunny quilt is fast and easy. You can make it in a day! The corner bunnies are “normal” 10 inch blocks and the center medallion is a whopping 30 inches square. The class includes instructions for easy peasy Quilt As You Go construction. You could easily adapt the pattern to work with any applique design in your stash, to match any nursery theme – but you’ll get the bunny pattern in both sizes.

Make a BIG napping quilt.

Big Lap Quilt from the Think BIG Applique Class from Shiny Happy World

Whoa! Look at that giant version of my Augie Dog! It’s way WAY bigger than the original. πŸ™‚

You’ll get the full-sized puppy pattern plus complete instructions to make a 50 x 60 inch napping-size quilt – my favorite size for curling up on the couch. Using Quilt As You Go doesn’t make much sense for a quilt made of one HUGE block, so I include a video with tips for quilting it.

Of course, the class includes instructions to enlarge any block to size for a quilt like this. I’ve already had one reader suggest a quilt with a single “doll” from the Paper Dolls quilt, enlarged to be the same size as your child or grandchild. What a brilliant idea!

By the end of the class you’ll be able to adapt ANY applique design to ANY size you like – and add huge fun to all your favorite patterns. πŸ™‚

Sign up for the class here.

Happy quilting!

Best,
Wendi
Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World

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Free Trick or Treat Bag Tutorial

Trick or Treat Bag - a free pattern from Shiny Happy World

Need to whip up a super easy bag for trick or treating this year?

Then I have the pattern for you!

It’s fully lined (which actually makes construction easier), requires no hand sewing, can be made with any of my square quilt block patterns with no resizing – and you can make it in an hour or less. πŸ™‚

This project will work with any of my square applique patterns. If you’re using someone else’s pattern, you may need to resize it to fit a 10 inch square.

I’m using two monsters from the Scary Squares monster quilt pattern.

If you have a witch who needs a black cat, you could use the free Spooky Cat applique pattern.

If you have a farmer who needs a few farm animals, you could use any of the blocks in the Noisy Farm pattern.

If you just want to customize it with a name or Halloween greeting, use a fun Halloween print fabric and this free alphabet applique pattern.

The sky is the limit!

What You’ll Need

  • 1/2 yard medium weight fabric for the main bag (I used black cotton twill)
  • 1/2 yard light weight fabric for the lining (I used a Halloween novelty print)
  • fusible adhesive (I recommend Heat & Bond Lite)
  • fabric for your applique (I used prints from the Rainbow Brights and Little Stripes fat quarter bundles – plus a bit of black and white solid)
  • black thread
  • applique pattern of your choice

Cutting Instructions

  • Cut two 11″ x 11″ squares from the main fabric.
  • Cut two 11″ x 11″ squares from the lining fabric.
  • Cut two 14″ x 4″ rectangle from the main fabric for the handles.

Put It All Together

Step 1

Applique the main fabric squares with the design of your choice. If it’s one of my portrait designs, make sure the cut edge of the body is lined up with the bottom edge of the square.

Trick or Treat Bag - a free pattern from Shiny Happy World

Trick or Treat Bag - a free pattern from Shiny Happy World

If you’ve never done applique with fusible adhesive, it’s super easy! You’ll find instructions with video links in any of my patterns, and there’s a general video tutorial here.

Step 2

Fold the rectangles for the handles into double-fold strips and press.

There’s a video here showing how to do that if it’s new for you.

Stitch through all the layers down each long edge.

Trick or Treat Bag - a free pattern from Shiny Happy World

Set the handles aside.

Step 3

Layer the two lining pieces right sides together. Sew down one side, across the bottom, and up the other side using 1/4″ seam allowance.

Trick or Treat Bag - a free pattern from Shiny Happy World

I clipped the corners here out of habit, but you don’t need to do that. They’re about to get chopped off in the next step.

Repeat for the two main bag pieces.

Step 4

Box the cornersΒ  of the lining so the bag is 1 inch deep

Trick or Treat Bag - a free pattern from Shiny Happy World

If you’ve never sewn boxed corners before, this video will show you how.

Repeat for the main bag.

Step 5

Fold the bag in half to find the center of the top edge.

Pin the handles to the bag so that the inside edge of the handle is 2 inches from the center pin, and the raw edge of the handle is lined up with the raw edge of the bag.

https://www.shinyhappyworld.com/2014/07/video-sew-boxed-corners.html

Pin the handles in place on both sides of the main bag. You can baste them in place if you like, but I usually just hold them with pins for the next step.

Step 6

Leave the main bag right side out, and the lining inside out.

Slide the lining over the main bag, so that the right side of the lining is facing the right side of the applique, and the handles are sandwiched between the two layers. Match the side seams and centers and pin the two bags together around the top edge.

Sew around the top edge of the bag using 1/4″ seam allowance and leaving an opening on one side between the inside edges of one of the handles.

Trick or Treat Bag - a free pattern from Shiny Happy WorldThis isΒ easiest if you start sewing right at the inside edge of one handle. Sew through that handle, around the side seam, through both handles on the other side, around the second side seam, and through the last handle. Stop as soon as you sew over the last handle (remember to backstitch!) and you’ll have an opening about 4 inches wide.

Step 7

Turn the bag right side out. This step is a little mind-bendy if you’ve never done it before, but it’s actually really simple.

First pull the main bag out of the lining so that both parts are inside out.

Trick or Treat Bag - a free pattern from Shiny Happy World

Now reach into the opening, grab the main bag and pull it through the opening so that it’s right side out. Keep pulling and the lining will follow – also right side out.

Trick or Treat Bag - a free pattern from Shiny Happy World

Now just tuck the lining down inside the bag. πŸ™‚

Step 8

Smooth and press the top edge of the bag.

Fold under the seam allowance from the turning opening and press that as well.

Edgestitch all the way around that top edge. This will finish your bag, sew up the turning opening, and reinforce the handles – all in one step. πŸ™‚

Trick or Treat Bag - a free pattern from Shiny Happy World

Finished!

Trick or Treat Bag - a free pattern from Shiny Happy World

Now go out and feed it lots of yummy candy. πŸ™‚

Happy Halloween!

Best,
Wendi
Wendi Gratz from Shiny Happy World