Crystal Madrilejos

Design & Creative


If you follow me on social media you already know about a little project I’ve been working on for Hello Creative Family that was launched the other day. It’s a small project, but it was oh, so fun to make!

A couple months ago, one of the co-creators of Hello Creative Family, Crystal (Allen), asked if I’d create a printable calendar for one of their holiday gift guides. I said yes, because I’ve always had a thing for calendars and planners. (more…)


Okay, so my initial thought of doing random notes throughout the season was somewhat of a bust. I got a big whopping ONE for summer, though to my credit I started it on July 30th. Didn’t give myself much time.

I wanted to pop in and say hello because I’ve been quiet here on the blog. Not because I haven’t had anything going on. Quite the opposite, I’ve had so much going on that I haven’t had a moment to just sit and think. So many new things going on around these parts that I don’t even know where to start. When in doubt, make a list: (more…)


I haven’t posted any of Q’s photos in awhile. Here are some he took earlier in the year, when it was still snowing and we had the taps in the maple trees.



I’ve been having lots of thoughts and observations lately I’ve wanted to share but they are random and are probably more journal fodder than anything. The kind of thoughts you have while driving to work or watching the kids play. They may be constructive and potential for bigger more in depth blog posts, but sometimes I just want to put the thoughts out there without thinking about the larger form they can take.

As a way to incorporate these into my blog, I decided to create seasonal notes for thoughts and happening not warranting a full-blown post for now. They may be totally useless and uninteresting, maybe they’ll spark some thought and discussion. Who knows? We’ll just see where this goes. (more…)


More photos from Q. Thankfully, the Endless Winter of 2013-2014 looks like it’s finally coming to an end. As I type this, I can hear the birds outside and it’s 6:45am and the sky is light, all the tell-tale sign of spring. These pictures pretty much sum up our winter. Runny noses and cabin fever.

If you’re coming here for the first time – Q is our 4-year-old son who likes to take photos. See past photos here and here.

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At the beginning of 2013, we got Q his own notebook. Previously, he had been drawing on random scraps of extra paper that we had lying around, but he kept requesting that he and I draw together on the same piece of paper over and over again, which resulted in this:




I mentioned that I’m a bit of a crazy when it comes to gifts, I prefer to make them if I am able. This past Christmas was no exception. I made this linen tunic for my niece Layla , who will be turning five in a few months. I’ve really been into linen lately and wanted to give this style of shirt/dress/tunic a try in hopes to eventually make more for Ellis and, one day, myself.

I haven’t made too many wearables other than crochet or knit things. Sewing isn’t my specialty. I’ve never taken a sewing class and a lot of times I’m just winging it as I go and always present it with the caveat of: don’t look too closely. I know the basics and I can follow instructions, that’s about my level of expertise in the matter. I also don’t sew with knits if I can avoid it. Not for lack of desire, but the whole stretchiness thing throws me for a loop. But I’m happy with how these turned out. The embroidery was also a new adventure for me too. I’ve embroidered before, but not on clothing and nothing so complicated, but all-in-all, it was a success. (more…)

welcome to

If you’re making your way over here from my old site, or coming here for the first time: Welcome!

I’m still working out some kinks and such, but hopefully we’ll be smooth sailing eventually. Thanks for stopping in for a visit.


We love encouraging our kids to be creative, especially when it comes to gifts. They are still so young so many of these gifts are collaborations between parents and kids, which I love! One day, they won’t need my help. But I’m hoping they will still want it!

Quil draws or paints almost every day, so we always have a ton of paper with drawing and marks on them. So, I decided to take it up a notch and create something special together by helping him turn a drawing into an embroidered piece of art. The picture above is what we made for Quil’s Grammy last Christmas. Excuse the terrible embroidered text on there that is supposed to say “Q 2012” but looks more like “2022” ha!

Mind you, this is not a completely novel idea. Just search “Embroidered Kid Art” on Google and you will come up with endless posts. A lot of them involve transferring from paper to fabric, but I just had Quil draw directly onto the fabric. Maybe if your kid is older and makes really detailed and clearly representational images, it would be best to start with paper so they have more control, but Quil is still in the scribble phase, so directly on the fabric works for us. Or if you have an image they already created and love and think is worthy of saving in embroidered form, transfer is obviously the way to go.

Color, line and shape were the things I followed when embroidering over his marks. It’s a simple concept, but we learned a thing or two after our first try. (more…)