Crafty Bloggers Unite 10/31/08

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Friday 31 October 2008 at 8:03 am

Thanks to some of our talented craft bloggers, I have some new logos to pick from for my weekly round-up of blog links. This one was created by Aileen Roberts. It’s hard to decide which one to use, so I think I’ll use them both for this first “new logo” post, one at the top and one at the bottom of the list.

Margot Potter created the other logo, and what I think is very cool about them both is the fact that they are so completely different. In today’s world, being different is not usually considered a good thing; however, for artists and crafts-people, it is encouraged. Yeah! Thank goodness there are places for people like us to be accepted for who we are. Now onto some great links on Halloween, this last day of October. I hope you all have a spoo-tacular day! Boo!

About Family Crafts
Sherri offers several ideas for creatively displaying your child’s artwork.

Aileen’s Musings
Aileen has an autumn themed digital piece she’s created along with a link to freebie images for you to create your own work of art. Enjoy!

Cathie Filian
Win a copy of Bow WOW WOW! and a $100 worth of craft supplies from Plaid - 1 grand prize and 24 other prizes!

Craftside- A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
Craftside has goulish wet felted eyeballs, a crocheted spider web sweater project, crafting with the Chrome Cowgirl, and announcing Quarry Publishing is sponsoring this year’s Holiday Felt Club in Los Angeles with special appearances, signings and make & takes with authors, Angela Cartwright, The Crafty Chica, Lisa Sonora Beam and Stefanie Girard.

Crafty Princess Diaries
You can make any of these super quick jewelry projects just in time for Halloween, seriously, this Halloween! Otherwise, hit the bargain bins at your craft store for the after Halloween sales so you are prepared for next year!

Cross Stitch at About.com
Check out the latest additions to the Stitcher’s Photo Album - We’ve reached a milestone. The first page is now devoted to submitted photos of the free patterns from About.com Cross Stitch.

Layers Upon Layers
Artist Kerry Wilkinson plays with resin in a big way!

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
See how I cut out a cool part of a pattern from The Crochet Dude’s hot new book to crochet a two colored headband.

The Impatient Crafterâ„¢
Join Madge for part two of her gothically delicious free Halloween project. The Invitation.

Afghan Weather Time

Blogged under Fiber Fun by Tammy on Thursday 30 October 2008 at 5:29 pm

We are actually getting some chilly weather down here in South Florida lately, and this plus the fact that I saw this cute afghan in the Yarn Collection catalog, has me thinking of picking up my afghan project again. Maybe I’ll manage to finish it even! Seriously, I’m really close. I have just some purple yarn I want to use for trim around it, so the center part has been done for awhile. I’ve been holding off mainly because it has been too hot to work on it.

Normally, my crochet time is spent sitting in front of the television, one eye on the tube and the other on my hook. It has been a little cooler in the evenings previously to this week, so we’ve been opening up our sliding glass door to our screen porch in the back. However, having an almost completed heavy-duty blanket on top of me made it too much to handle, even with semi-mild weather. And our dogs love the porch, so I haven’t had the heart to close it off at night. But, now with temperatures in the 50s and 60s, I actually want that warm, snuggly almost complete afghan on top of me!

Are You Wearing Your Halloween Jewelry?

Blogged under Free Craft Projects, Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Wednesday 29 October 2008 at 6:43 am

I went a little crazy last weekend making up more Halloween projects (Halloween Glass Frame Pendant; Sterling Silver Cast Skeleton; and Silver Cast or Plastic Spider Pendant) since I knew this was it, the last week before Halloween. My week is primarily spent teaching and grading papers (and grading more papers), so this past weekend was my last chance to get more Halloween projects made for my About.com Jewelry Making site. At least I have lots of great jewelry to wear during the week.

Yesterday, though, I ended up consciously deciding to go low key on the Halloween jewelry for one particular class I recently had to take over due to the instructor becoming ill. The class was a tad out of control when I first stepped in, but they soon settled down when I nicely but firmly explained the situation and that I expected them to act like mature adults in class. All of them except one student got the message, and they are actually a nice group now. But, he required a one-on-one explanation of how he was expected to behave. So, as I was gearing up for this, running my speech through my head a few dozen times, I realized that wearing spider earrings was probably not the optimal way to present myself when I was going to have to act like Dr. Meanie for a few minutes with this student.

I’m just curious if I’m the only one that had to consider the ramifications of Halloween jewelry or not this week? Luckily, the talk went well, and today, I get to wear my spider earrings and my Frankenstein pin.

Working Craft Vacation in Puerto Vallarta

Blogged under Craft Classes by Tammy on Tuesday 28 October 2008 at 2:53 pm

Beautiful, no? Yes! And you can learn the tricks of using color with metals in a beautiful location as well, Puerto Vallarta. I recently received an email from Debra Weld about this work shop planned for March. Here’s some of the info, but you can find all the details on her web site:

Drench yourself in color, design & ideas with a new innovative product called BronzClay. An experience of a lifetime with a renown teacher for an intensive & fun 4 day workshop amid the beautiful tropical surroundings at the Hacienda Mosaico.

The long awaited BronzClay made its premier in July and now is being offered to you in this ultimate 4 day workshop. You will learn the basics of working with this NEW exciting metal clay that remains flexible when it is dry, which allows you a wide range of forming and sculpting techniques.

BronzClay has some incredible results of patina color during the firing process that will be discussed and demonstrated in class. Each piece will have its own color and characteristics and no two will be alike.

You will also learn the similarities of PMC and BronzClay and how they are different as we will combine the two.

We will explore different textures such as tear away sheets, rubber stamps, working with molds, carving, etc. You will also do a hollow form construction as well as gem setting.

Check Out Jean’s Soft-Flex Sara Interview

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 26 October 2008 at 9:05 am


Aren’t those earrings beautiful? They were created by jewelry designer Sara Hardin, aka Ask Sara from the Soft-Flex company. Jean Yates has one of her wonderful interviews just posted where you can learn the why and how about Sara and how she landed her great gig with this company:

Sara Hardin, delightful, warm, dedicated and and excellent teacher and designer

Crafty Bloggers Unite 10/25/08

Blogged under My Crafty News by Tammy on Saturday 25 October 2008 at 7:35 am


This may be the lat time you see the big pinkish-red ball of yarn. Not because I won’t continue to post these wonderful craft blog links but because I think it’s time for a logo update. Our group is still going strong as you can see by this week’s selection of links.

Cathie Filian
Check out the Halloween Videos from the Emmy Nominated television show, Witch Crafts, where Cathie and Steve, make some awesome Halloween Projects & party ideas.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week Craftside brings you a modern denim and plaid upcycled quilt block, 2 yummy recipes using sherry, Art Nouveau jewelry, off register screen printing designs and a call for entries for a new book- 1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse.

About Family Crafts
If you are in search of creative costume ideas for 2, 3, 4, or more, you have come to the right place.

Aileen’s Musings
Looking for a new paper technique, Aileen has a colorful one using glossy photo paper and Color Mists. This technique works great as backgrounds for cards, collages and even scrapbook pages.

Swelldesigner
Alexa crafts up some swell cupcake pics/picks to remember Halloweens of yesteryear.

The Crochet Dude
Drew has the perfect recipes for a Halloween party: Bloody Eyeballs and Maggots!

The Impatient Crafterâ„¢
Madge shares part one of her two part final project for Terrorific Tuesdays. It’s a Gothically delicious tale of friendship.


Crafty Princess Diaries

No more babies in your life to crochet or knit snuggly blankets for? No worries, the Crafty Princess has the low-down on a baby blanket contest as well as a non-profit group that makes blankets for babies in need.

Cross Stitch at About.com
This week, Connie has been spending a lot of time in the kitchen - no, not cooking. Dyeing fabric instead. Find out more about all the ways you can change the color of your fabrics.

Layers Upon Layers
Cyndi has gathered together her most popular tutorials on creating great background papers for your artwork.

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
Check out a ring project inspired by Sherri Haab’s book Felt, Fabric, and Fiber Jewelry done Sweater Surgery style.

Crafting Reuse CFE

Blogged under CFEs/Contests by Tammy on Friday 24 October 2008 at 6:59 am

For all you recyclers and green crafters out there, this call for entries from Rockport Publishers may appeal to you:

We are seeking submissions for 1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse, an upcoming book by Garth Johnson of ExtremeCraft.com, which will feature 21st Century craft and design, all made with recycled, upcycled, repurposed and reused items. We are looking for the best examples of paper and book arts, jewelry, clothing, home and personal accessories, furniture, art, and miscellanea for possible publication. We invite designers, artists, visionaries and crafters of all stripes to submit their work.

The deadline is January 5, 2009, and they are looking for all kinds of crafts: paper, jewelry, clothing, fiber, housewares, you name it.

For more details about how to submit your wonderful craft designs, they have a blog and links to entry forms and other downloadable info at www.creativereusebook.com

Crafting and Gift Giving Thought

Blogged under Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Thursday 23 October 2008 at 6:56 am

Are you ever hesitant about giving away items you’ve crafted? I don’t mean that in the “I love it and want to keep it sense,” but more in the “what if the person doesn’t like it or worse thinks it’s stupid” sense. Oh, did I just say that out loud? But, I think you know what I mean.

I’ve been making these littleHalloween foam sticker pins, and I plan to give them to some of my friends and family. While my family is a no brainer on this kind of thing because they are used to me doing wacky stuff like this and have learned to put up with it and at least pretend to appreciate and even sometimes act a little impressed, friends and co-workers on the other hand can be a totally different story. With them, I have to think about the what and the who. What will I give and who will I give it to?

I’ve got these pins stashed in my purse to give someone later today (her choice one of the two), and I selected her as a recipient because I know she will “get it.” She’ll think it’s funky but fun and will actually probably wear it around a little and enjoy it. However, a few other folks I feel myself holding back on. These are nice people I get along with but I think you know the type I’m talking about: They will say things like “Oh, you made that? I wish I was crafty, but I just don’t have the time…..I’m not artistic….” These are the same type of people that tell you they don’t watch TV at all and read instead. (And let me say that I do read, but I also enjoy not reading sometimes, especially because I spend a good chunk of the day reading!) It is almost like I should apologize for being crafty, spending time on crafts, and watching TV instead of reading War and Peace or finding a cure for cancer. They seem like they are complimenting you, but it just doesn’t feel that way.

More Halloween Pins

Blogged under Design Ideas by Tammy on Tuesday 21 October 2008 at 6:33 pm


I have more Halloween pins in the works, just need to cut and glue. I will say, though, the cutting on some of these is a tad tricky, so if you try a project like this, make sure you have some small scissors that are nice and sharp. I’ve been using a small pair of Ginger scissors I have from my old sewing days. Depending on your tendency towards perfectionism, a little of the background felt showing may also not be a major deal, but it’s times like this Edward Scissorhands would come in handy!

Craft Bloggers…Link, Link, Link!

Blogged under Crafty Biz, Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Monday 20 October 2008 at 6:03 pm

While I will be the first to caution any blogger, crafter or non-crafter, about becoming a link farm, after seeing my stats just about double over the past few days (and this is not for the first time), I thought I’d just post a little something about the importance of good linking and building blog traffic.

It’s no secret that blogging is a great way to promote your craft business. Blogs can help you create content related to your craft product, thus bringing traffic to your blog, thus bringing customers to your site/store, and as an added benefit, they provide an outlet for educating your customers about your craft product as well. What’s not to love?

But blogging alone is not going to get you seen on the web. You need to shmooze with fellow bloggers. One way to do that is through linking to those who have similar blogging interests. Some novice bloggers may be worried about competition among blog crafters who may be doing similar work, but honestly, that’s one of the cool things about blogging. You can help each other and promote one another, and it’s a win-win for everyone.

Here are a few simple linking techniques that all newbie bloggers should consider trying:

Hook up with a game of blog tag. If you don’t know anyone who will tag you, check out my latest tag post because there are seven bloggers there who just may be looking for other bloggers to tag.

Spend a little time every week posting on other bloggers’ blogs; even if you can just squeeze out 15 minutes a week, you can spread some good link karma.

Feed links into social networks like Twitter and Facebook.

Participate in regular blog carnivals. Can’t find one? Then start one!

And, of course, keep your blog roll up to date. That means you want strong blogs to link to, blogs that you like to read of course, but you need to check on these now and then and make sure those bloggers are still active. If someone hasn’t posted in a month, then more than likely that blogger is permanently a-wall.

These are just a few simply ways to spread some link love and hopefully get some in return. From watching my own pageview stats regularly, I can say that, at least for me, they work.

Have your own link love ideas? Post them in the comments!

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