Craft Bloggers Unit 01/10/10

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 10 January 2010 at 2:10 pm

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
Madge opens up a rather sticky can of worms in this post about copyright infringement. Right click, save. Done.

About Family Crafts
Have a sick kid at home? Check out this collection of crafts Sherri has compiled to help entertain them while they get better.

Aileen’s Musings

Aileen has a blogoversary coming up and she’s offering a fun giveaway!

Alexa Westerfield a.k.a. Swelldesigner
Alexa gets back into her crafty groove with a cool & modern statement ring!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
The first week of 2010 at Craftside brings you ho-tos on crocheting broomstick lace and then framing it up to store your earrings, stringing up a ribbon and pearl zigzag necklace, and a call for entries for a new book-1000 Ideas for Decorating Cakes, Cupcakes & Cookies.

Crafty Princess Diaries
Even though this crafty princess is from the South, she still needs a warm crochet hat now and then.

Cross Stitch at About.com
Connie has a “handy” motif you can adapt for multiple uses. Stitch her suggested saying or choose one of your own.

Mixed Media Artist
A new year, a new technique! Cyndi shares the first steps to making a shibori background fabric for a new quilt.

The Artful Crafter
Eileen went shopping in her closet and made a 20-something sweater new again. Here’s how to update a dated BIG sweater.

Quiting Your Day Job to Craft Full-Time, Or So Says Etsy

Blogged under Crafting a Career by Tammy on Saturday 9 January 2010 at 7:07 pm

A few years before I hit the big 4-0, I made the decision to return to school for another graduate degree with the idea that I wanted to teach full-time on the college-level. I had been teaching part-time for many years and worked one year full-time/temporarily. I remember waking up every morning excited about my job, so when the temporary job ended, I realized it was something I wanted to do badly enough that I was willing to take a chance on returning to school…again.

Along with big bucks for tuition, this meant sort of keeping my life on hold for the 4 1/2 years it took me to get through the program. I continued to teach part-time, had a part-time job at a public library, and increased my writing freelance load as a way to still earn a decent wage but have a schedule that was flexible enough to accommodate my school schedule.

It was a really big gamble for me. As a “mature” student, I wasn’t the typical 24 year old who was footloose and able to take any old job after graduating. I had a husband, mortgage, car payment, errr…a life already, so that meant I needed to stay local. This limited my job prospects to say the least.

Of course, I constantly heard the “what are you going to do when you graduate?” mantra from every Tom, Dick, and Harriet within a 10 mile radius. What if I didn’t get “the” job? What if I spend all those years and (gasp!) money for no reasons!?

My plan “B” sounds almost as crazy as my original agenda: become a full-time crafter and writer. Actually, as I spent those years as a student, my freelance work grew to the point that it was very close to becoming a full-time job. I very often had to turn down work because I just couldn’t do it all. This experience taught me that it is possible to write and craft full-time. It also taught me that to be successful at it you need to work like crazy and be willing and able to wear a lot of different hats.

All of this came to mind today when I read an Etsy newsletter I had waiting in my in box for a few days: Can You Quit Your Day Job? As I read through it, I found that a lot of it made sense after my own experience as an almost full-time crafter. The saying “be careful what you wish for” resonates a lot with the advice linked through this newsletter, but it is of course, a mixture of good and bad. The good part about not having to punch a time clock on a regular basis is that you can create your own hours, have a 2 hour lunch with your BFF, or go to the gym in the middle of the day. The bad news is that to be successful, you probably won’t have time for any of that!

As it turned out, I was incredibly lucky and landed my full-time dream job as a college professor, so plan “B” is now on the back burner. In fact, plan “B” is now really plan “R,” as in when I retire from my teaching job. Obviously, I’m still crafting and writing professionally, but very much on a part-time basis. I love my teaching job, but my second dream job is to stay home, write, and craft. I know that Etsy.com gets bashed a lot about claiming people can do that, but honestly, I believe it is possible. So, don’t ever give up the dream!

As the Fur Flies, Snow in Florida?

Blogged under Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Friday 8 January 2010 at 11:47 am

Today in South Florida, it is turning into a gorgeous day, one of those days when you say to yourself, “This is why I live in Florida!” However, our weather people are telling us to expect another major cold snap tomorrow with the possibility of snow in some parts of the state, perhaps as close as Central Florida (like Orlando which is about 2 hours north of me).

I have been digging through my clothes trying to find warm items to wear. I have one, count ’em, one pair of sweat pants, and I was delighted to discover a sweat shirt I had totally forgotten about buried deep down in a t-shirt drawer of mine, eureka!

It has been difficult to feel warm around here particularly because my husband gets hot very easily and hates to have the heat on. Sometimes I tell him too bad so sad and put it on any way, at least to get the chill out, but like my cats, I like it warm and toasty. I have also been trying to make sure they stay warm as well since they don’t sleep with us as night and get “tucked in” to their own room in the evenings.

For example, I brought an old comforter (partially dog eaten at some point in its career) and arranged it so there were some cuddle spots in it. Here is Skimpy enjoying a little warm nesting. He almost looks like a little bunny in there.

Both Silty and Skimpy have been spending extra time sunning themselves in their window too as they enjoy some old crochet blankets I’ve set up for them.

And, of course, I have already permanently set up a spot on either side of my computer for them, which includes a box with more crochet comfies in them and a desk lamp over the top. As my office assistants, they need to be right there while I’m writing or grading papers just in case I need some help.

Silty often prefers the QVC box for some reason.

Skimpy uses them both, but more often he likes to stretch out a little in the shoe box that my husband got his last pair of construction boots from.

I can’t imagine we will get any snow flurries this far south, but it has snowed as far south as Miami from what I’ve heard, so you never know!

Crochet Hats, Just in Time, Brrr!

Blogged under Charity Crafting,Finished Projects by Tammy on Wednesday 6 January 2010 at 2:48 pm

We’ve had some major cold weather down here in Florida, actually down to 32 degrees! When I left for school this morning, I saw frost covering the roof of our house as I drove away. We southerners are just not used to anything much below 50, so I was bundled up with layers and layers of clothing, and of course, some items I had crocheted previously, fingerless gloves, scarf, and more recently, a new pink hat. My gloves and scarf are blue and the hat is pink. Obviously, I need to create a pink set and a blue set I guess so I can be a little more color coordinated, but at 32 degrees, I didn’t care about that so much!

The hat pattern is a new one I recently tried from the Nov/Dec 2009 issue of Crochet Today. It’s called the “Two-Hour Hat,” designed by Linda Permann. I haven’t timed myself, but I’m sure it is taking me longer than two hours. Still, it works up pretty darn quickly.

I’ve made a few for a charity group and have started another for a friend. Is is very refreshing to find a pattern in a magazine that I actually felt capable of doing. Crochet Today doesn’t seem to have overly difficult projects, but it doesn’t normally have that many projects at the level #1 either. In fact, there are a number of awesome crochet magazines I’ve looked at on newstands that are gorgeous, but so many of the patterns are way out of my beginner’s level league that I couldn’t even dream of making any of them.

Craft Bloggers Unit 01/03/10

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 3 January 2010 at 3:12 pm

It feels so weird typing 2010 or just 10! Here is to another great year of craft blogging!
Mixed Media Artist
Nikki Yeager shares her glue transfer technique with Cyndi’s readers! Thanks Nikki!

About Family Crafts
Print out and customize 2010 calendar pages. Choose from several designs.

Aileen’s Musings
Aileen has a new digi postcard she’s posted along with a freebie image. Find out what journaling and stuffed animals have in common.

Cathie Filian
Time to make room for 2010 magazines and cold storage 2009 issues. Make this cute magazine holder with a little paper and Mod Podge.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
The last week of 2009 Craftside has a tutorial on how to build a raised bed from recycled pallets, turn a greeting card into a mini sewn journal, some fun shadow photos, a green leopard Christmas tree to file away for next year and the winners of The 19 Days of Holiday Goodness Giveaways.

Cross Stitch at About.com
Start a new ornament collection – join Connie and stitch a new one each month. The designs are abstract, so they are suitable for any holiday.

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter

Madge shares some new advice for a new year!

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
Skull and cupcake necklace using “Chaos” Wire wrapping from the cool new book: Chain and Bead Jewelry Creative Connections

The Artful Crafter
Come one, come all – free decorator candles! The only catch is that you have to make them yourself; but that’s half the fun. Here’s how to make your own zero cost candles.

Warming Families

Blogged under Charity Crafting by Tammy on Saturday 2 January 2010 at 4:25 pm

Warming Families is a non-profit group that coordinates volunteers who give hand-made or newly purchased warm items, such as hats, scarves, and blankets, to organizations in need. These organizations include nursing homes, domestic violence shelters, and homeless shelters. There are area chapters around the United States as well as Canada.

The Warming Families site lists volunteer groups that are already set up, so check that first. Otherwise, you can apply to start your own chapter that would be coordinated through Warming Families.

Lands End has also joined forces with Vicki Howell for what it calls the Feel Good Initiative. For every Feel Good sweater purchased, the company will donate yarn to Warming Families. Even if you don’t knit or crochet, heck, you can buy a sweater and still help out.

Crafting for Charity in 2010

Blogged under Charity Crafting by Tammy on Friday 1 January 2010 at 4:08 pm

In 2009, I decided to not only start working more seriously to expand my crochet skills but to use them (limited though they are) to make items and donate them to a cause. Luckily, I found two great on-line groups that have allowed me to do just that: Heartmade Blessings and the Yahoo Crochet List. The first group, Heartmade Blessings, is totally dedicated to making afghans for those who need comfort. The other list, simply called the Crochet List, is more diverse, but each month the group runs a charity drive for a different charity organization.

Before I found either of these groups, I surfed the net hoping to find some place to participate that was more local, but I couldn’t find anything, which considering I live in such a hot climate that’s not that surprising. So finding these groups was a good alternative for me. Plus, there is no pressure. I participate when I can. If I’m too busy, it’s not an issue.

Some day, I hope to have time and resources to help organizations that may be more local for me (such as when I donated blankets and baby items to my local hospital this past summer). Even in the South, babies need hats and the elderly need lap blankets. However, for 2010 I will continue to do this virtual volunteering. Maybe at some point in the future I’ll find a local group or even start one. Who knows! My other goal will be to continue to blog about charity groups that crafts can help support. So if you are looking for a charity outlet, you may want to take a look at past charity related posts on here, and keep an eye for future ones that I will write about.

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