Craft Bloggers Unite 02/28/10

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 28 February 2010 at 10:11 am

Cathie Filian
Turn a hardware store washer into a papered necklace with Cathie’s tutorial.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world

At Craftside there is tutorial on turning a box into a book, how to paint a bunny rabbit and carrot Chinese brush style, putting words on a spoon and a sneak peek into the new book 1000 Ideas from 100 Fashion Designers with my own fashion star sighting.

Farm Girl Roots, City Girl Style
Organization in her creative space isn’t Linda’s forte, so check out a “before” shot. Any ideas on getting her craft room organized are welcome–post a comment with your ideas.

About Family Crafts
Sherri challenges you to create your own leprechaun trap. Use her tips and the photos that have been submitted so far for inspiration.

Aileen’s Musings
Come journey with Aileen along her creative process as she transforms a paper napkin into 3 whimsical pieces of art!

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafte
Make a fab mixed media journal cover with Madge in this week’s post for iLoveToCreate!

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi tried having some custom-printed fabrics made, and she learned a lot in the process.

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery

Consider a Mixed Media Greeting Card Album using embellishment ideas from the book The Scrapbook Embellishment Handbook by Sherry Steveson.

The Artful Crafter

Eileen shares directions for making flowers from fabric scraps or from paper coffee filters.

The Crochet Dude
Drew reveals his favorite cookbooks and answers 8 important questions.

Encouragement from the Jewelry Trenches

Blogged under Crafting a Career, Jewelry Designers/Artists by Tammy on Wednesday 24 February 2010 at 5:30 pm

Included on my “after the book is done to-do list” is to resuscitate my poor little (sad) Etsy shop. I think I’ve got something like 3 things in it right now! But, it takes time if you want to make a go of anything, especially a business. Sometimes I wonder why I even bother when I have so little time to devote to it and there are so, so, so many jewelry people over there.

Then I read one of the latest “Quit Your Day Job” articles, and I realize that yes, it does take time to develop a successful shop over there (as in it’s not going to happen over night, folks) and yes, it can actually be worth it if I ever do find the time. This series is always enjoyable and informative, but one of the more recent additions is even more so because it features a jewelry designer, yeah!

K. Gardner Designs talks about how she started with just a small investment and eventually turned her jewelry business into a full-time gig. As of this post, she boasts an impressive 1,838 sales, and her membership dates back to January 2008 (which may or may not be the date she started her shop since many members, like myself, open accounts but not necessary shops right after joining).

One detail that I noticed after taking a look at her shop is that like many of the more successful Etsy shops, K. Gardner’s shop is very focused on a specific style. She has a niche, a look, a signature if you will: “Chic Jewelry for Bridal and Everyday” is how she puts it. She isn’t all over the road trying to sell 10 different styles of jewelry or even a mix of crafts for that matter. In fact, I know some Etsy members will open more than one shop just so that they can create a niche feel to each one.

This idea of “niche” is something I’m still trying to figure out myself over there, so perhaps that is why it was so noticeable to me. I like to make so many different types of jewelry as well as other crafts that finding one focus has been difficult. For writing, being all over the road trying all types of techniques has worked for me because it means I have more to write about. However, a clear focus is really something I think is important if you are trying to stand out in a sea of other crafts in a network as large as Etsy.

IRSC Writer’s Weekend in March

Blogged under Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Monday 22 February 2010 at 5:00 pm

February is almost gone, and March looks like it will be just as busy for me. One of my commitments includes presenting at the Indian River State College Writer’s Weekend in Ft. Pierce, Florida on March 27th and 28th, 2010. The weekend kicks off early Saturday morning with presentations on various writing subjects such as style and literary conventions. I’m scheduled to present “When Life Gets in the Way: Finding Time to Write” at 3pm. My title is pretty much self-explanatory, but I’ll be giving tips and suggestions for meeting deadlines, both self-imposed and from clients. Saturday participants will be served lunch about mid-way through the day, and the last presentation is at 4pm.

Sunday starts up again, this time at 1:00pm and ending at 4pm. It includes more presentations and an assessment of writing samples from participants/attendees. The assessments involve submitting work before the workshop and meeting with English faculty for review and suggestions.

Last year’s writer’s weekend filled up quickly, so anyone interested in attending should sign up as early as possible. For more information, call 772-462-7708 or query rconsidi at irsc.edu for email information.

Craft Bloggers Unite 02/21/10

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 21 February 2010 at 4:46 pm

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
Madge is so ready for spring, how about you? Here’s a tutorial for a yarn flower loom embellished frame that’s sure to cure the winter blues.

About Family Crafts
Sherri shows you how you can transform ordinary flower pots into a variety of fun craft projects.

Aileen’s Musings
This week Aileen has a fabulous dollar store find she wants to share with you! Stop by and see what she’s created and take part in her challenge.

The Artful Crafter
If you’ve done metal embossing in the past or would like to learn about this art form, let Eileen bring you up to date.

Cathie Filian
Check out Cathie’s blog for 11 DIY wedding favor ideas.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
Craftside has an inside peek into how to choose the right color for a design, a free pattern for knitting cuffs with the boy/girl icons on them, a fun logo made with a scribble, a tutorial on how to make a Steampunk style necklace with a recycled soda can and polymer clay heart and some Lisa Kettell news about her Art Opera.

Cross Stitch at About.com
Connie’s added more stitchable signs to her Laundry Room Collection - add a little humor to a household chore.

Farm Girl Roots, City Girl Style
Being creative for a cause is great inspiration. Check out what Linda did with some t-shirts for Camp Shaw’s silent auction.

Mixed Media Artist
Want to try a little layers experiment in Photoshop?

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
See how to make a Chain Soup and Photo necklace inspired by the fab book Chain Style by Jane Dickerson.

Jewelry Book Update

Blogged under Publications from Moi by Tammy on Thursday 18 February 2010 at 9:18 am

I haven’t been as chatty about my latest book project as some might have expected me to be. Some of it is because I don’t like to give away too many details until it is all put to bed, but also, I’ve just been worked my you-know-what off so much on it that I haven’t had time to blog about it! However when I look ahead on the horizon, I see the end is near.

The last major deadline is only weeks away at this point, and unfortunately, I have a lot more to do than I would normally like to at this point.  Don’t get me wrong. I have a lot done. I should actually say “we” because my husband is helping me on this project, especially when it comes to some of the metal sections. So we have a lot done. Still, this project has been so large that it has just about done me in. It includes 10 sections, each with a different type of jewelry: bead stringing, wire, chains, soldering, fabrication, fiber, resin, mixed media, polymer clay, and metal clay. Three of the ten sections I contracted out, and now that I look back, I probably should have done that for a few more sections, just to give myself a little break. Each section includes techniques and then 4 to 5 projects. Yes, do the math, 10×4 = 40, and actually, there are a number of sections with 5 projects, so there will be more than 40 projects total when all of this is wrapped up.

We are finishing up the soldering chapter and will take lots of pictures for that this weekend. My husband actually did all of the projects for that, and boy, they are very cool. He really has a good sense of design. Now getting him to explain his process to me so that I can write it down has been challenging, but we are managing to do it.

I’m also in the middle of the metal clay section, so I have projects in various stages, some drying, some ready to fire, some still rolling around in my head. Again, looking back, I should have done this section sooner because of the time involved with drying and firing pieces. It’s not a huge amount, but you are talking at least a few days. For other types of jewelry, you don’t always have to figure in an extra day or two for stuff like that. We will also be taking metal clay pictures too this weekend.  So, Saturday and Sunday will be pictures, pictures, pictures!

Craft Bloggers Unit 02/13/10

Blogged under Around the Web, Fiber Fun by Tammy on Saturday 13 February 2010 at 12:24 pm

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
How to make a button covered headband with a recycled t-shirt inspired by a project from the book The Paper Bride by Esther K. Smith

The Artful Crafter
Do you dream of designing and making your own jewelry? Here are some tips from Eileen to help you get started.

The Crochet Dude
Drew offers up a great review on the new Debbie Stoller line of yarns “Stitch Nation”.

About Family Crafts
Need an easy, last-minute Valentine’s Day gift or card? Sherri has some great ideas for you!

Aileen’s Musings
Aileen’s offering some whimsical freebie postcards for you to download and send to a friend!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
Craftside is in love with a free tattoo style Valentine graphic from the book Design Parts Sourcebook: Rock and Street Culture, a how-to on making a freeform monoprint, dresses folded from maps, and a lovebird puppet.

Cross Stitch at About.com
Since Connie can’t crochet, she decided to create some Cross Stitch Doilies simple enough for beginning stitchers.

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
Valentine’s Day is looming and Madge shares a swell idea for a combo pin/card your teen can whip up for Mom or Grandmom. These would be cute anytime of year!

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi’s “question of the month” is what’s your top ten list of mixed media art blogs to read regularly?

Fabulous Book on Bags

Blogged under Good Books, Sew Simple by Tammy on Thursday 11 February 2010 at 3:42 pm


I’m sick…again..this time it is a sinus infection, and since this is the second time since Christmas that I’ve been ill, I figured it was time to actualy go to the doctor. They squeezed me in, which meant a fairly long wait in the waiting room and then more of a wait at the drug store while I waited for my prescriptions to be filled, but one good thing about all of this was that I had plenty of time to browse through one of my new craft books, The Perfect Handmade Bag: Recycle and Reuse to Make 35 Beautiful Totes, Purses and More by Clare Youngs.

Sewing books can be tricky to put together. I actually worked on a proposal for one last summer, and though I did have one editor interested for awhile, I have to admit that the process was much more difficult than I had expected, and I think that is why sewing books can often be a little less than what I have hoped for. You have to be so exact with measurements because these details are crucial to the final product. This book, however, seems to deliver on the details. While I just purchased it and haven’t made anything out of it, from the instructions they look pretty straight-forward. Plus, from the few reviews over at Amazon.com, some readers have posted that they have made multiple bags from it with great success, so I’m encouraged.

This book makes you want to pull out the sewing machine. The bag designs are great. Out of the 35, there are only a handful that don’t interest me, and that’s probably personal taste. The rest are very useful as well as fun like small bucket bags; numerous shopping totes, one that even folds up and secures with a button so you can easily carry it for those unexpected grocery trips; evening bags, one has some adorable mother-of-pearl buttons sewn all over the front and another has a beaded handle; well, you get the picture. Plus, the author uses all types of recycled material and notions for each bag. I’m not sure if I have that much stuff to recycle around here, but it got me thinking about it.

I’m a bag person, and I know I’m not alone in my love for them. I’ve always wanted to make them too, so once I’m done with my current book project and I have my sewing space back (and more time!), making bags from this book as well as a few other sewing projects I left un-done are on my list of things to do. I’d like to make some of the shopping totes as gifts.

My only warning about this book is probably for anyone without any sewing experience at all. There is a techniques section, and it looks pretty thorough. However, when I think back to how hard it was for me and how many years I struggled with sewing before the lights came on, I wouldn’t suggest this book to anyone who has never, ever sewn, unless you have someone nearby who could help you a little. If you did, then this would be a great place to start because most of the projects are designed around sewing straight lines, and many of the projects just require a few small pieces of fabric and notions.

CraftyCon in Chicago

Blogged under CFEs/Contests, Crafting a Career by Tammy on Tuesday 9 February 2010 at 2:22 pm

I heard about this through the Internet crafting grapevine, CraftyCon 2010. According to the web site, it will be held in Chicago in October and is being billed as “For Crafters, By Crafters.” Right now, there is a call for speakers, so this could be a good opportunity for serious crafters to add a little something to the old artist bio. The web site isn’t full of details right now, but hopefully, that will change. Any way, I think it’s worth bookmarking and keeping an eye on.

Craft Bloggers Unit 02/07/10

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 7 February 2010 at 5:36 pm

If you aren’t into sports too much, then consider checking out these great crafting links while the rest of the gang is glued to the tube, or heck, if you are a sports nut, there is always half-time. Me? I’ll be surfing and crocheting and pretend to watch the big game tonight.

Cathie Filian
Enter win Cathie’s HUGE 101 Snappy Fashions Giveaway!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
Craftside’s got how-tos on making a double sided hanger out of a soda tab, burning the edges of silk, a good list of essential oils to add to homemade paints, a gift tote bag tutorial and some really wacky mannequin outfits from CHA!

Cross Stitch at About.com
Stitch up some witty signs for your laundry room using patterns Connie created using help from the About.com Laundry Guide Mary.

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
Make a romantic ribbon wristlet with The Impatient Crafter for iLoveToCreate.

Mixed Media Artist
Snow painting? Sure…go shovel up a small bucket full and meet Cyndi at her blog!

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
See how to make a Paper Flower with a quilling paper fringer inspired by one from the beautiful book- Home, Paper, Scissors by Patricia Zapata

The Artful Crafter
How to make laminated tasseled bookmarks and personalize them for any occasion. And don’t miss Eileen’s follow-on tutorial on making your own tassels (should you run out mid-project as she did – lol).

About Family Crafts
Sherri wonders what you could create using buttons?

Aileen’s Musings
Aileen has a funtastical mini tutorial on creating a mailable canvas valentine and birthday card!

Hot Glue Help from Cathie Filian

Blogged under Crafty Products by Tammy on Saturday 6 February 2010 at 5:18 pm

Cathie Filian, from the show Creative Juice, has some new tools out designed to work with any hot glue gun or glue sticks. Help her out by watching the video, and then heading over to her blog to take a super short poll so you can tell her what you think about them.

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