Get Your Craft Links

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Monday 15 November 2010 at 7:24 pm

About Family Crafts
If you are looking for an almost instant Thanksgiving activity, check out these free, printable Thanksgiving projects.

Aileen’s Musings
It’s that time of year again to be thinking about cards an giftees. Aileen offers you a unique coffee sleeve card project to inspire you!

Carmi’s Art/Life World
Carmi makes a set of meaningful Remembrance Day cards with a free digital download.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a chance to win a copy of 1,000 Type Treatments and my Sizzix twist cube project it inspired, a tutorial on how to make serged thread chain and braid, a dining room mixed media assemblage, and one of the quilts from the book-Journey of Hope.

Eileen – The Artful Crafter
Here’s a cute tote idea incorporating a sticker embellishment made of cardboard and coated with epoxy. Yes, just plain cardboard!

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
Heidi Goes Glam Necklace and Madge’s Pre-Debut Debut on JTV!

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi is giving away a copy of her new ebook on using found objects and unusual materials in your bead embroidery!

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
See how to make a recycled bottle lid broken heart charm inspired by the book Fantastic Recycled Plastic

Book Review: The Help

Blogged under Good Books by Tammy on Tuesday 9 November 2010 at 10:10 am


Well, I finished what will be one of my last hard copy books for awhile, now that I have my Kindle. This book, though, is available in a Kindle edition. I had purchased it awhile ago and was in the middle of it when I decided to go digital.

It is called The Help by Kathryn Stockett, and it is the author’s first novel. According to an essay by the author located in the back of the book, this is semi-autobiographical, so that may be why much of the story feels so real. The characters, especially, come off very believable.

The book has three narrators: Aibileen and Minny (both African American women who work as maids) and Skeeter (a 23 year old white woman fresh out of college and eager to become a writer). The time and place is the early 1960s in Jackson, Mississippi, and this obviously becomes an important element in the book.

The three protagonist weave their stories together as they also work on a book together that describes the experiences of about dozen African American maids in the community. In the background, there are race riots, beatings, freedom marches, and the Kennedy assassination. Pulling off multiple first person point of view is not easy, but it really works in this book. That was one of the first parts of it that impressed me.

The voices are also really well done. Stockett is able to create the southern tone or speech pattern for each woman, and I found it worked. Some folks, especially in the south, do talk this way, and she was able to recreate it, again something that’s not that easy to do well.

On the down side, about half way through the book, I began to find the storyline a little predictable, and one part, especially, I thought was contrived. I just could not believe it would have happened, and not because it was such a surprising part of the plot but more so because of the logistics involved of the character doing what she did. Unfortunately, I can’t be specific here because it would ruin part of the story for anyone who hasn’t read it yet. For those who have read it, I’m talking about the “terrible awful” thing Minny did to Hilly. Seriously, do you see anyone who is supposed to be a great cook and meticulous about cleaning ruining her cooking utensils, oven, etc. to do this to anyone, even someone as horrible as Hilly? It just didn’t ring true to me, and this particular part of the plot is integral to the rest of the story. So if you can’t buy into it, then you may also be disappointed.

Still, I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good read, and I look forward to any future novels by Kathryn Stockett.

Crochet Baby Squares

Blogged under Charity Crafting,Projects in Progress by Tammy on Monday 8 November 2010 at 6:41 am

My current crochet project is making a baby blanket for Healthy Start. I’m actually trying to figure out how to quicken this process and also make it more portable so that I can make a few blankets for them. One just doesn’t seem like that much, even though they can take a good chunk of time to make.

Hauling around a blanket, even a small one for a baby, can be a pain, so I’m opting to make 10 inch squares. Then I will stitch them together, figuring 16 squares for each blanket to make it 40×40 inches when completed.

It is has been a long time since I stitched crochet pieces of any kind together, so I’m hoping this won’t be too difficult to do. So far, at least, the squares are pretty fast and easy. I do one row of single crochet to start, then 20 rows of double crochet, and then finish all the sides with single crochet.

Pictured are 10 inch squares using Bernat Baby Jacquards in a pattern called “Easter Basket.” I’m using a size H hook.

Sunday Craft Links

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 7 November 2010 at 9:20 am

Eileen – The Artful Crafter
When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Have you thought of making a bit of extra money by crafting in your spare time? Read Eileen’s advice to “worried mom” Gina.

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
Madge shares an update from ‘the busy zone.’

Mixed Media Artist

It turns out that rust and paint can be a great combination!

Stefanie Girard’s Sweater Surgery
See how to make a mini die cut leaf bracelet notebook inspired by Eco Books.

About Family Crafts

Read through these creative Thanksgiving tradition ideas and then share your own.

Aileen’s Musings
Check out Aileen’s scrumptious fall cookie recipe with a cool printable recipe card you can print out and include with a plate of cookies to give to your friends and family!

Carmi’s Art/Life World
Carmi uses paper scraps to quilt some paper!

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a chance to win a copy of Collage Lab with a tutorial on how to make a light up mixed-media mini house, a yarn necklace from the book Intertwined and step-by-step instructions for painting an olive.

Pretty Kindle Cover

Blogged under Crafty Products,etsy,Sew Simple by Tammy on Thursday 4 November 2010 at 4:25 pm

When I purchased my precious Kindle, one item I thought about was the cover. Amazon has tons of them, but they are pricey and boring to boot. I went ahead and ordered my Kindle with the idea that I would make my own cover, but then it occurred to me that I should also check Etsy to see if anyone over there made them already.

Sure, at some point I could make one myself, but right now I don’t have the time, and I wanted to be able to bring my Kindle with me wherever I go and keep it protected. Plus, as a seller on Etsy I also try to support other sellers whenever possible, and voila, I found the perfect Kindle cover over at Dana Designs. I love the material on this one because it has a classic look to it and sort of matches my taste in reading the classics as well. I also like how this has a flap. I saw tons of them over there, but this design stood out to me.

The screen on a Kindle definitely needs some protection if you plan to tote yours around, so do a search on “kindle covers” over at Etsy to find out lots of pretty covers to choose from.

Can I Kindle?

Blogged under CFEs/Contests,Crafty Products,Good Books,My Crafty News,Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Monday 1 November 2010 at 6:51 am


I am in front of a computer screen so much, that I can’t say I have always been a fan of reading on-line. Plus, the tactile feel of paper has always felt like part of the reading for fun experience for me. I fought long and hard to stay with the printed book, and I’m not totally giving them up; however, there is just no room in this inn when it comes to more paper! Books, magazines, more books, fill my house and even my school office. After lugging a huge stack of books that had been piling up and trying to find room for them in my guest room last weekend, I finally came to the conclusion that I need to at least try to use an e-reader before I make any judgments one way or the other.

Of course, my timing isn’t so hot because I’m in the middle of two hard copy books now, but I went ahead and purchased a Kindle from Amazon. My feelings so far are mixed. It is very cool that I have four books on it already, free from the classic section, and I could literally carry these around now in my purse. I actually read one chapter from one of these freebies, The Picture of Dorian Gray. It wasn’t too bad holding the e-reader as apposed to holding a book. In fact, in some ways it was easier since I didn’t have to worry about pages flipping if I moved or breaking the spine since I tend to be rough with books.

The reading experience in some ways was the same, but in others, it is going to be something to get used to. For example, I tend to check the number of pages in a chapter. I don’t have hours on end to read for pleasure, but I can squeeze in an hour or half hour here and there, so I usually will check the chapter length. If it’s 10 pages, I’m good. I know I can finish that during my allotted reading time. With the Kindle, there are no “pages.” Instead, in the left corner of the screen a percent (%) sign is shown, and the number next to it increases as you read. Thus, after reading the first chapter I’m about 10% finished with the book.

The other surprise is the cost of e-books, which I thought would be cheaper. Sure, the classics are free, but they were before I bought this since there are lots of places on-line you can pick up older texts that are not not under copyright any longer. I have already compared prices on a few books of interest and realize the books are not any less expensive, and in some cases (since I can purchase decent used books off of Amazon), they even cost a little more. I’m not sure how I feel about that. Of course, going back to my original reason for getting the Kindle, saving space and portability, that may be worth the added expense.

I plan to tote this around this week and see how it goes. I have not found it at all to be a bad experience, but I’m not in love as yet. We shall see though. Maybe my Kindle will win me over this week.

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