Jumping Jasper the Dog Video

Blogged under Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Thursday 30 December 2010 at 6:04 pm

This is one of my dogs. He loves to jump like Tigger the Tiger, and I finally got a little of it on video, though he moves pretty darn fast! Normally around this time of day a few squirrels like to come by and get chased by both my dogs, but today, it was probably a little too cold out for them. So Jasper is looking for those guys!

Right after this, I called them in for dinner, and he showed up with a pine cone in his mouth, tail wagging, such a crazy dog!

What Makes for a Good Craft Podcast…IMHO

Blogged under Around the Web, Crafting a Career by Tammy on Monday 27 December 2010 at 5:48 am

Since being home on my holiday vacation, I have been catching up on some of my favorite craft podcasts. One reason I like podcasts (over videos for example) is that I can listen while I’m crafting. I can keep my eyes on my work and still learn some interesting and entertaining craft information at the same time.

If you look at my sidebar links, you’ll see I have a list of craft related podcasts, and I’m always looking to add more if you know of any good ones (feel free to add links in the comments). Of this list, there are two that especially stand out to me as being the ones I seem to enjoy the most, Crafty Pod and Yarn Craft.

Let me preface this with the fact that I can only imagine the amount of work that goes into producing a podcast, and I am by no means a expert. However….I have listened to a lot of them and notice that sometimes I can’t get myself to finish listening to one podcast while other podcasts make me come back for more. So here are my podcasts dislikes and likes.

Dislikes -

  • Unorganized or rambling - Sometimes the speaker seems to have very little idea of what he or she will talk about and will just ramble about all kinds of topics, sometimes related to crafts and sometimes not.
  • Way, way off topic - This is kind of related to the above point. While I don’t need every single word said to be just about crafts, I think the primary focus should be about crafting, not the speaker’s garden or new shoes or whatever.
  • Too much personal info - Again, this is related to my previous points. Unless I am closely related to the speaker, I am only interested to a certain point about his or her personal life. Yes, I like to hear about new craft projects under way or some kind of craft related trip taken or even something cute a pet or child has done, but keep it short and sweet and get to the point of the podcast.
  • Ummm…er…um…well…ugh - Like, be careful about, like, how you talk, you know, like, man

Likes -

  • Themes - For me, a well-organized podcast often has some kind of theme or main idea. This is usually mentioned in the show notes, which is nice since I can read these first and decide if it’s a show I want to listen to or not. Crafty Pod and Yarn Craft always do this and even have very specific topic-related titles.
  • Good show notes - Related to the previous point, I love to have links and photos and other related information included in the show notes so I can refer to these either while I am listening or afterward.
  • A clear conversation - Yarn Craft has an advantage because it has two hosts, Liz and Zontee, and they actually talk to one another during the podcast, thus creating a real conversation. Sister Diane is very well-spoken and is clearly thinking about what she says to you, the listener. Neither of these podcasts ramble, but they don’t feel overly rehearsed either.
  • Not all about them - Good podcasts should have a balance between feeling connected to the hosts, which requires knowing about them personally to some extent, but not feeling like the speakers are  just talking to hear themselves yap. Yes, these are often people who are standouts in their crafting field. Maybe they have books published, sell patterns, are total experts in the topic, but if they have a guest on, then the conversation should focus primarily on what the guest has to offer to the podcast listeners.

Feel free to offer your own likes and dislikes as well as list the URLs of any podcasts that you enjoy listening to.

More Crochet Baby Squares

Blogged under Projects in Progress by Tammy on Sunday 26 December 2010 at 10:53 am

I’m attempting to make another crochet baby afghan using 10 inch squares. I decided instead of doing double crochet for each square that I’d crank it up a notch. The center square is from a pattern The Crochet Dude created and uploaded to the Heartmade Blessings group, and I’ve made it a few times for them so decided to make one for the center of this blanket. The pattern works in the round and include a bunch of triple crochet so this works up pretty fast. I think it’s called “Cat Tracks.”

The purple yarn is Lion Brand Baby Soft Lilac Pompadour, which has a touch of sparkle in it. I’m combining this with squares made from more Baby Soft yarn called Pastel Print. Here is the center square and two others stitched together so far.

I alternated single and double crochet for the side squares. I have started some more purple squares and have decided to alternate between rows of single crochet stitch and triple so that they have a similar look to the center one. Just a few more squares to go and this will be finished!

Merry Christmas & Some Crafting Links

Blogged under My Crafty News by Tammy on Saturday 25 December 2010 at 12:22 pm

I hope you and yours are having a wonderful holiday weekend and get a little crafting in too. In case you need a break from all the craziness, here are some fun links to relax and view.

About Family Crafts
Check out the current make-it-over craft challenge! Do you have a snowman craft to share?

Aileen’s Musings
New Project Announcement–Every Inchie Monday A “small” personal challenge….an inch a week is all we ask!

Carmi’s Art/Life World
Carmi sews up an elephant using a vintage cigarette card pattern.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there are a whole bunch of Holiday Goodness Giveaways that include a Boye Electric Ball Winder, Deluxe Rotary Cutter and Embosser, Deluxe SideWinder, The Crochet Dude tools, and of course wonderful and inspiring craft and design books; pop over to leave a comment in all the posts to get yourself in the running!

Cross Stitch at About.com
Print your Free 2011 Cross Stitch Calendar - use it to track stitching events, appointments and more. Keep track of how many days you stitch this year too.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
“Merry Christmas to All and to All a Good Night”. Read Eileen’s tale of her first magical Christmas birthday in Mexico.

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi shares the steps as she begins to assemble a small quilt using her own handpainted fabrics.

Video on Crocheting with Plasic Bags

Blogged under Crafty Videos by Tammy on Friday 24 December 2010 at 3:51 pm

I have heard of this before but had no idea how to make the plastic bag yarn until I found this video while surfing around, awesome!

Brrr…Beret

Blogged under Finished Projects by Tammy on Wednesday 22 December 2010 at 8:56 am

I made one of my sisters a scarf awhile back and she mentioned that she would also like a matching beret. For some time, I have been looking for a very, very simple pattern since I’m still pretty challenged when it comes to following them, and I lucked out when I got the September/October 2010 issue of Crochet Today. There is a wonderful beret project from Linda Permann in there. Primarily, you do half double crochet stitches in the round, so do you do have to count as you go, but it was not difficult at all to make and very fast too.

To make her assemble complete, I also whipped up some fingerless gloves for her. I believe the Vanna’s Choice yarn I used is called Dusty Purple. Below is a photo of the beret up side down so you can see the trim around the edges. We have had some record cold around these parts lately, so she should find these all very useful and warm.

Looking Towards Valentine’s Day

Blogged under My College Craft Club by Tammy on Tuesday 21 December 2010 at 9:42 am

The college craft club had one last meeting before we all headed off for the holiday break. We met on the very last day of school, and I was impressed that we had about a half dozen members show up, still very eager to learn crochet. Other than moving onto double crochet stitch (which they all agreed is way better than single crochet!), we discussed our plans for next semester, including a Valentine’s Day fund raiser.

While we got some seed money from the school, we really have to start bringing in funds on our own to cover the cost of supplies. So as soon as we get back, we will be rubber stamping up some Valentine’s Day cards and crocheting small hearts and attaching them to pin backs and tie slides. Club members will then troop around campus and hopefully sell, sell, sell!

It took me awhile to find the perfect heart pattern. First, I found one on the Crochet Today site, but after making about 6 or so, I wasn’t overly thrilled with them. They were okay, but the shape I felt could be more defined. Then I found the perfect one on the Planet M Files blog, and Gayle (the designer) was nice enough to grant us permission to use her design to make and sell the hearts.

Another nice plus about the fund raiser is that we will get to branch out into paper crafting and jewelry making a little. Club members have been working so hard trying to learn to crochet and have made a lot of progress, but it will be a good change of pace to do something different and a little easier in order to get an immediate gratification fix and keep up our momentum.

Sunday Craft Links

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 19 December 2010 at 9:16 am

About Family Crafts
If you are looking for an almost instant Christmas gift or activity, check out these free, printable Christmas pages.

Aileen’s Musings
Tags, Tags, Tags–Aileen has some ideas to inspire you to create your own altered Christmas tags using old Christmas cards and other embellishments you have left over.

Carmi’s Art/Life World
Carmi makes some Christmas themed magnetic present toppers.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at a crafty world
This week at Craftside there are two fabulous prize packages of Windham Fabrics Fat Quarter Stacks, Westcott Scissors and quilt books along with tutorials on how to sew a Roman Stripe Quilt, quick gift bag stockings made from socks, a stamped polymer clay journal with a dowel binding system, and a cute tiny pear pocket pattern.

Cross Stitch at About.com
Up for a challenge? Connie’s Kaleidoscope Cross Stitch Patterns are just the thing. Stitch them in holiday colors or alter the selection to your favorite colors or even your school colors for a fun project.

Eileen - The Artful Crafter
Need a few more ornaments for the tree or some last minute gifts? The Artful Crafter shares 5 easy techniques for decorating clear glass ornament balls.

Margot Potter The Impatient Crafter
Join Madge as she shares her latest project for JTV’s Jewel School on the blog and in a new video!

Mixed Media Artist

Cyndi shows off some stenciled fabrics that she painted and foiled for future use!

The Crochet Dude
Drew once again dazzles with his themed Christmas wrapping!!

2011 Special Olympics Scrafs

Blogged under Charity Crafting by Tammy on Friday 17 December 2010 at 10:05 am

There is nothing like crochet or knit scarf around your neck to help keep you warm!

I’m not sure how many years Red Heart has been doing this, but the company is again promoting scarf making for the 2011 Special Olympics. Other than the fact that you can help special needs athletes keep warm during the games, what is also very cool about this is that scarves are just about the easiest project ever to make. Even a super beginner can make a scarf.

The guidelines and deadlines vary depending on what state you want to send your scarf to. Florida, in fact, is not even listed, which I guess it not a big surprise. But, for example, I clicked on Alabama under the guidelines drop down menu, and they needed 30 scarves by the end of January.

Scarves need to be made using Red Heart colors of #886 blue and #512 Turqua, and yes, you have to buy the yearn, but it’s Super Saver which is maybe going to set you back $5 for two skeins, and I get that they want all the scarves to look similar.

Warm Up America

Blogged under Charity Crafting by Tammy on Thursday 16 December 2010 at 9:53 am

I recently saw on the Land’s End Facebook page something about Warm Up America. This organization is not new to me, but I thought I’d go over to its web site and learn more about it. It is so cold out right now, I am sure there are lots of people who could use some hand-knitted or crocheted warmth!

Warm Up America is affiliated with the Craft Yarn Council. They are primarily known for taking knit or crochet squares and connecting them up to make into afghans and then giving these away to those in need. However, I learned they also donate hats and other related yarn items.

While you can make squares and send them to the organization’s office in North Carolina, the group’s site also has some excellent advice for finding local charities that could use your yarn goodies. The page I just linked to also has ideas for how to start up a local group of volunteers. This information I found to be really helpful because why not help those at home first?

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