Freakin’ & Free Adorable Penguin Pattern

Blogged under amigurumi,Charity Crafting by Tammy on Monday 13 May 2013 at 6:36 am

This was the last little dude to make into my box of toy donations. He is a free pattern called “Howie the Holiday Penguin” and is available on the Fresh Stitches site. And he is so, so, so cute! Seriously! How freakin’ cute is this guy? I will definitely have to make him again. This pattern is also a good one for newbies to amigurumi. The hardest part is crocheting with black yarn. You need to have lots of light, so that was kind of a pains for me since I usually crochet in the evenings while watching TV. Other than that issue, this is probably one of the easiest softies I’ve ever made, and I whipped him up in just a few days.

Crochet for Me with the Good Stuff

Blogged under crochet and knitting by Tammy on Sunday 12 May 2013 at 5:44 pm

After Christmas, I made a resolution to pull back on the hand-made gifts for friends and family members. I had spent a huge amount of time making hats, fingerless gloves, and scarves for holiday gifts, and the feedback was minimal at best. At first, this kind of hurt my feelings, but then after thinking about it, I realized that there is no way anyone who does not knit or crochet would have a clue about how much time was spent on the gift, so I had to get over it. Plus, maybe the gift recipient didn’t really need what I had made for him/her, so a polite “thank you” is all it warranted.

In fact, this is one reason why I decided to become a 31 Gift independent consultant. I could get a double whammy because from now on anyone on my gift list is going to get a bag or organizing item from me, and this will help me keep my status with 31 active since you have to sell $200 every three months.

As a result, I can finally make some crocheted items for myself, and I have started to do not only that, but I have pulled out some high-end stash to boot. Yes, I’m using “the good stuff,” starting with much needed fingerless gloves using hand-dyed yarn Calico sock yarn  in the Waimea Bay colorway from Craft Me Happy. These are the All Season Wristers (a free Lion Brand pattern) that I’ve made a number of times (always for someone else). Now I’m making some for me, me, me!

I will admit that I still plan to make lots of charity crochet items, but at least for this summer (since I have a little more time than usual), I’m going to focus on a few projects, some of which are a tad involved, for me. And, unless I get a very specific and sincere “please make my x,y,z” from those on my gift list, I will be purchasing their gifts through my own 31 Gifts web site. I think this is a good compromise. I get to make some pretty things using fabulous yarn like baby alpaca for me, and they will get some very useful items like the large utility tote that they can use just about every day.

Best Bunny Business

Blogged under amigurumi,Charity Crafting by Tammy on Sunday 12 May 2013 at 6:27 am

Some of the last few softies I made for the shelter included a few bunny rabbits. Of course, my menagerie would not have been complete without a funny bunnies, right? Since I had already done this pattern before (and honestly have not found a different bunny pattern that has interested me), I went ahead and made the Lion Brand Best Bunny pattern again.

For the blue bunny, I used Lion Brand yarn as well that was donated to the club, Baby Wool. Actually, it’s not real wool, but that’s what the name of the yarn is for some reason. I held it double in order to get a larger bunny from it, and used a size I hook. This was the first time I doubled my yarn to make an amigurumi, and it was not as difficult as I had anticipated. He ended up being 10 inches tall.

For the second bunny, I used some Lion Brand purple Fun Yarn. It claims to be an Aran 10ply yarn, but I am a little skeptical. I just thought it would be noticeably thicker than regular worsted. He ended up to be 9 1/2 inches high, and I used orange and yellow felt for his features because this yarn was so dark.

Even after making this multiple times, I still struggled with those ears and had to frog a few times before getting them right, but the ears are what make this guy so dang cute, so I had to get them right.

Ice Cream Craft, Quilts, Ruffles, Glass & Doodles

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Saturday 11 May 2013 at 1:05 pm

June wants to know… do you like your doodles in black and white, or with color? She’s got a very unscientific poll running… and a couple of bribes for some of those who vote.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there are 6 prompts to spark your creativity and a tutorial on how to paint sparkles on water along with a pattern for knitting and crocheting cute little candies, and a recipe for brat burgers.

Green Turkey Glass Sculpture
Cherie makes a turkey using found glass materials.

How to Make Pretty Ruffled Ribbon to Dress Up Packages and Cards
Make shimmery ruffled bows using plain old rayon bias tape sprayed with glimmer mist. The bias tape crinkles up into pretty ruffles as it dries.

Ice Cream Crafts: 10 Tasty Ideas
Celebrate the summer season with ice cream crafts (both edible and just nice to look at). Here are some favorites!

Mixed Media Artist
Cyndi decided to see how many different quick and easy (and cheap!) ideas she could come up with to use up left over quilt batting.

KNITFreedom Video Guide to Cast-Ons

Blogged under Crafty Videos,crochet and knitting by Tammy on Saturday 11 May 2013 at 12:16 pm is one of the few places I have found on-line (or off line for that matter) where I have been able to actually learn how to knit from using the video based instructions. I started out first with the free ebook and then moved on to purchase one of the intermediate level ebooks later. Luckily, Liat is still at it as far as developing new ebooks for those looking for some knitting help, and her latest covers the multitude of ways you can cast on.  Here is the press lease for more information: Announces the Release of

The KNITFreedom Video Guide to Cast-Ons

New Online Video Guide Teaches Knitters the Top 38 Cast-Ons Needed For Mastery

PALO ALTO, CA, May 9 – KNITFreedom today announced the release of The KNITFreedom Video Guide to Cast-Ons, the first online video resource to truly give knitters an easy and convenient way to master the art of the cast-on.

“In talking with knitters who look for tutorials online, one thing that became very clear was that they were in serious need of a resource that would make it easy for them to know which cast-ons they could use for which projects, and how to do them correctly,” said Liat Gat, founder of “That’s what The KNITFreedom Video Guide to Cast-Ons was designed to address.”

Most knitters aren’t aware that there are over 50 ways to cast on for a project, and that the cast-on you choose can mean the difference between a garment that fits perfectly and one that’s unwearable. Many knitters want to learn new cast-ons but get frustrated looking them up on YouTube.

“The initial response to The KNITFreedom Video Guide to Cast-Ons has been even better than I expected,” continued Gat. “I think what is happening here is that knitters are drawn to some of the other benefits as well.”

For example, Gat said that many knitters were finding the extra tips about choosing and perfecting each cast-on an important added plus — a feature not available in any other online video resource. “I thought it was important, when creating The KNITFreedom Video Guide to Cast-Ons, to give even more than what people were asking for,” said Gat. “That’s why I didn’t stop with just making video demos of every cast-on out there. I really tried to cover all the bases.”

With The KNITFreedom Video Guide to Cast-Ons, knitters will now be able to:

understand which cast-on to choose and why
stop casting on too tight
fix dropped cast-on stitches
never run out of tail, and
do any number of popular cast-ons quickly and easily.

The KNITFreedom Video Guide to Cast-Ons will be on sale starting this Friday, May 10th. Signing up for the free KNITFreedom newsletter gives customers 30% off the product price.

About KNITFreedom

The KNITFreedom Video Guide to Cast-Ons is just the latest video guide from KNITFreedom. The company has also produced Become a Knitting Superstar and Learn to Knit Toe-Up Two-at-a-Time Socks, two step-by-step video courses that teach knitters the easiest and fastest ways to master Magic Loop, Continental knitting, and other popular techniques. Liat Gat creates HD video tutorials and classes on a wide range of knitting techniques, with over 200 free videos at Customers can order The KNITFreedom Video Guide to Cast-Ons by going to

Packing Up the Amigurumi Gang

Blogged under amigurumi,Charity Crafting by Tammy on Monday 6 May 2013 at 1:58 pm

I surpassed my goal of 12 and have a total of 18 amigurumi toys to donate to the shelter. Along with loads of wash cloths, soaps, coloring books, blank journals, and crayons, my car is just about full, and I will be delivering the goods tomorrow.

It feels weird saying good-bye to my little gang of amigurumi, but hopefully, they will comfort a little one or at least put a smile on a few faces when they arrive at their new home.

DIY Glimmer, Bananas, and Free Patterns

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Monday 6 May 2013 at 5:11 am

11 Free Sundress Patterns for Summer
Summer is a great time to wear a comfy sundress, whether you are at home, in the garden or on the beach! Check out this round-up of easy sundress patterns you can sew for yourself.

Background papers galore!
Cyndi is amazed by how many tutorials she has written and collected on making background papers for your mixed media artwork!

Burlap Heart Hanger
Follow along with this tutorial and discover how easy it is to make a sweet-smelling heart using burlap.

Craftside-A behind-the-scenes peek at our crafty world
This week at Craftside there is a video where Helen Hiebert shows of the projects feature in her book Playing With Paper, tutorials on how to make a clothespin book and a file folder book along with how to stamp on fondant and a recipe for peanut and banana whole wheat vegan muffins.

Hey You!
Cherie puts lettering on three paintings this week.

Make Your Own Glimmer Mist to Add Panache to Projects
With a few inexpensive art and craft supplies you can DIY glimmer mist. Here’s Eileen’s recipe.

Thermal Bags Summer Sale

Blogged under My Crafty News by Tammy on Sunday 5 May 2013 at 10:37 am

The current 31 Gifts sale going on for May 2013 is a great example of what I was talking about in a previous blog post about whether or not 31 Gift products were overpriced or not. I think most of the thermal products (there are 11 of them) are generally priced okay, except for the largest, the Fresh Market Tote, which is a new product that just came out in the summer catalog. It normally retails for $50. Now this bag is super big, 10.5H” x15.5W” x10D” and it is really well made. Here is a look inside and out.

The lining is thermal so it will keep hot food out and cold food cold. It is also soft, so it expands a lot, and it’s got snaps on each side along with a strap.

At the full price of $50, it can take you aback. However, if you use one of my tricks and wait for monthly sales, then the price is very reasonable because during May 2013, this and all thermal items are half off with a $31 purchase. That brings the price down to $25.

Below is kind of a, shall I say….corny….? video, but it gives you a good idea of the size of the Fresh Market Tote. My own market tote (pictured above) is in the new Pink Pop Medallion pattern, but it is also available in Navy Cross Pop and Party Punch patterns.

I’m an independent 31 Gifts consultant, so if you are interested in finding out more about the new monthly special contact me at tammypowley [a] or go over to my 31 Gifts site for more information.

Sew Pretty T-Shirt Dresses

Blogged under Good Books,My Crafty News,Sew Simple by Tammy on Sunday 5 May 2013 at 5:22 am

Sew Pretty T-Shirt Dresses is a new title from Sixth and Spring Books. It retails for $14.95 and has 25 patterns.

Here is a description from the press release I was sent: “Learn how to make a basic beautiful girl’s dress—without straining your schedule or your budget. Employing a little know-how and a lot of imagination, the designers at Sweet Seams Studio offer easy instructions for transforming a simple T-shirt into a stylish dress for a special little girl. Perfect for tomboys, fashionistas or anyone in-between—the 25 projects use playful quilting fabrics and clever embellishments to create outfits that are anything but ordinary.”

Wholesale Earring Kits Bundle

Blogged under etsy,Jewelry Designing by Tammy on Friday 3 May 2013 at 11:38 am



Sparkling Star Wire Earrings Jewelry Kit


You can now purchase three of my Crafty Princess Earring kits at the wholesale price. I have bundled them together to create this wholesale earring kit package. The three kits include all the materials required to make three different pair of earrings, three full-color PDF file tutorials, and three gift boxes. All of this including shipping for only $30!

These same earring kits have sold retail at a major web-based jewelry supplier for $15 each, and that does not include shipping.

Head over to my Etsy shop now, and take advantage of this limited time wholesale earring kit collection offer!

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