Newsletter Sign-Up

Blogged under Social Networking,writing by Tammy on Friday 27 December 2013 at 4:51 pm

I have been banging my head against a technology wall for awhile trying to figure out a way to publish a newsletter for this blog. I tried plug-ins that didn’t work. I checked into various free services and paid services. Finally, I found one that I hope will be a good fit for this blog and for me. I have a link to it on the side bar (top right), but for those who have not seen that yet, please pop over using this link and sign up for the Crafty Princess Diaries Newsletter. Woot!

Big Changes for the Crafty Princess in 2014

Blogged under writing,Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Thursday 26 December 2013 at 3:08 pm


2014 has some big changes in store for me, beginning with a BIG announcement: December 31, 2013 will be my last day as the About.com Jewelry Making Guide. I have to admit that I have very mixed emotions about this. I’m happy and sad at the same time. I started the site from nothing back in 1998 when About.com was The Mining Company. It is difficult to explain all the hats I wore during 15+ years I worked at this freelance job, but you can kind of think of it as running a mini online magazine where I was the designer, editor, proof reader, writer, photographer, link checker, HTML coder, etc, etc.

I am sure there are many people who are wondering if it was my decision or the company’s, and I have to say it was a little of both. My contract was not renewed, but I didn’t expect it to be. In fact, it was kind of a relief that it wasn’t because I have had a hard time letting go, even though I knew it was past time for me to leave. I won’t go into details because I would have to write a dissertation to explain it all, but the nutshell version is that I was not happy there anymore.  I have been planning to leave for well over a year. Every other month I would tell my husband, “This is it. Don’t plan on another check from this job. I’m done!”

I still enjoy making jewelry and plan to continue to design and write about jewelry making and other crafts on my Crafty Princess Diaries blog as well as some other outlets I’m exploring, so I’m not disappearing from the jewelry and craft web world. In fact, I’m looking forward to some new opportunities.

ETA: Also, I have a Raverly group for those who would liked to join: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/crafty-princess-diaries

Working, Working, Working on the Book

Blogged under My Crafty News,writing by Tammy on Sunday 14 July 2013 at 9:17 am

This blog has not had as much attention as it should recently. As usual, I have been juggling many task on  my ever-lengthening to-do list, but one main tasks has been the update of my last jewelry making book The Complete Photo Guide to Jewelry Making (which by the way has a call for entries out). This is an “update” as apposed to an entirely new book, but it is a pretty substantial one. I’m adding fifteen new projects. Three of the fifteen I have contracted out, but even those require my time when it comes to writing up the how-to steps and organizing and labeling all the art work.

This post is not meant to be a complaint. As usual, I enjoy this type of process, but I just has reminded me how much work there is to putting together a book like this. I have to design the projects. This means maybe making multiple versions until I get the “one” that is just right for the book. Then I have to take photographs of how to make each project, and then write copy to go with the photos. After that, I have to label and log each photo, which includes labels added in the manuscript plus a separate art log plus a visual photo list of images that include number, pixel size, and MB size. Plus sending these all away. Oh, and of course, making the finished jewelry pieces that needs to also be logged and then mailed to the publisher for beauty shots.

There are just so many little steps involved. And the, of course, I have to stress a little about what my editors think of the finished pieces. Do they like them? Are they going to come back and tell me something like “we don’t like this color” or “this technique seems dated.” Argh!

So if you wonder where I’m at and why Crafty Princess Diaries is not seeing a lot of love lately, I’m working, working, working on the book!

Yes, I Do Make Jewelry Too

Blogged under writing,Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Tuesday 12 February 2013 at 6:02 pm

I sometimes get asked by readers who find this blog why I don’t write more here about jewelry making, my first serious crafting crush, versus all this fiber stuff you see all the time here. I would guess, even, that if someone came here and didn’t know me previously, he/she might not enough know I make jewelry and even have 8 jewelry books published (and not by vanity presses BTW). So, to those inquisitive minds or those who just don’t know, yes, I actually do still make jewelry. Lately, I have been making Valentine’s Day jewelry.





Not only do I make jewelry regularly, but I write and publish jewelry tutorials, jewelry book reviews, jewelry designer interviews, and other jewelry related articles every week on the About.com Jewelry Making site. It’s my part-time job, and I publish a minimum of 8 articles a month on that site. If you sign up for my free newsletter over there, you will get a weekly notice of any new articles published.

As a result of being paid to write about jewelry over there and being contractually obligated to write a certain number of articles and other required activities to maintain the site, I sort of horde my jewelry text for that site instead of writing it here, which I don’t get paid for doing. Here I play. And, jewelry for me is not really play time like it is with fiber or other crafts. I mean. Maybe it is like playing, but it’s playing with more of a purpose. If I make a bracelet, for example, I have to take photos of each step of the process. If the design doesn’t work out the first time, then I have to rework it, and again, take photos and make notes as I go. I have to document my steps because I need them later for tutorials. I still enjoy the work, which is why I am still doing it after 15 years; however, it’s part of my living versus a hobby.

I wish I could devote more time to all of it, but I also work a demanding full-time job as well. So that’s the reason why you see different crafts here and not so much jewelry.

CFP & Photographs for Literary Journal

Blogged under CFEs/Contests,writing by Tammy on Saturday 27 October 2012 at 11:07 am

The Indian River Review is currently soliciting submissions for its second issue slated for publication in late spring/summer 2013. The theme for this issue is “Memory.” The deadline for submissions is December 15, 2012. Genres include short fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, critical essays, black and white photography, and book reviews. See formatting and submission instructions below.

Submission and Formatting Guidelines

All work is peer reviewed. The journal accepts only electronic submission, no hard copies. Do not send simultaneous submissions. Please follow the requirements listed below for all submissions:

Text files must be sent as .doc, .docx, or .rtf email attachments.
Photography files must be sent as .tiff or .jpg email attachments.
Send short fiction attachments to hraulers@irsc.edu.
Send poetry attachments to ariddles@irsc.edu.
Send creative non-fiction and photography attachments to tpowley@irsc.edu.
Send critical essays and book review attachments to smallone@irsc.edu.
Text-based submissions must use 12 point font and correct MLA format.
Short fiction, creative non-fiction, and critical essays are limited to 4,000 words.
Book reviews are limited to 1,000 words.
In your email, make sure to include your full name, phone number, address, institutional affiliation (if you have one), and the title(s) of the work you submit.
In your email, include a 50 to 100 word author biographical paragraph.
Send no more than 5 submissions for poetry.
Send no more than 10 submissions for photographic pieces.

Please make sure to spend time proofing and editing your text submissions before sending them. Authors may even want to consider asking a friend to read the work first to help make sure an error free submission is sent. Submissions with incorrect grammar or misspellings may be automatically excluded from the review process. Those submissions that are accepted must be open to receiving minor editorial corrections. Also see the journal’s Agreement between Publisher, Editor, and Contributor.

Payment upon publication will include one copy of The Indian River Review.

See the journal’s weblog for more information: http://theindianriverreview.wordpress.com/2012/07/10/2012-2013-submission-guidelines/

Summer Puppy and Kitty Days

Blogged under writing,Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Monday 14 May 2012 at 6:30 am

My first week of summer vacation has been great! I’ve gotten a good chunk of writing work done, and I’m having a blast with my hairy crew.

We are hunting for lizards.

Here...lizard, lizard. I want to be your friend.

Here...lizard, lizard. I want to be your friend.

We are taking lots of trips out to the backyard, especially in the morning before it gets too hot.

Rocky likes to take a walk in between naps.

Rocky likes to take a walk in between naps.

We are doing lots of relaxing and snuggling.

Two Calicos can fit in one paper box lid.

Two Calicos can fit in one paper box lid.

Lola looks great with my beads in the background.

Lola looks great with my beads in the background.

This is one cozy spot!

This is one cozy spot!

Coco likes to keep an eye one me while I\'m writing on my computer.

Coco likes to keep an eye one me while I'm writing on my computer.

Jasper smiles for the camera.

Jasper smiles for the camera.

Looking Ahead at Summer 2012

Blogged under amigurumi,writing,Yada, Yada, Yada by Tammy on Thursday 3 May 2012 at 1:59 pm

Tomorrow I go to commencement, and after that, I’m off for summer 1 semester! While I will be on vacation for a good chunk of time, of course, I have a pretty good size list I hope to accomplish during my break:

  • As far as yarn works in progress, I have a shawl, a pair of fingerless gloves, and a scarf I plan to finish.
  • For projects that I haven’t actually started yet, there are two necklaces I plan to make, which I pretty much have the supplies for, just need to nail down the actual design.
  • Another project not started yet is an afghan for one of my nephews. I got some of the super soft baby blanket yarn that I like so much in a colorway called summer days. He’s not a baby any more, but he loves to snuggle with a soft blanket and play on the computer.
  • Then finally on the yarn list are some toys I plan to make for a donation drive I hope to participate in this summer. I have a fair amount of green yarn in my stash and can use that to make some amigurumi frogs. I also think I can whip up a few little princess crowns.
  • As far as writing, I have a fiction piece I’ve been working on that I am about 3/4 of the way through the first full draft. I want to at least finish the draft, and then it will be time roll up my sleeves and do lots of rewriting on it.
  • My other writing project includes a book proposal on a topic that I have been researching. Until I have something more solid, like a book contract, I don’t want to say too much other than it is not craft related but a little on the academic side.
  • Sprinkle reading and getting lots of exercise in between all of the above.

Summer vacation….here I come!

When the Stars Don’t Align, Even with a Good Idea!

Blogged under writing by Tammy on Saturday 12 November 2011 at 5:21 pm

A few summers ago, I pulled out my sewing machine and reawakened my love of stitching. I also started to become a lot more active with crafting for charity, and as a result, I ended up creating a book proposal that sort of married the two ideas together. Actually, it was not just sewing as part of the book, but that was an element of it.

After working up the proposal, I sent it to an editor, and the reaction was kind of luke warm. She asked me to rework the proposal and send her three sample projects from it, which I did. Then she told me she would “get back to me,” which she didn’t. I tried contacting her a number of times and eventually just gave up because, well, who would want to work on a book with someone like that as your editor? Not me!

So I shelved the proposal, and I never sent it to another publisher. Today, as I was surfing around the net, I learned of a new charity crafting book coming out, and actually, this is just one of a number of them that I have seen lately. It kind of bakes my noodle for a few different reasons. First of all, the editor was very unprofessional and really wasted my time. Secondly, I allowed her to waste my time! And thirdly, I should have listened to my inner voice that knew I had a good idea, and I should have sent that darn proposal off to another publisher, but I didn’t.

School is working me over big time right now, so between that and other freelance obligations, I could not write a book right now even if I wanted to. Sending it to another publisher tomorrow is not really something I can do, at least not for a few more months. Even then, I will probably need to revisit it since it is two years old. Obviously, the idea is good, but now it may be too late since there are already so many books out related to the topic. ARgh!

Crafty Princess Escapes for a Few Days

Blogged under writing by Tammy on Wednesday 19 October 2011 at 12:37 pm

This is the view from my balcony. Yes, the Crafty Princess managed to escape her comfortable domesticity and headed for the big city of Melbourne, Florida for a few days. I attended the 2011 Florida College English Association Conference and stayed overnight at the Crowne Plaza, located right on the beach.

I don’t get out much, and admittedly, I am okay with that. In fact, I really do not like to travel. There, I said it. I’m sure some readers will shake their heads in disbelief, but I love to stay at home, spend time with my husband, play on my computer, read on my Kindle, chill with my cats, and make fun stuff. What’s not to like?

However, I will say that the very few times I venture away from home, I am usually (not always mind you) glad that I did, and this was one of those times. The conference only lasted a few days, and it was very close to home, so I got up super early on the first day and made it there a little after 8am. The first panel started at 9, so I was there in plenty of time. I stayed at the hotel (where the conference was being held), and after listening to some great readings and breaking for lunch, I stopped by the brief mixer and rubbed some elbows, had dinner with my fellow faculty peeps (many of whom I never get to see), and then ended the night with a little crochet and a few stupid TV shows before going to bed. The conference ended the next day with more panels, a speaker, a lunch, and then I was headed back home by about 2:00 that afternoon.

I have attended this particular conference a few times, and it is always refreshing to spend time with fellow English professors. While there are a few of the “celebrity” types who always act like they have never seen me before in their lives, 99% of the attendees are just super nice people, and I always become energizes when I listen to their presentations. I learn about authors I either never heard of before or knew little about. I mull over unique teaching methods some of the presenter share. And, of course, I usually try to present a paper as well. This time, I presented a sort of silly paper about Flannery O’Connor’s South and whether or not we Floridians belong there or not. Luckily, my audience laughed with me and not at me. I was even stopped while walking down the hall by someone who had heard my presentation and commented on how much she liked it, wowie!

While I am not a traveler at heart, I do wish I could do something like this a little more often, including academic as well as craft-related functions (I’m reminded of the Bead Expo I went to years ago in Miami). It is amazing how much I learn from others who are knowledgeable about a topic that is so important to me.

Sqeezing in Academic Publishing

Blogged under Publications from Moi,writing by Tammy on Tuesday 18 October 2011 at 2:59 pm


I tend to spend most of my time writing about crafting, especially jewelry making, so I don’t have a lot of time to write on other topics. Usually, I try to assign myself a non-craft writing project to work on during my summers off from school. That seems to be the only way I can squeeze it in.

Just like any form of publishing, academic publishing takes a really long time. Actually, it can take about 10 times longer than when I write a book. Sometimes, I feel like I am sending my work into a big black hole, ala the Big Bang Theory, only I get zippo for my bang.

So I am very happy to announce that one of my academic articles made it through the universe and landed in a real, true to life book. It is a piece I presented in 2010 at the Florida College English Association Conference. After the conference, I submitted it to be considered as part of the published proceedings, and hot-diggity, it was accepted and just recently published this month! The article is a kind of mix of narrative and analysis entitled “NASA Becomes Nostalgia: Retrospection and Prospects for Florida’s Space Coast.” I just ordered my copy of it this past weekend, using my author’s discount. I hope to get it in my hands very soon!

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