Book Review: Charms: 20 Beading Projects

Blogged under Good Books by Tammy on Tuesday 13 January 2015 at 5:55 am

Simply Charms: 20 Beading Projects (Simply Pamphlet) is published by Lark Crafts and is a 64 page paperback-style book. As the subtitle indicates, it has 20 projects, and it retails in the US for $9.95 and Canada for $11.95. Considering the number of projects compared to the price point, this book is well-priced. It is a slim volume though, not overly full of technique instructions, which is just 5 pages. However, the projects included are pretty simple, good for jewelry making beginners.

The projects were designed by a variety of jewelry designers, and I am guessing most projects were reprinted from a collection of previously published books. This is just something to keep in mind. I see a pretty good amount of jewelry books on a regular basis, and I can’t say that I recognized any of the designs.

One other possible issue is that some project use very specific materials that not everyone may be able to acquire that easily. For example, there is a really cute bracelet that includes souvenir penny charms. I did a brief search online to see if I could quickly find vendors that sell these and had no luck. I would guess with more time and effort you may be able to find somewhere to purchase these, but they are not supplies you could find at most craft stores for example.

For beginning jewelry makers who like charms and want an economical book to help you with basic techniques for using them as well as design ideas, this book is definitely worth considering.

Book Review: Gramma Nancy’s Animal Hats (and Booties Too!)

Blogged under Fiber Fun, Good Books by Tammy on Sunday 11 January 2015 at 6:31 am

Gramma Nancy’s Animal Hats (and Booties, Too!): Knitted Gifts for Babies and Children is published by Potter Crafts and written by Nancy Nielsen. It retails for $18.99 in the US and $21.99 in Canada. Though you will find a few booties and some little mitten sprinkled throughout this book, its main focus is animal hats for babies and children. And, yes, this has a major “cute” factor going for it!

The designs are based on a rolled-brim hat and an ear flap hat, which are the first two projects in the book. From there, all the various type of animals hats included additions two either of these two patterns. So for example, if you are making the bunny hat, you will add ears and a snout. In the techniques area before the projects, it covers the different additions you would make to add the animal face to the different hats. There are a total of 19 different animals created with the hat designs, such as birds, frog, turtle, monkey, and so on.

Though there are technique instructions, you need to either have some experience or are ready to learn how to knit in the round with both circular needles as well as double pointed needles. Lion Brand Vanna’s Choice yarn is used for all the projects, so that means you will be using worsted weight yarn. The variety of animals are both girl and boy friendly, and they range in size from new born to child size (prob around 6 years old).

I can’t wait to attempt one of these adorable hats!

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

Episode 12: Not Giving You the Finger

Blogged under Crafty Princess Podcast by Tammy on Saturday 10 January 2015 at 5:39 pm

This is my first attempt at editing my podcast video. Transitions are kind of rough, but generally, I think it turned out pretty well.

Intro and Thank Yous end around 4:15

Crafty Princess Diaries Blog/Podcast Ravelry Group

My Youtube Channel

Stashless Podcast

Finished Objects start at 5:25

Baby hat patterns are from the “Circular Knit Lab: Hats Four Ways” class.

Noro Knit Cowl - Pattern inspiration from Simple Twisted Cowl pattern

I have the flower instructions posted on my Noro Flower Earrings project on Ravelry.

Works in Progress start at 12:19

M. Richard the Whale

Fan Shawl from Totally Simple Crochet: Over 30 Easy Projects for the Home and to Wear

Future Projects start at 16:45

Lion Brand Baby Kimono Pattern #L10465

Craft-Along Info starts at 19:15

Thanks for watching!

Craft Challenges, Giveaways, and Pinterest Tips

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Monday 5 January 2015 at 6:55 am

Pinterest Tips and Most Pinned
Pinterest is terrific if you know how to use it efficiently and how to avoid spammers, like fake followers trying to get information about you. If you have a business website, Pinterest is a goldmine of market information.

Craft Supply Giveaway
In this 11th episode of Crafty Princess Diaries Podcast, find out about a new crafting giveaway for Jan. 2015.

Art Bead Scene
Check out our last challenge recap of 2015! Erin has made a beautiful slideshow.

2 Knit Hats

Blogged under Finished Projects, learning2knit by Tammy on Sunday 4 January 2015 at 4:52 pm

Squee! My second knit hat is off the needles! Alas, my holiday break is ending tomorrow, but I’m very happy to report that I had some major knitting success as I worked through my second knitting class on This class is the Circular Knit Lab: Hats Four Ways class, which covers 4 different ways of making hats: 1 circular needle, double pointed needles, 2 circular needles, and magic loop. It also includes 3 hat patterns that you make while learning the various techniques, and I finished 2 of the 3 hats. The hat pictured above is the Wheeler Hat, and I made the smallest size. I added the crochet flower myself (not part of the pattern). Below is the Sweet Pea Hat, which I made an adult size version of.

There is one more hat to do, and though my progress will be much slower on that since I’m going back to work full-time, I have decided to go ahead and get started on it soon. So far, of the techniques I’ve tried in the class, my favorite is using 1 circular and then switching to double pointed needles. We shall see what magic loop hold for me!

Episode 11: Giveaway Info & Knitting Success

Blogged under Crafty Princess Podcast by Tammy on Wednesday 31 December 2014 at 4:29 pm

Happy New Year (Almost)!

Giveaway info starts at 1:06

Crafty Princess Diaries Podcast/Blog Ravelry Group

Crafty Princess Youtube Channel

You can find complete details about the giveaway at this weblog post.

Finished Objects and Works in Progress starts at 6:06: (Circular Knit Lab: Hats Four Ways) Patterns include the Sweat Pea Hat and the Wheeler Hat

Crochet Fan Shawl from Totally Simple Crochet: Over 30 Easy Projects for the Home and to Wear

Noro Knit Cowl - Pattern inspiration from Simple Twisted Cowl pattern

Trip to the Yarn Shop starts at 21:50: Knit and Stitch Boutique

Book Review: Dancing on the Head of a Pen

Blogged under Good Books by Tammy on Monday 29 December 2014 at 4:09 pm

Dancing on the Head of a Pen: The Practice of a Writing Life by Robert Benson is about writing and not writing and trying to write, basically how the life of a writer is challenging and rewarding at the same time. There is an obvious spiritual tone to the book, and when I looked up the author’s biography this made some sense as he has written about faith related topics before writing this book.

As someone who writer, or attempts to even if means just jotting down book reviews on this weblog, I could not help be feel a connection to many of the points made throughout the book. It reads like a series of essays covering various issues related to writing. Benson provides many anecdotes from his own experience as a professional writer and also weaves in bits of advice from what he has learned throughout his writing career.

Aside from what you will find inside the book, one point I liked about it (and I get that this won’t appeal to everyone) is the compact size of the book. It’s about 170 pages in a hard copy form, 5×7.5 inches, perfect to tuck into a purse or bag and carry with you. Plus the short essays are individual “quick reads” that you can take in small amounts.

For anyone who wants, tried, wishes, or attempts to write, this little book is a wonderful companion.

Note: I received this book from Blogging for Books to review.

Jan. 2015 Crafting Giveaways Coming

Blogged under CFEs/Contests by Tammy on Sunday 28 December 2014 at 11:41 am

As a way to ramp things up here on my blog and also fairly new video podcast, I have decided that a great way to start of 2015 is with some crafting giveaways! Yes, as in more than 1. I’m digging down into the craft supplies stash in my home studio, but if there are any vendors and/or designers who want to participate, contact me (tammypowley @ yahoo dot com).

So, how do you get a chance to win some crafting goodies?

Basically, join and subscribe! Join my Ravelry group, AND subscribe to my Youtube Channel.

For every 50 members on my Ravelry group and every fifty subscribers on my YouTube channel, I will pull a prize at the end of the month.

Right now, there are 37 members on my Ravelry group, so that means we need 13 more to join for prize # 1.

And right now on my YouTube channel, there are 81 subscribers, so that means 1 prize will be drawn, but with19 more subscribers, that will bump it up to 2 prizes. Get it?

The more people who join and subscribe, the more prizes!

All winners will be announced on my blog after Jan. 31. Winners will be determined by using the auto number generator. Winners will have 1 week to contact me for their prizes. Those outside the US will receive digital prizes (like pdf patterns, pdf instructions, that kind of thing) because the shipping will kill me otherwise! Photos in this blog post are just examples of what you might get a chance to win, but I will be sending out a little bit of everything from beads to books to yarn-related goodies.

Help spread the word and get those numbers up because the more we have the more chances everyone gets to win!

A Few Crafting Links

Blogged under Around the Web by Tammy on Sunday 28 December 2014 at 10:17 am

It is a little quiet in the blogosphere today, but there are a few of us out there still crafting it up!

A Bead A Day
Ready to reflect before heading into the new year? Lisa got the ball rolling…with a twist…a Holiday Twist Necklace, that is!

Cookies-To-Go Boxes for Holiday Treats
Did you make too many cookies like Eileen. Then download her template and make cookies-to-go boxes to share the excess.

Episode 10: Math Knitting Dropout
Crafty Princess has a few words to say about math and knitting and a cute finished object to show in this video podcast.

Follow My Knitting Snit!

Blogged under Crafty Videos, Fiber Fun, learning2knit by Tammy on Wednesday 24 December 2014 at 2:14 pm

Merry Christmas to everyone! I’m home for the next few days, enjoying time with family and, of course, crafting. More specifically, I’m working on my first knit in the round hat while I take a Craftsy class. It has been a little of a “knit snit” for me, but I’m determined!

I’m posting short videos on both my YouTube Channel and Instagram, so come follow me if you haven’t already and check out my progress! They have to be super short because I’m taping the videos on my phone and uploading them from there. Here is one of them below (but come follow and see the rest…I need support from my fellow crafters!)

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