Monthly Archives: December 2012

Craft Buds 2012 Year in Review + Link Party

Each year, we are inspired by the changing of the calendar to take a look back at the year and remember the everyday moments that stand out, crafty and otherwise! If you were around, you might remember our 2011 Year in Review and Link Party, which was so much fun that we’ve decided to do it again!

In 2012 at Craft Buds, we made:

– Valentine gifts like the LOVE T-shirt and cinnamon heart sugar cookies

– Delectable treats like cookie dough frosted brownies

– Gifts for kids, like the felt flowers button snake and child’s cape

– Sewn storage solutions, like the e-Reader sleeve and car trash bag

– Super simple fabric corner bookmarks and last-minute gifts

– A shortened belt and frosted cupcakes

A pleated pillow, and many of you sewed along!

– A big deal about craft book publishing, including design/layout, a unique book concept, hosting a book launch party, and craft book photography

– A new video series and kicked it off with a chat about writing sewing patterns

 

2013 New Year’s Goals + Giveaway!

What would you like to learn how to do (or do better) in 2013? We invite you to link up your 2012 recap and/or 2013 resolutions here, whether they are craft-related, family, work or personal goals. If you don’t have a blog, we’d love to hear your goals for the new year in the comments!

To play along, add the direct URL to your blog post in the inlinkz tool below. That’s it! If you feel so inclined, visit another person’s post and leave a kind word.

As a thank you for linking up, we’ll give away a 3 months of free advertising on Craft Buds to one lucky blogger that adds their link below! Just add your post by 1/3/13 to be eligible to win.



If you’d like, grab a button for your post here!

Craft Buds

Last-Minute Christmas Gifts for Kids and Adults

Reindeer Food: Kid’s Craft

Still looking for a couple last-minute Christmas gift ideas? First up is this “Reindeer Food” craft project for kids. I’ve included a free Christmas printable. You and/or your kids can make this cute reindeer bag filled with reindeer food to sprinkle on your lawn on Christmas Eve. It lets the reindeer know that you want them to bring Santa to your house! We just did this last night with my 3-year-old (today we had an early Christmas celebration), and he loved the idea!

reindeer food in a paper bag recipe
To make the project, you’ll need:

– Paper bag
– Marker
– Scissors
– Glue
– Staples (optional but easier), and
– Biodegradable food for the reindeer

For the reindeer food, we liked using edible glitter or colored sugar (usually in the baking aisle of grocery stores), crushed candy canes and oatmeal. You’ll also need this free Christmas printable from Google Docs that I put together. To print, click the link then in the upper left, choose File, then Print!

 

Just cut out the shapes and glue on the face halfway down the bag, then put the instruction label on the back. You or you child can draw on the reindeer’s mouth.

Next, fill the bag with your reindeer food. Fold down the top of the bag a few times and slip the antlers under the fold. Staple the bag shut and make sure the antlers are held in by the same staples (or you can glue rather than staple). That’s it!

Save the bag until Christmas Eve. You can even put together Reindeer Food Kits with all the supplies to give as a fun gift/craft to other children.

reindeer food kids craft

Homemade Caramels in a Jar: Adult or Family Gift

For a last-minute Christmas gift for an adult of for a family, I was inspired by the book, Ruby Star Wrapping to paint a couple jars and fill them inside and out with goodies. Click the cover image on this page for a free preview of the book. The instructions for painting a jar is from pages 89-92.

kitchen gift set in a jar

I began with a large and small jar and followed the instructions from the book to spray paint them. Then I filled them with amazing and addictive homemade apple cider caramels made from this Smitten Kitchen recipe. I followed the recipe exactly other than changing the final cooking temp from 252 to 255 as our family likes really chewy caramels. I also made the potholders (fabric is Cosmo Cricket Early Bird, now out of print) then tied one on the jar with ribbon. Add a wooden spoon or small spatula or some other kitchen utensil or gadget to finish it off. And of course you can fill the jar with store bought candy and a purchased potholder. And that’s it! Cheerful and sure to bring joy to any family. I love that the jar can be kept and reused as a vase or for storing other special things!

making homemade caramels

Note: Because I was filling the jar with food (even though it was individually wrapped caramels), I was extra careful to wrap the inside of the mouth of the jar with painter’s tape, then stuffed it full of paper towels to make sure no paint was on the inside of the jar!

painting mason jars tutorial

I hope you enjoy these last-minute gift ideas for kids and adults!

Winners! Stuff Your Crafty Stocking Giveaway

Rachael at imagine gnats and Lindsay of Craft Buds have chosen the winners of the huge Stuff Your Crafty Stocking giveaway! Let’s review the prizes, and you can scroll down to see if YOU are one of our lucky winners!

 

And here’s the moment you’ve all been waiting for! The winners of the Stuff Your Crafty Stocking Giveaway are . . .

Stocking Stuffer #1:
Jessica Patterson!

Stocking Stuffer #2:
Sherry Tarver!

Stocking Stuffer #3:
Vanessa Wilson!

Stocking Stuffer #4:
Shelly Brown!

Stocking Stuffer #5:
Jenny Graham!
Dawn Pennington!
Deana Dweger!
Cheryl Hall!
Erica!
Peggy O’Connell!
Debi!
Bonnie!
Beth Keltner!
Juanita!

Winners will be notified by e-mail today 12/18, and will have 48 hours to claim their prize, or a new winner will be chosen. All entries received via alternate entry were inputted into the master list, and winners were chosen via Random.org.

Painted Fabric Gift Wrap + Hello Kitty T-Shirt

Have you heard of Whimseybox? It’s a subscription service where you get a box in the mail each month, filled with a grab bag of craft supplies. The Whimseybox site has craft tutorials and ideas for how to use your box each month, and you can interact with other members of the site to share your creations! It’s a fun idea, right? When I saw that Whimseybox was having a holiday promotion, I jumped on the chance to get $10 off my first box so I could try it out. After all, who doesn’t like getting fun mail?

Whimseybox Review from December 2012 The first thing I noticed about the box is how well everything was wrapped. The presentation was really elegant, and my goodies came inside this sturdy white box that I will totally reuse for storing crafting supplies. When I opened the box, I saw an art card, pretty tissue paper and ribbon wrapping and my supplies:

– Fabric markers
Deco Art Ink Effects fabric paint
– White fabric (bandana size)
– One small and one large wood-handled paint brush
– A small lined journal with a blank cover in canvas material
– Whimseybox stickers and 6-inch wooden ruler

DIY fabric marker gift wrap

The first project I tackled was one I saw on the Whimseybox blog: DIY Patterned Fabric. The tutorial recommended coloring dots with the fabric markers directly onto the white fabric. If you fold the fabric (and use a layer of paper underneath to protect your work surface), you can color the fabric twice as fast, because the ink leaks through to both sides.

Fabric paint and a DIY Hello Kitty t-shirt

To start my next project, I watched a video tutorial online for the Ink Effects fabric paint. The instructions said that you can literally paint onto any type of computer paper, let your design dry for 45 minutes and transfer to fabric with an iron. I decided to give it a try, but my freehand designs weren’t turning out the best. So I printed off a Hello Kitty face I found in Google Images and painted directly over top of the printout with the Ink Effects.

a DIY Hello Kitty t-shirt I liked how the shirt turned out, and I actually got four transfers from one design. Score!

I had a slight craft fail, however, in that I ironed directly onto my carpet. I left the room for a minute to show my husband how cool my Hello Kitty T-shirt looked. In the process, I transferred the left side of Hello Kitty’s face right onto our carpet! Isn’t this the kind of thing kids are supposed to do to your house? Hah!

I made an extra white fabric strip for some DIY painted fabric gift wrap. I was once again inspired by Ruby Star Wrapping to try some fabric gift wrap, and I turned a cereal box inside out for the structure. Figuring out how to decorate the box was the most difficult part, but I went totally girly and tied together some pink Madrona Road fabric strips to make a scrappy bow for my box.

Fabric Gift Wrap Ideas at Craft Buds

Here they are! Not bad, right? I added a little gift tag I made from a recycled from a notecard and a tiny keychain ring. I popped in a couple of shiny sewing pins into the bows to add some glamor. After all, it is Hello Kitty.

Get some more creative gift wrap ideas and from the Ruby Star Wrap Along and enter your own creation in the Ruby Star Wrapping Contest! For more upcycled gift wrap ideas, check out our previous post.

Video: How to Write Sewing Patterns

If you heard the big announcement, you know that we’ve been working to launch the new Video Chats at Craft Buds series! We are excited to kick off the series today with a chat on How to Write Sewing Patterns with our fun and informative panel of experts.

How to write sewing patterns with an expert panel
Jessica Abbott, SewSet and Me Sew Crazy
Andrea Pannell, Go To Patterns and The Train to Crazy
Heather Valentine, The Sewing Loft

In this Craft Buds Video Chat, I interviewed Jessica, Heather and Andrea on the basics of designing sewing patterns, including:

-How to find and record inspiration
– Sewing a prototype
– Design and formatting of patterns
– Marketing and selling your patterns
– Legal issues and more!

Just a little background: I met these ladies in Salt Lake City this October while I was in town for Sewing Summit and the Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores Girl’s Night Out Blogger Get Together, organized by Jessica. It wasn’t long before I learned how each of them is a true master of their craft, writing fabulous sewing patterns for children’s wear, women’s wear, accessories and home decor.

In addition to having truly great and inspirational DIY blogs, Andrea and Jessica have each developed online communities for sewing pattern creators, which you’ll hear more about in the video. I love what these ladies are doing to help celebrate and support independent pattern makers!

Heather’s background is in pattern drafting in the fashion apparel industry, and you can watch the video to see where her patterns will appear next. She would hate for me to say this, but she’s kind of a BIG deal! I definitely learned a lot from these ladies, and I know you’ll love what they have to say.

The video chat is about 40 minutes, so feel free to turn it on and let it play while you’re in the sewing room or while browsing Pinterest in the next window. We don’t mind. 😉

If you have more questions that we didn’t cover, please leave a comment on this post, and I’ll be happy to reach out and get you an answer from one or more of our experts.

Related Links:

Upcycled Gift Wrap Ideas




Upcycled Gift Wrap

I have recently fallen in love with the book Ruby Star Wrapping, and loved the idea of taking a cereal box and turning it inside out to create an upcycled gift boxed. To cut open the box, I simply cut open one side and taped the edges back together. The flap and slot still works just like normal!

To deck out the natural cardboard box, I added embellishments like a bingo sheet (from an old game I picked up at a garage sale for 25 cents), buttons as bingo markers, baker’s twine and raffle tickets.

Upcycled Gift Wrap

For my second project, I wrapped a stocking stuffer in packing material, which was reused from a recent shipment. I then used some wrapping paper scraps and accordion folded them to make a fan shape. I tied the center with thread and knotted it on one side. Then I wrapped the bottom with patterned masking tape and added some sparkly berries from my box of Christmas tree decorations. Voila!

Upcycled Gift Wrap

The whole idea of the projects inside this book is to repurpose materials in your wrapping and create keepsakes that are meaningful to receive because they look so beautiful! Fabric scraps can be sewn into reusable gift bags, added on top of presents for embellishments and and used to tie on gift tags. Old boxes, vintage game boards and recycled paper make great upcycled gift wrap. The books author’s, Melody Miller and Allison Tannery, have a way with ribbon, embellishments and ephemera that captures colors, texture and dimension beautifully.

Get some more upcycled gift wrap ideas and from the Ruby Star Wrap Along and enter your own creation in the Ruby Star Wrapping Contest!

Have you tried any of the ideas from this book? We’d love to see your creative holiday gift wrap ideas!

Stuff Your Crafty Stocking Giveaway

We’re excited to team up with some fantastic bloggers and companies to help you have the craftiest Christmas ever! Enter the Stuff Your Crafty Stocking Giveaway for your chance to win one of five HUGE stocking stuffers. The total of all prizes is valued at more than $2,000!


To enter the giveaway, simply “Like” all of the Facebook pages below,
and fill out the Google form letting us know you did. We know you will
love them just as much as we do!

Make sure you only enter ONCE, because this form is shared on all of the participating sites. Duplicate entries will be deleted, and giveaway ends Monday, Dec. 17th. Good luck!


 
* This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. We hereby release Facebook of any liability.

No purchase necessary. For alternate entry, e-mail lindsay(at)craftbuds(dot)com with your full name and the subject line “Stuff Your Stocking Contest.” The sponsors will ship all prizes within 7 days of the end of the giveaway. Giveaway starts Monday, December 10th at midnight pm EST and ends Monday, December 17th at midnight EST. Once the giveaway ends, winners will be chosen using Random.org and contacted within 24 hours by e-mail. This main contest post at CraftBuds.com will be updated with winners’ names once we’ve heard back from them. Winners will need to respond within 48 hours to claim their prize or another winner will be chosen. Some giveaways open worldwide.

Announcing Video Chats + Giveaway!

I’m so excited to be participating in Margot Potter’s Shameless Self Promotion Blog Hop!

Not only is this a fun event to celebrate an e-book for crafty entrepreneurs, but everyone participating in the hop is taking some time out to practice that fine art of shameless self promotion. Easier said than done, because it can be a little difficult to toot your own horn. But, I’m going to give it my best shot with the tips I’ve learned from Margot’s e-Book.

Margot Potter

One of my favorite parts about the creative business is how generous other crafters are. Whether it’s the willingness to teach a new technique or let you in on their business savvy, I’m consistently impressed with the helpful attitude of creative individuals.

When I visit crafting events, conferences or trade shows, it’s such a bonus to connect with other crafters in person, and to have an actual conversation. I’m sure you agree that face-to-face is often much more rich than “speaking” with your blogging friends via comments or even instagram (although that can be great, too!). I’ve decided that I absolutely have to connect with more crafters on a regular basis, and decided that if face-to-face isn’t an option, I’d focus on the next best thing.

Introducing . . .

Video Chats at Craft Buds

I’m excited to bring you a new Video Chats at Craft Buds, a fun new video series where we’ll join some of your favorite craft designers, bloggers and business pros on Google Hangouts! It is going to be so much fun, and I can’t wait to share more. In the coming weeks, we’ll be posting video chats with some fabulous, inspirational people!

– Meet a Fabric Designer (Who would YOU like to chat with?)

– Better Blogging: Tips from Your Fave Craft Bloggers

– Getting Published in Craft Magazines and Books

– How to Start a Quilt Guild or Sewing Circle

– How to Design Sewing Patterns

– Advanced Social Media: Growing An Online Presence

– Photography Tips for Bloggers: DIY on a Budget

– How to Sell Your Crafts Online and in Stores

Everything that you love about Craft Buds is still going to be here, at the same place. We’re just adding video chats to our normal format, which will range from free tutorials to handmade business advice! With our new weekly video features, I hope you’ll join us and get to know some truly great people.

About The Book

Now that I’ve let that cat out of the bag and got you thinking, let’s chat about this great new book!

The Fine Art of Shameless Self Promotion is workbook geared toward creative entrepreneurs of all types, from craft bloggers to TV personalities. Author Margot Potter shares how she very smartly developed her brand, The Impatient Crafter (TM), and learned to promote herself, including her many books and the products she’s aligned herself with. Along the way, she shares sage advice about time management, dressing for success, online marketing and being your own cheerleader.

The book is filled with exercises so you can get out a pen and paper and journal your own thoughts, fears and plans on the spot. It’s an excellent way to capture your own creative journey and help reign it in. Some of my favorite quotes from the book are just chock full of wisdom:

It’s so easy to start giving away little pieces of your freedom, and before you know it, you feel like you owe everyone so much, there’s nothing left for you. It’s okay to say, ‘No.’

Who can’t relate to this advice? And then there’s the inevitable comparison game. I know from talking to many craft bloggers that they struggle, as do I, with feeling guilty when they compare themselves to other creatives who make more, blog more, and do more than they are able. Margot has an answer for that, too:

“Competition is a myth. Let it go. It’s a big one to which most people fall victim…. What if we all woke up and realized that the only person we are in competition with is us?”

Book Excerpt

The book gets very hands-on, such as this workshop in logo design. Margot asks some great, pointed questions to get you thinking about your logo, how it represents your brand, and more! Check out this free book excerpt, about your logo and branding.

Giveaway!

One lucky Craft Buds reader will get a chance to win this new e-book. To enter to win a copy (open worldwide):

Just leave a comment on this post telling me which of these video chats you’d be most interested in! I’d love to hear who YOU would like to me interview as a special guest in our video series. Think big! If I select your idea, I just might contact you to see if you’d like to video chat with us and ask your own questions!

We’ll choose a random winner on Friday, 12/7!

Congrats to commenter #24 Domenica, who said: “All of them sound great. I would especially like to see the video on creating your own patterns as I am in the process of starting up my own website. I would love for you to interview Pauline from Funky Friends Factory. She creates some fantastic patterns!”

Margot also has a mega giveaway of $150 worth of craft supplies, so head over for details on how to win!

Giveaway! $25 Gift Card from Fabric Seeds

Have I told you lately about my friend Sarah, who owns the online fabric shop Fabric Seeds?

Fabric Seeds

I recently asked Sarah if I could give her blog a facelift, and you can see the before and after pics here. I’m so happy with how it turned out!

Before-Fabric-Seeds-Blog

Before: Fabric Seeds blog

After-Fabric-Seeds

After: Fabric Seeds blog

 

In honor of Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day, Sarah is offering one lucky Craft Buds reader a $25 gift certificate to the Fabric Seeds shop!

To enter, just leave one comment on this post! You can tell me what you think about the blog re-design, if you’ve ever shopped at Fabric Seeds, or what your favorite fabric is in her store!

We’ll choose one winner via Random.org on Friday, December 7th, 2012 at 8 p.m. EST. Giveaway open worldwide!

Out of 364 comments, the winner is #287, Gina, who said: “The new blog design allows for easier navigation and is pleasing to the eye. Nice!” Congrats, Gina!

Giveaways Roundup

If you haven’t stopped by, make sure you check out the Craft Buds Giveaway Roundup, with lots of current giveaways to enter! It’s updated each week, and you are always welcome to link up your craft supplies or handmade giveaways.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Craft Buds Craft Buds