Free Pattern Features: Totes + Winner

One of my first tutorials was for a tote. They’re incredibly useful in so many everyday activities! They also make great gifts and can be used in place of a disposable gift bag. And, some of the simpler patterns are great for a beginner. Here are some of my favorites but there are tons of tote tutorials out there!

Just like it’s name implies, The Market Tote from Bijou Lovely is a sturdy bag great for groceries or the farmer’s market.

Market Tote at Bijou Lovely

Market Tote at Bijou Lovely


The Knot Tote at Me Sew Crazy is a fast and cute project to whip up.

Knot Tote at Me Sew Crazy

Knot Tote at Me Sew Crazy


This Mini Market Tote from Chubby Hobby has some nice extra details on the handle and in the bottom corners.

The Market Tote at Chubby Hobby

The Market Tote at Chubby Hobby


Gardening season may be wrapping up this year, but get started on this great Garden Tote featured on Sew Mama Sew for next year!

Quilted Garden Tote at Sew Mama Sew

Quilted Garden Tote at Sew Mama Sew


And at think liz. is this Diana Hobo with pretty pleat details.

Diana Tote at think liz.

Diana Tote at think liz.


And lastly, our winner of the $25 Crafty Girls Workshop giveaway chosen by is the lucky Ariane! Ariane, I’ve sent you an e-mail with more information.

Photography Tips for Bloggers: The Basics

Today, I’m happy to welcome Kelley to Craft Buds. Kelley is a both a blog friend and a real-life friend of mine, and I was lucky enough to score her as my wedding photographer five years ago!

Kelley has established herself as a go-to products photographer, shooting inspiring images for many Etsy shops and food photos for magazines. She shoots weddings in and around the Indianapolis area and blogs at Kelley Jordan Photography. Without further ado, here are Kelley’s four top photography tips for bloggers.

Copyright Kelley Jordan Photography

1. Lighting, lighting, lighting.

Not only is this key to a good photography, but when it’s done right, the viewer will know exactly what you’re trying to say with your image. The best part is, you don’t need fancy lights to create an interesting image.

First, pay attention to your light source. Compelling lighting is usually angled and not directly from above or front.

Forget about using a flash. This will flatten the image and take away the interesting details of your subject. Instead, put your subject near a window or larger light source. Even professionals take advantage of available natural light.

Copyright Kelley Jordan Photography

2. The composition of your image.

The composition of your image will either draw attention to or away from the subject. Don’t clutter the space with too many props or a busy background. Think simple.

Also, move around the subject to get every angle. Don’t be afraid to take lots and lots of pictures. You never know- the last one when you are standing on the table above your subject may be the perfect one! Get in close, take a step away- explore all of the possibilities.

Also, pay attention to the steadiness of your hand. If you don’t have a tripod, set the camera on a table, pile of books, etc. to get a straight image.

copyright Kelley Jordan Photography

3. Pay attention to color.

Complement the subject with an appropriately colored background or props. For example, if you are photographing a red book, don’t use a red background. Instead, consider green or blue to make the book pop. Remember learning about complement colors in elementary school? Red to green, orange to purple, and yellow to blue. Use this as a guideline.

Another element of color is white balance. Notice how much the color changes when you use a 60-watt light bulb or natural light. Even basic editing programs like Picassa have white balance correction capabilities that will improve the feel of your image and make the subject more true to life.

copyright Kelley Jordan Photography

4. Study photos that catch your eye.

Take note of the lighting, composition, color, styling, etc. As you observe the images around you, you’ll see elements that you can experiment implementing in your own photography. Have fun with it!

Copyright Kelley Jordan Photography

If you’re in the market for a digital SLR camera, check out these tips on choosing a basic DSLRs (comparing Canon and Nikon) and understanding lenses from Jessica over at Somewhat Simple.

Thanks for joining us Kelley!

Kelley Jordan Heneveld
Click on the photo to be whisked away to her awesome photo blog.

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Fresh Picks for Wednesday, 8.24.11

Have your kids gone back to school? With orange buses back on the road, here are some crafts to make for kids or things to try with them after school. You may even learn something new.

Don’t forget to visit the giveaways page for lots of crafting supplies and handmade giveaways, including a gift certificate to Crafty Girls Workshop!

Tissue Box to Tattle Monster

Tattle Monster: Mariah turned a tissue box into a tattle monster to teach kids not to tattle on their classmates. Now all the teachers are using them! Get the tutorial at Giggle Galore.

100 Quilts for Kids

A Hundred Strong: Today’s assignment: Quilting for a cause! Check out the 100 Quilts for Kids Project. While you are there, spread the word and you can enter this fabric giveaway!

Back to School Sandwich Wraps Printables

Free Printables: Little Lovely shares a free download for these cute first-day-of-school sandwich wraps!

Dying Fabric with the Sun

Sun-Drenched: How about a science experiment? Jessica shows off how to use Inkodye, some common household objects and the sun to make custom fabric prints. You can see the results at her blog, How About Orange. Neat!

Coconut Banana Pancakes

Island Living: It’s back-to-school time, but that doesn’t have to mean going back to the typical. Brittany puts a twist on the morning routine with these delicious-looking banana coconut pancakes. Get the recipe at Bebe a la Mode Designs.

Thanks for checking out this week’s Fresh Picks!
Weekly Giveaways Linky
| Submit Your Project

Giveaway: Crafty Girls Workshop

*** This giveaway is now closed. Make sure to check out all the current handmade giveaways around the web in our Giveaway Roundup! ***

Crafty Girls Workshop is offering a $25 gift certificate to her shop to one lucky Craft Buds reader! If you’re local to San Antonio, you could also visit her for studio time at the brick-and-mortar shop.

$25 to Crafty Girl's Workshop

In her online store, Anna sells great patterns like the Sea Views Quilt e-Pattern by Kate Conklin Designs . . .

Kate Conklin pattern

And her fabric selection includes one of my favorite new lines, Summer House!

Summer House charm pack

Don’t forget to check out the bargain bin, filled with lots of fabrics for $5 a yard.

To enter:

1)   Head over to our sponsor’s Facebook page. “Like” Crafty Girls Workshop on Facebook and leave another comment on this post letting us know.

2) Visit her shop and pick out a favorite fabric or pattern. Leave a comment telling us what you love!

3) Follow our blog via Google Friend Connect, RSS or e-mail subscription to win.

* * *

That’s three possible entries. This giveaway is open to the U.S. and Canada.

Comments will close on Friday, August 26 at 11:59pm (EST), and one winner will be chosen by Good luck!

Ruffly Flower Tutorial

These ruffly flowers are fast and easy to make! To get started you’ll just need a stack of fabric cut into squares. I used nine 3″ squares from knit fabric so it wouldn’t fray (you may want to use more squares for a fuller flower). Fold the square in half, in half again, then into a triangle as shown in the diagram below. Then cut a curve into the top of the triangle to form the petals.

Here’s my pile of cut flowers. You can see that they’re not exactly identical but it won’t be noticable in the final flower.

I found it easiest to fold the flower into quarters, and stick the needle through the folds and string them all together. Once you’ve run the thread through all the flowers, bring it back around to the beginning (upper right photo) and tie it off (lower photos). Once you’ve tied it off the flower petals will be in a circle. Set it on a flat surface and fluff out the petals. This version is ruffly on top and the bottom is flat. For a ball shape make two flowers the same size and then sew them together.

My final flower arrangement! These are fun for headbands, shirt or bag embellishments, or just decoration.

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Online Sewing Class

Free Pattern Features: Cats

Last week we looked at dog-related sewing projects so this week we’ll focus on some items for your furry feline friends! Just like last week, a few of these projects would work for dogs too.

From Sew 4 Home is this cute and cozy pet bed.

Pet Bed at Sew 4 Home

Pet Bed at Sew 4 Home


At Craftstylish is a tutorial for a cat mat to protect your furniture or to use for food and water bowls.

Patchwork Cat Mat at Craftstylish

Patchwork Cat Mat at Craftstylish


Fantastic Toys has a fantastic set of patterns for a variety of cat toys.

Cat Toys at Fantastic Toys

Cat Toys at Fantastic Toys


From Canadian Living is this fur lined kitty tunnel for your playful pal.

Kitty Tunnel at Canadian Living

Kitty Tunnel at Canadian Living


And because these colors and this cat are so fun together, here’s one more pet bed option from Design Sponge.

Pet Bed at Design Sponge

Pet Bed at Design Sponge

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