I mean HUGE! There are more than a few different sponsors for this giveaway that I am participating in. TryHandmade.Com is running this fantastic giveaway and I'm donating a Cozy Cowl from Blue Star Butterflies in the winners choice of color. Go check it out, have some fun and browse the other fantastic shops in this giveaway.
Melissa from Mellaril is a fantastically talented artisan. She can weave beads and colors like magic. Just take a peek and the select offerings. I have been blessed to become friends with Miss Melissa. We both moved to the same amazing little town around the same time, though we did not know each other. We actually met through Etsy's shop local feature. I wanted to see what kind of arts were being sold in my area and sent her a note to tell her how much I loved her work and to wish her much success.
She wrote back and we've been great friends ever since. It's been so fun to trade work with her and talk shop while our kids play together. Her little boy, currently about 15 months, is one of the cutest sweetest little boys ever! We met for the first time at one of Stillwater's best locally owned coffee shops. Daily Grind has an amazing view of the St. Croix River and 2 of the nicest owners ever. The perfect setting for 2 creative minds to mix.
Check out her shop, you'll enjoy reading her bio and wish there was more! She a fantastic writer and should be the one blogging instead of me. I want to help her get her business going. It's no secret that it's not the easiest thing to do, it takes time, more time and money. With the current economy and as a stay at home mom, resources and funds can be, well, limited. So all you handmade junkies out there, take a nice long look at her amazing work! Or even better, score one of her pieces for yourself or some one special.
I'm trying out a new blog layout. I really wanted the 3 column layout, I love the way they look and I think it's easier to navigate. I love the look of this, but the placement of the words in the header is less than great. I am super tech un-savvy, so this is all a serious challenge for me. Not to mention, trying to learn techie stuff with my kids running around poking each other with dinosaurs and fairies, screaming and whining at each other!
I also finally found the cute Twitter buttons, thanks to Lori from Risky Beads who I've told you about before. I really would like to throw one on my page, but I totally don't get it! LOL Maybe it's because it's Friday the 13th, maybe it's because of the gloomy weather we've had all week, or maybe it's just my mommy brain. I was hoping to figure it out and come tell you all about it and how to get one of your own. But I can't, WAH. What I can do is share the link so if you are smarter than I am you can get one for yourself. And if you are in a good mood, maybe you'll tell me how to do it too! They also have a nice assortment of Twitter backgrounds for you to choose from. In other news I am teaching myself a new craft so that I will have more diversity of product for my Blue Star Butterflies shops on Artfireand Etsy I tried to learn to knit several years back, but I was so much better at crochet that I couldn't hang in there. I quit half way through a scarf and never looked back. But I have always liked the way that knit looks. Now that I have started this little indie business of mine I wanted to expand. And I live in Minnesota which provides me with a long winter, just begging a person to learn a new craft while cooped up indoors. I am really happy that I listened to my heart and ditched the scarf because I just wasn't into it. I decided to go for a hat and it was totally worth it! It was fun and interesting. I started over several times, so I'm a pro at casting on now. I won't say it's a great hat, but it ain't bad and I'm not embarrassed to wear it- rock on! This is the pattern I used. I even made my hubby at hat and it turned out very well. I'm super pleased that my years of yarn work have lent themselves to picking up this new craft. I have a few more personal projects in mind, like a hat for myself that I'm currently working on with some gorgeous hand painted alpaca yarn in a super fun design.
Not bad, eh! And I want to make a wide scarf/shawl. By that time I think I will be doing well enough to start creating things for Blue Star Butterflies! Yipee.
There is a fantastic little studio that I've been dying to go check out. It's called The Studio at Rush Creek. They offer some really cool classes - Here is the link for the schedule. One of my fellow team members fro the Etsy Minnesota Street Team, Jennifer Clayton, teaches some classes there. This month she's teaching a class on how to spin your own yarn. OMG, is that right up my alley or what? There is an amazing variety of classes offered here and your sure to find something your interested in. They also do kids parties and classes, and teen and adult parties in addition to all the cool classes. They even have a coffee bar! If you are in the Twin Cities areas, you have got to check this out.
I'm not sure that Jennifer remembers, but I met her last spring at the Craftstravaganza craft fair. I had the whole fam in tow, and it was colder than all get out. She makes the most adorable little, and big, crocheted creatures. My son was totally in love with one of the big monster/alien type ones and it was super hard to leave it behind. I have often thought I should have gotten him. It would have been worth it. You can find more of her work on Etsy! Her seller name is FuzFrenzy. Http://fuzfrenzy.etsy.comAnd keep up with her regularly on her blog!
Sorry for the down time. It was a busy week with the family. I am looking to sponsor a giveaway or two, so check back soon to find out when and where. I also am going to try to have another review/featured handmade seller this coming week. I have made several purchases that I am SO excited about and want to share with you all. I'd also like to tell you about a great friend of mine who's shop I think you need to peek at.
For some reason, I just haven't been in the mood to sew lately. So I've got nothing new to share in that area. I started a funky retro quilt for a friend of mine that is sadly hibernating this winter. I hope to get some new motivation in the near future.
I have been having lots of fun in the yarn department. I've found a few new (to me) local yarn stores and have ordered some yummy irresistible yarn on etsy. I've been trying to keep track of all of my fiber arts on Ravelry.Com If you are into knitting or crochet, this site is fantastic! There are forums to chat with others, and groups for like minded fiber lovers, you can find an answer to any knit or crochet question you can think of. Even look up reviews of yarn and patterns. My favorite is getting to see other peoples finished projects. If you like a pattern, you can see what yarn other people used, how easy/hard it was, and what it looks like when it's done. There could be 3 or 300 project to check out. It is so awesome! And people tend to include notes, if the changed the pattern. It's interesting and I've learned a lot already. It has made learning to knit so much fun and so much easier than if I had to do it alone.