Saturday, June 28, 2008

Handcrafted for the crafty

It's Saturday morning. The kids have watched their fill of cartoons and have headed outside before it gets too hot. That means my husband and I can geek out on our favorite Saturday morning show: The New Yankee Workshop.

I haven't ever done any woodworking myself, and - realistically - I don't see myself being able to have a big woodworking workshop any time before retirement, but that doesn't mean I can't live vicariously through those who do. Watching Norm Abram go through the incredibly detailed steps of a project with such care and perfection just makes me adore him.

I recently stumbled on a beautiful woodworking project online that spoke to my sewing-obsessed heart. Blake over on (an online community for woodworkers) spent almost three months building a beautiful sewing table for his mother's birthday gift. Inspired by a sewing table that his great-grandfather made for his grandmother, he designed a simple piece that would hold his mother's machine, notions and would give her plenty of workspace.

The result is stunning in its simplicity and ingenuous details (like smooth, rounded edges on the table so fabric can easily glide over). I can only imagine how proud his mom must have been when she saw the finished piece. I found the posting of the project when it was complete, but Blake had documented his progress through eight different posts, and fellow LumberJocks members cheered him along and offered advice - not just on woodworking issues, but also on ideas for creating the "perfect" sewing table. It looks like a very active, friendly community.

So until I'm able to convert my garage into a sewing studio/screen printing station/woodworking mecca, I'll have to get my my fix from great blogs and online communities like these. Enjoy!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Screen Print Giveaway Winners!

One of my new favorite web sites is Wordle. I'm a big nut for type of any kind, and an image composed of nothing but words is my idea of awesome. I haven't gotten to play on it nearly as much as I'd like to, but I decided that the way I'd announce the screen print winners was to take the four winners' comments and paste them in to a little Wordle creation.

Hopefully it's pretty obvious. :)

Y'all email your mailing address at averagejanecrafter at gmail dot com and include your preference on which of the prints you wanted. I'll try to accommodate.

It's still a whirlwind week ... so more later.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Stitching the evening away

I'm in the middle of a whirlwind week - I've got loads of work to do, a birthday party for my son in ... oh .. less than an hour, and my Google Reader has more than 940 unread items. Yikes! But I did want to pop in and remind you to read my Sidebar post and enter the contest, 'cause I'll be closing comments in the morning. If you've subscribed to the blog, be sure to leave a comment, too, so I know you want to be entered in the contest. And do the Flickr scavenger hunt! I am having waaaay too much fun seeing the pictures people are coming up with. It's awesome.

Until later, here are some pictures from my hand embroidery class last night. It was so fun and such a nice way to spend the evening. The students were great, I got to see a friend I hadn't seen in more than a year (and was surprised by her, so that was a treat!) and I got to spread the embroidery love to more folks. That's just about as good as it gets. Here are some pictures of the students rockin' a French Knot. Enjoy!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Oh mailbox ... how I love thee

Don't forget - I'm having a giveaway! Check this post for details and to enter. It's' fun!

We have a mail routine in this house: I stop by the mailbox on the way home (it's one of those group situations) and grab the mail. And every single day, it's the same thing - from the back seat, my daughter says, "Is there anything for me!? Is there anything for me!?" And just about every single day, she gets disappointed and has nothing the mail for her.

I totally get it. Getting mail is one of my favorite things in the world. On one hand, if you know something is coming, there is the daily anticipation of putting the key in the box or driving up to a package on the porch .... is it here? Is it here!? And then there are the unexpected bits of mail - the ones that surprise and make you giddy for the rest of the day.

I had a little of both this week, and it made me so happy I had to share.

First off, something I was expecting. It's Glow in the Dark Thread from Sublime Stitching. How fun is that? No clue how I'm gonna use it (or how I'm going to get it photgraphed "glowing" - I tried ... and failed) but it was just so fun to get. My mom was here when I opened it up, and she flipped out. Yummy, fun colors! My favorite!

Next was a surprise, but the kind of surprise where you think something is coming, but you aren't sure when or what it might be, and then - whammo - you get surprised with something better than you could have imagined. First off was some fabric love from my friend, Amanda. She mentioned that she had some fabric left over from a home decorating project and wondered if I might be interested in it. Uh ... yeah! What crafty gal doesn't want to add free fabric to her stash? I'd half forgotten she mentioned it when I got a box in the mail. It took me a minute to register what it was, and when I did, I ripped into the package. And - surprise! - it's gorgeous Amy Butler fabric that I've loved for ages! Hoorah! Thanks, Amanda! Now I just have to come up with something to use it for .....

And then - what had my heart all aflutter last night - a gift from my pal Amy (of Early Bird Special). If you've never checked her stitching out - close up - in Flickr, do it. It is absolute perfection. She recently posted an adorable towel she stitched using a vintage transfer. I loved the character in this little baker guy, and her attention to detail is phenomenal. When he showed up in my mail box, I was floored! Thank you, Amy! I love it! :)

And because I crave mail in the worst way, I just signed up for The Lovely Letterbox from Niku. I first heard of Niku through Diane, and when I found out she was here in Austin I knew we needed to hook up. We ended up meeting randomly at Stitch in the fall, and have connected a several crafty events throughout they year. She's got a new project starting up called The Lovely Letterbox where you can get goodies mailed to you once a month for six months for $16. She's digging in to her stash of vintage ephemera and handmade stuff. I can't wait to get my first mailing! I think she may have a spot or two left if you want to jump in - just email her at msfilms at hotmail dot com

In the meantime, I guess I need to start mailing stuff to my daughter ....

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A sidebar chock full 'o goodies ... and a giveaway

Since I'm a gal who loves to read my favorite blogs in my Reader, I realize that I often miss out on all the goodies some folks have going on in their sidebars. If they are organized nicely, a sidebar can be a treasure trove of fun stuff in addition to the main course of the blog. I've added some fun tidbits in my sidebar and wanted to point them out for folks who either read me in their Reader or just don't pay attention.

And since I mentioned more than a week ago that I'd do a giveaway in honor of my 100th post that passed during the crazy week of the CRAFT Release Party, I figured I better finally make good on that. I'll warn you, though, that I am horrible at getting things out in the mail. My last two giveaway winners can attest to that. But I will do my best to get the stuff out ASAP, just bear with me.

So! Sidebar goodness! And then the giveaway.

Subscribe to my blog via email - If you aren't a fan of a feed reader like I am, just pop over to the top of my sidebar, enter your email address and - whammo - my posts will be delivered to your email inbox. (Leslie, now you have no excuse not to read ... take that!)

Twitter - oh lordy. I've been sucked in. I don't know what I was thinking, but I took the jump. I'm Twittering ... or is it Tweeting? I don't know ... I'm just typing in random bits about my day and sending them out into the world. But I have found some fun friends to follow, and I can follow the Mars Phoenix rover (which fascinates and amuses me), so I'm sticking with it. Follow along!

The Craft Business Resource Page - with a fancy graphic and everything! So if you are starting a craft business, running a craft business, marketing a craft business, or just like to read about craft businesses ... check it out. I've been updating it constantly, so you can just pop in to that page from the sidebar anytime you like.

My Shared Items - let my sweet blog finds be your sweet blog finds. Sharing is one of my favorite things to do, and now that I can add notes to my shared items through Google Reader, I'm all kinds of giddy. I have a shared items widget in my sidebar, and you can even subscribe to my shared items here. Some of my favorite shared items from the past few weeks have been this most fabulous embroidered shirt, these hilarious uncensored bunnies (warning, might be offensive), these awesome Vicky-T Earrings (from craftlog, whose blog was also featured on the Crafzine blog this week), and a great tutorial for putting together a screenprinting screen cover for unexposed photo emulsion screens. You can pull up my shared items page and see weeks and weeks and weeks of shared items. Enjoy!

Austin Art/Design/Craft Bloggers - I've set up a blog roll specifically highlighting Austin Art and Design and Craft bloggers. If I've missed you, shoot me an email at averagejanecrafter at gmail dot com and let me know. It may take me a while to get you added (just 'cause I like to actually read your blog for a bit before I add them and because .... I'm slow!) but let me know.

Free Embroidery Pattern web sites - I've also got a little blog roll with some web sites that feature free embroidery patterns (some vintage, some new, some exclusively and some just on occasion) If I'm missing one you know of and that has an rss feed, let me know.

And now, on to the giveaway!
I was cleaning up my office the other day, and realized that I had a few prints left over from my screen print class that I could pass along. Up for grabs are four items. They are some of the extra prints I made during my silk screen class.

I'll be giving away one of my deer/bird/tree prints, an E.T. print, a deer vintage embroidery design print and an Obama print. The deer/bird/tree print and the Obama print are on a linen blend fabric (the photos don't show the colors correctly *at all* - they are a nice deep aqua and a fun lime color, respectively) The vintage embroidery design and E.T. are on scraps of a heart print fabric from an IKEA duvet. The Obama print isn't *perfect* - there are some blank spots on his collar - but it's still a cool print. You can make the prints in to anything you like - a pillow, bag, wall hanging - and I'd love to see them in action in your home once you receive them.

So how can you win them!? We're going on a bit of a Flickr scavenger hunt. I have Kari to thank for this one, who was inspired by something she saw at woot.
1. Pick ONE WORD from the list below and search it on Flickr. Pick a picture from the results (try changing the variables of "most interesting/most relevant" etc.) and put a link to it in your comment. Let us know what word you chose, and why you picked the picture you did. And, if you're so inclined, let me know which of my sidebar features you like the best.
2. Post about this contest on your blog with a link back to it, and I'll enter you twice.
3. Post this blog entry to Facebook/Myspace, etc. and send me the link (averagejanecrafter at gmail dot com) and I'll enter you again!
4. Subscribe! Since I've set up the handy dandy email subscription thingie up there, sign up or let your friends know they can sign up and I'll enter you .... again!

Here's the list: (pick one)
80s hair
any celebrity you want - there are some interesting candid celeb shots out there.

So there. You have several options, some fun eye candy, and a week to enter. Enjoy! Comments will close at 8AM Central time on Wednesday, June 25th, and I'll post the winner sometime that day (chosen randomly).

Friday, June 13, 2008

Nothing beats the Classics

When my son was a newborn, we were big Happiest Baby on the Block devotees*. We swaddled him like crazy, and he loved it. I'd lay him down on the blanket to swaddle, and he'd get giggly and smiley. Sometimes, he'd be asleep before I even finished tucking in the last flap. It was dreamy. (for the record, our daughter had raging reflux and was a horrible sleeper, so don't think we haven't paid our dues as parents! ;)

Once he got to the point where he wanted to be swaddled with his arms outside the blanket, I noticed that he was playing with the tag on his favorite cloud-print fleece blanket. I'd somehow end up swaddling him the same way every time so the tag was popping out right at his head, and he'd just rub it between his little fingers as he fell asleep. Before long, he'd rubbed all the writing off of it, and it was pilled and threadbare.

He finally outgrew swaddling all together, but I could tell he still had a thing for a tag. Of course, I'd seen the Taggie blankets, but this happened to be around the time I took my first sewing class, so I decided to try my hand at making one**. I took some of Ben's favorite fleece swaddling blankets and used them to make small tag blankets so he could still get his tag fix. The first one I made was incredibly wonky, so it was - of course - the one he latched on to.

I had enough mom experience in me to know that having a kid attached to one item in particular can be dangerous. If you lost that item, or it gets destroyed, you can have a disaster on your hands. I thought I'd be smart and make at least three tag blankets for him, but he still just clutched on to the original. One day, we jokingly called them his "Classics," and it stuck. When he's getting ready for bed, or is stressed out, he'll run around saying, "My Cwassics! My Cwassics!"

And when he finds them, he buries his face in them and takes a deeeeeeeeeeeep breath. (we call that, "taking a hit off the classics") and rubs the worn out satin ribbon tags on his nose. It's hilarious. Of course, he likes them to get extra stinky. I've tried to convince them that they are best fresh from the dryer, and he likes them warm and clean, but when they've been tucked under his little sweaty, sleepy body for a week .... that's when he loves them best.

We actually lost them for a while a little more than a week ago. He didn't have the meltdowns I thought he would, but he did ask each night - when I handed him one of the backup tags - where his "Classics" were. I found them last night - buried in one of the never-ending piles of laundry that lives in my house. I washed them and tucked them in bed with him in the middle of the night. He woke up and acted like it was Christmas. Miracle of Miracles! "My Classics! My Classics!" He instantly took a big whiff and started rubbing the tags on his nose.

Some of the tags have already fallen off, and those that remain are pilled beyond belief. Several of the tags used to have little novelty prints - dots, frogs, camo - but that's been long rubbed off. I'm so curious to see how much life the "Classics" have left in them, and to see how long Ben goes nuts over them. I dragged my E.T. doll to college with me, so ....... who knows .....

* I've often said that if I ever meet Dr. Karp, I'd kiss him full on the mouth ... and I'm totally serious. ** Tag blankets may be easy and fun to make, but Taggies have a copyright on their version of the product (which has been safety tested and specially developed) and pursue folks who sell copies vigilantly.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Dreamy Vintage Sewing Pics make my day

Not all the blogs in my feed reader are craft-related, and often the ones in my "fun" category end up making reaqlly my day. I love a blog where I can just feast on some fabulous eye candy and not have to sift through loads of text. Face it, sometimes you just need to get right to the good stuff.

One of my favorite blogs in this category is Millie Motts. I can't remember how I stumbled on this one, but I'm so glad I did. The blog author describes herself as "a collector of 1940s-60s just-about-anything: fashion magazines, children's elementary school readers, textbooks, found photos, and miscellaneous ephemera. Although I wasn't born until the 70s, I'm an "old soul."

Yep. Sounds like someone I'd love to hang out with. A few times a week, she posts tidbits from her collection, and I get giddy every time I see that her blog has been updated. Some of my favorite posts have been her Prom post (even though I never went to my prom, if I could have worn a dress like the one she shows, I totally would have), The Best Things Happen When You're Dancing, and What to Wear at Home. But when I saw yesterday's post, I truly almost fell out of my chair. A post full of vintage sewing images was just what I needed to make me smile. Check it out, and I'm sure you will, too. Enjoy!

* image is from Millie Motts' blog ... and the best blog post. ever.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

I know reindeer and stockings are not what you have on your mind right now ....

But you do realize we are just a little more than six months from the winter holiday frenzy, right? And in the world of make-your-own-gifts, that officially puts us in the category of needing to start at least thinking about what gifts we are going to make or buy. I've toyed with the idea of a laid back blog series to make an entirely handmade holiday possible (meaning, starting like .... yesterday so you can get it done), but I haven't quite decided if I'm gonna go there or not. As much as I adore making things for folks, chances are high that I won't be able to craft something for everyone, so I'll have to start looking for handmade things or things from independent designers to buy.

I know, I know! How can I even be thinking about this right now!? Honestly, I'm not ... or I wasn't until a few things came across my radar and it struck me: Huh ... these could work as Christmas gifts, and you know what ... it might not be a bad idea to start thinking about those kinds of things .... and *poof* a blog post is born. (what ... you thought there was a more formal routine to it? heh!)

So here are a few things to consider - if not for holiday gifts, than just fun gifts for you or your friends for any ole occasion. Enjoy!

- Sublime Stitching has their handmade goods on sale for 50% off their original price. They have a gorgeous Mexican style tea towel (embroidered using their Day of the Dead patterns) and an awesome journal that sports their Om Sweet Om patterns. I've seen the journal in person and it is beautiful, but what's really cool about these gifts is that they are hand-stitched by artisans in India as part of a fair-trade relationship. Check them out - at under $10 a piece, they are beyond a steal of a deal.

- Sublime Stitching has also added some new items to their blanks section. How fun would a family of coordinating stitched boxer shorts be on Christmas morning? Well, then, you better order some and get ta stitchin'!

- OK, if you know me or have read my blog for any length of time, you know I am not a knitter, but because I love all things crafty, and because I have a soft spot for Austin crafters, I'm uber excited about Vickie Howell's new book, Knit Aid. If you're a knitter, you probably already have a copy and have been loving it. Am I right? If not, you should check out Vickie's video tour of the book - it looks so cool! It's practical, beautiful and compact .... and under $10. Sakes alive, folks - how often do you find awesome gifts for under $10? And if you have the book or want to purchase more copies, you can meet Vickie this weekend at BookPeople for a book signing and Stitch n Bitch. Here's what we sent out in the Stitch Lab Newsletter today: Come in out of the summer heat for a Stitch n Bitch session and book signing for Vickie's latest book, Knit Aid: A Learn it, Fix it, Finish it Guide for Knitters on the Go! She'll be at Book People on South Lamar at 3pm this Saturday the 14th. Come for the book, stay for the knitting time!

- Schedule a class to make a gift. Let's face it, sometimes you need the motivation of a class to get you to set aside the time, money and energy to complete a project. We hear folks at the Stitch Lab say it over and over again, "I'm so glad I finally took this class, I've been wanting to get this done, but just wouldn't make the time on my own." Something about plunking down the cashola and writing an obligation on your calendar just lets the project become a priority. Why not sign up for a class to make something you can give away? Then you get to have the fun of the class, and you leave with a gift for someone else? Pretty dandy, huh?

One class I've been dying to take is Jennifer Perkin's Charm Bracelet Class. I was supposed to take it this month, but some unforeseen financial disasters have sucked my disposable income activities dry. (next time ... next time!) She's also doing a couple of other classes that looks fabulous. So think about it, for around $10 an hour, you get to chat with a superfun craft celebrity, pick up a new skill and leave with something you can give as a gift (or keep for yourself - no one has to know!) The classes are coming up in the next week or two, so jump in now if they still have spots open!

- Speaking of classes, of course, you need to also check out the Stitch Lab schedule and sign up for the newsletter list. I'm actually teaching some hand embroidery classes this summer, and there are a couple of spots open in the August class. I'm thinking of adding a weekday daytime class, too, so if you are interested in that email us and let us know. Anne Marie Beard is back with her awesome handbag classes, too. One of our star student (what's up, Peg!) took a handbag class and has been cranking out bags for all her friends! How fun is that!?

So if you are planning waaaaaay in advance for the winter holidays, or if you just want some great gifts on hand for that next unexpected birthday, don't say you didn't have a clue what to get.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Craft Business Links from around the web

I fall in to this weird category in the craft world. I'm not really interested in making stuff to sell. I don't have an Etsy shop, and when someone replies to my, "Thanks, I made it." with a, "OMG! You should totally sell that!" I kinda cringe. When it comes to crafting, I'm more interested in the process (as Diane so beautifully put in her meme) than the finished product, and money is the *last* thing that motivates me to make stuff.

What I am interested in is connecting with other folks engaged in the creative process and sharing their stories. I love reading about, sharing and writing about what cool things crafters are doing.

And one thing I've read a lot of is fabulous business advice from crafters for crafters on how to produce, market and sustain their crafty wares. Crafters tend to be some of the most generous folks around, and when it comes to business advice, they don't disappoint. And while a lot of business savvy comes through personal experience, there's a bevy of fantastic resources available to folks who are interested in making their craft their business.

Throughout my blog reading (I'm still well over 300 craft blogs on my Reader ... whewboy!) I've come across several posts from folks with loads of experience in building a craft-based business, and even though I'm not interested in making things to sell, I find the information fascinating and incredibly useful.

I've decided to pull all the links to these business advice posts in to one place, and I'll make a permanent link to this post in my side bar. If you come across links of business goodness, please email them to me (averagejanecrafter at gmail dot com) and I'll gladly add them with your credit. I'll try to keep them somewhat organized in the following categories: general business advice, marketing/PR, blogging/writing, craft shows/fairs/markets, and Etsy. And even as I try to get this published today, I keep finding more and more links to add. This will definitely be a "living post."

General Business Advice
Craft Business classes taught by Jennifer Perkins of Naughty Secretary Club
- learn from the marketing master herself! Classes include Starting Your Small Business, Marketing Your Business and Taking Your Business to the Next Level.

Diane's Staying Savvy Series - Diane is my craft guru, and her Staying Savvy Series is brilliant, fun to read, and chock full of fabulous advice.

Crafting a Business - a great column by Jenny Hart on VenusZine (click link to her profile and scroll down to see a list of the archived Crafting a Business articles)

Pink Chalk Studio's The Business of Craft Series
The Business of Craft: Starting
The Business of Craft: Pricing Part 1
The Business of Craft: Pricing - Cost of Materials

Crafty Business Then and Now - Diane interviews craft-blogger, Meggiecat, who shares her business advice from 20+ years as a craft business operator.

Special Topics in Calamity Business - a new series on starting and running your own independent business from Indie Fixx.

Roadmaps - From their web site: "a guide for discovering your passion, and in doing so, organizing your pursuit for creativity. A series geared toward those in the planning stages of their business, but will also cover a wide range of topics that more seasoned business owners may struggle with as well." - thanks to Joanie for sending in this resource.

Q&A With Jenny Hart on

Q&A with Tina Sparkles on

Q&A with Jennifer Perkins of Naughty Secretary Club on

Crafting a Business Interview with Meg Mateo Ilasco on CraftSanity

Tax Time Considerations for the Independent - from Etsy

CraftBoom has some great resources as well (via Diane ... of course! ;)

It's Business Time - an article from Jennifer Worick (of Prairie Girl Potions) on CraftStylish about making the most of opportunities to promote and sell your crafts.

Pretty Somethings - a blog out of the UK that offers advice on making money off your handicraft. There's information on everything from why you should start a blog to 10 Free Ways to Promote Your Handmaking Online.

Making a Living as an Artist - a newspaper article that profiles several artists who are making a living with their craft.

Pricing Jewelry and Paying Yourself - from Szarka

Marketing Your Art & Craft - A Podcast with Ryan McAbery - Also from Diane.

Market Your Craft Online with Jennifer Perkins - A Crafty Pod Podcast from Diane Gilleland

Jennifer Perkins of Naughty Secretary Club is a marketing mastermind. She frequently posts great information about Craft businesses and marketing. Here are a few of my favorite posts, but you can always check out a full listing of her posts tagged with "business" for more information.
Promoting Your Brand New Website
15 Tips for Maximum Newsletter/Sale Effectiveness
Navigating the multitudes of Social Networking sites
Bringing Home the Crafty Bacon - a podcast interview with Jennifer Perkins from Vickie Howell's CRL Podcast
A Few Small Business Tips

The Crafty Chica is offering a teaching a class in Phoenix called Kamakazie PR for Your Art Business. If you're local to Phoenix, you should definitely try it out. Here's the link for the current class listing (as of June 2008): Secrets of a Crafty Chica: Kamikaze Promotion for the Indie Artist From Kathy's blog: I never thought I'd share either one of those types of classes, the subject matter is hard-earned and dear to my heart. BUT, sometimes you have to let things go to make room for new ideas.
She always has such a great philosophy behind her actions, and I love that. She's so cool.


A great post about starting up a crafty blog - written by Susan Beal, with tips from Diane Gilleland of Crafty Pod fame.

Deciphering and Adding widgets to your blog - from Green Kitchen

Crafty Blog School
- from Floresita posted on Feeling Stitchy (the Flickr Embroidery Group blog)
Part One - Where do I blog?
Part Two - Choosing a Template
Part Three - Name your blog & Create a Header
Part Four - Blogging Photos From Flickr
Part Five - How to put that darned thimble guy in your sidebar
Part Six - How to take better pictures of your crafts
Part Seven - Getting Noticed

How to Start a Craft Blog - from Meet Me at Mikes - part 1 of the series
How to Market Your Craft Blog - from Meet Me at Mikes - part 2 of the series
How to Make Your Blog Cuter - from Meet Me at Mikes - part 3 of the series
A Rough Guide to Having Nice Blog Manners - from Meet Me at Mikes - part 4 of the series

Basic Skills for Craft Publishing - by Tammy Powley [via The Savvy Crafter]

How to Pitch Your Craft Book Idea - from Chronicle Books

Publishing a Craft Book, With Christina Loff and Kate McKean - A Podcast episode of Crafty Pod from Diane Gilleland.

The Freelancers guide to Setting Perfect Deadlines - from LifeDev

Craft Shows/Fairs/Markets
Ways to attract visitors to your booth and help them remember you after they leave, from The Small Object.

Craft Fair Tips - also from The Small Object via CRAFT

How to set up a craft booth at weekly farmer's market series - from Fluffy Flowers, a 5-part series on setting up your booth

Craft Fair/Market Checklist - from badskirt

Etsy (and other online marketplaces)
Tips on sculpting a successful Etsy shop from VenusZine

Etsy Selling: How to Raise Your Profile Profitability by Susan Beal for CraftStylish

Etsy Holiday How-To 2008 - #1 Packaging
Etsy Holiday How-To 2008 - #2 Branding Your Shipping Materials
Etsy Holiday How-To 2008 - #3 Creating Labels and Hang Tags
Etsy Holiday How-To 2008 - #4 Photographing Your Items

The Etsy Seller Handbook: All Our How-Tos about Selling

How to Run a Successful Etsy Shop - from greenbean baby art via CRAFT

Shop Makeover Series - from Etsy

A Word About Shipping
- from Cicada Daydream

Taking Pictures of Your Products

Product Photography Part 1
- from Making It Lovely
Product Photography Part 2 - from Making It Lovely

Shooting to Sell: Taking Better Photos for eBay, Etsy and Instructables - from Photojojo

Etsy Holiday How-To 2008 - #4 Photographing Your Items

From the Feeling Stitchy Crafty Blog School:
Part Four - Blogging Photos From Flickr
Part Six - How to take better pictures of your crafts

Friday, June 6, 2008

More silk screen and textile art goodness

One other thing to mention today - remember my most-incredibly-awesome Silk Screen Crash Course last month? Really, it was one of the best creative experiences of my life. I was so excited to get an email from Kat today that her new schedule for her new studio is now up on her web site. And guess what happens to be going on the week of my birthday .... a Surface Design Crash Course! I fell in love with spending an entire week in an art studio, and wanted to do it again so badly. I think between my parents and my husband, I'll be able to swing this class as my big birthday gift.

She's also got her silk screen class (the same one I took, just on a weekly basis instead of all in one week), an awesome Print, Dye Stitch class, a Color Fundamentals class and some open studio times (which I'm dying to do, because I'm getting all twitchy from not printing anything lately).

If you're here in Austin, do yourself a favor and sign up for one of her classes - you won't regret it. In fact, you'll be super glad you did.

Monday, June 2, 2008

More pictures from the CRAFT Party

I'm still pooped from yesterday, so I'll highlight pictures from some other folks for now. Enjoy!

Wowza! Check out the amazing pictures from Laura at eat! craft! live! They are gorgeous. I'm loving seeing the pictures from the event. If you took some, please email me and let me know! And if you are on Flickr, check out the CRAFT Release Parties group and send a message to join so you can post your pictures.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Sakes alive! That was a blast!

Boy howdy! The CRAFT Magazine Release Party today was a blast! I was floored by how many people showed up (well over 100) and seeing so many people giddily crafting just made my heart swell. Everything flowed so well. The Work*Shop was the absolute perfect spot for the event. Even the kids had their own area and crafted happily while parents made our button bracelet project.

I met a ton of folks with whom I've only emailed, I got to see friends whom I don't get to see nearly enough and I got to give away loads of crazy amazing door prizes to happy folks. One of my proudest moments, though, was seeing my dad stitching up a button bracelet! My mom and dad are the best people on the planet (I love them dearly) and they were so sweet to stop by today. I introduced my mom to Jenny Hart, and they got to chat about embroidery and Mah Jongg. It was so cool.

We were also lucky to have had reps from CRAFT and Maker Faire in attendance. They were in Austin for Maker Faire planning and a Maker Faire Town Hall meeting and were able to come to the event. I'm hoping we knocked their socks off! They brought great door prizes - including a box set of the first year of CRAFT. They were the most coveted door prizes of the afternoon.

I've already stumbled across a few blog posts about the event, which is fantastic! If you blog about it, please send me an email at averagejanecrafter at gmail dot com and let me know!

I have a huge list of people to thank, and in the next day or so, I'll be posting links to all the folks who helped out or made announcements of interesting things today, so keep an eye out for that.

Here's one quick timely tidbit:
Knitting guru, Vickie Howell, was at the party today and announced that she's just signed on as the knitting editor for Craft Gossip. She's looking to fill five posts a week with knitting news, and wants to hear from you if you've got knitting patterns, projects or books to promote. You can email her at gossip at vickiehowell dot com to send ideas. She also has a new web video series starting on Lifetime TV's web site tomorrow. Her first project will be a Fourth of July-themed felted blanket - a great project for knitters and non-knitters alike! Be sure to check it out.

And now on to the thanks:

The most fabulous Leslie Bonnell - my mentor and crafty partner in crime. Anyone who knows Leslie knows that in addition to being the most patient sewing instructor on the planet, she's also incredibly generous, supportive and just darn fun. There's no way this party could have gone down without her help. Leslie, I love you. :)

Thanks to my awesome husband who hung with the kids all day so I could gallivant with the Crafty Goodness, and thanks to my parents who are the most fabulous people you could ever hope to know. Having my parents at the event was a blast. My dad knows the whip stitch now! (That's him pictured above with my mom in the background in her sassy black and white skirt and white shirt)

Lisa (pictured above) and the gals at the Work*Shop - thanks so much for letting us take over the shop - it was the most perfect space.

Thanks to Jenny Hart and the Sublime Stitching gals. Jenny and Mary are always incredibly generous with their time, support and enthusiasm. They donated great prizes and had fun chatting with all the crafty folks.

Thanks to Jennifer Ramos and Jen Arntson who showed up, rolled up their sleeves and jumped in ready to help with the event. Jennifer took some great pictures with her amazing camera. Thanks, Jennifer! (about half of the pictures in this post are from Jennifer! She's so sweet!)

Thanks to Kathie Sever, Shannon Lowry and Bernadette Noll who donated door prizes from Future Craft Collective and Round Robin Press. It was so great to finally meet all of you in person! These gals are doing really amazing things with their projects, and I highly recommend checking them out. I'm constantly floored by the incredibly creative and progressive things that are going on in Austin. I love it.

We made awesome button bracelets, munched on goodies and let the kids craft themselves crazy. Pretty much the most perfect afternoon ever.

More later. I'm ready to collapse! Thanks for keeping up and coming out. Can't wait to hear what you thought of the party and to see your pictures!