January 2011

  • Saying Thank You x 4

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    Wow! I am totally blown away with all the lovely comments I have received on the previous Dabbler post!

    A huge, warm thank you to every one who stopped by and left me a word or two of encouragement!

    In my concern that the post might be too personal, I nearly talked myself out of writing it several times. But I am very glad now that I went ahead with it because I am finding that I am in the very good company of many other dabblers!

    And again - thank you.

  • I Am Dabbler

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    Image by Kyle du Ford

    I have decided to embrace my inner Dabbler! Being a Dabbler is OK.

    Weaving Roving Rug

    Image by mrdubyah

  • Getting a Head Start on Holiday Gifts with a Swedish Tomte

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    I know! I KNOW! Christmas is officially over!

    But... it is not a minute too soon to start making gifts for next year. After all Christmas is only 342 days away, and believe me that is not as much time as you think for making holiday gifts!

    My first 2011 holiday gift project - ornaments and small decorations starting with this whimsical little Tomke or Nisse.

  • Yarnia Giveaway Winner and Some Cool New Yarnia Kits!

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    We have a winner!

    Congratulations Nancy! Now you can knit those socks!

    I wish everyone could have won - if I could, I would send everyone I know a certificate! I love shopping at Yarnia!

    In fact, I was just there this past week and picked up a couple gift kits! I just discovered them! Check them out! You get enough yarn to make a hat, a pair of fingerless gloves, or a dishtowel and dish rag - and the pattern - all for $10.00 or less!

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    The kits come in several color choices which you can view by clicking on the hat or gloves or the towel image and then click on "additional images". I picked up a blue hat kit for someone very special. And I see more in my future - definitely!

    The kits are so great because you get enough yarn for a hat and the pattern - tucked right inside the cone!

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    And, of course when you are done - you can make a holiday tree with the cone and any leftover yarn.

    For those looking for more of a challenge, Yarnia has created a "Baby Surprise Jacket Kit. So far there are two colors available.

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    And don't forget that you can create your very own yarn right here!

    Have fun on your visit to Yarnia! I always do!

  • Foraging with Style

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    My friend Joanie, who writes Nini Makes has done it again! I am hooked on another one of her Ebooks! She has created a beautiful Forager Bag designed to be carried on those lovely walks along the beach or in the forest or even around town - anywhere one might be inclined to pick up little treasures to take home.

  • Book Review: Wheat Weaving and Straw Art by Linda D. Bieler

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    One day in early December as I was happily sitting at my computer churning out Christmassy tutorials, my sweetie called me over to see something on his computer.

    This book! "Wheat Weaving and Straw Art: Tips, Tools and Technique for Learning the Craft".

    Good old Amazon had just tipped him off that Wheat Weaving and Straw Art might be a book that would interest him! (He does order all my books for me so no wonder!)

  • It's Time For New Beginnings - Sign Up For One of Diane's Online Classes

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    1975 - future craft wizard, ebook publisher, podcaster, and online class instructor - Sister Diane of Craftypod!

    2011 - Ten years ago, she began sharing the crafty skills she began developing about the time this was taken. And now she has created a whole line up of on-line classes designed to share much of what she has learned about writing and publishing e-books, creating and presenting on-line classes, and making crafty podcasts. And then of course there is my own favorite the crafty blog tune-up class - but I will get to that later!

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    It isn't easy these days to stand out from the crowd - especially on the internet!

    Diane's online class "Write, Publish and Sell Your Crafty Ebook" is designed to not only help you find ways to stand out but also to give you a realistic path through the e-book publishing process, from getting the whole thing written and edited through getting it presented online effectively and letting others know about it.

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    When Diane says in her class description that writing and publishing an e-book is no small project, she is giving it to you straight! I know! She walked me through my own ebook last year.

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    To get from here...

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    to here... takes thought, planning, work, practice, writing and rewriting, and understanding page design not to mention important keys like evaluating your potential market, pricing your book and the all important - marketing!

    So if you are contemplating writing an e-book, it would be a very good idea to explore with Diane what goes into making a great, sellable ebook before you go any further with your idea.

     In addition to weekly lessons there are forums and chats and Diane will be available during the class by e-mail for personal help.

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    Write, Publish, and Sell Your Crafty Ebook begins on Monday, January 10th! Sign-up now right here!

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    Diane's Craft Blog tune-up Class will begin on January 24th. You can sign-up for that one here! I will be joining in again on that one!

    Diane taught me everything I know! Seriously - our first lesson - teaching Mom how to turn on her computer! But I still learn valuable new tricks every time I take the class.

    And even better - I meet really fabulous new bloggers! You can meet some of the bloggers I met in the class I took last summer right here.

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    It is the beginning of a brand new year and we are all busy thinking about and looking for new ways to improve our cash flow and our influence in the blogging community - for that matter the world community.

    Diane's class schedule for the spring should be just the ticket to start you on your journey!

  • Celebrate Twelfth Night - Eat Cake!

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    Apparently, there are several cultures in the world that regard Twelfth Night - also know as Three Kings Day or Epiphany - as a great time to eat a very special cake!

    I decided to make baking a special cake on Twelfth Night a new tradition at my house - beginning this year! With this very cake - Gâteau Basque.

  • Happy New Year! 2011!

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    Happy New Year everyone!

    I know I have been absent from the blogiverse these last couple weeks and now of course I have so much to catch up on and so many friends to catch up with. I hope you will all be patient with me while I try.

    I did something I have often advised friends to do! I took what I call unstructured time off. A period of time during which nothing is planned - you kinda withdraw from every one and every thing possible and only do what you want to do in the moment.

    Diane sort of did the same. It is very healing and rejuvenating and probably long overdue for both of us.

    To celebrate a brand New Year, and the Twelve Days of Christmas, and to acknowledge the nearly three months of winter ahead, despite the lengthening days, I am having a little giveaway - the last one of the season.

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    The long, dark, cold days in the northern hemisphere - the best time to snuggle into a comfy chair, cover your toes with a blanket and knit or crochet!  It seems appropriate to have a giveaway perfect for the cold days ahead.

    There is a $20.00 gift certificate waiting for the winner of the giveaway at Yarnia

    Learn more about Yarnia here and here.

    The certificate amount will easily purchase enough yarn for a pair of socks or a hat, perhaps even a scarf.  The cone I purchased above has been enough for a pair of socks and there is plenty left over for other projects - it cost me a little over $14.00. 

    The winner can use the certificate for either...

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    a pre-made yarn from stock or

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    the opportunity to actually design your very own yarn using Yarnia's online custom yarn creator.

    If you don't crochet or knit, you still might find just the perfect yarn for another project like the ones below!

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    Diane's adorable little yarn dolls - yarn and felt folks as she calls them! If you go to her tutorial on Craftstylish, she even provides free downloadable patterns for the outfits! 

    Imagine how much a child in your life would love finding one of these on the top of their package next Christmas - or even on their birthday gift this year!.

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    Yarn stars for getting a jump on next year's gifts and package decorations. Yarnia's yarns will work up beautifully for this project.

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    Turn cone shapes onto trees or even angels.  I am working on an angel with some of the leftover yarn from the blue cone above.

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    Since many of the yarns are very thin (so that they can be combined with other yarns), embroidery buffs may even find the perfect yarn for creating an embroidery project!

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    And weavers - create you own yarns! Imagine the beautiful textures and colors you could create using the custom yarn creator to design your own, unique weft!

    I often use two or three - even four- yarns together as one weft for texture and color.  But if I were actually wanting to use such a combination for a large piece, having them wound together onto a cone would be great!

    P1080290 Ok! So - to enter - all you have to do is leave a comment and tell me what project you would like to make with your brand new Yarnia yarn!

    This was supposed to be a Twelve Days of Christmas giveaway! But since I am a little behind - I am extending the ending date to January 15th. Giveaway will close at 6:00 pm PST.

    International readers are welcome to enter.

    Good luck to all and again, Happy Brand New Year!