Happy New Year GIVEAWAY!

January 1, 2010

I know it’s cheesy, but last year on New Year’s is when I first started blogging and everyone does a giveaway on their bloggerversary so I thought I should too.    And what better way to celebrate than with a felt cake.

No rules or anything, just leave a comment and on Monday, January 25th, I will draw a name and that person will take the cake.  Literally!

I had read somewhere that in Feng Shui oranges are a sign or prosperity so that’s what I was going with as far as the decoration.

But mostly, I really wanted to note the craft highlight of the last year, doing a handmade
Pay It Forward.  It’s really a wonderful way to meet people  and also a great way to improve your craft skills while doing something nice for someone.  If you have not done one, I highly recommend it.

And over the past months, I have been looking for inspiration by searching for other handmade PIFs that people have done but haven’t actually had any luck finding many.

So, I decided to start a flickr pool especially for handmade pay it forwards to showcase the lovely work that people have done out the kindness of their hearts.   If you or someone you know has made items for a handmade Pay It Forward, please join the group and add photos as encouragement for more people:

Craft it Forward

Thanks everyone and have a wonderful and prosperious and crafty 2010!

…… .  .   .    .     .      .

And the winner is:

that’s you:

Miss Vittoria!

Thank you everyone for playing and many happy wishes for a great year for all!

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Mini Ninja 3-Pack

I guess it’s more of a purpose than a vengeance.  The mini ninja has returned this time armed and with friends. This is for one of the coolest things I have seen on the web: The Toy Society.  I wish I would have found toys as a kid.  Well, actually I did find a rubber ducky in a parking lot once.  But I was 23 and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t left purposely for someone.  Most likely it had accidentally fallen out of a bag.  And it doesn’t even squeak.  But I still have it.  Hopefully someone will happily find and adopt the mini ninja 3-pack.  Each comes with own weapon, sword, nunchucks, and throwing stars.  

Toy Society Drop

Handy little carrying case also included.

Actually, people do read blogs.  Me.  And if you are like me, you are reading 20+ blogs daily.  I think it’s wonderful that people are becoming bloggers.  I like the fact that for me, it forces me to stay on top of correct spelling and grammar.  Not to mention that it forces me to finish craft projects faster.  I understand that most blogs are not like mine and I doubt anyone would want a blog to be like mine, anyway, but:

Many a craft blogs I find drift more into other things, and less of craft.  Now, cooking is a craft in itself.  But I doubt that a gourmet chef would call his culinary masterpiece a “craft.”  Plus when I think of food and craft, in my head immediately comes the image of powdered cheese in a blue box.  So why are you including that new bread recipe or whatever Martha Stewart just came up with on your blog?  If we are interested in cooking, we are probably checking out actual gourmet cooking sites for those recipes.  I’m a random housewife.  Do you want me to give you cooking advice?  No, I didn’t think so.  And you have created your own etsy showcase. The problem with that is that I spend a huge part of my morning on etsy and have already found everyone in your showcase weeks ago.  But I am sure the sellers appreciate the attention.  Have they sold more from your promotion?  Do they give you a cut of the profits? Do they even come back to read your blog?  And yes, family is a huge part of crafting.  I can tell that walk you took with your dog the first day of spring was just priceless.  It’s just that the tree in your picture looks just like the one in my neighborhood, so, yawn.  And your blog is also a way for your family to see pictures of your kids and everything but, do you really make your relatives check out your craft blog to keep in touch with you?   I get creeped out by what happens with photos of children on the internet.  My extended family lives no where near me and are actually spread across six countries!  Yes, christmas cards are a bitch.  Damn Irish Catholics and their seven kids each.  They all get sent actual photographs and are regularly emailed the updated link to a private flickr and youtube account with new images of us.

So what is the actual craft blog etiquette?  Do you response to all your comments? Do you expect to be responded to either via email or a comment on your blog in return?  Or both? Why didn’t you tell me that you wouldn’t post my comment if I mentioned that I was going to try to make what you just made.   Wouldn’t want your other readers to get any ideas now.  “If they can make it without buying my pattern, I’ll never get that book deal.”  Oh noooooooooooooooo! What about a comment on your blog thanking you for leaving a comment on their blog?

That’s cool if you want to give out your history or personal information on your blog.  But then when someone comments you or says something personal in relation to your post, why do you act like we are stalking you in your response?  Or sometimes, you have taken up such a huge following, you don’t even read the 152 comments people have left at all.   If you have blogrolled a gazillion other craft blogs, please check the links.  Most of them don’t work or belong to people who are no longer blogging.  There is nothing cooler than promoting a dead blog and you’ve made it obviously that you don’t even read the blogs you link.   I don’t want to read about how you haven’t posted lately.  I don’t want to read about your trip to the grocery store.  Isn’t that what twitter and facebook are for?  Has reality television been replaced with reality blogs?  We all have our own lives.  Hopefully I can entertain you with my blog and perhaps inspire creativity (I’m reaching on that one obviously) but you have your own life that is probably a lot more interesting than mine.  And if it isn’t, then blogging and reading blogs isn’t going to make it more interesting either.  You don’t want to read about my life or anyone else’s in order to compare.  They will never.  Show us your talent.  Show us what you made. Hell, show me how you made that same item that inhabitots featured and how you made it cooler/cheaper, whatever.  Let’s get to the real point:

Not blogging for blogging’s sake (GIVEAWAY)

Most times you aren’t even reading blogs, just strolling through pictures until you see something cool.  It’s a fact that we have become the A.D.D. generation.  So I will try to always post something crafty.  Don’t worry, I won’t be taking photos of doors or yarn.  I’m sticking to craft only and not craft supplies!  If I don’t have something crafty to show or tell, or if I am “wordless” then I just won’t post.  I won’t have any special photos of colors, either.   I’m not looking to bore you with images of fabric or candles or muffins.   I can show you the piles of scraps that I have, but I know you only really want to see the finished product.  If you’re looking for inspirational context, sorry, it ain’t here.  I’m not going to get sappy or emotional either.  I have emotions, don’t get me wrong but I’m not looking for compassion from the internet.  Isn’t that an oxymoron?  It’s just that I only got so much time, and the power’s dying on my laptop, and you’re off to the next craft blog anyway.  Keep it moving people.  Okay, here, have a cupcake.  I will send this treat out to one lucky commenter. And I’ll throw in some felt cookies too.  Last day for your word is: Sunday, June 7th.

felt cupcake

This post has been edited numerous times to be the least offensive as possible.

Thank you for your understanding.

And hey, you at the uk etsy friends flickr group.  Join the discussion here, or at least make your group open to everyone so we can join yours.  I want to be a friend of uk esty sellers, too!

cupcake winnerAnd 18 is the lucky number for the draw and that is:

Anne!  Thanks to everyone for your thoughts!  You rock.

and the winner is:

April 20, 2009

First off, thanks to everyone who shared their comments regarding etsy and the sale of handmade items. There are so many truly amazing artists whose work is definitely well worth it’s price.   I have also mentioned that since handmade is becoming more mainstream, there can also be those who are just looking to make money from the trend.  All and all, wonderful input from everyone.  

I didn’t pick a specific time for the draw, but after the baby finished breakfast, I got on the computer.

After using random.org’s number generator we have this:

random pick

and the winner is:  

i cant sew  all the way in Queensland, Australia.  Yay!  I will contact you and get your address.  Thank you again for your comments everyone.  I have met some really cool people and found some excellent blogs too.   Stay tuned for more giveaways, I just keep making more and more stuff.   Suggestions are also welcome.

On a side note, luck was also in the stars a couple of times for me and I was a random winner of some great giveaways. Please check out these great blogs below. Double Yay!

From The Spotted Box: Pincushion & Fold over elastic.  Perfect for me so that I can make more diaper covers.

felt pincushion

mint fold over elastic

From Jenny Flower: red rose hair clips

 

From Miss Frugality: pincushion, pouch and brooches

march-giveaway

From the ie mommy: Baby Banz Infant Sunglasses.  Now my little guy will stop taking mine.

baby-banz

From silly mommy of 2 silly girls: The Perfect Baby Handbook.  I hear it’s hilarious, just as child rearing should be!

Great sites, all of them.  Please check them out.  Thanks!

I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all of the talent and creativity out there.  All the time and effort put into every piece of art is priceless.  Except, sometimes it’s really pricey!  My trolling through etsy brings me to countless treasures that I covet. Problem is, I can’t afford many of the handmade items I find.  But, I can certainly snag the materials from local craft fabric store and make it myself.   I respect copyrights and have never copied a pattern.  To be honest, I don’t know much about patterns.  You see, I am what you would call a novice crafter. I’m pretty much wingin’ it here.   Nope, you won’t be reading about new additions to my online shop.   I probably won’t be having one.  Won’t see you at the next cool modern craft fair.  I can’t put something like that together.  I craft for myself personally and it is strictly experimental.  They should have a group for people like me, to keep us from getting in too deep.  I hear this stuff is highly addictive.

But has anyone ever been contacted over a copyright?  Do you check out similar items to yours for sale on etsy to check out the competition?  For example, search etsy for, the new favorite on my wish list, the log shaped pillow:

They are all different, but all in all, it’s just a pillow shaped like a log.

That’s pretty much why I don’t have my own shop.   It is unreasonable for me to think that someone else wouldn’t be able to recreate (or make better, for that matter) something that I could put together or paint with my own hands.  How would I know if you made something that I made for your home or child that brought a smile to their face.   I don’t know you, don’t know you exist, wouldn’t know your recreated craft existed.   I love it when I see people’s blogs or flickr sites and they adamantly state “My work is copyrighted, do not recreate in any form, blah, blah, blah!” when actually their stuff loosely resembles something I’ve seen on kidrobot or deviantArt, etc.   I’ve got some things I’ve made and my 9 year old nephew in Canada tells me it looks just like ….. Well, I don’t play video games or watch Cartoon Network. So, guess I can’t post pictures of those.

I understand that selling art is often one’s financial lifeline, especially in these times. Any public library contains patterns and instructions for basic sewing and crafts.   Most items are not difficult to recreate without instructions.   I’m not talking about knitting or crocheting, cause I am an extremely amateur knitter, and that stuff is hard.  But seriously though, someone needs to buy a pattern of how to make a pizza out of felt?  That’s like needing to buy a pattern to make an actual pizza.  Does giving your plush creation a name and mythical background  history make it sell more?  Am I the only one that can’t believe how much someone is trying to charge for a felt cut out?  Felt is only 20¢.   There are so many sites that offer free tutorials:

Lit’l Brown Bird’s Ideas
Poopscape
The Long Thread
One Pretty Thing

I’m sure I will get a lot of flack for writing about all this.  I love handmade.  But when does it become a rip-off?   Listen, I just learned how to sew and if I can tell how you made something just by looking at it, I’m not buying your pattern that you will email to me for $10.  But if your craft business pays the mortgage, groceries, kid’s schooling and health insurance, then please call me.

My inspiration comes from the following story:

When I was in high school, my best friend’s older brother was in college and his girlfriend met Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam.  I know, I know, but true story, really. He was at a coffee house in Chicago while on tour and they met and talked about politics.   She said the girlfriend said Vedder was all about sharing.   He said that if you liked their music, don’t buy the albums.   Make a tape from someone who already had the music or get songs from the radio.  I doubt he would say that now, what with all the lawsuits and everything.  And for the record, growing up, when my house finally upgraded to a stereo system with a CD player, the first compact disc I ever purchased just happened to be Ten.

So, most of the time we create something that brings happiness and makes the world a better more beautiful place. That’s what it’s all about.  It doesn’t have to be perfect to bring joy. You can’t put a price on that.

Anyway, part of the whole DIY movement is the actual encouragement of doing it yourself. Moving on to: daaa, da da, daaaaa!

THE GIVEAWAY!

My first one.  Here it is.  One person gets all things.  3 items below based on things that other people craft and sell all the time.

The rules are simple:

Just leave me one comment with your thoughts.  No need for cordiality, urban craft is a freezone.  I swear (to God) here and so can you.  Make sure I get some kind of contact for you, cause I will contact you if you are the winner.  I won’t make you come back and check to see if you have won.

You DO NOT need to have a blog or linkback to this blog or anything.  If you do have a blog, let me know.  I’d love to check it out.

I’m going to leave this giveaway open for some time.  I know I hate it when I just find someone’s blog and have missed their giveaway by like a day.  Let’s say the last day for comments will be Sunday, April 19th.  That gives you enough time to finish up on your projects, finish that swap you got going.  And file those taxes.  Oh, make sure you put those etsy sales as earned income. On the next day, depending on the number of commenters, I will either pull numbers from a bowl or randomizer it.

Otherwise, if you can make this:

mini felt ninja

 

Mini red felt ninja plushie for your kimono clad Blythe or Pulip with real button eyes. (I don’t have one of those dolls, BTW.  I have a hard enough time finding clothes for myself, my son, and my husband let alone try to pimp out an inanimate object. But just as soon as I get a daughter, she’ll have one with a whole handmade estate.)

or this:

Urban Craft keychain

Felt cityscape keychain crafted in the style of my blog header.  Don’t worry, I’m sure the valet at the new hip restaurant you go to won’t want to steal it.

or this?
needle felted sushi

Set of felt sushi, mmmm.  Get those little ones started early on loving their omegas.  

Well, if you can, then you’ll save yourself around $32 plus shipping for similar items. Good Luck and thanks!