Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Prize Time

So as I said I am getting ready to host my First EVER Blog Give Away! Exciting I know. I have lined up some great products for you, from jewelry to greeting cards and I am even throwing in a mystery prize from my shop. If you want to win here is the deal:

The contest will begin October 1st and end October 29th. I will then pick the winner/s on November 7th and announce it on my blog with the title WINNER. You will then have until November 14th to contact me via email (thecraftytortoise@comcast.net) to claim your prize. If you do not claim your prize by November 14th, I will be forced to pick another winner who will then have one week to claim... and so on until the prize is claimed. (If you leave your email in one of your comments I will be able to contact you and ensure you receive your prize.)
The items will be pooled together to give to a few winners. You are not entering multiple contests. This is one big giveaway.

During the give away contest time period I will post a variety of things, feature the shops that donated and give you a sneak peek of the prizes.
To enter you will need to do one or more of the following:

  • Comment to any blog post that is posted between the entry dates Oct. 1-29 = 1 entry
  • Tweet about the give away with a link to my blog (must @craftytortoise your tweet) =5 entries
  • Blog about the give away with a link to my blog and verify by sending me a link to your blog (thecraftytortoise@comcast.net) = 10 entries
  • Purchase from the featured sellers (applies only to participating sellers*) = 10 entries

More than one comment on any one post will not count towards multiple entries, but is welcomed. (only 1 entry per blog post)
I am not responsible for unrecorded entries due to computer or internet problems.
More entries does not guarantee you will win, it only ups your chances. Winner/Winners will be chosen at random.
*Sellers whose featured blog post states that a purchase from their shop will count towards extra entries.
Winner must live in the United States of America to qualify for this contest.
Prize will be mailed to the Postal Address received after contacting the winner/winners. I am not responsible for prizes not received due to postal problems.
If you wish you can add your email address in your comment to make it easier for me to contact you in the chance you win.
Following the Blog is also advised. This will keep you in the loop and show you my latest posts.

Good Luck!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Promote Your Online Shop For Free

I recently discovered this free site. It really could be fantastic all it needs is some more crafters! The best thing about it is it's free advertising!
Here is some explanation:

Here is a FREE site to increase the sales of you specially crafted items. Marianne over at Family American Style has created this site knowing how important it is to honor small business that is committed to selling handmade products. It’s a site where you can Show off your Creations and I can help market and promote your arts and crafts related blog, website or etsy throughout the Internet. Once you site is displayed, all visitors will be able to link back to your site. Go to “Show off your Creations” Go to the Introduction to the Creations web site. You can enter one of the sites that best suites you. Example: Creations, Sweet Tooth Creations, Photo Creations, Kids Craft Ideas, Scrapbooking and Accessories. Please spread the word so many people can view the talents of these hard working people.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Homemade Diaper Cake

When my Mother in Law came to me and asked me to create a diaper cake for a baby shower I was hesitant. I had never heard of them let alone seen one, and really didn't know how difficult it would be to create on my own. I started looking into it. They can cost as much as 300 bucks to have someone else create them. I went looking for a tutorial and found a ton of them online (especially youtube.com). I decided to combine a few of the tutorials I found (mainly because I found things with each that I liked/didn't like) and went shopping for the ingredients.
My list was this:

Diapers (too many is better than not enough):
  • 8 for the top layer
  • 19 for the second layer
  • 40 for the third layer
  • 60 for the last layer (I added a 4th layer)
  • 2 different colors, 2 different widths
Rubber bands Assorted kind
Dowel rods (at least 2)

And a few things I already had:

Hot Glue Gun
White Felt

Once I had everything I needed I started with the basics. I rolled all of my diapers into little jelly rolls (similar to when you roll cookie dough). I rubber banded them together with one rubber band on each in the center of the roll.

After that was done, I started standing them up and rubber banded them together in the center with a larger rubber band. I did this a little differently than the tutorials. They say (say for the top layer) to stand all eight up and then put the rubber band around them. I started with the rubber band around 2 or 3 and then pulled the band out to place the other diapers around the center.

I did this for all rows making the previous layer and then placing the next layer around that. (It is better to see it being done. A good tutorial is here)

I placed ribbon around it just like in the tutorial. I decided that I didn't like the color on the diapers showing (my diapers had a blue picture on the front) so I cut felt for the top (I cheated and it doesn't go all the way around. If yours does do not forget to cut a hole for your dowel rod to poke through). My felt also acted as a base for my decoration. I glued some silk flowers to the felt (you don't want to glue anything to the diapers) and added a bear.

I sewed the bear's arm to the second layer felt, and his leg to the third layer felt so he would stay on.
The bow on top is just something I stumbled upon while searching for ways to tie bows.

Right now it does not have the dowel rods in it to help it stay together and not fall over during the baby shower, because I am going to transport it in pieces.

I hope this helps anyone who is making one of these for someone you know. I cannot wait to show it at the baby shower.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Freebie Heaven

So I am working on this Give Away I keep talking about and finally have been gathering some prizes... some Great prizes. I have talked to numerous Etsy.com shop owners who are willing to donate their items for this big Give Away. I am not going to tell you what they are donating, but I will give you a sneak peek at their shops and maybe you can decide what they are giving.

D-Jenn funwear for those who dare
Custom and Creative Die Cuts, Scrapbooks, Cards
Trinkets by Lisa T handmade creations to last a lifetime
By Susan Designs
YellowBeatleBugg Handmade Greeting Cards
Favor Care Organics
Creative Minds
TanyaW85's Craftiness

I am super excited about this Give Away and cannot wait for it to start, but sadly the postal service does not care as I have to wait for everything to arrive.

In the meantime.. I am working on a diaper cake. (diapers made to look like a cake, NOT a cake made out of diapers) It is so cute. I will post it after the baby shower (so that nobody cheats and looks) with instructions so you can make one too!
Remember to follow my blog so you can stay up to date about the Give Away!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Free Form Crochet : Take 1

I often get inspiration from others, and even though I have crocheted for years, I had yet to try to free form crochet. It was the best thing ever. I already love it.
Before I started I read up on some tips and techniques. This website is very helpful and even has a how to for a free form scarf.
Some of the ones I found helpful were:
  • choose your color scheme ahead of time
  • add different textures as well as beads or buttons
  • crochet multiple layers as well
  • have fun
I was scared to try free form crochet, but figured if I could make my own patterns then I am already free form crocheting, just in a different way.
So here are my first tries. Be nice... I know they are not perfect.
I am hoping to turn them into brooches, and maybe make a scarf or necklace soon. I figured to start I would make small pieces so I did not get overwhelmed.
If you are a crochet'er' (hooker) out there I deeply recommend trying it out. I just bought a little kit on etsy.com for about 10 dollars.. 15 if you include shipping. All you need are crochet hooks, yarn, maybe beads and creativity. Enjoy and let me know if you create something cool.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Organization.... What's that?

So I decided that I need to start getting organized after a small flood in my home made me realize how scattered all of my craft supplies are.

A small water emergency is all it took for me to take a big step back and realize that my craft supplies are WAY out of control. Since we moved here (April) we did not really have time to get settled, since we got married in June and I planned and made practically everything. We just sort of packed boxes into the spare rooms and called it a day. That is until water came rushing towards them. We stopped it just in time, but the fact is I had no idea that all my yarn and materials were just scattered about.

Now I am starting my brainstorming! I need a great ingenious plan to get all my craft supplies, mainly my tons of yarn to get out of the many duffel bags they are now living in and into organized somethings. I have some big totes, and a set of plastic drawers that they should be in, but my yarn is now a tangled mess. I need a way to keep them all separated, but together. I am thinking many Ziplocs, but I have a feeling that may just start to get on my nerves. Anyone else had this problem, and fixed it! I would love some help. Otherwise I will let you know when I have a stroke of genius.