Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Facebook Cute Baby Contest Starts NOW

The long awaited date is here! I know a lot of you have been waiting patiently for my Facebook Page to hit 1000 LIKES so this contest could start. I have over a DOZEN cute babies that are waiting for you to vote for them!

One lucky winner with the most LIKES on their photo will receive a gift certificate to The Crafty Tortoise worth $32.50.

There are also FIVE extra Giveaways Going on at the end of the PHOTO ALBUM! These 5 items are being given away and ANYONE can enter! After you have Voted for your favorite CUTE baby, read the rules under each item and follow to enter!
Below are some of the items you can win!

How to vote: go to my Facebook Page Cute Baby Photo Album. You will find all the entries there pick your favorite (or two or three) and click LIKE right under their photo!

Comments on the baby photos will not count, but are welcome. Make sure your favorite wins by sharing a link to the contest! 

This contest will run for only 2 weeks so get your votes in early! 

The photos are wonderful. So many cute babies to choose from I don't know how you will choose just one... the good thing is you don't have to. I myself will be giving each baby 1 vote to start them off!

This Contest Officially Starts Wednesday January 11,2012 through January 25, 2012!

Hurry over and check out all the cuties!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Christmas Ornament Tutorial

I was making Christmas ornaments for my family this year and realized about halfway through that it had been a while since I did a free tutorial... so Here it is!
This is a common recipe I tweaked to make the ornaments a bit darker. I got about 12 large snowflake ornaments out of this recipe.

Cinnamon Salt Dough Ornaments
1/2 cup Table Salt
1/4 cup Cinnamon
3/4 cup Flour
1/2 cup Tea or Coffee (I used Carmel Vanilla Tea to make them smell awesome)
Puffy Paint to decorate

Measure out your ingredients and mix them together in a large mixing bowl. Knead together until it makes a dough. Add flour or water as needed. Dough should not be too sticky. Place dough on floured surface and roll out with rolling pin. Cut out with Cookie Cutters and place on backing sheet. Punch hole to hang your ornaments with a bamboo skewer or straw. Place ornaments in 200 Degree Oven for 4-6 hours or until centers are hard. Turning if needed to speed up the process. Let stand until cool.
Decorate with puffy paint.

To make this look as professional as possible I traced my cookie cutter on sheets of paper (I took advantage of my copier making this much easier) and practiced my designs. I find this is a good way to make your end result much nicer!

These when dried and finished will be my gift to my family members. Along with designing the front I will add their names and the year to the back to make them a bit more personal. A cheap but heartwarming gift for anyone! Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Facebook Giveaway Coming SOON

Hello Blog followers!
The Holidays are upon us and I figured what better to celebrate than a giveaway!
I never know what to give when I do freebies like this, especially because I do baby items. So I have been doing a lot of Gift Certificate giveaways and really enjoy them. I love that you can decide what to get! You can even give it away and really share the love this season!
Now to the details.
I am giving away a Gift Certificate for $32.50!

I am hosting a Cute Baby Photo Contest.
Submit a photo of your baby to by December 10th, 2011 to have a chance to win.
The photos will be posted on my Facebook page in an album titled "Cute Baby Photo Contest" the photo with the most "LIKES" will win the Gift Certificate!
You will need to watch my Facebook page to know when the giveaway starts! It will start as soon as I reach 1000 people that LIKE my page. Once I reach 1000 LIKES the giveaway will start and I will keep the contest going for 2 weeks!

More than one photo  will not count towards multiple entries, Please enter 1 photo per baby.
I am not responsible for unrecorded entries due to computer or internet problems.
Winner will be chosen at the end of the contest. Photo with the most LIKES will win.
This giveaway is open to US and International addresses.
Prize code will be emailed to the email address received after contacting the winner/winners. I am not responsible for prizes not received due to internet problems.
Baby photos must be your own or a relative.
Professional photos or candid photos are allowed.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Owl Hat Pattern Now Available

My owl baby hat crochet pattern is now available in my etsy shop! It is $3.50 and includes 4 different sizes: 0-3 months, 3-6 months, 6-12 months, and Toddler 1-3 years.

I have gotten a lot of request for this hat. It is a great square base hat and includes the pattern for the eyes and beak!

A wonderful hat to crochet for your baby to be or grand baby to be! Customize colors to your content! You will also get the right to sell finished hats (see pattern listing for details).

Get the finished hat here:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Crocheters to the Rescue

I know I have not blogged in a while and there is a good reason for that. The Crafty Tortoise has been BOOMING! I have been super busy because of this and only have my fans/customers to thank... so THANK YOU!
My shop has rocketed up and away! I have more than doubled my sales this year, and was finding it very hard to keep up. That is when I brought in the Calvary. My shop is still Handmade, just not all handmade by me. I now have a group of suppliers helping me out. Quality is still my main concern. I make sure every stitch looks perfect before your hats go out.

What does this mean for you?

This means more patterns, more original designs and more growth for my business! This is great news for my customers and even better news for your little ones. I am able to still get orders out, but now I am able to create as well.
The Crafty Tortoise is still handmade, still modern, still quality, just faster!

This change will hopefully help move The Crafty Tortoise toward a Ready To Ship status in the future.

Melissa Wenn
Fiber Artist
The Crafty Tortoise

Sunday, August 28, 2011


NKS Photography has to be the BEST ever!! She took this adorable kissable photo for me of my owl hat! 
I cannot ask for a better photo from her! I will hopefully have a photo of my owl hat in teal for boys soon.
This is a square hat that is made up to look like an owl. It has slight ear flaps and braided ties. The color combo is my Favorite! And do you believe my husband picked that gorgeous magenta yarn out!
We were at a craft store and it and the marigold color were both on sale! I was just going to buy one of each, but my husband threw all that was on the shelf in my basket! I was shocked. His response was: "You'll make something awesome out of it. I have no doubt." 
He is so amazingly (apparently amazing is the word of the day) supportive. I don't think The Crafty Tortoise would be around if he wouldn't have pushed me to follow a small dream of creating crochet patterns.

Back to NKS Photography!

If you have not stopped by her shop you NEED to! She is amazing! 
She has taken lots of photos for me including Family photos of my my dogs, my husband and I. They turned out AMAZING!! I absolutely love them and so does everyone who sees them!

She made our dogs look SO photogenic!

We had to climb into this tree to take this and a few more photos. Can you believe we are actually 6 feet off the ground?

I love this photo, and I think Nikki (photographer) does too! It definitely shows off how uptight my jack russell (white) is and how laid back our affenpinscher (black) is.

Stop by and if you are in INDIANA schedule photos! You will not regret it!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Whale of a Sale

The Crafty Tortoise is participating in Whale of a Sale this year! If you have never heard of it and are in Indianapolis you NEED to go to their site and check it out! Tons of great baby items. I have seen them on the news and was not able to participate last year, but as soon as I got the email this year I signed up.

This year it is September 22nd-24th. For more info check out their website.

My items will be discounted, including these 3 popular items!


I look forward to this Craft Fair and many others this year!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

YOSPUN = awesome yarn

I just HAD to tell you about YOSPUN! An etsy shop that I had the honor of purchasing from and making this hat:
It is SO awesome! I Loved the SUPER BULKY handspun I grabbed from her shop and just knew I had to make something adorable! I have already sold out of this hat! It was only up for a month!
I really cannot wait to add more Limited Items like this to my shop where I only make about 3-4. It is so cool thinking that there are a few people out there with an original hat that cannot be recreated! It is like Art on babies heads!

I am saving up so I can purchase more from YOSPUN! There are just so many cool yarns in her shop that it is hard to choose which I want next!

Take a look at her shop and order before I do!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Long Elf Hat

I am SO excited to finally get a GREAT photo of my Long Elf hat! NKS Photography was kind enough to take a gorgeous photo of a tiny babe in my hat.
This hat will make a GREAT newborn prop and I cannot wait to make it in Christmas colors for the holidays.
The Extra large pom pom makes an Awesome addition to the long tail!
Available as a pattern or the hat.

Great news to all you crocheters too! The Crafty Tortoise is branching out and adding on a crocheter. This means way more patterns and new items and LOTS more Craft Fairs! YAY!
I am so excited for this and cannot wait to share with you my new crocheter as soon as I find him/her!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

New Patterns Up!

Just put up a few new patterns fresh from my mind!

By popular demand my Sock Monkey hat is in my shop! Both the hat and the pattern are now for sale!

Also now available is my Thick and Chunky Baby Blanket. The blanket and pattern are for
sale in my shop!

I was SO excited to get these up!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


I carefully tallied up your comments from the Pattern Giveaway and then picked 5 winners at random!

Remember the winners get to choose a pattern from my store and have it emailed directly to them for FREE!!

The Winners Are:

Jessica (you get 2 patterns you lucky girl, you were picked twice)

I only have contact information for Jessica so if you are on this list email me or facebook me: and tell me that you won!

You have 1 week to let me know, otherwise I will have to choose another winner.


If you didn't win I am sorry, but for 3 dollars you could purchase a pattern (its kinda like winning).

Friday, April 29, 2011

Epic Fail

You know those moments when you just sit back and accept failure. Sigh, well I have been having a lot of those lately in my pattern making. I have never been more frustrated in my whole career. It has been all I can do to keep from screaming, burning all my yarn and melting down my crochet hooks for the mere amusement of it all.

If you can't tell I have been in a rather (pardon my language) pissy mood.

I blame my ridiculous idea of "trying something different". It sounds great on paper, but once you begin it is a frustrating, bumpy ride that I was just not ready for. As my husband would put it "I wore roller skates to an ice rink." I just was not prepared.

To fill you in even further:

So my brilliant idea was to try to design diaper covers (they look easy enough). I have SO many GREAT ideas for different designs that I just had to start on them! (think coordinating with my hats!)
So I got my hook, my yarn, and my notebook and started away! I thought I was doing well, I had some measurements and some idea of how to start the pattern.
I probably got about 1/3 of the way through and decided I had made this WAY too big. (we are talking about 4 sizes too big!)
So I went with it. Changed the size in my mind, then it ended up being too small. My measurements were off, and the thing looks distorted, not what I had in mind at ALL.

Grrr... I have been tweaking and restitching, and unraveling for about a week and I am still no where near the outcome I was looking for.

So what to do now?

Start over, and I mean OVER. I am throwing everything away, all my (bad) covers so far, and the so called pattern I have created that does not work AT ALL!

Ahh... that feels better.
I am sure many of you have felt this way before, something that seems like a wonderful, gorgeous idea in your head, doesn't come out just right.

What did you do?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Custom Color Giraffe Hat

I don't know why I didn't think of this sooner! For about as long as I have been doing Giraffe hats (over a year can you believe it!) I have been doing pink ones for friends of mine who really wanted something more feminine for their expecting baby girls. I had never thought about putting pink giraffe hats in my shop until a friend of mine nearly insisted!

She was so insistent that I was convinced that if she wanted them so did others! Finally after I received a professional photo of one of my pink giraffe hats I finally listed them!

Not only can you buy a pink giraffe hat, but you can buy one of any color you would like! All my colors are listed and you just pick 2 of your favorites!

Check it out!
What is color would your giraffe hat be?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

NKS Photography Contest

Remember those super cute photos I got from a friend of mine?
If you don't let me remind you.

Well she (NKS Photography) is giving away a Photo session for your child age 1-12, and I am tagging along.
In honor of her awesome contest I decided to add a hat to the winnings. The winner will get to choose any hat from my shop (up to 4o dollar value) for free! You can't beat that!

Check out her facebook page and enter in the contest HERE!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pattern Giveaway Time

It is that time of year again. Giveaway time! I took a poll on my facebook fan site and you all decided that you wanted...

I am giving away 1 of my original crochet patterns to 5 lucky winners!

Here are some of the patterns I have available:
Think of all the hats you could make with one of these patterns! Winner will get to choose their free pattern from any pattern available in my shop!

Alright Now the details:

Giveaway starts NOW (April 6, 2011) and ends April 30th, 2011.
I will announce the winners no later than 1 week after the end of the giveaway. I will contact the winners and get their choice of pattern. The winner will have 1 week to get back to me or I will choose another winner and so on.

To enter:
All methods give you one entry.
  1. Visit my shop and choose your favorite pattern. Comment on this post telling me which pattern you like. (do this only once)
  2. Follow my facebook fan page and comment on at least one facebook post. Comment on this post telling me you did this. (do this once)
  3. Start following my Twitter. If you already follow be sure to leave a comment telling me so. (do this once)
  4. Tweet this:
@craftytortosie join the giveaway and win. #contest #giveaway #free

You can tweet as many times as you want as long as it is the above phrase!

Good Luck everyone!

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.
Winner must live on Earth to qualify for this contest.
Prize will be emailed to the email address received after contacting the winner/winners. I am not responsible for prizes not received due to internet or computer 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.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Easter Bunny Hop

What better way to celebrate the holiday than will a Bunny Easter hat. (Okay maybe peeps should also be included)

Easter is by far one of my favorite holiday's. It is warm out, you get to collect eggs with candy in them, and everyone is just happy to be out and about!

I had to add something to my shop to celebrate the Easter season! I really loved how this turned out. The bunny ears are just too cute!

Who could resist a baby in a hat this cute. This hat is made of an organic cotton yarn making it uber soft for baby! You can find this hat in my shop in 4 different sizes!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bear Hat Pattern

I am super happy to announce that another animal hat pattern is up and ready in my shop! This time a great bear hat pattern is now available with 4 different sizes. For sale for 3 dollars it is a great value. It can also be purchased made for 30 dollars for a newborn size hat.

One of my favorite animal hats yet just because it is so simple and cute that your babe could wear it constantly. I love making photo props, but I like it even more when I can make something that can be worn and loved to bits!

This little one is sitting on my granny square blanket which I absolutely LOVED creating! I have yet to get it up in my shop, but when I do it will be completely customizable with many colors to choose from.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Gift Certificates Available NOW

I finally got gift certificates up and running!
They are perfect for baby showers.
They even come in their own box with coordinating tissue paper.

They are available in whatever increments you would like, but $25, $50, and $32.50 (exact price of an animal hat plus US shipping) are available right now in my shop!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Bear Hat Coming SOON

A friend of mine took some FANTASTIC photos for me a few weeks ago. Well she showed me this photo as a sneak peak and I just HAD to share!

Her daughter is the model and man is she a cutie!

She is wearing a new hat of mine that will soon be available (both hat and pattern) in my shop soon. The blanket that she is laying on is also a creation of mine! I love that we got to incorporate multiple items into one photo. She has a GREAT eye!

Check her out NKS photography Caution: she also does some great boudoir photos as well!

Anyway, I just had to show off a little. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this photo and cannot wait until both items are up in my shop!

Don't you just love a good modern photographer!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Knitting the Loom Way

I was so excited when a friend of mine showed me her Knitting Loom. The popular loom is Provocraft's Knifty Knitter.

I just could not believe that she could produce gorgeously knitted items without needles!
This was especially excited because I cannot knit for the life of me. I can get the basics, but ask me to increase or decrease a stitch or circular knit and I am at a loss!

Crochet has always come easier to me and most knitters are the opposite.

Well as soon as I tried out the loom she had I went out and bought myself a set!

I bought the set pictured above and immediately started thinking of all the patterns I could make with them!
I tried searching for Knitting loom patterns and found that there just are not that many out there. The ones that are out there I really did not feel like knitting up. I have already started a great cocoon pattern for baby and am super excited to get it up and (hopefully) free!

Anyone else have a loom set and just love it?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Newsletter Is Back!

Yes! Finally I will be able to bring back my newsletter! It will be much better than last time and will have better information and discounts!

Thanks to a new discovery that has helped me hone my skills and get rid of clutter I have been more focused than ever! This is great news for all my followers and customers. As some of you fellow business starters out there know, starting your business from scratch can be an exhausting and confusing task. I have been slowly working and figuring out what is needed and what I need to get rid of. I will be focusing on my blog, facebook and shop as well as only a few other sites that need attention.

All this mumbo jumbo really just means that you are looking toward a better and brighter future in The Crafty Tortoise world!

Newsletter will start as a once every few month venture until I get the hang of it, when it will hopefully become a once a month email.

So here is the link you will need to subscribe! Be the first to know about new items, discounts and information only revealed to subscribers!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

New Designs Coming soon!

Sorry I have not posted for a while, but I have been busy.

I have been working on a number of new patterns for you crocheters out there! This is only a sneak peak though... I have a photo shoot today and will be so excited to show you photos as soon as I get them back!

Here are a few of my designs:


I know my photography skills are sub par, but you get the idea! I am super excited to get these photographed by a pro and on her baby!
I am so excited to get these patterns finally made. They should be available at the end of this month. All will be 3 dollars just like all my other animal hat patterns.
These are not the end either! I have a sketch book riddled with hats that have yet to come to reality.