Spinatomy

Archive for June 2011

Everyone loves to win something right?  A great way to win something handcrafted and awesome is to read and follow craft blogs.

But, not only are they fun to enter, they can be beneficial to you too.  In May I took part in the The Sew Weekly pincushion giveaway. Each day in May, a new pincushion maker would be featured and offered up one of their pincushions as a prize to the blog readers.  I am so glad I took part, as my shop visits and sales certainly were up as a direct result from being included.

lovely lilac pincushion for giveaway

My Sew Weekly Pincushion for the Giveaway

I have also run my own little giveaway on this very blog and it was a lot of fun, thanks to the etsy seller I featured.  She found an increased amount of traffic to her shop too.

However, giveways can be a bit daunting, so here are a few of my tips to running a successful blog giveaway

  • You can offer something you created or an item of a creator you are featuring.  Personally, I feel its a bit rude to ask for things, but if they offer great 🙂
  • Have clear pictures.  No one will enter if they cannot see what they could win clearly.  Show it off!
  • Don’t make it too hard to enter.  Trust me – this puts people off.  Make the condition of entry simple.  There is nothing worse than getting all excited about entering a giveaway and finding out you have to jump through 15 hoops or write an essay to qualify.  Personally, I wont enter if its too hard.
  • Have clear giveaway rules and stick to them.  If people must tell you their favourite item from your shop, then do not award the prize to someone who hasn’t done that.
  • Let people know how you will draw the winner.  Will it be a random draw, or will you judge the best entry or will your cat choose?
  • State your closing date and time and stick to it. Once the time comes, post that entries are closed and that you’ll let everyone know the winner shortly – be prompt.
  • Contact the winner promptly and confirm their postal details.  If your giveaway is being donated by someone else, I would be the go-between and pass on the details so you are in control of the process to some degree.  Ask the prize giver to confirm when they have posted the prize & let the winner know.  Just common courtesy.
  • Let your readers know who won & what they won if there were a few options. Its disappointing to never know if a giveaway was actually completed or not.
  • Its not essential, but if you are doing a random draw, then include pics of the process.  This giveaway draw by June at Noon was very cute and made me feel part of it.  I have seen some use www.random.org and post a pic of the result to prove their winner. Up to you, but these things can be a nice touch.
  • Personally, I would not do giveaways all the time.  To me they should be like sales, rare but special when you do have one.  Having said that I know a lot who do monthly & it seems to work for them.  Just my opinion. 🙂

Blog Giveaways to Enter

Now on to the fun bit for you.  I have rounded up a few blog giveaways for you to enter.  Who knows?   You might find an awesome new blog to read, a favourite new shop or you might just win something.  Having a look at all of these is also a great research opportunity.  See who has done things in a way that appeals to you and plan your own blog giveaway.

Good luck!

Red brick Needle Book from Loft Full of GoodiesTo win an awesome needlebook from Loft Full of Goodies – click here.  Entries close 5th July 2011

Badges by All Night Diner

To win some Vintage styled badges by All Night Diner, click here to visit isewpose‘s blog. Entries close 1st July 2011.Red Blende Earrings by Jenny PooleTo win over $80 worth of earrings from Jenny Hoople – click here. Entries close 3rd July 2011

Stripe lamp by Lulus LampsTo win a lamp designed by you from Lulus Lamps – click here.  Entries close 10th July.

Glass & Crystal bracelet by Miss MonkeiTo win a bracelet or bookmark by Miss Monkei, click here to visit Amaria’s Paper Workshop‘s blog.  Entries close 9th July 2011.

3 badges from Ld DesignsTo win 3 badges from Ld Designs, click here.  Entries close 30th June 2011.

Want More?

If these are not enough for you, then check out these blogs devoted to listing blog giveaways.   You can submit your giveaway to them both.  A good idea I think I will try next time.

Blog Giveaways

Craft Buds – Giveaway Roundup

If you are having a blog giveaway I have not mentioned, please feel free to add a link in the comments.  I hope you’ve found these tips useful. 🙂

A little while back, I shared with you all my desire to felt my own woollen clothing in this post.  Since then, I have scoured op shops (thrift stores)  in my general area and I found these jumpers and a scarf to attempt to felt.

I say attempt, as I am not 100% certain some of the items are wool, and some are a blend, and I have a front loading washing machine, which is great for being gentle on our clothing, but maybe not so good for roughing up wool fibres.

jumpers from the op shops

The jumpers & scarf found in op shops ready to be felted

So what’s next?  Cutting them up in preparation for felting.

red wool cardigan ready for feltingThe red cardigan has some lovely little buttons I can salvage and is 96% lambswool and 4% nylon.  I really hope this one works as I love the colour.

The purple turtle neck jumper is 80% lambswool and 20% nylon.  Not sure if that’s too muchpurple jumper ready for felting nylon, but I guess I will find out soon enough!

black jumper cut up ready to feltThe black turtle neck jumper is very fine and thin, but is 100% wool.

The olive green one is going to work just fine.  How do I know?  It is 100% wool and is alreadyolive green coat cut up ready to felt pretty much felted in the body.

surf jumper ready to feltThe blue surfer dude jumper is so thick and heavy.  The labels have been cut out, but I am almost certain it is 100% wool as it is felted just from wear or maybe someone has already hot washed it hehe.

The green jumper is part of someone’s work uniform and is another 80% wool 20% nylon one.Green jumper cut up ready to felt

messy scarf that probably wont feltThe scarf, well its very attractive I know.  I know the fluffy bits are synthetic, but I am hoping that the maroony-purple is wool.  Not very hopeful now that I’ve cut it up.  I am fairly certain it is all acrylic & geez it made a mess!

I’ll save the next bits until my next post. Stay tuned to see how they work out.

A little while back, I featured Your Organ Grinder in this post.  We got to know each other a little bit during the process of the giveaway and we decided that we loved each other’s work so much we’d swap.

I sent a bug covered pincushion & a spider brooch and I received in return an awesome brain & eyeball hair tie.

Brains and jar

So detailed - love it

Brain and jar

Who's got brains? I do

eyeball and brain from Your Organ Grinder

Eyeball hair tie and brain in a jar - awesome!

Thanks so much Simmone!

Sorry blog. I have neglected you so.  Life got very busy, but I never fogot you.

These are the up coming posts I have planned

Where’s me jumper – Part 2

I have found some wool and wool blend jumpers in local op shops I intend to felt in my washing machine as I found all the info on in this post.  I want to share with you the before, during & after progress I make as time allows.

I have brains!

Yes I do & I keep them in a jar.  I swapped with Your Organ Grinder as featured in this post and I am so very happy with my brain!  I’ll take some pics to show you how awesome it is.

Ladybird tutorial

I adorn many pincushions with little ladybirds and I will share with you the steps so you too can add some ladybird joy to your life.   Just need some good light so I can show you detailed pictures as well.  Not much chance of that at the moment in the middle of a very wet winter.

ladybirds, ladybugs, felt, embroidery

Ladybirds Pincushion

Arty Goodness

I am planning on featuring a wonderful artist soon.  Some great stuff for your eyes 🙂

Craft Spaces

I am often in complete awe of other people’s craft spaces.  I plan on showing you some amazing one’s.  I’ll leave you with a teaser pic from Allsorts Blog, written by Jenny who is a designer, illustrator & general crafty person.

allsorts creatice space

Wow!

I love receiving mail.  Especially parcels!  Today I received this in a  lovely package from New Earth Soaps.

heavenly moisturiser

Silky moisture lotion

It is wonderful stuff!  I love the feel of it.  So smooth and silky. It goes on so well and does not leave a greasy feeling at all. Added bonus, it smells divine too! Ahhhh.  I love a good moisturiser.  This one is especially great because of the thought and care the maker puts into it.

I have purchased a few things from Kaz, and each one is special in its own way. My braces-wearing daughter swears by Softly, softly lip balm and the Shea Butter Bars smell so divine.

I want to share with you just how awesome Kaz and her products are, so here’s a bit of q & a with the lovely Karen of New Earth Soaps.

Describe your products.

Natural, natural, natural. That is the only thing that matters to me. An ingredient must be from nature, from plants (except for beeswax but I use so little of this) and have therapeutic benefits to your skin. For years, there have been dangerous things put in to our everyday products, but now we are questioning them. Thank goodness! Nature can and does provide all that we need to cleanse, moisturise, protect and nourish. We needn’t look any further.  I research each ingredient I use extensively, but if you would like to look into what products you are using, a great website is www.cosmeticsdatabase.com.

Super Fruity Soap by New Earth Soaps

Super Fruity Soap by New Earth Soaps

Tell me why natural, sustainable ingredients are so important to you?

Way back in february 2000 I got quite sick, which lead to further illness and then a compromised immune system. Chemicals became intolerable. I couldn’t spend long in public due to perfumes, deodorants, smoking, plastics, paints. They all made me ill. Now just like wheat, dairy and processed foods, I must avoid chemicals and toxins as best I can. To keep control of what I put on my body, I began to make a basic olive oil soap, my own laundry liquid and began cleaning with simple things like vinegar and bi-carb. It worked. Within just 2 weeks there was a remarkable improvement in my health. I believe if it can help me, it can improve everyones general wellbeing.

Choosing sustainable ingredients is important to me because I honestly don’t see any other way forward. If we continue to use the planet’s resources without forethought, we are going to be left with nothing. I saw a great Greenpeace sticker on a car recently. It simply said “There are no jobs if the planet is dead!” Brilliant, just brilliant.

Love and Peace Perfume Balm by New Earth Soaps
Love and Peace Perfume Balm

What new things are you working on right now? (Intensive hand cream is on my wishlist 😉 )

Intensive hand cream you may just well have. I have been working on a body butter. I have tried several blends in the past but was never quite happy with them. I didn’t like the greasiness. But, guess what? I have cracked the code. I have now worked out a blend that soaks right in and nourishes beautifully. It’s working great on hands. I am so excited. It will be in my store this week.

Happy Feet Sugar Feet & Body Scrub by New Earth Soaps
Happy Feet Sugar Feet & Body Scrub

Describe your creative space – I bet it smells divine!

Visitors smell the essential oils at the front door. It certainly creates an inviting atmosphere. I am lucky to have two rooms to utilise. One room is just for storing packaging, crafty stuff, packing up parcels etc and the other is my soapy lab. I have huge bench space and lots of peronsal  space. Perfect for creating and inventing.

Clay Face Mask by New Earth Soaps
Clay Face Mask

What does the future hold?

I feel on a roll right now. I’m ready to extend myself, push the limits, and get new products out there and into my store. One thing I have missed is perfumes, so I have been working on essential oil blending and have a few almost ready to go. I can’t wait to show you. Oh I wish for scratch ‘n’ sniff computer screens.

Two Soaps Gift Pack by New Earth Soaps
Two Soaps Gift Pack

Have I got you hooked yet?  Here is where you can find Karen about the internet :

Website : New Earth Soaps

Etsy shop : New Earth Soaps

Facebook : New Earth Soaps

Twitter : New Earth Soaps

If you’ve experienced the wonder of New Earth Soaps too, I’d love to hear your comments 🙂

I have always loved botanical art.  There is something about it that appeals to me.  Maybe its the historical feel, or the realism.  Perhaps the white background, with the focus wholly on the plant/flower/seed.

Whatever it is, when I saw this desk diary marked down to a bargain price, I had to have it.

Australian Botanical Artists National Trust Desk Diary

I have wanted for a while now something beautiful to pop in my parcels as a way to say thank you.  Nothing has seemed quite right until now.

These will be just perfect! So simple and effective.  A few minutes with my trusty paper trimmer & voila!  Gorgeous thank you cards ready to go.

Botanical thank you cards with fountain pen

Botanical thank you cards

The drawings were all done by Australian artists.  They are all recent creations, not a collection of historical drawings as I first thought.  The collection is the work of The Botanical Art School of Melbourne, which is run by Jenny Phillips.  The school runs classes teaching the wonderful art of Botanical drawing and painting.  I love being surprised.  I am so glad that this art is not one from the past, but still being created.

Botanical thank you cards

So pretty

Rose card fountain pen

Rose thank you

Do you love botanicals too?

For my non-Ausssie readers, the jumper I am speaking about is not my pet kangaroo. 😉  Jumper is another word for sweater.  I was gifted some luscious home made felt recently (see this post)  which was made from woollen jumpers and it was just so lovely.   I have pretty much used it all up to make things like this

Red flowers on rich purple wool felt pincushion
Super soft and brilliant colours

The wool felt is just so soft and luxurious and super awesome to work with.  My pincushions turn out so soft and pillow like, its a whole new feel for me.  I have decided that I need to make some of my own felt now.  But where do I start?

I have found loads of very helpful blog posts about felting your own woollen garments and would like to share some with you.

1. Craftstylish Blog – how to felt sweaters  This blog post has it all.  Lots of tips & good ideas to help you succeed at felting.

2. Craftblog – how to machine felt your projects I love this one because it shows the results with different op shop finds. Love the tip to look for scarves as well, not just jumpers.  I will be doing that!

3. Laughing Purple Goldfish Blog – preparing the jumper Now before reading this, I would have just chucked the whole jumper in the wash.  Not now – great pics of what to do.  (I think I may have found a new favourite blog here :))

Lucky for me, my small town does have 3 op shops (thrift stores) for me to rummage through.  I’ll be doing that tomorrow, looking for lots of woollen clothes.

I think I am ready now to have a go.  I’ll make sure I keep you in the loop and show you how I go.

(OK – I know its not true felting – the correct term is fulling, but no one would know what I meant if I said that would they?)


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