Thursday, March 31, 2011

Ultimate Blog Party

Just found out about The Ultimate Blog Party!

Ultimate Blog Party 2011

I'm not sure what to expect, since I just found out about it. It sounded so good that I actually...finally...signed up for twitter. I have to say, my experience thus far has been frustrating. Couldn't figure out how to tweet at first. Then got spammed from some idiot telling me about Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber. Couldn't figure out how to join the Ultimate Blog Party convo. Tried four times, then finally figured it out. You'd think twitter would put that in their help section, but I couldn't find it. Luckily I figured it out. Whew!

Anyhoo, the Ultimate Blog Party is like the ultimate link party. They started out in 2007 with 1000 link ups and last year, they had over 2300. Whoa! tell you a little about myself to the Ultimate Blog Party goers...My name is Tracy, and I'm a single mom who is fortunate enough to work out of the home as a freelance writer. Back in October, 2010, I started my own blog called The Prairie Patch. It mainly deals with prim decor, but since I have such eclectic tastes, I started up All Thumbs Crafts. It's there where I share my latest crafting experiments.

My other blogs are: Craft Supplies Sales and Resources, North Pole Diaries, Handmade Teddy Bears and Raggedies, and the Sunburnt Cow Handmade Shop. For the first two, I'm always looking for craft sales and tutorials, so if you have any, just let me know. I'll be glad to give a link back to you as the source. The latter two feature various artisans who sell handmade items.

I also have two link parties: one on the Prairie Patch, which deals with prim decor items and goes from Sundays to Wednesdays, and the Sunburnt Cow, which runs from Wednesdays to Sundays. The Sunburnt Cow link party is slightly different from other link parties in that I encourage those who have blog posts revolving around handmade items they have for sale to link up. This party can be anything handmade; it's not strictly in the prim/old fashioned look.

Additionally, the Sunburnt Cow will be holding its first Udderly Amazing New Shop Contest beginning April 1st! The contests will be once a month, rotating between Sunburnt Cow and the Teddies and Raggedies blogs. If you know of artisans who have new online shops that could fit into either general handmade items or teddies/raggedies, please pass the info along to them!

I also started up a recipe blog called Lazy Chef Recipes cuz I'm lazy always crunched for time and need fast and easy recipes. (Yep, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it!) :) If you have any fast and easy recipes you want to share on that blog, just let me know. I'll link up to you as the source!

Here are some of the craft tutorials I've shared on this blog.

Faux stained glass:

Woodless burlap frames

Braided yarn wreath:

Dessert looking soy wax tarts:

Cardboard Wall art:

Lastly, I'm a freelance writer for hire. :) I started my selling blogs (teddies/raggedies and sunburnt cow) as an experiment using all the SEO tricks I've learned during my online writing career. I'm proud to say that in several key search words, those two blogs are on page 1 and 2 for google search. I'm proud of this accomplishment, especially since the blogs are only two months old! I also do other kinds of writing as well, so just email me (addy in profile) if you have any need for a writer.

Guest Blog Post Over at Super Stinky Boys!

Yay! Ginger over at Super Stinky Boys - a Support Blog for Moms of Boys - has graciously allowed me to do a guest post on her blog. Thanks, Ginger!

I share an easy peasy shabby chic way of making jean pillows.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Features from my Sunburnt Cow Link Party

Since my Sunburnt Cow Link Party is still new, I'd like to show off all the cool stuff people are linking up over here. What's different about this party is that if your blog posts revolve around items you have for sale, you're more than welcome to link them up! Just as long as you made it, you can link it up, whether you have it for sale or not.

Here are some of the goodies:

Presenting Basil Lepine, Esq.

A love bunny hand painted pillow

And a bowl full of Easter and spring goodness!

I'm in the mood for Easter and spring now! How about you?

Then there are these adorable paper mache boxes.

Sheep covered ones:

And ones covered with flowers:

For those of you who love raggedy dolls, you'll smile at this sunny beauty:

The Sunburnt Cow Link Party and Contest

Right now, the Sunburnt Cow link party is going on. What's different about this link party is that you can link up blog posts revolving around items you have for sale - as well as general blog posts of items you've made.

Also, on April 1st, we'll be kicking off the First Udderly Amazing New Shop Contest! This is open for shops six months or less and will help get new online shops some much needed exposure. If you don't qualify, please participate and support the newbies by voting for your favorite shop during the second round. :)

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Simple Weaving Tutorial

Here's a simple weaving tutorial, though I'm still not quite sure what I'm going to do with the finished piece. :)

I don't know why, but I'm on this braiding kick lately. It's something very relaxing for me to do while watching TV. Plus, it's a great way to use up a stash of yarn someone gave me, since I don't know how to knit or crochet. :(

I've had this desire to do some weaving, too. My son built me a loom of sorts for Christmas, but the braided yarn is just too thick for it, making it unwieldy. Hmmmm...what to do...what to do with this long strand of braided yarn and how can I weave it?

Hmmm...there's this nice sized cardboard that I could wrap it around. Maybe I can weave that way!
I wrapped the cardboard piece until it was almost full. I didn't wrap it tightly because I needed some room to get my yarn and weaving "tool" through. Then I looped the end.
Since I'm not a knitter, I didn't have any sort of hook to pull through to weave. Luckily I had this nifty little kitchen gadget. I think it's a citrus peeler.

I tied one end of yarn to it and then started weaving over, under, over, under through the braided yarn.
At first, I did the whole row before pulling the yarn through, but that made for a looser weave, and I didn't like that. So then I did a little at a time, pulling the yarn through and pushing it up towards the other row. You have to kind of push and pull at the same time, which was hard to take a picture of.
I initially started out with some silky lavender yarn, but it was really subtle.

So the next side I used a red yarn.
I folded the cardboard a bit with the yarn wrapped around it and slowly and carefully slid the yarn off. Whew...wasn't sure if that would work, but it did. :)

With a loom, you can weave the yarn all the way to the end, because you have more room to get your weaving tool through, but with the such luck, despite wrapping the braided yarn loosely to begin with. So I could only go so far with the single colored yarn before it got too tight to put my weaving tool through. This made for an unwoven part.

I was going to put a dowel or stick through this unwoven part and make this into a wall hanging. I planned on adding some embellishments to it, or maybe some painted letters spelling out "Spring," since these yarns are so spring colored!

But then I thought...I really like how thick it is, and I really need something to put my hot casserole dishes on. I have some ceramic trivets, but they're smaller squares, and I'm never confident that my oblong casserole dishes will stay on them. One little bump from a curious puppy trying to stretch her neck so she can reach the dish, and there would slide the casserole dish off. This woven piece is nice and flat and will clearly accommodate my oblong casserole dishes. So it's gonna be a woven braided least I think so! Pretty and functional as a trivet!

Linking up to my link parties:

And these following fab link parties:
SAS Interiors
Chic on a Shoestring DecoratingSpunky JunkyUndertheTableandDreaming
handmade projects

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Braided Yarn Woodless Frame

Using the same technique I did for my woodless burlap crafts frame, I decided to use braided yarn for something different.

I wrapped the braided yarn around my cardboard frame. Once finished with that, I added some textured yarn to the corners.
Next, I mod podge some scrapbook paper onto the cardboard piece that's to be the back of the "frame." Then I mod podged one of my ragged fabric flowers onto the scrapbooking paper.

For the final step, I mod podged the back of the yarn frame part to the scrapbook and cardboard back, and set a bag of rice and another bag of potatoes on top to weigh it all down - lol! I wanted to make sure that sucker stayed glued!