Thursday, September 30, 2010

Better Blog Content

Next week (plus tomorrow) starts the first Lemon and Raspberry week-long online workshop. It's going to be all about what you can do to create better content for your small creative business blog and it's totally FREE!

The Lemon and Raspberry’s Better Blog Content online workshop will include the following:

  • Why is your blog content important?
  • What is your blog niche?
  • Who is your ideal blog reader?
  • What do you blog about?
  • How do you format blog posts?
  • How do you use images in blog posts?
I think it would be a great idea to participate in that.  It would be nice to learn and exchange ideas with other fellow bloggers. You should try it too, even if you don't own a creative business and you're just blogging  for fun.
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

How To Make Bias Tape

I've found a great tutorial on
How To Make Bias Tape
It has step-by-step photo instructions and I think it would be really helpful. I'll give it a try in one of my next projects because the one that I've tried to make for the Reversible Bib didn't turn out so perfect. Also, I'd love to have this AMAZING machine. The Simplicity Bias Tape Maker does all the work for you, you feed the strip of fabric through it and it does a nice, even ironing. PERFECT!
Check the tutorial here and you'll also find many
other Projects by Craft, templates and tutorials.
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Start Moving!

Words of inspiration!
This is OH so true! I should keep that in mind and give it a lot of thought too. It's my time to start moving! Also posted on Kind Over Matter with an incredible statement about the subject from Theodore Roosevelt.
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Monday, September 27, 2010

Early Crafting For Christmas

Lovely Claire from Hear Handmade is hosting a giveaway with prize a copy of a book named Sew Pretty Christmas Homestyle from the Tilda range by Tone Finnanger.
I know it's a little early to thinking about Christmas and Christmas crafts but, as Claire says, " probably want to start crafting soon if you have a big list" and I think she's right. Here are some sneak peeks of the inside of the book.
This book is jam packed full of fabulous chrismassy crafts for the home. Explaining techniques and offering advice. There are also plenty of templates at the back for making any of the decorations.
You can enter here.
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Doing My Home Ec Homework

Well, I'm getting pretty excited about all these projects. It's a great accomplishment for me and gives me satisfaction when I manage to complete each one of them. I can't help but making some mistakes though... but without mistakes you don't learn I suppose. Take a look at my latest sewing projects for Home Ec Online Class.
Cloth Napkin
I've only made one just to see how it'd come out.
 And I decorated it with this simple flower.
Supplies Roll-up
As I've told you before, I'm trying to use whatever material lays around. Until now I haven't bought anything. So, for the adjustable strap I've used one from an old bag and not the metal rings that were suggested, an oilcloth and a baby towel. I should have made the strap a little bit longer though.
 the inside of the roll-up
Reversible Bib
A little experiment. I didn't have any bias tape around so I thought I could make one myself. It turned out pretty good actually. Although I didn't have a bib to use as a template, so I've traced one freehanded. That's why I've ended up with some gaps. :-(
However, I'm really proud of myself that I pulled it off!
Sewing Machine Cover
I was absolutely sure that I've measured correctly... however, I've ended up with this. Oh, well, it's a little bit short... Big Deal!
Tell me what you think
and Have A Lovely Day!
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Friday, September 24, 2010

More Home Ec Class Crafts

Yesterday I decided to start making some of the Home Ec projects. I have fallen WAY behind with this class so I wanted to make up for the lost time. I didn't make much, since I don't have many supplies yet, but I really enjoyed it. Sewing has become my New Love!
I've started with the first Bonus project,
a Pillow Pin Cushion.
I've used scraps of different fabrics that I had around.
It turned out really good, although one of the fabrics that I've used wasn't of such a good quality so it ripped out during the process of filling it in. Fortunately, I've managed to sew it better and didn't have to start all over again.
The second project was a Gift Pouch.
I've used (once more) a kitchen hand towel.
Once again, a little mistake. I haven't read the instructions all the way, so I've missed the part that was saying "don't sew ALL along the way", and I've ended up with no opening for inserting the cord. I had to rip again a small part. Plus, I've made the top part too narrow. Oh, well, that's what this Class is all about, learn how to sew and learn from your mistakes. And I've made MANY so far! So, I believe I'm learning! hahahaha
What about you?
Have you made anything lately?
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Some Words To Remember

I'm sorry for not being around these days. I'm trying to organize my life, my house, my space and also manage with work. I'll be back soon with lots to share. I promise! But for today, I wanted to share with you something else. A piece of advice and inspiration! Every time I find myself at the crossroads, every time I'm on the edge of new beginnings, every time I need inspiration and motivation to help me going on, I read this book.
"The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho.
It's an amazing allegorical story!
Here's a piece that I really like (among others).
They are parts of the dialogue between the shepherd boy and
the Alchemist on the way to the pyramids:
“Why do we have to listen to our hearts?” the boy asked, when they had made camp that day.
“Because, wherever your heart is, that is where you’ll find your treasure.”
“But my heart is agitated,” the boy said. “It has its dreams, it gets emotional, and it’s become passionate over a woman of the desert. It asks things of me, and it keeps me from sleeping many nights, when I’m thinking about her.”
“Well, that’s good. Your heart is alive. Keep listening to what it has to say.”
“My heart is a traitor,” the boy said to the alchemist, when they had paused to rest the horses. “It doesn’t want me to go on.”
“That makes sense. Naturally it’s afraid that, in pursuing your dream, you might lose everything you’ve won.”
“Well, then, why should I listen to my heart?”
“Because you will never again be able to keep it quiet. Even if you pretend not to have heard what it tells you, it will always be there inside you, repeating to you what you’re thinking about life and about the world.”
“You mean I should listen, even if it’s treasonous?”
“Treason is a blow that comes unexpectedly. If you know your heart well, it will never be able to do that to you. Because you’ll know its dreams and wishes, and will know how to deal with them.
“My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer,” the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky.
“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”
“Every second of the search is an encounter with God,” the boy told his heart.
“Everyone on earth has a treasure that awaits him,” his heart said. “We, people’s hearts, seldom say much about those treasures, because people no longer want to go in search of them. We speak of them only to children. Later, we simply let life proceed, in its own direction, toward its own fate. But, unfortunately, very few follow the path laid out for them—the path to their destinies, and to happiness. Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out indeed, to be threatening place.
“So, we, their hearts, speak more and more softly. We never stop speaking out, but we begin to hope that our words won’t be heard: we don’t want people to suffer because they don’t follow their hearts.”
That's an amazing lesson that everyone should learn, including me. The answers are always so simple. What we are searching for is usually so close, even inside us. The only thing that we should do is listen carefully and never be afraid to follow our hearts.
That's my advice... to myself... and all of you!
Take Care!

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My Creative History - part 6

Ooops! this was supposed to be published yesterday! Sorry!
So, the time went by and I was still "planning" my big entrance into the world of Crafting Business. In the meantime, I've attended  two art workshops, for teachers in elementary school. This and that. I've needed this break. I mean, I've needed an excuse to be crafty again, even if it meant doing just simple little projects for kids. With my day job and all of the stress, I haven't had the time to do or even think of anything creative. I was feeling really sad about it and like I was drifting away from my real goal. And this has been the truth. I've been occupied with all these irrelevant stuff and I was leaving behind my childhood dream, plus I haven't made anything for a long-long time.
So, I've decided to take more action. I've registered to Tell Your Story Online Art Journal Class and then also to Red Velvet Summer Camp. At least I would be motivated to be more creative again. It's been a challenge but a fun one. Slowly but steadily, my creativity began to be awakening. I've started experimenting again and I've discovered another field that I've never tried before (but I've always wanted to try it) SEWING!
I can't say that I'm that good already,
but I'm really trying and it's so fascinating!
I've also made my first listing on Etsy (after A WHOLE YEAR! on May 20 2010) but that was it. Too "chicken" to continue.
This Summer I've decided to do many things.
and I also wanted to expand my skills so, I've registered for Home Ec and I was determined to learn how to sew, although I've failed to keep up with the schedule. I'll improve, I'm sure!
In August my bob-boy's cousin Dorita and her boyfriend Michalis came for their vacation here from Athens and we hanged out a lot! They are both so creative and inspiring and they have always been pushing me towards my creative dream because they really believe in it. So, they've put me into action. This Autumn, I HAVE TO do something about it, starting with my Etsy shop. Yes, I know, I haven't done much until now, but we are still on the progress. (Give me some credit, I had a tough Summer this year. This Summer Camp has worn me out!)
First of all, I've changed my blog's layout
and also my Etsy shop's banner
so that it matches with my blog.
I'm not yet satisfied with my tag line though.
I've started developing more a series of characters-products that I've been planning for years and I've also started discussing some ideas about some other side projects with other two "creative souls". In time I'll share all of them here so that you can tell me your opinion about them. I think that I'm finally moving towards the right direction and it feels so good!
Wish me Luck!

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Please, Grab My Blog Button

Ok, it's official! You can now grab my blog button! I've decided to use the image of a little painting that I've made of Anzouya, a character that I've created a long long time ago when I was still in High School. I've made some improvements over the years.
I'm planning many things about her, but still I haven't organized it the way I would want to. I was thinking about creating a line of products based on that character but I need to figure out some details before I do.
I'd like to know your
opinion on that?
Do you like it or not?
Feel free to grab my button and put it on your blog.
I will love you FOREVER if you do! 
You can leave me a link so I can return the favor ;-)
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Blog Button Tutorial

I don't know why it took me so long to actually make one of those. Everyone has them, everyone seems to be able to make them, it wasn't so difficult after all.
Here is a How To place a button
with a text box for code on your blog:
First of all, create the image you want on a photo editing program, let's say Photoshop or Picnik sized 125x125px (at least that's the size of mine but I guess you can make it a little bigger) and resolution 72 - 75dpi. Save it as a JPG format and load it on Photobucket. From there you can copy the HTML code.
UPDATED: After experimenting a lot, trying to make a button that would satisfy me, I've found out that  a picture resolution of 150dpi or even higher would do also just fine. Also, for a bigger button you can rearrange the size to 150-180px or even more. Play a little, experiment. Once you finish you'll know the button code and how it works by heart! ;-)
Then in your Blogger Dashboard go to Design - Page Elements - Add A Gadget - HTML/ JavaScript and copy-paste the following code into the text box. You can also put a title like mine "Grab My Button" or whatever. Then, you must be really careful with this because you don't want to accidentally delete anything or put any extra http://, replace the red and blue colored information with your blog's information (web address & blog title) and the orange colored information will be your buttons web address (the html you'll copy from Photobucket).

[center][a href="http://YOUR WEB ADDRESS/" target="_blank" title="BLOG TITLE"][img alt="BLOG TITLE" src="http://IMAGE WEB ADDRESS"/][center]

[center][textarea id="code-source" rows="3" name="code-source"][center][a href="http://YOUR WEB ADDRESS/"][img border="0" src="http://IMAGE WEB ADDRESS"/][/center][/textarea][/center]
All of the front brackets [ must be replaced with < and
all of the back brackets ] must be replaced with >
Here's an example of mine:
Save and position the button where you want it. Preview your blog and if you are satisfied with the result, save your changes.

This is what your button will look like on your blog:

Well, I'm not yet completely satisfied with my Blog Button, I'm willing to make more of these but until then... go make yours. I can't wait to see them! 
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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Home Ec Class Creations

Hello everyone! I know I've fallen a little behind on schedule with my creations for Home Ec Online Class. I've been way too busy with my work and all that I haven't had the time to make anything. Thank God the instructions will be available for a whole year, so I'll be able to work at my own pace and hopefully I'll improve my sewing skills to perfection! :-)
Take a look at what I've made so far.
This cute tote bag made of  kitchen towels (for the outside)
and a baby towel (for the inside-lining)
For the handles I've used a heavy fabric (it's original purpose was for furniture) and with pieces of kitchen towels I've made some little yo-yos. I've also added buttons and a small butterfly out of polymer clay.
Isn't it cute?
Yesterday, I've made a pillow case.
The original project involved also piping but since I haven't had any of it handy at the time, I've skipped it and I've made just a plain pillow case. So, here is the result. Nothing fancy, I've just used the same fabric as  for the tote bag's handles.
A little mistake on the measurements
and I ended up with this gap.

But I've fixed it with these.
I think my sewing skills are improving after all.
I'm really excited about it!
What about you?
What you've been up to lately?
Have you made anything special?
I'd love to see!
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Thank You So Much For Your Visit! Come Again Soon!