March 27, 2008

Jenny Hart and the Secret Tea Towel Tour

I can remember exactly how I felt the first time I saw Jenny Hart's work- amazed, touched, moved, and inspired. I've never, ever seen anyone do what she does with embroidery, and I've also never encountered anyone with such a cool, funny, smart, and amazing presence online. I created the Flickr Embroidery group 3 years ago hoping it could be another cool venue for the amazing stuff I'd been seeing on the Craftster Needlework and Sublime Stitching boards. I never thought I'd meet Jenny, online or anywhere else. So, imagine how floored I am to announce that Jenny Hart, who so many of you love and admire too, is an admin in our group now.

If you don't know about Jenny, let me tell you a tiny bit about her... what makes Jenny's work truly unique is its power to inspire - she's not only an artist, she's the brains behind Sublime Stitching, and she's happy to share her knowledge and passion for what she does with everyone. Her crafty business tips are a weekly column on Venus Zine: Crafting a Business and she's involved in many online forums like Craftster and Supernaturale.

As luck would have it, a few days ago Jenny received the Secret Tea Towel begun 6 months ago by (the awesome) Kittykill on Craftster. This tour replaced the towel that went lost under mysterious circumstances, sincerely bumming everyone out...

The towel traveled to 14 different places in the US (as illustrated beautifully by Rachel, above), braving forest fires, the Christmas crafting crunch, and family losses. Every stitcher on this towel is an accomplished crafter and I'd like to introduce you to all of them:

  1. Kittykill - Portland, OR



    from Kittykill: A big "Thank You!" to everyone who participated. It took some time but Jenny finally got it. There is something to be said about people from all over the country, all different backgrounds, coming together to do a project. It makes me so happy to be a part of that community.

  2. Brill (GatsbyGirl) - North Hollywood, CA



  3. Laura (Southern5footer) - San Diego CA



  4. Gina (Ginamonster) - Reno, NV



  5. Susie (IamSusie) - Grayslake, IL



  6. Tab (Ezri_B) - Brandon, WI



  7. Sarah (Sarahland) - Brighton, MA



  8. Carol (Ilovepaper) - New Haven, CT



  9. Floresita (me!)- New York, NY



  10. Jennifer (Fenifer) - Decatur, GA

  11. Joolz – Tampa, FL

  12. Amy (sewwabisabi) - Oklahoma City, OK



  13. Liz (RubyPurl) - Fort Worth, TX

  14. Rachel - radwriter - Austin, Tx



    from Rachel: Working on this tea towel has been such a privilege, and such a BLAST! I feel incredibly lucky and grateful to have been included, and to have had the chance to stitch with fellow embroidery enthusiasts! It was especially great fun to see - in person - the work of so many people whom I've followed online. Seeing everyone's work in the Flickr Embroidery Group is a blast, but getting to hold one piece with so many of their great works on it ... well that was just fan-freaking-tastic.

    Jenny inspires us every day, not only with her great designs, but with her fun, creative spirit, her independent business savvy and her dedication to keeping Sublime Stitching feeling like your best pal instead of some sterile chain store crap. It's what makes Sublime Stitching so special - the personality, the connections, the fun - and that she's been able to so beautifully maintain all that and keep everything so strongly steeped in her spirit speaks volumes to Jenny that our simple stitches can only meagerly attempt to reflect.

    And I *really* *really* mean it when I say that I wish everyone could have been there to hand off the towel. I felt a little guilty that I got that opportunity! (actually, a lot guilty.) I send a sincere thanks to all who participated and made it so much fun and so special. :) more from Rachel's blog


Thanks again to everyone who was a part of the Secret Tea Towel Tour (including the crafters who graciously passed on the towel when their schedules got too tricky). And thank you Jenny, for inspiring all of us!



Giveaway! To share a little bit of Jenny love with all of you, I'm giving away one each of Jenny's "greatest hits": a brand new Stitch-It Kit, Sublime Stitching book, and a Craft Pad. (So you have 3 chances to win!) Just leave a comment on this post to enter!

Edit 4/1/08: I just closed the comments on this post and will announce a winner very soon!

March 24, 2008

Etsy store of the week - Quiltie

A new item here at Feeling Stitchy is the www.etsy.com shop of week. Each Monday I will feature an Etsy shop that sells items related to embroidery.

Our first featured shop is Quilties, Handmade little quilts and quilted things. Quilting and embroidery are 2 of my favorite things! And she's a fellow Iowan!

So just what is a quiltie? From Quilties' shop profile:

A Quiltie is...
A warm and wonderful little bit of a quilt to decorate your home.
A sweet little token of affection.
A soft piece of art.
A quilt + an embroidery.
An affectionate term my son coined for what mommy was making.


The owner of Quilties is a self-titled artist, graphic designer, illustrator, quilter and crafter of many things.

March 23, 2008

make your own easter bunny

osterhasen_basteln_wip

Want to make a cute craft in celebration of Easter? Try this sweet free pattern, shared generously by Revoluzza. Visit her blog for a full bunny tutorial and some beautiful pictures of her crafts.


Here's my Easter bunny:

easter bunny

Be sure to post your bunny (or other Easter crafts) in the pool if you make one. Happy Easter!

March 3, 2008

Crafty Blog School: Getting Noticed

Crafty Blog School

Welcome to the 7th Crafty Blog School post - Getting Noticed. This post has been requested for awhile, so here you go!!


You Built It, But No One Came...
We all have harrowing memories of grade school and the daily humiliation we endured from the popular kids (okay, maybe you don't, but let's just play along here...) So maybe we feel the same "this crap ain't fair" sentiment when nobody visits our blog. All of a sudden we feel fat, awkward, pimply-faced and convinced we'll never make it in life. Whoa - slow down! Here's a few simple ways to get noticed:


Make Connections with Other Bloggers

  • Comment, Comment, Comment!
    Use Bloglines to subscribe to all the blogs you love.
    Comb through their links to find more blogs you love and subscribe to those, too.
    Every day, visit those blogs and leave comments when you see a project that knocks your socks off.


  • Say It With a Nice Email
    Did you find a blog that inspired you to re-paper all your walls, take up clog dancing, or re-arrange your sock drawers? Email this person, and tell them how much their blog means to you. Don't be afraid to gush and get all corny and sentimental. We love that. I'm not guaranteeing they'll become your blogging bud for life, but this is how blogging friendships start. Don't be afraid to make the first move!


  • Link to Blogs You Love
    Use your sidebar to link to blogs you love, and add a meaningful title like "blogs that inspire me" or "my favorite blogs". Just about everyone has site stats software that lets them find pages linking to their blogs. They'll see your kind words, and they'll remember you.


Connect with Your Readers

  • Ask Questions!
    Do you wonder why nobody leaves comments on your blog? Could it be because you don't ask for feedback? Always remember to ask a question in your post that invites feedback. For example, the next time you show off your new stash, why don't you ask your readers what they like to craft with?


  • Have a poll!
    If you have a Blogger blog, use the poll widget to ask any old question you want. Apples vs. Oranges. Scrunchies vs. Headbands. Obama vs. Clinton. You'll be amazed at how much feedback that produces and better yet, it lets your readers know you're interested in their opinions!


  • Do a giveaway!
    It it your 100th post? Your first smoke-free month? Celebrating the anniversary of de-clawing your cat? Celebrate with a giveaway! Give away something you've made or thrifted. It doesn't have to be big, it's the thought that counts.


Find Out Who's Visiting Your Blog
Are you sure no one visits your blog? Use Site stats and tools like Technorati to see who is reading and linking to your blog:

  • Site stats
    I've had good results with these two free site stats programs:
    Sitemeter
    StatCounter


  • Technorati
    This is a great tool that takes a minimum of effort. Just sign up for a free account, embed a tiny bit of code on your blog and voila - you can see who's linking to you!


The Great Comment Expedition
Want some comments on your blog? Just leave a comment here!

  1. I will leave a comment on the blog of everyone who comments on this post (preferably a crafty blog)
  2. You will look at the person who commented above you and leave a comment on their blog.

So every person who leaves a comment here will get 2 new comments on their blog. Be sure to include your blog address in your comment to "play". Let's do it!


Update: 3/11/08 - I just closed the comments because I'm going out of town this weekend and won't be able to keep up. 68 comments so far! Thanks everybody for playing! :)



Previous Crafty Blog School Posts:
week 1: Where Do I Blog?
week 2: Choosing a Template
week 3: Name Your Blog & Create a Header
week 4: Blogging Photos from Flickr
week 5: How to Put that Darned Thimble Guy in Your Sidebar
week 6: How to Take Better Pictures of Your Crafts