Craft Blogging – My Tips

I’m not an expert on blogging. I decided after Urban Stitches last year I wanted to start a blog and a couple of weeks later I wrote my first post. I had no idea what I was doing when I started and to be honest 18 months or so later I’m still making it up as I go. I have learnt a few things a long the way and thought I would share them as it may just inspire someone else to start thier blog.

Embroidered Buttons

Blog About Your Passion
I’m a craft nut so that’s what I focus on. When your passionate about something it is so easy to write about it as you just want to talk about it to everyone you meet. I’m not restricted to only one form of craft. I will bore any non crafter with a range of craft topics. If you have one craft you love go for that. If your passion is gardening write about that. The best blogs are those where you can read how passionate someone is about something through the way they type about it.

Note Book

Keep A Notebook
Grab a notebook and use it to write down ideas or notes as you go along. You might want to write entire drafts of blog posts in it so when you sit at the computer all you have to do is type or you might just want to write down key points in it so when it comes to writing your post you’ve got points to jog your memory of how you did something or if things happened whilst you were doing it. It’s amazing how many of all the small details you forget. In my notebook I write draft posts. I have days where I will write the draft and other days I just do the key points. A notebook is really good if you have some many ideas in your head and you don’t want to forget about any of them. I often have my notebook by the bed to jot down thoughts before I sleep but you might find while your cooking your mind is thinking of a blog post so keep it where you will most use it. If you don’t have your notebook any piece of paper will do (just don’t lose it) or use the memo section on your phone to type brief notes. The notebook comes in really handy to stop writers block when you sit at the computer and think now what to write….

Wentworth

Take Plenty Of Photos
I mostly just use a small camera (that lives in a sock – must make a cover for it) I always take this with me when I go to craft shows or do classes just to take photos as I go. I have taken a couple of photos on my phone in the past but I prefer my little camera. I take at least 2 or more shots/photos of each thing. I decide which one I’ll use when I sit at the computer and see my selection. The great thing about digital cameras is that you can always delete those you don’t want later. If you’re wanting to document progress through a project take photos as you go. Its easier to see what you’re talking about with an actual photo of it than just the finished project. Once you have finished a project take photos of it straight away so that’s a task done.

Broken Needle

Keep It Real
I believe that you should blog about the good and the bad. Life isn’t perfect so don’t just share the perfect moments. We all make mistakes, sewing machines eat fabric, some craft projects just don’t work. Blog about it all. Your not putting yourself down your just showing the completely normal ups and downs crafters and everyone else faces. Take photos and document it down. Others may be able to relate to it and its a way of connecting with your reader. The way you overcame the issue might help someone if they have that same issue.

Homespun Diary

Make Time To Blog
Get your diary out and set aside time to blog. I blog every Tuesday and extra days if I can fit it in or if I’m inspired too. Writing a blog post won’t take you long if you have already taken photos and have notes to refer too. A little organisation and planning really helps. I set time in my week to write my weekly Tuesday post and schedule it to publish on the Tuesday morning. Sorry to spoil the magic but I’m at work when it’s published. I need to work to pay for my craft habit 😉

Craft NSW 2

Be Open To Inspiration
Always be on the lookout for inspiration. Keep an open mind and you never know where ideas for a blog post may come from. You might read something and suddenly think of a blog post. You might see something. Someone might say something and suddenly your brain is ticking with ideas. You might be doing an activity that triggers an idea. Write it down in your notebook or head straight to the computer and let those creative juices flow.

Quilted Hopscotch

Be Yourself
Do you things your own way and write a blog that you would like to read. Don’t copy anyone else just be yourself. Write the blog for you and if anyone else reads it than bonus. Use language and words that you use in real life. Proofread all your posts for spelling mistakes (I’m hopeless at spelling) but use terms that you’d normally use. I’m a craft nut there is no hiding that. I write my blog my way. If I’m super excited over a topic than I write about it. For years I’ve always thought each person has a story to tell and my blog is my story. I hope one day my nieces look back and read my blog thinking that’s cool Aunty C and all the funky stuff she made us. Blogs are like electronic Autobiographies so be yourself.

Pimped Tote

Connect With Others
Follow other bloggers who have similar interest to you. On Facebook and Instagram there are blogger groups who share tips and inspiration with each other. Connect with like-minded people and ask questions. Comment on other people’s blogs. The blogging community is fantastic.

T- Bella

If you have never blogged before and are thinking about it I urge you to give it a go. Blogging isn’t that hard. It’s a lot of fun. A little organisation helps along the way. I hope you can take something from these things I have learnt.

2014 A Crafty Year In Review

2014 has been a big year in craft for me. I have no idea of the amount of items I’ve made this year, maybe that’s a good thing as there has been a lot.

Like in previous years I’ve made all the gifts I’ve given throughout the year. There has been sofites, jewellery, bags, books and of course tea sets to name just a few. This year I even designed my first ever softie Lolly-Fly

Lolly-Fly 1

My sewing skills have developed this year and I learnt new techniques like how to insert zippers and use a twin needle. I learnt how to read sewing patterns and have made clothing.

Purple Pillow

I’ve gotten a couple of new toys this year my Overlocker and my MC 11000. I’m not good with new things so to be honest both scared me when I got them. I pushed myself to break the fear and use them. The more I played my confidence grew with them Tiny Totes came about after using my Overlocker through the year. Towards the end of the year I even ventured in to machine embroidery and free motion embroidery but I’m still baby steps with them.

Stitch N Sew

Once again this year I’ve used my craft skills to contribute to charity. I’m made both cloth and woollen pouches for WIRES, stitched pillowcases for the Kangaroo Sanctuary and knitted items for KOGO.

One of the best craft decisions I made this year was to join the Australian Sewing Guild. I’d been wanting to attend something regularly with people who had a strong interest in sewing. After my first trial meeting I joined up then told another friend who also joined at the next meeting. I’ve enjoyed the workshops and sewing events that I’ve attended this year through the group. I’ve learnt so much. I love our monthly meetings. The members I now call friends.

Members Completed Projects

2014 has been my first full calendar year of blogging. I reached a small milestone in November when I did blog post number 200 A Ball With Nanna. I love sharing my craft adventures with everyone. I love all the comments and stories people have shared with me this year. The valuable tips people have given me. I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to stop by and read about my little adventures in craft.

Nanna Ball

So 2014 has been a great year in craft. I already have big plans for 2015.

2015 Scrappy Mug Rug Swap

Over the last few months I’ve developed an addiction to mug rugs. I even brought a book on them.

Mug Rug Book

If you have never heard of a mug rug it’s basically a tiny quilt which is bigger than a coaster but smaller than a place mat. Just the right size to place a mug and a small treat (or two) they can be as decorative or as simple as you would like. I’ve decided to join the Mug Rug Swap that Crunchy Jewish Mom is running. It’s open to international participants so anyone can join no matter where you live, however you do need to have a public Instagram account to join just so everyone can see each others photos. You have until Dec 31st to sign up.

I was wanting to be involved in a craft swap in 2015 and January is the perfect time for me to do it. At that time of year I’m not frantic to keep on schedule with my gift making. There are a couple of public holidays. I can relax and enjoy it. In this swap we are using our current fabric scraps. This is a way to declutter some of my scrap stash.

Embroidered Pillows

Embroidered Pillow 1
These are the last of the Christmas gifts I made this year. I wanted simple projects as I learnt the embroidery element of my sewing machine.

Embroidered Pillow 2

The pillow fronts are what I made when the stabilizer incident occurred. On the embroidery machine I the stitched the child’s name on the fabric then roughly free hand drew flowers with washaway pen that I hand embroidered over the lines adjusting the shape of each petal as I went.

Embroidered Pillow 3

What I really like about this project is that it incorporates both hand and machine embroidery. I love the look of machine embroidery, its fascinating to sit back and watch the machine do its thing but I will always love hand stitching.

Sentimental Taggies

I had a tear in my eye when making these.

Sentimental Taggie 1

My mum had the idea to make the kids taggies years ago and purchased these ribbons to make them for the young grandbabies she had at the time but unfortunately she got sick before she could make them. When my niece was born this year I decided to make the taggies mum never got to make using the ribbons she purchased. Its my little way of keeping mum’s memory alive through my sewing which is the reason why I learnt to machine sew in the first place.

Sentimental Taggie 2

Quilted Hopscotch

Quilted Hopscotch
This Christmas I made another Hopscotch mat. It was mostly the same as I made last year using the calico I dyed myself with polar fleece in the centre instead of batting. This year I did do things a little different. I didn’t include a strap to tie it up with. I think this mat will spend a lot of time out and not folded up. The advantage is that it can also be used as a small blanket if needed. The other thing I did different is that this time after I finished sewing it all together I echo quilted around the hopscotch squares. Its my first proper time quilting so I can call this a hopscotch quilt.

Pin

I did have a couple of tiny incident with this. After I made it I noticed a mark on it which I tried to wipe off with a baby wipe but unfortunately it developed a yellow stain around the area when it dried. To combat this I then washed it. When it was drying I walked past it and noticed I’d left a pin in it….. on the inside! I managed to work the pin down to one corner where I had to cut away some of the applique stitching to get to the backing and fabric and cut a small hole to retrieve the pin. I then hand stitched the appliqued square closed again. This is the first time I’ve ever left a pin in something. I’m not even sure how the pin got in that section. I’m just relieved that I found it before the kids jumped on it causing themselves an injury.

Lego Man

I’m pretty proud of Lego Man.

Lego Man

Lego Man was something I intended to make at some point but after the Bouncy Balls failed I had to make him as my replacement gift. The reason I’m so proud of him is that I had no pattern for him. I created him from a printable colouring in image I found online. I printed out the page then enlarged it on the photocopier to a size I was happy with so I could trace out a pattern from that. Once I pinned the pattern pieces to the fabric I added the seam allowance before cutting. I traced the facial features on with Frixion Pens (which I had developed a love of using) then backed stitched over the lines before ironing them away.