Sunday, July 14, 2019

Craftastic Monday Link Party & Big News!


Welcome a fun new Craftastic Link Party! There's lots of talk about this week, so be sure to read all the news below.  We love seeing all those fun projects and ideas too, so link up whatever you want.  If you made it, it's Craftastic!

Last week I shared my new upcoming link party for handmade and craft-related shops, Crafty Business Fridays:



It's a free way to spread the word about your small business, network with others and find great independent places to shop that you might not otherwise discover.  Come join us for the very first link-up this Friday.  



And there's a new giveaway for your own custom photo paint by number kit:



It comes with a complete canvas, paints & brushes.  Enter HERE:


And there's still time to enter my Giveaway 
for ALL this beautiful summer fabric. 
10 half yard cuts for one lucky winner!!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now for the Craftastic Picks features...

Penny's Vintage Home shared this fantastic DIY farmhouse bathroom makeover her daughter did:




The DIY Dreamer created this colorful barn quilt door:


How to make a barn quilt door using an old door and DIY barn quilts.


The Scrap Shoppe made this charming house number planter box:



Haekelfieber shared how to make this pretty summer tunic cover-up:



If you're one of this week's features, be sure to grab my Featured On button over on my Buttons Page to share the good news. 

 
Want a Chance to 
Be Featured Next Week?  

Link back to the party somewhere on your blog.
I can't feature your post if you don't share the party.  
  
~~ Due to Pinterest inappropriately censoring pins and banning accounts, 
Sew Can Do no longer uses or supports Pinterest ~~  

I WILL feature these projects on both Facebook
& Twitter for your creations to have MORE exposure!

Follow me there to see more great projects (and see if yours is one of them)!   

Ready to link up your crafty creations?
 
Party rules are simple: 
  • As long as it's crafty, and made by you, it's Craftastic (no links to shops, link parties or other people's work).  Add the link to your specific post. Product reviews, plagiarized or sponsored posts for random items will be immediately deleted.  
  • Grab my party button & put it on your post, party page or blog somewhere.  If you want the chance to be featured, this is key.  The button code can be found HERE.
  • Check out some of the other fabulous links and share some crafty comment love.  We all love getting comments!!




You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Friday, July 12, 2019

Got A Crafty or Handmade Business? You'll Want To Read This!


If you have a small business that sells handmade items or craft supplies you already know it's not easy.

There's a lot of competition.  Big box stores, other sellers copying, unscrupulous Chinese companies steal photos and then mimic your products on Alibaba.  Search engines make it hard to be found and social media hides posts from followers. In having both a handmade and craft supply business I've been up against them all.  Yet many of us are still hanging in there with our labor-of-love shops, despite the challenges.



It's getting harder to be found by new customers and, importantly, to continue to reach them.  To find other small businesses to connect with and support isn't easy either.  Advertising can be expensive and not very effective.  

I want to change all that.

I've decided to launch a new link/social media party every week called Crafty Business Fridays. The idea is much like my weekly Craftastic Monday Link Party which is for blogs posting projects & tutorials.  Sharing what you do with others and discovering others who's work you enjoy.


Every week I will welcome any small business that is handmade or sells craft-related supplies (fabric, ribbon, beads, jewelry findings, notions, patterns, digital designs, etc.) to come link up.  

Share your main page, a new product, a giveaway, a special offer.  

ALL of it is welcome.  

Both stand alone shops and those on Etsy, Facebook, ArtFire or any other selling platform.  I'll have a photo link party here on the blog every Friday as well as a post on Facebook where you can link in the comments.  If it grows enough, I'll also expand it to Instagram.


I also aim to help create ways to collaborate, cross-promote and share thoughts.  Small businesses should have more opportunities to get the word out about their offerings and support one another, so I'm starting Crafty Business Fridays.  

Blogs used to be the best way to create personal connections and community & grow an audience but the past few years scrolling through social media feeds has replaced direct human connections on individual sites.  Now most of those platforms want payment for posts be seen by the very followers who already opted in or decide to hide posts they disagree with politically, philosophically or, as it sometimes seems, just because it's a Thursday and they hate ____ on Thursdays.  It's insane.


I'd been thinking about this for a while, but Etsy's announcement this week made me want to launch now. 

If you haven't already heard, Etsy is giving shops that offer free shipping top placement.  Buyers searching for items will see those first every time.  Their ultimate goal is to be a free shipping on everything site, much like Amazon.  Except it's not Amazon, who has paid Prime memberships and heavily discounted shipping rates with carriers offsetting the free shipping, warehouses in every state, billions in revenue rolling in.  Etsy is thousands of individual little businesses who don't have any of that to draw from.  This time last year Etsy increased their cut of each purchase and started taking a cut of the shipping cost too. Sellers were upset, but Etsy shareholders were delighted and many suspected this strong arm attempt for shipping would come next.


Since most small businesses don't have a lot of margin to eat the shipping costs and still make a profit, Etsy's "solution" for sellers is to just roll the shipping into the price, so everything will now cost more per item.  Which isn't good for buyers either.  Shipping varies widely, depending on where the buyer is, so increasing the price by $10 to everyone because that's what it costs to send to the opposite coast when the shipping could actually be $5 to someone nearby isn't a good solution.    And someone buying multiple items will now pay more because combined shipping won't be possible because they suggest that cost be baked into every individual item.  Charging less than what the postage really costs means sellers can't afford to sell.  

Someone is always going to lose money, 
but Etsy loses nothing.  

Sellers are once again upset and frustrated.  Those based outside the US and sell here are livid.  Buyers won't like seeing jacked up prices.  It's terrible for everyone.  I will not be doing it in my Etsy shops to keep things reasonable and will continue to direct customers to shop my main business's stand alone site, HeavenlyFabricShop.com, where I can always get better shipping rates for my customers and even offer price discounts because the fees there aren't as high as Etsy.

So...I hope by launching this weekly link up it will help other shops to be discovered, help small businesses support one another and help buyers find great items & shops they might not normally stumble upon.  Come join me next Friday, July 19th, to kickoff the first of Crafty Business Fridays and spread the word that is the place to be if you own a crafty business or love to buy crafty things!






Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Custom Photo Paint-By-Number Painting Kit Giveaway!


Looking for a fun, relaxing project to do for summer?  Why not do an amazing custom painting from your favorite photo - even if you don't paint.  


I'm giving away a custom paint by number kit made from your favorite photo!



Winnie's Picks makes unique paint by numbers for adults. It's  a fun way to craft and relax by painting.  It also enables low-skilled painters, to make beautiful paintings.  I love this idea because my own painting skills are pretty basic.  I feel like I could make something worth hanging in my house with these kits.  And everything is included too!!  
How easy is that?!?


They have lots of stunning designs to choose from:




And they have the option to create a custom paint by numbers canvas from your own photo!


Each set contains everything you need to get started:
  • A high-quality linen canvas,
  • A color set (ranging from 24 to 36 colors); no need to mix the colors,
  • Three paintbrushes,
  • and a complete instruction folder.
This kit makes a unique and personal project that is the perfect DIY decor.  It also makes a fantastic handmade gift.

The best part of this giveaway?  It's open worldwide!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Sunday, July 7, 2019

Craftastic Monday Link Party


Welcome to a new Craftastic Link Party!  I hope everyone here in the U.S. had a great 4th of July holiday.  Summer's now in full swing, so it's time to share all those fun projects and ideas.

Last week I shared my 
Beachy Keen Bunting Tote Bag Tutorial:



And my Giveaway for the Whale Hello fabric collection I used.
 5 total yards for one lucky winner!!


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Now for the Craftastic Picks features...

Paper Seedlings shared this cute fireworks quilted card:



Krazy Kabbage created this zig-zag crochet bottle bag:



A Big Green House made this delicious looking salted chocolate tart:

Salted Chocolate Tart | Big Green House #chocolate #tart #oreocrust #dessert


Fresh Vintage By Lisa shared how to make these beachy faux starfish with just a few household ingredients:



If you're one of this week's features, be sure to grab my Featured On button over on my Buttons Page to share the good news. 

 
Want a Chance to 
Be Featured Next Week?  

Link back to the party somewhere on your blog.
I can't feature your post if you don't share the party.  
  
~~ Due to Pinterest inappropriately censoring pins and banning accounts, 
Sew Can Do no longer uses or supports Pinterest ~~  

I WILL feature these projects on both Facebook
& Twitter for your creations to have MORE exposure!

Follow me there to see more great projects (and see if yours is one of them)!   

Ready to link up your crafty creations?
 
Party rules are simple: 
  • As long as it's crafty, and made by you, it's Craftastic (no links to shops, link parties or other people's work).  Add the link to your specific post. Product reviews, plagiarized or sponsored posts for random items will be immediately deleted.  
  • Grab my party button & put it on your post, party page or blog somewhere.  If you want the chance to be featured, this is key.  The button code can be found HERE.
  • Check out some of the other fabulous links and share some crafty comment love.  We all love getting comments!!



You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Beachy Keen Bunting Bag Tutorial & Fabric Giveaway!


Make a fun summer bag that works as well for the beach, vacations or anytime with my Beachy Keen Bunting Bag Tutorial! 


Plus, have a chance to win this big bunch of fabric to make your own bag in my 
Red, White & Blue Fabric Giveaway!


I designed this project for my summer contribution as a Team Timeless designer.  Now I'm sharing it here too.  Using these adorable fabrics from the new Whale Hello! collection, sweet sea creatures are peeking out behind colorful bunting panels:


The vibrant triangles are done in a technique that makes a fabric layer above the nautical prints.  It gives the bag a fun dimensional look.  



Sweet stripes accent the sides:


While dainty polka dots round out the roomy interior:


Finished bag size: 16" w x 11.5" h x 5.5" d


Seam allowance is one quarter inch unless noted otherwise.

Materials:

- (8) 1/4yd cuts of coordinating cotton fabrics (I used Gail-C7263-WaterGail-C7262-WhiteGail-C7267-BlueGail-C7264-SandMix-C7200-RedMix-C7200-SunMix-C7200-PoolMix-C7200-Blue)
- 1/2yd for outer sides & straps (I used Stripe-C8109-Red)
- 3/4yd for lining (I used Dot-C1820-Cherry)
- 2yds medium weight fusible stabilizer
Yard stick, shears, iron, disappearing marker/chalk, pins, hand sewing needle

To keep things simple, we'll start with cutting & assembling the bunting panels first. 

From the following A fabrics cut:
(1) Gail-C7267-Blue 16.5 inch wide by 2.5 inch high piece
(1) Gail-C7264-Sand 16.5 inch wide by 2.5 inch high piece
(1) Mix-C7200-Red 16.5 inch wide by 4.5 inch high piece
(1) Mix-C7200-Pool 16.5 inch wide by 4.5 inch high piece

From B (bunting) fabrics cut:
(1) Gail-C7263-Water 16.5 inch wide by 4.5 inch high pieces
(1) Gail-C7262-White 16.5 inch wide by 4.5 inch high pieces
(1) Mix-C7200-Blue 16.5 inch wide by 8.5 inch high pieces
(1) Mix-C7200-Sun 16.5 inch wide by 8.5 inch high pieces


Assembly:
Step 1: With wrong sides facing, fold Fabric B strips in half and press along fold. Place pieces over corresponding Fabric A pieces, lining up the raw edges at the top. Pin and stitch layers together one-eighth of an inch from raw edges. Repeat this pairing with all other pieces. A quarter of an inch of Fabric A should peek out at the bottom of each panel: 


Step 2: With right sides facing, pin together the lower edge of one panel to the top edge of another, being careful to keep the folded pieces from being pinned. Stitch together and press seams flat. 


Continue until all panels are attached to make the Main bag piece.  Repeat for other Main side.


Step 3: Starting one quarter inch inward from the left side on the larger panels, use a ruler and chalk/disappearing marker to mark cut lines 4 inches apart. Mark the lower panel so the cut lines are 2 inches from either line in the panel above it. Repeat this same pattern with the smaller panels, marking lines that are 2 inches apart instead of 4.


Step 4: Cut along all lines except for those one quarter inch from the outer sides (those are to mark the seam allowance).


Step 5: Fold the square sections under so the come to a point at the folded edge and press into place. Trim any excess fabric, if necessary to help the triangles to lie flat.


Step 6: Repeat with all square sections and pin in place. 


Top stitch along triangle edges.  Set completed bunting panels aside and let's begin on the rest of the bag and lining.


Bag Assembly:

From Fabric A (Lining Dot-C1820-Cherry) cut:
(1) 16.5 inch wide by 6 inch high Bottom piece 
(2) 6 inch wide by 12 inch high Side pieces
(2) 16.5 inch wide by 12 inch high Main pieces

From Fabric B (Outer Stripe-C8109-Red) cut:
(2) 6 inch wide by 12 inch high Side pieces
(1) 16.5 inch wide by 6 inches high Bottom piece 
(4) 4 inch wide by 18 inch high Strap pieces

From Fusible Stabilizer cut:
(1) 16.5 inch wide by 6 inch high Bottom piece 
(2) 6 inch wide by 12 inch high Side pieces
(2) 16.5 inch wide by 12 inch high Main pieces
(4) 4 inch wide by 18 inch high Strap pieces

Step 7:Using a press cloth between stabilizer and iron, fuse stabilizer to wrong side of all fabric pieces.

Making the Straps & Closure:

Step 8: Take two strap pieces and, with right sides facing, sew short ends together to make a longer strap. Fold long sides inward .5 in on either and press.  Repeat with other strap pieces.  Top stitch along all sides.  Set aside.

 

Step 9: Stitch a short end of each lining side piece to either short end of the lining bottom piece, starting and stop stitching one quarter inch inward from beginning and end (this makes it easier to do the next step).  Do the same with the outer fabric side & bottom pieces.


Step 10: Pin and stitch width side of a main lining panel to width side of bottom, leaving a 2 inch gap in the middle of the seam for turning later. Start and stop stitching one quarter inch inward from beginning and end.  Repeat with outer fabric pieces, but without any gap.


Step 11: Pin Main side to side pieces and stitch together as shown. Trim all seam allowances and corners.  Add remaining Main sides.


Step 12: Turn outer bag right side out. Take one strap and pin each of its raw edge ends 3 inches from either end of the bunting side.  Baste. Repeat with the other strap on the other bunting side.


Step 13: Slip outer bag into lining with right sides facing, match up corners and pin all along raw edges at top. Stitch together.


Step 14: Turn bag right side out through opening in lining. Push corners out with knitting needle or ruler. Stitch lining gap closed by hand using a slip stitch. Press along top edge of bag and topstitch. 

Enjoy your sweet summertime tote!



Now for a chance to win this fabulous fabric bundle of 10 1/2yd fabrics!


a Rafflecopter giveaway



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