Ahem. If I can draw your attention away from that beautiful photo for a minute, I’d like to take a minute to express my gratitude. On February 16, my little blog turned one year old. Time indeed flies. A year ago, I really knew nothing of blogging. Oftentimes, I suspect I still don’t…
In typical fashion, I threw myself into my new interest in a — dare I say? — obsessive manner. I spent the grand majority of the past year learning as much as I could about blogging, bloggers, social media, online networking and the like. I currently follow 128 blogs, of which about 90 are sewing related, 20 food, 10 wedding, and the rest philosophy/art. I’ve learned quite a bit with this daily reading (and yes, I read each post!), but as you can imagine it takes up a good chunk of time. At the same time that I was stashing away information, collecting recipes, tutorials, and inspiration, I also began working on building my own little fabric stash. Point being, I have been preparing. For a year. I think I can quite safely move out of “data collection” mode and into action, yes? My goal for the upcoming year, then, is to read less, do more.
Before I can turn the page on last year, however, I have two orders of business to take care of. First, back to that beautiful box of fabrics…do you know what that is? Those are, quite literally, the spoils of reading 128 blogs! As any of you who follow craft blogs regularly are well aware, a perk of reading craft blogs is the phenomenon of the giveaway. Giveaways, giveaways, giveaways. They’re everywhere! And I’m grateful to report that everything in that picture was won on various blog giveaways over the course of the past year. I wasn’t able to bring myself to cut into them until I had them properly documented, thanks were given, and I spent enough time just sitting around looking at them. So let’s do that so I can use them! Wanna look at them too?
The first giveaway I ever won was this charm pack of Punctuation by Sandy Klop for American Jane. Many thanks to Heather from Mountain Home Quilts.
Shortly thereafter, I won the following fat quarter by my favorite fabric designer ever, Anna Maria Horner, in home deco weight from her Drawing Room collection. Thanks to Jenny from Stumbles & Stitches. Jenny, I may need your expertise, as I’ve been commissioned to make a Dad Bag myself for my brother-in-law!
In a fun giveaway from Sarah at Stash Resolution, I got to pick my own selection of 6 fat quarters from Sarah’s new Etsy shop, Swell Cloth. It was hard to narrow down the choice, but I ended up with the following gorgeous mix of fabrics, including some Joel Dewberry, Heather Bailey, and Bliss by Bonnie & Camille. Thanks, Sarah!
Back before the holidays, Kelly at Stitch-n-Lounge gave away this great collection of green and pink fabrics from the Sweet Broderie collection — perfect for a mod holiday project. Now that the holidays are a distant memory, I’m starting to reconsider, and am thinking of how cute these would be in a project for my baby niece due in June, thanks to Kelly.
Food blogs do in fact do giveaways as well, if a little less frequently. The way I look at it, most food blogs are doing giveaways in the form of a recipe on a daily basis! I won a whole collection of recipes from Lara over at Good Cook Doris, another local Boston blog. Now, the intent is for Mr. Manly to use this to book to cook food for me, but… well, I think we’ll both be happier if I hoard the cookbooks and he sticks to eating all the leftovers. Many thanks, Lara!
During the December Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day, I was super excited to find out I had won a bundle of fat quarters from Mo Bedell’s Party Dress line…from Mo Bedell herself! My goodness. I’m still slightly awed by my run in with fabric celebrity. Thank goodness my sister is having a girl, because these are gonna make some darling baby things. Much gratitude to Mo.
Most recently, during Aimee Ray’s Doodle Stitch Along hosted by Lark Books, I won a copy of Aimee’s latest book, Doodle Stitching: The Motif Collection, along with a pair of embroidered napkins that were photographed for one of the projects in the book. Those will most definitely be staying on display for a while! Scroll down a couple of posts to see some of the pieces I embroidered using her patterns — there’s an entire woodland motif section, so I can’t wait to do more! Thanks to Aimee, and be sure to check out her gorgeous blog, little dear tracks, for more embroidery fun.
(As an aside, please feel free to compliment me on my artistic use of the blur feature on Piknik to fade out the massive cat hair that was ruining my otherwise nice picture of those oh-so-white napkins. Jo: 1, Zoe: 0)
Finally, I won a $5 credit to the Yummi Designs store on Etsy, which I’m putting towards this awesome little clutch. Thanks Alycia, and thanks to Kirsten and Jordan at kojodesigns for hosting the giveaway!
And in the spirit of giveaways, just wanted to say hello to Kim of Pokeytown Kim, the winner of the apron, fabric, and buttons giveaway I did back in December. A former South Shore gal like myself, Kim is now in snowy New York and is a very talented quilter and sweet lady.
Wasn’t that fun? On a related note, I really enjoy sharing fun finds, blogs, tutorials and the like with people who will appreciate them. Translation: I annoyingly spam my friends’ and family’s inboxes with hyperlinks on a regular basis. I recently got an invite to join Pinterest, and am totally hooked! Basically, Pinterest works like a virtual pinboard, where you can store all your bookmarks, but see them as photos. For a visual person like myself (who generally operates under the “out of sight, out of mind” principle), this thing is genius. I already have my recipes covered with Recipe Nut, and will stick with that for food, but Pinterest is already fantastic for tutorials and wedding inspiration. You can find me on Pinterest here; joining is by invite only, so if you’d like to join, just drop me a line and I’ll be happy to send you an invite. Here’s a sample of what one of my pinboards looks like:
Now for that second and last order of business before I can move into my second year of blogging. You didn’t think I’d just gloat about all the giveaways I’ve won without giving a little something back to the universe, did you? See, I’ve had the hankering to make cookies. Like many a soon-to-be-bride, however, I’ve unfortunately found myself on a diet for the past few months (SHHHH! The Hungry Crafter on a diet? Say it ain’t so!?!?) So, my question is: is there anyone out there who might like to help me eat cookies? In celebration of one year of blogging?
Leave me a comment below, and I’ll figure out some random way of fairly picking a winner to get cookies made by me. In fact, the winner can even take their pick of any cookie/bar in my recipe box over on Recipe Nut. Or roll the dice on “chef’s choice.” It’s up to you. You deserve cookies. And I deserve to eat one or two before packing them all away and shipping them off to you to ensure no further cookie temptation remains in my house. Sound like a plan? Oh, let’s put an end date on this — I’ll pick a winner on Sunday, March 6th. Happy new blog year, y’all. I’m looking forward to it.