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Archive for the ‘Crafts’ Category

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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(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.

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Doodle Stitchalong #2

Motif #2 from the Doodle Stitch Along! This week’s motif was “Woodland Children,” although I found myself thinking of them as Hansel & Gretel. Other fellow stitchers went with Little Red Riding Hood & the Hunter, which I suppose works as well. What do YOU think?

I was also flattered to be featured as one of four samples on Aimee’s blog, Little Dear Tracks. Be sure to check it out if you’re enjoying the embroidery designs. And if you’re not — well…there’s only 2 more weeks ;). Then it will be back to food as usual.

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Just a little something to tide you all over while I work on a couple larger posts! I decided to jump in on Aimee Ray’s Doodle Stitch Along. Total instant gratification project — I started last night and finished up this morning.

Happy long weekend to all!

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Winner!

Guys, I am FLOORED by the number of you who stopped by last week for Giveaway Day! The sincerest of thanks to each of you for leaving a comment, and a thrilled welcome to my new readers. Out of 343 entries, Mr. Random Number Generator picked….#209, Kim from Pokeytown Kim. Kim, you’ve been emailed and I will get your package in the mail as soon as you send me your address.

And because I can’t have a post without a photo, here’s a sneak peek at my latest completed project. Full review forthcoming in the next post. Thanks again to all, and congratulations Kim!

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Giveaway Day!

I’m very excited to be doing my first ever blog giveaway — and I can’t think of a better inaugural event than this! After launching The Hungry Crafter in February 2010 and bumbling my way through the first few months of blogging, I ran across May Giveaway Day at Sew, Mama, Sew!. After compulsively working my way through the giveaway blog list, I found myself launched headfirst into the wide world of craft blogs, and a new obsession began. A Google Reader account, Flickr Pro account, new URL, Facebook page and a (brand-spanking-new for you this week!) Feedburner feed later, I can honestly say that I have learned more than I ever could have imagined from all my fellow bloggers in the past ten months. I’ve loved blogland so much that I’ve been waiting ever since then for the opportunity to participate in Giveaway Day myself. For more info on Giveaway Day (and to find the master list of participating blogs), visit Sew, Mama, Sew!

For new readers, a warm welcome to you! My name is Jo, aka “The Hungry Crafter,” and this is where I work on building an idyllic world of all things handmade — both crafty and tasty — and explore related Boston-area events. For more about the philosophy behind this blog, read this entry. For links to some of my favorite tutorials and ongoing project lists, check out the “To Make” and “No, Really, To Make” tabs up at the top. I hope you like what you see on this blog — if so, please subscribe. Tools for e-mail, Facebook, and/or RSS subscription are over there on the top right.

You may notice that this has morphed into much more of a food blog than a craft blog over the past six months or so…to which I can only shrug my shoulders and say, “Hey! I never promised to be a *prolific* crafter…just a hungry one!” And hungry I am! The good news for all you crafty folks is that I’ll definitely have a couple of new crafting posts up just as soon as the holidays are over. And I bet a couple of you are hungry too… 😉

But enough chatter — let’s have a giveaway!

It seemed only proper that I should give away the first craft to grace the pages of this blog — the linen patchwork apron. You can check out the original post here for more pictures.

And just for fun, I wanted to share a little extra something for your own crafty pleasure: a fat quarter of Heather Ross‘s blue unicorn from the original Far, Far Away collection, and three hand-covered buttons featuring some critters from my Japanese linen stash.

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To enter, just leave a comment below — that’s it! One entry per person, and the giveaway will close at 12pm EST on Friday, December 17th. I’ll be away on the 18th, so will draw and announce the winner on Sunday. Good luck, and thanks so much for stopping by!

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Another thing I love about summer in Boston is the Sunday craft market in the South End, known as the SoWa Open Market. Now, if you’re in it for the antiques, don’t expect any bargains. If you’re in it for the food vendors and farmstands, I’m partial to the Copley Sq. Farmer’s Market on the weekdays, myself. Art and crafts? This is THE place to be. Seriously, there is so much to look at, such wonderful quality craftsmanship, wide variety of vendors… Just thinking about it makes me a little sad that I’m not going again this weekend, but I’ve got bigger fish to fry — namely the Newport Folk Festival! But more on that later.

One of the great parts about SoWa Market is that the vendors change week to week, so you can go repeatedly and still see something new each time. There’s usually some real eclectic things there. For example, you might see something like this:

Vintage Clothes Seller

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A few stands over from the trailer was Josephine Plaszewski, a woman selling amazing lamps made from antique silver teapots and platters. I’m still kicking myself for not getting a photo, but you can check out her website. A few booths over was a man from NYC selling gorgeous terrariums and other plant art.

Prefer more traditional craft show wares? There’s plenty of hand-sewn goods, like this gorgeous pillow from Red Staggerwing Designs:

Look at that amazing running dog stitching in the grey parts!

Pillow back: That's a STITCHED design, not a print!

There was also a friendly woman from NH selling beautiful kids’ clothes made with all my favorite designer fabrics under the name little girl Pearl. I had a nice chat with the woman from Venezie Designs, who sells fabric, scrap packs and patterns. Apparently, she started off as a crafter until she realized she enjoyed buying fabric more than using it, and started her online fabric store. Hmmmm… Food for thought.

For all the hipsters out there, several vendors sell quirky silkscreened tees, ironic buttons, and wallets made out of mens ties and the like. For example, who knew until SoWa that I could get my boyfriend a t-shirt of a giant ape riding an ostrich? And more to the point, why would I? Because clearly he needed it.

Onward!

Or take a look at this lovely, which, yes, did come home with me — a wonderful artist’s representation of the old feminist slogan “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” on a women’s grey v-neck tee. (both t-shirts from www.sharpshirter.com)

Bicycle close-up

And then there’s the straight up visual artists. I was happy to see a couple of encaustic artists, which I think is one of the coolest looking art forms. I’ve been looking for local classes for a while, and was thrilled to find that one of the artists there is actually starting up classes in Boston under Fiddlehead Arts! I was also happy to see Bumble Belly Designs at SoWa again this year (I found some great Christmas presents from her booth last year), and picked up a couple of small cards to frame. Aren’t they adorable? I love the maps in the background.

Cards by Bumble Belly Designs

I also picked up this great print from SepiaLepus, who, I just found out, lives in the same town as I do. I couldn’t resist the magnets as well, which are happily co-habitating on my fridge at the moment:

Print and magnets

Want more? Check out the websites of several SoWa vendors:

*bought an awesome wooden spatula from here – my new favorite tool!

**bought the most stunning pottery from them last year: a shallow bowl with a gorgeous dappled purple/pink glaze that looks like the belly of a rainbow trout

***i am DYING for one of her envelope rings. WHY must they be so pricey, WHY?

Wait. Did someone say “Newport Folk Festival”? Oh right. I did. I’m off to Newport! John Prine! Doc Watson! Richie Havens! The real treat for me, though, is one of the very first performers of the day — a young (19 years old?) gal from Texas named Sarah Jarosz. I read an article about her in the Boston Globe last summer, as she had just moved to Boston to attend New England Conservatory. It piqued my interest, so I looked her up, and the rest is history. New favorite artist for the year. She is truly amazing — period. Not just “for her age”. Amazing. If you like banjos and mandolins and guitars, Alison Krauss and Gillian Welch, you should check Sarah out. See you after Newport!

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Site update

Just a quick note to let you know about a couple of new pages I added to my blog. Check them out! They’re right up there at the top!

These will be updated on an ongoing basis. I have a love of lists and organization, proving that I really wasn’t adopted or a moon-baby (as my sister used to like to tell me), but rather am a true, bona fide Farina/LeRoy. “To Read” is in the works. I thought about adding a “To Buy” page, but really, that’s just too dangerous, methinks. So I’m going to pass on that one. For now.

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