Is it You?

3:43 AM 0 Comments

Who are the winners for my two giveaways?

The winner of the hand-knitted shawl for my Birthday Giveaway is:
H2Ogirl of Fiber of all Sorts who chose to have it knit in Matrona

And the winner of the bag for the Sew, Mama, Sew! Giveaway Day is:
Andria of McGreen Experience


I will send you both an email and have your packages posted away as soon as possible!  (the shawl I have to knit first so don't expect it immediately!)


Thanks for all the helpful and interesting comments on what you like seeing in a blog!

Now, you might have also been wondering "What is it that keeps people interested in a blog and gets them commenting?"  Because, like me, you don't want to bore people with stuff they won't read anyway.

The biggest thing is to write about stuff people can relate to and are interested in.  Considering most of the commenters came via the Sew, Mama, Sew! giveaway day, it was anything crafty!

The next biggest thing is to be honest.  People don't want to see everything perfect and in order in your world (because who really does live in a world like that?)  They want to see the mistakes you make.  They want to hear about the chaos surrounding the creative process.

People like to see tutorials, steps taken to make something, or the process of choosing fabrics or colours for a project also, even the occasional recipe is good!  Regular posting helps too.

Try to add a bit of variety - people also want to hear a little about your family, pets and other activities mixed in with the craftiness.

And pictures!  People love pictures of what you've made or are in the process of making, etc.

If you want people commenting, ask questions!  Interact with your followers (read their blogs and comment too).  Giveaways and freebies always get comments!


And on that note, this is my 99th post, which means that my next post will be my 100th post!  Keep an eye out sometime next week for details of my celebration competition!


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It's Giveaway Day!

8:03 PM , 97 Comments

May is my birthday month so I'm having a few giveaways to celebrate!

Today's giveaway is being hosted by Sew, Mama, Sew!

If you're here for the first time, you probably want to know a little about me and my blog.
I'm a busy mother of three girls, living 'downunder' in New Zealand.  I design knitting patterns for children's clothing, constructed seamlessly from the top down (my patterns can be found here).  I also love to sew, mostly clothes for my girls, and currently teach basic sewing skills to a group of 10-12year olds once a week at the small school my girls attend.  This blog is a way for me to showcase all the crafting and creating I get up to.

But what you really want to know is:  What is my prize for Giveaway Day?

Last year I made myself a knitting work-in-progress (wip) bag that is used constantly.

My wip knitting bag

I loved the pattern from the first time I saw it on the U-Handbag blog and since making this one I've wanted to make another one just for the fun of it. I decided that it would be a perfect bag to have as the prize for my giveaway!

I thought it might be a bit too big and bulky to post so I shrunk the pattern to approx 3/4 size and left out the fleece padding to make a cute compact handbag.


The bag measures approx 24cm wide x 20cm high (approx 9.5" x 8") and the handles are about 18cm (approx 8").


I've put in a handy little internal pocket (approx 7cm/3" x 12cm/5") and the bag closes with a single metal snap.  I can't remember the name of the fabrics used as it was a stash-busting project, but the main fabric is light pink with swirls and the lining is a lavender mini floral.


The bag is fully interfaced, including the handles, which is a bit stiff when new, but softens up nicely with use.


Now, how do you enter?

It's really easy.  All you have to do is leave a comment below telling me what it is that keeps you interested in a blog and makes you want to comment on a post?


I will draw the winner on Friday evening (27 May) so you have until then to enter.  Only one comment/entry per person and there are no extra entries for facebooking, twittering, etc but you are welcome to anyway!
This giveaway is open to anyone, anywhere that I can post to.
PLEASE include a way for me to contact you in your comment or your entry will not be valid.


PS.  I will be celebrating my 100th post very soon with another giveaway, so make sure you become a follower so you don't miss out on hearing about it!  Also, scroll down (or click here) for a chance to win a hand-knitted shawl in my Birthday Giveaway!



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Just a Little Something I Made...

4:50 PM , , 1 Comments

LittleMiss was desperate for new pants.  She only had one pair that were not ripped at the knee or too short and they were just trackpants so not very suitable for wearing out.

So I sat down with the pattern books and sewing machine and made her a cosy pair of new pants.

I used chocolate brown baby cord which is just perfect for heading into winter with.  They are made using a pattern from the Spring 1/2011 Ottobre magazine #13 called 'Plum'.  (The exact same pattern is used for the boys pants #29 called 'No Kung Fu' but dressed up with the knee patches, so I decided to put knee patches on these too - hopefully they won't wear out as fast as usual!)

Never one to make plain things, I had to dress them up with contrasting fabric on the pockets and knee pads.  I used some green gingham, printed with little green daisies that I had in stash.  I love the way the back pockets are made into the yoke of the pants.  I've accented it by using the green gingham as the pocket lining.

She especially loves the ties on the cargo pockets.  I was planning on just putting snaps on them, but she saw the picture and said "The ribbons are what I like best" so I had to do them!

My only problem with them is that I made them just the right size, so she'll probably outgrow them this season.  That's if she doesn't wear them out first - she hasn't taken them off since I made them, except for school (uniform).  So next time I'll be making the next size up!


Make sure you scroll down to the previous post to enter my Birthday Giveaway.  And check back on Monday to see the Sew, Mama, Sew! Giveaway Day prize I've got up for grabs!

(And just a small secret, I'm coming up to 100 posts very soon so was planning yet another giveaway to celebrate that too!)


 

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Birthday Giveaway!

12:04 AM , 34 Comments

It was my birthday yesterday.  But I thought it might be nice to give you a present!

In the Summer Sock Yarn Club from Vintage Purls the first installment was a beautiful shawl pattern called Connie:
This is a club-exclusive* pattern.

I've been doing so much pattern-design related knitting lately that I feel the need for a mindless knitting project (meaning a pattern that I just follow the instructions for without having to think about).  I was thinking that Connie would be the perfect pattern to do.

So, if you would like to win your very own Connie shawl, all you have to do is leave a comment telling me which of the four Vintage Purls colours below you would like it made in.  It's as simple as that!

maize.jpg
Maize


treehugger.jpg
Tree Hugger


matrona.jpg
Matrona


Orion
I couldn't find a suitable picture of the skein of this, but here is a picture of it knit as gloves to give an idea of the colour.


The deadline for my latest design is Friday, 27 May which means I will be ready to start my next knitting project then.  I will close this giveaway and draw a random winner that evening, so you have plenty of time to enter!  This is open to anyone, anywhere (that I can post to!)

Please note that I will be knitting this shawl FOR YOU so be aware that it may take me two weeks to make after I know who the winner is and what colour to make it in.

Feel free to blog, facebook, twitter, or whatever you want about this competition, but only one entry per person will be counted.  Please make sure I have a way to contact you through your comment (link a profile, email or something).

Also, check back on Monday to find out what I'm giving away for the Sew, Mama, Sew! Giveaway Day for your chance to win something else handmade by me!




*club patterns remain exclusive usually for 12months when they become available for anyone to purchase through Ravelry

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I am Loved

7:03 PM , 0 Comments

Yesterday was Mother's Day.

When I was pregnant-almost-due with BigMiss I joked with J that I should get to have my first Mother's Day as I was technically a mother already.  He laughed and it never happened.
So neither did Father's Day.

Since then, it hasn't really been a big deal in our house.  No breakfast in bed, flowers, cards, special attention or anything.

But now the girls are older they've taken their own initiative (though I think it was helped by the junior class doing art with a Mother's Day focus).

It started with both me and J being given an 'invitation' each (basically as soon as we were awake!)

They were planning on doing it after lunch (we usually go to Nana & Pop's house) as they thought we wouldn't have time before Church, but we said if they got dressed and organised quick enough then we would have time.

When we were all dressed and ready, I was told I had to find my presents in a Treasure Hunt and they would tell me if I was 'hot' or 'cold'.

Here's what I found:
Two wordfinds from BigMiss
(She said they were tricky ones because there were some words that weren't in the wordfind!)

A vase of flowers from BigMiss
(She had made the picture at school on Friday and put the base on it to turn it into a vase on Saturday.  MiddleMiss helped with the flower making as they were modelled on some she'd made last year in the junior class at school.)

A 'pattern' from MiddleMiss
(Can you see the picture of the skirt and top?  She drew them - and labeled the colours - so that I knew what she wanted me to make for her!)

A letter from LittleMiss
(This was done at school.  The picture is of me and her with a flower.)

A flower in a vase from LittleMiss
(This was also made at school.)

Then we all had to sit in a circle in the lounge and play Pass-the-Parcel together.  LittleMiss provided the music (Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star sung very cutely) and directed the proceedings.  Every layer unwrapped had something, even if it was just a blank piece of paper, and I had to get the last parcel - a special note from LittleMiss 'To Mama' with her signature flower drawn on it.

The morning ended with the girls all giving me a special 'I Love You' hug.

Commercial gifts and cards can't compete with that!


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May is my Favourite Month

5:46 AM 0 Comments

I think that a person is partial to having their birthday month as their favourite month of the year.  May is my birthday month.  (And it's a change of decade - 30!)  So what better way to celebrate than to have a giveaway?!

I have been thinking that it was coming up time for me to have another one soon as I enjoyed the last one so much.  Also I'm coming up to 100 posts, which is always something else worth doing a giveaway for!

So it seems fitting that Sew, Mama, Sew! is having another giveaway day later this month too!  I'm thinking about joining in again as it really was great to meet so many new people and I loved all the comments.

This time I'm thinking I might make something to giveaway rather than the yarn and pattern like last time.  Maybe I can do two giveaways if I'm feeling ambitious!  What sort of prize would you like to see me giveaway?

All the details on the Sew, Mama, Sew! giveaway day are here.  If you feel like joining in as a fellow giveaway-er then sign up too!  Or else just bookmark the date to check out all things that will be on offer.


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