Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Martha Stewart's Encyclopedia of Crafts Giveaway

I'm hosting a giveaway on behalf of Martha Stewart Crafts this week at my website, christynelson.net.  I am giving away FIVE copies of the book!  So skadaddle on over there and enter already!  

Monday, March 30, 2009

Easy Kids Shorts Pattern

It's that time of year again! The weather is getting warmer and the big clothes switcheroo is happening. Jeans and flannel are being packed away and out come the shorts and tees.

Instead of buying new shorts for your little one this season, why don't you put some of your old t-shirts to use and sew up a few yourself? You can find a template with instructions on my blog. If you make a pair, I'd love to see them. Just add your photo to my flicker pool.

Enjoy the warmer weather!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Read About Us In The Lincoln Journal Star

People just aren’t making things like they used to, said local artist
Melanie Falk.

You go to almost any store, and you’ll find the sleek,
slick, small and mass-produced, but it’s all almost entirely UN-unique. Where’s
the personal touch? Where’s the evidence that a living, breathing humanoid
crafted this item?

“There’s this break-off of people who are craving
things that are more handmade,” Falk said, “more tactile, something that you can
touch and handle.”

Read the rest of the great article here.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Scrapbooks Make Great Gifts

Not only is scrapbooking a fun hobby and a great way to save and display your own personal family photos, you'll find that scrapbooking makes perfect gifts for friends and family. Since scrapbooks are personal items, you may not find them suitable for acquaintances, unless you are creating custom scrapbooks for another person. For example, someone in your work place may ask you to create a scrapbook for someone who is retiring. You'll be amazed how once people find out about your talent and passion for scrapbooking, that everyone will want one. But in general, you'll find that creating scrapbook gifts for your parents, siblings, children, and close friends is an excellent gift and one that is greatly appreciated.

One of the fun parts of creating scrapbooking gifts are in gathering resources and research. This is one project that you can't expect to complete on your own. A close accomplice is essential. You'll have to brush up on your sleuthing skills and take out your detective cap as you whisk photos away from your intended recipients. With a computer and scanner, you can copy photos without anyone ever noticing and have the perfect images for completing your projects. Be sure to take current photos as well. It's also a great idea that you always leave some blank scrapbooking pages. This way, your recipient can choose to add several photos of his or her own to the scrapbook. A surprise scrapbook makes an excellent gift for birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, and retirements.

If you don't like surprise, or simply feel that it will be too difficult to get the photos that you need without the recipient being aware of your intentions, you may want to let the recipient know that you are planning on creating a scrapbook for them as a gift. This way, they can be included in the planning process and will help choose the photos that they want included. You won't need to feel uncomfortable about this. People love to receive scrapbooks and it isn't the element of surprise that makes these gifts special, it is the time and skill that you will invest in the project that makes them endearing. So, make sure that you spend plenty of time beforehand determining if it would be better to keep the gift a surprise, or whether you would like to enlist the services of the recipient. You may find that it is just simpler, easier, and results in a better gift to have the recipient select the content for the scrapbook.

Another scrapbook gift that you may want to let the recipient know you are planning on making is a bridal/wedding scrapbook. The bride to be will be more than delighted with the gift and will gladly share her collection of pictures, treasures, and sentimental items for the scrapbook. This is another gift where you will want to leave a few blank pages to ensure that the bride can include some of her most treasured and personal moments.

Holiday scrapbooks are also excellent gifts. These can be created without the help of the recipient. Since these scrapbooks do not necessarily need to reflect momentous milestones in a life, you can use current photos and create the scrapbook as a memory book for events that transpired during that holiday season. These make excellent surprise gifts and are treasured for years to come. There are numerous embellishments that are available to accessorize holiday inspired scrapbooks. There is no doubt about it, no matter what the occasion, scrapbooks make perfect gifts.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Christy Nelson Talks With Martha Stewart Crafts

I had the opportunity to do an email interview with an editorial director of crafts from Martha Stewart Living about their new craft blog, The Crafts Dept.  Have you ever wondered what criteria they use for choosing projects?  Need some inspiration?  Read the interview and then go visit their blog!  

I'll be posting again on Tuesday with a great Martha giveaway you won't want to miss!  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Cross Stitch For Beginners

When you first start out with a new hobby the tendency is to run before you can walk and cross stitch is no exception. I remember my first attempt, when a cross stitch beginner, it was a large wall hanging of some mice with a grandfather clock and although it was a complete kit, I still hadn't got a clue what I was doing! There were around 30 different colors and millions of stitches to do but I wanted something impressive. Needless to say it didn't take me long to give up on that particular design!

The best thing a cross stitch beginner can do is learn the basics before they attempt to stitch anything and the following two sites teach everything that you will need to know to stitch your first masterpiece:

www.yarntree.com/007begin.htm This site provides a free chart and the instructions to stitch it along with a comprehensive list of the equipment any beginner will need. There are also lots of 'How To' sections such as how to choose fabric and how to begin stitching that build into a great tutorial, which may even benefit some of you intermediate stitchers out there.

www.caron-net.com/patguide.html Even if you are no longer a cross stitch beginner, you'll find this second site helpful. The site contains a wealth of cross stitch information. You can find tips about specific stitches, suggestions when it comes to fabric choices, and ideas on the best way to use various flosses. Moreover, every few weeks more information is added, so this is a site you'll want to visit on a regular basis.

So, my lovely converts to the art of cross stitch, now you know what you are doing you need something to do and that means finding some basic but pretty little patterns. There are thousands of patterns everywhere you look on the internet however many are not suitable for your first time out -- trust me! So where do you go for some great beginners patterns?

A great place to find cross stitch patterns is www.cross-stitch-academy.com/beginners/beginners.html This site has eight cute patterns that are made for beginners. For each pattern, you're given a chart that shows you how to stitch the design, a nice illustration that shows you what your completed project will look like, and instructions on the floss you'll need to stitch the pattern. To make things even easier, the instructions lead you through the steps, explaining carefully what color floss you use for each stitch.

What's nice about this site is that you can find all sorts of patterns, including a pretty border, some holiday patterns, and lovely flowers. Even children who are just learning to stitch will be able to follow these patterns. If you're no longer a beginning stitcher, you'll find patterns for you on the site as well. These patterns, like the ones for beginners, include easy-to-follow instructions.

Each cross stitch beginner should be encouraged and congratulated for taking the first step in the long journey to becoming a master stitcher. Be warned though -- once you start, you just can't seem to stop! By: Geordie Johnny

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Handmade Movement

Hey have you heard about the website, "The Handmade Movement"? It's the home of the sneak attack, an idea to help newer shops get a lot of sales right away. I've seen their posts on etsy several times and now they have a newly designed website that's pretty foxy and tells who is next for sneak attacks, in case you feel like participating. Their site explains it in more detail...
"It's a way to support independant artisans who are trying to sell their wares online. Three days a week at an appointed time, an Etsy* shop with few or no sales is announced on this site. As many people as possible then buy items from that shop, resulting in a frenzy of surprise business to the unsuspecting shop!"

So be sure to stop by their website today (Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays are when the sneaking happens!) and have fun participating in making someone's day!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Thanks So Much!

Whatizzit?  Amigurumi Owl or Pill Stuffie
We wanted to say a big THANK-YOU for all those who are now following our team blog and who participated in all our great giveaways! Remember, a couple of the giveaways will be open for a few more days, so if you haven't entered yet, do it now! We hope you will stay tuned to the blog for more great crafty advice, new discoveries, and fun!
Thanks again!
Lincoln Handmade

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Let's Get Crafty With Lynette!

Today's featured artisan is Lynette Fast...
I used to string beads from ice cube trays filled to the rim with beads and I punched holes in my Barbie doll’s ears so they could wear the jewelry I made for them. I used to fly kites and go sledding in fields filled with snakes and cow pies. My teachers used to tell me to be a teacher. I used to live in rural Iowa and walk beans, play sports, lifeguard, teach swimming lessons, babysit, wait tables, make art, and arrange flowers to keep myself busy. I used to get my inspiration to work as an artist from my art teacher and at NWMSU. And now in Lincoln, I used to teach elementary and middle school art, but now teach high school pottery, jewelry, sculpture, and digital art.

I still love beads, color, flowers, teaching, and creating. I cannot seem to finish a master’s degree because I don’t know which place to start. I am a life long learner. I love to attend events where I can be around artists all the time. My days are awesome because I get to ignite how to be an artist in others. I still like to play in water, grow flowers, work and look at the land, be served food, watch my kids play sports, and create.

The room where I do most my creating is really full of stuff. I can dig through supplies, finger through my sketchbook, daydream out my window, or just play around and come up with ideas. Mostly I like the torch right now. I’m having a blast introducing it to my students. You know, they are pretty inspiring too. I just never quite know where my ideas will come from. Stones, fossils, textures, colors; something different is usually what inspires me.

Ok, some feedback. Yes, that’s what I need. I’m trying to make this business into my retirement venue. Early retirement is coming in about ….8 years?....that’s my goal right now.

I’d like to give away three of my fun magnets to someone that leaves me a comment about an item in my Etsy shop. I’ll draw a name from all the people that leave a comment on my posts on March 21st.

To be eligible to win: Go to LynetteFast.etsy.com, look around, and then go to any of my online sources listed below and leave a comment. In your comment tell me what your favorite item was, give me a suggestion to help me with my shop or technique, or ask me a question. That's it! I'll draw one winner from all the comment entries at all my sites on Sunday, March 22nd and send you the gift.
Leave your comments at one of these sources:
We Love Etsy: etsylove.ning.com/profile/LynetteFast
Blogspot: lynettefast.blogspot.com/
Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/lynettefast/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/people/Lynette-Fast/1195929350
Fine Art America: fineartamerica.com/profiles/lynette-fast.html

Friday, March 20, 2009

Crafterella, Queen of Varied Mediums

Korinne Zimmerman (crafterella) is a married mother of two
children who spends all of her free time crafting. She
attended Memphis College of Art briefly enough to discover
she was more crafty and less arty. Her instant cemeteries
have been featured in the Etsy Halloween Gift Guide, the
Friday the 13th Etsy Storque article and numerous other
A pack rat and a frequent dumpster diver she has
experimented with a variety of mediums. Currently she is
focusing on polymer clay, sewing, and drawing with a bit of
knitting for fun. You can see what she is currently working
on at her blog (crafterella.blogspot.com) and purchase
polymer clay pendants, ornaments, collaged purses, and
instant cemeteries in her etsy store (crafterella.etsy.com)
ENTER HER GIVEAWAY NOW! She will be giving away your choice of a mokume gane pendant, a tree of life ornament, or a $15 gift ceterficate from her etsy shop. You can enter by posting a comment in my blog post about my give away. A winner will randomly be drawn from the entrants on the 27th. GO TO: (crafterella.blogspot.com) now!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Refibered Shows Us Crafty Mojo

refibered uses recycled, reclaimed, rescued and some new
fabrics to create fun items for you, your family and your

Kelly Orr is the creative genius behind refibered. She
lives in Lincoln with her fabulous husband and adorable
toddler. She also has two older daughters and a grandson!
She’s been sewing, designing and creating for a couple of
years now, and can't be stopped.

refibered.etsy.com will begin carrying aprons for kids and
adults, starting March 21.

Where do you get the great fabrics?!
Here, there and everywhere, really! I use a variety of
types of fabrics, from a variety of sources. Thrift shops
and garage sales are great for those interesting tshirts,
and sometimes I score some yardage, too. As a member of
sewing forums on the web, I can often buy pieces of
wonderful European fabrics that you don’t often see in
the States. Some fabrics are purchased at national chain
stores, but those are used sparingly and generally
purchased as remnants.

Where do you get your inspiration?!
Same place I get the fabrics! Usually the fabric will tell
me what it wants to be. Some days I just feel like using a
particular color/style of fabric, or maybe a particular
pattern. I have subscriptions to quilting magazines and
Euro pattern mags, as well as being fond of web surfing.

Where do you get the time?!
Well, that’s the tricky part. I am lucky enough to have
some time each day for crafting and sewing, but it’s
limited. That’s why refibered creations are so
unique…no mass producing here. Every quality item is
handmade, one at a time.

Can you make another one just like it?!Because of the way I buy fabric, it’s difficult, if not
impossible, for me to re-create something with the same
fabrics. That’s one of the things that’s so great about
refibered. The pattern might be the same for a few items,
but the fabrics will always be different!

If you simply must have matching items (twins/triplets),
well, that can be arranged. Please feel free to ask!
Promise I won’t bite.

Can you be sure there’s not another just like it in the
whole world?!

Actually, no. But I can be pretty sure it’s a unique,
handmade item. Some items are my own patterns, but some use
commercially available patterns. Occasionally, I will have
enough of a fabric to make more than one item, but I never
use the exact same fabrics on the exact same item (well,
except for custom requests). So you may see “that”
fabric used in two different items, but you won’t see
“that” fabric used the same way twice on similar items.

Do you take requests?!
Happily! If you see a style you like, but need it in a
different size or color, just ask! If you have something in
mind but don’t know how to do it yourself, just ask!

How can I reach you?!
You can reach me by email at refibered@gmail.com, or by
starting a conversation with me at refibered.etsy.com

refibered will be giving away a kids' apron. Check out her etsy shop, then leave a comment on her blog with your favorite shop item and you're entered to win! HOP ON OVER TO refibered.blogspot.com!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

She's Crafty - Goin Zonkers with ChimeraCrochet

Chimera Crochet? Say what? That's ki-meer-uh! A chimera is one of those animals made up of different animals, you know? And it begins with C, and crochet starts with C... so there ya go. (Plus, I'd like to think my original crochet designs are "fanciful fabrications".)

Chimera Crochet is way more than crochet though! There is also Chimera Creation on both etsy and 1000markets. There you will find art (especially ACEO's) some vintage goodies, some knitwear and even heads on a stick!

So head on over to ChimeraCrochet's blog to participate in her most awesome giveaway- it's for one item of the winner's choice in either of her two etsy stores! Sweet.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Julie Bird St. Patty's Day Giveaway!

Happy St. Patrick's Day Giveaway!

Julie of Kundhi Creative is giving away a "green" coffee sleeve crafted out of the ribbed cuff of an upcycled, felted wool sweater. The four-leaf clover is crocheted out of soft, green cotton. The ribbing allows this eco-friendly cozy to snugly fit most coffee cups.

Visit www.julie-bird.com for all of the details. May the luck of the Irish be with you!

Julie is a freelance writer and designer. She has a two year old daughter and works from home. Julie has a passion for finding new uses for old, loved things, and will sew anything: sweaters, shirts, jeans, pants. Nothing is safe if it fits under her presser foot!

blog: www.julie-bird.com
etsy store: kundhicreative.etsy.com
website: www.kundhicreative.com

Monday, March 16, 2009

Let's Kick It Off With Crafty Christy!

Christy Nelson is one of the founders of the Lincoln Handmade Etsy team and has been an etsy seller since 2006. She started off selling her super popular mini ornament sweaters and some paper goods. Over the past two years, she added some hand knits and some sewing into the mix. Christy is an all around crafter that loves to make all sorts of items.

In November 2008, she started a new venture at christynelson.net. It has quickly gained momentum and she has decided to focus more of her time and energy there. She made the decision to close her previous shop and open a new one to complement her new website.

Her new etsy shop, christynelson.etsy.com, is where you can purchase subscriptions to her monthly craft challenge. She is also slowly moving some of her favorite items from her previous shop over so they can all be in one centralized location.

Christy has a love for all things crafty and loves to be a part of the Etsy community. Through the local etsy team and online, she has made great friends and can't wait to see what this new chapter in her business will bring.

Christy is giving away a 3 month subscription to her craft challenge on her website. Go to christynelson.net and leave a comment to be entered to win. Winner will be drawn and announced on Wednesday!

Saturday, March 14, 2009


lincoln handmade

Every day next week a Lincoln Handmade Team member will be having a giveaway! Come here everyday to find out how to enter!

Monday: Christy of ChristyNelson.net

Tuesday: Julie of Kundhi Creative

Wednesday: Lisa of Chimera Crochet

Thursday: Kelly of refibered

Friday: Korrine of Crafterella

Saturday: Lynette of Handmade for You

Thursday, March 12, 2009


I have to admit that I check the stats of my etsy store at least once a day at craftcult.com! I love seeing new store and item hearts. It was also the only place to get any stats before etsy added google analytics. They have added a new feature that now tells you if you have been featured on the front page or in the gift guides! It's a great tool!, check it out to see what I mean.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

We're a busy group!

What are our members up to?
Crafterella is poppin tabs and knitting something up for ChimeraCrochet; who is getting excited for Lincoln Handmade's big giveaway week that Refibred just blogged about. Lynette is experimenting with new art cards, Julie with 80's sweaters and Christy with Spring Pad!

Stay tuned... starting March 16 we will have a lot of stuff going on here, including some awesome giveaways!!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Do You Need Small Business Help?

Are you just starting out in small business and would like to increase your knowledge without spending a ton of money? How does free sound? Amazingly there are a ton of great, free, resources for those starting at square one to those ready to start franchising! A great one is the Small Business Administration. On their site they have FREE online courses from marketing to raising capital. Check them out!