April is Stress Awareness Month! Unwind with Knitting and Crochet

Unwind with Knitting and CrochetI am a huge proponent of knitting and crocheting to destress. I learned how to crochet about three years ago, and I’ve been knitting for two years. While I still consider myself a beginner in both of these crafts, I do love to unwind with knitting and crochet.

Doing a generative activity like writing, drawing, or even reading can be overwhelming when stressed. The idea of coming up with something new to write or journal about does not seem relaxing if stress levels are already high! Same goes with deciding on an image to draw, and even taking in information from something as light as a novel can go right over my head if I’m distracted and panicked. I’ve found that my favorite things to do when stressed include crocheting, knitting, and playing piano. Not learning a new pattern or song—that is too generative when stressed—but working on an easy pattern or playing a song I’m already familiar with. It’s a beautiful distraction and, in the case of knitting and crochet, I am still making something!

April is stress awareness month, and our friends at the Craft Yarn Council have a lineup of wonderful opportunities and learning experiences to help you destress. Share your story and learn more about what April has to offer when you want to unwind with knitting and crochet.


Craft Yarn Council

Next month, during April Stress Awareness Month, Craft Yarn Council (CYC) is encouraging knitters and crocheters to UNWIND and Stitch Away Stress. CYC will use social media to create a space where followers can breath easy and to facilitate conversation about trending topics within the wellness community. Each week we will center conversations around the following themes and how knitters and crocheters use yarn crafting to heal within each of the categories.

Trending Topics

Week One: SELF

We will focus on self care and self love. Many wellness platforms have taken up the cause to encourage women specifically to start taking better care of themselves: mind, body and spirit.

Week Two: THE MIND

We will focus on using knit and crochet to both exercise the mind and using it to rest your mind during stressful periods.

Week Three: COMMUNITY

This week will focus on how knitters and crocheters come together to build communities both in their own cities and online.

Week Four: INSPIRATION

The last week we will talk about how inspiration has the ability to heal, where to find it, and how to be an inspiration within the yarn community

How to Get Involved

  • Use your social platforms to encourage your audience to join the discussion by sharing their own photos and stories using #StitchAwayStress.
  • Download and share CYC’s graphics, animations and the Unwind press release.
  • Host your own Unwind contests and giveaways.
  • On your blog, share your story of why you knit or crochet and how it has benefitted you.

Assets: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0BwRV-Rzs6k5BeFdocHB2bHFkbVE?usp=sharing

CYC’s UNWIND Giveaways

Invite your followers to join the Craft Yarn Council all month long for April Stress Awareness month giveaways!

Contest Details:

  • Share any of CYC’s Stress Awareness Month posts or images on Facebook or Instagram and tell your story to your friends as it relates to the topic of that post. You must use the #stitchawaystress for a chance to win one of four UNWIND prizes. Each prize is valued at $50. Contest runs April 1-30. Winners will be chosen at random and will be announced week of May 8th.

If you are planning to participate in our Unwind Campaign, please shoot us an email at info@craftyarncouncil.com. We would love to hear from you! Thank you and with your help we will make this April Stress Awareness Month the best one yet!

 

What is your favorite way to relieve stress?

Creative Scarves Blog Hop – You Need This Book!

Creative-Scarves-book-coverI’m obsessed with scarves. Seriously, I have 2 organizers in my closet completely stuffed with scarves in every color that I love. However many store-bought scarves I have, I still favor the scarf that I made myself. I crocheted a scarf that I love to wear in the winter that makes me feel all cozy.

This new book from Tiffany Windsor, Heidi Borchers, and Savannah Starr will be a lovely addition to your crafting books. Just like the scarf I made for myself, you can make your own, completely unique to you, scarf that you’re guaranteed to love.

This book is excellent and full of so many ideas for every season! There is literally something for everyone in this book. Plenty of techniques are new and exciting – I can’t wait to try “painted plastic printing” and the “block print bumblebee” techniques!

Want to win a signed copy of this book and a $100 gift card for Dharma Trading? Enter to win by visiting Tiffany Windsor’s site and check out the rest of the blog hop!


Cats in Hats Blog Hop + Giveaway

cats-in-hats-cover

I know what you’re thinking. Cats? Wearing hats? How did they get that cat on the cover to even cooperate to wear that hat? Well, I don’t have an answer for you, but I think we can all agree that putting a hat on a cat makes one cute kitty.

Whether you’re a knitter or a crocheter, Cats in Hats: 30 Knit And Crochet Patterns for Your Kitty is a quirky little book with a variety of hat patterns to suit your needs. Sara Thomas came up with cute and funny hats to match your cat’s personality. Cats do have very unique personalities, as we all know.

Stay tuned! Tomorrow we are sharing a FREE PATTERN from this book!

Join our friends on this fun blog hop!

AUTHOR KICKOFF: 3/16 Scooter Knits

3/17 Yarning 4 A Smile

3/18 Wendy Knits

3/19 In Stitches

3/20 Polka Dot Cottage

3/21 FaveCrafts

3/22 Recycled Crafts

3/23 Lorelei’s Blog

3/24 CraftSanity

3/25 Lori Greenberg

3/26 Crafting a Green World

3/27 Gaea Handmade

3/28 Pretty Things Blog

Want to win a copy of this cute book right here on the blog? All you have to do is answer this question!

What have you knit or crocheted for your pets?

Congrats to Kris! “I’ve made several sweaters for my Min Pin. She loves to dress up!” We’re glad your cat loves to dress up and we hope she enjoys her new hats when you make them from this book!

OFFICIAL RULES FOR GIVEAWAY:

  • There is a maximum of one entry per person. The entry will be based upon a comment left on this blog post. Duplicate comments will be deleted and are not tallied.
  • Winners will be selected at random from the comments on this blog post.
  • Winners will be announced here on this blog post on March 30, 2015 as well as contacted by the email address provided.
  • You have until, March 29, 2015 at 11:59p EST to leave your comment. Comments posted after that will not be counted.
  • Contest open to anyone 18+ in US and/or Canada.

Pretty Birds Blog Hop + Book Giveaway

pretty-birds-book-coverA little birdy told me that there’s a new sewing book out that you don’t want to miss! Pretty Birds: 18 Simple Projects to Sew and Love is a brand new book by Virginia Lindsay from Running Press. We’re in love.

This book includes pattern templates for all 18 birds and amazing illustrations by Jess Herbert. Each bird was beautifully photographed by Ivan Jones and with each page I turn in this book I am itching to sew each and every bird! They are all so whimsical and, just as the described in the book’s title, simple. Sewing patterns don’t have to be complicated to be beautiful and this book is proof.

One neat thing about this book is that each pattern comes with “other ideas to try.” We love this because crafters love options when it comes to creating something. Keep each pattern as is or switch it up a little bit to turn a bird into pencil holder, a gift topper, or a kitten toy (to name a few). Plus, these little birds are great stash-busters and great for using up fabric scraps.

I decided to try my hand at sewing one of these pretty birds. Can you guess which one I am going to try? Come back to the blog tomorrow and you’ll get to see which pattern I tried PLUS get the pattern from the book for free!

pretty-birds-fabricJoin the fun and follow this blog hop!

2/25 You Go Girl!

2/26 Erica B. DIY Style

2/27 CraftSanity

2/28 Recycled Crafts

3/1 Sew Mama Sew

3/2 Lorelei’s Blog

3/3 FaveCrafts

3/4 S is for Sewing

3/5 Lori Greenberg

3/6 Killing It As A Grown Up

3/8 Pretty Things Blog

3/10 Sweet KM

3/11 Boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy Crafts

3/12 Buzzmills

3/13 Girl Like the Sea

3/15 Cut Out + Keep

Want to win a copy of this lovely book? All you have to do is answer this question!

What is your favorite bird and why?

Thank you all for participating in our giveaway! Congratulations to Laura S. who answered, “My favorite bird is the Eastern Bluebird. They are so pretty, especially the males, and they are great just fun to watch. The first set of babies to hatch in the summer will usually hang around with the parents and help them raise a second batch of babies later in the summer!” Get excited to sew your very own little bluebird with your new book!

OFFICIAL RULES FOR GIVEAWAY:

  • There is a maximum of one entry per person. The entry will be based upon a comment left on this blog post. Duplicate comments will be deleted and are not tallied.
  • Winners will be selected at random from the comments on this blog post.
  • Winners will be announced here on this blog post on March 12, 2015 as well as contacted by the email address provided.
  • You have until March 11, 2015 at 11:59p EST to leave your comment. Comments posted after that will not be counted.
  • Contest open to anyone 18+ in US and/or Canada.

Creating Connections at the CHA Blogger Networking Event

For the past three years at the Craft and Hobby Association’s Winter Trade Show in Anaheim, CA, Prime Publishing has been hosting a hot-ticket event: the annual Blogger Networking Event. Not only do we supply free food and drinks at this event, but also an opportunity for bloggers and companies to meet each other, as well. At such a huge trade show like CHA, it’s often hard for bloggers and companies to connect on a personal level.

This event offers bloggers the opportunity to not only meet with company representatives, but also preview new products and discover exclusive details about new items hitting the shelves in 2015. For blogger Robyn Josephs of Rainbow Weaves, the event was “one of the most useful and best organized” events that she attended at CHA this year. Sue Eldred agrees that “it’s so important to be able to get together with other bloggers and the manufacturers.”

This year, bloggers met brand reps from Clover, Plaid, iLoveToCreate, Sissix, and more. For a closer inside the exclusive event and for a chance to win some CHA swag, check out Fun Times at The 2015 CHA Blogger Event! Be sure to also watch the exclusive video from the event!

What’s your favorite craft supply? Comment below and let us know!

Get Inspired with the June Jamboree from Spellbinders!

This just in: Spellbinders® Paper Arts has announced a brand new expansion to their Die D-Lites and In’spire Product Lines! The expanded line features 19 new Die D-Lites and 8 new In’spire die templates. In order to showcase these new products with a bit of a bang, Spellbinders is hosting the June Jamboree on their blog. Find fabulous paper craft projects featuring the new products every day for ten days in June!

June Jamboree

Spellbinders

Today is Day 8 of the June Jamboree, and designer Lesley Langdon  shares a stunning tri-fold card. The card features the new Dandylion and Celebration Two In’spire die templates, and the finished project is beautiful. Be sure to visit the Spellbinders blog for the full tutorial!

June Jamboree Day 8

A personal favorite is the Day 7 post from Spellblogger Darsie Bruno. This step card  format really lends to the garden’s look, and the fairies are made all the more whimsical with glitter! Included are the new Fairy Ariana, Flower Box, and Wrought Iron die templates.

June Jamboree Day 7

On Day 6, Linda Lucas shows us how to create this beautiful birdhouse with a helpful video tutorial. This project features the Gate Element die template. Find the video here.

June Jamboree Day 6

On Day 5, Beck Beattie uses the new Row Houses die template to create this charming scrapbook layout. The different colors for the windows in each house are an adorable touch!

June Jamboree Day 5

Day 4’s June Jamboree post is brought to you by Tina McDonald, and her lovely friends handmade card features the Fancy Label Tags One die template.

June Jamboree Day 4

I love trees as a central motif for pretty much any project, and this craft from Day 3 of the June Jamboree features the new Delightful Tree die template. Designer Teresa Horner does such a great job with this project!

June Jamboree Day 4

Show someone that “You make me happy when skies are grey” with the Day 2 project from Marielle LeBlanc. This lovely scrapbook layout features the new Wellies and Umbrella Trio die templates.

June Jamboree Day 2

Finally, the Day 1 paper project which kicked off the June Jamboree features the beautiful Bird Scroll die. Designer Linda Lucas does such a great job with the design of this card!

June Jamboree Day 1

Be sure to visit the Spellbinders blog to see the remaining June Jamboree projects and products!

 

 

How often do you use die cutting templates in your projects? Always, sometimes, never?

 

 

 

 

Bead&Button Show 2014: Hot Trends and New Friends

This past weekend the editors of FaveCrafts and AllFreeJewelryMaking had a blast touring the Bead&Button Show in Milwaukee, collected a new list of hot trends, and met some amazing designers we can’t wait to introduce you to! From the crazy color combinations to cute little animal beads to fabulous new products, The Bead and Button Show opened our eyes to what’s hot and happening this summer.

  300--20140606_101325

If you have never heard of the Bead&Button Show you’re in for a treat, and possibly a new annual tradition! Located up North in Milwaukee, WI, the Bead and Button Show is the largest jewelry and bead show in the world, hosting over 300 talented designers and companies that are dedicated to the crafty world of beading (and buttoning)! These designers and companies each have their own booths that display and sell their patterns, one-of-a-kind jewelry, and products–plus, some of the companies even hosted “Make and Takes!” The show will also hosts over 700 bead and jewelry classes. It doesn’t get more fun for beaders like us than being able to walk through a conference dedicate to tiny, shiny, beads and buttons!

 

Color Trends

This year, bright colors are all the rage. From shades of sky blue and teal to fuchsia and coral, this summer, the bolder the better. We noticed a great focus on blue, teal, and turquoise which was complemented by an assortment of corals, reds, and oranges. That being said, this summer the focus should clearly be on cheerful beads that add a POP of color to your outfit!

300--20140606_171900  300--20140606_172020

Bead Trends

This year at Bead&Button, we noticed a hot selection of seed beads, rhinestones, and seas glass. These top trends are great jewelry projects for beaders to work on during the summer–especially when it comes to sea glass! Using these different types of beads to create large statement necklaces was spotted at the show, which is another fun option for summer beaders.

300--20140606_171807  SeaGlass

 

Trends from New Friends

We met a lot of talented designers during our stay at Bead&Button, and no one knows the beading world like a designer! Take it from an expert like Hannah Rosner, spikes and skulls are back IN! Also, those amazing double-holed seed beads are in high demand. Another really cool beading trend we saw was the increased popularity of dichroic glass beads, and Karen Bruns’ Designs had an amazing display of them. These glass beads undergoe a color change in certain lighting conditions, which is super-cool!

 

 Seed-Beads  20140616_093929

What’s your favorite trend from the 2014 Bead&Button Show?

 

 

SNAP! Conference 2014: Unbelievable Products and Tons of New Friends

If you regularly keep up with the FaveCrafts blog, you’ve already seen a few of our posts about the amazing SNAP! Conference in Salt Lake City, but those were only a preview. The time has officially come for us to tell you all about our adventure at the SNAP! Conference! When the editors of FaveCrafts and AllFreeKidsCrafts flew out to Utah, we knew we were going to connect with a ton of people, but we had no idea we would have so much fun in the process.

What is SNAP!, you may ask? The SNAP! Conference can best be described as a creative haven for DIY bloggers to come learn new things, ignite their inspiration, and make long-lasting friendships as they laugh and smile their way through classes, seminars, 50+ company sponsor booths, and entertainment. To say that SNAP! is a big deal would be an understatement; this year’s conference saw over 500 attendees from 46 states and 4 countries! To visually track where everyone came from, SNAP! set up this awesome map for bloggers to pin their business cards. This was the board at the beginning of the conference- it was completely covered by the time we left!

SNAP! Conference

We found another map in the FloraCraft booth, and we were totally surprised when we went to mark FaveCrafts on the map…the board wasn’t made of wood, it was made of styrofoam!

FloraCrafts

As the editor of AllFreeKidsCrafts, I’m always on the lookout for fantastic new kids’ craft products, so I was incredibly excited to swing by Hasbro’s booth at the SNAP! Conference to check out the latest from PlayDoh. While I was there, I got to try out the new DohVinci line, which allows kids to create detailed artistic creations; think PlayDoh meets kid-friendly 3D printing. DohVinci won’t be officially released for a few more months, so I was thrilled that I got the chance to take it for a rest run. It turns out that using the styling tool is really similar to using a hot glue gun, so it’s easy to control. Once I had gotten the hang of it, I got to decorate a tile for the DohVinci art installation at SNAP!

dohvinci-preview

If you ask me, the coolest sponsor booth award goes to Cricut, who turned their space into a fabulous science lab. I had never experienced the magic of a Cricut machine before, so I was amazed to discover that it can be used on all kinds of materials, even leather! Cricut even showed us how to turn paper into custom jewelry. Yes, you read that correctly: paper jewelry. In just a few simple steps, we walked away with gorgeous molecule necklaces that looked like they were actually made of metal, ready to spread the word about the wonders of paper.

Cricut at SNAP!
Another awesome sponsor we chatted with was Duck Brand, who introduced us to their brand new glow-in-the-dark duct tape sheets and Duck Glitter® Crafting Tapes. If you’re anything like me, you know that using glitter can mean asking for trouble, but the amazing thing about the Duck Brand tape is that the glitter doesn’t come loose- it’s every crafter’s dream! We spent more time with Duck Brand during their 80’s Prom night, where we got to witness the epitome of duct tape brilliance. Tons of SNAP! bloggers had created 80’s-inspired outfits and accessories for the affair, and Duck Brand even displayed outfits that had been worn to actual high school proms. Who knew duct tape could be so high fashion?

Duct Tape Prom

While we did love chatting with all of the awesome conference sponsors and making new friends, one of the best parts of SNAP was finally meeting some of the fabulous bloggers we work with! We sat in on the Our Best Bites session and chatted with Kate and Sara…

Fabulous Bloggers

…met Angie from The Country Chic Cottage and Carolina from 30 Minute Crafts….

Fabulous Bloggers

…posed with Kim from A Girl and a Glue Gun

Fabulous Bloggers…and got our 80’s prom on with Alexa from The Swell Life!

Fabulous Bloggers

We could probably write a novel and still not cover all the fascinating parts of SNAP!, but we had to share the coolest craft supplies (and the coolest new friends!) we discovered while we were away!

 

What’s the coolest craft supply in your stash?

 

National Craft Month 2014: Day 21 Winner

Day 21 of National Craft Month means that this wonderful month of projects and prizes is over! Yesterday we learned all about how you crafters like to use fabric in your crafting projects. The Fabulous Fat Quarter DIY Bag project and giveaway was provided by our friends at Jimmy Beans Wool. Thank you all for participating in another wonderful National Craft Month celebration!

Congratulations to…

Janice S.!

We asked: How do you use fabric in your craft projects?

Congratulations Janice, who replied, “I love various projects. dresses for my granddaughters, making quilts, baby blankets, bibs, etc. I would love to win this” Enjoy this fabric bouquet and make pretty projects this spring Janice!

You can find yesterday’s Fabulous Fat Quarter DIY Bag in our free eBook, 18 Projects Every Crafter Wants. Happy National Craft Month!

mini_right Fabulous Fat Quarter DIY Bag

National Craft Month 2014: Day 20 Winner

Day 20 of National Craft Month prompted me to do some paper crafting over the weekend! I love making things out of paper and it sounds like you all do too! The Punched Paper DIY Garland project and giveaway was from AllFreeChrismasCrafts. Even if you didn’t win today, today’s the last day to enter to win our grand prize!

Congratulations to…

Laure U.!

We asked: Have you ever made a garland?

Congratulations Laure, who replied, “no, I never made garland, but would like to try to make some for my daughter’s wedding!” I hope this prize inspires you to create a wonderful garland for your daughter’s wedding! You can find yesterday’s Punched Paper DIY Garland on AllFreeChrismasCrafts. Be sure to see more great projects in our free eBook, 18 Projects Every Crafter Wants. Happy National Craft Month!

mini_right Punched Paper DIY Garland Punched Paper DIY Garland: National Craft Month Project & Giveaway