Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Cabbage Curtains

Yes.... I did it! I actually sewed something that is worth sharing here......some grommet top cabbage cutrains!
Grommet Top Curtains
Grommet Top Curtains

I've wanted to update the curtains in the master bedroom for quite some time.  I finally found some cute fabric at Ikea... with a great price I might add :)  It wasn't until I got it home that I realized that the pattern was actually a cabbage design... haha!  I still like it anyway. The colors are great!

Every time I attempt to sew something it takes waaaaay longer than expected.  It's one of those things that I have to make many many mistakes with before I catch on.  These curtains are no exception.  I think I spent about 5 hours total because I couldn't get the right tension on my machine to get a nice even stitch with this thick upholstery fabric. Thank goodness for my handy seam ripper... haha!   At least I learned a lot about adjusting the tension. You live and learn right?

  

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Shop Anniversary Giveaway

It's been two years since I opened my little Etsy shop!  My how time flies.

I remember debating a lot over whether I should give it a try or not.  I was so worried that no one would like my stuff.   But, I'm so glad I took that jump.  It's been a great experience for me.  I used to not have much confidence at all in my own abilities.  I could only see my flaws, not my strengths.  Opening a shop and having positive feedback has helped me overcome that.  Now I'm doing what I love and it's very rewarding.

Many thanks to all you readers for your encouragement and support.  You guys are amazing!




So, ya ready for another chance to win a Giclee Print from my Shop?  Start by entering with the Rafflecopter Widget below.  Please also read the contest rules below the box.  Thanks!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Rules:
  • Giveaway starts Tuesday, July 30th 12:00 AM Mountain Time and ends Tuesday, August 6th 12:00 AM Mountain Time.
  • I'll announce and contact the winner on Tuesday August 6th. 
  • Make sure to visit the Giclee Prints Section of my shop and leave me a comment on this post about which one is your favorite and you could win it!
  • Must be 18 years or older to enter
  • There is a chance I might sell the print of your choice while the contest is going. In that case, I will send you your second choice.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Photos of the Week

My photos for the week taken at Red Butte Gardens.....
Bee on a flower

I could visit this place every week, but we usually only go on the free days once or twice a year.  I just love being surrounded by all the beautiful plants.  I could take pictures of them all day!  And to think this is all possible in the desert!



Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Look at my Sketchbook

Hanging outside on the back lawn today with my son, sketchbook, blanket, library books... and snacks.  I love the lazy days of summer :)

I forgot about these paint chips I had stashed in the back of my sketchbook.  They're fun to doodle on!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Two Birds

Two more bird paintings.....
Watercolor bird on branch
Watercolor bird on branch

Next to the elephant paintings, the birds are the most popular paintings in my Shop so far.  I'm really glad I got into painting them!


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Messy Frames Tutorial

Upcycled messy painted frames
Upcycled messy painted frames

So....... usually I'm painting stuff to put in frames, but this time I played with painting the frames themselves!

This is such a simple and quick project.  Only two steps and you're done!

Materials:
picture frames- preferably white ones
acrylic craft paints
paint brush
water

Step 1:  Paint stripes or dots or whatever other design you like on your frames in multiple colors.  Let dry for a few minutes.  The more you let the paint dry, the harder it will be to rub back in the next step.

Step 2:  Holding the painted frame under running water in the sink, gently rub off some of the paint you just applied.  It's up to you how much paint you want to rub off.   Lay out to dry.

You're all done!  See.... I told you this a was a quick one!  All you have left to do is find the right stuff to fill your frames with.  I went for some old watercolors from my "mess-ups" pile.  Now I have some bright and cheery decor for my art room :)

Upcycled messy painted frames
Painted Frame with Red Tricycle Painting


Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Look at my Sketchbook

 Playing with blog header designs.........

Which is your favorite?  I really like the colorful dots.  I may scan it and incorporate it into a heading sometime.  I also like the feathers, but the handwriting with them.... not so much.

 I also have a few pen drawings from a few months ago...

By the way, if any of you happen to see an offensive video game ad displayed in my sidebar,  I sincerely apologize.  I've reported it to Blogher and they are working on getting it blocked.  I've come across it a few times and it's awful.  So really, I'm sorry about that.  I opt out of the "nasty" ad categories as much as possible, but sometimes I can't control all of them.  Does anyone else have that problem?

I'm considering switching to running my own ads with Passionfruit Ads.  That way I can have total control over what is on my blog and only have ads that I agree with.  

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Influence of Summer

My latest watercolor illustrations........
Bright watercolor ferns
multicolored chevron design

I started out with the Chevron design in mind, but by the time I finished that, I had several other ideas.   So I kept painting..... and painting :)  I think the fact that it's summer time had a huge influence on these.  I can't keep myself away from bright colors!  
multicolored chevron design

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Best Sites to Submit Craft Tutorials To

As a blogger who not only blogs for fun, but also a little money, I'm constantly looking for ways to get more exposure for my tutorials and projects. Aren't we all?  Lets face it, there's so much competition these days. You have to really work to get yourself out there.

Over the years I've discovered a few great sites that have helped boost my page views tremendously. Today I want to share them with you!

Here's my little list of the sites I have found to be the most helpful so far (other than the obvious Pinterest and Facebook)
Best Sites to submit craft tutorials to
Craft Gossip:  You can submit a craft in a wide variety of categories on this site.  Just fill out the form and make sure to select the right category.  I've had a lot of luck with getting stuff featured here.

Craftgawker:  This site has probably made the biggest difference in my monthly page views.  I went from 25,000 page views to over 50,000 page views the first month I submitted projects and got featured and it keeps getting better the more I projects I submit. This site is quite competitive though.  You have to have really great photos to get featured, but it's worth the effort.  

Saved by Love Creations:  This site featured my Tin Can Lanterns last year and I still get lots of page views from this site.  I have to admit though, that I didn't actually submit my tutorial for this one. The blogger found my project on her own so I don't know exactly how hard it is to get featured on there.

DIY Cozy Home:  This is one I stumbled on recently.  I've gotten over 2,000 page views from it this month!

One Pretty Thing:  One of my favorite sites.  Just send an email with your project and the link and you can usually get featured here without too much trouble.

Totally Tutorials:  This one is also pretty easy to get featured on.  You fill out a simple form.  Nothing complicated.

Dollar Store Crafts:  Another great site for low cost crafts.

30 Minute Crafts: Submit craft tutorials that take either 10, 15, or 30 minutes to make.  Cool Stuff!

Tangled Happy:  This one is for crochet projects.  I think everything I have ever submitted to this one has been featured.  Awesome!

Ravelry:  A large database of crochet and knitting patterns.  You can post your patterns for free or sell them.

All Free Sewing:  Submit sewing tutorials or patterns here and you'll get quite a few more page views.


So.......am I missing any?  What sites have helped promote your work?  Please share!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Photos of the Week

My hollyhocks are in full bloom......

The only problem I have with them is that they fall over so easily.  We had to stake them down.  But they are so pretty and kind of rare these days.  They are old fashioned flowers (at least around here) and that's part of the reason I like them so much :)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Summer Flower Pillow and another Free Crochet Pattern

I've been experimenting with my Summer Flower Motif Pattern and came up with a larger version to decorate a pillow with......
Crochet Flower Pillow
Crochet Flower Motif
Crochet Flower Pillow
Crochet Flower Pillow

The first part of this pattern is identical to my last flower motif, but I added two extra rounds on the end. You can download a PDF of this pattern for free here......
                          (Copyright Elise Engh 2013:  Please do not distribute this pattern as your own)

Or you can check it out below.....

Materials:                     Any yarn of choice
                                      Any size crochet hook
                                      Darning needle
Abbreviations:          ch = chain
         sl st = slip stitch
                                      sc = single crochet
                                      hdc = half double crochet
                                      dc = double crochet
         st = stitch
         sts = stitches

Round 1: ch 12, sl st into first ch to form a ring.
Round 2: ch 1, work 18 sc into ring, sl st in first sc to join.
Round 3:  ch1, sc in same st as last sl st, *ch 3, skip next sc, sc in next sc, repeat from * around 8 more times, ending in ch 3, sl st in first sc.  (9 loops for petals)
Round 4: sl st into next ch 3 space, ch 1, work (sc, hdc, dc, hdc, sc) in same space for petal.  *(sc, hdc, dc, hdc, sc) in next ch 3 space, repeat from * around 7 times (work in new color of yarn before the join, if desired), join with sl st in first sc. (9 petals)
Round 5:  *ch 6, skip next 4 sts, sc in next st (space between petals).  Repeat from * around 8 more times.   (9 petal loops)
Round 6:  sl st in next ch 6 space, ch 1, work (sc, hdc, 3dc, hdc, sc) in same space for petal.  * (sc, hdc, 3dc, hdc, sc) in next ch 6 space.  Repeat from * around 7 times,  (work in new color of yarn before the join, if desired) join with sl st in first sc. (9 petals)
Round 7:  *Ch 8, skip next 6 sts, sc in next st (space between petals).  Repeat from * around 8 more times.  (9 petal loops)
Round 8:  Sl st into next ch 8 space, ch 1, work (2sc, 2 hdc, 3 dc, 2 hdc, 2 sc) into same space for petal.  *(2 sc, 2 hdc, 3 dc, 2 hdc, 2 sc) into next ch 8 space.  Repeat from * around 7 times.  Join with sl st in first sc.  (9 petals)
Round 9:  *Ch 10, skip next 10 sts, sc in next st (space between petals), repeat from * around 8 more times.  (9 petal loops)
Round 10:  Sl st into next ch 10 space, ch 1, work (2sc, 2hdc, 8dc, 2hdc, 2sc) into same space for petal.  *(2sc, 2hdc, 8dc, 2hdc, 2sc) into next ch 10 space.  Repeat from * around 7 times.  Join with st st in first sc. (9 petals)
Fasten off and weave in ends.

Crochet Flower Motif