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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Finished clutch for the Naughty Notions Clutch challenge!

Usually I try to post a tutorial on Tuesdays, but I'm afraid this week it just hasn't happened!  You know sometimes things work out -and sometimes they don't. This one was a don't!

So sorry, no tutorial today...
But here it is - my entry for the challenge:

My first attempt last week - just before heading off to Sydney for a few days holiday and a family wedding was a fail...
And now - back from the holiday my second attempt is better but I'm still not happy! 
I just managed to take a picture with the faults hidden....

BUT..let me distract you a little....

The holiday was fabulous - look at this view we had from the wedding venue..

Sady I didn't leave myself enough time for the challenge!
BUT- I will continue to work on my clutch pattern - and when I've a little more time and have it figured out - I'll post again with an updated new swankier better version - complete with tutorial!

If you missed my tutorial last week - I posted one to make a very basic shiny clutch from an old car windscreen shade - in 5 steps and 15 mins!
To see that tutorial go here!

But for now... Here's my entry for:



Thanks to Keren and Rikka for holding this challenge - I look forward to seeing all the finished entries!


Monday, January 30, 2012

A Round Tuit 86

Tuits are very hard to come by, especially the round ones. For years people have been saying, "I'll do it as soon as I get a round tuit". Well now you can have one of your very own, and all those jobs that have needed doing will finally get done!


 
 
 
Here's my favourites from last week's party:
 
First of all, this fabulous t-shirt quilt from Snugasabugbaby:

I think these quilts are such a good way to preserve memories in a way they are seen every day and used!!
Alisha has some brilliant ideas, tips and tutorials on her blog, well worth a visit!






Next, this fun 
upcycled lightbulb chandelier from The Thrillz of the Hillz:
A great upcycle!!
For more fabulous ideas, go say hello at:
http://thethrillzofhillz.blogspot.com/


Finally, this gorgeous 
Embroidery Journal Project from Harvest Moon by Hand:
The post about this is very moving and special and well worth a read!
But not only that, Ann's blog is crammed full of so many wonderful ideas - you need to take some time to explore over there!!




For those featured, feel free to grab a 'featured on' button from my buttons page.

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Now it's your turn:

Link up your own projects - old or new - no rules - just share your creativity and inspiration!

I'd love if you grabbed the button - then you can have your very own Round Tuit!

And of course we all love visitors and comments so do visit some of the other links!

By linking up here you're giving me permission to use photos from your post in features here on my blog.
I will feature my favourites on facebook during the week, and also on this post next week.





Sunday, January 29, 2012

Knowing when to take a break

This week's photo challenge theme was 'abandoned'!!  Well after thinking long and hard this is what I came up with..
Yes, sadly this is a corner of our garden which has been rather neglected.  It's part of my veggie patch, but in summer here the heat and humidity don't make great conditions for veggie growing (at least not with my meagre gardening skills, or lack thereof!) so the patch gets overtaken by weeds for a few months...
I chose to make the picture black and white because I thought it brought out the old and abandoned feeling more - a few extra effects added too just to try them out since premium effects on picnik are now free!


This photo and theme hopefully don't reflect my week of motivation and fitness however!!
At the end of last week I was feeling fit again after my nasty lost voice and cold -but unfortunately it came back a little this week!  I just couldn't kick the last of the stuffed up feeling in my nose, head and chest , and although when I exercise I feel better - I obviously wasn't getting any better, so decided my body just needed a few days break!  This coincided nicely with a family trip away to Sydney for a few days for a family wedding!  Just the break I needed!


But tomorrow will be my first full week with my girls back at school, and I've got lots planned to get done! The more I manage to exercise together with that each day, the more I know I will achieve!

Hope you've all had a great week!


Friday, January 27, 2012

Learning about advertising on blogs

Do you accept sponsors for your blog? Do you have Adsense or another advertising widget?
Of course many of us want to make money from our blogs and have added advertising in some shape or form.



I have Google Adsense on my blog - and I'm pleased to see as my stats grow, so is my income from that.  It's still small, but at least I've had my first payment from them and am well on the way to my second!  Small steps - but at least I can watch the progress and see the effect of growing my blog on the financial return there.

With sponsors - companies who pay a small fee to place their button or advert on my sidebar,  you have to be a little more active.  I run monthly feature posts for my sponsors and do encourage my readers to visit their sites.  I have turned down offers of sponsorship from companies that I don't think fit my blog and I wouldn't feel right promoting to my readers who may not find their products relevant.


I was delighted last week to receive an email from one of my sponsors who kindly shared with me their statistics showing what traffic they were getting to their site from mine.   This was great to see, as it showed what had or hadn't been effective in getting people to visit my sponsor.  Of course you want to send lots of traffic through so that companies will chose to renew their advertising on your blog.  


I learnt that to have separate feature posts for my sponsors, may not be the best form of promotion for them.  To add their feature to a regular popular post will help to gain exposure.
Also to add a link to older popular posts that get weekly visits is also an idea I'm trying now.  My tutorials are by far my most popular posts - and to add a relevant sponsored link to those posts does make sense!


If anyone has any ideas of tips on blog sponsorship or advertisng, then do share!  

What have you learned this week?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

My new clutch and entry into the naughty notions challenge!

Well I've finally made a start on my clutch for the naughty notions clutch challenge!

My inspiration came from these clutches I have:
A simple silver one - the perfect size..


And this amazing one my husband brought me back from a trip to India a couple of years ago..

The challenge finishes on Tuesday - and I know I'm cutting it fine now - but will post my finished entry on Tuesday!!!!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Creating Success around the World - Karmann from KM Crafts

Welcome to

Creating Success around the World
The worldwide blog hop tour, that introduces you to creative people from all corners of the globe.




Creating my way to Sucess
 




Every Wednesday our hosts on each continent will introduce some inspiring creativity from their corner of the world.
 
Here's the hosts:




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Today's guest is Karmann from KM Crafts
Mornington in Victoria,
 Australia
 

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What do I Create?
Polymer Clay Mushroom Earrings



I play around with creating Polymer Clay jewellery as well as doing some bag making. I love to do cross stitching too when i have the time.


I am still very new to the world of polymer clay but it is a medium that i have really come to enjoy over the past few months and am working out new techniques and trying to come up with new designs for how i can use it


Fabric Christmas Decoration




Why do i Create?
Because i love it, ever since i was in school i have enjoyed doing crafts. It started off being longstitches etc, then i got into making clothing and working with fabric and now i have tried out polymer clay




Do I Sell my creations?
I am selling my items on etsy and on madeit. I would love to sell at the markets but i am still new to the world of selling and dont have a lot of stuff in my stores yet. I do have a website but am also yet to add items to it hopefully i will have this up and running soon. Sometimes i find it hard once i make something to then part with it but the reality of it is you just can't keep everything you make. It soon takes over your house.




What Mistakes have i made?
I think it's important to spend just as much time working on your craft and ideas as much as it is to list items and spend time on the computer. Sometimes you get so caught up trying to sell your items that you don't get to spend enough time doing what you love. I know i am guilty of this. I find it hard to keep up with creating, listing items, keeping my blog up to date and posting in the forums. I don't know how one person does all of this.Polymer Clay Christmas Tree Earrings




What's Next?


Well for this year i would like to get my website up and running and branch out a little in terms of i would like to sell fabric and beads along with my handmade items. I am hoping to build on sales and go to some markets to start selling.






Karmann

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Thanks Karmann for your lovely answers - and for sharing your beautiful work with us!
Do go and say hi to Karmann at her blog and check out more of her wonderful creations!
 
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If you would like to be featured in an interview - then please contact your continent's host! 
Each featured guest here on Creating my way to Success, will also receive one week's free advertising in my sidebar as a thank you for your post!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Shiny clutch tutorial - 5 steps in 15 minutes



I love experimenting when I sew - and discovered last year that you can make some interesting things by sewing with old car windscreen shades!

Recently I was given a nice shiny red one that was no longer used so decided to make a shiny clutch!

It's another very simple project that anyone can sew in just 5 steps and 15 minutes! 
All you need is:
An old car windscreen shade, some scrap material for the lining, a large button and a piece of elastic, ribbon or old hairtie!

Step 1
Measure and cut a piece each of the windscreen shade and your lining material 30 x 20cm (12 x 8").
Fold the elastic/ribbon (around 12cm/ 4.75") or hair-tie into a loop, and pin to the right side of your windscreen shade rectangle in the middle of the shorter edge.
Lay the lining fabric face down on top and pin all around, leaving a gap of around 10cm (4") in one edge.


Step 2
Stitch around all 4 edges - leaving the gap you marked with your pins.  Clip all 4 corners.  


Step 3
Turn right sides out.
Note - your stitching next to the gap may rip a little as you turn it out. Don't worry about this, just go as slowly and carefully as you can!
Pin the opening closed, then top-stitch around all 4 edges, close to the edge.



Step 4
Measure 10cm (4") up from the centre of the opposite end to the elastic or ribbon loop and stitch on your button.

Step 5
Fold up the bottom of the clutch 12cm (4.75") and pin along both sides, then stitch.  Run over the top edges of the fold a few times with your stitching for extra strength.


All done!  A nice simple shiny clutch !

For the downloadable PDF version of this tutorial, click here.

For more simple projects that anyone can sew in 5 steps and 15 minutes - go here!
I'll be linking this project to many of the wonderful linky parties whose pretty buttons can be found on the bottom of this page, and names and links on my linky party page.


Monday, January 23, 2012

A Round Tuit 85 and the fabulous Madwestdesigns

Just before the party today I wanted to introduce you to...

Madwestdesigns

 A fabulous  shop where you can find some gorgeous crocheted items.

New this year, you'll find, this gorgeous crochet hat with flower:




Or one for the boys perhaps..

with this smart Fishermans rib scarf:



and this handknitted Fishermans beanie:




Do go and take a look at Madwisetdesigns fabulous shop full of goodies handmade right here in Australia!

There's lots more to see - something for everyone!

Now to this week's party!

----------------------------------------------
Tuits are very hard to come by, especially the round ones. For years people have been saying, "I'll do it as soon as I get a round tuit". Well now you can have one of your very own, and all those jobs that have needed doing will finally get done!



 
 
 
Here's my favourites from last week's party:
 
First of all, this family tree word art by From Gardners 2 Bergers:



Becca has heaps of fabulous crafts and DIY on her blog every single week - so take some time and go for a visit!
http://gardenberger.blogspot.com/
 



There are lots more fabulous ideas on her blog - so please do go and say hello to Christina!


Isn't it gorgeous?
For lots of great sewing tutorials and recipes - go and visit Jamie at


For those featured, feel free to grab a 'featured on' button from my buttons page.

----------------------------------------------------------

Now it's your turn:

Link up your own projects - old or new - no rules - just share your creativity and inspiration!

I'd love if you grabbed the button - then you can have your very own Round Tuit!

And of course we all love visitors and comments so do visit some of the other links!

By linking up here you're giving me permission to use photos from your post in features here on my blog.
I will feature my favourites on facebook during the week, and also on this post next week.





Sunday, January 22, 2012

Back into daily exercise!


This photo is my entry into Suzy's 2012 photo challenge. The theme this week was rocks.  Well, I wasn't near any rocks this week -so used the ones by our pool around the newly planted pineapples.  I'm afraid I wasn't very inspired with taking the photo - so explored more effects on Picnik!

But onto my fitness for the week:
 I'm motivated and exercising well now - but annoyed that I can't kick the last dregs of this cold! Just a lingering cough, but slowly getting better! 

Anyway - my goals last week were to do my Spartacus cardio-weights circuit twice - yes I did this on Thursday and Saturday.
To exercise every day - yes I cycled on Monday night, did some skipping on Tuesday - not much at all - only 3 lots of almost 2 minutes - but I was exhausted!! Definitely something I can build up and practice! Funny I can run for 1 hour, but only skip for 2 minutes!!
I even went out afterwards and bought myself a fancy digital skipping rope - much better to have one my size than holding onto my daughter's rope with my fingertips to try and make it long enough!!

On Wednesday I went for our family 3 km run on the esplanade. The girls were motivated and ran fast this week! I went with the elder daughter and we did it in 20mins! Not bad for an 8 year old!

On Friday I mowed the lawn - which is pretty good exercise - 1 hour of pushing the mower through long soggy grass!! 
Then this morning (Sunday) I did my long run again...
More than 5 minutes faster than last week and getting close to my best time for this run again. This week it took me 59 mins and 31 secs!

A really good week of exercise - and I definitely feel my fitness returning !


Next week I'm having a trip away for a family wedding - so my goals are to fit in exercise as and where I can!

Hope you're havng a great weekend!

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