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Giveaway Day!

This giveaway is now closed! Thanks so much to everyone for entering – we’ll announce a winner tomorrow!

Hooray, Hooray, it’s Sew Mama Sew’s Giveaway Day!

I love Giveaway Day so much – what a lovely way to celebrate the wonderful feeling of community in our little crafty world. Meet new people, share some pretties, maybe even win some pretties!

For any of you visiting for Giveaway Day that haven’t been here before, here’s Button Button in a nutshell: I’m Julie, an all-around needlecrafter who basically eats, sleeps and breathes thread of various types. I co-design embroidery patterns with my mother, Chris, as a team called Little Dorrit & Co. and I’m just over halfway through a year of making embroidered samplersembroidery is one of my greatest loves. I also love to sew by hand, especially English Paper Piecing, and knit (and have designed a handful of knitting patterns as well), and quilt – and make bobbin lace! Basically, I’ll try whatever needlework you throw at me. I’m a bit of a vintage-junkie, but I’m also a geek for things like Buffy, the Goonies and nail polish.

So, geeky, vintagey needlecraft then. If that sounds like something you can relate to, I sure hope you’ll stick around and see what I get up to!

Giveaway Day May 2014

For now though, let’s get on with the dang giveaway! This prize is from the Little Dorrit & Co. team: A Needlecrafter’s Pampering Kit!

We’ve got a beautiful vintage teacup and a box of Teapigs Super Fruit teabags, a wee bag of Leonidas milk chocolates, a tube of The Body Shop‘s Almond Hand & Nail Cream (my absolute favorite hand cream ever) to soothe those tired stitchy hands – and three precious skeins of Au Ver à Soie Soie d’Alger Silk Embroidery Thread. (This is the thread I used to stitch my Eels lyrics embroidery, it’s dreamy!) We’ll probably and toss some vintage buttons and lace in there for you as well – ’cause we’re just totally crazy like that!

How’s that for a treat to feel like a needlecrafting princess?!

Everyone is welcome to enter this giveaway, no matter where you are in the world, and we will pick a winner by random number generator from the comments on this post. As with all of the Sew Mama Sew giveaways, we will close the giveaway on May 16 at 5 p.m. PST (that’s about 1am here in the UK, so I’ll probably close it when I wake up the following morning). All you have to do to enter is:

Tell us about a crafting disaster that was so bad, you really needed some pampering to recover.

Everyone has a story, something that might be funny now, but really wasn’t at the time. Here’s my story: quite a few years ago now, I knit a pair of Cookie A’s wonderful Pomatomus socks – if you’ve made these socks, you’ll know how easy it is to lose stitches at the end of a round and end up missing an entire motif if you aren’t really, really careful. I obviously was not, and didn’t realize that my sock had gone horribly wrong until I was about three inches past the fateful mistake! I am not terribly proud of my reaction: I threw the whole thing across the room in a rage and burst into tears. Really – actual, proper sobbing. It stayed on the floor for hours before I could even stand to pick it up – and about another month to frog back and finish the sock. Worth it in the end, but not so much at that moment!

I hope you’ll enter to win this little kit and visit Sew Mama Sew to enter a million more giveaways this week!

2014

2013 looked like this.

Yeesh! Where did 2013 go?! I’m sorry for my long absence on the blog and I know I promised things like an embroidered Christmas ornament and the return of our Year of Samplers project and haven’t delivered. For me and my family, December brought a very serious family emergency and my poor Mom (aka the other half of Little Dorrit & Co.) has been in the hospital for about five weeks now. This after she – and the family – have already had a very tough year, and things got lost in the shuffle. We haven’t even celebrated Christmas yet.

It will take me some time to get back into the swing of things, so I have to apologize in advance that the Year of Samplers will now resume in February. I hope you’ll stick with me until then!! I thought maybe I could jam it in really quickly now, but I think that would do the whole project a disservice – I would rather have the time to gather materials and give you proper warning about what we’ll need, etc. I want to learn from the samplers, not just check them off a list. So I apologize for the long break in our project, but in a few weeks, we’ll get ready to start back up on February 1st!

In the meantime, I’m ready to say goodbye to 2013 and look forward to a better year in 2014. I think I probably say that every year, but this time is a little different. My own personal year was actually really good. I met most of the goals I set this time last year — including that first one, but more on that in time, EEP! — and I feel pretty good about where I’ve gotten to. And I feel good about the ideas and plans I have in the works for the coming year too, I’m really anxious and excited to get started!

So for myself, business-wise, I’m pretty happy. There’s always more to do, but I’m happy. And when it comes to friends, I couldn’t possibly be luckier. And I made some beautiful things, if I do say so myself (a selection of which is pictured above). Personally though, 2013 was a very tough year. This is the second time one of my parents has been very, very sick and although we are very lucky that both are now fine (or well on their way to being fine), it’s tough. I’m so ready for all of that to be behind us all. Hoping that things will be, well, much more boring in 2014, I have a list of personal things I want to work on, just for me. I will make more time for reading, and be better about being assertive, and be more courageous about getting myself and my work out there. At the risk of sounding a little self-obsessed, I want 2014 to be the year I treated *me* better.

What do you want 2014 to be?

DaWanda ‘Creative Xmas Decorations’ Blogger Competition!

Retro Christmas Tree Mug Rug Tutorial!

Hey guys! Remember my little Retro Christmas Tree Mug Rug tutorial from last week-ish? Well, the good folks at the DaWanda Blog liked it enough to invite it to their ‘Creative Xmas Decorations’ Blogger Competition – I stand to win a major award!

So pretty please, if you would – go over to the DaWanda Facebook Page and give my little mug rug a big thumbs up! (You can also go directly to see the entries here!) I’d really appreciate your vote – and while you’re there, check out the other lovely entries!

News & Bits & Pieces

Thank you all for your tips and input on keeping up with blog reading – and sorry for not replying to each comment, I didn’t get a chance before I got a terrific cold and spent three days huddled in my bed. Ugh! (I’m feeling a wee bit better today, thank goodness!) So anyway, I learned two things from you guys:

1.) Grouping and categorizing is good. I actually used to do this, and then didn’t for some reason when I moved to Bloglovin’ (which I really like, by the way – for one thing, it’s got a classy iPhone app). And I used to do that exact thing you all described, run through one category when I have a few minutes here or there. I will re-implement grouping in my blog reader, and I think I might even do more grouping than I used to to get an idea of what I like reading most and what I just want to scan.

2.) Don’t worry so much about ‘keeping up’. Not that I worry that, like, I’m going to get in trouble or something. More that I don’t want to miss anything good! I loved that several of you said you had an ‘eye candy’ category – I immediately thought that’s one thing I’m missing. You all described that very well, the group of blogs you love to scan through rather than strictly read every word of, and if I think about it, these are the blogs that weigh me down, keeping-up-wise.

Blueberry Park Tote!

And while we’re talking about blogs, here’s two more for you to visit: I was invited by the lovely Karen of Blueberry Park to do a little guest post about the tote pictured above, made from one of her kits. Karen makes the most gorgeous screenprinted fabrics – be sure to visit her blog and check out my guest post right here. I’m so in love with this new tote, I can’t even tell you!

I'm a Patch Blogger

Also, I’ll soon be blogging from time to time over at the Patch Fabric and Haberdashery blog! Myself, Lisa from Lisa Sew, Sonia from Fabric & Flowers, and Trudi from Quilting Prolifically will make up the new Patch Blogging team, bringing you ideas and tutorials to use with your lovely pretty nummy fabrics. I’m a bit the odd one out there, since I’m more of a stitcher than a quilter, but I hope that means I can come up with some fun hand-stitch-y ideas to share!

HELP! How do you keep up with blog reading?

Peeps, I need your help. I love all the amazing blogs out there in the world, especially out there in the crafty world, but I just can’t keep up! I know the obvious solution is to read less of them, but that won’t solve the whole problem, and anyway, I don’t wanna. I want to keep reading along and being inspired by all those beautiful bloggers out there!

But I think I need some kind of system. Left to my own devices, I will accidentally forget that other blogs even exist and weeks will go by and that bar at the top of the browser will say 80 Thousand Million unread posts when I open up Bloglovin‘. I do have the Bloglovin’ app, though leaving comments is often very quirky on mobile sites (am I the only one that finds that?), so I prefer to read blogs on my laptop. I used to always read new posts in the morning over coffee, but now that’s mostly when I reply to emails and get quick online tasks done.

So I’m looking for inspiration here. Do you have a time and place you tend to read blogs? Or do you just read them all willy-nilly? Do you have a hard time keeping up with them too or is it just me?!

While we’re talking about blog reading and whatnot: how do you like to be replied to when you leave a comment? I tend to reply here on the page, but I know some people reply to comments by email and I have to admit, I do like that myself because I won’t always stop back by the post I commented on and see a reply. So I guess by email is the best option for the readers, but then I wonder if other people would like to see the reply, especially if it’s an answer to a question. What do you think? The most important is that the commenter is happy with the reply method, so I’d love to hear your feedback!

Thanks, my dears!

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