2015 Annie's Craft Festival

1st Annual Annie’s Craft Festival

2015 Annie's Craft FestivalThe conference took place in Fort Wayne, IN, just two hours from my home town. Knowing this, I decided to attend the conference…and I’m so very glad I did. I was very impressed with the variety of classes offered and happily signed up for five crochet classes and one quilting class. Alas, I was disappointed that one of my classes, Venetian Lace, was canceled. Hopefully next year it will be offered again.

Of the classes I took, I was quite impressed with all of the instructors that taught crochet techniques. I learned introduction to Irish Crochet…WOW, I’m looking forward to adding this new technique to my crochet arsenal.

Irish Rose

My completed Irish Rose

I also took a class in Designing Garments for Everyone…quite interesting and thought provoking. I am hopeful I will be able to take a follow up class in this topic with the instructor I had, Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby. He is, by far, my favorite instructor to date. I am hoping he will be at the 2016 Knit and Crochet Show in Charleston, SC in July.

The weekend was full of learning, laughing, shopping (of course), and finding new inspiration for future projects…both crochet and sewing. The vendors had a lot of great products, which was quite impressive. I was a little disappointed there weren’t more yarn vendors.

2015 Annie's Craft FestivalAll in all, I am most impressed with how Annie’s organized the festival. It was well organized and the staff so very friendly.

If you have a chance to go, I highly recommend the Annie’s Craft Festival. They are in the planning stages for 2016. Looking forward to seeing what classes they will be offering.

BLOGGING

Blogging

What is a blog? It is a web page or website that has regularly added articles that are written in a conversational style on whatever topic you want to talk about.

How long should a blog post be? It depends on what you want to accomplish. If you want comments on your post, the shorter the better. If you want people to share your post? mid length is the best. Do you want more traffic to your site? If so, the longer the better.

Do you want to allow people to share your blog post or comment on your blog? YES and YES! People sharing your posts, means more opportunity to drive traffic to your website and/or Etsy site.

How do you start writing a blog post?

  1. First and foremost you need a topic. This will give you the direction for the piece you are writing about. For instance, it could be a review about crochet hooks or knitting needles, a new book you purchased, or a project you are working on.
  2. Your blog post should have an introduction to introduce your topic. Next, the body of the blog l inform your reader. Include images to give it a visual interest. The last step is the conclusion of your blog post. The conclusion can be as simple as asking a question to get your readers to engage with you.

Be sure to break up your information in easy to read paragraphs. Make it a conversation instead of “talking at” your reader.

So, what is your first blog post going to be about?

Being Inspired, Quilt from Country Stitches

Projects and Inspiration

Being Inspired with MaterialsYou have time on your hands and want to crochet or sew a project. Do you look for inspiration and decide on the type of project during the process or do you decide on the type of project first…sewing or crocheting?

Before I look for inspiration, I like to know what type of project I will be working on…sewing or crocheting. If I have a weekend free, I will choose a project to sew. If it’s a case where I will be working on the project during the evening, I will choose one to crochet. The reason being, I prefer to sew when I have natural light.

Where do you find your inspiration?

My sister being inspired

My sister being inspired

My inspiration comes from a variety of sources, depending on if I will be crocheting or sewing.

For crocheting, my inspirations include:

  • Crochet books I have purchased
  • Crochet magazines: Crochet! and Crochet World
  • Ravelry
  • Craftsy
  • Crochet Guild of America website member resources
  • Pinterest
  • Free in-store patterns

Right now, I am currently inspired by “The Best of Mary Maxim: Ripple Afghans” by Leisure Arts. Since it is currently -20 degrees on average in Michigan, blankets seem very appropriate.

For sewing, my inspirations include:

  • Local store – Country Stitches in East Lansing, MI. The store is PERFECT. This is, by far, my favorite place to get inspiration.
  • Sewing patterns I have purchased
  • Pinterest
  • Free patterns from Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores