Monday, May 9, 2011

String Fever

I am very much a novice when it comes to anything made with string, yarn, and thread, and anytime I attempt a project using any of these I'm most likely to end up sitting dejectedly in a nest of tangled string bits instead of with a finished project. Thankfully, there are many talented crafters out there that have overcome the inherent difficulties of dealing with what I consider to be one long knot waiting to happen. Today I come to you with some of their lovely string-y handmade items, in pretty spring-y colors!

All images are credited/linked below, clockwise from top left:

handarbeitskram | Mademoiselle MermaidPrecious KnitsShelby Rose 

All items shown are from two up-and-coming handmade marketplaces, ArtFire and Zibbet. They are a lot smaller than Etsy at the moment, but there are some great finds!  I am so excited that buying handmade has become such a big deal these last few years.  I am just getting a taste of what it's like to be a small business owner, and it is thrilling that there are so many avenues nowadays for SBOs to pursue. If you haven't already signed up to buy and/or sell from one of these new sites, you should!

Gizmo Fiber Arts | Nances Knifty Knits | Flouncing Floozy | Morning Sky Creations

Have you found any more Etsy alternatives on the web that I missed? I would love to check them out! 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Freebie: Mother's Day Coupon Book

I blame this freebie on the recent spate of coupon fever (seriously, when did "couponing" become such an omnipresent thing?), but I'm actually kind of glad for the inspiration. My first thought for a cute Mother's Day printable was some sort of printable art to frame, or maybe a card.  But in the back of my mind I had this niggling feeling of meh. Sometimes an idea just doesn't jive, you know?  Then out of the clouds (or probably the TV....) came the word "coupons"! Coupons? Yes, coupons!  And I knew exactly the project I wanted to do.

I, and probably a lot of other people, have definitely encountered homemade "coupon" books like this before.  Valentine's-themed coupon books are easy to find, but usually kind of raunchy. I think you'll find these Mother's Day coupons just right for that special lady (and not that special ladeee, if you know what I mean). I went with something cute, colorful, easy-to-make, and best of all, something that will cement your affection and desire to help/please/soothe your mom or a mom in your life not just once, but many times as she redeems the coupons in the book throughout the year. Mother's Day is about taking a day to appreciate your awesome, most excellent Mom, but seriously...she's most excellent all year long, and this little booklet will remind you both of that.

This free printable includes two pages in a PDF file: first, a selection of three covers, giving you a choice of delightful pink, blue, or yellow, along with instructions for assembling your coupon book; and secondly, a page of coupons to go inside your booklet.  I've added a few suggestions for mom-friendly coupons, but also included are one "mom's choice" coupon if you want to let your mom go hogwild, and a simple blank coupon to allow for your own write-ins. Print as many pages as you want and use your favorites! Stuff this little booklet silly. Your mom will thank you.

Just print, cut, and staple it all together...or if you're fancy, you can use a sewing machine to sew down the left edge to bind it together, punch holes and thread ribbon, string, or twine through and tie, or even bind it with Japanese washi tape!  There are numerous tutorials on how to do this, so I didn't go too in detail on that part. I trust that we've all made a homemade book of SOME kind before!  Sorry the file is kind of large, I'm not sure how to make a PDF smaller -- working on it!

I truly hope you all find some lovely lady to pass this little booklet on to, and that they truly enjoy it!  What did you think of my coupon ideas? I think my favorite was the free sinkful of dishes...dirty dishes are my nemesis. What will you write in on the blank coupons?