Sunday, October 31, 2010

Handmade Blog Party - The Season of Giving

We have entered the Season of Giving and we thought today we would have a different kind of sharing party.

What are you giving away this holiday season? Are you sharing a free pattern, a free printable, a tutorial, a recipe, etc. on your blog? Are you having a giveaway on your website or blog? Are you offering a free gift with each sale from now until Christmas?

Just add a picture of the freebie and the url to where they can get it to the link below.

The rules are simple:

1. Follow our blog

2. Handmade items only.

3. You may list up to 2 items.

4. Family friendly items only.

The success of this link party depends on the participants so spread the word to your friends, visit the shops, post about it on your blog, in a forum or on your favorite social networking site, grab the button and put it on your blog or website.

Just click on the Add Your Link button at the end of this post and add your items.

And if you would like to add a link to the party you can grab this button below.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Handmade Sampler Giveaway -- Christmas Ornament Giveaway DONE

Welcome to another By Your Hands collaborative giveaway.

This time we have a large assortment of handmade Christmas Ornaments brought to you by these talented designers.   Be sure to visit their websites listed below.

4. (Sharon Neths Treasures)

You can earn two entries by doing the following...

1... Earn one entry by becoming a follower of this blog.  Already a follower?  Just let us know so we can give you credit.
2... Earn an extra entry by posting our button on your blog and linking to us. We've made it easy... just copy and paste the html code below and add it to the side bar of your blog. Be sure to let us know if you'd done this.

Handmade Ornament Giveaway
The giveaway will start today, Saturday, October 30, and the winner will be announced on Friday, November 19.  We will announce it here and contact you by the email address you have left.  Final day to enter is Thursday, November 18, 2010. 

(USA and Canada entries only, please)
Have fun and good luck!
Deena and Bette

Friday, October 29, 2010

We Have a Winner for the Snowman Gift Box

Congratulations to Eryn G. of Colorado on winning the Snowman Gift Box from Sharon Neth's Treasures. You can check out Eryn's photo stream on

The winner was picked using the true random number generator on We want to thank ALL of you who took the time to enter and for all the wonderful comments.

Be sure and come back again tomorrow, we will have a new giveaway starting that you won't want to miss.

Would you like to be a sponsor for one of the giveaways on our blog? It is a great way to get your craft business noticed. For information email us at

Thursday, October 28, 2010

How to Be Comfortable While You Quilt or Sew

Being comfortable while sewing is sometimes over looked by sewers. Crazy Shortcut Quilts tells us how to set up your sewing table for comfort.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Handmade Spotlight - Trick or Treat

We're going trick or treating in a few days. Do you have your costume ready? Got a bag?

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday Tutorial ---- Penny Rugs and the Blanket Stitch

Penny rugs date back to the 1800"s.   Frugal women used wool fabric scraps to make table mats,  mantle covers and even bed covers.   They were called penny rugs because they used coins as a template for cutting their pieces out.

The main stitch you need to know to stitch a penny rug is called a blanket stitch.    It looks like this:

There is a video here that will take you through the steps to make this stitch.   It is a great stitch for a lot of other things besides penny rugs.

You can find the basic instructions for making a penny rug here.
She also has a tutorial to make this penny purse on her blog.

These penny rug coasters are an easy beginner project.

The blanket stitch is a versatile stitch and can be used as an edging on a lot of other projects.     Use it to edge a sweatshirt jacket,   a baby blanket,   or to applique one fabric on to another.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Getting Organized - Holiday Gift Shopping Tips

Today we have guest writers from, Please welcome Tina and Tammy as they share their Holiday Shopping Tips with us.


The holidays are upon us, if you haven't already you will soon begin the time honored tradition of gift giving.

Are you someone who plans ahead or waits till the last minute? Whatever end of the spectrum you are on or if you are somewhere in the middle, the following list is a great tool to make your shopping expeditions less chaotic and keep you within your budget.

Holiday Shopping Tips:

1.) Set a per person budget. I have found that a per person budget works best to keep from overspending.

2.) Ask for a Christmas list. Some of you are probably thinking this takes some of the magic out of it, but like me, you probably have at least one person on the list you have no idea what to get for them. And let's face it in today's tight economy sometimes a practical gift is more appreciated than a whimsical gift. No matter how much the person may like the whimsical gift.

3.) Make a list of people you are shopping for. There is nothing worse than getting home thinking you are done and find you forgot to buy a gift for someone.

4.) Add to your list of people an idea of what you are looking for. Don't forget to think of handmade items. Handmade gifts add a personal touch to your gift giving.

5.) Consider shopping online and avoiding the malls altogether.

6.) Plan your shopping trip -- Group your gift list based on the different stores, categories, types of items you are looking for, then plan your route. You will save a great deal of time this way.

7.) Find a shopping buddy -- stores in general are crazy busy this time of year, it is easy to miss deals. With a shopping buddy you will cover more territory, saving you time and catching deals missed when shopping solo.

8.) Bring your own shopping bags -- not only is it environmentally friendly, they are easier to carry and keep track of.

9.) Consider shopping for Handmade items online. -- Yep, I am all for avoiding those malls and totally appreciate a handmade gift over a mall special.

10.) Remember Yourself --- It may be the season of giving, but we all work hard and deserve to treat ourselves too. Whether this be a large item or a small item, you are deserving and taking care of yourself allows you the energy and humor to care for others.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Handmade Blog Party - What Did You Make This Week

Welcome to our blog party today.   The holiday selling season has started and we would like to see your new handmades you have for sale.   Just add your links below to show us what you are selling this season.

You are allowed to add 3 links to your shops. 

The rules are simple:

1. Follow our blog

2. Handmade items only.

3. You may list up to 3 items.

4. Family friendly items only.

The success of this link party depends on the participants so spread the word to your friends, visit the shops, post about it on your blog, in a forum or on your favorite social networking site, grab the button and put it on your blog or website.

Just click on the Add Your Link button below and add your items.

And if you would like to add a link to the party you can grab this button below.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Time Saver Recipes - Easy Crock Pot Chili

This is a very mild and meaty chili. I like to serve it over corn chips with a bit of shredded cheddar and a dollop of sour cream on top.

2 lbs. ground beef
2-3 Tb. chopped onion
1 clove garlic
1 - 15 oz. can chili beans
2 - 15 oz. cans diced tomatoes
2 T. brown sugar
1 can of water
chili powder

In a skillet, brown 2 lbs. ground beef with onion and garlic, drain fat.

Add hamburger, onion/garlic mixture to crock pot along with remaining ingredients.

Season to taste with chili powder, salt and pepper.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4-6 hours with lid slightly ajar so steam can escape. Stir occasionally.

Deena Davis

Friday, October 22, 2010

Trash to Treasure --- Repurposed Drawers

Have you ever had a piece of furniture that wasn't worth salvaging but the drawers were still good?     I did recently which led me to look for some ideas to use that drawer for another purpose.

This cute dollhouse was made from two nightstand drawers.  Tutorial on   Nice Girl Notes.

Can  you tell this shelf started life as a drawer?   Trash2Treasure tells you how.

This takes a bit of work to put together but it sure is unique.   Instructions for making this self-watering planter from 3 dresser drawers can be found on

This is what I am going to do with my drawer.   Make a pullout underbed storage drawer.   I don't remember where I saw this one but do know that they added castors to the bottom and a cover over the top of the drawer.   The cover was tacked down on one side and the other side has a strip of velcro glued on for easy opening of the cover.

And if you don't have any excess drawers you can make your own underbed drawers from scratch.  BHG tells you how.

Thanks for visiting today.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Today's Featured Artist - Pretty Handy Girl

Today's featured artist is Brittany (aka Pretty Handy Girl.

Along with being a graphic/web design artist, wife and mother of two, Brittany is an extraordinary do it yourself artist who would love to empower you to tackle your own diy projects.

How did you decide to start blogging?

I actually wanted to host classes in our garage to help people learn how to use power tools and create or fix things. My husband and best friend suggested that I could reach and empower more people with a blog, and thus was born.

When did you begin creating your own DIY projects?

 My parents added on to our house when I was young. There were always scrap pieces of lumber lying around. I dreamed of building my own playhouse in the back yard with that wood. I used to paint and color on those scraps (and still have two of them today!)

 When my husband and I moved to Philadephia, we bought some unfinished furniture from IKEA, I successfully stained them (although we kept smelling gas and finally ended up calling the gas company only to find out that using an oil based stain in an unventilated area is not a good idea! After that I recovered a hand-me-down couch by taking it apart and seeing how it was pieced together.

Did you have any formal training?

Definitely not, but I wish!

How did you learn how to create your own projects?

 My father had 3 daughters and no sons, so he taught us how to use his power tools, change the oil on our cars and wire an outlet (among other things.) My mom was always finding yard sale and curbside treasures. I remember her painting a bed, nightstand and dresser so they would coordinate for my bedroom. And she also re-upholstered a curbside chair for my college apartment. I always pay attention when someone is fixing, building or creating something.

  Was anyone inspirational in giving you the confidence to try a DIY project?

Definitely my father for teaching us we could do anything a boy could do (if not better!) And my mother for being a hands on type of woman who was not afraid to climb a ladder to paint something or figure out how to make something herself.

Where do you get your inspirations?

 Magazines, Flea Markets, Boutiques and definitely all the other wonderful blogs out there (including this one.)

Any advice you have to other new DIYers?

Look at how things are made. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I find Lowe’s Home Improvement and Ace employees to be super helpful! The next time you have a handyman come fix something, watch how he or she fixes it and ask questions. Google how to instructions or videos. Most of all, just try it!

You can find the tutorials for all these and many more wonderful projects of Brittany's on her blog,

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Handmade Spotlight - Get Ready for the Holidays

Get Ready...

The OFG etsy team is having a Winter Holiday Celebration. Find everything you need to get ready for the Holidays. You can also find more items listed in our celebration, simply search for 'WHCOFG'. Below is a small sample of what the team has to offer.
















Generated using Treasury HTML code generator by Whale Shark Websites.

Click on the image below to view all of the items listed in the Winter Holiday Celebration.

Thanks for joining us today! 

Deena Davis,