3.27.2013

I've Moved!

So you probably haven't noticed that I haven't been blogging here of late. In my absence, I've traveled to a faraway land, and, among other things, created a new website! =D

I introduce to you, the new blog!




What you will find at Paperfrost...


What you will NOT find there...
  • How to sew anything.
  • Recipes.
  • My Etsy Shop updates.
      (For these, see U R SNOW BEAUTIFUL, my Etsy Shop blog.)

Thanks for subscribing here! I don't intend to move homes again for some time now, so you should be able to find me over at Paperfrost indefinitely, barring any unfortunate circumstance. 

Best wishes! =)


12.13.2012

Learn Hand Embroidery Stitches, Then Practice with these PDF Patterns

I first learned embroidery because I wanted to make cute plushies and sleeping-masks-with-cat-eyes-on-them, like Aimee Ray. I used the stitch diagrams from her book, Doodle Stitching, but I could've found instructions online, if I hadn't preferred the convenience of the pages sitting in my lap.


The best set of embroidery stitch tutorials I've come across on the internet was created by a blogger named Sarah. She has posted an entire Visual Dictionary of them. Each stitch is thoroughly explained in photographic detail. I dunno about you, but I find photographs and illustrations the easiest way to learn new handicrafts. And all her photographs are pretty, too, like the ones above.




As I was learning the stitches, I created a cute sampler. (Finishing a handy reference piece is so much more satisfying than random stitches.) If you'd like to start one also, I recommend this free pattern by Molly from Wild Olive (she has a bunch of other cute, simple patterns, too). Appreciate the non-quite-subliminal message? I do. I need it badly (miss-a-thousand-ideas-at-once woman here).

Before long, you'll be stitching like Megan, of Studio MME. Her beautiful pattern, "Feeding the Moon" (shown above), only costs six dollars. I love it so much! Below, is Flapperdoodle's pair of cute patterns, "Elsie and Ramona Play Telephone," which costs five for the set.


The tree on the left, is one of four patterns in the "4 Season Pattern Kit" by Purl SOHO. Susan of Red Gate Stitchery designed the cross stitch heart. It is four dollars.

 

Corrine of September House charges three dollars to download her patterns. The one below is from a set called "Stitches Del Sol."

mini felt mythical creatures

sweet vs healthy

Nomnomn--oh, these are felt. Aimee Ray's plushies are so dang cute. (See? Totally worth learning embroidery for.) Both of the sets above are available through her Etsy shop. See the sweets here, and the produce here. Sadly, her magical creatures aren't currently available as patterns, but inspiration nevertheless. :)


Shelly has a number of cute plushie doll and animal patterns for sale in her Etsy Shop, Gingermelon. The one above costs twelve-and-a-half bucks. She also runs a blog, where occasionally she posts patterns for free download.


Patchlin Rabbit

This floppy-eared rabbit with top hat pattern from Patchlins, is ten dollars. It looks sad. I want to give it to a kid to cuddle. :)

Aren't all of these the prettiest?

LOVE: Kait
 

12.12.2012

I've Recieved a Liebster Award !

This basically means that Ashley of Printable Wisdom likes my blog. So thank you again, Ashley! (Ashley sells neat house portraits on Etsy. Check them out in her shop.) There are a bunch of rules for Liebster recipients. The rules say I should link to eleven bloggers with under 200 readers. I'd love to send some love out to other beginning bloggers like myself, but I don't know of that many. So instead, I'm going to link to eleven articles about building a blog, and gaining a blog audience, seeing as I imagine most of you'd be interested in doing that.
  1. Guest Posting - Part One of Darren Rowse's series on finding new blog readers.
  2. Networking - Part Two
  3. Advertising - Part Three
  4. Social Media - Part Four
  5. Viral Content - Last one!
  6. Biz and Blog Star by Leonie Dawson - This is a short, free eBook.
  7. Drive Traffic to Your Blog - Has a list of links to submit your blog to.
  8. Making Your Craft Blog Posts More Meaningful
  9. Cheap and Simple Tools for Better Blog Photography
  10. Behind the Scenes Look at A DIY Blog Post
  11. Why Most Artist's Blogs Fail
These posts are really, really good, but taken in together the information they contain is overwhelming. I'm thinking I'll refer to the articles regularly, testing out one or two ideas each time. Or better yet, maybe I should make a checklist schedule based on them. If I do, I'll be sure to share it with you.

And now, for the rest of the Liebster Rules! I am supposed to list eleven facts about myself, and answer Ashley's eleven questions.

Cardinal braving the snow
photo credit: alex ranaldi

Eleven Facts About Me
  1. I grew up on a farm in the part of Canada my six-year-old-cousin from Edmonton described as "the middle of nowhere."
  2. Until this year, I had never been to school. (I was unschooled growing up.)
  3. I like Algebra. (Yes, unschoolers usually learn math. =P)
  4. I attend a small Liberal Arts University.
  5. Owl City is my favorite band ever.
  6. I greatly dislike reality tv.
  7. A friend just told me about Quite Interesting, and it is.
  8. I attended ballet classes for thirteen years.
  9. I love comic books, and graphic novels, and webcomics.
  10. I think Joss Wheaton is pretty cool.
  11. I'm a Grammar Nazi. 
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
My Answers to Ashley's Eleven Questions
  1. A fairy, who lives in my backyard, gives me inspiration whenever I have cookie crumbs to trade. (Naw, I just blog about things I like or have been helpful to me.)
  2. I live on Canada's eastern shore.
  3. I have one dog, a pomeranian poodle, named Lily Licorice.
  4. I am reading Epigenetics: The Ultimate Mystery of Inheritance by Richard C. Francis, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney, and a bunch of books for school, including Sandra Richter's The Epid of Eden: A Christian Entry into the Old Testament (I highly reccomend this book to anyone of the Christian faith--the Bible becomes much more interesting when it is studied within it's hisorical context, and this book makes the schoolarship easily accessable to the layperson).
  5. Dangit. I have a great many favourite movies. Among them are Mr. Magoriums Wonder Emporium, Brazil, Coraline, and The Princess Bride.
  6. There is this park in my town that has mossy patches, and a trickling brook, and little bridges. I like to go there with a friend and my dog.
  7. Probably my favourite hobby is acting, although I don't do enough of it anymore.
  8. My heroes are most of my family members and friends, especially those who have experienced great difficulty in life, and come through with more empathy and love for themselves and others.
  9. My biggest accomplishments are the silly little things that matter the most. Like being brave enough to tell someone when I love them.
  10. Clothes. Never leave the house without 'em.
  11. Friday is the best day of the week, because I get to spend time with my boyfriend who is going to school in another town. 
wfArYM on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs
make animated gifs like this at MakeAGif
This is Lily Licorice, attacking my boyfriend's nose. XD


Thanks again, Ashley! :)

LOVE: Kait

P.S. If you are a blogger with under two-hundred readers, and you found the articles above helpful, consider yourself personally nominated by me for the Liebster, and join in! These are my questions for you:

1) Why did you start blogging? 2) If you were a character in a movie, who would you be? 3) Why did you chose him or her? 4) Do you prefer flower gardens, or snow sculptures? 5) Sewing or knitting? 6) Drawing or writing? 7) Fiction or nonfiction? 8) Socks or bare feet? 9) What are you wearing? 10) Are you obsessed with any tv shows at the moment? 11) What is your favourite memory of traveling?

Link to your post in the comments, if you decide to play along, and I'll read them. :)

12.11.2012

Improve Your Etsy Tags with These Three Tips

I first started selling on Etsy about one year ago (this is my shop). I was not very successful those first months, even though the local craft sales went well. But then I hadn't listed very many items, my photography had much need of refinement (it still does, but slightly less), and--this is somewhat embarrassing to admit--I hadn't bothered to do any research on tagging beyond reading the Etsy guide recommendations.

As you are probably aware, tags matter, because they communicate to your Etsy customers what it is you have to offer. When someone searches Etsy using the phrase "cherry red knee-high elf stockings," and you have exactly such a pair for sale but you only used a single tag, that of "socks," to describe it, this customer will sadly not be able to find you listing. And it's a shame. Cause your stockings were just the thing she'd hoped to buy.

Double Face Palm

Now I wasn't as bad at tagging as all that. I used more than one keyword (you will see this is the case at the bottom of the post where I've placed my before and after keyword research tags), so I didn't quite warrant a double facepalm. But now I have researched away, and experimented. So here are the tips!

Tip #1: Describe Your Colors Like a Writer - Do not, for the love of vintage, say "blue" when your item is the "aquamarine" or "cobalt" or "navy" or "pastel" version of blue. If you're having trouble coming up with the particular name of the hue and shade you want, Wikipedia (among other websites) provides lists full of them, usually accompanied by color patches. So use 'em. But leave in the more general color name also, just in case.
Yarn 1
That's not just any green, it's olive. Oh wait. The shape is confusing me. Could it be mint?

Tip #2: Use up the Tag Space Like a Twitterer - Never use just one word in a tag. Always use a phrase. Because according to my sources on the Etsy forums, the more times you use major keywords, the better. So instead of writing "dress" and "day" and "light" separately, write "light day dress." And then go on to add more phrases containing the word "dress."
Tip #3: Think Like a Customer - As an Etsy shopper, there are times I will type in keyword clumps such as "pretty fairy-tale dress" or "cute valentines day mittens" or "romantic old-fashioned gold locket." So think about the way your customers might describe something. Who are they? What do they want? And include words to describe the feeling or look of an item, such as "floaty" or "magical," if they suit it. Also, if you think people might be searching for your shop name, you could include it as a tag on a few of your items.
Here is an example of one of my first of tagging attempts (see the listing here), and my current tags for the same item:

It's not as though the first ones were that bad, but based upon how much better my visibility has been in the Etsy search after implementing the above tips, they did help.

I hope this helps some of you out, also. =)

Sunshine and snowflakes,

Kait


P.S. Have anything to add? What's worked for you?

12.07.2012

How to Make Origami Paper Bows | DIY

I've just learned how to make origami paper bows! Yes, I used an exclamation mark. I am that excited about these pretty things. But then, I was always the kid who was folding my napkin into a swan at the restaurant. Christmas wrapping or decorating anyone?


And now... For the instructions! I've embedded a youtube video, but if you prefer still images (I do) visit this post on Tweety Atelier. It's in Japanese. But the Photographs are clear. Steps nine and thirteen require the use of scissors.


You'll want to use origami paper, if at all possible, or something of a similar weight. Tissue paper will work. But regular wrapping paper turns white at the crease points, so I wouldn't use that. Kraft parcel paper is much better. For the metallic bow in the top photograph, I used heavy scrapbook paper. That was a mistake. It resulted in the square ripping apart when I pulled the corners open in step eight. So lighter is better.

Speaking of the square, if you change how large you make the fold in step three, you will also change the square size. I liked mine big, cause it makes the bow look cartoony.

You may notice I have flattened most of my bows. This way, if put on the fronts of greeting cards, they will be much easier to slip into envelopes. I prefer to leave them poofy when sticking them onto doors, and walls, and gift bags. Reference the bottom photo for tail trimming suggestions.

And that's it, so have fun. :)

LOVE: Kait


P.S. I think it would be super cute to put miniature ones on hair clips, or ballet flats. :D What decorating ideas do the bows spark in your mind?

12.06.2012

Illustrated Christmas Cards | Free Printable PDF

I was drawing away, missing snow, because we haven't any yet, and I ended up with a couple of cute Christmas Cards, covered in digital snow. :D They are available for free download, cause I want whoever likes them to be able to access them. But if you'd like to support this blog, it's possible, but not required by any means, to leave me a tip. I hope you enjoy them. :)




Click here to download the one with the mice, and here to download the one with the humans.

Merry Christmas!

LOVE: Kait

P.S. Oronjo, the website enabling the above downloads, is pretty awesome. I highly recommend it to other bloggers and artists and PDF makers of all kinds.

A Handmade Winter Wardrobe

My clothes closet is filled with too-tightly-fitting skinny jeans (from that time I wasn't eating), and little else besides summer tank tops and cheap t-shirts from years ago that have seen better days. So I've been daydreaming and doodling. This has resulted in a little collection of designs for a winter wardrobe.
I would love to actually sew all of these.

LOVE: Kait

P.S. As you can probably see, I did this illustration digitally. Tra la la, that rhymed. To do this, I used a tablet and stylus from Wacom, and software called Manga Studio. Enormously fun tools, they are. :)