Saturday, October 27, 2012

Craft Bloggers Have Perfect Lives

I'm going to tell you the truth. Craft Bloggers have perfect lives.

You may have seen some of my peers making messes of their homes just to take photographs to post on their blogs to make you feel better. You might even see them subtly sneak a messy background into their photos, or pretend they have no clue what they are making for dinner, even though it is already 5pm. All of this is an illusion. I'm here to tell you the truth.

We craft bloggers are perfect. We wake up at 6am every day, after a full 8 hours of sleep. Our beautiful and well behaved children get dressed, and sit down to a healthy breakfast, completely made from scratch. We spend our day making craft projects, cleaning our already sparkling homes, and responding lovingly to all the thoughtful comments left on our latest blog posts. At least twice during the day, we exchange sweet, thoughtful, and romantic text messages with our husbands

As Craft Bloggers, our lives are perfect in every way. We eat organic. Three meals a day are freshly prepared for our children (and two snacks). We couldn't tell you where the nearest drive-through is because we never eat fast food. We only eat out on our anniversary when our husbands take us to high-priced restaurants to celebrate another year of Stepford married bliss. Our children have lunchbox meals that are the envy of the entire cafeteria. And if there are Twinkies in their lunchbox - they are Twinkies we have made from scratch.

Laundry is not a chore. It is a pleasure we perform daily for our family. We lovingly wash, fold, and put away each article of clothing. We hand-stitch a full wardrobe for every member of our family each season. Including underwear.

A craft blogger's pantry is filled with healthy, delicious treats. We are always just 5 seconds away from a perfectly frosted cupcake. If the internet allowed you to smell through our blogs, you would get alternating wafts of freshly baked bread, chocolate cake, mmm... what is that we're making for dinner?

Holidays at our houses put Martha Stewart Living and Home and Garden to shame. Trick or Treaters stop by our homes first. Extended families make sure they are invited for the perfect tukey and football combo. I can't find the words to adequately describe Christmas. Multiple trees, mantles, doors and banisters decorated beautifully, tastefully, and fashionably. On Christmas morning, all of our children get the perfect number of gifts, exactly what they wanted, and show the exact right amount of appreciation.

This is the life of a craft blogger. It is perfect. That is why we chose to become craft bloggers. So the rest of the internet could be jealous of our lifestyles. And pin photos of our livingrooms, bathrooms, bedrooms, children's bedrooms, dinners, deserts, children's lunches, and holiday ideas to their Pinterest boards.

Now you know the truth. You're welcome.

ps. We all make an amazing living blogging, too... with almost no work at all.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Awesome is Contagious

Today, someone was mean to a member of my tribe. An awesome, amazing person I haven't been able to meet in person - yet. But when I do, I want to give her a hug. Because she is awesome. And I'm hoping that some of the awesomeness will rub off on me. We can all use more awesome.

Be good to each other - and remind someone of their awesomeness.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Like Me On Facebook Because...

If you've been on Facebook lately, you've probably seen some strange requests from brands. Some are asking you to like a specific post to verify you can see it. Others are asking you to add them to a specific list. There are changes going on at Facebook again. And people will keep complaining about it... until next week, when more changes will undoubtedly be revealed.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thanks for the Pageviews, Troll.

Every time someone leaves you a nasty comment, you can thank them for the pageviews.
And if a troll decides to take their venom onto social media, dragging all their bridge-dwelling buddies back to your blog for comments, that is money in the bank.

Monday, October 15, 2012

DIY it Your Own Damn Self!

In the last six months I have been asked countless times if I, or a craft blogger I know, will create content for a non-crafting site. Bloggers of all kinds have seen the power of having craft tutorial blog posts. Craft tutorials are evergreen content that provide pageviews for years. Readers, even those who don't define themselves as "crafty", love reading craft posts. And with the rise of Pinterest, a great craft or recipe can yield thousands (or tens of thousands) of pageviews.

I blame myself for not educating my fellow bloggers. I love all my blogging friends. The mom bloggers. The family bloggers. The fashion and frugal bloggers. The travel bloggers. The lifestyle bloggers. The uncategorized bloggers. When one asks me if I'll create content for their site, I don't know how to respond. So though the following will be snarky, please know that it is snark filled with love.

I know that other bloggers don't understand what they are asking. Because they don't know what goes into a tutorial post. The hours of creating, photoediting, and writing. The materials that are consumed when a DIY blogger creates a project. And they don't realize what they are taking away. Because if I create a project that goes viral on your site - those are pageviews I will never get. Readers who won't see everything else I have to offer.

My blogging friends mean well. They want to give me exposure to a new audience. But my creations are my children. I want to play nice - but I'm not always willing to share things that have flowed directly from my soul.

Even if a regular crafts feature on your blog is a win for me and increased your page views - does it make sense for your regular readers? Don't your readers come to you to read what YOU have to say? Shouldn't a "Do it Yourself" post on your blog be something you did... yourself?

I'm not saying that no craft blogger will ever share creations with another blogger. I have done it. I'm sure I will do it again. I'm asking that you be conscious of what it is that you are really asking for. Would you ask a food blogger to go through the trial-and-error process of creating a recipe, writing up that finished recipe, stage and shoot a mouth watering photo, and then allow you to have rights to that content?

Isn't that what you are asking your craft friends to do?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

There is nothing new under the sun...

It is hard to be truly innovative. Completely creative. Come up with an idea that is genuinely original. Chances are anything that we create today, someone else has already come up with it.

That is one of the hardest things for me as a craft blogger. I try to come up with creative things to inspire my readers. The reality is that whatever I come up with - many of them have already seen something similar.

This isn't because I copied someone else's idea. I might have been similarly inspired. Or that the idea was so awesome that it couldn't be contained in just one mind. Or I might just be behind the curve a little. It happens.

Someone once told me that there is nothing new under the sun. I guess that's why I do my crafting at night.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Don't Hate Stupid People...

This very wise piece of advice was given to me by my Uncle. And in his line of work he met a lot of stupid people...

mad at stupid people

Since he shared this gem with me over a decade ago, I have applied it to bosses, college professors, moms in the McDonald's play area, blog commenters who think they're snarky but are just plain mean, and craft-store employees who don't know the layout of their own store. To name a few. I could probably start an entire blog dedicated to my pity of stupid people. But not this one. This one is dedicated to all my crafty peeps who like a little bit of snark in their lives...

Friday, August 24, 2012

Lottery Winnings and other income via e-mail

I get at least one e-mail a day telling me that I've won some foreign lottery, that a stranger has left a large sum of money to me in their will, or that a widow on her deathbed has heard from a friend that I'm a trustworthy person who can help her money find its way to a worthy charity.

One day I might respond to one of these e-mails. Sure, it seems highly implausible that any of these are legit because someone with millions at their disposal should also have access to a grammar check of some kind. And the FBI, Foreign Lottery Commission, and Law firms with wealthy clientele probably doesn't use a hotmail account for business matters (c'mon... gmail is so much more professional looking).

And yet, one day I might respond. If I do, and if the offer is valid, you'll never hear from me again... unless of course you respond to the Nigerian Prince, and we both end up on the same sandy beach drinking Pina Coladas.

In which case, cheers. And pass the sunscreen...

PS - Did you know that spellcheck doesn't recognize the word "hotmail" as having a valid spelling?
PPS - No surprise, because it doesn't recognize "spellcheck" as a valid word either.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

What I Wore Wednesday - Craft Blogger Edition

For crafters, dressing up often means we'll spill paint on our favorite clothes. So wearing our best clothes isn't a good idea. It can also mean more laundry, which means less crafting time. For craft bloggers who are not filming something to go up on YouTube, there is really no reason to wear anything other than sweats. And don't we get more creative when we are comfortable?

I asked some of my craft blogging buddies to share pictures of their crafting and blogging attire, and here they are - What I Wore Wednesday - Craft Blogger Edition.

Craft bloggers have to get their creative juices flowing early - one way to do this is with coffee. But the true creative blogger can't be satisfied with a standard cup. If it isn't decorated within an inch of it's life (check out the sharpie marker mug trend on Pinterest), it must be GIANT. And a hat will not only keep bed-head in check, it also keeps hair from getting into the paint.

Taking full advantage of the mom-bun and sexy-tousled-hair looks, this craft blogger has created a mash-up hairstyle that will not catch on anywhere. With baggy, over-sized sweatpants and a stained shirt, it is a sure thing that she won't be ruining her favorite clothes today with paint splatters. Though she's tried to dress up her look with a little Tori Spelling bling, the whole ensemble isn't even fit for a "What Not to Wear" episode.

Craft bloggers are notorious for upcycling, recycling, and refashioning. This blogger took all three to heart when she wore the old gym shorts from one of her children. A child growing out of their clothes or moving on to a new school, makes these the perfect gear for a glue-gun wielding craftonista.

Craft bloggers like to run in packs whenever possible. In part to blend in with other fashion casualties, and in part because if someone is wearing something worse, we won't stand out as much. This is true of these ladies who took their fashion train wreck into their front yard. You barely notice what the gal on the right is wearing, and her not-exactly-designer safety glasses look tame compared to her counterpart's apron. Hey- neon is "on trend" right now... right??

These are real crafters in their real wardrobes. If you'd like to see the very real craft spaces they create in, check out this post on Crafterminds about Craft Spaces.

Linking up here to lower the bar for the fashionistas:

pleated poppy

Friday, August 17, 2012

Spell Check Should be Automatic

Sometimes, reading makes my eyes hurt. Those cases are usually because the writing I'm reading should have made the author's eyes hurt.
The little wiggly red line under words is not a compliment. It is a clue. A clue telling you that your spelling is probably wrong. Maybe even very wrong.
Sure, every now and then you select a word that is beyond the capabilities of Microsoft's built-in spell check software. But if you're finding that every other word has a colorful accessory floating beneath it, odds are that the problem is you.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Spam can be Beautiful

I was cleaning out the Spam comments folder over at my crafting blog, and discovered this utterly confusing text:

Often, when I encounter spam, it doesn't make sense because someone improperly translated it. But there is at least an attempt at structure. One of the most glorious spam comments I have ever seen was left for a friend of mine - a string of over one hundred of the most profane and caustic words and phrases in the English language all neatly alphabetized. Whatever phrase just came into your mind - it was on the list. And so was that one.

This string of words left on my post "Always Kiss Me Goodnight Text Pillow" completely baffled me.

So I did what any crafter would do when confronted with the baffling. I made it pretty.

Now it is colorful and beautiful word poetry. Made from a spammy comment.
The ultimate upcycling craft.
I win.

Oh, and my beautiful friend Katie from Sweet Rose Studio is totally going to cross-stitch this on a pillow for me. When she has time. Someday. Maybe.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Hello readers, where have YOU been?

Allison from House of Hepworths recently posted Haters Gonna Hate, to tell her loyal readers that she's been enjoying time with her children while they are out of school over the summer, and that is why she's been posting less. She felt compelled to do so after a couple nasty readers commented on her lack of posting.

I want to ask those readers - where are YOU!? You expect bloggers like Allison to post content daily for your amusement, but where have you been?
All summer, stats have been down for many blogs. Are you neglecting to take your laptop with you on vacation?
Comments are down across the board. Do you choose to run through the sprinklers with your kids over leaving loving comments?
Why do you not share my post on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest within moments of it being published? Why do you not reply to each tweet and like each Facebook status? Is it because you have a life? And this kind of dedication from a virtual stranger shouldn't be expected?

Yes. I thought so.

This is not to say that everyone shouldn't take a little time away from the computer if they want. Or a lot of time away from the computer. Each of us is accountable to ourselves, our families, and our spiritual higher power. Should we bind ourselves to anonymous masses on the other side of a computer screen as well?

A final word of advice. If you really want control over how often your favorite blog is published, start your own.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I CRAFT - Get Over It.

 I'm a Crafter. I Craft. And I have no problem with the words Craft, Crafting, or Crafter to define me and what I do.

The "Culture Desk" at the New Yorker might not agree. To Alexandra Lange, the journalist who wrote the article, because I'm not a skilled workman, I use ModPodge, and not everything I create has an apparent use (other than just be pretty) I'm the trifecta of un-craft-ness.

It seems that titles are like URLs. All the good ones are taken. 150 years ago, the word "craft" was taken by artisans who were anti-industrial and used romantic, medieval, or folk styles. Therefore, in the eyes of some, the word craft cannot be used by those of us who love factory-made products like ModPodge, Martha Stewart paper punches, and pre-cut wooden forms. And especially not by those embracing styles like chevrons, ombre, and putting a bird on it.

According to the top online source for all things factual, Wikipedia*, many other words in the English language have altered their meanings with time. "Awful" used to be a positive word (break it down - Awe - full... as in "full of awe"). Ask anyone who lived through the 80's and they'll tell you that "bad" is a compliment. And the most well known change in our language is that of the word "gay."

We speak a language that has changed so much that we offer 13-year-olds need side-by-side translations of Shakespeare in order to understand the most basic levels of these works. Why can't this same world be one where creating a felt wreath makes me worthy of the term "crafter", without demeaning the craftsmen and women of yesteryear?

I'm not the only one with opinions about the word Craft. See what some other Craft Bloggers have to say:

*Wikipedia is also where I got my information regarding the Arts and Crafts Movement.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Free Product isn't always Free

Sometimes craft and DIY bloggers are offered free product in exchange for posting about their experience with the product. And sometimes the value of the free product makes the exchange worthwhile.
However, in many cases, you'd be better off not getting the "free" stuff, and instead focusing your time and energy on activities that will help grow you and your blog.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Sticky - Craft Definition

I just spent 3 days crafting and blogging. I may have washed a dish and folded a towel, but it is unlikely. Instead I was focused on getting my projects done. When I finished and came out of my crafting haze, it was to the aftermath of 3 boys left very much to their own devices. Sticky.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Go Check out "So I Married A Craft Blogger"

So I Married A Craft Blogger

I just stumbled upon this new-ish site, "So I Married a Craft Blogger". Written by the husband of Mandy at Sugar Bee Crafts (aka Mr. Sugar Bee Crafts), it chronicles the life of being married to a crafty-blogging-type - our need for hoarding craft supplies, collecting the junk of others, and our need to share it with the world.

I will probably be keeping an eye on this one and NOT sharing it with my husband. I don't want him to know that there are more out there that think like him. Crafty blog husbands writing their own blogs? And on Pinterest? Before you know it they'll be organizing themselves and figuring out how much of the "misc" part of the household budget is actually spent on crafting supplies!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Ellipsis Overuse (Keyboard Stuttering)

I may be guilty of this... okay... I'm probably guilty of this. But any momma who is still up after midnight in order to get a chance to do a little blogging is by definition a little mentally unsound. Or just completely exhausted and therefore unable to make rational decisions.

 But, let's face it, that last diagnoses doesn't exactly roll off the tongue...

Sunday, July 22, 2012

I Hate Glitter

I hate glitter. And flocking. And craft sand. But mostly, glitter.

Glitter is the herpes of craft supplies.
Once you get it on you, you can never get rid of it.
It spreads to everyone else who touches you.
If your husband comes home with it on him, you want to know where he's been.
And he's probably in some serious trouble.

Sure, there are some rare occasions where I pull out the glitter. Because it is pretty, and sparkly, and looks festive. But it has to be an extreme special occasion, and only about once a year. Which means that about the time I've gotten rid of all traces of glitter... I pull it out again.

Glitter. She is a vengeful mistress.

disclosure: I used glitter to make the above graphic. I regretted it immediately when my preschooler saw it, and so HE wanted to play with glitter. It got everywhere. I'm sure I did something to deserve this karma.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Will Craft for Black Felt-tipped Marker

The other day, I saw a man by the side of the road, holding a piece of cardboard on which he had written a typical homeless mantra. And a strange thought entered my mind.

"WHERE did he find a black felt tipped marker?" Whenever I need a black felt tipped marker, I can't find one. Ever. I end up turning my crafty room inside out... and then going to the store to buy one. Or make do scribbling furiously with a ballpoint pen.

How is it that the man on the corner can find a black felt tipped marker, but I never can?

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Craft Wars - Episode 2 "Crafting's a Beach"

In this episode of Craft Wars, Tori Spelling along with judges Erica Domesek (P.S. I Made This), Stephen Brown (Glitterville Studios) and Jo Pearson (Michaels Crafts) watch three crafty contestants make the most out of surprise materials... and the Michaels Craft Closet. Which is downright amazing. You can see the whole craft closet on their website (scroll down to find the picture).

Mandi Gubler, Kevin Chartier, and Michaela Crex are the Craft Wars competitors for Episode 2. I was excited that in the introductions we got to hear that Mandi is a blogger - yay for craft bloggers!

 I really noticed the crafty "uniforms" that some of the teams put together. Though I love the crafty fun behind Michaela and her assistant's beaded shirts, I'm not sure that it is a route I would have gone. When running from one area to the next to work on my projects, I think I would have been stressed about one of those beaded strings hitting me in the boob!

The Craft Wars Pop Craft for this round required crafters to convert the contents of a junk drawer into a birdhouse, with one hour to do it. The only competitor that managed to convert the items from trash to treasure was Kevin. Though as a foam-core treasure, it wasn't built to last.
Surprisingly, the judges seemed very stuck on the birdhouses, built in just an hour, needing to be functional. I have made many birdhouses, and can't remember a single bird that ever called one home.
Despite their insistance on the functionality of the birdhouses, Mandi was dismissed after the first round. Her birdhouse was the only truly fuctional house of the three... but suffered from aesthetic issues.

After the 3 Craft Wars competitors where whittled down to two, it was time for the Main Event. The 5-hour challenge was to make patio furniture from beach items - boogie boards, surf boards, beach balls, swimshorts, wetsuits, beach toys and more. Both competitors knocked my socks off with their ideas, their designs, and their finished products. With the help of their crafty assistants, they whipped together bars, lounge furniture, tables, and more with a relaxing day at the beach in mind.

In the end, there could be only one winner. I was dissapointed that the judges felt Michaela's rope accents screamed "western", though I thought the rope was nautical. Judge Stephen clearly didn't agree:
Shows what he knows... I have neither a ship NOR a pony!

In the end, Kevin's creations were truly inspired crafting, and made him $10,000 richer. He has an idea of what he'll be spending it on, too!

Join me next Tuesday for more Craft Wars, and make sure to hop on twitter. Follow the hashtag #CraftWars, there was some laugh out loud tweeting going on during this episode, if you can get past the tweets of those who think they have what it takes... or feel inspired to comment on Tori's choice of lipstick.

On a side note, the tension between judges Stephen and Erica was a little less apparent in this episode than the last... but they may be having a true glitter-will-fly throwdown in the weeks to come...

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Craft Wars - Season 1, Episode 1

I'm super excited about this new show! Hosted by Tori Spelling, judges Erica Domesek (P.S. I Made This), Stephen Brown (Glitterville Studios) and Jo Pearson (Michaels Crafts) decide through two challenges which crafter gets to take home $10,000 (that's a lot of glitter)!!

This first episode pitted Cheryl Burchett, Traci Remley, and Christy Tomlinson against eachother in two challenges.

The first challenge had them all making a duffel bag to carry sports equipment - out of sports equipment - in just one hour! Christy's bag was full of whimsy with fun trims and fabric, Traci's had an ingenious tennis racquet bottom, and Cheryl's large duffel had a bowling-bag theme.
The judges dismissed Traci after this round, saying that her tote wasn't constructed well. She had used hot glue to attach the racquet to the bottom of the tote. While I'd agree that putting a draw-string on the bottom to support the racquet, and allow removal for washing, would have been more inspired, I don't think that it was cause for her removal. The competitors had just an hour to design and create their bags, and of course that would result in some flaws. Which leads me to Cheryl. Her construction problems were limited to corner pieces that didn't catch in seams, but that was the least of her issues. She didn't finish. With an incomplete bag, she should have been sent home... but the judges let her stay on.

The second challenge, a head-to-head between Art Teacher Cheryl and Professional Crafter Christy was 5 hours to create a playhouse out of school supplies. They were each given 4 assistants, in addition to the one they had brought with them, shopping carts filled with rulers, pencils, backpacks, notebooks, and more... and access to an amazing array of craft supplies and building materials.
Each competitor stayed true to their roots. Cheryl delivered a little red schoolhouse with fun details like ruler shutters and pencil windowboxes... and a largely unfinished inside. Christy came up with a completely interactive schoolbus theme, full of her trademark whimsy. Cheryl's schoolhouse with fun details won her the big check.

Before watching the show, I was ready to deliver a completely snarky tirade about how crafters are being portrayed on TV (similar to the recent portrayal of "hoarding" and dishonest couponers), but TLC did an amazing job of showing how fun and inventive we crafters are. They came up with great challenges, and provided lots of great materials to create with.

I did have one big disappointment. They didn't recognize the online personas of any of these amazing crafters! Even Erica, as a judge, was introduced as the Author of PS I Made This... the book. With no reference to her blog of the same name.
How can a show that is internet-savvy enough to include the hashtag #CraftWars on the screen NOT give reference to their competitors' websites? Or at least a reference to their true crafty selves. Cheryl snuck in that she is an art teacher, but did you know that Traci has a shop where she sells vintage and refurbished items? (link in her name above) Really - the chance at 10K is a pretty nifty prize, but a little promotion for their sites and shops wouldn't have killed the network, would it?

Join me tonight, Tuesday July 3rd, 7pm in watching Episode 2... and back here tomorrow to check out my recap!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Apart and A Part are not the same thing

The English Language is confusing. But people make it more so. Or maybe it is language that makes people confusing. It could be both.

People thinking that a part and apart are interchangeable has been driving me nuts. It isn't like "a lot" which, if you smush it together "alot" is incorrect... but still readable. Just wrong. However, the "apart", "a part" phenomenon adds a whole 'nother level of wrong. Consider:

"I love being apart of you guys!"
Um, you like being part of us, or are you just messing with me? Like one of those nasty-nice kind of comments?

"My hand is apart of my arm!"
Yeah, you should see a doctor about that. And an English teacher.

Here is a simple way to remember it: If the two words are apart, that means it isn't. That is to say, when you use the two words, with a space, it is telling people you are connected. A part of something. But when it is one word, connected, it means that something is divided.

See, isn't that easy? Makes total sense. Right? Um... right??

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Voila is not the same as Wah-la

The blogging equivalent of nails on a chalkboard is taking the beautiful French word "voila", and completely butchering it to make the hacked-up "wah la".

It is also the fastest way to get me to un-follow your blog.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Crafting is not Cheap

Handmade gifts are many things. They are special. They often have personal touches or are personalized. They can take a lot of time to make. Lots of thought and care goes into their creation.
They are not cheap.

Those of us who have the skills to create know this. But in case you are not talented in the areas of sewing, knitting, painting, pottery, photography, beadwork, needlework, or any other craft or hobby, let me explain to you the economics of handmade.

Behind each quilt that I make is hundreds of dollars of classes, and hundreds of hours of learning how to quilt. The same goes for knitting, painting, furniture making, or other crafts.
Yes, hand-crafters absolutely enjoy this time absorbing new skills - but that isn't the point. Developing this talent takes an investment of both time and money, and that has value.

A sewing machine can cost a couple hundred dollars, up to many thousands of dollars. But this isn't the only tool I need to make a quilt. I need a rotary mat, rotary cutter, rulers, seam ripper, needles, pins, patterns, scissors... an investment of hundreds of dollars in tools. There are similar up-front investments for most crafts. Lots of money is spent before someone can paint their first painting, carve their first sculpture, or throw their first pot.

Fabric costs $10-$12 a yard. Most quilts need at least 5 yards of fabric for the front and back. There are other supplies as well that are equally expensive. Only yesterday, I spent over $10 on a spool of thread, and $20 on a bag of batting. These are supplies that are consumed each time I quilt, and they add up fast. Knitters use yarn. Jewelry makers use beads, gems, and precious metals.
Sure, we have some supplies on hand. But these supplies cost money. And after using them, we'll need to buy replacement materials for our next project.

Third-Party Resources
Often, I have a quilt "quilted" by a professional long-arm quilter. This is the final stitching that stitches the top to the back, with the batting inside. Depending on the size of the quilt and the complexity of the design, I have spent anywhere from $75 up to over $300 to have a quilt quilted. Similarly, a photographer might have a print professionally framed. A crafter working in clay might need to rent the use of a kiln. This is an additional expense over and above the cost of the materials in order to complete the project.

All of these bills add up. The tools, the supplies, the skills, and the add-ons to create the perfect gift. A gift made with love. With you in mind. One of a kind, it does not come with a gift receipt.

You can't put a value on a handmade gift... except to say that handmade gifts are definitely not cheap.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Over-use of the Exclamation Point

Not sure if you are guilty of adding far too many exclamation points?

Read the last sentence you wrote. And the one before that. And the one before that. If they all end with an exclamation point, or any one has multiple exclamation points, the verdict is in.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Hear vs Here

It seems that this one is difficult for some people. And since we had a bunny-related holiday recently, I thought I'd help out.

You're welcome.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

I Can See Your Pin - Like this, Only Better

Seriously, y'all. 
Bloggers, we know how to see stuff you've pinned. Really, we do. Your Pinterest board - not private. In fact, it is very, very public.

And if you're going to tease me with comments like being able to improve on awesome... at least tell me how. 

And leave the snarky comments to the professional.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Clothes vs Cloths - You're Welcome

Clothes are what you wear... cloths are pieces of fabric. I don't know why this bugs me so much, but I unfollow every. single. blog. that can't get this right. Because if you spent all that time making some new "cloths", I just don't want to know about it.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I was pinned on Pinterest... and now I want to sue {an imaginary conversation}

Alternate titles: In Defense of Pinterest OR What in the world are you thinking?

If you've opened up your laptop sometime in the last 6 months, you've probably heard of Pinterest. And if you've opened up your laptop more than once in the last 6 months, you've probably heard of the legal questions that surround Pinterest, as discussed HERE and HERE.

Now, I'm not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. But before having kids I watched a lot of Law & Order. And since having kids I catch the occasional episode of The Good Wife. Which I would totally watch more of if they would post the episodes online.

Now that we have established that I have absolutely zero legal expertise, and nothing I say here should qualify as advice in any way, I'd like to share with you the imaginary conversation I had with an imaginary lawyer recently.

Me: I want to sue this gal who pinned my image on Pinterest!
Mr. G.W. Sharq, Esq.: (suitably outraged) Aha! Someone has said something defamatory about you online. We'll get a libel suit started right away...
Me: Um... no... she didn't say anything bad about me. In fact, she said she loved my work. But she posted my copyrighted image without proper consent!
Mr. Sharq: (still outraged) She infringed your copyright, distributing your content on the internet without your consent, which has cost you thousands of dollars! 
Me: Well... I had already posted the image online... so I guess I was already distributing it...
Mr. Sharq: (learning to be more cautious with his outrage) But she has stolen your ability to make an income from the image, yes?
Me: Not exactly. Actually, she's sent thousands of pageviews my way. Which has actually made me money.
Mr. Sharq: (grasping at straws) I'm sure she has some significant assets we can go after? A summer home in Belize?
Me: I don't think so. She's a stay-at-home-mom to seven kids under the age of seven. I think her last blog post said something about her husband losing his job and their house going into foreclosure...
Sharqey: (doing a nice job of summing up our conversation) She's said nice things about you, brought you income, has zero assets, but you still want to sue? Even if there were grounds, it doesn't make economic sense...
Me: Well, come on! This gal posted my image without asking! I want my day in court!!
Sharqey: I'm not sure we can sue this pinner... but I may be able to arrange a commitment hearing...
Me: Okay, so it sounds like the Pinterest suit is a no-go. Any chance we can make CBS post episodes of The Good Wife online?? 
Dubya: It might be a better use of your time to have your husband teach you how to use the DirectTV remote.

And that is why if you pin my images, you don't have to worry that I'll be sending a process server your way.

You're welcome.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

I Can See Your Pin - Love the idea but...

Hi Pinners! Did you know that Pinterest is searchable? And searchable by source, too. As a blogger, all I have to do is go to and I'll see all the pins from this blog. And the comments that go along with the pins. Especially the snarky ones. And I'm not the only blogger who knows this... it isn't exactly a State Secret.

In celebration of all the snarky pinners out there, I'm starting this new Sunday Series "I Can See Your Pin." Sharing the not-so-private comments of pinners who don't realize that their pin is showing.

This pinner has the backhanded compliment down. See the finished product here.

Want to submit a pin you've seen, and the corresponding comment? Send an e-mail to Craft Snark!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Proper Apostrophe Use - You're Welcome

Please, please, please, for the love of all things sacred and grammatical... learn the basics of the apostrophe! I get actual spasms of pain shooting into my brain each time I see the apostrophe used "just because there is an s".

Apostrophe does not mean "Look out! Here comes an s!"

Use the apostrophe when something belongs to someone:
Mike's toy
Cathy's purse
Craft Snark's apostrophe rant

Use the apostrophe when something belongs to something else:
the toy's shelf
the purse's handle
the blog's first post

Do not use the apostrophe when you are just talking about a bunch of stuff:
a room full of Mikes

There is the odd exception because English was designed by people who think it is normal to take courses in your native language for 12+ years in order to be able to get it right. I'm not going to get into those here because as long as you can get this top part right, you'll already be ahead of a lot of people. You're welcome.

Now, go be snarky and leave me lots of comments with mis-used apostrophes. Yes, I know you were thinking it.