Archive for the ‘Cool Stuff’ Category

Yarny goodness from Storied Yarns!

Okay, I don’t usually do a lot of giveaways, but I couldn’t resist offering up this one. Jess of Storied Yarns is offering a $10 digital gift certificate to her store to help me celebrate 1000 fans.   She’s also having a sale through today – 20% off with the coupon code SUMMERTIME11 at her Artfire shop.  Don’t spin, but you see a batt or roving you just love?  For July only she’ll also spin it  just how you want it for free!

Jess dyes yarn and spinning fiber inspired by books, tv, and movies, and her colorways are just fantastic (I have a couple of them!)  Her pictures really don’t do justice to her items, but I can attest to the quality and beauty of everything she makes.  She’s about to have a knit-along with a very cute “winged” shawl and a shrug to choose from.  I’m knitting up the test shawl, and I think it’s going to be gorgeous.

So here’s one of the items I got from her:

"Finding Nemo" luxury batt by Storied Yarns

Beautiful, right?  On the inside is even more orange, and I can’t wait to spin it up. I bought a BFL braid from her a few months ago and it was so fun to spin.  My five-year-old son saw the beautiful blues and immediately claimed the yarn:

"I Dare You To Move" by Storied Yarns, spun by me

Anyway, sorry, I’m a little obsessed with pretty batts right now. 🙂  Storied Yarns has an artfire shop (you don’t need an account to buy) and an Etsy shop, which I linked above.

How to enter: Check out Jess’s shops, and if you want to win the gift certificate, comment below with what you think you might buy if you win the certificate!  I’ll give you 3 extra entries if you buy something from her shop, too – Just comment three times for your purchase.

Here are the rules:  You must be 18 to enter, you must live in the US and Canada to play.  If you live elsewhere, you can still play, but you will be responsible for shipping and customs duties and taxes if you win.  You must put your email address somewhere in your post (I believe you will have the option to put it in when you comment, and only I will see it.)  If there is no email address, or you do not answer my email saying you are a winner within 48 hours of the email, I will draw another name.

I will use random.org to generate the winning numbers, and I will go down the list of items from top to bottom.  So the first number I generate will win the first item here.  I don’t want to make this complicated. :)

The contest will run as soon as this post is published until Friday, July 22nd, at 11:59:59 PM Central Standard Time.

Good luck!

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Gratuitous Self Promotion

I just recently opened a new Etsy shop under the user name DyeingtoSpin.  As if I don’t have enough going on, I decided this would be a good outlet for all the handpainted yarn and handdyed fiber I’ve dyed but don’t have time to use.  (As I sit here, I have two large rubbermaid totes filled with yarn I’ve bought and yarn I’ve spun.  And that’s after I gave away a lot of it!)

I just made my first sale from a splatter dyed yarn that went wrong. I forgot to set the yarn until all the colors had already blended together so I got a boring peach yarn.  I’m glad someone out there had a use for it!  And now that I have a sale under my proverbial belt (I am 7 months pregnant, after all, and haven’t worn a belt in months) I figured it was time to share my shop.

I just bought and received almost all the acid dye colors a girl could want, so I’ve been itching to get back to the dye pot (not to mention that while I’m surrounded by totes of yarn, I have very little dyed roving yet.)  Anyone want to help support my habit?  LOL

Right now you can find several wool types of combed top roving in the shop- Australian Merino, BFL and Falklands.  I have some Romney to dye and I’m hoping to get some superwash merino in soon, too!  But I absolutely love the feel of the Australian Merino!

I’m also catering to the sock yarn crowd.  I carry just a superwash merino/nylon blend right now.  I’m making a pair of socks out of this yarn that I dyed last year and I love the feel as it knits up and the feel on my foot, too!  I’m down to the foot of the second sock!  The pattern is free on Ravelry – River Rapid Socks.

Finally, I have some superwash wool in worsted weight, though mostly I’m catering to all my cloth diapering knitters out there with yummy Peruvian worsted weight yarn perfect for longies, shorties or other waterproof garments.

So if you have the chance and you like to spin or knit or crochet, check it out!

You have come to the end of my gratuitous self promotion.  LOL

Free Online Educational Resources for Parents

My two boys are almost 4 and 15 months, and I’m always looking for opportunities to help them develop the skills they will need for school.  I really enjoyed school as a child (I was the geeky one asking for additional homework) and I want them to enjoy it too.

One thing that has really amazed me about my kids is how easily they learn and understand technology.  My son was able to play games on my laptop by himself by the time he was three, and recently he showed his grandma how to turn on her own DVD player – one that he had only seen used once before!

Now, I immediately saw this as an opportunity.  I’m also geeky enough to enjoy playing computer games, so I figured my son would enjoy games, too!  And there are so many free resources online, that I don’t have to spend a penny to give my child some fun while helping him learn letters, sorting, and sentence structure.

Some of my favorite websites include:

Starfall – geared toward early elementary age children, it’s easy enough for younger kids to navigate.  I used this a lot when I was teaching English as a Second Language in a public elementary school.  There are even printables for your kids to color!

PBS – an old favorite, my son loves to play with his favorite TV characters.  We don’t have cable, and really, PBS is preferred to any other kids’ station.  (I’m so sad they’ve cancelled “Reading Rainbow,” though!  I was really looking forward to watching it with him!)

Kaboose.com – TONS of free parenting resources, including recipes, games, crafts, printables.  Right now they have big sections focused just on the upcoming holidays.

 

More resources:

Dolly Pardon’s Imagination Library – if your area participates, every child under five in your household can sign up to receive a free book from the Imagination Library on a monthly basis.  Now that we’re moving to Nashville, we have a program in our area!  My sister-in-law receives these books for her kids and says they’re great.  If your area doesn’t participate, you can request the program.

 

 

There are so many more, and they all escape me at the moment!  Can you think of any to add?

 

Coolest. Diaper. Cake. Ever.

Okay, it’s not a cake:

Cloth Diaper Sushi Roll from EnchantedDandelions

Cloth Diaper Sushi Roll from EnchantedDandelions

I got a diaper cake when I was pregnant with my first, and I thought that was the coolest thing ever, too.  It didn’t take me long to use up all those newborn and size 1 disposables!

But this really takes the cake, if you’ll forgive my pun.  I’m not one to be extremely enthusiastic about products I haven’t tried, but hey, this is so creative, I know the woman who made it, and what can I say?  I love sushi.

I saw this in someone’s etsy favorites, and then I realized that it was from EnchantedDandelions, one of my fellow Etsy Cloth Diaper Team members. She also puts my soap bits in many of her cakes. It has prefolds (good for both diapering and spitup!) and a few really cute washcloths in a variety of fabrics – perfect because I thought I loved fleece wipes until I tried flannel and terry.

I don’t want you to buy this, though, because if you buy the bigger cakes, you get some of my soap bits in there, too. (Hint, hint.)  Plus, if it’s still in her store, I get to see it whenever I browse my etsy favorites. LOL.

Get this one instead:

Cloth Diaper Cake from EnchantedDandelions on Etsy

Cloth Diaper Cake from EnchantedDandelions on Etsy

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