Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Great Giveaway from All Things Paper

This week's featured giveaway is from one of my favorite bloggers Ann Martin. Ann is quite the quilling enthusiast and always has the most spectacular paper creations featured on her site. If you even "like" paper you owe it to yourself to follow her blog. You will be in for a real treat!

Creative Paper Cutting - Book Giveaway!

I bet you've heard the saying, "Don't judge a book by its cover." Well, in this case, by all means judge away...

Lovely, isn't it?!

Creative Paper Cutting is the newest title in the Make Good Books series of craft titles released by Trumpeter, an imprint of Shambhala Publications. The cover image is the perfect enticement of what you'll find inside... very simple Japanese craft style paper folding and cutting projects that use few supplies. Novices are guided through basic paper cutting techniques with the help of tips, diagrams, and templates.

Included are ideas for using paper cuts as embellishments on cards, wrapping paper, mobiles, collages, and even lamp shades. Young crafters will be drawn to the birds, rabbits, hula dancers, and ballerinas. One of my favorite projects is paper figures (above) that have been cut from colored shopping bags by artist, Keiko Tsuji. So lively!

Many of the projects are scissor-friendly. Craft knife projects are included for adults and older kids. I was inspired to try my hand at cutting a few samples designs and found that lightweight paper (origami) is perfect for these designs, as they start out with a series of simple folds. With spring ever so slowly making its way to my neck of the woods this year, it's no wonder I was drawn to a flower, the pair of fluttering birds, and a windowsill with pots of leggy seedlings stretching for the sun.

One thing I might mention is that I would have preferred a spiral binding on this book (as well as all other craft titles!), simply because it's much easier to refer to a pattern book when it opens flat. I realize publishers rarely use spiral bindings so that the title will be clearly visible on a bookstore shelf, but with more and more books being purchased online, perhaps it's time to offer the more user-friendly option.

Trumpeter sent me a copy of Creative Paper Cutting for review purposes and is offering two All Things Paper readers anywhere in the world, the chance to win a copy. Just leave a comment to enter. If you would like additional entries, mention the giveaway via your blog, Facebook page, and/or Twitter, and tell me you've done so in your comment. The giveaway ends at the end of this Friday, April 15th, and winners will be selected by a random number generator and announced the next day. Good luck!

Disclosure: The book title is an affiliate link.

And the winner is.........

Hump Day Giveaway Winner – Betsy Grace Linens

Congratulations Lacey!
You won $50 to use at
Betsy Grace Fine Linens

Thursday, April 7, 2011

If You Love Fine Linens, You Will Love Betsy Grace!

Inkspot Workshop has teamed up with Betsy Grace Fine Linens for this weeks Hump Day Giveaway! Betsy Grace makes and sells "fine quality embroidered linens filled with fun & style". She offers a little something for every table, so check out her Etsy shop then head over to Inkspot and join in on the fun for a chance to try out her linens for free!

Hump Day Giveaway – Betsy Grace Fine Linens

Happy Hump Day! Spring is here and Easter is just around the corner, perfect time to host an elegant Sunday brunch, outdoors enjoying the breeze, don’t you think? Today we’re giving you a little somethin’ somethin’ to help make this Spring fantasy a reality.  In fact our prize is such an indulgence, it would make a perfect gift for the newly wedded couple, family heirloom or hostess gift. Personally, I would keep today’s giveaway all to myself:) But heck, that’s just me.
Meet Betsy Grace Fine Linens.  Missy (the nimble fingers behind the needle) is a busy mother to 6 kiddos! She’s been sewing since she was 10 and credits her grandmother for giving her such a precious gift. Can’t you just feel the ♥ in each piece?

Betsy Grace’s shop is the perfect place to click and daydream. It’s choc-full of personalized linen napkins, tea towels and table runners. I especially love the Manners Napkins, shown below!

Betsy Grace Fine Linens
is offering 1 lucky winner
$50.00 Gift Certificate
go ahead…indulge!
PS. Don’t forget to VOTE for InkSpot Workshop here
1. Go to Betsy Grace by clicking here. Then come back and leave a comment on our blog telling us how you plan to use your winnings.

2. Become a fan of InkSpot Workshop on Facebook by clicking here and “liking” us. If you’re a new fan, be sure to say hello on my Facebook wall. Then come back here to let us know you did.
3. Become a fan of Betsy Grace on Facebook by clicking here and “liking” them. If you’re a new fan, be sure to say hello on their wall and tell them who sent ya! Then come back here to let us know you did.
4. Follow InkSpot Workshop on Twitter by clicking here. Then come back and let us know.

5. If you post this contest on your blog and/or Facebook Fan Page you may go ahead and post 5 extra entries here on the blog. Please be sure to post your blog or Facebook link here so we may see your post. If you are trying to link on your Facebook wall to InkSpot Workshop or Betsy Grace, be sure to type “@” before typing our names. But wait, you first have to “like” us:) Hope that helps!
6. Looking for an extra way to enter? If you have any ideas for new products you’d like to see offered from Betsy Grace let us know.
THANK YOU and Good Luck!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Spring Happenings From Old Cedar Knoll Farm

The view from our front porch of the plum trees in front of the upper pasture.

Spring is happening all around us this week and the activity on the farm has been fast and furious. This is the time of year that my husband Kevin works from dawn to dusk at the University of Virginia and on our 12 acre farm - Old Cedar Knoll. We are gearing up to grow as much food as we can reasonably handle throughout the summer months with lots of variety for our daily pleasure and plenty left over for canning, pickling, freezing and of course sharing!

This year in addition to fresh produce from our gardens and fruits from our many varieties of fruit trees, we are finally adding chickens back to the farm. We kept goats and chickens at our previous homestead, but this property was in such sad shape when we bought it 7 years ago, we have spent most of the past 7 years getting it all in order. My husband is an Arborist, so bringing the land back has been an ongoing process, although secondary to our home renovations. The house was mostly finished 2 years ago, so the majority of the focus since then has been outdoors.

To winter over our many tropical plants, we put up a greenhouse in the fall of the first year we were here, but this year in addition to the tangerines and Meyer lemons we normally enjoy throughout the winter months, we had tomatoes, basil, greens and beets. It doesn't get much better than your husband bringing you a fresh picked tangerine on Christmas day!

The last of the winter tomatoes.

Winter Beets

Today, Kevin tilled the old gardens and started a new garden spot for horseradish, asparagus, rhubarb, onions and potatoes. We eat a lot of fresh roasted vegetables, but one of my favorites is fresh cut asparagus,  roasted at 400 with a little olive oil and grey salt. That is heaven on earth! Here are some shots of the gardens. Rather than one big garden spot, we prefer a variety of smaller gardens.

Small Annual Herb Garden
New Lavender Garden

Large Vegetable Garden

Our chickens will arrive the week of May 9, so we need to get busy and get our coop built. We had a wonderful coop we built at our last house. Our neighbors used to kid us that we were building a house for our teenage son at the time. That was 14 years ago and that 17 year old has 2 children of his own now - a beautiful little girl and a son who is definitely the apple of his daddy's eye! I don't think we will go quite as large this time, but we do have 25 hens coming! We order our poultry from McMurray Hatchery and this time around we decided to have a little fun and ordered the Ornamental Layer Collection. The day the chicks arrive is always so exciting; they actually get delivered to the Post Office early in the morning and you have to rush to get them so they can start eating and drinking! Here are some pictures of some of the varieties that we'll soon have on the farm.

Buff Brahmas

Golden Polish
Buff Laced Polish

This group of hens will lay a variety of colored eggs, from greens, blues and browns. It should be a lot of fun!

I am sure I get most if not all of the inspiration for my art comes directly from my surroundings, be it the one that exists in the physical world, or the one that I envision in my mind's eye that inspires my physical world. Either way, my latest piece in my pin cushion collection came straight from my vision of where our farm is headed this year. My husband calls it my Buff Orpington Pin Cushion, I just call it my chicken pin cushion.

What do you think I should call it?
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