Happy Kitty Sewing: June 2013   

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Did you know there's a Feedly button you can add to your blog?

Now you do.

So, I've had mine up for a few weeks, without realizing that it goes to an error screen.  Oops.

There are different options to choose from, and apparently if you care that much, you can make your own.  The last time I was there, I stared at the two different green buttons and couldn't figure out the difference.  I decided the top one was lighter.  But I just noticed the "dark" one is outlined in black.  Duh.

It's super easy to do, but here's a tip for the 2nd step.  Don't put in your URL.  What you need to do, is search for your blog on your Feedly page.  I picked the view that looks the closest to my Google Reader, and at the Top Left there are two options that say: "My Feedly" and "+Add Content".  Choose the second option "Add Content".  Then search for you blog.  You should be able to find it.  Then in your URL bar you are going to copy everything AFTER the word "feed".  Even if it's in the middle and surrounded by weird symbols.  You are going to paste this in the 2nd Step.

Click on the button under Step 3 to make sure that it goes directly to your blog in your Feedly.  If it does, copy the HTML, and follow the directions on how to add the button to your page according to what kind of blog you use.

Pretty simple! If you have any question, let me know, and I'll try to help you as best as I can.

What's an Affiliate Program?

Yesterday I discussed sponsoring blogs. One of the reasons to sponsor another blog is for monetary compensation=$$$  In my fab opinion, most people start a blog to record a part of their life, whether it be pregnancy, Pre-Wedding to Wedding, or to share their everyday life with long distance relatives.  They don't become a blogger to make money.  It's really just a perk of blogging.

An Affiliate program is very similar.  A lot of independent online stores provide an option to join their affiliate program.  If you decide to sign up, and are approved, you can receive a commission for people that make a purchase or have signed up for the first time, from your blog.  Most of the time, all you have to do is post a banner on your sidebar.  If your readers click on it, and complete a purchase (or whatever the conditions are), in exchange you will receive a percentage of the sale as your commission.  Some Affiliate programs want you to have X-amount of followers and unique pageviews for you to be approved.  Others are not as strict.

Some affiliate programs will provide a certain product for you to review and post about.  You get to keep the product, and they will benefit from the review.  Sometimes these websites will start to connect with you and want to work with you to promote their product, when your blog starts to grow.  I've gotten an email from Firmoo when I had around 30 followers, and decided not to participate in the giveaway since my blog was so small.

I have decided to add a few websites that I like to my sidebar.  If people find something they like, awesome! And if not, no biggie.  I'm not out of money, and perform minimal work.  There are actual websites you can apply to, and if you are accepted you can pick from a list of hundreds of stores that you could potentially receive a commission on.  My goal is not to make a ton of money from my blog.  I'm just not interested in it. I have seen blogs grow from an awesome blog where there is actual content about the blogger into a giveaway-only no-content kind of blog.  Sometimes it's disappointing because you follow that person because you think they are cool, and then they turn into a virtual shopping page and only post to make money or receive something.

I'm going to only work with companies that I like.  So you might start to notice that if you read my actual blog page.  For some reason the blue chevron stripes have disappeared from my blog, and I have no reason why.  I don't like all the big gaping white areas.  Awhile back, I won a blog design makeover, so I need to decide what I want to do to get rid of the naked white.  I'm thinking pink octopuses.....Spell check said multiple octopus is only spelled with one S. Very interesting indeed.

Why should I sponsor a blog?...and enter this awesome giveaway!

You might have noticed that your favorite blogs have a lot of other blog buttons posted on their sidebar.  It seems the higher number of followers a blogger has, the more blogs they have promoted.  There is a few reasons why you see this.  Most of the time, both gain something in this transaction.

1.  The Blogger promotes another blog because the Blogger receives money for promoting.  This is called sponsoring a blog.  Most of the time a Blogger will have different packages to choose from, depending on what the blog is willing or able to afford.  The packages start from a tiny ad space on the side bar for a month, all the way up to a huge ad space at the top of the blog for a specified amount of time.  The Blogger will also promote the blog on other social media, like Twitter, instagram and Facebook if agreed upon.  Sometimes the Blogger will give the option to allow the sponsor blog to participate in a monthly giveaway, an individual giveaway with a featured post, or a guest post.  A featured post is where the Blogger will introduce your blog as a post.  A guest post is where you write the post and the Blogger will post it on her (his) blog.

The Blogger receives money...so what do you get if you sponsor a blog?

2.  You get exposure to new readers.  The idea is to obtain ad space from a high traffic blog.  If people really like a blog, they are willing to click on the blogs on their sidebar if an ad looks interesting to them.  If you want to sponsor a big fashion blog, you can expect to get traffic from a lot of other people who love to read fashion blogs.  So if you have a fashion blog, they might click on your ad space to come check out your blog, which is the goal of sponsorship.  When they get there, hopefully they like what they see and start to follow your blog. 

There are endless possibilities for sponsoring another blog.  You can pay a few bucks for a small ad for a month on a small blog, or you can pay $100 per month for a decent ad for a month on a high traffic blog.  Sometimes the high traffic blog will only accept certain blogs, and will decline to work with you.  Sometimes there is very limited space and you have to wait months to be able to sponsor that blog.  On a positive note, there are many medium and small blogs that have very cheap ad space and are willing to promote your blog, because they are trying to do the same exact thing with their blog.  Sometimes you can build a relationship with another blogger and decide to swap ads for free.  If you are lucky, there are a TON of giveaways that are always giving away ad space, packages, and you can win some expensive ad space to get your blog's name out there!

So if you really think about it, both sides of sponsorship can be really good.  Most bloggers don't begin a blog to start earning money, but there are some who realize the earning potential when they start blogging.  Sometimes people start a blog to help promote their small business on Etsy or Store Envy.  

So if you are a new blogger, you probably already have a profile picture on your blog.  If you don't have a button for ad space you are going to want to make one, and it's really easy and totally free:

1.  Choose your pic that you want to use.
2.  Add your blog name on it.  
You can use a free site called PicMonkey.  You can upgrade to use more features.  But it's great to use to rotate pics, edit your pic, and to resize your pic for different sized ad space and to save your button.
3.  Pick a site to upload your button.  I use Photobucket and I log in with my Facebook account.  You can also use Picasa to do this, which you can log in with your Google account.  You are able to do some editing, if needed, in these programs.  You are also able to share the pictures you upload with friends and family or choose to have your pictures private.
4. Upload your picture to a hosting site.  If you make your own blog button to display on your blog you will be able to get the HTML code to use, definitely from Photobucket. I don't remember about Picasa.  This ensures that your photo won't disappear because you accidently erased it from your computer.

I have very limited knowledge of HTML coding.  I know there is a way to post your own blog button for other people to use on their blogs.  I'll just cut corners on this one, and tell you to google it.  For example, there is a place on my blog if you wanna grab my button.

Most people will use a site called Passionfruit to sell their ads.  They pay the site a small fee if they make a sale.  The do not have to pay if they "sell" a free ad.  The site allows you to put in a special code that the seller provides, that will make the transaction FREE.  This usually happens when you win a giveaway. (I've won a lot of different ad space in the past year).  It's something to keep in mind if you decide to sell ad space.  To purchase an ad through Passionfruit, you fill out a short form where you provide a picture and a link to your blog (or website) that you want to promote.  It makes the HTML thing super easy.

*Just a quick unrelated tip: You can also join giveaways by giving away Ad Space as a prize.  You will gain traffic from the giveaway, and the person following you has a chance to win a prize.  Another symbiotic relationship...remember Bio?  Both people get something out of the deal!

So this is my take on Sponsoring Blogs.  If I have any information wrong about the HTML thing.  I apologize. Google is your friend.  Consult Him how to fix it.  Yes, Google is a boy.  

ENTER this giveaway I'm participating in to win an Urban Decay Naked Palette!! Ends July 8th!!!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Urban Decay GIVEAWAY

The Urban Decay Naked Palette is a must have this summer because we all want to look good! As another makeup favorite of mine the timing is perfect to give it away. Enjoy, from LeChateaudesFleurs.

This long, lean, seductive case is packed with TWELVE gorgeous neutrals. Shades range from delicate champagnes to dark, gritty gunmetal, with names like Darkhorse, Virgin and Buck. We've also included a range of textures: everything from glitter to shimmer to matte.

Urban Decay NAKED Palette Giveaway

RainShadow Labs
RainShadow Labs

RainShadow Labs provides the highest quality wholesale cosmetics. They offer lotions, washes, cremes, candles, soaps, gels, essential oils and so much more. 

Visit them here: 

AEWR Turbo Wrinkle Smoothing Treatment
One of my favorite products fro RainShadow Labs: 

AEWR Turbo Wrinkle Smoothing Treatment
The name says it all. If there is one turn back the clock product that every person over 25 with skin should have, this is it.  Restore firmness, heal sun damage, increase hydration, erase wrinkles, smooth texture, nourish at the dermal layer, minimize irritation, increase skin brightness and even out skin tone.

Enter to win the Urban Decay Naked Palette:
Open worldwide. Ends 7/8/13. Entries will be verified. See Rafflecopter for full Terms.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My Birchbox win & My Favorite Things...

So last month I entered a giveaway (surprise, surprise) at Life with a side of Coffee,  I won 6 months of ad space from Leslie at The Crafty Side of Sarcasm, and a 3 month subscription from Ashley at Bella Vida: a simplistically beautiful life.  I see so many subscription boxes each month, mostly from Ipsy and Birchbox.  The thing that makes me laugh about the Ipsy box, is that the next city over is Ypsilanti-for short called Ypsi, and it's the Ghetto, 30 minutes from Detroit.

I guess the thing about Birchbox is that you get trial sizes of samples, and you can earn points from each purchase and save them up to buy normal sized products of the samples you love.

The box it came in was really nice.  Everything was packaged in pink paper for fanciness.

The Goods

You can see my big ole Ghost forehead in the background...

4 Postcards inspired by their fave offices

So I'll give you *my* opinion of what I got.

1.  Birchbox + Color Club: Neon pastel shades inspired by four our their fave cities. 2 coats give an opaque, glossy finish.  
*My little tiny bottle was so cute, and came in a mint color.  I really liked the color, and I liked the color on my nails.  It was super thick and gritty going on, which was a first for me.  It almost seems like I need to water it down, but I'm really lazy to do that.  Full Size $8.  I'd buy it if it was bigger and not-so-thick.

2.  COOLA.  SPF 30 Cucumber Moisturizer.  Sunblock infused with organic evening primrose extract and borage seed oil.  I'm usually not that fancy about sunblock.  I just care it if works since I'm basically the closest thing to a vampire.  It says to put on a thin layer an hour before going outside.  I'm pretty sure that my other moisturizer doesn't take an hour to work...I hope not anyways...Full Size $32.  While it smells good, I haven't tried it yet, but I'm a cheapo and I like my Old Lady Oil of Olay.

3.  Juicy Couture.  Full Size $19-90.  I hate perfume.  I smell awesome Au Natural.  I have a fabric addiction, and all extra money feeds that.

4.  Whish.  Shave Crave Shaving Cream.  Shea butter packed shaving cream in a blueberry scent.  This smells SO GOOD.  I'll probably keep it around and smell it for awhile before using it.  You use it on your hairy parts and shave.  Full size $20.   If I got to smell like Violet Beauregarde from Willy Wonka all day, I would definitely buy this! 

5.  Bonus: Eco-Beauty Oil-Free Face Cleanser.  I haven't used this because I haven't worn any make up yet.  And why waste it on a makeup-less face?  Full size $10.  On the fence.  I'll let you know if it's awesome.

Overall, I really liked my box, and can't wait to see what I get next month!  Thank you Ashley!!!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

100th Post

EDIT: Aug 2014 This really isn't my 100th post due to the new blog make over in Aug 2014.

It is NOT hard to write 100 posts, haha.  Sorry, but I won't be giving anything any today... Bummer.

BUT I'm excited to report that I finally have some ideas for this po' pathetic blog 'o mine.  Now I've said this a few times, but I have to admit that I started my blog, so I could win some fabric giveaways.  I found Blog Land by searching for quilting tips.  Then I stumbled into the land of fashion blogging, giveaway blogs, and Mommy blogs and everything in between.  I have been hooked ever since.  I learned that straight up giveaways blogs ain't where it's at.  You rarely win and you follow a bunch of terrible Twitter and FB accounts, that I have to spend hours deleting to make more room for the quality blogs that I seem to be adding more to my account every day!  I've been obsessed with reading blogs ever since.  That's why you don't see me post a lot because I'm busy reading!

Did you know that you can only follow 2,000 Twitter accounts?  Until you get "more' followers?
And that you can only follow 5,000 FB pages?  If every blog has their own FB page, then I should have run out of room SO long ago.  And in fact I have a few times...all of those worthless giveaway accounts, hah.


SPEAKING of giveaways...One of the fabric stores that sell ALL kinds of different material for sewing and crafting is hosting an awesome contest right now (that I just entered).  Hart's fabric has SO MUCH to look and choose from at reasonable prices.  Now you probably won't find entire collections of lines, but they have a bit of everything.  The contest is called: Pin it & Win it with Collette Patterns.  I LOVE Collette Patterns!  Most of the patterns are beginner or intermediate and are vintage patterns from the 50s!  You pick a pattern, the fabric you would use to sew it, and make a special board on Pinterest.  Then you can add some embellishments.  You win the Collette pattern (retails $19) and a $50 GC to Harts to use to buy your fabric and embellishments.  I really want to win this one!

 I chose a Retro small blue flower material with some red and white gingham materials that I think that would look cute with it.  I should add some material to make a petticoat! I also included some ribbon and ric rac that would look good on it.

 So the big one is the fabric I picked.  I LOVE retro vintage fabric so much.  From the top right going down are 5 fabrics that would go with the main fabric possibly.  The 6th & 7th fabric are tulle netting which I can use to make a petticoat!  Not sure what a petticoat is?  What about now?

Product Details
It's the big fluffy fabric you wear under a skirt to make it look bigger.  Think Poodle Skirt.

The corner is elastic that I can use to make a fabric belt.  On the bottom from left to right:  First 2: Decorative ribbon, red ric rac,  1" button kit to make fabric buttons to put on the back of the sleeves, then pink dotted tulle fabric to use in a petticoat.  I was hoping to find a red vintage fabric that is similar to the blue to make another dress out of.

So if you love sewing garments, go make a Pinterest board.  I'm assuming that you have a Pinterest account.  If you don't, it's super easy to do.  Just go to Pinterest.com and follow the simple directions.  Then make a special board for the contest. (but don't win!)

Friday, June 7, 2013

I can't stand my neighbor.

One of my bedroom wall faces South towards the road, and my bedroom is on the end of the house so the other wall faces the neighbors house, no windows on the West side.  I have two windows on the South wall that I can hear everything the neighbors do.  We built our house first when they sold a bunch of property.  Then they moved in after we did. Our neighbor has a gas pump and other "Vintage Relics" in the yard that can be mistaken for a yard sale.  Right now as I look out my window there is a chair with a flower pot next to the world's smallest birdhouse.  It's just dumb.  So besides looking like Sanford and Son, this is why I really can't stand my neighbors:

My Mother, so kindly, gave the name of Porky to the Man of the house.  He lives with his Wife.  They had a cool dog named Duke that used to visit our house, but he got sick with big tumors, and I found out that he died a few months ago and they have a new dog.  Oh! The neighbors built a garage and shed a few summers ago...ugh which I will go into details about in a minute...and my dog shits there every day behind that bard-shed.  It's embarrassing, and everyone knows about it, but the  neighbors don't really say anything, so hopefully they don't care.

So, Porky leaves EVERY day at 4 am.  He has an F-250 or equivalent, and thinks that he must warm up his diesel for at least 5 minutes in the summer, and up to 30 minutes in the winter. I hate him for this fact solely.  Every morning his Wife comes out and yells something as he leaves.  He yells back, she cackles then yells, and he laughs and leaves.  HE HONKS THE HORN EVERY DAY.  I hate him for this too.

One day a few summers ago, he had some surgery and was outside at 5 am, because the pain meds made him a complete nutty bastard.  For some reason he had some dirt bike he was fixing, and he kept revving it OVER and OVEr.  RRRRgg.  RRRggg.  I was trying to get a few hours of sleep, and was out all night, and that is THE ONLY time my mother went over there and yelled at him to knock it off because there are people sleeping. haha.

Then a few summers ago, they decided to build that damn stupid barn-shed.  The only positive, is that they took a lot of that gas station memorabilia from the front yard, and decorated the bard-shed with it.  Those damn people got up at the Butt Crack of Dawn to nail that thing together.  I thought it would never end.  Do you think that they stopped on the weekends for a break?  Nope, not them.  But they only worked til like noon "before it got too hot for Porky".  Another summer, they built a bigger garage where they keep their junky old cars, so we don't have to see them in the front yard of their property anymore.

That damn house makes me go insane at least once a month.  I used to wake up in a rage and storm through the house, but I got yelled at and shut down for giving him a piece of my mind.  The only rule I have for living here, is that I am not allowed to "talk" to those neighbors.  Meaning I can't be honest and tell them how much they bug me, because my parents are non-confrontational, although they will stick up for themselves if provoked.

Two summers ago, they had an auction to sell some of the junk hoard they acquired (Thank the Lord!)  It was over 100 degrees out, and he had a Heat Stroke.  We live in the Country on 1+ acre lots.  He had it at HIS HOUSE!  This ridiculousness started at 9am and the auctioneer droned on for hours.  I knew it was going to be Hell and there wasn't anything on TV so I put my earplugs in and went to sleep.  Around 3pm, my kid comes in to tell me that Porky is dying and we have to call an ambulance.  They had over 100 people there and SO MANY cars pulled up in the front yard.  We had to tell the ambulance to pull up in my driveway.  Whenever These Things happen to me, I get a rush of excitement.  Emergency Personnel impressed the hell out of me.  My Adreneline goes so high that I start to laugh maniacally and people think I'm a freak and tell me to settle down and Go Away.  Thank God this doesn't happen at work when a person codes or something.  I get really focuses and scared and my stomach turns inside out, because I don't want the person to die.  Fortunately for the neighborhood, Porky survived and had no brain damage.  Could you even imagine if he did?

Our other neighbor is so cool.  They had a mini poodle named Bubby, which is the same name I called my Ex.  He was old and died, and they have a chihuahua.  Do they bark?  Nope.  And that's what I like.  When my daughter was younger, she went over there to hang out with "Audrey" who is the nicest *young* grandma-age neighbor you can ask for.  I wave to them when I pull out of the driveway.  They aren't intrusive and loud.

This is why I hope I come into a lot of money, so I can buy enough land not to have stupid neighbors.

PS: I would take pictures, but I don't want to start a war with them and I don't want to look like a Freak taking pictures of their house and crap. Plus it's very rude and invades their privacy. Obviously the heat is just really getting to me.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Wanna know what I'm freaking excited about?!!

One of my favorite online ONLY fabric shops became a brick and mortar shop in Ann Arbor!  Which is 15 minutes away and two towns over from me!  I guess I should tell you the name...Pink Castle Fabrics!!!

I am SO excited!!!  I love contemporary fabrics and prints.  The only other fabric shop in Ann Arbor is HUGE and FULL of batiks :P  Batiks are those fabrics that look like watercolors.

So for example:   SUPER YUMMY GLIMMA collection by Lotta Jansdotter
Glimma - Fat Quarter Bundle from Glimma by Lotta Jansdotter for Windham

Super boring blah baik

Compared to that blue batik fabric (which i don't like in general). That one has peacock feathers swirled in.  Eh.  I just love the colorful prints better.  I so can't wait to visit.  The only negative thing is that they are only open until 5 pm.  I SO can't wait to take some lessons and do some serious shopping.  A lot of my favorite quilting bloggers order from Pink Castle fabrics.  And I actually get to GO there.  I almost cried when I went  to the only other fabric shop in Ann Arbor.  Because they had 10,000 bolts full of batiks, 5 bolts of noteworthy print, and awful garish novelty prints.  And it was super crowded by snobby Ann Aborites grandmothers.  The kind that pretend that you don't exist by cutting into line or stand out of the line and accuse you of cutting when you get in line after the person in front of you, but THEY decided to go look at other things and didn't notice you walk up, but still want their place and line, and want you to feel stupid by being super mean.  Yeah, full of those.  YAY YAY YAY YAY YAY!

Now off to check my 150 more emails...