Tag Archives: giveaway

The Miner’s Wife + Giveaway!

Today I am introducing my friend Mandie who goes by the name of TheMinersWife in the crafty world.


Mandie is a wonderful friend of mine who is very crafty. We like to get together to craft & chat when we have the chance.  If we’re not crafting, then we’ll be out to lunch,shopping  or  walking together.  We also love to do the odd market stall about the place together. My market buddy!

I thought it was about time I introduced her to the rest of you and so I asked Mandie a few questions.  She has also very kindly offered to giveaway one of her PDF patterns!  Details below on how to enter.

Embroidery PDF Pattern - Dance

Embroidery PDF Pattern – Dance

Tell me about TheMinersWife.

TheMinersWife shop is where you will find all of my PDF patterns to recreate many of my original projects – journal covers, dolls, softies and stitcheries.  I love to turn my original creations into patterns so that other crafters can personalise them by recreating them in fabrics and colour-ways that they prefer.  My patterns are easy to follow and have lots of photos, diagrams and hints throughout so that even if you have no sewing experience, you will still be able to confidently work your way through the project, and the end result will look just like it is supposed to.    Sometimes you will also find a few completed goodies available in my shop such as hair accessories, home decorating items and stationary items; I also like to play around with different ideas and create little bits and pieces that I don’t always turn into patterns.

Emmalani Seahorse Softie Pattern

Tell us what you do & what inspires you to create?

I sew!  I love to sew anything really, and then turn my creations into patterns.  Sometimes I am inspired by an occasion, such as birthdays, Christmas, Easter, births etc where I need to give a gift so I’ll come up with something suited to the particular recipient.  Other times I am inspired by my girls, who are also very crafty, and I often enlist them to draw certain objects for me as I love their interpretations – sometimes stripped back to bare basics, at other times taken to a new level with an added flourish, swirl or heart. I am lucky to live out of town and surrounded by bushland and forest, with the ocean only 10 minutes drive away, so there is always lots of inspiration from the natural environment too.

Fergus the Frog PDF Sewing Pattern

Fergus the Frog PDF Sewing Pattern

Have you always been a crafter?

Oh yes…for as long as I can remember.  I think it’s in my blood! I come from a long line of very talented and creative people!  Actually, I like to think that everyone has a creative bone in their body…it’s just a matter of finding it.

Maggie Doll PDF Pattern

Were you taught crafting skills by a close family member, or are you self taught?

My favourite aunt taught me to knit and crochet when I was 8.  She created beautiful pieces and was the most patient teacher.  She lost her battle with breast cancer when I was 20, and I still regret to this day not paying more attention when she was teaching me…I can not remember a thing that she taught me!  As for everything else, I am pretty much self-taught.  If I want to know how to do something, I usually Google it or hunt down a book at my local library or just play around experimenting.

Little Bird Journal Cover PDF Pattern

What other craft would you like to try?

Ooooh, it would have to be crochet.  I haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet…although it is taking all of my inner strength to stop myself.  I have so many unfinished projects as it is and I fear that they will remain unfinished if I start to play around with crochet.  Hmm, we’ll see.  I’d also love to be able to paint…but unfortunately I wasn’t blessed with those skills.

Herb and Harriet Hedeghog PDF Sewing pattern

Do you have plans for any new designs?

I have lots of ideas floating around all the time!  My brain is buzzing with designs and I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing. I wish I had more time to bring them all to life.  I have soooo many half- finished projects, and many more just waiting patiently for their turn at having my undivided attention!  I’ve had a couple of new additions join the extended family in the last couple of months, so there a few ‘baby’ inspired designs planned. I am also planning on adding a few stitchery designs into the mix.

Dear Friends Journal Cover PDF Sewing Pattern

What was the first thing you ever made?

Actually it was an ashtray for my dad!  I was nearly 5 years old and my kindergarten teacher (who was a pottery fanatic) decided to bring her pottery wheel in one day so all of us kids could have a go and make something for our dad’s for father’s day.  Mine was surprisingly perfect and I remember the teacher making quite a fuss over it at the time.  My dad gave up smoking not long after that, but I still have the bowl to this day…and even looking at it now with adult eyes, I must say I was a clever little 4 year old! The first thing I ever made out of textile though was a cute bookmark!  It was a hairclip (used by hairdressers I think) covered in felt and lace to resemble a mitten…I made quite a few before moving on to something else.  I went through an obsessive stage of making funky clothes for my sister’s cabbage patch doll too…Miss Raelyn was the best dressed girl in town!

Stella, Steve and Stanley Starfish PDF Sewing Pattern

Thanks so much Mandie for letting us into your crafty world.  I can recommend any of Mandie’s patterns.  They are so well written and have every detail you need to have a go – even if you are not all that confident a sewer.

Kids Room Name Sign PDF Sewing Pattern

Kids Room Name Sign PDF Sewing Pattern

Would you like to win one of Mandie’s PDF Sewing patterns?  Well its easy to enter, just visit The Miners Wife etsy shop and have a poke around, then come back here and leave a comment with your favourite item.  Pure chance will decide the winner in a weeks time. I’ll announce the winner in next week’s post. Good luck!

And so on to next week. It will be my last post before the In a Spin Sampler Throw Crochet Along begins.  It will be full of crochety goodness to whet your appetite for the kick off on the 16th!  I’m so excited!

We have a winner!

Well – what a week I’ve had!

Thank you so much to each and every one of you that signed up to follow my adventures.  I am super chuffed that you are here.  I hope you stick around 🙂 The winner of any pincushion is at the end of this post – you can scroll straight to that if you wish – I don’t want to be a tease 😉

Last week, I had a stall at Port Fairy MADE Artists Market. It was very successful and so busy!  Hooray!

All set, ready to go

Here are some pics of my fellow stallholders wares – they were awesome!

Just some of the gorgeous stuff

More wonderful things

I was lucky enough to be able to come home with a few things too 🙂

Hand drawn mini cards – now stuck up on my wall 

My new favourite earrings

Cotton crochet cuff – so lovely

But enough about all that, we need a winner don’t we?  I used good old random.org to draw the winner.  And that winner is :

T Hurly – (thhurly on Instagram)

Yay!  I’ll email you so you can choose which pincushion you would like. Thank you everyone for joining up 🙂

So on to the future.  You may have noticed me teasing you with a Crochet Along page, well its almost time to start.  All the details next week!  I’m excited.

Wish upon a Dandelyne and Win!

I have something pretty exciting to share with you today.  Recently on instagram, I stumbled across the lovely Sonia, creator of Dandelyne. I fell in love with her 100% cute work.  We chatted a bit, liked each other’s work and have very quickly become insta-buddies.

Sonia - Dandelyne

The next logical step was of course for me to toss her some questions and feature her gorgoeus work here.  But that’s not the best bit – the best bit is a giveaway!  Sonia has very kindly offered to giveaway one of her lovely items to one of my readers.  How awesome is she?  Yes – pretty awesome!

But first, my sticky beaking into the world of Dandelyne.

What’s the story of dandelyne?

Dandelyne blossomed as a result of an embroidered/appliquéd family portrait that I designed, and made, in July 2011. My husband and I wanted something a little different from your large, family photographic portrait. So I thought … I should stitch us up (so to speak). I was so pleased with the result that I wanted to sew more. I began sewing and playing with embroidery again. I felt 100% alive and it was from this point that the dandelyne parachutes began to float …

Customised Family Portrait

Customised Family Portrait by Dandelyne

Your mini-hoops are almost as cute as your embroidery – who’s brainwave was that? They look amazing!

Yes yes yes … hands up it was me and thank you ^_^!

I will take credit for the actual brainwave but, I must hand the credit over to my delicious husband for the laser cutting. The production line of sanding, drilling and construction is a team effort between my husband and I. It is most definitely a labour of love.

Sonia at work on her mini embroidery hoops

Sonia at work on her mini embroidery hoops

Have you always been a crafty type? What was your first crafty creation?

Yes! Every since I can remember I have always made things. I remember mum heading off to work in the school holidays and leaving me with her sewing machine. Oh the joy! I would make clothes for my cabbage patch doll Fiona Crystal (I still remember her name – wow!). I would inspect my own clothes to see how they were constructed and then make mini patterns. I think my first crafty creations were Christmas presents for my family. I made white and orange polka dot ties for the boys and fabric covered photo frames for the girls. Very special indeed!    

Bunting Embroidery Hoop Necklace by Dandelyne

What do you make for you and your family? or do you get stuck just making dandelyne goodies (not that there’s anything wrong with that, but sometimes I know I forget about me & mine)

I like to think of myself as a bit of a crafty minx (wink) so I am continually making things for our home. Most recently I have made painted sticks to decorate the brick walls, curtains for the cubby, cushion covers, crochet blankets, aprons, bunting. You name it I’ll make it and if I don’t know how to do it, I’ll investigate how to. As a young girl I often dreamed of working on Play School and making all the props for the show. I thought that would be a dream job and I still do :-D!

Sonia in her Dandelyne Studio

Sonia in her Dandelyne Studio – I have studio envy!

Are your stitched folk based on real life people?

Each of my little people are based upon qualities I admire in family and friends, elements of life that I love and things that have been said by my boys. It is so much fun giving each of them personalities. As I sew it feels like I watch them come to life. Here are a couple for you to enjoy:

Billy is the sweet blond cutie with plaits. She is a jill of all trades. She has a black belt in karate. Her love for cake mixture exceeds eating the cooked option and she absolutely loves reciting quotes from Dr Suess books. One of her favourites, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”

Billy Mini embroidery Hoop Necklace by Dandelyne

Finn is the little spunk with white rimmed glasses. She absolutely loves to read stories by Enid Blyton. She also loves to paint and eat … wait for it … melted marshmallows in a biscuit sandwich. Have you tried this? Delicious and then some!

Finn Mini Embroidery Hoop Necklace by Dandelyne

Finally Fletcher …. cute little Fletch wants to be a Monster Truck Driver. His favourite colour is gold and he believes .. NO HE KNOWS … his crown has special powers. 

Fletcher – Mini Embroidery Hoop necklace

What are your plans for the future of dandelyne? New ideas?

It is still such early days for dandelyne so I am extremely excited about the tangents that are possible. My head spins when I think about all the things I want to do and where I could end up. I honestly want to stitch up a storm. I am working on a new idea right now … are you ready … mini embroidery hoop rings – cuuuuuuuuuuuuute! I am super excited about these so stay tuned for these cuties … and so much more! XO (Put me down for one of them Son!)

Here comes the sun Mini Embroidery Hoop Brooch by Dadnelyne

Where can we find you? 

At the moment I sell my products via my Etsy store and by word of mouth. Instagram has also been a great source of exposure and sales. My website is coming VERY SOON. I hope to be in MANY brick and mortar stores by the end of the year too. I have so many dreams for dandelyne so I want to be everywhere I can possibly be. I can also be found on Facebook.

Thanks so much Son for letting us into your bright and cheery world.

Now on to the giveaway!

Sonia has very kindly offered up your choice of her simply superb mini embroidery hoop hot air balloon necklaces.

Win one of these – the choice is yours, thanks to Dandelyne!

To win, there are no hoops to jump through (hehe). Simply leave a comment here and the winner will be chosen using random.org.  I like to think of it as blowing on a dandelion flower – who knows which one will be the one? Oh and its open to anyone in Australia, the world and the universe.  How cool is that?

Make your comment by 6pm Thursday 27th September Australian Standard Eastern Time.  The winner will be contacted that night and announced here next Friday.  Good luck!

How to Run a Blog Giveaway (and maybe win too)

Everyone loves to win something right?  A great way to win something handcrafted and awesome is to read and follow craft blogs.

But, not only are they fun to enter, they can be beneficial to you too.  In May I took part in the The Sew Weekly pincushion giveaway. Each day in May, a new pincushion maker would be featured and offered up one of their pincushions as a prize to the blog readers.  I am so glad I took part, as my shop visits and sales certainly were up as a direct result from being included.

lovely lilac pincushion for giveaway

My Sew Weekly Pincushion for the Giveaway

I have also run my own little giveaway on this very blog and it was a lot of fun, thanks to the etsy seller I featured.  She found an increased amount of traffic to her shop too.

However, giveways can be a bit daunting, so here are a few of my tips to running a successful blog giveaway

  • You can offer something you created or an item of a creator you are featuring.  Personally, I feel its a bit rude to ask for things, but if they offer great 🙂
  • Have clear pictures.  No one will enter if they cannot see what they could win clearly.  Show it off!
  • Don’t make it too hard to enter.  Trust me – this puts people off.  Make the condition of entry simple.  There is nothing worse than getting all excited about entering a giveaway and finding out you have to jump through 15 hoops or write an essay to qualify.  Personally, I wont enter if its too hard.
  • Have clear giveaway rules and stick to them.  If people must tell you their favourite item from your shop, then do not award the prize to someone who hasn’t done that.
  • Let people know how you will draw the winner.  Will it be a random draw, or will you judge the best entry or will your cat choose?
  • State your closing date and time and stick to it. Once the time comes, post that entries are closed and that you’ll let everyone know the winner shortly – be prompt.
  • Contact the winner promptly and confirm their postal details.  If your giveaway is being donated by someone else, I would be the go-between and pass on the details so you are in control of the process to some degree.  Ask the prize giver to confirm when they have posted the prize & let the winner know.  Just common courtesy.
  • Let your readers know who won & what they won if there were a few options. Its disappointing to never know if a giveaway was actually completed or not.
  • Its not essential, but if you are doing a random draw, then include pics of the process.  This giveaway draw by June at Noon was very cute and made me feel part of it.  I have seen some use www.random.org and post a pic of the result to prove their winner. Up to you, but these things can be a nice touch.
  • Personally, I would not do giveaways all the time.  To me they should be like sales, rare but special when you do have one.  Having said that I know a lot who do monthly & it seems to work for them.  Just my opinion. 🙂

Blog Giveaways to Enter

Now on to the fun bit for you.  I have rounded up a few blog giveaways for you to enter.  Who knows?   You might find an awesome new blog to read, a favourite new shop or you might just win something.  Having a look at all of these is also a great research opportunity.  See who has done things in a way that appeals to you and plan your own blog giveaway.

Good luck!

Red brick Needle Book from Loft Full of GoodiesTo win an awesome needlebook from Loft Full of Goodies – click here.  Entries close 5th July 2011

Badges by All Night Diner

To win some Vintage styled badges by All Night Diner, click here to visit isewpose‘s blog. Entries close 1st July 2011.Red Blende Earrings by Jenny PooleTo win over $80 worth of earrings from Jenny Hoople – click here. Entries close 3rd July 2011

Stripe lamp by Lulus LampsTo win a lamp designed by you from Lulus Lamps – click here.  Entries close 10th July.

Glass & Crystal bracelet by Miss MonkeiTo win a bracelet or bookmark by Miss Monkei, click here to visit Amaria’s Paper Workshop‘s blog.  Entries close 9th July 2011.

3 badges from Ld DesignsTo win 3 badges from Ld Designs, click here.  Entries close 30th June 2011.

Want More?

If these are not enough for you, then check out these blogs devoted to listing blog giveaways.   You can submit your giveaway to them both.  A good idea I think I will try next time.

Blog Giveaways

Craft Buds – Giveaway Roundup

If you are having a blog giveaway I have not mentioned, please feel free to add a link in the comments.  I hope you’ve found these tips useful. 🙂

And the Winner is…….

Thanks to random.org which drew the number 7 , congratulations go to Tish of Hatiheri who is the winner of this wonderful item from my blog giveaway:

eyeball hair tie, yourorgangrinder, spincushions
Eye ball hair tie by Yourorgangrinder

When I had to contact Tish I clicked through to her website & wow!  You rock Tish!  Awesome site for an awesome reason.  Here is some of what I found :

Hatiheri was born out of the frustration of not being able to find a subtle, simple, elegant, and practical headscarf while undergoing chemotherapy.

head scarf, hatiheri, spincushions
Navy Daisy Head Scarf by Hatiheri

Well done Tish on making some beautiful things for folks who are going through very tough challenges.

Huge thanks also to Simmone of Your Organ Grinder for offering the prize.  You rock too!

Interview with an Organ Grinder + Giveaway!

When I first discovered etsy about a year ago, a few months before I set up my shop, I remember seeing a felted brain and being totally tickled by the idea of a felt brain. Even better, the brain came in a jar

specimen jar brain yourorgangrinder

Needle Felted Brain in Specimen Jar

The creator of the brain was Simmone of Your Organ Grinder.  So when it was time for me to do my first Q & A  session with one of my favourite creators, Simmone was at the top of my list.

So here we go – the first Spinatomy Q & A.

Describe your creations

I make Felt Body Organs. Made with wool felt sheets, needlfelted, and the occassional bit of Acrylic felt. I love to make Brains, Livers, Uteruses, Hearts, Eyes, Prostates and almost every other body organ. I also like to do a few parasites and cells.

stolen heart brooch yourorgangrinder

Stolen Heart Brooch

What led you to start making your wonders? 

I was making fairly run of the mill purses, and cute felt stuff (including heaps of ghosts!). I was chatting to a fellow maker about my collections of animals or jars, skulls and bones (all from found animals, none hunted and killed). She suggest I make little animal jars. I didn’t think I could pull off making any animals, but started to think about body parts in jars and first made Eyes, Bones, Hearts and Brains in a jar. From there it took off, and when I went full time with my craft I started to do more and more Organs. Now they are almost all I do.

plant cell cross section brooch yourorgangrinder

Plant Cell Cross Section Brooch

What other things do you like to create?

A bit of everything! I currently am loving making Autum themed things like Autumn Leaf Garlands, Pumpkins, and Leaf Brooches. I love making vintage book brooches, from story books and science books. Tote Bags, Fabric Brooches, necklaces and more. Plus cooking, I am currently compiling recipes for a recipe zine (so if anyone has anything cheap, tasty and nutritious let me know!)

Epithelium, vintage paper brooches, yourorgangrinder

Epithelium Illustrations Vintage Paper Brooches

Have you always been crafty? Do you have a family history of craftiness, a mentor?

My Aunt on my Dads side once told me that she thinks the first born is more able to occupy themselves with their own activities.  I have always been very quiet and like doing fussy things and putting effort into things some find superflous, as well as being alone and doing my own things.  I have always loved making stuff!  I made some bizarre fake mummies 10 yrs ago inspired by Mummy Roadshow.  My mum’s side are all fairly creative and just get in and do things.  Mum taught me crochet at maybe 9 or 10, and my parents also used to restore the odd bit of furniture, and my Aunt on my mums side was always doing this and that.

specimen jar, spleen, yourorgangrinder

Specimen Jar Spleen

When you embark on a new creative method, do you teach yourself or do you find experts around you to teach you?

I taught myself to Needlefelt, but depending on what it is I either give it a go or ask others opinions.  My partner knows about almost everything, & can learn to do anything!  He is a great resource.  I also try to do things how I think they should be done.  You know I am prob needlefelting all wrong! haha!

Thank you Simmone for taking time to be part of my blog.

If you’d like to find out more about Simmone and her wonderful creations, she can be found in the following places :

Your Organ Grinder on etsy  Your Organ Grinder on madeit,

The Little Orchard on etsy  The Little Orchard on madeit

Little Orchard on twitter    Your Organ Grinder & The Little Orchard Facebook Page


Simmone has very kindly offered to my blog readers a giveaway of an eyeball hair tie  Thanks so much Simmone!  To be in with a chance to win, just leave a comment to this post and I will do a random post number draw to decide the winner.  I will draw the giveaway winner in a weeks time – Tuesday 24th May at 2pm.  The winner will be announced here, and overseas folks – you can enter too.  This one is open to anyone in the world.

eyeball hairtie yourorgangrinder giveaway