Saturday, 15 December 2018

2018 Online Advent Calendar

Hello everyone and happy holidays!
Welcome to my door!
Knock on to see what's inside!
This is the Online Advent Calendar made by Jo of Serendipitous Stitching and you can find all of the days in her blog.
This is December 15th and it is my turn to show you what I have stitched this Christmas.
Please come inside.
First I stitched  "All Dolled Up" by Little House Needleworks, a pattern I had won in Kaye's of Kitten Stitching giveaway some time ago.Thanks Kaye. It looks lovely stitched and I put it in a white frame. I also gave the pattern away and the winner is Clare of Aimeteu's Stitching.
I also stitched these felt trees with sequins and beads from my stash and from what I was sent at the Secret Crafter Exchange about which you can read in my GG post tomorrow.
 And this little Christmas Dragon was stitched this Christmas too.
It is December 2015 Holiday Treat by J.L.Aikman-Smith of Dragon Dreams Inc. which you can find for free on their facebook page.This is travelling to a dragon loving stitching friend.
Also Jo asked us our favourite Christmas song and I must say I have many but my all time favourite classic is the 1942 White Christmas with Bing Crosby

But I also love  a song I often teach my children for Christmas.

If you want to follow more on the Advent Calendar today you can also visit Mary's Threads to see what she has stitched.
The next blogs you can go tomorrow are A stitcher's Story and The Flashing Scissors.

This Online Advent Calendar is organised by Jo of Serendipitous stitching. Hop along to see the rest of the days.Thanks Jo for organising this. Have great holidays! Merry Christmas and a happy new year!

Tuesday, 11 December 2018

Craftartista Birthday Candy

Hello there,
the year is coming to its end and I still want to blog a bit.
I recently won a beautiful giveaway from Craftartista blog from dear Maria (aka Mia) who is very talented and makes beautiful things. She was celebrating her blog birthday and chose 22 winners! Wow! I was one of them!
Here's what Mia sent me.
Mia made for me a beautiful fabric tote which I will definitely use a lot. The lovely doilies were made by her grandmother and I really loved them. She also added a stamped cross stitch fabric which although I don't stitch on stamped fabrics I really want to do this one as it looks so sweet. She added lots of DMC threads, wooden items to stitch, three pairs of earrings she made herself and a lovely card she also made.
 Look at the earrings. And the detail of the doilies.
 The stamped canvas, and the chocolate!
 The wooden items and the card.
Dear Maria thank you so very much!

Monday, 3 December 2018

Let the people choose-December-Dragons

It's the first Saturday of December (well it was two days ago lol) and here is my post about Jo's of Serendipitous Stitching new brainchild Let the People Choose.
This month the theme is dragons.You can read her post here and can link up if you want.
I have never stitched anything with dragons so I had to look up and finally made this little Christmas dragon ornament.
I am not very good at ornament making but I tried and used a vintage trim.
The pattern is the December 2015 Holiday Treat from J.L.Aikman-Smith of Dragon Dreams Inc.
You can find them on facebook and download lots of dragon patterns for free and for personal use.
Here you can download the one I stitched.

 And here you can see the ornament on one of my son's favourite children's books. It is in Greek Drakologia and you can find it in English as Draconology by Ernest Drake. It's a beautiful 3d book with lots of pop ups. It is amazing how much more expensive is the English version in contrast to the Greek one.It was published in 2003 and in Greek in 2004.

It has great detailed illustration and lots of little pockets to open and discover.

Finally the giveaway pattern "All Dolled Up" by Little House Needleworks of my previous Gifted Gorgeousness post goes to  Diane of Lavender Dreams
 And along  Diane will receive the January stitched piece I made for Let the people choose January theme birthstones. Diane you were the only one with a January birthday that claimed it and also the only one who claimed the pattern so I didn't even have to make a choice. Please send me your full name and address. You will only have  to wait a bit till I turn the stitched piece into an ornament, unless you want it like that to make it yourself or to frame it. Please let me know.
No giveaway in this blogpost as the little dragon ornament is going as a gift to a stitchy friend who loves dragons!
Thank you all, see you soon in my GG post and the Advent calendar post. I am on the 15th of December but if you want to follow along go to Jo's blog for the Advent calendar is on already.
Also and by the way those of you who commented on my Paperless Post blog post will receive a virtual Christmas card from me if your e-mail is connected to your comment profile.

Monday, 26 November 2018

Paperless Post

Hi friends,
you might remember that at this time last year I was talking about writing Christmas cards and how I don't have the time for it.
And I had introduced you to Paperless Post., a site I had tried in order to send virtual Christmas cards.
You can read my last year's post here.
I don't know yet what I will do this year, if I will write real cards and letters or not. I will probably make a newsletter and send to all of my friends as well as some cards but I plan to use Paperless Post again for digital cards to all of my friends around the world as it is much faster and cheaper to do so.
So in case you don't receive a real snail mail letter and card from me don't worry, you are definitely going to receive a virtual one and who knows you might get the real one later.
I had a look at the Paperless Post site to see what they have new this year and I really fell in love with this card which became my favourite.
Runners up are these two.

But there is so much to choose from. For instance if you love Santa...
 If you live in NY ( as I would have loved to).....

If you love snowmen and snowflakes.....

or snowscapes....
or flamingoes....
There are funny ones......
bright ones......
classic ones of course....
and some with a smart twist....

There are some with stockings....

Some minimalistic....

and some religious...
or with the new year on....
for music lovers....
or if you want to add the photo of your family (which reminds me that I should be taking a family photo soon)
The site is very user friendly and you can choose from really many cards and you can change the fonts, the envelopes, even the postmarks on them. It is so entertaining to make your own digital card.
You can even use their Flyer which makes digital cards with gifs, text effects and stickers.
One thing I would really love to see in their site is a  bookish Christmas card and a fairy tale Christmas card too. Maybe they have one and I should look to other categories but there was not one in the Christmas, New Year and Holidays category.
So if you feel like making your own digital Christmas card go to Paperless Post.
(I was in no way compensated with money to write this review. My opinion is totally honest. This blog review was written after communication with Anagram Interactive.All the photos are from the Paperless Post site.)

Friday, 16 November 2018

How to create an e-mail newsletter that works.

Hello friends and readers,
As I don't blog that often any more I was thinking whether I should create an e-mail newsletter in order to reach out to all of you from time to time or on a regular basis.
That way you would get my news as well as links to various places I visited, crafts I made, books I read etc.
As I have no idea on how to do this I looked around on the web to find info and advice on how to create a proper e-mail newsletter and found some great pieces of info and advice on myemma.
Although the article I found concerns businesses and how to create an e-mail newsletter to build brand loyalty I am sure we can use lots of the info for personal blog newsletters as well.
You can find the whole article here.
But I thought I could give you the main points here too.
The first and most important thing is that one has to realise that newsletters are written by and for real human beings and not by computer programmes.
People don't like receiving emails that seem impersonal, and are only to promote sales. They want more meaningful content in them.
Want to read more? Ready to jump in and start generating a top-notch newsletter? Awesome! Here are a few tips that will keep you on the right track.
So I hope this gives you some ideas of how to create successfully a newsletter to attract readers to your blog or business.

1. Stay relevant.
You already know your readers want and need value, but you also have to provide material that's both relevant to them and to your brand.

2. Make it shareable.
The perfect way to get extra impact for your marketing effort is to design a great newsletter with relevant content, and then encourage sharing.
Youcan do this using a simple ask in your call-to-action (CTA) and being sure to make it clickable, or you can put prominent social media sharing buttons where subscribers can find them.

3. Make it simple.
A simple, uncrowded format works best for readers who are in skimming mode. 

4. Make it personal.
Personalizing your newsletter will help ensure it’s opened and read.
In fact, personalized emails get opened 29.3%more often than emails that aren’t personalized, so it’s worth the effort to add this touch to your email newsletter.
Plus, you can boostyour revenue 5.7 times through personalization, and that’s definitely a good reason to try this technique out on your next email newsletter campaign.

 As it was mentioned, creating an email newsletter can help you build serious loyalty with your customers and readers.
Newsletters build personal relationships and allow brands to offer customers value-added content that creates repeat customers.
Here are afew of the ways email newsletters accomplish this level of loyalty:
·         Providing important reminders and updates for new products, services, and events to email subscribers only.
·         Offering free gifts and giveaways to subscribers only. Offering these will sporadically allow your customers to feel your email newsletter has recurring value.
·         Giving discounted offers and email-exclusive coupons. These can include early access to sales or email-only sales that will foster exclusivity among your customers and encourage repeat business.
·         Providing relevant, useful content. Need we say more? Content is critical! You can even take it a step further and offer exclusive content that’s only available to subscribers.
·         Using participation bonuses to reward engagement. This can include contests or competitions for customers to write testimonials, post comments, or forward emails.
·         Offering bonuses for social media engagement. Using the same concept as with general participation bonuses, this can include contests for the most social media sharing of your content or even the most mentions of your brand on social media.
You can use one, or all, of these strategies to take your email newsletter to the next level, offering valued customers everything they need to continue to be your biggest fans.

This blog post is a collaboration post. I expressed my own thoughts and used resources on how to create a newsletter for your blog taken from  myemma resources.

Thursday, 15 November 2018

November Gifted Gorgeousness

Hello everyone!
It's GG time again.
For those who are new here Gifted Gorgeousness is the brainchild of Jo of Serendipitous Stitching.
Every month we show things we have stitched for gifts or have received as gifts.
Here is what I stitched from 15th October to 15th November.
First of all because I hadn't done something from my summer ctaftpod I made a small pattern from the card included in the parcel by Brie Harrison  to fit the hoop that was included in it.
This was my grandmother's favourite flower. She called it skoularikia (earrings) but I know it is called fuchsia.
Now there were three hoops on my wall.
Then I started my autumn craftpod
and again chose to stitch something from Brie Harrison's card to fit the hoop included.
So now there are four hoops on my wall.
Then I made the paper mushroom that was included in the parcel.

Mine is not as good as Lucy's so go to Attic24 to see how she made it and developed the whole theme.
Then I made a small piece for Let the people choose-November-Birthstones which is again a brainchild by Jo.
You can read all about it here in my blog.
It's by Palko Lap blog and you can find the pattern here.
This piece I am going to turn into a card or ornament and gift it to a January birthday person.
Is anyone of my readers a January child? Like me?
The other thing I finished is 'All dolled up" by Little House Needleworks.
I had received this from Kaye of Kitten Stitching in one of her giveaways. Thank you so much Kaye, see how beautifully it turned out!
I haven't decided how I am going to finish it yet.
And as it was a gift to me I am going to gift the pattern too so if you want it please let me know clearly in your comment. I will leave this open till November 25th.
I gave myself a gift too. Two Christmas magazines this time. I hadn't bought Christmas magazines for a very long time. And these were the cheapest I could get in Greece. I wanted to buy Prima makes but it was 22 euros. Where are prices going to?
I also want to show you something I noticed in a shop in my neighbourhood. It is an upholsterer's workshop. And these are embroidered pieces all matched together probably to fit a sofa or armchair.
I'd love to see the finished piece.
Also I saw this stitched piece at the antique market last week.
Finally the giveaway from the Halloween blog hop. I gave Barca the chance to help me and she was most willing. 

 Aimetu Clare  of Aimetu's Stitching won the Halloween Happiness pattern. Please send me your full name and address to my e-mail, thanks.
Thank you Jo for gifting it to me it is high time it went to someone else to stitch! I really loved making it.
Hope you enjoyed this GG blog post from me. Have a nice weekend!