Showing posts with label announcements. Show all posts
Showing posts with label announcements. Show all posts

Spring Cleaning and Site Maintenance

It's spring cleaning time here at The Chilly Dog and over the next few days I will be performing site maintenance.

I'm updating the blog with fresh colors, fresh graphics, and (hopefully) a more user friendly interface.

If you notice broken links or something that isn't working, please let me know so I can fix it. Send me a quick note explaining the problem, what browser you are using and the type of device you are on so I can untangle the mess.

Thank you for your patience.

Clover Mini Weaving Loom Giveaway

Feeling lucky? Here's your chance to enter a Clover Mini Weaving Loom and Quick Locking Stitch Marker Set.

Weaving has long been on my bucket list of crafts to try, but I've always been a bit intimidated by the row of rigid heddle looms at my local yarn store. Luckily, my friends at Clover USA had a solution for me, their Mini Weaving Loom.

This handy little gadget is perfect for weaving mug rugs, scarves, bags and more!

And what's better than fun craft tools? Winning them of course! Enter now for your chance to win a Mini Weaving Loom and Quick Locking Stitch Marker Set.

This giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada and is not affiliated or associated in any way with Facebook or Instagram.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
And just in case you're curious, here's a peek at the bag I made with my loom. I hope you enjoy learning how to weave a mini bag of your own.

Good luck and happy crafting!

Clover Standing Oval Knitting Loom Giveaway

Clover Standing Oval Knitting Loom Giveaway and four projects that will keep you cozy from head to toe.

Happy New Year! Thanks to the folks over at Clover USA, for the last few weeks I have been experimenting with the Clover Standing Oval Knitting Loom. I am excited that I get to start the year by sharing a giveaway and four fun projects that will keep you cozy from head to toe.

First, a peek at the projects. I used my loom to make an ear warmer headband, a cowl, fingerless gloves and a pair of socks. They couldn't be cuter or easier! No knitting experience required. I made the entire collection with the loom and two skeins of yarn. The free patterns will be available here on The Chilly Dog over the next two weeks.

Next, the giveaway. I am collaborating with Clover to offer one lucky person all the materials they will need to complete these four projects - a Standing Oval Knitting Loom and a $10 Jo-Ann gift card to purchase yarn.

This giveaway is open to US residents only and is not affiliated or associated in any way with Facebook or Instagram.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck, happy crafting and happy 2017!

Happy Holidays

I Love Yarn Day 2016!

I love yarn day 2016!

I Love Yarn Day is fast approaching and if you are a knitter, crocheter, spinner, weaver or general fiber enthusiast, you are going to want to check it out. It's all about sharing your passion for fiber crafts.

The event was created by the fine folks at the Craft Yarn Council. (They are an incredible resource for yarn related guidelines, standards, tips and more!) They have lots of fun ideas for how you can get involved and even a bunch of free patterns on their I Love Yarn Day page.

My favorite activity this year is the I Love Yarn Day Scavenger Hunt. There are 20 great prizes up for grabs for people who correctly complete the scavenger hunt. (I've got my fingers crossed that maybe I'll win one of the yarn prizes because I use a lot of yarn around here!)

I love yarn day sale! #iloveyarnday #stitchitforwardI am personally celebrating I love yarn day all month long in my shops. Use coupon code ilyd16 to get 25% off patterns, knitting needle and crochet hook cases, and hand crafted goodies. Shop now at:

► thechillydog on Etsy
► The Chilly Dog on Ravelry

But before you head off to grab your hooks and needles, print out this free template, write down why you love yarn, take a selfie and post it to your favorite social media with #iloveyarnday and #stitchitforward. Need an example?

I love yarn because knitting is my namaste. It's something I feel a constant need to do. It's very much a part of me and how I express both my creativity and my love.

I love yarn because knitting is my namaste. It's something I feel a constant need to do. It's very much a part of me and how I express both my creativity and my love. #iloveyarnday #stitchitforward

Happy I love yarn day!


October giveaway filled with treats!
This October I am working closely with three other Etsy sellers and to celebrate, we have organized an exciting giveaway filled with a collection of treats for one lucky reader. The prizes:

This giveaway is open to entrants worldwide. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Chilly Dog's Big Book of Knit Pattern's Giveaway

The Chilly Dog's Big Book of Knit Patterns is available now!

I am so excited to announce that The Chilly Dog's Big Book of Knit Patterns is finally available in my shop! I am releasing it as an ebook in PDF form. The book has my first 30 knit patterns and is 118 pages long. It is filled with scarves, socks, purses, afghans and more.

Now I need a little help spreading the word. Help me share my big news for a chance to win your very own copy!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Crafter Thoughts: Reflect, Reform, Refresh

If you are a fan of The Chilly Dog, you probably know that I take two breaks from the blog every year, once in the summer and again in the winter. Blogging takes up a lot of my life and sometimes I just need to reflect, reform and refresh to ensure that my blog and business continue to thrive. Does that mean I spend my time off just sitting around catching up on daytime TV? Absolutely not! My July break was packed with work and fun.


When I started my blog and shop in November of 2011, I did it because I am passionate about crafting and all things handmade. Crafting has brought me so much joy over the years. Making something with your own two hands enriches your life and just makes you feel good. I want to share my crafty knowledge so others can experience that joy.

I did not start my business because I was looking for a way to spend more time staring at a screen. Yes, I have to be here to write, but lately I have also spent a ridiculous amount of time promoting my blog and shop on social media with limited results.

The reality is, I could spend my entire day promoting my work on social media and still not reach every potential reader and customer.

If I want to create quality content for my blog and quality patterns and products for my shop I need to spend more time in my studio and less time in front of this darn computer.


Over the last four and a half years I have written and self-published 30 knitting patterns. Some are for sale in my shop and some are free here on the blog. My July blog break gave me the opportunity to reform those patterns into a book. Yeah, I'm writing a book!

Right now it's at 118 pages and my husband and I are in the process of editing. Fingers crossed, The Chilly Dog's Big Book of Knit Patterns will be available on my shop's virtual shelves this fall as an e-book.


All work and no play makes Ellen a dull girl. Luckily, I got to spend over a week traveling through Scandinavia with my favorite person. Hubby and I did a tour of the capitals of Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Norway. The weather was fantastic, the food was delicious and the people were friendly.

Of course I brought some knitting with me, but overall it was a nice escape and a relaxing adventure.


Wait. WAIT! There is no "Reboot" in the title of this post.

When I decided that needed to re-balance my routine with less screen time the Tech Gods frowned down on me. One morning in early August, just as I was reaching the final pages of my book, my computer (that is less than three months old) refuse to turn on. No matter how many times I pounded on the power button... the screen... remained... dark.

Luckily, the repair is completely covered by the computer manufacturer's warranty, but (with terror in my heart) I shipped my computer halfway across the country to be fixed. Yes, I have a hard copy of the book, but I had spent hours making edits that I had not yet backed-up.

As I wait for the return of my computer I am in limbo. Blogging is not easy on a borrowed laptop and I don't want to invest time to redo book edits that are hopefully intact when my computer returns. So for now, everything is kind of on hold in my world, but hopefully I'll be up and running at full speed soon.

Thank you for your ongoing support and encouragement!

Sorry I Missed You

In the Meantime...

  • I'll still be posting regularly on Facebook.
  • Follow me on Instagram to see where in the world The Chilly Dog is knitting. (Even if you're not a knitter, you don't want to miss this!)
  • The shop is always open. Find a pattern or handmade gift for yourself or someone you love. Shop now!
  • Browse the blog or enjoy some of my most popular posts:

SPSTeam Spring Sale

My friends over at the Strategic Promotion for Success Team on Etsy are having their annual spring sale this week. There are 21 amazing sellers participating in the event (many of whom I have purchased items from in the past and highly recommend).

Each shop is offering different discounts which you can receive by using coupon code SPRING16 at checkout. This sale is a nice way to support small businesses and get some great deals on spring gifts for mother's day, grads and more. Here's a little sample from all of the participating shops.

Happy shopping!

Workshop Update

Private knitting, crochet and sewing lessons in Tucson, Arizona.

I'm taking a little hiatus from teaching my monthly craft workshops, but that doesn't mean I'm not available to give you a little one-on-one crafty inspiration and instruction.

I am currently taking appointments for private lessons in knitting, crocheting and sewing, all levels, beginner to advanced.

For those of you in the Tucson area, I am able to schedule appointments on weekdays, evenings or weekends. My current rate is $25 for a one hour session or $40 for a two hour session.

Send me an e-mail to schedule your appointment.

Happy crafting!

Shop Talk: Handmade Designs & Deals

New craft inspired designs from The Chilly Dog on Zazzle

Between my blog, pattern writing and my online shop, I take hundreds of craft related pictures every month. Usually I am focused on the process used to create a specific item or the finished item itself, but sometimes my photos end up looking a little artsy. I noticed this recently when I took a close-up of a sweater I was knitting. The colors and geometry of the stitch pattern were quite striking

I headed over to Zazzle to design myself a phone case using the sweater picture. (Yes, I am a knitting nerd!) I have used Zazzle in the past to make shirts, mugs and even a cool pair of shoes for my daughter. After designing my case, I began wondering if it might be fun to post my funky new phone case for sale and my new Zazzle shop became a reality.

My goal is to add at least one new craft inspired design a month on cell phone cases, mugs, bags, shirts and more. Hopefully I'll be able to use the proceeds from my sales to offset some of my blog costs. I hope you'll bookmark the shop and visit from time to time to see what's new.

New Patterns Released

This month I also released my latest crochet pattern for a springy, triangle motif vest. The pattern is written for 3 sizes (up to 34 inch bust, 36-40 inch bust, 42-46 inch bust) and is available for purchase and instant download in my shop, on Ravelry and on Craftsy.

I haven't officially listed it in the shop yet, but if you are interested in purchasing the actual sweater shown (it's a small) or custom ordering it in a different color, you can e-mail me directly.

New Items Listed

I am in the process of listing 6 new crochet hook and knitting needle cases. You can find them, and a variety of other patterns in the "For Your Hooks and Needles" section of my shop.

Organize your knitting needles and crochet hook cases in handmade style


Finally, if you are looking for some bargains, for a limited time I am celebrating 2016 with 16% off all items in the "From my Hooks and Needles" section of the shop. The discount is automatic and no coupon code is needed. This sale won't be around long, so don't miss the deals on hand knit and crocheted afghans, scarves, shawls, jewelry, washcloths and more.

Happy shopping!

Sorry I Missed You

In the Meantime...

The Blogger's Guide to Social Media

The Blogger's Guide to Social Media: Making a plan for promoting your blog or small business on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and InstagramAs a craft blogger, I spend almost as much time promoting myself on social media as I do crafting and writing. The task can be a little daunting because I would rather have my hands on yarn, fabric, glue and glitter than my computer keyboard. However, I am aware that my presence on Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Instagram can be effective in attracting new readers and keeping my loyal fans coming back for more crafty goodness.

My personal goal on social media is not only to promote my blog and my shop, but also to tell my story. In addition to self promotion, I like to share a glimpse at things that you won't find on my blog.

Each social media platform offers a unique venue to share different aspects of my day to day work. In an effort to keep my fans and followers informed and engaged (without being spammy) it was necessary for me to develop a basic plan for what I share on each social media outlet.

Like me on Facebook
I have a personal, "real world" connection with many of my followers on Facebook. They are my friends, family, neighbors, colleagues and collaborators. These are the people who are most interested in my day to day trials and triumphs.

When I am posting on my Facebook page, I pay close attention to the question "What have you been up to?" because this is exactly what my fans want to know about.
I frequently share the following information on my timeline to give my followers a preview of what's happening behind the scenes:
  • pictures of my work in progress for both my blog and my shop
  • information about local workshops I am teaching
  • links to other blogs, web sites or publications where I have been featured
  • critter pics (I live in Arizona and we have some pretty awesome creepy crawlies residing in our back yard.)
I occasionally share links to articles on my blog or news about my shop.

Despite the fact that I rarely share links to my blog on my own Facebook page, I do share them on other Facebook pages. For example, if I use a specific yarn in one of my tutorials, I share a link on the yarn maker's Facebook page mentioning that I enjoyed their product and show them what I made. Businesses big and small appreciate positive publicity for their products. I don't want to be spammy, but this kind of self promotion can be beneficial to both their brand and mine.


Follow me on Twitter
Twitter is a very effective platform for attracting new readers and customers through the thoughtful use of #hashtags and @mentions. I often use #knit #knitting #crochet and #DIY in my tweets.

My tweets are more quirky than my Facebook posts so I can grab your attention in 140 characters or less. Sometimes my tweets are even a bit vague so people are more likely to click on my links.
I frequently tweet:
  • links to my blog posts (both new and old) with @mentions to any relevant brands I used in my project
  • pictures and links to items in my shop
  • pictures of my cat #CatsofTwitter #KittyLoafMonday
  • my favorite items from the Crafty Saturday Show and Sell link-up on my blog and re-tweets of other people's favorite #CraftySaturday items
  • re-tweets of items I like from the #HandmadeHour and #HandmadeHourUSA live chat hosted by @HandmadeHour  @HMNation
  • re-tweets of items I like from #SPSTeam because @SPSTeamEtsy is the best Etsy team around
  • re-tweets of things that inspire me or make me laugh


Add me to your Google+ Circle
I like Google+ because it offers a variety of ways for you to connect with others. It is similar to Facebook in how you can post pictures, links, video, etc.

The "Collections" feature on Google+ is much more reminiscent of Pinterest because you can add posts (your own or others) to collections. People can follow you and/or your collections.

On my Google+ page, I frequently post links to my blog and items in my shop.

I also have a few collections (giveaways, craft tutorials, printables, yummy food, indie shops and blogging tips). This is where you'll find my favorite posts by other bloggers and small business owners on Google+.
Google+ also hosts a variety of interest-based communities. In addition to moderating two Google+ communities (SPSTeam on Etsy and Create Happy Crafts) I belong to a few other craft and business related communities where I can connect with my peers, get advice and share my latest projects.


Follow me on Pinterest
My Pinterest boards fall into three main categories:
  • craft ideas/tutorials
  • handmade/vintage items
  • business/blogging tips
Of course I pin all of my own blog posts and shop items, as well as those from other blogs and shops that I love.
I also use Pinterest when I am in the early stages of project planning when I am researching topics or getting a little inspiration. If you notice I'm pinning a lot of clay projects, you can bet I'll probably be sharing some clay-related tutorials on my blog, soon.


Follow me on Instagram
I am just getting started with Instagram. Right now my plan is to share pictures of my works in progress so my followers can get a peek through my virtual windows to see what I am doing right now.

It's likely that a few, but not all, of my instagrams will end up on my Facebook and Twitter pages as well.
If you'd like to make your own social media plan, I highly recommend the book 500 Social Media Marketing Tips: Essential Advice, Hints and Strategy for Business: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, and More!. It has a lot of useful information for anyone who is interested in developing their brand on social media.

August Workshop - Decorative Tiles

Hello, my Tucson friends! I'd like to show you how to make decorative tiles. I'm going to keep the method a surprise for now, but rest assured, this is a super easy and fun project that you can make with basic supplies you probably have in your own home. You may even want to keep this inexpensive project in mind for use as Christmas gifts.

When: Sunday, August 23 or Sunday, September 13 from 1-3 p.m
Where: My Tucson Home
Cost: $25

I'll provide all the materials and a little snack. Space is limited, so e-mail me to reserve your spot.

Would you like to receive updates about the latest workshops? Make sure to subscribe to my monthly newsletter or subscribe to The Chilly Dog's Events Page on Facebook.

August Giveaway

August 2015 Giveaway: Win a cute, reversible Japanese knot bag, perfect for carrying your latest knit and crochet project.

If you need a cute and handy bag to store your knitting or crochet projects, you are going to love this month's giveaway!

This Japanese knot bag can be filled with your latest little project or whatever you choose. Then just slide the long strap through the short strap to secure your items and carry the bag. The bag is reversible with purple chevrons on one side and some colorful polka dots and lines on the other.

Just in case you don't win it, here's my free Japanese knot bag tutorial and pattern so you can stitch your own bag.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Knitsy Magazine Feature

Find The Chilly Dog's "Boho Crochet Backpack" pattern in Issue 23 of Knitsy Magazine!

A few months ago I was contacted by the editor of Knitsy magazine about the opportunity to have one of my patterns featured in an issue. Would I like to be featured? Heck, yeah!

You'll find my crochet backpack pattern in Issue 23 on page 19. It's available for free in the App Store or you can view it on your computer at the My Craft Academy Website.

In addition to my pattern, the "Back to School" issue is filled with other fun knit and crochet patterns, interesting interviews, tips and information about exciting fiber arts products.

Happy reading!

July Giveaway

Grand Opening Giveaway - enter for your chance to win a $75 gift certificate for have been going through blog withdrawal for the last month and am so happy to be back. I'm also excited to announce that I have spent the last month setting up and stocking the shelves for the grand opening of my new shop,

The shop features all of my own handmade products and designs for knit and crochet lovers and enthusiasts. My products fall into two primary categories.

  • For Your Hooks and Needles features roll-up knitting needle and crochet hook cases, project bags and patterns
  • From my Hooks and Needles features knit and crochet afghans, washcloths, apparel and purses

To celebrate the grand opening, I'm giving away a $75 gift certificate for my new shop.

Even if you're not the grand prize winner, create a customer account and you will automatically receive $5 off your first order. No coupon code is required, but your order must be placed before July 22, 2015 at 12:00 a.m. (Pacific Time)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Sorry I Missed You

Thanks for stopping by The Chilly Dog! I'm taking a little break to refresh and reorganize, but I'll be back on July 1 with some exciting new content, projects and link-ups.

What's Coming...

  • An Improved Crafty Saturday Show and Sell
  • Monthly Featured Artists - If you'd like the opportunity to share your artistic story and promote your small business, e-mail me and I can send you a list of interview questions.
  • A New Shopping Experience - A completely stand-alone, non-marketplace shop featuring all of my handmade products and patterns under one virtual roof.

In the Meantime...

And if you still need more crafty inspiration...

Happy Crafting,

July Workshop - Button Bracelets

Hello my Tucson friends! If you've been following along on the blog or my social media lately, you may have seen my latest creation, button bracelets. It's a fun little project and something you may even be able to teach the kids over summer break.

Let's get together and make a few.

When: Saturday, July 25 from 1-3 p.m.
Where: My Tucson Home
Cost: $25

I'll provide all the materials and a light snack.

Space is limited, so e-mail me to reserve your spot.