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Hello, 2015! It’s gonna be a fun fun year!

I hope all of you had a good year-end break and a wonderful start to the new year!

I spent the last couple of days in 2014 nursing my little girl who caught a bug and is now finally on the mend. And while I was cradling her in bed for hours on end, I was planning the family meal plans, listing the endless to-do lists and also having a thought about what I would be sewing next. And the cheesy new year crafting resolutions that I resolved never to do popped in my head to say ‘harrow’.

So here’s the list, made up in my head with ringing ears (from baby’s screams), aching arms and sore boobies (yes, I’m still breastfeeding my 14.5 month old. It IS a good thing).
1) Tame those scraps

The scrappy state of my scrap bags.

The scrappy state of my scrap bags. More Bags not in the picture.

Scraps are fabrics, still. And fabrics cost money, a lot. So I should really work harder at managing my scraps. The scraps seem to be taking over the sewing area, inching to invade the surface that they can cover like in the horror movies. My plan is to 1) make small projects with the scraps 2) offer more scrap packs for sale and 3) work on the scrap user’s system by Bonnie Hunter.

Scrap Pack F (Front)

Scrap Pack that I put together for sale a long long time ago.

2) Make more clothes

Katie - Nov'14

See how my little girl upturned the hem to show off mom’s awesome blind-hemming skills.

I made this frock in Feb’14. Katie only wore it TWICE. She can’t fit into it now, but I  relished the moments I popped this over her head to try it on for fun. I have gathered so much clothes making fabrics (not quilting cottons) and patterns for the kids. I. Must. Get. Down. To. It.

3) More projects for the family

Quilted Pot Holders with Embroidery

Custom order – personalised quilted pot holders

This means more quilts on the beds, more handmade goodness around the house and finally make something pretty for myself. The pot holders are a classic example of something that I wanted to make so badly for the loooongest time for my own kitchen and yet never mustered the energy to take the insul-brite out of its packaging UNTIL someone came asking if I have any pot holders for sale. Oh yes, I do!

4) Take more pictures

I have been sorely deficient in documenting my projects for a while. With a better phone camera, awesome prime lenses, WIFI SD cards and auto-sync/uploads from the devices, there’s really no more excuses for not taking more pictures of stuff that I make before packing them away. And maybe more WIP shots too?

And with that, I present to you: Midnight Crafts on Instagram! Ta-Dah! Come, come… don’t be shy, ok?! And there’s good old Flickr and FaceBook too!
Follow me on instagram http://instagram.com/midnightcraftsnet/
5) Sew more with (more) Friends

2014 has been a fantastic year for sewing with friends. I managed to keep up with most of the monthly meets with my quilting friends and I had the most wonderful time with Mama G, who flew in from France to visit her family, and she made time to come by to sew with me for a couple days. We made the dresses for our kids! Also I helped a friend finished her first sewing project: a quilt for her toddler son. She’s on her way to getting her own machine and I’m sure we will sew more together this year.

It is not always easy to say ‘yes’ to a sewing date as I have the kids to tend to, work to be done and chores to complete. I’m kind of true to the mantra I throw at my son on a daily basis: WORK BEFORE PLAY!

So I guess I should do as I say by ‘putting my head down and focus on finishing my tasks’ and have the rest of the day to ‘sew’. Having the kids over at the grandparents’ helps too!

And with that, I wish you loads of sewing projects, beautiful fabric stash, and plenty of crafty inspiration in 2015. I’m having guests over for a dinner party tonight – to make up for X’mas/New Year celebrations we had to cancel because of the little one. But like my friend said, it’s like a prolonged Christmas. True, that.

Adding ‘Facebook Like’ button in your blog posts

For a few campaigns, clients have been asking about integrating Facebook to their websites and social media communication. And recently, I learned a neat trick from the team and I have started implementing the Facebook Like feature on Midnight Crafts! 😀

This feature is great as it allows readers to ‘like’ the content of your post. And that’s when the magic happens. Your link will show up on your friend’s profile AND this in turn shows up on his friends’ Home Page under ‘news feed’.

There are MANY ways you can incorporate Facebook Like button to your site. And there are lots more widgets to integrate FB with your site and content. This is just ONE way how you can do this. And I feel that this is the easiest method for a non-techie to perform.

So here goes:

Step 1: Compose your blog entry using your blog post

Compose your post with blog engine of choice (word press, blogger, etc), as usual. Remember to save your posts after every paragraphs and after each picture insertion!

Step 2: Go to Facebook and generate code

2.1) Go to: http://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/like

Facebook Like Button2.2) Copy the URL of your latest post (I usually click on ‘preview’ link on post on my word press engine and copy the URL, deleting the codes: < &preview=true>) and Paste into ‘URL to Like’ field.

2.3) Click ‘Get Code’.

You will see this pop-up box:

Code2.4) Copy ALL the text displayed in the ‘iframe’ box. All the text should be selected when you click on the iframe box. Then you can just right click or press CTRL+C or Command+C to copy.

Step 3: Switch to ‘HTML editor’ view in your blog post edit

Back to your word press, blogger, etc. Click on edit on your post as we are going to paste the code in.

Most of us will usually use the ‘Visual’ (if you are using Word Press) or ‘Compose’ (if you are using Blogger/blogspot) view when you are composing your posts.

Now, switch to ‘HTML’ or ‘Edit HTML’. You will see all the HTML codes and tags, instead of ‘bold, italic, images’, etc.

Step 4: Insert Facebook Code

In ‘edit HTML’ view, scroll right to the end of your post.

Right click to paste or press CTRL+V or Command+V the Facebook iframe code to the end of your post.

Click on Preview or Publish and you will see the Like button there!

Test it out to make sure it works 😀

Let me know if you have any questions and if it works for you!

Merry Christmas! 圣诞快乐

Happy holidays, everyone!

It has been a long long time time since I have posted an entry to this blog. BUT I’m gonna make up with some pictures of crafty gifts and some sewing I did since November very shortly.

And as we draw closer to the end of year, it is also time for some crafty reflections. 2009 has really been a fantastic crafting year: I bought more fabrics that I can store in my rooms, bought myself lots of notions and gadgets, attended workshops and completing my quilts (2 of them!). And in this year, Mama G helped to give Midnight Crafts a beautiful skin and with this new identity, I set up shop on Etsy in around May and also created my 1st (and only) Facebook Page.

All 3 platforms give me opportunities to reach out to the crafty community and I have received so much in return with each sale/purchase and also with each ‘fan’ of the page. THANK YOU, everyone! 😀

A very special Thank You goes out to Clara, a sweet local customer who bought some items from my Etsy shop earlier in Nov. And about 2 weeks after the sale, I received a very cool package from Clara.

She made me a personalised notebook and I appreciate all the hardwork that went into creating this beauty: cutting the motif, layering the pieces, setting the eyelets, etc. After a couple of workshops at Made With Love, now I know how scrapbooking is not be sniffed at. Not only you require the creative eye to set everything in their places, you also need to have the right materials and tools to make things happen (just like the tools for putting a quilt together!).

I don’t receive a lot of handmade gifts and this is just something I will treasure for a long time to come. Thank You, Clara, for your thoughtfulness!

It is certainly the most wonderful time of the year!