PLEASE VOTE! {Update: I won!}

Happy Saturday, readers! It’s pretty unusual to find me here on the weekend, so you know it has to be for good reason!

All Free Knitting is a website chockfull of free knitting patterns for all skill levels. They receive millions of views each week, and are a staple in a knitter’s online arsenal of tools. Back in October, the editor of All Free Knitting, Kathryn Abrams, reached out to me because she wanted to include my knit tie for Anne on her site (with a proper link back to Scissors & Sage). You can find that feature on All Free Knitting here.

Kathryn reached out again in March because she selected my knit tie to be a part of her latest e-book, 9 Men’s Knitting Patterns. (Click here to download it!) I couldn’t believe she wanted to feature me as one of nine patterns. The best part? I asserted that the pattern had to be introduced using inclusive language if she wanted to include me in the book.

THEN, Kathryn emailed me a few weeks ago to tell me that my tie had been hand-picked to be included in All Free Knitting’s “Top 5 Father’s Day Knitting Patterns” contest. I of course accepted the invitation! The winner is determined by the number of favorable comments they receive on All Free Knitting’s post. The winner gets a $50 Amazon gift card! If me and my tie model win, the card is going straight into our Ball jar labeled “Wedding Fund.” The contest is open until Friday, June 17th.

Readers, please take a moment to vote for Anne’s knit tie! It would be an honor to win this contest and be recognized for my knitting. Here’s how you can vote:

  1. Visit All Free Knitting’s “Top 5 Father’s Day Knitting Patterns” post.
  2. Leave a comment letting them know which of the five patterns is your favorite.

Not only will one of the knitting patterns win, but there’s something in it for you, too! All Free Knitting will choose one commenter at random to win a copy of their book, Simple Scarves Made with the Knook, and the Knook Kit.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

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100th Blog Post & GIVEAWAY!

I thought I’d celebrate my 100th blog post (!!!) and the end of summer with a giveaway. It’s thanks to you readers that I continue to enjoy blogging about my various projects, so it’s high time for me to give back! I’ve been a bit MIA this summer between our trip to Greece and moving to a new apartment in Philly. All of our belongings have been in boxes for what feels like weeks now. I’m still trying to pin down my crafting supplies and baking ingredients. They’re here somewhere…

For this giveaway, I’ve teamed up with Sticky9 once again. I absolutely love this company. (Click here to see my last giveaway with them in January.) Their printed matte photos are high-quality, and who doesn’t like to physically hold pictures these days? It’s a rarity, and it’s a shame. I’ve combatted that by creating a DIY memory game using our photos from Greece.

My favorite part of this project is that you can use photos from any kind of life event, trip, or celebration. You can create the game for yourself, or give it to someone special. The photos could be of a special birthday, a newly engaged couple, a vacation, a beloved pet or child, you name it. Plus, this game is well-suited for most anyone–from a young child to a grandparent.

Anne and I have been loving our game because it brings back so many great memories. The supplies and game rules are simple, so let’s get to it.

DIY Photo Memory Game

Materials:

  • 13 unique photographs, each printed twice
  • 1 title photo to represent the game*

*Sticky9 Square Prints come in sets of 27. This is perfect: 13 photos (2x) + one extra for the title photo.

Rules (for two players):

  1. Turn all photos upside down on the floor. Scatter the pairs randomly to create either a grid (easier) or a collage (harder) of photos.
  2. The first player turns over two cards at random. If they don’t match, turn them back over for the second player’s turn. If they do match, put them to the side and play again. Continue your turn until you turn over two cards that do not match.
  3. Continue playing until no cards remain. The person with the most matched sets wins.
  4. Optional:  Play best of three to determine who will wash dishes after dinner, walk the dog early in the morning, or do the laundry next.

Like I said, this game is great for anyone. It can help children learn (especially if it’s pictures of them growing up), and it’s wonderful for adults and older adults to practice those working memory skills. Most importantly, it’s plain old fun!

One lucky winner will win a set of Sticky9 Square Prints to make their own DIY memory game. It’d be perfect for the next time you have friends over for drinks or host a game night. Help me celebrate my 100th post on Scissors & Sage, the end of summer, and YOU!

To enter, leave a comment below telling me what photos you’d use for your memory game. Let me know! I’ll email the randomly-selected winner on Monday, September 21st.

Happy commenting!

PS) Can’t wait to find out if you’ve won?  Visit Sticky9 now to pick out your very own Square Prints or one of their other awesome products!

Homemade Soy Wax Candles

Candle-making is a craft that I have wanted to try for a few years now. Anne gave me candle-making supplies for Valentine’s Day this year, and we spent an afternoon making a whole batch together. It was a lot of fun, and produced some seriously pretty candles!

Are you in need of a Mother’s Day gift? It’s not too late to give this a whirl. The instructions below are adapted from Martha Stewart.

Homemade Soy Wax Candles

Materials:

  • Wicks with a metal bottom
  • Chopsticks or skewers
  • Glass jars
  • Soy wax
  • Double boiler
  • Meat or candy thermometer
  • Oil-based essence of your choice (i.e. lavender)
  • Scissors

Step 1: Clean and dry all glass jars. Use chopsticks to rest one wick in each jar. To do this, wrap the wick around the chopstick as to hold the wick in place. It’s important that the wick is centered in the jar.

Step 2: Set up the double boiler and melt the wax to 135°F.

Step 3: Remove the melted wax from the heat, and stir in 80-100 drops of essential oil, or to your desired amount. (Note: 80 drops gives off a light aromatic scent, while closer to 100+ drops will smell more like a commercial candle.)

Step 5: Carefully pour wax into jars, and place them in a cold water bath in the sink. (You may need to hold the wicks in place for a few minutes.) As the wax cools, it may begin to sink. Add melted wax as needed, and re-cool. Remove chopsticks and trim wicks with scissors.

Especially if you’re considering giving your candles as gifts, consider making labels for each of them. Use stickers, washi tape, or Sharpie markers to describe the scent you’ve used.

Are you making anything homemade this Mother’s Day? If so, share in the comments! I’ll send the mother of one lucky commenter a surprise care package. (Continental US moms only!)

#SCISSORSANDSAGE Instagram Contest!

That’s right, readers. Scissors & Sage is announcing its third contest!  (Read up on past contests here.)  This time, I want to see your creations.  Whether it’s a DIY project, a new recipe, a room makeover, or an exciting knitting/crocheting project, tag your Instagram photos with #scissorsandsage for a chance to win!

If you’ve already jumped on the #scissorsandsage bandwagon, that’s great!  You’re entered into the running.  But keep on tagging your creations because I’ll be regramming photos that catch my eye!

The winner will be randomly chosen in two weeks on Sunday, November 16th, and will receive a handmade gift from me (non-edible this time, as I am sure we are all in a post-Halloween haze).  Happy crafting!

Note: If your Instagram account is set to private (you can check this in your settings), be sure to tag @victoriaavitale, too! That way I can see that you’ve added #scissorsandsage.

Social Media Contest!

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Some of you may remember Scissors & Sage’s Valentine’s-themed contest back in February.  Scissors & Sage is now having its second contest, and this time, the winner will receive a jar of homemade honey citrus hand scrub!  The deadline to participate in this contest is Monday, May 26 at midnight EST.  With your help, I hope to extend the readership of Scissors & Sage via social media.  Here’s how it works:

Choose a post on Scissors & Sage that you especially like.  At the bottom of the post, find the “share this” buttons for Pinterest, Facebook, WordPress, Twitter, Google+, and email.  You decide where you want to share the post, but you have to share the post somewhere.  If you do not use social media, email the post to a friend.  Once you share the post, leave the link (or tell me you emailed it) in the comments section below so that I can enter you into the contest!  One lucky participant will win the hand scrub.

It’s that simple, folks.  Happy sharing!