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Why do I have affiliate links on cucicucicoo.com?
Blogging takes up a lot of time which I would otherwise be spending working outside the home. There are also a lot of expenses to running a website. Alas, this website would not be able to exist without earning some money. This is why I sell my own sewing patterns, show advertising on the website, and sometimes use affiliate links.
Affiliate links are just links to certain products or websites. As an affiliate marketer, I earn from qualifying purchases. This means that, when a reader clicks on one of these links and makes a purchase, I earn a small portion of it. The reader who clicked does not spend a single cent extra. And I promise that I never, ever include this type of link or suggest any service or product that I do not full-heartedly recommend.
My amazing affiliates
The following is a list of the companies who I have chosen to affiliate myself with. Let me tell you a little about why I love them so much.
Therm O Web
Therm O Web has lots of fabulous products for paper crafts and other creative techniques, but I love them first and foremost because of their Heat N Bond line. My absolute FAVORITE product is Heat N Bond Lite iron-on adhesive, which I use in a lot of my tutorials for applique. But the line includes hem tape, stabilizers, iron-on vinyl, fusible fleece and so much more. And when you purchase directly from the Therm O Web website, you can buy larger amounts at great prices.
Sulky makes some of the best supplies for embroidering. Their website offers an amazing range of colors and products, and offers free shipping in the US for purchases of at least $60. I love their range of stabilizers, in particular Stick ‘n Stitch, which you can print on with your home printer, stick onto the fabric, embroider over, and rinse off.
Another fabulous embroidery product are their Petites threads. They look like normal spools of thread, but they are actually like two strands of embroidery floss, meaning you can embroider right from the spool, without having to separate and untangle traditional embroidery floss. This thread is perfect for children and beginners.
As the name says, Fabric.com is simply the best place to find fabrics online in the United States. You can search for fabric by color, print theme, type, or purpose. Find amazing deals on bolts and remnants in the clearance section. They also have other sewing supplies, such as patterns, thread, fasteners, stuffing, etc.
Save 10% on your first order when you sign up for the newsletter on the Fabric.com website! Shipping is free in continental US with purchases over $49, and it is available worldwide.
I love how Michaels‘ motto is “your 24 hour arts & crafts store”, because it’s so true! There isn’t much for sewing at Michael’s but I love it for craft supplies!
Amazon.com: I’ve been using Amazon for years in the United States and in Italy. They supply pretty much anything you could want at great prices, ship quickly and often for free. Their customer service is beyond compare. I also own a Kindle Paperwhite and download loads of inexpensive or free e-books. As I live in Italy, I also have had an account on Amazon.it pretty much since the day the website opened. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
One of the best things about the internet age is that every person has the opportunity to learn anything he wants, when he wants, thanks to a plethora of online courses!
Here are a few of my favorite sewing and crafting online course platforms:
Craftsy is the first and best source of DIY video course learning! My favorite section is obviously the sewing lessons and projects, but there’s also quilting and embroidering, knitting and crochet, cooking and cake design, drawing and painting, photography, weaving, woodworking… you name it, and you can learn it on Craftsy!
And once you’ve purchased a course, you have lifetime access to it! Craftsy makes it easy to learn something new no matter how old or where you live… yah!
Here are a few of my favorite classes at Craftsy:
- Creative Embellishments, led by Natalie Chanin, of Alabama Chanin. She shows how to do many of her gorgeous decorative techniques and teaches how to incorporate them in your own unique and creative designs.
- Sewing Bras: Construction & Fit. Sewing your own intimate apparel is getting popular these days and this course shows how to create the perfect fit!
- Jean-ius! This course teaches how to reverse engineer your favorite jeans, create a pattern, and sew more just like them!
Creativebug also has a huge amount of DIY courses but, unlike Craftsy, where you purchase each individual course, Creativebug is a membership platform. For just $7.95 per month, you get unlimited access to ALL courses. (And there are often special deals so that you pay less.)
Choose courses to learn a technique or to complete a project in sewing, knitting, jewelry making, paper crafts, and so much more! I really love their daily practice series to ensure your daily dose of creativity and their courses for kids!
Here are a couple of my favorite courses at CreativeBug:
- Sashiko Sewing. The course shows different decorative techniques, but what I love is that it also gets into how the Japanese use them not only to make things beautiful, but also to mend clothing and textiles.
- Daily Embroidery Challenge. This is my favorite Daily Practice course. You’ll learn 31 stitches in 31 days and at the end will have a really cool embroidery sampler and lots of knowledge to show for it!
CreativeLive also has lots of great courses to learn techniques in sewing, crafting and making, but also for photography/video, skills in audio/music, and even in business/money/self-improvement, because even life and business skills are a creative art!
I think my favorite category at CreativeLive is not actually making-related, but the self-improvement category. So many amazing minds sharing their words of wisdom to help you make your life amazing.
CreativeLive has live streaming courses every day and there are lots of truly famous and influential masters teaching courses in their niche. Purchase courses separately or get the monthly Creator Pass, giving you access to all courses and other resources, including some not available without the pass.
Here are a few of the courses I love at CreativeLive:
- How to Break the Habit of Self-Doubt and Build Real Confidence. Mel Robbins is amazing. The first line of the course sold me: “The single biggest obstacle that keeps you from achieving everything that you want is you.”
- Sewing Clothes into Quilts. I love upcycling clothing for new sewing projects, and a quilt is something that can last for forever, with memories of those clothing or even the people the clothes belonged to.
- Introduction to Shibori Indigo Dyeing. This dye technique has become really popular in recent years, and is absolutely gorgeous.
WordPress Multilingual plugin: When I decided to make the jump to a more professional-looking blog, I knew I needed to get the two languages I write in separated. When I contacted a web designer about doing this, he gave me an astronomical quote, far beyond my budget. Then I discovered WPML, which saved me. There are three different versions and various add-ons, but I just paid $29 for the most basic version and I’ve loved it ever since. You can translate posts, pages, titles, etc into 40 different languages (and you can add more with the WPML editor). Categories and tags need be translated only once and they get carried directly over into the other languages when you translate a post. I only use English and Italian, but you can use as many languages as you want. It changes the WordPress dashboard a little so that you can navigate the various parts of your website in the different languages, but it’s still really easy to use. Read here for more information on how to create a completely bilingual or multilingual blog. (coming soon!)
rtCamp: All the great things I was able to do with my blog were only possible after switching from the Blogger platform to self-hosted WordPress. I searched around for ways to transfer my entire blog, then with 300 posts and over 2,000 images, over to WordPress. However I am not a techo-savvy coding person and the instructions I found were totally incomprehensible to me. And the more I read in forums, the more people I found who’d had absolute disasters migrating their blogs, losing images and content. Then I found an actual plugin for Blogger to WordPress migration, but after reading more in depth, I found that a lot of people had difficulty with that too. If you have a blog or website, you know how much effort goes into creating content, and at that point I was absolutely terrified of the move. But then I discovered that the developers of that plugin, rtCamp, also offered a Blogger to WordPress migration service. We wrote back and forth, they responded to my never-ending inexperienced questions, always in a timely, polite and helpful manner, and I took the plunge. For an incredibly low rate, they set up my WordPress dashboard, moved all my content, widgets, links and images over to it, and set it up so that every single page of my old blog redirected automatically to the corresponding page of my new WordPress blog. They offered to update my blog feed details, too, but instead I opted for them just telling me how to update it myself and I got that taken care of in a minute. It seems that many Blogger to WordPress migrations actually leave images hosted on the Blogger server, which apparently doesn’t matter in terms of how the blog looks, but Google has been known to suddenly delete accounts and they have total power over your content there. With my rtCamp migration, my images got moved over to WordPress so that I didn’t have to fear anything happening to them. The rtCamp team also offers web design, plugin development, web hosting and other services too, though I haven’t actually used any of those services. But from my experience with them, I can say that I 100% recommend and trust them. Read here for more information on how to create a completely bilingual or multilingual blog. (coming soon!)
Sticker Kid: These customized name labels really shocked me with their quality and durability! The stickers are fantastic on kids’ objects so that they don’t lose them at school, day care, summer camp, etc, but companies could also use them to label and keep track of their property (such as in a gym or pool. Did I mention that they’re waterproof?). The no-sew iron-on labels are also a wonderful quality, great for keeping track of kids’ clothing items or for labelling your home-sewn creations without having to sew on an itchy tag. I wrote a full review about these personalized labels and there is an exclusive 10% discount for Cucicucicoo readers only using the coupon code “CUCICUCICOO” (as of date, valid until the end of September 2014 in any regional version of the Sticker Kid website).