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One of the things that’s so great about living in our modern society is the range of technological advances through the past few decades that have enabled us to streamline many of our crafting processes and ultimately achieve more in less time with less effort. From software that aides us in design to machines that help to execute what our hands alone may not, to the vast expanse of Internet platforms allowing us to share and learn, it’s now easier than ever for us to not only create but to engage and share our creativity with the rest of the world.

Whether it’s BurdaStyle, Etsy, Ravelry, StyleTrek, or FashionStake, there are a number of websites set up to help creatives of all kinds to not only get inspired but also to reach new audiences they may not have had access to before. We can now find patterns, tools and materials, share ideas, get tips and sell or buy goods with the click of a button, all while connecting to an innumerable amount of people in the process. Technological advances have revitalized and revolutionized craft and DIY, making creativity more popular and more accessible than ever before.

We want to hear from you: What recent technological advances have aided your craft the most? What in our modern society helps you to be more creative and get more done with less effort? Or maybe you have an idea for a new invention that could streamline your creativity. Give us your feedback and you could find yourself in possession of a brand new Windows 7 phone from Microsoft! Simply leave your comments below between now and Monday, November 29th, 2010 for your chance to win. For full contest rules click here and we can’t wait to hear your ideas!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING. LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES (D.C.) 18 YEARS AND OLDER. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED. Sweepstakes ends 11/29/10. For Official Rules, prize descriptions and odds disclosure, visit our discussions post. Sponsor: Federated Media Publishing, Inc., 2 Harrison Street, 7th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105.



This giveaway is brought to you by the new Windows Phone 7. Less tech tired. More tech trendy: Learn about Windows Phone online [www.windowsphone.com] and see it in person at local T-Mobile stores today.

220 Comments

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    Nov 24, 2010, 08.56 AMby hutab

    This may sound silly, but my favourite ‘technical’ item must be the rotary cutter! – I usually don’t manage to cut straight, so I can’t orientate on my pattern piece and can’t sew straight… But with rotary cutter and ruler I got this problem at bay! (I’d love to be a salesman for those, can you tell?^^) – And guess where I first learnt this wonderful handy dandy tool exists? – in the internet of course on burdastyle.com, cheesey but true. : )

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    Nov 24, 2010, 06.42 AMby knotluckyblessed

    I belive LINKEDIN has been the most benefiting techonlogy. I have made connected to many companies and businesses that I would like towork for when I graduate next August. I also gained to clients for the company that I currently work for just by being apart one of thousands groups that they offer. I fully believe that networking is a must in today’s economy. Unfortunatly it is all about who you know more than just degrees. There are an excess of college educated people nowadays so the next criteria is who they know.

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    Nov 24, 2010, 05.50 AMby gabriellch

    i think the greatest invention is the brain although it’s not man made

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    Nov 24, 2010, 05.01 AMby rdejam

    Videos online, especially at YouTube have changed my life immeasurably. I’ve learned to do so many things better and more professionally by watching videos people and businesses have posted. I knit and sew and have learned more techniques and tips this way than any other including taking classes. Videos online let me review anytime at my leisure and when I’m working on a piece. No more trial and error until I got something sort of right.

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    Nov 24, 2010, 04.38 AMby cgmom

    Having access to the internet in general has helped my creativity. Being able to find new and different ways to do things and ideas for how to bring creations to life. My creativity also helps my children to be more creative as well.

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    Nov 24, 2010, 02.58 AMby dorrellc

    Photoshop is a great way of experimenting with the look of a project without having to make a mess. Pixels before paint!

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    Nov 24, 2010, 02.38 AMby ourharley

    I love the internet, I get some great ideas that I can tweak to make them my own.

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    Nov 24, 2010, 02.30 AMby wenmink

    Online tutorials have inspired and help me craft faster and better!

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    Nov 24, 2010, 02.06 AMby yogi76

    I get more done by using the Microsoft Outlook junk filters to see less spam.

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    Nov 24, 2010, 01.52 AMby brookeamy

    I really like keeping track of new patterns and fabrics that my favorite designers are working on. Seeing other crafters projects also aids in my creativity. Twitter has been great for me!

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    Nov 24, 2010, 01.16 AMby bonniej

    There are so many wonderfully talented people out there and I’m so glad they’ve chosen to share their talent through blogs. I ping and pong all over the net finding more and more inspiration. Sometimes it’s hard to peel myself away from the computer screen long enough to actually get some sewing done!

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    Nov 24, 2010, 01.15 AMby Alison Friedel

    New twists on old things are great. I can repurpose a lot of my wardrobe with a few alterations.

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    Nov 24, 2010, 01.01 AMby jmalin

    I take scraps of materials and add them to my insulation in my house.

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    Nov 24, 2010, 12.23 AMby barrwatson

    With tutorials available via You Tube, I feel like I have a personal tutor/teacher. Crafting, sewing techniques, accessory helps…it’s all there! I’ve become more confident wearing my wardrobe pieces in different combos. I tell you it’s all on You Tube! B. Watson

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    Nov 23, 2010, 11.47 PMby blissmama

    Just a few things…. Etsy, of course! Before I found Etsy I was seriously stressing about how I was going to sell stuff online! My beloved embroidery machine and embroidery designing software – amazing! Embroidering by hand is nice, but doesn’t pay the bills!!! And downloadable patterns give an amazing array of patterns that I could never have found in town! And saves me a ton of driving around and looking.

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    Nov 23, 2010, 11.43 PMby doti

    For me its the rotary cutter and the internet. One helps my back and the other helps expand my brain. Doti

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    Nov 23, 2010, 11.16 PMby ronime

    I make more with less by recycling fabrics making used items new again.

    Roni

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    Nov 23, 2010, 10.52 PMby pjpuppy

    I design, sew, craft all with recycling/recon/repurpose in mind. With the internet blogs and social networks I am on, they help me decide what to design next. There are so many ideas out there, I put a twist or spin on some and create a new look. I am all about using what I have or can get free or cheap.

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    Nov 23, 2010, 10.48 PMby marybeth414

    I do less by holding my sons hand while he falls asleep.

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    Nov 23, 2010, 10.24 PMby scarlettred41816

    I live on a very tight social security budget. So I use Freecycle.com to get materials for my sewing and crafting needs. Its free, its recycling instead of sending things to the dumps, and what I dont use, I send back through the group incase someone else can use it ! I have taught myself how to sew, refurbish free furniture, make artwork all through sites like BurdaStyle and other crafting sites. So I quess the computer has been the best invention for me! I so appreciate yall, you don’t know how helpful you have been for me and how often I am here ! Keep up the good work!
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    Nov 23, 2010, 09.40 PMby smandrews

    I love to swap items with friends. If I need batting, I swap with Leslie for buttons. Or if I need some beads, I swap with Laura – she will always take a hand knit hat. We also keep our eyes out for coupons, sales, garage sale/thrift shop finds. Some of my best work is from items that cost little to nothing.

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    Nov 23, 2010, 09.17 PMby xeniagifts

    So, a bit simplistic, but I REALLY appreciate online video tutorials — just to get through an unknown stitch late at night — replay as much as I need until I get it right. Couldn’t do without them since I’m mostily self taught!

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    Nov 23, 2010, 09.09 PMby struewin

    I use my iphone to take pictures of fabrics and put them to scale in InDesign. This way I can see how fabrics will look together, and it only takes a few minutes. Also, I use youtube a lot to double check to see if I’m putting something together right.

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    Nov 23, 2010, 09.08 PMby marne

    I reuse/repurpose so many things, my favorite things are chipped dishes from friends for mosaics.

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    Nov 23, 2010, 09.04 PMby marlonforde

    I find that writing things on a dry erase board help me do more with less

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    Nov 23, 2010, 08.32 PMby chuppah

    Having the computer & access to so many cool sites like ebay, etsy, burdastyle, ravelry and ehow….is a baby boomer crafter’s dream. No waiting for morning & stores to open…or to get to someone who can show you a technique you’ve always wanted to try but didn’t have the time for when you were working and raising a family! It is NEVER too late to learn anything…keeps the grey matter greased and flowing. Now if I can just figure out how to compute with my toes & knit & watch a quilting video & talk on my new Windows Smartphone I’ll be doing even better!

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    Nov 23, 2010, 08.19 PMby kitvishnu

    Social networking in general I think has opened the horizon way up for crafting… who’d have thought that the super-cyber-technological would open the door to so many of us learning how to get back to the analogue? But definitely all the user-generated content out there inspires me to make more stuff, and make new stuff.

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    Nov 23, 2010, 08.05 PMby sunquistadora

    It’s not all that new, but being able to buy specialty fabrics online is so essential to what I’m doing, that I really couldn’t imagine working without that technology. I’d have to move to Canada where my supplier lives!

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    Nov 23, 2010, 04.56 PMby dolowoyo

    I do more with less by using awesome phone apps. There are many useful, fun, and creative apps out there that help make life a little bit easier to manage.

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    Nov 23, 2010, 04.20 PMby shamdoogle

    I set up all my rss feeds for amazing craft blogs in one spot so I can see all the amazing work people are doing and get inspiration and tips with just a scroll or two.

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