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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.


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    Nov 16, 2010, 10.35 PMby mommaward

    The internet’s crafty blogs and such have allowed me to grow in creativity and ability. I LOVE being able to think of something I’d like to do, go online, and learn how to do it! My kids won’t understand the ease that quick access to information via the internet brings.

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    Nov 16, 2010, 10.33 PMby amoney3

    One word – WP7 AppMaker. There was never a better way to use technology to make using technology simpler.

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    Nov 16, 2010, 09.22 PMby ancientwire

    I really love my embroidery machine. I researched it and bought it online. I researched and bought the software online. I buy my designs online.

    Information on almost every topic is so much more easily available now.

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    Nov 16, 2010, 09.17 PMby bowpay

    This isn’t because of the prize of the contest — it’s because it’s the truth. Windows Phone 7 has actually enabled me to develop and launch my products(apps) without the need of heavy advertising or heavy resources. This has enabled this American entrepreneur to compete with large corporations. The platform has also changed my carrier direction as a silverlight/Windows Phone developer. Smartphones have revolutionized the world however Microsoft and Windows Phone 7 are playing on a completely elevated playing field. Thank you for giving me the opportunity!

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    Nov 16, 2010, 09.14 PMby pejammin

    The internet makes my crafting and sewing so much easier! I log onto the local library and order crafting books to be mailed directly to my house. I follow tons of blogs, all of which are very inspiring. I keep my own blog which I use as a journal for all my projects and I can share them from blogspot on Facebook without even doing anything! The possibilities would be endless if I had that super sleek Windows Phone 7 ;).

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    Nov 16, 2010, 09.13 PMby mimistuddy

    The internet has been the biggest help to me. It is a source for inspiration, instruction and the means to purchase supplies. I buy everything online now. Ebay in particular has opened up a vast supply of great stuff to recycle and reuse.

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    Nov 16, 2010, 09.06 PMby Gina Marquis

    I would love to have a Serger! But since I don’t have one, what helps me get my creative juices flowing is just some good music! Whether it is designing something or just making a sewing project seem to go faster, music always helps out!

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    Nov 16, 2010, 09.01 PMby mcgjean

    I enjoy online forums such as Burda Style or pattern review to see creative projects and find answers to questions. I don’t find as much time to sew as I’d like, but the online sewing communities give me a chance to be inspired.

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    Nov 16, 2010, 08.47 PMby laceumbrella

    I found sewing blogs through reading fashion blogs and that’s what inspired me to start sewing. If I get ’sewer’s block’ all I need to do I can see what sewers all over the world are doing and that spurs me on to get started on my next project. Without all the sewing activity on the internet I wouldn’t have ever got into sewing or gained all the skills I now have. Thank you to all you bloggers out there!

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    Nov 16, 2010, 08.32 PMby kaseysgirl2003

    My hands are always updating. I sew, bead, crochet, embroider, etc…. I love to craft period! With ALL the technology, there is usually a way to be able to recreate the technique by hand for those of us who are monitarily challenged, or broke. Just because money is tight, I dont stop crafting, I shop remnents, shop sales, etc… but my favorite and most reliable and ever advancing crafting tool, are my very own two hands.

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      Nov 24, 2010, 02.16 PMby kaseysgirl2003

      I wanted to expand on this thought as my 2 daughters (Whitney 5, and Natalie 4) and I have been doing a lot of Thanksgiving crafts. You know, tracing and cutting out our hands for turkey tails, all that stuff. My daughters are so extremely proud of what they can accomplish with a simple pencil, scissors, and markers. I dont buy them (for 2 reasons, we dont have that kind of money and I dont want them growing up on electronics) all these electronic toys and games that will break shortly and gives them no imagination. To see the joy on their faces from working with their own two hands makes me realize how proud I am to accomplish what I have with my own two. Yes, certain electronics for crafting and extra tools and such would really help me out, but when I get the money, it is only a dream.

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    Nov 16, 2010, 08.29 PMby foliusdesign

    I like to go to the library and look at the amazing sewing and knitting books. And of course with all the information on the internet it is easy to access information almost instantly on Sewing Blogs, Burda Style, You Tube and Ravelry. And then there are all those amazing machines out there… sewing, embroidery, and surgers. Although I only have a sewing machine, I would love to have the capability to surge and embroider one day!

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    Nov 16, 2010, 08.28 PMby cretheridge

    I learned to sew and knit over tutorials on youtube and other craft social networks like burda and ravelry.

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    Nov 16, 2010, 08.13 PMby whiteelephant

    Personally, the technology involved in Style.com aids me the most in my clothing design. Having the ability of knowing what’s popular on the runways keeps me up to date on all upcoming trends.

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    Nov 16, 2010, 08.09 PMby catran

    Being able to watch videos on my phone has been a life saver. There’s so much to learn about knitting that sometimes I need to see a how-to video which is more convenient than carrying a pile of books around. I also take photos of my patterns with my phone (that has the capability of zooming in) so I don’t have to bring the book or make photocopies of the pattern I’m using. Technology has definitely made things so much easier.

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    Nov 16, 2010, 08.08 PMby deeble

    The wide availability of information is the biggest boon. I have a problem with loaded bookshelves already so it’s great I can find this info without accumulating even more stuff! Yay google. For example I learned how to knit long ago but gave up because it was not coming out like it should, and as an experienced crocheter, that was just annoying. So, one day I logged into google, and was able to determine what I was doing wrong (apparently I was knitting Continental knits, and English purls). Then through sites like Ravelry, I was able to find another way of knitting that worked better for me (Eastern Uncrossed), and people who knit that way. Who knew there were so many knitting styles? And all without having to travel, or find obscure books!

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    Nov 16, 2010, 08.05 PMby reneec386

    Etsy, Burda, Beading Daily and other craft blogs help us to get ideas from each other. And find easier ways to sell & create.

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    Nov 16, 2010, 07.50 PMby lanie

    Just by searching the internet, I’m able to find so much inspiration. Lots of wonderful people share their ideas in groups, blogs and websites. There are so many patterns, fabrics, and books available that I would be unable to find anywhere locally.

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    Nov 16, 2010, 07.49 PMby calendar

    I’m going to have to say sewing blogs. There are so many great bloggers that offer generously offer tips, tutorials and techniques. It is really great that people volunteer their time and knowledge to pass on sewing knowledge. Printing PDF patterns is also a great technological innovaition – I don’t have to wait days/weeks for patterns to ship, I can immediately start making things!

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    Nov 16, 2010, 07.45 PMby feltmaker

    Oh my gosh, so many since I first started in crafting, I grew up in a Mom & Pop Craft store and I can imagine what twitter & blogging would have done for us! Everything is at your fingertips now, from shopping to exploring ideas to gaining new techniques; even shipping I don’t have to go further than from my computer to my mailbox. So, I would have to say the computer/internet itself, whether it’s a laptop, desktop or more conveniently in the palm of your hand.

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    Nov 16, 2010, 07.44 PMby moizissimo

    All the information that’s out there on sewing blogs – lessons with photographs, ideas posts, video how-tos. It’s all helped me figure out HOW to do things. Now all I need is a sewing robot to actually make my ideas reality! What with working and school, I don’t have much time to sew.

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    Nov 16, 2010, 07.33 PMby grnapple

    Blogs and google have helped me the most- blogs for inspiration and google for finding those tutorials!

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    Nov 16, 2010, 07.32 PMby kitkatherine

    After working in a craft store, I can easily say that social networks aimed at crafters have helped me immensely. During my time there, I gave many people links to ravelry and burda style and explained how to look things up, and how comments on patterns on sites like these can help them more than I can in the few minutes they talked to me. I watched more and more of the people who visited my store add yarn to ravelry. This helped me be a better employee because I could easily remember names of customers. I could also look up patterns while they were in the store for them.

    For myself as well, I don’t think I would be able to knit or sew without the internet. I tried these things prior to ravelry and burda style existing when I was a kid, and failed terribly at both. But now with video tutorials and PDFs, I am able to do much more. Making the bow ties for my wedding instead of spending a ton of money on pricey ones of custom fabric, is saving me money and creating a keepsake for all the groomsmen. And all that from a google search and a Burda style pattern!

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    Nov 16, 2010, 07.22 PMby Monica Mackey

    Crafting blogs, twitter, and blogger have really helped me to develop my crafty projects. I’m still learning how to use them in a streamlined manner while I’m creating my artwork.

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    Nov 16, 2010, 07.14 PMby zee123

    I am able to find more patterns by having a computer, and download pdf. I also discovered machine embroidery from having the internet.

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    Nov 16, 2010, 07.11 PMby dp4nrw

    Definitely social networking sites like burdastyle and ravelry. They provide so much inspiration.

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    Nov 16, 2010, 07.11 PMby ashb

    For me the power of social communities online have been huge. Places like BurdaStyle, craft blogs, etc have given me projects, ideas and the courage to try making my own things!

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    Nov 16, 2010, 07.10 PMby theinnermostbox

    Crafting blogs are a great inspiration, and so much fun! I love reading about the creativity of other people! It’s a great way to kick-start a project, or perfect some of my own ideas.

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    Nov 16, 2010, 07.05 PMby markarnold

    Google image search is an amazing kickstart to my creativity process. Whether it be on my mobile device, laptop, or desktop, just the visual array of the images (sometimes pretty random) gets my juices flowing. Sometimes, I just search for something random, print a few images and go! =]

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    Nov 16, 2010, 06.48 PMby Bryan Coard

    I think seeing Near Field Communications (NFC) in cell phones in the coming months would GREATLY make life a little easier. Having the ability to pay for items or get discounts without having to use or even have my wallet on hand is just genius. One less thing to carry around, one less thing to lose!

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