December 26, 2011

A (sort of) Statistical Analysis of the Craftiness of Mormons

As you know I read a lot of craft blogs. I mean it's sort of my job. (Or at least I would like it to be my regular job at some point.)

And lately I have also been compiling a massive spreadsheet of all the craft blogs I have added to the RTG database. It includes contact info and other important stuff that I have been painstakingly retrieving from each blog (which makes me sort of wish that Tute-Bot could be a REAL robot that could do this work for me. But I digress.)

Well, as I was gathering this info by hand, I started to notice a lot of buttons that look like this:

or this:

You know what I'm talking about.

And being the nerd that I am I got curious to know what percentage of the craft blogs I was looking at were by Mormons. And since I was already collecting other info it was easy to add another column to my spreadsheet.

Keep in mind that the sample size is pretty small -- only 500 blogs so far.

What I found was a bit surprising. Out of 500 blogs, 26 had one of these buttons or otherwise stated in an obvious way that the bloggers were Mormons. That's just a bit more than 5%.

It doesn't sound like much until you realize that according to Wikipedia* Mormons make up 1.7% of the population in the United States.

So if I understand the data correctly then Mormons are about three times as likely to be craft bloggers as the general population.

And that's not counting the bloggers who are Mormon but don't happen to use the buttons or otherwise mention their Mormon-ness.

So this begs the question. Why are Mormons so darn crafty? Are they craftier than the rest of Americans? Or are they just more likely to blog about it?

I pose these questions with total respect and admiration.

*Say what you want to about Wikipedia but I trust it for most things based on this.

December 16, 2011

10,000 tutes and counting! Yay!

Today the RTG reached a big milestone. There are now 10,000 tutorials in the database!

The more tutorials in the database, the more fun the site is and the more useful the search will be. Right now the search is still a little weak, but it's getting better all the time.

December 8, 2011

Ask Tute-Bot: Handmade Gift for Boyfriend

Tute-Bot got a great question on Twitter:

     Planning to make my bf something for Christmas, but I've run out of ideas, any help? xx
     He's a solicitor, like does Kung Fu, likes Batman and monkeys xx

I figured my answer deserved more than 140 characters, so I'm answering it here. And maybe "Ask Tute-Bot" will become a new regular feature (assuming I get anymore questions).

So here goes...

T-shirts are always a safe bet as boyfriend gifts and there are SO MANY options for making them. You could design a cute monkey doing Kung Fu or wearing a batman mask. (And if you can't draw, you could hire someone to design it for you on Fiverr.)

1) Traditional screen printing is one option. But if you are only making one shirt this might not be your best choice. Especially if you don't already have the equipment and skills. If you've never screen printed before and you want to ease into it you could try a kit like the one tested out by Dollar Store Crafts.

2) Or you could try freezer paper printing. There are lots of tutorials for that. Two of my favorites are here and here.

3) You could also do your design in reverse with bleach -- like this or this.

4) Or you could try this which seems particularly magical to me.

If you can crochet, there are lots of free amigurumi patterns out there, including Batman and monkeys.

If you knit, you can incorporate this batman intarsia pattern into a scarf, hat or sweater.

If you sew, you could make a sock monkey and dress him up however you like.

I wish I could think of more ideas that have to do with kung fu. Maybe my lovely readers have some ideas.

Please, please please comment if you can think of any more suggestions for DIY projects (not gifts to buy).

December 4, 2011

More Changes

To make RTG easier to use, I added a frame with a button at the top of the page so you don't have to constantly go back to push the button again (and again and again)

I know it still needs a little tweaking. Please send me a message at comments@random-tutorial if you have any complaints about how it is working or comments about how it should be improved.

One thing I know I need is a way to "break out" of the frames.

And please excuse me while I try to figure this out. I hope to have things working properly within 24 hours.

December 2, 2011

More Changes

I decided to merge DIY Daily and Random Tutorial Generator, so now this blog will be the official blog of RTG. The former @DIY_daily Twitter account is now @tutebot as well.  It just seemed silly to keep them separate when there is so much overlap.

I might still do some original tutorials of my own once in a while, but mostly I'll be reporting on the great tutorials I find by other bloggers that I add to the Random Tutorial Generator.

Today I added 1,000 new tutorials to the search function. That makes a total of almost 7,000. It still has a long way to go before it is the great resource I want it to be, but it's getting there.