I have received a lot of messages recently about the Saturday Night Craft Along and also questions about leaving comments here on my blog. I want to make it super simple for everyone to join in and my absolutely favourite part of both the craft along and this blog is the discussion, friendship and encouragement that results. This only happens with engagement though, and while I like the thought that anyone would read what I write, it's the emails and comments that provoke ideas, give support and keep me going. The same is true of the craft along and for many of us it's something to look forward to, like meeting up with a group of friends but while sitting at home and working on a crafty project! Today I am going to answer a few common questions, explain how NOT to miss out on blog giveaways and clarify a few things so that it makes it easy for you to join in.

#saturdaynightcraftalong logo for Charm About You


The Saturday Night Craft Along is built on the idea of SOCIAL media and is a way of creating a community that gets together each week, connecting with each other to share projects and progress on any type of craft project. It was created by Rachel @barefootcrafter and she kicks off in Australia/NZ/Asia Pacific every Saturday night. The craft along takes place in different time zones so Rachel starts, then I host the UK/European part at 6pm GMT and then Meg @teaandbrie takes over with the USA/Canada/South American. You can join in with any of the hosts, depending on the time zone or the time you are crafting on Saturday!

To join in you post a picture on your instagram of the craft project you are working on and in the caption you include "joining @[tag the host] for #saturdaynightcraftalong" with whatever you want to write about your picture. Here is an example of how it's done...

It's that easy! Once you've posted, click on the #saturdaynightcraftalong hashtag and you will be able to see what everyone else is doing. When Instagram was 'real time' it made this easier but if you click 'RECENT' you can still see who is joining in. We really try to encourage you to like and comment on other peoples pictures, that way it encourages relationships and it's much nicer for everyone that joins in to feel they are not alone. I've also found that by commenting on other peoples photos it is more likely they will click over to see yours!

Please be aware that as the hashtag grows (and instagram suggests it to others) we are getting a few spam photos in the hashtag, ignore those and just click on the crafts. Unfortunately there is no way for us to weed out these odd photos (mostly selfies or shops) but if we encourage crafters to post then that will continue to be the majority. 

I have had amazing feedback from people who really enjoy the get together each Saturday night, it is such a lovely community! I would encourage you to take advantage of the wealth of support and feel free to post about any questions you have - how to tackle a particular technique or issue, which fabric to use, or any sort of craft dilemma you might have. I am sure you'll get helpful and considered responses.

And yes, the Saturday Night Craft Along is only on Instagram. There's no way we could run this over different platforms and IG is the easiest. It's easy to set up an account if you don't have one and there is a lot of fun stuff going on over there like swaps and sew alongs. We understand not everyone wants to be on IG but unfortunately them's the breaks. One final note on this, your account needs to be set to public if you want your photos to show up in the hashtags, allow people to see your photos or allow for notifications when you mention people in your captions. Click here to read more about controlling your visibility on instagram.

Next I want to just quickly mention blog comments. I recently changed how you leave a post on my blog because many people were telling me they couldn't. Now you click where it says 'post a comment'...

this will open a new page with the comment box where you can write...

once you've written whatever you chose to say, you 'chose an identity' to be able to post the comment on my blog. If you have a blogger account that will show as the first option (more on that shortly), the second option is to type your name and put a link - this could be to your blog, instagram or facebook page, and the final option is to post anonymously.
Any of these are totally fine. It doesn't matter which one you chose, unless you want an email reply from me or you are entering a giveaway, in which case it matters a lot! I sometimes have giveaways here on my blog and ask people simply to leave a comment to enter, however if I can't reach the person chosen as the winner I can't send them a prize. Of course I could announce the winner and then ask them to contact me but they could all too easily not check back or miss a post and then it becomes a chore for me to chase them rather than the fun that is having a giveaway.

If you have a blogger account (like above where you see my name linked with my google account) it is important that there is a link to email you otherwise there is no way you can be contacted if you enter to win a giveaway. You can change from 'no reply blogger' to being able to allow readers to click and send you an email, by editing your profile in your Blogger account. In the privacy section, check the box to 'show my email address', it will then show like this on your profile:

Say you chose the second option under the comment box - there still needs to be a way to contact you. If you link to a blog that has no email address listed or no way to send a message, then again you can't easily be contacted should you win. The same applies if your facebook or IG profiles are private.

Finally if you comment anonymously it should be fairly obvious that I don't know your name or have any contact info unless you leave it in the comment. Usually if you break the email apart like lucy (at) gmail (dot) com then bots cannot copy your email info and if you are truly worried about security you probably just want to get offline altogether. Seriously though I have been online, blogging and commenting for a long time and have had no issues.

If you have any questions about anything covered here, or you think I have missed any important information then please leave a comment! 

I would be more than happy for you to try it out and do a test. Post a comment below, then click your name and see if there is a way I would be able to contact you. If not you might want to consider changing it - though only if, like I mentioned, you would like me or other bloggers to be able to email you or contact you should you enter a giveaway. 

That about covers what I wanted to share, I will hopefully see you at the Saturday Night Craft Along!