Monday, July 21, 2014

Be Kind: Crocheting...Writing...Teaching

  Happy Monday All!! I do hope your weekend was fantastic.

  Today, as I sift through my Facebook feed, emails and reflect on my own personal interactions, I am called to action to help remind us to be kind to others. Being kind is not a new concept. But for some it may be a new action or reaction. It may also be the first time a person truly feels they have had a kind interaction with someone.

 While we all work hard in our individual sectors of the craft world; whether it be writing, teaching, learning or creating; we should all keep focused on being kind to one another. Remember where we came from. After all everyone begins at the Starting Line.

  Some of us are good at writing patterns, where as some of us are good at reading them. Some of us are great at knitting and some are just as great at crocheting. Some of us not so much. Then there are those who are just starting out, or are just starting to get the hang of things. And at some point we have all had questions whether we are masters of the arts or not.

  These questions can range from the "simple and understandable" to the" seriously??" But we have all been there, right? Even people who have been crocheting, tatting, sewing, knitting, etc. for many years have had a question about a project at some point. And no matter how experienced one is, there may be a time when even the most proficient artisan gets stumped.

  They will inevitably have to ask "that" question. That question that seems so trivial and a waste of time to even answer. But I want to remind you that no question is a waste of time to answer. No question is worthy of frustration or should incite the feeling that the person asking is ignorant.

  Each question is a door opening a connection. A connection that turns the one being asked into a teacher and the one asking into a student. A connection that, given your response, will bring that person back for more or send them running for the hills. But all of that aside it is the way you feel and respond that can make all of the difference in the world to the person who has come to you for help. And, in turn, it will make the difference in your life as well.

  So I challenge all of my creative friends to embrace the questions of those who are stumped. Hold them tenderly in your heart and answer them with grace and caring. And don't curse the positive seed of growth you have just planted by following it up in a complaint on a forum. Instead, enjoy the feeling of helping another person and knowing you made the difference in their crafting journey.

  Have a Blessed Day

P.S. The answers to these questions do not always have to come directly from you. You could save a few links to some super helpful tutorials or YouTube Videos as an easy response if you simply don't have the time, or feel that someones question is to "trivial" for a personal response from you. But as I mentioned already, no question is a waste of time to answer.

P.S.S. Do you have any super helpful tips, link or otherwise you know would help your fellow artisans? Feel free to leave them in a comment.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Seaside Inspired Patterns

  Here is a collection of Seaside Inspired Patterns form some fabulous designer friends of mine.

  Sea Breeze Summer Cowl: Cre8tion Crochet

  Sea Breeze Summer Slouch: Cre8tion Crochet

  Seaside Tank FREE pattern: Cre8tion Crochet

  Sea Breeze Slippers: Pattern Paradise

  Do you have any Seaside or Summer inspired patterns? Share them in a comment below.

  Have a Blessed Day

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

HELP....: Don't be shy. Just ask.


  Have you ever had a roadblock when it came to crocheting? You just wanted to scream for help at the top of your lungs?  Weather it's that you are having crochet block, or you are stuck on a 'probably simple enough' pattern and can't quite put tow and two together, it can get pretty aggravating, even discouraging. But don't give up. Sound the alarms. light up the Bat signal.

  I know it can be a little scary asking for help but when you are stuck you are stuck. And you're not gonna get unstuck without a little help. After all, if you have AAA and run out of gas or get stuck in the mud you aren't just gonna sit there, right?

  The crochet community is a wonderful place of men and women who all love the same thing. We share in our passion for taking a ball of yarn and turning it into something beautiful. Some follow patterns and some create brand new patterns on their own. Some have been crocheting for years and some only for days. But we all come together to share in our joys and woes of our common love. And where there is community there are those willing to help.

  But how do I ask complete strangers for help? Won't they be annoyed? What if it's a silly question? How do I open the conversation? Where do I start looking for someone to ask for help? What if I am to scared to ask others for help?

  First, let me start by saying that, if you need any help at all on your walk with the crochet, my door is always open. There is a Contact Me box on the right hand side of the blog. Feel free to post any questions there and I will get back to you as soon as I can with the best answer I know how. If I don't know the answer I will do my best to help you find one.

  Next let me say that no question is to silly. Yes you can ask complete strangers for help. I hope you never run into someone who finds it annoying and if you do steer clear of them for future questions. And the best way to open the conversation is to just ask the question. Because perspective is different for everyone, if you can provide screen shots or some other form of imagery, without infringing on any copy rights, it will help a great deal in getting you the best answer.

  If you are on Facebook or G+, I suggest joining a crochet group. One that focuses on community, sharing, helping and building each other up. These groups are designed to help us all grow as artisans. And if you find a really good one you will find it ever so comfortable to ask even the silliest questions without fear of mockery. You could also find a local group or craft store to see if they are having classes or private sessions that would be helpful to you.

  And if you are just to scared to ask others for help Google is your best friend. Google search your question. I would avoid any links to or Those are often confusing or unanswered. Because I often have an idea of what I'm looking for, I like to Google Search and then click on the Image link to leaf through the images. If I am having an issue with a pattern or a stitch I like to do Google Search and then click on the Video link to find a good tutorial. These are some of the best ways to get answers. There is nothing left for misunderstanding and it's a great tool for hands on learners, such as myself.

  Do you have any tips for those looking for help with their crochet dilemmas? Post it in a comment.

  Have a Blessed Day

Saturday, July 12, 2014

When I sell my crochet I feel...

  I hope you are all having a great Saturday!

  If you have read my About Me section, then you have read why I started to crochet.  And if you read my blog post from July 10, 2014 then you know what inspired me to start selling my crochet. But how does it make me feel to actually sell my crochet?

  Crocheting is not just a ball of yarn and a hook in the hands of little old ladies in rocking chairs spying on the comings and goings of the neighborhood. Crochet is done by mothers, daughters, friends and even some husbands. Crochet is a way of life for some of us. A release or escape from the daily grind. It is a stress reliever and an addiction. But most of all Crochet is a labor of love.

  When I crochet I try to put all of my love into each piece. A part of my heart goes into every item I make. That item becomes a part of my life from the time I start making it to the time I drop it in the mail, sending it to it's new home. It is almost like having another child or another arm. There are mistakes made along the way. Some I can just breath through, while others make me go absolutely insane. And the really big ones make me fell like a total failure. But I keep plugging away at this twisted passion, all along feeling insecure about if the receiver; customer, friend or family member, will like it. Will it be all they hoped it would be? Will they think it was worth the wait or what they paid? Or will they be utterly dissatisfied?

  When I finally fasten off my yarn for the last time, I hold it up, give it a good look over, and feel my self getting even more nervous. I question everything about it. Is it long enough, wide enough, the right colors? Then, once I have convinced myself it's done either way, I wrap it in pretty paper and hold my breath as I seal the envelop.  And I don't breath a sigh of relief until I know it has made it safely to the new owner and they let me know they love it.

  So you could say that, when I sell my crochet, I feel a roller coaster of emotions. But just like being a mother, I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. I absolutely love making quality handmade gifts for others to enjoy. It makes me feel worthy of the art. Crazy lady emotions and all.

Have a Blessed Day

P.S. Do you crochet? Do you sell your crochet? How do you feel when you sell something?
Share it in the comments below.

Friday, July 11, 2014

I simply Love Caron Yarn because...

  It's Friday and I am ready for the weekend. How about you?

  But first let me share with you the yarn that I absolutely love. Caron is one of my go to yarns for a few reasons. I love the feel of the Caron. It is soft, never scratchy. It's full but flexible and never fails me. The bulk skeins are perfect for most any blanket, bag, hats, etc projects, ranging from baby to adults. They also have severally different styles of yarn and offer a wide array of color options. Caron Simply Soft is my absolute favorite for making baby garments, booties and other accessories with.  It has a just the right amount of softness and sheen to make those handmade baby gifts pop.

Do you have a favorite yarn you just have to have? Share it in a comment below.

Have a Blessed Day

Thursday, July 10, 2014

What Inspired Me to Sell My Crochet?

  Today is commonly known at Throw Back Thursday in the Social Media World, so how perfect that today's post is going to be on what inspired me to sell my crochet.

  The simple truth of the matter is that I wanted to be able to offer quality handmade gifts to people at reasonable prices. As I looked around I could find these super cute baby gifts, but the prices on some of them were some what out of reach for a good deal of people. No mother should have to give up her first born or an arm and a leg to be able to get a nice quality handmade gift for her little bundle of joy.

  From there I started learning more patterns and different stitches. I also started creating a few of my own patterns. These steps help keep me on the learning curve and have opened my inventory up to more than just baby gifts. By writing some of my own patterns I have also been able to keep my overhead down, which in turn keeps my prices down. It's pretty much a win win.

  Have a Blessed Day

P.S. Do you sell your crochet? What or who inspired you to start selling? Leave your answer in a comment.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

7 Different Crochet Finds from Pinterest

It's Wednesday!!! That means the week is half over for some of you.
Today I want to share with you 10 Different, and in unique, Crochet Finds from Pinterest.

1. Tea anyone?
2. Re-purpose that old Belt!
3. A different kind of Rose.
4. Wake-y, Wake-y, Eggs & Bac-y
5. Fancy Pants? No, Fancy Arms.
6. Peacock Coasters Anyone?
7. Mardi Gras Mascaraed

Have a Blessed Day

P.S. Do you have a Different Crochet Find? Share it in the comments

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

3 Amazing Crochet Hacks

  Happy Tuesday All

  I have been crocheting consistently for the last 8 years. Along the way I have picked up a few new tricks to help me through some of my projects. Here are a list of some of my own.

  Tip#1: Unfinished Projects
    We all have them. Unfinished projects. One tucked here, another over there and maybe even one in the car. But have you ever gone back to those projects and couldn't remember what pattern you were working on or what hook you were using? Or have you ever looked at it and thought, 'Great. How did that get on the floor? Now it's covered in floor fuzz.'
    Well after a few of my own mishaps I have found what seems to be a perfect solution to cover most issues that come with unfinished projects. If you have ever purchased a set of sheets than you have had this hack right in your own house and may have never known it. Most sheets sets come in a nifty zip-up bag with a second zipper section at the top for the pillow cases. They also have a little sleeve in the big part for the image card.
    What I have done is reused these for storage. I put the pattern in the sleeve, the yarn in the big portion and the hook and scissors go in the top portion.  I keep it all in there while working on the project. Instead of pulling out all of the skeins to work on it I would just zip the section up most of the way and pull the yarn through the open part.
    So next time you get new sheets Don't Throw Out those bags.

  Tip#2: Weaving in Ends
    I Can Not Stand to weave in ends!
    When I am done with a project I want to be done and not have to waste a bunch of time weaving in ends. So I weave them in as I go. When I have to change a color I simply fasten it on right where the color change needs to be. There are a few different ways you can do it but my favorite is to secure it with a little knot.  I also like to stitch right right over the old color with the new color, fold the old color back before completing the stitch(if working with a double crochet) and then folding it back over then completing a few stitches over the old color before snipping the old color yarn. Another hack is to simply add a fringe onto the sides. This also gives it a little flair.
    Also when you have to weave in that last bit or yarn at the end of your project, and you don't have a needle, use the smallest hook you have to weave it through the back of the stitches. This will help keep from putting those gaping holes in your finished row or round.

  Tip#3: Keep it Fresh
    When you store your yarn or projects store them in a bag or container with a couple of dryer sheets inside. If you have a craft room and you store your yarn on a shelf system you can do this also, replacing a little more often, or you can use a nice clean smelling tart and burner to keep the air smelling nice.
    These will help keep you yarn from smelling stale.

Have a Blessed Day,

P.S. Do you have a Crochet Hake you want to share? Just post it in a comment.

Monday, July 7, 2014

5 Tips to help you Crochet on a Budget.

  Happy Monday everyone! I do hope you all enjoyed your Fourth of July weekend. I missed all the fireworks but hopefully we will be setting off the ones we bought tonight. Now that we are all back on the grind let's get to it.

  Holiday's always tend to stir the creative juices in us don't they? All the adorable patterns and neat creations just make us want to go out and buy all the yarn we can. But how do you do that on a budget? Here are a few tips.

Tip#1: Plan your Project
  There is nothing worse than working on a project only to look down half way through it and realize that you have run out of yarn. Most patterns will let you know how much yarn you need for the project. And since every persons tension is different you may want to buy a little extra, or work up a swatch, just to be safe.

Tip#2: Patterns
  When choosing patterns choose those that you can view virtually. Save money on books and printer paper. Also choose patterns that do not require to many color options. If you can find patterns where you can use one color you can buy a big skein so you don't run the risk of running out of yarn in the middle of your project.
Note: If you are using a virtual pattern try to visit the site where pattern originated from. This lets the writer know of new interests in their patterns. It could also lead them to extra income from your visit. also please refrain from any form of pattern sharing of paid patterns. This hurts everyone in the industry, from the buyer to the creator and most importantly the pattern writer.

Tip#3: Yarn & Hooks
  The price of yarn and hooks can vary in price. Some are relativity inexpensive where others have a price tag that could cause any heart to stop.  There are some ways to help save on these costs. 
  As mentioned above you can buy the bigger skeins of yarn so you get more yarn for your buck. You can also shop the clearance sections of your local yarn/craft store. Other options can include checking out, yard sales, second hand stores, estate sales, Craig's List or you can join a swap group for crafters. 
  If you are crocheting to sell your items I suggest you buy direct form the store or online shop. This will ensure that you are not using a lot of time trying to get odors out of the yarn such as cigarette smoke, pet dander or heavy perfumes.

Tip#4: Coupons, Coupons, Coupons
  Most big craft store chains offer some sort of discount. These can be weekly, bi-weekly or monthly and come in the mail, through email or via text message. Whatever you do, Do Not buy your supplies without a coupon(unless of course you cant find a good one and you need the yarn and hooks right away)

Tip#5: Recycle, Reduce & Reuse
  Out of yarn but need to feed the beast? No worries. Yarn does not always have to be your canvas.  You can also use old t-shirts, bed sheets and plastic shopping bags to create fun new items. Or if it must be yarn you may want to take an old sweater apart.

  Do you have any money saving tips you would like to share? Leave your tip in the comments below.

Have a Blessed Day

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Crochet doesn't have to be hard. Read these 6 tips.

   If you have read my About Me section, at the top of the page, than you know that when I started learning to crochet it wasn't the easiest of starts.  However, with a few breaks and revisiting, I finally learned the art and have never back. Below are a few tricks that I have used along the way.

Tip #1: Start of in the shallow end.
  When I started I dove in the deep end. I choose a cotton yarn and a G hook. My advice is to start with at least an I hook and a more flexible yarn such as Red Heart, Vanna's, or Caron.  This will allow your stitches to be a little bigger, which will allow you to have a little wiggle room.

Tip#2: Master your stitches in stages.
  You will want to start learning the simpler stitches and work your way up to more difficult ones. When the final friend who helped me get it taught me she had me start with making chains. She refrained from showing me any other stitches until my chains looks uniform. Then she worked me up to single crochet until my swatches, or projects, looked uniform. Once I was good there she showed me double crochet and from there I was pretty good to go.

Tip#3: Learn stitch abbreviations.
  Written Patterns use short hand. This is to help keep the length of the pattern down. Learning what these abbreviations mean will help get you through the pattern easier. While most of the patterns you see have a key at the top with this info, it may be helpful to keep a stitch guide, with written and pictured instructions of the structure of stitches, close by until you get the hang of different stitches.

Tip#4: Learn stitch symbols & graphs.
  Not all patterns are written in words. Some are drawn using symbols. These symbols are arranged in the way the pattern will be worked, either in the round or in rows. Symbols can scare artisans but if you know what each of those symbols mean then you will be able to work them us just like a written pattern.

Tip#5: Start with simpler patterns.
  There are so many beautiful, intricate patterns that entice and inspire us. They tempt and real us in. They are the reason we want to crochet.  But as a beginner you will want to stick to basic patterns. Working on simpler patterns will help you get comfortable crocheting, as well as reading through patterns.

Tip#6: Don't be afraid to ask for help.
  If you find yourself hung up on a stitch, a chart, a pattern, etc. don't be afraid to ask your fellow crocheters. The crocheting community is such a great resource to ask for help, inspiration, vent about a failing project or boast about a completed work of art. If you find yourself a little shy to ask YouTube is a wonderful asset to the learning crocheter.

Have a Blessed Day

P.S. Just one more Tip. Keep track of your stitches. Especially and the beginning and the end of the rows.
P.S.S. Do you have any tips you would like to share? Leave them in the comments below.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Getting a Late Start : 31 Day Challenge

Happy Thursday Everyone!!

  So why not start the 31 Day Challenge three days late? HeHe

  Our first assignment was on Goal setting. Goals that pertain to our specific wants for our blogs and businesses. Goals that are, among other things, measurable and realistic. Financial Goals as well as generating Traffic.

  Now a Goal is just a Goal unless you put it into action. And to do that you have to have tools. Most of us already have the tools so all we need to do is to do it. Get off our rumps and get it going.

  After reading over the Goal Setting post I set my own goals for my little business. These goals may seem small and insignificant to some, or outrageous to others. But for me they are just a starting point.

  The monthly goal that I have set for myself are these:
      Financially I would like to earn $50 this month.
  My long-term monthly goal is:
      Finacially I would like to make $400.
  The tools I will use to reach these goal is:
      To create new items.
      Find different platforms to sell these items.
      Look into joining an affiliate program.

  The goals I have set pertaining to the traffic on my blog are:
      Daily I would like to see 10 views.
      Weekly I would like to see 30 views.
      Monthly I would like to see 120 view.s
  The tools I will use to reach these goals are:
      Posting a new blogs post at least 3 times a week.
      Sharing these posts on Twitter, Facebook and G+.
      Having at least one interactive post per week.

  Now with all goals there is a starting point and these are mine. I aspect that the end results will vary, good or bad, and I am prepared for that. After all I am starting three days late.

  Our Day Two assignment had to do with letting out followers know a little about us by setting up a great About me page. To read more on how I got started in crochet click on the About Me Tab at the top of the page.

  Have a Blessed Day

If you would like to participate in the 31 Day Challenge for July just follow this link for more info ->