Wednesday, September 17, 2014

The Roller-coaster Begins Again...

Yeesh! has it really been that long since my last post??? Jeez! I'm seriously so sorry about that! What could I possibly have been doing all this time you ask? Well let me see...

  • Kids started school again - getting them ready is always a hubub and I know there are tons of others out there that feel my pain. Riley is now a freshman. Aurora started third grade. Jacob started second grade. What a spread, right? Luckily, they all go to schools that Amazing Adam and I have previously attended, and the two elementry school teachers were also teachers for Riley when he attended the same school. We're set up for a very awesome school year!
  • Crocheting... if I haven't been blogging then I had better been yarning, right? Well, I've been working my fingers off! I finished a Seahawks version of Moogly's Circles of Love Afghan which I am currently trying to sell on my Facebook page. I also made 4 Pokeball inspired dice bags for the family. Photos of these projects are posted on Facebook as well. I'm currently working on Spider Mambo's I Heart Skulls Circle Cardigan for Aurora. She chose Caron Simply Soft in Neon Pink & Limelight. No missing that girl in the car-pool lane after school!
  • Working. Working at my out-of-the-home job managing an answering service. New employees, former employees, company picnics... the usual. This is usually where I'm reminded that there are less than 100 days until Christmas. When I'm reminded of this, I usually send snide comments to the reminder.
Doesn't exactly seem like a lot, but there's a lot of time and driving and other energy put in to those events, right?

What is coming up next, you're asking. Well, I have a few things on my to-do list:
  • I Love Yarn Day (10/10/2014) - I really want to post another pattern to celebrate I Love Yarn Day, unfortunately I don't think it will be free this year; it will, however, be discounted for the week of I Love Yarn Day. Stay tuned to Facebook and this blog for more details as we get closer.
  • I still have the Penelope Bag and Sunshine Sack to post (I'm somewhere in the finishing stages), had another idea for a bag, but we'll see if I'll even bring it to fruition since I ran out of a "seasonal" yarn. (HATE that, nothing but a tease!)
  • I also still have the pattern for my Submissive Hooters needing to be finalized.
I need someone that can sit next to me writing in "crochet speak" as I create these things, seriously! I'm thinking it should be considered a foreign language to speak "craft." 

Anyway, I just wanted to check in with everyone; I've seen a number of views increase over the last few weeks and I am incredibly humble and thankful that all of you have found my little blog. You have no idea how much squee it gives me.

For all you new followers: WELCOME! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, don't hesitate to comment on posts here or on Facebook - haters too! You're all welcome! If I didn't want honest opinions, I wouldn't put it out there to be judged by the general public. 

So, here's to hopefully not such a long silence between posts! 

Have a great rest of the week!!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

LABOR DAY GIVEAWAY!!!

Good day everyone!

The winners were announced on my Facebook Page for the rainbow bag naming contest! I present to you the Penelope Bag & Sunshine Sack! Winners will receive a copy of both patterns once I have it finalized! Congrats go out to Steven N Kasinda Tobek with "Penelope" and Susie T Homemaker with Sunshine Sack

Penelope Bag & Sunshine Sack

In another HUGE development, I was unable to present these prototypes to the winners because I'm offering them as part of a HUMONGOUS Labor Day Give away by the Giveaway Goddesses!

Super easy to enter, make sure you follow the instructions on their giveaway album; there are roughly 90 different prizes! Contest is open until August 15th! Good Luck everyone!!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Pascha Unboxing in Ireland!

A few weeks ago I took part in sending a Pascha teddy bear to an orphanage in Russia by the way of Ireland. They received a box of over 50 teddy bears ... here's the unboxing! Mine is somewhere in the mix....


Thank you to Allison Hoffman from Crafty is Cool for putting together such a beautiful and heartwarming event. A simple video, but I have to admit, I teared up a bit watching the excitement in the reception and anticipation of these children receiving such a simple gift.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Contest for a New Pattern!

Some time within the last year or so, the hippies and granola-eating tree-huggers all got together and voted that we should ban all plastic shopping/grocery bags from retailers. This sucks in my opinion because, now we'll have to purchase plastic bags for our garbage bins instead of reusing the ones from our groceries. Not to mention, how am I supposed to make plarn now?!?

Anyway, I have been trying to make or buy reusable shopping bags. Here is the first attempt. The bottom sucks, but I LOVE the rest of this bag.

No Name Beach Bag & Mini Bag
If you visit my Facebook page, I'm having a contest as to what to name this bag set. Comment on the post I have pinned to the top of my page and if your name is selected, you will receive a free copy of the pattern BEFORE it is released (but as soon as I have it done & tested)!

The rainbow pattern in the main bag consists of 10 different colors, I still need to play more with color schemes, but this one isn't so bad.

The sun is the cover over a smaller cell phone sized clutch. The handle on it has a bobble stitch at the end which makes it wonderfully secure, but also quickly removable. I free handed the sun and cloud. So at this point there is a lot of back tracking, modifying and pattern writting to get to!

I'd love to hear what you think about this set! Let me know in the comments below!

Friday, June 20, 2014

School's Out: A Non-Crochet Rant

A lot of things have been going on lately, I got back into testing patterns - successfully, I might add. I also created a Pascha Bear for Crafty Is Cool. She found a video (below) that she found endearing and decided to create a bear for orphans in Russia, here's the original blog post that I participated in.

Then among all crochet projects flying around our home, we also reached the end of the school year, Jacob completed 1st grade, Aurora completed 2nd grade! So happy for them, they've really learned a lot over the last year - despite Aurora's teacher being a complete idiot!

On top of the Littles completing their school years, my eldest son, Riley completed his last year of middle school, 8th grade for us. I was soo excited thinking this is great, he made it – maybe not with the most spectacular grades, but he made it. I will officially be the mother of a high school student this next fall. He also turns 15 in September, and we all know what that means.... impending driver's ed!

Riley was scheduled to have a “moving-up” type ceremony/gathering on the last day of school. Both Amazing Adam and I attended this same school when we were in middle school, so we thought that the event would be along the same lines; granted it’s been about 20 years since then, but still, something along the same lines, right?


First of all I’ve been dealing with panic and anxiety issues as much as I can lately; for which I’m currently NOT medicated for. I enter the school, thinking I’m going to be a basket case because my baby is “graduating” middle school. Well, I was a basket case, but not for the reason I thought. I was a basket case because this event was the biggest fiasco that I’ve ever attended! The seating was crap. I needed an easy in/easy out location – a lot of which was reserved for staff. (eff that!) Then due to the fact I selected an easy in/easy out location I didn’t deserve to watch the event at all as I was blocked by a metric ass-ton of people who were more deserving than i. Seriously people, who stands in front of EVERYONE and makes no effort to make sure people behind them can see? I couldn’t stop the crying from that point forward, I kept trying to keep it under control but I couldn’t. I began to realize that this was NOT like any other moving-up ceremony I’d ever attended.

At this point Amazing Adam wrapped his arms around me and stayed that way for the better part of the event. We sat that way through the principal’s speech – felt like I was in church, but in church, I can see what is going on!

The 1st student speaker.

A choir performance.

At this point they listed off ¾ of the 8th grade class that received awards

Another student speaker; which if you’re making a “commencement speech” please refrain from using street lingo. If I were that kid’s parents I’d have been incredibly embarrassed!

Then another ¼ of the previously awarded students were mentioned again for another award.

A 3rd student speaker.

A quartet performance.

Last but not least, a slide show. Anyone who’s not been part of the “popular” kids, sportos, princesses, whatever… would know that they have a slim chance of ever being caught on film, right? Well, folks my son is not a “popular” kid, I was unable to see him in the slide show due to being surrounded and that there was only 1 picture of him dissecting a salmon (totally cool).

At the end of this “event” I was so incredibly pissed that I could barely contain myself. I grabbed the Littles and headed out to my car as Amazing Adam told Riley where to find us when he was ready to leave.

To keep this story moving, I eventually got home after celebrating Riley’s achievement and the last day of school in general at IHOP… and wrote the middle school principal this e-mail:

I would like to thank you and your staff for ruining the entire ceremony for my family today.

My son was an 8th grader at CMS this year and was at the ceremony today. My experience during the ceremony was one of the worst events I've ever had the displeasure of attending.

Instead of having the opportunity to see my son having a moment of final recognition for his hard work and reaching another momentous milestone, I was given nothing. I had the unpleasurable benefit of being surrounded so thickly of people who felt it was completely acceptable to stand in front of everyone and block every bloody moment from our view. I had a continuous panic attack during the entire ceremony due to the fact I was surrounded, couldn't see anything that was going on and acceptable seating was reserved for staff. I did what I could from my easy in/easy out location, but your staff did nothing effective to make sure the event could be potentially enjoyed by all families.

Both my husband and I were students of CMS; we had the opportunity to walk and receive our certificates individually, thereby giving our parents a moment they could share with family members for ages to come. I HAVE NOTHING. The poor planning of this "ceremony" ruined this event forever and instead of something beautiful and rewarding, I am now dealing with anger, and the disbelief that this actually happened, that I actually have no memento of my son accomplishing middle school.

I realize that a lot of the photos in the slide show were of the "popular" kids, that's fine, that's the way it has always been. Then to NOT recognize the average students, the ones that also worked hard, but didn't attend last night's dance, who didn't participate in sports, or the group Olympics, is immeasurably offensive. It ROBBED each and every one of those families, who worked just as hard, of a moment of accomplishment that cannot be replaced. I can assure you I'm not the only irate parent that feels this way - I may be the only one to reach out to the staff about it.

I will reserve commenting about the speeches as it would be my personal opinion and detract from the point I'm trying to make; which is this: next time, just invite the families of the kids who got 20+ stickers, the families of the kids in the majority of the pictures, then we - the average family - won't feel as if we were insignificant or forgotten, we'll know it as a fact, but you wouldn't have wasted our time. Every single student that didn't get their name called received exactly zero praise or recognition from the school; so much for "once a warrior, always a warrior", more like, "well, if we called your name or got pictures of you, you're still a warrior."

I have two more children that will potentially attend CMS in the coming years; I hope that this "ceremony" will be modified to include EVERYONE, not just the more popular students or the overachievers.

The only saving grace of this entire fiasco is that my son enjoyed it. That's all I have. He saw a glimpse of himself in the slide show, that's all, just one small snippet, but to him it was fine, so I'm sure the students had a great time. Now, I hope that your staff takes a moment to realize the amount of brokenhearted families you have created buy allowing today's ceremony to commence the way it did.
Highly disappointed,
X

I did all I could to express myself in a way that could not be misunderstood. I felt better and honestly that’s all I really needed. I had hoped for some kind of response, and I did receive one the following week:

Hello Ms. X,

I am very sorry that you did not appreciate the moving up celebration that was held last Friday. It is not our intent, at all, to hold a “commencement” type of graduation ceremony. Philosophically, I believe that a graduation ceremony, in which every student walks across the stage and receives a certificate, should be reserved for high school graduation. The intent was to bring the students together to recap the year together, and to offer them our congratulations as a class for completing middle school. I am glad that your son did enjoy the experience, though.

Best Regards,
(withheld name for privacy)

My only thought was “Really? This is what I get?” Now, not only disappointed in the school but feeling as if my intelligence was being insulted as I received a pat on the head; I responded with:

It was not my desire to have pomp & circumstance type commencement; my feelings are that every single student deserved some kind of individual recognition. Call all the kids names for each "hall" that completed middle school; eliminate 2 student speakers, and 1 music bit and there would have been plenty of time to allow for a sense pride and completion for each and every single student that worked hard both years.

I would have been camera happy just to have my son stand up and have his name recognized - as I’m certain A LOT of other parents would have been too. All the families of average students got shafted, plain and simple. I would honestly be ashamed if I were responsible for that event and would offer a public apology.

However, I am only one parent. My original note will probably bring some chuckles to you and your staff. I don't care. I said my piece; I appreciate your response at least letting me know that it was received and read, thank you for your time.


When did the education system become so disappointing? Did my mom have to fight this hard against common sense among the staff members? I know for a fact there was some ruckus caused by my mom when I was in school – I still get to hear those stories, but what happened? 

Since when is it OK to overlook all of the hard work of the “average” student? Everyone whines and complains when someone gets offended, but heaven forbid we pat a student on the back for doing their best even if it doesn't compare to the overachievers. Don’t get me wrong, if your kid sucks and failed to meet standards then there are consequences to be had; my Riley just barely scraped by last year (he was quite lucky that they don’t “hold back” kids in middle school).

What do you think? What would you have done in my position? Let me know in the comments below, I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

BUSY, BUSY, BUSY!!!

Greetings!

I promise I have yet to fall of the edge of the earth! Just being extremely busy lately; including crocheting my butt off!

I started - and completed - the Circle of Love Afghan from Moogly (the link will take you to the free pattern). I love it! It was definitely a time suck for me as it took about a month of me working on it - sometimes only a row a night, but it is now beautiful. One thing I'd make sure you take note of if you're thinking of starting this project - make sure you use Red Heart With Love as suggested. I initially grabbed Red Heart Soft - similar colors - since my Michael's and Joanne's didn't have Red Heart With Love in the right colors, but way different in the project! The Red Heart With Love is great and makes the blanket really plush! I plan on making another one - with different colors. If you decide to make this afghan, I would love to see your finish products!

As I mentioned above, I bought the quantity of yarns in Red Heart Soft for the Circle of Love Afghan, to which I didn't have a project for them, until this last weekend. I got a new car!

1980 Plymouth Volare (aka: Veronica) - she has a slant-6 :)
What does this have to do with crocheting? Well, as with any other 34 year-old car, the upholstry is original, and slightly trashed, especially the driver seat part of the front bench. Then (tick... tick... tick... ding!) Inspiration! I'm going to yarn bomb it! The colors of Red Heart Soft are going to be great with the rest of the colors in the car - white, gray and 3 shades of red/red-ish. I've already made about 5 squares in various color sequences. It will take some time, as I'm considering not only large squares but smaller squares with some rectangles mixed in. I'll have more detailed pics later including the before and after shots.

In addition to all this, I've stopped taking my brain candy - saw some information from my pharmacy about how the meds I was taking could lead to excessive menstrual issues (just what you wanted to hear about on a crochet blog, right?) It hasn't been too bad, I'm fussier, but I can feel the mood swings coming so that I can warn everyone! I'm not sure if being off them is good or bad, I was starting to think the meds had hit a plateau anyway, so I'm absolutely easier to distract - especially if it is pretty yarn related stuff. Amazing Adam and I have even had syncronized snarky moments together! It was a pretty amazing moment! 

Have any of you used your crafting skills to bring new life into old items? if so, what was the item? I'd love to hear about it - and see pictures if any of you have them!

Remember you can always find me on Facebook feel free to stop by and drop me a note, I'd love to hear from you guys! 

Until next time, keep those hooks flying! 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas to All!!!

Merry Christmas!!!

I absolutely love this time of year; family time, great food, traveling around the area to visit friends, the songs and celebrations, and most of all: my birthday. I do love it ... usually. I have found in the last few years that my anxiety levels skyrocket because I feel that I'm falling short of the Christmases my mom gave us when we were little. It always seemed that she had time for EVERYTHING! I could be wrong, people including Amazing Adam and my Mom have said that I'm wrong. For what it's worth... it still bothers me.

That being the case I have decided to change my life a bit to ease stressful situations.

ANNOUNCEMENT #1: 
I will no longer be accepting custom orders as my main motive of selling crochet items.

Whew! That one was a difficult decision, let me tell you... I find that when I crochet custom orders, I have a tendency to fizzle out, I get tired. I get sick of the colors or the repetitive stitches. I can't find all the time I need to put into a deadline. All those are reasons that it is not fair to the customer, let alone to my family or most importantly, myself.

ANNOUNCEMENT #2:
In the coming year I hope to open a shop where people can buy ready made items.

I anticipate a lot of new patterns, new yarns, and other items that fall off my hook to be sold! This is exciting for me. As I'm not only learning more advanced techniques of crochet, I hope you all will follow a store listing to buy my items.

ANNOUNCEMENT #3:
On occasion I will both accept custom orders - within certain parameters - and I look forward to not only creating my own patterns and posting/selling them, but also continuing to assist testing patterns for other designers as well.

This I do look forward to. Yes, there will be deadlines, but nothing that I cannot commit to. I will not forget my lovely geeky followers, but I also look forward to continuing to develop this blog. (Can't believe it has been almost 3 months since the last post!)

So, here's to the new year, and all the new developments in 2014! Thank you for all your love and support in 2013, I never could have imagined that I would have almost 5,000 blog views!

I hope everyone has a great and wonderful holiday season, remember those of us who are truly gifted with caring families, a talent which can feed families and put food in bellies, but don't forget those who need the help of our talents, some of us aren't so lucky. 

Merry Christmas! 

Happy New Year! 

See you all in a few weeks with a refreshed frame of mind!

Friday, October 11, 2013

FREE PATTERN: Supernatural Moonlight Infinity Scarf for "I Love Yarn Day!"

Happy I Love Yarn Day!


I know it has been a long time. And let me tell you, chaos reigns! There has been a lot going on – but then again, who’s life doesn't have chaos?  Over the last few weeks I've been in quarantine due to a nasty cold that has been kicking my butt (hopefully, I’m on the mend now). Plus a nasty of creative block; I’d start a few patterns then unravel everything I’d done in the day. It just wasn't grabbing my attention and it was all lacking passion and enthusiasm.

This last weekend I was again sequestered into the bedroom as to not contaminate the rest of the family I watched Supernatural Season 8! Oh, I had finished Seasons 1-7 a few months back and had been wanting to catch up on Season 8 as it was the current season, but my cable provider (you know who you are) sucks and wouldn't provide them in any helpful order. Imagine my thrill when I was notified by Netflix that it was now available on instant streaming! Heck, yes!

almost too much squee for one geek!
Thus I was inspired by a healthy (and much needed) 2-day session of Season 8; which was luckily prior to the premiere of Season 9 this week. Lately, I’d been trying to do something with a “granny square” stitch and I had been collecting sparkly yarns over the past few months, knowing that I’d find the perfect project someday. Well, that someday happened!

To not only celebrate the rampant geek squee that is Supernatural, but to also celebrate I Love Yarn Day, I present to you my new pattern:

worn the long direction - bad selfie, sorry!
in this pic i have folded it to double up as a cowl
another bad selfie!
Materials 
N Size Crochet Hook
Yarn:
     Loops & Threads Charisma – Black, Purple & White (5 Bulky)
     Loops & Threads Dewdrops – Amethyst & Diamond (6 Super Bulky)
Yarn Needle & Scissors for cutting & finishing off ends

Notes:
  • Each round will finish with a slip stitch to the beginning cluster of the row.
  • Beginning Cluster:- ch 2 + 2 dc in the same stitch (the ch 2 will count as a dc for the beginning cluster only)
  • Pattern Cluster – 3 dc in same stitch
  • Do NOT chain any stitches between clusters.
  • It was my intention as I created this scarf that the clusters remain close, not too much space between as a more traditional cluster stitch may be, as I wanted this to be plush and cozy.
  • As you’re working or even when you’re done, I found that tugging the stitches both vertically and horizontally across the rows & columns helped to seat the clusters between other clusters making sure they settled where they were supposed to.
  • For changing colors I found it easiest to just tie off and cut the yarn mostly due to the number of colors in use and their mass to move around each other. It is your decision if you want to carry through or tie off.


Foundation: (Use your first color; see below for an outline of the color scheme I used.)
I found that there are two basic ideas to starting off a project. For this one, due to the amount of stitches required I preferred the beginning chain over the foundation row – here are both for you to decide:
  • Beginning Chain - chain 131 stitches, sc in 2nd stitch from hook, sc back to the beginning (130)
  • Foundation Row - Foundation sc for 130 stitches; sl to join to 1st stitch, careful not to twist the chain when you join to the beginning. (130) YouTube has videos on how to stitch the Foundation Single Crochet.

Supernatural Moonlight Color Scheme
Foundation              Charisma Black
Row 1                     Charisma Black
Row 2              Dewdrops Amethyst
Row 3              Dewdrops Diamond
Row 4                    Charisma Purple
Row 5                     Charisma White
Row 6                    Charisma Purple
Row 7              Dewdrops Diamond
Row 8              Dewdrops Amethyst
Row 9                     Charisma Black
Row 10 (sc)             Charisma Black

Pattern:
Row 1: (Black) ch 2, 2 dc in same st, skip 2 stitches, 3dc in next stitch. *skip 2 stitches, 3dc in next stitch* continue repeating from * to * until you reach the beginning cluster, sl st to join. Tie off & cut.

Row 2:-9: Repeat Row 1 – changing color with each new row, following the color scheme listed above or a color scheme of your own choosing. 

Row 10: (still using black) sc in each stitch around. Sl st to the beginning stitch, bind off.

Finish off any remaining loose ends.

That’s it. Super simple really, but I LOVE this scarf! I’ve got rave reviews about it from work and family. Have fun with this pattern, use colors that speak to you… I’m already thinking of what other color schemes I can come up with!

Feel free to sell the items made from this pattern, just please don’t replicate the pattern, if anyone wants the pattern for themselves, please direct them to my blog!

Also, if you find any errors or discrepancies, please let me know!

Hope you enjoy making your Supernatural Moonlight Infinity Scarf, I’d love to see your finished projects!

employee snapped what i hope is a better pic?


It had been my original plan to spend all day crocheting at Starbucks while the kids were in school. However because I've been ill and missed too much work and then the kids don't have school due to a teacher professional day. I'll be at work, but I'll be yarning in my heart!

Anyone do anything fun to celebrate?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Just Keep Swimming? Just Keep Swimming!

I must offer my most sincere apologies for my extended absence. It was never my intention to let posting lapse this long, but I’m sure I’m not the first blogger that this has happened to.

I have been quite busy with not only crocheting, but getting kids ready for school, keeping my head up at work, and finding time to keep my yarn moving on my hooks, all on top of increasing anxiety/depression issues. I don’t know what the deal is but sometimes it feels as if my golden chaos has barbs!

I have been spending a lot of time testing patterns for KT and the Squid and Cuddle Me Beanies (both can be found on Facebook). I love testing patterns, but as I've been testing, I find that keeping to the required timeline has become increasingly difficult. Therefore, I’m pledging to be more selective in the items/timelines I test. Testing patterns is a truly honorable thing to do and I find great joy in it, however living up to your end of the test is of utmost importance.

Other than that, I've finished a family of Seahawks football hats (pictures available on my Facebook page, hopefully), a few other hats as test patterns, including a skirt, and a few bags and owl cuddlies. I hope to post pictures in the near future.

Being that I’m backing off of testing patterns, I hope to dedicate more time to quality blog posts. Some ideas flowing through my brain are:
·         Posts detailing my personal opinion of very inspirational blogs or great access to patterns, some pay for and some for free
·         Posts of techniques that I find useful…
·         My experience with expanding my color acceptance… not everything has to be paired with black – I know shocking huh? J
·         Links to posts/patterns that I've used the in past and my personal opinions on their structure and finished product.

I’m in the process of becoming more organized (seriously, I have a pile of notebooks on my couch as I speak!) and am seriously trying to figure out this blogging thing!


I'd love to hear any comments or recommendations you have including your suggestions for links, designers to check out or ideas for blog posts!

Friday, July 26, 2013

1500 BLOG VIEWS!

Freakin' awesome! 100 views in 15 days! Love you, guys!

I've been testing patterns lately - still wanna blog about that, need pictures!

Have to post pictures for the cozy pattern - got more cotton yarn to do so! Stay tuned...

Lots and Lots more projects I've been working on quietly - but still working. Will post pictures soon too.

If you'd like to keep up to date on all my happenings please feel free to Like my Facebook page