Thursday, March 31, 2011

Whatever happened to...

...the very first hat I knitted in 2003. I made it during finals week sophomore year at JMU. I have been wearing this hat since actually! I have managed not to lose it for once! And until just recently making a Blue hat with a yellow rose I wore it consistently and it has been amazing. I also have managed to keep it clean which is amazing and never really needed to wash it. In fact, it is the picture I use for my etsy profile, me and Richard apple picking and I wore my awesome hat.

As for the first scarf I knitted Richard. That is around here somewhere but was so warn out I made him a new one. I had him pick out the color and everything. I made it to be nice and thick like he wanted. I think he's warn the new one twice! Apparently there's just something about the original. I make myself feel better because he doesn't really wear warm clothing often. In fact, this winter we walked 2 miles home from the dentist in the snow because traffic was so horrible. He was wearing shorts and a long sleeve thin button up shirt (his normal attire) and aside from being wet and not feeling his calves much he said shorts were better than pants because it didn't sit with ice on your legs. I do believe the first scarf I made was softer and I made it when we were first dating before he went on a trip which was in the cold mountains so he got it nice and comfy right away.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Although in my head I like to be organized I find in my life it does not usually turn out that way. I come up with a new way for organizing many things whether it's my closet or my desk and inevitably in a month it is back to the dismal stage of complete chaos.

Recently I have found the easiest way to organize my yarn and supplies for how I'm functioning at the moment as follows. Right now I am doing a lot of crocheting in front of the TV and computer so although my craft room is where I keep most of my supplies my most used items are now downstairs in the living room. The thin yarns that I don't use as frequently or are not currently intended for a project I have stashed away upstairs in the craft room. Along with the knitting needles I inherited from my Nana when my mom cleaned out her craft room.

As for the currently in use supply I have 2 Trader Joes bags stashed behind the couch. One has never used skeins and the other has partially used skeins. There is also a smaller brown paper sac with my scrap pieces of yarn (only several inches) which I someday home to use as stuffing for other stuffed animal projects. Next I have a box on our organizing shelves that will someday go in their rightful place in the kitchen. For now it is in the living room. One cubby has a box that holds finished hats in the back that are for sale on etsy and in the front are the most used skeins or at least I plan on using them next. The order in which I do my projects changes frequently. I also have another box that holds my jewelry supplies and buttons and the smaller bows and such hat are finished.

While I know where things are mostly I would not say that it is organized well but that it is working for the moment. I find it best (from the organization for those with ADD book) not to be the most organized possible but to make it easiest for me to put things in a designated place. If I have to walk upstairs to my craft room to put it away I'm likely to leave it somewhere out and annoying but if I have a designated place in the room I'm working in most I will likely put it where it goes eventually.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 2: This time last year...

As of this time last year I was not able to read patterns, almost at all. I did not really crochet much. I had made several scarves (5 total) and that's about it. I only knew how to single crochet. Since December I have made a huge improvement. I learned to make a simple beanie thanks to the help from my mom!
I then learned how to change colors midway (sorry no picture here). Then I learned what a double-crochet and a triple-crochet were and how to use them to make a wavy edge.
I learned how to make a triangle type edge and how to make a rose.

 I then was able to do a V-stitch hat and a brimmed hat.

I followed a pattern for a bow (thanks to Creative Me for the pattern) and then made one of my own with a button.

I feel like in just a couple months I have come a long way. My next project is to learn how to do granny squares for my new apron (as seen on Tangled Happy's blog). I am looking forward to adding that to my repertoire.

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Tale of Two Yarns

Today's topic is yarn choice. I have only been crocheting or knitting since 2003 and only more intensely in the last 6 months. In what I consider a short period of time, I have quickly discovered what yarns I prefer. I feel like yarn choice is as individual as drink choice. Some people just drink Coke products and there's nothing else out there that will change their minds.

I find when I'm first starting a new pattern I need a yarn that is easy to count stitches with. The furry yarns or loose yarns I find make it difficult to see where your stitches are and until I am comfortable with the pattern I find I am less frustrated if it's easily counted. I also prefer bulky yarn. This may be because my patience is lacking and I like to get done with the finished product faster. If money were no object (this is just from my experience at common craft stores) I prefer the very thick Lion Brand Wool-Ease yarn. It is soft and very thick and turns out very warm as well.
If money is an object I have found a good compromise between the very thin yarn and the thickest to be the Lion Brand Charisma. It is also soft and warm but does not take quite as long as the very thin yarn.

I find that my least favorite in general are the very furry yarns. They are very fun and soft but I am easily frustrated by the challenge of counting and finding stitches. I save these types of yarn for my very favorite pattern or person to create for as in general it tries my patience.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Top 3 picks of the week

I have tried to pick 3 craft items that were in different categories for me. I tend to head straight to jewelry and bags so I tried to expand my views this week. Please note they are in no particular order.

This is handmade soap from "Soap Garden" that not only seems to smell amazing but looks beautiful too.
Honeysuckle rain goat's milk soap

This fun addition to an Ipad is made by "MacStikerz" and although I don't have an Ipad if I did I would totally need this Pacman Decal.

This red tunic by "teclur" is adorable and I would love to add it to my wardrobe.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Latest Creation

Two of my favorite materials, bulky yarn and buttons. This bow has both and is a very cute barrette. I had to hunt for the perfectly matching button but it was well worth the wait. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

New Favorite...

This is my new favorite pattern, I can't wait to make one of my own! It's from Tangled Happy
I never thought Granny Patterns could be so cute!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Thunderstorms, yikes!

It's thunderstorm season again it seems. For most people this means rain boots and umbrellas. With a dog that has thunderstorm anxiety it means skipping walks and shivering under the table. There are medications that can help but they can cause a large amount of sedation. At a conference I heard about thunder clothing. There are several different brands and the one I got for Weebles has made a huge difference. The shivering is decreased but he doesn't pant and responds when you speak to him now. We call it his hug because it is tight like one. I am very grateful for those who thought of this and that I attended that  lecture! 
 Poor Weebles!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Latest Creation

This is my latest creation for my niece. She chose a green monster hat with teeth.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Yoga thought

As you may have read I have recently fallen in love with vinyasa yoga. I have been going once a week and look forward to it every day.

At the beginning of every yoga class the instructor shares a thought. I wish I could write it down but there isn't really a pocket in my yoga pants. Last weeks really hit home for me. It was about blindspots. These are things in our lives we choose not to see. We are aware of them on some level but we ignore them. These can be bad as we aren't able to be honest with ourselves. These can also be good as it allows us to accept things in our life, whether it be people or aspects of our lives, that we otherwise would not be able to deal with. Finally a quote from C.S. Lewis "This is one of the miracles of love. It gives a power of seeing through its own enchantments and yet not being disenchanted."

Sunday, March 20, 2011

3 top crafts of the week

Since beginning my crafting endeavor I have started spending a lot of time on etsy. I have found so many great items but I don't quite have money in my budget at the moment. So I thought I'd list my top 3 pics for the week. These are not in any specific order as I can't choose which one is best.

The "Love Braille Ring" in teal by MaaPstudio in England. This is so cute and creative and I hope to soon have one on my finger.

"Bursting Blooms Bouquet" necklace by BeadsinTheBelfry. I can't think of anything clever to say about this necklace other than I really like it. It caught my eye right away.

"Slouch Hobo Bag" by jhfabriccreations. I am completely obsessed with this bag and secretly hope noone will buy this so I can get it on pay day.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Hello! Welcome to my blog! This will be my outlet for not only my recent obsession with crafting with Ladybug Boutique 2011, but also my great love for animals, veterinary medicine, our weekend adventures and random thoughts. Although Richard (my husband) is in no way going to be typing in this blog I'm sure he will be a large part as he is my best sounding board and greatest support.

Now to get to know a little about me

Newest found love: Vinyasa Yoga
Thing most greatful for: Being off for the weekend
Favorite Food at the moment: Thai food
Most annoyed with: dealing with insurance and verizon
Song playing on my Ipod in the car: Dixie Chicks "Cowboy Take Me Away"
Most watched TV rerun: tie between CSI:NY and Dharma and Greg
Favorite Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet
Current Shows I hate to miss not in any order: Bones, 30 Rock, Community, Parks and Rec, Modern Family, Glee, and Raising Hope
Favorite material to work with: Bulky yarn
What I want to learn next: How to cast jewelry and make stamps

A little about our story:
Richard and I met working at an animal hospital and started dating in July of 2005. After a long wait of 18 months we were married February 2, 2007. While it's been 4 years it feels like forever and just yesterday at the same time (in a good way). Richard currently works for a large format print shop and loves it. I am currently working for an ambulatory vet which is like an RV hospital on wheels and it is wonderful. We tend to be somewhat homebodies but we enjoy museums, gardening, concerts, and of course the occasional rockband session.

We are both animal lovers. We currently have 5 animals in our zoo. Gracie, the pug, Weebles, the maybe shih-tzu poodle mix with neurologic abnormalities, Fluffy, the 12 year old cat, Maggie the 7 year old cat, and Yoko the 5 year old cat. Maggie is the only animal without a condition requiring either medication or a prescription diet. The cats tolerate each other's presence but they all agree Weebles is a pain. Gracie's 2 favorite things in this world are sleeping and carrots. Weebles' favorite thing is playing ball. They are the most persistent alarm clocks around (although my favorite alarm setting is Yoko as she gives head buts and licks but does not make noise). They are a huge part of my life and will show up a lot, especially sleeping as that is when they are the cutest.