Happy Anniversary!

Hello there!

I’m sorry I’ve been MIA these past months. I started a new full-time job in October and then moved into a new (well new to me) apartment in December. Add in the holidays, my DD’s birthday on New Year’s Eve and I felt like I was flying through the end of 2014. Instead of watching the ball drop at the end of 2014 I was busy hosting a sleepover, corralling young girls all the while baking cupcakes.

Somewhere in all the excitement/stress/overwhelming events of the last three months of 2014, I had lost the drive to do anything creative. The only bit of crafting I had done in was working on my ripple afghan and working on a crocheted pillow cover for our futon. I just had no drive. (I’m still working on both LOL :P)

I suppose I was just tired. I was working learning a new job, taking college courses, helping my daughter which her homework and projects, as well as settling into a new place and I was just plain tired. Before I moved I put both my Etsy shops on vacation so that I wouldn’t miss any orders. But now I am grateful now that I took the time off from trying to sell and work on my crafts. I can see I was trying to do too much. I was taking on too much. I was forgetting how much fun it was just to make things. So I decided to simplify what I was providing, what I was making. While its fun to make lots of different things, attempting to sell lots of different things just causes stress and confusion for me. While many people can do it, I would benefit from keeping things simple and taking the time to plan out what I would like to do. This all sounds like common sense but somewhere I forgot to take the time to do this.

When I logged on today I found out it was my blog’s 3rd Anniversary! I find it a perfect time to refresh and rebuild. I will continue to share my projects and gifts as well as my progress in preparing my new work space. Feel free to stick around!

Be sure to follow me on instagram to see what I’m up to and like my facebook page!

See Ya!

~Jasmine

2014 Christmas Challenge-Hats for Babies

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I signed up for the 2014 Twelve Days of Christmas Charity Challenge!

I have always wanted to use my gifts to give back in some way and this specific challenge seemed perfect as I have limited free time!

The challenge consists of making (either crocheting or knitting) hats for preemies and full-term newborn babies and sending to your local NICU. The minimum that a person is asked to complete is 12 hats before the end of the challenge. As a bonus for signing up you will receive a pattern a day from a lovely designer donating a pattern to the challenge.

Head over to Sunset Family Living’s blog for more details and sign up for a great cause and be sure to check in to see my progress ( also so I don’t become a slacker ;))

See Ya,

Jasmine

Fall is Officially Here!

It is well into fall here in Maryland with crisp cool mornings and the beautiful gold, orange, and red leaves falling from the trees. Although most stores are attempting to skip the holiday line and promote Christmas holiday already, I’m still in the process of getting ready for Thanksgiving and enjoying the fall weather. Last year I made myself a cowl to battle the brisk weather. I used Cascade Yarns Venezia Bulky in Violet which is a silk and wool blend yarn. The resulting cowl is warm, soft, and has great stitch definition. Even after wearing it for over a year it still has very little pilling.

For the last few days it has been a little brisker than usual with a Polar Vortex sweeping through and my cowl hasn’t been up to the task of keeping my face warm. While perusing Instagram I saw a post from Stephanie of AllAboutAmi blog and I just knew this was the next cool weather project I wanted to make! Those of you that aren’t familiar with her blog, please do take a moment to check her blog out! Stephanie has posted her reviews on many crochet projects (some patterns provided by others and some her own original patterns), as well as different food and home crafts.

A few days ago she posted a tutorial and pattern for her Triple Luxe Cowl. The words “ITS SO FLUFFY!!” came to mind immediately!

Because fluffy = awesome!!

I was recently given an Hobby Lobby gift card by my old coworkers so I decided to check out the bulky yarn. While I was there I decided to pick up some yarn to make one for my Mini Me and a skein of acrylic for an ear warmer for my youngest nephew.

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My Hobby Lobby Yarn haul… full of wool-y squishies :}

I picked up a bright variegated yarn for Mini Me. The yarn is called Melody Bulky by Yarn Bee, the colorway is Florals. It reminds me of candy!

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I picked up two more groups of yarn for myself (really I just couldn’t decide between the black and the neutral colorway lol)

These next two yarns are also by Yarn Bee ; Effortless Chunky in Cool Black which is the alpaca and acrylic blends and another batch of Melody Bulky in Naturals.

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Stephanie’s pattern calls for a 10 mm hook to keep the cowl fluffy due to the stitch pattern. Unfortunately my 10 mm has gone MIA. I have access to a 11.5 mm and 9 mm hook at the moment so I did a quick two rows to see which one would give me the desired drape.

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Don’t mind the Monster High stickers.. using my daughter’s laptop😄

Looks like the 9 mm is the winner! The stitch pattern is visible without making the fabric too dense. The 11.5 also made a loose fabric but the stripes were too far apart for my tastes.

So using the 9 mm hook and the colorful yarn, I started to make my daughter’s cowl. Instead of starting with a chain, I decided to use chainless or foundation hdc (Great tutorial by Liz McQueen on her blog, Playin’ Hooky Designs). I worked 100 fhdc’s and used the wonderful tutorial to join the chain without a gap. and continued with Stephanie’s pattern. I love love LOVE how the colors were turning out! Reminded me so much like candy!

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I continued to follow the pattern finishing two rows short since this was for my daughter. She tried it on and loved how warm it was on her neck and chest.

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The yarn I used for my daughter’s cowl was excellent to work with. It was soft and fluffy. Due to the way it was constructed I didn’t experience any splitting. It worked up very nicely with great stitch definition. I can’t wait to work on my own using the same yarn in a more neutral color way.

I will post pics of Mini Me and her cowl in action on my Instagram (Instagram.com/loveleighlady) and will post pics of my cowls as well🙂

Until next time,
Jasmine

Creativity Burnout

Hi my Luvvies!
I’m so sorry I fell off for so long!

As you remember I had a craft show in July. I will still post more in-depth on that later. But shortly after the craft show I experienced only what I can describe as creativity burnout.
I had all but stopped working on all my unfinished projects, I and incredibly behind on custom orders ( very unprofessional😦 ) and I have simply not wanted to do anything crafty. This is probably the first time that I’ve felt this way in a long time.
The problem is when you’re trying to start a creative business obviously this is a great impairment on your ability to run your business.
At this time I still have a lot of things going on in my life: I left my day job of six years for another more intensive and higher paying position, my daughter started fifth grade and is having a hard time adjusting to the curriculum, I am taking hybrid college classes for the fall semester ( just finishing up my current class this week on IT Systems and will be taking Algebra in two weeks, ugh😦 ), and the lease is up at the end of the year so we will also be looking for a new home.
Despite it all I’ve feeling the creativity coming back. I picked up some beads and yarn, and I’ve been talking with two of my customers in regards to their orders and I have some ideas on some things to make for the holidays.
Just wanted to check in and let you know I’m still around. I’ll be checking back in soon with my updates from the craft show and my experience with that.

See Ya!
Jasmine

Guest Post

Hi there!

I’m just stopping in real quick to let you know that my Etsy Shop has been featured on Birthstone Central as Shop of the Week🙂

I’m super excited and the blog owner Jayme was super sweet to reach out and ask to feature my shop on her blog. The blog post gives a little more insight into my background before I started selling my jewelry and I enjoyed writing it as well🙂

So without further ado please pop over to Birthstone Central and read about my jewelry shop!

See ya!

Jasmine

 

What I’ve Been Up to and My First Craft Show!

Hi Everyone!

Its been a while since I posted. I just wanted to check in. My classes ended ( on a high note) and I’ve decided to put off taking more classes until the fall to get caught up on life.

I’ve been doing ALOT more crocheting lately than jewelry making. A friend of my mother asked if she could make her granddaughter’s prom dress and of course my mother happily obliged.

The young lady was going to be wearing a strapless gown so my mother asked if I could crochet her a shawl. I had been browsing through Pinterest around the time she asked me and saw some shawls that I was thinking about making.  My mom chose this shawl, Graceful Shell Shawl. It was the first shawl I had made and if I were to make it again I would keep in mind the notes of other Ravelry members such as starting with a Foundation Single Crochet instead of a chain to make the edge more flexible. I also continued the pattern two more times and went up another hook size to increase the drape. I’m waiting for pictures but I have some pictures on my Ravelry which aren’t the best since I took them really quick when I got home from work. One of the pictures you see the salad I’m about to eat LOL

In addition to the shawl and other little designing attempts I’m getting ready for my first craft show,Christmas in July Craft Show MD Promotions Team Event! I’m excited and nervous and I’m doing a TON of research and making like crazy.

Once I’m all done with this craft show I’ll post the pattern for the wristlets I’ve been crocheting. In the meantime these are the ones I’ve finished crocheting and one I’m still working on.

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I love the stitch and how it can totally change the look of the bag by just swapping the colors. I learned the stitch from Allison’s Dream A Little Bigger post here.

I taught myself how to crochet so I mainly use the most basics of stitches so its great to learn something new. These purses work up in no time; less than a day. I’m plan on making i-cord wrist straps and attaching before I add the lining and closure. Some will have button closures, some magnetic, and some zippered. I’ll post more pictures after I have assembled them.🙂

If you live in the area, I would love to see you at the Craft Show🙂 It would be great to meet you in person. I will also be sure to post about my experience at the craft show and pictures🙂

Ok I have to get back to working on my wares.

See ya

~Jasmine

 

 

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Making Bracelets for the Men-folk

When making jewelry I have the tendency to gravitate towards bracelets. Bracelets are quick to make, use minimal amount of materials and can be done in one sitting with the proper planning. Also bracelets can add just a touch of sparkle or class to a minimal outfit.

My boyfriend is the hardest person to buy gifts for. He has a hobby ( that is steadily turning into a business ) of dabbling in photography and so most of the things on his wishlist are expensive lens and other expensive photography equipment. So instead of bankrupting myself with his gifts, he gets handmade bracelets.

The trouble with his bracelets are that obviously he’s a man. Most men want something masculine yet stylish. Making bracelets for him give me a little challenge each time to get out of my comfort zone.

Between December, January, and February we celebrate his birthday, Christmas, our anniversary, and Valentine’s Day so I have to make sure I plan ahead.

For his birthday and Christmas I bought him a giftcard towards his new iPad and made him a pair of cotton pajama pants ( which he wears nearly everyday ). For our anniversary and Valentine’s Day I made two bracelets; one with leftover sardonyx beads and pewter skull beads and another with just leather with my kumihimo disc.

The skull bracelet was a simple wrap bracelet with a button closure.

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The button was a strange one from my stash that had an interesting texture. I had to re-do a week later with silk thread it since the KO thread I originally used wasn’t strong enough for the size of the beads.

The leather bracelet was an interesting “adventure” since I had never used leather for Kumihimo before. I used the directions that came with my disc as a guide and cut four strands of 1mm black leather and threaded it through a large hole bead. I like using those beads as clasps sometimes. I did everything as usual measuring as I went along making sure to leave enough for a loop. I tied and secured the loop with a little glue and let it dry overnight before trimming the leftover pieces (those have ended in my scraps collections for other projects.) I wanted it to be kind of snug since leather stretches over time.

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I think it turned out nicely🙂 Its a simple masculine piece. Using only leather for kumihimo has also opened my eyes to using different color combinations and leather sizes to make all kinds of different versions. Plus the bracelet works up so quickly it would be easy to make many in one sitting!

Definitely something that I’m thinking about adding to my shop🙂

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Until next time!

~Jasmine