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

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

 

 

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 🙂

Be the first to know and sign up for my newsletter 🙂

Until next time!

~Jasmine

Measure Twice…

This is an example on why you double check your measurements….

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My trusty clipboard has seen better days…

This was the first time I made a 5 row leather bracelet.. I think the color combo turned out pretty… I was trying something new.. stepping out of my comfort zone… Great right?

Problem is that this bracelet came out HUGE…  I mean like a 9 inch wrist…. It could slide off my wrist with the button fastened…

So needless to say I need to start over… So be sure to check your measurements before you finish your bracelet 😦

All craft experiences are a learning experience and I know how to do this better next time.

PS. This is a sneak peek of what new products I’m working on for in my Etsy shop.

Sign up for my newsletter to be the first to know when new products are listed and receive subscriber exclusive discounts!

 

~Jasmine

Newsletter!

Morning!

This is a quick post since my college classes started this week which is cutting into my free time.
I am in the process of creating a newsletter for my Etsy shops.

Please take the time to sign up as it will have subscriber exclusive coupons and you will be the first to know when a new product has been added to one of my shops and More!

Click on the link below or on the side bar ———————->

http://eepurl.com/QF0Rv

Talk to again soon!

Jasmine

Organizing Organizing Organizing

Why hello there.. 🙂

I have a confession.

I’m not the most organized person in the world.

I have described my desk at work as an “organized chaos”. And that tends to spill into my home life as well. Its not like I like being disorganized.. I just didn’t know what to do about it.  I was never really taught to be organized and so it just followed me along. Add on top my crochet, knitting, and beading/jewelry making supplies WELL before I opened my Etsy shop and well… I’ll leave it to your imagination.

In 2012 I decided I wanted to make my Etsy and Artfire Shops that I just casually used  a real source of income and in 2013 I decided to get serious and register as a business. While 2013 wasn’t a booming year I was on the right track so I’m really pushing my self this year to be more Disciplined in my work.
I bought a planner last year to help getting my thoughts organized. A friend at work recommended an Arc Planner by Staples. She herself uses one but used the paper from Levenger as they are the same system but Arc is much more affordable for me. I love it so much that I have created a daily planner, one specifically for my full-time job, one for my college classes, and I’m in the process of creating one for my Etsy. I originally had the Etsy one intergrated with the daily planner but since I wanted to have my ledger and notes in one place I decided to make a separate notebook. If I write anything in my daily planner the beauty of this system is I can simply remove the page and place it in my Etsy notebook.

In conjunction with the planners, I decided it wouldn’t hurt to organize my supplies. This has been a long going process since like I said organizing is not my strong suit. Since this requires me to over analyze so I’m getting a little bit of anxiety. For example I have several containers for my supplies but a lot of the containers are a mix of half started projects and materials that I haven’t organized in the proper tray. Now I am sorting EACH item to go with its corresponding items. Doesn’t sound like a big deal until you think about an average crafter/hoarder’s stock… yeah…

Sometimes I have to take a break. So I’m working on a personal project,  A Ripple Afghan ( I’ll post a picture of my progress next time), attempting to write another pattern for a casual/versatile hat.. this is where I’m at so far..IMG_2914[1]

I’m loving this yarn. More on the hat next time 🙂

…..and working on items for my shop like these boot cuffs.

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I will soon have a schedule for running shops to help organize and maximize my time which is really important considering that I have a full-time job, take college classes part-time, and have a 10-year-old daughter taking advanced classes at school as well as piano and soon swimming lessons.

Hopefully I can at least have the hat done to show you the finished product and have the pattern all written up.Well back to organizing..

See you next time. 🙂

Feel free to follow me on Twitter @luvleighcrtns  and Pinterest @loveleighlady

to see what I’m up to… Until next time See ya! 🙂

Jasmine

Pattern Making and Buttonless Cozy Pattern

Hi There! 🙂

Sorry it took so long since my last post!

In this post I’m going to touch on free patterns and their usage. If you read my last post you would know that part of choosing my Word for the year as discipline, I’m choosing to hone my crochet skills and to further my attempts at creating original pieces.

For a very long time I have debated on whether to create, post, and/or sell patterns for the things I create. Although I am not new to crochet, I am new to pattern writing. It has taken me a while to be able to wrap my head around something that I have visualized or have been inspired by to actually create and have it actually look good and function. The thing is that if you release the pattern that gives people not only the ability to create the item for themselves but also they can sell your creation and create competition. The other option is to have the stipulation to not be able to sell any items made from the pattern and then I think that would turn people away from your patterns all together.
I came to the conclusion that being a crochet/knitter puts you in a community of fiber artists that support each other. I learned to crochet and knit making free patterns that were generously offered by other crochet and knitters. So to keep the cycle going I will offer free patterns as well. When I feel that my patterns have evolved I will begin to offer patterns for sale. All items made from my patterns are yours to do with.  Your materials and hard work went into making the finished item so I would only want credit for the pattern whether in your shop online  or on the tag if you sell it at a craft fair.

The first pattern I’ve ever made was a very simple crocheted Button-less Mug Cozy. This simply came from wanting to make a cozy to sell in my shop but I had no fancy buttons or buttons that would be attractive with my yarn choices. Then it dawned on me that I should be able to figure this out on my own. The pattern is far from perfect since I’m still new at this but it can be easily customized. Please keep in mind I am new to pattern writing. I wrote this pattern to fit the mug I owned but tried to keep it close to the size of a store bought/novelty mug. The pattern is easily adjustable to the height and width of your own mug. So here’s my try. Please let me know if you have any questions and I will do my best to explain.

Buttonless Crochet Mug Cozy

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Materials:

(2) colors of worsted weight cotton yarn
I used Sugar and Cream in Black Currant and I think the other color is Love

Mug of your choice. Mine I got at the Goodwill store for .50 cents 🙂

G/6 – 4.25mm Crochet Hook

Gauge:

Not Important since its based on the size mug you made.

This is more a tutorial than a pattern because I’ve made three cozies and had to adjust for each mug.

1.) chain the length of chain needed to wrap about 1/2 an inch from each side of the handle.

When redoing the cozy for this tutorial I found that the cozy fit better with 36 chains.

2.) Sc in second ch from hook to end. Ch 1 and turn. Every person crochets in the chain a little different. I prefer to go under the bump on the back of the chain so both ends are symmetrical.

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3.) repeat row 2 until you are 1 row short of the desired height of your mug cozy.

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Remember to leave space for your lips to sip your drink. You will have a rectangular piece in front of you.

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4.) ch the number of chains needed to go around the handle and slip stitch into the bottom of your rectangle. You want it to be a little snug because this is going to hold the cozy on your cup but you don’t want it to be difficult to put on your cup every time. Ch another chain long enough to get around the handle. For my cup it took 12 chains.

5.) Now sc across the bottom edge of your rectangle across to the other end. Ch 12 more stitches or the number of stitches you need for your mug handle. Sl st into the 1st st of the bottom row. Now you will have a long rectangle with one loop on either end.

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I forgot to get a picture of the cozy before I started the stripes.

6.) For the stripes I use the surface or overlay crochet technique. I will explain the best I can. Here’s a link to another website that can explain as well. Essentially you are slip stitching a line of stitches in between the crocheted rows. Insert your hook in between the rows and pull the yarn through. IMG_2867

You should have one loop on your hook.

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Now insert your hook in the next hole in between the two rows and pull the yarn through the loop on your hook. You should have one slip stitch and one loop on the hook. Continue across to the the end. I like to pull the last loop through to the backside and fasten off to create a symmetrical beginning and end.

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Continue to add as many stripes as you like.  I did 5 but you can make any combination. The stripes tighten the fabric a little so try and do the surface crochet as loose as you can without making the loops floppy. Weave in all ends and slip on your cozy. It will be a little tight so that it doesn’t shift when holding your mug. If necessary you can make the loops a little larger.IMG_2869 IMG_2870

I hope you like my mug cozy : ). Its very simple but please let me know if you have any issues.

It takes very little yarn so you can make several out of one ball of yarn. I like the solid and variegated combinations but you can also have two solids or two variegated types. For those who can’t crochet I do sell these in my Etsy shop. Speaking of my Etsy shop,  from now until Valentine’s day I am having a sale on all my goodies :). I plan on adding more colors as well as more Valentine’s day themed goodies. but please stop through 🙂

See you soon!

Jasmine 🙂

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year Everybody! I know  I’m  late with welcoming everyone into 2014 but with New Year’s Eve being my DD’s birthday as well as my family recently moved so ALOT  has been going on!

Its amazing how fast a year can go. A person can make so many resolutions but end up with only a handful completed. However I feel 2014 will be my year and I am going to use a new approach to meeting this year head on.

A dear co-worker and friend and I talk about faith and crafting and how we are supposed to use our gifts. I am a Christian and I believe that God has a plan for everything and that people are given gifts for a reason.  Otherwise we could all do everything and therefore people would not be unique. This is my opinion and belief and I know and respect other opinions and beliefs, but this is what I truly believe.
My friend continued on to talk about the lack of progress she has made in her life with her gifts and with 2014 approaching she began as most people to think of a resolution involving using her gifts. However she began to tell me of a devotional she read where this pastor was so inundated with the concept of the all the sacrifices and the time being spent achieving these goals. She forwarded me an email explaining the concept which this pastor, Mike Ashcraft, where he chooses one word that will describe all the goals he was looking to accomplish for the year. He went on to write a book, My One Word.  A Blogger I follow, Adrianne with Happy Projects also called it the One Word Challenge. You can read about her take on it here.

I thought this was a fantastic idea. I am ALWAYS feeling overwhelmed and under accomplished with the goals I set and the goals I completed at the end of the year. So I thought good about my word and how it can describe all the goals I have set for myself.

My word is Discipline.

Discipline can sound like such a harsh word but discipline is necessary to lead a happy and prosperous life. Can you think of how many ways that discipline makes its way into your life?  I can think of several..
Like when I choose to have a sandwich from Subway instead of a mushroom bacon burger from Wendy’s or when I decide to save my $20 instead of buying those booties that are on sale. How about when I decide to organize my yarn instead of just throwing it all in a bin? These are all ways I need to use discipline in my life. I have the usual goals that most people have at the start of a new year such as weight loss, organizing, and bettering my finances. But I am choosing to look at them differently so I can create life changing habits rather than just meeting goals.

One of my discipline “goals” is to post more often so look to see more posts in 2014. Check back later this week as I have  a post lined up on crochet and knit patterns.

 

See ya!

Jasmine