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 XD

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

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

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

Pre Black Friday Special and New Things…

Hi Everybody…

Preparing for the holidays…  BUSYBUSYBUSYBUSY… Although I wish I could have been more productive this past week the rest was well needed.I am planning on listing new items every week in both of my shops. Please stop in often to see the new items : )

So from now until November 28th, purchase anything from either of my shops and you will receive  25% off your next purchase automatically.

This weekend I was able to get two out of the three projects that I was working on done. I got my inspiration from Happy Hour Projects for both. Her blog is full of lots of jewelry and food tutorials.

I chose to make her Grapevine Earrings and Mixed Media Bracelet.

Black Cluster Earrings

I chose black glass beads and a focal grey Swarovski bead which is a little different than how she did it but I like how it turned out. I also used chain instead of the jump rings since I didn’t have any off the large jump rings on hand. I didn’t have any of the large jump rings that she used. The result is very elegant and lightweight :). I will have these in my Etsy shop tomorrow.

I’m not as pleased with how my mixed media bracelet turned out.

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The cones that I had on hand turned out to be too small. Instead I used a thread strand clasp. Its still very pretty but the openness of the clasps make it look like its a little empty. Like its missing something. I went to the store and got a new set of cones to try another bracelet.

I also saw these little angel beads in the store..aren’t they so cute!Angel Earrings

 

Perfect for the Holiday season coming up. These will be in my Etsy Shop as well.

This week I’ll be working on more crochet and knit items for my shop as well as kumihimo bracelets.  See you later this week!

 

~Jasmine