Friday, March 31, 2006

Frogs on the Horizon and other things

How I hate frogs. And I have lots of them. I have been looking at the Easter dress I designed for Chloe and while I love the idea of it, I am not liking how it turned out. Something is dreadfully wrong with it. Take a look.


This is a picture of the whole dress but alas, you are unable to see the dress very good and it is late and I am too tired to take more pictures.


Okay, here is a picture of the neckline with one sleeve part. The major part of the dress that I do not like is the neckline to sleeve transition. It just doesn't flow nicely. I am trying to figure out how to change this without frogging the cotton picking whole darn thing. I am thinking of trying a different style of sleeve to see if that works. Don't have any ideas for that really though. Another option would be to just frog the whole thing and start over on the bodice since that is where the major issues come from.

One reason I am thinking of frogging the whole thing is that I don't really like the waist trim. I think I would like to do without it completely. Just have a transfer into the different stitch without the trim. I think that would help the over all appeal of the dress. To me the dress just looks like a mess of different styles and I need to figure out how to get it all one style.


One thing I do love is this bottom trim. I absolutely adore this. Another thing I love is the chest piece of the dress which you cannot see well in the photo. What I have done is some cabling to make it look like lattice work. There is a rectangle of this. I think a major problem comes of this because the neckline is worked in a round and then all of a sudden I go to a straight rectangle. It makes for a bumpy neckline.

In other words, I have some major revamping to do. Its a good thing this dress works up so quickly or I probably wouldn't frog it at all. One idea I had instead of frogging this particular dress until I know if my ideas would work is to start the bodice (just the bodice too) of another dress to play around with a bit until I find something I like better and then I could frog this one if I think its neccessary. I will have to wait and see.

I am not going to get the opportunity to work on this until Sunday or Monday now. I am in the middle of testing a dress for the Garden. It is made in yarn so it is going together quickly. I started it this evening and I am about halfway done with the skirt. Then there is an overlay mesh on top of the skirt.

I am amazed really at how great minds think alike. All my ideas I have had for dresses and such like, she comes up with something similar before I can work it up. She is so much quicker at it than I am. Oh well, I am learning and that is what matters. I will find something that works for me and once I perfect that, the sky is the limit.

I am going to place a little ad here. James bought me a new vacumn on Tuesday. (the day I came home and my house was trashed and had not been vacumned nor cleaned since I left in January) Anyways, this vacumn is the best without having to spend $2,000. Okay, so I had to pay about $350 which is a pretty penny for a vacumn but supposedly this thing has a 10 year warranty. I am sick of buying $100-$150 vacumns and having them break in a year or two. This thing is amazing. It picks up so much dirt. It kind of makes me sick to my stomach to know that I have been walking around on this dirt and Chloe has been crawling on it and walking on it. Well, not any more. MY FLOORS ARE CLEAN!!!!!! Makes me happy. The name of this wonderful contraption??? Its a Dyson. I had never heard of it before. (I mean come on...how many people are really schooled in vacumn brands...you buy one and it is supposed to last you years...not months) Some guys at James work told him about it since our old one was broken and he knew we had to have it. (more like I had to have it...without even knowing about it too...isnt' that amazing how we can need something without even knowing it exists...)

Some big news around here for us. Chloe's hair is now curly. She is such a doll. I wanted her to have curly hair when I was pregnant with her and she came out with stick straight hair. I was a little disappointed since I have curly hair and that was the one thing I wanted her to have of mine. She looks the spitting image of her daddy so I wanted something to look like me. Well, about a month ago, in a matter of about two days, her hair went curly. Every blue moon now it will be straight right after a bath but halfway through the day it will start to get curly again. It is sooooo cute. I just love it. It makes her look even more like an old fashioned baby doll.

At the commissary today someone told me I should enter her into a baby beauty pageant. I don't really want to do anything like that though. I wouldn't want her head to get too big or anything. There are so many other nobler qualities I want her to value than beauty. Beauty can be taken away in a second but whats in the heart is there forever. I want her to learn integrity, honesty, compassion, faith, virtue and so many other qualities.

Well, I am getting pretty tired. Need...sleep...must get....sleep.........now........nite nite.....zzzzzz

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Still Cleaning

And you all are probably getting tired of hearing about the cleaning that is going on here on the homefront. Like I have said before, I am just thankful to have a home and that I am in it. On a good note though, the cleaning is going well. I actually found my kitchen and dining room floor this morning and I have swept it and mopped it. Man it feels good to say that. I can see my countertops, sink, table top and island top now. They are officially clutter free. (Should I tell you that all the "clutter" is now on our spare bed in the office???? Nah. That's hubby's problem and as far as you all are concerned, I have cleaned it up...so I'll leave it at that.) Chloe's room is complete as well. (minus a few things in the hallway outside her door. Some of them are things that need a storage tote to store them for the next baby and some are things for a yard sale we are planning on having this summer. Got a few things to sell so we are going to have a sale. Hopefully make a few bucks.

As promised I have some photos from Chloe's first Birthday party. I can hardly believe that she is one years old. Man the time flies fast when you are having fun. So much has happened in this past year. Enough of that though. On to the party.

I made her first cake myself. Even decorated it myself. It was fun. I think I will try this every year now. Maybe I will actually get good at it. Here is a picture of my sister holding the cake that I made.


And the fun begins. Here is Chloe literally stuffing her face.


I made little heart shaped cupcakes for the kids. Chloe had one of those instead of a whole cake. So this is a photo of Chloe enjoying her first taste of cake ever. A true kodak moment.

Can you tell that she enjoys it? I think she only ate the frosting when all was said and done but she sure loved it. Couldn't get enough of it. (wonder where she gets that from........hmmmmm...)



I am truly thankful that James got to be here for Chloe's first birthday party. He missed her actual birthday as he flew back home the day after her party. At least he was at the party and I got photos of him there.

We had such a good time and Chloe got tons of great gifts. She actully got her first Care Bear. (to be honest she got two.) One of my friends Laura got her one but since she was at the party she as able to give me a gift reciept and I went to the store and picked up something else for her.

The funny thing about it was that my friends here in Louisana were the ones that got her the same exact care bear. Same name and color and everything. And their names are Ashlie and guess what??? Laura. Isn't that just too funny?


My mom and dad got Chloe a baby doll and my mother wrapped it in a blanket that she made for it. It was so cute. The minute Chloe opened it up, she held it up against her shoulder and started patting her back as if she were burping her. I don't know where in world she picked that up from unless it is from how I burp her. I have never shown her how to do that to a doll before though. Babies are amazing things. They pick up on all those little things that we think are just beyond them.

All in all, Chloe had a wonderful party. She even got some gift cards to Walmart since I didnt have much room to carry gifts home in my suitcase. James says that maybe tonight or tomorrow we can go and pick her up some things. Don't really know what I am going to get though. Maybe some doll clothes and toys and maybe some pajamas in 12 month size since she doesn't have any yet.

Many months ago I designed a little hat for Chloe out of baby chenille yarn but it turned out way to big for her. I tried it on my neice when I was up north visiting and it fit her. (she is 3 1/2 years old by the way) So, I reworked the pattern and made it to fit Chloe's size. Now here is a picture of the reworked pattern actually fitting Chloe.



Now I just need to deisgn the sweater to go with it. So many things on my to do list and just not enough time in the day to complete them all. I have so many ideas of things to design. Another purse is close on the horizon too. I have the yarn for it and everything.

Well, back to this hat. I bought some big pink yarn to add some pinach to the hat and I think it did just that. My mom says it looks like things they used to wear in the "old days". (maybe like the 20-30's)

And I am totally slow sometimes. This next picture is of that Spring Lily dress I tested for www.crochetgarden.com. She has changed the name of the dress now to Victorian Angel dress in case anyone is interested in this pattern.


It is soooo adorable.

I especially love the bonnet on this one. Totally old fashioned if you ask me. I love the little frill it has to it. I can't wait until my own designs start to be this good.


Not much more I can say about this dress that I haven't already said in previous posts many months ago. It has been such a long time since I made it that I really can't think of anything about it at this time.

Well, I must be going now. I need to get dinner on. We are having steaks tonight and I need to season them and get them in the fridge before James gets home so they can marinate a bit before he fires up the grill. Yummy!!! I love steak!!

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

What a terribly long day!!!

Okay, so maybe it wasn't that bad. But still, I have been working ALL day and still have yet to unpack everything. I have cleaned and cleaned and still my house looks like a tornado zone. I have much to be thankful for though. I am thankful that I have a house to come home to. I am thankful that it is a nice house. (once it is clean...) I am thankful for a fast computer and fast internet access that my dear hubby thinks is so important. Because now after spending two and a half months at my parents house with dial-up, I realize the extreme quickness of my own computer and internet. I will not take it for granted any more.

One of the bad things about being up north was that I was unable to access this blog while at my parents house. I spent a month at my sister-in-laws and was able to access it there. That was nice. So, I have not posted as much as I would have had I been home.

Well, here is the short version of why I am home as of yesterday and not up north until August as was the plan. James father was doing poorly and the doctor thought he wasn't going to make it through the weekend so he sent a message to the Red Cross to bring James to the states. James came home for a month and requested that he be able to stay in the states since his father's condition was pretty bad. After that month up north, his work said to come back home and they would decided whether or not to send him back to the desert. Well, he was home for a week and they decided to keep him in the states. Which, of course, meant that I got to come home.

There is so much news to tell since I last posted. So much has happened. First things first though. You all are probably wondering whatever happened to that whole Boutique saga. Well, as you all know, I made two Vintage Shell Purses with Funk for her. The pictures are in a previous post if you want to take a look. Then she had requested a baby dress in all white since she thought maybe it would be worth more the price I was looking for since it would be a Christening dress. Well, instead of crocheting up a pattern I had already made, I decided to write a new pattern. It is cute and by far the best pattern I have written yet. (besides the Easter Dress I am working on for Chloe at the moment...more to come on that topic soon.)

Here is a picture of it.


And here is another picture of the dress. I have more picture of it with all the close-ups (and some more cute ones with Chloe in the dress) but I am saving those for my website.


Anyway, I am naming this dress Angel Traditions. More of a Christening dress name if I do say so myself. This is another in the line of Angel dresses.

Well, I mentioned a few paragraphs ago about the Easter dress I am designing for Chloe. I am naming it Easter's Song. It is the first in my holiday line. I have the main part of the dress done and am working on the trim along the bottom. Then I have the sleeves to add. This dress worked up extremely quick. I used a size 3 thread this time instead of 10 just to try it out. I was totally amazed at how just how quick it was compared to what I am used to doing. I did a darker type of purple for the dress and the trim is in ivory. Very pretty. I will have to take a picture of it when I get time.

So now, back to the Angel Traditions dress and the two purses. (am I jumping around tonight or what??? I am tired and my brain is fried from all this packing up from last week and now cleaning so I can unpack.) Okay, I took the dress and purses into that Boutique and she looked at them. It was very unnerving to have someone pawing your delicate handmade things over and over. She has already told me what she wanted me to make and had turned down everything I had taken in to her the first time so needless to say, I had a few butterflies in my stomach this second time. She hemmed and hawed over the purses first. (which really made me nervous because she had ordered them this way and I had put out a ton of money to make them per her order.) Well, she tried to tell me that business was slow and may I could come back in a couple months down the road when business picked back up. I told her that I couldn't do that since I was going back home and wouldn't be in the area. She kind of looked and felt the purses over and asked me how much I wanted for them. I told her and she went down $5 and so I said okay. Then she pawed the dress over and over and didn't know if she wanted it. She asked what I wanted for it and she started pulling at it and tugging at it. I thought to myself that she had better buy it now that she had stretched it all out. Well, after a couple of minutes of this and my heart is now pounding a million beats a second, she says okay, but for $5 less than I asked for. Whoppeee!!! I sold all three items to her for $135. I am so excited that I have my first sale. I am going to use this money for my buisiness. Don't know where yet. Maybe some copyrights for patterns or something. I will know when the time comes.

Another thing that I did was I signed up for another swap. I can't believe I did this. I signed up for the stole swap on C'ville. It worked out nice though because the pattern I choose worked up fast. I got the whole thing done in a day. Now I did do something incredibly brave. I worked the pattern up in two different colors so there were a ton (and I mean 3-4 tons when I say a ton) of ends to weave in. (and for those of you who have not been reading my blog for a long time, I hat...HATE!!!! weaving in ends. I hate it so bad that I had an afghan I made hubby and I on my couch for two years before I weaved in the ends. And when I say "on the couch" I mean using it and everything. Is that bad or what? Okay, I can answer that one myself. Its pretty bad.) Well, anyway, I got it done in a day and that is pretty incredible seeing as how I weaved in all those ends in too. Well, that was the end of the incredible happenings when it came to this stole. I absolutely forgot to take any sort of picture of the thing before I mailed it to my partner. I guess that could be considered incredible though. Incredibly STUPID!!!!! Now I am hoping that my partner will take a picture of it and email it to me. I hope I don't make this mistake again.

Well, dear James wants to use the computer. He has been without it for over two months so the poor dear is having withdrawl symptoms. I can't blame him really. I would too if I had been without it for so long.

So, on the agenda tomorrow will be stories about Chloe's 1st birthday party (yes, she is one years old now...can you believe it??) and other crochet items and stuff. You know...pretty much, life back to normal around here. (minus the filthy house and all.)

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I'M HHHOOOMMMEEE!!!!!!

That's all I can really say for now. At last I am home. For those of you out of the loop, I will have to fill in more details tomorrow or the next day or whenever I get caught up on sleep and this tornado disaster my husband calls a house. I am running on 5 hours of sleep and that sleep came a long long (long........long.......long) time ago. I have been up since 2:00 am pacific time and it is now 8:00 pm my time. So, I am tired. James asks if I slept in the planes. What???? Is he kidding??? Me sleep on planes??? I am lucky sometimes to sleep in my bed. I am sure that I will be able to sleep tonight though. I am dead tired. I just put Chloe down and need to go clear a space somewhere in this house so I can FIND my bed. Boy has James been a bachelor for two weeks or what??? I am washing sheets right now so I can have something clean to sleep in. I will catch up on everything as soon as I get a chance. Ta-ta for now!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Pictures of Purses, Purses and Purses (oh...and Baby)

Well, I really have not been posting here like I think I should be. Maybe its not that big of a deal. Maybe no one reads this thing and I am really only talking to myself. If that is the case then so be it. I enjoy it. Its kind of a stress reliever for me. Gets some things off my chest and also is theraputic for me to write about my life. Kind of like a journal except its online and anyone in the world can read it. And since I enjoy journaling anyway, I can do this. Maybe someday, someone will care.

Anyway, enough about that. I have pictures. And by Golly its about time too. I am way too slow at this picture thing. I used to be much quicker at home. I guess that is the downside to not living in ones own house.

Anyway, I have been talking for a while about my Vintage Shell Purse. Its the purse I made for my girlfriend Laura for her birthday clear back in January. I have also been talking about going to this Boutique. Well, last week I went. She didn't buy anything. Not one single thing. I was so disappointed too. She did place some orders though. She wanted my Vintage Shell Purse in brighter colors and maybe with some pizazz. So, here is what I came up with.

Funk #1

Funk #2

Are they funky enough? I don't know. The lady wasn't there this past Wednesday when I went back in with my mother to sell them to her. Gosh was I nervous too. I actually had butterflies in my stomach. I am naturally a shy person anyway so its hard for me to talk to strangers period. Let alone having them critique my creations right in front of me. Talk about nerve rattling.

Here is my second purse design. Its called Chantilly Lace. It didn't really turn out like I had in my mind. I was going for a design similar to those jean purses or quilts or stuff where the seam is on the outside and is all frayed and whatnot. I don't think I achieved it at all.

And to be honest...this purse actually looks better in person. I know that is hard to believe but its true. This picture just does not do it justice. I know everyone says that but in this case it is true.

Some big news for me is that I have both the aforementioned purses in testing right now. I got one tester for each purse. I sure hope its enough. I have actually had a few people from C'ville say that they would be interested in buying some of my patterns once my new website gets up and running. I am totally stoked about this. I can hardly wait.

I finished my tote about two weeks ago for the Spring Purse/Tote swap on C'ville. It was fun. I learned some valuable lessons though. I need to be in better contact with the person I am making the item for. I think people were talking back and forth the whole time while making things and that is really how I will get to know them is to email them and talk with them.

Also I need to add some little things to the package. I noticed that many others were adding yarn and hooks and teas and other little goodies to the packages.

Which, by the way, I have received my purse this week. It is wonderful. I will have to post a picture of it tomorrow though since I am at my limit of 5 today. I also got a suprise ROAK (random act of kindness) this week that I will talk about tomorrow. So, more on these packages tomorrow.

Well, after much discussion, here is the picture of the tote bag I made.

This pattern actually is a love knot. Can you believe that I had never done a love knot before??? I am such an experience crocheter but I had never come across a pattern for one. I think my main problem is that I just don't buy patterns. I get mine for free off the internet and so they tend to be the easy patterns. The harder and more challanging patterns are ones that people want to charge money for because they are harder to design. At least that is the way I am starting to think when it comes to my own designs.

Back to the tote bag. It was made with Lion Brand Homespun. It is kind of difficult to work with and I have no clue (not one) how people have the patience to make and entire afghan in sc out of the stuff. (okay, maybe I have a clue since I can work for 8 years on a table cloth in thread...) I really hope my partner likes it.

I have finally gotten around to taking a picture of Chloe in the very first dress I ever tested (or made for that matter) for www.crochetgarden.com. In all honesty, I didn't take a picture sooner because the dress is a 12 month size and Chloe is still in 6-9 month clothes. She is starting to actually fit them well to. She is not growing out of them, they are starting to not be so baggy on her. She is growing up so fast.

Anyway, here is the dress. I think it turned out so cute and old fashioned. I love it. The bonnet is what makes it for me though.

So, Chloe turns a year old on Wednesday. Her party is Saturday. I am excited. My baby will be ONE. How cool is that?? We made it. (not that I didn't think we would...but you know...) She has changed so much in the past month. My friends back home won't even recognize her when we get back.

She has started this yelling thing. (not bad yelling...funny yelling) She stands at the door and in a loud voice just hollers, "BA" or "DA". She is always busy too. Her newest trick is to pick up something and haul it around the room. Around chairs and everything. She can do this for half an hour sometimes. Its really quite cute because they are not your normal baby toys. Today it was the wipes container. (not the hard plastic one but just the soft wraps they come in.) It was pretty funny because she couldn't really get it very far off the floor so she was more or less dragging it around and around the room. Sometimes it could be something as little as a tube of chapstick. Whatever she can find that interests her.

Now my big questions is.......When do babies start playing with toys??? I buy her toys and she is more interested in my sunglasses she confiscates from my purse or the tube of toothpaste she grabs from the bathroom sink. Should I buy her a bottle of shampoo for her birthday???

Well, its time for bed. I will try to post again tomorrow. I have so much more to talk about and just not enough time in the day.

Have a wonderful day.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

The Funk Factor

Big news Big news!! So, I have been talking for months about going to this Boutique my mother found and selling my things to her. Well, the news is that I finally went. I didn't take my mother with me like I wanted but I DID go. That was a big step for me and now I will be bolder in the future. Anyways, I did take my hubby and a good friend Laura with me.

So, what did Marie say??? She likes my dresses but doesn't think she can give me a fair price for them to make it worth it to me. She buys everything outright and then her markup is double. So, if she pays me $50, she sells it for $100. And frankly, $50 is just not enough money for these treasures that I make.

Not to be daunted though. She liked the two purses I have designed. The only thing is she wants them to be brighter colors and maybe some embellishments added to them. I call it "funk". Her store is kind of funky with bright colors and things that are "different". If you bought something from this store you could be sure that no one else would be wearing that item as you walk down the street.

I wish I had some pictures to show you all but alas, the price we pay to live with family. I can post pictures but it just takes me time. I have to run 1 1/2 hours to my parents house so I can use the computer (mine) in my trailer to get the pictures off my camera. Then I edit them on my computer and put them onto my jumpdrive. Then I can come back here to where I am currently staying and upload them to the internet. Kind of a lot of work. Its a three hour drive total just to do this. My plan is to go to the trailer on Monday and also spend some time with my mother. I miss her.

So, anyway, I wish I could show you a picture of my "funk added" purse. I didn't think I would like it near as well as I do as I was making it up. The whole time I was making it I kept thinking to myself, "I really hope she buys this thing because I wouldn't". Well, after it was done I love it. Probably not what I would carry everyday but I do like it for the "right" outfit.

The purse is done in orange. (talk about funk!!) I did it in two tone. By the way...let me say that the purse I am talking about is the Fan purse I designed back in January for my girlfriend Laura's birthday. (different Laura then the one up here in Spokane that went to the store with me.) So, anyway, the top part of the purse is done in a specialty yarn. I forget the kind but it has little tufts of what looks like tissue paper hanging off it every inch or so. Kind of cool and adds a bit of texture to the purse. The bottom (fan) part is done in a solid orange sugar and cream cotton. I then added a orange stripe ribbon around the middle part where the two different yarns meet. I still have to add some beads to the bottom points of the purse and that will be my "funk factor". It will truly be different and I wish, wish, wish I could show you a picture of it. I will though. Next week.

Now I am working on another purse. This one is bright pink. It will have some pink beaded fringe that I am probably going to add at the same place I put the ribbon on the other purse. Then I have some ribbon that I may add to the bottom of the purse. Either in a bow or weaved in and out of the shells on the last row. I will just have to play with it for a bit.

So, need-less to say, I was pretty disappointed when I came away from the Boutique the other night. I had enough items with me to bring anywhere from $250 to $350 depending on how much she was going to pay. Then to have her not buy anything was very disappointing. I got a good education though. I would be better off finding a way to cut out the middle man. I don't want to be selling dresses forever though. I want to sell a few dresses to buy copyrights on my patterns. What I really want to do is design dresses. That is where my passion is right now.

Well, my mother and father went to Salem, Oregon this week and she called me up to tell me that they have tons of Boutiques there and she went in a few. She found one that sold a lot of baby and children things and it seemed like a place where my stuff would be perfect. My mother talked to the owner and she said she is interested in seeing my things. My mother got her email address and I emailed her a couple of photos yesterday. I am just waiting to hear back from her now to see what she thinks of my dresses.

The Boutique up here in Idaho said that she would think about the dresses and actually asked me to make one in all white so it would be more of a christening dress. So, I think I will do that this next week and we will see where it goes from there. I don't know whether I am going to design another dress for that or just make up one of the patterns I already have. I am probably going to make up another pattern I have just for lack of time. At this point I don't really know how much time I have here so I don't want to get into a project too deeply and not be able to finish it.

Well, I better get going to get things done today. I am off to visit my friend Laura and her parents today. This next week I need to get working on Chloe's birthday party. I will probably spend the day Tuesday with my sister to get that going.

Have a wonderful day everyone.