Friday, November 21, 2008

Moving House?

I feel as though we have moved into a completely different house. This is not a good feeling, but rather a bad one. A bodily sort of feeling...an aching back, aching bones, aching all over sort of feeling. But, I do have to say that I am very pleased with what I have accomplished so far. Check out these before and after pictures. First I will show you what Chloe's bedroom looked like before the transistion. Then I will show you what it looks like now from the same angles.

Before...

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And after...

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I love it! I love it and love it and love it some more. Its going to be so much fun working on my sewing projects in my new room. My first one is to finish that pink item you see on the chair. Yup. A little something special for Chloe's room. Once I get it done I will be able to show you the before and after pictures of her room.

Now I was supposed to prime and paint my bedroom today but golly gee if I'm not pooped. I think I shall call it quits for the night and head downstairs to sit and stare at the wall. Have a great evening everyone!

The Winning Color Is...

Well, you all must not have much variety in your life or something because you all guessed the SAME color. Come on now...couldn't anyone guess ORANGE? Or BUTTERCUP or CYAN? or something a little more interesting than PINK??? I suppose you all wanted to win or something. Well, let me show you what color Chloe picked.

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So, that means everyone who guessed gets put into my drawing for some lavender ribbon hair clippies! And using Random.org, the winner is....

LADYSNOW!!!!

Congratulations. I already have your address so I will get your prize in the mail for you. Thank you everyonoe for playing my little game. (maybe I will have another one soon...I love giving away prizes. Its so much fun)

Anyways, I thought I would show you some pictures of Chloe helping me paint the new spare room. (her old bedroom) We had to prime the green wall because the next paint color is lighter. (I will not show you until the room is complete though. I just love those before and after pictures)

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Yesterday I woke up to a chaotic house. Those of you who know me also know that one thing I cannot abide is chaos. My bathroom has now become the storage place for all the little things that couldn't fit into the center of the spare room while I paint the walls. The hallway has become the storage place for the smaller furniture items and old bedding from our bedroom while we set up our new bed. The old bed currently hides my entire closet so I cannot get to my clothes...which means all changes of clothes are covering the floor. (and yes...I am wearing the same painting clothes I have worn all week...in other words, I STINK!)

Anyways, you get the point. Chaos! And I do not function well in chaos. So, I woke up yesterday morning with a list of about 10 things I HAD to do along with about 20 things I needed to do and about 100 things I could be doing. That in combination with the chaos was enough to send me into cardiac arrest (or the mental institution.) So, what do I do?

I pulled my desk next to the wall (which I had just painted the day before and needed to add the second coat of pain) and I got out some pink scrap fabric and I made some doll clothes for a little vintage doll my mother bought for Chloe last year at a yard sale.

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I didn't use a pattern for these. I guess you could say I designed them. *big, cheesy smile* I learned alot while making these little dresses though. Like all the wrong ways to go about sewing doll clothes. They don't look the greatest but Chloe still thinks they are worthy of a princess. (they are pink, after all.) One thing I have decided is that I will be sewing teeny doll clothes by hand from now on. Its too difficult to attempt those itsy bitsy seams on a large sewing machine.

And if that weren't enough...while I was supposed to be getting ready to attend a mandatory Thanksgiving Party (lunch) for James work, I made a hair bow for Chloe instead. (to match her dress she was wearing to the "party", of course)

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I LOVE HOT GLUE GUNS! (There! I had to get that out.)

Okay. I am off now to add a second coat of paint to the spare room, prime the master bedroom wall and head to Home Depot for more paint. Hopefully, sometime today, I will find time to actually work. Gotta finish typing up a new pattern that is already in testing. Why or why was I sick last week? WHY????

Anyways, have a wonderful day all day long! Smile to your kids today. (and just watch their faces light up when you do.)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hair Clippies

I love hair clippies. I love ribbons and bows and curls and BIG hair clippies. But can I find BIG hair clippes in the stores? Nope. I have been keeping an eye out since Chloe was born for perfect hair clippies and no such luck. The only ones I can find are for babies and clearly are not big enough. My little girl needs giant ribbons in her hair. Big, pink...BOWS! (and it would be nice if they actually matched her dresses)

I finally decided to take matters into my own hands. I bought a package of metal clips, some ribbon and embellishments. Out came the hot glue gun and away I went.

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And these last purple bows will be the prize for our little paint color contest, the winner of which will be announced TOMORROW!!! Keep those guesses coming, ya'll. What color do you think Chloe picked for her bedroom walls?

So, now that inspiration has struck I will most likly be making a TON of these custom hair clippies in the near future (after the room switcheroo is complete, of course.)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Little Cute Coat

After spending last week either in bed or on the couch with some sort of bug (that may or may not be the flu), I needed to accomplish something this past Saturday. Something, anything. It didn't matter what it was, but it had to be something cute. Something small. Something for Chloe. Maybe something for Christmas.

Ahhhh! That was it! A Christmas present for Chloe! I knew what it was I had to make. Doll clothes. I perused my doll clothes patterns and found the perfect one. I sifted through my scrap bin and found the perfect fabric. (leftover from a dress I have yet to finish. Remember the dress I was to wear to the airport to pick James up? It rests on my sewing room chair, waiting for the mood to strike for me to finish it) And wa-lah! A cute little doll coat!

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Now, you who know me may also know that I am what you would call the "opposite of a perfectionist". My motto is "just get it done" and it seems to have worked well for me in the past. Well, with the thinking I've been doing regarding my business and all lately I have come to the conclusion that it might behove me to have a touch more perfectionism about me. I could stand for a smidgen of it. Not too much, mind you. Let's not get carried away here. But just a tidbit couldn't hurt. So, while making this little coat, do you wanna know what I did? (something I would never have done before because I am lazy that way) I actually switched thread colors when it came to attaching the white binding. Can you believe I actually did that? Or can you believe that in the past I would NOT have done that? Just picture this coat with white binding and blue thread. (Hmmm...LAZY!!!!) Anyways, it took twice the effort on my part because I was constantly changing thread colors from white to navy blue, but the end result was definately worth that extra effort. (any my crummy sewing job is a whole heck of a lot less noticable when the thread color matches the fabric)

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So, now I am off to a bedroom switcheroo and makeover. We are swapping bedrooms. Chloe will be taking over my current sewing/craft room. My sewing/craft room will be taking over Chloe's bedroom along with our current queen size bed. It will be our new spare/sewing/craft room. Later this week, we have a very special delivery coming for James and my own bedroom but more about that another time. I have alot of work to do. And I will let you all guess...just GUESS...what color Chloe picked for her new bedroom walls. I want to hear your guesses in your comments. The correct guesses will be entered into a drawing for a special prize. (which I will show you in my next post) Have a wonderful day everyone!!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ack! I'm Stuck!

Awww Schucks! I hate it when this happens. Oh. Wait a minute. This has never happened before. Uhhhhhh....you see...I started something big. Something real big. Not big in size but big in evolution and my level of excitement. (oh...and the yarn is fairly large as well too)

What is it, you ask? Well, I am designing my first project using a schematic. That's right. After studying a bit in my Inspired to Knit book about how to draw a schmatic, I took that knowledge and put it to practice. I drew a schematic for a simple scooped neck top. And I actually crocheted it too. (just for my size...I've not gotten far enough to size it up yet) Here is a little sneak peek at it. (the scoop neck portion)

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Its perfect. That's all I can say. I am extremely pleased with how well the scoop neck turned out after using the schematic. I do have to admit that it would have been much easier to follow the schematic (and measurements that went into the schematic) if I had used a smaller yarn. Its hard to acheive a 1/4 inch size measurement with a bulky yarn. Actually...you can't.

Anyways, what does this have to do with my being stuck? Well, the top is finished. All, that is, except for the sleeves. I have yet to learn how to draw a schematic for sleeves and the book is vague on that point. I am not clearly understanding it at all. And if that weren't enough...I have no clue what style of sleeve I want. So, even if I did know how to draw a schematic for a sleeve, I would still be as stuck as I am now. Ahhh...the perils of designing. To be stuck at such a point, only an hour away from completion. What a fix I now am in.

Have a wonderful evening everyone. I am off to see about knitting something. What, I don't know. Maybe just perusing my knitting books. Or I could work on a square for my afghan. Whatever strikes my fancy. (which changes about once every 2.5 minutes)

Friday, November 07, 2008

My Little Princess

Every little girl simply MUST dress up as a princess at least once in her lifetime, right? Even better when its her choice to do so, as if there were no other choice in the world. Dorothy from Wizard of Oz? Nope. Bride? Nope. Nurse? Nope. Princess it must be.

So...then comes the choice of color. Is there any such thing as a princess dress that's not pink? Not in this household. Chloe picked the perfect color for her princess dress all by herself. Here she is in all her majestic splendor.

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I used Butterick 4320 for this dress. (notice that the dress in the picture is very similar to the dress Chloe has on...weird, eh?) The pink fabric has some sort of glitter all over it. (we were glamming it up) And the sheer fabric actually has little teeny tiny sliver gems all over it. It wasn't that fun to sew with (or iron) but the end results were definately worth it. And I got a new iron out of the gig. (because pink glitter somehow doesn't go very well with blue military uniforms which is what happened late Sunday night. I didn't know the glitter would come off the fabric onto the iron. Honest, I didn't) I did have to cut off about 5" from the bottom of the dress and hem it up another 4" so it would come off the floor some. But that will give Chloe a couple more years of play with it. Daddy bought her that fantastic crown and wand to go with her ensemble. (because every princess needs a crown...or so Chloe informed us.)

So, we went to New York for the weekend to visit James extended family so Chloe got to go trick or treating with her cousins. (which was extremely exciting for her)

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Okay. You gotta see the view of the apartment we stayed in while in Yonkers. The apartment belongs to our uncle. (well...the best friend of James father, so not really related but closer than most of his father's real relatives)

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Stunning. Simply stunning. These are the Palisades along the Hudson River and I must say that my favorite time of year to see them is most definately FALL!!! (oh! And the tugboat pushing the barge looks pretty cool too)

On the way to the boat club Sunday we saw a racoon along the train tracks. (keep in mind we are in the city...NYC) The trains didn't even faze the guy, blowing right by him about 5 yds away.

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So, we had a lovely weekend and Chloe now walks around, picking up the edge of her skirt and bending slightly while saying "yes, your highness" whenever I tell her to do something. Ahhh...gotta love that, right? Anyways, I am off to put Chloe down for a nap and then update my website. Behold, some free patterns are on the horizon. (and I've not even mentioned them on my blog before today so they are a total surprise. Have a gorgeous day everyone!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Revising and Renewing

So, you may all be wondering "what on earth happened to Anna lately?" and you aren't far off. I've not been blogging, that much is apparant. But what have I been doing? As you may recall, we've been doing alot of thinking lately regarding my business and where I would like it to go from here. One thing that has troubled me lately is the lack of integrity in my patterns. When I first started out designing and writing patterns, I experimented quite a bit in layout and design of the actual pattern. I also didn't know as much as I do now regarding things like yarn amounts for each item in the pattern and all that jazz. So what I have now is a modge-podge of patterns with no consistancy between them. A customer won't get a good taste for my style when buying one pattern because the style changes so drastically between them.

Well, this past week, I have been working hard to re-format my patterns so they are all the same. The layouts will all be the same, the style will all be the same. Everything will be the same. From font size to underlined areas to spacing between paragraphs. I am also locking the pdf files so people can't copy and paste or edit the patterns. (why I didn't think of this before, I don't know)

Now, this is not all that I would like to do. Its all I am doing at the moment, but in the near future I will be doing things like adding more photographs, adding adjusted (more accurate) yarn amounts and even adding a watermark to the patterns.

I will be changing something sort of major on my website this week. That is, my free pattern will no longer be printed on an actual webpage. I will be uploading my pdf forms of the free patterns into a file and linking to them from the freebie page. Ohhh...so much work and so little time!! But it will be worth it, I think. I hope. I'll let you know...if I don't kill myself first. (just kidding...its not that hard. Really.)

Anyways, I have much to do so I had better get off my bloggy behind and get back to work. (where I have a nice cup of Ginger Peach tea waiting for me) Have a great day everyone!