Tag Archive | Family

Have Yourself Some Merry Little Christmas Crafting.

T’was the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring…

EXCEPT for the crazy crocheter with visions of grandeur still frantically crocheting her Christmas mouse!

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I told myself NO CHRISTMAS PROJECTS this year, despite all the wonderful ideas and patterns there are to read about in the blogosphere and on Ravelry for Christmas crafters.

But, right around Thanksgiving the Christmas crafting bug bit me and I decided that just one little, teeny, tiny, project that could be easily completed before Christmas came and went would be ok to make.

This project needed to be something small and simple that could be made with minimal stress and time. As I looked at my patterns and some ideas on line, I found this pattern for some amigurumi Christmas light bulbs and picked it to be my one and only Christmas crafting project for this year.

The pattern for these Christmas light bulbs is very simple and it only took a couple of Christmas movies for me to have 10 bulbs, 2 of each color, crocheted up. It took a few more Christmas movies to stuff the 10 bulbs, and then I had to stop watching movies altogether so that I could concentrate on the details of these Christmas bulbs. The devil is always in the details isn’t it?

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It took just a few minutes to stitch the tops of the Christmas bulbs closed once they were stuffed. I decided to use googly eyes instead of safety eyes, so, with the husbands help, it only took a few more minutes to glue the eyes on to each bulb. But now the long process of giving each bulb a smile and a personality started.

I tried big smiles, small smiles, v-shaped smiles, rounded smiles, and crazy zig-zag smiles but nothing looked good to me. I finally decided on smaller v-shaped smiles. I was using black yarn to make the smiles but the black yarn was not showing up well on the darker color bulbs so I tried white yarn instead. That looked awful, so I switched to some silver color yarn. After much trial and error, I completed the 10 smiles on the Christmas bulbs.

Now, what should I do with 10 Christmas crocheted amigurumi light bulbs? I could chain them together into a string of lights to make one Christmas decoration. Or I could put a bulb on a long piece of string or yarn and make it a necklace for all my friends and coworkers, but who wants a silly Christmas light bulb necklace? At last, I decided to make them up as Christmas tree ornaments.

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I dug through the closet and found some silver and gold metallic cording to make loops to hang these Christmas light bulb ornaments. I carefully cut even lengths of the cording, and threaded the cording through the top of each bulb. I knotted the cording, planning to twist the cording around and then hide the knot in the top of the bulb but this did not work.

The knots in the cording were too big to pull into the stuffing at the top of the bulbs. In hind sight, if I had stuffed the tops of the bulbs less, this would have worked, but I stuffed the tops good and plenty so hiding the knots in the top was not an option. I tried using yarn instead of the cording but that did not look as good. The silver and gold cording added an elegant Christmas touch to the bulbs. So, after much debate, I decided to just leave the knot at the top of the cording so it was still visible.

This was a great idea and a simple solution except that the bare ends of the cording knots frayed like crazy. I wanted the ends of the knots trimmed close but then the cording would fray and the knot would come untied. Flustered, I turned to the husband who said one word.

GLUE!

So thank heavens for clear drying glue. So, after carefully knotting and trimming the cording ends, I doused the knots and ends in glue to seal the cording, stop the fraying and keep the knot tied. After much patience with the knotting, cutting and glueing, the glue dried clear and the Christmas light bulb ornaments were done.

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At first, I did not like what I had made and I thought seriously about tossing the bulbs into the garbage can. But after they sat on the cutting table for a little while, their silliness grew on me and I now think that they are very cute silly little Christmas light bulb ornaments that my friends and family will be more than willing to hang them on their Christmas trees this year.

Until next time, Crochet forth and Christmas craft on!

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Bye Bye Baby So Long – Part #2

This is a continuation from my previous blog post regarding the first time I have sold any of Amigurumi creations.

P1010766Three sales stood out for me that evening. The first started when a lady took an interest in T-Bone, my skeleton. My heart jumped with anxiety. When the lady asked how much, little beads of sweat, popped out on my forehead. Could I actually sell T-Bone? The voices in my mind erupted. NO! Tell her “Sorry, he is not for sell, just for show.” or I could give her an outrageous price and just scare her off, or just grab T-Bone and run away were some of the things that went through my mind. But, after calming those voices, like Snoopy, I asked the lady for a reasonable cost for my time and materials and she agreed. I was still not certain that I wanted to part with T-Bone at this point though so I began to talk with the lady. I learned that she was a fellow knitter and crocheter and owned a yarn shop where T-Bone would live on display. Phew! What a relief it was to know that T-Bone would be in a good home. She would take care of him and I now had some money to buy enough yarn and stuffing to make myself another skeleton.

P1040460The next memorable sale that night was to a young girl about 7 years old. She looked at all my amigurumi’s carefully and then asked what she could get for a dollar. I explained to her that I really did not have anything that I could sell her for just a dollar, but she continued to study the amigurumi’s and I started to look around for her parents. I did not see them anywhere, but after a few more minutes, she left.

She came back a few minutes later with $7 in ones and some change, and the question was asked again, “What can I get for this?” So, I asked her what she wanted. And as she was studying the display some more, I started asking about her parents, and I came to learn that her parents owned a restaurant down the block. After some thought, she decided that she wanted one of my one-eyed pocket pal monsters. How much? I looked at her $7 and said “How about $2?” I had sold the other pocket pals that evening for $5, but this was unique sell so I lowered the price for her a bit. She quickly grabbed the monster and holding up the remaining $5, she repeated the question, “What can I get for this much money?” After getting her a bag, we started to pick though the table. She decided to purchase a couple of other small amigurumi’s at a discounted price.

P1020517Now with only $1 left, the question was asked again. What could I sell her for just a buck? I then spied the two little bean monsters that I had made a long time ago and were not my best work. “How about a little monster?” I asked. She agreed and was trying to decide which one of the monsters she wanted for her $1 when I picked them both up and tossed them in her bag for her. A huge smile crossed her face as she was peeking into her bag at her purchases. As she started to leave, I called her back and told her that for being one of my best customers of the evening, I had something for her, and I gave her one of the small ghosts I had made for Halloween decorations. As I dropped the ghost into her bag, she grabbed me around the waist and gave me a big hug. My heart melted. At that point she could have had the whole table. It did my heart good to have someone want my amigurumi’s as much as she did.

IMG_1659 - Version 2The last sale that I want to mention from that night was my made by my sister, bless her heart. She and my two nieces came to my show to support me and purchased several of my amigurumi’s. Although I did give her a good price on them, I still felt guilty charging her money. They are family and I should have just given the amigurumi’s to her and my nieces, but they wanted to pay for them to support me at my first show.

DSCN0483At the end of the night I had sold about 1/4 of my amigurumi’s that I had brought to show. I was surprised by which amigurumi’s sold and which ones did not sell. No one wanted Porcine the pig or Paulie the Penguin? As surprised as I was I put my remaining amigurumi into three bags and packed them away in the trunk. The next day, we stopped by some friend’s to visit them. The conversation turned to the show and the sales of my amigurumi’s.

These friends had not seen all the amigurumi’s that I had made recently, so I retrieved the three bags from the car to show them off to them. When my friend fell in love with Porcine and her husband liked Corny, the candy corn guy I made last year for Halloween, my friend asked if she could buy these two amigurumi’s from me. Sure I said, but would you like any of the others? Her response was yes and she proceeded to go through the bags and wanted to purchase all the amigurumi that I wanted to sell. She said she is always looking img_0248-1for gifts for nieces and nephews and neighbor kids. So after this final sale, I came home with just one bag of amigurumi’s left. And I now have just enough fingers to count the number of amigurumi’s that I still own.

I have very mixed emotions about the selling of my amigurumi’s. I am sad that I have parted with them and I won’t be able to look at them daily, but also so happy that they are being enjoyed by others too. Plus, I have still great memories of making them, and now will not feel guilty when I purchase more yarn and stuffing to make more in the future.

So all in all I would call my Art Show Sale a sweet, but somewhat sad success!

Until next time, crochet forth and sell on.

Thanks for the Memories

My niece recently posted some pictures on her blog of her kids in clothes I made for them many years ago. It is always great thrill for me to see new pictures of the kids. But to see them in the clothes I made is extra special, and it sent me on a trip down memory lane.

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The first picture was of her two youngest boys. She has 4 now, by the way. The older of the two boys in the picture is wearing a jacket I made for her oldest boy’s 3rd birthday, 7 years ago. Both boys looked so cute wearing the jacket. With a little reminiscing, I remembered the construction of this jacket. It was the first time I had made welt pockets. I did not want just patch pockets on this jacket and I remember reading about welt pockets in one of my sewing reference books.

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I remember sitting at the sewing machine hurrying to complete the pockets because they were coming to see us, and we were going to a local craft show at the high school. I remember hoping that the little guy would like the airplanes on the fabric and that he would be able to zip up the jacket by himself. I remember being concerned about the zipper because it was a smaller tooth zipper than I wanted to use but the color was right.

The second picture that my niece posted was of her youngest boy in a shirt I made for the oldest boy back when he was just one year old. All 4 of her boys have wore this shirt now. I am amazed it lasted this long. I made this shirt just after I got my very first embroidery machine. I used the scraps from a shirt I had just made for my husband.

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In fact, there ended up being enough scraps for two shirts in size 1. One shirt was embroidered with Mickey Mouse and the other shirt with Donald Duck. Donald Duck is my niece’s favorite Disney character so you can see which one the little guy is wearing in the picture. On these shirts, I put ribbing around the sleeves. Each time I see I picture of one of the boys in these shirts, I regret adding the ribbing. To me, the ribbing gives the shirt a feminine look and I have not added ribbing to the sleeve of a boy’s shirt since.

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I would like to thank my niece for posting the pictures and for taking care of the clothes, I made so that each boy could enjoy them and I could see them wearing them.  Now that she has 4 boys and the oldest is a tween and is becoming very particular about what he wears, I have not done any sewing for them recently. But, with as much as I love sewing for kids, it might be time to get back to the sewing machine and get some new clothes made.

Happy Independence Day!

I would just like to wish everyone out there in the blogosphere a happy, safe and sane 4th of July! I will be spending my 4th with family and friends and I sincerely hope all of you will be able to do the same!

Have a slice of Apple or Cherry pie for me!

And no blowing off any body parts with illegal fireworks!

It’s a little hard to sew, crochet or craft when you are missing some fingers.

Spending some time with my Sister

I had the rare opportunity to go fabric shopping with my sister here recently. My niece and her family went to Disneyland and their grandma, my sister, went with them to help out with the youngest child. Our hope was to meet up with them for a day or two, but I could not get the time off work. So we decided to make it a day trip and meet up with them at Downtown Disney. It was great to see them and we had a wonderful visit over lunch. Our plan was to just hang out around Downtown Disney with them for a while, but that morning they received the Disney Year of a Million Dreams Dream Passes from a Disney Cast Member so they did not have to stand in lines all day long. I hated to keep them from the chance to use their passes, so my niece and her family were sent back to the park to play, but I stole my sister away from them for a few hours.

We headed straight for M&L Fabric store in Anaheim. We had a great time there. I love to shop with my sister. She has many great ideas. It was so much fun just to spend time with her. We talked constantly about sewing, crocheting and other craft projects. The plan was for me to ship her fabric to her when she got home, so she did not buy very much. I, on the other hand, went a little crazy, but that was to be expected. 

After the fabric store we headed for the Disney outlet store. We had even more fun at this store. We both bought gifts and souvenirs. Both of us were so excited when we left the store about all the fun treasures we had found.

We then dropped my sister back off at the gates of Disney and met up with the rest of the family for pictures and goodbyes. It looked like they had had a fun day with the passes. I miss my sister, and I am so glad that I had the chance to spend some time with her.