The Not-So-Grouchy Ladybug

My son absolutely LOVES Eric Carle’s The Grouchy Ladybug.

the-grouchy-ladybug

I don’t recall ever seeing it growing up, but I read a lot of Carle’s other stories such as The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The Very Busy Spider, and Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? It’s a nice feeling to read a kid’s book for the first time along with your child. I think one of the main reasons he likes it so much is how it’s read – such as voice inflection and enthusiasm. For a while, we had to read it multiple times in a row (and at one point we may have even hidden it) but now we’ve moved onto other stories. We still read it at bedtime on occasion and he even quotes it once in  a while.

Needless to say, when a customer messaged me on Etsy about making a ladybug, I definitely took it into consideration. I figured that if I made one and didn’t think it worthy of my customer, I’d just give it to my son and say it was the Grouchy Ladybug.

Luckily, I was very happy with how it turned out!

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I sent a few pictures to my customer and she absolutely loved it! I was so happy that she liked it as much as I did. So, a listing was created, the invoice paid, and this cute, little bug was shipped out right away.

See? It never hurts to ask a seller if they’d be willing to do a custom order despite the fact that they don’t normally do them. 🙂

I’m planning on making another one to make sure my pattern is all there (I’ve been known to leave off instructions for various pieces) and will be adding it to my shop. I figure it might be a good idea to include some items that aren’t video game characters. A little variety never hurt anyone! I should have a listing for this little guy up in a few weeks at the most. I just need to finish up some Etsy orders!

I’m actually considering making a few more characters/animals from some of my son’s other favorite books/shows. I need to make a list of things I’d like to make. I’ve made one before, but I only got around to making a few. A lot of what I wrote down either intimidated me or didn’t seem as good of an idea as when I wrote it down. At the moment, the next item on my list is “Whacka” from Super Paper Mario on the N64:

whackaSource

My brother asked me about a month ago to make one for him and I’ve (sort of) looked into it. Sure, the body is easy enough, but what about the dirt/rocks?! Hmmm… I have some ideas that I may have to test run, but that’s all part of the fun! I just need to make sure I don’t tie off anything during the testing process so the yarn doesn’t go to waste if I need to frog it (I’m awful at that – I’ve thrown away numerous feet, etc). But this looks like a fun project – I love little Whacka! He’s so cute.

I’m always open to suggestions – video game characters or otherwise! Just leave a comment or send me an Etsy message! 🙂

As always, thanks for reading!

-Rachel

WIP Wednesday 2/15/17

Hello and Happy (late) Valentine’s Day! I hope you had a wonderful day yesterday whether it was with friends, family, or your significant other! ❤

My Valentine’s Day went well starting off with introducing my 2 1/2-year-old to preschool! I won’t lie to you – during that less than 5 minute drive I went through just about every emotion possible. As one of my friends said, “Starting any child in school, whether elementary or preschool, is bittersweet.” And it truly is! It means that your child is no longer a baby (regardless of the fact that you still call him “baby” out of habit) and is turning into a kid. But the sight of him playing with the other 2-year-olds and doing school-related activities just made me so happy. He’ll only be attending one day a week for the time being (because the other class is full at the moment) but I believe it will still be enough for him for now.

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Valentine’s Day projects

 

After that adventure, it was really just our usual day aside from the beautiful roses my hubby surprised me with. 🙂

And now for the main part of this post: my WIP.

A few weeks back, I had to make a run to Jo-Ann’s to find some yarn for an Etsy order (Michael’s NEVER has what I want. Ugh). After I picked up what I needed, we browsed around the yarn section to see what deals they had going on. In a bin right outside the fiber area was this:

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So soft and fluffy!

 

Isn’t this just the oddest yarn EVER? It’s called the Bernat Home Bundle, and I’ve never seen it before. My MIL and I were so intrigued by this and wondered how it would look all worked up, that we bought 3 skeins of it for a small afghan. When I got home, and finished up my order, this blanket was the next project I took up.

It’s such a weird yarn to use because it has 4 different textures/styles. But that’s also what makes it so neat because I get to experience these different textures that I (probably) would never use on their own. And what I like the most about it is how quickly it works up since the yarn is so thick! I’m using the biggest hook I own which, I think, is a size P (it’s not marked on my hook). Has anyone else used this yarn? What did you make?

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We’ve got fleecy, ropey, fuzzy, and twirly.

 

Thus far, the only thing that really bothers me is how the different pieces of yarn are connected:

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Bleh.

 

It looks sloppy and unappealing but, in reality, how else can it be connected without threads? It would look even worse if they were just tied together. It does leave you with a few weird spots as you go along, but that’s really only if you get this join right in the middle of a stitch:

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Not too noticeable… unless you’re looking closely.

 

All in all, it’s a very pretty skein of yarn and it works up nicely. I was just trying to make a simple throw to use on the couch so it’s not very big. However, I think I made it just a bit too wide at 90 stitches (~47″) because I’m, more or less, ending up with one row of each yarn whereas I wanted it to blend in a bit more. Kind of like when you’re using a long variegated yarn and you end up with a row of pink, then a row of purple, then a row of blue instead of a mix of the colors together. But I’ve come too far to frog it so I’m going to keep on going. As I’m adding in new skeins, it does change it up a smidge even though I’m trying my best to keep it the same.

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Pretty neat, right?

I’m on my 3rd (4th? I can’t remember…) skein now and am at about 30″ long. But this does work up quickly and if it’s a little shorter than I wanted, that’s okay. It’s not supposed to fit on a bed or anything. Just something to throw on while on the couch playing games or watching TV. I’ve been slightly preoccupied recently so it has been set aside, but I want to start working on it again and finish it up (I don’t want another unfinished blanket like this one).

Aside from this blanket, I’ve been working on some Etsy orders and even did a custom one! But I’m going to make a separate post for that, so keep an eye out! 🙂

Thanks for tuning in! Enjoy the rest of your week.

Rachel

Hello, 2017!

Hi, everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and rang in the new year the best way you could!

As you may have noticed, I have been quite absent recently – I apologize. Sometimes life can get in the way and, honestly, blogging has not been high on my list of priorities. It happens to the best of us.

The biggest news of 2016 was the birth of my second son!

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At 1-week old

As you can imagine, we were quite busy with preparations for our newest bundle of joy. He basically made us finally start all of the house repairs/decorating that we had put off for the last year. Our office was painted  (along with new furniture, etc) and turned into our oldest’s room, the nursery remained the same but freshly painted, our upstairs bedroom was painted and furnished to become our guest room, and the “bonus room” has now become our game room/office with non-squeaky floorboards, patched walls, and fresh paint. This all took quite some time and, since I was pregnant, I couldn’t really help with much of it… again. Luckily, we had a lot of help from my in-laws so it didn’t take too long (although the baby’s room wasn’t done until a few weeks after his birth. Hehe).

During the last year, I haven’t created any new patterns, but I hope to this year. We’ll call it a “goal” since it’s the new year and all. Maybe I will set my goal at 3-5 new patterns. Perhaps even some of them will be free patterns available to you! I just need to figure out what I’d like to make. If you’ve been a follower for a while (thank you!) you may have noticed that I tend to go towards the round characters. My husband says I need to branch out a bit and show off my skills, but the round ones are just soooooo easy. Is there anything that you would like to see? I need some inspiration… 🙂

Though I haven’t done much in the way promoting of my shop (or blog for that matter) I have still been gaining new followers and this last year was quite successful in regards to my shop. I was curious to see how my last few years compared to each other, so I checked them out:

etsy-stats-2013 etsy-stats-2014

etsy-stats-2015 etsy-stats-2016

It seems I am pretty consistent in the amount of orders! But what you (I) need to remember is that this is each order – not individual items. If you want to see how many items I sold, it goes like this:

  • 2013 – 37
    • Really it’s more like 33 or so. My MIL bought a few items when I first opened the shop to help get me started with some good feedback. 😉
  • 2014 – 30
  •  2015 – 34
  • 2016 – 43

It’s nice to see that the number is going up! It doesn’t seem like a lot, about 2 orders a month, but it’s a nice amount. I like the jump in sales in November/December (although I don’t at the time haha). I actually had some items made ahead of time so I was able to send them about a bit quicker. But I’m not going to lie – since I changed my processing time to 1-2 weeks, I definitely use that to my advantage. It’s much more relaxing and I don’t feel so rushed. However, sometimes my procrastination hits me hard and I don’t get it out until the last day. I’m bad, I know. I need to work on that. Maybe another resolution?

Anywho, I hope you have all been well and wish you the best for this new year! 🙂

-Rachel

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Merry Christmas! (4 months)

The Cilantro Cowl Adventure

Okay, so it wasn’t really an adventure. But it was definitely an experience! And the cowl was only coincidental.

In December, I was itching to do some crocheting OTHER than Christmas Etsy orders so I went searching the interwebs for something to make. Of course, I ended up with another cowl/scarf. I just can’t help myself! They are just so soothing and easy to make and I don’t really need to focus too much on it. What  a relief!

For this project, I finally used one of the skeins I picked up during the SD Yarn Crawl this past fall. I decided that it was time to use the gorgeous purple skein that I had always intended for a scarf! The yarn I used was Malabrigo Rios in Purpuras. It is 100% Superwash Merino Wool which I have never used before. Up until the Yarn Crawl, I don’t think I had ever purchased a yarn other than acrylic. This yarn is nice and soft, but I haven’t washed it yet so I don’t know how it will turn out.

The pattern I finally chose to work on was the Cilantro Cowl by Jennifer Dickerson over at Fiber Flux Blog. Since I used a purple color, however, my cowl is more like the “Red Cabbage” cowl. Haha!

Anyway, you may be wondering what kind of adventure could be involved with a cowl. Well, let me tell you: that was the night I found out were the water shut-off valve to our house was.

Oh. My. Goodness. What a night!

It had been raining on and off all day and night and it was also really windy. Not your typical San Diego weather. Around, ohhh, 9:30 pm or so, I was sitting on the couch crocheting and watching some Anthony Bourdain on Netflix (the show name escapes me at this moment, but it’s the one on CNN), when I heard the wind pick up and heard something slam. I figured it must have been the trash can so I didn’t concern myself too much with it.

However, right after the slam I heard noises coming from our water softener/purifier in the garage. We have it set to run once a week to do its business, and recently the power had been shut off so the times were messed up. I figured it must be running a cycle of some sort, which I knew was unusual for so late at night. So, I just kind of ignored it for a bit and went back to work. After a bit, the sound started irritating me because it was a little loud and the baby was sleeping so I didn’t want to wake him up. I went out and unplugged the machine thinking that would solve the problem, but I still heard the noises! Then I realized that the noise wasn’t coming from the machine, but from the pipes and in the wall.

On a whim, I opened the side door to our garage and stuck my head out. I could hear water, but it was more that just the rain. So, I stepped out a bit and looked back towards our side gate and I saw water seeping under the fence! I rushed to the gate and opened it up and stopped in my tracks. The stupid rubber/plastic shed that the previous owners had left behind had fallen over sideways in the wind right on top of the one, and only, water pipe sticking out of the house. Oh, and the pipe has freakin’ pvc pipes!!! Who does that?! With my superhuman strength (okay, not really) I pulled the mini shed off of the pipe half-expecting water to start shooting in my face in some giant geyser. Luckily (I guess), the water was pouring down from the pipe, but it was flooding the back corner of our yard. I called my husband in a panic asking him where the water shut-off was, but he wasn’t sure either and had to find out (we’re new homeowners, don’t judge us!).

While I waited for a return call (with a dying cell phone), I looked frantically around the house for a flashlight since we have ZERO lighting in the corner of the yard. During the year, I swear I see sooooo many flashlights, but this night I couldn’t find a SINGLE ONE. ZERO. NADA. It was so frustrating! After what seemed like forever, my husband called back and said the valve was under the water softener so I ran to shut it off.

Success!

But now I was soaked, cold, and upset. I should mention that I did end up getting sprayed in the face with water when I tried (in vain) to stick the pipe back in the, uh, pipe – I had no idea what I was doing! While this experience wasn’t the worst thing to happen, it was a big deal for me. It seems like these things always happen when I am alone and I am unprepared. After this, my husband texted me and said he was leaving work early (he was working nights). To pass the time until he got back, I went back to crocheting since I was too wired to do much else. Right as he returned home, I finished up the cowl.

Here is the finished product:Cilantro Infinity Scarf

It’s not very long, but that’s because the skein I used only has 210 yards. I wish I had had more yarn, but I also hate leaving projects unfinished and didn’t want to search for some more yarn. Plus, after a night like that, a finished project made me feel better! This picture shows the color best. It’s a very nice deep purple. The close-up shots make it look much light and washed out:

Cilantro Infinity Scarf 2

But here you can better see the texture and pattern. It’s a really simple pattern and fun to do with a mixture of puff stitches and double crochets.

Oh, and if you’re interested, here is a picture of the water pipe:

Broken Water Pipe

I guess you can’t really tell, but that area with the brown “ring” is the broken portion. It broke right at the end of the metal coming from the wall. We’ve since replaced the pvc pipes with copper, but have yet to get rid of the shed (we need to take it to the dump).

And that’s my adventure!

Mostly, I just wanted to do a post to let you know I was still alive. 😉 And since that cowl was the most recent thing I made, and had an interesting story attached, I figured it was a good enough post!

Do you  know where YOUR water shut-off valve is?

Busy, busy, busy!

I feel as though I haven’t stopped crocheting since my last post – but that’s ridiculous.

I have been kept busy, however, after my addition of Poochy into my Etsy shop. I sold my first one the day after I listed it! 😀 Since then, I have also sold 3 more. I had to update my shipping time (for this listing only) to 1-2 weeks because it is so time consuming. I haven’t actually timed myself to see how long it takes because I keep making them in bits and pieces. I actually started to make multiples of the pieces so I could have a sort of assembly line thing going on (which my husband has been telling me to do pretty much since I started selling things!). I’m still working on one order and had another order yesterday. I have until Friday to ship out the previous one, so I still have time. I’m in the process of sewing all of the pieces right now, so I should have it ready to go either tomorrow or the next day. I haven’t renewed the listing yet because I feel like I need a bit of a breather. Whew!

I also sold a cow the other day which was a nice change. I haven’t made one in a while and I forgot how cute it was! I meant to take some new pictures to update the listing, but I really wanted to get it out so I didn’t get around to it. Since the holidays are coming up, I’m sure I’ll have plenty of chances to take some. 😉

Cow and Poochy

Aside from the surge of orders (it had been quiet for a while!), I have discovered a new obsession. Well, “obsession” is a bit much. But I can’t call it a hobby either…

ANYWAY. My SIL came down to visit us last month and she is an avid planner/notebook(er)/scrapbooker and she uncovered my hidden love of rubber stamps. I never really had any before (aside from the crappy ones you have as a kid), but I’ve always liked them. I just never bought any for whatever reason. While wandering around different craft stores, I finally picked up two stamps, an inkpad, and some kraft tags so I could start adding a little something to my Etsy orders. The first two stamps were a “Thank you” and a “Handmade by.” I felt this was a nice start!

For my birthday, my SIL gave me an Etsy gift card which I used to buy some MORE STAMPS! XD

I ordered some Mario Bros stamps from Kindred Stamps which I absolutely love and have already started using on my order receipts and the shipping labels.

Mario Stamps

I also ordered a few more stamps from Rad stamps, but I haven’t received them yet (waiting anxiously). And, last but not least, I finally got around to getting some washi tape from Mind the Wrap. It’s a nice little touch to the packaging.

But that’s just from the gift card!

After that ran out, I made a stop at Michael’s during their big Halloween/Fall sale and picked up another inkpad and a package of stamps! But that’s it – I swear!

Oh, wait.

I also ordered a shop stamp, too! Hehe

Here’s a bad phone shot of all of my goodies (so far):

Stamp Collection

I tried to edit it a bit… it kinda helped.

Okay, okay, okay. That’s it for realsies (I think).

Well, back to work I go! I have to finish up these Poochys because I actually have a somewhat busy social schedule coming up: a friend visiting this weekend, a wedding to attend next week, and I’m hosting Thanksgiving. It may not sound like a lot, but to me it’s a very exciting month!

TTFN!

What about you? Have you found a new obsession/hobby?

New Listing – Poochy

Oh my goodness!

Due to the recent release of Yoshi’s Woolly World, my post about Poochy has been visited so many times! Most of my visitors have been referred from reddit, so it kind of makes me feel like a celebrity! Haha!

I have been having many requests to make Poochy, so I decided that it is a good time to test out my pattern and list it in my shop!

New Poochy Collage

Check out the new listing here!

🙂

Oh, and Happy Birthday to me!

FO Friday – Monster Blanket

It’s been a little quiet around here. Not too much to report!

Right now I am working on a big Etsy order – 5 items! I hope to have them all done soon so I can ship them out. They’re going alllll the waaaayy to the UK! I don’t typically do international orders, but they asked so nicely. It never hurts to ask, ya know?

I also finished the monster blanket a while back. Here’s the best picture I have:

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Baby photobomb again!

Soooo much work! I don’t think I’ll be doing anything that big again any time soon. Did I mention I was going to be lazy and put fabric on the back in order to NOT weave in my ends? Yeah… and add some kind of border as well.

Hope you had a good week and have an even better weekend!