Friday, October 28, 2011

How to Fix Congress

This a 'Status Update' from a friend of mine I want to share. Please read and think about this. If you agree please pass this information on to your friends and relatives.

Status Update
By Columbus J Smith

Warren Buffett, "I could end the deficit in 5 minutes," he told CNBC. "You just ...pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP, all
sitting members of Congress are ineligible for re-election.

The 26th Amendment (granting the right to vote for 18 year-olds) took only 3 months
& 8 days to be ratified! Why? Simple! The people demanded it. That was in
1971...before computers, e-mail, cell phones, etc. Of the 27 amendments to
the Constitution, seven (7) took 1 year or less to become the law of the
land...all because of public pressure.

Warren Buffet is asking each addressee to forward this email to a minimum of
twenty people on their address list; in turn ask each of those to do
In three days, most people in The United States of America will have the
message. This is one idea that really should be passed around.

*Congressional Reform Act of 2011*

1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman collects a salary while in office
and receives no pay when they are out of office.

2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security. All
funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security
system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system,
and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for
any other purpose.

3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans

4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay
will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%.

5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the
same health care system as the American people.

6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American

7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/12.
The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen
made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor,
not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours
should serve their term's), then go home and back to work.

If each person contacts a minimum of twenty people then it will only take
three days for most people (in the U.S.) to receive the message. Maybe it is

THIS IS HOW YOU FIX CONGRESS!!!!! If you agree with the above, pass it on.

Friday, September 30, 2011

I Did It

Since my last post, the time has been fantastic! I have spent the last 10 days finishing and producing, I still have a ways to go but I accomplished a portion on my feat.

I'm not going to make this a long drawn out story but I really feel good. The biggest problem I have are my pictures. I have a new camera and it absolutely seems to hate me. I can't get this thing to do what I want it to do to save my life. It was an impulse purchase. I couldn't find my old one, I thought it was lost, you see I had loaned it out, only to find it in my bed under a pile of yarn after I had ordered and received the new one. Now I can't find the old one. No, it's not in my bed :D

Any who, these are the pics of the hats I did manage to finish and make this week. The lime green and black ones were special orders for a girl's biker club. The other's are the ones I had made earlier this year and not finished, they are listed now.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Procrastinator or ADHD

pro·cras·ti·nate /prəˈkræstəˌneɪt/ verb

pro·cras·ti·nates; pro·cras·ti·nat·ed; pro·cras·ti·nat·ing [no obj] : to be slow or late about doing something that should be done : to delay doing something until a later time because you do not want to do it, because you are lazy, etc.

▪ He procrastinated and missed the submission deadline. He told her to stop procrastinating and get to work.

I haven't quite figured out which category I fit into. I'm really good at starting projects and completing some. It's the big finishes that get me. I can sit and crochet all day, a ton of this or that. The hard part is over, I tell myself. Making the item wasn't really the hard part. I've found that the hard part is the complete finishing.

Above there is a picture I took back in February of Fedora's I made and to this day, guess what? You're right. They are incomplete. I'm still stumped as to hatbands or no hatbands. Flowers or cording. Ribbon, satin or grosgrain. See my dilemma. So tell me, am I a procrastinator, do I have AHDD, lazy or maybe just overwhelmed.

Honestly, I think I just hate furnishing's. Wish I could afford to contract that part out but my sister says I wouldn't be satisfied because my biggest problem is I'm a perfectionist looking for the perfect finish. In the mean time I'm running out of storage space.

Am I the only one with this problem between us craftsters? I haven't finished the solids and already started work on the two-toned ones. Now tell me, does this make sense? While writing this my mind is already at work on the tri-colored ones. Will someone please, please, send me the finishing karma.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Holidays and Sales

Developing good sales skills is key to having a successful business. Whether you're selling online, have a brick-and-mortar store, or sell at shows, your interaction with your customers can make or break your business.

Ex: My daughter and I were in the grocery store the other night about a half hour before closing and one of the workers said to another that they were asked to box out that night before leaving. She went on to say that tomorrow was her day off so therefore, she wasn’t willing to do what was asked of her and that she would leave the work the next morning’s shift, seeing that it was going to be her day off.

I told my daughter after leaving the store, I knew there was a reason I never liked that store much anymore and that it always seemed to have an odor. It’s not the odor as much as the distaste for the employees. Believe it or not our customers, even online are watching and listening very carefully. This once upon a time was a store I would leave my neighborhood to visit and now only stop when I need something from the store next door, one stop shopping.

Attitude is everything especially in sales. Next time you are out running errands and visiting retail shops, take note of what you like and what you don’t like. Use these lessons to be a better salesperson for your own goods. Most artists and crafters would not call themselves salesmen or women, but it’s all part of the job. You need to not only sell your work, but you need to sell yourself as well!

Most of us appreciate being greeted when we enter a retail establishment. Make sure you welcome your potential customers at arts and crafts shows and also on your web shop. Let the customer know you appreciate them, and you’ll be surprised at the loyalty you develop over time. A loyal customer is what you need for your own goods or services!

You don’t need to hover or coddle the customer, but try some of these tips to develop a good rapport with your customers.

A smile shows you are engaging

A piece of wrapped candy in the package of goods you ship off says you were thinking of them

Make your online storefront greeting happy and appreciative, allow your customers to that you are there for them

Include a handwritten ‘Thank You’ note in your packages

Every customer you have has the potential to tell their family and friends about your crafts, your art, or your creative service. Grassroots promotion and word of mouth is the strongest endorsement (or liability) you can have. You like it when you, as the customer, are treated like the king, so treat all your customers like royalty too.

So let's bruch up on our skills, take a long look at our online shops and get ready for the Holidays, they are upon us.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Leaf Trimmed Wristlets - FREE

I know you've been wondering where has she been. Has she stopped blogging all together, well, no. I've been really, really busy this summer and not counting it has been extremely hot in good ole MO.

I took my son back to school this past Monday and every corn field I passed in KS was burned, dry, golden... maybe a partial green stalk here or there. I don't think this is what was meant by amber waves of grain.

While the grass in my front and back yard were turning a little brown, the tomato plant in my Topsy Turvy struggled to survive, I sat in the ac creating this pattern. It's amazing sometimes how things just come to you. I have so many incomplete items to finish an while finishing hats for the fall, I saw matching wristlets, so I set about to create them.

I've made it a bad habit of seeing creations and not recording them. It's not like I don't have a journal or tape recorder, they just don't seem to come to mind when I'm working. Now if I only had that Dragon thing, that takes dictation I'd be all right, it would certainly make entering patterns into docs easier and also blogging. That's just one of the things on my to get list in the future. Had to purchase a new camera this summer, the other one decided it was tired, the on switch is stuck.

This pattern is versatile. It can either be Wristlets or Fingerless Gloves. The choice is yours. I give directions for both.

I listed the pattern today in my shop on ETSY. If any of my followers are interested please contact me and for the next week I will send you a FREE copy.
This offer is good until August 18, 2011.

I have several other patterns I'm working on and writing to share and sell. They should be ready soon, the kids are back in school, the house is clear, quiet and the computers are free.

Visit often to see what's new. Don't forget to visit my Favorites page to see what's happening at ETSY.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Eight Ways To Advertise Your Craft Business

Now that you’re starting with your new business it is imperative that people should know all about it. And now I shall present you with the 8 most effective ways in advertising your craft business the cheapest way.

Attend community events. Potential clients are found anywhere, attending events and socializing with others would be a great way of finding them. Giving them business cards, stunning smile and assuring hand shake would surely give them away.

Get referrals. The most common but best way of advertising is the word of mouth. We all know that it’s not easy to earn one’s trust because they are careful not to be deceived. Now having rendered good service to your clients would be a good thing to do because they can be the instrument in gaining other people’s trust. All you have to do after giving them quality service is to allure their friends and family to try your reliability.

Give free class presentation. Students might not have the money to purchase your goods but they have the ability to persuade their parents to purchase the goods they want. It can also be a good way of advertising for many schools run regular programs and presentations that are financed by local businesses and members of the community.

Write an article for a newspaper or magazine. Advertising through media is very much costly but writing articles for it is not. The secret to publishing it is that the articles must be made to target the interest of your customer and not just for your business advertisement.

Host a networking event. A lot of groups do business card exchange monthly. Hosting it would mean a larger scale of referrals and customers.

Use the power of the social media. People these days are fond of using social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter. Communicating with your clients and promoting your products through these sites would mean a lot of publicity. You can also do blogs which is very common for people nowadays.

Use fliers and booklets. Distributing booklets to people and placing fliers in strategic locations with information that would catch their attention would be an ideal thing to do.

Engage in trade shows and table-top mixers. This might be expensive if you can’t find a mixer. But if you do, you’d just be able to spend a hundred dollar for a table. Just get in contact and follow-up the people you meet in the event and you’d surely have great chance of boosting your business and staying in the spotlight.

There might be a lot of ways to advertise your business but still perseverance and commitment would always be needed.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Office Feng Shui

Feng Shui Tip by Ellen Whitehurst for Friday, June 17

I thought today I would share a piece of email with you. I found this to be interesting so I'm sharing, not deleting :D. As business people we all have an office of some sort, so enjoy.

Today's energies honor all those dads who bring home the bacon from the back of the house. That's right, today is 'Work at Home Father's Day,' a time to celebrate those pops whose children might require a diaper change but who also celebrate the baby who puts the wind in his sails: his business! So today I want to share some secret home office Shui, while also disclosing that I use almost all of these tips in my own home office space. First, red flowering plants or yellow chrysanthemums blooming in the Fame area of the office will bring both riches and laughter if they're bought or picked on October ninth and kept in a vase for 27 days. These plants are believed to bestow a position of respect and high rank! If the flowers begin to wilt, replace them immediately. An image of a mountain behind your desk will lend strength, courage and support, and anyone who approaches the desk will now subconsciously know that you're an immovable force to be reckoned with. A small statue of the Chinese Zodiac animal or ally that correlates to the year of your birth will bring a stronger sense of self worth, esteem, confidence, and greater power. This glass or crystal animal should sit on an octagonal mirror, and should be placed on a piece of red cloth on the far right hand side or corner of the desk. Bright lights burning in any office bring even brighter opportunities. But the most secret Shui for increasing opportunities, respect and vast rewards is to raise the level of your desk by a few inches. Position blocks of wood under each leg of the desk and then adjust the chair to match the new view. Speaking of having an excellent view, doing any or all of these cures inside your home office will have immediate, tangible and terrific results. Happy 'Work at Home Father's Day' to all those dads who've birthed a business! We honor you!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Road Trip

ROAD TRIP!!!!!! No I'm not headed to Mexico but I am off on a Road Trip this week. Friday my freshman daughter ends her first year of college. Her dad thinking that she would be homesick was in for a big surprise, if he didn't call her, she certainly didn't call him and he called them every night. Me I enjoyed the freedom, the peace and quiet. So my oldest daughter and I will take a 3 hour trek to pick the little one up.

I did say them, didn't I? Well, next week come Thursday I'm on another ROAD TRIP!!! I have to drive to a little town called Arkansas City in Kansas. Mind you I live in St. Louis, Mo. I think the fun part of this trip is that I will get a chance to drive through Coffeyville, Ks, Place I thought only existed in cowboy movies, boy was I in for a big surprise when I actually saw that on the map. This should be about a six hour drive to pick the boy up.

Right now he's running track at a community college, his dream is to run in the Olympics. He's the second fastest in the 400 (whatever that is) and about 5 seconds off the record time in the US. His dad says he likes to run around in circles. Well, he played football and basketball in high school. But the year he started running track, it took to it like a duck to water and hasn't looked back.

I'm gonna get some rest and focus on my drives and pray for peace and safety both ways, both times. Next week I'll be making the drive alone, without the company of my 30 something daughter, but she's always with me in spirit and so are you guys.

Until next time be creative, be safe, be happy and love.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Customer Service

I recently had an experience with on of my customers that I truly found to be a learning experience. She didn't teach me anything that I didn't already know but she helped me to be I feel a better seller. She also boosted my ego.

None of us want to hear that there is a problem with our merchandise. That just snatches the rug from under you, "Oh, no!", the first response, what could be wrong. The product in question has been sold over and over again in the past. Not one customer has contacted me with this problem.

At first when the customer told me she was new to the craft, I felt she just misread the booklet. I checked my hard drive (I just recently had my computer in the shop - virus')found the file and looked at it, checked the pages, I didn't and couldn't see the problem. I resent a new file to the client, now there's a separate problem. I still couldn't find it.

So in keeping with the lessons learned throughout the years of shopping and working in retail, I did the only thing I could do, I used the lessons:
1. The customer is always right.
2. When you can't do anything else go back and see rule number 1.

Dealing with Sears some years ago, I remember the saying they used " Satisfaction Guaranteed or Your Money Back." I bought a sewing machine from them with a specific cabinet, in '83. When I picked up my purchase and got it home my ex put it together and it was the wrong cabinet, beautiful and larger than the one I purchased and more expensive. I took it back to the store and explained what happened. The cabinet I purchased had been discontinued and they offered me dinged up floor model, of course I declined the offer, I paid for a new one.

The salesperson went to management and came back with a better offer. I could keep the new more expensive cabinet, $200 more. Of course, I was surprised, why? Even though over the entrance to the building the slogan was there clear and in plain sight, I didn't believe them. I had another incident with them and the same thing happened, they were true to their slogan, 'Satisfaction Guaranteed or Your Money Back', got to love Sears.

In Mystery Shopping, I critique services for major companies, I love doing this and seeing the changes on the managers and clerks faces when they find out who I am. Needless to say the service gets better, which it should have been at peak performance anyway and the managers always offer something extra to offset what happened when I was suspected to be the typical Joe off the streets.

In dealing with my clients I use what I've learned from Sears and Mystery Shopping and those old rules and do whatever it takes to make my customer happy. A happy customer is a return customer. I often check with them to see if everything is going well with the item purchased and inquire about the family or how's the weather and they in turn check on me. I love this.

It's okay to build a relationship with your clients, let them know that you're human and that you care. It makes their day and yours. About this last client I refunded a portion of their payment for the missing pieces they won't be able to utilize. Here is the comment they had:

Hi Sheryl,

Thank you very much. You're a super seller, thank you for your
patience and all your help. I'll enjoy the rest of the patterns, they
are very beautiful.

These grateful words mean a lot to me as a seller and helps build confidence. Always do and give your best, that's why we're in business for ourselves and please try and put yourself in their shoes, think of how you want to be treated and rest is easy.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


About a week ago I was sitting here at my computer, which has finally been healed, it had a virus. Well, back to my train of crossed my mind that April was nearing it's end and there was no Easter.

That's right, no Easter. "What the hay! What happened to Easter?" I was puzzled and confused. Did I miss it? Had I slept through it? Has it been cancelled? So I decided to look at my calender and to my surprise found it. No I hadn't missed, it's just a little late this year. I'm use to the good ole days, mid-March to mid-April. What happened this year, can anyone tell me? I think it's time that we make holidays stationary as not to confuse those of us that run on set clock. Some surprises are okay, like birthday parties, but when you're planning sales, holiday dinners and vacations and these people play with the calendar all willy-nilly, it throws some of us off.

Now that I've found myself and the missing Easter Sunday, here's wishing you all a Happy Easter, a successful egg hunt and all the other grand and glorious things that goes along with this day.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Reasons Why Some Stay Hobbyists

Getting Beyond Etsy - Beyond Craft Shows and Into the Big Blue Yonder of Making Money

Creative people ask me questions all the time about their creative product businesses. All sorts of questions - and usually they want to show me the products they're making and ask me if they're viable in the marketplace.

I've discovered the reason for this question is not what I originally thought.

Usually they want validation that they are good enough to operate a profitable business.

Many want to know where they should start or they've already started and have yet to make any real money. Sadly some think there is something wrong with their product or become convinced they are destined to create for family and friends and not make any money.

They have resigned themselves to being a hobby rather than a business - not because they aren't talented, have good ideas or amazing products but because they don't know what to do differently than what they're doing already.

Here are reasons creative people stay hobbyists when they want to have a money making business:

1.Well meaning Family and Friends: It's interesting how seemingly well meaning family and friends sabotage your business. They start saying things to you like, "why don't you get a real job" or "you'll never make any money doing this" or "that's okay honey we love your stuff." Here's the thing - it's not the family and friends who are doing the sabotaging - it's that you're listening to them and allowing their opinions to shape you. Are they entrepreneurs - have they ever started a successful business? Probably not - so why are you listening to them and valuing their opinion? Step away from the negativity.

2.Etsy Mentality: I love this one! How many times have I heard, "Well I just want to get my Etsy site up and then I can start making money?" Oh my! Don't get me wrong I think Etsy and similar sites such as Artfire are wonderful for getting started or what I call "toe-dipping" but to stay stuck in the Etsy mentality where your life revolves around Etsy and selling one to one and all the other issues and criteria that are required just plain keep you small. I'm sorry somebody's got to say it! Stepping beyond Etsy and the small craft show route will grow your business. Yes maybe its fear that's holding you back - but I guarantee there's a whole huge world out there wanting to embrace you. Step away from the Etsy mentality and step into your gift and your greatness.

3.Do everything themselves: Start-up businesses in the creative product or craft arena are often small. You've got a great idea or product and now what? You soon learn that there are so many more parts to a business besides the product. You now have to have a website, accounting, sourcing, a business license, shipping etc. There are so many things to do - some of it is busy work - some parts are things beyond your expertise. The greatest mistake you can make is limiting yourself by saying "I'll hire someone when I can afford it." If that is your mantra - you will never be able to hire someone. Start delegating the one thing you dislike or is not your core competency that will give you more time to work ON your business and not IN your business. You do have the money - you have money for supplies - this is a supply you need to have a profitable business and not a hobby.

4.The Blog excuse: I have talked to people who tell me they can't start their business until their blog or their website is done. It's not done for one reason and one reason alone - it's an excuse. If getting your blog done determined your income you would get it done no matter what it took.

5.Don't want to sell: In order to make money you have to sell - this means money has to change hands - from the buyer's hands to your hands. Without sales no matter what you do you will not make money or become profitable. Brian Tracy says most businesses spend only 11% of their time on sales. If you double that to 22% you've doubled your sales! Anyone can learn how to sell - you've been doing it your entire life since you were born. How else have you gotten what you want? Learn how to sell your product and once your line is created this is where the majority of your time needs to be spent.

Are you ready to throw these excuses to the wind and get beyond the hobby business? It takes drive, determination and yes, work. If you're willing and open to learn - you CAN do it. Don't give up your dream and let these reasons stop you!

© 2011 Jane Button International Design2Market Success

Online creative product mentor Jane Button publishes "Design 2 Market News" weekly ezine packed full of with tips to help make you money from your Sewn or Knit Product, Design, Gift, or Craft Business. If you're ready to take off the training wheels and turn your creative passion into a profitable business, get your FREE tips now at

Sunday, March 20, 2011

My First Day of Spring

It's the first day of Spring,yayyyy! It was a beautiful day, 79 in the house and 81 outside. I opened the windows and turned on the attic fan to draw out the heat. Didn't work. I was almost tempted to turn on the a/c, but that didn't make good sense when thought out, it's too early in the year, so I decided to sit outside enjoy the sunlight, while crocheting and took a walk around the neighborhood. Neighbors are out walking, sitting and barbequeing. It sure smells good. Plants are blooming, my buttercups are up and out. My hostas' are peeping through and the bamboos have turned green.

The kids are out playing, riding bikes and walking. Everyone is enjoying the weather. What I should have done was walk up to the park about three blocks away but I didn't wear my tennis, I had on my Nike flip flops so that wasn't good for treading through grass, plus we got plenty of rain last night.

In our subdivision there is an apartment complex, riding or walking I look for one particular apartment, this one you can't miss. There is always a chair aside the patio door. Well, today, just as I had figured the older lady that lives there was out sitting in her chair, reading a book. She never ceases to amaze me or maybe I should say she never let's me down. I can always count on her to sit on that patio with book in hand. That's when I know it's a nice day, a good day to be out and a great day to be alive.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

National Quilt Day

I had wanted to make this post sooner, on National Quilt Day, which is today seeing that my mother was a quilter. Maybe, hopefully jump starting some of you who may have an interest in the art, but that didn't happen. I couldn't get blogger to open for me and I've been trying all week.

My mom didn't make those fancy type quilts and didn't use a rotary cutter, a gridded cutting board or plastic templates. She didn't buy fat quarters. She used scraps from my stash, I made an outfit a week sometimes two from 1967 up until the mid 90's. I also sewed for my kids, my mom and an aunt.

My mom used the good old fashioned dress shears for cutting and made her templates out of anything from newspaper to paper bags. She didn't use a sewing machine, everything was done by hand. Mom kept a shoe box that she would store her pieces in, they were stacked neatly and nicely, color coordinate, the works. Every evening she would come home from work, eat dinner and start cutting. Once she had filled a box it was time to start putting those pieces together.

She would sit in a comfortable chair, needle and thread in hand and a thimble on her middle finger and go to work until bedtime. All the while watching TV and talking with her sister, my aunt that lived with us. Once she had finished a top, she would make what she called a sandwich, batting and a lining and sit in that chair and quilt it all by hand. Sure it was time consuming, but I saw what pleasure it gave her and how relaxed she would be after a day's work, that I use to pitch in and do some cutting for her when her box ran low.

I use to love to watch her work. I made my first quilt at 17, a red a white patch work. My favorite color was red. A year later I made a diamond design quilt. I didn't quilt again until after I had my second son 21 years ago and that was a job. I quilted a baby quilt with his name, date of birth and weight and did it on a sewing machine. I haven't quilted since. What I learned about the sewing machine method was, I didn't like it, it was much too cumbersome.

I'd like to take this time a salute all the avid quilters, a worthwhile and useful craft to keep us warm in the cold and brighten our cloudy days.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

It's March

It's March? The third month of the year already, season's are about to change and this weekend we lose an hour of sleep, spring ahead.

Time seems to be moving quite fast. It's college basketball better known as March Madness and oh, yes, National Craft Month. Started March of 1994, by the Hobby Industry Association (HIA). It is currently sponsored by the Craft and Hobby Association (CHA). The purpose was to set aside a month for teaching and learning a new craft. A great idea, but to learn or teach a craft to someone in or outside your family is great. Had it not been for a few friends and family members, I wouldn't be doing this on a regular bases. I taught a crafting class at church one summer and hopefully I gave those girl's an experience they will never forget and a skill to build on. They in turn taught me that crafts is not for everyone.

For most of us every month is craft month, everyday is craft day. Those of us who run a business of making things whatever it may be, the crafting never stops. Some of us have been at our art for so many years I don't even think craft or crafting is the right word. I deem to look at our field and the work I see going on as being done by skilled craftspeople. After a while you are skilled.

There is quite a difference in your first piece and a piece done today. There is a distinct look, your craft has evolved, it has become a skill.

So in honor of Nationl Craft Month, I'm going to finish some of my projects if not all. I know I'm not the only one with several projects running at the same time, no matter how hard we try not to we always seem to let something else into our attention zone.

What are your plans for the month?

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Goddess of Frugality: Let's Help Each Other...

A Goddess of Frugality: Let's Help Each Other...

Changes Taking Place

I blog about a variety of things, as you can see, I may touch you here or there but hopefully when you visit you find something of interest to you. At the moment I am venturing into expanding my blog’s pages.

As you can see, I’ve added an About Me page, can’t seem to get the picture of me to stay put though. Next I added a Food page. Here you will recipes from my mom’s old cookbook ‘Cooking With The Experts’, first print was 1955. With my first post on this page you could see how I prepared the dish and the finished project. I want to explain now that there may not always be pictures but I will try to post them as I prepare each one.

My next two pages I’m working on will be ‘Crochet’ the other ‘Knit’. I will showcase some of the things I’m working on, along with instructions for most.
Here’s hoping you will like the changes and check back often to see what I’ve posted and where.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Change Your Life

Change your life today. Don't gamble on the future, act now, without delay. -Simone De Beauvoir

I found this interesting quote and I just knew some of my readers would really appreciate this, I know I did.

It spoke to me as most quotes will. Looking back over my life I wish that I could redeem some of those days that I let slip through my fingers, banking on the tomorrows. Things that could have changed my life, added special memories and educational value.

A girlfriend on mine offered me an opportunity in the 1980's I just didn't have time for. I was too busy. The opportunity was to go into business with her, to share space in a community flea market that rented actual storefronts. She lost her job and took her savings and opened her own little nook, it was great, she knitted, she crocheted, she sewed mostly. She carried a variety of children's apparel and novelties. She made rag dolls and clothing. This was something she and I had spoke about during high school, we would get together and do once out of school.

I was at the time working and enjoying what it was I was doing, Marketing Research, great company and the work was easy. I had moved through the ranks in a few short years and could have taken the time to contribute, I made up my own schedule, instead I put all my energy into a company that moved within the first three years I was there and my girlfriend had given up and went back to work after working on a mayorial campaign and gaining employment within the ranks after the election.

Also during my employment, my supervisor, found my blouses brought ahhhs to her eyes and felt that I was a talented seamstress wasting my time at the company (I made all my clothes, coats included). She pulled me aside one day and asked if I had considered going into business for myself and that she had spoken with her mom about me and that her mother if I wanted to would back my work. Again, I didn't have time, the work was easy. She even agreed to give me the time off I would need to work on the project, hire seamstresses, she had set up a photographer to do a catalog. I really enjoyed my work, I passed on this too.

Maybe I passed, because I was afraid, afraid of failure, I knew what I had at hand. It was familiar and seemed to be guaranteed, it was for the moment. I could have continued to work and changed my life, why didn't I?

I'm sharing this because, live for today, plan for tomorrow but please don't put off anything that you might have regrets over. When an opportunity presents itself and they don't often, not really good ones, please find a way to take advantage. Let not the future find you daydreaming on the 'What If'.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

It's My Birthday!!!

Saturday, the 12th of February was my BIRTHDAY!! YAYYYY!!!!! another year has come and gone.

The day was wonderful, my youngest prepared and served me breakfast in bed and quizzed me the entire time I ate about how it felt to be another year older and if there was anything special I wanted to do for my birthday. That was funny because I couldn't think of thing except wanting to crochet. There were so many projects I wanted to finish and to start. Well, I soon found out that crocheting on my birthday was a no-no. And by the way, it was also my anniversary.

My oldest son prepared dinner in my honor, steak, broccoli, shrimp and macaroni and cheese, seeing that I only eat once a day and that's when I think about it, it took all of two hours for me to eat and finish it. It usually takes me an hour one reason I seldom go out to eat.

The rest of the day seeing that my doctor says I need exercise, the weather was beautiful here for a change, I opted to spend the evening playing WII with the kids. Now I'm sore as the dickens :-)

I had tried to take the challenge, make something everyday and I found myself in a fedora frenzy all last week and I think I've found something that I can sit and watch a movie and do when I'm not in a big project mood. I haven't crocheted these many hats in a run of a week since my oldest daughter was born 34 yrs ago. I asked her if she had any of those old Pamper boxes around I could use to fill with hats. She found that amusing. Of course she doesn't remember, but I had several friends that loved tams/berets and I made them in all colors for their personal use and for sale. They use to pick up a Pamper box weekly for sale. I'm sure some of you remember when Pamper's use to come in boxes, the good ole days.

I love these hats and plan on listing them soon as I can stop making them and decide on the trim but right now I'm just having so much fun making them. Got any suggestions for trims, please feel free to leave, I appreciate all the help you offer.

Until next time stay blessed and creative.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How I Used My Snow Day

Today was one of those days, cold and snowy, the day’s kid’s love. NO SCHOOL!! The day’s most look forward too. The snow was beautiful. They slept in of course and I think I arose around 11 a.m, just in time to catch the weather and hear the stories of all the accidents. Most were the younger generation. We old folks know to slow down; we’re not in much of a hurry to get anywhere. We’ve more or less figured it out, we’re rushing time, we have a lot to do so slow down the pace and enjoy the ride.

While enjoying not having to be out in the cold, I picked up my hook and some yarn and started a new project. It’s strange to me most of us who make things, especially to sell seldom find time to make some of those things for your family. The girl’s had been asking for gloves and I found out it was the fingerless ones they really wanted, so I’m on it. I finished two pair, two girls, makes sense.

I finally got up enough nerve to look outside, up one way of the street, then down the other.

I must say it was beautiful, but not enough on encourage me to go outside. Instead I put on a pot of coffee, made pancakes and continued with my crocheting.
Later today, my third daughter looked out and exclaimed, “I’m gonna get that mailman, he left footprints in my snow.” You see we’re a family of snow nerds, love the look of undisturbed snow, so she’s thinking of posting signs, ‘Please Stay out of the Snow’.

And now to watch 'How The West Was Won', a great western, nice history and a great line-up of stars.

So this was my snow day what was yours?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Tying Up Loose Ends

Hiding Ends for Good

Almost every crocheter/knitter has had a problem with their "hidden" ends coming out to haunt them at one time or another. How can we solve this problem? The key is to learn the best way to hide them. Here are some of the best ways to avoid the problem.
Leave plenty of yarn, around 6 to 12 inches, before joining or ending so you’ll have a good workable length for hiding. For stitches like single crochet, you can leave less yarn. Leave more for loose, open stitches like shells or chain spaces.

Thread the yarn end through a blunt-tipped tapestry needle. Next, carefully weave the end through the worked piece, following the flow of yarn that forms the stitches. You want the yarn you’re hiding to lay alongside the yarn of the stitch you are using to hide it. If color permits, use stitches of more than one row or round, so the end you have hidden will not pull in the same direction as the stitches of the project. I usually work about an inch or two in one direction and then return in the opposite direction. You can weave the yarn through once more for extra security.

Once the end is sufficiently hidden, pull the remainder of the end gently to create a slight tension and clip it as close to the work as possible, be careful not to cut your project. This will allow the end to slip back into the stitches once the tension is released.

For crochet or knit pieces made with slick yarn, such as cotton or rayon, or those that use a thin thread, you may also want to add a little insurance by using a sewing needle and matching-color sewing thread to lightly tack the end of the tail to the work. This should be done prior to cutting off the unhidden part of the loose end and always on the wrong side of your work.
Investing the same amount of time and effort into hiding the loose ends as when you did in working the project will guarantee the completed design looks great for years to come. If it’s a gift ore for sale, don’t forget those labels or an attached care label card informing the recipient on how to care for the item.

Below is a link for weaving ends, remember for added security, stitch once more in the opposite direction.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Ground Rules: Anja Verdugo Introduction

Ground Rules: Anja Verdugo Introduction: "1. Your name, your blog or job, where you live My name is Anja Verdugo and I live in Portland, OR where I run a vintage shop and keep a bl..."