Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Follow Me On Pinterest!

Finally, I have given in to the craze that is Pinterest. I've heard many good things about it, and I figured "why not?" I sent out a call for an invite on Facebook, and within minutes, I had an invite on my way.
I have just started pinning yesterday, so I don't have a whole lot of stuff up there yet, but it's coming along! Please follow me! And, if you're feeling fancy, pin some of your favourite items from my Etsy Shop!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Monday Magic!

HappyMonday, everyone! I am starting a new weekly post on my blog that I am calling Monday Magic! (I have a thing for alliteration) I will be posting a few things every Monday that have caught my eye in the week prior. They might be Etsy items, YouTube videos, blog posts or something else entirely! Stay tuned for some awesome stuff!
This gorgeous cuff from WillOaks Studio is absolutely amazing! I love the colour combination. I think it would look lovely with just dark jeans and a t-shirt. It's available in several other colours, as well.

These are so cool. They're egg shaped planters made of porcelain, made by EcoElements. They come with wheat grass seeds if you're within the US, or you can get them without seeds (at a discount!) if you're international. They would be awesome on the table at a wedding for name place cards. I think they'd look especially cute with herbs growing in them, too.

I redeemed another $5 amazon.com gift card from Swagbucks.com. I've made around $150 in amazon money from SwagBucks so far. I do have a referral code linked in the image, so if you are interested in signing up (you can also redeem for PayPal!!) it would be appreciated if you use my code :D

Today is also my boyfriend, Richard's 30th birthday!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Awesome Thursday: January 26, 2012

Happy Thursday, everyone! This is what's awesome in my life this past week:

  • I've been watching Dirty Jobs, which always entertains
  • I finished knitting two orders for a friend of a friend
  • We bought a half dozen avocados last time we went grocery shopping, and I've been eating them pretty regularly
  • I bought an ad on Etsy, and I've gotten a bit more traffic than usual
  • I busted my butt yesterday at the gym, and I am really happy with what I accomplished
  • I got a new blog sponsor that will start advertising in February, and will be sticking around for a few months
Life is good! How are things with all of you?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Check out my post on N. Fallon Design Studio!

I'm sponsoring Nancy, and she did a sponsor spotlight on me.
Go take a look!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

One of My New Projects!

Lately, I've been thinking more and more about the need to diversify my crafting repertoire to sell at craft shows and in my Etsy shop. As much as I love knitting, I don't sell much between the end of January, until September or October. That just won't do when I have bills to pay. I thought about doing summery, non-clothing knits, but I just couldn't get into the few different items I tried. So, I tried a few completely different things.
I started with the earrings. I bought loads of supplies over a year ago, and I am still working through that stash. This basket is only a portion of those available at Trinkets, Treasures and The Truly Unique. I really enjoy making earrings. It can be a little tedious, but I can listen to podcasts while I do it.

At the beginning of January, I bought a heart shaped paper punch from the scrap booking section at Michael's. I am very, very rarely in that part of the store; I usually just beeline to the back where the yarn is. I've seen several Etsy shops selling different themed garlands and buntings, and I absolutely love them. I wish I had a place in my apartment where I could display a whole pile of them. Or, a few at a time, and rotate them with the seasons and holidays. (the next place we move, I want to have my own office/crafting space that I can decorate how I want, and I would definitely have garland/bunting) I decided I would try my hand making garlands, starting with a Valentine theme. I punched and punched and punched hearts in pink and red, and also from the pages of a trashy romance novel. I combined them in a few different ways, varying the space between the hearts, as well as the order of the colours. I sewed them up on Rick's sewing machine in a fun couple hours. I brought all of them into the shop last week. I was just tagged in this photo on Facebook, because the garlands are on display in the window. It's not the greatest photo, but it definitely does the job of showing them off. Once I sell a few of these, I plan on getting a few other punch shapes and do them for other holidays.
Have you diversified lately? I know a few of you are more seasonal crafters, what do you do in the off season?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Advertiser Round Up! January 2012

Eslin of DualChocolate has listed some beautiful accessories in her shop. And she is offering 10% off in using the code XOCO101! 

Nancy of N.Fallon Design Studio is knitting away on some gorgeous heart brooches. We are members of Blogging Business Artisans, and have been giving each other encouraging words all month.

Kathryn is busy planning her wedding, and keeping her Etsy Shop stocked.

Rachael from TreeTalker has listed some GORGEOUS paintings in her shop. She's also knitted some lovely scarves and added them to her other shop.

Robyn from Minimalist Knitter is spending time with her adorable son Owen, and putting some beautiful accessories in her shop.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Awesome Thursday: January 19, 2012

In case you're just joining in, I post every Thursday about the awesome things that have gone on in my life over the past week. It really helps to put things in perspective, especially when you're having a bad day. Studies show that grateful people lead happier, more productive lives.

  • I've made quite a few pairs of earrings today. Tomorrow, I will check them for sturdiness, and then photograph them and list some in my shop
  • Winston is currently being adorable, pushing his toy into my lap so I will play with him
  • I've made some good progress on many of my 101 goals
  • I added a new goal, which is really good: #75 "Spend no money for a week"
  • Rick and I have been making delicious food the past couple days
  • I have a job interview tomorrow
  • I put a good chunk of money on my credit card this week to work towards paying it off
  • I got an order from Rick's mom's friend. I finished making almost all of it already. I amy need to go pick up more yarn, though...
  • I am going to start getting changed out of my pyjamas more often. I did that today on Rick's insistence, and I feel like I've been really productive.
What sorts of awesome things have been going on in your lives?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Some Of The New Earrings

I ordered some earring making supplies a couple weeks ago from Motto Miquette. First off, I am so incredibly happy with what she sent me! High quality, exactly what I wanted. She also customized listings for me, so that I would have even numbers to make into earrings. I will definitely be ordering from her again.

I have gotten a great response to the new items in my shop. The really great thing about these is that I have several of each style, so I don't have to photograph as many items! I can take two photos of each item, and just swap the main one for the different listings. It's great!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A LeeLee Hats Donation

Yesterday, Tracy from LeeLee Hats and I taught a group of Brownies how to use knitting looms. That was an adventure, let me tell you. At their age, between 6 and 9 years old, many of them don't have the attention span to make one of the hats. In the end, we had to restart most of the hats. We said we'd bring them back today for a group photo, so it was a mad hustle last night fixing them all up.
This was what was next to me for most of the night. We went assembly line style for the most part. I undid all that needed undoing and wrapped all the yarn into balls to keep them from tangling. Then I made all the hats. That's where this pile comes from. Believe it or not, this is only about halfway through. Tracy and her sister Kim kept making more hats when I started sewing the hats up.
Once they were all sewn up, I counted how many I had made from the beginning, and I was really surprised to see twelve whole hats. In just a few hours! We are definitely considering making hats like this more often.
I'm really happy with the progress I've made on my 101 project. In addition to these 12, I made another three at home in the last couple days.

Friday, January 13, 2012

More About my 101 List

The 101 list I am working on is also known as a Day Zero project. You set yourself 101 goals to accomplish in 1001 days. These goals are to challenge you, and to improve yourself.
I only went to the gym once this week, but I will be working out at home tonight, so I am counting that as a pass.
I made a few dozen pairs of earrings yesterday. Not sure on the exact count, but I will be updating that goal once I count them.
These tiny hearts are my new favourite earrings. They're only 5mm across!!
Not much else to report in my life. Oh wait! It finally snowed today. Not a whole lot, but enough to make me happy. And I bought shorts today. I figured snow, sure, why not buy shorts! They are wool, though, if that's any consolation!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Awesome Thursday: January 12, 2012

If you're new to the blog, my Awesome Thursday posts are a weekly reminder of the great things happening in my life. Studies show that grateful people lead happier, more productive lives.

  • I've been making great progress on my 101 list
  • My friend Crissi released her phenomenal music video, in which I make a couple appearances
  • I've made quite a few sales at Phog. I am not quite at my "This is amazing!" threshold yet, but I'm getting close
  • I am planning on doing some yarn sorting, so hopefully I can find some of the yarns I've been looking for
  • I think I'm finally getting over this cold
What sort of awesome things have been going on in your lives?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Four Finished Scarves

Since I started my 101 list, I've started and finished four scarves and two dishcloths.

These are the four scarves. The green and black is a cone of green acrylic blend and a chunky black acrylic. The creamy, hard to see one is a skein of Wool Ease Thick and Quick in "Wheat" all done in seed stitch. The next one is the same yarn in "Charcoal" also in seed stitch. The last one is the same chunky black acrylic as the first, with a ball of awesome vintage Italian wool/acrylic blend that I've had in my stash for a while. It's quite long, and very warm.
As you can see, I still have ends to weave in. I will hopefully get those done today to bring them down to Phog. I haven't checked my sales there since my actual birthday. I'm 80% of the way to my low balling goal, and about a third of the way to my "wouldn't it be awesome if I sold this much!?" goal.

I am really happy with my progress on the "Knit 5 miles of yarn" goal. I am at just over 1400 feet, which is about a quarter of a mile. Not bad at all, considering this is only one week of knitting.

I have lots of project ideas. The one major thing stopping me is that my yarn stash is a complete mess. I know certain yarn exists, but I have no idea where to find it! I have sorted out a couple drawers in my storage area for yarn for charity knitting. Most of the stuff I do is for Lee Lee hats, so it's mostly baby yarns and small balls of various colours, too small to do anything else with.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Welcome back, Nancy!

Nancy of nfall2rt is back again this month! Let's see what she's been up to.

How were your holidays? Did you do/see/taste anything awesome?
We traveled to my in-law's house in Georgia for the holidays. The trip was long (we drove the 12 hours) but very fun. It was great to see my hubby to be's parents again. We don't see them that often! His sister, who just had her second child, also lives there. I got to go to the hospital to see the baby who was premature and was not "freed" until a few days after we got home. It was also fun playing with their 3 year old who I hadn't yet met! Mr. M & I love cooking, so we made the holiday meal- prime rib with au jus, twice baked potatoes, and veggies.
Sounds yummy!

Any New Year's Resolutions?
I do not like to make resolutions as they usually fizzle, but I like to encourage myself to continue trying new things and improving in areas that I already do or love. I will continue to hike at least once a month, keep up with my other health and fitness routines, and at some point, I'd like to buy a pomegranate and learn how to eat it (stupid, yes, but still new to me).
Staying healthy is a great goal. I'm working on that, myself. Also, pomegranates are delicious! There are lots of youtube videos to help you with this one.

What do you want the most for your business this year?
This is one area of my life where I whole-heartedly embrace goals. At the top of the list for this year is to increase income and localize my business through getting my work into a brick and mortar shop and participating in more craft shows.

What are you most looking forward to this year?
Easy! This year I will get married! Mr. M & I decided we didn't want a normal church wedding. After discussing exactly what we want out of it, we've decided to take our wedding out to sea: we'll be going on a cruise with close family and friends.
That sounds lovely! I can't wait to see photos and read all about it.

What is your current favourite blog?
There's a few fantastic blogs out there. But my favorite hands down was created by a girl I went to art school with: Riding Bareback Beside A Train. It's brave. It's honest. It's artful. It's the most seriously written work of dedicated love I've ever seen. Some posts make me cry- others laugh, but every single post makes me long to consider the art in everything I do.

Thanks so much for being a Knit, Nicole, Knit! sponsor!
Thanks so much for having me and I hope that you have had a lovely new year and Christmas!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Welcome Back, Rachael!

Rachael of Talk2TheTrees/TreeTalker is back again this month!

How were your holidays? Did you do/see/taste anything awesome?
Oh dear.. my holidays this year have been a mess! Just in two weeks, my car broke down, my house flooded, I had a huge vacation planned, and the day I got back I caught a very bad cold! On top of all that I had holiday orders to get out. It's been less than a happy holidays.. but I'm doing my best to still see the light in things! After the flood we were able to put our Christmas tree back up, and rewrap the presents. I'm hoping to get over this nasty cold by Christmas.
This Holiday season has been quite the test for me. I have to try extra hard to be happy. Sometimes it makes more sense to just be sad.. to give up. But it takes lots of guts to face the problems with a smile. As all this was happening, I had two options.. to either give in, cry and be sad.. or toughen up and fight back with a smile.
I felt so bad reading Rachael's blog and tweets about all these things. I know the feeling when everything goes wrong at once, and it seems like it will never get better.

Any New Year's Resolutions?
I would love for my art shop to grow a bit more! Aside from that, I'd like to drink more water, and take my doggies on more walks.
Those are three great resolutions!

What do you want the most for your business this year?
I would love to eventually close my hat shop, or at least slow down sales so I can focus on my art more. As much as I love knitting and making hats, it's very time consuming when I just want to paint!

What are you most looking forward to this year?
I'm looking forward to looking forward to moving. (There was no typo there!) I have plans to start looking for a new place to live in the next few months.. so I'm looking forward to looking forward to that! I know that if I start looking now I will get too anxious and excited.. when I'm still in contract with this place!

What is your current favourite blog?
NieNie Dialogues has been a favorite of mine for a while now!
Thanks so much, Rachael!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Thank you! and Awesome Thursday: January 5, 2012

Before I say anything about awesome stuff, I have to say how awesome all of you are. Thank you so much for the birthday wishes, they are greatly appreciated!
Now, onto the awesomeness! In case you're just joining in, I post every Thursday about the awesome things that have gone on in my life over the past week. It really helps to put things in perspective, especially when you're having a bad day.

  • It was my birthday!
  • Rick took me out for all you can eat sushi lunch
  • We went to a local yarn store and I fondled many, many skeins of yarn. I walked out empty handed, but I am sure I will go back in the near future!
  • I've sold three things at the art show
  • The reception last night was awesome!
  • I saw my friends Marla and Matt, whom I haven't see in a while
  • My friend Crissi came to the reception, and brought me a cute little potted flowering plant
  • My friend Christine also came, and gave me an awesome felted bowl. I'll have to post a photo of this!
  • I'm already making progress on my 101 list. I finished a dishcloth, tried a new beer, updated my numbers for followers and fans and more!
  • I feel like I'm starting to get over this cold
Life is great! What kind of awesome things are going on in your lives?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Tomorrow is my Birthday!

If you've been following me for a while, you may remember that I started a Day Zero project on my 21st birthday. I never finished that list. I've made a new list, and I am determined to finish this one. I will be updating about my crafty goals here, and all the rest of my goals on my 101 in 1001 blog.
I've left space for more goals to be made during the project. I found that last time, many of my goals became irrelevant/obsolete as I progressed.
Please follow me in this project!
Bold=in progress
Crossed out=complete

  1. go to the gym twice a week until membership is done
  2. drink no soda for 90 consecutive days (0/90)
  3. drink at least 5 glasses of water for 90 consecutive days (0/90)
  4. eat no fried food for 14 consecutive days (0/14)
  5. eat vegan for 3 consecutive days (0/3)
  6. do a 7 day cleanse (0/7)
  7. do one hundred pushups challenge (0/100)
  8. do two hundred sit-ups challenge (0/200)
  9. do two hundred squats challenge (80/200)
  10. do the couch to 5k program (0/1)
  11. get a knitting tattoo (0/1)
  12. tough out a bikini wax and leg wax again (0/2)
  13. register as a business (0/1)
  14. get to 100 sales in the etsy shop (10/100)
  15. get an item on the front page/in an email/blog post on etsy (0/1)
  16. have an knitwear line with 5 items (0/5)
  17. get nice business cards (0/1)
  18. get a set of interchangeable needles (0/1)
  19. get to 750 fans on the facebook page (430/750)
  20. get 500 twitter followers (361/500)
  21. start a +KNK shop
  22. start a garland shop
  23. get a wholesale order with someone
  24. have items available in 5 stores (1/5)
  25. write a knitting pattern (0/1)
  26. learn to knit mittens (0/1)
  27. knit a hat on needles (0/1)
  28. get the knitting machines in working order (0/2)
  29. make something on the knitting machines (0/2)
  30. use up all the cotton yarn (0/?)
  31. hand knit 5 miles of yarn (125/26400 feet)
  32. make 50 hats to donate through leelee hats (15/50)
  33. donate 100 items to charity (first 50 leelee hats don’t count) (0/100)
  34. organize the yarn
  35. make 200 pairs of earrings (40/200)
  36. do 2 giveaways (0/2)
  37. photo blog every knitted item larger than a dishcloth
  38. knit one thing for myself (0/1)
  39. post ten 1000+ word blog posts (0/10)
  40. donate 19 200 grains of rice on FreeRice (700/19 200)
  41. sell 5 things on kijiji (0/5)
  42. watch 200 movies I’ve never seen before (4/200)
  43. back up to hard drive every week
  44. learn to enjoy coffee
  45. bake bread from scratch 5 times (0/5)
  46. bake something other than bread 5 times (0/5)
  47. make 10 soups from scratch (0/10)
  48. use the crock pot three times (0/3)
  49. learn to cook three types of meat (0/3)
  50. make waffles (0/1)
  51. make a to do list every weekend for 6 months
  52. complete said to do lists
  53. save all coins smaller than a dime. roll them and bring them to the bank
  54. pay off credit card
  55. add $500 to my savings account (0/500)
  56. move to a new place
  57. learn 100 words in Icelandic (0/100)
  58. listen to all the episodes of the podcasts I have downloaded (520 to go)
  59. take a class at the college or university (0/1)
  60. read 20 new books (0/20)
  61. earn $100 from Swagbucks (0/100)
  62. update Mint everyday there are transactions
  63. try 10 new types of beer (1/10) (Mill St Tankhouse Ale)
  64. try 25 new restaurants (0/25)
  65. visit an art gallery 5 times (0/5)
  66. visit a museum 5 times (0/5)
  67. play with winston for 20 minutes a day for 100 consecutive days (0/100)
  68. paint my fingernails 10 times (0/10)
  69. wear makeup 200 days (0/200)
  70. change my hair colour or get high lights (0/1)
  71. get two matching bra and panty sets (0/2)
  72. get rid of enough clothes so they fit comfortably on my clothing rack
  73. get 2 new pairs of jeans that look great on me (0/2)
  74. leave 5000 blog comments on other blogs (1/5000)
  75. Make another goal to put here
  76. Make another goal to put here
  77. Make another goal to put here
  78. Make another goal to put here
  79. Make another goal to put here
  80. Make another goal to put here
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  84. Make another goal to put here
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  86. Make another goal to put here
  87. Make another goal to put here
  88. Make another goal to put here
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  90. Make another goal to put here
  91. Make another goal to put here
  92. Make another goal to put here
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  97. Make another goal to put here
  98. Make another goal to put here
  99. Make another goal to put here
  100. Make another goal to put here
  101. Make a new 101 list to start on my birthday following the completion of this one.

Hello, She Knits Hats!

Robyn Devine, formerly of Minimalist Knitter, is now blogging with the name She Makes Hats. She is back for a second month of advertising.

How were your holidays? Did you do/see/taste anything awesome?
Our holidays were great! it was our little Owen's first Christmas, so we got to experience it all through his little eyes! And because he's so young, we'll get to do it all over again next year too!

Any New Year's Resolutions?
I'm setting goals to do less, own less, and streamline my life. Everything from my wardrobe to my knitting supplies is fair game - should be fun!
This is such an excellent goal. Like I said last month, I wish I could part with "stuff" as easily as Robyn.

What do you want the most for your business this year?
I'd love to know I'm doing the most good with my blog this year. I'm taking my focus away from my shop and bringing it back to knitting less with more, and making as much for others as I can!

What are you most looking forward to this year?
All the firsts with Owen - seeing him love playing in the snow a little bit, learning to crawl and then walk, going swimming - I just can't wait!
He's so adorable. I can't wait to watch him grow up, too!

What is your current favourite blog?
My current favorite blog is Casey Leigh. I love that she is exactly who she is, and she makes no apologies for it. She owns her heart, her strengths and her weaknesses, and focuses her blogging time on what makes her the most happy - and through it she's gained a steady and loyal following!
This is such a beautiful blog!

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