Friday, December 30, 2011

Clean/Dirty

Well, we never found new batteries or time to take those much needed pictures (but I *will* have pictures for next week's giveaway, I promise).

On a more exciting note, I did finally get more magnet tape to make more dishwasher magnets!


Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately for publicity's sake, the first opportunity I had to make any sets was at a pre-New Years Eve party. Why did I try making them at a party? Because I've been itching to make more since their first sale and I had so many letters waiting from the Gentleman I drive... but then I laid them all out and I only had one "c" :-/. Fail.


So I ended up with only one and a half sets. Hopefully I can find that pile of letters to make many more sets over the weekend.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

I've got a lot up my sleeve, and I can't wait to share!  But first I have to charge the batteries so we can get some good pictures :) hehe.

I hope everyone will be around next week for the first earwarmer giveaway right here!  Happy New Year.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Sewing

I know this is supposed to be about knitting & sometimes crocheting, but I just HAD to mention this blog.  This last month I've started really thinking about picking up sewing again.  True, I only ever did VERY simple patterns in high school, but the magic that is sewing your own clothes would be very fun to experience again.  Plus, it would help me get closer to my goal of having all my clothes made by *me*.

Here is what I've bookmarked from her blog for future reference:
The first being Pattern Cutting 101.  I don't think I've really paid attention to cutting patterns since I was learning from a friend back in high school.  Shame on me.

This post is about putting pockets in a circle skirt, a skill I never learned.  But she is so straightforward and illustrates the steps so well (and on such a simple skirt that I want to make anyway...) I feel like I could finally learn this.

What an adorable dress!  I wish she mentioned the pattern in this post.  I could see it being a very cute adult pattern too...

Ah-ha! So this is where she gets all her darling patterns.  I must try this sometime.  And etsy of course.  :)

Now to find the little nuggets of time to try these things. .... and the materials, I suppose :)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Taxes

I know this isn't the prettiest of hobby-selling aspects, but I just wondered how others handle this?  I read somewhere (and I need to track it down) that Paypal will be reporting income statements to the IRS per person with an account of what funds they've acquired?  Has anyone else heard this rumor?  This (rumor) is what has gotten my butt into gear to look at reporting income for this tiny hobby of mine.


I would like to see Knitted Home become sustainable, yes, but I don't feel ready or knowledgeable enough to take on income tax reporting, LLC, etc.  Does anyone out there have any experience with this?  Please feel free to take up as much space as you like in the comment section or email me (knittedhome[at]gmail[dot]com).  With it being the end of the year, this has started to surface on my mind since the beginning of the year (when I was doing my own personal taxes).  Perhaps I will talk to a tax specialist and get their opinion, but I was hoping for some advice from those who are already selling on etsy or as a hobby.

Thanks, friends :)

Friday, December 23, 2011

It's Starting to Look like Christmas...

I walked into work this morning to find my desk COVERED in Christmas!


Speaking of Christmas gifts, I had Dan buy me an early gift for my desk.  Hopefully this will keep cold-coffee-cup syndrom at bay ;)  hehe


I have more completed gifts to post about, but I haven't been able to get their pictures loaded onto my computer.  Hopefully I can do that tonight & there will be a more exciting post for tomorrow morning.  

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Snail Mail Anyone?

Soon after discovering this cute shop over at lieslmade, I came across a sister blog of theirs and this deeply inspiring post.
Writing a letter on paper with a special writing desk & lots of windows.

I don't know why, but this picture really touch me in their post on letter writing.

A proper letter format.

I found this quote (originally posted on TheThreeSpinster's blog) to be the most inspiring in my resolve to start writing real letter more often.

Start with addressing and stampingthe envelope.‘What! Before writing the letter?’ 
Most certainly. And I’ll tell you what will happen if you don’t. You will go onwriting till the last moment, and just in the middle of the last sentence, you will become aware that ‘time’s up!’ Then comes the hurried wind-up – the wildly-scrawled signature – the hastily-fastened envelope, which comes open in the post – the address, a mere hieroglyphic – the horrible discovery that you’ve forgotten to replenish your Stamp-Case – the frantic appeal, to everyone in the house, to lendyou a stamp – the headlong rush to thePost Office, arriving, hot andgasping, just after the box has closed – and finally, a week afterwards, the returnof the Letter from the Dead-LetterOffice, marked ‘address illegible.’!” ~Lewis Carroll 

Sarah Nielsen over at Book Bound Bindery also wrote about the Forgotten Art.  I had no idea so many people were so passionate about it on the blogs I read.  Or rather, I guess on the blogs that I've stumbled upon this last month.  What inspiration I keep finding; I love it!


Monday, December 19, 2011

First Time Felting

Finally on to step 2.  Felting the slippers.  


.... in a bucket in the sink.  I tried the washing machine but it didn't seem long enough (though that's my fault for putting it on short cycle after reading that it's not supposed to take very long "so be vigilant" pretty much).


And since the trick is in friction, it was rub scrub rub.  Then rinse in cold water to stop the felting process.  Squeeze out excess water (don't wring-out).  It's pretty cool to watch the process happen.


Last night they hung dry & hopefully on to step 3 later this week.  I'm a little nervous about the "body" fabric not felting enough but my arms were tired and, through the suds, it looked like it was.... good enough.... :-]  Let's hope it works *cross fingers*

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Double-Take

Liesl included ME in her blog!  ME!!  I've always looked up to LieslMade because she makes such cute items & is always on top of posting to her blog.  These are qualities I aspire to with my etsy shop.  So image my surprise when....

Picture Collage by Lieslmade; Sources:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
I pop up in one of her posts!  Do you see that ^^?  (Excuse me as I have a star-struck moment..... I just feel so honored that out of all the blogs & sites I'm sure she looks at, she picks ME out of it all)

I haven't been reading her blog too long, but it is one of my favorite ones that I'm always checking when I sign online.  So thank you to LieslMade for making my week!

Friday, December 16, 2011

New-to-Me Typewriter

IMG_0105 

I found this mechanical typewriter on the side of the road about 3 or 4 months ago, next to a house I was babysitting for.  Well, it's taken a while, but I was finally able to break it out of its case & sit down to type something.  I found extra recipe cards while cleaning & unpacking the kitchen & decided to type up some of my regular recipes to go in my new recipe box, a shower gift from my sister.

IMG_0109 

I probably would have typed all night but I ran out of recipe cards.  And you can see from the first picture I have quite a lot more than just 5 recipes that need typing up nicely.

IMG_0124 

So the next thing to do is take some of my stashed cardstock and cut it up into 3x5 recipe cards. ... I'm thinking of decorating them with little doodles by colored pencils... if I can find the craft supplies box I usually keep them in...

IMG_0136 

Send your snail-mail address to knittedhome[at]gmail[dot]com and I'll enclose one of my typed recipes in a Christmas card for you to enjoy.  Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Organizing the Inventory

Well, I don't really have that much, like it would seem a lot of shops have on etsy.  But it sure is enough to take up space and need an organized home of its own.

I mentioned the new little corner, and after I organized that, I went on to take inventory of what I had from the previous winter before I started listing more things in the shop.  Well, I realized with a lot of similar colored dishcloths, I couldn't always remember which went with which listing.


So I came up with this fun idea the week before Thanksgiving.  Even though it's not very unique in its "tag-the-item-with-info" way, it is unique for me because I rarely ever tag an item.  If anything, I usually post a sign that says, "All 'x' is $x" and leave it at that.  So this was kind of fun to tag each item with their name and a safety pin.


Ok, I'll stop my geekiness now before everyone runs away.  Just wanted to share a fun little way to organize the inventory in case anyone else was looking for a quick & cheap idea.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Pinterest

Yay!  Finally on here.  I've already spent over an hour trying to quickly gobble up as much as I can, pinning things frantically like I might miss something beautiful :-P haha.

So check me out! & please be patient with me as I get things better organized & figured out.  Let me know if you have any advice on using Pinterest.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Crafting: One Down

And more to go!


I should take a group photo of all the gifts when they are completed since I can't post them completed before Christmas.


Here is a sneak peak of the first one in progress.  I finished it over the weekend, not surprisingly at a bar, after Dan's Work-Holiday Party on Friday.
More to come :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Teal Cowl

Remember this cowl?  Well, after going through inventory, I found it and decided it's the season to get it out again & list it.


I tried to get some good pictures of it after inventory. Though it's a little hard to find a white wall in this house.  .... Maybe it's something I should add to the little studio corner?


The first picture is closer to the cool, green undertones in this teal color.  I love how full & luxurious this cowl feels around one's neck when it's double wrapped.  No cold's getting through these stitches!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Rust Orange

The newest addition to the shop.


This little headband, ear warmers are so quick & fun to knit!  I had no idea they would take off so nicely in the shop.


So far I receive a new favorite on one of the three ear warmers every day!  Love it :)  Now if we could just make those into sales....

Thursday, December 8, 2011

My Eyes Are Wandering...

...when I should be buckling down and finishing up Christmas gifts.

Like this Chunky Zig Zag afghan.  I love how similar to a crocheted afghan it is!


Or this Two-Way Dress.  The bodice is so simple......


I haven't had a traditional Advent Calendar since I was in elementary school, but this one looks like a fun take on the idea.  Think pinata.

*all images belong to their respective owners which I have linked to their pictures.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

More Fun Finds

Since I haven't had a whole lot to blog about (at least, not a lot with pictures) here are some more fun finds from yesterday.

I need to find a simple pattern to make this sweater.  What a classic!

Isn't it terrible that I'm already looking at children's clothes?  Or rather, patterns.

Thanks to LieslMade, I've finally decided to get on Pinterest.  A few people have recommended it to me but until last week, I hadn't really wanted to join *another* website.  But I love the idea of being able to save one's favorites to a wall in a pretty collage of pictures :)  So I guess I'll have to give it a try.

While waiting for my "invite" to join, I've bookmarked a few pictures I'll be "pinning" first.

Like this embroidery how-to and this embroidered shirt.  I think this would be fun to do to some of my current shirts to update them.
Also this granny square afghan goes along with the other one I bookmarked.
And this is an interesting off-shoulder knitted sweater.  I couldn't seem to find a good link to its original (if there was a pattern), but maybe it'll find me down the road.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Busy Again, I Guess

Though I haven't stopped crafting, happily.  We had a little open house over the weekend to show off our new home to nearby family & friends so that ate up most of our weekend.  Though Sunday I was able to steal a little time to watch BBC's Pride & Prejudice and work on some knitted slippers.
Image is taken from the book cover.

I've been needing some since my last pair had to be thrown out.  I had worn holes through to the floor :(  So far I have the first cable knitted up and am currently working on the body.  Then I'll have one more cable to knit up before I can try felting the pieces.  As I continued to read the pattern (after starting), I realize it is a little more involved than just knitting, which I would have preferred.  But I suppose I will finally try felting now!  I'll keep you posted as to how it turns out.

Other than that, I have a few gifts on my list to start, but most I do not have the yarn yet or haven't found the right combinations.  I'm still on a yarn-diet so I hate to buy new colors when I still have so many baskets full of yarn.  Hopefully I can get those gifts started this week as we only have a couple left before Christmas.  :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Some Favorites from Yesterday

I found a few favorite patterns yesterday while rendering my last project and thought I'd share.



All images and patterns are property of their owner, http://www.pickles.no

Maybe I'll try one or two of them out on my cousin's 2-year-old....

Monday, November 28, 2011

Modern Colors, Traditional Granny Squares


I definitely have to try making one of these for the back of our couch.  It would compliment so nicely with the curtains I'm planning to embroider.  Lots of bright colors.  That's the look we're going for in the living room, but not chaotic, just festive and vibrant.
Any suggestions?  How was everyone's holiday?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Finally! A Little Crafty Corner


It's so cute!  And it didn't cost anything!  I thought I would never find the place to set up my own little craft corner of the world, even if I did find the right desk & layout.  I'm on a little cloud just happily sitting here on this CLEAN, quaint desktop gazing out the (rain-filled, grey, blustery) window.


The sewing machine was a 14 or 16th birthday present; the books are borrowed from the library (I'm back to the addiction), my laptop, my mother's bulletin board from when she was a child, a hand-me-down desk chair from my childhood and curtains that came with the house (though I hope to either switch them out or maybe use them to practice embroidery before doing the living room?).


I'm so excited to have a place dedicated to sewing and crafting.  Though, I don't need a place to work when I'm knitting or crocheting (because I do most of it on the couch watching TV, in the car on road-trips, or in waiting rooms), I definitely need one for sewing.
My mending pile has gotten quite high due to my lack of motivation to set up the sewing machine for only one patch that needs sewing or a broken hem line.  Now I have no excuse!  Plus, I can now start diving into my next goal - sew my own wardrobe!  Obviously that'll take some time, I know, but I've gotten some books out from the library to help me along.  :)

And when I'm not sewing, I'll have to try out some of these free vintage patterns.  I love seeing all the hairstyles & clothing.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Restocking the Shop

My friend came over Saturday to help us arrange the guest room & my craft area to make it feel more inspiring.  Who knew it would only take about 15 minutes and the first arrangement was the one we all liked?

And I'm happy to say I'm already starting to list items and photograph new ones, like those ear warmers I promised a month or two ago.  :)


It's so exciting to be back at this again.  I've really missed the blogging (plus I LOVE reading comments), and the listing of new items.  I just hope I can start driving more traffic to the shop now.

Monday, November 21, 2011

My New Favorite Find Today

Talk about amazing photography and some different designs.  I could look at this picture for hours and be inspired.  Thanks twoknit!

Good Coffee Morning

I realize I haven't done one of these in a while and they are some of my favorite quick posts.  :)  Not to mention my favorite part of my morning....*warm coffee*..... :)

psst: that's my newest, loose-knit purple cowl I made while watching the last Harry Potter movie in our local (cheap) theatre.

You wouldn't believe it, but I was without this favorite mug of mine for 2 months!  I had kept it out of a box for the longest time that, when the last things got moved from my parents' place to our new house, it got shoved in a bag of the "remaining kitchen items" that were left in my parents' house.

So you can imagine how excited I was to find it last weekend.  :)  Yeah, I carried it around like it was glued to my hand.  Seriously.  I know the husband was a little skeptical.  :-P

Anyway, Happy Morning!  Here's hoping it's off to a great start :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Multitasking

While warming up my water for some Chai Tea last night I decide to unload the dish-dryer because my favorite mug is buried at the bottom and in doing so a thought wandered by: What else do we do to consolidate time?

For example, I'm always doing some sort of craft (knit, crochet, sewing, braiding, collaging, stamping...) while watching TV.  The biggest thing there is I can't stand wasting time if I could be doing something productive.  Or I listen to a podcast like This American Life while I wash the dishes.

So this got me thinking: What else do I multitask?
- Laundry while at home doing other chores around the house (like dishes or cleaning).  I set a timer on my phone or the microwave to alert me when an hour is up (which is the general running time of a load of laundry).
* Then I fold the laundry while watching a movie.  Makes it more enjoyable :)
- Normally I tidy up the kitchen while my coffee brews.
- Read blog updates or my email while videos render (or digitize) at work.
- Write Thank-You notes whenever I have a little downtime on the road (driving my gentleman, babysitting, doctor's office).  Once I'm done with wedding Thank-You's I'll go back to knitting, reading torn-out magazine articles or maybe a novel again :)
- I don't know if this counts as multitasking, but it does save a lot of wasted time: I keep a running list of all the errands I have to run (drop something off, returns/exchanges at a store, purchases, pick-ups) and tack them on to an appointment that I have near the same area.  So if I have to drive to the North end of town, I bring all my items for errands in that part of town and map out the least-back-tracking route.  (Maybe this is a little OCD but I feel so accomplished at the end of the day when it only took a few extra minutes to add these errands onto the drive to or from an appointment).

What do you multitask?  Any suggestions for me?  I'd love to hear them :)

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Getting Back into a Routine

I can finally say I feel like routine is returning to my life and I've never been happier to have one again.  I intern 3 days a week, I drive an older gentleman once a week & babysitting once a week and my weekends are free to spend with my husband or at home crafting!  Woot!  Life is GREAT!


And because I've started settling back into a routine, my knitting has started picking up again and with it, more crafty ideas & inspirations have followed!  When I first picked up my needles after returning from our honeymoon in Croatia, I had never felt so empty of creativity and ideas.  Talk about scary!  For about 5 seconds I seriously wondered if I would ever be inspired again to create something new and not just a copy of something I saw.  But I'm happy to report that over the last two weeks, and through a lot of etsy & self-suffient reading, my inspirations are coming back.  :)


Check out this scarf I started the weekend after our return.  With NO inspiration in my head.  I have no idea where this twist idea came from (but I've been trying to come up with a good color-twist idea using a cable pattern since last winter; so I guess this was just me having an open mind and out it popped?).  So I went with it and started this scarf up at a University of Michigan football game.  Yes, I was knitting at a College Football game.  In the stands.  With a skein of yarn in each pocket.  :-P

Moving on.  At first I hated the way it looked, but it was like heaven having needles purring in my hands again.  I wish I could describe how right it felt to be knitting again.  It feels like punishment when I have to put the needles down (I was nearly late to babysitting tonight because of it; oops!).  But luckily I now have lots of time & opportunity to be knitting whatever I want - and lots of Christmas presents!

I hope to post pictures as I start working on them.  And I'm sure that list of mine along the right column will be growing by the week as I brainstorm more and more projects (and gifts) to make.

So glad to be back.  I hope you'll return; I've missed the excitement of comments in my inbox.  :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Homemade Christmas

I've never been that excited for Christmas the last couple of years because it's always snuck up on me and I was always too busy to really get prepared for the holiday.  I didn't have time to decorate or go shopping for all my loved ones & made me irritated for holiday season (which I hated, and made me even more upset).  And then working in retail where Christmas comes before Halloween, I *really* hated the holiday season.

So imagine my surprise when I find myself starting to think about what I want to bake for Christmas Eve dinner at my grandfather's house.  Or how I want to decorate the mantel (because we have a house now!).  Maybe it's a combination of our first Christmas married, and our first Christmas in our new house & my not working in retail anymore.  I even find myself thinking about Christmas decorating and it's not even Thanksgiving yet!  Yikes!  I used to hate when people would do that before Thanksgiving and now I'm one of them! haha.

So in the spirit of preparing & getting excited for the holidays this year, I thought it'd be fun to dream a little about what a homemade Christmas would look like in our new home this year.

This year I want to focus on making some Garlands...

             
The paper garlands would be fun projects to do when babysitting.

lots of Ornaments...
(both made by my husband and I if we can organize an afternoon to do some crafting :) and I'm sure the kids I babysit would love to make some ornaments with me)



     
 Painted ornaments (Local Craftstores have these ornaments kits)

   

Can you believe these are crocheted?
Where do I find a pattern to do this.  These make awesome Christmas gifts, too.

   
Ornaments made from origami.
Now I have another reason to hang out with my dad. 
I don't know how I could replicate these, but I just
LOVE the colors!  If I went with tradition ornaments, this is what I'd get.


Wreaths...
This would go well with that silver tree skirt (below).




My favorite, traditional & simple wreath.


Stockings...
(I've been wanting to knit our own but with all the gifts I still have to make, I doubt I'll have enough time to get them completed for this Christmas.  Maybe next year)

    
I'm a sucker for the traditional with only a touch of new.

and since both my husband and I are really excited to have a real Christmas tree, we'll need a tree skirt of course!

This tradition red & white skirt is what I had envisioned.


I didn't even think about knitting or crocheting one.

This one would be very sophisticated
for those holiday parties.
What are you planning for the holidays?  Or are you too busy like I used to be in the past years?