"Imagination is more important than knowledge." ~Albert Einstein

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Plenty To Follow

Lately I've been trying to work out the kinks with the appearance of my blog and shop. I am probably shooting myself in the foot by doing that instead of concentrating more time on creating new items. There is always a wealth of creative ideas flurrying around in my head, which I am sure is common among most of us crafty types.

In honor of spring I am working on a couple lighter pieces.

Both are lacy and made with light breathable yarns rather than a heat holding wool. The first is a twist on a vine lace pattern, my dilemma with this one is whether to make it a cowl, shawl or scarf. I think that I will make it a long cowl that can be pulled down over the arm and shoulder to show off the detail.

The second is a fingerless glove. I've chosen a soft blue yarn that I love and is actually a cashmere blend. This one is taking shape as it grows on the needles and I've still not decided how I will finish off the cuff and how long it should be.

In among these I still have winter ideas popping up that I am trying to take in stride. Though winter is over I want to bring these ideas up and keep track of them. That way once fall rolls in again I'll be ready with fresh ideas.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

My First Etsy Treasury

I am super excited that I got to put together my first ever Etsy treasury. I have attempted it a few times but never did get to do it. So in honor of that I thought I would just share the excitment!

Hear is lovely treasury #1

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Great Product for Kids

Parenting is about 30% existing knowledge and 70% continuing education. As a first time mom, so far every time I was sure I knew what was next I was completely wrong. Learning to go with the flow is essential along with taking difficult situations in stride. Sometimes the littlest gadget can make things a world easier. Here are some of my favorites.

When my daughter first started daycare one thing that annoyed me was how they labeled juice cups. I had been looking for something significantly defining to put on the sippy cup but was having no luck. Writing in permanent marker on the bottom of the cup didn't work as it came off in the dishwasher. Letting the daycare mark the cups wasn't always a good choice. You never know what you'd get, You might get masking tape (which I wasn't thrilled with but at least it would remove easily). Other times you would get a regular paper address label! Not only did it not want to come off, but even months after the label was "off" there was still very sticky residue. She didn't need to hold the cup the cup just stuck to her. I was really irritated that they had pretty much ruined our juice cups.

Then I finally found the perfect solution! I found a site that sells rubber labels that are made similar to the colorful bracelets that have become really popular the last couple years. They come as a pack of 4, are customizable up to 2 lines and you can include a little icon like a heart, star or flower. There are 4 colors to choose from and they fit pretty much any bottle or sippy. You can get them from inchbug.com and from now through 4/30/09 you can save 10% on your purchase! Use coupon code APR430AB at check out.

Another great little helper is a bath thermometer that warns you with a beep and a read out if bath water rises above 100 degrees or drops below 89 degrees. I originally though that bath thermometers were really only useful for tiny babies. However my daughter loves bath time and I have no qualm about allowing her to play for a somewhat extended period while I get ready for bed too or fold and put away towels (always staying within range to see and hear of course). We always start with a nice warm bath but on a few occasions the water has pretty much gone cold and i had no idea until i went to wash her. You can get the Aquatopia Sefety Bath Time Audible Thermometer from Amazon for about $15. Not only is it functional, it's flippin adorable.

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Luxury Bamboo

Anyone who knows me personally probably knows that above all I like soft, fuzzy, comfortable things. Not just in clothing but anything that is going to come in contact with my skin. My skin can be pretty sensitive so I tend to be picky about what I allow next to it. I am just as picky about my yarn, it definitely has to be soft, though I am a sucker for yarns so finely soft that you can barely feel them. That's how soft this bamboo yarn is, it is near the top of my list as far as luxury yarn. It is silky smooth, it warms with your skin and drapes like silk with a comfortable weight. I almost kept this neck warmer for myself, the main reason i didn't was because i wanted to share it with everyone. I am now trying to plan a couple patterns specifically around this delicious yarn.
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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Spring Clean Yourself a Little Green

With the current state of things everyone is looking for all the little ways to save or make a buck. Spring cleaning is the perfect time to not only purge your home of the excess, but make a little money too. Then you could use that money to buy to organizational tools for the areas that always gather the clutter, or put it toward taking a family outing.

My best tip before starting spring cleaning is to make yourself a priority list of the areas you intend to tackle. Most importantly, only start one at a time! I can't tell you how many times i didn't make a list and i would start one area then say to myself "oh i need to do that too" then start working on that area some as well. Before i knew it, i was spread out over 3 rooms all only partially finished at 4 in the afternoon. Don't underestimate an area just become it is small, that little closet might seem like it would be a quick job but if needs more organization than purging that can turn into a very long process. If you make the list first you can keep it handy, like on a bulletin board or the fridge, then on those days when you get bitten by the spring clean bug you know where to hit next.

Once you have your piles of clothes no one has worn in 2 years, toys that your kids are to big for, a couple stacks of dusty VHS tapes, and maybe even a couch or chair... Have a yard sale! Most housing communities organize a yard sale date at least once a year. If you don't live in a community that does, organize your own. Maybe talk to a couple neighbors on your street and see if they would be interested in coordinating a yard sale at the same time.

Perhaps a yard sale is just not what you want to do. There are still other ways to sell your items you could use ebay, or amazon for anything from children's clothes or toys to books, videos, and electronics. If you have furniture that's still in good working condition, you can post them to craig's list or other free online classifieds, as well as your local newspaper (though it definitely won't be free). Also try consignment store's or maybe rent a booth at a neardy flea market that gets a lot of traffic. Used book and music stores will often buy your items as well.

Right so maybe all of that is just to time consuming or maybe you just don't have the motivation to make all that happen. I don't blame you. You still have a couple options and even though they are not directly making you money, you might see more dollar signs on your tax return. First what you need to do is make an itemized list of everything you are giving away. For example: 15 shirts, 10 pants, 20 childrens toys, 2 strollers, 1 couch... etc. When tax time comes keep your list with your W2's. Once you've done that you can begin the donation process. Some hospitals will take very gently used newborn items, as also might the department of social services. You can check online for local charities that take baby and children's clothes. A local church or daycare will welcome gently used toys. The humane society and local kennels will take your old pet items like leashes, muzzles, harnesses and carriers. Dress for success with accept gently used work/office attire. There are even charities you can donate your car too (one of them being habitat for humanity).

The upside of donating to various charities is that your stuff goes straight into the hands of someone that needs them. Instead of laying around on a shelf at goodwill for years until someone buys them. It doesn't really take that long and you can get the family in on it. It's a good time to teach your children about giving and even though they might not always see exactly who and where their donation helps, they can feel good knowing that it is going to help someone who really needs it.

Lastly if you really don't have the time or want to put forth the energy, you could simply load up your truck, or a neighbors, and haul your stuff down to goodwill. Or if don't have the time or energy for that either, there are charities (like Help Vets veteran charity) that will come and pick your stuff up for you. But you're still going to have to put forth a little energy into locating one.

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