Wednesday, April 9, 2014

9 Months to Christmas- Craft your way to a Happy Holiday! April's goals!

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April's Goals are the most simple of them all.  Hopefully you've started on your big item (or at least one of the items on your list), and maybe you've even finished something!  I am halfway done with one present and have been testing things for another.  You'll want to come back to your list again and look and see if any of your ideas have changed.  Here is my list (with updates and more comments!)

Must Craft For:
Queen Bee  -   Shawl like black and white one/ oval doily/ bath stuff/snowflake {blanket 2012}
Striker – single serving treats/pies in jars/something food/hotpads? {blanket 2013}
Lily – tiny animals, totoro set, a bed sized blanket
Lucy – animals, aquabats anything, TMBG dolls, bed sized blanket
MIL - snowflake/hotpads/socks{blanket 2012}
SIL - cowl/snowflake/hotpads/socks {blanket 2013}
Linney – socks/mittens?(something knit)
Hubs -  Extra big & long blanket/sampler style?

Would like to craft for:
Aud - snowflake/hotpads/socks (something knit)
Kynz - fingerless mitts
Efan -  Creeper hat
Humph - socks/mittens/cardi?
Shep - hat?
V -  horse something?
FIL – Green Bay Packers Blanket?
STLM - club covers? {blanket 2013}
GGJ- Snowflake/hotpads
Soo- Snowflake/hotpads

As you can see, I've added more "bulk creation" items (where i can make similar "copies" of an item for ease of gifting).  

I have a collection of snowflakes that I had been working on in my spare time, so this seems like a good year to give them out- so they've been added to my list, and hotpads are super easy- I love this vintage thick and easy potholder and all of my giftees love them too!

While I can't totally cross anyone off of my list yet, I've got a good start and lots of testing going.  I'm hoping this month to finish at least one project, sort through my snowflakes, and complete some testing/begin crafting on tested works.

Your goals for April are:

1) continue working on projects that you started in March.
2) test what you need to to prepare for work
3) work even more on finalizing your list
4) Finish at least one project, no matter how small- Just so you can have the pleasure of marking one thing off your list!!

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

10 Months to Christmas!!! March Goals!

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I wish I was better about being "on the ball" about posting on this topic, but somehow life keeps getting away from me!!  This month, you should be having some good ideas about the things that you want to be making for people- my list hasn't changed much from last month:

Must Craft For:
Queen Bee  -   Shawl like black and white one/ oval doily/ bath stuff/ {blanket 2012}
Striker – single serving treats/pies in jars/something food? {blanket 2013}
Lily – tiny animals, totoro set, a bed sized blanket
Lucy – animals, aquabats anything, TMBG dolls, bed sized blanket
MIL - {blanket 2012}
SIL - {blanket 2013}
Linney – (something knit)
Hubs -  Extra big & long blanket

Would like to craft for:
Aud - (something knit)
Kynz - fingerless mitts
Efan -  Creeper hat
Humph - cardi?
Shep - hat?
V -  horse something?
FIL – Green Bay Packers Blanket
STLM - {blanket 2013}

Now we're on to finalizing and starting work on things.

Here are some of the patterns that I have honed in on as things that I want to make for people, in no particular order:

Gail (Nightsongs)
Or this one:

Ashton Shawlette

A selection of flower motifs that might eventually make blankets for my girls beds:
Simple 10 Petal Afghan Square
Sunflower Motif
This awesome horse (but not for mittens!)

Meaghan's Mittens
Then I think I have someone in mind for a hybrid of these two Catching Fire Cowl patterns:

the Huntress Cowl

District 12 Cowl Wrap

So on to your goals for this month.... they're pretty easy still...

1:  Start working on one thing.  If this is a large blanket or simply a new pattern, it's better to get started on it now, rather than later when you might run out of time.

2: Continue to gather gift ideas and inspiration, pin yourself down to patterns or crafts and try to have at least half of your list finalized for April.

3: Create a "secret place" (mine is a box up on the top shelf of my closet) to store your finished gifts once they're done.

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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

11 Months to Christmas, February's Goals!

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In January, I introduced a monthly section on my blog devoted to helping you become a crafting master and increasing your ability to craft for everyone on your list.  January’s task was to just start thinking.  No need to start crafting yet (unless you were feeling very ambitious), just making lists of people that you would like to craft for and also gathering ideas of things that you would like to craft.
Before we move on to February’s goals and tasks, I would like to share with you my work done in January so that you can kind of get an idea about what goes on in my head when planning for Christmas all year long.

First up, my list of people whom I would like to craft for this year (nicknames have been provided to protect the innocent)

Must Craft For:
Queen Bee

Would like to craft for:

Now before I share the second stage of my list (which is very very messy) I would like to share with you how I keep my madness organized- First I have a pinterest board full of Christmas Crafting ideas.  Some of these I have found and marked with particular people in mind and others I have pinned just to have a general sense of some of the ideas that I would like to try.  Second, I start making notes- about comments people have made, prior years gifts (ie who has received a blanket from me before, as I try to cycle those), and other personality quirks and likes that I know my friends and family have. 

Now here’s where the fun comes in.  I have my first list again, this time with my possible gift ideas written next to each name.   Some names may have lots of items, and others may have none at all.  None of these are set in stone- they can change based on my mood, other projects that come along and many other fleeting things that happen in my life  (so in other words, if you think you’re on this list- you may or may not get anything on this list, instead you might get coal.)  The notes in parentheses are core requirements for whatever I make, if there are any.

Must Craft For:
Queen Bee  -   Shawl like black and white one/ oval doily/ bath stuff/ {blanket 2012}
Striker – single serving treats/pies in jars/something food? {blanket 2013}
Lily – tiny animals, totoro set, a bed sized blanket
Lucy – animals, aquabats anything, TMBG dolls, bed sized blanket
MIL - {blanket 2012}
SIL - {blanket 2013}
Linney – (something knit)
Hubs -  Extra big & long blanket

Would like to craft for:
Aud - (something knit)
Kynz -
Efan -
Humph -
Shep -
V -
FIL – Green Bay Packers Blanket
STLM - {blanket 2013}

I will continue to add to this list as the year progresses, as I find projects to start and things that inspire me.  

Next up, I always make a list of cool "group" gifts- gifts that can be made in larger quantities and gift to multiple people.  At the top of my list this year are cooking and baking ideas, followed by bath and then home decor.  In the end, what I do will all depend on how my mood fluctuates throughout the year.  

Now....   You've got a list started, you've got some vague ideas from a pinterest board... where to move from here?  How do you start working on things for Christmas this early?  Well, start with what is fun, what makes the most sense or what strikes you at the moment.  It's cold out now, and if you're a yarn crafter, that means it is the best time of the year to start working on blankets or sweaters- plus, these items can sometimes take a great deal of time, and starting on them now will ensure that you have them all done by the time Christmas comes around (or if not, you'll have enough time to at least know that you'll need to ditch it and head toward something easier for that person!)

So this brings me to your goals for February (being that it's so late in the month already, be thankful that your goals are easy)

1) Keep working on identifying gifts that could be nice to give to people.  Keep pinning and making notes.

2) If you find something that you love, or that is particularly seasonal in crafting (ie blankets and sweaters as I discussed before), start working on it!  Don't delay if you don't have to!  There's nothing wrong with getting a Christmas present done early!

Your main goal is to have all of your big ideas sorted out early.  This way you can get started on them in the first part of the year rather than later!  

In March, we'll see where my list has progressed and start organizing and checking items off our list!

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

What I'm Currently Working On....

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I always have something that I am working on, or something that I want to work on.  In fact, I have a ton of projects that I made for Christmas that I have yet to share on here, and can't wait to do so (but need more time in my life!).   For now, I am working on projects for myself and my daughters that I didn't have time to do last year.  I wanted to share a brief glimpse of what I have been working on (at a personal level, anyway) and this will give you something to read while you are eagerly (I know I'm a bit conceited) awaiting all my new patterns and pattern reviews from Christmas and leftover from last year.

First up, I just completed this hat:

Insulate Hat by Amy Van de Laar on Ravelry
Which I love love love!  I plan on writing a full review as part of the My Pattern Experience Series, but just want to say it was so much fun and I can identify all of my fellow Whovians from the moment they recognize my Daleks.  Plus, it's warmer on the inside!

I'm currently working on  the awesome scarf worn by the fourth Doctor (Tom Baker), and this is a beast of a scarf!  Designed at at least 12' long, this is truly a work of passion by a Doctor Who fan (myself).

Here's a WIP picture:
This is about 100 rows worked, with about 774 rows left!  Expect to see more pictures of this over the next few days, weeks, or more!

What I want to work on soon:

Tardis Afghan (knit) by Hedonknitstic on Ravelry
Tardis Socks by Gina Waters on Ravelry
Whovian Mittens by Paula Trumble on Ravelry

Now you might ask- is there anything NOT Doctor Who related on your wish list for crafting this year?

Yes, there is.  Doctor Who falls at the top though.

Totoro Norwegian Mittens by brella on Ravelry
I also want to make things from Totoro.  Like these mittens.... 

or this awesome cat bus for my kids:

Cat Bus and Small Totoro Patterns by Sojala on Ravelry

which would not be complete without a whole army of Totoros to put inside.

I also plan on replacing all of my childrens plastic play food with crocheted play food that I can throw in the washing machine! ;)

After that, it's more tiny animals for my daughters dollhouse (I won't share pictures of these until the patterns are ready, as those are my own creation)

I'm also working on the creation of a really unique household decoration!  (Also a secret until the reveal, but it may be one of my most involved self-created patterns!)

Of course, there's a whole selection of things that I haven't shown here, but those are the main up and coming crochet/knit items!

What projects are you working on right now?

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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

January Marks....

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The start of 2014's Christmas Crafting Season!  (Yes, this is a season for me that lasts all year long)  

In November and December when I start showing off sneak peeks of Christmas gifts I have made, I always get the same comment:  "I don't know how you do it all!"

Well, this year, I thought I would share my technique for crafting for your gift list instead of buying.  My secret is that I really start in January!  Now, this is not to say that I get it all done in January and have the rest of the year to do whatever, but instead that I start planning and every month I set a goal for what to accomplish off of my list that I make in January.  

Would you like to craft your Christmas this year?  Follow along with me as I provide my tips, challenges and inspiration on my Facebook Group:  

January's Mission has already been posted!
Continue Reading ...
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