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Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I love seeing projects that crocheters just come up with by themselves, and I especially love it if I was able to help in some way!  One of the areas of crochet I've been exploring recently is Tunisian, and I've taught a few classes on it.  I came up with a scarf pattern that was designed to help students learn three basic Tunisian stitches (Tunisian knit stitch, Tunisian purl stitch, and Tunisian simple stitch) and posted it on Ravelry (I tried to include lots of pictures and written descriptions of all three stitches so that it wouldn't be too hard to give it a try without an instructor).

The other day, I had an email waiting for me -- one of my pattern purchasers was writing to show me the house jumper that she made with Tunisian crochet to use up her stash!  It's amazing how she created this beautiful project from scratch, and I'm so happy she shared her pictures with me and gave me permission to show off her talent and creativity to you all :-)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Appreciation and Automation

Wow, it's been a busy week!  I don't want to talk too soon, but I think a pattern of mine is going to be published in a magazine!!  I was putting the final touches on the sample to send for approval and still need to double check the pattern before turning that in.  More details will come as things firm up...

Pushing to meet this deadline really made me start appreciating what great opportunities might be opening to me and got me to focus on the positive rather than the negative.  The housework is still piling up, I'm still woefully behind on paperwork, I can't get MailChimp to automatically integrate with PayPal, but hey, I'm trying to let it all slide down my back like water off a duck and "like my life" :-)

Mmm, I am feeling a creativity spurt coming on though -- I've been seeing some really cool patterns in my mind's eye, so I'm hoping I can start actualizing them soon.  As I've written about in the past, I so totally appreciate how small business owners struggle with doing the actual thing that they love (making their product) versus the business, marketing, organizing, etc. side of things.  I'm enjoying trying out some new software products that are supposed to help automate certain functions, and I will definitely share as I find ones that work (probably helpful for me to share the ones that aren't so great either).  I continue to really like MailChimp, but I have been experiencing some problems with trying to get different services to integrate with each other.  Customer service has been responsive though, so I'm hoping to report a happy ending to that saga soon.  I also think it might be time for me to start utilizing an accounting program to keep track of expenses and income (my Excel spreadsheet has been working ok so far, but I'm starting to see limits to my having to input everything manually).  I just read about, which sounds like it might be what I'm looking for, but there is a monthly fee that kicks in after a trial period.  I'm going to keep searching for a free service and will report back on that too!  Let me know if you've had success with a service you like :-)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Like Your Life

Sometimes someone just says something that has a profound effect on you.  I don't know if I've ever mentioned this before, but, on Tuesdays, a group of us meet in the gym at work to do 1/2 hour of yoga.  We pop in a DVD and just follow along.  At the end of class this past Tuesday, one of the ladies in the class said to me "I walk 5 to 7 miles a day, and I've been working in the garden too."  I said that I thought that was great, and she turned to me with this great big smile on her face and said "I like my life."

Wow.  That simple statement just stopped me in my tracks and had me thinking on and off all day.  Maybe it really hit me because I'm not sure I can say that right now.  It's been very busy and stressful at work recently, which of course has made it difficult to keep up with crocheting and small business matters when I get home.  But, like all changes you face in life, it just takes some getting used to and getting into a groove.  The weather has been getting better here in DC, which always makes me feel better and more optimistic.  I'm getting more efficient at work, so I'm not as tired when I get home, so you know, with a few adjustments, I think I'm on the verge of liking my life too :-)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Let the Sun Shine

Wow, what a difference a few degrees can make! I am always amazed by how weather affects my mood, my motivation, my ability to get stuff done...

So, my latest thing has been experimenting with tapestry crochet. I feel old school by pulling out the graph paper, but I really haven't researched what software is available to help with this. I really like incorporating tapestry into working in the round because, then, it really has that intricate knit look to it. I hope to post some pix soon.

Other than that, the Mailchimp is working well, though I haven't figured out yet how to archive the newsletters yet, but it will come :-)

Ok, this was just a quick update, more posting soon!