Friday, December 17, 2010

Christmas is coming

I recently made up several scarves at the request of a shop owner.  Unfortunately, the shop is now out of business.  Before I list these on Etsy, I'd like to give you an opportunity to buy them.  I will offer 10% off the original price and shipping will be exactly what the USPO charges me - or those of you living near me, we'll work something out ;-)  I usually use PayPal but am open to other options. Remember that Indiana Sheltie Rescue receives a minimum of 20% of each sale.  You can see pictures of the scarves at AnnCrochets on Photobucket.   Thanks and happy shopping!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Aleutia's dress

This picture didn't come out very well - nothing new about that!  But it's Aleutia's dress-to-be.  Believe it or not, the colors are red, white and blue.  It measures about 9" from top to bottom.  I will take it along the next time I see her and decide where on the T-shirt to attach it.  It lays fairly flat right now but will (I hope) ripple gently when attached.  I'm not too impressed with the outcome and will probably tweak the pattern a lot.  But this was my first try for this kind of a project so I'll consider it a successsful experiment and a learning opportunity.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

I see it's been a month since I was here last.  Times flies when you're having fun - or are just busy!  I continue to wonder how a retired couple can stay so busy.  I've finished up several crochet projects and am still working on getting them ready for Etsy.  (How I hate taking pictures!) 

Another project that has kept me busy is I found a shop in Lebanon where I now have things on consignment.  If you're in the neighborhood, check out Apron Strings.  It's on the east side of the square in Lebanon (Indiana).  I took several capes/stoles/shawls in in the middle of Sept.  The two women who run the shop each bought a stole and kept another one for the shop (which sold the first weekend there).  After talking over what they want, I made a scarf and stole and took them to the shop last week.  They also accepted some of the new things whose pictures I'd been agonizing over. I feel like I dodged a bullet by not having to list them on Etsy. Hopefully this will turn into another outlet for my crochet.

I finally got started on another project that's been patiently waiting for me.  I found a couple of T-shirts on sale and thought how cute they would look with ruffled skirts.  I'd been mulling over the project for a while and figuring out how I wanted to do it.  This weekend I started the actual crocheting.  The shirt will have 3 tiers and each will be a different color.  It's going slowly as I am having to figure out each step.  I'm also taking notes along the way so I can re-create it with another shirt later on.  Then there's the fact that I screwed it up and had to frog (rip it, rip it) it and start over when I was half done - bummer!  The first shirt is white and I'm using red, white and blue yarn.  I debated about the patriotic colors but tonight when I talked to Aleutia she was telling me about her new flag pin with an  American flag so I think I'm going to look real good when this is over ;0 ) 

If I get enough done, I'll add a picture of the dress/T-shirt so you can see what I'm talking about.

Friday, September 3, 2010

I didn't really forget.......

Since the stroke I seem to have ADD and have a lot of trouble sticking with things. I have so many things that slip through the cracks only to resurface eventually and require attention. It's quite frustrating! I am aware that I left some loose ends on previous postings and thought I'd rectify that.

About a year ago I said I would try to figure out how many hours went into a particular item - particularly as that related to the price I was asking for that piece. (Basically someone said my work was under-priced.) I kept track of the hours involved in a shawl. It got to be a royal pain and ultimately I quit counting. I can tell you that when I quit, the number of hours stood at 55 and the shawl was maybe 3/4 done. I can't remember exactly what minimum wage rate is, but assuming it is 7.15 an hour and that I worked 60 hours (a VERY minimal estimate), the price would be $429 and that doesn't include the price of the materials. Because most of my crocheting is done in conjunction with another activity - watching tv, riding in the car, etc. - I don't 'pay' myself even minimum wage. At one point I roughly estimated the hours involved in crocheting the blue bedspread that's currently on Etsy. I think I paid myself $5 an hour and the estimated price came up as $2200!!! With a price tag that big, I'm likely to die being the proud owner of that bedspread! So I start with the cost of the materials and then add enough to hopefully strike a happy medium between what I think it's worth and what I think people will be willing to pay for it. Most of my work involves large items and it's unrealistic to think I can equate the time spent on that to someone whipping out a scarf or two every evening. That might prove to earn $10 an hour. So I'll continue to crochet the items I like and then try to find someone else who likes the same thing. Hopefully I'll make a little money, the Shelties will make some money and I'll be satisfying the creative juices that flow in my veins and there will be customers out there who are happy with a handmade whatever!

My other dangling project was a 'new project' from June 2009. It was to be a round tablecloth. The thread was on a big cone that came without any labels for yardage, size, fiber content, etc. I really like the thread and enjoyed working with it. Not long Thanksgiving, I realized that the cone did not hold nearly enough thread to finish the piece. So I put it away for a while until I could decide that I wanted to do about/with it. Ultimately, I elected to unravel a couple of rows and then finish off the round of pineapples. It turned out to measure about 45" in diameter and I sold it a month or so ago.

So now you know what happened to those two things - I am sure you were all waiting ever so impatiently to know ;-)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My blue ribbon winner

This is a picture of the white shawl that earned a blue ribbon at the Indiana State Fair this year. It was adapted from a round table. I don't have exact measurements right now - it's still on display at the Fair until August 22 - but the size is probably a 'large.' Once the Fair is over, I've got to take a lot of pictures and write descriptions to be ready to list the things on Etsy.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

State Fair Results

Today was the open house and preview of exhibits which is just for exhibitors. The fair starts August 6. Out of 7 entries, I took a first, a second, a fourth and an Honorable Mention. I was delighted. I would love to be a little mouse during judging and see exactly what they look for/at and how the decisions on placings are made. Two of my ribbons were for new items so I don't have pictures of them yet. But here are pictures and thoughts about two of my entries:

Or not. I've been having 'issues' with Google and it looks like it's extending into the blog as well as both of my email accounts. Grrrrrrrrrr. I can't get the pictures I want to upload.- or more accurately, I can't get it to upload anything! My lavender baby afghan is in the Afghans album at AnnCrochets on PhotoBucket under the name 'Lilac Cricle.' I really like this afghan and was glad it got an Honorable Mention.

So now I'm off to have a chat with Google. Wish me well........

Sunday, July 25, 2010

One fair down and one to go

I entered 5 items in our county fair. I'd like to boast that I received 5 blue ribbons (which I did) but I can't see much to brag about since everyone in the crochet section (and most other categories as well) received a blue ribbon and I don't think I saw a single ribbon that wasn't blue (except the sweepstakes winner) in all the needle arts classes. Maybe I'm odd, but to me a blue ribbon is a symbol of being the best. Therefore giving a blue ribbon to everyone lessens the value of each ribbon. I'm all for it if they gave a ribbon (pick any color but blue) and awarded that for participating, and could even accept two or three blue ribbons in a class (depending on the number of entries) for really good work, but I think to blanket the division in blue is not the right thing to do. I realize that comparing a county fair to a state fair is kind of unfair because of the differing sizes but......... I don't remember how many places they award at the State Fair (maybe 5?) and they also give a few 'Honorable Mention' ribbons which I always was proud of. I felt like I'd made the final cut and had had a shot at being declared the best of the best.

It had been a busy week getting ready for the fair. Then this week just past was busy with freezing corn, getting my State Fair entries ready and just life in general. Saturday morning the county fair entries were released. I picked them up and headed for Indianapolis. I took 3 of the entries from the county fair to the state fair along with 4 others - total of 7. I dropped off my entries at the fairgrounds then headed north to Camel for a dog agility trial. Indiana Sheltie Rescue had the concession stand and a bake sale as a fund raiser. Bob spent Saturday and Sunday at the track. It's so good to see him feeling so much better and able to do things like that. But we're both pooped tonight!

The state fair entries were accepted yesterday and today. I'm not sure just when the judging is but the fair opens August 6. The Indiana State Fair does something I think is nice: On Sunday, August 1 there is an open house for all the exhibitors to come and see the exhibits in the Family and Home Arts Building. There usually are punch and cookies (Archway, of course) and it's neat to get a sneak peek at all the entries and see who won what. I hope I can go that day.

So now I just sit back and wait to see how I did. Actually, I probably won't be sitting all that much, but you know what I mean ;0)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Fun in Sugar Creek

This is a non-crochet posting. This past weekend we had a family outing. We took our camper to a campground on Sugar Creek in west-central Indiana. We were lucky to have great weather. Ale stayed with us the entire weekend. Our son David, his wife Jessica and 17-month-old grandson Cason came Saturday. I think everyone had a good time. The lower picture is of Bob and Ale in Sugar Creek.

The picture on top is of Cason getting Sugar Creek washed off. He really enjoyed the shower and tried to do it himself and wasn't the least bit interested in whether he had an audience or not!

This was our first camping trip since we got home from Arizona in April 2009. It was good to get away but I keep forgetting how much work is involved in going camping. You spend a lot of time and energy hauling stuff out of a perfectly good home into a smaller space. And before you're out of sight of home, you've started the list of 'what we forgot!' I'm old enough I'd just about rather make arrangements for food delivery for the entire weekend and just stay at home.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

It's Fair Time

For the first time in several years, I'm planning on entering some of my crochet in the Hendricks County Fair and the Indiana State Fair. I haven't exhibited at all for several years and never have been able to do both fairs the same year but each have changed the dates enough that I can enter the same items in both fairs. But it's tight. The entries from Hendricks County are released on July 24 and have to be in Indianapolis the next day.

I have always felt I wanted my entries to be something a little special. So this year I am making a shawl and cafe curtain especially for the fairs and then also entering other items that aren't new (although the rules say the exhibits have to have been made within the last three years). I loved the curtain pattern - roses in filet crochet. The designer did a great job with the pattern. Unlike a lot of filet, the roses really pop out. The shawl is from a pattern for a round tablecloth that I really liked. The pattern called for six panels. I took out 2 panels so it looks like a pie with a couple of slices missing. It was a challenge to figure out how to do it but I think it's going to make a wonderful shawl. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Summer in Indiana

No new pictures tonight. Just the musings of a native Hoosier who remembers James Whitcomb Riley's line 'Ain't God good to Indiana.' (I really don't remember HIM!!! I'm not THAT old!)

The lightening bugs appeared at the end of May. They just seem to lend an enchanted element to a summer evening. I enjoy watching them rise from the grass/soy beans/hay and disappear. They return to the grass and the next evening, it all starts again. The wheat will be ready in the next 10 days or so and shortly after that, they will disappear for another year.

Thinking about them got me to remembering other summer bugs from my youth. I realize now that I haven't seen a June bug for a long time. They usually came before June and stayed most of the summer so I'm not sure why they were called June bugs. I remember hearing them buzzing around and I guess bouncing off things. They made a big 'pop' when they hit something.

Then there were the oats bugs. These little black bugs used to be everywhere in the summer but have been gone for a long time. They were small enough to come in to the house through the screens. I don't remember them ever flying. They just sort of 'infiltrated' everywhere. I remember them in the butter - yes back then we had real, honest-to-God butter and it sat out all the time and so was very soft. The bugs got caught in it. Every fall we would take all the pictures down from the walls and remove all the oats bugs that had worked their way behind the glass. As I said, they were every place - even on us. And in pre-air conditioning times, they stuck to our sweaty bodies. Ok, now I've grossed you out so I'll quit. But it's just another indication of how much things have changed 'down on the farm'!!!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

WIP to finished shawl

Well, I had wanted to put a picture of the unfinished shawl on top and the finished shawl below the text. But after 2 attempts, I'm going to let it go where Google in its infinite wisdom thinks it should go. By the time I figure it out, I'll be too old to fix it!

The lower picture is a recent WIP (work in progress). It is a teal shawl made in fingering yarn. It shows the white yarn I used to mark the increases on each row. Sadly, it also shows the strap of my camera :-( The top picture shows the FO (finished object). The basic pattern is Doris Chan's All Shawl but I didn't make it a complete circle and I added the three bands of openwork. It is shaped like a pie with a couple of slices missing. I like that shape because I think it stays in place better than most triangular shawls. I am pleased with the finished product. It measures 27" deep.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

More crochet

I've made a (however belated) New's Year Resolution. Beginning with June, I will post more frequently - I promise! Bob's doing much better now and I have been finishing up projects. I took pictures of the bedspread tonight but forgot to measure it. So I'll have to spread it out again - grrrr. This scarf is one of the projects I finished recently. I was just playing around with the stitch (lacet) and #20 thread. After blocking it, I think it might look cute with a big, floppy bow. I'll be posting it on Etsy soon.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Our 'new' Sheltie

This is Ceasar, the Sheltie who joined our family in September. He came into rescue in July, 2009. He had been shaved for some reason. This picture was taken shortly after he arrived. Now, (March, 2010) he has a full coat and thinks he's quite handsome (as do we!).

When you're ready to think about a new 4-legged family member, please think about a rescue rather than a breeder and especially in place of a pet store. Most dogs coming into rescue are already house-broken and beyond the chewing age and other puppy annoyances. No matter what breed you like, there is probably a rescue group who would love to help you find a new forever friend.

I finished the bedspread and will block it when the weather is better (will put it outside on a sheet to block). The teal shawl is almost done. I had a project in mind but abandoned it when I decided it was just beyond my mental capabilities. Since the stroke, I've not been able to follow a lot of directions and the pattern I wanted to do was just beyond my skills. So I dug out some UFO's (un-finished objects) and will try to get them ready for Etsy. I plan to start listing again after the first of the month.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Well, no pictures today. Just wanted to prove I was still alive. Since my last post, Bob's illness, surgery, the holidays, unending medical tests and chemo have pretty much put any idea of posting on a back burner. Right now Bob is in the hospital recovering from an infection so it's pretty quiet at home. The dogs realize something isn't right and are pretty subdued (most of the time).

I have to admit it has been a pretty productive winter for crocheting while waiting in doctor offices, hospital rooms, etc. I have finished 2 shawls - magenta and royal blue and a tablecloth that started as a doily and grew to be 54" square. There were several headbands as I worked out a pattern for my brother the cyclist. And I have almost finished a bedspread that I started 5 years ago - just a final row of single crochet around the perimeter. I started it our first winter in Arizona. After the first summer, it was big enough that I put it up during warm weather and only worked on it during the winter. Now I'm working on a teal shawl. It's far enough along that I'm already planning my next project. It gets to be a challenge to have things that are portable when I really don't 'do' little items very often (except requests from family).