Halloween 2014!

For those of you who know me in real life, you all know about my love for Halloween. For those of you who don’t know me in real life, Halloween has always been my favorite holiday. I love it so much, as does my husband, that our wedding had a Halloween theme to it! There’s just something about it that I love. These days, spooks and thrills are my favorite thing about it, when I was younger and a fraid-y cat, I just loved getting to dress up in costume so that nobody would know that I was who I was, it was my chance to fit in for a single night and a chance for me to be me without being looked down upon. The fact that I’d get bags full of candy didn’t hurt matters, either!

I’ve always been a fan of the macabre and “spooky” things, even if they use to terrify me. When I was a young child, one year I went as Morticia Addams, and the following year I went as Lily Munster, two of my idols from two of my favorite shows (the original Addams Family, I’d like to add, I never liked the 90’s Addams Family until I grew up). As I grew older my costumes started to change into things that I felt like them being, instead of what my parents thought was acceptable. I even went trick-or-treating all the way until I was in 10th grade, but I went in full costume with my best friend, traipsing through our neighborhoods having a blast. My junior and senior year of high school were spent driving around filming terrible “horror movies” with gore courtesy of the Burger King condiment bar. After high school Dain (who was just my boyfriend at the time) and I bought a 1977 Chrysler Town & Country hearse for me – to go with his 1981 Cadillac DeVille hearse, naturally, and ever year since 2006, I’ve spent Halloween with Dain, sometimes our friends, and, as of 2007, two hearses, instead of just one. Of course, as years go on and you hold an interest in something, your collection of those things grows a bit bigger each year, and our Halloween collection is no exception!

Since I’m so fond of Halloween and our set up each year, I always take pictures to watch how it grows and look for ways that we can improve on it. Please forgive me for the not-so-great quality of these pictures. For some reason I refuse to use a tripod when I use my actual camera, and the pictures from my phone were seriously lacking this time around, when usually they’re of fairly good quality. I hope you can at least get an idea as to the awesomeness that is our set up! I’m breaking these up into two groups, pictures from my phone, and the ones from my camera. I hope you all enjoy!

Pictures from my camera:

Pictures from my phone:

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My first few things for sale!

It has finally happened, I have finally made a couple of things to sell, and I am thrilled and plan to make many, many more things to sell. After all, my dream is to eventually have selling my creations be my main and only source of income. I will remain hopeful! I’m under no false pretenses that these items are going to fly off of the shelves, but I can remain hopeful, right?

Want to check them out? Here’s my shop.

Also, if you’re interested, check out my facebook page! I plan to do a giveaway when I reach 100 likes! While we’re at it, what would you be interested in from a giveaway? Yarn? A hat? Scarf? Notions? Let me know 🙂

Catchin’ Up on This Fine Monday!

So I’ve been MIA for another week! I think I can finally get back into the regular swing of things with blogging and crafting.

I may have mentioned in a previous post, I had a phone interview with a state credit union and was moving onto the next step in the interviewing process. Unfortunately, I did not go any further, which was a pretty big blow to me, and it kept me down for quite a while, but there’s a reason that I didn’t get that job, I just haven’t quite figured it out yet.

I applied to a temp agency in town last week and had an interview with them last Wednesday. I believe it went well! It went well enough to where they decided to place me in a (very temporary) gig as an Election Judge in the upcoming elections on November 4th. It’s only a total of 9 hours, but it will look nice on my resume and I’m very excited about it. I kind of hope I get to work either the ballot box and hand out stickers or the demonstration table, as those seem to be the least stress inducing. I was informed by one of my references that the temp agency had contacted them, so I hope that means that the rest of my references will get back to the agency and they’ll place me in a quick manner.

I finished the Super Secret Projects, which were two hats for a couple of friends. A Cthulu hat, and a hat to look like their cat, Odin:

I was also asked to make another skull scarf for someone’s favorite little guy. Which I am excited to get wrapped up and sent off. It shouldn’t take too much longer to finish that up!

I’ve made a couple of other hats in the last week, a brain hat and a regular “fashion” hat. The brain hat has yet to have the brain attached, and the other hat I have yet to take a picture of, which I might save for Finished it Friday.

 

My very first Yarnbox arrived on Friday and I am totally and completely hooked. The yarn they sent is wonderful and the patterns that are included are wonderful. This month’s yarn was from’ Neighborhood Fiber Company, in one of two weights, either a “Rustic Fingering” in a palette of candy apple reds, midnight blues, vibrant violet, and deep greens. The other weight is DK, in two colors, a bright last-leaf green or soft gray.’ The featured designers are Annie Riley and Katya Novikova, the free patterns are “Leaflet Gloves” by Annie Riley and “Overcast” which is a beautiful shawl from Katya Novikova. I am still tossing around the idea of making the Overcast shawl, or if I’m going to search around for something else. Luckily for me, yarn doesn’t expire! I have found, however, that I now need a ball winder, as these yarns come in hanks, as they would if they were shipped to a store, and to make things easier for me I should really buy a ball winder. It’s on the list!

I also had a surprise arrive at my doorstep on Thursday! It was totally unexpected and completely awesome. Sometimes, my mom really understands my needs:

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Officially my new favorite sweater!

I am also preparing for my monthly yarn order early this coming month, which is all yarn for Christmas gifts. I’ve got enough yarn otherwise to make a few things to sell. I’m having a hard time coping with the fact that not only is it almost Halloween, but Christmas is right around the corner, too. Damn.

Well, that about sums it up for me! Happy crafting, everyone

Autumn Bluff Beauty

So I have been MIA for the last week, it’s been a busy week with not a whole lot of time to sit down and blog, let alone sit down and craft. However, thanks to some beautiful weather here in Southeast Minnesota, and the autumn colors finally coming ’round to visit, I did accomplish something on my to-do list.

So what’s kept me so busy? Well, October is a busy month full of birthdays and anniversaries and of course, autumn!

Tuesday was my brother-in-law’s birthday, which I did not attend, due to a recent falling out, but my husband, father-in-law, and mother-in-law all went to supper and to have a housewarming type deal for my brother-in-law. It was apparently a good time, they went to Famous Dave’s (which, really, you can’t go wrong there) and they had cake and everyone got to see my brother-in-law’s girlfriend’s kids. So that was good. In the meantime, I had the whole house to myself to just sit in silence, which is not something that I get to do very often. I don’t even really remember if I played any music, but I do know that there wasn’t any sound aside from the occasional barking from the dogs due to whatever it is that they decide to bark at (seriously, I think they just like to bark. 98% of the time there isn’t a damned thing out of the window that they’re barking at). It was really nice and something that I really need to do more often.

Wednesday was mine and Dain’s 3 year wedding anniversary. It’s hard to believe that it was already three years ago, but I couldn’t be happier. I’ve found somebody who loves me for all of my quirks and problems and doesn’t think that I should just drop dead. We spent the day with our friend who officiated our wedding, she happens to be one of our very best friends and one of the few people who will actually make time for us out of their lives. After we spent time with her, we spent time with our other best friend who happened to be in town for a few days. It was really great to see him, like it always is. While we didn’t get to do anything extraordinary, we got to spend it with some of our best friends and wouldn’t have had it any other way. It was a really great way to spend our anniversary.

Thursday was my sister-in-law’s birthday. However, we did not get together with her as she lives on the East coast, BUT! we spent the afternoon out and about taking pictures in one of the most beautiful spots in the entire country. I might be biased because I live here, but I’ve lived a handful of other places that gloat that they’re the “Most Beautiful Place In America” and they’ve got nothing on this area. We went out armed with two 35mm cameras and my digital point-and-shoot and only got about 1/8th of the way into the cemetery (yes, yes. Trust me, it’s gorgeous) before both 35mm cameras were out of film, and because we’re awesome, we didn’t bring any extra film (not to mention the second camera that we brought, my Holga, wouldn’t have been able to have been used even if we did bring extra film because I need either a dark room or a changing bag because you can’t wind the film, and it’s not technically made for 35mm). We continued on in a little ways and took a bunch of shots with the digital. We haven’t gotten the film developed yet (because the pricing is outrageous and our budget is capped for the month) but hopefully in a couple of weeks I will have the film processed and ready to post.

In the meantime, however, here are the digital photos that we took! I don’t remember all of what I took and all of what Dain took, but it’s about 50/50, so he gets credit. I say that the shots that he took are better (the few that I remember him taking) and he says that the shots that I took (that he remembers) are better. So we’re at a stalemate. I hope you all enjoy!

I am really excited to get back into creating things and I’m even more excited for Hallowe’en. Only 11 more days after today! Hell yeah!

When Do You Say “No”?

I think everybody who crafts probably has that one (or several) person in their life – A friend, a parent, a sibling – someone who you’re fairly close to and spend a significant amount of time with, and someone that you really don’t mind doing things for, including making items of your craft for them. At first it starts out with a few things here or there. That person would like a gift made for their co-worker’s baby shower. So you agree to make it, and everyone falls in love with the item when that co-worker shows it off to everyone at work. “Great!” You think to yourself, “I’ll get a little bit of work out of this!” And you patiently await to take some orders.

But those orders never come. However, this person in your life comes back to you and asks you for another item, so you make it and they bring it to their co-workers, and you again patiently await more orders, yet your phone still doesn’t ring. You convince yourself that times are tough and most people just don’t have the spare cash to buy something like that, especially while bringing a new life into the world, so you let it slide.

So a short while later, you’re approached again, and again – and you oblige. This person has done a lot for you and never really put up much of a stink about what they’ve done for you, so why should you make a stink about doing things for them? However, your supplies for your crafts are starting to run low, and you don’t have any spare cash to buy supplies because you’re not taking much (or any) money in because your product is just being given away with no return customers. This person who asks you to do this stuff is always very appreciative of what you do for them, but appreciation only goes so far.

Then this person comes to you after bringing another one of your creations to their co-workers and tells you about how two or three of their co-workers asked if you could make one of these items for them. “Finally!” you think to yourself, “My big break!” This person in you life goes on to tell you all of the colors that they want them in. So you tell that person in your life that you’d be glad to do them, but depending on the size, each item will cost $x0 amount to $x5, but you’d be more than happy to do it. This person kind of gives you a look, and quickly changes the subject, and then doesn’t bring it up again for a couple of weeks.

Then, while you’re finishing up your current project and showing it off to the people around you, this person asks you if you could make them another of your items for So-and-So’s baby shower on Tuesday. Again, you oblige, even though it’s currently Thursday and you’ve got paying customers stuff to make already. So you continue to work on your paying customers items as well as go about your normal life.

It’s now Sunday night, and this person sees you organizing your craft supplies and overhears you talking to your partner/friend/cat about the project that you have to do and get sent out, so they ask you if you’re going to have that item done by Tuesday, as it’s the last day that person will see their co-worker, and since “[the item] doesn’t take you much time to do” you’re expected to get it done now. So you set aside your paying project and try to find supplies to appease the needs of the new item. When you’re told about the type of items that are needed for this new item, you suddenly realize that this item is an item that was mentioned to you before, that it was one of the 3 co-workers who all thought the last item was super cute and wanted one for themselves. You’ve been bamboozled into giving away more of your product.

All of this wouldn’t be a big deal, but the money that you make from the sale of these items is your fuel and food money, the couple of things that this person always complains about you not having enough of.

You realize that you’re being taken complete advantage of. You’ve made well into the three digit amounts of money for this person, and you’ve only gotten one sale out of it.

When do you tell that person “That’s enough! I can’t keep making things for you to give away!”? How do you approach that conversation? Do you just suck it up and continue to make things and hope that, eventually, traffic will make it’s way to your site, product will start selling, and orders will be placed? Even though you’ve made something for what seems like every single person that person works with?

 

Finished it Friday: Busy Bee.

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I feel bad and like I shouldn’t make this post, I have no pictures to share – well, I do – but I can’t post them until the couple of items make their way to their new home. They’re gifts for a couple of friends (a couple, and one half of the couple is giving it to the other half), and ergo are a surprise. I really wish I could show this first item off, because it’s pretty cool and turned out really well. The friend that is giving it to their significant other says that they’ll love it, so I’m really excited for these items to make it there.

This week has had some exciting events, we took a trip to the ER for Dain because he fell down the stairs earlier last week and has since had some weakness in his right leg. Thankfully, the ER doctor thinks that he’s okay, and that his back is just bruised, so he got some medicine to help with the pain and was told to try physical therapy after about two weeks and that should help. So we will see. We’re both still in doctor limbo, and I just went a little further in, as the psychiatrist that I had started to see to change things up has told me he is retiring in December, so I am left grasping in the dark for what to do next, I might get another referral from my cardiologist and go from there. I do have instructions for the rest of the year, however. So that’s good.

Our best friend has been in town since Wednesday, so Thursday and today we have spent almost all of our waking hours with him, he’s on his way home now, or will be at some point. I had an idea about something for this summer, which I have shared with Dain and our friend, but I’m keeping to it  myself until a solid decision is made.

I had a phone interview with a state credit union and pending a credit check, I will get to move on to an in person interview. I’m crossing my fingers! Getting this job would help with be aforementioned plan (also, it would feed my yarn addiction, which is always a good thing!).

It is my mother’s birthday today. October is a busy birthday month between my family and Dain’s family for birthdays. Not to mention our and his parents wedding anniversary.

So it’s been exciting! Unfortunately it takes away from my crafting time, but sometimes you need to take a break and enjoy life. I’m excited for my first Yarnbox to arrive in the next couple of weeks! I’m really looking forward to that, and we’re going out to take pictures of the colors on the bluffs this weekend and we’re really, really looking forward to Hallowe’en. I still need to find a dark blue knee-length skirt to finish my costume!

Happy Friday!

What’s Happenin’ Wednesday – The Secret Edition.

This past week has been rather uneventful as far as actual happenings, but very eventful in my personal relationships. I’ve also started to realize that people will gladly pay me for the things that I create, something that I still can’t quite wrap my head around, but whenever I’m told or offered compensation for my hard work, it always boosts my confidence and gives me a little extra push to getting the process started on selling my creations.

So… What’s Happenin’:

In my personal life:

  • My second oldest younger brother (I’m the oldest by 8 years to five other siblings from two different families, 4 half brothers and a half
    The two that are 18 are the tallest, the one in the hat is the one whose birthday is today.

    The two that are 18 are the tallest, the one in the hat is the one whose birthday is today.

    sister all together) turns the big 1-8 today. It’s hard for me to grasp that he’s that old, of course, it was just as hard for me to grasp my oldest younger brother turning 18 back in January. I’m not upset that I’m getting older, but it bothers the living shit out of me that they’re getting older. Pretty soon they’ll all be grown and then what?

  • I had a recent falling out with a member of my family, which I do not regret in the slightest, and in fact, feel 100% better for, even if it seems to have made some family members upset and others cheering me on.
  • I mailed off a few projects to people who had requested them, a Dead Fish Hat and shark mittens for my end of a barter for my company logo, as well as a sweater for my baby cousin, both of which I had started months ago or had finished months ago but never remembered to send out, I also mailed off a pair of slippers to my mother, which she loved.
  • The slippers prompted my aunt to ask me for an order of 5 pairs of slippers for some Christmas gifts, but shhh, they’re a secret.
  • I was also awpid-20141007_211035_lls.jpgsked by a friend to make a couple of hats for their significant other for Halloween, one of which I’m almost done with, and the other of which I have to wait for a picture so I can start on that, but shhh! It’s also a secret.
  • I’ve been asked by my mother-in-law to make yet another fish hat for another co-worker that’s expecting. I should really start charging her for these, as I’ve made at least $180 worth of these and similar hats for her co-workers. I might just be a little bitter. I feel like I’m being taken advantage of here.
  • I was reminded by my mom that she wants an afgan based off of the circular pattern of Owl Obsession by TheHatAndI, a pattern that I bought and absolutely love, definitely one of my favorite $6 ever spent.
  • The cortisone injection that I was scheduled for last week did not happen again due to lab work not being within range. So we rescheduled to the end of October, which if at that point my lab work comes back out of range again, I’m refusing to have the injection done. At that point, the Universe is telling me not to have these injections. Three strikes and you’re out!

In my book adventures:

  • Yet again I haven’t picked up a book in a long while. I’ve been spending most of my time crocheting or doing laundry or running around town with my husband. I was told by my friend Jon that I was to read Patrick Rothfuss’ book, or else…. So I suppose I should pick that one back up again. It was just starting to get good, after all.

On my hooks:

  • 2 Super Secret Projects
  • 1 Fish Hat
  • 1 Pair of Slippers

In relation to my hooks:

  • I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of my very first Yarnbox order at the end of the month, I can’t even begin to explain how excited I am about this subscription service.