I Saw A Hat

I saw a hat on Pinterest.

hat to try

I was smitten, so I tracked it down and  there was a pattern.
It was in Russian though.
Google Translator really sucks at translating patterns…I’m just saying.

So I gave up and made my own version.P1040734 P1040724
No, I did not write down the pattern.

After all life is so much more exciting when… it’s December and you have to try to remember what you did a year ago because someone really likes that hat , but they want it in red.

But seriously, I’m working on being better organized – I just haven’t done anything about it yet.

 

The hat is available in my Etsy shop

But what do you think? Did I even come close to the  original pattern?

A little bit of geekery – Celebrating Pokemon X and Y

Today’s post was written by my youngest(who is really,really looking forward to picking up the new pokemon game tomorrow):pokemon collage

It’s been 14 years since that fateful Christmas morning where my parents gifted me with a yellow Gameboy Color and Pokemon Red and Blue. As a kid, I watched Pokemon on TV, so when I ripped off the wrapping paper and saw the word “Pokemon” in big, yellow letters, I flipped out! I never thought I would get to be like Ash Ketchum and become a Pokemon trainer. I remember staying up as late as I could just to play Pokemon. I played all day and all night. I battled other trainers, captured rare and powerful Pokemon, and became the Champion of the Pokemon League. I remember thinking as a kid that this was probably going to be the only Pokemon game I would get to play. Oh boy, was I wrong.

14 years later, I’m now 20 years old and in college studying to become a teacher. In a week, Pokemon X and Y will be released to the masses and I cannot wait to get my hands on it. My mother, a crocheter and very hard working woman, tells me she wants to do something new for her Etsy. I suggested that she should do a Pokemon-inspired line since X and Y are coming out soon. Ever since then, she’s been working nonstop to get it done. So, in celebration of 14 years of Pokemon, I give to you Niseylee’s Pokemon Collection!

Where Does The Time Go?

I knew that it had been a while since I posted anything, but I did not realize that it had been such a long while. I’ve been really hogtied at work and in my spare time I’ve been working on the Fall/Winter collection ,which oddly enough) includes cruise wear. We are taking a cruise for New Year’s instead of doing the same ole same ole, so you know where my mind is.
My beautiful niece was nice enough to pose for a few product shots for me. She’s really good at this modeling thing.

My Upcycled Tee Shirt Obsession

I think that I may have mentioned before that I’m slightly craft ADD and usually have 10 ideas in my head at one time, none of which I actually have the time to work on since I’m probably crafting the ten ideas from 3 months previous. Back in 2011 I came to Middle Georgia (sounds like a place in a sci-fi novel doesn’t it?) for work. The first month or so my husband and I stayed in a room at Value Place (it’s an hotel/studio apartment type thing). To keep from going crazy I started crocheting around my old concert tees that I had saved from the 80s.

Sting Concert Tee

Once the holiday season is past, my Etsy sales are nonexistent, which is great for me because it means that I have time to experiment with designs (some not so good btw), learn new things etc. My latest “thing” is getting back to t-shirt  recycling  I am obviously a t-shirt hoarder and they (like my odd bits of yarn) must go somewhere other than a landfill.

Seriously, who doesn't love Tweetie Bird?

Seriously, who doesn’t love Tweetie Bird?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today I made this cute pillow cover for my youngest who was in Marching Band  back in high school. It looks as though there is no crochet involved BUT – I did crochet a very long chain which i ran through the hem of the shirt to tie the bottom of the pillow – which makes the cover washable and reusable, I hope he’ll have it for years to come.

Upcycled tee shirt pillow

So there I was writing this awesome post and one half of it has disappeared. Arrrgh.
Anyway I was about to tell you about my new idea for naturalistas who dry their hair with or wrap their wet hair in a t-shirt (leaves your hair so much softer and less frizzy that a towel). It’s still just an idea/experiment. Here’s a sneak peak:
My upcycled tee shirt idea for naturalistas

My upcycled tee shirt idea for naturalistas

Visit my Etsy site for more of my repurposed tee ideas, unfortunately I don’t yet have the time that it would take to create AND create tutorials, but I hope to share some of my ideas in the future.Enhanced by Zemanta

This HandMade Life- It Ain’t Easy Being a Designing Woman

No matter what you’ve seen on reality TV.

I have a little time now that the Christmas season is over and, while I spend most of it being totally fricking UNinspired, every once in a while I get an idea. This week’s idea was “I Love New York”, a collection of items inspired by my love of the greatest city in the world (or maybe I’m homesick, whatever). I made the mistake of starting with up cycled tees ( we went home last summer, bought a couple or three tee shirts, no one actually wears that stuff once they get back home, so you’re left with a bag of brand new t-shirts).
I wanted something sexy, off the shoulder, with Knicks colors and frills and all that. This is what I ended up with
- yes I’m frogging as we speak, then I’m going to hopefully redeem myself by creating something totally awesome….tomorrow.

I’ve Got An Orange Crush

I’ve always loved bright colors, it’s a given where I come from, but once we got to America we had to tone it down. This year I’m happy to see that orange has made a come back(orange – tangerine tango whatever). I bought a shopping bag full of a beautiful vibrant orange from Bernat and made two hats and an infinity scarf.

If you are color shy and don’t know what to do with orange, I created this collage just for you.

The infinity scarf, orange slouchy , and cloche  can be found on my Etsy site .
I am not affiliated with any of retailers below.
Pencil skirt from Express.com
Black Metallic Skinny Jeans from JC Penney (laugh if you want to but I love my JC Penney)
Orange Skinny Jeans from SexyDresses.com
Orange and black Fergie Womens Suede pumps from Heels.com

What’s your favorite fall color?

 

Got To Catch Em All…Pokemon!

About 18 years ago the Woodchuck and I were given the gift of Jalen . We named him Jalen because due to familial duty and all that we had to include the name Simon and we searched high and low for something that flowed with Simon but couldn’t find anything until that fateful night at the end of March Madness in 1993 when the Fab 5 were …but you know all this already don’t you? Because Jalen Rose talked about it on ESPN one day and you were watching weren’t you? And you were going to let me just go on and on telling you a story that you already knew when you know that every second I spend writing is a second I spend not crocheting!  Well his Mama named him Jalen but his Daddy called him Pooh Bear,go figure.

Anyway I am telling you about Jalen, because I wouldn’t know a PokeBall from a baseball if it weren’t for him – you do know what a pokeball is don’t you?  So Jalen watched quite a bit of Pokemon back in the day and he also dragged the Woodchuck and I to ALL of the Pokemon movies – or maybe we dragged him since he didn’t drive and surely a child cannot exert so much influence over his parents that he makes them do what he wants even when they don’t want right?

When I started to crochet   hats, I (like any good Mother) made quite a few for the Jalen, until.he told me that frankly he is just  not a hat person. I was crushed, but I knew that someday, somehow I  would change his mind and bring him back into the (hat) fold.

My future super model niece Sydney

Back to the PokeMon -I believe that it was the “amazing girlfriend” Sara Nicole who first mentioned a Pikachu hat (this after she saw my first try at an animal hat).

When I found a break in my projects (I was working the Bette Davis Eyes thing and my fingers were so tired of wool) AND a skein of Steelers yellow, I decided to look around for a pattern for a Pikachu hat. Sara Nicole wants the hat for Christmas so I have plenty of time to figure it out, but I’m slightly ADD and must do it now or else…

Very long story short, what I found didn’t fit my vision of what I actually wanted. Instead I pulled up some Pikachu pics via the Google and made a regular double crochet hat with a hole on either side of  the first row after the increases for the ears. Once the basic  hat was done I went back and did the ears in a circle, adding in the black after 10 or so rows. Circles for the eyes and cheeks. A botched embroidery job for the mouth (gotta work on that). And Jalen says that  yes he will wear this hat!

Flush with success I asked him what else I ought to make – he says Charimander(?). I say well let me think about that, and while I’m waiting for an inspiration maybe I’ll do something easy like a PokeBall beret?

P.S. Of course Pokemon is copyrighted and all that but I’ve spent so much on Pokemon stuff form movies to games to toys to collectibles – that I don’t think they will mind my hat tributes, but then again Jimmy Buffett did come after me for selling a washcloth on Etsy called Margaritaville

 

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When Crochet Is Like Real Life – Accepting the Need to Frog

Really Big bill

See the bill on that thing? It is so getting frogged

If I give it a lot of thought I start to see that I have been living the handmade life all of my life. My mother taught me how to sew at an early age so that I could make my school clothes,  There were 5 of us kids and  she was a single parent with a deadbeat ex, it was just cheaper to go to Pitkin Avenue and buy bags of fabric than to go to Korvettes or Mays and try to outfit 5 children for school. Or who knows maybe she felt about fabric the way I do about yarn – if it’s on sale it’s going in the cart LOL.

I recently took a cruise with all of my aunts and uncles and as my Auntie Vida showed me how to crochet with thread, I realized that each one of the women there had been instrumental in my “becoming”. Had they not imparted certain pieces of knowledge to the prepubescent me, I would probably not be as imaginative or creative as I am today ( or maybe I would still be imaginative but just not have the wherewithal to turn that into anything concrete). Anyway, thank you aunties (that includes you Verna) for giving me the building blocks of my handmade life.

Let me start by saying that I crochet just about all the time (when I’m not working or sleeping that is), this does some things to the body, I’ll tell ya. So I could say that lesson one is – work through the pain LOL. When I first started crocheting I lived in fear of starting over. I  absolutely dreaded  having to rip anything out once I had put time and effort into it – whether that time was one hour, one day, one week or one month.  Fortunately, over time I learned that no matter how far you’ve gone

*It’s OK to frog  and start over

Six years ago when I was laid off, I made several mistakes and miscalculations because I thought that I could not compete for jobs with smartass kids who were using laptops before they were potty trained. I was afraid that I was too old and set in my ways to be of value to an employer. Oh I did try, but one or two rejections was all it took to make me throw in the towel and accept the fact that I was obviously so not the sharpest knife in that drawer. In retrospect, I was fine, but really I was just afraid of having to start over with a new company, new technology, new co-workers.

Like Trinity in “The Matrix”, I’m not afraid anymore. I know that starting over isn’t the end, it’s just a new beginning. Starting over means giving yourself a chance to :

  • Fix a past mistake
  • Learn something new
  • Face your fear of the unknown
  • Provide a quality product (even if the product is yourself)

This knowledge has made me a better crocheter, a better worker, and a better person.

Are you afraid to frog? Care to share your story?

*Frog – rip it rip rip it

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The HandMade Life – What Inspires Me

You may think that those of us who live the handmade life just wake up each day grab a patter or project sheet and just go at it until some object emerges from our efforts. But that’s not really it, the days that I do that I frog (rip things out)  more than I create. What really inspires me is what my eyes see in the world. I know  that sounds kind of lofty and idealistic , I mean I still use a pattern sometimes but it’s the thing or event that  drives me to choose that pattern on that day that keeps me inspired to the completion of the project (and trust me I have a lot of UFOs [unfinished objects which I may or may not be able to identify later] to support that theory .

The UnaDrummer’s Driver Cap

The UnaDrummer's Cap

The UnaDrummer's Cap

Last summer when I was crocheting fedoras for my husband’s band, I asked the drummer when was he going to buy one of my awesome hats, he said when I made him a drivers cap in Pittsburgh Steelers colors. Well that wasn’t very inspiring at all (bright yellow and black I mean come onnnn already). So I put it off and put it off and then the other night I was feeling a little down (unemployed and unemployable and all) and I was watching Hustle on AMC (it’s one of my favorite shows  and if someone wants to send me the box set well…lol) and the pisode was about horse racing the caps everyone wore were just amazing and I put down the baby sweater I was in the middle of, grabbed some yellow yarn and my modified Lidsville pattern and produced what you see here. Hope Mr Unadrummer likes it. BTW you can find the original Lidsville pattern here.

The” Luther” Beret

I’ve liked Idris Elba since I first saw him as Stringer Bell in “The Wire”. A few weeks back I was looking for something to keep my ears occupied on a Sunday afternoon and found a Brit mini-series “Luther” which starred Mr Elba as a cop of all things! Anyway there was a pale redhead in this awesome beret that I just had to emulate.  I modified a pattern from Berroco I think and continued the cables to the forehead to create a similar look. The yarn I used is a European worsted that’s very thin so the beret is not as substantial as this one, but I’ll keep doin it until I get it right, LOL.

The beret

I just had to make this beret

My Luther Beret

This is my version of the beret

 

My Greek Columns Hat

One of my favorite stitches is the cross-stitch so I find that when I design my own items I inevitably include that stitch. I call this my Greek columns hat because it reminds me of the Parthenon or something like (I told you inspiration comes from strange places sometimes:) So that’s my story, what’s yours?  What exactly inspires you? Tell me all about it.

Greek Columns hat

It's the grey one on the left there or did I even need to tell you that?

 

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My Top 5 Reasons For Getting Out Of MLM PLUS: Crochet Drawstring Bag Pattern

The following is just my personal opinion/confession and is in no way shape or form meant to be a judgement of MLM or the wonderful people who are successfully working it.

  1. I had more questions than there were answers – and I’ll leave it at that because I am not writing this post to badmouth MLM. I’m just telling you why it’s not where I want to be.
  2. I got what I came for – not every road is the end of the road, some roads are just taking you to where you really need to be. MLM taught me a lot of things and opened me up spiritually and personally. So I got what I came for and was ready to move on a long time ago.
  3. Sometimes hard work doesn’t pay off because the wrong people are getting paid – and that’s my way of saying that I wanted my hard work to pay me. As things stood I had to share my residual income (which by the by is only residual if the business you brought in is still on the books, nothing from nothing leaves nothing right?) with my sponsor, her sponsor, her sponsor and the company. I knew that if I was going to take time away from my family to make money, then I wanted us to be the major beneficiaries. Not only that but I felt that the only people really benefiting were the ones who were speakers, teachers, or had some product that network marketers could use to “explode” their business in some way. Now those guys are making money for real.
  4. I found it impossible to balance working outside the home with working from home. This was unfair to my team and anyone that I added to my team. So I just stopped trying to recruit a team or bring in any new business
  5. I made more money crocheting and I didn’t have to make any calls – plus, I could watch TV while I did it. Nuff said. Now here’s one of my first  patterns, it is untested, but makes a really cute bag:)

drawstring-bag1

Hook size J

Red Heart super saver

 

2 strands held together chain 5 and join with sl

Color A – White

Color B – Pumpkin

 

 

Round 1- Chain 2 and 10 hdc in ring join to ch 2 with sl

Round 2- Chain 2 , 1 hdc in same stitch and 2 hdc in each hdc around join with sl to ch2

Round 3- repeat round 2

Round 4- Chain 2 , 1 hdc in each hdc around join with sl to ch2

Round 5- Chain 2 , 1 hdc in same stitch, hdc in next st *2 hdc in next st, hdc in next 2 st repeat  from * around join with sl to ch2

Round 6- Chain 2 , 1 hdc in same stitch, hdc in next 2 st *2 hdc in next st, hdc in next 3 st repeat  from * around join with sl to ch2

Round 7- This round you will reverse your work so that the right side will become the outside bottom of the bag. So turn the piece with the right side away from you and the wrong side facing you. Ch 2, working in front loop only for this row, 1 hdc in each hdc around join with sl to ch2

Round 8 -9 – Ch 2, 1 hdc in each hdc around join with sl to ch2

 

Now drop Color B and work the next 6 rows with Color A (1 strand only), work sc into the sc of the previous row

Round 10– Ch 2, 3 dc in next stitch (shell made,might change this),* sk 1 st, sc in next st , sk 1 st, 3dc in next stitch. Repeat from * around join with sl to ch2

Round 11-15 – Repeat round 10

 

At end of Row 15 drop color A, join color B

Round 16 – 21 – repeat round 10

 

At end of Row 21 drop color B, join color A

Round 22 – 27 – repeat round 10

 

Round 28 – Ch 4 (counts as tr + ch1)  2 tr in 2nd dc of next shell , *ch1, 2 tr in 2nd chain of next shell. Repeat from * around. Join with sl to top of ch 4. Fasten off

 

Round 29 – Join color B, ch 1, sc in each stitch around

Round 30 – Ch 1 , sc in each st around

Round 31 – Ch1 reverse sc in each stitch around. Fasten off weave in ends. NOTE: my reverse sc is – insert hook in sc, yo and pull through (two loops on hook). Turn needle 360 degrees, yo and pull through.

 

Handle (make 2 one in color A and one in color B)

Ch 100 or however long you want your handle to be (account for part that has to be sewn into the bag)

Round 1 – 2 dc in 4th chain from hook,* sk 1 chain, sc in next ch, sk 1 ch, 3 dc in next ch. Repeat from * around, fasten off.

 

Hold 2 handles together and sc in ea st around. On bottom of shells work an extra row of sc

 

 

Drawstring –  Chain 70 (or length you want drawstring to be) – dc in 3rd chain from hook and in each chain across (add beads if desired)

 

Sew handles to bag with whipstitch on both sides of the handle (you want it to hold). Run Drawstring through round 28 (triple crochets)

 

Line bag if desired.

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