Friday, January 30, 2015

Currently Working On // Week 4


Happy Friday! I've been very very lucky this week to be busy with orders - my Valentine's Day cards, a baby blanket (!!!), and a couple of beanies. That being said, I haven't had a whole lot of time to work on much else, much less new items for the shop (although I have so many in mind!). I remember reading in Creative, Inc. that when you decide to turn your hobby into a business, it stops feeling like a hobby, so you have to make sure you have something else to rely on as entertainment, a creative outlet, or stress relief. Because of that, I've been using the little free time I do have on the "for fun" projects this week. Here's what I've been working on!


doodle doodle
I've been super inspired by artist Lisa Congdon's instagram feed of doodles and sketches, so I ordered myself some Sakura Pigma Micron pens, white gelly rolls, and a sketch pad. Time for some mindless doodles to get the creative juices flowing! In case you're interested, Lisa has a line drawing class on CreativeBug that looks great. I think I might try it...

mighty mollie handwriting on photos
In case you haven't noticed, I've been recently obsessed with putting my handwriting on photos. I came across this tutorial that's been super helpful! I'm hoping to apply it to my card making as soon as I get a nice printer. That way I can paint my designs, scan them, then layer my handwriting on top without warping the cardstock or the colors bleeding through (this happens after so many layers of paint and ink). Then I can print my designs over and over - making it cost effective for me, and a more affordable product for you. I'll be testing it out on my yearly valentines to friends and family.

That's all I got for now, have a great weekend and GO SEAHAWKS!

Thursday, January 29, 2015


grey and neon yellow stripe blanket

I wanted this blog to be a documentation of the process of opening and running an etsy shop, so I'm excited to share that I sold my first handmade blanket! After a quick wash (I always hand wash my blankets in dye/perfume-free detergent before sending them out), this beauty will be going out to a baby girl in LONDON tomorrow! This is great, because now I know how much to charge for shipping outside the US, and I can open up my shop to international buyers.

It may not seem like a lot, just one blanket sale, but I'm so excited and encouraged by this purchase. The buyer was kind enough to let me know that while she searched and searched on etsy for a grey/neon yellow blanket, she never found one. She then tried searching on Pinterest instead, and found my blanket right away! Now that I know my products aren't very visible, I learned to promote my listings so that they have a chance of appearing in search results on Etsy. You learn something new every day :)

In case you missed it, here's my Listing Spotlight post on the baby blankets I've made. Cheers!

Photo by Kelly Brown.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tools, Articles, and Resources for a Creative Life

inspire creativity

I don't know about you, but I feel happiest when I am creating things. While I enjoy my day job, I feel the need to balance it out with crafty hobbies during evenings and weekends. I am at my happiest, most fullfilled, and focused when I am being creative. I know that many other people out there have various levels of creative needs, and so I wanted to share some simple resources I've come across that help inspire or nurture creativity.

Please keep reading if you A) want to learn a new hobby for fun or to take your mind off work, B) want to improve your existing arts and/or craft skills, C) are a self-trained artist and want affordable options for formal training, or D) are an artist looking for inspiration or to take your craft to the next level.

If you're looking for a creative outlet on a low budget... remember that there is always your local library! It's easy to forget about this neighborhood resource when everything is just a google search away, but it could be a great starting point to browse through different arts and crafts books without having to spend money on a class that you may or may not enjoy. I'm thinking about learning some graphic design basics, and a friend recommending starting here before signing up for a pricey e-class or a pricier community college course. You can then supplement this with free online tutorials - Youtube is great for this! I often turn to youtube to help explain knitting techniques when I'm stuck on a pattern.

If you're looking for art/DIY/crafts basics...there are a couple of low-priced options online:
-Brit + Co. This is where I found the calligraphy e-class I mentioned last week. They offer a variety of classes for things like hand-lettering, sewing, knitting, sketching, and more! All the classes are $19 each and vary between 30-55 minutes.
-Creative Bug For $9.95 a month, you receive unlimited viewing of hundreds of online classes in things like sewing, paper arts (including art & drawing), yarn, quilting, jewelry, and more. If you're unsure, you can try it free for two weeks! One of my favorite artists (and personal heroes), Lisa Congdon, teaches a few classes on there. More on her later...
-Craftsy Like Creative Bug, Craftsy offers classes on similar arts and crafts topics. However, Craftsy classes are priced per class - anywhere between $15-40. The nice thing about Craftsy is that the price for the class usually includes multiple lessons! It's great if you want a more in-depth, detailed experience as there are usually about 10 lessons per class ranging between 15-60 minutes each. It's a good bang for your buck.

If you want art, DIY, crafts, PLUS digital design, photography, and more...check out these versatile sites:
-Creative Live has classes in the following categories: Photo & Video, Art & Design, Music & Audio, Craft & Maker, and Money & Life. The model is like Craftsy - pay per class with each class containing multiple lessons. The difference is that Creative Live is a bit more expensive (closer to the $100 range), BUT the classes also come with more lessons (around 30). They also have very specific offerings - like Bookkeeping for Etsy Sellers, or How to Sell Your Products to Retailers. They also have really great intro to design classes like Photoshop for Beginners, or Adobe Illustrator: Essential Tools. I have a feeling I'll be investing in a few classes here.
-Skillshare is another membership-based website, $10 billed monthly or $8/month billed annually, to view unlimited classes. Their subjects include Design, Photography, Entrepreneurship, DIY, Culinary, Gaming, and more. Each class is about an hour or two long, but the nice thing is that the website is very community-focused and encourages you to share your work and engage with others. Nothing wrong with that!

If you're looking to learn design, software, and business skills...check out! The basic membership fee is $25 month to month, but there are other options available. Offering unlimited classes with membership, Lynda is great for web/computer-based tutorials. So if you're looking to learn design, animation, photoshop, music mixing, or other related topics - this is your best option. That's just scratching the surface, they also have plenty of business-related classes as well.

If you're looking for inspiration...check out these links:
-This blog post by artist Lisa Congdon, where she talks about "owning" her status as an artist. She's particularly easy to identify with, as she was a self proclaimed late-bloomer in her art career, has no formal training, yet makes a living as a professional artist. She's great and I love her.
-Live in the Grey is an "online community and movement that challenges the way people think about work and encourages them to take risks in order to finally (finally!) love what they do for a living." You can learn more about it by visiting the website or by reading this article.
-CreativeMornings is a breakfast lecture series for the creative community started by Tina Roth Eisenberg of the design blog SwissMiss. Check it out and see if there's one coming to your town!

change direction

If you're looking to quit your day these!
-Quit Your Day Job: Etsy has an ongoing series on their seller blog about successful shops that were able to quit their day jobs and make a living doing what they love. It's super interesting to read what other people have gone through to achieve that level of success. While inspiring, it also serves as a reminder that success takes work and doesn't happen overnight - so don't be discouraged if it takes a while.
-Career Renegade: How to Make a Great Living Doing What You Love by Jonathan Fields: Looking to make a career change? Check this book out - the title is pretty self explanatory :)
-Art, Inc.: The Essential Guide for Building Your Career as an Artist by Lisa Congdon: Can you tell I have a mild obession with Lisa?? She's just so great. I can't wait to check this one out and learn more about her life/career story.
-Craft, Inc.: The Ultimate Guide to Turning Your Creative Hobby into a Successful Business by Meg Mateo Ilasco: I have this book! I've only checked out bits and pieces (it's organized very well, so you can easily skip to whatever section is relevant to you), but so far it's very detailed and informative. I saw the title online and knew I had to have it.
-Creative, Inc.: The Ultimate Guide to Running a Successful Freelance Business by Joy Deangdeelert Cho and Meg Mateo Ilasco: Like Craft, Inc., this book "will teach all types of creatives illustrators, photographers, graphic designers, animators, and more how to build a successful business doing what they love". I read Joy Cho's blog religiously, so I'll probably check this one out eventually as well.

That's just the tip of the iceberg, of course. All of these resources are available on my Pinterest page, so feel free to follow me there as I add more. And if you have any to add, please share. Click and Enjoy!

(Illustration by Lisa Congdon. Photos by Scott Stanley with hand lettering by yours truly.)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Currently Working On // Week 3

Happy Friday! In case you missed it, I updated my Etsy Shop with some Valentine's Day cards this week. I may create more with different styles, but for now you can shop the XOXO cards in a few colors. Other than that, here are a few more things I'm working on:


You know I love me some good handwriting! About two years ago, I purchased this simple calligraphy kit online. I wasn't terribly good at it, and had no resources on hand to learn from, so I set it aside temporarily. Then I saw that Lauren Essl of Blue Eye Brown Eye was offering a Calligraphy 101 E-Class! I went out and got a new oblique pen per her recommended supply list, along with some other related goodies, and I'll be taking the class this weekend (hopefully). Looking forward to giving it another shot and stepping up my handwriting game! PS: Did you know today is National Handwriting Day??


I love love love everything about these flower granny squares! Great colors, fun pattern, unique twist on the traditional granny square. However, they are SO time consuming. Someday, I'll be able to post them on the shop...

I've been so lucky to have a few new orders in the shop!! I can only work on these orders during non-day job hours, so I try and squeeze in some knitting whenever I can. Such as on the bus, or on my lunch break - as photographed above. I finished up those two this week, and I'm working on a third this weekend! Thank you Mighty Mellie shoppers!!!


Remember this brown cowl from 2 weeks ago? It's almost done! Like I said, took wayyyyy longer than I had hoped/anticipated, but I like the way it's shaping up. I'm going to grab some black roving and try again with larger needles. I would love to have something similar in my shop, but it would have to be less time intensive than this pattern.

That's all for now! A special thanks to Scott for channeling the "Mighty Mellie" vibe and taking these photos while I was at work because I didn't have enough time to. On that note, I haven't had much time to work on much else, as I've been lucky enough to be busy busy fulfilling orders for the Etsy shop - which feels so so great. Thank you to everyone who has shown support! It makes me very happy to have this hobby as a creative outlet, and the enthusiasm from friends and family keeps me motivated and encouraged.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Resolution #2 // Read!


I wanted to keep this blog as crafty-related as possible, because I figured people wouldn't want to read about my personal life. However, my New Years Resolution post has by far the most views, so I decided to do a series of follow up posts one resolution at a time. I'm starting with #2 because I've been doing the best with my resolution to read (or listen to) more books. Make it public, make it happen!


As with my crafts, I also bounce around with my reading. I'm usually in the middle of a physical book, a kindle book, and an audio book. Here are my current selections:

by Brian Vaughan with Illustrations by Fiona Staples

Comic books still count, right? Described as a "Star Wars meets Game of Thrones" and compared to both Lord of the Rings and Romeo and Juliet, I got Volume 1 for Scott thinking it would be a perfect Christmas gift. It was a little too perfect since it turned out that he already had it, so we exchanged it for Volume 2. Since then, Scott's gone out and bought and read Volumes 3 & 4 (he highly recommends it). I've read 1 and 2 and I'm now on Volume 3*, but it's such a quick read that I'm sure I'll finish it within the next day or two. It's fantastic and I highly recommend it! The illustrations are great too, which doesn't hurt. *Since I drafted this post, I've finished Volume 3 and I'm on to Volume 4!

by Cheryl Strayed

I always try and read the book before watching the movie version, and had planned to do so with this one, but Scott and I found ourselves at the movie theater and watched it anyway. Now I'm reading the kindle version after the fact, but I'm still enjoying it. So far it looks like the movie stayed pretty true to the book where it counts. Except that as beautiful and talented as Reese Witherspoon is, she's about 12 years older than Cheryl Strayed was in the book. Oh well, that's more of a problem with the movie. I'm about half way through and while it isn't exactly knocking my socks off, it does make me want to go camping again soon.

by Nora Ephron

For the most part, I try to only buy audio books that are narrated by their authors, and I always recommend others do the same (Mindy Kaling's narration of her book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me is so entertaining). Since Nora Ephron passed away in 2012, I had been meaning to read her books, as I've always been a fan of her movies. I listen to this one on the bus (reading, book or tablet, in any moving vehicle gets me carsick instantly), and I always find myself laughing and looking a little crazy. Which is great, because then I get to sit alone (nobody wants to sit next to the giggling weirdo, apparently).

Anyone out there reading something super great? I'm always open to recommendations!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Shop Update // Valentine's Day Cards!


Hello All! I hope everyone had a lovely Monday celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. yesterday. I was fortunate enough to have the day off, and so I used the extra time to work on some greeting cards. You know what that means - Valentine's Day cards are here! Check them out...


I decided to keep them fairly simple so that they could be appropriate to send to friends, family, or lovers. Because who doesn't love hugs and kisses?? They come in 5 color combinations - pink on black (my personal favorite), gold on black, pink on brown kraft paper, gold on brown kraft paper, and gold on white.


They're all ready to ship, and cost under $5! You can purchase them by clicking here or clicking the link at the top of the page. Enjoy!


Friday, January 16, 2015

Flash Sale! 30% Off All Weekend!


Happy Friday! In lieu of a Currently Working On post, I wanted to tell you about a special promo sale I've got going on in my Etsy Shop! My apologies in advance for yelling, I'm just so excited.


The blankets are a perfect gift for house warming, birthdays, new brides, new moms, or moms-to-be. If you need more reasons as to why they’re awesome, click here! I promise they’re worth the splurge, especially with 30% off ;)

Happy neon stripe blanket

If you’re looking for something smaller, the beanies are such a fun gift for yourself or a loved one – for any occasion (or no occasion at all – treat yo self!). Don’t forget they’re fully customizable, any color, size, or special flourish you want.

Happy neon stripe blanket

Hurry, don't wait! Sale ends Sunday at midnight. Gotta make room for new inventory next week! CLICK HERE TO SHOP.

Photos by Kelly Brown.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Vintage Paper Fair

vintage paper fair stamps jan 10

Weekend recap: Remember how I said I was going to register for a ceramics class? I got to the registration half an hour early at 8am thinking I would beat the crowd, only to find out that people had been waiting since 6AM!! I was number 291 in line, and all the ceramics classes filled up well  before I got close to the front of the line. So that was a bummer.

But you know what wasn't a bummer? The Vintage Paper Fair! I roped my friend Cindy into going with me (she was easy to convince), and we made out like bandits.

Background info, for those that don't know me - I love snail mail and I collect post cards and stamps. Whenever I go anywhere new, I like to grab a few post cards for myself as souvenirs. Whenever my friends go new places, they usually send me post cards as well. As far as stamps, my collection is very recent, as I've only been collecting since about 2008 (I know that because this was the first stamp I saved for keeps).

Back to the paper fair, there were rows and rows of tables with boxes upon boxes upon boxes of vintage post cards plus prints, letters, posters, comics, and more. It was nice to see that I wasn't the only nerd collecting post cards. Though if that crowd was any indication, I might be the youngest. Cindy and I got sucked in pretty quick.

vintage paper fair jan 10

I went into the fair knowing that I wanted to find some vintage postage. The post cards were obviously hard to resist, but there were too many to choose from. So I settled on the pair below before moving on to the stamps. They're two old Marineland postcards from my hometown, Palos Verdes. For those that don't know, Marineland was a Sea-World-Esque theme park that operated in PV from 1954 to 1987 when it was abruptly sold and closed. The park was left abandoned until they began development for Terranea Resort in the early 2000s. As a teenager, we used to sneak under the fence and roam the ghost town of this amusement park.

post cards from marine land

I finally found a couple of stamp vendors, some with binders filled with full pages of old stamps, and some with boxes filled with loose stamps. I went through them all and left with both. The loose stamps were priced at face value, which was an amazing deal.

assorted vintage stamps

I was ready to head home when I saw a vendor selling vintage grape box labels. Earlier that week, I had been discussing the history of Silver Lake with a friend/neighbor who lives on the same street - Rowena Avenue. Long story short*, he had found an image of an old grape box label with the words "Lady Rowena" on it. So I asked the vendor if he had it, and sure enough he did!vintage paper fair lady rowena jan 10

And then we all celebrated by watching the Seahawks beat the Panthers and ate hot wings. The End.

*You can read more about the history of Silver Lake and why my street is called Rowena here.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Currently Working On // Week 2

Happy Friday! In addition to working on the projects below, this weekend I'll also be registering for a ceramics class and attending a Vintage Paper Fair! I'm going to stock up on stamps and postcards for my collections and be surrounded by [the few] people who share my enthusiasm. Scott is not one of those people, but he is excited about my ceramics class because "now we can do ghost".


Back to the blog: I have a tendency to have a couple [dozen] craft projects all going at the same time. Believe it or not, it helps me to see them through until they're finished. If I work on one project too long, I'll get bored and abandon it. If I work on multiple projects at once, I take turns working on each one for a bit at a time until they're all done. Is anyone else like this?

The bright side is that it makes for the perfect weekly blog post! Every week I'll post about what I'm working on for fun, what I'm working on for my Etsy shop, and the progress I made on the previous week's projects. So without further ado...


browl wool roving chunky knit cowl
When my friend Lola was in town for New Year's Eve, she showed me a beautiful knit cowl her mom had gotten her for Christmas. It was knit with this super soft, chunky, unspun wool roving. I can't find a picture of it online, but it was similar to this style. So I grabbed some roving (the same type I use to make my beanies) and started knitting one of my own on size 13 circular needles (24"). However, I think my yarn and my needles were still too small to achieve the same effect. I was hoping for it to be a quick project, but it's taking much longer than I anticipated. I'll still finish it, but I think I'll try again later with bigger needles, and maybe working with two strands of roving at once.

diy rosemary scented soy wax candles
I bought candle-making supplies over a month ago with the intention of making Christmas gifts, but I didn't end up having the time until a couple of weeks ago. It was much harder than I expected (why didn't I just buy prepped wicks in the first place??). I only ended up giving two away, and the last one that I kept for myself wound up being a dud. This weekend, I plan on giving it another go. They're rosemary scented, which I love. Scott and I are very sensitive to overly perfume-y scents, so it's great that I can control the strength with essential oil. I also have lavender and vanilla, so I'll try that too. [Side note: would anyone reading this be interested in a DIY post for this project? I would be happy to share a tutorial if so!]

cotton crochet washcloths
I'm very, very excited about these!! They're 100% cotton, washable, reusable, crocheted wash cloths. They're not finished yet, which is why they may not seem very exciting to you. For now, consider them more of a blank canvas. STAY TUNED!!

valentine's day cards in progress
Valentine's Day is only 5 weeks away! For whatever odd reason, I love making valentines (even though I don't like celebrating Valentine's Day). I make them every year for my friends and mail them out. They're more fun for me to make and send than Christmas cards (less pressure), so I'll definitely be making some for my shop! I'm hoping to have about 3-5 different designs, and obviously not all for couples - friends need valentines too :) I'll post a shop update when they're ready!

PROGRESS UPDATE: Updated from THIS post
black speckled knit infinity scarf in progress
I'm loving the way this scarf is turning out, but it's definitely a long-term project. Since it's just for fun and I'm in no rush, I keep it in my bag and only work on it during my lunch breaks and on the bus.

tshirt yarn crochet rug
Remember those balls of tshirt yarn?? They crochet REALLY quickly! I got about this far before running out of yarn, and I think I had only been working on it for less than an hour. Since Scott and I upgraded to a bigger bed, I now have some old jersey sheets that I can turn into more yarn. I'll be doing that this weekend so I can continue.

That's it for now, have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Color Crush // January Edition

I often find myself going through color phases without even knowing it. I'll start picking things out here and there, and next thing you know I start seeing the same color palette throughout my apartment. This happened recently with this beautiful soft, sage-y green. Other colors also accepted in this month's obsession include: jade, sea foam, mint, teal, and the occasional robin's egg. See what I mean?

color crush sage green

Clockwise from left: Bernat wool roving in Low Tide // solid jade glasses, a Christmas gift from Kelly Brown (currently functioning as a vase because I'm too afraid to use them and break them) // my Moshi iPad mini cover in green // a postcard from my collection // a paintbrush // and some sea glass I collected during our trip to the Dominican Republic this past September

As you may have noticed, this color crush has inspired some of my products. The chunky knit beanie in the photo below can be made in all sorts of colors, but low tide is my absolute favorite. Don't be surprised if you see another one under "For Keeps" in a future Currently Working On post...

sage green beanie backsage green beanie front

photos by Kelly Brown

PS: Yes, I am fully aware that it's also the color scheme for this blog. That is not a coincidence.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Listing Spotlight // Baby Blankets

Since the main purpose of this blog is to promote my Etsy Shop, I've decided to do a "Spotlight" post every so often to talk about what exactly goes into making one of my items, and what makes them special. Since the baby blankets are my very favorite to work on, I figured I would start with those.

These blankets are seemingly my most popular items. They're the most favorited items in my shop, even by strangers, and get by far the most clicks according to my shop stats. I've had several friends and acquaintances show interest, yet despite their popularity, I have yet to sell one. So here's a little back story on the blankets...

I've been making baby blankets since I learned how to crochet in 2005. My sister was pregnant with my nephew (aka future best bud), and so I was DETERMINED to crochet a baby blanket for him. After a ton of practice, I finally finished Lorenzo's blanket - white with baby blue and navy stripes. It may have been more of a trapezoid than a perfect rectangle, but I did it. I wish I had a picture! I'll have to ask my mom to dig one up...

Fast forward a few years - I still dearly love making blankets. I take a lot of time choosing the right colors, picking a pattern, and actually crocheting it of course. I've made a couple for myself that you can see below with their backstory (please excuse my crappy iPhone photos, I promise I'll take better ones from here on out):

One of the first ones I made for keeps was back in 2009 when I was at UCLA. I remember working on it during an Art History Undergraduate Student Association meeting we held in our apartment. Akira has since chewed some of it up, but we still use it to wrap him up like a burrito.
Akira with crochet striped navy grey oatmeal blanket

The next one is definitely one of my top 3 favorites. Let me start by saying that (in case you haven't already noticed) in almost every movie/tv show when they're filming something in someone's home, you can usually spot a hand made blanket in the background. I notice it all the time now. Even in Breaking Bad. I saw the blanket below when I was watching Bridesmaids, and I knew I had to make it for myself.
Bridesmaids blanket inspiration
And so I did. It took a full month and all my free time. After taking the photo below, Akira chewed a huge hole in the middle. I was so upset, that I didn't have the heart to try and mend it for a full year. I finally took it out of the closet this fall and attempted to stitch it back together. It's useable, but that's why I don't have an updated photo.
blue ombre brown ombre chevron crochet blanket

However, what I really enjoy is making them for other people.

I made this one for Scott's parents for Christmas 2012.
red navy and white chevron afghan

I made this one for Baby Sanya to match her nursery colors in October 2013.
white pink green granny square baby blanket with pink border

And lastly I made this one for Rochelle's son Vinnie in April 2014.
grey and white chevron baby blanket

Needless to say, I put a lot of hard work, pride, and love into each blanket I create - and my Etsy blankets are no exception. I chose to make baby blankets because they're fun, and make a great gift. Like many of my twenty-something friends, my Facebook feed has become flooded with pregnancy announcements, baby bumps, and newborn pics. I realized I had a market, so I set out to create something different, more fun and vibrant, a "not your granny's crochet blanket". I looked to the trends to draw my inspiration - ombre color palettes, neons mixed with neutrals, pops of bright colors, oversized pom poms and tassels.

Mighty Mellie baby blankets
As far as the process, they each take anywhere from 1-2 weeks to make, depending on how much free time I have (I do work a full time job as well) and how many embellishments I add (those tassels and pom poms are all made by hand!). I make them in my home, probably while watching 30 Rock reruns. Before I give one away, I like to wash them in the delicate cycle with dye/perfume free detergent for sensitive skin - the same one I use in my home. As far as size, I find that sometimes the title "baby blanket" is deceiving. They're actually quite large - big enough to be a lap blanket for an adult. For perspective, here I am "modeling" my most popular blanket. Akira was REALLY confused by the self timer and refused to get out of the shot.

mint and grey crochet baby or lap blanket with large tassels
Of course the details, specs, and professional photos are all on the etsy listing, but I wanted to give you a more personal look at what I put into making these. I hope you've enjoyed! Feel free to share with anyone who's currently harboring a bun in the oven or would otherwise be interested.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Currently Working On // Week 1

knitting needle collection Last week in the midst of a cold outbreak at work, I mentioned that I was the only one in the office that hadn't gotten sick yet. That, in fact, I hadn't even taken a sick day since I started at the job back in March. Ha! 2014 got it's revenge by making me sick on New Year's Eve, and so I ended up ringing in the new year using my very first sick day on January 2nd. Hooray 2015! The bright side is that I got to work on some Etsy Shop projects and some to keep for myself.

black knit infinity scarf progress Last night, I started working on an infinity scarf using this brown-speckled black yarn and some US size 13 needles. I'm a fan of knitting thin yarn on big needles so that combined with the ribbing, it makes it nice and stretchy. Should be perfect for this project! I will be sure to post project pictures as I go along for those interested. If it goes well, and I can get it done quickly, I'll think about making them for the shop as well.

t shirt yarn with large crochet hook
Scott and I did a big apartment clean out when he got back from working in Canada, and as a result we purged a bunch of clothes to donate. I had seen this tutorial floating around Pinterest for a while, so I saved all of our t-shirts that didn't have any logos on them to make t-shirt yarn. It was surprisingly very easy, and I think I got enough to make a new rug for the kitchen. I'm hoping to get that started this weekend, and it should go by fairly quickly since that crochet hook is enormous.

granny square blanket in progress muted fall colors I started this granny square blanket over a year ago, and crocheted about 12 squares before I started running out of yarn and forgot about it. I finally ordered more, and I'm hoping to finish it up and get it posted on the shop. I'm a big fan of those muted colors together - forest green, mustard yellow, crimson red, and lapis blue (is lapis the right name for that shade?). Anyway, stay tuned for that in the shop. It'll most likely be in my normal, large baby blanket and/or adult lap blanket size.

That's it for now! Hopefully my New Year's Resolution of taking more vitamins will help me recover faster. If anything, I've had lots of time to read, so I can fill in those bubbles this weekend.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 // Happy New Year & Resolutions

Happy New Year!!

January 1st - a new year is upon us, and with that comes NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS! I already talked about my big, crafty, general resolution for 2015 yesterday. Today's post is about my 5 specific, measurable, and relatively attainable (I hope) resolutions. I've always been not so great terrible at keeping new years resolutions. I get really excited and determined for about a month or two tops, then I slowly go back to my old habits. This year I'm trying something new in the hopes that I'll get through the year with something to show for it. Why blog about it, you ask? Make it public, make it happen.

I started reading Elise Blaha Cripe's blog this year, and it's been a tremendous source of inspiration for me to stay motivated and flex my creative muscles. This December, she released PDF and letterpress versions of this SUPER helpful tool for tracking your new years resolutions. It's a one sheet with a circle for every day of the year. In her words: "This calendar's goal is to encourage you to pick ONE THING for the year. Something you can attempt to do everyday. And then this calendar will help you track it and hopefully remind you that there is a much larger picture to see here." So smart! I'm such a visual person, I think this will be just the thing I need to stay on track.

The letterpress version was sold out, so I got the printable PDF version instead. Since I already knew I would have more than one resolution, I printed them at half the size on different colored pieces of paper - one for each resolution. 
elise joy progress calendar2

Without further ado, here are my five 2015 New Years Resolutions:

1. WAKE UP! Those that know me even a little bit know that I LOVE my sleep. However, I've realized that by sleeping in every morning I'm missing out on prime productivity time. So I've decided to try and get up at or before 8am each day. That might not sound very early to you, but let's remember, these goals are supposed to be attainable and realistic for me.  Maybe it'll give me a little extra time to work on the rest of my resolutions.

e card not a morning person

2. READ! I really want to make an effort to read on a consistent basis this year. My problem with reading is that once I start a good book, I can't stop until I finish. I have zero will power when it comes to that. I will read through meals and sacrifice sleep in some cases. As a result, I rarely start a book unless I know I'm going to have abundant free time to finish it. This year, I hope to read (or listen to an audio book) for at least 15 minutes a day. If I have time to read more than that, great!

3. MOVE! This one is tough. Since my work schedule changed to 10am-6pm, I find it harder to incorporate a workout routine that fits my day. By the time I get home from work, make dinner, and eat dinner, it's too late to exercise (especially with a full belly). We've also covered that (up until 2015) waking up early is a challenge for me, so exercising in the morning hasn't been easy. This year's goal is to incorporate some form of deliberate movement into each day. I'm leaving this purposely vague because I don't want to over-commit to running every day, or yoga every day. I'm thinking more along the lines of taking Akira on a 30 minute walk instead of 10-15 minutes. Doing a yoga video in front of the TV. Taking a walk after dinner. Actually using that PopPhysique groupon I bought a months ago. Things of that nature. It just has to be deliberate - meaning, I can't walk to the bus and say "ehh, that counts". 
exercise pin

4. SUPPLEMENT! This one is easy, I just want to be better about taking vitamins and supplements every day. The vitamin C in our medicine cabinet is expired. I've had Cod Liver Oil capsules in my Amazon cart for months. A couple times a year I'll buy a bottle of multivitamins, take them intermittently until they run out, and forget about it for another few months.  This year I want to try and take at least a multivitamin every day. Also apparently cod liver oil is good for your teeth, so I'll be trying that out as well.

5. DOCUMENT! Another one that I've tried to do before on several attempts (since grade school) without success. This is why I'm altering my previous resolution from "journaling" to documenting. This can mean writing a sentence or two in my planner about the day, taking pictures more often, or even writing a blog post to remember something important. While Scott was in Greenland, I started a blog for just the two of us where I would upload pictures and tell him about my day. Since we had opposite schedules and limited internet, it was easier to put together and access then sending a lengthy email with several attachments. Even though it only lasted a couple months, it's fun to look back on it and see what was happening at that time. I want to have a way to remember more or less what was happening on a day to day basis in my life during 2015. 

That's it! If you would like to purchase your own bubble calendar, click here. Here's to seeing lots of filled in circles this time next year. Happy New Year!!