lpcrochet


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Motivation Monday

Well I survived the craft fair. Two days! The first day (Friday) was miserable. It was freezing and raining all day and we sold almost nothing.

Miserable, miserable, miserable.

Saturday was a gorgeous day and I personally don’t know how well my cohort fared, but I made more than triple the entire booth fee. I call that a successful day!

LPCrochet

Here is an unflattering picture of me nearing the end of the day on Saturday. My table is there on the left. Our items had been pretty thoroughly picked through at this point.

The worst part of craft fairs:

  • Carrying your booth
  • Setting up your booth
  • Nit-picking customers
  • Hagglers (This isn’t a garage sale people!)
  • Price complainers
  • Packing up
  • Carrying your booth

The best part of craft fairs:

  • Making money
  • Meeting fellow crafters
  • Trading with other vendors
  • Compliments
  • Gushers

You can see there are a few more downsides than upsides, but making money — if you make enough — is a big enough PLUS to get over all of the other stuff.

Friday, as I mentioned above, was an awful day. Full of nothing but downsides. I stayed with my in-laws that night and headed to their house feeling very dejected and discouraged (and cold.. very very cold). Had Saturday not been part of the deal, or had it not played out the way it did, I very well may have given up craft shows altogether.

Saturday was a wonderful day full of upsides. I made money! What a bonus! By 11:30 I had made back the booth fee. Once I made more than I paid for parking and food for the two days, I considered it a “profitable” day — we won’t get into materials costs.. I don’t want to dwindle my “profits” too terribly haha! There were a few downsides — some nit-pickers, those are the customers that stand at your table and try to figure out how to make your items, they’re usually fellow crafters and have no intention of actually buying anything. I try to strike up conversation with the nit-pickers. Let them know I’m not “the enemy” so to speak. I’ll just tell them where to buy the pattern for whatever it is they are nit-picking, but typically they are also too cheap to pay for patterns. I had one haggler, seriously.. you’re NOT at a garage sale! In the end, I let him haggle. I couldn’t believe it. I swore I wouldn’t do that, but it was 2 dollars, it was the end of the day, and I could tell he wasn’t going to pay full price. I decided my pride could take the hit in the name of moving merchandise. I also had a few price complainers. These are the people who will just about DIE before they’d make eye contact with you. It’s much easier to complain about your prices loud enough for you to HEAR, but not TO YOU.. They only complain to their shopping companions. Funny enough, my biggest price complainer’s companions both ended up buying from me. So there. Take THAT Complainer!

All in all it was a good experience. I’m going to rebuild my stock (I sold more than half of my merchandise!) and try to get into a show in November. Preferably INDOORS so I don’t have to set up that God-forsaken tent and sit outside in the cold all day. Seriously. Carrying your junk to and from your booth space? Hands down the worst part of doing a craft show. My entire body was sore for 3 days.

I am still not back on track with my running goals. And on that note, I am also going to be changing the format of the Motivation posts. I’ll keep you updated on progress still, but no more pictures. It makes my hubs uncomfortable (I think, he didn’t say that), and I was a little creeped out recently to get a notification that someone had taken one of my pics for some reason (blech!). So, there you have it — from now on, I’ll be focusing on the craft portion of my blog with updates on running/exercise progress, diet (I think we’re going gluten free! Yikes!), but that’ll be about it. I was tired of looking at those stupid pictures anyway.

Happy Monday!

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A Quick Update

Hey all!

I’m still here. I’ve got this big 2 day craft show this weekend, so all of my time has been funneled into preparing for it.

 

I’ll be back on track next week with a Monday post, a new pattern on Tuesday, and more time to cover a few things.

Plus, I’ll let you know how the show goes!

 

I hope everyone is having a great week! Pop over to Instagram and check out what I’ve been working on (username: @lpcrochet)!

 

 


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Motivation Monday — Or not so much

I’m just going to start by admitting I came nowhere near reaching my goals this week.

But–

I live in Loveland, Colorado and we’ve kind of had a lot going on around here.

Benson Sculpture garden

This sculpture garden is across the street from my oldest’s school. I took this picture yesterday. It’s also down the street from our old house (we moved last March), and less than a mile from our new home. Lilly and I used to walk here almost every day. The pond border is behind the polar bear. This park hosts the Loveland Sculpture Invitational every August.

I’ve been consumed with news reports. Glued to television coverage of some of my favorite places in the world reduced to piles of debris and gushing muddy water. My city was literally divided in two with no open roads from the north side of town to the south. The Big Thompson river transforming our streets into part of one giant raging river. Friday we were an “island” of sorts with the Big Thompson ferociously flowing a couple of miles south of my home, the Poudre river cutting off travel to the north, damaged roads and massive flooding penning us in to the east and to the west. It’s been horrific. Heartbreaking footage of thousands of homes destroyed. Many of us just feeling helpless. Wanting to help, but also having no idea where to begin and not wanting to “get in the way” of those who know what they’re doing.

I’ve lived in Loveland for most of my life. The devastation here is tremendous. The road ahead is a long one. We were hit hard, and our neighbors just to the south in Boulder were hit even harder. There are still hundreds of people “unaccounted for” in Larimer County (my county). My family spent most of the weekend waiting for news of my aunt and uncle who have been hosting a campground along the Poudre river all summer. They are fine, thank goodness, but still trapped up there.

And that is a good story. There are so many who have lost everything. Entire towns essentially wiped from the map. People still waiting to be rescued.

I don’t even know what else to say. Thank God it has finally stopped raining today.

Here is a link to an aerial tour (from Saturday) provided by the Denver Post:

http://photos.denverpost.com/2013/09/14/photos-colorado-flood-damage-aerial-views/

(The pictures of Loveland start at 28, they are all awful)

These pictures make my stomach hurt.

Please continue thinking of our once beautiful, thriving state.


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How-To Tuesday — Criss Cross Chunky Cowl

Lilly has been up all night with an ear infection, so I’m going to try to get this written and posted before the doctor’s office opens. Fortunately, she doesn’t seem as miserable now as she was from midnight to 6 am. There’s something about the middle of the night that makes all illnesses worse, am I right?

Anyway, on to the pattern!

chunky cross stitch cowl lpcrochet

This one is pretty simple, so I didn’t have it tested, so please don’t hesitate to let me know if there is anything weird about it,  but I’m *pretty sure* it should be easy to follow.

I’m a fan of any pattern that is:

1. Fast to work up

and

2. Beautiful when finished

This pattern is definitely both of these, so I figured I had a keeper this week!

Ready to get started?

Materials Needed:

Super Bulky yarn (I used Lion Brand HomeTown USA in Los Angeles Tan) — Just under 2 skeins made the one pictured.

3 Buttons (My oldest found mine at Hobby Lobby)

*Size L hook (sorry, I forgot to put that in this morning! I blame sleep deprivation :P)

Needle for weaving ends

Terms used (US terminology):

ch – chain

st – stitch

dc – double crochet

xst – cross stitch – skip next st, dc into following st, go back and dc into skipped st (see pictures below)

Ch 75

(you can easily adjust the size by adding/subtracting beginning chains)

R1: dc into 3rd ch from hook and all the way down the row

R2: Ch 3 (counts as dc here and throughout) *xst over next two sts* repeat to end, finishing the row with a dc into the top of the turning ch of the previous row

R3: Ch 3, dc into the top of each xst (ending in the turning ch) from the previous row

R4-11: Repeat rows 2 and 3 alternately, ending with a dc row

Finish off and weave in your ends

Attach buttons evenly spaced vertically on one end — you can use any stitch space on the other end as a ‘button-hole’

The end! Super easy, right?

And here are some pictures for reference (and then some of me showing off how much I love this thing haha :P):

I’ve had a question about stitch placements in the row following the xst row — here are some pictures to help clear up any confusion!


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Motivation Monday

Monday? Bring it. I’m totally ready this week.

I even thought ahead (for once) and jotted notes in a rough draft throughout the week so I wouldn’t forget what I did which days! What a concept!

Here goes:

Monday – I ran 2 miles on the treadmill in the morning, then walked about a mile around the neighborhood with Kacie in the evening.  It was Labor Day, so we went to park for a picnic lunch of junky fast food (but from a local place that cooks it fresh, so… not McDonald’s junky, but junky nonetheless).

Tuesday – I managed to get 2 miles in on the treadmill in the morning. I wanted to add something so I did 30 lunges. It was a cleaning day, sort of. Mostly just hung around the house drinking coffee with friends. Note — lunges kick. my. butt.

Wednesday – It was Lilly’s first day of pre-k! Bittersweet. My baby is growing up so fast, but it’s nice to have a little break a few days a week. I went for a 3 mile run outside in the evening with Kacie, and did 50 lunges (holy moly I’m so sore!).

Thursday –  I had planned on taking a rest day because my body was SO SORE, but I ran 2 miles on the treadmill, and did 30 lunges. I was very proud of myself for not skipping!

Friday – I ran 4.5 miles on the treadmill (2.25 in the morning, 2.25 in the afternoon), and did 30 lunges (they’re still not getting easier!).

Saturday – I had every intention of running 5 miles so I could take a rest day on Sunday (we had company coming over), but I did 50 lunges, and ran no miles. We ended up deep cleaning the house and running errands (I got a new vacuum! Yes, that makes me super happy haha, I am old).

Sunday – I felt gross from skipping on Saturday (plus I had ice cream for dinner Saturday night) so I ran 3 miles on the treadmill in the morning, and 3 miles outside with Kacie in the evening.

Not a bad week for me in the exercise department. Diet is another story. I cannot, for the life of me, seem to be able to just eat breakfast in the morning. I don’t know what is wrong with me. I just don’t think about food until lunch time. I need to just eat when Lilly is eating her cereal. For lunch pretty much the entire week, I made a salad wrap in a tortilla (flour tortilla, slop of dressing spread around, slice of turkey, baby spinach, walnuts, dried cranberries, grapes or tomatoes — I changed it up depending on the day). Those are pretty freakin’ good. Even Lilly would eat half of mine and she “doesn’t eat ‘leaves’!” lol. I’ll probably be eating a lot of those this week too.

I’m currently hanging my head in shame because I STILL have not bought a replacement battery for my stupid scale. I have no idea where I am weight-wise, but I know I feel pretty great, so I’ll take it.

Totals for the week — 20.5 miles run, 190 lunges (what!? lol wow!) No wonder I’m so sore!

Goals MET! Woo!

Goals for this week — I’d like to maintain, so I’ll bump it up a little just for a “rounder” number. 25 miles, 200 lunges. Should be no problem.

 

What are your goals this week?

I’m panicking about the craft show coming up in two and a half weeks, so I’m crocheting like a crazy woman. I’m pretty excited for tomorrow’s How-To Tuesday, though!


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How-To Tuesday — Fingerless Gloves

It’s Tuesday! Are you excited?! I am 😛

I am going to totally shock you all today and post a pattern for something that is NOT a slouchy hat! You know I love some slouchy hats, but I thought I’d change it up a little this week. Also, I wrote this pattern over a year ago, so most of the work was already done.

And who doesn’t love fingerless gloves, right? They’re cute, warm, and allow you the freedom to answer calls and texts without taking your glove off!

crochet fingerless gloves

Materials Needed: WW yarn of your choice (Pictured – Vickie Howell for Caron, Sheep(ish) in Teal(ish).) One skein is more than plenty. I/9 5.5mm crochet hook needle for weaving ends Buttons of your choice (Pictured – La Mode style 24811 from JoAnn’s)

Stitches/Terms used (US terms): hdc –  half double crochet

sc –  single crochet

sl st- slip stitch

blo – back loop only

Whipstitch (used for sewing on strap — see video here: http://youtu.be/RBYfdRgy5II)

Finished Measurements: Body of glove – 8 inches length x 3.5 inches width Strap – 3.5 inches length x 1.25 (or slightly less) inches tall

Body:

Chain 30 Row 1: In 3rd ch from hook, hdc blo, and every st until the end (28 hdc) Rows 2 – 17: Ch 2, turn work, hdc blo next st and down the rest of the row (28 hdc) (measure against your wrist – if not yet big enough to go around, make another row and measure again), do not fasten off. Row 18: Joining row – Ch 1, sl st two sides together creating a seam up the side of your work next 20 sts. At st 21, sl st up only one side of seam (creating hole for thumb) for next 7 stitches. Ch 1, sl st into final chain, joining work and creating the hole for your thumb. Do NOT fasten off. Thumb Hole: Sc around your thumb hole (16 sc), do not join rows, sc 4 rows (16 sc each) or until desired length. Fasten off, weave ends.

Turn your work inside out.

Bottom Cuff: Join yarn at side seam. Row 1: Ch 2, HDC around (approx. 24 hdc* see note below). Join with sl st into top of beginning stitch. Row 2: Ch 2, hdc blo each stitch (24 hdc). Join with sl st into top of beginning stitch. Fasten off (or make more rows until desired length), weave ends (into the inside of your work).

Top Cuff: Join yarn at side seam. Row 1: Ch 2, hdc around (approx. 24 hdc* – see note below). Join with sl st into top of beginning st. Rows 2-4: Ch 2, hdc blo around (24 hdc). Join with sl st into top of beginning st. Row 5: Ch1, sc blo around (24 sc). Join with sl st into top of beginning chain, fasten off, weave ends on the inside of your work.

Strap: Ch 15 Row 1: hdc into 3rd ch from hook and down (12 hdc). Rows 2-3: Ch 2, hdc to end (12 hdc). Fasten off. Leave tail long enough to sew onto glove. Whipstitch onto glove just below the thumb hole (see picture for placement). Add button to the opposite end of strap, whipstitch button side onto glove (see picture for placement).

–And I know this sounds dumb and should be a no-brainer, but I wouldn’t include it if I hadn’t stupidly done this before myself (ha! I was SO mad!): Make sure you don’t accidentally create 2 right/left gloves by misplacement of strap — With thumbs placed to the inside (next to each other), you should have one glove with a button on the right side of the glove, and one glove with a button on the left side of the glove (Right glove/right side button, Left glove/left side button). *Approx 24 stitches around, possibly more if you needed more original rows in body to adjust for your wrist size.

Pictures (click to enlarge):


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Motivation Monday

Happy Labor Day Monday! I hope you are all doing something fun and relaxing!

We’ve all been bums for the past couple of days, which has been very nice.

Last week was a much better workout week for me. I wasn’t sure how it was going to go. I’d fallen out of my routine after being sick, and it wasn’t easy to get back into the swing of things.

Here we go:

Monday: I didn’t get any time on the treadmill because I was so focused on getting last week’s pattern ready to go before Tuesday. What did you guys think of it, by the way?

Tuesday: I got back on track a bit and ran my 3 miles. It was harder than I feel it should have been, but I felt good getting it done!

Wednesday: I slacked a tiny bit and only ran 2 miles. I couldn’t muster the motivation to get that last mile in. I don’t know what the problem was.

Thursday: I didn’t get my run in. I was planning to do it when Jake was putting Lilly to bed, but my bff was having surgery Friday, so I skipped the run and drove to Denver to visit her in the hospital before she went under the knife.

Friday: This was my shining day this week (ha!). I ran 2 miles in the morning, then 2 more miles in the afternoon. At that point, I was “caught up” for the week, but I felt SO good about it, I ran another 3 miles before dinner for a total of 7 miles for the day. I’ll go ahead and lift my arm for the high five you are undoubtedly mentally giving me. 🙂

Saturday: I ran 3 miles in the morning to round out the week.

Sunday: We were all bums for the day and enjoyed every minute of it.

Totals for the week: 15 miles — Goal MET! 

Finally. After two weeks (2? or 3?) of failed goals, this week’s met goals felt REALLY good.

Diet wise? The week was not terrible, but not great either. I had a lot of salad and fresh fruit and veggies (which I love and eat regularly), but I went out to eat with my step mom early in the week, took fast food to bff in the hospital (her request), and went out to dinner with the fam Friday evening. I am getting better at ordering *better* restaurant items, though, so I don’t feel terrible about it.

This week I am going to set a goal of 20 miles. Lilly starts Pre-K Wednesday, so I should have no excuses (ha! But I’m so good at coming up with excuses!).

I know I said pictures this week, but .. sorry. I haven’t had the spare moments to take any and currently my participation is being requested in a game of Jenga.

I’m working on editing this week’s pattern and should have it up tomorrow. I’ve been frantically prepping for the craft show at the end of the month, and finished several WIPs (that’s “work in progress” for those not in the know) this weekend. I also had a weird experience at JoAnn’s yesterday that still blows me away haha! Nothing spectacular, just the idiocy and inconsideration of people continues to shock me — although, with the amount of idiocy I’ve dealt with in my life, it shouldn’t anymore.

What are your goals this week? Get out and get moving!