Archive for the ‘crocheting’ Category

Loving your Craft

Business, crafts, crocheting, knitting

Have you ever wanted to ask fellow artisans how they got started in their craft?  Being a curious kind of gal, I love to hear their stories.  Through their tales, it can be awe-inspiring to take those first steps toward your new passion.   I know a professional artist, photographer, knitter, author and I’m amazed at their talents.  I personally know a few developed their gifts from youth while some fell into it by accident.  One day they were gifted a camera and their love for photography became all consuming.  Others become accidental artisans who are fortunate enough to find their gift and pursue it.  In the same vein, from childhood I’ve always had a thirst to learn or try something new.  I can actually say that I’ve even been a little bit of a daredevil. Don’t ever tell me I can’t do something!  That’s when I’ll surprise you.   One little question started me down a path I never would have anticipated.

While talking to my cousin one day, she asked the big question.  “Have you been knitting?”  She had to be kidding.  I hadn’t picked up needles since I was in college.  With a little encouragement from her, I bought some needles and went about trying to learn how to knit and purl again.  BUT first I had to remember how to cast on.  All thumbs and pinkies, I was a tad disappointed by the sight of my first few rows. This just wouldn’t do.  Not one to give up easily and with her over the phone tutorials, she retaught me how to knit!  Together with YouTube videos and printing off lots of easy patterns, I got my knitting mojo going at a steady pace and I never looked back, only forward.

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I have a love for the art of sliding those needles and yarn from one side to the other.  I’ve enjoyed making my first pair of socks, baby sweaters for all of my great nephews and niece and fashion items for women.   This love of fiber arts brought about my daughter Kristy and I opening our shopladylike offering both knitted and crocheted items.  Over the years, I’ve designed and created unique headbands for ladies and children.  Who would have guessed that I could actually take yarn, needles and hooks in hand and feel confident to make a pattern specific for our shop and customers would want to purchase them?

New Mini Ski Headband in Grey

Do you have doubts that’s stopping you from attempting that new project idea?  Do you buy all the necessary items and then put them in a drawer?  Take them out and surprise yourself.  Believe and you’ll amaze yourself!  If I didn’t have that little push to retry an old craft,  I may not have found my perfect niche to share my items with family, friends and actually open our Etsy Shop.

From my blog you can find Shopladylike links to my Facebook Fan page, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.  I’d love for you to link up with me and share your craft story or what inspires you.

Journals – How Many are too Many?

Business, crocheting, journal, knitting

Do you have a collection of journals?  You know, those pretty little books with the inspirational quotes or beautiful scenery on the front.  Some have 3D images that make your eyes go crazy while trying to see what’s in the center of the holographic picture.   They come spiraled, hard bound, lined, unlined and in different sizes.  I confess!  I can’t go by a shelf without checking out the new ones.  The covers are so beautiful and I can envision the book sitting next to my work table, inspiring me to create a new item.  I never thought I had a problem until one day my daughter and I were shopping and I had two new ones in the cart.  She laughed and said “Mom,  you have so many journals already and you’re buying more?”  Of course my dear, you can never have too many!  Maybe I need  “Journal Therapy”.

Confession time.  Being a designer of handmade knitted and crocheted items, I am always working out patterns.   I never wrote my ideas down on paper.  I just knew I’d remember the stitches I used and the yarn.  Are you kidding me?  This concept started a few years ago when I took a knitting class at a new local yarn store.  The owner said “Where’s your journal”?  I had no idea what she was talking about.  Susan explained that pattern ideas, yarn and color used, needle and hook size must be written down.  Also important was the date of the design.  I thought this is a bit over the top for me but I took her advice and I never looked back.

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I now have a collection of journals that contain all my pattern designs and important project details including the start date.  It’s amazing how many times I use a date reference to find a specific pattern I need to recreate.  As artists, we have so many ideas popping into our heads throughout the day.   Have you ever thought of a great new idea, didn’t put it on paper and days later try to recall it?  I have and it’s frustrating.  It’s great just to have a notebook to immediately write them down.

I have a book for my sewing projects too.  I love to make totes, aprons and quilts.   When I need a new tote bag,  I just open my sewing journal and the pattern is at my fingertips.  I don’t have to go on line and try to find that design.  Searching for that missing pattern does nothing but stop creativity in its path. I love that I have all my diagrams and size cuts in my trusty little book and I can get right to work.

Last week when I had my ladies over for craft day, my friend Kathy said how grateful she was to me for teaching her how to journal all her crochet patterns. I appreciated her sweet comment but said to truly thank Susan, my journal mentor.  I hope you enjoy shopping for your next notebook and remember, you “never” have too many journals!

 

Where’s My Craft Room?

Business, crafts, crocheting, knitting

A while ago I did a post on reorganizing my craft room. I worked for hours putting all my yarn, needles, fabric, and all other accessories I use on shelves, in baskets, or drawers.  You see,  I really can’t stand to lose anything.  When I need that particular skein of yarn for my project and it’s not where it’s supposed to be, creativity stops dead in its tracks.  Nothing else will get done until that pesky lost item is found!  That’s when I know it’s time to reorganize yet again.  Now what does telling you about organizing my craft room have to do with anything?  Read on.

For new inspiration, I look on Pinterest at the beautifully designed and organized sewing,  scrap booking and art studios and drool.  But seriously,  my craft of knitting and crocheting really doesn’t need anything elaborate but I love to look.  Recently,  Lady Like was asked to do a special project with the sweet company littleyellowcouch next month and they asked for a picture of my studio,  where I create my projects.    Simple, right?   Panic set in because I don’t really have a studio where I sit in a comfy chair knitting and crocheting.   I’m not surrounded by baskets of overflowing yarn, stored in special cubbies, projects displayed and an inspiration board.  So where is my craft room?  Wait, here it comes…the couch is my creating space.

Yes, I do have shelves and organized drawers for my yarns, needles and books, but it’s very simple.  Sorry I don’t have a photo of “all of my yarn stash”.  That’s my secret!   I keep those in special drawers to protect them.  I love to open drawers and pick out a new skein of yarn and get to work.  It’s all about the sound of the needles clicking together when knitting or the slide of the crochet hook as it weaves its way through the loops of yarn.

Here’s a little basket I made up just for this post.  It contains all Malabrigoyarn which is Lady Like’s favorite fiber.  We do use other brands but for specialty items, there’s nothing I love better.

 

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So the truth is that I truly love to sit down with a cup of tea, notebook and pen,  yummy yarn in hand and start designing new headbands or cowls on my comfortable seat.   Since Lady Like’s color theme is all about nature’s beautiful pallet, I’m content to sit on the couch and take in the view from my living room windows.  It’s the perfect studio setting and awe inspiring.   Sometimes my studio travels with me to a friend’s house for a craft day which is one of my favorite times.   Your studio or crafting room doesn’t have to be perfect or a special room.   It’s your place of comfort and creativity.  So enjoy wherever that may be.

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crocheting, lady like

Well it appears that to be successful in the online market, you have to be out there in many store fronts. Ladylike will be expanding into a few more markets in the future. We have recently applied to ArtFire for an exhibit page and @wrecklessgirl is working on that from Oslo. She’s such a hard working partner in our little business. Without her, our Etsy ad ArtFire pages would be blank with no pictures. She’s an awesome photographer.

You can find us on ArtFire at http://www.artfire.com/users/LadyLike. It will take a bit of time to get the items on their blog. We will not be leaving Etsy anytime soon. Love their online market.

Last Sunday of September 2010

crocheting, gardening, great books, knitting

I cannot believe what happened to Sept. 2010.  This summer has steam-rolled by and the weather has been less than desirable.  The whole summer was cooler than normal, rainy, and not very good for gardens.  I was fortunate to get a good crop of tomatoes for canning (3 times already) but was hoping for a few more opportunities. Fingers crossed with the warmer weather this week.

My current read is “The Forgotten Garden” by Kate Morton and it’s a wonderful novel filled with intrigue and suspense.  I would highly recommend it as a book club choice which is actually my choice for November.  Our book club for 10 years has chosen some incredible reads in all genres.  If anyone’s interested in our lists, I would gladly send them along to you.

Have been working on a few new crafts…beautiful lady’s scarf pattern and matching hat in ivory white.  The yarn and pattern remind me of new fallen fluffy snow.  Also knitted up a cranberry red cowl which turned out better than expected. Pictures will be up on the blog soon.  I’m continuing to work on my LadyLike feather and thread hair clip designs.  You can view them at at my etsy page:  www.etsy.com/shop/ladyknitster.

Daughter Kristy’s new blog page with senior photo sessions can be viewed now at www.wrecklessgirl.com.  Some stunning beauties grace the pages.  Enjoy!

First Friday

crafts, crocheting, news

This 1st Friday in September was an exciting and memorable one indeed. Wreckless Photography and House of James had Open House to their newly renovated photography studio. With the renovations came the burst of natural light into the space that is almost heavenly. The transformation has been spectacular to watch. A beautiful display of images could be seen throughout the Studio.

Christine & Christopher

Mother & Daughter moment

Another highlight of the evening was the display of our local artisan and teacher, Julie Rae Bickle. Her work could be viewed in every room of the Del*light Creative Space and Julie was on hand to discuss her pieces with the guests. Three musicians from Grants Pass provided the entertainment and Ashleigh Powley of Troon Vineyard provided the guests with a sampling of their wine.

I was fortunate to have my newly created Lady Like hair clip designs on display and for sale. Sales were brisk and special orders were taken that evening. I would like to thank Heather Smith for the opportunity to have the clips on sale at her salon in Del*light and to daughter Kristy of Wreckless for the encouragement to step out and try something new. It was wonderful seeing old friends and meeting new ones too. Grants Pass is a small community with a big heart and 1st Fridays each month is a great place to reconnect with friends. I’m glad I was able to be a part of this event for the first time in 30 years in Grants Pass.   Hope to see you next month at Del*light Creative Space on the corner of 5th and G St.

Julie Rae Bickle, Artist of the month

Etsy!

crafts, crocheting, family

About a year ago, I signed up for an etsy account, intent on selling my sweaters, gloves, and other knitted creations. I ended up giving everything I made away as gifts. My account remained lifeless while I dreamed up craft creations and chatted with my daughter about them. She was always asking me to make crocheted/knitted flowers to wear as clips in her hair, so I finally succumbed to her demands and created a few. She’d been playing with feathers, using them in things she made for clients in her photoshoots, so she dreamed up the combination of crocheted flowers with feather tails. When she arrived back home from Italy, we immediately got to work on this idea we’d had for a long time, slowly building up our inventory. This weekend, I launched my company, Lady Like on etsy. I sell pretty handmade hair accessories for women. I’ve just added an etsy widget to the sidebar of this blog, so a small portion of each current collection will be displayed and linked here! Please venture over to my esty page and enjoy the collection! Thanks!