Sometimes, they just need a smile…

This has been a busy couple of weeks.  Each day, there always seems to be something new. First, about a week ago, I had my largest order ever. I was so ecstatic.. a customer purchased one of every single crochet pattern I have ever designed. Every single one… Can you believe it? She was so excited and completely fell in love with my patterns. She bought one and then another, and another, until she decided that she wanted every single one… I still have a smile on my face. She told me, spend it wisely.. Oh I said, will be going toward winter coats for the kids and the electric bill.

It was the perfect time, and then it brought me to another thought-The realization that I am doing it. People truly do love my patterns, and my unique sense of style. And to think, when I first began designing, I was terrified that people would not like my work, that they would think it is too untraditional and not of the norm.

Sometimes, I think that I am too picky… If I do not like something, I will rip it out… it can be very time consuming, crocheting, then ripping out, sometimes ripping of 2-3 skeins worth. I am not sure what it is, but it is my downfall. I keep thinking, if I would stop doing this, how many more patterns I could put out. But for some reason, I just can’t do it. If I do not like something, out it goes.. Even if I partially like it, if I am not completely satisfied, forget it.

On other notes… this weekend is my son’s first High School Homecoming Dance. My little boy is growing up into a man… I am so proud of him. Such a nice boy, gets good grades, has a truly magnificent circle of friends.. He is jovial, laid back, just the kind of kid everyone wants to be around… And you know.. he is 6’4! I had the hardest time looking for black dress socks for him.. finally found some that fit shoe sizes 13-15. Since he wears a size 14 shoe, he is able to use his choir shoes- they are black. But the socks, black dress socks, oh my that was quite a hunt. But finally found some. This is a very busy week for him. This week, before homecoming is spirit week at school. Yesterday was pajama day.. and today is nerd day.. hehe… He dressed up in black slacks, a white shirt, black suspenders pulling his pants up high.. then rolling his pants up at the bottom on the inside to make them higher, with long white socks.  So, between Spirit week this week in school, homecoming this weekend,  Tuesday, he gets confirmed. Such a busy week for him.. and time is just passing by so fast.

Update: My son just arrived home from school.. and well, he won “Nerd Day.”

I guess they go by applaud.. that there is applauds for each student, and the loudest applaud wins. He is a pretty popular kid, not snooty popular, but the kind of person everyone just likes, no matter what “crowd” they are in.. Incidentally, he won a candy bar :)  Keep checking back for a photo.. need to charge the camera.

This reminds me, I went into the Thrift Store yesterday, to get him a funky tie for nerd day. The lady there did not seem happy at all. Her face kept cringing, her manner was one of a silent lashing out.. As if at any moment, she would explode. I went into the back saw a little play high chair, and a Leap Frog electronic ABC game. I asked her how much they were, since they were by everything else, but no tags. Things that have not yet been gone through are generally behind the long rope that divides the room. She sighed, walked over and looked each over for about 5 mins, continually sighing. She muttered a few times “they are not priced because I have not looked at them yet…” I had the feeling that she thought if she took enough time, I would just walk away. However, her demeanor did not distract me as all I could think of was my daughter having a wonderful time with these 2 items.

She continues to sigh, underneath my breath I felt like walking out that it was not worth it, but thoughts of my daughter did not waver my stance… Her complete depressive state was literally zapping my energy by the second… Finally, though seemingly reluctantly. she said $5 for the high chair… And then $4 for the game..

So I went browsing around the store while thinking about this.. they were both in fairly good shape.. and knew my daughter would just love them.

I do not know what happened, but I kept thinking about her and my irritation left and I felt sympathy for her.. I told her it’s a sale and then gently asked her if she was ok. She didn’t really answer, just looked away. I kept probing… not sure why. Finally, she broke down and said she was having problems with her kids.. I do not want to go into too much detail, but I could sense she was deeply, deeply hurting on the inside, and I think my instinct told me she was not trying to be a terrible saleswomen, but something really took hold of her and wasn’t letting go.. So I talked to her a few minutes to try and make her feel better. They are closed today, but tomorrow I am going to get her some flowers with a little anonymous note. I am not sure what to say in the note, but something that hopefully will bring a smile to her face.

The only reason I am not going to sign it, is that I do not want her to feel awkward, and I don’t know.. sometimes thank-you’s make me feel awkward coming from other people. What do you all think?

This made me think… for now one, when I get in the drive through and someone is in a bad mood, or any store or place for that matter, instead of thinking I will take my business elsewhere or letting them zap my energy… I am going to say “cheer up!” or something… Even if they are just a grumpy person, I think most really just need that friendly customer to give them that smile they are lacking.

Ok.. time to get back to work and then get working on dinner.. I really need to one day get a deep freezer. It would be so nice, to be able to make extras, and then throw them in the freezer, and then days like this I can just relax, heat up some food from the freezer.. Right now, if I put too much into the ice box, for some reason, it makes the food in the fridge all freeze. This has happened too many times to count, and then everything, well not everything but a LOT of things in the fridge have to be thrown out.. This fridge has cost me so much, so now, I put barely anything in there, as I cannot afford to throw food away. The landlord did have someone come out and look a couple times at it.. but he couldn’t figure it out, and basically that was the end of that.

I am thinking maybe next year I will be able to get a deep freezer.. Oh will be so nice!

Ok.. will write more tomorrow as I have a few more things to catch up on here, but work to do and dinner to make…

Take care all!

Beautiful Day

Oh it is so beautiful today.. Finally this heat or rather, humidity is now gone. 83 degrees, a nice breeze.. perfect laundry day.

I finally got a pic of Henry. Though not the best picture.. he now has taken up residence on the window, but disappears often. One day I saw him all fuzzy and dusty.. I think he was under the fridge or something. Here is Mr. Henry:

Henry- the preying mantis

The other night, I went outside, and above my door on the outside- guess who I met?? Welp, Henrietta. I did not get a picture of her since it was dark.. but Henry better watch out. His head will be bit off by her if she decides he is the one… You can see in the photo, Henry’s head is tilted back and his little beady eyes are looking at me. I think he is getting over me trying to kill him. I think he is now actually starting to take a liking to me.

Well, remember that company that accepted my designs? Seems they have accepted another one as well… I have been so super busy… crocheting, designing.. Hopefully soon I will have a launch.. just a couple more things to get into testing. It really seems like there is never enough time in the day. I have so much I want to get done this month.. we shall see if I meet all my goals. Another goal is to blog at the LEAST once a week. So, when you do not see me on here.. just means I am really busy designing lots of patterns for you all!!

I am still so excited about Interweave’s winter issue.. I cannot wait! I just cannot stop bringing it up either.. The day I get that issue, watch out! On that note, I am also getting published in other places as well! I cannot say yet,until the contracts are signed, but once that is done.. I will be blabbing away here about it… So keep checking back.. It is amazing, all this publication happening at once.. It has become quite a task balancing getting stuff done for the website, as well as for these companies. I think I should take up stock in Advil.. yes? My joints are definitely getting a workout. And with my daughter in preschool, I have so much more time in the day to work.

I am so happy I put her in preschool. It has done wonders for her. The socialization has really made her blossom. Potty training happened overnight.. I still put a diaper on her at night just in case, but she has now been day trained for a few months. It is nice.. saves so much money on diapers. She also absolutely needed the rigid structure. It was hard, since being a single mom, and this being my full time job, to give her the absolute schedule and things she needed. Some kids may not need such structure, but she definitely needed it, and I needed time to work. It was hard cramming in designing and crocheting in the wee hours of the night and during her nap times. During the day, forget designing and crocheting… she needed me, interaction, etc.

Her speech has also blossomed… It is quite funny, I got her a pink little stuffed doggy, and she says “oooh mommy, so cute! Cute, cute, she’s so cute!” hugging her new little friend… I was cooking dinner and my son and I were in the kitchen and she comes in “hey guys!” lol.. we both laughed so hard, it was so sweet and funny, hearing slang. It is hard being away from her, but I know that is what is best for her. She also already knows all of her colors, counting, her ABC’s, incidentally, her favorite color is purple. Oh my.. what a phase this has been. Everything has to be purple. I told my mom, to get only purple! Some mornings it takes so long to get her dressed because she wants everything purple.. even down to her socks and panties!! Oh and then she also has a fascination with butterflies.. I had the hardest time last week getting her dresses, hunting for her shorts with the butterflies…

I think I will also have to take up stock in butterfly appliqués.. better yet, crochet and design a lot of butterfly appliqués and embellish all her clothes! That and dogs… she has an obsession with dogs. Well, any animals for that matter, but especially dogs. And oh my, such a passion for them. She is definitely an outdoors little one… everything in nature, from rocks, to bees, to squirrels. She would live outside if I let her. She also loves her babies and imaginary play.. here she is feeding her baby doll after her bath:

Every Saturday morning we go to the Farmer’s market. In the beginning, we got our favorite plants from our great farmer friend. He grows all if plants from organic seed and of course organically.. I bought a ton from him and planted them for our summer garden. I always ask him lots of questions.. What was really great is had so many types of basil.. lemon basil, lime basil, cinnamon basil.. yummm.. I made lots of pesto, and another favorite thing I like to do is take eggplant and slice it up into paper thin slices. Then I sprinkle kosher salt and let the moisture drain. Then, take 2 slices, and put a basil leave with a slice of farm cheese or mozzarella. I then squish the sides to make a sandwich per se, and then roll it in breadcrumbs. I then either fry them in Canola or Olive oil, sometimes bake them. Oh they are sooo good..! Olivia loves them too, and it exposes her to so many different types of herbs and vegetables, especially since I am such a veggie-herb nut. You should see how much chives and dill I planted! (I am obsessed with dill). Anyway- her is my farmer friend.. You can just see the energy radiating from him. And oh my, see that jug? that is full of his wonderful home brewed iced tea:

I love iced tea, especially homemade in the summer. I make big gallons of it. Mostly green tea, and then add in organic sugar, fresh lemons, and some honey and mmm.. the kids devour it. I get the caffeine-free for them. And of course, I make tons of Yerba Mate for myself.. now to just get myself a gourde. One of these days.. I save so much money by planting many of my own veggies and herbs. One day, when I finally buy a house, my dream is to have a huge backyard of nothing but herbs and veggies, and or maybe a greenhouse. One day…!

And here is my daughter, munching on some homemade biscotti at the market.. oh it was divine. My favorite was the chocolate macadamia. She is also sporting the hat I made her, which is part of the Nature’s Kiss outfit I designed, and holding “Scruffy” very close. Everyone has asked me to make that hat for their kids there.. everywhere I turned.. many begged me to set up a table at next summer’s farmer market… Will I have the time to make and spend there? We shall see. Of course it would be neat to mix and mingle with everyone, and talk about my crochet and designs. I was thinking of making up a photo album of all of my work, and one large poster size of my daughter modeling a hat.. It would be so much fun, but then I need to make sure I stay focused, as designing and putting patterns on the website and selling patterns to publication companies is what puts food on the table.

I wish my son would go out more with us.. but well, being a teen and so wrapped up with his friends and such, does not leave a lot for family time. But I am proud of him.. he is enjoying highschool, and is doing quite well. Each night we go over his Algebra and his other classes he feels he is weak in. He just found out he is getting an A in math.. and I told him, you can still be good at something and not like it, that everything you like, you will not always be good at! Then I kind of went off on a tangent of graphing equations and the theories of derivatives and matrices.. Well… I love math.. It was one of my minors in college. He now spends his evenings at football games, and watching his girlfriend cheer (she is a cheerleader), and then spending weekends playing Diplomacy with his friends. It is quite funny, he says people have basketball season, football season, they now have decided this is their Diplomacy season! lol.. Such a good group of kids.. well behaved, high morals, very outgoing and personable.. I am so happy that these schools here are ranked extremely high in this state.. and am so glad he has made such wonderful friends and is heading down the right path.

So what are my plans for today? To keep crocheting. I have a few large projects I am working on for publication. They will take me some time… and in between I am squeezing in items to put into testing for the website to have a launch soon. I think though I am at my limit of things I can put into testing.. I think almost every single one of my testers is testing one more things, and are basically “full.” So I keep designing, and putting things on the side waiting for them to give them more. So far, I think they are loving it. One item, is a BEAUTIFUL , gorgeous dress.. oh my it is truly one of my most favorite designs as of yet… I debated whether to send it in for publication or to put it on the website.. But I think I will put it on the website… Any thoughts?!?!

One thing I scratched off my to-do list was rewrite the Rugged Mountain Scarf Collection!! FINALLY. WOW. I cannot believe how far I have come with my pattern writing. The idea is ingenious, I think to have reversible cables.  But implementing them using the written word was quite a task for a beginner designer, as proved to be the case when I opened up the files to reword. They have now 1/4th the size they were in length. I think another element that goes into good pattern writing is “smoothness.” You can have a long pattern, but if it is choppy and such, it will be overwhelming and the crocheter will put it aside. But if it is smooth, clean looking and logical with good flow, the longest patterns can be quite a treat for the crocheter leaving them with a thirst to want to do more of your patterns. Welp… the Rugged Mountain Scarves are now rewritten. If you have ordered this pattern in the past, please email me or go to the support page with your Transaction ID on your paypal payment and you will get a new version!

Do you ever wonder what people look like behind the written word? Well, I took a snapshot of myself the other day.. You can’t really see all of my hair, but it goes down to my hiney. Usually I am wearing it all completely up, but this time I sort of have it down, though it is in a ponytail. I wear a lot of kerchiefs and things, and scarves as a headband.. so much hair, and so long, yet I hate it when my hair is on my face. yes, I am an odd duck. Here I am:

Well, time to get back to designing.. so much to get done, and I have a “painting date” with my daughter..