A Day of Errands


I needed to run a few errands today. My goal was to go grocery shopping as the proverbial cupboards were bear, so off I went to Whole Paycheck, oh I mean Whole Foods. I noticed that approximately 80% of the items I put into the cost $4.00. The olives cost $4, bag of onions cost $4, grape tomatoes, etc. $4.00 was just getting a little weird or perhaps I wanted my grocery bill to be $4.00, like that was going to happen. The plan to purchase food and take my lunch to work because money is tight. It is important to save some money particularly to buy supplies for a side business. Besides I can cook, so I do not need to eat out.

I needed to replace a coffee pot. I broke my old while cleaning it by dropping the bottom a butter knife in the pot which cause it chip a small circle at the bottom. That was weird to one small of the pot break. If I had crazy glue, maybe I could have fixed it, but who knows. Oye!

I managed to pick up a copy of the 1st issue of Inside Crochet which I like very much. There are a few projects that I want to put on wish list such as the handy basket with a tapestry crochet which enables to use pictures and geometric designs and it is a beginner’s project. The pattern is a hand crochet in the basket, it is really cool. There is a motif scarf called Meadow that is really nice for the spring and a cool summer day. I am really drawn to the koi jacket which is an kimono-style jacket and it is also a beginner’s pattern. I like the fact that each pattern have yarn alternative from save, spend, and spoil yourself which I think many crocheters and knitters can appreciate.

Here is a piece irony. After grocery shopping, I only eat a salad at dinner. That is right was only meal for the day. I still have a grapefruit to snack on before. On that note, enjoy your night!

Early to Rise


It is the first day of my vacation and I woke up at 5:30 this morning. Now for the life of me, I do not understand why because it was my intention to sleep late. However, I lied down for a couple of hours before getting up for the day. I made some tea because I am still out of half and half for coffee.

I managed to finish knitting the scarf for the felted foliage scarf Saturday and now with the process of cutting out the felted leaves to sew unto the scarf. That will be one project down. I really like the projects from Sewing Green and plan on doing a few more in the book. In an effort for me to save some money, I am going to make a lunch tote, reusable sandwich wraps, and napkins. There are also patterns for a single and double BYOB water-bottle sling which I think is great to carry water or that bottle of wine to a restaurant that does not have a liquor license, or that romantic picnic.

I am turning green and taking the plunge by buying organic cotton fabric. I watched a new series on the Sundance Channel called Eco Trip with David de Rothschild (yes he is of the Rothschild family). The premise of the show is to see how the products that we are made and see whether or not they are doing damage to the environment. The host made a trip to see the production of cotton from harvest to the finish product. After seeing that, I am not purchashing another conventional t-shirt again. First the cotton crops are sprayed with herbicides and pesticides, then the cotton is picked and gone through the mill, it is collected in bails where it goes to be spun into threads and yarns. Before I continue, the seeds are collected and used for the production of cottonseed oil and foodstuff for cows (this would be a good reason to drink organic milk). Since cotton is not a food, it is not regulated by the FDA. The cotton is treated with more chemicals by spraying formamide in the final finishing, and formamide can not be washed out of your clothes. I had a discussion with a person about the episode, and she told me that I watched too much TV. However, if the told me that I read too much if I read it as an article. Oh well, it is catch 22 situation and people always like facts because it changes their world as they know it. If you have the Sundance Channel, I recommend the series. It airs Tuesday night at 9 est.

I think I am going call it an evening. Until next time, enjoy crafting and creating.

A Morning without Coffee


I am offically on vacation. It is nice Saturday morning with a temperature of 60 degrees. By some weather reports, it is excepted to get into the mid-80s, so we are having summertime weather in the spring. It could be a better day if I had some half and half for my coffee (ugh). Listening to Weekend Edition without my coffee is distressing because it is so much a part of my weekend routine. I hope drinking tea will give me same satisfaction.

Of course, I will survive not having coffee this morning, but it goes without saying that I miss it. However, there is still the rest of day to enjoy. I am going out for a little and soak in the weather. It is my hope to finish knitting the scarf I started. I managed to get strawberry perserves on the scarf, but removed it by washing the area. There is also the felted leaves I need to cut out to sew on the leaves.

I also printed out a pattern created by Jordynn Mackenzie called the Jordy Bag. You can download her pattern at http://www.jordynnmackenzie.com.

Well, I think it is time for to prepare some breakfast and get started with having a creative day even without coffee. Enjoy and create!

Friday and other Happenings


It is just one of those weeks where it is busy and things does not always go as they planned. The weather has not been the best with a big rainfall on Monday into the night, so I just came home from work and continue to knit my scraf until the skein end (don’t you wish skens of yarn could last until you finish your entire project). I have another skein to finish my scarf and tonight will unwind and roll the skein into a ball. Although, I realized that I probably will purchase another skein because three of them can make two 6″ w & 60″ l scarves. I am using Casade 220 superwash which knits into a nice soft fabric, and think it would be also good to make a knitted apron which I have had in my back of mind to knit for a couple of years.

I printed out an Amy Bulter pattern from her website today for a snow mum pillow, but probably will not do a pillow. I am thinking of using the mum pattern to add onto a totebag or perhaps make a smaller version of the mum to sew onto a skirt. I am thinking of doing some kind of whimsical scarf that will include yellow, green, and orange, but want to also try some felting. Unfortunately, I do not have the space, washer or dryer to try felting. However, felting was done prior to the invention of the washing machine and there is probably way to felt without one.

There are some other knitting techniques I want to learn and enter into my expanding knitting knowledge. I am beyond the beginner knitter with knitting a quite a few hats and scraves, and there is my first Lion Brand cardigan. I still have another cardigan on my needles and probably will start the crochet cardigan project with the Lion Brand cotton/bamboo yarn. Lion Brand also has a nice microspun yarn that I am thinking purchasing next week using its free pattern of a fitted knitted top. It is sleevless, but thinking about adding short sleeves (it is something to think about).

My niece is graduating for high school in June and will head off to college in the fall. I am going to attend her last high school dance school next week as I will be on vacation for a week. I remember taking her to Disney World when she was not quite five, and her first day at catholic school when she thought Father James was God (she was four) because she did not see him at church, and now she is 17 and graduating for high school. Time certainly does go by quickly.

Glorious Day


I wanted to begin by writing thank you for everyone who had some ideas about marketing my business.  It is always good to get input for other people  I am in the process doing my research and reading a book entitled “Craft, Inc.” and find it helpful in reading the stories of individuals have starting a craft business.  I learned that it the right time to start a business does not really occur and have to get over doubts and fears.  I have an idea about packaging, pricing, and copyright as is part of administrative aspect of business.  I want to be able to design my own knit cand crochet patterns, but intend to start of small with knitting accessories and knitwear for infant and children.  I thought about creating hankerchiefs.  It is just a matter of finding my niche with the balance of being creative and making items that people are willing to purchase.  I have to consider the recession and think about people are going to buy what they need and not necessarily what they want.  I want to create products are easy to care for and are durable.

Friday was a beautiful day and I got away with waying a denim jacket and cashmere sweater just in case it was a little windy.  I finally made a trip to the library apply for a new library card.  That is something I love about being in New York City is getting a library card while working in the city (well I do pay city taxes).  I think having a New York Public Library card means that you are really part of the city.  Now I can really do more research about starting a business and take out knitting books without going to bookstore to purchasing them.

Yesterday, I did some knitting and one of the best things about it is that it allows me to come in tune with my thoughts. Knitting does allow me to relaxed and with relaxing the process of mindfulness. I do not forget about my problems, but awareness and clarity helps me while knitting. Ideas also pop into my head while knitting such as creating a label, trademark packaging, and colors for the business. Now I have to take these ideas write them down and incorporate into my goals. However, the goal is to start small and work from there. I should be finished with the foliage felted scraf soon and post photos in a week or two. I am wondering about a foliage hat along with scraf. That’s another idea to mull over.

Is it Possible to Make Money from my Hobby?


Some people take a while with finding their passion and I am not an exception.  As you know one my of biggest hobbies is knitting and crochet along with being a beginner sewer.  I have often thought about having a side business because it is a way of keeping myself occupied and possibly making some extra money on the side.  I thinking more and more about taking my hobby combining with the idea of simplicity.  I want to make unique things for people to buy, yet functional, practical, and aesthetically pleasing.  I also want to make, but price my products that are affordable.  I am thinking along the lines handcrafted items with a Target perspective.  If am not willing to pay $150.0o for a baby sweater than I do not think the average consumer will want to do the same.

I have a business idea of creating custom items and some ready made.  It would be a great idea people who like to do something in advance such a baby blanket for baby shower gift, creating organic baby t-shirts and diapers kits, or just handmade gift for other special occasions such as graduations (such as knitting a sweater as a present for my niece), bridal showers, and weddings such as hankerchiefs, approns, tea towels, etc.  I guess it would be a custom gift-giving business. I am still hatching out the idea.  There are a few things I have to do to make this work.  One, is horning in on my craft because it is important to be good at what I do and take pride in it and this mean taking a some classes, second, do some research and create a business plan (I am a left-side and right-side thinker), and third is craving out time to make this happen (time management and organizational planning).  I already have a name for my side venture, Henna’s Place which I think it’s catchy.  What do you think?

A Good Foundation


I have something to write on my wish to sew list.  I listened to Laurie’s podcast from the Sewforthnow blog back in March 2008 interviewing Anne St. Claire about bra making.  However, such as life, the thought about making a bra went into an archive file deep within the recesses of my brain until about a week ago while reading Liana blog’s Sew Intriguing about her bra making experience.  Liana’s inspiration came from reading the Sigrid – Sewing Projects blog as the blogger has sewn what seems lot of bras and lingerie.  The blog also has a sewing tutorial for making bras, pattern and bra making supplies information.  I thought about the process of making a bra and the cost factor.  I learned that it does not take much fabric to make a bra, and from Ann’s estimate it is about $10 – $15 to make a bra and thought to myself that it is a huge difference because I have put more than $65.00 for a bra to give the girls good support and are unhappy when they are not provided with good lift.  I also need to get back into the practice of wear a slip again.  There is a reason for wearing a slip just in case that dress or skirt you are wearing happens to be sheer.  Making a bra and lingerie will be on my sew to do list, and printed an past article from Threads Magazine about constructing a bra

Believe or not, I am still working on my journal of all the projects I want to work on in the next year.  I still have not received my Jalie patterns, but they probably will come in the mail today.  I still have to get to the notion shop to purchase some thread, buttons, and elastic before starting any project.  I am also thinking about purchase some beads and lace to embellish a skirt.  It will be a plain straight skirt, but it will need a little extra to add interest.

Coffee Hour


It is Saturday morning, and I am drinking coffee, listening to NPR Weekend Edition, writing a blog entry and thinking about needing to create knitting bag that Martha Stewart made with Mo Rocca on her March 23 about knitting. I literally have more yarn in bags after running out of proper knitting storage. It is amazing of the things you think about on a rainy day while drinking coffee.

Yesterday I wrote about what would be in my dream bubble and have another to add, having a housekeeper. Someone that could come in a couple times a week and chores I do want to do such as clean the bathroom, windows, and doing the floors. I can do the laundry and cooking. That was just a thought that came to me. Just have someone that can do things that I do not have time to do.

This coffee hour I am having is very mediating and puts me into a state of mindfulness that process of being in the moment. It is a moment of not worrying myself to death, but not being in a state of denial either. I allow myself to concentrate and being aware of my surroundings. I think my hobbies of knitting, crocheting and sewing made me become more patience and concentrated. We do live in fast-paced world where there times when we need to slow down and have greater spans of attention. Another dream bubble moment, create a space to slow down.

I think is time for me to add to my create/projects journal. I have some storage ideas to jot down before it permanently leaves my thought process. Enjoy you day!

What’s in your Dream Bubble?


Like every morning, I entered into the elevator to reach my office.  While I am waiting to get to the 7thfloor, I look at the little screen for news information, weather, and sports score.  The screen is called Captivate Network, and it is certainly is captivating to say the least.  Yesterday, I noticed the ad for the Mega Millions for Friday and there is a picture of a bubble with a caption inside reading “What’s in your dream bubble?”  Yes, it is had ad to entice you purchase lottery tickets in hopes that you will win millions of dollars to filfull that dream.  Now the chances of winning such a lottery is one in a million, but can you still have a dream bubble?  Do you need millions of dollars to make your dreams come true.  I do not deny winning $78 million dollars would make my financial life easier and would not complain if I did win, but I still have dreams.

On my way home from work, I do have a tendency to have several thoughts flooding into my brain to the point that I may not even hear you call my name while walking down the street.  I am in as some may say another state of mind and yesterday afternoon was not different.  Thoughts will really do come flooding in while I am doing something else like figuring out a Ken-Ken puzzle.  I often think about owning a business of something I enjoy doing and may incorporate traveling.  I think of ideas like having shops around the country serving customers withproviding their needs (I am being vague about the idea).  I do not think about being super rich, but creating a life that give me financial freedom to pursue my interests.  I also had another thought this morning about creating a space with a Moroccan theme because I love the blues, greens, and golds with the lambs, pottery and rugs.  It could be a bedroom, den, or sewing nook.  I have other things in my dream bubble such as the garden I want do, a trip to Argentina, Spain, Italy, Kenya, etc.  Writing is my dream bubble being a better writer as I do not have most perfect grammar in the world.

This is gives me an idea to write down all the things in my dream bubble and turn into realities.  On a side note, I received my fabric.com order today and it makes me a happy camper.  The sweater knit is soft and has a nice drape.  I also purchased the Crafty Chica’s Guide to Artful Sewing and has some nice ideas on low sew projects.  It’s always nice to make some embellishments to your current wardrobe or sew a plain skirt or dress.

Another Rainy Monday


I think spring will be filled with raining every other day and today is no different. Does it always seems that it only rains at the moment you step out of the house? I am having one those moments today.  A torrentialrain came just as I got off the bus this morning to get the train and my only wish that it would not continue to rain like after arriving into the city because I have a ten minute walk to work from the train station.  I was lucky as the rain did slow down enough for me not to use an umbrella to make my way to get my daily cup of java.  I made a stop at the magazine store and pick up the current issue of Sewstylish Magazine and it put a smile on my face.

I started knitting my scarf last night for the felted foliage scarf project.  It seems that I received a second wind at 10 at night to start it and managed to knit a few inches of the scarf before going to bed.  I am a bit of a perfectionist by doing a ripout and starting over before finally getting it right to my satisfacation, but here is the self-reflection I did not have to start over because I can cover my mistakes when I sew on the foliage leaves to the scarf.  Admission, I gave myself a headache and sometimes it is just fine to let it go.  Getting back to the magazine.  I am going to read Sew Stylish on my commute home to work.  There is an article about interfacing basics, and Daniel Vosovic, the former contestant from Project Runway wrote an article fabric 101, and the Crafty Chica contributes as well by transforming a men’s shirt into a flirty top.

I know it is only Monday, but feels like Friday as wave of sleepiness seems to blow in my direction and cast with heavy eyelids while I write this blog which probably is a sign for me to call it a day in the writing department.

A Leisure Sunday


It is a beautiful day, but I am going to take it easy today. I started the process of working on my felted foilage scarf from the Sewing Green book. I have enough project supplies to create two scarves which means the cost is under $25.00 for each scarf. I think it is a good deal, and even less if you old wool sweaters around the house to create the scarf.

I do not even have to cook today after going to Whole Foods yesterday to pick up ingredients to make meatballs and spaghetti which just good old comfort food, and enough to have for lunch on Monday. I probablly will go back to Whole Foods for ingredients to make a few vegetarian dishes as I am trying to incorporate to eat meatless meals a few days out of the week. There is a recipe for making own vegan cheese in the April issue of Vegetarian Times, an it is amazing how easy it is to make and requires no special tools. The recipes may be posted on the Vegetarian Times (www.vegetariantimes.com) website. There also recipes using coconut milk and I like making thai curry dishes at home. There is also a recipe for making coconut rice.

If the weather continues to be nice tomorrow, I might the trip to the Lion Brand yarn studio to pick up the yarn for my crochet favorite cardi sweater. I think is time for to the opportunity of this leisure Sunday to create a book to keep track of my projects. Write down of the type of fabrics and yarns I use in the event of using them again as I do forget and have a habit throwing the label. I also need to get into the habit of creating swatching for my knitting projects particularly for apparels like sweaters.

Well, it is time for get started on my project book before I think of something else to do. Enjoy your Sunday.

Has anyone ever heard of Alpha Inventions or Condron?

Friday and the Weekend


Hooray, it is Friday!  However, it is also raining and do not know if I am going out at lunch time.  I came into the office this morning to repot my plants.  I did some shopping yesterday after work with stopping by at Purl Soho to pick up some felting for my scarf project.  I purchased an assortment of green colored felt for $20.00 and two skeins of Casade 220 yarn for $14.50.  I am not going to use all of the felting and probably will have enough felt to make another scarf.  I am going to do an on-line purchase for some Red Heart for a sweater that I am knitting for my niece as a graduation present.  She can definitely have the sweater as her college wardrobe.  As I am writing this blog another thought has to come to mind instead of using the Casade 220 yarn for the leaf scarf project, but still processing that thought in my brain.  I am going to send my niece a text message and ask her sweater size before buying the yarn because I like to measure twice and purchase once.

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I tried to order the yarn for the sweater hoodie after getting niece’s size and because of the popularity of this particularly yarn, I am unable to purchase today.  I am not disappointed and will wait a couple of weeks to see if there is a new shipment of yarn.  Until that time, I am do some work around the house this weekend like knitting and stop by the bookstore (I really need to get my NYC library card).  I purchased my Jalie Patterns today and hope to receive them next week.  Well that is all have to write about at the moment.  I am still working on researching different types of fabric such as hemp and lyocell and write about it in the future.  Until that time, enjoy your day!

Online Bargains


I signed up for Fabric.com email alerts for new fabrics or sales on its site.  The company sends me “Deal of the Day” and today I decided to take the offer along with the free shipping for orders over $35.00.  The deal of the day is sweater knit for $2.39 a yard which I do not think anyone would beat with a stick.  I purchased 5 yards of each of the dark green and charcarol fabric.  These will go into my stash to make some wrap dresses for next fall/winter.  I also purchased some metro stretch denim and used the pattern review discount, and will purchase the Jalie stretched jean and classic trousers patterns also through Pattern Review.

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I treated myself to a new tape measure from Fabric.com and think that this is it for my fabric buying for the month unless I find another deal that pique my interest enough to purchase it.  I am going after to work to purchase the felt I mentioned in my blog entry from yesterday, and need to get some potting soil for my plants now that it has been a week since their arrival to the office.  It is 65 degrees today and I am happy about that, but am a little warm because I am wearing a cashmere cardigan sweater in addition to my trench coat due to the forcast of possible rain.

This is going to be a short post today as I am preparing to leave and run some errands, but it has been a bit of a long day.  So I am going to get some dinner in the process, go home, and relax with watching some TV.  Enjoy the rest of your day!

What’s New?


It is Wednesday and I am looking at another cloudy day with the chance of rain by this evening as reported by the news this morning.  I was catching up on blog reading this morning, and found out that Vogue has posted new patterns onto its website.  I took a peak and saw some that I would like to purchase.  I am still in the learning stages of sewing, so I go for the very easy or easy patterns.  I posted the ones I like and thinking about adding to my pattern stash (I have a collection of patterns).

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I really the dresses in the location particularly the dress with the bow-tie in the back, and the flouncy skirt that I like as well.  I have to thank Michelle Obama for making cool to wear dresses.  I know women were slowly getting back into wearing dresses as I can see from the various blogs I read, but maybe Mrs. Obama will influence more women to wear them.  I do not have a problem with wearing pants, but it’s nice to wear down the street in a nice dress.  I am thinking about making a maxi dress.  Mimi Goodwin  made one over a week ago in a tutorial of how to make one for yourself.  I need to have thicker strips as I have the girls to think about, and perhaps putting a band along.  I am still mulling over the idea.

I walked over to Purl Soho today to their fabric shop to check out their felt fabric because I am going to do the scraf from “Sewing Green” book.  I like the because it’s whimsical, adds textual and interest to my accessories.  I think if I purchase three or four 18×24 cuts and purchase some yarn to knit a garter stitch scarf.  I am going to try my hand at felting the scraf.  Another idea comes to mind of knitting a hat and cut the felted leaves and sew onto the hat, and a border of leaves at the bottom of a skirt or coat.  I may go felting crazy.  I am going to purchase some yarn from Lion Brand and haven’t decided on the color for the scarf.  I have it down to these colors.  I am lending towards the first swatch, but probably will make up mind by tomorrow.

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 I was thinking of the ways I could make some extra money.  I have a habit of downplaying my knitting, but it could be a way for me to make some money by making some small things like hats and scarves.  Someone noticed my hat with the button on the side and loved it, and I wondered if people would be willing to purchase such items.  Who wants a plain hat, when they have it embellished with buttons, ribbons, beads, and felted leaves?  Something for me to think about.  Enjoy your day!