Thursday, August 30, 2012

A Crafts Room Reclaimed!

For a while now, I have been wanting to fix up my crafts room.  I have been perusing all of the studios/crafts rooms of everyone online while wishing I had a place like that.
The thing is, I do.  Or at least I did when we first moved into this house.
We bought the house in the spring of 2009, and I made sure that one of the rooms was designated for all of my crafting.  I even painted it a rather creatively inspiring shade of orange called "pumpkin pleasure"( we have a rather intense love of all things Halloween in my family).

{Thinking of taking down the doors and placing a desk or work table in the closet to increase work space}

  I hung some artwork on the wall (paintings by my grandmother and uncle), a shelf, and plopped in some furniture. 
That's right, "plopped".  I don't think I really knew how I wanted to use any of it, and what my main focus would be.  I love to paint, though I haven't done it in years, and I love drawing with oil sticks.  In recent years I have gotten into machine sewing.  I also started working with mosaics and jewelry making.  When you combine that with my love of crocheting, embroidery and handsewing, I really didn't know what kind of set up I should have.

For the most part I seem to work best in the living room on the couch with my family.  I don't really need a separate room to do that.  The problem is that my supplies have sort of exploded into the living room and taken over.  I would like to have a space that is specifically set up for all of my supplies so that they can finally be organized.  It would also be great to have a little space in there set up for me to create.  A place where I can craft with my daughter; where we can paint, color, and do all kinds of crafty things.  I would also love a comfy seat or rocking chair to crochet in on occasion.
The room is not very large though, and there is quite a bit in it already (besides the boxes and bags of storage items that took over).  Some furniture needs to go, and some needs to be brought in, but I am starting to visualize my perfect space.  I must have it done this year!

These are all my original before photos.  I don't dare share the photos of it now!  It has sadly become a storage unit.  Picture some furniture with about 20 boxes and bags full of clothes we no longer wear.
Hoping to have some after pictures very soon!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Little Flower Girl

My gorgeous little girl (almost 2 now!) is going to be the flower girl in her uncle and auntie's wedding next week, and her dress just arrived.  So we decided to have a little fashion show to make sure it fits (yay, I don't have to alter a thing!) and to figure out what I am going to make to go in her hair.  I am thinking a crochet covered headband with fabric roses created from the remnants of the bridal party dresses.  I will also probably make her some hair bow clips, just in case she decides she will not keep a headband on that day(hard to predict the daily behaviour of a toddler, heehee).
From the back
Combing her hair ;-)
She loved the poofy skirts and ribbon!
I crocheted her a little cream colored alpaca shrug just in case it gets cool later (it is an evening wedding).  It is sooooo soft, and though it has a fairly open stitch and is very light, will be quite warm.
I have decided to make myself one as well.  Mine is in a orangey/brown (rust) color, and it won't be quite as cute.  I added a nice shell stitch edging around hers.  Mine will be a bit more open(stitch-wise), but we will kind of match;)
Well, back to work now.  I have many projects to finish in time for our trip, including:  my shrug, a portable dvd player holder(for the seat in the car), crayon rolls(for flower girl and ring bearer), a birthday present for my brother, a custom Red Riding Hood doll, hair accessories, my hubby's hat (promised to be done weeks ago, oops!), and the list goes on.
Enough procrastinating.  I am off!
But don't forget to head over to the giveaway and get your entries in!  Several can be done daily.  Giveaway ends in a week!

Monday, August 27, 2012

My First Pattern Test

 About a couple of weeks ago I got the chance to test a pattern for a fellow crocheter for the very first time.  Diane of Simply D'Best, put out a call for testers for her newest pattern, the Angelique Cloche (which is currently a part of our big 750 giveaway).  She does beautiful work, and I thought it would be a fun way to help out a fellow crocheter.

It is important to have patterns tested to make sure that they are easy to understand, without typos, and most importantly, that they turn out right.  I don't know how many of you have ever bought a pattern only to have it not work out right.  It's happened to me on several occasions and is a bit frustrating.

Well, this adorable hat was a lot of fun!  It worked up quickly, and it just so happened to go perfectly with a baby dress that I had made for a custom order. There are a couple of options for the edging, giving it a different look.  She has also added an adorable flower to the Angelique Cloche, and the possibilities for embellishments are endless.

She has graciously offered up this pattern as a prize for two lucky winners.  So please check out her page, and don't forget to enter for your chance to win this fabulous little hat pattern!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Giveaway Kick Off and New Ideas

Well the giveaway is off to an excellent start!  Welcome new fans, and thank you everyone for your support and participation in this event.
If this event does well enough, you can plan on several more taking place in the near future.
I look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions of items you would like to see in the future.  Several have already mentioned patterns.
As many of my facebook fans know, I have been working on my first pattern to list.  I have several of my patterns written already, and I plan on typing them up and having them tested before release.  Hopefully my new toddler skirt/poncho will be typed and tested this week.
I also have a diaper cover and matching hat set and a couple of dolls that I have been toying with.  If you have any suggestions or special requests on patterns or anything for that matter, please leave a comment.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Last Call Vendors!

Happy Friday everyone!  The big giveaway celebration begins this Sunday!  Today is the last call for all vendors who want to participate.  If you want to add an item to the giveaway, I will need your info and a picture of the item by this evening.  Your item may be something you made, a pattern you designed, or a discount to your shop.  I will need a link to your page and a photo of the item, as well as shipping info if it applies.

I have at least one more item that I know of which will be added today.  That will put our count at 15 awesome prizes to give out!  The giveaway will run for a week and a half.  Plenty of time to get those entries in.  You will need to be a fan of my facebook page as well as a follower of this blog to enter.  There are many ways to earn more entries, as well as one or two that can be done each day.

I ask that all of my vendors are promoting this giveaway as much as possible.  Let's make this giveaway a success and have some fun too!  All vendors are welcome to enter for other vendor's items(excluding myself), so you are all welcome to join in the fun too!

My goal is to at least reach the big 750 by the end of the giveaway.  I am currently around 35 away!  Let's make it happen!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The Perfect Shoes

A while back I bought some adorable patriotic fabric with the intention of making some little 4th of July skirts.  I had some fabric in my stash (my mom's fabric actually) with stars and stripes, and I wanted to add to it a little with some new prints.  So I went to one of my favorite places to buy fabric,, and picked up some Red, White & True Blue Girls Cream and some Red, White and Blue Regatta Navy.
I couldn't wait to make some cute little skirts.  I was on a major sewing kick at the time, and my favorite thing to sew was little skirts.  I had made quite a few for my daughter, which she loves (and looks adorable in if I do say so myself), so I wanted to make more to sell.
I made this skirt, currently listed in my etsy shop.

Then I decided I wanted to do something a little different.  I wanted to add to my daughter's summer wardrobe, and she now had more than enough skirts.  She didn't have many dresses though.  By this point I was delving back into my crochet full force and decided I would crochet a top and add a fabric bottom.  I started by making this one with granny squares.

The matching capped sleeve cardigan I had made for her for Easter.
Then I decided to do a cute patriotic nautical one because I had the perfect blue cotton yarn for it.
So I made a halter top that was adjustable in the back with ties (I make everything for her so that it can be worn for the longest amount of time possible) so that she will hopefully get at least a couple of years out of it.  The bottom was made with gathered fabric from my patriotic collection.
Not the best picture, but my model wouldn't stand still, heehee:)
The only problem now was shoes.  She had just outgrown her old shoes, and the two new pairs we had bought her would not go with this dress at all :(
I didn't have the money to be buying new shoes, but figured I would keep my eye out for a sale.
No such luck.
Then, while discussing shoes to match her flower girl dress (she will be in my brother's wedding) with my soon to be sister in law, I had mentioned she was now a 7, so she could find the right shoe.  Well she sent me shoes for the wedding, and an extra pair that she just thought was cute and had to get.
The PERFECT shoes!

I seriously could not have found a better pair of shoes to match the dress I made her!  I hadn't even described the dress to her.  It's funny how things work out like that.

Unfortunately the shoes for the wedding did not fit, but she found another pair that does, and my daughter loves them!
Both of the dresses I made, and the shoes, will be going with us to Rhode Island for the wedding next month, so there will be lots of pictures soon!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

750 Fan Celebration Giveaway Entry Form

Hey everyone! Who wants to win some cool prizes for being such awesome fans?!  I have gathered a very talented group of vendors to bring you some amazing prizes!  And I will be adding new items through Friday!
This giveaway will run for a week and a half, starting on Sunday 8/26/12 and ending on 9/5/12. 
Just follow the easy peasy steps in the Rafflecopter form below.   The first two steps are mandatory, but just remember, in order to be eligible for a particular vendor's prize, you MUST like their page.  There are a couple of options for extra entries, as well as one that can be done once a day.

Winners will be contacted through email by me within 48 hours of the end of the giveaway.  I will also post them here on the blog in a separate post.  Winners will have 48 hours from time of email to contact the vendor whose prize they one, or they will forfeit that prize, and another winner will be drawn.  If I find out that the winner was not a fan of the page, or didn't follow the rules in any way, I will redraw.

So let's play fair and make this a fun giveaway!

Come back here on Sunday 8/26/12 when the form will open for the giveaway!
In the meantime, you could get a jump start by checking out the album on my facebook page,  heading over to like the pages of all participating vendors, and thank them for being a part of this fabulous giveaway!  You will need to be a fan and follower of this blog in order to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A desire to spin.....

So here's a little something those closest to me know:  My brain has no off switch!  Yeah, that's right.  It just goes 24/7 with more ideas than I could ever hope to try to bring to life.  I am a crafter through and through.  Usually it is a wonderful thing, however when I average 4-5 hours of sleep tops, it is a little troubling.

I will be in the middle of a project when the idea hits, and I must begin!  This is probably the reason for all of my current WIP's  In fact not even two days after that post, I started a new project (guilty grin).  I was working on what felt like my millionth hexagon when the idea struck.  I wanted had to make a new skirt!  I had some varigated purple yarn that I had been dying to play with, and now I had the perfect project for it!
Although I may have 10 to 20 projects going at once, I do finish them too.  In fact, sometimes I can finish several in an evening that way.  It makes me feel very productive.
I decided I wanted to make my own buttons last month.  So the hubby and I gave that a whirl while my daughter played with her homemade play- doh by Hillbilly Boutique.  They weren't bad at all for our first efforts, and I plan on doing more so that I can add them to my crocheted projects.  It is a truly wonderful feeling knowing that you made something completely from scratch.
My most recent naggingly persistent idea is that I must spin!  I have to make my own yarn!  I have been wanting to try this for a while now.  Lately though, the NEED to spin has taken over.  Of course there is no way I could afford a beautiful spinning wheel right now (nor would I even know how to set it up or work it), so I would have to start with a drop spindle.  I had my eye on a few from Knit Picks, but there was also a shop on Etsy,, that sells small kits with spindle and alpaca roving.  There is no fiber that I would rather work with than alpaca!  I love it!  If I could spin and dye my own yarn, my crocheted items would be "completely" my own.
Of course, it would be more so if I sheared my own sheep or alpacas;)
Another dream for another day.......

Monday, August 20, 2012

Giveaway News and Terms

I am very excited to be holding my very first multi vendor giveaway here on my new blog! I already have several awesome vendors getting involved and more showing interest.  It should be a lot of fun for all of us.
This is also my first giveaway using Rafflecopter. So everyone bare with me while I set things up this week.  The form will be posted here on my blog in a post, probably by the end of the week.  I will keep adding vendors as they come this week.  When I receive their photos, they will be added to my giveaway album on facebook.  Be sure to keep checking in to see what is being added.
If you are a vendor who is interested in participating, please pm me or email me at :
For everyone else, there are a few terms/rules involved in order to enter.  The first of them being that you must be both a fan of my facebook page and a follower of this blog.  You can do this anytime before the giveaway, and there will be an option on the rafflecopter form.
  Secondly, if you want to win a particular prize, you must like that vendor's page.  Any winners who are not fans of myself or the prize won, will forfeit that prize and a new winner will be drawn.  So let's be nice and respectful of these wonderful vendors who have worked hard to bring you these items.  Play fair.
Thirdly, this giveaway is in no way affiliated with facebook.  There will be an album on my page showing the items of the giveaway, but do not try to enter there.  Feel free to like the photos or leave comments, but in order to enter, you must come to this blog and fill out the form.

Now I know this is called the 750 Fan Celebration, and you may notice that I am currently just above 700.  This initially began as an offer of a prize for when I reach 750.  Then I thought I'd have a couple friends join me, and it kind of snowballed.  Now I could wait till I reach 750.......  or I could start on Sunday!  However, if all of my awesome fans will share news of this fabulous giveaway this week, I have a feeling I will reach that goal by Sunday!  We can do this!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Ode to a Granny Square Afghan

I don't know anyone who doesn't love a beautiful homemade afghan.  They are not just warm and cozy, they have a beauty and charm that you can't find with store bought.  They are made up of not just yarn or thread, but hours of love, care and attention to detail.  Each one includes a piece of the soul of their creator.  They become family heirlooms.  Many of us have one made by or passed down by a grandmother/great grandmother.  But for those out there who don't crochet, knit, or have one of these that's been passed down through the generations, they go to someone (like myself) who specializes in selling handmade.
People buy handmade for several reasons:  they want something unique that wasn't made by a machine, but by a person's hands; something they will not find in the stores;  They may want something that no one else will have;  Some just want to be able to help support a person over a business.
That being said, many people often wonder why these handmade afghans cost so much.  In particular, the "granny square" variety.  These prices vary by maker, but the bulk of these afghans( of any substantial size) go for hundreds of dollars.  Many people ask, "why so much?"
Well, here it is.  Many things must be taken into consideration when buying/making/selling an afghan.  We'll use the popular granny variety as our example.  First and foremost, is the yarn.  Let's say you use a cheaper (found in Walmart) acrylic yarn.  Let's say you want a big afghan (like 5 or 6 feet) that you want to cover a bed.  Many skeins of that yarn will be needed to stitch enough squares(hexagons, circles, etc.) to cover a bed.  I'm talking anywhere from 150 to 200+ squares.  That yarn is at least going to cost $35+. 
Now imagine how many hours it will take just to create all of those little "squares".  Especially if there are many color changes.  The constant cutting/adding of colors and sewing in the "tails"(the little yarn ends).  Once all 200 or so are made, now they need to be attached, or in some cases, they need a border first.  Once again, an activity that takes hours of work.  And once again, requires that all the "tails" be sewn in.  Now that that is finished, you'll need a border.  Yup, you guessed it!  More hours of work (at least an hour or two) depending on the size of the afghan.
While some may charge by the "square" or by the square foot, the fact of the matter is that it is hours and hours of intricate work.  If we charged by the hour (like any 9-5 job) they would cost far more.

But even though they are a lot of work and take so much of our time, most of us will tell you that we love to make them.  I love the process.  I love the rewarding feeling I get upon completion.  And I love knowing how much that afghan will be loved by its new family.
I am currently working on a rather large hexagon afghan (6' X 4.5') in Halloween colors!  I am loving it!  Halloween being my favorite holiday, I could not pass up an oppurtunity to make this incredible piece.  There are oranges, yellows, greens, and purples, along with black and white.  Each hexagon is colorful with a surrounding black border that will give it that "stained glass" look.  This is destined to be a gorgeous afghan.  One that I will probably have a hard time parting with too.

In other news, I am still adding to my vendor list for my 750 Fan Celebration!  I will have a few items that I will be offering in addition to a couple of other vendors who have already signed on, and more to come!
If you are a vendor and would like to participate in this giveaway, please contact me either through private message on facebook or email me at:
Once I have compiled my full list of vendors and prizes, I will put together a photo album on my facebook page of all the items up for grabs.  The giveaway will take place here, on my blog with a simple rafflecopter form.  You will need to be a fan on facebook and a follower of my blog to be eligible for the prizes.
In the meantime, why don't you pop on over to Peace, Love & Diapers aka Hippie Heiny's;  Amanda Laurette Photography;  and  Expression Fiber Arts  and show some love.  They have already signed on, and they're offering some great stuff.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Lovin' my Wip's and Giveaway news....

I don't know about you, but I just love that exciting feeling of starting a new project!  So much so, that at any given moment I can have up to ten things "in progress".  Now of course, I reason with myself that I just work better this way.  Or, it's more efficient.  Well, I think it comes down to the fact that I have too many ideas in my head and not enough hands.
           Unfortunately this has caused me grief on more than one occasion.  I used to always leave whatever hook I was working in stuffed into the project.  But I'm sure fellow crocheters can tell you just what happens when I go to pick up that project again.....  That's right, the hook gnomes carried it off in the night.  Yup, I said hook gnomes.  They are the distant cousin to sock gnomes, and they like to run off with whatever crochet hook the poor unsuspecting "hooker" leaves unattended.
            After losing far too many hooks that way, I decided to just put the hooks in my case.  Only problem there was I would forget which hook went with which project by the time I would pick it up again.  My new attempt at fixing this problem is a notebook where I write what the project is, the hook I am using, and sometimes a few details about it.  This I must say works wonders!  That is when I remember to write it down.
             Despite these minor setbacks, I don't think that I will ever be able to just work on one project till it is finished before starting another.  It may be confusing at times, perhaps a bit stressful, but it's just how I work.  I can jump from one to the other if I get bored.  Sometimes one project requires teeny tiny stitches, whereas another has  nice big open stitches.  At that late point of the day when my eyes start to close and vision gets blurry, it is time to pick up the second project.  Some travel better than others(never leave home without something to crochet).  Sometimes I just prefer the feel of a particular yarn over another.  Or maybe it's just crafty ADD.  Not sure.
                That being said, at this particular time, I have at least 10 WIP's(works in progress) and 3 projects that I need to start this week.  But it keeps me busy and keeps me from getting bored.

Here's a few examples of what's on the hooks these days.  What's on your hooks?  Do you like to keep more than one project going at once?

In other news, as my facebook fans know, I will be having a giveaway of some kind when I reach 750 likes.  Prize will be determined this week.  If you would like to be eligible to enter, please make sure that you are both a fan of my facebook page and a follower of this blog.  If I can reach 750 by September, I will add another prize.  And as an added bonus, if I can get to at least 150 followers on this blog by that time, I will add another item.  I know we can do this.  Check back in daily for updates.  The more active you are in your participation, the more opportunities you will find to win;)

Friday, August 17, 2012

New Blog

Hello everyone!  I have decided to enter the Blogger world, and create a new blog.  This will just be a fun place to share what I am working on, future items coming up for sale, and crafty tips.  Please feel free to join in the fun by leaving comments and suggestions.
I am an avid crafter, mom to the greatest little girl in the world, and married to my best friend.  I just started my crafting business, Cavendish
Classic Crafts this year.  It was a dream in the making, inspired in part by mother and part my daughter.  I enjoy making many things, but my true crafty love is crochet.  I especially love crocheting baby/kids items, such as clothing, blankets, hats, and now dolls/toys.
I have recently gotten very into making these dolls.  My daughter loves them, and it brings me so much joy to see her enjoy something I've made so much.  To me, handmade means more than anything you could buy in a big box store.  Handmade means love.  It means unique, one of a kind.  It means you care and you want to show it to someone special.
 Please check out my facebook page and Etsy shop

Thanks for stopping by!  Many more posts to come!