Out With The Old

Before the day completely gets away from me, I wanted to stop by and wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year!!!  I hope you have plans to be with family and friends over the next couple of days.  One of my favorite things about New Years Day is my husband making wings for us to munch on while we watch all the football games.  It takes him hours to get a big tray of them done, but boy are they worth it!!

On that note, I will be heading out soon for the grocery store (and the liquor store) to prepare for tomorrow.  I wish it wasn’t so darn cold outside.  The sun is shining, but it’s deceiving….the temperatures might be out of the teens by now, but I doubt it.  I’ll resort to extra layers today and consider myself blessed that I can keep my hair a mess and throw it in a messy bun hat.

Since I am printing a master copy of my pantry list, grocery store list, and weekly meal planner today, I decided I will share those links with you so you can print them out.  It’s so helpful to grocery shop with a plan….especially when there are young children helping you shop.

Anyway, here is to keeping it all together in the New Year!  See you in 2018 🙂

Grocery Shopping List- All Out Of….from Life In Yellow

Pantry Essentials List-  Pantry Essentials by Moms Bistro

Meal Planning Weekly Sheet-  What’s For Dinner by Baked Bree

BONUS:

Recipe Card (full sheet):  Red Recipe Card by Printables by Design

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How I Was Able to Organize My Crafting Blog in One Day

At the end of every year this sense of urgency comes over me to get organized before January.  In years past, I would walk my home and make a note of all the things I put off the previous twelve months that have now created little pockets of clutter seemingly every where.  This year I am purposely ignoring the house mess to focus on the blog mess first.

There have been a lot of starts and stops with Knot Your Way in 2017.  When I published my first post there were goals I had that are much different than the goals I am ending the year on.  Now, I admit when I began my blog I didn’t have a defined direction.  As time has passed and I have shared patterns and projects both here and through my other blog Notions & Necessities,  I can see that both are in desperate need of some attention and focus…maybe even some consolidation.

Last week I spent a whole day online searching for forms to help me tame this beast and let me say I could not be more grateful for the people who put the work into the forms they offered for free!!!

My biggest find by far was the Ultimate Blog Planner Kit 2018!!  Finding this 15 page FREE printable was such a relief! Designer Blogs clearly worked hard on this comprehensive kit and it was so easy to download and print that I signed up for their newsletters.  I love the kit and I hope they have more of this awesomeness in 2018!  If you are considering starting a blog or need to organize a current blog, I highly recommend checking out Designer Blogs.

Once I had a bank of forms I could use to get the blog organized, I now had to address the issues surrounding the crafts I create.  At first I didn’t think it would be a daunting task, but since I have been crafting for over 20 years with no real system of record…..well, it’s daunting to say the least.  Nevertheless, I am tackling this project with the resolve to get it all together from material and supplies to patterns and posts.

The easiest way for me to share the information that I gathered and found incredibly useful is to just list them out for you.  Whether you are crafting, blogging, or just trying to organize your personal space; these free printables are so helpful!

Free Printables for Staying Organized

Pattern Cards – found at Isn’t That Sew.  The pattern card is for sewing projects.  I love that it has a place to sketch or paste a finished photo on.  I will be attaching these to each sewing pattern.

Binder Covers– I have 6 different binders I will be using to sort my chaos and I would love to have beautiful binder covers….I found a real gem at Home School Giveaways when I came across a post from August 2015 for some very colorful AND editable covers with pretty spine cutouts too!!!

Monthly Calendars 2017– I need to do some back tracking with postings from this year.  Luckily, I found colorfully bordered monthly calendars for 2017 at Short Stop Designs.  I put these to work right away and I love the color theme.  It makes me want to get the months in order!

WIP Cards– I found the perfect work in progress forms for my needs at Frogging Along.  More than one WIP card prints on a page, so I get more cards for less printer ink AND all the information I need to have is right there on the form.  Another time saver for me 🙂

Hooker’s Journal– The Crochet Crowd has a free Hooker’s Journal.  I downloaded the whole kit and I have added the Reference Page, Notes, and Monthly Challenges into my 2018 organizational tools.  The kit is very comprehensive and has a number of useful pages.

Project Details Form– I found a very simple but very useful form at Craft Diaries.  I actually love the spacing on the form and the fact that there is a lot of room for notes.  I will be using this form with every project I work on so I can track it’s origin.

Blog Post Planner (with & without lists)- This form was a real gem I found just this morning.  It was clear from the post and the forms themselves that Anderson and Grant put a lot of work into this.  Since I am still learning about the networking aspects of blogging, I am so grateful for this!

So, that’s what I have so far in the organization department.  I love all these tools and I am incredibly grateful to the people who not only put these forms together, but then offered them for FREE!  Trying to do all the work to create forms for myself would have been a very long task.  Using the links above, I have a good grasp on my system of postings and crafting from here on forward and it only took me a day to get it all situated.

I have a system in place that allows me the ability to highlight patterns I have worked in the past as well as current ideas for projects.  Things are put together in a way that is understandable and requires minimal paper pushing.  That’s always a good thing.

Are you currently working on an organizational project?  I would love to hear about your methods and what works best for you.  It doesn’t just have to be about fiber crafting either….I need to organize my kids, appointments, the family schedule, meals, shopping….you name it.

I’m making Christmas Stockings!

Check out how cute this is…..

I made this stocking in under an hour!!!

It’s beautiful!!!

I hate to stop working on the other three I need, but…..

I’m off to do some holiday shopping today.

When I come back I’ll show you where I found this free pattern and talk about my learning curve.

Oh, before I forget, I finished Mom’s birthday gift! It’s super cute. Maybe a bit advanced for my skills, but I did pretty good and I’m pleased. I’ll share photos and that free pattern after the New Year.

Lots of reasons to check back frequently…sign up for my newsletter or follow me on Facebook for all the latest projects cause you won’t want to miss a single one.

Just a Peek

Today, I’ve been working hard on the pattern that recently had me off the rails. It’s been frustrating to say the least.

So today I picked out some fabrics I thought would match nicely. I’ve created three attempts on this pattern and all three have been fails…honestly, I’m fighting through frustration to work this pattern correctly.

I’m sure it will be beautiful when I get it right.

Some times I forget that good crafting requires you slow down…be patient and accept imperfections for the beauty they can create.

Anyway, here’s a peek at the fabric I’m working with…all of these squares came from other nice projects I made for family.

I didn’t post yesterday because I had to take a “sick” day. I definitely had too much spirit 🎄🎉 at the Christmas party on Wednesday night. It seriously took me a whole 24 hours to feel normal again…I’m a light weight and clearly not in my 20’s anymore. It was worth it to spend some time with friends.

If you’re working on any patterns or projects that are frustrating you, please share. I’d love to hear your story.

Off the Rails!

I mentioned yesterday I had a plan for the hexie angle template I found. As you can imagine it involves fabric scraps. Who doesn’t love using up scraps??

The scraps I had in mind were already cut, but to the wrong size for the pattern I want….

this is where it goes off the rails….

Now I have to decide whether to change the pattern or the fabric scraps…

Off the rails I go and…

After some Pinterest searching I decided to stay with the original pattern because it is just that cute!

So fabric scraps it is….

I have half a years worth of all kinds of project scraps…it is a mountain….

A mountain I was putting off, but I need a lot of 5″ x 5″ and the swatches have to match.

Still not on track yet, but getting there with a plan. I spent most of last night and all of today cutting this fabric pile down to manageable squares I can work with either for this project or one in the future.

This is how my world looks today…just watching mindless television shows, measuring and cutting.

While the original project is on my mind, I’ve definately started working on a mountainous project that is off the rails….

And then there is my cat…

There is no room for the cat today and he’s upset.

What tha?!?

Well, at least his feelings are clear on the matter…anyway…

My goal is to get through this today and get my hexies cut tomorrow so I can share some of the work.

I hope you check back…if not to see my work than maybe just to make sure the cat hasn’t followed through with his plot.

Until then…Happy Hooking!

Holiday Travels and WIP

I was so blessed this year to extend my Thanksgiving holiday into the following week by taking a long over due trip to visit my sister and her family.  Florida this time of year is perfect weather!  We went to the beach a few times and just enjoyed our visit.  I can’t wait to see them all again and I will not let as much time go by before we see each other.  Check out this beautiful picture of the full moon over Ft. Myers!!  It was breath taking and my little camera phone does not do it any justice (sadly the good camera was in Jersey).

Full Moon Ft. Myers

This time of year I’m usually going crazy trying to get Christmas in order and this December is no different.  Just because I was on a mini-vacation doesn’t mean I stopped crafting for Christmas….I just had to get a little creative and adjust for the confined space of an airline seat.

Airline Tray Shot

Just a little snapshot of my over ambitious crafting on the plane…I managed to make it work with a little help and the crafting continued….

So, I’m crafting for Christmas and since Hubs bought me a sewing machine this past year I decided to ease some of the crochet burdens with sewn items instead.  I am still learning my sewing machine and haven’t even worked with many of the programmed stitches or embroidery, but I felt confident enough to find a few project designs and I can say they are coming along with much success.  I can’t wait to share the patterns and show off the final products!

Today I am going to have to focus on unpacking and getting settled back into our daily routine.  Tomorrow I’m going to come back and share three free patterns that I worked last week as gifts for the youngest to give her teachers and after school providers.  I’m really excited at how the items turned out…AND…each pattern took less than 3 hours (some less than an hour)!

Burpies

Shop Opening!!

I’m sorry that my postings have been sporadic as of late.  It wasn’t my plan to not write about my creations for three weeks, time just got away from me.  I wish I could say it was because our family was off on vacation at a tropical beach soaking up the sun and melting away the stress, but no…..it’s just been hard learning to balance new responsibilities and having school out.

I have been working on a number of creations that I have given out to friends and family to “test” for me.  It’s been fun and sometimes frustrating since I’ve been working on some new crochet patterns AND I’m learning to sew!  The patterns have been beginner level works that come together fairly quickly.  The frustration is working a pattern and realizing I have sewn the pieces together wrong…….it has happened more often than I would like to admit.

On the plus side, I have taken some time out to work on the technology side of running a blog and web-based business.  Even with pre-designed templates and the help of Hubs, who knows soooo much more about computers than I do, it was a challenge.  I’m still working on a number of listings to add to the store page, more photos and descriptions; but it is coming along nicely.  I don’t know if I would go as far as saying “Grand Opening!”, but I like the general direction it’s going and I’m looking forward to adding those important touches that set Knot Your Way apart from other fiber artist creations.

I currently have three items listed.  It’s just the beginning though…..so many more are coming.  A few more crochet items will be listed as well as a whole lot of sewn items when I am confident in my skills.  I even have plans to write my own patterns!!

If you would like to check out the store while it’s still under construction, please stop by!  I would love your feedback on the way things are looking and any products you would like to see featured.  Don’t forget to bookmark my store page so you can find me again easily!

Next week I will be blogging about some of the sewing patterns I have been working on and links where you can find the patterns to make for yourself.  In the meantime, here is a sneak peek of some of my new creations…..

These contoured burpies are a feature item in a Baby Couture line for KYW.   I’ve just started the work on this line and I can’t wait to tell you all about it.

Burpies.jpg

Talk about useful……..how have I lived all these years with earphones and no case????  Well, problem solved with this adorable zipper pouch pattern that is made to fit on your key ring!!!!!  I’ll be sharing this free pattern soon too!

Earphone Pouch.jpg

This is the beginning of a sewing machine cover….I came up with the design myself and it’s so functional and easy to take on and off.  It’s prettier too than the original cover that came with my machine.  I’ll tell you how I put it all together in an upcoming post.

20170712_111017.jpg

Stick around!  I’m so excited to share these projects and a few more I’ve completed over the last few weeks.  Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest and subscribe to my blogs for all the latest patterns, creations, and useful tips.