Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Tipsy Tuesday (on a Wednesday)

This year I want to focus on becoming a better blogger and I figured that the best way to do that was to read more blogs. So, since this is a crochet blog I decided to look at other crochet bloggers and how they do things. Most crochet blogs are full of free patterns and giveaways like Moogly, The Underground Crafter and Whistle and Ivy. These are great blogs and who doesn't love to get free patterns but I really wanted more insight into the lifestyle of a crochet artist.

I discovered A Creative Being too late. (Although this blog is completely worth the read.) I thought: Finally this is what I have been looking for and so I began reading, from the beginning, and I found that Wink had my same taste in blogs. Through her blog I found so many others that are so fantastic, like Maybe Matilda and Greedy for Colour

You should also check out Crochet Concupiscence for blog links and interesting crochet news. This blog is out of the ordinary. 

So here are my tips:
  • Feedly- to keep track of your blog reading
  • Read blogs that your interested in not just the ones that fit your niche. I have two color inspiration blogs from interior designers that I read.
  • Read blogs for information- I have a blog dedicated to the fiber business that I read all the time.
  • Read blogs for fun- I am still looking for a good travel blog so if you have any suggestions send them my way. 
  • If you are one of those people who likes to start at the beginning. Keep track of your place by sending yourself a blog space saving email with the links where you left off. 
Still living in a sea of Pom-Poms.

Happy Hooking Everyone

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Throw Back Thursday

Pardon the pun as I throw back to some baby "throws" that I have made in the past. I am dusting off these blankets today to inspire me to finish the baby blankets I have to make. So here are two of my favorite gifts from the past.

When I make baby blankets I try to think about the parents. What are the likes and dislikes, what do they love. Well, I usually base my first baby blanket on the mother's favorite flower. In this case Mom's favorite flower was a sunflower but the baby was going to be a boy. So this is what I made.

 The giant sunflower square and fancy window square allowed me to celebrate Mom and still make a baby boy's blanket.
I made a cute sweater with wood buttons and yellow hiking boots to complete the layette. Since this has become my business I am no longer able to make full layettes for my friends and the bubies. But maybe if I keep to the plan I will be able to be two seasons ahead and make some gifts just for fun.

(This Mom is about to have another little one. I am hoping for a girl so I can go sunflower crazy. I have these baby sandals that I have wanted to make her for years.)

This baby blanket was made for a baby that was being adopted. The adoption fell through just at the time I had finished this baby blanket. Everyone involved was devastated. 
Than......MIRACLE......Mom found out that she was going to have a baby boy. Can you believe that!?! I gave Mom the blanket that had been finished for months and quilt clips so that it could be displayed as well as used. This is one of my favorite baby blankets that I have ever made. I like it, not only for the story connected to it, but also the color choice turned out so well.

(This mom has actually received two of my favorite blankets. She is the recipient of my first patchwork stash bust too. That was gorgeous)

Thank you to Jan Eaton for your 200 Blocks for Blankets, Throws and Afghans.

Have you made a gift that has a great story attached or turned out to be one of the best things you ever made? Share them with me.

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Daily Grind

The Grind: Iced Coffee at Kawa Cafe.

Kawa is this fantastic little hole in the wall that I found when I was getting my tax licence for my craft fairs two years ago. They have amazing bagel sandwiches and I love a good Ruben. 

Why the Daily Grind? I love local coffee shops. Even though Knitwits and Hookers (my local knit and crochet club) meets at Starbucks my general feeling about Starbucks is that it is for travel and when you are home you should visit your local coffee shops, buy from local roasters and sustainable free trade coffee merchants, and always, ALWAYS buy whole bean and grind it at home. So I collect local coffee shops. I am trying to visit all of my local haunts so you can see them. I am always on the lookout for others. What is your favorite local coffee haunt or do you, like me, have several? Do you like a good latte,do you prefer pour over black, or is tea more your style?

Maybe I should figure out how to add the map rich pins onto Pinterest so that as I post my coffee shops readers can see where in my city they are? 

This is what I've been working on my peeps. POM-POMS!!!!!!!! almost done then on to the next collection. 

I created a Pinterest board so that you can see my color inspiration, the yarn I'm working with, techniques I am using and pom-pom how-to's. 
Pastel shades for my 2015/2016 fall and winter collection for kids. I am using Caron Simply Soft yarn.
This is my first of many. I will make a new one for every collection so you see my creative process. I would love to see your work and creative process as well? Post your pictures in the comments, give me a link to your own Pinterest board or send me a link to your Instagram feed so I can see what your up to. 

P.S. my Instagram is.........sorry got distracted by my feed. You can find me on Instagram @joiaurouge

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wanderin On Wednesday

I live in Gorgeous Colorado in a city right at the foot of Pikes Peak so an hour long hike through a city park can look and sound like this:

We have had an unusual, and when I say unusual I mean record breaking, never before seen, amount of rain. This amount of water prompted me to spend a Saturday morning walking up Helen Hunt Falls. 


Take a walk with me.....

Its been a hot day so maybe we should dip our feet.


Thanks for the walk. Next time we might find the road less traveled.

Happy Hooking!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Treasury Tuesday

I am highlighting a newer member of my Etsy team in today's treasury.

Today's anchor item is a travel photograph from Ashley Tiedgen Photography. This is my favorite photo of Ashley's but when visiting her shop its very difficult to choose just one favorite. She has a great eye and her abandoned studies are sublime.  

Here is what Ashley say's about herself and her photography: 

Corky Urban Exploration Photographer

I am an on-location photographer, which means the lovely land we live on is my studio. My photos capture the details of the forgotten memories left to rot with time. My clients include abandoned cities, forgotten buildings and desolate landscapes therefore I abide by the commonly known phrase "take only photos, leave only footsteps." 

I shoot mostly digital, but lately, I've been hanging out with a Canon AE-1 Program and a Vintage Yashica Twin Lens Reflex Camera. They are my new loves and you'll start to see more film photography in my shop! yay!

I love music, postcards and shoes. I fully embrace my inner dork and dance parties are a must. When I'm not writing about myself in the third person, I like to go hiking, running, draw, and dream about the day that I can buy a house with a studio and a garden. I live in Denver, CO with my cat Elton, but love to travel around the country and explore new spaces and environments. Usually and frequently ones not marked on a tourist map. Urban Exploration at its finest.

Here is what other's are saying about Ashley:

  • this is beautiful! you are so talented!
  • Fast shipping, great customer service, and beautiful prints! Definitely an A+ ! Can't wait to be a repeat customer; highly recommend this seller and shop!

You can find Ashley at her Etsy shop and Facebook

Until next time happy hooking everyone!

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Daily Grind

The Grind: Fresh Ground Sumatra as I sit at my dining room table.

Half a year has gone by and we are all looking back on our new years resolutions that have been abandoned. If you recall I posted a few of them right here on this blog. Just a refresher.

  1. Introduce you to a new favorite coffee haunt each week as well as a new pattern I am working on.
  2. Bring back Treasury Tuesday
  3. Post once more during the week. 
As you can see I have not kept to these resolutions. But instead of leaving my resolutions in the dust this year I have decided to take a closer look at them.

Number 1:
Why haven't I introduced you to a new favorite haunt and new pattern each week. Well, I don't know why I haven't been visiting my favorite coffee houses and finding new ones. That is an egregious over site that is going to take more effort on my part. As far as new patterns are concerned. I don't write a new pattern every week. As a matter of fact I am trying to make an effort to crochet everyday. Its this weird mind block that I have. When I know that its my business I let myself get distracted. So I have changed my crochet perspective in the last 6 months. Instead of working on a pattern a week I have chosen to work on collections. Right now I am working on my Pom-Pom Parade collection for kids. It is a fall and winter collection that will come out in September and it features.....wait for it..... POM-POMS. It will consist of three hat and scarf sets, a pair of boot cuffs and mittens. YAY!!!! Here are a few photos so far of the finished projects

.Number 2:
Treasury Tuesday. I have wanted to revamp this as well. I am working on bringing Tipsy Tuesday as a regular blog post every other Tuesday to post along with Treasury Tuesday. Tipsy Tuesday will include tips that will enhance your crochet creating or your crochet business. Diligence will be key here.

Number 3:
Posting blog posts is a difficult thing for me to do in the first place. I am not a blogger. I am much more of a conversationalist then a writer and I have a very rocky relationship with the comma. So, I have been listening to a the podcast How They Blog and it has given me some great motivation and insight.
How To Blog Like An Olympian I just have to sit down every day and write. Write about anything for half an hour a day. Maybe those thoughts will become blog posts, maybe they will be on a random piece of paper that eventually gets tossed in the craft room trash bin but at least I will have written something. (Do you think pattern writing counts?) Discipline must be my watch word.

So here are my new resolutions based on my old ones:

  1. Drink more coffee and tell you about it (so difficult...hee hee).
  2. Crochet for at least an hour each day and have a camera ready while I do it. (That means I must get a new phone.)
  3. Put my teaching and marketing experience to use in this blog.
  4. Write for 30 minutes each day. (Not just a to-do list) 

Maybe you should not think about your resolutions as failures, instead pick them up, brush them off and examine them for the lessons learned and re-apply. So what are your new goals?