Monday, December 30, 2013

Recent Custom Creations

I've done a few custom order in the last few month that I wanted to add here to the collection on my blog.

First here is a custom hat based on The Penny.  The patron wanted it to be gray and light pink (the same colors used in The Madison) as well as taking off the leaves.

Then, my friend Marcy asked me to make this hat, two of them in fact.  She sent me a screen shot of her pin.  So I just wrote my own pattern.  Here is Josh, my reluctant model.  

I will be adding this to the shop after I get good shots of it.   

Then I had an order for a blue version of my Rutgers Little Fan hat, which looks to me like a Giants hat, or maybe Captain America (since I live in Eagles country and so does the recipient).
 After that I had an order for two Gingerbread Man hats, with the addition of a pair of baby legs.  This is the first set of baby leg warmers I've made.  I read a tutorial pattern and I adapted it to what I needed,  of course now I can't find the tutorial I used, so my apologies for not being able to link that.

Finally, my husband co-worker had a special request.  His son was outgrowing his favorite hat.  He asked if I could make a replica and sent me this picture.        

How did I do?

The funny thing is I wasn't sure what animal this was while I was working on it,  I though raccoon, but then I thought the colors were wrong so maybe it was a fox, heck maybe it was some weird animal I don't even know.  My husband confirmed upon deliver that it was indeed a raccoon,  I think I will make a gray, black, and white one for the next shop photoshoot.

The Reindeer Snood

Here is the reason I have been MIA for the month of December. This item has quickly become my #1 seller.  13 were ordered in 14 days!  This is the story behind it.  

It all started when my coworker sent me this on Facebook.  I have no idea where she found this. I tried googling the image when I was looking and keep coming up blank.  So I had to write the pattern from scratch.  Which is fine because most of what's in the picture is knit, which while I can do it, I prefer not to.  So I wrote an all crochet version.  

She looks happy, right?
First I made the base snood- which is a new word I learned for a dog hood and neck cover.  It was a little too big for her Italian greyhounds, but she took pictures which really helped me figure out the changes I needed to make to get a good fit.  When I brought the prototype back home we tried it on my dog who thought it was a torture device, so if course I couldn't resist trying it on my cat, Bella.  

After the appropriate modifications were made to the pattern, I used the same antler pattern I used for my Rudolph hat.  The ears are the same pattern as well but I double layered them so I could have two colors.  These require a good deal of sewing as well.  Here is what the finished products look like.

I'm very grateful to my colleague for her inspiration for these and the photos she shared with me!

Within two days of listing the item, I had four orders.  Here they are! The second one was a custom order for a heather snood with shorter aran antlers.  

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Abby Cadabby and Cookie Monster Custom Hats

I was recently asked if I could make hats for a friend's children when they go to Sesame Place in the winter.  Because I generally believe I can do anything when it comes to crocheting, I said yes.  This is one where I really had no idea what I was in for!  Before I go on, here is a picture of the finished projects.  Abby is for a 2 year old girl and Cookie Monster is for a 6 month old boy.  
 I did a little research on the internet before I began and sent a few links to my patron.  We discussed features she liked of each and I made my own pattern.  After shopping for the perfect colors to use, I started working on the bases and went from there.  

Abby was a lot more work than I anticipated.  She requires several pieces and LOTs of color!
She includes a nose, blue eyes with blue "eye-shadow" and hand stitched eyelashes, ears, daisy hair ties, and of course the hair!  The colors I found for her hair are awesome, really the picture doesn't do it justice.  They are Shimmer yarn by Red Heart and they have colored sparkles that run throughout, perfect for a fairy!  I had to learn how to wig a crochet hat.  This free tutorial download was quite helpful, though not perfectly specified or aligned to how I made this hat, but with some common sense and experimentation, I was able to adapt it.  Then Abby got her hair done!  This was the first time I cut hair on a hat!!  

Cookie Monster was a lot easier, though he had his fair share of parts: googly eyes, mouth, and who could leave off some chocolate chip cookies with bites taken out of them!

These hats are not yet available for purchase in my shop, but I would gladly take a custom order.   I will be listing them after my next photoshoot.  

Saturday, December 28, 2013

New Girly Items

At the end of November we did a photo shoot for two girlier versions of hats that were already in the shop. Here are the Gingerbread Girl and my Skull and Crossbones hat with a raspberry (instead of the red in the original) stripe.
 My friend lent me her two year old for the photoshoot.  Originally we were going to have Sydney and Joshua model the boy and girl versions together, but Joshua decided to nap.  So we let sleeping toddlers lie and just worked with Syd.  She did very well considering how cold it was!  I may or may not have paid her in cookies :)

Of course Joshua, the typical boy, woke up in time for dinner at Pizza Hut, so we tried to get one decent shot of the two of them since Josh ALWAYS has his "Jake" hat (as he calls it) on.  

Well I did say we TRIED!

There's a lot to catch up on

Hello out there!
I'm still here.  Life and my Etsy business have been so very busy the last couple months I've hardly had time to put down my crochet hooks.  I have a lot to catch you up on but we'll start with Happy Holidays (well at least I got this on here before New Year's)!
The weather really cooperated with us to get this picture.  We got the idea from pinterest.  We searched for a short real tree before we finally realized the top of my grandmom (Erma's) Christmas tree that she had since the 70s would work.  Do you like his hat?  You know who made it ;)

Friday, November 22, 2013

Vote for your favorite Christmas hat

The winner will be featured in a giveaway on Cyber Monday!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Skull and Crossbones hat inspired by Jake and the Neverland Pirates

I'd been feeling some mom-guilt as I was finishing my orders this weekend, when suddenly I was inspired by my son's outfit choice.  He LOVES Jake and the Neverland Pirates (on Disney Junior), so when I asked him what he wanted to wear Saturday morning, of course he said Jake--meaning his one short sleeved (aka not appropriate for the weather) shirt cover with Jake and pirate motif.  So I layered it over a striped thermal and we went about our business.  

 After I put the final stitches on yet another Yoda hat, I wanted to make him something.  He loves wearing the Yoda Hats I make but I've yet to make one for him to keep, but then I noticed the skull and crossbones on J's shirt.  I thought, I could do that! But how?
 Then I remembered I'd pinned a skull applique a while back.  

The applique from Josh's Jake shirt is a bit different; the eyes are uneven, there's no nose, and the teeth are only the top set.  But it gave me a great idea about how to start.  In fact, I'd highly recommend that pattern to beginners compared to the pattern I am debating about whether to share.  Oh and I absolutely agree with the blogger--Caron Simply Soft Yarn is a great choice for appliques, of course I have it on hand, so that's what I used.  The crossbones were simple 10 single crochets with 2 picots at each end.

Then I followed my trusty beanie pattern, using Vanna's Choice Dark Heather Gray for most of the body and Scarlet for the stripe on the 11th and 12th row.
 I stitched on the applique carefully crossing the bones at just the right point.

Then I begged my brother to take some decent pictures.


Click here to see the listing on Etsy

Thursday, October 17, 2013

What's a Treasury?

I'm just discovering this cool feature on ETSY where you can make a themed collection of items, and then other people can use your list to shop.  Just choose your them and add items from all different shops.

Here's one I created  called the Eco-Friendly Toddler.  I use many of the items and buy from those shops.

Items from Erma's Inspiration are featured in the following treasuries:
September Serenity
Orange You Glad You Are From South Jersey
Go Play Outside
Aqua Sea
Hometown New Jersey
Kent State Golden Flashes
Etsy Fun Shopping
Happy Holidays
Soft Saturday
A Study In Brown

What do you think of this feature?  Do you have any treasuries you'd like to share?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My Nephew's Newborn Business Suit

My cousin ("nephew" is her son) shared a picture with me in June of a baby with a necktie and asked if I could make one.  I created this set and gave it to my cousin at her shower on Sunday.

The hat is based on a free pattern I found on Ravelry  before Joshua was born.  I had the printed directions from ages ago so I'm unable to link the exact pattern.  I wrote my own pattern for the diaper cover for Joshua's newborn photoshoot.  After looking at a few free patterns on the internet that were free, I decided I could do better if I wrote my own pattern for the tie.  I really wanted that authentic tie triangle look.

Now we wait for the adorable pictures of Nathan the business man to come!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Summer of Pinterest--the abbreviated version

Well this summer did not exactly turn out the way I'd planned.  I did want to share the few things I did get to try along with a brief review.  

This was delicious!  It was the perfect way to use our abundance of tomatoes and basil from our garden. 

This has done great things for me.  Originally I started doing this to help boost my metabolism, however I have discovered that ACV has many other health benefits.  After about 4 days you get used to the taste.  I mixed up enough for 4 days at a time.  I've been taking it for 10 days and I've seen significant weight loss.  I'm not sure if it was bloat or fat but my mother, sister, and husband all made comments before they knew what I'd been doing.  I haven't changed anything else.  Specifically the area of my lower stomach that was left somewhat pouchy has flattened out.  I wish I had taken pictures or stepped on the scale (I have a bad relationship with scales, I try to avoid them).  I've also noticed a boost in energy and generally feeling better.  If you're trying to lose a bit of weight, struggling with depression, or would like to lower your blood pressure, this is worth a try.  

This was yummy. The mint was from our garden :) 

This was ok.  I think our homegrown zucchini was too big.  I should have made it into smaller pieces.

This sort of worked.  There was improvement but my husband is a very messy cook so maybe if I do it a few more times, it will be as good as I want it.

This was as fantastic as all the pins claim!  I really wish I'd taken a before and after shot, but I don't want the internet to judge how disgusting my tub and shower were.

That's all for now.  Have you tried anything new from Pinterest lately?  How did it turn out?

Monday, August 19, 2013

How Far $10 Can Go at Dollar Tree

 Well I am a teacher and the budget is tight for the summer, the catch 22 is that it's when I have the most time to get things done around this place.  Therefore, off to Dollar Tree I went.  I'd seen a few posts on pinterest about organizing your entire home using items from the dollar store, but I decided to target a few areas that have been annoying me.  Below is what I bought, I did go back to buy two more of the blue and pink baskets to the left for a total of $10.

First I had this bin in my laundry room that was ok, but having a small bin for each person's socks made more sense.  I chose a different color for each person.  They are stackable so they take about the same amount of space in my small laundry closet.  Bonus: this led to mating about 10 pairs of socks.  

The other addition to the laundry closet is the tiny trash can you see.  It sits on the dryer and is the perfect place for lint and all the other pieces of trash that are found in a certain man's pockets.

 Next I tackled my biggest nemesis, under the sink.  It's been ignored since the garbage disposal came unhooked and made a mess my husband *claimed* he cleaned up close to three years ago.  Basically things were just thrown in there.  Wow was that a wake up call.  I had to wipe down a ton of products, pull up the shelf paper (which I still need to replace) and give it a good cleaning.  Then we could get to the organizing.  I sorted the items according to their purpose, dishwashing, disinfecting, wood cleaning, etc and put them in baskets so it would make sense.  Due to the fact both the hubby and I tend to stock up and the fact he will sooner tell me we are out of something than move something to find the 80 million of whatever he thinks we're out of, there was a lot more under there than I believed.  The green basket is for kitchen laundry.  It always bothered me to put a damp kitchen cloth in with the family laundry hamper until I do wash, but I don't need to do towel laundry frequently enough to just throw it straight in the washer, so this was the perfect solution.

I also took those four little purple tubs (top left of the first picture) and put one under each sink in my house for cleaning sponges.  

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Free Old Fashioned Flower Crochet Pattern

 I was reorganizing my crafts board on pinterest and came across this inspiration I'd pinned a while back. Unfortunately the link was broken and there was no pattern. I liked it enough to write my own patters.  I write a lot of patterns for what I carry in my etsy shop, but I don't share them or sell them for now.  I figured I probably won't sell this pattern since someone else created it, so time to payback the crochet world for all the awesome free crochet patterns I've found.  Here is what I came up with. 
My creation
The petals on my old fashioned flower are a bit more distinct, but I like it that way.  What do you think? 

Here's the pattern along with pictures of each step.  

I used three colors, a G Hook, and Caron Simply Soft Yarn. 

Step 3: The wagon wheel becomes a hexagon
    Steps 1 & 2 make a wagon wheel
    with 6 spokes of 2 DC each
  1. With color one Ch 4.  Join with a slip stitch to form loop.
  1. Slip stitch into loop.  Ch 3.  DC. Ch1,  [2 DC, CH 1] 5 times.  Slip Stitch into top of Ch 3.  Tie off Color 1.
  2. Join Color 2 in any CH 1 space.  CH3 DC, CH1, 2DC all in first chain 1 space.  [2DC, CH 1, 2DC] in the five remaining CH 1 spaces.  Slip stitch into top of CH 3 to join.
  3. Slip stitch in next stitch,[slip stitch into CH 1 space, CH 2, 6 DC, CH 2, Slip stitch into same CH 1 space, Slip stitch in next three stitches] 6 times.  Tie off color 2.
Now it's starting to look like a flower!
5.  With Color 3, Join by single crocheting  into the top of the first(rightmost) CH 2 of any petal. * SC in next 6 stitches of petal.  Skip CH 2 and next Slip stitch, SC into next stitch covering both the slip stitch and the stitch below. Skip next Slip stitch then SC into top of Chain 2.   Repeat from * 5 times. Slip Stitch into first stitch with Color 3 and tie off. 


Weave in the ends and voila!
 There are a bunch of ideas floating around in my head about how I'd like to use this...You may see some soon in my shop :) What would you do with them?

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Laundry Closet Update

So I finally got my indoor retractable clothes line installed (we received it about a month before but life got in the way).  It was an impulse buy when I saw a friend had pinned it.

It was easy to install, however because the cheapie drywall anchors that came with it didn't seem to work and to my husband's dismay the directions did not say what size drill bit to use, we replaced them with these which just happened to be sitting on my washer from another project.

The hubbie was a little frustrated and uttered what my be my favorite quote of all time.  "Did you find this on Pinterest?  Don't go on there anymore!" 

But in the end, it was installed.  It's everything I imagined (once you get the hang of holding the plastic piece so all the lines get an even amount of tension when you pull it out for use).  Seriously though, it holds all my cloth diaper laundry and I no longer have to take up space in my son's room with a drying rack :)
Ready to use

Holding about 20 cloth diapers.