Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Multiple Projects

Little Johnny's Patchwork Blankie by Trudy Evans
I officially have multiple projects going on, and multiple knitting projects at that!  The sewing project I have been working on is frustrating me at the moment so I've decided to put in aside for a while and work on other sewing adventures.  Perhaps a blanket or boppy cover is in my future! 

While I'm deciding on my next sewing project, I'm just about to the half way point of my pink blanket I've been making such slow progress on until recently.  The pattern called for a 36in. square blanket, but I think I want to make it a little bigger than 36in., but I haven't decided how much bigger yet.  Since the blanket is knit on the bias I get to pick!  I am planning on doing about 10 or 20 extra rows so it should measure about 37 or 38in. square when completed.   My favorite part about this pattern is that once you pass the half way point, you feel like you are progressing incredibly fast because with each row you have one less stitch to knit.  So fingers crossed I will be able to get a new pink blanket posted soon!  That is if I'm not distracted by my new knitting project!

I normally won't do two knitting projects at a time, but this is an exception to the rule.  I admit, my second knitting project is a greedy one, it's for me.  I'm in need of a boy baby blanket for my house so I am knitting one just like the picture here that I found on Ravelry.  I'm super excited about this pattern.  It allows you do knit all sorts of different patterns, but without having to do each square separately.  I literally just started this last night so I have a feeling it is going to take me a while to get through it, but I will try to photograph the progression of it. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Product Branding

Since we moved our mail box is filled with catalogs.  It's slightly crazy how many catalogs we get.  Half of which I have no interest in.  Somehow I managed to get a subscription to Better Homes and Garden.  I have no idea how this happened, I sure didn't pay for the subscription.  I won't turn it down.  I've already found some really useful stuff in it.  (psst...I'm telling you about it in this post!)

I'm always looking for creative ways I can help develop my brand without spending a fortune on branding.  Let's be honest, this is a business, but it's not Facebook and I'm not Mark Zuckerburg, yet!  Well I ran across some really great labels while reading through my Better Homes and Garden.  Avery makes oval and circular labels that you can print your own design on.  I don't know if these are new or if they have been around for a while, but I definitely plan on picking some of these up to add to the way I market Stitch Silly. 

Interested in picking up your own?  Check them on with the link to the right. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Happy Monday, Again...

Is it me or are weekend way to short these days?  At least this coming week will be a nice long weekend!  I was pretty bummed my open house got canceled this weekend so I didn't have my pre-set aside knitting time.  Hopefully I'll get one for this coming weekend.  In the mean time, I am still working on my knitting.  It's been hard, I'm currently reading the book series that the show True Blood is based on and must admit, I'm slightly addicted.  On a regular basis I have an internal fight with myself between knitting and reading. Honestly, it's not a bad argument to have with oneself, but I've noticed that the Sookie Stackhouse books have been winning a lot recently.  Perhaps today that will change all that?  I'll let you know how that goes this evening after work! 

Until then, happy knitting, sewing, AND reading!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Plarn Recap

As some of you may remember, last summer I got really excited over plarn and decided to make a plarn bag for the beach.'s finally done.  My mom had been trying to figure out how to do the handles on it for a while now, but it's finally finished.  She gave it to me last night.  I just have to weave the ends in.  I'm so exited to show it to you!

Happy Friday to you!  I don't know about you but I'm ready for the weekend.  I do know that Sunday will be some fun filled knitting time while I sit for an open house so fingers crossed I'll make some good progress on my baby blanket I'm hoping to post soon.                                                                    

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother's Day Events

Easy Quilted Baby Blanket
I had a wonderful mother's day weekend; however, my highlight was yesterday when I went to my son's school for lunch with him.  The look on his face when he walked out of his classroom thinking he wasn't going to get his lunch, then his excitement when he saw mommy was priceless.  I told him we were going to have lunch together with some of his friends and their mommies.  He loved every minute of it.  To top it off, I was able to take the afternoon off work and have some quality mommy time at home.  I was able to get some progress towards my latest sewing project and some knitting in. 

No Seam Patchwork Blanket
This current sewing project is pretty different than any project I've done previously.  I'm using interfacing to stiffen up my fabric.  I've never used it before and while I get the concept, just iron on, I find it a little intimidating for some reason. Yesterday I was supposed to start ironing it on and for some reason I couldn't bring myself to do it.  Too nervous I guess, who knows.  Maybe I'll get the guts to do that soon!

On the up side, I was able to get a few more rows in my blanket done.  I think I have extra motivation to get more progress on this blanket in the next two weeks.  After that I will be taking a small product hiatus while I create at least one blanket for myself.  I have a few options that I am contemplating, but haven't made any final decisions yet. 

I'd like to make two different blankets for myself in the next 5 months, one sewn and one knit.  I have been eying both of these, but just need to pick out the right colors for the patterns, but that decision won't be made for another 2 weeks.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Summer Fun Activities

Earlier this week I shared some of my favorite summer destinations for families.  Today I want to share with you some fun activities that the whole family can participate at home or local to your neighborhood.  You may notice a small theme in activities, mostly due to the fact that my son takes after me and is a complete fish out of water.

Water Play:
There is always your local swimming hole, the pool.  I'm pretty sure we could spend several hours there this summer every day just splashing and swimming around.  I've already been asked to go to the outdoor pool for at least a month now, thankfully only 3 more weeks until the pool opens.  We don't have a back yard otherwise I would add sprinklers, baby pools, and slip and slides to the list. 

I'm not sure why but bubbles seem to provide hours of fun to kids.  I'm not complaining they are pretty fun to even a mom!

Finger Painting:
Ok so I'm a daring mother who encourages exploration why let them experiment with finger painting on a rainy day.  To top it off, you can then frame the art work and hang it in their room or around the house!

Bug Safari:
Take your little ones out to search for "exotic" bugs, like worms, potato bugs, lady bugs, and caterpillars.  If you're feeling really crazy why not put a few of those lightning bugs in a mason jar with holes in the top like when you were a kid. 

My list can go on and on, but these are definitely on my top list for the summer!  What about you?  What fun family activities do you recommend? 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Summer Fun Destinations

I realize that it's just the beginning of May but it truly feels like my summer has already started.  The fun activities are in full swing.  Since my mind seems to already slipped into summer mode, I thought I would share some fun filled family activities that you can do in the summer.  Some are great destinations, some are just play in the backyard type fun, but all will result in a great family bonding experience.  Today I am just going to focus on some family destinations.  Later I will share some thoughts on my at home family activities.
Who could forget, Mr. Rogers

Coaster Lovers: I recommend only one park.  That is Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH.  I have never been to another park that has as many great coasters as Cedar Point.  Every line is well worth the wait.  I have fond memories of watching 4th of July fireworks in the front seat on the Raptor with my brother one year. 

History Buffs: Williamsburg, VA is the place to be.  Where else can you learn about how our first settlers lived and survived.  I am heading down there next month and am looking forward to checking out the history from a toddler's perspective.  It should be an exciting time.

Beach Get Aways: For the East coast I'm partial to Ocean Isle Beach, NC.  My family has been going there for years at this point.  We had a few year hiatus, but we now back in full swing and love the beaches location and surprising non-commercialization of the island.  Everyone hears about the Outer Banks which are beautiful, but I'll take Ocean Isle because of it's location to just about everything.  An hour from both Wilmington, NC and Mrytle Beach, SC, what more could you ask for?

For the Gulf Coast, hands down is Destin, FL.  Who couldn't love the beautiful white sand beaches, crystal clear water and relatively no waves?   I spent many of vacation just sitting and reading on this beach and am counting the days until I can get back there.

Kid in All of Us: That would be hands down Idlewild Park in Ligonier, PA.  I don't remember a lot about this park.  Apparently there is quite an amusement park there, but I do remember Storybook Forrest and Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.  Storybook Forrest was just like you would imagine life would be like when you read all of the wonderful stories as a child.  And Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, well, for those of us of a certain age there was no one else to who could introduce us to the Land of Make Believe other than Mr. Rogers.  I'm sure the kids now won't truly appreciate Mr. Rogers, but we can at least pass on our memories of the show and of our childhood. 

What are some of your favorite family destinations for the summer?  Later this week, I will share my list of in-home family activities, so leave your favorite destination and stop back for my next list.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Tip of the Week: Photograph Photograph Photograph!

Growing up my math teacher mother always told me a picture is worth a 1000 words so anytime I had a problem with a concept we would draw it out and talk it over.  That concept has stuck with me even to my adult life.  Whenever I am misunderstanding something I always draw a picture.  I'm no artist in that regard, but I'm good enough to get the point across or at least for my son to understand that I'm drawing Thomas the tank when I'm intentionally drawing Thomas the tank.  That's all that matters in my book!

That being said, I'm not sure if you've seen how much photo-based marketing and sharing has taken a strong hold in how we communicate and plan things in the past year or so.  Pinterest is the fastest growing social network right now.  It has come on so strong and basically out of no where.  Google+ came out several months ago with a great big bang only to fizzle shortly after the initial release.  Yes I have a google plus account, but I couldn't tell you how often I'm on it, but I can tell you I'm on my Pinterest page multiple times a day.

In recent months, Instagram has taken off liken off like a storm, so much so that Facebook has acquired it continuing to skyrocket it's growth.  Personally, I haven't pulled the trigger on this application yet, so I don't have personal experience with it.  I can tell you that my Facebook news feed starting to have many more instagram photos.

What does all this mean to you and I?  It just means we need to start thinking about how we photograph our items and memories all the more important.  That means we just need to practice, practice, practice taking all sorts of different type of pictures so we have more to choose from when it comes posting our latest pictures.
What are your feelings on the development of how social media is guiding our lives now?

Thursday, May 3, 2012

To my fellow bloggers

Photo from here
Have you ever noticed that it doesn't matter how often you blog whether it's 5 times a day or 5 times a week you always seem to have a hard time coming up with things to write about?  I'm starting to notice this myself and I'm not sure what to make of it.  I try to plan and research my articles, but then there are days like today when I just sit down in front of the computer and start typing and this is what comes out. 

I can't decide if this is a good or a bad thing.  What are your thoughts?  The funny part about it is that I have these great ideas then I go to research them and there is literally nothing out there to get educated on the topic to speak to it more concretely.  So clearly it is something that people would probably want to know, but I am not the resident expert for the topic.  Maybe someday!  Therefore in the mean time I will continue with my meanderings and work to write some great and interesting articles for you all to read!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May Day

Happy May Day!  I can't believe it's May already!  I'm happy to report that I was quite successful this weekend in my knitting adventures.  Of course I was shocked to realize that I had a lot further to go.  For some reason I thought I was further a long with my blanket than I was originally so while I was hoping to turn the corner of being halfway completed, I was unable to do so.  Oh well, that just means more fun knitting time!  I keep meaning to take a picture of my progress, but I've been slacking on pulling the images from my camera of late.  I did just discover that I can directly pull images from my phone so I may take a picture tonight with my phone. 

I have another fun filled trip planned this weekend, but unfortunately I won't be able to knit.  That's OK there is plenty of time for that!  How was your weekend?  Was is spend on fun or work or both?
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