What’s Been Going On Lately?!

So sorry to all my blog followers for my long leave of absence from the blogging world! I don’t really even have a very good excuse! I could say I was too busy, which wouldn’t be an understatement at all, but really I just kind of forgot about it for a while. But I’m back! And oh so much has been happening for me and my Willing Hands Creations business to share with everyone!

 

One of the most exciting things for me is the growth that has been happening on my page! In just under a month my page has gone from 347 likes to 473! I’m definitely grateful for all the support people are giving me as I grow, it is so exciting! A lot of the new likes have come from meeting people on photography prop pages on Facebook. Hopefully all of these new photographer “likes” will lead to new business, I would be set then!

 

Another opportunity that presented itself was the chance to have a vendor booth in my hometown at a new place called Black Bird Emporium that just opened this week. Two weeks ago I went in with a few of my items I had laying around the house to see if I was a good fit for their store. Luckily they liked my items and I now have my own booth! My husband and I spent most of last week working on building shelves and setting up my booth and making sure I had enough items to fill it up. If you are local you should make sure to check them out on the Butler Square!

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A lot of the things in my booth are things that I had sitting around my house that I had made and didn’t sell or hadn’t put up for sale yet. I did put a few new items in my booth and I am currently working on a few new things also! One new item you can see in the picture is the rainbow lovey. This was a project that worked up super quickly! And it wouldn’t necessarily have to be done in rainbow colors, you could make it in any combination of colors you wanted to. I happened to have all the colors I needed to do a rainbow so I went with it. The blanket part of it is worked in a shell granny square, which I loved and I think it will probably replace the traditional granny square for me! I found it to be much easier. Here’s an up close pic of my finished product. Image

It doesn’t look like it, but the red is in there. It’s under the sun🙂

Here is the pattern for it if you would like to give it a try!

Pattern is from Cre8tion Crochet for the You Are My Sunshine Lovey – http://www.cre8tioncrochet.com/2014/04/you-are-my-sunshine/

I actually loved this idea for a shell granny square so much that I am making a regular sized baby blanket with this pattern! Pictures to come when I get it finished🙂

 

My little boy turned 3 this month, and as I sat around browsing on the internet a few nights before his big day I ran across a pattern for an angry bird. My son adores this game, so I knew he would love to have one. So I whipped one up super fast so that I could give it to him as one of his birthday presents! The directions were well written and very easy to understand. Definitely one I would recommend!

Here is the pattern I used, written by Adorable Amigurumi on Ravelry – http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/angry-birds—cardinal

Here’s mine that I made! (Sorry for the bad cell phone picture)

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One of my just for fun projects I did on my “break” was this pair of sweet little newborn sandals. I love the look of these with the bow across the top. These weren’t too hard, would be fairly easy for a beginner with a bit of experience.

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The pattern for these can be found here – http://thislovelylife-blog.blogspot.com/2013/03/todays-crochet.html

 

I have mentioned it before, but I love when I get to work with photographers and they send me professional pictures of my items! They look so much better than my sad pictures taken in my kitchen with my cell phone🙂 I recently got to make another rainbow fringe blanket for another photographer. She used it twice and sent me pictures both times she used it! I was so excited! Here are a couple of the images she sent me.

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I don’t have a pattern for the fringe blanket, but it’s not really needed. I just made a white rectangle, approx 10″x15″ and then cut a bunch of pieces of yarn about 20 inches long in all sorts of colors and textures. I take two strands of different colors of regular yarn, fold them in half, then knot them around the edges of the white part. Once I have the regular yarn all the way around it then I go back and add all the strands of textured yarn in randomly throughout the blanket. This is so easy to customize into whatever size and colors you want it to be! If you look closely at the picture of my booth above you can see that on my table I have made a version of this fringe blanket to use as a table cloth on my booth table. The possibilities are endless!

Lately I have made several different styles of bonnets for some photographers. I finally got some professional pictures back of one of them just today!

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This bonnet is also a really good beginner project as well. The basic idea behind it is to make four granny squares, sew them together, and then add the border around the edge. The first one I made ended up being bigger than newborn size, so I have to go down a hook size to get one that is true to newborn size. You may have to experiment a little bit depending on what size you want it to fit! I did alter my edging just a little bit, but not much.

Here is the pattern for the granny square bonnet – http://crochet.about.com/od/babypatterns/a/granny-square-baby-bonnet-easy-crochet-pattern.htm

 

Well, that is probably enough sharing for now🙂 I will have to try to do a better job of keeping up so I don’t have so much to update all at once!

Please check out my Facebook page Willing Hands Creations! If you see something you would like to order, you can message me over at my page or email me, I would love to make something for you!

 

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Finally, A New Post!

So it has been a while since I have updated this blog! I apologize! I used to update every Thursday while my kids were away at a Parents Day Out program put on by a church here in town, but they are done for the summer. Not having those couple hours without kids every week has really slowed down my production time! Which means it is time to find a new way to get myself organized I guess!

 

On to completed projects since the last post that I made! Which are quite a few, but I will just share the best ones🙂

A couple weeks ago I posted pictures of a rainbow fringe blanket that I had made that I absolutely LOVED! It was so bright and colorful and was so fun to make. I received my picture of it and personally I think it looks amazing! It would definitely be fun to make and look really nice in other colors besides rainbow colors (I’m thinking pretty ocean blues and greens for a boy or some pretty pink and purples and throw in some beads or pearls for a girl….must make these soon!) Here is the picture I received of it being used! Let me know what you think of it!

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Thank you Jasmin Kaaz Photography for the photo! I am also working on some new props for her that she is going to take pictures of for me soon and I can’t wait to see those either!

Another hat I came up with was this sweet ribbon laced hat. I’ve used this ribbon many times for several projects, from hair bows for my daughter to decorating a vase for some Mother’s Day flowers, and I love it! I had just a little bit left and this ended up being the perfect project to use the rest of it! So sweet and simple. And so many color and ribbon options, the possibilities for a hat like this are endless!

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One of my favorite hats is probably this sweet little white shell hat. The best part about this hat is the flowers are interchangeable! The button on the hat allows you to put the different flowers on, so it’s perfect to change it up to match your baby’s outfit or to match different props and backdrops for photographers.

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One more project and then I’ll move on🙂 Sometimes I get an idea in my head for a project and I just can’t let it go until I get to complete it. A while back I found a big piece of white fleece in the clearance bin at our Walmart (I love when I find good things there!) I decided it would be perfect to cut up and put a nice border on to make baby blankets with. These are the perfect lovey size blanket, approximately 24×30 inches. The border on this one is super simple and in really pretty ocean colors (blue, green and beige). I still have it for sale over on my page if anyone is interested in it!

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One of my biggest pet peeves is being unorganized. My yarn and sewing stash has been anything but organized since I started up my Willing Hands business. I have had tubs and laundry baskets in several places trying to contain the massive amounts of things I now have from all the orders I have completed! This last weekend we went to an estate sale here in town and I found an awesome cabinet which was exactly what I was wanting for the space I had to put it in! It looks so much nicer than all the tubs laying around in my dining room. While it definitely didn’t fit everything I have in it, it made a significant dent. Being organized always makes me feel good🙂

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For those of you who do not follow my page (which you should!) I am going to be “closing up shop” for a couple weeks beginning on June 10th. There is a lot going on in my family the month of June, my son turns 3, we are hoping to go on vacation, among other summer fun things, so I want to be able to enjoy them and not have to worry about my “work” and deadlines for a few weeks! My page will still be open and you can still send messages and orders to me during that time, I just will not begin working on new orders until after June 22nd. I have several orders waiting to be fulfilled that I am hoping to get done before the 10th gets here, including a hat from one of my contest winners, another rainbow blanket, a granny square blanket and a toddler diaper cover. I think that’s it. Whew! A lot to get accomplished in just two weeks time, but it can be done! If you are in need of something before I close down for a bit, be sure to message me soon!

 

Please go check out my Facebook page Willing Hands Creations to see all of my current work and much more!

 

 

Finding New Inspiration

Let’s start off today’s post with a new picture! Here is the newest professional picture I’ve received this week thanks to Sheree’s Precious Moments Photography.

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If you read last weeks blog post or if you follow my Facebook page Willing Hands Creations you saw that there was a contest going on last week. I set a goal for my page to reach 300 “likes”, when that happened I would draw a winner for a free item. I upped the stakes a little and set a goal that if we could reach 300 by Friday at 10pm (about two days from when the contest started) then I would draw two winners. My page fans came through for me and it happened! I was super excited! I can’t thank my fans enough for helping me reach my new goal, they always come through for me!

Business has slowed down a little bit over the last week, which is giving me time to plan ahead a little bit. Translate that into, I probably spend a bit more time on Pinterest than I should. But it’s ok if it’s business related, right?😉 Earlier this week my Grandma stopped by and brought me some of her old crochet books that she was going to garage sale but decided to bring to me instead. I have enjoyed looking through them and am pretty sure that I recognize several things from them that she has in her house that she must have made from the patterns.

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For those of you who haven’t read the about me part of the blog, my Grandma is where my initial inspiration to crochet came from. As a kid I remember my Grandma giving everyone hand made Christmas gifts. All of the kids always got slippers that she made for us and we always looked forward to seeing what color slippers we were getting and putting them on as soon as we got them. The other thing she made a lot of was kitchen towels with crocheted towel toppers. I always wanted to learn from her and I never did. Now that I have taught myself to crochet (and she is not anymore), I decided to figure out how to make the towel toppers and give them as my Christmas gifts. Maybe it will become one of my every year gifts now🙂

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See something you like? Have an idea for a custom design? Contact me today through my Facebook page Willing Hands Creations or email me to start your custom order with me!

 

Getting More Professional + Contest

Slowly as my business is growing I keep getting chances to work with photographers and get professional images of my items! I always get excited when I get a new chance for professional photos! They sure look a whole lot better than the photos I take with my cell phone🙂

Here’s the latest one I have received, how sweet is this precious baby girl!

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On to projects finished this week! I mentioned at the end of my blog post last week that I would be working on a rainbow fringe blanket prop for another photographer. It was probably one of the easiest and most fun projects that I have done so far! It was a lot of fun to find all the different yarn colors and textures for this project. Warning though, cutting up the fur yarn will leave a huge mess wherever you are using it. In my case I had fur all over my couch. Oops! Here’s a  snapshot of it, I can’t wait to receive professional photos of this! Image

Also this week I had the idea to take the sashay skirt idea and turn it into a diaper cover and put the sashay ruffles along the back of it. I think it turned out super cute!

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If you are following my Facebook page then you probably saw the contest announcement made yesterday!

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So far we’ve made it to 293 “likes”, so we are getting close! I am also offering chances to earn extra entries into the drawing for free items! If you are reading this right now, the code word is your favorite color! Go find the post on the page asking for the code word and add yours to the comments to get your name entered into the prize drawing an extra time! If you are not part of my Facebook page (Willing Hands Creations) yet you should be!

See something you like? Have an idea for something I can make for you? Contact me through my Facebook page Willing Hands Creations or through email to get your custom order started today! Are you a photographer looking for new props? I offer a 50% discount in exchange for photos that I can use on my page! Contact me today!

 

 

 

Projects This Week

Orders continue to come in! Which makes this girl very excited! I really never thought my small little business would ever take off the way that it has. It is exciting and intimidating all at the same time! But all in a good way of course.

Last week I got to make a new hat for a little newborn girl. A ninja turtle! I was never much into the show as a kid, but I do remember my two younger brothers watching it. I am pretty sure there wasn’t a pink one, but that’s ok. Maybe there should’ve been one!

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I didn’t follow a pattern for the hat, it’s just a basic double crochet beanie. For the eyes I used this pattern:

http://chucksforchancho.com/2013/12/08/tutorial-tmnt-beanie/

Another new item this week was a newborn sized crochet bonnet. I saw the pattern while browsing around online and decided to give it a try, even though I didn’t have anyone in mind for it when I made it! I was able to sell it pretty quickly though!

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This project probably took me an hour, it was super simple! For newborn size you make four granny squares and then whip stitch them together, then add the border around it and chain stitch the strings on either side. So easy! Here’s the pattern I used:

http://crochet.about.com/od/babypatterns/a/granny-square-baby-bonnet-easy-crochet-pattern.htm

A few weeks ago I posted the matching skull hats I made for two sisters. I ended up with an order for two more in adult sizes, one in pink, grey and white and one in black.

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I thought these were going to be difficult but they are actually really easy to do, just a little time consuming. The pattern is written very clearly and is very easy to follow. You can buy it for $1 on Ravelry here:

Creepy Skulls Slouchy Hat and Ear Warmer Headband by Spider Mambo-

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/creepy-skulls-slouchy-hat-and-ear-warmer-headband

Coming up this week is another ninja turtle hat, a set of pot holders, and a fox hat. Also possibly a fringed blanket photo prop which I am excited about! I also bought some new yarn for a new idea I had, I will let you know how that turns out!

See anything you like? Have a different custom idea in mind? Find my contact info in the about me section or leave me a message, I would be happy to make it for you!

 

My Day To “Work”

My husband always jokes with me that I need a day off so that I can work, but he is totally right! Being a stay home mom with a 1 year old and a 2 year old and expecting to get anything done is pretty unrealistic some days. So the one day a week that they go to a Mother’s Day Out program here in town I usually spend it working on everything I think I can possibly get done in the four hours that they are gone. I usually spend most of that time on my Willing Hands Creations business. And it’s usually the only day that I get the chance to update my blog! After all, who can really sit and think about what to write when you are constantly needing to get up and break up a fight, find a toy, change the channel, get a drink….the list goes on and on. I know I sure can’t!

This week I have finished a couple projects and have just a couple more to start on. I have made several of the Sashay yarn skirts over the past couple weeks, but this week I got to take that idea to a different level by making a sweet little newborn dress! The top of the dress was done in a v-stitch, the skirt part was done just like the skirts that I have been making. It was a super quick project to get finished, I worked on it off and on for two or three days. I love making newborn sized stuff, it works up super fast since there isn’t a whole lot to it!

Here’s a picture of the dress along with a matching headband.

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My other completed project this week is a cute bee hat and slipper set. This particular set is size 6-12 months, but they can easily be made in any size!

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I don’t have any patterns for these projects to share this week. The dress is a basic v-stitch top and then double crochet rows for the skirt work in the back loops, then the sashay yarn is attached in the loops the double crochets make. The bee hat is a basic double crochet beanie and ear flap hat, colors are changed every two rows. There are a lot of slipper patterns you can find online for free to help if you need a pattern for them. I just modified a few different ones that I already knew to make these. I made the sole first, then two rows of half double crochets and two rows of single crochets with decreases around the toe part, then a single crochet row of the yellow around the opening.

I am quite anxious for Spring and Summer and a whole new line of crochet projects! I have loved all the hats I’ve made over the past few months, but I am ready for a change and some new patterns! I am always looking for new ideas, so if you have any ideas for me or if there is something I can make for you please let me know!

Now back to “work” before I have to pick my kids up in a couple hours! Or maybe I will just keep browsing patterns online….who really wants to work anyway when it’s supposed to be your day off?🙂

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Skirts Galore!

For the last week  I have made all the same thing. I have had many requests for the sashay yarn skirts recently ever since I posted a picture of the one I made for my daughter to wear for her first birthday.

Here she is in all her cuteness🙂

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Ever since posting this orders for this skirt have exploded! Luckily it’s not a hard project, just a little time consuming. All those ruffles and pulling apart the sashay yarn to find the right holes takes a little time. Every third row gets ruffles, each stitch around gets a ruffle pulled through it. Here’s a look at one that was just getting started so it makes a bit more sense (hopefully). Image

 

This week I finished a set of three skirts for three sisters, skirt sizes newborn, 2T and 3T. I thought I was never going to finish the 3T one! Hopefully they enjoy wearing them.Image

My latest adventure in selling things has been through joining several Facebook pages of photographers looking for props for photos, mainly for newborns and small children. When I saw someone looking for a skirt for a newborn session I knew I had the perfect one and jumped on the chance to get my name out there! In the process of making two more skirts I also came up with a headband to go along with the skirt to make it the perfect photo prop.

Skirt and headband in Ballet

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Skirt and headband in Mediterranean

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Five skirts in one week! Whew!

Now time to move on to other projects. One new project this week is to take the skirt idea and turn it into a dress instead. I’ll keep you posted on how that goes!

If you would like to attempt one of these skirts yourself, here is the link to the free pattern.

http://amray1976.blogspot.com/2013/02/crochet-sashay-ruffle-toddler-skirt.html

 

If you would like to order a skirt set or if you are a photographer who would like to exchange photos for props please get in touch with me!