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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Why Buy Handmade?

As a consumer,I can see most of my household items
are made outside of United States. Each time I think
something is made in USA, I see a different country's
name. There is definitely a place and reasons for
producing in lower cost areas however we are also people
who are innovative, creative and take pride in our work.

It can also be noted that handmade products are more
expensive than products made elsewhere so why buy handmade?

1. Buying handmade is buying art; it is handcraft by a
person not a machine where you can produce a lot of items
in an hour. It is well thought out, higher quality and
definitely not driven by price. If driven by price, a lot
of the handmade products will not be sold.

2. As mentioned, machine products are inexpensive and
especially in this economy, our consumers want cheaper
products. But handmade is a statement on quality of life.
These machine products or even other products made in third
world countries where there is much lower cost are cheaper
and even though conditions are improved in third world countries,
it leaves local artists been called starving artists/crafters
and their quality of life does not improve. Handmade items
takes time and living in United States, artists/crafters also
have to support themselves.

3. Buying handmade is also better for the environment.
The Environmental effects of mass production is a concern for
global warming and poisons our air, water and soil. Every
handmade made or purchased makes a small dent to the mass
production industry.

4. Buying handmade is a better gift giving idea. It is better
than long waits at the stores and looking for parking spot in
the malls. The buyer feels that he is supporting a local crafter
/artist and the receiver of the gift knows that he or she is
receiving a gift made with care and attention. This gives the feeling
of connection among all parties involved.

Now I know buying handmade does not work in all circumstances
and we haveto make a choice when to buy handmade or not. I just
wanted to point out a few key points to help you next time you
want to buy something for a gift,family, home or for yourself.
Think handmade!

If you will like to see more handmade for you, your family or home,
check out or

Stay Tuned!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Becoming a Crochet Designer

I read this great article about becoming a crochet designer and
wanted to share it with you. It was written by Brenda Stratton

Her motto is to simply do it. Create a great pattern and submit it.
Her tips are to target a publication, request a set of guidelines
and editorial calendars,submit a complete package, be professional
at all times, be original, meeting deadlines,neatness,dealing with
rejection,not been afraid and networking.

You can find more info at

This has all the elements I am working on and hopefully I will get
the courage to submit my designs one day!

Most of my designs are with bags and baby items and you can see
them at or

Feedback and comments are welcome!

Stay Tuned.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Today, my crocheting fingers are hurting and I need to take a break. Sometimes in life, we have to realize at some point we need to pause, rejuvenate and head back to work. I am definitely going to finish the halter top tonight and give my fingers a break till either Sunday or Monday night.

Did I show you the laptop sleeve bag? It is now on sale at etsy. What do you think?

In the meantime, see all that I have crochet for the past 3 months at my stores at or

Monday, March 22, 2010


My son just turned 18 months yesterday and I have to say yesterday was another beautiful experience. He insisted on helping me in the morning to weed around the tulips and he had to help his dad in the afternoon plant new grass seeds. It is so amazing how much he has grown in the past few months.

This week he begins to transition into the toddler class at his day care. I am more nervous than him because he is becoming so independent and now he is going to become more independent. I am mesmerized by his actions, his words, his gestures, his need to follow in our footsteps that I forgot the little things he does that drives me crazy.I was so crazy watching and playing with him this weekend that I did not twitter, facebook or craft. I just had to mentally memorize this moments as a new phase of his life is beginning.

I am also happy that soon we can have conversations that can help me become a better mother as he can articulate his needs and wants.

We will see how it goes this week and I am back to work and reality.

This week I am concentrating on new craft projects and I need to mail out my craft show information. Have to stay focused. Enjoy your day!

Stay Tuned!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Keep Practicing

I love to run. In fact, running not just relieves stress for me, it makes me feel strong. I ran a half marathon last year in November in support of the Lymphoma and Leukemia Society and one thing about running is that you have to train if want to complete your run whether it is a 5K,10K, half marathon or a marathon. Are these training sessions fun all the time? No way! As much as one loves running, there are times that you will not feel like it. Actually a lot of times you do not feel like training because it is hard work; it takes a toll on you physically; you wake up in the wee hours of the morning to do 6 mile or 10 mile run while missing out on sleep.
Definitely not the most fun thing to do but the joy, oh the joy, after you complete the training session for that day is undescrible.
The feeling of accomplishment and exhilaration when you finally complete the run on race day sustains you mentally for a period of time.

What is my point?

Same goes for our craft. It takes a toll on us physically and mentally. It takes up a lot of time that we can be hanging out; you sometimes miss out on the family fun. I know I have. But the joy of crafting something and then keeping at it until you have the desired outcome is exhilarating. I crocheted a baby elephant yesterday. Pictures are coming up soon and it was not perfect because I am not great at sewing. I am not a fan of sewing but I am learning. Crocheting may come naturally to me but sewing does not.
In any case, my next couple of baby elephants will be perfect as long as I keep training and perfecting my craft.

So do not give up. Keep Practicing. Challenge yourself to the next level and enjoy the journey.

Have a great weekend. Stay Tuned.

Want to see more crochet baby animals? Check out the toys section at or

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Reaching the goal with different methods

I spent my day in NYC yesterday.Even through I was in a building all day, it was fun and exciting to take the train, hang out with everyone looking like they are always in a rush. I have not done that in a long time since I moved to New Jersey. I grew up in the Bronx and lived in Brooklyn for over 15 years so living in New Jersey is a different lifestyle!

For the past few weeks, I have been studying and learning how to teach crochet. I am in the process of completing my homework so I can be a Certified Crochet Instructor. Isn't that cool? I have learned so much and one of the things I learned is a different way of increasing and decreasing stitches.

When I started to crochet at a young age, I never ever read a book but crochet from what everyone showed me. As I got older, I began to read books and patterns.
I am in the process of making a halter top with squares and half square motifs and I have been scratching my head on how to do a half square motif( triangle) without fastening off each row and then join yarn to the next row. Too much work and sewing to do as I am not a big fan of sewing.

In any case, as I mentioned, the home works that I need to do for my certification called for one of these triangles and it taught me not to crochet from bottom of the triangle to the top but to crochet from the top to the bottom making it very clean and edges are beautiful as shown below

Now, I can go back to trying to finish my halter top.
Because I am self taught sometimes I make it more difficult than it should be but I have to learn to allow myself to learn from other people because if I resist learning from other people, it will make my journey as a crochet designer more difficult and less enjoyable.

I will showcase my halter top shortly on my websites but you can still check out the other item at or

Stay Tuned

Monday, March 15, 2010

Crocheting Mistakes

Happy Monday!

From time to time, I will be writing on some crocheting topic as I am putting my lesson plans together to teach this spring and summer. I am a self taught crocheter and I definitely learned the hard way. I hated reading patterns when I was still learning and I still do not like patterns that are clean and easy to read. This is one of the reasons why I will like to teach others so they can learn easier and faster than I did. Today I will like at share some of the mistakes that I used to make and I am sure someone has made them or will make them.

What are some of the common mistakes made while crocheting:
Tension: For some of us Type A personality, we want it to be perfect. Absolutely perfect! As a beginner, this can create problems. Beginners tend to be very tense and hence when they stress, the muscles tighten on their shoulders, backs and neck and that trickles down to the arms and hands and changes the grip on he hook. When the tension on the hook tightens, it changes the tension on the stitches.

Not Counting Stitches:
This is a very common mistake even with intermediate crocheters. I cannot count how many times I made this mistake. But stitches MUST be counted until you are advanced crocheter.

Uneven Edges - The Turning Chain seems to create problems because beginners sometimes count them as a stitch. I used to remember when my fabric is suppose to be a square and it looks like a trapezoid.

I remember the first toy I made. I made a lot of mistakes because I was unable to increase and decrease my stitches. The pattern confused me and I was impaitent ( that is another mistake) but now I have perfected it. You can check a couple of toys left in my stores at or

Stay Tuned!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Time- Where does it all go?

My first craft show is coming up in April and I panicked about having enough products to sell. Well, I still do not have enough products but my life coach taught me a valuable lesson about calculating the amount of hours that I work on my craft and how many I produce. For example, it takes anywhere between 4- 6 hours to make a baby dress that does not include the finishing touches. Normally, I only get to spend about 10-14 hours a week on my craft because of my toddler and my full time job. She then taught me how to calculate the number of baby dresses that I can make in a week and how many I can make in month. This made me feel so much better that I
can be able to produce enough for my craft show if there are no unforeseen issues.

But as you can have it, a lot happens during the week and my production rate is down however I now know that I can make 2 baby dresses in a week instead of spending and wasting time panicking about it!:)

The baby dresses I made this week are up on my site; Check them out at or

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Everyone wants something special every once in a while so my sister insisted and nagged about custom designing a laptop sleeve for her new mac laptop. Even though I am behind schedule, I am trying to complete her request. It is a green sleeve with burnt gold borders with flowers. I just need to add the zipper. Just wanted to show you what it looks like today. When it is complete, I will post the picture.

You can check out my other accessories for iphones at or

Stay Tuned

Monday, March 8, 2010

Beautiful Sunday!

Hope everyone had a great weekend!. Even though my son and I were sick. He has an ear infection and I am as always catching his cold, we could not stay inside the house all weekend. If you live in the Tristate area, you know it has been cold and sunday was the warmest day in the past 3 months. We had to get out there and enjoy the nice Sunday weather.

We decided to head out to Imagine That! Children's museum in Florham Park, New Jersey. I had to say that he had a great time checking out the airplanes, riding on the fire trucks, hanging out at the mini post office and chatting on the phone. The best exhibits for him were the trains and we were watching the trains for over 15 minutes. It is a nice museum for children under 10. It was so funny seeing the children with their mini shopping carts and their mini supermarkets.

The museum even host birthday parties! Hello! I think this will be the birthday party location for this year. I am loving that idea at this point until the next idea pops in.

In any case, even though I have a boy, I keep crocheting girls stuff, my little man is definitely needs to wear some of my designs. So this summer I may focus on making boys wears and accessories.

In the mean time you can check out the girls wears on my site at or

Enjoy the day!

Stay Tuned!

Friday, March 5, 2010


Due to the snow storms, I am far behind my production rate for my products. My goal is to host my first craft show on April 25th. Details to be provided later but
I need to spend some time catching up so blogging will return on Monday, March 8th with new topics.

In the meantime, check out new products at or

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Titbits on Amy Solovay

Amy is the moderator of the Crochet site on and I wanted to showcase some of our crochet designers who are passionate and dedicated to our craft.

From, Amy Solovay is a freelance textile designer living in southern California. She designs for both the fashion and home furnishings industries. Although her designs have been sold through big-box retailers, artistic handcrafts have always been her greatest passion.


Amy has been crocheting since childhood. As a child, she enjoyed making clothes for her dolls.

When she was in high school, she discovered freeform crochet. As a college student, some of her freeform crochet was exhibited at a gallery.

Her love of fiber led her to pursue both a degree and a career in textile design.

Amy began her career as a print colorist. During that time, she worked with the color palettes of many of the USA’s major garment manufacturers.

She also learned how to forecast color trends. Color remains the focus of her design work, and crochet is an ideal medium for her color experiments.

She has taught many people to crochet. She has also instructed aspiring fashion designers at the college level; courses included trend forecasting and surface design.

In 1999, Amy began collecting vintage crochet patterns. Vintage crochet has influenced her pattern designs; she enjoys drawing inspiration from the past.

If you will like to read more on Amy, check out and her forum at

Stay Tuned

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Crocheting and Knitting For Charity

One of my most satisfying feeling is the opportunity to be of help to someone else.
Over the past few years, I have been able to come in contact with a few organizations that either accept yarn or crocheted items. One of my goals in the next 5 years is to be able to establish a nonprofit organization that distributes crocheted/knitted items to people in need.

YARN Donation
- When I was pregnant, I think I made only two blankets that year and had a room full of yarn so I donated my entire yarn collection to the non profit called M.A.R.Y- Many Arms Reach you. I have to say it was the most thrilling experience I had.
There are other organizations that accept yarn and some of them are:

Crochet/Knitted Items
If you will like to donate crocheted or knitted items, the links below can guide you through it.

If you will like to learn how to crochet and donate to charity, you can sign up for the summer free online class here

Believe me when I say that donating your handmade items to charity is a great experience.

Stay Tuned

Monday, March 1, 2010

An Afternoon on Broadway - FELA

This weekend has to be one of my best of 2010 and I know it is still too early but my husband and I got the chance of having a date to NYC and saw the Broadway show - FELA. I need to talk about it today. :)

Now with my African heritage, I was skeptical of the show since it was kind of strange to me how Nigerian music can be played on Broadway. But I have to tell you, I was so moved by the play and the music of Fela Kuti. It was basically a biography of Fela Kuti who was an African musician and in the 1960s, his educated parents sent him to London to study Medicine but he studied Jazz. ( Note that his brothers are medical doctors). He even got more inspired when he met a few Americans and learned a few more things about racism. In any case, he went back to Nigeria and became a political activist through his music to stop the corruption and maltreatment of nigerians by the government. His mother and members of his family were killed, he was tortured so many times BUT his music oh his music transcends all cultural barrier.
He was a multi-instrumentalist musician and composer, pioneer of afrobeat music, human rights activist, and political maverick. I am in awe of music and how folks can not just write songs but compose the music as well in any culture.
The Broadway show felt like I was in one of his concerts. He had a way of talking to the audience that pulls you into his music and energizing you to go take on the world. I loved it! Next to Crocheting, listening to music and dancing are definitely on top of my hobby list but if you ever have the chance of seeing show, please do.
You can also check out his music on itunes.

I am offering FREE Online Crocheting Classes this summer.
If you are interested or know someone who is interested,
please visit

Stay Tuned.