Saturday, August 30, 2014

Crochet Collars

My crochet collars are now available in the shop! I am so excited about these, I think they are just the cutest! You can buy them here in any color!

I love wearing mine, and I plan on making a ton for gifts this Christmas. Also, if you know how to crochet I sell the tutorial as well.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Toxic Quotes

So I'm starting something new on the blog this month. It's going be about bad quotes and signs and advertisements I see around the internet. You know, those little pictures with a feel-good quote on them that everyone and your mom repins but leaves you shaking your head in disbelief? I talked about one before in my spiel about government.

Today's gem is this:

This quote is toxic for perhaps one (huge) reason:
  1. Victim Blaming. 
Because oh my gosh because people get hurt all the time. There exists in this world workplace hierarchy. Rape. Beatings. Shootings. Bullying. Death. Fear. Sometimes these things can really effect a person. Why would we then tell that person that they somehow "gave consent" to their own "inferior feelings?" Having them change how they feel does not just magically chase away their sadness or depression.

The focus should not be on the victim. I mean, I'm all for people being encouraging and loving, but telling someone it's their fault for feeling down and inferior when they are going through a hard time or depressed is perhaps not the best idea.

Whenever I see someone posting this quote I always try to tell them how toxic and corrupt it is. Plus, there is no record of Ms. Roosevelt even uttering this.

What do you think? Good, bad, or just plain wrong? Let me know in the comments down below.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Things I Wish My Doctor Told Me About Miscarriage

There are many things you go through when you have a miscarriage. Pain. Worry. Fear. And there was very little I was told by my physician in the emergency room. Besides being given a confirmation that I was indeed losing my baby--little more was disclosed to me. As I was discharged I was informed of "how much blood was to much" and given a suggestion to wait 3-5 months before "trying again".

I know that every experience of child loss is different. But these are some things I wish my doctor had told me about miscarriage.
  • Hair loss. Just like when you give birth, the hormones from having a miscarriage can result in hair loss. Quite a lot of hair loss. When my hair started falling out about a month after my second miscarriage, I kinda freaked out. And it also happened with my third. My hair has finally begun to grow back again (took like 3 months) I was totally unaware and unprepared for this. 
  • Depression. I was severely depressed after all my miscarriages. I couldn't get out of bed and I could not stop crying. I couldn't cook and the fact that I couldn't even provide for my husband made me even more depressed. It got to the point that I wanted to cease existing. The only way I could cope was to read books nonstop and ignore life while my hormones attempted to regain whatever "normal"was. (I am okay now, don't worry!)
  • My first period after each miscarriage was very weird. Extra heavy, extra painful, early and longer then normal. I had no idea this would happen.
  • Weight gain. After all three of my miscarriages my hormones were all sorts of whack. I gained 10 pounds in two months and my diet didn't change at all. This, as you can imagine, did not help me feel better about myself. When I had my third miscarriage I made sure to exercise a little extra for the month after but I still ended up gaining some weight. 
A miscarriage is tragic and sensitive time for all those involved. If you or someone you love is going through this please pass a long this information in a kindly manner. Knowing what to expect can take away a lot of the anxiety and the foreknowledge especially helped me practice the right kind of self-care throughout my difficult time.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Maxi Dress to Skirt Tutorial

I turned this cute maxi dress into an even cuter floral skirt!

The tutorial is in video form. Enjoy!

I love altering clothes. This dress was given to me by a college friend named Blythe. Thank you Blythe!

Friday, August 22, 2014


I made another slouchy hat for a friend of mine. I love how easy these are to knit up and how amazing they look! If you want one, you can buy this hat in about any color in my shop.

I also crochet this lovely thick scarf for the oncoming fall weather. So excited about feeling a little breeze and breaking out my cardigans. This scarf is also available for purchase in my etsy shop! Both these items are made out of 100% cotton and are super soft.

I don't know what I'm making next, but I'm excited!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Lace Boot Cuffs

I created a cute little crochet boot cuff pattern! You can check out the written pattern here if you want to crochet your own, or buy a pair in any color from my etsy shop for $15.

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Monday, August 18, 2014

Thanks For Knitting Me

I've been creating knitting and crochet tutorials for almost eight months now. It's been rewarding and stressful and as you can imagine I'm head over heals in LOVE!

Today I wanted to show you things others have knit using my patterns.

PrettyPinkZebra knit my Pool Gloves. I absolutely adore the colors and yarn she chose.

100creations knit my Woodland Mitts. Her choice of yarn looks like streams or rivers!

Sandyvar knit my Geometric Gloves using three colors instead of two. I love the contrast it creates!

Also LisaCinFl knit my Wilderness Hat. Her hand-spun royal purple yarn is beyond gorgeous.

It's really rewarding to see people knit something I made. I love to see how they make it their own. Thank you to all the people who have chosen to knit my designs! Every one of you make me smile.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Purple Hair

I love lavender. Probably one of my favorite colors. I just know I'm going to wear this wig at least once a week. I absolutely can't wait until fall because wigs are in summer.

Yup. I'm in love with these wigs.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

My Favorite Coffee Shop

I've been coming to The Muse Coffee and Roastery since they opened their doors in Lynchburg, VA. First I visited as a hesitant college student with only the funds to buy a small cup of tea. Now I'm a much older, financially stable adult who loves to support local businesses with my personal money--but still I find myself drawn here.

I cannot count the ways the Muse has really been there for me through the years. Three boyfriends, two breakups--all weathered with strong cups of coffee from their roastery. I've bought an unimaginable number of shared drinks with friends as we met to swap stories of lost love, broken hearts and tentative hopes.

And, of course, let's not forget the one marriage, celebrated with Muse milkshakes after our honeymoon when love was still new and doe-eyed and we couldn't stop staring at each other over the rims of our chosen beverages, our eyes speaking of our haste to get on with the life we were starting together. Yeah, we were that couple. Two years later we still frequent here with books and pens to dream our dreams of such a life and chart it's growth.

The muse has been with me for this and so much more. From the time I announced my pregnancy to a friendly cashier, only to sadly tell her a few short weeks later that I had miscarried. She gave me a free drink and a big hug when I started to cry.

To the first year of marriage where my husband and I chose to live without internet the muse was my hub. I did all my blogging, writing and uploading within their coffee-flavored halls.

Not only a place to catch up with friends, the Muse has also provided me with a safe haven to meet for Facebook Yardsale swaps, exchanging purses or shoes over a much-sugared cup of black coffee.

In a city where there is a kids play-place and park on every corner, it's nice to have a lounge that caters to adults without all the fluff, where as an grown women I can enjoy an uninterpreted board game with my husband or a long, serious talk with a girlfriend. There aren't many establishments where the atmosphere feels as it does here. Open, relaxed, with a hint of espresso mixed in somewhere. Stress free, unbothersome--and always welcome.

Especially as an women who works at home now, I know I can come to the muse when I need a bit of socialization. I'm an extrovert and I've found the Muse customers and staff to be very chatty. Sure there are people who don't want to be bothered, but whenever I visit alone I always seem to find that other lost soul who wants a good chat.

I've even done a full photoshoot (with permission, of course) for my blog at the Muse! I asked the manager when the least busy time was and came wearing a pink wig and a lace blue dress and took pictures of myself shamelessly. It was fun.

I know that as a business many people will say those from the Muse are just doing their job. And they are. But they are doing so much more then that. There are certainly other coffee shops in and around Lynchburg, but this place is the only place where I feel like my presence is enjoyed by the staff and I feel known by them. I love this little local coffee shop and will continue to support them. Even more then serving coffee I can tell those who work at the Muse love their customers. They work hard to bring a personal touch to everything they do. And that means a lot to me.

If you are ever in the vicinity of good old Lynchburg please give them a visit! They've certainly gone above and beyond. Thank you.

And that's my favorite coffee shop.

Boot Cuffs

I created a simple boot cuff pattern. This pattern used both knitting in the round and crochet skills to create a cute boot topper for your favorite fall shoe!

Pattern is free! Download the PDF here, and don't forget to watch the Youtube tutorial as well.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Wilderness Hat

I made a new pattern! This one is for a slouchy fall knit hat. I'm in love! You can purchase this pattern here for $3.99. I plan on making a lot of these for presents this Christmas.

This pattern uses bulky thick thin yarn. You only need 120 yards to create this hat! 

All my patterns have been professionally tested and any items made using my tutorials can be sold.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Blogging Fails

I'm here today to tell you about two awkward and hilarious blogging fails I've made. In these two instances my blog has flown in unannounced and turned my personal life upside down. Now, I know I shouldn't publish anything I wouldn't mind the whole world reading--but sometimes people really take things the wrong way. And nothing you can say can make them understand that you really were not saying what they think you were saying.

Blogging Fail One:

When I lived at home with my parents in the brief months between my breakup with last boyfriend and meeting my husband I was still blogging. One day I took a bunch of photos of snow in our yard for my blog. The sun was shining, everything was frosty and frozen. It was beautiful. I titled the post "Snowy Picture Dump".

And that was when the fight started. My family was convinced beyond a doubt that I was calling their yard a dump. My mom called me when I was out with some friends demanding I take down the photos, furious that I would refer to their yard with that sort of language. I, on the other hand, was completely baffled. What was she talking about?! I would never say the yard was a dump! I was referring to the major load of pictures I'd unleashed upon the internet. A dump of pictures. As in, beware, there are a lot of pictures here.

To this day she still thinks I was trying to be insulting.

Blogging Fail Two:

Shortly after marriage, I posted a funny story on my blog where I made a your mom joke. (I bet you can see where this is going). It was awesome and I chuckled all the way through the story, knowing my readers would enjoy it as much as I. Well, unbeknown to me my mother in law had found and been reading my blog this entire time. She was immediately scandalized that I would make fun of her in this manner and one day over dinner brought it up and asked me to take it down. I believe I choked on my pie at even the mention of my blog, because I had no idea she even read it or knew of it's existence. I then attempted to explain what a your mom joke was to the utter confusion and disbelief of said mother in law. She didn't believe me.  

Both these posts that I refer to have been removed from my blog, but it just goes to show you that not everyone has the same understanding of the English language. Hah!

Have you ever made a blogging fail? What happened? Please do tell!

Stock desk photo from here.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Not Bitter

I'm not bitter over the fact that I'm struggling with infertility. There, I said it. And I feel kind of odd because a lot of the blogs I read on this subject sound so bitter. I can't report on their actual feelings, since, you know, I'm not them, but that is the general vibe I get: one of bitterness and anger.

And truly, I can understand why someone going through this might feel that way. It isn't fair when you are finally in a position where financially and emotionally and physically you are ready to become a mom and it seems like the entire universe and your own body is suddenly against you. It isn't fair or fun when everyone around you is having their second or third baby and you are still waiting for your first. And it hurts when well meaning people who don't understand or know ask you when you are going to start popping them out.

But bitterness destroys.

Truly, I hurt and grieve over my unfulfilled dreams and the miscarriages I have suffered. But I'm not bitter.

I've been bitter before. I've been so bitter I've hated myself and others. I've almost destroyed my life, and bitterness has lead to the destruction of a previous relationship I was in. When I gained some distance from that relationship and realized the state of my own heart, I resolved never to give into the lies of bitterness. Because it takes away all the happiness in my life and causes me to only focus on the one thing that I don't have, when I have so much.

The lies of bitterness tell me: I'm hurting, no sense in trying to even have a good day. Why is everyone smiling when I'm hurting so much? I hate my body, it won't do what I want. I can never be a good wife if I can't give my husband a kid. I can't do anything today because everything is worthless without kids. They have it, so I deserve it as well. If I can't have it, I'll never be happy.

Bitterness sows hate into my heart. With God, there is no room for this kind of hate. You know what, I do hurt. And that's okay. But I still have good days. And people smile because they are happy! I can still be happy too even if I don't ever become pregnant. People deserve their own happiness, they don't need to be a sad just because I am. And their joy is not a slap in my face.

If my body has a medical problem, well, that's no reason to hate it! I love my body and the way I look. I enjoy having sex with my husband and dressing up. I don't need to feel shame or guilt over the fact that I have a medical problem. Sure, I'm sad. I'll probably always mourn. But I don't hate myself. There is still beauty in my body even if it is broken.

And lastly, a life without kids is far from worthless. This is a lie society tells us--that marriage without kids is somehow sub-par. Yes, children are wonderful and amazing gifts from God. But they are not the only gift God gives, nor the greatest. God has given me so many great gifts, and I am so thankful to him. The role of marriage and kids is one that fits many people. But not every person is called to have kids. For some, life has just worked out that way and the kids come easily. But for others this is not the case and that is where grief and bitterness can come in. I don't think grief is a sign of faithlessness, but instead the collision of a good desire with a broken world. Bitterness is just a choice I am choosing not to make.

Yes, God calls us to live obediently in our brokenness, but I know his heart is aching right along with mine. And I will honor him with my desires, unmet or otherwise.

I've learned so much in the wonderful motherhood grief support meetings I've been attending in my town.  It's been a true blessing to see each woman grapple with infertility, miscarriage and child loss and to know that I am not alone. I see strength and determination in these women, along with sadness and mourning. Sometimes this road we ride is a roller coaster of emotions. The things we struggle with are hard. But you know what I don't see? Bitterness and anger.  Oh, I'm sure we've all dealt with it. But it's so amazing when we can all come together in fellowship and grieve together. I hope I can one day be there for them the way they are here for me.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Haruka Mekakucity Actors Crochet Cowl Tutorial

This is how I crochet Haruka's cowl from the anime Mekakucity Actors.

I used worsted weight cotton yarn for drape. For the main cowl, I used a 5.5 mm crochet hook, and to make the arrows I used a 4.5mm hook.

For Cowl Body:

1) Chain 22. skip first chain and hdc into every chain for 21 hdc.
2) Chain one and turn. hdc until end. (21 sts)

repeat row 2 until cowl can wrap around neck to desired thickness.

3) sew ends together to create a tube.

Crochet Arrows: (make two)

1) chain two
2) skip chain and sc 3 times into second chain from hook (3 sts)
3) chain 1 and turn. skip chain, sc 2 times into first st, 1 sc, sc 2 times into last st. (5 sts)
4) chain 1 and turn. skip chain, sc 2 times into first st, 3 sc, sc 2 times into last st. (7 sts)
5) chain 1 and turn. skip chain, 7 sc. (7 sts)
6) chain 1 and turn. skip chain, 7sc (7sts)
7) chain 1 and turn. skip chain, sc 2 times into first st, 5 sc, sc 2 times into last st. (9 sts)
8) chain 1 and turn, skip chain, 9 sc. (9 sts)
9) cut yarn pull through. it should look like this:

Now we will make the shaft for the arrow. In third stitch from edge (does not matter what edge you start from) pull up a loop.

1) 3 sc. chain one and turn

repeat row one 8 times.

Sew arrow to cowl, one on each side. Done!