Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Interview time!

 Today I would like to introduce you all to a wonderful lady who make adorable crocheted sweaters and goodies. ^_^ Meet Ruby of Trends Of Bend.

What inspires you?
~My Bible :-)
~Being outdoors, especially near rushing water
~Those rare moments when I can just sit and be quiet with a cup of tea in hand, and have no one calling for my time and attention - where I have time to just BE.

What yarn do you enjoy using?
Ack. So many choices - it's hard to pick just one or two. My favorite yarn for making newsboy caps is Premier Breeze, because of its non-fuzzy nature, and ease to crochet - as well as how lovely and supple it is for wearing. I enjoy crocheting with bamboo yarn just because it feels so wonderful. But my all-time favorite yarn from any project I've ever done, was a lovely merino wool yarn that a client chose for a custom newsboy cap. I'm afraid it completely spoiled me for ever again enjoying crocheting with "cheap" yarn. :-)

How long does it usually take you to make an item?
Are we talking on the days when I am also homeschooling my boys, attempting to keep my house clean, cooking dinner, and doing all the other things a stay-at-home mom does? *grin* I'm guessing not. Sooo... if I had nothing whatsoever to do but crochet... I could probably get a mug cozy done in an hour or two. That's my quickest project. Other things, like the infant sweaters or scarves, would probably take me several evenings of solid crocheting. Of course, that also depends on how much detail I add. But that's the fun part!

What made you start crocheting? what attracts you to it?
My mom taught me a few basics when I was very young, but I never really made anything useful. But then one winter as an adult, I got terribly sick, and was off work for nearly a month (that was during my single days). I was feeling completely useless, but didn't have much energy for doing anything. I picked up my crochet hooks more in an attempt to keep myself from going mad inside the same four walls that winter than anything else. But somehow it stuck. And now it's become one of my favorite hobbies.

What is your biggest creation to date?
Hmm... the largest incomplete project is an extra-large blanket that I started crocheting for my own living room. It keeps getting shoved aside in favor of clients' requests. :-) My largest (or most time-consuming) project that was intended for selling is a darling pink heirloom dress. It took me what felt like forever and a day, and it still hasn't sold. *lol*

what is your smallest?
Amigurumi snails

What is your personal favorite so far?
The custom merino wool newsboy cap that I mentioned above. The same client was so delighted that she ordered a Greek Fisherman's Cap for her husband and requested that I use the same type yarn - but in many colors. It turned out fabulous, and was really fun to do!

What is your creative process? how do you start creating?
Sometimes it starts with a client requesting something they can't find in stores, and I make up a pattern to help them out. Other times I just get a brilliant (or otherwise hairbrained) idea and start playing with yarn. Sometimes the end result surprises even me.

Please share any tutorials you may have...
I don't currently have anything posted online, but I am in the process of creating a PDF file for my retro tote. It had such amazing reviews that I figured other artists should have a way of replicating it. When the file is complete it will be listed on the Trends of Bend website.

What is the story behind your etsy shop? what made you start it?
I had been selling online for quite a while before opening my Etsy shop. But friends kept telling me "you need an Etsy shop!" So I opened one. But didn't even have one sale in months of posting items. I considered closing it down entirely since other avenues seemed to be more beneficial for us, but somehow never got around to officially closing it. And then I got a sale. And then another one. So I guess it will remain open for now.

What are some tips for others out there wishing to create?
Focus on the things that are fun for YOU to create. Part of the fun of creating is being able to make things original and unique. Personally, I get bored easily if I'm doing the same thing over and over again, so I made it a policy to never make the same item twice. I'll do the same basic ideas of items (for instance, the newsboy caps) but each one is unique in the styling, the detail, the buttons, or whatever else I can think up to add or make it new and fresh. Also, don't be afraid to try something new. When I first started crocheting I was attempting to follow patterns EXACTLY as they were written. Somewhere along the line I got a bit braver and tried changing something. And then I realized I could make anything I wanted. It's much more fun now. :-)

 To find these and other wonderful items by Ruby of Trends Of Bend check out her website here: http://trendsofbend.yolasite.com/
And also her Etsy shop here:  TrendOfBend

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New Items!

I've been super busy lately trying to think of some new items to add to the shop. Here's just a couple of the newest ones that I think came out super cute.

First is Puss in Boots. He was made as part of a team challenge for the NaturalKids Team, the theme was fairy tales. ^_^


Next I thought I would get a head start on the Halloween and fall crowd so I made a little scardy cat kitty and a pumpkin. ^_^ Hope you all enjoy! 

Monday, September 5, 2011

Remember When: A Tale of Growing Up

When I was a little girl, I couldn’t wait to grow up and be like my Mom, I wanted to do the things she did so badly. Everything looked fun and exciting; cooking, ironing and even washing floors looked like a blast to me. I had a little toy mop set when I was little and I used to pretend to be Cinderella and mop the whole kitchen floor, usually mopping myself into a corner and wondering how Mom did it without getting stuck in a corner herself.
Then there was Ironing, I remember watching my Mom do all the iron work and thinking to myself how fun it looked. She would show me tricks and things to do and when I got to try it, I ironed everything I could find, doll clothes, blankets, shirts, underwear, anything I could get my hands on! 
Of course there was the washing machine stage too, when Mom finally showed me how to do my own laundry. I was SO excited I washed everything in the house, dug stuff out of my closet just so I could do laundry and even went digging in storage for blankets I could wash. I know, I was a crazy kid. We didn’t need towels or anything washed for a week though! Hahaha
Now days when I have to iron, I think back to the days that I thought it was so much fun and wonder what happened! Mopping the floor isn’t nearly as fun as it was when I was 6 either and doing laundry, uhg! It’s amazing how things go from being so new and exciting to so everyday, been there done that and now it’s just a chore. I still remember those days though, when everything was so fun and exciting, when I was becoming a “big girl”, I think it’s kind of cute now.
       My sister just had a baby girl in April and I totally plan on getting her all those little things I had as a kid; the toy mop and broom and little play iron. I wonder if she’ll feel like I did when I was growing up. I think it will be fun to see. ^_^

Sunday, September 4, 2011


We live in a world were everything is so fast paced, everyone has things to do and places to be. How often do you stop and enjoy those around you, what you have and who you are? I have been thinking a lot lately about things and have just been so thankful for all I have, my family and the fact that I have a roof over my head. I think it's important to remember to be thankful for what you have, not just think of what you need.So here's a few things I am Thankful for, what are you thankful for?

I am thankful for my family and friends.
I am thankful for all my animals which bring me smiles. ^_^
I am thankful for the house I live in and the food we eat.
Most of all, I am thankful I have a loving God who has answered so many of my prayers this year.

Looking forward to hearing from my readers as well. ^_^

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Book Review Warriors 1-6 by Erin Hunter

I am a huge fan of fantasy, fairy tale and animal adventure stories. That said, when I discovered the Warriors by Erin Hunter I fell in love with the series right away. I am late to the party though, as these books have been out since about 2003-2004. Though I suppose it's good for me as I don't have to wait months for the next book to come out and I can just read them successively.

So what is this series about you ask? Cats! Wild cats and kittypets, rogue cats and dastardly ally cats, but mostly wild (clan) cats. The first series of 6 books follows a cat named Fireheart who was once a kittypet but always longed to be in the wild, catching his own prey and living the free life when he meets a couple of Clan cats that live in the forest and joins up with them. There are mysterious prophecies about how he will save them from some great danger, betrayal, murder, love, friendship, excitement and adventure galore. This series is non stop fun that keeps you reading until your eyes can barely stay open. I found it very unpredictable and totally enthralling, you feel for all of these cats and will want to see how the adventure ends.

The first book in the series is called Into The Wild and it's by Erin Hunter. I very highly recommended checking it out. And since I know once you read it you'll want to read the others in the series to see how it ends, here is a complete list of the first Warriors series:
1- Into the Wild
2- Fire and Ice
3- Forest of Secrets
4- Rising Storm
5- A Dangerous Path
6- The Darkest Hour

I would love to hear what any of my readers think of this series as well.

Happy reading!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mmmm Fall

How can anyone not love fall? It is such a pretty time of year. All the leaves turn their lovely colors, apples abound and there are berries galore. At least where I live that's how it is, maybe I'm just lucky. ^_^

When I woke up this morning there was fog everywhere and I thought with that and the trees turning their pretty colors, it was just beautiful. So I ran and grabbed my camera and snapped a couple shots to share with all of you. ^_^ I hope you enjoy.

We actually had a bad year this year for apples. There was a freak snowstorm in May which killed off most of the blossoms from our apple trees, but this new little one is actually pretty loaded this year. It's only about 3 years old, but the apples it is producing are pretty big. I think I will be making some apple bread soon and maybe another apple pie, mmmmm. ^_^

Friday, September 10, 2010

Sorry for my absence

Wow, it's been a long time since I've posted. Sorry about that. It's actually been quite a summer, and in some ways, not much of a summer at all. After my last post about the squirrel, an yes he and his little friend still come to visit, I went on vacation for a month to Chicago. That was fun, I haven't been away from home for three years so it was nice to get away. It was also VERY summery there, unlike here in Oregon, they actually get seasons. We've had a couple hot days since I've been back, but really, it's been a pretty cold and wet year. Actually, a REALLY wet year. We had the third wettest May on record and the wettest June on record. Now that it's September, the rains are returning. I'm happy because I feel like I got to have summer since I was away, but my fam who stayed home feel like summer just passed them by. Well, such is the way it goes in Northwest Oregon. I don't mind it too much, but sometimes I do wish summer lasted a little longer than our spring.

On a side note, I'm part of a wonderful group on Etsy called Natural Kids Team. It's a great bunch of folks who all make natural products for kids and families. There are so many talented people on my team and I thought I'd show off a couple of my favorites. This is just a couple mind you, I have lots of others. ^_^

First and probably my most coveted item, is this sweet little chipmunk by EvesLittleEarthlings. Isn't it just the cutest little critter you ever saw?!

Next is this super cute bunny by MuddyFeet. I have loved this bunny forever now and I so wish I could buy him. Isn't he just cuteness?!

I love wooden toys, there's just something about them that draws me. I think this forest set is just too cool, I would love to own these as well. ^_^ Made by my team's fearless leader TheEnchantedCupboard.

You must have cute little squirrlies to live in that wonderful forest, right? Here they are, made by PrettyDreamer. ^_^

Last but not least is one of my favorite needle felters. I love her style and all of her wonderful creations. She inspires me to do better and has a wonderful whimsey in her work. Meet Nushkie!

That's all for now. I hope you enjoy these wonderful items as much as I do. ^_^