The Nursery Home Office

I’m not completely at peace in my new home office, sitting on the edge of the futon, reaching to peck the keys. But at least here, I have a little space to myself. The pastel art walls might become soothing, and the seascape up on the wall may comfort me as well. The restless child, however, might have trouble adjusting to the blue glow in the corner, and some of this stuff just has to go into storage:

• The heirloom cradle, unused and outgrown.
• The giant wagon, so nice for a picnic at the park, so large and in the way for those cozy winter nights!
• The winter clothes, or summer clothes, or whatever clothes do not fit right now.
But not this bookshelf, which doubles as my desk, and not the curtains, which (in my humble opinion) make a house look more like a home and less like a rental.
I will probably take the trash out more often, and get to the girly pile of clothes when they smell. It will work.
I can tutor and type and create custom curriculum. I can virtually assist people and work on the webpage I am designing for a friend.
But this futon sitting thing—I’m not sure about that. My back is aching just from this little blog post. Oh well. For every problem, there is a solution.
Goodnight.

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Busy Money Making Mama

I haven’t been blogging much lately, because I’ve been trying to earn some money from home.  It’s been keeping me pretty busy!  Here are some things I’ve been working on:

Craft Bazaar Items:  I’m planning on at least three holiday bazaars, so I need to make a lot of things to sell.  So far I’ve crocheted Barbie dresses, drawn 1″ designs on tiles for necklaces, assembled scrabble tile necklaces, crocheted washcloths, and made greeting cards.

More crochet:  I’ve also made a couple scarves, which were both sold before I finished them.  So I should probably make more of those.  Also, I have started a lot of crochet products that just didn’t work out.  Oh, and I have been commissioned to make the cutest minnie mouse outfit (3-6 month).  I plan to make two so I can sell the other.  I’m getting paid $25 for that.

Tutoring:  I have been hired by Tutor.com to work as a tutor of English and of Microsoft Word.  I took the test to tutor Excel as well, but I was 2 questions away from meeting the qualifying score.  So I will have to take it again after I brush up on my Excel.  This will be my main job as I can work up to 30 hours a week.

Virtual Assistant:  This is the job I was most excited about and in which I was most disappointed.  It is very little pay for what you do.  The jobs are only supposed to last 15-20 minutes each, but they all take longer if you want to do a good job.  And I want to do a good job.  So far I’ve made just over $6 and I don’t know if I will be continuing.

Music:  I’ve also hung my shingle out to give beginning piano lessons and voice lessons, but so far I don’t have any students.  That’s ok.  I’m pretty busy, as you can see.

Teacher pay Teacher:  I just discovered the new product request section of teacher pay teacher.  I am very excited about this because I love creating custom curriculum.  So right now I am pumped about possible making some clipart for the digraph CH-.  I’m going to make a list of CH words.  Would you like to help?  Just comment below!

church

cheese

chicken

chick

China

chili

chimichanga

children

child

chill

bench

lunch

bunch

itch

stretch

match

pitch

 

Finished: Granny Square Cuddle Blanket

IMG_0154.JPGThe granny square blanket is finished. (Update: The picture above is from the happy couple’s home!) I like how it turned out. But there were a lot of loose yarns to weave in. It will be nice giving it to the happy couple that just got married!

It was difficult to photograph the entire blanket and show that it is square. It is the width of a queen size bed, so laid it on the bed and stood on the bed, holding my phone up to the ceiling to take a picture.

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Amazon: 3-D Printing for the Masses

So, I get these emails from Amazon Associates telling me what they’d prefer I promote. Basically, I just talk about what I feel like talking about because I don’t think I’ve earned one cent from this program yet. But here’s an unexpected perk: I’m one of the first people to hear about cool new Amazon stuff. Which in turn means that…

My readers will also be some of the first to heat about these new Amazon trends. You hear that? You are special. Well, you are. But probably not because you read my blog. Probably for other reasons. I digress.

Today’s promotion that caught my eye was: Shop Amazon 3D Printing Store – Unleash Your Creativity in 3D Style
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How cool is that? Or do you know? I wasn’t sure, so I clicked on the link to learn more. You know all of those news articles talking about 3-D printing? No? You aren’t a tech nerd, are you? Well, there are now printers that print with plastic instead of ink, and they can make anything you design. We are talking art, machines, custom orthotics, weapons, you name it. So Amazon must have a couple (hundred) of these printers and are taking orders. Custom Bobble head of me? Nah? Stocking stuffer for my brother? That’s be fun!

Here are some more ideas that you could use:

1. Cute cat food container in your puss’ favorite colors.
2. Spaghetti shaped dangle earrings for your sister.
3. A one of a kind iPod dock.
4. A spherical sculpture.
5. A beautiful bud vase.
6. A unique picture frame.
7. A new necklace.
8. A bobble head of your boss.
9. A bad-ass bookmark.
10. A sign that reads, “No Solicitation!”

WIP: Great-Granny Square Cuddle Blanket

As I’m starting to follow other crafting blogs online, I’m noticing a trend where bloggers post their works in progress (WIP) on Wednesday. These are the things you are working on right now that you are hoping to finish soon. Perhaps by Finished Friday?

Don’t confuse your WIPs with UFOs. Those un-finished objects will need some actual work done on them before the become WIPs. You know, the half finished sweater that you didn’t remember starting, the one coaster that was going to be a set of four, the half-headbands, half-scarves, and lonely granny squares. If it weren’t for Ravelry’s project page, I’d never remember where these projects were headed or what hook to use to finish them. I could write all day about my UFOs, but you don’t care. You’ll probably never see them as finished products. This (pictured below), however, should be finished today. Or tomorrow at the latest.

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It started as a baby blanket. I wanted it to be a baby blanket. But it was a little too chunky, and a little too grown-up. Then, I thought I could make it grow into a graduation gift. That didn’t really pan out either, as the intended is not a super big fan of purple. And I wanted the receiver to really like this blanket. Like, favorite blanket ‘like’ this gift.

And then I went to a wedding. It was a beautiful outdoor wedding set under a tall forest of trees and a sunny blue sky. When I saw the wedding colors, combined with the natural setting, I knew my friends would love the colors in the blanket. Wouldn’t you agree?

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But my baby/lap blanket needed to grow into a cuddle sized blanket for the new couple. Here it is so far. I just want to add a border and tuck-in and trim the edges. I can’t wait to see their faces when the open their gift!

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Midnight Ideas: A Bass and a Ball of T-Shirt Yarn

My husband and I are both creative. I’ve got two tall cabinets full of yarn and other crafting bits. He’s got a kit for building a bass (the instrument, not the fish) sitting waiting to be opened by the front door.

I think of him as more artist than me. He can draw and paint pictures that look like real things. And he loves to personalize everything. He thinks he’ll turn around and sell the bass for a profit. I’ve yet to see true creativity make a profit in our family. Sometimes we get the money back that we spent on supplies, if we are lucky. He’s already talking about abalone inlays and mother of pearl. But just because it costs money doesn’t mean we don’t do it. For people like us, creating is like breathing. When you feel like you can’t create because of money or time or space or people it suffocates you.

He loves to detail things. I think he’d pinstripe the refrigerator if I let him.

I, on the other hand, like to do more crafty things because I have more confidence in my ability. And I can make practical things with yarn that people appreciate. (I know, I know, now you want pin striping on your fridge and dishwasher. I’ll give him your number.) My clever mom and thrifty grandparents and also inspire me to upcycle. It’s difficult to throw things away because you might need them someday. But my dear husband, being neater than I, and wishing for some living space unlittered with yarn, begs me to just throw things away!

So today, when I saw several large T-shirts in the trash, I ignored them. Even though there was a lot of fabric that could be used for rags or something, I let them go. Heck! I even pealed a rotting nectarine and put the peel on top. I washed Bug’s hands and face and threw the wet paper towel right on top to discourage me from second guessing myself or my husband. Until…

Well, you see… He works nights, sometimes very late? And usually if we text each other he says things like, “Go to bed!” Or, “Get off your phone and go to sleep.” Or “You had surgery a week ago, you need to recover. Go to sleep!”

Which is true. I had my gallbladder out a week ago. I am pretty sure I was still doped up in the hospital when he asked if he could buy that bass kit. I do need sleep. I missed naptime yesterday because I had some computer business to attend to that needed to be done not near a two year old. And today I missed it because even though I laid there for 45 minutes with my eyes shut, I was too wired to sleep.

Anyway… I know he’s dying to get into that box by the door that came right after he left for work today. I texted him before I got into bed tonight asking him to please wait to opening it until he wakes up tomorrow morning because he needs rest, too. He said he would.

So I was just check in my messages on my phone before going to sleep and then I was somehow led to Pinterest. I recently started following more crochet boards, then Wham! A brilliant idea in the form of an infographic showed me this!

Pinterest had a rug made out of scrap tshirts, crocheted together. I had to try it! Which meant I had to get them out of the kitchen trash. And cut them. Fast, before the hubs gets home. Because he would say, “Let them be. Go to sleep.”

But this idea is so easy, and colorful, and bright! It makes me happy. It reminds me of grandma’s bread sack rug she kept in the kitchen and ours that we always took camping. I always wanted to make a rig like those, but my attempts failed. But I knew I could do this one! And so I grabbed those colorful shirts and a pair of scissors and I quickly Googled how to make tshirt yarn. I found a great video.

Now I’ve got a ball of tshirt yarn. I’ve cut stretched and rolled the bottom halves of four cut up shirts. I put the top halves back in the garbage to make it look like I ignored them. (I know, it’s silly!) The yarn ball is in my closet, and the fuzzies are wiped off the bed.

I really want to try this, but I’m making myself wait until morning. It just wouldn’t be fair. Of course, I was going to wait to write up this post until the morning too. But I’m just too excited. in the picture it looked like they used embroidery floss, which added a pop of color. But I’m thinking crochet thread or scrap yarn.

I’d say trash to treasure, he’d say trash to trash. I know it doesn’t matter. I shouldn’t try to hide it. I guess I kinda like being a little sneaky sometimes. Of course, today might be the first time he actually reads my blog.

Well, I’m operating on lack of sleep right now. I’ve gotta practice what I preach and hit the hay. I promise to share the rug as soon as it starts taking shape!

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