Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Crochet "Frozen" Inspired Elsa Snow Queen Hat

This hat is inspired by the character, Elsa, from Disney's hit movie, "Frozen".  I really wanted to create a true-to-design hat that resembles Elsa's "Snow Queen" hair in the last half of the movie.  The trouble was that no matter how hard I tried, I could not achieve the desired results. After hours and hours of working and reworking, I decided such a design is nearly impossible using such a medium as yarn.  The hat would be way too heavy and bulky.

Also, as my movie critic husband noted, Elsa's hair is not as recognizable as my other Frozen-themed hat designs--meaning people are less likely to know specifically which character the hat represents unless it is also paired with other elements such as Elsa's "Snow Queen" dress.  To most, the hair hat alone would simply look like a yarn wig.  He had a point...

Instead, I decided to go a different route while still differing from most crochet Elsa hat designs I've seen out there. As you can see, the side braid is similar to that in the movie.  Although I was disappointed in my inability to recreate the wild tendrils atop her head and her loose, flowing french braid, I was able to add a pewter-blue sparkly crown with one blue gem bead sewn into the center, two mirror snowflakes and a head band.  Then I added the small snowflake buttons sporadically throughout the braid.  I think those finishing elements make it less one-dimensional and add a bit of flair.

If you are interested in asking me to make this hat for you, please feel free to visit my Etsy shop.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

My Crochet Journey - Taking Chances

I was crocheting last night until 1 a.m.  I was on a roll and couldn't stop.  Yes, "My name is Becky, and I'm a crochet addict."  Most likely, I would have continued further on into the wee hours of the morning--that is if I hadn't needed to wake at 6 a.m. for work today.

Folding and neatly packaging three completed projects to prepare for shipping the next day, I felt so accomplished.  Though my eyes and hands were tired, a fulfilling sense of satisfaction swept over me.  There is something about being able to see the physical evidence of your hard work that makes a person feel good about what they do.

It may seem insignificant to some, but to me, crocheting is a necessity.  Not only is it a wonderful creative outlet, but it is a much-needed stress relief.  When I sit down at night after a busy workday and having kissed the kids goodnight, my yarn and hook take my focus from my everyday, worldly problems.  It's just me, my yarn and my thoughts; and this is good.  Who needs therapy when a few hours of playing with yarn does the trick?

There's something more about crocheting that feels much like performing a humanitarian service.  To see the smiles on the faces of those who have received my handmade creations--that is the true reward.  Putting my love into each stitch while imagining their reaction--that is an amazing anticipation.  Spreading happiness in any shape or form never goes out of style.

In the past, I have crocheted mainly for family and close friends for the pure purpose of gift-giving.  I didn't have time then to make it a business.  Now that I've opened an Etsy shop, I feel equally satisfied as always about crocheting.  Even though now I receive payment for most of my crochet creations, happy thoughts still evoke.  In my mind, I picture those smiles painted across the faces of the customers and children for whom I have crocheted all over the United States, and this makes me happy.

My heart is filled to the brim with gratitude for all who encouraged me to begin selling my crochet creations.  Through the years, my husband and friends urged me to sell my work; but there never seemed to be enough energy or hours in the day.  It wasn't until recently that I have felt comfortable enough, brave enough and as though there is enough time to devote to an entrepreneurship.  Since I opened my Etsy shop, it has been a whirlwind of sales activity, and I am loving every minute of it. My creative juices are flowing, I'm making new connections and I am so thankful for having taken the leap into this new venture.

Who knows what the future holds--more inspiration, more chance-taking, more opportunities...  The possibilities are endless.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Crochet Skull & Crossbones Baby Sandals

I liken my crochet projects (or "experiments", I should say) to many times in life, when a person must break free of his/her comfort zone.  Last week, this happened to me, and I am so grateful for the experience.  I was brave enough to tackle a new project and create something completely unique and different than I've ever done before.

A friend/customer requested that I crochet her toddler daughter sandals that she could wear around the house with socks (as slippers, I suppose).  She wanted black, strapped sandals with enclosed toes and a button at the ankle in size 4T.  I had never made baby sandals before but had made booties, so I quickly agreed.  Furthermore, I had never made toddler-sized booties/slippers that had to fit exactly. However, I was confident that I would figure out how to make these sandals.  Knowing a bit about her husband's and her personalities, I added one more self-challenge to the project and suggested a skull & crossbones applique for the toes.  As predicted, she happily agreed.  And so I set off to create...

The sandals were not terribly difficult to crochet and assemble, but they were challenging only because it was my first time.  With the aid of my trusty shoe-sizing tool (thanks to my mother-in-law for that lovely gift!), I ensured the sizing was correct.  Then came the straps placement and ensuring the correct length.  After hours of maneuvering, unraveling stitches and starting over to get them just right, the sandals were finished.

Then came the skull & crossbones applique...  It was surprisingly easy to create with thin-gauged yarn and a smaller-sized crochet hook.  After sewing them onto the sandal toes, I realized there was something missing.  They needed a little extra element to make them "pop".  Of course!  Hot pink, girly bows would do the trick!

Also, to make them safe for toddler feet walking on hard floors, I was sure to add no-slip grippies to the soles.  I just happened to have hot pink, glow-in-the-dark puffy paint in my craft supply.  What a convenient coincidence!  I didn't take a photo of that part, however, but just imagine the soles of the sandals with small polka-dots of hot pink.

As soon as the sandals were finished, I sent my friend/customer photos.  I was a bit nervous that maybe they wouldn't exactly fit her vision, especially since my suggestion of the skull & crossbones applique.  What a relief when she responded that she LOVES them!

I am so happy that she's happy and am also thankful for having the courage to step outside my warm, cozy box of a comfort zone.  I've been doing a lot more of it lately and urge others to try it too. It's invigorating!

You'll never know what you are capable of accomplishing unless you decide to try!

PS:  These sandals are now available in my Etsy shop not only in sandal form but Mary Jane style booties if preferred.