Friday, January 23, 2009

Happy Birthday!

This is going to be short....I just want to say that my BABY is 2 today!! I can't believe that she is 2 already...where has the time gone??

Anyway, Happy Birthday MCKENZIE GRACE PAYNE you are so loved and just a wonderful blessing to all of us! WE love you!!!

Here are just a few pics of how you have changed over the past 2 years....

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Wake Up Call

I posted this on my other blog...but wanted to share on this one too...I thought it was rather funny!

We have teenagers, and a security system...that they do not have the code for. You do the math. My husband Kelley set the alarm last night as he does every night, not realizing that I did not have to be up at my normal 6am. In which I normally disarm at that time so the kids can go to school. Well, this morning as I am snuggled down in my bed, I am awaken by this horrendous shrill scream! Automatically I realized that the alarm was going crazy...then I realized that Alexis (12yo) was screaming over and over again because she didn't know that the alarm was set. She came running up the stairs screaming at the top of her lungs...hysterically, I might add. I ran down the steps and disarmed the alarm and then sat on the steps and laughed until I cried.
I'm not sure anyone else thought it was as funny as I did.....but that's why I'm the mom!!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Free Moccason Pattern

Knitted Moccasin Slippers

by Sue Norrad

These knitted slippers look small when they are not on a foot, so I took a picture of a slipper being worn. They are naturally stretchy.

The pattern provides instructions for small, medium and large sizes, but you can also adjust the pattern further to accomodate other sizes.

We also have a pattern for Crocheted Moccasin Slippers, again in a variety of sizes.


Yarn: Use two strands of 4 ply worsted weight yarn. I'm not sure how much it takes as I bought 170 g skeins and had plenty of yarn leftover. I knit these slippers in two colors. Black for the sole and light blue for the rest of the slipper. You can make them all one color if you want.
Needles: Two 5mm needles. I used circular needles as I find them easier to work with. I used them the same way I would use the two long 5mm needles. But if you prefer using the two long needles, by all means do so.

SIZE: These will fit a foot of 9 1/2 inches. For every 1/2 inch larger add 4 stitches when you cast on. For every 1/2 inch smaller subtract 4 stitches when you cast on. I will have notes in blue on the pattern for where to add or subtract stitches for the different sizes. It will be listed as (S, L) - meaning Small size which is 1/2 inch smaller and L meaning 1/2 inch larger. For even smaller and larger sizes, just add or subtract sts from those sizes.

Please note: I have not tried to make these in different sizes. I am only going by my gauge, I think it should work out.

knit-moccasins2 (12K) Gauge: 4 sts = 1 inch

Abbreviations used:

st - Stitch
K - Knit
P - Purl
K2tog - Knit 2 stitches together
P2tog - Purl 2 stitches together
inc st - Increase stitch. (I did my increases by picking up a loop between the stitches and putting it on my left needle, then knitting it.)

This pattern is worked in rows. When completed you will sew up the sole and the back of heel seam.

Important: The slippers are folded in half lengthwise when you are finished, so that is why the sole seems big at the start. Just continue working the pattern and when you get to the "Sides and Top", you will notice it taking shape and see where you sew the bottom seam and back of heel seam.

SOLE Of the Slipper:
Working with two strands of yarn held together, Cast on 52 sts. (48, 56)
Rows 1, 2 - K
Row 3 - K1, inc. st, K24 (22, 26), inc. st, K2, inc. st., K24 (22, 26), inc. st, K1 - (56 sts) (52, 60)
Rows 4, 5 - K
Row 6 - K1, inc. st, K26 (24, 28), inc st, K2, inc st, K26 (24, 28), inc st, K1 - (60 sts) (56, 64)
Rows 7, 8 - K
Row 9 - K1, inc st, K28 (26, 30), inc st, K2, inc st, K28 (26, 30), inc st, K1 - (64 sts) (60, 68)
Rows 10, 11 - K
Row 12 - K1, inc st, K30 (28, 32), inc st, K2, inc st, K30 (28, 32), inc st, K1 - (68 sts) (64, 72)
Row 13 - K33 (29, 37), inc st, K2, inc st, K33 (29, 37) - (70 sts) (66, 74)

SIDES and TOP of the slipper:
Change colors here if you are using two colors.
Rows 14, 15, 16, 17 - K
Row 18 - K31 (29, 33), K2tog, K4, K2tog , K31 (29, 33) - (68 sts) (64, 72)
Row 19 - K30 (28, 32), K2tog, P4, K2tog, K30 (28, 32) - (66 sts) (62, 70)
Row 20 - K28 (26, 30), K2tog, K6, K2tog, K28 (26, 30) - (64 sts) (60, 68)
Row 21 - K27 (25, 29), K2tog, P6, K2tog, K27 (25, 29) - (62 sts) (58, 66)
Row 22 - K25 (23, 27), K2tog, K8, K2tog, K25 (23, 27) - (60 sts) (56, 64)
Row 23 - K24 (22, 26), K2tog, P8, K2tog, K24 (22, 26) - (58 sts) (54, 62)
Row 24 - K22 (20, 24), K2tog, K10, K2tog, K22 (20, 24) - (56 sts) (52, 60)
Row 25 - K21 (19, 23), K2tog, P10, K2tog, K21 (19, 23) - (54 sts) (50, 58)
Row 26 - K19 (17, 21), K2tog, K12, K2tog, K19 (17, 21) - (52 sts) (48, 56)
Row 27 - K18 (16, 20), K2tog, P12, K2tog, K18 (16, 20) - (50 sts) (46, 54)
Row 28 - K17 (15, 19), K2tog, K12, K2tog, K17 (15, 19) - (48 sts) (44, 52)
Row 29 - K16 (14, 18), K2tog, P12, K2tog, K16 (14, 18) - (46 sts) (42, 50)
Row 30 - K1, K2tog, K12 (10, 14), K2tog, K5, K2tog, K5, K2tog, K12 (10, 14), K2tog, K1 - (41 sts) (37, 45)
Row 31 - K13 (11, 15), K2tog, K11, K2tog, K13 (11, 15) - (39 sts) (35, 43)
Cast off. Sew up seams.

Contributed by Sue's Crochet and Knitting site, which offers Free Crochet and Knit Patterns, a Craft Discussion Board, Craft Supplies and much more.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

How To Take Great Auction Listing Photos

As a designer I put so much time into the detail of my creations and just assume the outfit will sell itself. NOT TRUE! I came across this article some time back and I have implemented these techniques when taking photos of my designs. Let me say I have noticed a big difference with my listings.
For more great tips be sure to check out:

The difference between a sale or a flop, a high bid or a low bid, hinges on a great auction photo. Don't lose dollars by taking bad auction photos. You don't have to be a pro with a studio, or even have a high-end camera, to take dazzling auction photos. Here are the secrets to successful auction photography.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: About a half-hour to and hour to set up and shoot

Here's How:

  1. Prepare the product. No buyer wants to bid on dirty china or toys. Clean the item, if possible, and make it presentable for the photos. Even older, antique items can probably be dusted off with a soft cloth. Do what you can to make the item itself look great, or every other step here won't matter.
  2. Find a backdrop for the item. The last the you want to do is take a picture with a bunch of junk cluttering the background and distracting the eye. It is a real turn-off to buyers. You don't need to get elaborate. Use a sheet or a piece of fabric. A visit to the local fabric store could yield a few great backdrops. Look for contrast. For lighter-colored items, a black backdrop works best, and vice versa for dark objects.
  3. Find a place to set the objects, be it a table, chair or even the floor. You want a place that is easy to get to on eye level. You also want to find a place that is stable and will not cause the item to move or tilt.
  4. Use available light. While most cameras come with a flash, that can wash out the image while casting unpleasant shadows on the background. Soft outdoor lighting works well if the sun isn't so bright it casts shadows. You can also set lamps around the item, although you do not want to point light directly at the item. You are looking to make the item well-let without obvious shadows.
  5. Get close. Don't be shy. You want to fill the frame with the object as much as possible. Bidders want to really see what they are buying. Be sure your item is also level in the frame (not tilted one way or the other).
  6. Give perspective. If size is relevant to your item, be sure the photo demonstrates this. There are a few ways to do this. If it's a small item like jewelry, place a penny or a dime next to it. For larger items, you can even use a ruler or yardstick. Just look for something simple that won't detract too much from the item itself.
  7. Try different angles. Shoot it from above, straight-on, profile, below or slightly on an angle. Don't be afraid to take several pictures. After all, you can delete ones you don't like. You may realize your items looks best when viewed from the side.
  8. Take pictures of different parts of the product. If it's a book, open it to the title page or shoot the back. If it is china, take a photo of the inscription on the back. Since your buyers can hold the item and move it around, do that job for them.
  9. Edit the photo. There are numerous photo editing software programs out there, and odds are your camera came with one. Even simply lightening a photo can make a huge difference. You can also play with other editing features. Be sure you save a copy of the original before editing, however. Also be careful not to alter the image to a point that is misleading to buyers.
  10. Use multiple shots. Pick one main overall shot of the item, but also use a couple other detailed shots to assist buyers. Use two of the different perspective shots. The more buyers can see, the more likely they are to make an informed decision to bid.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Free Sewing Pattern

I came across this pattern and thought I would share. I will try and post new patterns weekly or any other cool craft I come across!

How to make a Placemat Purse

Finished Placemat Purse

Handbags are hot! With just a little effort and imagination, you can create a one-of-a-kind, portable work of art.

Transform a basic household placemat from a flat, two-dimensional table covering to a hip and imaginative fashion accessory. The wonderful thing about placemat purses is the sheer variety of materials available: ribbed cotton, vinyl, tapestry, microfiber, straw, faux leather, brocade, novelty weaves and more. Oval, rectangular and octagonal shapes create an instant variety of purse shapes to choose from.

You will need:
  • 1 Fabric Placemat
  • 1/2 yard of Lightweight Fabric for Lining
  • 1/2 yard of Fusible Craft Interfacing (optional)
  • Pair of Handbag Handles (wood, plastic, leather, etc.)
Step 1: If the placemat requires a bit more body, cut fusible interfacing to the size of the placemat, less 1/2 ” all around. Center the interfacing over the wrong side of the placemat and fuse, following manufacturer’s directions.
TIP: If you want to add even more personality, you can embellish the placemat with appliqu├ęs, beads, embroidery or rhinestones. If you are sewing on your embellishments, the best time to do this is before attaching the lining, so all any stitching on the wrong side of the placemat will be covered by the lining.
Step 2: For handle tabs, cut four pieces of lining fabric, each measuring 3” long by 1 1/2” wide. Fold each piece in thirds, lengthwise; adjust the final width of the tabs to fit through handle rings. Stitch lengthwise through all thicknesses down the center of each tab.
Step 3: Slip a tab through each handle ring; with raw edges of the tabs even, stitch across the tabs 1/2” from raw edges.
Step 4: Center each handle along the short sides of the placemat, with tabs against the wrong side of the placemat. Place tabs so that raw edges extend 1/2” in from edge of placemat. Stitch across tabs to attach them to placemat. Stitch again to reinforce.
Step 5: Cut lining fabric to the size of the placemat. Turn under 1/4” on all sides of the lining, and press in place.
TIP: To add a handy inside pocket or two, cut pocket(s) from the lining fabric, approximately 5” X 5” square. Turn under 1/2” on each side, and top stitch in place. Position the pocket on the right side of the lining as desired; sew along the sides and bottom of the pocket.
Step 6: Position the lining, right side up, over the wrong side of the placemat and covering extended edges of tabs. Stitch the lining to the placemat along all edges, close to the pressed edge of the lining. You can use either machine stitching or invisible hand stitches, depending on your preference.
Step 7 - to Create a Purse with Squared-Off Corners: Fold placemat in half, with right sides together. Sew sides with a 5/8” seam allowance. To create the width at the bottom of the purse, flatten the bottom corners, centering the side seams. Turn handbag right-side-out, and you’re ready to go!
Step 7 - to Create a Flat Purse with Pre-Bound Edges: For this style, use a placemat with pre-bound, finished edges. Fold placemat in half, with wrong sides together. Sew sides with a 1/2” to 5/8” seam allowance, depending on the width of the placemat binding, so that stitching is at the inner edge of the binding.
TIP: If desired, finish the purse with a closure of Velcro, a button and tab loop or handbag snap.

Monday, January 12, 2009

FREE admissision to Disney on your Birthday!

I just saw this article, that if you visit a Walt Disney World theme park on your BIRTHDAY in 2009 you get free admission!!! Check out the complete story!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Time to Start blogging!!!

It's no big secret that I haven't exactly been keeping up with this blog. I had been going back and forth with the idea of just using my personal blog in place of this one or continuing with this one as well. As you can guess I decided to juggle both wish me luck! I am going to be brief today but hopefully as I get acclimated to my new life schedule I will be able to do this blog and you....the Groupies ...just!!

I would like to take a moment to announce The Giggle Girls upcoming launch!
This should be a fun launch for the Giggle Girls....but hope you buyers enjoy it at well!!

Jan. 12th will be the start of our first launch for the 2009 schedule.
Be sure to check it out!!!!

Jan. 12-31st
"Clowning around with The Giggle Girls"
Search GGDB
for great items!