Saturday, December 31, 2011

Year End Review & 2012 Goals

2011 was a great year for my family. I'm almost sad to see it go, but I am elated thinking about what could be in store for 2012.

I just went back and read two posts from the end of last year. This one discussed 2010 and what we had in store in 2011... & this one talked about my goals for 2011. Although not everything went exactly as planned, everything worked out very well!

Year End Review:
*Crochet: I've been loving the posts I've seen showcasing finished crafts from the past year, but unfortunately I'm out of town and I didn't bring my computer, so I don't have my pictures... However, I'm proud to estimate that I've made around 100 hats in the past year!!!!!!! I've made an array of other things, from baby blankets, to amigurumi, to bracelets, to ereader covers! I've tried to make a variety of things to offer for sale on my Facebook page, and I love experimenting with new patterns. I have even started writing some of my own patterns!
*Business: I orginally started trying to sell on Etsy... While I still have things for sale, it didn't take off the way I had hoped... In fact, I haven't sold a single thing. Not long after starting my Etsy site, I began my Facebook page, 4Hankins Crochet. It was very important to me that I make some money and buy something for my husband. I am not used to this whole SAHM thing! While I LOOOOOOVE it, I want to contribute to our finances, and when I buy my husband gifts, I want to earn the money for them myself. I decided to buy him a Playstation 3 last Valentine's Day, and I had made enough to pay for half of it myself! Recently I recorded a "How to Crochet" class, which is for sale on DVD (and I will post a link to that later). I made enough money off of that to buy him an iPod Touch and a few other Christmas presents!
*Sewing: I learned how to sew! I learned in middle school, but I have never been very girly. I swore the day would never come that I began to sew!! I finally broke down and learned, because I started wanting so many handmade things for my daughter, and I didn't want to take up ALL of my sister's time, lol. I have made my daughter 2 or 3 dresses and a shopping cart cover now! I had a friend help out A LOT with the shopping cart cover, but I can't believe I accomplished it!
*House: Our big amazing purchase last year was a new car... Oh, how excited I was! My newest car had been a 2001, but before that I was driving a 1989... I felt like I took a big step up in the world when my husband and I bought a 2010 Malibu! I love that car and it still smells as new as it did the day we got it!!! This year, we one-upped ourselves! We bought a HOUSE!!! I keep joking that in 2009, my husband bought my diamond ring. In 2010, he bought me a car. In 2011, he bought me a HOUSE! What in the world could 2012 bring!?!?! ;) I digress... Our house is amazing. We don't plan to stay in WA much longer (although we have no idea how long we'll be there), but we were so tired of living in an apartment. We really wanted a house of our own. We lucked out and found an amazing deal on a brand new house, and it's ALL OURS!
*Education: I finished my Master's degree in Mathematics Education in March. I'm not planning on going back to work until 2014, maybe sooner if we don't end up having a third child.
*Family: On March 25th, my daughter was born. That is most definitely the best thing that happened in 2011!

2012 Goals:
*Crochet: I want to continue expanding my knowledge of crochet and master more crochet skills. I want to learn more about writing patterns, and I want to finally crochet a full size afghan.
*Knit: I'd like to learn to knit... We'll just have to see how that goes! I enjoy the instant gratification I get when I'm able to crochet a hat in a couple of hours, so trying to teach myself to knit might require a little too much patience.
*Sewing: I would like to make my daughter a few more dresses and learn more about reading and following patterns. I have a pretty good friend in WA who is good at sewing, so hopefully we will just have some girls' days that we can sit and sew on!
*Scrapbooking: I have got to catch up on my scrapbooking. I have got to catch up on my scrapbooking. I have got to catch up on my scrapbooking.
*Business: I'd like to expand my business into writing and selling more patterns, and making less. I am making some changes to my store, along with price increases, but I would definitely like to start selling more patterns. I've sold one so far.... Sometimes the amount of items I need to make and ship out interferes with my other household duties and the time I get to spend with my kids. I want to get faster, but at the same time, I sort of want to make less for other people and more for our house and family. I'd like to increase my fan base on Facebook and start participating in blog hops here. I love getting ideas and inspiration from other blogs, and I think it'd be nice to start communicating with people via Blogger, since the Army life makes it difficult to have really close friendships.
*Family: I want to spend more time with my kids. I want each of them to get more one-on-one time with me, and I want to spend more time just being playful and fun with them, and I want to do more crafts with them... I just want to see them smile more than ever before. When it comes to my marriage, I am always growing and learning and I want to continue that. I have learned a lot since August 14, 2010 and I want to continue learning and genuinely striving to make my husband a happy man.
*Education: I want to teach myself new things, and I want to start exercising my brain on a regular basis. I'd like to learn more about photography and editing, and maybe even find a short photography class to take. I would also like to learn about html or whatever I need to learn in order to make my blog cuter, lol! I want to start reading again; I may even set a goal of one book a month. I want to stop making excuses for not having time to read, and just sit down and enjoy a book!
*Exercising: I am going to exercise 5 days a week -PERIOD-
*Cooking: I used to try at least two new recipes every week, but I stopped when I had my daughter... 9 months later, I think it's time to start doing that again. I have too many cookbooks and too many ideas saved on Pinterest not to!
*Organizing: I need to get better organized, both physically and mentally. I used to be a person of lists, and I need to start that again. I am too forgetful not to be! I have already started making a list of things (more like a schedule) that will make up our daily routine and a list of things we would like to buy for/do to our house (both out of necessity and just for decorating). I think this will help me actually get things done, because I'll have those tasks in writing to remind me and check off as I complete them! We left for vacation less than two weeks after moving into our house, so I still have unpacking and actual organizing to do when we get back as well.
*Spiritual: I want to reach more into my spiritual side. I hope that we are able to find a church that we can agree on in our new city, and I would like to start reading the bible everyday. I have a daily devotional that I actually got last Christmas that I have (shamefully) never even opened. It's time to open it and start my day with something that REALLY matters (sorry, Facebook!). With this, I also want to bring out my GIVING side. I want to start donating more, so I'm going to use my business this month and begin with this family. They are AMAZING... and my next post will be solely about them.

Well... I know this has been quite a long post, and it's absolutely BEAUTIFUL outside, so I'm going to go outside with my sister, my niece, and my son and enjoy this seasonally inappropriate weather.

Happy New Year! I hope 2012 brings you much love and happiness!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

*FREE PATTERN* Kindle & Nook Cover!!


Materials:
Worsted weight yarn (I used 100% cotton)
H hook
Needle for weaving ends

Stitches used:
Chain, sc, hdc

For all three:
STOP for Kindle Fire!
Chain 19.
3 sc in the 2nd chain from the hook.
Sc in each ch across to the end. Work 3 sc in the last chain. Working in the opposite side of the chain, sc across. Join with slst in the 1st sc.
Chain 1. Work 2 sc in the first st, 1 sc in next st, 2 sc in next st. Sc in the next 16 sts. Work 2 sc in next st, 1 sc in next st, 2 sc in next st. Join with slst in the 1st sc.
Chain 1. Sc in each stitch around.
Repeat 25 times (for a total of 28 rounds).
STOP for Nook eReader!

For Kindle Fire & Nook Tablet:
Repeat 4 more times (for a total of 32 rounds).

For Nook Tablet:
Repeat 4 more times (for a total of 36 rounds).
STOP for Nook Tablet!

Stop here if you just want to be able to slide your device in and out of the case. Continue if you’d like a flap that folds over the top to keep it from sliding out.
For the flap, we’ll work in rows instead of rounds. You’ll need to start at one of the ends, so if you’re in the middle somewhere, just work a slip stitch in each stitch until you get to one of the ends.
Flap:
Chain 1. Work 1 hdc in the first st and in the next 16 sts.
Chain 1, turn. Work 1 hdc in each st across.
Repeat 4 more times (or until you reach your desired length for the flap, when your device is inside.)

For the buttons: Fold the flap over with the device inside and decide where you’d like your buttons to be. They’ll need to be small enough to slide through the hdc’s. Make sure they are small enough and then sew them on!

Our trip to Texas!

We just spent 5 days in Texas seeing my husband's family. It was great going to a new state and meeting in-laws that I hadn't yet met!

 The kids finally got to see Santa, and I finally got pictures of them with Santa!
 While we were eating lunch one day, I couldn't resist these cute little feet!
 My 4 year old has decided that he wants to be a paleontologist when he grows up! He makes me so proud every day... He can tell you all about fossils and dinosaurs!
 We saw several beautiful sunsets!
 The kids got to meet their grandfather for the first time, and my husband got to see his dad for the first time in several years. It was a really special trip!
We often see mountaintops when we're flying... The Rockies were breathtaking! I just love me some beautiful scenery!

I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday! I will post pictures soon from Christmas Day and Eve and our trip to Virginia. I'll also be posting a free pattern for the Kindle Fire, after I check to see if it will fit a Nook Tablet. In a few days, I'm going to make a pattern for the new Nook simple eReader, so stay tuned!

Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 16, 2011

FLASH GIVEAWAY!

Tis the season!! I have been reading about a lot of kind acts lately so I wanted to do something myself... I will give away a hat to one lucky person, which will be mailed out by Monday. You can choose a regular beanie (with or without earflaps) or a Santa-style hat (similar to the one below).

The hat will be size 6mo-2yrs and it will be red/white/green.


To enter, just leave a comment below with this information:

1. You name (as it appears on Facebook):
2. Your email address:
3. Beanie or Santa hat? (If beanie, with or without earflaps?)
4. What is the best gift you're GIVING this year?

Extra entries: 1) "Share" the post on Facebook that got you here. No need to tell me; I will be notified of who shares it. 2) Send a friend... If your friend becomes a new fan of my Facebook page, have them leave a comment on my wall that YOU sent them.

You MUST be a fan of 4Hankins Crochet to win. You will be emailed as soon as I choose the winner and I will need you to respond BY noon on Sunday for me to be able to mail it Monday. I'm going to be traveling a lot next week, so if I do not get your address before I leave, I cannot guarantee the hat will be delivered before Christmas.
Winner will be selected at midnight EST Saturday 12/17.

Good luck & Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas Joys :) Oh, & a pattern sale!

It's been busy here in Washington.
My husband and I just bought our very first house.


I just love it! The amount of space is incredible!
And to top it off, I have a beautiful view on clear days.



& just around the corner, there's this amazing view of Mt. Rainier... No matter how often I see it, it takes my breath away every time. I wish I could have gotten a better picture (this is from my phone) of what it looked like today, with the way the clouds were sitting around it. Simply beautiful!


My kids just had their Christmas pictures done with the amazing Jennifer Magee!
I couldn't be more pleased with how they turned out or the simple fact that she got them back to me so quickly! Considering my daughter is the most uncooperative baby ever when a camera is produced, Jennifer did a fantastic job.




Sometimes the unplanned moments take the cake. Comforting my daughter & TRYING to get her to smile turned into the best picture of them all.


Because we are about to spend three weeks visiting family (my husband's in Texas, mine in Virginia), Santa Claus came early.


But unfortunately, my son likes to be early, too... So this is what we woke up to:


& just because I know it will put a smile on your face, I'll share the next two with you. 1.) My daughter plotting to use all of her new toys to take over the world. 2.) My daughter enjoying her nice little play area, courtesy of the man in red.



Now, on to the other exciting stuff. I've added a few more patterns to my Etsy shop. Because I'm so excited about how these pictures from Jennifer Magee Photography turned out, I'm going to make the Santa Baby patterns Buy One, Get One FREE! Just purchase either the Leg Warmers or the Santa Hat, and I'll send you BOTH patterns, so you can make the set for the price of only one pattern! (Sale ends Sunday, December 18, 2011.)



Last but not least, this is why my husband calls it "torture" when I take my kids to get their pictures done. She gets so hysterical that she just can't stop crying, and she ends up laughing and crying at the same time. I find it quite hilarious. ;)

Friday, December 2, 2011

iPod Case *FREE pattern*


ch 13. 3sc in 2nd ch from hook. sc in next 10 sts. 3sc in last st. (working in opp side of ch) sc in next 10 sts. slst in 1st sc.
ch1, sc around. join w/ slst in 1st sc.
repeat last round 17 times for a total of 19 rnds.
[to achieve the look above, change color every 6 rnds]
do not fasten off.
slst in next 23 sts (to center of back)
ch11 (you'll need to hold your button on the front & make sure the ch isn't too long or too short. you may need to add or remove chs)
slst in next st (directly after the last st you slst in)
sl st in next 2, fasten off.

attach button on front in center of 19th row.



Enjoy! If you choose to make this pattern, you may sell your finished product.
** Please give me credit for my pattern. Do NOT claim my pictures or my pattern as your own.**