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Crochet Planning Worksheets

The past several weeks have passed in a blur of activity. I really feel this Lord of the Rings meme is accurate because I want to say…

LOTR meme

This is really how I usually feel around this time of year. Christmas is looming, and those of us who have small retail businesses are run right off our feet.

Thanksgiving means family gatherings and creating good food–tons of good food. The past four years have seen an influx of people to my home as my brother and his family come down to visit, and my college-age daughter’s friends come to stay for the weekend (they are too far away to go home for the weekend). Toss in Black Friday, managing an Etsy shop with after-Thanksgiving sales, cold weather, house cleaning, and cooking for everyone and life just gets really busy and really interesting.

Who am I kidding? It’s not just me — we are all run off our feet with time commitments: school, church, family, friends, decorating, grocery shopping, gift buying. I have to work hard at staying organized; I have forgotten about people during Christmas: family, small children in my home, {gasp!} my dear daughter. It was awful! I stayed up until after 3 AM sewing and beading a small denim dress for her “Santa gift” and scrounging through my stash of cool mini-gifts that I kept at the time. I decided then-and-there that I will never again forget anyone — and then I did it again. Twice. So now I work really hard to make lists, and I make sure my family sends me emails with their gift lists.

This year is no different. I am procrastinating instead of getting the housework  (or anything) done. Instead, I’m thinking of post-Thanksgiving when I will get to sit around and crochet. I’m also thinking about how some of you may be just like me. So, I created a couple of organizers to help you keep your crochet organized. These worksheets are my Christmas gift to you. They are yours free when you join my email list. If you are already a member don’t worry about it, they are coming to you in the next newsletter!

Crochet Planning Worksheets for you

The first one helps you figure out if you have enough yarn in your stash for your next project. The second one helps you create a shopping list for what you still need to buy after shopping your stash.

I finally put down on paper what I do when I plan an afghan using my stash yarn! I wish I had started doing this years ago. This worksheet will be an incredible help as you plan out your future projects.

Talk to you later,

Karen

 

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Vacation time

This time of year I take some vacation time to enjoy my family and spend time not connected to a laptop or a project.  I am pretty close to burn out by this time of year and it helps me to spend time with family. We tend to pull in pretty tight as a family unit this time of year. October and November are increasing in intensity and then add in the Christmas season, it is pretty overwhelming.

Vacation time

I have completed the bi-annual gifts for the dogs. I sewed new dog beds up for them. The one photographed above was created for Sebastian, our son and daughter in law’s dog. He is a little smaller than ours and fits quite nicely in his new bed.  Vacation time

It needs some paint but I liked the fact that it was printed with the bulb brand on the front so I left it.

Vacation time

Our dogs loved the new bed as well. Here they are testing the finished product.

My kitchen has been in a semi-useful state the past couple of days as we were changing out the lighting. The old fluorescent fixtures needed changing out as the ballasts were bad and half of the bulbs bad. Here is a photo in a half done state. Vacation time

Removing the ceiling texture is next on our list. It is looking much brighter and I think the LED lights will save us some money.  I was worried that the construction would put me behind on Christmas cooking and baking but I think it will be ok. I worked on some other things that needed to be done. This Christmas is just family and the kids are here to pitch in and help.

We have been watching The Great British Baking Show and I am inspired to try baking some new things. So, baking is in the plans for today.

There are great sales happening in all shops and I will keep them open but they won’t be shipped until after Christmas from the Etsy shop. Vacation time has come and it is sorely needed. The time to putter in the kitchen, clean and decorate just a bit more is badly needed.

I will be back before the New Year with a round up post and then BOOM 2016 will happen. There are wonderful things in the works for next year and I can’t wait to tell you. There are new projects, new plans for both shops, new designs, tons of bright new yarn already waiting for the crochet hook! I pray that your Christmas is merry and bright! May you have the peace and joy of the season, may you renew old friendships and make new ones!
Talk to you later,

Karen

P.S. If you still need to shop you can find the shops here:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/ChocolateDogStudio

https://www.etsy.com/shop/ChocolatesBabyShop

http://www.amazon.com/handmade/chocolate-dog-studio

 

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Christmas is coming!

Wow, It has been almost a month since I have written anything for the blog. I have been incredibly busy and I am pretty sure that life is just going to speed up in the future.

We finally got our Christmas tree put up this past weekend.

Christmas is coming!

You can’t see much about it and it looks department store pretty in this photo. The reality is that it is full of little kid made ornaments. Some from my childhood and some our kids made. Tons of glitter and glue were involved. Each year I try and make new ornaments for the tree but this year the ornament making is sparse. The kids are getting too big to create construction paper ornaments with glitter and glue. I have run out of time to sew, crochet or knit anything.  I have been pulling Christmas ornaments off the tree every time one of the kids moves into their own home.

Talk to you later,

Karen

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Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays!

It has been a  Merry Christmas at our house! I hope it has been so at yours as well. I always have mixed feelings about the Holidays. It is a time when I remember my Dad and now my Mother in Law. So, it is hard as I grieve but it is also a great time for family, fun and a chance to build new memories. We have been fortunate this year to have some time together with much of our immediate family.

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These are our outside lights that were covered in the ice from the storm. The ice is almost gone by now as it was warm yesterday but they were so pretty covered in ice that I had to include this photo. We have neighborhood  free range Guinea hens that come by the house  nearly every day. They tend to get on the front porch and I have been wanting to take some close up photos of them but this is the best I have done so far. They can get loud and we have watched the flock grow from four to about 20 or more.

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Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all,

Karen