Author: elisharhea

Third Time Lucky?

There is a dream in my head that I am sitting at a convention working at my table for Lil’ Luvvies, and Brent Spiner (the actor who played Lt. Cmmdr Data on Star Trek the Next Generation) walks past, looks at my work, smiles brilliantly, and tells me to keep up the awesome work. That would be awesome…….

And then, I wake up and realize, it isn’t a dream – this actually happened at the December Steel City Con. There is no real context to this except that my husband was helping me man the table, I was working on something (maybe a Deadpool) and I looked up to see Brent Spiner walking down the aisle. I went to subtly nudge my husband so we could geek out together, and next thing I know, Brent is walking past my table, looking at my Luvvies, and telling me I’m doing a great job. It sounds like something I would write for a story.

Needless to say that was the absolute highlight of my time at the December 2018 Steel City Con.

This con was my third of 2018 (and second in as many months) and I was stressed beyond belief.

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Age is a State of Mind

Age is a funny thing. When we are young, we can’t wait to hit those milestone birthdays – 10, we hit double digits; 13, we are officially teenagers; 16, celebrated in and of itself and for teens getting their driving permits; 18, we are finally adults and can vote and register for military service; 21, legal drinking age.

My daughter just hit one of those milestones this year. She turned 10 right before Christmas. A whole decade. It is difficult for me to believe, because I feel like just yesterday I was pregnant with her. And, I know she’s excited. And, I also see her looking forward to these other “milestone” birthdays. But, I also know the flip side. Having hit a milestone birthday myself in 2017 (I turned 40), I realize I don’t feel as old as my age suggests.

And, yes, I realize that 40 isn’t old.

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How you can get your Luvvie fix

Starting in 2019 there will be one small change to how you can get your Luvvie fix.

As I’ve been starting out I’ve tried to manage orders in a variety of platforms – through this Web site, Etsy, email, text, verbal – maybe a combination of one or two of those methods. It has led to me taking on more than I have been able to handle comfortably at times. It also has led to me completely forgetting that I agreed to do something until reminded because a spreadsheet didn’t get updated.

To make things smoother for all parties, my request is that in 2019 all orders go through my Etsy store. If there is something that you would like custom that is not on the shop, I still can do a custom order – I have even added that link to my Etsy page. I will create a separate order just for you and provide a link for that custom order, but it still will go through Etsy and I can keep track of things more easily (and not lose sight of things, which makes me feel terrible).

I am hoping by doing this, too, it will provide a better line of communication – it also will help with some issues I’ve been having with purchasing postage through the post office, as Etsy allows me to purchase postage directly through them; and, for those who are local, it still will afford me the option to be able to deliver the products in person – so that isn’t going away.

I do apologize if this causes any inconvenience, and I appreciate everyone’s understanding and support. This first year has been a true learning experience and I can’t wait to see what the second year brings for my Lil’ Luvvies.

Hugs and cuddles,

Elisha

What’s in the Box?

Recently I did a blog entry about holiday gifts for the crocheter in your life. One of the gifts that I referenced is the gift that keeps giving….a monthly subscription box.

Because I am a yarn addict/hoarder, and have no plans to cure myself any time soon, I myself was intrigued by the idea. I had done a monthly yarn subscription before through Happy Yarn Mail, which has been (sadly) discontinued, and I loved the idea of getting a little surprise present in the mail each month.

Since Happy Yarn Mail stopped, I really hadn’t found another subscription that I wanted to try, until Christmas came around the bend and new offers started appearing in my email. One of the most intriguing came from Knit Picks, which is a smaller company that promotes itself as selling luxury yarns at affordable prices. I have purchased yarn from them before and have always been super happy, and their customer service is incredible. So, I decided to treat myself to a three month subscription.

I came home after a long day at work on Monday and found my first box waiting for me. Yay! What a great surprise. It really was a ray of light on a gloomy day. What was inside? What goodies awaited me. So, I wanted to share with you what I got – especially if there is anyone still on the fence for a Christmas gift for the knitter or crocheter in their lives.

The package was inviting and just made me smile. Look at the cute little balls of yarn. I loved the alpaca joke, I’m still laughing about it.

As soon as I opened the box I was greeted with two patterns that I could use the enclosed yarn to make (for protection of copyright, I did not take pictures of the patterns).

In addition to the patterns, which seem perfect for beginner to intermediate, I had four skeins of yarn and two faux fur pompoms (to add to the hats).

So what are my thoughts? I am very happy overall. This type of subscription is exactly what I would hope for – a chance to sample some of the yarns available to see if I like them. These probably would not have been yarns I would have selected for myself – I usually avoid wool, but I am excited to try them.

The bigger question (for the accountant in me), did I get a good deal. Well let’s see….

I subscribed to the three month prepay plan, which is $75 – that breaks down to be $25 per month (which is a savings of $2 per month from the month to month plan).

For each of these balls of yarn, I would have spent $9.99 (so that is $19.98 right there). I usually don’t use wool when I am crocheting – just because I know there can be an allergy factor included with this, but these don’t feel like wool. I am sensitive to wool (have been since I was a kid), and this just feels like a super soft hug. There is a mixture of acrylic in with the wool, so that might make a difference. Either way, it will be nice to give this a try.

I also got two super soft and squishy Swish DK balls of yarn. I just want to cuddle up with this yarn as is, no toy required. Again, this is wool (100% fine superwashed Merino), but it feels nothing like wool. There is no scratchy, irritating texture. It is just light and wonderful. I don’t quite know what I’m going to make with this – but I may have an idea or two.

Each one of these skeins would be $4.99, so that is an additional $9.98 I would have spent had I just ordered this through the Web site. Already, just in the yarn I received I have almost $30 in products (not counting the value of the patterns themselves).

I also got these super fluffy fake fur pom poms that I can use if I want to make the hats included in my pattern. If I add the value of these to my box, my total of products comes to $36.44, which means I saved $11.44 by getting this through a subscription. That’s a pretty decent savings.

Some may wonder, isn’t it better to just order what you want – or to go to the store and be able to touch and see the colors? I was leery about online buying for a long time. I had some early horror stories with Amazon that I would care to not repeat. However, now that I feel comfortable with some sites (lovecrochet.com and knitpicks.com), I am confident in what I am ordering. And the thrill of the subscription box is that you don’t know what you are getting: Maybe it’s something that I’ve seen and decided to pass on – for me, as I’ve mentioned, I would never buy wool for myself, but now I get to try it. Or maybe one month there is a splurge – maybe they will provide an ultra luxe yarn that I would not buy for myself on price alone, but now I get to play with it. That’s the fun of the subscription box.

So, yes, in the end I am so happy with my first subscription box from Knit Picks and I am excited to see what the next month brings.

Hugs and cuddles,

Elisha

Sometimes it’s the little things

I don’t consider myself to be a super high maintenance girl. Yes, I like my yarn and some other goodies, but for the most part I’m just happy to sit and do my thing. The downside to this is that sometimes I can get upset over something that seems minor to other people, but the upside is that  small things can make me really happy.

Case in point….last night I was working on a new project; I am making a unicorn for next week’s Steel City Con. As part of the finishing touches, the pattern calls for pinkening the cheeks. The first time I made this, I ignored that part of the pattern.

First attempt at this cutie unicorn – without rouge

I was also making the first unicorn as a birthday present and didn’t want to take a chance the rouge wouldn’t be added correctly.

I’ve added cheek color before, but I’ve never been happy with it. It always ends up too light or too dark or too smeary.

I haven’t tried actual makeup on the Luvvies yet – I know some people swear by that as an option, but it just seems like that would come off far too easily, in my opinion. Plus, I don’t wear blush myself so I haven’t had any laying around the house to try.

I have tried using some of my daughter’s crayons – but I find the application to be uneven, and more often than not it tugs at the completed fabric of the Luvvie and distorts the finished piece.

More recently, I have tried fabric markers, but whenever I have used them directly on the piece the coloring comes across too harsh, practically screaming “HELLO, MY CHEEKS ARE COLORED IN. CAN YOU SEE ME, NOW?” And I am not happy with it.

Which leads me to my point and why I was so giddy with excitement – or maybe sleep deprivation, I’m not entirely sure at this point.

It was after midnight, I had to be up in 4.5 hours and I wasn’t done with my new unicorn, which I had hoped to finish. As I looked at her I decided I wanted to try to color her cheeks and I pulled out my fabric markers wondering how I could be less heavy handed and it dawned on me….makeup sponges!!!!

I’m not great at wearing or applying makeup, but I love makeup. Because of that, I have a large assortment of makeup accessories – including sponges that are used to blend makeup, or to help apply foundation. I dashed into my bathroom and grabbed a sponge. I took the pink fabric marker and applied several strokes of color directly to the sponge and then tapped the color to my unicorn’s cheek. With the taper side of the sponge – the side without color – I evened out the color a little to make it closer to natural. I still have to work on my technique a little, but this was the happiest I have been with pinked cheeks.

My semi-naked unicorn with her mane and tail curls ready for application and with her newly pink cheeks.

Although I was disappointed I wasn’t able to complete my new cutie last night, I was so happy that she looks as cute as she does. The color on her cheeks definitely made a difference, and I think she will be even more adorable once she is fully complete.

And with my little triumph at adding color to her, I consider that victory enough and promptly closed up and went to bed…after all, 5 am comes around very quickly when you are up past midnight; but, I do think my discovery was worth it…at least to me, it was.

Hugs and cuddles,

Elisha