Sunday, August 31, 2008

Time Trap -- Online Forums

I am relearning to manage my time.
I have streamlined a lot of activities and still felt time just slipping away...due to an obsession that is called F O R U M S, or fora as in Latin.

As a former Ebay seller with interest in multiple discussion boards and private groups I was once highly engaged in promoting within Ebay's online community and I even was the leader of a large group under my old ID retrochicboutique for a while until I dropped out of the children custom boutique circus. Then I visited the store owners board daily/hourly to tweak my visibility and increase my sales via optimization and stats research.

When I discovered Etsy I discovered the forums naturally. And wow, do they suck vulnerable people in.
As the story goes:
It takes a while to get annoyed with reoccurring subjects, shallow threads, bad vibes among posters, shortcomings of the site...and when dissatisfied then there are the "anti-" and "alternative" forums.
Yet more time traps and circles of egos cycling similar topics.

For now I am tired of cyberspace discussions.

I have reclaimed my time...and I had an outstanding productive week.

The internet is a wonderful tool. It serves me well as a marketplace, workplace, my newspaper, dictionary, many how-to's, virtual game-boy (JT Blocks:) if I wish...but it won't replace a real "old school" face-to-face conversation, people and life.
(New tams added to my website)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Era -- Ameno

Besides Enigma and Deep Forest Era is one of my favorite New Age groups.
When life is hectic and demanding, take a little time to focus on yourself, relax and drift into the trance of sounds and pictures.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Just for the ladies...some feminine tam designs

I just happened to list a bunch of new tams that are all feminine and sorry guys, not for you.
If you are interested in the tams
(Kingston Town cotton and rayon smooth tam, wildcat and black smaller tam, Faye Basque vintage inspired tam and cafe and ribbon/chenille striped smaller slouchy beanie)
they are available in my shop.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Here is a free crochet tam pattern of mine

Hi, from time to time I get requests to sell my hat patterns.
I don't write down patterns in a conventional way. I make a quick sketch and note number of rows as a future reference for me, that's it. I am a visually oriented person when it comes to comprehension, I always learned with diagrams.
In the past I wrote down 2 patterns in the conventional way.
If you happen to stumble upon the pattern tutorial that I had posted last year and have questions, please send me an email.
I had an anonymous poster repeatedly ask questions about it, but I can't reply back to you without an email address or other way of contact.
Recently I wrote one pattern down because I had a request for it.
I will share it hear today...maybe it will help you get your own tams started. I have learned a lot online from tutorials and now it's time to give back and contribute.
BUT, I kindly request not to use this pattern to create items to sell online, please feel free to copy it if you sell the tams locally only.
Patterns are great for inspiration. I personally cannot follow someone else's pattern, it never works out right and I collect patterns for the sake of collecting and looking at the beautiful pictures.

4 chain stitches, close with a slip stitch.
1. Row:chain 2 (counts as first dc) and crochet 15 dc into the ring (16 dc total), close with slip stitch as throughout the whole pattern.
2:2dc in each dc (total 32)
3. *1 dc in dc, 2 dc in next dc* repeat until end
4. *1 dc, 1 dc, 2 dc in next dc* repeat to end
5. *1 dc, 1 dc, 1dc, 2dc in next dc* repeat to end
6. *1 dc, 1 dc, 1 dc, 1dc, 2dc in next dc* repeat to end
I used Vanna's choice acrylic yarn, hook I (9mm), I have enough width for my crown now, you can increase more or less according to your yarn
Now I continue with V-stitches
(4 chain stitches, 1 dc in same space *skip 2dc, 1dc in next dc, 1 chain stitch, 1 dc insame dc, skip 2 dc* repeat to end)
Next row you crochet the *dc-chain-dc* into the space of the chain stitch, if you use a different color, you get the zig-zag-effect.)
I crocheted 6 rows, but you can do more or less. No increase or decrease of stitches.
Next row: SC only and I crocheted 6 SC and then crocheted the next 2 SC together (decrease made). Repeat throughout row.
Next row: I made simple v-stitches: *skip `1 SC, 2 dc in next single crochet, skip next SC* repeat to end
Final rows: single crochet, decrease after 6 SC, I usually make 3 decreasing rows, last row in crab stitch without decreasing.
Can be adjusted to your head circumference, decrease more or less.
I hope this made sense:)
Good luck!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Just a quick promo for my new tams

I am rockin' & rollin' with new stuff...I want a variety of looks but keep my overall style.
So, I mixed it up a bit and added those 2 hippie slouchy beanies to my website.

I will be off to a sweat lodge ceremony tonight.
It's a good evening to pray on Mother Earth's ground with my companion and friends.

Have a blessed weekend.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I had a complaint from my back

It had a serious talk with me, about never taking a weekend off, crocheting until 10pm almost every week night, staring at the monitor in an unnatural upward position and...
Fact is I was unable to move properly for 2 days, my neck was stiff, hard knots in my shoulder muscles and pain shooting into my head and arms.
Crocheting may be an otherwise pretty safe work, but when overdone, it's not the best ergonomical activity for the body.
An afternoon in the couch, early stretching out in bed and watching the olympics (for a change) and just staying off the pc did the trick. I am in pretty good shape again.
Listening to your body can keep serious muscle and bone problems away if you give in, at least for a few days. Sales are nice, but sometimes 2 days off are worth more than money can buy.

I had finished this cotton and soy silk tam before my un-voluntary break. Going on my website these days.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Crazy hoarding...I need a stop sign

I guess the only defense I have is :
It's all packed in plastic storage bags to stay fresh and clean.
The organization and amount is sheer craziness though. And this is only part of my craft room which also stores books, biz papers, patterns and my sewing corner.
Amazing how much you can pack into a small bedroom with walk-in closet.
For months I am telling myself now that I won't run out of supplies for the next 3 years (probably), but the ancient gathering instinct just gets the better of me, still.
I have just ordered the last decent priced hemp/wool yarn available from several whole-sellers because it seems to get discontinued for the most part.

From the moment I arrived with 2 (two) suitcases in the USA 4 years ago which comprised my whole belongings at that time (apart from some monetary belongings) it was a long way to "fill my life with things again".
(I couldn't afford an overseas container when I dissolved my whole household in Germany) and my son and I either gave our furniture, housewares, collectibles, books, clothes away to family or friends or sold them. The rest sadly got picked up as trash for a lack of better solution. Goodwill is very picky and doesn't really bother with used household stuff.

Actually it was liberating for a while to have little to none. Stuff you didn't need to worry about.
But let's face it, we are hoarders by nature.
And I am back in the cycle of "stuff".
Maybe worse than ever before.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Ozone Alert Day = like a snow day

After weeks of having temperatures at least in the upper 90s a high ozone alert day has been announced. For health reasons nobody should m0w their lawn or work outside (if you can help it).
This makes me feel less guilty because the greens around our house, the patio and front porch are in dear need of a good sweep and general attention. As my allergies with breathing problems have flaired up the last few days I will take the warning to heart and just stay busy inside the house.

I had sewn a few patchwork panels. I just love patching squares together and then decide how to put the panels to use. This patchwork fabric will be cut into a-line skirt panels and hopefully be listed soon for sale. I love to crochet tams, but diversity keeps my crafty life interesting.

And some promoting, I have neglected the promotional part lately. Did I already say, I don't like to promote all over the internet? (ha ha)

I have these tams listed on my Purple Sage Designz website.
Unisex cotton tam, roomy and cool.
100% Hemp tam.Vegan acrylic tam for guys and gals.

This green gradient tam and the black/sand tam are new in my Etsy shop.