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Once Upon A Time…

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The object of my mortification, Strum Mitts in Teal.

…there was a wonderful woman named Donna. Donna happened to see a pair of mittens that I designed, and ordered a pair in teal. I made the mitts, Donna bought them, and then….nothing. I’m embarrassed to say that, while I packaged the mittens and placed them in the car to take to the post office, they never did ship. Three months later, while switching baseball season gear out of the car and replacing it with football season gear, the mitts were found still in their packaging.

As you can imagine, I felt horrible! Mortified, embarrassed, and ashamed. So much so that I decided to do something special for Donna. Being the patient woman that she is, Donna never asked me about the mitts during that 3-month period. In fact, I never heard a word about them until late in July. At this point I had started working on her treat, and it was proving difficult. So difficult that I, just today, finished it.

As in all fairy tales there is a happy ending to be found in this story. I’m pleased to present to you a ONE OF A KIND JenniB. Designs Original, aptly named “Donna”.

"Donna", a one of a kind hooded scarf designed to complement Strum Mitts.(c) 2012, JenniB. Designs

“Donna”, a one of a kind hooded scarf designed to complement Strum Mitts.
(c) 2012, JenniB. Designs

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A close-up of the circular fringe and cable pattern.

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“Donna”, pictured with The Objects of My Mortification, a.k.a. Strum Mitts.

 

"Donna", a side view to showcase the cables and hood during wear.
“Donna”, a side view to showcase the cables and hood during wear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope it brings much warmth and pleasure to your happily ever after, Donna, and thanks so much for your patience with me!

XOXOXO~

JenniB.

The Week In Review

So I’ve been busy…REALLY busy…trying to get ready for this month’s Big Coal River Heritage Festival. The problem? I’ve been selling my inventory as I finish it! While this is good for the wallet, it’s bad for my peace of mind and the display for the show. To circumvent my impending psychotic break, I spent last week trying to get some projects cranked out to replenish my dwindling inventory. I also finished up a quick commission.

First up, the commission. About a month ago I created a Plum Dandy Infinity Scarf & Bobble Hat Set (which promptly sold, like I mentioned above). A customer asked me to make her a set like it, but in blues or grays. After locking eyes on a colorway called “Rich Blues” it was a no-brainer.

(c) 2012, JenniB. Designs
Plum Dandy Infinity Scarf & Bobble Hat Set in “Rich Blues”

Crumple Scarf in “Salsa”

Crumple Scarf in ” Ballet”

Now for the inventory I managed to restock for the show…and let me tell you it’s going to be a real rub selling a couple of these pieces! The first one that I covet I’ve named “Crumple”. It’s a ruffled scarf, and is as girly as can be. I did one in a color palette of burgundy, cranberry, and burnt orange; and, another in a color palette of charcoal gray, raspberry, and pink.

A while back I saw a picture of Lenny Kravitz sporting layered, crocheted beanies. I saved the image to my hard drive, thinking that I’d get around to checking it out later. Well, later finally arrived. When I looked at this image the first thought to go through my mind was, “Whoah, that must have been warm!” I mean, one beanie is warm enough, but TWO? Plus, he wore them to an awards show, which means they were worn inside. I’m sweating just thinking about it! Still, I liked the look. A lot. So I went about creating a layered look hat. Here are the end results:

Photo from http://www.exposay.com, check out more by clicking!

Go My Way Men’s Crochet Hat

 

 

 

 

 

Covey Scarf in “Misty”

 

 

 

 

 

Last up is a project that I just cast on yesterday. I adore long scarves. They lend themselves to such an array of tying possibilities! The problem with a scarf designed for warmth, however, is that they’re all too often way to wide to be versatile enough. That’s why I came up with Covey. At a whopping 7 feet long, yet only 3 1/2″ side, it’s the perfect scarf to tie in a plethora of ways AND stay warm!

What WAS I Thinking?

I signed up for a local arts & crafts show in late September. I was optimistic when paying the entry fee to reserve my space. It was March, after all. I have TONS of time to build up a decent inventory, right? Six months. Half a YEAR, for heaven’s sake! Pshaw. I should’ve known better.

Two days ago I finally realized that it is the end of friggin’ JUNE. As in, less than 3 months to go. Not even a quarter of a year. ARGHHHHHHHHH! PANIC AT THE DISCO THAT IS MY BRAIN!!!!!!!! Now I’m frantically digging through my stash, trying to figure out quick, guaranteed to sell projects. I’m frantically designing and building my displays in my mind. I’ve got so many color combos running through my head that my right eye won’t quit twitching.

It’s going to be okay. I hope. I’m telling myself this. It is now my mantra. Just in the past two days I’ve managed to design a new coaster pattern AND make a 5-pack of said coasters. I’ve made a pair of adorable crochet earrings to gauge the time it would take to produce them, and I’ve cranked out a cute li’l crochet bookmark. Today I knit a reversible washcloth and soap pouch out of an on-hand skein of cotton. Now if I can just decide on the inventory that I want to focus on (clothing & accessories vs. household items) I may be able to get myself back on track. Plus, you never know, I may find my coffee table under all of the yarn that currently covers it….

Nah. Never happen😉 Just do me a favor, please? The next time I talk of signing up for a show point me back to this post.

KEEP CALM AND CRAFT ON!

JenniB.

S is for Slytherin

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Knit by hermionejean.

I know, I know…I’ve been an absentee blogger forEVER now, right? You’ve probably long forgotten about little ol’ me, and I wouldn’t blame you if you had!  There’s never enough time, is there? And when we do find a free second there are a zillion little items zinging around our heads that need done. I’ve found that I do better when I just latch onto one and go with it, hence today’s post.

I’ve designed a TON of things since I last posted; yet, I haven’t posted nary a one. Egads, the horror! I’m sure I’ll get around to posting them all…no sense doing them all at once, right? What would I blog about then?…but for now I’m going to focus on one of my favorite obsessions. Harry Potter. I love that series like one of my children. The magic and friendships that being involved with the fandom have brought into my life are amazing!  In order to pay homage to my favorite fandom I’ve been randomly designing house-themed fingerless gloves.

First there was H is for Hufflepuff, which I designed way back in the summer of 2009.

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Then, in 2010, came R is for Ravenclaw

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While I didn’t get any designed in 2011 my muse was in the back of my mind, tossing around pattern ideas for Slytherin and Gryffindor mitts. Finally, he clamored to the forefront of my gray matter and with his wonderful Irish brogue demanded that I get these patterns written! (What? He’s MY muse, he can be a not Irishman if I say so!!) I heeded his advice, and wrote the patterns.

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Knit by joseybug.

G is for Gryffindor is still being test knit at this time, so you’ll have to stay tuned to see it; however, S is for Slytherin is test knit, and release as a free download here on Ravelry! What are you waiting for? Go forth and knit!!

My test knitters did a wonderful job on their S is for Slytherin mitts…don’t you think? If YOU happen to knit this pattern be sure to leave me a comment here, or on Ravelry, with a link to your project so I can add your photos to the pattern page…pretty please?

KEEP CALM AND CRAFT ON!

JenniB.

There and Back Again

This is one of the coolest ideas. Ever. I have less than no time right now, but I’m sailing down that river in Egypt by telling myself that it’s ONLY one block a month, and that I can surely eek a little spare time out for that. Besides, there is no WAY I’m letting the opportunity to create a Hobbit quilt pass me by. Nuh-uh. Not THIS girl!

 

Plugged in and ready to sew!

I’ve prepped for this by downloading a dramatized audiobook version of The Hobbit so that I can be properly immersed in the world while I’m working. My iPhone is charged and raring to play, my needles are sharp…and I’m ready to get started!

 

My hubby has been telling me for almost a year that I’ve already made quilts for everyone special in our lives, and that he needed to find a way to find someone to make me one. Sweet, huh? Well, as sweet as it is I won’t need him to now, this baby is gonna be ALL MINE!!

 

 

 

KEEP CALM AND CRAFT ON!

 

JenniB.

 

 

 

True, dat, and I am loving it. I’ve got so many things ordered that I’m having more than a little trouble keeping up! Just this week I need to finish up:

  1. A total of 12 sock patterns for one of my favorite people’s soon-to-begin Ancient Runes Tonal Sock Yarn Club. You can read all about it in this article that came out Saturday over on Wizarding Life. I’ve gotten a little sneak peek at this yarn, and it is wonderful! She’s got a variety of subscriptions and payment plans available…so what’s stopping you?
  2. A new fall-themed photo prop set for Jennifer Jarrell Photography. I’m not releasing details on this one…wouldn’t want to diminish the AWWWWWWWWW! factor once y’all finally see it!
  3. An order for a small Christmas gift for a dear friend’s daughter.
  4. A scarf for another friend who lucked into tickets to see the Bears at the Eagles in early November.
While juggling all of this I’ve also managed to load up my Etsy store, Designs by JenniB, with a few goodies!
For around the home I need to make two sets of drapery, one for my bathroom and one for my craft room. My youngest man-child has pants that need hemmed. I’ve got two dresses to  make, and a shirt that I made lying in wait for the sleeve and bottom hem. Plus? My hubby is off work and without the use of his left leg for the next four weeks, as he had surgery a week ago. More than a little on my plate, to be sure, but at least I’m not bored!
They say that idle hands do the devil’s work. If that’s the case I can now be declared an angel! ‘Til next time….
KEEP CALM AND CRAFT ON!
JenniB.

Delectation

Designing my day away!

I know, it’s been a while since I posted. With my oldest moving out to go back to college, and my youngest starting his first year of middle school I’ve just been off my game. All  last week I reveled in the fact that my house was empty and my time was my own, so I cleaned. And scrubbed. And cleaned some more. This past week, however, the empty nest syndrome set in and I spent pretty much all of my time on the couch either napping or finishing a few odds and ends projects.

"Delectation" swatch.

Salvation came in the form of an e-mail from a dear friend of mine, Hermione Jean. She’s a fabulous quilter, seamstress, and yarn spinner and dyer. She’s starting up a sock club in December, and wanted me to design a pattern to go along with the yarn! Dear Hermione Jean sent me some of the sock club yarn, which I received on Thursday, and let me tell you it is exceptional! As you can see from the teaser picture I’ve gotten to the heel portion of the first sock, and this yarn has not split ONE TIME! It’s soft, color is scrumptious, and the best part of all…IT HAS SPARKLES!! If you’re looking for sock yarn, love Harry Potter, or (heck!) even just want to blow some cash on yarn?  Yeah, she’s soooo your girl. Check out her Etsy store, Hermione Jean Creations. For real. As soon as you read this….heck, forget reading this and just GO!!

To say I was over the moon about being asked to design a pattern would be down-playing it to extremes. I’ve never had someone ask me for a design…I usually just design them and force them on the world! We had a chat via e-mail about her ideas, and I spent a little time Monday evening and part of the morning Tuesday playing with graph paper and colored pencils. By late Wednesday morning I had a swatch all ready for her to look at.

Heel turn, here I come!

Delectation will be a free pattern, but will only be available through the purchase of a membership into Hermione Jean Creations’ sock club. I’ll keep everyone updated on the details about the club once they’re finalized and released! Until then?

KEEP CALM AND CRAFT ON!

JenniB.

Sharp Dressed Man

My Favorite Musician!

My oldest son is a Music Performance major at Marshall University. One of the requirement of his major is to own a tuxedo, as it is the attire worn when performing with the orchestra and symphony. My hubby and I purchased one as his high school graduation gift last summer. Nic wore it without complaint during his freshman year, but when he came home for the summer he mentioned buying a new pair of tuxedo pants, as the ones that came with the suit were baggy in the legs. What’s this? BUY a pair of pants when your mother can do a quick tapering job and charge you NOTHING, as you’re her flesh and blood? Not on MY watch, kiddo!

Remember these pants?

Nic leaves tomorrow to head back to school tomorrow morning, so he tried the pants on for me last night to mark and pin. Baggy was an understatement. These were MC Hammer pants at their best…or worst. They hung off of his thin frame, and I’m pretty sure he could’ve fit both of his legs into one of his pants legs. Regardless of how big they were I set to work this morning. Cup of coffee, tape measure around the neck, handy-dandy Cuppa Tea Pincushion, and I was off to the races! Three hours, and a minor anxiety attack, later the pants are done and hanging neatly in Nic’s soon-to-be-evacuated bedroom. As for me? Well the anxiety attack is over, and I’m congratulating myself on a job well done. I’m also left wondering just WHY retailers are still selling tuxedo pants with tapered legs.

This is how we do it!

Oh, and just so you know, Son of Mine? If I weren’t your mother, and didn’t love you more than peanut butter, the total bill for this little endeavor would be $35.00. I’d better get a NICE Christmas gift this year!

KEEP CALM AND CRAFT ON!

JenniB.

I found all three of these cleaning my youngest son’s room today.  He’s coming home from camp tomorrow (big YAY!!). I wanted to get his room purged of all the junky toys and ill-fitting clothes that, had be been home, he would’ve wailed, “But, MOM, I neeeeeeeeddddd that!”. How many times do we actually get to purge at our discretion as parents, right?

I started out by hemming an orange sheer that was given to us (kiddo LOVES orange, it is his happy color). I had made curtains a little over a year ago to match the quilt I made him, and they were short while the shears were long. I’d also scrapped together enough matching quilt squares to add a valance to his curtains, so I had to attach them, as well.

The Matching Quilt!

The result!

Okay, so that’s the Clutter and the Cleaning. What of the creativity, you ask? When we first redecorated his room from toddler to pre-teen we looked EVERYWHERE for a lamp to go with this vividly orange room. Never found a thing that would do. What to do? I saw lamp hardware one day in a home improvement store and inspiration struck! Kiddo’s midget league football team had updated their uniforms at the end of that year, and we had purchased his old football helmet for a whopping $10. A small lampshade covered in the curtain fabric, along with the lamp hardware and a $1 wooden plaque from my local Michael’s and it was done…a personalized lamp that fit the decor and interests of its owner.!

The Football Helmet Lamp in action!

The Mystical, Magical Bradleyhenge.

There was one, last tidbit of Creativity. By the messy kiddo, himself! He is fascinated with rocks. I mean obsessively…like wants to be a geologist obsessively. Bless his heart, he also has his momma’s artistic streak; so, he found a wonderful way to combine the two! We call it “Bradleyhenge”. It’s as magical as Stonehenge, you see. It’s construction defies gravity, and most laws of physics. This thing is perched on the edge of his clothing dresser. The drawers and cabinets are opened, and no doubt slammed, countless times each day; yet, Bradleyhenge remains standing, strong, tall and proud!

KEEP CALM AND CRAFT ON!

JenniB.

Oh My Lucky Stars!

Crafting on the road!

A little while ago I saw THE cutest idea on a blog called Creative Kismet. Itty bitty stars with inspirational messages on them? Using scrapbook paper so that the color schemes and patterns are endless? NIRVANA!!

Well, yesterday my youngest son left for a week of summer camp. I miss him. Terribly. It’s kind of like trying to function without my thumbs. Something is just missing, you know? Light bulb moment!  It’s the PERFECT time to make that craft!!

So this morning I cut about a gazillion half-inch strips of scrapbook paper in varying patterns, then my hubby and I split them up and started writing little messages to our kiddo on them. We were going to ship them to him in a little jar to camp, but decided that:

  1. The jar would, in all probability, be shattered during shipment.
  2. It could be really embarrassing for an 11-year old to get hand-crafted items delivered to him in front of “the guys”.
  3. We’d much rather wait and see the expression on his face when he gets home and sees them in his room.
So now the pressure is off, but the crafting is on-going. I just have until Saturday to get it done now.
KEEP CALM AND CRAFT ON!
JenniB.