Wednesday, February 25, 2015

It's been awhile.

It's definitely been awhile since my last post.  So, I thought it was probably time to write one, and let everyone know how things are going with The Lovely Crow.

In a nutshell...  I disappeared.

Over the last 3 years, life has changed so much.  When I began writing patterns in 2011, I had 6 children and we were stationed in Maryland. (For those of you who don't know, my husband is Active Duty Air Force in the United States military.

In 2012, Gregory deployed for 15 months, and I moved myself and my family back home to Tennessee.  During the year that he was gone, we discovered that I had some pretty major issues with my spine, degenerative disk disease, and I ended up having a triple level fusion surgery on my neck.  There's no way to describe the pain or trials of that diagnosis and surgery.  I was left with numbness in my hands, and a left hand that just... didn't quite work the way it used to.

Needless to say, that caused some pretty big issues with being able to crochet, make videos, sit and look at my hands for long periods...  I just simply couldn't do it, no matter how badly I wanted to.  It took me MONTHS to finish one pattern.

I can't tell you how badly I WANTED to be designing, and creating.  I really felt quite lost.
This is a lot of "OUCH" to go through.

I'm VERY happy to report that 2 years post surgery (February 1, 2013), my left hand is working again, and I am 90% better. :)

Fast forward a bit, we moved from Tennessee to Georgia, and Gregory came home from deployment. :)
I'm seriously married to the most amazing man on the planet.  That time apart was HARD.  That time apart, being responsible for our 6 children, and having a major surgery was SUPER HARD.

Then our family grew.
This amazing photo was taken by my good friend from church, Jessica Lantz of Jessica Lantz photography.

I mean, it GREW!

Within the space of a year, we added 5 children to our family.  Our 4 godchildren came to live with us, and I became pregnant with Peter, our youngest (born July 31, 2014).

My life changed so much in a matter of just a few months.  We've now had our godchildren for over a year, and I feel like we are finally "adjusted".

We are so super blessed to have them in our lives, but the transition hasn't been easy.  Going from 6 to 11 is a BIG jump.
Most days, the only time I sit is to nurse Peter, or sit in a waiting room.  My days are full of appointments, meals, shopping, cleaning, holding, hugging, kissing, and enjoying being a mom to this amazing crew of kids.  Suddely, free time didn't exist.  My time with my husband, my time with friends, my time to create, my time to SLEEP... vanished.   Suddenly, we had a HUGE shift in finances.  Taking on 5 more children, and not being able to design more patterns, or market the ones I had....  it changed things.  A LOT.   I had to learn to do a lot more with less money.
That's a hard lesson for anyone, and it can feel like you are juggling jello.

After Peter was born, I experienced the "baby blues."
Okay... let's call it what it is.
I had full blown post partum depression.

Suddenly I was juggling jello while trying to balance a planet on my head.  I'm so thankful for a supportive husband, family, and amazing doctor who got me through that.  But post partum depression isn't a light switch.  Coming out of it has been a slow and painful climb.

So here I am.  I'm healthy. I've recovered from surgery, my hands are working, I beat post partum depression, and I've adjusted to our "new normal".

What's next?

Dare I try to rebuild The Lovely Crow?

You see, the GUILT that comes from watching something you love and work so hard to create crumble... it's overwhelming.

Even during the moments when I've wanted to start creating again... I couldn't convince myself that I'd be able to keep it up.  I made every excuse I could.  Some of them valid, others a product of my pity party.

I felt like I'd disappointed my family.  I felt like I'd disappointed my mother (she is, by far, my biggest fan).  I felt like I'd disappointed my testers.  I felt like I'd disappointed my customers.  I felt like I'd disappointed myself.

How do you move past that?

Well... I'm not sure.  But here it is, I'm going to try. :)  So wish me luck, I'm jumping back in.  I've worked out a schedule with my family, giving me time to work, and I've managed to do quite a bit in the past few weeks.

First, I've brought my mom on board.
Well... she's been on board for awhile, helping me to keep things running, while I juggled everything else.  Chances are, if you've asked a question on Etsy, or Ravelry, you've been talking to her. :)
I am SO thankful for my sweet mama.
From LtoR my sister Suzanne, my sister Cassondra, my mama, and me, pregnant with Peter

I'm in the process of changing my patterns a bit.  I've created a new logo, and am slowly going through and making new versions of my patterns, with a cleaner, easier to read font (after feedback from many customers who suggested it.).  It's going to take awhile before I have them all done, but I've started the process.

Today, I am FINALLY releasing the "Little ComBrat Cap" pattern.

Wanna See?

You can find this pattern on Etsy, Ravelry, or Craftsy.




So... YAY!  :)

Also, coming soon.....

Something a little different from me.
This last Christmas, I made a lot of the gifts for our children.  One of the things I made for my three teen girls were handmade purses.  They've gotten so much attention from their friends, and people everywhere we go ask where they got them.   So... I wrote the pattern. :)
It is currently with my testers being tested, but I hope to release it in a couple of weeks.
Want a preview?

I'm really excited about this pattern because it really is SO different than anything I've done before.  :)

I have a notebook full of sketches and ideas for things in the future, and I hope this is the beginning of me becoming "me" again.  I hope you'll check in often!  And PLEASE SHARE!!

Thank you for all of your patience and support over the years!  I have the most amazing customers!  Fiber artists are just amazing people, ya know?


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Where we were, are, and will be.

I'm sorry I'm late on writing this blog!  Things have been so truly hectic.

A lot of you are following my family and our "big move".

Well, that big move has turned into a much different move.

For those of you new to The Lovely Crow, I am Elizabeth Alan, author of those patterns.   I'm also a military spouse.  My husband has served in the U.S. Air Force for almost 13 years.  We have 6 beautiful children.  Ages 13, 11, 7, 6, 3, and 1.  We've moved from East Coast to West and back again several times. :)   It's been a wonderful adventure!

I juggle A. LOT.  But I wouldn't trade my life for any other.  My husband is absolutely the light of my life.  If you knew me well, you'd get sick of me quickly because I am completely head over heels for this guy, and I talk about it OFTEN.  He couldn't be a better man or father than he is.   His support and encouragement, his amazing love and devotion to me and our family is in large part responsible for why I've been able to create this small business and write the patterns I do.

So there's the background.

Earlier this year, we found out that we would be moving to Turkey.  We were all SO excited.  13 years in the AF, and we've never left the country!  We made plans.  I hired family members to help send patterns, I begged testers to help answer questions.  Everything was set in place so that I would have a safety net while in process of the move.  I had no idea how long it would be before I would be settled in Turkey enough to handle it all on my own again.

We packed up our house, and decided that the kids and I would leave for Tennessee (where family is) to spend a few weeks before our big move to Turkey! :)  2 years is a LONG time to be away from family, and I wanted some extra time with my mom especially.   The plan was to be there for 2 weeks, and then drive back to Maryland in time to get on a plane with all 6 kids to Turkey!  SOOOOOO Exciting!

I drove to Tennessee from Maryland (a 9 hour drive), and a little more than half way there, my husband called to inform me that in fact, the kids and I would NOT be going to Turkey.    Now, while I can't go into details, a different opportunity presented itself, and in the long run, the kids and I staying here in the states while my husband goes to Turkey will turn out to be a very good thing for my family in the long run.    But meanwhile, it means a LOT of big changes for me, for my children....

We arrived in TN where my mom lives, in a very small, wonderful town.  It was after some prayer and opinions from a LOT of people I trust and admire that we made the decision that the kids and I would move to TN where my mother lives.   We had already put in a notice with our base housing in Maryland, had already packed up the house, so that work was done.  And I just could NOT face having 6 kids on my own so far away from family.

So I spent 4 days in TN.  I needed to find a place for us to live!  Because of the economy, there are just NO places to rent.  The few that I could find were too small for my family, and the owners were not willing to rent such small places to such a large family.

I have to admit, I felt really hopeless and lost.

But my husband decided we would make an investment, and buy a house!  So, I contacted a real estate agent, a man from my home church who has watched me grow up, and he is WONDERFUL.  He took me around to a lot of houses and I found one that I LOVED.

We're in the process now of trying to negotiate with the current owners, and will probably be able to close around the middle of June.

After 4 days in Tennessee, I realized I needed to go back to Maryland and spend as MUCH time with my sweet husband as I could.  So here we are, the kids and I, back in Maryland, living in a packed up house, out of our suitcases for just a few more days...

The movers will be here in a few short days, to pack up our stuff and store it until I have a place to move it.  We're officially out of our house a day after that, and then the kids and I will be staying in a hotel with my husband until he leaves.

*deep breath*

And then he will get on a plane.  The kids and I will go back to Tennessee.  We'll be homeless for about a month, until we can close on a house, and will be traveling back and forth between my moms and my in laws (both in TN).

And here we go!  I'll be 15 months without my husband, raising our 6 children, while trying to build and maintain my business.   I haven't cried.  I haven't gotten excited.  I think, actually, I've handled all of the very quick quick changes with grace.  At least I've tried.
I've got these 6 beautiful wonderful persons looking to me, waiting for MY reactions, MY feelings.  It's what they base their own reactions on.   And I think I'm doing pretty well!

What does this mean for The Lovely Crow?

Well, it means I'm not going to have the amazing support and encouragement on hand from my husband.  It means I'm not going to have nearly as much time to devote to my business.  It means that patterns will come slow, if at all.   It means a lot of things, and to be quite honest, I'm not sure HOW the next 15 months will look exactly.
Please just know, I'll do my best.

As always, thank you so much for the support, love, and encouragement from so many of you!  Thank you for the sweet messages, comments, and emails I've gotten.  I can't tell you how often one of those messages has lifted me up at JUST the right moment.  I get a few mean emails here and there, but the largest majority of them have just been wonderful, and such an encouragement for me.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Free Crochet Patterns, and HUGE sale (Facebook 10k Celebration!)

First, PLEASE read this ENTIRE blog.  Everytime I do a giveaway or pattern sale, I get so many customer questions that are actually already answered in the blog.  So PLEASE.  READ.  Note:  Any questions about this give away will ONLY be answered on my forum on Ravelry.  If you have questions, there is a post already set up to handle them.  DO NOT email me with questions about this celebration.  I will not be able to answer them.  Here is a link to Ravelry so that you can easily find the forum and post.  (Note:  You will need to be a member of Ravelry (it's free) to post questions, and to purchase patterns on sale.  There will be no exceptions to this.)   I will not refund money because a customer ordered through another site. 

For those of you waiting to hear, I will post a blog about our family and the huge move and where we're going to be.  That blog will be posted later today.

Go to the forum HERE.

My facebook page just reached 9,900 fans!  So, in anticipation of reaching 10k fans, I'm going to hold a Celebration give away, sale, and prize! :)

1) I have two of my patterns available for FREE download! (details in blog)
2) I'm holding a 40% sale on all patterns through Sunday (May 6)! (details in blog)
3) I'm giving away a $100.00 Visa Gift Card! (details in blog)

This blog has details for each of these.


PLEASE NOTE:  This is to introduce new customers to my patterns.  These are the ONLY two patterns that are available for free.   Do not ask if I will exchange for a different pattern.  I will not.
These patterns will ONLY be available for free through Sunday May 6th.

These two patterns are available FREE on Craftsy.  ONLY on Craftsy.  If you miss this, and buy these on Ravelry, Etsy, Ecrater, Payvment etc.  I will NOT refund your money.

This is what I need from you.

1) Post a link to my facebook page on your facebook page!

* Copy (highlight and push the control key, and the "C" key at the same time) the following sentence.

The Lovely Crow is doing a HUGE giveaway/sale/prize on her facebook page! Gorgeous crochet patterns! Go check it out!

* Go to your facebook page, and post that sentence as your status! (go to where you normally post your status, click there. Push the control key, and the "V" key at the same time)

This is the link you need to find me on Craftsy.

And these are the two patterns available for free download! (Both unisex patterns, but shown in girl colors)

Baby Garden Boots

Holly Earflap Beanie



This is what I need from you.

1) Post a link to my facebook page on your facebook page!  

*  Copy (highlight and push the control key, and the "C" key at the same time) the following sentence.

The Lovely Crow is doing a HUGE giveaway/sale/prize on her facebook page!  Gorgeous crochet patterns!  Go check it out!

* Go to your facebook page, and post that sentence as your status! (go to where you normally post your status, click there. Push the control key, and the "V" key at the same time)

2) Email me at

* In the Subject Line, write "I posted on facebook!".
* In the body of the email write "Congratulations on 10k fans!   Sincerely, (Your Name)"
* Send

You should receive an email back from me within minutes with a coupon code that you can use on Ravelry to get 40 percent off of your patterns.   (read the following disclaimer!)

PLEASE NOTE!  THIS IS IMPORTANT!   If you do not receive an email back from me within 30 minutes, then something went wrong, and I did not receive your email!   You need to try again.  There is nothing I can do if there is a problem with your email server.   I will NOT extend this sale past Sunday May 6th.   So if you do not use your coupon code before midnight on the 6th, you lose it.   Please note, this email is ONLY used for give aways.  I will not respond to customer questions through this email.  You need to read the ENTIRE blog to know how to use this coupon code correctly on Ravelry.   I will NOT refund money because someone forgot to put in the code at checkout, and I have very clear instructions below for how to use the coupon code. 


The reason I'm posting these instructions is because the last time I offered a coupon code, it became apparent that the place to USE the code can be easily missed.

1)   Go to my pattern shop on Ravelry.

You should see something like this...

You must put TWO or more patterns in your cart.  Please note that my already discounted pattern packages (such as a hat and booties set) ARE included in this sale, BUT only count as 1 pattern. 

To put a pattern in your cart, click on the pattern. (I'm using my cowboy baby set as an example)
It will open up and look something like this.

Then you need to click on  "add to cart"
You'll find the place in the upper right corner, and it will look like this...

After you've added as many patterns as you wish to buy (there is no limit, but you must have at least TWO for the coupon code to work)  You'll need to go to your cart.  

To do that, click on your cart.  It will look something like this.

Then it will take you to your cart.  Now this is IMPORTANT!  DON'T MISS THIS PART!
Next to "checkout" are the words "use a coupon code".

BE SURE YOU CLICK ON THAT!      And the coupon code IS case sensitive.  So if you see capital letter, USE capital letters.  If you see lowercase letters, USE lower case letters.

THREE!  YOUR CHANCE TO WIN $100.00 Visa Gift Card or a $20.00 Visa Gift Card.

I have (1) $100.00 gift card and (5) $20.00 gift cards to give away!  You have lots of ways to enter! 

This is important!  You need to be able to comment on this blog.  If you can't, you will not be eligible for this.  In my past give aways, I've had a few people who had trouble being able to comment.  I will not be able to fix this from my end!  You will have to figure out how to enable your computer/browser to comment on this.  PLEASE do not email me or leave me comments on my facebook about this.  I have no way to fix it from my end.  Most people will not have any problems.

PLEASE LEAVE A SEPERATE COMMENT FOR EACH ENTRY! Your name MUST be on the comment so that I will know who to announce as the winner.

1)  If you posted a status to your facebook about my giveaway, Leave a comment that says, "I POSTED ON FACEBOOK! (Your name)"   (You can do this once a day for each day of the celebration.  Be sure you DO post the status, and then come back each day and leave a new comment!  That's SIX chances to win!

Example:     I POSTED ON FACEBOOK!   Elizabeth P. Alan

2) Pin one of my patterns on Pinterest.  If you do, leave a comment with the LINK to that pin (your name).  (Don't have a pinterest account?  Don't know how to do this?  That's okay!  There are other ways to enter. Please do not email me with questions regarding pinterest.)  You can do this for up to 10 patterns!   Please leave a separate comment for each pin.  That's TEN chances to win!

Example:  Elizabeth P. Alan

3) Post about my Celebration in a blog, forum, or group related to crochet.  If you do, leave a comment with the name of the forum, blog, or group where you posted (your name). This could be on Ravelry, or any other forum or crochet related group!  Be sure you leave a link to my facebook page!    You can do this up to 10 times, but it must be on different forums or groups.  I know a lot of us career crocheters are on a LOT of forums!  That's 10 chances to win!

Example:    The Lovely Crow blog!  Elizabeth P. Alan

4) Leave me a random comment!  This could be anything!  Tell me how your day is going.  Tell me what your favorite color is.  Tell me the sky is falling.  You can do this ONE time!   That's one chance to win!

Example:  The milk smelled funny, but I drank it anyway. Elizabeth P. Alan

Winners will be chosen via  and will be announced on my facebook page on May 7th, 2012.   Please note, if you comment more times than listed above, your entries will not be counted.  If you comment without a name, your entries will not be counted.  If you write all of these things into one comment, it only gets counted as one entry, so be SURE you are leaving a separate comment for each entry!

Thank you so much for all of the AMAZING support, word of mouth and encouragement I've received over the last 1.5 years!  And thank you for helping me build my fan base, and my business!  ENJOY!

Elizabeth Alan (The Lovely Crow)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

How you can help me on Ravelry and COUPON CODE HIDDEN IN BLOG!

That's right, keep reading. :)

There IS a coupon code in this blog!!

So I've been asked by many different customers now... "How can I leave you feedback on Ravelry?"
First, I can't tell you how much I appreciate that so many people want to help promote my patterns.  That means the world to me!!
So... I'm about to show you how.  (you can click here to go directly there.)
It's a FANTASTIC site. It's an online social community for knitters and crocheters.  It has thousands and thousands of patterns, many of the FREE!  It's my first stop when I'm looking for a new pattern, and should be yours too!!  They charge pattern designers a fair amount to list and sell their patterns (Etsy costs 4 times as much to sell.), and your purchase is available for DIRECT DOWNLOAD once payment clears.  No waiting for an email to be sent. :)   Ravelry can't be beat when you're wanting a great pattern.

So... you now have a Ravelry account.  (It's free... GET ONE!)
Now I want to direct you to my patterns on Ravelry.

Go here.  (You can click here to go directly there.)

And this is what you will see.

Once there, you can browse all of my patterns... (be sure you scroll down, there are quite a few!!)

Once you've found the pattern you've bought, or... are going to buy... click on it.   I'm going to use my cowboy set pattern as an example.

I clicked on it, and now it looks like this.

There is a LOT of information on this page.  You can see my photos, and photos from other members (if they've given me permission to use their photos).

And HERE is how you can leave me feedback.
There are several ways.

Look for this part of the page.

Then, choose "Add to faves".

If this is something you want to make... then... "Add to queue". 

And the BEST way to leave me feedback, is to jump into the project and "hook it".

When you choose to "hook it", it means you're working on the project.   It will start a project in your library, and it will bring you to a page that looks like this.

Now, you can do several things...   This is how you leave me feedback.

See this square?

Yeah... that square is brilliant.  It give you, the user, a better way to give feedback than Etsy.    You're star rating, one to five stars, is how well you liked the pattern.    Be honest.  Not everyone is going to like every pattern I write.  That's okay!!   When you leave me feedback here... it gives me a better idea of what I'm doing right, and what I'm doing wrong!    Also.. difficulty rating.   From easy to hard.  Be honest here too!  This is the best way to let other buyers know whether it's  pattern they might be able to tackle.  If the majority of people say it's easy... and a newer crocheter is considering it... it gives them a good idea of how hard it might be for them to try.   Just because a pattern is "difficult" doesn't mean it's a bad pattern!  It just means that a novice crocheter might not want to tackle it.

***  Here's your coupon code!!  This one is good until the end of the year 2011.  So on January 1st, 2012, this coupon code will no longer work!!   I'm going to ask that IF you take advantage of this coupon code, that you "hook" a project... add it to faves, add it to queue...  show me that this blog is helpful. :)
This coupon code is ONLY good on Ravelry.  Be SURE that you enter your coupon code at checkout.  I WILL not refund anyone because they didn't enter the code, or because they bought on Etsy, and then found this blog.  So please don not ask.  This coupon code WILL NOT work on Etsy.
Details:  Coupon Code           QUEUED       This will get you 30% off of your purchase price.  Be SURE you enter the coupon code at checkout.

Your checkout will look like this first...  see the "use a coupon code" next to your different options for payment?  BE SURE YOU CLICK ON THAT!!!     

BE SURE YOU CLICK ON "USE A COUPON CODE"   It looks like this.   

Love my patterns?   Link this blog on your facebook status for me!  Pin me on  Tell a friend.  Email a friend.   Mention one of my patterns in a forum (especially Ravelry forums).   All of these things help bring more people to my Ravelry page, and gets my patterns out there and seen!   THANK YOU to so many loyal customers who promote me often on their facebook pages and in forums!  I'm so grateful!! ****

After that... you'll want to "edit project details".

It will make your page look like this.

At that point, you can name your project, you can add the type of yarn you used, the size you made, all sorts of wonderful details!!   In your "notes", let others know what you thought of the pattern.  If you did something different, that you thought made it better,... make notes of it!   Other buyers will be able to see your notes... so be sure to write anything you might think is helpful. :)

And then... my most favoritest part of all!!!!  *cheesy smiles here*

PLEASE!  If you want to share a photo with me... do it here, on Ravelry.  (Facebook is good too!!)  Click on...  "add photos".

It's my favorite thing about what I do... getting to hear from customers and see their photos!!  So add your photos!  Show off your work!!

Thanks for reading this blog, and thanks for all the wonderful feedback I've already received from so many!!

Ebeth <3 <3

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Fun customer questions.

I get so many lovely emails from customers, asking all SORTS of questions!  Wonderful questions.  I love communicating with my customers, and fellow crochet lovers.  It's amazing.  :)
I answer a lot of pattern questions, but what amazes me is the questions I get about myself!  While I believe in myself, and like who I am, it always surprises me when people want to know more about me.
But it happens a lot, so I thought I'd write a blog with some of the most frequent questions I get.


1) How did you come up with the name "The Lovely Crow".

*** The Crow comes from the word "crochet".  A lot of crochet shops (patterns and products) use a lamb, sheep, lama, or alpaca as their "mascot".  I wanted to be original, and couldn't find (at the time) anyone using a Crow in their name or logo.   It seemed perfect to me. :)
My favorite color from the time I was a child has always been yellow.  Until I became pregnant with baby number 6, and all the sudden, everything pink stuck out to me... I gravitated towards in in fabrics, clothes, decor...  so originally I wanted to be "The pink crow".   But upon doing an internet search, I found a small band was already using that name.
My favorite word is "Lovely".  It's a lovely word, the word lovely. :)   I over use it.  When I like something, it's lovely.  When I'm frustrated, one of the kids spills something, or the toaster stops working "Just lovely."
So... I became... "The Lovely Crow".

2) How long have you been crocheting?

*** This is a mixed question.  My mother (amazing AMAZING mother), has always sewn, crocheted, knitted, cross stitched... she can do ANYTHING.  While growing up, she put a crochet hook in my hand several times.  I had no patience, and would end up with a very long chain, or possibly two or three crooked rows of single crochets.  So I suppose I could say that I've been crocheting since I was little. :)

When I was pregnant with baby number 5, I went to Walmart and got a book on how to crochet, and two skeins of  yarn.  I stayed up all night, and the next morning I had learned all the basic stitches, and had made a very pitiful hat.  I went on to make 10 or 12 (also very pitiful) hats, and a blanket.  That was 3 years ago.

I put it down for awhile, but when I became pregnant with baby number 6, I decided I wanted to make a blanket for her.  This time, I found a pattern for a granny square on the internet, and made it over and over again until I had it right, and then I made enough for a blanket.  That was 2 years ago.  I haven't stopped crocheting since.

3) When and why did you start writing crochet patterns?

I wanted to make booties to match a coming home layette I had crocheted for Sarah (baby number 6), and bought a dozen different bootie patterns.  I hated them all, except one, which had a double sole.  The double sole took FOREVER to make, and was so frustrating, because I never knew exactly where I was supposed to stop and start.  I decided there had to be a better way.  So I started making booties on my own.  I made booties, and more booties, and more booties.  It's ridiculous the number of booties I made during this obsession.   When I finally came up with a shoe I liked, I made MANY pairs and started to sell them on Etsy.  I had written the pattern for myself, but hadn't written it for anyone else.   I got a lot of Etsy convos asking where I'd gotten the pattern.  And when I replied that it was my own pattern, I started getting requests.

So... I wrote it.   That was "Baby Ribbon Maryjanes".   I honestly never expected it to sell very well, but I wrote it because it had been requested so many times.
It sold like crazy.
Then I started getting requests for a hat I was making... and so I wrote that pattern too.
"Ebeth's Princess Beanie."

After that, I got so much encouragement and great feedback from people, I just kept going.  I love designing, I love creating, I love crochet, and I love people.  And so... I found my PERFECT job.

But let me be completely honest...  I started writing patterns by accident.  I never intended to go in this direction... it just sort of found me.

Here's something REALLY funny.
I'd written my first two crochet patterns before I discovered I had been making a half double crochet incorrectly all along!!   I had been doing something called a single crochet extension.  It's similar in height to a half double crochet, so it still worked out in my patterns... but imagine my emberassment when I discovered I'd been doing it wrong!

4) How do you do all the you do with 6 kids?

***  I don't.  LOL.   My house is ALWAYS a wreck.  I'm a horrible horrible house keeper.  And we get take out a LOT.  I hate cooking.  Anything that's "cooked" in this house is usually taken out of a box.
I'm a fabulous mother, hand on, co sleeper, I breastfed them all, have homeschooled when needed (although not currently), I hug kiss and cuddle my kids constantly.  I'm patient and kind.  I adore my children, and they in turn adore me.  But I have so VERY many flaws.   It is ABSOLUTELY because of the support of my AMAZING husband that I'm able to run a small business.  He supports me in everything I do.  His advice and encouragement are the reasons that I can write and sell patterns.  When I need to work, to write, or to design, he takes on the kids, keeps them out of my craft room, entertains them, feeds them, plays with them... He's so wonderful, and I can't say enough about him or how thankful I am for him.  I am beyond blessed, and completely in love with him.   And... I get so much encouragement, positive feedback, and so many great suggestions from my testers and my customers... that it keeps me going.  I love what I'm doing.  I'm happy, and when I'm happy, my children are happier. 

5) How old are you?

***  LOL.  Isn't this the question no one is supposed to ask a woman?  Haha.  But really I don't mind.  I've been asked quite a few times.  So ... here it is.  In March of this year, I celebrated my 30th birthday.   I know... I'm 30 with 6 kids, and my oldest is 13.  Do the math.     I started VERY early.    Gregory (my husband) and I have been together since I was 15 years old.  We were high school sweethearts.  We became pregnant with our oldest daughter when I was just 16.   But we were meant to be!   I think we discussed getting married and having a large family (the plan was 8 kids, but has since been shortened to 6!!) in the first week of our relationship.   We always knew we would always be together, and that we would have a big family.  So here we are... and we do. :)

6) Who does your photography?

*** I do! :)  I decided several years ago that I wanted to be a photographer.  We saved our money and I bought a camera, photo editting software, and MANY books.  I spent about 6 months learning as much as I could about photography.   In the end, it wasn't something I wanted to do full time, or as a career, but I am SO thankful for what I learned.  It's allowed me to be able to do that part of writing my patterns.   And because it's been asked, no, I do not take on photography jobs.  Occasionally I've done photos for a close friend, but it isn't something I want to do for money.

7)  What other kinds of crafts do you like and or do?

***  Anything and everything.  I haven't really found anything I didn't want to do.  I have discovered I'm not good at sewing or knitting.  Although I wish I could be good at both, and so admire people who can do either well.    I've tried a lot of art mediums.  I love to draw.   I love working with photoshop.  I love photography.  I got into face painting for awhile, and became pretty good at it.

I hope it's something I can do on a volunteer basis with my church more often when my kids are older and I have more time.     And... customizing Hasbro My Little Ponies from the 80's.   I LOVE doing them, and when my toddlers are big enough to stay out of the materials I need, I plan to do more.

And...  those are the questions I'm asked most often, although there have been many many more.  I love hearing from my customers... so if you have a question, ask it!  :)  I'll do my best to answer any question I get.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Crochet baby booties pattern for Christmas!!

This is my latest bootie crochet pattern, "Baby Holly Shoes".   Adorned with the holly, which is part of the pattern, these shoes are perfect for a Christmas baby!   Without the holly, choose a cute button, and this shoe can be made anytime of the year!

I had a lot of fun creating this one. :)   Enjoy!

You can find this pattern in a couple of places.

I prefer for customers to check out through Ravelry.
If you aren't a part of Ravelry (  You should be!  It's a fantastic social network for crocheters and knitters.  It's free to join, and you'll find so many fantastic patterns there, you'll never run out of projects to try!  A lot of the patterns are free.  So definitely become a part of Ravelry if you haven't already!


Here's where you can find my pattern on Ravelry.


This pattern is also available on Etsy, and can be found here.


If you've bought this pattern, I'd love to hear how you liked it!  Be sure to stop by my facebook page and post a photo!  I LOVE LOVE LOVE getting to see my customers finished project photos.   I love seeing all the creativity with colors, layout, and photography.   You can find me on facebook here.


Be sure to check back soon!  I have two new patterns coming out that will be PERFECT to go with these little shoes!  Here's a preview of "Holly Earflap Beanie" which will be available soon!

And after that, I'll be releasing my first FREE pattern. :)  I'm really excited about this one.  One of my FABULOUS pattern testers, Sandie, gave me the idea.   I'm not ready to reveal what the pattern will be, but just know, it's GORGEOUS! :)
If you want to see some of the FANTABULOUS things Sandie makes, you can visit her shop here.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Where the magic happens...

This is just a short blog.  I thought some of my followers might like to see where my patterns are created! :)


Standing in my kitchen, looking into The Lovely Crow craft room.

See the photos on the wall?  My mother and uncle when they were in high school.  Those photos are definitely two of my most treasured possessions.

The Lovely Crow "brain" center.  This is where I sit when I write patterns, send patterns, respond to customers, and blog!

Another view of my "brain". (It's rarely actually this clean.)

Don't worry!  There was never a baby in the play pen while that iron was hooked up! :)  The mural on the wall, I designed and painted myself.  Whimsical dogwood branches and blooms.

The photo there is actually a handmade cross stitch piece my mother made for me, and it took her YEARS to complete.  Another of my most favorite things.

And that's where it happens!  This "craft room" was a gift from my husband for my birthday.  He helped me pick out the furniture, put it all together, hang shelves, and paint.  His support, encouragement, and love has been AMAZING as I have worked to build my small business.  Without him, it wouldn't be possible.

I hope you've enjoyed seeing my "magic space". :)