Friday, June 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Alex! THIRTEEN!

So... my oldest daughter, my first beautiful baby girl... just turned 13 on June 4th.
Oh, my heart.
Alex is an AMAZING kid.  She really is.  She is creative, talented, smart, clever, responsible, mature, kind...
You just can't find a better kid.  Really.
She's a lot like me, better behaved than I was as a kid, and far move clever, but an artist at heart just like I am.  She could care less about school, although she does well when she applies herself.  She just wants to be creating.  ALL the time.
She and I are SUPER close.  We talk, and we spend time together.  Not as much as we should lately because I've been swamped with business stuff.  But the beautiful girl.. she's so patient with me, supportive, understanding.
If you aren't getting it...
I LOVE this kid.
She really does have blue hair.  *nods head*

So...  I was SUPER proud, and excited for her to be turning 13!  A teenager!!!  She's had the maturity of one for awhile, but finally.. here was the number!  THIRTEEN!
So I went to Walmart in the middle of the night to do some birthday shopping for her.  And I was so excited.  I found several things that I just KNEW she'd love.  
I'm walking around the store, so happy, smile on my face, imagining the look on her face when she opens her gifts.
And then I get the bright idea to give her some cash as one of her gifts, so that she can have some fun shopping and be able to pick out whatever she wants.
I gotta get a card!  Something to put the cash in!
So I made the big mistake of spending some time in the card aisle at Walmart.

So I start reading through the cards.. and really enjoy some of the funny ones, and the cards that play music when you open them.
But then I got into the sentimental cards.
You know those cards that are written to make you cry?
Those cards.
And suddenly it hit me.

Officially.. she is no longer a "kid" anymore.  No longer my baby, no longer my precious little girl, but a young woman.
It hit me like a ton of bricks, and suddenly gut wrenching, soul ripping pain shot through me.
I stood in the aisle and sobbed.

People walked past me, they stared.  But all I could do was stand there and cry and cry over the cards, while I had memories of Alex the day she was born, her first steps, her first words (She called her pacifier a FOh -Foh.  Isn't that SWEET?) , her first day of school, her first haircut, her sweet baby breath, and huge baby eyes...  It just KILLED me.

So I finally managed to pull myself together enough to leave the store, and then sat in my car and cried some more.  I got home, cried some more.

And I started these picures the next day.  Unfortunately, everytime I worked on the pictures, I cried.  The two times I started this blog, I cried.  And okay... we're now weeks past her birthday, and still... I"m writing this blog..
and crying.

Alex, my beautiful girl, I am SOOO proud of you!  I wouldn't change a thing about you.  I loved you before I knew you.  And I will love you more each day of my life.  I am so blessed to be your mother.
Sometimes I wish you'd slow down.. that each precious phase would last just a little bit longer.  But honey.. I am LOVING watching you grow.
I love you.

P.S.  And yes, I did manage to grab a card, and yes, she did get her birthday money, LOL. :)

Paypal, Quicken... bookkeeping.

I'm exhausted.
I'm trying to figure out, in a very short amount of time, how to run a successful business.  I am owner, business manager, financial officer, designer, publisher, editor, public relations, marketer, trouble shooter, customer support, I am everything that is The Lovely Crow.
And it's taking over my life.  Which is fine.  I love LOVE my job.  And it's what I need to put my energy towards right now.
I'm fine with that.
But then I have nights like tonight.
When I come up against a brick wall.
And I just want to TEAR my hair out!
because Paypal is being HORRIBLE to navigate.  I'd be fine if I'd been doing the bookkeeping all along.  But NOOOO.  I had to procrastinate, and start in JUNE!
*deep breath*
It is also nights like tonight, where I MUST force myself to go to my happy place.

So here I am.
Happy Place.
And I'm going to kick Paypals ass.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Coming soon! New crochet pattern from The Lovely Crow : "Teaparty Hat"

So quite awhile back, my friend Kim bought a series of hat patterns on Etsy.  The finished hats pictured were BEAUTIFUL, but the directions were HORRIBLE.  I sat with her and tried, and tried to figure out what the author of the patterns meant with her directions.  After several hours of frustration, we gave up, and I scratched it all, and picked up a crochet hook, and came up with something DOABLE.  This design I created for my friend Kim, was a SUPER adorable little hat with a floppy brim.
It SCREAMS little girl.  And for me, I saw images of myself as a little girl, tea cup in hand, playing with dolls, and friends, TEAPARTIES!! :)

And, over the next couple of days, I came up with the different sizes, and wrote the pattern so that Kim and I could both read it.
Well, that was MONTHS ago.
And then, my wonderful friend Courtney, reminded me of the pattern when she brought up Kim's hats in her shop and how completely adorable they are. 
To visit Kim's shop, and her ADORABLE creations go here.

I've been fighting lately with myself.  I've been swamped by the responsibilities of running my shop, trying to get my book keeping in order, researching marketing, and applying what I've learned to all aspects.  So I haven't been devoting anytime at all to pattern writing, despite the fact that I have MANY patterns now in process.
I needed something easy to break me back in.  And since I had the pattern mostly written, I decided to jump back in with my "Teaparty Hat". :)

So I'm making a few small adjustments.  I'm also going to come up with a different flower.  When I designed it, Kim added a few extra petals to my "Princess Flower", and it came out ADORABLE.  But, as I want my designs to differ, I'm going to change this flower up, and do something a little different.
I'm having a blast, throwing myself back into my work.  For the past 8 hours I've worked on this pattern, pouring over my written directions, changing, crochetting, trying it out, frogging, correcting.
I'm back in the mood again.  And READY to start writing again.
For those of you waiting on the monkey beanie, bulky loafers, ruffle butt diaper cover, and others, I apologize.  I promise, eventually I'll get them ALL written. :)
Here's my FAVORITE picture of all the ones we took after I desined this hat originally.

That's my beautiful little girl, Lena.  She is the princess in our house.  She loves everything pink, everything lacey and frilly.  She plays dress up all the time, dances, and sings.  This hat fits her personality so perfectly, so this picture, for me, is TRULY Lena.

I'm really looking forward to coming up with some new patterns in the coming weeks! 

For those of you waiting on my videos, yes, I'm working on them.  I have a very hard time making the videos.  It makes me super nervous to make them, to the point of being nauseous.  I don't know why.  It's silly, I know.  I never expected I'd have that reaction to being infront of a camera, but I do.  So when I convince myself to make the videos, I usually only manage to make one before I'm emotionally exhausted.

I REALLY appreciate all of the positive feedback and encouragement I've recieved from so many of you who have watched the videos.  It means the world to me.
I do hope eventually I'll be more comfortable making them, and it won't be such a big deal.  Meanwhile, I've promised myself I'll get three videos a week done, and uploaded until my very LONG list of to do videos is taken care of.
I appreciate everyone's patience with me as I work on those!  I've gotten such great suggestions for new videos, and it's really helped, knowing what people want to see!

I'm also working on getting my vimeo site more organized.  I'd like to have an album for each pattern, and eventually a walk through for each pattern.  And then on the main page, I want to offer general crochet videos, that anyone can see, with no password required.  Things that aren't pattern specific, and can help anyone who's stuck somewhere.

But more on that later.

Thank you everyone for so much patience with me lately!  Between trying to get my business figured out financially, keeping up with customer questions and sales, and visiting with family the last couple of weeks, I sure hope I haven't missed anyone, or forgotten to reply to someone.  If I have, PLEASE know that it hasn't been on purpose! 

Oh... check this out. :)  Self portrait.
"The Lovely Crow"