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.

<3
Ebeth

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.  http://www.ravelry.com/groups/the-lovely-crow


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.

ONE!   2 OF MY PATTERNS ARE AVAILABLE ON CRAFTSY FOR FREE DOWNLOAD!




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!


Steps:
* 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! www.facebook.com/thelovelycrow


* 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.

http://www.craftsy.com/user/pattern/store/184915

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

Baby Garden Boots


Holly Earflap Beanie


 

TWO!  GET 40% OFF OF YOUR PURCHASE OF 2 OR MORE PATTERNS ON RAVELRY! COUPON CODE REQUIRED!






This is what I need from you.


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


Steps:
*  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!  www.facebook.com/thelovelycrow


* 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 thelovelycrow@gmail.com

Steps:
* 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. 



INSTRUCTIONS FOR USING 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.


Steps:
1)   Go to my pattern shop on Ravelry.
http://www.ravelry.com/designers/elizabeth-alan

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:   http://pinterest.com/pin/163748136421667512/  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!   www.facebook.com/thelovelycrow    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 random.org  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!

Sincerely,
Elizabeth Alan (The Lovely Crow)