Friday, October 29, 2010

Stockings from a sweater

Houston is just next week, and OAY starts in 13 days. I have been busy lately trying to finish up projects and add a few more additional items to my inventory that I will be taking to the Once a Year Holiday Market.  Stockings is an item category that was requested, so I have been trying to add a few more of those.  Although I have made some from other materials, I have made a few stockings from sweaters.  That sounds kind of strange, but if you look at a sweater with a creative eye, it is amazing what you could come up with.  These stockings pictured are all from one sweater.  The larger ones are all about 18" long.  The ribbing at the edge of the sweater is the finished edge at the top of the stockings. The two larger on the right are actually from the sleeves, which I left mostly intact.  I used a pattern for the two on the left, but kind of winged it when I got to the sleeves.  I'm still not sure about the bows... the stockings might be fine without any embellishment.  If I leave the bows, they can be taken off by whoever buys them.  I just don't want them to be a distraction.

It is pretty straight forward to use a pattern and get a stocking cut from the body of the sweater, but it took a little more innovation to get the stockings from the sleeves.  I may have to try to put a tutorial together.  It turned out to be pretty easy, but I had to tweak it a bit from where I started.  Second one always goes faster.

I went to the Goodwill store the other day looking for a couple sweaters for stockings, and if I picked sweaters with a pink tag, they were only $.99.  I went out of the store with an armful.  They filled two washer loads when I got home.  I didn't buy any to wear for myself, but there were some really nice sweaters.  If I don't sell the stockings I get made at this show, I will probably be bringing an armful of sweaters back to Goodwill after the show.  My picture does not really do these justice.  The green yarn has metallic gold through it and the knitted weave is pretty open, so the red felt I used to line these shows through. I figure I should be able to sell these for at least $15, so I could make $60 from one sweater that cost me $.99.  Yes, I have to add the cost of felt, but that adds a minimal amount.  They actually go together pretty quickly, so my time is also at a minimum.

I have a couple other sweater stockings done that are completely different and quite unique.  I am hopeful that sweater stockings will be a good addition to my offerings.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Almost time for Houston

Is anyone getting ready to head to Houston?  This will be my first year and I was not able to find a hotel room close by, so I opted to board a bus with a lot of other quilters in San Antonio and only be at the Quilt Show for the one day this year.  I can get a better feel for just how much time I want to spend there next year, and hopefully be able to make hotel reservations close to the show.

I am participating in a show in two weeks.  I hesitate to call it a craft show because that conjures up a vision of booths and tables.  This is a juried show with only a set number of artisans.  The hall is setup like a gift shop where all the same type of items are displayed together.  There is a Christmas tree where everyone who made ornaments hang them all together.  Jewelry is in one area, and so it goes with all the other categories of items.  This show has been going on for 20 years and it is an annual event for many of the patrons.  People try to get there early on the first day to have their choice of ornaments.  No one who is a participating artisan is limited to what they can sell, but it must be made by that artisan.  I have only been to the show once because I have not lived here that long and was not aware of it until last year.  I was asked to submit my application for consideration... I'm not real sure what I have got myself into.  Hopefully all of the items will be good sellers.  I will be happy if I sell half of what I take there to be sold.  If my husband decides there is something he can make for next year... my membership permits my husband to also create items for sale.  There are several couples that are part of this organization. 

I have done some quilted items, a few stuffed animals, lots of ornaments, several stockings, some toy items, and lots of other miscellaneous creations.  I did some calculating earlier today and at the moment I have over 100 items and I think I'm almost out of steam to start a
nything new at this point.  I may leave it where I'm at and start planning for next year.  Once you are in, it is your decision to opt out for the following year.  For me, the option to do this next year will depend on how well I do this year.  It requires a fair amount of time and effort... I do have to consider that everyone else had almost a whole year to prepare for this upcoming show and I had half that amount of time considering when I knew that I had been voted in.

I am at countdown to the Houston show followed by countdown to OAY (Once a Year).  I'll be very happy when this year's OAY is finished so I can get back to some serious quilting.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

It's good to be home

One week ago today we left on an adventure that we anticipated being a whirlwind, and I want to tell you that it held up to that expectation.  We boarded a plane early Thursday morning and headed to Columbus, Ohio to help facilitate the move of my father-in-law and his wife to Phoenix, Arizona.  We had several family members on hand to help.  The truck was loaded and ready to go by noon on Saturday.  The next phase of the move was for Ron and I to drive the rental truck and my father-in-law's mini-van the 2,000 miles to Phoenix.  They did not ride with us... my brother-in-law flew in to escort them on their flight to Phoenix.  There are actually 4 states represented in this picture.  Ohio, California, Texas and Arizona.  Our journey spanned 4 days... with only two drivers and two vehicles and there was no relief drivers... we had to limit the number of miles we could drive in one day.

 We really didn't go through very many big cities, so our close calls were held to a minimum, as at least 90% of our driving was during daylight hours.

I cannot tell you exactly where we were at this point, but it was in Arizona.  I really got to learn what the back of the rental truck looked like.
The last rest area that we stopped at before arriving at our destination was really quite beautiful with all the rock formations around.  It was pretty close to Benson, Arizona.  I had forgotten that the rocky landscape extended that far south in Arizona.  Goes to show how easy I can forget as I have been across I-10 a few times and I certainly should have remembered all those rocks. 

They really do Micky D's a bit different in Arizona. 

Our flight home yesterday went very smooth.  It is good to be back home and to have Dad and June safely in Phoenix. 

It was alot to accomplish in one week, but determination can get it done.