Oct 31, 2012

happy halloween!

(i'm wearing the Brice Hat and Owen's handmade hat is the Mercer Hat.)

finally made it to the pumpkin patch this past weekend! owen picked out his first pumpkin (a tiny orange one he carried around the rest of the night), loved the goat but was unsure of the pony, and snuggled with dad by the fire.

next year we'll head to the big patch to pick out a "real pumpkin" but this year sticking to the games, food and tiny pumpkins seemed the right speed. we are so blessed that in Omaha there's a HUGE pumpkin patch we can go to ... people come from all over the state to experience it!

Oct 29, 2012

my big, fat, giant christmas list for 2012

As of today, there are 8 weeks (and a half) until Christmas morning. People that is not a lot of time! And because I am nothing if not a thief, I am totally cribbing African Kelli’s Christmas plan and making it my own!

Thanks to folks placing orders left and right in the shop, I know I’ll be spending much of my time filling orders over the next eight weeks. I don’t want that to get in the way of our family’s holiday time though. And I definitely don’t want to be the crazy lady trying to address Christmas cards on the 18th, praying they get to everyone by the 25th.

So a list, broken down by week. Kelli gives herself an hour a day for holiday stuff – I like the way she thinks, but also know I may not have that every day. So some days I’ll be doing smaller tasks, and many days I’ll be pulling my hair out that I didn’t do anything at all!

  • Wrap presents as I find or finish them. Tag them and set on shelves in our bedroom closet so they can be placed under the tree in early December.
  • Listen to tons of Christmas music.
  • Take pictures of everything. Post-date posts for the blog about knitted presents, so I can share them after folks have received them.
  • Shop orders.

Week 1 (October 29):
  • Get the gift list spreadsheet going. Fill out with all handmade presents. (done 10/29)
  • List out necessary supplies for presents, and use from stash as much as possible. Separate supplies into bags – one for each present – so I can have everything I need for that present ready to get worked on.
  • Try to get a cute photo of the three of us for holiday cards.
  • Knit one dark blue hat for post office guys.
  • Work on pop-up shop hats.

Week 2 (November 5):
  • Update gift spreadsheet if I’ve found “the perfect present” for anyone.
  • Wrap any knitting I’ve managed to finish, tag it, and set it aside.
  • Try (again) to get a cute photo of the three of us for holiday cards.
  • Post to blog and shop the official holiday shop timeline – make sure I tell folks what the last day is for ordering something to get it before Christmas.
  • Knit second dark blue hat for post office guys.
  • Work on pop-up shop hats.

Week 3 (November 12):
  • Try one last time to get a cute photo of the three of us for holiday cards. If that fails, use one of the thousand cute photos I have of Owen and call it good.
  • Order Christmas cards.
  • Begin working on international gifts.
  • Drop off stuff for pop-up shop.
  • Knit third dark blue hat for post office guys.

Week 4 (November 19):
  • Pick up holiday themed stamps at the post office.
  • Drop off cookies and hand knits to post office employees. They’ll need the cheer in the coming weeks.
  • Address and stamp all Christmas cards.
  • Finish knitting international gifts.

Week 5 (November 26):
  • Mail all Christmas cards.
  • Decorate the house the day after Thanksgiving.
  • Assess holiday decorations, and make a list of what you can pick up this year.
  • Mail international gifts.
  • Find child-care for the birthday party extravaganza.
  • Begin Handmade Holidays posting as I have time/projects.

Week 6 (December 3):
  • Figure out holiday party schedule (if there is one) and coordinate child care where necessary.
  • Mail gifts that can’t be hand delivered.
  • Finish Zach’s sweater.
  • Finish Wendy’s birthday present.
  • Find a cute outfit for the birthday party.

Week 7 (December 10):
  • Make presents for Devine side and set aside for Xmas Eve party.
  • Stress out that I haven’t made any of the handmade gifts on my list, so start them now.
  • Enjoy Zach and Wendell’s birthday party!
  • Handmade craft with Owen #1.
  • Handmade craft with Owen #2.

Week 8 (December 17):
  • Baked goods for the house, neighbors, and family.
  • Start a list of thing we’ve received for sending out thank you cards between Christmas and New Year.
  • Handmade craft with Owen #3.
  • Handmade craft with Owen #4.
Whew! That's a lot to get done in eight weeks. I'll be heading back here to cross things off this list (and link to posts where I share - when applicable - as the weeks progress).

Have you started thinking about the holidays yet?

Oct 24, 2012

hats on people: Maggie and Hank Mason

way back in July i decided to share a dream ... a dream team, to be exact. in two posts (post one, post two) i got bold and called out to the universe the folks i'd love to send hats to. and then i got even more bold, and started sending out e-mails.

because you can tell the universe that you want to put 10,000 hats on 10,000 people, and you can tell the universe that you've got a dream team of folks you'd love to send hats to, but unless you get off your keister and start sending those hats, nothing will happen.

so i e-mailed Maggie Mason, the mightiest gal i know. i figured she'd never get back to me, or maybe get back to me in a year or two, busy lady that she is. less than a day later, she responded, super excited to get a hat not just for herself, but one for her son Hank as well! the universe is such a fun lady! Maggie and Hank got their hats, and just last night Maggie even shared the 10,000 hats project on her blog - more than i ever could have asked for!

if you don't already know Maggie, head on over to her site ... and be ready for inspiration! she'll encourage you to set up a life list and to do mighty things with your days - who doesn't need more mighty in their lives? and if you're in the Palm Springs area november 15-17, there's a few spots left for Camp Mighty - it's going to be a blast, i'd bet!

Oct 21, 2012

chicago for the weekend


over the weekend we took a quick trip to Chicago, just the hubs and i, to see Nebraska barely beat Northwestern. we sat so close to the sideline that Zach ended up on television, screaming his head off for all the world to see!

over the course of 60 hours or so, i managed to knit two hats, one sleeve, half of another sleeve and start a holiday present. i also gifted a red hat to a friend, so i'm now at 203 hats!

and i got to thinking about this space. what would i share here if no one showed up? and the truth of the matter is, not much. shop updates, photo bombs like this one, but that's about it. don't get concerned, i'm not going anywhere. it was just refreshing to not have my fingers on a keyboard for three whole days, to use my phone to document our time (and love every minute of it) and to just .... be.

i love using my camera (and instagram ... i'm "shemakeshats") to document our days. photos of knitting and owen dominate my thoughts and my phone, and that's okay with me. i don't know that i want all the stuff that comes with having a well-known blog, an editorial schedule, thousands (or millions!) of readers who expect certain things from you .... i'm happy with my phone, my needles and those of you who show up here.

it was a good trip ... down time is always nice, and our first trip away without Owen went better than expected. we loved the game (most of it!) and loved spending time with friends. and who can have a bad time in Chicago?!

Oct 16, 2012

matching hats

thanks so much to Steve for sending over this adorable photo of Hope (left) and Esben (right) in their matching hats! pattern is the Baby Brewer hat pattern, available for free. i see so many more of these in my future! my ravelry notes are here, for those who want the details.

Oct 11, 2012

makes me happy // fall edition

re-reading The Happiness Project (and then Happier At Home); inspired to make a list of the things that are making me happy right now.

  • hot chocolate
  • Owen's  hugs
  • reading Young Adult fiction
  • reading chic-lit
  • knitting
  • crochet
  • wearing handmade hats
  • wrapping up in a scarf
  • the smell of pumpkin candles burning
  • boots
  • making lists
  • the aquarium at the zoo
  • thick socks
  • sweat pants
  • skinny jeans
  • wearing my glasses
  • eating a juicy burger
  • when he rolls over in his sleep and hugs me
  • painting my nails
  • personalizing shop orders
What is making you happy right now?


ps - thanks for your thoughts on my giant blog photo issue. i DO have them all saved on the computer (and many on flickr as well) so all is not lost! i'll probably slowly go back and re-add them to the posts, so things will slowly go back to normal around here, post-wise. if i can't find the photo i used, i'll just publish without a picture and be okay with that.

ah, technology. i love and hate you so!

Oct 10, 2012

owen says

zach had the day off monday, and so stayed home with owen while i went off to work as usual. as i was trying to get a kiss goodbye, owen was busy climbing up the stairs with zach.

me: owen, is daddy your favorite?
owen: NOPE!
zach: owen, is mommy your favorite?
owen: YEP!

Oct 9, 2012

reading lately

Back in June I set a goal to read 10 new books before my next birthday. I have since reached that goal ... and surpassed it! Thanks in large part to having a Kindle, I can now read just about anywhere without having to lug a book with me - this works perfectly for when I'm knitting and can't hold a book without losing my page!

Below is a list of the books I've finished reading since June, along with a note or two about each!

The Alchemyst: The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott. First in a series of six.
The Magician (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel) by Michael Scott. Second in a series of six. 
The Sorceress (The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel) by Michael Scott. Third in a series of six.

I'm loving this series so far! I'm knee-deep into the fourth book, and while they aren't as good as the Harry Potter series (what is???), I recommend them for sure!

The Tower, by Chris Guillebeau. (free PDF!) Lord knows why I waited so long to read this. It spoke to where I'm at right now in a huge way (as all Chris' stuff does) and I'm already implementing pieces of it!

Untether to Evolve, by Ev Bogue. So much good info in this book! While I will never be as untethered as Ev is, I love his take on life and find many practical applications for my own.

Shakespeare's Landlord (Lily Bard Mysteries, Book 1) (Lily Bard Mystery)by Charlaine Harris. This was a hard book for me to finish. An unexpected (and super graphic and violent) gang rape scene halfway through meant I put the book down for some time. I'm glad I came back to it, and may just read more in the series.

My Exile Lifestyle by Colin Wright. His first book on traveling full time. Colin is a storyteller in a way most folks aren't. I'd read just about anything he wrote (and do!) for this reason alone!

Impossible: The Manifesto by Joel Runyon. Butt kicking, good read.

Iceland India Interstate by Colin Wright. I swear I didn't read this book just because I'm in it for a paragraph!  Colin was the impetus for the Hats On People project, and reading this book was a fun look into a travel period in his life I happened to be part of.

This I Know: Notes on Unraveling the Heart by Susannah Conway. Quite literally the best book I've read so far. It changed how I view myself, my past, and how I'm moving forward in my life.

Knitting Rules!: The Yarn Harlot's Bag of Knitting Tricksby Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. Finally reading some of her work. Genius - funny, truthful, and full of her soul.

Truth by Nina Yau. Brilliant and conscise discussions of living in your own truth.

Minimalism: Essential Essays by Ryan Nicodemus and Joshua Fields Millburn. I like this version of minimalism; it's concise and yet accessible.

The Case of the Soggy Wallet (Holmes Detective Agency) by Molly and Kristen Wright. Loved this book! Young adult fiction at it's finest, I can't wait for the next installment!

I'm going to keep on reading as I knit, mostly in the evenings while football is on, and after Owen has gone to bed. I look forward to updating more regularly with what I've read because of this!

(view my entire reading list here)

Oct 5, 2012

Hats On People: Scott Dinsmore

pattern: Simple Striped Hat (one of my free patterns)
yarn: I Love This Yarn! in greybeard and red. approximately 1/4 of a skein of each
needles: US 10 / 6.0 mm 16" circs and DPNs

Scott Dinsmore has been writing at Live Your Legend since 2006 - practically forever in the blog world! Through Live Your Legend Scott aims to help folks earn a living doing the work they love - sounds like perfection to me!

Part of the goal of Live Your Legend is to document 1,000 folks living their dreams from around the world. On a regular basis Scott shares stories of folks who have done and are doing the work they were made for! As a coach and writer, and someone who is living his legend, Scott brings expertise to a field that desperately needs experts.

So many of us (myself included!) are struggling with how to do the work they love, and thanks to the regular updates at Live Your Legend we can all take giant leaps in the right direction! When I contacted Scott about being part of this project, he was super excited, and also easy to work with! He gave me some color ideas but left the hat design up to me - always fun for a knitter! I love red stripes, so when Scott said red would work, I immediately went for it!

Turns out he doesn't get to wear this hat as much as he'd like, as his wife has all but stolen it from him! I think that's a sign that this is a good hat ...

Oct 4, 2012

Charity: Water Hats Revealed!

I finished up the 34 hats for charity: Water a few weeks ago and shipped them out amidst the craziness of Hat-Tember 2012. When Jordan (one of the interns, and my contact) e-mailed to say the hats had been received, I couldn't have been happier. So when she said I had been featured at their weekly staff meeting, and shared a few pictures of the staff excitedly wearing their hats, I was elated!

I love what charity: Water does - they bring clean drinking water to folks who would otherwise have to walk hours upon hours for it, if there was any to be had at all. Some of the most preventable deaths happen due to lack of clean water, and charity: Water is helping save lives, one well at a time.

 It was so nice to connect with Jordan - she's a rock star for sure, jumping on board with this crazy idea from the minute I suggested it! When the box of hats arrived in New York, Jordan even featured me and the hats in their weekly staff meeting - the photos above were taken afterwards, when everyone got their hats! And then I got a few tweets ...
from @paullyoung: @shemakeshats thanks for sending awesome beanies to @charitywater! I just shaved my head, so you'll be looking after me this fall!

and from @gracehaeko: @shemakeshats Thank you for knitting such awesome beanies for @charitywater! Beanies usually don't fit my big head, but this one's perfect!

and from @jbrookesbaker: @shemakeshats I believe @gracehaeko just called you her "hat hero" ;)
Love it! Loved the project, love charity: Water! Thanks to every one of the 34 folks that do what they do to bring clean drinking water to folks around the world ...

Oct 2, 2012

hat-tember 2012 // i want to remember

Can you believe Hat-Tember 2012 is already over?! While I'm happy to be knitting and crocheting other things now (working with the same hat pattern for a full month can get a bit repetitive, to be sure!)

I am still in awe of the fact that I actually did it! I'm super excited to get back into the swing of things, and just in time for fall no less! There's holidays to plan for, fun craft projects with the little now that he's starting to be big enough for them, different hat patterns to try ... so many exciting plans and lists already brewing I can't even begin to express my excitement!

But before I jump into October and fall, there are so many things I want to remember from Hat-Tember 2012!

I want to remember the excitement of starting the project.

I want to remember gathering all my yarn, and Owen helping by tossing it all back out of the yarn box as fast as I could stuff it in!

 I want to remember Zach's face when i asked him to take a set of photos every day for a month!

 I want to remember just how good my husband is at taking pictures. I take that for granted, but this little blog wouldn't run as well without him snapping photos like he does!  

I want to remember carrying yarn and a crochet hook with me everywhere - to work, in the car, family gatherings, even a weekend away.

 I want to remember the days when it was hard - a sick kiddo, days so hot I didn't even want to be outside much less wearing a hat, and those dark circles from lack of sleep making me wish I could use Photoshop better!

 I want to remember Owen running around the yard while we took pictures each evening, and all the fun photos we have of him going down the slide, mowing the lawn and singing so loud.  

I want to remember how easy it got to snap photos. We got into a rhythm and could knock out 10 shots or so in 30 seconds or less! Good to remember as we figure out how and when to take hat photos in the coming months.  

I want to remember that I ended up crocheting 3990 yards of yarn!  

I want to remember I can do impossible things. Crocheting a hat a day in September definitely did not seem like something I could do. I had a huge list of "must do's" that were going to get in the way (not to mention all sorts of things come up that I wasn't expecting), but every day I put hook to yarn and made a hat. Good reminder that I can do so much more than I think I can!


Post inspired by the lovely posts that Elise Cripe and Ali Edwards did. These two always remind me to save my memories as often as I can - I'll thank myself for it someday!