Showing posts with label update. Show all posts
Showing posts with label update. Show all posts

New Art Gallery Shop for Steffens Photography

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 The last year seems to have gone by so quickly.  My "day job" had me helping facilitate the opening of a brand new building, and even with all the restrictions due to covid, I just couldn't get to everything on my to-do list.  But that's ok - part of life is balancing the things that need done with the things that you want to get done.  What have I done over the last year?  

I worked really hard on my crafting room - painted the walls, installed shelves, organized all my craft supplies and finally consolidated my gigantic yarn collection.  Just a few weeks ago, I finished sorting all the items that I have that will be going up for sale very soon. I'm so excited that I finally feel like I have a nice space to create my art!  (So is my husband because he thinks that means it won't appear in other parts of the house... ha!)

I added a few new patterns to my Etsy shop, Crafted By Life Designs.  This is your one stop shop for all of my knit, crochet and graph patterns for all sorts of yarn crafting.  Crafted By Life Designs

We re-did the kids rooms, made a giant Audrey II (more on her to be shared soon!), went totally Clark Griswold on the house for Christmas, and played a ton of Minecraft and board games as a family.

Lastly, I opened a brand new Art Gallery online which will be the new home for my photography.  From here you can buy amazing prints and have them shipped directly to you.  They'll even frame them if you want!  Please check me out, and consider buying something if you're looking for a new piece for your home.  I specialize in abstract and manipulated photography, but do also dabble in nature photography. 

Steffens Photography Art Gallery

What else is in store for me this year?

Well, one thing that anyone who knows me knows, is that I love coffee.  And now, you can buy me one!!  Visit me at and help me support all of my artistic endeavors.  Right now, all you can do is buy me a coffee (not a real coffee, silly, I'll buy my own!), but in the very near future, I'll be offering recurring support memberships that will give you exclusive rewards, request commissions and more! 

You'll be seeing one more new shop go live as I catalog and price out shipping on all of my yarn items, jewelry, resin work and more!  I'm moving away from Etsy for all of my physical items, as my new platform doesn't charge me fees on anything that I ship myself, but provides me with a free platform to sell my art.  This, in turn, saves me money, which I can then use to make more art!!!  

We bought a HOUSE!!!

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Hey all!
For those of you who don't know, we bought a house!!!  This is probably the most exciting, terrifying, and adultiest thing I've ever done in my entire life!  Needless to say, I haven't had a lot of time between packing and painting and cleaning, but now we're in, my computer is up and the office is about halfway set up so I can at least get to writing about things.

First, HOUSE!!
I can't tell you all how long I've been looking forward to getting a house.  It is so exciting to finally be in four walls of our own.  Of course, now that we've had the house for a while, I'm finding all sorts of things that I want to do while we're here.  I'll talk about those as I start to address them, and I'll cover each room and our decorating adventures as we get things all up to speed.  Here are a few pictures from right after we moved in:

Second, New PATTERN alert!!  I just dropped a new series of graph patterns that I've been working really hard on!  These were not easy, but I love the way that they turned out!

State Graph Patterns Bundle

State Graph Patterns by Individual State

Third,  I am super excited to share with you a whole new line of products that I have introduced to my shop!  I had originally intended on opening a whole new shop with these items, but even keeping up with one blog, one shop and one facebook page is overwhelming to me.   Soooo, all my new items are going up in my existing shop, and I can't wait to share them with you!!!

Introducing, the My Perfect Planner "Bliss" Series!!!!

After many years of fighting with store bought planners trying to find an option that worked well for me, I decided to create my own. After using it and tweaking it, adding and removing pages, changing designs and scrapping some entirely, I have created a planner that will certainly help you keep organized, no matter who you are!! The files include options for you to customize this planner to fit your needs! If you prefer to have loads of room to write on your monthly calendar, use the two page spread. If that's not your style and you prefer to keep it small and neat, use the one page month file! Mix and match your files to find the best fit for your busy lifestyle!

Aztec Dreams Core Pack

Aztec Dreams Planner

Orange Dots Core Pack

Orange Dots Planner

Teal Chevron Core Pack

Tidal Wave Core Pack
Cool Vines Core Pack

Seasonal Booster Pack

Lastly, I want to thank all of you who keep coming back even after years of my inactivity!    I am trying to work on balancing a full time job, 2 children and a house to manage all on top of trying to do what I love, which is to make wonderful things.   As I always do, when I tried to get back into the swing of things I'm going to try and promise to bring you new material, new craft projects, patterns, and probably some things I haven't thought up yet.

I would love to hear from anyone who reads this:
What would you like to see me create next??

Nerdy Jewelry
More printables (what kinds?)
More planners (what kinds?)
Party Planners (what kinds?)
Dice (yes!  Dice is on my list of stuff to make!)
Tutorial videos- resin, molding, paints and more


Busy week with Star Wars, Dalmations, Christmas printables and a big announcement!!!

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So I have been a busy girl the past two weeks, trying to put the finishing touches on some new listings, working on custom orders and trying to fix up the blog.  So today, I bring you a whole lot of fun information all wrapped up in one post!

First and foremost, because I'm so happy with this, I want to talk about the new listings that are live in my Etsy shop!  You can visit me here:

I have added several new graph patterns, which can be used for a multitude of crafts!  I personally use them for crochet, however you can also knit or cross stitch these charts, use unique stitches like c2c and probably many other things I haven't thought of yet.

Dalmations graph chart set:
Inspired by a custom request, I now have a listing for FIVE(!) dalmation themed charts that I think you'll love!  They are sized at 84x84 stitches, which is ideal for c2c as well as smaller projects in sc, knit or cross-stitch!

Dream big, Sparkle more, Shine bright
This graph is perfect for a snuggly blanket!  I think it would look great in any kids room on into adulthood!

In a galaxy far, far, away...
This is a particularly special project for me.  I designed this blanket and made it for my nephew.  It consists of 17 graphs that make up this stunning blanket.  You can choose the colors and customize the border for a look unique to you!

In addition, I have another 9 patterns I'm working on getting listed and another 12 or so that are in progress and will be coming in the next month or so!  I'll share more when they've gone live!

Introducing the Crafter Promotion on my shop!

If you purchase a pattern that is marked as "Crafter Promotion Eligible," create it (in any format) and then take a good quality photograph and send it in, you'll be rewarded with 50% off your next standard graph pattern* purchase!  Some of our patterns haven't been created yet (I'm just one crafter!  Most are items I have designed in order to make someday, but I have limited time to crochet, so I share with all of you!) and I would love to see them in all their glory.  Also, sometimes it's good to get feedback about how something worked up.  So we're asking for your help to complete our catalog, and offering awesome rewards in the process.  You also won't be limited to just one coupon either!  If you purchase, complete and submit a photo for one listing, purchase another at 50% off, complete and submit for that listing, you'll get another coupon for 50% off!  You can keep going as long as you want, just as long as the listing you submit for is still crafter promotion eligible!

*Coupon valid only for single graph patterns valued at 4.99 or less.  Only applies to patterns marked as eligible at time of submission.  By submitting a photograph you are agreeing that we can post that photo on the blog or listing.  Submissions will only be considered if they are taken with good lighting, decent resolution and no watermarking or logos, though artist will be credited alongside our logo.


I have decided that due to the directions that my shop have been going that it was worth my time to split off the two obvious themes that have been sticking out at me.  I have one huge portion of my long term shop, Crafted by Life Designs, that is devoted to crochet and graph patterns.  Then, I have a few items that just didn't seem to fit... my printables.  They serve a totally different function and as I start to add more designs in the shop, they just don't seem to fit anymore.  With that, I bring you....

My Nerdy Mom Designs!!!

This will be the new home for all of my printable designs, from greeting cards, party planners, gift tags, decor, website designs, to custom graphic design requests!  I am currently working on the finishing touches for My Nerdy Mom Designs' flagship product - once that is done, I will be taking the whole shop live for your enjoyment!  Stay tuned for more details!

New Listings in the Shop!

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Happy Tuesday everyone!
I'm popping in today to tell you all about five new patterns that have been added to my shop!

I've added the following graph patterns:

Game of Thrones Inspired pattern for crochet, knit and cross stitch:

"After all this time...  Always" graph pattern for crochet, knit or cross stitch:

"Remember to Turn on the Light" graph pattern for crochet, knit or cross stitch:

A two pack of Om and Namaste graph patterns for crochet, knit or cross stitch:

and last but not least, "Home Sweet Home" graph pattern for crochet, knit or cross stitch:

Go check them out!!!  I've got more coming in September, including card packs, gift tags and wall art printables!!

A blink.... and where did the time go?

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Hey everyone!

So is anyone out there like me, and sets goals and makes plans and blinks... and all the time is gone?
I have been feeling like lately there is not enough time or energy in the day to get it all done.  Between my kids and family, work, my business, my blog, dance class, gymnastics, band and cleaning, I just don't have time like I used to.  Working on projects for the blog and my shop seem to take forever.  I used to be able to have new designs ready to post within a week of conception, complete crochet projects in a day and still get to make dinner for the kids.  Now, I'm just happy if I can cook something that doesn't come out of a box! 

I've been trying different things - bullet journals, the Getting Things Done principle, pomodoro timers, planners and more... but I just can't seem to get a handle on everything the way I did when I didn't have a desk job that lasted 40+ hours a week.  I just started a new bullet journal/planner/getting things done combo in a disk bound format (and yes, I mushed together all my previous attempts), which I have high hopes for.  I even put in project pages so  I could track the work that I still needed to do in order to get some work done for my business and in my personal life!

I started working on a couple of new series for the shop about 6 months ago.  Some of them are getting close to completion, and I am hoping that I will be able to post FIVE new listings by the end of this month!  This months new listings will be some graph patterns that I have lovingly created for your crafting desires.  They work for knitting, crocheting or cross stitching and are of varying difficulties.  Next month will bring you some super fun printables for the holidays, including cards, gift tags and art.  Who knows... I might even have a few new graph patterns for the holidays!

I will post again when the next listings go live in the shop!  Until then, leave me a note and let me know what you do to help manage your time and busy schedules!!!

Hello and update!

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Goodness!  How time flies!  

I realize it has been a while since I've posted anything new, but as anything in life goes, sometimes you have time and energy for it, and sometimes you don't.  Between my two children, work and girl scouts, I'm finding that I need to create new times to... well... create!  Now this doesn't mean that I haven't been working hard on lots of different things, or that I don't have lots of patterns/crafts/etc that I just haven't had time to share with all of you!  

First off in the big news category is over the summer I shut down my photography business.  I did this as I am preparing to take on a new position at my "big girl" job and just don't see that I'll have the time to do it.  I would like to use that weekend time working on my personal photography, which is something I'm still really interested in.  I figure I'll just have to see where that road takes me.  I'm sure it will be somewhere new and exciting, and will happen just when it is supposed to.

Second, as I mentioned before, I've accepted a promotion into a full time career for my current employer.  This means I'll have 20 hours less a week to work on all of my many side projects, and once again, it just means evaluating their place in my life and how much time I can devote to them.  

I am aware that I had some glitches with this website last month, causing it to be down for about a week or so, but that should be fixed now.  My etsy shop will also be full of patterns and more again soon, as I have some new stuff to add and some of the old stuff has been filtered out.  

I am scheduling posts as you read this, and hopefully you'll have some new fun things to read/craft/crochet and more in the coming weeks!

What I'm Currently Working On....

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I always have something that I am working on, or something that I want to work on.  In fact, I have a ton of projects that I made for Christmas that I have yet to share on here, and can't wait to do so (but need more time in my life!).   For now, I am working on projects for myself and my daughters that I didn't have time to do last year.  I wanted to share a brief glimpse of what I have been working on (at a personal level, anyway) and this will give you something to read while you are eagerly (I know I'm a bit conceited) awaiting all my new patterns and pattern reviews from Christmas and leftover from last year.

First up, I just completed this hat:

Insulate Hat by Amy Van de Laar on Ravelry
Which I love love love!  I plan on writing a full review as part of the My Pattern Experience Series, but just want to say it was so much fun and I can identify all of my fellow Whovians from the moment they recognize my Daleks.  Plus, it's warmer on the inside!

I'm currently working on  the awesome scarf worn by the fourth Doctor (Tom Baker), and this is a beast of a scarf!  Designed at at least 12' long, this is truly a work of passion by a Doctor Who fan (myself).

Here's a WIP picture:
This is about 100 rows worked, with about 774 rows left!  Expect to see more pictures of this over the next few days, weeks, or more!

What I want to work on soon:

Tardis Afghan (knit) by Hedonknitstic on Ravelry
Tardis Socks by Gina Waters on Ravelry
Whovian Mittens by Paula Trumble on Ravelry

Now you might ask- is there anything NOT Doctor Who related on your wish list for crafting this year?

Yes, there is.  Doctor Who falls at the top though.

Totoro Norwegian Mittens by brella on Ravelry
I also want to make things from Totoro.  Like these mittens.... 

or this awesome cat bus for my kids:

Cat Bus and Small Totoro Patterns by Sojala on Ravelry

which would not be complete without a whole army of Totoros to put inside.

I also plan on replacing all of my childrens plastic play food with crocheted play food that I can throw in the washing machine! ;)

After that, it's more tiny animals for my daughters dollhouse (I won't share pictures of these until the patterns are ready, as those are my own creation)

I'm also working on the creation of a really unique household decoration!  (Also a secret until the reveal, but it may be one of my most involved self-created patterns!)

Of course, there's a whole selection of things that I haven't shown here, but those are the main up and coming crochet/knit items!

What projects are you working on right now?

Hey Reader- I want your questions!

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So we're at the cusp of spring, when my writing time turns into my photography/editing time, and it gets harder to work on and develop the patterns and lengthy posts that I usually give during the winter months.  I'm still working on them, just not as much.  I was wondering if any of my readers have any questions that you would like answered, about crochet, knit, photography, crafts or any of the other things I talk about on this blog.  I would love to answer your questions while I still have some time!  So please, if there's anything you would like to know, just ask away!  I'll make a blog post response to your question, and try to answer it the best I can, with photos if possible!  :) 

Got a question?  Ask in the comments below!

Happy New Year!!!!

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Happy New Year everyone!

This is going to be a short post, I just wanted to pop in and say that I hope you all had plentiful and happy holidays.  There's a lot in store for you from This Crafting Life this year, and I can't wait to share it all!  I'm working on processing all the pictures of my new creations, writing patterns and finalizing posts.  I've got a lot to share!  Some new patterns, crafts, and more! 

Have you set any resolutions this year?  I have!  I want to get fit, take control over my house (I want it to feel the way I want and look the way I want rather than like a hobo dump for children), and lastly, work more on this blog and my crafts.

What would you like to see from This Crafting Life in 2013?  Do you have any resolutions of your own?  Leave me a comment, I'd love to hear them! :)

Yarn love....

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On my hooks today?  A new slouchy knit hat.... Love!  Just had to share some love and can't wait to share everything I've been up to!  There will be some simple projects, a blocking tutorial and a few other surprises over the next couple of weeks and then TONS of new patterns to share with you all after Christmas is past!

New Stuff on the Horizon!

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I know it's been a while since I've been able to focus on blogging.  The summer is always a busy time for me, and being outside more, I write less.  As we head into the holidays, a lot of the crafts that I'm working on are kept top secret until after the holidays are over.  Thus, I'm trying to work on a few new features to my blog to fill in some of the time in which I'm crafting and can't share!

1- You'll see more Scouting Sunday Features leading into the holidays.  I love featuring fellow bloggers and seeing and trying new crafts!

2- A new feature, called "My Pattern Experience,"  which will feature projects written by other designers and my experience with the pattern.  Be prepared to see success and even failure, in massive degrees.

3- I have a ton of new patterns that will be made available, some I have to keep to myself yet, but I'll make sure that you get something new to do!

Oh!  I'm also thinking about doing a Mystery CAL with one of my patterns, would anyone be interested?  Feel free to leave me a comment below! :)

Overcoming obstacles and unleasing my inner Super Woman!

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Hello there.

It's been a while.

Lately all I've had time for is to quick post tutorials or patterns, and haven't really had time to myself or to think about all the things I've been doing.  So hello again, my friends.   Let me share a recent triumph of mine with you.

In the month of July I rode 359 miles.  Out of those miles, 42 were done during RAGBRAI (Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) from Cedar Rapids to Anamosa.  When I decided to start to get in better shape, I decided to try cycling.  I snagged my ole Huffy 10 speed out of my parents storage shed and took it for a spin.  It didn't take long for me to decide that this was my thing.  I love it.  But I digress.  RAGBRAI was an awesome experience, and one that I am sure that I will repeat again, and again, and again.  This year, we formed Team Pansy Pants, which consisted of 12 awesome people who both rode and drove, and ate and drank together.  We climbed hills, we felt pain, and triumph together.

Yep, that's my team full of dorks showing their muscles.  :)

 and here I am ready to start!  Lets get this show on the road!

This isn't too far in, but there I am waving at the camera happily!  (I know, I'm an idiot)

I had to pose with Herky!  And yes, I know there's chain on my shirt.  

Halfway through and still going strong!

I won't talk about the food, since I know that my good friend Adam, a fellow blogger from Adam Does It and 101foods, will certainly want to take that one, but I do have to say that I had the BEST pork chop of my life at this gigantic pink bus that served them out of coolers filled with juices.  I might have been starving, but i remember it as being this delicious drippy delicacy. 

Ahhh Mr. Pork Chop you have a place in my heart. :)

I couldn't resist getting a picture in front of the beautiful Iowa Countryside :)

aaaaaaand, I'm spent.  :P

Will I do it again?  Heck YES!  It was a blast, I felt I overcame obstacles that I wouldn't have been able to a year ago and I'm super proud of myself for doing it.  (And you know what?  Over the course of training I lost 46 pounds!!!  Added bonus!)

When was the last time you did something extraordinary?  Or something that made you FEEL extraordinary?  I'd love to hear about it!

Update on our Move!

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I realize I haven't made a single post since I announced that we were working on migrating. It was kind of a spur of the moment decision that it was just too hard for me to keep up on writing three entirely different blogs, and that I could just make my life easier by combining the two that were most similar.  I've been mostly working behind the scenes, updating small coding issues, migrating posts together, and on top of all that I've been busy shooting weddings and gallivanting around just as much as I've been working here.

So here's a little bit about what you can expect in the future from This Crafting Life!

  • Soon will change in appearance.  We'll have a new header, with our new name and a fantastic new design.
  • Will also have new appropriate drop down options that will have combined both websites.
  • Will hopefully be easier to sort and read as you please.

  • Where before, LiLu Studios was mainly devoted to crochet and knitting posts, and Fantastic Finds for the Fam{ily} was devoted to children's crafts and deals for the family, now this blog will have it all.
  • We will have a weekly yarn related post, whether it be a pattern, tutorial, or just some ramblings about the craft.
  • Savings Saturday will be your day to find all the great freebies I've found around the web.
  • Scouting Sunday will bring you all the great finds, for crafting, your life and whatever.
  • Other random crafts, musings, and etc. will be put out at random points through the week.

Please don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions, and I hope to be back soon with everything up to date and some new posts for you!!

Hooray! Crochet wins and my finger hurts....

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So I decided to completely neglect any and all housework today in favor of getting a ton of yarn work done.  I completed the final 10 motifs from the last clue, Clue #6.  There are more clues to come, which will be stitching them together and most likely adding a border to the afghan.  This clue however, was the last of the little motifs that I had to make.  So I stitched like crazy and finished up the last ten of those. 

Then, feeling exhilarated by that progress, I headed straight into one of my other current projects, The Octonauts:

I know a gal at work who wanted these adorable little critters for her son's birthday.  She asked me to make them and supplied me with a pattern and it's all been going pretty well:

This is just the first part of the cat, a picture I took the other day.  He now has a hat, eye patch, belly and neckband (though they aren't attached yet) and his little nose is in the mail!  I've also started on the penguin and have most of his head completed. 

And, I have a blister on my finger from holding my crochet hook literally all day.  ow.

Today I'm working on....

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... 4 more Octagons for Clue 5 in the Bernat 2012 Mystery Crochet Along
... seaming up girls sweaters for Easter and debating on whether or not to add sleeves
... trying to match blues to work on the Octonauts for a friend from work
... finishing touches on a new afghan motif pattern that I'm writing
... finish up the sizing on the arms for my big girls dance costume
... general behind the scenes blog-work
... being an awesome mom

No, I don't think these are all going to be completed today... but I find when I list out the things that I need to do, more tends to get done.  I could add all sorts of housework and half finished crafts to that list, but these things are what is most important right at the moment.

What will I probably get done?

daughters dance costume
being an awesome mom (hopefully)
and the last elusive octogons.  I have to get those done for the next clue tomorrow!

At least I'll be thinking about my other projects...

Do you make lists?  Do they help you or hinder you?  What sorts of things are on your list?

What I've been working on....

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I've been busy busy busy!

With St. Patrick's day coming up, Lily and I have been working on decorations for the house, along with one wicked leprechaun trap (to be finished today).  It's been fun, but taken a very long time for her.  We've really had to go bit by bit with this activity.

I finished up clue 4 on the Bernat Mystery Crochet Along on Sunday, and so with two free days I've been knitting like crazy! I've got just over 3 weeks to finish up on the girls Easter sweaters, and this CAL Afghan just keeps getting in the way!  With the two days I was able to very nearly complete the body of Lily's sweater, which means that all I've got left to do with them is sleeves... and since this is my own pattern, I really have no idea what i'm doing for the sleeves yet!  Eeeeek!  I'm thinking just simple 3/4" will be just fine, but who knows, when I get that far, I could hate it.

I've got another crochet potholder pattern coming out this week, as well as hopefully getting the picture uploaded for my newest knit cowl pattern.  So look for those coming sometime this week :)

Bernat 2012 Spoiler Page is Now UP!!

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Ok, so I couldn't keep it a secret, because it's something that I've been working so hard on behind the scenes.  So, I found a creative solution... I created a page within this site for the 2012 Bernat Crochet Along that you can get to via link, if you want to spoil the surprise.  I'll post updates on that page with pictures of the clues as I go along and you can follow me on my progress if you so desire.  If you don't want to spoil the surprise and you want to wait and see it until it is all done, then don't ever visit the page.. simple, really!

Bernat 2012 Mystery Afghan Crochet Along Spoiler Page Link Here!

Gardening, my favorite Season!

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Yes, I called gardening a season.  I love it because it's fun, it's educational and it's delicious.  Every year, my daughter and I have fun deciding which types of flowers and foods that we're going to grow and I love looking at the different varieties and exploring new options.  I thought I would share what is going to be going in our garden a little more in depth with my readers, so over the next couple of days, I'm going to have several posts telling about the varieties I've chosen, how I'm planning on growing them and tips that I have picked up over the years of gardening!

Here's a few peeks from last year's gardening adventures:

The Bernat 2012 Crochet Along, and what's new update!

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Not sharing updates on what I'm working on right now is just killing me.  For one, my camera battery is dead and I can't locate the charger.  It's got to be somewhere... I think I might have to blame this one on my little one... or momnesia....

For two, I'm working on the Bernat 2012 Mystery Crochet Along, and I've decided to keep it a secret!  We're on week three and I'm trucking right along, doing two different blankets in different colorways as an added challenge and potential Christmas present!  When they're done... or when I just can't handle the suspense anymore, I'll post something big and long about them.   

I've got some posts that just came out on my other blogs, so if you're as bored with the non updates over here, you can feel free to check me out over on my most recent postings:

What's on My Shelf?
Fantastic Finds for the Fam{ily}

If you like them, please follow me there too!  They both cover different topics, and I hope you like them too!

Just a tiny update and a warning....

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So I have been busy working working working on all these new things, and haven't actually had time to write!  I'm nearing completion on three knitting patterns, as well as the blanket that I made for my kiddo so those should be coming up some time in the next week.  I've also got some craft projects to post and have been working like mad on the Bernat Mystery Crochet Along! 

Next project: Girls' Easter Sweaters :)  Anyone know of any good patterns?