Thursday, June 19, 2014

We are moving!!!

I know it's been a while since I've updated here, but I promise I haven't fallen off the face of the earth!

Raising 8 little monkeys while studying keeps me on my toes! Between the kids' school & my studies my little blog has not been 'loved'.

This blog will find itself a new home so that I can keep up with you all! Thanks so much for your patience and patronage as I make this change!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

These are a few of my favorite things...ummm....patterns...

I must shamefully say, I will be shopping and crafting my little heart out in hopes of getting it all done in time. I will probably be one of those folks raiding the stores last minute. Between all the family, friends, teachers, therapists and intervention specialists, my gift list is a little on the long side. My fellow special needs parents can  possibly relate that a small token of appreciation for all those who work so hard with my kids is hardly enough to express the gratitude for helping my kids meet all their milestones due to their tireless efforts!

I have been browsing my library of patterns to find the right gift for all those near and dear to me. I thought I would share with y'all a few of my favorite patterns that have been easy to work up for those of y'all that are handy with a hook and yarn.


Layla Wristers by Loops of Love

Cabled Soap bags and Washcloths by Sandy Powers Designs

Fairy Tale Princess Dolls by Tanya's Tangles

Travel Make-up Bag by Amber Haskins

His and Her's Bath Set by Sandy Powers

Wagon Wheel Slouch by Harvester Products

Holiday Penguin by 3 Boys and a Ball of Yarn

Brainwaves Beanie by Playin Hooky

Cabled Boot Cuffs by 3 Boys and a Ball of Yarn

Maria Bucket Hat by Loops of Love

Miss Dashwood Hat by Harvester Products

Elf Yourself by 3 Boys and a Ball of Yarn

Lip Balm Holder by These Hands of Mine

Brooke Versatile Cowl/Scarf by Loops of Love
This pattern is 4 in one! It is easy to work up and looks lovely in all textures.

Starla Hat by Harvester Products

Happy Holidays and Crocheting!!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Helping The Carr Family

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting a darling gal named Ashley through work. I remember early on in her pregnancy, she was given the news that her child would be born with one limb shorter than the other.  I didn't think much of it because Ashley was always so graceful, and happy at work. Little by little, her son's story began to unfold and I realized the severity of her son's condition. 

Her son was diagnosed with Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency (PFFD) is a rare, non-hereditary birth defect & Ulnar Dysplasia. The conditions will require numerous trips out of state for surgeries, a variety of treatments and medical equipment. 

Here is where you come in.....

I am offering a sale on the ruffle scarves that I have been making. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Carr Family to help fund their growing medical expenses. 

Photography by Kieley Cameron

If you prefer to donate to the family directly, visit their blog Hayden's Story and click on the donate button!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

How's 2013 Treating You?

Howdy fans and friends!

I wanted to reach out to you all and wish you a happy 2013! Yes, I know I am a little late, but it's for a good reason. 2013 is going to be a great year for the 8 Little Monkeys (both at home and in the shop)!

Daddy monkey is back in school and acing all his classes. I am so very proud of his accomplishments. He is not only a 4.0 student, but he manages to keep our house organized. What a gift it is to come home to a hot meal on the table, laundry nicely folded, homework folders signed/checked/etc.!

Our second oldest monkey is a senior in high school this year. Where has the time gone? It may sound cliche, but it seems like yesterday, he was just in elementary school and I was meeting him for the first time. The next few months are going to be full of graduation planning, college planning, SAT, ACT and just more planning!

One of our little monkeys went back to school this year after being homeschooled for 3 years! It has been a transition for us all. We are so proud of how much this little guy has achieved in 6th grade. Autism does not slow down what he can do!

The youngest little monkey is turning 6 in just a few weeks. It doesn't even seem real to me. I love watching what she does and how much she grows everyday, but I wish I could keep her little still (although she will always be my baby). The age of 6 is no longer baby/preschooler age. Recently, daddy monkey and I were planning our little monkey's birthday party. We realized that this is it. After her, there are no more babies in the house. We are celebrating every moment of every day with her.

So basically, between graduations, IEP meetings, birthdays and coping with empty nest(ish) feelings our house hold has been busy busy!

Now on to 'monkey business'....

In the next few weeks, I have some special things coming up. First and foremost is something 8 Little Monkeys is doing for a special family. I am adding new things to the shop and there are a few other surprises in the works.

Whew, that was just a glimpse of what 2013 has in store for us, and the wheels are already spinning....How is 2013 treating you?

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Wednesday's Woman - Sandy Powers, I'm a little late on posting this, but I am excited to share with you all. I couldn't wait until next Wednesday.

Do you ever get in a creative funk? I know that I do. When I have a ball of yarn and a hook in hand but I'm not sure what direction to take, I have a few sources of inspiration I like to turn to. One of my crochet heros is Sandy Powers. You may have seen some of Sandy's work on Etsy in her shop, Sandy's Cape Cod Originals. Perhaps if you have picked up a copy of Crochet World magazine or Annie's Attic you may have seen her darling cuddle cocoons. Most recently, you may have seen Baby Crochet at your local bookstore, yep, that's Sandy's work too!

So many ideas, so little time (and yarn). Recently, I chatted with (or emailed) Sandy to pick her brain a little bit.....enjoy!

Q: Tell the world a little bit about Sandy's Cape Cod Originals?
A: I love creating new crochet patterns. I like to think that I design unique and different patterns. My imagination is endless sometimes. And if only my fingers could crochet as fast as my thoughts. I love designing for babies and my first two books that are in print are for babies. My next book coming out next May or June of 2013, is a book of wedding crochet items and I have enjoyed the challenge of designing for adults and children in this book. The publishers have already asked me to do a Baby Crochet book 2 and I am still thinking if I want to do this book. Because I have been designing so much for the books, my Etsy site has been sadly neglected. My dream is to have all of my designs in books and to cut back on the Etsy shop. I have over 400 patterns for sale on Etsy and sometimes it is overwhelming for people to go thru all those pictures. So I’ll be doing less Etsy and more book designing.

Q: What was your motivation in starting Sandy's Cape Cod Originals ? How did it come to life?
A: My motivation to write crochet patterns came from when I was selling actual made items on Etsy, many people would ask me if I sold the pattern for them. Also I went for a mammogram and they found a lump. I had to wait 2 weeks before they did the biopsy and during that time I asked myself, “what would you do if you had one week to live?” and one of the things was to write down some of my crochet patterns.

Q: When you aren't making beautiful creations for the world, what are you doing?
A: I love to play angry birds friends version. Every week they have a new tournament and me and a few of my friends play against each other.

I also like to work on baby hats that I donate to different organizations.

Q: Quote/motto you live by:
A: Be still and know that I am God. I try to not do anything without knowing God is involved in what I am doing.

Q: What is one of your guilty pleasures?
A: I love lobster and when they are on sale, my daughter and I indulge in them for lunch as often as we can.

Q: Lip gloss, cell phone & gum - I can't leave home without it! What's yours?
A: Tissues, cell phone, mints, hair brush, debit cards, medical cards. And most of all yarn and a crochet hook. You never know when you will be delayed somewhere (doc office or stuck in traffic) and can get some crocheting time in.

Q: What/who inspires your designs?
A: Poems, children’s stories, brides, babies, children, tv,

Q: Can't crochet without it...what is your favorite crocheting item/product?
A: A Susan Bates hook and nice yarns

Q: When did you start crocheting?
A: I was 18years old when I started crocheting

Q: What was your first project/item for sale?
A: My first actual made item that I sold on Etsy was a poncho. It sold 5minutes after I listed it. My first crochet pattern that I sold was a Mary Jane bootie.

Q: What has been your favorite thing about being an Etsy shop owner?
A: I love talking to the customers. I love seeing what they do with my crochet patterns. The little changes they make to my patterns are fun to see.

Q: Any words of wisdom you want to share with other mommy crafters?
A: Don’t give up on your dreams. And don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do it! You can!

I love seeing where and how other crafters and artsy folks get inspired. I hope you are just as inspired as I am!

Happy Crafting!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Ribbit Ribbit - Froggy Patterns - Free Pattern Friday

Hope everybody had a safe and happy Thanksgiving!  If you're not too stuffed from holiday yummies, you may enjoy this quick and easy pattern I ran across a few months ago on Jamie's Jems Blog. Jamie has been so kind to share her pattern for the Frog Camera Lens. Perfect for the photographer, or budding photographer, or perhaps a little goodie to fascinate your little one during a photoshoot. All you need is a K size hook, a hair tie/rubber band, some yarn and a little time.

Red Heart has a darling little pattern for a Princess and the Frog doll. I'm thinking stocking stuffers or maybe a nice baby shower gift?

Keep things nice and tidy for the frog lover in your life with this Frog Amigurumi Pouch  by Character Crochet on Craftsy.

I'd love to see your take on these cool little patterns!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Cozy Mugs...Free Pattern Friday

I don't know about you, but I struggle finding a new or unique gift idea for my kids' teachers and therapists. As many of you know, I have 2 children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders and one who receives various therapies and interventions (but not because of Autism). This year, with my youngest little monkey in kindergarten and my oldest monkey back in public school, I counted a total of over 13 teachers and therapists. Some may say, well, just give the 'main' one a gift. In the world of special education, each and every one of these kiddos' teachers play an integral role in their education!!

This year, I am thinking of working up a few mug huggers for the teachers' coffee cups and maybe a little coffee mug and a pack of hot chocolate or single serve coffee. A few of my favorite patterns are the Snowman Mug Hug from Red Heart.

Red Heart has this cute Puppy Mug Hug also, for the puppy lover on your gift list!

My other favorite is the Coffee Hugger by Loop Leigh Loops. Sorry, this link is not free, but it's only $1.99. I have made it and it is simple and quick to work up!

Micah Makes has this cute pattern for a mug hug with coaster.

Let me know how these work up for you guys!