Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Easter time

Easter is such a wonderful holiday.  As a kid I loved it because I got a basket filled with candy.  I also enjoyed coloring the eggs and eating them.  It was like a milder version of Christmas.

I still enjoy Easter.  I love the time of year, the flowers in bloom, and yes, I still love the excuse to eat the candy!  We still decorate eggs at our house, too, although I am often the only one who does it.  As an adult, however, I am more attendant to the real reason we celebrate Easter, which is to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the Sunday after He was crucified.  

At my church on Easter you will hear people saying "He is risen!", followed by the response "He is risen indeed!"  It is such a joyful day for me.  I always know that Christ is alive but the celebration makes me more mindful of Him.  I think attending the Good Friday services helps to drive it home, as well.  I honestly feel depressed when leaving the Good Friday service.  Not in a major way, but just sad that Jesus had to go through such an agonizing time in order to save us from our own sin.

At our church we have had the "Carnival of Eggs" on the Saturday before Easter for many years.  I have attended the church for 16 years and it has been going on even longer than that, so it's quite a tradition in our neighborhood.  We put it on for the neighborhood and have egg hunts by age group (so the little kids have a chance to get some treats!) as well as games and activities.  It's a really great time.  We honestly do it just to connect with the community and kind of say "Thank you" for putting up with us.  We do, however, always hope that maybe someone will decide to come check us out.  I don't know how it is around your area, but in Seattle, a lot of people think of Christians as kind of harmless "freaks".  They think we mean well, but we're just a bit weird and not at like them.  Except that we are.  I always hope that the Carnival of Eggs will help someone to see that we are just like them in many ways.  I hope that they will see that we are not going to "ram religion down their throats" if they come talk to us.  I hope they see that we don't intend to judge or condemn anyone.  I hope they see that we have a little "something" that they would like, too.  Maybe they'll be just curious enough to find out more.  Maybe not at our church, but somewhere.

I'm rambling now, but I just felt like getting that out there.  Our pastor recently said that we should "tell our story" of how we became Christians to others.  I think I will do that pretty soon.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Crocheted Baby Blanket

I love to crochet.  I really do.  I find that I can listen to someone talk or watch a TV show or wait at the dentist office much more easily if my hands are busy.  Over the years I've made hats, scarves, dish cloths, afghans, vests, etc., etc., etc.

My most recent project was a baby blanket that I made for a friend who is expecting her first baby in May.  I've made several baby blankets using a different pattern, but I found one on that I just fell in love with.  I had to try it. The link to the pattern is here.

The first one I made was for another friend who recently had her second child.  I made hers in an apple/lime green to go with an alligator motif she had in the baby's room.  It turned out really cute.  Unfortunately I didn't get a photo of it in full length, but here is the baby enjoying his new blankie.

The most recent one is an orange/peach color with a little bit of the green from the last one on the border to add a little interest.

The thing I love about this blanket is that it is soft and thick.  I may make myself a full sized afghan one of these days with this stitch.

Once the baby is born I'll try to get a photo of him/her with the blanket!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Messenger Bag Project

I carry a small messenger bag from timbuk2 that I bought last year.  I use it as my purse and I love it, but frankly, I was getting tired of the "look" and thinking I'd like a newer one.  Unfortunately, I'm a little strapped financially and those bags are expensive!  So, I decided to start looking around for a pattern to make one.  

There are tons of patterns online that can be had for free, but the best one I found was at mmmcrafts  It looked nice, didn't seem too complicated and I decided to go for it.

I ended up spending more on fabric than I wanted to, but that's only because I went to the pricier fabric store.  I thought about getting some old jeans and up-cycling them, but since I had not done this before, decided to go with new fabric to make it less complicated. 

I cut out the pieces last night and then got up this morning raring to go!  It took me about 3 1/2 hours but I can honestly say I enjoyed every minute of it!  I was really happy with how it turned out--take a look!

I made this one a bit on the small side, so I suspect I will make another one that is a little bit larger.  Maybe I'll even get adventurous and try using old jeans the next time.  Anyway, I'm really loving this one!

I love making jewelry, too!  You can see some of my creations available for purchase at DaisyLu Designs!  You're sure to find something just right for you!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

How to make a Facebook Cover

I just learned how to do something new and want to share my new skill!

As you know, many of us small business people have special pages on Facebook to get exposure for our business.  As you also probably know, Facebook has these new-fangled things called "covers" that are an opportunity to kind of dress up your page.  Up until today, I had a Facebook cover for my DaisyLu Design Facebook page, but it looked kind of, well, sad.

Until today!  I finally got it all figured out!  I knew what I wanted my  "cover" to look like, I just didn't know how to make it happen!  Today was the day!  So how did I do it?

First, I went to my photos on my etsy page, DaisyLu Designs and selected one of my better photos.  I downloaded it to my computer (I'm on a different computer than usual today).  Then I went over to to do some adjusting to my photo.  Pixlr is an awesome online photo editing program that you can use for free.  I'm not very experienced with it, but I found it pretty easy to navigate in no time at all.

Once in, I uploaded the photo I had selected and then selected the "Adjustment" option at the bottom of the screen.  Then another menu pops up and I selected the "resize" option.

Next I put in the dimensions needed for the Facebook Cover to fit correctly on my FB page, which is 851 x 315 pixels.  It is important to click the box "Keep proportion" so that the "0" is showing, otherwise, it will proportion your photo and won't keep the values you enter.  Once you're done, be sure to click "apply".

So now I had my background for my cover.  But I also wanted to put the name of my shop on the cover.  There are options in pixlr to put text on your photo, but I wanted to use the banner I've been using in my online shop.  To make my banner, I went to another great website, Etsy Shop Banner Generator .  This site is so easy to use it doesn't even need explanation!  Go to the site, choose the banner you want, fill in the text and save to your computer.  Easy peasy!

I decided I wanted to add my etsy banner over the photo, so next I clicked on the "add image" button.   This brings up a small menu with a "browse" button so I went back to my computer and uploaded the etsy banner that was saved as a .png file.  This brought up the banner and then I could move it around until I was happy with the placement.  Finally, I clicked on the "save" button, saved the new photo image to my computer and was ready to go!

The last step was the easiest part!  I went to my Facebook page, click on the "change cover" button and uploaded my new cover.  Voila!  A much prettier cover!  Now that I know how to do it, I will probably play around with different images a lot more often.

I'd love to hear what you think of the cover or these instructions (or both!)

DaisyLu Designs has some beautiful new items available!  Be sure to visit and find something special!