Tuesday, January 28, 2014

My Family Plus Planner for 2014 - Decorated and Personalized


I know this is off topic from crochet........ but it does involve some crafty ideas. I have used planners for years. It would take a very long and involved post to go over my planner history in detail (I may do that someday in the future). I started out with very expensive and large, desk sized binder planners. I evolved to the smaller personal size planners and in recent years I have only purchased the spiral style weekly/monthly planners. This has been mostly due to the nature of my job and technology. I REALLY tried to switch totally over to a paperless system. I have nice digital planner pages that I can use on my tablet and phone and I also keep a calendar on Google.

I have come to the realization that I don't feel as productive using my tablet/phone. There is just something about holding the planner in your hand and actually using a pen to write down tasks, notes and appointments. I also know that I am the type of person who needs all of my information in one place. I understand that there are others out there who use separate planners for work, personal info, etc. I'm not one of them!

I am determined to keep on track and organized this year!! I have many plans for Poochie Baby that involve new crochet patterns and You Tube videos. I also have to keep a calendar for my "real" job, which involves making many stops each day to do home inspections. All of these things need to be incorporated with my personal and household tasks.

In my search for the perfect planner, I decided to try a new moleskin daily planner. I ordered one from Amazon and waited for delivery. It was taking longer than expected. So, on a trip to Target, I decided to browse through the office supply section. I searched through the planners and literally stopped in my tracks when I opened up the Day Timer Family Plus planner. There is just something about the layout of this planner that makes me want to use it and fill it up with all kinds of notes and doodles! I haven't been this excited about a planner in years. So, of course I had to buy it. I'm glad I did because I was very disappointed with the Moleskin when it was delivered two days later.

I started using the planner immediately.......... Then, I saw some videos on You Tube that are all about the FiloFax rage. I love the way everyone is decorating their planners. They seem to be more like scrapbooks and I find this very appealing. I decided to at least spruce up my planner with a nice cover and some add ons.

The original design is very is basic. The planner is bound with a spiral, which I do prefer now over the binder style planners (even though I can't just open the binder and add pages). My first step was to add simple stick on tabs to label all the months. Then, I found some of my fabric that I love and modge podged it onto the front and back cover. I did not cover the wire binding. I just simply measured the fabric and glued it on the front and back, leaving about a one inch seam to wrap around the inside. Then I modge podged on some adorable crochet thread flowers that I had on hand for embellishment. On the front inside cover, I decided to cut a manilla folder to size and modge podge that on also, just to give it additional strength. I also added some bric-o-brac just for decoration. I plan to add some super cute pictures of the kids when I have time. This is what the inside cover looks like:



I'm not sure what I am going to do with these pages yet.............. I believe I will cover them with scrapbook paper then use them to spell out goals for the entire year.



Here is the monthly view in the planner. I use the right hand note section to keep track of monthly bills. There is also a note section on the bottom right that I use for monthly goals. For the month of February, I just glued on a strip of scrapbook paper to jazz it up.



Here is what the weekly view looks like, before anything is added.



Here is a look at this week, with some writing blurred out (sorry)....... Today is Tuesday and my week is filling in with so many notes and doodles already (I love to doodle!!). The top section has an area for ToDo's, which is separated into - Todo/Errands - Social/Community - Personal/Other. I separate my tasks by - Household - Poochie Baby - Personal. I use the daily section to jot down appointment times and general notes for the day. If you look closely, you will see that each daily section starts with a shaded area. I divide this off and use it to keep track of the visits/stops that I make for my "real" job. I have to keep track of all these details in order to keep accurate mileage records. On the right hand side, there is a section for weekly meal planning. I find this very helpful..... I can plan out the meals and shopping without leaving my weekly view. It will also give me a record of every meal we had over the entire year! I divide off the last two daily sections of Saturday and Sunday to make my shopping list for the week. I can just take a quick picture of this section before going into the grocery store and it works well as my list. I do have the planner with me in my BIG bag but I don't need to take it out since I have the photo right there on my phone. There is also a pretty big section to jot down notes for the week. I love to write down random thoughts, information from phone calls, new ideas etc. This weekly view is what attracted me to this planner. I absolutely love that I can look at everything - personal, work and business - for the entire week without flipping pages.



The back of the planner has many pages to store random information. It is mostly geared to busy mom's, which I am, but I have never used these type of pages in any planner that I have owned. You will find pages to store medical information, school information, grocery lists, etc. You may find these extremely useful, it all depends of your particular needs. I decided to convert these pages to fit my needs. I have so many things to keep track of in order to keep Poochie Baby running. I have these nice order sheets that help me record everything I need to make. I just simply printed them out and glued them onto pages I didn't need in the back. I added a tab at the top so I can access the pages quickly. I will need many of these to make it through the year and there is plenty of room. I did have to cut the paper some to fit nicely on the page. I also found that it works better when you only glue around the edges of the paper. If you glue the entire page, it doesn't stay very smooth. As you can see, I have some orders already for January.... Things have slowed down but come Christmas, I will probably need three entire sheets just for those orders!



Here is a look at the grocery list pages in the back of the planner. As mentioned, I know I'm never going to use them because I keep my list on the weekly sheets. So, I'm going to print out some checklists that will keep track of crochet pattern ideas and blog post ideas. These will also be glued directly onto the pages. These lists are very important to keep me on task and to make sure I don't forget any awesome pattern ideas.



And finally, here is a look at the back cover of the planner. I pulled out one of my old spiral bound planners that had this nice plastic pocket insert/folder. I very carefully removed it and then slotted into my new planner. I keep random things in there such as mail I need to respond to, stickers and post-it notes. The insert has pockets on both sides! Now, I know you are looking at the very back cover and wondering why I have just a plain old spiral notebook clipped on....... well, this is where the pattern magic happens! I have tried various ways to make notes while writing patterns. But, I know myself... and I know that I work best when I can just scribble down my notes and diagrams while making something new. These ten cent notebooks work so well for my scribbles. I can keep it clipped on the back or take it out. When I am finished with a pattern, I will scan it into the computer and add my pictures. Then my scribbled pattern gets put into Evernote where it will live forever! I then flip the page in my spiral notebook and it's ready for a new design.



So, this is my set-up for the coming year. It's only the last week of January and my planner already looks well worn. I like it that way!! It makes me feel like I am getting things accomplished. At the beginning of each month, I will sit down and scan the previous month into the computer and the complete PDF file get added to Evernote.... I always do this so I have computerized record to refer to if needed.

I hope this post gives you some inspiration. And.... don't forget to use some erasable pens! I don't know how I lived before these things were invented!

Have a great and happy day!

Crochet Projects Planner Page: Digital download Here !

Poochie Baby will have other digital planner pages available for sale in the Etsy Shop. 


If you would like to see some of the items I make and sell, visit the Poochie Baby Etsy shop. I have many crochet patterns available for sale!

As of February 2014.... This blog is slowly being phased out. The new poochie baby blog is located on the Poochie Baby website. You can subscribe to the new blog by email here:

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Friday, January 24, 2014

Free Crochet Pattern for a Baby Frog Hat

This frog hat is so cute!......... I previously had the pattern for sale but decided to make it free a while back. I hope you enjoy making this hat for some special little ones!

Free Crochet Pattern for Baby Frog Hat


Materials
There are some basic materials needed to complete this pattern. You will need the following supplies:
H or I Hook
Scissors or Clippers
Plastic Wiggle Eyes
Fabric Glue
4 oz. of Worsted Weight Yarn (Approximately)


Basic Instructions and Pattern Information
Difficulty Level: Easy/Beginner
Size of the hats:
0 - 3 Months (14" circumference) - H Hook
3 - 6 Months (15" circumference) - I Hook
*Please note that the hats stretch. A baby's head size may be 16" but they will fit into a crochet hat that has a smaller circumference.
*This pattern does assume that you know the basics of crochet and how to work the stitches in the abbreviation chart.
Abbreviation Chart:
SC = Single Crochet
HDC = Half Double Crochet
DC = Double Crochet
SS = Slip Stitch
CH = Chain
R = Row
Increase





As of February 2014.... This blog is slowly being phased out. The new poochie baby blog is located on the Poochie Baby website. You can subscribe to the new blog by email here:

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Baby Frog Hat Pattern
With appropriate size hook (Refer to size chart), CH 5 and form ring.
R1 - CH 2, then put an additional 11 DC in the ring for a total of 12 stitches. This includes the first chain stitch. Join and CH 2.
R2 - 2 DC in each stitch around. Join and CH 2.
R3 - DC in the first stitch. 2 DC in the next stitch (increase). DC in the next two stitches. 2 DC in the next stitch. Continue to increase every third stitch until you reach the starting point. Join and CH 2.
R4 - DC in the first two stitches. 2 DC in the next stitch (increase). DC in the next three stitches. 2 DC in the next stitch. Continue to increase every fourth stitch until you reach the starting point. Join and CH 2.
R5 - DC in the first three stitches. 2 DC in the next stitch (increase). DC in the next four stitches. 2 DC in the next stitch. Continue to increase every fifth stitch until you reach the starting point. Join and CH 2.
R6 and R7 - DC in each stitch around until you reach the starting point. Join and CH 2.
R8 - DC in each stitch around until you reach the starting point. Join and CH 1 (CH 2 if making 3-6 month size).
*Note - If you are making the larger size hat (3-6 months) with the I hook, add an extra row here. Just DC in each stitch around until you reach the starting point. Join and CH 1.
R9 - Working in back loops only for this row, SC in each stitch around until you reach the starting point. Join and CH1.
R10 - SC in each stitch around until you reach the starting point. Join and tie off. Weave the excess yarn into the back of the hat. (See picture of finished hat, without eyes.)
Eyes:
Make Two
Step 1 - CH 13. Leave a long strand of yarn at the beginning.
Step 2 - HDC in third chain from hook. HDC in the next three stitches. 2 DC in each of the next four stitches. HDC in the last four stitches.
Step 3 - CH 2 and join the bottom ends of the pieces. SC in the four spaces across (See pictures). Tie off and leave a long end. You will use this end to attach the eye to the hat.



Step 4 - Use the long end of yarn from your starting point to weave the center opening together (See picture). Go up the opening and then back down. When you reach the bottom, weave the yarn to the opposite side of the other yarn end.

Step 5 - Place the eye at the appropriate area of the hat and sew it on using the second long end of yarn (See picture). The correct area should be one row down from the top of the hat. When you have finished sewing the eye onto the hat, tie the two yarn ends together inside the hat to secure it.

Step 6 - Glue the wiggle eyes onto the hat using fabric glue. The hat should sit overnight to ensure the glue dries. You may also wish to use a clothes pin or other item to hold the eye on while the glue is setting. (See picture)

That's it!
*This is a Poochie Baby copy-written pattern. Please do not re-post on another site. But, you may freely link to this page. 

The PDF pattern file can be downloaded from Ravelry.

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 Have a great day and don't forget to share this with your friends!



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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Crochet Chevron Granny Baby Afghan

Hey everyone..... I just had to post a picture of this sweet little baby afghan I just finished for my niece's baby. It's her first baby.... so you know this is an exciting time!

I made this in a chevron pattern in the granny style. I used the very soft Red Heart With Love yarn, which makes it super cuddly. I really like this blanket. I believe I will be posting the pattern on the blog in the future, maybe along with a video tutorial. Subscribe to my blog so you don't miss it!


Crochet Chevron Baby Blanket
Crochet chevron/granny baby afghan.
As always, if you are interested in a custom blanket order, just contact by email. All payments are handled through PayPal......... If you prefer, you can also request a custom order through my Etsy shop.

Happy Hooking!



As of February 2014.... This blog is slowly being phased out. The new poochie baby blog is located on the Poochie Baby website. You can subscribe to the new blog by email here:

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Poochie Baby has many patterns available for free and for sale at RavelryCraftsy and in the Etsy Shop. There are also versions available in the Kindle store if you prefer to use your ebook reader.


If you would like to see some of the items I make and sell, visit the Poochie Baby Etsy shop.

Don't forget to follow Poochie Baby on Google+YouTube, FacebookTwitter and Pinterest

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Sunday, January 19, 2014

Should I Switch to the No Turning Chain Double Crochet

Hey everyone,

In my many searches of the internet, I have come across posts and videos showing you how to start a new row of double crochet without using a turning chain. Just recently, I thought I might switch to this method. So, I watched some videos and set about trying the technique for myself. What was the result?? Well, to be honest............... I don't like it. I'm sure this little trick works for many people with great success. But, I just couldn't get it to look good. And, it really slowed me down because I wasn't used to it.

When I double crochet, I always start a new row with a "CH 2". I know that some patterns instruct you to "CH 3" when beginning a new row. I never do.............. When using a chain 3, it will definitely leave a gap at the beginning of the row and it is just not necessary.

Here are some examples of the different methods you can use:


No Beginning Chain Double Crochet
No Beginning Chain Double Crochet
Beginning a Double Crochet Row with a Chain 2
Chain 2 Turning Chain Double Crochet
Chain 3 Turning Chain Double Crochet
As you can see, all three examples have some gaps. I have seen some work with a no turning chain that does not have gaps. Maybe practice makes perfect. I just much prefer to keep using a Chain 2 to begin each row.

If you would like to learn how to start new rows of double crochet without the turning chain, check out this video, courtesy of Sandra Roarty on YouTube. She gives very easy to follow instructions.


Above all, keep calm and keep hooking! Crochet is supposed to be a relaxing and rewarding hobby. Don't stress yourself out about it!

Happy Hooking!



As of February 2014.... This blog is slowly being phased out. The new poochie baby blog is located on the Poochie Baby website. You can subscribe to the new blog by email here:

Enter your email address:
Delivered by FeedBurner
Poochie Baby has many patterns available for free and for sale at Ravelry, Craftsy and in the Etsy Shop. There are also versions available in the Kindle store if you prefer to use your ebook reader.


If you would like to see some of the items I make and sell, visit the Poochie Baby Etsy shop.

Don't forget to follow Poochie Baby on Google+, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest

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Saturday, January 4, 2014

Daily Planner Pages for Download

Happy New Year everyone! I have a goal to get more organized this year............ I have always been a "planner". I used to use paper planners in the past with great success. Recently, I have used various apps on my smartphone and tablet. Though I love those apps, it seems that I just can't stay as organized. I am a very visual person and I like my planners to be colorful. So, I decided to design my own planner pages this year. They are in PDF format and I can either print them out to use in a binder, or, upload them to my tablet and keep a digital planner. Right now, I have a month of planner pages on my Galaxy Note 10.1 and I am loving it! 

I designed a page for myself that is very specific to my needs. It combines my "real job" needs with my Poochie Baby business needs. I modified this page to suite others and listed it for sale in my Etsy shop. Actually, there are two versions of a daily planner sheet that I now have for sale. I also put together a crochet project todo sheet.

Here are the examples:

Daily Planner for Digital Download
Daily Planner Page: Digital download Here !

Daily Planner Page for Digital Download
Smiley Face Daily Planner Page: Digital download Here !

Planner Page for Crochet Projects Digital Download
Crochet Projects Planner Page: Digital download Here !

Poochie Baby will have other planner pages available for sale in the Etsy Shop. 




As of February 2014.... This blog is slowly being phased out. The new poochie baby blog is located on the Poochie Baby website. You can subscribe to the new blog by email here:

Enter your email address:
Delivered by FeedBurner
If you would like to see some of the items I make and sell, visit the Poochie Baby Etsy shop. I have many crochet patterns available for sale!

Don't forget to follow Poochie Baby on Google+YouTube, FacebookTwitter and Pinterest

Share this post with all of your friends... the share buttons are below.


Send to Kindle