Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Resurfacing after a lengthy leave of absence

Oh blog, how I've neglected you.  I had another son in November and I'm still trying to arrange my life to work around my absolute NEED to crochet and relieve some of my crafty clogginess.  BJC did get a new logo while I was on maternity leave, so this site will be getting  a little makeover as soon as I can get that accomplished.  Now that I'm not preggo anymore and little man is sleeping through the night (mostly), my old friend Insomnia is making itself known again, so I may be able to squeeze in a blog makeover some night while Husband is sawing logs and the kids are quiet.

Please don't discount me yet!  My New Year resolution was to 1.) get ripped, like really ripped, and 2.) find the time to blog!  I want to be able to share more stuff and get more opinions.  Therefore, I must blog. 

Until we meet again,

Saturday, January 21, 2012

January 2012 Giveaway Winner

Using the Random Number Generator at, Entry #11 out of 13 valid entries was the winner of the $25.00 BJC Gift Certificate as announced on January 4th here:  Thanks so much for everyone for participating!  Brittney will have until January 28th to claim her prize or a new winner will be chosen.

There were some really good crochet questions posted and I will be answering all of them in my upcoming blog posts.  I will gladly research and answer any questions at any time, but this giveaway gave me a great start!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Its not as easy as Martha says

So, a few weeks before Christmas my lovely cousin (who I NEVER get to see) asked me to make her boyfriend a crochet Christmas stocking in U of M colors.  I thought I would super impress her and asked if she wanted a matching one, and then I further blew her mind by telling her I would totally have it done in time for Christmas!  After realizing I have no patterns for a stocking handy, and deciding I didn't have time to write one, I started my internet scour of great stocking patterns. 

Several Google searches led me to the Martha Stewart craft site.  Let me say before I get into the meat and potatoes of this post that I despise Martha.  Nothing is ever as easy as she says, and it never looks like the picture when your done.  That said, I did indeed click the forbidden link and was directed to an entire slideshow of 13 different stocking ideas

I started looking through them, and came across the Sweater Stocking.  Cute?  Yes.  Functional?  Yes.  Sounded too good to be true already.  In just 6 simple steps (the tutorial is less than 1 printed page) and one simple template, you too can make a sweater stocking!  The first thing I did was confirm with Cousin that a sewn stocking would be ok.  She said yes.  Printed the template and directions, went to the local resale shop and bought a XXL Banana Republic, navy blue sweater for $10.00, then took my goodies home and dusted off the sewing machine. 

This is when the laughter turns to tears.  My first mistake was attempting this while Noah was awake.  I was constantly telling him to stop taking the scissors, don't play with needs, stop unplugging the machine, don't adjust the tension, blah blah blah...  He finally went down for a nap when huge mistake No. 2 occurred:  Overconfidence.  Her simple, "life is but a dream" tutorial made me feel like Martha herself.  I was about to turn a discarded sweater into Holiday Craft Greatness.  NOT!  What I ended up with was a lopsided, frayed disaster.

By this time, its the week before Christmas.  It will never make it from Michigan to Virginia on time, and I'm feeling like a super failure.  I FB my cousin to tell her how utterly sorry I am, and she then tells me its ok.  She event throws a "Damn Martha" in there to make me feel better.  Honestly.  

So where am I at with this project now?  Starting from scratch with some good ole' yarn and a hook.  The moral of this story is, Stick with what you know, save the experiments for less urgent times.  And I should throw another moral in there for good measure:  Its NEVER as easy as Martha says!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Free Crochet Pattern - Tea Time Beanie

Download this pattern in PDF format for free at:

Materials List:
• Medium Worsted Weight Yarn
• Size I and G Hooks
• Stitch Marker
• Yarn Needle for weaving in ends
• Scissors
• Ribbon or Flower for decoration, or leave it plain!

All Sizes, Begin Here:
With I hook, Chain 3

Round 1:
0-3 Months 8dc in 1st chain
3-6 Months 9dc in 1st chain
6-12 Months and Toddlers 10dc in 1st chain
Join to 1st dc with slst and move on to Round 2.

Round 2: Ch 4 (counts as 1st dc and ch1), (dc, ch1) in each stitch around, including the first and last stitch. Join to 3rd ch of beg ch4. This is an increase round. You should have 1 more dc in this round than you started with in Round 1, for example, if you start with 8dc in round one, you should end with 9dc and 9 ch1 spaces at the end of Round 2.

Round 3: Slst in 1st ch1 sp, ch 4 (counts as 1st dc and ch1), dc once more in same ch1 sp. [Dc, ch1, dc] (V-stitch made) in each ch1 space around. Join to 3rd ch of beg ch4.

Round 4: Slst in ch1 sp of 1st V-stitch, ch 3 (counts as 1st dc), (dc, ch1, 2dc, ch1) in same V-stitch. (2dc, ch1, 2dc, ch1) in each V-stitch around, join to top of beg ch3.

Round 5: Slst in next dc, slst into 1st ch1 sp, ch4 (counts as 1st dc and ch1), dc again in same space. V-Stitch (dc, ch1, dc) in each ch1 sp around, join to 3rd ch of beg ch4.

Round 6: Slst in ch1 sp of 1st V-stitch, ch 3 (counts as 1st dc), (dc, ch1, 2dc, ch1) in same V-stitch, skip next V-stitch. *(2dc, ch1, 2dc, ch1) in next V-stitch, skip next V-stitch*, repeat from * around, join to top of beg ch3.

Round 7+:
0-3 Months Repeat rows 5 and 6 one more time each, repeat row 5 one more time
3-6 Months Repeat rows 5 and 6 two mores time each, repeat row 5 one more time
6-12 Months Repeat rows 5 and 6 two mores time each, repeat row 5 one more time
Toddler Repeat rows 5 and 6 three mores time each, repeat row 5 one more time

End Round: Slst in ch1 sp of 1st V-stitch, (dc, ch1, dc, ch1, dc) in next v-stitch, *slst in next v-stitch, (dc, ch1, dc, ch1, dc) in next v-stitch*, repeat to end, finishing with a slst in 1st slst. Fasten off and weave in ends.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Goodbye Etsy, Hello Artfire!

I've been with Etsy for a year now and after fully considering the options, I'm moving shop to ArtFire.  My Etsy shop is deactivated, and I may or may not reopen it.  The kicker is the fees.  For the last 3 months, I have paid more in fees to Etsy than I have actually made.  Etsy charges listing fees, sale fees, and they have made it impossible to get exposure without constantly relisting.  With the added PayPal fees and material costs, I just can't keep up.  Artfire is charging a flat-rate $11.99/month, which is great for me!

Please come over to Blue J Crochet on Artfire and support my new shop!  I know it will take time to build up the same customer base that I had before, but I'm certainly hoping it becomes even more successful than Etsy.  Artfire also makes it easier to make sales, coupons and gift certificates, so I'll be really happy to be able to offer more discounted goodies!

The Giveaway for this month will be changed from my Etsy shop to my Artfire shop, however all of the products are exactly the same and my prices haven't changed, so you can still use the $25.00 Gift Certificate for all of the same stuff you could have found on Etsy.  It will take me a few days to get all of my items relisted but I'm working on it!

Use this for 25% off all patterns at my new ArtFire shop for the next 5 days!  Pass it on to all of your friends and help me kick off to a great start! 

Thanks for your continued support!  I love you guys!
♥ Julie

Thursday, January 12, 2012

1000th Etsy Sale!

"Happy Happy Joy Joy, Happy Happy Joy Joy"!  So, am I old or just immature for singing Ren and Stimpy in celebration of my 1000th Etsy sale?  Either way, I'm so happy!  THANK YOU for helping me reach 1000 sales in just over 1 year!  To celebrate, EVERYTHING is 15% off until Next Friday, the 19th!  This includes custom orders! 

Also, I just joined the Pinterest and I'm really confused, but in a happy kind of way.  I think I feel like my mom did when she joined Facebook the first time.  Anyhow, if anyone wants to be invited in (its a pretty elitist group, lol), just shout at me and I'll send you a link for it.  If you're already on Pinterest, go check out my Etsy shop and start Pinning!  Here's a perfect example of a Pin-worthy pic...

This amazing photograph taken by Valerie Ott Photography
in Kalamazoo, MI.  Check her out at:

The next tutorial coming up this weekend is how to do a Magic Ring so check me out next week for that one!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Valentine Treasury

Its a little early but I just had to do it... haha.  Here is the only (I promise) Valentine's Day Treasury I plan to make: