Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #17 Good found in not so good things

Pretend it's crochet not knitting!
Falling flat on the floor was pretty much how I felt on the day I'm writing this (Monday). I had an evil migraine Sunday evening, been awake since 1am, got woken from a 70min nap by my cat purring while pawing me and digging her claws in, and am doing blog work as quickly as I can. Ordinarily I don't mind writing this type of blog post on a Tuesday since Wednesday is my day off, but due to said migraine & my work being closed on Thursday until Tuesday, instead of needing to take a sick day I'm working Tuesday & Wednesday. It always takes me a few days to get over the extra fatigue of a migraine (which is worse just because fatigue hits me really hard). & that's why I didn't put up a post this weekend - I'd planned to Sunday but then evil migraine happened.

What I'm saying in a long winded way is that I'll announced the winner of this wonderful blanket on Thursday. Sorry it's not sooner but I'll need to rest as much as I can after work this week. 
Will this be yours?

The only plus side of Sunday's migraine was I started a new blanket, as all my current ones involved a fair amount of sewing squares together and I wanted something quick and easy. 

 There'll be excitement here on Thursday when I announce the blanket competition winner and on Saturday when I share my latest very exciting news with you! As always thank you for stopping by Nayu's Crochet Dreams ^o^ 
If I remember correctly this girl is from the anime Sugar Snow Fairies (or something like that!)

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #16 I'm on Facebook!

This is a random cute yarn pic I discovered this week
On Wednesday I thought I'd try and make a page for Nayu's Crochet Dreams on Facebook, and with only a few glares at my laptop I did it! You can find me here. It's one of may tasks on my blog work to do list, and it's fun being able to cross it out ^o^

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #15 My weekly experimental time!

Time to experiment!
On the day I'm pre-scheduling this post the sun is being chased by some clouds, but the sunshine streaming through the window is lifting up my spirits. Remember how I recently explained how Wednesdays is my sewing day? Well, the last few craft sessions I've spent a fair amount of time playing with yarn and doing a few experiments. I can't share any with you yet as they haven't developed into anything substantial, but it's led me to carve out some experimental craft time each week. 
What will I do with this?
The reason I'm setting aside time is because I can easily see all my time going to playing with ideas while I get distracted instead of focusing on making crochet blankets which I both need and want to make. By having a set time I won't restrict my ideas whenever they strike - I'll simply jot them down and explore them in my allocated time. I confess to not quite having figured out when that is - it will be at the weekend, either Saturday or Sunday depending how busy I am on each day. So let's say my experimental time will be at the weekend! 

I don't expect to show you anything for a while - I am still experimenting, and my creative self is mulling over ideas trying to work out what they could be. Before setting up Nayu's Crochet Dreams I never thought I could actually make up my own pattern and create something with crochet. I stuck with the reliable granny square. Well, I have made up my own borders, which I'll post about another time, so it makes sense I'll start to experiment with granny square shapes. I often don't have the head space to count and focus, which is why making things up is so fun! That I don't have to worry about copyright. It might be a while before you see the results of my experiments, but rest assured you will see them in due course!
Playing with yarn is so much fun! This chibi is knitting rathr than crocheting. Bye for now!

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #14 Big blog news for this summer!

Heehee, finally get to share this with you!
I've waited both years and months to write a post like this one. Years because what's happening has been part of my dreams for ages, in one form or another, and months because I've known about the situation for months, but didn't know specific details until last week.

I am posting this simultaneously on my writing & review blog, Nayu's Reading Corner, and on my craft blog, Nayu's Crochet Dreams. Apologies for readers on NCD – I'd planned to post this on Sunday instead of the usual Saturday post, but I got waylaid so opted to leave it another day.

The news is rather huge. Basically due to restructuring at work the opportunity for voluntary redundancy came up. I decided to apply for several reasons, some are too personal to say & I don't talk about my job online. I'm not a spy – not that I'm admitting to it! I just like privacy ^o^
Since I started work my health has had a significant decline with both fatigue levels and my severe chronic pain. This does affect my day job when my commute each way is 40-50mins driving myself, making my day a good 7 hours. I feel with the number of changes at work, I may as well undergo them closer to home in a new job, which in the long term will make things easier for me. 
Taking care of yourself is important.

That isn't happening at first though! I leave work at the end of June this year I'm having July and August to focus on my crochet business, Nayu's Crochet Dreams! And my writing, which makes my Muse a touch more patient when I'm too tired to write. There are a lot of things I want to do for my crochet business but with my day job and the need to rest, I simply don't have the time for it, and currently refuse to give up reading & reviewing less books. I'm a bit stubborn like that! A lot of the work is behind the scenes like being on more craft forums, actively following craft blogs, reading up on book keeping and various other skills I'll need for running a business, so you won't see them.
Thanks to the portability of technology I'll be able to blog in comfort wherever I go - same goes for crochet!

There are a few changes which you will see. There will be more posts, especially for Nayu's Crochet Dreams which I'm super excited about. There will be a wider product range! Having more time to crochet is exciting – I'm looking forward to spending afternoons doing crochet & watching dvds, just because I can ^o^ 
I'll have lots of quality yarn time with my cat.

Naturally I am working and trying to make this business get off the ground (shop coming soon...). I've already mentioned on Nayu's Reading Corner I'm looking to become an Audible affiliate. That will still happen, but the big change for both blogs regardless of which you visit is that I will be having ads.

Now, in the past I'm been fairly against ads, as they used to be annoying, more so when they weren't for anything I wanted and stuck out like a sore thumb. However, with adsense, when I've been on blogs with adverts I'm quite happy to have lovely, squishy looking balls of yarn staring at me. I know that initially and probably for a long while very few people will click on ads to hop to their favourite website (be it full of yarn, books, dvds, clothes or other items), because there's the possibility to make a smidge of money from adverts, it's something I'm going to be doing. I'll be doing everything I can to make Nayu's Crochet Dreams shine and become popular. My long term dream has been to be able to make a living by writing and not needing an external job. Over the last few years I was thinking that might not be possible for a long time, but now I've started up my crochet shop my new dream is to make enough from my crochet and my writing to not need another job. I've needed to look at all the ways I could potentially earn money, and ads is one of them.

I expect to start having ads before July, but it really does depend when I have time to set it up. Thanks to being on Blogger I think it's relatively easy, but I know better than to think it will be a 15 minute job with technology gremlins on the prowl!

Summary of changes coming up!
So to recap I'll be devoting myself to my writing and my crochet come 1st July! There will be ads on both Nayu's Reading Corner and Nayu's Crochet Dreams possibly before then, definitely after. I will become an Audible affiliate, and maybe others only if I believe in the product. There will be more posts on Nayu's Crochet Dreams, and undoubtedly a few more posts on Nayu's Crochet Dreams. The rest of the action will be behind the scenes stuff which hopefully will show results in the growth of my crochet sales.

Summer 2015 is going to be a huge change for me and my blogs. I'm looking forward to sharing the highs and lows of being a full time writer and crochet artist, even if it's only for 2 months. I will miss work which I genuinely love doing. I'll be able to see my friends a bit more, and that includes my work colleagues. I'll be able to see my family a bit more too, all of which are important to me. I'm looking forward to being able to take more of life at my own pace, to not need to go out when I'm feeling peaky which as you know in winter can be an awful lot. To not be so tired and worn out at the end of each day will be bliss. Don't worry, with rest firmly in my daily schedule now I won't be tempted to overdo things (at least not often...) I feel blessed that God's lined up life like this for me, and I hope I can make all my dreams come true!

I'd love to hear your thoughts about the upcoming changes to the blogs. If you have any questions I'll do my best to answer them in 24 hours of spotting them. If there are any particular features you'd like more of, please let me know! Nayu's Reading Corner has become a success over the last 6 years because all of you view my posts. I'm hoping that Nayu's Crochet Dreams – both the blog and soon to be open shop – will do just as well with time, dedication, & visits from you. Thank you for your continued support and encouragement ^o^ 
The future is looking bright, and I'm racing towards it!

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Gallery #2 Precious Dreams

Today's addition to the gallery is perhaps the most precious blanket I've made to do date. What makes it special isn't the colour (which is striking), or the border, one I created which probably won't appear on blankets I sell as it needs to be sturdier than it is. It's the fact that it was made for my favourite grandfather, who I was really close with, but died before I could give it to him on 31st December 2014. 

A close up of the colour and border
I'd been going to send it along with the news of me creating Nayu's Crochet Dreams (both this blog and my coming soon Etsy shop), which I know he'd have been thrilled about. He travelled the world frequently, understood my love of languages (and is partly the reason I've got so many French & Japanese anime), was always there and the same no matter what life threw at me. I miss him ever so much. He was the last of my grandparents too, so my family is now a bit smaller. However, the blanket is going to a new home of his wife. It's a bit complicated why she sort of is but sort of isn't my grandmother, but there's no one else I want to give it too. It had got lost in the post for a month, but because I posted it from work it found its way back to me and I'm waiting to give it in person. 

I've still got a bit of the yarn left so in time will make myself some fingerless gloves. There are many memories locked in my heart, and some Gorjuss cross stitch kits (the cute girl on this page is a Gorjuss girl) which once made will be in his memory too. I won't ever forget him or this special blanket.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #13 My weekly sewing day

Here's my sewing self!
Every week, usually on a Wednesday because that's my midweek break from work to rest, I have one day when I don't crochet at all. This may seem a bit odd as I adore crochet, experimenting with new patterns and being able to show you my latest projects. However, I love sewing. Having an entire day for it gives me a small break from crochet, and as a saying goes 'a change is as a good as a rest'. 

To be fair it also means I'm not juggling crochet and sewing on the same day. With craft although I can chop and change projects on the same day, my personality as such that doing that annoys me. I prefer to do 1 project at a time. I do alternate projects on different days for variety. 

I'm not sewing using a giant needle...
 Sewing is a little bit different to crochet. 
For starters I can and do accidentally prick myself with my needle at least once each session.

If a project involves beads you can almost guarantee I'll break 1-2 needles. Thankfully my current projects are beadless! 

Thread is much thinner than yarn
I have to count where to put each stitch, which is hard to do on a work day because I'm tired. When I'm tired I frequently can't think straight and even simple counting is beyond me. That's why I don't 
yet crochet in rows. I may in time, but not for now

There's also something about using needle and thread with a sewing hoop, it reminds me of some fantasy novels which have historical slants, where characters do weaving, spinning and other hand crafts. People have been sewing for hundreds of years, which when is pretty cool when you stop and think about it. My hobby in 2015 is the same as another woman in 1015! (I think. I haven't looked up dates yet). 

Spinning is an ancient craft

Today was an extra day off as I went out for lunch with my family, so since I barely did any sewing last week I'm sewing both tomorrow and all of today. Yay! I've got some owls to see twoo....(Belated bad pun alert!)
Today I finished the big red owl! Next up....some more lettering.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Gallery #1 Younglings' Dream

 This is my first official post of many for the Gallery section of Nayu's Crochet Dreams - yay! You can find it at the top of my blog, nestled between Coming Soon and About Me and NCD tabs. 

Please note: these early pictures aren't taken in the same way all NCD pictures will be taken from now on. There won't be any more date, and the background will be white (thanks to purchasing a white sheet...)

Looking good together
 The debut for the Gallery is these two blankets because they share pictures together and were both for younger members of my family. Because they were gifts they don't have actual titles as products for sale do, so Younglings' Dreams capture what the blankets are about. 

Ever since I learnt to crochet a few years ago I'd wanted to make a blanket for each of my family's younglings. The hope is that the blankets will stay with them as they grow up, possibly to be paired up with bigger blankets when they are older So I did! 

The older youngling (sounds a contradiction but it isn't) adores anything red, so choosing a colour was easy. The creative part of me wanted to add something extra to make it more than 'just' a red blanket (not that older youngling would mind), so I added the blue rows. 
Here's a closer look

The way the blue rows are spaced out, with  one more row of read as the blanket gets bigger is a pattern template I have already used & will continue to use for future blankets. It's pleasing on the eye, stands out, and most importantly is fun and easy to do! 

The younger youngling (try repeating that really fast) adores pink, purple, and every colour of the rainbow, so using a variegated yarn (multicoloured) seemed the obvious choice. 
A closer look
 Unlike the older youngling's blanket which didn't need a border, to bring younger youngling's blanket together a simple cream border finished it nicely.

The blankets went to very happy homes which makes for a happy Nayu. I hope you've enjoyed today's post, more coming soon! 
Bye for now!

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #12 Happy Thursday!

This cute little fellow made me smile today

I hadn't had the best of weeks, with a migraine on Tuesday afternoon which led to a 7.30pm bedtime and saw me sleep through until 4.30am Wednesday morning. I was shattered all of Wednesday so have no real blog post here today. Sorry! Felt a bit flakey at work today for a few hours, so concentrating is rather low on tonight's agenda. I'm feeling better which makes me very happy.

 I'm going to settle down with my audiobook and get crocheting - after some upbeat anime ^o^ I'm hoping my body will cooperate and let me take photos for my forthcoming Etsy shop at the weekend, but I'll have to wait and see. Thank you for stopping by today!
I know this girl isn't happy, which I wil be whie taking my photos, but there's something about her hat and clothes which appeals to me.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #11 Nayu's Crochet Dreams business cards!

side a

side b

I've been waiting since last week to post this, but here are the official Nayu's Crochet Dreams business cards! I hope you like them as much as I do. I got them through Vistaprint UK at a reasonable price,  I wanted it to match the stationery design (to be shown in another post as I'm possibly getting a headache so need to be speedy online), but since it didn't I went through all 6900 and something business card designs to get this one. It took a while, but was worth it & fun while listening to audiobooks. I did my best to use similar colours of text to match the colours in the design, and I like how it's sort of a similar colourscheme to the Nayu's Crochet Dreams logo (seen at the top of this blog).

I'd love to know what you think of them! These will be sent out with all blankets that are sold, but if any of you comment on this post I'll happily send you one (or several) for you to keep and share with friends and family.

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #10 Pet blanket paw print prototype progress!

Paw progress!
Sorry this wasn't posted yesterday - my internet played up so I had to give up on using it.
As much as I'd hoped to be writing about what can influence my crochet style, I'm opting for a shorter post of the progress on my pet blanket paw print prototype - trying saying that several times in a row! This time it wasn't a migraine which made me switch my post plans, thankfully. I'd unexpectedly had to have my super strong pain meds yesterday, which I usually have every 5 week, because I'd been having a pain flare for the last 2 weeks and needed my body reset, which the meds sort of do. I'm feeling heaps better than I was, albeit a bit tired because continuous severe pain is exhausting. I'm mostly used to it, but extra high levels wear me out.

Never fear tho, it doesn't stop me (much) from doing crochet! This has been on both Facebook and Twitter, but as you can see I'm making progress on my paw print. Please ignore the different styles of borders to the squares - since it's a prototype I'm experimenting with how I join the squares together. Due to the extra time it takes to make something like this there will probably only be 1 paw print per blanket, but I'm sure none of you will mind that. I'm hoping to work on it a bit more today, but since I've got several hours of reading planned I don't think I'll finish this project today. 

Remember there are some fab competitions which need entering! You can win a blanket made by me (worldwide competition)

win an audiobook of your choice  (US/UK only competition)

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #9 Craft is wonderful therapy

Everyone go 'Awwww!'
I'd hoped to write this post on Tuesday, so my time on Wednesday could be for my review blog. However a migraine formed at work on Tuesday morning while I was at work. By the time I got home I had to head straight to bed. However, it was almost a migraine because the pain part disappeared! I had the usual migraine exhaustion and feeling mweh, but was able to crochet while lying down & catching up with TV. Happy Nayu! I love being able to do crochet when I'm unwell because it makes me feel like I'm doing something, the repetitive nature is soothing and it's just plain fun. The post I'd planned about explaining my style & colour choices has to wait for another day.
If you have a pet, go spend some time with it! I would, but at the time of writing this post my cat is lazing in the sun on the spare bed. I know when I'm not wanted!

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Nayu's Craft Time #8 Audiobook Competition

What audiobook would you listen to?
Today's post is a little different. I'm directing you all over to my post on my other blog, Nayu's Reading Corner, which talks about why I love audiobooks and gives you a chance to win an audiobook! (US/UK entries only). This weekend I spent most of Sunday looking for stationery design - including business cards - for both Nayu's Crochet Dreams and Nayu's Reading Corner. I used up my allotted time for blogging and then some, so my next craft post will be Thursday where I'll show a small part of Nayu's Crochet Dreams new stationery which I'll use when sending off my handmade dreams to their new homes. Until then, think about audiobooks!