Friday, March 24, 2017

The Rainbow Blanket


The Rainbow Blanket has a special meaning. A "Rainbow Baby" is a baby born following a miscarriage or infant loss. Many women very close to me have endured such trials, and this blanket is a special memorial to those lost babies, and the blessing of their Rainbow Babies that have followed. I have sold quite a few of these blankets to one specific person who has ordered them for her friends who have suffered loss as a gift of encouragement. I think that is such a sweet thing to do for your friends who are suffering.

If you would like to purchase a Rainbow Blanket, you can do so HERE.

While I do have some original patterns, and even more that I make from my head that I just need to take the time to sit down and write out, I work a lot from patterns of other wonderfully talented designers. This stunning baby blanket is such an eye-catcher. I just love the huge pop of color! I saw a version like this on Ravelry (a pattern-sharing community for knitters and crocheters), and I knew I had to make one!


As I stated previously, this is not my pattern, but it is too pretty not to share. You can find the pattern HERE if you want to make one for yourself. Whenever I post this blanket on my social media, I always get asked what kind of yarn I used. The yarn I use is called Red Heart Gumdrop, and you can find some of the colors at JoAnn and Michaels. However, some of the colors are discontinued and are harder to find. Then, just add in some white for the rows between the shell rows. I did 3 sets of the 7 rainbow colors. With a 5.5mm hook, and my tension, the blanket came out to approximately 34 inches square.


I plan on sharing more of my creations with you whether they are original designs, or my adjustments to other designer's patterns. Don't forget to check out the designer Lahoma Howard on her blog https://goshyarn.com/. In addition to her free patterns on Ravelry, she also sells gorgeous hand-dyed yarn! I would love to see how your blankets turn out. Tag me on your social media so I can follow your work!

Happy Crafting!
-Sarah Liz

Monday, March 20, 2017

An Accidental Amateur Photographer

Photo: Sarah Gross
I stumbled into photography. Seriously, I stumbled. Prior to 2014, my photos consisted of vacation photos, snapshots of my son, and the occasional selfie. And I am sad to say that the quality of the photos was not good. They were blurry, filled with shadows, generally not very appealing to the eye.

Then I opened my Etsy shop in the summer of 2013. I started realizing how much photography aided or hindered my business. I did not have a good camera. My cell phone did not have a good quality camera either. So in 2014, I took the plunge and purchased a DSLR camera. My world changed. Even though I was (and still am) a novice with this kind of equipment, my photos look so much better. The detail I was able to capture blew me away. Suddenly my photos in my shop actually looked good! I still cringe when I look at the photos that I used then compared to the ones I use now.

My first attempt at product photos
A much better product photo


Although the majority of my work is with product photography, I love taking photos of my 3 children. I have a lot still to learn about photography, but I will be sharing what I have learned so far. I hope you can learn from my cringe-worthy mistakes, and get better photos than I did starting out. Here's my #1 tip that helped me the most.

Use Natural Lighting!!!

The first photo baby booties photo was taken inside, at night, and with the flash on. Fellow photographers may now groan or cringe at hearing this. The best starting advice I can give is to set yourself up with some great natural light. I highly suggest shooting during the day, and using indirect sunlight. I usually set up near a window in the morning light. It is a lot easier to get quality photos if you can start out with some quality lighting.

In the coming weeks, I will be sharing some more tips for things that I had to learn the hard way. I will also introduce you to my on-call models, my three children, and the fun and difficulties that they bring.

Happy Photographing!
~Sarah Liz

Monday, March 13, 2017

Crocheted Bow Headband Pattern


When I had a baby girl, I may have gone nuts with all of the accessories I made for her. Okay, definitely nuts. But everything was just so cute on her! I started making some of my own patterns for her. Here is one of my favorites.

Materials
- F hook
- Worsted Weight Yarn (I used a nice cotton yarn for the summer)
- Scissors
- Needle for weaving in ends

Gauge
The great thing about this pattern is that you can switch up your hook size to make the bow larger or smaller as desired.

Pattern

Headband
1. Ch 6, sc in 2nd ch from hook, sc in remaining sts. (5sc)
2. Ch 2 (counts as st), turn, (dc, ch 1, dc) in 3rd sc, dc in last st.
3. Ch 2 (counts as st), turn, (dc, ch 1, dc) in ch space of last row, dc in last st.
Repeat row 3 until you reach desired length. Cut tail, and sew up ends to form headband.

Bow
Row 1. Ch 42, hdc in 3rd ch from hook, hdc in remaining sts. (40 hdc)
Row 2. Ch 2, turn, hdc across (40 hdc)
Rows 3-7. Repeat row 2
Finish off, leaving a long tail

Finishing
Sew ends of bow with long tail. Fold bow in half with seam down the middle. Wrap long tail around the middle to pinch the middle in and make the bow. Knot the tail, and then attach to the headband where the seam is. Weave in any remaining ends.

I would love to see your bows! Tag me on instagram @craftsbysarahliz so I can see your work!


To download a pdf version of this pattern, it is available on my Ravelry store:

*Permissions*
- You are free to sell what you make from this pattern. I would appreciate links back to my blog to credit me as the designer.
- You may not use my photos
- You may not sell this pattern or claim it as your own

© Sarah Gross - Crafts by Sarah Liz



Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Jewelry-Making: Playing With Beads

Jewelry-making: It's more play than actual work. The possibilities are endless, and so is the fun. Expanding on my crocheted jewelry, I have tried out a few different jewelry-making techniques. Here are a few that I have tried and what I think of them.



Earrings are what I have done the most with. It seems like there are endless possibilities and combinations to do. Swarovski crystals and pearls are my favorite to work with. I just love the sparkle!


Wire-wrapping is fun. You can mess up, and start over, and repeat it all again until you get a look that you like. It's probably the most free-spirited of the techniques I have tried. I am usually a follow-the-instructions kind of person. This wire-wrapping technique is great for creative expression. It is amazing how projects can come out differently depending on the day (and my mood).



Another favorite technique of mine is working with buttons. I may have a button obsession. Okay, I definitely have a button obsession. But how cute are the little earrings above? I really enjoy making jewelry out of non-traditional items. I plan to get more buttons (because I apparently don't have enough already) and make even more.


Bracelets have also been fun. Besides the crocheted ones I have done HERE, I love working with beads. Between the wrap bracelets above on the left and the cuff bracelets above on the right, I just want to make them in all the colors!

These are just a few of my jewelry-making endeavors. If you aren't the jewelry-making type your can purchase them HERE. Hopefully, I will be posting more jewelry experiments soon.

Happy Crafting!
~Sarah Liz