I just finished switching everything over for the new chiagu.com website and it's all ready for shopping! Please hop on over and kick the tires a bit, and please let me know if you see anything wonky. I'm pretty happy with it and I hope you'll all like it too!
Yesterday was the final class at City Quilter and I got back to work on my stacks quilt. Here you see the blocks I've finished so far all layed out on the design wall (which even at the store isn't large enough for this queen sized quilt!):
I spent literally two hours cutting the blocks down to size. That wasn't fun at all, let me tell you. And to add insult to injury, I made a mistake on the very first block and cut it to 24" long instead of the planned 25", so ended up having to go with 24" for all of them. Oh well, 96" long is still plenty long for this giant quilt ;o)
The major news on this quilt is that I don't have enough charcoal gray to finish and the shop is totally out of stock. They could order more, of course, but the dye lot might not match. Where have I heard that before? *facepalm*
After much consideration and fabric inspection, I've decided to add in a grayish plum color (you can see it on the table in the front of this photo) in the remaining 4 blocks as well as the sashing. For the remaining blocks I'll be doing two thirds of the background in the plum and the last third in the charcoal, so that it blends in some. The empty spaces you see above is where those blocks will go. The plum will also be the 2" sashing between the blocks that form the "stacks." (it's actually up there in the photo but hard to see)
I think I'm pretty happy with this solution and while it's not the "ideal" I think I may end up with an even better finished product because of it. The added color in the background will add interest and make the quilt even more modern, and should also take away from some of the starkness of the design. One of the many lessons I've learned with this first quilt is that I have a tendancy to pick fabrics that all have the same saturation, so the end result can be a bit jarring. Something to work on!
Oh and if you're wondering, the other quilt is nearly done, just have to finish the binding:
This quilt will be known from now on as the "anthro quilt" after a girl at the shop said it looked like something Anthropologie would sell. I took that as a compliment =)
Oh and if you're wondering about the Sybil Sweater, yesterday we did the photo shoot! I'm waiting for Seth to get me the photos and then finishing the pattern is next on my to-do list.
That, and start running again. Seeing myself in those pictures has driven it home that I really have gained weight! Time to get it off so I can fit in my favorite jeans again.
You might think that all I've been doing lately is quilting, and I wouldn't blame you based on what I've been writing about here . . . but the truth is I'm hard at work on a brand-new version of chiagu.com, with not only a new design, but many advanced shopping features. What you see above is a sneak peek at the almost-finished site. What do you think?
The new site is not only on a different platform (after much comparison, I decided to go with Shopify) it will also allow me to have a much more robust online shopping experience. I'm adding an affiliate program, a wholesale section, and will start selling the yarn used in my kits individually, too.
I'm planning to launch the new site early next week . . . if you're not already on my mailing list, please join up now so that you don't miss the announcement! There will probably be a discount code in that announcement too . . . just sayin' ;o)
How do you sign up? Just click here and fill out the form!
[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="stockinette Madelinetosh from an upcoming design"][/caption]
Things have been hectic the last couple of weeks as I've settled down into freelancing full time and have been trying to work out what exactly that means. I think I may have figured it out, but part of figuring this stuff out is knowing that when you're working for yourself, things can and do change constantly!
One of the best parts of freelancing is getting to do random things during regular working hours that I wouldn't be able to if I had a full-time job. Last month I attended a hackathon (which is when people get together to work on coding projects together during a marathon session lasting anywhere from a few hours to several days straight) that took place in the middle of the day on a Thursday, and the team I was on took third place! It was super fun, I made some great contacts, and I think I learned a bit too. In 2012, I want to do way more of that type of thing, as well as schedule time to exercise and write patterns and submit designs.
In an effort to figure out what things I should spend time on, I've been working on a resolution/goal list and wanted to post it here to not only share with you but also to keep myself accountable. Here's what I have so far:
That last one probably seems random in there, but for the last few weeks I've been getting tons of breakouts . . . and I started noticing tiny wrinkles about 2 years ago. My skin is pretty sensitive and I really suck at being responsible about it, so I'm making it a priority this year. I already started in with a new routine which will probably evolve, but so far seems to be working better than "just do whatever I feel like it" which is what I was doing before.
Speaking of which, it's random product review time!
I just started using the Neutrogena Wave gadget and so far, I really like it! I had considered buying one of those brushes you see everywhere but I not only didn't want to shell out for it, I was also afraid that it would irritate my skin.
When I bought the Wave I thought it was sort of like a junior version of a brush, but it turns out it's really not. The Wave isn't meant to exfoliate, just clean. The little gizmo vibrates while you wash your face, which apparently makes the soap go down into your pores and get all the gunk out. I wasn't really sure I was buying the pitch, but after using it just once I was sold!
My skin felt cleaner than I could ever expect, and it wasn't red or irritated at all. The Wave left my whole face with a healthy "glow" that's hard to describe, but is really really satisfying to see in the mirror. The tighter, tingly feeling is like what my skin feels like after using a scrub, but without the sort of raw/delicate feeling that a scrub leaves me with.
I'm going to keep washing my face with this thing until I run out of the 2-week supply of pads it came with, and will report back with what I find after prolonged use!
In the meantime, back to working on this pattern . . . I can't wait to show you guys what I've been working on!
Sometimes I daydream about what I'd like my "real life" to be. In that "real life" I have a family and a house with a backyard where I grow vegetables I pick and cook for that family. I imagine two kids (they're usually about 3 and 5 in the mental image), a second dog, a fireplace . . . a studio for my knitting business and an outdoor office area where I can work on my computer while still sitting outside. Maybe this future me will learn to quilt and make heirloom blankets that our descendants will cherish. Maybe she'll start a small business that lives on well after her life is over, and makes the world a slightly better place than it now is. It's all still hazy but it's starting to take shape.
And I've taken the first step to get there: Last Friday was my last day at my last full-time job. As of now, I'm self-employed.
Saying that is incredibly powerful and empowering, but also really really scary. I'm excited for the future and can't wait to show you what I've been working on. I have so many plans and projects lined up that I can't wait to dive into!
You're probably wondering how I'm going to be paying the bills. While Chiagu won't be my full-time gig, it will certainly be a large part of my day-to-day life. Programming will also continue being a large part of my life, which brings me to the plug:
If you (or someone you know) need a freelance programmer, please get in touch! I am primarily a PHP programmer and my specialty is customizing and extending Wordpress. You can find out more about my programming skills on my personal site, ivetetecedor.com.
I've got tons of stuff already under way and I'm going to be blogging more to document my life. This space will still be almost exclusively about knitting, but I'm going to also tell you about my day-to-day life more and share the cool projects I'm working on at the moment.
I hope you'll enjoy the journey with me as I work towards being the person I described above. I promise that if nothing else, it will be an interesting ride.
I'll be out of the country for the next week and I am so excited! I will probably have limited to no internet access, so will definitely not be posting here. But I'll miss you guys!
Any pattern orders placed next week will still be delivered instantly. However, any kit orders will only ship out after I return, which is the week of September 19th.
Have a great week everyone!