3 Things Friday

xo heatherrmariie

This week:
The good: I’ve been knitting, knitting, knitting – now about 80% done with a friend’s gift
The not-so-good: I had a few craft-related failures. But today I’m going to try again!
The best: This Handmade Holiday Blogathon has been a BLAST! I love sharing things I’ve made myself and sharing tutorials I’ve found. Plus, I got to bake and craft with a couple lovely ladies! I hope you’ve enjoyed it, too 😀

In other news, I was originally going to make felt ornaments, like these gorgeous snowflakes from The Purl Bee:  Molly's Sketchbook: Two Sided Felt Snowflakes but I’m off to my husband’s grandmother’s house to pick up patterns (and supplies she so sweetly got for me!!) for crocheted snowflakes and stars. I’m so excited!! They are going to be gorgeous, and just may adorn a few presents this year :) (May I reiterate how sweet my husband’s family is?!)

Oh, I have so many projects to finish in the next couple weeks! Making a gift for everyone is tough, but I think it’s going to be worth it.

Happy Friday, and I hope you all have a glorious weekend! Link me to any projects you’re working on 😀 I want to see the holiday pretties! xo

Thursday To-Do List

I needed to put this somewhere!

8-12 Freelance
12-2 Bank, apartment viewing, Apple Store, lunch?
2-5 Freelance
5:30 Play test at a local game company?

And I need to fit in…
Thursday Threads
Another hour of freelance work…
Craft Riot prep
Workout (as if that’s gonna happen!)
Event planning

post-its "breathe"

And this is how my week has flown by!

But I keep reminding myself…

The only way to be truly happy is to keep yourself busy

What's in a Name?

Today I’m going to share two stories, both of which I am frequently asked about. The first is my own name and the second is my shop name. The story of my name will give you some insight into me, and hopefully the story of my shop name will be helpful to those starting out a new business!

My full name is Allison JoLiane (jō’lē-ān). I actually think it’s quite pretty. But when I was in elementary school, going by my middle name, I got tired of everyone mispronouncing it! A few family members and friends continued to call me Jo, but I made everyone else call me Allison. I wanted to switch back as I got older, but I was too shy to correct my teachers when they called my first name in roll call. Fast forward to college: one of my bosses nicknamed me AJ. I thought it was a great way to coincide my two names, and so it stuck!

Now for the shop name! I thought about using my favorite animal or plant, or maybe something kooky like “Dancing Starshine.” Or should it be more straightforward like “Knit Goodies?” Then I started really thinking about what would make a good name. What would help get my name out there? What if I change my product? How do I choose?

I decided that several things are important choosing in a business name:

  • It must be memorable
  • Should be easy to pronounce and spell (Don’t want people googling the wrong thing!)
  • It has to be interesting
  • And it needs to be something you won’t tire of

Keeping these in mind, and realizing that my Etsy shop name would basically be my screen name as well, I decided to turn my own nickname into my business name. I combined “AJ” with my favorite color purple. Now, “Purple AJ” would have satisfied the easy to pronounce and spell, but was it memorable or interesting? I decided to turn it around to “AJ the Purple.” I feel that it calls the question, AJ the purple what? And it changes my favorite color into a noun and becomes intriguing. Or at least I think so 😉

How do you measure the success of a name? I’m not sure there’s a hard and fast way of judging, but I do know that people remember it. And I love introducing myself to people and getting this:

“AJ? Of AJ the Purple? Hi!” Yup, that’s me! :)

Cake Balls and Costumes

For our little Halloween get together, I made cake balls based on this recipe by Bakerella.Cake BallsCake Balls close-up Instead of red velvet, I used plain cake and classic white frosting, which I colored with food coloring. I’d like to share a few tips with you, in case you’re going to try! (And you should – they’re amazingly tasty and were a big hit.):

  • Chill the dough before rolling, too – it’ll make it much easier.
  • Dampen your hands before rolling to keep the dough from sticking to you.
  • Don’t burn the almond bark, but make sure it’s really hot!

And now onto the costumes! Due to popular demand, I decided to be Ramona. I found the wig and pink shorts at Goodwill; the rest I already had. I love piecing together costumes! (It was a little warm, so I’d lost my jacket and rolled up my sleeves by this point :P)

AJ as Ramona Flowers

My friends all had awesome costumes too! (I didn’t get photos of them all, sadly)

I hope you all had a great Halloween weekend, too! Now onto the next holiday 😉

Happy November!

Etsy Crush: Birds

Birds of a feather flock together, and so they did for this week’s Etsy finds 😉 (Click on the images to go to the Etsy listing)

These magnets by AnikaEaster are simple adorable:bird magnets

This silver birds in flight necklace by bbel would be a lovely addition to any wardrobe:silver birds in flight necklace

Love this tiny dove bowl by Paloma’s Nest:CUSTOM dove tiny text bowl - an original design by Paloma's Nest

Gorgeous screenprinted tie by toybreaker (remember my post on ties that don’t suck?): Silk peacock feather silkscreened necktie

LOVING this hand-embroidered tea towel by melys baby: Art Nouveau Peacock Hand-Embroidered Towel/Tea Towel/Dishtowel

Tell me you didn’t say “aww!” after seeing these birds on branches by moloco: birds on the branches

I really admire this felt bird brooch by lupin: Robin, felt bird brooch

Another adorable bird brooch, by SepiaLupus: Woodpecker Wood Resin OOAK Brooch

Crocheted chickens? Adorable! by HoneyBee Bungalow: Hippie Chix Tie-Dyed Pocket Poultry

And finally this cool men’s bird wing shirt by JamesAnthony:Mens Destroyed Vneck Tshirt in Moss Green feat