Creative Confetti: Modern Asymmetrical Ponchos

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A few weeks ago I tried a pattern with chunky yarn and it looked nothing like the photo. After what we call “frogging” the project and many attempts, I came up with my own way of doing it. I was pleased and so were the people I made them for. I figure sometimes this happens not only when a person creates a pattern, but also when manufacturers don’t give clear and concise instructions. I see it often in the crochet and knitting groups. We are all about making adjustments!

~Nikki

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Sunday Morning Coffee Musing: Women Doing the Most to Our Own Detriment

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I had a great, terrible, struggling, successful day yesterday. Sound familiar? I hope not! My artwork was on display and I sold two more pieces. Sold my first last week. In case you are a new reader, I have Rheumatoid Arthritis Disease, Fibromyalgia and some other things. Well, I  am also very stubborn and I have a tendency to take on too much not considering y health. In the past, I never had to consider it. Old habits die hard and some never die.

Anyhow, at the end of the fabulous art show, I was hit with a MEGA migraine. My neck was hurting as it was very cold in the building. I had my compression gloves on the entire time (these help with my joints and fibromyalgia). Three weeks of crocheting, painting, driving to Nashville for a fall break with my daughter for two nights, and back home to get ready for the art show…you see, this is me being defiant. So, when hit with the migraine, I continued to pack and load. I heard the Spirit speak and say, “Get help.” But, I didn’t want any of the people there that I didn’t know to help me. I made two trips and I got to the car and well, nausea was for a reason. I got in the car and called one of my brothers. He came. He loaded the car, insisted on following me home, and insisted he unload the art. He also gave me some encouragement. I told him I get tired of being strong and I was sorry I had to call him out in the chilly weather and rain. “Sorry? We are family. That’s what we are here for in times like this.”

After he left, he sent a scripture, “Cast your cares on the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” Psalms 55:22 I needed that. And you know what else I needed? I needed everything that happened yesterday, how it happened, and when it happened for multiple reasons. Plenty of lessons in yesterday as well as life nuggets.

  • Women (and men) that are too prideful to ask for help suffer unnecessarily all to prove we don’t need anyone’s help, or the helpers don’t need help, or whatever it is we are trying to prove or image we are trying to uphold
  • Some of us are like this because we have been let down so much, talked about so much for needing help
  • We will override a gut feeling, the Holy Spirit, and voices of reasons to do it all on our own and then damn near die and some have died
  • I constantly have to remind myself to ask for help, it’s okay to ask for help, it’s not righteous to always be the helper and it’s not weak to need…anything including help
  • No man or woman is an island. Even if they think they are. They are disillusioned at best.
  • Family is good to have. Friends are family, too.
  • I could have strangers. I am a stranger that will help anyone in need.
  • I shouldn’t be so hard headed but sometimes I get tired of being bound by RD, Fibro, etc. etc. and etc. And I just go mad lol

So, I recover today not only from last night but for the last three weeks. Breathe, meditate, medicate, elevate, easy going do it easy, and realign with the universe.

~Nikki

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These are the two paintings that sold. Lola of the Universe and Bloodgood’s Blessing.

RA BLOG:My First Vendor Opportunity & How I Coped, Lessons Learned

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Saturday, I had my first opportunity as a vendor for my crocheted items. It was an awesome opportunity to gain experience, meet new customers, and network with other vendors who are also African American. It has nothing to do with exclusion, but it has everything to do with building and creating opportunities for crafts, small businesses, exposure, and financial gains for businesses that are often overlooked or unheard of. We are also able to keep each other informed on bigger craft shows and opportunities to support each other. This is a plus for ALL women as we began to included each other and support each other’s ventures. Friendships and partnerships are often made.

 

My next vendor adventure will be a very big one at the Colonial Park Church in my city. It is a Fall Festival I have always known about before I began to crochet. I have never been, but it’s a family friendly event that involves the entire community. Needless to say, but saying it anyway, I am anxious about it. I was very anxious about the one I did yesterday and nervous because it was my first time. I was filled with doubt and prepared myself that if I didn’t sell one thing I had at least taken the first step. I had no idea how to set my table up so I reached out to other crafters, women from all over the world that gave me tips, shared pictures, and some that never did a craft show but wanted to wish me luck and pray that I sell boat loads as one said. I did sell some things and I was pleased with the outcome! I was pleased to network and purchase from two other vendors. I was pleased to meet new customers. I was pleased that I was offered more opportunities. I am now less anxious about next Saturday. I had to talk to myself the entire time I was on the way there. Therapy helps. I used the tools I was given and was able to calm my anxiety.

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Afterwards, I had to pack up and get things back in the car. Here is where RA/RD and fibromyalgia is major factor. Well, that morning I had no help to load my car. My daughter was with her father. When I arrived, I had some help getting things out, then I had to set up on my own, break it down on my own, and I had help loading my car. But, when I got home, guess what? I had to take some things out and the other stuff is still in there. My body was so sore and achy BEFORE I even left the event or began to pack up. This was from just loading up everything to get there. Needless to say, the rest of the evening I was incredibly sore and I had to take pain medication for my pain. Sunday, was a little bit better and today is much better physically except my hands are still achy and I have been having some shoulder and back issues before all of this. BUT, I am so proud of myself to push past anxiety, my shyness (believe it or not), and put my side hobby out there. And it helped to have the support of a crafting community, friends, and family that cheered me on. This one reason I try to cheer others on. I know how important it is.

~Nikki

 

Crocheted Vacay Shawls: Officially Known as Travel Shawls

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Well, the shawl epidemic all started when a package arrived for me from Italy. It was yarn my cousin sent to me as she is stationed there are is a knitter. She had no idea turquoise was my favorite color. It took me a while to figure out what you make and by the time I got around to it Summer showed up and skipped Spring here in Memphis, TN. I decided to make a shawl for the beach. The colors were appropriate! It reminded me of the ocean.

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I completed it and was delighted. I then was ask to make another one. The inspiration was a poster board I had and I decided to name this one Sunrise.

The one below reminds me of Spring. Eclectic Spring. I like to name my inspirations! These are great for travel in the Spring and Summer because they are breathable shawls yet, they are able to keep you cozy and stylish on a plane, train, or automobile. Cool mornings or late nights on a breezy beach or lake.

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I do make these to sale and yes, I do ship!

~Nikki

Confetti Book Excerpt: The Remedy for Love by Nikki Jade

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“We are having chicken again ma? You gonna fry it or bake it?” he asked.
“FRY IT!” yells Roland.
“I am going to bake it.” I look at Jalen and I wink at him. He goes to his room and starts his homework.
“Queen Furniture called me about the-
“Look Angie don’t start in with me about no bills because I had a hard day at work and you know what? Never mind…” He jumps up from the couch grabs his leather Steelers jacket I bought, his Steelers hat, and slams the front door so hard the windows shake. I keep cooking. He’ll be back in a few minutes because I see his keys on the kitchen counter. I am used to this. He probably will come in and say a few curse words and “Angie it’s your fault I ain’t got no money blah blah blah and your fat ass blah blah blah”. I can handle it. I just ignore it. I used to argue back until one time he got in my face. It’s just words.
I hear the door open, but not close. He comes in the kitchen and snatches his keys off the counter. He grabs my arm and I drop a piece of chicken on the floor.
“Look, I’m about sick of your ass starting stuff when you get home. Don’t come up in here telling me nothing about no damn bills because if it wasn’t for you I wouldn’t be in this situation. You better be glad me and Monique getting along or she would be calling asking me for more money and you know I got to take care of my children. Come up in here one more time telling me about a damn furniture bill and I am gonna leave you!”
He let my arm go and slammed the front door. I stood there for what seem like an hour. He never put his hands on me.
“Ma.” I looked over to my left and Jalen was standing there with tears in his eyes. Instead of me running to him he ran to me and put his arms around me. Instead of me comforting him he said to me “Ma, you are not fat you are just fluffy and I like fluffy and I don’t like Roland anymore!” He hugged me so tight. I chuckled when he said fluffy. I wiped the tears from my baby’s eyes.
“I am alright Jalen and you will be alright.”
Jalen looked at me and then looked at my arm. His big brown almond shaped eyes widen even more…

 

Please download my book and give me a review! Thanks!

Spring Cleaning:Beginning Change of Decor

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Spring is almost here and it’s time to at least begin the process of putting away fall/winter decor, getting rid of excessive items, and pulling out some of your spring clothing items while putting away your heavy coats. It’s a back and forth on clothing items until spring settle ins. Also, for many it’s time to plant and get their yard prepped. I am renting the condo I am in and I have not been in the mood to plant a garden here. However, it is a definite need to keep the small yard cut and weeded. I have never seen a weed problem like this one in my life! I will opt for potted plants.

My home always has a beachy theme or feel. My favorite colors are in the turquoise family. However, I wanted less of the turquoise and more of something else. I was ready to go out of my comfort zone for the living room/downstairs area. I went with the leftover royal blue glasses and the new color apple green. I am still working on the details, adding in some different variations of the colors, and keeping a hint of the beach present. EVERYTHING remaining inexpensive, clearance, dollar store finds, under $20, and reusing what I already have. A can of spray paint can do wonders for items you find that do not match your decor or items you are almost sick of looking at. Paint them and then next year you can sell them, paint them again or give them away.

In the photo above the plates and glasses were purchaed from the Dollar Tree. The napkins and mats were on clearance at Steinmart. I bought the apples from Michael’s. The painting was created by me!

The photo below: The Relax sign was $3 from Target and the green dog was 50% off from At Home store and so is the winker round/cone shape thing. Everything else is what I already had.

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So far downstairs this is all I have done. I have learned to start early as I can tire easily or flare up. So, I go with the flow and when the flow is high I max it out and when it’s low I get a few things crossed off the list like taking down pictures or dusting and organizing or getting magazines ready for recycling. One thing I have found with this decorating scheme is I don’t have as much as I though I had to make it complete. I will have to scavenge clearance and low cost items to make it solid. I really want a few rugs. We will see!

~Nikki