#marchmeetthemaker 2018

#marchmeetthemaker
I missed a huge chunk of this year's #marchmeetthemaker challenge on Instagram. By the time I found out, more than half the month was already gone, and I wasn't about to flood my Instagram with late challenge posts. So here I am, sharing my complete #marchmeetthemaker challenge all in one blog post!
#marchmeetthemaker

Day 1 - You

Here's a selfie from the beginning of this month. I was getting ready to head to a wedding. We didn't bring the kids along because Hanson was part of the wedding party and I'm not confident enough that I can take care of both of the kids during the ceremony and/or the reception. It was our first date night in the last 2.5 years (basically since Hailey's been born), and we weren't even sitting at the same table for dinner - hahaha! Nonetheless, I was in good company and met a lot of nice people.

Day 2 - Where

I grew up in a smallish town named Ladner. But since being married, I've moved into the city of Vancouver because Hanson refuses to live anywhere else. It's not terrible, but it has definitely made me appreciate the lifestyle of living in a smaller community. 

3. How you started

I fell in love with the art of crochet when I received a set of amigurumi bunnies as a wedding gift. I still remember how special it felt to receive a handmade gift for the first time. Since then, I've become more and more interested in how to crochet and eventually got my mom to teach me.
#marchmeetthemaker

4. Favourite to make

I started off with amigurumis, but since then I have made sweaters, blankets, scarves, shawls, etc. I think my favourite to make so far is my Minnie Mouse sweater that was inspired by Hailey's sweater! Go check out my free crochet pattern for this Minnie Mouse Sweater!

5. Photography

I really like the photographs taken with my DSLR (Canon Rebel EOS T5). Hanson got it for me as a birthday present shortly after Hailey was born. I have yet to know how to use all the settings. However, my cell phone (Nexus 5) often does the job when I am too lazy to take out the DSLR!

6. Workspace

Workspace? What workspace? I guess I've claimed this corner here between the kitchen and the living room as my "workspace". It's more of just a place where I stash all my yarn and other craft supplies. I wish our place is large enough so I can have a beautiful workspace like those you see on Pinterest and Instagram. Someday, someday...
#marchmeetthemaker

7. Routine

Slave away all day for the kids. Sometimes I end up napping in the afternoon when they both have their naps. Other times, I end up crafting. Wait patiently for Hanson to come home from work to rescue me from my day. Put the kids down for the night and finally have some me time to craft and blog. 

8. Flatlay

I'm not very good at doing flatlays. To be honest with you, I didn't even know what it was for the longest time. But this is probably one of my proudest flatlays to date. It shows some of the materials I used for this craft as well as the final product itself. Check out my post on how to Crochet This Letter Board.

9. How it's made

It's crochet baby! Need I say more?
#marchmeetthemaker

10. Time to relax

For the most part of my life, I've never been a coffee drinker. I managed to get through university (twice), and not needed to rely on coffee. I managed to go through working a few years of shift work as a nurse without needing to rely on coffee. But when I became a mom... Coffee is now a staple. 

11. Branding

If you don't know already, Once Upon a Cheerio started off being an Instagram account. But then I found that I had more to share than just photos of my WIPs and completed projects. I wanted to share and teach others HOW I made them. That's when I decided to start this blog. Even though I do mostly crochet, I often dabble in other crafts as well. I didn't want to restrict myself to a particular craft, and that's when I came up with the name "Once Upon a Cheerio". 

12. Postage & packaging

I currently don't sell my crafts, but who knows where this creative journey will lead me. The biggest obstacle that is preventing me from starting a small business is Canada Post. I just can't seem to justify their unreasonably expensive rates on shipping. Can someone really justify paying $12-$15 for shipping when the thing they really want to buy is only $35?
#marchmeetthemaker

13. Work clothes

If you're talking about the clothes I wear when I do my crochet, I'm usually in a t-shirt and pyjama bottoms. But one thing that I don't think I have shared yet on the blog is what I do for a career. I'm actually a registered nurse at a pediatric hospital. Scrubs are usually what I wear to work. Not gonna lie, but they're pretty comfy. So it's kind of like wearing pyjamas to work?

14. Dreams & plans

I'd love to be able to keep a successful crafting blog. Before this, I had plans to start an Etsy shop, but as stated earlier, Canada Post is the biggest obstacle to many small businesses. I also thought that if I had enough money one day, I would love to open up a cube store on Granville Island. If you are unfamiliar with cube stores, they're simply consignment shops. But the idea is that makers and artisans can rent a cube and that will be their "shop" and they can decorate it however they want. How fun would that be? Don't steal my idea, OK? 🙃

15. Boomerang

Don't have it... Sorry!

16. Helper

I don't know if you would call them helpers or people who keep me distracted from crafting but these guys are the ones who keep me sane. My husband and my children. It's been a really tough year for me so far, and my small family has been a huge blessing.
#marchmeetthemaker

17. Customers & feedback

As I mentioned, I don't currently sell my stuff but I feel that my children are my greatest inspiration (and customers). They're not really good at verbalizing their feedback yet, but you can sense their joy when they play with the stuff I create for them and that is the best feedback that a maker can receive. Also, I noticed that I rarely share photos of Tracy, but I promise you that she is real!

18. Inspiration

A lot of my inspiration comes from my children. I try to make things that I hope they would enjoy and could relate to. I'm a huge Disney fan, and I guess I'm trying to raise my babies to be huge Disney fans as well. So if you haven't noticed already, many of my projects have a Disney-theme to it. 

19. Can't live without

My mom... I miss her terribly since she's been gone in January. I often think she is still here with me. She has been my rock my entire life. I often still don't think I can live without her. She's taught me everything I know. She lives on in my heart and my memories. I am only comforted by the thought that I will reunite with her one day.
#marchmeetthemaker

20. Tools & materials

If I were to create an emergency crochet kit, it would contain all of the following: crochet hooks, yarn, and stitch markers. Missing in this photo: scissors. But these are definitely must-haves for any crocheters.

21. Stories - a day in the life

I try to encourage creativity and imagination in my children. Tracy is still a bit young right now for arts and crafts and Hailey may not always have enough attention span to finish an activity. On the weekends, we try to spend family time out of the house. This is a photo of Hailey and I making nebula/galaxy jars at a Granville Island make-and-take. We had so much fun making it and Hailey seemed to really enjoy herself as well!

22. Sketchbook & lists

Here is a shot of my notebook. I kept notes in there for when I was creating my Minnie Mouse sweater. I wanted to make sure I have all the information I needed so I can write out my pattern neatly afterwards. Unfortunately, I'm not the neatest when it came to taking notes. I end up taking longer than imagined to put up the pattern for the sweater because I had trouble interpreting my own notes! 🤣
#marchmeetthemaker

23. Hands at work

I don't always enjoy the last steps of the project. Especially when it involves sewing with a needle. I don't know what it is. I much prefer to work with a hook and just keep hooking!

24. Achievements

I wear many hats in my life. Sure, I'm a craft blogger, but I am also a mom, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a friend, a nurse by profession, and the list can go on. I've achieved many things up until, but I decided to focus on something small for this part of the maker challenge. On March 24, we went on an Easter egg hunt at one of the local malls. It was INSANE. Hailey was sometimes taking more chocolate eggs than she was allowed. And then I often had to prevent her from stealing other kids' chocolates eggs. Through all that chaos, out biggest achievement was collecting all these chocolate Easter eggs, and not letting her eat them all at the mall.

25. Being a maker means

Makers gonna make... to inspire and be inspired by those around you. Those who love working with their hands. Those who treasure the uniqueness that each piece is produced one at a time and the "flaws" add character to the piece.
#marchmeetthemaker

26. Books, blogs & podcasts

I have been following All About Ami and Repeat Crafter Me for the longest time. I love that they provide their modern and easy to follow patterns on their blog all for FREE. It helped me tremendously when I first started learning how to crochet because I was able to just work off the patterns from their blog and didn't need to invest much money in crochet books/patterns.

27. Recommend a maker

I've had great admiration for Anyazoe's work for a long time now. I can't remember how I found her, but I love her creations. The work that goes into each of her pieces is simply incredible. 

28. Organised

I bought this little tote from Michael's for organizing my WIPs. It helps that there are little pockets on the side to help me store crochet hooks and stitch markers. But then I started having multiple WIPs at the same time, which means I needed more bags.
#marchmeetthemaker

29. Community

At the beginning of March, I was lucky enough to meet Stephanie of All About Ami. She and her family came to Vancouver and organized a meet and greet with some other crochet/crafters in the area. This is my first time meeting and connecting with so many local crocheters. It's awesome getting to know people who share the same interest.

30. Top tip/advice

Love what you do. Do what you love. Turn your ideas into realities. Constantly challenge yourself with new projects. Be creative. There's no wrong when it comes to art. 

31. Creative friends

This is Phoebe (@tsukinekocrafts). I've known her since early elementary school. She was my grandma's neighbour's family friends that had recently moved to Canada at the time. Although we went to different schools, and now we live in different provinces, we somehow manage to maintain an amazingly strong friendship. I probably talk to her more regularly than friends who actually live locally. I think it helps that we have the same interest in crafts and constantly interested in what the other person is making.

And that's it! I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about me as a craft blogger behind Once Upon a Cheerio. Thank you for making it to the end. XOXO

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