Friday, May 21, 2010

So Here Is My Story!

Where do I start? As far back as I can remember, I have enjoyed crafting. It used to be mud pies and other little things my mother always thought where cute, even if she had no idea what it was. I guess most of my inspiration came from her. She taught ceramics down in the basement for the longest time. She would always let us girls ( I have 2 very crafty sisters as well) come down in the basement and help her pour molds. She had a set of little molds she would pour for us so that we could paint also. Here is one I made when I was 12, however there where many before and after that. This is just one I have left.

Growing up my Grand-mother had a craft store in the front room of her farm style house. She loved making dried flower arrangements and she was really good at making bows. I wish I picked that up from her. She eventually moved the store out of her house and into a small store in town. I started working for her when I was a teenager. She would pay me and I would use the money to buy things I could make from the store. She also offered craft classes there, I was able to take a few and really learned a lot. Here is a Napkin Basket I made in a basket weaving class:
I tried many different crafts growing up. I even tried knitting and crocheting when I was about 10, but always came up with triangles. I tried making little quilts for my dolls, but the sewing machine broke so that ended too. By the way my mother used that sewing machine a lot. She made all our cloths and even all our doll cloths.

I think I was probably about 14 when I went to a family baby shower and one of my distant cousins through marriage had crocheted a baby blanket for a gift. She wasn't much older than me, so I thought why couldn't I do that. The mother was so happy to receive that hand made gift that it brought tears to her eyes. I thought " I want to make someone that happy".
So a couple months later I sat my left-handed self down and tried to determine a knitting pattern. I didn't have much success. I was determined to learn. So I switched to crocheting, my father had crocheted a blanket left-handed, so how hard could it be, right? Well, you definitely can't be afraid to undo your work. I tore out so many rows I can't even count. I finally figured out how to convert patterns and away I went. I have probably made close to 100 afghans and every time I gave one as a gift, which was most of them, tears well up in the receivers eyes. I'd have to admit, mine too. Here is the most recent one I made for a baby shower gift:


Since so many family members love to make hand made things and they also run their own business, I wanted to join in. That is when I came up with the idea of selling my crafts and others. I always enjoy seeing what everyone is making. I am genuinely intrigued by all the creativity. I have a great love for crocheting, but I do so many other things. Just in the last few years I started quilting. I've only made four, but I'm super excited to do more! I'm always looking for new crafts I haven't tried yet, and I pour my heart into each and everything I make.

My store that I opened in the winter of 2007 has been a great and fun way to sell mine and other's crafts. I came up with the name really from a joke, even though my store is no joke! While dating my husband people used to say when you guys get married and have children you better not name your daughter Lilly Francis LaVallee, because then she would always be known as the popular flower, Lilly of the Valley. So that is where I came up with my business name. I liked it and thought it was a cute little play on words. I had about a thousand ideas of what I wanted to sell, gift baskets, engraved items, and you name it, I wanted that to be my main business. As with most start ups I didn't have the funds to do any one thing, so I decided to open it up to sellers like you. That way more than just I can benefit. ( Right back to being at that baby shower moment of making others happy).

So I hope that helped you gain a little insight into my world and the world of Lilly of LaVallee Crafts! I enjoyed telling the story.
Please feel free to ask questions or leave comments if you would like.
As always,
HAPPY CRAFTING TO YOU ALL!!!!

21 comments:

Sherri said...

I LOVE that blanket in your post! Can you link the pattern or tell me where you got it?? Thanks!

Bailey_MaMa_09 said...

Grandma's and mom's are the best ones to get you started on crafting : ]

Steph said...

Very cool! From someone starting out making triangles to full fledged afghans....that's awesome.
I agree with Bailey. I remember WAY back my grandma teaching me how to embroider. I don't remember some of the stitches (I'm not that good and use the same ones over and over!) but that is one memory I'll always have.

Angie said...

I absolutely LOVE that blanket! Wish I was crafty, but I was not blessed with that talent. My Grandma did try to teach me to crochet, but we gave up because I had no patience back then, LOL. I thought I would never be able to find something I could stick with, but when I was about 40, I discovered that I have a passion for Photography, and the rest is history:) Loved the story of the way you came up with your business name..I had been wondering about that!

LEEMARYE said...

I love that blanket . I have tried to learn to do stuf like that but and left handed and everyone that tried to show me got frustrated . Do love to scrap book though

Rebecca said...

Great story! I got started the same way by making a baby blanket for a co-worker. Her joy and excitement was more than enough to make me keep going and learn to make bigger and better things. I love crocheting and I am starting to dabble a bit in beading but doesn't seem to be much time between crochet orders LOL

Lilly said...

Sherri--- The pattern was from a Leisure Arts book called " Our Best Baby Afghans" page 87 honeycomb wrap. I however used Vanna's Choice baby yarn and it came out much larger than the pattern. I also had to use way more yarn, not sure how much, but I think I got 9 motifs out of each ball.

Lilly said...

Leemarye---- I love scrap booking, but I am not good at it at all. One of my sisters is really good at it though. We each seem to have our favorite craft.

Carrie said...

My grandmother and mom got me started as well. Now, I can do the same! Thanks for sharing your story! Quilty hugs ~ Carrie

Greta Stone said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lea said...

Wonderful story! I completely understand the complete love of just CREATING...anything LOL I have tried many different avenues as well... Here are some of the afghans I have made for family and friends.. http://www.facebook.com/?sk=messages#!/album.php?aid=25408&id=1331856122&op=12 ...just a few of them but the one for the 50th wedding anniversary I actually designed as well :-) Thanks for sharing your story!!!

Heidi said...

Watch out for those crafty sisters! haha You told your story well and I already knew how it would end. ;-) Keep it up. I'm so proud of you!

Mailbxsfull said...

Thank you for sharing your story!!
I still have my son's baby blanket that my Aunt crocheted for him. I also have the baby blanket that I x-stitched for him. He is 22 now :)

feathermaye said...

I love the determination you've always had!

I've always been kinda crafty, too, although we didn't have family craft experiences like yours. It was just something that pulled me.

Thanks for sharing your story with us!

laura said...

I too was inspired by other women in my family to start crafting. I also have taught myself most of what I have learned from sheer determination! Thank you for sharing your story!

Nedra said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story. As a little kid going through the journey of learning from your Mom & Grandma. You don't realize until later in life that those moments are what build you in to the person that you become. Love that you have happy memories and can share your creations with us.

Dulce said...

what a great story, you brought me back to my child hood. Learn everything from Mom and Grandma.

Renee' Simmons said...

I love handmade gifts from the heart. I can see your insight in what you make from your heart!

ARTIBILITY said...

What a lovely story - Thank you for sharing. You are an inspiration to many :)
Anna

Robyn said...

Hi
I loved reading your story, thanks for sharing

hansenpj05 said...

wonderful story my mom still tells everyone her first time crocheting who it was that taught her and how hard it was at first then my mom taught me and so the legacy goes