Sunday, July 17, 2016

Opening and Closing

We now have our 501(c)(3) status from the IRS which officially makes Alternative Vision Training a Non-Profit. We are waiting for the final approval stage of a Grant that will pay for the remodel of the 1000 sf. space we rented next to our current 1000 sf. space, for our Offices and Assessment/Training Center in Great Falls, MT. 
I am still working on the website www.alternativevisiontraining.org getting more information posted on it and tweaking it. It is still pretty generic, so please bear with me as I work on it. When we can get grant money and/or donations for operating costs and wages, we will hire a professional to handle it, unless we get a volunteer who will do it.

I have been so busy helping setup the Non-Profit, I can't keep doing my Etsy Shop. I need everything (all physical goods) sold off ASAP. (Yes, SOLD. I can't afford to give it away.) The rooms where I have my fabric now, will become the Low Vision Assessment Lab during the remodel when a door will be put in to access it from the Alternative Vision Training space. 

My baby bootie patterns will remain available for purchase, since it is an automatic process. I will still be available via email, to answer any questions or troubleshoot any problems.

My Husband and I are really excited to be entering into the nonprofit world and have an amazing vision of all the people we can help once we have it operational.
We have put our heart, soul and everything we have into this project, to the point we were in danger of losing our home. I am so grateful for my grown children who have been able to help us pay our bills and get the water, gas and electricity turned back on.

We have State and Federal agencies lined up to use our services and certified professionals ready to hire, once we are operational and have funding.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Sorry for the long delay in posting. 

We have started a Non-Profit, Alternative Vision Training. We got our state approval and just submitted our federal application for our 501(c)(3) Non-Profit status.

It has been a lot of hard work over the past 6 months or so. We planned to retire, then had this brain storm that derailed that idea. This project has taken on a life of its own and has taken us for quite a ride so far.

We were able to get the space next to our current office to open the training center in, and another retail space on the main floor by the front doors for our Low Vision Supplies Store that we will use for vocational training as well.

Check out our Website and our Facebook page.



 Our retirement is on hold for the foreseeable future...

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Strange Event Saturday November 7, 2015

While this has nothing to do with Lil Baby Thangs, but it did happen to me...

Yesterday while on our way home from a two-day trip the hood of our 1999 GMC Yukon Denali SUV got hit with a gust of wind from a passing truck and ballooned.
The hood actually separated. The framework stayed latched and the sheet metal top pulled up making a diamond shape while remaining attached at the sides. Because it stayed attached at the sides it was prevented from flipping up over my windshield. It just tented in the middle allowing me to still see where I was going mostly on the far left of the windshield.
I was doing 70 mph at the time and the was no other traffic for the couple of minutes it took me to pull off the side of the road.
My husband Jerry got out to see what happened and pushed the hood back down as far as it would go. I didn't get a picture of it while the gap was diamond shaped and was at the top of the windshield.
The hood separated.
He figured he'd have to remove the hood and put in in the back in order to get home.

We were 10 miles from the nearest town (Harlowton MT). After some debate, I convinced him it wasn't an option due to how windy it was. I didn't want it blowing into the windshield or for it to become a kite and carry him off. We called our insurance and they said the only thing they could do was send a tow truck. The nearest town didn't have one and the next town (Lewistown) that did was about 68 miles away and we'd have to wait over 2 hours for a truck to get to us.

We decided to just drive it the 10 miles to Harlowton. The fastest I could go was 15 mph to keep the hood from ballooning up very much and the wind blowing towards us didn't help either. Another good gust caught it and I had to stop so Jerry could push it back down again.
I crept down the shoulder of the road with my 4-way flashers on and pulled off even farther when any traffic would need to pass me.

We made it without incident (at least not anymore) to the first gas station and bought a set of ratchet straps. We hooked a couple to the windshield end of the hood and down to the tow loops (eyes, brackets or whatever they are called) near the bottom of the bumper and ratcheted them down tight.

I drove the remaining 130 or so miles home without it budging at all. We are very grateful we weren't injured or worse due to this freak incident. The insurance people have never heard of this happening either.

I have another week and a half of travel before I will be home long enough to get it fixed, but the insurance adjuster will meet me in Missoula mid-week while I am there.

I guess I will chalk this up to another chapter in my crazy life, it wasn't our time to go home and we had divine help.

Sometime, I will have to tell you about the time the luggage rack with all of our stuff on it ripped off the top of our car while passing through Nevada on our way home to California from vacationing in Montana and a passing policeman had to stop traffic on the freeway so we could gather all of our stuff up. At first he just stood there with his mouth open trying to wrap his brain around what he was seeing.

Or the time when again we were traveling home to California, from vacationing in Montana and we wound up spending the night at the police station, in the training room, on the mats with our sleeping bags and pillows.

Good times... lol

Carolyn





Monday, November 2, 2015

Update

Here it is Nov. 2nd 2015 and our move has been put on hold.

Instead of retiring right now, we have taken on a huge project. 

We are starting a Non-Profit Organization to enrich the lives of people who are losing or have lost their vision. There aren't any comprehensive training centers in our State or region. There are programs, services and organizations available to help the visually impaired, but not all under one roof. We will be working with all of these organizations and expand on what they do to help individuals to live independently.

I will keep Lil Baby Thangs going but in a reduced capacity. 

Thank you for your continued support!
Carolyn

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Close Out and Going Out of Business Sale

After much deliberation, I have decided to retire. This is bittersweet.

I have worked hard since my divorce in 1998 to start and build up my business of designing baby sewing patterns, catering to preemies and sourcing hard to find cotton knit fabric.
I was in the process of expanding to carry more notions and become a one-stop shop for making baby clothes.

I will be 60 next year and have been dealing with health problems that have limited my ability to sew. Sewing is something I have been doing since I was 5 and I have enjoyed it as a creative outlet. Another thing I love is fabric and I admit to being a "fabri-holic" and even a recovering fabric "hoarder".

It was really hard to sell that first yard of fabric, but then I realized I could feed my addiction and buy even more fabric if I sold it... and of course help others by providing a place to get cute juvenile knit prints.

Now... I have decided to fulfill another dream. The dream of moving to Hawaii. I live in Montana and we (my husband of 13 years) are tired. Tired of the daily struggles of running 2 businesses (his and mine) and tired of 6 months or more of winter. We spent 3 weeks on the islands for our honeymoon and have wanted to make it permanent ever since. We also love living in the mountains, in the forest as far from civilization as possible. The cold was the deciding factor and the realization we could actually have both living on Hawai'i Island. It doesn't bother me that the mountain is a volcano and the trees are Ohia instead of Pine because there are tons of ferns.

Back to the business at hand... everything must go. (I can't take it with me, nor do I want to.)
If you see something in my shop you would like... copy the info into a message to me and send it to my email lilbabythangs {at} gmail {dot} com. Bulk and Wholesale orders are welcome.
If you want to order directly through the shop checkout, you can choose between Etsy payments and PayPal to process your credit card. Please be sure to use coupon code GOINGGOINGGONE for a 25% discount off the prices shown. I will try to keep up with what is still available in the shop, but if you have any questions, contact me.

Thank you All, for your support and the friendships we have made along this 17 year journey that has been Lil' Baby Thangs. PS. I will keep designing and making my digital patterns available under the Lil' Baby Thangs TM name, but that is it.

Hugs and happy thoughts,
Carolyn
Use coupon code GOINGGOINGGONE for 25% off in my Etsy shop!

Update:

Here it is Nov. 2nd 2015 and our move has been put on hold.

Instead of retiring right now, we have taken on a huge project. We are starting a Non-Profit Organization to enrich the lives of people who are losing or have lost their vision. There aren't any comprehensive training centers in our State or region. There are programs, services and organizations available to help the visually impaired, but not all under one roof. We will be working with all of these organizations and expand on what they do to help individuals to live independently.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Sizing Baby Booties


The foremost question I get asked about my baby bootie patterns has to do with sizes.

The biggest problem that arises from designing your own sewing patterns is sizing. 

As for my baby bootie patterns, I always encourage buyers to measure their infants foot to determine the size to make. 


I size by inches, Not by age.  

The reason I size by length is there is no set standard. There really can't be when sizing by age. This causes everyone who makes baby patterns to do their own sizing, even tho we try to make them close to the same sizes. We typically use shoe size charts for booties. Another reason is because most booties are sized by Months... ie. 0-3 months or 3-6 months, etc. Typically 4 inches = up to 9 months. 4.5 inches = up to 12 months. Your infant could have been born with feet under 2 inches to over 3 inches and by the time they are 3 months old, they could be 5 inches, depending on if your Newborn baby is a Preemie or a 12 pound Toddler and how fast they grow

Measure, Measure, Measure! Check the finished length of the bootie to your infant's foot measurement and allow for wiggle room and/or growth.



Here is a picture of baby shoe forms (lasts). They are marked as being the same size, but there is over 1/3 inch difference between them (1 whole size). I used the yard stick to make sure they were even in the back.



My current sizing chart... 
Large = 4 inches.
This chart will also change a bit, when I get my new patterns completed 
and when I update my older patterns and add more sizes.

This chart is what I base my sizing on. I don't use 1/2 sizes, 
and I base whole sizes on 1/3 inch increments. So... if your foot measurement is 3 inches (size 0), you would want a bootie at least one size larger (size 1).


Don't be daunted! It is very rewarding making baby booties for your own babies or for your friend's.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Have you ever wanted to make a Snapazoo Toy?

Snapazoo Tutorial

The Snapazoo, is a toy that uses your child's or your imagination to create animal shapes by snapping it together in different configurations. 

A couple years ago I searched the internet to find directions to make one. What I found was bits and pieces scattered across the web. I compiled, rewrote directions and made a workable pattern, just so I could make a few for my grandkidos.

KamSnaps (where I purchase my snaps) also put together a list of some of the places you can go to find more information.
To read more about Snapazoo and its origins, visit Snapazoo.com

This LINK will provide you with an updated PDF copy of the tutorial, with all the hard work I put into it.

****(Please note that SnapazooTM is trademarked. The PDF is provided for informational purposes and for personal use only. Commercial use is prohibited.)