Thursday, December 17, 2009

Why Its A Good Idea to Wear The Crafts You Make

Okay, not talking about afghans or items obviously made for a small child or baby here.   I'm talking about the jewelry you make, or the scarfs, sweaters, hats.  Things of that nature. 

While paying for gas in one of the local stations last week the clerk remarked on the scarf I was wearing.  When I told her I made it, she asked what the cost would be to make one for her and if it could be made in time for Christmas.  I gave her the price, and told her I could have it done in a couple of days.  She ordered one in the color she wanted, and then mentioned berets.  I asked if she wanted to see what the one I had made for my niece looked like (luckily I had it in the car with me).  She also ordered two berets.  I delivered all three pieces this past Monday.

While we were talking, another customer remarked on the berets, saying she wished she had known there was someone in the area who did that kind of work earlier.  I gave her my business card and told her she could check out the studio sites listed on it to see what else I made.  We are currently in discussion for an afghan she liked, but wants in a different color and size.

So if you're in the business of selling what you make, and it lends itself to it, wear your crafted items when possible, and carry business cards with a way for customers to contact you.  You never know when a casual conversation will result in multiple sales.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Homemade Holidays

I have always loved to craft.  Especially to crochet.  This was something I learned at the age of five from my Granny Blanch.  One of the best things I remember is receiving crocheted gifts from her at Christmas time.  I still have the crocheted slippers she made for me when I was in High School.  My mom still has the doilies she made, and two quilts. 

I guess that's why I prefer to make my Christmas presents instead of purchasing them.  Luckily, most of my friends and family would rather receive something I took the time to create for them, than something purchased in town.  And for those who could care less, well that's what gift certificates are for.  Of course, for the younger kids toys still rule.  And I have to admit, I have almost as much fun shopping for toys as I like making afghans.

I start making a list of all the people I need to have gifts for almost as soon as the last present is opened.  The next step is to pick out the perfect gift and make sure I have all the supplies needed to create it. For the next year I am busy creating gifts for family and friends, as well as creating items to sell in my online booths.  Its sometimes hard to stay motivated in the middle of summer when your working on a king sized fisherman design afghan for your oldest nephew, but the smiles and hugs at Christmas make it all worth while.

I'm sure the fact that I do love to craft, and have been lucky enough to find a way to actually earn money while doing it has contributed to the fact that I have not suffered from high blood pressure which does run in my family.  And am rarely sick.  It also helps me to remain calm, cool, and collected, when things tend to get a little crazy.

So this year most of my gifts are completed.  I just need to pick up a couple of gift certificates.  And the toys for the younger kids are already wrapped and ready for Santa to put under the tree.  Christmas morning I plan on sitting in the recliner with a cup of hot chocolate, lots of craft books and my list.  After all, its never too early to start crafting for next year.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Christmas Crunch Time

Well it's that time of year again.  A dozen presents left to finish, and time stretched to the limit.  If you are a crafter, be it crochet, knitting, quilting, etc you know exactly what I mean.  I actually had a handle on the gifts I was creating this year, only two left to do.  Crochet berets for my oldest niece, and my oldest nephews girlfriend.  Then  my youngest niece saw something she liked, and of course her brother MUST have a crafted present as well, so now there are two more gifts to make.   My sister-in-law then mentioned that she would love to buy some of my dishcloths, and potholders to use as tuck ins for the plates of homemade cookies she is giving, just a couple dozen of each.  Thankfully, I have tons of those in stock.  Whenever I am practicing a new stitch I use cotton yarn and make the swatch big enough to use as a dishcloth, and crocheting two together makes a nice thick potholder.  Now as long as my sister and brother don't come up with requests, I should be able to squeeze out the last of the gifts by midnight, Christmas Eve.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Quick and Easy Sprial Ruffled Scarf Pattern

Thought I'd share one of my favorite patterns with everyone.  These are great sellers in all my craft sites.  And they make cute gifts as well.  

You will need 6 to 8 ounces of bulky yarn.  Look for the ones with a number 5 or 6 on the label.  A size N crochet hook.

Start with a fsc of 90 (this is my favorite link for explaining how to do the foundationn single chain),  chain one, turn. 
Row 2 work 2 half double crochets in each stitch across. Chain one, turn. (180 hdc)
Row 3 work 2 half double crochets in each stitch across. Chain one, turn. (360 hdc)
Row 4 work 2 half double crochets in each stitch across.  Fasten off and weave in loose ends.  (720 hdc)

Depending upon the yarn use, and how tight or loose your stitches are this will measure approximately 2.75 inches to 3.25 inches across, and  56 inches and 62 inches long.  The increases in each stitch across helps it to spiral, and gives it a ruffled look when worn.

The scarf pictured was made with a nylon/acrylic blend boucle type yarn.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Hello, and a brief introduction

Let me introduce myself.  I am a 40 something female who loves to crochet, read, write, spend time watching my cats terrorize my dog, and spend time with my family and friends.  I hope to find the time in a very busy schedule to bring you interesting tidbits about the crafting world, as well as cute crafts and craft related items I stumble across when searching the web. 

I am a self described fiber artist / antiques dealer.  I sell the items I create on etsy, bonanzle, and artfire.  I also have a bonanzle booth for my antiques and collectibles.  Do to some family issues I have not been able to spend as much time stocking my booths as I would have liked for the upcoming holiday season.  But then what is life, without a few unexpected twists and turns in it.

I hope all of you will take the time to check back weekly to see what else is new in my little corner of the world.