Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Celebrating Veterans

In honor of all the Men and Women who have given us the freedom we enjoy in this wonderful Country of ours, I am running a special sale for the month of November in my studio at Artfire.  Simply type in the coupon code FREEDOM (remember to use all caps) at checkout and save 20% on all purchases.  And remember, shipping is free to any US destination including APO/FPO addresses.

Visit thesassycrafter's Studio
SAVE 20.00 % On
All Items
Use Coupon Code:
FREEDOM
during checkout.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

New Look

So I've been playing around with templates for my blog.  I think I like this one pretty well.  Of course I may just decide to change my mind in an hour or two.  We'll see.

Why a new look, you ask?   Simple.  We have listed the property where we currently live for sell.  Here's hoping it sells quickly.  If it does it means packing up and moving to a new location.  (with a possible stay in a rented house, or hotel while escrow on a new home closes.)    With that thought in mind I started packing away a few things and discovered that I alone, had enough to fill a six bedroom house, including a two car garage and outside storage building, with just stuff I have collected over the years.  Not even taking into consideration, clothing, furniture, and business related inventory.  So I decided it was time to downsize.  (Anyone looking for nice vintage craft magazines should take a peek at at Artfire studio in the coming weeks, there will be several listed). 

But this has nothing to do with a new look, you say.  I beg to differ.  As I am sorting through things to keep, things to give away, things to list and sell, things to discard, I realize I am stuck in a rut.  I am consistently, running into the same old colors, types of magazines (really just how many books for crocheted snowflakes does one person need.), even my clothing style had not changed in years.  I know this because I actually still have the outfit I wore for my eighth grade graduation, in the early 70's.  Except for size and color it is almost identical to the outfit I purchased for my Sisters wedding in the mid 1980's.  Definitely, time for an upgrade and change.

This got me thinking, if the things I collect are getting "old" and "stale", what about the things I use to run my business, such as my blog, website, even my signature on my emails.  So starting today, I decided it was time for an upgrade so to speak.  Out with the old, in with the new, and hopefully, streamlined look.

I think it looks pretty darned good myself.  Don't you?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Its Almost Official Artfire Here I Come

As of the end of October I will no longer be selling my craft items, and craft related items on Etsy.  I am moving everything over to my Artfire studio.  It's not that Etsy is a bad place, it was just not the right place for me.  I have better luck with my listings at Artfire.  Although you wouldn't know it to look at my total items sold figures.

But, unlike Etsy, Artfire allows you to complete transactions off site.  And if someone emails, asking if you have something in a certain color, or different size, you can sell it directly to them without first making a listing and putting it up on Artfire.  Also, unlike Etsy, if someone finds something you're selling on Artfire, they don't have to join the Artfire community to buy it.  They can, with just a few clicks of a button, purchase the item directly from you, without first registering for an account.

And of course with the $5.95 a month for a Pro Studio promotion going on now, whats not to like.  One flat rate per month, unlimited listings, no commission fees (other than paypal and google checkout), and no listing fees per items listed.  And if you already have a Pro account at a higher rate, you can sign up for the new rate and when its time to pay your monthly fee you will get it at the new rate instead of the old rate.  Of course, to take advantage of the new rate you have to sign up before October 1st. 

For those selling on Etsy, and doing well, KUDO's to you.  I wish you much continued success.  If your still looking for a place to sell your wonderful, handcrafted  items, may I suggest taking a look around Artfire, visit some of the studios, and the forums.  You may find its a better fit for you than other places you may be looking.
 

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Can Your Business Survive a Medical Emergency?

After almost two months back and forth to the hospital with my Mom for several back to back medical emergencies things are finally starting to get back to normal.  During that time I did not spend very much time attending to day to day activities associated with my online businesses, concentrating instead on my Mother and her health problems. (those are best left to a blog to themselves). 
 
I found that even without the daily postings to twitter, facebook, and other social networks, sales were still good on Bonanzle.  Not so good on Etsy, or Artfire.  Actually non-existant on Etsy and Artfire.  Which has led me to take a step back, look at the way I was running my businesses with a critical eye.  As a result I have reached the conclusion that without a drastic change, my businesses would not survive for very long if I had a medical emergency of my own.  With Mom, I could at least check emails every couple of days, and wrap packages for shipping at night after visiting hours at the hospital were over and mail them out on my way to the hospital each morning.  But if it had been me, stuck in the hospital, I would have been so out of luck.

A friend and I have been discussing a partnership for years now.  I think maybe its time we actually crunched the numbers to see it would be workable or not.  I also need to look into having at least one, dependable, part-time employee who can handle packaging and shipping at the very least.   And I definitely need to check into life insurance that would cover my expenses should I be unable to continue my businesses for any length of time.   I already have insurance that would cover all final expenses and any outstanding bills, but nothing for a long term illness that would leave me unable to work for any length of time.

Would your business be able to survive if you were to get ill for an extended period of time?  Maybe now is the time to ask yourself the tough questions, and put a plan into place should the unthinkable happen.




Secrets of Self-Employment (Working from Home)
 Craft Inc. Business Planner

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Recycling for Earth Day

Okay, so we should all be recycling everyday, not just on Earth Day which is coming up April 22nd.  But let face it most of us don't even think about it until all the hype of Earth Day starts.

So I sat down and made a list of all the ways I, as a crafter, recycle.  There are the tote bags, rugs, and baskets among other things that I create from a large variety of plastic bags.  These have been some of my best sellers for years.  Here's a picture of  some of the baskets.  They are available at EcoDeco .   

I also use up old buttons by turning them into appliques, by crocheting around them to create flower and star shapes.  A few can be seen at The Sassy Crafter .  Then there is the recycling of yarn from ugly or worn sweaters that would otherwise end up in the trash. Old jigsaw puzzles with missing pieces have been turned into picture frames, collages, jewelry, and coasters.

 With all the things I do in mind I decided to spend a few minutes on Bonanzle and create a handpicked list of  different recycled "green" related items.  So without further ado here is my list:  Celebrating Earth Day .

And below are a few ideas to help get you in the mood to start your own crafty recycling projects
           
    

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Adventures in Crocheting

I made the mistake of telling a friend that making a crocheted caterpillar scarf for her 7 year old would be no problem.  WRONG

First I was not able to locate a pattern that both I and the 7 year old liked.  Finally I resorted to doing a rough sketch of what I hoped he would like.  Luckily with only a few changes (like hairy eyes, and feet) he agreed it would be perfect.

Then came the problem of yarn.  NO that color green was all wrong, how come there wasn't any blue in the scarf, I wanted more purple.  Well you get the idea.  So a shopping trip to the local yarn store with a 7 year old who would rather have been playing soccer ensued.  After several hours he finally settled on the first yarn we looked at.  A variegated yarn of muted greens and blues with a hint of purple, and of course a green eyelash yarn for the eyes and feet.

After a few starts and stops I finally got the bugs worked out of the pattern running around in my head and finished the scarf.  He loved it.  He loved it so much he was out the door to show it off to his friends before I could get a picture of him wearing it. (note to self, next time take pictures of the finished product before handing it to a hyper 7 year old).

His mother has informed me that he spreads it out on his pillow at night and sleeps on it cause its soft.

I can hardly wait until the next time I'm challenged to create something for this child.  Although I do have that pattern for a flying dragon just laying around gathering dust....

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Books Every Crocheter Should Have

Or at least have access to in a public library.  There are a few books that I am always going back to for information, to search or patterns, or just to get inspiration.  One is The Crochet Answer Book. 



Another favorite is Stitch 'N Bitch Crochet.  




I thoroughly enjoy this one everytime I pick it up. 

And my all time favorite  The Ultimate Sourcebook of knitting and crochet stitches


I love this book.  I find myself going to it consistently when searching for new patterns to use in the creation of gifts as well as items to sell.  If  I could only choose one craft book for my library it would be this one. 

Of course there are hundreds more out there that would be welcome in all crocheters libraries.  These are just the three that I find myself reaching for time and time again. 

So how about you?  Do you have a favorite crochet or craft book.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Showcasing My Newest Creation: Wash Cloth and Soap Saver Gift Set

So today I want to showcase one of my latest additions to my bonanzle booth.  Its a multi colored crocheted wash cloth and soap saver.  The colors are a nice pastel white, pink, and lavender.  Made of 100% cotton yarn in a modified shell stitch for the wash cloth, and rectangular granny square for the soap saver.  Add a nice bar of soap, a cute little basket, maybe some hand lotion; and you have a nice gift for any gift giving occasion.


Have you got a cute creation you would like me to showcase for you?  Email with a brief description, a web address where the item can be found, a picture of the item, and your name.  I hope to feature at least two or three items of my own and others each week.  Please use  "showcase featured blogpost" as your subject line

Friday, January 1, 2010

Time to Take Stock

Today seemed like it would be a good day to actually wade through by boxes of yarn, patterns, material, and other craft related items, and reflect on things.

First thing to reflect on.  When and how did I acquire over 200 skiens of blue yarn.  I know I couldn't have bought that many.  Just more proof, that when left alone in dark places yarn procreates like bunny rabbits.

Second thing to strike me.  I really need to finish a few of these works in progress before starting a new project.  There is the cross-stitch Sisters pillow I started for my Sister when she got married 22 years ago.  There is the hot pink with turquoise and white stripes afghan that was to be a gift to my brothers first wife, whom he divorced 10 years ago.  There are no less than three bed dolls, lord only knows where the patterns are that tell how to finish the dresses, and I think the dolls were discontinued 5 or 6 years ago.  There are three scarfs, and two hats.  All are in colors that were "popular" in the 70's.  And lets not even get into the granny squares that were to be Christmas Stockings three years ago.  (I wondered where I had put those).

Third on the list.  Why did I save all those old empty aspirin and vitamin bottles.  I'm sure I had a plan to use them for something, but for the life of me I can't remember what.  I should probably put them away just in case I remember what it was I wanted them for.

Fourth.  Its amazing how much time it takes to quickly leaf through magazines to check out the patterns and see if there is something you want to make.

Fifth.  I really need a new house, just for my craft supplies.  Forget about moving in to live.  Just give me more room for all my crafting materials and I will be a happy camper.

Sixth.  I really should get rid of some of this stuff.  I mean really.  I haven't even touched a sewing machine in 20 years, so why should I hang on to all these fat quarters of material.  And macrame, I haven't done that since I was in 7th grade.

Seventh.  There is absolutely no way I can force myself to part with a single thing.  After all who knows when your going to need the arms off a Barbie Doll, or a thousand pieces of yarn less than half and inch thick.

Eighth.Okay how did the blue yarn suddenly morph into 205 skeins?

Ninth. Note to self.  Just close up the blue yarn in a room to itself and don't open it again. 

Tenth.  Why did I decide to do this again.  And does anyone need 220 skeins of blue yarn?