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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A chance to win something for nothing

CraftyCrochet4Kids is having a giveaway!  I am having a giveaway on my Facebook page and I'm super excited about it!  Is it weird for me to be this excited to be giving something away for free when the whole purpose of running a business to is make money???  Oh well, maybe I'm just strange like that!  Anyway, whether its weird or not, I'm really looking forward to be making something special for one lucky fan!  Just click on this link to head on over to my Facebook page and enter for a chance to win any custom made hat in any size and any color from my shop for FREE!  Easy peasy.  Good luck!  =)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Monday's Feature -- New Hope Beading

Its been a looooong time, hasn't it?  When I first started this blog I thought it would be so easy to keep everything in balance and get everything done in a day that I wanted to get done.  That included making new crochet items, managing my Etsy shop, updating my business Facebook page and keep up with blogging three times per week.  And that doesn't include taking care of three small children, with a newborn included in that list, homeschool my oldest child, keep up on the huge piles of dirty dishes and clothes, plan meals, shop for food and cook the meals.  What was I thinking?!  I am NOT Superwoman and I CAN'T do it all!  I'm not exactly sure what that means, but you can be certain that is DOESN'T mean that I will stop blogging!  Maybe it just means that I won't stress out if I don't blog three times each week, create a new treasury each and every week and post a new feature every Monday.

But, enough about me!  I want to introduce you to an amazing shop from my Busy Mom's of Etsy Team -- New Hope Beading!  Join with me and get to know Caroline a little bit better.  And check out her amazing jewelry along the way!

1)How did you get into crafting?  How did your Etsy shop come to be?  Tell me about your shop name.
I actually tell this story in my Etsy shop profile.  I started shortly after my daughter was diagnosed with Epilepsy... you can read they whole story in my profile. :)

2)What is your favorite part about being creative?
I like to finish things LOL My husband teases me about this. I like to start a project and complete it. Honestly that is one of my favorite things about making things... the closure. At the end of the day I feel like I "did" something.

3)Are you a full-time crafter or do you have a "day job"?
My Etsy shop is my full-time job. Being the Mother of a special needs child I need a job that offers me the flexibility to be there on a moments notice if she needs me. My Etsy shops affords me that.

4)If someone were to buy you a birthday gift on Etsy, what 3 words would they use in their search?
Wool, felted (not sure of 3rd term). I am fascinated by felted bowls and the cute little animals and acorns... I want some! A friend offered to teach me how to make these but I have no time so I may have to treat myself soon!

5)How do you create your items?
PMC (precious metal clay) is amazing to work with. It is pure clay pulverized and suspended in a clay binder. So all those years playing play dough and air dry clay with the kids really paid off LOL. In its clay form, I can mold and stamp PMC in to anything I like. Once dry I sand it then fire it with a torch at about 1600F. The clay catches fire and burns off, leaving me with a piece of fine silver which is purer than sterling (fine silver is .999 silver and sterling is only .925 silver)

From there I burnish it by hand to make the silver molecules "lay down" and be shiny. Then it is into the tumbler for more shining to achieve a mirror finish. From there I oxidize the piece 'til it looks jet black.... and then re polish it so that the black is only in the groves and the rest is shiny.

This is why each pieces takes several days to make!

6)What is your inspiration?
Honestly, I make what I would like to wear lol... and have been know to make "prototypes" for myself to keep. Shhh this is what I tell my husband ... don't blow my cover! I will often make things at the request of buyers. They may ask, "Do you have an owl in the shop? " and if enough people ask for something I will add that item if I can.

7)If you had to choose 1 item in your shop as a signature piece, what would it be and why?
I would say either my peapods or my initials because that is what people buy most often. Also name/phrase jewelry.

8)What is your favorite item to create and why?
I like making the initials best.  They are very "me".

9)Do you have a blog of your own where people can get to know you better? A Facebook or Twitter account?
I am on Facebook and often run fan only coupons so definitely pop by... the more the merrier!
 Thank you so much for taking the time to let us get to you know better, Caroline!  I just have to say that I love jewelry and your work is incredible!

I'm not going to make any promises as to when the next feature will be up, but hopefully it will be soon!  I'll see you then!  =)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

CraftyCrochet4Kids was featured today!

When I got up this morning and sat down at the computer with my english muffin and cup of hot tea I was greeted by a lovely surprise:  I was featured on a blog today!  For the shops that have "made it" already and have lots of sales and a huge customer following, this is probably no big deal.  But for an itty bitty little shop like mine, its HUGE!  I can honestly say that I did a bit of a happy dance when I saw it!  Ok, ok, enough of the gushing!  Check out this blog to see my feature and learn a little bit more about me.  Thanks ByTheBookPaper!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Shop Features

Once again I come to you, my humble readers, and must apologize.  Once again I have slacked off and haven't posted any of my new shop features.  I took the time and got several new interviews from some awesome shops, but just haven't posted them yet.  Having a newborn just doesn't leave me with a lot of free time!  I guess I should feel super accomplished today because I actually got dressed and brushed my hair!  Now, if only I could get a shower....

Anyway, I PROMISE you that I will have a new shop feature up by the end if THIS WEEK!  If I don't, then I'll give you something cool as my penance.  So I guess you might actually be rooting for me to fail, huh?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wednesday's Weekly Finds

Its Wednesday, so that means its time for another treasury!  Yes, I realize that I have actually been creating treasuries all week, but today is the official day for it.  So here is another treasury featuring many STUNNING items that would be fit for a queen.

I hope you enjoy it and maybe you'll find something that makes you, or someone you love, feel like the royalty that she is! =)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A new treasury

Now that Valentine's Day is over and done with, I can't help but look forward to the warm and happy days of Spring that are so very near. So, of course, I created a treasury of some wonderful items that remind me that Spring is coming! Check it out. I think its pretty awesome and I hope you do too!

Monday, February 14, 2011

A red hot treasury

In honor of Valentine's Day, I decided to have a little bit of fun with the color RED.  I thought it would be fun to create a treasury full of red hot items.  So here it is, my red hot treasury!  I hope you enjoy it!

Monday's Feature -- Sam's Crochet

Its been a while since I've been able to really devote any time to this blog.  I haven't even really been able to do much for my Etsy shop lately!  I had a baby recently and she hasn't been letting me get much sleep, so I haven't been able to function properly for the past few weeks.  Oh well, I guess that's just part of the price you pay for having a little one, right?  Anyway, I have several new features lined up for you, my wonderful readers, and lots of other cool stuff planned for the future.  Now all I need to do is get some sleep so I can concentrate!  =)

In the meantime, here is my latest featured shop:  Sam's Crochet from the Etsy Hookers Team.  I hope you enjoy getting to know Samira of Sam's Crochet as much as I did!

1)  How did you get into crafting?
My aunt was a yarn crafter for as long as I can remember. She taught me the basics of knitting, which I have yet to improve upon. She used to send us knitted sweater for our birthdays every year. My brother has one based on Quantum Leap.
My grandmother taught me to crochet in grade school. I spent the first week in the summertime making a LONG chain and single or dc all the way back. We spent the day out on a long dock fishing and I crocheted the length of the dock and back.
My aunt passed away a few years ago and left her closets full of yarn. I am still working on some of that yarn, and crochet in honor of her. I know she'd be proud to know I'm doing what I love.

2)  How did your Etsy shop come to be?
Crochet has been in my cycle of crafting for a long time. I take it with me everywhere. While the front desk at a gym I would sit and crochet. Members (young and old alike) would tell me I should sell my stuff. I finally got online to do some research and came across Etsy. I've had my shop for coming up on two years on Feb 23rd. My mom does yoga, and she asked for a bag. The first one I made was WAY too complicated to replicate, but hers was the 2nd, and it's grown from there. As a soon-to-be massage therapist, health and fitness are dear to me.

3)  Tell me about your shop name.
I hadn't honed my focus yet for health and fitness crochet when I started. I love my full name, Samira, and wanted to include it, but decided I wanted something easier to remember. Most know me by Sam.

4)  What is your favorite part about being creative?I love when someone comes up to me, or leaves feedback of "so cute, how did you come up with that?" It's usually something I've just attempted to recreate and been happy with. Most things I see throughout my day, I think about how I could make in a crochet style. Most recent example: I use a fabric bag created for 6 bottle of wine as a project bag. I have a few of them, and have been wanting to see if making them in crochet would make for useful bags. My best friend requested something as a craft bag for her mother in-law and gave me reason to make it! It's nearly finished, and I think it will work great.

5)  Are you a full-time crafter or do you have a "day job"?I've had a day job. I'm coming up on two years on Etsy and am just now at the point where I'm thinking about doing it even more full-time. I bar tend on the weekends, and am in the process of getting licensed in the state of Montana to offer massage therapy. Between all my favorite things, I need to keep on top of stretching and being very careful with my wrists.

6)  If someone were to buy you a birthday gift on Etsy, what 3 words would they use in their search?hooks, original, humor. I can always use more crochet hooks (which I have all covered by PolymerClayCreations), and I love things that no one else has, especially if they make me smile.

7)  How do you create your designs?Many of them are customer requests that I've attempted. The bag I mentioned, a couple of Christmas pins, some scarves, a set of lovecuffs (which he immediately ordered another pair of). I tend to be a cut and paste individual. Just like take quotes from others for a term paper, I take a piece of this and a part of that to make my own. Every stitch has been done in crochet, I just try to figure out new layouts to use them in.

8)  What is your inspiration?I want to use something my customer will use, love, and treasure for years to come. Small things to make their fitness life easier to keep on track, or a fun item to make them smile.

9)If you had to choose 1 item in your shop as a signature piece, what would it be and why?Any of my yoga mat bags. They are the main focus for my originality on Etsy. I try to steer clear of things that other crocheters are making. My apple cozies are the most popular of my items. My version is just enough different from others' to really fill a niche.

10)  What is your favorite item to create and why?Thankfully the things that are the most popular. I love to make apple cozies, and yoga mat bags. I go through items in batches. I'll do a big bushel of apple cozies, then a bunch of hats, and then a handful of yoga mat bags, or slings. Most important to my being able to continue to create is the variety.

11)  Do you have a blog of your own where people can get to know you better? A Facebook or Twitter account?I have a FB account which I use as my blog. I post WIP (work in progress) photos for new items, as well as links to fun items or shops I come across on Etsy. My FB is linked to my Twitter account, so when I post on FB it automatically transfers the same to a Tweet.

Thank you, Samira, for taking the time to answer all of my questions and allow us a glimpse into your life.  It was an honor to get to know you better!

Oh, and yay for getting back on schedule and actually getting my feature done on Monday!  Plus, I'm going to be creating a treasury today (a few days early) in honor of Valentine's Day.  It should be lots of fun!  =)

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Wow!  This week has been a crazy blur.  I have been super busy with personal stuff, so I haven't had time to do ANYTHING with my blog.  I didn't even get a chance to post about my featured shop this week.  So, I just wanted to say sorry to all of you!

But, on the plus side, I have reached a whopping 15 followers!  Yippee!  In honor of having 15 of you who have taken the time to follow my humble little blog, I am going to offer a coupon code for my Etsy shop-CraftyCrochet4Kids.  Just use coupon code:  BLOG1525 for 25% off anything in my shop, customs included!  Thanks for "following" me!  Enjoy!  =)

Friday, January 28, 2011

What's New?

I still have a ton of stuff to add to my Etsy shop, but they aren't quite finished yet.  I have several colored bear beanies, a pair of matching grey and pink granny square hats, some white and pink hats (some with flowers and some with crocheted bows) and several girly earflap hats.  I can't wait until I am finished with them all!  I need to get some super girly stuff up in the shop because I have sold out of everything else I had that was girly.  But, like I said, I'm not quite done with them yet.  All of the hats are finished, I just need to make the flowers.  I really need to get busy!

In the meantime, I was finally able to photograph my Little Button Beanies.  My daughter hasn't been very cooperative lately, so I had to wait to try to take her picture.  Hopefully these look ok.  Be on the lookout for these adorable little hats to be added to my shop soon!


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wednesday's Weekly Finds

Its time for another treasury!  Yay!  Yes, I realize that it is actually Thursday, but we'll just pretend its still Wednesday, ok?

I was in a bit of a funk this morning and needed a little "pick me up", so I decided to find some fun items to make into a treasury this time.  So, I looked for all things NERDY!  Check it out!  I think its pretty awesome.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Monday's Feature -- tyvm

This week's featured Etsy Shop comes from the Aspiring Century-Mark Etsians (A.C.M.E.) Team; it is our esteemed captain tyvm.  Tyvm, which stands for "Thank You Very Much" is run by Shannon and she makes BEAUTIFUL journals, notebooks, cards and other handmade paper goods.  So, let's get to know Shannon!

1)  How did you get into crafting?
I would have to say that I got into "crafting" about 6 1/2 years ago. I went to a "Stampin' Up" party/gathering where we made a card and a gift box. I bought a stamp set and was hooked! However, at the time my middle child was 6 months old, so time was very limited. A few years later I had my 3rd child, so time - and card-making - were put to the side altogether. I never stopped gathering ideas, though, and last spring decided I wanted to put all my idea pictures and sketches (ha! I am NOT an artist -- these "pictures" are discernible only by myself!) into a notebook to keep them all organized. I decorated the outside of a plain memory book I bought at Hobby Lobby it's been a snowball ever since!

2)  How did your Etsy shop come to be?
To be completely honest, I am not really sure how I stumbled upon Etsy. A couple of years ago I did a google-search for something craft-related (chipboard, maybe?), and Etsy came up at the top of the list. I clicked, and voila! I discovered a website dedicated to handmade goods. I quickly forwarded the website to a couple of friends (one that makes beautiful crosses out of baling wire and one that makes jewelry out of clay beads she makes herself) and told them THEY needed to sell their wares on Etsy! I added Etsy to my bookmarks and moved on. Fast forward to last spring, and after I made my Idea notebook, Etsy came back to mind. I wondered if I could have my own shop on Etsy, looked into it, then took an enormous leap of Faith and opened tyvm.

3)  Tell me about your shop name.
When I first nurtured the thought of having my own Etsy shop, I thought I would dedicate it to making 'Thank You' cards, one of my favorite things to make and have at the time. Hence the name tyvm (Thank You Very Much). Little did I know that I would veer off that path to make such a varied assortment of papergoods!

4)  What is your favorite part about being creative?
My favorite part about being creative is that people say I'm creative. I have never. . . EVER . . . in my LIFE . . . considered myself creative. I was the kid in art class that couldn't even draw stick figures right. I was the kid in Kindergarten that when I got in trouble and they took away art as my punishment, I cheered inside. I am incredibly concrete-sequential, very straight-forward, organized, and very much the right-is-right and wrong-is-wrong kind of person. My crafts allow me to escape from the person I really am, if only for a little while.

5)  Are you a full-time crafter or do you have a "day job"?
I have a day job, for sure! I am the testing coordinator at my school. I am in charge of all district- and state-mandated testing for the ~1000 students at my school. (This is where the concrete-sequential, organized part of me comes in handy). I also coach 7th and 8th grade girls athletics (This year I have/am/will coach volleyball, basketball, and track). Oh -- and i have 3 kids, ages 10, 7, and 3 1/2. I guess you could say I have 3 day jobs in addition to my Etsy shop!

6)  If someone were to buy you a birthday gift on Etsy, what 3 words would they use in their search?
Organize, Teal, Brown.

7)  How do you create your designs?
Hmmm . . . I pray, then I just start putting things together.

8)  What is your inspiration?
I get inspiration from many things:
Paper packs at the craft store (love the color combinations - so many colors I never would have imagined that go together)
Digital Paper packs on Etsy (I look at them and think, 'Oh! I could use that to make such-and-such!')
Much of my inspiration, though, comes from seeing what friends use/need and making them prettier, more convenient, and/or more functional.

9)  If you had to choose one item in your shop as a signature piece, which one would it be and why?
I would have to say these matchbooks: because they're fun-yet-cute and so very functional!

10)  What is your favorite item to create and why?
My favorite thing to create isn't necessarily one single item, but is any item I've made as the result of a customer's request. I love custom orders because it gives me the opportunity to bring to reality someone else's vision. It's a win-win :-)

11)  Do you have a blog of your own where people can get to know you better? A Facebook or Twitter account?
I do have a blog:
I have a Facebook account, but have no idea how to access it and there's nothing on it anyway!
I would LOVE to promote my Team's Facebook page, though: So many talented artisans all in one place! Please visit, like, and share!

Thank you very much (pun very much intended!), Shannon, for taking the time to answer all of my questions so that we can get to know you better!  And thank you for being such a great team captain for all of us newbies!  Stick around to see who I feature next week and also to see what I've been working on this past week.  I've been a very busy beaver, so I have lots to share!  Thanks!

Friday, January 21, 2011

CraftyCrochet4Kids was featured in a treasury today!

I love treasuries.  They are so much fun to create and SUPER fun when your own item gets featured in one!  Well, today, thanks to DarlingDesignsbySara, my custom owl earflap hat was featured in a treasury.  It is super cute and you should definitely check it out!

Yay for mail!

Look what I got in the mail yesterday!

I love it when I get packages in the mail.  And I love buying yarn.  So when I get yarn in the mail, its a double bonus!  Ha ha!

Now....what to make with this luxuriously soft yarn?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wednesday's Weekly Finds

Its Wednesday, so that means it is time for a treasury!  Yay!!!  Believe it or not, this was actually the first time I have ever created a treasury.  I don't know why I hadn't done it yet, but I will certainly be looking forward to Wednesdays because it was a lot of fun.  I found a lot of interesting items and great shops!  It was definitely hard to limit my selections!

My theme for this week's treasury was Winter Wonderland.  The weather has been hot and dry here in San Diego, with temps up in the 80s, so I've been dreaming of cooler weather.  I'm jealous of the rest of the country with their winter storms.  Anyway, here it is.  Enjoy!

Do you have any suggestions for next week's treasury?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Monday's Feature -- Pixiekids Toys and Gifts

For my first feature, I wanted to feature a shop from someone in my Busy Moms on Etsy Team.  Today I chose Pixiekids Toys and Gifts.

Screenshot of msmagpiegirl's shop on Etsy
 I absolutely adore this shop!  It is filled with hours of imaginative play for children.  Seriously, my kids (ages 4 and 2) would be entertained for HOURS and the quiet time that would give me would be worth its weight in gold!  This shop offers different sets of felt play food, from sushi, to breakfast in bed, to a princess tea party and everything in between.  The play food is "handmade out of Eco-felt, which is felt manufactured from recycled plastic bottles".  So, your kids get super fun toys and you get to know that you are helping the environment.  The sets are also very well priced.
The shop's mission is "to inspire the imagination, promote healthy eating habits, and encourage language development through creative and dramatic play!"  What more could you ask for?

If your kids aren't into playing with their food, then Pixiekids Toys and Gifts also offers fun little felt animal plush toys.  These things are adorable!
screen shot of a listing for one of the animal plush toys

I can't tell you how much I enjoy looking at this shop!  I just want to buy ALL of the items because I know my kids would love them!  Everything looks expertly made and the quality looks fantastic.  Plus, I like to know that I am supporting a small family business.  So, I encourage you to check out this wonderful shop and see for yourselves just how awesome it is!  And stick around because next week's feature just might be you!

What's New?

I have a bunch of new designs that I want to add to my Etsy shop , but just haven't found the time to make them yet.  Imagine that, having a newborn and two other small children would leave me with very little crafting time!  I have finished a few things, I just need to take some good pictures of them before I can list them.  But, in the meantime, here are a few of the items I have completed.  The pictures aren't great, but you can still appreciate them for their awesomeness.  Enjoy!

The first new item that I'm going to be adding to my shop is an adorable diaper cover photography prop.  I love this diaper cover!  Seriously!  I can't handle it!  I mean, really, look at those ruffles!  This pattern is by littleabbee.  I've purchased a few patterns from her and all of them have been super easy to follow and very well written.  I recommend her patterns to anyone looking for some cute stuff to crochet!  Or, you could always just buy them from my shop and not have to bother making them yourselves!  =)  It has two rows of crocheted ruffles on the bum and crochet buttons on the front.  It is extra adorable and would look fabulous on your little princess!

The next two items would look great combined into a set.  It is another diaper cover from littleabbee, but this time with a trim around the outside edge, real buttons and no ruffles on the bum.  The hat is super cute too!  It is a basic beanie with an extra large button on the front and a crab stitch trim for added style.  Wouldn't this look great on your little man?

 I am particularly fond of this last hat.  I've seen them around and I knew I had to make one, so I created my own pattern for it.  This was the first pattern that I succesfully created on my own!  It was very simple to make.  This is just a prototype, so imagine the completed hat having alternating stripes of cute colors and a huge pom pom at the end of the tail.  It also features a ribbed trim for a better, more snug fit.  I love it and can't wait to offer it for sale in my shop!

Anyway, thats just what I'm working on right now.  What are YOU working on?

Oh, and stay tuned because a little later I am going to be posting about my Featured Shop for the week!  I adore this shop from my Busy Moms on Etsy team.  So stick around and see who it is!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Queen City Emporium--Sellers Beware!

Back in October 2010 I was contacted by someone from Queen City Emporium, an Independent Artisan Boutique in Springfield, MO, to sell my crochet hats in their store.  Needless to say, I was ecstatic!  Here I was, fairly new to selling my creations online and already a *real* store wanted to feature my work!  I couldn't believe it!  But, being new to consignments, I went to the Etsy forums to seek advice before I ventured into it.  From the extremely helpful advice from other sellers, I compiled a list of questions for them and received satisfactory answers in return.  Everything seemed legit and I was very excited to get started on a rather large collection of my work to send to them.  Unfortunately (or rather fortunate, you be the judge), I was nearing the end of a very difficult pregnancy and just wasn't able to make the product neccessary to send to them, so I kind of dropped the ball on the opportunity.  Boy, am I sure glad that I did!

Apparently, there have been quite a few sellers on Etsy that were also contacted by Queen City Emporium and did set up consignment agreements with them who are having trouble now getting paid for their work.  It seems that more and more sellers are coming out everyday who say that they aren't getting paid by QCE and are also having trouble getting their items returned to them for QCE's breach of contract. 

Its very sad that a company is taking advantage of indie artists and small businesses like this!  I'm just super glad that it didn't work out for me to send them a ton of my work (I was preparing to send them around 30 hats!).  I'm sure I would have cried.  A lot.  So, for right now I am praising the LORD for His wisdom and His timing and am praying for those sellers out there who have lost product and money to this company.  Here's to hoping that they all get what is coming to them!

Helllooooo world!

Well, I finally did it.  I started a blog!  I'm not really sure what this will turn into, or even if I have "what it takes" to compose a successful blog, but I guess I'm giving it a shot anyway!  What do I want out of this blog?  Hmmm....  I suppose first and foremost, I want God to be glorified because nothing else is more important than that!  After that, I would love for everyone out there to learn a little more about me and what I do (and maybe consider purchasing one of my awesome handmade products *wink wink*).

I really love to crochet!  It has been a great creative outlet for me over the years and I can't think of a more productive way to spend my down time.  If you want to see what my creative outlet is producing, head on over to Etsy and check out my shop:  I am constantly adding new items and different designs, so check back often to see what new things I've come up with!  Oh, and I LOVE doing custom work, so feel free to contact me with your heart's desires and we'll see what we can come up with!

Here is my plan for what each week will contain:
  • Every Monday I will feature an Etsy shop from one of the teams I am in.  I will also post anything new that I'm working on.
  • Every Wednesday I will post about my Weekly Finds on Etsy.  Each week I plan on creating a treasury on Etsy and will share it with you.
  • Every Thursday will bring you Random Happenings where I will post things that are going on in my life.  My life is pretty random, so Thursdays are sure to be lots of fun!
  • Anything else that comes up I will be sure to keep you updated and informed!
So that's it!  I guess we'll start this roller coaster ride called blogging and see how far we can make it without tossing our cookies!  Enjoy!