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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!