Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lettuce on my window sill, Living the Handmade Life.......

I have never been one to crochet a dishcloth, but I have recently found myself doing many things I thought I was above doing.  The more this is happening, the more I am realizing that my business and I are evolving.


I want to crochet a dishcloth, and a dish towel, a market bag and a scrubbie for the dishes or scrubbing the bathtub all made from hemp.  And I want to use them and then if they pass all the tests, I want to offer them for sale in my shop.  I won't sell anything in my Etsy shop (or anywhere else, for that matter) that I myself will not use.

One of my tests is bringing to my business what I stand for personally: 
I don't buy windex, I use vinegar to wash my windows.  I don't buy tide or sunlight for the laundry, I use Buffalo Recycled Soap ( Local company that recycles bar soap from hotel rooms and make it into laundry soaps.)  I grow sprouts and lettuce on my window sill most of the year.  I start my tomatoes indoors from seed in February.  I compost.  My kids wear hand-me-downs. I make my daughter guacho capris out of recycled t shirts and tank tops, she loves them.  I love thrift store shopping.  I eat purple potatoes I grew in my garden (they taste the same and are so pretty).  I eat seasonally,  I buy my food grown as close to home as possible.  I make my own freezer jam with local honey, and my own berries.  I cook from scratch, everyday.  My husband makes his own sausage, smoked salmon, and pepperoni.  I live in the countryside.  I recycle anything and everything I can.  I don't change my home decor for the sake of doing it.  I love making my prized possessions last.........    


So is born my eco friendly home line,  I will be eventually offering a pattern collection for those DIYer's.  It all takes time and I want to do really thorough job of it.

Carpe Diem!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Free Lacey Crochet Scarf Pattern


Free Lacey Scarf Pattern!

I recently made this for a customer, it turned out so elegant and lovely I decided to share it on my blog.

You will need:
approximately 330 yards of Dk or worsted weight yarn ( I used AllHemp6 in Aubergine)
size 9 mm and 4.5 mm crochet hooks
Darn needle
Gauge:  Not really to important as this is lacey.
I suggest if you need to join in this scarf because you need more than one ball of wool, do the join on the stitch at the beginning or ending of a row so the end can be woven into the Sc edge.  
with larger hook
Row 1:  Chain 20,  sc in second chain from hook, *skip 2 chain, 5 dc in next chain, skip 2 chain, sc in next chain, repeat from * 2 more times.  3 shells.
Row 2:  Chain 3, 2 dc in first sc, *skip 2 dc, sc in next dc, skip 2 dc, 5 dc in next sc,  repeat from * 1 more time, then skip 2 dc, sc in next  dc, skip 2 dc, 3 dc in last sc.  2 full shells, and 2 1/2 shells.
Row 3: Chain 1, sc in first dc, *skip 2 dc, 5 dc in next sc, skip 2 dc, sc in next dc, repeat from * 2 times more.

Repeat row's 2 & 3 to desired length.  The length of the Scarf I made was about 60" long.
Fasten off.  Do not weave in ends.
Sc Edging:  With smaller hook:
Row 1:  Join with a sc to any stitch, (except a corner),  you will now work 2 sc in each stitch, 3-4 sc in each corner, some of the stitches that are smaller may only require 1 sc, you will want the edge to lay fairly flat, it shouldn't ruffle.  If you find the edge ruffling, try working 1sc in one stitch and then 2 sc in next and repeat that pattern. 

I hope you enjoy this pattern and Happy Crafting!!
You may use this pattern for personal use only, not for items to be sold.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Just some food for thought.......

This is a vent and some constructive criticism.  I have been seeing a lot of whining and complaining in the Etsy forums about not getting sales, no views, no feedback left, blah, blah balh.......don't get me wrong, its not that I am not a compassionate seller, it just seems there is too much focus on the why's and not enough on improving the product or the shop.

I don't live on the forums,  I don't have time.  I am to busy raising 3 kids, maintaining my marriage, working my regular job and creating items/patterns to sell locally and online.

Ever heard of self full filling prophesy?  How many of those etsians you are complaining to or about are your former or potential customers?  This doesn't rub well with me.

Stop complaining and get to work!  :)

Selling is hard work.  Getting your audience to your items is the hardest endeavor you will try to achieve!

I think there needs to be a "should I open a shop series"?  There is a lot of great artists out that there and they make great items but is there a demand for what these artists are making?  You cannot continue to sell what isn't selling, as much you and Aunt Gertrude like it, it just cannot be.  This is not good business practice.  You will go broke. 
Running an Online shop is no different from running any other type of business, just the venue is different.
I think many of  us need to do more research about what we are trying to sell.  Am I cut out to sell my items?  There is no shame in having someone else sell for you.
I have said this so many times before, don't put all your eggs in one basket!  I consign (not everyone wants to or likes to) at 3 shops locally.  The folks who own these shops help me immensely,  with ideas, suggestions for improvement, whats classic, or a soon passing trend. 

These are the questions I think one needs to ask oneself prior to opening up shop:

1)  Is there a demand?
2)  How original is my creation?  Are there many out there already?
3)  Can I afford to do this?  Monetarily?  Time?  Energy?
4)  Can I afford my supplies?  Is it available wholesale?
5)  Are my creations seasonal?
6)  Can I meet deadlines?  Planning?
7)  How much time do I really have to commit to my shop?
8)  How much will I make, after advertising, fees, taxes, etc.?

This may be a little bit cranky, but I am giving tough love!

Chriss

Friday, January 8, 2010

Repurposed Items on Etsy!!!

I wanted to show off some of the amazing items that are repurposed and found on etsy........Check it out!


Wavy Heart Ceramic Clock

Wavy Heart Ceramic Clock
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Wavy Heart Ceramic Clock Wavy Heart Ceramic Clock Wavy Heart Ceramic Clock Wavy Heart Ceramic Clock Wavy Heart Ceramic Clock

Red and Black Napkin Rings Set of 4

Red and Black Napkin Rings Set of 4
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Red and Black Napkin Rings Set of 4 Red and Black Napkin Rings Set of 4 Red and Black Napkin Rings Set of 4

Description

Dress up your table with this set of 4 colorful napkin rings. Made with recycled paper towel rolls, these napkin rings are covered with colorful embroidery yarn. Colored beads have been added to add a wonderfully unique touch.

All four napkin rings are unique; no two are exactly the same. They are the perfect touch to dress up your table for parties.

Sizes: Each ring is approximately 1 ¾ in wide.

Created by Dellian Abdur-Razzaq (my mom) *She is an artist and you can view her work at myspace.com/artdee3

*Please note*: Napkins and dinnerware in photos are not included.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/AllAboutTheButtons

Description

This is a heartful collection of hearts. This wine,pink and white ceramic plate measures roughly 9" by 8" with a handpainted feel to it. Embellished with many heart buttons and beads,there is one regular circular button. The hands of the clock are a matte black which echo the wavy heart feel. The mechanism is quartz and it needs 1 AA battery which is included. There is a notch in the back for hanging.

Note: I pack the clocks very carefully...never had any breakage!
See more at allaboutthebuttons.etsy.com

Red and Black Napkin Rings Set of 4

Blue and white half-moon pendant

Blue and white half-moon pendant
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Blue and white half-moon pendant Blue and white half-moon pendant Blue and white half-moon pendant Blue and white half-moon pendant Blue and white half-moon pendant

Description

This 1 1/2" (3.25cm) pendant is made up of four white reused buttons of various sizes accented with a steel blue coloured button. It is wired together using blue coloured wire and comes on a 24" (60cm) adjustable black hemp cord.
http://www.etsy.com/shop/bnazar

CHRISTMAS SALE Recycled Bohemian Rainforest RAVE Embroidery Thread Necklace and Earring Set

CHRISTMAS SALE Recycled Bohemian Rainforest RAVE Embroidery Thread Necklace and Earring Set
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CHRISTMAS SALE Recycled Bohemian Rainforest RAVE Embroidery Thread Necklace and Earring Set CHRISTMAS SALE Recycled Bohemian Rainforest RAVE Embroidery Thread Necklace and Earring Set CHRISTMAS SALE Recycled Bohemian Rainforest RAVE Embroidery Thread Necklace and Earring Set CHRISTMAS SALE Recycled Bohemian Rainforest RAVE Embroidery Thread Necklace and Earring Set CHRISTMAS SALE Recycled Bohemian Rainforest RAVE Embroidery Thread Necklace and Earring Set

Description

Necklace length measures 16" Inches long with lobster clasp closure. I don't actually remember how many different thread colors I used in this one but I'm positive I used more than 30. The necklace also features a round wood and glass beads along with a 1.5" inch round wooden center circle.

Earrings measure 4" Inches long. The earrings also feature wooden beads along with metal charms. Surgical steel earring post.

Every piece used in the necklace and earrings have been recycled from odds and ends I've collected over the years. I also dedicate all my creativity to one set at a time making sure it's just right, not to mention each necklace usually takes me about a day to complete.

Embroidery thread necklaces and earrings can hold up almost forever as long as you make sure to keep them clean and dry them thoroughly if they get wet.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/ditbge

Leftovers recycled urban steampunk wrist cuff plus size inspired by Rodarte

Leftovers recycled urban steampunk wrist cuff plus size inspired by Rodarte
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Leftovers recycled urban steampunk wrist cuff plus size inspired by Rodarte Leftovers recycled urban steampunk wrist cuff plus size inspired by Rodarte Leftovers recycled urban steampunk wrist cuff plus size inspired by Rodarte Leftovers recycled urban steampunk wrist cuff plus size inspired by Rodarte

Description

Check out my new wrist cuffs! Unconsciously inspired by Rodarte (I didn't realize it until I had finished the second one), they are made with leftover pieces from other projects and include bits of yarn, thread, t-shirt cuts, and whatever else looks good. Each one is top stitched to high heaven, then backed with black cotton, and closes on the wrist with a button and elastic loop which have been securely sewn onto the cuff.

Made for a bigger ladies wrist or for a man's wrist, this cuff is about 8 inches long and 3 inches high at its widest part.
http://www.etsy.com/shop/Kapaali

Suede Wristlet

Suede Wristlet
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Suede Wristlet Suede Wristlet Suede Wristlet Suede Wristlet Suede Wristlet

Description

This wristlet is made from upcycled suede that was once a skirt. It features different shades of brown suede sewn together. The lining is polyester. The zipper is brown.

This wristlet is just the right size to hold your keys, phone, money, and makeup. Perfect for everday use and can be slipped into a larger bag or purse.

Measurements:
Strap length- 12"
Opening at zipper- 6.5"
Wristlet height- 5"
Width across middle- 7.5"

It is best not to machine wash this wristlet.
http://www.etsy.com/shop/justforkeeps

Alice in Wonderland Inspired Collage Jewelry Box

Alice in Wonderland Inspired Collage Jewelry Box
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Alice in Wonderland Inspired Collage Jewelry Box Alice in Wonderland Inspired Collage Jewelry Box Alice in Wonderland Inspired Collage Jewelry Box Alice in Wonderland Inspired Collage Jewelry Box

Description

This jewelry box was made out of fashion magazine photos and has a photo of a model getting ready for a tea party, with the words "Fairy Tale Scenes to Inspire Your Dreams". It is adorned with large cobalt blue rhinestones along the front. It is perfect for holding jewelry, recipe cards, makeup, etc. It measures 7.5" long by almost 5" wide.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/glitzandglam85


Recycled Coke Can Alphabet - Magnetic

Recycled Coke Can Alphabet - Magnetic
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Recycled Coke Can Alphabet - Magnetic Recycled Coke Can Alphabet - Magnetic Recycled Coke Can Alphabet - Magnetic Recycled Coke Can Alphabet - Magnetic

Description

How fun is this!

Remember the magnetic letters we all had on the fridge when we were kids. This is the same, but only better.

These letters are made from a coke can that has had its contents consumed. What else better to do with the can than to make these fun letters.

They have a foam backing to help hold their shape along with a little magnet. There are not sharp edges.

The letters are about 1" high and 1" wide.
http://www.etsy.com/shop/loda

Conquistador

Conquistador
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Conquistador Conquistador Conquistador Conquistador Conquistador

Description

This old spanish textbook...

has been hollowed out.

An additional photo of a classic Conquistador has been glued on the back... to protect your valuables... of course.

Outside
9 1/2" x 8"

Inside
Depth - 3/4"
7 5/8" x 6 1/8"

http://www.etsy.com/shop/ThePaigemaestro

The Scrappy Nonsense Scarf

The Scrappy Nonsense Scarf
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The Scrappy Nonsense Scarf The Scrappy Nonsense Scarf The Scrappy Nonsense Scarf The Scrappy Nonsense Scarf The Scrappy Nonsense Scarf

Description

This week's scrap projects were of the random kind!! I had fun trashing my studio while I rummaged through all my shelves and bins looking for the perfect scraps to make a whimsical scarf with nonsensical design. This scarf is reversible with a fun vintage floral print on the reverse side. The scarf is a one of a kind unique accessory. It measures 4 1/2 inches wide which covers the neck so perfectly and is 74 inches long. Made with care and attention in a smoke free studio.

If there is a different color, style or length you would like...just send me a note!!!

http://www.etsy.com/shop/whimsiedots

Bangkok Necklace

Bangkok Necklace
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Bangkok Necklace Bangkok Necklace Bangkok Necklace Bangkok Necklace Bangkok Necklace

Description

This is one of my favorite designs. I found this vintage brooch at an antique shop and was originally going to use multifaceted onyx beads for the strand, but found these painted glass beads among the collection I already had and decided they were perfect! The beads are painted glass featuring what look like blue daisies, and the design is augmented with some metallic accent beads. This is a truly one of a kind item! It is finished with a tarnished-looking metallic magnet clasp. The necklace is 21 inches long.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/elliecreations

MULTI COLOURED PLEATED HANDBAG

MULTI COLOURED PLEATED HANDBAG
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MULTI COLOURED PLEATED HANDBAG MULTI COLOURED PLEATED HANDBAG MULTI COLOURED PLEATED HANDBAG

Description

This versatile handbag is ideal for a night out, formal occasion or wedding. The fabric features blues, reds, golds, oranges, purples and pinks making it easy to match with a variety of outfits.

The handbag measures approximately 26cm wide at the base, 18cm wide at the top and 18cm long. The double pleats on both sides of the bag make it surprisingly roomy and the flat bottom allows the bag to stand upright. The single strap handle has three length settings which allow for the bag to be carried in your hand or on your shoulder. The inside is lined in pale pink and a magnetic clasp holds the top closed. 

http://www.etsy.com/shop/FromRagsToBags

Rock Island-Moline Bus Token Cufflinks

Rock Island-Moline Bus Token Cufflinks
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Rock Island-Moline Bus Token Cufflinks Rock Island-Moline Bus Token Cufflinks Rock Island-Moline Bus Token Cufflinks

Description

Rough and industrial with touches of oxidization, these edgy cufflinks may be your token for safe passge from zombie-filled wastelands, marauding bands of redcaps, or just a boring day at the office. 

http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheFloatingMarket


Hobo Froggy - Upcycled

Hobo Froggy - Upcycled
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Hobo Froggy - Upcycled Hobo Froggy - Upcycled Hobo Froggy - Upcycled Hobo Froggy - Upcycled

Description

Nobody knows the trouble I've seen;
Nobody knows my sorrow.
Nobody knows the trouble I've seen;
Glory, Hallelujah!

This down on his luck frog is made with 90% upcycled materials and comes with his own hobo stick that can come out of his hand.

The body is approximately 4 1/2" tall and 5" wide. And 16" long from head to toe.

Hobo Froggy is made to order. After you have purchased this listing I will begin making it just for you. Please allow one week for it to be finished.

Froggy does have plastic eyes and a stick so he is not recommended for very young children. All items are from a smoke-free, pet-free environment (unless you count Bubbles our fish).

Thank you for looking and buying handmade!

http://www.etsy.com/shop/designlab443