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March / April / May Review

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Whew, would you look at the time? It has been a whirlwind couple of months and I am having a hard time digesting that we are halfway through June.

March consisted of packing to move, school, and work. That was pretty much it.

April consisted of moving, cleaning the old house, a short vacation for Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Festival, and school.

May consisted of trying to get unpacked (and failing epically), school, resource family training, and trying to figure out where my year had gone.

 

The shop was closed for half of March, all of April, and a week or so of May. So, I would say that affected sales. J But, things are already looking up this month, and I am excited about a few new projects. I am starting to actually get my house unpacked and ready to be lived in. I am done with my mandated training. I am still taking way too many credits at school and working full time, but at least things in my home are looking up. I have been able to find a little time each weekend to crochet. So far the focus has been on birthday gifts for niece and nephew, but pretty soon it will be ramping up for Halloween and then Christmas gifts for the kiddos!

 

On the plus side, with having no time, I also haven’t gone yarn shopping! This means I have actually crocheted more than I purchased each month! Yay!

 

 

Yarn Purchased in March / April / May

0 yards total 

 

Yarn Crocheted in March / April / May

2,670 yards total
110 yards of Bernat Blanket Yarn
444 yards of  Crafter’s Secret
504 yards of I Love This Yarn
1612  yards of Pound of Love

 

Sales History (March)

  • 2013 not open yet
  • 2014 1 sale for 1 item.
  • 2015 5 sales for 5 items, an increase in revenue
  • 2016 12 sales for 18 items, an increase in revenue
  • 2017 4 sales for 4 items, a decrease in revenue
  • 2018 3 sales for 3 items, an increase in revenue

 

Sales History (April)

  • 2013 not open yet
  • 2014 0 sales for 0 items.
  • 2015 11 sales for 12 items, an increase in revenue
  • 2016 11 sales for 11 items, a decrease in revenue
  • 2017 3 sales for 3 items, a decrease in revenue
  • 2018 0 sales for 0 items, a decrease in revenue

 

Sales History (May)

  • 2013 0 sales for 0 items.
  • 2014 0 sales for 0 items.
  • 2015 17 sales for 22 items, an increase in revenue (Soka University Festival, crappy location)
  • 2016 23 sales for 26 items, an increase in revenue (Soka University Festival, good location)
  • 2017 5 sales for 5 items, a decrease in revenue
  • 2018 14 sales for 17 item, an increase in revenue (Patchwork Santa Ana Festival)
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February Review

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February was about on par for what I expect from February. It was very, very slow.

Of course, just because sales were slow doesn’t mean life was! We are still in the process of buying a home, I am taking 18 credit hours, I am still working full time, and we just began the process of becoming approved for foster / adoption. So, slow worked this month because I definitely didn’t have time for insane.

I worked on a couple of gifts and that is really all I did this month. The shop is at an interesting state right now. Most of my listings are getting ready to expire, so I am at an junction and am deciding which road to take.
Part of me wants to let the listings expire and leave them that way until I have time to properly photograph and re-write the descriptions for each item. But man does that seem like a long time. And I definitely can’t sell things that aren’t list. So, it is something I am still thinking about, and I really don’t know which way I am leaning just yet.

 

 

Yarn Purchased in February

0 yards total 

 

Yarn Crocheted in February

995 yards total
124 yards of I Love This Yarn
871 yards of Bernat Baby Blanket

 

Sales History

  • 2013 not open yet
  • 2014 1 sale for 1 item.
  • 2015 4 sales for 4 items, an increase in revenue (Soka University Festival, crappy location)
  • 2016 24 sales for 24 items, an increase in revenue (Soka University Festival, good location)
  • 2017 1 sale for 1 item, a decrease in revenue
  • 2018 1 sale for 1 item, a decrease in revenue
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Supersize That Horsie

Right now, micro-amigurumi is a huge thing. People make these ridiculously small amigurumi collectables. They are gorgeous and just ooze talent. However, my fingers are not capable of that, nor my eyesight nor patience. So, I tend to go a different route. First there was Cutie Pie, then a few middle sized elephants. Well, while trying to think of gifts for my wonderful niece for her birthday, I decided to try super-sizing the horse pattern I use.

The only changes I made were to use an N hook and bernat blanket yarn (vice a G hook and a worsted weight yarn). I made this gorgeous blue horse, who was lovingly named Precious, and then I decided to do the full pattern and make a unicorn.  Oh, and I also added safety eyes, instead of crocheting the eyes!

My niece is turning 7 next month, and she is having a fabulous unicorn party. So, an oversized unicorn seemed to fit the bill.

The key to these horses is to ensure the legs are SUPER stuffed. This will allow the horse to actually stand. But, if you are looking for a softer, more squishy friend, that is a great plan too, just realize it will be too heavy to stand on it’s own.

Anyway, one baby went to her new home and is loved. The other baby will be going shortly, and I am super excited for it!

And these are my hot new requests from all the fabulous kids (and a few adults) in my life.

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Big Fluff

I want to start by stating that I have the absolute cutest model ever. My little niece is pretty much the greatest model in child form to ever exist. Even amongst the chaos, dirt, and disaster that is my home, she still manages to look amazing. She is also wearing my younger daughter’s old pajamas, which makes this photo an even bigger favorite.

I posted a few months ago about the large roving wool blankets I was making for Christmas presents for the nieces and nephews. I just wanted to post this to show a quick peek at another of the finished blankets.

Again, I must strongly emphasize that this is NOT yarn. It is roving wool that is barely, barely felted together. It comes apart easily, it will tear, and it is VERY heavy (and very expensive). It is not designed to be dragged around the house, used all the time, or have pets on it. It cannot go in the washing machine or dryer. It is NOT a practical blanket at all.

These are decorative, good lap blankets for an afternoon in bed reading. And my sisters understand this, as do the older kids (the girls).

I love working with this stuff. It is super soft, easy to work with, and is so beautiful. But, I also had to accept that there is a good chance that the money I spent on the fiber will be a wash within a few months of gifting these blankets.

But, for me, that was all worth it. The kids are very happy, and to me, that is worth just about everything.

 

 

 

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House Scarves

I am a self-admittedly huge Harry Potter nerd. I have read the books about 5 dozen times. I have seen the movies about 10 dozen times. And now I have happily and joyously been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal California.

When I found out the L.A. Dumbledore’s Army was having a massive dress the 9 3/4 day event at Wizarding, I had no choice. I had to go. It combined my intense love for Harry Potter with a theme park AND dressing super fancy like the pin-up diva I am.

Fortunately, I had finally gotten in part of my order from Pinup Girl Clothing that contained one item in each house harlequin color…2 dresses and 2 men’s shirts. (I now have 4 men’s shirts, 2 dresses, and 2 skirts…so that I have something for each house, as does my husband 🙂 )

We did not have my younger daughter that day, so it ended up just being a Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, and a Slytherin roaming around all fancy like.

 

What does this have to do with crochet? Well, obviously something. It is my life after all. It was November, so it should have been cool, correct? Nevermind this crazy 80-90F winter LA has been having. So, I decided to whip up some house scarves to match our outfits. Well, sort of match.

I am running out my stash of Hobby Lobby yarn, as I no longer shop there, so I had a few stash problems while making these scarves. But, in general, I used 1 full skein of each main color and about a third of a skein of each aux color. My tassels at the end really depended on how much of which color yarn I had left. My Gryffindor scarf used the yellow, my Slytherin used the gray. However, I had enough blue to use for my Ravenclaw, and my Hufflepuff scarf (not pictured because I only wanted fancy pictures) is both black and yellow.

I did the later series scarves, along with the movie colors, not the book colors.

And it is the simplest scarf ever…

 

I do not count my turning chain as a stitch for this pattern. I used HL brand I Love This Yarn, with a J (6mm) hook.

in main color Ch 22
1)          HDC in 3rd chain, HDC across, ch 2 and turn (20)
2-5)       HDC across, ch 2 and turn (20)
6-7)       in aux color, HDC across, ch 2 and turn (20)
8-9)       in main color, HDC across, ch 2 and turn (20)
10-11)   in aux color, HDC across, ch 2 and turn (20)
12-26)   in main color, HDC across, ch 2 and turn (20)
repeat rows 6-26 until you are at the length you want then continue
repeat rows 6-11
final 5 rows) in main color, HDC across, ch 2 and turn. (tie off and weave in ends for last row)

 

Essentially, the pattern is all HDC, 20 across. 5 rows of main, 2 of aux, 2 of main, 2 of aux, 15 of main. Repeat the 2/2/2/15 until you want to end. Then do your 2/2/2 for your final striping, then 5 rows of main. Tie off and weave in ends.

My scarf was 5 large colored sections of 15, plus the striped sections and the 2 sections of 5 rows.

Tassels were easy, I did 11 tassels on the end, two pieces of yarn folded in half for each tassel, then looped through the last row on either end. You can do more or less, depending on how full you want your scarf to look.

 

So, here is my husband doing his best pinup pose.

 

My older daughter blowing kisses for extra love and wisdom.

 

And like the true Slytherin I am, I can’t even be bothered to look at the peasants taking this photo. 🙂

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Retro Bettie

This last October, I took part vending during the annual Retro Bettie Bazaar hosted by Cherry Dollface. This is an event that I attend as a shopper each year, and I have always really enjoyed.

Now, I walked into this event not intending to do well. It isn’t really my crowd, being that most items being sold are vintage or pinup oriented in some fashion, and my stuff is not. But, I figured, lots of pinup moms, and I would go and hang out anyway, so let’s give it a try!

Attendance was not what I had come to expect, it was pretty down. So, from the start it was a slow day. However, everyone there was fun and excited to be out and about. The ladies and gents (and kiddos) that came around were trick or treating, laughing, smiling, and just generally enjoying their day.

As far as sales go, for me, it was pretty much zilch. Like I said, I don’t quite fit the motif, and I think I am just more expensive than what people are used to at these sort of events. And the one thing I have learned after all of these years is that the sale isn’t worth selling my work short. The expense of yarn and the time it takes to make this stuff is worth a decent price, so it is all about finding those willing to pay it.

The day wasn’t a total bust, as I got to see some of my favorite ladies from the SoCal pinup community, and the wonderful Jessica of Bomber Betty Cosmetics, which is pretty much the only makeup I wear.

We are still trying to figure out a good pricing display for events…as I hate individually tagging things, because there is just SO much, plus whether sales tax is included changes based on the event. But, at the same time, because there is so much, it is hard to have a sign for the individual items.

What do you guys think? What is the easiest pricing situation when you have hundreds of different types, and differently priced, items?

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That 2018 Spirit

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2017 was a lot of falling behind, not meeting my goals, and struggling to keep my sanity. I had a whole slew of health issues, to include a surgery, non-related physical therapy, and an entirely separate day spent in the ER getting a CT. I started back at school full time, and I tried to spend a little more time focusing on what I wanted to do, make, and enjoy. So, the business side of the house didn’t go as swimmingly as hoped.

However, each new year brings a whole new level of chaos and crazy, so 2018 is bound to make up for 2017. It may be worse, but hey, it could be better! So, I have made a more realistic plan, and hopefully will be able to achieve all of this in the upcoming year.

 

Goals for 2018….

  • Crochet more yarn than I buy. Period. No ifs ands or buts…Get into that stash!
  • Update this blog at least once a week.
  • Sell 150 items, including through shows and online.
  • Attend 3 craft fairs. Actually sell something at each of them. 🙂
  • Write, review, and list 2 new patterns.
  • Have all Christmas presents made and ready to ship by Thanksgiving.