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April Review

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April was a really bad month, shop-wise, personally, the whole nine. Nothing really came to fruition. But, I suppose that’s the way the cookie crumbles.

 

April Plan

Mar 27 – Free Week
Did pretty much nothing. Made another fox rug for an employee whose wife is pregnant.

Apr 3 – Summer Props
I made a really cool strawberry photo prop…but no one knew what it was and everyone hated it…so yea…there’s that.

Apr 10 – WIPs
I worked on exactly 0 WIP products…and made an adult lap throw. 

Apr 17 – Skull Shawls
I almost completed one….

Apr 24 – Halloween Props
I actually just finished my skull shawl. I should probably work on Halloween props, as they are my big seller, but I am short on the funds to buy the right yarn. :-:

 

 

Yarn Purchased in April

0 yards (amazing!!)

 

Yarn Crocheted in April

3,387 yards total
770 yards of Bernat Blanket yarn (adult lap blanket)
1,117 yards of Lion Brand Ice Cream Big Scoop (skull shawls)
1500 yards of I Love This Yarn (Strawberry prop, fox rug)

 

Sales History

  • 2013
    • Not Open
  • 2014
    • 0 sales for 0 items
  • 2015
    • 11 sales for 11 items, increase in revenue
  • 2016
    • 11 sales for 12 items, increase in revenue
  • 2017
    • 2 sales for 2 items, large decrease in revenue
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Virus Shawl (Pattern Review)

I am a fairly easily frustrated person. I don’t have a lot of patience, and I get cranky when I don’t understand things. That is vital to this story.

A few months back, a friend of mine asked me to make 6 shawls for her wedding, 5 adult and 1 youth. Awesome, no problem, I am on it! Right after I finish all of these elephant pillows for Christmas!

Well, on Christmas day, I started working on these shawls. I had seen hundreds (and hundreds and hundreds) of posts on the Repeat Crafter Me Facebook group of the Virus Shawl. Awesome. It looked super easy, I can handle this! So, I went searching for the pattern, and all I could find was YouTube videos. I hate watching video tutorials. I have no patience and stop paying attention. Then, I finally found a written out pattern! AHHHH! But, the pattern sucked. Seriously…it sucked. But, I was still determined not to do YouTube videos…I had a crappy pattern and photos of what it should look like! How hard could it possibly be?!

I started this pattern fairly early in the day…and then I ripped it all out because 10 rounds into it, it was NOT looking like it should. Then I restarted…and ripped it out 6 rounds into it. Then I gave up and started a totally different shawl, and 12 rows into it, I realized that it was a scarf and not a shawl and ripped that one out. So, frustrated and angry,. I breathed grinchmas all over it and started the virus shawl one more time…and it clicked…and it was amazing.

These work up really fast, and once you figure out the pattern (which is so easy and makes me angry that I struggled so much), you won’t have to ever reference it again. Plus, it is pretty…and my sister-in-law has decided that it looks like an owl, and now I can’t see anything else.

So, the morale of the story…watch the YouTube video (which is linked at the bottom). Don’t be like me. Don’t be stupid. Watch the video, learn this AWESOME pattern, and make amazing shawls.

 

 

This is the one…do you see the owl?! Once you do, you will never unsee it.

 

 

Watch this video…learn…don’t frog everything because you are frustrated like me.

 

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Restructuring

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I’ve decided that next year, I am going to do things a little bit differently. Instead of doing monthly goals, I am going to set aside weeks to work on certain things. I plan on keeping the shop on finished items only for a little bit, probably through February. It is just less stressful and is giving me the time that I need to work on some larger orders.

This will also give me a chance to really work on creating new product, preparing for shows, and getting a new website launched and available.

The general gist of it is to dedicate each week to a certain type of product, obviously allowing for time to complete orders as well. Then, if I miss a week, I miss a week, and whatever. That product can wait until a free week or get scratched completely. I am going through and trying to figure out the best use of 52 weeks, that is the tough part!

Additionally, I am stealing a great idea from a fellow blogger. She tracks the yardage of yarn knitted vs yardage of yarn bought each month. I need to do that. I definitely need to do that…because the amount of yarn I have in my office is absolutely ridiculous. And I really need to work on slimming down my stash. For both space and financial needs. 🙂

So, as we enter 2017, I am hoping to see some changes, hoping to find a better way, and plan on just taking the bull by the horns and seeing what happens. 🙂

 

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Piecemakers Festival

I am sorely, sorely disappointed with this festival. I try not to badmouth the festivals I don’t enjoy, but this one was so ridiculous, that I feel the need to warn people about it. I will not be returning. I have walked this one, I have seen amazing photos, I have followed it…and my experience as a vendor was frustrating. Speaking with other vendors, it seemed that was the general consensus. This year, it was poorly planned, poorly spaced, and had no real oversight. People were tearing down early, bringing cars in early and block booths, they tried to add more booths, so some of the booths actually ran into other ones and blocked them, and the vendor parking was 2miles away with a single shuttle running…that we waited 30min for to get the truck to pack up after we had totally broken down. It was ridiculous.

As far as sales and customers, people were not out to shop. People were absolutely out to get ideas and spend a Saturday hanging out. It was frustrating, but I can deal with that. What really bothered me, was how unbelievably rude so many people were. I was easily one of the most expensive vendors in the area (which is saying a lot, considering my prices); so after I realized this, I realized it was not going to be a good sales day. What I did not expect was the obscene amount of people making rude comments about how worthless my product was, how ridiculously overpriced I am, and straight up trying to take pictures so they can just have a friend do it (or another vendor!!) for “half that price at the most.” I had many women come in just to tell me that they crochet as well, and are more skilled and my prices are outrageous.

It was not a good day…at all. My self esteem, my art, my finances, my anything.

I will most definitely not be back at that festival.

piecemakers

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Patchwork Festival – Santa Ana

I did the Patchwork Festival in Long Beach over the summer, and I decided to do a different one for the winter. And man, oh man am I glad! When the Long Beach one happened, it was HOT! So hot! Like, over 100F…in November. It was really bad for business. So, the Santa Ana festival happened the Sunday after Thanksgiving, and the first couple of hours were rough. It was pouring rain, off and on, and I had to set up a tarp over my booth. It is the only festival that I do that I don’t get a full 10x10ft space for, so I didn’t have my canopy. I just had a little patio umbrella (that sucks…a lot). So, we covered the booth table and gridwalls with a thick painters tarp, then my husband and I hid under a canopy that was set up behind us, along with a few other vendors of glorious paper products that couldn’t be set up in the rain either.

But, we did get lucky, once the show was really open and swinging, the rain stopped. It was still cold and windy, but that didn’t stop anyone! The streets were busy, people were out buying, and sales were quite steady. I did get several new email subscribers, and even gained a few new blog followers out of the day. It was definitely a good festival. I can’t wait to see how it goes next summer and winter, when hopefully the rains and winds aren’t against us!

 

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December Goals

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And here is December in review…

 

December 2013

  • 0 sales for 0 items

December 2014

  • 7 sales for 16 items

December 2015

  • 7 sales for 8 items

 

 

I am actually totally booked for December already. I have a craft show early in the month, and then I have a large custom order that I need to complete and get to my customer before Christmas. Then, I get to start working on a large custom wedding order. So, my plate is pretty full. I will likely be de-activating all made to order listings to support this month.

 

  • Stuff I need to make
    • Nothing this month

 

  • Stuff I need to finish:
    • Pinup Doll
    • 4 Elephant Pillows

 

  • Stuff I  would like to make some progress on
    • Wedding shawls
    • The first doll in the new line
    • 1 kitty koi corner to corner blanket (sadly, my lowest priority)

 

  • Events I will be attending
    • Piecemakers Winter Fair on December 3rd
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November Wrap Up

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November was busy and crazy and just very overwhelming for me. My life, in general, is overwhelming from August (the worst month of the entire year) until January. So yea…

 

I had 21 sales for 26 items, so pretty great, especially consider I made approximately 25% more than I did last year…So, that’s exciting. 🙂

 

 

As far as November goals:

 

  • Stuff I need to make
    • 10 fat cats   Not quite, I managed to make 4
    • 10 ice creams Not quite, I managed to make 6
    • 10 bearded baby hats Not quite, I managed to make 7, but I did make 12 Santa and Elf hats for my show instead

 

  • Stuff I need to finish:
    • Pinup Doll  Nada
    • Bumper Bangs hat  Done!!! Yay!

 

  • Stuff I  would like to make some progress on
    • Elephant pillows Christmas order  I actually made decent progress, the face is done for 2 of the 4, and the ears are done for 1. So, now it is just time to hardcore focus on this
    • The first doll in the new line  HAHAHA
    • 1 kitty koi corner to corner blanket (sadly, my lowest priority)  HAHAHA

 

  • Events I will be attending
    • Patchwork Santa Ana on November 27th  Done!