Success isn’t always what you think it might be

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Teaching some kiddos to crochet.

It’s been suggested/out right reported back to me that my hand crafted items – whatever they might be – bring smiles, delight, and comfort to those who receive them. I don’t share that to boast, I share that to make a point.

I find myself often putting time, effort, and love into gifts for others and generally speaking I think the items or designs are lovely. I rarely think something is “ugly”.

It’s sort of my thing, I suppose. To bring some beauty into the world around myself, to give something beautiful to others. To make something special for others.

The shows I’ve been doing recently haven’t been what some might call financial successes. The entrance fees/donations have at times cost me more than I’ve made there. (Although I’ve received commissioned work requests from contacts I’ve made at them so they weren’t a total bust.) The lack of financial success is likely for any number of reasons of which I’m working on addressing. (The biggest it seems, other than over saturation of certain products, is that I might be at the wrong shows as some of my work is a little more trendy or edgy than the shoppers are looking to purchase. The general craft show demographic isn’t my target audience.)

But I don’t feel mostly that the shows were failures. What I have taken away from the shows that weren’t as financially rewarding? Making people smile, chatting with strangers when they seem like they needed a friend, taking the time to teach two little boys that crocheting is fun, relaxing, and not just for girls, having to “sell myself” (which I hate doing) and bringing a bit of sunshine to the world.

Maybe not lucrative, but surely rewarding. Perhaps that is a greater success.

 

And *poof* the data was gone.

’twas the night before Christmas (Eve),
and all through the house,

everything was in chaos,
even my spouse

I had to do printing,
gifts to give made it so,

but my laptop decided the answer was, “No!”

laptop smokeSo Frank wasn’t really in chaos, but my laptop did decide it wasn’t going to cooperate. By not going to cooperate? I mean it decided life wasn’t worth living anymore and a factory reset was it’s only option.

I lost everything that’s not on my external hard drive, in the cloud, or in my email and after a conversation with a friend who does such things, it’s gone. I can’t find the power cord to my external drive so I haven’t been able to back up anything in about 3-6 months. I’m just really glad all my client stuff was done before then.

Stationary stuff for shows and the shop? Most of that is gone, but I can recreate it. I’m not taking on any new digital custom work for the time being, but I’m still able and willing to do other custom work until I get this sorted out!

I’m lucky that my brother is super understanding about the status of part of his Christmas gift and that I could print the other part of it at my mom’s house the next day, but man, that was a really bad feeling.

Lesson learned. External hard drive everything all the time. I’m usually really good about it too.

Silver lining though? I’m choosing to look at this as an opportunity to reorganize my digital files once I find the power cord to the external drive.

2015 Challenge Accepted: #1 – A is for Apron

As part of 2015 I want to do more Pins and challenge myself a little more. I stumbled across this challenge from Pintrosity and got a little excited because it was perfect.

A is for…anything! Come up with a pin that has a project that starts with A (aquarium wall), use a color that starts with A (aqua), learn or use a technique that starts with A (applique), a recipe that starts with A (apple enchiladas), etc. Just incorporate A!

Right away, I knew just what “A” I wanted to do! I need an Apron of my very own. Would you believe that I don’t have one for every day use? All the cooking and baking I do, and I don’t have one. As a dear friend would say, “For SHAME Court! For shame.” (I have a beautiful one made by a dear friend for hosting parties and what not, but it’s too beautiful for every day use.)

I’m giving myself 2 weeks to make myself one so I’ll report back by 1/20. Now to chose a Pin! So many choices!

Care to join me in your own “A” challenge?

If you’d like to be part of the Pin Challenge Accepted board just let me know and I’ll add you. I won’t accept every challenge, but you never know!

Yesterday was about baking not crafting

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Bright baby hat

Usually I spend a chunk of time on Saturdays crafting in some way, but yesterday although I did craft in the evening, part of the day was spent back home with my G-d family. We made cookies, laughed, and I spent some time healing my heart and psyche.

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One of my favorite books read to me by my niece

Besides, being creative doesn’t always mean crafting.

Next up! Christmas Open House at The Table of Fort Plain

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Next show! Hope to see you there!

My last show was such fun I’m doing another one.  This one is at The Table of Fort Plain (70 Canal St, Fort Plain, NY) from 11am to 5pm. I’m a lucky duck because I think my dear friend, inspiration buddy, and supporter, Sue is coming with me to keep me company that day.

I’ve received a couple of really sweet emails and inquires from people who purchased gifts at the last show and feel some good momentum going.

I’m incredibly thankful for the love and support from my family and close friends when it comes to my creative endeavors, but I can not tell you how nice it is to feel that your creative work is valued and appreciated by people who have no vested interest in you personally.

It’s awesome.

In other news, I’m working like a mad woman behind the scenes to get the shop open online and hope to have it ready to go this coming weekend so you can do some online Christmas shopping. I’m also taking special requests as there’s space in my schedule to manage them. I have some super cute things that I’ve worked on recently. (Photos to come soon.)

As always if there’s something you’d like, shoot me a photo or Pin and we’ll talk.

Thank you for your continued interest and support in my creative endeavors!

Let’s keep making the world a little prettier and cozier together.

“I don’t generally like crocheted work, but yours is just beautiful”

I’m taking a moment to toot my own horn because an absolute stranger made my day with those words.  I’ve been told for a long time now that my work is lovely and I should be selling it but it was often from people who had maybe the slightest of biases for me and what I do. Like my mom and best friends. And Frank. To hear it from a stranger who had no vested interest in my ego was really a happy moment.

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First show
I had about a whole minute to snap some cell shots between people so I apologize for the crappy photos.
I even brought the big girl camera and never used it.
Such is life.

I’d been been plugging along on the whole crafting thing, but one week out I started to panic that I wasn’t going to do well, that it was a giant waste of time and money, that people wouldn’t think I did good work, and I wasn’t anywhere near where I thought I should have been for it.

What could I do though? I’d spent a bunch of money on supplies, registration fee, etc and I REALLY wanted to do well. I threw the crafting into overdrive and then spent the week alternating between excitement that I was finally doing this and anxiety that it’d be a huge failure. I carefully crafted, made lists of what needed to be done or purchased still and consulted with Sue for what I’m sure was ad nauseam for her. (I can not thank her enough for her thoughts, help, and company through this!)

Saturday morning, I walked into the event excited to do this and ridiculously nervous that one of two things would  happen: a) that everyone would hate my work, think it’s too expensive or just ignore me or b) that it’d be a huge hit and I would run out (seriously unlikely, I know) but I was still nervous.

I ended up somewhere in the middle. Almost everyone who stopped by and said hello had incredibly kind words to say about my work and although I didn’t sell out of things I was sure I would have, other things went like hot cakes. I spent the little bit of down time I had working on projects I’d brought to finish up.

Was it worth it? Yes. The energy, time and money were good investments in pushing myself. I had planned to take a break from crafting for the next week or so, but when I found myself awake at 2am Saturday night, I reached for a ball of yarn and a crochet hook to start something new. What can I say? I’m looking forward to finding another show to do and will need goodies to take.

Here you go NYS, don’t spend that $1.90 in one place!

I’m not sure if I should be excited or annoyed that I had to submit a payment for $1.90 to NYS for sales tax collected this past quarter. I’m choosing to go with excited because it means that people liked my work enough to spend their hard earned money on it. Sure it wasn’t that much, but these are people who chose my work over others and I have it on good authority that the recipients are very much enjoying their gifts.

I’ve taken some time off from crafting to get moved, settled, etc but I’m looking forward to opening the shop back up soon and am always willing to do custom work if asked.

Thank you to those who have spread the word about my work!

 

Sewing bug bites again!

Saturday I had to be on the pool deck so I didn’t have a command center post, but Sunday, I packed up a bag of supplies and headed down to Schoharie County for a crafting day/demo/instruction day.

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Littlest crafter!

A bit ago, a friend of mine mentioned that she wanted to make a quilt and that her mother in law had given her a sewing machine to help this along. A sewing machine that she knew very little about other than that she had one now. Being that I adore spending time with her, I’m a helper, and I love spreading the crafting love (and love of crafting) I told her that I was happy to help her figure it out.

From what I understand about quilts (I haven’t made one yet although I’m considering a tshirt one…), they can be simple or complicated and it all depends on what you’re trying to make. They are not all that forgiving though if you want one with straight sides so I suggested that we choose a project that we could do together that was easy. I offered headbands, jammie pants, or bow ties (the last not being easy, but fun to make!) We could have made crayon rolls, tote bags or many other projects.

We decided to make jammie pants for her boys (one little, one big) because they’re not complicated to make and if it’s not done “just so”, they’re incredibly forgiving. I had some fun fabric on hand that I thought her boys would like so we picked a day and I headed down to her house to get our sew on!

(By the way, I highly recommend pj pants for first time projects. :))

A few things to keep in mind if you have a new machine and are just learning to sew (which I am totally willing to come help with):

  • Have the instruction manual handy. I can thread many different bobbins and machines by looking at them, but each is slightly different and some of those little differences aren’t actually so little in the long run. Also there are a LOT of handy tips in there. Your machine may also have a helpful hint or trouble shooting page. Feel free to keep that with your machine, on the wall by your machine or depending on it’s size, taped right to the sucker.
  • Read the instructions on the pattern and get all the supplies you’ll need. I failed to bring a safety pin so we had to get creative with my coffee straw to get the elastic in the pants.
  • Have a small piece of extra fabric that you’re working with for test sewing is really helpful if you’re having trouble getting the tension right. You might need to play with stitch length and tension to get it right.
  • Have a sense of humor and a seam ripper handy. Sometimes you sew the wrong seam or you realize that it’s all messed up underneath and needs to be redone. These things happen but they can be really frustrating. It’ll be okay. So long as you don’t destroy the fabric by just ripping things apart, you can generally undo anything you do.

Although there were some hiccups with the machine itself (that ended up with us taking a field trip to the store to get a different machine because I’m not entirely sure the first one she had actually worked.) we had a lovely afternoon of cutting, pinning, reading, chatting, and sewing and if I’m not mistaken, she might have caught the sewing bug!

Popping in!

I have so much fun to share with you! New ideas that I think will be big fun, being cleared through NYS for selling, and a new design. Of course I’m also working on legwork for a mortgage and dealing with a bedroom water feature that we did not install nor want so stuff is a little busy right now. Hopefully by Monday, March 3rd, I’ll be up and running.

Just in time for Mother’s and Father’s day.

In the mean time, if you’d like to follow me on Instagram you can.