Friday, October 9, 2009

Where oh where does the time go?

Well it has been a long time since I wrote anything, kept meaning to but just didn't get to it. Right now I am embroidering a Christmas towel that has a lot thread changes so I can't really do much else. I like to embroider the crochet hanging towels because then they are appropriate for either kitchen or bath, unlike the ones that have the scenes on them that are more for kitchens. This is a red hatted tweet towel

Also have all of you seen the new pattern book from bella crochet, Butterflies and Roses Pineapple crochet doilies

I have done one of the patterns, the cross, but changed the colors for Christmas,

I have also created a hat that has an opening in the back for a ponytail so if you have long hair and wear a pony tail it doesn't get mashed into your head. I saw one that was knitted so I thought I would try a crochet one.

I have done a lot of lace bookmarks on the embroidery machine, those are amazing how the stay together as free standing lace.
Lots of things to make with it, but where do we get the time?
Well I better get back to work, try to add things more often, maybe I can make that a new resolution.
Hope everyone has a wonderful and rewarding Holiday Season.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Free Applique

Well I succeeded in making a project on the embroidery machine and it worked fine. Guess it just took perseverance. It was probably operator error. Anyway here is a picture of it and now that it is done, I don't have a use for it. It is done on muslin with a stabilizer. If anyone has a use for it just leave your e-mail in the comments and I will contact you for your address and will send it at no charge. The pictures are the front and back, but the edges are a bit rough. It would probably work well with wonder under.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Learning an Embroidery Sewing Machine

Last year while I was still working I purchased an Embroidery machine. Well a whole year past and the only thing I did on it was to make sure it worked by doing the test design. Now that I retired I decided it was time to tackle it. Tackle is an understatement. They are not as easy as you think and I have sewn for over 40 years and used numerous different machines.
In reading the instructions I found out that this machine has to be oiled if it is not operated it for any length of time. I haven’t had a machine that required oiling in numerous years, so off to the store to get sewing machine oil. Now to take the machine apart to oil it, wonder if I will be able to put it back together, hope so.
Completed one part of the oiling, the bobbin and feed dogs. Getting the needle plate off was easy enough, but putting it back on with the bobbin case didn’t seem to work properly. After ten minutes I finally turned the hand wheel and the bobbin case then went flat enough for the needle plate to fit properly.
I decided I better see if it sewed properly before attaching all the embroidery equipment, but I had to change to a regular foot. Found the foot and took the embroidery foot off. Removed the screw completely the way the show in the pictures, could not get the screw to engage. So took the foot away, started the screw part way and then slid the foot up and tightened the screw.
Started sewing, oops forgot to engage the feed dogs, so it sewed in one spot. Engaged the feed dogs and then the sewing was really loose, oops forgot to set the tension for sewing not embroidery. Well it does so, so I guess I have to re-attach all the embroidery stuff.
I am not mechanically inclined, I can sew and crochet and do many other things, but dealing with the mechanics is really hard. Plus if anyone knows what the best thread to use for an embroidery machine please leave a comment. I had purchase a small set of Gutermann thread but notice a lot of designs call for Mediera thread. Well enough of this, back to set up the machine for embroidery, hopefully a lot quicker than oiling it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Increase Traffic to your shop

I have found through trial and error that the more you post on different web sites the more traffic you will get to your shop. I used to just post in the Etsy Forums, but now I try to post wherever I can. I also have Google Analytics which shows what web site that people used to get to your shop. It is a very useful tool.
Twitter is a great place to post on. You can post your items, or your web site, or your shop, or wherever you sell you items. It is also a good practice to make other posts than just promoting. It is also a plus if you check out what other people have posted. This is also true in the Forums. Post your items but also check out others posts.
If you follow on some blogs, you evidently can get referrals from them. In the Google Analytics I have referrals from web sites I did not even know about, but some that I know I am following. The biggest problem with selling on the Internet is to direct people to your shop or web site. This takes a lot of time but will pay off in the end.
Just since I started promoting on Twitter visits to my store on etsy has increased 68%. I can also tell the increase especially when I post a new item. When I post and do not promote it except on the Forums I will get a few views, when I post it on Twitter within the hour it has over 20 views.
Participating in the gift guides on the Threadartists blog has also referred people to my store. So the trick to selling is not a trick at all, it is just self promotion.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Christmas in July

This has been around for a lot of years. It probably is a good idea except that July is usually as busy as December. In July people are going on vacations, enjoying the beach and doing many other summertime activities. Plus most of the children are out of school and how do you buy their presents when there with you and would rather be doing anything other than shopping. December is also a very busy month because of Christmas and you have just finished with Thanksgiving. October is also a busy month with Halloween, finding or making costumes, decoration, finding the perfect pumpkin etc. Now the weather, July has better weather than December usually but it is very hot.
I think we should start a Holiday Preparation month, September encompassing all three holidays—Christmas-Thanksgiving-Halloween. The weather is a little cooler, the kids are back in school, supplies and clothes already purchased, and the only holiday, Labor Day is over. Nice relaxing month. So with all that time, we could prepare for the upcoming holidays with plenty of time, and then during the actual holiday months be able to enjoy them. We could call it All Thanks Christ in September, or something that would attract more attention.
Personally, I like Christmas, so I think it should be all year. Just a wacky thought to extend the season.
By the way, I am having a Christmas in July Sale, 20% off any item, either convo me and I will relist with the adjusted price or I will refund through Paypal. Have a Merry July Christmas Selling season.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sun Bonnet Sue

When I was a kid I used to love Sun Bonnet Sue, I thought she was so cute. Now as an adult I still think she is cute and nostalgic of days gone by. I remember she was mostly on quilts but some people even put them on towels, which I notice there are a lot on etsy. Just search under handmade and you will see the variety of items related to her, even potholders. Well anyway here's a link to my Sun Bonnet Sue magnets. Eventually, I will be making them into sachets. One of my Sues is wearing a red hat and dressed in purple in honor of the "Red Hat Society Ladies". She would look cute on her frig. The magnets on these items are easily removed if you wanted it for an applique, or I can make one in the colors of your choice with or without the magnet. So much for now. have a wonderful day.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Pricing Handmade Items

The pricing of handmade items has also been a problem for me. Most people think my items are priced too low which takes away from the quality of the item. What I consider more than anything else is the cost of the material used. I really do not consider my time, not that my time isn’t valuable, but I do most of my work when I would just be sitting and watching TV, so it keeps me occupied, because most of the time on TV it does not require your full attention. So if when you look at my items you think they may be lacking in quality because of the price, that is not the reason. Some of the items that are extremely low in price are because they are made from yarn or thread or material that was left over from a different project which has already been sold. Right now I have a lot of items that I am just using up small amounts of yarn rather than just throwing the yarn away, so the items are low priced. Examples of that are the pot holder handle covers, and the Sun Bonnet Sue magnets.
If a pattern requires a lot of work such as attaching some appliques (as in the swan and lady doilies) or then I do charge a little bit more. Some of my sewing items are made from material that was on sale at extremely low prices.
Visit my Etsy shop and take a look at the variety of items and different types of crafts I do. After raising three children I had to develop several different skills to accommodate the clothing requirements of 2 girls (very fussy) and 1 boy.
I am new to blogging so I am not sure how it is done, but if you have ideas on setting prices let me know, I would appreciate the input.

Friday, July 3, 2009

New to Blogging.

I have just retired in April from the communications department of an airport and thought I would try to create a blog. I have many interests in crafts and handmade items. I also have a collection of very needy dolls that I want to restore and then will be putting them up for sale. As you can see I have not yet learned how to design the blog. Any information as far as designing or reformating would be helpful.

I have an etsy store which contains crochet items, sewing items and sometimes a doll or two.

This will probably take awhile before I can really get this going.


About Me

I just retired from the communications department in an airport and am enjoying it.