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Sunday, October 31, 2010


Well, it's Halloween!  More importantly, I can't believe October is over, and the next bit of planning is for Thanksgiving.  I've got an amigurumi turkey project in the works, but not sure if it's going to be ready in time due to all the other projects I've got in the works!  Ah, if only I could crochet all day, but unfortunately, the real world keeps intruding.

Anyway, no whining allowed!  But, looking ahead, you're going to be hearing about two main topics from me:  crochet and marketing (and hopefully just some fun things and insights that I come across in my daily travels).  I'll be looking at the mind, body, spirit link in those two topics for the rest of the year at least.  Why am I telling you this now?  Well, I'm hoping you'll stick with me and give me feedback on the information that I share with you, and, also, I'm hoping it'll keep me focused and on track to accomplish some goals that I have in both areas (I'll probably be sharing those with you soon too, but I really do need to prioritize first).  There really is only so much one can do in a day, and I'm determined to figure out how to make the most of each day in an efficient and fulfilling way.  Believe me, if I actually do figure it out, I will share :-)

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!  and, PS, it's not too late to make a Jill O'Lantern, she works up very quickly!  Get her free from my Ravelry page (click on the link on the left!).

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Struggle Continues...

You know, there are only 24 hours in a day.  Duh, but you know what I mean -- sometimes that realization really hits me.  You have to sleep at least 7 or 8 of those hours (believe me, it makes a difference, and if you're not getting that amount of sleep, you need to reassess, it really is a health issue).  Then, there's eating, getting ready, a full time job, commuting, etc. so there goes another 10 to 12 hours.  So, what's left?!  About 4 hours.  And, there's the rub -- how to spend that time??  Last night, I spent it watching TV, experimenting with some new techniques, and coming up with some new designs.  But, of course, nothing got finished.  Ufta! (oh, that's my new favorite word.  I've also seen it as "Uff dah".  It's Norwegian in origin and stands for basically what you'd expect ("oh crap").  It also stands for Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act, but that's a whole other story!)

Well, don't let my lack of productivity influence you!  Here's another great resource for creative small businesses --

Saturday, October 23, 2010

What Trolling the Internet Will Get You

In my case, some quite interesting sites to see!

First up is "Regretsy", a site "where DIY meets WTF".  There are just some really "interesting" crafts on there.  I'm not going to repeat some of the comments posted, and I really admire Sally Ives for taking it like a woman:  "Feel so 'honoured', an item of mine was finally featured on 'Regretsy':  Thankfully, they didn't say it was a hideously ugly piece, and I did laugh--their comment is pretty much why the face is blanked out!"

Then there's this crochet posting that my brother-in-law came across while checking in on his favorite auto site:

Olek, a Brooklyn based artist, just closed her installation, "Knitting is for Pus****" in which she swaddled a host of everyday objects in vividly colored crochet. Everything from bicycles to televisions and living, breathing people got the yarn treatment, including a plaster remake of a 1959 Morris Minor.

Ok, so go have fun wasting some time on the 'net!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

How to Sell Online Effectively

Well, I was hoping to catch up on reading all of the articles, downloads, bootcamp modules, etc., that I have put aside on small business and entrepreneurship, but of course, started to get distracted by bright, shiny objects!  I did get some great insights from a recently released eBook by Meylah, a site that seems to combine a storefront platform, a blogging service, and online tutorial sales.  I'm really not up for creating yet another site that I have to maintain, but I do believe they make available a lot of sound advice in setting up your small business.  Here's where you can download the eBook:

I think I'm finally starting to get the hang of social media also, but I still find it really hard to open up about myself.  Sometimes, when I write a blog post or send out the newsletter, it feels like it's going out into this black hole.  I mean, really, does a newsletter give advice if no one reads it?!  But, then you discover that people actually do read what you write!  It's so exciting to find out that you've passed along information that others actually read and find useful.  So, even if you are sending out messages and not getting comments or direct messages from your recipients, don't be discouraged, just keep conversing, even if it does seem like a one-sided conversation :-)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Blog Hop

So, we've gone from swapping to hopping!!  Here, you can really see an amazing collection of craft blogs:

And of course I'm participating (hey, I figured I'd milk the cassette tape crocheting for all it's worth ;-)

Other than that, I'm still in "fall cleaning" mode -- not sure why I'm not a believer in spring cleaning, probably because I'm so excited that the weather is getting nice that I don't want to be trapped inside.  But, by the fall, it's time to get serious about cleaning up the inside, where I'll be trapped all winter :-(  I guess you can tell I'm not a fan of cold weather, though this year, I'm really going to try to find some outdoor activity that I can use to make the best of it.

Ok, happy blog hopping!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Blog Swap!

It's here!  Our blog swap with Nicholette and Vanessa of Craft Envy!  Just check out their great blog at
And, here is Nicholette's Halloween project:

What you will need:

-Black 8x10 frame

-12 inches of ribbon

-hot glue gun

-Silhouette machine

1. Using your silhouette machine, cut out the words "happy haunting" and a corresponding picture. (Pumpkins on the fence can be found at the silhouette online store).

**If you want to put the vinyl behind the glass (that's what I did) you will need to flip your image horizontally.

2. Take the glass out of your frame and discard the backing to the frame.

3. Peel out your vinyl cut-outs and stick them to the glass of the picture frame.

4. Smooth out all of the air bubbles.

5. With your hot glue gun, put a dab of glue in each inside corner of the frame. Set your glass neatly inside.

6. Hot glue or staple one or more ribbons to hang your picture.

Pretty cool!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

September Round-Up

So, the September Round-Up on FaveCrafts has been posted -- who inspired you to be an artist?  why do you create?  For some responses, including mine, go to this link:

Whew, so I just taught my first class over at Looped Yarn Works!  It's a two session introduction to crochet, and I think it went well.  The "classroom" at Looped makes it so easy to give students individualized attention around this comfortable table.  There's just such a great vibe in both rooms :-)  I've got a Tunisian Crochet class coming up in November, and Amigurumi Crochet in December.  I'm thinking about adding some more classes, so if anyone's got any requests, just let me know!!

Ok, back to unearthing myself from piles of paper!  Happy Columbus Day!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Cassette Tapes

Oh, come on, admit it, you probably have a bag (or more) tucked away somewhere that is full of cassette tapes.  Here are a couple of the ones I dug out just recently as I was cleaning out my storage bin.

Look familiar?!  Hard to believe that's Peter Frampton if you've seen him recently.

Anyway, it got me thinking about an article that I read in Inside Crochet magazine about crocheting with it!  So, I rewound the tape as best as I could, considering I couldn't find my tape player, cut it at the beginning, and started to pull some out.  I am using an H hook below.

(I kept some of the pink part at the very beginning).  I remembered from the article that you should be sure that your hands are dry and avoid doing it in humidity (a great fall and winter project!).  Now, the article also said to scrunch up the tape before using it, but that really wasn't working for me, so I just kept pulling it out and keeping it loose to make my chains and stitches.

For good or bad, it's hard to know where the hook should be inserted, so I just winged it and made as many single crochet stitches across as I felt like I wanted to (I didn't even count, but of course, that would be a good way of ensuring some form of consistency and evenness :-).  Here's what a couple of rows of single crochet look like.

The "fabric" is surprisingly soft, so a scarf or something to wear is not out of the question.  I'm not really sure what I'm going to make, but I've got plenty of tapes to experiment with!  Please post your suggestions here and some pictures on our Facebook page!  Once I come up with a project, I'll post more too.

Monday, October 4, 2010


So, I get this email out of the blue, asking if I would try a screen capture software and blog about it.  At first, I thought it was spam, but I did some research on the company (Digeus) and the software and discovered that it is legit.  I'm always looking for ways to make it easier for me to post pictures to the blog because I know it's so much more interesting to have pix to look at rather than just a bunch of dry text.  So, I kinda threw caution to the wind, downloaded the software, and gave it a try.

I think I like it!  A little camera icon shows up in the bottom right corner of your computer screen, then when you see something on a website that you want to capture, you just push the "PrtScrn" button on your keyboard, which then lets you crop what you want and save it.  There's a way to set up auto-save too, and you can also save in different formats, like jpeg, gif, etc.  I think it's going to really help me with the blog and also the website.  Like anything new, it's going to take a little extra effort to set up and get used to using it, but then it really should save some time.  You can read more details about it here:  There's a free trial period, and then it's only $17.99 to purchase a full-service copy.

Ok, so on to the other items on my to-do list.  I've got a great idea for a crochet tutorial that I have been wanting to try and post, and now I'm really motivated because I'm going to engage in a "blogswap"!  More on that in the next week or two...

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Bzzz, Bzzzz

Ok, that's my feeble attempt to sound like a bee.  I was about to say busy bee, but not as much as I was hoping because family commitments took priority this weekend, but I wanted to put up a quick post about a wonderful new community that I have joined --  It's like Facebook, Twitter, and a blogging community, all in one for crafters and artists!  I love that the founder Melissa Marro calls herself the Queen Bee in the true sense of the position -- she's the creative force of the hive, a member of the hive, and a fierce protector of the hive.  Frankly, unlike some other organizations (which I'm going to leave nameless for now), I feel very welcome and supported by the hive community.  No wonder -- Tiffany Windsor, Gerri Curless, and a number of other truly generous artists are members!  Anyway, I think for any of you seeking a supportive and empowering environment in which to gain and/or share inspiration and creativity, the Hive is worth your visit!

Ok, a few more responsibilities to fulfill, and I'll be back :-)