Thursday, November 21, 2013

Private Teaching

For the past month or so, I've been teaching a private class of ladies how to knit.  It has the feel of a home party (think Mary Kay or Pampered Chef) without the pressure to buy anything because we simply set up a time that works for everyone, meet at one of their home's and I teach them for 2 - 3 hours how to knit new stitches or new patterns to make off their wish list.  They pay me a set rate for each "class" or meeting.  I think it is a win-win for everyone.

So far we have had 3 or 4 classes in which we have learned how to cast on & knit; purl, rib (knit 2, purl 2), and short rows (we made an ear warmer); and then cast off & use circular needles.

Tuesday we finished up their circular needle hats and introduced double point needles to finish off the top of the hats.  I am so proud to see how far along they have come!  They even mastered the seam to sew up the top seamlessly!

Two of the 3 ladies with their finished hats; So proud & talented!

Before we ended, we cast on double point needles (which is definitely tricky to get started) for our fingerless gloves.  I can't wait to see how they do when we come to the thumb (in our next class).  I'm sure they will master it easily.  :)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Make It Indie was a Huge Success!

This is definitely my favorite picture from this day:

My husband took this one; I think he has a nice, artful eye.

I think my booth set up skills have greatly improved, even from the Art Walks, but especially from that first one in April last year.  I feel like that one (table set up) haunts me... Does anyone else feel that way about their first show?

Not only is the look of my table starting to get a nice look & feel to it, but the set up time was only 45 minutes compared to over an hour with the Art Walks!  I suppose it could be because Hubby was helping me and we were only setting up merchandise instead of a tent, tables, and then merchandise.  ;)

Make It Indie ran from 10am - 7pm (we arrived at 8:30am to set up).  I sat right behind, and made a new friend, Triple L Crochet & Knit.  I think we had a pretty good time visiting and swapping ideas, which is always fun.  Thistle & Bees was next to me, which really helped to alleviate both our nerves about doing our first indoor show.  I would say it also helped to pass the time, but we were so steadily busy, that time passed right along at a swift pace.  I couldn't believe it was 4pm already and I had hardly eaten any of my breakfast (bagel & cream cheese)!  I'm thrilled to report that I made my booth fee and broke even as early as noon or 1pm, thanks to all my new, fantastic customers!  

Like this young lady who got to design her own hat by choosing her flower color & hat color.   Then she waited patiently while I sewed them together into her own, unique design!

Monday night, finishing up the 3 ear warmers.

I had three orders that are very nearly complete; I just have buttons to sew onto the ear warmers and they are scheduled to go out in the mail later this afternoon or tomorrow morning.

Knitting & crocheting complete; just have to sew the buttons on.

It was such a joy to meet so many new people interested and in love with my wares.  :)  I definitely need to do more shows like this one in the future.  I was floating on Cloud 9 the whole evening and all of Sunday, working on orders.  I think I am just now starting to come back to reality and thus getting things like follow-up emails and blogging done.  ;)  

Thanks for all your support!  Next up is getting all the new items photographed and listed on etsy so you can see all the choices that were available at the show.  Happy Wednesday!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Next Show: Make It Indie

Back in September I found out that I would be one of the vendors showing in the Make It Indie show this November.  Yay!  I only had time for a little joyous celebration then it was back to the daily grind of babysitting, driving, and teaching knit/crochet classes.  

September, the last Art Walk of 2013.

Fast Forward to October, my awesome friend Niki (from Thistle & Bees, whom I shared a tent with at all the Art Walks this summer) was talking to me about this event and that she had the day off and should she try to get a spot even though it is a month past the application date?  I said of course because I noticed they were still advertising on Facebook, asking for people to apply.  Happily, she was accepted as well and my request to be placed next to her table has been granted -- double yippee!!  

Now I need to seriously kick my butt into gear because I can't believe the show is NEXT WEEK!!  Yikes!!  How did that sneak up on me so quickly?!  Wasn't it just September, like, last week? ;)

Any suggestions on how to display my hanging items, since I won't have the tent legs and overhead awning, would be greatly appreciated!  I'm thinking I'll have to do my clothesline trick along the front of the table like my very first time:

But I certainly don't want an all-flat, disordering table top...

and what to do with all my hanging items (baby socks, mittens, pants)....

hmm...  I guess a trip over to Pinterest is in order..... :)

On a side note, I have to say my goal to be in 1-3 shows in 2013 has definitely been fulfilled and checked off the list this year.  Yay!  :-D

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Video by Liesl

I apologize for being MIA for so long.  I can't believe it was over 2 months!!  But I'm not going to think about that or I'll stop in my tracks :(

Too many things have been keeping me from the blogosphere but I'm starting to make a comeback!  It's been so refreshing to catch up on my favorite blogs - LieslMadeField*Wonderful, & Sailing5.  And I have to share this amazing video by Liesl that I just stumbled upon.  It is the reason for this post; it is just too good NOT to share!

So go over to her blog and see what else she is up to.  Plus, she is a little more consistent on her updating ;) hehe.  

More to come as soon as I find a few more moments, I promise!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Maker's Mart - November 2013

I have officially submitted my application for the Maker's Mart (this year re-named to Make It Indie)!  Keep your fingers crossed for me.  :)

This is one event that I attended last November and absolutely fell in love with its feel.  It was like Etsy had popped off the page and came to Toledo, Ohio in person!  All my creative juices were flowing the moment I stepped in the door and I immediately decided I wanted to have a table at this event some day.  I didn't think I'd be applying only one year later, but after these last two Art Walks, I figured why not?  It's been so much fun selling in person, I hate to see it end with September's last Art Walk.

Wish me luck!  They notify vendors Sept. 14th.  *fingers crossed*! :)

Monday, July 29, 2013

Newborn No Scratch Mittens

I have to say I am now obsessed with knitting these little no-scratch mittens, thanks to Field*Wonderful.  And now that a good friend of mine has a newborn, I have a model for my baby items!

So far I have used up one whole skein of this blue & brown variegated baby yarn and made 8 pairs...

1 month old Charlotte models my first batch of mittens

And now I am working on some pink & yellow variegated mittens for the little girls on Etsy.

Both are soon to debut on Etsy this week!  They are now available on Etsy!  Any favorites so far?  I have another blue & baby blue striped skein that's just waiting to be made into more baby socks and no-scratch mittens.  Maybe I'll even do little caps to make some sets. :)  

Monday, July 22, 2013

New Coaster Design

I don't know what made me decide to try a double instead of a single crochet, but I have to say I am now smitten with this new look.  Plus they whip up much much quicker than the single crocheted coasters!

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This just happened to be the color that I had on hand while babysitting,

but after I made a whole set (of 4), I switched out to another new color that I am starting to love and made another 4 piece set:

I can't wait to display these for the August Art Walk.  Anyone else in love with these?

Monday, July 15, 2013

July Art Walk

Well, the July Art Walk was definitely fun and I'm so glad I did it with a friend.  I think it takes a lot of the nervousness out of doing something new because you can encourage each other.  And we definitely learned a lot about selling our crafts as well as hosting a physical space.  We took notes and have already started discussing what we'll improve on for next month's event.

One of the best things I learn from hosting a physical space, is seeing what others touch and what they say about my items.  I've had suggestions for wine cozies due to a woman's cooing over Longies and a washcloth mitten from a soap saver.  

I always try to note what people purchase and what colors.  I haven't been able to really find a pattern yet to predict what will sell, but at least I know what to make more of.  This time: one yellow/white soap saver, one set of blue/green hot mits, and one grey and brown thick crocheted hat.

I sold the bottom-right grey/brown hat.

I've also learned what items' inventory I need to bulk up.  Namely: hot mits, baby socks, coaster sets, and now No Scratch baby mittens (a new obsession thanks to Field Wonderful).

Coaster sets in a hanging fruit basket.
I think setting up a physical space increases my creativity in how to display my items and what goes with what.  I did get a couple compliments on my clothesline which I thought was appropriate for things that might be hung on a line.  :)

My half of the tent.  I joined up with Thistle & Bees.
Crochet braceletes

I also offered a free bracelete to anyone who mentioned seeing my posts on Facebook but I didn't have any takers.  I did get one on Instagram, though!  My cousin from Georgia will be getting a few in the mail in a few days.  :)

So that what July's Art Walk.  A fun time with good friends.  We had many friends & family members stop out and support us which was GREATLY appreciated!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Another Blanket and a Trip to Bristol, RI

I did it!  I finished an adult lap blanket it ONE WEEK!!

Here I had only just started the pattern the Thursday before July 4.  Aren't the colors fun? :)  

I brought this blanket with me on our mini vacation to Bristol, Rhode Island to visit a former roommate and experience the longest celebration of Independence Day.  During the 4 and a half hour long parade I accomplished an entire segment (yellow, green, variegated, pink, and back to yellow)!  Yes, I did get quite a few "compliments" on my "knitting,"  i.e. "Isn't it a bit too hot to be knitting?" one soldier joked.  Why yes sir, it is merely 88* in the sunshine, but that is why I am not keeping it on my lap, but next to me.  :)  
It was a wonderful day of amazing period costumes and many military veterans along with local business owners and organizations' floats.

I can't believe I get to say it is already complete but I do and what makes it even better is I get to display it for the Toledo Art Walk that I am participating in tomorrow!  If you are in the area, I hope you'll stop by and say hello.  :)

I have a few other new goodies that are awaiting their close-up, like a few braceletes and soap savers, and I hope to post about them soon.

Happy Fourth!

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Hot Mits

Ever wonder what's insulating your hands from that hot pan coming out of the oven?

I know I always wondered how two knit (or crochted) layers were supposed to be insulated enough (even with all those stitch "holes") to use for hot baking sheets, so I decided to experiment with adding more insulation to my own prototypes. 

For my knit hot mits, I knit two dishcloths, one with the crocheted loop, and then sew in two squares of denim from an old pair of jeans onto the second square.  Then they are sandwiched together and crocheted shut with a crocheted loop to allow them to hang out of the way while also being a pop of color in one's space.

Doesn't that make you feel more confident when you're ready to pull out that hot pan of yummy cookies?  ;)

Monday, June 3, 2013

Shower Gift & Favor Ideas

If there's one thing I've learned after attending three Bridal Showers in my honor and planning a wedding (& thinking about hosting parties in my own house), it's trying to come up with cute & creative little gifts without looking like you ran to the Box Store up the street.

The first shower I offered to help the hostess with the game prizes. I made one set of hotmits, like these:

and one dishcloth/hand towel set.

Making these as prizes started my gears turning and I thought about all my friends to whom I've eagerly given matching sets (hotmits, dishcloths & a hand towel) as house-warming gifts when they make a big move.

Hand towel
Hotmits Pair

And I wondered, "How cute would these sets also be as bridal shower prizes (or favors in small set-sizes) or even baby shower gifts?"

The hand-towels are also the perfect size for burping cloths and they get washed in the same load.  Not only would they be cuter than the boring white towels, but, instead of handing them down to another new mother, these towels could be repurposed as hand-towels when Baby no longer needs burping.

washcloth/ dishcloth

What else have you discovered in your own projects that you hadn't thought of before?

PS - check out this one of a kind you-know-who-lives-in-a-pineapple-under-the-sea character I made for a 5-year old boy for Christmas a couple years ago.  I told him he could use it as a bath-toy/ washcloth :]

Friday, May 31, 2013

First Towel Set!

It's finally here!  A kitchen towel set in the shop!

I've made many sets, but never had the time or motivation to make a set "just because" (even if it is for the shop).  It seems like I needed more motivation and a little extra inspiration for a specific someone to push me through the marathon of knitting a whole towel set versus a fun sprint of dishcloth-ing. ....

I'm especially in love with this color palette.  Yay for cool spring colors!  :]

Thursday, May 30, 2013

The First Strawberry!

We had our first homegrown strawberry this morning

I picked the left one; the right one is still ripening.

and it was delicious!  The freshest, juiciest strawberry I've had since we lived in the townhouse and I had to leave my strawberry patch in 2011.

Yay for the first harvest of the backyard garden :)

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Flower Weekend at the Market

Being a big fan of Homestead Soaps , I was approached by Lori to make a few soap savers to offer her customers and I jumped at the opportunity.  She has such a wealth of knowledge, I am incredibly honored to get to work with her and hopefully learn a thing or two about selling in person (vs. online).

Fast forward three weeks to Memorial Weekend, it is Flower Weekend at the Downtown Toledo Farmer's Market.  I joined Lori at her table Saturday and sold seven soap savers on the first day!  Sunday, nothing sold (I wonder if it was a completely different clientele?) and Monday three more sold (yay!).

This Thursday she also sells at the Perrysburg Market so we'll see how they do with a different group of people.  Any suggestions?

Next, I need to get a few listed online.  I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend :)

Friday, April 19, 2013

Garden 2013 Begins

Last Friday I finally started some seeds (pictured) and planted one of our raised beds with beets, kohlrabi, kale and spinach.  Although it was a chilly 45* degrees and I'm sure I was a sight planting seeds in my winter coat, all four seed packets insisted I can plant "as soon as the ground can be worked."  So that's what I did. 

Here's hoping they grow and no bunnies or deer or robins get to them before me.  :)

Pictured is a hand-me-down from my father.  But this is what I'll get next year:
Quick Start Germination Tray with 2" Dome

Seeds started: 4 rhubarb, 4 butternut squash, 4 bell peppers, 4 yellow crook-neck squash, 8 broccoli.

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Friday, April 12, 2013

Christening Set

While in Gatlinburg, TN with my husband's extended family on his father's side, I continued on my baby sock marathon with a few variances.

1.) I made a pair of socks in white

2.) And, to break up the sock monotony plus to go along with the Christening theme, I tried out a bonnet pattern that's been on my list well over a year.

I was surprised how quickly it whipped up and may have to try it again with the proper hook size (I was using one size smaller than the pattern called for) for baby gifts.

Now I guess I have to find a dress pattern to go with this set.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Sock Marathon


Baby socks are my latest obsession because they knit up so quick.  I've made about 5 or 6 pairs in the pastel yellow; four pairs in the blue; two in the green, and I've picked up more yarn to start a few more pairs as gifts for this summer's baby showers.  

Anyone else have a new obsession?