Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Decidedly Different December

After cleaning the craft room for company in November, I am feeling a wee bit overwhelmed with all the stuff I’ve accumulated… unsold craft show inventory, so much yarn, so many patterns that I just have to do!
So, I want to try something different for December… weekly goals. Each week in December, I want to do the following: 
  1. Finish a WIP (starting the month with four: Tool Belt, Play Mat, Owl Coaster, Blanket Bear)
  2. Make one item with crochet cotton
  3. Make one item with variegated yarn
  4. Pull one skein from my Ravelry stash and make projects until I finish it off
  5. Try one new pattern
  6. List three items on Etsy
  7. Finish a Christmas present
Let's see how I do each week! 
Week 1 - December 1 - 7 (4 of 7 completed)
#1 Finish WIP - was working on orders, never got around to this
#2 Item with Crochet Cotton - Yes, manger set
#3 Variegated - I took a bag of variegated yarn to my craft show and ended up making 4 turtles! Two of which sold and didn't come home with me... but here's a picture of one I finished!


#4 Finish off one from stash
Random number generator picked this yarn for Goal #4

#5 Try one new pattern - working on a Nativity set (which also fulfills #2, as it is made with crochet cotton!)

#6 List three items on Etsy - Oops, not this week!
#7 Christmas present - Got busy with an order for three Christmas bulb garlands, and didn't work on presents for my own family... but maybe I can count this, because the order is a gift?



Week 2 - December 8 - 14
#1 Finish WIP - YES! Tool belt completed!

#2 Make an item with crochet cotton - YES! Nativity Set #2 - already sold, too!

#3 Variegated Yarn - what else? Another turtle!

#4 Finish yarn from stash
#5 New Pattern - Making an elephant

#6 List 3 items on Etsy - DONE

#7 Christmas gift

Week 3 - December 15 - 21
Week 4 - December 22 - 28

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

No-No-November

Yup, in November I need to say "No-No" to my PHD (Project-Hopping Disorder) and focus on getting stuff DONE! I need to say "No-No" to buying any more yarn! All in all, there are 30 items on my list for November... but I have four craft shows, which may bring in custom orders and more items to replenish, so I need to hit the ground running this month! 


Finish up current orders
  • (20) cotton oil defusers 
  •  infant mittens with string
  • Custom Colors airplane
  • Mini Unicorn
No yarn purchases unless specifically needed for an order - Yup! 
Finish 2 of the lingering WIP:
  • tool belt / tools (tool belt done, needs tools)
  • farm play mat (3 squares done, do one more square, connect, add embellishments)
  • maroon cowl
  • scrap blanket  

Make Christmas sweater for granddaughter Done & Done! 
Make four (4) items to replenish items sold at craft shows: honeybee, tractor, gingerbread man, unicorn, fat cat, Pusheen unicorn - so many other items pushed these off the to-do list! 
Make a fancy owl coaster from the pattern I purchased on Etsy - started 11/28 - DONE


Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Pumpkin Spice Post

It's October, and everything is pumpkin pie spice, so that's what I'll call my bucket list for this month! 😜

I have two craft shows in October, so there will be the possibility that I will get some custom orders that will bump items from this list. It will be a month of catching up on WIP (Works in Progress), clearing up some yarn from the basket next to my chair, and getting around to those projects I've been meaning to do.

  1. Finish 2 items from this list: Maroon Cowl, Tool Belt, Tiny Unicorn, Linda’s unicorn, farm playmat, birthday sweater for granddaughter Aliya
  2. Finish order of 4 “under the sea” party favors (Order decreased, done, and then some)
  3. Scrap yarn challenge: jumbo ziploc bag of scraps from next to my chair - came close... got down to about 5 ounces of yarn! Orders and big projects kept me busy! 
    About 2 pounds of yarn
    Down to half a pound left, 10/27 
  4. Lavender Chair Midnight Star Mandala Vest CAL - DONE! 
  1. Get in 10 exercise sessions in October - gotta get back to that habit (3 down, 7 to go...)
  2. Stick to my diet plan and end up the month lighter than I started! (doing well on this!) 
  3. Stick to minimal spending plan
  4. Stick to yarn diet (Starting October with 602 yarns listed, 194.4 pounds, ended with 599 yarns listed... down by 3... but 197 pounds... up by 3, thanks to a few donations of yarn!)
When I was cleaning up around my chair September 30th (tidying the house for company coming), I put a big stack of patterns in a box. Later that night, when company was gone, I went through the stack, pulling out only the WIP patterns and stuff that I want to work on in October... I thought I would end up with 10-15 patterns... I ended up with 30! Let's see how many of these I actually make in October (these are just in the order they ended up when I put them by my chair): (Only used 6 of the 30 patterns)

  1. Log Cabin Slippers (need to finish 10/1 for a crochet along prize drawing)
  2. Fish Plushies (one of the patterns for the under the sea bags - made one
  3. Ballerina Hippo (small, cute)
  4. Tiny Striped Turtle (go-to pattern for small scraps of yarn!)
  5. Log Cabin Dishcloth (uses up cotton scraps)
  6. Lego Ninja (cute, trendy)
  7. Peace on Earth Angel (for Christmas shows?) made a couple of these
  8. Mini Giraffe (quick project, and giraffes always sell well)
  9. Airplane (they tend to sell as fast as I make them!)
  10. Cute little owl (uses less than an ounce of yarn... great scrap project)
  11. Sam the little teddy bear (uses less than an ounce of yarn... great scrap project) 
  12. Kooky Cat (sold one at my last craft show, want to replace)
  13. Aliya's sweater
  14. Honeybee (quick to make, and I've sold a bunch!)
  15. Butter lamb (need to have a bunch in stock for Easter)
  16. tiny unicorn (two started, need to finish them!)
  17. Tool Kit (need to finish)
  18. Emperor Penguin (it's a penguin... need I say more?)
  19. Little Red Wagon... cute, could be a neat display item for my table
  20. Coffee Coaster - quick, mindless project to use up cotton scraps
    Got an order for 20 tea cup coasters! 
  21. Angel Dishcloth - Will have to see if I sell any of these at my October shows
  22. Hedgehog coaster - these got a lot of interest at my last show, but no sales
  23. Dress Potholder - will see if these sell this fall
  24. Pusheen amigurumi
  25. Baby Trolls pattern - I want to make Mr. Dinkles
  26. Mini Bunny - quick, uses a tiny bit of yarn
  27. Pokemon Gloom - Looks like a challenge
  28. Cord Tamer - quick project, uses the cute buttons I bought
  29. Toilet Paper Cover - might try one for fall craft shows
  30. Pudgy penguin - want to try scaling the pattern down to make tiny pudgy penguins
    I joined a scrap yarn afghan Crochet-Along challenge. It's really cleaning up my scrap yarn piles! 

Friday, September 1, 2017

Back to School, Back to Business!

Hey, it's September! Kids are heading back to school, the weather is cooling down, and I'm gearing up for fall craft shows...and my second cataract surgery.

My first craft show of the season is September 22-23, at the Northeast Fellowship Ladies' Advance in Johnson City, NY. I've done the show twice before, both times loading up a vehicle with most of my inventory.

This year, the show falls into the three-week window after my surgery when I'm not supposed to do any bending or heavy lifting. It also falls between having the surgery done and getting an eye exam to check my final vision. I'm not sure if my eyes will be "up to" a three-hour drive, or the drive home, which would include some night driving. So, rather than driving myself to this conference with my own fully-loaded vehicle, I will be riding down in a van with a few other ladies, and I will be limited to two or three totes. So, my goals for September are focused on crafts that are small, cute, seasonal and (hopefully) hot sellers!

I decided to divide my table into sections and feature 9 categories:
1. Turtles
Turtles!
















2. Chicken Potholders
Chicken Potholders!
3. Dress Potholders
Dress Potholders!
















4. Penguins
Penguins

5. Pokemon Go Balls
Pokemon Balls!

















6. Hedgehogs
Hedgehogs!
7. Big Head Baby Dolls

8. Pumpkins
Pumpkins!
















9. Dryer balls

For some of the categories (hedgehogs, chicken potholders, Big Head Baby Dolls, dryer balls), I have ample inventory all made up. For the others, I would like to focus on finishing up at least one a day from one of the categories, finishing up the scrap yarn collection that has been accumulating around my chair.
The pretzel container is filled with acrylic yarn scraps, which will be transformed into turtles, penguins and pumpkins. The zipper bag is filled with cotton, for the dress potholders.

My plan is to take a ball of yarn and start making stuff, and keep making stuff in that color until the ball of yarn is used up! Like the raspberry-pink yarn that turned into both a pumpkin and a turtle:

I also have major projects that need to be completed during the month.  I would like to finish at least three of these major projects:
1. Maroon cowl
2. Tool Belt
3. Princess Dress - DONE
4. Farm Playmat
5. Ben/Bianca Bear CAL - DONE
6. Baby Trolls CAL - DONE
To accomplish that, I am scheduling half an hour each day to work on one of those. I made up a chart, and will be marking in which project I worked on... which of the minis I completed, etc. I'll post a picture of the filled-in, scribbled up chart at the end of the month!


There are other goals I'm keeping in mind, too:

1. Keep spending as low as possible. We've got some major bills coming up, from back-to-school expenses with the college girl, and my eye surgeries. I have a few craft store gift cards to use for the items I need to finish this month's crafts (I'm running out of poly-fill, and I need a larger size safety eye for the trolls), so I'm limiting my craft spending to those items.

2. Stick to my Trim Healthy Mama eating plan. As of last Saturday, I'm down 24 pounds since the beginning of April. I'm hoping to break into a new "decade" of  numbers by the end of the month! (Did it!)

3. Promote, promote, promote... I make a goal of promoting daily through either Instagram or Facebook! I would like to make set a new record for September sales, but it will take some hustling!

4. Keep up with listing items on Etsy when I finish them. Check out my newest listing: Levi the Giraffe

If all days are as productive as Day 1, September will be a very good month! I finished Sunny Penguin... kept going with the bright yellow yarn and made a cute little pumpkin... then I pulled out an abandoned project, the Princess Dress Blanket, and finished that up! Then I pulled a ball of very soft baby pink yarn from my scrap bin, and made a little pink pumpkin!

September 1 - A day of accomplishment! 

September 2 - A penguin, a pumpkin, a turtle (and an hour on a cuddler bear)



September 3 - Purple Penguin & Pumpkin, mini orange pumpkin, green & white turtle


September 4th was a busy day... We stayed home for Labor Day, and I got a lot of crocheting done, finishing up five projects!



My Labor Day finishes... 
Then, with meetings, internet issues, my second cataract surgery, and general busy-ness, I slowed down for a bit... 

September 5, 1 turtle; September 6, green dress potholder; September 7, red dress potholder & 1 turtle



Since I had Peach yarn out, I just kept going with projects... 

Two days before my craft show, I got the idea to add another quick project / low-cost item for the table: coasters!
Hedgehog & coffee cup coasters

The last week of September slowed down a bit... being out of town for the 22/23 weekend, I had some catching up to do with stuff around the house. I think I did pretty well with this month, though! 





Thursday, August 3, 2017

Umm, when did it turn into August?

Wow, I just realized it's August already, and I hadn't posted a list of goals for the month! I guess that shows how crazy life has been lately!

My list for August will be simple. I'm trying to clean up around my work area (my recliner in the living room), and I'm getting way too many half-finished projects piling up. I need to reduce my WIP (works in progress) pile!

Finish 4 of my 7 WIP:
  1. Garden Shawl - DONE 
  2. Unicorn - DONE - But he's a pony, didn't put on the unicorn horn. 
  3. Farm Mat
  4. Giraffe CAL - DONE
  5. Horse CAL - DONE 
  6. Tool Belt
  7. Fancy Maroon Cowl
Reduce stash by 5# (Starting Point = 627 entries, 196.7#)
Well...I caved. I got a $100 Walmart gift card, and redeemed it online, getting about twenty skeins of yarn. So I am ended the month pretty much where I started! I'm down to 622 entries, but still in the same ballpark for total weight of yarn, 196.9#
DONE - Best best sales record for August (2014=$30, 2015 = $0, 2016 = $28; shouldn’t be hard to beat) Thanks to a run on chicken potholders on Etsy, I have a new record for August! 

Of course, there will be fill-in projects. Pokemon Go Balls seem to sell very well at the street vendor event I do on Thursdays, so I will be making a bunch of those. At tonight's event, I will have a bucket of water for a "try before you buy" on the reusable water balloons, so I may have to make up a bunch of those to restock! I have eight doctor appointments (including cataract surgery) in August, so my crafts-to-go bag with supplies for chicken potholders will get a good workout!
New project: vintage dress potholders

Had a request for a cat...

...and a dinosaur

...and turtles!