To Etsy or not to Etsy?

I’m going full tilt trying to get a Christmas inventory set up for either;

a. Etsy
b. Local Crafts Fairs
c. Consignment shop

To break it down, they all have their pros and cons. Let’s start with Etsy.

~ Worldwide competition where items are offered for less than I can purchase the yarn, 1.8 million sellers as of 9/5/17, and monthly fees.  This would seem to be a dismal market for a small crafts maker such as myself and I’ve read in more than one article that finding a niche market is what  a successful entrepreneur does.  I don’t do that.  I make what moves me at that time.  The are two things that offsets all this negativity is that it’s relatively cheap to sell and one does have a larger market.

Now onto Local Crafts Fairs

~ Nasty weather, low turn-outs, long hours of exposure to said nasty weather, seller’s permits and insurance are all part of selling directly to your customer.  Having said that, the big draw is that you are offering a product and the buyer is looking, handling and appraising the product right there.  No waiting for shipping, no information given at the electronic checkout, it’s just look, like, buy.  There’s a lot to be said about this approach in our instant gratification society.

Consignment shops

~ High cost of sales, the disposition of the shop owner and their willingness to display/market your product.  These would all seem to be a major deterrent, but if you are in with a shop owner who has high foot traffic, this can mean $$$ for your Christmas budget, UNLESS you get paid after Christmas.  With me, that would not be a problem, as I don’t have small children in the house.

So there you have it.  And now that I’ve written it, down, it seems I will not Etsy again; at least, not at this time.  It looks like the crafts fairs and consignment this year!  Thanks for hearing me out, you guys!  What do you all do?

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Cold and Flu Season

As I sit here in the perpetual twilight of my house that is a Northern California winter, clacking away on the laptop, I let out a deep, bronchial

Oh, yea. I feel pretty.

Oh, yea. I feel pretty.  And yes, I have a great RBF.

cough that seems to reach back 10 years.  Oh, yea.  Hurts so good…  As the title suggests, this is about being sick.  Kinda.  Not really.  It’s just a segue.  But read on anyway.

I expect one cold a year, and this one is early.  They normally show up around January or February, so whatever this is, it was in a hurry.  Probably trying to run its rounds before the upcoming election.  (Ha!  Can’t get around that impending disaster about now.  And I also can’t shake the feeling that we’re being played to, and that the actors cast for their particular roles are not very good.)

So back to me, because this is my blog.

Have you ever started a project, let it set for years, brought it out, put it back and let it molder for another few years, and repeated that cycle?  Oh, you haven’t?  Well, bless you!  Because this project has loitered around my consciousness for close to a decade.  Sometimes it’s in the forefront, where I believe I’ll actually bring it out to play, the other times, it sits dormant for years, and then I’ll see something that reminds me, Oh, yea.  I need to work on that.  In an effort to get the damned thing done, I’ve brought it out of its hiding place in the upstairs closet, put it next to the stove in the family room and waited for inspiration to strike.  This ploy has worked a bit.  I’ve brought out my paints and dabbled here and there.

Like my knitting and crocheting, I prefer to work on my projects in a linear fashion, i.e., one project at a time, and if I’m stuck on one particularly difficult task, everything gets backed up.  So for close to 10 freakin’ years my painting groove has been backed up.  Must not be a serious thing for me, because you’d think I’d move on.  Honestly, I have sneaked in a painting or two since…actually several.  They went to a good friend of mine, Miss Pamela Fein (images not available), and my mother, who usually gets any decent* painting of mine.  Ok.  You got me.  I have been painting a little on the side, but I feel like this unfinished still life has been choking me and needs to be done.  Now.

Which brings me back to the sickness.  I’m over the worst of it, I hope, because I’m starting to drain.  I don’t feel like dancing a jig or going out to the costume tonight (damnit!  My husband and I were going to dress up as Bob and Linda Belcher.), but I do feel like…painting.  Being sick has forced me to stay indoors, where I would usually knit or crochet, but not today.

You may be asking yourself, Glenda, why are you telling us?  I would initially shrug my shoulders and play ignorant, but in all honesty, I think I need a boost.  What’s your long-running project that you finished?  What was it that made you think, Ok.  We’re done with having this hanging around, let’s finish it!  Was it writing?  Painting?  Crafting?  Woodworking?  Tell me!!  I want to hear your story.

See? We're almost there. Kinda.

See? We’re almost there. Kinda.

*Don’t judge!

Halloween Purse Finished

I just love Halloween. The change of the weather, the beautiful foliage and the giving out of candy to cute trick-or-treaters all go to make this my favorite holiday.  Because I’m such a fan, I decided to design and make my own purse to reflect this.  I used a spiral square to get the most effect for the colors, and I found a Frida Kahlo/sugar skull material for the lining.  The crochet portion went quickly, but the sewing portion was a nightmare – of course.  I must learn how to use this machine if I’m going to continue making things that require stitching!  Anyway, I was disappointed in the interior, but overall, I’m glad I did it and I’m going to use it until Halloween!!  Below is a poll – please answer!

A Rethinking

Over the last decade, or perhaps more, I have phased out Christmas cards; or at least, sending them.   I have always enjoyed sending out cards, and really enjoyed receiving them, but about 15 or 16 years back, we were in some really tight financial straits, and cards just seemed so superfluous.  It wasn’t a decision made lightly, either.  I wondered if feelings would be hurt, or if misunderstandings would abound.  The clincher was that it seemed to me everyone on my list was doing the same thing.  Each year we received less and less, and I thought, Ah.  Another tradition gone by the wayside.  That’s too bad.

But the years go by and the cards in my mailbox these last two or three Christmas seasons has made me rethink this.  Now I’m starting to feel like Ebeneezer Scrooge.  I have decided that next year I will once again start sending out those decorated bits of paper, maybe making my own or purchasing the boxes of pre-designed cheer.  And as ridiculous as this sounds (it does, I know), I’m excited.  I can’t wait to ask everyone for their mailing addresses, keep tabs of who returns the cards, and finding a spot for all the greetings received!images

What’s your take on Christmas/holiday cards?  Do you send out a ream or are yours designated for certain highly esteemed colleagues and family only?

And I’m Still Not Done

My Thanksgiving was unexpectedly small, but relaxing.  We hadn’t planned for a gigantic gala to begin with, but my daughter opted to dine with friends and my husband got called in for work, so with only two of us in attendance for this annual pig-out, I was able to streamline the menu and relax, unlike most other years.  Instead of cooking a whole turkey, I got a breast and threw it in the crock pot with some chicken broth and seasonings, believing this would alleviate the inherent dryness.  I’m sure if I’d been a little more diligent that it would have turned out fine; however, I learned that yes, you can still overcook in a slow cooker.  *sigh*  Everything else turned out fine and my mother and I were able to gobble away.

As for making all of my Christmas gifts before Black Friday, somehow, I’ve managed not to even after getting a head start in September.  It’s not that they’re incredibly complex, it’s just that there were other obligations, life got busy and here we are.  I have only to finish one more hat that’s about halfway done, but it’s been lying neglected in one of my many project bags, just waiting for me to pick it up again.  I imagine having company doesn’t help.  After my mother had been here for a few days she asked me, “Do you ever not knit or crochet?”  I took this as a sign that she wanted me to pay more attention to her.  So the unfinished hat remains…just that.

My mom should have been a concert pianist...really.

My mom should have been a concert pianist…really.

Since we both can't hear, if we're in a noisy environment, we text each other!

Since we both can’t hear, if we’re in a noisy environment, we text each other!

I have also discovered that if I take my Foxy Hooded Cowl to consignment shops, they sell.  They don’t sell on Etsy, but they sell locally.  Good enough.  I closed the account anyway.  So, any of you crocheters who want a little extra cash this season, you may have a little cash cow pattern here.

Aside from being derailed on my Christmas gifts schedule, it’s all been good.  How was your turkey day?

 

 

Last Halloween Freebie Pattern!

I really do love my Halloween crafting, but the cooler weather heralds that most busy time for all of us who have crochet hooks or knitting needles:  Christmas.  I haven’t really started on anything yet and my hopes for having enough inventory for that big crafts fair in December dwindles with each passing day.  Boo-hoo!  Anyway, I had some fun making up this pattern.  I totally love how the horns came out…not too keen on the eyes.  I used Red Heart’s reflective yarn for those, and yes, they do glow when lights shine on them!  Of course, you can use whatever moves you.  If you want it but are already in the middle of the Christmas frenzy, I have it on my Etsy shop.  The links are:

Pattern

Shop

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Crochet-A-Long Finished!

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It is cute!

I finished it – then decided to put it up for sale!  LOL  However, sometimes I need a little feedback on the items I’m offering. I put this Halloween Pumpkin Face Throw on sale this morning on my Etsy account. It takes awhile to make, so I felt the pricing was good, but it is only 49″ square.  Feedback, feedback!  Click on the picture if you want to see the Etsy listing with all the pictures.  Thank you guys.