Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I Can SOOO Do This!

Okay. Let's talk business. Etiquette. Business etiquette. I've not had the best business etiquette in the past but that's all about to change. James and I had a discussion the other day regarding my business and the time and effort I put into it. He commented that I treat it more like a hobby than a proper business. Hmmm...that comment alone spurred those rusty wheels in my brain into motion. We decided that I should be treating this more like a part-time job. I need to spend 4 hours a day on my business. 20 hours a week. That way, things will get done and still remain balanced against my personal life. (which includes feeding the family, scrubbing the toilets and having coffee with friends) I am NOT giving up!!! Not yet, at least.

This idea of investing time into the business has gotten me quite excited. Very excited indeed. But, that is only the beginning. I checked a book out from the library. "Turn Your Passion into Profit".

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I've not read the whole book yet, but what I have read has revolutionized the way I think about my business now. A key idea for me is "Market Research". I need to start researching the market and finding out exactly where I can take this business. Contacting places for publishing. Finding out how much I can sell my designs for to Boutiques and whether that is a viable business option for me. The other key idea for me was "becoming an expert in my field". Yup. This book suggests that I become an expert in designing. I need to know all that there is to know about designing crochet patterns, fashion and all that jazz. If I don't know it, then I need to apply myself to gaining that knowledge. I also need to make the best patterns possible on the market today. I've got to incorporate items into my patterns to make them stand out from and far exceed the standards of other patterns available.

I found another book at Barnes and Noble that will also help me in the "business" portion of my business. Fincances, writing a business plan and the like.

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Another book I purhcased (because I purchased the above two books) will help me more in the category of "market reasearch" and "knowledge". I figured that it would behove me to actually crochet up some other designs to see how things are made. I have never made a crocheted garment for myself before until my Lady Guinevere Sweater which I struggled to get through testing. My limited knowledge of garment construction really hindered me with that design. To help me gain some much needed knowledge, I bought a crochet pattern book. "Positively Crochet"

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I want to learn things like how sleeves are set in, how necklines are formed and how bust measurements are created. I can hardly wait to receive the above books in the mail. Ohhhh...its going to be a busy year in 2009.

Anyways, for a special treat tonight, I bought a fourth book for myself. "Inspired to Knit".

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So, its a knitting book, but hey! I can still learn from it, right? The designs in this book are so exquisite and intricate. I loved it at first sight. I stood in JoAnn's contemplating a different knit book but as soon as I saw the designs in this book I knew I had to have it. The other book was filled with simple sweater designs that I could defintely knit. Most definately. Now this book contains patterns I can't knit, but I can sure glean ideas and inspiration from it. Well, I was reading through the book tonight and I found the most amazing thing inside. She actually tells you how to design a knit garment. (which transposes to crochet, right?) She even explains how to draw a schematic...something I have been wanting to learn for a few months now. I am so excited to try this on my next design. Oh boy....am I excited! I have to warn you...be prepared to be bombarded by some awesome designs in the near future. The ideas are really flying through my head now. I see inspiration everywhere! I can't help it. I don't think I've been this excited about my business since I started it.

Anyways, I am off to dream about some new design elements while I sleep. Tomorrow I have some sewing to do, but I hope to have time to show you a few things I've made recently. Have an exciting evening everyone!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Welcome Home Necklace

Boy, its been a long time since I have updated you all on our happenings. So long so that I have almost forgotten how to do this. Almost. Its slowly coming back to me.

So, if I recall correctly I mentioned in my last post that I made a necklace to wear when we picked James up from the airport last week. I also may have mentioned that I would show said necklace to you. Well, it has only taken me over a week and I wish I could take better pictures while hurrying around, but here it is...ready or not.

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James really liked it. I don't think he really noticed it til the next day, but he says he liked it.

I have so much to tell you all about the past week, but I shall save it for another post tomorrow. I must be off now to do some work. (I am crocheting a new design, if you wanna know) That is one of the things I have to talk about...my business adventures. But alas, not today. Tomorrow. I shall speak of it tomorrow. Good day to you all. Have fun doing something fun!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Neat Little Trick

Coming soon to my crocheting workstation....

I would LOVE to have this neat little yarn meter. The price of which sends me into choking and chortling and bodily spasms. ($49.99, by the way) BUT, regardless, I almost bought the thing. Yup. ALMOST. You see, I really wanted it and I believe it could really help me write better patterns, until I saw this blog post somewhere. (not a blog I read but just something that came up in google while I was searching for a cheaper meter) Then I came across this variation on a different blog. I shared the links with James and he says he can make me one.

Oh boy!!! I'm gonna get me one of those...and I don't have to pay $50 bucks for it. HOORAY! So, soon...very soon...you shall see a blog post on my own blog with my very own yarn meter. (I might not have the patience to wait for James to build me one and buy it myself. I don't know)

Speaking of the guy...guess who's home!!! That's right. James arrived home last Saturday evening. That could be part of the reason I have been absent for so long from my blogging. (or ALL of the reason) Anyways, I will have to photograph what I made to welcome him home. I will give you a clue. Its something small and I wear it and...can you guess? Its PINK! (and silver) Ta-ta for now. I'll be back soon. I've got some work to do.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Neatest Place in Town

We have it. Our town (or city, rather) has the coolest place on the planet for a toddler. Its called Storyville. I didn't know about it until a couple of months ago when the librarian at our local library informed me of it. Its across town (which is quite a drive) but its FREE!!! Can you believe that there is actually a place that is free any more? So what is Storyville you ask? Let me tell you.

Its this neat "village" for children birth through 5 years of age to visit with their parents or caregivers. (we must be in attendance with our child at all times inside Storyville) They have a grocery store where you can shop for food and then purchase it at a cash register. They have a post office where you can sort the mail, or you can even put the mail in a pouch and deliver it to the different places around Storyville. (which you then put back later) They have a "bay" area complete with lighthouse and fishing (on the floor) and a log to crawl through. They have a "house" with different rooms including a kitchen, living room and a bedroom upstairs. The bedroom has a doll house, dress up chest and mirror to see yourself in. They even have a "garden" in the backyard with a grill to cook meat and such on. The people who run this place have paid so much attention to every little detail. It really is amazing. And its FREE!!! Here are some pictures of Chloe today.

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We had a ball while we were there. I went with another lady from our church whose son is the same age as Chloe. We thought they would enjoy playing together since they adore each other at church. Nope. They spent the entire morning running from area to area and didn't even notice each other. We figured they were in such a state of wonderment by it all that they didn't have time to think. Chloe loved it and I am positive we will be going back for more. How can I not when its free!!!

I have an update for you on the Christening Dress. I am about 11 inches into the thing and I only have 21 more inches to go.

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I am hoping that I can get it done in two weeks. I figure if I put in 6 hours next Friday and 6 the following, I can get it done. Hooray! Anyways, I am off the bed now. Its been a busy day (we also had Awanas tonight) and then we have a MOPS breakfast to go to bright and early in the morning. Have a great evening everyone!

New Designs...Finally

Its about time, right? No really. It took me over 6 months to finally get some new patterns up on my website. I don't know what my problem is this year. I guess its all that sewing and knitting and eating and sleeping that just sort of took over this year. Not to fear, I am back in business and have been designing more things again. Hopefully I can come out with more new patterns very soon.

Anyways, I wanted to let you all know that my masterpiece, the Winter Wonderland Ensemble is finally ready for sale. (just in time for winter too)

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The BIG news regarding this ensemble is that the picture you see above you is in a magazine!!! That's right. My baby girl's picture can be seen in stores near you all over the country! I bought my first ad this year. Go check out the Interweave Crochet Fall issue to see my ad in there. Wooo Hooo. Now we wait to see if it will do any good.

I also have Lady Guinevere ready for sale as well. This sweater was a doozy through testing. Easy to design but difficult to get through testing. As you all may remember, I had a funk when I learned about grading and sizing and such and it just so happened that this pattern was in the middle of testing. I had to revamp portions of the sweater to comply with my new found knowledge of grading and sizing. So...hopefully the pattern is perfect now.

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And my new freebie is this delightful ensemble for Fashion Dolls. (it fits the "new" Barbie dolls) Sweet in Pink.

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Golly but I have so much work to do on my website...its not even funny. I am getting more and more behind. At least I finally have some new designs up though. That's the main thing. I wish I could just sit for 6-8 hours a day and work on new designs and my website. Alas, life happens and I am unable to do as I please. Floors need vacumned, dinner needs cooked, kid needs rescued from the ceiling and so the story goes. Anyways, I am off now to work on the Angel Traditions Christening dress I started last Friday. I should have it done in a few weeks if you know of anyone who wants one. *wink* If you let me know before too long, I can even end it at the ankle for a "baptism dress" instead. I am making the newborn size.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

WIP Wednesday - Knitted Afghan

Square #5 is finished and square #6 is over half done. Woo Hoo! I've been a knittin' fool today and my index fingers are about numb. I thought I could finish that sixth square this evening but alas, the telephone beckoned and I answered. (first James and then my parents) Here is the completed square 5.

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And here is the portion I have finished tonight of square 6. I apologize for the blurry picture. Its late, I'm tired and I don't feel like retaking the picture. Sorry.

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Tomorrow I will hopefully be making this dress and jacket in a beautiful navy blue. I can't wait! Good night everyone!