Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Listing Adjustments

I realized a few days ago that there are people in the etsy world who don't seem to understand that we're all just self-employed crafters. I had an order come in for one of my patterns around 8:00 at night. I saw it in my email box, but due to the hour, decided to sent it off in the morning as it was time for me to get off the computer and start winding down so I could get a decent amount of sleep for once. I awoke in the morning to an email from the customer with a timestamp of 1:30 am asking when she would recieve the pattern. It was not, by any meaning an angry or irritated email. Still, it annoyed me. Maybe because I'm not a pleasant person first thing in the morning, I don't know.

Don't get me wrong, I'm always glad for a sale. I love all my customers. It's just, I'm not a mindless computer. It isn't, click this button, I'll take your money and you can immediately download your file. I think I was also annoyed because this forced me to realize that I had to go into every listing for a pattern in my shop and add to the last line so it now reads "PDF will be emailed to you within 24 hours after payment is recieved." Thankfully, there are only nine pattern listings at the moment.

Enough of my complaining. It's a little thing, but it got under my skin, and now it's over. I've also gone into several other listings and changed them so that any piece I make when ordered will now say that.

Other than dealing with this, I've been working on orders and making cards, which I still have to photograph and list, if the sun will even peek out again. I've also been trying to tat some new ornaments, but nothing seems to be working out right. I have a large stack of twisted threads and nothing finished to show for it. If I really worked the amount of false-starts into the time it takes to create a piece when I price it, I'm underselling myself by a lot more than I already know I am.

I am also, of course, still working on creating a mountain of squares for afghans. There are lots of other little projects drifting around in the back of my brain begging to be started, but there's just not enough time to do any of them and no money to get supplies. On the horizon, I'm planning to get some fiber reactive dyes and start dying some of my own tatting threads. But that's probably a long way off. I'm dding my best to keep on top of things, but it looks like I won't be finished with everything I'm already working on until the new year. Sigh, by then I'm sure there will be a new mountain of projects to climb.

I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Good Karma and My Favorite Holiday

Last night, I got proof that good things come back to you in the end. This is what happened. While we were unpacking and organizing craft supplies among other things, we donated a lot of things to Goodwill. See, I'm not a hoarder, I can part with things. Many things that we donated were old inventory from the last time I was doing craft fairs several years ago. Rather than have to deal with taking new pictures and listing them in my shop, only to have them not sell because they were based on styles from several years ago, I donated them. I left the tags on because they had care instructions. I didn't even think about the fact that my old website address was on the tags. Last night I got a convo on etsy from a woman who bought two hats and, not finding my old defunct website, looked me up through google and found my etsy shop. She wanted to know if I would be interested in making something else for her. So, in giving away a lot of inventory, I got new business!

I feel I may be a little late to the game getting my Halloween stuff up on etsy, but yesterday, I made a dozen Halloween cards because I felt inspired. I wish I had more Halloween stamps, but the spiderweb edging punches I bought on clearance were definitely a good investment. In fact, I didn't even use the one Halloween stamp I had because I was having so much fun with the punches. I've now added a Holiday Kards section to the shop. It's all Halloween cards right now, but as soon as I get some made, Christmas cards will be keeping them company.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

My Big Project

Yes, I have been a bad girl. I have neglected my shop. I have neglected my blog. However, it's all been for a good cause.

About two years ago, I started a shawl ministry at my church. It began as crochet lessons for most of the other ladies at church, but they all dropped out one by one. I continued on doing shawls, baby blankets, afghans, etc when they were asked for. Since that time, our church has joined with another to form a new church, and I'm still the one-woman shawl ministry. I'm not complaining about being alone in this effort. It doesn't really bother me. The shawl ministry project was something that God laid on my heart to do and I never really expected a big turn out.

Each Christmas, our church takes care packages to a local nursing home. The first year after starting the ministry, I found an easy slipper pattern to work up. It involved crocheting rectangles and then doing a little simple stitching to form the slippers. I crocheted rectangles for the required number of slippers and the ladies helped me stitch them together. Last year, they made knotted edge fleece blankets.

I decided last Christmas that this year, I would make afghans for the residents. So in January, after unpacking some of my scrap yarn, I set to work. I started crocheting granny squares. I thought that the afghans needed something else though, so I started knitting mitered squares as well. I did this in my spare time with my scrap yarn for a while. Then it hit me. I haven't done the exact math, but I have a general idea that I will need over 2,000 squares to make the required number of blankets. Since figuring this out, I've taken the project into overdrive. I worked through all the scrap yarn I'd started with, I searched and unpacked more, I was given scraps from a woman in my needlepoint class and asked my etsy fiber team and my friends. Well, there's a bin full of yarn to be worked through and another bin full of squares, but lots more to do. I have finished the first afghan, all stitched together:

I like the way it turned out. I'm hoping and praying that some of the ladies at church will help me stitch squares together to make the rest of the afghans. I'm going to have to go out and get more black yarn soon to keep edging them as I've run through all the black I had and bought for the project already.

So that is why I have been so absent and neglectful. After Christmas, I should be back to being productive at other things.