I guess you can call it spring cleaning…

I have put some thought into things, and after a rather long stint of a particularly woeful amount of sales, I’m doing some spring cleaning in my shop.

Anything that doesn’t end up selling due to this sale, I’ll either gift out, or donate.  So, friends, family, or even just people who read this, if you want something, snap it up while you can.  I might be adding more to the sale section over the coming weeks, but this is only going to run for a month.

Anyway, enough with the shameless self-promotion. 🙂

I am planning on backing away from a good portion of the crochet things that I’ve been doing, especially the larger pieces.  I’m going to be refocusing my shop on a few things, and hopefully that will mean better things to come for my shop.

I am also planning on getting back to my roots, the reason why I originally started my Etsy shop.  I had originally focused on jewelry and other similar accessories, so there will be a shift back to that, with some small crochet items tossed into the mix.

I am still in the process of deciding just what I want to take away and what I want to add, but I have a pretty good idea.  And while I do love each of the things I make, if I want this to be more successful, I have to realize when something isn’t working, and it hasn’t been working for a very, very long time.

There are also other things that I do love, so I’m going to take a cue from those things and put the love for those things into my shop instead.  I’ve talked to a few other small business/Etsy shop owners, and others have also had to do the same thing, some have done it more than once, some do it somewhat regularly in order to stay more relevant and more competitive.  I feel that perhaps it is the best course for me at this time since all the promoting that I have been able to put the time into, and what minuscule resources I have has done next to nothing to actually help increase sales of anything that I have at this time.

It’s frustrating, it’s tiresome, it’s a bit humiliating, and certainly very humbling.  Which sometimes is a very, very hard set of emotions to deal with.

While I am certainly my own worst critic most of the time, I really felt like I was doing well, progressing, my skills with crochet were getting better, my photography and staging skills, getting a better handle on search engine optimization, promoting tastefully (I hope) across as many social media sources as possible without looking desperate… I was gaining some amount of confidence, to what feels like no avail.

I realize that this might sound rather Debbie Downer, and I don’t intend it as such and I certainly am not looking for pity, a pat on the back, or guilt-driven purchases.  I just want to be able to be honest about how I’ve been feeling about all of this.

I want to be able to turn this into the drive and motivation to make some big changes, and hold onto the hope that it turns things around for me.

 

Pretty, Shiny Things!

When I take breaks from yarn, I sometimes make pretty, shiny things!

Check them out in my shop!

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Oh!  And I finally set up my adjustable dress form!  Isn’t it awesome?

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Craft Office Progress!

So, I made some progress on the office late in the week.

It’s still very, VERY rough (don’t judge) seeing as I’m still pulling all my stuff out of the random hiding places around the house.  Oh, and out of boxes from the move, almost a year ago.  (Again, don’t judge.  I already am.)

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Some small progress once I really started digging through my jewelry making stuff.  It’s just a starting point, though.  The desk itself needs some work to look a little less haggard, but it’ll get the job done for the time being.  The desk will largely be used for beading, jewelry and whatnot to start off, because I can crochet pretty much anywhere.  😀

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As you can see, my bookshelf has been taken over.  This as well is just a starting point.  Though, I have to admit I like being able to actually SEE all (ok, you got me, some…maybe most) of my yarn without digging.  I still have a couple stashes I have yet to dig out.  And who knows, I might even have more in the boxes of craft stuff that have barely been broken in to.

What isn’t pictured is the metal shelving and clear plastic bins that James had gotten for me for the spare room’s closet in our last house.  That’s in the closet in the office.  That also needs to be sorted through.  I’m definitely just tossing little tidbits from years ago that I probably shouldn’t have held onto in the first place.  And old projects.  I need to not have the weight of those hanging around.  Starting with an actual office, a craft space, I want to feel less weighed down by the things I was doing years ago, and all the unfinished projects.  What gets tossed, gets tossed.  Other things will either be handed down to Zoe for crafting (appropriately, of course), or donated.

That closet is a pretty decent standard size, so at least there is plenty of room.  The shelving takes up probably a little over half the width, and with the two blue bins emptied of yarn, there is quite a bit of space now.  Those bins will probably go toward my other love, Halloween.  😀  There is also a shelf running the entire width above my head which now houses a random collection of pillow bases, fiber fill, currently unused purses, costumes and halloween decor.  I really do need to getting those pillows used.

Looking forward to some ideas on how to better utilize the space, but…one thing at a time.

I’m still lacking an office chair, which we’ve not needed since the last time we were in South Carolina.  But, seeing as it’s going to be a shared office, I’m thinking one chair most of the time will be perfectly fine.  A rolly one, of course.  For the time being I have confiscated one of the dining room chairs.  Not like we need the 4th chair most of the time, there are only three of us.  Which reminds me, those 4 chairs are from the small dining table.  Now that we’ve got a proper sized dining room, we’ve dug up the full sized table, which can tightly fit 10 people, comfortably fit 8, and spaciously fit 6.  But alas, we only have 4 chairs.  That’s a project for another day.

Fun with yarn and beads!

Just wanted to toss up some pictures of things I’ve been working on lately…

Earrings!  ❤

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Bookmarks!

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Baskets!

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Shawl!

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Craft-tastic New Friends!

A friend of mine from the last time we were stationed here in South Carolina (who is now out in California) also does crochet.  She’s been doing it a heck of a lot longer than I have and she can seriously blast out some stuff in short order!  I can’t wait until I’m that quick!

We both have shops through Etsy.com and she’s been helping me get a bit more acquainted with the recent changes in the website and trying to amp up my traffic to my shop.  Through this, I’ve started to meet some really awesome people.  Extremely talented and very much devoted and involved in helping other artisans on Etsy.com.

I’m excited by this, and have been finding my footing with it for a while now, but some new things just the past couple days have me pretty motivated.  Seeing as crochet and crafting has been such a big part of my life in the last 10 years, I want to spent a bit more time on here talking about it as well as the rest of the things going on in our lives.

Not just about my own things, but also about these wonderful people and their own talents.  To try to give back even just a little bit.

Here are a few links to a couple of awesome products!

https://www.etsy.com/listing/214596350/vintage-scissors-with-swarovski-crystals?ref=teams_post  (PICTURE FEATURED ON THIS POST ABOVE)

https://www.etsy.com/listing/96207087/black-lace-on-small-clutch-purse-with?ref=teams_post

I’m still alive, I swear!

Greetings and Salutations!

I am indeed still alive, though quite a bit has happened.

I did mention that we made the trek back from Washington State to South Carolina, and the minor debacles we had in that time, so I won’t rehash that.

We’ve found a house, a lovely thing with a decent sized back yard that is fenced in to let the munchkin roam.  We closed on it the day before Thanksgiving, which was an amazing three weeks after we showed up in South Carolina.  Immediately after the signing we left for Florida to spend Thanksgiving with family.

So!  Since then, we’ve been spending time reacquainting ourselves with the area, getting the house unpacked and looking more like a home.  We’ve gotten pretty far, and the majority of the important stuff done, added some fresh new bits here and there to warm things up.  Oh!  And something I’ve not been able to do before…RUGS!  A small handful of them right now since we have a gorgeous wood-look laminate (trust me, it looks like wood!), but I want to get some more as time goes on.

The Hubs finished up a re-finishing of a lovely USA made vintage piece we’ve been holding onto for a while.  It was missing a shelf and the doors at the bottom, so crafty man that he is, he made some new doors and a new shelf.  After a good sanding, he put a lovely light combination of a sandy color and dusty light blue color with a wax finish.  I do believe he used the Annie Sloan Chalk Paint line.  The piece went in our dining room to display our cook books and store our giant mason jars of staples like sugar and whatnot.

Anywho!  Enough about that.

I’ve been very busy with the usual puttering around the house every day, or errands, but largely with getting my shop on Etsy back up and running.  I’ve done a ton of work since we’ve been here, looking into more/better promoting, new products, new techniques, better pictures, and so much more!  I’m pretty excited with the things I’ve managed to accomplish lately, but there is really so much more I’d like to do.  I really want to make this something more than just a little hobby.  I want to make this a more substantial “job” so I can continue to work from home and be home with my little chitlin.

A big part of that is continuing to get our shared office squared away which has largely been the last thing we’re handling.  I picked up an awesome two piece desk that will go in the office once it’s cleaned up, reinforced and lightly refinished.  It will help give me a place to really hunker down and do things, be better organized and to my husband’s glee, less crafting stuff in the living room!

I honestly can’t believe how many more boxes of “craft stuff” I have to unpack from the move.  I’m almost afraid to see what’s in some of them.  🙂

Another thing I’m excited for is to have a place in the office to set up and actually use my lighting set for product photography!  It’ll be a learning experience, one I’ll definitely need James to help me with, and I’ll miss my love for natural lighting photography, but I hope that it’ll really help boost my sales!

Alright, I’ll stop babbling on and on, suffice to say, I’m back, darlings! (Oh, and can I say, I finally like the set up for adding a new post in WordPress!  Hopefully they don’t change things AGAIN!)