Welcome!

Thanks for stopping in! I hope you enjoy this blog. I'm writing about things that I love and pray you'll share in the joy and creativity I try to bring. We're talking knitting, crochet, sewing, quilting, and crafts - plus a few random musings. Leave your comments and I promise to respond!

Craftsy

Craftsy

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

ANOTHER way to purchase patterns and online marketplace

I just found a really cool site called Store Envy. I've been playing around with it for the last couple of hours, knowing dang well I should be doing something else. But I've been trying to move away from Etsy and their fees and find other online marketplaces for my patterns and goods. The more the merrier, right?

Anyway, here is my link for Store Envy


Visit my store on Storenvy



You can also find it in the side bar. Payment is through Paypal, and as always, shipping is free on patterns. I will add more to it later including the baby blankets and additional patterns. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

New way to buy patterns

Good afternoon! As per my last post you know I'm shutting down my t-shirt quilting business for a while. However, I'm moving into improving and building up my crochet and knitting patterns. I recently enrolled in a Craftsy class called Lace Shawl Design. I'm learning a lot and watch it when I get a chance. Since I've gone back to work part time my chances aren't as many as I would like, but that's what Craftsy is all about! Whenever, wherever, and however long it takes. Have I mentioned I love Craftsy?

Anyway, I wanted to let my readers know that there is a new way for you to purchase my patterns right through this blog. As I build up my library, I want to offer all of the options I can. So now, by clicking on the link at the top that says, "Crochet and Knitting Patterns" you will be taken to another page in this blog. There, you can purchase directly from Payloadz.com where I upload my patterns for safe-keeping. Downloads are immediate and payment is secure.

If you would still like to purchase from me on Etsy, Craftsy, Zibbet, or Ravelry please feel free to do so! This is just another way for me to offer you an option.

I thank you for your support and hope to bring you much more in the coming months. 

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Big Changes, Knitting Shawls, a Craftsy Sale, and Art, of Course

Good day to you all! There have been some major changes in my life as of late. First of all, I'll be closing down my t-shirt quilts for a while. I'm just tired of peanut butter sandwiches and want to explore some more exotic tastes. An eclectic person like me finds it somewhat difficult to continually pursue the same thing day after day. The joy is gone, so now I must move one.

With that comes the pursuit of something new! And I'm very excited about it. I decided it was time for me to go back to work. So after a few weeks of filling out applications and taking those repetitive employment tests, I found a great job through a Facebook contact of mine. It is working with students at our local art center after school. It's only part time and minimum wage, but I love it! The kids are great and I get to be in a teaching position at least in some aspect. I also get off all of the school holidays and the summer. Unless, of course, I can find something else to do there during that time...

On top of that, I'm also assisting with our Charter School's drama class. I also work with students there in an extracurricular session and the teacher has some really cool things planned. I don't get paid for that one, but the benefits are amazing.

A possibility also exists - pending approval from the governing board - for me to teach a knitting class on the last 3 Saturdays of the month at our library. I really love being involved in the community and some of the main social centers of our little town. Being an avid book lover, working at the library and teaching knitting is awesome. Can you tell I'm geeking out a little?

So with the possibility of teaching a knitting class, I decided it was time to step up MY knitting prowess and take another Craftsy course. After learning how to spindle From Fluff to Stuff this past year and working on Stupendous Stitching as an addendum to art quilts, I decided to head back over to Craftsy and take a course on Lace Shawl Design. I have been designing some hanging plant baskets lately and publishing patterns for them. Lace shawls (really lace in general) always intrigue and fascinate me though. So I thought this would be a good direction to take my newest pursuits and continue to produce some patterns!

Right now, Craftsy is having their Dog Days of Summer Sale and ALL CLASSES are up to 50% off until August 11, 2014. I just bought the Lace Shawl Design class for $14.99. It is normally $49.99 - so that's more than a 50% savings. If you've been itching to take a new class or explore deeper into a craft you already know, now is the time to do it!

So here is the announcement:


(sponsored post)

Don't miss Craftsy's Dog Days of Summer Sale happening now! Enjoy up to 50% off ALL online classes! Take advantage of big savings today. Hurry, offer expires August 11, 2014 at 11:59 PM MT. Shop now and save!

And I hope you take advantage of it. There is nothing like learning a new skill or improving on one you already have. I wouldn't recommend it if I didn't take advantage of it myself! 

Here's to you, my friends. May you be ever artful and happy in life. 

I am a paid affiliate for Craftsy.com and clicking on any banners or links in this blog post will take you to the Craftsy site. The affiliate commissions add no extra charge to you whatsoever. I will never recommend a site or a sale that I have not first tried and am happy with. Thanks! 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

How to Share to a Group on Facebook

Just this morning I was asked how to share an image to a group on Facebook. I tried to explain in words, but we all have different learning styles, so I thought a visual would be good. First of all, make sure your image is "Public" otherwise you'll get that lovely little notification that "This image may not be visible to all users because of your privacy settings" blah blah blah and la-de-da.

So, now for the image tutorial.

Step 1:


Step 2: 



Step 3: 



Step 4: 



Step 5: 


And that is that. Once you click the share photo button your picture should appear. Also, make sure that your group's rules are ok with you sharing images and cross posting. Most are, but make sure so you don't get kicked out! Ok, have fun and share away. 


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Why Pattern Designers Should Sell on Ravelry or Craftsy

Do you design knitting or crochet patterns? Have you ever tried to sell your patterns? What outlet do you use to sell your patterns through?

If you said Ravelry or Craftsy, you're up there in the top percentage of very smart and thrifty designers! Ravelry has been around since May 2007 when Casey and Jessica Forbes decided to found a social networking site that allowed fiber artists a place "...to keep track of their yarn, tools and pattern information, and look to others for ideas and inspiration." (Wikipedia, "Ravelry." 28 February, 2014.)

In comparison, Craftsy has only been around since 2011 when it was launched by Sympoz (former eBay execs John Levisay and Josh Scott) but had over a half million enrollments in its first year. (Wikipedia, "Craftsy." 24 November 2013.) Craftsy is popular for their video tutorials teaching people various crafts such as sewing, quilting, knitting, crochet, cooking, and painting. But did you know they also have a ton of patterns released by independent designers? Everything from sewing to crochet and knitting? Did you also know that it is free to sign up, free to sell, and you keep your profits? http://www.craftsy.com/pattern/sell

Neither Craftsy or Ravelry charge fees. Ravelry gives you up to $30 in sales a month before they charge anything, and then it is only a very small fee. Craftsy makes the explicit statement that it is your pattern, your design, and they do not take any of your profits. To make a long story short, Craftsy and Ravelry allow me to keep most of my profits (there is always the Paypal factor) but I lose out big on Etsy! If you want a break down, read on.

Now why am I saying all of this? Because I am also a vendor on Etsy. I sell my patterns there. To sell my patterns, I have to pay a $.20 listing fee, then another 3% +.25 if they are buying through direct checkout. If they buy through Paypal, I lose an additional .5% on Etsy then 2.9% + .30 on Paypal. So if I sell a pattern for $2 on Etsy, it costs me $.57 ($.06 is 3% + $.25 + $.20 listing fee) just in fees, making my grand total of profit $1.43. If I sell through Paypal, I lose an additional $.31. This takes my profits down to $1.12 Etsy and Paypal are collecting a tidy little profit off of me at this point. 


Now granted, if I sell through Craftsy and Ravelry I will still lose a portion of my profits through Paypal. I have a business account on Paypal, so my fee drops down to 2.2%. Which is only $.04. I can handle that. I would rather lose $.04 than $.88! Now, I know I'm going to lose out somewhere along the way and I can't make 100% profit, but the alternatives to selling on Craftsy and Ravelry seem better to me than paying Etsy!


 I'm not an Etsy hater. In fact, I adore Etsy and credit their venue for providing 90% or more of my sales. I can sell through Craftsy and Etsy at the $2.00 rate and still make $1.96 on each of my patterns because they don't charge fees for selling. But on Etsy, I have to charge $2.50 - $3.00 for those SAME PATTERNS just so I can make close to the same profits. 




I'm not going to go into the details of what is involved with pattern writing and production right now, but unless I sell A LOT of patterns, I won't become rich or supplement my income in doing it. I basically do it because I like to and can make a little change here and there. Ravelry and Craftsy are two of my favorite selling venues. If you're looking to sell your patterns online, try out one or both of these sites and see what I mean.

*Disclosure: I am a paid affiliate for Craftsy.com and will make a small commission from sign ups generated through clicking on these links. However, all opinions expressed and recommendations are based on my personal experiences. I do not sell for vendors that I do not use or have experience with. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Camping, Coffee, and Mother's Day

Water lilies along the shoreline
As you all know, I've been away from Blogland for a while now - far too long for me! I'm taking a vacation as soon as I finish my current quilt and writing and blogging will be a big part of that. But, until I actually get there, I wanted to show you what we did this past Mother's Day weekend.






First, I put all of my shops on vacation. Then we packed up and went to the Gordonia-Alatamaha State Park here in Southeast Georgia, near Claxton. It was a wonderful park. It sits right on a lake with fishing docks and bench swings that face the water. The mornings were bright and beautiful replete with watching the sun rise over the lake and seeing the mists shroud it like a beautiful lace shawl. During the day, the park provides a nature trail, fishing and paddle boat rentals, and a splash pad. There is a playground and volley ball courts, group shelters, cabins, miniature golfing, and plenty of areas to cook and enjoy a day in nature.

We go tent camping, mostly because we haven't invested in a camper of any type and we can still get away with it fairly cheap! So our site was set down a little further than the others and a little closer to the water. I was nervous at first, because there are signs set along the docks that warn, "Do Not Feed the Alligators." Hmm...okay. So if you have pets and small children please DO NOT FEED THE ALLIGATORS! I did ask the campground host if they've had problems with the gators coming up to the camps. Of course, being in a tent I didn't feel we had much protection from a hungry gator. He said that they have never had any reports or problems with them. That made me feel a little better, although my inner smart alec wanted to ask if that was because they were eaten before they could report it. I didn't, but wanted to.

We did survive the gators, though, and our first morning my husband made a breakfast of bacon, eggs, and campfire coffee. If you've never had campfire coffee, you're missing out. We have a coffee pot that has been handed down from generation to generation. It is at least 25-30 years old and has this really awesome smoked patina to the metal. Anyway, it was delicious and one of the camping highlights.

Afterward, we went hiking on the nature trail. So much natural beauty surrounded us. Overhanging vines, Spanish Moss, and natural tree canopies shaded most of the walk. The trail winds around the lake, so there are some muddy areas where there is run-off. I say this because my 8-year-old was none too happy about stepping in some of it and getting her new shoes dirty. Apparently she is not much of a hiker. At trail's end there is an overlook, which according to my husband and older children does have a small risk of quicksand and swamp muck to get past and see. I did not venture in to see!











Afterward, we let the kids play down in the splash pad and get soaked for a while. We were serenaded by a man with a guitar that had a lovely singing voice. It was kind of like an island scene. Kind of. No island, no oceans, no leis or grass skirts, but kind of.
Singing Guitar Man



We ended our evening with lunch, fishing, dinner, and more fishing. The frogs sang
to us all night long and we awoke to another beautiful morning. I would have to say it has been one of the best and most relaxing Mother's Days I can recall. We're going back again soon. I hope you might try to take your family camping one day - or even get out on your own and just enjoy the peace and solitude of nature.
Baby Frog!

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