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!

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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!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sewing on Thursday: SSB 4 Materials

I'm giving a head's up this week on the materials needed for next week's final two pockets in our sewing skill builder. We will be doing a smocking sampler and a French hand-sewing sampler. The hand-sewing sampler will actually be done on a machine, but will require some materials that are a little more difficult to find. I am giving some information on where these items can be found or how to make them.


Smocking Sampler

French hand-sewing sampler

  • 8-1/2" of 1-1/4" wide ribbon-threaded lace beading - (This is the strip of lace that runs down the center of the pocket) - this is easily done if you have the lace beading. However, it is rather difficult to find in this size! I found the best place is Deb's Lace and Trims. She has it in Black, White, White/Yellow Mock, and Aqua with a couple of variations on the white, off-white, ecru and black. If it comes without the ribbon, you can simply thread it with the ribbon of your choice in the right size to fit the holes. You may also find it on eBay or similar. If you do, please share your links in the comments! 
  • 2 1/2" x 8 1/2" fabric swatch
  • entredeux - THIS we can make (yay us!) This is the trim on either side of the lace beading
  • 4 3/8" x 8 1/2" fabric swatch. Look for this tutorial on Monday.
  • Picot lace (we will make this too on Needlework Tuesday.)




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