Thursday, December 29, 2011

Awesome Thursday: December 29, 2011

Happy Thursday, everyone! I started these posts a while back to gather some great things that are going on in my life. 
  • I had my final Christmas gathering yesterday. It was mostly uneventful, which is a good thing.
  • I picked up a new tool today for my business. Once I get that started, I will post about it.
  • I received some pretty good gifts for the holidays. Mostly gift cards, which I always appreciate.
  • I officially booked my art show at Phog. I have a musician booked to play the opening reception, which will be on my birthday. You can find more information about that Here.
  • I am offering 15% off in my Etsy shop until the end of the month with the coupon code RentIsDue15
Life is good. I am kind of sleepy after all these events, so I think I will go take a nap now.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

A Very Merry Christmas!

Click through for source
I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas!
This year has been so up and down for me, but overall, I would like to think it was mostly good. I started my Etsy shop, I quit my job to knit full time, I went to Iceland, I acquired my knitting machines (more on these soon, hopefully!) and so many more amazing things have happened.
I hope 2011 was a good year for all of you, and I hope 2012 is even better.
I have many Christmas festivities coming up, and I am incredibly excited to see some of my relatives.
I have lots of things planned for 2012 and I can't wait to share them with you!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Awesome Thursday: December 22, 2011

Happy Thursday everyone! I started this weekly post a little while back. Its purpose is to be as positive as possible about what's gone on in my life for the previous week.

  • I sold a shawl and a cowl to a friend of mine. She seemed super happy with them, which is nice because one of them is a gift.
  • I worked at Trinkets, Treasures and the Truly Unique a couple days ago, and again today. It was nice to get out of the house and be surrounded by crafty things for inspiration.
  • I was an extra for my friend Crissi's music video. It's a fantastic song, and the video is going to be absolutely phenomenal. I will definitely share it here when it is finished.
  • I have an open schedule for the holidays, so I will be able to go to tall the festivities between my families and Ricks.
  • Rick and I went for lunch with his friends yesterday at the Vietnamese place we go to often. The food was excellent, and the company was great.
  • We saw Girl With The Dragon Tattoo yesterday, and I really enjoyed it. I may watch the original versions of The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets Nest just so I can see them sooner. I was also thinking about reading the books.
  • I am offering 15% off in my Etsy shop until the end of the month with the coupon code RentIsDue15
What has been awesome for all of you this week?
My updates will probably be sparse from now till the new year. So I will wish all of you a Merry Christmas, and a very Happy new Year!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Advertiser Round Up! December 2011

Eslin of DualChocolate has listed some beautiful accessories in her shop. And she is offering 10% off in using the code XOCO101! 

Nancy of N.Fallon Design Studio is knitting away on some gorgeous heart brooches. We are members of Blogging Business Artisans, and have been giving each other encouraging words all month.

Kathryn is busy planning her wedding, and keeping her Etsy Shop stocked. She and I were set up side by side at a craft show at the beginning of December, and she has some beautiful pieces.

Rachael from TreeTalker has had a rough month, but is still making beautiful artwork. Her studio flooded and her car has been giving her issues, but she is soldiering on.

Robyn from Minimalist Knitter is spending time with her adorable son Owen, and putting some beautiful accessories in her shop.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Progress on the Purple and Cream Shawl

Back at the beginning of the month, I posted about the shawl I was starting for myself. I set it down for a little while to work on other projects, but I picked it back up tonight due to boredom. I have SO MUCH YARN but nothing is calling to me.
This is where I'm at so far. It will definitely need blocking when I am finished. I am loving this yarn, though. It's super soft, slightly thick and thin, and the colours are amazing. I would love to work with more handspun in the future.
I favourited a bunch of patterns on Ravelry tonight for my next projects. I still have some nicer yarns that I will be using for projects for myself. Other than Richard, I don't really have anyone in my circle who would appreciate hand knits. Most of the people who do would just purchase them from me before I even have the chance of giving one to them. Oh well, more hand knits for me!
Tomorrow, I am working at Trinkets, Treasures and the Truly Unique all day. I have a bunch of knitting lined up, and some knitting podcasts to listen to, as well. I am super excited for this.
What are all of you fine folks up to these days?

Friday, December 16, 2011

How Much Would You Pay?

I just finished knitting a matching scarf and fingerless glove set. Currently, I'm debating knitting a matching hat. I'm not sure how much I would charge for a set like this.
-The scarf is about 6 feel long, including fringe.
-The gloves cover just past the wrist.
-The hat would be slightly slouchy.

How much would you pay for such a set? I charge about $20 -25 for a similar scarf, and my hats are $25-30. How much should the set for all three accessories be?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Awesome Thursday: December 15, 2011

It's Thursday! A few weeks back, I started an Awesome Thursday post series. Basically, I just post about awesome things going on in my life.

  • I spent today with my parents shopping in Michigan. Picked up some groceries and some things I had shipped to a friend of the family to save on shipping costs.
  • Started an awesome scarf with some of the cones of yarn I have (I will post a photo of it soon!)
  • Started working on a press release for Trinkets, Treasures and the Truly Unique, the shop I currently have stock in. I'll hopefully finish that tonight.
  • I got all my Christmas shopping done. I still haven't gotten anything for Rick yet, but I will probably combine his Christmas and Birthday gift into one.
  • I renewed a few items in my Etsy shop. I've gotten quite a few views on them, too.
  • Taught some Girl Guides how to use Knifty Knitters. That went better than I expected.
  • Got most of the laundry done. I will be finishing that tomorrow, probably.
What sorts of awesome things have been going on in your lives this week?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Vote For Me On Heartsy!

I have submitted my shop to Heartsy again. I figure, this time of year is when my items are more likely to sell, anyway.
If you would be so kind as to vote for me, it would be greatly appreciated!
I would really love to be accepted. I really want to make it to 150 sales in 2012, and I know this would help!

Have any of you been featured on Heartsy? How did that help your shop?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Hello, Nancy!

Please welcome my newest sponsor, Nancy! She is absolutely lovely, and knits some fantastic items!

Tell me about yourself!
My name is Nancy, and I am the creator/ owner of N. Fallon Design Studio. I make a line of hand knit bags and purses, and little note cards too! I live and work out of our row house in Baltimore, MD with my 2 furry feline friends and my mister.

How did you start hand making?
My father's side of the family is very creative; he is a furniture builder and my aunt is a painter and art teacher. I've always been exposed to art and making and learned to appreciate both the quality of handmade items and experience a drive to make myself as a child. Once I went to college I decided to study sculpture & textiles, and earned a degree in teaching as well. But it wasn't until after several years of teaching art that I realized the impulse to create full time was being neglected. So September of 2008 I opened my etsy shop and that's where my second life began!

Where do you sell, both online and elsewhere.
My online shop is NFall2rt
This holiday season I started selling at craft shows. A goal for this year is to get my line into some brick & mortar shops around Baltimore!

What do you do other than create?
I love nature. I grew up in a valley surrounded by the Shenandoah mountains and can never seem to get enough of them. I go hiking and camping quite frequently during the spring, summer, and fall, and occasionally during the winter as well! Additionally, my fiancée and I love cooking. He almost went to culinary school, but went into another field instead. Even still he's retained his passion for cooking and passed it on to me. I find that it's just another medium for creativity.
It's great having a loved one interested in cooking.
What does your workspace look like?
We live in a row house in Baltimore with an open floor plan, so my studio is wedged between the front sitting area and the kitchen. Since it's right when people walk in, I have to keep it a bit on the neat side. I am very fortunate to have a giant Ikea wardrobe with deep drawers and shelves to store my inventory and materials. I've also got a long table for sewing and blogging. Next to that is my drafting table, which is mostly used for spreading out pieces waiting for linings and fabric cutting these days.
I wish my space was as tidy as this. Hopefully one day it will happen.

What is your most indispensable tool, that you would be completely lost without?
My most indispensable tool is a pair of size 7 bamboo knitting needles. I typically use worsted weight yarn for my bags and purses, so I use these needles almost daily!
I love working with bamboo needles as well!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Welcome, Nancy!

The newest KNK sponsor is Nancy Fallon of nfall2rt on Etsy. I absolutely adore her shop. She has the cutest little knit pouches. She also sells notecards and jewelry.

She is how I found out about the BBArtisans Etsy team, which is a fantastic team.

Go and take a look at her shop. You will certainly find something you love.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Awesome Thursday: December 8, 2011

I missed last week's post, but only because I forgot to set an alarm for it! I'm quite forgetful...
Anyway, every Thursday, I will post about awesome things going on in my life over the past week. Here goes...

  • I did extraordinarily well at the craft shows
  • I sold a few items to Rick's mom, which is always greatly appreciated
  • I made $10 for amazon on SwagBucks (That is a referral link, if you are interested in signing up)
  • I started knitting my gorgeous shawl
  • I bought my parents Christmas gift, just have my brother and Rick to buy for now
  • I'm about to leave for lunch at a sweet bar/bistro with a friend
What are your awesome things this week?

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Time to Upgrade My Tools!

I have been knitting since December 2001. For the most part, my knitting needles have been metal or plastic, bought cheaply from whatever store had them. I have a couple pairs of bamboo needles, but that's it. I want to start knitting items on circular needles that require shorter lengths than the 20 some-odd inches most of mine are. I've found some awesome hat patterns that I want to knit, but I hate using double points. I understand how to do the magic loop, and I want to use that method to get some new types of items made.

Here is my problem:
What brand of interchangeable needles should I go with? This is going to be an investment that I want to keep using until my old age, so I want something that can last that long.
I'm going to post in the Ravelry forums about this, and hopefully get some good feedback. In the mean time, tell me about your favourite knitting needles, interchangeable or not.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A Little Knitting For Myself

Last night, I started knitting a shawl for myself. My Boneyard Shawl is great, but I want some variety! I am using two skeins of hand spun that I purchased at Art In The Park this past summer.
I wound them, by hand, in balls roughly the size of grape fruits. The purple is such a lovely colour, and it will be striped with the creamy natural.
I'm doing a basic triangle shawl from the centre out, in stockinette stitch. Nothing too fancy. I tried to find a pattern to use, but nothing fit my criteria. I needed something that is mindless enough to do while reading blogs, striped/colour working to use both of these skeins, and roughly worsted weight.
I will post progress photos as the shawl grows.
Stay tuned!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Say Hello to Eslin!

Please welcome my newest sponsor, Eslin, of dualchocolate.

Tell me about yourself!
I am an ecclectic bilingual artist with a Fine Art background, a family of artists and highly skilled individuals. I am driven by curiosity, and have chosen to use: needles, yarn, hooks, books, pens and pans to give form to memories inspired by natural, life by the sea, colors and chocolate. Everything comes together in each and every dualchocolate's creation.

How did you start hand making?
My serious handmaking journey, I will say that started by curiousity and curiosity has remain a constant variable in everything I make.
The flexibility of stitches to experiment with colors and textures, gives me endless possibilities for interpreting and giving a useful strucuture to the memories I keep.

Where do you sell, both online and elsewhere?
I mainly offer my projects on online marketplace platforms such as Etsy and Artesanio. Although I do strongly believe in the one on one, close and personal experience which as no substitute, that is why I've started to so show my projects to indie and eco friendly local shops.

What do you do other than create?
I am a fulltime woman that said, I also do everything Etsy: team, treasuries and keeping up with those everyday changes. This last one is a constant challenge that keeps your mind at the edge of madness and creativity.

What does your workspace look like?
My home studio looks like a remodelation In progress, and here you won't find a sign appologizing for the inconvenience or the random location of my tools, yarns, projects and books.
My space is my territory. I do have a well sketch and thoroughly plan of what my near-future workspace/ home studio has to look like!!!! In the meantime this odd conner has and will continue to witness wonders!
That sounds a lot like my work space!

What is your most indispensable tool, that you would be completely lost without?
Creativity and my memories, and coming in second place will be my full knitting kit

Anything else?
There's always so many things you want to cramm when talking about your passion but I will be brief and invite everyone to sample dualchocolate with an additional sweet and exclusive 10% discount
To get the 10% discount, use the code XOCO101!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Made In Windsor Shows!

On Friday night, and Saturday during the day, I took part in two awesome Made In Windsor shows.
The Friday show was at a bar, which was really fun. I sold a ton! I had a financial goal to reach between the two shows, and I blew past it in the first one. I am so happy about this.

I sold both of these awesome items at the first show!
Saturday was equally exciting. There were a TON of people, and nearly all left with an armload of stuff from the various vendors.

Overall, it was a really good weekend.

Don't forget to check out my sponsors!

I'm happy to welcome my newest sponsor, Eslin of Dual Chocolate! You can find some gorgeous crochet and paper goods in the Dual Chocolate shop.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Say Hello To Robyn!

Welcome Robyn! She is the second sponsor for the month, and quite a wonderful lady.

Tell me about yourself!
My name is robyn, and I'm a minimalist knitter! I believe you can have a fabulous and fulfilling craft-based life, and still own less than the average American. I believe you can knit your way to a better world with less than a room full of yarn and supplies. And I believe more and more knitters are looking for a new way to live and love their craft!
There definitely are times I really wish I could get my knitting supplies down to what fits in my knitting basket. I am so jealous of Robyn's ability to do this!

How did you start hand making?
I learned to knit at 19 from a co-worker, and fell instantly in love! I've been inundating friends and family with hand-knits ever since, and began knitting for charity shortly thereafter.

Where do you sell, both online and elsewhere.
On Etsy!

What do you do other than create?
I stay home with our son Owen, and i love to read trashy fiction, both YA and for grown-ups.

What does your workspace look like?
Right now, my workspace is all over the house! I knit and crochet in spare moments, so I have a project in the living room, one in our office upstairs, and even one in the diaper bag for when we travel.

What is your most indispensable tool, that you would be completely lost without?
My Gussy bag! i use it to store my most used knitting needles, my most used crochet hook, and all my knitting notions. it fits in the diaper bag or my knitting bag, and looks gorgeous!

Thanks Robyn! Make sure you check out her charity knitting project! And take a look at her little peanut, Owen, on the blog.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Say Hello To Rachael!

Happy December, everyone! This is my first sponsor spotlight, and I am a little nervous! Rachael is absolutely lovely, so she is definitely going to start this off on the right foot.

Tell me about yourself!
My name is Rachael "TreeTalker" Caringella. I currently live in Utah with my two doggies and my boyfriend. I always say "One is stinky, one is hairy, and one has a biiiggg nose." It's my little joke. Ever since I was little I have always loved nature. I really did talk to trees, and I still do! I am currently settled into a little itty bitty apartment in Utah, though I make no plans to stay in Utah, I'm growing quite fond of this area. I am inspired by nature, trees, Fairy Tales, mushrooms, cemeteries, dreams, antique bottles, tarot cards and palm reading, acorns, tea sets, tiny mammals, fairy rings, old photographs, ghost stories, small collectibles and paper flowers, gift boxes, and other various containers

How did you start hand making?
I've been making art since before I can remember, I just always knew that was what I wanted to do, and I would be lost without it. I studied art in college for two years before dropping out and trying to make it on my own. I'm still very happy with my decision to leave school. Aside from painting I also own a little hat shop where I make and sell animal hats and pixie hats, as well as other beanies of course.
Rachael's hats are super cute! 

Where do you sell, both online and elsewhere?
I sell online mostly, though I have sold some stuff to friends out of my house. This spring I will be sending 20 paintings to a show in Georgia, where they will be up for sale. I would love to do a craft show one day.. I just need to gain the courage first!
I can relate! Craft shows can be nerve-wracking. Nearly every show I do, I freak out and assume I won't sell anything, and that all my knits are terrible. I've slowly been getting better. 

What do you do other than create?
I love to explore and go on little adventures. I take my doggies on a walk with a camera in hand. I love taking photos. I hardly ever have time to just sit and do nothing. I'm hardly ever board because I stay so busy.

What does your workspace look like?
It's currently a small corner of the house, gated from the animals. It is often very messy. But it works for now. Every day that I paint, I wheel out my portable studio and take up half the living room.

What is your most indispensable tool, that you would be completely lost without?
I would normally say a paintbrush, but since discovering my love for mixed media, I can paint with just about anything and like the results!

Anything else?
Hmm I love to be happy, and inspire others to be happy!

Thanks Rachael! I will be posting the responses to my questions from all my sponsors in the first few days every month. Stay tuned for Minimalist Knitter!