My Favorite Word Meme

Although I've been blogging for over a year, I'm still not quite sure how these meme things get started. LOL So I thought I'd start one of my own, short and sweet - nothing too complicated!

Here's how it goes - once you're tagged write a short blog post about your favorite word, and what makes it your favorite. Of course you can have more than one! Be as long-winded as you like! Just make sure to copy & paste this text into your post, and tag four friends!

My favorite word is luminous. I love the feel it evokes, and how many different things it can describe. It implies a quality of light that's soft, ethereal even. It makes me think of jellyfish and moonlight. I find most silk fabrics to have a luminous quality to them, something about the sheen and luster in the way they drape is so soft and pretty. Glass is another material I often find luminous, it can have so many different colors and textures and still pass light beautifully through it.

I'm tagging June, Karrie, Shirley and Star. Can't wait to hear your favorite words, ladies! :D


Whiplash - Altered Knitting Bag

Although I'm very creative and can come up with lots of things to make on my own; my favorite kind of craft lately is taking an item that might be a little bland, and making it perfect for me and my needs. I call it perfunctional crafting, because I love making things both more personal and functional at the same time. LOL This is my entry in June's Whiplash - Introduce Yourself.

Mod Knitting Bag - BeforeWhen I first got this bag (for Christmas from my husband,) I thought it looked a little plain. The color was really nice, but it was just a plain solid. It has a bit of texture with a diagonal weave, but other than that - a little vanilla on the outside. Nothing really wrong, just not quite "me" yet. LOL Then, I spotted it on Craft Daisies, with some upgrades! And I knew I had to make mine really "mine!"

I had the fabric for a few months, for another home dec project, and had tons leftover. It's not a quite a barkcloth, but still a very stiff fabric. Not necessarily great for bulgy items, but perfect for patterns - they've never sat correctly inside the bag, Mod Knitting Bag - Pattern Pocketwith my knitting & yarn. Voila! Perfect pattern pocket for my knitting bag! LOL I sewed up the open side first, and then used fusible tape to attach it to the bag. I'm lucky it opens tightly, otherwise I would've had to hand sew the pocket into place. Blegh! (Can you tell how I feel about hand sewing? LOL) Even still, fusing the pocket down was a little tricky, and I managed to scorch the fabric slightly. Good thing it's a beige background with darker beige and mocha accents, it's not terribly noticeable.

Mod Knitting Bag - Stripe DetailAt first, I couldn't decide what to do with the second side. The more I thought about it, though - I didn't want to clash with the print of the mod fabric. But I still wanted something really unique, jazzy & cool. I think I managed to pull those off, carrying the print up behind the second pocket, in only one repeat. Trying to explain it to my husband was a little tricky, and I didn't even really know what it would look like before I cut the piece out & pinned it in place. I was very pleased when I did though, because it turns out I like it even more than I thought I would! LOL

Mod Knitting Bag - Stripe Side

I used more fusible tape to attach the second pocket, and then used fabric glue to attach the print repeat behind & above it (so I could get it just right!) I think it turned out beautifully, and I'm really pleased with it. I love being able to personalize things, and make them work better for my needs. What mass-produced item could ever fit everyone perfectly? I say none, so tweak, twist, recycle and redo what you have to make it better!

Mod Knitting Bag - Inside Detail


First Ravelry Swap - Tree Branch Earrings

Tree Branch Earrings - Robin's Egg BlueIt's been a while since I made any Tree Branch Jewelry. I wrote the tutorial out last year, and had great plans of adding jewelry to my Etsy store. Well, it's been a few months since then, and I've taken a step back from the store; but I'm super excited to get back to making these. I messaged Amy on Ravelry, about her Douceur et Soie yarn (Ravelry has this great feature where you can mark your yarn for sale or trade.) She didn't need any extra yarn, and honestly I don't have that much of anything great in my stash, at least that I'd be willing to part with. LOL

She was interested in Tree Branch earrings though, and one of her favorite colors is Robin's egg blue. Ok, I'll confess… I have a few kinds of Robin's egg beads in my stash. LOL It's probably the color I have the most of, in different sizes & materials. I had the perfect little beads for her, although I'm not sure if they're glass or gemstone. They could be Swarovski, although I'm not that familiar with their color palette. I think they look quite nice with the sterling silver wire and findings, though. And they have me jazzed to add them to the store eventually, we'll just have to see how long it takes me to get my act together on that one! LOL

These are not the actual earrings I sent to Amy, I'll confess I liked them so much when I was making the first pair, that I had to make a second for myself. What can I say? I'm a sucker for Tiffany blue! (Totally, utterly gullible that is! LOL) She shipped the yarn out so fast, I wanted to make sure she wasn't waiting too long for her earrings, and I knew I'd just have to make another pair for me! LOL


Business Tips?!?!?!?

Quickie no-pic post today, I've got bunches of important stuff to finish this week. I just wanted to pose the question to all of you starting your own crafty businesses out there. Do all of your family and friends tell you how to run your business too? It's been really surprising to me, when I tell people that I'm starting a business; just how many of them have something to say about how I have to run my business. That's not to say I don't appreciate the advice, but it seems as if every single person I tell (who's not in the crafty blog-o-sphere,) thinks that I need some advice about my business. I should make big-ticket items to pump up the profit, I have to pitch to stores to make the sales, and for the most part - that sales equal success. I don't think that I'd want a wholesale order for 200 tsumami kanzashi flower snaps tomorrow. It'd be overwhelming and exhausting, because my products are so time & labor intensive to produce.

That's not to say I don't want to make more sales; far from it, actually. But what's important to me is what I get out of the experience, because I've already learned in my short life that money doesn't equal happiness. I want to feel satisfied with myself, and I just don't think running my business anybody else's way is right for me, right now. I don't know if it will stay this way forever, but right now I'm defining my own success. I guess I just wish that was easier for other people to see and understand. I've often felt like people derive their own interpretations and perspective on things, and that can sometimes alienate and isolate people (i.e. me.)

I wonder why people focus on what I'm doing wrong with my business, instead of the things that are more positive. I know it's tough to sell on the internet, I'm no dummy after all! LOL I also know a brand new kind of product coupled with being a brand new seller means I have the odds stacked against me. But I know I'm in it for the long haul, and that whatever it takes and wherever it takes me, I'll be there. Fighting my own fight, because that's what makes me feel like I'm being truest to myself, and those goals I've set myself on. (Wow, that sounded like Rocky climbing those damn stairs!!!) My highest goal is simply quality, across the board - I want to produce a quality product, sell it with a quality experience, and enjoy a quality of experience for myself within making and selling. I know it's a lofty goal, but to me that's more important than selling hundreds of dollars of product, or even having hundreds of sales. I want to get something out of it too; not just work my poor fingers to the bone for other people's enjoyment.

Any thoughts on starting your own crafty business? Please feel free to share, here or you can email me at - Crafty NOSPACE Ginger AT gmail DOT com.


A Tree Scarf and a Baby Dwarf Shrub!

Tree Scarf for June!When I recently found out I'd be meeting June, I knew I wanted to make her something but I also didn't have a lot of time. I've been trying to get my fabric stash cleaned up, and when I ran across just enough brown fleece to make a Tree scarf I knew it'd be perfect for her. One of the easiest sewing projects I've ever done, the soft fleece and added tsumami kanzashi flower snap are sure to please! (I hope! *crosses fingers*) She's on her way to Chicago right now, and I get to sneaky-post her surprise! Hahaha!

For a few scarves I've even added a beaded butterfly, although I sadly didn't have the time to get one done for June by today. (June, if you'd like I'd be more than happy to make one for you, just let me know what your 2 favorite colors are!) I've really enjoyed the nature theme developing in my crafting over the last year. Organic shapes are very forgiving of mistakes, they blend in or even add character to the finished object. It's tough for me to accept mistakes when it comes to my work, so having to work with them has been both interesting and challenging. I like the freedom, but it's also intimidating a lot of times. It's easy for me to work towards perfect, because that's a definable goal (at least most of the time;) the harder part is accepting flaws as part of life, and even working with them. I guess that's why I find my affinity for nature growing at an exponential rate! LOL

Baby Dwarf Lilac Shrub

I got a dwarf lilac shrub from Park Seed a week ago, and I'm anxiously awaiting it's first bloom. I know it'll take longer than I want, but I still look it over every time I go into my kitchen. Hehe. Sorry for the sucky light levels...


I Can't Believe it's June...

…and I get to meet June, of Crafty Bits @ Planet June! LOL I'm picking her up from O'Hare on Friday afternoon, and I have to cross my fingers that construction traffic won't be too bad. Who am I kidding, it'll be horrible… but I'm still super-psyched! LOL I'm lucky enough to not have to brave Chicago rush hour traffic on a regular basis, though. Make that, very lucky to not have to brave it! My husband uses the train as much as he can, to drive into the city from how far out we live can take 3 hours in rush hour traffic (only 35 miles! And it really should be "Rush hours"!!!) Nuts, I know…

Please forgive my recent blog-flakiness, I love posting more than I have been able to recently. But, I've had some catching up to do on my "Spring" cleaning, and most of my crafty projects have been swappy surprises lately. (I have another one for June, but you'll have to wait til Friday!) I already spilled the doll quilt surprise, and felt a little bummed for it. I have to remember that I still think it was worth it to enter Whiplash this month, I've been too busy to play lately, and that had me a little bummed too. (I use the term "Spring" very lightly here, I've been cleaning my kitchen up. A couple Saturdays ago I cleaned out my pantry, and this past Saturday I did the fridge.)

Plus, I have some decisions to make about my store in the near future. More than half of my inventory has expired in the last month, and I don't know if I want to simply relist it as-is, or spiffy up the text or pictures. I've also been flirting with the thought of just using that stock as craft fair fodder. I've been wanting to do one since my sister did one last November. I've also noticed the trend of a lot of crafters who work on products the night before the show. Not trying to make anyone feel bad, but I want to be more prepared; and I wonder if pre-made stock will help me do that.

I also wonder if I should donate them as prizes for a Craftster board challenge or Whiplash; or maybe even hold a contest here on my blog. They seem to be all the rage lately, I just wish I could come up with a question or theme! LOL

It's not as if I want to stop working on my store altogether, I just need a break. All I've been doing the last couple months is making myself feel bad, and it's left me exhausted and completely drained. Life doesn't go the way we want sometimes (ok, alot! LOL) and I've been too stubborn to admit it, and reevaluate where I'm at and where I want to be with both my crafting and business. Time to take a step back and relax!


Ravelry Rocks Hard!!!

A few weeks ago I got my Ravelry invite, and I quickly dove in. Unfortunately it's still in Beta right now, but they have an official sneak peek page up - here, so those of you still waiting for your invites can check it out. It's pretty amazing, and if you're a knitter and haven't heard about it, go check it out! LOL There's a home for everything, and everything in it's home! Now I wish there was a Ravelry for my sewing projects, beading and Blythe projects!

Ravelry Screenshot - Stash

Don't get me wrong, I like Craftster and a few other forum style boards, but after being exposed to Ravelry, they seem so Web1.0 compared to Ravelry's Web2.0 style. (No BBC code! LOL) Browse anything you want, any way you want, leave comments on project, pattern or yarn pages, queue up projects you want to work on next and reorder them easily. Share the projects you're working on, finished or given up on, and meet new people interested in the same stuff you are. Flickr pictures are integrated
, meaning no waiting for photo uploads! (Blog posts are integrated, too!) I'm so in love with Ravelry right now, can you tell? LOL

Ravelry Screenshot - Queue

What I love the most is the visual control I have, over my projects in progress, yarn stash and To Knit Next list; I can look at one page and see it all in one place. Before, I'd try and make text lists, or lists on my computer with that sort of info. Listing all the yarns in my stash was daunting, and sometimes I can't recognize the yarn name/brand without seeing it. Not to mention how difficult it was to keep track of my To Knit Next list in my head, and forget about reordering it! LOL Ravelry has made knitting my favorite craft lately!


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