Saturday, November 21, 2015

Vintage Craft Supplies & A New Member of The Family

I have made a lot of progress going through my craft supplies. An elderly friend of mine (in her 90's) gave me a bunch of craft supplies years ago. Will all good intentions of making something with them someday, i stored them away. I did make a few things, but i know i just won't get around to it. Besides i need the room money.Things are a bit tough so i'm just doing what i can. There's a bunch more things going on, but that's a whole other book...

Anyway, i started listing them in my Etsy shop. There's a bunch of great supplies (mostly doll making) They date anywhere from the 60's up to the 80's. She used to crochet and make all sorts of dolls etc.

On a different subject, i forgot to mention i rescued yet another animal. Now a Cockatiel. I found him in the bushes outside of a restaurant. He was stuck in the ground cover. At first we thought it was a pigeon, but then i saw his head. Hubby grabbed him for me and we got a box from inside the restaurant.   I still can't believe how animals seem to find me. This was just a few weeks after my other bird had died at 13 yrs. Another bird i rescued from my pool as a half-bald baby that i hand raised. I was heartbroken.

So what's the chances? Here i had just finished cleaning out the bird cage and even had listed it for sale when i found this guy. I did check the lost/found pets and nothing was listed. So here's the newest member, my redneck cockatiel Cletus. I think he had injured his wing as he seemed like he was holding it a bit crooked, but was good in a couple of days. The poor guy pigged out when i put food and water in the cage with him. I wonder how long he was out on his own. He's lucky a hawk didn't find him or that he didn't end up on the road just a few feet away.
I want to get him a bigger cage since this isn't really big enough for him, but will do for now.
I ask him if he wants "Scratchy-Scratchy", and he comes over to the front of the cage and lets me reach in and scratch his head, but only me. He runs away from everyone else. He will let my son feed him a cracker through the cage, but that's as close as he can get. I'm trying to teach him to talk. I'm guessing he's not very old. The males have the dark cheeks. He's noisy when he wants to be. 
His wings aren't clipped, so i would like to bring him to a vet to get that done. It scares me to even try. Once that's done i want to let him hang outside of his cage. I think maybe he will get friendlier that way too.

So anyway, if you would like to see the newest listings in my shop, here's the link DebbieCrochets

Sunday, November 15, 2015

No Rules Tote Bag

 This is just a bag i made up as i went along. I didn't follow a pattern, or write one. You have to have some knowledge of crochet to make this, but pretty basic. Here i just explain the gist of it-no pattern.

Here's a scrap yarn tote i made (no pattern) But easy-All sc. Make bottom circle as big as you want- working in continuous rows-do not join. Then do even scs to make the sides, add handles as big as you want. I call this the No Rules Bag as i used whatever scraps i had,BUT keeping what i call 1 carry over color. That will be any color you choose, in this case i chose white as it blended it all together. I just held a few together at a time trying to maintain the same thickness, so at times i may have had 4 strands of fingering yarn then down to two strands of something thicker etc. Just use anything, I even used threads. Very strong and has a bit of weight to it.
Depending on how thick the yarns are will determine your hook size, For this i use a size N.
Handles. Figure out the spacing on each side. So if you have (example) 20 scs in the middle, do a chain of 40 or more for the handle (depending how big you want them), skip over the 20 scs on the bag, then join to the bag and do whatever amount for the side,the repeat for the other side. Then just work around in scs as many times as you want for the handle thickness.

1-Do some increases as needed at the tops of the handle so it stays flat if you like

2-If your sides start out too "fat" do some decreases in the first round (about every 10th one) not important if it's not even at end count. do another row even and repeat decreases if necessary.

3-Use any yarn you like, but try to stay away from any yarn that may possibly shrink. 
If you would rather buy this bag, it is still available in my Etsy shop  


Saturday, November 14, 2015

Good News, Bad News

Seems to be a roller coaster the past few weeks of good news and bad news.

Bad News- Hubbys aunt died (had a good run -in her 90's)
Good News- Son quit smoking :)
Bad News- My friends son died suddenly at 29
Good News- My health issues has been good now with the medication
Bad News- My sales have dropped very low.
Good news- I qualify for insurance help
Bad News- Have to make sales to pay for it & my meds
Good News- I'm not sick now
Bad News- Trying to find work, no luck
Good news -Anxiety has been gone 3 days now

Bad News- Paris
Bad News every time i watch the news. Some people are just messed up. No wonder i have anxiety.

Just trying to keep positive.. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Debbie Crochets ...and Craft Supplies

I've decided i really need to make some space in my craft room. I began listing my mostly vintage craft supplies. I got most of them from a friend years ago when her eye sight was failing and she could no longer crochet. (she's in her 90's now) She used to do a lot of crocheting. I would go visit her when we both lived in New York about 30 years ago and crochet. Time flies. Sadly she doesn't recall much these days. She now lives in Michigan and is under hospice care. I do miss her. I keep in touch with her daughter.
When she gave them to me she told me to do what i wanted with them, sell them of make stuff etc.. I stashed them away in my closet, with the intentions of doing something with them someday. Well someday is here. They're not going to do any good just sitting in the closet, so i opened up another section in my crochet shop for supplies & destash. A lot of these craft supplies range from the 50's through the 80's. Such a treasure to see. I've listed a bunch, but have a lot more , so keep watching.
Debbie Crochets

Friday, November 6, 2015

One Item Scratched Off My "To - Do" List Aluminum Tab Bag

I've seen bags crocheted with using soda tabs worked into the stitches and always wanted to give it a try. Well i lucked out and acquired a bunch of soda tabs from a nice man at a thrift store who gave me bags of them. (has to be the oddest sale score i've ever made)
Anyway, i couldn't find a pattern i liked, so i made up my own bag as i went along. This is what i came up with:
Measures approx (it does give a little)
14 inches wide across front
11 inches tall
7 inches wide (front to back)
Side pocket- 7 inches tall x 6 inches wide
Strap - 38 inches x 2 inches wide (not counting key ring and tab connectors)
Flap- 7 1/2 wide x 11 inches long
Reclaimed Cotton Tee Shirt Lining (hand sewn)
Crocheted with cotton yarn
1,888 Recycled aluminum tabs (100% post consumer waste) Washed before use
4 Key ring strap connectors

I've never made one before, but as you can see i think it's pretty cool. Stylish and made with recycled materials (except the yarn and key rings) Definitely a conversation piece.
It's strong, but not heavy. I used cotton variegated yarn which gives it's mixed pattern in blended shades of white, tan and brown.
Sorry, no pattern. One of a kind.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

A Favor To Ask

I have a favor to ask if you could. I just found out my friend lost her son unexpectedly this morning to coronary failure. He was only 29.
He just moved out to Oregon and his mom is in Kentucky. She wants to be able to see her son one last time, but does not have the funds to bring him to her, nor for her to go out there. A go fund me page has been set up.
We all worked together years ago, and have kept in touch even though she moved to KY. She kept in touch with me over the years, and called when my husband was so sick. I want to help her as much as i can. It breaks my heart since i not only knew her son as well, but both of her sons are the same ages as mine.
I'm asking if you wouldn't mind sharing her go fund me link on twitter, etc. or make a donation if you could. Her husband set it up to bring him home. I didn't have much, but gave what i could, and time is against them on this. Thanks in advance.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Need Advice. Should I Just Close Shop?

Reaching out to my fellow crafters that sell on line for some advice

Here's my dilemma, I have done everything i can think of and then some to get more shop views, signed up with tweet jukebox, do promoted listings, participate in groups,treasuries.Too many to mention... I spend just about all day and into the late night promoting/crocheting. etc. Here's the breakdown of the past few years for the month of October i've been selling on here.

Status for month (rounded off)

Oct. 2015
Views (as of now) 38,000 Not a typo
Sales 10

Oct 2014
Views 18,000
Sales 16

Oct 2013
Views 8,000
Sales 14

Oct 2012
Views 4,000
Sales 10

Without showing the actual amounts, i can tell you since Oct 2013, my revenue has dropped like a rock..more than 50%. I keep adding fresh items, retake photos when i think they could be better etc. I have been selling on here since 2009.

Is there any suggestions on what to do? Is this something out of our control? Maybe it's just time to close up shop or just consider it a hobby. I rely on my sales to pay for my meds/insurance and i'm barely making it, Crochet also helps with my anxiety. I don't even know if i could get a job outside the home with this anxiety and hot flashes crap. Anyway, this old dog needs to learn new tricks-like how to search my "target audience"etc. Thanks in advance