Archive | February 2015

A Day At The Zoo

My family and I went to the San Diego Zoo and we had a blast. We had no agenda and just meandered around the zoo and stumbled upon all the animals we wanted to see. It was a nice day out with my hubby and son with no plan and no stress about what animals we HAD to see. Even so, I saw almost all the animals I had HOPED to see.

How is this related to crochet? Well, as I found myself enjoying the animals and the scenery, my mind would wander and I would find myself thinking about whether I could crochet a panda bear or what kind of yarn I would use to emulate the mane of that magnificent lion I was looking at. Crochet is always on my mind in one fashion or another. Inspiration is everywhere. But I also just wanted to share my trip because I had so much fun. 🙂

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One source of inspiration!

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This guy stopped me in my tracks on my way to see the elephants. I didn’t expect to see lions and was so happy to stumble upon him. My son was not so happy because the elephants were so close!

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This guy came over to us to investigate. He was so cute!

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To Sell or Not to Sell

As a crafter, the topic of selling my finished pieces often comes up (as I’m sure it does with all crafters). I love creating crochet items, especially my dolls and often, well-meaning friends and family (and sometimes strangers) tell me I should sell what I make. I appreciate and love the sentiment because it means they really like what I make. It makes me feel great. And then I get nervous thinking about it.

I have sold a few of my items but it’s not a business. Every now and then someone asks me what I charge and I halfheartedly give an answer because I have no clue what to charge. I come up with something and sell them what they want. A terrible way to do business! I also do a craft fair every year around Christmas at the elementary school where I work. I’ve done it for about four years now and I’m finding that people tend to under value the work involved. I have a hard time sticking to a price because I tend to under value what I do as well (*head hung in shame*)! I tend to feel a lot of stress on how to price my items. I know there are formulas out there based on materials used and so forth but the truth is, I am a lousy sale’s person when it comes to my work.

I spend many hours and days creating a doll using yarn that I acquired from many different places. I have yarn that was given to me, yarn I bought at yard sales, and of course, yarn I bought at craft stores. I just grab what I have that matches what I want to make.  I have no idea what the costs are for the materials I used to make that individual doll. People always ask me how long it takes me to make something and I stare at them blankly. I can’t really answer because I don’t usually take note of it. I crochet when I can in fits and spurts so figuring out formulas isn’t that easy. Some dolls are more expensive to make than others but I couldn’t say by how much. But they all take time and effort.

My friends and family always tease me about my negotiating skills. Namely, that I don’t have any. 🙂

True story and usually where the teasing begins: About two years ago, I was doing one of those craft fairs I mentioned above and had a set price for a doll that I thought was fair. The hair alone had two skeins of expensive yarn. The doll was a large one so it took some time to make. It was priced at $60. I had another smaller one priced at $40. One of the little girls in the program I worked for wanted that $60 doll. Her sister wanted the $40 one. It was right before Christmas and their grandfather came to look at them. He looked at the price and must have made some noise to indicate they were pricey so I immediately offered it for $30. He bought it and then the sister chimed in that she wanted the other one so I lowered the price to $20. Did I mention that he didn’t even ask for a lower price…for either doll? He took them both and my family has been teasing me ever since.

Side note: the girls who ended up with those dolls (and are no longer in the after school program) still come up to me at work to tell me how much they still love their dolls. Well, I guess I can’t put a price on that :-).

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This is one of those dolls they bought.

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This is the other one.

I know I want to try my hand at making money with crochet. I’m finishing up a book on making dolls I started 4 years ago! This year, I finally put some real work into it. It’s almost done and I’m very proud of that. Now when people ask me how my book is coming along, I can honestly say it’s almost done with pride in my voice versus mumbling something about how I’ve been busy.

As for selling my pieces, I’m not sure if I want to sell but I AM thinking about it. I’m learning about online stores like Etsy and Stonenvy. I recently bought some books to help me learn about the process of selling my wares. I’m not sure which direction I’m going to take but I know I’m going somewhere 🙂

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I’m also in the process of strengthening my backbone 🙂

Mini Me Complete

Mini Me’s Adventures

Mini Me is finally complete and she was so much fun to make. And apparently she was fun to play with. It’s always a good sign when people want to play with or cuddle the dolls I make. I was visiting my sister while working on Mini Me. Her hair was finished and I was going to make her outfit. As usual, I told my sister that I brought my crochet stuff in case she bored me and I needed something to do (this is tongue-in-cheek, she never bores me 🙂 )Before her outfit was complete, my sister grabbed the doll and kept making cutsie faces at it (she would never admit this of course and would probably call me a liar). Then, she started braiding her hair.

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My sister couldn’t help self. She just had to braid her hair.

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She did a great job!

Worst of all, she kept giving me advice on her outfit. It should be this color not that color. The skirt should go like this and not like that. You get the idea. Since I consider myself a smart person, I listened. It’s a good thing I did because the outfit was a big hit.

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