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Self-Publishing My Crochet Book

My book came! It came! I was gone on Friday and my book arrived while I was gone. My son placed my book in my office and I didn’t see it until almost midnight on Saturday. My book was here an entire day and I didn’t know! When I discovered the package, I thought it was something else I was expecting. I was so surprised and elated when I opened the package and it was two copies of my book.

It’s here! It’s here!

I wanted to call my sisters and friends but understood they might not appreciate it if I woke them up. I had to wait until Sunday morning to bombard everybody. I did, however, take a chance and texted my sis-in-law because she has a reputation for staying up late. Luckily she was up, and I was able to share. It was very emotional, more than I expected. I know that any new book by an unknown author, much less a self-published book, doesn’t face good odds, but that doesn’t matter. I was holding in my hands something I had worked on for years (YEARS) and it looked good! I didn’t realize how worried I was that once I got it, I would be disappointed. I was very happy with the pictures in the digital format of the ebooks, but printed…I wasn’t so sure. Also, the quality of the paperback could have been terrible. I had no idea how Amazon produced the books. But I wasn’t disappointed. It looks great! It looks like a real book! 😍 There are things I would do a little differently for the next book (there will be a next book 😀) but overall, I’m over the moon. Continue reading

Crochet Challenges and Progress On My Book

I don’t normally do crochet challenges or crochet alongs because…I don’t know, just because. I like looking at what other people are doing though. One of my best friends/sis-in-law started participating and enjoying some challenges on Instagram. She kept encouraging me to join a crochet one she was doing. She had this crazy notion that I might like it, AND that it would force me to post more regularly on my Instagram account.

The prompts are fun and fully within my purview.

See, I was guilty of going weeks without posting. Before, I was pretty active. I always had something to show, what with making things for and with the kids at work, and my own projects at home. But after the pandemic shut down our school and it not opening back up, I wasn’t crocheting much. Instead, I hyper-focused on finishing my crochet book on dolls that had been brewing for years. After intense work, I finished it and then…nada. I stopped talking about it. My excuse was that I was waiting to get the cover from my husband for the physical book edition…but that had been months already. I’m sure she and other family members were wondering why I wasn’t doing more to get the word out. I think after the big push this summer to finish it, my brain took a break, figuring when the physical book cover was done, I’d focus back in. Instead, I focused on a new account on Instagram all about succulents and my garden. I’m thoroughly enjoying that account by the way, but I became guilty of neglecting my crochet account both here and on Instragram.

There’s nothing wrong with focusing on something different. Sometimes we just need a break from things, but being the good friend that she is, my sis-in-law was getting frustrated that I stopped talking about my book. The book that took me years to finish and that I finally self-published on Amazon and Apple Books as an ebook but wasn’t announcing it from the rooftops.

Uhm, I don’t think that sat well with her. She started mentioning this challenge she was in and I enjoyed her posts on it. She gave me a few nudges here and there about things I could post about but nothing too pushy. I wouldn’t say I was ignoring the hints. It was more that I wasn’t catching them and letting them land. Then, I saw that Eleanora from Coastal Crochet was also doing the challenge and things just clicked. All the nudging paid off, and I decided to join the challenge. When I joined, I had to do a few catch-up posts, but they were fun to do and now I’m all caught up. I even had the courage to start talking about my book and incorporated it as part of the challenge.

I was reminded that just because I’m not necessarily working on a particular crochet project, I still have things to post about. And being more active on my crochet account again jumped started my creative juices, which I suspect was my friend’s evil plan all along. And after my hubby saw me getting motivated again, I think that motivated HIM too to finish my cover (and he was trying to get done by our 27th anniversary, which he did!). He was still very busy with his work so I wasn’t complaining, but I was super happy when he was done with it.

I love it! I love it!

I was able to upload it to Amazon and I’ve ordered a copy to see how it looks. It should arrive in about a week. Hopefully it looks good and I can start yelling from the rooftops. 😉 If not, it’s back to the drawing board to make it look good.

On that note, I already have a bunch of posts I want to write about here on my blog about the trials, tribulations, and frustrations I went through to upload and self-publish my book. I also have some ideas for posts unrelated to the book but are all very yarny. I might use some of my favorite prompts from the crochet challenge as inspiration for blog posts. I want to use different images than the ones I use there so followers to both will see something different. As for Instagram, I plan to continue with the challenge as it’s been super fun.

A big thanks to my sis-in-law/friend that her evil plan worked! If not for her, I would probably still be in my garden with my head in the sand saying, “What book?” LOL

 

Finishing My Crochet Book Amidst Pandemic

I hadn’t planned on doing a post on the pandemic that’s hit the world, but I thought about how I’ve enjoyed (maybe enjoyed is not a good word) reading other bloggers posts about how they are doing, what’s happening where they are, or what they are doing to keep from going insane. So I thought I’d share a little bit of my Coronavirus story here in Southern California.

First and foremost, in case you were worried, I have plenty of toilet paper. Right before (and I mean RIGHT before) everything went down, I had purchased one of those big packages from Costco, along with a big package of paper towels. I got it home and  realized I already had a bunch of toilet paper I had already purchased, and felt dumb for buying more when I didn’t need it. But then everything started to go nuts, and I was very happy I had my supply! Continue reading

My Book

I’ve been working furiously (again) on my crochet book on dolls, and though I’ve missed a couple (only a couple!) of self imposed deadlines, I realize now that I probably won’t finish until summer. BUT, I’ve made tremendous progress! I’ve rewritten, re-photographed and new-photographed a ton, and I feel so happy with the results.

One of the problems I’m having is that some of my older photos aren’t as good as my new photos and I’m working on figuring out what to keep and what to reshoot. The biggest problem with reshooting is that I don’t have some of the original dolls that I would like to re-photograph. Instead, I have to try to Photoshop the original shots or make new dolls entirely, which takes more time. Photoshopping takes time too, and I’m not as skilled as I should be with that.

So I’m somewhere in between. I’m salvaging what I can, reshooting what I still have, and remaking what can’t be saved. I want my book to be something I can be proud of, and I’m feeling pretty proud right about now.

Here are some pieces waiting to be sewn, stuffed, and photographed. I still need to make another two pairs of legs and then I’ll make some dolls to go with those pieces. I’ll end up with at least four new dolls.

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I took this little guy from work (I sneaked him out of the Ultimate Prize Box) and gave him a mini photo shoot. He can make an appearance in my book now. Look how happy he is! Don’t tell him he still might not make the final cut.

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blue.jpgAll in all, I’m pretty pleased. 🙂

Crochet Doll Book

LR embroidery needles

Most probably don’t remember that I’ve been working on a crochet doll book for what seems like ages. First, it took me a few years to write it. Then when I finally did, I gave it to my hubby to lay it out and get it designed. Then he kicked it back to me to add pictures and check it over. He was supposed to do that but he could never get to it, having to make a living and all. LOL Well, all this has taken over five years (maybe more)! Namely because he’s busy and I’m busy and we both kept putting it off.

But that has all ended. I vowed that I would do my part this summer.My choice was to keep waiting or do it myself. The truth is that I was intimidated by trying to do it myself. At the time, I didn’t have the experience I have now and wasn’t ready to tackle it. Now, I feel more competent about doing it and about looking up what I don’t know how to do. No more excuses. Continue reading

Crazy Art Project

I had a super crazy thought. A huge, monumental idea. It’s insane that I’m even thinking about it. I pondered a project so big, it could take me years to maybe forever to accomplish. An art piece so outlandish, I might actually try to do it. I even roped my daughter into considering doing it with me. Yes, it’s so big, I need help. I would even have to involve my sister and my husband too. And it might even have something to do with crochet.

There’s this book, a book I absolutely love, love, love. I was 19 years old and visiting my daughter’s grandparents in another state. She was just a baby, and I spent a month with them so they could get to know her. They took me to the library, which I was very grateful for since I was getting a little stir crazy being away from my own family. Reading has always been, and still is, a wonderful escape from…anything that needs escaping from. I came across this paperback called Mermaid’s Song by Alida Van Gores. I fell in love with it instantly. It’s about mermaid’s. I loved mermaids back then. I love mermaids now. It was a match made in sea heaven.

Mermaid's song.png

My favorite book of all time!

It’s a story that takes place in the ocean and didn’t have any of the nonsense about trying to be human. I returned the book, thinking I could find it at my leisure when I got back home. That turned out not to be true. Had I known how difficult it was going to be to find that book, I would have ‘lost’ it and paid the library for it. Continue reading

Success!

I am extremely excited! My sister-in-law and one of my best friends just finished making her very own doll using the techniques in my almost finished book. I gave her a rough copy of the book to try out so she could give me feedback. She is my target audience, namely someone who crochets but is intimidated about creating something off top of their head. My book is more of a tutorial than a pattern book. I wanted to pick her brain about whether said tutorial made any sense and how I could make the book better. I can’t describe how elated I felt to see her post on Facebook showing off her finished doll!

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“She’s wonky, she’s lanky, and just a little funky, but she’s done…made a ton of mistakes…like giving her so many curls her head flops about…but I’m smitten. Got get her decent…thank you Yolanda. I’m on to make her a sister!”

Based on her ideas and how I actually saw her using the book, I found some areas that I could definitely improve upon. Every time she had a question, it was an insight into how clearly I wrote that particular section. Her input was (and still is) invaluable but the best and most awesome part was seeing her get excited about making her doll. And she is even ready to make her next one 🙂

She has been there right along with me as I’ve been improving my skills on my dolls. She would often make comments about how she wished she could do it herself. I would explain the process to her but she would always say she wasn’t creative like me. She would argue she couldn’t just pick up a hook and make one without a pattern. I always shot back that she was creative and she already crocheted and knitted (which I can’t do so kudos to her) so she was already creative. I would start prattling on about how I created them and about how It was a process I followed and not necessarily a pattern and blah blah blah. That’s when her eyes would glaze over. I suspect she just wanted me to make them for her (giggle). The idea for the book was actually born and inspired by her because I absolutely knew she could just pick up a hook and make a doll (or whatever else she wanted).

My friend and I are both avid readers so instead of prattling on to her about how I make my dolls,  I decided to put it down on paper and surprise, surprise, she discovered she is creative! It didn’t work when I was throwing words at her but I’m so happy it worked in book form. I am so proud of her (and grateful she was willing to spend time on this whole project) and I love her doll!