Friday, January 30, 2009

Locks of Love progress

I think I can, I think I can...

When I started my personal challenge for Locks of Love, my hair couldn't even be gathered for a pigtail. I've still got a ways to go, but I'm still at it. I've got about 45 more pounds to lose, and probably 5 more inches of hair to go. Alongside that, I've made almost $55 from shop sales to go with it. Sales are very slow right now, but hopefully they'll pick up soon.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

CPSIA and Libraries: Ban Books, or Ban Children?

The new lead law goes well beyond just toys. As of right now, books are not exempt from this law. In this article from the American Library Association, beginning February 10 libraries will be forced to remove all children's books from the collection for testing, or ban children under 12 from visiting the building.

I don't have to tell you all just how unacceptable this is. The time to act is now. The Consumer Product Safty Commission is calling for comments from everyone that will be affected by this law until no later than January 30. If you will be affected in any way by this law, stand up and be heard. Let the CPSC know that this law will hurt millions and help no one.

Monday, January 26, 2009

My Red Shoes

In the Winter, I wear bright red shoes. All the time. With everything. Seriously.

I'm a pedestrian most of the time, so I needed some waterproof footwear. I hated the way most utilitarian boots looked, though. I'm a practical girl. I always like to look for something useful above something soley decorative, but that doesn't mean I want something bland. When I found a pair of fun, bright red shoes that do exactly what I need them to do, it was love at first site.

That thinking is also the motivation behind my shop. Fun and Functional. I want to make useful things for people, but I also want them to be something fun and/or pretty so they can be shown off. Something to be proud of.

I get teased a little for wanting to focus on functional things to make. A lot of people see handcrafting as an outlet for the decorative, rather than the useful. But this is how I roll. It won't make me rich, but at least I'll know that when someone buys something from me, it'll be used and loved a lot, rather than sit on a shelf.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Yay! I don't have to set my stash on fire!

Mom wants me to make her a pair of typing gloves, but she's allergic to wool. I know I have some non-wool yarn in my stash, but I'm missing the lables to alot of it, so I would have had to do a burn test, which I actually recently learned how to do.

You set it on fire. No foolin'. You take a small piece of the yarn, and put a lit match to it. If it catches fire, it's not wool. If it snuffs itself out and smells like when you get some hair caught in your hair dryer, it's wool. Wool is flame retardant, which makes it ideal for kitchen towels and oven mitts.

Today, however, I decided to visit my local yarn shop to try to save myself the hassle of burning several boxes of yarn. In the back of the shop, I saw several great colors of a yarn called Sunday Best, which was 51% cotton, and 49% viscose. After asking the shop owner what the heck viscose was (basically Rayon™), I happily picked out a couple colors for Mom's gloves.

But I couldn't leave the shop just yet. That just doesn't happen in a yarn shop. You don't just waltz in, get the one thing you need, and march right out again. Before I knew it, my lunch hour was over, and these guys jumped into my arms.

800 yards of sport weight, hand dyed superwash wool later, now I have to find a pattern. TGFR (Thank Goodness For Ravelry!)

Friday, January 16, 2009


-- I don't have enough work to stay busy all day today. This is going to be a long day.

-- I really like that Flickr added that photo editing utility. It saves my bacon when I forget to use Gimp.

-- I got sacrificed on Facebook. I hope that person enjoys their Wopper.

-- I'm really antsy to start my podcast. I hope I can find an affordable mixer soon.

-- I really would benefit from learning more about MARC records at work, but cataloging rules are supposed to change soon, so perhaps I should wait.

-- Is it bad that I refer to my PDA as my good brain?

-- I wish John Cleese would post another podcast. I really love them.

-- I drank a can of Diet Pepsi before I even got out of bed this morning. That is a new record.

-- I'm STILL looking for an instruction book or DVD that I like for the mandolin.

-- I made a sale on BluJay. I was worried that I'd have to shut it down, but I'm glad people actually do know that I'm there.

-- My mouse cord keeps getting caught on something, but I can't figure out what. I wish they'd let me use a wireless one at work.

-- "Freak Out" is playing on the radio. Half my department wants to get up and dance.

-- I hope the weather holds this weekend. I'm going to visit my folks in Michigan.

-- I always wonder if people read these kinds of posts. It helps clear my head to write them, at any rate.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Slowly setting up a new storefront

With sales being very slow, I've decided to test out a new venue. Some of my Etsy friends have been having luck with, so I thought I'd toss my hat into that ring and see if it's the right audience for my products.

I only have two items listed there so far, but I'll gradually fill it out as my inventory increases. Let me know what you think of my new storefront.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Headband Hogwild

Over at my BluJay store, I had a potential buyer ask me for a headband in a different color than what I have listed. I was thrilled at the prospect of a custom order, and I proceeded to make one in each of the three colors she suggested so she can choose which she wants.

It had been a while since I last made a headband, and I forgot how fun they are to make. I think this will make a great stash-busting mission :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Working on a custom order

A couple weeks ago, an Etsy friend asked me about making a laptop case for her. I'd never done one before, so I'm excited to take on the challenge. My sewing skills aren't up to the task, so it's up to my trusty knitting needles.

At first, I'd wanted to make it felted, but then I realized that wool would present a problem with static electricity. Not a good thing for electronic equipment! So, I looked up a dense, sturdy stitch, and am proceeding to test out a prototype in a linen stitch. It's looking very promising so far, I must say.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Featured EtsyBlogger -- Rose Works Jewelry

This month's Featured EtsyBlogger is Ruthie from Rose Works Jewelry!

Ruthie is a gracious blogger and a very talented jewelry designer. Geek that I am, I couldn't resist showing off her Legend of Zelda bracelet ;)

Be sure to check out the new shop she opened with her Mom!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Blog Carnival -- New Year's Goals for my Shop

I'm not very good at resolutions. Unless I make them very tiny, I don't usually stand a chance of keeping them. This year, though, I'm picking a tiny resolution that will hopefully make a big difference in my shop. This will be the year of the Photo.

Once a week (at least), I resolve to load one photo into Gimp and coax it into looking a little more professional. After all, my work is quality, and my pictures should be doing a better job of showing it. With luck, maybe sales will pick up, and people will have a better idea of what my products are like.