Thursday, February 15, 2018

Can You Make A Living?

Out of all the questions I get...I get this one the most. Can you make a living...crocheting???

Yes. And no. I've been at both extremes. These days, I'm somewhere in the middle. Let's start with the Yes answer.

About 14 years ago, I was in college. And working an internship at a local hospital. I also worked for the state. During my lunch break, I would crochet. It was the only real crochet time I had. Because if I wasn't working, I was studying.

I had one coworker, that was really interested in what I made. She would always come to my office, to see what was on my hook. I started getting orders from her. Baby Shower presents, potholders, and the occasional scarf. Before I knew it, she was getting me orders. Simply by giving away the items, that she ordered from me. It was all from word of mouth.

About this time, I was also getting very interested in amigurumi toys and animal hats. I religiously made 3 blankets, 1 sweater set, and a dress. I didn't have a huge variety. Mostly because I didn't have much time. My days were very full. And crochet took a backseat.

Around this same time, I was personally struggling with a few things. And worked in a very dangerous area. So when the amigurumi bug bit me, I was hooked. It was a way, for me to have something relaxing to do. Something to keep my mind off of, the violence around me.

I would make small toys, and keep them close by. Any time, I saw a little one at work, I'd give them a toy. Before long, I was moved to a safer unit. With so many more kiddos! My toys, took off. The wife of one my coworkers, started buying me boxes of stuffing, yarn, and safety eyes. Before I knew it, a local craft store, was also making big donations.

I was mostly crocheting for my sanity. It was therapy for me. If I wasn't in school, at work, or studying...I was making toys. I'd also make sweaters, dresses, and blankets for my Goddaughters. And the nurses I worked with, started noticing. By the time Christmas came around, I was up to my neck in orders.

This is when I realized, I could make some money. I think that Christmas, I made $2500. What in the world did I crochet? Scarves, hats, toys, baby sweaters, potholders, baby blankets, and some shawls.

After Christmas, I was ready to make a go of this. I started an assembly line of sorts. Made all kinds of parts. And would take one day, to put together toys. On that one afternoon I had off a week, I would sew toys together. I'd probably sew together 20+ toys at a time. I became friends with pattern designers. Mostly via blogs, MySpace, and Ravelry...when it first began. It took a few years. To really meet people. I had a blog. I'd test patterns. I started testing for yarn companies.

By the time 2010 rolled around, I was testing 5-10 patterns a week. Making 50+ amigurumis. And working on 20 orders a month. It was crazy! But it helped pay my way through college.

For a time, I sold via Etsy and eBay. That was tough. And took a lot of time. A LOT!!! Looking back, it wasn't a ton of money...for all the work I did. I could easily make more at the hospital. Selling to random coworkers. And I didn't have to worry about shipping and all that stuff.

In 2010, I moved. To take care of my Dad. It was unexpected and sudden...something that I never could have seen coming. Taking care of my Dad, left little time for crafting. Forget Post Office trips, that would take 2-3 hours. With 30 packages. And my day job, was so sporadic, that I couldn't get orders. I simply quit. I began to use crocheting as therapy again.

When I say that I quit...I don't mean crocheting. But selling. I slowed with my pattern testing. Slowly let go of my blog. My Dad needed lots of attention. We would spend so much time in the hospital, that I couldn't regularly do much. Other than take care of him. The rest, didn't matter. During a couple of stays, my Dad did manage to sell our stuff to nurses. :)

My Mom and I, would continue doing our Church Craft Fairs. Nothing more. It was 2-3 sales a year. We already had a stash of items. We started Two Crafty Hearts in 2000. So we had a nice supply of items. And we would crochet on a regular. So items were being made. Just not at the pace, I had once crochet.

When my Dad past away in 2015, I tried to pull it together. And get things moving along. Six months later, I was actively selling at the local Growers' Markets...twice a week. Mostly to get me out of the house. I started selling for our Foundation. So I was staying motivated.

I was not back to my "online" Crafting Business. I wasn't testing patterns. I hadn't joined a single crochet group on Facebook. I was in somewhat of a slump. I made about 10 items. On the regular. That is it. When the season ended in November, I was sorta glad. We did a handful of Holiday Shows. And I was done.

Since 2015, my Mom has also gotten sick. And my plans to go back to work, have taken a back seat. Both my Mom and I craft. We crochet and sew. We sell at 3 different Growers' Markets, from April-November. Some weeks, it's 3...others it's 1. During the Holiday Season, we sold at a variety of Craft Shows. And I continue to sell items to friends. It's not crazy busy, like it once was. About 3 or 4 times a year, I'll sell something to a family member.

But I haven't ventured out, to selling online. It's a tough thing to do. And Etsy is so full of shops. It's a tough place to sell these days. I will say, I have gotten a few sales, on Instagram. But really, I rely on the Growers' Markets.

So here's the NO part. My Mom and I sell on a regular. During the busy months, we are selling 3 or 4 times a week. During the slow months...we have one Craft Show a month. The GMs are steady. You're not going to go home with $1500 in your pocket. NEVER! But most days, you won't leave, with less than $100 either. I say most. Because depending on your location, the time of the month, and what holidays are might not sell anything. For me, it's OK. Because other weeks are amazing!

Keep that in mind. At this point, we have regular customers. Friends who want certain items. Customers, who call on a regular. I have one customer, that I can 100% rely on. She will order 1 baby blanket, hat, and bootie set...once a month. If I don't hear from her, by the 5th of the month...I start to worry. She is that dependable.

Also keep in mind, family can be tough. They'll argue about pricing. In my experience, they'll order items...and never pick them up. I've had all sorts of things happen. And honestly, I tend not to take orders from family. It is tough. And I hate having to be like this. But when you invest the time and money for supplies, sometimes it's just not worth the stress.

On another note, always collect some money up front. At least 50%. For orders. It makes people more likely, to finish paying you. And collect the item they have ordered. I'll give you a few examples of us having to learn from our mistakes.

One time, my Mom had about 20 Lala Loopsy dolls. And someone we knew, wanted one. We took the dolls, and we started selling to various family members of this person. One person really wanted a doll. And insisted, in 2 days they'd pay us. We saw them for about 5 days straight. Someone had past away, and we were spending a lot of time around this family. We never saw the money. It was $25. It wasn't going to make us...or break us. But that was still time and money, that we had invested. Now, no one gets a single thing...until they pay us.

I've also had issues when it comes to prices. So I make sure now, to be firm. If I say a blanket it $30...well it's $30. I don't apologize. Or say, well I'll take $20. Because when I go to JoAnn's they don't give the yarn away. Stay firm.

If someone tells me, they want to spend $20...make a set of items that comes to that amount. Don't give people the option to look through your items. I've lost a lot from doing this. Especially with little items. Headbands are the worst! I usually get a call or text, from someone wanting to spend a certain amount of money. I'll ask what they are looking for. Then take pictures. And wait to see what they want. Then I'll package the items that we agree on, and deliver them. Lessons learned!

Lastly, if you are taking an out the details. And ask for 50% upfront. I HATE having to do this! But it is necessary. Although I will say, about 95% of the items that never get picked up...I still manage to sell. I really have only gotten stuck with one toy and a dog sweater.

The reason I HATE this so much is, I HATE to work under pressure. Knowing that I HAVE TO make something, almost drives me nuts! I feel like, I need to get the item done faster. It just really bothers me. So before, I wouldn't ask for any money. Then I'd get the item made...and would never hear back from the customer. Family, friends, strangers. It's horrible. But you need to have some sort of insurance for yourself.

Maybe it was just a flook. I'll tell you, I used to make a ton of money, doing this. Mostly, because I was around people who would regularly purchase from me. I will also say this, it just depends. I had an amazing group of ladies that I worked with. And gents! They never questioned my prices. Or my timelines. I could rely on a speedy payment.

For instance, I had a nurse who ordered a Mantilla. Or Spanish styled wedding veil. I had no idea how long it would take me. How much the supplies would cost. Or the amount of labor, that would go into this piece. But along the way, I was always honest. We talked a lot. And she was willing, to go along. Because she knew exactly what she wanted!

We went shopping together. Bought the materials. We spent over $500 on that first trip. On lace, veil, and thread. I spent about 3 months working on this piece. I had no idea, that it would take so long! There was no sort of pattern for me to follow. It was all me. At the end...I searched a bit online. I even asked a local Bridal Shop. And came up with $500. For me. Just for labor. That would be on top of the materials we had initially purchase. And about another $400 in beads and more thread. She was 100% on board. And when it was all done...she actually paid me $650. Because she LOVED the veil.

The same nurse, about a year later...came back to me. And ordered 7 baby blankets. All the same pattern. Just in different colors. Her daughter that I had made the veil for, was expecting quadruplets. And her other daughter, was expecting triplets. I made 7 baby blankets. Quoted her $30 a blanket. And with each blanket, I made her a basic hat and bootie set to match. That was my gift to her. Because she was so sweet. And always ordered from me. She was over the moon! It didn't cost me anything extra. Because I knew I had the extra yarn from the blankets. Just a nice gift, from me to her.

In the end, she would order way more items from me. In fact, she recently saw some of the play food that I make...and ordered a few sets. Keep your customers happy. Friends, family, coworkers, strangers, regular customers. That's my best advise for you.

Like I said, it just depends. On a few things. Location, the time of year, the economy. I'm not joking! My best sellers are still baby items. Scarves and adult hats...only do well in December. That's it. And not even that well. Aprons are good all year. Toys...are a safe bet. But it also depends on the time of the year. In the dead of Summer, I see more parents treating their littles. From about August to October business slows. Then picks up for the holidays. There's not as many spur of the moment purchases. More planned out items. People are more conscience to how much each item costs. January is ALWAYS super slow! There is a brief pick up in February...for Valentine's Day. And then things are steady from March-June...with baby items.

I live in the southwest, where we don't really have cold winters. That works against us. But there are other items that I put my emphasis on. I also like to troll Facebook groups to see what is popular and new. I rely on family and friends. I give out gifts...and see what the kids really enjoy. Or I take cues, from the orders coming in.

If I had more time, I'd probably turn to Etsy again. Or even pattern testing. Those things, take consistancy. And time. Things that I don't have...right at this moment. Is there money to be made? Yes. But it takes a while to establish a following online. To build up a store. Or a blog. Or even friendships with other crocheters or pattern writers.

Keep those things in mind. You will not make a million dollars just crocheting. If you have the right audience, you can make a decent living. When I was doing well...I didn't live off the money I made. I had a "real life job." But the money was much welcomed. To pay for school, books, extra things I wanted to do. I paid off my house. Was able to travel. And do things like that.

Now, it doesn't pay all of our bills either. But I will say, it pays for stuff. A utility bill, insurance, groceries...things like that. Which is much welcomed. I wish I could grow our business faster. But I'm OK, with where we are currently. It still makes what we do...worth it. And I'm not completely burned out either.




Friday, February 2, 2018

CAL #3: Traingles and Stripes Baby Blanket

Hi Guys! Happy February! So I've been wanting to make a bigger project. To be 100% honest, I like to make blankets in the winter. And only in the winter. I've managed 4 baby blankets since New Year's. I'm on a roll. But probably because it's been so cold here. I HATE having to sit down and crochet a blanket, in the middle of summer. But winter...I can make a blanket in a day or two.

And after chatting with a few people on Facebook, a blanket seemed like the most obvious way to go. I've been looking at a ton of patterns. I know a lot of beginner crochet peeps are following us. So I didn't want to tackle a king sized anything. Have you ever tackled that size? Me...not quite that big. It's a little many tackle that size of a project.

So we're tackling a baby blanket. I figured it would be the best way to go. On top of that, Baby Season is almost here. So we better start getting ahead of the crowd. 

To be honest, I was searching for something completely different. And I came upon this picture. Followed a few links. And found the pattern. I thought it would be perfect for our foundation. So I'm being a little, I don't know the word for it...selfish? Because I need to start making items for our next fundraiser. 

As far as the CAL, I'm thinking this should be a fast one. The pattern is really easy. And I think many of us, will be pushing to work ahead. I thought of making this one of those CALs, that takes the entire month. But I think we can get this one done, in 3 weeks. 

Working 1-3 color section, every week. Basically 18 rows a week. By the end, we will be anxious to get that trim done. And call it a day. What do you say? Are you in? Is it too fast? Let me know your thoughts. 

Oh, and I'm completely stumped by my color choice. Initially, I was drawn to this pattern, because of the picture. I like the simple pattern. And feel like this pattern needs a solid color. No variegated yarn for me. At least for this project.

I really like this entire project. The color scheme used. The pattern. The design of the diamonds. But I have 4 large balls of Lion's Brand Baby Soft. 2 in Creamsicle. And 2 in Bluebell. I'm thinking one of those colors would be a nice option. I can't really tell you how much yarn you will need. The designer doesn't state. But I'd say less than 4 skeins total.

I'm making my blanket a little larger. Starting with a chain 102. Instead of a 90. I find when selling, this is a good size. And while I'm thinking about it, I have a large amount of a cobalt blue yarn. Ugh! The decisions...

But in a nutshell, 3 weeks. We'll have a baby blanket! If you're like me, you might work ahead of schedule. Because I HATE having undone projects laying around.

Don't forget to print the pattern, get some yarn, and work rows 1- 18. That's the first 3 color sections. 💕

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Craft Lighting

I don't know about you. But I craft morning, noon, and night. I'm not lying!!! I have been a caregiver for about 7 1/2 years now. I had a completely different career before. And I would only crochet as a hobby.

These days, it has turned into a business for us. And honestly, a way to pay the bills. But at night, it's so hard to see. I avoid all dark materials. At all costs!

We live in an old house. 100+ years old. It's adobe. And the lighting is horrible! During the day, it's great. Open the curtains, and get to work. But at night, ugh!

So I've been researching lamps. I mean, we have your standard lamps. A floor lamp from our local furniture store. And a couple of table top lamps. But our overhead's horrible!

Have you taken a look at lamps? Lately? How about craft lamps? They are expensive!!! But I was thinking, with a Joann's's not too bad. So I got on Joann's website and did a little search. Here's what I found...

This is an OttLite Dawson LED Floor Lamp. Right now, it's on sale for $74. I like the simplicity. But at the same time, I feel like I can find something similar at Walmart or Target.

This lamp is an OttLite Dual Head Floor with Tablet Stand. It's currently on sale for $120. And I like that it has a stand for my tablet. More and more, I'm saving patterns on my tablet. And not printing them out. This would be a nice little number. You could even put use the stand for a printed pattern. I just think this one, is a good idea. And honestly, my favorite of the bunch!

The 24w 3-in-1 Craft Floor Lamp has lots of useful options. For $140, you get a few different things. There is the light. And a magnifier lens. There is also a clip, on a gooseneck. To attach your patterns and such. This is nice. But I wish it had some sort of shelf. 

The Daylight Flexi-Vision Floor Lamp is a little pricey. $200. And there are no bells or whistles. So to speak. Basically, it's a lamp. A heavy duty daylight lamp. I'm not too anxious to purchase this guy.

This lamp is my FAVORITE!!! Also the most expensive of the bunch. $287. But to me, it has everything you could need, as a crafter. It looks nicer. As in, goes with your home decor. The goosenecks. I LOVE the craft shelf. Sorta wish it had more of a tablet shelf. There's a magnifier lens. And a clip for patterns.

You have the option to put the wheels on. Or leave them off. I like that! Because I would leave the wheels off. I really do like this lamp. Any friends or family reading this...I have a birthday coming up. All Joann Giftcards are welcome! ;)

I don't know about you guys, but I really do need a lamp. I also need my own Craft Room. My Mom has a Sewing Room. And I've been considering a little redecorating. An addition of a comfy chair, some good lighting, and storage. We have a room that we don't really use. It's kind of the "Catch All Room." So who knows... 💕

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Inspired By the Love of Friends

My friends and family inspire me. Craft wise, they're always sending me pictures, dreaming up ideas, and tagging me on social media. I LOVE it!!! Some times, I get overwhelmed. Like when I had 800 tags for that heart blanket on Facebook. Ya, I don't have time to make all those...

But honestly, some of our best selling products...come from our loved ones. They'll see something, need something, or dream something up. Once I've made it...I fall in love. And so many people want those items!!!

I also run new items by our loved ones. Make something for a birthday present. Try out a new idea. Have the littles play with some toys. That kind of thing. I'm telling you, try it! Especially if you don't have littles of your own. :)

In the last few weeks, I've gotten many pictures. Some I have saved on Facebook. Because quite a few of us belong to a "Secret Group." And the settings don't allow you to save the pictures...or even share them on your page. I still haven't figured out how to save them. But I know they are there. And I use them for inspiration.

Here are a few of my favorite pics, that I've gotten via text. They're all Valentine's Day related. Many have to do with the littles. Because most of my friends have in younger than 10.

I almost died when I saw this! One of my really good friends, just had her baby girl. She has 2 little guys. And was so excited, when she found out she was having a girl. Since the Fall, I've been making so many things for her. She's ordered a ton of things from us! And in the 5 days prior to baby girl coming...I might have stayed up all night working on orders. Baby props and such.

But this is just adorable!!! And looks so simple to make. My friend asked if I could make one. By Valentine's girl will only be 2 1/2 weeks old! I already made a pink heart blanket for her. As in, shaped in a heart.

So I think this will be adorable to add! I need to get working. So I can send it off this week. It might take an hour or so. But I think this is something I should add to the regular. :)

My same girlfriend, sent me this picture. At Christmas time. I had recently whipped up a similar Christmas set. With a matching diaper cover. And she asked me to make this. In pinks. With a cute diaper cover. I have it started. But I HATE having to change the colors at every single row. But I'll have it done!

Another one of my girlfriends, knows how to crochet. I taught her about 10 years ago. Before she had kids. She now has 2 girls and a boy. She will tell you, that she is still at a beginner level. No, she is past beginner. In fact, she and I have hosted a number of CALs together. :)

But she is a lot slower than me. Hello! 3 kids will do that! She sent me this picture, asking me to make these for her kids. I'm almost positive that this is an Etsy pattern. I just haven't had the time to look. But I will...

Another friend of mine, has all girls. And asked if I could make each one...a box of chocolates. Different colors though. What a cute idea! I sorta hope, I can find a pattern. I know I can wing it. But a pattern will help make these cuties...a heck of a lot quicker!

This little game, was something I was sent by other friend. Who has 6 little ones...and two on the way. She was wanting a couple off these, for when they go out. Like to dinner and such.

She's looking at this game, as something to keep them entertained. And something that's not too loud. She said it doesn't matter the color. Because my friend wants her kids to use this for a while.

I know there has to be a pattern somewhere. But I think it's simple enough to wing. 2 small single crochet. A little stitching. And some hearts. Easy enough!

That same girlfriend is expecting twins. As in, any day now! They were a total surprise. Her and her hubby were done having babes. She had her tubes tied and all! Then she got pregnant. With twin girls!!!

Needless to say, she had given away, most of their baby stuff. And now, is in need. But she ordered these hats. For her sweet baby loves. I like how the hearts become sorta like little ears.

I'm also thinking up some sort of diaper cover. I have a few days. But I can't wait to see the babes in these. I think they will be so cute!!!

Another friend, sent me this picture. He's a fire fighter. Has 3 little girls. And now, has the sweetest little boy. That was born, last Spring. I had already made his girls, some cute Valentine's Day hats. 

But he was looking for something, for his little guy. We agreed on this hat. I want to try and crochet the heart. I saw something a while back, that was a heart with cross bones behind it. Like a "biker" kind of embellishment. So I'm going to try that.

Because Love Day, isn't just for girls. Boys should have fun too! It's just a little difficult for me to find inspiration for the boys. How about you?

My little Goddaughter, loves her some Holiday Garlands. I blame myself. I am always making her one, and sending it to her. She is always into celebrating the holidays, decorating, and putting up some garlands.

She asked me to make her one of these. No problem. Who doesn't love a good pom pom? I just don't like making them. Maybe I can make the balls. And have my Momma fluff them. She makes the prettiest pom poms!

And I might have to make one for me. I told you, it's my fault she likes garlands. They are my weakness. And I just think it would be a fun decoration!

Funny thing about these coasters...I've had them on my list...for like 5 years. I came across this picture and kept wanting to make them. Never getting to them. But now, a friend has requested 7 sets. For the ladies in her life. 7 different colors. 

I have a long list of things to get through. So many orders! So little time. But I am so inspired by all these pictures. And so grateful, that these ladies turn to me. I can create amazing things for them. And their families. And of course, it helps my Momma and I!

What inspired you as a crafter? Your little ones? Family, friends, crochet groups? How about patterns and books? I'd love to see your inspiration too! 💕

Friday, January 5, 2018

CAL #1: Sweet November Shawl

Happy Friday! And happy CAL#1 of 2018!!! I'm so excited to start the year, with our CALs. 

I got a bunch of emails and PMs, via Facebook. Regarding the speed of our CAL. So I'm going to make a few adjustments. And we'll work this shawl, in 2 weeks. Instead of 3. 

First up, our supplies. I've made this a million times. To be honest, this week I've made 3. One to get pictures of. The other 2, because I'm starting to stock pile our stash. :) 

You will need a size J crochet hook. For the life of me, I could not find mine. So I did what any other crafter would do. I dug in my stash, for 3 hours. Gave up. And pulled out a K. To be honest, I liked it more. I also found that I needed about 8 oz of yarn, to complete this project. 

I used this Mainstays yarn. And I also used some Big Twist. Both required just over a skein of yarn. Where exactly did I run out? Putting fringe on the last third of the shawl. Two quick things. I used a slightly larger hook. And instead of putting 2 strands of yarn, for the fringe...I put 3. Oh, I also added another row. I have this weird thing about the way this pattern ends. So I work 45 rows..instead of the 44 that it calls for. 

If you follow the pattern, and have a similar gauge, to the pattern...I'd say one 7oz skein will be more than enough. I'm always cautious...and buy 2 skeins. You just never know!

As far as the pattern, this week we are working rows 1-25. And before anyone gets too nervous about the pattern...let me say something. It's basically a double crochet, chain 1, all the way across. You work in the chain 1 spaces. And at either end, you make an increase. Simple. The wording of the pattern can be a little tricky. But it really is easy! 

This was my Sweet November Shawl. Rows 1-25 done. I sat and worked on this, during A Hallmark movie. If I'm not mistaken, it took me about 30-45 minutes. I'm not sure. I had the entire SNS worked, with fringe, by the end of the movie. It really does work up fast!

Lastly, don't forget about our Facebook CAL Group. If you have questions, and are on FB, go there. It will be faster for me to answer. And I encourage everyone to post pictures of their work. Happy Friday!!! 💕

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Inspired to Be Organized

So I don't know about you. But when January rolls around, I ALWAYS have this deep desire to organize my life. Especially my crafty life. How about you? I think, all of a sudden, that every piece of craft supplies...needs a place.

Actually, for about 2 years now, I've wanted to make a space like this. My Dad passed away in March 2015. And by January 2016, I was ready to convert our old dining room. Into a craft room. It was a space we didn't really use. And it needs so much love!

You see, I take care of my Mom now. She got sick, almost immediately after my Dad's passing. We are the "Two Crafty Hearts." And we craft so much! Not just crochet. Although, that is what we focus most of our crafty energy on.

Our home is an old house. One that has been added to, remodeled, and is a little funky in layout and function. So we have this room. That was our dining room. It's purpose now? Well, that is tough to say.

My Mom's sewing table is in there. So are some shelves with craft supplies. Our large freezer. The dogs' food supply. And some containers with our "Craft Stash." It's somewhat organized. But not the most inspiring of places. I'd like to change that. Along with getting us organized.

So I took to good 'ol Google. And did a search. Just to pull up some images. I know, I could have found better on Instagram or Pinterest. But y'all, I'd still be lost over there. Probably looking up recipes or Summer crafts. Because that's what happens on those pages. So let's take a look at what I found...

I adore this frame! My Dad actually bought us, about 6 peg boards. About a year before his passing. Our local K-Mart was closing. And he wanted to buy some shelves. For his business. While we were waiting to talk to a manager, my Mom spotted the peg board.

It's sitting behind a bench. In our porch. One piece, keeps our dogs in the kitchen, when we need them to be in that space. Did we ever make a display for our crafts? No we didn't. This would be a nice use of that pegboard.

I'm thinking more for hanging tools, scissors, that sort of thing. Maybe a place for small baskets. Nothing too crazy. Or complicated. Just a space, to have things handy.

Isn't this the BEST??? I think it is! I adore those thread holders. My Mom has some built into her sewing table. And some smaller ones, in her sewing room. But nothing like this. I wonder where you'd find these...

As far as the buttons and ribbons. I swear to you, when I lived alone, my supplies was like this. Organized. Displayed for me to see. When I was working on a project, I could be inspired by my supplies. I had Mason Jars filled with buttons. Sorted by color. My ribbon, all hung like this. I used wooden dowels, and eye hooks.

We NEED to do this. Especially for my Mom's sewing projects. It just makes life so much easier! I think a couple of shelves, dowels, eye hooks, jars, and racks...could accomplish this!

This is the picture that got me started. I seen it on Facebook. I like the re-purposed furniture. I LOVE that it is white. And that there is open shelving. I just like the idea, of having my craft supplies, be the stars. You know, be the accessories of the room. 

Everything has it's place. From the hanging baskets, to the boxes. And all those cute containers. I just adore this picture! It's eclectic. But is still very visually pleasing. 

In this picture, I like the idea of all the storage. I once did interior design. Mostly for friends. But it was so much fun! When I look at this picture, I want to go to Lowe's. And buy cabinets. You know, the box type. They are a lot more affordable. I want to take them home, hang them, and paint them white. Total bonus, if they have glass!

There are so many things that I like about this picture. I like how they reused a kitchen table and chairs. I adore all of the cube storage. And the idea, that everything is white! For real. This picture inspires me. And the chandelier, just makes me smile. It's like jewelry for the room. Do you want me to tell you, about all the chandeliers I had in my home?

I like the idea of the open shelving. And the white furniture. It would be a perfect place to put all of our colorful supplies. I like the idea of keep all the furniture and rugs, black and white.

It makes the space feel open. And ready to be creative. I adore this chair as well. I'd like to find us something comfy like this. In a fun color. Craft rooms are supposed to be fun and colorful. A place to inspire creativity. 

I like this shelving. Here they are showing power and paint. But I think this would be a nice idea, for yarn. I like how you can color code your stash. And see it all. I mean, I wouldn't be able to put our entire stash here. But it would be a nice start. :)

These are just a few ideas. I wish I could completely redo this room for us. And then organize my Mom's sewing room for her. It's all in the plans. You know, 2018 just started. I have 12 months to at least get started. 💕

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Cute Crochet Reads

I wanted to talk about crochet books and magazines today. I'm constantly searching at Joann's, Hobby Lobby, Michael's, Wal-Mart, and Barnes and Noble. I also spend a lot of time searching Amazon, Etsy, and eBay for fun books.

It should be known, that I LOVE to make toys. It's my favorite thing to make. And I'm always looking for new patterns. And new designers. If you have a favorite, please leave it in the comments. :)

With that being said, I like to try new things. New designers. New patterns. New toys. Here are a few of the books, I've recently had my eye on...

Everything about this book, says fun!  I want to make every project in this book. I haven't seen it in person. Only on Barnes and Noble. I wouldn't mind getting this book now, and making ahead for next Holiday Season.

These Zoomigurumi books are my favorite! There are a ton of them! I've managed to pick up a few, at Joann's. Using a can get them for almost nothing. Like a third of the price. I'm not lying. I think we have 2 or 3 in the series. All the toys are just too cute to make. I just wish my local stores carried more of them.

These Care Bears are too fun too! I remember this book, from years ago. I was in college. And would "visit" it at least once a week. Hobby Lobby was about 2 minutes from my home. But I never seemed to have extra money at the time.

By the time I could afford it, and the Winnie the Pooh book, they no longer sold them. And it made me so sad. I still think about these books. And search for them. Whenever I'm online. I am yet, to come across them...for less than $30 a piece!!!

Ana Paula Rimoli has been my favorite pattern writer. For years and years! I made my first Etsy her shop. I don't think she sells patterns any longer. All of her patterns are in books now. And I have the first three.

I can still remember finding her shop. And wanting every single pattern that she offered. I bought 3. And she gave me 2. The first time I got a large paycheck...and extra spending money...I bought all her patterns. I emailed her beforehand. And she gave me an incredible deal! I might have also been gifted a book or two. ;)

This book looks like so much fun! With bigger projects. Something that I'd now make, for family and friends. Oh how fun! I need to go look for this book!

Ana's other new book...seems to have a lot of her OG patterns. I have most of these as files. But would 100% buy this book. To have everything in one place. Easy to access when needed. 

Can you see why I LOVE Ana's patterns? They are so cute! With her patterns, I went from making crochet the fun stuff. Her patterns are so easy to read. The projects are completely adorable! Her patterns...changed my life!

I'm 100% a magazine reader. In fact, when my friends asked me what I wanted for Christmas a couple of years ago...I asked for magazine subscriptions. I'm so lucky, that they gift me, my favs for my birthday or Christmas.

But since Red Heart discontinued their magazine a few years ago...I haven't subbed to any Craft Magazines. But this calling my name! Where do I find it? Because Joann's only has cute knit amigurumi magazines.

This is another cute magazine. That I wouldn't mind being subscribed to. I saw a couple of covers, during my search. All the patterns look too cute! I think these 2 magazines are probably from the UK. But I'd still like to receive them.

I would love to hear what you've got your eye on. Or what your favorite magazine, book, or leaflet is. I like to try a little of everything. Hope I've inspired you a bit. 💕

Monday, January 1, 2018

Sweet November Shawl

Happy 2018! I hope everyone had a fun and safe night. My Mom and I went out for dinner and ice cream. Then spent the night watching movies and crocheting. Y'all everyone but me, was asleep by 9PM. I managed to finish a couple of more hats!

But we're not here to discuss that. Not today. We're here to talk about CAL #1! The Sweet November Shawl. As I hinted to yesterday, I've made this a bunch of times! Like a ton. I've never once sold them. Just made them for my friends and family. But I thought it would be a fun project to begin 2018 with.

I don't know about you. But here it has been unseasonably warm. Like 15 degrees warmer than normal. That might be, why I never got into the holiday spirit this year. But I haven't wanted to tackle a ton of wintery projects. This is something, that you can use 3 seasons a year. And it works up so fast!

Here's a couple of things. I always use Hobby Lobby's I Love This Yarn. I buy 2 skeins. I never use more than 7 oz. It just depends on how large you want to make this. I also like to lean on the side of having more yarn...and not running around trying to find the same color to finish up a project. If you are using a varigated yarn, remember there is always less yarn in these skeins. But I always buy 2 skeins. Because Hobby Lobby is on the other side of town. And I'm generally finishing a project last the middle of the night.

Once I made this, using Red Heart Super Saver. It doesn't really change a whole lot. I think I used slightly more than 1 skein. And the shawl/scarf laid a little differently. It was a bit more bulky and stiff. Something maybe you'd wear in Winter. But not Spring.

I can make one, in a sitting. Put on a good movie or two, and let me work. It ALWAYS takes more time to cut and attach the fringe...than making the shawl. ALWAYS!!! But I want to take it easy on everyone. I think we are all still recovering from the holidays. So we'll take 3 weeks to make this project.

Friday we'll begin. With rows 1-20. We'll work this section from January 5th-11th. Until then, print the pattern and get your yarn. I think I'm going to try something new. I bought some Big Twist at JoAnns. During the crazy yarn sale this week. I'm going to make it in a dusty pink. See you Friday!!! 💕

Sunday, December 31, 2017

New For 2018

Hi guys! I hope everyone had a good Christmas. And has a safe New Year's. Me? I've been buried in crochet orders. My Mom and I have managed a little Christmas fun, with our friends. And some quality time with my grandma.

But I've been thinking about so much for this year! beginning with our CALs. One of my favorite things. And about getting a bit more organized. Also, having a place for people to reach out, and chat a bit. So I'm starting some Facebook groups.

For those of you that participate in our local Learn to Crochet classes...we've got a group. I know it can be difficult, when we only meet once a month. So I thought this would help a bit. I think it will help me as well. I get a lot of the same questions. And I just feel like, this will be an easier way, to communicate with everyone.

For our customers and fans, I've also started a group for you. A place where I can let you know where we will be selling. Maybe show some of the items we are working on. Be more interactive with our customers.

Lastly, I started a group for our CALs. This group, should be the most fun. A place to interact while we make things. And speaking of CALs, I've already picked the first 7 for the year! Of course, I'm using free patterns. With one exception. For the first time ever, you'll have to purchase one pattern. I think it is for $5.

Here's a quick look of our Two Crafty Hearts 2018 CALs...

This is one of my favorite, go-to gifts. I think all of my girlfriends, my Momma, and a few church ladies have all been gifted this Sweet November Shawl. It works up so fast. And darn, I can't find any of my pictures. But it is a beauty!

This sweater...I fell in love with it! The moment I saw it. This is the one CAL, that you will need to purchase the pattern for. But I think it is well worth it!

I'm always wanting to make blankets. I find it a little difficult to stay motivated. You know, past a baby blanket. So I think this shall be fun. And a ripple. I do love the look of a ripple. Although, I think I've only ever made 3 in my life!

I came across this Hopscotch baby blanket on Facebook. I saved the picture to my phone...but not the link. And it took me a while to find this. Once I knew what the pattern was called, it was no problem!

I just like the look of this blanket. A little vintage. A nod to the Call the Midwife blanket, that was so popular a year ago. Something that I can imagine my great-grandma creating.

I have a bit of an unhealthy obsession with monkeys. I don't know what it is. When I saw this, I wanted to make it immediately! It really is cute. :) But the pattern is only for the applique. For our CAL, I want to include a Granny Square blanket as well.

I've also been quite obsessed with amigurumi food lately. I think it is always a good thing, to throw in a quick CAL. You know, after making a blanket. Or something large.

Lastly, I picked a dog. Why? It's the Year of the Dog! And let me tell you, it took me a looong while to pick a pattern. All the ones I wanted to make, required you to buy a pattern. But I was really set on making a dog.

As always, I'm open to your suggestions. What would you like to see? As far as CALs go, I try to stay with free patterns. I try to have a variety of projects and skill level. But if there is a pattern that you are interested in...please let me know!

Come back tomorrow, and I'll let you know what CAL #1 is. I'll be posting the pattern link and materials needed. On Fridays, I'll be posting our goal for the week. I think it will be better than Sundays. See you tomorrow! 💕

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Dia de los Muertos Toys and Decorations

When I think about Dia de los Muertos, I ALWAYS think of my Goddaughter. She LOVES this holiday! The kiddo, is just 11 years old. And has gotten all of us, to fall in love...with this amazing day. And celebration! 

And when I think of celebrating, I think of good memories. I was a professional Mariachi for over 10 years. And this was one of my favorite celebrations to work! I learned so much about my culture, and this holiday, from all those years!

So when I think about Dia de los Muertos, I think about fun. About celebrating, our loved ones. About making new memories. And passing on tradition. I think about all those things...that make this day so special. The people, religion, traditions, food, music, art, stories, etc. 

A few years ago, I found this pattern. And thought my Goddaughter could use one. For her birthday. I modified it a bunch. And made 3. Sent them in the mail. And I thought she was just going to kill over. When she got them, she was so excited!

This is another idea, that literally fell into my lap. And has been such a success. A friend, asked if I could make one. Before I knew it, I was making 10! She is such a fun doll. And I've attempted a few other similar dolls.

Whenever I think of Dia de los Muertos...I think of Papel Picado. And I was so excited, when I found these last year. I'm not a thread crocheter. But this could be a game changer!

I bought the thread months ago...I just need to sit down. And put my mind to it! I want to at least make 3. For my Dad's alter. But how fun, would these be, as place mats?

And because all kids need to carry something. I usually make wands. But these would be fun too!

This pillow, I may have gotten a few requests for them too. I think they are so fun! And would be fun, on the couch. All season long!

These buckets, were a regular for me as well. They're not tough. Just a fun addition to the season!

I saw similar pieces to these recently. And I fell in love! The possibilities are endless. I can already see myself, making a ton of them!

Skulls, buttons, and amigurumi! Need I saw more? I want to make dozens and dozens. They are so fun! And for my Goddaughter, they would be a fun birthday favor.

Kids enjoy the holiday as much as us adults. And I think we should encourage it. More than just the outward "skulls." But the true reason, behind Dia de los Muertos. Let the littles help with the alters, prep, and of course...the celebrations!