Friday, December 30, 2011

Yarn Stash and 2012

Okay, what does my (to me) humongous stash of yarn have to do with 2012?
I spent the better part of a day last week re-organizing my yarn bins and cleaning up the mess. A cat would have a heyday with the flowing strings and balls! Everything was being placed into semi-clear bins by color, except for one bin of only cotton.
And what I discovered were some wonderful threads I had forgotten about so I pulled out a bunch and put them in a basket.......whoa! STOP!!!! That's how the mess got started with the "I'm going to use this next" basket of yarn which was next to the "new yarn I don't want to put away" basket besides the "scraps of yarns just finished with" basket....ugh!
I put them all back in their respective bins. I emptied my 2 knitting totes of all their odd leftovers and stashed them as well.

And we were neat again.

So what does this have to do with 2012? AGAIN, I vow to make a dent in this stash. Unless there is a special order calling for a color I don't have (unlikely) I will NOT purchase yarn. For how long? I dunno! But I'm going to try. I am going to disregard the 50% off coupons and walk away.
The photos just show 3 of the 6 bins.
Oh, see anything you like/need/want? Let me know and it just may be listed in the shop! That's another way to get rid of some and then buy more, right???!!!

Happy,Healthy 2012!
January 3....not to be believed....just got a special order and don't have the color for part of it. What color, you ask? BLACK!!!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Lesson Learned

So in my last post I ranted and raved about devaluing my work, marking down prices, the value of a sale.
And what did I do? Had a sale!!!! Head hanging in shame? No, this one worked. Why?
Last week was my last show of the season and we all know meeting and talking to people in real life is vastly different than our on-line experiences. I also am well aware of what I call the "touch factor"....beng able to pick up, touch, try on beats examing a photo on the computer. As I was packing for the sale I was thinking how some pieces have been with me awhile. Read that as:OLD! I want them gone!
I decided to have a sale on my hats, gloves and scarves-a pre-holiday draw. I also sent an e-mail blast to local friends, neighbors and previous buyers, offering them the sale price AND delivery. I would never do this at the start of the craft show season but since it was my last, I felt it was worth a go.

Well, it worked! I had a good fair, moved many scarves, hats & gloves and the verbal interaction definitely made the difference. That also included 4 local sales.
The best comment I heard was "Your prices are so reasonable, I feel like I'm stealing!" which I replied, "Well, you can pay full price!!!"...she bought.

The lesson learned: Sales may work in real life.
Did I lose any money? No.
Did I network? Yes.
Did I devalue myself? No.
Oh, did I mention I had the same sale going at the same time online? Zip, zilch, nada.
And now I have some extra coin to buy more yarn and make new items. Well, I won't buy any yarn....we all know how huge the stash is.....the photo shows a teeny fraction!

In case we don't 'talk', I hope your holiday is warm and wonderful!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

To Sale or Not To Sale!!!

My goal when I embarked on the online craft path was to make what I love and share. My family (few females) are probably sick of receiving my creations and now, unless they ask, they get nothing made by me. (Right now I am making the boys hats with beards attached...who knew that would be a request?)
I have always been thrilled to sell my work as it is a type of positive validation. As Sally Field said "They like me. They really like me!"
Of course earning some extra money has been wonderful if only to feed my supply addiction and stash. So I think I have always priced fairly. I'm not looking to rip off anyone but entice by design, good pricing and heart.
Then there are holiday sales....a not so positive experience for me over the years but I didn't want to be left out so I joined those promotions. Selling scarves in July kind of yells for a price reduction and I've done it. Not to great success,though. 
Back to school, Halloween and then Cyber Monday and I see fellow crafters marking down their creative endeavors by 15-20-30 even 40%!!!! I'm confused so I posted a query on Facebook.
Responses varied but many agreed that their prices were fair and marking them down was a hurtful loss. And, like my experience, they really didn't work. I understand the desire to drum up business, get positive feedback or move older pieces but the profit margin for many is so slight, a sale hurts.
I say, do what you love, love what you do and don't devalue yourself. Does that mean I'll never have a sale or a discount or free shipping? Maybe. Maybe not. But I don't think I'll allow myself to follow the big box pack....I'm not in that league and don't want to be. I don't have items in the $100+ range, far from it and although more sales are always welcome, I will not devalue myself just for a sale.

Here's my latest...price firm!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I don't know if it's the nature of a crafter combined with the needs of a teacher that encourages saving and thinking "Someday I'll use that" and whatever 'it' is gets stashed and saved.
As an elementary school teacher, I was always collecting what appeared at first glance, some useless items....egg cartons (of course), Crystal Light plastic containers, swizzle sticks and chop sticks and so much more.
If old clothes were clean and in good shape, they were donated. If not, they were saved for the fabric and certainly the buttons.
In my quest to use what I have, I am beginning to make a dent in the stash pile...yippee!The boys want hats with beards attached and I have ALL the yarn I need here in the house...yay!

This snow man is on fabric that was a shirt and the eyes are broken straight pins! The buttons are vintage.

This magnetic pin holder was made with an advertising magnet and again, a piece of discarded farbric from a shirt.
And lastly, of the recent projects, a felted cuff from a hot washed wool sweater...not planned!
So in the long run I am pleased with all the stuffing and stashing and storing of stuff and am happy they now have new lives! Now what can I make with that.......?!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


I find it so interesting to see what sells and what doesn't, especially at shows where you have a concentrated block of sales in a definite time period...well, hopefully!
The first time I sold 9 sets of wash cloths at a show I thought I had the new pet rock!

The first show this season was a scarf and bookmark show....oodles. Yay, terrific.

The 2nd show 2 weeks later,in roughly the same area, no scarves at all but handwarmers and bookmarks.
Now I did have the other odd item here and there-some barrettes, a pin or 2, a tapemeasure but the scarves and handwarmers were the hits and the bookmarks. Now some may say, it's getting cool, tis the season for those sales and that is true but I have a new and different viewpoint. I'm thinking people,in this tense economy, are purchasing the practical. The needed. The useful. Not the decorative little doo-dad that may become a dust collector. Maybe they'll buy those closer to the holidays when gifts are really needed but I'm sensing a shying away from that stuff. Maybe marketing and promoting have to be steered in that direction. What do you think?

Anyway, here's a useful, little doo-dad I just listed. I can't help myself!
And oh, after 2 shows, just 3 sets of wash cloths!

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Why I love/hate October and why does everything happen at the same time?
This time of year is always so busy,not just for me, but for most people. It starts with the beginning of school, the seasonal weather changes and so many holidays and events my head spins. Of course, there are always the usual crafty business things in advance of the holidays. DH had a concert/convention that took us away for 3 days but it seemed like a week. I had a show 2 weeks ago and 2 more coming up. Yard work preparing for the winter must/should get done. Summer clothes need stashing and long sleeves must be found.
Years ago, my physician said "Hello, my October girl" as he walked in the examining room. Seems he noticed I was visiting every October for several years with various ailments usually involving head and chest congestion. Despite what many say, the change of weather always sickens me, but not as consistently since we moved south. I have hoped that "routine" had ended.
For the past 2 weeks, my adult son has been sick and I said "Ah, October", it's your turn. I have been watching the calendar as I will have the boys for 4 days. next week. With their complicated busy schedule, I'm concerned as next Saturday is my 2nd show with set-up on Friday. At the same time as the set-up is their school "Hootenanny" which they adore going outdoor event of 4 hours! (No sign of rain in the forecast!) Then it's off to the airport late Friday to pick up their returning parents. Saturday show from 9-3 and DH has a show at 7. Sunday is loaded with 2 more events.
So with mixed emotions, I began preparing for next week 2 weeks ago...tagging, pricing, packing, cooking, cleaning, shopping. Why so far ahead you ask? And I answer "You never know what can halt the preparations so plan ahead."
What's happened to stop me in my tracks? it is the 30th and I'm in the throws of feeling like crap....fever, headache, chest congestion and yes, I did have the flu shot. Why couldn't I get through this month? Why does October hate me?
Med place opens at noon and I'll be there!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

All About...Me!

This has been circulating and it's pretty neat...the ABCs of you, or in this case me! Feel free to copy.

A. Age: getting older as I type! but I will be..really?...nah!!!

B. Bed size: King
C. Chore that you hate: Cleaning floors....hardwoods look great but...
D. Dogs: None now...I honestly don't want the responsibility.
E. Essential start to your day: Coffee, black

F. Favorite color: When this question is asked I'm always wear or to decorate with? Lately for me it's been orange and gray.
G. Gold or Silver: gold

H. Height: 5’8"  but I may be shrinking...see the A above...
I. Instruments you play: none
J. Job title: Retired mother, grandmother, wife, creator
K. Kids: 1 married son
L. Live: Greer, SC
M. Mother’s name: Irene

N. Nicknames: Baba
O. Overnight hospital stays: birth delivery and foot operation
P. Pet peeves: messy surfaces that need to be used for other purposes...are you listening,honey?!
Q. Quote from a movie: "I'm gonna beat you till you're dead, old man"....from Moonstruck. (I am NOT violent but it can be a perfect line to repeat!)
R. Right or left handed: Right

S. Siblings: 1 older brother
T. Time you wake up: 6:30-7:00
U. Underwear: comfy cotton
V. Vegetable you hate: radishes
W. What makes you run late: usually someone else...are you listening,honey?!
X. X-Rays you’ve had: dental,chest,feet
Y. Yummy food that you make: soups...haven't blown one yet.
Z. Zoo animal: entertaining!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Quotes and sayings and things to remember!

Let me be upfront...I rarely can tell a joke, long, short, it doesn't matter.I am usually forgetting the punchline. There are sayings I love and never recall them to insert at the right time. And so many quotes that also escape me. My brother and mother have that gene....I was passed by!
I received a catolgue the other day with some pretty sarcastic and funny sayings on them. Do I remember any? Well, they're sitting right here so I can tell you some. These were all printed on signs or mugs or t-shirts.
This was written for me.... "The house was clean last week (sorry you missed it)."
And this one... "The voices in my head told me to buy more shoes"....uh huh!

Anyway, they all got me to thinking about putting these on some clocks like this one:

I make these clocks with the brilliant graphic mind of Judy from PortableGraffitiGraphics . She creates the design while I assemble the clock. It got me thinking that YOU may have a saying, a joke, a line you'd like immortalized on a clock and most probably Judy and I could do it. So drop me a note at AllAboutTheButtons or leave a comment here and together we can make time!!! Or maybe you feel like this clock!

Oh, and they don't have to be fresh or sassy or sarcastic! They can be anything that speaks to you!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What I Make

In previous posts, I confessed to crafter's ADD....I like to make lots of things and get easily bored if I have to repeat. Almost everything I make is one-of-a-kind. That got me to thinking....what do I make? It kinda of made me stressed to think of it all.
Scary to think, I probably have forgotten something! (and I did...just added aceos)

basket clocks
bobby pins
book clocks
box clocks
button necklaces
button bracelets
CD clocks
clothespin magnets
cocktail spoons and forks
crochet bracelets
crochet necklaces,

custom business clocks
dog sweaters
dish cloths
embellished boxes
embroidery hoops
eyeglass cases
face scrubbies
hand warmers
magnetic bookmarks
mini purses
napkin rings
plate clocks
ribbon bookmarks
scissor fobs

shadow boxes
wash cloths
wood magnets

I have 12 letters of the alphabet not covered yet...better get cracking! So I am taking suggestions for new products starting with letters I haven't yet used. Colors don't count.
What can I make that starts with y? U?  Hmmmm.... remember, most of my things have buttons on them!
And I'll calm my stress with this bit of advice:

Friday, August 26, 2011

Catch Up on A cRaZy WeEk!

The week started with an unusual activity for me....I went to the movies! I love home with the remote in control. This was actually only the 3rd time in 9 years for me. I went with some neighbor pals to see "The Help" which we had all read and loved. Most often a movie is a poor second to a good book, even a so-so book. This was a great book and a terrific movie....faithful to the book, wonderful acting and great attention to the visual details of 1963. Don't miss it!

I was walking past our designated guest room and heard an unfamiliar noise. There are 2 mirrors hung in there that are loose and a slammed door will make them rattle. No one has slammed anything. I called my husband in to watch and listen to the mirrors and his reaction was "Oh, it's the guys outside mowing"...uh, since when does a lawn mower shake a mirror? A few minutes later we found out it was an earthquake 6 hours north of us! We didn't feel it but saw and heard it.

Hurricane Irene...My Mom's name was Irene so hearing her name all week has been unsettling. My Mom was no hurricane! Talented, creative and quiet,yes! Up until yesterday we kept getting calls and e-mails from friends and family who are geographically challenged! A cousin called from Florida to warn me that since it passed her it's heading to me in North Carolina...uh, no! We are in SOUTH Carolina and at closest, 4 hours from the shore, so yes, we're fine. Then I turned my calls to friends in NJ, NY and MA and some were clueless that Hurricane My Mom is heading their way. May this storm just go away and leave everyone alone.
Last night the boys came for dinner. They do not exactly eat the same foods. Now if I were feeding them every day, I'd change the rules but this is Grandma's house and rules are bent so they each got their favorites. I incorrectly assumed I'd have leftovers but not after repeated "Any more?" For the next dinner, I may have to re-mortgage!
And now we are about to face a weekend with NO plans!!!! Hooray!
I may just make another one of these....isn't it the cutest?!

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Economy and Handmade

Okay, let's just get it out there....the economy sucks. We know it. We're living it. There's barely anyone who isn't affected somehow. Young,old and in between.
Many, many people have turned to crafting in recent years. And why?

Some need the creative outlet and decided to try their hand at enjoyable hobby/business.
Some have always tried to sell...a career.
Some are doing it to save money for themselves....environment and economy minded folks.
Some are doing it to supplement their incomes...those whose other jobs aren't cutting it.
Some are crafting to create an income....the unemployed.
And there are various combinations of those reasons.

The reason really doesn't matter but the product does. When and if you see an item at a festival, online, or at a crafter's co-op, think of the person behind the product. Think of the hands who molded the clay, threaded the needle or held the paint brush. You have a direct link. Think beyond them to their homes and families who might be very similar to yours. What might your purchase do for them? Their families? If you stop and think about it, it may become an additional reason to buy. We don't do that enough and the opportunities aren't really available.
Will we think about the oil rigger who had a hand in the gas we're pumping? No.
Do we think about the farmer who sowed the seed for the tomatoes in that jar of sauce? No.
It's back-to-school time now and the holiday season is right behind....big shopping events.
I think, I hope, you get my point. You can really have a direct impact on the lives of others when you choose to buy handmade. We all must spend our precious dollars carefully these days and when we choose handmade, besides a wonderful item, you'll feel good inside. Not a bad buy!!!

Friday, August 5, 2011


Savor the moment.....
Six years ago today my youngest grandson was born. I was taking care of the older one at the time and he kept questioning "Is my brother here yet? Is my brother here yet? Is my brother here yet?"...he was a bit past three. Today, naturally, they poke and push each other like animals but life without either is unimaginable. Six!!!
Harder to believe, the boys' father, my son, turns 37 tomorrow. And me not quite 40! HAHAHAHA!
Wasn't it yesterday when he asked for a "Manilow cookie"...Milano. And wanted to learn how to "lawn the mow". Was it yesterday when he fell out of a tree, landed on his head and broke his wrist? How excited it was when he became a US ranked tennis player? When he bought a building for his now successful business? When he became a father?
Yesterday? No, but locked in my memory bank forever.
Just came in from a birthday breakfast with them and the little guy hugging me and saying "You're the best"...and the biggest one saying to him "I told you"...
Happy Birthday Boys!!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Versatile Blogger

I guess if you are versatile you have many talents, attempt many things, vary your routines and so on. My blog flips around to many topics so I must thank Amy of TenthAvenueSoapworks for giving me this award!

The rules of the Versatile Blogger Award are:

1 – Make a post and link it back to the person who gave you the award (and include their website address)
2 – Share 7 random things about yourself
3 – Award 7 bloggers with this award and contact them to let them know they have won

First the 7 random facts about me....
1-I cannot start my day successfully without my coffee (black) and the newspaper crossword puzzle (in ink).
2-I have eaten ice cream for dinner....many times.
3-I love the beach but don't swim.
4-I probably have more buttons than Michael's & ACMoore combined...big surprise!
5-I changed the course of my life because I HATE painting...not good for an art major.
6-Sewing machines push my buttons. We just don't get along.
7-I am proud of my computer skills since I am 98% self taught.

I am awarding this 'present' to:

Raige Creations

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Time for Baseball

I've written before about my son, grandson and baseball but since then we have moved onto a whole different level of 'game' playing. Little League was nothing compared to what is called travel ball.
Almost every weekend there has been a 2 day tournament with 4-5 teams. This past weekend it was bumped up to 4 days and about 8-9 teams. During this last one, Mother Nature deemed us fit to cook and the temperatures were an inhospitable 94 to 99. I went to EVERY game-2 Friday,1 Saturday, 2 Sunday and 2 Monday. Nuts,eh? Yes, but oh, such great fun.

Watching the kids mature, develop and play their hearts out was a treat. My grandson is 9.
Watching my son (at almost 37) mature and develop further was a joy.

Monday was the championship and our boys were ranked #1 and set to play #2. The heartbreaker came during the top of the last inning. Our boys were leading the entire 2 1/2 hour game. The other team caught up and passed us by 2. We had last at bat but it wasn't meant to be.
No tears.
No foot stomping.
No thrown bats.
No bad sportsmanship.
A joy to watch young boys develop character to hopefully become good young men.
A joy to watch my young man continue to develop and mature and make me proud.
I do believe positive sport's experiences can provide an invaluable education for the future.
Now, the behavior of some of the mothers? That's a whole other posting!

It's almost time for me to leave now. Where? Well, our boys played so well and behaved so honorably this week, that they were invited to participate in another 4 day event starting today.....where's my bat and glove?!
Have a great weekend!

FRIDAY UPDATE: In response to my wonderful readers & their son refuses to play "Daddy Ball" where his son is in and given advantages no matter what. Despite the score, he will pull any kid who is not clicking whether in skill or especially attitude. If anything, he's too hard on his son in attempting fairness....spoken by a true grandma!
Oh, last night's games? The first was against a team who had beaten us handily twice in the past but our kids reigned supreme winning fairly. Second game....intense drama but we won 10-9 in 2 1/2 hours ending at 10:30PM!!!
I happened to be sitting with the head umpire who has been working with kids in baseball for over 40 years. He paid our kids great compliments and said Monday's game was THE best game he ever saw with 9 year olds...nice to hear. He made it a point to watch our game last night because of Monday.
So they are 2-0 against kids a full year+ older. Tonite is in question as it's been raining all day. I'll keep you posted. Go team!

Thursday, June 30, 2011


I've written about collaboration before and want to share a new venture that was just started. Judy, of PortableGraffitiGraphics , and I have become good friends since we 'met' almost 2 years ago on Zibbet. She knew that I made clocks using a discarded CD as the base like this one:
And by the way, Happy July 4th!!!

We are now offering custom made clocks using a shop logo or avatar as the face. This would make a great gift for the crafter you know. Place it on a table when you do your shows. Hang it in your work space for accurate time and inspiration! Hey, significant others, your crafty partner would love this!
The one pictured on the right is our sample using MimiandColette as our prototype. The one below, we created for the BaubleBin.
You can let either Judy or I know if you are interested.
The listing is in my shop.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Yours or Theirs

Grrrrrrrrrr.....we all make typos but lately I have seen just plain out misspellings that no spell check is going to pick up. It is the wrong usage of a correctly spelled set of words. Now I am NOT professing to be an English master, but people who are earning nice $$$ on blogs and websites or are attempting to sell their crafts, are blowing this and need a smack upside their heads!!! This is also not a case of the new lingo replacing the old. It is just using the words incorrectly.
The first group is your or you're. If you can substitute the words 'you are' in place of your and it sounds right then the spelling is YOU'RE.
For example:
1-Your house is nice.
2-You are house is nice.
#2 is wrong, so the spelling is YOUR, choice #1

1-Your due at the show by 5:00.
2-You are due at the show by 5:00.
#2 is correct so use YOU'RE...okay?!

Group 2...there, their, they're
They're there at their house....confused?
Again, if you can substitute 'they are' and it sounds correct, use THEY'RE. In my example: They are there at their house. a place/location word and inside is another So if you are (or you're) referencing a place, use there.
Last one...their. They're there at THEIR house. Whose house? THEIRS!!! It belongs to them.

I just finished reading a popular craft blog with thousands of visitors monthly, thousands,  and both you're and their were misused. Don't rely on spell check. It will not pick this up but your readers may and be turned off by what you're
saying because you don't know how to right  write. And they also may not by buy!  English is fun.......... :)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Zibbet Daily Deals

A group of lively Zibbet folk brainstormed in rapid fire fashion on Facebook today and came up with what could/should/hopefully be a great idea . Notice to the top right a widget stating "Zibbet Daily Deals". Click and check it daily for some wonderful offers from many Zibbet shops. It could be percentages off or free shipping or buy one, get never know!
My fellow Zibbeters have consistently shown their amazing talents and true sense of community and friendship. I didn't begin selling online to make friends but have been truly graced by the company of some wonderful artisans.
Do check the deals and check out is a wonderful place to be. Special thanks to Judy of Portable Graffiti Graphics for her design talents and ever willingness to help others. Visit her shops for a fabulous array of buttons, vintage and her graphic and proof reading services.
And check out the daily deals.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


June was always very special to me.
As much as I mostly loved school as a student, June was exciting as it marked the end of the grade. As a teacher, boy oh, boy, was it an exciting month----the end of the 10 month year. 

My Mom always celebrated half birthdays and mine is in June, so another special event.

And now, through my grandsons, I'm aware of the end of school but really don't care. Half-birthdays? Marking getting old twice a year? Uh,no!

June has a business focus as I make sure to create any Father's Day  or graduation gifts.  No one is even close to graduating from anything in our family, so no gifts there.
June has a weather focus as in South Carolina, the serious heat is here. In New York, it was planting time. Here, it's don't let those babies dry up in the heat...water, water, water!

So what does June mean now? Really, it's just another month.

I do start thinking about fall/ winter items for the shop. Maybe having a "Christmas in July" sale again, even though they've been nothing in the past.

I decide if this old body will go in public clad in a bathing suit....probably not!
I stock up on bug spray and bite ointments.
We use the grill more and sit outside alot.
I love summer fruit which is starting to come in.
My husband and daughter-in-law have birthdays.
We have higher electric bills due to air conditioning.
We have lower home gas bills.
We're sad on Father's Day as we don't have our Dads but we're very proud of the Dad my son has become.
We're thankful we've completed 6 months of the new year without major issues.
So in the end, every month evolves and their meanings get adjusted and renewed. For new and different reasons, June is special. Enjoy yours!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

New Disorder

We all know about and sometimes some of us are afflicted by the alphabet soup of disorders...ADD, ADHD, OCD and on and on.
I have EBBC...Easily Bored By Crafts!
Now, don't get me wrong, I LOVE to make things and some genres I have been active in since I was 8, like knitting and crocheting. But I really love making something new and different and if it involves upcycling, recycling, repurposing, all the better. I rarely can or will make the identical item twice. Because of my EBBC, my shop tends to be an eclectic mix with a bazillion categories (Thank you Zibbet for feeding into my disorder!) that may overlap or over reach. It's hard to pinpoint me in a 4-5 word description to fill in those blanks about what I sell. But, hey, this is me! My flightiness also includes a deep love for many materials as well...buttons, yarn, buttons, paper, ribbon, fabric, and oh, did I mention buttons?
I do admire the clean look of shops and booths that are so organized with items made with love but will fall under only one category like card makers, just  knitters or just jewelry.
I have fun making stuff and find it hard to make the same things over and over. Of course, if they're monster sellers, I can reconsider!
Anyway, here are 2 of my new items, one upcycled and one just darn cute!

Anyone else want to join my EBBC support group?!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011


Crafters are a unique bunch. Compulsive, obsessive, dedicated, energetic, talented, focused. I'm sure those traits are apparent in many fields but since I'm a member of this club, that is my observation.We search our brains for unique projects. We shop for the materials. We organize our work spaces. We execute the item. Photos are taken. Listings created. Postings regarding said items go on forums, Facebook, Twitter, etc. We compliment others and thank those that acknowledge us. We wait and wait and wait for the Paypal've made a sale. Sometimes it's in 5 minutes of a posting. Often it's way longer.

Now all I've described above should be only a small part of our day but for many the percentage is too high. Most crafters have other jobs, homes, school, families needing attention. Frustration seeps in. Questioning arises...why don't they like me? What am I doing wrong? How come she sells and I don't?
Public moaning is posted on the internet. Comraderie & understanding from fellow artisans helps but maybe, just maybe,
this is the time to walk away from the computer. Leave the craft space. Put the camera down and change direction.

Pick up a book. Weed the garden. Bake bread. Watch a movie. Visit a friend.

Remove yourself from the craft environment and breathe. Do not let your shop/items/creations be 100% of your life. There's much more out there. Refresh  and when you finally do check back in, bingo, there may be a sale. And if not, move on.
Do what you love and love what you do!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

My "Pet Rock"

Several years ago I wanted to revive and improve my crocheting skills. Waaaaaaaaaaay back when, I even crocheted dresses and sweaters but under the close direction and scrutiny of a teacher. I re-started by making wash/dish cloths and used them myself, not for sale. I quickly realized these were pretty cool-wore well, washed well and did whatever scrubbing job I put them to so I made some for sale. Slowly, they sold, a set here, a set there.
Last fall when I started the craft show circuit, they were my top sellers. I love making many color combos as there are wonderful cotton yarns out there now. They are so portable, I take them with me whenever I think I will have to wait-at the doctor's, the mechanic, in the car (obviously when someone else is driving!).
Anyway, this week I had orders for a total of 11 soap sacks and 15 wash cloths! Phew! The one bad aspect? No buttons!
Clean up, everyone and have I got a rag for you!!!! Also, I have teamed up with TenthAvenueSoapworks....soap+cloths...great gift idea!

Thursday, April 7, 2011


For many reasons, some obvious, I have decided to close my Etsy shops. The obvious reasons have to do with the turmoil and drama that seems to swirl over there and has been fairly public. But there's more...I'm supposed to be retired! I had a 33 year career as a teacher and now is 'supposed' to be my time of choice....I can choose what I want to do, when I want to do it. I love creating and have learned that in order to create AND sell, vast amounts of time must be put in promoting and marketing. Three online shops, actually 4, is just too much for me. It's not what I choose to do so much.

The sidebar Etsy link here has been removed.
I have new business cards with only my Zibbet address. 
I have removed the Etsy decal from my car which really was indispensable when trying to find my common car in a parking lot!
The stores are still open as I am allowing everything time to expire and
I am offering a 10% refund when you write "Blog" in notes to seller for anything that is still in AllAboutTheButtons or AllAboutTheFiber .

I leave with a bit of sadness as Etsy opened the doors for me to sell my work. I am grateful for that but we've both grown and changed and no longer need each other.
As evidence of growth, even though this pin was very pretty, look at how crappy the photo of my first online sales in October 2006. Yes, I've grown and changed!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Craft Show Learning Curve

Wiser people than I have said to not work a show that you have not visited first. This is an often difficult piece of advice to follow when starting on the circuit. There are other, subtler lessons to learn.

Last fall I did a mediocre show at a high school about 25 minutes away, that I had never attended as a visitor. Lesson learned: try not to do a show that is off the beaten path. This school was a destination and attracted no drive-by traffic. Out in the woods may not be profitable.
Yesterday, I worked a new show again. I had been suggested to this group and was obviously flattered. They answered most of my questions well regarding advertising, other draws, size, etc. I knew the location was a good one, also in the previous high school area but on a main drag. They were going to have pony rides and bouncy houses and music and more to draw in the passer-bys. Great! We set up Friday and I 'thought' I had a great spot by the only entrance/ couldn't/wouldn't miss my tables.

Saturday came with 40degree temperatures and a nasty, constant down pour.

Cancel the horses.
Cancel the music.
Cancel the bouncy thingies.

Freeze by the exit/entrance.

The visitors were mostly either friends or family of other vendors or the organizers. I barely made back my entry fee (precisely by $1.00). Of course, it wasn't the organizers fault and I do think with cooperative weather, it might have been a grand fair. Do I venture again, next year if they ask me back?
My saddest reaction to this was not being able to sell even one piece of a friend's wonderful work, shown below. She is an amazing clay artist and I hope at the next show she will be appreciated. Visit her at Clay Art By Daresa. Her work is inspiring!

Oh, the next show? Also a new one, never attended....hmmmm, we'll see!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Buttons and Easter and Eggs, Oh My!

This was just purchased by a button company to use at their showroom and conventions and post on their website! ButtonsandMore

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Maybe it's best to just use up what you have before you buy more? Ya' think?!!!!
Here are 2 new boxes, one listed, and you know from the previous post there's more to come...

But then there's the much and so little time. I decided all those leftover balls might sell to someone who knits or crochets smaller items so I grouped and listed them. And they sold BUT....yarn balled up becomes heavy. One group I listed for $15 including shipping. Guess what? The shipping was $10. Okay, $5 is gained for something I'd never use anyway, but my advice: Be aware, the shipping will eat your take home!
One more set left and hopefully this time I've learned my lesson!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Organizing a Multi-Use Space

I am generally pretty organized. Ask me for something & I can usually find it within one look, 2 at the most. I can proudly say that I rarely lose things downstairs. And then there's the studio upstairs....not my finest achievement!
The studio is also a storage room, access to the attic, exercise room and often a laundry drying room....a not for public viewing space. It really got trashed during and after the shows in the fall and then the holidays came and all that stuff. The holidays ended and the decorations MUST be put away so the craft items, remember I said this was the STUDIO, were still scattered. Finally, mid-January I purchased some craft item and when I went to put it to use, found I had 3. Okay, this has got to stop....buying what you have is ridiculous.
I spent over 7 hours within the last week cleaning and organizing. Throwing out and consolidating. Buying more bins and drawers. Paring down some materials and noting I needed more of others. The hardest part was finding a particular supply or button or piece of paper and thinking "hmmm, I could make a..." and the cleaning got brushed aside. Then this weekend, I had an off-line sale of this button jewelry box~

I realized that was the last of the 7-8 boxes I had made. Off to the craft store for 6 more boxes. About 10 minutes ago, I started to work on a previously untouched cabinet up there. What did I find? Of course, 4 more boxes.
Moral of the story: Keep like items together and KNOW where you put them!!!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Time Flies Slowly

It's January 26 and this devilish month is finally coming to an end. Even though I'm in the south, it's been cold and we haven't had the normal breaks with 55-65 degree days...just cold. We had a beastly summer, followed by a non-existent autumn and now this winter. And guess what? Our area will be invaded by the 13 year cicada in no spring. Not familiar with cicadas? NOISY, huge and crunchy. They are not harmful to humans but their noise can be deafening...nice,eh? Some people eat them....uh,no!
So with a questionable 2 seasons past,a bad current one and the future, murky, I vow to ignore the weather. Think it's possible? The universal conversation starter? One can hope!
Meanwhile where are my gloves?

Can anyone think of something creative to do with this bugger? Crochet wing covers? Blech!

Monday, January 10, 2011

SOUTH Carolina

The photos tell the story!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Another job.........

For the past many months I have been an editor for the website It is dedicated to showcasing independent crafts people while also educating new indiepreneurs. It's been fun and a learning experience for me as well. One of my responsibilities is to secure photos to go along with articles that have been written. The photo is always credited to the owner with a link back to the advertising. Today I received my first denial for use after probably 200 requests. It came from a supply shop with no sales! I, foolishly, thought it might give them a lift of traffic and maybe some sales but I was so wrong! "We own those photos and must charge for their use"....
As long as I am living I am still surprised by the actions people take. But, I move on and know they have lost!
Anyway, if anyone is interested in writing for us, drop me a note. We always want new columnists with fresh perspectives and ideas. In the meantime, check out Indie Smiles!