Monday, December 14, 2009
'Twas the night before Christmas and all around me
There was unfinished crocheting not under the tree,
The stockings weren't hung by the chimney with care'
Cause the heels and the toes had not a stitch there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
But I had not finished the caps for their heads.
Dad was asleep---he was no help at all.
And the sweater for him was 6" too small.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I put down my hook to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash.
Tripped over my yarn and fell down in my stash.
The tangle of yarn that lay deep as the snow
Reminded me how far I still had to go.
When out on the lawn I heard such a noise,
I was sure it would wake up both Dad and the boys.
And although I was tired--my brain a bit thick,
I knew in a moment that it must be St Nick.
Yet what I heard left me very perplex-ed
For nothing I heard was what I expect-ed.
"Move Rowan! Move Patons! Move Koigu and Clover!
Move Shelridge! Move Starmore! Move Spinrite! Move over!
Lopi, don't circle around, just stand there in line.
Pay attention you sheep and you'll work out just fine!
I know this is hard as it's just your first year
But I'd hate to go back to 8 tiny reindeer."
I peered over the sill. What I saw was amazing:
Eight wooly sheep on my lawn all a-grazing!
And then in a twinkle, I heard at the door
Santa's big boots stomping on the porch floor.
I rose from my knees and got back on my feet.
As I turned around, St Nick I did meet.
He was dressed all in wool from his head to his toe
And his clothes were hand crochet from above to below.
A bright Fair Isle sweater he wore on his back.
And his toys were all stuffed in an Aran crochet sack.
His hat was a wonder of bobbles and lace
A beautiful frame for his rosy red face.
The scarf on his neck could have stretched for a mile,
And the socks peeking over his boots were Argyle.
On the back of his mitts was an intricate cable.
And suddenly on one I spotted a small label:
"S.C." in duplicate on the cuff. So I asked,
"Hey, Nick, did YOU crochet all this stuff?"
He proudly replied, "Ho, ho, ho, yes I did.
I learned how to crochet when I was just a kid."
He was chubby and plump, a well dressed old man,
And I laughed to myself, for I'd thought up a plan.
I flashed him a grin and jumped up in the air,
And the next thing he knew, he was tied to a chair.
He spoke not a word, but looked down in his lap
Where I had laid my crochet hook and yarn for a cap.
He began then to crochet, first one cap then 2--
For the first time I thought I might really get through.
He put heels in the stockings and toes in some socks,
While I sat back drinking a scotch on the rocks.
Quickly like magic his hooks they flew,
Good Grief! He was finished by two!
He sprang for his sleigh when I let him go free,
And over his shoulder he looked back at me.
I heard him explain as he sailed past the moon,
"Next year, start your crocheting sometime around JUNE!"
Monday, August 24, 2009
Here is an easy index to a few useful posts that I've written.
1) 12 steps to a better shop
provides a basic outline to use to critique your shop. Included are points on your banner and avatar, shop policies, tagging, photos, etc.
2) Easy ways to be seen on Etsy
A list of places to 'hang out' on Etsy and be seen!
3) Twitter and the power of social networking The 'basics' of twitter in clear, easy to read English.
4) Search Engine Optimization for Dummies and how it applies to your Etsy Shop. Written in an easy to understand format!
None of these tips and techniques are new, but I have found them all to be very useful.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
1) Use relevant words in your title. for example.. call a bracelet a bracelet. You may refer to it as 'a moment in time' but its a bracelet. I don't search for 'a moment in time'. Titles are searchable!
2) Use the first words of your description to describe the item, using as many adjectives as you can. Keep the whimsy to later on. The first 160 characters of the description are the most important! This is what shows up in a Google search.
3) Use your tags effectively. Select tags for your items that describe the item.
4) Use titles on your shop sections that make sense for searching. If you have a section for purses, include the word purse in the section.
5) Make sure your shop title is relevant and relates to what you sell.
6) Use the first few sentences of your shop announcement to accurately describe what your shop is about. Those characters are searchable. So for example, 'welcome to my shop' really doesn't help your shop, but
"Crochetgal carries one of a kind crochet items, hand made soapdishes, and yarns at affordable prices" tells exactly what it is you do.
Thats about it in a nutshell!
For more details you can refer to the Etsy Sellers Guide for SEO
or check out Google's SEO Starter Guide
or TechCrafter's notes on SEO Optimization
Part 1: What is SEO?
Part 2: 10 things that will hurt your site
Part 3: Understanding Keywords
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Here are a few... (in no particular order)
1) Virtual Labs - workshops and classes. http://www.etsy.com/virtual_labs.php
You can get some wonderful tips from the newbie chats, the shop critiques etc. And just being there and asking a couple of pertinent questions can get your avatar noticed by quite a few people
2) Chat rooms - Find one you like or start your own http://www.etsy.com/chat_main.php
3) Treasuries - are a great place to do some 'passive marketing'. When I curate a treasury, I look at each of the shops that have commented and possibly feature them in my next one.
main treasury - Accessible from the Etsy home page http://www.etsy.com/treasury.php Treasuries are also a great way to shop for that elusive gift for someone.
treasury west - a 'test' treasury, but a treasury just the same. http://www.etsy.com/treasury_west.php
If you want to create one yourself just scroll to the bottom of the page to find out how!
4) Teams - are a wonderful way to meet other Etsians who share some sort of a common bond.
Find a team for yourself http://team.etsy.com/
5) Forums - With all the discussions going on, there are so many Etsians who are willing to comment on your latest creation, offer you advice or just give you a shoulder to cry on.
6) Have you looked at the other Resources that Etsy offers? http://team.etsy.com/downloads.html
There are plenty of ways right here on Etsy that can help you increase your views. And none of the resources that I've mentions cost you any money..just a little bit of time. They may not bring you the immediate sale, but without views, you cannot get that sale.
Monday, August 3, 2009
session run by Daniellexo
1) Inquiring customers want to know!
- do you have your shop policies outlined in detail? What happens if someone wants to
return something? How do you ship?
Here is a great article from Etsy’s Blog the Storque on Setting up shop policies.
2) Are you being served?
Outstanding customer service can bring buyers back.
Etsy has done a wonderful series on Service Tips for sellers
3) Marketing vs Promotion
Are you always having a sale of some form or a special promotion? Too many sales and
buyers will wait to make that purchase. If you are going to run a special promotion or a
sale, don’t do them too often but make them really special when you do!
4) I’m looking for a green widget!
How many times have you heard people say that they cannot find what they are looking
for on Etsy? If you are selling green widgets, please tag them as such! A buyer looking for
a green widget won’t find you if your widget isn’t tagged.
There are some excellent tagging guidelines in the Storque
You have 14 tags available, use them responsibly!
5) you want it HOW big?
Do you offer your products in a range of sizes? Everyone is NOT a size 2! Sometimes
having a section for each size or colour can be a great advantage.
6) Are your prices too low (or too high)?
Sellers always seem to be asking if their prices are too high. There is nothing wrong with
having different price points in your shop. Have you considered tiered pricing?
Beth writes an excellent article in the storque about how to use tiered pricing to your
And the Etsy Success newsletter had a recent article on Three Helpful pricing exercises
in their art of pricing series.
There are many other wonderful articles on pricing in the Storque
7) It can’t get there from here!
Sure it can... you just have to ship it.
Great basic shipping information is available .. you just have to read it!
Etsy makes it easy to ship anywhere by setting up shipping profiles which can be applied
to multiple listings.
And fellow Etsy Seller Goto (http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=6650) has one of
the most comprehensive forum posts on shipping from the US that I’ve seen.
Hopefully, buy applying a few (or all) of these tips, you can convert your browers into
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Each kid will play two sports and take either music or dance lessons.
There will be no access to fast food.
Each man must take care of his own kids, keep his assigned house clean, correct all homework, complete science projects, cook, clean, do laundry and basically run the household.
The men only have access to television when all the chores are done and the kids are asleep.
The men must shave their legs daily, and must always be in full makeup, which they must apply themselves.
They must attend all PTA meetings, clean up after their sick children at 3:00am, make an Indian hut model with six toothpicks, a tortilla and one marker and get a 4year old to eat their peas.
The kids will vote the men off the island, depending on their performance.
The last man wins ONLY if he has time to be intimate with his spouse at a moment's notice!
And the last man standing gets to play the game over and over again for the next 18 - 25 years, eventually earning him the right to be called MOTHER!
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
- The birds are using potholders to pull worms from the ground
- The trees are whistling for the dogs
- The best parking place is determined by the amount of shade rather than the distance
- Hot water now comes out of both taps
- You can make 'instant' sun tea
- You learn that a seat belt makes an excellent branding iron
- The temperature drops below 95F (30C) and you feel a little 'chilly'
- You discover that, in July, it really does only take two fingers to steer your car!
- You burn yourself whist trying to open the car door
- You break into a sweat when you walk outside at 6:30am
- You realize that asphalt has a liquid state
- The potatoes cook underground, so all you have to do is pull one up and add butter and salt.
- Farmers feed the chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying boiled eggs.
- The cows give evaporated milk!
But we still love our Arizona and wouldn't leave it for the world!
Think of it this way when you include links to your shop.. if you walked into a room and people shouted at you from all sides 'by me' our 'check me out', what would you do?
My success with Twitter has been to consider it a very large chat room. Its all about making the contacts. Once the contacts have been made then people will buy!
If you are just starting out, the following definitions might be of some help:
tweet - the act of posting something on twitter. This is the single most important thing that will affect whether or not twitter is right for you
followers - are people who read your tweets
following - are the people whos tweets you read
@username - a message directed to a specific person that can be seen by everyone
DM - direct message - these are completely private
What do I tweet about?
As was mentioned earlier, think of twitter as a large cocktail party. If you are at a party and the person next to you continued to tell you over and over how and where to buy their products, would you hang around very long? No, I didn't think so. On the other hand, if the only thing they told you was that they got up and had bacon and eggs, then went for a walk you wouldn't hang around much either. The key to twitter is to post things that are interesting to you or that you feel might be interesting to others. Did someone tell you a great joke? Post it! Did you find something really cool on the internet? then post that link.
Conversely, if someone posts something that you found interesting, then tell them! Its all about making contact. You may even want to follow their tweets!
How do you find people to follow? One of the best methods I've found is to use the 'search' function on the right sidebar. Pick a topic you are interested in. If you see someone who sounds interesting, follow them! If someone makes you laugh, send them an @message!
One very useful twitter Resource I've found is Twitter 101 for business
The power of twitter is there... just harness it to its full potential.
I tweet at http://twitter.com/crochetgal !
Sunday, May 24, 2009
THe yarn swatched at 15sc x 13 rows on a J hook for me, while Lion Homespun swatches at 10 sc x 10 rows on a K hook.
98% acrylic, 2% nylon
100g / 3.5 oz
172m / 187 yards
Care: machine wash, gentle cycle. Tumble dry low. Do not bleach, do not iron. May be dry cleaned.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Its hard coming up with a quick and easy dinner every night of the week that is not only tasty but good for you too! Here's one meal thats a real favourite in our house.
2 chicken breasts - cooked and shredded
1 med onion, diced fine
2 lb grated cheese (I use 1 lb pepperjack and 1 lb med cheddar)
1 small onion, diced
3 or 4 small green chilies, chopped fine (or 1 4oz tin)
12 tortilla wraps (I use the low carb tortillas)
1 tin (approx 16 oz) enchilada sauce
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time : 30 minutes
Soften the onions in the microwave on high for approx 2 minutes. For each enchilada, place a single tortilla wrap on a plate. Add some chicken, grated pepperjack cheese, onion, chilies and wrap tightly. Do not overfill. Place in 9x13 pan. Continue until pan is full. Any unused chicken, onion or chilies can be scattered on top of the rolled tortillas. Top generously with grated cheddar cheese. Cover well with the enchilada sauce, Bake at 350F for approx 30 minutes or until it is hot and bubbling.
Top with sour cream and serve.
Makes 6 servings.
Note: this recipe tastes much better if made the day before.
When using the low carb tortillas, a serving contains approx 20g carbs.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
1) Banner and Avatar - do they relate to your products in some way? Is the text clear and easy to read? Your avatar can be used very effectively as part of your ‘brand’, so select it wisely. I’ve kept the same avatar as long as I’ve been online.. people recognize me by my avatar. Others like to change theirs on a regular basis. There is no ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ way to do it. You just have to do what works best for you. I personally like to see an avatar that reflects in some way the product(s) that you sell, but that is my personal opinion.
2) Shop Title - This appears directly below your banner and is updated in the ‘appearance’(insert link here) section of Your Etsy. The shop title is also known as your ‘tag line’. Use it effectively but keep it short.
3) Shop announcement - Please don’t tell me your life history here.. I don’t want to know. I do like to see a short (few lines ) about your shop and any current ‘specials’ you may have. Also, be absolutely sure that any links that are on your shop announcement are not broken. And be aware that if you do have an active link here that I just may follow it and get distracted elsewhere. Don’t tell me about every team that you belong to here... unless you don’t want me to look at your product.
4) Featured Items - A great place to show off your different styles of work. Use items from your earlier pages (people can already see what’s on your first page). A variety of items and prices is always nice. Remember, that when people ‘heart’ your shop, these three items are their reminder! Keep them fresh.
5) Profile - Tell me about yourself. How did you get started in your art form, what inspires you, etc.
6) Shop Policies - This is one of the most overlooked sections by Etsians and is by far (in my opinion) the most important. Having good shop policies in place can help to avoid situations down the road. It is strongly recommended that every shop have policies in place for payment , shipping and returns/exchanges.
7) Location - Another very useful piece of information. Etsy is an international site, so please list your town (or the nearest larger town) , your state, and your country. I’ve been to Paris but not to France, I love Melbourne but I’ve never been to Australia. Sydney is a beautiful stop in Nova Scotia (Canada) . By putting your complete information in your location it makes it much easier for others to use the ‘geolocator’ to find you! And you are looking to be found are you not?
8) Shop Sections - Shop sections are a great way to organize your shop. Use them to your advantage! You have complete freedom to choose how you want your sections to be set up so have some fun!
9) Photos - everyone wants a critique of their photos. Make sure that the photo is clear and crisp, and use as many photos as you can of the item. Inside, outside, upside down, you get the idea. Unless you are selling a rug, please don’t put your item on the floor. Natural light is best, and avoid a cluttered background. If you are unsure of a particular photo, have someone look at it and tell you what caught their eye in it. If its not the item for sale, its not a good photo.
10) Tags - One of the most misused and abused features (in my opinion) on Etsy. When selecting tags, try to pick keywords that you would use to describe the item to someone who cannot see it. IE paint a visual picture. Don’t forget to include the colour! Please make sure that the tags are relevant though. Everything can be a gift, so ‘gift’ is not a relevant tag. ‘Stocking Stuffer’ is a tag that gets used during the holidays. As soon as someone can define accurately exactly what a ‘stocking stuffer’ is then it will be able to be used. But until then let’s just leave it off.
11) Materials - This is one of the most overlooked sections in a listing. Be as detailed as you can in your materials listing. There are 13 tags available for materials so don’t be afraid! Also, people can search by material so keep that in mind..
12) Feedback - Some sellers are concerned because they don’t have any feedback. Personally I enjoy buying from an ‘undiscovered’ shop. However, if you are concerned about not having any feedback, I strongly suggest that you make a small purchase from a fellow Etsian. Besides the feedback, you will also get to experience the thrill of making a purchase (and the steps involved).
Other places for information:
There are some absolutely wonderful reference sites right on Etsy. All are accessible from the ‘help’ tab at the top of any Etsy page.
Etsy Do’s and Don’ts - learn what you can and cannot do
The Etsy 'Sellers Handbook' - a great reference for all sellers
And of course, there is the Storque, Etsy’s mega blog. I think that just about every topic on Etsy is covered at least once in the Storque!
Please note that the opinions expressed here are the opinions of the writer and are NOT necessarily the opinions of Etsy.
Monday, April 6, 2009
I'm really not sure what to call it though so here's where you come in. Give it an interesting name and a short blurb (if you are so inclined) . All of the responses will be reviewed and one will be selected at random to win something from my Etsy shop!
So, let your imaginations run wild! I can't wait to see what ideas you have.
Entries will close on Easter Sunday at Midnight!
Monday, March 16, 2009
Irish Soda Bread
A simple bread not only for sandwiches but for just eating fresh from the oven!
2-1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. bicarbonate of soda
1-1/2 - 1-3/4 cup buttermilk, sour milk or fresh milk
1 tsp. salt
If using fresh milk add 1 tsp. of cream of tartar to dry ingredients
Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl. Make a well in the centre. Add enough milk to make a thick dough. Stir with a spoon. The pouring should be done in large quantities. The mixture should be slack, not wet. Mix dough lightly with floured hands. Put into a well greased loaf pan and make a large cross over it with a floured knife (the cross keeps the loaf from splitting while baking). Bake in a moderate oven for 40 min. at 375F. To keep the bread soft, wrap it in a clean tea towel.
Monday, February 16, 2009
A very good friend of mine (another crafter), just became a Great grandmother!! She knows my body of work quite well and knew that I loved to do afghans. Even so, I was really quite surprised when she asked me to make a blanket for her great grandson. I was even more surprised when she told me that she needed to have it in the post by the end of the week. With time to buy yarn, did a quick 'stash dive' and came up with some shades of Caron Simply Soft. With no real pattern to go by, I decided that a 'Mile a Minute' would be the easiest method. The resulting afghan is 7 panels wide and each strip is 50 rows long. I just hope the baby will love it as much as I did making it.
Monday, February 2, 2009
I finally decided that this yarn would be absolutely perfect for a fisherman's sweater. It was a medium weight, was wonderfully soft, and the colours were vibrant. So, in January of 2008 the yarn was ordered.
Fisherman sweaters are a labour of love. I don't use a pattern for them, rather I look at the many varieties of cables and bauble stitches and design the sweater around how I feel. Before the yarn had arrived, I knew basically what my sweater was going to look like. The only decision left was the neckline. Usually I do a standard round neck on a 'winter' sweater, but because our climate really doesn't get that cold I figured that a V-style neckline might be more appropriate.
The yarn arrived in late January and I immediately dove into the project. Unfortunately because work for others must come first in my life (yes, I need to eat), the sweater didn't get as much attention as I really wanted it to. By the end of February I had the front and back completed. But, before I could even think about starting the sleeves, the Arizona weather turned warm on me.. and warm it was. The daytime temps were in the high 70s with nights in the 40s. Even if I did finish the sweater, when was I to wear it? So, the completed front, back and the rest of the yarn were packed into a tote. I would work on it during the summer..
Fast forward to January 2009.. I ran across the tote with this beautiful, partially completed sweater in it and just had to finish it! I pulled out my notebook to tackle the sleeves. But alas! There were no notes for the sleeves... just for the body. And no notes or even ideas written down about the neckline... Time to do some 'creative' designing... By the end of January, the sweater was completed! It fits perfectly and I absolutely love it. Now if only the temperatures would cooperate...
More photos are here
Sunday, January 25, 2009
In April 2009 the installation will be on exhibit in Scottsdale Arizona, as well has facilitating the creation of the Scottsdale Reef, constructed by community members.
On January 22, I had the pleasure of taking part in a workshop on the creation of Scottsdale's own Coral Reef project. What a pleasure that was. Taking bits of 'yarn' in all weights and working on some 'scrumbling' (freeform crochet) with the master herself, Prudence Mapstone. It was a true pleasure to meet Prudence as I've been admiring her work and method for years.
Monday, January 19, 2009
by Ima Nutt
This disease affects women of all ages, races and religions. However, it has now started to afflict men as well. The most distressing part of having one of your loved ones catch Hookinosis, is that there is no know cure. Recently a group of men have formed the S.P.C.W. (Society of Prevention of Crocheting by Women) and have started a fund drive in hopes that, with more research, a cure may be found within the next few years.
Hookinosis has just recently come to the attention of the medical profession, since it has always been considered a hobby, but after some extensive testing, it has been found that women who crochet go through actual withdrawal symptoms, when their yarn supply has been cut off.
Some of these symptoms are:
3. Extreme craving for yarn and crochet hooks.
4. Inability to concentrate.
Since I am listing some of the withdrawal symptoms, I may as well make a list of symptoms to watch for if you feel your loved one may be catching Hookinosis:
1. Yarn and crochet hooks lying all over.
2. Sleeps with yarn under her pillow.
3. Crochets matching booties for your cat and dog.
4. Gets extremely agitated if her yarn supply runs low.
If you feel your loved one fits any of these symptoms listed above, try to get her to join Yarnaholics Anonymous. Even tho there is no cure as yet, the organization may be able to help your family cope better with this affliction. Those of you who have not yet been stricken with this disease, please keep your family safe. Crocheting is very contagious, and the best way to prevent it's ravages is to keep your females completely away from yarn, thread and crochet hooks or anyone who already has Hookinosis.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
They are handcrafted from carefully selected hardwoods and measure 4" long by 2 1/2" wide and are 3/4" thick. The edges are rounded and each dish is lightly sanded. The dishes are cut in a manner that allows the water to drain completely through the dish and away from the soap.
In the fall of 2008, we started selling these on Etsy and they have been a big hit. Who would have known that a little piece of wood would be so useful?
They are available in single units or in wholesale quantites ranging from 10 to 50 units.