Sleeping Eye Mask – Free Crochet Pattern


I just love offering free crochet patterns to you guys.  Unfortunately, they cannot ALL be free, because I do need to bring in some sort of an income (I know, but my kids are kind of fond of eating!).  However, every now and then I CAN offer you a free crochet pattern, and that’s what I have available to you now.  These sleeping eye masks are really cool (I think so anyways), and I hope that you enjoy making them!  You can download it for *FREE* from my ravelry store (Cannot copy and paste it from pages, apparently)  You can, however, check out the pictures below!

photo(189)  photo(184)

To get a glimpse of ALL of the crochet patterns that I currently have available, go ahead and click HERE to access the list of both free and purchasable patterns by Family Bugs!

 

Wedding preparations


I have been crafting up a storm getting ready for my sisters wedding that is coming up fast end of June!  I got married a little over 6 years ago, and boy has the wedding industry changed a LOT during the past 6 years.

To gift to my beloved sister, I ran straight to the wonderful world of pinterest.  Yeah, I basically LOVE pinterest.  I wanted something cheap (mother of three, here), practical (something that was useful), easy (that mother of three comes into play again), and pretty (she IS getting married, after all!).  So, here’s the list of what I made her (all modified, of course).  Putting all of these together cost me a total of $5.00!

She is also going to be having a lingerie shower shortly before the wedding, and I’ve got some more crafty things to put together for that.  It’s just so much fun!

Crafting for the wedding itself has involved finishing up my girls’ dresses (flattening and trimming 10 layers of tulle for the tutu’s!), hemming pants and suspenders for my tiny son, cooking 7 layers of cake, mixing up 4 cheese balls that are the size of your head, kneading tons of fondant, making several bowl-fulls of popcorn, creating directional signs, and a bunch of little things here and there along the way.

We’ve also managed to fit in a bit of swimming, card-playing, running around outside, children’s museum, oh, and taking care of the 3 month old puppy that I just couldn’t leave behind.

So, what are some of your FAVORITE wedding crafts?  Or better yet, do you sell wedding crafts?

Creativity hiatus


Ever been there?  When you just have a huge influx of ideas and inspiration, and you just create and create and create and then before you realize it, a whole two months has past since you’ve done anything else related to your craft-business?  I’ve go so much going on right now in the realm of creating that I’ve neglected my social medias, my advertising, my blogging, my bookkeeping…pretty much everything else.  And I’m STILL super excited and eager to keep working on these new creations that even while I am writing this I am itching to get back to my creating.

So, what do I have going on?

  • photo(131)I’ve got a few new crochet purse patterns available to purchase.  These are SO CUTE!  I actually made one for myself, and have gotten so many compliments on it, that I just had to create some patterns to share with all of you as well.  There are three different purse patterns currently available (small hand-bag, messenger bag, draw-string backpack), and the only thing different with all of them is the size/shape of the base and handles/straps.  Other than that, it is virtually the same pattern.  Very customizable to your color palate and a few other personalization options.  I just LOVE all of the different ways that you can crochet these purse patterns and each one can be so very different and unique.
  • photo(99)I got a brilliant idea for my crochet dress-up dolls to take dressing-up to a whole new level: WIGS!  So, along with my Crochet Disney princess dresses that are continuing to increase in number, all you have to do is crochet one generic-looking doll, and then you can change her dress, AND her hair, to give a full-bodied appeal.
  • Also: I’ve been working really hard on the crochet-along that I’ve got going on Ravelry with new outfits for my crochet dress-up doll every month/season!  If you are on Ravelry, you should totally come check it out, because that is the only place that I list ALL of my doll’s clothing for free (for limited times, of course).  Right now I’m working on the summer outfit, which is wedding attire.  I’ve got three different wedding dresses in mind for her, along with a veil/tiara (or both!), a bouquet of flowers, and a tiny little garter belt for her groom to remove and toss!

Just recently though, I lost another one of my crochet hooks.  Between the couch eating my hooks, and the children trying to imitate my crochet abilities with their pudgy uncoordinated toddler fingers, I decided that too many of my hooks have gone missing and ordered some new ones.  While I REALLY wanted to get these bamboo crochet hooks (mostly just to try out with my curiosity), and I LOVE this aluminum crochet hook deal (they were all sold out when I was doing my research to get crochet hooks), I finally settled on this incredible deal that also comes with a nifty carrying case.  Only set-back is that these crochet hooks are getting sent out from Hong Kong!  It’s been almost two weeks, and my hooks are just now in New York!  They’ve got to make it south-west to Texas before I leave for the summer.

To summarize everything else: I’m Ba-ack!!!!  Now, I can let the craft-selling information overload loose on your creatively open and eager minds, mwahahaha!

Elsa *inspired* crochet dress pattern


Elsa *inspired* crochet dress pattern

This is *suppose* to be a crochet dress inspired by the intriguing and beautiful Queen Elsa from the Disney’s Movie Frozen. From the polls I’ve taken so far, 100% of people agree that it is GORGEOUS, and only 50% of people agree that it does, indeed, remind them of Queen Elsa. Hhmmnn…I have yet to make up my mind about it, do you have any ideas?

Also: I am needing a few crochet pattern testers who are willing to work with crochet thread to work through this crochet pattern and provide some feedback. If you are interested, please leave a comment below and I will get in touch with you!

Selling hand-made crafts? What do you want to know?


Writing an informational blog like this can be rather tricksy.  I mostly write about the generalized topic of “how to sell your hand-made crafts”, and I occasionally throw in my personal experiences with selling crochet (patterns and finished products).  However, after doing this for almost two years, I feel a bit redundant.  I know that I have new readers and subscribers on a daily basis who probably haven’t and will never ready my earlier posts about selling crafts.  I also know that recent content is more likely to show up on searches and websites and get exposure.  But what can I write about that hasn’t already been discussed and dissected by so many other bloggers, and my previous posts? 

Well, that is where you, dear reader, come into play!  It is SO simple!  Really!  Just comment below with what you want to know about selling your hand-made crafts!  Is there a specific craft that you are interested in, and don’t know where to start?  Are you struggling with getting constant sails?  What is the best approach for increasing your business?  How do you get return customers?  What about packaging…is there a cheap, efficient, unique way to manage shipping?

I want to help YOU.  This is advice, suggestions, and assistance that is 100% FREE, and 100% tailored to your specific needs in selling your hand-made products.  A service that would normally cost you a nice chunk of change and all you gotta do to receive it, is comment with what you want to learn about selling hand-made crafts.  Easy Peasy, right?

Basic Beanie Free Crochet Pattern 2.0!


UPDATED (March 4, 2014)

Free crochet patterns for EVERY beanie size you could possibly want from Preemie all the way up to adult large.  My originally posted corhcet patterns for these beanies can be found HERE, just in case you are interested, but seeing as it was one of my earlier crochet patterns ever written, it is quite poor in quality and understand-ability (sure, that can be a word).  So, I re-worked my crochet pattern and now have it available to the public!

Stitches required

  • Ch – Chain – Yo, pull through
  • Ss – Slip Stitch – Insert hook, Yo, pull through both loops on hook
  • Dc – Double Crochet – Yo, Insert hook, yo, pull through, yo, pull through two loops on hook, yo, pull through remaining two loops
  • Inc – Work 2 Dc both into the next stitch

Materials Needed

  • Sized J (6.0 MM) crochet hook
  • Worsted Weight Yarn

Starting off with these basic beanie crochet patterns you could make all sorts of different hats: striped, mohawk, owl, monster, with earflaps, newsie, simple, with flowers…And, as always, if you have any questions about any of these, or need any help along the way, please do not hesitate to shoot me an email {familybugs (AT) gmail (DOT) com}.

Please note that the Ch 2 that occurs at the beginning of each round does NOT EVER count as a dc stitch throughout the crochet patterns.

These patterns are based off of the measurements taken from Bev’s Size chart, if you aren’t sure about sizing measurements…well, I’ve included that too!

  • Newborn: Head Circumference 13″ – 14 ”  33-36cm; hat circ = 11.5″ – 13″ Hat height = 5.5 to 6″ 13-15 cm
  • Baby – 3 to 6 months: Head Circumference: 14″ – 17 ”  36-43 cm; Hat height= 6.5 – 7″ 15-18 cm
  • Baby – 6 to 12 months: Head Circumference: 16″ – 19 ”  41-48 cm ;  Hat height = 7.5″  18 cm
  • Toddler – preschooler (12 months – 3 years): Head Circumference: 18″ to 20 ” 46 -48 cm; Hat height = 8″  20 cm
  • Child (3 – 10 years): Head Circumference: 19″ – 20 1/2″  48-51 cm; Hat height =8.5″  22cm
  • Pre-teens and Teens  Hat: Head Circumference: 20 1/2″ – 22″   53 -56 cm; height 9-10″  25 cm
  • Adult Woman: Head Circumference:  21.5″ – 22.5″  Hat height = 11″
  • Adult Man: Head Circumference:  23″ – 24″  58.4 cm – 61 cm; Hat height = 11″-11.5″

Gauge Swatch – This is used to determine if your tension and hook is going to create a similarly sized product at the end.  After completing this, if your swatch measures larger, you might want to choose a smaller hook and complete another gauge swatch.  If your swatch measures smaller, choose a larger hook and try again.
Ch 16
ROW 1: Sc in second ch from hook and all the way across (15) Ch 2, turn.
ROW 2: Dc all the way across (15) Ch 1, turn.
ROWs 3, 5: Repeat Row 1
ROWs 4, 6: Repeat Row 2
Finish off.  Swatch should measure pretty close to 5.5” X 3

Why double crochet? You might ask.  Well, double crochet is fast, relatively easy, and I think that it still results in a really warm product.  The looser stitches trap more air between the fibers and air is an incredible insulator (that is if you can trap it)!  Also, the looser stitching will result in a hat that has more stretch and give to it, which is more likely to fit all sorts of head shapes and sizes :-D  So, ENJOY!!

Feel free to use and distribute the finished hats however you would like, I don’t mind finished hats being sold from these patterns (That’s what I do with them), or for charity purposes, or auctions…or personal use…turn it upside down and use it as a bowl, add some handles and use it as a bag…skies the limit!

Preemie Size

RND 1: Ch 3. In 3rd chain from hook work 14 dc (14). Slip stitch to first to join.

RND 2: Ch 2 (does NOT counts as dc here or throughout). Repeat the following all the way around (8 times): Inc, dc (21) Slip stitch to first to join.

RND 3: (Last increasing round) Ch 2, repeat the following all the way around (8 times): Inc, dc 2 (28) Slip stitch to first to join.

RND 4: Ch 2 and dc in each stitch around (28). Slip stitch to top of ch 2 to join.

RNDS 5-7: Repeat RND 4.

Newborn Size

RND 1: Ch 3. In 3rd chain from hook work 16 dc (16). Slip stitch to first to join.

RND 2: Ch 2 (does NOT count as dc here or throughout). Repeat the following all the way around (8 times): Inc, dc (24) Slip stitch to first to join.

RND 3: (Last increasing round) Ch 2, repeat the following all the way around (8 times): Inc, dc 2 (32) Slip stitch to first to join.

RND 4: Ch 2 and dc in each stitch around (32). Slip stitch to top of ch 2 to join.

RNDS 5-7: Repeat RND 4.

0-3 Month Size

RND 1: Ch 3. In 3rd chain from hook work 14 dc (14). Slip stitch to first to join.

RND 2: Ch 2 (does NOT count as dc here or throughout). Repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc (21) Slip stitch to first to join.

RND 3: Ch 2, repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc 2 (28) Slip stitch to first to join.

RND 4: (Last increasing round) Ch 2, repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc 3 (35) Ss to first to join.

RND 5: Ch 2 and dc in each stitch around (35). Ss to first to join.

RNDS 6-8: Repeat RND 5.

3-6 Month Size

RND 1: Ch 3. In 3rd chain from hook work 14 dc (14). Ss to first to join.

RND 2: Ch 2 (does NOT count as dc here or throughout). Repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc (21) Ss to first to join.

RND 3: Ch 2, repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc 2 (28) Ss to first to join.

RND 4: (Last increasing round). Ch 2, repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc 3 (35) Ss to first to join.

RND 5: Ch 2 and dc in each stitch around (35). Ss to first to join.

RNDS 6-9: Repeat RND 5.

6-12 Month Size

RND 1: Ch 3. In 3rd chain from hook work 16 dc (16). Ss to first to join.

RND 2: Ch 2 (does NOT count as dc here or throughout). Repeat the following all the way around (8 times): Inc, dc (24) Ss to first to join.

RND 3: Ch 2, repeat the follwoing all the way around (8 times): Inc, dc 2 (32) Ss to first to join.

RND 4: (Last increasing round). Ch 2,repeat the following all the way around (8 times): Inc, dc 3 (40) Ss to first to join.

RND 5: Ch 2 and dc in each stitch around (40). Ss to first to join.

RNDS 6-9: Repeat RND 5.

12-24 Month Size

RND 1: Ch 3. In 3rd chain from hook work 14 dc (14). Ss to first to join.

RND 2: Ch 2 (does NOT count as dc here or throughout). Repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc (21) Ss to first to join.

RND 3: Ch 2, repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc 2 (28) Ss to first to join.

RND 4: Ch 2, repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc 3 (35) Ss to first to join.

RND 5: (Last increasing round) Ch 2, repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc 4 (42) Ss to first to join.

RND 6: Ch 2 and dc in each stitch around (42). Ss to first to join.

RNDS 7-10: Repeat RND 6.

3-10 Years Size

RND 1: Ch 3. In 3rd chain from hook work 14 dc (14). Ss to first to join.

RND 2: Ch 2 (does NOT count as dc here or throughout). Repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc (21) Ss to first to join.

RND 3: Ch 2, Repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc 2 (28) Ss to first to join.

RND 4: Ch 2, Repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc 3 (35) Ss to first to join.

RND 5: (Last increasing round) Ch 2, Repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc 4 (42) Ss to first to join.

RND 6: Ch 2 and dc in each stitch around (42). Ss to first to join.

RNDS 7-11: Repeat RND 6.

Preteen – Teen Size

RND 1: Ch 3. In 3rd chain from hook work 16 dc (16). Ss to first to join.

RND 2: Ch 2 (does NOT count as dc here or throughout). Repeat the following all the way around (8 times): Inc, dc (24) Ss to first to join.

RND 3: Ch 2, Repeat the following all the way around (8 times): Inc, dc 2 (32) Ss to first to join.

RND 4: Ch 2, Repeat the following all the way around (8 times): Inc, dc 3 (40) Ss to first to join.

RND 5: Ch 2, Repeat the following all the way around (8 times): Inc, dc 4 (48) Ss to first to join.

RND 6: (Last increasing round) Ch 2, Repeat the following all the way around (8 times): Inc, dc 5 (56). Ss to first to join.

RND 7: Ch 2 and dc in each stitch around (56). Ss to first to join.

baby newborn preemie adult large small teenRNDS 8-12: Repeat RND 7.

Adult Small Size

With J hook

RND 1: Ch 3. In 3rd chain from hook work 16 dc (16). Ss to first to join.

RND 2: Ch 2 (does NOT count as dc here or throughout). Repeat the following all the way around (8 times): Inc, dc (24) Ss to first to join.

RND 3: Ch 2, Repeat the following all the way around (8 times): Inc, dc 2 (32) Ss to first to join.

RND 4: Ch 2, Repeat the following all the way around (8 times): Inc, dc 3 (40) Ss to first to join.

RND 5: Ch 2,Repeat the following all the way around (8 times): Inc, dc 4 (48) Ss to first to join.

RND 6: (Last increasing round) Ch 2, Repeat the following all the way around (8 times): Inc, dc 5 (56) Ss to first to join.

RND 7: Ch 2 and dc in each stitch around (56). Ss to first to join.

RNDS 8-14: Repeat RND 7.

Adult Large Size

RND 1: Ch 3. In 3rd chain from hook work 14 dc (14). Ss to first to join.

RND 2: Ch 2 (does NOT count as dc here or throughout). Repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc (21) Ss to first to join.

RND 3: Ch 2, Repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc 2 (28) Ss to first to join.

RND 4: Ch 2, Repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc 3 (35) Ss to first to join.

RND 5: Ch 2, Repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc 4 (42) Ss to first to join.

RND 6: Ch 2, Repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc 5 (49) Ss to first to join.

RND 7: (Last Increasing round) Ch 2, Repeat the following all the way around (7 times): Inc, dc 6 (56). Ss to first to join.

RND 8: Ch 2 and dc in each stitch around (56). Ss to first to join.

RNDS 9-15: Repeat RND 8.

9 Tips for Taking better Craft Photography


Instead of thinking of the photography as just one more step in the online listing process, why not consider it as an extra showcase of your artistic talent and ability?  If your products are not selling online, the chances are pretty high that the pictures are to blame.  You spend a lot of time creating beautiful crafts, well, now it is time to create the beautiful pictures that will assist in selling of these quality products.

  • Camera.  You need a picture-taking device.  Now, you don’t need anything super special, iphones can take just as good of pictures as a fancy expensive camera.  But, you do need something that can take a picture.
  • Lighting.  Try to use natural white lighting, but not direct sunlight.  Go outside, use a shadow.  Or inside, use a window.  Limit shadows as much as possible, especially the sharp shadows.
  • Background.  You can use props, a backdrop, make the product look interesting, but don’t detract from the product.  Many professional photographer’s prefer to use neutral backgrounds (like white, or beige) and no props, with JUST the product, but there is room for some artistic interpretation here.  Don’t be afraid to try something different and new from time-to-time.  Keep in mind that a little can go a long way!
  • Posing.  Whether you are using a model, or just the product by itself, arrange it to show off the best details.  Use depth of field, close-ups, and shots to show off the size when applicable.

Additional tips

  • Know you camera’s settings.  If you are using a fancy shmancy camera, know the settings and what you need to do to get the best photos of your product.  Understand how to make little adjustments.  Again, don’t be afraid to play around.
  • Don’t immediately delete pictures because they look “iffy” on the camera’s display screen.  Once you get them on your computer screen, they may look FANTASTIC
  • Edit the photo.  Crop it, enhance it, add a filter.  All of these are perfectly ok, and can create a better image for online viewing.
  • Brace your camera.  Whether using a tripod, monopod, or setting your camera on a surface of any kind, try to limit the amount of shaking that your hands will create by bracing your camera against a hard surface.
  • Other useful tools.  Don’t be afraid of using lamps, mirrors, or white paper for reflecting light.

And there you have it.  I hope that this has been helpful to you, and I’d love to hear how you have created beautiful photography for your products!