Putting on a craft show when you are short on time…

Just recently I had a friend asking me about putting on a craft show.  She had about 8 weeks, and a very meager stash to work with.  My first reaction was “YIKES!”  But I was good and held my tongue and offered her a bit of advice.  She ended up not doing the show for several reasons, but I still wanted to share my advice with all of you.  So, did you JUST find out about a craft show and are thinking about doing it?  My first response is always going to be “YES!  Do it!”  (My first reaction wants to consider all of the details, but I’m pretty good at keeping that to myself and outwardly expressing pure encouragement).  Here are a few things to consider if you are short on time and have a deadline approaching way faster than you would like for it to be.

  • Keep your display flat.  I know that this is going against any and everything that you might ever ready about participating in a craft show, but if you are short on time, you focus needs to be more on products than on display.  Yes, it is preferable to have a 3-d display that meets the customers at eye-level, but if you don’t have any products to put on that display, it won’t help you a single bit.
  • Utilize your time.  Instead of creating the same product in multiple sizes, mix it up.  Yes, it’s nice to be able to offer the same product in every size.  It means that you won’t have any disappointed kids when that hat they fell in love with is just too small for their overly large head.  BUT, variety is going to appeal to the masses, and it might even gain some custom orders for you to fill out and deliver at a later time.
  • Assembly line it.  When possible.  A personal example might be that I create all of the basic hats, then I create all of the necessary attachments (eyes, beaks, ears, tassels, etc.) then I would put it all together.
  • Don’t freak out.  It’s my husband’s no. 1 rule for a reason.  When you freak out, nothing gets accomplished, and you might even harm the process.

Try to keep things as simple as you can, and try to have fun!  It’s a good chance to further expose your brand to the masses, maybe earn a bit of an income, and meet some fellow crafters and enthusiasts along the way!  Do you have any questions or suggestions about selling at craft shows?  We’d love to hear them and benefit from them!!

Crochet Doll Pattern

Earlier in the year (2014) I published a crochet doll pattern for others to enjoy.  As the year has gone forward, I have continued to create and publish different crochet clothing patterns for this little crochet doll to wear!  While most of the patterns are available for a very affordable price ($1.00), a few of them are offered to you for FREE!  As Christmas is coming around the corner, and I know that these little crocheted dolls make AMAZING Christmas presents for little ones (children, grand children, nieces, cousins, maybe even great grandchildren), I thought that I would make it easy for you all and list all of my doll patterns here!  I am also hoping that I will be able to put together a bundle of a dozen outfits for you to purchase at discount pricing.

FREE crochet doll patterns

Crochet doll clothing pattern available for $1.00

Looking for artistic inspiration

While I have not been active with blogging, I have been super active with crocheting (and selling).  I’ve got a darling little crochet doll pattern that has almost 20 different outfits that she/he can wear, and with cranking out 3-4 different crochet patterns for my little doll a month, I’ve gotten a bit burned out.  So…where do I go when I need to recharge, or find some more inspiration?

  • A different craft.  I also enjoy painting, sewing, scrap booking, and a myriad of other artistic creationism.  Not only can this give you a bit of an artistic break, but you can discover a different kind of inspiration.
  • Take a break.  Give yourself a bit of a hiatus, take a week, or a whole month, and just stop working on your craft.
  • Learn a new technique for the same craft.  Learn a new stitch, or a different method for doing what you are already doing.
  • Offer a new product.  Take a week, put your etsy shop on vacation (or extend shipping times), and create a new product to offer to your consumers.
  • Buy new supplies.  Get some new paint, some fancy new yarn, maybe a new lens to play with on your camera.
  • Let someone else “play” with your product.  Just recently my Mother-in-Law got a hold of a few of my crochet dolls, and she has spiced them up a bit, adding ribbon here, bows there, beads in between.  While they were super cute to begin with, she’s made them even more adorable and given me some new ideas!
  • Change your crafting location.  Sometimes simply moving your person can be enough to inspire you.  If you normally create on the couch (like I do), try moving to the dining room table, or go to the park, or camp out in your bed.
  • Search online.  Put the word “art” behind your crafts (like, I would search “crochet art”), in the google search bar and witness the wonders that pop up in the images.
  • Have someone else make you accountable.  I have a crochet-a-long that I host for my little crochet dolls.  I have already promised 1-2 new outfits for every single month of the year (2014).  I have been a bit late from time to time, but sometimes, just knowing that I’ve got 20-30 other people looking forward to these patterns is enough to keep me hooking.

I know that in the world of selling your artistic creations, it can become tedious, monotonous, and sometimes just plain right dull to make the same things over and over and over again, in the same way, with the same colors.  But, that doesn’t mean that you are ready to quit altogether.  So, before you delete your business altogether, try mixing it up a bit, and bringing that initial joy and excitement back into your craftings!!

What are some things that YOU do to bring the inspiration back to your craft-makings??

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!