New Year, New Business Plan!

I took a break from creating last year when I made the choice to go back to school to get my bachelor’s degree in Special Education. Working full-time as a kindergarten special education paraprofessional (assistant), taking care of my little family (three school-aged children, and my mother-in-law, who lives with us), teaching bible class every Sunday, being the moral and emotional support for my husband (who is a minister/preacher), and the addition of classes towards my bachelor’s degree was more than enough for me to handle. I have still picked up my hook from time to time, but it has definitely been a hobby over the past year.

Anyways, I will be taking a bit of a break from my school later on this year. Actually, I’ll be finished with my core classes, and just waiting until I can start student teaching in August/September. Since I won’t be able to get paid for my student teaching (16 weeks), and I’ll essentially be job-less, my hope is to get a bit of revenue coming in from designing crochet patterns to help support my family during this time. So, I’m back and I’m ready to get going!

I thought I would take a minute to share my business plan with you guys, in hopes of keeping me accountable, and so that I can get ya’ll excited about it too!! The first thing that I’m going to do, and I’ve already started working on it, is to update everything. The etsy shop needs to be updated and renewed, the facebook page needs to be cleaned up a bit, and I probably have some fees and dues to take care of on ravelry. It’s also going to take some doing to get my instagram back up and running again. I also would like to research snapchat a little bit, but I’ve little idea how that works, so that’s tentative.

img_2851-1Next, my goal is to continue working on the state flag pillows that I started a couple of years ago. I already have Tennessee, Texas, Florida, and Kentucky finished. Oklahoma is about halfway done, if I can find the pattern that I started so long ago, haha! There is no way that I can get all 50 states done…that’s like a completed pattern every week. BUT, if I can manage 15 states, I think that’s a lofty goal. So, if you have any suggestions or ideas or desires of which state you would like to see me do, by all means, leave a comment, and I’ll add it to the top of my list!

I think that’s it. A two-fold business plan, and lots of prayers! Afterall, I wouldn’t even have this talent to begin with if it weren’t for God’s gracious gifting of it to me 🙂 I think ya’ll should follow along on my blog, get updates on the patterns as I work on them, and probably some crazy stories about how I manage everything, because it’s sure to be a crazy and hectic year!

Kentucky Flag Pillow

Crochet Kentucky PillowThose of you who have been following the blog know that I’ve slowly been working on creating these flag-colored State-shaped crochet patterns for decorative throw pillows. Unfortunately, each state takes about a month from concept to publication, so I’m looking at a three-year long project to get every single American state completed. Of course, I had to start with all of the states that I’ve lived in, the last of which is The Bluegrass state of Kentucky. I only lived in Kentucky for a couple of months shortly after getting married while Mr. Lovely finished up an internship, but it definitely counts!

To date, this is the largest state I have made, but I think the size definitely adds to the novelty of it! Also, one of the most challenging Flag-patterns out of the states I’ve completed so far. I also think that I get a little bit better every time I complete one of these crochet patterns, and I know I’m going to feel the need to go back and redo Florida and Tennessee, and probably some other states as well as I continue to gain experience in this project.

So, now I have completed Texas, Tennessee, Florida, and Kentucky. I’ve had a request for Pennsylvania, and because of where I live, I think Oklahoma should also be done soon as well. But I will definitely take further requests as to which states to complete next. I really am enjoying how these are turning out, and I’m anxious to get every state finished.


• Hook size F/5-3.75MM

• Worsted weight yarn in desired colors (I like using Red Heart Super Saver or Caron Simply Soft, but any brand should work just fine)

• Tapestry needle is optional for sewing in ends

• Stuffing


– Ch – Chain – YO, pull through

– Ss – Slip Stitch – Insert hook, YO, pull through both loops on hook

– Sc – Single Crochet – Insert hook, YO, pull through, YO, pull through both loops on hook

– Sc2tog – Single Crochet 2 Together – Insert hook into first stitch, YO, pull through, insert hook into second stitch, YO, pull through, YO, pull through all loops on hook

– Inc – Increase – Work 2 sc stitches both into the next stitch

Emoji Hearts

Free Crochet Heart PatternIn the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I just couldn’t resist. These emoji heart softies might be one of my favorites. But don’t I say that about all of my patterns? What can I say, except that I love What I do? So, the basic crochet pattern to make hearts is available for free below. If you want the directions for adding Kawaii-style faces onto the heart, or if you’d like a printable pdf version of these crochet hearts, you’ll have to purchase the pattern HERE for just a couple of dollars. I’ve got to stay in business somehow, right? So, without further ado, the FREE crochet pattern for Valentine’s Day Hearts 😍


• Hook size: you can use whatever size hook you want. Keeping in mind that a larger hook will result in a larger Heart. I used E/4-3.5 MM in these images.

• Yarn: again, this is irrelevant so long as it coincides with your hook size. I used worsted weight (red heart super saver) in these images. You will need a few different colors depending on the color of Heart you want to make.

• Tapestry needle is optional for sewing in ends and attaching pieces.


– Ch – Chain – YO, pull through

– Ss – Slip Stitch – Insert hook, YO, pull through both loops on hook

– Sc – Single Crochet – Insert hook, YO, pull through, YO, pull through both loops on hook

– Sc2tog – Single Crochet 2 Together – Insert hook into first stitch, YO, pull through, insert hook into second stitch, YO, pull through, YO, pull through all loops on hook

– Hdc – Half Double Crochet – YO, insert hook, YO, pull through, YO, pull through all loops on hook

– Inc – Increase – work two hdc stitches both into the same space


Designer’s note: an increase stitch (abbreviated inc), is worked by placing two hdc stitches into the same stitch. Not sc stitches for this particular pattern.

ROW 1: With heart color, ch 4, sc in second ch from hook and all the way across (3), ch 1 and turn.

ROW 2: inc, sc 1, inc (5) ch 1 and turn

ROW 3: inc, sc 3, inc (7) ch 1 and turn

ROW 4: inc, sc 5, inc (9) ch 1 and turn

ROW 5: inc, sc 7, inc (11) ch 1 and turn

ROW 6: inc, sc 9, inc (13) ch 1 and turn

ROW 7: inc, sc 11 inc (15) ch 1 and turn

ROWs 8-10: sc all the way across (15), ch 1 and turn

ROW 11: sc2tog, sc 3, sc2tog (5), ch 1 and turn

ROW 12: sc2tog, sc 1, sc2tog (3), ch 1 and turn

ROW 13: sc across (3) finish off

ROW 14: count over one stitch on ROW 11, insert hook and repeat ROWs 11-13 (don’t finish off).

RND 15: ch 1 and sc around entire heart shape, at each “point” work the following (sc, inc, sc)

Happy Valentine’s DayFree crochet heart patternHappy Valentine’s DayFree crochet heart pattern

Happy Valentine’s Day ❤️

I’ve never been very fond of Valentine’s Day…er…singles awareness day? Even though I’ve been very happily married for almost ten years now, Valentine’s Day is probably one of my least favorite holidays. I mean, I like chocolate just as much as the next girl, but I don’t want a special day set aside just for all of the yummy romanticism. It is cliche and overdone. I don’t do cliches. But anyways, there ARE some really cute valentine’s themed crochet patterns out there, and I just have to Feature some of my favorites for this month’s featured Friday!

Crochet Patterns To Purchase

I mean, these heart dolls from MakeItEasy Classroom are just stinking adorable! Those are some very well-made Hearts, and the addition of facial features, limbs, and the other details are just perfect. It is important to consider that she uses UK crochet terms and not US ones…there IS a difference.

This crochet heart beanie pattern has been making the rounds on Pinterest. I’m actually tempted to get this one from CAABCrochet and make up a few for my daughters. It’s the color combinations that make it so adorable. I particularly like the confetti look up at the top near the Pom Pom. Just a little bit of detail that is easy to overlook, but makes a big difference!

If you’ve got some gifts to give this Valentine’s Day, I can highly recommend these precious tapestry tags. I imagine that they look just as good on the back as they do in the front. HighlandHickoryDsgns has done an excellent job with the shape of these, too. Just think of the color combinations you could play with…scrap buster!

Happy Patty Crochet has several flower patterns that are just lovely. Not only are these just gorgeous creations, but the look pretty simple to duplicate. If I had the time, I would make these up and display them in my house all year long. Everlasting flowers that don’t require water or sunlight…a simple shaking could remove dust, or you could probably wash them on a gentle cycle in the washer machine depending on the yarn you use. Delightful.

Free Crochet Patterns To Enjoy!

I knew there just had to be a perfectly adorable love bug pattern available somewhere! Laura Kaltman has managed to fir that bill with this tiny little thing. Available on one of my favorite pattern sites: Ravelry! Heart-shaped wings, heart-shaped antenna and the Valentine’s Day traditional colors of pink, red, and white make this a perfect toy for small children 😊

I’m not a huge fan of wreaths in general. Most of them feel too 80’s for my preference. But, for those or you that are so inclined, RepeatCrafterMe has a really cute love wreath that is prefect for Valentine’s Day. Those tiny crochet hearts could have a lot of applications, too.

Not to be left out, I have to include my own emoji hearts pattern! I had a lot of fun working up this quick little pattern. The free version only includes the heart pattern, but you can purchase it for just a few dollars (discounted for Valentine’s Day) and get the addition of how to make several different Kawaii-styled emoji facial expressions.

And because she’s just such a wonderful designer, I also have to Feature this table runner also from RepeatCrafterMe. If you are hosting a Valentine’s Day party, this would be just perfect to set the mood. It’s sure to get a tone of compliments, too!

Princess Leia *FREE* Crochet Pattern (part 2)

Earlier in the week I talked about how much I love returning customers, and that I adore custom requests even more! I also published the Princess Leia crochet dress pattern for free (designed to fit an infant in the 0-6 month size range). So, I definitely recommend checking out that pattern.

Don’t you fret, I know that the Princess Leia costume is not complete! It NEEDS a hat/wig, and even though she is not a Jedi herself, she also gets an adorable pink-colored light saber to show support of her hunky twin brother! So, now I am sharing those crochet patterns with you guys also for free!! You will need a size J hook and brown worsted weight yarn for the hat, and a size H hook and pink, grey, black, red, and green worsted weight yarnfor the light saber.


RND 1: Starting with grey for the Handle, ch 2. Work 5 sc stitches all into the second ch from hook (5), ss to first to join and ch 1

RND 2: inc all the way around (10), ss to first to join and ch 1

RND 3: *inc, sc 1* all the way around (15), ss to first to join and ch 1

RNDs 4-8: sc all the way around (15), ss to first to join and ch 1

RND 9: sc all the way around (15), color change to black, ss to first to join and ch 1

RND 10: sc all the way around (15), color change back to grey, ss to first to join and ch 1

RNDs 11-12: sc all the way around (15), ss to first to join and ch 1

RND 13: sc all the way around (15), color change to black, ss to first to join and ch 1

RND 14: sc all the way around (15), color change back to grey, ss to first to join and ch 1

RNDs 15-16: sc all the way around (15), ss to first to join and ch 1

RND 17: sc all the way around (15), color change to pink (or other color of choice), ss to first to join and ch 1

RNDs 18-37: sc all the way around (15), ss to first to join and ch 1

RND 39: *sc 1, sc2tog* all the way around (10), ss to first to join and ch 1

Stuff the little light saber

RND 40: *sc2tog* all the way around (5), ss to first tonjoin and finish off.

Make a little red dot and a little green dot and attach them to the light saber’s Handle

Ch 2, work 10 sc stitches all into the second stitch from hook, ss to first to join and finish off.


With a J-sized hook and brown worsted weight yarn ch 2

RND 1: work 7 sc stitches all into the second ch from hook (7), ss to first to join and ch 1

RND 2: inc all the way around (14), ss to first to join and ch 2

RND 3: *dc 1, inc* all the way around (21), ss to first to join and ch 2

RND 4: *dc 2, inc* all the ay a pound (28), ss to first to join and ch 2

RNDs 5-8: dc all the way around (29), ss to first to join and ch 2.finish off after RND 8

Make two long and thick braids, and loop them on the side of the hat attaching 5em directly to the hat with either sewing or glue

Princess Leia *FREE* Crochet Pattern (part 1)

I love returning customers! They know how to work with me, and not only do they know what I am capable of creating, but they appreciate the time and effort that I put into something. When a previous customer comes to me, I will put them top of my list and fulfill their requests first, every time. Not to mention the 15% discount that these returning customers get to enjoy time and time again! There are perks to being a loyal Family Bugs fan for sure.

I might adore custom requests even more! So many times I have very many ideas of what to crochet next floating in my head. So many ideas, in fact, that I struggle to narrow it down to just one, or find difficulty in focusing on just one through to completion. I cannot even number how many works in progress I have going on right now, and I just purged my closet, throwing away several of these wips! So, when someone make a specific request, saying “can you please make me something?” I put it at thetop of my “to design” list, and then I have a deadline, and the motivation to get it done! Because I know a very specific person is just waiting for me!

So, when a returning customer asked me earlier this month to make a Princess Leia Crochet Costume for her 3-mo daughter for Halloween, I knew I just had to do it. And I also knew that the pattern had to be available for all of my wonderful fans as well! It fits right in with my disney princess collection, too! Because there are so many parts involved in this costume, however, I’ve broken it down into two parts. This is the first part consisting of the dress pattern, and in a couple of days I will be publishing the second part which will contain the crochet patterns for the light saber and Princess Leia’s iconic braided hair/hat/wig.

You will need a size h crochet hook, and worsted weight yarn in white and grey. That’s it. As far as materials go, this is a pretty simple pattern. I have also tried to stick with basic crochet stitches: ch, ss, sc, dc, dc2tog, and increases. As with all of my crochet patterns, my goal is to keep the directions as simple as possible. So if you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email 😊


Designer notes: Dress is worked from the bottom up. Using white Ch 78
RND 1: Sc in second ch from hook and all the way across. (77) Being careful not to twist, Ss to first sc to join into a large circle
RND 2: ch 2, dc all the way around (77), ss to first to join
Designer’s note: If you want to add length to the skirt, for an exceptionally long infant, or just because you want it longer, this is where you should add in. Just repeat RND 2.
RNDs 3-10 Work 3 dc2tog somewhere in each RND. Ss to first to join, ch 2. Final stitch count after RND 10 should be 54


RND 11: dc all the way around (54) color change to grey, ss to first to join, ch 1
RND 12: sc all the way around (54), ss to first to join, ch 1
RND 13: sc all the way around (54), color change back to white, ss to first to join, ch 2

RNDs 14-19: dc all the way around (54), ss to first to join, ch 2. Finish off after RND 19


Make two: Ch 17. Dc in third ch from hook, Dc in each stitch across (15). Finish off. Attach both Dc chains into the bodice with 13 stitches in between in front and back; 9 stitches in the underarm.
Insert white anywhere along the neckline and repeat the following all the way around: Ch 3, skip next stitch and ss in the second for a total of 24 ruffles.


RND 1: Insert hook in the back corner where the strap meets the bodice. Sc all the way around the arm hole (25), ss to first to join and ch 2
RNDs 2-13: dc all the way around (25), ss to first to join, ch 2. Finish off after RND 13.


Princess Leia’s dress has these three grey circles right along the belt of her dress. Make two of the smaller ones, and one of the larger circles.

RND 1: ch 2, work 7 sc stitches all into the second ch from hook (7), ss to first to join and ch 1

RND 2: inc all the way around (14), ss to first to join. Finish off to form the smaller circle, ch 1 and continue to RND 3 for the larger circle

RND 3: *inc, sc 1* all the way around (21), ss to first to join and finish off.

Attach the larger circle in front center of the grey waist band. Attach the two smaller circles on either side.

Why Should I Crochet Something For the Holidays?

I don’t know how many of you are subscribed to the Etsy Seller Tips Newsletter. If you are not, I highly recommend getting yourself on that list. I would consider this newsletter to be a must-have for everyone who has an etsy shop, or online store. They always have some great ideas and suggestions for optimizing, and bettering what’s already going on.

I’ve not really been much of one for holiday-specific crafting. Or on keeping track of international holidays, or the big holidays that other countries might celebrate. I might be the definition of a selfish American here. However, after reading their latest article on key shopping dates, I have decided to make this a priority for the new year.

Obviously, it’s too late now to start working towards monthly holidays. My to-make list is way too big for me to finish this year, and that’s just considering gifts for my family, and current WIP (works in progress). But definitely, a New Year’s resolution for the Family Bugs Crochet Designs business (FBCD, can I do that?)

So, I’m not going to plagiarize and copy off every relevant fact that the article shares, but to find out that “Halloween” was searched on Etsy more than “Mothers” or “Father’s Day” definitely hit a cord with me. Hhmmnn…maybe there is something to this holiday-specific thing than I’ve given it credit for.

Like a good aspiring business-woman, I also follow several “coaches” for lack of a better term. All of them are currently talking about how to gear up for holiday sales. There is definitely something worth considering here. I mean, I knew that there was a spike in people looking for Christmas presents…it’s a big deal. But, for Halloween, Thanksgiving, New Years, and then fall and winter in general? I am definitely going to have to up my crochet pattern designing game!

I used to pride myself in having generic crochet patterns that weren’t holiday-specific, but now I am beginning to understand that these types of items can bring me a boost in sales, and also profits. Everyone likes seeing a little extra profit. And people are willing to spend more money during the holidays.

Plus, the winter months are perfect for crocheters, the weather is cold, the sky is dark, people stay in-doors more, and have more time to hook like they want to. And those that aren’t fanatics about the craft, like I am, will be more in the mood to create sweaters, and scarfs, and cold-weather attire like that.

So, there is something that you can look forward to from the FBCD business in the next year! More holiday-specific crochet patterns. Since I’m doing really well with my state pillows, I may continue on with this trend. Or, you might get to see some Family Bug’s originals as I continue to do research and plan for the future 🙂

How To Manage Bulk Orders

Rabbit&Fox BoxCrochet is not a quick craft. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been doing it, or how fast you can work. It’s still gonna require a sizeable investment of time to crochet something. Sure there are “mile a minute” blankets, and “hour long” scarf patterns, and several projects that brag about the limited time to complete them. But if you are ever in a situation where you are asked to make just 10 of these, it’s going to take up the better part of two days, and maybe even a couple of weeks depending on your schedule.

A couple of months ago, I started working with a dear friend making her these cute little woodland animals. She purchases them from me at the absolute lowest price possible and adds them to similarly themed products from other artisans. She then sells these collections at a marked-up price for a profit. Rabbit and Fox box. Absolutely adorable stuff, definitely worth your attention! I do not offer these patterns for sale, and I do not allow the animals to be purchased from me. They are exclusives!

So, I’ve got to work up about 12 of these tiny creatures, owls this time, and I want to do it as fast as I can (mostly so I don’t get bored and can keep moving forward). Each individual animal may take me an hour, maybe two to complete from start to finish. While you might expect me to spend an entire week working on these (the math comes out to approximately 30 hours of work), I can usually finish them in 3 days, or about 10 hours. There is one secret and only one for how I manage this magic: assembly line!

  Alright, are you listening? This is how I made twelve little owls in three days:

  1. Purchase the desired colors
  2. Gather ALL of my materials in a box (for easy clean-up, and to keep them all together)
  3. Make 20 tiny wings
  4. Make 20 white circles
  5. Whip stitch the circles together, embroider the eyes
  6. Make an owl head
  7. Add on the eyes and embroider the beak
  8. Finish the owl’s body attaching the wings as I go
  9. Repeat steps 6-8 until they are all completed

If I were making one owl at a time I would be repeating steps 3-8. Six steps is a lot more time consuming than three (by more than twice). Especially when you take into account the putting down of one color in order to pick up the next color, and locating the yarn end, and finding the needle, and re-threading every single color for the embroidery, and all of those tiny in between actions. By creating each part at a time, I can better utilize my time and complete this bulk order at a faster pace. I can embroider all of the eyes at the same time, thus eliminating the painful re-threading of the needle. I can establish a rhythm for making all of the wings and shave even more time off of my creation process (I noticed, especially while I was making the wings, that each one took 3-4 seconds faster than the previous one). Tiny parts of creating one owl can be lessened or even eliminated altogether by using the assembly line process.

The Calculations

Crocheting in BulkSo that there cannot be any arguments or confusion, I even used a stop watch to calculate it all out for you. To make one owl all the way to completion took me 57 minutes. Multiply that by 12, and we can round it up to 12 hours. Whereas by using my assembly line method, I could crank out 12 eyes in 52 minutes, 24 wings in 31 minutes, and finish up 12 owls in about 6.5 hours. Meaning 12 owls took a total of 8 hours! By using the assembly line method, I was able to knock 4 hours off of the creation time. Now, I can spend that time on my packaging, or on writing a blog post about it, or on more crochet projects ☺

It did take me a little bit longer than 8 hours to make these, because of distractions, and a badly wound skein of yarn that kept tangling, and having to stop and hit the “lap” button on my stop watch, and having to make a few extras to get accurate calculations. But, I think I’ve made my point!

So, the next time you have someone ask for a whole bunch of one crochet item, don’t forget to “assembly line” it where you can. Your brain will thank you for it!

6 Bare Necessities of a Crochet Business

Crochet is a PERFECT craft to sell. It is relatively easy, inexpensive, and immensely versatile. People have been crocheting for hundreds of years. Not only as a means of creating something, but for relaxation and therapy as well. Bonus: it is a very portable craft, that can be accomplished from virtually any setting. I have seen several facebook posts recently of people looking to start their own crochet business, and for that I applaud you! It is a fine endeavor to embark upon. As the crochet industry continues to grow and change, the support and encouragement is endless and vast. However, as with all crafts and businesses, there are some things that are necessary not only to function but to thrive at optimal efficiency. In response to all of those people looking to start, I have come up with a two-part series, the first focusing on the few things that you definitely need in order to start. And then, as your business starts to profit and thrive, the second part will expand on the additions and growth needed to there optimize your efficiency.


This seems kind of obvious to me, but I felt it needed mentioned anyways. You need the materials of your craft: hook and yarn. Thankfully, neither of these are very costly, with many hooks costing $2-$3 and while yarns can cost as much as $15 a skein, most range in the $3-$5 department. All you need to get started is one hook, and one skein of yarn.

I just recently became an amazon affiliate, so while I do get some profits off of these links, the deals are just so amazing that I couldn’t even help myself. I mean, a set of hooks for $2.00 plus shipping?! You cannot find better in a store! And all of these are GREAT deals that you really should take advantage of!


You’ve gotta know what you are making before you can make it: a scarf, hat, poncho, slippers, purse, sweater, doll, toy, pillow, blanket, wall hanging, etc. Virtually anything can be made out of crochet. Some things really shouldn’t be, like men’s shorts, I mean…really? Even in the 70’s those are pushing some serious “hippie” boundaries, but I digress. You can peruse Pinterest, google, ask your children, or maybe someone has requested something. You just need one tiny idea to get started with.


Again, duh! You can’t sell something is there isn’t someone willing to buy. Many entrepreneurs will encourage you to know your customers and cater to their desires. While this is very true for your success, to start off, you only need one eager person willing to support you.


Quite possibly the trickiest part of selling handmade goodies is figuring out how to price your work. There are lots of algorithms available for figuring it all out. My personal favorite is to get on Etsy and compare similar items. However, be careful not to price your items as the cheapest just to “beat” the competitors. You might suffer a huge loss by doing that. Yes, there may be a scarf marked at $5.00, but most likely, it is a very poor quality scarf with uneven edges, ends sticking out, and all manner of wonky-ness going on. Be fair to yourself, but don’t be afraid to ask for some $$ as well. I’ve seen a simple headband priced at $30 (and selling out like crazy!). Use your best judgment and don’t be afraid to change prices accordingly as your business grows and changes.


A necessity that is easy to overlook is what kind of currency will you be accepting, and how are you going to handle it? For your very first item, exchanging cash or personal check from the sellers hand to your hand is perfectly acceptable. Keep it local, deliver it face-to-face. No fees, no shipping, no concerns if the seller will receive within a reasonable time, no wondering if the card is going to go through on both sides. Keep it simple, and enjoy the full rewards of your time spent.


The last thing you need to sell your crochet is a place to sell it. Facebook, Etsy, boutique, craft show, your own website. The choices are vast and endless. Pick one, a simple one, maybe a free one. I think facebook is a great place to start. So you take a picture of your product, post it to your page, and get tons of interest…congratulations, you are now an entrepreneur and you only spent a few dollars to get there!

Now What?

Now that you have sold your first product and are a business person, don’t forget to keep growing and changing to become better and polished and take over the crochet world! Check back tomorrow to find out what you need in order to do just that!