Sunday, May 22, 2011

Crafty Business

I have slowly been working on creating my site, full of crafty items that I can make and sell from home. It has always been a dream of mine to some day have a yarn shop with a cute little bakery inside with tons of cushy chairs for people to come in and knit with a yummy treat. So with that in mind I figured I better start small to slowly get my name out there. As of this moment I have a handful of items ranging from sewn project bags (yes, I said sewn!), jewelry, and handmade yarn. Lately I have been working on dying fiber in a range of different colors then carding them to sell the batts on the site. Just yesterday I made a trip with one of my good knitting buddies, Judith, to pick up fiber that I had dropped off with a fiber mill to get it processed so it was ready to sell. It turned out beautiful (so much I might just have to keep one for myself) and I am going to turn around and list it on the site to sell as ready to spin fiber, then also hand spin some to sell as handmade yarn. In no way is this a very profitable business, something I have come to terms with. But if this could expand to the point that I am able to bring a bit of money in from being crafty, then I have done my job. The biggest thing is getting your name out there and carrying a variety that people are interested in. This is where the crafty side of me loves trying out odd things that may not be the norm, but will draw people in especially when I am set up at a booth and need to draw in the crowd. Thanks to my wonderful husband who is so supportive in my crafty path, I have been able to start working on expansion of the amount of fiber I am able to dye as well as getting the items I need to create beautiful fiber that is ready to sell. So today after a little excursion with my "little sister" from Big Brothers/Big Sisters I plan on focusing on the etsy site to see what kind of business I can stir up at Snowball Knits and Designs.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Current Goofball

     For some reason Max and I have always seemed to get the weird animals. There isn't one I can think of that has been "normal" in any way. I have met other people with these so-called "normal" animals, but to this day one has yet to come into our home. Just looking back we have had Snowball, who was obsessed with hoarding straws and doing flips in the air. Yoda was the guinea pig that insisted on running circles around his cage for hours on end, especially after we had just cleaned the cage.. thus kicking out all of the newly laid stuffing. Keisha, our German Shepard who is afraid of the water and Lucy, her black Lab sidekick who was trained by Keisha to be afraid of the water. Both of these dogs we were hoping to take to the lake, so much for that idea. Then we have Stinky currently who likes to sit on her but with her legs out in front of her, arms straight out, sleeping on her bright pink stomach in the middle of the floor. Bernice, the hamster that enjoyed sitting on Max and watch Sunday football. Pumpkin, the beautiful grey cat that swears she can speak human and Aggie who only flops on her back when you say her name a certain way. Now all of these are just a few on the many crazy, yet hilarious, four-legged friends we have had throughout the years but then we come to the newest goofball in the bunch.

     Alice, an all black kitten came from a home where she didn't exactly get along with the big cats and thus was put on Craigslist for a new home. Me, being the sucker I am, insisted we add her to our home. As of this moment she hasn't yet a year old yet but it already seems like it's been a lifetime. Now don't get me wrong, I love her to death, but she is a handful. She thoroughly enjoys playing tag with the other cats and has no problem attacking me in the middle of the night. The big thing lately is what she is doing right this second. She seems to have a ongoing war with the water dishes in the house. She loves attacking them and dragging them across the room, sometime to the point of them tipping over. Alice has to bite them, back up, then go in for the kill again as if there was blood to be shed. How she finally decides when the battle has been won I have yet to figure out, but the war will continue with those blasted water dishes.. and she will be victorious.

     So we have a new goofball to add to the bunch. Another one to love and giggle at, and while there are those times where you can't help but get irritated with the fact that it's 4am and she just pounced on you, you can't help but look forward to when she calms down and cuddles up with you for a nap.... until she pounces on you again.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Coupon Clipper

     With finances getting tight, a few weeks ago Max just mentioned I should start clipping coupons to save some money. Little did he know... he had created a coupon monster. It's addicting leaving the store with a basket full of items for $50 rather than the usual $100 trip, when we are only getting a few things. Also seeing the percentage on the receipt that you saved makes you feel like a champ in world of money crunching. Now I am nowhere near some of those ladies I have seen on that TLC Extreme Couponing show but I do my fair share of saving lately. I do admit I have a binder full of coupons because it's really the only way to not go crazy finding certain coupons when you find a deal in the store. Amazingly enough I have seen others in the stores with binders that are inches taller than mine, but atleast I'm not the only crazy one there searching for deals. There are so many things that you can get for free if you really plan things. Only spending an hour here and there looking for coupons or ads can make you feel like you have better control of your shopping trip than letting the store take you for every penny in your wallet. So with all of this saving and finding crazy deals, I have starting stocking up items throughout the house so we don't have to worry when things get even tighter. It's definitely not a stockpile as shown on TV with other people but there are a few things like hair dye (that I got for .99 a piece) and laundry detergent (those were .97 a piece) that we are not going to have to purchase in the next 6 months. Some people may think this is crazy to do but since I have been so sick lately this is the one way I can help save money and be a huge help to my family. This plan also is giving us the abilitly to look at the long term plan of becoming foster parents or adopting, and allowing me to stay at home with the kids. Now couponing isn't the only way to save money, so that's why the cable bill will be cut in half and the car payments are going to go away soon by purchasing a cheaper car and paying in full for it. The thought of not having a car payment each month is enough to let us relax. So the challenge is to see just how much we can save now and I know between the two of us, it won't be a problem. But any suggestions are welcome to help us even further... within reason. I have seen a few suggestions that are just freaking crazy. I refuse to start creating my own laundry detergent as well as separating the two-ply toilet paper. Those just happen to be suggestions on a site I found which caused me to laugh to tears.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Day 10 of the Hat Challenge

I would say more at the moment but I am in the midst of knitting hats for The Hat Challenge to End All Hat Challenges. If the needles aren't moving then that means I am sleeping, or eating.... or in the bathroom. May 31st is slowly creeping up and I am dead set on having all 30 hats done. The great thing is that there are others doing the challenge along with me including Camille from my Stitch n' Bitch knitting group! It's always great to have others working along with you. Hat pictures will soon be posted as proof. Okay, back to knitting!

Update: Well, I unfortunately have to bow out of the hat challenge at this point. A severe kidney infection this month sent me to the hospital and has kept me sick in bed for the last week. Honestly at this moment I have barely had the energy to knit. I am so disappointed but plan on doing the challenge again soon. I know it won't be a problem, it's just a matter of being able to keep up the work the whole month. One of my knitter friends Camille has done a wonderful job in the challenge and is keeping up! So congrats to Camille!!