After being absent for about a month, I wish to apologize to you for not being here for you. I have been both working a full-time job and prepping for the upcoming craft fair shows I will be at this fall.
With that said, I must confess that I have decided to quit my job and can now re-focus on sharing my crochet business life with you. No, I did not leave the job for this purpose. I actually liked the job. However, there were some extenuating circumstances that led me to that decision.
The Craft show Season
So, now I have a few days before my craft show and I have been crocheting up a storm of product to bring with me. Here are a few pictures of what my potential customers can choose from.
My son calls these Halloween themed Bee’s, “BOO Bees”! I thought that was very clever of him. LOL!
In addition to those Items, that I have lots of! I will have the crochet Whales, a new line of Dinosaurs, a few stuffed bears, baby blankets, lovies, and owls. There will be other things as well, but these are the items that I am hoping sell the best.
After all this work, it has recently come to my attention that the weather is not going to be cooperative. We have an 80% chance of thunderstorms! UGH! All of the vendors at this weekend’s show will hang as best we can outside in the elements.
So, how do I prep for craft fair shows?
I belong to an online group called “Crochet-preneur“, in this group, I have learned many tips to get myself prepped for craft shows. Some of the information is free, others have a cost attached. The information garnered from this online group is unfathomable and believe me when I say, I would not be as prepared without it. You can learn so much from other’s experiences!
Another thing that the craft show entrepreneur needs to know is HOW TO SET UP their display tent. So, for that, I also turn to an online group, Vendor display. With the visuals that vendors share of their tent setups, I am able to visualize how I want to set up my tent for a successful day of sales!
Another thing to think about is what items are trending at craft shows. As you know, I mostly do stuffed animals and baby blankets. I’m not exactly sure how that will work this fall, so I added the Home Decor pumpkins in different colors, and one traditional pumpkin! All I can do is give it a try for this first show, then either replicate or change up for the next one. This will be the pattern for the next couple of months.
Now you have a few things to look at to see what it takes to have a successful craft fair event, or at least be prepared for a successful event. If you have any questions, please contact me.
I’m off to have a successful craft fair show now! Don’t forget to log onto my facebook on Saturday between the hours of 9A and 3P to see my “live” bit!
This week I started a new job outside of the home working 8 AM to 4:30 PM.
My one question is, how on earth do I manage to balance my work life and my blog life?
The first thing I know I need to do is make a list of all the items I need to accomplish here at home away from the work-life. Things like ensuring the laundry get done, dishes, vacuuming, you know the usual household chores. Also, managing my crochet business which includes this blog. When will I find time to write to you? When will I be able to crochet for upcoming craft fairs? All of these things need to be addressed in my list of items to accomplish.
The next thing I will need to do is to be a sticky wicket and just stick to the schedule! Without this schedule, I’ll never get anything done, at work or at home. So, how do I decide what is most important, less important or what is even less important? What about bigger projects?
A List like this one:
What are my individual crochet/blog tasks?
When are bigger projects due?
Blog posts and when to schedule them
What days will I be writing?
What days will I devote to reading?
When will I find time to exercise?
How will I find time for errands and other chores?
Once I have narrowed this down, I will be able to better utilize the time I will have available to me after my work life from 7 AM to 5 PM- this includes travel time. Travel time is not free time. Regardless of whether you listen to your book or not, vigilance while driving is more important than that.
What is the method I will use to balance work and blog life? Here is one method that I think will work well.
The Pomodoro Technique
This technique works well for people with ADD, or those interrupted by small distractions…oooh, Look! A Squirrel! Yup, that’s me!
Break larger projects into chunks
Breaking down larger projects into smaller ones is a great help too. Procrastination is a danger to many when faced with a larger project. When we procrastinate, we are just putting off negative feelings, the larger the project, the harder it is to avoid uncertainty and feeling overwhelmed. Like the feeling you may not know how to even get started; breaking that large project into smaller chunks will be a life saver, and time saver, for the procrastinator, like me!
Learning to accomplish all of the important tasks I have is going to take some doing for sure! But, with my patience and understanding, working in little chunks instead of eating the elephant in one bite, I know I will be able to accomplish all of my goals!
Knowing that a good many things are out of my control is another area I will need to accept. I can’t be in control of everything at all times. There are just going to be things that will derail me, even if it is just a momentary derailment. Acceptance will be key.
So, if you do not hear from me for a few days, just know that I am doing all I can to make sure that I maintain a healthy work to blog-life balance.
As you know, I have decided to invite like-minded individuals that are in a business that aligns with my crochet business to introduce themselves to my readers. This week I’d like to introduce a Crochet Tech Editor, my online friend, Cherie from Sweet Bird Crochet. Not only does Cherie crochet, but she is also a talented technical editor for pattern writers as well as an accomplished pattern writing instructor. And if all of that wasn’t enough for me to ask her to introduce herself, her first name is my middle name, so, I couldn’t NOT ask her! LOL!
So, without much-a-do, let me introduce Cherie Mellick.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
My name is Cherie Mellick. I’m the face behind the logo, the hands behind the hook, and the heart behind the purpose! I am a small business owner located in Metro Atlanta, Georgia! My husband and I are empty nesters who spoil our little dogger, Keiki (cakey), and our feathered toddler, Kalani! Kalani is an Indian Ringneck Parrot who is the center of my business brand. She is the ‘sweet bird’ behind Sweet Bird Crochet!
My husband and I have 6 adult children (4 are mine from a previous marriage and 2 are his from a previous marriage). We have a total of NINE grandbabies…and I’m not quite 50, YET! There is nothing more precious than hearing my grands yelling “NeeNee” as they run up to me for a big hug! We don’t get to see our grands very often since they are scattered all over the United States, but we do steal away as often as possible for visits. Of course, there are always the video chats I have with their little foreheads and noses or the fan because they don’t quite understand the concept of video chatting! 😊
When did you start to crochet and why?
My friend Tina tried hard to teach me to crochet. We sat at her dining table for several hours laughing hysterically at the fact that I could not get the concept of what she was showing me! A simple granny square and my brain just couldn’t comprehend what her hands were doing! I picked up yarn and hook about a year later, printed out a pattern, and BAM! I totally understood what the pattern was telling me to do and 15 years later, I’m still in love with the art!
I won’t say that crochet saved my life, but it certainly has helped me to cope with some hardships I had faced in my previous marriage. I am a survivor of domestic violence. Crochet gave me an outlet when I felt extremely powerless. It gave me confidence as I created. It gave me a healthy escape from some particularly difficult circumstances.
My husband has always been fascinated by my crochet creations. Every time I made an amigurumi, a blanket, or a bag, he would look it over with such amazement telling me I should start my own business. I told him that once we are debt-free, I’ll start my business.
At the end of 2020, we officially had paid off over $35,000 in debt! It took us 18 grueling months, but we did it! We were debt-free, and I quit my full-time job and started my business!
What do you sell/make?
At first, I started selling custom orders and Amigurumi Unicorns, but I found that I was not passionate about making the same things over and over! I have a little motto in my business, “If I don’t love it, I won’t do it!” I started this business to do what I love and if I didn’t love making unicorns over and over, then my business just became a job! I took several months off to give myself a break and to think about the direction I wanted to go in my business.
The birth of the Arizona Zipper Pouch
After a trip to Arizona to visit our babies, I designed my Arizona Zipper Pouch, and I knew what I wanted to do! I love using my creativity to design patterns! I had finally found my “niche”, that word that creates such anxiety and pressure! Since I’ve had an affinity for crochet blankets since the beginning of my crochet journey, it made sense to focus on designing patterns for blankets. However, I also love bags! I love bags, purses, clutches, and zipper pouches! Those two items are my focus when it comes to designing crochet patterns.
I knew that designing patterns would not bring in the money each month for my business to survive. So, I added several services to hopefully generate a sustainable income. I am a certified crochet instructor with the Craft Yarn Council and have taught online and in-person crochet classes. I do plan on having a Virtual Tapestry Crochet Workshop in the Fall of this year! (Did I tell you that I love tapestry crochet?) I also am a Tech Editor. I edit patterns for designers so they can publish patterns that are high quality and almost perfect patterns! I also am a virtual assistant. I help crochet, knit, and yarn businesses manage their businesses. As a VA, I help build websites, manage emails, take phone calls, manage newsletters, and so much more! Last, but not least, I help designers write their patterns. Whether it’s a new designer or a veteran, I can take pattern notes, diagrams, or charts and write a well-crafted pattern!
Finally, what’s your top tip when it comes to crocheting?
If you don’t love it, don’t do it! If what you crochet doesn’t bring you joy, then don’t make it. Once your joy begins to diminish, what you’re doing becomes a job. None of us started our craft business to “work”. We all started it to add joy to our lives! Don’t lose sight of that! Oh, another great tip: Gauge swatch, gauge swatch, gauge swatch! And weave in your ends as you go! 😊
Cherie, I ‘d like to thank you for speaking with me today. We are looking forward to seeing more of your creations as your current works are just so beautiful!
This is the perfect time to play with Water Grenades! The heat this week is UNBELIEVABLE! The feels “LIKE” temps in our area are well over 100 deg Fahrenheit, that’s a heat that no amount of water from the sprinkler will cool you off.
One of the hottest trending activities for the kids this summer is the balloon-less Water Grenades, also known as, reusable water balloons, reusable water bombs, or reusable water grenades. Hugely popular during times of intense heat and their fun in the pool!
People are obsessed with this fun game as there is no rubber mess to clean up, no balloon pieces for wildlife to eat or choke on. The best, cleanest, inexpensive, and easiest way to have a water balloon fight with your friends and family! So, CLICK HERE to go to the instructions to make your very own, unforgettable game of throwing water balloons. Without the mess!
No more standing at the sink to fill a bag full of balloons, cleaning up broken balloon pieces, worrying that your pets may find pieces and accidentally choke, worrying that rubber balloon will break apart end up ruining or harming your pool pump. Washable, dry-able, and reusable, these are a must-have for any family summer gathering.
Crochet reusable Water Grenades pattern
To purchase the pattern with all links and no ads, click here.
There are MANY free crochet patterns out there, and most, if not all, use the Bernat Blanket yarn. But, if you don’t have any on hand and you still want to make some water grenades, grab a 5.5 mm hook and some chunky 5-weight yarn.
These can be made in under 20 minutes each! So, in a couple of hours, you could have 6-12 grenades ready to be thrown! Depending on how fast you can crochet them. No muss, no fuss!
Recently I thought that it might be a great idea to invite fellow crocheters to introduce themselves to my readers. This week I’d like to introduce a Mosaic Crochet Expert, my online friend, Lynette from Lavender Cup Cottage Mosaic Crochet. Lynette has been a staunch supporter of Nana’s Attic Crochet and she runs a Facebook group for those that want to learn MOSAIC crochet.
My name is Lynette Kosar and I am the designer and owner of Lavender Cup Cottage Mosaic Crochet. I am from a rural area of north western Pennsylvania where I grew up on a farm. I have 2 grown sons, who I am super proud of! Now that the boys have grown, it’s just me and my loveable dog, Lucy.
I listed my first set of patterns on Etsy in March 2021, then Ravelry in June 2021 while working a full-time job. It started as a side project, but I love designing so much that in September 2021 I took the big plunge and quit my job to design full time! It was a BIG SCARY move but has turned out to be the best thing I could have done for myself. I gave up the stability of a regular income, paid vacation time, and benefits, but I gained improved mental health and less stress being able to work as a designer doing something I love. Since opening, I have built a library of high-quality and unique patterns.
When did you start to crochet and why?
As a child, my great-grandma would often watch my sister and I while my parents were at work – especially in the summer when school was out. When I was about 7 or 8 years old my great grandma taught me how to crochet. First, of course, was mastering the chain!
It was always my goal to sit and make that chain as long as I could. I would see if I could make it go down her hallway and back or go around the living room. Every time I came back to visit, I always had a yarn to play with. She also taught me single and double crochet, how to do spirals and how to increase and decrease. I didn’t know how to read patterns back then, but the first thing I made was a little bear that I freestyled out of my head. I was so proud of it and gave to my best friend.
What do you sell/make?
I design mosaic crochet patterns and currently have over 40 available. Our best seller and the most popular pattern at this time is the “Penny’s Sunflower Farm”. This pattern makes a large blanket with a farm scene ~ working from the bottom of the pattern, you’ll see flowers and butterflies in front of a wooden fence with sunflowers growing just behind the fence, followed by a grassy pasture area and cows, a barn and farmhouse. Behind the farmhouse and barn are corn fields that extend to the horizon of sunrise.
All our mosaic crochet patterns include the charts and the written pattern. They have been tested by people with various levels of mosaic crochet experience. 90% of our patterns are great for a first-time beginner and the remaining 10% are for anyone who has done at least one project or if you are brand new and up for a challenge! The only thing that makes some of our patterns more challenging is more counting and fewer repeats…. that’s it!
Instructions for basic mosaic crochet are included with every pattern and we have step-by-step video tutorials in our Facebook Group. (www.facebook.com/groups/LavenderCupCottage)
Where can we find your creations?
We have customers all over the world! Our patterns are sold on Ravelry, on Etsy, and a website is in the works!
Finally, what’s your top tip when it comes to crocheting?
The best tip I can give your readers is to dream big and follow their heart! Don’t be afraid to try new things and keep growing in your crochet journey…. Learn new stitches or a new technique, a tiny step out of your comfort zone can have huge rewards!
If I can help you take that tiny step in your crochet journey, I’m here for you.
Have a happy crocheting day!
Lynette, I ‘d like to thank you for speaking with me today. We are looking forward to seeing more of your creations as your current works are just so beautiful!
Most mornings I have two cups of coffee while watching the news and checking emails. Lately, though, I’ve been skipping the coffee in lieu of going to the gym to walk on the treadmill
Who even likes to exercise? I really don’t like it either, but it is a necessary evil for those of us that sit on the couch and crochet MUST do to stay healthy. So, I get up each morning, put on my Nikes, and head to the gym where I spend up to an hour walking on the treadmill.
To be perfectly honest with you, I do enjoy walking on the treadmill. It sure beats walking in the Lowcountry heat and humidity in the summer months. It can get so HOT here! This is why I prefer to stay in the house under the ceiling fan crocheting.
Speaking of coffee. Oh, how I love my Triple Chocolate Coffee from Wal-Mart! 😊 Add a little heavy cream to it and I’m in heaven, I only have two a day. The thing is, getting up early enough to beat the crowds at the gym doesn’t leave me any time to have my luscious cup of java.
While drinking my coffee, I watch the fur babies play with their toys or with each other. We have Cat Mandu, Bella, and now one of the strays have adopted us for food and a place to sleep, she lets me pet her, but not pick her up to love on her. The fur babies don’t bother me when I’m crocheting, unlike some people with pets, they don’t jump on the yarn or drag it stuck in their little paws. Bella does love to sit right next to me though and she always must be touching me, it is tolerable though.
I found a most intriguing Vintage Victorian Baby Blanket pattern on Etsy the other day and decided to give it a try. It is not made with baby yarn but rather with worsted weight yarn. The finished item will be beautiful, and I will be shooting some videos to show the work from start to finish. Here is the picture from the pattern. Isn’t this lovely?
If you don’t know how to crochet but would love to learn, or if you do crochet but don’t think you are any good at selecting coordinating colors, you can always get a kit from Annies. The kit will provide everything needed to create your heirloom to pass down through the generations. Get your Kit HERE. This is an affiliate link.
Thank you for spending some time with me today! I appreciate you all so much.
Enjoy a good cup of coffee and just realize how blessed we all are!
It is Summertime here in South Carolina and it is HOT!
We don’t live close enough to the beach for me to be there every day, I have had to come up with other outlets to get cooled off, like turning the sprinklers on and letting the water hit me as I work in the garden or as I just lay in the hammock, my favorite!
Summer is the grandkids favorite time of year. Mainly because they are out of school but also because water is their favorite playground and frozen treats are a close second.
Since this is Nana’s Attic Crochet, what is one thing that nana always has on hand for the visiting grandchildren? POPSICLE Freezer Pops! Fruity Frozen flavors in stick form!
But they can be so very cold to little hands. So, I crocheted some holders for the kids to hold their frozen juice sticks! The kids love them, and they keep the kiddo’s hands from freezing. They’ll devour the sticks without complaining about the cold hands, and the holders help keep the hands less sticky from melting frozen pops.
Popsicle holders are very simple to make. You can crochet as many rounds as you want, depending on how long you want them, I have found that 3-4 inches is plenty long enough.
To Make your own Popsicle Holder
For yarn I used hobbii’s Chunky Amigo Aquarelle in a variegated green – Any color and any yarn weight will work, remember to adjust your hook size My hook size was a 5 mm
Make a chain of 7 2 sc in the first chain, sc in the next 4 chains, 3 sc in last chain Now you are going to work on the back side of the chain. 5 sc in the back chains, 14 total stitches. sl st into the beginning stitch, chain 1, half double crochet in same st Hdc around, continue working in the round with hdc until the holder is 3-4 inches long. Finish off and weave in your end.
There you are! A simple little popsicle frozen pop holder your kids will be happy to hang onto!
The best thing is that these are machine washable! Just throw them into a mesh laundry bag, wash and throw in the dryer or hang them outside to dry.
Of course, you may use any yarn you like and any size hook.
I hope you like this quick tutorial for the crochet popsicle holder. It will make for happy little hands while holding their freezer popsicle.
I just have to share with you, my readers, that this past Memorial Day Weekend, my husband and I spent the weekend in Columbia, SC for an American Legion Convention. Since my husband is a long-time member, we had to go, no problem! We had a great time!
As much as I love to crochet, I do occasionally need a day or two off. This was a much-needed time away from home. Of course, my husband did have me make him a crochet poppy flower to wear in his meetings. Showing off my crochet skills yet again! Gotta love a man that shows your work to everyone, showing how proud he is of you! woohoo!
Among the great things to do in Columbia, SC’s downtown area are visiting the Sheraton Hotel’s ROOFTOP bar for great views and cocktails. When you come, plan to include a Saturday in your stay. Saturdays the Main Street is closed to traffic and vendors line 3 blocks with foods, gifts, artists, there are so many wonderful scents to take in and the food selection is awesome!
I did find just one crochet related vendor among the Saturday Street Vendors. Sometimes at craft markets or street vendor days I’m not sure if I’m disappointed that there aren’t more sellers of the craft.
One of the restaurants that we hit up twice was Cantina 76 at Main Street and Lady Street. Mexican food done great! Service was terrific. The only issue I had was that the Fish taco is just two small fish pieces and jalapenos. I don’t eat jalapenos, so I asked for those to be removed, what I got was a soft tortilla with two small fried fish pieces. I was terribly disappointed. I asked for a traditional taco and just put the fish on top and was quite satisfied in the end!
The State House is at the end of the road and just before you get there, you’ll find a Halls Chophouse, we missed that, but the taco joint was good enough for us!
My husband surprised me with a new bracelet as an anniversary gift! Shock! It is very nice (I won’t go overboard on my enthusiasm).
Columbia, SC is also home of USC, University of South Carolina, there are many shops that sell things that say, “Go Cocks”, a little store in the hotel is called “Miss Cocky”, and a few other named stores reflective of the team mascot. So. if you get offended easily, don’t look! LOL!
So, if you are ever in the Columbia SC area, you’ve got to check out the downtown area. It is one of the MUST SEE areas of this lovely state. Next time, you’ve got to come to Charleston, SC! I live just outside of this quaint historic city.
While perusing Facebook a little while back, I came upon a cute idea to use rope lighting to create a gentle light to hang on the nursery wall or under the crib. The process is very simple and creates a beautiful ambient light that will assist in getting that little one to sleep!
The picture above is of one 10-foot rope light, but you can get them as long 25 feet. The finished size is 12 inches across.
Have you ever wondered who invented crochet or how crochet came to be?
To be honest it has perplexed me for a rather long time. So, I did some research on the subject and came up with almost an answer! What do I mean by that? Well, it seems that there is no one place that can pinpoint the actual date, time, and place that crochet was ‘invented’!
“no convincing evidence as to how old the art of crochet might be or where it came from. It was impossible to find evidence of crochet in Europe before 1800. A great many sources state that crochet has been known as far back as the 1500s in Italy under the name of ‘nun’s work’ or ‘nun’s lace,’ where it was worked by nuns for church textiles,” (Marks, 1997)
Irish Crochet became popular and might probably be one of the only things that saved the Irish during the great potato famine between 1845 and 1850. The Irish went so far as to turn schools into crochet mills, for lack of prettier words. The schools taught men, women, and children of all ages how to crochet. Their items then were sold all over Europe and abroad with the new owners unaware of the humble beginnings of their beloved crochet collars and cuffs.
Many Irish saved their meager earnings to make better lives for themselves by leaving Ireland for a new land, America. Here, their delicate crochet influenced the knitting and sewing arena. They couldn’t help but appreciate the intricacies and hard work put into the craft.
The funny thing about crochet is, that you can use almost any type of material! The Sweet Grass of the Carolina Lowcountry, hair, animal fur, flax, wool, and the list goes on and on. One thing that is for sure is that, when a crochet project is in need, one need not go far to find the materials to complete it. Today, we just run to a craft store and buy whatever we need. Obviously, Wal-Mart and Michael’s weren’t around in the 1800s or 1900s.
Now, what about this thing we call a CROCHET HOOK? Well, fingers were the first crochet hooks, then whatever tool one could get their hands on, such as hooks made of bone, metal, wood, and even spoons. Today we can buy a hook in any one of 25 different sizes from the smallest metal hook to the largest wood or plastic hook.
So, you’re probably wondering what kinds of things were on the list of necessities that crochet produced. Fishing nets are the first thing to come to mind. Then bags or satchels, belts, and snares to catch rabbit and fish. Later you could see crochet lace in funeral ceremonies or religious rights and marriage ceremonies. In the 1600s Europe, Royalty and the wealthy adorned themselves in lace gowns, headpieces, and other apparel while the poorer impoverished could only dream about such adornments. It is possible that the impoverished used crochet to adorn themselves in imitation of the wealthier status’ garments.
Crochet techniques have come a long way since their initiation into the mainstream. We have books upon books to read, YouTube channels that give explicit instruction, and grandmother’s that still teach their grandchildren to crochet. There are so many people crocheting today, that it is hard to go to a craft fair and not see 2-3 tables selling all sorts of different crochet items, from amigurumi (stuffed animals) to fashion items and accessories.
That my friends are little bits in the History of Crochet. If you would like to learn more about the history of crochet, you can find more information at the Crochet Guild website: https://tinyurl.com/2p8skjhj
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