Category Archives: Uncategorized

Small site change

The main page (and “Home”) of the site now goes to the store. I hate having to do a redirect like that, but it’s the only way to make things work since the store and the blog are on different IPs. Believe me, I tried, but after a couple of hours and realizing that I’d have to change about a gazillion links (and figure out some redirect method for other people’s links) if I DID get it to work, I settled on this method.

If you’re just here for the blog, you’ll need to go to http://www.craftotaku.com/blog/ from now on. RSS feeds and everything will NOT change. If you forget to go to http://www.craftotaku.com/blog then no biggie, there’s links to the blog from the store. Clicking the banner at the top of the blog will take you back to the main page of the blog, rather than the home/store (but clicking the banner at the top of the store takes you to the main page of the store).

If you do like the store, I hope you’ll shop at store.craftotaku.com instead of Etsy. If you prefer Etsy, though, you can try to be my 100th Etsy sale and use coupon code “ONEHUNDRED” to get free shipping! UPDATE: You’re too slow! I have now passed 100 sales on etsy 🙂

I have enough patterns (for now)

At the end of this week, my magazine subscriptions for my Kindle Fire are up for renewal. If I were to renew them, the total would be about $100 (and this is after stopping subscriptions to the ones that charged monthly rather than yearly).

I think I have exactly ONE pattern from a magazine in my queue – and that was a magazine I bought at a store after seeing the pattern. Sure, the subscriptions are fun for a few minutes. Every other month, or once a quarter for some, I see that new magazine on my Kindle Fire. I read the 3 or so pages of reading material. I glance at the patterns. And then… do I ever knit or crochet any of it? Nope.

Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure the only pattern from a magazine I’ve ever actually done, was a magazine I borrowed from the library.

So when I totaled up how much it would cost to renew all the magazines, I decided I’m not going to renew them. I also decided to take a look at my other patterns and reevaluate my buying habits. This is the amount of patterns in my library right now

03-18-2014_07-56-07

This is in addition to the about 650 free patterns on my favorites list, and a few magazines and books I own that I never added to my library. A lot of the patterns in my library were free with a coupon code, but still; I have over 3000 patterns to choose from, that I want to do. I’ve done a few of them – but it was very few.

This year I have purchased 28 patterns, and of those 28, I used ONE. Of course, I plan to do all of them, hopefully soon; but I realize now that I’ve got patterns I bought a year and a half ago that I planed to do hopefully soon.

Now I don’t like terms like “stash down” nor “cold sheep”, but I have to rein it in. I have enough patterns (for now); it’s time to stop looking for more and start knitting & crocheting them! I think I’ll set a goal of doing at least 1 item from a purchased pattern per week (and hexipuffs for the Beekeeper’s quilt don’t count… though I purchased that back in April of last year and only started it in January).

I don’t want to say that this is a goal for the year… I have no idea what patterns I may need down the line. But at least, for now, that is a goal.

Yarn video podcast

So I am going to attempt to do a yarn video podcast.
No promises that I will do it regularly, or that it will contain anything you aren’t already seeing here on the blog. But I just want to see how this works out.



OH GOD THUMBNAIL WHY ARE YOU SO HORRIBLE
I CHOSE ANOTHER BUT THE EMBEDS STILL USE THIS ONE WHY

And now it’s December.

Okay, apparently I went with the “too busy to post” option 🙂

At the craft fair, I made double my booth fee and handed out cards to some people that were interested in the higher price items or custom orders. I made one custom order on the spot, to a sweet kid who came over to talk to me about Pokemon, and said he really wanted one of my Pokemon items, but he only had $7 (I quickly whipped up a pokeball for him). I learned a lot, had a great time, bought a few gifts for my kids and still came home with a little money in my pocket.

So while I would have liked to make more of a profit, I’ll consider it a good show.

Some of the stuff that didn’t sell is up on my etsy. It looks so nice and full now ~

Well part of the reason I was too busy is… not only did I do that craft fair, but I GOT A DOG!

shelley

So there is definately some dog sweater knitting in my future. After December, though. During December, I have to try to get presents done while also getting commissions done. The commissions aren’t a problem, I was careful not to take on more than I can handle… but getting presents done for the kids, which I can only work on while they’re asleep, when I have to get up early to take the dog out… now that’s gonna be tricky.

Uh…

I’m kind of reconsidering my not leaving Etsy, now.

I tried to let it go. But I was shown these links:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/caterina-fake/humanity-policy-making-th_b_4097886.html
https://www.etsy.com/blog/news/2013/5-etsy-sellers-partnering-with-manufacturers/

And what I get from these links are:

A lot of customers wanted and PAID FOR costumes handmade by someone at home, alongside their kids… and instead what they got were costumes made in a factory. Made in a US factory that was about to go under, but a factory none the less.

Etsy knew a successful seller was having her items made by a factory BEFORE these new rules said doing that was allowed.

Etsy lies and says it was allowed all along, when for years I have watched people get banned because they, for example, logged into their mom’s shop from the same IP as their shop, and didn’t disclose that the daughter worked for the mom’s shop (because she didn’t).

I don’t know about you, but if I paid for a handmade item and then after getting the item, the seller said (or more likely, I found out) “I didn’t have enough time to make it, so I had a factory do it instead” I’d be pissed. Because if I wanted a factory-made item I’d go to Walmart. The whole damn reason I would be on Etsy, the whole reason I would be willing to pay more is because I want that item that was made while that lady was at home alongside her kids. If she’s just dropping the kids off at school, talking to a factory manager, and looking as the orders roll in THAT DEFEATS THE WHOLE DAMN POINT.

And it really makes me wonder if paying Etsy their crazy fees is worth it.
Welp, I got store.craftotaku.com organized today. So we’ll see what I end up doing.

What I’ll be doing for the next month

After that last post I started thinking seriously about selling at craft fairs and conventions. I’m familiar with all the conventions in the area, but other than one in my neighborhood, I wasn’t all that familiar with what craft fairs are in the area. So I begin to research… and omg, there is a buttload. For the next month there is at least 1 every weekend, and some weekends there are 2.

There’s also several throughout the rest of the year (none as concentrated as the next month though – guess we’re big on harvest time. It would be the perfect time to sell some hats that could be used on Halloween…). So then I started thinking, why am I waiting until next year? There’s one on November 30th & December 1st with a low fee, and I figure it’s a good first fair. That’s plenty of time to make a good mix of cheap stuff that could be used as stocking suffers or impulse purchases, as well as more expensive stuff for gifts. So, assuming I get all the crap done I need to do in a timely manner (registering for it, registering to pay state taxes, etc.) that will probably the first craft fair I sell at.

So for the next month I will be going to several of those nearby craft fairs, partially because I like going to them, and partially to see how things are done. I’ve been all over forums about craft fair selling and youtubers that do it, but obviously it’s good to get a look at how things are locally. And hopefully, I will remember to take some pics and blog about them.

Also happening next month is that I decided I am definitely going to Ramencon! Yuji (my daughter) will be going with me. This will be her second convention, but the first she remembers as her first was when she was 3 weeks old ^_^ I’ll be bringing a little of my handmade stuff to the Swap Meet on Sunday, so if you’re local and want to get some of my stuff without shipping, that will be a good opportunity 🙂 So, if nothing else, I’ll be blogging about the stuff I make for us to wear to the con ^_^ So stay tuned for that!

Another resolution update

First of all, let me take a brief moment to squee….

IMG_3012
Fuck Yeah.
Okay. Now that that’s taken care of…

Another new years resolution update! Yes, it is almost the middle of the year and I still remembered those! Let’s take a look at the list and check off what I have accomplished.

1. Buy more wool
2. Use more wool
3. Make more stuff to sell

4. Use the money from selling to get a new phone and washing machine
5. Use my library of pattens/books instead of buying more or finding more I want to buy
6. Use my stash of acrylic instead of buying more

I think I’m doing pretty damn good! #5 went just completly out the window, but I’m doing great with the others.

So the time has come to update this list a bit. Instead of a washing machine, I’m first going to focus on an embroidery machine and minky. Because I need to sew some quality pony plushies. Not want… need. It calls to me. I keep dreaming about it. Siiiigh. \

I also want to do things like embroider Rainbow Dash’s cutie mark onto my jacket that is Rainbow Dash colored on the outside and rainbow on the inside. But anyway…

Right now I can handsew felt plushies and draw cutie marks.


No, this just ain’t gonna cut it.

I can crochet ponies – and that’s partially why resolution #5 went out the window – but it just isn’t the same. And I have to use felt for the eyes and cutie marks when I’d rather embroider them.

But – and I know this makes no sense, because just 2 weeks ago I was thinking I would not be able to afford a camera and the KNT dvd and etc. for awhile – I really feel like the embroidery machine is not too out of reach. It’ll take some buckling down, and not having luxuraies for a bit, buying only what is needed for the bussiness, but… yeah. I feel like I can do it in a month or two.

I don’t know. Maybe getting KNT has made me feel invincable. Maybe I’m bipolar and this is one of my up moments. But I really feel good, and like the work I’ve been putting in this year to expand my craft horizons and grow CraftOtaku is making a difference.

Anyway… the other thing I need to change. I’ve made a lot of room for wool this year, and that’s great. I managed to not buy any acrylic until last week. But at that point I realized that the acrylic I had left was mostly stuff I was never going to use, and that I didn’t have some colors I needed anymore. Unfortunately I realized that when I had a deadline to make something out of acrylic, and I had to suddenly rush to the craft store, wasting gas and crafting time.

So, buying another skein of acrylic only when the color runs out doesn’t actually work for me, apparently. Lol. I took a real look at my acrylic stash, and decided that the stuff that I haven’t found a use for in the past 6 months (well, longer than that really, can’t remember when I actually got most of it), I’m not going to ever find a use for it (and if I do, I’m sure to be able to find it or a suitable replacement). I got it ready to be donated, making room for colors that I actually need. And now I need to go back to stocking up on colors I actually need.

So! An updated list:

Half Years Resolutions
1. Get an embroidery machine
2. Keep CraftOtaku growing
3. Stock up on acrylic I actually need, don’t get stuff I don’t need.

I’m giving up on the not buying patterns. It just ain’t gonna happen. I’ll just continue to buy them reasonably, which is pretty much part of getting an embroidery machine.

Well, gotta go. I’ve got a date with mai husbando tonight.

Guido_Anchovy