High Quality Hand Crocheted

High Quality Hand Crocheted
Pre-made designs AND Custom Orders!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

I love the Holidays! Busy Busy Busy!

So far this year has been amazing!  My very first year "in the business" and everything has been going so well.  Not only have I made a lot of new friends thru the Etsy.com community but also I have had the opportunity to sell INTERNATIONALLY.  My first international sale back in August was to Australia.  There are so many things I learned by having to ship internationally that I had never expected before.  There are TWO different types of Custom Forms to choose from, and it is BEST to have the Post office or FedEx place help you decide which one you are supposed to fill out.  In my case because my items are merchandise, non-perishable items, they have me fill out the simple customs form.  My most recent sale that was international was to Barcelona, Spain.  
This got shipped this afternoon!  

The best part about making things by hand is that more and more people now a days are starting to truly appreciate the hard work and artistry it can take.  More and more people are willing to order things from people like me because they know what I make is HAND CRAFTED, and no two items are ever alike.  Even if you purchase the same item, because even the same color yarn can have a different length in between colors or even thickness, no matter what you do, each item is one of a kind.  They are all beautiful, that is what I love.  I have been crocheting for over 23 years, so my technique is quite exceptional, so the only thing that is really a surprise in my work is what the yarn does while I am creating a new masterpiece.

These two were my most recent sale of my "One of a kind" slouchy hats.  I love Lion Brand Homespun yarn.  I have said it a thousand times and I will continue to say it.  No matter what color I have bought, it never ceases to amaze me with the finished product.

And I can't forget this little beauty!  This is one of my other best sellers.  Sold 3 so far this year!  I love how amazing they all come out when they are complete.  This is a Secret Santa present!  Goddess, I love the holidays.  :)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Yardseller.com is the BEST site out there for selling pretty much anything.

     So I have had my Etsy.com/shops/Mrzjaquescrochetedit up and running for a little under 9 months now, and it is finally coming together.  I am getting special order requests, and selling things overseas as well as all across the US and Canada, so to me in less than one year of being in business, that's a pretty big accomplishment  .  I found this new site called Yardseller.com and it works with Facebook really well so that when you list your items on there, they post to your facebook page and get you a ton of exposure thru there too.  Just in the past month I have sold 5 items from that site.  In the last 9 months, my total sales across all of the different sites I have tried is 19.  For only doing this as a hobbie at first this has definitely become much more than that.  I find myself dreaming of a new idea, and then getting up in the middle of the night sometimes just to start on it to see if it will work.  My latest sale on Yardseller was one of my Spectacular Slouchy Mimosa Beanie.  I have actually sold two of them from that site.  It's truly amazing.  I have had only one not so great experience, but I am making up for it.  I received a special order for a black and purple Super Slouchy, so I made it like I normally do, however the first one I made came out SUPER Small, like child size.  Different yarn does that sometimes.  So I made another one a lot bigger, but when she got it, she said that it was still too small  since she has dreads that need to fit in it.  Me being who I am and completely  customer oriented, I offered that if she sends the old one back I will make her a special one out of my favorite Lion Brand Homespun yarn and make it EXTRA SUPER SLOUCHY.  I have a feeling this new one is going to be much more of what she was wanting.  I want to make sure all my customers are COMPLETELY SATISFIED otherwise I will do whatever I can do fix it.  Quality work is what I do.  And I make no exceptions.  I want you to love what you purchase from me, and be proud to tell your friends where you got it from.  Person to person exposure is the best free advertising out there. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

Newest Rasta Water Pipe Bag! Special order completed, shipped and ready for action.

     I never would have imagined this becoming what it has in the past 9 months since I opened my Etsy.com shop.  As a hobbie for most of my life doing crochet has always been just something to help me kill the time when I'm bored or working and the call volume is slow.  I never imagined that I would be selling stuff all across the US and now even INTERNATIONALLY!!!

     My latest sale came from Texarkana, TX.  The customer wanted a padded water pipe case that was 20" tall and had a diameter of 8" at the base.  She had originally bought my rainbow pouch but wanted it in rasta colors instead.  I was so excited to make a new one.  The colors are simple to come by.  Green yellow and red.  The design was a simple striped pattern with even color spacing using a double crochet stitch.  For even the beginner crocheters out there this is a simple and easily adaptable pattern to make any size pouch or bag.  My signature drawstring top helps with easy open and close and I always throw in a matching bowl pouch that is detachable. 
     My pride and joy of this pouch is the green satin lining my husband found for this one.  It is not only super soft but it has sparkles in it too. I just love how amazing it turned out. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

After a custom order another sold the very next day to a buyer in AUSTRAILIA!!!! I'm finally international!

     This turned out to be one of the best custom orders I have ever done.  After having a huge down time where I was only selling stuff thru yardseller and only a few things here and there I finally got an order from a guy who wanted something custom made for a water pipe he had just purchased. He sent me a link to the page with all the dimensions of the pipe that I needed to fit it to, which was EXTREMELY helpful, and I got to work. The one and only hiccup I ended up having was the liner. I Crochet better than anyone else I know but I have only been sewing for a few years so doing the lining and padding always gives me anxiety. I am the biggest perfectionist when it comes to the items that I sell. If I can't make it perfect, I won't sell it. It's as simple as that. I luckily had an amazing customer who was patient and very easy to get a hold of when I had questions. So the best part off this story is that I got three listing posted and shipped, and it was such a great turn out that I relisted it and another one sold the very next day and this one is an international sale. To Australia!!! I am doing another custom order type of thing but out will be almost identical to the first one. I have the majority of it completed but again I am having issues with the lining but that's just how it goes I guess. I can't wait to get the feedback about this one. International sales see not only important for a growing business but it's extremely exciting too. I just hope they keep coming. Well that's all for me on this one. I have more blogs to come about my last 3 sales from across the country. As it gets back to the cold season I'm sure my hat sales will increase. I just hope I can keep up. Wish me luck. I think I'm gonna need it. :-)  

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Candy Apple Red Lion Brand Homespun Slouchy Beanie

Ok so it might be helpful so actually put something in the body of this blog posting right?  That's what happens when you get side tracked trying to do 5 things at a time.  Us girls pride ourselves on the simple fact that we can multitask very well.  It is something that is just ingrained into our DNA and sadly enough it is not so for most of our male counterparts.  It is something that just comes very naturally to us, or at least  most of the women in my life including myself.  I was busy posting the hat on Etsy so that someone would want to buy it possibly and totally forgot to finish my blog post about it over here. 

When it comes to Lion Brand Homespun Yarn, you know that I am a lifetime lover and user!  If they ever went out of business (which I highly doubt they ever COULD) I would be the saddest woman in the entire world for at least a month.  I won't know what to do with myself.  When we go to the yarn store, I make sure that I set a budget so I can make sure and get at least one new color of this brand of yarn.  They never cease to amaze me with the brilliance of the colors when the hats are finished.  This yarn is the most beautiful candy apple red color and the softest texture you have ever felt.  I say this in every post about it because in case you are a new reader and haven't heard my previous rants about this wonderful product..... THIS YARN ROCKS!!!!  Whether it's a hat, a pair of gloves, a new scarf, a sweater, a cellphone pouch, you name it, this yarn can make it the softest thing you have ever felt.  It's like they somehow were able to take the softness of rabbits fur, blend it with silk and string it together into amazingly colored yarns.  If I could afford to buy stock in this I would!  I have alone spent $1000 on this brand of yarn to make hats, gloves, pouches and even an afghan for my bed.  
So to get back to this awesome hat.  My mother loves the color red.  I have seen a ton of postings on Yardseller.com which is a new site I'm trying out asking for RED slouchy beanies.  REAL DEEP RED, not Coral or Salmon colored.  RED.  So since I had that color at home, and was already making a ton of hats while my camera wasn't working, I decided to add that color to the mix.  It turned out way better than I had planned.  I really hope this is as much of a hit as I think it will be.  There are a lot of people who just want an elegant Red hat that they can wear on any occasion.  This is that hat!
Thanks for looking y'all.  I really appreciate your support!


Mrz J.

Super Soft White Crochet Slouchy Beanie in Lion Brand Homespun.

     I am not a big fan of white anything because I have a tendency to get it dirty within the first 10 minutes of owning it but when you are making thing for other people and not yourself you don't really have that much of a choice and I know plenty of people who love white hats. So of course I made one and it is simply stunning.

     The white is simple and elegant.  It reminds me of a sunny day at the beach, or walking around an outdoor market of some kind.  I love how there is a subtle shimmer to the yarn itself as the light hits it just right.  It almost shines in the sun.  The best part is that it deflects the heat of the sun so even on a hot day you can still wear it. 

      I have 3 new hats that I will be posting about in the next few days that I think you'll love but for now I am going to get back to cleaning my house while my husband does his homework.
Have a wonderful weekend and best wishes of creative crochet creations.

Mrz. J

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

I finally got a new phone with a better camera! Time for some updated pictures of my stuff!!!

     Getting a new phone to me is like getting a new car almost.  I upgrade my phone once every 2 or 3 years it seems like and each time I go to get a new one, the choices are almost overwhelming.  I love Samsung.  In the 10 years that I have been buying cell phones, the only brand that has ever lasted me for a decent amount of time has been my Samsung phones.  I have owned probably 4 or 5 different models of Samsung phones and they all have been well built and lasted as long as my husband thought they needed to until I could afford an upgrade.  I even had one that wasn't worth anything as a buy back, so I kept it as a back up forever, and I actually had 2 LG phones completely stop working on me and was able to switch back to that OLD Samsung until I could afford my new ones.  So when it came time for my hubby and I to upgrade again this time, he was set on getting us new Samsung phones.  

     He found the new Samsung Galaxy II Epic 4G's as a buy one get one for $99 and was sold right away on them.  He upgraded from the HTC Evo which he liked for a long time, until it all of a sudden decided that it didn't want to hold a charge.  When you are having to charge your phone 2 and 3 times a day it gets pretty annoying if you ask me.  So we got new phones yesterday!

     The camera on this new phone is better than the one my husband had on his EVO by far!  It's incredible the detail these pictures come out with.  Just playing around with it yesterday I took a picture of my kiddo's in the back seat of the truck and you could see the dimples on my little Ridger's cheeks.  I am so impressed.  So as a goal, I have decided that all the items that I have been making and not taking pictures of for posting are going to get photographed and posted by the end of this weekend. 

     So stay tuned for some brand new stuff!!!


Thursday, July 12, 2012

Another Sale! My confidence is growing!

     I happily sold this hat yesterday on Yardseller.com.  It is a new site thing thru your facebook page.  Whatever the source of the sale, I don't care.  I am excited that people like my stuff enough to want to buy it and have me ship it across the US.  This latest sale came from Missouri.  I love what I do.  Creating new and beautiful things is always so much fun.  To me it really doesn't matter if I sell anything or not.  When people actually buy it though, it makes me feel so accomplished.    I sometimes hate that I need outside acceptance so much in my life, but doesn't everyone?  At least a little?

     When I was a little girl, getting praised for my gymnastics or singing was an everyday thing.  It got to be that I didn't even realize sometimes when people were paying me a compliment, and they would think me rude for not responding.  It's not that I was TRYING to be rude or stuck up, I was just always more focused on what I was doing rather than what people thought about it.  Now that I'm all grown-up, I wish I had kept some of that "carefree" attitude that I used to have.  There are so many things in my life that I used to enjoy that now I am so self-conscious about them I can't even bring myself to try.  Not crochet, thank the goddess!  This I can share with the world and love no matter if it sells like hot cakes, or just sits there and looks pretty.  Creating these things is what brings me joy and happiness.  It just makes it all the better when others enjoy them as much as I do.

     Mimosa Hat, you are now on your way to your new owner, and I wish you well.  Make me proud!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Another Satisfied Special Order Customer!

     Even though it's a slow time of year, I am happy to say that I made another sale!  My love for my Chihuahua, Ducati has finally paid off.  His Halloween costume from last year, the Football, was asked for by one of my Etsy customers.  I am so happy to say that it is finished and on it's way to warm it's new owner.  My little guy is 3 now and since he was a puppy I have always felt so bad in the winter time when he would just sit there and shiver all day long.  Even in the summer on a cold, rainy day he would do it too, so I make him sweaters of all types.  Little did I know that it is very common for his breed to shiver all the time even when they are not really cold, but nervous too, but for what ever reason, he doesn't shake and shiver when he's wearing one of his sweaters.  So now I have ones made especially for the summer that keep him cool, but make him less nervous apparently too.  :)  I hope that this is the same for my new found friend.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

It's Summer so it's time for some fun new Headbands!

Well with summer here and most of the rest of the world getting hotter instead of staying cool like where I live, I have had a lot of requests for headbands instead of my slouchy hats.  Here in the Pacific Northwest having a hat at any time is always a good idea.  You never know when it's going to break out in a sudden downpour!  Anywhere else in the world though, on a crisp summer night you don't necessarily want a hat but maybe just a headband that keeps your hair back and your ears from getting chilly. 

The open weave I decided to do with these turned out a lot better than I had hoped it would.  It really holds your hair in place while allowing it to not get matted to your head from sweat.  I made matching black ones for my best friend Shaunney and Myself.  I have almost every color you can think of but to list the ones I have readily available:

Solid One Color:
Dark Purple
Light Lavender Purple
Light Blue
Bright Lime Green

Pink Camouflage
Green Camouflage
Desert Camouflage
Red, orange, purple, and brown
Blue, turquoise, purple,  and green
Bright Rainbow
Green, blue, turquoise, and sea foam green
Pink, orange, purple

I hope you like them.


Mrz Jaques

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Ambrosia, the food of the gods...

     As a believer in the Gods of ancient Greece and all of the old stories of Greek Mythology, seeing the name of this yarn being "Ambrosia" automatically made me think of all the Gods and Goddesses sitting up at Mt. Olympus lounging around eating.  Having never seen actual "Ambrosia" myself, only that nasty stuff they sell at the grocery store that is red Jell-O and whipped cream with chunks of fruit salad in it, (gag me with a crooked spoon! YUCK!!!) my imagination has me believing that it is this fuchsia color gelatinous goo type substance, that is like, shimmering and looks like that really cool almost metallic looking stuff they used to put in those toys they called "water weenie's."  To me it is something that could never be duplicated in the human world no matter how hard we try.  

     As much as I love the mixing of all the colors in this hat, it doesn't say "Ambrosia" to me.  I would have called it, "Flirtatious Fuchsia" or something like that.  Lion Brand Homespun has some of the funniest names for their yarn.  It is always one or two words.  Like "Delft" or "Mediterranean" and the colors never cease to amaze me, but I definitely would have found some better names for a few of them.  

     This has mostly the deep fuchsia as the base color but it blends in soft subtle hints of tangerine, peach, soft rose, aqua, turquoise and even a little plum to really bring the deep cool colors out.  I have found that this hat really looks good with deep blue and purple colors in your outfits because it accents the subtle hints of those colors in the hat.  You can wear it with a lot more than you would originally think.  Obviously it looks good with pinks and purples.  I really hope you like it.  I've been a little slow on making things lately.  I've been severely ill.  

Have a wonderful weekend!


Mrz Jaques

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Lion Brand Homespun "Painted Desert" Open Weave Slouchy Beanie


     When you live in a town like I do, where the majority of the population is very health and environmentally conscious, you see a lot of very "Earthy" colors being used with the daily decor and style.  I for one am NOT like that, and LOVE to have a lot of bright beautiful colors in my wardrobe because it always seems to bring up my mood.  Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love the look of the Earthy tones that seem to go perfectly with the Pacific Northwest where I live, I just can't wear them very much.  My skin tone needs bright colors in order to stay looking healthy.  If I wear greens and browns, I tend to look washed out and sick when I'm actually feeling great.  (Not exactly the attention I'm looking for when out on the town, if you ask me.)  I want to hear things like, "Wow, that hat really brings out the color in your eyes." or "Where did you get that amazing hat?" 

     I bought a skein of yarn knowing what these colors would normally do to my skin tone, but I decided to try it anyway, because with a name like Painted Desert, it wasn't just going to be greens and browns.  It had to have more to it.  In my head I was imagining more of a mossy forest kinda blend from what was shown on the skein, just hoping to find those hidden magical colors that really bring the hat together.  Like this yarn always does, it ceased to amaze me.  I had absolutely no idea that there was purple, turquoise, orange, green, and the soft brown that they have throughout.  

     When I found the end piece to start the hat and it was that amazing turquoise color, I just about lost it.  I have never seen such an amazing blend of such natural colors that remind me of exactly what the yarn is named, Painted Desert.  If you have ever been to the Painted Desert in Arizona then you have seen the amazing spectrum of colors splashed across those hills, and this yarn truly captures the essence of it's beauty.  I tried wearing this hat, and was simply amazed at the constant compliments I got walking through the mall and downtown.  I was stopped almost every 50 to 100 feet and asked where I had gotten it.  

     I have found that carrying my business cards with me when I wear my hats is a great way to drive business.  Whenever someone asks me where I got my hat, I pull out my business card and tell them "I got it from Mrz Jaques Crocheted It on Etsy."  Who knows if it's actually going to get something sold but at least it has been getting my name out there.  

     Well that's all for me today.  I have to go and see the doctor.  Booh!   Wish me luck!

Wishes of crafty and creative crochet creations!  Cheers!

Mrz Jaques

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Custom Ordered Iphone4 Pouch with Fuchsia Satin Liner and Matching Button!

     About a week ago I was checking on my Etsy Shop stats and saw that I had a new person "favorite" my shop, so like I always do, I sent her a message, letting her know that I love doing custom orders, and if there is anything specific she is looking for but didn't see, I could probably make it.  Well she immediately wrote back and asked if I could make a custom pouch for her new iPhone4 that she just got a MAGNIFICENT "Bling" case for that she has already lost two of the crystals out of.  I jumped on the opportunity, OBVIOUSLY!  A chance to try and make something new?  DUH!!!

     So for the past week we have been communicating thru emails and text messages to work out the perfect case, which as you can see from the pictures is nothing like the ones I have done in the past.  I was so excited when it was all finished and I sent her the pictures, because she absolutely LOVES IT!!!  The process of making it was quite comical really.

     So after we worked out the perfect yarn and color, we debated on the top design, and finally decided upon the envelope look with the button.  Trying to find that button, in the right size and color was an adventure to say the least.  You'd think that Michael's would have a TON of buttons, but they must have just done a huge sale because they had only a small portion of one isle and there were only a few to choose from.  I got lucky though and found this one.  The awesome part about the liner was I already had the perfect color so that worked out great.

     Okay, so I get the pouch made, figure out the liner and the button situation, and before when I was sewing in the liner I was using my Mother in-laws sewing machine, which has since been taken back to her house and I didn't have at my immediate disposal.  So I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to find a decent sewing machine for myself for not a HUGE investment.  After going to 10 different stores, I finally find a brand new one for like $80.  Totally do-able.  I bring it home, sew in the liner, and get the pics out to her.  She loves it but is worried that the phone won't fit.  I don't have an iPhone and neither does my husband.  Randomly one of his best friends is ON HIS WAY OVER and he happens to have an iPhone4 with a case on it.  So I snap a few pics of the pouch with HIS phone which is what is posted above and viola!  It's a done deal.  I added a strap, which I am picturing below for good measure.  It's awesome and I am so proud!  :)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Lion Brand Homespun..... Oops, I've been miss spelling it this whole time! :)

     I feel like an absolute dummy because of this but I got a comment on one of my hats that the name of the Yarn that I love so much isn't Lyons Brand it's just plain Lion Brand Homespun.  Silly little me hadn't even really looked at the logo on the skeins before and assumed it was someone's last name not the animal.  Oops, my bad!

     Well I am officially correcting myself.  I am also going to be posting the awesome names of the different colors I have been using as well, that is as long as I can find them again.  :)  The hat I am referring to that got the comment was my Pastel Rainbow Open Weave Slouchy Beanie.  The name of the yarn for that is Tudor, which I sold by the way, thru a site called Style.ly and I love them!  I had that hat posted for less than a week and someone bought it!  AWESOME!!!!

     They require a tracking number to be verified which usually takes like 1-3 business days before you see the payment in your Paypal but after that you get the whole amount, not a penny is taken out for the Paypal transaction!  It was, (yep I'm gonna say it again) awesome!  It totally brought me out of my funk of not selling anything.  It also made me think about going out and buying random colors with cool names and seeing what they turned out to be like.

     For example, I got this new color called Mimosa, you know the drink right?  So I'm thinking by the way the colors on the skein are that it's going to be this cool purple and pink with a cream color mixed in..... NOPE!!!  I mean, don't get me wrong, you can see that it DOES have those colors, but it also has orange and yellow that blend in and out of it.  It's truly spectacular!  I'm a big fan of anything pink and purple, especially when it blends in a little bit of orange!!!!  I'm going to make another hat for me to keep out of this yarn for sure!!!!  I need to find a bow to go with it if I'm going to make one for me. 

I don't even know what else to say about it.  Words don't even begin to express what seeing this amazing hat in person does.  I think I'm going to end it with just that.  Hope everyone has a wonderful rest of their weekend!


Mrz Jaques

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mommy Turtle.

     Mommy turtle made me very sad last night.  I will not go into detail about it but I feel as though I have lost my sister.  Our so called "Twin/Sister Powers" never warned me of this.  My SISTER told our mutual best friend last night that she needs to choose between being friends with me, or being friends with her.  The gruesome details of the email that she sent are not to be mentioned but the way my sister put it, made it seem as though she were making the ultimatum about her worst enemy that Shaunney was having to choose from, not her sister.  There were things she said about me that I WOULDN'T say about my worst enemy!  She is my sister.  At least I thought she was.

      I have never been so hurt in my life by her.  Growing up she would always be the one who would "steal" my friends so I just learned to accept the fact that I could either NOT bring them home to meet her or know they would like her more and they would become HER friends.  It was a way of life in my family.  To this day I have very few good friends.  The ONE good friend I have is Shaunney who I don't really consider my friend, she is more like family.  Like a long lost sister.  I met her thru my sister but I would have met her thru my husband too so that's not a big issue.  Shaunney is 2 years or so younger than I am, and 5 years younger than my sister, but when we met Shaunney and I just clicked and have been close ever since.

     Our children have grown up together, she has been in BOTH of our weddings as a bridesmaid.  SECOND in line for both of us behind the Maid of Honor which was each other.  To me she isn't a choice of being friends with anymore, I will love her as FAMILY no matter what happens.  I told her that too.  I am never going to make her choose.  I completely understand if she feels like she needs to be loyal to my sister because she was her friend first.  I am not that type of person.  I am not even the type of person to bring this up to my sister.

     I am still going to make her the hat's and the turtles for her birthday.  That is why I started this by calling it "Mommy Turtle."  I am still going to celebrate with her, and love her like a good sister does.  I don't understand why she hates me so much.  I don't know what I did to make her so disappointed in me.  Maybe someday she will tell me, but at this point I don't even want to know.   She is my sister, and I love her no matter what.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What to do, what to do??? Make a Crochet Turtle I guess!!!!

 I am running out of ideas of what to make that is new and exciting.  This has never really been an issue for me but all of a sudden I have no idea what to try to make next.  I am thinking maybe a purse or shoulder bag.

     I have a bunch of this brown, pink and green bulky "Loops & Threads" Charisma yarn that I need to do something with but it is way too bulky for a hat or glove set, and the colors aren't that pretty together if they were to be used for something like that.  I started out with a pattern for a hat with it at one point and the brown is so prominent that it looked funny.

     I should just start over and try this new idea I've been mulling over about doing a shoulder strap purse with either a button or zipper to close it on top.  I guess we'll just have to see where it leads to.  I've never done more than just a pouch when it comes to bags before, but when I went to try and make the ear flap hats, I was totally intimidated about it at first and it turned out really good.  This shouldn't be that different.  I'll just have t play around with it until it works.  And this time, write down my pattern.

    I ended up having to make up a second pattern  for the ear flaps because the first one I made I forgot to write down the pattern as I went along and then couldn't remember which stitches I had used.  Love it when I do that!!!  Not!  I have a baby booties pattern that I did that with too!  It was the cutest pattern and everyone loved them, I sold a TON of them the winter of 2009 but can't for the life of me remember the WHOLE pattern.  C-est la vie!  I will remember or come up with some other better newer one someday.  I have very few babies that even wear booties anymore around me.  My two children are 4 and 6 and haven't worn booties for years.  That's one reason why I started making hats instead.

     I finally made that little turtle that I had purchased the pattern for from Tophatter.  The $5 credit they gave me was great because I only ended up paying $1 for the pattern and it's really cute.  It is something I am DEFINITELY going to modify when I make more of them, but it turned out okay.  That is one reason I don't like using a pattern that someone else wrote.  I don't mean to be a snob but there are a lot of people out there who don't know what they are doing when they write the patterns, so they don't make sense, or in this case, the pattern lays funny.  The designer didn't use enough chains at the beginning of the rows so the part where it comes together it cinches up and looks awkward.  Minor adjustments will make it a super great pattern, and now that I have made an animal I can pretty much figure out any other design if I want to.  That is the joy and benefit of having as much experience as I do, thankfully.  I know how to make it work the way I want it to NEXT time. 

     I am going to make a whole family of Turtles for my sister.  When her son was born, she said his upper lip reminded her of a baby turtle, so we nicknamed him Turtle and ever since my sister has had an obsession with turtles.  I couldn't agree more with her about her love for turtles, I absolutely LOVE FROGS!  She got a beautiful turtle tattoo on her back that is incredible and I have my tattoo of my poison dart frog on my foot.  My sister is my best friend.  I admire her and love her more than she will ever know.  Have you ever heard of what people like to call "Twin Power?"  Even though my sister and I are not twins, we have a connection between us that sometimes scares the absolute crap outta me.  It doesn't matter if we don't speak to each other on anything except over the internet for months at a time  because it's like satellite radar when one of us is needs the other it's like we just know.  I have gotten up in the middle of the night just to check my internet and she had sent me a message that she needed to talk to me minutes before.  It happens all the time, she'll call me outta the blue when I'm in the worst mood of my life just to tell me a joke and make me feel better because she could just feel that I needed her.  We don't even know why, obviously, but it's the most comforting feeling in the world.

     I remember one time years ago I woke up from a dead sleep and called her while she was on a camping trip to tell her to be careful.  I don't remember exactly what ended up happening but someone got hurt that night, and I was just glad that it wasn't her.  Anyway, getting back to the "family of turtles" I'm making her.

     Her birthday is on April 10th.  I don't have any money to buy her something and this is a BENCHMARK birthday so I want it to be SUPER special.  I have a set of new hats that I am making her and my niece Temperance out of my Lime Green Yarn.  My gorgeous sister and niece have the most beautiful red hair that looks amazing with that lime green color.  (For me, when I wear it, I look like a washed out sick person because of my skin tone.)  I have been meaning to make them a matching set of hats, which she doesn't wear the slouchy's because she says she "can't" wear them, and have finally decided on the pattern I think I want.  She has the perfect face for my beanie's and I have a KILLER ribbon I'm going to put in them.  Light green leopard print!  It's amazing!  I can't wait.  However: along with the hats I wanted to make her something that she could keep forever.  With her love of turtles, and my new found pattern, I decided that it would be a perfect gift.  So far I have made the little girl turtle, but now am working on the little boy, the Mommy and the Daddy.  I want to make them all different but have a part all be the same to help represent their unity as a family.  Let me know if you have any suggestions about the colors. 

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I'm trying out a Facebook Auction. Come check it out! Auction ends 3/31/2012 at midnight.

 After my fiasco with Tophatter Auctions I started asking questions to other members of the site to see how they are getting their things scheduled and then eventually sold.  One amazingly wonderful member told me about how she does more than just the Tophatter auctions she holds her own on her Facebook Fan page which are way more successful and you don't have to pay the fees that they REQUIRE with Tophatter.  I have spent almost DOUBLE what I made off of the two items I sold on that site just trying to get my stuff into their stupid auctions and then all I got was 15 seconds of exposure before they closed the lot and it was over.  I'm sorry but I'm BEYOND pissed off at that stupid site.  If I had it my way I would put them out of business.  You don't treat people the way they treated me and get away with it.  I am however leaving this up to karma because it is not worth ANYMORE of my time or energy to even think about them.  I'm DONE with Tophatter auctions, and if you are smart you would stay away from them all together.

Ok so enough about that.  My auction is running right now thru the end of the month.  Each item has a starting price listed in the description of the picture if you click on it.  Bidding is done thru the comments on each picture and the highest bidder is the winner of each hat at midnight the 31st.  There are two options of paying, one is if you are a personal friend you can pay cash and I don't charge the $4 shipping because I can hand deliver it or you can pay thru PayPal via Etsy.com and that will give me your mailing address.  (I will still be paying the etsy fee's for that option but I'm totally okay with it because THEY ARE LEGITIMATE!!!)  All the items will then be shipped via USPS with delivery confirmations on Monday morning the 2nd of April so you can have your item before Easter.  I am hoping to be able to post about this being a super good way to drive business to your etsy site when it's all said and done because I know I am not the only one who is struggling to get views to my shop and anything that will help drive business there will in turn keep people coming back again and again. 

Etsy has been such an amazing site when it comes to supporting us small business owners and artists.  They also have an AMAZING network of people to work with who are amazing artists themselves.  I have met more down to earth and just plain GREAT people working with them than I ever have working with other sites.  That is one of the reason's why I am trying so hard to support more people going there and becoming part of the Etsy Community.  Come check out the auction and if you get a moment, check out my Shop too.

Go to Auction!

Thanks for reading!


Mrz Jaques

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

True Beauty Lies within the Yarn!

I can truly never say enough wonderful things about this yarn.  Lyons Brand Homespun is the ultimate when it comes to luxury and softness!  Over and over again I have my friends tell me that these hats are the softest they have ever felt.  I have heard from others who have used it in their projects that it is extremely difficult and they don't like using it because of how hard it is, but I have found that it is NOT difficult to use if you have a little EXTRA patience.  In my life I have to have a lot of patience in order to get most things to work out the way I want them so this was an easy task for me.  I also find that when using a larger crochet hook, it works best because the smaller you go the harder it is to get a hold of the whole piece of yarn.

I got started using this yarn because my mom had bought two skeins of a color that I would have NEVER bought but she wanted me to make her a pair of my fingerless gloves for her birthday.  She had originally bought it because she wanted to make a scarf out of it, but she said that she couldn't figure out how to work with the yarn.  I am never intimidated by yarn, it is my passion and my obsession so to me it was a challenge and one I wanted to conquer.  It was really surprising to me that the yarn was not as difficult to use as she had  made it seem.

Now it has become my favorite to use whenever I want to make a new hat or anything really because you can get it in pretty much any solid color you want and then they have these mixed colors that are simply spectacular.  I love going into the store and looking at them because I never really know what I'm going to end up with.  They are so amazing with the finished product.  I remember my husband came home on Christmas Eve and I needed to make two sets of my hats and fingerless gloves for his Aunt Stephanie and his Cousin Ashely who were going to be over in like 4 hours.  I was super stressed because I had no idea what colors they would want so I sent my wonderful husband to the yarn store.

I trust his judgement completely because he is WAY more fashionable than I am, which is sad, I know.  He grew up with his mother being an AT HOME hair dresser with her very own salon downstairs.  Needless to say he has always known his way around fashion.  So, long story short, he comes home with two skeins of these colors that I am thinking, NO WAY!!!  One is super BRIGHT pink, and I mean NEON!!  And the other is this funky looking purple brown color that was really strange looking and not pretty.  Two colors I would NEVER have bought at the store myself, but whatever, I didn't have time to go back and get different ones, and he knows his aunt and cousin, which I don't very well.

The bright pink was for Ashley, and it didn't turn out as bright as I had thought.  It ended up having purple's and oranges, and even shades of burgundy in it that made it absolutely amazing as a finished product.  Ashley was so in love with it she wore it all night long, and still wears it all the time.

The other color was for Stephanie, who is a very petite Italian woman who is just a wonderful human being all together.  The yarn was called Cotton Candy, and it really looked just like that when it was put together into the hat and gloves.  It swirled from a soft pink, into a cream color, into a rosy wine color, into cream again and then into a deep purple.  The blending of the cream into the purple and the wine color was what gave the skein that brown color, but when it was actually made into something, there was absolutely NO BROWN what-so-ever.

In the case of this beautiful creation, the yarn gave just the slightest dark blue and light blue hints along with the white it is blended with, so I had no idea that it would go across the entire spectrum of cool blue hues.  If you look at the picture of it from the back you can see how it just blends so beautifully into each next color.  One word to describe it would be SPECTACULAR.

In this day and age, you have to find things that keep you guessing (and obsessing in my case) otherwise it gets boring and redundant.  I find myself on the verge of stopping this whole thing of trying to sell my stuff because I have had absolutely nothing sell and less and less views each day this month.  My creative juices feel like they are all tapped out, and if it weren't for my friends, like Tanesssa, who gave me an amazing idea for a hat yesterday, I fear I wouldn't be trying anything new and would just go back to making stuff for my family.  I know that there are people out there who appreciate hand made things.  I myself wish I could afford to buy more stuff that was handmade, but right now my  budget is strictly for my bills and food.

This was supposed to help supplement my income that I make working full time, but alas, it is just a hobby and one that I love.  I don't mind.  I will continue to make things, continue to blog about them and maybe someday business will pick back up again.  Time is the only thing that will tell.

That's all for me today,


Mrz Jaques

Friday, March 16, 2012

I'm gonna give them one more try but I swear if it doesn't sell I'm never going back to Tophatter again!!!

I don't even know where to begin.  My frustrations with this site are thru the roof right now.  As much as I love getting ANY type of exposure where my stuff gets to be seen and at least looked at is great but what happened this morning was ridiculous!  So in my first post about this I mentioned that I was told that if you get to an auction on time you can list an item that day for that "fair" and sell it hopefully, which I did this morning at the 9am accessories auction.  My daughter didn't have school so I was able to get there and log in at 8am which is when they opened the auction room and list this Zebra Print Cell phone Pouch with Red Satin Lining.  

I have sold one of these from my Etsy shop and personally know the lady who bought it now, and she loves it.  She uses it everyday and tells me about how much she loves it every time I see her.  It is one of my pride and joys to be honest and I haven't really tried to make many more of them because of how unique they are, but I decided that since I already have another one just sitting around it might as well get sold.  

Long story short, I get it listed and it goes into the auction but I get all of about 15 seconds of it up on the block before the item is closed and no one bought or even bid on it. They don't even tell you that there is a same day listing fee of $1 that you have to pay no matter if the item sells or not, that I am now responsible for.  Not that bad but I can't keep paying $1 every auction and not have the item sell.  I don't make enough money for that, and to me $1 for 15 seconds of exposure is FLAT OUT ROBBERY!  

You aren't allowed to have a "shop" with their site, you can only showcase the items that they let you list and schedule.  The items you have in your list are only for you to see until you can get it on a schedule.  I've just about had it with Tophatter.  

I was reading in one of the team discussion threads about this that it seems they are attracting more sellers than buyers, hoping to turn us sellers INTO buyers with their credits and what not, but as much as I want to be able to support my fellow artists, I don't have the money right now.  Once I get more money being made from this little adventure I can put more out there but it's not in my budget right now and I saw that a lot of us who were at the auction today were saying the same thing.  We were all sellers!!!

Out of the items that went up for sale, I think maybe half of them actually sold, and they sold for WAY cheaper than their retail prices from what I was seeing.  It's a good deal for people who are looking for great deals on amazing handmade stuff, but as a sellers point of view it is really devastating.  

I'm just going to focus on making a bunch new stuff for the Pic-a-dilly in April and try to keep my head up.  This time of year I've been told is hard for everyone so it's just something I need to buck up and deal with.  I love making my hats and other things, it's not like I'm going to stop just because they aren't selling off the shelves.  This is my first attempt at selling anything so I knew in the first place it was going to take some time.  

I'm off to make a new hat, not sure what, but I'm sure it will be spectacular!  

Lots of Love and wishes of beautiful creations!

Mrz Jaques

P.S.  Don't forget to check out my shop and like me on Facebook!