Monday, March 30, 2009

Odds & Ends ...

Froggy On The GO! Pattern Currently Available in DAK .pat file OR Hand Knit Graph OR Hobbyware's Cross Stitch .pat file. Check it out at our Etsy Store!

I've been very busy on my main website, MKDesigner, the past couple of weeks. There are now more How To's up on our site and some new patterns. We've revamped the Patterns Pages to make viewing our patterns much easier.

Other projects I'm working on include trying to find the back wall and floor in the walk-in closet. Trouble is, there are 5 huge (48 gallon) tubs of yarns in the way. :-) I've been needing to get to that 'stuff' for quite some time. Now that SPRING is finally here, I can't avoid it any longer.

I'm also going to be expanding items for my Knits 'n' More Gift Shop on Etsy. There was a discussion thread on Etsy a couple of days ago about our monthly goals and how we're doing. My April Goal for Knits 'n More is to have 65 items in stock. Currently, it's at a very modest 37 items so that needs some attention too!

My MKDesigner Etsy Shop is going great! I do need to add more patterns or perhaps some stash items. Maybe a couple of vintage goodies as well. My goal is to have 100 listings. I currently have 78. So that should keep me busy when I'm not knitting ... and it may help reduce the 'stuff' in that darned closet!

~ Marge In Reno ~

Monday, March 9, 2009

Hmmmm .. Rude Awakening This A.M.

It's MARCH! And we have snow.

Not a heck of a lot, but it was still a bit of a rude awakening this a.m. when I'd planned on going out and doing some craft shopping. Although I'm very well versed in driving in the snow, I still don't like to get out there much if I don't have to. There's some crrraaaazy drivers out there! :-)

How's the weather in your area??

~ Marge in Reno ~

Sunday, March 8, 2009

What a LOVELY Happening ...

I'm thrilled to have received the Kreativ Blogger Award TWO TIMES for my post on Out Of The Closet! My sincere thanks to Baroness Bijoutery and Haru-Dori. Please do visit their blogs, you'll LOVE them.

I'll get to work on narrowing down my list of 7 Things I Love (not an easy task, let me tell you) and will post sometime tomorrow evening.

Thanks again! ~ Marge in Reno ~

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Out Of The Closet

Monsters lurk in the darkest regions of my closets. I know they do. And if I dig in there, I know they’ll get me. But ... but ... I NEEDED things that I KNEW were in there ... somewhere. It had to be done. I couldn't avoid it any longer. I gathered up my tools ...

Pith helmet, whip, chair, canteen …. oops, sorry, wrong list! Lemme see … where is that list?? Ah, here we go:

#1 Priority – GET HELP! When I clean closets, the first thing I do is coerce … er umm, bribe … find some help. STRONG help. I know that I probably put those now-two-ton boxes in there by myself when we moved here, but I sure can’t seem to lift them now! So I snag a hubby or son or son-in-law to give me help - whoever is handiest. Promises of a pan of brownies or homemade bread usually is sufficient around my house.

#2 Pull EVERYTHING out of the closet, hanging clothes and all. I don’t know about you, but when we moved into this house in the mid-90's, I was exhausted most of the time to the point of really not caring where everything went. My only criteria was stick it away somewhere so long as it wasn’t left out for someone to trip over.

#3 Get a couple of large boxes or lawn/leaf trash bags. You’ll be filling these with items you really don’t want anymore but are in good enough shape to donate and the other will be out-and-out garbage fodder.

#4 Take a good look at the mounds of items now on your bed and covering probably every spare inch of floor space. All that came out of there ??? We have a large walk-in closet so not only was the king sized bed filled, but floor space and I had to set up a couple of card tables in the hall. Thankfully, it's a wide hall.

#5 Sort items by person. If that person doesn’t live/sleep/reside in that room, tell them to come get it, or better yet, deliver it to their room / house. Preferably if they’re not home … makes for less hassle. My favorite thing is to wrap a piece of Christmas ribbon around the stack/pile/box and tell them Merry Christmas.

#6 Now draw a quick sketch of your closet space. If there’s a deep dark corner way in the back that you don’t get to very often, how about putting seasonal items back there? Or perhaps old sentimental items such as high school yearbooks, bowling trophies, boxes of baby clothes (my youngest ‘baby’ is now 34). If you have a partner you share closet space with, eyeball how much each would need and draw a line down through your sketch. Ours is 70/30, mine being the 70%, naturally. We've been married for 40 years ... he'd probably faint if I made it 50-50!

#7 Thoroughly clean every surface in the closet.

#8 Begin re-packing the closet with the items you have determined can go back into those dark corners. And for heavens sake, MARK the boxes you stick back there (REMOVE old labels - boxes get turned) so a quick scan with the flashlight will tell you what is in the boxes a year from now.

We’re getting down to the end now … you’ve thrown away, donated, returned to owner all the extraneous stuff you had gathered in there. If you’ve done it diligently and ruthlessly enough, your pile should be drastically reduced by now and everything will fit into place like it should.

#9 Take a bubble bath with candlelight and a cup of herbal tea or perhaps even a glass of wine.

Marge in Reno

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Craft Sales & This Economy

There's an interesting topic just started on the Professional Crafter's group I belong to about the economy and how it is affecting our business.

Until the president announced his latest 'stimulus' package, folks were buying just about like they usually do.

I've not had a single sale online - new stuff or stash reductions - since that announcement. None. Nada. Zip. And that's highly unusual for me since I'm marketing not only on my website but 7 other online selling sites and belong to numerous Yahoo groups that allow selling.

I did a 1-day in-home show last weekend with lots of St. Patrick's Day and Easter stuff and my sales were down almost 50% less than last year, same in-home show with just about the same customers. This home-show is hosted by a lady who always has successful shows and she was amazed at the low sales myself and the other 3 crafters had that day. And I had a ton of new stuff they'd never seen before as well as old standbys which have always held me in good stead.

There was a lot of angst, frustration and some anger in the various conversations that day about the state of the economy and all this bail-out stuff & the latest stimulus. I'm not looking forward to the first 2009 quarterly profit & loss of my business, that's for sure!

Marge in Reno
Comments on this topic appreciated.