Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!


Happy New Year to all my friends - thank you so much for taking the time to keep up with my blog (and especially thank you if you post a comment, I love it when I get comments)

Hopefully 2012 will be kind to all of us and will only bring good things to all.

We had a very unexpected early Christmas present -- on the evening of 23rd December Peter went out to shut the hens in the hen house but they wouldn't go in, so he called me to come and help. Lo and behold there was a kitten curled up fast asleep in the straw in there! He wouldn't move so I had to reach in and take him out - it wasn't til afterwards that I thought 'was that such a good idea?' but he just let me pick him up and didn't bite or scratch at all.

We put him in the shed and settled him in there with a bowl of catfood and a bed - and he's been living in the shed ever since! Initially I thought he was a 'she' and had come up with the name 'Evie' - the name has stuck but he's now Mr. Evie, to make it sound manly enough!!

He was in a truly AWFUL state; it really breaks my heart to think of all the neglected, stray cats here and how they would have such a better quality of life with just a little help. But at least we can make a difference for Mr. Evie (and our other four cats were all strays too) - though I think it's going to be a bit of a long journey getting him back to health.

As it was so close to Christmas when we found him the vets were all closed so Peter got some antibiotics from the chemists as his mouth is in a horrid mess - his breath stinks to high-heavens. I had a look in his mouth and nearly every tooth is decayed or covered in plaque - I was even able to take one of them out myself just using the tweezers.

We took him to the vet a couple of days ago and the vet was quite concerned about the state of him too, he didn't want to give any more antibiotics at the moment but gave us a worm tablet for him and a liquid tonic and said to try and feed him up and give him lots of TLC and to hope for the best...

He was doing ok, but yesterday he took a turn for the worse and I really thought we were going to lose him - he wouldn't touch any food so I started to syringe feed him; he was so weak that I thought he would die soon, but luckily he made it through the night and is slightly stronger today, though I am still syringe feeding him.

He's purring at least and is walking again (yesterday he would just flop on the floor and wouldn't walk); fingers crossed he will make it.

Surpringly, the vet said that he isn't a kitten at all, he's a very small cat!! I think that would explain how his teeth are SO bad (they are truly horrid, I feel so sorry for him with all that poison/infection going on in his little mouth)

I know I don't really have a great deal of 'followers' on this blog but I'm having a 10% off sale in my Etsy shop right now, to try and raise the extra money for the vet bills -- you need to put coupon code VETBILLSALE in the box at the check-out and it will knock off the 10% off automatically.

If you could 'share' this that would be wonderful - I'm not sure how big the bills are going to be but we are going to take him to another vet next week - I really am keen to get some of his other teeth taken out or cleaned (though I think they are beyond cleaning as an option) so that he can start feeding properly and put on some weight...but I don't know if he is strong enough to stand an anesthetic just yet...and then once he's up to it we'll be getting him neutered.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas!!



Phanie over on Etsy has kind of spurred me on to try and remember my blog a bit more often so here we go with my SECOND post this month!

I'm still working hard to try and get my wee shop restocked again after the craziness that was the pre-christmas rush (between sales on Etsy and sales at both craft markets it was looking very bare) -- I'm up to 50 listings now, which is a step in the right direction at least.

I can't see myself selling anything on Etsy now for the rest of this month what with all the holidays and festivities going on so this is a good opportunity to do a re-stock while I can.

For the moment I've been concentrating just on the wrist warmers - as I had got down to just nine pairs in stock!

Note to myself for next winter - don't be thinking that you have 'too much' stock - when things start to get busy it seems to go very quickly and everyone likes to have a bit of a selection to choose from.

The alpaca wrist warmers are continuing to sell out just about as quickly as I can get them made - though I would imagine that this will tail off after Christmas. I made a really gorgeous pair in the fawn and was really happy with how they turned out...



I made a FINAL order from Springwools earlier this week - the final one of the year!! - ha it's easy for me to say that when there aren't many days left!! I ordered I think six different shades of the baby alpaca yarn for more wrist warmers..it is soooo lovely to be working with, it's a shame it doesn't come in bigger balls though.

Yesterday, the weather was finally good enough for me to do a bit of 'crochet al fresco' so I got Peter to drive me down to one of the more remote beaches (yes, I had brought my mobile with me!) and then he picked me up later on. It was lovely - I was the only one down there, apart from a sheep! I found a relatively comfortable rock and was able to just sit there and take in the views and the peace and quiet til I started getting too cold.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Life Begins...

at 40!!!

guess who had a BIG birthday this week?!

I honestly will never forget my 40th birthday, so much has happened to make it truly unforgettable...

first of all, I've been on the news - in America!!
http://www.youtube.com/user/rosemarycallsthegodd#p/a/f/0/CTkTmw3-OC4 - drat, I can't get links to post properly in here, but you can copy it and paste it if you are interested -- it's nothing to do with crochet though ;)

also, Peter had booked me in for a surprise afternoon of pampering at the spa at the Brehon hotel in Killarney on my actual birthday - oh gosh it was heavenly, if this is what being 40 is like then bring it on!!!

Back to crochet-related stuff...December has been such a good month for me too with sales, I'm so delighted!

I had thought that I was way more prepared for the Christmas 'rush' this year but things have sold SO well that I got down to just 7 pairs of wrist warmers in my Etsy shop!

Peter and I went to a craft fair at the Royal in Valentia last Sunday and it was very successful indeed - not as much as the one in Waterville the previous week but I'm very happy all the same!

I've been making mens' wristwarmers lately - I've had two custom orders and have made another pair as a Christmas pressie, and then just last night had another custom order for a pair :D

I'm so glad that I've started making alpaca wrist warmers - it is sooo lovely to work with (King Cole baby alpaca DK) and the colours are nice too...as well as the ones I've added of photos of below, I've got some creamy fawn baby alpaca to use at some stage so keep an eye out for a photo of them too! I'm learning that not EVERYONE wants to wear bright funky colours (though those sell really well too!) and it's good to have a bit of variety in what I'm selling.

It all seems to be wrist warmers and hats at the moment - once things quieten down a bit after Christmas I think I'll make some more scarves and cowls (a bit more variety again!) but right now I'm working to try and get some more items listed in my shop so smaller items are better!




Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wow! What a month!!!

Yay, another month where I've made not one but TWO blog posts - maybe I'm getting the hang of blogging after all; ha!

November has been the BEST month for me to date on Etsy since I started my shop there - both in sale numbers and in takings (I guess the two go hand in hand really). I am SO grateful; all this has been so much more of a success than I could have ever imagined it would be.

To date I've had a grand total of 164 sales on there now, I was half hoping to make 175 sales before Christmas but I can't really see that happening; I don't know if it's always a good idea to set all these goals because it can be disappointing if you don't reach them by the 'deadline', and really every single sale is special anyway.

I had someone buy not one but two cowls the other day, which gave my map of world sales my first stickers to go in Alaska!

Last weekend I had my second ever craft fair -- I was kind of in two minds about it, those things make me so nervous, in case it's a total flop, but in the end it was REALLY successful and we sold loads and loads. I didn't have a proper inventory, which was a bit of a mistake, but it was ok really as I just reactivated the listings back on Etsy for the 'stock' I had remaining when we got home. I sold a few unlisted items so it's hard to know what number of items I sold but it doesn't really matter in the big scheme of things.

I've got another craft fair this Sunday - in the Royal in Valentia; I'm not expecting it to be such a big success as the one in Waterville but we'll see.

I quite like doing the craft fairs (so far!) but it's a bit of a pain, having to deactivate all my Etsy listings and risk losing customers over there while I'm at the fair...but it can't be helped.

I've put an announcement in my shop to expalin so hopefully people will buy early or else wait and see if things are still there after Sunday's fair.

I've been making what feels like a million hats just lately as I wanted to add some variety to my 'range'.

I quite like making them - it's nice to have a bit of a change from constantly making wristwarmers (though I love making them, and they are so successful on Etsy)





Thursday, November 10, 2011

The most wonderful time of the year

Oh my goodness, things have REALLY taken off over on Etsy-land for me -- I have now had a grand total of 155 sales over there!

I had been hoping to make 150 sales by Christmas-time but now I'm having to revise the goal up to 175: I'm not sure if I'll make it or not, it won't be the end of the world if I don't but it's nice to have a goal to aim for.

Things have sold so much that I now only have 48 items in my shop -- I prefer to have over 50 (going by what people say on the forums, 100 is meant to be the 'magic' number) but I'm not complaining if/when things sell! I'm making items for the shop all the time, and I've had a few ''custom'' orders lately too.

I've nearly sold out of the cotton facial scrubbies - I think they make good 'stocking stuffers' and I have had two bulk orders in the last couple of weeks - one for 20 scrubbies and one for 28; which has just about cleared my shop out! I don't have much cotton left in my 'stash' so I will be ordering some more in due course, but at the moment I'm busy making other things :)

It can feel a bit overwhelming to be so busy with orders and sales, but I have to stop and remind myself that this 'rush' is just really going to last a couple of months and I should make the most from it while it lasts.

I feel like I'm doing so well right now - I was checking my shop statistics earlier today and I've already overtaken last November for orders :)

As I said in my last post I did a bit of a ''stock-up'' order from Springwools so hopefully that will be it now for a while, as I'm running out of storage space now!

I've been using up the de-stash yarn I bought from the lady who runs 'bennyboosbabyknits' - I've made three cowls with the Rowan 60% cotton/40% acrylic yarn -- I love the colours and it's lovely soft yarn. I'm in the middle of the fourth cowl using the yarn - I don't think there'll be much left after that but perhaps enough for a couple of striped hats or something.






Hats are something that I do want to make but I never seem to get around to doing them - I only have three in my shop, and would like to have a lot more; they are on 'the list' of things to make but I don't know when I'll get around to it...wristwarmers seem to sell SO well in my shop and I do love to make them, though who knows, hats might be even more popular if I just gave them a go.

I've tried some really lovely baby alpaca yarn from King Cole (via Springwools of course) - I've sold two pairs of wrist warmers made from it so far, and have one pair still listed in my shop; it is just the most lovely stuff to work with and is so incredibly soft (and warm).

Thought I'd include a video from yesterday - I was working on a pair of wrist warmers that are now on their way to Oregon! It was just a perfect day, but the next time I must remember to bring my own wrist warmers as my hands were getting cold after a while.
video

Saturday, October 29, 2011

October - part two

Yippee - two blog posts in a month, I must be really getting the hang of this!

Things seem to have really taken off in my Etsy shop - I sold six pairs of wrist warmers in 24 hours :)

I had thought I had an awful lot of stock in my shop - and possibly too many pairs of wrist warmers but now I'm not so sure. All the time I'm working to build up my stock in my shop - I got up to 65 items but am down to 57 items at the moment: which is less than I'd really like...but over all, this is just a hobby so it isn't worth stressing myself out over numbers and figures.

Having said that though, I've now had a total of 138 sales - I'm hoping to reach 150 by Christmas, which is looking like it might happen (though anything could happen really - I try not to take anything for granted)

I was really thrilled to have a photo and a mention in the latest Springwools' catalogue - that's the second time it's happened and it's always a really lovely suprise!



I've been in a bit of a quandary about whether to do any Christmas markets/fairs or not - I really like the idea of it but don't think I have enough 'stock' as things have been selling so well from Etsy... There's a fair at the Old Oratory in town every other weekend between now and Christmas and we went along yesterday to suss it out but I think I'm going to give it a miss -- there's a 'Christmas Comes to Valentia' thing on the 4th December and a Christmas market in the tech down the road at the end of November so I think I'll give them both a go (we've got to find out how much the one in the tech will cost, the one in Valentia is only €10 and surely I'll make that back)

It looks like I'm heading towards another Springwools order...(I know, I know) - I ordered twice from them so far this month but these will be for some 'custom' orders - some more of the bamboo/cotton yarn for a baby cardi for someone from Valentia, some more of the craft cotton, and a bit of a restock on other yarns that I NEED (ok, I don't 'need' them but it would be good to have them in stock)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

October Update :)

Another month, another update for my little blog (poor thing, it's very neglected, but I never was any good at keeping a diary really so this is no surprise).

Boris is still alive and kicking and really isn't doing too badly at all: which has been a lovely surprise, as when we got his test results back we really thought he was on borrowed time. Every day with him is still incredibly special but he is so happy and relatively healthy, which is more than I could have hoped for.

Here's a quick photo of him :) We are having to keep him indoors (in order to try and prevent him picking up an infection) so I brought in his pot of catmint - which he is LOVING. We will have to try and acquire another plant at this rate as he keeps nibbling and biting bits from this one and it won't survive that!

I have now finished my job on the ferry for another year (this was my SIXTH year there, I can't quite believe that I've been there for so long) so I am enjoying my winter break :) So I've been able to do lots and lots of beach combing lately (depending on the weather) and lots of crochet too - life is so good!

I like to take my crochet with me when I go to the beach; it's just so relaxing to take something to 'work' on while I'm down there.

At the moment I'm making a pair of wrist warmers in a sparkly grey acrylic yarn (it's really soft, I'm so picky when it comes to texture etc)-- the last pair of those I sold from Etsy have gone to Ohio!

This is becoming a bit of a habit but having said (yet again!) that I won't be ordering any more wool it looks like I will be in touch with Springwools some time next week...but then THAT's it! I promise!!!

I'm now up to 121 sales on Etsy - including TWO to a lady in Japan last week! JAPAN!! It still amazes me just how much of a success all this Etsy stuff has been, it feels like a dream sometimes...

I'm up to 66 items listed in my shop right now, I don't think I've ever managed to hit 70 items at a time, things have a habit of selling before I reach that goal! -- I am NOT complaining!

I had a load of relisting items that had expired today, and also listed two new bags and a gorgeous merino scarf this afternoon...I'm so hoping that the scarf will sell, it's just luxurious.

So here are a few photos of the ones I've listed this afternoon..



Saturday, September 24, 2011

here we go again...






..with September's update!

I really think I can just manage one blog post a month, it doesn't really matter anyway as I'm really just doing this as an online record/diary of my ideas/successes/failures; I'm always surprised (in a nice way) when someone actually comments on this!

I'm nearly at the end of my 'proper' job (on the ferry) - I think I've only got ten more working days left; in a way I'm so excited and can't wait for the break from it all (oh the weather this year!) but at the same time I always really miss it all. I know I'm so lucky to have a job that I enjoy even though this is my sixth year there.

We've had some really bad news this month - our beloved Boris has been diagnosed with FIV (like a feline version of HIV) -- the prognosis is not good at all, it's advanced and he has kidney failure and probably wont' be with us for much longer.

But for the moment he's enjoying his life - Donal from work has brought us a load of frozen filleted fish and Boris is LOVING that. It's given him a new lease on life and he is eating again, which is amazing, because he had been starting to fade away and go off tinned/dry cat food.

I thought I'd post one of my favourite photos of Boris on here to remind me of happier days :) - this was him, fast asleep in the garden and just asking to have his tummy tickled!



Back in crochet-land; I know I said I wouldn't be buying any more wool...but...I couldn't resist... A face book friend was having a clear out of some old stock and was selling it off quite cheaply so I ended up spending €37 (including postage) and bought a big bag of goodies. I'm not sure what I will do with it all (another familiar refrain here) but I couldn't resist. I got some more of that lovely bamboo/cotton mix (in turquoise and lilac) and have already made a bag with the turquoise one, though I have yet to decide on what flowers/embellishments will go on it....decisions, decisions.

Over in my Etsy shop, I'm now up to 116 sales - which is amazing! Things seem to have slowed down a bit this month though (instead of improving month on month) but I'm trying not to stress about it. I always try to think that each item goes to the 'right' person, so it's just that the right people are still out there, trying to find my items this month I guess. Hopefully next month will be better for me.

I'm still thinking about taking a stall at the Killarney Christmas market - though I need to find out how much they are asking for a table, and I also need to keep making stock as all I have in stock are the contents of my Etsy shop - only 65 items. I guess that isn't really a lot to have on display at a market (?) - I'm sure it's better to have too much rather than too few items...people like to have something to choose from.

Here are a few of the latest items I've added to my Etsy shop - I love making bags and wrist warmers most of all. I need to start making some more hats (I only have three listed!) but at the moment am kind of on a roll with the bags and wristers: you can never have too many (?)



Saturday, August 20, 2011

August Update




Thought I'd post a summery photo on here from yesterday - we haven't had that many really nice days here this summer, but yesterday was just great (once the rain and wind passed over). Peter and I went beach combing in the afternoon -- loads and loads of jellyfish stranding at the moment but not a lot else of interest really. I love the close up detail on the compass jellyfish.


An update on my Etsy shop - I'm up to sale # 107 now, and can't believe it still! I LOVE being able to make things and be able to sell them so that I can keep making more and more and more :)

I worked out the other day that I've sold 62 pairs of wristwarmers since I opened my shop there last year - isn't that amazing?! I still love making them, trying out different yarns, colours and textures etc. It's great that they've been so successful for me, I don't think I'll ever tire of making them, which is a good job really as they are my best seller.

Having said in a previous blog post here that I wouldn't be ordering/buying any more yarn I of course HAD to order some more from Springwools...I really have zero will power...but this is it now for a while!! I have so much 'in stock' that I really do need to start using that up first before buying in more lovely bits and pieces: though every time I see a new colour or brand I do have to consciously stop myself from 'just getting that one'.

I had been busy making bags for my Etsy shop but am back on wrist warmers again for a while - the last one I made is this really funky pink one; I'm secretly in love with it myself.

The yarn is fab - it's 50% cotton and 50% bamboo and is lovely to work with; I've made a plain one in purple but have got to decide what to sew on to it...and I've also bought enough of the same yarn in black to make another one (you can never have too many bags, right?!!)

Last month I donated three sets of cotton scrubbies to the April's Army (charity) shop on Etsy and they sold so quickly that I missed seeing them listed - by the time I got there they had all sold out already! I'm donating another three sets this month too and as always I'm really excited about it all again :) OOOH!! I've just had a look in the feedback there and got this for the scrubbies

I love my new scrubbies from April's Army and selkiecrochet. They are well made and so pretty, and they really work!


and
Can't wait to try these out, they feel great, and will be so much better than my worn out face scrubber.


YAY!!!!! I love it when people leave feedback :)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

July Update

The time has come for me to make a bit of an update on the last month; first of all - and most importantly - it looks like my health problems are all in hand and hopefully everything will be alright from now on.

Since I last posted on here I had my first ever 'craft fair' - well, we had a table at the Valentia Island Scallop Festival, it wasn't specifically a craft fair but it was the closest I've been to one so far.

It was a GREAT experience and was quite successful too - I had twelves sales in total (though two of them were just pairs of my old knitting needles. It was tiring but well worth it, and I would like to do another fair at some stage - possibly coming up to Christmas.



We had a great location - the video (if it loads ok) is taken from our stall :) The sun shone and everyone was happy, it really was a great day.





Things are getting really busy now at work (it's that time of year now, things will be bonkers for another month yet!) so I haven't had much time for making items, or listing the ones that I had already made; which meant that things have been very slow in my Etsy shop -- not the end of the world but I am delighted to have reached my 97th sale!!

I'm offering 10% all listed prices til the end of July to try and bump up my sales a bit -- not that many people want to be thinking about cold weather and warm woolies when it's the middle of July...

Oh I almost forgot - I'm making a donation to the April's Army charity shop on Etsy again this month (my second time!) last month it was a pair of my black and white wrist warmers and this time it's three packs of my little cotton scrubbies. I so hope they sell! It's so cool to be able to donate something to someone who really needs a hand.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Update

Oh my! So much has happened since the last time I wrote here..

First of all my health has been REALLY bad - I had a procedure carried out in hospital and then managed to get an infection not only in the wound site but also in my kidneys (I've never been one to do things by halves). A trip to Casualty left me with THREE different antibiotics, which then really knocked my body about - I wasn't sure what was caused by such a massive dose of antibiotics and what was due to the infections but it was truly awful.

I think it was the most ill I have ever been, or that I can remember anyway; but I have come through the other side of it and am going back to work on Wednesday this week after having to have taken two weeks (two weeks!) off. Sadly I was too ill to really appreciate the time off work, though in the last couple of days I have been well enough to be able to concentrate on my crochet again - yay!

I've been keeping myself busy making simple things, like the cotton facial scrubbies. It's great to be making something again; I knew I was starting to feel better when I started taking up my hook and yarn again :)





I'm hoping that these will sell well for me when I take part in a craft fair next month...fingers crossed everyone please!

I had a 'custom' order for a bag since I last wrote on here - it turned out really well and is now in Singapore!The yarn is a bamboo and cotton mix and is definitely something I would use again - it's a beautiful shade of blue and has a lovely texture. The customer was happy with it, which is super great!



I've had a total of 91 sales from my Etsy shop - which I'm delighted with - inching closer and closer to the 'magic' target of 100 sales! I've had a total of five sales to Australia now - which is just fab; and the majority continue to go to America.


These wristwarmers are my favourites in my shop at the moment - I love bright rainbow colours so much!


I'll be listing some new wristwarmers today (hopefully) and I'm nearly finished a natural cotton bag with coloured hearts so that will be up soon. I'm working hard to try and get a fair amount of 'stock' ready for the craft fair in a few weeks time. It's hard to know what, if anything, will sell so I'm trying to get a bit of everything in stock!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Wool, wool and yet more wool!!!

{I'm going to try and 'blog' just once a month as I think that might be somewhat achievable for me rather than try and do it more often...so apologies for yet another rambling post...}

Having told myself very firmly that I would not be buying any more yarn I succumbed last month and ended going to Kerry Woolen Mills on the way back from Killarney! I bought three skeins each of lovely denim blue, raspberry, and the same bright red that I made my original ruffledy handbag from. So far I've just used the denim blue to make another of those bags and it's listed in my Etsy shop.



Having told myself that THAT was the last yarn I'd be buying, I then somehow decided to buy more of the natural cotton from Springwools (and while I was at it I thought I'd better buy some more of that lovely Tivoli black/white yarn I make wrist warmers from...)

I like to have these wrist warmers in my shop - they have always sold quite well (I think they are gorgeous, the kind of thing you would wear with pretty much anything)and I might have a local customer for a pair(fingers crossed).


This is the last item I've listed in my shop...I really like the colours on this - that mid-blue is gorgeous! The cotton bags seem to sell quite well - I really like them myself (well, I must confess, that I only make things that I like!) - the next one I'm making I think will just have plain 'natural' flowers on so it will be quite subtle!





My final influx of yarn came as a total surprise - a wonderful gift totally out of the blue! I'm still speechless over it; the kindness of someone is so touching. It was a present from the lovely Kathy, come over all the way from Colorado with a bag full of gorgeous yarn just for me! I am the luckiest person ever!! I absolutely ADORE the colours of both yarns - the blue/green is so much reminiscent of the sea and I love the funkiness of the pinks/purples in the other one -- I feel some very special projects coming on!!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Sigh...

ok so it's been ages and ages since I updated this blog again... I don't think I'm a 'natural blogger' but it's good to have this blog all the same so I can look back and see how things are progressing (or not!)

I just finished this bag yesterday so I must get it listed on Etsy, we took the photos earlier this afternoon - it's so hot here at the moment, like a proper summer's day, so it was just perfect for the beach.




I love the colour of the hearts on this bag. That's the last one made from that big batch of 'craft cotton' from Springwools, the bags seem popular so I'm thinking about ordering another pack of 10 balls, and I can get making more of them...

Things have been very quiet in my Etsy shop but I think that's partially due to the time of year (not everyone wants to buy woolly wristwarmers etc in the middle of a heatwave...it's also probably because now I'm working on the ferry I don't have time to sit down and post on the Etsy forums etc.

However, I did have my 73rd Etsy sale recently - this pair of wrist warmers in mohair and silk mix for the lovely Brittany in Utah! They turned out really well, I love the longer length and it works very well with that yarn - I will definitely be making more pairs at this length, though the wool just is heart breakingly slow to work with as it is so fine.


I'm making another one of those bags, but from multi-colour cotton this time - Peter took some photos of me working on it this afternoon - how lucky am I to be able to sit down on the beach and work in peace? - though I think you can hear my skin sizzling in the heat in the second photo! I forgot to put suncream on so we didn't stay there as long as I'd have liked to, just half an hour or so.