Tuesday, August 27, 2013

New Blog

I decided that this blog is a wee bit too crowded. Between my sewing projects, crocheting, business posts, other craft projects, cooking and baking, that it was just hectic.

I took one of those out and made a new blog for it instead. Check out the newbie blog here: Homespun Dreams and feel free to follow along!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Crafts: Growth

I just finished an order that I'm super proud of.

Not only do I love the product in person (I haven't even managed to watch this movie yet and I think these things are so freaking cute and want to make my baby one!) but I used to make adult hat versions of these early last year.

If you look at the hat item from last year and the one I just made tonight, there's a huge difference.

Last year's:
Minion Hat


Seriously?? Can you see it?

I've grown a lot as a crocheter. I've gone from something basic to something that I'm really proud of. I'm so excited to see how much growth I've gone through in a year. With each order, I get a little better. I get more creative as each week goes by. There's times where I'm laying in bed at night, all cuddled up with my pregnancy insomnia, and crochet ideas are floating through my head. How can I elevate this? How can I make this better? What stitch can I use to get the exact, very difficult, look that I want?\

This little guy just sold, he's a custom order for another little December baby (2014 kids all around the country are going to be decked out in crochet wear at this rate! For two months I've only been selling to December Baby mommies because they've kept me so busy!)

Next up on the crochet list - a quick newborn hat for my own December baby (it's true - I haven't made him any hats yet! I know, bad mommy!) and then back to the orders. The next one I'm really excited about - it's a big order including a Santa stocking cocoon, a Hungry Caterpillar set and two matching brothers' ribbed cable winter hats. This is from a customer who's bought from me twice before and keeps coming back - her baby is going to be so ready for his photoshoots!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Craft: Milestone!

Hit a huge milestone today! I just got my 17th order since joining Storenvy, and I've now crossed the $500 mark in sales! Over half of that is just since this past June, and $100 of it is just from this month. All in all I've sold over 25 hats. This isn't including the 15+ custom order requests currently sitting in the request book that I'm slowly making my way through each day.

I'm trying to keep track of how the business is going so I know how to continue to improve and what does best. So far it seems to be heading in the right direction, as it's continuing to do better all the time. I've become much more in demand, receiving custom requests multiple times each week. I'm doing well enough to make custom orders worth my while without having to raise any of my prices. My crochet items are all still under the majority of etsy prices, while having the same great quality. While I'm sure I could get even more sales on Etsy, I've decided to stay on Storenvy and do customs for now. I'm also hoping to get to a few flea markets and craft shows at some point when I have enough down time to start building stock. Right now I'm just trying to stay on top of these custom orders. I always feel like I'm falling behind no matter how fast I work! Mainly because each order includes multiple hats usually, so it takes longer to get through one and then through the next in line.

But I must say, I'm really enjoying it! While custom orders make for stressful, overwhelming moments at times, it's very satisfying. I've been getting great reviews and many of the custom orders I have now are repeat customers who were very satisfied with their other purchases from me. That means the most to me - getting repeat customers! It means that not only does my stuff look good enough to get orders, but they hold up in person and please those who are buying enough for them to continue wanting more and buying more. I've had more people sharing my business on their facebooks as well, which means my facebook site is growing in followers again as well.

My fingers are sore from working on two custom orders all day today (One that has five of the same hats and another that's a hat, diaper cover and suspenders set) but I'm sure I'll still be up a while longer working away at them! It's 1 AM now, better get back to it!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Pinterest Cooking

A quick update in some new recipes I've been trying out, courtesy  of Pinterest:

This Bacon wrapped Chicken with sour cream was pretty good. The length of cooking was a bit annoying, but it made the house smell great. The bacon, however, never got any kind of crispy due to the sour cream mixture on top, which meant eating limp bacon. It was great flavor, but really lacked texture. It was also extremely salty, between the slow cooked bacon and the cream of chicken (even with lower sodium). It was a bit like eating a flavored salt lick at times. The sour cream mixture seems off - you can't really taste the sour cream because the cream of chicken is overwhelming.
The concept of this idea is awesome, but it needs some fixing up. Next time I'd use half the cream of chicken and the same amount of sour cream. I'd put it on the bottom and sides instead of the top so at least some of the bacon has a chance to crisp up and give some texture. I'd cook it longer without the foil on. I think I'd also skip the slow cooking, since it made everything so salty and a bit mushy and cook it higher for a shorter time.

These were great. To my surprise, Bill loved them, even though they're not his typical thing to like. I figured I was making them mostly for me, because I love sandwiches that deal with french bread and tomatoes grilled up.
What I'd change about it: While the taste is great, it's lacking meat. It just seems like, with those components, there should be something meaty in it as well. I think some shredded chicken breast between the cheese and tomato would make this even better.

I made this yesterday, using mild sausage instead of spicy. It tasted really good, but it was still spicy. Not too spicy, my toddler loved it, but this preggo could not handle it and heartburn stuck with me all day. But, if I wasn't pregnant, I wouldn't change that part because it had just the right amount of kick. I could NOT find Monterey Jack cheese, so I had to use cheddar and Monterey Jack combined. While it tasted fine, I think it would have been better without the cheddar. I also would add a little something else, maybe jalapenos (obviously not while pregnant) or something with a bit of added flavor to it so it's not quite so one tone. As a whole though, this was really good and SUPER filling. We couldn't eat more than half a plate at a time and it really stuck with you heavily afterwards. It would be a great winter meal.