Posts Tagged ‘crafting’

the art of making money beautifully

February 14, 2012

i purchased tara gentile’s the art of earning e-book today.  since i’ve become homeless by choice, with my entire life packed into my car, traveling from one place to another a-calling on friends, i’ve started to do some hard thinking about how much simplicity should be mandatory in a person’s life for them to be able to own their own small business.  how much i need to pare down to be able to work doing what i love.  i have had an etsy shop since 2007, selling on average 1.5 items per month, which isn’t bad for someone just dabbling.  i’ve always thought of money as tara quotes kelly diels:

I’m not terribly motivated by money. Shiny things, yes. Money, no. When I have enough, when the survival mark is made, I lose interest in making any more.

but i’ve repeatedly considered what it would take to be able to support myself.  the numbers are staggering when considered.  for me to pay my 2 bills, allow myself 1 tank of gas per week, $50 per week for food and incidentals, $30/month for dog food- in other words, the bare minimum- i would need $500.  i can’t be homeless forever, so add onto that the exceptional price of $300/month for a magical all utilities paid apartment, and you have a bare minimum needed of $800/month.  with an average of thirty days per month, i would need to make $26.70/day.  if i could sell one hat per day at that price plus shipping, it could work out- provided i could make it to the post office with the gas on my allowance.  but that’s just the bare minimum.  what if i got sick and needed to go to the doctor, or my tire blew on my car?  i would have no buffer.  so if i added $200 in savings to that a month, that would make it $1000/month for all of my expenses.  that brings the total up to $33.30/day.  i can knit one hat a day if i spend four or five solid hours knitting.  but would i be able to physically knit every day for five hours?  what if no one bought hats in a month?  what if five hours wasn’t enough to make a hat that i could sell for $33.30 plus shipping?

this is just to point out that my current hat-selling business is going to have to change, i’m afraid.  haberdashery just ain’t what it used to be.  i’m an obsessive knitter, though, so rest assured there will still be a few tams available for sale at all times.

this is why i turned to tara, and i am hoping that her e-book helps me formulate an idea for a profitable business.  i have a few ideas and i’m looking forward to exploring them.  and i’m looking forward to getting settled somewhere again where i can set my plans into motion.  i’ll let you know how it goes.

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how to crochet: selecting yarn // a little hippie girl tutorial

February 12, 2012

i’ve been wanting to do crochet tutorials for a while, but it seemed that it would be a bigger undertaking than i was capable of.  i’ve written some tutorials on quazen, but i really don’t like how much advertising they put on their pages.  so this is my humble attempt at providing you, the general public, with a free crochet class via internet.

you can crochet with any yarn-like substance, from plastic bags to t-shirt scraps, but when selecting commercial yarns, a few basic tips will go a long way. yarns are classified by weight, and weight is determined by gauge- or how many stitches it takes to make a square inch of crocheted fabric.

weights range from lace, the finest, to super bulky, the heaviest. if you’ve ever seen a crocheted doily, then you’ve seen a good example of lace weight crochet thread. baby items and socks are made from super fine (also called sock or fingering) weight yarn, or the next weight up: fine, also called sport or baby weight yarn. many crocheted clothing items and accessories are made with DK and worsted (also called aran or medium) weight yarns. very thick items can be made from bulky and super bulky weight yarns- most rug yarn is also bulky weight.

various yarn weights

crochet is done with a single hook, and for each yarn weight there is a corresponding range of hooks to be used to get the gauge you need. hook sizes can vary if you want a looser or tighter stitch. a small hook with a heavy yarn will produce very tight, solid stitches, and a large hook with a lighter yarn will produce loose stitches. the best way to know which hook is recommended for the yarn you’d like to use is to read the label.

yarn label with various indications highlighted

many patterns will provide the yarn weight and hook you need to use for the project. others are more open to interpretation, and most will suggest that you crochet a small swatch to make sure that what you make is the correct size.

solstice

December 22, 2011

winter is officially here.  it has been a difficult year for me.  this is not a blog for deep details, but suffice to say that i am looking forward to 2012 being a much better year than 2011.  after going through a laundry list of heartbreaks and difficulties, i have finally ended up back in montana, resting after traveling, before setting off on the next leg of my trip with a boy that i- dare i say it?- love. i am considering designs for bags that will be made entirely of recycled yarn and fabrics.  i bought the above typewriter today because i can’t help myself, and besides, being mustard-yellow and in pristine condition, it was impossible to resist for the whopping price of $8. the best part?  there was a piece of paper in it to test the ink, and someone had typed “life is good”.

the cure for the modern machine.

i have been busy with christmas gifts and various manic whims lately but will be back soon with more blogness and patterns- i am becoming the queen of knitting flat and i hope you will join me.

high five! fingerless gloves

November 29, 2011

it took me a long time to learn to knit in the round.  and while i’ve gotten to a place where i love it, i have to say that in my heart i am what most would call a quite lazy knitter.  therefore, i offer up to you this pattern for fingerless gloves… knit flat!  and don’t fret, DPN fans- you’ll need 3 pairs of needles to make these, 2 of one size and 4 of another size 2 sizes up from the first.  for this pair in the picture i used size 8s and 10s.

high five!

this is a very simple pattern and is easy to modify to make it bigger, smaller, longer, shorter.  feel free to use your own different stitches.  and send me a link if you post your finished projects anywhere- i’d love to see what you came up with!

you will need:

  • 1 pair size 8 (or whichever) needles
  • 2 pairs size 10 (or whichever) needles OR 3 size 10 needles and an afghan crochet hook
  • 1 crochet hook (size I or J works)
  • worsted/medium (or whichever) weight yarn (separate off 3-6 yards for thumb gusset)

pattern

cast on 26 sts.  work in k1, p1 ribbing for 8 rows.

row 9: (rs) kf&b in first 2 sts.  k until 2 sts remain.  kf&b in last 2 sts. (30 sts)

row 10 (and all ws rows of body saving the last): purl.

row 11: k 14 sts, kf&b in next 2 sts, k 14 sts.

row 13: k 14 sts, kf&b in next st, k 2 sts, kf&b in next st, k 14 sts.

row 15: k 14 sts, kf&b in next st, k 4 sts, kf&b in next st, k 14 sts.

row 17: k 14 sts, kf&b in next st, k 6 sts, kf&b in next st, k 14 sts.

row 19: k 14 sts, kf&b in next st, k 8 sts, kf&b in next st, k 14 sts.

you can continue like this to make the thumb wider- just increase the number of sts between the kf&b sts.

thumb

row 21: slip 15 sts onto one size 10 needle or afghan hook.

1

attach the scrap yarn and knit the next 10 sts with another needle.

turn and purl across the back.

turn and knit across.  turn and purl across.

5

bind off with crochet hook or very loose knitting.

6

cut, leaving a long tail to sew up thumb.  you can either sew it up straightaway or knit the rest of it and then sew it up.  a mattress stitch works great on this.

hand

transfer the 15 slipped stitches back to the other needle, so they’re all on the same needle in a line.  knit across (30 sts).

6

continue in stockinette stitch for as long as you would like the glove to be.  on the last ws row, knit instead of purl, and then bind off with a crochet hook.  sew up the side of glove and thumb.

i hope you enjoy!

fall

November 6, 2011

fall is here.  well, not really here in arizona, but in the rest of the world that has seasons, yes.  a time to don hats and scarves, and start making gifts for relatives (which in my case means making hats to sell or for charity while procrastinating on christmas items.)  it’s a very pensive time of year for me.  fall has always been my favorite season, and having lived back and forth from arizona to other places it’s very difficult for me to be here when the rest of the world is curling into autumn’s long slow sleep.  all the poems i have been writing lately have been about fall not coming to arizona.  it was in the 60s today for the first time this year, and the entire desert did not know how to take it.

i am going hiking tomorrow to reconnect with the nature of the desert and hopefully remember that there can be beautiful things here, even if it is not my ideal living place.  i will sit and absorb the vibration that our mother earth gives no matter what the surface environment.

groovy hat-in-a-flash – free pattern!

August 25, 2011

a hat you can make in (almost) minutes!  this yarn requires super bulky weight yarn and an L hook (or an N hook if you want it a little bigger!)  i used lion brand hometown USA and the hat took just less than 80 yards.

the pattern is very simple, using only single and double crochet stitches.

row 1: ch 3 (counts as first dc).  [sc in first ch, dc in first ch] twice.  sc in first ch.  connect to first dc with a sl st (so you should have 3 dc, 3 sc.)

row 2: ch 1 (counts as first sc).  dc in same st.  *sc, dc in next st.  repeat from * around.

row 3: ch 2 (counts as first dc).  sc in same st.  *dc in next st, [sc, dc] in next st, sc in next st, [dc, sc] in next st.  repeat from * around.

row 4: ch 1 (counts as first sc).  dc in same st.  *sc in next st, dc in next st, [sc, dc] in next st.   repeat from * around.

you can keep increasing in this manner until the hat is as wide as you need, following the increase pattern in sc, dc.  so if you wanted to keep making the hat bigger, the next row would be: ch 2 (counts as first dc).  *sc in next st, dc in next st, sc in next st, [dc, sc] in next st; dc in next st, sc in next st, dc in next st, [sc, dc] in next st.

once the hat is as wide as you would like, continue as follows:

row 5: ch 2 (counts as first dc).  *sc in next st, dc in next st.  repeat from * around.

row 6: ch 1 (counts as first sc).  *dc in next st, sc in next st.  repeat from * around.

repeat rows 5 and 6 until your hat is the desired length!

friendship bracelets!

July 27, 2011
Friendship Bracelets by things that made my day.
Friendship Bracelets, a photo by things that made my day. on Flickr.

in case you hadn’t noticed, there’s a new section of my blog: the FRIENDSHIP BRACELET CHALLENGE!  =^.^=

my awesome friends gave me a bunch of hemp in different colors for my birthday, so i sat down the other day to make a friendship bracelet.  i posted about it on facebook, and my friend requested that i send her one.  i told her i would and then got to thinking about how i wish someone would send me one.  i thought about how awesome it would be to randomly get a bracelet in the mail from a friend.  and then i thought about sending them as a surprise to someone, and the grow light fizzled to life above my head.

check it out and DO IT!  it’s easy and quick and even cheap to mail (2 stamps should do it!)

new computer and stuff!

July 18, 2011

i got a new computer for my birthday!  i’m so excited!  my laptop was on its last legs- four years old, with a giant crack across the screen.  this is a perfect gift- especially now that i’m trying to get a business started up online.  it was going to get pretty impossible after a while to use my old computer for all the stuff i need it for.

speaking of businesses started up online!  i added a few things to both stardust hippie goods:

corn stalk scarf - PATTERN hot air balloon dreadlocks tam / slouchy hat - PATTERN sea star dreadlocks tam / slouchy hat

and from whispering birds:

river driftwood necklace - sky venus necklace sunray earrings - purple

i also got an amazon gift card for my birthday, which i used to buy some silver wire.  it’s so expensive, but i’m super excited about using it.  i like making affordable jewelry, but if you use better materials, it makes a fantastic difference.  yes, i’m a hippie, and i can make jewelry from guitar strings and floral wire.  but i do love silver a lot.  i can’t help it, i’m a cancer.

august 1 is coming up- time to celebrate the harvest at lughnassasdh!

bits and bobbles

July 6, 2011

i finally got my tremendous check in the mail, and after depositing it today made a beeline for the powderhorn trading company with the intention of spending lots of money.  thankfully, their prices are far lower and their selection far better than our local joann’s, and i was able to get out of there after spending only $20.  one of my favorite parts about the store is the “fill a bag for $3” option.  i found a lot of tiny matching beads that i then used to make earrings.




i really enjoy the ease of working with etsy.  i’ve tried other sites like bonanza, but you don’t get the exposure like you do on etsy.  now that i’m learning to take better photos (i still haven’t perfected it, unfortunately) i’m feeling more confident about my store.  i can’t wait to have more things to sell so i can start getting the word out.  i have a showcase slot scheduled for my birthday- here’s to hoping!

time for bed.  my new school mentor is calling in the morning, and i have to be awake for it, which means i have to be to bed before midnight.  cheers everyone.

river stones

July 1, 2011
river stones by littlehippiegirl
river stones, a photo by littlehippiegirl on Flickr.

i’ve been really inspired by nature lately.  now that i’m back in montana where i’m surrounded by beauty, i’m itching to create things that flow in harmony with nature.  i had a few precious stones that i wrapped but i got to thinking- what about river stones?  and then i found polanshek’s shop on etsy that has gorgeous items made from stones.


vermont stone necklace by polanshek on etsy

i’m excited now.  what i’d love to do is drill holes in them, but i won’t have the tools for that for quite some time if at all.  so for now i must wrap them and make them beautiful!  i’m really into the stacked stone lamp mentioned in this article.