18 December 2007

In the Jungle, the Mighty Jungle (Lion Layette)

I made a policy in my shop not to carry sewn items in my shop. Partially because I want my shop to have a uniform feel to it, and partially because the quality on my sewn items isn't near that of my crochet items (think journeyman compared to master). But that doesn't mean that I don't take custom requests for sewn items.

Take my layettes. They have always been popular - the first thing I sold out of my store, and the first thing to sell out of my store. So when I received twin requests for boy-esque layettes, I knew I had just the fabric. The flannel fabric is a cute, square block pattern featuring different jungle animals. I decided to back the layette with yellow flannel and topstitch in blue.

I ended up sending out two sets of blankets, bibs, and burps on custom orders, and even got pictures back from one of my customers with her new nephew wrapped in my blanket. That was a wonderful thing to see!

Lessons learned:
1) Keep Flickr up-to-date so people can order based on my past creations
2) I'm getting better at sewing
3) I still love crochet better
4) There is no better feeling than seeing my work on a happy customer, especially a 3 day old customer

So, if you happen to want a layette, feel free to contact me. I still take them as custom requests.

17 December 2007

I'm Feeling a Little Froggy (An Army of Frog Hats)

Apparently, customers are crazy about frogs. Very crazy.

To date, I have made three frog hats, one just for fun over Thanksgiving break and two as custom orders. Where do I even begin?

We'll start with Jasmine's frog hat. Jasmine is the lovely, fashion-oriented, sweet young daughter of one of my favorite porcelain artists, Cindy at Colorado Art Studio (love her mugs, especially this one!) Jasmine wanted a frog hat with eyes. If I remember correctly, there was one like it in the movie Better by the Dozen. I hadn't seen the movie, and I don't care for Steve Martin (please don't flog me). So I improvised. I decided it'd be a fun time to play around, so I decided to try putting earflaps on it. But Jasmine hadn't asked for earflaps, so I decided to make them removable. Then I figured plain earflaps would be boring, so I decided to make frog hands for flaps. The actual hat was crocheted in Brown Sheep Lamb's pride, so it had a bit of fuzz. But I was pleased with the result. And, most importantly, Jasmine was, too!

Lessons Learned:
1) Frogs have 5 digits on their hands, not 4
2) Frog pupils are vertical, not horizontal (or, more accurately, diamonds, not slits)
3) Make sure your buttons are big enough to stay in the button holes
4) Anatomical correctness isn't necessary to make a freakin' adorable hat.

Second is the froggie hat I made over Thanksgiving break, just on a whim. It sold within two weeks of posting. This hat was just an excuse to get rid of the rest of my green cotton/modal Shine yarn from Knit Picks. But it was my first experience with beads as eyes. Still, it's an incredibly cute hat; no wonder it sold.

Lessons Learned:
1) Leave enough tail to sew on the eyes
2) Count your stitches before adding scallops
3) Cotton/modal = extremely slick. Too slick for aluminum.

Finally, a hat I *just* finished. A newborn frog hat with a button earflap instead of ties so as not to freak out the new parents (having a new baby, I can relate - I was paranoid about ties until I had to admit they saved sooooo much time). I made this hat out of Plymouth Encore, a fabulous acrylic/superwash blend. So soft, yet so durable, and very easy care. This being my third frog hat, it came together incredibly quickly with no major issues.

Lessons Learned:
1) You forget how tiny your baby was until you make something for a baby younger than your own
2) If you follow the ol' "1-inch less" rule for stretch, you end up with a very tiny baby hat
3) A large wine goblet = a great baby hat stand

And so my army of frog hats has been unleashed upon the world! Bwahahahahahaha! If you would like to be one of my minions, just drop me a line, and we'll make it happen!

(Many thanks to The Collective Noun page for identifying the proper collective noun for frogs.)

09 December 2007

Put a Flower in Your Bonnet (Lilac Cloche with Flower)

Have I mentioned lately that I *love* to trade?

I love to trade. I find it an amazing way to get your work out there while getting something wonderfully creative in return. I love the way bartering smacks capitalism in its face by showing that there are other ways to get products in our hot little hands besides cold hard cash.

This hat was born of the desire of Deb of Blue Sky Pottery, a fabulously talented ceramic artist out of Steamboat Springs. I had asked her to custom make a moon pad jar for me, and the result was stunning. A squat little jar, not unlike a honey jar, in a lovely crimson and a simple handle to remove the lid. Perfect. I love my jar. If you are a moon pad user, I highly recommend splurging for one of these beauties from Deb. You won't be disappointed.

In return, I was to make a hat that matched her winter coat. She wanted something similar to my RAINNy Day Mohair Hat. I knew that Steamboat was much too cool to do something in pure mohair, and, serendipitously, I only had lilac and purple in Lambs' Pride, so I set about making her hat.

I carried a strand of Classic Elite Mohair in Amethyst with Lambs' Pride in Lilac, giving the hat a tweedy feel. For the scalloped edging, I carried a strand of Lambs' Pride in Cream with a strand of Classic Elite Mohair in Cream. The result was a thick, heavy, and, most importantly, warm winter hat in the perfect shades. All that was left was embellishment. I carried the Amethyst Mohair and both Cream fibers to create a big, fuzzy flower, and popped a simple white button in the center to finish it off.

All in all, a wonderful little hat. I can only hope that Deb loves her hat as much as I love my little jar.

Lessons learned:
1) Adjust your hook size accordingly when changing the carrying weight of your yarns
2) Weaving in the ends on mohair is much easier when there is a wool carrying strand nearby
3) I still don't like shank buttons, but I think they look better than eyelet buttons

As always, you know where I'll be if you'd like a hat like this of your very own.

08 December 2007

The Come-Back Hat Redux (Another Button-Flapped Alpaca Hat)

As I was going through my list of projects I have yet to blog about, I stumbled across a picture of a hat. This particular hat looks very similar, and, in fact, it is identical save for the bright aqua in place of the warm apricot.

You see, after I got done making the Peaches and Cream Alpaca Hat, my sweet buyer wanted another just like it, but with blue stripes.

Now, I suppose I could go through the specs, and the buttons, and how warm and luxuriant alpaca fiber is, but I've already bored you with all that for the first hat. So let me just say that this hat was as fun to make as its twin.

Want one? Just let me know, and I'll make it happen for you!

06 December 2007

Something to Slip Your Feet Into (More Slippers)

I have so many projects to blog about, I had a hard time choosing where to start. Then I remembered the old maxim to start from the ground up. Slippers seemed the natural place.

I've been making slippers for awhile now. I originally started with the Fiber Trends crocheted ballet slippers pattern, and have slowly morphed that pattern into my own. It probably isn't obvious in the way the finished product looks, but I've changed some shaping in the heel to make it more fitted, moved the decreases in the toe for a cleaner look, integrated multiple colors and completely redesigned the straps (when I use them at all). I now say that my slippers were inspired by Fiber Trends because the construction has changed so much.

In any case, on to the project. I'd been wanting some Goddess Wrapz for quite some time. Gabs likes to pull on my hair and I hate it when she does it, so I needed a way to cover up my hair. A Goddess Wrap looks at once elegant and hippie, so it seemed the perfect fit.

We settled on a trade of slippers for wrapz. Aly had seen my slippers here on my blog, and wanted a set for her own. I knew she liked brown, green, and purple, so I set about making a slipper that incorporated all three of those items. And, of course, I knew she was granola, like me (although I'm more like Kudos granola than Bear Naked granola).

My final slipper was crocheted from pure wool, a change for me, since I usually use Brown Sheep Lambs' Pride, a wool/mohair blend, for my felting. I can say now that I will never go back. Pure wool creates a warm, semi-smooth finish that asks to be touched. No fuzziness. Just warmth. I loved the way it looked. The brown slippers looked like chocolate sculptures that were begging for me to eat off the toe!

I then turned to embellishments, and decided on purple flowers with button centers. I felted the flowers and their corresponding leafs, and sewed those on with some fabulous buttons I picked up at TacTile. Then I embroidered a few vines around the body of the slipper and finished it with a wooden bead to fasten the instep strap.

Aly loves her slippers. I've received many convos from her proclaiming their awesomeness. She's even been gracious enough to send a few more people my way for slippers.

Looks like there'll be more slippers in my future! If you'd like a pair of your own, just contact me and we'll make a set perfect for you.

05 December 2007

Please buy handmade this year

With all of the commercially-available made items that are surrounded by holiday blitz, it's hard to get back to values.

You can help by buying handmade. A handmade gift supports a family and eases the demand for sweatshop and/or child labor produced items. You get a unique product that no one else will have that is made with love. You get an item that is lead-free, more likely to be eco-friendly, and supports the microbusiness movement.

There are so many wonderful handmade items to be had. You can, of course, find them on Etsy, or through a host of other handmade sites. You can make them yourself. You can buy fair-trade handmade (Ten Thousand Villages in Cherry Creek is a great source of fair-trade).

Replacing even one potential mass-produced gift with a handmade gift can make a world of difference if we all pitch in. Take the handmade pledge at Buy Handmade.

Do it today. Your heart, a handmade artist, and a child in China will thank you.

You Can Wash that Man Right Out of Your Hair

If you're looking for absolutely fabulous soap, visit Lady of Luxury. Dawn makes her soap the old-fashioned way - handmixing, pouring, moulding, and decorating her one-of-a-kind, all-natural, vegetarian and vegan-friendly soaps.

These soaps are amazing - the first all-natural soaps I've found that don't disintegrate in the soap dish after two days. They are generous 4 oz bars that last and last. They lather wonderfully; even in my hard water. The scent is invigorating but not overpowering. And did I mention they are absolutely beautiful. Dawn pays attention to the tiniest details - coffee beans in the coffee soap, rosebuds on the rose soap, icy blue swirls in the peppermint soap, and a honey soap that's shaped like a honeycomb.

While you're there, pickup one of my fabulous soap socks from Dawn, or better yet, direct from me. I have one hanging in my shower right now, stuffed with a Deep Purple Lavender bar of Dawn's incredible soap.

So get washing already!

03 December 2007

You Spin Me Right Round

In my post-show glow (note to self: take pictures of your booths!), I've decided that it's time to refocus my shop. This means that a few changes are in store for Kastroll Kreations.

I've decided to focus the shop exclusively on crochet. It's what I'm good at, and what I love. The good news for you, dear reader, is that all of my sewn items are 40% off. Stock up on bibs and blankets for those babies that will inevitably become a part of the lives of your friends, family, and possibly you!

What about my art, you say? Well, my womyn's spirituality art is being spun-off into it's own Etsy store, Goddess Art, at http://goddessart.etsy.com. Here, you'll find my fabric transfers, patches, ACEOs, artSquared, original silk paintings, original line drawings, and any derivative art from these items. For now, the two shops will share a blog (after all, my art is also a Kastroll Kreation), and features will be shared between the two shops. Look for more posts on Goddess Art in the coming weeks, as I transfer the art listings from Kastroll Kreations to Goddess Art.
Back to crochet - I also learned that my accessories are wildly popular - hats, scarves, bags, and the like. But the items that did especially well were the ponchos, shawls, and shrugs. You'll see an increase in the number of clothing items in the coming weeks as I get these items photographed for the shop, and a clearing out of blankets, housewares, and the like. Soap socks and scrubbies, of course, will be available as always.

So many changes. Get ready for the new face of Kastroll Kreations and its sister store, Goddess Art. Both should be ready for their new images in time to ring in the new year.

01 December 2007

Holiday Handmade

Well, this weekend is a busy one. To start, I am at the first annual Holiday Handmade, presented by Fancy Tiger. The show actually began this afternoon, and for a Friday night craft show, it had an amazing turnout. Everyone was pleasantly surprised; after all, there are holiday parties, movie premiers, and the Parade of Lights competing with us.

I ended up with a 5' x 5' space, which was both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because I don't have enough product to fill the larger space. A curse because I have very little space to maneuver in. I found myself tripping over my supplies several times. It was a great night, though. I ran out of business cards and I sold a few items directly off of my body. I'd never done that before.

I'm actually writing this though to express my excitement at receiving a specific mention in Westword, Denver's version of the Village Voice or SF Gate. The blurb the editors included to tout the event referred to my RAINNy Day Cowgirl Hat. Check out the blurb here.

I will be at Holiday Handmade tomorrow, from 10:00AM to 6:00PM. It's a Capsule Gallery, 560 Santa Fe Dr in Denver (just south of 6th Avenue). Free parking, great coffee, and amazingly wondeful crafts from lots of people. And, on Sunday, you can find me at the Lowry Art Mart, hosted by the Lowry Apartments. That fair is from 12:00PM to 6:00PM.

Mention my blog for 20% off your purchase! I hope to see you there!

14 October 2007

Can you believe they're going to let me teach?!

I know, I know, I said in my last post that I would be blogging more often. That was before I found out that I'm going to be the primary crochet instructor at the TACtile Arts Center. I was asked to design the course curricula and schedule. I've been spending my time writing both, and this is what I've come up with. So feel free to come down and take a few of my classes! And wish me luck; it's been a long time since I last taught anything. :)

Skill Refresher Workshop

Already know how to crochet but need help honing your skills? This is the class for you. We will cover how to read a pattern, the importance of gauge swatches, hook selection and material, fiber selection and substitution, and basic pattern modification. Please note: We will not be creating a specific project in this workshop; instead, we will be honing skills. Bring your favorite hook, a pattern you have been working with, and a skein of yarn. These materials will be available for you to borrow during the workshop.

Time: 1 hour session
Friday, November 2, 5:00-6:00PM
Friday, November 16, 5:00-6:00PM
Friday, December 7, 5:00-6:00PM
Enrollment Maximum: 8
Materials: Student provided - A hook, a pattern, a skein/ball of yarn. I will bring several spares for both demonstration and loan during the workshop.

Beginning Crochet

If you have never picked up a hook before, this is the class for you. We will cover the everything you need to know to get started: fiber and hook selection, tools needed, basic stitches, and simple edgings. By the end of class, you will have the beginnings of a sweet little scarflette - this season's hottest cold-weather accessory.

Time: 1 class, 3 hours with a 15-minute break
Saturday, November 3, 12:30-4:00PM
Enrollment Maximum: 4
Fiber/Notions: Instructor Provided, 2 oz.10-WPI/bulky-weight yarn, button ($5.00)
Materials: Size "J" and "K" aluminum hooks, darning needle, safety pin (I can provide for $6.00 material fee)

Intermediate Crochet

If you have some basic skills, but would like to build on your skills, this class is for you. We will cover increases, decreases, working in rounds, color changes, reading a pattern, and embellishments. By the end of class, you will have the beginnings of an earflap hat - the perfect thing to keep your noggin warm this winter.

Time: 2 classes, 2 hours each
Enrollment Maximum: 4
Sundays, November 4 & 11, 1:00-3:00PM
Fiber: Instructor Provided, 4 oz. 10-WPI/bulky-weight yarn ($7.00)
Materials: Size "J" hook, safety pin, stitch marker (I can provide for $5.00 material fee)

Advanced Crochet

If you've mastered hats and scarves and are ready to move up to more advanced projects, this is the class for you. We will cover textured, cluster, and lacework stitches, motifs, garment shaping, seaming, closures, and accents. By the end of class, you will have the beginnings of a lacy shrug - a fashionable, versatile layering garment that goes with just about everything.

Time: 2 classes, 2 hours each
Schedule TBD
Enrollment Maximum: 4
Fiber/Notions: Instructor Provided, 6 oz. 14-WPI/DK-weight yarn, button ($10)
Materials: Size "H" hook, safety pin, stitch markers, darning needle (I can provide for $5.00 material fee)

Specialty Classes

Ever looked through the local fiber classes and wished that cool knitting class was available for crocheters? Here are a few classes that will be coming soon:

Felted Bags
Felted Slippers
Crochet with Wire
Crochet with Beads

26 July 2007

The Come-Back Hat (Button-Flapped Alpaca Hat)

A little over a week ago, I received an order from a Swiss Etsian for my Stripey Flappy Baby Hat. I hadn't received payment with the order, so after a few days, I sent along an email and an invoice requesting payment. To my dismay, the order had to be cancelled... but an opportunity for custom work was opened.

The specs were actually pretty precise, and for that, I was thankful. Creme-white and peach, natural wool, pearlized button flap closure and a matching button on top. Circumference to 23" and buttons no larger than 1.5".

The biggest challenge was finding peach. Peach is considered a summer color, so most of the yarns in peach are in linen/cotton blends or lighter weights like fingering or DK. This hat was going to Switzerland. I checked the average temps there, and discovered that the average temp ranges from 30 in January to 65 in July. It's cool there. A warm fiber would be needed.

I found the color I thought I wanted in an alpaca blend. Double-bonus, since alpaca is light in drape and weight but extremely warm (some would almost say too warm). When it finally arrived, it was more of an apricot than a peach, but I realized it would have to do. I set about on the hat.

As you've probably guessed from my blog and store, hats themselves are easy for me, and I had this one done in about an hour. The flaps required a good deal of experimentation. My model head is a 21" head, so I had to ensure that I made the hat and the flaps big enough to accomodate a 23" head. I also had to make sure the stitches were large enough to double as adjustable buttonholes.

In the end, I came up with a wonderful hat. For the life of me, I can't get the hat to photograph the color right - even with a grey-balance card. It still looks orange to me on the screen. But in the hand, a peachy-apricot alternates with a creamy white, and it looks delicious.

So, lessons learned:
1) Alpaca, even the smallest amount, will warm up your lap to an uncomfortably warm level when you're working with it
2) Shank buttons are harder to place than standard buttons
3) No matter how hard you try to match color, your monitor will never display it properly.

This hat goes up in my shop today for approval. If you'd like a hat like this, just drop me a line and we'll talk details!

I Got Screwed (Corkscrew Earflap Hat)

As I may have mentioned, I'm trying to destash my stash by making a lot of different projects. And my choice, as I also may have mentioned, has been hats. It's funny, really, that I like hats so much, because I actually hate wearing them.

In any case, I've been wanting to play with corkscrew fringe for awhile now, and I figured what better way to do that than with a hat. I knew that the screws would make the hat top-heavy, so ear flaps seemed a logical choice.

I had light and dark purple acrylics in my stash, and I went ahead with making my basic hat. I added flaps, then got to work on the details. As my dear mother-in-law once said - you don't pay for the whole, you pay for the details. And she's right. A simple hat becomes unique when details are applied.

I decided on a dozen screws - 6 for the top and 6 for the ties. I didn't want braided or ponpomed ends - that just seemed silly. So I used slip-stitch reinforced triple chains for ties and added screws to the ends. Then I added the screws to the top.

The finished product was supposed to be for an older child - 19-21" circumference, but that can also fit a petite adult woman. The hat stretches quite a bit, so it may even fit me (I have a 23.5" head). I'm ridiculously proud of it, even though it is just a hat.

Lessons learned? None really, other than
1) I love making hats
2) I hate making corkscrews

As always, look for this sweet hat in my Etsy shop very soon!

22 July 2007

Hot Blue Choker (The Fashion Denver Promo Choker)

Ah, promos. Flowers seem to be the common thread between all of my promos. So when the need for a promo for Fashion Denver's Biannual Show and Market came up, I knew a flower would be involved.

My original idea was to mount tiny flowers to big bobbies, but I just didn't have the time to learn how to make that. I decided instead to raid my yarn stash, whereupon I stumbled on some scraps that were donated to me by NorthStar Alpacas. It was beautiful two-ply alpaca yarn with a strand of angelina (no relation) interspersed. I had some blue and some tan. So I decided to make a choker.

At first, I wanted to create a choker that would fasten with a rivet snap, but I didn't have enough yarn to make it the right diameter. Then I was going to tie it closed with ribbons, but I didn't have matching ribbon. So I settled on a button closure.

I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but the choker closes when you place the center of the flower over the wooden button. I wanted to add a leaf, but I was on the clock - I cranked this little thing out in about 15 minutes, took another 5 to block it, and was, for the most part, satisfied with the result. Really, the only improvements I can think of are crocheting the button into the fabric and adding a leaf behind the flower. But all in all, for a last-minute project out of scrap yarn, I'm incredibly happy.

Lessons learned:
1) I can come up with something original and cute on short notice
2) I love working with handspun yarn
3) Shank buttons can go on like beads

This piece will never see an Etsy listing - instead, it will be raffled off at the Heatwave show tomorrow along with some wonderful pieces by AnnushKa Designs, Little Bitsys, and She's Crafty. Checkout the 'mart tomorrow at noon at Cervantes!

17 July 2007

Mad as a Hatter (More Baby Hats)

Well, my re-application to EtsyKids was denied. I won't go into how there are team members there that have fewer kids items or a smaller kids:other ratio than I do, and will instead focus on how I keep making more hats.

I have a yarn stash to destash, and baby hats work up quickly. And cutely. So I fashioned a few more sun hats to indulge my destash addiction. I don't have much to say about any particular one, other than I like them all.

Lessons learned:
1) It's hard to make different hats with the same basic design
2) It may be the wrong time of year to be selling sun hats

A brief post, I know, but I just wanted to share my new creations. Baby sun hats: oldies, but goodies. They'll post over the next few days in my Etsy store.

09 July 2007

Feeling Fruity (Baby Sun Hats)

Okay, I'm the first to admit that I've been offline for awhile. Between mothering, having family in town, cleaning up the aftermath of having family in town, friends in crisis, and trying to find time to network in my day job (you know, the one that will pay the bills), creativity has had to fall to the wayside.

But in the process of cleaning up the apartment, I had to organize my yarn stash. And I was appalled at how much yarn I had amassed that was just sitting, doing absolutely nothing. I'm sure my stash isn't the biggest or the most colorful, but in a one bedroom apartment, and belonging to someone who prides herself on never buying more that she'll use... it was an abomination at best. And so I set to work creating.

I decided on baby hats. As my dear husband points out, I excel at hats. For some reason, they're just something I can do really, really well. And I wanted to be a little different. I started out wanting to make an apple hat, but then I did a search on Etsy and found several. My daughter was wearing a watermelon onesie at the time, and so I decided on a watermelon. Again, a search on Etsy yielded several watermelon hats, but I noticed that none of them were sun hats. All of them were rolled brim or beanie style hats. And none of them represented the rind accurately.

I set to work with my first two hats: a red watermelon and a pink watermelon. The red is the original. I added the pony beads as an afterthought; I realized that seedless watermelon just wasn't all that cute. The pink I did because I remembered my daughter had a pink and green fruit dress. I thought it was covered in watermelons. Turns out, it's covered in strawberries. And that's how the strawberry hat was born. The last hat was a pomegranate. I don't know why, other than I didn't see any other pomegranate hats on Etsy. So I figured, "Why not?"

All the hats but the red watermelon have their beads crocheted into the fabric, making them more child-safe... but you should still keep an eye on a teething baby - they're little jaws are strong enough to crack metal beads if given enough time. And all color changes are carried through under the stitches, so the body of the hats are all done in one continuous piece. The strawberry features a bendable stem, thanks to a piece of pipe cleaner inside the stem, and the pomegranate's arlis' end was sewn on after the fact. Each one is sized to 0-6 months, depending on the baby. Brie is almost 3 months, and they are just slightly big on her. But then, she has a small head.

Lessons Learned:
1) I have too much yarn
2) Baby hats are incredibly fun to make
3) Crocheting star patterns is much easier than I realized
4) Doing color changes simultaneously with increases is relatively difficult
5) It is easier to add beads as you're crocheting than it is to sew them on after the fact

Look for these very soon in my Etsy store (as I must post them quickly in order to make myself reeligible for EtsyKids membership).

21 June 2007

I ♥ Etsy (The Etsy Ribbon)

After my third custom order for crocheted, beaded, wire awareness ribbons for various causes, I felt it was time to have some sort of "choose your cause" ribbon listed in my shop. And I do. I had to make some sample ribbons to do it, and, of course, I have the standard red ribbon and yellow ribbon. I also have a white ribbon. These three colors stand for a myriad of causes from AIDS to troops to epilepsy. My own RAINN-y Day Ribbons also stand for prostate cancer and child abuse awareness (among others).

The one ribbon I didn't find was one for returning to a simpler way of life. I was looking for a "crafting" or "community" or "creativity" or "DiY" ribbon. Something along those lines. And I couldn't find a one. Nothing. Zip, Zilch, Nada. Nothing. Nothing for returning to the handcrafted over the mass-produced or of buying from a person rather than a faceless corporation. Nothing for building community through creativity. And nothing that celebrated the strength of the community and culture that is springing from this movement.

And so I set out to create one. I looked in my stash to get some inspiration, and there it was: Tangerine, half-hard, 28-gauge copper wire from Artistic Wire. A color that looked an awful lot like Etsy orange. I checked my bead stash for orange beads, figuring I'd make an orange ribbon (a ribbon that also stands for such illustrious causes as feral cats, hunger, and self abuse). And, again, there they were: White seed beads. It was one of those moments where everything seems to fall in place. I checked the Etsy homepage to make sure I wasn't dreaming, and there it was: an orange and white Etsy logo.

The rest is history. The finished I ♥ Etsy Ribbon is crocheted with tangerine copper wire and white glass seed beads. It measures a little over 1.5" (3.81 cm) long. I strung the prototype on a strand of recycled cotton/linen, then sent it off to EtsyLabs as a sort of "thank you for all you've done". After all, I wouldn't be as inspired to create, have found the community I did, and be able to have a little extra spending cash for my family if it wasn't for all their hard work.

So imagine my surprise when I received a convo from Vanessa at Etsy Labs saying I was going to featured in the Etsy blog. Okay, surprise doesn't quite cut it. Elation and wonder would be better descriptors. Regardless, it was more than I was expecting. I was honestly just hoping for a "your welcome, send us more, we like them" sort of thing. I guess validation that it was a good idea. But the blog? That was more than I could have hoped for.

And so, lessons learned:
1) Sometimes inspiration is spelled "eureka"
2) I don't need jump rings to create the hanging loops on these if I position the curve in the ribbon correctly
3) Sometimes a simple "thank you" rewards you karma-wise more than you could've imagined
4) You should have a listing ready for selling any item that may end up in demand, no matter how remote the possibility

I wasn't actually planning on listing this one for awhile, but since it's going in the blog, well... it'll be in my shop as soon as I see the blog post.

Happy happy joy joy!