Where’s the $$ ?

Let’s face it, I didn’t open an Etsy store to get rich.  I mainly opened it because I make things, sometimes too many things, and needed a way to get some of them out of the house.  But here’s the thing: I recently shipped an item from the store and when I added up what I spent on packing materials and the actual shipping, then subtracted that from the total I charged (price + shipping), I actually LOST $2.  That didn’t even take the original price of materials to make the item into consideration.

I want to price my items at a level that makes them affordable, but I guess I need to recalculate what that price is so I at least break even.  Sure, I’d like to make money from them, but let’s focus on small steps first, shall we?

In other news, I got business cards in the mail today  🙂  Pictures to come.


Rug is Finished

Yesterday’s post was about the beginnings and a how-to (kinda) of my rag rug using old tee shirts.  Today: the final product!

Using a total of 4 tee shirts, measuring in at 22 inches in diameter, here it is.

The final shirt didn’t quite make it back around on the last row (top left section), but I’ll have to live with it.

Finally doing something new!

Last night, using old tee shirts, I started work on crocheting a rug.  We have a 2 foot area beside the bed that is just crying out for a rug.  So I will give it one.  Mainly because the floor’s crying is keeping me up at night.

If you remember my post about making a trivet out of strips of fabric, you’ll realize a rug is essentially a giant trivet.  For your feet.  I’m not sure why more rug stores don’t use that as a slogan, but, their loss.

Anyway, there are (as I see it) two ways of making your “yarn.”  The first is the method that The Crochet Dude taught me: you take many strips of fabric and then hook them together to make one long strip.  For a great how-to on this method, check out Laughing Purple Goldfish.  This method works great if you want to make a variegated yarn, mixing strips from different fabrics.

Method two is what I opted for.  Make one long piece of “yarn” out of one fabric, not linking.  After trimming off all cuffs and collars, I cut the strips by going almost all the way to the end, then flipping it over and repeating… ummm, yeah.  Since I can’t really explain that any better, I made this illustration.


As you can see, when I finish, I end up with one long piece.  Sure, the corners where it flips back and forth are a little weird to crochet with, but it doesn’t make it difficult.

So after sitting up all night working on this (while watching “A Bit of Fry and Laurie” …which turned into a LOT of Fry and Laurie), I have this so far:

Believe it or not, at a foot in diameter, this has already used up two shirts.  Using such a big hook totally eats up the “yarn.”  See all that blue?  That was a complete shirt.  Same with the orange.  As I get farther and farther out, I’ll be glad to make it all the way around with a shirt.  Keep in mind I’m going to 24 inches, so while I’m halfway there in measurement, I’ll have to do a lot more crocheting as the circle increases.  Eh, it’s not like I’m doing anything else with my time.

I’ll post again when I’m finished.


A special thanks to the family member who bought from my Etsy shop a while back!  I can’t say who, because I assume the purchase was a gift, and I don’t know if it was given or not.  But thanks, you!

In other news, I’ll be writing about a crochet coral soon.

15% off sale at Etsy!

The Men of Etsy team is having a week-long 15% off sale! You can find my shop here and use BOYSOFSUMMER as the coupon code. Additionally, if you search “boysofsummer” you will find ALL the shops offering this deal (same coupon code). This is a huge selection of shops with many, many different types of items. Christmas in July!

My Etsy shop.

Sleep Through the Sun!

One of the nicest things about our apartment is this hug, half circle window over the other two regular windows.  It lets in so much sun during the day and makes the room really bright.  This, however, does not work well with one of the nicest things about my job, namely: I get to sleep in.

Here’s a picture of the window, early morning.

That’s a lot of sun, when one doesn’t have to get up for another two hours.  So, I did what I do… I found this pattern for a sleep mask, and made it one night.  Sure enough, when the sun woke me up the next morning, I pulled the mask on and went blissfully back to sleep.

Very happy, indeed.


Now that I’m comfortable working in the round (as this trivet shows), I thought I’d set my sights on something more difficult: shapes! Last night, in preparation for the eyeball The Lady wants me to crochet her (no, seriously), I made my first sphere. Not only did it come out well, but the pattern I was using was written oddly about 7 rows in and I had to figure out some stuff on my own..which is something I’ve talked about before. I “get” crochet enough to be able to problem solve and that’s why I have never picked the knitting needles back up since 2007.



As anyone who does amigurumi knows, being able to do this well has opened up a whole new world to me! Almost every amigurumi head is basically this creation, attached in different ways. Of course, when The Lady only wants an eyeball, not a whole body, things are much easier.



I also wanted to show a shot of my “studio” because I built it after one of my readers, Denise, gave me the idea. To paraphrase the movie As Good As it Gets, she makes me want to be a better crafter  🙂


PS: suck it, Spell Check, “crafter” IS a word!

Alien Attack!

One of the great things about crochet is that it’s easily portable.  And one can do small projects quickly.

Okay, two of the great things about crochet are that it’s easily portable and one can do small projects quickly.  And I can memorize short patterns.

Our three weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency…and an almost fanatical devotion to the Pope.*

Anyway, the other day I crocheted a finger puppet in about 20 minutes while I did laundry at the laundromat.  I had made one the night before by following a pattern, but wasn’t fully satisfied with the outcome.  So I made this little alien without reading the original pattern AND I made alterations so it would come out the way I wanted, which is another great thing about crochet.  Amongst our weaponry….

The little fella, ready to begin his tiny attack of the Earth:

Here he is, surrounded by alien skeletons?

Here he poses for his mug shot:

* = The Spanish Inquisition

Back in Business

I am slowly beginning to “reopen” my store on Etsy, re-listing items that didn’t sell before and adding new items.  Right now it will mainly be the Crocheted River Rock Pendants and crocheted coffee sleeves, but if there’s anything you’d like, drop me a line, either on Etsy, here on my blog, or by email: curmade @ gmail.com (remove the spaces).

Because of the way Etsy promotes newly listed items, I am only listing a few at a time, so check back often over the next few days.  A good way to do this would be to A) bookmark my Etsy store on your browser and return often, B) add my Etsy store to your favorites on Etsy, C) add my Etsy store to your “circle” on Etsy?  The answer is, of course, all of the above.

An example of one of my pendants (that could be one of YOURS!)

Two Crochet Dudes

Today I finally got to meet The Crochet Dude, aka, Drew Emborsky.  As a male crocheter, he’s served as something of an inspiration to me and I was excited to meet him.  He was the instructor at today’s Etsy Labs, where he taught us to make “yarn” out of scrap fabric and then crochet it into a simple trivet.  He admitted to being as pleased as I was to be in the same room with another crochet dude.  Here is my final product, which stitched up SOOO quickly!

The hanging loop was my idea, and that goes back to one of the things I love about crochet: I figured out a way to stitch it in on my own.  I “get” crochet, and that is what makes it so much fun for me.

Also, make sure to check out The Crochet Dude’s blog, which includes a picture of Drew and Vickie Howell!  Two of my favorite yarners… yarn people… yarnies?

On a side note, while at Etsy, I was asked by two different people about my store, which I had to admit had no products in it currently.  Hopefully this will serve as a wake-up call, reminding me I can’t sell anything if I’m not making anything.

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