One area I’ve really been slacking on with my shop is with SEO and interesting, attention-grabbing item descriptions. I hate doing both of those jobs and have been doing the bare minimum, or nothing at all. This is bad because good SEO = better search engine pick-up, and better, more interesting descriptions = people are more likely to buy or share my creations.

Tonight I’ve been adding to the SEO on some of my items, trying to bring them up to at least  “Okay” if not “Good” and working on little stories for some of my more interesting pieces. You can see some examples of this on the ones whose item titles have *w/story* appended to the end. One of my favorites though, is the one for the Pink Skully Toddler’s Hat:

“Oh, Amy! What have you done now?” I knew asking her was pointless; at a year and a half she really didn’t talk much, at least not in ways we could understand. I looked at the ravaged room, everything thrown into disarray, furniture ruined, occult symbols smeared onto the walls. A small fury spun in the middle of the room, screaming with the fires and passions of Hell itself. Amy sat a few feet from the center of the room, smiling and proud. She wore her misleadingly innocent-looking hat- the pink and white one with the skulls on it.

“You can’t keep the demon, Amy. You have to send it back,” I said with as much sternness as my shaking voice could muster. Amy giggled and blinked at me with the innocence only a tiny child can manage. “I mean it. It has to go back. Now!” Amy waved her hands, burbling some sort of command and the demon winked out of existence. I was regretting purchasing that hat from the old woman already.

I’ve also removed a lot of the categories I previously had, simplifying it down to 9 main categories, and only the Jewelry category is broken down further into subcategories. I’ve done away with most of the categories that serve as secondaries for items, but I did keep the Rainbow and Skull ones.

Of course the end goal is to have all of my items updated like this, and actually get the search engines to pick me up the old-fashioned way. I don’t have the resources to pay for advertising or professional SEO help, so slowly but surely, I’ll get things looking at good as they can, and hopefully make a few sales in the process.

 

I’ve found and installed a great new plug-in here on Kittyloaf Designs. Instead of having sales or coupons, you can make me an offer. If its within the range of values I’ve set, the offer will be accepted and it will be added to your cart. Most of my items have this feature turned on, but not all of them.

Why don’t you pop on by and see what a great deal you can get on my fabulous handcrafted items? Your possible discount varies from item to item.

Hi guys! I just spent some time in my craft room (yes, my mom was so gracious as to let me have a craft room here!) culling beads to be donated that I will likely never use (about 4 pounds of them) which cleaned out several containers. Now to now rush out to find more beads to fill them up…. LOL.

I also took the time to really look at my creations and take anything not quite perfect and pull it from my shop. A lot of this was stuff that I was still learning a new technique when I made them, or they were made with not quite the usual quality materials, or I just didn’t feel they were up to par.

These have either been put into bags to be donated, or added to the small pile of designs I want to reclaim the components of to make other lovely creations.

And when the weather cools off, I’ll be going through my knit and crochet creations the same way!

A week ago, my boyfriend of almost 8 years and I mutually decided to end our relationship. The most obvious result of this was that I had to move out, and having nowhere else to go, I went back to my mom’s.

The biggest downside to this is I have too much stuff. I’ve thrown away an entire barrel full, donated two carloads of stuff to thrift, returned some things to the places I bought them, and sold a few other items. I’ve also gifted a few things and done a few random acts of kindness just to clear some stuff out.

And you know what? I still have too much stuff!

So if you were on the fence about buying something from me, I would love if you did it now simply because I need to downsize dramatically. I probably won’t have any new makes for a while because I don’t have a work space yet, but hopefully that will change soon.

 

That’s my mountain dulcimer taking up seat number 5… 🙂

 

I saw several DIY PVC guitar racks being talked about online, and the one thing I noticed, besides that they’re ugly, is they really minimize the space they take up. We have 5 ukes, and a banjolele, though one uke is of the flying V body style so it won’t work in this, and while I have nice, pretty wooden stands, they take up quite a bit of space. And today I really wanted to build something, so here’s what I did.

Approximate Finished Dimensions

18″ high x 28″ wide x 16.5″ deep

Purchase List

  • 2 x 10′ 1/2″ PVC pipe ($4.16)
  • 14 1/2″ PVC pipe T fittings ($4.76)
  • 6 1/2″ PVC pipe caps ($1.38)
  • 11 1/2″ PVC pipe 90° elbows ($4.40)
  • pipe cutting tool ($7)
  • glue (optional and I only used to to glue the main sections together in case I want to disassemble it in the futureand store it flat) ($6)

How to Prepare

You will need to do a lot of cutting. Here’s the breakdown of how many, how long. I only used 15′ of the pipe total.

  • 5 x 1.75″
  • 7 x 3″
  • 10 x 4″
  • 6 x 1″
  • 2 x 11″
  • 3 x 25.5″

How to Assemble

Top

  • Make the top bar with the neck guides by connecting these pieces in the following order:
  • Elbow + 1″ piece + T + 3″ piece + + T + 3″ piece + + T + 3″ piece + + T + 3″ piece + + T + 3″ piece + + T + 1″ piece + elbow.
  • Connect one 4″ piece into the open end of the T’s across (6 times). Then connect an elbow, and a 1.75″ piece to the first 5 of them. Add the 6 caps to all of the open ends. This completes your top bar.
  • On the downward facing open ends of the elbows, connect a 4″ piece of pipe. Attach a T to these so you can add the crossbar between them.
  • Place a 25.5″ piece into the open ends of the T where they face each other.
  • Connect a 11″ piece to the remaining open ends of the T’s, going downward. These will connect into the base.

Bottom

  • Create a rectangle, using 4 T’s, 2 4″ pieces, and the two remaining 25.5″ pieces. This will form the part of the base that the ukes will rest on.
  • Choose a side to be the back of the stand. Attach a 1″ piece to each open T side, and add another T, this one facing upwards. Your top section will fit into this.
  • Connect the remaining 3″ pieces to the backs of these T’s, then add 2 of the elbows, pointing down.
  • Finish the front of the stand by connecting the last 2 1″ pieces, and then the elbows.

Finishing

  • Fit the top into the bottom. Make sure everything fits. Try it out. Tiny ukes, like a soprano, will barely reach the top bar, and if you have a sopranino, you’ll need to place the secondary bar lower. If everything looks good, you can glue things together now.

Let me know if this worked for you, or if I made any mistakes in the parts list! Happy making!

Three and a half years after I started on it, I finished my quilt top. I realized during all the cleaning of my craft room that I was nearly done making squares so I busted out the last few over the last few days, then cut some plain squares (not pieced, just one fabric) to make a border around the edges. And finally its done!

Its about 56″ wide, so right now the plan is to back it with some 58″ wide black fleece, and then use yarn to tie off at each corner of the individual squares. If I wait until fleece is on sale or there’s a coupon, I can probably finish it for about $10.

Anyway, obviously I’m super excited to have gotten this far! I will actually have a finished quilt very soon, even if its already too warm to cuddle under one.

Later today I will contact the guy who took the rest of the scraps off my hands and ask if he wants more- I have a few more shopping bags of them left over that I’m not going to be using.

It’s been since November that I last posted and I’ve been trying for ages to make a new post but it keeps not happening. I’ve been getting past a yarncraft slump, where for months I didn’t want to do anything more than give some of my softer skeins an occasional squeeze. I’m past that now though, and have knitted a few things, and am currently working on the Good Vibes shawl from  wonderful French designer. I’m almost done with the big main color section and I will start the first stripe tomorrow when my other yarn color arrives.

Speaking of yarn, I’m currently cold sheeping. I’m hoping to make it through the end of the year without falling off the wagon, but we’ll see. My big goal is to get down to only 38 miles of yarn in my stash- I had 52, I donated 4, and now I just want to use up another 10. There are a few exceptions of when I can buy yarn, though for the most part, no new yarn is kind of the rule.

  1. I can use gift cards to buy yarn.
  2. I can accept yarn from swaps or as gifts.
  3. I can buy additional yarn to finish a project I’ve started.

Its pretty simple, but if you buy yarn like I tend to, its not easy!

I rearranged my craft room yesterday, and picked out another 3 bags of stuff to donate. This included all the sewing patterns I previously had listed for sale, so those are gone now, and I have more room on my shelf. Of course that shelf is mostly filled with large skeins of yarn… LOL.

The website also underwent a physical change a few weeks ago, getting a complete makeover. I like to think it looks more modern and on trend with what’s good today… Of course the 3 dozen emails I get in spam every day offering their design services seem to think otherwise! Ha!

Did you know my shop always has coupons available? And did you know know that you don’t even have to know what they are to use them?

At any time, I have several coupons available, and all of them that apply to your order will be added automatically at check-out. Just visit the cart page to see your savings!

These are the coupons available from now until the end of the year- they can add up to big savings!

  • 10% off rainbow items
  • buy 3 get 1 free on $5 earrings
  • 8% off wearable yarncraft
  • 8% off $20
  • 12% off $50
  • 16% off $100+
  • 10% off brick stitch earrings
  • 10% off video game jewelry

There’s also a local pick-up option available. I’m in Lancaster, CA, in the 93534 zip code and am often available to orchestrate pick-up orders. Just choose local pick-up at checkout and I’ll email you about when you’d like to come by.

I’m going through my inventory and while I have several items I’ve just added to the shop with more to come, there are also several that I am considering donating. So, if you want to score some free stuff (just pay shipping) check out the shop portion of the site and sort by price from Low to High. Or just click this link.

There’s a few scarves, a pair of ginormous slippers, some earrings that just aren’t quite up to par, and a pot holder that has too small of a hanging tab. These items are well-made, they’re just not moving well and I want them gone. So click on through and see what you can grab!

There’s also a few beading patterns, but those ones are always available for free.

The craft fair was yesterday and to keep it simple, I’ll just say it was disorganized and not very many people were making sales. Traffic was so-so, and several people commented to me that they would never spend money at something like this. It was just not a good day.

After all that, today I decided I needed a little retail therapy. There were several good coupons in the apps for both Joann’s and Michael’s, so I decided to visit both of them.

This is what I came away with.

Joann’s

Caron jumbo skein with a 60% off coupon – $5.99 (reg. $9.99)
RHSS jumbo skein with a 40% off coupon – $4.79 (reg. $7.99)
8 regular skeins of RHSS with a 30% off coupon – $2.44 each (reg. $3.49)
2 Big Twist value at 25% off – $2.39 each (reg. $3.19)

Total savings $17.18

After that I decided to go back to Michael’s and got this stuff.

Michael’s

3 skeins Craft Smart with 20% off coupon – $2.39 each (reg. $2.99)
2 skeins Caron Simply Soft at 2 for $5 & 20% off coupon – $2 each (reg. $4.49)
Impeccable BIG! on sale for $7 and 20% off coupon – $5.61 (reg. $9.99)

Total savings $11.09

I spent $54 including tax on 18 skeins of yarn, mostly in colors I didn’t already have.

Now the question is where am I going to put it all?