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 was struck by an idea this evening for a simple way to display the necklaces I’ve made for my shop rather then just having them all stuffed into a drawer. My solution? It cost me $5 and about 15 minutes.

Remember my bench rebuilding project? I had a piece of wood left over from that that was 34″ long- which was only 2″ shorter than I initially planned on, and sawing wood down to smaller pieces with a hand saw sucks, so I went with it like it was instead of cutting a larger piece down.

Then I popped over to Lowe’s, bought a package of screws (I only needed 2) to mount the board to the wall, and spent another $3.58 on a package of 40 7/8″ rounded, semi-circular screw hooks. I drilled a hole near each end for the mounting screws, and one hold down the middle every 1.5″ to screw a hook into. Remember when drilling your pilot holes to make them a size smaller in the wood then the actual screw is.

Then I screwed it into the wall and hung up all the necklaces! Easy, and fast! You could of course paint or stain the wood (I might spray it white later on) but I just put it up as is.

First things first. I have a lot more yarn them I need and I keep acquiring more. I just flew home yesterday from Washington state and in my bag was 11 new skeins of yarn, from two different but wonderful yarn shops. I stopped at So Much Yarn first and later at Maker’s Mercantile and neither one was disappointing. Both received 5 star reviews from me on Yelp and on their Facebook pages.

I also ordered some more yarn online while I was on my trip and it will be arriving early next week. What else did I order? A shelving unit that better suits my needs and takes up a bit less floor space in my craft room.

This morning I grabbed a screw driver and a hammer and built the unit and started loading it up. I put all my sewing and crafting books into two of the spaces, and the rest will be dedicated to yarn.

image

The bottom left square has my luxury / natural fiber yarns, and the top two /middle ones with yarn is my Red Heart Super Saver. I was able to take my skeins I had stored in totes out and put them on display. The bottom middle and two empty spaces will hold the Caron Simply Soft I ordered when it arrives.

image

I was able to spread this yarn out more and arrange it better by type and brand. The two uppermost left are all Charisma yarn, which is my favorite bulky, and the two next to them in the middle is all Bernat Softee which has lovely colors but I’ve honestly not yet used. The second one from bottom on the right is all my sock yarn. I have tons and still haven’t tried knitting socks… Lol.

Of course what I really need to do in there is vacuum the carpet and clean off my tables but I’ll do that later… Eventually… One day? Lol

I just can’t win lately when it comes to ordering things online. About a month ago, I placed two orders on Amazon with private sellers, both based somewhere in China. I’ve not had any real issues in the past so thought nothing of it. One order was for a selection of crochet hooks, 12 of them, in sizes 3mm through 10mm. I really wanted that 10mm hook. I ordered the set for that 10mm hook. The other order was for a 4 pack of a small compartmentalized containers.

After a few weeks I received my package with ONE container in it. Just one. I contacted the seller and asked where the other three were. They said it would be several weeks but I would get the other three shipped out as soon as possible. I got my second package from them yesterday. It had ONE container in it. I emailed them again asking where the other two are at. I’m seriously frustrated because knowing these were going overseas, you’d think they would be more careful in getting an order right because shipping takes up a lot of time. But no. I’m still two containers short. I got an email from them today saying they were out of stock and will send the other two immediately. I’m not holding my breath though. Is it that hard to say we are out of stock and will send then as its possible to do so, or offer a partial refund?

I received another package yesterday as well, this one from the crochet hook people. Did it contain my 10mm hook? No. It contained 11 hooks ranging from 2.75mm to 8mm. So now I have a freakish number of really tiny hooks, and still no 10mm that I really wanted in the first place. I left less then stellar feedback, and also stated on my review that the hooks were fine, but the seller, as many other buyers have stated, doesn’t seem able to deliver a 10mm hook no matter what happens. At this rate I give up and will just find a 10mm hook here locally so I am guaranteed to get the damned thing. After I left not so stellar feedback for the seller, I was offered a refund without return. I’ll take it, but damn it I just wanted that one stupid hook!

I’ll let the pictures do the talking this time!

This tiny little closet space is perfect for my fabric and scrap storage! Snug as a bug! #sewing #fabric #storage #stash

A photo posted by Debra Leigh Wilson (@kittyloafdesigns) on

What I did on Tuesday… in pictures.

dressshirt

IMAG0174

patternsbox scraps superpurse

I did a few other things as well Tuesday, like separating my buttons roughly by color, and today I’ll be deciding what to do with another small box of patterns I dug up in my craft room while I was cleaning up, as well as finishing up the twin to the comic book purse, cutting out my cousin’s daughter’s tablet case pieces, and working on re-doing my friend’s Kindle case that I screwed up. I also may be making a clutch from a new pattern I just came up with, but not sure yet. At the very least I’d like to do some cutting for future sewing.

italfabric-110x110Years and years ago, I had this fun (yet rather odd) novelty fabric. I was on a food-themed fabric kick, and decided to make a skirt. This is the fabric I used, along with McCall’s 5330 View B for the pattern. Its got bread, pasta, olive oil, cheese, grapes, and a few other things, with text in Italian. The pattern I decided to use was one I regretted afterwards, as my weight at the time gave me more of a belly than was good to have (is any belly good to have?) and the three box pleats at the front of the skirt accentuated the bulge. It just was not a good fit or a good style, and now that I’ve pulled it out of my closet at my mom’s, I’m also seeing what a fantastically bad job I did at sewing it. :sick:

Tonight I continued on my trek through my old sewing, tearing it almost all the way down, ripping out all the seams except for the center back one because it actually looks okay and I don’t think I’ll need to rip it out to make any real modifications. I did have to rip out the zipper though as I’ll have to re-size the waistband dramatically so it had to come off too.

I tried the skirt on before ripping it apart (but did I take photos of it before? Nope.) and its at least 2 full sizes too big, and those pleats in front are really uneven and just badly done. The plan is to take off about an inch from each edge of front and back at the sides, remove excess fabric from the waistband, cut a second waistband piece to sandwich this piece with and cut interfacing to match for added stability. I’m also going to redo the pleats, but not box pleats- just normal pleats- I don’t know what you would call them, so I can at last make them look good and even without a lot of fuss and bother. Either way, I am hoping to add another wearable skirt to my wardrobe before the weekend is over, though I’m not quite sure what I will wear with it. I do have one black tank top I think.

shelf

 

I also did some work on cleaning up and organizing my craft room Wednesday night. I bought (from Closetmate) a 6 foot shelf with the hanger rod below it and installed it all by myself. I’m especially proud of this because I only screwed it up a little, kind of smashing one of the wall mounts with the hammer, and setting another one about 1/3rd of an inch too low so its not really doing much unless I put some serious weight on the shelf. I’m currently waiting on some file boxes to arrive so I can organize my patterns that are for sale and stack them neatly on the shelf, along with all of my beading and sewing books and catalogs.

As of right now, the shelf has all of my books, but none of the catalogs on it, and that huge pile of clothes on the end of my sewing table are temporarily folded and stacked on the other end of the shelf. I’m hoping to find some plastic hangers for cheap at the thrift store this weekend so I can hang up the clothes I have listed for sale, as well as the clothing that are in various stages of repair or being re-made.

I’ve also spent some time in there doing some dusting and general cleaning, as the window doesn’t seal properly and a lot of dust and dirt ends up all over my beading table’s back edge.