Small Business

Spring Cleaning!

Do you guys remember what this means? Two years ago in spring, I was breaking up with my ex and I threw away, sold, or donated about 60% of my things.

Last year, with no special circumstance, I got rid of a ton of stuff again.

And this year is no different!

I’ve already purged my shop of things I didn’t love, listings for items I no longer had, and added new items that I kept putting off.

I’ve donated a ton more stuff, and I’m still finding things to sell or donate.

Right now I’m taking a good hard look at my books. I have so many books that I loved once upon a time but now they’re just taking up space. Time to let so many of them go.

I’ve also got fabrics I’m not going to use that I’m working on listing for sale. Some are full yardages, and others are project leftovers. I’d like to be able to organize the remaining fabrics into my drawers neatly, and have an entire drawer available for collecting things for swaps.

I’m also thinking about painting again. I have that event coming up in two weeks (see my last post) and it would be cool to have a few fun paintings to try to sell.

Tomorrow I’m thinking about looking at my ring blanks and maybe doing something with those. Maybe some glitter encrusted polymer clay “stones” set into them. I have some glitter that will look just like an opal!

New Products Being Added!

After my big cleanup and removal of a bunch of products which were donated or taken apart to be remade, I’m spending today adding new products that I never uploaded to the site.

First up is a random collection of kids’ bracelets. There’s 3 sets of 10 available!

I’ve also added 15+ sets of hair clips with crocheted flowers (and one set with hearts!) today. These are really cute and suitable for little ones or adults!

I still have a ton of very pretty bracelets to upload but I need to compare my current inventory to what’s actually online. Adding each listing takes time and I would hate to accidently create a duplicate of something that’s already up.

So stay tuned, and maybe pop back in after the weekend to see everything I’ve added! There’s also new coupons being added to go with the new products!

And as always, coupon code LSG will get you an additional 10% off!

Some Personal Stuff

I know you’ve all seen the meme that pops up around Thanksgiving about how when you buy from a small business, you’re helping someone pay for college, or their kid’s music lessons, or whatever. And its true. All of us little sellers are busting our humps to make that few extra dollars to pay off debt faster, or put necessities on the table every night, or help our kids succeed in school. I’m no different.

I’m a 37 year old, disabled woman living with her mom because right now, the amount of debt I have doesn’t allow me to live anywhere else. But every purchase you make from my shop lets me chip away at my debt a little faster, and puts me a little nearer to realizing my long-term goals.

What are those goals? There’s honestly pretty simple. I want to pay off my debt. Buy a 2 acre patch of dirt, fence it, have water and power brought in, and have some sort of inexpensive housing- a mobile home or a smallish (6-or-700 square foot) house. And then I can live there with my pups.

I’m also attempting to get back into the workforce. If I’m successful, I can pay off my debt faster and move my goals up even more. Right now I’m looking at paying off the smallest chunk of my debt this December. The next smallest will be the year after that, and the biggest the year after that. I owe a little in student loans, which is currently deferred (and the state pays my interest) and will be the last thing I pay off. Then I can start saving for a down payment on my piece of dirt. 🙂

Whew! What A Crazy Night!

I discovered last night that my shipping module was no longer functioning, and some quick research showed me it probably had not worked correctly through a couple major updates of my shop software. Of course it would be infinitely helpful to receive occasional feedback when things aren’t working like they should, but that’s neither here nor there. The important thing is I found a new, even easier to configure shipping module and things are working again like they should.

Sadly, I checked the current rates for international shipping and have decided to suspend shipping outside of the USA. It’s just way too expensive for the value of the items I make.

I have a busy day tomorrow outside of the house, but I’m hoping to get a few new items added to the shop when I get home. Nothing big, but they are really fun items that I hope you will enjoy.

Do You Like To Haggle?

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.

Craft Fair & Chili Cook-Off! Come See Me!

Saturday night I will be at the Antelope Valley Indian Museum selling my makes at the craft fair and chili cook-off. There will be a campfire, cowboy singer, chili cook-off, coffee, and cocoa! You can download the flyer for distribution and more details here, HotH Flyer 15.

Chili, Crafters, and Cowboy Songs at “Holidays on the Homestead”

Visit the Antelope Valley Indian Museum on Saturday, December 5th from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. for an old-time country Christmas celebration! Originally a 1930’s homestead, the historic grounds will be decorated in vintage holiday style with live acoustic music around a campfire, a chili cook-off, tours of the grounds, a country craft boutique, real cowboy coffee brewed over the fire, and hot chocolate or cider for the kids! Explore the unique hand-built museum and whimsical grounds at night with soft lighting and the smell of fresh greenery, and the wintery sky sparkling over the desert.

Stay warm around the blazing bonfire while cowboy singer Michael Tcherkassky, “The Saddle Serenader”, croons the romantic poetry about life on the range that cattlemen composed by day during their journeys across the old west, and was then shared around the campfire when the sun went down. Michael has performed traditional cowboy songs and poetry for many years at the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival and other events around the country.

The country craft boutique features one-of-a-kind handmade gifts. The crafters carry on the artistic spirit of Howard Arden Edwards, who built the Indian Museum to house his collection of American Indian artifacts. The Craftsman-style building is decorated with his colorful representations of Indian culture and creative hand-made furniture. This is a great opportunity to support local artists and find unique gifts!

Rose Edwards was known for her tasty rib-sticking chili and cornbread feasts at their holiday celebrations. Try Rose’s original 1930 Christmas chili recipe and the chili cook-off entries, complemented by delicious cornbread generously provided by The Lemon Leaf Café.  Our 2015 judge will be ranger Colin Daxon, who recently joined the department.

Event admission is $10 for adults, $5 for ages 6-12, and ages 5 and under are free. This event is a fundraiser for the non-profit Friends of the Antelope Valley Indian Museum, which provides funding to help keep the museum open.

A Teeny Tiny Preemie Beanie

Friday I decided to work on a project using the scant remains of a skein of yarn I had. The knitting bug has bitten me hard to say the least but I’m having so much fun with it! This yarn was the leftovers from my very short lived attempt at crocheting, and it also made up some of the stripes (about 1/4th of them) in my practice scarf. There wasn’t a lot left, so I decided to make a preemie-sized baby beanie with it. Apparently I judged the size of my project well because there was literally only about 18″ of yarn left after I finished it!

It turned out really well and I’m quite pleased with it. I’ve added it to my shop for purchase , so you can see it by clicking the link above. I plan on doing another one Saturday while Mattie is out with his dad and probably while he is playing video games or if we watch TV. Its such an easy project to do and doesn’t take a lot of effort to do it.

I did need some help is figuring out how many stitches I needed to cast on as well as the size of people’s heads at different ages, but I found these two really helpful pages.

Bev’s Size Charts, which gives head dimensions by age and sex, as well as finished item approximate dimensions. Super helpful!

Earth Guild’s Simple Hat Calculator,  which has a handy chart for how many stitches you need to cast on depending on your knit size and the size head you want to fit. Its really easy to adjust the chart downwards into the preemie sizes mentioned in the first link as well with simple subtraction.

I told my friend Christy she helped create a monster in answering all my knitting questions so far. I’ve officially completed two projects, and I ordered some yarn from Amazon Thursday night as well as another circular needle all of which will be arriving over the next few days.

Working Working Working!

LB1I’ve been working on new projects and new items for my shop, and working on promoting my social media profiles for Kittyloaf Designs more. Its something I only seem to do sporadically, because honestly making all these posts, comments, and whatever else is a lot of work. I use Hoot Suite to help me out, letting me pre-schedule various posts and updates as I think of them, spreading them out over a few days at a time. It really does help because I can manage these things as I have time, cross post to different social networks, and not have to do the same thing 3 times manually. One click (or there about) and its done!

My Google+ page for Kittyloaf Designs suffers the worst. I have literally 3 followers on there and its because I almost never use Google+. Why? Because I do most of my social networking in the evenings from my mobile devices, and the Google+ app only shows me content that is 10 days old and older. I can’t find any settings that relate to this, and I’ve tried reinstalling the app, but its always the same old 10 day old stuff for me.

Anyway, I’ve added two new beading patterns, and their related finished products to my shop. They are my new Deadpool earrings, and my Mario star earrings and patterns. Over the next few days I have some other ideas to work on, so stay tuned!

Shop

Coupons apply automatically- no need to add a code!

(unless you’re really special and have been given one)

Current Coupons Include : Save 25% when you buy 2 or more magnets * Save 17% when you buy 2 or more hair clip sets * Free shipping in the USA when you spend $100+ * Buy 5 of my unique digital patterns & save $5 * Spend $31 on skull items and save 13%

About Kittyloaf Designs

You’ve come to this page to learn more about me and my work at Kittyloaf Designs, or at least I hope that’s why you’re here!

I started doing beadwork as a teenager after remembering a brief flirtation with a beading loom as a child. For a while I was trying everything – peyote stitching over small objects, clumsy brick stitch designs, and I even tried my hands at French beaded flowers which led me to the knowledge that working with wire is not for me. I do, as a result, have a tiny pot of flowers I made which sit next to my TV.

Then I decided to learn to sew. I was better at beading, but I didn’t know anything about sewing. My grandmother showed me a little, but it was when I took a class to better learn the basics at our local JC that things really clicked for me. I sew most of my new clothes, plus make awesome accessories. I recently bought a serger as well and I love it!

Working with polymer clay and resin came next and I occasionally do a little cross stitch as well.  I also learned to knit and crochet and I cannot get enough of crochet! In the first few months of crocheting, I did 3 blankets, two of which were queen sized! You can find some of my yarn craft for sale here.

Besides all of my crafting, I also went to school for graphic design and I occasionally sell craft supplies like sewing and beading patterns, books, and handmade polymer clay beads. I’m currently attending school again to become an MLT.

If you see something you want, grab it fast! Most of my items are one of a kind and I can;t or won’t make them again.

I’m located in Lancaster, CA. I have 2 pups named Yuba and Tejon and a cat named Mildred. I also keep an aquarium. Kittyloaf Designs is so named in memory of my cat Lucky. Though I only had him for about three years, he made a very lasting impression on me and is greatly missed. You can read more about Lucky here.