Saturday, April 30, 2011

Get in the Hole

Fear Bob Barker
Are you a golfer? Do you enjoy a golf movie? If you do you are not alone.

Millions of people share your love of the drama on the green. Some of the most memorable comedies of all time have centered around this gentleman's sport, often finding humor in the not-so-gentlemanly behavior of some characters.

According to, here are the top golf movies ever made:

  1. Caddyshack (1980) 
  2. Legend of Bagger Vance, The (2000) 
  3. Greatest Game Ever Played, The (2005) 
  4. Happy Gilmore (1996) 
  5. Tin Cup (1996) 
  6. Dead Solid Perfect (1988) 
  7. Bobby Jones, Stroke of Genius (2004) 
  8. Gentleman's Game, A (2001) 
  9. Pat and Mike (1952) 
  10. Miracle on the 17th Green (1999) 
  11. Who's Your Caddy? (2007) 
  12. Caddyshack II (1988) 
What is your all time fave? You can include movies with golf scenes but are not about golf:

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Official Announcement

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Time to Change

It was inevitable. My website was going to have to change in a major way. Not that I dont love all of you who follow me so loyally, just the opposite is true. I want to very much to give you the best website possible that I have been working feverishly to figure out how best to serve you.

Great Scott! I have found the answer!

Like many of you out there, I am a sports widow. I adore my husband, but I am NOT a fan of watching sports on TV. How do you survive this life of spousal fandom? Lets take the journey together. Maybe we will even learn to appreciate the down-time a little :)

If you are ready to take the wild ride, please sign up for my email newsletter. I will be contacting everyone when the big re-launch happens, and may even have some great surprises!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Top Shop: Waste of Money

You are a crafter. You have a shop on etsy where you sell your handmade creations. You sell a few items a week/month, enough to pay for your supplies and listing fees with maybe a little something extra.

Does this description fit you to a tee? Then it is time for you to make a decision: 
are you a crafter or an entrepreneur?

Hand Stenciled Shirt by Verbing
This is how I answered that question for myself:

  • Do you seek out anything and everything that might help you learn to make your shop a success?
  • Do you subscribe to newsletters of blogs featuring articles on making your shop work?
  • Do you check your shop stats often to see what new ideas have worked for you?
  • Do you imagine yourself working full time on your shop?
If you said yes to these questions, you may have the right stuff. Sometimes it takes a little more then you can find online for free to make it as a crafting entrepreneur. You can find that online for prices ranging from $4 to $1000, depending on how much help you think you need.

If you are not putting this effort in already, chances are these programs are a waste of money for you. Enjoy your moderate success. You may stumble upon sales without effort, and you will definitely enjoy making your products, but you will not have wasted your time and money on these serious programs. 

Still interested? I will be sure to highlight some of my favorite programs over the next few weeks.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Geekly Weekly: Greatest Treasury Ever Sold

So you say you want to sell on etsy but your not sure how to get noticed. How about borrowing a little brand recognition from some of the big boys? What is good for us is also good for the brands. Being a "pop icon" means that people will buy anything and everything related to their product. We keep the brand fresh and creative while reminding shoppers that they can still buy the official products in stores.

Or at least that is what I keep telling myself about my golf club covers....

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Yarn Goes Gangsta

I am a fiber artist. I have chosen yarn as my medium and my finished products are works of art.

Like many children of the 80's in NYC, I grew up surrounded by some of the great graffiti artists of all time. Haring and Basquet who both started their careers as graffiti artists, transformed the urban landscape.

What an amazing time to live in when 2 movements have converged and have made such a substantial impact on the world. "Yarn Bombing", as the graffiti is called, can be seen all over. Now a documentary is being made to draw more attention to the artists behind it.

Check out this video, and if you feel moved to donate, you can find more information on doing that here:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Right Tool For The Job

Wood Knitting Needles by Baahurrah
There are many similarities between knitting and golf. One of the most important is using the right tools for the job. As a golfer I would never pick up a driver to putt a few feet, and as a knitter I wouldn't use aluminum straights to knit socks.

So how do you learn what is the right tool for the job? Well in both cases, it is a combination of advice and experience.

When I first began knitting, I was told that the easiest thing to learn on was bamboo. You are less likely to drop stitches because of its "sticky" nature. I loved knitting on them and began investing in bamboo needles in every size. Now I have a collection of needles I barely use. Why? Because once I got past the learning stage, I found out that aluminum needles are a lot "faster" and lighter.

So now its your turn, what have you learned in your craft from experience? 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Top Shop: 13 billion dollars

Handpainted Wooden Pin by StudioFludd
You are not alone in the crafting universe, but if you are making a living at it as your full time job, you are definitely in the minority. According to CODA (craft organization development association), 127,000 people in the US list craft artist as their primary occupation. This, of course, does not include 26,000 painters and sculpters, 137,000 photographers, and all those people who do it on the side.

So why try? The craft business in this country generates $13,800,000,000 in revenue annually. That includes supplies sold and finished products. The average gross income of a crafter is $76,000. That is a pretty nice number for getting to do what you love. 79% work from a home based studio, so you would get to work in your pajamas. 52% of their sales are direct to their customers. That is the one that I found most amazing.

More then half of professional crafter's sales come from selling directly to their customers.

That means you control your own fate. The harder you work towards your goal, the more likely you are to achieve it. Work harder, work smarter, keep your eyes on the prize.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Geekly Weekly: 4 Questions

Passover begins tonight. My favorite part of the tradition has to be the youngest child asking the four questions. In reality, there are 5 questions, something I have never quite understood. Maybe I should add that question to the list this year, making the total 6. Those questions can really add up!

ANYWAY... this week's collection was inspired by the great questions of geek culture. Do you know the answer to life, the universe and everything?

Saturday, April 16, 2011

For Those Rainy Weekends

Wall Decal by DesignUnited
You made a tee time but sadly the weather decided not to cooperate. Get that golfing fix you need in the comfort of your home... online. Check out these sites that offer online games geared towards you fans of the links.

You have any sites you frequent?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Simple Knit: the Bunny Square

It is often easy to forget how much fun it is to just whip a project up in no time at all. Well, most of my projects take about a day for me to make so maybe I am not the person who should be making that statement, but it doesn't make it any less true!

My Finished Bunny
While knitting at a Girl Scout meeting, some of the other moms asked if I would be willing to teach them how to work the needles. I was excited at the idea of turning new people on to this ancient art and excitedly accepted the challenge.

Now what would a new knitter want to make?

I remember knitting my first scarf. It felt like it went on FOREVER. A bookmark is just not enough time to get the hang of what you are doing. A washcloth, who wants to make one of those...

A Bunny Square!

I found a great blog that had a nice, easy pattern. I did a run through. I am ready to teach these newbees how to knit.

Just in time for Easter, knit up a bunny in about an hour. I am sure I am going to make more :)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Top Shop: Stats that will blow your mind

Agnes by CricketandBear
63% of us decide NOT to buy a product advertised on the Internet because we think the shipping and handling charges add too much to the order.*

80% of Americans say giving personal information (especially their credit card information) over the Internet scares the living sh#t out of them.*
*stats from home business for beginners

Do these blow your mind? Both directly effect you if you sell your handmade creations online. So how do you deal with these major obstacles to selling on the Internet? Here are some ideas:
  1. Offer free or at cost shipping. You can add a little to the price of the item if you are concerned about the loss of money, but you may make the difference up in volume anyway.
  2. You can offer free shipping as a coupon code in your shop announcement. People who were smart enough to browse your whole shop will benefit.
  3. Use services like paypal to accept credit cards and offer to take other forms of payment too.
  4. Be sure to indicate in your store policies that you do not share personal information and have no hidden fees, then keep to your word.
Now you can get to work chipping away at that large percentage of scaredy-cats. What have you tried to quell those shoppers fears?

Monday, April 11, 2011

What's New?

Have something amazingly cool and new in your shop this week? Share here!

1) please dont post more then one item
2) please only post items that went up on etsy this week
3) please share this page everywhere :)

Geekly Weekly: Hop To It

What does a bunny have to do with the resurrection of Christ? Well, whatever the reason we worship these little rodents, they are as much a part of the holiday as the eggs they bring. So lets celebrate EB's brethren; The White Rabbit, The Beast of Caerbannog ...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

In The Press

have you seen me someplace before? Check out some of the amazing places I have been featured:

Features and Interviews
CNBC: A Shore Thing
MSN: Superbowl Kids Bash
Lil Sugar: Superbowl Gear For Babies
Handmadeology: Handmade Top 10: Geekery

Etsy and Paypal Stats Analysis
Organize Your Craft Space
Video Knitting Tutorials and a Free Pattern

Friday, April 8, 2011

Something New

Sneaker Baby Booties Pattern by Traceyknits
It has been a while (well for me anyway) since I wrote up a successful new pattern. You can imagine how I felt today when i completed work on a brand new pair of baby booties that i created entirely out of my imagination. 

Making things for babies is a joy I share with many knitters. Besides the fact that it is so nice to see their cute little bodies in our handmade creations, most projects are so small that they can take you little more then a day to complete. Even with creating this project from scratch, I was able to knit, type it up and photograph it in about 4 hours.

I have already posted the pattern for sale, and the original pair will be going to a very sporty young man who will be born this May. He will also have a very cute matching football helmet to wear this winter.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Geek Craft: Foam Lightsaber

Buy them on Etsy from Crich
I know, normally my crafts are sports themed, but I found this project and could not resist. My son is OBSESSED with playing with his hard plastic lightsaber. i have gotten knocked by that thing playing with him one too many times. Wouldn't it be nice to be hit with something soft and still be able to enjoy playing with my little guy? Thank goodness someone thought of this!

Makes 2 lightsabers

1 - Foam Pool Noodle
Black Duct Tape
Silver Duct Tape
Utility Knife

for the full instructions, check out the Jedi Broad Squad.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Lets Craft Geekly

Star Wars Craft Book by Bonnie Burton
I should have been the one to write this book. Sadly, I am not, but I am excited to see all the great new ideas Bonnie Burton collected to share with us geeky crafters.

My fave so far? It has to be the Chewbacca Sock Puppet. Don't have the skills to knit yourself one of my golf club covers, this is the next best thing. Personally, Chewbacca is my least favorite of all my patterns, mostly because I am not a fan of fun fur, so this seemed like an amazing alternative.

Also, try out the Talz Snow Globe. Who doesn't love a clever snow globe?

Want to try out some sample projects? Amazon has generously posted these 4 patterns on their website.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Top Shop: What's The Big Idea?

Dancing Bear Golf Club Covers by TraceyKnits on Etsy
I am super excited that I found my big idea. In the way that Steve Martin was when he discovered his "Special Purpose" in The Jerk, I now know what it is I bring to the world through my work. How did I come upon it? Well, I was hoping you would ask me that :)

While Watching Kathy Lee and Hoda the other day, the show had a feature on fashions in sports clothing. So far, right up my alley right? A lot of the outfits were very new designs for running, tennis, etc... then there was golf. The golfer was wearing something super-sexy and cool; something I would love to wear on the course but KNOW I would never see on any of the golfers I know. The thought got in my mind, why do these golfers take themselves so seriously? Why is their equipment and clothing so serious? What I love most about my golf club covers is that they are light-hearted and fun; not so serious. Soooooo...

I am putting play back in the game.

Yay! My big idea!

Everyone needs a big idea that drives their company. Some call it a moto, others a slogan. It is imperative to the success of your shop that you know why you do what you do. It is one of the reasons your customers choose your shop over others that may offer similar items. Reebok and Nike both have sneakers, but Nike has "Just Do It", a slogan that has brought them success beyond their competitors.

Now my customers will know why they should choose my shop; I will make their golf game more fun by the addition of my club covers.

Do you know your big idea? Share it in the comments below.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Geekly Weekly: Talk to the Hand

If you follow me on twitter, you got to know me a little better a few days ago as I participated in the #100factsaboutme. One of the things I neglected to share is my obsession with hands. I have a collection of them on my fireplace mantle and I have done numerous paintings of them. So no disrespect, but you need to talk to the hand...

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Top Shop: the twitter experiment (part 2)

All You Need Is Love by AbbieRoad
If you didn't read Part 1, you can check it out here.

Now on to Part 2...

It was a total failure! I am terrible at scheduling myself to do anything. Even when I have it written in a calendar it will often go undone unless I FEEL like it.

Day 1, 2, 3... I tweeted a link to my shop, when I remembered, then didn't do it at the same time the next day. Then I lost interest in the experiment. So goes the life of an adult with ADD.

There is a lesson to be learned here.

  1. play to your strengths. If it is not in your nature to work on a schedule like that every day, don't force yourself. Nothing important can come from your struggle.
  2. twitter, while it is a wonderful free tool for promotion, is not the be-all end-all. What works for some wont for others.
  3. Yes, I do get small jumps in traffic from twitter, but a large portion of the traffic to my shop is from google searches. That I learned on google analytics.

anyone else want to try the twitter experiment and let me know how it turns out for them?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Tao of Purl

Scarf by SusanNeedleHands
Sometimes I stumble upon articles that I just have to share. This is one of those times.

Caitlin Spaulding has brought to our attention the growing trend of both meditation and knitting, and how the two have so much in common. She writes:
The formation of a stitch, the repetition of a pattern, the recitation of a mantra, the deliberation of a walking meditation, the creation of a mandala: all of these are examples of the inherent and beneficial repetitive aspects of knitting and Buddhism.
So check out her full article on her blog: Out of the Rocking Chair 

Friday, April 1, 2011

Lets Make a Dress: my inspiration

Everyone (by that I mean some people) has a moment when they start to feel like they are old and ugly. I KNOW I'm not old or ugly but have been having that moment a lot recently. Mother of 2, closer to 40 then 30, couldn't get into my skinny clothes if i tried. And what makes me feel better when I am in that funk? Proving myself wrong.

I do actually have an occasion I needed to go shopping for. My BIL's wedding is at the end of this summer. I also happened to have a nice sized gift card to a fancy local dress shop. So there was in fact a reason for me to be trying on this stunning piece.

The dress (shown on the left) is by Roberto Cavalli. It retails for $2500. Let me say that again, $2500!!! even with my nice gift card, there was no way I was taking that dress home.

So what does a crafty girl do in this situation? Why i took a REALLY good look at the dress, headed over to the fabric store, bought something that I liked, drew out a pattern and got to work!

I will be posting the pattern and pictures when I am done, whether or not it turns out the way I plan...