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21  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Get Product and Website Opinions / Re: What have I done wrong? :( on: March 27, 2006 09:57:45 AM
Web sites need constant promotion.  Get out there on every site you can find and talk about your whales.  Or get happy customers to mention your site. 

Build a mailing list (past customers, friends, visitors) and send them a notice every 2 or 3 months about something new. 

Send press releases to local newspapers, your almuni publication, and any other newspaper or magazine that could possibly have an interest in you. Include a photo. 

Set up reciprocal links with other toy makers. 

Are you near a seacoast?  Maybe you could get some gift shops to carry your whales.  Add a hangtag that includes your URL. 

Your whales are wonderful!

22  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Re: Paying Yourself for Your Time on: March 27, 2006 09:50:23 AM
This may be the time for your to raise your prices.  When people sell their hobby crafts, they often price them just high enough to cover material costs.  But the value of crafts has little to do with the material.  It's all about the creativity and the skill.

Take a look at what high end specialty shops ask for items like yours.  When you're selling, empasize the orginality and uniqueness. 

I want to add to Lynn's solid advice.  Keep track of how much time you put into each item (or each batch) so that you can make sure your prices reflect the effort.  If you find that certain items are bringing you more revenue per hour, you'll focus on those. 

23  REUSING/RECYCLING/RECRAFTING / What the heck can I do with THIS? / Re: huge box of left over leather bits in all colors on: March 27, 2006 08:12:37 AM
If you sew, you can also use leather scraps to trim things.
   bound buttonholes
   leather pockets - add a tiny pocket inside a jacket
   closures for bags
   knot a strip to make a button
   cut out shapes or letters and applique them to your clothes

Make a tiny change purse.

24  REUSING/RECYCLING/RECRAFTING / What the heck can I do with THIS? / Re: old jeans on: March 24, 2006 11:16:45 AM
It depends.  If the marker says "permanent" on the side, it won't come out in the wash.  But the color may change if it's not a Sharpie or something designed for fabric.  You could test it on a scrap of fabric.  Wash it and see what happens.

25  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / The Craftster Guide to Nifty, Thrifty, and Kitschy Crafts / Re: My First Book Signing! (well... sorta...) on: March 24, 2006 11:07:40 AM
Congratulations!  This is a great way to practice for your book tour.  Librarians rock!

26  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Re: To Wash or NOT to Pre-Wash...THAT is the question on: March 24, 2006 10:50:47 AM
Anyone prewash their ribbon?

Oh yes!  Ribbon is pretty unpredictable.  Cheap or expensive, it may run, shrink, or ripple. 

27  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Re: Bolero....a Lavonne Best pattern on: March 24, 2006 10:45:03 AM
I found Lavonne's URL  (and I bought the bolero pattern)


This pattern is amazing.  There are a bunch of variations and it includes a wide range of sizes.

28  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Discussion and Questions / Re: To Wash or NOT to Pre-Wash...THAT is the question on: March 24, 2006 09:48:17 AM
My rule is that if an item is likely to be washed ever in its lifetime, you should pre-wash the fabric.  If there's any fading, running, shrinking, ravelling, etc, it's better to get it overwith.  I'm usually pretty brutal - washing in hot water and drying on a hot setting.  If the fabric can't take that, I don't want to use it.

I almost always throw a Color Catcher or Dye Magnet in the wash.  It's a piece of cloth that picks up all the stray color.  You can sometimes find them in the laundry section of a grocery store or in a fabric store.  

29  REUSING/RECYCLING/RECRAFTING / What the heck can I do with THIS? / Re: silver bracelets on: March 23, 2006 07:52:11 AM
They work well as handles for small purses. 

30  REUSING/RECYCLING/RECRAFTING / What the heck can I do with THIS? / Re: *gorgeous tie dyed silk ribbon scraps* on: March 02, 2006 11:03:18 AM
If you still can't get us photos, how about more info.  How wide are they?  Sheer silk or more solid?  Are the colors pale or intense? 

How about scattering little bows around a skirt, a jacket, or even curtains.  Just stitch the center of ech scrap onto your garment - a tiny hand stitch will do.  Then tie the ribbon in a bow, or just a knot.  You may want to cut the ends at an angle to pretty it up. 

If the pieces are fairly narrow, you can weave some of them, maybe mounting on a piece of lining fabric.  Then use your little woven piece as a pocket on a bag or a garment. 

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