Sunday, January 29, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up ~ Showers & Knitting

This week has been particularly busy and it's only going to get busier from here! In the last 7 days I have had a wedding Coastie shower, second dress fitting, photography class, a fraudulent charge on my credit card and lots and lots of knitting! I haven't gotten quite as much knitting as I would have liked this week but I am gonna keep this post short so I can really tackle some yardage on my projects today :)

I was very blessed and excited to have my very first wedding shower yesterday. This shower was a little different than your usual shower in that this was all about meeting my new Coastie wife family! It was so much fun getting to know the girls that I will be moving around the country with in my adventure of being a military wife. They were all wonderful and I am so glad to join the clan. 

My second dress fitting was a surprise all in itself. I was planning on just trying it on and bringing it home but of course that would have been easy. I ended up having to have it taken in (which I wasn't originally doing) and re-doing the bustle. Now I'm totally paranoid that I'm going to gain like 2 lbs and never be able to get back into it lol! This sucker is tight. I think it will be much better (as long as I don't have any cake between now and March) though. Hopefully I will be picking it up and taking it home in a few weeks.  On the down side I realized that the veil I hand knitted in lace will not work well with my dress!!! I spent a ton of time on it and in the end the color just doesn't match my dress right so I'm just going to let that be my something "borrowed" from a friend. Looks like I may be starting my wedding veil line a little earlier than I anticipated.

As far as knitting goes I haven't popped out any new product but I sure have been knitting up a storm. I was planning on having the bearded beanie out by the end of this month but it may not be until the beginning of February before it hits the store. Here's a sneak peek of what it will look like:

I'm getting ready to close up the top and start on the beard. These really are so much fun. 

The second project I currently have on my needles is the cardigan. If any of you know anything about the shaping of a garment here's about where I am ~ I've done all the decreasing for the waist and now I am doing the increases for the chest! Pretty much means I'm a little more than half way done with the body.

At this point it's kind of hard to tell what it is but to help you out it's worked from the bottom up so the ribbing is the bottom of the cardigan and it's not quite to the area where the sleeves will be.

I am quite aware that Valentines day is coming up right around the corner. Now is a good time for you fellas to get your lady something nice and original or you ladies to treat yourself  to a little something like a hand made ear warmer:
I currently have this and 2 other colors in my store. On top of that if time permits I want to add some hand knitted jewelry to the store before then. I know, I know "hand knitted jewelry"?? Just trust me on this one, it's a good idea.

And last but not least I'm starting to post on my Twitter account! If you have a Twitter account you can find my there @Innov8iveKnits or click on the follow me button on the top right of my page! I'd love to follow you.

Hope all has had a safe and fun week. I'm off to knit!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

January's Featured Etsian ~ Aplomb Designs

As part of my goals this year I am planning to feature a fellow Etsian once a month. I found this seller while making a treasury and couldn't get over how unique and just plain adorable her products are! She did me the great pleasure of doing a little Q & A so we could all get to know her and her store a little better. I am so excited to share her wonderful answers and her great products!

First things first-
Etsy Store: Aplomb Designs (click me!)

This is such a unique product! How did you come up with the idea for it?
In my circle of friends I am the crafty or artistic one. For as long as I can remember I have always made gifts for my friends and family.  I was trying to come up with some ideas to sell for a fundraiser and came across the tails.  I knew I could do something fun with the tails and started making the leash holders.  They were a hit and I have been making them ever since.

Why did you choose Etsy for your stuff?
I have been a long time buyer on Etsy and love being able to find unique and handmade items directly from the artist who makes them. I love that personal connection. When I decided to open up an online shop I didn’t ever think about selling anywhere else, as Etsy just seemed like the perfect venue.

How long have you been doing this on and off Etsy?
I have been making my dog tail holders for about two and a half years. 

I read that you have at least 1 pet. How many pets do you have? 
I have 2 dogs; Murphy a 12 year old lab mix, who is the senior gentleman of the house and Miss Ella a 4 year old American Staffordshire Terrier mix, who is the class clown.  The pitter patter of little feet doesn't end there however; I also foster for local rescue groups, dog sit for friends and have weekly play dates with the neighbors’ dogs so you never know what dogs will be at the house.

What is your personal favorite dog tail leash you have made?
It is really hard to pick a favorite.  Custom requests are always fun and recently I put together a set of 8 tails for a customer who was decorating her bathroom with a dog theme and wanted a custom holder to use for hanging towels. 

What has been your favorite experience with creating these leash holders?
One of my favorite things is working with customers to come up with the perfect holder for their companion.  I love the interaction and how it can generate new ideas.  One of the great things that I have found being on Etsy is that the customers are wonderful. It is amazing how a simple follow up email thanking you can make your day!

Do you have one of these hanging in your home? 
More than one. I have a variety of leash holders in my house.  Over the years I have acquired a rather large collection of leashes, collars, and dog jackets (it gets cold in MN).  So I find that I am always adding more holders to house my collection.

What would you say is your "style".
I love vintage, rustic, old, antique, quirky, whimsical, eclectic things.   I think this is reflected in my personal style.  I am an avid reader of design blogs and DIY websites.

  I read in your bio that you volunteer for a Pit and Rottweiler rescue group.What are they all about?
A Rotta Love Plus is dedicated to re-homing Rottweilers and pit bulls in Minnesota, raising breed awareness, educating the public about responsible pet ownership, and advocating for the humane and equal treatment of all dogs without prejudice.

Your pet Ella is a therapy dog! How great is that! What kind of therapy do you guys do?
Miss Ella and I volunteer on a regular basis at a children’s home that serves at risk youth.  Miss Ella has a big personality and is very exuberant so we have found that working with kids is a perfect fit. We also do programs with schools and the Science Museum of MN.

Your profile says that "creative minds are rarely tidy..." I absolutely love this & totally agree. If people could see into my mind and see all the ideas floating around there, I swear they'd never get out. Speaking of tidy, what is your work space like?
I live in a very tiny 1930s house so there isn't a lot of extra space.  My work room is actually in the porch which is packed from floor to ceiling – it is organized but chaotic.  I would love to have a big airy space to work in someday, but for now cozy clutter will do.  As long as I have a space to create I am happy.

Does your store have anything new and/or exciting coming up in the near future you'd like to mention?
I always have ideas rumbling around in my head.  Hopefully I will have time to put them together for the next holiday season.

ApombDesigns product are so great. I love the style and that she gives the option to customize it with your pet's name or pretty much any phrase you want with Scrabble tiles! I've never seen anything like these and just as soon as Blair and I get our home after our wedding there will definitely be one on my wall. I encourage all of my dog loving readers to check her out, she has several styles to fit anyone's home style and also takes custom orders if you want something made JUST FOR YOU. Special thanks again to AplombDesigns for letting me interview her. 

You can visit her store HERE

Which is your favorite leash hook?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Treasury Tuesday ~ Green & Grey

My new favorite thing is Vera Bradley's color collection "Baroque". This is the black, grey, and green pattern. I am so drawn to everything those colors lately. I just love how they look together! This treasury revolves around those colors.

Treasury Name: Green & Grey (click me!)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up ~ Goodbye Scarf, Hello Cardigan

Mardi Gras Scarf

This week I finished and sold the last Mardi Gras scarf I will be making this season! I've been working on it for some time and was very pleased that it sold locally before I was even able to put in in the store. It was just in time though, the first Mardi Gras parade happened in town yesterday. She was able to wear it to the first parade of the season.

A lot of my time since that's been finished has been directed toward the custom cardigan. I've added quite some length to it but a project of this size won't be done overnight. I will say I am really enjoying working on it and it's coming along nicely. I really love the sheen the silk gives to the garment. 
I have added a good 6 inches since this picture was taken

After some consideration I've decided that Innov8iveKnits is getting a twitter account! It has been created but I'm not actively tweeting just yet. I'm still working out some things on it and how I want to utilize it. If you would like to get ahead of the game and follow me now you can find me there @Innov8iveKnits and I will certainly follow you back. There's also a link to follow me on the sidebar of my blog by my facebook & pinterest. I'd love to have you!

I also wanted to plug a reminder about the temporary closing of my store in March for my Wedding. The store will be closed between March 8th and the 22nd. If there is something you want to purchase soon you may want to consider doing it before then. You are more than welcome to message me during that time if you like and I will gladly return all of your messages upon my return. We are very excited about the big day and our trip to the Virgin Islands. It will be my first trip out of the United States with my brand new husband. Man that sounds weird... husband :).

On a related note to weddings I had the most awful dream last night that I forgot to bring my wedding dress to the wedding and LOST it!!! How on earth do you lose an entire wedding dress or forget to bring it?? I woke up this morning in a half heart attack state over it lol.

This weekend has been pretty icky and rainy so I've spent most of it on the couch watching my favorite TV shows and knitting away. It has been so relaxing and refreshing to spend a whole day in my pajamas doing EXACTLY what I want to do. No cleaning, no cooking, no day job just straight up knitting and doing what I want. It was fantastic and just the little break I needed.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up ~ Trip & New Endeavours

This weekend I made another visit to one of my closest friends up in Auburn. We always have such a great time together. She just found out she's having a little bundle of joy and I will be making her new addition a special blanket. I haven't started it yet and she hasn't picked out the colors but here's what the pattern will look like:
(not my picture or work - see link for details)

I think this is SO cute and I can't wait to get started on it for her!

I had a little excitement of my own this week as well - my first international order. Innov8ive Knits is officially international. That is so exciting for me. It's amazing how many people from how many places get to see my work. 

I have 2 things to thank to my special sale this week and a tremendous jump in my views & favorites. For the first time I tried out Etsy's search ads. For a reasonable amount of money I got approximately 14% more views than I would have without it. Along with that, I went through and re-did my listing titles and tags to improve my SEO (search engine optimization). It certainly made a difference in my stats this week and I'm very pleased with the results.

Another new thing that I've gotten involved in is that I'm now a proud boutique partner for Oleo O Models (click me).

 This is a great little modeling business that provides precious models in professional photographs for small business like me. I will be sending out a few of my flower clips for some of the models this coming Tuesday. The girls I chose are cuter than cute and I can't wait to see what I get back! 

I started my photography class this month and once I complete it, I plan to take a large chunk of my store photography myself on local models. I enjoy photography and being self sufficient is exciting and important. Up until this point all the photography on my site has been mine. I an excited to get some professional shoots as well as looking forward to improving my skills in photography as well.

I have a lot of things to tackle this week. Hopefully this week will be as productive as the last! 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Treasury Tuesday ~All that glitters

Anything that's shiny, glitters, or resembles ANYTHING like a diamond is my best friend. This week's Treasury Tuesday features great glittery goodies :)

Treasury: All That Glitters (click me)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up ~ Community & Big Projects

New Year's has come and come and gone; now it's back to the daily grind with a fresh new look. This week I've been tackling 2 large products and got the chance to meet a couple of local fellow Etsians.

A few days ago I started my largest custom order to date - a silk & wool and cardigan. I really can't explain how excited I am about this project! My customer has picked a LOVELY blend of yarn and a beautiful style to work with. Basically my customer asked me to re-create a cardigan she'd seen on someone else. Here's what I've done so far (only a good 4 hours of work at this point):

My other big project I'm trying to blast through to get finished in time is the Mardi Gras scarf. Mardi Gras is just around the corner and I'd love to get this out right at the start of the season. I truly love this scarf. The combination of beading and light airiness is a great representation of the holiday. Even better, the colors are muted enough to wear any time and not just Mardi Gras. I will say that this second scarf is moving along much quicker than the first one I've done. I am considering making another in this pattern but in a different colorway maybe different shades of blue, or if I can find the right yarn a blend of black, green, and grey (my absolute favorite color combo in the Vera Bradley line right now). 

Saturday morning I had the pleasure of meeting a hand full of other Etsy sellers right in my back yard. I was clueless that there were SO many people selling their hand made goodies in my area. By "my area" I mean pretty much in walking distance from my home! It is so exciting to meet in person fellow sellers! In just a little over an hour we had a chance to share a wealth of knowledge between us. It was informative and lots of fun. Here are the links to their stores. Definitely check them out - buy hand made & and local! It doesn't get much better than that.

Southern Starfish ~ Personalized canvases
BronStar Originals ~ growth charts & nursery decor
Atutudes ~ hand made tutu's for girls
Garavan ~ jewelry collage art

Friday, January 6, 2012

January Goals

Last month was the first month that I decided to start making monthly goals and I found it to be incredibly productive. Not only did it force me to think about specific improvements, it held me accountable and kept me in check. I am proud to say that almost all of the goals I set last month were completed!

In keeping with my goals, I have a cork board in my office and made a little spreadsheet that I posted on it, leaving spaces for tally marks and checks for sales, new stock, and competed goals. It became very rewarding to go to my board and add one more check or tally every time I tackled something on the list. There's something profoundly rewarding about getting to physically cross off a job completed! It turned out to be a great thing to do and I enjoy tackling a challenge with a reasonable deadline.

But this is is a new month and that means brand new goals. This month I would like to accomplish:

  • close at least 5 Sales
  • Finish 2nd Mardi Gras Scarf
  • Add at least 1 bearded beanie to Etsy store
  • Complete 1/2 of custom cardigan order
  • Add 1 featured seller a month to my blogging queue
  • Add at least 4 items to Etsy stock
  • Write blog on my new yarn storage (DIY)
My goals this month are small from a list standpoint, but the projects that I have planned this month are HUGE and time consuming so to keep it manageable and reasonable I have minimized the amount of goals. One of the biggest points of making these goals is that I set myself up for success, too much will just be stressful and disappointing.

With the new year, I know that a lot of people are becoming organized and making their own monthly or yearly goals. What's yours? I'd love to hear them!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Treasury Tuesday ~ New Year/ New Calendar

It's a brand new year and your old calendar is all full and used up. It's time to get a fresh new start, and organize in a new way! This Tuesday's treasury is all about hand made calendars! 

There's billions and billions of mass produced calendars floating around the stores this time of year. Be unique and support small business, buy an Etsy hand made calendar for one of a kind products.

Treasury: New Year, New Calendar (click me)

Some of my personal SUPER favorites are the ~ 

  • Personalized wall calendar - great for even wedding gifts with the last name on them. 
  • The wall chalkboard organizer - I have a new found small obsession with chalk board organization
  • Black dry erase calendar - clean, modern look with and the dry erase gets rid of paper waste and makes it easy to change appointments.

P.S. If you are viewing this post via feedburner (email subscription) the treasury may not be visible. Please see my full site or click the link by "Treasury:" to view.  :)

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up ~ Happy New Year

I hope that everyone had a very fun and safe new year! This week I've had some exciting things going on.

I have added the flower clip line to my Etsy Store! I have yet had the chance to get them on a model due to the holidays and crappy weather we've been having lately here in Alabama (lots of overcast) but the photos can always be changed in a listing and I really wanted to get them out there as well as meet my monthly goal of introducing them to the store!

All of these can be found in my Flower Clip Section (click me)

In addition to adding a brand new line, I've picked up a great new order that I am super stoked about... a custom made cardigan! I'm so flattered and thrilled to be asked to do one and can't wait to get started. It's going to be a simple and flowing cardigan made of a silk/wool blend. Super luxurious and super fun! 

On top of the excitement of that, my awesome fiance got me the BEST needles money can buy for Christmas: Addi clicks! This cardigan is going to be a breeze and a real pleasure to work on with my new, slick, coolest ever on the planet needles. Seriously, these are like the Royls Royce of knitting and I can't wait to put a big fat project on them.

This week I also got a new shipment of yarn. This shipment has included more fun colors for the ear warmers (red, blue, and pink), more colors for flower clips (white, red, and green), and more colors for bearded beanies ( red, grey, heather green, and orange).

 I haven't put up a bearded beanie in some time but it has moved up high in my list of things to knit so be on the look out for one of those! In new color combinations. 

AND I can't forget that I have recently been included in a treasury which is so flattering here: Waves of Color (click me)

All in all this year has been a great year. I have high hopes and many exciting things to look forward to in this coming  year including my wedding in March, and hitting the first year mark of Innov8ive Knits. I can't wait to see what else 2012 holds!

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