Thursday, December 29, 2011

Inventory Check In

Fitted Blue Crib Sheet Photo, a perfect example of a photo that needs help!
Yes, I'm slacking, I know.  The holiday's have thrown me off a bit in terms of posting new products.  I had family in town and have been trying to have some quality family time with my husband and son before we return to work after the new year.  So as a result, the bad news is I'm now 2 WEEKS behind in posting new products.  ACK!  The good news?  I have three products ready to post.  I just need to photograph them and post them.  Two are some different "permutations" of burp cloths and another is a new toddler blanket I just finished the other day. 

One thing I am currently trying to work on is improving my photography through some post-processing with Gimp ( a free photo editing software).  I've actually figured it out a bit, but it is taking me longer to have my photographs ready to post.  Such is life, it's a double edged sword!

Look for a Gimp tutorial in the next coming weeks with some basic tutorials for someone who is a bit intimidated by all those things called layers and isn't quite happy with what can be accomplished with tools like Picnik or Piscasa.  This post is going to take me some time to pull together, so patience my dear grasshoppers!

How are the rest of you doing with your inventory increase even with this holiday bump?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Lessons from Dr. Suess

I'm currently enjoying some family time.  I hope you are as well.  Hopefully your Christmas was a great one.  In the mean time, I scheduled this meandering for you reading pleasure.  Enjoy, I'll be on sporadically this week.
One of my favorite books to read my son is, Oh, The Places You'll Go!, by the good Dr. Suess.  As I was reading it to him the other day it struck me in the parallels it has to running your business.

Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
You're off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes

You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You're on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who'll decide where to go.

What better way to start your day, life, and business with some great positive words.  Dr Suess can really tell you how it is. It's a very empowering message to people.  I think it really tries to teach people personal accountability.  You are responsible for your own actions and choices.  This is something that I feel is lost on so many people in today's culture.  I think it's refreshing when I see people who still believe in personal accountability and don't believe they are entitled to anything.  Same thing goes for starting your own business.  It's up to you to succeed or fail.  You chose the line of work, you chose how it's run, you chose every details so it's on you to take it where you want. 

THAT'S scary!  Knowing that everything lives and dies by your hand is an intimidating realization.  But to me, it's empowerment.  It's my motivation.  Right now, I'm very proud of my products.  My photography, not so much.  I know there is lots of room for improvement, but my focus hasn't been on improving my photography right now.  You have to pick your battles.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen,
don't worry. Don't stew.
Just go right along.
You'll start happening too.
Right now, that battle for me is inventory.  I'm working hard to increase my inventory significantly over the coming months.  By doing so, I will increase my visibility and hopefully lead to some sales, even with my not to so hot photography.  Baby steps, right?  Rome wasn't built in a day, so I should expect my world dominance to.  (psst, that was a joke, sorta!)

You won't lag behind, because you'll have the speed.
You'll pass the whole gang and you'll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you'll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don' t
Because, sometimes, you won't.

I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

Once things start going, I know everything isn't going to be peaches and cream.  There are still going to be bumps in the road.  But as long as you take those hiccups in your business with stride, eventually you will succeed, or as Dr. Seuss says,

You'll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You'll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life's
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?

Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3 / 4 percent guaranteed.)



be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O'Shea,
you're off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So...get on your way!

So I'm off to start moving my mountain.  I know I won't get there today or tomorrow, but here's to taking steps to get there. 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Festivus!

For those of you who may not be fanatics about Seinfeld as I am.  Festivus is a "holiday" that was made up on the show by George Castanza's Dad.  They weren't big on Christmas so his dad created Festivus to "celebrate" the holiday season in their own special way.  If you want to read the full story about it, they even have a Wiki page, but here is an excerpt from the show:

Elaine: What?
George: Nothing. It’s a card from my dad.
Elaine: What is it? “Dear son, Happy Festivus”? What is Festivus?
George: It’s nothing.
Jerry: When George was growing up
George: Jerry, NO!
Jerry: — his father hated all commercial and religious aspects of Christmas, so he made up his own holiday.
Elaine: Ohhhhh, and another piece of the puzzle falls into place.
George: Alright.
Jerry: And instead of a tree, didn’t your father put up an aluminum pole?
George: Alright, Jerry, stop it!
Jerry: And weren’t there always Feats of Strength that always ended up with you crying?
George: I can’t take it any more, I’m going to work! You happy now?!

And so to honor my fellow Seinfeld friends, "I have a lot of problems with you people," and therefore will be making a donation to the Human Fund.  
And now the Feats of Strength!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Treasury

I've been posting a lot recently about Stitch Silly products.  While great and a main reason for this blog, today I wanted to share the love a little and show you a beautiful treasury of Christmas theme items.  Enjoy!

Are you all done with your Christmas shopping yet?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Hanukkah

Last night was the first night of the festival of lights for those of  you who celebrate it.  Now that Hanukkah is officially under way, I wanted to wish those of you who celebrate a wonderful holiday.  From my upbringing I know some traditions associated with the holiday, but being Catholic, am no experts on the traditions and customs associated with Hanukkah. 

So I turn to you my readers!  What are some of your favorite traditions associated with the holiday? 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

4 Days...Are you Ready?

I'm not!  There are presents to wrap, grocery shopping to be done, cleaning to do, and of course products to post. But alas, whether I'm ready or not, Santa is coming for a visit in just 4 short days!  With that, it means family, friends, and fun.  I'm trying to do a little bit each day, hopefully some Santa's elves will help get things in order for the festive celebrations. 

With the onset of Christmas, one can't help but begin to reflect on 2011 and make plans for 2012.  2012 is ripe with so much potential, it's hard for me to nail down one goal for the upcoming year.  But if I have to choose one, I would say I hope to educate others.  Since we've opened our doors, I can't tell you how many people I have seen interested in learning to knit or crochet, or sew.  In the new year, I want to help those people achieve those goals.  Now it's just a matter of figuring out how to achieve that goal!

Have you thought about your goals for 2012 yet?  Share some of your thoughts, maybe we can keep each other motivated or even offer up some ideas to each other to achieve them. 

Monday, December 19, 2011

Weekly Check In - Increasing Your Inventory Week 3

This is the last week before Christmas!  Is everyone ready for the celebrations?  I will warn you, Stitch Silly may be a little light in the posting while we enjoy some family time, but that won't stop us from posting any new products.  Last week, I finished a few different products that will be coming on line in the new few weeks.  I'm hoping to start another project this week, but with the holiday preparations, I may have to just stick to working on my knitting projects that are on going.  But here's my new products to date:

Week 1: Knit Pom Hat
Week 2: Receiving Blanket Gift Set

I also renewed one of my boppy covers, but I'm not counting that as a new product. 

Fess up people!  What have you added to increase your inventory?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Project Wonderful

As some of you may have noticed, I added a Project Wonderful advertizement on my right side bar.  I signed up a few weeks ago and am giving it a try to try to bring some additional revenue for Stitch Silly, but also to spread the word about other great sights that you may be interested in.  It was a slow start.  When I initially posted an open space for a Project Wonderful, I set it up for a $0 bid.  I assumed this would be an easy entry for most people to start and therefore would get a bid almost immediately.

Not so much!  I wasn't getting anything and didn't understand why.  As I was looking around for something else, I saw a recommendation to set your initial bid at $0.01.  So I did and WHAM!  I got a few bids and now have been pretty consistent with getting people to bid on my shop.

The good news to this is, most of my advertisers are my fellow Etsians!  This is super exciting for me because it lets me learn about over great Esty shop owners AND it helps them get their name out to you, my wonderful readers!

So why did I choose Project Wonderful as opposed to selling ad space myself on the website.  Well the main reason is it's easier.  Project wonderful manages it for me.  That's not an aspect of my life I want to manage so it for me it's easier to outsource. I've also use Adsense, but honestly have not seen the kind of return I would like.  They pay very little and I have no control over the ads.

If you're looking for a new way to bring revenue to your small business, I definitely recommend checking them out.  For those of you who use other methods, what has your experience been?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Next Products are Ready

Wahoo, I finished my burp cloths last night!  Now I have a problem.  I can't decide how I want to package and advertise them.  I need your help!  I have one receiving blanket and ten burp cloths that I made.  I want to do a combo pack of the receiving blanket with some number of burp cloths.  I've gone back and forth on ideas of the receiving blanket with 2 or 4 burp cloths. Then any permutation of the remaining burp cloths you can think of. 

If you were to purchase either as a gift or for yourself, what multiple of burp cloths would you be most interested in purchasing?  1, 2, 3, 4, or 6?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Teacher Gift Ideas

Peppermint Stick Cocoa from
Since my son is in daycare, I've had to start the holiday gifts for teachers very early.  While I want to show his teachers they are appreciated, I also have fond memories as a child as making homemade gifts for my teachers.  In that vain, this year I decided to search around Pinterest for some ideas.  I found some really great ones, but eventually found this one from All 

It seemed different and fun, so I decided to give it a try.  I was having problems finding mason jars so I ended up buying some clear ziploc twist containers.  I think they turned out pretty well.  I layered them in a slightly different order, but the effect is the same.  You'll see my finished product at the end of my picture tutorial.  For the full recipe, be sure to follow the link above to All Recipes. 

First, I crushed all my peppermint sticks so I had some nice crumbles.
Before crushing
Post Crushing

A full bowl of crushed peppermint sticks

Next, I started layering each of the other ingredients, powdered milk, cocoa, sugar, mini chocolate chips, and peppermint. 

Adding the mini chocolate chips

Now the peppermint

All filled up!
This didn't take me too long to put together.  Now I just need to print out cards for each of his teachers with "cooking" instructions and a nice little thank you and we're good to go.  I made a few extras that I plan to hand out to other friends over the holidays. 

What fun crafts have you done as DIY Christmas gifts?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Inventory Increase Check In

Those of you who are increasing your inventory now.  How is it going?  As you saw last week, I added a great winter hat to the shop.  Since then I have been working on a couple different related products.  I have an extra large receiving blanket completed that I plan to pair with a couple burp cloths.  I also plan to have just a package of 4 or so burp cloths.  In an effort to work in batches I'm doing all the sewing at one time for each step.

For instance, I cut all the burp cloths at the same time.  Then pinned them all, then added the Stitch Silly logo to them all, etc. etc. you get the picture.  I'm just about with the final pinning (my son has been a bit needy recently so sewing has been in spurts) and should have them all sewn either today or tomorrow.  That leaves tomorrow and Thursday for photographs and Friday to post!  Whew...I'll just make it :-)

While you're waiting for my latest creation, what's your most recent product?  I'd love to see!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Car Seat Strap Protectors

Last night I finished my latest custom order.  Boy, was this one a doozy.  When the order was placed I thought, well this will be easy.  Yeah, not so much...

I was asked to make some car seat strap covers to protect your little ones neck while sitting in the car seat.  Great idea, right?  Also, not overly complicated, right?  I cut my finger, bend countless pins, screwed up the first one and had to re-cut the fabric.  They still aren't perfect, but after some blood, sweet, but thankfully no tears, they are done. 

I thought I'd share a few shots of them for you today. 

Fully Opened up

Front Closed

Back with Velcro showing

The full pair

These pictures were taken on my brand new desk as well.  Stop by tomorrow for pictures of my new work space. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Link Within

I have been seeing many blogs including a "You might also like..." section in below each post.  This has been racking my brain as to how to do it for a while now as it seemed too easy to not do, but I just didn't know how to implement it.  Part of my problem was I didn't do the obvious thing until today, I googled it! Sure enough I came across LinkWithin.  It's a widget you can add to your blog that will evaluate your website and creates the suggestions for you. 

I actually thought that it was something that I had to choose what my current post relates to, which becomes increasingly challenging as your blog archive grows.  You install the widget (which was super easy for me under blogger) and it does the rest!  There is no thinking on your part to do, just write your posts as normal.    LinkWithin even has detailed easy to follow instructions for you to follow. 

Check it out, and let me know if it worked for you. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Starting off with a Bang

In honor of my inventory push, I'm trying to start off with a bang, or so I hope!  I am about to just posted a great hand knit hat I made.  This was based on a custom order that I did and had some extra yarn left over so I decided to make a few extra hats.  Today I am posting the adult sized white hats, the kid sizes have already sold (they were the custom order).  The hate is all ready to go for a perfect Christmas gift. 

My son modeling the kid sized version

Red and white kid sized hats

Kid sized white hat

Kid sized red hat

Adult size white hat

Adult sized hat
 Now I just need to finish up some other custom orders I am working on.  I thought one was just about done last night when I realized I did it wrong and had to rip it apart to start will just have to get done tonight now.

Share some link love and post your latest products today, I'd love to see them!

Building your Inventory

With my move and some recent sales, my inventory has taken a tremendous hit recently.  My shop is looking pretty stagnant right now.  To help fight the inventory slump I'm in, I'm taking a call to action.  Who wants to join me? 

I am taking the pledge to post at least one product a week between today and the end of January.  That's eight new products I'll be posting soon!  It's not a lot, but it's a step towards getting more products made and into my "store front."  Will you take this on with me?  For some of you this may be too easy.  What's your pledge then?  16? 24?

Or better yet, who wants to volunteer to keep me motivated?  Ask about it on facebook! Email about it! Leave Comments asking about the progress.  Keep me accountable, and I'll keep you accountable. 

To my customers, what do you want seen created over the new eight weeks.  I have loads of ideas I am thinking about, but I want to hear your from you.  Bring it on!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Business Plans - Part 2

I hope you enjoyed last week's discussion on the value of the having a business plan.  Today I am going to discuss what I got out the review on the Stitch Silly's business/strategic plan.  Without further ado, let's get into the details.

So how am I doing compared to my initial vision?  Let's explore by section.

Products and Services
I've learned a lot in the first six months since Stitch Silly has been open, but there is also a lot I still need to learn.  The landscape of my initial products and services has drastically changed.  Initially I was going to try to break into daycare centers to be their primary linen supplier. At this point, that is not where Stitch Silly is going, nor do I foresee Stitch Silly going in that direction.  That would eventually turn me into a mass producer potentially putting me in competition with the "Walmart's" of the world.

We really want to focus on boutique (high end) quality items for all ages.  The inventory is still primarily based on infant and children's items, but I am actively pursuing expanding the inventory both in product numbers and product lines.  For instance, I have recently sold some gloves, scarves, and hats for older children and adults, but these were custom orders so they haven't actually made it onto the Etsy site. 

In addition to the boutique style of products, I've also recently introduced "Knitting Nights," which is something I hadn't even envisioned when we opened in May, but is something I'm super excited about and hope to build on in the near future.


The initial goal was to average 2 sales a month.  To date, the average sales have been 2.3 sales/month so slightly above the initial goal, hopefully this will continue to increase, but I'm not ready to modify that 2 sales/month goal yet.


What are those?  No really, I wasn't planning on turning a profit in the first 18 months of business, but here I am just six months and I've paid off all current debt!  Now, that's not to say I will be turn a profit this year.  I am planning on making a few investment purchases in the next few months with my recent move.  That will probably eat into the current profit, but it will make life at Stitch Silly much more efficient which means more profit, right?

Overall Reaction

In general, after an initial review I'm feeling pretty good about where Stitch Silly is and where we are heading.  There are some adjustments to be made in the business plan, but as I said previously, this is a living document, as you vision changes so should your plan.

Don't be afraid to make changes. Change is good and enviable, but should be taken in context!

How are you doing in response to your business goals?  Share your stories!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Let the Sewing Begin!

I went to Jo Ann Fabrics last night and thought it was going to be a quick trip for some basic fabric for my latest product request, car seat strap protectors.  Boy was a wrong, I didn't need a lot of fabric so I checked the reminent pile first.  There were a lot of options to choose from, but not what I was looking for, though I was tempted.  I found this great quilt fabric that I thought would be a good option.  But since this is for a boy this time, I decided against the fabric and went with my original plan of fleece.  It was a tough call, but I'm happy to report that the sewing will commence tonight! 

What you're greatest hang up when it comes to selecting a material to work with?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Wow...what a whirl wind!  My big move is finally over, so we are slowly putting our life back together.  Stitch Silly included!  I'm off to buy some fabric for a new product line today in fact!  Now if only I can find my sewing machine...

While I'm still digging out let's see what is going on around the blogsphere:

One Perfect Day  has a tutorial today on creating Christmas brooches. 

Pasque Flower Ponderings shows of her latest products.

Finally, Crafty Little Gnome has a tutorial on making rice therapy bags.

What tutorials do you have to share?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday

I had originally planned on posting the second in my series on your business plan today.  But moving, thanksgiving, and family travel has severely put a damper on my computer time.  It's all for the best, but the temporary hiccup in my posting frequency is still frustrating to me.  The business plan post will have to wait until next week.  In the meantime, to those of you who are Black Friday bargain hunters, happy deal hunting!

I have been busy in my knitting however.  I just finished a great winter hat and am working on a scarf at the moment.  I am hoping that they will be my first products photographed in my new studio next week!  I am looking forward to getting down to work after almost a month of having my sewing machine packed away.  I have a few ordered in the queue already.  Will you be next to request a custom order? 

What do you have in your sewing, knitting, or craft queue?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Talk to Me Tuesdays! - Unique You

Ok, so this week it's talk to me Wednesdays, I must apologize for the late posting, but with the closing of our home and Thanksgiving travels, I've gotten a bit behind.  So let me give today's interview it's proper due.  Unique You has some fantastic products for children.  I especially love her t-shirt ties. 

Stitch Silly: Tell me a little about yourself.

Unique You:  I started testing some of my items on Etsy a little while ago, but in August decided to close my online boutique and sell exclusively on Etsy. I have 2 small kids and really enjoy creating children's clothes. 

SS: How did you get started on Etsy?

UY: We're pretty health conscious in my family so using Eco-friendly fabrics made a lot of sense, especially since everything else on the market that's organic was very plain and simple. I enjoy using colorful fabrics and creating retro/vintage style clothes. Having my own shop allows me to work from home during my free time and going at my own pace.  

SS:  What is your favorite part of being your own boss?

UY: I do this more as a hobby than a source of income, as I am also a Marriage and Family Therapist. This way, if my items are not selling the way I'd like, I don't get upset about it. I do it more for the enjoyment of being creative. 

SS:  What is you greatest success since joining Etsy?

UY:  My greatest success since joining Etsy is receiving a picture of the baby boy wearing a shirt I created. This was my first sale and it brought me joy to see how cute he looks in it. It can be seen in the "feedback" section of my shop. 

SS:  What are you two favorite products in your shop?

UY:  My 2 favorite products in my shop are the Bamboo Peacock Flare Dress and the OOAK Bamboo Heirloom Blanket. 

SS:  What would you most like to improve?

UY: I'd like to be seen more on Etsy and am currently working on revamping my tags so I can be found more frequently.

SS:  What is your ultimate goal for your Etsy shop?

UY:  My ultimate goal for my Etsy shop is to list a total of 100 items in my shop and increase the number of visitors who see my shop on a daily basis.

Want to learn more about Unique You?  Check her out virtually here:
Follow me on Twitter: Organicbabyz
Like me on Facebook at

Friday, November 18, 2011

Business Plans

Courtesy Flickr
Do you have a business plan for your business?  You do?  That's fantastic!  Now, do you go back and reference it occasionally to update it as necessary?  No?  Why not?  You should!  Keep reading and learn why. 

You don't even have a business plan?  Why not?  Let's make today your day to get that business plan kick started. 

I will fully admit, I didn't think through the whole starting a business thing when I decided to open up my Etsy shop in May.  I simply dove into the environment because I had a few things I wanted to get off my hands and thought that Etsy was a great low risk method to sell the items I had available.  I quickly realized that this was something I really wanted to grab onto and try to build into a true business. 

Once I made this epiphany I began researching what I needed to create a successful business.  The number one thing on my list was to develop a business plan.  Why you ask?  The business plan is a living document that you need to use to plan how your business is going to run.  Many people avoid the business plan like the plague, or even worse, they put in the time and effort to write one, but then never look at it again.

Don't let this happen to you!  As your business grows and therefore you business plan changes and adapts, it will really become a strategic plan for your business.  In my  research I saw many templates for business plans, some were more helpful than others.  For me, thinking of my business plan more of the strategic plan on how I am going to grow and expand my business not just a check box type plan that will sit and collect dust.

I'm now in my seven month of operation, I decided a business plan/strategic review is necessary for my own benefit.  At the on-set a frequent review of this document is most prudent.  Continuous pulse checks to make sure you are not completely off the band wagon of your initial vision is important in a young business.  Once you are more established, the frequency of your reviews is less.  

What did I learn from reviewing my business plan?  Stop back next week to see my self analysis!

Until then, where do you land on the business plan spectrum?  Do you have one?  Is it helpful?  Do you review it?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Have you Noticed?

Have you noticed the recent change to Stitch Silly?  We now are on our own domain!  For those of you who come from, you will automatically be redirected to, but please feel free to update you're bookmarks! 

I mentioned last week in a post that I was working to design a stand alone website that incorporated all of Stitch Silly's offerings.  I thought that I had everything in order, but once I decided to move forward with it, there were come hidden expenses associated with the web design that I wasn't prepared to take on.  Instead, we went with out own domain and will work to make the website more informative. 

Speaking of making it more informative,my Facebook friends already know this, but Stitch Silly is now doing parties!  Parties you ask?  Well, think old school Tupperware parties, or new school pampered chef parties.  You go to these parties to hang out with the girls, and sometimes buy a few products right?  Well, why not get a group of friends together to all learn to knit? 

If you're interested in, contact us for more information.

In the mean time, I'm still waiting to hear from you, the readers.  What are your most burning questions you have for me?  Are you dying to know something about me?  How Stitch Silly operates?  What's making me successful now?  Bring 'em on, folks!  I want to hear all about it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Talk to Me Tuesday's - Brenda's Handmade

Are you ready for the Christmas spirit?  Well today's featured shop is perfect to start your Christmas shopping.  She really has some great needle point work featured on her shop.  I highly recommend you check her out!

Stitch Silly: Tell me a little about yourself
Brenda's Handmade: My name is Brenda Melendez.  I'm a stay at home mom with 3 kids: a 15 year old boy, 12 year old girl, and a 4 year old son. I'm kept busy running my kids around back and forth to school, music lessons, and dance. I also interpret for a Deaf woman at our church.

SS: How did you get started with Etsy?:

BH: My mom and some ladies from church taught me to crochet, embroider, and needlepoint when I was a young girl. I started my own craft business in 2003 as a way to supplement my husband's income, but I didn't really know where to sell my things. When I heard about Etsy(I unfortunately don't remember how I first heard about it), I thought it would be a perfect place to sell what I make.

SS: What is your favorite part of being your own boss?

BH: I like being my own boss because I have the flexibility to work whatever hours I can, around my kids' schedules.

SS: What are your 2 favorite products in your shop:

BH: My two favorite products in my shop are my dirty/clean magnets 

SS: What is your greatest success since joining Etsy

BH: My greatest success has been just recently.  In March, I received a custom order for several St. Patrick's Day pins, and that customer just contacted me last week, wanting a custom order for several breast cancer awareness pins.

SS: What do you want most to improve?:

BH: My biggest  challenge is taking pictures of my items. I've tried taking the pictures in just about every room in the house at various times of the day, but there always seems to be a shadow in the picture. So, it would be great if I could learn to take better pictures, or if someone lived close by that would be willing to take the pictures for me.

SS:  What is your ultimate goal for your Etsy shop?

BH: My ultimate goal for my Etsy shop is to have a lot more consistent orders every month, and to have more big custom orders.

SS: How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?

BH: I don't know because I always end up biting it and chewing the rest.

How can others reach you?
Etsy shop:

Are you interested in being featured on Stitch Silly?  Please feel free to contact us to set up an interview!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Happy Monday!

Happy Monday!  I hope you are all rested, relaxed, and ready for a fun filled weekend.  Mine was filled with packing and a wonderful surprise.  I was sitting enjoying some time with my husband yesterday when I suddenly received an email notification from both my personal and Stitch Silly email accounts.  I was completely perplexed, initially I thought that it was spam emails coming in. 

What to my surprise when I finally grabbed my phone and check me email accounts.  No sirre, I had just made a sale!  What was better, I don't even know the person!  I was super excited.  Of course the item that was ordered was already packed away ready for our move, but for a sale, I gladly dug through my boxes to find it.  I am super excited to put the package in the mail for my latest customer! 

On a completely different note, I would like to do another series similar to my create your own account system series, but before I pick my latest series, I'd like to hear from my readers.  What are you dieing to learn about and can't quite figure out.  Leave a comment and I'll do the research and share here

Friday, November 11, 2011


First, I must apologize for my absence this week.  I have been fighting a head cold all week and have barely been able to focus, let alone write a reasonable post.  I've started the same post probably a dozen times and it's still sitting here in draft mode.  Therefore I decided a fresh start would set me straight.  I'm still fighting the cold, but with the realization that we need to have almost the everything packed by the middle of next week, I need to end me cold pity party and just focus!

While my packing hasn't been making the necessary progress (the whole kitchen still needs attacked!), I have been very productive in my knitting.  I shipped the scarf to my mother in law this week, I really hope she likes it.  I thought it turned out great.  I also have figured out the kid hat pattern that I was commissioned to make.  I'm making two of these, one for a little girl and one for a little boy for Christmas presents.  I'm doing each one slightly different so they aren't too matchy.  I may the boy one a little shorter so it doesn't fold over, to me that just seems a little more boy-ish.  For the girl one, I am going to weave some pink into it for some slight flair.  I just started the girl one last night so hopefully I'll be able to photograph them and post them here soon. 

I actually finished the boys one last week, but it ended up being too small so I had to rip it apart and start again.  That's what happens when you create your own patterns!  It takes a few iterations before the pattern is perfect.  I think I have some extra yarn so I may make a few extra hats to post soon.  Keep your eyes pealed, I'm on a knitting frenzy!

Speaking of knitting frenzies.  Did you see the announcement on our Facebook page earlier this week?  You didn't?  Hope on over and like us there to see what the buzz is about.  I'll give you a hint.  If you're local, you'll love it!  If you're not local, did you know that Stitch Silly now ships internationally?  Just email or send us a convo on Etsy for shipping information. 

Finally, as those of you who follow me regularly know, I have a soft spot in my heart for the men and women who serve to protect our freedom here in the U.S..  For them, I am eternally grateful for their service.  It is because of them, I can do what I do.  So thank you to all the veterans out there today.  I salute you!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Talk to me Tuesdays! - Jewelry by Scotti

Aqua Crystal Earrings
Today we are talking with Scotti Cohn from Jewelry by Scotti.  I must say, her jewelry is pretty remarkable.  I simply love her stuff.  Jewelry is an art that I will always leave to others, but I love to admire it and of course wear it!  Let's here what she has to say. 
Stitch Silly: Tell me a little about yourself.
Jewelry by Scotti: I am originally from Illinois, but I have also lived in Minnesota and North Carolina, and I now live in South Carolina. I have two grown children and five cats. When I'm not making jewelry, I write children's books and nonfiction books for older children and adults about American history. My favorite color is purple. I play piano and guitar. A few of my favorite things are: music, animals, astrology, iced Chai tea lattes, and going to the beach.

SS: How did you get started with Etsy?
JS: Once I started making jewelry, I made far more than I could wear myself or give to family and friends. I knew about Etsy, and it seemed like the perfect place to share my creations.

SS: What is your favorite part of being your own boss?
JS: My favorite part of being my own boss is being able to schedule my time however I want to. I don't have to be at a desk in some building somewhere at a certain time every morning. I can work for any amount of time on any day, and I can take time off whenever I want to. 

SS: What are your 2 favorite products in your shop?
Green Lace and Orange Drops Bracelet
JS: Two of my favorite products in my shop are my Aqua Crystal Earrings ( and my Green Lace and Orange Drops Bracelet (

SS: What is your greatest success since joining Etsy?
JS: I can't point to one thing as my greatest success, but I am very pleased by the positive feedback I have received from customers on Etsy.

SS: What do you most want to improve?
JS: I want to improve my jewelry making techniques in all areas, and continue to learn new techniques.

SS: What is your ultimate goal for your Etsy shop?
JS: I would like my shop to get as much exposure as possible, and to experience a steady stream of customers.

SS: How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?
JS: It depends on who's doing the licking!

How can others reach you? Facebook? Website? Blog?
Twitter: @scotti_cohn
Are you interested in being interviewed by Stitch Silly?  We have opening coming soon, feel free to email me if you are interested.  

Monday, November 7, 2011

Time to Fall Back

I hope everyone enjoyed their "extra hour of sleep" this weekend.  I was woken up nice and early this morning because we forgot to change one of our alarm clocks.  Not so much fun, but that's OK.  I survived!

With our current focus on packing and my sewing stuff packed, I've had some time to focus on where I want to take Stitch Silly.  I've come up with some great ideas.  One that I am working on right now is a formal website for Stitch Silly.  I had thought it was going to be a significant expense, but after some research it won't be as bad as I thought.  I'm working on a website design right now.  Keep your eyes pealed for the new site.  I am going to try to link this blog, the website, and my Etsy store together without it looking all weird.  Once everything is up and running, I'd love to hear your feedback on usability of the new site(s).

I'm also working on another plan for a new business line for Stitch Silly.  I'm working to iron it out this week and will make an announcement soon.

What did you do to celebrate falling back?  

Thursday, November 3, 2011

When did this happen?

Is it Thursday already?  When did that happen? With the turn of the month, I have been busy preparing my monthly financial reports so I can file my monthly sale tax report with the state.  Reviewing everything I came to an interesting revelation. 

Stitch Silly now has more liquid assets than debts to be paid off.  The debt is all towards me personally so I'm not in a huge rush to pay myself back.  When I wrote my business plan I stated that I would do it in the first 18 months of operation and here I am just starting month seven and I am basically there.  It's pretty exciting! 

In fact it's very motivating, but because of our upcoming move, all my sewing stuff is packed!  What's a girl to do?  Well in my case, I'm knitting up a storm!  I just finished a scarf for my mother-in-law.  I hope she likes it.  I plan to photograph it tonight to share with you soon. 

What's next?  Some fun chunky hats for kids!   This is the first pattern I am creating completely from scratch for someone.  I was shown a picture that someone wanted and after looking at it told them I could do something like that.  The idea is pretty easy, the hats are just going to be chunky ribbed pom hats, but it's the sizing that has been the challenge for me.  I'm using bulky yarn and big needles so it should be a quick knit, so it shouldn't be long for me to figure out if it's going to fit. 

How have you figured out sizing in the past?  Any advice or recommendations?  While your commenting and pondering this, stop over and check out these great posts from yesterday and today. 

Pasque Flower Creations -Pasque interviewed a great fiber artist.  Check out some of the great pictures or her work.

Livi Stitches - Livi shows us how to do a finishing seam with both a regular sewing machine and a serger.  I only have a sewing machine myself so this was a great tutorial to learn how to properly finish using the zig-zag stitch.  I didn't realize that you had to get that close to the edge of the seam. 

Julie Ann Art - Julie Ann shows us some great DIY ideas for leaf decorations.  With fall in full swing here on the east coast I thought it was very appropriate. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Talk to Me Tuesdays! - KnittingNY

Today we continue the knitting theme with another great knitter.  I love her designs.  They are incredibly creative and adorable.  My favorites are her cup holders for you coffee mug.  As a special treat for my readers, KnittingNY has graciously offered a coupon code for her shop for 10% off your purchase.  Use coupon code: StitchSilly

Stitch Silly: Tell me a little about yourself.

KnittingNY: Well, I'm a 34 year-old wife and mom who's a bit addicted to yarn and knitting.   I work part-time in a local pharmacy and when I'm not there I'm usually working on my Etsy store, reading, or hanging out with my family... fortunately, I can pretty-much knit while doing all of those things, haha. 

SS: How did you get started with Etsy?

KNY: A friend of mine had told me about her Etsy shop and explained the whole site to me, I checked it out for myself and I was hooked!  

SS: What is your favorite part of being your own boss?

KNY: Knowing that the success or failure of my shop is totally on me... I'm the only one who can take control of what happens with it.  I can do what I want with the shop and take the risks that I want to take.

SS: What are your 2 favorite products in your shop?

KNY: My new Rosewood Knitted Fingerless Gloves and my Purple Monster Hat.

SS: What is your greatest success since joining Etsy?

KNY: You know, I don't know if it was my first sale or the feedback from my first sale.  Both really made my day and I think they've both really helped my shop get a little more traffic. 
SS: What do you most want to improve?

KNY: The variety of items that I make and sell.  I'm always open to suggestions! Flirt-male

SS: What is your ultimate goal for your Etsy shop?

KNY: To sell as much as I can and to have FUN with it and make a ton of friends along the way!

SS: How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?

KNY: Oh jeez, I'm impatient - after about 6 licks I just start crunching, haha!

How can others reach you? Facebook? Website? Blog?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Just Hear This!

I alluded to some big announcement on Friday.  Well we are finally ready to unveil it to the world.   

Stitch Silly is moving! 

Well sort of!  My husband and I have sold our current home and are moving across the street at the end of the month.  Fear not, we can still found on our Etsy shop, but our physical location is changing.  We are super excited, especially now that I will have a whole space dedicated to Stitch Silly instead of shared with my husband and our bedroom. 

The down side, I've had to pack away most of my fabric already.  Between packing and my current knitting projects I may not get to it before we move.  Sadness, but for now I am just knitting away!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Yellow Baby Blanket

As my regular readers have seen, I have been quite busy with custom orders for a while now therefore have not been able to post any new listings recently.  I was greatly saddened by this, but a sale is a sale I wasn't complaining too much.

Yesterday, I went to deliver a sale, thinking I was being clever I grabbed another similar product to try to upsell the person to see if they would by both.  Well they ended up buying the cheaper item, the extra one I brought and not the one they had mentioned to me previously.  I should have known!  Rookie mistake! But I was happy that they purchased one of my beautiful hand knit baby blankets.

This of course freed me up to post a new listing yesterday.  Wahoo for silver linings!  Here are a few pictures of my latest baby blanket.  Unfortunately, I believe this is my last new listing for a while.  Stand-by for Monday morning, all will be revealed then. 

In the mean time, what new products or ideas have you been working on lately?  Share some link love!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

It's Begining to Feel Spooky

I am going on little sleep this morning and was not feeling very creative or inspired at all this morning until I started my morning reading on my iGoogle page.  I found this story on  Yes it is geek related, but it hits the nail on the head in terms of creating your kid's Halloween costume.  You'll have to hop on over there to see Dave Giancaspro's list. 

Now that we are officially in the week before Halloween, I'm starting to see several blog posts perk up about creating the perfect costume. 

Yesterday Livi Stitches blogged about how flattered she was that the people in her community thought she made her kids costumes this year. 

Release Me Create showed off some great ideas on some fun Halloween Costumes.

And finally, MsBittyKnacks is in a vampire mood this morning with her blog post.

Stop over and check out their thoughts on the upcoming spooktacklar day, but don't forget to leave a post here about your favorite Halloween costume as a kid. 

I'll start us off...Mine was the year I went as a 50's girl and my mom made me a poodle skirt!  (Thanks Mom!)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Talk to Me Tuesdays! - Little Voice Knitting

Keeping with the movement of our knitting theme from last week, this week we are hearing from Little Voice Knitting.  Susan the shop owner is super cute.  I love her outlook it just puts me in a cheery mood.  Her stuff is adorable!  Just looking over her shop is encouraging me to expand my shop offerings. 

Stitch Silly:  Tell me about yourself.
Little Voice Knitting:  Hi, I'm Susan. I like pina coladas and long walks on the beach. No wait...I'd rather have a margarita and have been known to be knitting on the beach instead of walking.  I own Little Voice Knitting ( and like the name implies, I knit.  I knit A LOT!  I started my business in 2009, based on the urging of friends and family that were impressed with my knitting skills and thought I should start selling them. (Isn't that the cliche of how most of us have gotten here?) I did the local craft show circuit for 2 years and have recently opened my Etsy shop in April. I'm married and a stay at home mom of 2 girls, who are, unfortunately, in school full time now. So it's time to put down the bon bons and get off the couch (LOL-if only that were true for what the life of a sahm is like!) and go back out into the real world. I have been knitting since I was a kid, while also  dipping into many other art forms like cross stitch, scrap booking, dance, painting, and even a BFA in Technical Theater.

Stitch Silly:  How did you get started with Etsy?

Little Voice Knitting: I first heard about Etsy a few years ago (and wish I had signed up then) from my daughter's art teacher. After doing the craft show scene for a few years, I decided I needed someplace a little more permanent to showcase my shop and came to Etsy. Craft shows are great, but fickle and the amount of inventory needed to fill the shelves became too overwhelming. 

SS: What is your favorite part of being your own boss?

LVK: I get to follow my own vision of what I want to make and what direction I want my business to go. I don't need to compromise or follow someone else's ideas. That also has a downside too because every decision is on my shoulders but it helps me keep my focus on what I want to accomplish. Plus, I can give myself vacation days and raises whenever I want! : )

SS: What are your 2 favorite products in your shop?

LVK: I love the little stuffed toys that I've recently started making. So far I have a frog and cow listed, with other animals in the works. They are just really cute and they have passed the "kid test", which means if my kids ask if they can have one too, I know it's good. I also really like my "Heads and Toes" line; which is sets of matching baby hats and booties. 

SS: What is your greatest success since joining Etsy?
LVK: Well, so far I haven't had a sale on Etsy yet, so I can't really say I've had any success but each view, or heart, or treasury I am included it, I count as a personal success that I am doing something right.  Like Sally Field, I keep thinking "you like me, you really like me". Now to just get break that ice...

SS: What do you most want to improve?

LVK: Sales! (did I mention that already?)

SS: What is your ultimate goal for your Etsy shop?

LVK: My ultimate goal would be to be successful enough that I could actually see my "hobby" pay for itself with a profit. And to have a waiting list...that would be cool. 

SS:  How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie pop?

LVK: The world may  never know! 

How can others reach you? Facebook? Website? Blog?
I can be found on facebook at and have a lot of items that were custom orders and craft show items that haven't been listed on Etsy yet. I am also on Ravelry, (what's up knitting peeps!) as Mrsnoodle97, if you would like to friend me.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Recent Sales

Burp Cloths all Rolled Up
This weekend I delivered some of my most recent projects.  One item was some burp cloths and bibs for a friend who is throwing a shower for some friends.  This is the second gift set that I've done with her.  I'm super excited how they turned out.  I forget where I saw it, but I saw someone else roll up there burp cloths and receiving blankets in a similar manor and I admit it, I stole the idea!  The bib's are reversible made out of flannel or cotton.  I did not purchase the fabric on this project, I got the lovely pleasure of just making bibs and burp cloths it was definitely a different experience.  I'm looking forward to our next project together.

Burp Cloths Surrounded by Bibs
Another project I finished up and delivered this weekend was my newest creation of some beautiful hand knit fingerless gloves.  These gloves are for a friend's sister's Christmas present, so I'm excited to hear how she likes them.

This is the second pair that I finished.  And it took me less than a month!  I have two more pairs that I want to create, but those will have to wait until I am finished with my current backlog of hand knit orders.  This is such a fun pattern to knit, that I'm sure I will be making more as soon as I can.  I just love the vibrant blue color of them.

Just the gloves
Perhaps the next time that I knit some gloves I will switch up the pattern.  I have a few ideas in my head for something different, I just need to plan it out and do some more research.  My idea is for a different twist on the cable stitch, but I haven't done too many patterns with cable stitches yet so I want to get a few more ideas first.  I suppose I should run off to my knitting reference books now!

While I am off researching, what are you best reference materials for your craft?  Share some love to help educate the rest of us. 

A Perfect Fit!

Close up of the details

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Simply Stunned..

My October started out with a bang and I have been feverishly working on multiple custom requests all month.  I was just getting into the mindset as I wound down my projects to pick up a few unfinished projects that I want to include in my shop inventory.  Apparently that is not the case, I received, not one, but THREE order requests yesterday!  The downside to these requests is that they are knit items.  My knit items tend to have longer lead times, for obvious reasons of them being hand knit.  My goal for these items is to finish them all within by Thanksgiving so I can do some inventory building before Christmas hits, but I fear it just may be all custom orders this year.  Here's to hoping for a successful nest few months!

 In the mean time, here is my latest creation.  I was commissioned to create some bibs and burb cloths for an up coming baby shower.  I rolled up the burp cloths and pinned them for the diaper cake topper.  The bibs will be hung up on a cloths line at the shower.  I'm happy with the way they turned out, hopefully the mom-to-be likes it too!  I may start packaging all my burp cloths like this.  What are you thoughts?
Close up of the pins
Bibs wrapped around the burp cloths

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