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

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Completed Elmo!

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I finished my son's Elmo costume, well I finally was able to dig out my camera and take a few shots of it this morning.  I think it turned out well.  Hopefully he agrees with me!  Check it out.

I know the pictures aren't the greatest, but I'm brainstorming a way to improve them.  Lots going on behind the scenes right now here at Stitch Silly.  I hoping to unveil some new ideas and news soon...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Talk to Me Tuesdays! - Modern Butter Cup

Today's interview is with a relative newbie.  She has been open since March and it making great progress.  Hopefully some of you loyal readers will stop by and check out her shop and let her know your thoughts.  But before you run off and do that, let's here what she has to say first!

Stitch Silly:  Tell me about yourself.

Modern Butter Cup:  Hello everyone.... I live over at Modernbuttercup, my blog. I am a crafty person who loves terrariums and walking barefoot on the beach. I create jewelry with a touch of whimsy and a bit of quirkiness.

SS: How did you get started with Etsy?

MBC: I have always loved to make things. So when I realized I could actually have a job doing something I loved, I was in. The community on Etsy is great- it's supportive and always full of great advice.

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

MBC: I'd say the favorite thing about being my own boss is setting my own work hours. I can enter "work" at 12:00 in the afternoon or at 9:00 at night. It's fun to be your own boss. :)

SS: What is your two favorite products in your shop?

MBC: That's a hard one. But I'd have to say my two favorite items in the shop are: The Silver Chair Necklace and Silver Locket with Glass Beads Necklace. They both are very unique and have lots of intricate detail.

SS: What is your greatest success since joining Etsy?

MBC:  I am new to Etsy, so I haven't had any big successes yet, but my biggest success would definitely be my first sale.

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

MBC: My ultimate goal for my Etsy shop is to have a great brand and happy customers. And with happy customers, there's great customer service. My #1 goal is to have product satisfaction and great customer service. Who could want more? :)

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

MBC:   Believe it or not, I have actually tried to figure this out myself. I was up until about 2 in the morning counting how many licks it would take me once... but I miscounted somewhere around the 300 mark. My conclusion? About 392 and I'm probably off by 20 or so licks! So I'll just go with the commercial slogan "How many licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? The world may never know."

Monday, October 17, 2011

Bringing in more buyers

For those of you who are my fellow Etsians, I'm sure you've heard about a recent article written by some researchers at Wharton discussing the effects of free shipping on your shopping habits.  To me this is an enlightening idea.  I never thought about how the shipping fee changes my shopping patterns. 

Honestly, I never thought about this as something that has an effect on my online shopping...until I thought about it.  When I had my son, I signed up for Amazon Mom and got a free year of Amazon Prime.  Having the free shipping with Amazon, I started filtering my searches to only those items that were available for free shipping.  When I make purchases from, I always order the minimum amount to get me my free shipping.  I could go on...  It really does effect my shopping habits.  I seek out free shipping and I have even been known to not purchase something online because I couldn't get free shipping.  Now that I am a eCommerce business owner, this is something I should probably consider, and definitely have not. 

I know when I started, my shipping fees were much higher.  Since then I have readjusted my shipping prices, but have not thought to provide many incentives for free shipping.  Perhaps this is a new incentive to offer over the holidays to see if it helps bring in some on line sales.  For a majority of my current sales, this is not an issue as the are mostly local.  I would hope that offering free shipping will attract new customers from across the country. 

I'm curious, has anyone used this and seen a significant sales difference?  Have you seen a difference even in comparison to a percentage discount?  What are you thoughts on the idea of free shipping?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Success...I think!

Well I went home and forced myself to be creative last night.  Sounds like an oxymoron but I think it worked!  I managed to motivate myself to work on one of my custom orders this morning before I had to head into the office.  Unfortunately, tonight will be spent preparing for a family visit so I do not anticipate any huge step in productivity. 
Farm Animal Fabric

You know, LeAnn, I would think that Monday's would be the worst for me as well, but nope, Wednesday is my bad day.  Perhaps we can motivate each other since our rut days seem to be on different days typically. 

A big goal I have for myself over the next week is I want to finish ALL of my outstanding custom projects so I can again get back to focusing on building my inventory.  I have about 3 projects I either need to start or finish that are focused on building my inventory.  Most notably, is my farm animal receiving blanket and burp cloth gift set.  I am partially done with it, and thought I had my price point all picked out.  Then I did more research and now I am second guessing myself.  I'm not sure why, but this gift set is challenging me on my pricing philosophy.  I guess I just have to do some more research.  Off to play with numbers!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wednesday Ruts

I don't know why, but Wednesdays seem to always get me into a creative rut.  Blogging ideas evade me, sewing slips, knitting isn't motivating.  Somehow, someway, Thursdays are incredibly productive.  I think I need to go out and figure out what it is about Wednesdays that put me in this rut. 

Perhaps it is the build up from the day job's pressures on the week, then as the weekend draws near the pressure subsides.  Who knows, but I'm forcing myself to write this blog in hopes of breaking the cycle!  Will it work?  I'll let you know tomorrow.

Do any of you have a particular day of the week or time that is very hard for them to get and stay motivated?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Talk to Me Tuesdays! - Cuddle Yarn Designs

Stitch Silly:  Tell me about yourself.

Cuddle Yarn Designs: My name is Jessica I reside in Ohio, I am newly married! Although I am not currently employed outside the home, my husband works, so I enjoy the spare time to keep myself busy with crochet! I have been a crocheter for eight years now, and just to sit in a quiet place and let my mind free to do wonderful work is relaxing! I have always thought of myself to be creative and imaginative and I definitely take pride in the things I make! I have no children yet, but look forward to when I do!

SS: How did you get started with Etsy?

CYD: My mother actually got me started with Etsy, she has two amazing shops! Therefore; knowing my own creative ways and how I can make items people would love just as much as I do creating them, so with a room full of yarn, I can now put my heart into my work! you name the colors, I have them! is a wonderful place to get my own little shop that defines me and my work!

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

CYD:  The greatest and most favorite part of being my own boss, is that no one is standing above me to tell me what I can and cannot do with my work. I can simply be..myself and that is wonderful!

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

CYD:  My two most favorite products are my crocheted jewelry, and vintage inspired doilies.  I am a fan of vintage and love accessories!

SS:  What do you most want to improve?

CYD:  I would like to improve my designs, I am still learning different skills and stitch work! I love new ideas and open to suggestions!

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

CYD:   My ultimate goal, is to make items like no other! all are one of a kind and it brings me joy to know people love my work! it makes me feel great!

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

CYD:  How many licks DOES it take to get the center of a tootsie pop you may ask?  I just eat it!

And lastly, to reach me would be on my shop

Monday, October 10, 2011

Happy Columbus Day

Here in the U.S. many of us are celebrating Columbus Day.  I must admit, this is probably the most baffling U.S. holiday, but alas, people celebrate it...

That said, October is shaping up to be just as busy a month as September.  I just finished another toddler blanket (quickly becoming my best seller!) and a pillow case for a repeat customer.  All the while I'm working on a set of burp cloths and bib set for yet another custom order.  And finally I'm finishing up a pair of gloves that were ordered.  Also, I finally finished my son's Elmo costume with weekend.  (with a little help from mom of course!)  Pictures are coming soon on this one!

In addition to my antics, here's what's happening around the crafting world:

Livi Stitches is talking about her mounds of scrap fabric she has.

Asterope Bead Creations educated us about search ads.  (Very informative I might add!)

And finally, Sea Marie did a wonderful dedication to Steve Jobs.

Enjoy your Columbus day!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Our Generation's Alexander Graham Bell

Early Steve Jobs, courtesy of
By education I am a engineer twice over, once in computer and the second in electrical engineering.  When I finally sat down with my husband last night after a long day for both of us for some time together, he promptly informed me that Steve Jobs had died.  I didn't believe it, matter of fact, I still have a hard time believing it. 

The man who brought us the apple computer and then proceeded to revolutionize how we live, work, and play with our the modern day gadgets of the iPAD, iPhone, and iPod will stand out in our history with the likes of Alexander Graham Bell.  There probably won't be any mathematical theorems named after him like the Pythagorean theorem that we all learned about in high school geometry class.  (Thanks Whit!), but through his ingenious thoughts we are a more connected society, for better or worse. 

Steve Jobs challenged us all to be more creative in our thinking.  Few of us ever knew him intimately, but he has touched our lives in some way and I thank him for his great contribution to technology.  While I am not an apple fanatic like some, I appreciate his ingenuity and realize that I probably would not have my Google Droid phone today if it wasn't for the iPhone. 

My heartfelt condolences to his family in this time of mourning, but he is in a better place now delivering the iPhone G to the Big man himself.  (iPhone G = God's Phone)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

How to Get New Product Ideas

As a designer, you have an eternal issue of looking for new products or new twists on old products.  For me it can be hard to just search the internet fabric stores or even to walk into a fabric store to get ideas.  Sometimes I need a clear jolt of what can be a successful item to sell.  Well this morning I got that jolt or idea from an interesting source.  It may be obvious to some of you out there, but for me it truly hit me this morning.
Terry Cloth Burp Cloth Set

I have a morning routine of sitting down at my computer and immediately looking at my Google Analytics page to see if I've had any hits and if so what are the details of those hits.  Well today I was doing a little more review of the site and really sat down and looked at what people are searching for when they land on my Etsy Site.  In looking at some of the search terms they do hit on some products I have on my site, but don't exactly match some of my products.  For example, I have terry cloth burp cloths for sale, but one of the search terms I have on my Google Analytics is "falls creek terry cloth burp."  The next time I am searching for fabrics, I'm going to keep in mind that people are searching for "falls creek," whatever that is. 

Knowing how people are getting to your website not only helps in creating a new product, but also in selling current products.  There have been a lot of discussions on blogs about the new Etsy relevancy search and SEO.  Some are more helpful than others.  Of most interest is Market My Shop's recent discussions of relevancy.  Stop by their blog for more information.

Now that I've brightened your day with my latest place to get product ideas, I'm off to search for some new fabric to purchase! 

Where do you get your new product ideas?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Talk to Me Tuesdays! - ColdhamCuddlies

This week we are talking with one of my most active readers.  Coming from you the UK.  She creates some amazing bears for your little ones and little ones at heart.  So without further ado...

Stitch Silly: Tell me a little about yourself.

Coldham Cuddlies: I'm a 70+ silver surfer, who makes toys mainly as occupational therapy to keep my increasingly arthritic fingers moving.   It is also an alternative to full-time caring for my disabled husband (of 42 years this September).  I've been making toys since the mid-1950's  when taught while at boarding-school in Bath, about 20 miles from where I  now live in Wiltshire, England.  We have lived and worked in both South Africa and Canada between 1959-1987 since then.  We returned to the UK, with our two daughters, to enable them to qualify for UK universities in 1987, and have lived here ever since.  Both girls did well at uni, one is married and both are employed - which in these uncertain times is an achievement in itself.
SS: How did you get started with Etsy?

CC: One daughter sent me a newspaper cutting about a UK Etsy member who spun and sold her own yarns:  then I decided to try and make some money doing toys, after years of just making them for family, friends, and their friends. Etsy seemed a logical vehicle with which to try "to conquer the world" of hand made toys!  I joined in January 2010, began listing in September 2010 after building up a small stock of toys, and since then have made 9 sales while trying to promote the shop via social media, about which I had little knowledge when I began.  What I've learned has really been a "seat of pants" job, but with the aid of Handmadeology,  Sunday Afternoon Housewife and others' advice, think I'm finally getting there!  But, boy, there is so much to learn and do.  If there were 48 hours to each day, I just might manage to do more!  The drawback is that one cannot be sewing toys and "playing" on the computer at one and the same time!
SS: What is your favorite part of being your own boss?

CC: Being able to decide which toy to make next:  learning how to blog as and when I feel there is something about the toys to talkabout;  and being able to do it more or less in my own time (which is limited and dependent on how husband's health is at any given moment).

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

CC: They're all favorites so it's difficult to choose, without seeming to pick one out.  Perhaps I'm more partial to my Foxes, Coyotes and Rabbits - because I can be more creative with them when dressing them, whether they are ladies or gentlemen.  All the toys are gender impartial and really are made for children of all ages - from 0 years to 80+.  I decided to include Coyotes in the mix when I joined Etsy, because Foxes are not that well-known in the States and Canada:  whereas, Coyotes, with their similar facial features are!  The irony is that my first Coyote is now the mascot for a local After School Club (known as the Wylye (wiley) Coyotes) which operates five days a week in a nearby village.  Charlie Coyote has been featured in the weekly local paper several times since he was appointed to this important role in December 2010.

SS: What is your greatest success since joining Etsy?

CC: Actually making sales - the internet world is so huge, and Etsy is enormous in the handmade articles field, that for an Wrinkly like me to actually connect with folk and be successful in selling a relatively small thing as a plush toy has been tremendously exciting.

SS: What do you most want to improve?

CC: A new service recently launched is the ColdhamCuddlies Soft Toy Clinic.  It is there for folks with teddies who have seen better days, and any other soft toy in a similar distressed state.  No dolls, though:  I'm not into them, nor have I ever been.   The first two projects have been Teds - one 75+ years old and Red in colour:   the other 50+, which is about to be completed and made in mohair.  I have a daughter's Teddy that requires a make-over, and my sister-in-law in France wants me to refresh a Mrs. Rabbit and Mrs Fox I made for her over 30 years ago.  She now has a grand-daughter to whom she would like to give the toys, but feels that they have become faded over the years.  My other daughter still has her Mummy Fox I made at the same time, by the way, so I feel I can justly claim my toys are long-lasting!  However, that does not necessarily equate to a rapid sales rate!

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

CC: Unlike many Etsians, I'm not planning to go full-time at the moment:  I already have a full-time, lifelong commitment in looking after my husband.  However, it would be great to have enough sales so that I can finance some of life's "little extras" that are not easily available on a fixed pension:  visits to France for example, and things like that.

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

CC: Not sure what a tootsie pop is!  Does that betray a lack of knowledge of what makes the world tick these days, I wonder?  So, I'll have to pass on that one!

Want to learn more about Coldham Cuddlies?  Find them here: Morrell/ColdhamCuddlies/        
Twitter:  Isobel Morrell@pimstgabriel 
Website: (or

Monday, October 3, 2011

What a Month

September turned out to be our biggest month since opening our doors in May.  Thanks so much to everyone who made it possible.  There is a slight downside, my inventory took a huge hit!  I'm working feverishly to increase it.  I mentioned that I was making some beautiful fall gloves, that I wanted to post.  But before I could post them, they were sold elsewhere with an order for another pair to boot.  I'm working on pair number two already, and then hope to make a third pair to finally post. 

While I'm knitting my fingers off, I made this sports themed toddler blanket over the weekend.  Watch for it to be posted soon.  It's a great flannel sports blanket that is backed with a soft and cuddling baby blue minky.  I love this combination so much that I wish I could use it myself!  To go with this blanket I also made a toddler pillow case shown below.  Buy both together an get a discount!  These will make a great shower or Christmas gift for that special little one in your life.

Hot off the presses pillow case.
What are you latest projects?  Send some links to share the love.  I'm also curious where you typically purchase your fabric and yarn.  Where do get the best deals for the best quality?  I've been using pretty regularly now and am happy with the material, but am always looking where I can find a better deal for the same quality.  I'm about to make yet another purchase from them for at least one custom order potentially more. 

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