Thursday, March 29, 2012

Do you ever...

Feel intimidated by some people who post new blog posts at the rate of several a day?  I try not to let it get to me, but sometimes when I look at my blog roll and those bloggers are the only ones I see are people who post more like it's Facebook or Twitter than a blog.  I'm not complaining, everyone has a different model for their own blog and had the choice to post at the frequency that works best for them.  It just prompts me to ask myself what prevents me from posting more.  Then I realize that I have multiple full time jobs on top of Stitch Silly.  Such is life!  Regardless, I'm enjoying sharing my story with you and look forward to many more stories.  Until then, happy stitching!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Project Wonderful Update

I've been using project wonderful for a few months now.  To be honest, I'm still not sure about it.  For a while I had a lot of interest, but it seems to have slowed down.  I've tried different ad types and different price points, but they haven't seemed to work long term.  I'm not sure what the magic sauce it to make it a continuous money maker.  I'm going to keep trying to figure it out, maybe switch it up a little more. 

Until I successfully figure it out, I may try to explore other opportunities of accepting sponsorships.  There are so many possibilities out there it's hard to decide which direction to choose.  To those of you who have done both, what has your experience been?  Share your war stories here, we want to hear them!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Has it been that long?

My humblest apologies to you my readers to for the apparent disappearance!  I have been quite busy over the last couples weeks that required me to put on hold my blogging temporarily.  But it's Wednesday and that's as good as any to reset in my book.  What am I working on these days you ask?  Well a couple things actually!  One is a diaper tote which I think will be super fun to make, I'm currently in the process of cutting the fabric out on this one.  It's currently sitting on my test taunting me every time I walk by it for me to finish cutting it out.  I'll get there!

SOLD 30x30in. Yellow Baby Blanket ($42.00)
 The other great project I'm working on these days is a great baby blanket similar to the one below.  The one I'm making is going to be pink instead of yellow.  It will also be slightly bigger than this one.  I love this pattern, but the little ones grow out of them too fast when they are only 30x30 in. so I've decided to make a version that is bigger so the new little bundle of joys can enjoy me creations longer!

It's a knitting project so it takes time to create, as many of you knitters know.  I think I'm about a quarter of the way through it, so keep your eyes peeled in the coming weeks.  It will be my first product in a while. 

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Photography Lessons

Let me start this post by saying I do not consider myself a photography expert, nor do I consider myself an expert in Gimp, but over the last year I have learned a great deal in terms of what makes a great picture for the internet and what doesn't.  I am still learning a lot myself, but let me give you a bit of a photo history of my photography learning curve. 

One of my earlier photo. 

The above photo isn't bad per see, but it isn't good either.  It's just well...blah.  When I posted this product to Etsy I posted what I got off the camera.  No photo editing, just point, shoot, upload, and pray for the best.  Then I decided I need to re-shoot this product in natural light.   That's what all the experts say at least, so I did.  And this was the result:
Natural Light Burp Cloth Set
Much better, right! But again not great and I uploaded straight from the camera.  Well maybe I went crazy and did a little photo editing.  Hold your horses here, I think I cropped the image!  In terms of product imaging this is much better, at least in my personal opinion.  I know, I know, I still need to work on the overall package, but I have a long way to go on that one.  If anyone wants to offer up some advice I'll gladly take it here!

Moving on...

Then we moved and I got a great new desk to photograph my products on. 
Car Seat Cover on Plain White Background
 But I still wasn't editing my photos and because of some of the lighting I was using I kept getting this yellowish hue to my photos.  Occasionally I got lucky like here:
Natural Light no Touchups Required
But this kind of photo doesn't come a long very often.  I also don't often have the luxury of photographing in natural light very often.  So most of my pictures were looking like the Car Seat Covers and I was anxious to post new products (remember my inventory push that wasn't very successful?) so up they went onto my Etsy Shop without much thought and editing beyond taking the pictures.

Now I have some time on my hands and I am getting a little better at Gimp.  For those of you unfamiliar, Gimp is a free software that while is similar to Photoshop has many additional capabilities.  I typically only use it for photo editing right now (someday maybe I'll use it for other things).  After playing with my product images a bit, I have discovered a few things.
  1. NEVER AGAIN will I post something without first editing it!
  2. It's easier than it looks.
  3. It does take some practice, but it's worth it in the end.
 Here is a before and after image to show you what I mean.


I didn't do a lot of editing, but I at least cleaned up the dark hint associated with the image, which brightened everything up quite a bit.  The second set I cropped some.  And more importantly, I figured out how to add a watermark to my images to if someone decides they want to use my images somewhere, Stitch Silly is plastered on my image. 

I still have a lot of improvement on the actual composition ahead of me, but I think this is a great start for editing once I've taken the picture. 

Look for a few tutorials walking you some of these techniques.  Hopefully, I will demystify Gimp and photo editing for you just a bit.  Who knows we maybe able to help each other out just a bit

Monday, March 5, 2012

Clever Inventory System

Thanks to Crafty Staci for writing this tutorial
As I was doing some light reading this weekend I ran across this great tutorial.  As many of my long time readers know when Stitch Silly first opened its doors, I worked very hard to develop an effective accounting system.  Those posts to this day are my number one viewed items.  I just hope people are finding it as beneficial as I did creating it.  But that's another story all together. 

What I'm here to talk to you about today is another system I ran across while reading Totally Tutorials.  She referenced a great tutorial made by Staci at Crafty Staci.  This tutorial just amazed me and made me think, why didn't I think of that!  But alas, we can't always be rock stars.  Today Staci wins that prize!  Thank you so much for putting this together for us!

Just as a brief summary before I send you over to Crafty Staci.  She uses 3x5 cards to track the fabric she purchases, recording the price, yardage purchased, if it was on sale (and sale price), date purchased, whom she purchased from, and finally any additional notes for that particular fabric.  More creatively, she also includes a swatch of the fabric on each card.  Personally I think this is the best piece of advice she offers in her tutorial.  As many of you know, I do track my fabric in my inventory on my spreadsheet, but sometimes I don't always remember what the description I write down refers to in my actual fabric inventory. 

Do any of you others have a similar system?  I'd love to hear your versions!  I think this system or something similar would be great for both fabric and yarn.  Looks like I have some work ahead of me on this.  Happy organizing!

Friday, March 2, 2012


I've been on a sewing hiatus recently.  There really isn't a reason for it.  I have projects to start.  As a matter of fact, I have a pattern cut laying on my sewing table as I type.  I just haven't sat down to do it yet.  It's a new pattern, and therefore a new product for us here as Stitch Silly.  I'm not sure I'm just nervous about doing it or if there is something else in the works.  I do know that there is something keeping my from sewing and I need to get out of my rut.  Perhaps it's my renewed urge to knit baby blankets for ALL my wonderful friends that are expecting.  Maybe I should go to the store and get some yarn instead and start a new knitting project.  Hmmm, now those creative juices are flowing again...
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