Saturday, October 31, 2015

taking stock...

I remembered this post from last year working hard and thought that I might try to make this 'taking stock' an annual event so that I have a snap shot of how much I have in my Etsy shop and how things are going.

This was last year's information...
165 active listings in my Etsy shop
  • 38 listings in my wristwarmers and cuffs section 
  • 22 listings in my bath and beauty section
  • 46 listings in my hats and headbands section
  • 2 listings in my bags section
  • 2 listings in my little beach pebbles section
  • 15 listings in my beachcombing treasures section
  • 2 listings in my supplies section
  • 33 listings in my greetings cards section
  • and 5 listings in my sale section 
 To date I've had 632 sales in my Etsy shop and my feedback rating is 363 (all five star apart from two four star reviews)


and for comparison, this is how things are this year...
105 active listings in my Etsy shop
  • 23 listings in my wristwarmers and cuffs section 
  • 19 listings in my bath and beauty section
  • 17 listings in my hats and headbands section
  •  2 listings in my bags section
  •  0 listings in my little beach pebbles section
  •  7 listings in my beachcombing treasures section
  • 11  listings in my supplies section
  • 26 listings in my greetings cards section
  • and 0 listings in my sales section  

 To date I've had 793 Etsy sales, and my feedback is 439 (all five star apart from 2 four star reviews still) 


In the last year I've been selling LOTS more of the sea glass pieces (and sea shells for crafting supplies)  - I really need to crack on with making more wrist warmers and hats....that's what I'm in the middle of right now - I still have two pairs of wrist warmers to photograph and get listed and am nearly finished a third pair. I've got 19 pairs of the crocodile stitch ones listed (and the two finished pairs are the same pattern but different colours) - I need to get making some of the 'ordinary' wrist warmers too so that there's a bit of choice!

I've been pretty busy with custom orders lately too; making a headband with matching wrist cuffs (see one of my earlier posts from this month), then making a hat with a flower on for Rosie, wrist warmers for Jana... I also had a message from a man in America who wanted two pairs of wrist warmers the same so I had to order some extra wool (from Springwools) for them - they're off in the post already now :)

I've also had an order for a 'Mummy & me' hat set for a friend of my Mum - so far I've only made the hat for the mother, I need to sit down and work out how to convert it all to a smaller size next! I've also ordered in some baby alpaca yarn for a pair of wrist warmers for a lady on Valentia and then just the other day I had a message from my friend in New York state about a pair of wrist warmers for her husband!

So all of this will keep me busy for a while; in amongst all of that I'll be also building up some stock for my Etsy shop in the hopes of big sales (and for the winter craft markets too of course).

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Out and about - and a little house guest too.

 So...I've been out on my bike again since I last wrote on here :) I have a favourite route now; I head out in the Mastergeehy/Dromid direction for approx 10km and then either turn back or go home via another route...this was my third time doing it. It's nice to be able to vary the route back home depending on which direction the wind is coming from or how energetic I'm feeling.
 This road doesn't look too bad but it's a killer - there is such a slow, gradual incline....I can't cycle all the way up but hopefully one day I will be able to. It's always nice to get off the bike though and have a breather. I must take some more photos along this road as it goes through forestry land so all of a sudden there are all these pine trees.
 I just had to stop to take a photo of the little grotto - there are so many of these scattered around locally - usually in the middle of nowhere!
 I love this photo of the cross-roads - the road off to the left is the road home :)

.....and here's our little house guest. We've been looking after this little handful for a week now while his owners are away on holiday. He actually nearly was a permanent addition to our household about a month ago but Peter put his foot down and said that we have enough cats (which I know we do, but still....) so my friend kept the foundling instead.
 His name is 'Pirate' and he is a quiet one - it's taken him most of the week to come out of his shell. He cracks me up when he contorts himself to give himself a good washing; I was thrilled to have caught it on camera :)

Saturday, October 17, 2015

I've made this wrist warmer and matching headband set as a custom order but I really like them so I'm going to make more :) People at markets etc quite often ask if I have a matching hat/headband to go with wrist warmers and very often I don't have anything that would 'go' so I lose out on making a good sale (they'll buy one or the other, not both) -- I'll make up a few matching sets ready for the Christmas markets and see how they go.

King Cole's ''riot'' has got to be one of the yarns that I have used most through my crochet 'career' - I just love the colours and how they merge from one to the other. The colour combinations sometimes look like they just won't go together but then when you work it up into a wrist warmer or whatever, it gives a great effect.
 These wrist warmers are made in a King Cole yarn too - this was my first time using their 'Shine' -- I'm not sure whether I would use it again to be honest. It's 100% acrylic (with a soft sparkly thread running through it) and it doesn't have the same ''feel'' as a wool/acrylic blend. The wrist warmers do feel quite comfortable once you were them though, so hopefully they will sell - I know there's a market for wool free/vegan items.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

 Some days I just have to stop my car on the way to work and pull over just so that I can take a few photos :) This is the view from one side (and then the other) of the Valentia bridge - taken before 7.30am. It's always so peaceful.
 Then when I got to work, we could see a 'red tide' in the harbour :( This isn't good news for the local wildlife but hopefully it has all dispersed now.

I had my last day at work yesterday so I'm now officially unemployed and on my winter 'holiday' - it always takes a few days for this to sink in; right now it just feels like I'm on my normal days off. I'm going to keep myself busy with my crochet and beach combing through the winter months but I'm also going to try and keep going out on my bike when the weather is suitable.

Today is just a bit overcast and cool so I decided to start as I mean to go on and heading out towards Dromid on my bike. I think this has been the longest bike ride I've done since I got my new bike - I did do a 10 mile ride back from Cahirciveen - I need to try and find a route-tracker app or something so that I can work it out...
 Anyway...I cycled as far as Dromid and then headed back towards Waterville along one of the minor roads instead of going the same way home.

 Going out on my bike means that I notice things that you wouldn't really see if you were just driving along in a car - I loved this ruined old house.

 Look! There are still lots of wild flowers!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Shop Updates..

I think it's easier to write several shorter blog updates, each on an individual subject, rather than one long rambling one; so yes, this is my second update of the day!

I'm now up to 774 sales in my Etsy shop - hopefully I'll make 800 by the end of the year but who knows? Things have been relatively quiet lately as I haven't been adding that many new listings - I find that for my shop to 'work' it helps to keep adding new bits and pieces every so often. While I'm working on the ferry though, I don't have so much crochet time and then there's the thought of having to take the photographs, write the individual listings and work on tags and search it tends to get put off... I've actually got 8 pairs of wrist warmers waiting to be photographed etc! I was hoping to take some of the photos today (my day off work) but the weather is atrocious and the light is so bad that I think it will have to wait.

For the whole of the month of October I've decided to donate all proceeds from the sales of my hats to Action Aid's refugee fund - I started this 'promotion' at the end of September and have sold four through my Etsy shop and one locally. I'm really hoping that all the hats I have in stock will sell - I still have 15 of them left so I think I'm probably being a bit ambitious but you never know...

So far I've donated €100 and today I will be donating the money from the sale of the 4th hat on Etsy to sell - every bit helps.


Well here we are, into October already - I only have three more shifts left at work now: I'm off today and then am working Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings (til 3pm) and then that's it all over for yet another year.

This was my 10th season on the ferry; I don't think I ever intended to stay there so long, but it just feels like the right job for me so I keep coming back ;)

We've been lucky enough to have a couple of lovely weeks but now the weather has taken a turn and we're back to cool, wet and windy weather - it's a shame really as I was hoping to see the season out on a high...but I did take some photos at work while we had the 'Indian summer' :)