Monday, July 03, 2017

Getting Ready for Fall with Artisan's Path

Fall Decor - gotta have some! The cooler weather is so inspiring, especially here in the desert. We start getting these amazing sunsets and soon the autumn colors are out. 

To help you with your fall decor let's take a look at these wonderful handcrafted fall creations from Artisan's Path

Fall Napkins: 
Beautiful Fall Napkins to brighten up your holiday table. Perfect touch to your Thanksgiving meal. Colors: Rust, brown, green, tan and beige. Size: 14" x14". Set of 4.


And the Matching Fall Table Runner:


Brighten up the season with this beautiful, crisp fall table runner. The beautiful fall colors of rust, brown, green and beige will be a nice addition to your holiday table. Size: 70" x 20".

We are happy to have Artisan's Path products in our catalog and hope you will support our vendors by shopping with us and you can find more Artisan's Path products on Esty. 


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Nightmare Packaging - Caregivers and Patients Struggle

There are a million things I can gripe about being a full-time caregiver but this week I have one major gripe to discuss. I won't call it a rant and I won't disclose the manufacturer because that's not my goal.

My goal here is to address the packaging company they use. I am talking about a heart medication, a specific brand of blood thinner, that is advertised on tv frequently. It very widely used and taken twice a day.

This particular medicine is humidity-sensitive, as in you cannot keep them in the daily pill box like we use. For the past year this meant keep the pill bottle tightly capped and manually taking a capsule out at the appropriate time. A little pain the neck added to a tough day, oh well.

A new prescription arrived this week and it was in individual sealed blister packs. 



I cannot get these open to save a life, pun intended! I eventually resorted to a sharp knife to get the capsule out. The first time I almost cut myself, not knowing how much pressure to use and trying not to nick the capsule inside. 

There are instruction on the back in a very small font that reads "BEND AND PULL BACK". Simply not true, these just will not open up no matter how much you bend and pull. 

This is a terrible case of being disconnected with your consumer. You create packaging is difficult to open knowing full well the ones taking it twice a day have heart disease. And mostly they are older with arthritis in their hands. Really??

The last thing you want is for a person on blood thinners slicing his hand open simply trying to get his medicine opened. 

Maybe someone in the packaging industry will get it someday, fingers crossed. 

As dispensing medicine get more completed for us look for more posts on the medication challenges of care-giving and managing chronic disease.  

What's your opinion?





Tuesday, June 13, 2017

One is Not Enough - Sell More Crafts with Lots More Images


How many picture do you have of your handmade products? Start clicking that camera now.

Don't sell your product short. Have some confidence in what you've created and share the joy and passion you've put in this piece.

Wherever you are listing your products (like at HandmadeCatalog.com or Etsy) they will give you room for lots of product photos.

Do you make afghans or spice mixes? It doesn't matter really what the item is, just add photos of your item in different settings, outside in the sun, inside from a distance, up close, back and front, being worn, being used and it's okay to include some photos of yourself making the item.

Add more images and it will improve your chance of sale, one is never, ever enough!

The future of shopping is online, we all will miss the "ability to touch before we buy" but we are more comfortable with online shopping everyday.

So just jump in with both feet! Take and post as many photos of your items as you can. And those selfies just make things more personal, which is exactly what you want.

If this sounds like a extra work, it is but it is well worth it in the long run.

Not a good photographer? That excuse is on the way out. Learn the tricks you can do on your phone or camera and then use a free photo editor like picmonkey or canva to do the rest.

Do you need a online marketing coach? I'm here, let's talk!

Pam Wylie, Owner
HandmadeCatalog.com





Monday, June 05, 2017

Thread or Tread...Cautiously by Sally Spring

I received a ball of No. 10 Viscose Thread from Bulgaria through an Etsy seller.  It was a very small ball of thread…very slippery, very shiny.  I opened the plastic that surrounded/encased it.
It fell around my hand and wrist!  It was like it was happy to be free!  Lol

Since then, I have been trying to tell the seller that there is a problem trying to find the “end” of the thread.  She just keeps repeating it is slippery when working with it. 

Well. . .  I wouldn’t know. 

The thread not only unwraps itself from the spool as it is loosening but uncurls itself as the factory wound it on the spool.  Double trouble! 


I found out through many emails of other crochet-ers that the thread end was on the “inside” of the ball, not the outside as in American threads like Southmaid, Aunt Lydia, etc.


The plastic wrap should NEVER have been removed! 



I was left with trying to put it in an “order” to work with; something that took me two 7-hour nights to do.  I cut a rectangular cardboard and sliced a triangular cut into each long end. 
I had to tape the first end on the cardboard because it was slipping continually while trying to unravel itself.  Then used rubber bands to keep the thread in place as I wound it and also when I was using it. 

- Sally Spring

Thank you Sally for this informative guest post! Here is one my favorite pieces by Sally. 
She has so many more, be sure to visit her shop.  


It's Wedding Day - Created by hand, this gown
from Sally Spring is fitting for such a happy occasion! 

Saturday, June 03, 2017

Overcoming Caregivers Syndrome

It's been a long time since my last post. I used to write almost everyday about crafts and marketing (my 2 favorite subjects) and I loved doing it. So what happened?

I became a full-time caregiver to my husband.

Many of you might be thinking "so what, how hard can that be?"

Many of you know all to well how difficult being a caregiver can be. For some it is a horrible few weeks or months, for others it goes on for years and sometimes decades. Sometimes longer that the caregiver lives :(

For me, this is my 21st year of being a caregiver husband and my 3rd year of doing it "full-time". Before that I was a caregiver for my mother who had Alzheimer's for over 10 years. Back then I had more of a support group, now it is  just little old me.

Straight up, this job messes with you mind. Your perspective is out of balance and your goofiness is the first to go.

I have learned to search for the goofball which was hiding in me (hint: you need to get out more) and as a result I can't wait to get back to my blog.

You see, the creative part of me was locked behind what I call the "In This Moment Only" mindset. You get used to being "on guard" all the time, there is nothing else in the world. For caregivers being in the moment is not that great of a place to hang out.

So for those out there giving care every second of every day, keep up the honorable work but try to get out and take in what the well folks are up to today. And listen to all kinds of music, there is good-brain things in the tunes.

It might help you find a little goofiness that is begging to get out.

Then go create something!



Wednesday, February 01, 2017

5 Quilt Patterns for the Year of the Rooster 2017 - Beautiful Rooster Quilt Patterns Online

According to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, we have just begun the year of the Fire Rooster.

The Year of Fire Rooster only occurs once every 60 years.