Friday, February 05, 2010

Toggle Clasp Bracelet

Remember me saying that my Great Aunt was a waste not want not kinda person?  Well, I guess the nut didn't fall far from the tree.  That's what I get for growing up around people who grew up during the depression huh?  It wasn't my Great Aunt that I grew up around, I never knew her well.  I'm throwing the blame at my Grandparents.

For a while I had been making my stitch markers using the round piece of a toggle clasp.  Which meant that the bars from the clasps were just sitting there, staring at me.  I couldn't bear to throw them away, knowing that sooner or later I would find a use for them, and I did.

Check out this bracelet:

And here it is laid out:
Isn't that fun?  I call it the Toggle On Bracelet.  
It's up in my shop now, but it's super easy to make.   I took a 7 inch piece of chain, grabbed some jump rings and just started attaching the toggles all around the chain.  Then added the lobster claw clasp pieces to both ends of the chain.  Very simple.
You should hear the pretty jingle it makes!  When I came up with the idea, I didn't think I would like it.  I made it anyway and I'm so glad I did.  It's actually kind of neat and would look really cool with a black turtleneck sweater.

Toggle On Dude!

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Crochet Nostalgia

Have you heard the phrase "It's in her genes"?    Or is it the phrase "Nothing comes between me and my  genes but my crafting"?  In this case, maybe both would be appropriate.

I come from a line of crafters:

My mother sews, crochets, paints, draws, designs jewelry, etc.     Every formal gown that I ever wore to proms and college dances were handmade by her.   She's an amazingly talented woman.  The one thing I didn't inherit from her are my artistic skills.  I can't draw or paint worth a flip.

My grandmother sewed and made jewelry.  She was also a very crafty woman.  Feisty too.  The only person that I've ever known to tell a pastor to kiss her a**.   You should have seen my eyes bug out of my head at that one!

Here's the one that I specifically want to tell you about today though.

My great aunt.  Tatter, quilter and crocheter extraordinaire.  I never saw the lady without a needle of some sort in her hands.  There's no telling how many miles of afghans that she made.  Somewhere in my attic is a couch back cover that she crocheted of granny squares.  It's a particularly amusing piece.  The colors are brown, green and yellow.  Except for about two inches that are in your face RED where she ran out of the proper color yarn.  This woman was from the "waste not want not" generation.   She saved every scrap and used them whenever the opportunity arose.

One project that she got absolutely right though, was her crocheted teacups.

Look how dainty these are:


Aren't they lovely?

They live on a book shelf in my bedroom now.  They sit on the lowest shelf so that The Youngest can have tea parties with them.  Wouldn't she be tickled to know that her Great nephew was playing with them now?

Let's hope that all us crafters leave such a legacy behind.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Cats and Freshwater Pearls

Pay no attention to the cat behind the light box!


I had a helper whilst taking pics of some of the pieces that I've been working on over the past couple of days.  

Here's one of the things she helped me with:

Freshwater Pearls in every muted color of the rainbow with silver accents.
I'm not completely happy with this piece. I need to go back and alter it just a little.  There's too much string and not enough beads on one of the strands and it's bugging the heck out of me.  Maybe if I hadn't had a cat in the middle of things that wouldn't have happened.  I'd like to think so anyway.  :)

Monday, February 01, 2010

Make a little Money with your Blog

I had a friend ask me not to long ago if you can make money by blogging.  His son, a recent high school grad, had heard you could do this and get wealthy doing it.  Well, yes and no.  I don't have a high readership on my blog, so I don't make loads of money.  But with my BlogHer ads, I do have a little money trickling in.  If you have a higher amount of readers coming to your blog, then perhaps this is the way to go.  You can click on the above link for more info.  Remember, more readers = more people who see the ads = more income for you.  How do you get the higher readership?  Write more articles that actually go to your target audience.  Mine target audience is mainly knitters/crafters/diy-ers.  Most of whom are struggling in this economy and looking for more ways to add some dollars to their wallets.  Thus, this article, although not crafty, is still targeting the audience.  I hope.  :)

Another way to go would be with Amazon associates.  I haven't done this much in the past and that's just plain not smart of me.   It's a win/win for everyone.  I direct you to something you will buy and I basically get a referral fee for it.  You, in turn, do this on your blog and we all continue winning and making a little pocket change.  For instance, here's a book that I got this weekend: "Fitted Knits: 25 Projects for the Fashionable Knitter" by Stephanie Japel.  Love this book by the way, planning on making several of these sweaters.  See?  Amazon link to my associates account.  Now if I can just learn to do this quickly I'll be set.  Again, it won't bring in loads of cash, but any is better than none, right?

Want a little more money from your blog?  Add a SwagBucks link.  What's SwagBucks?  It's a search and win site.  You use their search engine for your searching and you can earn enough swagbucks to redeem them for awesome prizes.  For instance, I earned $15 dollars in January in Amazon e-cards, which are stackable.  Meaning that you can use multiple cards for a single purchase.  Another bonus, the amazon e-cards don't expire.  You just put them in your account and use them when you want to.  My kid wants a Wii, so I'll be saving up for one of those.  Oh, and that $15 was without any referrals earning me the Swagbucks.  Get a referral or two and your earning of Swagbucks goes up exponentially.  The best thing about Swagbucks?  It's the only legitimate site that I've found that basically gives away free money.  Cool huh?

1.  So can you earn some money while blogging?  Yes.
2.  Will it pay all your bills and buy you that Mega Mansion you've been wanting?  Um, no.

3.  Should  I build a blog just for making money that has no content whatsoever besides links and adds that will make me money?  Please, please, just don't do this.  Make sure your blog has real content.  Your readers will thank you also.