Thursday, March 9, 2017

Question of the Day: Unobservant Customers

Hey, happy Thursday everyone!  I hope you're all doing well.  Sorry I didn't post anything for Tip Tuesday, but... and it's embarrassing to admit this, but... I bought a Nintendo Switch last Friday and I've been playing Zelda: Breath of the Wild ever since!  Lol!  Yes, I'm a video game nerd, what can I say? 

Well, I have a question for all of you.  What do you do about unobservant customers?  I sell digital patterns on Etsy, but I've been getting a lot of people buying my items and then emailing me angrily that they didn't know it was a digital pattern before they bought it.  They either thought they were buying a physical pattern which isn't too bad, because I can print and send it, or they thought they were buying the actual physical item pictured, which is much more annoying. 

I've tried to put big bold notes on my listings, I put PATTERN right in the beginning of my listing name, I list the materials used as PDF, I put PATTERN in the tags, I describe it as a pattern.  I just don't know what to do.  This is a waste of my time and energy, plus it costs me to refund them money. 

So there's the question.  What would you do in that situation? 

Friday, March 3, 2017

Free Friday: Rainbow Magnet

Happy Friday, everyone!  How did your week go?  Mine has been pretty good, very busy.  I got my first seeds of the season planted in my basement under my grow lights.  I wasn't sure if I'd be able to get my garden going this year, what with the new design business and this blog taking so much of my time, but I figured I had better make the time or I'd be really sorry come summer.  I do love my vegetable garden!

Today's pattern is a really fun rainbow magnet!  It was so strange for me to pull out these colors.  They're so much brighter than the colors that I usually use!  I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

Rainbow Magnet



Skill Level:

 Beginner

Size: 

3 ½ x 3 inches

Materials: 

  • 7-count plastic canvas
  • Red Heart yarn in colors listed in key
  • Magnetic tape
  • Hot glue
  • #16 plastic canvas needle

Instructions: 

  1. Cut and stitch plastic canvas according to graph.
  2. Overcast edges using colors of nearby stitches (use the picture above as a guide)
  3. Cut several pieces of magnetic tape to fit on the back of bat magnet. Remove paper from magnets and apply glue to sticky side before attaching to rainbow. This may seem like overkill, but it makes for a very secure bond.
 
 
 
 
Click the image above to see it larger.  You may share this pattern however you please as long as you don't alter it or claim it as your own.  Please link back if you share this pattern.  You may sell items made from this pattern.  However, you may not sell this pattern.

I hope your weekend is a bright and cheerful as this cute magnet :) 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Tip Tuesday: Cleaning Plastic Canvas

Happy Tuesday, everyone!  Did you all have a good weekend?  Mine was ok, though it got cold again on Saturday so I didn't get to go outside.  I'm starting to get some cabin fever, and even though I know this early warm spell isn't good for the plants, I'm beginning to hope for 70 degree weather so I can go sit on my porch or take a long walk.

Today's tip is something you probably don't think about until you need to know.  That's certainly how I was about it, anyway.  It's about how to clean plastic canvas.  I'm sure you're thinking that cleaning plastic canvas is probably easy, but you need to take some care.  After all, you put all that work into making a piece, so you should take care of it as best as you can so it can last many long happy years.

I got the idea for this post when I noticed that one of my coasters was getting some coffee stains on it.


It's a little hard to see in the picture (it's along the upper edge there), but in person it looked pretty ugly.  My MIL once told me that to wash plastic canvas, run it under the faucet.  The problem with doing that with this piece is that it has a felt backing that's glued on with craft glue, which is of course water soluble.  If I ran it under the faucet, the back would likely come unglued.

So I did a little research and played with this coaster a little bit, and I thought I'd share with you what I found out.

How To Clean Plastic Canvas


  • If the stain is on the surface, gently dab with a damp paper towel, then with a dry paper towel.  Repeat until the stain comes out.
  • If the stain is deeper or has been sitting for a long time, dab with a paper towel dampeded with an oxygen cleaner (like Oxyclean).  Let sit for five minutes.  Dry with a dry paper towel.  Repeat as needed.
  • If the piece doesn't use craft glue, and the stain is very bad, you can fill a bowl or bucket with warm water and a small amount of oxygen cleaner and let the PC piece soak in the solution for 5-10 minutes.  Rinse thoroughly and allow to air dry.
  • DO NOT RUB!  Acrylic yarn is likely to pill or fray if you rub the piece.  Never use a brush of any kind.  If you need to do a deep cleaning, use a kitchen sprayer to blast water through it (and only if the piece doesn't use craft glue).
  • If your piece is dusty, run your vacuum hose gently across the surface to suck it up.  Don't use a brush or hand duster, as this may create pill or embed the dust into the yarn fibers.
  • And finally, clean up any stains or messes on your PC piece as soon as you notice them.  The sooner you clean them, the likelier they are to come out.

I ended up dabbing my coaster with a wet paper towel, and then a dry one.  The stain took a couple of passes, but it came out really well.



So there you have it!  I hope that list comes in handy the next time you spill coffee on one of your favorite coasters. 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Free Friday: Tiny Easter Baskets

Happy Friday everyone!  (Let's hope this posts on Friday this week!)  I hope you're all doing well this week.  I had a pretty nice one.  Gosh, it was so nice here!  Very warm and sunny, but that worries me a little.  If it stays warm for too long, the plants will start growing and blooming, and then they could all die in a cold snap.  I'm crossing my fingers that it'll either get cold again soon, or stay warm until the last frost date (which is a long way off, three months!).

Well, I really wasn't feeling up to making a pattern this week.  As I get older, the damp cold days start hurting a little more, and what hurts on me is my arms and wrists.  That makes it really difficult to stitch, since those are the muscles you're using.  Thankfully, I remembered that I've had this pattern sitting around for a long time, and it wasn't hard to make the pattern up for it.  So yay, free pattern this week!

Tiny Easter Baskets


Skill Level:

Beginner

Size: 

2x3 inches

Materials:

  • 7-count plastic canvas
  • White yarn and pastel colored yarn
  • #16 plastic canvas needle

Instructions:

  1. Cut and stitch plastic canvas according to graphs.
  2. Using a pastel colored yarn of your choice, whipstitch bottom and side pieces together. Overcast top of basket and handle with pastel.
  3. Use pastel yarn to tack handle to basket, as shown in picture.
  


Click the image above to see it larger.  You may share this pattern however you please as long as you don't alter it or claim it as your own.  Please link back if you share this pattern.  You may sell items made from this pattern.  However, you may not sell this pattern.

I have some ideas for St. Patrick's day patterns, so check back next week! 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Tuesday Tips: Accuquilt Die Storage

Happy Tuesday, everyone!  This week's tip is about sewing.  I realize that I frame my blog around plastic canvas, but the truth is that I love to sew too!  Sewing and plastic canvas are my two crafty passions, and I don't see a reason not to share this tip!  After all, maybe you'll find it handy!

I have a nifty gadget called an Accuquilt Go! Baby fabric cutter.  It's a little machine that lets you cut fabric quick and easy with the use of a rolling device and cutting dies.  If you're into sewing at all, I'm sure you've heard of these things before.  I was a skeptic at first because I thought they would waste a lot of material, but if you use it properly, it really doesn't.  And yes, it does save a lot of time cutting fabric!

However, it takes up a lot of space in my already tiny crafting room.  The dies can be pretty large, despite the fact that I have the the smallest cutting machine they make.  I usually had them laying on cabinets or on my ironing board, but I had to keep moving them out of the way when I needed to use that space. 

Finally, I came up with a pretty simple and elegant solution.  I suddenly had an extra magazine holder, and thought, hey, why not just pop them in there for the time being?  Well, that worked so well that it's become their permanant home!



As you can see, it's getting pretty full, so I'll have to get another magazine holder soon (actually, I made that one from an old box!), but I really like this solution so I'm going to keep using it.  It takes up less space than other holders that I've seen, and it keeps them safely out of the way.  I also store some of my fabric cutting rulers in that same magazine holder when I want them out of the way, too.

I hope that little tidbit gets you to think about magazine holders a little differently!  Have you ever used them for anything other than magazines?  I'd love to hear your ideas.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Lacy Easter Baskets

Happy Monday, everyone!  I hope you're having a great day just like I am!  The sun is shining, the air is getting warm, the skies are a crystal clear blue, and I'm getting lots of good work done!  It always feels good to get a project done :)

I posted a new pattern today on Etsy!  A cute set of baskets for Easter.

Lacy Easter Baskets pattern, $4 on Etsy

Cute and lacy and perfect for filling with yummy candies for Easter (or a wedding or a baby shower!). 

Now I'm off to enjoy this beautiful day. 

Free Friday: Pretty Coaster

EDIT: For some reason, this didn't post on Friday when it was supposed to :(  Sorry!  So here's a little Monday extra for you.

Happy Friday, everyone!  Did you have a good week?  Mine was alright, not perfect, but I guess I should be grateful that it was at least quiet.  It snowed like crazy yesterday and it's so pretty outside, all white and fluffy.  This is probably winter's last hurrah before it melts back into spring!

Today's free pattern was actually meant for last week, so I'm sorry it's late!  It's a Valentine's coaster, pretty in pinks and purple.  It features a cool stitch I discovered in my new needlepoint book that I thought was quite pretty.  I hope you enjoy it!

Pretty Coaster




Skill Level:

Beginner

Size:

3 ½ x 3 ½ inches

Materials:

  • 7-count plastic canvas
  • Red Heart yarn in colors listed in key
  • White craft felt
  • Craft or hot glue

Instructions:

  1.  Cut and stitch plastic canvas according to graphs.
  2. Overcast the outside edges with Medium Purple.
  3. Using coasters as a template, cut out four squares of white craft felt. Trim off 1/8 of an inch on all pieces. Attach to backs of coasters using glue.

Click the image above to see it larger.  You may share this pattern however you please as long as you don't alter it or claim it as your own.  You may sell items made from this pattern.  However, you may not sell this pattern.

 I should probably get to work on some St. Patrick's Day patterns soon, and then Easter!  Boy, how the year flies by.  I can't believe that February is already half way over.  Before you know it, it'll be Christmas again!