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Room 416: Heaven on Earth

A home is an intimate place.  It’s a visual representation of who you are as a person, but more importantly, who you are as a designer.  When I see someone’s house, it’s the final piece that reveals their true personality.  But let’s face it:  A college dorm is all about being cheap and functional – personality can wait until we actually have money.

While this isn’t technically my crafting studio, it IS the apartment I’ve been living in the for the past 6 months and will be my home for the next 3 (ah is graduation really that soon?!).  I love my little apartment.  It is warm, it is cozy, and has affectionately become known to others as “the dessert apartment”.  I share this home with 3 other girls – Alana, Rachael, and Jen – and we have the time of our lives.  That is not an exaggeration.

Making pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving, nearly burning down the kitchen, talking until 3 am, training for half marathons, learning to write simultaneously with both hands, or watching Friends while eating dinner – we do it all.  I am so thankful for them and the enjoyment they’re brought to my life.

Rachael, Me, Alana, and Jen with our contributions to Thanksgiving dinner

It also helps that I’m living across the hall and the down from 7 of my other good friends.  As a senior class, the girls in my sorority decided to move down to the lower-campus apartments to spend our last year at college.  We traded in ratty old dorm life for HEAVEN.  It’s the best.

Alright, enough gushing.  I’m starting to get nostalgic and nostalgia leads to tears.  If you haven’t gotten the idea that I love my apartment, my roommates, and my friends, I can’t say much more that will convince you.  A picture truly is worth a thousand words so here, dear friends, is my apartment… Room 416.

Our room on a busy weekend - getting ready for a bridal shower while watching "The Wedding Planner"... Typical.

Craft Show Update

November has long been here which means JJCrochet’s craft show season ended last month.  Oh what a time of fun, sleepless nights, mad crocheting, and meeting wonderful people.  Here’s a slight recap of JJCrochet’s craft show chaos 2010.

  • Number of shows: 3
  • Total Crafting Days: 5
  • Furthest Distance Traveled: 4 1/2 hours round trip
  • Total Crochet Hats Sold: 154
  • Times Getting Hit on: 8

To see real-life JJCrochet customer footage check out this VIDEO:

This year’s craft show season also marked JJCrochet’s most profitable day of selling EVER.  JJCrochet sold 1 crocheted hat ever 6 minutes.  Yes, 86 crocheted hats were released into the market at the Clarion Autumn Leaf Festival.  And in case you’re wondering, seeing people walk around wearing your designs is still a rush, even after 6 years of doing craft shows.

Now that CSS (Craft Show Season) is over, it’s time for JJCrochet to start building up next year’s inventory.  Crocheted hats, crochet berets, knit caps, and even a crocheted hexagon blanket are in the works.  [Perhaps even a “How to Crochet a Flower Video Tutorial”…]


JoAnn Fabric’s VIP Card – 10% Off for Crafters and Non-profits

I found some exciting news about JoAnn Fabric’s.  As a small business and crafter, I thought I’d pass along the news.  Everyone’s favorite craft store, JoAnn Fabrics,  is offering a free new VIP card that’ll get you 10% off every purchase.  I spent too much there as it is so I might as well get 10% off every order, can I get an “Amen”?

The details:

  • 10% off every purchase, including sale items
  • Eligible if: a reseller, member of sewing or crafting guild, or a non-profit
  • Must show tax exempt license or proof of 501(c)3 status
  • Sign up at  It’ll take 3-5 weeks for your card to arrive

So simple, right?  If you qualify for JoAnn’s new VIP card, sign up and start saving 10% off your purchases.  You never know, those dimes might add up after a while.  Happy crafting!

UPDATE 9/15: My JoAnn Fabric VIP card arrived in the mail today.  Time for a yarn run.


The Newest Member of JJCrochet: Nikon L110

Confession: I purchased a Canon SLR EOS Rebel Camera with the intent of getting into photography and taking better pictures of my crochet hats.  Fail.  The camera was a tad too advanced for me and I always felt weird pulling in out at parties or events because then I was that girl.  The girl with the big camera who was trying to be all indie and artsy.

So I sold my Rebel on Craigslist and shopped around for an easier camera.  Enter the Nikon Coolpix L110.


  • Digital, not SLR (so easy to figure out – just point and click)
  • Small and convenient to tote around
  • 12.1 mega pixels
  • 15x zoom
  • Great Macro Pics
  • Decently priced

I was converted.

The camera is perfect for what I need it and I’m already finding it to be a refreshingly simple downgrade from my Canon.  Here are some pictures of flowers I took while experimenting with the macro setting… not too shabby for a camera under $250.


Book Review: The Handmade Marketplace

So after looking for some books with which to fill my summer days, I came across this list (found on Design Sponge) listing some must-read books for “Biz Ladies”.  One particular book caught my eye: The Handmade Marketplace: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and On-Line by Kari Chapin.

Because my mom is the director of our local public library, I thought she might be interested in picking up this praised crafty book for the library’s collection.  And of course, in doing so, I could be the first to preview its contents without actually buying it myself.  Shady?  No.  Resourceful?  Yes.  I asked, she took the bait, the book was ordered.  Came in the mail today.

I have only read the first 4 chapters, but I’m already in love.  When other people said this book was chalked full of pertinent information, I didn’t know they meant it would keep me nodding my head every 5 seconds or re-reading sentences because of the useful info.  There are resources about taking better photographs of products, where to find inspiration for your next product, ways to connect with others in the crafty community, marketing lessons, a list of tax writeoffs, tips from crafting pros, and that’s only the first 4 chapters!

I will certainly be finishing this one up in a the next day or so, then it’s off to the library so others can share in its goodness.  What are some of your crafty business must-reads for the summer?


Berroco Free Crochet Hat Pattern

As winter winds calm down, it’s the perfect time to wear those chic yet fashionable crochet berets.  You know, the slouchy crochet hats that are perfect to pair with those floral skirts and a light jacket.  A free crochet hat pattern I’ve been eyeing is Berroco’s Phannie. Simple, textured, and a perfect transition into these warmer days.