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Product Update: Accent Pillows

Accent Pillow | Color Me Reckless

Lately I’ve been big on making pillows out of my pile of scrap yarns.  It’s ended up with some beautiful pillows with lots of gorgeous colors, which I love.  But I wanted to start making something that was simpler, that would be more of an accent rather than a focal piece.  (Ok, I had two skeins of this beautiful purple yarn and it was the perfect amount for an accent pillow – you caught me!)

Dark Purple Pillow | Color Me Reckless

But I love them.  I love how simple they are, how quick they work up, and how soft to the touch they are.  I’m already planning to make a few more to go on my guest bed.  They’ll match the blanket that is currently a work in progress and buried somewhere in my closet.  It will be great.

Accent Pillow | Color Me Reckless Accent Pillow | Color Me Reckless

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For now, these sweet pillows are up in the shop!

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My First Pillow!

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This pillow took me about one week longer than I thought it would, because I kept getting bored with the monotonous rows of hdc for the back! But I think the simplicity of the backing really makes the front that much more fun and bright. I love the way they work together.

Waves Pillow - Color Me Reckless

It’s made from leftover Caron Simply Soft yarn from any number of projects over the years – some is from my very first blanket (fitting, don’t you think?), some if from a baby blanket for a friend, and some is from the multiple wedding blankets I’ve made for dear friends.

Waves Pillow - Color Me Reckless

I’m determined to clean out this basket of old yarn – It’s meant to be my project basket, but as been sitting as yarn storage for over a year now. I really want my basket back!

I’m thrilled that this pillow came out the way I had envisioned it.  I’ve already started on my next pillow (using some squares that were going to be a blanket and will now be a pillow!) and am excited by the possibility of adding these to my repertoire. For now, this one will be up in my shop.

 

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Summer Traveling? Take Color Me Reckless With You!

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I don’t know about you, but I’ve got all my summer travel planned for the second half of the summer –  a short trip to see family in Puerto Rico and then a short anniversary trip to Charles Town, West Virginia. I’m super excited for both!

But I’m also excited about this new summer item I worked up. Meet The Shower Scrubby.

Shower Scrubby - Color Me Reckless

 

I make a super sweet soap saver bag that I absolutely love. But not everyone uses soap! So I originally worked this up for people that wanted a smaller washcloth for shower gel. And then I realized how great for traveling it would be! A small, scrubby washcloth that fits neatly in your toiletries bag? Perfect!

I’m thinking about adding a little handle on a version of it so that it says on your hand in the shower. What do you think?

If you’re looking for great travel items you can check out my Etsy shop – these new Shower Scurbbies are there (more coming soon!) and my Face Scrubbers are also great for travel. Pack just one or two face scrubbers for your vacation rather than worrying about taking cotton balls or buying cotton balls when you get there!

From now until the end of summer (August 31, 2014), use code TRAVEL14 at checkout for 20% off your total purchase.

AND share a picture of you with Color Me Reckless item on your travels on Facebook or Instagram, and you’ll be entered to win a gift certificate for the shop! Just snap a photo of the item, tag Color Me Reckless and post! Please only post your photo once on Facebook OR Instagram – not both. Posting twice or on multiple sites will disqualify you from the drawing.

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Learning to Value Your Work and Price it Accordingly

Funky Square Blanket - Color Me Reckless

PET PEEVE ALERT!! Seriously, this is something that bugs me to no end.  I can’t count the number of times I go looking around on Etsy doing price comparison, or looking for packaging inspiration, or just looking at what other people are doing, and I see beautiful crochet work priced dirt cheap.  Yesterday I saw 61 items priced at $3.00. Not $3 each, $3 for all 61 items. It has to stop. Here are some really good reasons why pricing your work that low isn’t a good thing, even though it might help you get sales.

1. It disrespects your work.

When your work isn’t priced according to all the time and skill that went into it, you are sending the message that your work doesn’t matter to you, that it didn’t take skill to create, and that you don’t value your work. Crocheting takes time, it takes planning, it takes an understanding of color play. You created something that you think is good enough to sell to other people, so why don’t you value that? Make sure when you price your work that you value your time and energy. Take into account the cost of the yarn, and the amount of time it took you to create the item. Think about fair labor – even minimum wage, entry level jobs have a minimum wage.  However sucky and exhausting working in fast food may be, that companies values its employees time. Shouldn’t you? When I go looking for an item on Etsy or on another handmade marketplace, I’m looking for something special, something handmade, and something that clearly had a lot of love put into it. I don’t want crap I can buy anywhere. I’m willing to pay for handmade, don’t assume I don’t know what I’m looking for.

2. It makes you look like a factory.

When you don’t price your work well, it makes it seem like you don’t care about your work at all.  If you don’t care about each handcrafted item, why should I as a consumer? Why should I buy something handmade, when even the artist doesn’t value the product? And frankly, when I see things like 61 items for a total of $3.00, I start to wonder if it’s all really handmade.  I know how much time goes into crocheting an item, and I know how much yarn costs. There’s no formula that would make that price legitimate. Handmade businesses are not the place to use price as a means of competition. Sure you want to be in the same price category as your competitors, but this is not the place where dirt cheap prices win. Handmade items for pennies each hurt both you as the business person, and me as the consumer. You’re losing money by not valuing your work, and the consumer starts to believe that’s how much crochet work is worth.

3. It makes crochet seem cheap and easy, not a skillful talent.

Not everyone can crochet, and crochet well. It’s a skill and a talent. When you price your crochet items dirt cheap, hoping to get buyers, you are hurting everyone who crochets. You are pulling down the value of crochet in the marketplace, and you are making consumers think that crochet is worthless. Stop.  Value yourself and your craft, and price accordingly. Remember that you are more than just a lone seller, you are a part of a marketplace, and your actions impact the whole market.

It’s all economics.

I know, I know. Those three words send shivers of fear and loathing down your spine. But if you are selling your work to consumers, you better know a little something about valuing your work. I can’t tell you had sad it makes me to see people who clearly think their craft isn’t worth what it should be.  Recognize your talent! 

And because this post was a bit light on actual crocheting, here’s a sneak preview of a blanket that’s almost complete!

Funky Square Blanket - Color Me Reckless

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My First Craft Show!

I’ve been a bit absent the last few weeks here on the blog, but it’s been for a great reason.  I got into a craft show! I’ll be selling Color Me Reckless items at the DC Meet Market on May 3.  I’m so excited!

But since I got the news a few weeks ago, it has been nonstop making items and running through checklist after checklist of everything I’d need for the show.

Craft Show Madness - Color Me Reckless

You can see that my workspace has exploded just a bit! But amid all the mess of yarn ends (and the Greek Square Blanket in the background!) there are great items happening! I set a goal for myself to make 500 items.  So far, with one month to go, I’ve got 50. So that might be a bit of a reach, but I think I can make it!

Craft Show Madness - Color Me Reckless

 

See? The items are coming together! You can see my new labels in some of the soap saver bags. So pleased with how those came out!

I’m hoping that this leads to more shows and more exposure – I would love to be able to make this my living someday. Wouldn’t that be great?