Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Where Do I Go From Here?

Where do I go from here? For the past ten months I've had a wonderful time designing and knitting my baskets, setting up an Etsy shop, doing shows and marketing the best way I knew how. But they just won't move. So now it's time to sit back, examine my process and strike out in a different direction.

I made an impulse buy this past fall. (Actually it was several impulse buys!) I purchased 443 pink plastic barrettes at my local dollar store for an insanely low price and will now fiddle around with them and see what I can come up with. Fiber continues to be my main focus, so I see a lot of felt in fun, colorful shapes!

I'll also be doing a little more exploring into the world of fine art, doing more painting and maybe printing out note cards and prints.

I really do think, though, that my main problem seems to be poor marketing.

As a left handed, right brained thinker, I have a really hard time focusing on technical things. Etsy has been a wealth of information but I've had a rough time compartmentalizing.

I will continue to market my Incredibly Cute Canvas Growth Charts. They are just too precious not to keep trying!

Next year I'll be focusing more on local craft shows. Living "Down the Shore" provides me with a solid higher end clientele. I just have to find the right shows. There's plenty of help for me to draw on. After all, I'm not new to craft shows. I put myself through college selling batik tee shirts!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Well, after 8 months of trying to market and sell my Hand knit Felted Baskets, proving to be a fantastic failure at it, it's time to move on to the next BIG thing. It's so strange to me that folks will say how clever and great the baskets are, and that they are priced right, but only one has sold in all this time.

So, I have marked them down by 50% and hopefully I'll be able to get just a little back for all my effort.
But I'm trying to be philosophical about it. I will find the thing that I can I can do well and love doing. I'm just full of ideas! And the neat thing is, the more creative I am, the more great ideas I have!

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Miracle of Nine

Last summer my Godmother became critically ill and nearly entered Heaven's gates when she was rushed to the hospital with massive internal bleeding. For 11 days her bleeding went uncontrolled. And during that time, she had been told, she received eight units of blood. Eventually the source of the bleeding was found and repaired and she was able to return home. Her convalescence was complicated by chemo therapy, but she did get better and is grateful to God for seeing her through this and showing her with such assurance, that He intends for her to be well and to continue the work He has placed in front of her.

While worshipping in church, several months after her hospital stay, she was filled with gratitude for those anonymous people who had donated their blood, making her recovery possible. And she prayed for them. " Oh Lord", she prayed. "Please send a special blessing to those eight people who donated their blood so that I could live." And in the small still voice that she recognised as God's, she heard, "Nine." Well, she was confused by that, and she said, "But Lord, my husband told me there were eight people who gave their blood." And the Lord spoke back, "Mine!"

And it is so true that God hears everything we say to Him! Whether it's praise or prayer, worship or petition, He hears it and He acts upon it, for our benefit and His glory!

But here's the rest of the story; When she was told that there was a chance she might have cancer cells floating around in her, her doctor ordered a blood test to measure a certain protein, CA125, in her blood, that is an indicator of cancer. The count was 257. The optimal number would be under 50. A few months later it was suggested that she discontinue the chemo, due to certain side effects that occured, and she was glad to agree. The CA125 blood test was run again and the count was............................nine!


Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It Takes So Little.....

It's the day before Thanksgiving! And, as an average avant guard artist type, my house is a mess! I made a list of ALL the things that need to be cleaned, cleared, stowed, and tossed.

But first, a trip to the dollar store! The last time I was there, (Oh... about 3 days ago!) I found a bin of small sized barrettes. They were pink/iradescent plastic with the french type of closure. And..... they were only ten cents each!!! So I bought 33 of them.

Last night I decided to crochet little covers for them. One I made of DK weight white cotton and the other of #10 crochet cotton. I think they came out pretty well.

Today I went back and picked out 100 of them. And when I took them to the counter the lovely lady cashier told me that all of them together was $5.00! And when I paid her, she said to go ahead and take another handful! So I did!

There must be another 500 or so of them. So, in a couple of days I'll go back and buy the rest.

You see, just a ten cent item, turned into a 5 cent item is all it takes to make my day! (smile)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Curse the Cold, I say! Curse it!

Last night I tried, yet again to enter and use an Etsy Virtual Lab. It was a Critiquing Lab and, finally, I actually made it work! The folks there were very kind and answered my questions. I was able to get some very good advise on how to improve the quality of my photos.

Later today, if I can find the time, I will be walking my felted baskets out the door and taking new pictures in the natural sunlight. Curse the cold, I say! Curse it! I WILL be successful at this!!

I have listed two new baskets. More Christmas Hearts, in different colors and sizes.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"All the Leaves are Brown, and the Sky is Grey....."

This morning the sky is a shade of silver that tells me that rain is on the way. When I hooked the dog on to her lead the yard was blanketed with rustling brown oak leaves. The trees all around have lost their color and are settling into their sleeping season.

It's hard to believe that the season has progressed so far so fast. And now, Thanksgiving is just two weeks away! I made a collection of Autumn themed baskets and listed them on Etsy, but no one has purchased them, so now I'm discounting them by 30% of their original prices. Any of them would make wonderful addition to your Thanksgiving decorations. And, on top of that, they serve a purpose. They are more than "just a pretty face"!

Help to launch my basket sales! I've been so busy knitting and felting that I've got quite stock pile, and tons of new ideas to implement!

Christmas Baskets are ready to list!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What's done is done

This the first time my President has been younger than me. This feeling is kind of like the first time I watched the Miss America and realized that, even if I were single, I would be too old to participate. I told my daughter that it really doesn't matter who is elected. Nothing much will change no matter who you vote for. And, for the nost part, I believe that. And for the least part I hope and pray so.

He seems like a genuinely sincere person. I can only expect that he feels he can, indeed, affect change. I don't think the country's policies will promote Spiritual Growth. And I, as a conserative person, may lose some of my freedom.

Do I feel safe? Not right at the moment. But at least my health benefits won't be taxed.


Maybe the economy will pick up and folks will decide that they just can't live with out one of those fabulous Handknit Felted Baskets! Or that the best way to celebrate the birth of a new baby is to Buy him/her an Incredibly Cute Canvas Growth Chart!

And don't forget to visit to sign up to win my Little Christmas Basket!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I'm Doing a Give Away!

Hi everyone!

This is my first experience doing a give away and Cheri, from is walking me through it. She's been great and did a little interview with me. You can see the Little Christmas Basket, that maybe you can win, on Cheri's blog. So, check it out and enter to win!

I've been working on new Handknit Felted Baskets and they are now ready to be photographed and listed on my Etsy site. Most of them are now going into my Christmas Theme baskets.

And my 2 Jack-o-lantern Little Felted Baskets are on sale at 50% off! So you can buy them now and put them safely away for next Halloween!
So, here's your chance to buy a Little Felted Basket at an unbelievable price!
It being election day, my hubby and I went out after lunch time and did our duty. I hope you did too.
now I'lll be gearing up for Thanksgiving.
I hope the rest of yourAutumn is peaceful.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The Forest for the Trees

If each new task is a tree in the forest, and each time a tree proves fruitless a new one is planted, how can I tell the forest for the trees?

I've set up my shop.
I've taken good, clear and sharp photos.
I've engaged in the chat rooms
I've posted in the forums
1. to ask for critiques
2. to ask business topic questions
3. to promote my shop
I've 3 joined teams
I've set up a blog and post almost every day.
I've set up a account.
I'm working on a face book site.
I've let my family and friends know I'm open for business.

How do I keep from despairing?

Making art for arts sake is very good and sounds like a noble endeavor. But what you end up with is piles of art and no place to store it.

And I admit, that as an artist, I seek validation! I want to know that my ideas are valid and that others think they're worth purchasing and giving as gifts. So not making sales is not only hard on the pocket book, it hurts my soul.

Every time I kvetch people tell me to hang in. My products are good, great, cute, wonderful. The prices are fair. The pictures are clear and good.

But as the Christmas season comes on, and I spend more time looking at other Etsy shops and see how many sales they've had since the time that I signed up, it just makes me ache.

This is the gift God gave me. And for my entire life I've tried to find the niche that will enable me to justify the time and money I spend on my art.

Can you relate?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Another Bright Idea?

Well, I've not sold either of the jack-o-lantern baskets I made up. So today they go on sale. And, considering that I've only sold one Handknit Felted Basket, I thought maybe a few Handknit Felted Hats might pique someones interest. So I am busily knitting away.
Now that I've posted the hats it occures to me that they need to be doo dahed up. I guess I'll be off to purchase some gross grain ribbon. And i'm thinking maybe a live model will be better than good ol' Madeline here.
So, if you're looking for a really cute decorative basket for next Halloween, stop by and snap them up for $7.50 each
And while you're there, check out my other baskets. There's a couple Winter themed ones as well as one Christmas one. I have a whole slew of LIttleFelted Baskets that make great tree ornaments and or little gifty baskets. I have to get the other Christmas baskets I have posted. The holidays are upon us!

Monday, October 27, 2008

My Old Man

Tom , Hannah and Judy, college moving in day 2008

My old man! We've been together for 34 years! He was the first, and only, boy I ever dated. Our first date? I was 15. We went to see "Young Frankenstein". It was a Saturday matinee. I told myself, " If he tries to put his arm around me I'll slug him!" He says he thought, "I won't try to put my arm around her his this time." That was in February. By May, we swearing eternal devotion!

But there was a problem, right from the start. I was a new Christian. I had received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit in August of that year. And he was not a Christian. We became a devoted couple very quickly. I had to tell him, "I love you! And I want to spend the rest of my life with you, but, I won't marry you if you're not a Christian. And within a couple of months he had, indeed, accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior.

I know, I know! But you know what? We were married four years later and he has been the help mate and head of our family from the very beginning. He loves God! and he knows that Jesus died for him and rose again to fulfill the promise!

He has supported me in every hair brained scheme I have ever come up with. And, you, know, it's not easy living with an artist! And wouldn't you know! Both of his children are artists too!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Do You Have a Brochure?

Brochures I have known;
Grateful Creation Design, that was my batik tee shirt business.
Judy Goddard, Singer Songwriter, Artist
Judy Goddard Programs, these were my folk music brochures.

Now I'm a Handknitter and Felter.
So, I need a new brochure.

Sales on have been llittle less than slow. And I have been really, really trying to do everything I can do to make my shop a success.

Last week I sent a friend of a friend one of my Little Felted Baskets. She owns and operates a dance school for little girls. It's called "Through the Looking Glass" dance studio, in the Columbia MD area. She emailed me, asking for a brochure to insert into her November newlsetter.

So I sat down and put together what I think is a pretty snazzy pamphlet.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Two peas in a pod

My niece had her twins last week. they were six weeks early. Each weighed three pounds losmething. they are expected to go home in a few weeks. One is Addison Virginia and the other Evelyn Cora. Pretty names!

I attended my niece's baby shower just the week before. My sister asked me to make them a growth chart that they could share. Of course, I said sure! The only stipulation was that it needed to have lady bugs on it. No Problem!

I got my canvas out and primed it and painted it sky blue. Then, up the center I painted a daisy chain, with the obligatory lady bugs. I placed the inch and yard marks up both sides of the chart, instead of just up the right side. And when I was finished, I realized that I couldn't give just one! So I started another one right away! It's the same sky blue but on this one I made a chain of tea roses with lady bugs. But, at the shower, I couldn't cajole the names out of her. So they stayed blank at the top of each.

Now, ny niece and nephew in law can put the names at the top. Addison Virginia, (my sister's name is Ginni.) and Evelyn Cora. ( Joe's mom is Cora). They are indeed pretty names.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Adventures in Felting

I love to knit! And I love the manipulation of fibers that are possible for me through felting. It's such a trip to open up the washing machine and pull out that sodden, lumpy mess, disentagle it from the blue jeans, pull into shape and see exactly what I anticipated! It makes my heart smile.

Of course, sometimes I open up the washing machine and pull out that sodden mess and go, " Oh no! It's too small!" Or "It's so uneven!" Or It's full of holes!" Then I put on my thinking cap and try to figure out how to use this "Happy Accident" in a creative way. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. But the thrill I feel, right before I lift that lid, the thrill of anticipation, makes it worth the effort, even if I do have to figure out just in the heck I'm gunna do with it!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Twitter, Flickr, Blogger, huh?

I decided to try and sell some Handknit Felted Baskets that I had designed and made. So I set up a shop on and started uploading pictures. I was told that to promote myself I would need to spend time in the chat rooms and visit the forums often.

I learned to how sort through the miasma of a crowded chat rooms. I learned how to couch my forum posts in terms that would draw attention to my shop. And I sold a few supplies.

To be fair, I did sell one basket. And I sold one Canvas Growth Chart. All that since April 20, 2008.
So I asked what else I could do. I was told, "Blog!" I set up this blog and now have a new place to direct folks to show off my designs. And I do get some very nice comments. Thank you very much! But no sales of Art, only supplies. (So why and I complaining? At least I'm making sales!"

Next came the suggestion of Flickr. com. And then came the posts telling me to set up a Mysapce account and a Facebook account. Done.

And now I spend many hours everyday punching keyboard pads and squinting at my laptop screen. And still have quite a tidy sum of lovely baskets that people tell me are, "So cute!" "Really Great!" "Super".

I'm getting pretty frustrated. If you pray, please send one up for me.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

My Christmas Look

Is it time? Am I too late? It is, after all October 18th! Yesterday I started uploading Christmas photos on my Etsy shop.
All my Little Felted Baskets are getting a holiday spiff up.

What are Little Felted Baskets?
They serve many happy purposes.
They're little gift holders
little candy baskets
little oranments
lovely little decorations for your table or mantle piece.

Who knew that spending the afternoon taking photos
could be so tiring. But it was fun and I look forward to
continueing with the holiday theme.

If you are visiting this blog, please take a look at my Etsy shop and let me know what you think. Are the photos good enough? Do they convey holiday warmth and the spirit of Christmas?

I know I've got some photos to retake. I'll get it right.
I'll be shooting most of my stock in holiday settings.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It all Started With The Turkey

My family lives on 16 acres of wooded land, right in the middle of New Jersey. Our driveway wends through the woods to the back of the property. 30 feet behind our house is a cedar creek.

About 7 days ago my husband and I had what we like to call a "Turkey Blessing". It was dusk and we were standing in our kitchen. All of a sudden the dog, who was standing by the french doors, began to growl. The hackles on her back went up. As we peered out the doors we saw a wild turkey in our back yard. It was a big tom and his head was bright turquois blue. We watched him saunter through the yard , heading for the creek. All of a sudden he bobbed up and down a coouple of times and lifted off the ground, flying across the creek and landing in a tree on the other side. He was roosting for the night. Then, incredibly enough, we watched 10 others walk into our back yard, bob up and down and fly up into the trees. They each took turns and picked a different tree. It was the coolest thing!!

So, that was the first. Two days ago, as I was standing in the living room, looking at the bird feeder, all of sudden, there was a flash of golden brown! The little chickadees all scattered and a sparrow hawk careened into our plate glass window! He didn't hurt himself, neither did he catch a chickadee. And from 4:00 pm when it happened until the next morning, there were no little birds at our feeder.

Yesteday, around noon time, I was walking out of our local boy scout headquarters and I heard a red tailed hawk, right over my head! I looked up and searched the tree tops, but I couldn't find him/her. I thought maybe I'd see him flying in the clear blue sky, but he was gone.

And, last night, while we were praparing for bed, we heard a great horned owl hoo-hoo- hooing, right out our bedroom window!

I love where I live! I'm so grateful for the gift of this place and the stewardship that has been placed upon me. I think God put the right person in charge of this little wilderness.
NOTE: All photos obtained through Google images.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Why is a size 11 knitting needle.....

closer in size to a size 13 knitting needle than it is to a size 10 1/2 knitting needle?


I have a size 13 needle and a size 10 1/2 needle and I need a size 11 needle!!!!

But, I do have a new shop banner! One I did not create myself. If you need or want a new banner and/or a new avatar, check out

Friday, October 10, 2008

Mother Theresa of her cul-de-sac

Running a home business allows me to spend time volunteering at my local hospital. Every other Thursday I do visitations for the Pastoral Care department. I pass out pamphlets to people who were admitted the night before. I smile a lot and sometimes, if I feel it's appropriate, offer to pray with people who are worried and frightened. We have a very large senior citizen population. Many of the patients come from the nursing homes and they are all alone. It feels good to be able to share a smile and a prayer.

The other part of my job involves counseling with critically ill and/or terminally ill patients and their families. That's the part of my job that is most rewarding for me. I have a chance to make a real difference, to bring some peace and comfort, to someone who is truly in need of a warm hand and a warm smile.

This week I met Sadie. She's an elderly lady whose been taking care of everyone in her area of the over 50 housing development. She makes sure that those who get Meals on Wheels, get more than just one hot meal a day. If someone needs a ride to the doctor, she's there. She took care of her dying husband, mother, cousin. Now she was sitting in an infectious disease controlled room with her good friend, Frank, who was dying from an infectious disease he picked up during his last stay in the hospital. He was in and out of conscienceness.

When I walked into the room, she was near hysteria, waiting for the doctor to come and tell her how this was going to get better. I asked her if Frank had a spiritual base. She cried out, " No, he doesn't! But I do, and I'm really upset with God right now! Why does he allow such bad things to happen to such good people! My mother, my husband, my cousin, and now Frank! Why didn't he make them better?" And she burst into sobs.

Frank was raised in a home that did not believe in the existence of God. But he knew the bible better than Sadie did. She told me that she got embarrassed that he knew more than she did.
"Well, that doesn't amount to a hill of beans!" I told her. "Knowing the bible is not what counts."

She was angry and confused and furious! But I really think that she was more upset with herself. She is a fixer. That is the world she has built for herself. It's what gives her life purpose. And now she was sitting there, again, helpless, and blaming the only one who could have made the difference.

I knelt next to her and rubbed her back. I told her that God handles situations the way he sees as best, not necessarily the way we see them. And that God knew exactly what the right thing was for Frank. But I didn't leave her empty handed.

I told her, " This is what you can do, When Frank is asleep, or unconscious, you can lay your hands on him and speak words of truth over him. You can speak God's love over him. And that is the very best thing you can do for him."

Will Frank be admitted into heaven? I don't know! But I know that God Loves Frank so much! More than anyone else could. And I know that the fervent prayers of a righteous person avails much! I would not be surprised if, while walking on that cloudy path from here to there, God does meet him and, at last, Frank will understand the sacrifice that was made for him, and the love, so great, that has been poured out over his entire life. And arm in arm, they'll enter heaven together!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

It takes very little....

To make me FREAKIN' NUTS!!

I have been designing a new banner for my Etsy site. I took new pictures, downloaded them onto Microsoft Publisher, picked out pretty colors and vibrant accents. And I was very pleased with my handiness.

That is until I tryed to upload it onto Etsy. I've been trying for THREE days to upload this silly banner! No matter what I try, I cannot figure out how to translate the file in to jpg, bmp, or another uploadable file. I tried saving it as a web good. I tried typing .jpg into the file name good. I tried setting up a trial Acrobat PDF account so that I could change the file into a PDF luck, yet.

I have a software program called "Greetings Workshop" with which I can make cards, flyers, stickers, address labels, and...... Banners!! But, yet again, I could not upload it!


I would have posted a picture of my new banner here for you to see, but I COULDN'T UPLOAD IT!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

It takes so little..... make a simple girl happy!

I knit. All the time! I obsess over knitting. So all my life I've looked for a way to make my knitting a renewable kind of thing. After all, you can only knit your near and dear so many sweaters and socks. Then it kind of becomes a bad holiday joke.

So I started designing and came up with this really cool way to make one of a kind, felted baskets. I've been making
them for a few years now and now they have joined the list of holiday jokes. But my family loves them and think they are really neat. So now I'm trying to sell them.

Here's where the little, to make me, a simple girl, happy, comes in....

I have a nearly complete collection of every kind of knitting needle, in every conceivable size and color and material. But, of course I don't have the one needle I need! A size 13 circular needle, 16 inches long! I checked out the on line catalogues and made some calls, and..... You guessed it! Nobody sells it!

My very wise husband suggested that I look on Ebay and, SHAZAM! There they were; the perfect 13 circular needle in just the right length!

I'm going away for the weekend, and, now that the needle has arrived, I can take it with me and knit my baskets and be very, very content.

It takes so little!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

THAT'S what friends are for!

OOf! What am I doing wrong??!! My head is in such a fog and I can't think straight. I'm not focusing and my heart is pounding! You know, my sales are pretty slumpy. And I just couldn't figure out what to do next.

So I called my BFF and cried to her my woes. And she, in her wisdom, got all efficient on my ass, helped me straighten out my path and gave me a pat on the back to gently push me forword.

And out of her mouth comes, " Merchandizing! Marketing! Take better pictures! Show people what the baskets can be used for! Give the world an idea of how wonderful your baskets are! Help them visualize how your handknit felted baskets will look when they use them as gift holders,
table accents, party favors!, thank you gifts!

I hurriedly wrote down, in lists, all she was saying, and what her words suggested to me, on how to market my wonderful baskets.

So! Now I have a clear path! Now I can settle my pounding heart and make lists of what to do first, second and third. ( and 18th, 19th and 20th)

I'm so grateful for a friend who hears my desperation and reaches down inside herself to come up with advise that is truly inspired. I'
m so blessed!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Wall Calendar Bonanza!

Three months ago I visited my favorite shop, before heading to the super market. It was, of course, the dollar store.
I stop by almost every week and look for cool little do dads that maybe I can incorperate into my art work.

I went up one isle and down the next, checked out the cheap little photo albums and,there, right next to them, I found a huge pile of old wall calendars. There so many different ones, some with horses, some with flowers, others with beautiful country scenes. And they were priced at .35 each! So bought $20.00 worth and brought them home thinking that I surely would be able to figure out a cool use for them.

I was concerned about making items for sale that would violate the copy right of the companythat produced the calendars. I looked all over every inch of each type and found no trade mark,copy right mark or address. All I could find was "made in China". That was it. I tried to look them up on line but could not find a site for the company. So, I feel OK about using the images, cutting them up, mixing them together.

I made a bunch of credit card envelopes, did a little decopauge, and glued them on to card stock to make little gift cards. I'll list them on my Etsy shop, in a new section and see who bites.

I figure that the worst thing that can happen is that I'll have enough gift wrapping paper to last me a really, reallylong time! 80)


My photo
Manchester Township, New Jersey, United States
My nane is Judy and I've been a christian for more than 3/4 of my life. I believe in redemption through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, that God, the Spirit lives in me and gives me the power to do His will and to live a joyful life. I have a Godly husband, a grown son and daughter. I live on a farm with 3 goats, 2 chickens, 2 horses, a cat, a dog and a python. I am an artist and a singer. I was a full time stay at home mom, the hardest job you'll ever love! I have two handmade shops on Etsy. Leaning on the Promises (Hand Painted Walking Canes) and Beaver Creek Pottery and an Etsy shop for selling Vintage and Antiques. Jersey Pine Pickers I post about my relationship with God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, about the things He teaches me, delights me with and how He uses me.