My Jaco Pastorius Beanie Fixation Update

very close to the original I thinkBack in August (gee has it been that long?) I told you how obsessed I was with this Jaco Pastorius beanie that I’d seen on the cover of a bass player book. At the time I was stash busting, so I went all in and made like a whole 5 beanies (hangs head in shame). My excitement was so contagious that even the Woodchuck agreed to let me take pics of him wearing my beanies while playing his favorite basses (actually I think he just wanted the pictures of the basses, but we take what we can get, right?).

I posted my items on Etsy and promptly crocheting is like music and sometimes you have to jazz it upthe Woodchuck can't pick up a bass without playing itforgot about the whole thing because it was time to start crocheting for the holidays. I posted these items thinking that women and/or girls would find these to be cute little presents for their significant others. I was surprised to discover that guys shop on Etsy too (does this make me sexist?) and they are very decisive shoppers. None of that  “I’ll favorite this now and see if I still like it later” stuff.

Which made me realize that I had been all but ignoring an important demographic – men and teenage boys. I am working on fixing that as we speak (well not really because who can type and crochet at the same time anyway?).

And, finally (because I have been under the musical tutelage and influence of the Woodchuck), I’m just so happy to see that Jaco is still remembered and revered by the youngsters.


How a Cardboard Box, a Tripod, and a Digital Camera Made a Huge Improvement in My life

The pictures on my Etsy site were what my son would probably characterize as “meh”. I was aware of this problem for a long time, but didn’t think that I had enough photography know how to make a difference. After reading an Etsy Success newsletter about improving shop photos, I scoured the internet for ideas on light boxes, and white lighting and a bunch of other stuff that I have since forgotten. I learned that:

  1. a white shower curtain placed over  a window  with sunlight streaming through would create nice photos
  2. cropping an image greatly improves the look
  3. a (inexpensive) digital camera and a $15  tripod are a necessity – good pictures require a steady hand and u never realize how shaky yours is until you compare the two versions of your pictures
  4. what a difference a cardboard box can make (thanks to my DH the Woodchuck)

I have had some trouble with lighting still and believe I need better /different bulbs. Mostly I just use my room lighting (I have a lot of overhead lights in my studio).

Now for some examples.

Gray Fedora Before

This fedora is not dark gray

Gray Fedora after

Wow, what a difference

Multicolor cap

Too light, too bright,not focused and way too much going on in the background

multicolor cap after

Now you can see the colors in the cap, the design etc

colorful hat before

I used to think this was a great picture

colorful hat and scarf after

Now I know better

To have good pictures, one must take good pictures- lots and lots of them. I take 10 to 20 pictures of each item even though I only need 5 or 6 for my Etsy and Artfire shop. I use to crop and correct my photos- I don’t have an account or premium membership but I’m thinking about it since I’m on there just about every other night.
I learned how to  make the lightbox :

From Strobist and also Darren Rowse although I didn’t know he was a photographer did u? This is one I have not done but may do a large version of because I want to photograph larger items. I also watched quite a few YouTube videos – it;’s true almost everything you want to know about anything is on the interwebz already:)

Now to fix the pictures on my Artfire site….


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Now Let Me Make This Clear: FREE SHIPPING all week in my ETSY Shop

For some odd reason, folks just love the idea of free shipping – even more than  a 10, 20 or 30% discount!
But what I need to make clear is that when I say FREE SHIPPING, I don’t mean that I will wrap your package in brown paper and ship it media mail on a slow boat through China {True story, I ordered a book from someone in California and it took a month to arrive! I’m assuming that it went through China}.

Priority Mail


Free or not all of my items ship Priority Mail, sure it costs more , but it’s fast, I can track your package easily, and gosh darn it – you are worth it.
So head on over to and get in on this FREE SHIPPING promo before Saturday.

Once your order has gone through look for an email from me offering you 35% off all items in the store (if you do it fast you also get the free shipping on top of your deep discount).
What are you waiting for? Christmas?

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Transitions – Maria Shriver, JLO & Me

Gypsy DusterWhen the news broke about Arnold and Maria’s split I read where Maria Shriver said that she was going through a transition and had no idea what she was going to do next. I really did feel for her but couldn’t help thinking – “but you have money, lots of money”. Wrong of me, I know.

On another note I was saddened to hear that Jenny from the block had split with Marc Anthony – who is starting to look hotter and hotter now that he’s been paired with Jada on “Hawthorne”. But there’s still hope for everybody, it ain’t over til it’s over right?

Bet you didn’t even know I cared about such things. Well I don’t really, but how else to segue into my own tale of trial, tribulation and yes…transition.

Lets see in the past 2.5 months I’ve:

  • Been unemployed
  • Started a new job – 100 miles away from home
  • Lived in a hotel
  • Suffered through my Mom having a second  stroke , followed by pneumonia
  • Moved into a new place
  • Had a very large pine tree fall on said new place and lost use of half of the new place (including the kitchen)
I said very large tree didn't I?

I said very large tree didn't I?

So of course with all of that to occupy me ( you try packing up a 3 story 7 bedroom home while working in another city an dspending weekend sleeping in a hospital chair) I have been totally unable to  accomplish what I promised myself I’d get done this summer:

1. Blog more

2. Launch my line of upcycled tees

3. Crochet  and market a version of every single pattern in the  Double stitch twins book

Well finally some breathing room. I still don’t have a kitchen but I do love my new house and enjoy the parts that I can. What with moving a hundred miles away I did not have access to my favorite model Sara, so I had to delay launching my t-shirt line. However, we were finally able to connect yesterday and I was able to post several new items today – including the Gypsy Duster from “Designs for the Crochet Fashionista”.

My tee shirts were inspired by the bag of concert tees that I had saved since the 80s and some newer ones from my husband’s days as a musician and tour manager. I thought that upcycled tees might be a logical next step for me and look forward to adding sports tees, vacation tees, and tees with irreverent sayings.

I’ve also added new baby items to my Etsy site. So much crochet, so little time. This will be a busy month!

Check them out at

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