I'm excited to announce the next wave of Beginner Crochet classes! I've been receiving calls and emails asking if I would consider re-opening the classes and I have to answer "Of Course! If you are interested in taking a beginner class (or even more advanced class) just give me a call and we'll work out the details - 719-573-1173. Please note that I will need a minimum of three students per class - so gather up the girlfriends and let's get together!
I found a new website recently that is totally consuming all my time - stumbleupon.com. You get to choose the subjects that interest you (like crafts) and it just "stumbles" through the internet to pick out websites that might be of interest for you. I can't even tell you how many great websites are out there and all the new things I've been making. If I can ever get away from the computer, I'll start posting pictures. Give it a try - then you can thank me. Ha ha ha!
Another new tutorial just posted
I created the cutest little flower container today and am proud to present it to you for your own use. See my Free Tutorials page for instructions!
After a lot of typing and picture taking, I am proud to announce my first ever tutorial. This one details the steps to making a paperbag scrapbook. Yes, Paperbags - like in, Lunch bags! When you see the finished product, you won't believe that the base is just that brown paper that your kids take to school everyday. And the cost is so minimal to make the basic book, you may be making them for everyone you know! Give it a try and let me know how it works for you! It'll help me develop even better lessons in the future! Good Luck!
I hosted the second to last class for Beginning Crochet this evening and I must say, I'll miss this! With 5 ladies and an 8 year old girl in attendance, we had a blast (as I will admit I've had in every class)! ALL the adults were crocheting scarves before the end of the evening and doing an incredible job, I might add. It's a shame that this won't continue.......... I would like to say "Thanks, Ladies. I've had a great time and it was a privilege to teach you". One student suggested that I continue the classes out of my home - since renting a venue was the "Killer" of this business. I'll have to see how to generate interest and getting the word out. It's definitely something I would consider, but getting participation has been the challenge. The interest is there, it's the follow through that stumps me. If you'd like to express interest, just email me. If there's enough participants, I will certainly arrange something. This is just too much fun - and the best "Ladies night out" I've ever had!
After reviewing my last blog entry, I have to say some interesting thoughts crossed my mind. They are about crafting in general......
Crafting is so much more than a bottle of glue, paper, yarn scissors and what have you. It's more than what you do with them, even. Anyone, for the most part, can follow some simple instructions and create a scarf, a Christmas ornament, or a journal made from recycled materials. Putting some beads and wire together to form tomorrow's accessory is not about patience or how well you can see.
Crafting is like a chemistry experiment. You take elements that, alone, have very little value (say glue, paper and scissors) and reconstruct their properties to create something that now gives them value. A ball of yarn and a crochet hook have little value sitting on your shelf. Create a fashionable hat with them, and you have an item that just may save your life in a blizzard. It's like mixing hydrogen with oxygen. By themselves, their value is limited. Mixed, they give life to almost everything on earth.
So crafting, in the right context, has tremendous value. It's not just what you do with the components, it's about the many ways you can rearrange those components.
If you were stuck on a deserted island, knowing how to "rearrange" the elements can mean the difference of surviving or dying. That's what crafting is......... understanding exactly what being creative means. I often hear "I'm just not creative" and therefore a student thinks they have no ability to craft. But learning the simple "how to's" can go far in your life. Learning basic crochet stitches for example, can allow you to use ropes or tree fibers to create life saving apparatus. Learning polymer clay techniques might make your pie baking results look like blue ribbon entries. Sewing skills can help you mend a tent, or bind a book should the need arise.
I think the creativity that everyone thinks they lack is just simply carrying your skills further than your kitchen table while making a clay figurine. Think about it...... because I'm having trouble articulating this thought! lol
It is with heavy heart that I have decided to close the Crafting Classes portion of this business. It was a difficult decision, but one that was out of my control. Let me explain.....
When I signed with the coupon company, Living Social, they explained that they only run an ad IF you agree to reduce your fees by at least 50%. I agreed. Then they also explained that THEY get 1/2 of the amount collected. A HUGE fee for a small business like this (so I only received $5.00 for each student) - but I thought "if it brings in customers, and those customers take additional classes or tell friends about this, it would be worth it". EVERYONE loved the classes that they signed up for! EVERYONE!
So my part as an instructor was satisfied. Out of 100 students, maybe ONE couldn't "get it". My success ratio was phenomenal! I couldn't wait to see a lot of the students return..... but no one did. I gave coupons for discounts on second classes, I made "special" schedules according to what everyone told me they wanted, and I even offered some really nice gifts for second time students - still no one signed up for another class. I created a facebook page in hopes of "spreading the word" and even ran contests - still no interest in helping me grow this business.
I had to pay for the room we used on a "per usage" basis, so if I needed the room for one night, I paid the nightly fee. MANY times there was only one or two students for a class so I lost money. Only once did I have enough students in one class to pay for the room. And I continued to lose money waiting for return customers. Many students called and asked if they could bring a friend for the same coupon deal - of course I agreed. I did many favors in hopes of building this business the right way - not realizing that no one is willing to pay full price for a service. I am naive, I guess.
So with this, I have come to the realization that the true crafters of the world, those that appreciate what a talent it is, are far and few between and that those who have shown an interest are not serious enough for me to continue to invest time and money any longer.
Thank you to those who redeemed their coupons in a timely manner - that was the first and most important step in trying to make this business work. For the remainder of you who still have coupons, there's just no way I can continue to rent a room for one or two people at a time so I will be holding a final two classes from my home. You can email me at email@example.com to request a seat.
This has been quite an adventure and learning experience, albeit an eye-opener. I've met some wonderful ladies and the laughter we generated was worth the diminishing bank account. Thanks for the ride, ladies!
Beginner's Crochet Class was a hit tonight! All the students breezed through class and all students were making a scarf before class was over! WOW! They all doubted their ability to learn anything when they first stepped into the studio - but I was bound and determined to prove them wrong - and I did! LOL Lots of laughs (again) - but with their determination to learn, there was no stopping them! Thanks for a great night, ladies!
These past few weeks I have been actively involved in forming an Artist's Co-op here in Colorado Springs and it has been so incredibly exciting! We are hoping to actually open by late spring and have located a great location in Old Colorado City. What I can forsee is getting my interested students involved and possibly selling their art through my involvment with this project. How great would that be? I not only get the opportuniy to teach you a new art, but get to help you sell it as well! I will post more as it progresses. If you are interested in becoming part of this venture, just contact me - there's still enough room at this point for a few more great talents!
A busy and fun week! We had a group of crocheters who, collectively, could have crocheted apparel for the whole city! They were intent on getting it "right" and the results were impressive! One student took back-to-back classes and started the evening with "Basic Crochet", then continued right on to the "Lacy Crochet Scarf" - see the results for yourself! Beautiful!
Then on to Collage Class - getting messy is definitely part of the fun! Glue, paint, paper cutting and assembling, results in personalized art worthy of framing. Students take home papers and other decorations to complete the projects at home, if needed... (some are actually artistic enough to finish the piece by end of class). I even get the honor of learning new techniques discovered by the students during their session! Wonderful stuff!