Wednesday, December 31, 2014

2014 Books Read

In 2014, I didn't read as many books as I usually do. I read far less. I crafted way more. And I neglected blogging. But, at the end of the year, I like to tally what I've read to help me remember, so.... 1. The Walking Dead Comic Book Series Volumes 1-17 2. The Hypnotist's Love Story--Liane Moriarty 3. The Silent Wife -- A. S. A. Harrison 4. Mitigation -- Sean Schubert 5. Zombie Day Care -- Craig Halloran 6. Hidden -- Catherine McKenzie 7. Spying in High Heels -- Gemma Halliday 8. Killer in High Heels -- Gemma Halliday 9. Undercover in High Heels -- Gemma Halliday 10. Alibi in High Heels -- Gemma Halliday 11. Mayhem in High Heels -- Gemma Halliday 12. Honeymoon in High Heels -- Gemma Halliday 13. Fearless in High Heels -- Gemma Halliday 14. Danger in High Heels -- Gemma Halliday 15. Homicide in High Heels -- Gemma Halliday 16. 30 Days -- K. Larson 17. Committed -- K. Larson 18. Life on the Refrigerator Door -- Alice Kuipers

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Tips for Getting your Etsy Shop and Facebook Page Noticed

If you are like me, you are a new entrepreneur with dreams of expanding your crafty hobby into at least a part-time business that earns you at least a little monthly spending money--or more! You've spent countless hours drooling over gorgeous hand-made goods on Etsy. You follow numerous crafty blogs and Facebook pages. You've spent more time and energy than you can remember crafting and creating the perfect gift for family and friends. But you want more. You want a wider audience. You want to share the love and your passion with others.

So, you make your own Facebook page highlighting your craftiness. There, you think! This is the world wide web! I have the whole internet at my fingertips! And you invite your friends and your family to like and share your page. And a few will. Most won't. And, it's easy to become discouraged. You think to yourself, how will I ever sell anything if I can't even get my own friends and family to spread the word?

Well, friends, pay attention, because here are some very helpful tips I've learned this past week.

1) Don't keep waiting for the "Right Time" to open your own Etsy shop.

Do your research, yes. Decide what you want your shop theme to be. Research like shops, how much they list and ship items for. Who they follow, etc. And then MAKE YOUR SHOP AND PUT IT LIVE. The Etsy community is amazing! Once you have your shop open and ready for sells, JOIN TEAMS. Teams are a great way to promote and get your shop visible. Etsy is such a huge community, it's easy to get lost in the shuffle. So, you need to network. You do this by liking (or favoriting items and shops as it's called on Etsy). Do this for as many shops and items as you can. And follow people. Because, Etsy artisans love to help each other out. The philosophy is "You promote me, and I'll promote you." Does this mean you will get a sale your first day? No. Does it mean you will get a sale your first week? No. Your first month? Not necessarily. But, the more you network, the more your product is out there, and the more people will see your stuff.

Create treasuries on Etsy. Treasuries are groups of 16 items linked together to form a sort of listed window shopping experience. Highlighting a person's item in a treasury is a huge compliment. It promotes their shop, and makes your shop visible as you are the curator. Make as many treasuries as you can. Again. You promote me, I will promote you.

I am not claiming to be the highest authority on Etsy. In fact, I just opened my shop a week ago. I had had a previous shop, but I was not prepared for it. Honestly, in the time I had it open, I believe I have had less traffic than I have had thus far. Since last Monday, and as of the moment I am writing this, I have had 258 views to my profile, 44 people admire my shop, and 232 different combinations of favorites (with 39 being the highest and 9 the lowest) of the 10 specific items currently listed in my shop. And, while I could be bummed because I haven't sold anything yet, I choose to be overjoyed because my Etsy networking is working!

2. Join Craft Groups on Facebook

I mentioned before that I was having a very hard time getting friends and family to like and share my FB page. I'd say only about 1/3 of my friend's list has actually "liked" it. And honestly, FB isn't the place to spend all your time and energy trying to promote your page. The biggest benefit, I think, to having a higher number of likes on Facebook, is when you link it to your Etsy shop, it shows people there is also interest in your product outside of Etsy. So, look for groups and join them. A couple I have joined recently are called My Etsy and It's Better Handmade.

Once you are there, engage. You do this by sharing your shop, your Facebook page, and your items. But, most importantly, interact with others. Network. Share the love.

3. OK, share the love. But how does that get my shop and page noticed?

Follow these steps:

1. Follow the links to what someone has posted. If it goes to their Etsy shop, then favorite the shop and their item. If their Etsy shop shows a link to a Facebook page, make the effort to visit and like that page as well.

2. When you comment on their item in the group, compliment it first and foremost. People like to hear compliments. Crafters love to hear what people like about their craft. We work hard on these items. Sure, anyone can just "like" it, but you really stand out when you say something nice about it. Then, tell them how you interacted. For example you could say, " I really love the color combinations on your purse. It looks so Spring like. I favorited your Etsy shop and the item. I've also liked your Facebook page. From so and so at then link your page so they can find you" (REMEMBER, ONLY LIKES FROM PERSONAL ACCOUNTS COUNT AS LIKES)

3. Like I said, us crafters like to help each other out, so if you like, favorite, whatever, and let the other person know, and odds are, they will return the favor! I was stuck at 97 likes for the longest time. I couldn't get anymore friends or family to help me expand out, but once I started doing this, my FB page likes have jumped to almost 150 in less than a week! Share the love!

Don't forget. Use Social Media to your advantage. Tweet. Use Instagram. Share your FB page. Blog. Do whatever you can do to make your shop visable to others. But, while you do that, remember to to share the shops and pages of others because we all want something amazing!

And because I'm still new at figuring out blogger, here are the unlinked URLs of my stuff for you to share the love. Because, when you like and favorite me, I will do the same back for you.



Twitter: @EmalieAlexander Instagram: emalie_alexander_creations

Monday, April 7, 2014

Doilies Listed on Etsy

I just opened my Etsy shop! You can use promo code APRIL25 for 25% off your total purchase through April 14. I started my doily listings with these 3:

Dish Cloths listed on Etsy

I am so excited to be selling with the wonderful community of Etsy. My Grand Opening sale offers you 25% off of my entire stock through April 14 using Promo Code APRIL25. I have opened my shop with 3 dishcloths shown here:


I finally opened my etsy shop. Visit: I currently have listed some dish cloths and some doilies. I will post here, but check back often on the Etsy shop to see new items listed. If you've been following this blog, or my facebook page ( and seen something you liked, but were a bit concerned about ordering through Facebook (can't say I blame you!!) please send me a PM and I can set up a custom listing on Etsy for you!

Use promo code APRIL25 to save 25% on your entire order at my Etsy shop. Hurry, this deal only lasts through April 14!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Saturday Crochet Fun Facts

Happy Saturday afternoon friends! One of my goals this years is to become a better blogger, and even moreso, a better businesswoman. I've got my Etsy shop almost up and running. I just haven't added merchandise--does one really need that? Just kidding! I've been trying to network, and share my crafts as I do them, in order to better tailor what I enjoy making to what people are looking for in a project.

So, how does this relate to blogging? Something I learned about helping to engage you, the reader, was to provide related factual information to my blog. Want some? I thought you might!

Here you go:

"Although crochet is a Middle French word that means hook, the earliest form of crocheting was done with fingers."

Cool, right? Find this,and several more fun facts about crochet here:

Forgive me as I learn to insert links and things.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Rainy Day Dolly Amigurimi

I've finished up my sudden onslaught of custom orders (happy customers!) and I've been working on crafts for family and Craftster craft swaps I'm in. My latest amigurimi, and quite possibly, most impressive amigurimi to date is this sweet girl. I followed (mostly) patterns found in the booklet "Crochet Your Own Dolls and Accessories" that I picked up at my local JoAnn Fabrics about 3 weeks ago. I was waiting for the perfect opportunity to create one of these dolls and its accessories, and when my husband's cousin's daughter (get that?) had a birthday coming up...sweet girl is turning 3! I know that this was the perfect opportunity. Of course, I probably should have given myself more than a week to crochet this, because now my wrist is not thanking me. Spending days on end so I can make the perfect gift, while it sounds so sweet and thoughtful in theory, it isn't the best use of my time. Why? Well, because I now need to take a time out from crocheting!

Anyway, I started working this doll, I thought it would be fun to use a darker brown yarn. I am a big fan of diversity! The pattern book said she should work out to about 13". I must be using a heavier yarn, or a bigger hook, because this girl is about 20." Her long legs (she could be a Rockette!)are about 8" long! I found it amusing that the pattern gives these dolls hips, but I followed along, because, after all, I wanted the clothing accessories to fit! As I started working her body, she looked so much like a Planter's peanut. You know, the ones that sing and dance? It was so funny. But, one I finally added the arms, and especially the hair, quite the little dolly lady she was becoming.

The pattern booklet had about 4 doll patterns to choose from, and an outfit for each, and then some accessories. Each pattern had a different hair style and so I mixed and matched to my delight. I love how the black hair is curly. Wanna know a secret? Mine is too!

You know the old adage, "April Showers Bring May Flowers?" Boy I'd like to see those flowers because these past few days have been super rainy. The perfect days to dress her in rain gear! While I have been crocheting now for about 2 years, I for larger projects, I have mostly stayed with afghans (I love 'em.) but have been wanting to make clothes. So I did! I made her a rain coat (yellow, of course!), rain boots (yellow, of course!), a yellow rain hat, and an adorable blue skirt. She's ready to go and dance in the rain!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Follow My Progress--Pineapple Tablecoth

I have been commissioned to crochet a 60" circular pineapple tablecloth. It's an absolutely beautiful pattern. It's for one of my most dear friends from high school.

Back story: she had been given a circular pineapple stitch tablecloth by her grandmother many years ago. Through the years, time,and drama, she no longer was in possession of this tablecloth. Earlier last year, I created a pineapple bordered afghan for my husband's cousin's wedding. When she saw this afghan, and how beautiful it turned out, she knew she wanted to ask me to crochet a "replacement" tablecloth for her. One that would attempt to fill in for the one that was so precious to her. And, this will be extra special because 1) it will remind her of her grandmother, and 2) it will be crocheted by a very dear friend to her. So, challenge accepted!

Here is an image of the pattern I am following. I bought it off an Etsy shop; it's from a vintage pattern book.

I started crafting around March 21, 2014. I got about 10 rows done, and posted on my facebook page (search: Emailie Alexander Creations) this picture:

She's given me as much time as I need to complete this, with free reign to complete other projects as they come along. I know this is going to be a mighty monstrous project, but I am super excited to see it finished.

I purchased a 2400 yard cone of size 10 cotton crochet thread in the ecru colorfrom Herrshner's, and decided to use the 3.5 mm hook. So, it's working up a bit larger than the pattern calls for, but it's easier for me to see and to work. Row 11 begins the first round of the pineapple pattern, and I'm currently on row 13. This next picture shows the completion of row 12. Ignore the colored yarn as I'm using that for row counting purposes. Row 12 makes the tablecloth already 16" round!

I will post a new update once I've completed the first round of pineapples! Thank you for following my journey!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Chicken Applique

I am sending this chicken applique out as a thank you to my customer who ordered the amigurimi chicken. I crocheted the one on the right. The one on the left is the picture in the book. Which chicken do you prefer?

Friday, March 14, 2014

What came first? The chicken or the egg?

I found this pattern here:

I only added very few minor alterations from the pattern.

Bears and Bears and more Bears, oh my!

These cute bears are from a free Lion's Brand pattern. I was asked to make these as a custom order. They are going to be sent overseas to England, and they will be given as party favors for a young boy's 1st birthday! Isn't that super exciting?

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Crocheted Chains and/or Braclets Options

This was recently a special order I shipped to a woman who has 8 year old twins with special needs. When she had seen the 100s Day Chain (previous post) that I had done, she asked me to create some with button closures for her daughter that could be used as occupational therapy. I created 10 of the blue and white. These I did with a wider width. I have 10 of the multicolor. These are a bit longer and slimmer, and then I have five each of the green and brown and the pink an black. The response I got upon receipt of these was "oh my goodness they couldn't be more perfect!!! Thank you so very much. You are very talented!!"

Monday, March 3, 2014

Crochet Chains

Shop Information Q&A

1--I don't see anything listed with prices, why?

Currently I'm mostly doing custom orders. This means, I will post products I've made, or ones I am currently working on. If you see something you like, then you can comment or message me, and I will work out a custom order for specific items and prices for you.

2. This is Facebook. How does payment work?

Good question. Just like many online shops, I accept PayPal. I will send you a paypal invoice.

3. How quickly will I get my product?

I will do my best to get your product out as quickly as I can. Keep in mind, blankets and larger things take longer to make, than small amigurimis, etc. If you need something by a specific date, be sure to mention that, and and try to plan ahead to give me time to craft a quality item for you.

4. Are you planning on expanding your shop outside of Facebook?

The short answer is, yes. I am considering opening up a brand new Etsy shop. Once I do this, I will make you aware here.

5. Do you do more crafts than just crochet?

Yes. I do lots of crafts. Although, currently I am spending more time with crochet.

6. Where are you based and are you willing to ship internationally?

I am based in Ohio, and yes, I'd love to ship internationally.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Networking Challenges

With my home-based craft business, I'm trying to branch out and network. So, I've linked my Facebook, to this blog, to adding a twitter account. After all this time, I'm still learning my way around his site, and I'm very very new to Twitter. So, if you come across this blog, and you use Twitter, I would love for you to consider following me @emaliealexander. Search for me on Facebook at Emalie Alexander Creations.

While I used to have an Etsy shop I hadn't yet specialized my skills to a skill set that works well for interest in Etsy buyers. Trying to get fans on Etsy was hard work, so I shut down my shop and took some time to start honing down my skills into mostly crochet with some sewing and other things on the side. I've put a few of my items into a first time very small craft show, and did much better than I expected. I am considering opening a brand new Etsy shop. I probably should do that before my Facebook/Blog/Twitter name gets taken on Etsy.

I recently did a whole make-over. I changed my name from Big Bang Momma Crafts (being a huge Big Bang Theory fan and a mother, I loved that name, but decided a need a brand name a little more professional) to Emalie Alexander Creations. I've been working at updating my sites to offer more information for potential buyers or just interested lookers.

At this stage in my endeavor, I'm trying to build an audience, a fan base, people who will support me, help me succeed, and branch out past my "1st degree" of contacts. This means, currently I mostly am working on custom orders. I post pictures of things I've made, or what I can make, and then people ask me to make something for them based on what they've seen. I don't really have things "listed" on Facebook. I understand. It can be a scary place to shop. This is another reason I am considering a new Etsy shop. I want people to be interested, and pleased with my inventory. I want to get my name out there. I want people to take me seriously. I want people to be happy with my product. And, ideally like any entrepreneur, I'd love for my hobby to turn a little profit. This helps supportthe addiction and I can craft for a wider audience than just gifts for people near and dear to me.

If you come across this post, and are willing to help me network, especially on Twitter or Facebook, I'd be so happy, and I would most definitely reciprocate.

Friday, February 28, 2014

Girl Scout Cookies! Yum!

When I'm not working on custom orders, hanging with my family, or volunteering at my kid's school, I'm also a Girl Scout Leader to my daughter's Brownie troop! Today, the Girl Scout Cookies arrive. Time to sort out the delivery, and pass out to our girls and then enjoy the yummy snacks!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Blog Name Change!

Big Bang Momma Crafts has changed its name to Emalie Alexander. You can find us on Facebook as Emalie Alexander and on twitter @EmalieAlexander!

Sweet Little Bear

This is the first of four custom order bears. He measures about 6" tall and mostly follows a free Lion's Brand pattern. Come find him, and other crafty things at my Facebook Craft page. Search: Big Bang Momma Crafts. Thanks, and have a great day!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Pink Beaded Fingerless GloveI

I recently made some simple teal fingerless gloves (my first pair, actually) for a friend of mine who lives a few states over from me.  I followed the pattern, tested it on me, took measurements and pictures, and sent the first one on it's way to her. It fit, so I sent it's pair.  What does that have to do with this?  Let me tell you.

She asked me if I could alter the pattern to make a pair that would fit her seven year old daughter. A girlie pair. Possibly with a beaded trim.  Of course I obliged.  And, the love you see here is what I came up with.

Luckily I have an 8 year old daughter who is a bit on the small side, so she got to be my lucky model for trying on sake. And try on she did! 

I looked at lots of beads, but I needed a bead that would work with the width of the yarn.  A Bernat baby weight yarn, by the way.  I ended up settling on pony beads because, really, she's 7, and seven year old like pony beads.  They're fun.

I decided not to put them exactly on the wrist border for a couple of reasons. 1) safety.  They are less likely to fall off, rip off, etc. 2.) Sturdiness. I just felt the beads would be sturdier this way.  We all know that 7 year old's really know how to play!

I decided I would also give the fingertips something pretty to look at, so I added shells around the edging there.  So pretty.

For crochet lovers: This is just done is simple double crochets. Repeating rows until I got it as wide as I needed it. This is about 14 rows.

Friday, February 21, 2014

100s Day Crochet Chain

I was looking around Pinterest for teacher's gifts  one day, and came across the idea to crochet a paper chain.  Say what? I know, amazing idea! So, I took it one step further, and instead of an end of the year gift, I decided to make a 100s day chain for my son's Kindergarten teacher.  I wanted it to be something she could use for several units. So, I made sure that each color had at least 10.  They use 10-frames in math for counting.  I also wanted the colors of the rainbow, so that she could use this for working on colors.


That's only 6, so I added


which gave me 20 left over to get to 100. Those are the multicolor.

I used sticky back velcro to attach them.  For sturdiness, I used mostly Red Heart yarn and cotton yarn.  As in any paper chain, the vary a bit in length and width.
You can also find this post on the Facebook page./br>

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Perler Bead Inchies!

Inchies can be easier, or tougher, to make than one thinks!  There are so many ways to make inchies (1"x1" square pieces of art). I've mostly stayed with the general theme of paper crafted ones, but for my recent Inchie Swap on, I went out of the norm and created for each of my four partners perler bead inchies.  FYI, a perler bead inchie is made by 5x5 beads squared.  Of course, you can group these into bigger groups (just leave a bead spot separation) to make a larger picture.  3 out of 4 of my partners have received, so I'm going to go ahead and post these on here.  I apologize for sideways pictures.  Also, I found most, if not all, of these designs while searching online, and I just separated them into groups of 5x5 beads leaving a space between the groups.

Theme: black cats:

Theme: Harry Potter (Hogwarts crest):
What a difference they are separated vs together!

Here's this one put together so you can see it better.
Theme: Spring (Hummingbird)
And, the last set is secret until my final partner receives. It had a long way to travel, so hopefully it finds her safe and sound and soon!

Thanks for looking!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Queen Sized Striped Blanket!

Towards the end of last year I made a blanket with the same design and similar colors. That one was a Christmas gift. My husband and I loved it so much that we decided I must make another one.

So, we changed to brown from gray, and kept the other colors the same.  We went from Super Bulky to Lion's Brand Jiffy Bulky yarn. I used about 20 skeins! It measures about 100"x100". For reference, a quick search on Google shows that a queen blanket measures 90"x90".  I was getting pretty quick (when I didn't have to pull out a row or two for not finishing my "v" stitch) that I was getting about 7 rows completed in about 2 hours, or about a row every 20-30 min or so. repeats 7 rows blue, 3 rows white, 4 rows brown, 3 rows white, 7 rows blue....... all "v" stitch.

I'm going to apologize in advance for the lighting. When I use flash in my room, it distorts the color. When I turn the flash off, then the pictures are dark. I really need to learn the setting on my dslr to help combat that.

Close up:

 Thanks for looking!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

The Northern Lights in Perler Beads

I've recently been playing with perler beads with my 8 year old daughter, and I've been wanting to make something that was Northern Lights. So...I thought, why not perler bead Northern Lights and  winter cabin?  This is my first attempt at free-handing and I've only made possibly a handful of these before. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

This is actually the back side. I'm still getting the hang of fusing them together, and I like how this side turned out better.