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Friday, August 31, 2012

Pencil Covers

We are in Kindergarden countdown around here.  I have become school obsessed.  I wanted to make something fun for myself, since I'm getting ready to start a new class too!  

Remember my Fancy Pen covers?  Well, I made a fun version:


The Pencil (Pen) Cover!
Supplies:
Embroidery floss in 4 colors (I'm going to give you the DMC floss color numbers to make a classic yellow pencil, but you can use any color for the body of the pencil.  The colors for the ends are what sells it as a 'pencil')
Wood: 437 (light brown)
Body: 972 (yellow)
Metal: 415 (light gray)
Eraser: 3326 or 894 -they both look good! (pink)
Size C crochet hook
Tapestry needle
Ballpoint pens (I used a Papermate Eagle, but I think a Bic Stic would work too.  Make sure you get one that has a black plastic tip holding the ink in... Which means that you're going to have to get a black ink pen...)
R1: With Wood color, make 6 sc in a magic loop.  Don't pull the loop tight, but close it enough that you can sl st the last sc to the first to join the round. (6 st)
R2-3: (from now on, the rounds are going to be done amigurumi style, continuously in one long spiral without joining) sc in each stitch (6 st)
R4-?: Change to Body color, sc in each stitch (use the entire skein - you'll know it's long enough when you run out of embroidery floss) (6 st)
R?+1-4: Change to Metal color, sc in each stitch (6 st)
R?+5-8: Change to Eraser color, sc in each stitch (6 st)
Sl st in next stitch. Fasten off.  Leave the Eraser and Wood ends, but weave in any other loose ends.

The tube is going to be very long and skinny.  It isn't easy to slide the pen into it, but I'm going to quote Julia Child here and say, "You just have to have the courage of your conviction" and shove it in.  I promise, it will fit, and if we made it bigger it would be too loose and wouldn't stay on.


Once you've got the cover on your pen, use your tapestry needle and the loose ends to really snug the cover onto the pen as you wind the ends in.


The 'pencils' would look great in a Pencil Case...


Okay, now I have some business I need to ask you about.  Jake and I have been knocking this idea around for a while, and we can't make a decision, so I thought I would ask YOU, Dynamos, for your opinion.  Quite often, for my posts, I make several versions of the item that I'm making.  I have to make the extras to pattern test before I unleash the pattern-y awesomeness on you guys. (For example, I have 2 of these pens earmarked for a present, but the rest??!)  So my house is starting to fill up with unused crochet goodness, and I'm running out of room.  I was thinking of starting an Etsy shop to get rid of share the extras, but we're not sure that anyone would even be interested.  What do you think?  Even if you don't normally leave a comment, I really would appreciate it if you would go ahead and leave one this time.  Think of it as a donation to my site.  In fact, I'll sweeten the deal, leave me a comment saying if you would be interested in my Etsy site or if I should donate/garage sale my leftovers.  Either way, I'll enter you to win one of my Pencil Pens, any color you want (I'll make it for you special!).  So leave me that info too.  So, since this has gone on so long, and just to clarify:
Please do me a solid and leave me a comment with your opinion about what I should do with my leftover crochet goodies (to Etsy, or not to Etsy), and the color Pencil Pen that you'd like if you're selected. (I will ship anywhere, international shipping is no problem)
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I'll select the winner next Friday, September 7th.

xoxo


43 comments:

  1. I think you should use etsy...and I would love a purple pen/pencil cover!

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  2. Hi, you do great things an I would like to recomend you to try etsy. If it doesn't work you could quit again;I don't think you loose anything- and by the way: I like your stuff and i'm sure others will too:-)

    i'am afraid you wouldn*t sent one of your pencil to Germay, but if you do I Love tourquis
    Best wishes Nikola

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    Replies
    1. Hi Nikola! Of course I would ship to Germany if you win! Thank you!
      xo Jaime

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  3. I would say to try etsy, I'm on there all the time and your stuff is just as good (if not better) then alot of the items I see. Another option would be to donate items to your local church/Hospital/School (for their Christmas bazzars.
    As for the "pencil" I have to say I like the traditional colors best but any will be fine as I'm sure my daughter will steal it before I have a chance to enjoy it :o)

    btw, after the pen runs out can the cover be removed to use on a new pen?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Bri! Yeah, that's what Jake and I keep going around and around with...

      No, the pen covers can't be removed. But the black plastic tip of the pen that sticks out can be removed with pliers and replaced. Which is even better because it's no-sew!
      xo Jaime

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  4. Ooooh, great question! I have the same problem and that is why I have a lot of giveaways at my site. I think you should carefully consider which projects are possibly going to sell, based on season, popularity, etc., simply because there are fees for listing - they are not much on Etsy but still they exist. Then give it a shot and see how it goes - I think they list for three months at a time. I know you also pay a fee when the item sells and I am not sure if that is on top of Paypal fees if you use that, but could eat into your profit. Anyway, you can always have giveaways every so often at your blog too, which gets it more active, more hits makes your blog more attractive to advertisers and you could get approached to put a paid ad on your blog which could pay for hosting fees, etc. So, my wishy-washy answer is to try talking to an Etsy pro to answer any questions but also consider using your blog. I have decided (I think) to make a few finished objects and sell directly from my blog using a Paypal shopping cart app. Since I already have an account with them, I can't see paying anyone else any fees. Who knows? It may be the wrong way to go, but I'm already updating a blog, facebook, twitter, and ravelry (not often enough), so I'm not sure I want to add a store on Etsy or not. Guess I'll see how it goes for you! LOL. Oops - sorry for loooong comment. I think I deserve a pretty pencil pen cover! :)

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  5. I think an Etsy shop would be a good idea. I have one to sell my hats on. I love to make them, and I don't want to wear all of them, so selling them is a good thing!

    I think if you decide against the Etsy shop, selling them in a garage sale or having giveaways would be good. Or use them as birthday and Christmas presents for people you know. :P

    If I should be worthy enough to win...I'll take pink. :)

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  6. Hello from Liverpool UK! I think you should definetley sell your items on Etsy- I'm always so inspired and amazed by your creations and I think it would be a nice little link up to your blog! Don;t worry about the pencil- they are so so cute but would cost a bomb to send to me :) xx

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  7. I think you should give the Etsy store a try. Why not?

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  8. Go for it. If it doesn't work out the way you want it to you can always stop right. Good luck!! I'd love a neon pink one :)

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  9. I think your work is awesome and I believe you would do well selling your "left-overs" on etsy or anywhere else. Someone mentioned using them for charitable contributions and that is not a bad idea either but when you make a sale you know that someone really wanted the item and not just because it was free :) Speaking of free, I would love to have either a pink or blue pencil-pen (big grin) I love your work!

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    Replies
    1. By Donating to a Church/Hospital/School, yes THEY are getting the items for free, but they will in turn sell those items at their bazzars. So in the end someone who really wants that item is buying it, and you are helping whoever you donated it to raise money for their good causes.

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  10. I don't really know what the etsy store is or entails yet there are people looking for original handmade objects to buy and offer (the christmas gift season is coming back) and why not try makng some cash if you can. Some other items you can donate to charities but whatever you do I'm sure you will make some people happy.

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  11. If you have that much inventory then I say go for the etsy!!! Even if there are fees your bound to make some money back.....so you can go out and buy more yarn. ;). Be sure to mention that items are available while supplies last or you might end up having to spend all your time producing product, which will take away from "our" time together and keep you from blogging as often as you do now. LOL

    Nothing says Back to School like a yellow pencil. :-D

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  12. AuntyTeeni has a point about the time and effort it takes to put up and maintain an etsy store, and the fees involved..... but, it's a very low percentage, probably, of what you could make back from it. And you could still do giveaways for things too - it doesn't have to be either/or -- have a giveaway for one and put the rest up on etsy -- so people who didn't win the giveaway can still get one of whatever it is if they really want it. That might make you start spending time just making for etsy...... but, I guess that's a line you'd have to draw for yourself -- to do enough that you can test your pattern, but no so much that you're becoming a one-woman sweatshop for etsy.... and still make sure you're doing what you love to do -- that's really the most important part....

    I guess, all I'm trying to say, is: try it out if you think you have the time on top of everything else you're doing - b/c, hey, it's $$, and who doesn't need that! But, $$ isn't *everything*, and you can always change your mind, so stop if it turns out to be not going the way you want.
    good luck deciding, either way.
    xo!
    ♥ETF♥
    Eliz

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  13. I can't wait to get to Joann's this week and get some embroidery floss... gonna make some of these for my daughter's teacher! :)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jamie! At the Joann's I go to the embroidery floss is all on sale this weekend for their big Labor Day sales, so now is a great time to pick some up! ...and save 10 cents a skein... LOL!!!
      xo Jaime

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  14. Hi! Yes I think you should do an Etsy store or have an in home Holiday Boutique sale for friends, family and neighbors. If I win the pen, I would like bright blue. I love your patterns and your blog. Thank you

    Kathy
    drmhorse100@yahoo.com

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  15. Have you already checked Etsy for similar items? I'd be surprised to see something like your stuff on there because you are so creative. As long as there's nothing even close, you should go for it! And, if there isn't anything like your projects on Etsy now and you set up shop, you can bet there will be soon enough. :-)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Nancy! I laughed so hard at that last line I had to wipe away tears! Thank you!!!
      xo Jaime

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  16. Thank you to everyone who has left a comment so far! You've all been entered in the giveaway! I really appreciate all of the different ideas and points of view. I love the spirit of entrepreneurship AND of charity that you guys are bringing. Wow, what a cool (and SPECIAL!!!) group of people you are!!! Keep the ideas coming, Dynamos!
    xo Jaime

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  17. I think you should sell from your blog using paypal and cut out the middle man, lol!! I love the new pattern, this is too creative and looks awesome! Definitely unique.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Piper! I'm seriously thinking about using a paypal cart on the site, but my only concern is that most people visiting are looking for free patterns to make things themselves. I don't know how to reach a 'I'd rather buy handmade than make it myself' clientele and also make the DIY Dynamos happy. I don't feel confident in my business skills... LOL!!
      xo

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  18. I think an Etsy shop sounds great but you could sell from your own website - have some giveaways (small ones) contact crochet, fiber and freebie sites for your giveaways and before you know it you will be so busy creating you won't have time to blog :(

    If I would win I would love one in lavender since I use Lavenderladybug...and yes there is a real story behind that name and a real lavender ladybug.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Lavender Ladybug! You have peaked my curiosity, and even though I checked your blogs I couldn't find the story of the lavender ladybug! So, please share!! LOL!!

      And I have one rule: Blog first, then everything else! ;D
      xo Jaime

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  19. I would say give Etsy a try, but you need to do a fair bit of promo work to get it return you want. List them for so ling, then any left over do giveaways/ donations. I don't know where you're based, but depending on what you have you could get involved with something like a shoebox appeal where you fill a shoe box as a present for a kid in a third world country. I think the Samaritans run one, but I'm sure there're others out there too.

    I like pink or purple :)

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    Replies
    1. Hi Amiguruthi! You know, I hadn't really taken into account how much promotion I would need to do for an Etsy site. Thank you! We still are going around and around with this decision...
      xo Jaime

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  20. I would suggest a bartering website like Listia.com, I barter for stuff on there all the time. Just a suggestion.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Stephanie! Thanks for the suggestion. I will check Listia out. Sounds like fun!
      xo Jaime

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  21. I have been trying to find a fairly quick, yet fun gift for my daughter's preschool teacher and classroom workers (one is male) for the holidays. There are 5 in all!

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  22. Hi Chaotic Crafting! Awesome! These are PERFECT for that. I plan on making a few for my daughter's teacher, too!
    xo Jaime

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  23. a.) Freakin' awesome pattern. 2.) Yeah, I know it's too late, but I agree with everybody about you selling your model pieces. III.) Seems like on Facebook or work or various organizations I belong to there's always some charity fundraiser that asks for donations to be auctioned/raffled off. I think one of these sets would be wicked-cool for that (not to mention all the other gorgeous stuff you've made). Plus, it's a little free advertisement. :)

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  24. Oh, AND... you know how I'm kinda the Qosy Queen? (Think Desk Set of Doom.) I made a little cigarette-case-that-doesn't-look-like-a-cigarette case for a friend at work (yeah, it makes me crazy that she smokes, but I have plenty of my own bad habits). DTF suggested I make individual cigarette cozies and give her the case with the cigs all cozied-out in it. We laughed, I said it wasn't worth coming up with a pattern. Um, mission accomplished. Thanks, J! The Qosy Queen attacks!

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  25. Just found your site this morning when I received an email from AllFreeCrochet. Love the pattern for the Gratitude Stones. I have an elderly aunt who loves me to watch for new patterns for her to make for her senior center, and I have found a treasure trove in your patterns! I always make a sample one for her and then give it to her with the pattern. Love this pencil/pen idea too! I know I am too late for your drawing, but thought I would give you a comment anyway! :-) I've been selling on Etsy now for several years. http://www.etsy.com/shop/BobbinAround4U?ref=search_shop_redirect I can't say I am getting rich on it, but I am doing a regular business now. It takes awhile to build up your clientele, but I do think you would do well to open up your own Etsy shop. Their fees are very reasonable and I find the Etsy team easy to work with. Please send me a link, via Etsy email to my shop, if you have already opened a shop, or when you do. There is a learning curve, but from the looks of your site, you will be able to handle it easily! GOOD LUCK. Loretta

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  26. PS I would also suggest you see if the name Crochet Dynamite is available for your Etsy shop name. It would make an easy connection for your current followers.

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    Replies
    1. Okay, Loretta, you are a genius! I will have to lock in the Crochet Dynamite name on Etsy soon, because it's not used yet. It would just be silly not to! I love your Etsy site, btw! And you hit me right in a soft spot talking about your elderly aunt. As the full time caregiver for my 91 year old grandma, I have a special place in my heart for people that take special care of the elderly.
      I will let you know when I get the Crochet Dynamite shop going. I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it yet, but it's going to be fun!
      xo Jaime

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  27. Hello, Jaime. I'm not sure if you've already gone on to Etsy, but whether or not you do I have a no-cost recommendation for you.
    I work for a rather large financial corporation ( I won't name which one, because it really doesn't matter). We have an internal classifieds section on our employee website. All employees are welcome to post items they'd like to sell, share, buy, rent, etc. I've seen everything from homes to costume jewelry. Pictures can be included in the ads, links to other sites, etc. Our Corp Comm department reviews the ads to approve, but then they're posted. Other corporations have the same thing. You probably have several friends in your community (church, school, etc) that work for employers with similar e-classifieds, and it would cost you and them NOTHING to advertise and sell your goods.

    While I like the recommendation early on from someone who suggested donations to school and church, I'm also a big believer that a worker is worth her wages, and you should not give away your talent at every opportunity. You should consider at least earning enough to cover your expenses, if not a bit more to send you and your family to the local roller rink once a month or so.

    I love the pens and pencil cases. Put together your favorite color combo, send me a photo with description and pricetag, and I'll post it on my employer's site and let's sell it! I suspect there are dozens of folks I work with that would want to buy - seriously. These cases with pencils are ADORABLE and I work with some people who seem to have money to burn - and others who don't but would go without a meal to have something as clever as this!
    -Denise

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    1. Hi Denise! You are just too sweet! Thank you so much for your offer! I am overwhelmed by your generosity.
      This is something I've never even heard about before! Holy mackerel! I bet the company that my husband works for has something like this too. I'm going to have to look into this!
      xo Jaime

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    2. Go for it! Dream a little, dream big -- just DREAM!

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  28. These are so adorable! I happened across you blog by accident. You are very creative!

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  29. Nice. These are so cute. Pinning this for sure! Thanks for sharing the tutorial I will make now.

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