Category Archives: DIY

Stop Being a Stranger

I’m afraid this has been me over the last … goodness, over 1 year now, how shocking is that! There is a very good reason for it though, I’ve finally made my dream of an online business a reality πŸ™‚ Squnches Craft Network is the name and helping handmade crafty Australian businesses get recognised is our aim. Providing a directory, calendar for markets and events plus listingΒ upcoming showcases and more. This labor of love has certainly been a lot of hard work, long hours and plenty of cups of tea, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

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Who else out there has a job they enjoy getting out of bed every morning to work on, even cold Winter mornings?

There is a wonderful feeling when it comes to doing something you love, especially when it involves helping others with their dreams. If you would like to take a look at my business site, head to http://www.squnchescraftnetwork.com.au it would be wonderful to hear some feedback too.

Until my next post, which won’t be too far away I assure you, take care and have a wonderful day.

Craft heaven

The last few months I have certainly been hiding under a rock, with good reason though. I have been exceptionally busy putting together my website, which is now online πŸ™‚

Home page
Home page

Great place to have a look at all the recently listed businesses and take a quick glance at all the upcoming events.

Listins
Craft Directory

If you are looking for a business to create a product for you or just wanting to see what businesses create what lovely handmade items, this would be your next stop.

Upcoming Events
Upcoming Events

Bored of staying home every weekend? Browse through all of the listed upcoming events and you are sure to find a market, event or exhibition you would love to see.

Forum
Forum

Have a suggestion for the website? Want to introduce yourself or perhaps talk about an event you took part in, whatever it might be, feel free to post a message on our forum πŸ™‚ There are already quite a few topics to chat about, or you could make a new one πŸ™‚

We also have subscriptions available for business owners wanting to list their business. There are a lot more fantastic sections to be added to our website so keep coming back to see what we have added πŸ™‚

http://www.squnchescraftnetwork.com.au

Just crocheting along

Lucky me received a lovely set of crochet hooks for my Birthday earlier this year, not only that but a huge pile of wool! Looking at all the wool I was both delighted and overwhelmed, for once my reaction was ‘where do I start!?’
It wasn’t long before I started just, creating, I’m not the best at following patterns and such, yet. So I went out and created by own little crochet hat.

20131231_115529 20140105_090726The hat uses most of the stitches and skills I have learned so far and is currently sitting proudly on my craft table where I can see it and smile πŸ™‚

Too hot to knit?

Despite the recent hot weather, I’ve found it very relaxing to sit in my grandma’s old recliner, rocking away gently while I knit. Certainly not knitting something that I’ll be able to use until Winter comes.

Last night I finished off this lovely Pom Pom knee rug, I found a couple of balls of it in a store near home and just had to try it, I’ve never tried knitting with anything like it before and before I knew it I was well on the way to making something lovely.

The softness along with the thickness of the blanket gives you instant warmth and comfort as soon as you put it over your legs. Even before I had finished the blanket, I took it to a friend’s place and showed her and she said I could almost use it to make pillows.

Pom Pom knee rug.
Pom Pom knee rug.

My next project, my wonderful fiance would love a scarf made out of the same wool. Seems I am always up to something πŸ™‚

Creativeness strikes again

Finally I have finished this crochet blanket that has been on again, off again and then on again. Possibly one of the most colourful blankets I have ever made and so soft and warm.

20131229_100747Perfect little knee rug πŸ™‚ I would be tempted to have it as a baby blanket but all the gaps in the centre of the circles would make perfect places for fingers and toes to get caught. I’ll have to work on making them smaller if I ever make another one.

Also created a simple little crochet hat, for a little baby, not that I’m expecting, I just think it is really cute to make all these colourful little things πŸ™‚

20131229_100819I wonder what my next project will be after binding this lovely surprise quilt ….

Secrets, secrets and oh why not, one more secret!

I have been busily working away on the biggest quilt I have ever made, and unfortunately I’ve also been neglecting my blog which was once a hub of activity.

This quilt which I have called ‘Shamwari’ is a Christmas gift for a family member who is keeping a close eye on everything I post anywhere on here and on Facebook 😦 So I can’t go showing you all how good it looks. For me, it is impressive considering I am only using a sewing machine to make it, no long arm quilting machine in this household.

To give you an idea of just how big this quilt is, grab your tape measures ladies and gentlemen, it is roughly 250cm square. The quilting I managed to finish earlier this week, miraculously I didn’t lose myself in the quilt during this process as I’ve nothing flash to work with. My great grandmother’s extendable table, which has really come in handy, and a Janome sewing machine, oh and of course the lounge room floor.

The final finishing touch of the quilt is the binding, I’m going for something a little special, some lovely silk ribbon. I’ve done this before when I made my first sleepingbag which was for my little niece. Really makes the whole thing a bit special.

After this I have the joy of making two matching pillow cases, because the quilt is something a bit special and different, it would be a bit difficult to get pillow cases to match, so with a couple bits of leftover material, I’ll create a matching set πŸ™‚

Can’t wait to finish it and be able to share it with everyone, its been a surprise for far too long.

Good Things Come to Those Who …

Wait … no I’m not quite sure that is correct, at least not in my case. Not unless my fairy godmother will appear if I wait patiently.

Recently I have been so preoccupied with putting together the directory for Squnches Craft Network that I’ve hardly had a chance to put up any blogs at all. Though I am relieved to say that the directory is complete πŸ™‚ much to my relief. Why is it I always tackle the biggest/hardest tasks first I’ll never know.

A wonderful distraction this time of year, and one which has been distracting me a little has been the upcoming celebrations of Christmas. The smell of fresh gingerbread, the sound of Christmas carols and the joy of putting up the Christmas tree and decorating it and the house with lights. Then there is always the fun of doing what we call the Christmas light run, where we drive around and admire all the Christmas lights on other houses.

I would just like to share with you, some of the lovely craft that businesses on Squnches Craft Network’s Facebook site have been up to in preparation for Christmas.

Cherries dipped in white chocolate – Candy Kisses Lolly Bar
Fantastic idea for the baker in the family or group of friends – Magnolia House
Flameless tealight covers – Embroidery Garden

Come on over to our Facebook page and have a look at some of the wonderful creations being made for this upcoming Christmas.

 

One stitch, Two Stitches

What better way to relax and unwind after a hard day than relaxing on the couch with a movie while working on a crochet blanket :-)That was me last night and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’ve watched this blanket go from colourful little rounds

1270158_10153182920605591_1824826110_othen to individual granny squares

20131109_233944then the squares were laid out before stitched into rows of granny squares

20131110_131148and now I have half the blanket stitched together.

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Still got some little tails to stitch in and hide away so that it all looks neat, but I have to say, for my first ever attempt at a blanket like this, I think it is coming together well and I can’t wait to finish it πŸ™‚

 

Dedication, Patience and Faith

Some of you may already know about my business and upcoming website, which has taken a little longer than expected.

Many months ago it all started with an idea, an idea which was not only to help myself with locating things on the internet but also to help others. I’m crafty and creative by nature, holding down a 9-5 job in an office is not my idea of work, its more like a prison sentence and many other crafty people will agree with me here.

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Offices felt like a prison

Due to the situation at the time and people telling me to ‘get a real job’ or ‘get a normal job’ I went ahead and worked in these offices day after day, week after week, month after month never really succeeding in working in an enjoyable business.

The only thing for me to come out of working was the pay, it wasn’t the kind that would make me wealthy so I could afford everything I ever dreamed of, but it was enough for me at the time to save up and also spend a little on myself, that was until the stress of everything going on at work started making me sick.

I wish

Work is supposed to be fun, enjoyable, something you get out of bed for and can’t wait to start because you are so excited to see just what the day has in store. This job just wasn’t it. Due to a wonderful happening, I met my amazing partner and a couple months later I threw in the towel and gave up work, I was stressed almost beyond repair, 27 and it felt like I was having a mid life crisis already.

After some time off to recover I then started to wonder what I was going to do next, we couldn’t survive on just his wage, I couldn’t expect him to do all the work for the rest of his life, that wouldn’t be fair on him.

I took to pen and paper and wrote a list of all the skills and talents I have, all the qualifications and also all the things I enjoy doing the most and I came up with a wonderful business idea, but that was all it was, just an idea.

A wonderful idea
A wonderful idea

Determination played a big part in transforming this idea into reality, determination which came from me seeing the situation we were in and thinking ‘enough is enough’ I wasn’t about to see my wonderful partner work himself to the bone just so we could survive.

Although I couldn’t see exactly how this was all going to piece together, I decided to do what I could at the time and I believed that bit by bit the rest would unfold, and it did!

I started forming the database for the website and getting as much information as I could, all the while I was searching online how to put it all together and make it work. The challenge was of course, how to make it all work on a budget, there wasn’t a spare couple thousand dollars sitting in the account for a rainy day. Changes had to be made in the way of spending so as to afford this new business project, just the same as money is set aside for Christmas and Birthdays.

There was still one piece of the puzzle I was needing to achieve and although it was just another piece, it was a very important piece. Putting together the business means contracts, plans, agreements not to mention, setting up financial tables and doing all the registering necessary to make it a business. This is the commitment part, the point of no return, once it is all signed, sealed and delivered then you have to commit.

Missing piece
Missing piece

For something this big I wasn’t about to go it alone and a good friend told me about a course I could take where I could get all the help I needed in doing this, so this then became my next stepping stone and I took hold of it with both hands and never looked back.

Since completing the course, I am officially a business owner, I get to work my own hours from home in a business I thoroughly enjoy. There are still a few things that are a bit daunting here and there but the more I do them, the easier it gets πŸ™‚ Though my website is not yet online, I am much happier than I have been in a long time, I have achieved something that if you had told me 2 years ago I would do, I would have probably smiled and kept walking.

Every day I am excited to get out of bed and work, that’s how it should be for all of us, even on a Sunday, best thing is, the more work I do now to perfect the website, the easier it is for me later and eventually I won’t even have to work eight or even five hours a day. I’m predicting that in a maybe a years time I will only need to work perhaps a total of 12 hours a week. Now that is certainly a goal worth working hard for πŸ™‚

Fantastic offering

Finally the website for Squnches Craft Network is ready to launch tomorrow on November 1st.

This has been a huge dream of mine for so long, it started out as just a little idea, then a dream and then something which nearly consumed me, to make the best interactive craft business directory around, one that was fun, exciting, full of information and a gallery of photos, where anyone can be a part of it no matter their craft or experience level.

With the help of a really good friend from Inspire Media the website was put together with some really cool software, anyone wanting a website no matter how big or small should get in touch with these guys, they really are fantastic!

For the launch of the website we are offering an amazing deal to all Australian craft businesses.

50% off

Business Listings
Business Listings, currency is Australian dollars

I will let you all in on a secret now, we are already thinking of expanding to included overseas businesses.

This site was created thanks to a lot of input and many wonderful ideas from everyday people and businesses themselves, it is expected to become something huge!

Not just an ordinary directory, there is a gallery for photos of business stock, your own projects and creations, a calendar for upcoming events where people can comment if they are attending or not and where in the event they might be situated, not only that but a sales section so that any registered and listed business can advertise their upcoming sales.

Its the one stop site for craft businesses and craft minded people, no more searching all over the internet to find what you are looking for, take a look at this site and within moments you can find just what you are looking for.