Hello and Welcome

For those who might not know, Squnches Craft Network started out as a niggling little idea. Every time I would search for Australian craft businesses or suppliers, I would have to search for half the day to find what I was looking for, or, I would end up going to places like Sporlight or Lincraft (sorry!). I saw a need for Australian handmade craft businesses and also suppliers to have their own little niche in the wide world of internet. A place where anyone can find them and see what these fantastic businesses create and supply, somewhere easy to find where everything is right at your fingertips without having to search the internet for half the day.

Not only that, it had to be affordable, not all businesses starting out have bags and bags of money I understand that completely, so listing prices had to be fair, and honestly I do think the ones on here are fair, especially when you take into consideration there are other directories which I have stumbled across that offer nothing more than what I am offering yet feel they can charge upwards of $250 per year! Highway robbery if you ask me, you all work hard on your businesses and you work hard to get your business name out there. So in return we offer affordable listing prices with all the perks, all you need to ask yourself is, how long would you like to list your business?

If you really think about it, what we offer is time, we’ll advertise your business not just on our website but on other social media sites as well. We take a lot of the advertising off your hands and in return, you get more time with your family and friends and to work on your wonderful creations. But it doesn’t stop there, we also offer a place where you can easily find what markets are coming up and where, and also upcoming showcases and it’s all so easy to find and check back on. PLUS, markets, events and showcases are all listed FREE. Why, you might ask, we list them all for free because we understand that some showcases are held to raise money for charities, same with some markets and events, not only that but organising a market and event takes not only time but money too and we feel that is better in your pocket so that you can continue to hold these wonderful events and markets which not only help promote businesses but bring a little something to the community.

If you are wondering, yes this is an all Australian made and run business/website, I am a real person, not just a computer screen and I do enjoy getting my craft on when I get a chance, I also like dropping into markets and meeting some of the lovely people behind the businesses and purchasing a few of your creations. So keep an eye out for me when you are next at a market, I might just be there having a look around.

If there is anything you would like added to the website, please feel free to send us an email at squnchescn@gmail.com would love to hear from you.

Cheers

xx

Sarah.F

Founding Director

Squnches Craft Network http://www.squnchescraftnetwork.com.au

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 listingย 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.

Header

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ There are already quite a few topics to chat about, or you could make a new one ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ˜ฆ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.

 

Let it snow … but not here

There are only a handful of places here in Australia where it snows, all of these places are up in the mountains, so if any of us here ever want a snowball fight, that is where we have to go during winter, which for us, is not at Christmas time.

BUT

Linda from Embroidery Garden has found a way we can all enjoy a good snowball fight, even inside, provided you don’t knock anything over or break anything.

Linda has created these really cool snowman snowballs with adorable faces on them, who could resist?

Snowman Snowballs by Linda from Embroidery Garden.
Snowman Snowballs by Linda from Embroidery Garden.

So now, snowball fights at Christmas time aren’t just for those of you lucky enough to be living in the Northern Hemisphere ๐Ÿ™‚

The Joys of Money, Credit Cards, Loans and Mortgages

I learned something the other day, the word ‘mortgage’ literally means ‘dead pledge’. It is a pledge to repay debt for the rest of your life.

Some might look at getting a loan for a house because they are told that the house prices have averaged a 20% profit per annum in the last decade and they would be happy to borrow $300,000 for $25,000 per year profit. Key point here is that the $25,000 per year profit that these houses are bringing in, arenโ€™t worth anything to you UNLESS you are willing to actually sell the house.

Ok, so letโ€™s do the working out. You would need a job that pays say $50000 a year, donโ€™t spend ANY and you will have $300000 in 6 years, pretty simple math right?

excited

But hang on, we have to eat, drink, clothe ourselves, perhaps pay rent and utility bills, buy Birthday and Christmas gifts, travel and pay taxes, that all costs money.

Here is the reality of loans, mortgages and also credit cards.

For example, did you know that after 7 years on a 25 year, $100,000 mortgage at 8% you would still owe $88,211.

question

 

 

You would have repaid $64,833 and yet only reduced your debt by $11,789.

 

 

Even more startling is if you crunch the amortised numbers, is that in the first year you will have repaid $7,953 but only reduced your principal by $1,309.

(principal being the actual loan.)

Scared

In a second year you only pay an extra $109 towards the principal …. great deal for the banks!

You are handing the bank $65,000 over the first 7 years, they take off less than $12,000 of your loan while pocketing more than $53,000 in interest for themselves.

ย sad

The solution (aside from not getting a loan in the first place)

Reduce the term of the loan and increase the amount of the monthly repayment that goes toward the principal rather than the interest.

With a $100,000 loan, if you elect to pay it off over 15 years instead of 25 you will actually be paying less interest from yearย one – $7,870 instead of $7,953. It might only be a difference of $83, but that make a big difference.

graphSure the monthly payments would be higher but you save almost $60,000 in extra interest incurred over a 25 year loan, you save $2,400 a year. Banks don’t like you to know this info as you are denying them extra money. If we all put this knowledge to good use next time we tackle the banks, perhaps they would start being a bit nicer to us?