Sale ends Sunday, July 7th, at midnight.
Several months ago I was approached on Etsy with a request I couldn’t turn down. My style of crochet is fairly simplistic, I stay within my little 8-bit world and my black backgrounds. Occasionally folks ask me to do some pretty crazy things, portraits, PlayStation level graphics game throws, blankets with dozens of conflicting elements and characters, Harley Quinn… hmm. Usually I give the same response, I explain the simplistic nature of my skills and how difficult it is for me to branch outside my 8-bit universe. Something seemed fun about taking on Harley though, so I foolishly took the challenge.
I took this order in the midst of my busy season, this being my first year with a fully stocked store and steady business, I didn’t know that my busy season wasn’t over yet. Last time I put up a few items that sold out for Christmas, then it was over. I had a week long lull after the holidays and then out of nowhere a completely new surge of orders, among those was Harley Quinn. I wasn’t prepared to keep working through to the Summer, I hadn’t even started my many wedding crafts that I have planned (still haven’t). The closer I got on my order list to Harley, the more stressed I became. I asked my customer if it was ok to finish all my other work before concentrating on Harley, this way it had my full attention and was executed correctly. She sent me the most encouraging emails throughout this difficult process. At times I literally sat staring blankly at my computer and sketch book tearing up and having panic attacks. I had no idea what I got myself into. I even went as far as to purchase a cross stitch pattern, boy was that a dumb idea… complete gibberish. I was ready to throw in the towel, what kept me motivated was this amazingly understanding customer of mine, who if she didn’t live states away I would hug. If I had any other type of customer, perhaps one that wasn’t caring and treated me like a crochet monkey and sent me impatient emails (I get tons of those) I would have quit. I’m glad this wasn’t the case.
Terrence saw how stressed I was and made computer magic happen, he did something in my photo editing program that turned this image into a 16-bit one.
After that I was able to hit my stride, it took me over a week to do the sketch. My 8-bit sketches usually takes me a day or two, if I procrastinate. Hunched over the laptop, sharpening my pencil down to a nub, I went to bed each night cross-eyed and achy. But this was the fun part, I was enjoying the process. I received a ton of encouragement from Terrence, my mom (always) and my girlfriends. Once I started the actual crocheting part it was a breeze, it took me about 3 weeks to complete stitching Harley. I worked quickly and excitedly each day, knowing that I was creating something for an awesome person only made the work more rewarding.
I see many flaws in this blanket, I’m my own worst critic, I’ve been told I’m an idiot. I showed my brother the pictures and he immediately requested a Wolverine blanket, I promptly said no**. I got a bunch of compliments from friends, but none of the feedback I received was as heartwarming as the email I got from my customer.
Our window to leave feedback on etsy expired, so we couldn’t officially tell the etsy world of our experience with each other. I tried emailing etsy to give it back so I could exclaim my adoration for my new favorite customer, they shot me down… mean. I made her these gratitude gifts on the Sunday before I shipped her package. I love it when I have time to make gifts for customers, I haven’t been able to do it in months.
I originally had no plans to add Harley Quinn to my shop, but after the adventure we had together I’m thinking about it. It would be a shame to waste all that work. What do you guys think?
*More pictures can be found, here.
**I’m currently not accepting requests for custom blankets. I really have to start those wedding crafts, only 2 months left to make the bouquets, boutineers and decorations. Oy.
Use the coupon code, SEEYOUSOON10 to receive 10% off at Penelope and Clyde.
I will not be renewing any sold out listings until October.
Penelope and Clyde will be closing temporarily so I can focus on my upcoming wedding. Anything purchased from now until closing day may not ship until August 30th. If you guys have any questions feel free to message me through etsy or directly at email@example.com
It’s time to temporarily deactivate my large blankets from Etsy. Don’t worry, they’ll be back in time for the holidays. I have to focus on our wedding plans and all the events leading up to and after. I’m hoping to take the time to create some special edition blankets, fingers crossed. Maybe even a few new friends will come in Autumn… sadly, no promises there (this wedding stuff is super time consuming). You can still order some of my little guys, the throws will be hanging around until shop closing day.
I will be closing the shop some time in June and keeping it closed until after my honeymoon; reopening in October.
I will also be opening my Store Envy shop in October, for anyone that doesn’t have an Etsy account, this will make it easier to shop without having to sign up for anything.
Take This… throw.
The Legend of Zelda is by far and away my favorite video game series of all time. The fact that I can finally say “I have some Zelda in my shop”, makes me all sorts of squishy inside. I recently shared that I’ve been staring at a partially started Triforce throw since Autumn and how much I’d love to add Zelda to my shop. Thankfully someone asked for one, and I got to take a break from barrels and aliens for a couple of days to produce this new friend. I’m filled with exclamations points and Terrence is, of course, jealous he doesn’t get to keep it. We’ve only ever kept one of my replications in the house, Donkey Kong, and then he has his Space Invaders blanket that started it all. He’s just greedy.
This isn’t it for the Legend of Zelda, I still have many others planned… its simply a matter of finding the time or a nice customer to request a custom order. Maybe soon enough I’ll finish that Triforce or start an adorable Link and Zelda in love throw… I can’t wait. Welcome to the family Link, we’re happy to have you (well, pictures and the math to replicate you… which is enough for now).
In September when I released my last big shop update, I still had tons of things I planned to make. So far I’ve been staring at a partially started Triforce throw and a list of unfulfilled ideas. Thankfully this isn’t entirely disappointing, I’ve been busy earning a living. Which is much better than procrastinating or being plain lazy. So far the only way I’ve been able to expand my shop has been through special requests from buyers. Thank goodness for you guys, you keep me interested. That’s how this new Galaga blanket came about.
Making Galaga fills me with happy, I really love the rainbow of colors involved. I’ve recently gotten a couple of fun requests that I can’t wait to knock out. Some are going to be a major challenge, but that’s what makes it fun. One of my new projects isn’t even arcade themed, crazy… I know. Still nerdy though. Never forget your roots.
Read on to welcome Galaga to the family.
I thought that by now I would have added loads more items to my shop, but sadly I’m a bit behind. I did however manage to sneak these two guys through in time for the holidays. I wanted to be able to create something small to help raise funds for hurricane relief efforts. This is what I came up with…
Hopefully more small projects will emerge soon.
25% of the proceeds from these small friends will be donated to the Red Cross for Hurricane Sandy Relief.
Does it make me sound cocky if I say how much I love my new throw? Whatever, I LOVE my new throw! I have a list of all the blankets and throws I want to eventually make. Since I already have Space Invaders, Galaga was low on my list of next projects. However, someone requested that I make it… which instantly makes it a priority on the list. Before I upset any gamers with my comparison of Space Invaders to Galaga let me just say, I only mean style wise, I already make something with rows of intergalactic enemies. Don’t yell at me, I’m sensitive.
Either way, I really like Galaga because of how colorful it is. It has a lot of pop. I’m also glad I decided to add the specks of stars. I’m super excited for when I have the time to make a full level blanket, as much as I love my little throws, I really love making full length level blankets. They make me nostalgic for hanging out at the arcade with my friends. I was a big Ms. Pac-Man junkie and I remember Galaga was right next to Ms. Pac-Man at our local arcade. My friend was a huge Galaga fan so even though we ran to separate machines we were at least close enough to hang out and be engrossed by our chosen arcade machine.
Now I’m making myself sad that that arcade went out of business in 2006. The above photo was taken the last weekend it was open. I went to the auction of all the games, we wanted to bid on skee-ball — that would have been awesome. Terrence won me the tiny color tv prize that I had always saved up my tickets to get. Tears. Guys if you still have one, support your local arcade.
What was I talking about…? Oh yeah, I made a new throw! More pictures after the break…
Etsy Shop is now fully loaded!
I started my morning early, I set up my room to take photos and I planned on starting to write up my etsy listings. As I was writing horrible copy for my afghans I was being getting messages and comments from Etsy, twitter, Tumblr and Flickr. I wasn’t too confused at first and went along with my business… and then I noticed my gmail inbox was filling up quickly. I refreshed my dashboard for this site and saw the view counts in places that I’d never achieve in a million years on the merit of my rantings alone. And then the hunting began, the hunt for the source. I’m assuming we, more Terrence than I, unearthed the beginning of the crumb trail.
At the time that I’m writing this there are over 800 notes on tumblr in regards to my work. A few weeks back Terrence’s bff couldn’t contain himself and excitedly posted my crappy mobile phone preview photo of the Donkey Kong blanket onto Reddit. It’s gotten over 6,000 views… which would sound exciting to me, but only a sliver of those people actually came to my website and no one contacted me. My point is that these 800 notes mean more to me than the 6,000 views. Big thanks to it8bit.com, more specifically Pacalin for thinking my work is neat.
I started this rant with another point in mind. Ah yes, with all of this attention I had to scramble to finish all of my listings and post them immediately. I initially planned on updating Tuesday, I’m a fan, Tuesday breeds excitement in my heart. Its because of all the eager bus and train rides to music stores early on new music Tuesdays, its a warm memory. Today has been a whirlwind of photo editing, crappy copy writing and shipping rate hunting. After the crazy was over I treated myself and my girlfriends to a night of delicious froyo at Red Mango and a moonlit walk under the Verrazano bridge.
And now for the rest of what you really came here for… shop updates…
And now that it is just about 2am, its time for a much needed sleep.