Saturday, November 6, 2010

Get Your Own Nelson!

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The Silver Hook would like to offer Nelson dolls, the Hal-Con mascot for the next month. There will only be a limited number produced of this design. Next year, Nelson will be different. Each costs $30. To have your doll in time for Christmas, orders must be placed by Sunday, December 5th, and all will be ready for pick up at the Dartmouth Farmers’ Market on Saturday, December 11th, from 8am to 12:30pm. Alternate pick up arrangements are also available. Not from HRM? I will ship your Nelson within Canada for $9 and international for $7 (prices are determined by CanadaPost, and take about 1-2 weeks to arrive). Payments can be made at the time of pick up (cash), or through PayPal (interac, credit card). Questions, and orders should be sent to me, Susan, at TheSilverHook@gmail.com

Your Nelson can have any accent colour you can imagine. The standard is green, but red, rainbow, blue, purple, yellow, orange are available.

Nelson is 9 inches tall and 7.5” wide, and each one is handmade. They do not contain small pieces, and are child-friendly. Materials include stain-resistant, acrylic yarn and polyester fiberfill stuffing. ALL are MACHINE WASH and DRY.
Special thanks to Hal-Con (especially Jennifer Lambe, Riker Jen, Amanda Schreiber, the original Nelson Designer)!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fall-Winter 2010 Craft Shows

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Looking for me? Here is a list of the shows I am currently attending. I will be updating this post as new shows are added, so check back often!
  1. October 16: 17th Annual Elmsdale District School Craft Market & Fall Fair
    • Elmsdale District School, 75 MacMillan Dr, Elmsdale
    • 9am-2pm
  2. October 29, 30, 31: Hal-Con
    • Lord Nelson Hotel, Halifax, NS
  3. November 4, 5: Partners for Care, QEII, Halifax NS
  4. November 12, 13, 14: Christmas Craft Village, Exhibition Park, Halifax NS
  5. November 19, 20, 21: Acadia Christmas Craft Expo, Acadia University, Wolfville NS
  6. December 4, 5: Winter Carnival, Halifax Crafters, Olympic Centre, Halifax NS *pending approval
All other weeks: Dartmouth Farmers Market, Alderney Landing, Dartmouth NS

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hal-Con

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For those who know me personally- I’m a bit of a geek. In junior high (back in 1990’s), I photoshopped a ST:TNG image with the heads of my friends. I’ve watched every episode of the new Battlestar Galactica and am currently waiting for the next season of Caprica. I even watched part of Star Trek: Insurrection on the weekend  (oh Rick Berman, couldn’t you have brought back a Q plot for the last TNG movie? –it has nothing to do with my childhood crush on Q!). I thought Star Trek Enterprise was cancelled before its time. And I do love SGU (it is what Voyager could have been) and Doctor Who (and the flying blue telephone booth). Besides, isn’t it patriotic to support many of these shows since many are filmed right here in Canada and have many Canadian actors.
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Understandably, I’ve been talking non-stop about Hal-Con since I was contacted by them to create a crocheted version of their mascot back in March. Once I understood that it was going to be used for fundraising, I decided to donate the creation. Since then I have be super excited by this science fiction convention coming to Halifax, this Hallowe’en weekend.
I am going to be creating more of the mascot robots for some of the VIP guests (Walter Koening, Jeremy Bulloch, Denise Crosby, Aaron Douglas, Kevin Murphy, Bill Corbett), and I will be a vendor as well (unfortunately I will not be a vendor at the Dartmouth Handcrafters Guild Christmas Craft Show at the Dartmouth Sportsplex since they fall on the same dates.
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Between now and the convention, I will be dedicating my Sunday crochet time to making the mascots, and my Mondays will be spent designing new sci-fi inspired toys. So far I have designed Greys (the stereotypical alien). Did you know that greys are the featured alien in 90% of reported UFO abductions in Canada? The Grey pattern is currently available in my Etsy shop (TheSilverHook.etsy.com), and the doll will be available soon.
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The Jennifer Lamb and Jen Johnston with Hal-Con have both been amazing. Super friendly giving me so much artistic license. The organizing committee sounds like a group anyone would want to work with. If you are a fan of science fiction and would like to support a local group who donates part of their profits to charity, I would recommend joining the Hal-Con group on Facebook and checking out the convention at the end of October.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Growing Business

For many people, New Year’s is a time for reflection, but crafters tend to have another season – craft show season. It begins early in Fall, and lasts up to Christmas. During this time crafters need to be careful not to overbook, but so far, I am planning on 5 multi-day shows from Hallowe’en weekend until Christmas, and during all the weeks in between, I’ll at my usual haunt, The Dartmouth Farmers’  Market. Three of the shows are on back-to-back weekends – eek! I’ll be making a post about the shows later. But now that I am married (August 13) and back from my honeymoon across Canada, I am getting organized and reflecting.

I began crocheting for money about 3 years ago. I was stressed at work, and it was my therapy. The Silver Hook has come a long way. At first I was dependent on patterns, from sites like Crochet Pattern Central, but after being unable to find a pattern for a mermaid, I ventured into designing. As my friend will attest, the first few prototypes were awful!

mermaid (1) mermaid (11) Mira the Mermaid (2)

It has been three years since my first pattern – and I have surprised myself at how quickly I can now design a new toy (except snails – they are the bane of  my designing ability). And patterns are being tweaked all the time.  I am surprised at how my business is doing. My sales are still not as steady or as high as I would like, but I have improved with each year.

After my first Craft Show Season (CSS), I learned so much about displays and which items to sell.

Table setup August 2008 chp craft show (2) SDC11870

In February, the off season, I was contacted by a local store, Carrefour Atlantic Emporium, for wholesale orders. They have been fantastic and loyal clients ever since.

During my second CSS, I participated in more and larger craft shows- 3 to be exact. Unfortunately, this year was the great H1N1 scare and many people avoided crowds. I managed to have profits at each show, but I’ll wait until this year to get a feel of how well I can do. After this CSS, I improved my display (it’s a continuously changing beast). I began a Facebook Business Page, was commissioned for a Science Fiction Convention (contacted through Etsy), and began selling based on consignment at two stores: The Dancing Beaver, and Coco Beans. This past year, I also began selling patterns through Etsy, and learned to use MS Publisher.

 Delia Daisy Little Fairy Pattern drew dragonfly pattern

It is definitely difficult to sell anything handmade (“my grandmother could make that for me for free”), but the signs are encouraging. I wonder what this year will bring!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Mer-Dogs

I’ve had very special request this week through The Silver Hook Etsy : a mer-dog for a mermaid Barbie. More specifically a cavalier spaniel.
I created two mer-dogs, one with a tail, and one sans tail, both 5.5 inches long. My client (as did I) preferred the puppy with out the dog tail. Shortly after making the prototypes, I was thrilled to have my ordered expanded to include a total of three mer-dogs (King Charles, Ruby, and Tricolor) and a mermaid.

Three will be available for sale ($10 each) at the Dartmouth Farmers’ Market on this Saturday (June 19).

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

New Patterns: Bailey Bunny and Freya Fairy

This week in My Etsy Shop I have two new patterns: Freya Fairy (for the intermediate crocheter) and Bailey Bunny (for the beginner crocheter). Both patterns have been inspired by the recent Spring weather here in Nova Scotia. Both patterns can be found at The Silver Hook Etsy Page

BAILEY BUNNY

Bailey is made in 7 pieces: head and body, 2 legs, 2 arms, and 2 ears. Use size 4, medium weight yarn (about 1oz each for body and contrast colour for inner ears and bottom of feet, and 3.5mm crochet hook for all parts. Like most amigurumi, this piece is worked in a continuous spiral. Do not join rounds. Using a stitch marker can help keep track of rounds. While this project is possible by the novice crocheter, check out the stitches used to determine the level of difficulty.

Stitches
CH (chain stitch), HDC (half double crochet stitch), puff stitch (instructions given), sc (single crochet stitch), sc2tog (single crochet 2 together, instructions given), sl st (slip stitch)

Materials
worsted weight yarn, yarn needle, 3.50mm hook, stuffing


Approximate measurements: 7 inches tall


 FREYA FAIRY
Make your own unique, adorable fairy toy!

Freya is approximately 7.5 inches tall. Look at the stitch directory below to determine skill level required (intermediate). The pattern is clearly explained in North American terms.

Freya is made in 10 pieces: head and body, 2 top wings, 2 bottom wings, 2 legs, 2 arms, hair. Use size 4, medium weight yarn (about 1oz each for skin, wings, and dress colors) and 3.5mm crochet hook for all parts except for the hair which uses a 4.00mm hook.

Stitches

Chain stitch, double crochet, puff stitch (instructions given), single crochet, single crochet 2 together (instructions given), slip stitch.

Materials

small amounts, about 1 oz of worsted weight yarn for each of the colours (skin, dress, and wings), 3.50mm crochet hook,4.00 mm hook, darning needle stitch marker, stuffing.