Sunday, September 23, 2012

Congratulations on Your First Sale!

Congratulations on Your First Sale!



What an exciting email to get.  Finally!  Oh I was beginning to think it would never happen...LOL

I was cleaning the garage all afternoon and didn't bother with the computer.  Once I start cleaning...watch out!  I had finished a bracelet earlier in the day and was feeling a little "blue."  It was the last pieces of wire I had on hand.  I thought to myself, "If I don't sell something soon, I won't have the money to get more supplies."  Yep, feeling pretty blue at that point.  So, I went and cleaned!

Anyway, I kept myself quite busy, because as you can imagine, cleaning a garage for a household of 10 people is NO small feat!  And, I swear every child has an estimated 2 bikes or 1 bike and 1 scooter.  They take up so much room it is crazy.

I finished in a few hours feeling proud of my efforts.  I needed to sit for a few minutes, so I logged on and checked my email to get this message from Etsy:

"Congratulations on Your First Sale!"
and this cute little graphic...

I could barely believe my eyes.  I wanted to scream and jump up and down!!  I mean I have sold 4 items already, 2 to a friend, 1 to my aunt and 1 to my step-daughter.  But, this was different...I didn't know this person.

I want to encourage you today...if you feel blue about the way things are going... clean your garage.  LOL  No, just kidding. But, do find something to take your mind off of what troubles you and put your energy towards something rewarding.

It may not result in a sale right away...but you will sure feel better once you have tackled something and seen great results.

The bonus... is that by releasing the CLUTTER you make room for the BLESSING!

Keep it Crafty!

Joy


Friday, September 21, 2012

How to Viking Knit Tips Part 3: Finishing

 How to Viking Knit Tips Part 3: Finishing the Knitting



This is the third installment in my How to Viking Knit TIPS series.  In case you missed them, here is PART ONE and PART TWO for you to catch up on.  Again, as I have said, this is more about TIPS or RESOURCES than the basic Viking Knit tutorials.  There are plenty of those online already.


Viking Knit How To
First I want you to see the difference between your 'starter bundle' and your actual piece.  The picture above shows you where they are linked together.  The arrows indicate where you will CUT the piece aways from the starter bundle.

Tip #1  Clip the lowest level of each starter bundle loop.  This will allow you to reuse the bundle and will not compromise your actual working piece.

Tip #2 Use a pair of pliers that have a sharp point.  I use my husband's "real" wire cutters which has a flat side, but also has very sharp tips.  This allows me to carefully select the loops I want to cut.  Simply cut a piece of each loop and then you will begin to see them 'break apart'.


Viking Knit Tutorial

Tip # 3  You will have pieces of the starter bundle loops fall off, and if any move very freely, they should come off, but you may need to help them along with pliers.


Viking Knit Tutorial

Once you've removed the starter bundle, your working piece should have ALL but one loop.  In this case, I had 4 petals, so after removing from the bundle, I have 3 loops and one piece sticking up.

Tip #4  Hide the ends!  Simply take your pliers and curl the one 'end' inward.  This enables it to be hidden inside of the piece when you pull through the draw plate.  It also leaves a small 4th loop, which you will need for the next step.

Viking Knit Tutorial

Tip #5 Reuse!  I reuse my starter bundle for  my next piece...

Viking Knit Tutorial

...and scrap 20 gauge wire segments for pulling my piece through the drawplate.


Tip #6 Line up your loops.  Using your pliers, simply push or twist each of the 3 strong loops until they are almost lined up.  Carefully align the 4th loop you created earlier with the other 3. They don't have to go in any particular order, you simply need them to all feed on to the above scrap wire.  Then give the wire a coupleof twists.



You are now ready to pull through the drawplate!

Tip #7 You need something strong: use Vice Grips.  I slowly feed my piece (scrap wire first) through one side of my drawplate.  When the scrap piece comes through, if it is snug, I clamp my vice grips on the wire and then pull slowly through the draw plate.  If you need to, you can use an extra person, vice or some other means to keep the plate itself from moving while you pull on the wire.

SIDE NOTE:  Since I use a home-made wooden drawplate, I ALWAYS go through the same side.  Meaning, what you see here, with the numbers in markers, is always my 'entry point'.  Wire tends to mark up the wood after awhile, so I do not want to go from the back to front, for fear of causing splinters or marks on my piece.

You don't have to make your own drawplate, you can just order them on Amazon!  Just click the photo below to see great prices and selection!



Next, uncoil the scrap piece of wire and put that in your craft box for next time.  Now you are ready for finishing your piece.   There a few ways to do this, and again, you can easily find that information online, as I did. 

IF you would like ME to make up a tutorial or post about it, then simply comment below, so I know. :)

I hope you enjoyed How to Viking Knit Tips Part 3: Finishing and I look forward to your comments and suggestions.   My book is available on Kindle here:  http://amzn.com/B00KBZQRTM

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Viking Knit Jewelry By Joy Video

I made this snazzy video on Animoto to share my jewelry... what do you think?

Click the link below to watch and feel free to comment below


Viking Knit Jewelry By Joy


Keep it Crafty!

Joy

Viking Knit on Squidoo

Viking Knit on Squidoo


First, here's a photo of a 3-strand Viking Knit piece that I made.  Using some 'scrap' wire, I tried out this style.  Since it was way too short for a bracelet, it is now an awesome key chain on my husband's keyring.


Viking Knitting


Moving along...

I started revamping many of my old Squidoo lenses this week and decided to create a NEW lens!  I love to share what I learn, what I do and where I find resources.  I am using my Squidoo lens as another way to share Viking Knit, specifically what I do, with others; others who may not know where my blog is located.

If you'd like to visit my lens and give me some SquidLove, I'd be very grateful.  Just click on this link:  Viking Knit Bracelets 

So, I plan to share many of the things that I talk about here.  I've already talked about my Etsy shop, types of styles that I've tried so far and recommended resources for Viking Knit Tutorials and Craft Supplies.  I may even create some of my own videos and pop them on YouTube and share them here and on Squidoo.

Oh and of course, I share my blog there, hoping to have more people stop by here too!

Anyway, if you are on Squidoo as well, pop on by and show some LOVE. I will return the kindness.  And, I greatly appreciate the 'shares', 'likes', 'pins' and +1's that you've already given me.  I really want to see this business take off and your love & support helps me in my endeavor. 

Now, the challenge is to get more sales!  But, isn't that every businesses' challenge?  :)

Thanks so much for your love and support.  Don't forget there is still time to enter my Viking Knit Bracelet Giveaway just check out the details on this POST.

Keep it Crafty!

Joy

Saturday, September 15, 2012

How to Viking Knit Part 2: Beads

As promised in my previous post found here I would like to share with you how I do Viking Knit with Beads and explain some tips that I use, along the way.

Again, my disclaimer is that this is just how I do it.  I think there are other ways, in fact being that this is a creative venture, I am sure there are; this is just how I do it.  Feel free to post comments and questions at the end of this blog post, in case I need to clarify something.  It benefits ALL readers when you do that  ;)

Using the methods I share will in fact make your knitting/weaving more time consuming.  If you can typically do a piece in an hour, expect it to double or even triple if you have a tough time.  But, don't let that discourage you at all!  Remember this is something you can put down and pick up whenever you have time.

Tip #1 Set up your beads


Okay, so now you have set up your viking knit on the mandrel of your chcoice and you want to add beads.  I typically set up everything before starting, including using small trays for my beads.   And, as experience has taught me, only put a small amount of beads in the tray at one time....let's say around 10 or so.  They are really hard to find and pick up if you knock them over (been there, done that... still finding beads on the floor)!

If you are using mutliple colors, I recommend a different tray for each color.  In fact, I use the trays that came from the packages of beads I bought in the beginning.  Now, if you buy tubes of beads, you will need something different.  In f act, you can use a tupperware lid, yogurt lid, or something else relatively flat with an edge to it.  I don't recommend a cup or anything that deep.  I also don't recommend the counter top, as you will have to chase the  beads around.  But,  I do believe there are mats for beading that you can buy.  Personally, I just reuse/recycle what I have in my house and keep my expenditures to a minimum.  :)

Tip #2 Size of Beads


Now, I have read where people advise that you do NOT pull a beaded viking knit piece through a drawplate.  And, I would imagine if you are using fairly large beads, you shouldn't.  It can crack the beads, distort the viking knit piece and even get stuck in your drawplate. 

However, I DO draw mine through a plate and LOVE the way it comes out.  I use size 11/0 glass seed beads.  I made the  mistake, in the beginning, of getting a 'mixed' package.  Well, I had all shapes, sizes and styles...and it made things so much more difficult!  Now, I buy one color, one size packages and stick to that.

Tip #3 Best Tool EVER

Whether you are using beads or not, this little gadget is my best friend.  I just love that it helps me loosen knots, move beads, etc.





Yes, a PUSH PIN!  It has the perfect little point to get under the rows!













So now, the HOW-TO Part.   There is going to be a series of pictures here with a brief explanation under each.


1) Make a few plain rows, without beads.

2)  Feed a bead into the wire

3) Gently position the wire.  You know it will go straight across,
so you want to "place" it there first

4) Feed your wire behind the previous row now,
as you would normally do

5) Every other is best to prevent crowding. 
As you come around, if the row just above has a bead, then NO bead. 
In the photo above, the row above does NOT have a bead,
so you would add a bead for this row.


6)  As you go around, you will want to avoid any beads getting
caught up in the knitting/weaving. 
They will stick out if they get caught, and will make using the drawplate difficult. 
So, before making a knot, you want to move the beads on the left, to the left;
move the beads on the right, to the right. 
In the photo above, on the left, you can see how close they are to
where I will feed the wire through.  in the second photo, on the right,
you can see how I have slid them away from the knot I will be using.

If your beads are stuck, and you cannot easily slide them, simply use your awesome tool, the pushpin, and lift the knot up away from the mandrel.  This will give the beads some "wiggle" room and can now be slid out of the way.

Just continue the "every other" pattern until you get to the length you desire.  I would do a few plain rows at the end, as you did in the beginning, so you have room to work with your finishings.

Oh and when you add wire, you do as you always have.  Just add a bead if you are supposed to (remember every other row).  And, if you miss some beads along the way, NO big deal.   It all comes together nicely after pulling through the draw plate.

That is truly it for the beading part! 



Next time, I will share with you how I end my pieces, where I cut the wires and how I pull my pieces through the drawplate.   If you are already well versed on finishing your pieces, then you probably won't be stopping by for Part 3.  However, I would love to have you cocme back and share your OWN techniques by commenting below the post.

Until next time, Keep It Crafty!

See my book on Kindle here:  http://amzn.com/B00KBZQRTM


Blessings,

Joy

PS:  If you'd like to see more Viking Knit jewelry with Beads, feel free to pop on over to my Etsy shop.  There is also a mini collection on the side of this blog.  Just click on there and check out the many beaded pieces I have made.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Rainbow Bracelet Giveaway

Rainbow Bracelet Giveaway


Enter to win this hand-made Rainbow Viking Knit Bangle Bracelet




NO purchase necessary. 

***Amended Rules 9/15/2012***
To enter, become a fan and LIKE our Facebook Fan Page then go to the Giveaway post (pinned at top of page) and  COMMENT on the photo.  Post "likes" don't count towards entries.  Also, if you SHARE the post with others, you will get a SECOND entry!!
 

Rules and other important information:

  • NO purchase necessary. 
  • Prize is one "Rainbow" hand-made Viking Knit bangle bracelet (value $15) as seen in photo above.
  • Contest starts MIDNIGHT 9/14/2012 and ends MIDNIGHT Eastern Standard Time 9/30/2012.
  • Up to 2 entries per person.  One for commenting and one for sharing. 
  • By entering contest, you are allowing your name (whole or partial) and location to be used in future promotions; examples such as: "Jane Doe of Boise, Idaho", "Jane D., Idaho, U.S.A." or "J. Doe, USA"
  • Winner may submit their photo to company for promotional reasons if so desired, but is not required.  
  • All shipping costs are included by BraceletsByJoy.com.  Domestic shipping within 1-2 weeks; International shipping may take longer. 
  • Winner will be chosen randomly and notified on October 1, 2012 by email. 
  • Winner will be announced on social networks, via BraceletsByJoy.com accounts, on October 2, 2012.
  • Many will enter.  Only ONE will win.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

How To Viking Knit Tips Part 1

Okay, so I've only been doing Viking Knitting for a little over month, and I just love it!  Along the way, I've picked up tips, tricks and resources that I want to share. 

My disclaimer here is that these are things I've  learned from someone else, somewhere along the way AND that no one way is right for every person.  Other than the actual "knit" the rest is up to personal preference.  :)

Okay,so I hope that you have watched or know how to Viking Knit already.  If not, head over to YouTube and watch this video by Blue Kitty Creations.  There are also related videos on the sidebar, but don't get caught up or you will be on there for HOURS (like I was)!

Viking Knit Tip # 1: Reusable Petals 


Create a REUSABLE petal set or sets.  I used 20 gauge (heavy) wire to create this 4 petal set  by wrapping the wire around a credit card, making the loops nice and long.  Using my fingers was hard, as I made the loops too small and was hurting my fingers.  ;)  I do not cut these petals, and can re-use them as often as I want.  I also have a 3 petal and 5 petal set to use in my craft box.


Viking Knit Tip #2: Sturdy Tool

Use a sturdy mandrel.  This can be a wooden dowel, a crochet hook, a hex/allen key or whatever YOU choose.  I personally like my crochet needle, which is 6mm.  It has the flat part for my fingers and I like not being tethered to a vice & table.


 

Viking Knit Tip #3:  Secure Your Petals

Secure your petals to the mandrel (in my case, crochet hook).  You can use tape, but I prefer a small rubber band.  This will keep the petals from sliding or twisting around as you knit.


At this point, how you add the wire is completely up to you, but I like to feed a small piece up through the petals/rubber band and wrap around my petal set.  It looks like this:



Viking Knit Tip #4:  Starter Bundle

Create a starter bundle of "cheap" wire that is about the same gauge you will be working with.  I use mostly 24 or 26 gauge for my Viking Knit, so I use 26 gauge wire that I found at a "value" but turned out to be horrible for jewelry (color chipped, kinked and broke, etc.).  You can make this as long as you want, but I typically go about 1" which can be 7 or so rows.

The reason for the starter bundle is to avoid wasting the "good" stuff on those first 1 or 2 awkward rows that tend to not look so good. If you already knit, then you may have experienced where your knitting gets even and pretty right about row 5.  So, why waste those first 5 rows?  Here is my starter bundle:
, where you will see how the first 2 rows are kind of 'messy'. 


Also, when you are finished with your bracelet, you can simply cut the starter bundle row that is closest to the finished bracelet and not have to lose any of your good wire, PLUS you still have some starter bundle left for the next time.

Now you will want to add your 'good' wire, so all I do is "hook" the end in to the last knot I made with the starter bundle and proceed from there, looping around until I get back to the "hook"


"Hook" good wire in to starter bundle.  Keep a finger on it when you go to make your next knot.

Proceed to knit.  Try not to pull too tightly.

This can get tricky... and the photo is the best I can do.
Now, once you get back around to the "hook", you will feed the wire BEHIND the upper portion of that hook as well as the starter bundle knot, and it should come out on the other side with the bottom portion of the "hook" underneath it.  Again, this is tricky and be patient.  Go slow and don't pull the wire until you are comfortable with t he wire placement (you don't want kinks).

If you find the place where the wire combined is too bulky, you can pull down on the ends of the wire to tighten it up a bit.  But, don't stress!  Remember the starter bundle will NOT be a part of your finished piece, and you can always snip the knot if it doesn't tighten down after the draw plate.


Now, the next thing I do is  snip those end pieces to keep them out of the way.  I first push them up a little bit, away from the mandrel so they are easier to see & cut. I simply take my pliers and cut them, push the tips back down to the mandrel and then continue knitting on....






I have SO much more to share!!  Taking photos every step of the way tends to slow me down though.  Part 2 I am going to cover Adding Beads to Your Viking Knit.  I learned how by reading an article. And, I have read a lot of others comment on what to do and knot do (pun intended).  What I will do is show you how I add beads to get a bracelet that looks like this:



Available for sale at BraceletsByJoy.com

Close Up of beads

Keep It Crafty!

Blessings,

Joy

Move on to PART 2 HERE

Or get my book on Kindle here:  http://amzn.com/B00KBZQRTM

How About A Giveaway?

I've been tossing around the idea of doing a GIVEAWAY.  For the remainder of September, having people enter to win ONE Viking Knit Bracelet.

What do you think about that?

I am inspired to do a tutorial WHILE creating the bracelet for this giveaway, so make sure you've subscribed to (or "follow") my posts so that you can get in ASAP and share with others, and learn more about how I make these beautiful pieces.

I will share tips and tricks that I use, instead of "How-To Make  Viking Knit" because there are plenty of tutorials online already for that.  Heck, that is where I learned most of what I know.  LOL

If you want a great video tutorial, check out "Blue Kitty Creations" on YouTube.  Although it is slow going at first, she really explains it well and the detail is awesome!

In the meantime, I will put this all together today and share with you very, very soon!

Blessings and Keep it Crafty!

Joy

PS:  Please comment below if you are interested in the GIVEAWAY!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Grace and Beauty-My Boutique

I have been making Viking Knit bracelets for over a month now and I absolutely love it!  I love to be creative and love to make new things  My husband sent me a link last night to become a vendor with a site.  But, being half out of it this morning, I read the email and opened a boutique instead.  LOL

Once I realized my mistake, it was  too late.  I was enthused about being able to offer other people's jewelry for sale, not just my own.  So, in addition to my Etsy store, I also have an online boutique where you can shop for a wide variety of jewelry from designers, many discounted up to 60%.  And, the fun part is that I got to hand-pick the items I wanted to offer in my 'shop'.

So, while I will continue to make bracelets almost daily, I want to encourage you to also checkc out my boutique.

Here is my latest bracelet, which you can find in my shop on Etsy:

Black and Orange Viking Knit Bangle

And now, you can head over to my online boutique, Grace and Beauty, by clicking HERE.

The holiday season will be fast upon us, and I give some tips about how to not get caught up in the same old holiday spending trap in this BLOG POST.

Blessings and Happy Shopping!

Joy Marino

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Labor Day Sale

To celebrate Labor Day and the unofficial close to summer here at the Jersey Shore, I am running a special that I wanted to share with you.

LABOR DAY SALE!!!  For Sept 1, 2 and 3... FREE Shipping on items in my Etsy shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/BraceletsByJoy  use CODE:  FREESHIP123 *US orders only*  All orders will ship out Tuesday, since there is no mail again until then.



Here are some of the items I have up for sale (these items may be SOLD when you view them).







Don't wait!  These items are catching a LOT of attention.  You can browse my shop for other items as well.  And, if you want something custom made, please feel free to let me know and we will work out the details.

Blessings!

Joy Marino