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In the Package

15 Nov

I did a post on The Package recently explaining how I package my items and I thought some of you would be interested in the details of what is inside the package. One of the first things I do when someone purchases an item is make a sales receipt in QuickBooks.  I use the information from PayPal -name, address, ect- to fill in the receipt.  I started using QuickBooks for my bookkeeping last year and I love it! It is pretty big for my little business, but it makes tax time so much easier! When I started using it I envisioned keeping track of my inventory and all that, but I haven’t figured out how to do that yet.  At least not without doing a lot of extra work.  I use Quickbooks for both my eBay and Etsy sales.

Recently I started sending along the thank-you cards.  I read several places on Etsy that people seem to like this idea.  I have gotten several positive comments on eBay since I started including them.  I made my own cards using my photos.  They are cactus flowers of course, since I am from Arizona.

This one I use for eBay orders: And this one for Etsy orders: I made them different so I could just grab one instead of having to look. 🙂 I have my store name and address printed on the back.

I also send a business card with the order.  A couple of weeks ago I changed the calendar on the back to 2013.  It’s hard to believe the year has gone so quickly!  My business cards are the same for both my sites except for the address, so I have to make sure I send the right one.  I have the stacks at certain places on my desk so that helps -just don’t anyone mix them up please! 🙂  For Etsy orders right now I am actually sending two cards.  The regular one has the coupon code on the back and right now I am also sending one with the calendar on the back.  No one seems to be using the coupon codes, should I just stop sending them?

The tract The Significance of the Christian Woman’s Veiling, I send with all of my hair net orders unless I know the customer ordered before.  Then I send a different tract.  I get the veiling tract and some other tracts from Christian Light Publications.  I don’t get a lot of feedback from the tracts and what I do get is usually positive.  The last item -or the first, however you want to look at it- is your hair net, gift bag, or towel that you ordered!

Thank-you for shopping at My Desert Deals! Have a great day!

The Package

1 Nov

One way to make an impression on your customer in an online business is the way your package looks.  I’m not an expert, but I have always tried to make my packages look as neat as I can. You never know what it’s going to look like once it’s been through the mail, but I figure if it starts out nice it won’t be as bad!

My packages are all fairly small because my items are small and flat, but the general ideas can be used on any package.  So this is where I start:I have all my things gathered up: envelope, packing slip,  tract, business card, Thank-you Card, and the hair net. I get it all folded up to a size that will fit in the envelope I am using.  Right now I am trying to use up envelopes we have around here that aren’t being used.  When I buy envelopes, I buy the 6×9 brown ones.  I can get them at Wal Mart, but they are a bit cheaper from Office Depot. Then it is ready to weigh so I can print the mailing label.  I don’t know how other people do this part, but I use a scales that my Dad uses in his appliance business to charge refrigerators. It is a fairly accurate scales and works really well for my small packages.  The picture turned out dark, but right above that white part on the right it tells me how much the package weighs and I then type that into PayPal where I buy my postage.  There are some orders like foreign orders from etsy.com that I have to purchase the postage from the PO.  Those I just print out the address, or write it, and tape up the package.  Once I have the label printed, I cut it down to the size I need to fit the envelope.  I lay it on the envelope to make sure it fits:Then it’s ready for tape! I use wide clear packing tape and tape the flap down and then start on the front and tape all around the edges of the label. It ends up with a bunch of tape on the back, too, which is fine because it will make the package sturdier.  So there you have it! Ready to go out the door:And when you receive it, you will find your beautiful hair net!Hopefully it won’t be squished too flat.  They fluff up pretty good though if it is.  I have gotten a few returned to me so I have an idea what they look like!

As in any business, there is always paperwork, too.  I take the receipt printed with the postage label and staple it onto the paypal record that I print out.  That is what I keep in my file as record of the transaction.This makes it seem like a long drawn out process, but it doesn’t really take long.  Especially after you’ve done it awhile.  I did realize how much work it is when Mom shipped orders for me this Summer.  I was on the phone telling her how to do it and wondering why I hadn’t taught her before I left?! I didn’t make her do the fancy packing slip and I hadn’t started doing the thank yous back then.

Busy Hands

25 Oct

Although I haven’t much energy, my hands have found plenty to keep busy with! When I came home, I had several purchases on eBay and Etsy to mail. That is when I realized my inventory is down again! I was looking forward to spending several weeks doing ‘fun’ projects before getting back to ‘work’! 🙂  Oh, I don’t really mind crocheting hair nets at all, it’s just that doing the same thing over and over and over, gets a little old sometimes.

Between crocheting hair nets, though, I have snuck in some other projects. I have an afghan I have been working on. I tried to make a goal of doing 3 rows a day so it doesn’t take me a year to get it done! I have also started a new project on my new knitting loom, but I’ll wait to tell you about that til after the Christmas presents are given. 😉  The other day I also made a card for someone. It seems like such a little thing, but it’s so amazing how much energy those little things take, when you just have. no. energy.

Time seems to be moving rather slowly.  Looking back it seems I was in the hospital a long time.  It has some kind of dream quality where every day blended into the next.  Now it seems I have been home a long time.  Is it really just 7 days?  The days themselves don’t feel long though.  That is a blessing.  Until I get all my meds in, rest, eat, crochet a bit….  Not much time left.  Everything seems to take a long time since I have so little energy.  I am so thankful for the things I can do.  I thank the Lord for the ability to crochet and do other hand work even when I can’t do much else.

I have managed to list some items on eBay and Etsy again, too. Yesterday I listed this set of 3 hair nets on eBay and I hope to get it on Etsy soon, too.  There is one Burgundy, one gray, and one white.  As always, you save a bit of money by buying a set of 3! 🙂

New Hair Net Listing

6 Sep

I created a new listing for my large hair nets on eBay. After getting several requests from customers about other colors and/or quantities, I wondered how many customers didn’t buy because they didn’t want to bother with a special request.  Now it is very simple to order your large hairnet through a fixed price listing offering the choice of net style or flower style. You can also choose from one of the basic colors: black, brown, natural, and white.  I will still continue to list auctions for the large style, to gain more exposure.

Check out the new listing here!

Talents

4 Sep

I have crocheted so many hair nets sometimes I seldom think of it as anything special. Anyone could do the same.

Today I saw someone on eBay left this comment in my feedback: praise God for your talent.

That simple statement made me stop and think awhile. Actually I thought about it several times today.

It was a great reminder to me to remember that anything I can do is a talent from God and I should always praise and thank Him for it!

Thank-you to my customer who gave me this reminder! (even if unintended)

Happy Thanksgiving and a Sale

23 Nov

I hope you have  a very Happy Thanksgiving! Not only for all the food and fun family get-togethers, but may we also truly remember what all we have to be thankful for! God is so good to me and I want to be especially grateful for His work in my life.

I am running a sale in my Etsy store this week:

**Thanksgiving Sale** Use coupon code ThxSale11 to take 20% off your order! Nov 24-28, 2011**

Some of the items that I recently listed are:

Light Pink Bun Cover / Hair Net

Set of Three Hair Nets / Bun Covers

Apple Hand Towel 

I also have lots of Hairnets and some towels available on eBay. I don’t know how to do sales on eBay 🙂 so I just left my regular prices as they are a pretty good deal anyway!

As an added bonus from either store you will get a wallet size calendar.

Happy Shopping!

Denim Blankets

6 Oct

I have four small denim blankets ready to go now. The other day, I got two of them listed on eBay. Next week I plan to list the other two on Etsy.

The first one is a regular blanket. They are made from ‘recycled’ jeans. All the pieces were cut by hand from used jeans. I have avoided any major stains, however there are some pieces with the washed-out look and there may be some very small, unnoticeable stains.

The back is a blue and white check soft flannel. The knots are done with red yarn.

The blanket is about 48” long by 34.5” wide so it is a crib size or a throw blanket/lap robe.

Denim Blanket Throw Lap Robe Handmade Re-purposed Jeans Crib Quilt

 

The second blanket is a frayed denim top. The back is finished just like the other one.  This one is about 45.5” long by 32” wide and the knots are blue.

Frayed Denim Blanket Throw Lap Robe Handmade Re-purposed Jeans Crib Rag Quilt

Head on over to my shop, grab a blanket and get cozy! It’s been cold here the last couple days so that sounds great to me! Let me know what you think of the blankets! Next I would like to start working on some bigger ones.

Handmade Girl’s 5T Pink Jumper Dress Amish Mennonite

11 Jul

 Handmade Girl’s 5T Pink Jumper Dress Amish Mennonite

I renewed the auction for this jumper on eBay today. I have actually had it on eBay for quite a while. That’s why I don’t make dresses to sell anymore; it takes them ‘forever’ if ever to sell. The occasional one that I do try to sell, I make a size that someone in my family can wear if it doesn’t sell. There’s always someone else I can give it to, also.

This particular Jumper is made of 100% cotton and a very simple, cute  pattern. It would look great with a white blouse. 

HERE ARE THE FINISHED MEASUREMENTS:

Top of shoulder to waist: 11″

Shoulder to bottom of hem: 33 1/4″

waist: 26″

back opening: invisible zipper

sleeve: sleeveless

Full description

Holiday & New eBay listings

4 Jul

Hello! I hope had a great weekend and are enjoying a relaxing day! I had a nice weekend. Yesterday was a blessing to be in church and to fellowship with Christian friends. Last night we were also blessed with a wonderful rain shower!! We here in AZ love rain showers as they don’t come very often. When we saw it was probably going to rain, my brother and I took our hammocks out to the front porch (it has a roof over it). It was so much fun to lay there and enjoy the rain and the lightening. It did get really windy though and we came running in when we started getting soaked! I realize though that many parts of the US won’t call a rain shower a blessing as they have ‘too much’ water.  

I didn’t do anything to celebrate the holiday today, but I did have fun working on different projects around the house in a relaxed frame of mind. Unfortunately, I didn’t get my projects done, so I can’t really say I did much! I cut out a bag I’ve been wanting to make. Actually, I cut out a practice, because I don’t want to use the material I have picked out until I know if my idea is going to work.

I have really been into bags lately. I made one for my sister-in-law for her baby shower. I planned to do a game involving a diaper bag, however I had no diaper bag to use!! So I quickly threw together a simple bag here about the day before the party. Then I made her little girl a matching one for her 5th birthday. Sorry I don’t have pictures to show you. I will take pictures of this one I am making now, if it turns out ok. 🙂

When I was done with that, I sat down at my sewing machine for about 2 minutes and decided I didn’t feel like sewing. Does that ever happen to you??! Hmmm. Now to come up with another project….

Someone told me recently I should crochet baby blankets. I don’t know about that as I haven’t done too well with afghans. But that is what I started this afternoon. I have 3 or so rows done and it is going very well. The pattern I decided on though has quite a few ‘holes’ in it for the poor baby to get his fingers caught in so it might just turn into a wrap or lap robe of some kind. I am using small yarn: baby weight or sport weight whatever it’s called. And a large hook: size I. So hopefully it won’t take too long to get it done!

Tomorrow I will probably go back to normal projects again. It has been fun though to spend a day doing out of the ordinary things.

One of the ordinary things I did do was get more listings on eBay. You can see them here.

History Part 2

27 Jun

If you missed part one you can read it here.

Here is some more of my story. Maybe it will give you a more rounded view of what I am like. I don’t usually sit around crocheting all day. I couldn’t do that if I wanted to because my hands would be sleeping by then. So here are some more of my hobbies.

My other interests include sewing. Most of the sewing I do is for family and friends, but I have occasionally sold some finished products. I used to sell dresses through http://www.modesthandmaidens.com/ but I have discontinued that. I also sold some cloth bags on eBay. That is still in the back of my mind to try that again… Maybe someday!

Another interest I have developed in the last few years is photography. I love to take photos, mostly of nature, and use those photos to make beautiful, inspirational cards. I am just learning in that area so please be patient with me!

Those who know me, know my favorite hobby is reading so don’t be surprised if some “Books” or “Reading” posts show up on my blog although it really has little to do with my other hobbies and activities. I do use reading to de-stress sometimes, though!

Part of what has shaped my life and perhaps caused me to enjoy these hobbies and activities is my health. I have had chronic respiratory illness most of my life. I am thankful for all the support my wonderful family and friends have shown me. Thank-you for always being there for me!!

I don’t want to draw unneccessary attention to my health, or turn this blog into a pity party, but as this is a big issue in my life, I am sure I will refer to it from time to time. I do enjoy comparing notes with others and getting ideas from different sources.

 

Why I make Hairnets

22 Jun

I began making hairnets for myself. While I enjoy making pretty things such as doilies, coasters, ect, I have always had had interest in making useful things. To me, a hairnet is something useful that I can make for myself instead of buying them. The real bargain is that the homemade ones last way longer, too!
After I began making them for myself, I thought others could be using these too. When I first started selling them, I had no idea there is such a market for bun covers.
I believe in the literal translation of the Bible in 1 Corinthians 11 where it teaches that Christian women should cover their hair with a veiling. I do not believe and do not promote that the bun cover/hairnets that I make should take the place of the veiling. They only cover part of the hair, and do not provide an adequate covering of the hair. The hair net is to keep the hair in place so that a veiling can be worn neatly over it. If the bun cover is someone’s first step towards wearing a veiling, I do not condemn you in that, but I do pray that you will continue to learn and grow to an understanding of wearing the headship veiling.
I know that many people use bun covers for a variety of reasons, some of which, I would not encourage. I do hope to be a witness to my customers of the principles taught in God’s word.
Wearing a veiling has long been a practice of the Mennonite and Amish people and is often associated with them. That is one reason why I put the words Amish & Mennonite in the title of my listings. I hope that draws the attention of those honestly seeking a method of Biblically covering their hair.

 

Navy Blue Crocheted Hair Net Bun Cover Amish Mennonite

20 Jun

Another auction on eBay for this week.

I have here a hair net/ bun cover for sale. I love to crochet and here is a finished product of my work for you to enjoy.  I crocheted this hair net by hand using navy blue size 10 cotton crochet thread.  The outside round has an elastic pony tail holder (no metal!) crocheted into. This helps the hair net to form around the bun.  This hair net will fit most average small – medium size buns.  If you have thick hair you will probably need a bigger size.  If the hair net is a little too big, it can be tucked under with hair pins.  Read full description

Burgundy Crocheted Hair Net Bun Cover Amish Mennonite

20 Jun

I renewed the auction on eBay for this item today. It will run a week. Here is some info on it.

I have here a hair net/ bun cover for sale. I love to crochet and here is a finished product of my work for you to enjoy.  I crocheted this hair net by hand using burgundy size 10 cotton crochet thread.  The outside round has an elastic pony tail holder (no metal!) crocheted into. This helps the hair net to form around the bun.  This hair net will fit most average small – medium size buns.  Read full description.

History of mydesertdeals and it’s owner

20 Jun

The history of mydesertdeals actually started quite a long time ago. Many years ago a little girl was born to…. Just joking. 🙂

Since my main line of products has to do with crocheting you might find it interesting to know when I started crocheting. In grade school, I can’t remember what grade exactly, probably 5th or 6th, our teacher taught us girls how to crochet. I made a blanket for my favorite doll, Becky, which I still have. I never again crocheted anything until I was 20 or 21 years old, I met a lady who crocheted very well and made beautiful doilies and throws. I determined then that I was going to learn!

I found a old ‘how to’ book Mom had and I practiced until I made a doily. At first I only made doilies. It took me a while, but I did eventually get into making a few aghans. I made one for each of my parents and sister & brothers and a few others and that is as far as I got!

Although crocheting with yarn is a bit easier than thread, I still don’t enjoy doing aghans much. I have a very short attention span and if the project takes more than a couple weeks… You can’t imagine how many unfinished projects are in my closet!

Through the next years, I crocheted when ever I had spare time and learned to really enjoy it. I mostly used patterns, but I did experiment abit at adjusting them.

A couple years ago, I found a pattern on Candle on the Hill for a hairnet and immediately set out to try it. I loved it right away! About 6 months later when that one started getting worn out, I made another one for me and one for Mom also. That is when I started experimenting and making my own pattern. That was the first time I made my ‘flower style’.

About that time I got interested in selling them. I had already been selling stuff on www.eBay.com and www.Etsy.com so I listed one or two on those sites. That was in August 2010. They sold sporadically until November & December, then is when they picked up very well.

Several times I wondered if it really was worth trying to sell them. They were a lot of work and didn’t seem to be making much. While I was still experimenting with the pattern, I didn’t make them very fast! I got really excited when they took off over the holidays in 2011. That is when I decided to beef it up and give it my best effort.

The Lord has really blessed! I am not getting rich on selling hairnets! But it has given me something to do and does provide a bit of extra income.

History Part 2

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