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Understanding Color Theory in Yarn

color theory in yarn

This post is titled Understanding Color Theory in Yarn, but the original title was Finding Your Passion. It was long. And wordy. Overall, boring. Already there were three strikes against it! Then I read over it again and realized there was no mention of crochet in it at all. What was I thinking?! Lately, I have been reading some really great, uplifting posts by some of my favorite blog authors and it resulted in me trying to be someone I’m not. Enough of the boring stuff; onto the crochet stuff! Well, yarn at least, and specifically, color theory in yarn. Continue reading Understanding Color Theory in Yarn

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The Year in Pictures

year in pictures

Here is a look back at the year 2016. Yup, it’s the year in pictures of what happened over the past 365 days at Chocolate Dog Studio. Enjoy!

This is actually just a sampling — there are so many other things that have happened this year! We added grandkids to the family, did some deep cleaning and some home repairs, spent lots of time together as a family, and graduated one from college. We have laughed more than cried; crocheted more than torn out; loved more than ever. It’s been a good year!

May your New Year be better than last year and full of love, joy, and laughter.

Happy New Year,


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The Giveaway You’ve Been Waiting For!

Time for a giveaway!

I have been thinking about having a giveaway for a long time. My biggest question is always: What should it be?




Finally, I ran across these little gems on Etsy — they are so perfect. They fit in beautifully with the fingerless glove patterns I have been writing recently.

Giveaway Teaser

Aren’t they adorable?!

They remind me very much of Shaun the Sheep and the Wallace and Gromit videos that my children grew up with. They are handmade, simply cute, and fun! I asked the lovely Anita to convert them to lobster claw from rings so that they would work great with crochet. (We just need different tools with crochet.)

I have gone years without stitch markers but these take the cake.

I am offering you two sets of these lovely sheep stitch markers, one to keep and one to give to a friend. Or, you can give both of them away. They make fabulous Christmas gifts!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The video above was created by T. Stewart and D. Stewart. They did a great job, don’t you think? It’s so fun to finally see it all come together for this giveaway!

Giveaway Dates

The giveaway runs from Nov. 18-25, 2016. Sign up for the email list, and follow me on social media for your entries. I can’t wait to discover who the winner is and share the name with you!

Talk to you later,


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30 Things to Improve Your Business

Time for a giveaway!

Being an online business owner has its ups and downs. Often, there are “slack times” when it isn’t quite time to release a new product, yet our creativity has taken a nosedive. Since your business won’t run itself, I’ve come up with 30 things you can do to improve your online business beyond making more items to sell.

(This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small percentage of the sale. Your cost is not affected by this, and I truly appreciate your business.)

The Top Ten

  1. Write a business plan; every business must have one of these.
  2. Create an ideal customer, so you always know your target audience.
  3. Rearrange your shop; get customers to look around a little more.
  4. Check item descriptions for grammar and misspellings; improve the wording.
  5. Rewrite your About Me pages to create a simple, quick glimpse of who you are.
  6. Check tags to make sure they are currently the best descriptions of your items.
  7. Put items on sale and get rid of those that aren’t in keeping with your current shop profile.
  8. Rewrite your profile pages and have a good photo taken for your headshot.
  9. Create posts for social media, and schedule them to go out at regular intervals.
  10. Back up your computer; your work is too precious to lose!

30 things - top 10


  1. Check your photos; make sure none are blurry.
  2. Update your photos to give your shop a cohesive look; customers should be able to tell they are your photos by their style.
  3. Watermark all photos used for your business.
  4. Crop photos to “portrait” layout for Pinterest pages.


  1. Do an Internet search to discover ways to streamline or automate more of your business.
  2. Consider using the Etsy Twitter-fu app to tweet for you every day, several times a day.
  3. Write up and schedule social media posts; check your Page Insights to figure out the best time to share posts, then schedule your posts accordingly.


  1. Pin your shop items to Pinterest; make sure the graphics are pin-worthy.
  2. Rewrite your pin descriptions to include your shop address, website, and tags for the item.
  3. Clean up Pinterest boards; get rid of non-pin-worthy pins; sort your pins into new board categories to encourage your followers to look around a little more.
  4. Be social on social media; build business relationships. (They used to call it “networking.”)


  1. Read books and blogs about successful online businesses and how they succeed.
  2. Pick up a copy of Michael Hyatt’s book, Launch, for ideas on how to launch your items for sale.
  3. See what the competition is doing.
  4. Check your shop stats.
  5. Figure out what is selling, what isn’t, and why; be honest with yourself.

Clean – Organize – Edit

  1. Clean up and delete old document files; create folders for different topics so you can find your stuff easier.
  2. Clean up your studio and organize it.
  3. Delete all trash from your computer’s recycle bin.
  4. Edit all your online listings to have a cohesive look.

Total: 30 Things

There you have it: 30 things to improve your business! Do them during a down time, or, better yet, complete one item a day for a month. At the end of the month start over again. Add new items to the bottom of your list as you cross off completed items from the top. Keep your list constantly rotating as you work your business, and you’ll soon find your business is working for you.

Talk to you later,