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I stopped counting the days.

Well, I haven’t written anything since November. There are numerous reasons as to why I had to abandon this project for a few months. Here we go.

1. Christmas. I got caught up making gifts, wrapping gifts, planning for the holidays, etc. I ended up making a pair of mittens for a charity auction, a cowl and a hat as gifts, a pair of mittens for myself (my previous pair wore out after two years) and a skirt to be tie-dyed by a special little girl. Of course I took no photos of any of this.

2. I completed a custom embroidery request for December. A woman in the states asked me to make a piece of art depicting all of her daughter’s travels in her first year of life. It was amazing to be asked to do it, yet alone get paid for it!! The photo below really shows the detail I put into this thing. I’ve blurred the little girl’s last name for privacy. I’m extremely proud of this.

emrboidery

3. I had two career exams I needed to write this winter. I finished the second one last week and can boastfully say I passed! Fiiiiinally.

4. I joined an all-female, barbershop style chorus. It’s pretty amazing but took up a lot of time this winter. I had to sew my costume from scratch as well as attend regular rehearsals for the two shows we put on this winter. My costume got finished on time but needs a few alternations before our competition at the end of the month because…..

5. I’m pregnant! As of today I am 21 weeks and 4 days pregnant. So, as you can imagine, trying to complete the above 4 while being exhausted (read: going to bed at 8:30 pm most nights) and nauseated (thankfully ended around week 14), I have not had time to focus on the store.

So, here I am, finished my career objectives (temporarily), feeling waaaay better and itching to get some crafting done! Now, while the store is not my main objective, I will be crafting things that I could potentially add to the store. Hopefully I will get a few orders on maternity leave so I can keep my mind engaged while doing my best to keep an infant alive. Here are my next projects:

1. Crochet rug for the baby’s room – turns out I love crocheting. As a born knitter, I was hesitant to start. It felt like cheating to me but boy was I wrong. Crocheting is durable, sturdy and so much faster than knitting! I intend to use the sheets that were for the double bed that used to reside in the baby’s room. Without the bed, who needs the sheets!

2. A crocheted giraffe for my lovely niece’s second birthday – told ya I love crochetting. I actually finished a pair of tiny baby booties but I’ll write about that later when I add the buttons and have pictures.

That’s the entire list. Can you believe it? I can’t. I actually have some attainable goals with reasonable deadlines. Who am I?! Now I just have to remember to take photos of my completed projects.

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Day 114 – Creating a Schedule

Obviously it’s been a slow month in terms of the etsy store. However, in terms of life, it’s been a crazy month of cramming in time with friends, attending a wedding and Thanksgiving. Now that summer is officially over (I know, I’m sorry I mentioned it) I have fewer spontaneous events (read: too many patio beers) and far more weekly structured events. Adam and I have come up with a schedule for me so that I can actually consider this a part-time job.

Reasons to create a schedule instead of working when I have free time:

1. It forces me to sit down at specific times each week to work on products.

2. I won’t be putting this off each week saying “I don’t have any time”.

3. I now have to treat this as a part-time job and not a hobby. Want to hang out Monday evenings? Sure, but you’re going to have to come to my house and watch me sew.

4. I’ve been day-dreaming a lot lately about working from home. Dreaming about it and not working on it is leaving me extremely dissatisfied.

5. I won’t be over-doing it. With set times to work I won’t be ignoring my social time. If it’s not on the schedule, I’m not working. Mind you, there will be exceptions for movie-watching related activities. Sometimes a girl just needs to be knitting to stay awake through a movie!

So the new schedule is as follows: Monday 6 pm to 9 pm, Thursday 6 pm to 9 pm and Sunday 1 pm to 7 pm (approximate – the start time is based on when we finish brunch and groceries).

I know what you’re thinking… last night was Thursday! Surely I have something to show for it! Well, considering I came up with this plan yesterday I don’t have a lot to show. I did, however, work on Wednesday night. I have 6 sleep masks that just need finishing touches. I’ve even improved them to be thicker which makes them feel softer and blocks more light out.

I will also be making a trip to my favourite craft store this weekend to take advantage of my brother-in-law’s discount and stock up on knitting needles, yarn and embroidery thread.

So, I’m back after nearly a month off and I’m ready to work!

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Day 75 – Hyper-Ambitious

Well, as always, my infuriatingly incredibly insightful husband called me out on having “hyper-ambitious” moods this weekend. And, as always, he hit the nail on the head. Damnit. 

I get in these moods where I have a to-do list that is longer than my arm and impossible to complete with the little free time I have. So, I make lists. Lots of lists of lots of things I want to accomplish. I have an ongoing list of things to do around the apartment. I made the list (which is over 20 items) about a month ago and have only completed one of the things. I have a longer list of items I think would sell really well in my store. I have a second tier list of this of things I need to practice doing to make these items look incredible.

These moods are my downfall. Making the lists makes me feel like I’ve done the things I want and so I ignore the tasks/items on the list for a while. At this point in my life I could compile a list of the lists I’ve created and not completed. Ugh.

So, as it turns out, running my etsy store is no exception. I have a few days of hyper-ambition where I determine all the things I could possibly sell and maybe even create a few of them and then I do nothing. I just wait. What am I waiting for? Inspiration? It’s there. Time? I have lots of it that just gets wasted by watching tv. Fabric and yarn? I’m stocked up. A better sewing machine? Just an excuse. 

This post is beginning to feel like an excuse. All the reasons I haven’t succeeded yet. I could list them, if you’d like (just kidding). I hope I’m not alone in this feeling. If only my brain would stop listing all things I haven’t done then maybe I could pick one thing to focus on.

So, maybe I need to take a new approach. Each day I do only one thing I’ve been meaning to do, and it doesn’t necessarily need to be etsy store related. Maybe if I can get my life in order I can spend more time focusing on my store (read: I need another way to procrastinate my new project). Tonight: I fix the art in our bedroom and hang the art in the living room. I can do, can’t it?

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Day 33 – Why did I think I was a size 14??

Buying clothes is waaaaaay easier than sewing your own. Hopefully in a year I can say the opposite, but right now I’m frustrated. I measured myself, compared the measurements to what the pattern said and cut my pattern. I don’t know why I didn’t question that the pattern said I was a size 14. For those of you who don’t know me personally: I’m skinny. I got my father’s height (6’0″) and his family’s speedy metabolism. The sizes on the pattern only go to 16. Why did I think I was supposed to be one of the bigger measurements for this piece when I often wear a small or medium? I must have turned off my brain for this one. 

I figured out that I made the wrong size when I finished the top half of the dress and tried it on. Just way too big. So, now I have to re-cut those pieces and trim the skirt pieces I haven’t sewn yet before I can continue sewing. I’m annoyed but, on the bright side, the piece I have finished looks pretty friggen good. I have positive feelings about this dress. 

In other news, I went to a 50% off sale at Fabricland on Saturday to celebrate one month of writing this blog. You wouldn’t know it, but it was BUSY in there. Once I had my fabric cut I had to wait in the register line for 30 minutes listening to old ladies talk about how old they were. It was awkward. 

I bought 3 meters of this gorgeous polka-dotted green fabric(that I have no plans for but couldn’t leave behind), a few new spools of thread, a zipper and an eye-and-hook kit. I only over-spent by $10 this month. 

The budget is probably the hardest part of this project. Some of my spending is categorized as “hobby” (my own clothes, gifts) while some of it is set aside to grow the store. I’ve decided (with some convincing from Adam) that I need to make sales before I can purchase more supplies. I don’t want to sink all kinds of funds into this with no gain. We still haven’t figured out a set budget per listing but having Adam to talk to about how much I should reasonably spend is awesome. I’m not sure I would have self-restraint if he wasn’t helping me. I need sales to justify spending more.

Speaking of sales, I have two new items I intend to list. I haven’t mentioned them here because I totally forgot I could make them and that people would want to buy them!

The first item I’m listing is actually being commissioned by one of my sisters (my other half, really), Gaby. She makes these extremely cute headbands for babies. Seriously, once they are listed you will want to buy one for every pregnant woman you know.

The second item is on the baby theme as well. I can knit these really cute baby tuques. They are multi-coloured and so soft and crazy fabulous.The last one I made was for my niece, Mabel, over a year ago so of course I don’t have any of that yarn left and didn’t have the forethought to save the pattern either so this one will take a bit of effort to prepare for. I’m excited to be making things that I can do while watching tv again. Watch out, Ru Paul’s Drag Race: I’m about to watch all the episdoes. 

Sooooom I have officially finished the first month of this project (Happy One Month Anniversay, self!. Let’s evaluate how far I’ve come:

1. I’ve officially opened my store and have a very small amount of traffic. 

2. I didn’t quit writing this blog. This may seem like a small victory but I’ve been known to quit things pretty quickly. I’m actually quite enjoying this process and the challenge it’s been providing.

3. I have about a million ideas for new items to list in my store. 

4. I have secured a camera connection and will hopefully be taking better photos of my products by September. 

5. I’ve learned so much about being an entrepreneur and couldn’t be more excited about this journey. 

6. I am so much better with my sewing machine now than I was a month ago. I just need a cover now to keep it from getting too dusty on the off days. 

7. I’ve learned just how supportive my husband is. Adam is the greatest person to bounce ideas off and has a level head when it comes to details and keeps me in check when I think I need to spend all kinds of money on all kinds of supplies. Thank you, honey, for not letting spend our bill money on fabric.

8. Turns out my family have been waiting for this to happen. They all have requested things to be made. I’ve never had so many requests for crafts in my life. 

9. People actually read this blog and are interested in what I’m doing. This is a new one for me. I’ve never been one to be in the spot light intentionally. It’s been a strange month of bragging about this project to everyone and switching gears into bringing the attention to myself instead of others. It still feels rude to me and kind of prideful but I’m working on it. 

I’ve got 11 months left until my deadline. Here goes nothing!