Thursday, October 30, 2008

I'm excited to say that after sending out my first order yesterday, I received another order today and a special request for three aprons.  It's pretty cool to have someone in the world think your stuff is good enough to buy.  Now I anxiously await whether or not they will like it, whether there is a problem, etc etc.  It's hard to just ship it off and not worry about it.  I hand painted a thank you card (below) for the lobster shipment.  I figure for now at least anything extra I can do, I will do.  
So now I'm gearing up for the show on the 8th.  Actually, I'm not really gearing up at all.  I've been finishing up projects that I already sold, and it seems when I make a new product, it sells.  So my inventory hasn't really grown at all lately.  But somehow magically it needs to expand several times in size!  I'm not sure how this little miracle is going to happen...though I'm picturing a vat of coffee and a very tired me.

Sent my first sale out, and made another sale!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Good news comes in twos, Lobsters come in threes

Two pieces of good news;
1) I got my first real sale from someone I didn't know.  She ordered three of the Luke the Lobster hats
2) I got into the craft fair on the 8th of November

So, now I'm busy working on getting the order out, and trying to build up my inventory to take to the show.  It's a lot to think about, a lot to worry about and a lot to plan for.  Though, I think in the end I just can't plan for everything.  This first show will be a huge learning curve with a lot of lessons learned the hard way I'm sure.  I'm not looking forward to the hard lessons, ideally I'd prefer to avoid them.  But with as quickly as I've started this whole idea, there is no way I'm doing everything right.  I'm sure I'm not even close.  
At this point I just wish I had some sick or vacation days to take so that I could get some more work done.  As it stands now I not only have to build up my inventory, but I have to do it when I'm not at work and not dealing with the kids.  So far this has meant sewing when I have someone else on hand to help with the kids or waiting until they've gone to sleep to start working.  Last night I sewed till 1AM and was up again at 6AM to do some more.  In order to get ready for the show I'll need to work that much everyday if not more. 

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Busy Busy Busy

In an attempt to get as much ready as possible to TRY and get into a craft fair on the 8th...I've been working around the clock. I have added some items that I really think will help sell my stuff, and a couple that haven't been as successful. But I have learned that to keep myself happy I could never just make hats or aprons. I love the artistic part of it. Creating something new, trying something new. After a while making the same thing over and over gets a little old.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

Saying Goodbye to My Baby (aka the paisley apron)

It's hard to say at this point what my favorite product is. I enjoy coming up with a hat idea, sketching it out, making a pattern and then putting it together. It's fun flipping the hat over to see the completed work, and whether it came out the way I pictured it in my mind. So far, even when they don't match the ideal they have come out well. (With the exception of the fish hat, still working on that one)
The aprons I love too. The fun there comes from finding the coordinating fabrics and seeing the final result with them put together. And it's fun to try different ruffles and pleats depending on the fabric. I doubt any two of my aprons will ever come out the same since I'm always adjusting this or trying that.
I gave away my favorite apron (the paisley below) as a birthday gift for Laurel's friend. It seemed to be a huge hit and everyone wanted to know where to get one. I admit...that made me really happy. I seriously could not stop smiling for hours. It was exciting watching people get excited over something I put so much time and effort into.
I'm still busy, still exhausted, but still having fun. (Whether my children and husband survive this happily is another story.)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Aprons Aprons Everywhere

Last night I got down to business with making the aprons. And while it's still not perfect, the improvement between my first and last is huge. In fact the last one I made last night will be a birthday present for Laurel's friend on Sunday. The only blow to my plan is that I had priced these out in my head, but Hallie and Mom brought me back to reality and gave me what they thought the price point should be. Yipes. Talk about an eye opener. I think in the end I'll set up my booth and give everyone a blank piece of paper and tell them all to price things at what they would pay. From there I'll average it out, take things into consideration and price them out for the show.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Lobsters and Frogs and Hats OH MY!

I have decided to try to enter my first craft fair. After initially deciding not to do any craft fairs yet (my epiphany came a little late to capitalize on the 2008 holiday season) I found one close to home, and decided I'd go for it. Unfortunately, it's not only close to home, it's close in date. I have three weeks to pull it together. Even then, I'm not sure there will be any available booths. But I'm going to try hard to make it and hope that there is an available booth waiting for me. There is so much that goes into this, I had no idea. Besides spending everyday sewing and planning I need to get a business license, tax ID, business account, copyrights and figure out how to accept credit cards. Yeesh. But I've narrowed down the products I plan to bring with me to the show. I haven't made them of course, but at least I have plan.
I've been up since 2AM and I know I'll get increasingly more exhausted throughout the day, but there is such an energy in me right now. So for now, I'll ride the wave and get as much work in as possible. I completed the designs for two more hats (which is to say I completed the prototype design). Tonight I plan to sew it up and we'll see how the pattern came out.
I also tried my hand at some applique...that didn't come out so well. But I guess it's good to know what your strengths and weaknesses are so that you don't waste your time.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

First Prototypes

After a lot of thinking, planning, designing and fighting with my machine I was able to get some actual work done.  I like the overall look of the frog.  It's still missing it's eyes, tongue, etc.  But the basic design is there.  I thought it worked out well, though I'd prefer a rounder hat.  So I will have to keep working on that.  I also managed to make a trial birds nest scarf out of felt.  The real product (I think) will be made out of fleece, but for the sake of speed and cost this one is felt.  I think the dimensions worked out right.  Now I need to make a bird-hat to go with it.  I think that will be the next project.  That's a pretty fast one since there are no arms or legs to worry about.  
But so far I'm enjoying the process of designing, planning and trying.  I've enjoyed working on these more than any work I've done professionally ever.  So that's saying a lot.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Ready to set sail on the big blue

Irony of ironies, I forgot about this blog.  Work has just really stunk lately and I was just really getting sick of it.  (Not sick enough to quit of course, I'm not crazy and I still have 2 kids to take care of) But sick of it none the less.  I went to bed on Friday night and woke up at 3AM because the baby was crying.  After nursing him and putting him back down I just couldn't sleep.  All of the ideas I have had over the years for making this or that just started swirling around in my head.  Finally I got up, searched in the dark for my sketch pad/journal  (This alone was a miracle because I ended up finding it between the trunk and my bed) and went out to the living room.  I just turned to the first available page and started drawing.  I ended up drawing for hours, sketching every idea that came in to my head, and trying to refine the ones that didn't look so good upon first-sketch.  Before I knew it the sun had risen and my son was awake and talking from my bed.  I went to get him, and for the first time in weeks (maybe months) I felt like myself.  I felt free and smart and ambitious and creative.  My job had been slowly sucking all of those traits out of me and I had become a human robot.  So it began.  I decided that finally I would try and make a go of my ideas.  I decided to start small, and picked a product line of children's hats that I had imagined.  I bought the fabric yesterday and have been planning the actual product for the past couple of days.  By the end of the month I expect to have my prototypes ready to post on  I'm excited and anxious and a little scared.  
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