Monday, August 31, 2009

Holy Moly Life is a-changing

So it's been a million years since I wrote. It's been a heck of a year, what can I say? It was almost a year ago that I began selling products under Maggie Blue Designs. I learned a lot this year, had a lot of fun...and had a lot of frustration. It really revived in me a spirit of design and fun and I am so glad I did it. On that note however, I will not be reopening the store for any custom work. One of the things I learned this year is that it took too much time away from my family, and didn't make me much money. I don't regret it, it was great fun...but I just can't take time away from my family anymore. Granted some of it wasn't fun. I dealt with some real pills...the kind I wouldn't have allowed to bother me in my normal life, but since they were customers I couldn't just tell them what I should have. Some people are just obnoxious for the sake of being obnoxious...and thankfully I'm done with that part. Now to be fair the majority of my clients were awesome, and I really think ETSY has created this amazing place where amazing people create and cool people can buy their stuff. And on the whole I'd say only 3-4 of my clients were difficult to deal with...but they really overshadowed the awesome ones...of which I had many.
Since my life is going in a different direction I just don't have time for it right now. I will likely still sell things here and there...but because I feel like stretching my creative muscle...not because I have to. I still have a million sketched ideas that I plan to see come to life...but it will have to work into my schedule. What is this new direction you ask? Well, besides my two kids (2&4 yrs old) and my full time day-job (chemist), I will be going back to school two nights a week to learn construction. Technically it's a residential carpentry program, but it touches on everything in building a house. It's very hands on and I can't wait. In the longterm I have no idea what this will do for me...but in the short time we finally got our offer accepted on a short sale that we put in 4 months ago. We have 3 weeks to close...then the hard work begins. It's an almost complete tear-down. It needs a large addition and the current house will have to be completely stripped, rewired and redone. We are hoping to do as much of it ourselves as we can. Thankfully we have some freedom to do that. While we aren't rich we are very good with our the house we live in now is paid off. Since that's the case we plan to live in it for the next year while we slowly renovate the other property. We are so's 2.5 acres with a creek on the back, tons of mature hardwoods (including magnolia's and pecan trees). We really can't wait to get started on the project...but that means even less time to do other things. But, here's the thing...I don't want to give up on Maggie Blue. I want to change it. I've loved using my creativity this year, and I've loved talking to you guys about your creativity. So, I plan to continue to post things I've made...still have give-a-ways...and I'd like to share some of the how-to's of my projects with you guys. I've learned so much this year, and people have written wonderful things about how they wish they could sew like me. I couldn't "sew like me" this time last year...but I just jumped in head first and learned so much. So I'd like to share a few of my more popular projects with you guys. Like my personalized purse and the monster tote. They are so incredibly easy I swear.
Besides just the design stuff, I want to share the other parts of my life that make up what I consider to fall under the realm of Maggie Blue (not my's more like a at my best). Maggie Blue can do anything, she is fearless. She builds houses and mosaics floors, she designs kids clothing and makes jam. She grinds wheat and makes homemade bread from hand. She can garden, run a marathon and build a tree house. (I can't do all these things of course...but every time I learn a new skill I come closer to being Maggie Blue) And that's my be as much like what I picture her to be.
This week's project was to sprout some wheat grains. My daughter and I started the project on Friday night...and now we have a huge mason jar filled with sprouted wheat grains. In fact, we're sharing a plate of sprouts right now. She says they taste like water beans. I have no idea what that means...but they do have sort of a watermelon-y after taste. They're a little chewy and a little sweet, pretty tasty. I'm surprised. I spent part of my morning reading up on making a loaf of sprouted wheat I will try my hand at that this afternoon. So my first post in this new world of "becoming Maggie" will be about how to sprout grains and then how to make sprouted wheat bread. The first recipe calls for no flour, yeast, salt or sugar. Just sprouted wheat...can you imagine? It's straight out of Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book (the bible of whole grain bread recipes) we'll see how it goes.
In the meantime, wish me luck on this new direction...and send me your ideas, thoughts, projects, etc. I'd love to see them! I want this to be fully interactive...that's how Maggie would like it.

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