Tuesday, May 12, 2009

May Goals

Well, I made up what I thought were pretty simple goals for May:
1) finish the sewing studio
2) add at least one item to Etsy everyday
3) increase sales on etsy to at least 50 total
4)$500 minimum on Ebay this month

So far, I am not doing so well on most of those.
- the sewing room was almost done, but now he's decided it should be in another room in the house, so that's still up in the air as to where it will be. We cant finish putting up shelves etc til that is done
- adding to etsy: well, I've added a couple of things, but so far am no where near where I wanted to be. Its hard when the sewing room is all over the house, but I am working on it.
- 50 sales for etsy. Well, I've gotten one sale so far, which put me at 40 total. I am promoting, but need to add more to the store for me to get more sales. Working on that. Hoping this weekend I can get a model to help and get lots of pictures.
- 500.00 on Ebay. Well, I'm at 200.00 so if I can keep having auctions sell, I might make this one! This week was better than last for bidding, so hopefully I can keep the momentum going :)

Its hard to restart a business from scratch but I am working on it! This is what I want to do full time, so I just need to keep plugging away at it :) I am optomistic :)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers Day to all the moms out there! I called mine, but she wasn't home. Hopefully her husband took her out to lunch! :)
We had a busy shopping day today, picking up clothes for the kid and Chris. Chris's work just decided to inforce their existing dress code starting tomorrow so he's all in a snit about it. So we went and got him new clothes.
I was planning to go to Canobie Lake Amusement park today but it's too windy for that today, and its been rainy the last few days so I dont know what the weather was going to be like in NH, so it will have to wait until later in the summer.
I did do something for me this weekend though! Well, kind of for me, and the business- I got an embroidery machine finally!!! :) I have been playing with it all weekend :D lol. Its a Babylock Ellageo, so not the newest version out there, but I love it so far! It does *so* many neat things, even as "just" a sewing machine! I can't wait to get my celtic designs in and get some new stuff listed on etsy!
Speaking of Etsy, I am listed in a cool treasury today, called Flights of Fantasy with other members of the FAE team- that's fantasy artists of etsy, and also the Pagans of Etsy team. :) It's a beautiful treasury, and lots of cool stuff, so check it out! http://www.etsy.com/treasury_list.php?room_id=57145

Trying to network like crazy, and doing ads on facebook for a little bit to see if that helps to bring in some sales. If the weather holds tomorrow, I am going to try to get pictures of new things and get those posted as well. Busy, busy, busy! :)

Monday, April 27, 2009


OK, so this morning was the beginning of the "studio remodel". Yay. I am so looking forward to it being done, but it is exhausting getting it done, if that makes sense.
I have a confession to make. I love to watch shows like Clean House, where someone comes in to a house that is completely trashed and redoes the rooms for the owners. Now, most of my house is not too bad, but my sewing studio would definitely qualify to be on the show, if it were my house and not rented, and I wouldn't be surprised if they wouldn't do it just on the fact that it's small (approximately 8x8). Of course, the fact that I live on the other side of the country from them doesn't help.

Anyway. So, I have to do my own make over. That's ok. I went to Home Depot this morning to get a few things for the room. I got peg board, and hook-brackets to make a garment rack on a couple of walls. No problem. 63.00. Not that bad.

However, I forgot screws.

Now, normally, I would just go back to the store and get the screws no big deal. Chris was home today though, and decided to come with me for the return trip to the store (we were going to try to fix the leak in the tub too, but thats not going so well). So we headed off to the store.

When we got there, he decided that he felt it would be good to have a board to back the hooks with. I thought it would be kinda nice to add a shelf to the top of the hooks. So, we got wood. Then he decided that I should get better closet rods (I thought the garment rack poles I've used for years without a problem would have been fine... ) and since I was making the racks 6 feet long, I should get extra hooks to help brace it. Then I realized I forgot the special hardware for the pegboard. Ooops.

So, to recap all I needed were screws and pegboard mounts. Should have been about 5 bucks.
What did we actually spend?? $115.00.

Moral of the story, although it will look great when its done, dont worry about bringing the guy with you unless you want to spend 10 times more than you expected!

Now I have to wait til the weekend to get the racks up because he doesnt want to do them with stuff in the room. I would have just climbed over stuff, hung the racks and then started hanging fabric. *sigh*

In other news, I bought the domain name for the business, so now I own www.myelegantmuse.com. Currently it forwards to the etsy shop til I have time to get a full website up.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Spring! Or rather, Summer!?

It is a gorgeous day here in Pawtucket today! I don't know what happened to spring, since we went almost straight from winter to summer yet again, but I don't care. I love the warm weather!
Sadly, because I have been so crazy busy the last few days, I slept most of the day today. Oooops. Oh well.
Bri had her play, "Aladdin" Friday night and last night. The kids were *awesome*! I am always so impressed with the talent these kids possess. I love working backstage and doing all the costumes (of course ;)) but I can't stand being on stage. Well, maybe I wouldn't mind being on stage if I weren't so awful at it, I should say.

I am so proud of my girl and how she has handled this past week, since it's been a rough one. Our cat Apparitia died at the beginning of the week (she was 17!!), then Bri had to get teeth removed and braces put on, then deal with all the crazy nights of rehersals and shows. She handled everything so well, though.

In other news, not much going on. I posted some items to Ebay today. I hate Ebay but I need to make sales if I want to do this full time. I think I may look into some local shops to see about carrying some of my items. I'd love to find a salon to carry the hair sticks, but I don't even know how to begin with that.

Tomorrow, being Monday again, and the first day that I don't have a million errands to do, or costumes to make I am going to start on cleaning out my studio space. I have some great ideas (at least I hope they are good ideas!) on how to organize it and I am looking forward to trying them!

I will have to post pictures of what I'm doing. I will post before and after pictures, if for no other reason than to remind me that I don't *ever* want it to look like it does now again!

Oh, and here is the newest tunic I made!

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Ok, so I am still getting used to what to put up here, and also remembering to update. I am trying though!

Here is a picture of a custom order I worked on this week. Its a simple keyhole tunic with trim. This is the perfect tunic for earlier time periods, particularly the 10th to 13th centuries. Its not the greatest picture, which is why I haven't put anything on etsy about it just yet, but am going to try to get better pictures today. Have to dig out the mannequin.

I was so excited to find a box of trim I didn't realize I still had down in the basement recently. It was like finding gold! LOL Trim is expensive, and over the years I have spent thousands on it, so finding some I had left was definitely a nice surprise. I do still need to order more though!

Trying to decide about the job issue. It looks like I am going to be teaching sewing at Joann Fabrics starting in June, so that will be a somewhat steady source of income. And of course right now things are picking up in the etsy shop because it is the start of faire and summer event season. Chris told me last night that maybe I should work on getting the business up as a full time thing again, which I would love to do, but I dont want to have to go to all the faires and such again. I liked doing it in some ways, but usually it was expensive and stressful, and I dont have my tent or anything else for the booth anymore so that would make it hard to get back into.

Maybe if I can make enough from the classes and online, I can do this full time and not have to worry about going to the shows. I realize that this cuts out business for me, but I just can't physically do all of that again.

Something to think about... But today I have creating to do and an unemployment meeting to go to, then dress rehersals for the play, so I dont know how much I will get done today.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Two books I read this week when I was taking breaks from making stuff:
Blood of the Flowers - I read through this basically in a day. It was *excellent*. Set in early 17th century Iran, it follows a girl who is a carpet maker from her home in a small village to the capital city which she has to move to when her father dies. A lot of really interesting things about Iran, the culture and rug making mixed in with the story which made it a fun and interesting read.

Also I read the Spellman Files. This had me literally laughing out loud, it was so much fun! It is about a PI family- they all live in the same house, as well as work there and its amusing to read about them following each other around, and all the antics they get into. Remember, if you need to tail a car, it easier to follow one with only one headlight, so smash out a headlight when the owner isn't looking! LOL!

Today I have to get the cloaks that are started finished up (just hoods and clasps left), make another cloak and a tunic for an order, and then work on things for the shop. I think that is going to be tunics, since I dont have any up yet, and I have to make at least one or two anyway. I will be posting it as a custom listing. This weekend will be working on stock, and fixing the leak in the bathroom. The landlord really should be the one fixing the leak, but trust me, its easier, quicker and safer if I do it.
All right, time to get work done!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Theater Costumes and Hair Sticks

So today I have to finish the last of 17 girls harem type costumes for Brianna's Alladin play. They have to be tried on tomorrow, so Im glad I dont have much left to do. I do have to go to the fabric store and pick up more lace, trim and elastic for them though.

Also I need to work on the three cloaks and the tunic that I have for orders.

Lately I've been trying something new for the shops- Hair Sticks! I like them because they are reasonably easy and inexpensive to make, and they are pretty. It allows me to post something more or less everyday because they are so easy to make, which helps keep the shop a bit higher in the listings. 12.00 a day if they sell isnt going to pay the bills, but with any luck, people will see them and then order other things off the site as well. We shall see. So far I havent actually sold any, so its a moot point anyway. This particular pair is being held for a customer though, so that's a start right? I can always make more :)
In other news, today makes one month I've been unemployed. It hasnt been too bad yet, because I have been running around like a crazy person between going to the unemployment office, the dentist for me and Bri, working on the costumes for the theater and then of course the orders for the shop. If I could get a steady amount coming in from the store (at least what I get on unemployment) every week then I would seriously consider going back to doing costuming/etc full time. However, I know that doesnt quite pay the bills, so I am still looking for another job as well, of course. Just preferrably not call center again (or at least not financial call center!)
Anyway since its 5 AM and I've been up for an hour aleady, I should probably try to go back to bed. I'm tired!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Ok, the unemployment thing is driving me crazy already. On the good side, though, I have been getting the chance to catch up on some movies and reading.

This weeked we saw three movies:

Body of Lies:
More political than action. We were looking more for an action flick, so maybe that's why we were a bit disappointed in the movie. It wasn't bad, just not what we were looking for Friday night. Leonardo DiCaprio did a good job, but I preferred Blood Diamond. I'm glad we didn't get a chance to see it in the theater.

This was a great action movie, and still made you think a bit. I was ticked at the portrayal of the mom and daughter at the beginning of the movie. Even though the parents were divorced, I think that mom and daughter should have been much more honest about the daughter's trip to Europe. Anyway, over all it was a good movie and I'm glad we saw it in the theater because all the action wouldn't have looked as good on my tv.

Transporter 3:
I have enjoyed the other two transporter movies, so I figured I would enjoy this one and I was not disappointed. Of course there were spots where you just really had to say, well, it's in the script (for instance, since when can you fill a bag with air from the tires to get a car out of a lake?) but it was a great movie for an escape for a couple of hours. This would have been fun to see in the theater, but I'm glad we at least saw it as a rental.

All right, now for books.

The Accidental Werewolf by Dakota Cassidy:
It wasn't a bad book, per se, but I didn't like it. The main character, Marty, just didn't strike me as very likable, but that's probably just because I couldn't relate to her at all. The only thing she seemed to be worried about was make-up and that's just not me. The werewolves seemed interesting, but they were very background-like and underdeveloped, even the main werewolf who was responsible for turning Marty to a werewolf. Of course, she fell in love with him, but there wasn't as much development into their relationship as I thought there could have been. Also, 5-6 pages of sex scenes really didn't seem necessary.

Confessions of A Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella:
I really liked some of her other books, but this one didnt seem as interesting for me. I read the whole thing, and I totally understand being in debt, and not wanting to deal with it, but it seemed too easy at the end. Becky (maybe it's just the name I don't like) is a financial journalist who is completely clueless about her own finances. I can understand that- I worked for a bank. I know how lost people can be, even when you think they should have it together. It was amusing to see her try to get another job to make up her debt, too bad that went terribly. It seemed that she just wanted to find a rich guy to marry so that they could take care of her debt and she wouldnt have to deal with it. She does have a change of heart at the end, sort of, but I think everything was more luck than her changing her ways.

I suppose now I should go and get some work done. I don't know what I'm going to work on, but I should do something. There is a big utility truck right outside, so sleeping isn't going to be an option anyway.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

No pictures today. I have been cleaning today, nothing terribly interesting. Tomorrow I will have to see about making something to put up on the website. Maybe I'll work on tunics or a dress. Something other than cloaks for a change. I like making cloaks, but different is good too. Maybe my muse will finally speak to me and give me some kind of good idea. She's been a bit quiet the last couple of days.

Unemployment is awful. Its only been a week and I'm going crazy already.

Bri has a couple of friends over right now. They seem like good kids, and I'm glad that she has people to hang out with but they are kinda loud right now, since I have a bit of a headache.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

New to Blogspot

Hi! I will try to remember to post to this now and then :) I'm not very good at posting regularly, so forgive me :)

Anyway, I hope that I can post about my current projects, ideas, etc.

This is the bag that I had fun creating last weekend. It is a 16x16 tote bag that I quilted the middle block and then added the edging, etc. Please ignore the mess in the background ;) I call it "Iris at Night".

Artfire Items