Sunday, February 27, 2011

100 Followers WHOOT!

Friday, February 25, 2011

It's a Social Parade Follow!

Come and join the Social Parade!
"Social Parade Follow on Friday Blog-Hop is a weekly link-up hosted by Smart and Trendy Moms . We created it for socializing and to get new followers, subscribers, readers without feeling overwhelmed. Every week will be a new link-up that will focus on following blogs."

Smart and Trendy Moms

Those are not toys!!!

Cardboard boxes, paycheck stubs, wires, laptops, cellphones, remote controls, shoes, drawers, paper bags, plastic bags, the strips that outline foam mats that connect together (know what I'm talking about? anybody?)

Why do we spend so much money on "educational" toys that make noises, have lights, and generally do weird things, when our house is already full of baby toys??? Ok, besides all the electronics.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Day 2 of my first craft show

If you haven't read parts 1 and 2, please check those posts out first!
Holy Craftoly
Where are all the people???

     So Mom and I show up again on Sunday morning. I'm anxious and wondering if I will sell more today....and I'm guessing all the other vendors are wondering the same thing. Since I managed to make enough on Saturday to pay for my booth I'm not as obsessed today with calculations, mostly just optimistic and excited. The day starts off pretty slow, and I actually let myself walk around a bit and check out the other booths. I'm sad to see a few are actually former brick and mortar stores who are trying to sell off what's left of their stock. It seems as though there are so many online and b&m children's stores closing down these days. I guess the economy is really bad and there's so much competition out there it's hard to survive. As I browse through the stores I think, "what am I thinking trying to start all of this myself???"
     The day creeps by and I've sold a pair or two of Annie-Clips by noon. A lady walks up and is looking very interested in my paintings. I ask if I can help her and she says, "well, I'm wondering if you know of anyone looking to be either a part-time or full-time art teacher." I say, ever so eloquently, "ummm.... I am.!?" We then get to chatting and she says she's opening an art studio within the next couple of months and will be looking to hire art teachers. Unfortunately the studio will be about an hour away from where we live, but I'm interested in possibly teaching on the weekends. I ask her if there will be a store attached to the studio, and she says yes, and she'd be interested in selling my pieces. BINGO. I'm trying not to jump up and down like a kid on Christmas morning. We exchange cards and promise to stay in touch. I whip around to face my mom, "DID YOU HEAR THAT???" She's beaming.
     Hubby comes up with baby at about 1 and I spill the beans immediately. I can tell he's really excited for me too. The 4 of us then cram into my very full (unfortunately) booth, and I ask him to please bring the stroller back out to the car. LOL. The show ends at 4PM, and so we take turns walking around and holding the baby, and I sell a painting, a few prints, and more sets of Annie-Clips. There are quite a few people who seem very interested in the paintings or the baby carriers, and take my card saying they'll check out my etsy store and order online. I wonder now if any of them would have bought more if I took credit cards. I take checks, and get 4 or 5 of those over the weekend. After about an hour and a half hubby says, "I don't know how you guys can do this, I'm so bored!" Sigh.....I tell him to go take another walk. I'm thankful my mom seems fine and dandy sitting there all weekend with me but I'm sure she's bored too, though I know they're both proud of me. Heck, even I'm a little amazed at what I managed to pull off in just a couple of weeks. Mom takes baby home at about 2:30 and hubby stays with me. At about 3:30 people start packing up, and I can tell hubby wants to do the same, but I refuse. My thought is, you never know who will stroll up, look at your store, and buy something. I'd be annoyed if I saw something I liked but the vendor was more interested in packing up than doing business. I mean, I can't stand clingy salespeople, but COME ON! Hubby knows how stubborn I am, and doesn't bother trying to protest :). I probably didn't sell anything in that 30 minutes (although remember the Mei Pouch sale right at closing time the day before?). We start packing up about a minute or two before 4 (sigh, I caved... LOL). It was fun to watch the vendors around me at that point. Some of them had A LOT to pack up. Props and light fixtures and backdrops....hundreds of items in just under a hundred different sized boxes all rolled out know....those big flat cart things they have at Sam's and Costco for the people who buy 400 gallons of ketchup at a time -it was like moving day. Others were very systematic. Labeled tubs, collapsable everything -stack and go. We managed to pack up silently but efficiently, and are out before most of the crowd. Exhaustion hits me during the drive, and by the time we get home I feel like a jet-lagged zombie.
- Would I do it all again? I have, and I'll tell you all about it next time. My second show was outdoors, so the logistics were a little different.
- What did I learn? A lot. People will look really interested and say they will be back to buy this and that, or will email you for a custom, or are taking your card to order from your website later, but you will most likely never hear from them again. I personally did not get any online sales from exposure at the craft shows, but others do. If you buy from another booth during the show, let them know you're a fellow vendor...most give discounts. Likewise, give others discounts if they buy from your booth. If the craft show is doing an auction or giveaway of one of your items (my show asked us to donate something to help raise money for the school we were at), put a stack of business cards next to the item and write your booth number on them so they can come check out all your other stuff. Appearance is everything....unless you're only selling one item apparently (there was a booth that, no joke, set up 1 table with a plastic table cloth, 2 metal chairs, and a couple hundred tins of peanut brittle.....and sold out. WAH???) Also, people will hesitate to walk into your store if there is too small an opening for them to get through. I got bored on the Sunday and started moving things around, playing with my layout.
- What are my suggestions? Be prepared. Think of things in detail when you're packing. Bring everything you might need, not just the stuff you know you'll need. You can always leave things in the car. Make sure to have an area set up for checkout and wrapping. Have lots of small change. Bring lots of snacks and water. Wear comfortable shoes (duh). Hand out business cards to everyone who looks never know. Make sure to invite people into your booth. Don't judge people (i.e. if you sell children's products don't just say hi to people with kids....HELLO....think of all those grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, parents shopping without their kids???), treat them all like potential customers. Don't hold items for people because if they really wanted it, they would have bought it then and there. Survey the booths around you and make sure your prices are reasonable, then stick to them. Try to create an inviting feeling by making "walls" for your booth. I was lucky enough to be able to borrow those gray panels from my school, but other vendors hang boards, metal grates, or fabric to create the same effect and separate their booth from others'. It's amazing how creative people get rigging up their booths. What am I saying, they wouldn't be at a CRAFT SHOW if they weren't creative, right? Keep a smile on your face, and most importantly, be proud of what you've created and enjoy yourself!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Introducing Deb's Dryer Balls....and a little discount too!

     I met Deb when I was looking for Hyenacart congos to be a guest vendor. What is a congo? What is Hyenacart? is a great place to find all sorts of handmade items. A congo is a group of vendors who create a Hyenacart store together. Vendors can also be a guest in congos for a month. I have my own Hyenacart store, "Annelyn Designs" and was a guest in Deb's "Amazing Baby Creations" congo
     I mentioned in a previous post that vendors at craft shows often buy from each other. Well, the same thing happens with vendors on Hyenacart! Deb bought 2 baby carriers from me, and I bought a set of regular sized dryer balls from her store "Absolute Delights" I had been meaning to try out dryer balls, so this worked out perfectly. I loved them so much I decided to post a review of them on here.

     Who is Deb? "I am a mom to nine, my last baby is my inspiration. He was a baby that beat the every corner. He showed me anything is possible, and showed me that we should always reach for the stars. I opened my store after he was home and healthy....I had been making and selling dryer balls a year prior to opening my store, and did many rounds of testing to ensure i was selling the best I could. I started making the cocoon for my son (He needed a blanket that would stay on; I couldn't find one, so i made one). I found there was a market for cocoons so tested a few rounds and have sold over two dozen in the last five months. My children, my family and myself have fun testing and using each product I make."

     So, what are dryer balls? They are knitted balls of wool used in place of fabric softener. You just throw them into your dryer and they soften your clothes AND shorten the drying time - especially great for large loads that may need multiple dry cycles. I can't stand crunchy clothes, but as an eco-friendly mama, have always felt it was wasteful to use up sheet after sheet of fabric softener. I could also never remember to add the liquid fabric softener into the wash. Plus, I don't feel comfortable using the sheets with my little one's clothes because of all the chemicals (she has very sensitive skin). This seemed like the perfect solution! The dryer balls can also be scented, so your clothes come out snuggly AND smelling great. Deb has a huge list of scents to choose from or you can order them unscented. I love the smell of Snuggle fabric softener, so Deb suggested I get the Clean Cotton scent.
     My package arrived within a few days and my 2 regular size dryer balls came wrapped in a sweet little package. The moment I opened the package the wonderful smell of them took me straight to the laundry isle. Let me explain. My favorite isle in any grocery store is not the makeup isle, not the wine isle, not even the candy isle. It is the laundry isle. Oh sweet bliss, I inhaled and exhaled deeply as if I was standing in the store. Ahhh.

Here are some pictures before I did my tests!

I decided to give the dryer balls a REAL test. I had a huge load of pants and jeans. Normally, I'd have to run the dryer twice to get the jeans totally dry. I hate wet pockets! To my amazement, after one run through the dryer, all of the pants were dry, and they smelled great! I used these on about 5 loads of laundry this weekend (that sounds like a lot of laundry doesn't it...but I only wash on the weekends). The dryer balls are holding up great and still giving off that clean, fresh smell. You can throw them in the washing machine when they get "dirty" and then add a few drops of any essential oil to change the scent.

After 5 uses....still look new to me!


I highly recommend Deb's dryer balls. It's a money saver, planet saver (every little bit counts, right?), and time saver. They are very affordable too!

2 small balls, 8 inches pre-felted for $6.00

2 regular balls, 10 inches pre-felted for $8.00 
2 large balls, 12 inches pre-felted for $10.00
scent, $0.50 each (over 18 to choose from)
Sample Pack for $22
2 small balls, 8 inches pre-felted 
2 regular balls, 10 inches pre-felted  
2 large balls, 12 inches pre-felted 
scent, free!

Other available colors:
~~ New scents added~~~Made to order!  Pocket dryer balls  ~~with scent option~~~~ New scents added~~~Made to order!  Pocket dryer balls  ~~with scent option~~

* Now get 10% off these dryer balls with discount code "10"!!! * 
All I ask in return is that you follow my blog, like my Facebook fanpage, and leave a comment in this post!

Making my own baby food

     So I knew before my daughter was born that I wanted to make her baby food instead of using jar food. It's healthier, more eco-friendly, cheaper (although I'm starting to question this), and tastes better. I started researching when she was about 2 months old and realized there were actually baby food makers! No more hassle of steaming and pureeing in separate machines. I loved that these appliances were small since I planned to make her food fresh daily. After looking at all the different options, I realized only a few of these baby food makers were available in the U.S. At the time, the new Brezza and the other one by FAO weren't out yet. There were quite a few more options available in Europe, where I guess a lot more people make baby food. However, I didn't want to pay the outrageous prices to get them over here so was left looking at the Beaba Babycook and the First Years All-in-one. There was a significant price difference between the two and I thought this one of those "you get what you pay for" cases? I have had issues with other First Years products and preferred that the Beaba had the steamer and chopper in the same chamber....less cleaning! Plus, it's CUTE! I found a gently used one from a sweet mom at for almost half the price and was really excited to use it. Well I loved it. It was actually kind of fun coming up with combinations and seeing what my baby liked to eat.
     However, for all of you out there who buy organic, it is not cheap. I'm sure it's still cheaper to make your own food, but like I said, it's not cheap. My hubby and I really started talking about eating organic when I was pregnant. I'm sure this is a familiar case with lots of start thinking about what you're doing to your body pretty seriously when you have a child to consider. We decided the extra cost was worth it, and have been buying organic ever since.
     Well the Beaba worked like a charm for about 4 months. I'm pretty sure it was our fault that it broke, well I wouldn't call it breaking, more like becoming possessed. Yes, my Beaba is possessed. Whenever I plug it in the chopper starts whizzing at top speed. I can't get it to steam, and can't get it to stop unless I unplug it. It's actually kind of scary. I was such a chicken I had to stand around the corner and pulled the cord out. I was scared the blades would somehow spin off, shatter the plastic container, and slice my hand off. I know, dramatic, but I'm the type of pessimist who imagines chopping a finger off every time I cut an apple. Is that crazy? Anyway, I haven't been able to use it for a few days and it's driving me crazy. I've ordered a new one but in the meantime I'm using my rice cooker to steam her food and a little chopper to puree.
     Do you feed your child jar food or make your own? What methods do you use to cook the baby food? When did you stop or plan to stop cooking baby food and move over solely to table food?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Thanks for all the sleep advice :)

     Thanks for all the advice! My schedule has always been to give her a bath at around 7, then nurse, then bed by 8. I tried moving it up earlier but she would end up fussing and falling asleep even later. My pediatrician said to feed her 3 solid meals a day and nurse in between. She literally eats every 2 hours during the day! It's been taking me about an hour to get her to fall asleep lately because she spends awhile rolling over and trying to stand up. It's cute and sometimes I laugh at first......10 or 12 times of me flipping her back over though and the smile fades a little LOL. I just stay patient and calm which helps her to stay that way too, and eventually she falls asleep on her own so I don't mind. She fell asleep at 8:30 last night and didn't wake up until 4 for a feeding! She did wake up at 6 and fussed though, but maybe she just wants to wake up earlier now. She used to wake up between 7 and 8:30.

Where are all the people???

     So it is day 1 of my very first craft show and my booth is all set up....only 15 minutes past start time. A few people start walking by and looking at my items. It takes awhile before my mom and I realize these are all fellow vendors. Hmmm....will people who came here to MAKE money SPEND money too? Well, if they're anything like us, it's a definite YES. My mom is already scoping it out, trying to find things for her little granddaughter. We see two little wooden stools that are just adorable, and a little snowman doll in the next booth. Oh how easily we get distracted by shopping.
     Throughout the day we get waves of people and waves of nothing. I get very positive comments, though a lot of people oooh and ahhh while saying they have no little ones to buy for. That's ok, I still like the compliments ;). There's one vendor who comes over, gushes and gushes, then goes back to her booth to get her friend, drags her back to my booth, and tells her, "when I have my next baby, this is what I want you to buy for me!" Her husband shows up and she does the same thing to him. Mind you she is NOT pregnant. Anyway......I get lots of practice that first day with my mini-monologues describing each product. I feel almost like a robot, and a bit desperate at times because A LOT of people look but don't buy. However, I'm strangely having a fantastic time! My mom is a bit bored but walks around checking out all the snacks and nik naks. Every time she does a walkabout she comes back with a bag of something....candied nuts....gigantic cookies....socks.....RANDOM! Each time I joke and tell her she's spending all my profit, and then not so jokingly recalculate how much I still have to sell to cover the booth fees. But you know what, those gigantic cookies were delicious.
     My hubby shows up with our little girl around lunch time and after a feed, I plop her into my Mei Pouch. Wow, that brought more attention to my store immediately. I couldn't tell if it was due to my ingenious product, or the fact I that I was carrying the cutest baby in the world. HAHAHA I know what you're thinking, "somebody slap her", right? I kid, I kid! Lol, so people are stopping to check us out, and I'm demonstrating how to tie her in, how the hood pops off, becomes a storage then I've got my speech DOWN, and even my husband says he's impressed, since I'm usually a pretty quiet person. I was raised the old Asian way - don't speak unless spoken to. But like I said, I'm having a blast. There's something so fulfilling about being surrounded by things you made yourself from your own ideas, and knowing people like them. They like me, they really like me! It's kind of hard to describe, but I felt such a sense of accomplishment and pride. After about an hour hubby got bored and decided to go to the car dealer. We were looking to trade in our little SUV for a minivan....yes, we've reached middle age....even though I'm in my twenties. I thought long and hard about what it meant to get a's NOT just a vehicle, it represents YOU, am I getting old.....blah blah blah. Hubby on the other hand is super excited about it, which is surprising since he's always been a country music/boot wearing/pickup truck driving kinda guy. Now he just sings country to our little girl and wears his boots in our minivan. Sigh, what an a-ha moment :). Boy I go off on tangents. So he leaves for like 3 hours (which is why I hate going to car dealerships...snooze) and my mom and I continue hawking my wears. We make friends with the ladies in the next booth (the ones with the snowman) and they ask me to make some Annie-Clips for them to use as keychains. Vendors chat with us when it's slow and we come to find out this is actually REALLY slow, nobody is making good sales. I didn't know what to expect, but am glad to hear this isn't normal. I surpass my $90 booth fee in the afternoon and think, well at least I'm not losing any money... and then think, wait, I have to count in all the money I spent on materials and time making everything! LOL.
     Right at closing time I have a family come up and look at my Sling Purses. I show her how it switches from purse to sling, then show her the Mei Pouch as well. She buys a Mei Pouch! At this point I am beaming from ear to ear, I sold my very first baby carrier!!! Cha-ching, TOTALLY over my $90 booth fee now. Ok, I know those of you who actually DO craft shows are laughing at me right now because I've done research and know booths can make thousands in a day, while I'm happy to crack $100 at this point. But boy was I on a high! After that sale it was time to go so we happily closed up shop for the night. I go home happy and hopeful, but completely exhausted.
-Please stay tuned for day 2!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Craft show continued...

P.S. - I will continue talking about my craft show adventure tomorrow!

My students are the best!

     It's been a while, and this week has been packed. I work at a boarding school for underprivileged kids and every year we have "Creativity Week" where teachers split up into groups with students to work on projects. The students and teachers come up with ideas for the projects and then get to pick which they want to participate in. It's a great week where we get away from textbooks and homework and have FUN! My group is doing "Pamper Day". We are volunteering at a homeless shelter giving the ladies there makeovers to help them get ready for job interviews. This is the second year we've done it and it's a blast. We manage to get discounted makeup and also free samples from different counters at the mall and makeup stores and are able to give each lady a full set of makeup.....right down to the mascara. We also do manicures for the ladies and they get to keep a nail polish. We've been lucky enough to get Visible Changes and The Paul Mitchell School students to help do the ladies' hair these two years too. It was quite an event last year and is going well again this year. It is always heartwarming to see how much people are willing to help us in our endeavor (we only had to spend $250 to serve over 60 women!) and the students are great. I am always much more grateful to work at my school after seeing the girls give so much time and effort to other people. It's so special too since most of our students come from poor families themselves. We know they're great kids, we just don't always see it during the school day! So here's my plug, if any of you know of someone who can help us get makeup, samples, etc., please contact me! We do this once a year but would love to be able to do it more often if we had the funds and supplies. Thanks!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My baby won't sleep!

     Before I continue on with my craft show story.....keeping you all on the edge of your seat LOL.....I need to solicit advice. Why won't my baby sleep???
     Here's the story, I think I was spoiled by her early on, so now I'm having trouble coping. When she was about 2 months old she started sleeping through the night - meaning 8pm to 8am.....yes, seriously. And yes, it was awesome. Then around 4 months she started waking up at about 4am, would nurse, and fall back to sleep until 8am. I thought she was going through a growth spurt, which she probably was, and so kept feeding her at that time thinking eventually the growth spurt would end and she'd start sleeping 12hrs again. Not so much. Instead, she started waking up at midnight too. I thought maybe it was a BIG growth spurt, and so nursed her, and got her back to sleep two times a night. Every once in a while she'd sleep through one or both of her night feedings and it'd be like Christmas morning for me. Month after month went by and nothing changed, so I started doing some serious research. I read that you should start sleep training at about 6 months since soon after that babies should be able to sleep for 11-12 hours at a time. Please correct me if I read wrong.
     So I started doing the 5, 10, 15 minute thing.....for about 2 or 3 days at a time. Some nights it worked, some nights she would scream bloody murder until I picked her up, feeling like a horrible mother, and ruining all our hard work in the process. I know, I know, they all say to try it for 2 or 3 weeks, not 2 or 3 days, but one night of her screaming at the top of her lungs for even 30 or 40 minutes straight was enough to make me stop. I can deal with crying, but I cannot deal with screaming that makes you think someone is getting a finger cut off. It was just too heartbreaking to deal with. Sigh. I knew that if I held her or nursed her until she fell asleep she'd be awake in about 4 hours, but I thought, oh whatever, just nurse her. She is now 8.5 months old, BUT, lately she's been getting up at midnight, nursing, and then not wanting to go back to sleep. WHAT HAPPENED??? The more I try and make her fall asleep on her own, the louder she screams, but if I get her to fall asleep in my arms, she wakes up crying and wanting to be held back to sleep every time she wakes up - which, last night, was 3 times in 3 hours, and 6 times total for the night. The real problem this week has been her newfound ability to roll over, crawl to the side of the crib, and pull herself up to a standing position. Ok, "cry it out" is not an option when they are STANDING UP. Which reminds me, the next thing I'm going to sew is a crib guard so she doesn't chew the rails to bits. I also read that getting your baby to bed earlier can help so we've tried that these past 2 nights. Well, I tried to get her to bed at 7 rather than 8, and instead she fell asleep at 10.
     I know this is all probably due to our inconsistencies with her bedtime routine, trying this or trying that to get her to sleep better. She's a great baby, and my husband and I say that it seems WE'RE the problem! She's fine as long as we're doing what's right, but as first time parents, that rarely happens. All I know is I keep looking for a sleep reset button but I can't find one! I also read that around 8 months babies go through a "sleep regression". Tell me please, what do I do??? I've combed through "The Baby Sleep Site" and others, but I'm against letting her scream her head off, standing or lying down. I'm also not sure how the "no cry" methods work. I can't really just lay her down and sing to her or pat her without her crying still, albeit not as loudly as when I just walk out of the room. She's a pretty feisty little one so when she gets agitated all drowsiness disappears and it's hard to calm her back down. I think another problem is that she is what our pediatrician calls a "wiggle worm". She wiggles in the tub, she wiggles on the changing pad, she wiggles standing up, sitting down, and of course, lying in the crib. She keeps awake with all the wiggling. She literally wiggles and bounces all day long. I've purposefully NOT bought her a bouncer because I don't want to encourage it. I think it may lead to her not being able to sit still later on in her life.....but I'm sure that's a'hole'nother topic we could discuss. First things first, Mama needs some sleep! Help!

Holy Craftoly

      So it was the day before my very first craft show. In the morning I meticulously.....okay who am I kidding.....I obsessive compulsively checked and rechecked my lists and boxes to make sure I had everything I "needed". Not knowing what to expect, I had compiled lists using suggested guides of "what to bring to craft shows" that I found on..... you guessed it..... BLOGS. I'm a very visual person, so I also had several run-throughs in my head where I imagined myself walking around my booth, adding things that I would need, such as a floor length mirror (did I even end up using that?), a stuffed animal to demo the baby carriers, etc. At the end I had several lists, a list of what to bring to set up, a list of what to pack that night, and a list of what to bring the day of. I had also cleared out a space in our very small house to put everything into piles, a pile for what to bring to set up and a pile for what to bring the next day. Can you tell I LOVE making lists and I LOVE to pack? My husband thinks it's funny, but I take it quite seriously... LOL. I love puzzles, which may explain it, but it's just so satisfying to pack a bag, a car, anything, and know you didn't waste an inch of space. It's equally satisfying checking things off a list every time you finish it. I know I'm not alone here, right? Right? Maybe that should be my career, teaching people how to pack efficiently. 
     Wow, where was I? Hold on as I scroll up and refresh my memory........Oh yes, lists and piles. SO, that afternoon we packed up all the big stuff and 2 boxes of paintings. I didn't know how much people set up ahead of time for shows, but knew the paintings would take a while to put up. Hubby said, "No, people might steal stuff!" "I said, eh, we'll see".
     When we got to the show I was completely overwhelmed. It looked like a convention! The show was in a.....I don't even know what they're called....those huge barn-type arenas where they have stock shows....except this one had 3 arenas....for a high school! Since it was indoors, people were setting everything up, down to their business card holders. I felt a little unprepared. My hubby was just as wide-eyed as me, so we must have looked like a couple of tourists in a foreign land. Well, there was no time for gawking, we had to set up as quickly as possible. It took an hour to get there, and would take an hour to get home, so we had an hour at the most to set up before our 5 month old (who was at home with my mom) was due for a feeding. 
     The next morning Mom and I left bright and early at 6:30 to finish setting up. The show was supposed to start at 9:00. You know the saying in housebuilding - it takes 90% of the time to do 10% of the work? Boy was I feeling that. I'm still not sure why it took so long to set up, but eventually we finished....only about 15 minutes late. Luckily, no one actually shops at 9:00.....besides the other vendors. 

Check it out!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Confessions of a former blog hater

Before I go any further I need to admit something - I used to make fun of people who blog. I apologize if this explanation offends any of my fellow bloggers ;).
     I just didn't get the point of blogging. My thought was, why do people think anyone cares about what they have to say? Talk about being full of it! I mean, it's one thing if you're sharing new data, known facts, you know, useful's another if you're just spouting out randomness.
     I was really influenced to start my own blog after hearing so many people say how it helped draw others to their websites/businesses. Yes, I know, what a sincere reason right? But hey, all of you (actually, most likely just a singular "you".....hi Mom) out there judging me right now sit and think about the random things you've ever done to try and make money. And you know what, it's HARD to get noticed on Etsy (whine)!
     Anyway, as I hesitantly thought and thought about whether or not I wanted to start a blog, and whether I even had time to keep up with one, I realized something - I've actually found lots of useful information on blogs. Every time my laptop messes up, I don't find an answer to the problem on the Apple website do I? Nope! I find it on BLOGS. Or when I have a question about what all those letters mean on my camera, or reviews for things I want to buy, see, or eat, or how to get my 8 month old to eat more, sleep more, or learn more......BLOGS! Really, blogs are like Wikipedia, the people who give out information may not have degrees or titles, but that doesn't mean it's just have to use your judgement.
     After I came to terms with the fact that blogs weren't just for narcissistic people bestowing their genius on the world, I realized something else - who cares if anyone reads my blog! I can blog for myself and sift back through my memories whenever I like, and if someone else finds them interesting, great, if not, that's great too.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Can I work from home?

     I had a bright idea one day.....since I have a few things to sew anyway AND there is a craft show coming up.....why not sew a few more and try to start a business? 4 months and hours upon hours of work later I'm realizing a little bit of talent and creativity does not a booming business make. 
     I managed to secure a booth last minute at my very first craft show the week of Thanksgiving. The 2-day show was scheduled for the second week of December. Even though I knew I had a lot of work to do, I pushed it all to the back of my head, packed up hubby, our then 5 month old, and 2 dogs for a trip up to Dallas to visit my mom. I told my mom about my grand plan, and she agreed to come and help. However she couldn't arrive until 3 days before the show, which meant I had to juggle a baby, working part‐time, and sewing like a mad woman in order to have enough stock to show a decent booth. I had no idea what I was getting myself into!  
    AFTER I paid my fees and secured my booth, I started doing a little research, googling terms such as "how much stock to bring to a craft show", "how to set up a booth at a craft show", "how much to charge at a craft show" get the picture, I was clueless. I started panicking after reading that I should bring about twice as much as I planned to sell. I started having nightmares about showing up with nothing but 4 nursing aprons, a mei tai, and a rusty old chair. So, I got to work. I sewed until the wee hours of the morning while my baby slept, stopping on the nights she decided the sewing machine was too loud for her slumber. I had to hone in on all the skills I acquired back in my design classes, not to mention remember how to thread a bobbin. There were quite a few sleepless nights and drawn out showers as my mind wandered off into pattern‐making world. How did it turn out? Find out next time! But for now, please check out my store at and my website in progress