Saturday, February 28, 2009

My creative outlet

is sewing, mainly patchworking, piece-working and reconstructing.
If your profession is one craft, then you need another craft for leisure. As a hobby so to speak.
All recycled materials, available in my Etsy shop.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Milestone --- 1000 Sales on Etsy

Proud announcement that I have reached a personal milestone for my handmade business:
1000 sales on Etsy.

I sell on different venues, so this number does not entirely reflect my real sales volume, but it has given me the entrance card to the Top Sellers list for Handmade category on
Etsy Wiki.

I am a passionate workaholic and I need to crochet just like I need to breath and eat.
It is even sweeter when my creations sell well all over the world.

Thursday, February 19, 2009


(was listed in my Etsy shop and has sold)
It's an artisan's dream to own materials, may they be yarn, fabrics, notions, beads, buttons or fancy used clothing pieces for up-cycling.
Funnily the pleasure ends when the sheer abundance of material gets in your way and makes it difficult to find something specific.
Even the joy of finding a great bargain seems diminished when you think about all the finds you had considered to be a great deal and couldn't be left in the store...and as the story goes they landed on top of the rising mountains of wools and cotton. And some mountains grow fast, take over walk-in closets, shelves and finally big storage bins reside in the middle of your craft studio when designated storage areas are not available anymore.

Yes, I admit, I have run out of space and it's time to avoid the Hobby Lobby's, yarn stores and thrift stores of this world. At least for a while until progress has been made.
So I have used up a considerable amount of skeins and patches already, but in the overall picture of my materials piles they have not really made a difference in space yet.

The goal is still far to reach, but at least I am on my way. Little by little, steadily I will make use of all my collected treasures.

I made this patchwork skirt from new, vintage and recycled materials, it was fun and creative and a small step on my journey of hoarding recovery.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

What I've been up to...

Severe weather, the first tornadoes of the year (and yes, it's February) have shaken us up a few days ago. Even though we weren't directly hit in Ponca City, we were under a tornado warning and thunderstorms, lightning and gusty winds delayed shipping and errands .
Strangely the anxiety on days like that sucked a lot of power out of me, kind of analog to losing electricity and cable/internet. I have been feeling exhausted without any drive.

Today I'd like to show some of my projects I had created over the past few days/weeks.

Recycled wool and sari silk tam listed on Purple Sage Designz website.

I made those 2 visor tams as trade-ins for handmade soap from the fabulous Anhoki.

And finally another patchy skirt in my serial of recycling:
listed on Etsy

Monday, February 2, 2009

5 Tips to make "Working at Home" work for you

(cartoon source)
Disclaimer: These tips are based on my own personal "working at home" experience of over 4 years and may be helpful to readers who are already working from home or plan to do so.

1. Motivation

If you work from your own home it may be based on your own decision or life's circumstances, but we made this step at one point in our life for reasons. My motivational factor is "being my own boss" and working on my own terms. I can't remind myself often enough why I chose to work within the premises of our own home. No matter where you work and how, work is work. And there are times when our "job" is boring, stressful or not overly financially rewarding. We may doubt that working at home was a good choice after all. It will not always appear like the paradise you were always dreaming about, give yourself a positive kick to get back on track!

Remind yourself of the reasons why you wanted to work at home in the first place.

2. Priorities

There is no boss to tell you what to work on today.
Often you have to split your personality into boss/employee and set up a work schedule based on urgency of tasks to get accomplished. Finishing time sensitive orders first is a good rule of thumb. If you have large pressing orders to fill you shouldn't worry about peripheral matters. Or allow yourself to get side tracked by personal matters. You don't have to be in your office at 8am, but yet you are responsible for the efficiency of your actions.

Work on pressing orders/tasks first until the job is done

3. Structuring the day

Let's face it, humans need a time structure, it is our nature regardless of romantic ideas about freedom and enjoying life. Good thing is, we don't have to do the "9 to 5" thing if this is not in harmony with our bio rhythm. It is wise to investigate your body's and mind's high's and low's. Working during the hours when we feel most alert and active will give us the best results, and we should stick to a rough schedule. Of course the beauty of working at home is that every schedule can be modified or changed if we feel the need to. Make it clear to yourself and others when you are on the job and when you are off. Don't let work take over your entire wake hours.

Set your own schedule and stick to it.

4. Respect your "work"

If you don't value your work at home as a real profession nobody will. One of the pitfalls of you daily presence at home will be others tempted to take advantage of your staying at home and assumed flexibility and leisure. Watching other people's children, running errands or simply expectations that the house will be in spotless condition because "well, you are at home all day", shouldn't be part of the plan. We are open for exceptions, but

don't fall into the trap of availability or guilt to say NO.

5. Social aspect

Ok, unless you do hire employees, partner up with a friend or you have a lot of customer contact, you will work alone.
Since communicating/trading via internet has become very common I believe that a good part will find themselves in a position to work without peers. Now it depends on your personality or surrounding social net how much interaction you need. The internet has a wealth of forums and groups to exchange ideas with like-minded people or who share your working field. Some may be lucky to find local guilds or groups as well. Keep in mind that the lovely cliche of working in pjs is a popular idea and subject of many cartoons but can be tricky over time. Getting dressed, regardless of your lifestyle, is an important part of our identity. Whether chic, mainstream, hippie or goth.

We should not become invisible working bees, but portray ourselves and still get out there.