Time to sew? I wish I had time for sewing and I suppose I do I just have chosen to not sew in a while. There are a are a variety of reasons such as the garage is a mess, the floor is very cold, my suplies are a disaster zone but all of those are excuses and can easily be fixed. I’m now working on building a new routine to do writing each day with one site per day as a goal.
A secondary goal would be to get ahead writing and free up time further but first lets get daily down. I have time set aside to work on some ideas for a couple dolls and just need to sit still long enough with the right computer to do them. I also need to just go clean and complete some long term projects to fix the issues I have with not wanting to be out in the cold garage. Someone want to poke way me to get moving towards my goals?
OK so originally I was going to build a nice small 12″ wide folded table that would serve as a sewing machine surface… instead my beloved decided to expand the project just a little bit……WOW! For Christmas week we spent time building the basic table so I could sew presents at the last-minute. My end result was a much larger table that I absolutely LOVE. It is 30″x48″ folded and 60″x48″ with the “wing” out. It is about 36″ tall and doubles as a cutting table as well as being my sewing surface.
Anyway here are a couple of shots of it finally completed with the last touches on it…. a pull out shelf for projects and tools. My fabric collection is on bottom and will eventually go in a “Bento Box” style storage system allowing me to have a “neat” appearance to at least my fabric shelf. We’ll see when those get done!
Is it still true that if you write and add to a wonderful site or blog that you can attract random readers and then a loyal following? I believe it’s true but with the caveat that you also have to participate in one or more other marketing activities. I started Sue’s Tiny Costumes way back… in fact if you plug in the URL you can see how badly my designs for websites were and over time can see the progression and improvements.
What I’m about to say is in no way paid it is purely in gratitude for what she has done to pay it forward, share her vast knowledge and INSPIRE others to be better.
If it were not for Cricket I would not be where I am today. Ok she is one of many many individuals but they are for other posts as appropriate. I started Cricket’s SEO class in 2003 with a toddler and a pre-schooler in the house. I had a dream of making some money with designing and drafting doll patterns of all things. If you go to the Wayback Machine you can see my early attempt at web design… pretty dismal with scanned dresses laid on a scanner, no digital camera, computer drawn designs and more flaws than I care to count.
Over time, with many nudges and encouragement, my site improved visually and the business expanded. Then in 2005 just as it was starting to roll my personal life blew up. My knee went out, I went through a separation and moving, and many other problems and my site had to go to the bottom of the heap of things to worry about. From 2005 until NOW, I have done NOTHING to market the business or if I did it has been very inconsistent and sporadic. Yet, despite it all what Cricket taught held the site in good standing and it STILL made money without me… well minor technical issues had to be addressed but those were very seldom since I’d done a LOT of work leading to the life blow out. I am to this day a member of her classes and the Coffee Shop. I’ve followed her on the V7n and Facebook and even Twitter. Cricket is an inspirational teacher and mentor and I look forward to learning more from her.
Thank you Cricket for everything you do to help people build up businesses. The Blog Challenge has been the kick in the pants I’ve needed to get back on the writing and business bandwagon for 2011 and hopefully I’ll achieve some of my next round of dreams because of the jump start you’ve give me this year. I look forward to more Challenges in the coming months too! If you need something just drop me a note and I’ll do what I can to repay you!
So really, if you write, follow Cricket’s tips, and do so consistently, I do believe readers will come!
I’m back in the groove of sewing once more… finally! I’m working on kid clothes and things for myself but after a couple more projects Ill be tackling the doll UFOs once more and adding patterns. I take the bus to work and have found that I now have 2 hours to fill and staring out the window is boring after a while especially when it’s foggy and you can’t even see across a divided highway! With my friend Lindsay as the driving force we made a list of all the projects and pieces of fabric, notions and trims I had… I’ve since found more but it was a start! Here’s my tip for the day or more likely tips:
make a list of everything you have and when you bring home more add to the list… it does NOT have to be a fancy relational database or even a spreadsheet it can simply be a notebook with a list. Just keep it updated!
clear plastic envelopes are MARVELOUS for holding patterns and stray pattern pieces and file and stand up better than Ziplocks in a tote or box for storage
go through and finish UFOs before kids outgrow things that are cut out! Now dolls don’t grow but most of us have at least someone in our lives we sew for that grows, a fur pal, neighbor or family kid, volunteer work or ourselves. Finish UFOs before it’s too late!
finishing UFOs clears space for MORE fabric and provides a sense of accomplishment in addition to saving money by actually using the fabric collection you have
I plan on updating and posting to this site far more often especially on days when things are going right… on days when things go wrong I’ll probably post that to my Lessons Learned in Business blog (removed). In fact I plan on having several blogs about projects, different dolls and things learned about them like Ken… I have an old Ken (duplicate of one I had as a child), a newer Ken (again a duplicate of the Ken I had as a teen) and then there’s the Jude Deveraux Ken I just recently bought…there’s a lot of differences in the bodies… wouldn’t think it since hey it’s Ken and he’s not the big seller Barbie is! But hey I’ve got to learn about dolls by playing… errr working with them if I’m going to draft and dress them.
Anyway, my current goals now are to teach the 101 Mini Drafting class in early January. Teach 102 after the move (from an apt to hopefully a house at the end of January) in late February. Then start development and testing of my 103, 104, and 105 classes for March, April & May thus giving me time to develop part if not all of the 200, 201 and 202 classes for summer. Now with my brother getting married in June, my sister Graduating High School in June and my parent’s 30th wedding anniversary also in June the likelihood of my actually teaching in June is next to nill at this point so I’m looking at having the 200 series start in July.
Also on the drafting table for me is the various patterns for my column in Dolls Magazine. The first one is out and was a Fantasy dress & cloak pattern in 1” scale. The next….well it has a theme of “romance” and I already mentioned one of the dolls I did a pattern for earlier so I won’t spoil the surprise yet. I have more patterns for a baby and another lady along with a child that I’ll be doing which will take me all the way to the summer issue. Therefore, it’s one of the more important things to get accomplished.
Just that short list is a lot to get done by June so as I finish I’ll update. Keep an eye out!
Well it’s been a few weeks since I last posted and I’ve had nothing but fun. I started out by doing a custom pattern for Tiny Kitty, which turned out beautifully and actually ended up with 3 views to the pattern- plain, slight petticoat and poufy princess petticoat. I now have a fascination for double circle skirt patterns due to how much fullness can be put into the skirt and how well it all drapes but how little bulk is at the waist!
I have so much fascination in fact that I also did 3 other dresses with the same style skirt. One is a halter style top for my Beauty B Dollfie and the other 2 are strapless dresses for the Beauty B and also my Super Size Barbie.
I had so much fun with these larger dolls that I’ve recently become hooked on the 16″ fashion dolls as well. Brenda Starr arrived just today and already she has a bodice pattern I’ll be testing tonight!
In addition to the new patterns and new dolls, I’ve been busy developing 2 more classes that are running in mid October this year. Stylization 102 which is the next level of the Mini Drafting 101, which ran in August, and Cresindel a healer who likes to adventure as well! She has 2 interchangeable costumes and is only 4 1/2″ tall!
Beyond that even I have been in the process of developing a Pattern Club…. not sure how it’ll work out but if anyone has ideas on how to run it drop me a note! I’m also thinking of offering a larger doll special edition 102 with the patterns used being pre made basic blocks so that the basics of stylization can be learned without having to learn drafting first! I recommend learning drafting first but I think there might be a few who would like to get to the fun part faster and Stylizations are certainly fun! Both things are still in the idea phase so all input is welcome!