Saturday, October 25, 2008

Happy Halloween. . .

from the great, BIG pumpkin and the little kitty.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


One of my bags was included in this great treasury on Etsy and I just had to share it. I'm honored that my bag was chosen and love the warm, spicy feel of these handcrafted items. Doesn't it make you feel all warm and cozy inside???

Friday, October 17, 2008

Words of Wisdom

While at the dentist this morning for my second root canal visit (which, by the way, didn't go very well), some wall art caught my attention. It was a list of life's instructions, rules and advice we should follow. The list was really long, but there were two sentences that completely resonated with me and stuck in my head.

"Don't confuse comfort with happiness."


"Don't confuse wealth with success."

Very simple expressions, but very impactful. I don't know about you, but I'm always measuring my business success by how many bags I sell and how many orders are generated in my Etsy shop. I've realized I need to redefine my interpretation of "success". It should be defined as how far I've come with my handbags and accessories. It's the time, effort, and creativity I've poured into my ideas and building my business. It's the positive and uplifting feedback I've received. It's the relationships I've built with customers and friends.

And I never settle for "as is" or remain comfortable in my position. I'm always trying to improve designs, find more cost-effective methods for doing things, and searching for that oh-so-perfect fabric. But most of all it's being continually grateful that I get to do what I love everyday (and be my own boss at the same time!!).

Hope you have a wonderful Autumn weekend!!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Hit With a 2 x 4

Thursday was a hectic day in our house, or at least I thought it was. I had to go to the dentist for my first visit of three for a root canal after having a massive toothache for two days. I forgot the snack for my daughter's preschool class (my turn on the calendar). Then my husband informs me that there is something wrong with his pick-up truck that requires immediate repairs. All I could think was more money, more headaches and more worries. Then a customer purchased a bag through my Etsy shop and changed my whole outlook.

At the bottom of her order, she listed a link to a blog: I was very curious and didn't understand the reasoning since there wasn't a note with the link. I clicked on it and my jaw dropped to the floor as I started reading. It's a blog written by a man who's wife suffered a major life/health trauma while pregnant and delivering her second child. I don't understand all of her medical condition or exactly how it came about other than it started as a bacterial infection and grew from there. She has endured the loss of both of her legs, her eyesight, and much more damage to her physical body. Fortunately, it sounds like her spirit has remained true.

Her story is one of huge faith, perseverance and strength. This woman, Carol, is remarkable and admirable. If you get a moment, I highly suggest you check out their family's blog. It will remind you of what's important and maybe hit you on the side of the head with a 2x4 like it did me.

I'm so very glad my customer decided to share this story with me. It turns out she is a friend of this family's. I think you will be amazed at how many people have stepped forward to help them through this difficult time.

P.S. Have a box of tissues nearby while reading.

Monday, October 6, 2008

My Work Space

One of the things I love about our home is our finished basement. It was a huge buying point for us because we knew we'd have two little ones with lots of stuff and out-of-state family coming to visit on a regular basis. At that time I never dreamed I'd have my own sewing studio or a space of my own down there too. I can't imagine life without it now.

Our basement has an office, family room, bedroom, bathroom and, of course, my studio which is enclosed with beautiful french doors. My husband even built me an "L-shaped" desk to accommodate all of my materials and equipment. I absolutely love it. I started with my home Janome sewing machine and gradually stepped up to my Seiko industrial machine. I use both all the time. I've even been sewing some bags with leather now and hope to introduce them to my shop at some point.

I keep all my fabric sorted in bins which is great because I "try" to sort each bin by color. This doesn't always happen so I can see right through the bin as to what is in there. This picture was taken several weeks ago so the bins are actually packed full right now and I'm running out of room.

Thought I would share where I work most days (or should I say nights). It's always inspiring to see where others "do what they do". My space is nothing fancy or elaborate, but it's just perfect for me and allows me to be creative.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Pumpkin Decorating

We went apple and pumpkin picking earlier in the week and finally decided to color our pumpkins today. We figured we'd save the carving for a super big pumpkin as we get closer to Halloween. They had so much fun just using their markers. As you can see, Jonas is wearing half the color on his arms but hey, that's what it's all about.

When it came time for me to take their picture, I discovered how truly different my kids are. It goes far beyond their eye colors. While Camille is prim and proper, politely saying "cheese" for the camera, Jonas is trying to figure out which funny face is the best and saying "salami" or "sausage". I gave up trying to get them both to cooperate. What better picture than one that reflects their true personalities.