Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sometimes I surprise even myself

This working at home lark with a toddler in tow isn't easy to figure out and recently I've been getting frustrated at how little time I have to sit at my sewing machine. I miss creating my bags! 

So I've been doing a bit of research about how to pin down exactly what I want to focus on this year for Rose and Lula and how to then get organised with that information. I found these two links really helpful:

After my research I took myself off for a coffee, which already felt like a huge step forward, and that's when the ideas started pouring onto the page.

Source: Katie Blair via Maria's pinterest board
In just an hour (it would seem I am very efficient without the aforementioned toddler in tow) I managed to jot down lots of ideas for new products. I also did a business plan for Rose and Lula, writing down what I want to achieve by this time next year and the things I need to do to go about meeting those objectives. This was a really interesting exercise for me and even helped me see a little bit into 2013! 

Lastly, I had another look at our family's timetable for the week and tried to see where I can carve out some quality time with my sewing machine. This has resulted in sending the small one off to garderie on a different morning so that she can also have lunch there, which she loves so we're both happy.

When I got home I realised I didn't know how to turn my lovely lists into precise goals with deadlines, so my husband who's a project manager came up with a simple post it note system for me. You have a To Do, an In Progress and a Done column and you put your post it notes, colour coded by objective, in the To Do column, urgent ones at the top down to non urgent at the bottom. Then you pick one and work on it, moving it along the columns as and when. I really like the idea of having a Done column so you can see your progress.

Speaking of which, I'm going to try to add time estimates to the post it notes, 10 minutes, 30 minutes etc so that when the children are home and I find myself with a bit of time (haha), I can take a task according to time scale. I am hoping in this way I'll feel like I've accomplished a few more business things in the day.

For the sake of transparency, and so that my real life friends reading this don't think I've turned into someone else, I feel I should point out that:
  • I put off filling up the car with petrol this morning only to have urgently find a fuel station this afternoon, worried I would break down with both kids in the car.
  • I made a menu plan and shopping list for the week last night and put the shopping bags ready by the front door. Needless to say I promptly managed to leave both them and the list at home this morning.
What can I say, I should be in my own "In Progress" column.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

List week part two - Sewing goals

The Christmas markets were all about seeing a) if any of my products would sell and b) which products people were interested in. It was a heart warming feeling to wake up on Christmas morning and think of the children  opening their Rose and Lula tote bags. I really hope they liked them!

In the downtime of the holidays, I ordered lots of new materials with the following goals in mind:
  • Design and make new rucksacks
  • Re-learn appliqué and sew some items using this technique which I especially love
  • Make a summer dress for my daughter
  • Work out key products for Rose and Lula and sew more of them with new materials
I also need to type up my patterns as at the moment they are scribbled into a notebook, half in inches and half in centimetres! It's a system that worked fine when I was making lots of items but if I go back to it now I'm a bit lost.

After the frenetic pace of getting stock together for the Christmas markets, it feels rather strange now to have no specific time goals to work towards. I need to see if there are any Spring markets on the horizon or if we can exhibit (with my friends) in someone's house. 

Do you have any sewing objectives for 2012?

Monday, January 16, 2012

List week part one

I love this time of year for reflecting what went well last year and how to make things better for this one. My birthday is also tied up in the start of the year, so that makes two measures of where I've been and where I want to go.

All in all, 2011 was really the year where our little family emerged from the baby haze (our youngest is now 2.5) and I started to feel energised and ready for new challenges. After doing the life changing Unravelling course by Susannah Conway in 2010, I'd already figured out I wanted to go back to my childhood loves of creating, and my ever supportive husband bought me a sewing machine for Christmas last year. Little did we know where this amazing present was going to take us! It was such a sense of achievement to go from receiving a sewing machine to be selling my wares at two Christmas markets the following year.

From left to right: Petra (Pebbles and Bloom), me and Silke (Lulu's Wardrobe)

Other things that went really well last year are:

  • I opened up to new friendships which have brought me lots of happiness as well as adventures (see my two partners-in-crime above)
  • I ran 6K for Unicef in Geneva thanks to another new friend and started doing yoga
  • I learnt how to stop planning and start living in the moment (so much easier said than done, it's an ongoing process)
  • We got ourselves not one but three babysitters and started having date nights again
  • The kids are both happy and healthy
  • I started menu planning thanks to this down-to-earth lady, so shopping is slightly less of a chore and the number of meltdowns (by me and/or the kids) at dinnertime have drastically reduced.
  • I started a blog and am very happy to be here!
Next up, my sewing goals for 2012..
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