New Pattern Release!

It’s been a couple of months since I’ve had a new pattern release, but I’m happy to announce that that has now changed! Today I’m releasing my newest pattern, 2 styles of Newborn Posing Crowns.

1080814_708676256169_605209289_n

Get them now at Ravelry, Craftsy & Etsy

Advertisements

Small Business Spotlight: Tangled Happy

Today we have an interview with the woman behind one of my favorite crochet websites, Tangled Happy

Welcome Sara!

Hey there… I’m Sara, a wife to a wonderful husband and a mama to three lovely girls. These four are my favorite people in the whole wide world. I love my family to pieces!

tangledhappy

I learned to crochet in 2010 and fell head over heals in love with crochet. Soon after this little love affair started Tangled Happy was born. There you will find hundreds of free crochet patterns and a few of my original designs.

What is a typical day in your life?

A typical day is pretty full! In addition to wife, mama and blogger I also own and operate a house cleaning business locally. A typical day looks something like this… Drop my girls at school, clean a clients home, blog/design or crochet in the afternoon, pick up my girls from school, help with homework, make dinner, hang out with the family, put the little girls to bed, blog/design/crochet or hang with the husband and then bed.

My husband and I share a work space in our home. We turned one tiny bedroom into an office for the two of us. This seemed like a great idea at the time… This arrangement quickly became quite distracting! So, although my pretty little desk is still stashed away in the office I find myself blogging from the kitchen table and crocheting in random places around the house.

tangledhappy2

What is your favorite thing about running your own business?

 When my youngest daughter was born (7 years ago) I quite my 8 to 5 and started a house cleaning business. Sending another baby to day care was not an option! I wanted to be with my girls. What I love most about running my own business is having the freedom to choose when I work and having more control over how much income I can make. Self employment has been a huge blessing in my role as a wife and mama.

What is the hardest thing for you in running your business?

Running a business is hard work. My biggest struggle… Time management! Finding the perfect balance is nearly impossible. I do my best to balance all the roles I have been given and although I don’t do it perfectly I’m much happier working for myself than I ever was punching the time clock for someone else.

What surprised you the most when you started your business?

 How quickly things can get going. Quitting my 8 to 5 was scary but I knew I had to go all in if I wanted to be with my girls full time. I hit the pavement and passed out flyers daily until I had enough cleaning clients to make up the income I needed. It didn’t take long to fill my schedule and things have remained pretty steady since then.

Tangled Happy has a similar story. Just like most blogs Tangled Happy started out getting a handful of pageviews per day and within a few months grew to thousands. That was definitely a pleasant surprise!

tangledhappy1

What advice would you give to other business owners out there?

If you’re just getting started or thinking about starting your own business consistency is key. Make a plan and work the plan.

Where do you get your inspiration?

Creative blogger inspire me! Tangled Happy was created was initially created as a way to keep track of patterns and inspiring people I came across online. Have a quick browse around my blog and it won’t take long to see what and who inpires me.

If you were invisible, where would you go?

 Inside my teenage daughters head so I could figure out what’s going on in there…?

tangledhappy6

If you could live anywhere in the world where would you live?

Hmm… I really love Kansas! I think I would stay right here for now.

What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?

I make the best baked potato soup on the planet.

You can find Sara on her website, www.tangledhappy.comFacebook, Etsy and Pinterest

I’d like to thank Sara for being willing to talk to me today and share her business with us!

Do you know a business I should consider interviewing for an upcoming Small Business Spotlight? Leave a comment or email me with a link to their information and let me know! Wish I would have asked a different question? I will be changing up some of the questions in the future, so if you have something in particular you would like to know be sure to let me know! 

Thanks everyone, Happy Tuesday!

Ask Me Anything – How do you keep your hats/yarn organized?

“How Do You Keep Your Hats & Yarn Organized?”

I wish I had a great answer, but I have to admit that I don’t have a super creative or attractive solution.

I used to have a pretty decent hoard of yarn, but last summer we moved to a new state and I had to de-stash a bit. This week is the perfect time to do this post, as I moved all of my yarn from our garage inside our 1-bedroom apartment with less than 1,000 square feet of space. We are lucky enough to have a big walk-in closet, and I have a very understanding husband who lets me fill it with yarn!

I brought all my yarn in and just put it in the bedroom:

No, this is not a child's bedroom. The Lego's on the shelf are my husbands. I have my hobbies and he has his :)

No, this is not a child’s bedroom. The Lego’s on the shelf are my husbands. I have my hobbies and he has his 🙂

Our beautiful closest, sans yarn:

2013-06-06 12.07.26

After 2 hours of color-sorting and organizing I got everything into the closet:

2013-06-06 14.33.30

That’s 6 bins of boxes on top and 3 on bottom.

As for hats, I have 3 more of those large pink totes from above. They’re each 45 gallons and they hold a lot of hats! I love these totes as they’re very stack-able and keep the hats clean! I store them in the totes until I need to take them somewhere, and then I usually put them in the big blue Ikea bags for easier transport.

This summer I am taking these totes up to Utah with me for some shows that I will be selling at. Once those shows are over I will be leaving the left-over hats at my parents house until I go back for more shows in the fall. Once all my shows are over I take anything that is left to a store that I sell them at.

Since that wasn’t a very cool answer I thought I would share some really cool yarn storage ideas I’ve seen online. Hopefully someday I will have the space to do something like these! 

knitsforlife

How cool is that wall of spooled yarn by the couch!? Lorna from http://www.knitsforlife.com is able to knit with the yarn still on the wall, which I’m sure makes her space a lot cleaner than mine!

makingahome1

Can you imagine going to bed each night and waking up every morning and having this be the first thing you ever see?? So jealous of Amber over at http://makingahome-pa.blogspot.com/

tara's yarn

Tara from Mamachee and http://easymakesmehappy.blogspot.com/ has one of the best work spaces I’ve ever seen! I LOVE those yarn cubbies!

ana white

And if you are super ambitious and you can use these awesome plans from Ana White to make your own storage cubbies. This is much like the Ikea Expedit cubbies I used to store yarn at my old place.

If you have any great yarn storage ideas I would love to see pictures!

Any Me Anything will be back next Friday, so if you have something you’d like to know leave a comment!

Quilts & Afghans

As I said a couple of weeks ago, I’m a bit obsessed with the idea of quilts right now. I’ve found a lot that I want to make, but I really lack the skills to make them right now. Even though I know I will never make them all, I’ve really enjoyed pinning all of my favorite quilts to Pinterest.

Once I realized that I would never be able to finish half of the quilts I’d pinned I started looking into afghans that look like quilts, but that I could crochet! I’ve found some great photo’s online and can’t wait to make my first one! (I am working on a very simple quilt right now and will hopefully be sharing the details soon!)

First we have a quilt I’ve been loving on:

After loving this quilt for a couple of weeks I stumbled across this triangle pillow pattern! It could so easily be made into a quilt!

I love Hexagons, and thought this quilt was beautiful!

And then I found this pattern from Attic24 on Ravelry:

You could change up the colors and do pretty much anything, but I love the colors she has going too!

Like everyone else right now, I’m a total sucker for Chevron, and I LOVE this quilt!

But then I saw this afghan and now I don’t know which I like more!

And finally, Herringbone. I love it. It’s classic and beautiful at the same time. When I saw this quilt design I knew I needed one!

And while I think I do have the skills to make this one, I was really excited when Tara from Mamachee came out with her crochet Herringbone Blanket pattern! Turns out she was inspired by the same quilt I was!

So now to decide which of the 4 to work on first…or maybe I should finish at least one of the two blankets I have in progress now…

Small Business Spotlight: KT and the Squid

Today I’m excited to share this interview from Katy of KT and the Squid! She’s a fellow crocheter and she sounds kind of awesome! Enjoy…

My name is Katy! My life centers around my 2 wonderful children (Noah and Hannah), my marvelous husband (Ed) and my business (KT and the Squid).

KT and the squid (3)

Tell us a bit about your business. What do you do? What got you started? 

KT and the Squid was born in November of 2009. You could almost say it was by accident. At the time, I was the manager at a gym for kids. When I was told the gym was closing I had no idea what I was going to do. I was pretty familiar with Etsy so I decided to try it out. I actually started trying to sell some sewn burp cloths, dresses and bibs. One day I added a cute little hat I made up. It sold pretty quickly and I had people asking for more! After a year or so I realized I had something here and started treating it more like business and less like a hobby.

My specialty is custom made crochet hats for kids and babies but I also knit and make other items. Most of the finished items I sell are my original designs and after receiving numerous requests for my patterns I decided to start selling them as well in November of 2012. I discovered I really LOVE writing patterns and see my business moving more in that direction. While I love making items to sell, I love seeing others selling items made from my patterns as well!

Where did your business name come from?

I am “KT” and my 4 year old daughter is the “Squid.” Why Squid? When she was born my husband looked at her (picture a brand new newborn baby) and said she looked like a squid. The name just stuck with her so it had to be part of my business name.

KT and the squid (1)

What is a typical day in your life? 

I am by no means an expert managing my life as a small business owner, wife and mother but I get better at it every day. I try to stay as organized as I can. Without my planner I would be lost! There, I keep track of exactly what needs to be done each day.

Typically, I spend most of the day with my kids like most moms. Whenever I get a chance I answer emails, work on items, get items ready for shipping (my husband does the Post Office runs!)…but I try to do as much as I can when they are napping or in bed for the night.

It’s hard to say how many hours a day I spend on work because I’m doing it off and on all day long. I probably spend 4-5 hours actually making items for orders but I also spend a lot of time on the computer throughout the day. I feel like I’m always working! I know a lot of people that do what I do stay up late at night working but you’ll find me in bed by 11 pm every night.

Late summer to mid-winter is usually the busiest time of year. I might have more emails to answer during the busy times but because I only allow myself to make a certain amount of items each day it’s all pretty much all the same to me. Plus, I keep just as busy creating new things during the off-season as well.

KT and the squid (4)

What is your favorite thing about running your own business?

I really love the freedom! I get to pick my hours which means more time to spend with my family. If we want to go on vacation it’s pretty easy for me to pack up the supplies I need and go.

I also love hearing from customers. I put love into every item and pattern I make so it means a lot to me when I know others like my work. Even if someone just comments on a picture on Facebook the simplest compliment make my day!

What is the hardest thing for you in running your business?

 Because I work from home it’s hard to just STOP. I also tend to get lost in all the numbers. All I want to do is create! I don’t want to have to calculate profit margin or figure out fees! I’m very lucky that my husband does an amazing job with our accounting and I wouldn’t be where I am today without him.

KT and the squid (5)

What advice would you give to other business owners out there?

            If you want this to be your business treat it as such and do your research. Don’t sell yourself short. Literally! In the business of crochet/handmade I see people barely charging enough to cover their costs. For a lot of people it might be a confidence thing (I know it was for me!) but know you’re worth it.  Don’t just charge for materials! If something took you an hour to make think about how much you think your hour is worth and add that to your materials, fees, etc. Even if you’re making something for a friend treat them like you would any customer. Heck, I make my own mom buy things through my Etsy shop!

Where do you get your inspiration?

            My inspiration could come from anywhere! The other day I had a bunch of scrap yarn from some orders I had just finished sitting balled up together and suddenly got inspired by the colors that were there. I have some newborn props that are based off real items like my doctor set and cop and robber set. Lately, I’ve been looking up vintage patterns and looking for ways to update them and make them more current.

When I’m working on new items I usually sit with some yarn and keep playing with it until I get something I’m happy with. Sometimes I have a shape in my mind or I might be playing with a new stitch. It’s not uncommon that I end with something completely different than what I originally start with.

KT and the squid (2)

What do you do when you’re NOT working?

I answer a million questions a day from a 2 and 4 year old! I also like cooking and crocheting (yes, you read that right) for myself or loved ones.

If you won the lottery today what is the first thing you would do?
Easy, I would buy a house with a wing just for yarn!

What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?

I have a serious fear of aquariums.

A BIG thanks to Katy for letting me interrogate her this week! You can find her on Facebook and Etsy

Do you know a business I should consider interviewing for an upcoming Small Business Spotlight? Leave a comment or email me with a link to their information and let me know! Wish I would have asked a different question? I will be changing up some of the questions in the future, so if you have something in particular you would like to know be sure to let me know! 

Small Business Spotlight: DearOne Photography

Today I’ve got a great spotlight for you from Stephanie Hillyard, the creative mind behind DearOne Photography in Ontario!

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I have more photos of other people than I do of myself (a true make of a photographer, I’ve been told).

I have two stomachs – one for food and one for dessert.

It is doubtful that I’ve ever been told to eat my veggies. Everything else on my plate, perhaps, but not the plant stuff.

I have a BA in English, as well as a Journalism diploma. I also studied music while at Uni.

I’m a country girl at heart (I grew up on a farm), but fell in love with New York the minute I touched down.

My husband Dave and I have been married almost four years. We don’t have any children yet, but are anxiously awaiting our turn!

Once Upon a Time is my guilty pleasure. When it’s on, no one talks to me.

We have four nephews and two nieces, all on Dave’s side on the family.

I am a huge animal persons – Dave and I even had a chameleon once!

My husband is a chef (yes, a fantastic one!!).

I love kid jokes…. What do you call an alligator in a vest? An investigator!!

I would rather not eat than not have a camera.

DearOne (6)

Tell us a bit about your business. What do you do? What got you started?

I’m the owner/ main photographer for DearOne Photography. We’re based out of Northern Ontario we keep moving and we travel all over for weddings and events (and sometimes newborn and family sessions!) that we don’t really have much of a home base anymore.

I’ve always been ‘taking photos’ but moved up in the world when a friend of a friend asked if I shot weddings. I told her I honestly didn’t know if I did, but if she was willing to give me a shot I’d try it out. Before I knew it I had four booked my first year. We’re currently in our second (almost in our second, I really don’t know when our official anniversary is- maybe I should just pick a date!) and have five weddings this summer lined up. My chef husband (when available) acts as my second shooter (and driver and caddy and moral support and business advice) while we both try to balance running a small business and working full-time jobs. It can get pretty intense sometimes.

Each day is completely different (as cliché as that is). Right now I’m balancing time between DearOne Photography, waitressing, working on some business/ marketing/secretary work for my parents (they’ve owned and operated a farm, abattoir, butcher shop and store for the last 18 years or so) and have just been hired on as an assistant videographer for a company working on a documentary about family farms.

 Typically I start my day with breakfast and my Bible, then jump into emails. After that it could be any combination of editing photos, marketing (which includes promotion, products, networking….), research or any of the other jobs above. It’s nice to have a constant change of scenery, but also like that I usually know what’s coming. I’d love to say I have a 9-5 job, but I totally don’t. If I can’t sleep (which happens way too often) I’ll stay up editing or doing research until my eyes get heavy enough. I take odd breaks during the day (sometimes to go do one of those other jobs!) but I’ll sometimes be sitting on the computer literally for hours.

DearOne (2)

Where do you work? 

I would love one day to have a studio space. I’m a natural light photographer, so while it’d be great to have a studio for newborn sessions, it would have to have HUGE windows. Right now I work in my bedroom, at the kitchen table, in the living room, and sometimes in other people’s houses- kind of wherever I am. I do have plans for a studio after Dave and I buy a house [we’re waiting until after we get back from overseas,we are planning on heading overseas in the fall to teach English (me) and cook (him)], and thankfully Dave’s all for it (possibly because it’ll keep my photo gear and business stuff somewhat contained!)

What is your favorite thing about running your own business?

 The freedom and the creativity. I love being able to make decisions by myself. If I want to give a friend a free mini-session for their baby shower, I can. If I decide I don’t have enough traffic and I need to change something about my business model, I can. Plus, owning your own business runs in my family!

DearOne (4)

What is the hardest thing for you in running your business?

Probably having to make all the tough decisions myself and not being able to blame someone or something else. It sounds odd, but when you have an employer you can totally say ‘it’s company policy’ and not feel bad about it, but when you make the rules you have to be able to defend and stand by them!

What advice would you give to other business owners out there?

 The age-old standard ‘Love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life’ is totally true. But you HAVE to work at it. Most photographers only spend 20% of their time behind their cameras and the other 80% editing or marketing or doing other business related stuff. Sometimes it gets hard. Sometimes you totally want to give up and throw it away and never look at it again. But remember why you started it in the first place, and what it is about your business that you love. And make sure to take breaks! Take a day where you aren’t allowed to do anything work related. Or take and afternoon where you can only do one business related thing. It works wonders, trust me, to just relax and not worry for a few minutes.

If your business revolves around some kind of craft, the only way to improve to get out there and practice. And whatever it is you do, you do because you love it. But you’re a business owner, so give yourself the opportunity to fall in love with the business side of things as well!! I never knew I enjoyed certain parts of running a business until I got into the thick of it!

DearOne (5)
What do you do when you’re NOT working?

Read everything. A little Lucy Maud, a little Suzanne Collins, a little Ray Bradbury. My parents gave me a Kindle for Christmas a couple years ago and it is filled with all sorts of classics and poetry and even my Bible. I pretty much never leave home without it.

As I type this I’m having a movie marathon with my sister. We’re re-watching the Harry Potter series, but we often find ourselves with the Disney movies we watched as kids or something we found in the discount bin.

If you were invisible, where would you go?

 Apparently the restricted section of the library (like I said, watching Harry Potter!). But I’d love to be invisible during weddings- I could stand right in front of the bride and groom and not be in the way!

DearOne (1)

What did you want to be when you were little and do you think you ever will be? 

A teacher. I almost went to teacher’s college, but God changed my mind and I ended up studying Journalism instead. Last year I took my TESOL course and am now planning on heading overseas to teach!

What is something people would be surprised to learn about you?

 Even though all our family members are blood related, one day my husband and I hope to adopt! I babysat a little girl from Haiti when I was in Uni, and adopted touched my life so much that I can’t imagine it not being part of my life.

DearOne (3)
You can find Stephanie on FACEBOOK and on her WEBSITE

Thanks for taking to us Stephanie, especially for your awesome business advice!

Do you know a business I should consider interviewing for an upcoming Small Business Spotlight? Leave a comment or email me with a link to their information and let me know! Wish I would have asked a different question? I will be changing up some of the questions in the future, so if you have something in particular you would like to know be sure to let me know! 

Thanks Everyone! Happy Tuesday!

Other Loves…

There are so many beautiful things to discover on the internet, and all of them make me want to develop a million new hobbies!

#1: I LOVE to build things!  For me one of the hardest things about our move last summer (besides moving away from my family) was knowing that I would no longer have access to my dad’s shop and mad wood-working skills! I haven’t built much, but the last couple of years I liked to imagine myself as the sort of person who could built things, and I had started dreaming about all the things I would build in the coming years! Moving away has definitely put that thought process on hold, but it has not died! I have a Pinterest board full of projects I want to build some day!

First on the list is this dresser from Old Paint Designs! Hubs and I have been without a dresser for a year now. He keeps hinting at buying one, but I really want to either build one or buy one from Goodwill and refurbish it! He’s so patient with me!!

dresser

And you can’t talk about a love of building things without talking about Ana White. I’m completed obsessed. I’ve been following the building of the Mom-Plex since the beginning and am constantly dreaming of building a coffee tables and bed frames. Needless to say, my place now is pretty devoid of furniture as I don’t want to buy anything, I want to build it all!!

#2: I’ve been obsessed with Embroidery for a while and need to pick a project and get going on it!! Big surprise, I have an Embroidery Pinterest board too 🙂

SONY DSCPolka & Bloom has my favorite embroidery patterns, I just need to decide which one to start with!

#3: And finally Quilting. It doesn’t help that I have 2 friends that are amazing quilters, and every time I see anything they’ve made it just makes me want to make a quilt too! These are some of my favorite from my Quilts Pinterest Board:

quilts

1. From Lovely Little Handmades

2. From The Crafty Cupboard

3. This was a user upload, so I can’t link to a site, but I LOVE it!

4. From Grand Revival Designs

Do you have a talent you’d like to cultivate? Please feel free to share so I don’t feel alone!

Ask Me Anything – Hand Health

“Don’t Your Hands Hurt?!”

I often get asked if all the sewing I do makes my hands hurt at night.

I normally answer with the short answer, “Not really”, and then about my day. Today I thought I would share the tips that I use to keep my hands from hurting.

I spend several hours at a time sitting and crocheting, and while I enjoy it I often worry about what my body is going to feel and look like in 5 years. My main concern is the use of my thumbs, wrist and elbows, as losing use of them by the time I’m 30 would be a disaster!

Below is a short list of the things I do to keep my hands in good shape. (Note: I have absolutely NO medical background and these tips are only coming from my own personal experience. I have spoken with doctors, chiropractors and physical therapists about this, but only in informal ways. These tips are my personal opinion and what works for me. Always see a doctor if you feel pain!)

– I try to sit somewhere comfortable, but not slouch-inducing. Sitting up straight keeps my elbows and wrists in line, thus reducing the stress on my arms. If I can I usually will put a pillow under my left elbow for support.

– I crochet quite loosely now, but I didn’t when I first started. As I got started I noticed that my hands would start to hurt after just an hour or so when I was crocheting tightly, but that if I loosened up a bit there was no discomfort. I concentrated on loosening up my stitches and now that’s just naturally how I sew. When I occasionally work on amigurumi  the tight stitches hurt my hands, which is why I don’t do it often, even though I love it!

-I don’t sit for hours at a time, I try to break up my sewing time. As you read in last weeks post I try to work my schedule so that I only am sitting for 3-4 hours at a time, at the very most. Usually after 2 hours of sitting I will try to take a break and walk around the block, or get some housework done.

– If I feel ANY discomfort I take a break immediately and ice my hands. This may seem extreme, but pain is rare for me so I take it seriously. If icing doesn’t help I’ve been known to take 2-3 days off from sewing before going back. I’m a bit of a hypochondriac about my hands, but I think that’s better then running them into the ground just so I can get an extra hour of work in a day.

– STRETCH YOUR WRISTS!

One-Arm-Assisted-Wrist-Stretch I found this great article 2 years ago, when my business was about 6 months old. It has some simple stretches you can do to ‘help prevent carpal tunnel’. Since I can barely touch my toes I can’t do the third one very well, but I do the first 2 a LOT throughout the day.

– Last but not least, I take Fish Oil tablets pretty regularly, as well as my daily mutli-vitamin. Fish Oil is supposedly an anti-inflammatory, in addition to a having a lot of other health benefits. If you talk to your doctor and decide to take Fish Oil just be sure to get the ‘No Fish Burps’ variety. Trust me, you’ll thank me. And so will whoever you’re smooching.

And that’s what I do to take care of my hands! In addition, I also try very hard to take care of my body.

Sitting all day is bad for your body, and especially hard on my legs. If I don’t exercise 2 days in a row I can really feel it in my legs by the end of the 48 hours. So what to do about it?

I exercise 5-6 days a week, for at least an hour a day. Hubs and I usually walk 3 miles 5-6 evenings a week, which is great because then I start and end my day with exercise.

Do you have any tips or tricks for keeping your hands, wrists or elbows in tip-top shape? Please feel free to share in the comments!

Ask me Anything!

Every so often I get an email from someone interested in knowing how I run my business. Day to day routine, how I store things, how I still have a life, etc. I’ve always wondered the same thing about OTHER business owners, and I’ve decided it’s time to find out!

I’m pleased to announce the beginning of TWO new weekly blog columns. Starting next Tuesday I will post an interview with a different home-based small-business owner each week, and starting today, each Friday I will answer one of the frequently asked questions I get asked often.

If you have a question to ask me, or know a small-business owner you think I should interview just let me know and I will do my best! So here we go…

ask me anything

 “What do you do all day?”

The most common people ask me is how I structure my day! I design patterns, sell finished products and manage all my online stores/blogs and ads.

A bit of background before I get to my actual schedule. I am married to a wonderful man who is just finishing his first year as a Junior High teacher and works a LOT. We don’t have any kids yet, so I am home alone often and get a lot of work done in a day. I write this hoping that others with kids at home, or those who work part or full time outside of the home will NOT compare themselves. Hopefully soon I will be dealing with running a business and having a baby running around, but for now it’s just us J

6:00-6:30

Try to get up. I am NOT a morning person, so some days I’m successful, others I’m in bed until 7:30. On the days I’m successful I spend the early morning on the computer, looking for new crochet blogs to follow, marketing through Facebook and replying to emails. This is also when I usually do my blog-writing (It’s 6:30 as I’m writing this, so today was a good day!)

8:00-11:00

I ride my bike to the gym sometime between 8 and 8:30, depending on how caught up I get writing or marketing! I take some sort of class at the gym every morning for an hour. I love to spin and I take a weights class as well. On the weekends I run. I’m usually at the gym for about an hour and a half, which might sound like a long time, but honestly, this is the majority of my social interaction for the day. I have some great friends there that I take classes with daily, and I really love it. By 11:00 I’m home and showered.

11:00-3:00

These are main ‘sit down and crochet’ hours. I always have a big master list of what I need to get done before my next craft show or to send to the store I sell my hats at. When I have a show coming up I make myself a schedule, figuring out how many hats I should be able to make a day and then planning what days I will make them on. Right now I’m getting ready for a show in June and have committed myself to making 4 hats a day for the next 5 weeks. I often will do an extra 1 or 2 every day so that if something comes up in the future I don’t get behind schedule.

3:00-4:00

Back to the computer to check on emails again. This is also when I start working on patterns. If I’m not working on writing a new pattern at the time then I’m usually working on updating an old pattern.

4:00-6:00

Hubs usually gets home around 4:00 and goes straight to lesson planning for the next day, so I’m off the computer and back to sewing. I try to use this time to work on new patterns, but if I’m feeling like I’m in a design funk then I usually go back to making hats. I try not to force myself to be creative when I’m not feeling it, and I never know when the mood will strike, so the more ahead of schedule I get then the more time I can take off to design later when I’m feeling crafty!

6:00-12:00

Hubs is usually done with school stuff by dinner, so after eating we go on a long walk, or to the pool. Sometimes we pop some popcorn and watch a movie. Mostly we just do something together. He’s usually tired and in bed by 9:00 and on days that I was up at 6:00 I go to bed with him and read for a bit. On days I slept in I usually stay up and do my computer stuff that I should have done in the morning!

So that’s a typical day. Sometimes I go out to lunch with friends, or babysit a friends kids so they can go grocery shopping, but I don’t have a car, so I can’t go far. Often Hubs will have more work to do after 6:00 and I spend more time crocheting in the evening. I always get work done on the weekends too, but there’s really not typical schedule to it, it’s just whenever we don’t have something going on! Hubs works a lot on the weekends, but we try to do something fun on Saturday, even if it’s only for an hour or two.

What can YOU take away?

My biggest piece of advice for anyone who wants to run their own business is to try to structure your day so that you don’t get burned out. I have a hard time sitting for more then 4 hours doing the same thing, so I don’t. I break up the way that I work so that I get to do multiple things a day. I also do things this way to give my hands a break. I have no evidence for this, but I can’t imagine it’s good to keep your hands busy with repetitive motions for 10 hours straight.

You may also notice that I spend most of my day sitting. I’m an active person, so all the sitting can be hard for me, which is why going to the gym everyday is important for me. I bike there and then jog for about 30 minutes before my hour-long class starts and then bike home. Unless Hubs and I go on a long walk in the evening (which we do about 75% of the time) I don’t get a lot of movement during the day, and I can feel a huge difference at the end of the day. Even just walking down the street for 10 minutes makes a difference. Be sure to take care of yourself so that you can keep doing what you love!

So that’s it for the first “Ask Me Anything!” If you have a question you’d like me to answer leave a comment or email me and I will try to get to it! Come back tomorrow for a round-up of homemade Mothers Day Gifts!