I got it covered

I’d thought I had lost my Arts and Sciences project–the only one I’ve gotten finished so far–until yesterday. I gave the craft room one last sweep before I left to go visiting my potential-future-Laurel, and lo! and behold, there it was. On the floor. In a place I’d looked at least three times previously. Right between a couple of boxes. Thanks to that discovery I don’t have to redo the whole damn thing, and I was able to finish the beading on it. Next up (sometime in the next three weeks): the documentation paper to go with it. Easy peasy. Right? Well, maybe not so much, but I’ll get it done.

I got another project–well, the first part of another project–done as well. Introducing my fourth embroidered cup cover:

collage-2018-06-25-04_21_44

Done for an arts exchange project with another kingdom, but it’s not the only thing I’m doing; I’m also going to make some matching napkins, a feast gear utensil holder, and, time permitting, some coasters. Yeah, ambitious, I know, but I have a couple of months on those. The cup cover, btw, is 100% handsewn and hand beaded. No sewing machines were harmed in the making of that cover.

Yeah, it’s not perfect. I pulled the stitches too tight and crowded them too much on the white embroidery filling in the device. I eyeballed the circular edge when I was sewing the back onto the front, so yeah, not the evenest. Still, it’s pretty, and it’s I hope something the recipient will love.

I’m wondering something though…would people want to pay for cup covers like the ones I’ve made? One of them was a commission, but there were … issues with payment. Was it because the person thought I was charging too much? I don’t know, but I enjoy doing these kind of short embroidery projects, things that take a couple of weeks of stolen moments before or after work or during lunch, little snippets of creativity snuck in when possible. What am I getting at, anyway? Basically, I’m looking for something I can do that can hone my embroidery craft while still making creative things for other people. I’m just not sure there’s enough of a demand for it to make any kind of effort to advertise what I do worth it.

Here are some pictures of the others I’ve done (one wasn’t beaded because the person who commissioned it wanted to put the beads on herself):

Considering my previous failed attempts at creative entrepreneurship, I probably should just let word of mouth do its thing and if I get asked to make some, I make some; if I don’t, I don’t. I can make them for gifts or something and stoke my creative fires that way.

Who knows. Maybe this post will generate some interest? Maybe so, maybe no. I think I’m going to stop overthinking and just go do some laundry or something.

Under Construction

I have no idea why I thought I’d start up my Etsy shop again at this time of year.

I thought it would be fun: creating new stuff, possibly selling a few things, having a blast with it all… Then yesterday I realized that I have quite a few personal projects to get done before I can get to creating stuff to sell. There’s the bento box, the Italian Renaissance garb for Yule (that I accidentally forgot about until now), the masks for the Yule event, and oh yeah, I suppose I should start thinking about Christmas gifts for all my friends and family. Mania, why you no pick a better time for this?
I guess the Etsy shop will have to be put on hold for a while again. I can keep the current listings active, but realistically I should be focusing on the more pressing items on the menu. *Sigh*

Good thing I have lots of materials and patterns that I can use for the above-mentioned projects. It takes a bit of a load off stress-wise, but I still wish I could work on the crafting ideas I have. Oh well. Friends and family take priority. And being clothed for Yule. Those are important things.

Full Plate, Table 3

It’s going to be one of those weeks.

Yesterday started off with someone at work needing surgery, and, being the only other person there trained in her job, it was up to me to come to the rescue. I still had to do the position I was already scheduled for, of course, so that left me running back and forth across the office most of the day. Today I cover for my recovering coworker, and then as soon as I’m off work its up to Phoenix for my husband’s birthday weekend celebrations. On the way back Sunday we have an event, and there’s still laundry and whatnot to do at my parents’ house before I dive back into my temporary position next week.

Next week brings more work, and for some reason I am feeling like there’s something I’m forgetting when it comes to planned activities. I’ve been doing that a lot lately, and it’s getting out of hand. I forget what weekend has what plans, what weekdays have what going on, and even the things that are part of my “regularly-scheduled programming” slip my mind. It’s a lot to keep up with.

It’s almost starting to concern me. I used to keep track of dates and events without any issue; now I forget that I should be packing for a weekend trip that I mentioned two paragraphs ago. Things are muddy and sluggish, and I’m forgetting important stuff. Not 100% forgetting–I know that it’s my husband’s birthday Saturday–but more like the fact that the important event is impending slips my mind. I know that X activity is planned for Y day, but when Y day rolls around I forget that Y is the day when X occurs. This leaves me completely unprepared for X, both physically and mentally. I’ll come home from work exhausted, ready to just chill in bed (or maybe go hang out in the craft room), and my husband will remind me of the thing we’re doing that day.

I think that might be the most exhausting part of it all: not the sheer number of plans and events, but the “surprise” of learning that there’s yet another thing planned on a day when I’d thought I was otherwise free. I make my own little piddly plans for crafting or writing or lazing about and those plans get crushed by the plans that were already in place.

Will things cool down any time soon? With the holidays fast approaching, I doubt it. I have to start thinking about Christmas gifts. And some birthday gifts. All that in addition to the aforementioned plans and events. And the house prep. And…damn. I was sure there was something else…

Oh yeah. The novel. I have stuff to do for that still, too. Gotta finish the most current wave of revisions, plus write up an outline and some character bios. So that, too.

Oh, and did I mention that, during this crazy time, I decided to reopen my Etsy shop this week? Yeah. In the midst of all this madness, I thought it would be a good idea to start creating more things to sell. I plan on making fabric bento boxes (after I get my own made and perfected–I always end up tweaking the pattern), stuffed animals, more clay sculptures, clay ornaments, bags/purses, and more. Yeah. With all that imaginary free time I have lately. That should go over well.

I’ll get the hang of all this eventually. Maybe. I should bust out the calendar on my phone and set reminders for every day that something’s going on. That should be fun, with alerts and notifications going off every day.

*Sigh* Whatever happened to my quiet, unassuming life?

Crafty

And, thanks to my mania, I have inadvertently agreed to make at least one “tournament prize” that’s due…this weekend? I hope not, because I’ll be out of town until Sunday, but maybe my friend meant a future tournament.

See, I found this cool link on Pinterest for a fabric bento box using scraps and leftover fabric laying around. Small pieces required, so no need to buy huge quantities–and if you have enough scraps, you don’t need to buy any, really. Bonus: I have enough of my exploding TARDIS fabric left over from my Jedi TARDIS cosplay that I can make a bento box of my own–once I get bias binding for it. The pattern/tutorial, which is really cool and so far easy enough, calls for making your own binding. No offense to the designer, but eff that mess. I am going to go out and buy more binding since I’ve run out of the color I want to use.

How does this relate to the prize I agreed to make? Well, I told a friend of mine about it, and she thought it would be cool for me to make a prize (or prizes) for fighting tournaments. Which is cool and all, but, uh, where’s the time? Where’s the time, man?

I’ll tell you where it is: Work. Work and volunteering and gaming with friends and vacations and….and and and. Yeah. I keep forgetting that I have a social life now, and I can’t just stop what I’m doing to go sew/sculpt/draw/paint something. Oops.

I’ll get something done, though, even if it’s only one thing. I might have to do some marathon cutting/sewing work, but I’ll get it done.

It’s kind of fun learning new stuff, especially crafting. Perhaps this will be a good outlet for my creativity and extra energy.

Counting down

It’s getting closer–another birthday, another step closer to 40. I wasn’t worried about 30 until a month before I turned 29, and so far 40 is not causing undue stress, but it makes me wonder about my life and where I’ve been, where I am, and where I’m going.

As far as major life events, my 30s brought me a husband and the ability to call myself a published author. Granted, I self published, but it was published nonetheless. Before I’m 40 I’ll be a homeowner, and I’ll be inducted into a HEMA rapier/swordfighting group. I’ve gone to pop culture conventions and cosplayed, and I’ve learned how to sew. I’ve gotten a great job that keeps me engaged and is almost never boring. Life’s pretty good.

So what will 40 bring? We’ll have to wait and see on that one, but here are a few of my hopes for it:

  • Become traditionally published
  • Learn enough swordfighting techniques to be able to teach as well as train
  • Become adept enough at sewing to be able to make more things and sell the things I make (while making some semblance of a profit)
  • Lean some elements of clothing design to where I can devise my own patterns from measurements that I take

That’s not all, but I think those are reasonable goals. Not quite bucket-list-worthy (except for the publication) but still things to shoot for and work on. I’d have to sit and think about what I’d want on my bucket list. What activities or life events do I want to tick off before I clock out? Maybe I’ll do that one day soon…

Movin’ on up

good-news-everyone

Yep, I’ve gotten some pretty good news in the last 12 hours or so. Some of it I can tell you, some I have to keep hush-hush until next week 😉

First off, the news I can’t tell (because spoilers) : Got a great new opportunity that, while it won’t make me any more money, will look good on bios and resumes and should be a lot of fun.

Secondly: I made my first sale on my Etsy shop! https://www.etsy.com/shop/MadMindCreations Have to get it ready to ship out today so it can be on the way to its new owner. 🙂 Also have to figure out how much it weighs with packing, because I don’t have an official postal scale. I wonder if my husband’s kitchen scale will do the trick……

So today’s starting out exciting. Work will be work, but hopefully with this stuff in the back of my mind it won’t be too bad. Yeah, I’ve got das boot, but I think I can handle the hassle if it means I have these other things to look forward to. I might even treat myself to a little something later today (with the small amount of $$ I got from the sale lol). This might even spark more creative activity that’s kind of gone to the side for quite some time. Need to make more goodies for the shop.

My husband wants me to make some purses for the Etsy shop like the sugar skull Stormtrooper one I made for myself, but I’m debating on that. It’s a pain to make, but if I can figure out a faster/cheaper way of making it I might give it a go. Might. We shall see.

Grand Designs

The first sketch is drawn up for my first phoenix wall sculpture and I’m pretty excited. I have to work around my work schedule and the time I get over at my parents’ house (since apartment neighbors frown on excessive fumes from heat sealing, contact cement, and spray paint).

Gotta start scanning art to my computer too. Now that I have a quality scanner that scans & prints larger-sized images, I can take advantage of that and make my own art prints. I may start making more clay designs in coming weeks as well. I had planned on getting at least one new item up in the Etsy shop each week, so I have to start producing more stuff. No product, no $$. Basic economics.

Since I don’t have the time this morning to actually start cutting foam for anything, I may sketch up something else to make as well. I’ve considered a dragon sculpture, and I’ve gotten some suggestions of things like a flying unicorn or even a flying pig! (I gotta admit, the pig thing’s kinda funny….And I happen to know where I can get bright pink craft foam) 😉

And, of course, I’m going to retake some of the photos of the things I’ve already listed on Etsy. I want to get better quality images, with good lighting, that showcase the art.

But first thing’s first: shower. Then doctor’s appointment. Then work. Then artsy stuff. 🙂