Monday, 6 January 2014

Spring Cleaning Early

Ok folks,
well we are now undeniably in the new year and the holiday celebrations are behind us, so it is time for me to buckle down and really think about getting this business off the ground. Listening to the radio this morning the presenters were talking about new years resolutions and how to act upon them, rather than just forgetting them by February.  One of the tips, and I'm sure you all know this, was to tell someone, once you speak your goal or aim, it becomes more important to do it rather than lose face.  I don't know what do you think, I hope so and to that aim I thought I would use this blog to outline a few I have for this year, and you all can keep me to them.

First day of honey pot creations
1. Keep a tidy work area.  Very important, and quite hard for me, but I do feel better when the sewing room is tidy so I intend to work on this one.  You can see the state of it at the moment, it was a bit of a dumping ground over the holiday, but I can't really blame that, it is me, and I am going to tidy.
now !!

on a totally different note though look at the lovely sewing machine cover I got as a present from a dear friend and totally crafty person, she has a shop on Etsy called Stitches and Patches, check it out here

playing at felting, so I have abandoned the wool stashes in the middle of the floor.

 the box containing sewing projects has got mixed up with the hat stuff and is totally over flowing.

and as for the rocking chair even the cat has given up sitting on it.

So over this week I intend to get this sorted and put up a picture next Monday showing just how nice it can  be.

2. Put stuff not in use that week in storage.  This will help with tidying, we have a lovely area that Dr. J. shelved recently under the eaves next to our dormer. If something is not in use it can be in there, I really do have a tendency just leave everything out (ie wool) as I will be using it again soon, but it only takes a minute to go and get it again, so it is false economy as a tidy space will lead to a more productive area.

3. Don't have too many projects on the go, or finish some before you start the next lot.  Well that really won't help as a  statement it is just too fuzzy, what is too many?, but I have to have some on the go at the same time as glue needs to be drying, felt stretching, buckram shaping so I can't just work on one project or I would be idle quite a lot.  So how do I tackle this one? I guess if a hat is capable of being finished, work on that, instead of starting a new one, although starting a new one off to the stage where it needs to sit and dry, and then finish the other hat, could be more use. Oh dear, this could be a bit tricky, I guess all I really can say is use some common sense. But I am guilt of not finishing things and I really want to work on that this year. This dog tooth hat has been waiting for the headband to be sewed on for 3 weeks, that's all it needs and then it will be completed, the cardboard tube in front of it will be a mini top hat and the glue on that has been dry for quite a while, but I had a fancy to look at felting. Better planning may help, I'll let you know.

3. Be more productive. I have taken a stall at an upcoming event. I'll tell you more soon, but for now it will involve having quite a few cheaper hats and bags ready to fill up a 6 foot table, or sell less at a higher price. I think the cheaper hats will do better, so if I am selling a hat for £25 say I can not spend 10 hours making it as that would only be £2.50 a hour wages, not including the cost of materials at all, I would be better off (although not as happy) getting another office job.  So realistically I must make these hats quicker, but I am  not willing to let up on quality. A bit more musing is need on that and as all my hats are unique and handmade, I really should charge a realist price. I find this quite difficult, when the children were both little, I was full time stay at home to look after them, and I made cakes, wedding and birthday and I did enjoy it, but I never made enough to justify it, as I knew everyone I sold to, and charge too little, icing is rather expensive you know, you'd be surprised.  Anyway later I intend to time myself making a hat, (a lot of stopping and starting, drying time etc, so not as easy as it sounds) and work out the cost properly.
not this many bridesmaid, no way!

4. And last but by no means least on a personal note, get married. And as I intend to make everything I can, from dresses to cake, I need to budget the time for this carefully. Things like the fruit cake layer needs making well in advance and leaving anything till the last will lead to way too much stress so I need a nice big planner for this year.

Well enough talk, more action. There are more plans and ideas whizzing around my head, but again that takes me back to not finishing something before starting the next task, so I will content myself with these for now and when they are in place, add some more.

Wish me luck as always, and do leave comments, it would be great to hear how you manage your time.

hugs and kisses
ally x

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