Friday 23 June 2023
Less is more
Summer is here and I’m enjoying it!
It’s only two more weeks until the summer holidays will start. Six weeks of no school – that means we get to sleep in on some days, and have time for fun activities and a week of vacation in France. It also means having to navigate working-at-home-days with two kids around, and managing personal irritation levels throughout that time.
To be fair, they’re 7 and 10 now (already?!) and they generally manage to get along reasonably well (better than I used to when my little brother and I were about that age!) but when annoyance gets the upper hand, things get nasty very quickly. I’m sure it’s recognizable 😉 .
So I’ve been building in room for less pressure – only two custom orders per month. That gives me the freedom to move things around a bit, and not “having to finish” so many things at once. It also leaves me time to work on my own projects. Currently I have pieces of Lothlorien Vale and Misty Mountains Namárië ready to be sewn up. There will be two custom orders made out of these fabrics, and I had enough left for my own creations. At least one will probably be available via draw to purchase in the Tenshi Treasures Talk group – so if you’re not in there, go check it out!
While I’m sewing away on my various projects I can be certain I’ll get comments like “Mom, I’m bored!”. Unfortunately for my kids, I lack empathy 😉 and always tell them that if all the toys in their room can’t keep them entertained, they’re free to list them on our local online market place and sell them. If they do it, it’ll get their rooms ever so much tidier and less cluttered. Chances are high they’ll encounter some long forgotten fun item to play with along the way too. And if they don’t, I’ve at least given them an option, and they’ll mope around for a bit, and then decide to go outside and see who they can find to hang out with.
So yeah – less is more. Less clutter, less pressure, less “must”.
Now if only I were better at following my own advice… I just remembered I also “need” to make two camera straps (one for my future camera that I have my eye on, and one for our new binoculars…). Ah well. We’ll have to start with the good intentions and see where we end, won’t we?
Monday 3 January 2022
Happy new year!
Even when we have no idea whatsoever what this year is going to be like, that won’t stop us from making resolutions (if you’re the type of person who does that – I’m not) or just looking ahead and make plans.
I don’t “do” new years resolutions because I firmly believe in applying any resolutions Right Now instead of postponing them. That, and I find it just doesn’t work for me. I just do what needs to be done when I’m ready for it. Well, most of the time I do. I try ;).
I’m very happy with my new schedule, planning 3 orders a month and then having some wiggle room for adding extras. I have a ridiculous amount of fabric “in stock” because I very much enjoy buying beautiful pieces of fabric, and every time I do that, I want to craft with it. With a filled-to-the-brim custom order list, I didn’t have any time for that, but now I do and it keeps me very motivated.
For this month I have a beautiful red piece on my ‘extras’ list, and another one pre-cut for when I have the time for it. Yes, that means I’ll have a few items to add to the shop, every now and then. If I can keep them out of my daughter’s reach, because she loves to take whatever it is I’m making, and then declaring it hers.
I may regret saying this 😉 but if there’s anything that you’d love to have me make from fabric I have in stock, let me know and who knows, I might add it to my extras list to make whenever I feel like it. Either way I love hearing from you all, so drop me a message or post in my group (you can find Tenshi Treasures Talk here)!
Sunday 12 December 2021
Sunday 12 December 2021
Sunday 12 December 2021
Sunday 12 December 2021
Monday 6 September 2021
Whoa – before you know it, it’s September! My kids are (thankfully) going back to school, sports have started again too (much to the delight of my youngest who has “finally” – she’s 5 – started swimming lessons) and I’m looking forward to spending a bit more time on sewing stuff :).
And not to forget – I’d promised to open up the custom orders list sometime in the Autumn! I’m thinking it might well be November before I’m ready to do that, and the slots will be for January and February. This will allow scraps to arrive in a timely fashion (although shipping in November/December is always a bit of a gamble).
Closing down the order list has been a very good decision for me. I’ve also had an average of 5-6 orders each month where I usually try to have a maximum of 4, which hasn’t helped with the feeling of being a bit overwhelmed. I have a poor little bunny still waiting to be finished but I am starting to feel more on top of things again, which is nice.
In the meantime I’ve been making a cute little Scottish Terrier (among other things) that will not be added to my portfolio to be available for custom orders, but I just might be persuaded to make another one, if you ask nicely. They’re not too complicated (as opposed to the unicorns or foxes) so it’s nice to have a simple pattern every now and then.
And I really should trim down my collection of fabrics – it’s nice to be able to offer such a diverse selection to customers, but it’s not the best thing, business wise, to have so much money tied up in fabric. On the other hand I just keep buying new ones so I’m not quite sure if it will actually be helpful if I try to thin it down a bit! I’ll be uploading pictures of my new acquisitions soon, because I haven’t added them to the albums yet. Some rainbow stuff, as well as some of Oscha’s very last Sea Island Cotton warp – very special (and expensive) stuff!
Thursday 27 May 2021
I usually tend to think that whatever happens, it’ll be all right. Some way or another. And it usually does, confirming that I’m right. Usually.
But every now and then things don’t go as expected and that throws off the existing balance enough that it takes more time to recover that balance – which is where I am now. I’ve taken on some extra work in the assumption that it’d be okay… but this time I may have to alter my plans a bit, because somehow I am, apparently, not Superwoman and I can’t do everything I WANT to do in the time that is available to me.
So – unfortunately that means no extra slots in the foreseeable future (sorry). I have a delay in the current flow of things, but should be able to get things in order by the end of next month (I hope ;)). And there’s a lesson learned: don’t plan so many orders in advance, especially in May! Because May is the month that both of my kids are celebrating their birthdays and with everything indoors practically being closed this year, we had to organise their birthday parties ourselves.
That wasn’t a big issue really, but it was VERY time consuming and I underestimated exactly how much time it would take to get everything in order. A five year old has different demands for her birthday party than an eight year old so there was no way we could recycle stuff, haha. However all kids had a great day and we were exhausted but satisfied afterwards. Needless to say though that I’m looking forward to being able to outsource most of it next year, haha.
So I aim to finish half of this months’ orders by the end of this month (ooooo not much time left) and then finish the other half in time with the orders for next month by the end of, well, next month. Hopefully I’ll be back on track by July when I’ll be celebrating my own birthday (or not…) and who knows, I may take on some new orders for next year sometime this Autumn!
Monday 18 January 2021
First blog of the year!
I vividly remember admiring the women (I’ve looked, but haven’t found any men to refer to) in the babywearing community who had managed to set up their own shop, working with treasured wrap materials, making keepsakes for their customers. I ordered from a quite a few of them – some items I still use on a regular basis.
I’d never thought I’d be one of them, creating meaningful items for others who have loved their babywearing journey, long or short, as much as I have. But here we are! And I’m loving it! However, I’m also experiencing some growing pains as my time is limited but the demand is ever growing.
So I have decided (after a much-needed push from a dear friend) to raise my prices to reflect the significant amounts of time I put into each and every one of them, and to cut a few patterns from the collection. You can still find them on the website and in the albums on my Facebook page (the two go hand in hand), but I’ve removed them from the price list and they will not be available anymore – you can’t order them.
I’m sorry if I’ve removed one of your favorite animals, but they were probably removed because they take up too much time (and I don’t think anyone would be willing to pay € 200 for an animal? If you do please let me know and I’d happily make one for you!) or do not appeal to me as much as the others. Limiting the amount of options I offer also makes things more manageable for me, while still having some variety available.
Right now, my custom order list for this year is FULL. I can’t take on any new orders and will not start planning for 2022 just yet. But do feel free to message me if you’re interested and I can put you on my reminder list, to let you know when ordering is open again. I also hope to be able to put up some surprise custom slots later this year, whenever I have the time. I haven’t decided on a format yet but you’ll probably have to keep an eye on my Facebook page and act quick to get one. They will probably be limited to a few patterns only, but I just don’t want to have to disappoint everyone who’s asking for a custom order this year. I know how frustrating it can be to fall in love with something, only to hear you can’t have it (for a long time to come)!
Saturday 10 October 2020
I’ve thought for a while about this blog post. It started out as a post about pricing. But I didn’t want to seem defensive about my prices. They are what they are. I try to keep them low yet still make it worth my time and effort. Some people are put off by them, and others are happy to pay. Either because they realise what it takes to create their personal treasure, or because they simply find it worth their money.
So I decided to call this blog post ‘Creation process’. I’ll take you along on my creation journey and show you a bit of the love and care that go into my Treasures.
Whenever I get new scraps and wraps, I wash them. I wash them on the settings I recommend for my finished items: low temperature wool wash, low spin, no tumble drying. Even the most delicate fabrics have successfully survived this slightly irreverent treatment. Except the one time I made a mistake and thought I could wash a wool/silk blend on the silk setting. Silly me. Learn from my mistakes and don’t do that, or if you do, dial down the spin cycle!
After they’re washed, I apply a layer of interfacing – my go to brand is Vlieseline H180. It’s the most light-weight version they offer. It prevents fraying and adds durability to the finished product. And a nice bonus is that it allows me to draw out my pattern pieces on it in a very clear way (I use the white version ;)). I’ve used other brands’ interfacing but although they’re cheaper, I have found them to be of a lesser quality as well.
Once I have then traced the required pattern pieces, I cut them (I use scissors for that, too many small pieces and odd curves for my beloved rotary cutter). And then the fun starts – the sewing part! I use polyester Gütermann thread for it. They have very nice cotton thread too, but for the sake of durability, I use polyester. All seams are sewn twice (again, for extra durability). It may take more time this way, but my Treasures are made to last a lifetime – literally.
If you happen to have one of my older creations, it might be that the seams are not sewn over twice, or that it has cotton thread instead of polyester. They should still last a good long time, but if there are ever any issues, let me know and we’ll figure something out!
Once I’ve finished sewing, it’s usually time for stuffing. The merino wool (mulesing free, of course) is lovely to work with. It stuffs quite firmly but keeps a nice ‘spring’ to it. Then the final steps are to close the stuffing gap and if I haven’t done that already, to add finishing touches like a nose or eyes, usually felt ones, sometimes plastic ones.
Finally, your item is lovingly wrapped up in Kraft paper. I add my card with name, fabric composition and care instructions, and finally I add some chocolate – I’ve found some wonderful local chocolate makers who not only packages their product in eco packaging, they produce very eco friendly too! And I like the taste of their chocolate ;).