Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Removing a Stitch

I decided to close my eBay store for a few months. It's funny, nothing had sold for over a month until last week after I made the decision. I thought about changing my mind and keeping the store running but really hate paying ebay all the fees while making just enough to cover them. So the decision is made, it will be closed at least until Easter. I may reopen then or just put some rabbits up for auction.

I've done pretty well selling on ebay but I do hate the way they're always raising fees and just plain messing up the site for the sellers. You'd think with all the tons of money they've made off of all the sellers they'd be a great business to work with but they really aren't. Just go to the community boards and read all the posts complaining about problems. Last fall they stopped sending me the emails that let me know when something had sold. After a few days of not getting ebay mail I finally checked at the site and found 5 orders. This went on for over a month for me and there are other people, sellers and buyers, who are still having this problem.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Still Stitchin'

I can't believe how much work I have done on the flower ladies pattern! I guess it just took having some quiet time to spend at the computer. It's amazing how much you can get done when the phone isn't ringing, people aren't at the door wanting to visit, and you just let the major housework go. All I have left to do are the directions for the hat, hair, and the wand; then tracing and scanning the patterns.

I'm already thinking about my next pattern. Last night I went thru some of the many design ideas I have and hope to make a decision by the time I'm done with this pattern. I draw ideas on note paper & scraps of paper then keep them in folders with pictures and other things that inspire me. I also have 3 cork boards with ideas pinned to them. Last fall I finally decided it was time to get a little organized with all this paper so I got an accordion file. I labeled sections mermaids, angels, fairies, other fantasy, prims, animals, and misc. This helped a lot but already I need a larger one as I found an old tote with more things that need filed.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Finally Some Stitching

I finally got started on the directions for the dolls I finished last year. I'm at least a third of the way done!! Yay!!!! This always takes me so long because I like to have photos or drawings for most of the steps. Having to stop to take digi-pics slows the process. I use Paint Shop Pro to edit the photos and to make the line drawings.

This pattern has made me realise that the best way to do a new pattern is to make one doll without stopping to write the directions. It's OK to make notes of amounts and anything unusual but just get the doll made. That way if I decide it's not coming out like I planned I haven't wasted time with the directions and don't feel I have to stay with what I've written. I learned this from the B&N writing classes/book club I'm involved with. One of the instructors, Marta, told me to just write without editing to get the story told. This works perfectly for designing dolls, too.Here's a photo of the finished dolls. Right now I'm calling them flower ladies but that could change as I finish the directions.

Another decision to make is whether to self-publish the pattern or try to sell it to a magazine. I only know of 2 that publish cloth doll patterns but recently I read about an online magazine. When I first started designing patterns for magazines they bought all rights and paid anywhere from $150 to $450, now it's not that good though it may be better for well-known designers. Another choice might be to turn it into an online class. I've got some research to do!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Dreaming of Thread (& Other Things)

After enjoying so many blogs I decided it was time I took my writing to the web. Here I plan on talking about the dolls and patterns I'm designing and how slow it's going (or maybe how fast, but that's doubtful). I'll also let you know what else is going on with my business and my dreams for it. And then there are my hobbies that overlap my business. It seems like every time I learn something I want to turn it into a business. Whether it's making something or designing patterns for it, there's not much left in the hobby only category.

Since this is a blog about me, my business, and my hobbies, I'll be writing about a lot of things. Having no children you'd think I'd have plenty of time to sew, write, and design but no it's not like that. My 3 dogs, cat, and husband fill much of my time. I have trouble getting back to work once I've been interrupted. The flow kind of goes away after stopping and starting multiple times. Like right now, it would be nice to write more but the dogs want out yet again. That means I'm done for now. I hope any who pass this way will come back again!