Saturday, June 27, 2009

When does Passion become Obsession?

For those of you who know me from past blogs, or from the social networks, you know I fancy myself an entrepreneur, crafter, artisan, and a variety of other titles that are endearing. Well, it turns out, I can add a few more adjectives not quite so positive to my list!

I came home from my full time job last week, opened the door, only to be confronted by my husband with an exasperated look on his face. "We can't go on like this anymore! I just can't live like this"

"Like what?" I asked as I stepped over a huge tote of soap boxes blocking the hallway.

"Like this" he said waving his arm around the room to focus on the boxes, the mail packages, the 10 pound blocks of wax stacked up on the dining room table.

"Hmm..." I said as I entered my craft room. Just then my plastic organizer against the wall fell over, releasing about 50 skeins of yarn all over the floor.

"This is crazy! You are crazy! This is way too much!" my husband interjected.

I glanced around the room and took in the two tables stacked with all of my scrapbooks, supplies, my hundreds of skeins of yarn, my shelves packed with tiny buttons, beads, snaps, glittery little add ons, etc. I then proceeded to the dining room where I have set up my mailing station. Postal boxes, wrapping paper, tapes, soap boxes, and more are lined out all over the surface. I moseyed into the bedroom where my book shelves no longer hold books but are jam packed with patterns, books on beauty, herbs, oils, scraps of paper with crochet patterns and stitch instructions are pouring out, and piles of magazine articles with my "ideas" are stacked.

Ok, maybe he is on to something. But, I love to work with my hands. I think about it all day. I am constantly coming up with a new idea, a new way of doing things, and I hate to think I will forget any of it. It's not that everything is a "mess" per se, it is just overtaking every room of the house. I have a small craft room where I used to house my yarn, crochet needles, and a few pattern books. Then there is my workshop in the basement where I make soaps and candles. Somehow, when I wasn't looking these areas multiplied and took on scrapbooking, sewing, rug making, and more.

Then there is my guilt over garbage. I am so worried that there may be some way I can use that empty milk jug, that old coffee can, that jelly jar, that I have packed all of my kitchen cabinets with every left over packaging there is out there. Although my intentions are good, reality is, I don't have time to recycle every item that enters my house.

Besides my crafting, I am a full time Nursing Home Administrator which is a 50+ hour work week on it's own. I then have a husband and 4 year old son who are the top of my list. And I can't forget my studies. Last year I started work on my Master's in Child and Adolescent Development. Before my crafting, I already had a full load.

But, the crafting has always been there. It was just recently that I found there was a market for it. I am a junky to the thrill when I sell a piece or item, and get the feedback from someone who truly appreciated my time, effort, and talent with it. I am an addict to the need to touch things with my hands, to take something like a ball of yarn and create a cute headband that everyone comments on. I love the feel of yarn in my hands. I love the scent of herbs in my house. I can't wait to get home each day and custom blend the ingredients, cook, mold, create a bath bar that is unique and different.

That is not the problem. The problem, or "obsession" as my husband call it, is that I keep expanding. I keep pursuing new avenues, trying to learn new methods and modalities. Basically, I want to learn how to do everything! That is where the obsession lies.

So, I have come to terms this week that I can not possibly engage in every craft, art form, and creative outlet that I aspire to. Instead I need to regroup, think about which focuses I really enjoy, and direct my energies towards those. I have decided to limit myself to three outlets (for now, anyway). All of my other odds and ends I will relinquish (wow, that is going to be hard!) So, I started this morning at 5am, going through my craft room and separating the supplies that are needed for my 3 venues, and those that are not necessary.

This morning I presented my new plan to my husband. He was ecstatic. "You mean we might be able to eat at the dining room table again?" "Yes" I said! When he asked me what I was going to do today, I told him "I am going to take all of the items that I won't be using, get pictures, and start selling them on eBay!" I am actually very excited about this. Instead of being thrilled at my new found focus, he rolled his eyes at me and said, "Here we go again!" What? I thought.

Have you ever become obsessed with your crafting outlet? Your passion for your talents? Tell me about it! I would love to know that I am not the only one who goes overboard!

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Calling all Artisans, writers, mom's, and anyone wanting to share!

Free advertising on on the front page!  Just for submitting a relevant article to be used on the site.  Topics for July include:
marriage, keeping romance in marriage after children, simple crafts kids can do, how to relax and de stress tips for busy mom's, how to dress when you return to work, hot new hairstyles, new fashion tips, funny stores about kids, etc.
Submit article to If I use your article on the site, I will give you one month free advertising on the front page of the site.  I will also enter you in the July drawing for a sampler box!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Mishaps of A Mommy Prenuer

Hi! This is a new blog for me to share my mistakes, blunders, and "not so good ideas" with my fellow Mommy 'Prenuer's out there! We are all trying to find ways that we can stay home and still bring in the income, but that is not as easy as some of the advertisements out there lead you to believe!

I started my own business from home: Mommy Tyme Bath and Unique Gifts. I have always created things- if you have junk, I will make into something. I then began an obsession with skin care, good for your skin and body ingredients, custom blending, and creating all kinds of great bar soaps, bubble baths, lotions and more. This led me to think I could sell my products wide scale and bring in some income, eventually quitting my full time job. The dream has always been to open my own little boutique or store somewhere, do consignment items and my bath and gift items. I really thought this might be just a year or so away... I just needed to hit the marketing and promotion hard!

So, I have done that. Recently I have begun to sell at venues like flea markets and "Indoor Garage Sales". Reason I have done that is because locally there are not a lot of "craft sales" in the Decatur area. We are a very blue collar area with high unemployment rates, and flea markets, garage sales, indoor rummage sales, etc are a big event. I thought I could sell a little, pass out my card, get some addresses for my marketing letters, etc.

So, these next few blogs outline the recent flea market experiences for me and what I have learned....

You can visit my former blog: for my last flea market experience!

Saturday I was scheduled to participate in the flea market/indoor rummage sale at our local civic center. Set up times were 5-7pm on the Friday night before, or 6-7am on Saturday with doors opening at 8am! I was pumped. New ideas from my last flea market led me to gathering up several baskets, dividing my soaps into categories and setting "deals" for each of these categories! So in one basket I had herbal blend soaps, then fragrance soaps, then my extra large bath bars. I was selling them at 2.50 per bar, 2 for 4.00, 3 for 5.00 etc. I thought, "Hell that has got to sell". So, I stayed up until midnight on Friday prepping everything, organizing, decorating baskets and boxes....

Saturday morning the alarm goes off... I get up and shut it off! I had it set for 4 am so I had plenty of time to load the truck and get myself looking "HOT". When selling beauty products, skin care, hair care, etc. I thought that I am my own walking promotion and I should look good if I want others to believe my products work! (which they do). Well, at 6am my husband says "Hey you getting up?". I looked at the clock and almost cried. I jumped out of bed, got in the tub, hurried up and threw on some clothes, and loaded the truck. I tried to put on make up while I was driving, but the air in my husbands truck wasn't working and it was close to 92 degrees. So, I was melting, my hair wasn't drying, I looked a "Hot mess!"

When I arrived, I was asked to park in the parking lot across the street. Now, understand I have 5 totes. Each tote weighing in at about 80 pounds! So, in high heel black shoes, I carried each tote across the street one by one. So, at this point I have sweat rings under my arms, my hair is flat! and my make up has ran! I was just about ready to give up!

I set my table up and muddled through the day. Dead tired, hot, and looking my worst. I did sell a few here and a few there, but my heart was not in it. I had basically took on the attitude "Everything has gone wrong, so this is not going to be any better" and I was right. I came home and cried, then I took a shower and a nap!

Now, what I have learned after looking back on this mess of a day is:
1. Don't stay up until midnight the night before. Don't wait until the last minute to get your items ready. As a mother and full time worker, that is hard to do at times, but 30 minutes every night is better in the long run than 4 hours the night before.
2. Get up early enough to get ready so you feel good and are on top of your game!

3. Even if everything has gone wrong, put a smile on, buck up, and sell. You never know when you are going to get that one big sale that makes the difference. If you just sit there with a bad attitude, who wants to approach you?

So, I am not giving up! I also had a stroke of brilliance the other day! I thought a great idea would be to set up a table of samples that customers can actually try the products like the sugar scrubs, the lotions, the lip balms (with disposable cotton swabs), and a few soaps that they can touch and smell. As the seller, I need to stand at the end of my booth and ask people if they would like to try it...Not just sit and wait for someone to approach me...

So, I have another selling venture coming soon! I will tell you all about that next time!

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