Almost caught up, I decided to space out my missing days within a couple/few posts just so they would feel so crammed and cramped in one post.
So back to it, day 13, work clothes: literally whatever I was already wearing. I work with fabrics and yarns for the most part which doesn’t create that big of a mess to require specific clothes for work.
Day 14, dreams and plans: like pretty much everything I’ve ever done or planned to do my only real plan or dream is to be able to make a comfortable living off of my shop. I want to be able to pay my bills and keep both me and my cat fed and housed without having to worry about what I need to scrap that month to get by. I want to reach a point where my shop is the only job I have, I mean I would object to working random jobs here and there but I want to not NEED to work them. Aside from that nothing is really concrete at the moment, it all depends how the next couple years with me at school goes.
Day 15, boomerang: an Instagram thing so we’re skipping over it.
Day 16, helper: I don’t know if you’d consider her a helper, but I would say my cat Nelly is the closest thing to a helper I have. She’s the reason why I’m trying so hard to make this shop happen, arguably her sister Shadow (who passed away almost three years ago) was really the motivator. When she passed away I fell into a really bad depression, that cat was the longest running consistency in my life and to just not have her here anymore was almost to much to handle. But Nelly (pictured above) kept me going. I had to figure out what I wanted to do in life, I couldn’t be forcing myself to just work for a paycheque anymore, I needed to work for something else. Also working at home I get to hangout with Nelly a lot more, since her sister passed away she became so much more needy. But she also reminds me that I need to take breaks often otherwise I’m going to burn myself out like I do at every other job I’ve worked at, which’ll make it not enjoyable anymore.
Day 17, customers and feed back: I haven’t sold as much as I would have liked to by now. But from I have sold my customers are here in Canada, down in the states, and over in the UK. From the stats I can see I’m not as global as I’d like to be, but baby steps first. As for reviews surprisingly I’m doing really well, like I’m surprised it’s as good as it’s at right now. Like every creator, especially a relatively publicly new one at that, I do feel like my stuff is totally good enough to sell, but I have that nagging voice in the back of my head telling me they’re going to hate it in person. I also have never received 100% rating on anything in my life so this is completely new and as much as I try to convince myself to take it professionally and not personally I never listen to myself. So if I get a shit rating I’m going to dwell on it…this I know. But I guess it’s a good thing I’m a low key perfectionist so I’ll never list anything I don’t like so there’s always that.
March Meet The Maker day five is about photography, or how your work.
My shop is a very much one man operation, I either design or thrift my patterns, I purchase the fabrics and what not, I make the stuff, I very poorly model or prop onto a dress form, and finally I take the pictures myself. How I take my pictures is kind of a hit or miss depending on what settings I have it set to. But I think I’ve figured out the perfect settings and frame size. But I just use my phone.
I figure out how far I need to step away and a general pose that, at least, shows off certain details of the garment, then I set the timer on my phone’s camera and hope that at least one picture from the burst looks half way decent. Trust me if I had a friend here who’s into photography (either business or hobby) here I would totally work something out with them. But until I live somewhere where I have friends who I don’t mind asking to help me out with this stuff, I guess my timer phone shoots are going to have to work.
I did start out using an actual camera, it was a digital one my dad got me like over 7 years ago haha. It worked fine for things on my dress form, but it was super picky and finicky when it came to lighting, especially indoors. One setting would give everything an orange tone, one was to dark, one was to over exposed, one work perfectly but only at this one angle. So I ended up switching over to my phone since for the most part the only way a picture would turn up terrible was if the lighting was to dark or two bright. I also kept misplacing the charging cable and the chip reader for my camera, and I got some kind of idea how the pictures would turn out on a computer screen from my phone.
With all that being said though, once I move back to BC and I have friends who don’t mind helping out (or at least once I don’t feel like I’m bugging them by asking for help haha) I’ll look into getting a more updated camera. It’ll also help with properly showcasing the garments because you’ll be able to see what something looks like (as far as the tops go) on both flat and not so flat chested bodies, instead of trying to picture what something would look like on you (possibly someone with an actual bust line) while looking at a shirt modelled by me (a flat chested guy).
Wether I get a new camera to stand behind with someone else modelling a thing or I stand in front of someone’s camera, as this shop grows my documenting the garments for sale will totally only get better in one way or another.
Day four for March Meet The Maker, favourite thing to make. I don’t 100% have a specific favourite thing I make.
You could think it’s knitting because I almost always have some kind of knitting in my bag at any given moment. But I’m actually a rather slow knitter so while I do like knitting and it’s kind of my go-to thing to do when I’m bored and need something to do with my hands. But if we go based off of my shop I would have to say my favourite would be the cowl, crop sweaters I’ve been making.
Aesthetically I love them. In the past couple years cowl have seemed to fall out of favour with main fashion brands/stores (at least here in Canada) but I’ve always love them. They’re perfect for when you want to look or aesthetic of a scarf but the weather is just not having any of that (read as summer). But the overall look of the sweaters are perfect for layering, or if you’re significantly more confident then I am on their own.
You’ve got a comfy cowl, perfect length for layering, the sleeves to my favourite length (going past my first knuckles), but my favourite thing about these sweaters is I’ve gotten my pattern down pat so they’re not only fun to make but at this point pretty easy as well.
While I do enjoy making these crop sweaters I kind of want to step away from them for a bit, I feel like I’ve put myself into some kind of (for lack of better word) rut. My last couple updates have been mostly doing crop tops, while yes they’re fun and crop tops on guys are a look I very much love (and wish I was confident enough to rock them), and I did say I wanted to make more spring/summer clothes but I feel like I’ve put myself into some vague box. Like yes I know my shop isn’t huge or that well known, and this early in its life I can make these…not mistakes but taking my time on certain steps before taking the next one. If sitting on the crop top/sweater step for a couple months is what I need to do before taking the next step then it’s fine.
So as the title vaguely states, it’s my birthday today. I am now officially 24 on the 24th of September.
I feel as though this is some kind of mile stone, like last year there was a new moon (or dark moon depending on how you look at it) on my birthday and I had a few “new beginnings” happen this past year (birthday to birthday). Work wise I had my ups and downs, home life things didn’t work out the way I had planned but things are looking up again, I’ve got some big plans in that regard (which I can sadly only plan so much until I know what’s happening as far as my dad’s posting).
But anywho, this year’s birthday milestone should be something big, like finally getting my life in order kind of big. After all it’s only once in a life time you turn the same age as the day you’re born on. I made a kind of vague list last night and it’s basically just getting my place in order and (finally) finish the floors and walls. Getting my work, both the salon work and my shop work, in the top priority along with bringing my witchcraft and spirituality up from casual “when I have time” to a more daily activity…like doing my makeup, do I need to do it every day? No. Do I do it everyday? Also no because my face needs a day or two to breath. But on days I do put on a face I make enough time in the mornings to not rush through it, some days I have more effort then others but that’s like anything.
Also I should really probably start using this the way I had intended this blog to be, a record of progress for my shop. So let’s see what have I done with it lately…I’ve finished one scarf, just about finished a “fashion kimono” the handmade fringe I made for it is fighting me a bit, I’ve started another scarf this one is much more of a aesthetic scarf since the yarn is much finer then what I normally use for scarves, and I also have a cardigan in the works. I’ve also picked up a bunch of new fabrics for vests and what not (some of them might make nice bags). But I guess none of this matters if I don’t get my act together and start to prioritize this like I do my lazing around.
So I’m going to do a bit of cleaning around the salon and then start in on some knitting, as bad as it sounds I really don’t want anyone to come in today…not when I have a ten hour day tomorrows
Since my last post was basically on Lughnasadh I have a whole month of updates for all of you, not that there’s a lot but still.
Let’s see, Cirque Du Soleil left Edmonton down to Portland on the 14th, so on the 13th I worked my last shift with them and stayed for as much of the tear down as I could. It was also the day I lost my glasses. Like I was kind of due for an updated pair but the fact that I didn’t have the option of wearing them while I wait for a new pair is kind of the shitty part. Worst part is I waited until a few days ago to finally looking into getting a new pair, I now have like a touch under two weeks (at the most) until I get my new pair.
So I haven’t been the most productive with the shop, I have two sewing projects and three knitting projects on the go. I’ve been trying to get as much work done as I can on them but without my glasses I get to a point where it just hurts to much. I can work through a headache, it’s unpleasant but I can make do, a migraine however is a different story.
Now that brings us to what I’ve been doing since Cirque left town, I’m pretty sure I mentioned this before but for a wee refresher I got a call from this one salon asking if I was still looking for a place closer to home (the last salon I worked at was like 2 hours of bus transfers one way). So on the 14th I started there, it’s a super convenient like 20-30 mins walk.
Since I’ve been working at a salon again my migraines can last for a good few days, especially if I over do it with knitting or sewing after work. When I first found out I needed glasses for work and what not I had had a single migraine for almost two weeks straight. It would be gone for like an hour or two after I woke up and when I was asleep…but then again who feels anything when they’re asleep?
But any who, since basically everyone is back to school we’ve hit a slow period in the salon. I’ve been able to take my knitting into work. I seem to get less progress done there because of my headaches, I think it’s the difference in lighting, but the point is I’m trying to get things done.
Once I get my glasses my plan is to get as much work done as possible so I can have a decent update for the shop by the end of the month. I know I continually say shit like that but this time I’m being 100% serious. I also need to figure out what I’m dressing up for Halloween, I work that day so it has to be work appropriate. I also open that day so basically every kid is going to be in school until like two hours before my shift ends so it doesn’t have to be a tacky “child appropriate goofy” costume. Just like toned down on the gory aspect.
General life updates since I’ve been to busy to work on the shop.
All of last week I was busy working with Cirque du Soleil at the remote box office at K-Days and the basically one day I had free was spent catching up on some much needed sleep. When I got home around 9pm I didn’t really have much effort for anything, not even reading, so sadly I didn’t get any of the knitting I needed done. But this week things have slowed right down, I’ve got time to clean, knit, and sew until my hearts content.
I have a few projects on go and I really just want them done as soon as possible, a couple of them I’ve dragged on for longer then I’d like and others I just want done in a timely manner.
Also I completely forgot about Lughnasadh tomorrow (like I do with every sabbath or holidays) and I’m completely unprepared for it. Normally I’d blame this on work but I haven’t been working for that long or consistently to scapegoat my inability to pay attention to dates rather then just days of the week, but I should be able to figure something out in a “I tried” way of celebrating.
But speaking of work, I have a few decisions coming up that I need to figure out, I’ve already decided that mine and my friend’s mini vacation to Iceland isn’t going to happen. So I’m left with a) go back to school in september, b) follow Cirque over to Vancouver in october, c) try out (and hopefully land a part) for a haunted house here in town for the Halloween season, or d) work whatever job I can find that helps my bank while I work on my shop so I can eventually make a living off of it like I’ve always wanted to. Either way auditions are on the 20th so I’ll go to it and if I don’t get a part then I’ll go with one of the other options. Really I can work a process of elimination with all these options and whatever happens, happens. It’s to early to decide what I’m 100% going to shoot for so I’m just going to shoot for all of them equally.
Also on a completely different note, I’m finally stretching my lip up form a 4g to a 2g and let me tell you 1mm is more of a difference then you’d think in a lip piercing. Like I’ve had to tape it up to even try to fit my new post in and my lip is so sore from me trying to go to quickly on saturday, but if I can patiently stretch up a septum then I can be patient with my lip.
I just got back home from the training shift at Cique Du Soleil, and man I am exhausted. It could be that I’m running on a few hours of sleep, it was hot and sunny today, I did a lot more walking around then usual lately, or simply learning make me tired haha.
But in all seriousness I’m really thankful for this opportunity and I can’t wait to start my first real shift tomorrow. On top of a pretty good first day at the circus I had my first sale over on my shop this morning, I woke up to a notification on my phone saying my Ilvermorny Professor Vest had sold.
On instagram and facebook I had briefly mentioned that I was both excited and nervous, and I still am. That hasn’t changed since this morning and it probably won’t change until after it arrives at its destination. Even then I’ll probably worry that it doesn’t meet the person’s standard. Like I’m pretty sure anyone shopping on etsy, especially for clothes, understand it’s all handmade and there for won’t be at chain store level. All handmade items have their flaws, but I like to think my work meets other people standards and that they enjoy the item as much as I enjoyed (despite making myself frustrated over nothing more then I’d like to admit) making it.
I know as time goes on and the more I make things, and the more sales I do, the more I can work on my work related self-esteem. It’s not from a lack of pride that I worry about these things. But more so from prior to following this dream of mine of running my own shop, all knitting and/or sewing I kept to myself or for family gifts. So pretty much anyone who got anything from me were people who might have been to polite to really saw anything if there was something…it was mostly my mother saying that I made things like sweaters to long because she’s pretty short so sleeves needed to be made shorter.
But I’m off to the post office so I can pick up a box to send out this vest before my shift tomorrow. I work at like 5pm so I have time to swing by before then since the actual sending parcels part of the post office is closed right now, but I can still get boxes and stamps and all that.
So last post I had talked about how a gnome stole one of my knitting needles from literally under my nose, placed it down for a second and boom! It was gone.
Well, I sadly still haven’t been able to find it, but also my pillow case (my only pillow case) was taken as well. I pulled out my bedding from the dryer to unravel it so it could dry completely and evenly. I placed my pillow case on top of the dryer and stretched my arms upwards while holding onto an edge of one of my blankets to unravel it, if anything my pillow case would have fallen forward from where I had put it. But when I brought my arms back down to put the now straightened out sheet back into the dryer, my pillow case was gone.
Much like that one knitting needle I still haven’t found it.
Now a pillow case might seem like nothing, something easily replaced, and it is but I had plans of just completely buying new bedding. What I currently have is a cheap set from walmart or something and it’s just a lint and cat fur magnet.
But good news being I’ve found a temporary set up until I get that whole new bedding set, which hopefully I’ll be able to afford soon as this week I start work with Cirque Du Soleil! I’m not working with the actual circus, I’m not that lucky haha, but I’m working for the venue here in town. It’ll give me some kind of income while I figure out what to do next, I have a few plans for August, right now any of those three plans could happen.
I could go back to school, go on a mini vacation with a friend (if she ever speaks up and tells her friend that she doesn’t want to go to this wedding), or I go straight to working another random job.
Whatever I end up doing in August, these next few weeks of work with the circus is going to be fun, I’ll be honest I’ve never been to a show, but I’ll take the position I was hired for as a complement. I’m pretty sure the was mention that as a venue employee I might be able to see a show at some point. Either way, it’s going to be fun.
Yesterday I had planned to get a bit more work done on this one knitting project for a friend who kind of low-key commissioned it. I had been making some pretty decent progress on it the night before, and was planning on finishing this one section of it.
I went down to my room to get it and decided to bring up my dress form so I can get some kind of idea how it’s looking on a more female shaped body (meaning not on my super flat self). So I unraveled the working yarn off of the rolled up progress and needles, placed the empty needle beside me, and held up what I had against the dress form.
Once I had figured out how much more I needed to knit and add to the width I pushed the dress form off to the side and went to grab the other needle. But it was gone. It just flat out disappeared on me. I hadn’t gotten up from my spot, nor did I heard that classic sound of a metal needle hitting the ground. Mind you it is only a US size 5, but I should have still heard something. Out of habit I checked the creases of the couch, the gabs that lead to underneath it, on the side table. I even went as far as to check from where I picked up the knitting, my bed, along my stairs, and the floor from my door to the living room.
I’ve checked everywhere I could think it fell and then some less likely places it could have ended up. My house isn’t that big, nor do I really venture out of the three basic rooms I normally spend any bit of time in.
So either I’m just blind and the knitting needle is right there in plain view, or house gnomes have stolen it and are holding it for ransom. I do have a fair amount of cleaning that needs to get done so perhaps that’s what they’re waiting for, I can’t be for certain.
I’m trying to not have five projects on the go at once, I do that with books and it takes me forever to finish them, so I’m trying really hard to not just start something new while I look for that needle. Now I could always go out and buy a new pair of US size 5 needles, or even get a thing of circular needles which would probably help me out a lot especially for this project, but I’m trying to not get anymore…at least not until I have a proper storage system for them. At the moment they’re all in a tall mason jar.
I’m taking a break from home renos and working on stuff for the shop, knitting has been killing my hands lately and I need a new chair for my sewing table, to have a sort of study day. It’s been raining on and off all day so sadly I can’t quite go out and do this outside, but that’s not to bad, it wouldn’t have been to enjoyable if it was nice out since both my neighbours are home and they’re very noisy when they do their yard work. So really either way I would have been inside.
But at least with the rain I can open a couple windows and just listen to the rain fall while I spend today listening to documentaries about the fae folk or celtic shamanism while I read books on faerie craft, or druidry. It feels like it’s been a fairly good while since I’ve done this. I always have some kind of witchy book on me, but lately my bad books (the books I keep purely in my bag to read whenever I’m out and about) have been books on Everyday Witchcraft or Magical Housekeeping. Useful books without a doubt, but it’s been a while since I’ve read specifically books about my beliefs, like books about faeries, druidry, or celtic witchcraft.
This is the last day that I have the full house to myself, and you can bet I’ve been burning incense in every room of this place, I was suppose to have the place until saturday and I had all these things planned but since my alone time is cut down I can’t quite do what I had planned. I mean I can still do the spells and witchy shit I wanted to do, but it’s that I could have done any of this up in the kitchen. I’m a French guy from New Brunswick with an English grandmother, basically everything about me has history of people collecting in the kitchen. Mind you I’m pretty sure everyone with any and every kind of backgrounds gathers in kitchens, it’s kind of the one thing that everyone has in common I think.
But the simple fact that whenever I’m alone in the house, wether it be for the day or for a week, I tend hang out at the kitchen table, like not on the couch or anything but at the kitchen table. I can sit there for hours (no matter how uncomfortable the kitchen chairs are) and seem to actually get things done. Like I don’t even feel this productive at the table in my room.
At the moment I’ve got a couple incense sticks burning, some soup cooking on the stove, and a documentary about the Faery Faith in Ireland playing in the background. One cat is asleep on the cat tree and the other is passed out on one of the kitchen chairs. The rain has temporarily stopped but it’s still really windy and the sun is coming out.
Needless to say I feel really at peace right now and this is exactly what I needed.