Not cool.

Being at work at 5am is not my idea of a good Sunday.

However, it is month end and I work in billing and this is part of the gig. Another part of the gig is getting Friday off since we’re not authorized for overtime.

Three day weekend next weekend! It will all seem worth it by then. Not so much at 5am Sunday, though.

Not a real post.

By the time you read this, I will be floating down the Salt River with several friends and acquaintances. And a cooler full of alcohol.

But last night I updated the “What’s Next?” page, so you should click the link up there in the navbar and see if you can think of anything else I should be putting on there. (Or re-prioritizing.)

And now, please excuse me. I am going to get drunk and sunburned.

Wow, I actually sold some stuff this week!

Sadly, I don’t sell nearly as much as I’d like to. Or nearly as much as I feel like I deserve to, lol!

Part of this is that I don’t have the budget for advertising, the time for much marketing, or the desire to give up other things (like sleep, or exercise, or time with my kid) in order to make this business more profitable. Everything I’ve ever read on the subject makes it clear that a person has to make some sacrifices in order to get their business off the ground but at this time in my life there are some things that I just can’t give up. I’m playing the single-parent card here; I do not have the kind of support structure that would enable me to spend still less time with my son than I already do.

As mentioned last week, I’m really hoping that the embroidery machine and Yudu will help increase my profits, and maybe even the number of sales. Cooler stuff should equal more sales, right? And higher prices. Jeez, I hope so. The school my kid is going to this year has no uniforms, so I’m going to have to spend money on school clothes for him. Booooooo!

Cosplay!

If I got more traffic here (instead of just my friends, HI GREPPIES!) I might have to stop plugging people who sell similar stuff.

But I’m still an Evangelion fan after all these years, so I’m totally willing to risk someone buying one of this seller’s very nice fleece kitty hats because of how very very cool this listing is.

For reals, I would totally cosplay Rei wearing these. Ooooooh I could dye my hair blue again!

Way to enforce the rules!

If you go to Etsy and type “custom” into the handmade search field, you get a crapload of items. I wanted to see what was the highest priced out of this load of crap. Everything that is shown marked as $100,000.00 is violating the DOs and DON’Ts of Etsy.

As someone who actually makes an effort to follow the rules (in all aspects of life, really) I’m kind of offended by this type of shit. I know that bending or even breaking rules is not always a big deal, but I also know that if you have to cheat to win it’s because you suck.

WTF people.

Not a tutorial.

Instead of a tutorial, I decided to share with you the user manual for the new software I got. It seems to be a pretty good program for designing embroidery patterns. But it is written in what appears to be the Babelfish dialect of the English language.

Starting Stitch Era
When you start Stitch Era from the desktop shortcut icon
or from the programs list of the start menu you can see
the software splash screen. If it is the first time you run
the application, it will appear the welcome screen as
shown in the picture of the right, showing at the button
the legal notes. Take a couple of minutes to read it, and if
you agreed with the terms and conditions of the license,
then click 'Yes' to complete the Stitch ERA load.

Look what I can do!

My embroidery machine is pretty simple, but the free software I downloaded to make digital embroidery designs is pretty complicated. And the company who made it is in Argentina. So the manual is pretty fun to try to read. But I managed to figure a few things out and so here’s my first embroidery project on this machine!

Wait, what?

I actually stayed on budget for my trip to NYC last weekend, so I’m seriously pleased with myself.

This means that I can afford to do things like pay the bills, buy groceries, and clothe my son for the coming school year.

I now have an embroidery machine, which joins my screen printing machine in the land of How Do I Use It? for the moment. Well, actually the machine itself seems pretty simple. It’s just that I don’t want to use the (copyright protected) designs that come with the machine, I want to use my own designs. Unfortunately, I have to make up my own designs for that to work. And to make up my own designs I have to have the proper software. I found some free embroidery design software and installed it. I am now trying to read the manual, which was written in Argentina and is therefore a little sketchy with the English language. I’m hopeful, though. I don’t usually use vector-based design tools but I’m not entirely stupid so I should be able to figure out (or look up) what I’m supposed to be doing.

My son is coming home tomorrow, so I’m pretty sure I’m going to be even less productive (if that’s possible) for a while.

However, my visit went really well in New York. Not to get super personal, but I was visiting my best friend… who I used to date. And who I hadn’t seen in over 2 years. But things weren’t awkward or weird, and it was a really fun time. I told you that to tell you this: we’re going to be visiting each other as often as we can now that we know it’s cool so I need to start making more money so I can afford it. Also, and this is only a possibility for further down the road, I may eventually want to move out there. And I’d need to have a pretty big cushion to feel secure making a move like that.

I’m hoping that the ability to add original graphic prints and embroidery to my garments will help to increase the value enough to pay for what I spent on the equipment at least.