Organizing 2019!

I guess its guaranteed to see resolutions or goals for people around this time of year, to get organized! Some of us are okay in mass amounts of clutter and chaos, others are a little in the middle. Some of us are super organized but stack things here and there (where my stacker girls at!) and others, can’t rest until everything is super tidy, put away and in its home. Where do you fall on the organization spectrum?

We are blessed with a big home, and you are probably thinking, wow, how awesome for storage! It’s great, I just think that its more room for crap, which means more crap, which means I am always purging. I love purging. I will arrange a pick up from our local veterans organization most of the time (awesome because you don’t even need to go anywhere), and just grab some bags or boxes, zone in on my target location and go to town. It is pretty funny though, I usually have two main triggers that will set me off in crazy Amber-mama organizing mode.

Our loft when we first started to convert it to a play room

Me, I have always been super into organizing! However, I have some stacks around the house in various hidie-holes which drives my husband bonkers. He then “helps” by moving said stack and stacking it somewhere else, where I can never find it. And then he can’t remember where he put it, so ya. “Helping”, ha. He is great really. We are both pretty tidy, biggest pet peeve is things on the counter and having clean counters for me. Oh and the sink. I really kinda have to have that clean and cleared out before I go to bed! But, lemme tell you, a pile of laundry can sit there for evvvvaaaa! As much as I try to stay neat, tidy and organized, it is SO stinking hard sometimes with two little ones and working full time. So, I do my best, try to have great organized systems in place and try to use and implement them in the home as much as possible. Does it always happen or work? Nah. But we try, and I am okay with that!

First, usually is there is a stack somewhere that we have been staring at for awhile and it just keeps staring at me like it wants to fight. Oh yea pile of crap, I do wanna fight you! But, it is like fight club, we don’t talk about it, you dirty little stack. So, not today Satan stack. Not today.

That’s what builds it up most of the time. Just staring me up and down, giving me the dirty dirty. And then I usually just drop what ever it was that I was doing, or should be doing, and start purging. Hard core. Because one area usually leads to the next. I will tell my husband, hey I am gonna go through this box or stack, or closet or bin or whatever. Next thing he sees is me going on to another area next. Just always, always, purging. I hate hoarding stuff and not using it when someone else could use it or I can sell it than lusting over the idea that one day I may need it. The sentimental connection to items is pretty easy for me to get over. Even with the girls clothes! Donated 99% of it. Kept anything that I made or someone else made for them, the rest is gone. It truly makes your life feel lighter! Mari Kondo eat your heart out bae!

The second thing that gets my gears going, is my husband. He always, always seems to know what and how to get me to go through that crazy purge mode! I mean, he will try and be sneaky, but ohhh I know what you are doing dude! He will come see me in my craft room, or where ever, and say, “hey babe, you don’t have to do it right now, BUT….” then he goes on to say, “whatcha gonna do with this?” Or “where can I put this”. That is the key, he gets my gears rolling and then I just get started on a crazy purge, usually making a bigger mess in the process before getting to the end result.

So. Blah. Maybe a tad neurotic with a splash OCD? Whatevs. It works for me and I embrace it! So for January. My first goal was to get my new craft space 100% organized. No stacks, everything labeled, organized, and in its home. During one of my husbands fueled crazy organizing tirades, we totally tore apart half the house and moved three rooms. This was supposed to be our late anniversary stay-cation. We had left the prior day to go car test driving and had a great time, and the second day kid free was just to chill at home, meet back up in the evening and have a yummy kid free lots of wine dinner. Well, he walked in covered in garage goo while I was sewing, and he saw a look on my face that made him ask, you ok? I said yea, just this craft room was busting at the seams and I felt super claustrophobic in there and I need a bigger room! Being the awesome supportive guy he is (and not criticizing me for all the crap that I have!) he said well you could use the loft! I said whhhat really? We pow-wowed (what we call chatting about whatever) and then turned into the 8 year old most of us probably were. Like hey, lets switch rooms and beds or reorganize our furniture! He grabbed a tape measure and we kinda just tore the entire house apart! We moved the long arm which was in our former guest room, up to the loft. All fabric got moved in there too, along with some other random stuff.

We moved all the kid stuff and toys and couches, TV etc into the guest room downstairs. Which works so much better! The kids wouldn’t play up in the loft because if we were down stairs they didn’t want to be up there by themselves. So this works so much better since they new play room is right off the kitchen!

Otto, guarding some stacks back there

We did more switcharoos too. I moved my youngest out of her small room and flip flopped with her for my craft room. She has a bigger room now with a walk in closet. I have a second craft room, which we call the sewing room now. You may think that smaller, what is the point if you were bursting at the seams before?! I have a smaller room, but it is less cluttered, much brighter and way more efficient, now that all my fabric isn’t in that room! Basically the new space is all for working and not as much for storage. And, it is awesome. I really think (and hope!) we won’t be moving crap around. All that switching and room moving was exhausting but fun and I am glad we did it, but man, it took me a few weeks to move everything to its new home and find the best spots for it. I really took care to not use anything I didn’t need, or store anything that I wasn’t going to use.

I got rid of a ton of random things and a lot of storage boxes, tins, baskets etc. I always kept them because I thought that I would use them, but I hadn’t. So I kept what I needed, was able to return a few back to Target, donated a bunch of rando’s, and sold a few. So my stacks are limited now, hiding under the long arm and a few under my cutting table, but that’s it! So close to getting to that goal! I took my time, made thoughtful decisions and just let it go. Some things I could have even sold, but ya know what? I don’t wanna wait for weeks going back and forth to sell a $4 item and having people flake and just, ugh. No thanks. So I just took a little loss in the pocket, but gained a lot more in piece of mind.

It’s Juki Time!

Hello crafty friends!  What have you been up to?!  What are you working on?  I feel like I am so behind on this blog, but every time I write it feels so good!  So I am really honestly gonna try and do it more often.  It is a good outlet and I think a great way to journal all of my crafting journeys to look back on in the future.

I’ve been squeezing most of my time sewing in at night of course.  Working a swing shift with two little ones, it’s pretty much the only time that I can get it in! But believe it or not, I am still able to usually at least get in 30-45 minutes of some sort of sewing everyday.  Which is better than nothing!  Most everyday, I am doing something creative.  I have to get my crafty itchies out everyday or I get jittery!

So what am I working on.  Lots of stuff, as always!  Besides working and family, I have LOTS of projects going on.

I purchased a long arm a few weeks ago!  And OMGEEEEE is it amazing!  I wish that I would have bought it sooner.  But you know, when they cost the same amount as a Honda Civic, that has to be considered!

Years ago when I was pregnant with Ava Mae, on my DUE DATE, I traveled down to Sunnyvale to a  cool little Shop Called Eddies Sewing Bee.  They invited me to attend since I was interested in the Q24.  It was a two day class, but I just went one day, being super preggo with my second babe and all, and I drove 1.5 hours to get there.  It was a Bernina Q24 long arm class with Amanda Murphy.  I had always dreamed about just even trying a long arm.  This was my chance.  I played with that machine and oooogled in awe at Amanda’s work.  She was being extra nice and told me I had a real talent for this and I should get one.  I figured she was just being nice and all, but even if she really thought that I sucked toast, I still really really wanted one.  That was a few years ago.  Then recently, with my side gig with R+F, I was earning several hundreds of bucks extra every month.  So I started to think, why not?  I asked my husband, and after begging for a few weeks, he finally gave in.

So I started doing more research and determining what I wanted, what I needed and what would be an awesome extra when it came to what I wanted in a long arm. I wasn’t too worried about the room.  Originally I was going to put it in my loft with all the kids crap.  My husband decided he would rather have it in a room so he didn’t have to see this huge thing everyday.  And it wasn’t gonna fit in my current craft room. Ha. Right.  So we were able to clear out our guest room that we never use and put it in there.  It fits, with about 8 inches from one wall, and 4 from the other, but it fits!  After watching videos online, I was really peeking at the Juki QVP 2200.  And my local shop where I bought my Bernina, just happened to have one on the frame (and a sit down) available for me to test drive.

Having already test driven one long arm, everything I knew from that drive was still in my head.  I had played with a few other machines at quilt con in the past, but nothing for a serious amount of time.  The time I am talking is dreamer time, not I am ready to make a purchase time!    Anyways, I went down to The Sewing Machine Shop in Walnut Creek and met the wonderful Tonnie.  Sheila had helped with Bernie, and Tonnie was just as great.  She was very comfortable with that machine and was able to answer all of my questions.  We chatted and played for about an hour.  I left wanting to take it with me!  But I knew that I should research the death out of this.  So I did.

I called her back a few days later, was able to get awesome 5 year no interest financing, so I pulled the trigger.  I did it.  I was so in shock, crazy excited, and just in awe as I was finally realizing a dream that I have had for over 10 years!  To become a long armer!  I have listened to my favorite podcast, Modern Sewciety for so long listening to Stephanie talk about quilting on hers, all of her long arm guests and seeing all the amazing talent on Instagram.  I would just dream and imagine while listening, what could I do with one?!  So, I just couldn’t believe that I finally was going to have one!  About 2 weeks later everything was in and I went to the Sewing Machine Shop to pick it up!  Loaded it in the back of my huge truck and I was off!

While I was waiting for this new child of mine to arrive, we decided that it was best to put it in the guest room.  So I tore apart that room and got to purging crap that was in there.  Felt good.  Then I put that bad boy together!  It was fairly easy, with a lot of cray leg stretching, holding bars with feet kinda easy!  And like I mentioned, it before, it fit, barely!  Snug, able to squeeze down one side and behind like a chubby little hamster.

After two days of a few hour streaks, she was ready! It was glorious! Like a majestic unicorn, there she stood, ready to be ridden! Ha, well, okay. Let’s be real, what a crazy journey and learning curve ahead I was about to endure! I have so much more to share, but I will leave that for another post!

***This post was written a SUPER long time ago! But, I am gonna try supa dupa hard in 2019 to get this blog thing going!!

XO

Amber

New Shop Info!

Hello beautiful friends!

As most of you know, I have been creating and selling my beautiful handmade goodies for several years.  I am so blessed to use my crafting addiction to create cherished items for you all!  Most of the profits I make go right back into supplies to create more stuff!

In the past year, I have really turned my focus on using those profits to give back to our Law Enforcement and Public Safety community.  As many of you know, I am a 911 Dispatcher, so the LE community is my second family.  We are tight.  We are united, and we help our communities and each other.

Selling goods over the past several years has been a huge learning curve!  Money spent, money wasted and money earned.  It is about learning to grow in the most effective, proficient and cost saving ways.  And since I love giving back so much, all those pennies matter to me.  Whether its saving money on shipping costs, supplies, advertising or your platform, it all adds up.  So in an effort to continue to grow and give back more, I have decided to ditch the Etsy platform.  Here is why.

Etsy has been a phenomenal platform for small creators, like myself, giving them the platform to start launching their dreams in selling their goods.  I love what Etsy has done for me.  A lot of my growth has been word of mouth and social media, as well as Farmer’s Markets.  It does help to have a legitimate storefront so people don’t think that you are a scam!  And everyone almost always asks, are you on Etsy?!

But over the years, Etsy has changed.  There are so many sellers on there, and in my opinion, the sad part is that not all of those are handmade crafters.  It has gone so mainstream that there are other sellers on there that are larger businesses and sellers that drown out the little guys.  Sad. Right?!

Etsy has advised us that as of the middle of July, it will be increasing it’s fee from 3.5% to FIVE percent.  Doesn’t sound like a lot, right?  Well here is how Etsy works for the sellers side.

  • It costs 0.20 cents to just list your product.  Per listing, and that is charged back to you every month that that listing is up in your shop.  Doesn’t sound like much, but if you have a lot of things to list that does add up.  You will notice that some sellers have a lot of the same items double or triple posted.  Why?  Because how the algorithm works is the more listings you have posted, the more views you POTENTIALLY will get.  Same with the tags.  The more you have, the more you pay, the more potential you will have your item to pop up on the first few pages when they search what they are looking for.  So that is a reoccurring fee that will be recharged every month that it doesn’t sell, and there is always adding new product that will cost you again.  Most shops will add these costs back in to their products to cover these costs or just eat the costs depending on their business model.
  • There are also ad’s that you can pay extra for to have your items pushed to the top of the search page.  For a lot of people, the competition is so high that if you need sales, you may find this option a necessity.
  • Paypal.  Love me some Paypal.  No way of getting around their fees no matter which platform you are using. Paypal charges us 2.9% + 0.30 cents per transaction.  So for a $100 order, that would be $3.20 per transaction.  If you have several of those, these fees also add up depending on your sales.
  • And finally….the new Etsy fee hike.  Eek and barf.  On top of the 0.20 per listing fee, we have been paying them 3.5% of that orders sale price.  So we have the $0.20 listing fee + $3.20 Paypal + $3.50 Etsy percentage.  So $6.90 of every $100 sale goes away.  As of mid July, they will start taking 5% of every transaction, bumping from $106.90 to $108.40.  If you have a small hobby business, these all add up.  They are stating that it is to cover something with shipping, but most of us don’t believe that, as most of us use the cheapest method to ship and refund any overages.

So although it has been a great start to my growth, I am saying BYE FELICIA to Etsy!  Some months I sell more than others, so having a flat fee would be better for me.  So where am I off to?  I recently was reading a post on my Instagram feed from a sweet crafter friend, Kim at Robot Mom Sews.  I had seen the recent email about the fee increase, and I was pissed off but said, well, if that is the only option we have, then that is what it has to be.  Kim posted that she was ditching Etsy and switching to Big Cartel.  I had heard of them before, but didn’t think that I wanted to pay that monthly cost, and I didn’t believe in myself enough at the time that those monthly rates would be worth it.

Last year I took the leap and got my own web domain as http://www.theblushingboston.com  Looks really official haha!  That will direct you, of course to here, the blog.

If you would like to purchase anything now, you will simply go to shop.theblushingboston.com .  Easy!

As always, you can message me on social media or email, or on the shops contact tab.

I am really, really enjoying the new set up.  It feels fresh and official, modern and looks so professional.  With a very affordable flat fee of $9.99 a month for up to 25 listings at Big Cartel and the Paypal fees, this is a way more viable option for me and my shop.  More money comes straight back to me, and therefore straight back to my heroes.  Payment methods will still be Paypal, and now you can also checkout with any credit card, without having a Paypal account.

So big changes, but I am still easy to reach and it is very much still easy to order!

If you have any questions please reach out! You know I love to chat!

xo

Amber

And the Winner is…

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Hey everyone! Eeek I am so excited that you are here with me today friends!

Awhile back, when I started my website, blog, Etsy shop, got more involved on Social Media, I really wasn’t sure what I was getting myself into. WOW. There is so much content out there! For me, it is really hard to pick just one thing, I get super stoked and I want to do it all. I want to blog, have a website, Etsy shop, charity work, do swaps, and put myself out there more. That’s not too much right?!

Being a super crafty brained person, it is extremely hard to focus sometimes. There are so many ideas always floating around in my head, as well as all over the other fun and not so fun regular life stuff. Being a mom, wife and dispatcher is definitely a challenge to say the least. It really was a personal goal year for me. Really. But then, LIFE. I went back to work full time, had to re-learn my mom craft of juggling two little girls & two pups, wife life and work. I felt like I failed, at many things. And I also felt that I let myself down, because I had so many goals and aspirations for the year. I felt guilty for not being more active on my blog and website, doing more shows, and just doing, well, more!

UGH. It’s tough. Really freaggin’ tough. I started to get anxiety about what I couldn’t get done in a day, week or that month. After years of doing this, and more in the last year than I would like to admit, I realized something. None of that matters. Does it really matter if I get the 4 loads of laundry that have been laying in the loft for the past two days done today? No. Going to Costco? No. Making the bed? Nah. Why was I always feeling guilty for things that I couldn’t do or get done? Seriously there is not enough time in the day! And it wasn’t from pressure from anywhere else, except for me. I put too much pressure on myself, like most of us do these days.
One morning, I woke up to the kids on the monitor, as always. Exhausted, as always. Wanting to sleep all day and have some hot ass dude come bring me breakfast in bed and rub my feet. I had this overwhelming dread that it was going to be a screaming,I want Bee Cereal, hair pulling,I don’t want to, dog shit on the carpet overnight kinda morning.

Starting my day, I was greeting my wiggle butts from the dogs. Ohh those wiggle butts, from the dogs with lil’ stubby tails. To die people! So excited to see me and those sweet faces. No judgement, just love, always. Then the girls, sweet morning faces, full of “mama I love you” and hugs and kisses. Cuddling with them and the pups I decided that those chores and errands can wait. I really did, like for real tho’! It was like a rock hit me in the head and reset me, and I have felt that way now for a few weeks. It was such a breath of fresh air. And it was weird because it just happened. I didn’t see a beautiful double rainbow or go to some retreat. I just looked, really looked for the first time in a long time, about what I was missing out on. The day to day cray cray of being a mama just caught up with me.

I really have to focus on it, it takes work to not get swooped back up in that all. I really learned one huge thing though. No matter what, do not keep beating myself up. I have been really really good at that over the years. I am really good at saying that I want to do everything, I want to do more and more and more. I am also super kick ass at putting too much on my plate.

My husband is always getting on me about this, and every time I get to where the pitcher is overflowing, he gently brings it up. I always tell him “yea, I know. I promise I won’t do it anymore”. I try, but it never works! I try to explain to him that it’s crazy and different being the mama, and having a creative mind like mine. It can be crazy overwhelming to conquer all of these things that we as mothers want to do. Add the creative mind in, and it can be recipe for disaster. So, I am going to try my best to finally get this boat floating and be more proactive about writing, it really is a fun and relaxing thing for me to do.

So! Enough blah blah. For some reason I needed to get that off my chest, and let you all know how GRATEFUL I am for you! It is an amazing feeling when you are creative to be able to share that with others. I can’t tell you how amaze balls it is to see your faces or pics of your little’s wearing something that I made! Truly is a gift. So thank you! I appreciate everyone single one of you.

Let’s get to it!

The Wyllow Witch is a 18″ stuffie, with a black hat, and beautiful yarn hair, hand stitched face, and will come with a tutu skirt, boots and of course, a broom! I started working on those last night, so you will have to wait a little bit longer to see those! She would be a super cute decor addition or an amazing cuddle buddy for your little one.

THE WINNER IS…..

KAYDINPAIGEE

Please contact me with your info and I will get her shipped out to you!

Thank you everyone for entering!

xo
Amber

Birthday Coupon Code!

Wow, this past few weeks have been MADNESS!!!

Miss C turned 3, which entailed of packing the family up for camping for a few days. Then it was back home juggling planning and prepping for my craft market. Then there was planning & prepping Miss A’s first birthday party. All on top of taking care of the family, a baby who was a teething monster, and working part time. Ahh!!! Looking forward to the next few weeks of just ordinary busy life, instead of crazy busy life!

Anywhoo, I wanted to get back into loving and creating for you all! I have lots of lovely items posted for sale in my Etsy shop, with more that will be listed in the next few days.

I have really dove in hard on making clothing, finally! I have always wanted to go for it but was so intimidated. I have always used commercially available patterns, like those you would find and Joann’s etc. And I have ALWAYS had horrible luck with the outcomes. They never fit and looked terrible. Recently thanks to ever so awesome Instagram, I have discovered several pattern designers that I am madly in love with. Like hardcore guys. These patterns are amazing, trendy but oh so classic. And they always fit perfectly! I love that. I love that for so many reasons but mainly because I hate my seam ripper. So be looking for new creations that are for your little humans to wear!

I’ve made a few dolls in the past few weeks, but was so busy with other stuff and I got hooked on these dresses and bloomers I have been making. I wanted have a good mix of items for my craft market! I think that I did. I had a few sales, nothing cray but a few, which helped my self esteem a little! Doing shows and putting yourself out there for in person critique is hard! I have a few more shows planned before Christmas and I can’t wait to keep learning how to sell my items. It is a never ending learning curve. There are those that love and cherish handmade, and others that will say, “a hundred dollars for a blanket?! I can get that at Walmart for $10.” Yea lady, go ahead and try!

Anyways, the struggle is real to make it in the crafty world! but I have the talent and skills, I just gotta learn how to get it out there!

In celebration of me finally getting off my ass over the years and actually taking the first steps to getting myself out there….

In celebration of surviving another year of firsts with a infant…Keeping all of us alive, healthy and happy…

In celebration of getting two birthdays done in 27 days….

In celebration of not depleting the worlds wine and bourbon supplies…

In celebration of my two beautiful, sassy and sweet little misses…

Until September 30th, enjoy FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $50, and the ever so fun Funfetti Birthday Bear is 27% off also until September 30th! Use Promo code AVABEAR1 for free shipping!

Have a great week!

Amber

Giveaway!

Check out my first ever giveaway! Don’t forget to comment and tag and repost!!

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✨✨GIVEAWAY✨✨. Because my baby is cutting all of her molars right now and already has 9 teeth…and because why not? I've never done one, and being close to 600 followers I've been meaning to!! You are all such a pleasure to watch and follow, to keep me distracted during feedings, and by giving me someone to share my crafty outlet to!πŸ’ͺ🏻πŸ’ͺ🏻. This giveaway is for my twinkle tooth fairy dolly! She has a cute little tooth pocket on her belly! πŸ’• Rules: 1. tag someone who would love to bring her home! Tag as many people as you would like for 1 entry, each in separate comments. πŸŽ†πŸŽ†πŸŽ†πŸŽ†πŸŽ†πŸŽ†πŸŽ†πŸŽ†πŸŽ†πŸŽ†πŸŽ†πŸŽ†πŸŽ†πŸŽ† 2. Repost this pic with hashtag #twinkletoothfairygiveaway πŸ“ΈπŸ“ΈπŸ“ΈπŸ“ΈπŸ“ΈπŸ“ΈπŸ“ΈπŸ“ΈπŸ“ΈπŸ“ΈπŸ“ΈπŸ“ΈπŸ“ΈπŸ“Έ 3. And of course make sure you follow @theblushingboston 🀘🏻 That's it! Giveaway will be open in the US πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ only. Will end next Wednesday August 24 at 8pm pacific time. Winner will be announced that evening! πŸ’•πŸ€˜πŸ»πŸ’•πŸ€˜πŸ»πŸ’•πŸ€˜πŸ»πŸ’•πŸ€˜πŸ» Thank you for giving me a reason to keep on crafting and sharing my silly little life! πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ #twinkletoothfairy #twinkletoothfairygiveaway #theblushingboston #dollsanddaydreams #toothfairy #giveaway #shopsmall #supportsmall #supportlocal #madebyme #craftgiveaway #etsy #handmade #handmadegiveaway #allthatandabagofhandmade #sahm #shopsahm #supportsahm #supportsmallbusiness #sahmbusiness #madebyme #shophandmade

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