Blissfully making…

Debbie Bliss EcoBaby Sweater… stuff for babelettes. Not my own, mind you. Let’s be very clear about that. Seems like I am surrounded by wonderful, beautiful expectant mothers these days. It is such a blessing! It’s been a lot of fun walking alongside friends as they go through their first pregnancies and the coming months will continue to be full of change and excitement. Plus, my friends have given me the perfect excuse to make baby things!! Precious, sweet, cute, baby things! And so the blissful making has begun.

I’m actually planning on sewing a number of the baby items, but I got started on a couple new crochet sweaters just for fun. Couldn’t resist buying this lovely yarn after a trip to Pudding Yarn, our local yarn heaven. It’s the Debbie Bliss EcoBaby fair trade, organic cotton. I’m using this Multi-Coloured Top pattern that I found on Etsy. It’s been fairly easy so far. Vita’s patterns are very clear and have good photos to clarify the special stitches used. Just need to make the sleeves and sew it all together and then I can add it to the small pile of baby items that will surely grow over the coming weeks.

Happy crafting to you all on what some call Valentine’s Day, and others call Monday!

Treasury Love

Thanks to the gals of StagnantGypsy for including one of my fav scarflettes! Hope everyone is having a wonderful Wednesday! Mine has included baking brownies, submitting EI applications, getting custom orders for handmade baby gifts, and an order for three custom-sized purselettes AND the sun is out with clear blue skies. Great day so far.

She was a busy little bee

Bunch of zippersIt’s only now that I’ve had a chance to look back on the month of January. It was a busy one. Spent time reading some more books about starting a small business and writing up a bit of a plan and setting some goals. By the way, the following two books are awesome resources if you happen to be in Canada (or Calgary) and are trying to navigate the legal bits of business set-up:

  • The Essential Guide to Starting a Business in Calgary compiled by the Calgary Business Information Centre ( which appears to be called The Business Link now… pretty much have to go in person to pick up a copy of this)

I was lucky enough to have these provided to me by my co-worker and crafty business diva Christine. There are a lot of great books out there to read about starting a small business, writing business plans, and doing financial goals, but in terms of specific guidance for provincial licensing, registration, and such, there isn’t a ton of info. Or rather, there is lots of info on the web, but navigating through it and making sense of what to do is rather difficult. Anyway, the two resources above allowed me to put together a clear step-by-step list of what I needed to do to make my business legit. And so, I managed to get my trade name registered and a business license and all the appropriate permits for a home-based business. Phew! Glad to have that all taken care of.

Bags of buttonsThe rest of January was spent on Etsy, getting a feel for the whole thing. I joined the Etsy Alberta Street Team and have been spending some time on the forum getting to know fellow Alberta crafters & artisans. Some amazing talent in that group! They are all so helpful too! I highly recommend joining a team in order to learn more of the ins-and-outs of Etsy. Oh, and I reached one one of my goals, which was to have 60 people *heart* my shop by the end of January! So thank you for showing your support!

It’s hard to be on Etsy and not buy anything, but I did manage to keep my purchases purely business related, so now my sewing room is home to new buttons and zippers! Very exciting! The buttons are destined to be used on Scarflettes and the zippers on various sizes of Purselettes.

Although I seem to be keeping pretty busy being “unemployed”, I will try to pop in here more frequently. This week is going to be slightly less hectic than last week and I’m looking forward to finally having some time to dedicate to sewing. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Treasury Love

This is such an interesting theme for a treasury. The prairie sky was something that I missed sooo much when we lived in British Columbia. I try to take a moment everyday to appreciate the every changing sky overhead and its dramatic play of colours. Thank you, Heather, from Piggy and Bear, for including one of my purselettes in a theme that I can completely appreciate:

A keyword Story

Full Bleed & ButonsCorbis Business CardsCorbis rockCorbis
Veer
Stock photography
Keywording
Creativity
Friendship
Change
Layoff
Good-bye

So the day has come. After five and half years as a keyworder, it is now my turn to say good-bye, like so many other colleagues before me. I’ve been surround by family members in the stock photography industry since I was about eight or nine years old. I finally stepped into the industry myself in 2005 as a contractor with Veer, while living out on the West coast. Felt like the first chance to put my creative background to good use. When the company was bought by Corbis, I continued on as a contractor, until we moved back to Calgary in 2008. It was then that I happily accepted the opportunity to come aboard as an official employee in the Calgary office. This was my first taste of office life. Great bonds were made with like-minded folks who were organized, detail-oriented, and metadata obsessed (keyworders are also incredible crafters, you know). Lots of knowledge was accumulated and new skills were developed. And for a time, I was quite satisfied.

I used to say that when I wasn’t staring at spreadsheets in the office, you could find me curled up on the couch with crochet hook and yarn in hand, with my husband on one side and our cat Chloe on the other. Now, I’m hoping determined to put that craft time at the forefront. There’s really no point in holding back the gifts I have been given. Ya, I’m a good keyworder, and ya, I could get a full-time job somewhere with a steady paycheck. I can’t, however, ignore the long list of significant reason NOT to go down that road. It’s time for a big change. Facing the last year and a half of challenges has made me feel strong enough for that change.

So hereby I relinquish my title of “Keyworder” and take on the title of “Sole Proprietor”. I know I can’t fool some of you though… I will always be keywording in my mind and heart.

Navigating through change

(please note my sarcasm and slight cynicism in that blog title)

Feels like I have been away from writing much on here lately. I just keep popping in for a quick photo or treasury post. Sorry for that. I’ve been at a bit of lost at what to write. Things have been more stressful and as my last week at work approaches, I’ve definitely been increasingly blue. It is still exciting to think about becoming engrossed in the Bubblegum Sass business, but the reality is, I will need to get a part-time job somewhere. For now, that somewhere, is pretty elusive. Having to say good-bye to folks (and a regular schedule) is a sad fact.

The month of February will be spent attending workshops and receiving one-on-one sessions with a “career transition” consultant (I’m actually looking forward to it, in case you are wondering about any sarcasm). It just makes me laugh a bit about the terminology that ends up being used to put a positive spin on things. Like “rightsizing” instead of “downsizing”. You’re not “laid off” these days, you’ve just been “transitioned” out of the company.

Anyway, on top of time spent on that, I will also be searching for a part-time job, building up the inventory in my Etsy shop, applying for upcoming craft shows, and crafting up a storm (things to sell and things to give). Why does February have to be the shortest month?! Le sigh.

For now, I’m trying to figure out ways to keep my sanity a bit more in the coming months. Using the pounching bag in the basement is on the list, as is, getting together (and going out) with friends a bit more. Winter here can keep you cooped up. Any good suggestions for keeping your sanity and perspective through periods of unemployment (aka “career transitions”)?