Thursday, August 4, 2016

Playing Catch Up

Saturday's Farmer's Market
That's what I feel like I've been doing lately, on just about every level.  When I looked at the blog yesterday and realized how long it's been since I've posted, I knew I needed to add this to the list.

This is also easier than making a half dozen dresses or 10 dolls in time for a weekend show, so here goes:

Shows:  Last weekend I had two shows, a farmer's market on Saturday and an annual craft show / vintage car show in South Philadelphia.  Both were really good days, to the point where I'm somewhat frantically trying to restock for this Sunday's Second Street Festival in Northern Liberties.  There are worse problems to have, I know.

Etsy:  The vintage shop has been doing well, selling slowly and steadily.  The handmade shop, not so much.  Partly because with vintage, people are looking for a thing they already know exists.  The hardest thing is trying to title and tag the thing to match the words they'll be searching for.  For handmade, it's more difficult -- do potential customers even know that the thing I make exists?  If they do, what do they call it?  Are they searching for it by color, material, type?  It's a process, and it's not the easiest one.  Add to that the fact that I have to keep pulling items because they've sold at shows, and it's hard to keep the inventory up (and the searches relevant).  My original plan this year was to make two separate inventories -- one for online and one for in-person sales.  That didn't last long, because in-person sales always sell more than I expect, and because I know I have that "backup" inventory I don't always replace as quickly as I should.  So there's that.
Like a rat in a cage!

Work:  I'm temping 3-4 days per week.  I'm not enjoying it this time around, but I think it's only lasting until Labor Day this year, so I'm picking up that fourth day to stockpile a little cash for later.  I got hit with a severe escrow shortfall from the mortgage company (because my house taxes went up, but then I got a discount, but the City and the mortgage company can't agree that I got the discount until the mortgage company gets the refund, so even though I'll get some form of reimbursement later on down the line, I had an unscheduled $2,000 payment that really set me back).

Vacation:  Yes, you heard right.  It's the last thing my budget needs, but I'd already scheduled a week away from shows in October because we were going to go to my friend's farm in upstate NY.  Then I found a seriously good roundtrip airfare to London, and that blew that plan out of the water.  We'll be in London for a week in October, and I'm really looking forward to getting away, and spending time with Mario without television, too much screen and/or phone time, and new and interesting things to see and talk about.  Nice to get reacquainted; shame it takes visiting another continent to do it sometimes.

Sunday's table (with gratuitous Mario)
Writing:  Oh, right.  That.  So the book was with an agent for a year, and she shopped it around to 5-6 publishers without getting a result.  So it's back in my hands, and at some point (probably post-holiday when I have the time to write query letters and format samples and the uninterrupted time to sit at the computer and send them out), I'll look for another agent.  I think in a year's time there could have been more than those few attempts, but that's just my opinion.  Another agent's opinion may vary, and I'd like to find out.  If all else fails, I could look into self-publishing, but that's really a rabbit hole I don't want to fall into at the moment.

Garden:  Ack.  The weeds, some of them are bigger than me.  (And those don't include the weed tomato plants that have sprouted up everywhere, thanks to the birds who ate last year's tomatoes and then crapped in my yard).  The composters are full of weeds, because there's no chicken to feed them to anymore.  I can't say I actually miss Bonnie, though I do miss her fresh eggs.

Cats:  Still six, still badly behaved, eating for twelve, and walking on my head at night.  Katie and Annie fight like two kids trapped in the back seat of a car on a long vacation, and make me understand parenting in a whole new light.

Sunday's set-up.  The parrot dress sold right after.
Teaching:  No classes at the moment.  My after school class will pick back up in the fall.  I have a one-day embroidery class in late August in Old City Philadelphia.  This will be the third year of teaching at this kids' history camp, and I'm looking forward to it.

And there we are.  I think that brings us up to date.  I hope you're having a great summer, and I promise to be a bit more regular about checking in here in the future!


Vicki said...

That was a nice catch up! You have your fingers in so many pies. No wonder you are looking forward to that holiday. Sounds perfect.

Laury S. said...

Thanks for the update. Always interested to hear what my favorite blogger is up to.

Cherie said...

I had to drop in to admire your work and scheduling all those commitments! Your craft table looks wonderful also! Too bad I live in Arizona, I'd shop your shows!