Sunday, September 14, 2014

That 70's Look….New Listings for the Week of September 14

A quick sampling of the latest listings in GoofingOffSewing…..That 70's Look

McCall's 2630, Misses' High-Waisted Dress, Size 8, Bust 31.5 inches. #That70'sLook

Simplicity 6082, Jiffy Knits Misses' Dress, Size 12, Bust 34 inches. Sized for Stretch knits. #That70'sLook

Simplicity 8850, Misses' Pullover Slash neck top and skirt,  size 10, bust 32 inches.  #That70'sLook

McCall's 5722 Girls' Wrap Jumper or Wrap Top in size 14 #That70'sLook

Simplicity 9869 Misses' Capes and Cardigan in size 14, Bust 36 inches. #That70'sLook

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Moment of Silence

There are somethings I do at my job that on a list of things I like from 1-10  (with 1 being EWWW and 10 being YIPPEE) are on the 1 end of the scale. Carrying the code pager is one of them. After 20+ years...OK...30+ years in nursing I got over the adrenalin rush/excitement of running to a code. No fun, I'd rather not, but I carry the pager when it is my turn and silently pray all day that there won't be a code, that everyone will be safe, that all the ugly stuff will be recognized long before the code situation arises, and if there is a code I will know immediately what to do and do it well. The pager is clipped to my neckband hanging heavily to remind me that someone's life depends on my hearing the pager and answering it as fast as possible. No bragging here; it's what I do. 
The other day it was my turn to carry the pager. Most of the day it was quiet. We had one patient who went for a procedure that could go bad. The man knew the risks and signed the consent anyway. Maybe he felt he didn't have too many options....It could work and he would be OK...or it wouldn't and the battle he was fighting would be over in an instant. I don't know. I know his nurse was worried when he left. 
I was eating lunch when the pager went off. I quickly put the lid back on my dish and ran meeting his nurse on the way. "I'll go," he said. "He's my patient." I felt relieved (it's not my favorite thing to do) and understood his reason for going. If it was my patient I would have gone, too. Our patients become a part of us, even our grumpy ones. I often think about them when I am home. Sometimes I visit them after they transfer out of the unit. I check to see if they are still in the hospital. Not being nosy...just because I care and I can't turn off the caring part. Someone once told me you have to leave your work behind to survive in this business. Sorry, it doesn't work that way. 

Without going into details the man didn't make it. The unit was silent when we heard the news and stayed that way for a minute or two while we thought about the man, his family, and his choice. Miraculously, not a beeper beeped, not alarm sounded, and not a person spoke during that moment of silence.
 If the beepers or alarms sounded I didn't hear them. That silent moment was his...
Post by Eileen Patterson

What to Eat....There's a Menu on the Fridge

I got tired of it....coming home and, not sure what to eat, ordering out. Sound familiar? Throwing something together is not near as difficult as deciding WHAT to eat.....and that's where the hubby and I get stuck. You try to eat healthy and save a few bucks there goes your best intentions, out the window as you stop at the fast food window or order pizza for supper. Last week I had enough of the last minute "I didn't make anything? How about a Chinese night?" the day after the "I didn't make anything...we're having pizza tonight" calls and made a menu. More like a D-Day. Momma is cooking this week!

I found this blank calendar from Just print it, add your dinner ideas, and put it on the fridge. I took it a step further and added where the hubby could find the ingredients in our well-stocked but not always well-organized pantry and freezer. I even left open one night for a night out. 
Voila! It worked! The first week went so well the hubby and I sat down TOGETHER and planned the next week's menu. It was nice to have his input. It became OURS instead of mine. 
The menu can be printed for use or just use a piece of paper. Do it when you are not stressed for time. Remember what you have in your pantry or consider what you have to pick up to make the menu work. Keep it flexible...there will be times that delivery IS the best choice and that's OK. Every night of it is not. I don't want to be so close with the delivery kid that he thinks he is part of the family...not that I don't like him. Nothing personal. 

Take a little stress out of dinner time and every drop less of stress is welcome. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

How to Build an Etsy Shop

I was looking around Etsy this morning and saw a couple of new shops that needed help. With that in mind I started writing. I have a few shops….PatternHaus is my newest but the others, GoofingOffSewing, MissEileen (vintage), and MetalWoodsnWater have over 2500 sales. Not huge but I learned a little bit to share with others.
Congratulations on your decision to work for yourself. Remember though, it is work. You just became a business owner.

You need good ones. All angles. If you knit, consider a model. Maybe on a baby, maybe on a doll. Do you paint? Show how it could be displayed. Think how the buyer would use the item and try to get a picture of it. Use all 5 slots for the pics.
Pictures are always a work in progress for me.

Listing titles
Baby stuff tells little about your items except it is for babies. Check out what other sellers (the most successful one) call their items to get ideas. As a seller, you need something that will attract my attention. Remember, you have a lot of competition.

Describe the item…ex: "Handmade baby sweater, leggings, and matching hat made of soft, cashmere yarn." Remember to add the size, the fabulous pattern or stitch you used and if it was crocheted or knitted. Describe the color…lemon yellow, cocoa brown, mint green…whatever. Remember the buyer is using your description and not their hands to decide it he or she wants to purchase your item.

Use the variations for more than sizes. If you offer a sweater set in different colors show the colors in your listing. Take pictures of the yarn to give people a choice.

Make more than one listing.
The more listings available, the better the chance of selling. Don't use one listing for everything in your shop if the items are different. For Example: Separate hats from the sweaters. Show one in a few close ups, maybe use one a model, and then the one with all the different colors….then use the color variations. Price the hats separately from the sweater sets. They deserve their own space. So does blankets. Consider booties as a separate listing. A successful painter uses one listing for prints, one for magnets, and another for pendants….all of the same painting, all with different price points.

You don't ship for free.  Weigh your items and decide if they need special handling or not. Think about the use of Flat Rate Envelopes from USPS. Shipping in the US should be $5.70 using USPS Priority Flat Rate Padded envelopes and insurance is included. USPS will send them to you free of charge. How about First Class Shipping? You can ship up to 16 ounces using First Class and it takes 2-4 days….and the pricing is reasonable.  If your items are pre made give a turn around time that you can keep up with, maybe 1-3 or 3-5 days. Stop at the store and get some gift wrap tissue (white is the least expensive) to wrap your items and zip lock bags to put them in if they are small. Think about using special packaging as you grow. Buy adhesive labels so you can write your shop name on them and label the bag. Maybe stickers? There are places that will make them to fit your business.
Get your shipping things ready before you have a sale.

Label your work
If you sew, knit, or crochet, consider having labels made to sew into your work. There are folks who will make them for you. I'm not sure how much they cost but it will give your items a professional look. Make labels on your computer or order some.

Custom Work
If you make something custom, give the customer an idea of how long it will take. Take pictures of the work in progress and keep in touch with them. Work with the customer so they will remember you and the wonderful work you did for them. They will appreciate the updates.

There's probably a lot more I haven't touched on but this is a start.
Have patience and good luck.