Sunday, December 4, 2011

It's been a while

Ok, so the second half of November was SO busy! Between Tre's 7th birthday party for his friends, his actual birthday, Thanksgiving with my family and Jeff's together at our house for the first time, the kids off to their dad's and a HUGE party at the club that Jeff DJ'd our holiday season took off early and there's no end in sight! The good news is that Tre loved his first friend party (he hasn't had one since he was 3!) and having 8 little boys in our house went much smoother then expected! Thank you to Jeff and my parents for all they're help that day!! His actual birthday, a few days later, was pretty low key since we knew we would celebrate again when everyone came for Thanksgiving. I had decided to invite everyone to our house for Thanksgiving this year, we had my parents, my aunt, uncle and cousin, his mom and 2 brothers. It was a fantastic day, the food was great, everyone got along perfectly and the kids got TONS of presents (since no one wanted Izzie to watch her big bro open presents without getting anything!) With November's festivities behind us Christmas prep is in full swing, the house is decorated, most of the shopping for the kids is done, I have a list of gifts I need to make for everyone and I'm hoping to start some baking this week. So that's a rundown of my everyday life, now on to all the things going on with RG Originals....

Lots of exciting things going on in my little business world! First off, I got my new serger!! It was very intimidating at first but it didn't take me long to get it threaded and running and I'm in LOVE!! It is AMAZING how much easier making a dress or skirt is using a serger! Seam finishing is not only a breeze but is very professional looking and then I figured out how to ruffle fabric with just a few adjustments and I thought I'd died and gone to heaven! My mom and Jeff's mom are getting really excited about all the stuff I make too so before I knew it they both brought me fabric in all forms, from old clothes to mounds of leftover fleece and even some beautiful gold brocade that's begging to be a purse or dress for Izzie! I noticed with all my new additions my sewing closet was getting out of control so I spent one of the afternoons that the kids were gone to rearrange my small little space. I'm not sure if seeing my difficulty that day is what did it or if it's (more likely) just because he's so naturally supportive but Jeff found me a sewing table online and ordered it. It is made by Sauder and he and I had a lot of fun putting it together! It is awesome! I can put both my sewing machine and my serger on it and it has space for storage and little shelves to keep my tools close by and handy. I LOVE it! It's my own little space, although at over 60 inches when the table is fully extended it's not so little, and I don't have to drag everything in and out of the closet every time I work on a project! Inspired by all this (and seeing a purse my sister made) I decided to try to make a purse. I had been thinking about it for a while but wasn't really sure I could do it since it had pleats and was a bit more advanced the the things I had already made. Finally this weekend I just dove right in and it turned out great!!! It was easier to make then I thought and I love the fabrics I chose. I liked it so much I changed my idea for the kids teacher gifts and I'm making them purses instead! Since it turned out so well I decided  that I tend to sell myself short and  avoid things because I don't think I am able to figure it out or do it well so today I tried shirring, sewing with knits (I've been terrified since I sewed through my finger years ago while sewing with knit) and making a button hole. Shirring is EASY and I can't wait to use that technique on a garment! After a few adjustments to my machine sewing with knits isn't as scary as I thought, I'm going to try it on the serger tomorrow and have a pattern I've been wanting to try so I'm going to go for it! After 3 BAD attempts I figured out button holes and the last two looked really good! The next things I want to try is adding a zipper and adding a magnetic closure. I've decided that I shouldn't be afraid to try anything or overlook a pattern I like because I don;t think I can do a specific part. Obviously I can if I just TRY! Now the sky is the limit! This month is going to be BUSY but somehow I will manage to fit in all the sewing I need to do as well as some (if not all!) of the sewing I WANT to do!!
By the way, I REALLY need to figure out how to post pictures on here!! Hopefully that will happen soon!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

there will be good days and there will be bad days

After all the stress of last week I took the weekend off to relax. The kids were at their dads and Jeff and I had a great weekend. I was so ready to get back to work monday, had a list of projects to complete and things to do, especially with Tre's birthday party coming this saturday and thanksgiving around the corner (we're having 12 people at our house!!) Then disaster struck, the new fabric I bought for the boys tote and crayon roll that Izzie's school asked me to donate was hard to work with and the crayon roll kept unraveling. After messing with it for a LONG time I thought I'd finally got it and as I was sewing the top stitch I saw that it had come apart again at the bottom, only now it was too late, I had to start the whole thing over again. Then Tre came home with a ton of homework and before I knew it the kids were in bed, Jeff was at his studio editing this weeks show and I was making a new crayon roll, which luckily turned out great, but I was up until after 1am. Then this morning I woke up excited, I had plans to go to Joann Fabrics in Hudson after I dropped off the kids at school. To explain, when I lived in Youngstown I had 5 craft stores with in close driving distance and here I have one, Hobby Lobby. Don't get me wrong, I like Hobby Lobby, but I LOVE Joann and I'd heard the one in Hudson was HUGE! Considering that most mornings I leave to drop off Tre in sweats  and eat when I come back it was HUGE to have all 3 of us up, dressed and fed AND walking out of the door on time. I dropped the kids off and headed to Hudson, following my GPS. It ended up taking me to the distribution center, which I learned later was just a block away, the actual store sat way off the road and didnt have a sign at the road like the distribution center did, lol, but I eventually found it. It felt like walking into paradise! It was HUGE, one whole side of the store was fabric front to back! Me being me, after an hour and a half of walking around, I had picked and put back 5 fabrics and 2 patterns and ended up leaving with 9 spools of serger thread (which was why I went in the first place) and 2 spools of regular thread, lol. I figured I'd go back after I'd played with my new serger and figured it out, it was (relatively) easy to find and easy to get there and back while Izzie was at school. I happily walk back to my car, get in and turn the, click, click, nothing. What?!?!?! Again, click, click, click, nothing. OH MY GOD! WHAT?!?!?!? My battery was dead! I pull out my AAA card and call, they say 40 minutes, should be plenty of time to get back home to get Izzie. As time ticks by I get more and more nervous, I don't know where I am, no one lives close enough to help me get Izzie if I can't make it, without a car I can't get Tre back and forth to school, and on and on. I ask Jeff to call me and while we are talking I flip out, completely lose it, it's been 45 minutes, I'm never going to make it to get Izzie on time! I try to calm down, it will be ok. After an hour and a half the guy finally shows up and I'm on my way. The school told me it was no problem, half her class goes all day anyway so she was fine. I didn't turn off my car while I was inside picking her up, we make it home fine. I feed us both lunch, start cleaning and getting chicken thawed for dinner. Jeff calls about 35 minutes before we have to pick up Tre and tries to tell me where the battery charger is in case my car won't start. I find it, but not the cables. I try my car, it's dead again. I walk around to the neighbors I know will be home, no jumper cables. Luckily Jeff can come home early to go pick up Tre so I email the teacher, tell her to let Tre know to look for Jeff's car and not mine. I'm beyond upset by now, I had a million things to do today, this week! Jeff finds the cables when he gets home and charged my car for the next 3 hours, still wont't start. Needless to say, now tomorrow's plans are changed too, I need a new battery. I'm such a routine person this has all just been too much for me. It may sound silly, but I had a LONG list of things to do and the last 2 days have put me so far behind I can't stand it. I guess luckily I can just go to bed and wake up with a new plan and work from that, hoping I'll get it all done and knowing, somehow, that I will, I always do. I know that this was VERY long winded, but I had to get it off my chest so I could move on and wake up tomorrow with a positive attitude!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Today was a good day

Oh wow, today was a good day! Not even 24 hours of having my facebook page up and I already got my first order!!! Just found out that an early christmas gift, a new Brother SERGER, will arrive in a few days, thanks to the love of my life and undoubtedly the BEST man in the world, THANK YOU JEFF, I LOVE YOU!!! And I am getting another early christmas gift from my parents, start-up and supplies money! The kids will be at their dad's this weekend so Jeff and I have plans to work on our hobbies so I'll get a lot done without the usual interruptions. After an exhausting and stressful week I'm going to bed with a smile on my face :)

Facebook page is up and running!!!

Last night Jeff and I sat down and figured out my facebook page! Yay! It was fun to add all the pictures that I just took. It's a good step in the right direction. After feeling so overwhelmed and wanting to quit getting my facebook page started is like a breath of fresh air! Thank you Jeff for all you help and support! I love you!

Thursday, November 10, 2011


I am officially on overload, I'm physically and emotionally exhausted! What I really need is a break, not a 10 minute break, or even a 2 hour one, but a WHOLE DAY break! My endless list of things that need to be done never gets smaller because every time I cross something off 2 more take it's place. The house is a disaster area, the laundry is done but not put away, and the thought of making dinner tonight makes my stomach hurt. I know that once I get this business up and running I will feel much better but right now I am so stressed about it that it's sucking the fun out of it all. Part of me wants to quit now, I mean I feel like my happiness is being threatened by the stress and pressure that I feel and I'm such a routine person that this endless list of things to do to open a shop makes my scheduled life so difficult it's nearly impossible to keep up. Luckily the other part of me is a stubborn and bull-headed and no way am I giving up when I've already worked so hard to get to this point. I just need a break, even a half of a day, to not think about any thing RG Originals related.....sigh, a girl can dream can't she?

Monday, November 7, 2011

What a long day!

     It's not even 9 and I'm contemplating going to bed! I'm exhausted! After spending the weekend finishing up a peasant dress, 2 skirts, a matching crayon roll and tote, and a rosette hair clip in between finishing a seal habitat diorama and report with Tre, writing out his birthday invitations, and having my future mother-in-law aka "Grandma Betty" spend the whole day sunday which was filled with a big family lunch at Outback, then a trip to Kohl's (we love to shop together!) and 2 grocery stores with Jeff while Grandma Betty watched the kids, I was almost dreading the scheduled photo shoot from sheer exhaustion. Turns out that Kate also had too much on her plate and I woke up to a text canceling it. To tell the truth I was a bit relieved, I needed a break! My mom, who was going to help out today by getting Tre from school, then suggested that she come to my house and we just do the pictures ourselves since I've been working so hard and so I don't loose momentum. It took me a while to get into that idea, but before I knew it I was cleaning up our dining room/hobby room since we have the beautiful chaise in there and it has the best natural light (aside from the playroom but it is NOT what I want potential customers seeing!) Amazingly Izzie was into it, though I think knowing that Grammy was coming for a visit and she was getting a treat after we were done helped her out! We all had a lot of fun, I took about 250 pictures and Isabel hung in there like a champ! We finished in time to give Izzie her treat and sit around the table for a few minutes before my mom had to leave and Izzie and I had to run off to school to get Tre, then snack, homework, play, dinner, math games on the computer and bedtime routine. I've started sorting through the multitude of pictures and after deleting out of focus or crazy faces I'm down to 157, lol. It's going to take me a day or so to figure this all out and Jeff, my CIO, has to record his show tonight so he won't have time to help. Yeah, my bed is sounding better and better right now! Isabel has preschool tomorrow, I can take a look at the pictures then, alone, with fresh eyes because right now they are drooping.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

photo shoot scheduled!

    So I have the patterns, measurements, prices, sample pieces made, and account started on etsy, the next big hurdle was pictures. My wonderful friend Kate Echle just so happens to be a FANTASTIC photographer and I knew her eye for style would be just what I needed. Looking through etsy pages I'm always drawn to the clothes that are in very well done photos first over just a dress on a hanger against a solid backdrop. I love Kate's work, she sees things in a way that leaves you wanting more and that's how I want potential customers to feel. We have a photo shoot scheduled for monday. Izzie loves Kate and is always a willing model for her. I'm so excited that I bought some fabric and started 5 new pieces, a peasant dress, 2 skirts, and a matching crayon roll and tote. Unfortunately this horrible cold that I can't seem to shake (ugh) and our already full weekend is making completing all these projects difficult. I'm just going to keep working and take what I can on monday, because I know Kate will far exceed any expectations I have!!! Now I better get back to work!

Thursday, November 3, 2011


     I need to FOCUS on making the things I already know, peasant dresses, pillowcase dresses, twirl skirts, headbands, bows, crayon rolls, and totes and stop thinking I need to figure out how to make every cute thing I see!!! It's like a disease, lol, I see something cute and say "oh I could figure out how to make that" and then spend way too much time thinking about it and searching for examples online. Maybe I need a break from my computer...well Pinterest at the very least-too many ideas on there, it's addicting! I need to FOCUS!!!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

research, research, research

     Today I have spent most of my day scouring etsy for sizing and pricing info. Up until now I've only ever made clothes that fit Izzie, I take her measurements and figure out my pattern according to that. Maybe thats another downfall of being self taught (other then the length of time it takes to get a specific pattern right!) I'm not 100% sure about adjusting the sizes and I can't only offer size 5 clothes!! Not to mention the fact that Izzie has long legs and is petite at the same time so I don't even think I'm making a typical size 5. So I have been spending a lot of time researching sizing, on etsy, blogs, websites, and even sizing charts of some of my favorite stores. I think I have it figured out but I really wish I had some girls to try things on. Izzie's friends are her age-not much help.
     Next on the list was pricing. That took considerably less time though I was still amazed to see the difference in prices for the same pieces, even taking designer fabric into account, it still had no real rhyme or reason. I cross-referenced prices for certain pieces against seller ratings, number of sales and length of time in business. I think I have some numbers that will be acceptable as a new business that will offer quality pieces with a reasonable price.
     Now that I've spent my whole day on the computer all I want to do is sew, but I have 20 minutes until we leave to pick up Tre then I promised we would go to the library after school, then we need to start working on his animal diorama due next week and I'm sure he has homework. Dinner needs made, the house needs cleaned (the playroom is off the hook!) showers, reading then bedtime at 8. Maybe I'll get to sew after that...

Friday, October 28, 2011

Alone at last

After having Tre home from school sick for the last two days he and Izzie are both at school today!  I'm glad Tre is feeling so much better, all day wednesday all I kept thinking  was that I didn't want him to go through the 8 weeks of coughing he did last winter. It's amazing how 2 days off can get them both out of routine! This morning was a bit like pulling teeth trying to get them dressed and out the door-especially since Izzie has a halloween party at preschool this morning so she needed to wear her costume. She looked so cute as Super Girl with pink from head to toe! So now I have until 12:30 to do whatever i on the piles of fabric already cut and waiting to be made into dresses? straighten up the house since my parents will be here this afternoon to pick up the kids? go into the garage and dig out my huge tote full of winter clothes now that it's 30 degrees? I think I'll start with some breakfast and another cup of coffee....

Thursday, October 27, 2011

RGOriginals is coming!

(by the way, did I mention that my boyfriend, who is also my high-school sweetheart, is absolutely amazing?)