Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Bureau refinishing project...

I used to have a super amazing bureau.  It's a family heirloom, beautifully preserved, solid wood beast of a clothes hording device.  That was until I got married.  I married a man whom I love more than life itself.  He's cute as hell, a phenomenal cook, he's an insanely hard worker, and an incredible dad.  But he absolutely freaking SUCKS at organizing his clothes.  The teetering piles of sweatshirts and "comfy pants" in our closet was giving me serious anxiety issues.  So I took one for the team, and gave him my bureau.  Now all of my husbands crap lovely attire was hidden away, and peace had been restored.  Not to toot my own horn or anything, but I happen to be a bit of a closet organizing Goddess.  Toot, toot!  So I was able to store most of my stuff in creative ways without the use of my bureau... until we moved.  The new house came with a smaller closet in our master bedroom, and it needed to be shared by both of us.  No amount of organizational genius was going to make enough room for everything.  I pride myself on having a super tiny, and wickedly efficient wardrobe.  So it generally doesn't take up a ton of room.  But I still needed a place for work (barn chore) clothes, bulky sweaters, and that sort of stuff.  To the rescue came my dear friend Jamie...       
She had this old gem sitting in her attic, and offered it up to be at the bargain price of free!
 Purple is not my color though.
 And neither is Mint, Hunter Green, or White.  I wanted that nice solid Maple that was rumored to exist under all that paint somewhere.
 After 2 solid days of sanding, a day of letting Citristrip work on the hard-to-reach crevices, and a day to dry after giving it a bath with the hose, I was able to put a couple of coats of water-based poly on it.
Not to shabby!

Yay for great free stuff and some elbow grease!

Thanks for stopping by, 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Making peace with being a stay-at-home-mom...

I struggle with my need to make my own big-girl money.  Being a stay-at-home-Mom is never what I had envisioned for myself.  There's no paycheck for it, and a paycheck is something that has always brought me a sense of self worth.  Maybe that's shameful of me, but it's true.  Since before I could drive a car, I had a job.  I could pay my own bills, buy my own clothes, and I didn't have to ask anyone for anything.  When my oldest son was 6 months old, I landed what I thought was my dream job AND it paid me about twice as much as any other job I'd ever had before.  I thought I'd made it big. Then I spent the next 6 and a half years working 12 hour shifts while someone else watched my kid.  My son was 7 and I'd missed most of it.  This is when most people would have had a serious reality check.  And I did, but not in the way that I should have.  I planned and saved big time before giving my notice at that job, and did so with a grand vision.  I could work from home, be my own boss, make my own hours, start my own business from the ground up, and do it all while being with my kid.  

That was 2 years ago.  In those two years I did exactly what I set out to do.  I started a business from home.  And it took me the entirety of those 2 years to have another reality check.  I was being selfish.  My husband and I had done the math.  It was going to be tight, but we could afford for me to not work.  My sole responsibility could be my kids.  And I started a business anyway.  I spent most of our savings on it.  I went twice to out-of-town craft shows that both cost me more than I made.  And I sacrificed time with my family for an unnecessary, and quite frankly, pretty miserable paycheck.  My oldest son is now 9, and my youngest turned a year old in July this year.  I feel like I get a do-over now if I quit while they both still like me.

This was not a decision that was made lightly.  My husband and I have been batting ideas about this back and forth for many months now.  We've played devils' advocate with each other, discussing the pros and cons of different scenarios.  What if we cut it back to only Etsy sales and wholesale, and no more farmers markets or travelling to shows?  What if we cut it back to just one or 2 products?  Would it even be worth it then?  What if we went back to printing our own labels?  Would it work then?   Ultimately the answer was No.  No, it's not worth it for us.  For someone, it is, but not for us.  There have been many hysterical crying fits about wasted money, loss of a business that I worked so hard to build, and honestly, loss of my identity as a member of the workforce.  But I really just needed to get over myself, and be OK with having a job that didn't pay me with my name stamped on an official paycheck.

I am still planning on attending the Queen City Craft Bazaar as a vendor in November.  I'll keep my Etsy shop open through the Holiday season, or until all current inventory is sold.  After that time, House 54 LLC will cease to exist, and the New Year will mark the official commencement of operation stay-at-home-mommyhood.

Thanks for stopping by,