Monday, September 24, 2012

running on empty

do your floors look like this?

do you have piles of laundry heaped in the hallways on top of the cardboard the contractors put down that also happens to be covered in a layer of dog fur? not to mention un-painted walls...

is your laundry basket not even closing because there is so much in it?

what about the dust? if you left corningware on top of your buffet for a few weeks would this happen when you removed it?

phew. me either. goodness, for a while there i was about to think i was a terrible housekeeper! but, thankfully those pictures are of my boss's house. this one is at her house too, she obviously wouldn't pass the white glove test.


tisk, tisk.

while we are on the subject of how AWFUL of a housekeeper my boss is,  let's also talk about what a slave driver she is. ugh. she sets unreasonable goals for me, she expects me to be perfect and gets crazy upset and disappointed in me when i am not, i think most of the time she forgets that i am just ONE person who also happens to have a family with young children and a husband that keeps long hours. she expects me to be able to function on just a few hours of sleep. she also expects me to be able to work my tail off for her but also keep house too. did i mention she doesn't even pay well? cheese louise, she can be a real pain in my arse some most all of the time.

well, while it is all fun and games to talk bad about my boss and how she is an absolute lunatic with crazy demands and expectations with no room for remembering that people are human, let's also be real.

i am self-employed.

ouch. i am my own worst critic/nightmare. i am that lady. i am that lady that sometimes want to make bad faces behind her back, call her ugly names, talk bad about her to my co-workers, and recently...want to walk up to her, put my hands on my hips and tell her i am sick and tired of her shiznit and quit. right then and there. 

i'd be terribly dishonest if i told you this was the first time. but then again, you ladies probably know that already. i was emailing back and forth with a girl that just started her own business of making these fabulous pony tail holders the other day and she was telling me how she hadn't gone to bed before midnight in weeks and was trying her hardest to be able to find a balance in it all. it dawned on me then that with 4 years under my belt, i should be able to have words of wisdom for her since i should have that balance down. but guess what, i didn't have one good piece of advice that i follow to give her. shame on me.

the majority of my issue is that i am not a quitter. i tend to be one of the stubbornest mules there ever was. hee-haw. as much as i thought this past week about taking down my etsy page, deactivating my facebook, and telling BG sayonara, etc i never did it. it was very tempting. especially on the days that i was literally S.T. Rugglin' trying to keep my head above water. but i am still here and am about to make attempt number 1,593,441 of figuring out a balance.

my graphic designer (who also moonlights as a fabulous friend of mine and genius) told me that i needed to set reasonable goals for myself. like 1 new pattern every 3 months. that way i wouldn't feel so rushed and pushed to have it perfect right then and there. and you know what, i think she is on to something. that will be goal #1. never again will i debut new patterns back to back to back. i am surprised my family is still speaking to me. not to mention my beloved pink compass that got thrown across the room and stomped on in a moment of temper tantrums.

goal #2 is to work on researching a new site that offers instant downloads for patterns via etsy. i think if i could have those patterns automatically emailed out, i would find that extra time wonderful in the balancing act. 

goal #3 is my fave, and one i am very good at, just ask my friends. being a shady lady. when i am shady, i tend to get lots more done. i am too easily distracted by facebook, crafty blogs, fabric sales, etc. 

goal #4 is something that is hard to do for any momma, not just one that runs a business too. make more time for ME. i want to do the things i enjoy without feeling guilty because i am not putting that extra time into BG. if i want to take the few hours that both kids are in school to take a book or magazine up to the coffee shop, drink some java and just sit - i need to do that. or, go buy shoes. or just go and wander target and try my hardest not to find trouble. instead, i spend that "me" time drafting, stressing, pdf-ing, stressing, etc. 

if i had a dime for each time i "rebalanced" myself with brownie-goose, i could probably pay to hire someone to figure it out for me. i do really well sometimes, and then i just get off track and fall victim to my crazy-alpha female design side. i like her, in small doses - but she can be very overbearing at times. this last time i wanted to poke out her eyeballs. when i made the decision to grade for larger sizes, i made the investment of purchasing standardized charts to use in addition to my measurement charts to make sure i was good to go. i had NO clue going into it how much more work, stress, figuring, etc it would add to the drafting phase. and even worse, the changes i have to make after i get them back from testing. you see, before - all the sizes i published i had tested them out myself on my collections. i am sort of driving blind with these larger sizes and they've been kicking my boootay in all honesty!

so, over the next week or so i will be starting this new balancing act. i got up this morning, put on my big girl panties (and my cleaning gloves, i mean...gross - you saw my house) and am going to turn the tables on my boss. it is time to let the dog wag the tail!

thanks for sticking by me through all of my moments, good and bad. thanks for being patient and understanding. thanks for being there. and most of all - i need to thank you in advance for holding me to my new goals! i put on my facebook over the weekend how there would be no new debuts this week. that hasn't changed. i have the henry/henrietta pant at the testers and the new/revised hattie at the testers as well, so be on the lookout for those maybe next week?? it all depends on how well i am doing at ruling my boss. :)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

celebrating the brownie in brownie-goose

so, for all of you that know the girl behind BG, you know that she loves her labradors more than she loves most people. yep, it is the truth. my doggies are my heart - and tomorrow my sweet brown boy, my first baby, turns 11. i cannot hardly believe it. he is my best bud in the whole wide, my side-kick and partner in crime. he even walked me down the aisle. oh how i love my brown dog.

so, to celebrate his birthday, along with doggie birthday cake (yep, i am that girl) i will also be hosting a FLASH SALE in my etsy store! it will run from 12:00 am EST on september 16 until 11:59 pm EST on the 16th. your code is FLASH25 for 25% off your purchase. eeeeeeks!

the bundles are not included in the sale since they are already discounted, so i will have those listings inactive while the sale runs. 

but, for some of the best news so far, my newest pattern will debut tomorrow during the sale. i am super excited to debut betsy's dress - a dress that had me head over in no time!

this twist on a peasant dress is right up BG's ally. you may recognize her - yep, betsy and nelle are sisters - you've got that sweet ruffled neckline on both, but one with flutter angel sleeves and the other with belled longer sleeves you can finish off with lace or ruffles. methinks you cannot live without it. not to mention it comes in sizes 6-12 months all the way to 12! holy junkaroos. :)

the betsy looks fab on her own, but pair her with tights and boots and you just might fall off your chair. or your rocker, in my case. :) for a fabulous pattern that comes together in no time and makes a huge fashion statement - girls, go get you a betsy's dress! 

just look at the beauty that came from the testers!

 photo and dress courtesy of hearthmade creations - this girl ROCKS some BG patterns!

 photo and dress courtesy of saflower photography - this is a girl after my own heart, she photographs with her labrador. :)

 photo and dress courtesy of sweet birdie & co. her fabrics and attention to detail slay me, as always!

photo and dress courtesy of handmade by autumn. i'd kill for that fabric!

okay - time out from betsy fabulousness. time to talk hattie.

for those that know me, you know my perfectionism and how i really, really, really always like to be right. well, i goofed and let 2 mistakes go out on the hattie pattern and to say i have beat myself up about this would be an understatement. i mean, i cried. big fat tears with snorting and snot running straight down my splotchy face. big cry. i was so upset with myself for missing those mistakes. but, thankfully i have some super awesome customers that held my hands through it and told me that all would be right in the world again soon. so, in my big moment of anger with myself  - i also realized something else. well, a few things actually. but maybe one doesn't count because i already KNEW that my BG girls are the best girls in the world and i swanny if you ladies didn't stand by me and be as loyal and awesome as you are, i wouldn't still be doing this but so many of you have become my friends and companions and you mean the world to me. i am uber lucky. and i also realized something that if i could bear the pain of a tatoo i need to have it permanently tatoo'd somewhere that i can see it everyday. SLOW DOWN AMY. i have a lot going on right now and i sometimes don't like to remember that or take it into consideration that i am about to run myself into the ground if i keep up like this. i always smile and remember the lyrics to my most fave buffett song that "i must confess, i can use some rest. i can't run at this pace very long. yes it's quite insane, i think it hurts the brain." and yes it does. so, i really do need to slow it down and stop pushing myself to the cliff!

so, in that regards, i will not have hattie back in the shop tomorrow for the sale. i am sorry yall, but i really want to get this pattern right before i release it again. PLUS, while i had it on the table redrafting my mistakes, i graded it up to a size 12 - so now i need  to have those larger sizes tested too before i send it to you ladies again. so, for those that have already bought a hattie, you should have an email about how to make revisions if you need to do so before the new one gets released. let me know if you haven't gotten that email because that is also the list i will be using to send out the new pattern when it is available. i hope you all understand this and know that i am VERY upset that it wont be in the shop tomorrow, but i really, really am mortified that it wasn't right the first time and now really want to make up for it and not have this as a repeat!!

wordy blog, wordy blog, wordy blog.

but, what you need to take away from this blog is a SALE TOMORROW when my shop opens back up and a NEW PATTERN. yay!

once again, the sale starts at 12:00 am EST on september 16th and runs until 11:59 pm EST that night in honor of my brown doggy's birthday. your code is FLASH25 for 25% off your purchase. also - please note on flash sale days it gets caaaaaarazy. so, i will email the patterns out to you in 24 hours, promise! but just be patient as it gets a little wild. :) and you know i have those 2 tow-headed hooligans on top of it all making it just a bit more chaotic. haha.

thanks again ladies - you rock as always and i am off to finish up scanning the new hattie and then to finish up the henry/henrietta for the testers!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

oh sweet hattie!

i have a few designs that take my breath away each and every time that i look at them. no matter how many times.

the hattie is for shizzle one of those designs.

this dress brought me to tears at the drafting table a little over a year ago. i walked away from it numerous times with many 4-letters behind me swearing i was quitting it. but, it never left me alone. it would haunt me in my dreams and i would be right back at it the next morning. and finally, one day it just worked and i think i went a few minutes without breathing.

i love everything about this design. i love the ruffled neck with a pleated front...

i really love the gathered sleeves with the buttons on the tabs. you know me, i am a sucker for a button.

i adore the short length. i know not everyone agrees with me here, but i love a short dress on a little girl. can you tell i am a huge fan of the brady bunch and the fashion of that time period?

well, it has finally made itself to pdf form so that all of you can create the sweet hattie as well. and i decided to draft it tunic length as well, because i honestly cannot stand how stinking adorable it looks over some skinny jeans. 

as soon as i publish this blog, she will be in the etsy shop. for sale. for you. i hope you love her. i certainly do. and so does lou...don't let that sassy face fool you.

now, for a little more info about what i have been up to. yall, i swanny i haven't stopped in 2 weeks. i have been busting it with patterns and pdfs and tutorials and measurements, etc. i have decided to finally start to include larger sizes and honestly the drafting is kicking my tail. i have been pouring over measurements, sweating under my arms and holding my mouth just right hoping that my insane collection of sizes is working out well. i was a bit humbled to find one day that MY inseam was only a few inches from that of a 12 year old. ouch.

but, to be honest - i cannot keep this pace going. i am exhausted and my brain isn't functioning at full capacity. i mean, think about today - i almost FORGOT to publish hattie. oh my. so, what i plan to do is shut down the etsy shop on thursday of this week for a bit so that i can play double-time with the patterns. i have a special little brown doggy (the brownie of BG)


 that turns 11 on the 16th, and i think we all know that i LOVE to celebrate a birthday with a little flash sale. and since technically a flash sale is not planned - that is all the info i can give you about that for now. ;)

again - ladies, i am blown away by the pictures of your creations you send me. i love to see what spin you put on my patterns. it seriously puts a big ole smile on my face. keep it up!

so, hattie getting published, etsy shop closing thursday and in the meantime...someone else you may know turns 33. just a hint, here she is throwing her hands in the air and LOVING life. 


peace out my brownie geese.