Friday, May 17, 2019

Updated Life Choices

Hi everyone!  I hope you're all having a lovely May so far.  It's usually such a lovely month here in western NY, though very wet!  We live very near the top of a hill, so you would think the water would run down to a lower level.  But no, in the spring, our back yard is so wet that I need to wear knee high muck boots, and even then I usually splash mud up on my pants.  It gets so bad in the back near my apple trees that I sink in an inch or two, slip and slide all over the place, and sometimes very nearly lose a boot!  Hubby and I joke that we have to attach pontoons to our lawn mower.

I love spring though, none the less.  It's a chance to get outside again after a very long, cold winter, a chance to get back in touch with nature, to put my hands in the soil, hear the birds, see the little green things growing.  It's lovely and magical. 

I have found myself wanting to spend more time on my home, my garden, and my family this spring, and less time on my designs.  It's not that I have lost interest in designing, but that I want to make the other parts of my life a higher priority right now. 

I was beginning to wonder when I should start getting back into designing when I got an email from Annie's.  Annie's is the one big company that showed interest in my designs, and I actually sold very well on their website.  They're kind of the reason why I pushed myself so hard there for a while, because they were actively seeking new designs.  Isn't that how it is with big companies, always searching for the big new thing?  Well, Annie's emailed to let me know that they discontinued about 3/4 of the patterns they were selling for me. 

At first I was kind of upset about it.  I mean, I worked really hard on those patterns and I also worked really hard to get those patterns on Annie's website...  but then I decided that maybe it was an opportunity to reevaluate my life and where I'm going.  The truth is, I wasn't very happy with where my design business was going and it was a good time to change things.

Working with Annie's really made me proud, but it was also really hard.  When I was working the hardest on my designs, it was a part time job, 4 hours a day and roughly 20 hours a week, but I'm only getting paid about 1/3 the price of even a minimum wage part time job. And because they wanted new patterns frequently, I found myself sacrificing what I wanted to design for what was easy to design.

So in light of all of this, plus the fact that I want to spend more time focusing on my home and family and garden, I decided that I'm going to shift gears a bit.  I do still want to design, but I want it to be on my own terms this time.  That will mean fewer new designs, but hopefully more interesting ones that I can really get into.  More complicated, interesting patterns.  Maybe I'll branch out into quilting?  We'll see.  Right now I feel like I'm trying to find my way, and I'm just trusting God to lead me down the path I'm meant to be on.  So I hope you'll all bear with me! 

I don't know what this means for my blog.  I do want to continue to post about my life, and I probably will post free patterns, but I don't think I can promise weekly patterns like I was doing before.  That's too much of a grind for me right now.  I have a very good library of free patterns though, so make sure to look through it!

I also want to let you all know that all of my patterns are still available in my Etsy shop.  I'm still waiting to see what's happening over at Craftsy (or Blueprint is their new name I think).  I may post my patterns there when they reopen their pattern section, but for now my patterns are only really available on Etsy.  If anyone has any suggestions of where else I can sell my designs, let me know! 

I guess that's all for now.  I wish I could say more about what I plan on doing, but right now I just don't know!  Except to say that I definitely will be working in my garden every day that I can! 

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

What's Up Wednesdays

Happy Wednesday, everyone!  It's been a while, hasn't it?  I was technically supposed to get back into blogging and designing a month ago after taking a short hiatus, but it just stretched out and kept going.  I was kind of waiting for life to slow down a bit so that I had a little breathing room to work, but I think it ended up going faster rather than slower.

So what's keeping me so busy?  It's finally spring here in western NY!  Gardening in a cold northern area has its special challenges, chiefly that in order to have a productive gardening season, we need to get things in the ground as soon as we can.  So I end up having precious few days when it's both early enough and warm enough to get my garden prepped for the year to come, and I end up working my rear off for a frantic month or so getting ready for warmer weather. 

The good news is that the frantic part of gardening season is pretty much over for me!  The bad news is that it's finally warm enough to get some home improvement projects done, so now I'm out there working on that as well as whatever gardening things need done.  Sometimes it feels like it's a ridiculous cycle of work, but it also feels rewarding to see my home and my garden looking so neat and well kept, not to mention eating those lovely home grown veggies!

There's not a lot growing in the garden yet, just some tiny seedlings and a few small cabbage plants.  In a couple of months it will look like a jungle though!

The peppers and tomatoes I started from seed are so big and bushy!  I think I planted a record number of both of them this year; 21 tomatoes and 12 peppers. 

My mom and I went to an Amish greenhouse today and I picked up the impatiens and coleus for my shady porch pots.

My front porch is the perfect place to harden off my plants because it's nice and shady with just a little sun on the south side.

My flower garden doesn't look like much at the moment.  Everything is just waking up and getting growing big lovely leaves, but it will be full of blooms in a couple of weeks. 

My strawberry bed is just starting to get some open flowers!

And my apple tree is starting to bloom, too!

The forget-me-nots are beautiful, as always.  They may be a nuisance sometimes, but they're so cheery and such a sweet little flower.

This is the front on the house about a week ago, when the rhododendron was still in bloom and I still had a couple of daffodils out. 

I hope you enjoyed looking through my spring garden.  Hopefully I'll have something more interesting  to show soon.  I hope you all have a great week, and look for some updates on my design business in the next couple of days.