Transparency

It isn’t often I get out my laptop to write anymore. Usually, I thumb-type away on my phone or tablet, squeezing posts together between bonnets, before driving to work, at lunch. I know my thoughts are far more fluid when I type on a keyboard; more fluid, more complete, more many things. Yet, life in the twenty-first century utilizes mobile technology and squeezing of time.

This morning I find I have a myriad of thoughts whirling around in my head. Along with the din of wanna-be-migraine noise that sorta combines the sound of ceiling fans and old tube lights, I am having difficulty focusing on the detailed sewing tasks that need to be done. Best to get the thoughts out.

Those details sewing tasks – Moments ago, I cut the pieces for the kerchief doll’s dress and my dress’s collar. These are the items I need for tomorrow, my first nineteenth century day of the season. I should be excited. I have a new wool challis dress to wear. I have a great project dressing a Jenny Lind style porcelain doll in a reproduction kerchief based on an original in the Greene Collection at the Wehle Gallery. The weather is going to be lovely. The people are going to be lovely. I should be excited.

Yet, I am exhausted.

I feel like I am constantly saying that lately: exhausted. That is because I am saying it constantly. At least I am feeling it constantly. I recharge my battery. I refill my glass. But, rarely ever to 100%. I am lucky if I get my battery to 50%; my glass to half full before I need to start back in.

Work is work. I actually enjoy the tasks, even the extra tasks to help out coworkers. I enjoy the problem solving, the challenges. What has worn me down is the stuff I am probably not supposed to talk about, the startling, the worrying about kid safety, the worrying about coworker safety, the worrying about kid mental health, the worrying about coworker mental health, the worrying about my mental health. Too often I get to the end of a week and find myself sitting on my couch so tired I could just cry, but I am too tired to cry. Even this past week, when I started the week feeling great, feeling like I was on top of what I needed to do, feeling optimistic, feeling like my body was good, I got to Friday and again found myself feeling like I could cry but was simply too tired.

This is why, in recent weeks, there is less millinery. My goals for the year were to complete 2 pieces each week for you to choose from. That is about 22 hours of sewing, photographing, and listing if they are undecorated, closer to 20 if they are decorated. Today is May 7th and I have only made one piece this month. It is hanging out in my shop waiting for someone to buy it along with one adorable little bonnet from last month.

That brings me to one of the thoughts whirling around – Millinery waiting.

Without a doubt I find far more joy in watching bonnets and hats sell quickly. I get very excited when pieces sell in less than an hour. I have this “yes” feeling with a please sigh when I see a piece selected by a person it matches well with. I love these feel-goods. I thrive on them.

Lately, I haven’t been getting them.

I suspect the longer, much longer at times, “shelf” time is due to my increase in prices. Keeping prices manageable is important to me. I managed not to increase from my $125 and $200 base prices for the whole of 2020 and 2021 despite the rise in costs for materials and overhead. (Okay, let’s call overhead what it is – living – rent, utilities, taxes. My rent and fees went up nearly $200 this year.) I made the price increase. The side of me waiting for pieces to sell regrets it, is reconsidering it. The side of me that has to meet budget knows I had to. My hands that get painfully tired and weird knows I had to. The choice was raise prices and increase two pieces a month or leave prices and increase 4 and 5 pieces a month. Pushing my hands to 10 pieces (18 in the summer) a month would likely mean I would be done, unable to sew in a year or two.

Yet, I am considering pulling back the prices or offering more discount options. Please know – returning customers and Patreon supporters receive discount codes currently. I just need to figure out how to make up the difference.

Now on to a less depressing whirling component – The next blog series idea. As the current series of Monday Millinery reposts is coming to a close in a couple weeks, I am considering two options for the next series. 1) Continuing on Monday Millinery with answering the most common questions I get when interpreting. This would mean freshly written posts each week. This is both an appeal and hesitation as time is a big factor for me. 2) A Fancy Work Friday with a combination of revisited past posts and projects along with some new projects. The ability to repost some projects is very appealing. But, during the summer, I really prefer to stick to millinery so I don’t distract myself. So….. decisions must be made.

And now, as I get this far into my typing I find I can hear the birds singing outside rather than that din of wanna-be-migraine sound. This is good. This means getting some of my thoughts out was a good idea. If you’ve read this far, thank you for reading.

I need to go press the waistband for the doll dress along with the inner bias piece for my collar. Then I need to put the hooks on my dress. I am also going to prepare two pockets because I want to squeeze in a pocket video tomorrow. It is a very good thing I stepped back from doing both days this weekend. While I do regret not being there for opening day, I don’t think it would have been doable.

This needs a cute photo.

White tabby cat ducking out from under a red, white, and gray wool skirt that is draped over a chair.

EDIT: An hour later – She bit holes into the front shoulder of my dress.

Published in: on May 7, 2022 at 9:52 am  Leave a Comment  

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