Sunday, September 21, 2008

Leaf me alone!

I wish there was a store that sold time. I would buy as much as I could afford. Not the "I only have six weeks to live" kind of time - that's a whole different kind of time. I just want the "I can't get it all done in one day" kind of time. I imagine that particular type of time would be cheaper than the others, maybe I could pay for it with the loose change at the bottom of my bag.

What would I do with my extra time? Well, for starters, I would sew (of course). I really want to have enough handbags on my Etsy shop that I require a "page two". I have this crazy belief that as soon as I reach that additional page, the sales will start flowing in. I have nothing scientific to base this on, it just seems like those other purse makers who are selling TONS on Etsy have more than one page of stuff. So, to join the ranks, I must have more stuff to sell just like them.

Another reason I would like to purchase time has nothing to do with purses but has everything to do with leaf season. We have twelve very old, very large oak trees in our yard. You simply cannot imagine the vast amount of leaves these twelve trees shed onto my yard each fall. To add insult to injury, there is also a gigantic yellow maple that is technically not in our yard but somehow manages to bend over and deposit all of it's leaves into our yard, too.

My weapon against the enemy is a fancy leaf sucking machine that looks like a mower but it doesn't mow. All it does is suck, mulch and bag. Last year I had over 80 (that's EIGHT ZERO) bags of leaves at the curb. I'll be out in the yard every other day, maybe every third day, for six straight weeks, walking along sucking the leaves and the whole time I'm out there the trees are mocking me, dropping leaves so fast that the path behind me is already ankle deep.

Sadly, I doubt I'll be able to make many handbags during leaf season. I routinely avoid all kinds of household chores to get some sewing time in, and I don't even feel very guilty about it, mostly because nobody but my kids know about it. However, when I ignore the leaves for more than a few hours, the whole neighborhood knows and then I feel like the neighborhood slacker mom/yard lady.

So, because my google searches still haven't found anyone with time for sale, it will probably be mid November before I can get to the elusive "page two". Until then, you can find me out in the yard. And if you are lucky enough to have time to spare, bring a rake.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Handbags are a funny thing

Ever since I started this "bag business" I've been paying a lot of attention to the type of bag women out there choose to carry. I believe there is a whole psychology around bags.

For example, my mother says she doesn't carry a bag unless it has at least two outside zippered pockets. My friend Andi won't consider carrying a purse unless it zips completely closed. My sister, when she's without small child and diaper bag, prefers bags so small I find them completely impractical. Chris has never owned more than one purse at a time (until now, of course!) and Kelli, well, let's just say the more bling and signature name brand hoo-ha, the better.

If you knew these wonderful people as I do , you'd see there is a stong connection between their personalities and the bags they own. Options that would be defended as strictly utilitarian are usually more telling to their lives and who they really are. You may think you're attracted to that purse because it matches the jacket you just bought but chances are, there is something about that bag that speaks for you, tells the public who you really are, if they are paying attention.

The question is, what do I do with this information. I love the diversity of my circle of friends but I can't possibly tailor a bag for each individual purse-onality, can I? How does one "appeal to the masses"?

My kids once told me I needed to have this purse they saw on tv that starts out small but expands as you add things to it. By the time the purse is completely full, it can hold your laptop, your labradoodle and a lap dancer, all in one "easy to carry" genuine corinthian leather bag. If only life were that simple.

I'm off to ponder what kind of bag I'll make for Sarah Palin...perhaps something with lots of hidden pockets on the inside but a big one on the front for her bible.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

You have no idea...

Wow. I am blogging. OK, that might not impress many of you, but it's a really big deal for me. Trust me. Not only have I managed to successfully get here, to this point where I'm typing, but today I also started my own spot. That's probably not even what "cool" people call it - a spot. But that's what I'm calling it and I did it all by myself.

My motivation for all of this internet adventure is my newest obsession, making and selling handbags. Sunshine Handbags. This is actually my second attempt at creating some type of stay-at-home mom business out of a hobby. That first time I spent weeks trying to come up with a name for my jewelry business, spending hours on-line and at a more desperate hour I even paged through a thesaurus for ideas! Because, I thought, it all starts with a name, and it needs to be PERFECT. I bugged my family members and friends for their opinions and finally settled on something that in truth probably wasn't worthy of such a long process. Certainly my short-lived business wasn't worth the effort in the end. Except for the "learning experience" part of the whole deal, of course.

When it came time to give this new baby a name, I never hesitated, never asked anyone for advice, it just was there, waiting for me to announce it. Sunshine Handbags. I don't even use the word Handbag in my everyday vernacular. I have always called what I carry a "purse" as in, "honey, do you know where my purse is". But Handbag sounds important, maybe a little old-fashioned, like something you don't want to get dirty or mussed up or set on the sticky floor of a movie theatre or bar. It sounds like something that is hand-sewn, tailored even. And that is essentially what my bags are. On the inside, they might end up carrying your used kleenexes and old grocery receipts, but on the outside, they look like a Handbag. A thing of style.

However, I'm not delusional enough to think my bags will be in the same league as a Dooney and Bourke, Coach or Prada. No, they are handmade, don't contain any type of tanned animal hide or super fancy buckles or chains. So, I am taking my handbags to a marketplace where people are not looking for a Coach or Prada anything. I'm joining the multitudes of other artists who have found the wonderful world of ETSY. A world where hand-crafted items are considered a luxury, a special gift. Where people, some of whom only loosely consider themselves an "artist" can be a part of a group where everyone has this unexplainable need to just create. And a need to make some money to enable them to keep feeding the creative mind with supplies and ideas.

So, I have this blog, I have my etsy shop, I have a flickr account. I'm going to try not to make this a SAHM blog. That is a big part of my life and I no doubt will entertain you with stories about my kids from time to time, but I also hope to help expand my creative thoughts here, get ideas from others and spread the good word of Sunshine Handbags!