Nice Totes For Sale

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I have had a busy and exciting week, and feels good to be able to say, I have been getting things done! The first goal I set myself this week was to turn some screen printed swatches into small tote bags. The second goal I set myself was to market them. Now the third goal, which is a goal I always have, is to do things I want to do, simultaneously being a hands-on, present mother.

With Cam back working in the city as of last week, he vacated the attic and I re-claimed the space for day time use. Not being albe to sew in the attic when I wanted to was quite annoying and I had to return to sewing at the dinning room table, which any sewer knows is not the ideal sewing spot. Cam is very specific about when and where I can sew because the noise of the machine bothers him. Anyway, with Cam out of the house, I went back to my sewing space in the attic and started designing a tote bag.

The inspiration for the project came from Maya’s design that I had randomly screen printed onto small pieces of calico. I had done this without a set use in mind. The end result was a very simple screen printed bag with lining and cotton bias handles. Very cute, and very easy to sew.

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The fabric that I used for the lining I have had for over 25 years. All these years I have carried it around just waiting for the right project – it even made it all the way here from Australia in a suitcase. Aunt Heidi gave it to me for Christmas when I was 9 years old, and I had always loved it but did not ever make it into something… until now, Isn’t that funny! So with my vintage floral fabric from Aunt Heidi, paired with Maya’s heart design printed on calico in neon pink, I had a winner! I whipped up five tote bags in no time, two of which were claimed by the girls. The other three to be sold. Goal number one met. Totes made.

Now, for a while I have been thinking about opening an etsy shop. This is a recurring thought – each time I make something and people say “You could sell these”. Like the hot water bottle covers for instance. I think yes, I could sell things on etsy. Up until now though, we have not been settled, and my children were still very young and it was not a priority. Now however we are settled, and while I have Elle with me all day every day (for those of you that do not know, she quit preschool after 3 weeks) I am able to have some time to myself while she plays…and I can sew with her company, because  she helps me.

It is simple enough to set up an etsy shop, but in the midst of my esty thoughts, I entertained ideas of selling the totes at the local Children’s boutique. For a few reasons this seemed more fun. So with totes in hand, Elle and I popped into Over The Moon. I am a regular customer at Over The Moon, more often than not I go in to have a chat. I love children’s clothes (no secret) and I like going in there just to talk about clothes. All the talking has mean’t we have become friends and so when I walked in with totes for the store, they were delighted. Elle was a great helper, she had her tote packed with four year old essentials (reindeer, pencil, water bottle), that she plonked onto the counter. Suzie asked Elle about her bag, and Elle said “Mummy made it”, to which I added, ” I made some for the shop too”. I had put swing tickets on the totes in advance, and with a quick discussion over how much to sell them for? Suzie priced them and put them on display! Goal number two met! Totes marketed.

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I was so pleased that they were on display in this adorable shop, but a feeling of true joy that I did not expect was Maya’s reaction when I told her the news. I had taken the project on as my work, but given Maya’s design was on the front, she considered it her work, and a great accomplishment. Seeing my little girl’s face light up, made me doubly happy! Sweet Maya said “Mummy, do you think it is bragging if I tell everyone my design is in a shop?” Now, another Mother, that is more modest (and not a blogger who screams things from mountain tops) might say yes, but not me…”You can tell as many people as you want darling, you can be proud of it.” I said. I loved that she would consider if telling everyone is the right thing to do? It was an insight for me into this growing girl of mine, an insight into the beautiful person she is becoming. Maya thought about my reply for a moment and said “I think I will tell my teachers and my best friends”. Eternal goal met! Doing what I want, and being a good Mother.

So while Maya is content with telling only her teachers and her best friends, I am busy bragging to anyone that cares to read it! Kind of silly to be so excited about such a small accomplishment, but honestly it is the little things like this that helps me remain a peaceful stay at home Mother. It satisfies my urges to do more with my life, and helps me stay where I am currently most needed and most valuable. In the home, taking care of our children.

Note: Elle’s adorable scarf from Wunway!

 


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