Even a little Progress is still Progress

Sometimes there just aren’t enough hours in the week to get everything done. Sometimes there isn’t enough energy in those hours to get anything done either.

I’m getting better about not beating myself up over it.

After talking about it for years, I finally got my Etsy store up and running. I trickled out a few patches in December then spent almost 8 hours on New Years Day photographing and listing the rest of the ones I’d had made up already. I’ve been very ecstatic about their reception thus far! I’m also pleased as punch that they are completely funding themselves and my other crafts without dipping into our household budget.

I think the greatest thing I did for getting things up and running is separating out the creating part and the business part, as well as getting myself organized between the two.

When I had everything at home, I had fun creating the patches, but photographing, writing descriptions, and listing were always something to do ‘later’. Later became never as I didn’t want to make the time to do it. Sometimes even making patches was too much because I’d have to haul out my machine and set it up. Depending on how close it was to Monday or Friday, the days we use that room, I’d have to pack it up at the end of the night.

After I reorganized my gaming/craft room and rearranged my office at work, I had room to always have my embroidery machine set up at home and room for my light box and patch collection at work. Both of them get very messy some days (I’m hesitant to post a picture of my machine set up because of the mess on the table around it), but I can always work on stuff when I want to without much effort!

I have to passively watch my embroidery machine while it does its thing in case something goes wrong, so I use that time for other things I might do anyway at home; read, browse facebook, text, play simple games, crochet, or cross stitch. Even when I’m just ‘goofing off’ (Curse you addictive Candy Crush Soda Saga!), I’m still getting something accomplished.

At work, I have things much more organized. At my last count, I have 130 different patches that I either have listed now or I have listed before (many of those are multiple sizes of the same design), and at least another two dozen designed but not yet made. That is a lot of things to keep track of and remember and my memory just isn’t that great.

To physically organize the patches, I purchased some poly bag floss organizers meant for embroidery floss. Each patch has its own little bag so I can quickly flip through it and find the one I need or see what I’m out of stock of. To keep them organized further, I assigned each patch it’s own item code with a master list I keep in a spreadsheet on googledrive. The pictures I take of the patch get named that code and it gets written on the poly bag as well.

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The one on the Left is just for the Zelda Patches. The one on the right are all of the rest.

Instead of using random numbers, I tried to use letters so I could puzzle out what it meant later. So this patch, listed as Z-IT-LOT-L is Zelda, Item, Lens Of Truth, Large. I’ve also been trying to list the sizes with the title on Etsy rather than the vague ‘Large, Medium, & Small’ I have been using; I still have to go through and update many of the previously listed patches.

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My light box is right next to my chair, so when I have a section of free time where I’m just getting the phone and the door, I can set up my camera and snap away. The organizers hang off a shelf directly next to it, and the bags, business cards, and patch application direction sheets are on the shelf above, all within easy reach.

If I had everything at home, shipping would be ‘eventually’, a horrible horrible thing. With everything within easy reach at a place I know I’ll be 5 days a week, I can ship out bright and early the first business day after purchase. The envelopes are next to our postal scale, the printer is just around the other side of my desk, and the mailbox down the short driveway is more than big enough to hold whatever we need to mail out. I know when I purchase something, I want it OH MY GODS SOON so I make sure I ship everything out as soon as feasibly possible.

Sometimes it doesn’t feel like I get a whole lot done, such as last week when I didn’t even set up my laptop at home and certainly didn’t work on much of anything beyond work and kids. But even with feeling I’ve done ‘nothing’, I’m certainly doing more now than I was in the past when I really was doing nothing.

Tiny steps forward is still moving forward, after all.