A day in the life...

I've had some questions recently about what "Create Pretty" is and how I am able to run a business, chase 2 kids, work part time and wear clean clothes all at the same time... total LOL to the clean clothes part. Cause at our house laundry is NEVER caught up. See at any given moment everyone is wearing at least 3-4 items, multiply that by 4 and that's practically a load of laundry. So it never ends.

Create Pretty is a legit business that I started in my home. I've been embroidering for over four years. My husband bought my machine when our son was 6 months old. I am completely self taught and have worked HOURS perfecting my skill. I create custom embroidery items for my wonderful customers. I have a business license and pay taxes. I am the only person working here. I brainstorm ideas, order my items, stitch them, ship them, juggle the books and try to keep my sanity. Hehe.

I also work part time at our church. I love leading the elementary kids to Jesus. They are sweet, spunky, and melt my heart a little each time I am around them. It's the perfect "job" that allows me to use my college degree while still being home with my babies. 

I thought it would be fun to lay out what a typical day looks like here. Everyday is different and if I tried to pick a "normal" day it would be too difficult, so today is the first day of Thanksgiving break. I have both kids home with me and Josh is working. I usually work Tues/Thurs at the church.

Here are my goals for today:
Finish an order (Christmas PJs and a sock monkey shirt)
Prepare 1 order to ship
Clean up my sewing space
Plan dinner
Work an hour for church
Get a handle on laundry
Run to post office
Dr. Appt for Emmie

Sounds easy right? I try not to turn the TV on except for a little in the morning (hello coffee time) and Luke gets to watch when Emmie is taking her afternoon nap (assuming she actually takes one). Here goes!

7:45am- Wake up call. I do not usually turn on an alarm. But especially today since Luke doesn't have school. I did my fair share of getting up at 5:45am for years teaching school. Luke is begging for food. Emmie is fussing. I drag myself out of bed and grab breakfast (today it's donuts and greek yogurt). Donuts are a treat leftover from church yesterday. Breakfast was complete with a round of "Father Abraham had BABY sons." OH he keeps me laughing.
9:15am- while the TV is on I did some house straightening. Carried things upstairs, emptied the van from last night, threw dirty laundry in the washer, and I cleaned the kids bathroom. There is a mountain of laundry on our bed that is looming... I'll do it later.

9:30am- Emmie goes down for a nap. We have a doctor appt. this afternoon  and I am hoping for her to be somewhat rested. She doesn't normally take a morning nap, so we'll see how this goes.

I find an art project for Luke to do later and start working on Create Pretty. I post a weekly item (try to do this on Monday), and jump over to Etsy to manage some items there. I find that having right at 50 items in Etsy is when I do best, so I renew expired items, list a few new items and answer any questions and messages I have. Then I brainstorm what I'd like to accomplish today embroidery wise. Luke is still watching TV. He's on his last episode of Wild Kratts.

10:05am- TV is over. Luke is painting pumpkins for our Thanksgiving table.
I decide to knock out a skirt order that I have that I'd like to ship today (hello procrastination).
While the cutting mat is out and I'll be sewing anyways, I decide to make Emmie a dress.
10:30am- Emmie didn't nap. She was quiet for 20ish minutes. By 10:15 it was clear she wasn't going to sleep. I put all my cut pieces downstairs to get to later. I send Luke into her room to play with her (he usually dumps a bunch of toys in her crib and they play for a while) and I jump in the shower.

11:35am- Shower is done, both kids are dressed, and the laundry mound that looked like this:
is slowly making it's way to order. The kids laundry is sorted, folded and gets put away. 
Everyone is hangry so I make lunch. I also pull out frozen chicken so it thaws in time for dinner. 

12:00pm- Make the excruciating decision of whether I want to try nap time again. Dr. appt. is at 2. If I put her down now she'll only sleep for 1.5 hrs (tops if she falls asleep the second I put her down). If I wait until after the appointment I risk her being too overtired to sleep. Decisions.

1:20pm- Emmie's been asleep for over an hour. Luke played legos, and since he gets to watch TV when she's sleeping he's watching Justin Time. I took the quiet time to finish the skirt order I was working on and photographing my most recent orders for the shop. Then I printed my label for the order. I'd like to ship this after the Dr. appt.

2:30pm- Dr. appt is over. We got in and out in record time. It was a shot only visit and hooray since she hasn't been well enough this whole month to get her shots. Very thankful that she's feeling better. I run to the post office and drop off the order. Since the postage is prepaid I can just leave it behind the counter. Hooray for $15 postal scales! Worth EVERY penny since the line was 10 people long. 

We head home and the kids immediately run out to play! It's unusually 74 degrees in November- I'll take it.
3:15pm- Daddy's home! We chat about our day and plan tomorrow. I decide I don't feel like what I planned for dinner and he mentioned he needed to run to the store, so we pack the kids up and go.

5:15pm- Dinner is started: I decided to go with THIS amazing recipe! Oh and we remember that my tire light is on- AGAIN. Yep, it's my SIXTH flat tire this year. Sigh. Josh goes down to fix it while the kids play more outside. We live in a neighborhood that is still being built and while I don't drive in the unfinished parts, I am thinking that it MUST be the culprit. Although I don't see our neighbors out fixing tires! Ugh.
6:40pm- Dinner is done, table is cleared, leftovers are stored, the dishes are being done, my tire is fixed, and Emmie is getting ready for bed. We only do baths 3ish times a week in the winter because of dry sensitive skin. So no bath tonight. She's usually down by 6:30pm but dinner went a little later than normal.

7:20pm- both kids are in bed. Teeth brushed, pjs on. Ahhhhh... peace and quiet. Emmie didn't sleep well her first year and then with sickness earlier this month she regressed to waking every few hours. Thankfully she's back to her good sleeping self!

7:30pm- After doing NOTHING for 10 minutes, I decide how to spend the rest of the night. Tonight, it's more orders for Create Pretty. Some nights I veg on the couch. Other nights I do some work for church.  Just depends on my work load and what's most pressing. I also make sure the diaper bag and my work bag is ready to go for tomorrow. Nothing worse than facing a morning unprepared.

Josh usually heads to bed around 8pm since he is up around 4am. I spend the rest of the night at my machine! Bed time came around 10:30pm.

Overall it was a productive day! Some days I get more done. Other days, not so much. So it's totally a toss up how each day will go. Usually my life is wrapped around carpool line and doing the preschool drop off and pick up 4 times a week, but this week we get a break! yay!

I think I'll be fun to look back, even in a few months to what a typical day looked like around here! I'm sure our routines will change as the months go by.

Oh and how did I do with my goals?
Finish an order (Christmas PJs and a sock monkey shirt)
Prepare 1 order to ship
Clean up my sewing space
Plan dinner
Work an hour for church
Get a handle on laundry
Run to post office
Dr. Appt for Emmie
So while I did ALOT, I didn't get to it all- there is always tomorrow!

High Five for Friday!

1. I feel like I can really high five- since it really is Friday to me! For a year we've lived with our weekends in the middle of the week- Wed/Thurs or Mon/Tues. Josh's schedule has finally normalized (at least for now) and I'm happy to have a normal person schedule again! Although it was nice with him being off in the middle of the week- going to Dr. appts without the kids was a breeze- I'm happy with this schedule!

2. We did all the "fall" stuff last week! We visited the pumpkin patch, carved pumpkins, went to a harvest festival at Luke's preschool and the of course Halloween. It was super fun. I liked leaving everything until last week because it really felt festive last week!

{yes it's sitting on the toilet- needed a dark space to test it out}
3. I busted out my sewing machine and I have been making some items over at my shop! It really is therapy to sew so I'm excited about other things I have planned!

4. Be still my heart... my baby is turning into a toddler. Most people say this transition happens at a year. But I beg to differ. Emmie wasn't even walking at a year. So to see her walk right out to play with brother may have made me misty-eyed.

5. We've had a rough sleeping week with sick littles. I'm ready for spring. We have the humidifiers going, vicks busted out, and tissues on hand. Already been to the doctor this week and cleaned up puke. And my amazing children who sleep all night have been up at 6am everyday. Oyyyy. I'm exhausted!

Playing with Thread

It's no secret that I love my embroidery machine. I totally covet bigger machines and I will upgrade one day... but for now I am LOVING my single needle.

When I upgraded my machine back in May, I was a member of dozens of online forums and Facebook groups to learn more. One of the tips I came across (that I had NEVER heard in the 3 years before) was to never pull the thread back through the machine.

See when you thread any sewing machine you pull the thread from the top to the bottom- threading it through all the crevices in order- until you get to the needle. Typically when you finish you pull the thread spool off, yanking the thread back through the machine. I did it every time with my old machine.

Well this advice to not pull the thread from the top made a lot of sense. That the sensors and levers were only designed for the thread to go top to bottom not bottom to top. It messes with the timing and tension discs. Is this scientifically proven from the manufacturer? No. But ever since taking this extra step, I haven't have 1 issue.

So how DO you get the thread off since it's attached at the spool? Cut it! Of course!

With the thread still attached, I take my tiny scissors and snip it right at the spool.
Then (making sure the needle position is up) I pull it from the bottom by the needle.

 Voila! I'm left with the amount of thread that is strung through the machine.
So this is where the "playing" comes in!! What DO I do with all those scraps??

Why I collect them in a vase of course!
When I first started, I wasn't sure what I was going to do. Some people leave them in a vase, others fill shadowboxes with them. I liked the vase idea, but I wanted to take it a step further.

I LOVE these little lamps that you can fill. And what better way to display my thread scraps, right? I love that EVERY project I've worked on since getting my new machine is represented here. I'm kind of sentimental- so I just love this!!!
Right now it sits on the fire place. I turn it on at night for dim lighting when I'm working or watching TV. I can't stand dark rooms when watching TV! I'm going to keep it up (my machine has 2 million stitches on it and it's going strong) and once this lamp is filled I'll find another project to make and use up the scraps.
P.S. I found the lamp at Lowes. It was less than $15 with the shade. I couldn't find it online to link it.