Granny to seven darling children. Mother to four not so darling young adults!mmm.
I love to sew, and enjoy creating magazines. I have a stash of fabric so high that my friends think it will take me all my life to use it up! So here I am, showcasing My Making journey.
Welcome, and come on into my world.
In 2014, life in the Mooloo household is about to alter again.
It will mark the end of my Guardianship funding for DGD, and the end of my back to work credits. Meaning a loss of income of some £160 a week!
So the making has to be stepped up a gear, or two. ( or even more). Along with looking to save, batch cook, make do and mend, and all the other Frugal living options that we can muster, so that our quality of life is not compromised too much.
The obvious changes are rather hard to consider, as it would mean no annual holiday to Portugal, and possibly even the loss of the car.
Which would be detrimental to our world, for DGD to visit her mother. To getting to my clients, and seeing my partner.
none of which are very palatable options really.
So another income revenue is urgently required for 2014.
The first thought is to put teaching lessons into the working week. So I will be working on the content of those lessons and a venue to use. Then an advertising campaign to attract the clients that I could teach.
Have you any thoughts as to viable other options?
Teaching people to recycle their clothes into something more wearable or even into completely different items. Would be where I would like to go.
Having been unwell and not into venturing outside I made some last minute makes at home. Using info from one of the threads on MSE, I made some 'ode to Lager' gifts. Pint Pots, black and white socks rolled up inside, a poem, all wrapped up in cellophane with gold ribbon. A little something for the men in the family. however I forgot to take photos so I cannot post a picture until I go back home tomorrow.
But I can show you the personalised Stocking that I made for my daughters partner, with a rocking Santa playing the guitar, as he is a great guitar player.
This evenings stash buster was to finally use a piece of fur fabric that's been lurking in my stash for several years. Think it was a charity shop buy, but so long ago I can't remember what it cost.! But now it's a scarf to be proud of and will be in someone's Christmas Stocking, (if I can bare to part with it)! Sold! Within 30 mins- yeah!
It is time for me to go back to the basics. After buying the replacement car, then Yesterday buying DS his motorbike and the gear the bank is now empty. Well I left £5 in the account to start me off again. It's time for me to focus on my makes and use my skills to create for Christmas, and to sell surplus when ever I can. But first I have the bags to finish for the Zimbabwe challenge over on Elaine's blog.
I realise this post is not about making, it's about replacing my old car with a slightly newer one. But if I hadn't started Mooloos in April, then I would not have managed to have any savings. So with a little savings and a help from my lovely Dad today I have bought a new car. Well new to me! I get to pick it up on Thursday.
I have had a request for one of my children's bags to be a waterproof swimming bag. Some adaptation will be required as original bag picture customer has seen is a small child's hand bag. But not to be defeated I will do some adaptations with the fabric and come up with something I hope will be suitable.
With the machines back and ready to sew, I hope to finish my alterations and get cracking on the bag before the weekend. Fingers crossed.
Alas the customer has changed her mind. The cost of £8 - £10 for a bespoke bag was too expensive. As it takes over an hour to make a bag, plus the cost of all the fabric etc I can't make it for less.
Well the machines are both now sewing perfectly fine. The problems? My thread seams to have been the trouble as as soon as he put in his threads and changed a needle (although I had done that already), both sewed fine ! Grrrr so two hours driving and five minutes in the workshop! Needless to say I have invested in a few boxes of their threads and will not use the cheap stuff on my machines anymore. (Until its my last resort because I need the colour for an urgent repair or something! )
Well as I build my reputation as "the woman who sews" in the neighbourhood , the door starts knocking, the Facebook messages arrive and all is good you think. But oh no! After spending the morning using the over locker and going great guns I stopped for my lunch, one of Elaine Colliar's recipes- yum.
Then it was swap machines over and do the next stages. Great I hear you say, this is good. Except my Super Jeans machine said No! Well it didn't actually speak, that would be silly, but it just decided that after working hard since May it was going to stop making any stitches. Okay, no problem there is the older 502 in the bedroom. (Under a pile of boxes and cushions etc). So after a a mammoth effort to reach that, swap it over and away I go. Nope! It too has decided that it won't stitch! So today I have to rush around and go to Rushden to take them to the man with the magic spanner to fix them! What odds of that happening? At least there is cash in the Mooloo account to cover a service for them.
It's not that I have had a hectic day at all. I had a very late night going to a charity concert, and then deciding to watch some catch up TV. Before I realised it was after 2AM! But I didn't have DGD here to wake me, so was able to have a very late lie in, watched the Great North Run ending on the TV in my bedroom and did a cooked breakfast for BF, DS and myself. Haven't done that in a very long time. Then it was pottering with housework as I no longer have a cleaner. That's going to take some. Getting used to!
Then this afternoon I dropped DS at his mates enroute to collect DGD from her Mum's and then we went shopping at Mr T for trainers she needs for school PE. And I indulged in a few other items that I had been putting off. Socks and pants, winter boots for DGD and some trainers and socks for me. I had to have these!
I realise that my making spot is usually all about my sewing but I wanted to share my bounty with you all.
All the budgeting and Menu planning that I have learnt with Moneysavingexpert.com has come into great use as I was able to produce a basic menu plan based on the items in the Food Bank bags. Today I went to deliver some more copies of the Menus and to see what else that I could do for them. A large donation of Indian Food has been given to them and so I have been given some as a Thankyou. I will also be trying to see what I can do with these items to extend the menus for a bit of a difference, but I don't know where to begin. Lots of research needed to get me started.
Well yesterday's table top was very slow. We were off to the side in the gardens so not everyone came looking. However, although I only sold £20 worth of stuff It got people looking and cards handed out. Would have sold a few more things if they had been in the right sizes.
Will work on a variety of sizes in future. But there was one set of contacts that may prove interesting. Some gypsy families that are local to the pub want some baby clothes made. So it may be an avenue for work. Time will tell.
Darling granddaughter has lost those two front teeth in the last 24 hours.
Today I have been trying to catch up on my world while Paige is playing games on my old iPhone and I am still learning how my new one works.
Time is running away with me and technology is not my strong point.
I brought my sewing machine and over locker with me to stay in Oxford with Jerry. so when he is at work I can still do my work. Because I have a business to run and I need to be on top of it more.
I do two days a week sewing for Vintage Garms, I post pictures of my work on Facebook and Pinterest. But what am I actually doing to raise the profile on Mooloos? Nada. Zip. I haven't got my laptop with me and I haven't been using my Website to sell things. I have a few random items on Etsy, but have lost heart as I have never made a single sale with them.
My Moneysaving Expert contacts have been my main outsider source of sales, but it's not enough to keep me a regular income.
so how do I change my fortunes around? build more time for my business and actually start to make money a d hopefully turn a profit?
Jerry doesn't believe in me. So I feel flawed in my own ability. How can I turn my skills, and my ethics into making a proper living and prove that I can become self sufficient, and bring up Paige at the same time.
This weekend I am going to do a tabletop sale at The Rockinghorse Pub in Towcester. The table will only cost me £10 but I will need to make quite a few sales to cover the costs of my table, my fuel to get from here and care for Paige. My last sale was a disaster. It put me off for a while. I wondered what the point was. But I won't make money just sitting on all my makes and I really don't want to have to work on anything else. I am happiest with my machines and fabrics in my hand.
Can I turn my world around and find a way to get the work out there in the big wide world and be self sufficient, with in the next 6 months? My funding will be reduced by £119 in March and a further £40 in April. Something needs to be done before then.
Well we are into my third week of trading as Mooloo. Several weird and wonderful items created today. Pictures are on my Facebook page. For some reason I can't get them from my phone onto here. More technology for me to master.
Where does the time go?
I cannot believe that the last month has flown by so fast!.
Agreed I am now out at work 2 days a week, and still have to deal with all the usual trials and tribulations from the family.
This month has been taken up with dealing with Twin2. She has a lot of problems with her Rent, benefits and this new Council Tax, or Bedroom Tax has made things even worse for her.
I have resigned myself to having to pay the difference, to stop her from having her House repossessed.
The problem with sorting out all her problems is that they are now my problems, and I thought that that was why I had a carer for her in the first place.
I need to become better at selling my things, as I am going to have do up my income as much as I can. Time is running out for me to get my finances in order. I loose my Guardian Ship funding in March 2014. This is some £119.49 a week. So I had hoped by now that I would have reduced my budget expenditure, not taken on more. The original idea was to have saved this years funding. But as fast as I have tried to save the funds, its had to go out again.
Why is it the more I know I need to save, the more I seem to have lost control of my spending?
So I need to drawer myself up to my full height, get a back bone, and get stuck in to working it all out.
Instead, I am like a Bunny in the Headlights, and I am not getting on with anything. All the I know I should, isn't actually becoming I am doing?
Why am I my own worst enemy?
There are so many things that need to change, and I don't know where to start?
Upping my income, needs to be worked out, along with the fact that as it goes up; the Tax Credits will go down. So I will not be much better off, but will be the one earning it instead. Which is much more to the Work ethic I was brought up to believe.
(I wish that my children would believe the same. Only Biggest of Mooloo seems to have that trait.).
(oops its side ways!)
Two weeks ago, I did a Craft Stall, but alas I didn't make any money as such. I sold £18 worth of things, but the table cost me £10 and keeping DGD entertained cost me some £18 as well. Not to mention the cost of my materials or my time in it all.
(No matter what I did turning it around when I have linked it, its right back on its side.! ) Oh to be technically minded.
I have been told not to give up hope and to take courage, but Its so soul destroying.
Most of you will know where I am with that one, from one stage or another.
Feeling so despondent, at the moment.
I have been reading Elaine Colliers' Mortgage Free in Three blog, I get the feeds, and she is so on the ball. Me I just am in Awe.
So if I know all these things, why am I still sitting here worried to death about the future?
Why am I unable to kick start my self anymore?
Sorry this is not about my Making at all. Just a sound off on my blog really.
While I have been uploading my photos from my iphone, onto my laptop, and the dinner is cooking.
DS is actually doing some work for the Pub he does a shift in, to Pay off his Bar Tab would you believe. Makes me so cross. Meanwhile I am spreading my money on his and his sisters bills!.
Moan over for now.
Well I have had problems getting onto my Blogger account, as I have a terrible memory for my passwords etc. But today, I remembered.
So here I am. I can finally update.
SO MUCH has happened to me in the last month. After a consultation with the Jobcentre, and the need to work again, I have launched Mooloos as a proper business.
I am taking in orders, for alterations, bunting, and also making for Craft sales.
I am also so excited to say that I am also contracted out to do Upcycling, or reworking of clothes for a Recycling company that buy clothes for cash.
I was there with Christine to sell them her old clothes, as there is a limit to how many clothes I can horde, on the off chance that I can use them. Anyway, I happened to have my handbag made from ties with me, (its my favourite bag at the moment), and the owner was impressed with it, and the next thing I know I was discussing their new venture with them.
After thinking about it, setting up my Mooloos officially and coming off of ESA, I need an income, so contracting out to them has made some sense. I get paid for what I do when I am there, by the hour. I will be working for them for 2 days a week, 10 - 4, and that leaves me the other 3 days to work at my own things.
I am becoming rather interested in Pinterest, and all the blogs that it leads me off into.! The problem is that I have so many ideas now, I am not sure when I will find the time to do it all.
You can find me on Facebook, in the Sewing Room on moneysavingexpert.com. and a small presence on Etsy. I will find links etc and post them when I fathom out my new computer.
Think its time for Electrical things to give up the ghost on me.
This last month I have had to replace my laptop, the toaster and then today, it was a new overlocker.
So I really do need to earn money now.
Well at the end of last week, I managed to do a couple of Recycling jobs for a customer.
Her husband wanted two of his Rugby shirts into Cushion covers for thier little Bar they have set up at thier home.
So they were a couple of simple jobs to do, and things that have kept me busy.
the Pictures are currently on my Facebook page, so I will have to copy them onto the computer and post them.
I will try and do that later on today.
Alas my sewing room, has to go.!
My son is having a few problems with living at his sisters, and has to come home tomorrow.
So its not long really been " hello" sewing room, and now its a "good bye"
This means that things will be more difficult to do, and I will have to consider whether the sewing is set up in my bedroom, or down here in the sittingroom.
I suppose its going to have to be the bedroom, or else my machine will annoy everyone else in the house who want to watch TV, PLay or do anything else. It will also be in the way if we want to eat at the table etc.
I feel very frustrated that things are going this way, but there is not much that I can do about it.
He has to have somewhere to live. He is my son, dispite it all.
I just hope that it doesnt stop me from sewing as much. Putting things away between jobs tends to slow me down. When its set up it is easy to do a few minutes sewing here and there, but if its got to be set up, then its another matter!.
Here we are, Valentine's Day.
Love is in the air, all around. But some how I am missing the "love" myself.!
Maybe it will come later!.
Today has been spent with one of my lovely new friends, staging, and photographing some of my makes. So no actual sewing today.
DGD and I were the models! mmmm not so good.
I couldnt sleep last night so spent the evening looking at other peoples blogs, then reading my book on Marketing. Such interesting stuff.
So the image needs to moulded, the ideas put out there, and I need to find a way to work on my sewing, at the same time as raising my profile.
I had an invite by Butterick, to the Craft show this weekend. I forgot that I was registered as a stockist of Quick Sew a few years ago. So I am still getting the information.
I am rather tied up with the making at the moment, but branching out into a stockist of patterns will have to wait until I have more space. (In an ideal world that lovely 30ft cabin in the back garden). now something like this could easily be converted into a space for me!
So thats the aim. Earn enough money to buy myself a structure in the garden that I can call my "studio". ha
Meanwhile the bedroom will have to do.
Well I am told that it is important for me to Blog, and too also follow blogs, to get my sewing seen, and out in the big wide world.
Problem is that I am not very good at Blogging.
So to achieve this, I am going to try and post everyday, at least during the week days.
Should be easy, as I post on MSE all the time. Yet when it comes to my blog, I go blank.
So although this blog was originally opened up just for the sewing, a few more things will probably stray into the mix, to make it easier for me.
Working around DGD (Darling Granddaughter), is not as easy as I had hoped. With her going to school I thought that I would have lots of time on my hands! Wrong again. Everythingelse seems to expand to fit the days, and nights.
Mind you I do like to indulge in the odd glass of wine after dinner, and then thats me too relaxed to sit at the sewing machine.
Well this last week, I have launched myself into the sewing room with much more gay abandon they i thought i had.
With the help of friends around me, I have been sewing most days.
The world of the arts and crafts has been my existance and the rest has been put on the back burner. So its the other way around.
I have now found a lovely lady from the Mum's at school, who is coming over two days a week, and helping me to attack the housework, and the mess that was promising to engulf me.
The Frugal savings and spendings are on my mind, and with that in the forefront, it was obvious that I need to use up the sewing things that are all around me, and make some money out of it as well.
With the help of another of the Mum's my stuffed hearts have been put on Facebook, and I have sold several of them already.
I have managed to get to the sewing room, and start to clear up old projects that I had cut out, and too also use up the scraps from various other bags, boxes and the like has been exciting me for a change.!
So dispite it being Half Term, I have managed to get things done.
Onwards and Upwards.
I hope that in time I will make a few more friends on the Bloggersphere, and will also have some followers that will be interested in my makes etc, and those that follow me on MSE may pop here to see a bit of the other side of Mooloo. The side that is not all full of the cost of the Twins, DS and all the frustrations that get posted there.
This is the summer dress that I made today. Some of you may reconise the fabric from one of the dresses that I made DGD a couple of summers ago. She had a complete set of Summer things from it. Which of course now she has well out grown. (Although the dress might be OK? just a bit shorter on her as it was a wrap style dress).
One project down, many more to go.
Well I have decided that I should catch up on some of those little sewing projects that I started but never finished.
So today it was a dress that was cut out some two years ago.
I sat down and managed to make it in less then 2 hours.!
So I have a dress to wear next time I go on holiday. Its a bit flimsy for the UK weather I would think, as its made out of the rest of a duvet set that I made DGD's dress from way back!.
Cant upload the picture! got to do the school run. I will try again later.
Time is not on my side.
After some configuration of the laptop, I have managed to get the links back again. What a faff.
DGD is modelling the turban and wrist warmers for me. She now wants some in her chosen wool.
Here is a picture of one of the sides of the tote bag that I managed to do today.
Having trouble with the sewing machine so its been an effort, but after changing the threads and the needles we finally managed to finish the bags. Maybe I will get back to the sewing machine now, and get back on track with my makes.
I have manged to make two turbans, two sets of wrist warmers and a long scarf over the last two weeks. In the evenings, and during the day while resting from other activities, but it is so slow compared to my sewing. I now know why I choose to sew more then I do to knit. I like instant results that's the problem.
This evening DGD has come home from school unwell. So she actually fell asleep in front of the TV while I was trying to sort out my skype earlier. Doubt that she will be at school tomorrow.
Everytime that I think that I will be able to go and find work, I am reminded that bringing up a small child, being single, makes it very difficult to get out there and work. Monday it was the schools closed, and now its ill health. I am sure an employer would frown upon my not being able to work. Another reason for me to have to make a small business from working from home. I have to think on about this further.
Well I have finally managed to get some things done.
Over the last week, I have really been lazy and have been sitting watching the TV and knitting.
I have made another Turban, wrist warmers, and a chunky scarf for one of my friends who had admired mine.
All the makes have come out of one large, very large ball of wool that I bought in Lidl just before Christmas, rather on impulse, but I am glad that it was not a waste of money.
Then I this afternoon I managed to finish making two tote bags. However for some reason I cannot find a way of getting a picture from my photos on the computer and now onto the blog. I used to be able to do it so easily, but for some reason now it seams to be totally impossible. I think that I will need some serious lessons in blogging!
Yeah, I got it. Here is the P>E> bag, at last the links seem to be different everytime I try to insert them. I think I am going to need more lessons on the phone and laptop and how I am sincing them together- or not.
There are more to make out of the smae fabric, so thats something I will finish when I next get to the machine.
Well I have managed to make something again yesterday.
I finished the second Iphone cover from the day before and then cut out about a dozen p.e. bags from
fabric that I had bought on the market in the beginning of the summer.
I think it cost me around £5 so thats a brilliant way to boost the income, if I can sell any of them.
Although the ones I have made are designed to be presents for the birthday Parties that DGD has been invited too over the next few weeks. The rest I will see about selling.
Struggling to get the pictures, I will have to try again in a minute. Maybe edit the post.
Well Happy New Year world.
I have decided to try and blog a bit more. I am usually on MSE so dont tend to double myself up on postings, figuring its the same readers, but hey you never know.
I have been rather amiss at taking pictures of my makes and posting them, but thought that as I have just finished making a cover for my iphone, (second hand one, that was my daughters), I would post a picture of it. Its made from what was hanging around the house this evening, so the binding is not really as asthetically pleasing as I would like but its only for me so its not so bad.
It took me just over 2 hours to do, but that was also with DGD still up, and so a few stops to get her sorted out for bed etc. I did cut out two, so one is nearly finished within that time as well.
I also made a kindle cover yesterday, using the same fabrics. Rather more guessed measurements then actually made any. So its a bit wonky.