Friday, 26 February 2010

farewell to the ostrich (it's a wordy'll need a cuppa)

Hello folks!

I've been a little remiss with my blogging recently - I blame the stonking head cold that has been plaguing me for the past 3 weeks (on & off). Honestly - my brain simply has not been functioning!

Anyhoo, I had to have a little word with myself yesterday...on account of my ostrich-like tendencies when it comes to my business. I love having Ditsy Bird Designs! I love the designing, the plotting and planning, the trying out new ideas, starting new canvases, dreaming up new brooches, new home decorations, all of it. And I am terrible (I mean really dreadful) at treating it as a business *hangs head in shame*.

This is me 'fessing up now, big time - if I were paying me as an employee, well, I just wouldn't - I'm too airy-fairy, too much of a flibbertigibbet - I like to flit from one thing to another, and I very rarely flit back. *again with the the shame pose* Which I find bizarre because in my 'out to work' job, I'm a Management Accountant and that role is all about deadlines, accuracy and getting your head down and the job done.

Yesterday, I took some time to actually write down all the things I'd made (these are completed items...I haven't even thought about the boxes of work in progress...argh) and done nothing with. Nothing. They are literally sat in boxes in my studio, waiting to see the light of day...or the light of an Etsy or Folksy listing, to be more blatant!
[NB in case anyone want a simple, handy Excel spreadsheet type thing for such an exercise here's an example of the one I used ...]

I was shocked - seriously so!

If I were to sell them all immediately (which I grant you is as likely as David Boreanaz, appearing in full Angelus mode in my study, right now and saying "do what you want with me"...oh heck! think I need a moment to get passed the lightheadedness...ok I'm back, slightly pinker and more flustered, but back)...where was I, oh yes...'immediately', it would make a significant dent in my overdraft! *repeats shameful head hanging*

You see, I love all the fun, hobby type parts of DBD and abhor the dry, mundane side of it - the paperwork, the ordering (mmm some of this is fun), the photographing and the listing.

How I hate the listing!

oops - is it wrong that I admitted that?? ah well, done now and it is true. I think I hate the listing because i feel I'm pants at it - the photos, the blurb, all of it. But then, I shan't get any better if I don't practice.

My other major, major flaw is motivation - some weeks I can be utterly brilliant. I can sit in my studio and paint like a little painting demon - loving every moment, every stroke [audio books help with the enormously - I can lose hours this way and usually only realise the time due to the unceremonious grumbly of my empty belly!].

But I can't just do this 'some' weeks. If i want to be successful at this - and by successful (in my terms) I mean, to have regular orders and and regular income from it - I need to (as my Dad would have so beautifully put it) "get my thumb out of my arse and my mind out of neutral"!

As a result, there is a terrible pattern of starting and not finishing projects, of boxes and shelves of half made bunting and half painted canvases...such a waste!

So...ahhh, you were wondering where this was all going weren't you? no? oh well bless you for sticking with it, regardless then :)

So...I made some rules. Some Studio rules. And I made a (quick but not so brilliant) poster with them on, and I will be putting it on my Studio wall, in front of me, as a constant reminder. NB this all starts next week as I am blatantly breaking said rules today hehe.

And here they are...

I know - bloomin' obvious aren't they?! Yet I needed telling! I needed to remind myself that I'm not playing at this and that I need to knuckle down and get on.

Like it says - during the day or should I say, during studio hours, I should be painting - be it for orders or new designs or for stock - or I should be taking photos of completed items, whilst the light is good. In essence, I should be building my business.

Evenings should be when I do the listings and when I get to play - to sketch new ideas and play around, to sew my brooches and bunting, and to work on my little stitcheries.

So, from Monday, I will be operating in a more business-like manner. After breakfast has been scoffed and George has been walked to school, I shall check my emails, Etsy, Folksy and Twitter and then, with cup of tea and audio book in hand...I shall ascend the stairs to the studio. And there I shall paint and work, because this is work, yes, but still work.

There, that's me told!
Does anyone else struggle with the play/work balance and the whole mindset of going from hobby to business?? Do'll make me feel less loser-ish :)


PS huge thanks to my friend Lisa from The Present Planners - a good chat this morning over a cuppa helped get my head back into gear and back on track! And she has a fantastic stock of toys in her real and virtual shops, as well as some adorable bears to build! :) Oh, and her knowledge is invaluable - tell Lisa the age and sex of the child your buying for and the amount you want to spend and she will instantly give you suggestions, many of which you can try out in store!


  1. OH!! I totally share this struggle! It's funny how we need to spell it out for ourselves to really get us to work! (your sign!)

    One of my big issues is being online, checking emails/twitter/etsy - then I get distracted and before I know it, its afternoon!! So, I have learned if I want to get things done, starting out in the studio works best for me. And at one time I actually had a 1 hour a day rule on the computer.... that didn't last long. ha!

    I wish you luck with your new work plan! :)

  2. Thanks Kelly! I'll let you know if the bum-kicking worked! ;)

  3. I laughed so much reading this post. Was chatting to a Mum after school and she asked me what I do all day to stop my mind going numb (she has a younger son same age as Mr C) and I explained about setting up The Linen Cat etc...she asked if it paid and I felt guilty explaining that my hubby calls it my 'expensive hobby'!!

    TLC does pay for itself but I am supposed to be moving it towards more of a profit now C is in pre-school 3 mornings. I need to do a sign for fact several to put in strategic places around the house - ha,ha!

    Good on you, hope it does the trick.


  4. ha - confession time...the sign STILL hasn't gone up, well, at least not on my wall! But it is at the forefront of my mind whenever I sit down to work :)
    Will get it up soon tho, honest guvner ;)

  5. Hey Sarah! Thats bad!!! shame shame! haha!
    Anyway, just wanted to let you know that I nominated you for the Sunshine Award!!