Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Stopping to Catch my Breath...

Well, I am so busy, I'm permanently out of breath just now!  I posted that I had lots of books on the go, with various orders to complete.  Since then, I have posted off three of the Custom orders, plus a few "ready made" items.  But I still have loads to do! 

** I'm writing notes for the Sock Monkeys workshop I'll be teaching on Saturday.
** I'm making Monkey-samples, for the same workshop.

** I'm making book samples, for a Books with Fabric Covers workshop I'll teach in July (the samples need to be displayed at the shop in advance).
"London Phone-Boxes" 6"x4" notebook, with fabric and red paper cover and red ribbon tie. 
"London" Sketchbook, soft cover, with red paper lining and back, red cotton edging; Japanese stab-stitch binding in black linen; leather strip and button tie closure.

** I have two of my original Custom orders left - waiting on customers to answer a couple of queries, then ready to go - one is all but complete.
** One of those customers has asked me to make a second custom order also.

** I had an order for a Wedding Guest book, from a friend who recently got engaged.

** The same friend also wants a photo album, to match one I made her last year.

** Yesterday I took an order for a Visitors' Book, from a UK artist, to use in his studio/shop.
It will be like this except with a Coptic stitch binding (this has a hinged cover, for a Japanese stab-stitch binding). The binding will be in chocolate brown linen.

** This morning I took an order for another Wedding Guest book, the same as one I mailed to USA last week.
This will be the last Wedding album order for this paper (unless I can find more!) - I have run out now; it has been so very popular!

** I still have a Coptic stitched Guest Book on my Binding Table.
I'm binding another book like this one.

** I completed another Guest Book, plus a couple of mini-albums and listed them in my shop.

"Birds and Butterflies" Guest book, Coptic stitch binding, 8" x 6"
Mini 6"x6" Scrapbooks, in "Nonsense" papers, by We R Memory Keepers.

** There is a pile of pages and cover boards for Photograph Albums on my table, waiting to be worked on.
These will be large and small photograph albums (one day!).

** I have pages cut for several other books, which need covers and bindings.

~~~~ Gasps for breath! ~~~~

I have now told family and friends that I am "Working" on Tuesday to Thursday.  These are my Studio Days.  Except for urgent appointments/problems, I am not available to give lifts, run errands, go out for coffee, go shopping, blog hop... etc, etc....  I have stopped answering the phone during "office hours" and allow the answering machine to do its job (it does very well). 

Some stuff is unavoidable - like the cat needing to see the vet for a check-up and it needing to be a "work day", as she was out on Monday/Friday;
or my osteopath appointments, once a month, which are always on Wednesday, since that's the only day that my osteopath is there (she works in Milton Keynes the rest of the week).  Otherwise, it has to happen on Monday or Friday!  

So far, this has been quite successful.  I have found that my own attitude has also changed.  Suddenly, it feels that I Do "Go to Work" on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.  I feel justified in leaving the housework between 9 & 4 (though I do sometimes put the washing on the line, or else it won't dry!).  I am definitely getting more work done - a lot more! 
So far, so good - until an "emergency" crops up, I suppose! 

Well, now I have got my breath back and it's the end of a day's work.  I have spent the day on queries and admin, as there was a lot to deal with (and the morning was half over once we got back from the vet).   Now it's dinner time...  off to my Other Job!


  1. fantastic that your business is taking off like this - well done you

  2. Now I'm tired having read your list. Yikes. I recently got a calendar just for my book deadlines because I started fearing to miss one in the flurry of everything else.

  3. You have been busy,Lizzie....so pleased you're getting so many orders.
    I really love that London notebook.

  4. Really pleased that your business is doing well - love that bird paper!

  5. Great to hear business is flourishing and that you have found a work schedule that suits you...I love the London notebook too!
    Alison xx

  6. Wow, you've been busy! Congratulations on your accomplishments both in the books and in time management and organization! I'm sure it will pay off for you!

  7. I am really interested in how you manage your time Lizzie, I am about to embark on being a work at home mum and I know that I will need to prioritise and not try and do everything at once! It seems as though you are making the transition and coping well :-)

  8. I'm so happy for you. Your business has really taken off, and you seem to be finding a nice balance for it.

  9. Thank you everyone! It helps to have the encouragement of others. I'm struggling a bit, with the "organisation" part - I seem to have lost my organisation skills in recent years and while I was recovering from my injury, I developed a rather bad habit for drifting along. I am trying hard to "Pull myself up by the boot-straps" and keep on track. It is not easy and I know I have a lot to do. Lists and calendars are very helpful, as is crossing out what I have done; but the most helpful thing is keeping myself busy and not allowing distractins to creep in - I am not good at that bit!
    Now then...what was I supposed to be doing this morning, before I started reading blogs? Hmm..here we go again!

  10. I LOVE that London sketchbook. So evocative!

    It's so good to hear that your shop is doing so well. Hurrah for running your own business!

  11. Wow Lizzie! I'm tired from reading it too, your work {as always} looks amazing! My favourite is the pink birdy book that is on your stand - gorgeous!!!


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