I use three different sewing machines for making clothing. They are: a serger, a coverstitch, and a regular sewing machine. They're all home-sewing machines, so they definitely have their limitations, but they do a fine job for now, until I have the space to upgrade to industrial machines.
I also have a blind hemmer that needs some adjustments before I can sew with it. That would make some of my alterations work a total breeze.
On my wish list: all industrial machines! They're fast and powerful. The drawbacks of using home machines are that they're kinda slow, and they have difficulty sewing through many layers of fabric. Not so with an industrial. Drawbacks of industrial machines are: size, noise, and price. The noise wouldn't really bother me, but we have no space for them in our apartment right now.
Another thing on my wish list is some sort of way to apply bindings to the necklines of knit clothing. I can do it with my regular machine, but it's slow, and hard to get it perfect. I'd like a solution that can fold it and sew it in one movement. I know such a thing is out there, I just don't know what it is! If anyone has any ideas or other sewing machine recommendations, let me know in the comments. Tell me about your sewing set-up!
Everybody organizes their business paperwork differently, but there are a few categories most people will use. The categories I use are Expenses, Sales, Licensing, Bank Info, Press, and Miscellaneous. Another common category is Taxes, but for me, those get filed in our personal case.
Expenses: This is a category most everybody will need. This is where my receipts go for supplies, materials, advertising, postage, etc. I put this one right up front so I can just drop my receipts in it. At the end of every month, I input them into my accounting excel spreadsheet, and file them in an envelope labeled with the month. It makes for much less work at the end of the year. Depending on how many receipts you accumulate, you may want to do this more or less often. At the end of the year, I take all 12 months of receipts, put them in a manila envelope labeled with the year and place them in the back of the file case.
Sales: This is another category most everybody will need. This is where my sales receipts go. I treat these sales receipts just like I do with my expense receipts.
Licensing: This is where I keep all of my business documentation like sales tax licenses, EIN number registration, all that fancy stuff.
Bank Info: I stopped getting paper bank statements sent to me a while ago, you can access and print out anything that you need online. I keep a statement in this file so I have my account number, and the bank's phone number if I need it. I keep my business checks in here, since I don't use them all that often.
Press: Pretty self-explanatory, cut-outs of magazine and newspaper articles that I've been featured in.
Miscellaneous: Non-essential items that don't fit anywhere else but I still want to keep. Business cards from other crafters go in here too.
Getting your business paperwork organized is probably simpler than you imagined, and it saves you so much time and frustration at the end of the year when you're doing you taxes. You don't have to stick with a plain filing case either, make it fancy if you want!
It used to take me forever to update the shop portion of my website. There is one main image per item, plus at least 3 detail images. The three detail images have to be in two sizes, the full size detail view, and the 100x100 thumbnail. The main image needs three: a full size detail, a smaller "main view", and the 150x200 thumbnail that goes in the "browsing" part of the store. Needless to say, that's a lot of resizing! I had known about Photoshop actions for a while, and I knew I would probably benefit from using a few, but I kept putting it off because I thought they would be difficult to create. Finally, I looked into it, and discovered how easy it is!
An action is a recording of a set of commands, usually really mundane things that don't require that much human brainwork. Once you've recorded a set of commands, you can apply that to any image, with just one click. To create an action, first make sure your "action" toolbar is visible. You can do this under the Windows menu. Open an image that you'll be able to apply all the steps you want. Click the "create new action" icon at the bottom of the toolbar (kinda looks like a little piece of paper). Give your action a name. Then click "record" and begin editing your image as you want. The recording isn't timed, so take your time and get everything right. Finish all the steps you want to include, save it in the folder you want, and close it out. Then hit the "stop" button on the bottom of the toolbar (the square). Some parts of your action might need manual input, for mine, I need to name the file when it's being saved. If you want a prompt to appear during a certain step, click the check box next to that step in the actions toolbar (not boxes with the check marks, but the one next to that). You can test your action out on another image to see if everything works out. You might need to go back and edit or delete some steps. But it's super easy to do, and saves you so much time!
(And I'm no Photoshop expert, so if anyone has any other tips or a way to do it better, let me know!)
Since I have nothing else to write, I will leave you with this happy little animated .gif of our dog sledding adventure last weekend. Michigan adventures are great!