10/27/2010

Pros and Cons of Working from Home

 Yesterday was such a great day to be working from home; there was a storm brewing outside, and the house was so cozy inside. It got me thinking about how lucky I am to be able to work from home.  Then as I was daydreaming about cups of loose-leaf tea, and sleeping in; I realized one major disadvantage to me working from home.  A disadvantage that I could probably fix.  But first, here are the pros:

-Flexible schedule.  If there's an event going on, I can almost always schedule my working hours around it.  Even last-minute stuff.  

-Being an emergency contact.  When my little sister was in school, I was listed as her first emergency contact.  Since our mom worked a half hour away, it was way easier for me to rescue her from school when she got sick.

-Sick days.  I don't have to worry about the whole "am I sick enough to stay home, or should I go in...hmmmm" thing.  Even if it's something little like maybe I needed an extra hour of rest that day, I can do that, as long as I make up the lost time at the end of the day.

-Fancy food!  Since it's just a walk downstairs to my kitchen with many, many options for lunch that day, lunch is my favorite.  I end up eating a lot healthier too.  And, I can make as many cups of loose-leaf tea throughout the day as I want.

-The job.  I get to design, draft patterns, sew, network, graphic design, sew some more, (and teach piano lessons and music class) every day.  I couldn't have asked for a job I like more.

When most people list the disadvantages of working at home, one of the most common things is loneliness/feeling isolated.  That doesn't really apply to me, since I teach piano lessons Monday-Friday, and I mostly teach at the student's home, so I see quite a few students and their parents every day. And with the amount of people I often see on the evenings/weekends, I really enjoy the alone time!  My major problem with working at home are the distractions:

-Stuff that needs to get done around the house. Cleaning is the obvious one, but we just moved into this house a few months ago, and there are a million improvement projects to be done, which are often really fun (and super distracting).

-Piano.  Since I teach it, I have to keep up on my skills, so daily practice I something I have to do.  Daily practice is also really fun, and has a tendency to go on for much longer than I plan on.

-Sleeping in.  I wake up every day at 5:50 with Billy, but some days, if I convince myself I reeeeeallllly need the extra sleep, I'll go back to bed until 8.  Which is fine every so often, but not too much or I really cut into my working time.

-Blogging/Twitter/other social networking things.  For my field of work, it's something that must be done.  When I first started, I really wasn't into any of those things.  I thought Twitter was useless, blogging was just self-important, and all those social networking things were just a huge waste of time. I quickly learned otherwise, with all the opportunities I would find out about, and all the people I connected with and knowledge we shared.  And it's really fun.  But it can be a huge time-eater.

-Working on projects that aren't urgent.  Store order = urgent.  Designing new tags = not so much.  But one task might be a little easier than the other, so I'll do that one to procrastinate.  

What I figured out is:  I need to make a work schedule and prioritize my tasks.  That sounds like corporate speak, but I don't have a boss, so I gotta step in and make it happen!

10/25/2010

Fashion Week Detroit 2010

I attended Fashion Week Detroit  last weekend and really enjoyed it.  My mom and I went down to the Motor City Casino for the days runway shows.  I had never been to a live runway show before, so it was a pretty neat experience.  There were six shows that day, with a wide variety of styles, and designers from Detroit and all over the world.

 Femilia Couture was the first show, and the show I wanted to see the most.  They're based out of Ferndale and use natural fibers in their designs.  I'm pretty sure they try to employ zero-waste design whenever possible, meaning pattern pieces are cut into shapes (like squares or triangles) that leave very few scraps of fabric behind.  I was impressed with what they did with those squares though!

A surprise favorite was Moosejaw.  I wasn't really looking forward to seeing activewear/outerwear, but the way they styled the show was amazing.  They had break dancing models, neon headbands, and Chuck Taylors and bright colored socks as footwear.  For a minute, I could imagine myself in puffy jackets and fancy sweatpants, even though that's not my style at all.

 Prophetik by Jeff Garner featured a live banjo for part of their soundtrack.  I also loved the styling of this show, with messy braids and huge mud boots.  My favorite designs were by Heike Jarik (a German designer with great taste in fabric), and Femilia Couture (local favorite!).  It was a great day of fashion, and I felt that the event was done really well.  I'll be looking forward to it next year!


10/22/2010

Style Friday: Grumpy Out West Dress


Ensemble details: dress- made by me, belt- thrift store in Ventura, CA, belt buckle- flightpathdesigns,

Just kidding, it's not a grumpy dress.  And believe it or not, I'm not grumpy either...that's just the face I happened to make for the shot, whoops. I'm actually really excited about this dress, it's made from the first woven dress pattern I drafted. Last winter, I took a pattern drafting class at Haberman Fabrics in Royal Oak.  I learned so much from it, but one of the most useful things I got out of it was a personalized sloper.  A sloper is the basic pattern you start with, and you can alter it to make different styles.  My sloper was a fitted bodice, a straight skirt, and sleeves.  To get a full skirt from straight skirt, I slashed and spread the waist darts on the skirt to close them up top and transfer them to the bottom of the skirt.  To get the yoke on the bodice, I rotated the waist and bust darts up to the yoke and turned them into a dart-equivalent seam.  I do this whenever possible, I hate darts!  It's tight in the shoulders because I messed up the seam allowance, I either forgot to add it on, or I may have subtracted it. But this was just a practice dress, hence the weird fabric combo (that I ended up really liking!).



This is my favorite belt; I got it at a Ventura thrift store when we lived out in California.  It looks like one of those girl scout leather stamping projects, and it says PENNY on the back.  The buckle is one I've had my eye on for a while, I saw them at the first Renegade Craft Fair that I did.  I didn't buy it right away because it was a little expensive, but I only need one, and it's better than the box store alternative.

When I get some time, I'm going to start working on some winter dresses.  I've been super busy with store orders (not that I'm complaining) but I can't wait to start making some dresses for myself!

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