Sunday, December 16, 2012

My little one has arrived

My daughter Emily was born on December 5th at 4:51 in the evening, weighing 9 pounds, 6 ounces and 21" long. She was a big baby and yes, I did it naturally.

It's taken a little while to get adjusted to having a baby in the house, between figuring out feedings, changings, sleepings, and all the little noises she makes. The first few days at home were pretty rough. I felt like I had gotten hit by a bus, it backed up and then the bus ran me over again. Emily was still traumatized and trying desperately to breast feed.

Around 1 week old, I realized I wasn't producing enough milk, which made me feel quite inadequate as her mother. I had to stop breast feeding and start pumping. After a day or two of that, I realized I needed to supplement her food intake with formula. I really didn't want to do that, but I had to think of the well-being of my daughter, and not my own inadequacies.

Besides handling a newborn as a new parent, I also have been struggling with a crazy pregnancy rash called PUPPS. I had never heard of it, but I have been in misery for nearly 3 weeks now. It appeared a week before she was born on my stomach. I thought it was nothing, just the result of my belly getting big fast and my stretch marks itching. The day after Em was born, this so called rash, started spreading to my arms, legs, chest, back and everywhere else you can think of.

I called the doctor regarding this rash and they just said take Benadryl and use itch cream. I didn't like that answer, so I went looking for natural herbal supplements to help it along its way. PUPPS is basically a skin irritation caused by the liver detoxing my body of excess hormones and toxins. I decided to try Milk Thistle and Dandelion Root Supplements. I also decided to try taking a hot ginger bath to help with detoxing the skin. I've been on the supplements for 2.5 days now and took the bath once and the rash is about half of what it used to be.

I just hope in another day or two it will be completely gone. I also found out that the Benadryl I've been taking may be the culprit for me not producing enough milk for my baby, since antihistamines dry you out. Ah, I'm just glad to have my baby out of my belly and in my arms. She is the sweetest little mellow girl ever. She barely cries and just hangs out with us all day long. I'm slightly dreading going back to work.

I guess I really need to get things squared away for finishing my online classes and get back to the planning for the store and workshop classes. I really would love for that to be my sole working situation. Cross your fingers for me.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Online Class Delay in Release

I have been planning to get my first online class filmed and edited prior to having my baby, but it appears that won't be happening. I have filmed all the demos, but I wanted to film introductions with me introducing the projects and I just don't have the energy to do so.

I have 4 weeks left and I can barely move, let alone breath and feel comfortable in front of the camera. Once I feel like I'm not hauling a big rig on my body, I will finish my first online class. Actually, my goal will be to launch about 2 in December, 2 in January, 2 in February, etc.

I'm a little disappointed since I wanted to release my crowd funding campaign after launching my online class.  This leaves one other thing I have to deal with, which is filming an introduction for my Indie GoGo campaign. You may not be surprised to see me being filmed on my couch too large to move.

Last Wednesday was my last day at work and I'm so glad, otherwise I would be struggling today to just walk into my classroom. The question is, what will I do for the next 4 weeks until my baby arrives? I will take ideas.

I guess I could work on more outlines for the classes to be productive. Maybe start a new book on something that doesn't involve me getting up and sewing. I have been wanting to write a little ebook on how to write and publish a non-fiction/educational book.

I have never felt so helpless and lazy, although I guess I'm technically not. I am growing an entire human being inside my gigantic uterus. I think I need a support group for pregnant women in their last few weeks of pregnancy.

Ahhh! I also need to photograph a bunch of trims I purchased last week for my online store.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

So much prep work

There is so much that I am preparing for: the arrival of our daughter Emily, the online classes I hope to begin launching before the arrival of our daughter Emily, and the lingerie design school and fabric shop I will be opening early next year.

First thing is first. The arrival of our daughter Emily.

The nursery is mostly completed except for the dressers to put all her stuff in. I'm using the old bedroom set I grew up with and trying to refinish them to match her crib, changing table and glider. I say the words "I'm trying to refinish," very loosely. David has had to take over the refinishing because of the fumes and my energy level.

I swear, I am going to do something awesome for that husband of mine someday. Other than that, I think I'm prepared, or as prepared as I'm going to be. There are still a few things on our registry I should purchase before we bring her home, but I'm not too worried about that. The mothers (mine and David's) plan on being here right after she is born, so I'm sure they can help us figure out what we are missing.

Secondly, the first online class is being built.

I've been in front of the camera before so I don't know why I'm getting so nervous about being filmed. I filmed most of the tutorials already, which are focused on the machine, my hands and the sample itself. I will have to do a voice over for those, but I'm not on camera for those and can read from a script. The hardest part is the personalized teaching I'll be doing in front of the camera.

I've thought about just writing the text in the lesson, but we all know its sometimes easier to listen to someone than read. So, I'll be including both in the class- to accommodate the readers and the watchers. I gave myself the goal to have class 1 complete by October 31st.

Lastly is preparing for the school and store.

The classes are already outlined and just need a little refining which I'll handle in the new year. Its the prep for the supplies I've been working on that seems to never end. I've been slowly buying display fixtures, sewing machines and other supplies. I currently have 7 of the 10 machines I need, although they all need servicing to work in tip top shape.

I've also been investing in fabrics and more trims, although the trims are selling just as fast as I'm buying them.  I've decided that I want to offer corset supplies in the shop since the Ren Fair is such a big deal here in the Inland Empire. Now that is a whole other expense I wasn't anticipating on including, but I'm figuring it out.

I've decided to launch a crowd funding campaign to help raise the money for the rent and security deposit and miscellaneous things I still haven't figured I need yet. I plan on launching that as soon as my first class is available online. I'll be offering gift certificates and other goodies, so stay tuned.

So much to do and so little energy to do it in. Miss Emily is due in about 5 weeks. My last day at work is Wednesday, so that means I need to get cracking on my preparations for everything.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Prenatal Insomnia

I never thought I'd be suffering from insomnia. This is yet another side effect of pregnancy that I hate. I have about 7 weeks left and I wake up in the middle of the night with some weird thought in my head and can't get it out. A couple days ago it was Ayn Rand, and that was all it was. The name Ayn Rand. Got it stuck in my head and couldn't fall back to sleep because it kept echoing in my heard.

This morning it is the echoing of the "No on 37" ad I saw last night by a doctor recommending we shouldn't know what is in our food. I think it made me mad, I really think this is an important measure that needs to be voted Yes on. I have this urge to strangle the doctor in the ad and report her to some medical board. Yea, slightly irrational thoughts, but that's insomnia and pregnancy for you.

I'm getting more and more nervous about having my baby and trying to contribute to supporting the family by opening my own store/school. Thank God my husband is fully supportive and the most wonderful man I've ever known. I could not be doing this without him.

I'm off to check Facebook and hopefully get tired enough to fall back to sleep, if not, well, I wanted to start writing a small book on how to write and self publish a non fiction book.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Business Preparations are Coming along

I have been so busy with the planning of my future store and school. I've decided on a name and have begun to update my website with all the new information.

In March 2013, I will be opening Porcelynne's Design Institute and Fabric Boutique. Sounds like a nice place right? I've decided to take over the Porcelynne Lingerie website since I'm not really doing anything with it these days.

I've scheduled classes for March and April already and spaces are available to be signed up for. I have created the course material for all the classes already and I'm working on creating the classes in an online setting as well. I just have to get the video setup so I can start recording the lessons.

I've been building my inventory as well. Its currently all listed on LA Fashion Resource, but I'll be transferring everything over to Porcelynne to remain more consistent. I will keep LA Fashion Resource as the publishing site only.

I'm also working on putting together a little IndieGoGo campaign so I can help raise the funds for the rent of the new space.

I've been busy, right? And all that with a 7 1/2 month belly and a stubborn kid inside that keeps punching the crap out of me.

We've also been working on trying to get our house ready for baby to come home. I really wish money was unlimited sometimes. I would have us finish our remodel yesterday. At the rate we are going, it may be by this time next year or later before we can even get to the bathrooms. I'm hoping for a great 2013 with our new adventures in parenthood and in business ownership. Stay tuned for more coming soon.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Planning on Opening up Shop

Over the past few years, I have missed having a retail shop where I can socialize with my clients and people in general. I loved running a store, but I know that running a store as I did before wasn't going to happen.

I've decided that since I'm already selling sewing and lingerie supplies online, maybe I can expand to open up a store that carried 10 times the selection. Not only would I open up shop for the public, but I would also start teaching lingerie classes from the educational standpoint as opposed to the entertainment standpoint.

I'm busy planning the classes, everything from learning lingerie sewing basics, to making personalized lingerie items, to even teaching entrepreneurship in conjunction with the design industry.

I would eventually teach professional draping and pattern drafting classes, but I probably won't start with those unless I get a huge response. I'm tossing around the idea that the classes would be around $25 an hour- having 2-4 hour classes and maxing the students at 8 with a minimum of 4 students.

I have no intention on trying to turn the "school" into an accredited institution, it will be more of a technical and practical learning facility. The current plans are to make each class stand alone with only a few being required before taking others.

I am even planning on designing the weekends where I'd have 2 to 3 classes on a day that someone could come and do a crash course and take them all in a day.

Maybe my ambitions are high, but with my baby on the way I want to do great things that will allow me to be around her more often.

I know many of you have interests in taking lingerie classes, but would you travel for a 2-3 day intensive lingerie crash course? Just curious.

Oh- and one other thing. I know there will be individuals who really want to take classes, but income levels may not allow it. I plan to take a small portion of each class's proceeds go towards scholarships for those who can't afford it.

What do you think? And the expected launch for this is March 2013.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Studio in Disarray

I don't know why I thought that once we bought a house we'd instantly be able to do what we wanted in our own spaces. I had a semi set up studio space set up and I loved it, then we started remodeling and getting prepared for the baby. Now, my studio is all shoved in the basement with the rest of the furniture that had to be moved for the first stage of our remodel.

Not that I have the energy to do any sewing right now, but the knowing that even if I had the energy I can't do anything about it right now sucks.

The advantage of having everything in disarray at the moment is the idea that I get to plan my ideal sewing studio. David said he's going to build me a custom cutting table with compartments for storing all my supplies for drafting. Now I get to day dream.

I get to take the large space in the basement where the sauna was and share the space with the laundry room. The possibilities are endless. What would you want in your ideal sewing space that I need to have? How should  I store my fabric? I love clear plastic bins but those can really add up.

Friday, June 8, 2012

New things happening

As much as I'd love to be working on my next book, I've had a little lack of energy these days. I also wanted to be working on the tutorials, but the morning sickness has taken over my life. It has just been a struggle to get to work those two days I work.

We are happy to announce that we will be welcoming a little bundle of joy (or a little disruption of my future sleep schedule) in early December. David has been busy trying to remodel the house in preparation for the baby and I mainly just watch him from the couch or the nearest lounging spot.

I've had a little more energy having entered into the second trimester, but I seriously doubt any book writing will get done. I hope to squeeze in the tutorials I've been talking about as soon as we have my new studio space set up. My old studio space will be the future nursery, so that room is in demolition mode right now.

Its never ending, but I am a happy mountain woman.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Cat Nap Sunday

I can't say that I am one for napping, but after the hike we went on today, I needed one. And what made things better was that the cat napped with me.

I've been trying to figure out what my next big project will be. I'm itching to start something new, but knowing that our house needs work, its hard for me to designate the time to my projects. I have a finished design template for my sewing tutorials, but I have very little drive to compile them. My energy level is zilch.

My goal for one week from today is to get my first sewing tutorial up and to finish my personal custom bra.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Pattern alteration needed on the bra patterns

I just made myself a very pretty bra, but forgot to follow my own directions of testing the fit before actually cutting the good fabric. I discovered that the pattern for the top cup that I have included in my book may need to be altered. When I made my sample, the strap point on the front cut way to far to my arm.

To make a quick fix of the top cup, trace off the top cup onto another piece of paper. Fold the two ends towards each other. Crease the center clearly. Open it back up and take the side with the strap placement on it and fold it towards the center crease line. Line up the edge of the cup to the crease line and press the new fold line. This line marks the 1/4 point on the cup. From this point, begin your strap placement. I just altered the 34G and had to move the strap placement over by a full inch.

Sorry the image being sideways. I can't figure how to rotate the image in Blogger.

Monday, April 2, 2012

New projects

Now that the bra book is complete, I can start one of my many other projects. I've started by putting together a pattern and sewing tutorial that is a stand alone from the lingerie books. Each tutorial I'll be doing is for a specific design and will utilize the basic patterns I have available on my website.

This is the first design. I made it to fit me and I realized that I have no good way to photograph it. I have a mannequin but it is a size small and this is a large. Maybe I should make my samples in small. The only issue is I want to wear it!

This is the back. It is super cute. I think I want to name it "Super Hero," just because it looks like something Wonder Woman would wear if she were to glam it up. It has a ruffle elastic that spans from the front leg to the center back.

My graphic designer, Tania, is working on a layout design for the tutorials. I think I will make them available for $2.99 per tutorial and also make them available for e-readers. The patterns won't be included, otherwise the price would have to be higher. This way I am able to make the tutorials more affordable. I plan to have a couple prep tutorials available for free with a few basic sewing tutorials.

I know some people would prefer I do video, but honestly, I think it would be a pain in the butt to have to keep hitting pause as you are doing the steps.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Vacation starts in T-5

Classes finished up on Monday and I'm relieved I get a few weeks off before starting up again. I'm going to spend the next few weeks working on my next project- an online lingerie workshop. It will be the first of hopefully many. More news coming soon.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Snow storm coming

We have a large snow storm heading our way this weekend. We may get 3 feet of snow where we are. Its crazy because I work down the hill in 80 degree weather. California- gotta love ya!

My big project of the bra book is over and now I'm a little stuck because I've been placing all my focus on it for the last 6 months. I can now work on my house and do some designing for myself and maybe by business. I feel a little guilty not jumping right into my next book project, but I am seriously lacking in clothing and I've been splurging in fabric quite a bit lately.

Not much to report today. I may head down the mountain to stock up on rations for the weekend. My father in law and brother in law will be here, so that's two more hungry men or the equivalent of 4 extra mouths to feed. LOL.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Bare Essentials: Bras is done!

After laboring over this book for the last 6 months, it is finally done. Six months is a long time for me to complete a book. All my other books took me 3 months or less to write. Bras are a complicated creature to deal with. I feel like I need a vacation after giving birth to this baby. Or maybe just a glass of wine will suffice.

I think I'm going to go drill holes in the kitchen cabinets now. I want my kitchen remodel completed and I can only do that if I actually do things to it.

Other than the kitchen remodel, I am itching to make some clothes for myself and maybe for my business. I have a great sweater design in my head that I need to get down on to pattern paper.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Yes, I am trying this blog thing again

I've been back and forth with how I wanted to do a blog and I've decided that focusing on my business for it just wasn't going to happen. I enjoy writing and sometimes it isn't about my business, so here it is. The new blog.

I recently moved to the mountains about 2 hours outside of Los Angeles. My clothing business is called Porcelynne, so I thought it appropriate to call my blog Porcelynne Mountain. Silly maybe, but I really couldn't think of anything else.

We are in the process of slowly remodeling our new mountain home. We started with the kitchen and 2 months later, we are still working on it. Yesterday we got our new countertops installed. I'm so excited that our kitchen no longer looks like 1991 threw up on it.

I'm only half way done with my own kitchen project which was to refinish the cabinets. I finished 85% of them, then put them on the back burner while finishing my book on bra construction. Yes- I am nearly done. Bare Essentials: Bras will be released in about a week. I just have the final edit to finish. That means that I get to finish my kitchen cabinet remodel!

I'll make sure to post pictures pre and post remodel. We actually did it on a pretty reasonable budget too. The counter tops were the big expense, but the previous counter tops were peeling off and I just couldn't stand it anymore.

The big problem we came across was sourcing our fixtures. Much of the house has antique brass and instead of buying all new fixtures, we decided to stick with antique brass. The problem with that was that no body carries antique brass anymore! We really wanted to shop local for everything, but we had to turn to online shopping and even then our options were extremely limited.

Because of this issue, we wonder how many other people have the same issue. We've been trying to think of something David can do from home and I think we might have it- create antique brass finishes on hardware and fixtures. Its not in style right now, so all everyone carries is antique bronze, but that is really pink in color. Really- who wants pink all over their house? Maybe I'm just opinionated since we still haven't painted our interior and everything is a pinky peach color.

That's all for now. I need to get back to my final edit or maybe I'll stall a day and finally put the cabinet handles on today.