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BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Saturday, 21 May 2011
As you may know, this month is the 4th Anniversary for BTRT.
I was feeling reflective and thought I'd share some info and experiences, but thought I'd ask *you* what you want to know.
You can add your own questions HERE and read more about this (self) feature!

I would love if you would answer any of these questions as you feel moved, as well! You can add your thoughts and experiences by leaving them in a comment on this post! Thanks!

These questions come from our Facebook page and the blog.
Some of the questions I will answer in a post of their own, so if you don't see yours, don't despair!...

Question: What is the biggest size of playsilk you can get?
While I suppose there is really no limit on size... one could make a super duper large one from a bolt(s) of silk!  However, I do not enjoy sewing silk on my machine enough to ever attempt it, let alone hand roll the hems!
That said, the largest size I have personally dyed is 4.5 x 9 feet and I would hesitate to go any larger.
Getting an attractive and even distribution of colour on a silk of that size is tricky (multiple colours) and any larger I would have to dye in two parts, which would further challenge the finished appearance!
Also, while my 4 x 6' is actually a heavier weight, the larger pieces tend to be lighter weight silk and not as durable for play.
Question: How many children do you have? and how old?
I know this one!
I have one daughter, who will be 6 in August.
We are also completing a home study for a public adoption right now, with the intent of adopting 1 or 2 children (younger than Rowan).

Question: How do you balance family and business?

Honestly? I think balance is a myth.

As if somehow, if we just get it all right everything will be perfect. 

But its kind of like surfing, you don't just want to get your balance, you want to keep it so you can enjoy the ride!

I work full time in a job that has very fuzzy edges, as well as parent and run a business and help my husband with his fledgling business here in town. 

I am a big fan of 'balance over time'~ you how you can't look at individual meals to determine the health of your diet? But rather have to look at days and weeks to see that you are striking a balance over the broader picture? I think balancing work and family (and self and relationships and...) is like that.

In practical terms, I just keep moving. I am a productive person, but I can only do so much at one time, in one moment. So I try to do the best in each moment and let the rest wait until I get to it (and housework will wait a very long time, trust me!).
I work late into the evenings. I don't sleep enough.
I have to be more mindful of caring for myself.

But on the positive side?

I protect the time when Rowan is home after school and until bedtime most days for family time.
I take days, like today, when I play all day (OK, clean my house and garden!) as sabbath time, a chance for renewal. I grab a beach day, or a community event or a supper with friends any chance we get.
If I have 15 minutes, I read something that interests me.
I do what I love.  If I am bored with something, I don't make it any more. 
Maybe not the best business model, but it keeps me engaged and excited about the work. 

I aim for feeling balanced (and try to pay attention to it when I don't feel balanced).
I try and enjoy the ride!
That isn't much of an answer is it? 

Question: How long did it take to build a good fan base for your blog?

I am not sure if I have! 
From one of my first blog posts 2007
Unfortunately, it is one of those things that are really tough to judge because there are so many criteria.
I have had this blog for nearly 4 years.
I have had long stretches of inactivity and longer ones of talking to myself.
I always look at it as journalling/ therapy (!) for me... if no one else reads it, it is still worthwhile for me to write it.  Know what I mean?

I shifted gears in January of this year.
Re-did my design, took on sponsors, began doing handmade giveaways and upped my Facebook participation, too.
I redirected my domain name to the blog and dropped my information only website.
I try to blog daily about life, business, natural stuff, parenting... all the things within my world that matter to me and to my niche readers/ market.
I began participating in blogging carnivals and link hops/ parties.

I have increased my traffic, subscribers and followers considerably in this time, but I still have a long way to go to really feel like I am in the pocket... where I want to be.
Having a vision for the blog has helped, too, as it keeps me focused~ there is just SO MUCH out there, so many blogs and choices... being clear within myself keeps me from wasting time and thinking carefully abut next steps.

So. the last 6 months have been really productive, but they are also built on 4 years in business and a wide customer base to draw on as my readership.  I hope this helps!

That was fun (and challenging!)~ please do answer these questions for yourself in the comments and if you have questions... add them HERE. ♥♥


Happy Kids said...

You are right balance is a myth. As long as you've enjoy of what you are doing it is more easier and enjoyable.

MamaWestWind said...

I love how you look at balance over time. That makes so much sense to me. I find that I struggle with balance, so I'm glad to hear it may be a myth! My issue is when I'm feeling creative I don't want to stop what I'm doing until it's finished which is too difficult when you have little ones at home. So I get frustrated at times. Anyway, it's journey! Thank you for answering my question!

Emma said...

I love how you describe that blogging is sometimes akin to talking to yourself and 'journaling'. Great way to view it!

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