Monday, July 1, 2013

1} my work space while camper livin'

behind the scenes :: a handcrafted collection----->

So, this whole camper livin' thing isn't keeping me from moving forward with my business. If anything, it is keeping me closer to home in the respect that I'm with my family full-time. Being with them means that I focus on our needs and dreams. I have a lot less distractions, and since each time we move I have to readjust my routine and adapt to the new town and community, I'm learning how to utilize my time most efficiently.

Utilizing my time efficiently is key. That is a skill I've learned, and am still trying to master since being on the road {'cause I'm a dinker by nature...love to dink, and can have unrealistic expectations for what can be done during the course of a single day}, and one that will serve me very well, too, once I get back home.

Since I've been able to dedicate more time to my venture...the most wonderful family 5k yet is coming together, I'm working on A True Story consistently, custom orders are picking up in our Etsy shop, and I've created a Pretty by JL Summer Accessory Collection...phew! When I put it like that, it makes me see that I actually get something done each day other than bike riding, playing at the park, swimming, or any combination of household chores relating to my family's care, and it's pretty cool {however tiring it may be}!

Our Summer 2013 Accessory Collection--Watermelon Limeade, is on schedule to launch on July 15th. Chloe has created some beautiful and fun graphics to go with it, and I've whipped up a little something in the kitchen to share with you! Oh, and I've also made the accessories themselves, that I will get to reveal!

As I went to work making each of the collection's limited number of pieces, I thought it might be interesting to share the process. It's starts with inspiration, but I'm going to talk to you about that part later. Once I have an idea, have designed the pieces, and know how many to make, I order silk and silver. When I'm working out of the camper, and I sit down to sort and receive my goods into inventory, it looks like this...



I count all the pieces of silk, and packages of notions {clasps, jump rings, charms, etc...} and enter them into a spreadsheet on my iPad. Since I'm also working on custom and RTW orders from our Etsy shop, I might do some bracelet or fob prepping that looks like this...


Then I line them up as I get them finished because I like to see them {and next to their inspiration if possible ;) }. What you see here is a custom fob favor set I made for a baby shower. I'm going to share the details of that set, and it's inspiration, in more detail soon. But, there is currently a fob favor listing on Etsy here.


Have you noticed that there aren't any kids in any of the photos so far? Well, there aren't for good reasons. I like things to be quiet and calm while I work. Not only is it more enjoyable for me, but it is important due to the nature of the work and materials being used. The silk cord is expensive and, at the end of the day, it doesn't belong to me. The same is true of the silver notions and, believe you me, any kid would LOVE to get their hands on all of it!

On this particular day, I worked while True and Elle West took their afternoon naps. A lot of times when Elle wakes up, she quietly talks and plays in her bed, or on the floor of her room. Sometimes I catch glimpses of a little hand, with dexterous little fingers that like to pick at things, coming out from underneath the door. It looks like this...




That is my cue to pack it up, and work more tomorrow!! True won't be far behind her in waking up, and he doesn't lay quietly on the floor. His style sounds like a crash, shakes the whole camper, and sends his bedroom door into the trashcan! It's a good thing all my accessory making supplies fit snugly into this lockable tote {I dare not take any chances leaving any of it out!}...


Watch for more behind the scenes on Wednesday, and Watermelon Limeade's reveal in two weeks!

<3, JL

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