So, yesterday was the one-year anniversary of my first sale on Etsy, my Etsy-versary, if you will. My first sale was one of my “Born at Home” shirts and it continues to be one of my most popular designs today, one year later.

Today, as I printed another one of these sweet little shirts to send out to a newly born babe in Madison, Wisconsin, it occurred to me that I never really shared why I decided to open up shop.

Well, you see, that sweet little design was created with my babe in mind. We had a home birth planned.

I had my 40-week midwife appointment on Thursday, March 2nd. I biked there and back (about 3 miles each way). All looked good and well. We were just waiting. Waiting for our little one.

Around 2am the next morning, my water broke. Knowing how long my labor was with Ewan, I knew rest was best and went back to bed.

I woke up to contractions, mild ones. A reminder that we would have a baby soon. It was March 3rd. My eldest son’s birthday.

We celebrated. We cleaned. We were excited. Giddy even. We danced. The contractions came and went, bearable.

The day passed and the midwives came for supper. We all sat around the table and ate homemade macaroni and cheese and choo-choo cake.

The contractions kept coming, though never really getting stronger or more predictable.

I knew. We all did. That with my water already broken, the clock was ticking. At about 3am the following day, March 4th, my due date, we transferred to the hospital.

It took about another 12 hours for Xander to be born. With pitocin and an epidural. It was nothing like we had planned, which makes it very much like our first birth.

It was painful mourning the loss of the birth we were hoping for, more painful when we returned home and the birth tub was still in our dining room, unused. The birth kit was the same. But most painful of all was the sweet little “Born at Home” shirt that my little guy would never wear.

I sent that shirt home with my midwife to be given to the next babe that would be born at home. And I was happy to know that it was.

But then I got thinking, even though I didn’t have the home birth I had hoped for, many others would. Many other mamas would welcome their babes into the world in the comfort of their own home. Many other families would want to celebrate that. And I wanted to help them.

So I listed my little shirt and someone bought it. And I was so glad they did because that meant another family had another babe at home and they were proud. And they should be.

And then more people bought more shirts and I got to thinking that it’d be fun to make other designs. It was, and it is.

It’s been quite a year. A fun year. An unexpected year. And I’m so excited to be starting year two, wondering where it will take me and this little business of mine.

Good places, I hope.


Keeping things Fun!

So, it was just about a year ago now that I listed my first item over on Etsy.

From there the whole operation sort of snowballed.

I came up with more designs.

Then I decided I wanted colored shirts. Dye them myself, oh yes!

And more designs.

And in-person shows.

And, now, I’ve got a pretty good set. I’ve got designs I’m happy with (though always brainstorming new ones), I’ve got colors I’m happy with (both dye and ink). I’ve got a pretty cohesive look.

But, well, I’m a little bored. (crazy, right?!)

It’s all become a little more production-y than I would like.

I dye the same orange. And I print the same brick red on that same rust orange. Because it works. And, I do the same with my other colors. And, well, it works.

But in the interest of keeping things interesting and fresh, a few things are going to change. Mostly, I’m going to start playing (again) with colors.

I’m really happy with the colors and tones that I have. Earthy shades, rich colors, good contrasts. I’m happy that the colors I’ve done can really work on boys and girls. Those things will stay the same, but I’m going to start doing some more color-mixing and limited dye runs. You’ll see more color. Different color. New combinations.

And the shop will be filled with more truly one-of-a-kind shirts. And it’ll be fun.

Oh, and have I mentioned that there will be more designs, new designs.

Bugs? Can’t decide if this is really a direction I want to go. Thoughts?


Boredom and Building Roads

First, let me preface this by saying that we have been in our home since Sunday (aside from a very brief trip to the post office). In our home. Within these walls. For five days.

As much as I like my home, and I do, this has been a little much.

We started the week with a sick baby. Then it took down Ewan. We’ve had fevers and croup and a whole bunch of runny noses. We’ve had a big one saying, “I’m happy, but I’m not so good.” We’ve had lots of cuddles and stories and lying around. We’ve also had a bit of boredom.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. I think boredom is good. I think it is important. I think boredom forces us to come up with new plans, new ideas. Boredom gives us the space to dream.

After all, were it not for the boredom, I wouldn’t have the worlds largest masking tape highway running through our entire home right now.

What started as a simple undertaking with a roll of masking tape has taken on a life of its own. It reminds me of the “If you give a mouse a cookie” story.

If you build some roads, they are going to need some lines.

And then some parking lots.

And with all the traffic jams,

you’ll definitely need some stop signs (lights, too).

And it’s not over. Today we spent time painting buildings (a grocery store, an ice cream cone shop, and First Slice) that we’ll finish tomorrow.

Truth be told, I don’t know who is having the most fun with this whole project. I suppose that’s the best way.

I’ll keep you updated on our little town. I’m sure there will be much to show as it turns into a booming metropolis.