Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Glory Given!

One year ago, today, my life changed drastically.  My husband of 8 years and partner for 12 years decided he didn't want to be married to me anymore.  The moment he moved out, I made some of the hardest choices I've had to make in the entirety of my life.  I learned in that instant that nothing was going to change my circumstances for me, that I'd have to make the changes.  In being truly alone in my marriage, I also came to a greater understanding of not ever being alone.  I came to know that God is always there with me, that even in poor choices and bad situations, He is always working things to the good of those that love Him. 

In that moment I decided that I was going to seek help.  "Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety." Proverbs 11:14.  This lead me to seek counsel in as many places as I could.  My church, friends and family.  Any that I knew were trustworthy became advisors.  

My other big decision was to change careers.  I'd been sewing for five years as a hobby and had gained enough skill at it that I felt confident enough to pursue a living.  The starting point for this plan was already in motion at that point.  I had been trying to supplement our income with alterations and commissions for a few months.  Those initial clients helped me start by being my best advertisement.  The biggest shout out I have is for Stephanie Gibson.  Her wedding and subsequent promotion kick started a long line of commissions that have carried me to where I'm at today.  She commissioned me to make a flower girl dress for Hazel and to alter her wedding dress.  It was a wonderful project.  Seeing and helping with her wedding also helped to restore my faith in the covenant of marriage.  It was a beautiful ceremony and the gowns turned out very well.

The dress, corset, bolero and dickey were commissioned by Joyce McCarthy for this year's Comic Con in San Diego.

Dude Vader, Chris Canole, commissioned a pair of pants and together with the Starwars Steampunk Universe group won the Costume Designers Guild "Hall Costume Award".

Since then I've been working hard to grow and learn both in life and in business.  I've learned so much and I have so many people to thank for so many things.  I'm going to try my hand at it here.

My parents moved with me and their support before & after my move as well as through this divorce have been beyond expectation.  My mom sews as well and has helped me finish many projects in the last moments before the deadlines. 

My dad is always there for me and his help has made so many things possible that would have taken so much longer to accomplish alone. 

Sarah Francisco for hiring me to make her a dress and through that, becoming my best friend.  There are so many creative things that have come from our friendship and the possibilities are endless.  I look forward to the future and whatever our imaginings bring about.

Mary Hoffman for her mentoring and love.  Linda Hoffman and Fawn Goodrich for loving me abundantly.  Kevin Miller for mediating and helping me try everything possible to reclaim my marriage, even through it not working out that way. 

A big thanks to so many members of my church family! There are so many that prayed and are praying for me and I'm so grateful for everyone.

There is new progress in the business too and there are thank yous due for this as well.

In the last two weeks the business has started to grow in ways I never expected and it's all due to receiving help.  I've learned that nothing gets done without help and that even if I don't do something entirely on my, it doesn't mean that I'm not successful.  All business is done with the help of others and I'm so grateful for the help I've been receiving lately.  

My cousin Candiece helped by giving me some painting work that resulted in trading some of my time for a tablet.  I'd been planning on purchasing one for the business for a couple months, but couldn't ever get the funds to purchase one.  Having a tablet helps me to take my business with me. 

This last weekend my mom and I went shopping for a good work horse.  A new sewing machine will help me thrive and not just get by.  I have had an ever growing need for a machine that can handle heavy duty jobs.  Mom has built a good rapport with a sewing machine shop over the last ten years or more.  We went in to look at the options and she helped me to finance a machine that works like a dream.

The other advancement came in the form of a business loan from a close friend and the purchase of a domain name for building a business website.  An investment of sorts in my business efforts.  This show of belief in me and what I can do is so encouraging and edifying. 

These things will help me jump start the business into the next phase.  This phase includes an online store that will help me sell beyond word of mouth and commission piece work.  Which means that you should keep your eyes peeled for unique and affordable clothing for adults and kiddos as I begin to list and post them in the next few months.

The first glimpse of this will be a craft show I'm vending at on October 10th.  I'll be set up at Bethel Assembly of God in Alpine from 10am - 3pm.  Come on out and see what I've been working on.  It's also the church's first craft faire, so come out and show your support for hand made and all of the vendors that will be working hard to help support this church.

I'm so excited by every advancement that I can't contain it!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Dapper Up!

Have you ever heard of Dapper Day? It's an event at Disneyland Resort, in Anaheim, California. It is a great time to go to the park of your choice, or both in one day. Why, you ask? Well, it's because the park feels nostalgic. It opened in 1955 and the feel of the park wasn't vintage then, but it is beautifully vintage now when you see photos like this.

The two ways to enjoy nostalgic Disneyland now are to look at photos like this, or to attend Dapper Day, where hundreds, possibly a thousand or more people attend the parks in style.  It is a feast for the eyes. I really can't ever get enough of this event.  Luckily, it happens twice per year!  Once in the spring and once in the fall.  Spring time this year, as you my recall, I debuted my 1950's version of Cinderella. This past Friday was the Dapper Day "Fall Soiree" and here I debuted one of two versions of a disneybound of the movie "Up".  If you're not sure what disneybounding is, just google it, or wait a while and I'm sure I'll eventually do a post about it.

Gary and I went together and it was his first time attending an event in costume.  I enjoyed every bit of it and to show you just how wonderful it was, I'll start with my favorite photo.

We were mid-way through our "Dapper" day and Gary reminded me that I had a staged photo in mind.  We had just disembarked from the Small World ride and found a perfectly underpopulated area of the park, close by, with the balloon vendor just standing there.  I'd seen people before ask the balloon vendor if they could hold the balloons and get their photo taken, so I knew we could.  I asked and Gary took hold of the big bunch of balloons while the vendor held the tails.  Then I asked the attendant at the food cart next to him if she could take the photo.  She accommodated us and took a couple shots as I planted a big kiss on Gary's cheek.  This photo came out so well and it is testament to just how much I love that Disney really strives to make every trip magical.

At Dapper Day, there is always an Expo! A hall full of vintage vendors.  Places to purchase your next outfit, a glorious array of vintage accessories and jewelry or to get a vintage shave and haircut!  There is also a themed backdrop to get your fashions of the day photographed.

We had spent the day before Dapper Day in the California Adventure park in our other disneybound outfits.  This set made me fell more like I was channeling Lucille Ball from I Love Lucy than Ellie from Up.  My Carl was as handsome as ever and together we ventured the park in style.

We made sure to stop by the Wilderness Adventure Camp to search for Russell, Dug & Kevin and to get our Wilderness Adventure Badge! It had been a long time since I'd been in this part of the park.  It is quite a neat little place. I really didn't feel like I was in Disneyland for a little while.

Both days I used a custom painted canvas bag as our travel bag.  It was painted with the mural from Ellie & Carl's living room and a banner saying "Adventure Awaits" and boy did it ever. I love adventuring and this event was a perfect place to do so.  This bag is currently for sale, so stop on by my Facebook business page if you are interested and if you'd like something custom that's different, well I do that too!

Thanks for adventuring with me!