I’m in a secret business mastermind group locally and we had our meeting today. The great thing about meeting in person is that you can exchange gifts for the holidays. These are thoughtful gifts! The notepads are personalized and they are so cool with the comic book theme. The zipper pouch and stuff all came with it! I love milk glass so this little covered dish is awesome. Thanks friends!

A Look at The Numbers – Houston Market/Festival

I haven’t shied away from sharing what it takes to make it in this business.  I think the truth of running a business in this industry helps everyone.  I broke down my 2016 expenses here.  And I talked about my 2015 income here.

2017 pieNow, I use miles to fly to Houston from Chicago, but even if I did add the $300 or so in flight to my travel numbers, it would still be dwarfed by the incredible housing costs Houston incurs.  For the second half of the trip I roomed with another teacher.  This pie chart is for both Market and Festival combined.

Shipping was much higher for me this year as well, because I had a booth to stock at Market with samples that could not go in my already crammed luggage.  I sent three boxes to Houston for teaching for Festival, and one for Market.

houstonallHere’s the rundown of my income/expenses for the last 3 years.  This year was not as profitable as last year, though my expenses were still not as high as 2015.    I know where things have to tighten up if I do this again.  Now, if you are thinking that the income doesn’t outweigh the expenses or the hassle, I don’t necessarily agree with that.  There are many many intangibles about teaching at Festival and exhibiting or even just attending Market that make it worthwhile to go.

There’s many points of data I would still like to track, such as classroom attendance and more.  We will see where my analysis ends up, but overall, I’m pleased I didn’t go into the negative or barely break even.


Lunch with Friends

Sometimes you just need to hang out with a few people to get out of the house and out of your head. I’d been stuck inside for days getting a project done, so a lunch invitation was just the thing. One of the things we did was ask what our 2018 plans were. I had been thinking about my 2018 and I have one word that kept coming up: Growth. Personal and business both.

You may recognize a few of these folks and we had a lovely afternoon!

See my DIY Hack on Machine Quilting Unlimited

machine side (2)Did you know I’m the blogger for Machine Quilting Unlimited?  Well, now you know!  And today over on their blog I share how to hack a computer table like this one below:

I had to make some adjustments to make it work, so I did this little Hack to make my sewing machine fit in the keyboard drop down area.  Check it out by clicking here! And if you need a table like this for your machine, you can click that Amazon link, and I’ll get a few pennies that help me keep the lights on.  Enjoy!