Fall Frolics

comments: 80

24Sweater2

24Sweater2

24Sweater2

24Sweater2

24Sweater2

24Sweater2

24Sweater2

28Woods9

24Sweater2

28Woods9

28Woods9

28Woods9

28Woods20

28Woods9

28Woods20

24Sweater2

28Woods9

28Woods9

28Woods20

28Woods9

28Woods9

28Woods20

28Woods9

28Woods20

28Woods20

28Woods20

28Woods20

28Woods20

29PAtch9

28Woods20

31Kitty1

29PAtch9

29PAtch9

29PAtch9

29PAtch9

29PAtch18

29PAtch9

31Kitty1

29PAtch9

29PAtch9

29PAtch9

29PAtch9

31Kitty1

31Kitty1

24Sweater2

31Kitty1

Happy Halloween to you! We have a fluffy pink kitters here that hasn't stopped meowing for three days. She's also hardly taken her plushy duds off since they were finished (by me, and no, I don't enjoy sewing polarfleece, but this is what she picked out, and it is, at least, very forgiving to sew!). Her fur is already matted and filthy, mostly from crawling around on all fours (while meowing), which cracks me up. She's showing you her paw here, FYI.

Thank you sooooo much for the First Snow pre-orders! Yaaaaay! I'm thrilled. We are going to go ahead and make all 600 kits that we have enough floss for. This should get us all the way to Christmas without selling out, so I'm very pleased that there is interest in this. The fabric has been ordered, the pattern is finished will be sent to print tomorrow, and Andy is going to pull floss for me this time. So we are on-track, and I will keep you abreast of our progress. We'll ship as soon as we have everything together; I'm still thinking it will be about three weeks (and the PDF-only option will be available at that time, too). But again, thank you so much for your enthusiasm for this design. I couldn't be happier with the response, and I will be doing a few informational cross-stitch posts between now and ship time. I've been meaning to do these for a while, so I'm looking forward to them.

The weather here has been ridiculously excellent. We never get autumns like this — crisp, cool, colorful, crunchy, perfect. We've been sincerely spoiled this year, and it's really nice. We've been able to get outside quite a bit and it's been wonderful. Today is Halloween, and the weather is gorgeous. I'm so happy for all of the kids!

I've been toying with the idea of moving my office out of the house. I would love to hear what those of you who work at home OR have space to work outside the home think about it. I've been working at home for seventeen years. It has mostly been a wonderful experience. But as Amelia gets older I'm wondering if we need more space for living instead of me working. Posie is pretty bulky. Right now my business takes up two fairly large rooms in our fairly small house. We've thought about building a second story over my studio, which is already an addition (built by the previous owner). But it's too expensive. We've thought about maybe putting a shed in the backyard, but the yard's too small and I think the shed would be too small for what I really need. I really like the convenience of working at home. But it does feel isolating sometimes. I feel like I'm in the house too much sometimes, and I get antsy. But maybe I just need to take myself out to lunch. I've thought about getting a studio space closer to where Amelia will be going to school next year, which is about twenty-five minutes away, so that I can be working while she's in school and I'm not driving back and forth quite so much. But that neighborhood doesn't really seem to have any spaces available, at least ones that are advertised. You know what neighborhood does? My own neighborhood. :/ Womp womp. Sort of defeats half of the purpose. Also, I don't know if I could afford to pay rent on a space outside of the house, because my dumb neighborhood has gotten so trendy and expensive. Oh, decisions, decisions. What do you think? Any thoughts about this? I'm in no rush, but this will be a future consideration, and I feel like I want to get my bearings on it. If you've lived either of these experiences, I'd love to hear your advice.

80 comments

I don't work from home, but I wondered....can you just rent STORAGE space somewhere less expensive and continue to do the WORK part from home?

I worked as a writer most of my working life and close to retirement, I moved the whole shebang back home. I was much more prolific in my own space away from home but I enjoyed being at home more. I could cook and bake and walk around the garden when I needed a break.

If there aren't available spaces close by, why not ask around, or advertise for, a large, clean shed in your neighbourhood. It would be cheaper than an office or shop and keep you closer to home. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

I'm in a similar boat—I've been working full-time from home for ten years now, and part-time for five before that. In those first five years, I had a co-op membership at a studio where I could print things and work offsite...but then schlepping back and forth (and forgetting supplies, and dropping things into rain puddles, etc.) and the outside costs got to be too great.

The next six years, I worked entirely at home, but only had one big studio room to work in, which had me trying to store my inventory AND supplies in the same room where I worked. It was a disaster all the time (especially during events season, when I was uprooting things for craft fairs, etc.), and it made me dread working in there.

Now my husband and I own a house, and instead of one big work room, I have three tiny spaces: an airy workroom with a huge picture window, a view, and just enough room for a table, chair, computer and bookshelves; a main-floor "annex" filled with flat files and a shipping station; and a basement storage area with a massive shelf and filing cabinet system. This setup is by far my favorite, and the most workable, but I fear I will outgrow the storage area eventually.

So I tend to agree with Odette above—if it were me, what would really get to me is the storage space. I can work in a small space, and keep it tidy, but I'm toying with the idea of renting some sort of climate-controlled storage space (maybe even a Spaceworks space, which is an artist program we have here in my town), that I wouldn't have to access every day or "commute" to, but could access a couple times a month, whenever I need to replenish inventory or store the bits from a big new project. I also live in the PNW (Tacoma), and while we don't have the crunch that PDX has, it's certainly getting more and more expensive here, too! It's a dilemma.

Wondering if you have a basement? We all have basements here in the Northeast and they sure do come in handy for additional living space. A basement redo would be much more affordable than adding on.

Hmmmm....Any big decision (big in money terms) should be handled with plenty of time to think. You might feel this way today, but not in the near future. If you really want to expand your business, go for it. If you want to keep at the same pace, stay at home. Try to come up with more creative ideas for compressing your work area; and the money you save can be used for perks to reward yourself. There is a possibility that if you rent a space, you will eventually grow to feel isolated in that space also.
If you do want to go outside of your home, keep the lease short-termed. Always keep in mind that you can go back to your home working area. If you like it after that year and it is cost-effective, good. If you don't feel it was the right decision, you at least know you tried and can put that thought to rest. Andrea

You mentioned this past summer about a wonderful service that cuts your fabrics for your quilt kits. Maybe they have space open for you to share/rent? They seem like kindred spirits creatively, and you might get some energy from both the folks there and the space. When the time is right, something will be there for you!

I like Laura L.'s idea. My husband owns a business and has a storage space that is not really a workspace (though it has pinch-hit as such from time to time), but he also really needs a workspace and sometimes it's our kitchen table, and other times it's a workshop he has access to but isn't a long-term solution. Several of his colleagues in the same line of work sublet a portion of a larger business's space - maybe the primary occupant has 10k square feet but rent a 500sf corner to someone in a similar line of work. That would take trusting the security of the space and the other people working there, but may be something you could advertise as "wanted" on craigslist or by word of mouth and see if you get any hits. And since they wouldn't necessarily have to provide you your own four walls, restroom, utilities, etc., might be an affordable option.

Stefanie P. says: October 31, 2017 at 02:40 PM

We own a paint contracting business, and I run the office from home...however, we also have a shop and storage options elsewhere...I am a home body...love being at home, and love the freedom of doing other things while still tending the office...I am also an empty nester...so, you really are in another season of life...It sounds like all the "reasons" are there...what does your heart say?

I'd make it work at home. Your motherhood is fleeting and it gives you more time with her. I wish someone would have told me that. Now my girls are in college and I would pay someone BIGTIME $$$ to go back and stay home and make it work out of my house. I vote for studio on your property. I can see it now! So cute and cozy and HOME with her. :)

Ultimately you'll have to figure out what is best for you, but so many people want to work at home and envy you the ability to do so. So many people slave away in a cubicle for other people the majority of their waking hours.. you're just very lucky to have the choice. :-) I totally enjoyed each and every photo. Have fun tonight!

BooOOOoooOOOoooOOOoooOOOooo
*H*A*P*P*Y* *H*A*L*L*O*W*E*E*N*!*
BooOOOoooOOOoooOOOoooOOOooo

((hugs)), Teresa :-)

WOW, BIG, BIG decisions. For me, on big stuff I need to take it slow because if I'm patient the perfect situation seams to fall right in front of me. When that happens, I know it's the right time, place, everything!
Great pictures, Amelia costume is very cute.
Good luck- working and wrestling with your decision, looking forward to hearing your decision some time in the furture!

My boss just took the plunge and moved her business out of her home and into a retail space. It REALLY increased her overhead without doing the same to her income. I agree with the people who have recommended climate-controlled storage, especially if you don't have to sign a long-term lease on it. I would say you need to think about what the expansion would do to your cost vs. sales or income numbers.

About the only thing I have to offer is a different perspective on the term: small house. Perhaps if you were to say, "Gee whillikers, I have twenty-five times more space than 99% of the millions of people living in Tokyo!" you might not feel quite so cramped. :) I agree that "taking yourself out for lunch" might solve the feeling of isolation for a fraction of the cost of a move. I also agree with Andrea, who said you could end up feeling isolated in your new place. And with Jennifer, who said, "motherhood is fleeting." Better to feel isolated where your family is, than away from them...and take yourself out for lunch whenever you feel the walls encroaching. Just my two cents here. Love you, Alicia, and hope you find what works best.

I work from home as a copyeditor/proofreader (I used to freelance on the side while working in-house, so if you count that, I've been working at home for about 15 years, but only the last 9 years have been exclusively at home). I love it and wouldn't trade it. I homeschool my kids, so I don't have the option of finding a workspace away from home, but even if I did, I don't think I would. I'm a homebody, and if I need a break from editing there are always chickens that need tending or meals that need cooking or clothes that need washing, etc. My kids will only be this little for so long (they just turned 9 and 5 this month) and I feel very blessed to be able to be with them most of the time (even on trying days).

That said, I don't need a lot of physical space for my work, so that hasn't been an issue. Occasionally I have to spread out on the kitchen table with a big set of proofs, but for the most part I work on the computer or at my desk, and the only thing I have to store is a small collection of reference books.

I second the suggestion someone had above for looking into climate-controlled storage rather than a workspace. It may be less expensive and may solve the issue of space. And if you need to take yourself out to lunch now and then--or go work in a coffee shop for a few hours, if that's an option for you--then maybe that's something you can work into your schedule.

Good luck!

I solved the same problem by renting a climate controlled storage unit. It's safe, cameras everywhere, only open during daylight hours, and close to my home. I store all of my fabric and excess patterns there, and routinely make the short drive to pick up/drop off items, cut fabric, make kits, etc. it allows me to keep the design part of the business at home, while the bulky work is done at the storage unit away from pets and distractions!

No help on the working from home front, but I was curious where you got her darling jacket.

My two cents is to think longer and wait until it just can't work at home any longer. I think we, (I) think (thought), when our kids start real school, we'll have lots of free time, but unlike preschool, real school is exhausting for children, there are too many rules and expectations for little people, Amelia will need you even more, there will be actual homework, too much of it, even in K-1, and you may find yourself wishing you had kept things as they were a while longer. Best wishes. I'll still buy your patterns either way;)

I agree with Esther.Low overhead at home, you'll be able to take breaks and tend to home related things.Take breaks and reward yourself with lunch out during week.

Alicia, I worked from home for 13 years while my kids were growing up and I wouldn’t change the experience for the world. Elementary school is crazy, in our area parents got super competitive over who was the most involved, were their gets tagged gifted, who was the best at sports. Parents obviously did their kids projects and work. Kids are nice and mean. They don’t necessarily mean to be either, by the way, but it’s part of being a kid and learning and being in the moment. The school years are a learning process for your kids and for you, hopefully. During, this time I needed my home space more than ever. The time spent driving your kids back and forth are precious and crucial. I found it was best not to carpool so that I could have that alone, one-on-one time with my kid. I missed that time when they got their license, although you get over that feeling quickly. People in our area have huge houses where no one needs to see anyone, everyone has lots of space. It’s so sad that they can’t share the space around them as a family. We could have moved and upsized but I’m so glad we never did because our family has great memories and are really close. It’s been great for me to read your blog over the past month, I went back and started from the very first post. You and Andy have an amazing love story and Amelia is beyond blessed to have you guys. My youngest is a high school senior this year and waiting to find out where she’ll go to college. Her brothers are in college and grad school right now. Keeping close, staying tight and small really worked for our family. I wish you the best and thank you for your incredibly beautiful blog.

Such lovely fall phtotos! I have a part time business, selling online. I do it all from our 900 sq. ft. townhouse. (Our four children are grown.) We do have a tuck-under, 2-car garage, and I have shelves down there lining one wall that are full of bins of inventory. I take pictures in a sunny bedroom upstairs and actually do a lot of my work on my laptop on the dining table. Sometimes, it seems the business takes over our space, but I can often hit the ground running in my pajamas!

I would agree with others that you should keep the business at home and rent a climate-controlled space for overflow. It is really so much more convenient to be at home close to your family. A separate office sounds good on paper, but how much time will you actually spend there? Plus, you have the added costs of rent. From photos, it seems your home is ample for 3 people. The answer might be streamlining things at home a bit with additional outside storage.

I do a bit of both, combining working from home with going to my studio room at the cafe which is only about 7 mins walk on foot from home and half way between home and school.
I love working both places for different reasons and at different times of the year.
I think if I was doing something that was bulky (eg packing orders) I would most definitely prefer it to be out of the house so I could mentally and physically "go to work", keeping the design and creative elements at home. Possibly instead of renting traditional office/workspace for this, maybe you could look at a storage facility instead which would be cheaper - if you were only using it for storing your bulky stock items and a few times a year for packing large quantities of kits, this would work out ok?
My other advice would be to ask around everyone you know and generally make it well known that you are looking for space - this is how I came to have a studio above a cafe - sometimes space comes in the most unconventional of places, and the stars align to give you what you need. It may take time, but start asking/looking now and my feelings are you will find something when you need it the most....which to be honest doesn't sound like right now. Time to sow the seed.....and wait xxxx

From my experience, I have tried both - squeezing my business in a small room in the house, renting a larger studio space 5 miles away, rearranging the rooms in my house to get a larger space, and finally building a "Studio" space over the garage which is now my permanent space.
In hindsight, the offsite studio was a mistake when my kids were small - there would be one reason or another I would need to interrupt the work and it was much harder to get back to the studio when it was offsite. Working from home can be isolating, but also affords so much more flexibility - and allows me to work late at night if the muse shows up. It was also very expensive. My kids are now adults - and I am so glad I squeezed back into the house/garage for work because it gave me much more flexibility - financially and personally.

Lorraine Frischkorn says: November 01, 2017 at 06:04 AM

This really is thinking outside the box, ( !!! ) however, maybe you could rearrange some rooms of your house to add storage areas, e.g. the alcove area of your bedroom where the dressers are...if they could be moved to the main part of the room to just make it "cozy". Just put up a handsome screen there. Or you could have the cubicle wall of your sewing room turned into closet space that is twice the depth of the cubes, all along the wall. The floor space would just be a bit narrower, that's all. ...just trying to get the creative juices flowing for you, for even better ideas that you might have fun thinking of !!! I vote for working from home. Reward yourself with more family outings and solitary coffee breaks for yourself. Lorraine, North of Chicago

I like the ideas i see in other comments. But as to the feeling of isolation: maybe you could follow some kind of course on something that interests you a few hours a week. A new language maybe, or a new technique. Or, on something that you have always wondered about, or that is slightly out of your comfort zone, even. Not necessarily anything practical.

Learning something new with a group of others that share your interests might be just the thing. New people, new conversations, new ideas to carry over into daily life. And you could have that lunch too, alone or with new friends!

That costume is adorable! It looks warm. :) (Also, I love that bubble skirt.)

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

post a comment

About Alicia Paulson

About

My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at aliciapaulson.com

Archives

Photography

Photography

Since August of 2011 I've been using a Canon EOS 60D with an EF 18-200mm kit lens and an EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro lens.