Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Girl Scout Printables for Cookie Sale Thank You Notes

Vera has started Girl Scouts this year, and so we are finishing up our first year of cookie sales!  One think I learned from running Bourgeois Baby is that a simple "thank you" goes a long way.  I write a handwritten thank you to my customers with each order, and thought that it would be a nice touch (and good display of manners) for Vera to send along a thank you note with her Girl Scout Cookie Sale orders.

To make her thank you notes stand out, I made a few basic printables for standard card and postcard sizes.  Feel free to grab them and use for your Girl Scout!

Below is "Many Thanks!" which was formatted to fit an A7 size card (about 5x7).  This was the design she chose, so we printed these up and she wrote on the back (with my help, her handwriting): Many thanks for ordering cookies! Vera

The next design is for first year cookie sales.  Girls Scouts is marking their 100th year of cookie sales, and for many Girl Scout newbies (like Vera) can make note of this being their first year selling in the centennial sale year.  It's geared towards Daisy level, but could be used as inspiration for others.  This is meant for A6 size postcards (about 4x6).

Lastly, the graphic below can be printed on standard paper, cut just under the light green stripe, and wrapped around the box of cookies.  The light green stripe can also be used as a space for your Girl Scout to write a quick thank you and sign her name.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Does Anyone Blog Anymore?

Back in 2006 I started my first blog- a knitting based blog that chronicled my adventures in knitting.  However, it was poorly timed as I also simultaneously started midwifery school at the same time so it quickly went on the back burner.  The Bourgeois Mom is my fourth blog, and one that I have found the least amount of time for.  It certainly isn't for the lack interest in writing- because I seriously still have dreams of being a featured writer someday.  Ok, maybe not really because I have come to realize that at this point there just isn't enough time in the day to accomplish that.

I have written a few short pieces of varying topics.  I shared my postpartum experience on Postpartum Confessions, for better or worse.  I felt very brave writing that piece, but some days I wonder why I felt the need to (over)share.

The other piece was business related.  It was for the Craft Industry Alliance, and I hope to find another interesting topic to write about in the future.

To keep other creative avenues open, I have become a performer for the Boston Mortified stage show.  It is exhilaratingly fun to get up in front of a live audience, with a light shining on you, reading things you wrote when you were a teenager.  In just a few short months I turn forty, and there is something cathartic in being able to read this stuff out loud with people listening.  I have many emotions about the whole process and experience- as at this point in my life I have come to believe that I am having a mid-life crisis of sorts.  Nothing bad, but more of an "Oh, shit!" I am more than likely done with half of my life and I have so many more things I want to do!  There are so many options that I am not even fully aware of all the things I want to experience and do and accomplish.

On stage at the Oberon in Cambridge, MA, February 2016

There is regret, too.  I regret that I took my body and my health for granted.  If I could go back and shake my skinny self hard into the realization that my pompous attitude that I got "lucky" being thin and beautiful would never go away was complete fallacy, I would.  Because now I am a middle aged fat lady who has health issues (some related to the weight, some not but aggravated by such) with a five year old little spit fire who is active and wants me to keep up with her but I barely can because of that former attitude. I didn't take care of myself. I took it all for granted.  I thought what I felt at 17, 20, or even 25 was going to last.  I am mad at myself for that.

Junior year, 1992-1993

Ironically, I like myself way more now, though, as the woman I have become.  I am proud of my accomplishments.  I am so happy to be able to have the luxury to pursue my crafty business.  My day to day life is good, and while I would love to fix a few things the direction is good.

Believe it or not, this is a better pic of me than most these days.
Yet the day to day is so time consuming- which gets me back to my original point- are blogs even a thing anymore?  It seems micro-blogging has replaced the daily blog read for most.  Instagram and Tumblr are the platforms that are visual and brief.  A long drawn out blog just seems past it's prime.  I keep this one because on occasions like tonight I get a random few minutes I can bang out a few thoughts and nobody really reads it.

Currier Museum, Manchester, NH, February 2016

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

My iMovie for Bourgeois Baby

I've had an iPhone for several years now, and just this past August I found iMovie.  This app has just been sitting unused forever.  I made a few movies- mostly highlighting how ridiculous my husband is- but one for Bourgeois Baby that use on my social media channels.  What do you think?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Our Summer 2015

We've been busy! I had fun putting together this collage of Vera's summer. For school the kids were asked to bring a picture of something fun they did over the summer. We couldn't narrow it down to one thing- so I made this. I know, it's a little over the top Pinterest-y but we did a lot of fun stuff.

What did you do this summer?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Why I Left Facebook, and other social media thoughts

I am not complaining- not one bit.  But life is busy.  Really busy.  The day to day of being a WAHM with an almost 4 year old, and a rapidly growing and thriving business makes time just whiz on by.  The only reason I have a few minutes here is because I am patiently  waiting for my husband to get done his project to come help me unroll and cut fabric.

One thing that I did in the last month was leave Facebook.  My business page is still up, but my personal page has been deleted.  I thought about it for some time before doing it.  I was posting less and less, and the things I was posting was not getting much interaction.  Other's posts were either politically or racially polarizing, and what was the final straw was learning of my cousin's death via Facebook.  I knew she was sick, she had been for years, but the experience was entirely impersonal reading FB updates.  And I realized that had there hadn't been FB, I would never have known.  Perhaps cutting those final ties were for the best.  I decided those that wanted to keep in touch have plenty of other means to do so (for crying out loud, I feel like all my info is all over the internet.  It isn't difficult to hunt me down).

The one thing that was a bit jarring at first was how it changed the relationship with my phone.  Suddenly I had some free time.  I wasn't feeling like I had to check my phone all the time.  Granted, I moved on to Instagram, but IG is so different.  Instagram is fun!  It's like mini blogging with pics.  As far as using it for business- it's like a behind the scenes of what goes on- what the day to day is like for a small handcrafted business owned by a mom.  I've connected to other WAHMs, crafters, lovers of the small business movement, and the ever popular cat accounts.  Because the internet was started for cat videos and pics, after all!

I've been hearing that the golden age of blogs is over.  I think that in many ways this is true.  There are newer platforms for sharing thoughts and ideas.  What do you think?  Are you blogging less?  Using different social media platforms these days?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Little Of This....

...a little of that.   This is what life has been feeling like lately.  There seems to be a theme going on in my last few posts: busy. 

I have been often saying to my husband, "How can anyone be bored?"  We both wonder, as neither one of us seems to have enough time to do all the stuff we want and need to do.  When I see idiots on Facebook with a status about their boredom, I so want to comment: "Only boring people become bored".  But it would not be taken nicely.

There is the busy of the day to day.  There is the busy of being a WAHM.  There is the extra busy with a husband working 70 hours a week and a three year old who is growing and learning leaps and bounds.

And I can't complain.  This is all good.  I have to step back and take a breath and remind myself that busy is good.  For us specifically it means growth.  Bourgeois Baby is now in Whole Foods Market, and they have supported my desire to start up an organic line!  I have my sights set on a few other well known retailers known for high end products and service, and once I get through the pre-holiday and holiday season this will be at the top of my list.  I am significantly behind on a few things, but only because I set my own deadlines.  I guess at this rate I could also say I am well ahead for next season?

I've been educating myself about the retail market from a business perspective and consumerism in our country.  It's really an overwhelming disappointment in how our country is run by just a few very large retail corporations that have decimated small business and local economies.  It fuels my drive to make Bourgeois Baby a successful local business.  As an adult, you tell me something is near impossible, or that I can't do it- guess what?  I'm going to show you otherwise. 

A book worth checking out on the topic is by Stacy Mitchell titled "Big Box Swindle".  And if you are going to get it, may I suggest your local library or independent bookstore?  Read the book, and you will totally get why I say that.

Oh, and I opened an Etsy shop.  I really need to add more of my products, but between time and currently contemplating a restructured selling platform, it remains fairly small.

And because I love to have a good laugh, here is some outtakes for my Whole Foods Market promo so you can have a laugh at my expense.  You're welcome.

This is what working with your husband looks like.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

How To Make A Sewn Tutu

It was not originally part of the business plan, but Bourgeois Baby has received many requests to carry girl's tutus.  Initially I did a few hand tied tutus- simple and easy, but there was really nothing special about them that required much skill.  So I began to play around with making a sewn tutu, and finally came up with a method that makes a fluffy tutu with an elastic waistband encased with costume satin.  I find that these sewn tutus give a professional look and are easy to put on and take off.  You can even add embellishments to the waistband like a bow or bling.

Here is a material list:

There were a few informational graphics that are handy to keep.  Standard tutu sizing is here.  You will notice that I mentioned in the video that I was making a newborn size tutu and cut the strips at 10 inches.  That is just a habit of mine- cutting a 2 inches longer than the recommended standard length to allow for some error during ruffling and serging.  You don't need to do that, as typically this also gives me tutus that are a bit longer than standard.

Ok. The Math!  Really, don't be afraid of this.  I came up with these calculations based on the average lengths I would consistently get during my test tutus.  Your machine may differ, so I highly suggest that you adjust this based on what your machine gives you in terms of ruffles per inches.  (And don't hesitate to contact me if you need help figuring this out.).

Would love to hear your feedback (this was my first video tutorial) and see your creations!