Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Ballad of the Crafty Loner

Yeah, I know it's been a while. All my dreams of posting more often are thwarted by the fact that I am psychologically fragile and currently in a state of near catatonia, due to the fact that I haven't been alone for any length of time since mid-June. Now, every time I express a measure of dissatisfaction with having one or both of my kids around me 24/7, somebody pipes up and says something about how these are the most precious years of their lives and I need to appreciate them because they'll never come again and Hallmark and lollipops and LALALALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU. Seriously, y'all, I appreciate the hell out of those little monsters, but it doesn't change the fact that their mother is an introvert who thrives on being alone. I am perfectly happy to play school and dress-up and to bake cupcakes and dig for worms, and I love that I've had the time to do all that this summer, but at the same time, I have done everything - shower, pee, everything - with someone by my side. My brain is wired in such a way that prolonged exposure to other people produces anxiety and severe crabbiness, eventually leading to hopelessness and probably death. School finally starts on Monday, however, and first I plan to sleep for as many hours as possible without someone trying to pry my eyelids open with sticky fingers, and then I am going to blast the most profanity-laden music I can find while dancing in my underwear and drinking tequila straight from the bottle. Then I'll probably clean something.

Despite the fact that I have had to stop any task I might try to engage in every 5 minutes to watch someone kick her leg in a particularly amusing fashion ("Mom! Watch this. This is SO funny!") I have managed to make progress on the triangle quilt:


Then last week, my birthday present arrived a few days before the actual event: a Kindle. Before the kids came along I generally read several books a week, and our tiny apartment was always overflowing with paperbacks. I read everything from the classics to pulp, but motherhood has made it more difficult to read as much as I would like. Add to that the fact that half my bookshelves (I once had six) were given to the girls for their rapidly expanding collection, and not having a lot of extra money, AND the horrid selection at the local library, and a Kindle seemed like a good investment. AND I LOVE IT. Since it arrived last Monday I have read A Room With a View, am halfway through Howard's End, and have the first Percy Jackson book as well as some crazy comic novel from one of those misogynistic British guys and a non-fiction book about space travel. I got a subscription to my beloved New Yorker magazine for only three bucks a month, and I can keep all these things together in one spot. But of course I am terrified that someone will try to use it as a dance floor for a Polly Pocket, so it needed a cover.

I searched all over the net for a pattern, and mostly what I found were just pouches. I wanted one that would be like a cover, where the Kindle would be left in it, and finally discovered it in the January 2010 issue of Quilter's Home. This was my first one:



I thought the Moda Authentic fabric was perfect. I posted pictures of it on my personal Facebook page, and immediately all my friends started asking when I was going to start taking orders for them. It occurred to me that it might not be a bad idea, since I only found one seller on Etsy who sold anything like what I was looking for. This got Harper all in a tizzy, because her entire life lately has been devoted to complaining about the fact that we are not billionaires like London Tipton (and if you don't know who that is, you are very, very lucky and should not pursue it further). In her twisted six-year-old mind, any amount of money is enough to make you rich, so she figures I'm sitting on a cash cow here and I BETTER START SEWING. I did want to see if I could work out some of the kinks, so that I could make them consistently, so I made a second one, this time with a pocket:



The bottom right strap ended up off, so I will have to watch that if I decide to try to make them to sell, and of course I got the Kindle 2 so I will probably have to figure out how to modify it for the new, smaller version. And the whole thing is probably moot anyway because I'm sure it's illegal to sell stuff you make from a magazine pattern.* But they sure are fun to make.

Now if you all will excuse me, the CEO of MegCorp thinks I need to get back in the sweatshop and crank out some moneymakers. And get her some fruit leather. And watch her do that leg kick thing again.

*Update: Yep. Totally illegal. Oh well.

30 comments:

Karin said...

I think it's a fabulous idea to make those to sell on etsy! And, I think I would try and use white elastic to hold the kindle into the cover vs. the binding - the white would hide better with the white kindle and it would hold it in nice and snug I think. Just an idea! Good luck!

Karin

Beth said...

I know *exactly* how you feel. Yesterday I had enough and locked the bathroom door so I could have some privacy. The four year old dictator stood outside the door crying and beating on said door, yelling"BUT I DIDN'T WANT YOU TO LOCK THE DOOR!" So those five minutes were just perfectly relaxing.

Nancy said...

The white elastic is a great idea... I however don't care because I don't have a kindle...lol I use Paperbackswap... check it out. Free books and you only pay the media mail shipping...
link here

http://www.paperbackswap.com/index.php?n=7

Patty said...

Oh yes I remember how excited I got when school started and the little ones would be away for awhile. I'm with you on the wanting time alone thing. This week DH is gone fishing and I'm loving all the peace and quiet and staying up late and not doing dishes or laundry. I'll be a slug all weed and then the day before he gets back I'll clean. But til then it's all mine.

Florida Farm Girl said...

Oh, I know how that not being alone thing feels and it can cause me to nearly commit...ah...someone's demise! And there aren't even any little ones running around here. We just spent 3 weeks on "vacation" staying in other folks houses. Part of the time where she "hovered". Had a little meltdown, I did, but got things straightened out.

Peggi said...

I think you SHOULD sell them on Etsy, and I like Karin's idea with the elastic. I'm not sure, but I think you can sell things you've made, you just can't sell the pattern itself. And you COULD use making these as an excuse for a few minutes alone. Tell Harper you need 15 minutes to sew uninterrupted so you can "make some money", set a timer for her, and challenge her to build a castle for Polly Pocket out of Legos in that time. Just an idea.

I remember those days - my oldest son was like Velcro. I ended up taking a job at night when my hubby was home with the kids.

Anonymous said...

I just read an article about copyrights and I seem to remember that just about anything that isn't for personal use presents a problem. You should probably carefully check this out before putting a lot of time, energy and money into making a bunch of them for sale.

I love your humor. I have a similar problem with my husband now that I am retired. I can't seem to get away from him. It turns out that too much togetherness isn't such a good thing.

Wendy said...

Oh Megan, you just described my life here as well! My super-extra-extrovert oldest is killing super-extra-introvert me. Some days it's like Human Crazy Glue, and I am always grateful when her normal activities start up again. Love the kindle container!

Linda said...

If you use Karin's idea of elastic, will that not change the pattern enough that you can market it as your own? I would think so. Love the triangles, it's going to be such a gorgeous quilt!

nana nana boo boo--mine are grown and gone! Each stage brings it's own issues.
Lurking Linda
My "word" is hotisme. roflmao--if I could GET on the floor!

Lisabee said...

You should try contacting the magazine and asking how they would feel about you selling the covers on etsy. They might be willing to sell you some sort of limited "cottage industry" license or that they wouldn't really care at all since you'll be pretty small-scale.

Sarah Craig said...

First of all, if you write the designer of the pattern, she might not mind you selling your work product, so long as you aren't mass-producing it (think assembly line, tiny Chinese children sewing into the wee hours, etc.) If not, you should adapt/adjust the pattern enough to make it yours (the pocket and the idea of elastic might just be enough; so might a pieced outside and quilting!) And you might think about making one that fits first gen Kindles, too - mine is a hand-me-down from my DH, because I'm too cheap to buy one of my own but I will buy him the newest version because he tolerates my sewing mess so well....

And don't let anyone nana-nana-boo-boo you - some of us are dumb enough to let little ones back in after the first batch have grown up and moved out! I keep my 2 1/2 year old granddaughter four days a week, and while I love it, I feel your pain about no private time! So just remember how you feel now and think hard before letting anyone under 3 feet in your house once you get the first batch out!

Leah Day said...

Hey Megan - You know, if you were to change the pattern significantly - like by adding an extra cover flap to the right side, pockets, or elastic, then you should be fine to sell them.

I also feel like the little tabs to hold the kindle are a little silly (and probably hard to line up consistently) Maybe instead do 2 simple pockets on the top and bottom to hold the kindle in place instead.

I used to sew for a company that would use simplicity patterns for their shirts. We didn't change them at all and no one came banging on the door ready to close us down ;-) I think if you change it a bit, make it your own, and of course add your own flair, you can definitely make these to sell.

BUT - sorry, but I have to share my experience here: if you can't chug one of these babies out in 1 hour - that means cutting, sewing, etc - then it's probably not going to be worth your time.

The most someone would probably spend on one is $20. If you take 5 hours to make one, you're making $4 per hour, which sucks.

Just keep your bottom line in mind.

Good luck!

Leah Day

Tonya said...

OMG! I am just like you, and I have 8 children! LOL Yeah, makes no sense, but they were all planned and i love them very much, but sometimes i just want to run away for a day or three! Just found your blog and am loving it! Oh, and all of my children are well versed in the word $hit by the time they are 3 years old, it was my mother's bad word of choice and i am passing it down to the next generation ; )

Natalie said...

I loved the Percy Jackson and the Olympians books! Way better than the movie!

The covers both look great! Awesome job Megan! Is it sad I want a Kindle so I can have one of those covers??

Marion said...

I too totally sympathize with being alone. When I dropped my youngest off a 1st grade the first day (and I had two extra temporary exchange students in the house to boot), my first thought was "No one wants me for 6 hours! This is so cool!!!!

Now she is a junior in high school and I want her home, believe it or not.

Anne said...

...still laughing at the London Tipton comment...

Teresa Jane said...

Oh, I soooo hear you. My velcro child will be 10 this weekend. Last week was supposed to be my week of bliss as he went to camp. Yup, on the bus at 9:30 am Monday! Got the first homesick call at 6pm. Then again at 11 am the next day and by 3 the nurse called for me to pick him up. Ack! There went my mommy time, my girls night out and my quilting time - gone - in one stroke. I swear, school cannot start soon enough. If I hear "I'm bored," one more time, I will not be held accountable for my actions!

Sarah said...

A wise woman once told me, " Every Mother needs to opportunity to miss their children." I know I need it! Good luck with the Kindle covers.

Anonymous said...

Deborah says:

Can you say "over-stimulated"?

It's epidemic. I'm an introvert as well and have to say it's a darn good thing I don't actually have children.

Seriously, I don't think we'd survive.

I had to lock myself in the bathroom the other day because my dog (yes, my DOG) wouldn't leave me alone.

(I do love children and wish I did actually have at least one, but unfortunately was not "blessed".)

The HST is coming along magnificently and the Kindle covers are so cute!

Brenda said...

I got my Kindle a couple of months ago and I LOVE it! No more giving away books because I have nowhere to keep them. I love that I can read the first chapter or 5 before deciding if I want to buy, and I could go on - enjoy!

John'aLee said...

Oh your post made me laugh! I can well remember the days. And I never wanted to hear again like you..."oh these are the best years of your life".
That is one beautiful quilt.

Vicki said...

Sweet cover.
my husband mentioned getting me a kindle for my birthday but I can't get on board with the idea of paying for my books. My county's library system is pretty good and I can usually get what I want without too much of a wait. (I am going to buy Mockingjay though. The hold list is over 500 already.)

Anyway, I totally relate about needing. time. alone. My 2 older kids were in school all day today, my husband IMed me and asked if I was lonely and I was like "I have been waiting for this day for months." Like, since before last school year ended.

And. I had to ban The Suite Life, all versions, at our house. It makes my kids so crazy, and it hurts my brain to have it on.

Vicki said...

ok one more comment (I was skimming and missed the last paragraph the first time).

if you look at the tabberone site (you'll have to google it, fussy baby, can't link) they have some interesting discussion about the legalities of selling stuff made from patterns, as well as selling stuff made from licensed fabrics. Basically, according to them, you can sell stuff made from patterns. "Personal use only" statements, which are on lots of commercial patterns and also on a lot of blog tutorials, have no legal standing. Morally/ethically, you have to decide what you want to do, but you probably wouldn't get in legal trouble.

Stormy Days said...

I agree with everyone about changing it to make it your own. The elastic is a great idea and how about elastic (pretty, not plain white) to wrap around instead of the button. Or even something you tie, I see that on jounals all the time. It would save you time and change it. All because the pattern was published doens't mean that is the only person who came up with that idea.
Now I'm off to find out who the London person is.

ErkerM said...

Okay... so don't make THAT cover - come up with your OWN pattern!
Hang in there! Michele

KateKwiltz said...

I don't know how you do it every day -- I just spent a week with six little girls (ages 9, 8, 7, 6, 5 and 4), and my ears are still ringing!
It was a fun vacation, but I can hardly wait to get back to my quiet little condo with no DS's or those funky little rubber bands in sight.

Deborah said...

LOVE your blog, but would like to know if you can find out how to send out your post updates via e-mail? I didn't see a "follower" button (don't like those - prefer the e-mail updates). I'm afraid I'm going to miss some of your hilarous anectodes. Can you see about e-mail updates? Please?
dmj53(at)hotmail(dot)com

Laurel said...

Oh that London Tipton girl! My DD has determined that everything should be free (that was after anouncing that everything should only cost 1 cent and I said then that's what I would get paid). I guess she's a socialist at heart!

Holly Knott said...

HA! This is why I have cats, not "kids" (and even the cats join me in the bathroom ). Love your blog.

Anonymous said...

OH my !!! I hear so sooooooo well ... I am sick of London, Hannah, dereck, the wizards and any other of the same kind ! When is it going to be september 1st? I have 3 kids hanging in the house saying : ``I'm bored'' and ``I don't know what to do!``... not me just go outside so that I can quilt !!!!