Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Well, as much as I love celebrating the birth of our Savior, I am glad that this Christmas season is over. For some reason, this year just felt really hectic and I really couldn't enjoy it. Honestly, I think that so much of my time and energy has been focused on making bags, that I didn't take the time to appreciate this season. I think this is a common problem, but I guess I am just more aware of it this year. So I am totally ready to take down the decorations and begin this new year!
Speaking of the new year, I guess I should start praying about what changes I need to make. Not that I am not already aware of more than a few, but I really want to pray about setting goals and relying on the Lord to accomplish them. Here are a few of my new year's "goals" for Rejoice! this year:
-To reach as many people as possible with the Gospel by incorporating that message into my bags
-To keep up with my bookkeeping
-To keep my sewing room organized at all times (more to come on this)
-To get to the point that I can rent/lease a small industrial space by the end of next year

So I know I have some pretty lofty goals for this business, but really those have been my goals from the beginning, and I just have lost track of them. It is easy to do the fun stuff like buying fabric and designing new bags, but I am praying that the Lord will show my ways to stay on top of the nitty gritty stuff. Anyone have any ideas???

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Introducing Juki

Here she is!!!!! An 1181-N Juki walking foot machine, or in plain english, my dream machine! I was so excited the other day that I was unable to fully unfold all that the Lord did to make this dream a reality. So here it is:
About a month ago my Janome started giving me problems. I needed a new needle plate, and so a friend of mine suggested that I talk to Ron at Sewing Machines Plus in San Marcos. Immediately he informed me that I needed an industrial machine, and that I was crazy for ever thinking that a little home sewing machine would cut through the layers that I am sewing. Anyway, so my journey to find the perfect machine began. After many hours searching random sights on Google, emailing people all over the country and visiting a store in LA, I determined that an 1181 was the perfect machine for me. The only problem was that I didn't have the $950 needed to make it mine. I was devastated! Tim and I started praying about how to come up with this money. We are still trying to keeps our heads above water financially, and our credit is in shambles because of the job loss, so financing was out of the question, and we weren't sure about asking our parents.
At the beginning of this week while sorting some fabric, it dawned on me that I could sell my court reporting equipment. I listed it all on craigslist that day without a lot of hope that it would sell. The next morning, a man called and made me an offer for $400, and I took it. At this point, I was just excited to be over half way to my goal of $950. Later that afternoon while searching craigslist for the thousandth time, I ran across an ad that I had somehow over looked in Orange County. The ad was for an 1181 and she was selling it for $600, just $80 more than what the Lord had provided. So Tim agreed that I could use some money from our budget to make up for the difference, and we picked it up tonight. I am still in shock; the Lord just always amazes me with his sovereignty. Once again, I am convinced that I constantly need to be reminded that I need to wait on the Lord more, and rely less on myself. The waiting can be horrible, but the outcome is often more than we could have ever imagined.
So does this new machine solve all our problems, of course not. But it has affirmed for me that I am moving in the right direction, and that I should continue to sew to pay off this debt that we are enslaved to. Glory be!

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Whoohoo! My sewing machine ticker just jumped up by $400!!! That means that I am over half-way to being able to buy my new machine. What kind of machine am I saving for??? A Juki 1181. Not your everyday home machine, but I have just about killed my Janome by trying to sew through all the fabrics for my bags. This Juki is a heavy duty industrial sewing machine that will make my life and the look of my bags much better! I am just too excited to write anymore!!!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

do you need boundaries?

Our cat, Stripy, cracks me up. He attempts to find the smallest box around the house to squeeze himself into, and then act like he's comfortable . . . . or maybe he really is comfortable. :) I told Tim that I think Stripy is in need of boundaries, and so he is making them for himself. Even though we all hate to admit it, everyone needs to know their limits, it is what makes us feel secure. To be honest, I haven't been in the Word a lot lately (because of a mixup of priorities) and I totally feel out of place, like I am wandering. I am convinced that the Word of God provides those boundaries that I need. It gives me reason for everything in life. Without it I am confused and wandering. So is Stripy comfortable, I think he is.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Well, it's only December 9th, and I finally got some of our Christmas decorations up. I don't know why I really don't get that excited about putting them up, but I really do like all the color it adds to our home once they are there. I am kind of a minimalist, partly by nature and partly because of not having the extra money to spend on decorating. So I don't go crazy with the Christmas stuff, but I really do like all the red and green against the wood pieces in our home. I know some people love all the grandeur of decorating and you are just mesmerized upon entering their home, but I just can't get into that. My parents' home is like that. Every holiday, their home is transformed, and it is beautiful. What kind of decorations to you tend to use for the holidays?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Choices, choices, choices

Is there anything wrong with not being focused? Sometimes I just see it as part of being an artist (which I guess I am considering myself to be,) or just a part of the creative process. Other times I am just so frustrated that I keep having new ideas that send me off on another rabbit trail.
So my new idea is a baby sling that has some really cool features. I can't really divulge them yet, but once I make one, I will expound. I have had many requests for these, and they are much simpler to make than the bags. So do I continue to make all my different bags and these slings? Can I leave my name as Rejoice! Bags even though I sell other things? Being focused is not always a necessity, but it would sure help.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


I don't know why I do this to myself! I am such a procrastinator! I have a custom bag due tomorrow, and I am still not done with it. I hate having to stress out to get things done, but it never stops me from waiting to start a bag. I am working on my getting more organized, so hopefully in the future I will work out a system to get things done way ahead of time. But that would take away all the fun, wouldn't it?!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Yeah, I'm a little disapointed

So, the craft boutique didn't go as good as I had expected it to. I had expected that I would at least sell $100 of bags, but I barely brought in $50. That doesn't bring up my ticker much, but at least it is something. And I did get to practice setting up my table and my new display rack.
The day was not a loss for my friends that I was with either. One of them make $628!!!!! I have never heard of anyone making that much in one day at a boutique! Today just wasn't my day. One other thought I have. . . . the boutique was in a very posh area of San Diego called Point Loma. Most of the women there were carrying designer purses, and I am thinking that they really don't have any interest in bags that don't have a designer name.
Well, there is another one next week, and then there's always etsy. I am off to bed very soon.........

Friday, December 5, 2008

The tiredness has to wait

Well, I definitely completed by list from yesterday and then some. If I had more energy, I would post a pic, but I still have more sewing to do, and the tiredness is setting in. I just have to put it off for a few more hours so that I can finish the last four bags that I need to get done for the boutique tomorrow.
I am so excited for tomorrow, but I am also trying to be realistic. It is so easy to get pumped up about selling everything, but then it stinks to not do so well. I am bringing a lot with me though, so the chances of making sales is very good. Every little bit counts toward my new machine!!!!
I really want to find a thermometer ticker to show my progress toward my goal of $500. . . . . . Can't look now, must go back to sewing!!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Saturday's Boutique

I'm totally excited about this Holiday Boutique on Saturday!! Not only do I get to hang out with some fun people, but I get to sell and market my bags too! I am totally convinced that boutiques are the way to go. What's the difference between a craft fair and a boutique? Craft fair = older people, usually outside, everything from old man woodcarvings to crocheted tissue box covers. Don't get me wrong, I love going to some craft fairs, but people that are shopping for woodcarvings, are probably not going to spend $80 on a diaper bag. This new trend of hosting boutique sales in someone's home is an awesome way to create an ambiance of an upscale shop and present your products in creative ways.
This will be my first boutique, so hopefully it will go very well, and I can continue to save for my industrial machine and supplies! I am getting really ahead of myself though, first I need to finish sewing what I am going to be selling.
List of sewing for today:
3 wallets or accessory bags
1 hipster
cut pieces for diaper bag

So I'll keep you up to date on my newest projects and business developments as I go along. If there is anything else you would like to know, please let me know!