Shop Update

We will be having a shop update this coming Sunday November 13th. A mix of new designs and favorites from the past. Some items will be avalible later in the month but you will still be able to view them starting Sunday just not purchase them for a couple more weeks.

Thanks as aways for reading and all your support over the years. Warm wishes your way this week as we adjust to the longer nights and stormy weather. Lots of books, candles and evening baths in our near future. 

xx Lissa 

In the studio | October

In the studio | October  

Its been a busy month over here in the studio. Lots of cutting and sewing going on. I have 2 awesome employees that work once a week and its made a world of a difference this year having their help! We are getting ready for the holiday rush and will be opening the shop up soon! I am not sure on the exact date yet as I am still waiting for a small photo shoot to happen next week but I imagine by the 13th of November we should have most of our items up for sale again along with some new items. Some items will not be available until late November but you should still be able to view them once our shop has been re-stocked later this month. I'll do a quick post during that time to let everyone know about exact dates. I am making a bunch of zip pouches for the gift buying season cause they are a great item to fill with small goodies to give to friends and family. We have a few available in the shop now and more will be coming soon!

I personally cannot believe we have arrived at this time of the year. It feels like I was just here; making fires each morning, sipping on tea and coffee all day, lighting candles each night and gearing up in the studio for the busy season ahead! 

I am hoping to take some time before winter solstice to slow down so I can help Owynn make some homemade gifts for friends and family. He has reached the age where he loves making things and gifting. Its really sweet. Here are some fun winter crafty recipes we are thinking of doing... Beeswax candles, herbal salve and pretty ornaments

Also I really enjoyed this interview last week on Erin's blog. A wonderful approach to motherhood, childhood and living simply. 

I hope you have a good week ahead and Happy Halloween too! 

x Lissa

Balancing home and work

Balancing Home & Work

I love that many of you included in your feedback from last weeks post that you were curious to hear more about my experience of being a mom and running a small business at the same time. So I decided to share a little of our story and a few tips on what I have found that has helped. First let me say this has been a huge 3 years for our family. Alex and I were both quite young when having Owynn so just managing being young parents as well as us both being self employed has had its challenges. Our life is generally pretty busy and many times I have almost completely left Barnacle Bags behind but through lots of work and experimenting we have realized that I love my job too much to let it go. Also I feel like I am a better mom because I have this creative and challenging outlet. 

So here it goes, I began working again when Owynn was about 6 months old. We had not planned for me to go back to work until Owynn was a year old but I was feeling ready to get back into the studio much before then. We started in small steps. Friends and family offered to help a little bit during that time so for about 2 hour chunks a couple times a week I would work in the studio slowly getting my feet back on the ground. 

As Owynn grew and became more independent he was watched for longer periods of time about 3-4 hours max and slowly a routine was somewhat formed each week but still I was working very part-time. I was just barley keeping up with orders and all the demands of self employment. I was really struggling with balancing the workload and my personal life. I closed down the shop periodically over those next couple of years when I felt overloaded. I noticed when I was working too much as Owynn would respond to that at home so I really had to take a step back and reevaluate our daily rhythm.

Now finally after 3 years I feel like I am just now getting a handle on my work while still being present at home. Here are a few ways I have made this happen. I rarely take on custom orders anymore - It took too much time away and I never got paid enough for it. More childcare - I was used to working 6 days a week so I felt like I needed to work at least 3 -4 days to get back to where I was and this only happened in the last year. Work on the weekend sometimes - I try to not but usually Sunday afternoon I slip away into the studio to plan out my week. Working in the evenings - about 2 days a week I work when Alex gets home. Late night emailing - I write emails or order supplies online after Owynn has gone to bed and use free time in the day for actually designing or making bags. "Leave it behind" - When I close the door to the studio each day I really try and not think about work again until I step back into the studio the next day. So basically when I am home I focus on home life only. Obviously I am not perfect at this but I try. Include your kidoo - I try and bring Owynn into the studio once a week for an hour when I have an easy project like wrapping orders so I can talk to him but work at the same time. I think it is important for kids to see what their parents are do. Take time off - I really try and take the weekends off if I can but also just taking a whole week off once an awhile helps me out so much for my creative brain and for feeling more balanced at home too. I try and spend that week organizing and thinking about how to do things more efficiently. Once I return from the week away I always feel refreshed and work harder in the studio. 

I know there are many other things I have learned and still have so much to work on but those are a few suggestions on the subject of working from home with a child. I would love to hear if you have any thoughts or suggestions on this subject! 

Happy Weekend ahead! 

x Lissa  

weekend

WEEKEND

Happy Weekend All!

It was projected to be an extremely windy couple of days here. In preparation for the the storm I did 3 loads of laundry, filled water jugs, replenished our candle supply (in case of an outage), put away our summer tools and other miscellaneous stuff from those warmer days. It made me miss the easy summer living where blankets and chairs can be untouched for months outside. I thought about how I should put the garden to bed but we decided to go for a long walk instead. We walked out along the ocean to watch the storm roll by. It was so pretty watching the dramatic clouds and the dark gray stormy sea below. The colors this time of year are amazing, so muted but so rich at the same time. I highly suggest on these stormy days to get outside when the rain stops cause it changes a mood so much!  

On another note it was great to read everyone's emails and comments regarding my last post. It was fun to see what people like to hear about and definitely inspiring! 

While in the studio each week I listen to music, (I am working on a fall playlist to share here next week) the news but when I cannot take that anymore I switch over to podcasts and really enjoyed this one and this one

Enjoy your weekend and hope you stay cozy out there! 

x Lissa 

p.s for anyone curious Owynn's sweater is from MamaOwl. We bought it last year and still will get another winter or 2 in it! 

What do you want to hear?

What do you want to hear? 

Happy October All! Its been a stunningly beautiful month here in the islands and sitting here hopeing it will stay this way for many more months to come but sadly I know it wont. The rain and winter storms actually do not really bother me it is the amount of darkens each day that gets to me. Now that daylight savings is upon us I am feeling a bit nervous like each year but I have to remind myself I aways make it through and a key to making it through is lots of outside time rain or shine!

Before having a child I would hide out on these dark nights in the studio. I would work next to the wood stove and keep myself busy all winter long. Now as a mama life does not allow this, nights seem to take forever but lots of new craft projects and late baths seem to help out!

Today I am actually here not to tell you of my life but to ask you what you want to see for this space? I have been posting on this space for 5 years + and it has transitioned a lot over the years as my life has changed so much from that first post. I used to have a rhythm more or less with this space a nice combination of work and personal snippets that I would share. But this past year the rhythm faded and I have had a hard time figuring out what to share. I have never really intended to share loads about my kiddo but I do go back and forth if I should share some personal clips of my life or only work related posts like studio shots, my work process and life as a maker. I do love capturing these simple moments in my personal life and sharing them here so I am curious what inspires you? 

I do not have much free time these days so I think that's part of my hesitation to post here anymore but I am curious what you would like to see because I would like to keep this space active. So, why do you visit this blog? and if anything what do you find interesting? Please share if you have a free moment. I would love to hear your thoughts and as aways thanks for reading! 

x Lissa 

-A little snippet of the October light in our cabin one evening last week  

Wallets

Wallets | This past month I have gotten quite a few requests about the long and small leather wrap wallets in my shop. They have been sold out for a couple months now but decided I would do a quick pre-order run of them. They are available in 2 sizes but only one color, the dark nut brown which is from a long time running Chicago tannery. Feel free to view them in my shop for more details and please note that this is a pre-order item so they will not ship out until October 12th. 

Thank you! 

x Lissa 

View Wallets Here

September

Summer is slowly fading. Life has been wonderful this month and on the 1st I closed down my shop for a month break. I have been trying hard to not think too much about Barnacle Bags but in October I will be back in the studio again and hoping to be open again a few weeks after that. I have struggled these last couple years with balancing home life and work life. I love both so much but this summer really wore me down. So I am ready to start fresh this fall with a new approach to my business. More on that later... 

I think it is a good time of year to look at your life and see what parts of it are not working. For me decluttering, more exercise and deep breathing seem to be what I am working on most this month. I also am hoping to be more present in this space but not sure exactly how I will approach it yet. Lots ahead but mostly I am trying to enjoy this beautiful month we are in. Happy September and be back soon! I hope! 

Warm Wishes, Lissa 

These days

These Days 

August is here and well honestly it feels a bit weird. This year summer seems to be racing by and I am feeling a bit torn up about it. The long nights are what I miss most about summer when it slowly fades away and I can already feel the change.   

Deep summer is here. The grass is yellow, the trees are so dry and the ponds are slowly shrinking. These past few days I have slowly been wrapping my head around the idea that deep summer is here. I feel like I have not enjoyed these summer days as much as I had hoped as there is always something to attend to but I have high hopes of treating August and September like how I remember summers being in the past. I am trying to remember to let things go as I know I have all winter when I can deal with them. 

So in order to take some time to enjoy these deep summer days I am sliming down the shop quite a bit starting August 18th. So head over there before then if you get a chance! I will be also working on a new fall/winter collection but also trying to slow down and enjoying these last months of summer. I hope you will too! 

Happy August! 

x Lissa

-Below are some snaps from an overnight trip we did in mid-July, excited for more camping once we get our boat fixed and back in the water.