Learning from mistakes

Christmas wish to you
Wishing you love, joy and peace in the coming Christmas season!

I love how these turned out on the “clear” sticker paper (it’s more of a frosted glass finish) although, unfortunately, the “paper” was so thick that my Cricut didn’t cut through the circles using my usual settings for making stickers. This is trial #3.

With my trials this time, I didn’t fill up the entire sticker page. I used to do that and when the alignment or cutting depth is off, the entire sheet is wasted. Believe me, it took a lot of effort to hold back! Funny enough, the reason I filled up the page in the past was because I was trying NOT to waste the sheet of paper. 😅

I trial and printed only a couple of rows then reused the other side for the next trial.

I was excited with first try as it was perfectly round but a tad bigger than what I planned.

Cutting circles sound so simple but it boggled me for a bit when I tried to make round stickers. I didn’t draw the circles freehand and used the preset shapes in SketchBook and Procreate – so they were perfect circles…but Cricut didn’t agree with them. It’ll cut them pretty jagged around the edges and it frustrated me to no end trying to figure out why it’s cutting that way. In the end, with the help of Julia and Mr Google (a big thank you to all those who share your knowledge for free!), I am finally able to get my Cricut to cut perfect circles for me. It definitely takes a lot of patience to test something out when you do everything in-house.

Anyway, I didn’t really have a plan to make any Christmas related things for my shop (what a grinch, aye? 🤪) but since I doodled this, I thought it’ll be nice to give this out as freebies leading up to Christmas. As my Christmas wish for you. 😊

II have sent out a few last week (printed on glossy photo paper) as I don’t think the current clear sticker paper is working out for me. I’ve ordered Avarrix Clear Vinyl Sticker Paper and I hope it’ll be thinner than what I have on hand now (it says 50 microns but I have no idea how thick my current one is to know if it’s thinner or thicker). Will see what happens when the sticker paper arrives. At least I have a template that works now!

hope for you

Shop has been slow and quiet these days. I should take the time to figure out what I want to focus on as I have too many ideas and they may not necessarily be good for me and/or the shop. It’s all very unorganised and chaotic, even. Is it weird that I have no idea what I’d want as my logo or what sort of branding to have? I think most people seem to have this thought out first before anything else and here I am, still clueless. 🧐

I know I often say I stock things that I like in the shop so that the backup plan would be, if I can’t sell them all, I can still use them. However, I think I’ve been spending a bit too much recently out of compulsion rather than proper planning. A little too reckless, I’d dare say. It’s all driven by a consumer mindset, no business thoughts at all (if I’m being completely honest).

Watch any tutorial for building a business and they will tell you to have focus/niche…I have anything but. 😅

Well, that was travelling a bit WAAAAAYYYY off topic, wasn’t it? 😅

Speaking of direction, shop and Christmas – I did not have anything planned to match the sales events happening around this time of year (Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, Boxing Day, New Year’s, etc). I mean, I think these would’ve been planned for from months ago. I know of other small businesses launching their 2022 calendars and planners in October (and that was apparently late already! 😳). I’m not sure if I’d ever get to leave my day job before retirement age. It is somewhat of a romantic dream (at this point of time) to be able to do something else, something completely different – that is enough to support myself (and my bunnies, of course).

As much as my actions may be chaotic and impulsive, I consider myself pragmatic. I have never been good in art classes back in school and my creativity cannot be called upon on demand. I’m not sure of what other skills I have. I know I can follow instructions pretty well – especially if it’s something I can look at. This is why YouTube is a game changer for someone who is a visual learner like me. I can’t teach (have no patience) and have nothing to teach, anyway! Mel and I have spoken about “what else can we do?” quite a few times now. We always end up seeing each other back at work. ☺️

Maybe in the new year, I’d have a clearer idea of what I want for my little shop. Slowly try and build an audience/traffic to my own site – I’ll try out Julie’s advice to do one thing a month (between stationery and crafting – as I couldn’t decide!). Will see if I will be patient enough as I often want to have 5 things going on at the same time. 😜

Next week, I will tell you of Tokki’s story. Hopefully.

The meaning behind the name

birthday sunrise
2021 Birthday Sunrise

On all my thank you notes, I sign off as “FeR”. All my Etsy orders and now, my website’s orders, too.

A long time ago when dial-up internet was first introduced to me, I wondered what sort of cool nickname I could give myself on IRC (anyone remembers that? 🤪 I am showing my age here). I can’t remember if I did come up with anything remotely cool – in the end, I opted for “fer” because that’s what mum calls me at home. Thereafter, it was also what I’m known as to my friends while I was in school.

I remember using ^ to note that “^FeR” was short for something else – this was my reasoning in my head. I remember a boy made an excuse of mistaking me as his friend to break the ice (he admitted that to me later). I remember using IRC to tell someone I liked him. I also remember that was how Roe became a close friend (I am now his daughter’s godmother but I have done nothing for her as I left the country in the same year she was born – I’m sorry, 大姐! 🙈)

So FeR is me. I am FeR.

A name that brings nostalgia, a name that brings comfort (it makes me feel like home) and a name that endears a person to me (because I know it’s only those who knows me from way back when or has some sort of home connection with me, that will call me by that name).

Living in New Zealand and Australia has given me another nickname to remember this chapter in life – Jen. Close friends I’ve made here calls me that and I like it, too. Just not Jenny, please.

I ain’t no Jenny. Never been, never will be.

Launching shop on website

It’s the wee hours in the morning, I can’t really feel my fingers or toes as it’s turned cold after a couple of hot days here in SA. Weather has been a bit temperamental (to say the least) – I don’t remember ever experiencing or hearing about hail this often in Spring (or any time of year, really).

I’m at the dining table, trying to ensure website is working and has the right photos/links…and stopping once in a while to watch my two floofs sleeping/stretching on the ottoman. Sorry, babies. You’ll just have to sleep with the lights on while I work.

One may wonder why I “torture” myself to meet this deadline but it’s been a long time coming. It’s probably not the best day to launch according to the Internet but I’m going ahead as I want to make it happen in October! In my true procrastinator self, I have set it for the very last day of October. Heh! It seems like a mammoth task but it’s because I’ve been putting it off for so long that trying to list about a 100 items at one go is indeed very daunting! I hope after this initial teething pain, it will be a smoother ride maintaining the site.

8 months on Etsy and I have no regrets starting there. Learnt a few lessons (still learning!) trying to make my small business work – some more painful (financially) than others. I am very grateful for family and friends who have more faith in me than myself (hah!) and also appreciate the community I found on Instagram this year. The generosity of sharing knowledge and wisdom is priceless!

Moving forward, I don’t know if I’ll even get any traffic on this site – I haven’t been blogging for the longest time (not like that makes any difference hehe) nor do I have a following on social media. I still believe in doing things organically and see what happens from there – I don’t lose anything from continuing to do what I love and enjoy. I will still have the Etsy shop running but perhaps it will not be as well stocked as my own website. I won’t be doing international orders here as the tax bit is a bit much for a small ikan bilis (small fry) like me – that’s a plus with Etsy as they handle the taxes side for you.

Pray for me or wish me luck!

P/S: Will be putting up the story of how I came to be an “accidental” bunmum after all this! Hopefully before Christmas! 🤪

Begin again

Welp! I did write a post about 2 weeks ago while trying to set up my website again…but it’s gone now as I’ve deleted the blog subdomain. I thought subdomains will keep everything tidy but in the end, I read that it’s possibly better to have things in subdirectories. The thought of having to manage multiple “sites” put me off. I already have trouble with just one. So this is why it’s taking a while.

It’s been a long while since I wrote on here. My previous hosting provider went MIA – I was with them since 2005(?). I’ve tried all means to contact them but I didn’t get any response, so I went with a local (Aus) provider. I signed up end of February and this hasn’t been touched at all. Heh! *sheepish grin*

I do need to keep to some sort of a writing habit. I keep saying I will revive my blog (for many many years!) but end up only doing the one post a year (when I could still log onto my previous site).

Life has been very different. I was going to use my first, fresh blog post as a quick recap of what has happened but I really don’t know where I left things (since the files are not accessible and I’ve forgotten all the logins…and have no backup). Plus, let’s get real. It’s not going to be “quick”. Haha!

If you’ve read up to here, well done. Thank you for checking in on me. As much as I want to be blogging regularly again, I also want this website to be an extension to the Etsy shop I’ve started. Not sure if it’s a good idea to mix personal with business(!) but I don’t think I want to only talk shop. This wasn’t how I started this website…although “jewoley” was always treated as my “personal brand” as it is uniquely me. It’s not a real word and if you know me in real life, you’d know what it stands for. Even blogging these days is very different. When I first started on Blogger, I did not hold back details as I didn’t think anyone would read it. WIFI didn’t even exist back then.

Moving forward, I may use the traditional pen+paper journalling for the more personal stuff. Things I’d want to share with the world(!) will be posted here. I fell in love with stationery again this year. The notebooks, the paper, the stickers, the washi tapes, the pens…everything! In the midst of all that, I started sourcing/hunting for things I like and could also put up on my shop. Feel a bit overwhelmed when I look at how much I’ve invested (spent!) and have so much I want to do (and will have to do if I want to get things moving). Not to mention the things I need to do, too. It’s a dream to dedicate all my time to this shop without having to worry about the realities of life. The fact is, I still have my day job (which requires time and effort to maintain my knowledge and skills – I have to admit I haven’t spent much time on it for the past 3 months!) and daily responsibilities that comes with being an independent adult.

Life is pretty full. I am grateful that I still have my job despite what’s going on around in the world with the pandemic. I have my two bunnies to keep me busy (cleaning) at home. I voluntarily chose to have 14 fruit trees(!!!) planted in my house (whether in ground or in pots). I have a lot of sewing projects I want to do (I bought fabric and materials with all these in mind). I have crochet patterns to try out. I still want to bake and cook. I want to pickle my own produce (yes, I also have 2 raised vegetable beds!) and experiment with new recipes. There is a lot I could write on this blog. Heh!

If you’d like to check out my Etsy shop while I tweak this site, it’s at jewoley.etsy.com

Right. Until next time (hope it’s not next year haha!).