The Dancing Needle
Embroidery | Digitizing | Applique | Decals

Chronicles of Starting From Nothing

This Blog is going to be awesome and that's a fact.  So let's get started.  We will talk about our business, our craft and our experiences that we've had along the way.  Blog posts are open to comments so feel free to stick around and chat.

The Dancing Needle Blog #7

I've already mentioned the time and effort it takes to maintain the web presence of our business and doing this blog is part of that (I'm a day late on posting - ha). But here's the honest truth... I suck at blogging and at writing in general (hence being a day late on posting - ha). If you're good at math and like science then you become an engineer and not an author. Maybe that's true. My job wicks all my mojo by the end of the day so blogging during the week is pretty much not going to happen.  Nonetheless, I try to get it done.

Another truth...I stink at using graphic arts program that are needed to create a lot of the graphics I use for this blog and also for creating designs used in our decals and patterns for embroidery.  I really, really, really suck at this.  Not because I can't figure it out but just because I haven't needed to do this in the past so I just suck at it.  I'm getting better.  For example, I drew the little guy sitting at the desk which you saw in the link to this blog and I drew the coffee mug below.  Sure, it took me six hours but I'm getting there.

The program I used for this is called Adobe Illustrator and if you are looking into doing your own graphic design then this program is the absolute industry standard for doing so.  

The program I used for this is called Adobe Illustrator and if you are looking into doing your own graphic design then this program is the absolute industry standard for doing so.  


Graphic design is a new skill that I need in order to create things that our business needs.  I'm not willing to pay a graphics designer to do something as simple as the above coffee mug but I am willing to figure it out for myself.  I'm not there yet...I still stink at it.  I'm not one to ramble on so here are three things that I believe are important for any business owner or potentially new business owner to consider when starting out.

  1. You will fail but failure is one of the best teachers in the history of the world!  Touch fire.  Get burned.  Don't do that again.  Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb but he didn't do it on the first try.  In fact, it took him years to come up with a solution that worked and he was quoted or paraphrased as saying, "I have not failed 10,000 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 10,000 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work."  Genius!
  2. It takes time to figure out what to do and why it needs to be done.  Why would me or anyone else have all the answers to the questions before those questions get asked especially when it comes to embroidery, decals or graphic design.  I literally did not know enough about any of these areas to formulate questions to ask...I didn't even know what words to use.  I still struggle with terminology for stitches, runs, hems, counters, etc. and have no real understanding of what they are, why they exist, and why I should care.  Someday I will.  
  3. Never stop learning. We can do more now than before but we will never be finished learning.  We started out learning to embroider on shirts and towels and we've pretty much mastered that then someone handed us a high-end leather purse to monogram and we ruined it (that person didn't even get mad...if you're that person, we love you and won't forget).  We literally worked on that purse for 12-15 hours and tried about 20 different ways to embroider it.  I read all the literature I could find about embroidering on leather.  I watched videos.  I even built prototypes (engineer) to practice on and felt like we had a solution that would work but ended up ruining the purse in the end.  Did we give up?  No!  Since then I've taken that purse apart and discovered the culprit that caused us so much grief and broke so many needles.  I'm going to finish that purse if it kills me.  Along the way I've discovered about twenty embroidery techniques for leather, learned about stitching in leather, learned about which needles work best for various leather types and I , like Edison, discovered many different ways that will not work.  Do not be afraid to fail.  Be afraid of not trying in the first place.
Ten seconds before this beautiful purse was ruined.

Ten seconds before this beautiful purse was ruined.

I'm ending today's blog a little sooner than I would have liked because - well - I have a dishwasher to install and that means I have to take off my embroidery cap and put on my plumbers cap.  I'm much worse at plumbing than I am at embroidery.

Thanks for stopping by.