The 12 Days Before Christmas

Warning: This post discusses major depression, anxiety and thoughts of suicide and also the death of a pet, so if this is triggering at all to you please do not read any further. You can skip the middle and just scroll to the bottom if you want to see cute pictures of our new 12 week old puppy, Bella and the rest of it would be too much for you due to the topics. Not may people can resist a puppy 🙂

Featured Image by Jessica Delp on Unsplash

On that note, I’m completely starting over this blog since Ofblue closed down and I wasn’t really sure about what I was doing with this domain. I got a pretty good deal on hosting through 1&1 Ionos, so I am keeping this for now and am just going to use this blog as a dump for my thoughts and emotions, sort of like a personal journal. It’s 12 days before Christmas and honestly I just want the New Year to be over with and it to be 2022. 2021 chalked up to be almost as bad as 2020 for us. Maybe for most people? I’m really not sure.

As I was mentioning above my mental capacity is so limited right now. I’m in so much pain it’s really not funny and I am drained of energy, depressed, anxious and feel downright horrible. To say I have not been suicidal would be a complete injustice to fighting to bring mental health issues to light and to end the stigma, so I will gladly admit I have totally had suicidal thoughts. That being said my husband knows, my doctor knows and my parents know and I have been working on getting into counselling again.

Not as easy as it sounds with COVID-19 restrictions back in almost full-place due to the omicron variant being detected here. We’re a little late in it getting here and in dealing with it I think since this seems to have been news from weeks or even months ago for other places in the world. Our little province has been keeping COVID under wraps rather nicely at times. I have to give us that.

COVID is not even really what’s bothering me, though I did have to get tested again for it last week as I was displaying most of the symptoms. What’s really been getting me down is our financial situation and my health-related issues mostly. I pretty much gave up for a while caring about controlling my diabetes because we could not afford my pills, insulin and test strips, never mind the Freestyle Libre 2. So I just said fuck it I don’t care. I still haven’t started back trying to get it under control because we are still in a very sticky financial situation requiring us to borrow a decent sum from Eddies parents to even just get out of the negative (which sucks when there is no overdraft and things are going NSF left and right).

Thankfully they helped us out a little and we are floating by. I blame myself mostly for the situation we have been in. Well, not mostly, fully. I got my last student loan installment in September and we had it gone in less then 2 weeks trying to just catch up on bills and we still got no where. In the meantime one thing bounced followed, by another and then another until all hell broke loose and we had $300 worth of NSF fees and a bunch of unpaid bills. To say that was stressful… is stressful, is an understatement!

Amongst all of that though we did get some good news. Eddie got a full-time position finally after trying multiple times and getting passed up. Now we just need to give it time to catch up and then try and get caught up. We will soon have better benefits that cover 90% rather then 50% of our prescriptions and dental and I think we will get vision coverage as well as thinks like ambulance reimbursement, specialists, etc that are not covered under provincial health care.

And I’m going to apparently need it if the past few months have been any example. I’ve been taken to hospital by ambulance, to other hospitals by ambulance from the first one (at least inter hospital transfers are free but the one from home to the initial hospital is not) and had a ton of tests done and prescriptions prescribed. All having to do with migraines and possibly seizures.

So yeah anyway it’s been rough, and there really is something therapeutic about old school, personal blogging. Just letting it all out for yourself and not for an “audience” of people who probably really don’t appreciate what your trying to do anyways. I forgot how much this kind of blogging has helped with my stress, depression and anxiety in the past! Honestly I think it’s what’s helped me the most when it comes to depression and even anxiety. The comments from people who read and understand are great, but even without, just getting everything your thinking out really helps.

Oh as far as school goes, I am going to finish, but just not right now. It’s too much stress on top of all the other stress, so the director got me approved for a 6 month extension and I am going to look at it again a month or two or even 3 into the new year and get it finished. I don’t have much left.

Sorry if anyone new stumbles upon this blog post, I have no idea what’s going to happen to all those previous posts that would make this make more sense but for now they are backed up on my computer and in Google drive for later possibly. But yeah, anyway, to put it into context I have been blogging on my previous 2 domains since 2008 and even had ones going back to the 90s before that. So I have been blogging a long long time and anyone familiar with me would know possibly what I am talking about.

Previously I had also mentioned about my Etsy shop The Paper Craft Co which I set up back in June. I rand it for a few months, got of people getting the wrong things (mostly not my fault as I double checked all the orders) or had huge delays and at the beginning of November I said the hell with it, Removed all the listings and decided I was going to do some hand-letting and brush lettering which I have been really into lately and make up either some digital files or dropship with Printify or Gelato, etc.

So I made an attempt to switch to doing that and I failed. For now anyways, I am going to give it another try later, but for now I switched back to selling stationery, journaling, scrapbooking and crafting supplies and relisted some of my best sellers and listed a few new ones to try. I put them up today and got my first order again already. It’s amazing how fast they sell and since Etsy allows for the reselling of crafting supplies I am keeping everything I am putting there limited to Craft Supplies & Tools as per their rules. Maybe some things might on the edge but I stick to things that are basically already on there in one form or another and I am doing my best to follow their rules and not overstep them so I don’t get banned. Sometimes harder then you would think as so many things are open to interpretation.

I’ve figure out how to get the best shipping options on aliexpress and I am hoping that as I build up sales that I can find alternative sourcing for some items and buy in bulk myself, repackage with my own branding and sell. Keep in mind that it’s okay as long as it falls under the sub categories for Craft Supplies & Tools on Etsy.

As an example, lets say a listing I have for little tiny 6mm resin buttons for things like sewing, knitting, crocheting and doll making sells really well I might see if I can buy in bulk on amazon, ebay or find actual bulk wholesale websites with the buttons I want that I can order large amounts for cheap, repackage into smaller packages of 25, 50, 100, 250 and 500 buttons, pop in a small card with my business info into the packaging and send it myself through Canada post.

I would say from what I see on Etsy it looks almost 50/50 of people doing that and people purchasing on aliexpress (I know from the images that are all the same) and direct shipping to the customer and asking for the store to leave out their marketing material which most will do as they allow drop shipping. It’s all kind of interesting, but I would like more control over my inventory so I will likely start small with 1-2 items I replace that way and then add in other similar items as I figure out what sells well.

I should wrap this up soon as it is 12:31 am my time and I need to get to bed soon but it’s been so long and this is helping me think everything through so much that I don’t want to leave anything out. One of the last things I am going to mention is that we had added a new family member, my aunts cat, but sadly about a week and a half after she came to us she passed away. We believe her diabetes might not have been as under control as we thought. It was horrible as I was holding her at the vets when it happened. She was not being put down or anything, they were in fact trying to save her. I had a hard time dealing with it.

At the same time my mom’s dog was pregnant and the same day she gave birth to 10 puppies and we lost 2 the same night so it was pretty bad all around for all of us including my aunt, her kids, my parents and brother, myself and Eddie. We did end up taking one of the puppies though! Her name is Bella and she is just gorgeous. She is about 12 weeks now. I’d have to go back and look at a calendar to know for sure and I can’t remember the exact date she was born, but she is about that.

This is Bella at about 10 weeks old. I don’t have any from the last two weeks as I have been really sick with a viral chest infection (not COVID, I tested negative) and I was not able to take care of her on my own and Eddie was at work a lot so mom and dad took her and we are waiting till Eddie’s next day off (Wednesday) to get her back, We are going to Halifax to a hotel for Christmas, Eddie and I, to visit his parents and sibling and our nieces and they want us to bring her so I can’t wait to introduce her to the family.

I really do need to wrap this up though as it is now 12:45 and I need to get to bed.

4 Comments

  1. avatar
    Susanne says:

    Oh, Kadie, I’m so sad to hear about all your problems lately. 🙁 I thought you were doing so well with your shop and everything – that’s the impression I’ve had from your Facebook posts. I’m going into the same business myself, doing graphic design stuff and selling online, but I’m only going to do print on demand or downloadable digital files because all the shipping will take too much time and I’m afraid it’ll be too much trouble. I’ve been looking into Etsy since it’s a cheap way of getting into a marketplace and I joined a Facebook group to learn more but have been extremely discouraged there and have basically given up on the idea! But I’m happy to hear you’re getting sales there with your new setup if I understand you correctly?
    It’s so hard to get started, I’ve been doing print designs for Spreadshirt but I’m really just testing so far and haven’t sold anything at all yet. Actually today I looked at all those print on demand services again and ditched some of them – and joined Gelato. They have some lovely product options.

    I hear you about the old-school blogging… wasn’t it a great time!! I’m in a good group of ladies through the link-ups I join but I miss those days when people just came to your blog spontaneously (well I have at least someone doing that) and it was like visiting each other’s houses to catch up. I’m in a blogging crisis myself since a long time back and although I’ve set up my blogs now like I wanted them, I still feel that maybe the time of “real” blogging is over and I should just let it go… but I have some lovely people visiting and I want to keep my websites, just need to figure out how.
    Thank you for giving this update despite all your troubles, and I hope things will get better for you soon… Hugs

    4 Comments
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    1. avatar
      LifeWithKadie says:

      I was actually doing well with it for most of the time, I just got discouraged in November when a bunch of people at once started complaining that they had not received their orders yet and I was having issues dealing with actually keeping up with the orders and then I started getting a bunch of people asking for refunds and giving bad reviews and there wasn’t much I could do about it.

      It all seems to be logistics related due to COVID-19 anyways, so after deleting all my listings out of frustration and trying to do exactly what you mentioned you want to do, only with hand lettering rather than graphic design, and failing to launch a new shop I decided to go back to what I know was working in the past.

      So I redid some of the listings that sold well initially, after researching similar items already on Etsy, so I could price it competitively but still ensure I was making a decent profit and now I have about 12 or 13 listings back up. It’s only half of what I had before, but before only 2 or 3 items really made up my sales anyways.

      I was thinking digital downloads or print on demand would be easier so I wouldn’t have to worry about producing and shipping myself, but POD is so expensive and I was finding my designs weren’t getting much interest (maybe I just need more time and practice). That being said Gelato was my favorite of the ones I looked at as well. If you haven’t already check into both Redbubble and Society6 as well. I was running into very similar issues with it as what you describe.

      For me going back to crafting and journaling supplies just made more sense at the moment. I haven’t given up on selling my own designs, but it’s on hold for now. Once I have The Paper Craft Co all set up it will just be a case of removing items that don’t sell within a specific period of time and trying out new items to see what sells. I’ve also created an Amazon.ca Business account as well so that as things start selling well I can see if I can source the same or similar products on there and buy in bulk and ship myself rather then using aliexpress or similar sites. I just have to be careful to stay within Etsy’s Craft Supplies and Tools category to keep it “Etsy legal” as that’s the only category that it does not have to be handmade or vintage as they are supplies and tools to make things.

      Once that’s done then I am going to concentrate on improving my hand lettering and illustration skills and maybe try a second store at some point. I don’t want to have everything in one basket so-to-speak anyways and would like a few smaller businesses until something really takes off and then I can concentrate on what I am best at and let the failures go.

      As for blogging I am going back to the doing it for myself mentality. I don’t care if I have even one visitor. I love that I do and that I have my regular group of bloggers who I visit and who visit me, but honestly I want to do it for my own mental health and having readers and comments is just an added bonus. I love reading blogs like yours and mine. I don’t mind the blogs that are about something in specific, like your whisky and music blogs for instance, but unless its an interest I am interested in sometimes it’s just nice to visit blogs of people who are just spewing stuff sometimes, just like I am.

      4 Comments
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      1. avatar
        Susanne says:

        Thanks for the tip on Society6! I didn’t know about its existence! I’m on Redbubble but don’t really have any products there yet, I just saw a review video about it and learned that their prints are not great on clothes but that they are famous for cool stickers, so I’ll go for that, and things like notebooks. When it comes to other POD sites, I try to read a lot about trends and what’s popular (I actually look at Etsy for trends because they have the bestselling labels). Hopefully, I’ll find a concept that will sell eventually, but I also need lots more practice so I’ll take a break now over Christmas to just do exercises and my own personal projects.

        I have a similar idea to yours, to try different niches and see what takes off. I’m glad you’re not giving it up, you did good things!

        Well, I’m sad to say I don’t write much of an old-school blog anymore but at least I don’t write the “7 tips to…” posts like everyone else. I have too many website projects right now but I’ve promised myself to keep going with all of them until it’s time to renew the domain names (I bought them all very cheaply recently when my hosting company had discounts) and see what I’ve liked best over the year, and what I want to do then.

        4 Comments
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        1. avatar
          Kadie says:

          Your welcome. I’ve never tried either but read the same about Redbubble. I think I am fully going to concentrate on selling craft supplies for the moment and just put up a post with a teaser on the project and looking for advice. Eddie and I have been formulating what I think is a pretty good plan for the business and one thing I do plan on is chronicling the process and startup on this blog. Still “personal” but maybe more interesting then ranting and spewing crap . The “7 tips to…” blogs kind of annoy me, but they seem to get a lot of traffic and when I am looking for things like “how to start a business” I have to admit they sometimes have decent ideas or knowledge but sometimes they are just ripped off from other blogs. I only briefly saw your Life in Cork blog before you put it on hiatus but I have always loved your blogs.

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