The Side Hustle Project: (wo)Man Plans and God Laughs

Sleeping fennec fox

What is this Side Hustle Project?
Go back to the article what explains things
And then the Week Two Update, which is a bit self-pitying
Followed by the much niftier Week Three Update
Then good old Week Four
…and now we’re here.

Hey, remember in the last update I said this line:

Oh, anaemia. I can’t wait until you are gone and the pattern of “work one hour, nap two hours” is dead.

Yeah, about that…

Good news!

I don’t have anaemia!

Bad news!

I actually have chronic fatigue!

Aww, fuck.

Yes indeedy.

I’ve spent most of my upright hours for the last three months first having various blood tests to confirm mostly that I don’t have a long list of illnesses, and then jumping through the first bureaucratic hoops to become a Professional Invalid, which is clearly going to be my focus for the next while.

What about the Side Hustle?

I will not let it die! It’s actually still perfect for me, since it can be done in teensy weensy steps with plenty o’naps in between. But right now, I have to focus on other things, like appointments and still a few more blood tests for kicks


and learning how to juice green things because it is both good for you and saves me from some cooking.

I don’t know how long it will take for The Side Hustle Project to come back online. I just took mah chances when I had enough spoons to update, because I love you and wanted you to know what was going on.

More later, darlinghearts.

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The Side Hustle Project: Week Four Report

Image from page 54 of "Blueprint reading; a practical manual of instruction in blueprint reading through the analysis of typical plates with reference to mechanical drawing conventions and methods, the laws of projection, etc" (1919)

What is this Side Hustle Project?
Go back to the article what explains things
And then the Week Two Update, which is a bit self-pitying
And then the much niftier Week Three Update
…and now we’re here.

Oh, anaemia. I can’t wait until you are gone and the pattern of “work one hour, nap two hours” is dead.

(On the upside the weather has cooled just enough to ensure I am not attempting to nap in the mouth of the inferno, so there’s that.)

What Got Did This Week

Slightly more shopping!

I went and purchased side-clip buckles, no-roll elastic, an adorable chunky zip, and two different types of potential strapping. Total spend: $14.40

Very boring admin!

My credit card application needed an interim statement ($3 to get it printed, ugh) and I also picked up the bank cards for the accounts I opened.


  1. I drew out potential bag sizes on brown paper, mostly playing around with size and curviness.
  2. The two most likely options got drawn onto old bedsheet and pinned on my hip to see if they were okay. They were.
  3. I used a couple of scraps to make the pockets.
  4. Sewed it very quickly, pinned on the straps, and tah-dah! Prototypes!
  5. Took sweaty photos.
  6. Used GIMP to put the photos together and add some explicatory text.
  7. Posted in a few places asking for feedback.
  8. Including here. ‘Cos why not?

which baghip or sling

Tell me, darlings!

– Which size would you prefer?
– What situation would you use it for?
– Hip or sling?
– How much would you be happy to pay?
– Any other feedback?

And now I am pooped and full of triumph because it is all done and it’s not even midday yet.

The Tally

Bags sold: 0
Time spent: 8 hours (Still on track!)
Profit/loss: -$89.68
Fear that no-one will ever buy one of these bags and what the fuck am I doing: 62.9%

Come and leave your aesthetic thoughts in the comments!

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The Side Hustle Project: Week Three Report

This is not my fabric stash. Not yet.
This is not my fabric stash. Not yet.

Great news! I have anaemia!

I am hella excited about this because a) there is finally an explanation for the heart palpitations and compulsory naptimes and dry mouth and b) all of those things should go away in the next few weeks if I keep taking my iron.

Perhaps I shall also have more energy to do other, non-side-hustle things? We shall see.

What Got Did This Week

Three important things.


I met with the lovely lasses who shall take over the sewing duties for the bags and hammered out most of the arrangement and pricing. If we have guesstimated correctly, this shall make my per-unit sewing cost work out to around $5 per bag, which sounds very reasonable.

Also, by the bye, they are taking a stall at the next Supanova convention in April, and are happy to make some space for my bags if I wanna.



So I said, “Yes, of course, that will be fun.” Because I am smart.


I attended an Etsy workshop on product photography and walked away with a squillion new product refinements and new offering ideas and so much enthusiasm I may have been floating slightly.

I already knew that making a business that sells concrete, tangible things would be different (and in some ways a sweet blessing) after selling ideas and advice and mouth sounds for the last umpteen years. And it is! It’s delightful to not have to explain, to be able to point at it and say, “That. I make that.”

But I also forgot the delight in physical community. I love my online one, I do, but there’s something… extra in good old meatspace. An energy, I guess. It was nourishing, a soul-meal with no weird rubbery bits to get caught in the teeth.

Also, I got to be very smart, and you know how I groove on that.


The ubiquituous big-box fabric store had a 30% off all fabric sale this weekend, and I nobbled enough fabric for all my prototyping plus an extra 4 metres of a delightful green-with-white-dogs print that would normally be $20ish a metre and was marked down to $4/metre.

(The YOINK noise I made when I found it was audible from at least three aisles away.)

The purchases totaled $38.58. Pretty good for seven metres of quality material plus a zipper!

As a karmic reward, I also found a legit licensed William Morris print which I am more excited about than you can imagine. Mostly, his work is CRAZY SUPER EXPENSIVE and I was expecting I wouldn’t be able to afford any for years.

Again, the lesson: go forth, do things, and you shall meet Manu Bennett abundance will come to you.

The Tally

Bags sold: 0
Time spent: 6 hours (I spent a bit extra this week.)
Profit/loss: -$72.58
Readiness to start prototyping: 87%
Podcasts launched: 1
Fear that I may be overdoing it already, despite promises: Moderate

Want to squee with me about William Morris? To the comments!

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The Side Hustle Project: Week Two Report


Is there anything more depressing than an almost immediate failure?

Okay, so I didn’t technically have one of those. But I feel like I sorta-kinda did.

What I Did Get Done

1. I spent 45 min or so writing the first draft of the shop’s About page. It’s good enough to go.

2. I spent another 45 min in vital minutia, such as getting printouts of bank statements for my business credit card application from my regular bank, driving over to the new one, yadda yadda.

So why do I feel so shitty?

I deeply want to launch into an explanation of the sucktacularness of the last week, including (as it did) a quite strong reaction to the drugs the dentist injected into my gum, no internet all week, and an ECG, and…

Wait. What I actually want to launch into is a justification.

A justification for what? I spent nearly 2 hours; I have a functional About page text plus a few more bureaucratic hurdles have been jumped.

What the fuck am I feeling defensive about?

So I only got the About page written today, the last day of my week. So what?

So life intervened and I didn’t get to do any of the fun creative things I’ve been anticipating. So what?

So I don’t have a viable prototype to show yet. So what?

So most of the work is not very interesting to describe to you. So what?

Ah. All hail the project limitations.

Many weeks I will not have anything fascinating to show.

Many weeks I will be able to describe my activities in one quite short paragraph.

Many weeks it will feel like my progress is so slow as to be drifting gently backwards with the tectonic plates.

Right. This is how it is going to be, is meant to be, is lucky to be.

I can’t sprint past all my fears and insights and baggage. I have to saunter by, head up, as they hiss obscenities from behind a chain-link fence.

So I’d like to introduce you to My Paralysing Fear of Discipline.

(We’ll call her Paradis for short.)

She has doomed many a hopeful project of mine in years past. Paradis wields a cudgel of NOPE and brings it out when it comes time to build new habits or process “because I don’t want to be, like, boring“.

She is desperate for novelty, charm, and anything that makes a good story. She detests routine, exercise, and discipline because she thinks they are going to get us judged as a dull grey monobody; then we will have no friends and we will instantly die alone in a gutter holding a bottle of methylated spirits and no one will even attend the funeral oh woe.

Paradis means well, but she regularly fucks me over.

She better get comfy. We’re in for a long ride.

The Tally

Bags sold: 0
Time spent: 3.5 hours
Profit/loss: -$34
Demons introduced: 1
Demons yet to meet: God, so many

Want to play meet-and-greet with my issues? Come on over to the comments!

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