Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Inside Out

A departure from all the sewing! A true life posting ^_^

As my wedding approaches I've been upping the ante on my fruit intake and watching what I eat a bit more (though bad habits are hard to break eh?) and have been researching fruits and veggies alike.
I'm visiting the skin doc this week to get the general low down on how to take better care of my skin, especially my face. It's not the easiest thing to talk about because I'm self-conscious about it. It's not like I've got BAD issues, but it bothers me that no matter what products I use I just can't seem to truly keep all my little breakouts away. For good.

In all my reading I've done and all the fruits I've eaten here are the ones I enjoy the best and what they can do for you:

Blueberries - superfruit in and of itself. Loaded with antioxidants these little blues can even fight free radicals from sun damage and control inflammation (sore joints rejoice!)

Oranges - no joke they can help with allergies. That alone should be good news this spring season. The vitamin C that stimulates your immune system can actually alleviate symptoms and help prevent triggers from setting off that sneezing fit. Since allergies are basically your immune system in overdrive vitamin C can help keep your body feeling up for the fight.

Tomatoes - Not everyone likes them, but believe it or not the acid in tomatoes can help control acne when used as a facial mask. It's biggest perk is lycopene which can protect your skin against sun damage.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Can't Hurt to Try!

Earth Hour has been gaining momentum. Whether or not you believe in global warming you can still give it a go. And even if you don't participate there's still ways you can reduce your energy consumption.
Be smart.
- Use energy efficient light bulbs, heck you'll even change your lights less!
- Turn off all your lights when you go to bed. There's no boogie man trust me.
- Learn to love natural light and open those windows during the day!
- Turn off your computer when it's not in use.
- Watch less TV

In any case Earth Hour will be a cool experiment to show how many people WANT to start living better. It's a good show of hands.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Can you believe I still have 2 more to do?!

This photo is actually missing two more bunnies :lol: Blush and Sherbert haven't been finished yet, but boy do I feel glad these little guys have made it to their big day! Check out more pictures over at Tumus!

I just thought this last picture was funny. It was SO windy outside. It looks like the other bunnies are all like, what are doing on the ground? Are you okay? *poke poke*

Raw Guilt

I want this to work so badly. I can't seem to give up on trying to have a business. For years I've tried different ideas for businesses. I've had a lemonade stand, headed up mulch sales, started a brief business that sold bellydancing/gypsy clothing at Renaissance Festivals, outlined plans for a bookstore, then a historical pattern & fabric shop and there's more. I used to have a notebook of ideas and plans, big and small. Some practical and others just for pure fun.

All of these things and ideas run around in my head everyday and I don't have enough time to write them down or get them all out. And it breaks my heart that everything around me holds me down so much. I'm always fighting to climb to the next small ledge and rest for just a small second.

But I work a "9-5" job. So 90% of my day is spent away from my craft, away from my business. I know there are other people out there that struggle with this too. Working moms, stay at home moms, people who've lost their jobs and NEED to make the income. Lots of people. I'm not that different, but I just have this undying "need" to make this business work!

I want to be at home, in my own sanctuary just working on Tumus & Pinpinn. I don't have time to have this job (my real one) and that raw guilt weighs heavily most days. I can't bear the thought of leaving Chris to support us, solely with his income. It doesn't seem possible. Or is it? Am I just telling myself we can't do this because it wouldn't be fair to him? To make him go to work while I "sit at home"? Or am I just afraid that we'd loose something (like our house or the car) if we suddenly couldn't make ends meet? People find ways to make things work all the time with only one income and a mortgage. Why can't I just be "okay" with that thought?

arrgh! It makes me want to punch walls sometimes thinking I can't leave here because other people in my life might suffer more just so I could have a tiny piece of a dream.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Bunnies are sneaking into the shop!

Meet Stratus

Bon Bon Bunnies are starting to spring up like flowers over at Tumus! Keep a sharp eye out, they'll be hopping over this week ^_^ Hopefully by tomorrow evening. They're nearly all ready for their first photo shoot.

I've even named them already!

- Meringue
- Mint
- Juniper
- Stratus
- Viola
- Cloud
- Meadow
- Blush
- Rose
- Sherbert

Lovely felt supplied by my friend Lupin Trust me these colors are hard to find!

Monday, March 16, 2009

We Be Home!

I like to travel, but no one ever seems to really mention the relative exhaustion that follows short and long trips. Hence why I'm home today and not at work. Though "work" is a relative term in my world.

We took the weekend to skip up to Oregon, IL for a kitemaker's retreat, aptly called MAKR (Midwest Area Kitemaker's Retreat). It's mostly filled with middle aged kite builders who come in from all over the place looking for a good food, a good time and new kite building techniques.
Chris was teaching a class at this year's retreat so we got to go for free which was AWESOME because with the wedding and all anything free seems like a real blessing ^_^ He was teach the build for a kite called a Platz Glider, which is a "zero wind" kite. This just means it can be flown with no wind or flown indoors. It's incredibly light weight and still amazes people with it's ability to fly. Chris modified the plans a bit, but it's based off a German design. A quick search on Google for "Platz Glider" will pull up some interesting facts and a few pictures of Chris himself.

I made one simple kite myself out of recycled plastic bags and spent the rest of the time taking pictures.
Cliff helps Ross cut a bit of the end of his Marconi kite. Ripstop can be cut and sealed using a hot cutter. The picture really didn't capture the smoke rising up, but trust me it gets plenty hot.

Teeny little paper cranes, handmade by a guy named Andy. He had these hanging from his thread spool holder. Each crane decreased in size 1/4" ! He gave me a little gold one since I loved them so much ^_^

There was an abundance of wildlife in the area. Even the finches are starting to shed their winter colors for their bright yellow.

We finally packed up and headed out around 2:30pm central time, since we lose an hour going back home we didn't arrive back till 10:30pm eastern. Not bad. We discovered on our trip back that both Illinois and Indiana seem to be covered with wind generators. You have to go off the beaten path to find them, but there's whole colonies of these things out in the country. They seemed almost sci-fi with their gigantic blades.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Well Let's All Be Frank

I read a post about a blog who had this long rant on how "It's Not the Economy". Well that's a half truth. Honestly it's a little bit of me and a little bit of my target market which IS hurting from the economy. Not trying to be Debbie Downer but like the title says let's be frank and see if we can't pinpoint my selling issues.

My target market isn't super great on the money end of things right now. They are hurting, collecting unemployment and generally feeling angsty 90% of the time. Because that's what people do in bad times, they dwell and get angsty.
Since my market isn't exactly up to the challenge of buying pincushions or stuffed cats at the moment I have to somehow figure out how to make my items more appealing. I have to figure out how to make them "need" what they see in my shops. Be more impulsive and be completely thrilled with their purchase.

This might require a list.
In any case the blog post I read went on to mention how it's "all you". Again not entirely true. I mean I'm not in total denial here, but let's be frank. The suggestion from this poster was become more visible and try things. Okay great. So that might mean advertising on other sites (money), Facebook / Myspace (no money), magazine ads (money), blog posts (no money), general word of the mouth (no money), Flickr (no money), business cards (money), reorganizing shop (no money), re-writing content (no money). These are all things I've tried over this past year so I've run out of things that are obvious things to try.

I haven't done any craft shows because i honestly do not have the inventory to support that kind of endeavor or the money to sign up for one. And there's no way I could afford to hire a business coach :( Never mind the fact that I'm paying for my own wedding and that I've been working OT for the past month and a half at my regular job.

To that particular blogger saying that stuff just means I'm making up excuses. But how? I really DON'T have that kind of money to spend or inventory. And I won't till next year, if I'm lucky and my company doesn't lay us off. It's hard to make inventory when alot of your "free crafting time" is consumed by everyday work, plus OT, wedding planning, household chores and general exhaustion. Does this mean I need to manage my time better? No. What it means is that I need to stop working so much OT and get married. That's not the economy, but my wedding is more expensive NOW than it was a year ago because all of my vendors have raised their prices thanks to inflation. More expensive means more sacrifices on my part and working more OT to pay for the vendors we are still using. There's just no way around it.

I do have a budget plan for my shops which helps. I do still sew in the hour or 2 hours I have left out of my day, but at what cost? My personal relationships? Sometimes yes :( That's not a good sacrifice in my book. I also can not afford to loose this job mainly because we have a mortgage and a car payment now (thanks to a car accident), but if it happened I could make more things work for me on personal level. I would have more time to craft, to do those household chores, to promote, to spend time with the people I love and generally live. Of course that might mean having to foreclose on our house and loose my car should we fail to make a few payments due to job loss. And that's the downside, the real side, and that's not an excuse.

It's not the economy all the time, but right now it's playing more into my reality than I'd like to admit.

So while this isn't a happy fun post, it's a truthful one. I'm not going to jump on the bandwagon of commentors saying how helpful and insightful that post was because it really wasn't that helpful. It was just stating facts and generally saying don't make so many excuses. If you weren't doing that already then do you REALLY need a blog post to tell you that?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Coven of Cats

I've been trying my hardest to get back on track with both of my shops. Work has been seriously affecting my creative time with copious amounts overtime :( Add to that helping Chris cut panels for the kite making class will be teaching in Oregon, IL next weekend and you have yourself a receipe for one seriously busy weekend.

Oh and did I forget to mention the ridiculousness of Daylight Savings Time being this weekend? What a senseless hoax to make people believe they have "more sunlight" to enjoy. Doesn't anyone recall ANY kind of natural science from elementary school? Daylight increases naturally with the changing of the seasons, there's no reason to adjust our physical clocks to accomodate this "wonder of natural science".

Despite all this I did manage to cut out a batch of new kitties soon to be posted to Tumus this week.

I also have about 5 new pincushions that are waiting in the wings to be photographed for PinPinn

Tumus himself seems bored with all of it.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Be Who YOU Are

I watch a bit of TV in between sewing, life, and playing games…..soon to add gardening to that organized mess. I’d been following Beat Freakz from MTV’s ABDC (America’s Best Dance Crew) and was really bummed to see them loose to Quest Crew last night, but they were both incredibly good. I think what stood out to me the most about Beat Freakz is their ridiculous saying of “Freak the Dream”.
As crazy or goofy or just plain retarded as that sounds it’s true. Their message thru the whole season was to freak the dream whatever it was for you, go out there and get it, do it, make it happen. I think that’s a solid message. What are you waiting for? I mean money doesn’t grow on trees and neither do dreams so go out there and get your freak on! It made me feel good. I don’t know why, but I guess the most honest messages are the most simple ones.

So I think we all deserve a bit of awesome freak in our lives. Go out there and get it.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Spring Comes Early

Spring Comes Early
Originally uploaded by diamondkelt
A bit earlier than hoped. My daffodils, tulips and other bulbs are starting to peep up. Makes me excited for the growing season ahead.

I keep wondering when my Siberian Irises are going to start putting up stalks because I see them pushing up new leaves. I really should split them up this year. They're getting a bit cramped and I need to move a few around to new locations to help spread a lovely fan of green and purple around the flower beds.

I'm still thrilled my chipmunk barrier is working. Nothing like chicken wire and a bit of cleverness.

Sometimes You Just Have to Keep Quiet

Took a few pictures of Mr. Tumus and my new spring bulbs that are starting to pop up. I'm keeping my fingers crossed in hopes that the mild air that's on it's way will stay around. I've got a really bad itch to get my garden started. I need to get out of the house in the worst way.

I think i'm going to take a break from the forums also. It makes me unproductive. People in chat seem a bit nicer. It's like alot of people on there are just straight up know-it-alls who'd rather point out blunt facts and save tact for another day.
Whatever happened to etiquette or eloquence? It feels like while I have to dig for answers on there I end up reading thru a bunch of unfiltered cattiness. Ah estrogen. It's ballsy enough posting this up on my blog, but (shrug) that's what this space is for right?

This is pretty A-typical of many online forums so it doesn't surprise me but I miss the few people who were informative and well-spoken. It feels like you just can't speak up without someone beating you down with the Idiot stick. So I'm going to just hush up and do something more productive with my time....you know like work.
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