Thursday, June 30, 2011

the last 168 hours ... AKA the girl math controversy - part l

yes, I'm still alive and kicking, all 112 lbs of me

(or was that what I weighed in 4th grade. high school, although I can still wear the same earrings I wore back then, please don't hate me, so that pretty much guarantees I am still the same size - I think this is called girl math)

anyhoo ...


Friday June 24th (picture me typing this on an old black Royal, pencil behind my ear, slugging back a nasty looking mug of black coffee) - I wake up thinking about team EcoEtsy's meet up -

(for those of you who are not so up on things like this, and if that is you, please get up on things like this because I can't keep stopping to explain things to you (smiles sweetly), this is a new way of saying "meeting" but without any actual meeting-like things going on, such as note-taking, yawning and daydreaming about the coffee and donuts at end of said meeting)

at Etsy headquarters at 6:00.

Since 2011 is my "year of deciding" I had decided to see just how last minute I could make my decision about whether or not to go to this meet up - I like to live on the edge.

(this is the same part of me that likes to go skydiving and mountain climbing and parasailing or wait, that's not me, that's some other girl, but that's how I kind of see myself)

A Friday late afternoon drive into Brooklyn (ok, who am I kidding, any drive into Brooklyn) followed by a Friday night, in the summer, drive back to the shore (if you've ever done this you can feel my pain, if you haven't just picture bumper to bumper traffic; cars stretched out in front of you as far as the eye can see with people who look slightly like Snookie and the Situation screaming obscenities at each other or making out on the hood of their car, not sure which would be worse) did not sound good.

Of course, the actual "meet-up" part in the middle of all this driving would make it all worth it - I would get to meet some amazing people, force myself out of my comfort zone and get to see the actual, physical Etsy.

Anyhoo, back to Friday morning

(and yes, this is going to be one of those long drawn out posts, grab a cup of tea or maybe one of those mega-caffeinated drinks to stay awake here)

I wake up feeling very sleepy positive. I check my morning email and there is a message from Tarot.com about a free one card tarot reading - I type in the words - "should I go to the meet up?"

(yes, this is how a year of deciding is done people)

Then I swish the cards around with my mouse and pick one.

Of course, I have forgotten what card comes up - maybe the 3 of cups? - whatever it is the meaning is a group of like minded people and the picture looks like they are having a party - so I'm thinking this is amazing, quickly favorite the site for more year of deciding decision making later on, and decide to go.

I mapquest the directions and try to figure out how many people will show up. The team has, I think, about 400 world-wide members so I take a guess at 15 (girl math again) and decide (without another Tarot reading because I couldn't get another free one until tomorrow plus I have to do some actual deciding on my own after all) to make 30 EcoEtsy cork necklaces - my thinking here is that since I didn't RSVP I better not show up empty handed.

Of course the hours are getting later, the skies grayer and I have to work fast. At about 2pm I am in my bathroom with a hairdryer hoping for some miracle dry-time results. Now, I am not claiming brain surgery here and this is a process I could likely teach to an 8 year old (and if I had one and a respirator to fit her, she would have been in that bathroom instead of me - extreme times call for extreme measures folks), but it takes time and this living by the seat of my pants lifestyle I have going on is challenging, again please don't hate me for this.

The necklaces are dry enough to go into the test tubes without sealing themselves to the glass like your grandma's dentures (which I hope for her sake ... and yours ... are in there pretty tight) and I finally get into my car at 4:00 - mapquest has told me I need 1 hour and 20 minutes to get there so (again using girl math) I quickly calculate an additional 40 minutes or 50% more time for traffic ...

it was something like this except I used my right index finger and the air in front of my face or maybe an abacus I am kind of old ---->

Well, the morning is flying and I have to get ready to watch the Casey Anthony trial to work so will finish this up tomorrow ... one heads up about the outcome - girl math sucks folks.

Monday, June 27, 2011

GIVEAWAY - Cubit's - organic, rare and heirloom seeds! CLOSED


WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED 7/4!

Cubit's is the wonderful organic seed shop of Toronto foodie Laura Watt.

Laura is an artist and gardener and food blogger and her wonderful shop Cubit's is an amazing source for high quality organic, rare and heirloom seeds.

She believes that everyone can grow their own delicious organic produce -

and that people who have a good relationship with their food are happier!




We are so lucky to have a giveaway for her amazing seeds!!

WHAT YOU GET:


One lucky winner will receive a $24.00 Gift Certificate at Cubit's Organics!


HOW TO WIN:


It's easy, peasy - just leave your contact information below!

For additional entries:

(5) Twitter this post
(5) Blog about this contest; linking to this post
(5) Follow my blog
(5) Facebook this post

Let me know if you have done these things so I can give you additional entries. This contest is open to everyone.

DRAWING:
Enter by Sunday, July 3rd! Good Luck!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Happy Friday All and olive shares a video

Olive loves this pup Ricochet and since Ricochet is doing some fundraising Olive insisted

(ie refused to get off the couch, otherwise known as her bed)

I share this one. There is a little lesson in here about letting go of our expectations of others (yes, even our pups ... sniffle) so they can grow into themselves.



Last week's giveaway winner for Ophelia's Apothecary's $35.00 gift certificate chosen by random.org is = Min: 1
Max: 564 Result: 264 Ana Carina
- congrats Ana and thank you to everyone who took the time to enter!

Enjoy this first weekend of summer everyone!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Putting Our Money Where Our Mouth Heart Is ... the gift of investing in ourselves

Back when I had a "real job" at a desk that wasn't located within 10 feet of a washing machine, with a weekly paycheck and a dental plan, I didn't think much about investing money into it.

(it was more about getting money out of it)

I mean, I bought books related to my job and clothes so I would fit in and look the part,

(even the uncomfortable shoes that were way too uncool to be that uncomfortable)

and I took classes when the company paid for them - but it usually ended there.

I didn't think of these things as investing in myself.

(although of course, they were)

When we land, are pushed or jump into the world of the self-employed we need to evolve out of this employee-mindset.

(a mindset that is all about someone else taking care of us and getting as much money out of our venture as possible while putting as little money in as possible - the old employee paradigm that can keep us stuck)

It is easier to put money into our business when the return on investment is obvious and fast - a new piece of equipment that obviously speeds things up for us, a new app that streamlines certain routine tasks, buying things in bulk that we use all the time - it may be harder to put money into things that don't always have such visible returns right away.

Things like classes and books and ebooks and seminars are the kinds of investments in our business (and ourselves) that adjust our mindset from employee thinking to self-employed thinking

and

send vibrations out into the ethers that we are ready to invest in ourselves, that we trust our business will be around long enough to recoup the return on investment - that we aren't going anywhere - that we will be sticking around awhile ...

Maybe this summer would be a good time to invest in something that supports the long term goals of our business.

"As for the future, your task is not to predict it, but to enable it.”
... antoine de saint-exupéry (love that one)

*the past is the future - wood block print by lucius art

Monday, June 20, 2011

GIVEAWAY - Inbook - Upcycled Book iPhone / iPod Charging Dock! CLOSED

WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED ON FRIDAY!
know I said last week was my last giveaway until fall, but ... I changed my mind!

(which is totally allowed because this is my blog, although I did have to talk it over with Olive first)

I love books and I love upcycled books, so when I had the chance to grab us an amazing upcycled book charging dock from Inbook for your iPod or iPhone (Maccies pay attention here) I had to take it!

It looks like a mild-mannered book on a table or a desk, you almost don't notice that it's a charger.

No more dropping the cord behind the desk! The charging cord is well secured into the book, and it's designed to be compatible with all iPods and iPhones (iPhone 3G, 3GS & iPhone 4G).


Rich Neeley creates these in his studio in Southern California and I think these are super clever and would look amazing in anyone's home. He also has a great book selection.

WHAT YOU GET:


One lucky winner will receive a $57.00 Inbook gift certificate to choose your Inbook charging dock!




HOW TO WIN:


It's easy, peasy - just leave your contact information below!

For additional entries:

(5) Twitter this post
(5) Blog about this contest; linking to this post
(5) Follow my blog
(5) Facebook this post
(5) Follow Rich on facebook

Let me know if you have done these things so I can give you additional entries. This contest is open to everyone.

DRAWING:
Enter by midnight, Sunday, June 26th! Good Luck!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Happy Friday- new work in my Uncorked and Polarity shops & a giveaway winner!


I made time -

(yes, I am "making time" now, please don't hate me, I still can't make a decent egg salad sandwich)

to get some new work into both shops this week including 2 new beaded lockets - a) another locket with the amazing Rachelle Levingston b) a new locket with the amazing (and patient) Caragh Buxton and c) a fishing fanatic keychain with the incredible watercolor artist (and Rachelle's dad) Richard Beck!

The winner of last week's giveaway for Mary's Granddaughter's wonderful moleskin journal as chosen by random.org is:
Min: 1 Max: 371 = 319! Carolyn McIntyre! Thanks to everyone who took the time to enter. My current giveaway is the last one for the summer when the internet gets lazy and I do, too - so don't miss entering this one!

I wrote a shop critique of a wonderful natural woodworking shop Earnest Efforts HERE that might have some info other makers can use.

Hoping everyone has a wonderful weekend filled with sunshine and laughter ...

(and kittens and puppies and bunnies and ... yes, I've gone soft, don't tell anyone)

xo all

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Allowing the Still Point ... when to stop looking

Maybe this sounds familiar to you - once I have found what I am looking for on my computer - many times I can't stop looking.

and I am fairly certain this "can't stop looking" thing will only get us into trouble - the kind of trouble that starts with a carpal tunnel injury and ends with our arrest on charges of peeping tommery because we just "can't stop looking"

I continue to search for more and more information until I am satisfied (rarely) or overwhelmed or something else catches my ever-shortening attention span and I begin another search.

What happens when we fill ourselves with more and more information without allowing the "still point" - the time and the space to absorb what we learn?

I think as artists we instinctively need to grow through experience and not through this "looking" thing -

and I think we instinctively reach for a connection.

It's why so many of us have blogs and talk to other makers in an attempt to make this big old internet a smaller more connected place - a place where the stuff that is real gets separated from the stuff that is not real - the place where we absorb; the place with a still point.

I would bet that one day some neurologist will discover that far from making our children smarter - by plopping their diaper clad butts in front of a laptop at 3 years old - we are changing their neural makeup -

forcing their brains, in an effort to keep up with this speed of information, to grow in unintended ways, leaving other parts of the brain to languish -

maybe the parts that would have created something much more amazing than anything a computer can show us - and that something will maybe never get created because those brain cells, the ones that make us artists, the ones that make us human, the ones that lead us to form connections with other people never had a chance - they were overrun by the brain cells that multiplied faster than rabbits in an effort to 'keep up' ... maybe this is the real computer virus ...

(sorry to be a downer Dora or maybe a downer Dora the Explorer as my niece would say)

I hope everyone is making some plans to unplug this summer - it is the perfect time for it - maybe seeking out other ways to gather information besides Google would be a good place to start since Google gets me in trouble - searches are like potato chips to me now, I just want more and more ...

xo

(also the perfect time to eat healthier and get outdoors and away from our computers - in fact, this was driven home to me just last week when I came to the sad realization that I was getting winded trying to unclog the nozzle on my spray butter ... luckily I could Google the problem and get the damn thing working)

*stillness mixed media print by mae chevrette

Monday, June 13, 2011

LAST Giveaway Until Labor Day - one week only - Ophelia's Apothecary $35.00 Gift Certificate! CLOSED

WINNER WILL BE ANNOUNCED FRIDAY!

Ophelia's Apothecary is the wonderful little Kansas shop where all kinds of amazing potions and lotions and handmade aromatherapy products to nourish mind and body.

They have a wonderful assortment of amazing goodies and I think you will loove this shop.

This will be my last giveaway until fall and it's a short one so don't miss entering below!


WHAT YOU GET:


One lucky winner will receive a $35.00 Ophelia's Apothecary gift certificate!


HOW TO WIN:


It's easy, peasy - just leave your contact information below!

For additional entries:

(5) Twitter this post
(5) Blog about this contest; linking to this post
(5) Follow my blog
(5) Facebook this post

Let me know if you have done these things so I can give you additional entries. This contest is open to everyone.

DRAWING:
Enter by midnight, Sunday, June 19th!Good Luck!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Upcycling Flea Market Finds for Your Garden or don't be afraid to mess with the old stuff


Last weekend was my favorite local flea - which was disappointing because it had alot more new junk than old junk this year but I did manage to find a couple nice oldies but goodies

including a boardwalk faucet (imagine how many sandy feet this baby has rinsed off), some vintage spools (I buy these once in a while for my display - they make great hangers), a Partridge Family lunchbox for only 15 bucks (a bargain and my daughter collects them) and these 3 amazing pinball games from the 30's that I had never seen before.

Sometimes these old finds seem too precious to actually use and maybe once in a while they are, but mostly things are made to be useful

(the same goes for people)

so don't hesitate to make some old thing into something else.

Adding some clear beads and fishing thread to the faucet (remove head, thread through, tie off the beads and trim thread) adds a little whimsy to a potted plant.

Winding some wire hangers around the spool

(I used a little fire to make this work, but you can totally do this without it)

to form wings and a dragonfly body and attach it to an old metal garden stake and you've got another upcycled garden doodad.

There are some gorgeous handmade gardening goodies on Etsy, too!

1. monkeys always look
2. simply pretty prints
3. blossom farm
4. glazed over
5. kat gallery
6. pumpkin ridge pottery

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Chris and Kella Launch Suburban Camping Company! plus a little Seth on "shipping" which reminded me of their venture and Meditation part lll


Kella and Chris MacPhee have launched their amazing new business called Suburban Camping Company - operating in the NJ area at the moment - they bring the outdoor camping experience to any backyard and they make that experience amazing - "they offer the smell of burnt marshmallows, the feel of wet grass and the sound of storytelling"

I just love it!

Hubby and I are going to schedule the Tent for Two for our anniversary in August. It features a vintage-style tent set up in our backyard with a comfy bed and lots of old school camping props, drinks and even breakfast in bed - it is pure genius!



They have lots of family and kids packages including a wonderful little send off party for Harry Potter's final episode with cots and sleeping bags and an outdoor movie set-up - I'll post more on these later, but check out their site HERE!

(we will probably rent the movie, too - we have to decide which movie we want to watch on a gigantic outdoor screen - what is the best anniversary movie - probably something classic - maybe Kate Hepburn I love her)

Now I have really dropped the ball on this meditation series and I thought for certain week 3 (week 5 now) was the week these instructions talked about inward vs. outward meditation, but it turns out week 3 simply introduces the addition of 3 cleansing breaths

(which you must step outdoors to do - or at least stick your head out the window)

so after we have finished our meditation - in my case when my oven alarm sounds letting me know my time is up - we go outside and take 3 deep, slow cleansing breaths. This is a release and renewal step that helps with grounding. Even when things are really crazy we can always find time for this grounding step and something about deep breathing fresh air always helps me think straight. Next week our inward / outward focus with this thing gets introduced.

Seth's talk about "shipping" -

(what we do for a living is not 'be creative' what we do for a living is 'ship')

at the 99% conference is something makers will just love and reminded me of what Kella and Chris are doing with their new business! I think you will like it.


* breathe print at TwoPaperdollsShop

Monday, June 6, 2011

How Big is that Pig - stopping human antibiotic use in animals

Last week the NRDC filed suit (along with some other groups including the Union of Concerned Scientists) to force the FDA to do its job.

(which according to its website is to :

protect the public health by assuring that foods are safe, wholesome, sanitary and properly labeled; human and veterinary drugs, and vaccines and other biological products and medical devices intended for human use are safe and effective
)

Even though the FDA has known for decades that giving human antibiotics to healthy animals can create monster bacteria that threaten human health they have done nothing.

(nada)

Antibiotics are obviously a good thing and have saved us from diseases that were once death sentence. But now, multi-drug resistant infections are on the rise at the same time the development of new antibiotics, due to cost constraints, are at an all-time low.

70% of all antibiotics in the U.S. are being wasted on healthy cows, pigs and chickens for things like growth promotion (!) creating drug-resistant superbugs that put everyone at risk.

We all know by now not to take and not to give our children unnecessary antibiotics and our doctors carefully weigh their options before prescribing them to us, but The National Academy of Sciences has stated:

"a decrease in the inappropriate use of antimicrobials in human medicine alone is not enough. Substantial efforts must be made to decrease inappropriate overuse of antimicrobials in animals and agriculture as well."

All 27 member states of the European Union have banned the use of important human antibiotics for growth promotion in animals. Hundreds of the world's leading consumer and public health agencies have demanded this practice come to an end.

Here is the petition we can sign to ask FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg to ban the use of antibiotics in healthy animals. I can't believe after so many years we are still talking about this issue and nothing has been done- hopefully this lawsuit will have some real teeth in it.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Happy Friday- Gotta Love a Short Week!

The winner of last week's giveaway for Whimsy and Ink's personalized flask (chosen by random.org) is:
Min: 1 Max: 382 Result: 33- Cinders!

Thank you to everyone who took the time to enter and a great big YIPPEE to Cinders!


A link to my post HERE on TeamEcoEtsy's blog giving a shop critique to wonderful organic "food for your skin" seller Natural Grace - I have a
great publicity tip
for makers in that post - you will want to check it out!

Have a wonderful weekend everyone- next week will include a funtastic upcycled tutorial and I will finally get back to my meditation series - tomorrow is my favorite local flea market - it is on the beach in Ocean Grove - if you are in NJ, it is a great one, but you have to get there early - we are bringing bagels for a beach picnic while the sellers set up.

(and by we I might mean me because it seems everyone else is working and Olive is much too neurotic to wander around in those kind of crowds without kicking back a couple martinis first and it is much too early for that - even for Olive)

Check out some new work in my Uncorked shop above ↑- 10% off any purchase in Uncorked thru 6/15 with the shopping code MARTINI.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Be a Sprinter, Not a Marathon Runner - defining clear stopping points

When I first heard this quote by Tony Schwartz, CEO and President of The Energy Project I felt a little WT-?

(use your own discretion for the last letter, I'm from Jersey you know what we use)

Be the hare and not the tortoise? Didn't the tortoise always win those races when the hare got distracted and headed off to Mary Mary's garden to munch out on carrots ..

(or am I mixing up my nursey rhymes here?)

Whatever the story was - the lesson, I am pretty sure, was to plod along slow and steady - this is how winners were created, races won and hares taught lessons about responsibility.

And I am a big believer in process (as in you have to love it!) and the fact that the end-zone keeps getting moved on me (as in I'm tired and need a nap and my mommy).

So, I thought about this again ... be a sprinter, not a marathon runner.

The key to productivity, Schwartz says, is to "recognize the power of renewal, and have a finish line." He claims that "we've lost our finish lines."

Hallelujah!

(clouds part, blue skies blind us - cue the chirping birds)

YES, we need finish lines! Someone keeps moving my finish line (could it be me) and I need it. The never ending pace of this online maker lifestyle is not sustainable -

and if we are concerned about the sustainability of our makings we need to be concerned about the sustainability of ourselves.

It's almost summer folks - the internet slows down (trust me on this, I've been on here a long time) - your sales, unless you have some makings focused on the season, will slow down - it's a great time to think about renewal - think about creating some finish lines for ourselves

(I'm getting myself some of those paper banners I can rip through, arms in the air, screaming I DID IT!)

before things pick back up in the fall.

Time to set some clearly defined daily stopping points so we are not ending our work days with a sense of incompletion or not ending them at all.

I have summer shows including Beckman's Handmade in Los Angeles and Chicago for the first time

(cue the nail biting)

but I am going to start taking a little time between projects for renewal and not just jump into the next thing, set some clearly defined stopping points every day - create those little "end-zones" because the truth is ...

I was the kid who always won the 100 yard dash (and standing broad jump actually) - the same kid who could never quite finish the mile without walking the last lap - I've always been a sprinter.

*awesome I Dare You To Run Like a Girl print by Penny Jane Designs