Sunday, January 23, 2011


This week is my birthday. And I am taking a little time off. I am concentrating less on my business and more on myself. Birthdays are fun, even though I am the oldest person out of my colleagues.

I still enjoy the birthdays when they come around. I am not a stick in the mud, especially when it comes to the family time and presents that are received.

I really only have one issue with this year's birthday. It's the fact that my driver's license expires. Okay, so yesterday I only spent about 2 hours at the Department of Licensing in order to renew my license. I even had the option to just renew by mail. But there was an issue. You see, the last time I had my license picture taken, I was a lot younger, a lot skinnier, and my hair was fire engine red. I'm still young enough that I get carded when I go to bars (this will come in handy later in life, I swear). But I don't like being the one that requires a double take in order to verify that it's me in the picture.

So I opted to go get my picture retaken and renew my license the old fashioned way. There's only one slight issue with that. The picture itself. There is something about that pale blue background that makes everyone look a little older, more tired, and generally scarier than they are in real life. And my photo was no different. I smiled for the photo, styled my hair just-so, and stood with good posture. And yet I still look exhausted, my hair's a mess, and it looks like I've got ten chins. Annoying, yes. But at least now when i get carded, people can just look at the hair color and move on. That's good, right?

I also went shopping yesterday for jeans. I've lost 4.2 lbs since starting the Cinch! diet.  And my jeans were getting loose. And I happened to tear holes in ALL my pairs of jeans in the matter of a week. Go me. So there was no helping it. I had to buy new jeans. Also picked up two pairs of boots that are squooshy enough that I should be able to stand on them for my 9 hours at work. At 60% off. I love buying off season.

I was productive and am feeling celebratory. Perhaps tonight we will go to the Olive Garden and eat yummy food. Peach bellini, here I come

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Crafting As A Way to Connect

I was looking through the listings at CafePress and noticed a few t-shirts that got my hackles up. As a knitter, I am keenly aware of the volume of strange and often inane comments that can be solicited just by knitting in public. I have heard them all. I don't need a t-shirt with all the reactionary statements with regards to those comments spelled out on them.

But what you must understand is that your reaction will determine how these people react to the crafting community as a whole. You must accept the most inane comments with grace, and reply with as much grace.

For example: "Oh you knit? You should totally make me [Blank Item]!!"

You first reaction will be to tell the person that it will be a cold day in hell when you knit them something. You might want to throw in something about how they probably have NO CONCEPT as to how much time it takes and that the expense is not something they can afford.

Now Stop. Breathe. Just don't do it.

The people who actually have the confidence to make a comment like that are, for the most part, not trying to be rude. They are trying to demonstrate and interest in what you are doing. And remember, you are in a public place, so chances are, that person is not the only one within earshot.

These people are simply seeking a connection with another human being. Perhaps they have experience with another craft. Perhaps they are just bored. The important thing is that you smile, thank them for their comment, and then invite them to try whatever craft it is on their own time.

See that? You have done two things:
1)You have accepted their comment, and been friendly back, regardless of the snark level of the original comment; which puts a good face on the crafting community as a whole, and you as well.

2)You have sewn the seeds for another person to join the crafting community and add their talents to the pool. Just think. Enough people say, "You should try [blank]" and soon enough, that person may consider taking the plunge!

All it took was a little understanding and some tact. Tact is sorely lacking in many of our day to day exchanges, sadly. It helps that the crafting community has a built in safety net that prevents.

I understand that those T-shirts are awesome and amusing, and while I am not saying that *wearing* one is bad. (I happen to have a t-shirt that says, "It's handmade, not homemade, bitch." The biggest issue is if you actually take those words to heart, and start being snarky whenever someone comments on your activities. Remember, we are all still people. And everyone deserves a chance at a nice conversation. Keep it civil, and invite another person to the community.

Crafting first and foremost is about connecting with the craft and those involved. Remember when you were first starting out? Didn't you ask questions and look for support? This is an opportunity to bring another person into the fold, or at least have them speak fondly of us. Please remember that.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Good Mail Day

I ordered a few things from Amazon right after Christmas. Here's the loot:

Start Your Own Business 5th Edition by Entrepreneur Press. I ordered this book after much hemming and hawing because I know there is still so much for me to learn about building a successful business. This has amazing sections, like "Pinpoint Your Target Market" and even includes links to services that are helpful/useful/important. I am already on the 4th chapter, and highly recommend this if you are considering any type of business model.

These are the cutest measuring spoons ever invented! With measurements such as Drop, Smidgen, Pinch, Dash, and Tad, these are the perfect sizes for measuring dyes. The smallest (Drop) is 1/16 of a teaspoon. Perfect for the single skein dyeing that I am doing. And now I know what my grandmother's scribbles meant. :)

With my new work schedule the way it is, I need to use a coffee tumbler everyday, as I am unable to finish my first cup before I need to be out the door. This is a godsend, because it is a push button, automatically sealing tumbler. This means I can stash it in my purse, and it doesn't leak all over. I bought a purple one, and the red one is on my wishlist. And the price isn't half bad!

On my Kindle, I downloaded Content Rules! Which is a great little book about how to create better/more engaging content in both advertising, consumer communications, and posts on this blog. I am hoping that it will help me refine my posting so that I can be more interesting and more helpful to those who find my blog. This is a very interesting little book, and I hope others can get some benefit out of it as well.

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