Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wordfull Wednesday

Well today I would usually just post a photo.  But I feel that continued encouragement is better.  So today an offering from my bedtime reading last night.

You may have a fresh start any moment your choose, for this thing we call failure is not the falling down, but the staying down.  - Mary Pickford

Newport RI Ocean Drive

Rather then fight against the current and be tossed around in the sea, let the waves wash over you, make you new and go where the current takes you. - myself

Sunday, July 24, 2011

This Weeks Interview-BeadfulStrings

I've been so lucky to have so much interest in the interviews I already have a waiting list.  So I couldn't wait to get on to the next interview.  This week I am featuring Erin of BeadfulStrings.  She makes exquisite beaded jewelry.  Be sure to check out her shop!

Tell me a little about yourself:

My name is Erin. I am 42, married with 3 kids and 2 cats. I live in Salt Lake City, Utah where I was born and raised, and even live in the house that I grew up in (my husband and I bought the house when my mother passed away 3 years ago). I am a SAHM that beads every chance she gets.

How did you get started with your craft? 

I first started making jewelry back in 1996. I had taken a trip to Seattle and had fallen in love with a necklace that I just couldn't afford. Being young, I couldn't afford most of the jewelry I wanted, but I was obsessed with jewelry, so I decided to make my own. Quickly I found that beads were an addiction, after realizing I had hundreds of bottles of beads hanging around. So, I started selling at small boutiques and craft shows in order to support my new habit. 

In 2005 I got married, obtained custody of my two young step-daughters and had a son. Away went the beads, packed neatly in several boxes. In 2010 my husband decided it was time for me to start my craft again, and made a work space for me. He built shelves out of my sons crib to hold all of my beads and encouraged me to go back to doing what I love to do. So here I am.

What are your favorite materials to work with?

My favorite materials are the tiny size 15/0 Miyuki beads. Once strung they make a very light, delicate, and soft piece of jewelry. I have people tell me they touch their jewelry all of the time because it feels good. I use Swarovski crystals, Czech glass, and other stones when they catch my eye, but I always come back to the tiny beads.

What inspires you?

The color of the air during colorful sunsets. Flowers in my garden. Rolling summer thunder storms. Music.

What do you enjoy doing in your off time?

In my off time, which there isn't much of, I swim with my kids each night during the summer. When it is colder I love cooking and most of the time you will find me in the kitchen. We also have a lot of Wii parties. We love to play the Wii.

What 3 items are your favorite?

It is hard to pick favorites.  I love this anklet. I haven't seen anyone else making them. I love how they look when worn. It is also an item that I get a lot of compliments on when I wear mine. 

This necklace reminds me of a forest fairy. The colors are really beautiful, so much more than the camera can capture. I didn't have high hopes when I was creating this necklace, and even thought about scrapping it at one point. When it was done, I fell in love. Everything seemed to fit so beautifully.


This necklace was a first pass at something I had a dream about. I woke up remembering the necklace and that day I had it started. It reminds me of a waterfall ending in pearl droplets. 

Do you have any advice for other online sellers?

I'm still new and learning the ropes. My only advice is to stay positive, and to love what you do. If you don't absolutely love what you are doing it is easy to get bogged down in the negativity that is bound to plague each seller at some point.

Where can we find you on the net?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Juicing For Health

Here is my non business post for today.  I recently watched the movie Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead.  It's available on Netflix.  I suggest it to all.  Joe Cross is overweight and suffers from an autoimmune disease.  Phil Staples is morbidly obese and ready to keel over at any moment.  In an effort to regain their health this movie chronicles their all juice diet. No this does not mean orange juice in a carton.  I mean real juicing with fresh fruits and veggies.  I know what you're saying "No freakin way.  I need food!"  Now, now I am not suggesting you DO the all juice diet but I AM suggesting you watch the movie.  While I can neither condone nor dismiss the all juice diet I do think it is a wonderful way to add more fruits and veggies into your diet.  Let's be real here people.  Many of us pretty much live on processed food and not to mention a very sedentary lifestyle.  Western medicine is more about putting money in Big Pharma's pockets then making anyone well.  You don't feel good?  Here take this pill.  Oh it's giving you side effects?  Here take ten more for those.  There is truth to the saying you are what you eat.  

Looking at some of the recipes might make you gag.  Especially for those of you who aren't big on veggies.  But the way they are put together you can hardly taste them.  I am a pretty healthy eater but I always feel as if I could use more veggies.  And I used to juice years ago but somewhere through the years my juicer was lost in the mix.  Being that I battle with autoimmune disease myself I am always looking for more ways to get better.  I ordered a new juicer before I even finished watching the movie.  To cut down on cost I ordered a refurbished model.  It came with a year warranty and I ordered an additional warranty for another year just in case.  It was half of what a new one would be.  That's what credit cards are for right?  Hey this is for my health!  

Since my disease is rather advanced I cannot do the all juice diet, but I have added in two doses of juicey goodness into my day.  I haven't gotten too crazy with the recipes as I am limited due to not being able to have too much sugar.  This one is my favorite but I only use one apple.

Green Juice
6 leaves Kale
2 cups Spinach
1/2 Cucumber
4 stalks Celery
2 Apples
1” Ginger root
Calories: 180
Protein: 12 g
Fiber: 1 g

Interview With Lovinghandscrochet

Today I am going to be starting an interview portion on my blog.  I have come across so many wonderful Etsy sellers that I want to share with my readers.  This week I am featuring the lovely Alaina of Lovinghandscrochet.  Be sure to check out her shop!

Tell me a little about yourself:

My name is Alaina. I'm 33 years old. I live in Alamosa, Colorado. I'm a homeschooling mom to 5 (4 girls, 1 boy) that range in age from 6 to 13. I have 2 cats who are just about all the entertainment we need some days. I'm a religious person, but don't feel it's my right to force my beliefs on others (sharing is one thing, forcing is another). I majored in flute performance in college, but don't get to play much anymore with 5 kids to care for and teach. I'm a Certified Infant Massage Instructor and would like to train in midwifery one day when my children are grown. I LOVE music (classical mostly) and have discovered an enjoyment for ballet with watching my 4 girls dance.

How did you get started with your craft? 

My mom taught me to crochet and knit when I was 11. Knitting was too slow for me and I hated how the edges rolled, so I gave it up for crocheting. I made a few things back then but didn't pick up a hook again until I was 19. I made 3 or 4 things a year until a few years ago when I felt I needed to stick to things I could put aside at a moment's notice when my children needed me. Selling my things on Etsy has taken away the guilt of buying yarn, which is SO nice.

What are your favorite materials to work with?

I love working with yarn. Threads are harder for me to hold, but they make some wonderful things so I use them occasionally. My favorite things to make are afghans. There's so much I can do with them and the longer projects are more fulfilling. I mostly work with acrylics. Mostly because that's what my mom works with, but also because they're inexpensive and just about the only thing I can get in this rural area. I'm almost glad I don't have more choices because I'd go a little crazy with yarn buying and I don't have the space.

What inspires you?

I don't really have one thing that inspires me. Nature, things I see in daily life, my kids. Just about anything I see, I can pull some sort of inspiration from.

What do you enjoy doing in your off time?

Crocheting IS my off time. Actually, I like to do a lot of things but I limit myself while my kids are young and need me. I love to read, romances mostly (which is funny because I'm not a romantic in the slightest). When my kids are grown, I'd like to use my Infant Massage training more, take ballet classes, play my flute more, help others more, travel, and learn to make soaps and lotions and things.

What 3 items are your favorite?

I like this one because it's blue (blue is my favorite color) and thick. I love how the yarn combinations came together. It reminds me of stars at night, or of ocean waves at night. It's so soothing for me to look at. 

I love little girl clothes and frilly dresses are my favorites. I loved figuring out how to make the frills and texture. I had planned on just doing the dress, but once that was done, I just had to do the whole outfit. So cute!


Several years ago when my oldest two were toddlers, my mom bought them little felt hats. One of them was a lady bug. That was the inspiration for this hat, but I didn't want it to look the same. I honestly had no idea how cute this one was going to be. I had a vague idea how to do it and slowly worked out the details as I finished each part. After I figured out and added the antennae, I looked at it was seriously cuted out. Finishing the rest of it was super fun trying to get it even cuter. I wish I could have had wiggle eyes on it instead of french knots since that would be even cuter, but it wouldn't have been machine washable so I sadly made the switch.


Do you have any advice for other online sellers?

The best suggestion I can give for sellers is to learn great photography. My photos used to be terrible. As my photos improved, my views and sales improved. I can't emphasize enough how important to online selling it is. People will pay more for an item with good photos than they will for the same item with bad photos. I know it may not be fun and may be confusing, but it is worth it to stick with it.

Where can we find you on the net?

my twitter is lovingcrochet
I'm on Ravelry under lovinghandcrochet

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Great Dust Storm

Well if you're anything like me and you aren't a desert dweller you probably think monsoons only occur in Africa and other similar regions.  But they actually occur right here in the U.S. as well.  On Wednesday July 6th we ushered in monsoon season with a mammoth dust storm.  It's hard to explain what a dust storm is truly like unless you've been in one.  But it's kind've like a hurricane only with dust.  They usually occur very quickly and many times with no warning.  It looks as if the end of times is approaching. Should you be in an open area you will see nothing but a wall of dust as far up and as far across as you can see.  Even in the middle of the day the sky goes pitch black.  Winds can get as high as hurricane winds downing power lines, ripping out trees.  They move fast.  I took these photos in my backyard standing on a chair.  It looks as if the storm is pretty far away but to give you an idea I shot these three photos and ran inside.  With seconds to spare the sky went black and the dust hit like a freight train shaking the whole house for almost an hour.

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