Friday, July 31, 2009

Lessons Learned....

So, one can argue that I did not fully complete my staycation with the goals I started with. I did not thoroughly clean the house (but anyone who really knows me knew THAT just wasn't gonna happen!) I did however, get some cleaning done and begin the cathartic process of cleaning out the baby stuff. Thanks to our economy and price of health insurance, we are probably done having children and it's time to make room for a new chapter in our life! I have two beautiful boys and have lots of friends and family who have little girls so I can get my pink out there!

I did learn some important business lessons this week, which is really what I wanted to do. I am slowly still learning what genres I want to focus in and where to put WHAT in each shop! (This is what happens when you take on too many crafts and you are a shop addict.) I learned that sometimes you have to step away from things and people to save your business.

I also learned what is MOST important--FAMILY. You can make friends online, you can be tight with people, or THINK you are tight with people and then you see sides of them you never wanted to see. But what is really important is your family and those nearest and dearest to you. Making them happy, cultivating good relationships with them and doing a job you are proud of, and makes them proud is more important than anything.

We have a lot of nastiness in this world and I don't want to contribute to it anymore than need be. Now, don't get me wrong...I enjoy snark. Good snark, happy snark, snark for a greater good. I will never ever be mean to someone just to mean! If I ever offend anyone, I want to know so I can rectify the situation. That doesn't mean I will change how I FEEL or what I BELIEVE (as my lovely liberal brother knows! But we can disagree in LOVE and open discussion!) But I would never intentionally hurt anyone. Sadly, not everyone can make that claim, but this is our world and that's how it goes.

I also learned teamwork is important to me. So I am devoting more time to my personal baby, Handmade Louisiana. The artisans we have here (and who want to be here but physically can't) are amazing and their work deserves my full effort. I also will always love my Cafemommers and can't WAIT to get back into the buzz on that team! I've missed you guys this staycation!!! (Search Etsy and Artfire for "cafemom team" and "handmadelouisiana")

I've also realized something else I love dearly--MUSIC!! Although I am getting a tad too old for late night outings (but DAMN Benjy Davis was AWESOME last review on HandmadeLouisiana soon!) I can absolutely devote more time to Chris Huff, an amazing indie musician who I am proud to intern for. Commence HuffMusic World Domination Tour.

One of my favorite musicians is Marc Broussard and he does not keep his mouth shut on what he believes on politics and life, even if it is to the contrary of the norm. And for that, I respect him even more. He stands up for what he believes in, shares his talent with us, and fights for what he believes in. I would like to do the same.

I hope everyone is at peace, happy and doing what makes them happy, because I sure as hell am trying hard to do that. I wake up, see my beautiful kids, and if nothing else goes right ALL DAY--I can still go to sleep knowing things will be alright.

So be true to yourself, be firm in what you believe and NEVER let negativity and lies ever get you down!!


Monday, July 27, 2009

It's Staycation Time baby!

Alrighty folks. This has been a long time coming--mental health break!! I have too many irons in the fire, too much craziness going on and my house and kids are falling down around me! The shops are stocked and self sufficient at the moment. Everything in them is ready to ship, so I won't be doing any customs, and I am taking a break to get my ducks in a row, reorganize my home and mind and focus my energies on where I want my business to go!!

I am also devoting more time to my Handmade Louisiana group and going to work on plans for that. So while I'm not going anywhere and I'm still open, I'll be spending noticeably less time on Blockheadradio, Twitter, Plurk, Cafemom and anywhere else I waste time online! My 'baby' goes back to school on the 17th and we have stuff to do for that.

If 48forLarry has taught me ANYTHING it is that life is short, times are tough and family is MOST important! I love you guys and will be back soon--hopefully redirected and happier! (Yes, I'm trying to redirect my snark for good)

In the meantime, this song sums it up for me right now:

Peace, love and chicken grease!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Why Do You Create?

It's such a broad question..why do you create? No matter what you create, music, art, crafts, writing, etc....WHY do you do it? Does it bring you peace? Does it bring you joy? For monetary gains? Sometimes it is a matter of a combination of all these things and more. For myself it is a combo of them all. I need the extra money with astronomical prices of things and our rising cost of health insurance. But I also enjoy the challenge of learning new things, putting my spin on a pattern or tutorial, and trying new tasks. I enjoy the mediums I work with, collecting the supplies and the accomplishment of a finished product.

But what if you make something everyone else can make? How do you not just feel like a copycat of everyone else?

By making the items YOURS and putting YOUR spin on things. Sure, a bib is a bib. Chances are they will look relatively the same. But you can change it up a little. Use a snap instead of Velcro for a closure. Use funky fabrics. Make it waterproof. Make it a pocket bib. Add a musical button. There are likely a multitude of different variations you can put on an item to make it unique.

And maybe it won't be THAT unique. Maybe someone else makes the EXACT same thing. But unless you are directly stealing a copyrighted, trademarked, patented product, DO NOT SWEAT IT. There are plenty of buyers for handmade artisan work and you should focus on doing what YOU like to do.

Experiment, try new things, branch out of your comfort zone. You may crash and burn and fail horribly. Or you may discover a new genre you never knew you liked. You may develop haters who don't like you making something similar to what they make. Or you may develop a new customer base who appreciates you branching out and finding new items to purchase. You may make friends, you may make enemies. Let it all roll off your back!

Creating handmade work is about YOU and your individuality. It's about your creative outlet, however that may be. If all you want to do is recreate a pattern, do so! (Tweak it ever so slightly or you are indeed creating copyright infringement, at least in the case of commercially sold sewing patterns.)

If it doesn't bring a smile to your face...why are you doing it?


**Photographs Courtesy of: CreativeDC on Flickr

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Too many Crafts, not enough time....

Seriously, I need mental help. I have got to stop thinking. I just want to do TOO many things! I gotta pick a craft and stick with it..but I know I can't, because I'll get bored! :) I sew awhile, get bored; soap awhile, get bored; flower pen make awhile, get bored. Then there is the fabric obsession..... shhhh.

And what do I go and do? Create a FOURTH Etsy shop and 2nd Artfire shop! DestashCity is my new shop to PURGE some of what I have because since I can't stop myself from buying new and cool fabric, I gotta get rid of what I got!! I've even taken to listing fabric on craigslist!! Thats when you KNOW you have a problem.

So I ask, what are YOU working on? I am working on:
Prep for neice's baby shower (yeah for girls!)
Laundry Detergent thanks to CosmicCleanBody for her unscented, uncolored CP soap!
Grocery Bag holder (for sewing group monthly project)
and listing stuff I made months ago I STILL haven't listed!! Oye, I know...

So what are you guys up to? Whatcha making new??


Friday, July 10, 2009

Internet Diet Weekend Round Two

Soooo. Again I have come to the conclusion that the fact that I hear the plurk ding and the tweetdeck chirp in my sleep means I should probably take an internet break! I am hearing pleas of "Mommy will you PLEASE play with me" that trump any desire or need to be on the computer! So, again, I am implementing internet weekend break. Upon bedtime tonite, I am not getting on the darn internet until Sunday evening other than to check personal emails! No plurking, tweeting, etc. If you see me doing such things, please promptly beat me with a 10 lb bag of nails!

I do have work to do this weekend but hopefully it will not entail time online, just labeling soaps, cleaning up said soap mess and sewing for TWO, count em, TWO upcoming baby showers.

I hope ya'll have a fabulous, sweat free weekend, hug your kids, kiss your mate, and do what puts a smile on your face!

And please don't forget about 48ForLarry, a charity radiothon that you really must checkout!
Charity Ouchie Pouchies for Andrew are also still in my Artfire shop under Charity/PIF.

Have a great weekend everyone!


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