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Fire & Desire…and my crazy biz plan

Okay, Danielle LaPorte is just fantastic. Just sayin. She had my full attention the moment she began talking about how college is unnecessary for most people. She’s the perfect example of someone who’s confidence has gotten them farther in life than college ever could. Oh if only I knew then, what I know now, I would have waited. Okay, sometimes she loses me for a second, but overall she’s just the bomb. My mind = blown!

Permission to get a little messy

2013-09-28 11.56.52DSCF2710I’m plugging along at my Right-Brain Business Plan. We are four weeks into the Fall 2013 e-course and I’m behind about two weeks…typical. But I’m slowly catching up. I’m already starting to become clearer about the direction I want to take my business, how I want to streamline my offerings, the language I want to use, etc… I’m glad I began doing this before I started spending mucho bucks on advertising–which just happens to be November’s goal. This morning I revamped my website to further reflect those desires and I can only assume that I will make further modifications as I become more embedded in the Right-Brain Business Plan process. Did I happen to mention that I’m a facilitator for this program? Yup. Call me if you need me. And have I also mentioned how much I love my websites (Sweet Pea’s Groceries, Hazardous Materials and this one here)? I’ve fine-tuned them to the point that I’m finally super, mega, duper proud of what I’m putting out into the world. Seriously, I think I’ve done an amazing job for a person who doesn’t know any code whatsoever. Okay, that was waaaaay more than enough horn tooting for one lifetime. Below are some photos of what I’ve done so far (basically my business overview, my executive summary, and now on to the competitive analysis). I’m not much for collage so the rest will probably consist of maps or drawings or illegible chicken-scratch, knowing me.2013-09-28 13.28.36 2013-09-28 13.28.442013-09-28 13.28.51DSCF2713DSCF2715DSCF2716DSCF2717DSCF2718DSCF2719

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Blogs I adore

This month I decided to do something I’ve never done before, I’m sponsoring two blogs that I look forward to reading each and every day. In return for my sponsorship, they run a Sweet Pea’s ad that hopefully drives more traffic (and sales) to my shop. It’s a win-win.

The first blog is SillyGrrl. Sarah is a web designer and a circus performer– which certainly makes things interesting for her readers. I don’t know how she does it but she seamlessly blends those two incongruous worlds into one entertaining and informative site. And for those web designers and bloggers out there, her free design advice is invaluable. Seriously. From the newbies to people who consider coding to be old hat, there’s always something to learn from her.

Roots and Feathers

The next blog I’m sponsoring is my absolute favorite, Roots and Feathers. I completely adore and idolize Laura. She’s just the whole package. Her site is a blend of bohemian fashion, jewelry design, astrology, nature appreciation, and soul-searching. She’s completely unafraid to reveal her most deepest truths and personal struggles. This honesty and fearlessness has garnered her legions of devoted, supportive fans, including myself. Plus, her and her hubby are so darn cute together! They warm my chilly little heart!

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I ♥ Fantasy

My brother has been showing me no mercy in the book department. This past August he gave me about ten more to read and he calls me every week to see how far I’ve gotten. Geesh! He’s a machine, I’m not. I have zero chance of matching his literary prowess, which means I will never be in his good graces. Oh well, I do what I can. The last book I read was Patrick Rothfuss’ first in his Kingkiller Chronicle series: The Name of the Wind. Clutch the pearls, this was a five-star read! Right up there with Robin Hobb’s Farseer series and any in Brandon Sanderson’s immaculate catalog. This is a mind-blowing feat when you take into account that this is Rothfuss’ first novel. He’s just getting warmed up! I can’t wait to read more from him. Click on the cover photo and it will take you to a reading sample so you can get hooked too.

For other book suggestions, visit these posts:

I ♥ Reading

I ♥ Fantasy

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A ripe weekend ahead

This weekend = me, you, and some large, tasty, juicy, ripe, delicious, scrumtrulecent tomatoes. Maybe we could wear matching tomato costumeTomato costumes and lose ourselves in the moment? Perhaps do some juggling? Let’s do it! I know you want to. The Saugerties Farmers Market is hosting their annual tomato taste-off. Awesome prizes will be given for the tastiest and heaviest. I can’t wait to see some of my beloved vendors get down and dirty trying to win this competition. Seriously, I can see Joe from Mangia Bene throwing down! Gosh, I envy that panel of judges. I want to win so bad but sadly I haven’t grown a single tomato this year. Next year, I’ll be a contender. Regardless, come visit me under my tent. I know I was sick last week so I promise to be there no matter what tragedies may befall me betwixt now and Saturday. Yup, I said betwixt. And I probably should refrain from tempting fate by talking tragedy. Oh well, tempt I shall. See you Saturday then? From 10 am to 2 pm. Oooh, I also have coupons for my coaching and reiki services to give away. $25/hour session. Not too shabby.

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Where is my mind?

Today I engaged in some soap photography (aka soapy porn) for my Etsy shop and I couldn’t help but chuckle at how humorously absurd I am sometimes. Here I am, freshly moved into my new apartment, the neighbors don’t know who the heck I am and I’m on my porch wearing Mrs. Roper’s muumuu (I prefer moo-moo); a knit shawl complete with a large bejeweled medallion; dancing around to Sinatra, the Beach Boys and Ray Charles; and over-enthusiastically taking photos of soap, of all things, like Austin Powers. Yeah, baby! Yes! Yes! No! No! People must think I’ve completely lost it. Which makes me wonder, was Chuck Palahniuk thinking of me when he created Tyler Durden’s character in Fight Club? I mean we are eerily similar and growing more so by the day. We are both snazzy dressers, soap makers and off our rockers.  Just pondering the likeness…soap 016 soap 017 soap 018

 

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More market action to be had.

I will be at the Saugerties Farmers Market tomorrow for your shopping pleasure, from 10 am to 2 pm. My usual sales will be in full effect. In the meantime, enjoy some photos from last week’s Farm Animal Day. What a blast! The event was not short on humorously incongruous moments. For example, there was a petting zoo filled with wholesome families and then there was a hula hooping station right next to it that was blaring 50 Cent, Baby Got Back, rave music and other inappropriate tunes. It was perfectly delighful! The only downside was the chickens squished together in a cage. This I am not a fan of at all. One chicken in one cage, maybe, but not ten chickens in one cage. Me and some other vendors were making plans to free them but we were afraid we’d be banned from the market. So let me say this now for the record, if I see such foolishness next year, I’m putting on a disguise and springing them. Done deal.

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A philosophical look at teaching

I make it a point to check my spam folder on a semi-regular basis because I know even the good stuff occasionally ends up in that black hole of crap. Well during my scan-o-spam today I came across an email with “quilt” as the subject line. So either the spammers finally figured me out or someone was trying to connect with me on a deeper than viagra and porn kinda level. Low and behold, it was a nice email from one of my former Jo-Ann Fabrics students wanting to show me photos of her finished quilt! I can’t help but beam with pride. It was the first quilt she’d ever made and I was there to help her along the way. In the end, I would say she did an expert job! DSC00582It’s moments like these that I miss teaching at Jo-Ann’s. I love meeting interesting people and helping them make things that they never dreamed they could.  It’s rather beautiful. More than anything, it’s surprisingly therapeutic. People of all ages seem to come in with overly inflated expectations of whatever they’re planning to make and are extremely hard on themselves when it doesn’t turn out “perfect.” Even if they’ve never sewn before, they expect their lines to be perfectly straight and the end result to be something that looks like it just came off the runway in Milan. My job was less teaching and more talking them down from their self-imposed ledge of perfection. It was certainly more than I’d bargained for but it was also the part I liked the most. Showing people how to creatively turn their mistakes into something even better, before they completely fall apart on you, takes a lot of skill. And when I say “completely fall apart” I mean it. My first student walked out of the classroom uncontrollably crying and I couldn’t find her for 20 minutes. And this was a 50 year-old woman, mind you. People will completely crumble as soon as they make even the tiniest mistake, this I’ve learned. When this happens, as a teacher, you take several deep breaths, stand back, and look at what they’ve done objectively. You learn to quickly improvise and problem-solve. You learn how to be convincing enough to get them to trust that you know exactly what you’re doing (even when you haven’t a clue). The best part is realizing that these mistakes are where their creativity truly lives. They’re no longer able to copy from the sample photo anymore. Their safety net is gone and they’re forced to give up control and finally do something different. I excitedly waited for these moments because therein lies the sweet spot– to keep going they have no choice but to abandon their expectations and, to make the best of a bad situation, they give themselves permission to dust off and wield their own creative license. In the end, every student liked what they’d done far more than whatever it was that they were originally copying from.  Ahh…we humans are certainly a strange and beautiful cast of characters.

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Happenings this Weekend

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This Saturday, I will once again be at the Saugerties Farmers Market from 10 am to 2 pm so please stop on by. I’d be honored to see your beautiful, smiling mug. The sales are as follows: $1.00 soapy sticks, $2.00 bars of One Delicious Buzz and Benjamin Button, $4.00 glycerin soaps and $5.00 salves. And let me just take this opportunity to express how much I enjoy meeting and hanging out with my fellow vendors. Last week I was happily sandwiched between Grey Mouse Farm and Shoving Leopard Farm and we had way more fun than should be allowed. At the end of the market I gifted Marina from Shoving Leopard one of my salves because some of her garden weeds had done a number on her arms. In turn, she ended up giving me the most beautiful bouquet of flowers and a huge hug. I was so touched that I walked away almost in tears. What she didn’t realize was that I had been eyeing her beautiful flowers for the entire market. Early on I pondered buying a bouquet but decided that I couldn’t afford such a splurge on myself. So for the rest of the day I dreamed about someday receiving such a nice a gift and how they would brighten up my new apartment and how someday I hope that I can make enough money to enjoy fresh flowers all the time…the daydreaming goes on and on.  And voila, the world listened! Thank you! Thank you! She was even nice enough to snap the above photos of my booth without giving me a hard time for making such an odd request. Ahh…the world is full of wonderful people and the farmers market has many of them!

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Deals Galore Tomorrow

946901_10151406535556058_2063893226_nYou can find me at the Saugerties Farmers Market tomorrow from 10 am to 2 pm. This will be my first market since I’ve returned from the wild west. Yay! It’s good to be back. I’m dying to make some room in my tiny new apartment so salves will be marked down (from $8.50 to now $5.00–worth every penny!) and some of my soaps will be as well.  Benjamin Button and One Delicious Buzz will be $2.50/bar so get them while they last. Soapy Sticks will be $1.50. Plus, I have a lot of new jewelry to sell. And if I get the chance, I may set up my clothes rack and sell some sewn items too…you just never know. I hope to see you there!