Be free-floating, allowing the situation to surround you, and be in it. Take in the full surroundings, including the temperature of the water.
This may bring incredible clarity, presence and focus. This is what is means to be a jellyfish.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Music Monday! Little Lion Man

Happy Monday! For today's Music Monday, I thought I would supply a little banjo and folk rock. After all, we are in "bluegrass country" now, the hills of North Carolina. 

I never heard of this band until we moved here and since then I have been listening to a large variety of music I never would have heard where we were living previously. Though maybe technically not bluegrass music, they sure can make the banjo sound good.

Mumford and Sons are from England, and really hit the scene last year, with their debut album, Sigh No More, being released in the United Kingdom in October 2009, and February 2010 in the United States. They received two Grammy Award nominations, one for Best New Artist and the other for Best Rock Song ("Little Lion Man").

So here is "Little Lion Man", the first track from their debut album, and it showcases their English folk rock genre brilliantly.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Who Turned One? Grandmother's House

WOW - the week has completely snuck by me, and it's Friday already! Kinda like how the first year of a small business can fly by.....

Happy Birtday Bib
In my article, Celebrating One Year (part 2 link), on IndieSmiles.com, I interviewed shop owners who passed the one year milestone and we learned some great things from them.

Grandma
Carolyn
Grandmother Carolyn, proud owner of Grandmother's House, is a wonderful, energenic supporter of all of us who frequent the Zibbet Community, and Facebook chaos. 
I am proud that she has adopted me as her new, so far virtual, grandaughter.

Here is her full response to my Celebrating One Year questions.

ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY - One year older and one year wiser, right? Well, maybe so.......

Sports Fans Everywhere pillow cases
Grandmother’s House was happy to “jump on the Zibbet wagon” - it seemed to be a good fit for a small home-based business, whose proprieter had limited (very limited!) computer-understanding. It has been a year of learning, growing, flexing muscles not to mention patience, persistence and positive attitude!



Scented Drawer Sachet

There is a certain genius behind Zibbet, because the over-all experience has been exciting, easy and effortless (well, almost!). I immediately loved the tools offered for setting up a shop, and during the course of the year have become intimately acquainted with Widgets, Currency Counters, and music to accent my shop. My latest creation involves scent and I’m hoping that this coming year there will be THAT option! Really, don’t you like to go into certain stores just for the Aroma Therapy?


Meet Ben, the BooBoo Buster

The MOST important part of this past year’s experience has been meeting the other Vendors - we are talkin’ talented, creative, knowledgeable, happy and caring people who are with you every step of the way! I, personally, tend to retreat to my workshop, disappear into the world of fabric, threads, yarn, needles, etc., and lose myself. When I come out of hibernation and drop by the Community, click on a forum, it is truly a pleasure to be back among the living, so to speak!


Bunting in Blue Camo

Sales this year? Slow - but I understand that so many people are without jobs, their homes are going on the auction blocks, that the economy has tanked and there is no money for some extras. Grandmother’s House has ALWAYS been affordable, because we believe that everyone should be able to purchase a special Baby Bunting or small embroidered garment for the little ones.

Super Baby embroidered picture

As we get into 2011, my expectations for Grandmother’s House and Grandmother Carolyn are HIGH - more computer challenges on the horizon, and I plan to meet them (and beat them!) all.



There will be more self-promotion, stronger marketing efforts - I would love to be able to get into a Military Base/PX with the camo Baby Buntings - after all, the traditional, old-fashioned Baby Bunting that started this whole adventure called
Aviator Camo Fanny Pak
GRANDMOTHER’S HOUSE !

Please visit Grandmother's House to see all the great creations, take part in the ONE Birthday Bib for ONE Dollar with ONE Dollar postage birthday celebration, and show your kids the special section just for them to shop for you! Help make the second year better than the first.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Music Monday! That's the Impression That I Get

A wonderful Monday, and perfect day for the ska-punk genre of The Mighty Mighty Bosstones!
I am sure you all know this song, but didn't know the band was an American third wave ska band from Boston, Massachusetts.

 I awoke normally for getting the kids to school, off they went, and I proceeded to do my normal routine of computer, cleaning, putting away laundry, etc.

Instant Colored Eggs

I was finishing up some egg cozies when I heard the chainsaw.
Yes, the chainsaw. (the neighbor's needed to take down some precariously tall and crooked trees hanging over their driveway)
Then thump thump, the tree came down. What song popped in my head?
I've never had to knock on wood
But I know someone who has
Which makes me wonder if I could
It makes me wonder if
I've never had to knock on wood
And I'm glad I haven't yet
Because I'm sure it isn't good
that's the impression that I get


Knocking on wood, and the spoken expression "knock on wood," are used to express a desire to avoid "tempting fate" after making some boast or speaking of one's own death.

Upcycled Wood Beaded
Toekini


I love Wikipedia's simple explaination and examples:
The expression is usually used in the hope that a good thing will continue to occur after it has been acknowledged. So, for example, one might say: "The rain looks like it's holding off, knock on wood," or "Knock on wood, I'm much better now." Another example would be "I have never had to use my gun before, knock on wood."


Vintage Woodworking Plane -
perfect for knocking on...

This is one of the few superstitious things that I just can't shake. I knock on wood, fairly regularly. Things like, "my computer seems to be running just fine now, knock on wood." and "knock on wood, that patch seems to be working!" and "we shouldn't have to move again this summer, knock on wood."

Have you ever knocked on wood? Never had to? You better knock on wood....

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Who Turned One? - POP Embroidery

While I was searching for other online sellers who had reached the milestone of their first anniversary for my article on IndieSmiles.com, Celebrating One Year, I was lucky enough to meet Terri of POP Embroidery

POP Embroidery on Facebook
I 'found' her on Zibbet, in the North Carolina group, and was pleasantly surprised to learn she is only about 30 minutes away from me! Her warm optimism is contageous, and it shows in her work.

You can see it too, in the answers to the questions I asked her last month about her POP Embroidery Birthday.

What is the most important thing you have done to get you to your first anniversary as an online seller?

During this first year, I’ve remained positive about my ability to design unique, quality handmade products, whether it was scrapbooking or embroidery. Coupled with the tremendous support of my husband and family, I’ve been able to stay diligent through the difficult times.
Camo Dad Mini Key Fob

How are you celebrating this milestone?

Planning has not been one of my attributes, lately therefore I haven’t planned a celebration, yet. It might be in Feb, as that is my birthday month, too.


We can't wait to find out what your plan is for celebrating - and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Zibbet Wristlet Key Fob
What has been your most successful marketing tool?

By far my most successful marketing tool has been networking with other crafters, whether on the Zibbet forums, twitter, stumbleupon, flickr, or facebook and Link Love.  The most successful sale I had was locally. I sold several personalized baby blankets that I had flat priced. Basically all embroidery was free.

What, if anything, are you going to do differently in the second year of your business?

I love grandpa Baby Bib

Treating my embroidery as a business is my challenge. I need to organize my time, as I can get “lost” on the computer and miss designing for the day! My plan is to designate time for designing and production, and time for marketing, all the while being flexible to a schedule change. My number one focus is looking at myself as a professional, successful business owner with a unique and desirable product to sell.
Pease Mini Key Fob

Terri, that is something we all need to strive for - thinking of ourselves as successful business owners! We often forget. 

I so appreciate the time spent with Terri, and that she makes me want to succeed.
The coming year is bound to bring good things to POP Embroidery, some already in the works, I hear. Keep us posted, Terri, and I expect we all will have key fobs with our insiration on it by the year's end!

Two Little Frogs Burp Cloth
We all need someone, or even more than one person, who can bring us warm optimism, as Terri does.

Is there anyone who does that for you?

Who makes you strive to be successful, and positive? 


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Celebrating One Year Part 2 - Celebrating and Marketing

Do you need ideas for how to celebrate your businesses accomplishments?
House Mouse Confetti Birthday Handmade Card
by Mama Dini's Stamperia on Etsy
Do you want to know how different marketing strategies work?

Do you want to hear how others are successful in their online ventures?

Answered yes to any of these? Too many questions?

Ok, enough. Go to IndieSmiles.com and see Part 2 of Celebrating One Year. Five online sellers continue to talk about reaching this milestone and offer some creative ideas and advice to others.

What have you learned so far in your business?
Any advice to share?

Thanks and Congrats again to
and

Monday, February 14, 2011

Music Monday! I'm BLUE - but in a good way!

Happy Valentines Day to everyone!
This is a two part Valentines Post
A 'Bleautiful' Collection and 'Bleautiful' Song!

Because I realize not everyone is a big fan of Valentines day,
I am celebrating BLUE.
  Some people may not be so fortunate to share the day with loved ones.
Some of us may feel BLUE.
Some of us may just be sick of RED.

So for those of us who love blue,
I offer some cheery blues in this 'Bleautiful' Collection by Fantasy Clay.
(She has a fun shop too, that will brighten everybody's day!)



And don't worry, I didn't forget the MUSIC part of Music Monday....
it's (I'm) Blue (da ba dee) by Eifel 65.
A fun song, though titled Blue, gets you groovin' no matter what mood you're in.
Not bad for a trio of Italians.




Happy Valentines Day, no matter what color mood you are in!
Have fun, and love and laugh!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Join me on my walk ...

I try to keep fit. I love going for walks. And when we moved here to the mountains, I thought walks would be just beautiful.  I wasn't wrong about that, they are. Yes, there is a but...BUT the walks are tough! Are you ready?

My daughter and dog on the driveway, also joining us today
We live towards the bottom of a very steep road and at the bottom is a main road with no sidewalks. So, for our walk we must go uphill. Our driveway is long, so it is good for a bit of a warm up. Then we turn right and hike up the hill.

By the time we get near to the top of the first stretch of our road, I am out of breath (not so fit, right?) So let's just look to the right. Worth the effrot I would say. This photo doesn't really do it justice, but you can see why they call it the Blue Ridge Mountains - a beautiful blue haze.
The first leg of the walk, totally worth it for this view.
Now that I have caught my breath, we get to walk a little bit of a level stretch. There is a slight incline, but a good way to recover from the steep first stretch.  I am sweating by now, but a good sweat. How 'bout you?
I am starting to feel good about getting out and about, feeling the energy of activity. 

Squirrels are running everywhere, and the dog is pulling my arm, trying so hard to catch those squirrels. Have you ever seen a cocker spaniel try to climb a tree after a squirrel? Imagine it - quite funny! (I will have to get a picture).
This is one of the things makes me appreciate the simplicity of life. That makes me smile.

By this time, we reach the summit of our path.  Let's stop, and stand here to take it all in.
The peak of our path. Take it in.
When I have company, like today, my break here is also a good spot to sit, and ponder. My dauaghter and dog take advantage of my picture taking to have a minute to themselves.

A good seat at the top of the hill - my daughter and dog bonding
From here, it is a straight, fairly level stretch to downtown, and if we have the time and a few bucks, we can stop at the bakery and get a drink.  We love the chit-chatting along the way, commenting on that tiny little black dog that scares the "bejezzes" out of our dog.  Having a laugh, talking of our dreams (she wants to rent an open shop front on the left to sell cool clothes, I want to have a local gift shop carry my Toekini's, what about you?). This all makes for a wonderful walk. Not to mention, we are excersising. A win-win. 

The home stretch
We then turn around and head home the way we came, which means mostly down hill. Sounds good, right? Well, I think it is just as hard to walk down a steep hill as it is to walk up! You use muscles you didn't know you had!
It's a good thing we have that long driveway to cool down.

Thank you for joining my on my walk today! Next time, we will venture further downtown, okay? What do you say, care to join me again?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The perfect way to say Thank you...and thanks to Portable Graffiti

I have been making Toekini's every chance I get lately.
This means that everytime the sun is out and I have Toekini's that need pictures taken, I call on my one and only model and partner in Toekini picture taking - my daughter. 
She has braved 30 degree weather outside, on cold stone, with no shoes or socks on to model the Toekini's, sometimes 5 pairs at a time. 
Silver Trio Toekini's

Other times, she has been the one outside with me modeling the Toekini's, braving the cold wind and taking the time to plan each shot, and get the best close up shots.
She takes better close-ups than me!
Ariel's Blue Bling Toekini
So, when I decided to check out Portable Graffiti's shop, after seeing her on the forums pluggin her mirrors, I thought that would be the perfect thank you for my daughter. She is 14, so always wondering how her hair looks, how her makeup looks, or needs to check her contacts, and other things like that. She didn't have a small mirror to travel with, for those times she needs to check and didn't want anyone to really know she was checking if she had food in her teeth.
http://www.zibbet.com/PortableGraffiti
There were so many great mirrors Judy had to choose from.  It took me quite a while to pick between the 2 small pink tiger striped ones with the great carry bags, and the larger mirrors with various animals on them. I think I mentioned before how my daughter is going through an animal print phase....

In the end, I finally decided to go with the one that seemed most appropriate.
We were braving cold weather, so the penguins were perfect. 
I received my order so fast, and was so pleasantly surprised to find a bunch of extra's in there too! The pengiun mirror was perfect, better than I expected. My daughter absolutely loved it, too. Who knew that her current 'favorite' was penguins? Lucky guess on my part. 

And Judy must have known what I was going through, becuase she included a small one for me, perfect reminder right there, to Keep Calm and Carry On. My mantra ever since. 

Also, a great 'What the Heck is Zibbet' pin I will proudly wear at my first craft show I plan on attending this spring, and a Portable Graffiti pin I will also sport to show where I got the pins and mirror, which I will also have on hand.
The Penguin mirror was a perfect thank you for my daughter. And I want to thank Judy for providing that, and let her know how  much I so appreciate the other things she so graciously included. Please stop by her shop to see all the great mirrors, buttons and stuff she has - you most certainly will find something you just have to have, and priced so well you will just have to hit the add to cart button and purchase right away. 

It can be a little thank you to yourself, because you know you deserve it.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Let's Play!

Oh to be a kid again. As we grow up, sometimes we forget what it is like to have fun, to play, to just do silly things.  We are serious, we have long lists of 'things to do', we have endless chores.

What can we do to remember to have fun?  Perhaps a look at this treasury, created by a wonderful collector of vintage, The Candy Shoppe, will spur some creativity and motivation to just stop, and play - with good old fashioned toys!

I was never great at checkers, my brother always seemed to beat me in the first 2 minutes. So after the beating, and after I got over the gloating on his part, I liked to build pyramids or small little buildings with them. I could spend a lot of tome just spinning them too. 

What is your favorite old toy? What would get you in the mood to just sit and play?