Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Trying to make it!!! (and NOT fake it)

Just a quick update, folks.  That's all I have time for this week.  Maybe more on Friday, when my co-workers are taking me out for a drink to say goodbye.

Only two weeks of school left.  I can do this.  I can do this well. 

Tomorrow is my 4th annual poetry slam, as well as my son's 7th birthday.  I need to make 27 designer (mud/worms) cupcakes tonight.  Finals start on Friday, Europe trip meeting tonight, and Europe trip chaperoning 20 students begins in two weeks.

The house is a mess.  The laundry has been neglected.  The gardens aren't all planted (let alone DUG UP) yet.  More time, I need more time.  Preferably 36 hours in a day.  Please.  Put in that order for me.

I should hear on June 14th whether or not I was accepted for the Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago.

I'm tired.  Exhausted really.  But the end of the tunnel is IN SIGHT!!!!!!


Monday, May 21, 2012

What's on Yours?

What's on yours????  Mine, as it currently stands.

1.  Visit Greece.  Specifically, I want to see Athens, Crete, and Santorini.  I want to wander around Mediterranean Islands, swim in the Aegean, and eat octopus for breakfast.  Who doesn't?
 (SOON to be checked off in June.)
2.  Hike the Appalachian Trail.  I'm hoping to this with my husband and sons.  Some year, someday.  A more realistic goal?  Hike it for an entire summer.  Okay.  Maybe that's not that realistic either.
3.  Buy a Farm, raise sheep, and build a wonderfully fabulous raw milk dairy to make artisan cheese.
4.  Visit all the major Civil War Battlefields.
5.  Drink in a Scottish pub with my husband.  Proceed to eat loads of Haggis.  Don't kiss husband after Haggis.
6.  Ride a camel.  The caveat is that this must be in the camel's native habitat, not a zoo.  That's cheating.
7.  Visit the UK.  Specifically, spend one week focusing on Jane Austen's England, and one week studying and visiting Tudor sites.  Wander the countryside and track down a good old fashioned castle ruins.  Spread out the sleeping bag, and sleep in the heather.
8.  Learn to make soap.  Cold-processed, all natural soap.  Not Fight Club soap.  Think more along the lines of lemon verbena, and rosemary grapefruit.
9.  Teach my sons to drive.  God knows, I can't let my husband do it.  They'll turn into aggressive alpha male drivers.
10.  Sing in a Jazz bar.  Full on Sarah Vaughn.  Black dress, smoky atmosphere.  People should clap.  That's gotta happen for this to be full on amazing.
11.  Learn to fly fish.  Carrying A River Runs Through It in my back pocket, I'll let Norman Maclean look on while I catch a prime time rainbow trout out of a Montana river.
12.  Cook my way through Julia Child's cookbook.  A la Julie and Julia.  Except that I already know how to cook fairly well, and I'm about halfway there already. 
13.  Write a novel.  Historical fiction calls out to me...but there are too many time periods in my head battling for the lead role..... Time travel sparkling vampires who collect young tributes from different time periods for arena death matches?  Probably not my best idea ever.  But they might buy the movie rights for it.... :)
14.  Sleep in one of those ice hotels in Greenland.  Make sure to pack one cuddly husband, and extra wool socks. 
15.  Eat lobster in Maine.  More lobster than any human should attempt to.  Smile.  Pause.  Eat more lobster.  Proceed to a nice seaside bed and breakfast and recuperate for at least 12 hours.  Rinse and repeat, maybe substituting clams for lobster on day two.
16.  Cruise Alaska.  Watch whales from the balcony.  Kayak near enough to glaciers to appreciate their majesty, yet not quite close enough for a West Virginia sized chunk to capsize me as it breaks off and plunges into the Pacific.
17.  Dance in the rain with my husband.  This can be repeated numerous times before removing from the list.
18.  Spend the early morning in Pike Street Market.  Eat oysters right out of the ocean.  Make sure to bring my Gerber to crack those suckers open.
19.  Make my own beer.  A nice chocolatey stout.  Enjoy.  Share.  Repeat.
20.  Visit an Ashram in India.  Alone.  Stay.  Focus.  Become mindful.  For real.  no joke. 

20 outta do it for now.  I'd say that's a pretty healthy bucket list.  For a goofball ubernerd crunchy granola Martha Stewart luddite.

Share yours!!!!!  I might steal some of your ideas.  But at least I'll let you know first.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Craft Fair To-Do List

Okay.  I'm brand new to the craft fair world, but I want to do it RIGHT!  So, I've combed the net and tried to find everything I'll need to be successful.

1.  A Banner and a canopy.  I want my booth to look both professional and unique.  The Canopies I've found online run between $100-$200 depending on whether or not there are sides included (sides, btw are highly recommended by my crafty friends.)

This is where the banner comes in!  I'm thinking one of these might do the trick!
Fabric Banner Tutorial From Craftster!

Buy a banner on etsy!

A large banner is traditional, and easily visible from far away.......

But I like the look of pennant banners.....
I definitely want to show off my artsy-fartsy side, so I'm thinking a combination of a pennant-style banner across the front of my booth.....

... with two vertical signs on either side, one for my SewEco stuff, and one for the Rotifera stuff.

 2.  Tables and Table Coverings.

From the PeriwinklePincushion

 This one looks crisp, elegant, and clean.  I like that!  And the signs in the picture frames are a nice touch!!!

From Adventures in Catnip

 I really like pennants.....so I could probably echo the front banner of my canopy with a banner across the tables!  Very cool idea!!! 

3.  Checkout Area- I need the standard stuff:  Money box, packaging, business cards (the ones from MOO are awesome!) and bookkeeping.  I'd also like to have a fishbowl for business cards, a little sign with my newly minted QR codes on them, a contact list, and a sign letting folks know that I take credit cards with my new SQUARE.  :)  (((BTW--- a 10% discount off your MOO order:  go here:  http://moo.com/share/x5zt2h )

4.. Wrapping Materials--  I'm still on the fence about these.  I don't know if I'll have time to wrap everything, but I do have a preponderance of kraft tissue paper and mini-kraft bags.  Maybe with little stickers?  One of my friends on etsy, Sharon from Vampiton, makes GREAT seals:

5.  Free Candy Dish--  Don't know why this idea strikes me as so necessary, but I can totally see myself going into a booth simply for the candy, and maybe buying something that I wouldn't have seen just walking by.....

6.  Spray Painted Bookshelves -- I have quite a few small bookshelves around, and I'm going to spray paint them bright, funky colors for multiple heights of display.  I want to coordinate colors for the whole booth, so this is something I need to plan ahead in coordination with my fabric and banner choices.

7.  Fun Music Playing --  Since I don't want to pay for electricity at fairs (this is usually an extra cost), I plan to have a CD player going that runs on big D batteries, and have some funky, eclectic music playing.

9.  Tool box- electrical tape, duct tape, safety pins, flash light (with new batteries), etc.  For those just in case emergencies....I'll keep this under the checkout area.  

And, last but not least..... TONS of stock.  I'd hate to sell out completely...  so that is something I should be doing now, tomorrow, and the next day.  (and the day after THAT).  

Anything I missed??????  I am a craft-show virgin...  so if I missed something, tell me!!!!!!!!!!!  :)

Crossing my fingers for an acceptance letter to Renegade in Chicago....  June 14th can't get here fast enough!


Thursday, May 17, 2012

New to Social Networking?

Me too.  There are so many out there!

So in typical addictive personality fashion, I joined them ALL.

Up first-- one that I'm sure everyone except for me is familiar with:

1.  Twitter- 140 characters to say whatever you want, pass on cool links, and discover other interesting folks.  There are a whole she-bang of subcultures with twitter which I have yet to discover, least of which is the poetry.  They call it "twitterature".  *faints from the cuteness*  Easy to sign up-- go to Twitter 101 to learn more. And of course, there is an app for this.  :)
My twitter account?  http://twitter.com/#!/SewEcological

Next----  Maybe not so familiar to all, but still in the development stage and requires an invite to set up an account, but one of my favorites and one that I use often.  (read *TIME-SUCK* of great import)

2.  Pinterest---  So, you go all over the web, and "pin" things to your pin boards.  If you're really OCD, this is the place for you--- you can create different boards organized by theme, color, whatever YOU want!  I love, love, love it.  I pretend to be expressing my individuality as often as possible instead of simply wasting time.  It's also a great way to show off other's wares, and hopefully get someone to pin something of yours too!  Etsy just added a "pin it" button under each listing on their site-- so this one has big sales potential, I'm a thinkin.  Drawback?  No android app yet, but they do have an Iphone one!
Go to http://pinterest.com/rosemeister/ to see my boards or leave a comment if you want an invite to join the site!  I'll need your email address to do this...

And still more!  A site similar to Pinterest, and one I have yet to fully explore.  (I literally JUST joined.)

3.  Wanelo--- This one is to "discover" shops from around the internet.  More shopping based than pinterest, at least up front, is the gist I get.  I signed up in less than 2 minutes....  Now we'll see how often I can use it!!!!  Probably less often, honestly, as they don't have an Android/Iphone app for this one yet...
Mine?   http://www.wanelo.com/rosemeister

Last but not least, and up and comer--- 

4.  StumbleUpon---  Another "fly all over the internet and randomly (or not) tag things to be sent to your profile" site.  Items from the web are "stumbled" and all your followers see it.  I've stumbled a few things, but I have yet to get in the swing of things and really go for gold with this site..  Stumble with me:  http://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/Rosemeister79

So, there you have it.  A crash coarse introduction to social networking other than facebook.  Check 'em out and find a favorite!  I am!! 


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Make your own QR Codes!!


I just made QR codes for smartphones--- it takes you to my website!  How freaking cool is THAT?

I'm going to make some of these up on my next business cards, and have some printed out for my booth at the craft fair.  Next?  Figure out how to make ones that lead to a sale and/or discount.

AWESOME.  You want to... scan it!!!!!  (you'll need to download the app from android first, and then make sure you have a smartphone with a camera, yo.)

Go on over to Rotifera!
Or SewEcological!

Wicked COOL.

I made the QR codes absolutely free here:  http://qrcode.kaywa.com/
Just copy and paste your link, choose your size (I chose L for these ones), and off you go!



Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Something New! And Plans for the Craft Fair...

So, as promised, something NEW in my Rotifera shop!

Little Button Earrings

I'm hoping these do well--- we'll see.  They are kind of ubiquitous on Etsy....  But mine are CUTER, damnit!  Write that down.  It's true.  Because I said it, it's true.

So.....  I'm also planning out in my head how much stock to bring to the Renegade Craft fair, assuming I get accepted into this juried extravaganza.

I saw this picture of a woman who had sold out and left to "make more stuff", and freaked out.

Here is the list in my head as it currently stands.

What do you think.... too much/too little?
1. 200 sets of clippies
2. 100 sets of ponies
3. 100 sets of resin clips
4. 200 sets of rose pair clips
5. 50 dozen roses for craft embellishments
6. 50 sets of earrings
7. 25 rings
8. 100 sets of button earrings
9. 50 rose headbands
10. 200 rose brooches
11. All my SewEcological stuff that's already made....including a few blankets in case I run out of stuff and need a space filler....(thanks for the idea Juls!)

Think that's enough? Way too much? It's supposed to be a HUGE two day show in Chicago......

Well....  it's an undertaking, that's for sure.  :)


Monday, May 14, 2012

Oh, my giddy aunt!!!!

I just applied to be juried for the Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago September 8-9th. 

Excited?  Heck ya.

Nervous?  OH yeah.

Hoping I can earn enough selling my wares to beat the $400 booth fee?  YES.

I figured it out.  If I sell 120 $5 items, I'll about break even.  *crossing fingers*

$5 Hair Clips from Rotifera.etsy.com

Wish me luck!  I find out on June 14th if I made it into the show or not.

And my friends in Chicago?  I'll need a place to sleep.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Addiction Friday

I have a few.  Who doesn't?


I'm addicted to:

My Husband.  Over 10 years of marriage, and he is still my drug of choice.
This car.  I'm currently saving for it.  If I can find a Black 1966 Chevy Caprice, I seem to feel, for some unfathomable reason, that I'll be happier.  :)
Knitting.  It is my yoga and meditation all rolled into one.  Seriously.  If knitting burned any calories, I'd be a supermodel, folks.

The Etsy store I'm currently addicted to? ZIBtextile.etsy.com .  Whoa.  I could spend hours buying up all these leggings, if I wasn't saving for that car.  :)

And one weird one.  A new one.  Nancy Drew Video games.  Good grief, the time suck.  :)

So, there you have it!  A Friday full of addictions.  I'd say, for the most part, I don't need to check into rehab anytime soon.....but it's a close call.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Quitting my Day Job - Teaching

So, my day job is teaching.  My whole life has revolved around teaching for more than 4 years.  If you include going to college for teaching, student teaching, etc.....  more like 8 years. 

So it is sad.  Sad that I am leaving the profession after so little time.  Sad that I've become so disillusioned with the politics surrounding teaching.  Sad that the government and our society so little value the time and effort we put into molding students lives. 

I will miss them, those goofy kiddos.  I will miss the job.  I will miss making a difference, EVERY single day.  I'm good at this!  Teaching comes naturally to me.  Connecting with kids and making them see the importance of things in the classroom comes naturally to me.

BUT.  What does NOT come naturally is sitting idly by, watching my pay, insurance, and retirement cut by the state government every single day.  Michigan has cut my pay alone by over $600/month this year alone.  And to work for 30 years to receive a tiny $1200/month retirement, with no real guarantee of even receiving that??  THAT does NOT come naturally.

So...... I have resigned from the teaching profession after 4 years of blood, sweat, and real tears.

The plan?  Do something that makes me as happy as teaching.  Creating.  Selling things that I've imagined and then made with my own two hands.

My etsy stores, craft shows, really focusing on the development of my two young boys, my market garden.  That is what will be taking my time from now on.   

I hope I never regret the decision to work for myself, and focus on my children.  :)


Who wants to help me clean out my classroom? 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Random Ramblings- Uglies Cast

So, I've read the Uglies/Pretties/Specials/Extras Series by Scott Westerfeld.....  and, I LOVED them.  No, I'm NOT a tween, the intended audience of the novels.  I'm a grown adult woman, mother of two boys, ubergeek extraordinaire.  But- I loved the message, the writing, and the storyline.

Now, I thought I was excited about The Hunger Games coming out as a major motion picture, but I really am geeked that Fox bought the movie rights to this series.  Now, I've watched a bunch of "casting" videos made by tweens on youtube, and was shocked to see some of the gorgeous beauties they chose for Tally and Shae, pre-surgery.  Now, this is NOT to say that these actors are not gorgeous.  They are.  But they have that "something" unique. And they are gorgeous enough to have the post-surgical "pretty".  :)
Here are my picks:

For Tally:

Saoirse Ronan

For Shay:

Georgie Henley

 For David:
Logan Lerman
For Peris:

Hutch Dano
And, last but never least.... For Dr. Cable:
Scarlett Johansson
Yes, there are others...... but those are the ones that pop out in my head. 


Rotifera Featured on Etsy Stalkers!!!!!

Whoa.  Just discovered a super wickedly fun time suck of a blog.  EtsyStalkers  And by time suck, I mean GREAT blog with funny posts and great shop features.  Julie just featured my hair flair shop, Rotifera.  Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!

Over a Year Later......


I return to my blog.  It has been sitting neglected for over a year.  It seems that once I opened Rotifera , time began to run away with me.  I've been VERY successful!!!!!!

Successful enough to resign from teaching.

The two shops are rocking and rolling:
SewEcological --- over 400 sales, and 100% positive feedback.  Full of fun upcycled creations and handknits!
Upcycled Infinity Scarf

Handknit Alpaca Cowl

And Rotifera.... Rotifera REALLY took off last year, with almost 1200 sales, and 100% positive feedback.

Art Deco Rose Accessory

Lacy Button Snap Clips
And.........just for fun, I opened a Paper goods shop last September with my friend Cris... The boxes I started stamping really took off, and we've had 176 sales with 100% positive feedback so far!!!!

Handstamped Kraft Jewelry Boxes
So, all in all--- a BUSY year.  A successful year.  I resigned from teaching effective June 10th, and will be going to Etsy and the craft show circuit full time this year, beginning in July.  I have a Europe trip coming up in the middle of June, and then I'm FULL STEAM AHEAD into entrepreneurship. 

That means more blogging, more sales, and more fun!!!!!!  I'm so excited, I can hardly stand it.

See you sooooooooon!!!!!!