Sunday, September 27, 2009

Burning Down the House

I'm in a major candle making fizz this morning. So maybe not burning down the house, but definitely heating it up. Which is a nice change, since it's cool this morning and feels great. In the middle of the summer I feel like a witch standing over her cauldrons, one step up from the pit of hell. So maybe candle production will increase as the weather cools down.

Also good news on the etsy front - I've got most (some) of my items up on the site, and I've actually had a sale this week. A real live, not anyone I know, totally random stranger bought something sale. So here's to you bbjerring! Makes it seem like not such a fool's errand when I'm taking pictures of random stuff in my homemade lightbox and posting on the site. Which otherwise brings up a bit of "why am I doing this again??"

And speaking of things I need to be doing - this afternoon is devoted to making wreaths. The reality of my situation is setting in - the situation being that I need a bunch of wreaths for Art in the Park this weekend, and I don't have them! So it's off to the flower building I go. But only after I ride my bike. Because I'm big on balance. (or I'm just big on playing, one or the other.) So if I'm feeling responsible I'll ride my regular one hour loop up Sunset and back on the River - otherwise I'm heading up Town Mountain to the Parkway and playing for a while. Either way, fun will be had, then wreaths will be made.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I'm About Watered Out

I'm about done with the rainy exercise. Usually it doesn't bother me - my mantra is "we're waterproof", and off I go. But now I'm beginning to doubt that. Because yesterday as Robin and I were riding down South Ridge at Bent Creek, and it's raining and I don't really have enough clothes on and I'm feeling hot and cold at the same time - I wasn't feeling very waterproof. I thought I might melt at any time. Or burst into flame. Basically I felt like crap. So I'm about done with this crazy water. In self-defense I decided I wasn't going to do anything today. At least nothing strenuous. Which stinks because I missed Masters, but I think this was one of those "discretion is the better part of valor" moments.

I am going to do some actual work things today, though. Among them is tackling the etsy conundrum again. I've dabbled with having an etsy shop before, but basically all I've accomplished is discovering that you have to be committed if you want etsy to work. Committed to getting good photos, committed to staying on top of your shop and relisting. So I had let it go by the wayside, until I was reinspired last night at a seminar at HandMade In America. HandMade does a lot of cool stuff for crafters, and lately that has included a series of marketing seminars. This one was put on by Elijah and Kimberly of Leaflet PR and Figs & Ginger. It was a good "tips & tricks" of selling on etsy, and I definitely gleaned some information to jump start me back into the world of etsy.

But to be honest it was also kind of crazy because I would swear about 60% of the participants had never had any actual experience with etsy, paypal, blogs, websites, shopping carts or anything else that was fairly much integral to the subject at hand. And all I could think, every time they asked a question trying to divine the essence of paypal, was that they were in for a rocky ride. It would be about like me trying to build a space shuttle based on a one hour seminar. Totally lost. So more power to all of us potential etsy crafters out there, but if nothing else at least the seminar left me feeling grateful that I had actually been to the etsy site before. You've got to start somewhere.

So today is devoted to exploring etsy, researching how to take decent pictures at home (argh!!!), making wreaths, attending Sam's swim practice, and not one iota of exercising in the rain. Woohoo!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Water Sports

I hate to be so obvious and comment on the weather, but I just can't seem to help it. It's been raining for the better part of 5 days now. I woke up at 3am and heard it pouring down and thought, well, it usually doesn't pour down for several hours in a row, so maybe Robin and I can get our bike ride in in the morning. Proving yet again that you should never pay attention to me for weather predictions. It's now almost noon and it hasn't stopped raining at all. Not a teeny bit. So rather than riding to Marshall I'm instead getting all of the paperwork-type stuff done that tends to go by the wayside when it's good weather to ride a bike. Or run. Or do anything else. That pesky stuff that reminds me I'm actually running a business here. A small one, yes, but a business nonetheless.

The rain hasn't actually slowed me down too much so far this week. I got my bike commute in on Wednesday (although the ride home it was pouring down and Biltmore was very crowded, and even with the reflective vest and flashing lights I was feeling not so smart), and then I ran Thurs., and on Friday Robin and I met at Bent Creek and ran and rode the fire roads for a couple of hours since she (being smarter) doesn't love to ride on the roads in the rain. And since I'm now allegedly a full-fledged adult and am too responsible to ride the trails when it's been raining, the fire roads were about the only option left. We had a great ride, and got filthy like little kids. I had to spray my face off with the water bottle when we got back to remove enough of the grit to drive home. Sure sign of a fun time.

Maybe this weather is a sign that I should be swimming more anyway?? I've actually been consistently making it to Masters two mornings a week for the last month or so, and picking up a third swim on my own, and I can totally tell. Last Thursday morning I was actually (for me) pretty fast - and I felt just like Ebby Calvin Nuke Laloosh (think "Bull Durham"), when he finally throws a good pitch and says "What happened?? How'd I do that??" I still have not much of an idea of what I've done differently when I'm swimming well. Which is really kind of funny. I feel just like little kids learning to ride a horse - when they finally put it all together and jump a good course, but you can tell they have no idea what just happened. Clearly I'm doing something right, but I don't have enough body awareness in swimming yet to really figure out what it is. So I'll just keep showing up at Masters and listening to Andrew and figuring that somehow it's grooving itself into my muscle memory. One hopes.

In the meantime, more paperwork, a quick wet run, an attempt to finish my prototype sock animal (more on that later) and then a swim. And the boys have gone off to retrieve a futon from the flower building so that Sam can complete his man-cave. Should be interesting.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Rain = Candle Making

I'm getting ready to leave the house to go meet the farrier at the barn. Which I enjoy, because the farrier is also a friend, and it's fun to catch up with him. And also because Finn Duncan, young Thoroughbred, appears to be growing up somewhat (finally!), and so trimming his feet is not nearly as exciting as it once was. I hate to say it, but I think his current pasture mate Taylor Smith, old Thoroughbred, is doing a better job of training Finn to act like an adult than I ever have. But the results are good, so I'll take it. Of course now that I've said that Finn will probably spend all morning standing on his hind legs while I hang off the end of the lead rope. That's a horse for you - doesn't do much good to try to predict them.

But first I've got to get to the barn, and I need to get an easy bike ride in today, so I figured I'd be hyper-efficient and combine the two. As I stare out the window at the rain, though, my plan is getting more complicated. Now it involves reflective wind vests, and flashing lights, and finding a change of clothes when I get to the farm. Which means I should probably stop typing and start finding that stuff.

However, the rain also means that I've got a full afternoon of candle making ahead, which I'm looking forward to. Not that I can't make candles on a sunny day, but on a rainy one I don't have to wonder much about what to do. Hard to cut flowers for drying when they're wet. Well, I guess I could, but it seems a little counter-productive. Although wreath production is now in full swing, and soooo fun. I'm set up on the porch of the flower building, looking out over the pasture, and it's the prettiest office imaginable. Until December when it's 35 degrees and howling wind - which means I need to be making a *lot* of wreaths now, so I'm not freezing my ass off in December.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Art in the Park!

So Pack Square Park is finally coming along downtown (finally!), and I sort of had been hoping City Market might move there. Alas, it seems that is not to be. But I was still hoping cool things would start happening in the park, preferably cool things I could be part of. And then, eureka! I heard about Asheville Art in the Park. It's a fine art & craft show taking place at Pack Square Park the first three weekends in October - and we're going to be part of it! I'm excited to be joining so many talented artists for this show - go to the website, they have a great video of lots of the artists (not us, because alas I have no professional pictures of my stuff. In fact, I'm slightly intimidated, though very flattered, to be included with this crowd.) So I'll keep you updated on progress, and meantime mark your calendars! It'll be a great way to kick off the park.

Monday, September 7, 2009


Finally, here's the post I started some time back - on August 25, to be exact. Because that was the first day of school, and here's a picture of what it looks like to head off to second grade:

I was a little concerned about the first day of school. Sam had the same teacher for kindergarten and first grade, and she was WONNNDERFUL, so I wasn't sure how the transition to a new teacher was going to go. But when he hopped off the bus he announced it was "the best first day of school ever!!!!" I love that kid and his enthusiasm. I'm looking to approach things that way myself. How was your swim today? "Best ever!!!!!"

Here's another thing that's been best ever lately. I've remembered that when I go to yoga, I'm bulletproof.

For the record, that is *Not* me doing downward facing dog. My version of that pose is way less long and lithe looking. I'm the person that the instructor watches for a little while and then says, you're a runner, right? Um, yes. Because I've done yoga off and on for years, and I kind of look like someone who has done some yoga - but then you see me actually doing it and the reality is that running and biking do not actually lead to the effortless flexibility exhibited by this woman. Fortunately I've never had a picture taken of me while doing yoga, and I was forced to resort to the internet for a stand-in. At any rate, even my tight, creaky bastardized version of yoga is enough to make everything stop hurting, and the plantar fasciitis is feeling better. Score!

I do have some actual farm/market related news, but that's going to have to wait until the next post. For some reason blogger was not my friend for a while, and then I got tired of fighting with it and pretended like it didn't exist. So now that we're back together it's going to take me a few posts to remember everything.