Tuesday, February 26, 2013

As I read others blogs, I realize I am WAY behind in 
A. How I set up my blog.
B. What to find interesting to blog about.
C. Getting others interested in my blog.

I've come to the conclusion at this moment I will just blog about my thoughts.
I am having to move and it's taking all my energy just to keep up with packing, my Etsy shop, and trying to follow along with the team activities.
Later I will play around with the formats and pictures on my blog. Later as in Once I am Moved!

This gypsy is getting too old to keep moving.  I say gypsy because that is what my Mother calls me..The Gypsy Of the Family. Where I grew up in the deep south, you don't move away, or if you do, you don't move far. I moved cross country to the Northwest. I was considered a deserter (Oh My)
I met my husband I am married to now in the Northwest (Oregon), and we have been together for 9yrs, soon to be married 8. We both have daughters still in Oregon, and mine is the baby of the family, and  his is the ONLY child.
If I were going to have to move again, I wanted it to be back to the Northwest, where my heart was captured by all the beautiful mountains, clear streams, and gorgeous flowing waterfalls.

My Mother's health started getting bad, so I tried to move back as close to her as I could.
Kentucky was the closest we could find for my husband's line of work. My Mother's health is now better than mine. I am glad of that, but my heart is still in Oregon,Idaho, and parts of Colorado.

When we bought the house we are in now, we signed on a Land Contract. That was our first mistake, second mistake was actually trusting. ME Trusting? WOW~
The lady we were buying the house from told us after the contract was up, and we still weren't able to finance she would re sign for at least another year.
In another year we would have been able to finance for our selves, because our credit score would have been high enough. She kept saying she was coming over to re sign and never did..
HELLO.. First clue.
Now she has decided to put the house up for sale, and we have to be out by April 1st.

I have been worried how I am going to keep my Etsy store going with all of this going on. I have been still been plugging along, but what happens when the day comes I have to move?
How in the WORLD will I find all of my products I have for sale packed up in boxes?
I guess I will be digging around in boxes when I sell something.
I can just see myself now.. Panicking because I can't find what someone just paid for and bought.

I have been thinking I should go over first and set my craft room up, put out all my products on the shelves right before the move. I don't know in reality if I will have time for that.
I do not want my store to suffer because of all that is going on.
I have worked hard in putting the effort into learning how to sale online, joining the social medias and trying to get followers, and participating in the team activities.
Right now, I am only concentrating on Promotional Frenzy Team, even though some teams I joined before this one, keeps sending me emails to participate.

Even though my grown children still think I am Superwoman.. I am just a "lowly" struggling at home wife, who even though disabled and not able to work outside the home any longer, is trying to do her  part to help financially.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Process Of Doing What I Love

This is what I enjoy doing the most. Making my flowers from pencil shavings.
It really is not an easy process. It takes a lot of effort and concentration through the whole process.
When I  pick up the pencil and start sharpening, I have to keep it curling. Sometimes it seems the pencil or either the sharpener doesn't want to be obedient. In fact I think they are talking to each other some days, just to give me a hard time.
When I DO finally get them to work together, some days I can only make a few at a time.

After I have my "little curls", I then take them to my craft room where I have glued beads on stems.
I take my flower curl, place it around the bead, and try to form them into a bigger flower. I mix the curls together and make more than once color of flower.

Now comes the hard part. The Gluing! I hot glue the bud on the stem, and I try to take both colors and glue them as I twirl the curls.
Some days they all come together wonderfully, and  I have no problems. They seem to want to work with me to make a beautiful flower.
Other days, it seems when I touch them after I have glued, they want to just tear into pieces.
These are the days I swear the hot glue gun has conspired with the pencils and the sharpener.
After I finally get them glued, I  let them dry and I dip them into a mixture to make them hard.

After they have dried I wrap the floral tape, and affix leaves as I wrap.
Here we go again..I wrap and wrap and the leaves fall out of the floral tape.
I re wrap.. No, those leaves don't look good, so I take the leaves out, find some I think looks better with that certain flower, and start over.
Finally! They are now ready to be sprayed. The spray causes them to have a shine, and they are even more sturdy.

With all this work I wonder why more of my flowers aren't selling?
I did great with them in Flea Markets, Craft Shows and Stores.
I think maybe it's because others really can't see how beautiful they look in person, how sturdy they really are, and how they brighten what ever they are around.

When I lived in the Northwest and first started making my flowers, I wanted to test them to see how long they would last in different environments.
I placed some out on my patio in the coldest part of the Winter, when there was snow on the ground.
I was pleasantly surprised with the results!  They held up. The colors were still vibrant, and they were still as sturdy as when I made them.
I don't think others will be leaving them outside in the Winter, but if they decide to they will still be just as strong.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Finding Inspiration Admist It All

I am in the process of moving once again. I say once again, because I  have moved so much in my life it seems to have became a "second nature" with me. I usually move from State to State, which if I am going to have to  move I would prefer to do.
My Mother has named  me "The Gypsy" of the family, and she informed me she still has almost a whole book of my old phone numbers. Well, Mom, get ready because you are about to have another one to add to the list.
This move is not of my choice this time. I thought we were buying this house, and would be staying a while. I made the mistake of purchasing on a "land contract". It was for three years, and at the end of that time, if we still weren't able to finance through a company she agreed to re sign.
Our three years was up in Sept, and she agreed to re sign.. But, I guess she changed her mind and now is going to put the house on the market.
I have come to the conclusion, "I am getting to old to move" like I use to be able to do.
 I want badly to  move back to the Northwest, where a lot of my other family are, including my youngest daughter. I had planned it in  my mind if I was going to move, it would be there. Sometimes our plans take a turn or decide to go in another direction. Mine went down a side road, and in a back alley.  Apparently, it isn't time to move back yet. I'm not giving up until I do, but it's not going to be on MY time frame. Acceptance plays a big part in having Peace of Mind.

I am also disabled, and  can't work outside the home anymore.. Hence one of the reasons I started selling online. I wanted to do something that would help us financially.
I have worked most of my life, and it was very hard for me to finally accept the fact that I no longer can. In fact my first "real" job was when I was 15yrs old.
I raised three kids on my own and worked three jobs doing it.

My now husband of 8yrs, who is a wonderful guy and has always been healthy is now having health problems.
I had told myself, "Self, you will not get use to relying on a  man". I had never been able to before. This man LIKES for me to rely on him, and I fell into the habit of letting him since my disabilities worsened.
Now, he is having health problems, and I need to be able to Step Up somehow and do what needs to be done.

So, how do I continue to find inspiration amidst it all,with all the chaos and packing to move, finding another place, going through health problems?
I have never been one to give up easily, once I set my mind on what I want.
I WANT to be successful in selling online.
I WANT to be successful in learning new things, which may seem to others as no big deal, but to me IS.
I WANT to face life with courage at all times, even though sometimes I don't feel so courageous.

You see, through the years I had  many plans of being successful in different ways, but every time I set  out to accomplish my goals, life happened. It was too hard on me trying to raise three kids on my own, working, and taking classes at the same time. I tried this three times at passages in my life, and each time I had major setbacks, that I won't go into..But this time I need to succeed.

I have found inspiration in others in the online community. I have read blogs about their challenges and how they over come.
I enjoy reading quotes that inspire me, and I do tweet a quote at least once a day.
And, I pray. Yes I pray! I could not have gotten through things in my life without that.

I have joined this wonderful team "Promotional Frenzy Team", on Etsy, who really do seem to like to help each other, encourage each other, and be successful doing it.

I might have to take a week off when the move happens, but I will be setting my craft room  up ASAP and getting back online and To It.
I will "Keep on Keeping On"  Always!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I am new at blogging. Actually, I am new at all of this social media sharing.
I am learning as I go, and fortunately on my Etsy shop I have some wonderful people helping me.
A little about me..I am originally from Louisiana/Mississippi area. I like to call it Louisippie, because where I was raised, you crossed over this bridge (Pearl River) and you were in Mississippi.
My kids Dad lived there, both my grandmother's were there ,and I have numerous cousins in Ms.. I had school friends in both places, so I felt I was from both States.

I have four grown kids,  one "doggie daughter", and the Love Of My Life, who I finally found after YEARS of looking for Mr Right. We have been married 8yrs now, and we met in Oregon.
I lived in the Northwest for over 17rs and was known by my "Southern Family" as the deserter.
No one leaves my hometown or state. 
Why I left is another story, and has many twist and turns.

I have always loved crafts. I have tried my hand at many things, but one day I discovered my Pencil Shaving Flowers by accident and I fell in love with making them. This was in 2000. 
I started experimenting with them, and playing with the colors and sizes. 
I started taking them to the craft shows, and all the other crafters were so encouraging .  
They told me not to give up on them, and to find different ways of marketing . At the time I was just selling them individually and really had no concept on "how" to market them. 
I started taking them to stores of all kinds and had them in a few where I was living. 
There was a small quaint town not too far from where I lived that had only craft stores. I put them in there, and started selling them as fridge magnets.
Then, something drastic happened in my life that set  me on a different path and for a while I forgot about my flowers. My husband at the time was put in a Mental Inst for numerous head injuries, that caused him to have a front lobal injury, and changed his personality forever. 

After 3yrs of trying to get over this Life Changing Event.. I met my husband that I am married to now.  We moved to Ky 6yrs ago, because my Mom was in bad health, and I was trying to get back as close to her as possible,  and last year I started creating my flowers again.
I have tried to find craft shows here in this area, but there are none close by. That is when I decided to try my hand at "online selling. WOW! What a total different experience. I had NO idea what all it entailed to get started. 

We enjoy Flea Malls, Auctions, Yard Sales, and we have bought all kinds of different items to re sell. We host Yard Sales of our own, and we put our "finds" in what is called the 127 Yard Sale.
Once a year there is a huge sale that is on Hwy 127, and covers over 600miles. People set up on the side of the road, houses, fields, churches and stores.
Before that we sold in Oregon at Sales.

I  miss Oregon and Idaho. I love the outdoors and getting out in nature. When I lived in Idaho and Oregon, I could be in the middle of town, turn down a road and be out in "no where"..But, there in "no where" was beautiful mountain scenery, with winding trails that lead to waterfalls, clear streams, and places where you could get out of your car and explore.
I am still finding pretty places here in Ky, but we have to drive at least 60-100 miles. I don't mind this, cause I really enjoy road trips of every kind.

I have collected rocks with minerals in them from all  over the U.S. 
I am a rock hound and will look for rocks where ever I go. 
It is a joke with my kids between them, on how they had to help me pack my rocks when I moved. I have actually put them in storage with my household items in between moves.. and some of these "rocks" are closer to being "small boulders"

Back to my online selling. My favorite place is Etsy, but I have tried other sites also. I have a store on Handmade Artist, but truthfully, I haven't worked on promoting it like I should.
I have recently joined a new team on Etsy, that I think I am going to LOVE being in, called Promotional Frenzy. 
Right now I feel very inadequate in knowing what the others know, but the one's I have talked with have been so great in helping me learn.

If your still reading I guess you aren't too bored with my first blog.. Another learning experience for me. 
I will continue blogging and learning, and I will be reading others blogs and  learning from them.