Sunday, August 22, 2010

Following Etsy's Lead,Introducing a Product Line,Getting Licensed!

    It's been a busy and somewhat unsettling month-nothing horrible,nothing catastrophic,but unsettling all the same. Mandolin Babe's is now an officially licensed as a business in the city of Gardena. This drama started unfolding right around Yule of '09 when an outside agency hired by the city started sending me letters wanting information-at first I wondered if I was being phished for info. Finally a call to the city after receiving a bill for nearly $500 and a visit to the Community services dept cleared things up. Quite simply,once you have a resale permit,you are considered a business. I experimented until the fall of '09 when I got Mandolin Babe's going.
    Until then,it was try selling this,that, & the other and it all failed. Thankfully,as I couldn't afford the hefty bill,the fellow in charge cut it in half. I wondered as I came home while I was grateful for the reduction in fees,why wasn't I more joyful about this important step?  The answer came this morning as I was reading a book: because in doing so I made a commitment. A commitment to my life's direction as far as creating a living goes. No more dabbling,no more getting distracted,no more wondering if I should be doing something else. At the same time,it is a blessing from the Universe: a sign that this is what I should be doing....a validation. I passed go,I collected my $200,so to speak. I got the green light. Of course,when the orders are slow in coming,I start to worry:what if I made a mistake? what happens if I end up shutting it all down? What happens if I fail? Just having arrived in the "past mid 40's stage" of life,I fear I need to find something that works,that guarantees success. Yet there's a still voice within me that tells me everything will be ok,be patient. 
     In the meantime,I read an article on Etsy on starting one's own product line. It so happens that I've made more accessories for fiddle than anything other instrument to date. The ideas fall from the heavens into my head. Then they come out thru my hands & sewing machine. So I followed an idea I had months ago & started making fiddle chin rest covers. 

   The one above (and off center as far as the pic goes-couldn't figure how to center it) is the first one I made for myself. I thought them silly until the humidity & heat hit this month & I didn't want to be sweating all over my rosewood chin rest. I wound up making the next few longer in length,and have posted one in my Etsy store and one in the eBay store. At any rate,I followed Etsy's advice and started the "FiddleBelle" line of fiddle accessories. We'll see how it fares. I've made rosin bags,Fiddle Flyers,now the chin rest covers,and rosin/cleaning cloths so far & who knows what could be next. Here's a pic of the one I have presently on eBay:
  I'm also making holiday ones,and have decided to focus on the sharkfin style of chinrest. Easier to fit,and I have a couple to test fit on.  Here's one I made for myself using a scrap piece of Fall fabric I simply adored:
 Don't mind the print in the pic-I also made myself a Holly one for Yule. A Santa one will be forthcoming. 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A new way to unclutter!

I like this approach as it gives you instant room-and with the "out of sight out of mind" approach,you're only going to think about an object if you need it. The stuff you don't need or want is already packed up & ready to donate,sell,etc. Why didn't I think of this?

Amplify’d from
tuff. Clearing away obligations. Deleting old emails.

If you’re having trouble deciding when to hold on to something and when to let it go, try doing things backward. Learn to add responsibly instead of subtracting.

I call it the clean-slate approach to simplifying. Here’s how it works, in three steps.

Step one: Take all the clutter you’re facing, useful or not, and put it away. All of it. Put the pile of clothes in a box; put the old emails in a hidden folder. Now you have a “clean slate” to work with, but you don’t have to throw anything away. Yet.

Step two: Go about your business as usual. As you discover a genuine need for something (genuine being the operative word), take it out of storage with a clear conscience. No more agonizing over what to keep. Life will show exactly which things you actually need, and which things you only thought you needed.

Step three: When you’re ready, sell, donate, or throw away the stuff in storage. It’s easier now, since you’ve had weeks or months to overcome your attachment to it.

And here’s a bonus: if you develop the discipline to only put stuff back in your life when you absolutely, positively need it, you’ll find it easier to keep from buying, collecting, or accumulating unnecessary stuff in the first place.

4 Ways to Simplify with the Clean Slate Method

How can you put this method to use? Here are a few ideas:

2. Pare Down Your Library: Clear off your bookshelves and put all the books in a box. Now you have empty shelves to work with.

If you discover you need a book to read or reference, pull it out of the box and put it back on the shelf. Books that you need and love will naturally come back into your life; books that were just nice to look at or think about reading will stay out of your way. This also works well with DVDs, CDs, or cassette tapes, if you have them.

Eventually, you may feel ready to donate or sell that box of old books entirely.

4. Simplify Your Closet: Take all your clothes and put them aside. Most items can go in a box or a drawer. If you’re worried about your nicer garments, just push them to one side of the bar or use a placeholder hanger to divide your “storage” section from your “useful” section.

After a while, you’ll develop a cycle or routine of clothing that shows you exactly which clothes you actually need, and which clothes are just closet eye candy.

Setting a Purge Deadline

To really make the clean slate method work for you, it’s helpful to set a purge deadline. This deadline is how long you allow yourself to keep all your old stuff in storage before you get rid of it for good.

When you set the deadline is up to you. You might decide to eliminate anything you haven’t found a need for within 60 days, or 90 days, or a month. Whatever your number is, it’s a good idea to commit to it in advance, so there’s no second-guessing yourself later on.

The clean-slate method is just one way to simplify your life and your stuff, but it’s worked very well for me. If you find it difficult to simplify the “normal” way, give it a try. You might be pleasantly surprised.


Monday, August 2, 2010

cooking breakfast-fried potatoes,turkey bacon,& eggs in my fave cast iron skillet- with hot buttered to hear the skillet sputter & sing.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

It's Lammas!

    My favorite time of the year has arrived....starting today,we have Lammas,the first of 3 harvest festivals. Autumn is near,veggies are harvested,magazines abound with fall & Halloween decor. Soon I'll be burning pumpkin & candy corn scented candles & loving the color orange. Tho this is the first time in many years I actually am kinda bummed at the near end of summer. It's been a mellow one here at the cottage so far,and it's been relaxing for the most part. I gotta find those mini pumpkin seeds & plant them. 
       My birthday is also this month and as an early gift,my Father got me a baritone uke! I'd been wanting one for quite awhile,and I absolutely love it. Very mellow tone,sweet,soft,great for medieval & ren tunes as well as Irish. 
      It's a Savannah brand. I'm getting a strap for it too,from Uke Star Straps!
Other things going on are the forming of an Etsy team for those of us who make musical instrument accessories or instruments,and realising I need to work on my prostores & do some needed tweaking there. I also joined Amplify to work my social networking in a more in depth way as well as being more efficient. Oh! I'm moving some of my musical interest pages to Squidoo. I even started a baritone ukulele page and I need to tweak the soprano uke one I have there. I'm probably moving the banjitar page there as well,but am keeping this blog right where it is.