Thursday, January 27, 2011

Growth,Realizations and New Creations

     It's been an inner growth month for me-I've been reading Dr Wayne Dyer's book,"Manifesting Your Destiny",and it's proven to be one of those books that opens doors for one to look within & do needed "inner tweaking" Along with that has been what to do about my part time job pretty much going down to one day a week. While the business continues to grow & thrive,I have allowed myself to get locked into a pattern-$$ from the biz goes right back into the biz,and what I make from the part time job goes for personal expenses and sometimes also the biz if I need extra money to cover the expenses. 
    As I was reading and thinking this morning,as I often do in the pre-dawn hours,it suddenly occured to me that having ones own business means part of the money made is supposed to cover personal bills and whatnot. After all,isn't that the goal in being self employed?  I nearly wanted to giggle at this discovery-tickled with my own short handed vision. I'd gotten so caught up in my personal account lacking that it never dawned to me to start shifting some of the $$ from sales to cover my own expenses. At the same time,relief-I'm not as broke as my ego would have me believe,tho I'm still watching my pennies and "buying smart". This also opens the door of the possibility of leaving the job altogether,as I know I have outgrown it,and aside from the hourly wage,doesn't fulfill me in any way. I've also had to deal with not letting fears run me-it's amazing what fearful "what if's" can do to you and prevent you from making forward progress. 
     On the creative front,I had a helpful individual give some advice on the uke gig bags that I make-to start making them humorous. So I came up with the "Rocket Science" one here: 

    It's currently in my Etsy shop. I had made a 2nd frog gig bag for this helpful individual to buy,as he expressed interest and was outbid on the first one I had on auction. Imagine my surprise when I wouldn't "put myself on sale" and stuck to my price that he suddenly didn't think the gig bags were any good,and too expensive. He offered a pittance and wanted free shipping to boot. Well-I'm thankful to his suggestions and have dismissed the rest. The bags are now selling at $21 each. 
    The gig bags are about to go even more green! I discovered there's a quilt batting called "Quilters Dream Green" the batting is made of recycled plastic bottles-the ones that all too often go into the oceans,streams,and landfills. Every package of this batting I buy keeps those bottles from polluting the earth,and makes the gig bags more environmentally friendly. I have been using cotton batting,but I feel even better using this. I"m using up the last of the cotton batting as we speak,and I'll announce the first bag made using this wonderful recycled product. Yes,its soft and fine just as batting should be. So I'm really excited and pleased about this. 
     Other developments include making my own tags. Mary Jane's Farm had a spot in the latest issue on brand tags,old style looking ones,and After not finding what I was wanting for Mandolin Babe's I just received some wonderful unmounted rubber stamps to make my own design. I'll post a pic once it's made.                             


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Good Distractions & New Creations

Well,I haven't been playing all of the instruments that I study,but the "distractions" have been important ones,like an increase in orders from the store-I've been busier than before Christmas packing up orders and shipping them out. And in the midst of all that,another idea for ukuleles sprang into my head. Dust covers. I make them for fiddles aleady,why not ukuleles? So I've been making these in a variety of prints:

from Betty Boop to space aliens,from jaguar prints to rock n roll,I've been making these an they've been selling! Placed a classified ad at and that seems to be working well. Easy to do,thankfully. 
     I redesigned the banner for my Etsy Store  and am very pleased with it. Collecting vintage photos of musicians has helped quite a bit. I'll be having a classified ad come out in fiddler magazine promoting the Etsy store,so I'm finally getting myself in gear. 
     I've been playing a lot of baritone & soprano uke lately,and sold one of the soprano ukes I've had for awhile-while it was a good instrument,it wasn't one of my faves,so in an effort to simplify,I placed it up for bid and got a good price for it.  
     Getting ready to do another crazy quilt ukulele gig bag-this one in a southwestern theme & in flannel. I also have some wonderfully wacky fabrics coming in for the gig bags-trying out some advice I received form a ukester who says players have a sense of humor,so we'll see. 
      I'm finishing up a 2nd bag in a frog print that seems to be popular. WIll be trying stitch witchery on the velcro I use as a closure as it plays with my sewing machine & not in a good way.    
      New uke books will be coming into the store-one that uses the "D" tuning which is considered to be the original tuning. It'll go nicely with the uke string sets I offer,which are made for a "D" tuning.