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Relish in the little things.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Christmas Tree follow up

So I thought maybe it'd be more fun to wait and show my Christmas tree next week. Oh the tension. Actually I haven't taken the time to photograph my lovely tree, filled to the brim with ornaments. Life seems to have taken over with better ideas.

Lately, I've been perusing other blogs and websites to get ideas about my niche market. Who am I actually trying to sell to on Etsy? Ya see, Etsy has something like 300,000 sellers and 5.8 million items for sale (thanks to the report on Nightline: http://abcnews.go.com/nightline). It's like a huge sea of creative artists, craftsman and talent in general. Many of them have art in their blood with actual degrees in design, merchandising, woodworking, art, sculture and pottery. In addition, they have a vision, a dream and goals about what their "thing" is all about.

Myself on the other hand? I feel like I have artist ADD. In case you don't know what ADD is, I could spend the next three hours explaining because that's what MY degree is in. I'll save you the headache, just google it.

So I'm kind of stuck. I can make pretty things (see my new flower pins, on their way to New York to my dearest friend). I can even copy a pattern. I have sparks of creative genius at 2 a.m., hence the acorn napkin rings that I have waiting for someone to swoop up in my shop. But. Hmmmm.

It only takes one idea. One genius thought, put into action, to make the public want to purchase what it is you're peddling. I'm not trying to get rich off of this idea. In the beginning I didn't even care if I made any money. Now just to afford the alpaca wool, the lovely bits and pieces of lucious felt and other sparkly supplies, I have to make something or I'd be nuts, right?

My goal, just recently gathered in my mind, is to do some more work on what I want from this experience. Will I be disappointed if I only have 20 sales by January? Or will that mean I've "made" it in Etsy land? Can I live with myself in Mediocre-Ville? Probably not. Goals, TBD. Until then, are you thinking about New Years goals? Or should we not even go there?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree...

This is our before Christmas tree picture, a lovely 6 1/2 foot wonder who is fresh and fragrant all for around $30. I've become a bargain tree shopper and I'll explain why. About 8 years ago while living in Atlanta, I spent $80 for a 6 foot tree at a lot that looked almost like a winter wonderland. I got caught up in the whole thing. When it began to lose a lot of needles on day #4, I vowed to never spend that kind of money on a tree again.

Disappointed and $80 buck gone, the next year I gathered my nerve and hit Big Lots for the fakest of the fake trees. You know the kind; tacked together with pipecleaners in three sections that you have to wedge together. It looked like a pitiful thing, worse than Charlie Brown. That tree lasted approximately 2 1/2 years. By the third year it was on its last 'leg' and ended up crashing to the ground one quiet December morning as I laid in bed snoring and dreaming of sugar plums and presents. The weight of my bulbous glass ornaments proved too heavy for this scrawny tree and my toes weren't prepared to have glass splicing through them at the crack of dawn. What a mess.

One year I went without and found myself so sad to not have a lovely tree waiting for me to light each morning and night that I reverted to a table top tree full of silly plastic ornaments that Gracie found to be quite charming and more inticing than catnip.

So why do I have this obsession with trees? In case you didn't know, my mother has singlehandedly amassed an ornament collection for me from birth. Handmade dough ornaments handpainted with my name and birthdate neatly written on the back from my daycare days. Without fail, every year my Mom says, "You made those yourself." Sure Mom. How about the footprint one with my name etched onto it. Did I know how to write when I was 6 months old? Luckily, my mom just keeps adding to this collection each year. A pretty impressive treasury, it would be a waste not to display them. I have an odd attachment to these ornaments.

Some might grab a photo album in the event of a house fire.

I'd grab my Christmas boxes.

Luckily I've found a happy median...an inexpensive real tree at the most chaotic and stressful place in the land. Yes, folks, Walmart. I'll save my rant on that place for another blog post.

Watch the transformation of our tree over the next several days. Larry was pretty proud of what we found, although he got a little saw happy with the front branches at the bottom. Maybe I'll just spin it around. Ah, the joys of a real tree.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Denver, I miss you already

Larry and I had the priviledge of flying out to Denver for Thanksgiving this year to see Mom, Kevin, Holly and little Ethan. To say we had fun would be an understatement. We were completely drawn into this friendly town which seemed more like a mid-west attitude than what I was expecting.

People are genuinely happy here. They smile back. They allow you to pass in front while driving. They thank you for your business. They don't beat their children in public. Guess that's too much to ask for, but I've only been back three days and I've already encountered the opposite end of everything mentioned above.

Years ago, Jacksonville looked like the perfect compromise of size and character. Not Atlanta and not Melbourne, maybe it would be just right. Goldilocks said it best. However as Jacksonville grows at an exponential rate, unemployment rises and people's general attitude of unrest comes to the forefront, I am less and less enthused at what I see. It was easy to ignore but now that I've seen what Denver is all about, I'm envious to say the least.

So here is my gratitude for the day- mountain views in Washington Park below and the Red Rocks Ampitheater above: