Friday, May 28, 2010

Oh, the ironing.

So, part of my whole 'thing' has been to join a gym and eat healthy and 'relax' more. In my case relax deserves the ' so get off my back ' police. Because for me 'relax' means to well, probably go through my day feeling like a normal not relaxed person.

So I also got the iTouch apps, they are you know affirmation/hypnosis things, whatever. But they are tolerable because the guy, Andrew Johnson, is a Scot and so the accent is interesting. I love the way he says "fattening food" and "greasy". That's the weight loss one.

The Healing one is a little complex, there's only so many thing I can imagine a sphere of white light doing at one time but Andrew assures me that this is all going into my subconscious so no pressure. I have to take his word for it because well, it's my subconscious. I mean anything could be going on there. Has been for years anyway.

Come to think of it, I'm not all that keen on my subconscious at the moment. But I need to mull that over a bit before expounding.

Anyway, I got the Positivity app, right? It's supposed to make me have (you guessed it) a more positive outlook.

Except I couldn't get the damned thing to download. I finally got it on my PC version of ITunes after screwing around with it for the better part of an hour and then it wouldn't transfer to my iTouch.

Needless to say this did not imbue me with positive feelings nor, incidentally, did it help me relax although it did make me want to go eat fattening foods.

Then all of a sudden I realised (without the help of a damn error message) that well, there was no room for Positivity. The irony of this whole experience did not escape me.

Then I had to figure out what I needed to delete to be able to fit Positivity. Yes, another metaphor, can you stand it? I needed to make room for Positivity which meant getting rid of what I had already stored.

This was not an easy choice, as I have the smaller iTouch and lots of apps and the Positivity needs a lot of space, go figure. Was I willing to let go on order to make room for Positivity?

I guess, cause I found this lame ass penguin game I forgot about and got rid of that. Otherwise who knows? I mean, deleting something I liked woulda just pissed me off, seems a little self defeating had that been the case.

DC Metro/N VA folks

From: Debby Critchley
Subject: [DC-Rescue] Fw: [BeverleyHillsNeighborhood] Alert-poisoning of dogs in FFX Cnty
Date: Thursday, May 27, 2010, 1:21 PM

Attention Centreville residents:

We wish to make you aware of a serious situation that came to our attention yesterday.

Poisoned meatballs were placed in at least three yards in the Sully Station II neighborhood in Centreville, on/near Kamputa Drive and Olddale Road. PLEASE be cautious when taking your dog outside!

If you live near this area, we recommend leash-walking your dog (do not leave them unattended outdoors), being alert to anything on the ground, and closely inspecting your yard. The meatballs have been fatal in at least two cases, and we hope this gets to you in time to prevent any more tragedy.

Symptoms caused by these poisons include seizures and trouble breathing, and usually begin within 15 minutes to two hours after ingesting the meatball. If you are concerned that your pet may have eaten a poisoned meatball, please bring him/her in immediately.

Fairfax County Animal Control and Police will be putting conducting an investigation. If you know anything about this case, please contact Animal Control at 703-691-2131, or the animal shelter at 703-830-1100. Please watch the news for additional information.

Please feel free to call us with any questions or concerns.

Jennifer Riley
Office Manager
Caring Hands Animal Hospital

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Monday, May 17, 2010

Mondays Fable by Jean De La Fontaine

La Besace* -- The Alms Bag

Translation by Michael Star

One day mighty Jupiter said "Let all living things come before me to compare themselves, one with the other.
Let no one be afraid to speak honestly even if they find fault. I shall ensure that no harm comes of it. Come
Monkey, you are the one that should begin. Let all the others compare themselves to your beauty. Tell me, are
you satisfied with yourself?"

"Me?" He said. "Why Not! Is my body not as good as any of the others? And as for my face, there's nothing
to reproach myself for on that score. But as for my brother the bear, I have to say that I find his features
rather coarse. And no artist would ever pick him as a subject for a painting"

Everyone expected the bear to reply angrily, but he didn't. Instead he praised his own physique quite loudly.
Then he went on to speak of the Elephant. He pointed out that Elephant could use a longer tail and smaller ears.
In short he declared that the Elephant was quite misshapen and ugly.

The Elephant (wise beast that he was) did not retaliate. Instead, he opined as to how Madame Whale was really too
fat. Madame Ant then said that she found the Mite a bit too small. It made her feel that she was a giant.

At this point Jupiter, hearing all these criticisms, angrily told them to stop. This didn't scare the other
animals who were still self-satisfied. And among the most self satisfied were the humans because that is how
we are: fierce animals when it comes to criticizing others, and meek when it comes to speaking of our own faults. We
forgive ourselves everything, and forgive others nothing.

The Creator made us like alms bags all in the same way: Those born long ago and those born today. Our own faults
are buried in the rear pouch. The front pouch is reserved for the faults of others.

* Besace - A Beggars Bag. A cylindrical bag with an opening
in centre, forming two pouches. It was usually carried over
a shoulder.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Now he has a friend.

So I found this hideous fabric..

But it was realllly soft. Lisa says it might be chenille. They only had two yards, which is a shame as it has fantastic potential. Shaggyboy is the first monster to be made from it. I knew he was going to turn out well because I kept smiling the whole time.

The next will be smaller, I think. The heart if felt which means you can just sorta smush it against whatever this stuff is and it stays there. Later he'll be tagged and properly photographed, but for now he's just hanging out.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Things People Like

People like Owls. Soft smushy things and things that stand up. Who am I to deny them?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mondays Fable

 The Dog and the Hare

A Hound having started a Hare on the hillside pursued her for
some distance, at one time biting her with his teeth as if he
would take her life, and at another fawning upon her, as if in
play with another dog.

The Hare said to him, "I wish you would

act sincerely by me, and show yourself in your true colors. If
you are a friend, why do you bite me so hard? If an enemy, why do
you fawn on me?'

No one can be a friend if you know not whether to trust or
distrust him.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Dear Venue, it isn't me, it's you.

I've gotten several emails asking for more information in regard to expanding the horizons, moving on, reaching out, (I refuse to use the eggs and basket analogy, tireder then the deadest of horses) and so forth.

So I thought I'd share with you what I know, it isn't a lot, but, if I can do it you can. Mostly because I hate change. I'd stay with a venue for months (well, I did really) after things go downhill, in the face of all reason, remarking on the pretty colors the implosion casts rather then move on.

Because I hate change and I'm kinda lazy. Maybe it will get better, right? But at some point you become the girl who is always complaining about her boyfriend and never leaves. We were all her or knew her, or both, at some point and let's face it, that's annoying and pathetic and at some point everyone stops listening and avoids you. Not unlike a venue, when you do finally leave, there's a half dozen dewy eyed girls vying for your place.

I say welcome to it.

Venues can be a good source of revenue, advertising, etc. But I do not believe they should ever be the end all be all basket in which those tired eggs are placed. Because for one thing, it dooms you to hearing that analogy over and over and another, that venue can just decide it doesn't like you anymore, it wants to change everything, you should pay more (sounds like that boyfriend, huh?) or as some have experienced, shut you down without rhyme or recourse. Which does happen to perfectly legitimate sellers.

And there you are. Years, possibly, invested, gone. Business cards, wasted and no one at what they call support seems to give a flying rats ass. (Note: This didn't happen to me, I have seen it happen to others. So there's no personal bitterness here, relax, you viewing cupcakes, go back and frost something.)

So, what did I do? After waiting much to long?

1. I bought my domain name.

This is crucial for many reasons, but one of the coolest being business cards. If you are at or switch venues you can forward the domain name. No more crossing out the venue's name so you can still use the cards (This I DO know from personal experience.)

You own it and that's cool. It's actually quite the motivator, feeling all official and stuff.

There's other reasons but I've only had one cup of coffee and it's before 8 am so hold onto those for now.

2. Get a website. There are a few hosts. I used for domain registering (great customer service) I would recommend everyone pay the extra few dollars for privacy. Otherwise anyone can go to and get your address, personal info. This leaves you open for all kinds of online unpleasantness. Yes, there are people that vile. Trust me.

I ended up going with for both the GMA and the Uppityminions site. They cost me $12 a month and have great customer service (in fact once you get free from some of these venues you realise most everyone does) and while I am tech ignorant, I was able to do it.

Once you get the hang of it it's really one page listing. I found Pappa to be the most recommended and the most affordable. You get neat things like stats, inventory management, everything you wish that venue had.

I used enmariepaper from Etsy for my templates as I didn't really like any of the free ones, her prices are good, her service is excellent and she will load everything for you.

You don't get the traffic, but, chances are if you've made it this far along this post, you aren't getting the traffic there either. Even with a venue, a site is a good idea. For branding, for security and you can redirect your customers there (all within the TOU's of the venue of course).

Pappashop comes with a cart, it's idiot proof and I should know. I've attached my blog. Actually I couldn't figure out how, so I paid the $5 to do it, but you probably good. They have tons of tutorials.

Even better is to get together with a few friends like did. We share dues, promotions responsibilities and are there top support one another. Even two or three people who sell different things, ideally, will give you a bigger presence then being out there one your own. That being said, lots are successful being out on their own, it really depends on you and what motivates you.

The cooperative setting will either go wonderfully as people sort out who will lead, who has what strength (we are fortunate to have some really tech savvy folks) each member has and so on or be a flaming hot mess as egos battle each other and everyone assumes the Little Red Hen will do everything.

Don't expect your first attempt to work. Ours did, part luck, part persona and a big dose of desperation as we watched out venue screw with us over and over and over again while our income dropped. Dramatically. We've had bumps and bitchings and will again as we continue on, but the understanding is it's the way a dynamic group works.

You will be at odds with one another over something, along the way. We handle that by voting on shop issues and handling personal disputes privately. A train wreck on a forum is entertaining, but one on a team is a disaster and puts everyone is an awkward position. Delegation is important too. Crucial even and a good team has responsibilities spread over the board.

Expect to end up with a core group as others drop off for one reason or another, there is strength in numbers, but I think more so in determination.

If you go it along, with enough determination you can kick as much ass as a team of ten. That being said, still have a group or community to run things by, get support from, bitch too. It can be overwhelming out there in the great webby beyond.

So, that's as far as I've gotten. I'll post as things that may be helpful to you come up. I'm happy to answer any questions as best I can. I think too often we crafty folk underestimate just how pragmatic we can be when we have to. You can create and succeed. This is something I remind myself of daily, sometimes hourly and on bad days several times in the course of a minute.

But I shall never rely on a venue again (Scarlett O'Hara voice) as my sole source of revenue or presence. Rather I will see it as a mutually beneficial relationship, when needed, not as a dependent one.

Uppity is still a work in progress, but feel free to check to out to get a feel of a group dynamic. I expect it will change a bit here and there as we learn more, but the fundamentals will remain the same. Our goal is to present a unified group without well, becoming The Borg. So far, so good.

(reminds self to do bio for UM page)

As for me, I will continue to let my listings expire on the venue I have lost total and utter faith in. I'll leave my shop open, hope springs eternal and all that, but even if it were to turn around, no, I'd not go back to it (or any venue) as my one and only ever again.

Monday I'll post some ideas about promoting from both myself and the team. That is a work in progress but I do have some ideas, to be frank I've never promoted before (see above comment regarding lazy) and both the sole and the team site present challenges. But it's good stuff, you know?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Coupon Time!

Join us as we celebrate our opening (drumroll) enter clevergoods at checkout and get 20 percent off entire Uppity Minions purchase!

Monday, May 3, 2010


Just dusting off the last of the sawdust. Come and check us out. I figure if some redhead with a fish can make this gigantic venue, then a bunch of us should be able to pull of our own little enclave here in the Land of Web.

No illusions of grandeur, just a site that works, people that respect one another and happen to think our buyer's are pretty important too.

Think Little Engine that finally got pissed off enough.