Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Authors Signing Up!

I have some new authors signing up to write books for Craft e-Revolution! Hooray! Please let your crafty and blog write-y friends know about it:

I continue to blog there, as well. If you are interested in a discussion about entrepreneurship, marketing, and other SCINTILLATING stuff, click here.

If you are not among the ranks of entrepreneurs who go in for that stuff, perhaps you are a wordsmith. If so, you'll enjoy this.

Or perhaps you just want a laugh. I've got you covered.

Meeting all of your reading needs, in one post. Just another service I provide.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

What Matters Now--pages 4 & 5

I'm at it again--blogging at Craft e-Revolution. Before you hop over there and take a look, would you consider sending this link to your friends who are crafty?

I need to get the word out to folks who have crafty/foodie blogs. Put a bug in her/his ear about writing a book, wouldja?

It's snowing again here in Denver--a light, powdery snow, that makes the morning seem quieter. I hope your morning is just as peaceful.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Complaint Department: How to Respond to Hate Mail

Photo by Robin Thom.

From the Complaint Department:

You have a useless, worthless web site...I tried for ten minutes to order some soap and never could get the order accepted. You losers, why have a web site and a lousy, unusable your programmers, they are fools, Carl

My reply:


Thanks so much for your thoughtful feedback. I will make sure my web guy knows about the issues. If you still want to order soap, please simply reply to this email with a list of your choices, and I will let you know where you can send a check. Will that work for you?

In the 5 years that I have had my soap website, this is the FIRST email of its kind. Furthermore, I tested the site and it works fine. This makes me realize that Carl does not understand how to use Paypal. Dear Paypal--please fire all of your programmers, as per Carl.


Carl emailed me back! It turns out that I was right--he couldn't get Paypal to accept his card, for some reason. So, the edict above stands. Paypal, fire all your fool programmers, please. Also, Carl DID place an order, and said he would send a check. Have you ever?

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Talk About Your Ideas

Ironic photo by Wonderlane. Used with permission.

I am haunting myself. This morning I received my normal email list, which includes Google Alerts. This is a service where you tell Google what terms you want them to search for, and when they find the term, an email with the link shows up in your inbox.

It's handy for finding out where your name pops up, or your business name, or keywords featured in your book, for example. Today, my own name popped up, from a blog comment I made about ebooks. This comment was left in April, 2008. Since that time, I have begun publishing in earnest, exclusively ebooks, and I was pleased to see the word "revolution" come up in my blog comment from 'way back when:

Publishers are floundering with the old model, and need to make money. Eliminating the advance is a big thing, and I believe it will be better for everyone involved.

Yes, the writer will have to write more on spec. However, like other self-publishers, all of my writing is on spec, and I have to do all the marketing, etc. to sell my books. Marketing and advertising and all of that is expensive. Many big publishers don’t want to pay for the marketing, either. Authors are left to do it.

So, if we are doing most of the work, anyway, and doing it on our own dime, anyway, why not publish ourselves?

I’m glad to see someone mention cookbooks as ebooks–I am waiting for this revolution. Both of my books are ebooks right now, and as yet may or may not make it to print. Ebooks are very profitable, on a small scale. All of a person’s recipes can be in a central location, and can also be printed out as necessary. Slopped sauce all over your recipe? No problem. People still want to hold, pore over, and caress a huge, heavily-photographed cookbook. I know I do.

But aren’t ebooks the practical side?

It seems that I was thinking about the Craft e-Revolution over a year ago. Have your blog comments ever come back to haunt you?

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Getting More Traffic

Do you all know about StumbleUpon? I love it--you create a free account, and then you choose your favorite topics. When you "stumble" (i.e. click the button on the toolbar that you will install on your browser), they will choose a site that fits the profile you selected. You then have the option to click "thumbs up" or "thumbs down" on the site.

Here's today's tip, then, for driving more traffic to your site. Go to your site, and thumb it up on your StumbleUpon toolbar. You will then have the option to "discover" the site for StumbleUpon, and enter appropriate tags. This is great for folks who have something for sale, because people who stumble across the site are potentially interested, because of their tags.

Please note the screenshot above. I wasn't getting any traffic to my ArtFire studio, so I went in and clicked on each of my items, and thumbed them up on StumbleUpon, and entered tags like "crafts," "printable," and "quotes from women." That spike at the end? That was the increase in visitors to my artfire studio on the day I tagged the items in StumbleUpon. Little more visibility? Yes.

Those items in my Artfire studio are also featured in my Etsy shop. If you're interested, this is my best-selling calendar. It's not too late to make your own gifts! Hint! Hint!

Related posts: 1. Author Interview--Me!
2. In Talks
3. New Publishing Project--Validation

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rogue Commenter: Holiday Cookies

Criminy. I was commenting at Make It Do, and my comment turned into a blog post. I need to be stopped.


My family would purchase our Christmas cookies from Irene Sedlacek (pronounced said-luh-check) in my mom's hometown. Irene would make hundreds of dozens of cookies every holiday season, and sell them, to make some money.

Her cookies: sour cream sugar cookies, with frosting and sprinkles. Shapes: Trees, plain circles, stars, and something else I can't remember. The cookies froze beautifully.

Irene died a few years ago, at an advanced age (I'm guessing she was well over 90). Her daughter was besieged with condolences, and after a mannerly waiting period, she was besieged with requests for Irene's cookie recipe. It seems that many of us just couldn't have Christmas without Irene's cookies, and now we realized we would have to make them ourselves!

And of course, Irene's recipe was mostly in her head! Her daughter regretfully told us all that, and said if she found it somewhere, she would be sure to let us know. Lo and behold, she did find it, and my mother sent me the recipe out of the blue, through old-fashioned mail, on an old-fashioned paper recipe card, handwritten. Seems very quaint, nowadays. And dang, those cookies are awesome. They are a new tradition for my daughter and me--making roll-out sugar cookies.

Our shapes? Trees, "gingerbread" men, candy canes, and stars. I'm getting excited already, and it's not even Thanksgiving. What is your favorite holiday cookie?

Irene Sedlacek's Sugar Cookies:

5 cups flour

2 cups sugar

2 sticks butter

2 eggs

8 oz sour cream

1 tsp. vanilla

1 T. cream of tartar

400 degrees, 9-10 minutes

(That's all you get. The recipe presumes you know how and when and why to combine things when you do. I love that about old recipes!)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Shop Local for the Holidays: Foodzie

Photo by ulterior epicure. Used with permission.

I just discovered Foodzie today. I expect it's relatively new.

*runs off to check date on website*

Yeah, the copyright says 2009,but that doesn't mean anything. I think I would have heard about this, so I'm saying it's new. It's a venue for selling handcrafted foodstuffs. My favorite feature is "Discover," in which you can, "Discover Tasty Local Food Producers." While their vocab leaves just a bit to be desired (Discover Tasty Local Food Gurus, I might suggest, but they didn't ask), their selection more than makes up for it.

Foodzie is the Etsy of the food world. Consider yourself enlightened, and your wallet warned.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Publishing Project: Validation

Photo by Sarabbit. Used with permission.

My new publishing project, Craft e-Revolution, has begun. If you know someone who does craft or food tutorials with awesome photographs, please leave their link in the comments--I want to check them out.

I have offered two contracts to authors already, and I'm talking to two more. Whee! It's very exciting. I get discouraged sometimes with the amount of work that looms ahead of me, but I know it will be worth it. I got validation for this today when I read this article. Of most interest to me was this:

What does the rise of eBooks mean for Publishing?

That’s a tough question. There will be lots of changes as the shift from physical books to ebooks intensifies.

Here are a few things it might mean -

  1. We’re either in the middle of, or at the beginning of a huge tipping point – either Holiday Season 2009 or the year of 2010. By end 2010 ebook sales ought to be 10-20% of total sales.
  2. Publishers need to start figuring out how to survive on $7-$8 per ebook sale.
  3. Publishers should have a contingency strategy in case their take on ebooks falls to $4-$5 per ebook.
  4. A huge opportunity for new companies to become successful publishers.

A huge opportunity? I knew that already. Thanks for the validation, though. I'm on it.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Can you count to 40?

Sesame Street is 40 years old! Just like me. All together, now:

"Who are the people in your neighborhood?
In your neighborhood,
In your neigh-bor-hood, oh,
Who are the people in your neighborhood?
They're the people that you meet
when you're walkin' down the street
they're the people that you meet

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Two Kitties!

Click on the video below to watch it:

Two Kitties
Video Length 0:38
Click here to watch

Flip Video

To learn more about the Flip Video Camcorder, click here.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

This little cutie will be tricking and treating this evening. Her makeup is my interpretation of a butterfly's face. It's hard to see, but there's purple glitter on there, as well. Tonight we are joining her friend in their neighborhood, while my husband stays at our house to hand out candy for a while. We will then meet up at our friend's house so the kids can gorge on candy and we will have some beverages. Yay, Halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2009


Please share this post with your friends!

Through November 1 at noon mountain time, both of my ebooks are on sale! $20 buys both ebooks, which is nearly 30% off. Woo hoo!

Now is the perfect time to make soap for the holidays. I'm just sayin'. Maybe you or your crafty friend would like to learn how to make soap.


Today I was shocked out of my two-snow-day torpor by my daughter bursting into the house and saying, "Mama! Come quick! The windshield broke!" My husband had taken her out of the house so I could get some publishing work done, so I was surprised to see her at all. Apparently, they had got as far as down the block, when the back window (not the windshield) shattered for no reason.

No reason! Can you imagine it? Driving down the street when HUGE POP and then KSHHHH! and glass falling down onto the back seat.

My daughter was crying from the shock of it. I got on the phone to the glass people and made an appointment. My actual windshield had huge cracks in it, and this happening made me ask for a deal if they would replace both. I have to go in tomorrow for the windshield in the front, but the back one is now replaced.

While I was waiting for the glass shop to do their magic, I walked down the street to occupy myself. I bought that awesome Doors lighter and incense at the used CD store, and also went to the metaphysical book store and had an "intuitive reading." Her thoughts were interesting, and relatively intuitive. Does anybody else think it's funny that they don't call them "psychic" readings anymore?

Publishing Setup for Today


It's our fall break, and we're under nearly 2 feet of snow. I spent much of this morning shoveling, as I must take the car to the mechanic tomorrow. I think I'll leave myself a lot of extra time, don't you think? Our neighborhood doesn't ever see a plow.

The main roads are probably clear, though, if my driveway is any indication. I fully expected to shovel again tonight, but the drive is clear! It must have warmed up enough to melt the snow just enough. Here's to hoping.

Friday = pumpkin carving day. Saturday= Halloween, and the end of NaBloWriMo! Two more posts! Two more posts!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Luxury French Toast

This is not a photo of my French Toast. Photo credit: Joshua Wickerham. Used with permisison.

I made up that name. I contrast this French toast with "Ghetto French Toast," which uses whatever bread you have on hand, eggs, milk, and not much else besides syrup. I far prefer this recipe:

Luxury French Toast

1 loaf of challah bread (or some other soft, eggy bread)
several eggs
vanilla extract
syrup of choice (or powdered sugar for pansies)

Heat a large, nonstick pan to medium-high.
Crack 3-4 eggs into a casserole pan. Add some milk (1/2 cup?), and whisk it together. Add a dribble of vanilla, a dash of salt, and a generous sprinkling of cinnamon. Whisk, whisk.

Cut the challah bread into thick slices. 3/4 inch slices or so are best. Soak the bread in the egg stuff. Flip it over when it is half-soaked.

Put some butter in the hot pan, and slide it around. Put two or three slices of soaked bread over it, and let them cook. Turn the heat down to medium at this point -- the pan should hold enough heat to brown it, but shouldn't burn it. Watch the bread, and when the bottom is browned, flip them over.

Cook them until they spring back when poked. If you aren't sure if the custard inside is cooked, then shank them to find out. I like them when the custard is still jiggly inside.

Top with more butter and warm syrup. Serve with crisp bacon on the side. Nom.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

In talks

Wanna learn how to make bagels? Joe Pastry is your guy. I'm hoping he will be my guy, too. His tutorials are very clear, in a step-by-step manner with wit and knowledge. I like it. I would like to read a book written by him.

I never thought I would talk to an author about a food book before talking about a craft book. But at my new site, I plan on having the best how-to, step-by-step, photographed craft tutorials that can be found anywhere. In ebook format.

Yeah, it's a niche. It's going to be awesome! My web guy is working on it, and should have the call for submissions up by this weekend. In the meantime, I'm trolling for craft blogs. Do you know any good craft blogs, full of awesome tutorials?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Lamer and Lamer

I worked 12 hours at school yesterday, and will work 12 hours today, in exchange for having Wednesday off. We also get Thursday and Friday off. Am I complaining?

A little.

On this break, we are expecting a snowstorm tomorrow, which means my chiropractor appointment on Wednesday and breakfast with the girls on Thursday is in danger. I also planned on bra shopping on Wednesday. Friday is pumpkin-carving day. Saturday is Halloween at night.

Each day I plan on sleeping in. For me, that means 6:30am or so. I know, I know.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Blogging On The Go

I don't click on the different tabs in the Blogger format pages much. I realize that I have always had the capability to blog from email, but I've never done it. But now that I have an iPhone, I've wanted a Blogger app. There's an app for that, right?

Well, not for free. And I'm "frugal." What to do?

I just put in a special word in the space where I can set up an email address. If I send an email to that address, it will post it on Blogger.

I feel so dumb. I could have posted a million things by now. Photos! Witticisms!

Soon enough, the iPhone will become my main blogging tool. Count on it.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Today was the last Pearl Street market here in Denver. I was not hopeful about it, but I figured if I was going, I was going to do it up.

So, I did. I brought everything I usually do, plus two pre-orders, all the fall decor, and our fog machine. The fog machine has a skull head with red light-up eyes, and he belches the fog out of his mouth. I put this under the table, near the front. The switch reached all the way under the tables and up to the top, where I was standing. It was hilarious fun to watch the children--I would press the button when they were walking my way. Of course, they ran over when they saw the spooky fog, shouting, "Cool!" and "Scary!"

They would then stand there, expectantly, waiting for it to belch again. Many thought that it worked on a motion sensor--they would kick their feet in front of it, or pace back and forth. Too funny! Dogs would jump when the fog came out, too, of course.

This activity brought folks to my booth. I was amazed at just how many people were at the market today, in costume! It was our Halloween festival day, but it was snowing, and below 40 degrees the entire time. It was way busier than I had anticipated, which is nice. Glad I went!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Author Interview: Me!

In August, I was interviewed by Kelley, owner of Soapies Supplies. Here's the link to her blog where my interview is posted!

I feel famous! I am so very busy and important.

*choke* *chuckle*

Critique, please.

I am working on my new website. Would you mind having a look and telling me:

1. Do you like the color scheme?

2. Do you think you like the black line around the headline?

On an unrelated note, I've been relaxing for much of the day. I watched the rest of Dexter, season 3 on Netflix, and also watched a movie on cable. I'm now trying to motivate myself to get the hell off the couch and re-pack the car, getting it ready for tomorrow. It's supposed to be 42 degrees for the high tomorrow, and snowy/rainy. But it's the last market of the season, and I've already said I'm gonna be there.

I think I'll send out a special newsletter, letting my peeps know. Maybe I could give them the option of pre-ordering, so they can just pop in and get their order, and head out.

Yeah, that's what I'm gonna do.

I blew it!

Yesterday, I absolutely had zero time to blog. I barely checked my email, as well. As the organizer of NaBloWriMo, I hang my head in shame.

I'll have to do two extra-cool posts today to make up for it.

I am bummed out by this. Skipping yesterday's post means that I am too busy to take 10 minutes for myself. I have finally reached that point in my busy-ness.

I hate that.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Why did I do it? Why? Because I love my kid, that's why.

Tomorrow is the "Harvest Festival" at her school, complete with costumes, games, pumpkin launches, pumpkin sales, bake sales, games, face painting, and as much frivolity as can be mustered in that environment.

Which is a lot.

I signed up for pumpkin sales, from 3:45-4:15. We are making costume arrangements now. Yikes!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Gifts for Yule

I am gearing up for Gifts for Yule, the best craft fair EVAR. Man, I love it. Last year, on the Saturday, I didn't sit down. AT ALL. It's packed!

The location helps--an enclosed tennis court building attached to an old mansion. This place is gorgeous, in one of the nicest parts of town, and there's free parking and free admission. Won't you consider stopping by? Click the photo for more information. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Etsy's Featured Seller Comments: Wackier and Wackier

I don't normally advertise other folks' soap, since I make my own. This was just too purty to pass up. Click the photo to go to her Etsy shop. And no, she's not the featured seller--her soap was in the front page gallery.

The featured seller on the front page of Etsy has literally gone nuts. To wit:

Right now I’m in full harvest mode. I’m gathering acorns like a squirrel on steroids and I won’t hesitate to stop the car anywhere if I think I see an oak tree.

You gotta be shitting me. Who are these people?

p.s. 20 days down! 11 to go!

Monday, October 19, 2009

10 Things I Wish I Could Afford

1. A Mini

2. World travel

3. Another year of private speech therapy

4. Danskos

5. A personal trainer. Again.

6. Eating carbohydrates all day long

7. The time to do all my jobs the right way

8. Hiring out the basement finishing job

9. More time with my daughter

10. More time to be a publisher

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Another Treasury!

This is the second treasury in as many months, I think, to feature my calendar. Click here to view it. Whee!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

To-Do List: Saturday edition

  • make bath fizzies
  • package bath fizzies
  • make lotion
  • package lotion
  • mail lotion to the Old Capitol City Rollergirls
  • finish book
  • format book
  • publish book
  • begin next book
  • make presents for christmas
  • pack and mail soap orders
  • open post office box for publishing company
  • figure out the things I'm missing and do those.

I'm striking the stuff that is constant: reading submissions, rejecting them, etc. because it's freaking me out.


Mila, 8 weeks old

As promised, I present Mila. She is 8 weeks old, and is already acclimated to my daughter's room. She's already explored the house, and doesn't run and hide behind the refrigerator. She poops in her box, and let me tell you--you know you are in love with a kitten when you think that even her poops are cute.

She's just so tiny!

Friday, October 16, 2009


I blew off an appointment right after school, and didn't get the work done I wanted to do, and tonight all I accomplished was buying milk and packing the car for the farmer's market tomorrow. It's not very much.

And for the second time in a week, I've been in bed when I realized that I hadn't blogged. Gah!

Kitty pictures tomorrow.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


I have become just a little bored with Etsy. I thought I would check out Artfire and see what it is all about. It's amazing! It has more seller features than Etsy does, such as blogging, and the ability to use social networking at the click of a button, to promote items.

Their fee structure is different, as well. A basic account is free, and the "verified" account is $12 per month. It's a flat fee--that's it. Very cheap to have such a richly-featured website, in my opinion.

What do you think of Artfire?

New Kitty!

Today after school, we are picking up our new kitty, Mila. She is 8 weeks old. Gah! Please excuse me in advance for posting exactly 8 million and 3 photos of a teeny, grey kitty with blue eyes.


Also, please excuse the lameness of this post. No coffee yet.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Changing Careers

From Wikipedia:

Compassion fatigue, also known as a Secondary Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a term that refers to a gradual lessening of compassion over time. It is common among victims of trauma and individuals that work directly with victims of trauma. It was first diagnosed in nurses in the 1950s. [1] Sufferers can exhibit several symptoms including hopelessness, a decrease in experiences of pleasure, constant stress and anxiety, and a pervasive negative attitude. This can have detrimental effects on individuals, both professionally and personally, including a decrease in productivity, the inability to focus, and the development of new feelings of incompetency and self doubt.[2]

So, after reading that definition, do you think a public school teacher of 18 years would naturally adopt this condition? I don't fit the exact profile: I don't have hopelessness about everything; I don't have constant anxiety, and I don't think I have a pervasive negative attitude. I prefer to think of my attitude as "practical" and "real."

I began thinking about this yesterday, after I was assaulted at school for the second time this year. It's really about time for it, too--the last time I was under attack was in 1993, when gang members shot my bus.

Does it surprise you to learn that I speak in terms of expectation when also talking about assault? As a public school teacher, I'm not alone. I know many, many folks who think the same way. And as far as compassion fatigue goes, I didn't even know the term until a friend on Facebook (hey! Friend me on Facebook!), a school social worker, no less, told me about it. She called it a "treatable condition."

So I looked it up on Wikipedia, which is good enough for me. It cites sources which I'm not repeating here, as I am a rogue blogger who does as she pleases. I looked it up, because I made the comment on Facebook that I'm, "tired of being compassionate."

The reason I said it is this: I was assaulted yesterday. In my line of work, I must continue to be compassionate and maintain an air of professionalism, even when a student chucks a book at my head from 4 feet away. Don't worry. My catlike reflexes are intact--I deflected it with my hand, if you can believe it. It left three red marks across my hand, which faded. I'm okay.

But that's the big point--I have to say, "I'm okay." In my line of work, it's not okay for me to call the kid a jerk, or a more colorful label. I have to say, "Yeah, that kid's got issues," and "The other kids need to see me show up the next day, I can't take a day off." I have to continue to be stronger than everyone else, and calmer and cooler and unruffled.

This takes its toll. This is my 18th year in this job. I've been shot at, had furniture shoved into my hip, and had a book thrown at my head, among myriad other things. Isn't it okay to think that it's time for a change?

Teachers have to ask that question. We aren't allowed by society to consider it. "You can't leave! Think of the children!"

Thinking of the children is what has caused my compassion fatigue. What do you suppose is an effective treatment?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Anti-Piracy Post: A Call to Arms

I didn't have time to find a good photo that was open source. Sorry.

This is a call to arms, to all my readers who are

a) buyers or sellers on Etsy


b) against theft,


c) support my efforts as a self-published author.

This really bugs me, and yes, this is a bit in my self-interest, but it just chaps my hide, so I thought I'd ask. Every once in a while I do a search on Etsy for "soap making." I have written and published two books on soap making that I offer on my website and on Etsy, and I like to check on the competition. On Etsy, there isn't very much.

But recently, I discovered these books: here, here, and here. This person has taken other folks' ebooks, burned them to CDs, and is selling them. Heck, she's not even burning them to CDs. I have MANY problems with this, foremost that is is theft. It's outright theft.

Second that's not handmade, which is what Etsy is supposed to be about. If you wrote it, and you are selling it, that's fine. I have no problem with competition. I do have a problem with thieves.

So, my Call to Arms is this: if you have the inclination, would you please click those links (and look at her other listings, where she's selling them as pdfs), and at the site, on the right side, click on "Report this item to Etsy." Then, choose, "Handmade: not made by seller," and then click Submit. That's all.

You see--I keep reporting these items, but nothing happens. If many people click them, maybe they can be removed.

You see what I mean? Snarky, right? My competition, right? Wrong. I don't compete with thieves. The other folks who are selling actual books they wrote--no problem. Stealing? Problem!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Tell Me Why...

...I don't like Mondays.

I'll tell you why. You go through your entire day, getting up at the butt crack of dawn to go to work, work all day, pick up your kid, go shopping for new kitty stuff (new kitty on Thursday! Sure to be good blog fodder), come home, eat dinner, pack soap orders, go to the post office, attempt to drop off package but the bin is full because it's a bogus holiday, drive home, get the kid showered and all teeth brushed, and read stories and get into bed.

And then remember that you forgot to blog. That's why. So now, I'm going BACK to bed. *harumph*

Sunday, October 11, 2009

5 Things

Diabrawlical, of the Skate Free or Die Rollergirls (NH).

We've got a lot of new bloggers for NaBloWriMo this year, so I thought I'd tell a bit about myself. Fellow bloggers who are looking for a post idea, please feel free to do the same.

5 Things I love right now:

1. Roller derby. I love that it is run by women, I love that they kick ass without apology, I love that they are so very real and so very theatrical at the same time. I love that style and image are welcome but not important. I love that the focus is on athleticism. I love it all.

2. My iPhone. I waited for 3 years to get this thing, and I have not been disappointed at all. The maps application is amazing--the little blue dot moves right along the map with you. I love being able to email photos immediately after I take them. I love how the headphones have a microphone in them so I can answer the phone and talk on the phone without removing the headphones. I could do a whole post on my iPhone, but I won't. I'm certain your eyes would roll back in your head.

3. Losing weight. I'm on a plateau right now, which is frustrating, but that's how the whole process has been. I've lost 32 pounds since January 1, and I'm working on getting out of that rut. To motivate myself, I've emptied the closet of all clothes that are 2 and 3 sizes too big, and I'm giving them to a friend and the Goodwill.

4. Being a publisher. I am working on a large project with my web guy, to create the premier site for folks to find photographed craft tutorials. I will sell them as ebooks only--go green! Here is a preview. I'm going to have the black line taken off the headlines at the top. The color scheme is spot-on.

5. My daughter. Her language progress is amazing right now, as well as her brain development. Yesterday we took a dog to the park for a walk, and we played pretend the whole time, with sticks she found. They were magic wands, don't you know? Afterward, we bought some craft supplies, and she made Halloween cards to send to grandma. She's just so damned cool.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Derby Derby Derby

Green Venom, #127, Sugar Kill Gang (co-captain) and Contenders; Rocky Mountain Rollergirls

I had great seats for the roller derby bout last weekend, as you can see. My friend, Green Venom, was not skating, and I'm glad I found her--because that section was the rowdiest Rocky Mountain Rollergirl support group in the whole place. Well, it seemed that way anyway, because I almost went deaf from the shouting. Maybe that's the way the whole place was.

It certainly was mayhem when the 5280 Fight Club (traveling team for RMRG) WON the bout, which meant they were advancing to the National tournament in November. I'm short, so it was difficult to get a good shot of the huge group hug. It's back there.

I did get a couple of clear shots of She Who Cannot Be Named (aka She Who) celebrating the win via breakdancing:


I am strapped for cash as far as traveling to Philadelphia is concerned, but I will still watch the bouts--on Derby News Network! Click the "Live" tab, and you can watch the current bout right on your computer! Rather high quality, as well, I might add. I was very impressed. Watching a bout on DNN is nothing like being there (their motto--ha), but it will give you a good idea of what to expect if you go to a bout. Don't know if you have roller derby near you? Find a league here. You won't be disappointed!

Friday, October 09, 2009

Silver Linings Everywhere

I am constantly looking for ways to market my stuff online. I know about Google Ads and participating in groups, and tacking a link to my email signatures. I try to do 5 things every day for my publishing efforts. But I'm always learning. There are folks out there who have the time and patience to figure out all the analytics about how someone gets to my website.

Sometimes (read: most of the time) I give up and leave things up to chance and trust in my good intentions. I mean, my time is precious. I do what I can, what I know, and try to get enough sleep each night.

I think this is the weirdest, unconnected post I've ever written. I'm chalking it up to fatigue. And I think I meant to thank all of you who visited my Etsy shop.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Weekend Off

As some of you may have guessed by looking at my To-Do lists, I don't get to relax much on the weekends. I try, but there is just so much to do! My husband works for me on the weekends, which really helps out.

But a week ago, both he and my daughter were sick. That meant that Izzy couldn't go to his freelance job, couldn't make soap for me, and was barely able to work on the weekend. He's still recovering from the illness. This whole time, I have been managing everything at home, business, and my job myself.

It's daunting! So, we're all taking the weekend off, to stay home and do not so much. I do want to take the dog to a doggy wash place--I got a Groupon for it! You don't know about Groupon? I recommend it! Every day they send you a new email deal. If you don't like it, you can delete it before you even open it. They put the deal in the subject message. I got a great deal on two mani-pedis a few weeks ago, and the other day they had a half-price deal at U-Shampooch.

I am still groaning over the name of the place, but my Border Collie needs a BATH.

Otherwise, I'm probably going to do some shopping, maybe some baking, maybe some writing, and maybe some laundry. I can't turn it off. What I really need to do is lay on the couch and watch Law and Order: SVU reruns.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

My website is down! Today I got the first phone call from a customer who was confused about its absence. Dammit! I feel like sending an invoice to that horrible hosting company guy, for money I'm losing each day the website is down. The domain transfer is supposed to take 5-10 days. I'm trying not to let it get to me.

So, if you've been trying to order soap from me, please just call the number on my card, and we'll work it out. Waaaay old-fashioned, I know.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Etsy: Love-Hate Relationship

Does anybody else find the "featured seller" item at the bottom of Etsy's front page annnoying? Maybe I'm the only one. How do they find the featured seller? It seems that the people they choose are among their favorites---already featured on the front page, many times. How do I know this? I've seen their stuff on the front page! Of course, I'm sure Etsy will deny favoritism.

And some of the stuff that they get folks to say as a featured seller just put me over the edge. Take today's blurb, for example:
I find the moments before I close my eyes to be the most fruitful. My studio is located where we used to have a guest room. There has been a direct correlation between when I claimed this space for myself, and when I started transforming all of my ideas into reality.

What? Transforming all my ideas into reality? Since I've lately been filled with murderous rage, I don't think transforming ALL my ideas into reality is a good thing. And don't get me wrong--I'm sure the featured seller is a lovely person. I guess this kind of talk is rubbing me the wrong way today.

So many folks have offered help, in an effort to make me feel better. I thank you for that. How about sending folks to my Etsy shop, while my website is down? That would make me feel a lot better, because I know my books are still being viewed.

Which brings me full circle to loving Etsy again. Thank goodness I have an Etsy shop. Otherwise, I wouldn't be able to sell my books at all!

So Mad.

I am SO MAD at my previous web hosting company. Don't bother going to my website--I don't have one anymore! Income? Feeding my family? Forget it! Ain't gonna happen! Because this TROGLODYTE can't email or call a person back. I've been calling and emailing for literally WEEKS now, and finally got an email today. You know why?

Because I said I'd be holding him financially liable for lost income if he didn't fix it.

He comes back with, "We had emailed you, from the email that's hooked up to this account." Um...dude? That email goes straight to my Gmail. Liar!! He never emailed me. And he certainly didn't call me back.

And now to fix this? I need one number. One stinking number from him. There is NO WAY to find this guy. The phone? An automated message. "Press 1 for our sales department." Yeah, right! "Press 2 for support." What's that? "Press 3 for billing." Like that's gonna happen. It's all the same, dude! I know it's just you!


Monday, October 05, 2009

To-Do List Update: Monday Edition

  • make soap
  • make sugar scrub -- CHECK
  • pack soap orders and mail--CHECK
  • make bath fizzies
  • package bath fizzies
  • make lotion
  • package lotion
  • mail lotion to the Old Capitol City Rollergirls
  • read submissions -- CHECK
  • reject submissions
  • offer contracts on accepted submissions -- CHECK
  • send submissions to editor
  • send submission back from editor to author
  • read submission again
  • publish submission
  • write submissions portal text for new website. --CHECK
  • send said text to web guy
  • finish book
  • format book
  • publish book
  • begin next book
  • make presents for christmas
  • exercise and eat right--CHECK
  • sleep once in a while
  • buy blank CD labels -- CHECK
  • buy printer ink -- CHECK
  • label CDs and mail -- CHECK
  • mail royalty checks -- CHECK
  • set up auto-payment through checking account for business credit card
Let's add:
  • work out on Tuesday afternoon
  • plan for a sub on Thursday (all-day training)
  • get lunch stuff ready for work --CHECK

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Just Say No

On Saturday, I went to a bridal shower. It was lovely. There was one very old lady there, and some other "older" ladies, and some "can't be called old yet" ladies (I suppose I'm in that category), and some "younger" ladies.

One of the younger ladies sat on the floor while the bride was opening gifts. Lo and behold (and I couldn't help but behold, it was right there), her butt crack was popping out the top of her jeans.*

I leaned over and whispered to Jeepy Girl, "I dare you to drop a pencil in there."

She replied, "I don't have a pencil. But I have a dime." Giggling ensues. We are bad shower guests, I think.

More present opening, Butt Crack repositions herself on the floor, and exposes even more of herself. I leaned over to Jeepy Girl again and said, "I dare you to offer her a 3/16 wrench so she can get some work done."

More insane giggling. Well, we were laughing, but trying to hold it in. I think that sounds like "Chhhhhhheeeeeeeeeeeeeee snort snort."

When we had regained our composure, I asked Jeepy again, "Who can sit like that and not know? Wouldn't you feel a breeze?"

She replied, "She knows. What I don't understand is who she thinks she's going to pick up here."

I said, "People do that to pick up sex partners? I am stating for the record that NOBODY wants to see that. Pull up yer damn pants." The last conversation was held in the car, as we were driving home. No, we are not quite rude enough to talk that loudly so Butt Crack could hear it.

Speaking of rude, though, Jeepy Girl told me about an interaction she had at work. She sometimes eats both her breakfast and her lunch at her desk, while working, because she needs to leave early two days per week to go to class. So, she takes her "lunch" at the end of the day when she needs to leave early. On one of these days, the woman who sits near her said, OUT LOUD,

"If I ate as much as you do each day, I'd be as big as a house."

I told her she should have spit the food in her mouth all over that beeyotch, right at that moment. But she didn't. I think she just said something noncommittal. Who can blame her? She was blindsided by the rudest comment ever. Have you ever?

*This is not Butt Crack. This was a different butt crack that I witnessed on the same day, just later on, at a roller derby bout.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

To-Do List Update: This is Pathetic

Here's the To-Do list, updated:
  • make soap
  • make sugar scrub -- CHECK
  • pack soap orders and mail--CHECK
  • make bath fizzies
  • package bath fizzies
  • make lotion
  • package lotion
  • mail lotion to the Old Capitol City Rollergirls
  • read submissions -- CHECK
  • reject submissions
  • offer contracts on accepted submissions
  • send submissions to editor
  • send submission back from editor to author
  • read submission again
  • publish submission
  • write submissions portal text for new website. --CHECK
  • send said text to web guy
  • finish book
  • format book
  • publish book
  • begin next book
  • make presents for christmas
  • exercise and eat right--CHECK
  • sleep once in a while
I got a few things done. Oh, well. Also, some of these things are ongoing. Reading and rejecting submissions is a constant thing, as is the "send the contract, send the stuff to the editor" thing. But I write everything down, otherwise I'll forget.

Let's add:

  • buy blank CD labels
  • buy printer ink
  • label CDs and mail
  • mail royalty checks
  • set up auto-payment through checking account for business credit card
This is getting ridiculous. But I do enjoy keeping my to-do list in a handy place. How do you keep a To-Do list? In your head? On your iPhone? On your computer calendar?

Friday, October 02, 2009

Denver v. Denver!

Tomorrow night, at 10pm, it's the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls vs. the Denver Roller Dolls! They have never skated against each other before! It will be a fight to the finish!

I've already got my ticket. :)

Derby Weekend!

I love roller derby! I love it like some folks love football. I love it so much, I am an official sponsor of the Rocky Mountain Rollergirls. 300 samples of lotion that I made went into the gift bags for this weekend's Western Regionals tournament: Rocky Mountain Rollergirl Rink Rash Eradicator. Hee!

Being an official sponsor makes me so proud! I am working with their sponsorship coordinator to figure out some sort of package for the next season. This is very exciting for me. Yes, I like the local advertising, but it is also something that could turn bigger. Could I be the official lotion crafter for the Women's Flat Track Derby Association? I have already been approached by the Old Capitol City Rollergirls in Iowa City for gift bags at the end of October. (I'm from Iowa, and went to the University of Iowa, and my friend Suke is on the team. Quantum Bombshell is her name.) Maybe the rollergirls that are bouting this weekend here in Denver will love the stuff so much, they'll approach me to make it for their teams.


Thursday, October 01, 2009

To Do List In My Head

  • make soap
  • make sugar scrub
  • pack soap orders and mail
  • make bath fizzies
  • package bath fizzies
  • make lotion
  • package lotion
  • mail lotion to the Old Capitol City Rollergirls
  • read submissions
  • reject submissions
  • offer contracts on accepted submissions
  • send submissions to editor
  • send submission back from editor to author
  • read submission again
  • publish submission
  • write submissions portal text for new website.
  • send said text to web guy
  • finish book
  • format book
  • publish book
  • begin next book
  • make presents for christmas
  • exercise and eat right
  • sleep once in a while
You'll forgive me if I forgot to call. Or email. Or forgot your name.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Craft Tutorials: Lemme Have It

Some of you may know that I am an author. I am also a publisher, and I have a new, exciting project. As such, I am beginning a highly-targeted search for authors. Can you help me?

I need to know who you think writes the best photographed craft tutorials. I have seen a lot, and I'm constantly looking for more. Do you read a blog that regularly shows you how to make things? It can be anything, even including cooking. It must be well-written, witty is nice, and have great photos.

Please leave a link for your favorite craft tutorial blogs in the comments. I appreciate your help! More info to come on the publishing project. It's going to be huge!

NaBloWriMo is ON.

It's that time again. I wanted to wuss out, but that's not happening. I think it's fun, and so I'm doing it again.

I am running NaBloWriMo. Again.

Please feel free to spread the word. Go to the blog and join up! You'll be glad you did.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Saturday Style Maniac

As promised from yesterday, today's post is filled with the wicked style of Sam Robinson. She is the organizer of Gifts for Yule, which is coming up in mid-November here in Denver. This is the one big craft show that I do every year, and it is excellent. There is a reason for its excellence: Sam's Style.

Everyone who has ever been a vendor at a craft fair, take note. The photos here are of the vendor application for this event. Look up above, and see the whole package that arrived. First of all, how fun is it to receive a package like that in the mail? Very! Everything is all email nowadays, right? I long, like an old coot, for the days of yore when people would write letters. I do write letters now and then. But Sam? Sam takes letter-writing to the next level.

Well, this isn't really a letter--it's business correspondence, remember? Sam's application feels ultra-special. I wonder what the show will be like, hmmm?? Let's have a look at this piece of mail. Up above, please note the stamp on the brown kraft paper. She could have handwritten my name on there, and that would have felt special. But no! There's a lovely stamp to frame the address. Let us open the plastic cover, and see what we find:

A manila envelope, out of which peeks some fancy paper. Okay--I'll grab the paper.

Wow, it is fancy. And thick. What's that thing up on the top? Is it made of wood?

It is. It's an old-timey clip of some sort. Made of bamboo, perhaps? I have no idea. I'm just excited to open this package. The layers and layers of stuff make it feel like a present.

Folding back the fancy paper, we can now see what it is. Vintage wallpaper! How much do you want to bet every vendor got a different piece of wallpaper?

And we finally get to the actual application. I don't know what's going on with the color saturation here, so please ignore that. Look closely and you will see that this is printed out on old-school yellow legal paper. Have a closer look:

See the green lines?

Remember, folks, this is just the vendor application. If you are thinking, "Dang. I want to just attend that show. Forget vending. I bet that show is incredible," then you would be right. And if I ever become independently wealthy, I will attend the show instead of working at it. Feel free to use the information in the photo above to mark your calendars. This show is so worth it. Free admission, super vendors, great food, incredible location. See you there!

Friday, September 04, 2009

Coming Soon: How to Send a Mailing

I took photos last night of the vendor application for Gifts for Yule, the one big craft fair I do every fall. I thought I would show just how stylish these apps are. The organizer of Gifts for Yule, Sam Robinson, is a stlye maniac. She's awesome.

More to come, when I get home.

Friday, August 21, 2009

August 18th.

What the honk happened? Will someone please let me know who linked to my blog? I'm so happy so many of you came to visit a couple of days ago. I cannot find out why!

Can someone tell me how to figure out on Sitemeter where the link happened?

I'm just stunned. Thanks so much for visiting, and I hope it was fun for you. If you came for the peach cobbler, I don't blame you one bit.

School is back in session, and as such, my blogging has slowed down considerably, as you may have noticed. Hopefully this weekend I can find some time to download photos of the garden, the cutie, and various other pursuits.

Happy back to school time!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Peach Cobbler

Peach cobbler may be my all-time favorite food. It is perfect for all meals, tastes great when it is hot, warm, or cold, and is so easy to make, it's a great starter dish for those of you who think you aren't any good at baking.

Make this, and you will change your own mind.

4 cups ripe peaches [about 6 peaches] (buy the bruisy ones at the farmer's market for cheap!)
1 T. cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 t. cinnamon
1 t. fresh lemon juice

Wash and cut up the peaches. If they are mushy, just rip them off the stone--no worries. Mix with the cornstarch, sugar, and cinnamon in a pan and cook it on medium-high until it boils. Boil it for one minute, and put it in a 9x9 pan.

While waiting for the peaches to boil, throw together the biscuit topping:

3 T. butter
1 c. flour
1/2 T. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 T. sugar
1/2 cup milk

If you have a food processor, now is the time to use it. Throw in all the dry ingredients, and pulse them. Add the butter, and pulse until it's like crumbs. Add the milk, pulse pulse pulse. 30 seconds to biscuits.

If you have a pastry blender from your grandma (like me!), just mix the dry stuff with your hand, cut in the butter with the blender until it's like crumbs, add the milk and stir it around with a fork.

The biscuit topping will look ragged and will be sticky. This is good. Plop it on the peaches, trying to space it evenly. Do your best, but don't freak out about it. This is a rustic dish.

Bake at 400 degrees F. for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.

You're welcome.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Rocky Mountain Rollergirls: Tryouts

I am not fit enough yet, nor have I been practicing my skating. But I bet you wanna try out, don't you? Don't you?

You know you do.

Send an email, and they'll let you know the lowdown.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Crafty McGee

Remember a while ago when I said I wanted to make flags for my farmer's market tent? Yeah, I made 'em. July 4 was a cold, rainy day, so I sat at the table and made 30+ feet of flag bunting. It's a fun project!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009


Today, my article was published in Saponifier magazine. Whee! They are also interested in having me write for their next issue, too. Whee! Whee!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Swirly McGee

I made soap on Monday. This swirl seems to have turned out particularly well.