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Monday, June 27, 2011

Harvest Time

Well, I'm probably jumping the gun, but I've got one cucumber that's ready for munching!

Mmmm, mmmm, I'm so excited, I hope it's tasty.  I learned that, if your cucumbers or the leaves are looking a little yellow, it probably means that they need some fertilizer with nitrogen in it and more water.  I've been religiously watering them, sometimes even twice a day, but trying not to overwater.  Now, I feel like this one is ripe and formed enough to harvest because the other little buds aren't doing anything -- I'm hoping getting this guy off the vine will let the water and nutrients get to the others.

Whew, this farming stuff is tough ;-)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Go Nuts!!

Even though lots of health experts have been saying for a while now that it's good to eat a handful of walnuts, almonds, or other nuts each day, a Harvard study has found that nuts (and yogurt) actually help take and keep weight off!  One of my favorite mid-morning or afternoon snacks (or even as dessert sometimes) is a cup of yogurt with blueberries and walnuts or with strawberries and almonds, maybe with a little drizzle of honey.  There were expressions of surprise that yogurt helps with weight loss, but I would think that anything that helps the stomach work better, especially with all those active cultures, would be great for health and weight maintenance.

I've been going nuts in other ways too -- I've decided to KNIT a sweater!!  I've always had a block about knitting -- even though I know how to knit and purl, I have never really been able to get a project started because I hate to cast on.  Recently, though, I learned the knitted cast on, and I think it's going to change my life.  Plus, I saw the cutest sweater in Looped the other day, and I really want it!  Now, I think this little project is going to have to wait til July since I've got a few other projects to finish up, but I will keep posting...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Million Compliments and No Sales

That's the comment I got from a crocheter recently on my Lifetips site in response to a tip on how to price your crocheted goods (a rough starting point: calculate the cost of the materials you used and multiply by three).  She said she never knew how to price her items and that she gets a million compliments but very few buyers.  Pricing is such a tricky part of running a crafts business.  We all know that the love and labor that go into making items is incalculable and that the cost of materials alone often doesn't really capture the value of the finished product. But, the "problem" is how much are others charging?!  If you are creating something really unique, then you get to set the standard, but the rest of us really do have to take into account the prices of comparable goods (I know, how can something else compare to what you are making, but buyers don't necessarily think that way).  I vaguely remember from econ class that there is this phenomenon called "Giffen goods", where the more you charge, the more demand grows!  Suffice to say, especially these days, that's a rare phenomenon. 

So, your action item for today is to do some research and see how much three successful sellers are charging for their items and see if you need to make any price adjustments to yours.  Now, I'm not necessarily suggesting that you should, as a result, drastically drop your prices (because, once dropped, it's really hard to raise them again).  Instead, first try experimenting with discounts, BOGO (buy one, get one free), gift with purchase, or other types of value-enhancing strategies.  Hope this helps those of you struggling with the right mix of products and pricing!

Sunday, June 12, 2011


Saturday was World Wide Knit in Public Day, and here in DC, it took place at the Textile Museum, which is near to Looped Yarn Works in the Dupont Circle section of town.  It was a pretty hot day, but some brave souls gathered in the garden:

while another group of us took advantage of the beautiful inside space set aside for us:

Many thanks to Lynne for the great photography!  My pitiful pictures taken with my Blackberry just weren't cutting it.  Oh, but I'm breathing a sigh of relief -- the hubby found my camera, and it is safely back in my possession :-)

Friday, June 10, 2011


Content, that's what it's really all about.  I've been doing a lot of small business reading again, and there's a lot out there about the importance of engaging in social media, having giveaways, contests, and freebies, and doing videos.  I've gotten some ideas that I probably will be trying out in the next few months, but frankly, the articles that I've appreciated the most and that made the most sense to me were the ones that emphasized the importance of building useful and interesting content.  So, when I disappear for a few days, you all know it's because I'm working on a new design or spending time at the bank trying to get my business checking account straightened out ;-) 

I have a hard time blogging when I really don't have something decent to share with you, though one of the tips that I read said to always have a pen and paper with you so that when ideas do come to mind, you can jot them down and start outlining the post so you'll be ready when you sit down at the computer -- wish I had done that this morning when I came across an article that I wanted to share, and now it's escaped me :-(  I think I might go back to having "theme days" -- certain topics that I cover on certain days.  Either that, or maybe a couple of different topics in each paragraph of a day's post.  Any thoughts?!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Rolling in the Deep

Arg, just can't get that Adele song out of my head!  Well, at least it's a good one -- I just got the CD and have been enjoying it very much.  Don't you find that music really can affect your mood, your creativity, your whole feeling for the day?!  Even though I justify being able to watch TV because I'm also crocheting, I'd really rather be listening to music when I crochet.  I've tried listening to books also, but I find that, if I get too involved in the book, I mess up on the crochet, or, if I'm too into the crochet, I miss what they're saying in the book!  I guess I'm trying to multitask, but I really think that it's best to do one thing at a time and do it well.  Even though in the short term it seems like you're saving time, in the long term you're better off because you don't have to go back and re-do stuff that didn't turn out so great when you were multitasking!

So, back to the crocheting and "rolling in the deep" :-)