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Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Press Release

Today's post is a more business-oriented one because, now that my cold is almost gone, my head is ready to get back into my grand plans for 2012.  And, I got an email today from the SmartBrief folks with a link to a free guide on writing online press releases by the PRWeb service (they do ask you to register in order to download the guide, but I haven't felt inundated by them in the past).  I've been using for my news releases (all two of them!) because it's pretty easy to use, but it's worth checking into a number of sources before picking one or two to use.  I'd suggest first doing some research about the services that are recommended for the field in which you work.  Each service has a different emphasis, but the big ones like PRWeb and PRLog seem to cover all the range of topics.  It's a great way to get some added exposure among sources that you might not otherwise have thought of or have access to.  So far, I've just used it to announce publication of my 101 Crochet Tips Kindle book and a giveaway of a copy of the Crocheter's Design Companion.  I'm thinking, though, that it could be a great way to update on Princess Maple Leaf :-)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Why Shear Before Lambing

The box of sheep fleece is still sitting in the dining room.  I did take the step of emailing the store nearby who teaches spinning but haven't yet heard back (I probably ended up in spam), so I've gotta follow up on that.  But, just as I was wondering why I got this fleece in February, I got a letter from Caroline Owens explaining why their farm operation shears in January:

1.  The wool is stronger now than in late pregnancy due to the nutritional demands of the growing lambs.
2.  The wool is cleaner because the little lambs haven't been trying to climb on mom.
3.  It's easier to tell when the sheep is near to lambing time if her wool is trimmed close.
4.  The lamb can feed more easily when he can find the udder, not hidden by a bunch of wool.
5.  A shorn ewe is more likely to seek shelter in the barn when she's ready to lamb rather than stay out in bad weather.
6.  Winter shearing does help the family spread out the work load and helps the sheep avoid suffering in an early heat wave.

So, now we know!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Pinterest Mania!

So, I had heard about Pinterest months ago, but said "oh, another service to join?!  just can't do it."  Well, I have discovered the error of my ways --  I am "PhyllisofMCG" so come follow me!  They make it very easy to "pin" items to your site and organize them.  It's funny that I resisted for so long, when I'm the one who has an actual cork board hanging above my desk! 

But, looking at it as a small business owner, I didn't want to just sign up for yet another service that I wasn't going to use.  It's important to assess all of the services you belong to and to either utilize them or bow out.  I know it's a struggle to want to maintain a presence on all of these potentially business enhancing tools, but if you're not able to really keep up with them, your presence isn't going to have that much of an impact (or potentially in a negative way).  So, go check out Pinterest and see if it's right for you, but also take this opportunity to see what other services you should be phasing out.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hearts Abound!

Happy Valentine's everyone!  Hope you're embracing the pink and red today.  For some last minute decorations, please enjoy my Simple Heart pattern from Ravelry.

I love all the projects that these hearts have inspired -- potpourri-filled hearts, coasters, and even the cover of a Valentine's card!

Have a happy day!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Adopt-a-Sheep Update!

Well, now that I'm getting over my cold, hopefully I can get back on a roll again, but I do worry that things come in threes, so I might get derailed one more time!

But, the good news is, I got a big box in the mail the other day, and guess what was in it!  Sheep fleece (or I guess that's what it's called :-)

I can't wait to figure out what to do with it!  There's another yarn shop in the area, The Yarn Spot, that also has spinning classes, so I'd better get to figuring out what to do (or break down and pay someone to do it for me ;-)  Our Name-the-Sheep contest winner will be getting her share soon too.

Ok, back to the Nyquil!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Saturday and Sunday Mornings

There are just some very sacred things in this world, and Saturday and Sunday mornings are it for me!  I get a chance to get up before my husband, make some chai, read the paper, watch the Top 20 videos on VH1 on Saturdays and This Week with George Stephanopolis on Sundays, and reflect on what happened last week and what's coming up the next week.  Even though I've never thought of myself as a morning person, I do find that I have more energy in the mornings to take care of more physical things, like cleaning the kitchen, putting in a load or two of laundry, etc.  So, I try to take advantage of those bursts of energy in the morning. 

Maybe it's because I've been juicing in the mornings.  I dusted off my juicing machine (the Juiceman Juicer) in the new year and started juicing whatever fruits and veggies I could get my hands on!  This morning I juiced:

4 carrots
1 cucumber
1 yellow pepper
3 stalks of celery
1 tomato
half a jalepeno pepper (deseeded)

Not one of my tastier blends, but seems to have done the trick in just jump starting me this morning.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


I'm sure everyone's experienced that period in their lives when you're on a roll, you're getting stuff done, you've got a plan, and, pow, it's all derailed.  Thankfully, it wasn't due to a bad event -- I just got stuck on jury duty (again).  All last week and Monday and Tuesday morning of this week.  It was an interesting case, but I am now so behind at work and on my projects :-(  The bright spot was the beginners' crochet class that I gave last Wednesday night -- 6 wonderful students who were really picking things up quickly!

Oh, well, enough with the moaning and groaning, I just gotta get back on a roll (rather than playing Tetris on my iPad!!)  So, give me a few days, and I hope to have some new items to post.

PS  Caroline Owens tells me that Princess' fleece is on its way to me!!