Nuts and Bolts

Am I a hobby or business? Current state versus future state? Coming up with a name for my crafts was apparently the easy part and that took months.  For me right now, the goal of odds & hens is to keep my crafting fun, share it with people who appreciate it and to begin to challenge and grow my skills in a new area (or two).

Guiding principles * be open to inspiration in the world .. * .. but true to my roots * and fail forward.

With that, what is the first step to taking your crafts to the next level?

1) Google for days on end…. 2) Realize Googling, while delivers tons of info, is probably just creating more confusion and then 3) starting over again, a little bit more systematically, and focusing on city, state and fed resources.

  1. Business vs. Hobby
    1. Today Still keeping my day job, so time on craft < job [=hobby] but time thinking about crafts…..
    2. P & L: a million dollars (use dr. evil voice) or shooting for not being upside down and making some money. Low upfront overhead.
      1. Biggest challenge – charging a fair price
    3. Main intent (see goals above) is not to quit my day job at this time (I like my day job) but also to be open to the world and opps around me.
    4. Skillz: I have never run a business but my husband has, I work for one, tooks some classes, looked it up on wikipedia and am a consumer of the goods I sell (takes one to know one); so yeah, I think I got.

    So where does that put me on the scale closer to business but still a tad hobbyish, about about microbusiness with big plans. Kinda of a scary transition.

  2. Too legit
    1. Write up an actual, formal business plan (short and long-term, renew)
      1. Describe the scope of my craft portfolio, tangible and services (teaching)
      2. Include charitable giving component (note to self)
      3. Revenue sources: goods sold, consulting/custom, advertising, blogging
    2. Formulate my book keeping strategy.  (Prelim – use Outright, pretty monthly expanding file folder and spreadsheet to set up my GL and expense sheets)
    3. Establish my ING account and Capital Once card for all things biz, eventually open new accounts
    4. Get permits, licenses
    5. Throw a mileage notebook in the glove box for starting, ending mileage and memo
    6. Marketing strategy (social media, print, WOM, business cards, logo)

    Off to do some work! I will continue to share my learnings and experiences.

Etiquette Roulette

A few weeks ago on a Goodwill treasure hunt, I scored two gems – 1982 Miss Manners and 1952 Amy Vanderbilt Book of Etiquette. a random flip of the pages revealed a good chuckle, another a sigh of relief that some such graces have been relaxed and a small gag when I witnessed the anti-etiquette going on around me. Seriously people.

I will at random and provoked times share some life lessons.

Salt ( unprovoked but funny, who hasn’t experienced #3 both giving and receiving)
I happen to have a sizable collection of salt and pepper shakers, from Kwanza Claus, Dog and Hydrant, Pickle and beyond. My collection began after a seeming innocent comment about how excited my Grandparents got over a gift of salt and pepper shakers and may I never …. The rest is history. And so a new collection of posts begins.

Once you know where and how to pass. Here is how to dispense it onto your food. Amy appears to be silent on the issue of my favorite “salt & peeper” shaker.


Stay tuned for more on my expansive salt shaker collection

Reach & Read: We the Animals

We the Animals (J Torres) – Airport intrigue purchase. Composing this review took me longer than actually reading the book, my flight was longer too. Why? Well it is short, first 8 pages are more glowing reviews and comments (really.) and it is written in a run-on sentence, stream on conscious way that pulls you in and through. Can’t say I enjoyed it because it is not a Leave it To Beaver feel good story and it left me feeling admittedly distraught, but it is well written.  Compact hodge-podge red-table wine. Recommend decanting (for a long time) and beware it will stain your teeth.

Reach & Read: Broken for You and On Walden Pond

Broken for You (S. Kallos): Combines some of my fave things – Holocaust stories, crafts, upcycling, Seattle, cowboys, metaphors, importance of family & reminds that it’s never too late. Intricate story with wonderfully developed characters; each of their stories woven into a great read with no loose ends. Con – if f-bomb offends you, it is used (purposefully). If this was a wine: Sharp and crisp with a long finish. Pairs well w/Earl Grey in your favorite tea cup.

On Walden Pond (Thoreau) – One would think this was penned today by a gluten free, off-the-grid vegan yuppie living in a teardrop. (Note: yes, sarcastic, but that’s the “hook”) but what was fetching were the powerfully parallel concepts, social issues & personal discoveries between 1850s & 2000s. Other than the veggie part (i like meat) Thoreau offers wonderful insight, provided intentions for yoga practice & affirmed why I enjoy homesteading & handmade hobbies. Complex yet comforting, like bacon wrapped bleu cheese dates.

And so it begins ….

Every day I aim to learn something new, which invariably happens, given the wonderful people I have in my life: friends, family, co-workers, news anchors, cycle/yoga teachers and strangers (ok, some of them). My goal of blogging is a three legged stool. 1) learn and explore myself and the world around 2) entertain and (maybe) enlighten those around me and 3) experiment within this series of tubes, called the internets. Obvisouly, it is totally voluntary for all parties, but I hope people enjoy sharing in aliquots of my life . Staying true to myself  – I plan to focus on my hobbies (crafting, quilting, reading, beekeeping, Pintrest), my family (one-eyed dog, city chickens, hubbie and clan), my professional life (but not very much) and of course, the random stuff that happens to me.  Topic potluck, but that is who I am.