The Four Graveyards and a Wedding Road Trip: Marvin’s Mountaintop

This will really just be a post with pictures. On Friday morning we got up and went to see Sharon’s brother’s paintball location (Preston County Paintball) and when we got out of the car, Hank came up to me – he’d gotten there earlier – and said, “girl, you got your camera ready? I’ve got a once in a lifetime opportunity for you.” We walked through the field and found…

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The Four Graveyards and a Wedding Road Trip; Tamarack and a bonus yarn store

When last we left our intrepid heroines, we had just finished lunch at the most amazing little Italian place we found on the Googles. I’d been having trouble with my socks, not liking any of the patterns I’d brought with me, and Sharon casually said, “maybe there’s a yarn store around here… why don’t you check Google?” and the next thing you know we’re taking a u-turn and going back into the small downtown area to find a yarn store that was less than two miles away! I love us! Sadly, the yarn store had been turned into some sort of kitschy boutique, and not our kind of kitschy, either. We walked around politely and then got in her car and sighed deeply.

But! All was not lost! Because the Googles also said there was another yarn store about an hour or so down the road – just over the border into Virginia – so we decided to take a quick, ten-minute-off-the-highway detour, and MAN were we ever rewarded! If you find yourself in or near Wythe, Virginia, stop in at Wythe Yarn and Gifts and give them a little looksee. They were absolutely lovely, everyone was very friendly, and not only did they have a great selection of yarn but I found a book with a good pattern in it – score!

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My weather is worse than yours is.

This post is brought to you by the fact that anything below 61 or over 86 and I become a raving, angry crankpot who can’t hold a thought in her head for more than about two seconds.

I do not for the life of me understand people who, when you say about your own location that it is unbearably hot, or hypothermia-inducing cold, or that you’re considering building an ark because of all the rain you’ve gotten… that their response is “that’s nothing, my weather is so much worse!”. Respectfully… or rather, not respectfully at all, go fuck yourself. My bad weather does not detract in any way from your bad weather. It’s not like only one person is allowed to have bad weather at a time, there is enough sympathy in the world for people to feel sorry for both of us – or even for us to feel sorry for each other. Bad weather isn’t a contest that one of us needs to win.

A correct response is something like “wow, we don’t get snow down here, I can’t imagine what it’s like to be snowed in!” or “I’m so jealous of your heat and sunshine, all we’ve gotten for weeks is rain” or “gah, I feel ya, it’s been that hot here lately.” WHY IS THAT SO FRELLING TOUGH? Gah. Just be excellent to each other. Why is that so hard?

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Newsletters. I just don’t get ’em.

Small business owner rant ahead:

Even though I don’t know a single human being who likes to get newsletters, I am constantly shouted at by business advisers to work that email list, gurl! WERK IT!!!! So I spent two hours yesterday, Sunday, a day when I could have been not doing jack shit, or throwing ceramics, or knitting, or reading… I spent two hours working on a newsletter.

My stats today look really good — Industry average for Arts & Artists is a 23% open rate, and I have a 30% open rate on this email and overall, a 44% open rate based on my newsletter history. Industry average for clicks is just under 3% (I shit you not, 2.9%!) and I have a click rate of 8% on this email and 15% overall.

But all I can focus on are the six people who have unsubscribed in the last 16 hours since I sent the newsletter out. Part of me is wondering… what did I do wrong? Was it my personal introduction? Was it my writing? I mean, I didn’t even drop a SINGLE F-bomb! I didn’t even put in a selfie of me in my new “Knit one, fuck you” t-shirt! Why are people unsubscribing? It’s an opt-in email, I don’t just randomly send it, you have to tell me you want it! Do you all suddenly not like ceramics, soap, and yarn? Do I smell bad? Is it my hair? I know my hair is crazy! You heard me thinking the f-bomb, didn’t you. Gah!

But part of me is all, jeeeeeez, I get it. If I hadn’t written the damn thing I wouldn’t have even opened it either. I hate newsletters, and delete most of them unopened — unless, like me, it is written by a small one-person business.

So, why does everyone who has business advice tell me that newsletters are the end-all be-all of business existence? That confetti will drop from the sky, my adult acne will clear up, and people will throw bags of money at me if I send out emails monthly! Better yet, weekly! ONCE A WEEK! INBOX THAT SHIT!

Sigh. My head hurts and I am cranky. Perhaps some ice cream might be in order with my lunch. For my lunch.

March Meet the Maker (days 21-31)

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Here’s the last of the Instagram challenge that I was doing last month, and can I just say that I really, REALLY loved doing it! I enjoyed meeting so many like-minded Makers and getting a peek at what makes people work and how they do it. Now here’s the rest of mine (I did skip one — Day 27, Routine. Because my routine was so out of whack last week. How hilarious is that?!).

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March Meet the Maker (days 1-10)

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During the month of March (coming soon … “Three Things I Would Have Blogged About in March if I’d Had the Time”) I did an Instagram challenge about meeting the person behind the business. I’ve crossposted these already on my work blog but thought some of you who don’t read that might still really like this challenge.

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