Archive for the ‘Shop’ Category

Yup, another several month period with no posts. I’m sorry. No, there hasn’t been any major upheaval or tragedy keeping me from posting, just a combination of business and poor organization.  It started with a long term temp assignment which meant less free time.  Then there were several business ventures which have required a (simultaneous) investment of time.

That temp assignment is done, but the next long term one will be starting in a few days.  The hours of this one are a bit different, and I think they’ll be easier to post around (though other commitments might suffer).

So, the business stuff.

  1.  I’ve started a new Etsy shop in collaboration with a couple of friends.  I’m pretty happyCat.A.List Crafts
    with the way this is going so far (though we don’t yet have a formal written agreement in place).  The shop is Cat.A.List Crafts. I have three partners, and a lot of support. We’ve got a bit less than two dozen items listed, and a shop-blog with a weekly posting schedule. That one will focus on crafts, cats and fandom (so, yes, it might be ‘stealing’ some posts which would otherwise be here).   So far I’ve written the majority of the blog posts, and done the shop maintenance.  One of my partners has done the majority of the manufacturing, as well as the graphic design.  Another has taken over the finances.  The final partner has had some technical issues, but his creations are going to be gorgeous.
  2. Atomic TriviaSteve has started his own Pub Trivia business,  Atomic Trivia.  I’ve been helping with the social media presence and community calendars and doing a little research for spiffs.  No, this hasn’t been nearly as much of a time commitment on my part, but it is still a regular one.
  3.  Steve also has a computer start-up,  Atlantic-Computing Services.   I’ve done a lot of work on this one.  Web page design and SEO, database implementation.Atlantic Computing Services  Coming up with an accounting and billing solution (we’re not going to invest in actual accounting software until we have enough customers to justify it).  The programming on this one has been a bit of a stretch.  It’s convinced me to consider getting certifications in HTML and CSS, as well as to start learning JavaScript.
  4. We’re working on bringing back the Secret Frequency podcast.  It’s been YEARS since we’ve done this and, searching the archive here, about the only time I’ve mentioned it in the blog has been when I’ve discussed the Secret Frequency scarf.

In addition, Abby comes home from Senegal next week!  I’ve knit a sweater to bring to the airport (along with a heave jacket).  I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am at the homecoming.


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Calling it

Still Not Dead

Once again, there has been a spell of not posting that stretched to months (after I told myself I’d post once or twice a week).  My apologies to anyone who was concerned about my health and well being.  This was simply a case of ‘life gets in the way’.

Changes Have Come

My part time gone has evaporated.  The company I worked for (Cosi) has decided to close the location I worked in.  This is a serious disappointment.

My Mother-in-Law and I have really stopped working on the Etsy store.  This is a bit sad but really not a surprise.  We had very different ideas about what we wanted to do with the store, and how to manage being in business together.  It pretty much withered away from neglect.

Changes in the Future

So right now I’m looking for another job.  I’d accept another part time and/or retail gig as long as it was very close (preferably within walking distance), but I really need a full time position which pays a ‘grown up’ salary.  I’m concentrating in administration and customer service positions, but if anyone knows of a job in the Baltimore-Washington corridor which might be hiring and which I might be qualified for, please let me know.

I’ve also been thinking about why the Etsy shop didn’t work.  I was concerned about potential problems from the beginning, and I didn’t fully commit.  If I had the right partner (or partners), it would be easier to get behind it.  At least someone who has the organizational skills I am weak in and who sees the value in a written agreement.

So that’s what I’m musing about.  Next post should come soon, and will be more in the ‘what I’ve been knitting’ line.  There’s some good stuff.

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A Blog Post about Posting in Blogs

Well, the shop is expanding to take on more of my online time.  Not ‘expanding’, as in actually getting much traffic or generating any income (yet) but it has spawned Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter accounts, as well as an actual Menagerie Imagery blog*.  I’ve got plans to start a Facebook Fan page. All of which means I’m going to have to change the way I run this blog.

I’m definitely still going to be posting here. I have a draft which I’ve been writing, a little bit at a time, for a couple of days now. I’ve got Ravelry WIPS and FOs to post about.  I’ve got all kinds of stories and ideas for posts.

Some of these post ideas are things I think would be of interest to my hypothetial Etsy customer (have you met my hypothetical Etsy customer?  Her name is Bettie, she likes jewelry and crafting and enjoys things which are cute, but not too saccharine cute).  I’m supposed to build a picture of Bettie and come up with content which will be of interest and/or use to her.  This part is almost too easy – between gaming and writing I have a lot of experience in inventing people, it would take very little time to get to know Bettie very well, well enough that we wouldn’t have to worry about TMI.  At the same time, I’d like to have actual customers, you know, real people who wouldn’t necessarily be interested in all the details of my life.

If I talk about having a low-spoons day here (because of migraines or depression) that’s one thing, but if I do it while wearing my ‘merchant’ hat, it might be something else.  Admittedly, if I’d done the shop solo I would have probably just named it Eyebehold and used this as the shop blog, but this is definitely my space, and for various reasons (good or not) the shop is a joint venture with Jan, and deserves to be it’s own thing. On the other hand, the post about the earbuds (which has just gone up on the shop blog) or the cute story about the tea (which is coming soon) are things I would like to share with everyone, but I think are particularly relevant to Hypothetical Bettie.

The immediate solution has been to link the RSS feed in the sidebar here, so anything I post in the other blog will be easily accessible to you (though you’re still very much welcome to subscribe to both blogs).   I’m starting with the model that posts which are (at least) tangentially related to the shop will go there, everything else will go here.

But what about the blog contest and giveaway links?  I don’t know that anyone here is particularly attached to them, and they might be of some interest to Hypothetical Bettie.  I’m thinking of posting them there instead of here…

I’m definitely still going around and around about how this is all going to shake out.  I’d love to hear your opinions on how I should break this thing down, so please do comment with your thoughts and suggestions.

* Links to all those accounts are available from the sidebar of that same blog. Convenient, no?

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A very strange thing happened yesterday. Steve and I were stopped at a light, just talking.  The light cycled and the car in front of us did not move.  Steve honked, but the car still didn’t move.  The cycle completed, I got out of the car and tapped on his window, with visions of having to call 911 dancing before my eyes.  The poor driver was just slumped in his seat, face up, eyes closed.  I rapped very hard on the window and he jerked upright…  He had fallen asleep during the red light!  He said that he was all right, and drove off after the light turned green again.  He did take the next turn after the light, which was an apartment complex, so that turned out well.  Still it kind of freaked me out.


The last time I saw my camera accessory pouch, the one with the cable, battery charger and tripod, was when I uploaded the pictures of our items at the Mother-in-Law’s house on Thursday.  I’ve promised myself I’ll take more pictures on Tuesday, and she has a digital camera.  Failing that I can use my iPhone.  One way or another there will be a shop update this coming week, otherwise I feel as though I haven’t given it a real try.  So far there’s been a few hits, and a favorite of the beaded earrings…

Anna (Czech Beads Exclusive) has shown her appreciation.  Jan and I will definitely be checking out her stuff.

Finished Object

have been knitting even while on my blog hiatus. Also spinning.  I’ve been doing pretty well with it, actually.

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First I spun the mystery fiber which came with my beautiful Geode spindle, which came out that weird and wonderful ‘first spinning’ weight.  Then I managed some worsted weight out of jacob and alpaca.  Then I got a turkish spindle from Turtle Made and spun about 100 yards of fingering weight.  I also played a little bit with my gorgeous phang from Tinas Angoras and came up with a dramatic finnsheep angora mix.

And now I have a wonderful, very funky, homespun hat.

Homespun Hat blocking



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Since Last I Posted

The Sky Fell

…and I fell off the Internet

but things have been happening, and instead of trying to catch up on everything, I’m going to jump in with

The BIG News

I’ve opened an Etsy shop with my Mother-in-Law.

Beginning slowly, because I really don’t want to overcommit.  So far we’ve just got a few things up there (on purpose).  I have some concerns over my spoon level, and hers, and the general going into business with relatives thing.  I’m trying to keep my hopes high and expectations low, but I’m really pleased with the start.





Eventually I may start a separate shop blog, but for now I’ll just try to give updates here.  I’m most excited about the recycled stitch markers (made from earbud cording). The two of us have decided to make a lot of different
stuff and see what gets the best response, but we’re both thinking upcycled and recycled* materials will play a big part. I’m going to be playing around with the idea of making string bags with handles of printer spools, because otherwise they tend to cut into my hands, but those will take a while. I plan to make the next shop update next week.

Blog Contests and Giveaways

The Brother Chicory CD giveaway  still hasn’t reached 50 likes, so no winner there. I won the Michelle’s Assortment pattern giveaway (and you should totally check out her designs!)  No other wins.

I’ve entered the February/March Expression Fiber Arts giveaway (15 March).

* Can anybody explain the difference, or does ‘upcycled’ just mean ‘this is cool’?

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