Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thanksgiving Pies

Last night I had a dream that my little sister Liz had been using my stash of unsalted butter. Do you remember my butter stash in the basement mini fridge next to my Dad's beer?

I don't remember the specifics of the dream, but I remember thinking afterward that this would be a good start to a movie about my life. It left me wondering if the situation in the dream had actually happened in real life... who would be in the wrong? Yes, butter is readily available at the store, but I got that butter ON SALE, and butter is actually kind of expensive if you're buying enough for 25 pie crusts. Plus I stashed it in the basement fridge, away from everything else for a very clear reason. On the other hand, do I really want to fight about butter? My life is a constant struggle over what to worry about and not worry about. Sometimes I exhaust myself. Yes, we are still talking about a dream.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Lessons in Etsy Sales

I learned a lot of lessons last week about selling on Etsy. One of those lessons is: don't sell things that don't exist. It's pretty clear that you don't want to be deceitful about your listings, and obviously if you're selling an item, make sure you have the item. In my case I had the item, but only theoretically. I had all the supplies to make 10 gift bags, but for the listing I had only painted one pre-made craft paper gift bag that I got at the store.

It was actually a very nice holiday pattern. Here's the main photo from the Etsy listing:

Thanks, I like it too.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Blog History

I have to tell you something.

It's not a big deal, but since we've been together for a little while now, I thought you should know.

This isn't my first blog.

It's not even my second or third blog.

This is actually my fourth blog.

Wow, it feels good to get that off my chest.

So anyway, I'm telling you this because I want you to know that there's something that all those other blogs had in common. None of them were really that successful. And when I say successful, I'm not talking about the number of subscribers or viewers they brought in. What I mean is, they didn't do for me what I always thought a blog should do. They weren't fun to write. They never supported who I was. They didn't say what I wanted them to say. We were always running out of things to talk about. That's why what you and I have is so special. This is my fourth time around, and I think I'm finally doing something right.

Really? You're sure you want to know the details of the other blogs that came before? I don't know... that should probably stay in the past.

Alright, alright, but once I tell you about them, you can't un-hear it, so you'd better be sure.

It all started with my first blog. I'd like to say it was a magical first time, but it wasn't. It was short lived, and to be completely honest, I can't even remember it's name. I know, tragic. It was a blog on WeightWatchers.com where I thought I would chronicle my experiences in weight loss. Journaling has always been something that helped me cope with things, so I thought I could apply it to a weight loss blog. The problem was, trying to lose weight is a lot of work. I was learning so much about various lifestyle options, and working very hard to make those changes. Losing weight was exhausting, so at the end of the day, writing about it was the last thing I wanted to do.

Next there was another healthy lifestyle/weight loss blog. This one was on blogger and I actually, sort of, remember it's name. It believe it was called "Weight Loss and Marathons." It was a boring-ass title with an even more boring topic... running. I have decided to become a runner about 10 times in my life and this was probably the 5th time. (I am an actual runner now. No blog necessary.) So while I loved what running did for me, I actually hated running. Still do. I know you know this. You know me so well. That's why I love you.

Lastly I had an art blog. I'm actually still in contact with this blog. It said "we should be friends," and I was like, "Ok, sure. We can try." We had a lot in common. The problem was I always thought I had to post only perfect posts in the art blog. I couldn't really be myself. I tried really hard. One time I posted a poll and two, actual people responded to it. The poll was about as candid as I thought I could get. I was sharing this blog with a lot of other art professionals (who weren't reading) and I wanted it to come off like I was a professional too. I guess I wanted to come off like a lot of things. Looking back I probably could have done a lot of things differently. I could have done a lot of the things I'm doing now, actually. I probably still could. Don't get me wrong. I am SO glad it's me and you now and not me and the stuffy art blog. I'm serious. If you don't believe me check for yourself. Last time I wrote in the art blog I actually told it about you and how we were starting to get serious.

So that's my blog history. It's not that exciting, but the important thing is: what I have now is better than any blog experience I've ever had. You're the best blog-thing that's ever happened to me. I have, for the most part, found my voice. I don't feel judged by an imperfect project, rocky tutorial, or whatever level of mundane I can reach in a particular day. I feel excited to share with you the nearly failed projects that end up better than I had originally planned. I love to take you out and show you off to all my friends. I think one of the reasons we have been so successful is because this time around I have no perceived limits. This is a lifestyle blog. Not an art blog only, or a running blog only, or a weight loss blog only, or any other category only. With you, the category is "anything," and that works because I am a hobbyist - a person whose hobby is "hobbies," and I can't be tied down by just one.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Pie 03 - Triple Chocolate Pumpkin PIe

Last night I made pie number three from the 25 Perfect Pie challenge I committed to a little over a month ago. In case you are lazy or busy and haven't read back that far, the goal is to make 25 pies this year in the hopes of becoming an expert pie maker and to add some impressive, go-to desserts to my repertoire.

Here are the preliminary results of the Triple Chocolate Pumpkin Pie:

Six out of six people who tried this pie either liked it or loved it. This is a big improvement from the last pie, the Honey Pie, which four out of five people disliked or strongly disliked, and one out of five definitely lied about liking it.