RAIN, NEW STORE & STUFF

Hello all – I know, I know, I’m late with today’s posting. It’s been pretty hectic around here. I’ve been trying to pack for our move this weekend and re-work the Etsy Shop. I didn’t get to do my Pilates this morning as I had to be at my appointment with the small-business government funding lady at 9:00 am. How quickly I forgot about the morning traffic! I’m hoping I don’t have to do that again. The pounding rain didn’t help much either – so much for summer! I shouldn’t complain – at least I’m still driving through the rain and not canoeing like they are in Calgary right now. In the break between rain showers, I noticed all kinds of things blooming in my little garden bed – the roses, the lavender and chamomile. I couldn’t resist picking some of the chamomile – they are just so pretty and dainty.


And when they’re done with brightening up my, er, office, I can make them into tea!

I spent most of the morning yesterday on my Etsy Store. A new banner


What a difference it makes.

And new photos of some of the latest cushions

 

And I used my knew-found marketing knowledge to write lovely descriptions that conjure up images of relaxation, hanging out with friends and family and a general feeling of well-being that comes with having a home filled with things that make us feel comfortable and content. To read my savvy wording, follow the link below to my Etsy Shop.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/LoveThat50

Over my morning coffee at some ridiculous hour this morning, I came across an email from Etsy telling me I had ‘mail.’ And there it was – an enquiry from a potential customer asking if I could paint the ferns (the yellow and gray ones above) in different colours – rust and taupe, olive green and brown.

Well … of course I can do that! I can paint them in pink and purple if you like!

 
I might just avoid that morning commute after all! 🙂
 
My son, David, and my Partner in this little venture, has been working on a web site for a few weeks now. He says it’s almost ready to go live. Very exciting.
 
Back on Earth – my house is now a jumble of boxes and stuff. Everywhere I look there’s more stuff to pack – it seems to be everywhere! How did I accumulate all this stuff and did I use it all? I must have. Mr. LoveThat and I were quite ruthless with the decluttering. Anything we haven’t used in 6 months was tossed. A garbage run will be made at the end of the week to ensure we don’t accidentally move it to our new little cottage. This is the result of our packing frenzy. Kitchen stuff pushed underneath my ‘office’ desk so I don’t walk into it – I’m a bit of a clutz and walk into stuff a lot – I have a stubbed toe that still hurts from a week ago, and bruises in various stages of healing on my shins.
 
 
Living room and dining room (I think)

 
Kitchen cupboards looking pretty bare – don’tcha just looove the 70’s glass?

 
Serving dishes all packed away leaving the shelving empty-looking. This used to be an ugly book case that Mr. LoveThat had crammed an entire library of books onto. They were two deep and a total eyesore.
 
 
 
 I needed more space for dishes, so we took off the top shelf and I painted it and now it holds my serving and casserole dishes. I love re-purposing stuff. It’s so inexpensive and you can make it your own unique piece of furniture.  

 
 
Excuse the mess – did I mention we’re moving? The top shelf became a coffee table as in the pic below. The ‘legs’ are from an extra keyboard stand I acquired from someone back in my musician days. I’m still debating whether to paint them or not. I’m waiting to get my new couch first. The piece in the background was an old dresser that Mr. LoveThat found on the side of the road. A beautiful, solid piece of furniture looking abandoned and dejected. We tied it to the roof of our car and looked pretty much like the Clampetts driving it home! Fortunately, we only had to drive around the corner and got some funny looks from neighbours walking their dogs. I sanded it down and painted it that lovely blue and now it houses my TV stuff. See the 70’s radio on the right complete with 8 track – and it still works! Compliments of Mr. LoveThat’s parents. There was a little door in the middle which I made into a lovely chalkboard. It’s in my Etsy store if you want to have a look at it.
 
 
 
The clock in the picture below used to be a shallow, wooden fruit bowl I found at a thrift store for about $4.50. It was originally from Ikea ($30.00) and I remember seeing it there about a year ago and thinking how nice it would look on my dining-room table! But, alas, my budget didn’t permit and, besides, I really didn’t need another wooden bowl. The lovely swirly wood made it perfect to paint a beach themed clock and I added names of some of the beaches in Vancouver around the edges. It’s for sale in my Etsy store, but if it doesn’t sell in the next few weeks, I know it would look lovely in my new living room. It will give the room a holiday feel for those days when I don’t feel very, erm, holiday-like! A glass of apple wine will certainly put me in the mood. If it does sell – well, I can make another one.
 
 
 
I have plans to repurpose or upcycle most of my outdated furniture over the next few months, so keep checking back here. If the rain ever stops, that is.
 
Take very good care of yourselves this week and I’ll talk to you soon.
 
 
Jane



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Time to Move Ahead

So, enough procrastinating! It’s been about 2 weeks and I haven’t really got much accomplished with regards to becoming self-employed. Since I opened my Etsy shop, I’ve sold … nothing! Zero, nada, zilch. This is frustrating and I became discouraged. But, then I received a newsletter from Etsy, as I do every few days, and a sentence caught my eye. It said “quit your day job” and there was a picture of an ordinary-looking lady, much like myself, who had done just that and is a full-time seller on Etsy.

That’s me, by the way. And so, naturally, I wanted to know how she did it, and I followed the link provided. Boy, am I glad I did. It gave me everything I needed to know and more, about internet marketing, taking great photos, figuring out my target market, my niche market, my true fans, how to create a visual story, how to write enticing descriptions, and on and on. I spent a fascinating morning learning all about my camera (I’ve had it for 3 years – who knew it did all that!?) – white balance, ISO, shutter speed. None of this ever meant anything to me until now. I took photos of all sorts of things as practice – mainly my garbage can as that was closest to me in the kitchen where I’m working – pretty, isn’t it



And my kitchen cabinets – very exciting bathed in semi-sunlight. Good to know the first day of summer here started off with rain.


I tried different shutter speeds, one of which I discovered that you have to have a REALLY steady hand – which, clearly, I didn’t have in this photo

But, it’s all part of the learning process and after trying different things on my camera, I found some settings that worked – I think. I will need to set up a “photo shoot” to find out!

So, armed with all this lovely knowledge, I am now off to my Etsy shop to redesign, re-word and generally practice my newly acquired internet marketing skills. It’ll probably take longer than this one afternoon to get it all re-set up, but by Monday it should be a new and improved shop!

But first – a quick clean up of my house which is half packed up at the moment in anticipation of our move. Our new landlord told us we could start moving in next Thursday, which gives us 4 or 5 days to move.

I have been keeping up my Pilates every day and am actually enjoying it! I am no longer a “beginner” and have moved on from doing the modified version of the exercises. This is encouraging and I already have more strength and more energy. I know in the beginning I said I hated exercise, but I’m changing my mind about that now that I can feel the results.

So, until next time – have a great weekend all of you and I’ll see you on Monday (or Tuesday, depending on how my redesigning goes). I also have an appointment with a lady who can tell me all about how to get some funding for my little business, so cross your fingers.


Jane

Getting There

Hello again. It’s Monday and a beautiful sunny day in Vancouver, BC. I am wearing a summer dress today for the first time since last summer. I drank my morning coffee on my deck in the sun this morning enjoying the warmth of the sun and the peace and quiet. I didn’t even think about how I would be stuck in traffic if I were working 🙂

It’s now been 7 days since we quit smoking and I won’t lie, it was a little tough on the 5th and 6th day. I chewed a LOT of gum, but I made it! Mr LoveThat and I went to celebrate our first non-smoking week with some friends at a barbecue on Saturday which was great fun and much needed after being cooped up in the house most of the week. I guess that’s the downside to being unemployed/
working from home, is that you don’t get out much and there’s no one to talk  to like there would be if one was in an office full of people.

I shouldn’t complain – we had a stream of visitors yesterday. Every time we tried to go grocery shopping, someone else would show up, including Mr. LoveThat’s son to wish him happy Father’s Day. It was a pleasant surprise. I was going to work on some new designs for cushion covers, but by the time we got back from grocery shopping it was time to make supper! So we ate, watched a movie and went to bed. Such is life in the fast lane.


Today I will work on new designs and post them later on in the week. In the meantime, pop over to my Etsy or Bonanza Shop and check out some of the stuff I have there.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/LoveThat50
http://www.bonanza.com/booths/LoveThat

Talk to you soon.

Jane

It’s working!

It’ day 4 since I had a cigarette and it hasn’t been too bad. Of course, I was a little, er, irritated on Sunday and Mr. LoveThat and I had a few ‘moments’, but they soon passed when I realized what I was doing. Monday was a little better, but Tuesday I struggled with cravings which I smothered with raw vegetables dipped in ranch dressing, and some fruit (not dipped in ranch dressing!). I kept myself busy packing and cleaning and doing laundry. By yesterday, I was exhausted with it all and so lolled on the couch in the afternoon and watched a movie. I even managed a short nap which was luxurious!


Today, the cravings are greatly reduced, so I feel very positive about my non-smoking future. As for feeling better. Well, I know it’s early days still, but I can breathe a little better and my singing voice is coming back which is wonderful.

I started Pilates on Monday. I haven’t exercised in about 10 years – eeek! It felt good while I was doing it, but boy were my muscles sore that evening and the next day. I realized that I should have rested my aching muscles yesterday when I attempted the second session, but I stuck it out and absolutely have to rest them today. I couldn’t do Pilates today if I tried. Mr. LoveThat advised that I could probably hurt myself if I attempt it today. So I will be back at it tomorrow. I must tell you that I’m like Oprah when it comes to exercising – I hate it! But, I know it’s essential to my wellbeing and I just have to look at my starting-to-jiggle underarms and I have renewed enthusiasm!


And then, out of the blue, I got a phone call from the manager of freight forwarding company asking if I am interested in joining his team specializing in project work. Of course I’m interested. I LOVE project work!! Project work, in the shipping world, is specializing in the mining and oil and gas industry shipping heavy and oversized equipment to set up new mines. It’s always exciting, never the same thing twice and very challenging.


I don’t know where he got my name from – perhaps LinkedIn – but I chatted to him for a while before I realized this was probably a phone interview! Yes, I can be a little slow at times. After the call, he sent me an email and I sent him one back with my resume. The next day, I got another email back to say he will set up an interview this week. So I wait in anticipation …

In the meantime, I have made a huge mess de-cluttering and so must make a garbage and donation run so I can, once again, walk down my hallway without falling over something!

I started painting a French address design on one of my lampshades. Mr. LoveThat liked this type of décor and so I thought I would give it a try. It’s turning out not too bad. I will finish it today and post a picture of the finished product.

So, until next time …

Jane

The Plan!


Hello – it’s Friday! It’s raining here today but the forecast shows sunshine for the next 4 days, so it looks like it’s going to be a sit-on-my-deck-and-sip-wine weekend. Not all day, of course! But for me there’s nothing better than a chilled glass of apple wine from our local winery just about around 5pm.


We signed the lease on our new little cottage yesterday. We move at the end of the month! I haven’t moved house in 8 years, so we have a bit of de-cluttering to do! As for our new ‘lifestyle,’ the plan is as follows:

  • Quit smoking! Sunday is the day for Mr. LoveThat and I.
  • Start an exercise program. Pilates and walking my dogs is the first step for me.
  • Eat more raw fruit and vegetables! Raw fruit and vegetables to munch on when the nicotine cravings hit. We already include fruit and vegetables in our meals, but I know I should be eating more.
  • Work on new designs for my business.
  • Get a new job!

I got a call back yesterday from a company I applied to for a job. It was just the initial phone interview which seems so popular these days. The interviewer lady was careful not to let on whether she liked my answers or not, but if I am successful, the manager will be in touch. It’s in a perfect location about 5 minutes drive from our new cottage, so I hope to hear from them. Of course $10,000.00 to get my little business off the ground would be wonderful – then I wouldn’t have to get a job, but unless the money fairy shows up in the middle of the night, or I win the lottery, I will have to work for a living for a bit longer.

I did work on a new cushion design yesterday which I loved so much, I decided to use it for curtains for our new cottage. It would also make a great duvet cover. I posted on my Etsy shop – Lovethat50, and also on Bonanza. So head on over there and check it out. Here’s 2 photos to whet your appetite.


 
 
My son, who is a partner in my little business, is working on a website. Here’s preview.
 
 
 
I love the beach cottage/house look and will finally be able to create that look in our new cottage! It needs a little TLC and neatening up. I will be taking before and after photos when we move on July 1st.
 
So, back to the decluttering for now. Any plans for the weekend? I hope they include some fun.
 
Jane

 


Be Careful What you Wish For!

I found myself unemployed 2 weeks ago. ‘Restructuring’ is what they called it. I’ve been laid off before and, I tell you, it was a horrible feeling. But this time, I felt none of the shock and hurt and betrayal that went with losing a job. This time, I felt calm and confident and almost excited that this was my chance for a whole new life. Some months ago, I had started upcycling my old furniture and house-hold items into something fresh and new. Old cabinet doors became chalk boards, a shallow wooden plate became a clock and an end table was given a fresh coat of paint and a new design.


 










I was so amazed by the transformation it gave my home that I went a little crazy and started turning all sorts of old things into all sorts of new things! Before long, I had bits and pieces of stuff all over the place which was defeating the object of redecorating and simplifying. Instead, my house was starting to look like some kind of junk shop! So I decided to see if I could make a living out of it. I was having such fun, I might as well give it a try.

I started with small stuff that I could easily do in one room of my house without making too much mess, and I decided on making and hand-painting house-hold linens – table linens, cushions/pillows for the living room, bedroom linens. I bought a basic sewing machine. I hadn’t sewn anything since I was a teenager – and that was a reeeally long time ago. I spent the first week just practicing how to sew straight lines! My third grade teacher would have been turning over in her grave! And, no, it’s not like riding a bike! But, master it I did and soon I was happily sewing and painting place mats.

 
 
 
 
 
and cushion covers
 

 

 Before long, I was longing to do it full time. It’s all I thought about day and night! There was just one problem – I had just about NO capital and certainly no way to support myself while I pursued my artistic side. My hubby and I are just getting back on our feet after the crash of 2009 where we both lost our jobs in the same month! So things have been tight up until now. However, I guess I got my wish to leave my job and paint linens full time. I also wished for some extra money to go along with it, but so far it hasn’t shown up yet 🙂
 
But, you know, when opportunity knocks, we must open the door. I see this time as an opportunity to re-think my life and perhaps start living it the way I want to live it. The past two weeks have been very enlightening. I’ve had the urge to change all sorts of things about my life. I’ve started an exercise program in the mornings and spent my days happily in my little room building up a stock of linens and making chair covers for dining room chairs (turned out pretty darn good, if I may say so myself). We decided a total fresh start is what the doctor ordered and have finally made the move to downsize to a smaller house. We found the perfect place which I will leave for another blog.
 
 
 I opened an Etsy Shop and a Bonanza Booth and hope to start selling soon! Check it out under LoveThat50 and LoveThat! Making a living out of this will be fun, for sure and while I may still have to get a job, I sure hope not. I’m learning about selling and marketing and all sorts of new things.
 
Summer has begun here in Vancouver, BC and the future is looking promising. So now, I think I will spend a few moments on my deck with a glass of wine!