Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Another Year, Almost Gone.....

I can hardly believe it's almost the end of 2014.  Christmas, as of this writing, is 10 days away.  Holy Cow!  How did this happen?

This year has been full of ups and downs for me.  For some reason, Summer was awful as far as my moods, and I had a lot of meltdowns.  I think some of it came from unanswered questions.  Those answers eventually came at the end of summer/during fall.  Questions like; can we afford to move?  The answer is; no.  We can't move from here, for a number of reasons.  That means that I can't even think about that as an option for maybe another 5-10 years.  By then, I'm going to be OLD!

The other questions I keep asking myself are things like; should I keep my business going, or throw in the towel?  I finally decided, that's just a dumb question...........of course, I should keep my business going!  Why wouldn't I?  I ask myself the question because the business hasn't grown much.  I make one or 2 sales if I'm lucky, on my Etsy shop.  I do okay at the two fiber festivals I attend each year.  It's a lot of work going to the festivals, but I love being there, and talking to people one-on-one.  I love the interaction.  Just because I  don't sell out of what I have, doesn't mean I shouldn't keep going!  I just tend to feel like a failure, and want to give up.  Dumb.....I'm finally doing what I love.  Why would I give that up?

Sometimes, I feel as though there are quite a few restrictions made by myself and my guilt, and by my husband, who basically is the financial person that funds what I'm doing.  I don't really make that much off this business per year.  I realize there are restrictions for a reason.  Sometimes, I want to get into this full-tilt, because I think if I did, it would be more successful.  Unfortunately, there's no proof of that.....so I have to do what I can, when it makes sense to do it, and work hard until the rest falls into place.

Today I received another one of those emails from The Daily Om.  It talked about alters.  As in, having an alter and having it in a place where you can sit and meditate and think about the things you are doing with your life.  They said it's not for praying, necessarily, although, if that's what you want it to be, it can be.  They say, it probably already exists in your home, somewhere.  Humans tend to gather and display things that are meaningful to them, grouping them together so they can gather joy when looking at them.

This is my new little alter, on a corner of my desk.  I was inspired to clean the crap off my desk, in order to make room for the alter.  I love sitting at my desk, staring out the window at the yard, in the summer, watching the birds and hummingbirds, and in the winter, looking at the shadows.  I think about my life, and where I am, where I've been, and where I hope to go.  How I hope to be successful, and how I get inspired just sitting here, staring at nature.  So I decided the corner of my desk, would be a great place for my alter.....

My alter contains a Buddha statue, a hurricane lamp with a candle, and a crystal (plastic) diamond shaped decoration that is actually from my Christmas ornaments.  I really like this.  I may add or take away things, at some point in the future. For now, it's perfect.

I wanted the lights put on the porch immediately after Thanksgiving this year.  I love my porch lights.  At night, I can sit in my office, or the living room, and look out.  I imagine the people going up the main road and seeing the lights, and the lights cheering the people up.  We're the only house on the block with lights.  This year, I bought extra lights to put up.  Hubby didn't understand, but I get joy out of them.  So he gave in.

I did play with this photo, and made a card out of it.  Here it is:

Picmonkey is a pretty fun, easy, and free (unless you want to upgrade) program that you can use to edit photos.  It's nice because you don't have to have a password, and the website doesn't save your photos - you just save it to your computer.  This really looks like it was snowing, doesn't it?

Well, that's about it for now. I'll be back again soon. Oh, and if you're reading this before Weds, the 17th of Dec, 2014, I'm having a sale  on Etsy for 20% off over a $15 purchase....and it's a great sale.  The sale code is HappyHoliday20 and it's also listed on the shop dashboard.

If I'm not back before Christmas, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays!


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Loving Myself

This is an interesting subject for me.  At 58 years old, I'm realizing, I haven't ever loved myself.  Not at any time in my life.

Interestingly enough, I had a few things happen this week, that all seem to push me in a certain direction.  I'm trying to listen to the Universe, and not push back, and not force anything.

I am signed up for a few different sources of positive reinforcement.  One is call The Daily Om.  One I received this week was the following:

It can be easy sometimes to buy into the illusion of our own insignificance. We may see large corporations or institutions, celebrities or successful people in our community, and compare ourselves to them, thinking that their fame or material power affirm how little our own lives amount to. But nothing could be further from the truth. Every single one of us matters—tremendously. Our very existence affects countless people in countless ways. And because we are each essentially a microcosm of the larger universe, our internal experiences affect the whole of life more than we could ever imagine. The world simply could not exist as it does now if you, or any one of us, were not in it. 

Perhaps you are aware that on some level you believe your life does not matter. If this thought resonates within you, maybe it is time to explore why you feel this way. You may have formed self-rejecting or belittling beliefs as a child to keep yourself safe or to help you make sense of confusing situations. You may have felt unseen or unheard and decided that there was something wrong with you, rather than with the attention span of the people around you. Spend some time looking into where these feelings of insignificance first took root, and see what changes you might be able to make in your life and in your heart. 

This one belief in your own unimportance could be limiting you and impacting your life in enormous ways. When you shift your perceptions around your own ability to affect your life and impact the world, you may discover wonderful parts of yourself that you had long ago forgotten. There may even be exciting new parts that you never even knew existed. When you gain awareness of how much your life really does matter, new sources of energy can emerge and your sense of connection with the world is renewed. 

I found this quite interesting, considering the information I was already trying to process.....

I also get The Daily Om Taurus Horoscope, and this week was also the same theme:

Loving Who You Are
Taurus Daily Horoscope
If you're feeling low today, you may be inclined to focus on externals to improve your mood. New possessions, changes to your physical appearance, or moving to a different home might seem like effective methods to make you feel better about yourself. However, you can improve your mood and cultivate your self-worth by looking within rather than outward. Instead of comparing yourself to your friends, relatives, coworkers, or neighbors, take stock of your individual, positive inner qualities and the talents that make you unique. If you see areas of yourself you wish to improve, concentrate on creating a plan of improvement and applaud yourself for taking that step. As you seek your worth today, try to focus on the goodness you've been blessed with rather than anything you might lack.

Cultivating your self-worth can help you avoid the temptation to look to external sources to define your personal value. Finding the beauty that is your soul makes comparing yourself to others entirely unnecessary. You learn that you are worthy of blessings and esteem regardless of how others may act or what they say. As you discover your own value, you begin to see that your worth is entirely independent of how you measure up to others or whether or not you succeed in the various areas of your life. Missteps are simply a part of the growth process, especially when you derive your value from within. Allow yourself time for reflection so you can gain a stronger sense of your inner worth today, and you'll discover that your personal value is a built-in guarantee.

All about self worth.  Once again, it hits home with me. 

A couple of other things happened.  One was that my massage therapist, whom I adore for more than her ability to put my body back where it belongs every month, decided not to go with a spa, but instead, realized that she was resigning herself to working with the spa just to not disappoint the owner/friend/client she was working with. Instead, she recognized she was, in fact, resigning herself, and wasn't happy about it.  She has decided not to go with the spa person, and to once again, have her own space for her Yoga studio. It's all falling into place for her, and she's so happy about it now!  I love when people I admire for having their own business, can be successful and happy.  

I also had a discussion with a person that bought the local yarn shop after the original owner passed away a few months ago.  I've actually spoken to a few shop owners (not all fiber related) and they all say how difficult it is.  There are busy times, and quiet times, and it's so scary when it's quiet.  

There have also been some interesting posts on Facebook that have shown me that there are very successful people in the fiber business.  They work all week to get their work done, then they post that they've got all this stuff listed, and BAM!  They sell out.  I wish I could figure out what it is they do, that makes them so freaking successful!!!!!!

One thing I keep reminding myself is that I have a difficult time during the winter months, shorter daylight hours, and colder weather, with feeling inspired and feeling like I need to keep on top of the business.  It's really difficult for me to think that my business is going to grow, when in reality, it's only gotten slower this year.  Very frustrating for me.  I just don't know how to get myself out there so I am one of those people that are more successful.  

So I'm off to try to reinvent myself, remind myself I'm worthy and worthwhile, and to love myself and what I do.  I know that when all this falls into place, I will be successful......but OMG it's difficult to change thinking that has gone on for 58 years.  LOL

Be safe.
Take care,

Baby It's Cold Outside!

Today, we have a high of 30 degrees.  Last week it was in the 60s.  This Sunday is supposed to be near 70.  Of course, I'll believe it when I see it.  It's certainly hot tea season!

I finished my Mod 4 Journey yarn.  I think it's colorful, and happy looking. It has many layers, like me.  I core spun some violet fiber onto a worsted weight commercial yarn.  Then I spun a thick and thin, and core spun that onto a thin commercial core.  Then I plied the two together, and plied with a shiny, metallic, sequined yarn.

I've been thinking more about loving myself.  It takes a LOT of work for me at 58 years old, to change the negative self-talk, and work on loving myself.  Which also includes taking better care of myself.

There is a challenge on FB in the Circle Weaving group, for creating something shiny and holiday-ish with our circle looms.  The circle loom is something we receive as part of the Journey course.   Here is mine. I took Firestar - a very shiny, sparkly nylon - which I hand dyed, added Angelina and a shiny metallic sequin commercial yarn.  I wove on my circle loom, then pulled it off and pulled it into a (sort of) circle.  It's supposed to be an ornament.  It doesn't show up as shiny in photos as it is in person.  But there it is.

On other news, we had a real scare last Friday.  Hubby went out to get the mail, and on the walk down the driveway, notice something wasn't quite right.....he saw a haze, then realized, it was smoke.  The leaves between our property, and the neighbor's property, were on fire!  Somehow, something the neighbor had burned, started a fire.  He swears that the only thing he burned, was the Sunday prior.  I don't know if it's possible for something to fester that long....
The photos below were of the scene after the firemen arrived.  It took them FOREVER to get here - at least 30 minutes.  You can sort of see one of the smaller trucks, which carries water, and they were in the back field spraying it down with water.  These guys were the brush fire guys.
 Below, is the fire extinguisher that I was grateful I remembered was in the basement near the wood burning stove.  As hubby was trying to figure out how to put the fire out, because the 2 hoses together wouldn't reach far enough, I ran in the house and came out with this.  The wind was blowing quite hard, and this helped squelch some of the fire and kept it from spreading on our side, till the firemen got here.
 This is only one section of the fence that got burned, and had to be chopped down in order for the firefighters to get to the neighbor's property quickly with the water, from our property.  See those pine trees just beyond the fence?  That's the property line.
Below, the stuff you see beyond our fence, is the neighbor's shed and property.  It burned about 10 feet from the fence on each side.  On his side, there were 2 vehicles parked, and the fire was literally within about 5 feet of his vehicles.  That would have been REALLY bad....
 Here I'm standing in the same place as the photo above, but looking into the back pasture.  It burned about halfway down that fence line.  The fence back there is high tensile wire, with wooden posts.  Not as much damage was done to the fence back there.
 These are the good men that volunteer out here at the Orange, VA fire station, and the Mine Run, VA fire station.  The truck on the left, is the truck that carries a lot of water.  The smaller trucks had to keep coming back to this truck to refill with water to continue to put the fire out.

When people ask me why we don't go on vacation, this is one of the reasons.  If we hadn't been here, that fire would have come over to the barn, where the horses are sheltered, and all the hay for winter is stored.  The neighbor wasn't home.  If we hadn't been here, that fire would have spread, because of the dried leaves all over the ground (you can see them in the photo above) and because the wind was really blowing that day....right in the direction of our home.  

I'm grateful that it wasn't as bad as it could have been.  I do have to say though, that I freaked out.  I was having panic attacks, and I think I was in a bit of shock.   I really thought we were going to lose the barn, at least.  

The lesson learned is, we will always have fire extinguishers here.  We never burn any trash.  But the neighbors do.  There is nothing to keep this type of thing from happening again.  The responsible neighbor is renting, so we don't expect to get reimbursed by him.  It will really shock me if he does.  He tried to say it was the home-owner's responsibility - but it's not.  He started the danged fire.  It's HIS fault.  He wasn't even home when this all took place.  If it wasn't for us being here, he would have also lost both his vehicles.  They would have exploded.  And his house was just on the other side of the vehicles. 

Stay safe.  Be prepared.
Take care.  Thanks for looking.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Good Question......

So, I'm in The Journey To the Golden Fleece.  It's an interesting journey....it asks questions, and makes me delve into my past.  I'm not thrilled with it because my past, my story, is full of negative and I don't like to live in the past at all.

So now, there is a question posed:  If you were to treat yourself with all the respect and love you have the capacity to give, what would that be like?

Holy Crap!  Really?  I can't even imagine.  I imagine myself as a really loving person.  Although, I've not always ever felt like it was returned by anyone......

I cannot even fathom what it would be like to love myself, respect myself, or build myself up, like I do for others in my life.  What a freaking concept.  Wow.......

So I guess instead of whipping through this module of the Journey, I'm going to have to think on that for a bit......

I'm SO far behind in this Journey also.  I'm supposed to be near finished, and instead, I'm only on Mod 4.  That's because it's been difficult to delve into this Journey for me.  As I said, I don't like much of what has happened in my past.  I don't like to BE my story.  I want to BE what I want to be in the future....not that it's happening.  I feel like every day flies by, yet, I'm stagnating where I am.

So that this isn't a totally crappy, dull, boring post, I'm going to post some pics I took this past weekend.

I was doing stuff around the house.  My desk faces the windows that face the front of our property.  I saw about 8 horse trailers going by on the road......which can only mean one thing.......the November Hunt is on!  It hasn't happened in a couple of years.  I was a bit excited because I love my camera and I love photography so I was hoping for some good shots.

Next thing I know, there was a hunter out in front of the property.  Mind you, they are supposed to be out back.   In a previous year, the fox and some dogs, had gone wayward, and instead of being out back, and staying there, they ran out front. So I think this person was out front to keep an eye on things.
The view from the front porch.

Then, the hunters showed up out back.  Lots of hunting dogs.  They came into our back pastures.  Our horses were NOT happy.  They were on alert the rest of the day!

This was the hunt master.  He's blowing his horn!  

Then there were the riders that followed.  Here are a few:

It was a perfect weather day.  It was about 60 degrees.  Sunny.  Very little breeze.  Just a beautiful day overall, so I took some other shots.
This is Gabbi.  She's a Maltese that we keep cut short.  She was looking through the porch railing. I  was standing on the side of the house on another small porch.  I LOVE this photo.
And then there's the random wood shot. 

I love the way the sun and shadows play on the wood and leaves.  We've had a few trees cut down recently, almost all Oak, and a few Gum trees.  It's really opened up the yard a lot, and I love that.  Of course, it's difficult now to appreciate since it's getting so dark, and the sun doesn't rise in the sky like it does in summer.  It's okay, because I love Fall. 

That's about it from me for now. I'm off to feed the dogs their dinner, and get our dinner ready.  Some nights, I just don't want to cook.  If I were by myself, I would be having ice cream for dinner....

Take care.  

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Decisions, Life and Business

I know I've been kind of quiet.  A lot has been going on, but it's mostly in my head.....and really, you don't want to know what all of it is.
Now, though, we have some answers, and it makes the other decisions, seem clearer in a way.
It's Autumn, and I love this time of year.  I love just about the entire year, except when it's 99 degrees with 100% humidity.  Summer, deep, hot, humid summer, is not my fav, ever.

We have been considering selling the farm, and moving a bit closer to the grand kids/daughter/son-in-law.  We found out today, there is NO way in hell we'll be able to afford to move - unless there is a huge uplift in the real estate market, or we win the lottery, or we spend many more years here.  Therefore, it has made the decisions about what I want to do WITH the farm, clearer.

Part of it involves making living here, easier and nicer.  Like, not freezing [in the house] when the temps are below 70 degrees.  Like, having a few trees in the front of the house cut down, so we can stop feeling like we live in a deep, dark forest and the house will never let light in again.  It's AMAZING how open the front yard looks now!!!! It was a GREAT decision!!!!!!!!

I also want to have a nice, large shed put on the property.  It will serve as my shop to sell my fiber out of, and to give spinning lessons in, and to have friends over for spin days.  It will have electric, but not water.  I'm not sure what we'll do about a bathroom yet.  It won't be far from the house, so people could come in here.  But I'm going to work something out, eventually, so that doesn't have to happen.  I don't know if it'll be an outhouse, or a composting toilet.  We'll see.  The shed will also have ac and heat, as I can't live without either, most days of the year!

We will be making inside improvements also.  I want to paint the bedroom, repaint the bathroom, and possibly, at some point, we'll work on the kitchen which has been my least favorite place in this house since we moved in............

I've also decided that I want to start weaving again.  I gave it up for awhile.  I sold the looms I had.  I now own a 15" Cricket loom, and I've only used it once.  I have tons of ideas, but haven't put any of them into effect yet.............

We did, however, take a road trip to PA, to The Mannings.  It was a beautiful day, and a beautiful ride.  Sunny.  Beautiful colors.  Mountains.  Horses.  Sheep.  Cows.  Churches.  Flags.  Bridges.   Oh, and fiber and fiber tools, of course - once we arrived AT The Mannings!  :-D

It's hard to believe, but all of these photos except the black horse one, were taken from a moving vehicle....sometimes going 65 or 70 mph!

I bought some beautiful Tencel while at The Mannings.  I went to look for black wool on cones.  None available.  :(  I know now, though, what I would want, what I don't want, if I find it online.

I have also ordered the stand and a variable dent reed for my 15" Cricket loom.  There will be NO excuses for not using it, or my hand spun yarn, once it gets here. Smiling.......that makes me happy!

Well, that's about it for now.  I will be back soon.

Oh, and there's a sale going on in the Etsy shop at www.etsy.com/shop/spinningmywheelfiber  - 20% off when using the code 20OFFOCTOBER  It's only good through Oct 31, which is tomorrow.  So hurry off and take a look!

As always,
Take care.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

It's a Sale!!!!

If you're a spinner, you might be interested in this. I'm holding a sale in my ETSY shop - 10% off your purchase over $10.
Just enter the code 10OFFOCTOBER and you can receive your 10% off !

Etsy shop is located HERE

Items in the shop include Teeswater long locks

Dyed and undyed.


And lots of fiber:

Thanks for looking and go find something fun to buy!


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

It's Almost Here......

The Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival is only a few days away. I'm so nervous.  I shouldn't be - I've done a whole TWO festivals, and they both turned out well.  This is a new venue for me though, and it's a long drive, and we have to drive up on Friday for setup, then we have to drive up VERY early Saturday morning to be there to put the product up, drive home Saturday night, drive back Sunday morning, then when it ends on Sunday afternoon, pack everything back up, and drive home.  I'm hoping there isn't much left on Sunday afternoon to pack up!  :-)

It makes me nervous to leave my stuff overnight. I haven't done that before.  But it's something I'm going to have to do.

The weather has been great the last few days....much cooler, Fall-like.  Guess what?  It's going to be 83 on Saturday, and 86 on Sunday.  UGH.  NOT the best weather for selling wool.  I'm just praying that the things I have to sell, are the ones people will be looking for!

I'll have many beautiful colors of Ashland Bay Merino.

I'll have lots of pretty, hand made spindles.

I will have dyed and undyed Teeswater long (6-9") locks;

This is the first time I'll have a tent that has 3 sides up.  I have done 2 festivals where the tent is open on two sides, and closed on two sides because it's butted up against 2 other tents.  From what I remember from attending the upcoming festival as a customer, I don't think the tents are butted up against each other at all.  Which is really nice.  I like the idea of being spread out.

The inside of the tent will be a new layout also.  I bought some cubes to use for some of the product, and the cubes will sit on a table against one wall. Then I will have 2 walls for the grid wall setup.  I don't like going in cold on setup, but hey, I'm good at flying by the seat of my pants!

I'm glad we're going up Friday for setup though.  That will help me be at ease about where we are, and all I have to do Saturday morning, is put product up, and that will be easy enough.

So, now all I have to do is trust that people are going to attend, and be ready to purchase!  We shall see......