Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Neighborhood

A moment of regret as I realized I was no longer able to have recycling collected from my home.
I was now responsible for carrying my trash to the dumpster. (And recycling, that Very Important Habit that took a while to develop into a stream line system, would need to be transported to my parents.)
That's cool, I have a 12 yr old for that chore, although Pinky is trying to learn how to balance a trash bag while she rides her bike, so she has been more helpful than her older brother lately.

The cops are here every other day.
It seems they lookin for somebody, had the dog out and everything, hours they were here; lots and lots of time spent here in this neighborhood, here where people haven't learned to sort their difference in a peaceful manner and immediately jump straight to pride filled angry out bursts that the kids gather around and watch wide eye'd at adults who are just repeating behavior they have seen from their own parents.

There is a new mess with some neighborhood kids and my solution to avoiding some real problems was to instruct my daughter to stay away from a boy who spits on her and calls her "faggot".
My girl is gonna be raised understanding; You do not hang out with people that make you feel bad on purpose.
But I have now made Pinky into an irresistible way to irritate an adult that this boy does not like to hear from. He follows Pinky for 2 straight days, with me hanging out the window, reminding Pinky to go away from him if he approaches her. The child, a 10 year old boy, who yells from the moment he steps off the school bus to when his dad collars him in, decided to yell back at me and state factually I can't make him stay away from his sister, then proceeds to demonstrate this fact for another 2 DAYS.
I finally tell the sister, whom I thought was a nice girl, that she needs to not play with Pinky right now if her brother was going follow them and harass them.
Pinky is upset.
The sister, a rather put upon girl who has to tolerate being pushed around by her rather large 10 yr old brother, has reacted by teaming up with other girls in the neighborhood and they stalk the front of the house hurling insults up at me, now constantly watching out my window so my daughter can ride her bike back and forth in front of the house without being harassed by the girls who say awful things to Pinky as she attempts to follow her moms instructions and avoid the people who are not nice.

I feel so sorry for these kids. 
They are here night after night, with no adult planned activities, no one really paying any attention to them, no team building exercises being drilled into their spongy brains on a consistent basis to give them tools in learning how to work out conflicting emotions in relationships. There is just the behavior they see exhibited by their parents.
The dad, a hugely obese, foul mouthed tornado of displaced anger, has demonstrated his way of time honored tradition in poor communication by coming out his door at a woman neighbor who dared pointed out the way his daughter was behaving in front of our particular block of houses for a couple of days.
(Shaking her butt, staring up at the window for hours while I sat taking photos, calling me a stalker, yelling silly names like ghost and freak, claiming I am video taping her. Evidently, I am not the only one this behavior irritated and this neighbor thought there might be good in discussing it with one of her parents).

The father is yelling every insult he can think of with his finger pointed at this woman's face as she tries to walk away. Everyone in the neighborhood can hear him and a man steps in to tell him to back off, the father states in a loud belligerent  voice "I don't mind going to jail tonight!"
Then other people pull up and get out of their cars, one of them an even bigger guy who looks way more menacing than the angry dad, and the man is out numbered, but he still has to say something :"Just take your little interracial family back inside."
Oh crap. That blows everything back up. 
I close my window and pray that if there's angels of peace, that they float on ov'r here and coat everybody in some "calm the f*#k down" peace powder.

What would happen if I took my biggest picnic blanket, a box of pretty beads, a handful of good weaving cord and then invited those girls to learn how to make beaded macrame jewelry with me?
What if....
The fear of getting involved in a family that has some serious issues with appropriate public behavior makes me want to stay hidden and closed off. But for once, for a few dollars in supplies and an afternoon of my time, for once....
I be the change I want to see? 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

10 steps to online selling

People have this idea that I have useful information on selling.
I am uncomfortable with these frequent questions and often ignore them instead of sitting down to properly draft a kindly worded message explaining that I do not know much but it took years of processes to get to this point. And whatever number they are focused on that tells them I do know something doesn't show the years of mistakes (I have left packages in my car and lost over $55 on postage), the wasted money (not all materials are created equal and they can actually damage your reputation instead of enhancing it), the lost money (shipping leaves huge holes in my meager profits and not all my ideas I have invested in have become sellers), the hurt pride from having to do it all publicly in order to promote and the fact that even as many sales as I have made, I still can't afford decent healthcare for my kids. So I don't know if I am really the person to give such advise but here is what I do know.


Now each one of these steps should ideally have a person who over sees another group of people who actually get the task done within a reasonable amount of time.
 Those are called "staff", I think.
But we work for ourselves so we get to do it all. by. our. self.
It's exhausting and when I came to a crossroads in my own business; continue on with hired help or let it die down to a manageable level because I have trust issues, I learned a few things about handling a handmade business that I will share later.

I was so bored with what I was creating, I started writing lists in the journals I learned to make from L.K. Ludwig and Lynn Perrella. Lists all about myself. It was really quite selfish. I didn't make lists on what I hoped to be or what I thought my parents would want to hear or even what I thought I could sell.
I made lists that described what I liked about EVERYTHING.
Colors. What I am drawn to, what grabs my attention, what gets my heartbeat to quicken. 
Textures and associations. Environments. Architecture. Cultures. Geography. My past. The T.V. shows I enjoyed the most. The music I have to have. The art that I would collect if I was well off.
Clothing and other forms of self decoration. Love I would make. Religions that confounded me.
Character flaws. Feelings. Lists and lists of feelings.
I learned so much about myself during this journaling, that I still draw inspiration from that body of writing.
(I found I am fascinated by man made history buried in the earth which directly lead to me making things look old on purpose.)

I think conception is the most important part of the selling process. If it does not come from a good, authentic place, intended to enhance and assist the lives of others through your personal experience, it is pointless to make it your life's work. I think you are also missing out on the thing that drives those to push past difficult obstacles (like a deranged husband or a melted computer). 
If this wasn't my passion, I wouldn't think it worth it.

Okay, this has to be all for now, I have to get to the shipping table. Since I lowered my shipping costs, I have customers telling me to "ship ASAP" for items that cost $2.50.
But who cares, it's my job.

I will come back though to ramble on about what I think of purchasing raw materials.
For that is the official tax term disguising what is really;
 (whispers in excitement)

Peace and Prosperity,