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Taking a step back, and pausing the Etsy shop.

Wild Fae Leather Headpiece

Friends, I’m going to take a giant step back in hopes that it will get me moving in a better direction.

To start, I’ll be putting my Etsy shop on pause as of March 31st, 2019.

So if you like to shop with me on Etsy, please do so this week before I put the shop in vacation mode! My website will remain open during this Etsy break, but I won’t be adding new work for a bit, and older designs will be retired as they sell out.

Last week I shared that I found counterfeits of my work on Amazon –

What I didn’t share is that this is the 4th time this year that I’ve found my exact photos, designs and/or writing reproduced by other vendors … and it’s only March! While it’s true that this is just an occupational hazard for online sellers, this ©rap is getting out of control. It’s simply unsustainable for my small business and sanity, and I need a minute to regroup.

As awful as that sounds, it’s been a big wake up call. This has forced me to really think about how this current version of my business aligns with my goals.

Somewhere along my Etsy journey (and through the recession years) my focus gradually shifted from creating work that I love and feel challenged by, to worrying too much about making “stuff that will sell”.  And apparently, that stuff is attracting the wrong element. So I’m taking a breather in order to refocus and realign.

As terrifying as it is to just walk away from my primary source of income for a couple of months, I really need to love what I do again. Otherwise, what’s the point?

To get to that, I’m taking this really scary leap of faith and giving myself permission to make the things that my heart really wants to bring forth into the world. Hopefully the world wants those pieces too, and the *right* people will connect to them. Or maybe I’ll just fall. Either way, this has to change.

Thanks so much to everyone who has supported me along the way! And many thanks to my beautiful daughter (pictured) for her insight and encouragement in making this choice.

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Seattle’s Edible Forest

photo via http://beaconfoodforest.weebly.com/

It’s not beady or leathery, but I’m very inspired by Seattle’s new “Edible Forest”. As their website describes:

 “A Food Forest is a gardening technique or land management system that mimics a woodland ecosystem but substitutes in edible trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals.  Fruit and nut trees are the upper level, while below are berry shrubs, edible perennials and annuals.  Companions or beneficial plants are included to attract insects for natural pest management while some plants are soil amenders providing nitrogen and mulch.  Together they create relationships to form a forest garden ecosystem able to produce high yields of food with less maintenance.”
Their goal isto design, plant and grow an edible urban forest garden that inspires our community to gather together, grow our own food and rehabilitate our local ecosystem.” What an exciting way to integrate ideas of permaculture, sustainability, urban landscape and community!
From what I have read elsewhere food will be harvested on the honor system, and eventually, garden plots will be available for local community members to lease at extremely affordable rates. There’s a great article here from NPR, and of course you can check out their blog and facebookpage.
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Wednesday Inspiration…

via simondale.net

In an effort to make blogging more of a habit, I’m going to try something new in the coming year. On Wednesdays, I’ll share images and ideas that inspire me. Ideally, I will do this every Wednesday — but we’ll see how that goes 😉 Hopefully, this will remind me to update more often, and also allow me to promote other artists and dreamers.

So without further ado, my first “inspiration” post features an earth friendly home in Wales. It was built by Simon Dale and his father in law. Not only is this home beautiful, unique and magical looking (very Hobbit-like, no?), it was built in a very low impact fashion, with the utmost respect for the environment.

via simondale.net

The interior is just amazing, with its skylights and twisted wood rails. It looks like something out of a fantasy tale, but the construction methods reflect very real and contemporary values such as permaculture and sustainability.

This home was build on a particularly modest budget, using materials and techniques that are readily accessible to most people. The house harnesses solar power and rainwater, and does not rely on fossil fuels. It is a creative and wondrous example of what can be done to provide low cost, eco friendly housing.

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Thinking Green…

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In our household, we try to think green. We recycle as much as possible, minimize our use of plastic bags, and we choose eco-friendly products when they’re available. What does this have to do with beads? Well, I’d like to be able to apply these same values to my craft — but as most beadworkers know, beads and plastic are pretty darn connected.

If you use or collect beads, your world is probably brimming with plastic baggies, plastic vials, plastic flip top boxes, plastic tackle boxes and more. It may not seem like much, but it all adds up. Honestly, I’m appalled by how many ziplock baggies I use for my little bead business! I’ve tried to think of alternatives, but it’s challenging because beaders obviously need some kind of storage. And, most bead
addicts
enthusuasts end up collecting so many types of beads that see through packaging is a must. In addition, plastic has become an industry norm — would I lose customers if I moved to a different type of packaging?

I could go on and on, but I won’t because Beki Haley from Out on a Whim has already written an eloquent and thoughtful post on the subject on her blog. I encourage you to head on over and check it out. I suspect that she and I are not the only ones who’ve considered this. It would be great to see some discussion on this topic, and to hear other people’s tricks and ideas for “green” beading practices!