Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I'm Still Here

Well, I've been busy but it's no excuse. The good news is that I found a place to live in the CITY! So no more long commutes and country living/isolation from civilization. Lesson learned: I'm not a country dweller. I can't do it - mostly because it requires a lot of daily planning. A trip into town takes a lot of effort, so it would always require a great deal of thinking and long lists to make sure I got the most out of each trip. I also learned that my comfort level and general happiness seems to hinge on the distance between my home and a good coffee shop.

So, I'm excited to get to know my new neighborhood Foster-Powell. You'll probably find me hanging out reading some zines at Guapo Coffee or setting up my hammock at Mt. Scott Park.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's Like Magic!


Let's celebrate with the best song in the world.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


How can you not?

JK asks,

"It's like, how does anyone start their own business? How is it even possible? How do they deal with the crippling fear and harsh economic realities?"

Some people believe that if you have a good job, you shouldn't start your own gig, because it's foolish to give up a job you can't easily replace.

And some people believe that if you don't have a great job, it's foolish to waste time (and the money you can ill afford to lose) starting something when you'd be a lot better off getting a great job or going to school until you do.

And both groups are missing the point.

The people who successfully start independent businesses (franchises, I think are a different thing) do it because we have no real choice in the matter. The voice in our heads won't shut up until we discover if we're right, if we can do it, if we can make something happen. This is an art, our art, and to leave it bottled up is a crime.

I guess the real question, JK, is, "How can you not do it?"

-Seth Godin

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Day of Rest

Working from home can often cause me to work all the time: late into the night, on weekends, at times when I'm tired but I just want to finish one... more... thing. So, today, I'm taking the day off. I put away all of my projects last night (around 11pm) and decided I wouldn't look at them for at least one day. It's been a relaxing day so far.

My life hasn't been all work though...

I went up to Seattle to see Miike Snow at the Showbox a couple of weeks ago. Concerts at the Showbox Sodo are usually a good time. I went by myself, which was a little bit weird since I've never done that before, but I enjoyed it. I really had no idea so many people were such big fans. And there seemed to be a lot of "frat boys" which surprised me even more. Nevertheless... it was great.

Emily (my roomie) and I went on a winery tour at Ponzi Winery's new location, which isn't typically open to the public. I love wineries and this one was at a beautiful location and it was a unique experience to get so close to the wine making process. We got to taste a few of their Reserve wines and had lunch with the tour group.

After the wine tour we stopped at this extremely random farm event with a little pumpking patch, a giant inflatable apple and a couple of farm animals. I really want a goat.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Facebook for Small Business

I've been contemplating the endless possibilities of social media as a promotional and community building tool, so this case-study of a South Carolina restaurant, Bistro 17, seemed poignant.

How do you use facebook to promote your business without becoming an annoyance? I've been thinking a lot about that fine line and I'm in the process of developing my full strategy. Mostly, I'm trying to find ways to add value to my products and to the user's experience and of course, building community. It seems Bistro 17 did a really great job of choosing ways to add value to their business and that were targeted specifically towards the crowd they were looking to attract.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Profile Photo

I really like the idea of blowing up a photo... but what seems cute for a 5-year-old might seem more self-absorbed in my case.

(via sfgirlbybay)

Sunday, October 10, 2010


So. Crazy.


Lots going on here! Here's an update...

-Moved down south to the countryside of Vancouver, WA. I'm planning on moving to Portland by spring because I have quickly realized that I'm not a country girl. I love the place and the quiantness of it all, but I'm just so darn far from any form of entertainment. Knitting is only fun for so long.

-I'm busy cutting and sewing with Queen B Quilts and hoping to get my name out here in Portland. It might take some time to build that up and I might need to do some strategizing. The good news is that I should be getting some awesome photos from my recent shoot with Mike Folden Photography and also a new website, coming soon!

-I had a recent sale at a craft fair with my Hey Jude Vintage and Crafts business and I'm looking for more opportunities. I really enjoyed spending the day socializing with the other vendors and showing people what I've got! I'm also looking into becoming a vendor with a Portland vintage shop, so I'll update you soon with that information.

-I got a part-time job working with fix studio in Portland and with their furniture exhibition called Show2010. Please stop by and say hello!

-I'm blogging about music for in Portland. Thus far, I have written one article! I have been a slow starter but I'm hoping to get organized enough to start researching shows and actually attending them as well so I can really dive into the music culture of the area. I am so excited about this, especially discovering new local bands as well as supporting my Seattle favorites when they travel this way.

So, that's me in a nutshell. I feel like things are really taking off and I'm so excited about it. I also really really really love Portland. It's similar to Seattle in many ways, but it's even more down to earth, creative and friendly and that makes me really happy!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Afraid Not to Try

Should I be more stressed? I mean, I'm moving in a week. A WEEK! As of now, I have not packed. My apartment is actually in disarray as I work on multiple crafty projects and I always seem to be staying anywhere but home.

I had an interesting offer to return to work for a previous employer this week. I really really liked working at this place and the job offer wasn't so bad either. BUT... but... I'm crazy and I have decided to go ahead with my original plan to be a struggling artist and small business owner.

I used to make a point of always choosing the riskier or seemingly more challenging option but in past years it seems I have been making choices based on a need for security. It's hard to say when this change happened, but I'm putting a stop to it now.

So far, following my dreams has been really exciting, scary, strange, and confusing... and I'm barely getting started.

(via bees knees)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I Want One!

A horrible logo for only $5!

Collaborative Consumption

This looks like a good one! Read more about it at swissmiss.

Ready, Set...

Running a business is hard work! It has been made more difficult by the fact that I'm still working my full time job and trying to grow this business to be big enough to support myself by the 17th of September, but... whew.

I'm constantly trying to keep up with customers, update facebook, twitter, find people to work with on websites, photography, advertising, posting on craigslist and other classifieds, getting all of my paperwork and legal stuff in line, reqruiting new customers, and... oh yeah... actually making my product. It's been a hectic few weeks and I bounce between wondering if I'm actually making any progress!

I am so ready to go for this full time!

Friday, August 27, 2010


I've got some news. Three weeks from today I will be leaving my full-time event planning gig. It has been a really interesting experience and I have learned a lot, particularly about management - the good, the bad, and the ugly.

I am very excited to see what happens next in my career and I'm sure big things lie ahead of me. But, I will definately take what I've learned here along with me wherever I go.

This train of thought was sparked by this article from 10 Things Employees Want Most. You tell me, if you got all of the things on this list from your workplace, would you ever leave?

1. Employees want purpose.
2. Employees want goals.
3. Employees want responsibility.
4. Employees want autonomy.
5. Employees want flexibility.
6. Employees want attention.
7. Employees want opportunities for innovation.
8. Employees want open-mindedness.
9. Employees want transparency.
10. Employees want compensation.

After years of management classes in business school, I think this sums everything up very well. When it comes time for me to be a manager of my staff, I plan to post this prominently on my office wall.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

From the Desk of...

As you can see from my Strengthsfinder Signature Themes, I'm a bit Futuristic.

So, I'm visualizing the future in my new trailer.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My Vintage Year

I know I am crazy.

But I'm also crazy for vintage travel trailers and my birthday is coming up so...

What if a bunch of people gave me a couple of bucks and I could buy this little baby!

Let's get real here. This thing costs $2000. I have officially applied to have this project hosted by but that's a bit of a process.

My plan: Buy this trailer and turn it into my craft studio/home if I become homeless for some reason. I would totally remodel the thing, paint it, throw my Queen B Quilts logo up there. It would be amazing.

So, I'm not kidding (please refer yourself here, here, here, andhere. Help me out! You can give me a really great birthday gift and hopefully it will add up to a number that will warrant me buying this cute 1955 Vintage Duggan canned ham. If I don't get at least $1400 from this fundraising effort I will return all of your hard earned money (just make sure your mailing address is correct).

Thanks guys!

Let's See...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Thinking Outside the Box

As you may, or may not have noticed I own a t-shirt quilting business. For the last four years I have been creating custom quilts for folks and it has been really great and just the right amount of work I was willing to do in my extra time, after the full-time job was finished.

However, I started thinking that I should get more creative with this business. When I had only been targeting a very specific group of people based on the product I offered: people who don't know how to sew. So I started to think outside of the box and came up with a few new ideas, one of which finally came to fruition tonight!

I am teaching t-shirt quilting classes! The first one was at Assemble Gallery & Studio in Greenwood and I am hoping to offer these classes at other crafty locations. From there, I thought... Why not in people's homes? I am hoping to get some attention about this opportunity to host a t-shirt quilting party.

This is one of my favorite parts about business - creating something new! Brainstorming! Putting an idea out there and seeing who grabs it! I was told that my class actually gets the most interest of all the classes offered at Assemble and that it might be in the upcoming Sunset Magazine... I am OVER THE MOON about that.

The class tonight was super fun and I can't wait until the second part next week! Lovin' my life as a business owner!

The Board

How do you stay motivated as a solopreneur? I've been asking myself that question because I am a people person and, quite frankly, the businesses I run very rarely involved working with others except for my customers. BUT have you considered having a Board of Directors for your freelance life? I have heard this idea... somewhere (forgot)... but many large, publicly-traded companies as well as all not-for-profit organizations have a Board of Directors to help in making decisions and so, why not your business too?

Ok, you might have to do some serious schmoozing to get some people on the board if you don't have the cash to pay them for this but I think it could be an informal group. Maybe just a few specific people you meet up with or talk to each week to discuss your new marketing or product ideas and get some feedback.

I have had a few friends ask me for business advice recently and due to the fact that I LOVE small business, I am totally psyched to help them out. Obviously it's one of my favorite subjects so why would I say no? I'm sure there are many others out there like me.

I love this idea and I'm thinking right now who I should pick. It could even be a group of other business owners that gather each week to drink coffee and talk business. I think it would be worth it. You would stay grounded and motivated (and caffienated).

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Startup Quotes

via Startup Quote!

A List

Obviously, things have been a little crazy around here lately. I'm still limping quite a bit due to my sprained ankle and I've been all over the place trying to run my summer events. In about 2 weeks things should be slowing down again (finally!).

Here are a few things I've been reading about lately:

-When Less is More in Consumer Choice

-Are you an Early Bird Entreprenuer?

-Retail Analytics

-Researching Packaging Design for a new project I'm working on

-Finding new things to do on Friday Nights

Friday, July 16, 2010

Pirate Radio

I found a movie that combines many of my favorite things: rock music, the 1960's, boats, rebels, and random dance parties. Pirate Radio is a british comedy about a station, Radio Rock, which battles the government in order to play the music they love. It is full of great music and I also love the cinematography. I also liked feeling like I was on a boat with these guys.
Since I was so impressed with the visuals, I thought I would throw some up here.


This has been my view for nearly the last two weeks. I sprained my ankle at a wedding in Portland on the 3rd (no, not while jumping for the bouquet) and today was the first day that I found I could stand while putting my right foot flat on the floor. Still can't walk without crutches, which is mildly frustrating.
So, I'm not here to complain, just give an update. After a vacation through southern Oregon spent mostly sitting sideways in the backseat of a car, one leg on a cooler, listening to Radiolab and trying to stay cool in the 100 degree weather I have been on the couch working from my sister's home (I live in a 3rd floor apartment with no elevator).

I have spent more time staring at the tv in these last two weeks than I probably have in the last year and I'm totally caught up on all the reality drama of Bravo and Anthony Bourdain's most recent exploits.
It has been an interesting experience being so dependent on others. Acquiring food is particularly trying at times. If I'm hungry and alone, I basically have to eat standing in the kitchen since I can't carry anything while crutching along. I'm kind of wondering if there is some obvious trick to this stuff that I'm not figuring out. What do people do if they break a leg?!
I'm just thankful it only knocked me out of routine for a few weeks and not a few months.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I've Got Personality

A study from the Guardian Life Index lists six characteristics of entreprenuers. It's good to know that I have similar personality traits to successful small business owners.

Success-oriented small business owners understand how to delegate effectively to
others within their business as well as build strong personal relationships with their management team, employees, consultants, vendors and customers. They are more
committed “to creating opportunities for others.”
Success-oriented small business owners place a high value on the personal fulfillment
and gratification that their companies provide them, relishing the self-determination and respect that comes from being their own boss and being in control of their personal income and long-term net worth. They are more desirous of “doing something for a living that I love to do,” “being able to decide how much money I make” and “being able to have the satisfaction of creating something of value.”
Planning for both the short- and long-term future are key traits that characterize
success-oriented small business owners. They are more focused on cash flow and more
likely to have “a well thought out plan to run our business for years into the future” as well as “a well thought out plan to run our business day to day.”
Success-oriented small business owners are more open to learning how others run their businesses. They actively seek best practice insights regarding management, business innovation, prospecting and finding/motivating/retaining employees.
Technology is a key point of leverage for success-oriented small business owners. They more intensely value their company’s website and are significantly more likely to “rely a great deal on technology to help make our business more effective and more efficient.”
Action oriented
Finally, success-oriented small business owners are more proactive in taking initiative to build their businesses. They are more committed to “taking the business to the next level,” “differentiating ourselves from our competitors” and “having something to sell when I’m ready to retire.” They also see adversity as “a kick in the rear to help move you forward.” Not surprisingly, they are less concerned than other small business owners about the overall state of the economy.

Read the full report here or another article about it here.


I haven't posted since Monday... I had no idea! Where did the week go? Well, I suppose it could have something to do with me trying to get all of my work done for my summer programs along with some side projects before my friends are in town for a long weekend.

I am so excited for this weekend! It will include kayaking, riding the Ducks, food, food and more food, rooftop bars, hilarious friends, Portland (!!), camping, and of course fireworks!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Tiny Office

Speaking of Tiny Houses, how about a Tiny Office?

I think I need a job where this makes any kind of sense. At this point I don't, but someday!! I'll just have to get creative since I do not have a green thumb. Not even close.

I was thinking that maybe I should get a trailer like this for my great American road trip and deck it out with a bed and a desk.
Thanks Sunset! You always keep me focused on the important things.

Tiny House How-To

NPR is offering some advice on how to get your own Tiny House. Unfortunately I don't live in Vermont, otherwise I might be spending some time learning how to build one of these masterpieces.

I also think I need to check out this web series Tiny Yellow House, specifically because they described it as Wayne's World meets This Old House. Perfect!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Queen B Quilts

Business has picked up a bit for Queen B Quilts, my t-shirt quilting business adventure which I started four years ago. I haven't put much effort into advertising or sales, but have relied merely on word of mouth, facebook and my blog to get my name out there. I have had the right amount of sales for my needs and wants up until now. However, I'm considering an expansion of sorts.

Recently, I approached the store Assemble in hopes of partnering to host quilting classes at their shop. We will be offering this class (a two parter) in July. I'm really excited by this idea of teaching a group to make their own quilts, because... well, I'm a social person and quilting alone in my apartment doesn't really thrill me. Just having the class listed on their website has boosted visits to my blog and facebook sites.

So, now I'm starting to think I could really take this somewhere. I have a few ideas I would like to implement as soon as I get a second to really concentrate on this project. I don't ever want to veer away from t-shirt quilting, but I'm trying to find new ways to offer it to everyone.

Stay tuned...

Monday, June 21, 2010

Piano Man

New York, you continue to impress me! Yet another take on "keys to the city" here with instalation/interactive art.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

I don't think would work here in Seattle. Too many hills and rain.

Lanch Party

What is the point of a "product launch" and is it right for you? Here is a useful how-to from Inc. Magazine.

1. Determine Your Purpose
2. Scout Your Location
3. Give Your Audience a Reason To Go
4. Follow Up

They also warn that holding a product launch event isn't for everyone, especially in cases of today's super busy, triple-booked customers.

I will be taking this advice and also thinking creatively about how a re-imagined product launch might look in the era of the busy and easily distracted mentality.

Friday, June 18, 2010


This is really exciting stuff! The McMenamins family is coming to Seattle! Well, Seattle-ish. And really I guess we do already have McMenamins' pubs here, here and here, but this is what I've been hoping for.
I frequent the Kennedy School in Portland whenever I can, so I really hope that this new renovated school they are setting up in Bothell is comparably awesome.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Post 101...

... and I'm ready to hit the road.

New goal: Save up enough money to quit everything and take my life on the road for at least 3 months.

Jennifer O'Keefe has lived my dream. See her pictures of The Great American Road Trip.

Listening to: The Helio Sequence

Monday, June 14, 2010

I Need A Nap

This might be the best looking and most inviting bed I've ever seen. I love small spaces, especially bedrooms where the bed is crammed in a corner. I also enjoy the messiness of the bedding and the fact that it's right up against a window. Perfect for lazy weekends and people watching.

Get Noticed

7 Ideas for Generating Buzz for your Business

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Finally! A good way to save all of the links I find without clogging up my favorites bar or frantically posting everything on this blog!
Thanks SwissMiss

Phone Phobia

Are you afraid of the phone? It seems we might be a new generation with a phone phobia. I don't think any official studies have been done, but I know that I don't particularly love using the phone and I've heard many friends and peers say the same.

A comment on the linked post above says that it's not fear but inefficiency that keeps them from using the phone, to which I agree. I often get phone calls where people are asking for documents to be emailed to them and then I have to get their email address (hoping I don't misspell something) and email them back anyway. I would just prefer an email in the first place. I'm also just a person who really likes to get to the point and I think email or text messaging does a nice job of that.

Another reason I prefer email or text is that it's always in my face. I mean, when people call and leave a voicemail, I sometimes delete it and then forget about it. I rarely delete emails or texts so everytime I check those, your name is still sitting there waiting for a response.

So now you know why I don't answer my phone.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Quick Starts

I always seem to be in a search to define myself through a test or put myself into a category, and judging by the number of personality/temperament tests out there I think most of us are searching for definition too.

Anyway, back down to earth. Inc. has a two parter on Entrepreneur personalities! I got a little bit lost in the first part, since I'm not much of a baseball fan but part two really lays it out nicely.

I didn't take any test, but I know myself well enough to know exactly which category I fit into right away.
“Quick Starts” enjoy initiating new things. They are creative problem solvers and think laterally. Easily bored, Quick Starts tend to begin lots of projects but need help finishing any of them.

I've managed to teach myself to stop starting so many projects, but that desire is always ALWAYS there. As Lewis Carroll wrote in Through the Looking Glass, "Sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

My challenge is, as always, how do I put this strength to good use? I often think this is a good skill for millionaires who don't mind losing a few bucks on a new business or at least have a few bucks to get something off the ground. How can I find a way (within my means) to put my creativity to work?

Backyard Party

I keep wishing I had a backyard so I could have an outdoor party of some kind (not that the weather is cooperating either). Rachel Ray has some fun outdoor party ideas. I particularly enjoy this Backyard Rose Party idea. Maybe you could host this and invite me. :)

Wish I Was Here

via random
via sfgirlbybay
via sfgirlbybay