Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Resolution Time

New Year's Eve is fast approaching and, of course, I'm starting to think about resolutions. I actually haven't made resolutions, at least real ones, before. I think one year my resolution was to be more boring (read: stop doing so much) and by the end of the year I found myself bored. At least I succeeded, right?

This year I'm thinking of committing to daily blogging... however, I find this very scary. It seems like a daunting task. What if I run out of things to say?! On the other hand, looking at blogging as a commitment actually changes my perspective about it entirely. Committing to something actually means making a real plan to prevent failure, so I've already started making notes and thinking about my purpose in blogging and what message I want to send.

So, it looks like I have three days to make a final decision, but it's looking like a good option.

What are your New Year's resolutions?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Retail Innovation

I've been thinking a lot about the type of retail operation I would like to have someday and my thoughts have been all over the place and confusing. Why? Because I've been thinking that I want to do something that is new and different than any other retail shop out there.

Well, it seems that someone beat me to it! This short video is super inspiring. I love seeing what new and innovative projects people are working on... even if I thought of it first.

Check out the story about this New York store starting a retail revolution.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

All I Want For Christmas

It seems that this song has turned into some kind of meme. There are so many lip syncing videos to this it's ridiculous. However this is my favorite!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Nice Shirt, America

Holy moly! It's been so long since I wrote here!! I'm planning to give this blog a lot more attention... starting now.

I successfully completed my 6 week road trip around the country, on the search for America's best t-shirts! One thing is for sure... this project may never have an ending. I got a lot of great photos of people in their interesting shirts, but I want MORE.

You can read all about the trip over at Nice Shirt, America and check out all of my photos on flickr.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Social Media 102

Social Marketing 102: How to be Interesting without Getting Overwhelmed from I Heart Art: Portland on Vimeo.

I just spent this morning watching this video from a workshop called "Social Media 102: How to be interesting without getting overwhelmed" hosted by I Heart Art PDX and taught by Diane Gilelland of Crafty Pod.

The video is 2 hours long, so I hope you have some spare time, but it will probably be worth it for you if you are looking to take your business and your marketing to the next level. There are a couple of things I took away from this:

1. Do what works for you (and your customers). Don't do everything just because people say you are "supposed to." The thing about social media is that it is about you. It's a very personal thing and people will see right through you if you kind of hate using twitter, but do it anyway. Basically, no half-assing it (pardon the swear) because it will probably do you more harm than good.

2. Social Media Marketing works because you get involved in a community. It is a form of permission marketing. People have to choose to listen to you and once they have chosen you, you must keep them involved! Someone asked a question about getting readers to their blog but it came out that they don't typically comment on other blogs. This made me think of the Theory of Reciprocity. Basically, you are more likely to do something nice for someone who has done something nice for you and vice versa. If you want people to comment on your blog, tweet to you, retweet your tweets, become your friend on facebook (and in real life) you should probably do the same for them.

Over the past few months, I have personally found twitter to be my new best friend. I get the most feedback and the most blog views from twitter. Facebook fans tend to be more loyal, I think, but they also tend to be absent most of the time. Plus, Facebook seems to be making some changes that makes it even harder to reach new people (anybody notice that you can't suggest to friends anymore?). Twitter just seems more social to me... but that's my two cents. Do what works for you.

Finally, I'm so intrigued by this that I would really like to talk to be IRL (in real life) about this stuff! If you are in the Portland or Seattle area (or anywhere in between) and want to meet up for an hour to chat about business stuff and grab coffee, please let me know! You can send me an email at britta.folden[at] I would love to take what I learn from these conversations and share it here on my blog!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Future of Work is Now


I like this idea of no lines between work and play. As opposed to the image of "well-rounded" as a pie divided into different slices or categories, we should probably be using a venn diagram.

As risky and as scary as it may sound to live a life where you seem to have so many things on your plate and without the security of a job with regular benefits and vacation time, it seems to me that this way of life actually has potential for building a more solid foundation and for making us all happier and better connected. In this way, we rely on each other. There are no boundaries! We should always be looking for ways to collaborate and help each other in the world. And think of the potential! If we continually move along to where we can contribute our best effort, the actual output and quality of our work over a lifetime will be much greater than if we spend our life finding ways to fill our time at a 40 hour a week job.

So, does this scare anyone? Living your life project to project is a risky thing! It probably should scare you. And maybe that isn't such a bad thing. Most likely, living on the edge of failure will actually propel you to work harder to succeed. What risks have you taken lately?

Monday, August 8, 2011


I kind of can't believe it's Monday. I got caught up making some new things for my shop and pretty much forgot to leave the house this weekend, for the most part.

Do you ever do this? It's funny to be home in front of a sewing machine on a Saturday night, but when I'm in the mood to make something I have to do it!

I'm about to hit the road now. See you soon Seattle!

Friday, August 5, 2011


"Nobody said it was easy... but, no one ever said it would be this hard." - Coldplay

Sometimes, I get tired of hearing quotes about how simple life is when you find a way to do what you love for a living...

Really? Really?

I'm just saying, I think sometimes those statements can be misleading. If you want to be successful, you have to work hard. Is there any way around that? It might be more interesting if you can make a career at something you love, but it sure ain't easy.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Adding Value

How do you increase sales? Is it by getting your message in front of more people through advertising? Maybe. Is it by offering sales and discounts? Sometimes.

Those strategies can work, but they both have a few problems.

Advertising: If you can manage to find a good website or magazine to advertise in that reaches your target market, it will probably be very expensive. And how many people actually pay attention to advertising? We see tons of ads every day (even if you don't watch TV)... how many do you remember? How often do you see an ad and decide to click on it or remember it later?

Discounts: A discount offered for a short period can cause those potential customers who are busy sitting on the fence to finally make a purchase and maybe you end up getting some good business out of it. But what happens when the sale ends? My guess is that you've just sold to a sector of people who just want a deal and they'll probably wait until your next deal to come back again.

So, what else is there to do?

What about adding value? This strategy will grab people's attention, push those fence sitters off balance and possibly help your company's image overall. There are many ways you can add value.

Increase the quality of your product. Use your creativity and change something about your product so that it actually increases in value. For instance, I offered an upgrade to a wool backing on a quilt for one lucky customer once. I got an order right away. This can come in the form of a giveaway or a limited edition of your typical product. This also provides a great excuse to share something new on your blog or through a email newsletter.

Give your customer a good experience. If you offer a service, maybe you can find a way to keep them up to date on your progress. If you sell a product online, maybe you should think about your packaging. I once ordered a camera lens from Photojojo and in the package they included a tiny green toy dinosaur. It was so random but also it made me smile. Make sure your customers get that good feeling when they think of your company.

Support other small businesses. This month, over at Queen B Quilts, I'm offering my customers a free cupcake with every order. Not only will this hopefully (fingers crossed) increase sales, but it's just fun and it gives me the opportunity to support another small business simultaneously.

What strategies have you used that have shown results?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Forget Perfection

James Victore Live at AIGA SF from Hillman Curtis on Vimeo.

There is something I just love about James Victore's persona. He has a sense of clarity of thought to every word he says that I really admire. I also like that he takes risks and isn't afraid to poke fun at the idiosyncrasies of the creative process.

He touches on the idea of "perfection" as being, basically, a waste of time as well as being uninteresting.

This is one of my favorite topics and also one of my biggest personal pet peeves. As you might notice over there right above that picture of me is the quote from Chris Campbell: "the only way to train for a startup is by starting." And Victore says this in his lecture, perfection will keep you from starting new projects. I have also previously posted about an inspirational blog from Seth Godin about the fact that many of us entrepreneurs feel compelled to start our own businesses. Compelled.

For me personally, there really is no choice in the matter. I have to start things. I have to create. I love thinking about the future. I love facing challenging circumstances. I know that this is the path I have to take if I want to gain major fulfillment in my life.

Still, there is a desire for perfection. Or, maybe if you flip it around, it's actually a fear of failure and rejection. I love Victore's rebellious attitude about this, because I think that's what we all need sometimes. I dare you to spend a day thinking only radically positive thoughts about your work and taking some time to explore the weird ideas you might come up with throughout the day instead of pushing them aside, possibly forgetting about them completely.

Seems to me that starting a business is a mix of gut instinct, experimentation and commitment. When you have a good idea, go with it. Develop it. Push it to it's outer most limits. Get out of your comfort zone.

I love hearing people I admire, those who are out there achieving their goals, talk about how scary it is. About how they actually feel a little bit sick to their stomaches all of the time... and how that's when they know they're doing the right thing. It is such a great reminder in those times when you have some goal you really want but the risks seem high, that you must keep going.

And, again, forget about perfection. If you really want something, go for it. There will always be reasons to hold off until tomorrow, so just take a step in the right direction now. Yes, now.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

We are All Designers Here

We are all designers. And design, as defined on Wikipedia (it's legit), is: a specification of an object, manifested by an agent, intended to accomplish goals, in a particular environment, using a set of primitive components, satisfying a set of requirements, subject to constraint.

So, if we think like designers when creating our businesses, maybe we should ask these questions:

What is your object?
What is your business all about? What are you selling?

How am I involved in the creation of this object?
You probably can't do it all alone. It is important to realize your strengths and focus on those. If you really just love knitting and would rather avoid marketing all together, you may want to find ways to outsource those tasks that cost you a lot of time and cause you dissatisfaction.

What goal is it accomplishing?
Are you going into business because you need to unload all of those stuffed animals you just made? That's great! Do you want to be completely self-employed within a year? Awesome. But you should define this right away so you know where your priorities lie.

How will it be created?
This might be considered the Research & Development stage. Find your suppliers. Perfect your craft and make sure you have the right systems in place to produce the amount of items you plan to sell, according to your goals (see previous question).

What makes it functional?
How will people find your business? This is a big, big question to answer and one that will come with a lot of trial and error. The most important thing is to make sure that there is a clear path to follow from first meeting to the sale and even the delivery and feedback. It is a continual loop and you need to be conscious of every step along the way.

What is it not?
This might be one of the most important questions to ask yourself. Design is all about creating order and function in the simplest way possible. Simplify your business. Find your focus and find a way to perfect that one thing so that your customers clearly understand what it is you are trying to do.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Pumped Up Kicks

I know this song is a little bit scary if you listen to the lyrics, but it's also a great motivator when you're feeling a little bit defeated in the business world.

Going to dance around to this now...


Man oh man, I have been busy! But it's a good kind of busy... I'm trying to finish up a few HUGE quilt orders while simultaneously launching my new project Nice Shirt, America.

What started as just a way to add some purpose to a cross country road trip has turned into a million new business ideas as well as a few revelations.

A comment on a previous post from Diane got me thinking. Where do I find my customers? Who are my customers? People always ask me that and I've always just said "people so obsessed with something that they have a t-shirt collection to prove it." How vague.

Still, I spent all of my time posting my links to style blogs and trying to connect with other crafters. I did the occasional ad in a high school newspaper or posted flyers around town or on some college campus, but I have to admit: I have NEVER gotten any paying business out of these efforts.

Why? Well, I think I have a few challenges. First, I offer a service. People have to feel like they are in need of this service. This can be a challenge because it's hard to reach people who have never even considered making their t-shirts into a quilt. They don't even know such a thing exists. Most of my current customers are people who have thought of this idea already and are in search of someone to accomplish it for them.

Second, my product would be considered a "luxury" item. It's a big purchase. So, my customers must really love these t-shirts. I think the economy adds to this challenge, but I'm not too worried about that at this point.

Lastly, I've always been asking myself "How do you find people with t-shirts?"

I kind of had a "duh" moment with this... and only AFTER I had started my Nice Shirt, America blog. I started the blog because I am genuinely interested in t-shirts and I wanted to talk to people on the streets about it while traveling around the country. Sounds like the best vacation ever to me. After thinking about it for a while I realized: This is it! This is how to market to people who love t-shirts... write about t-shirts. My business has very little to do with quilts, turns out. I'm pretty sure that my customers don't go to craft fairs and they don't really care about recycling (not that they *don't* care, it's just not their main motivator). They love their t-shirts! So, here I am to showcase that.

Of course, this project is an experiment. As with most marketing endeavors, it's difficult to predict the likelihood that anything will actually increase sales, but I think it's worth a try. I'll keep you updated as time goes on.

But the challenge for you: take a hard look at your product and your customers and find out who they really are.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Gotta Fight

via That's Wright

Photos: Portland, Pickwick and Depoe Bay

See more on Flickr

Book Club: What's Mine is Yours

Today, I started reading What's Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption by Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers.

Thus far, it is very interesting especially in light of my recent interest in the idea of "free." It is definitely a little bit disturbing to hear about how wasteful our society has become in a relatively short time. I am intrigued by the idea of collaborative consumption, and it seems to be gaining popularity, especially very recently. But, we have already started encountering problems - Netflix's recent price hike comes to mind.

I'm excited to read through this book and discuss it further with peers and put a review here.

If you would like to join me in reading this book, consider buying it through this link. Not only is Amazon awesome, but (full-disclosure) I get a little kick back from you buying through this link and that will make me happy and probably motivate me to write more. So if you like me, buy this book here! Win-win-win.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Google, Ruler of the World

How much do you think about your small business website's searchability?

I, for one, am constantly worrying about it. A large portion of my business comes from people who find me through web search engines like Google, so it is very important that I stay on top of my SEO strategy.

There are a few things I know for sure:

1. Search Engine Optimization is strange and kind of fascinating
2. Search Engine Optimization is really boring to actually put into use
3. Google is one Bad A mofo that won't take s*@# from anybody

Like many others, I was incredibly intimidated by the idea of implementing SEO into my website. Turns out, it's not really all that complicated. Google has even provided a nice little SEO starter guide which helped me a lot. Plus they created a cute little robot character to help lighten the blow.

How can you be scared of this?

However, as I brought up in point #2 - it's incredibly time consuming and really pretty boring. So, depending on how you value your time, you may want to delegate this task out to someone else(if you're really smart, you'll get a website designer that also knows SEO).

And I'm not kidding about that third point. Google is very strict and knows aaaaall of the tricks. Don't even try it. Do it right. Follow the rules, you rebel.

Creativity is a necessity though, because you need to differentiate yourself! What makes your hand-knit scarves (or what have you) special?

Think about it this way, if you specialized in hot pink angora wool hand-knit scarves in Portland, Oregon and you used those keywords to your advantage in your SEO... I'm betting you'd come up first in a Google search for that particular thing. You have to stop thinking about marketing to everyone and start thinking about marketing only to those people who will want to buy what you're offering.

This is where we find our power, small business leaders of America! You might think - oh I can't compete with [insert mega-giant corporation here], but you can! The key is specialization, finding your audience and maintaining a consistent message throughout your marketing efforts.

Have you found your niche yet?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A World of Free: Or, Why Don't You Just Buy Something Already?

I attended I Heart Art PDX's salon discussion entitled A World of Free tonight. The discussion was led by Rebel Craft Rumble champ and blogger extraordinaire, Diane Gilleland.

The conversation was very interesting and it definitely got me thinking about "free." What is the value of the content we freely share in the blogosphere? Is this actually helping us in the long run? What is the point of all this?

While I would like to let some of this discussion sink in to my brain a bit, I do want to share a few things while it's still fresh.

I think there were two very important points made tonight.

1. What value can you create from your content (and is it measurable)?

It seems to me that most small business owners these days are blogging either because they're "supposed to" or because they honestly want to share something of themselves with their potential customers. In my experience, blogging does increase traffic (if you're aware of Google and SEO this is probably something you've thought about) and it can make you feel good as a business owner because you often get positive feedback about your posts. BUT... what is all of this effort getting you?

When I worked in non-profit fundraising, the idea of "dating" was thrown around a lot. Like, all. of. the. time. Getting people to sign on to your idea and then open their wallets is like some kind of mating ritual. The way I see it, small business ownership is the same way. Let me break it down:

-First, you have to make sure you're worthy of dating. Make yourself look good. Spray on some perfume. Pack on the make-up. Whatever you do. Look pretty. It's about quality really (i.e. does your website look good and is it easy to navigate?)

-Then, there's some flirting involved. I think this is kind of like advertising. You have to get some attention and get them to at least make eye contact and intrigue them somehow. Buy some ad space, put up fliers, get yourself out there!

-Next, they click on the link - you've got a date! Now you have to be charming. I feel like this is where blogging comes in. You've done all of this work just to get them to spend some time with you... what normally happens on a date? You discuss things - hobbies, interests, places you've traveled... mostly a bunch of random bits that are funny and cute, but really only hint at who you truly are. Just like your blog posts. You want to keep them coming back for more.

-But here's where things get sticky. At some point, you're going to have to tell this person what you need and why you're here with them. Whatever that is, you've got to figure out a way to get your point across. Most likely with your business, you want these readers to buy something from you, to hand over the dough. It's the only way the relationship can continue! If not, they can still be friends but we both know that will never work. They'll check your blog posts for a while but will eventually fall out of touch.

So, you've got the charming stuff going for you, I assume. The blog is going well, but do you have goals in place? Do you even know what you want out of this relationship? You should probably figure that out and then find a way to work it into the conversation or else you might be just wasting your time.

2. Do you recognize the distinction between community and customers in your internet world?

I have to admit, I've avoided the craft community for a long time. It's not that I don't like crafty people because I really do - they are incredibly interesting - but I grew up in a crafty househould. On weekends, we went to craft fairs and walked around gathering ideas of things to make at home. We were big DIY'ers. When I started Queen B Quilts and wanted to spread the word, I decided to do a couple of craft fairs and do you know what happened? Crafty ladies would come to my table, ask me how I make my quilts and then say "thanks!" and walk away. I know they were just going to take that info home with them and do it themselves - meanwhile, it cost me $50 and day of sitting in one place to leave with no sales.

In fact, I've been fascinated by handmade businesses for a long time. How do they survive? Who is buying this stuff? It always seems to me that they are just marketing to other crafty people who are probably just taking the idea and not buying a darn thing.

Now, I'm completely ignoring the many many benefits of being involved in a craft community, but that's beside the point. If you're marketing to people who know how to make your product, you need a better marketing plan [or maybe a new product - I'll get to that another time]. Who are your customers? Where do they hang out? What do they do on the weekend? How old are they? Do they shop online? Do they even read blogs?!?!

This is probably the most important thing you need to identify in your business plan (whether it's written down or in your head), who is buying what you're selling? Figure that out and go find them. Your product or service should be solving a problem that your customer has. Diane said tonight that she looks for "no brainer" moments, where your customer doesn't even need to think before saying "oh yeah - I'll pay for that!" What is it that you're offering that might make someone immediately pull out their credit card?

I think the key idea here is to have a clear and compelling idea and then find the people who could really use it. [side note: this could be one of those "chicken or the egg" scenarios... may need to discuss this again later] And remember that the free content you're giving out is only creating a pleasing atmosphere for your customers. It most likely isn't going to drive your sales, but it's definitely not hurting them either.

It's a complicated world out there. Hold fast!

10 Principles to Live By

Good morning!

It really feels like Monday for me today, since I've had a friend visiting from out of town (read: lots of eating and drinking and no work).

So, I was glad to see this motivating little article today about finding integrity and authenticity at work. I find these 10 principles to be useful to everyone, whether you work in a big company or not.

Out of the 10, I'd like to highlight a few that stood out to me:

"Excellence is an unrelenting struggle, but it's also the surest route to enduring satisfaction"
This has been echoing in my head lately. Carving out your own path is rough, for sure but keeping this as a mantra has been helpful to me. It has taken me this far in life to finally have some grasp on what it means to be satisfied and what I need to get there. However, I have to constantly remind myself that it's because of this that I do what I do. Not for fame and fortune. Not because it's the easier path to take. I realize that just knowing what I want in life makes me pretty lucky. I'm not about to ignore this opportunity.

(via wit+delight)
"You need less than you think you do"
Personally, I find that owning a lot of things can be burdensome. I recently cleared out some furniture from my work space and I immediately felt more creative. Sometimes you actually need the space to think. Also, owning fewer things means that you'll have less stuff to worry about.

"Meaning isn't something you discover, it's something you create, one step at a time."
Blogging has helped me realize this, because when I look back over the things I have chosen to write down it's much easier to see the common thread running through it all. Even when I was confused or unsure about life, it still seems to fit into the grander plan.

Thursday, June 30, 2011


I've been reading a lot about supporting local economies lately... I'm still working out my thoughts, but here are some great articles.

Support Your Local Business - Invest In It

Lessons from BALLE in Bellingham

And this article about the top trends of 2011
Top 10 Trends for 2011

I would really like to get involved in some kind of community business group or city planning committee. I am completely fascinated by it all!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

I've Got Confidence

I'm trying something new... I read this article at of an interview with former Yahoo executive Tim Sanders. He has written a book called Today We Are Rich. He spent a period of his life in what he calls "sideways years." He wasn't necessarily moving backward in his career but he certainly wasn't moving forward.

He has some good advice in the article and I'm definitely curious to read his whole book. I think we all find ourselves lacking confidence from time to time. Especially as entreprenuers. There are so many things to deal with and it can be difficult when you feel it's just you against the world, fighting for your spot in the market.

Sanders suggests that you give more, in a charitable manner, in order to boost your sense of well being. He even gets a little bit scientific about why it's such a good thing. But the advice I'm going to try out, because it seems such a simple thing, is about media intake.

He explains that the internet is pretty much full of garbage and we should be careful about what we are filling our brains up with every day because it might have a lasting effect on our confidence and ultimately our success. His suggestion: no internet, news, facebook, twitter, email, etc. for the first 30 minutes of your day.

This is exactly what my morning is. Wake up. Grab phone. Check email. Facebook. Twitter. Repeat if necessary.

So, today I tried something new. Actually got out of bed when my alarm went off! Turned on some lovely music (Fleet Foxes). Did some yoga. Ate breakfast. Then checked my email. I definitely feel more calm and collected than usual. It's also sunny today so that might have something to do with it. Either way, I plan to try this for at least the next few weeks and see how it goes. Let me know if you do the same!

Monday, June 20, 2011

How to Decide

Sometimes I find myself sitting in my chair staring blankly into space, trying to figure out what to do next... why are decisions so hard to make? Especially those little ones like when it's 7pm and I'm starving and just staring at my open refrigerator and I end up deciding to just go watch tv instead of eating something. It makes no sense.

Let me make a decision for you, read this article. It contains 5 tips on daily decision making. The tips are surprisingly interesting and useful. Don't overthink it.

Friday, June 17, 2011


I've decided to bring this blog back to life! So let's get started...

Do you know how well your website is doing? I have to admit, sometimes I stay up until midnight just so I can check my stats on Google Analytics (is it sad that it might be one of the most exciting parts of my day?). I'm slowly figuring out how the whole thing works, but I've been curious about the "bounce rate."

So, in a short explanation, the bounce rate is a percentage number given to you to show how many people leave your page after only visiting the main page. The lower the number, the better. Why does it matter? Because the lower your number, the higher your google search ranking and we all know that higher google ranking equals more money in your pocket. Also, the bounce rate really seems to reflect the quality of your website. If people find your site confusing and aren't sure where to go next... they probably give up.

I like to think about it in terms of a retail store or restaurant. You probably have something in mind that you are looking for when you walk through the doors. What is it? Once you're inside, do you know where to look?

I often go searching for pretty random things that sometimes can only be found in those evil big box stores... after wandering for what seems like hours sometimes, I often give up. That's what you want to avoid on your website. On my site, Queen B Quilts, people are most likely searching for t-shirt quilting services and what do they want to know? How much is this gonna cost me? So rather than hide that little detail I have the link listed at the top of the page and along the side. Don't make people go through some song and dance to get what they really want.

Gonzoblog has some tips on how to improve your bounce rate. It's good for business and it will probably greatly improve the design of your website as well! Do not overdesign - personal pet peeve of mine!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Shut Up and Say Something

we come to this world armed with curiosity
and amazement
edit the unsent letters of my life into a one word statement

to romantic flashlight lit dinners when you run out of candles
to handles on pillows so you can hold on to your dreams
to the underdog dog sled teams that use angry cats instead of canines
to landmines filled with confetti

to the steady hands of friends that live like surgeons
operating on our broken hearts
building pacemakers from the spare parts of mercy
we spend most of our lives figuring out what we don't want

we haunt ourselves with regret
because we almost always bet the odds
we play it safe
we waste time wondering
what if we're wrong?
what if we fail? what if we lose? what then?

then you're a loser

but you're not alone
there's a legion of us that have been shot down
on a long enough timeline
everyone fails

there's an entire universe made up of the unsent secret crush emails
a hollow sky filled with the lost details of what it feels like to never know
because we go about our lives never having tried
feeling justified in our 'what if' excuses

what if he, she, they, them, that, it
what if it didn't?
and I ask
what if it did?

the kid in me says yes to everything
the love in me says
shut up and say something

Shane Koyczan


This talk was equally depressing and inspiring.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Email? I'll get to it later.

As I understand it, most people aren't as crazy as I am about upkeep on email inboxes. These 10 tips about email etiquette seem very useful for those who feel inundated with mail on a regular basis.

Here's to conquering email in 2011!

Thursday, January 13, 2011


My unsturdy bookcase full of literary gems like Wine Trails of Washington (should probably get the Oregon version now) and Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People by Amy Sedaris.

Yes, that horse is missing a leg.

The blank canvas either represents a world of possibilities or it's a sign of my procrastination.

This picture represents how cheap I am - or rather that I spend all of my money on musical instruments.

Couch made from a moving pallet, some foam from the as-is section of IKEA, wool from the sale bin at the Pendleton outlet and some wine boxes found in my mom's garage.

Coffee table compliments of Microsoft.

Paint by numbers of the ocean, 50 cents at the B Street thrift store in Aberdeen.

Nearly complete set of Seinfeld, won at trivia night.

I'm addicted to Pendleton Wool (curtains, 2 blankets and dust ruffle. Not sure where the rug originated).

I pray every night that these shelves don't fall down.
**UPDATE** The bottom shelf did, in fact, fall down.

The biggest bathroom I have ever occupied. I could probably fit a small bed in here.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Oh, Hello 2011

I've been thinking for the last 2 hours about how bored I am and that I should just go to bed and then I remembered that I have a blog that needs some attention and here I am!

Needless to say, I'm in a bit of a writing slump. I've had some good ideas of topics to write about lately but I'm feeling less than inspired. I blame the year 2011... or maybe placing blame is a bad idea - don't want to get off on the wrong foot. But, nevertheless, I feel the weight of the year ahead on my shoulders and I've been working up the courage to get started on my many projects and goals.

I've been spending the last week trying to get my new apartment in order. It's coming along slowly. I am most excited about the little office/sewing space I'm creating in one corner (it's a studio, so this work space is far from perfect) of the apartment. I'm hoping this will open the doors to inspiration and some good old-fashioned hard work.

Also, I'm debating many things in my mind as always. Mostly, as far as career and business goes, I would like to get a clear vision for the next year and possibly further in order to decide on some goals and begin the pursuit. But I'll wait until I get the desk set up...