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Month: August 2014

The Adventures

Every day is an adventure. I share this week's adventures – the view, the gratitude and the news on Fridays. You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

The view

Your Daily Adorbs. #catagram #taralovesmorningsEvery once in a while Johnson City looks downright adorable. (From last night's after dinner walk in the new park)
Jay's birthday cake: the absolutely most peanut buttery thing ever. Peanut Butter Pie, 4 ingredients. Recipe on the blog today. #whatveganseat
My favorite running weather: sun-dappled.    (Today I accidentally ran 5k, at a pace 1:10 faster than usual, thanks to my playlist.).   #foundwhilerunning
Today's @creativelive class with @craftypod inspired me to REALLY dig out the old t-shirts. This was in the VERY back, at the VERY top of the storage space.  This #quilting project now involves climbing and lifting.    Totally worth it. I now have shirts

After three days of trimming, interfacing & cutting I'm finally laying it out! I have just a few spots to fill in and then I'm ready to piece!   (Thanks to @craftypod'd class!)

I am so grateful for…

    • Diane fantastic t-shirt quilting class. It finally got our long-saved t-shirts out of storage and into an actual quilt! It was so nice to go through the stack together and remember all of our adventures.
    • Lovely morning runs.
    • The sweet, uplifting emails I get from podcast listeners. Apparently you're taking me to bed, and listening to it before you fall asleep or when you first wake up. I LOVE it.
    • AMAZING students. One crocheted her class notes:

The Finds:

I’m reading:

I’m eating: 

  • Peanut Butter Pie! 

As per your request, here's the recipe:

Mix 1 cup peanut butter, 1 package Tofutti Cream Cheese (or real cream cheese if you like), a half cup of soy whip (or cool whip), and 1/4 cup of powdered sugar. Whip until it's light a fluffy and fill a graham cracker crust. You can eat it right away, or pop it in the freezer for an hour or two, if you want an ice cream pie. I like it just off freezing, where it's cold, but soft.

In case you missed it: 

What adventures have you had?

 

 

Enthusiasm, again {PODCAST}

More Enthusiasm

Play

In the second episode we talked about why you should explore your enthusiasm, what it can add to your business (and life!) and how it works to keep you motivated. But I feel like my commitment to enthusiasm (and that of my clients) has been tested this month and I wanted to share it with you, in case you're also questioning your enthusiasm.

This week, I'm sharing some stories of creative business ladies following their enthusiasm, both myself and my clients, in the hopes that it helps you on your journey.

 

What are you enthusiastic about right now? How could you act on it in a small, do-able way?

What's stopping you?

Links mentioned:

How to listen

  • You can subscribe to it on iTunes (If you do, leave a review!)
  • You can listen to it using the player above or download it.
  • Subscribe or listen via Stitcher (or subscribe in whatever you use for podcasts – just search “Explore Your Enthusiasm” and it should pop up!).

Find all the podcast episodes here.

 

Adventures in Business, with artist Violette Clark

Violette Clark headshotToday I'm sharing an adventure with Starship Captain Violette Clark. Violette is a mixed media artist, art journaler, cartoonist, author and Idea factory.  She lives in a magic cottage with Mr. G in White Rock B.C.  you can find her on herblog or on Facebook.

 

 

People have this fantasy of what it's like to be a full-time artist. But what's a normal day for you really like?

My day tends to vary depending on what's up.  I usually get up and check my e-mail around 7:30ish. Then I respond to Facebook mentions and comments.  On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I blog in the morning usually and then share the post on FB.  Also I post photos of my art or funky home and garden on FB since that's a big part of who I am.  I probably spend waaayyyyy too much time on Facebook but then that's the place I have the most interaction on.  I'm also on Pinterest but don't like to go there too often as you can spend a whack of time there.  Afterwards depending on what I'm working on I may create a Journal Page or a cartoon like my 60 in 60 cartoons I made.  Since I'm an illustrator/cartoonist/art journaler my time is often spent drawing … but more time is spent connecting with other artists, working on interview questions, responding to social media and marketing etc. I think it's a fallacy to think that artists spend the majority of their time creating. They don't…..and quite frankly “I just want to draw!”.  Drawing makes me happy.  You might also find me working on a video – sometimes I post how to videos on Youtube or videos showing what I've done in my home I call the Magic Cottage. Because I'm a grandmother and daughter – I sometimes spend time with my grandchildren (often teaching them crafts) or with my elderly parents. Thankfully what I do is pretty flexible so if I'm needed I can take time off to help out.  If I'm teaching a live workshop much of the day is spent preparing for it and teaching it.

Violette Clark's Art, on TaraSwiger.com

There are so many ways to make a living as a maker – how are you doing it? What have you combined and how has that changed through the years?

Well I teach art journaling online and live classes. I've been blogging for 9 years, that led to a book deal 5 years ago and a book published on Art Journaling. My book, Journal Bliss, led to online classes as well as live classes. Right now I'm creating cartoons – 60 cartoons which are being made into a book, postcards, and tarot cards.  I'm not sure what that might all lead to but I'm open to what happens. I'm hoping to do some public speaking using my cartoons and art journal pages in inspiring PowerPoint presentations.  Also I have been asked to be a part of some online creative workshops so I'll be working on that soon.  For the last several months I've offered “mojo sessions” to help women in small businesses get their mojo going again – helping them with promotional ideas and inspiration.  I'd like to do more sessions in the future which can be done live or in person. I have a ton of ideas and love to share them with creative women.

I am moving away from doing live classes on techniques – I don't really enjoy that anymore and want to focus on creative activities that are meaningful and inspirational. So to sum up your question:  I teach, draw/journal, do 1 -1 consulting sessions and soon I'll be selling my cartoon creations on etsy and on my blog.

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What new thing are you exploring now?

I guess you could say what I'm exploring now is “What gives me juice?”.  What that is is drawing.  Drawing makes me happy. Right now I'm assembling my 60 cartoons to fit into a book format as well as into a tarot deck.  Because I have never made my own book before (self-published) I'm freaking out a bit about doing it – change is always scary for me. I'm sure once I figure it all out I'll laugh at why I was so nervous about the entire venture. Also the wheels are turning on a possible online class that would embrace creativity and spirituality. I'm thinking in this might happen later

What's your definition of success in your business?

Doing what I love, inspiring people and making a decent income from following my bliss is my definition of success. Also success for me would be to have my business in my home in a quiet place near the ocean away from the big cities.  In my world I don't need a ton of money however that would be fine too!

day48_1

What's the next destination you're working towards?

My next destination is completing the inspiring book of cartoons, tarot deck, postcards to be available in the fall – just in time for the Christmas buying season.  Since it's the summer now things are a bit quiet so I can focus on getting the cartoons into a marketable format.  Also I'm working towards having a landing page for my two websites – my business site (http://www.purplejuice.ca) and my blog (http://www.violette.ca) are too confusing for me and everyone else. I want to blend the two into one place but for now I want to create a landing page where you can click on the services and it will take you there immediately.

 

The Adventures

Every day is an adventure. I share the view, the gratitude and the news  on Fridays – you’re invited to join in. You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

The view

Beau knows what comes after a workout: PEANUT BUTTER shake.   #priorities
We stand in amazement at Troy's pizza skillz. #lilbros #notsolittle
Knitting socks with Teddy (& @mistydot). We're working on something great. Announcement soon!
Sooo excited to announce my newest, just-for-fun project: a crafty video podcast with @mistydot! We're talking knitting, dyeing, spinning, quilting and taking you with us to yarn shops & fiber festivals!  1 episode up with a new episode coming tomorrow &
Buying interfacing for @craftypod's T-shirt quilting class on @creativelive (tomorrow!) but Hancock's doesn't  make it easy.

I am so grateful for…

  • New projects
  • Big ideas
  • Making messy art
  • Letting go

 

The Finds:

I’m doing:

I'm quilting along with Diane yesterday and today – turning my old t-shirts into something snuggly! It's free to watch live, so join us here!

I’m eating: 

  • Pad Thai
  • Homemade pizzas! (Because someone always asks: Daiya mozzarella melts pretty well, but I'd rather skip the fake cheese and add LOTS of pesto)
  • Samosa Pot Pie from Bake + Destroy

In case you missed it: 

What adventures have you had?

Assume the Best {Podcast}

Podcast: Assume the Best

Play

When I hired my Number One (ie, my editor, my assistant, my Vulcan), I told her in our first email, “The motto of my company (my life!) is: Assume the Best. Of each other, of our customers, and of every interaction.” When I mentioned this in the episode on Personal Responsibility, I got a lot of feedback from you that you've found this both hard and necessary to running an online business. So let's dig deeper!

In today's episode, we'll talk about:

  • How this is completely different from just “hoping for the best” and giving up your agency.
  • How to have a friendlier and more FUN business by assuming the best.
  • How to assume the best, of even the worst people.

 

How to listen

  • You can subscribe to it on iTunes (If you do, leave a review!)
  • You can listen to it using the player above or download it.
  • Subscribe or listen via Stitcher (or subscribe in whatever you use for podcasts – just search “Explore Your Enthusiasm” and it should pop up!).

Find all the podcast episodes here.

 

 

 

Sometimes, being an explorer means asking for help.

True fact: I have a hard time asking for help. But with the encouragement of the #starshipbiz, I'm trying to get better, especially in service of something scary and big and exciting.   Newest scary thing: I've proposed panels for #SXSW!  You can help by
Remember when I told you about TNNA and how it inspired me to commit to being OPEN to new opportunities, even if I didn't see how I could possibly do it?

Well, more than halfway through this year, I can assure you that that commitment has definitely challenged me. It challenged me to teach for 18 hours (a good 9x more than the longest class I had ever taught), on video, in a fancy studio, in front of 5,000 (and counting!) students. It challenged me to start a podcast. And then another (knitting!) podcast with a friend. It challenged me to teach to my largest-ever in-person audience (alpaca farmers!).

And now my dedication to being Open is challenging me to do something new: Speak at SXSW. At the insistence of Shannon and Heather, I'm joining them in submitting two workshops.

And I could use your help.

You see, the panels are open to voting, and anyone can vote (whether you attend or not!). Voting makes up 30% of the decision (the other part: 40% by Advisory Board, 30% by SXSW staff). It will help us tremendously if you vote.

Here's what we've planned

1. For SXSWedu (the education conference, for educators of all types), we're going to talk about different platforms (like the Starship!) for adult education + how to choose which one is right for your goals.
2. For SXSWi (“Interactive”, for tech and entrepreneur-types), we'll discuss the power of educational platforms in building your community…and how to actually find the time for it.

Voting is quick and simple:
1. Create an account.
2. Visit both of the class links (above) and hit the little “thumbs up” sign next to it.
3. That's it!

To be honest, it was challenging for me to ask for this. I'd rather be useful and provide help, not ask for it. But my Starship Captains convinced me. So! Deep breath!
If you've enjoyed the podcast, the blog posts, the free weekly lessons, or just hanging out online with me, please vote here and here.

Thanks!

The Adventures

Every day is an adventure. I share the view, the gratitude and the news  on Fridays – you’re invited to join in. You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

The view

The most decadent cupcake ever. #Vegan caramel-filled chocolate cupcakes topped with salted caramel buttercream dipped in toasted coconut. Samoa Joe cupcakes, my anniversary gift (everything from scratch, with the thousands of dishes to prove my love.)
Adorable & delicious all-#vegan cafe in the middle of West Virginia. Just what we needed  & we could sit outside with pup! I got a DANDELION latte, and it is GOOD.
Teaching 100+ alpaca farmers how to reach knitters & spinners (like us). SUCH a great group!
Yay! My knitting is in my first-ever project bag! Made by the fabulous @mistydot!
A great Southern, #vegan meal. Black eyed peas, greens, and marinated, baked tofu. #whatveganseat #yum
YAY. My fiber from @graceshalomhopkins arrived! #nofilter needed, it is GORGEOUS. #spinzilla #spinning

I am so grateful for…

 

The Finds:

I’m doing:

This week I joined Spinzilla! It inspired me to get out my dyepots and dye someroving from my mom's sheep, and I gave her a call to see if I could get more…and there's only ONE pound of white left and three pounds of gray. So if you wanted to get some small-farm roving, snag it here. (Before I do.)

I’m eating: 

  • So much good food on the road! Mission Savvy is all-vegan, in the middle of West Virginia (kind of a shock!); a (small) vegan menu at TJ's in Wooster, OH; a great breakfast at Spoon Market in downtown.
  • Tupelo Honey Cafe for our anniversary!
  • Ridiculous cupcakes: Samoa Joe cupcakes from Bake + Destroy = chocolate cupcakes filled with vegan coconut caramel, topped with salted caramel buttercream and rolled in toasted coconut. YEAH.

In case you missed it: 

What adventures have you had?

 

 

Delight your people, fulfill their needs {PODCAST}

Untitled

Play

Now that you've identified your buyer's needs, you can use this information to make ALL of your business decisions easier!  In today's episode, we talk about knowing the needs of your buyers and how to use this knowledge to make your business better and your marketing more effective

Once you identify the needs of your buyer, you can:

  1. Identify who, exactly, has this need.
  2. Create marketing material that is as useful and valuable as your product.
  3. Adapt your product to better fills those needs.

 

How to listen

  • You can subscribe to it on iTunes (If you do, leave a review!)
  • You can listen to it using the player above or download it.
  • Subscribe or listen via Stitcher (or subscribe in whatever you use for podcasts – just search “Explore Your Enthusiasm” and it should pop up!).

Find all the podcast episodes here.

 

 

How to find your buyers

FInd your right PeopleThis is the single most-asked question I receive:
How do I find buyers? How do I let them find me? WHO THE HECK ARE THEY?!?

(You can hear the panic, can't you?)

Well, here's where you start:

(Click through to watch the video)

 

You see, instead of thinking about the buyer, you can back into figuring her out by first identifying what it is your (awesome) product does. What does it do for the buyer? And then, what deep need does that fill in your buyer's life?

 

If you'd like to know what to do after you identify the need, check out the entire class here.

The Adventures

Every day is an adventure. I share the view, the gratitude and the news  on Fridays – you’re invited to join in. You can find all my adventures here, or follow along via email here.

The view

I did it! I finished the sweater I started in 2010!! I kept putting it away worried it wasn't working...but IT FITS!!  Featherweight cardigan in Malabrigo. I'll give you a better look at it soon.
Untitled
Blueberry pancakes with blueberry syrup = my new obsession.  #yaysummer  (syrup =  blueberries microwaved with maybe 1/2 tsp maple syrup)  #blueberries #100happytaradays #vegan

I am so grateful for…

  •  A lovely hike in the Appalachians this weekend.
  • Making a new friend, a real friend that totally gets my crafty obsessions and propensity to talk too fast.
  • Blueberries! Basil! Local summer tastiness.
  • This fabulous surprise on the Rock + Purl podcast!

The Finds:

I’m finding:

I’m eating: 

  • More blueberry crumb bars. Don't judge. (From this book)
  • More pesto from my home-grown basil over gnocchi.
  • Ancho Lentil burritos.

In case you missed it: 

What adventures have you had?

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