Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day -1

Hi friends.

It feels appropriate to mark this day. Tomorrow I start a 21 day cleanse in which I say good-bye to dairy, gluten, coffee and refined sugar (already vegetarian). If I fail miserably on the first day I can say it was April fools to me. I've wanted to do this for a while, and it was Kris Carr's Crazy Sexy Diet that made me finally feel informed enough to take the challenge on.

Instead of yummy chocolate covered peanut butter candy - I have nutritional yeast.

My coffee mug will runneth over with green smoothie.

I'll post how the days are going here for "Fun". There will be some ugliness, but some good stuff, too (fingers crossed).

Wish me luck? I mean: Wish me luck!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Running more than a business

Like so many people, running a marathon has been at the top of my list for a long time. Probably since discovering marathons exist and not for the crazy few. Millions of people run marathons every year. This distance between wanting to join these people and pounding the pavement to build up the endurance to make this happen is a work-in-progress. This year, I decided to step it up a notch.

A few years ago I couldn't run a mile without stopping. Running is a humbling activity when you think you're in shape and can't get through a mile without stopping and heaving. After years of off again on again attempts at trying to improve, I'm up to 4.65 miles without stopping. That's 21.55 miles to tack onto my endurance.

The beauty of running is that it pushes the body past the point of physical exhaustion. The more tired I get, the more energy I have. Maybe it's the endorphins or just the time away from the computer and other distraction. When I run, ideas come from every direction and they stay with me.

Wake Up Lady is growing at its core. We have new designs, new items and a humble business plan for the year ahead. Perhaps the process of making a business plan will prove more useful than the plan itself. It forced us to really think this through as a business.

Ice Storm. Feb 2, 2011

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A little inspiration

Reading through old research during a little new year clean-up, and stumbled across a few quotes. Sadly, past-me didn't bother to credit the quotes, but I wanted to share them.

"surrealism reintrduced the marvelous into everyday possibilities."

"the excitement of the marvelous in surrealism was only heightened by the constant presence of its own dark side."

Friday, December 31, 2010

Gearing up for 2011

(Brooklyn, after the blizzard)

We hope everyone had a warm and tasty holiday season. Our apologies for the blogging absence. What began as an innocent brainstorming session for design ideas became a vortex that absorbed us for the better part November and December.

For sellers, tis the season for making lofty goals with visions to continue building a handmade business. We opened our shop in 2010, dipping our toes in the etsy pond and getting a little overwhelmed in a chaotically exciting way.But now it's time to step back and put a business hat on. It's a colorful hat that matches my fuzzy socks perfectly, but it's a business hat still.

When you're working for yourself, creating marketing plans, product lines and accounting systems is actually a pleasure. These actions carry weight. There's no clocking in and clocking out, collecting a paycheck and leaving work at the door. There is dreaming, learning, celebrating every little success and surprising ourselves. And a lot of hard work.

I always thought "entrepreneur" was a good word, but it needed something. "Creative Entrepreneur". That's more like.

What are your big and small plans for 2011?

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Brooklyn tunnel, world's oldest subway?

One of the reasons I love living in New York City is that after 10 years here, I'm still discovering new places, and I don't mean new businesses, theaters, boutiques or bars. On Halloween, we had the opportunity to go below ground and tour what we learned is the world's oldest subway.

Built in 1840 and not rediscovered until 1981, the Brooklyn tunnel runs under Atlantic Avenue in downtown Brooklyn and originally ran all the way to the port. There's currently a wall in the tunnel awaiting excavation, but for now the tour covers half a mile. Over 700 Irish immigrants built the tunnel in 7 months using the same methods the Romans used.

The tunnel is an unimproved archeological site complete with ancient mountain dew cans from its rediscovery in '81.The next tour is on November 14th. You go to Atlantic Avenue and Court Street in Brooklyn and line up beneath the clock on the Trader Joe's building.

I recommend arriving early because the line gets pretty long. Don't over dress because it's dry and warm-ish down there (not unpleasantly so, but I was expecting cold and damp and was a bit uncomfortable in a big jacket and sweater). That also shows how well the Irish built the tunnel. Contrary to rumors that poisonous gases leaked into it, as well as sewage and rain water, the tunnel was bone dry.

Do bring a camera and a flashlight. If you must bring a book bag or purse, don't fill. You enter the tunnel through a manhole int he middle of a busy traffic intersection. Each person climbs down one at a time and carrying a big heavy bag on your back makes it difficult to climb down. Plus, you're down there for about an hour and a half and any unnecessary weight is bound to be annoying.

Here's a few photos from out adventures. If you're in town, check out the Brooklyn tunnel's website for tour dates as they don't occur every week

Chain ladder used in 1981 to climb from dirt tunnel into the actual subway tunnel (15 foot drop).

Tunnel wall with soot :
back wall to be excavated:
 Ceiling hole where steam from steam engines escaped. Walls were built up to prevent passersby from being burned by the steam.
Stairs down from dirt passageway to the subway tunnel:
View walking down from the above entryway into the tunnel.
The Caution sign before entering subway:

Inconspicuously lining up to climb down a manhole in the middle of traffic:

Friday, October 29, 2010

Working for Nasa

Not employed by, but technically working for Nasa. As in, making my design submission for the Etsy/Nasa Space Craft Contest. When not celebrating Halloween that is.

This weekend's agenda:
Catching up on Etsy's Holiday Bootcamp
Completing project space-rock
Tunnel Exploration
Midnight movie (deciding between Nightmare on Elm Street and Poltergeist)
Possible Steampunk Haunted House

What about you?

I did get to load two recent items to the shop. Can't explain why it takes me so long to load new products other than that I'm still figuring the process out. Here's our Dandelion wish flower and Wishing Woman (or girl). We're going to offer them as a set and individually.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Nasa Contest Deadline November 2!

If you missed this Etsy announcement as I did, you will probably be thrilled to learn that Etsy is partnering with Nasa for a 2010 Space Craft Contest.

The contest has 3 categories and won't close until November 2nd so there's still plenty of time to create something spacey. You could win a trip to outer space! Not really, but that would be awesome. I would stay up embroidering for days if that were even a possibility. But the prizes are rather awesome:

You could win a trip to an upcoming launch as NASA’s VIP guest, Etsy shopping sprees, and cool merchandise from NASA and Etsy. Your artwork might even be flown on the Space Shuttle!

 The prizes aren't the point, of course. The point is to make something for Nasa! Win or lose, you get to say "...and this is the piece I made for Nasa."

I have a list of design ideas 3 pages long, but this is too fun to pass up. I hope everybody enters something, the contest is open to 2-D or 3-D handmade work. You don't even have to have a shop to enter, just be a registered user and email your photo in.

What will you enter?