Friday, November 26, 2010

Oh hi, it's Black Friday. You could be saving 15% off Soasa!

Are you on my Soasa mailing list?
Are you a fan of Soasa on Facebook?

If you answered "yes" to either of these questions, than you already know how you can save 15% off your Soasa purchases this weekend!

If you answered "no", well, what are you waiting for!

The mailing list sign up is here: Soasa Contact
The Facebook fan page is here: SOASA

I hope you will join us!

P.s. I started using Artfire. You can still find some of my stuff on Etsy, but my Artfire shop will be better maintained and have a wider selection as I begin to wean off my Etsy shop.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Birke Baehr on the problems with our food industry

You might have noticed from my last post that I've been thinking a lot about food lately. I've been struggling with the cost of maintaining a healthy, ethical, nutrient-rich diet, especially with student loans looming.

This 11 year old finally said what I needed to hear. "We can pay the farmers, or we can pay the hospitals." Well darn. I guess that 'bout settles it!

Seriously, this guy has so many good points it's pretty hard not to agree with him.

P.s. I like Kale chips too. In fact, I'm about to make a batch!

I came across this video while reading Crystal Nelson's Blog.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

On Paleo Eating and Tightwadery

I'm not sure how I end up getting myself into these situations, but sometimes I think I'm out to make my life difficult.

The problem is, I'm reading these two books simultaneously, and the result is somewhat confusing. You see, I am reading this book called The Paleo Solution: The Original Human Diet which has presented some convincing and intriguing science about why I should stop eating dairy, legumes and gluten, and instead revert to a paleolithic diet of animal protein and fresh fruits and veggies. Now, believe you me, growing up on a dairy farm, religiously eating whole wheat and lentils, this isn't what I wanted to be convinced of. In fact, I fought quite hard and still find myself twitching at times throughout the day. Never the less, Robb Wolf is one convincing (and funny) dude, so JusPup and I are slowly weening ourselves off these foods in preparation for a full on 30 day trial run in November (all bets are off for Thanksgiving day, though). I know, I know, it's counter to everything I've been taught, but JusPup is down 15 pounds, I'm down 3, and we aren't even totally on the diet yet!

Now, animal protein and fresh plants. Delicious! Healthy! NOT a good paring when in the back of your mind is all the tried and true budget advice from one Amy Dacyczyn (she swears it's pronounced like "decision", who's gonna argue?) of The Complete Tightwad Gazette which happens to be the other book I'm reading. "At every meal include at least one pantry staple" "Bake your own bread at least once a week" and on and on (there really are a lot of good tips in this book)! I love bread! In fact, I just inherited a bread machine! I love pantry staples! Give me rice and lentils any day! Of course, what I've realized is that I also get a tummy full of gas and pain. I sort of thought this was normal...

So, pair my tightwadish tendencies with a fresh-based diet (and a pension for locally, ethically grown) and what do you get? A headache. A budgeting nightmare. OK, that's what I get. (Also, some delicious roast chicken which became roasted acorn squash stuffed with chicken and then became some delicious chicken soup!) What you get is to read about my new adventures in the kitchen, trying to stock a pantry with everything except pantry food, while on a budget, in the soon-to-be-dead of winter.

Do you have a favorite cheap, grain-free, legume-free, dairy-free meal? Please tell me about it! (Also, if you know anyone with a lot of venison on their hands, I want it!)

Yes, these are affiliate links. I realized that a lot of what I write about is books, and thought that I might as well give this a shot. If it skeeves you out, just go to Amazon and search them yourself! I promise I will never speak well of a book that I think sucks. I don't have time for that. I hardly even have time to tell you about the books that I like!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Flora Necklace - My First Etsy Front Page!

I can hardly believe it, but this little necklace made it to the Etsy Front Page last night as part of this treasury! Of course I missed it, but a fellow member of the treasury managed to track down an archive and sent it to me. Check it out! Much thanks to NoelFales who makes some really killer stuff!

I've been working on coming up with some more cohesive groups of work, and this is part of my new collection called "Flora"

I have been SO busy lately. I hope to share some of the fruits of those labors with you soon! Stay tuned for new work and some exciting news!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I solemnly swear to give you my honest opinion.

Yes, I have started using Amazon affiliate links. I realized that a lot of what I write about is books, and thought that I might as well give this a shot. If it skeeves you out, just go to Amazon and search them yourself! I promise I will never speak well of a book that I think sucks. I don't have time for that. I hardly even have time to tell you about the books that I like!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Are You My Target Audience?

When I first started selling my jewelry I didn't really think it would ever be something that I did full time. Even after completing my degree, it took a while for the reality to sink in. Jewelry. It's what I do. Somehow in five years it just crept up and became an all-encompassing part of my life.

The problem with starting a business so loosely is that there comes a time when you need to take a major step in order to optimize your time and energy spent branding, marketing, creating, and networking. The difficulty comes when you're not sure what that step is. Because my business has grown so organically over the past 5 years, it's hard to decipher exactly what I need to do next. I'm too close to it.

A friend of mine is starting up a new business (Stellar Sunshine Hoops) and I have a blast troubleshooting and coming up with ideas for her, but I can't always do that for myself. I really miss being at that stage where every step was a big one.

I mentioned earlier this week that one major project I have going on is my new website. It's finally much more in line with how I've always envisioned it but the research and development of it has led me to wonder about my focus. Up until now I've been sort of "throwing mud at a wall". Spread my work around and see who likes it, what sticks. This year has been especially experimental because I have so many new events going on and a lot of them have been complete failures.

What it comes down to is this. I have to finally ask the question "who is my target audience?" Who do I have something to say to? Who's life can I improve? Who's questions can I answer?

I need your help!

Why do you read my blog (or tweets, or facebook updates)?
What is it about me that interests you?
If you're a fan of my jewelry, why?

You can e-mail me your answers (robinmsills [@] gmail [.] com), or leave them in the comments. I'd really appreciate it if you'd take a minute to get back to me on this.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I think I pissed blogger off...

It's been so long since I wrote a proper post that I think Blogger is mad at me. I wrote up a nice one for your guys, but then everything possible went wrong with formating and stuff just broke.

Here's the gist of it. I took a break, and then I had too much news to share, but none of it seemed worthy of a big "I'm back!" kind of post. So I didn't blog for about 8 months.

So here's a little photo representation of my life since January:

I graduated! (With highest honors. I am a nerd. Thanks for listening. I'm done bragging now.)

I started spinning again. Sort of.

I grew my first solo garden!

I processed a total of 7.5lbs of basil into pesto for my freezer.

I had a blast at Mountain Jam, Oldsongs, and GrassRoots music festivals!

I got a "new" van! A '93 Dodge Caravan! I pimped it out so that I can sleep in it when I have far away events. It is totally dope. That's a Buzz Lightyear air mattress, by the way.

Most of all, I've cooked and eaten lots of delicious food in my HUGE kitchen in my new apartment.

I also went to Cape Cod a couple times, I've been traveling all over the place selling jewelry, I'm working on a new website, I build an awesome hookah for a final project, I did some nice ceramics work, I've been hula hooping again, and I have some beautiful new designs up on Etsy!

Hi! If you made it to the end, thanks for looking! I promise that my upcoming posts won't be this nutty.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fall Calendar!

I swear I will get back to actually blogging sometime soon. Here's why I never have time:

September 19 Van Houten Avenue Street Fair, Clifton, NJ
September 21-23
Fall Northeast Art & Craft Show, Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY
September 26
Haverstraw Street Festival, Haverstraw, NY
October 2
Hudson High School Craft and Home Expo, Hudson, NY
October 3
Warwick AppleFest, Warwick, NY
October 9-10
Warren Fall Festival, Warren, CT (one of my favorites!)
October 23-24
Connecticut Renaissance Faire, Hebron, CT

October 26-27
Thanksgiving Northeast Art & Craft Show, Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY

I have some new and beautiful designs on Etsy, if you are interested! (SoasaDesigns)

Also, stay tuned because my new website should be up and running sometime in the next week or two!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

ANOTHER Updated Calendar!

This should be final, but of course, you never know!

June 25-27 Oldsongs Festival of Music and Dance, Altamont, NY
July 18 Nyack Street Fair, Nyack, NY
July 23-25 GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance, Trumansburg, NY
August 5-8 WOOL, Lake George, NY
August 28-29 Old Bethpage Village Craft and Gift Show, Old Bethpage, LI, NY
September 4-5 Eisenhower Park Craft and Gift Show, East Meadow, LI, NY
September 11-12 Bayville Waterside Craft and Gift Show, Bayville, LI, NY
September 25-26 Merrick Annual Fall Festival, Merrick, LI, NY

Friday, May 7, 2010

Some changes to the schedule...

Unfortunately I had to drop the two shows on Long Island in June. One was canceled and the other is the weekend of my brother's high school graduation! I could not miss that! I have added an event in Rockland County in July, and I am looking at a few others as well. I am also looking at a market in Middletown, NY, and I will probably make an appearance or two at the Hillsdale Farmers Market.

This is the schedule as of now, but I am unsure of whether I will be at Falcon Ridge or GrassRoots this year. I will let you know as soon as I do!

June 25-27 Oldsongs Festival of Music and Dance, Altamont, NY
July 18 Nyack Street Fair, Nyack, NY
July 23-25 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, Hillsdale, NY
August 5-8 WOOL, Lake George, NY

Sorry for any confusion, I will try and keep everyone in the loop!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Spring and Summer 2010!

I'm sorry I've been off the map for so long. It's been a hectic few months. I can't believe it's already time to get back into it! I'm graduating in just 4 weeks and I can't wait to really dig into this year of events! This list isn't final, but it's what I have so far.

April 24 Clermont Sheep and Wool Festival, Clermont, NY
May 1 Beltane Festival, New Paltz, NY
June 5-6 Bayville Waterside Festival, Bayville, Long Island, NY
June 12-13 Old Bethpage Village, Old Bethpage, Long Island, NY
June 25-27 Oldsongs Festival of Music and Dance, Altamont, NY
July 23-25 Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, Hillsdale, NY
August 5-8 WOOL, Lake George, NY

There will be more events beginning in September.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


The O'Dark Haul

Last Thursday morning was the Wonderful Things Annual Sale, dubbed the O'Dark Sale by my friend Tina because of how early she has to get up to get there. The deal is, if you're at the door at 7am you get a stamp and everything is 40% off for the day. 8am means 30%, and 9 is good for 20%. What this means is that she was up at 5:30 I was up at 4:30. Lest you think she and I are the only crazy ones, there was a line of 20+ people at that door at 7. Tina has some great photos in her post about the event and you should check it out! This year it was just she and I, and we were super quick. Tina needed to be at work, a solid 45 minutes away, by 9:45. We really wanted breakfast. We made it with time to spare! We were in the door, through the shop, and in line to pay by 7:35!

I set myself a budget based on how much money I had awarded myself for exercising (if you're on Ravelry you should check out the Exer-stashers group) and then totally blew it. Oops. I tell myself it's alright because this is the last yarn shopping I'm doing until Rhinebeck. I may allow myself one skein at Clermont, but really. This is the year of stash knitting. I will be keeping track of how much I knit up, an I do aim for a big number.

Anyhow, enough babble. Here are the goodies:

Cascade 220 Heathers - Walnut
6 skeins of Cascade 220 in Walnut Heather

Miraculously, I was the very first person at the 220 wall...I think this helped our speed because last year it was a mess!

Pagewood Farm Chugiak - Chocolate
Pagewood Farm Chugiak in Chocolate

I didn't even hesitate when I saw this color. I snapped it up. Then I realized it was the same yarn I was using for a pair of socks! Yarn I happened to buy at the sale last year. If there was any doubt in my mind that I wanted it, that sealed the deal.

Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Select - Java
Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Select in Java

This was a bit of a strange color choice for me, but you can't deny its beauty, and I've wanted to try Cherry Tree Hill for a while and see what all the fuss is about. Tina loved it too (though not so much the mustard colors I kept hurling at her.)

Cleckheaton Country Silk 8ply
Cleckheaton Country Silk 8ply in 3 Colors

This was my downfall. I found it in the orphanage (the last of or discontinued yarns go there) and I couldn't resist. It's merino with silk tweed!! What's not to love!! Plus the colors are undeniably fun. Until this point I was pretty much sticking to my budget. I think I'm going to make some crazy colorwork slippers with them.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A new year....

This year I'm not exactly making resolutions. There are some things I'd like to achieve, but I'm going to let it happen naturally, rather than strapping myself down with a solid list of dates, deadlines, and waist measurements. Some things I want to pay more attention to include my health (all around, not just my weight) and my general fabulousness. I have resolved to pay more attention to how I present myself.

This might be a bit of a half-assed post. Sorry about that! I'm to busy living already!

Last year I participated off and on in Project Spectrum and I found it inspiring and eye-opening. I will definitely be taking part when it comes around again.

Some of Project Spectrum 2009

I didn't knit as much as I was hoping to, but I knit a ton of useful and much-loved smaller items. I'm happy with what I've done and excited to see what this year brings. As you can see, Project Spectrum was a huge incentive for me.

Finished Objects 2009

1. Hemlock Ring Complete II, 2. NaKniSweMoDo09 #1 UCA Shrug, 3. NaKniSweMoDo09 #2 Demeter, 4. Project Spectrum: Frostberries FO, 5. Seaweed Shawlette Project Spectrum: North, 6. Toasty Gold Project Spectrum: East, 7. FO: Quick 'n Dirty Socks III, 8. FO: Bariloche or Bust, 9. Project Spectrum: Bariloche or Bust - Ears, FO, 10. Strong like bull!, 11. Too big for mee..., 12. Secret Santa

I have jumped back on the 52 Books in 52 Weeks wagon, but my rotation starts in August, so that's old news. I haven't been blogging the books, but perhaps I'll start doing that again. In the meantime you can see what I'm reading in the sidebar on the left.

I have big plans for my jewelry this year, but I will write about that more as the year goes on.


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