1/26/2018

I’ve started making testers of my aromatherapy blends. As I am not an aromatherapist- I should definitely stick to the recipes, and I will. I am just a tad surprised at how very delicate the scents are. At least I am not concerned that I am not diluting the oils enough! I’m only going to make two at a time so that I can have a clear nose palate.

I finally have the knitting needles, darning needles, and yarn necessary to knit according to my first pattern. I’m going to make some yoga socks. I’m pretty excited. My mom seems to be too, she is sending me yarn so that I can make her a blanket. Quite the vote of confidence for a beginner, but I will definitely try to make her a blanket…. fortunately that won’t take up the same knitting needles that I’ll be using to make everything else for my shop so I can probably give it a bit of time each day.

I haven’t cut any bottles yet. I am getting a bit held up at the “remove old labels” step. I need to get some cheap vodka which I will probably do on the way home from the spa. I have been wanting to go for so long and now we are having a girl’s night out and I am more than ready!

So I need to use my time wisely today, but my work today will be focused on seeking a day job. I am making good progress on the (2nd) API course, and it is time for me to do the “final” for it, where I will document Swagger’s fictional pet store API. Then I can start the 3rd API course which apparently has a focus on Swagger. Hoping the final for that class will be a good portfolio piece. Then my final trick will be to get experience by helping the Habitica team document their API. They already have some documentation, so there may be nothing I can do, but we will see! I have put out feelers in the group about it. Worst case scenario I have to find some other project to assist.

This weekend, my priority will be designing labels, cutting bottles, and knitting the yoga socks. I think it is possible to finish one sock, maybe even both socks. My next project would be leg warmers. I also apparently need to check the copyright status of the items I will sell in my shop. I am a bit disheartened by how many of the lovely items I thought I might be able to include are apparently hoarded by their designers, despite them not even being in the business of selling the items? I had no idea that sometimes you can’t sell items made from the patterns that you buy! Gross….

I’ve restarted learning Japanese again, and I am also hoping to do some refreshing of my Spanish. I want to be able to at least pull off a somewhat conversational Spanish if it comes up in an interview. I am always clear that I am better at reading, writing, and editing Spanish than speaking it; I still expect they will want to test me at speaking it though, and I need to prepare to perform during interview nervousness.

I shelled out $30 for a month pass of classes at area gyms. I get quite a few classes at that price so it is a pretty good deal! I will be taking quite a few of them so hopefully, this will assist my conditioning and weight loss so that I feel confident to start performing aerials again. I’m skipping the upcoming performance in February, but maybe I’ll be ready by March! I want to perform to the song Reverse Skydiving. I wouldn’t be surprised if I posted this to the blog already, but in case not, I’ve linked it below.

Just to reiterate my goals, if I really focus, I think I could perform for dollars by next year and maybe even become an instructor. That would be an excellent source of side-cash or safety net if I can’t find a job in my profession for some reason or if it gets taken over by robots haha. Never learn silks from the robots people!

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The Potions

As I mentioned in my last post, a person could end up with a cabinet full of essential oils and yet not know what to do with it. So in this post I will narrow in on the recipes I think will be useful for my shop.

The text I’m using is The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood. Chapter 11 is actually called “Assertive Oils for Sports, Dance, and Exercise”- just the thing we need. I’m also picking out some scents for the types of mood  dancer/circus/flow types might want.

The book tells me how to dilute them in carrier oils and gels, I will have to do some further research to find out how to use these blends safely and effectively in costume sprays (alcohol), facial mists (witch hazel), and rooms sprays (alcohol).

I’m going to give them my own names…

Get up and Go (Edit #EveryDamnDay)

Eucalyptus radiata (5 drops)
Rosemary (10 drops)
Ginger (5 drops)
Peppermint (2 drops)

Blend 3-5 drops per teaspoon of aloe vera gel or carrier oil.

Before the Show (Edit: The Show Must Go On!)

Vetiver (3 drops)
Bergamot (4 drops)
Juniper berry (1 drop)
Sweet orange (4 drops)

4 drops per teaspoon aloe vera or carrier oil.

After the show (Edit: Curtains Close)

Eucalyptus radiata (5 drops)
Rosemary (10 drops)
Lemongrass (5 drops)

Blend per 2 tablespoons of aloe gel or carrier oil.

Be Confident (Edit: Drop it like it’s hot)

Cardamom
Ginger
Coriander Seed

20 drops per 1 fl oz aloe gel or carrier oil.

Feel yourself (Edit: Live for the Applause)

Ylang ylang (10 drops)
Bergamot (4 drops)
Vetiver (2 drops)
Sandalwood (12 drops)

20 drops per 1 fl oz aloe gel or carrier oil.

You got this (Edit: Girl Power)

Hyacinth (4 drops)
Bergamot (5 drops)
Rose maroc (5 drops)

Only 14 drops or fewer per 1 fl oz aloe gel or carrier oil.

Relax (Edit: Fainting Couch)

Clary sage (10 drops)
Lavender (15 drops)
Chamomille roman (5 drops)

20 drops per 1 fl oz aloe gel or carrier oil.

Don’t worry about it (Edit: Treat yo’self)

Bergamot (15 drops)
Lavender (5 drops)
Geranium (10 drops)

20 drops per 1 fl oz aloe gel or carrier oil.

 

State of Melanie – Early Jan 2018

In general I have a few courses of study going on. Career-wise, I’m studying responsive web design and I’m studying API documentation. Hobby-wise, I’m studying textiles, scents, painting, and wearable tech. Body-wise, I’m studying dance and diet.

I got started a bit slow today on account that I had trouble sleeping last night. This was due to an ill-advised nap I fell into, early in the evening on the couch. I was feeling a bit listless yesterday. I attribute this to the calorie restriction I am undergoing, well, and the fact that I’ve insisted that I make room for a drink. I know that I have been making a dangerous gamble sacrificing nutritional calories for party calories. According to my nutrition report, I’m on track for approx 1.5 lbs weight loss per week, but I’m also a bit low on choline, calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin E, and iron… Ugh. The thing is, for choline the choice seems to be eat some egg or mushroom. I was tempted by some muffins so, yeah, I haven’t been getting my morning omelet in. I know I am overly relying on calcium from dairy, but of course I can’t have too much dairy, so I don’t always make the cut. Need to eat more broccoli. Vitamin E and potassium are big in the nuts and seeds, which add up quite fast… and often I have sacrificed them to having a drink instead. Potassium also just seems tricky. Yeah it is in nuts, its in yogurt… but so low. Even my “Calcium Magnesium Potassium” supplement has only 3% potassium. It is a bit of a struggle. I have started taking that supplement though and it will at least make sure I don’t break my bones during aerial practice. Anyways, I know that magnesium is very important for sleep. Low potassium can cause fatigue. So… need to get my act together. But I suppose the good news is I’m on track to lose 5 lbs by mid January, which is my first benchmark.

I saw a Physical Therapist last Wednesday, ostensibly about having injured my knee in some inappropriate torsion movement while gardening, but to see why it is all my aerialist friends go there all the time, even when they’re not injured. She was cool to talk to and overall it was a bit casual of a thing, but then she said we should try needling my hurt leg. I was like, wuh, that’s terrifying. This is what all these aerialists go to her to get done though. Well, I mean, I’m a brave person, if I do say so myself, so I said, sure, stick that needle in me. The needle in question is the same as an acupuncture needle, it’s just being used in a western science context rather than for chi balancing purposes. It’s long and thin and flexy. I figured, if I can give blood and get vaccinated, I can put up with this. Well she stuck that thing in my leg and at first I was like, oh. That was literally nothing. But given all the talk up to that point, I knew that the ahem, fun stuff had to be on the way. She started wiggling that thing around and wow, that was some pain I tell you what. We-ooowaahw I said. It was only for a moment though. Well, like I said, I went in there for a knee injury. Mm, I hurt it like, mid December maybe? Limped around a few days, maybe a week after. But by the time of the appointment, I hadn’t been limping around for a couple weeks, only if I bent my knee, like to get on a bed or go into yoga’s child’s pose, I could still feel that bit of tightness around the knee area. It was pretty crazy though, afterwards, I went into childs pose, and that tightness was completely gone. Only if I really focused, I could feel the remnants of it in the untreated muscle, but I was flabbergasted. So I rationalized a bit, went into denial, figured, maybe it had already gotten to that point some point between the last time I tested it and showing up for the appointment. The effect lasted for a couple of days, until the cold weather came and I started feeling it again. If I get it really warm, I can fix it a bit, but it does cause me to think that there very well may have been a link between that needle procedure and the lack of tightness in my knee. Well, this Wednesday, I’m gonna see if she will do my hamstrings- my nemesis, and apparently this treatment will probably feel worse. Hooray… o.O;

Well, I’m well enough that I can go to aerial class/practice. I’ve demoted myself to Beginner II for awhile. For one thing, the aforementioned weight that I am trying to lose, is really slowing me down, so I need to buff up and learn how to handle it. I’m using all my energy on climbs these days. Whatever, it happens. My bestie is recovering from having a baby, so, it works out. We’ll strengthen up together. I’ve decided that the first thing for me to do, will be, to try to get all my climbs up to where I touch the hardware at the gym. This is no small feat. And I mean all the climbs I know- basic, russian, crochet, bicycle… ok I won’t make myself to hook climbs to the top. But yeah, every class I’m going to do these climbs on both legs as high as I can safely go. When I can touch the top on all those climbs, when I can S-lock and same side and opposite side hook climb like a champ, I will let myself return to the intermediate classes. I hope this is a journey of a month, but I suppose we will see.

On my way back from class Saturday, I got a flat tire. 😦 It is going to cost quite a bit of dough….

My yoga practice is going decently. It’s hard to keep warm in this house though. I don’t remember it being this cold inside during the winter last year. I finally arranged for our fireplace to get inspected but since I waited so long, we won’t have that done until the end of the month. So in the meantime, we freeze. Anyways, it causes a struggle for me to stay limber in my poses, the opposite of hot yoga haha, but can’t be having excuses… Just gotta wear more clothes.

Going with some girl friends to a bellydance class soon too. I’m very much looking forward to reconditioning those muscles. I’ve been trying to prep myself and yeah, I will have much work to do. The place where we are going to take these classes has a performance series that I’m interested in if I make good progress.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned, but I feel like I had to have, that I’m planning to start painting an aerial tarot deck. I already have the major arcana mapped out. I’ve got a bunch of 4 x 6 canvases, some heavy body acrylic, some nice paintbrushes, and I’m ready to go! I think this could be something the people want. I’ve got some larger canvases too, and I think I should definitely also paint some still life and landscape. And I’ve always wanted to paint Ben. He’s told me how he would prefer to be depicted, but I’ve admittedly forgotten. He will probably have to do with whatever I come up with ha.

I ordered some more felt. I think I’ve gotten some larger amounts so that I can do larger pieces. My starter kits were nice, but they definitely seemed to be about making little figurines and things. I need arm warmers, leg warmers, and hats!

In my adventures in scents, I’ve been studying, but I gotta admit, I’m getting a LITTLE frustrated. I got a book that has a lot of recipes, but they were so insistent that they must be followed so specifically… and here I am apparently without half of the important essential oils. -_-; I guess I will have to invest in a FEW MORE. I feel like I already have so many… also, for some reason I got it in my head I needed a million spray bottles. I feel like I would have been better off with more droppers and a few just like… regular bottles. I am getting to the point though, where I really don’t want to spend… any… more… money…. I am going to see if I can just make things work with what I have.

And finally, I’ve finished one responsive design course and one api documentation course, and now I have more! As soon as I’m done blogging, I’m going to be getting back to them, and updating my portfolio hopefully in tandem.
Where I am now is adding containers and then determining what the breakpoints will do to my layout. That will probably take up the rest of my day, but if it doesn’t I’ll just keep going. Probably best to alternate days.

Monday: Responsive, painting
Tuesday: API doc, felting or knitting
Wednesday: Responsive, painting
Thursday: API doc, felting or knitting
Friday: Responsive, painting

We’ll see. Sometimes trying to plan things cramps my style. Sometimes it keeps me from getting overwhelmed.

I’m planning on journalling more in any case. Seems to be one of those accepted self improvement things like meditation. Anyways, better get to work!

Etsy Store – Further musings

So, in general, I’m interested in wool crafts, recycled materials, 3D printed goods, flow fashion, aerial silks, and “aromatherapy”.

It seems like a sufficient basis for starting a shop…

I tried out hand scoring a bottle today. It split… almost good. It is just incredibly hard to make a clean circle with a hand tool. Especially since our local recycling service stopped picking up glass, we are a bit burdened with glassware. And I’ve always wanted to process the bottles into something useful… so I bit the bullet and I’ve ordered some rigs for cutting bottles. Right now we had a huge trashcan full of glass, and when I pulled out the glassware I think is great for upcycling, the trashcan was a little less than half full. 😀

I think I have some options. I can list well cut bottles for others to use in crafts. I think there could be some interest in that. I can etch cut bottles with designs and put candles in them. I’ve never made candles. According to my essential oils textbook essential oils can only be used with soy, palm, rapeseed, coconut, or beeswax candles. From other research, I find that the flash point of an essential oil must be above the melting temperature of the wax, (for soy, 122 – 180 Fahrenheit (50 – 80 degrees Celsius). I would add them after the wax is cool enough, but not yet solidifying. Choices (that I like and have on hand) are: cedar wood, geranium, clary sage, rose, & lavender. It looks like the recommendation is 4-10 drops of oil per 1 oz of melted soy wax.

I had Ben remind me how to knit last night, and I’m practicing that. Knitting is a good base for needle felting. I think I could probably start with garlands, necklaces, and bracelets. And I think I will also sell felted circus people and yogis. Eventually, I will get to the point where I make fanciful hats. This is going to take a lot of practice!

I think we should invest in a new 3D printer. For one thing I don’t want to be competing always with Ben for printer time. I’d like to sell some 3D printed things, hopefully, some of my own design.

I’m working on painting a series of silks themed tarot cards. It would be wonderful to make them into a real deck to sell. It may take forever to make the deck though! But I have a lot of time these days…

Lastly, I hope to sell cute leotards and leggings! This will be the end goal of my learning to sew. I also would like to sell cloth yoga mats. I want my shop to be all cotton and hemp, but I hope I can print my tarot deck on the yoga mats as well! Maybe I will also sell bellydance scarves :D.

I don’t know. It really feels like I could do this, but it is daunting. Can’t wait for my supplies to arrive!

Starting an Etsy Shop

I don’t know, I’m thinking about it. I’m a crafty person. So I learned some things, and I thought they might help somebody thinking about opening an Etsy shop.

Before you get started opening an Etsy shop, you will already have to have items available for sale, and photos of the items.

It is good to keep organized, so one would want to keep a spreadsheet of the items, indexed by their SKU. The minimum amount of items required to open a shop is a recommended ~10, but an ideal shop size might be something around 65 items. You have to have at least 1 to finish creating your shop, and will need to have photos ready. 

When applicable, you should name the photos something like, SKU_prime, SKU_under, SKU_profile, SKU_detail, SKU_scene, SKU_scale, SKU_scene. SKU is up to you and does not show on the listing. You can group the images on your computer under their SKU. That way, when it is time to upload your pictures, you will know what goes where, according to the submission box below:

Screen Shot 2018-01-02 at 4.49.55 PM

Screen shot of the types of photos Etsy permits uploading for a listing

With your handy spreadsheet, you will also have recorded the information for filling out the info below. For example, I would need the following fields: SKU, Title, Quantity, Category, Type, Description, Section, Tag, Materials, Price.

Screen Shot 2018-01-02 at 4.50.27 PM

Screen Shot 2018-01-02 at 4.50.38 PM

A couple additional tabs of the spreadsheet might be devoted to calculating the cost. Should record hours until completion, materials consumed, and cost of materials.

Screen Shot 2018-01-02 at 4.50.47 PM

Shipping seems easy enough. I think I would go with the Free Shipping model.

Screen Shot 2018-01-02 at 4.50.57 PM

Screen Shot 2018-01-02 at 4.51.05 PM

 

10-15-07

Status updates:

  • Freeze drying experiments have been underway. Mixed fruit was the first batch, ice cream bars the second, and chili is now in for the third. Mixed results. Fruit seemed fine, but the portion that was put in mylar with an oxygen absorber must have had some moisture in it so it went bad. Ice cream bars are tasty, but exploded. I bet the chili is gonna be nice though.
  • Made a few iterations of felt fairies. Some debate with partner about the difference between fairies and angels, haha. Needed more pipe cleaners, so those are on the way. Looking forward to finishing the mobile and moving on to trying to make little booties and hats.
  • Going to pick up the cross-stitch back up while I wait for the pipe cleaners to arrive.
  • Aerial rig has been up, had a few sessions of aerial work. However, overall, have not been doing as well staying active as last month. Autumn means great weather for silks though.
  • Ben has been very busy printing out his expandohedrons and we will be working on documenting that this weekend.
  • Want to recommit to studying Japanese since we will likely be going to Japan for our honeymoon.
  • Ice ballet is planted in the garden, but I’m worried I didn’t keep it watered enough. Hard to tell when the plant is going to “die” regardless- won’t know unless until time for it to bloom in the spring.
  • Enjoying Seven Eves by Neal Stephenson. Probably should be reading Ready Player One, but just couldn’t help myself.

Collection of felt shops

This is for my future reference when needing more felt, as I embark on my felted e-textile journey….

https://www.etsy.com/shop/wildethyme

https://www.etsy.com/shop/BenzieDesign

https://www.etsy.com/shop/CraftyWoolFelt

https://www.etsy.com/shop/yarnwench

https://www.etsy.com/shop/Motomo

https://www.etsy.com/shop/FeltedforEwe

https://www.etsy.com/shop/FeltingFarmerLady

https://www.etsy.com/shop/FairyTaleWool

https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheFeltedEweOnEtsy

felt

My felt collection. Much of this is from shops listed above.