Thursday, December 9, 2010

Eat Wild

This website is awsome! It offers a directory of Organic farmers across america with everything from crops to animals. It is such a great opportunity to eat absolutely fresh and support your local farmers! The website has pages that list benefits of eating homegrown food, a store where you can get books and kitchen items, and safety concerns for those who are not used to eating from a farm. You can reserve Turkeys for thanksgiving, or pay a share on an animal and get a box of the organic meat around the holidays to last all winter. You can purchase a chicken and have the eggs delivered to your door every week or a Dairy Cow and have Milk and Cheese every week!! This is the best way to eat. It's healthy, safe, and tastes AMAZING!! It can get pricey and is more expensive than your local super market but well worth the price since you know the food has never been processed, chemically injected and never had preservitives added. Im considering buying a chicken to get eggs because to me chicken is the most hormone pumped, unsanitary, and mistreated food in the opinion. I'm sure cows and pigs go through similar torments too but they usually end up living through the transportation from the factory farm to the butchery. It's sad and disgusting what the animals go through before they end up in the grocery store. A farm raised animal has free range to eat whatever it pleases and walk where ever it wants. Some are transported to a butchery but it's not with a thousand others in cramped conditions that usually casues death. Some farmers run there own butchery that is extremely sanitary and is check by the state. I could go on and on about this but Check out the Website and EAT WILD!


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Top 10 Must Read Books for Creative Entrepreneurs

I actually stole this from another blog but I liked it so much I had to share it! I plan on reading most of these and I have plenty of friends that could use these as well. So below are not my comments or writing just to claify.

Thank you Blacksburg Belle!

10 Must-Read Books for Creative Entrepreneurs

You don’t need business school to rock it out as a creative entrepreneur. I haven’t taken a single “business course” and I’m pretty good at it. Lots of people ask me how I’ve learned all that I have—and one of the ways has been through lots and lots of reading.
I’m a book-aholic. If I go into a bookstore like Barnes and Nobles, don’t expect me to leave with less than 3 books and magazines. I just can’t help myself. And, I read every dang day.
Over the past year, I’ve read some fan-freaking-tastic marketing, business, and inspirational books that have helped me get to the place that I am today. I guarantee that if you read the 10 books below, you’ll know how to build an outstanding business.

1. Unmarketing by Scott Stratten

If you were only going to read one business book this year, I’d tell you to read this one.
Let’s face it. A lot of creative entrepreneurs stink at marketing. This is obvious by the amount of Etsy sellers who send out tweets 10 times per day linking to their newest product on Etsy and wonder why they only have 3 followers.
Creative entrepreneurs would rather be creating. I get that, but you’ve got to learn how to market your products if you want to make it big. That’s just the harsh truth, and this book will give you the tools to market the right way. Plus, Scott’s hilarious, his stories will make you laugh out loud, and you won’t get bored with this marketing book.

2. The Creative Entrepreneur by Lisa Sonora Beam

This is a DIY visual guidebook for making business ideas real. Do you ever wonder why business, numbers, and marketing aren’t that easy for artists and other creatives? It’s because we live in our right brains—and we have to engage our left brains to do all the business stuff.
Well, the author of this book figured out a way that creative entrepreneurs can plan their businesses while using their strengths by combining left-brain and right-brain activities. Genius.

3. The Handmade Marketplace by Kari Chapin

Anybody new to selling their handmade products online or at craft shows needs this book. It will walk you through branding your business, marketing, craft shows, selling online and in stores, and more. Seriously, this is like a step-by-step guide for anyone new to the handmade scene. If you’ve been doing this for awhile, you might not need this one.

4. The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander

At first, this book might not seem like a business book—and that’s because it’s so much more. If you worry that there aren’t enough customers or that they are too many handmade sellers, you need this book. If you let it, this book may just change your outlook on life and open up a lot of possibilities. It’s one of those books that makes you feel really good without being too mushy-gushy.

5. Tribes by Seth Godin

I love me some Seth Godin. I’ve read almost all of his books, but this one is must read for creative entrepreneurs—because it challenges you to be a leader. Now, I’m not talking about a leader of your business. Most of us don’t have a lot of people working under us. I’m talking about a leader of your tribe. If you built a tribe of loyal fans, you’d never run out of customers. You wouldn’t have to worry about selling, because your tribe would do it for you.

6. Fascinate by Sally Hogshead

I read this book in one sitting. I just couldn’t put it down. If you want to know what makes people buy things, what triggers you should be using in your marketing, and how to connect better with your target market, you need to read this book. Sally provides lots of real world examples and gives you concepts you can start applying to your creative business today.

7. Duct Tape Marketing by John Jantsch

Yes, this is another marketing book—but I’m serious when I say, you gotta learn to love marketing if you want to kill it with your creative business. Duct Tape Marketing is much different than Unmarketing, so both books are necessary. With this book, you’ll learn how to identify your ideal customer, write your core marketing message, and build a website that will work day and night—and that’s all in the first section.

8. The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

I talk about a lot of concepts from The Artist’s Way on Blacksburg Belle. Julia will help you break through your creative blocks and build a daily routine that will inspire your creative self. I’m not a woo-woo type of person, and this book was sometimes a little too woo-woo to me, if you know what I mean. But, the amazing concepts such as morning pages and artist’s dates out weigh the negative, woo-woo stuff. I really recommend spending some time with this book.

9. Yes! 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive by Robert Cialdini

Understanding the psychology behind influence and persuasion will help you understand purchasing decisions and give you even more tools to build a successful creative business. For instance, I bet you didn’t realize that inconveniencing your target audience can lead to more sales. But, you gotta get the book to find out why.

10. Creative, Inc. by Joy Deangdeelert Cho and Meg Mateo Ilasco

If you’re a creative freelancer {graphic designer, illustrator, photographer}, this book will rock your world. It takes you step-by-step from setting up your “shop” to getting the word out to working with clients and so much more. It also includes interviews and profiles of successful freelancers. Love it.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

This Shop is open for Business!!

My Etsy Shop: Raw & Repurposed is open for business! These eye pillows and more are all up for sale at the website below. All the items I make are from recycled or organic materials. The lavender scent fills my house when I make them and puts me in this calming and happy mood so I hope they will do the same for you!

Milk Paint: The rustic earth friendly paint that is BEAUTIFUL!

The Old Fashion Milk Paint Company explains how they got their start and what milk paint is to us now.
"In 1974, after much experimentation, we recreated an old Milk Paint formula to provide an authentic finish for our primary business of building reproduction furniture. Since then we have sold our paint to professionals who are either restoring original Colonial or Shaker furniture, making reproductions, or striving for an interior design look that is both authentic and beautiful. Milk Paint is now gaining an even wider usage because it contains only ingredients that are all-natural and will not harm the environment. Our authentic real milk paint is truely a "green paint" that comes in 20 colors!
GREEN is not just a color anymore!"

Check out their website for more information and awsome pictures of finished projects with Milk Paint.

Working toward a solution.....

It's scary to think what the world could become if there weren’t people like me. Ok that sounds a little concieted haha. What I meant by "people like me" is environmentalist. If there were no "environmentalist" we would have sky scrapers and huge industry buildings in our forests and fields. Mass production plants and warehouses would be invading our homes and lives, using up all our resources, and killing our few necessities to live. Necessities like; clean air, fresh water, and non-chemical induced produce & livestock. These would be scarce if there were no environmentalist. But, I didn't create this blog to talk about what could happen if the world were taken over by the industry man. I think we can all "suppose" our way through that. And Im not saying I have not benefited from Industries and large corporations. I've started this blog to talk about the ways I can help myself be a better environmentalist, farmer, recycler, ect. and hopefully in the process maybe help a few readers too! To explain how I got to this point might help me express my passion and energy for the purpose.

I grew up in the country, on a farm, and was homeschooled for 5 years (3rd-7th grade). Maybe part of that makes me how I am but not all. My mother was a big influence. She was always recycling, gardening, and creating new ideas for around the house. If we sat in front of the TV for an hour she turned it off, unplugged it, removed and hid it and then made us find something to do outside. We had chickens, dogs, cows, goats, deer and a horse. Goats were the biggest learning experience for me and my mom. After getting the female goat accidently preggo we learned ALOT! We were forced to milk "Daisy" after her kids(baby goats) stopped feeding. From this we discovered many cures to life’s problems. Goats milk is better than cow’s milk (not a life problem but just wanted to note it). Not that it tastes better but better for you! I'm sure your thinking "yeah yeah" every new milk claims something, but we know for a fact it cured my mom's allergic reaction to poison oak and ivy. Goats eat the poisonous plant and it gets filtered through their digestive system and then very small amounts are processed through the milk. It’s similar to the homeopathic style: "Like cures Like" of curing ailments. Basically in extremely small doses that have been filtered out you could cure yourself with whatever is causing the problem. I mean it's a little more to it than that but you get the idea. Anyways my life growing up was a constant discovery of new ideas and solving problems with whatever we had. Although this may have affected who I am partially I can't claim it fully because I have 4 other brothers and sisters whom are nothing like me. They are the complete opposite at times, but all were raised in similar situations out at the farm. When I got to college I was in for a major awakening! I couldn't believe all the waste and carelessness. But then I had never known people who just didn't care at all. It was so blatant and in your face, trash was always on the streets and the garbage bins were overflowing with bags and bags of trash. Kids throw out any and everything! I mean just out of laziness! I witnessed a friend throw out a dirty pan because they didn't feel like cleaning it!! I couldn't believe it! I came out of college enraged and disgusted. Most (but not all) of the kids who participate in just throwing away things because they don't care seem to do this because it is usually cheap enough to just get it again brand new. Those type of people go on to make more money and the process of throwing big items gets worse. From this I learned that I am a minority in this culture. What I believe makes me different from the rest is the ability to do several things; solve problems on my own with research and discovery, think open mindedly about new ideas, and think about how my actions are affecting others and our world. I use these three things every day. When it became obvious that not everyone was taught the way I was, the passion to express how and why I live my life came out.

So this is how I got to….HERE… My next’s blogs won’t be as long or boring(sorry). My whole idea behind this is to help myself discover new ways and things that are environmentally friendly and promote healthy living. The question I ask myself every day that helps me find an earth friendly solution to a problem I’m having is “What did people in the past do”. Not like 20 years ago, but 100’s of years ago. How did the Indians live and survive, how did the pilgrims, how did the Egyptians do things. They used what the earth gave them in some way to make what they needed. I’m not perfect, nor do I have the money to have a completely homemade/organic/sustainable lifestyle. But I’m trying to do as much as I possibly can with what I do have and teach myself to do more with the curiosity and passion for learning. I hope all you readers learn from what I post and please comment if you know of something relative that I would like!


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