Sunday, November 21, 2010

Decisions... decisions...

Wow! It's been far too long since the last post. I was sort of hoping Dan would put his two cents in... eventually. Oh well...

Since the last post, a lot has been going on. The direction in which to move forward is unclear at this point. What I do know: I want to be in control of when I work, how often I work and I really want to be able to keep weaving.

Grooming is slow, weaving sales are slow. It became apparent that I needed to find some other source of income. Which is exactly why I'm still working in the little grocery corner store in town. When I first started the job, my priority switched from working towards my ideal life to getting the hell out of there ASAP.

I still detest the inability to decide when I want to work, but I have noticed a few advantages to this particular job. Not a lot is expected of me, so I can get some reading done. I like my coworkers and it's like having a little work family. And I really enjoy the social aspect of interacting with all the customers. Still... I would like to find something else. Not something that isn't what I want to do AND doesn't pay well.

I came across the opportunity for a new job. A receptionist for the World Financial Group branch in town. Now, as a way out of working for minimum wage, I jumped at the opportunity. It's a big move. There is a 600 dollar start-up fee because I require to get licensed to sell insurance. That way when I'm arranging appointments and talking with clients, I am licensed to actually talk about it without getting in major ca ca.

I've been taking advantage of my reading time at work to study for this license test. As I've worked at it for the last few weeks, though, I've noticed a dramatic decrease in weaving and grooming. And the other day, it had occurred to me that I need to decide what's most important. The cost of getting into this means that if I start, I really should keep at it for a while. So what happens to my own businesses? Do I put them on hold for a while and make it easier on myself to make a bit of money. Work my ass off to keep them barely afloat so that I don't have to start right from scratch? Or just stay at BV foods and keep working on my businesses as is?

I'm remaining indecisive on this as of now, so I'm just going along with it. Kinda doing everything. Hope I can make a decision before I burn out.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Turkey, anyone?

This weekend having been Thanksgiving, I thought I would make a typical "What I'm thankful for" type blog.

I've always been viewed by others as a very positive person, though I think I find myself more the misunderstood optimist. I, like everyone else I'm sure, have my moments where I don't see the glass as half full. I changed my Facebook status to note that I had a "glass half empty" kind of day, yesterday. And my friend Avery responded with, "Try a smaller glass." It got me thinking of perspective. If the glass is half empty, maybe I'm just using the wrong glass?! Thanks Avery! That made my day.

I have many insecurities, which Dan will vouch for, that I try to combat with forced outward positive energy. And some of those insecurities have been turned around with my efforts. I am thankful every day.

So, without further ado, I am thankful for:

-my loving and supportive partner, Dan.
-a mother who raised me to be my own person.
-a roof over my head.
-Laura Fry and all that she has done to help me be the weaver I am.
-a home that allows me to have a studio downstairs.
-Tanis, my cat, who snuggles with me every night.
-the opportunity to understand my priorities in life.
-my car. Though I prefer to walk, it does open a lot more opportunities for me.
-that I can help my community and the world be a little greener.
-that I've learned a lot about myself this year.
-that breakups happen and usually for the better.
-for all my other friends and family who have been there for me.

Anyway, hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend!

Earth Loom Creations
Bizz's Pet Grooming

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Help me out...

I'm back from my visit to Prince George. I called the guy back who had offered me an interview while I was away and I start my first day at the new job today. I am working part-time at a local food store. It is time to get a more consistent paycheck, if only for the time being.

That being said, it means that I should be able to soon afford a few things that would really help things along in our own businesses. Dan has impressed upon me the importance of doing my research to find out how best to move forward. I've decided I will call up my clients and ask them how better to serve them. I will be making a survey coupon to add to my posters, which are going to change colour to grab some attention. And I would like to pose some questions to you, the pet-loving reader, especially those of you who live in or near Houston, BC.

What do you look for in a groomer/grooming shop?

Would you prefer someone who can make house calls, or a specific location where you can take your pet?

What turns you away from a grooming shop?

If you happen to have had me as a groomer in the past, how did you like my service?

Thanks for your input, keep thinking green!

Bizz's Pet Grooming
Earth Loom Creations

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Just keep swimming... just keep swimming...

Life is not always easy. I believe this is something that everyone has probably figured out. But one does not have to be miserable just because things are not going how they had hoped.

For example, I moved back to my hometown of Houston, BC, with the plan of making some money as a mobile pet groomer. I arrived, put up posters, made a Facebook page and did some marketing through that, and I got results... for about three weeks.

People saw my posters and some gave me a call. But it appears that the posters have just faded into the background because people are used to seeing them, now. Business has slowed substantially. Instead of getting upset about it, I decided to utilize my time by weaving my ass off. And that was great. Again, for a while. Farmer's Markets began to die down. It was turning out a negative cash flow by mid September. It was time to bite the bullet... I handed out resumes.

I went to any and every place in town (Keep in mind it's a small town of 3200 people.) that I wouldn't absolutely hate to be. Mostly retail, but I also applied at the banks, as well. I avoided anything that had to do with cooking like the plague. Only two of the places I applied at were actually hiring. Everyone shook my hand, thanked me for my resume, assured me that they would keep it on file and get back to me if anything came up and told me to have a nice day.

Now, I'm in Prince George. I was supposed to be going to a concert with my sister, but that fell through. Though, it's probably a good thing as I wouldn't be able to afford it. But I came here so that I could do some work at my old job and get some fringe twisting done for Laura in order to get a little bit of cash flow this month.

I recieved a phone call on Tuesday about an interview at one of the places I applied. Oddly enough, the last one I was hoping would call. And instead of being excited that I might have work, I felt a wave of dread flow over me. I don't want to work at some random place, paying minimum wage, no matter how much I may need the money. I'm so torn between wanting to help out more financially and not wanting to settle for a job.

Note: This picture does not represent the pet that I'm working on after I'm finished.

I had forgotten how much one's mind wanders while grooming all day. Needless to say, I had a lot of time yesterday to think about the situation. Okay, so grooming isn't my number one choice, but it's my number two. And that's better than my number four hundred and seventeenth..... I've decided to really push the grooming thing in Houston. I know that there's clientelle out there. I know of people who drive to PRINCE GEORGE to get their dog groomed. It's decent money. And, in small doses, I actually really enjoy the work. (Except while grooming a cat with bad diarrhea who decides to pee all over you while you try to clean up the mess, but that's a different story.) It wouldn't take a lot of grooms to make "enough" money, so it should still leave me with plenty of time to get some weaving done. Besides, if it really takes off, I have the power to limit the number of grooms I do in a week.

Now, that being said, the mobile grooming thing isn't taking off so well. If only I could find somewhere to be situated while grooming... hmmm.... I'm sure there would be enough room in the basement! *sigh* Grooming and weaving and photography all in the basement.... Not sure if this is a legal idea, or if it will be ok with the landlord.... so many obstacles... (By the way, this is my mind wandering at work.)

I'll discuss it with Dan, and the landlord. I'm sure we can come to some agreement. I'm determined to be able to do what I want with life. And I believe it will be difficult to do working at a minimum wage job for someone else. It will all work out I'm sure.

Big smiles!

Earth Loom Creations (and Bizz's Pet Grooming)

Ugh. Hallways...

Hi everyone!

Been a busy week, at work and at home. Turns out Bell decided to take the Rogers Sportsnet channels out of their channel lineup. Now every Canuck junky in town is switching over to Starchoice so they can watch Vancouver lose 10-2 to Edmonton... Fun. And considering I'm not even a hockey fan it's kind of awkward setting up a dish and they are all chatting up about the last game and whatnot. I usually just smile and nod, or act like I dropped something; it distracts them. We all know hockey fans get easily distrac... ...Where did my cat go?!

The other reason I have been busy is Bizz and I ripped out the old rotten deck behind the house and pretty much every day after work I light the cut up boards in our firepit for a few hours.

Now I don't know about you, but for me whenever I sit around a fire usually conversation sparks up. A couple days ago Bizz and I were sitting around the fire watching our deck burn and for no apparant reason I sparked up on this 20 minute rant on how I hate hallways. I know its a wierd thing to hate, but I find them to be completely and absolutely useless space. Think about it; who enjoys to linger in a hallway? It's long, cramped, and I don't think I've ever been able to play a game of scrabble in a hallway. I'm a fan of open spaces.

In terms of my business though, I've been somewhat stagnant. Farmers Markets are pretty much done for the winter apart from the occassional indoor markets. Etsy hasn't provided me any sales yet so I feel a tad discouraged there even though I know I shouldn't. BUT! I got some awesome canvas prints on the way and some cool photography ideas I'd love to try out.

I made probably the best spaghetti I have ever ate the other day. Wow it was good...

Sorry ladies and gent, ADHD is really kicking in right now, I guess I'm getting hella tired. I do wanna leave you with a funky song. This is something I wanna add to my blog posts from now on cause I'm a fan of music and good music is sometimes to find. Anyways, this is  Long Distance Call by Phoenix check it out.

Until Next Time.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Moon Time

I was doing my normal morning routine, adding items to etsy and artfire and then checking to see what new items have been added by others. My eye was caught on etsy by a cute pumpkin fabric pattern. Not knowing what the actual item was, I checked it out. Turns out it was a reusable menstrual pad. Seeing as I make some myself, I decided to do some snooping, see how they made theirs, etc. SIX DOLLARS?!?!? How do I compete with that?
I decided to make my own after buying one from the store and not liking the absorbancy (or lack there of) of the cotton flannel layer. Everything just sat on top. EW!! The one I bought at the store was $30.00 plus tax. So I tried to keep mine around the same price, to be competitive. Any less, though, and it wouldn't be much worth my time to make them.

I make my Moon Pads with a handwoven core pad, two layers of waffle weave cotton. Then a layer of waterproof material, to keep from leaking through. And two layers of cotton flannel for the base, and for comfort. I take a lot of pride to try to make mine as functional as possible. But I could not compete with these prices at all! And who's going to buy the fancy ones for $30.00 when they can get five of the others for the same price! *sigh* I guess I'll just have to hope that people look for quality over price.
I love using my own product. And I think that's important. I feel it's imperative to try to reduce as much waste as possible, without sacrificing comfort (but not just being lazy).

Keep thinking green!


My Head Just Ker-ploded!

Oh hey there everyone. I'm sorry I haven't blogged in two weeks or more. It's really quite embarrassing, especially since when I made the blog I told myself, "Listen Dan, if your gonna make this blog, do it right! Don't just make an awesome introduction post and then leave everybody hanging." And here I was, doing that exact thing. Sounds like this Thanksgiving, I'm the turkey.

So now that my apologies are done we are on to business; how I have been sick like a dog for almost a week. I know it's that time of the year and all, you know, when kids head back to school and share all their little boogers and cooties with each other to create awful supergerms, which then gets passed on to their parents. Unfortunately through the chain of unhygeinity and currency, these boogergerms get passed on to an electronic retailer/photographer such as myself. Bizz being sick for two days previous might also be a factor, but I doubt it. Anyhow, now I have been plagued with all sorts of nasty side effects. From loss of depth perception, to abstract paranoia, to sleeping 22 1/2 hours in a day, to being unable to speak/hear/taste/touch/see anything around me. This has definately been effecting my productivity to say the least.

But wait! There is a light! I have begun to hope, nay dream! of an escape from this onslaught of mindnumbing pathogens. The streaming river has subsided to a trickle from my nostrils so I believe my hypothetical "Summer of Eupepsia" is on the horizon. And in response I have actually got some work done! I spent way too much money on canvas prints in the last day or two, which has its good and its bad. The good is these prints look amazing! The bad is I'm broke again (still?). I also did a print order, stocking up on some prints that I have been selling alot of and getting a few new ones. Again this doesn't help the being broke factor, but I am justifying it as a business investment. Oh, and I ripped out my old rotting deck and burnt it...

I guess all this mammering brings us to this point I'm trying to make. I'm broke. Not just kinda broke, stupidly broke. Being low on cash, it's hard to build a stock and selection without therefore gaining more cash, and typically whatever cash I have received has been tossed at bills and debts. Now I have been slowly learning to put money aside to invest into my new business (and Bizz's). Since then whatever we have used towards our businesses has been great investments. Being a younger man all this is a new experience for me. The idea of not spending money when I have it and actually putting it aside with the direct goal of using it to increase my net worth and aid my business is not only something that is a valuable life lesson but also creating a growing perspicacity within myself. It's nice.

So time for our little follow up question. How has your business or job or work or career taught you something about yourself? Has it been beneficial or something you wish you never learnt in the first place? 

Until next time.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Efficiency is a Virtue

I will probably not contribute as an author nearly as often as Dan. There will probably be less wit and humour in my posts. There will definitely be little to no talk about donkey anus hotdogs. In fact, it will probably be all around less flatulent. But here goes...

First off, I'll tell you a little bit about myself. I'm a little environment-obsessed, and I try to instill this in Dan, or anyone, any chance I get, without being too pushy (I hope). I really like green grapes and candy coated chocolate (Smarties in particular, but M&Ms and Eggies are also very good). I !@#%#$% hate loud alarm clocks in the morning, but prefer to wake up to a nice melody or nature sounds. I actually set my alarm at least 15 minutes ahead of Dan's just so that I don't have to listen to his. My favourite band is AC/DC, whom I've had the pleasure of seeing in concert. I suck at sports of any kind that require a ball, and much prefer things like swimming (Water fun, really. I can't actually swim.) and hiking. I've spent the last year and a half grooming dogs as a living, moved here, to Houston, and started mobile grooming on my own. And, oh yeah, I'm a weaver.

I learned how to weave from Laura Fry. She refers to me in her blog ( as Mizz B. One of the values that she instilled upon me, particularly as someone who does this for a living, is efficiency. I've been living with Dan for a few months, now, but have all my equipment set up at my mom's. It was set up when I first moved into town, into my mother's house, and has yet to be moved.

Over this time, I've enjoyed the necessity to take a walk every morning to get to my studio. I've enjoyed seeing my mom for coffee in the morning and being undisturbed while I work after she goes off to work. However, particularly in the last few weeks, I've noticed that it makes it really difficult to get any weaving in during short openings in my schedule. Appointments, clubs, going to grooming appointments and cleaning a friend's house for a little extra cash can really chop up my day, so when it takes half an hour to walk to my studio and back, it's not really worth my time to try to get over there if I happen to have a forty-five minute space between scheduled events.

Dan's been trying to convince me to move my stuff downstairs, to have my studio in our basement. First, the thought of having to move everything (especially the loom) was daunting. Second, walking to my mom's house is basically the only activity I see, other than the occasional hike, so I wanted to maintain that necessity to walk. But I've been convinced that Dan was right (That's right, I'm a woman who admits that her partner is right.... sometimes.) and that I need to be able to access my equipment at any available moment. Thinking back to Laura's teachings, I finally agreed.

So, over the next little while, my main goals will be to get my equipment in the basement, make a certain dollar amount of inventory each week, and to finish my morning routine and start weaving, or working in any sense, by 9:30 at the latest each morning. There... I said it... My goals have been expressed to the world, so as to force myself to focus on them more, or be made a liar.

Keep thinking green! Cheers!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

First Post: An Introduction.

I read an article yesterday of how a well endowed P.R. firm based out of Vancouver recently shut its doors, collapsing its business with what it called "a family of 3000" in terms of clients, with direct blame passing to social networking via the internet. Now don't ask me where I read it or even if that statement is 100% true, regardless in my mind, I'm contributing to the shattering of large corporations through the sharing of my activities through this blog. Dayum I'm good! Heh.

Maybe this blog IS my beginning into social engineering, that I am trying to conjugate your daily patterns to always bring up my business name into the topic of conversation... Or maybe I just want to add a little personality into a very impersonal corporate North America. I'm leaning towards the latter.

Food for thought. I bank at a local credit union in our small town consisting of a few thousand people. I have been banking there since I was a young'un, when I would scrounge pop-bottle savings together to put in my bank account so I could get myself that cool pirate Lego ship with the added island feature. So, according to that description I've been banking there for two weeks. Heh, poor humour; I know. Anyways, corporate North America has made it so that instead of depositing or withdrawing from "Dan Plugboers account" I am stamped a number. Now these tellers whos sons I was a camp counsellor for when I was 16 now know me as "Account Number 443-3321" (that's not my account number by the way... sorry). 

Everyone hates Wal-Mart right? Well, almost everyone (except it's stupid amount of customers daily). Well Wal-Mart, apart from its stupidly cheap sweatshop shoes and rock-bottom priced donkey anus "hot dogs", have something which I kind of admire. They put greeters at the doors of their stores which in my mind is brilliant! What better way to have a shopping experience then to wander into a store and someone goes, "Oh, hey there! Welcome! Check out our sale on donkey anus' on isle 3!" Ok... Maybe minus the donkey anus bit, that is a very inviting atmosphere; almost an experience. 

I'm a musician. I've been playing musical instruments for over a decade now, nearing two decades if I don't watch it! Yikes I'm old... Anyways I HATE shopping at music stores, mainly ones that sell instruments. The atmosphere is awful! I've yet to wander into a music store where I got anything even resembling customer service, nevermind an appreciation of the customers interest in their goods. These stores always have some jackass guitarist/drummer (those are the worst!) sitting behind the counter tightening up some drumskin or stringing some guitar, chatting with some regular customer about how he didn't care for that concert he saw the week before cause it was too "mainstream" or they used too much dropped-D power chording... Gah! 

I guess what I'm saying is I want customers to really enjoy their experience with OneSixPix and EarthLoom Creations. I don't want them to be willing to settle for sweatshop cheapery or guitar stringing snubbery. I'd love for all our customers (or potential customers... or anybody for that matter) to be able to toss me an email, or look me up on Facebook, or say, "Hey Dan! I'm flying out from Aruba tomarrow and I should be in Houston on Thursday. Got time for a coffee?"  (I ALWAYS have time for coffee). 

Looks like I'm just trying to follow in my fathers footsteps. He's one of those guys who's a loud, bolstering, friendly man. The type where you always hear him before you see him, and not just because he's short. But he is a very likeable fellow and very easy to get along with. And he knows EVERYONE! It doesn't matter what town your wandering through in British Columbia, he's bound to know someone there. 

So this blog isn't really about social engineering, account numbers, sweatshops, or even dropped-D power chords. This blog is about myself and Bizz chatting it up about what we do and who we are, about our passions, about our goals, about whats important to us. I hope that this blog is also a way for us to be able to share what important to the readers as well. 

So to finish it off, share with us something about yourselves. Just leave a comment, doesn't have to be about anything important. Heck, it could even be, "I like Cheese!" (but expect to get picked on in the next blog if that is what you shared). 

Until next time!