Spring continues on the farm and we’re to the not-pretty state where I’d give anything for 6″ of new snow or a day of heavy rain. The view from my window is mud and woodchips with a small pond slowly stretching across the yard where the snow has melted and can’t sink into the ground. Even the back pasture is showing large patches of brown grass. I’m anxious for warmer weather and less mess. And flowers and sunshine and sitting in the gazebo without a sweater.
Over the past week I spent a lot of time working on my Spring Wardrobe capsule, finishing a green linen dress, toile slip dress, silk skirt and I’m almost done with a sweater upcycle. I have four more items to finish up and tons of photos to take. Yesterday we got pictures taken of my Blue Jean Baby Bloomers and shots taken for two items (a dress and a duster) destined for the shop.
I also started mind mapping for a new writing project that’s been stuck in my mind. I’ll share more on that when I have my thoughts collected, but I’m happy with how it’s shaping up so far. This is non-fiction, which isn’t something I’ve been interested in writing, but the idea keeps nagging, so I thought I’d start getting it down on paper
Speaking of which, last week I set out the goal to get a good chunk of fiction writing done, finish the Guest Guide for the B&B and mentioned a cashmere upcycle. Yeah. I didn’t get any of that done. I’m not sure if the problem is in setting bad goals or lack of discipline. Probably a bit of both. I know that it’s important for me to have an element of ‘planned chaos’ — left completely on my own, I am likely to while away the day on Pinterest. On the other hand, a too detailed plan leaves me feeling frantic, like a trapped animal.
We had a surprise reservation at the end of the week and two lovely guests stay with us over the weekend. Jeff got to practice his vegetarian-making skills and made a new quiche with spinach and mushrooms instead of our normal bacon and onion. It was tasty and I’m craving quiche so much today (even though I had leftovers for breakfast) Jeff said he’d make one for us for dinner.
Plans for Next Week
Just because I’ve started a new project doesn’t mean the old one is getting shelved. I’d like to keep going with at least one hour a day of fiction writing and have a solid outline in place for the non-fiction project.
Again, the main project to finish is the Guest Guide. We are also taking the complimentary wine and cheese off the website… while guests like the idea of it, in practice it is a scheduling nightmare which leaves us with opened and not consumed wine and expensive, not eaten (by guests) snacks. We still will offer it occasionally, but want the freedom to NOT offer it if it doesn’t work, so I need to track down all mention of it on our website and Airbnb and remove.
I had scheduled a too-ambitious photo session with five garments and three outfit shots. That’s WAY too much to do at once! I luckily realized my folly in time and scaled back to shots of the items meant for the online shop and blog photos for this week’s post. So over the next week I’d like to get at least two more of my recent makes photographed so I can get the posts ready. I’ve also got two dresses, a pair of linen bloomers and a crocheted table cloth duster to make to finish the spring capsule.
Cool Finds and Finished Books
This week I fell in LOVE with the Chrome extension Todobook. I spend an inordinate amount of time on Facebook — for myself, our businesses and client work. Since the election I’ve been steadily hiding things from my feed that stress me out, which means my feed is mainly paleo, sewing and backyard animal husbandry. It’s quite a distraction and I find myself on Facebook when I get bored, challenged in my current task… so all the time. Todobook hides your Facebook Feed and notification button, replacing it with a To Do list. In theory, once you finish your to do list, you get your feed, but you can also click a little ‘quitter’ button and get a five minute Facebook ‘break’ – there’s even a cute little timer that pops up. I’ve found this super helpful in heading me off at that pass and just ‘checking in’ and realizing 45 minutes later that I’ve fallen down the social media rabbithole. Sadly, it’s only available for Chrome (I use both Chrome and Safari) but I’ve cured myself of Facebook on Safari by just leaving myself logged in to a client’s account on that browser.
Another find this week is the super simple, but elegant breakdown of Growth Strategies from Tara Gentile. This is for any of you interested in (or currently running) a digital small business. There’s a nice flow chart to help you drill down to the best business structure for your interests and then there are some recommendations on how to most effectively grow that business. I.E…. I related to the ‘Exploration’ growth style and that means that a big list and traditional offerings will work well with my never-ending curiosity. There’s also a great webinar where Tara goes over each style more in depth. What’s super cool is this is the top of the funnel for her new project, the Cocommercial membership site meant for online business owners. I really like how she structured it — the Growth Styles work is completely free — no email address required. The Webinar gets you on the list, and then at the end of the webinar the offer is a 30 day trial of the online community. Tons of value up front with no signups or financial commitments. I’m doing the trial right now and it’s probably not for me… it’s housed on its own website. The site is well designed and she’s using the Mightybell app to house the community and offer it on iPhones, etc… but honestly, with the way I interact online, if there isn’t a Facebook group I just don’t go to the site.
I haven’t done much reading this week, only finishing one book…. Graveyard Shift, the oh-so-good first book in the Lost in Limbo Series from Angela Roquet. This was a bit of a strange ‘get’ for me, but the three book set must have come up in a Bookbub and caught my fancy. I downloaded a while ago and was in the mood for something seriously supernatural, so thought I’d check out the series. The premise is SUPER fun… the protaganist, Lana, is a Reaper, working for Grim Reaper at Reapers, Inc. The whole world is built around the afterlives of all the world religions with gods, angels, demons and reapers living and working in Eternity (the central city). The book is Sex in the City meets…. World Religion 101. I burned through the first book, but have to say I’m going slower in the second one. It’s a fun read for anyone with a passing interest in myths, snappy dressers and loyal hell hounds!