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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

40 days without sugar begins now.

365:48 I’m giving up sugar for Lent

There. I said it.

It’s public and out for all of the internets to see.
I’m accountable now.

I was browsing the Etsy forums and someone mentioned they were giving up browsing the forums for Lent. The poster commented that she will be more focused on working on her shop, be more productive, and hopefully more successful.  I started thinking about what I should give for Lent.

I have lapsed in the past few years and haven’t given anything up in a while. When we were kids, it was most often chocolate, or potato chips. One year it was gum.
I remember the year I tried to give up liver.

Ma said that wasn’t the point and I had to pick something I actually liked.
I also remember the year I gave up coffee…let’s not go there.

I decided when I was eating the mini-baking chocolate peanut butter cups that I needed to give up sugar.
I crave something sweet after dinner, almost every night. I don’t know where this came from, because we were never a dessert-every-night-after-dinner family.

I know exactly where it came from.

Here are my rules for the next 40 days:

  • No refined sugar; white, brown, raw or otherwise
  • No chocolate, cookies, pie or candy
  • No ice cream (sorry D)
  • No pop (not even diet)

Honey and Agave syrup are acceptable as is Splenda in my coffee
Naturally occurring sugar i.e. fruits are acceptable

I’m doing this for me. To bring back my focus, take control of my health and show my strength. 
Lent is about many things, and I don’t necessarily believe it has to be entirely religious.  I can choose to give up something at any time, for any duration. 
I’m choosing to start today because I want to.  I have a start date, and an end date- Easter Sunday.

I also am curious to see what other benefits I will get out of this.  I expect to have more energy, be clear headed and hopefully lose a few un-healthy pounds.

I just looked at my list of rules and realized that I should clarify: I don’t have a completely unhealthy diet.  I don’t eat pie or ice cream on a daily basis (but I’d love to).  But the chocolate chips in the granola bars, a cookie here and there…it’s adding up.

So here we go.
40 days without sugar begins now.

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Confession: I’m not on Pinterest

Recently, my friend asked me “Are you on Pinterest yet?”.

“No. Pinterest is the devil”. 

It’s not really. 

Or is it? (disclaimer- I have nothing against the creators, or users of Pinterest nor do I really think they are the devil or any hellish beast)

I’ve heard from countless people “ I signed up for Pinterest; I was on there for hours!”.

Reason number 1 why I’m not on Pinterest:

     I already spend too much time online. I run an online business and am in the process of launching a second online business (surprise! but more on that later). With email, Facebook, Twitter, Etsy, Flickr and this blog, I have enough to do. 
I share interesting links to articles or photos on Facebook or Twitter.

I’m always plugged in.

(PS- having your pins linked to your Twitter feed when you go on a pinning spree 5 x a day is the fastest way to get me to unfollow you)

Reason number 2 why I’m not on Pinterest:

     I have enough trouble keeping up with what I have online already.  Take a look at the dates of the posts on this blog… I need to make my blogging more consistent, not less. 

Reason number 3 why I’m not on Pinterest:

     I have enough on my project-to-do list. 

The top argument I hear for joining Pinterest is “it’s so inspirational”!  

I’m not lacking inspiration.  And when I do get stuck and need some crafty  mojo, I have a Google reader full of blogs, pages of bookmarks I can review, my whiteboard and my notebook full of projects I can/want/am waiting to start.

Reason number 4 whey I’m not on Pinterest:

But Stephanie, you have an online business! You need to be on Pinterest, so people go to your shop and buy your things”!


See number 3- if most people are using Pinterest as a to-do list for their own DIY projects…they aren’t my target market. 

Etsy recently added a “pin it” button in each listing, and beside the “tweet” and “share” buttons.  If someone wants to pin photos of my cards, they can.  People are free to pin my items if they so choose.

It also seems to be a faux-pas to pin your own items for your own promotion.  Whether that’s an actual Term of Use, or just frowned upon I don’t know.  But I fail to see how being on Pinterest would equate to more sales for my shop.  I’d personally prefer to be in more treasuries on Etsy, which I would consider to be the first pinterest-type arrangement.  People looking at treasuries are more likely to be buyers.

There has been some talk in the Etsy forums, that as other users “pin” your photos, and not all owners provide consent to the “pin-er”, the owner loses copyright protection.  I don’t really know about that, nor am I worried about it. I gave up my online privacy that day in grade six I signed up for an email account.  If you put anything on the internet you have to be aware someone, somewhere will probably use it, find it, or claim it as their own.  My photos on Flickr are more important to me than my images of my greeting cards.  Although Flickr has licensing and other stops in place that I can use to protect my images. And  my favourite images, the ones I really want to protect, are not online at all.

I think the idea of Pinterest is great; I can see how it could be useful to organize ideas,  be fun and inspiring. 

But I don’t need it.
I don’t want it.
And frankly, I’m over it.

Will I ever join Pinterest?
I’ve learned it can be foolish to never say never.

The way I see it is until Pinterest starts offering units of time to complete my ideas/projects, I won’t be signing up requesting an invite (and what is up with that?) any time soon.

Because time is what I really need.


ETA- Pinterest is a hot topic right now.  After I wrote this post (last night) there were no less than 4 threads on Pinterest in the Etsy business forums.  Most of the discussions were regarding legal rights to images that may be sold by Pinterest to affiliated websites (Amazon, Target, etc)- 'images', not "items".  Lore has it that Pinterest keeps the full file when an image is 'uploaded' (vs. being pinned).
The TOU's posted from Pinterest indicate you are to only upload an image that you own the copyright to, or have permission to upload.

There's also concern that Etsy didn't ask the member's permission to put the "pin" button in all of our shops.  

I haven't read the Pinterest TOUs in their entirety, but this seems to be a slippery slope.  I can see how a photographer could be caught in this loophole.  I hope that Pinterest addresses these issues.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


How are you? It’s been a little while, I know.  Things have been quite busy here.  I had a great weekend at the Artist’s Affair Valentine Show and I’ve been working hard to restock the A Paper Buffet Etsy shop .  I have some great new ideas for 2012, but I don’t seem to have enough time to implement them all.  Don’t you hate when that happens? I’m trying to write them all down so that I can work through them one by one.  While holiday cards (Christmas, Valentine’s, etc) are very busy times for me, I also want to create some cards to keep on hand, that you can use for any reason…or for no reason at all!

I made a few of these cards for the Artist’s Affair show and got some really great feedback (and sold out!)  I’ve expanded the line and added a new option in the shop.  I’m going to call this the “hello” line, for lack of a better title.

Each card is made with a kraft base, with a stamped animal inked in a colour to match the card stock matting.  I love the white space on the card- which is usually a bad thing!












I can’t decide which is my favourite, so I’ve decided you shouldn’t have to either.  I’ve offered a “choose 3” option in the shop (along with a slight discount for buying the set) so you’ll never be caught without a card!


So, tell me if you had to choose, which one is your favourite?






Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine’s Day!





Happy Valentine’s Day friends!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Project 365: January

Have you kept your New Year’s resolution?  My resolution was to complete a Project 365- one photo a day for a year.  I’ll be sharing my favourite pictures each month here.  So here’s some of my favourites:

Afternoon break




Covent Garden Market





My Godson Ethan





Red Barn



I can’t believe it’s been a month already- have you kept your resolution so far?


Happy Wednesday!



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