Purple Cow by Seth Godin: An Etsy Fort Worth Book Talk

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purple cow

Its time to begin our Book Talk about Purple Cow.  If you haven’t already, please get your copy of this book (available on Audible, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc.) so you can follow along with the discussion.

Let’s start with some Ps.

Purpose: The purpose of this Blog-style Book Talk is to reap the benefits of a group discussion about the concepts and content of Purple Cow without having to meet face-to-face.  We are all handmade small-business owners who see extreme value in standing out among not only competitors but the slew of information and products available on the internet.

Processes:  Basically, I’ll post some questions that get some chatter going through Commenting.  When a particular comment is hot and warrants its own post, I’ll create an original post so those comments can be streamlined and focused.  I encourage you to look through all the posts and comments so that you can read what your friends are saying and ask questions, agree, respectfully disagree with further information, or add to the discussion.  If you want to speak to someone directly, reply to their comment or use @username in your comment.

If you have a question or want to start a discussion that doesn’t necessarily go along with the particular section of the book or post that is current, please visit the “Purple Cow: Open Forum” section under “Purple Cow by Seth Godin.”  This is a place where anything and everything can be discussed about our Book Talk experience with Purple Cow (except for bad-mouthing the moderator, which is HIGHLY discouraged!).

Positivity: It goes without saying that positive talk breeds positive thinking and vice versa.  We are in this Book Talk together to help one another not only understand how Purple Cow can help our businesses, but to listen to one another about what Godin’s message does for our entrepreneurial experience.  Comments that hinder our growth will be removed from the board without permission-asking or pleading to edit.  Ain’t nobody got time for that!

If you have any suggestions or see something along the way that could work better for our group, please email me, Ashley, at craftcafedfw@gmail.com

Our first post will discuss Not Enough Ps (pg. 1) through The Law of Large Numbers (pg. 51).  Discussion topics will be posted before February 24th.  For now, let’s all introduce ourselves by commenting to this post.   Tell us who you are and what you do (the key to opening any good business pitch).

Goodbye Picnik, Hello Picasa!

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Even though Picasa is not new to the world, its new to me.  When Picnik emailed everyone telling them that they were closing up shop, I was a bit depressed.  I grew fond of Picnik and I really like its features.  So, I had to move on and dabble in Picasa.  Here is my first collage creation.  Please enjoy and feel free to add your constructive comments below.  Is it too busy?  Is it hard to process what these photos are?  Does your eye travel around the collage or stay at a fixed point?  I’d like to know what you think so I can improve.  Overall, I want to make a collage that presents my product professionally and clearly to anyone who is looking at it.

If YOU are a Picasa expert and have some tips to share, I’d love to hear about what you’ve learned in using this free online tool.  My first question, “Is there an upgrade option like Picnik where I can pay a fee and get more features?”

Dye2Spin on Etsy: Hand-dyed and Hand-spun Fibers for the Fiber Artist

Dye2Spin’s February Sale on Etsy

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Dye2Spin’s February Sale on Etsy

Visit Online Fiber Artists for a chance to win!

From now through February 29th (looks weird doesn’t it?) any item in my Etsy Shop, Dye2Spin, will receive a 20% discount.  So, take a look around the shop and over 50 hand-dyed and hand-spun items, pick out your faves with pink or red in them, then check out using Paypal.  The moment I see your order, I’ll issue a 20% refund of all the items you purchased that have red or pink.  When I think about it, that’s nearly half the items in the shop!  OMG!

While you’re at it, you’ll still get free shipping to the US as usual PLUS an entry into the Fiber Indie eXperience February Gift Card drawing.  There will be two gift cards given away, one for $50 and one for $30.  These gift cards can be used at any of the participating FIX co-op shops.  Here’s a link to my blog post with all the FIX members and shops.  Happy fiber hunting!

Hand-dyed BFL by Dye2Spin on Etsy

Fiber Indie eXperience January Prize Box

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Its your last day to get your orders in for the amazing January Prize Boxes through FIX on Ravelry!  Visit any FIX Co-op Member, make a purchase in their shop, then list the details of your order on the FIX Ravelry JPB discussion thread for your chance to win!  There is a Spinning Box, a Knitting Box and then a Mixed Box and you get to rank your choices!

Tossing Your Cookies, Our next Coffee & Crafts

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Sunday, January 22nd will mark our next Coffee & Crafts get-together as Craft Cafe.  We look forward to seeing everyone and tasting their lovely cookie creations that day.  Extra cookies from the swap will be donated to overseas soldiers so they can experience the joy that resides in a home-baked delight.

On the teaching agenda is Floor Spindle lessons with Ashley.  We have two floor spindles, called Meggies, from Heavenly Handspinning that will be used for teaching.  For new spinners, this is a great way to understand drafting out fiber in the process of making yarn.

We will also have knitting lessons available for those who yearn to work with yarn or those who just need some tips along the way.

Sure to be an excellent time, as usual.

My Review of Cream Fine Count Alpaca Top

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Originally submitted at Alpaca Direct

Spins into superb fine yarn for knitting 25-27 Micron Diameter Alpaca Roving Soft and Luxurious

Luxurious

By Dye2Spin.etsy.com from Fort Worth, TX on 1/10/2012

 

5out of 5

Pros: Dyed Evenly, Nice Texture, Soft

Cons: Sheds

Describe Yourself: Artist

Was this a gift?: No

This top dyed evenly and dried wonderfully. I can’t wait to spin it up!

(legalese)

Craft Masters, by Michael’s Craft Store

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Hey craft friends! I wanted to let you guys in on the news that I was selected to compete in Craft Masters by Michael’s Craft Store.

I submitted a 30 second video about my favorite craft project about dyeing my own fiber, spinning it into yarn, then knitting it into a baby cardigan.

I’ll be competing against two other local crafters in what I’m calling “Iron Chef for the Creative Types.” There’s going to be mystery items we are mandated to use in our project as well as a time limit. In the end, our work will be judged (by whom I don’t know yet) and then someone will be declared a winner.

Its all very surreal at the moment and I’m really excited to be able to do this. Should be lots and lots of fun!

The taping is on Friday the 13th.

Wish me luck. And, since you’re here, please tell me what some of the most important items in a craft store are that I should remember to pick up on my shopping spree (they allow us time to gather materials from Michael’s before the competition the day of the shoot). Also, if you have links to any really cool craft project ideas, please include those as well. I’ve been scouring Pinterest and the internet in general to try to expose myself to as much as possible. I have no idea what I’m in store for. Something tells me that I’m not going to just be able to knit a hat and win this thing! Plus! I’m not allowed my spinning wheel!!!! GASP!

The Time has Come! FIX Prize Box Giveaway

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You’ve waited, you’ve wondered and NOW the time has come for you to participate in your first Fiber Indie eXperience Prize Box Giveaway.  Basically, you make purchases from FIX Co-op Members, like myself, to enter your name into the January prize box drawing  of fabulous fiber goodies!  Purchases from December 30th through January 29th are valid for the entry for the prize box.

But HOW do I enter after making my purchase?

Great question, glad you asked!  Let’s say you go to LMS Studio Arts and make a purchase of three items on January 14th, your name would be put into the prize box drawing ONLY AFTER you go to the FIX Ravelry Group and post your date of purchase, items purchased, and shop where you ordered in the Prize Box thread , then you are entered.  Let’s just say, for grins, that you visited Little Monkey’s Stitch n’ Spin on January 20th and buy two items.  You would then be able to go to the Prize Box thread AGAIN and enter the order information stated above for and ADDITIONAL entry.  You get the picture, I’m sure.

Where can I shop, Ashley, WHERE CAN I SHOP?

ETSY SHOPS Icandyarn, Yarn Demon Designs, Fancy Kitty, Little Monkey Stitch N Spin ,
Sarah Kate Fibers , Blue Mtn. Handcrafts , Babester Fiber Arts , The Wacky Windmill , Aspen Leaf Fiber Farm , Dye2Spin (that’s me folks), Madamfluffy/Ozark Carding Mill , Herman Hills Farm

ARTFIRE SHOPS ICandyarn , Knottie Girl Designs , Yarn Demon Designs , Camel Shoppe , Dye2Spin

ONLINE SHOPS Blue Mountain Handcrafts , Herman Hills Knittery , Fancy Kitty , Aspen Leaf Fiber Farm , Ozark Carding Mill

HYENA CART Little Monkey Stitch N Spin

Have a great time.  And, I hope you win!

Weighing Fiber

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Ashley here. I wanted to explain how I weigh my roving (technically this is “combed top” for all you fiber heads out there) before the dye process.
I like working with 4 ounce portions if fiber. When I first started out, you would have LOL’d or even started ROFL upon seeing my long rows of fiber stretched out along the kitchen floor, the couch, or the bed. I would try to get all the lengths exactly the same so that I could guess-timate the ounces before ripping each edge of roving apart to make my ~4 oz pieces.
I’ve gotten smart since then. I bought a postal scale! I found one on eBay for $20-$30 and decided it was worth it, especially since I am running my own Etsy shop, Dye2Spin
I quickly learned that I can’t just pile the dang fiber on top of the little platform of the scale, it all falls off! So you’ll need a clear container of some sort to put your fiber inside of. I use a glass bowl but plastic will work as well, as long as you can see through it or as long as it doesn’t cover up the tiny screen on your scale, it will work just fine.

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It’s pretty simple really. The scale must be turned on AFTER the bowl is placed on top. This ensures that the scale is at zero instead of showing the weight of your container. You might also have a “tare” feature on your scale which will do the zeroing out for you. You place your fiber in the container sitting atop the scale like so.

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You begin unraveling or piling or putting or hoping your fiber into the bowl. By the way, if any of you can stare at your mass of fiber and HOPE it into your container, I want to meet you and get your autograph.
When you’ve reached your
desired amount of fiber, you break it off. Breaking the fiber off includes you pulling with both hands on either side of the point of separation. Never ever use scissors to cut your fiber into pieces unless you have a specific or desired effect in mind that only cutting can provide.
If you intend to spin this fiber, give or sell for spinning, a cut end of roving will only create enemies, not BFFs (Best Friends in Fiber).
This gives you the amount of fiber you’d like to work with sans the long strips of roving laying on the floor, collecting every little dog or bunny hair there happens to be, just waiting to be swept up with a Merino wool “broom.”

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There’s my pit bull, Cinderbelle, and Jersey Wooly rabbit, Phil (short for Xenophilius), the first day they met.

I hope this small tutorial helped you see the light in one method of weighing fiber. Now I’m off to dye like a son-of-a-gun!!