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Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

Tutorial?

Is it time for a new tutorial? Do you look at tutorials? What would you like to see? Keep in mind that suggestions should be sewing, knitting, or crochet related. If you don’t look at tutorials, is there a reason why? Maybe there’s something else you’d like to see.

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If you only have a few pounds to lose, then getting a flatter belly won’t take long. Summer, and swimsuit season, is just around the corner. That means it’s time to start working on those flat abs you want so badly. Don’t have time to work out for hours every day? Not to worry, with a little planning and ten minutes a day, you can have the flat, toned abs you want.

Step #1 Pay attention to your fuel. Track what you eat and what you burn each day. Abdominal fat is just that, fat. If you want to see the muscles underneath and get rid of the bulge you’re going to have to consume fewer calories than you burn.
There are wonderful, free, and easy to use programs and iPod/iPhone applications that will help you track what you eat and what you burn each day. Use them to stay on track. One pound of fat is 3500 calories. That means that by simply burning 500 more calories a day than you eat you can lose a pound in 7 days.
Tracking what you eat will also help you see what foods fill you up longer and what foods burn quickly. Quick burning foods mean you’re hungry soon after you eat them. Aim for lean protein, lots of fiber and fruits and veggies.

Step #2 Get moving! Move your body; it wasn’t designed to sit on a couch or at a desk all day. Take the stairs, take a walk around the block, move your body and find a way to take at least 10,000 steps a day. Studies have shown that people who take 10,000 steps a day lose weight faster and keep it off. They’re healthier and thinner. You can be too!

Step #3 Okay, now you have pounds melting off just by tracking your intake and moving your body. The next step is to work your core muscles, and you can do that in just ten minutes a day. The best fitness activities are ones that focus on your entire core, your back and stomach. Sit-ups are great but they only work specific muscles in your abdominals.

Instead of sit-ups, spend ten minutes working through a low rep workout. Do full crunches where your legs also come off of the ground, bridge, single leg abdominal press, plank pose, and side plank. Move through each repetition slowly so you get the full benefit of the movement and hold the exercise for a few seconds before releasing it. You’ll build muscle and burn more fat. Repeat each exercise 8-10 times then move onto the next exercise.

The good thing about these core exercises is that you don’t need any fancy equipment to do them. All you need is ten minutes. Get down on the floor during your favorite television show or do them right when you get up in the morning before your shower.
With commitment, a plan of action and a little bit of willpower you can have those flat abs you want. Watch what you eat, get moving and find ten minutes each day to work your core muscles. You’ll have that beach body in no time.

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Sellers Bootcamp Week 3

This week I’ve learned how to use the Google Keyword Tool to more accurately describe my shop listings and blog posts to be found through search engines. There is a nice long article we’ve given to read about how to write for the internet to make our item descriptions and blog posts more palatable for the reader. I apologize now, because I haven’t finished reading it yet, so that means you’re stuck with my usual blabbering until I learn to do it right. I’ve been listing new items to my iCraft shop and updating some listings to reflect these newly learned techniques. A couple more days left in this week to learn more great stuff – can’t wait! 🙂

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Week 2 of Sellers Bootcamp

Well, I’ve now become quite proficient at Twitter using TweetDeck and SocialOomph. I’m adding about 30 new followers a day, I’m retweeting like crazy, I know how to schedule tweets for later, and I using hashtags and searches! If you don’t know what any of that means and you are trying to market your handcrafting business, then you’d better take part in the next Sellers Bootcamp on iCraft. It’s free, you can’t beat it with a stick!

I’ve written a 200 word ad about what my business is about and who it’s for (with a lot of help from Christine, our fearless leader!) and created a shorter blurb for quick conversations or limited ads. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for the rest of the week 🙂

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iCraft Sellers Bootcamp

So, this is my first Sellers Bootcamp and wow! am I learning a lot! What is the Bootcamp? iCraft is an artisan selling forum like Etsy and Artfire. They hold the Bootcamp a few times a year to help independent sellers, like myself, learn how to use our marketing time wisely and how to network. It lasts for a month and we have daily assignments to complete. This week I had to create a personal bio, a professional bio, an advertisement blurb, and I learned how to use TweetDeck to consolidate my Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace updates.

Being a one-woman show, it’s difficult to find time to do the marketing necessary to getting my name out there. My passion is sewing, not networking, so this is very new to me. I’m going to try to take you along with me on my Bootcamp journey and feature some of the other campers over the next month. Hope you enjoy the ride! 🙂

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A bag! I would make a bag. A highly structured bag. I’ve had a stash of rigid stabilizer on hand for months because I’ve dying to try a bag that holds its own shape. So I’d settled on the idea and would actually get to challenge myself on two fronts – new technique and new medium.

I created an envelope bucket bag with a magnetic snap closure. The handle is two foliage stems formed, wrapped, and bound with brown ribbon and attached to the bag with D-rings. I think it not says nature, but really captures my essence as well. For those who don’t know me, Autumn is the time of year I live for. I constantly lament that there isn’t anywhere in the world that has perpetual Autumn (otherwise I’d live there). Crisp air, pumpkin pie, cinnamon, spice, squash soup, fires in the fireplace, lit candles everywhere – this is my comfort.

So here is my challenge submission: Autumn Delight

fall purse

It is a one-of-a-kind creation and is for sale in my Etsy shop. Voting will be open to the public on September 2nd for one week on the team blog. Please view all the submissions and if you truly like mine – vote for me! It was a pleasure participating in this challenge and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about it.

fall purse 2

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What could I do with that fabric? The jacket idea was really tempting, but I couldn’t think of a way to add a detail or technique that would challenge. And of course, there was that money issue too. Running around, too many red fabrics and can’t figure out which the customer would like better. Max is giving me the look. Just to sort of get him off my back, I asked to go find out if the store had a floral department – you know, fake stems. He walked off, or maybe I should say “stalked” off. And I continued searching, and then it hit me! Flowers! NO, not flowers – foliage! That gorgeous fabric and fake stems – working with fake stems would DEFINITELY be a challenge for me. I’ve never done it! But what to make? Something small – not much money, so less than a yard of fabric would be good. Something fairly simply in design – not much time left before the challenge submission deadline, and the fabric really speaks for itself.

fall swatch

Tomorrow, the finished project!

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