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Felting Soaps!

Hey Everyone! This week has gone by soooo quickly, but it has been a full one in the Twisted Purl studio!  On Tuesday, I had a pretty simple day in the studio.  Cyndi was getting ready for the Raspberry Pi Bake-Off, and was busy programming her creature, so I helped her by making some carded batts.  She needed Spring colors, which as you all know is quite difficult for me.  I think these are my best happy carded batts so far!

xxxx Here is Cyndi working on her Pi.  (And probably giving herself a headache.)

x  xx xxx I love looking at all of them lined up on the counter.

There are lots of bright pinks and yellows going on in these.  They are super bright, which was a lot easier to handle with the weather outside being so beautiful.

This Thursday I finally got to meet Kate!  We didn’t have much time to talk because we got straight to work learning how to make felted soaps!  Although we both knew the ins and outs of labeling and packaging, and even knew how the soaps were made, we had never made them ourselves.  Cyndi is a felted soap pro.  She told us about the science experiment that was figuring out how to make the felted soaps the best way possible.  After trying many different methods, she discovered the ultimate way to felt soaps.  (Which is why hers are the best ever.)  She passed her knowledge on to Kate and me, and we were able to practice together.  I’m excited to see how the soaps we made turned out.  Next week we get to learn how to make some designs on felted soaps!  Wow!  Here are some of the soaps as we were making them.

xxxxxxx xxxxxx xxxxx

The last two yellow ones are my favorite.  (One made by Kate and one made by me.)  They remind me of little popcorns!  Or golden eggs!

Until next week!

Zoe B.

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Art Batts Out My Ears!

Hey Everyone!

Down here we have been enjoying some lovely spring weather with temperatures in the 70s!  It amazes me how one day everyone can be bundled up in layers upon layers of jackets and hats, and then the next day wearing sun dresses and a layer of sweat.  I personally prefer my sundresses to my winter clothes, (mostly because I hate pants), so I hope this weather just continues to blossom.

Cyndi has been busy getting ready for a couple of shows this weekend!  When I got to The Twisted Purl studio yesterday, I came prepared with numerous art batt inspirations, in the hopes that Cyndi would let me make just one carded art batt.  Luckily, when I walked through the doors she was quick to tell me that today was all about art batts, and that I was to make as many as possible to be spun into yarn to sell at her show.  She only had about 12 skeins of yarn, so she needed a bunch more!  I helped make 5 carded art batts before I had to head back to campus.

photo 1  This is my tulip inspired basket of fluff.  Even though I had a spectacular valentines day with my significant other, I couldn’t resist doing what he calls “one up-ing him” by buying myself some sale flowers.  Some of which were tulips.  The insides of the flowers were so beautiful when they first opened up, that my first instinct was YARN!

photo 2 My next art batt started with thoughts about my monet yarn.  I love blues and greens together, so I started with that.  Then I fished through Cyndi’s collection of fluff until I had just the right components collected.

photo 3 My third art batt was a completely white one.  Cyndi says that this is surprisingly one of the most popular skeins of yarn!  As I fed the fluff into the drum carder, the pile began to grow.  Cyndi was sneaking more and more little odds and ends into the basket of fluff. 🙂

photo 2 d Here is a basket of fluff that was completely random for me.  I like so much order in my life, that this one was a real challenge.  It ended up looking very nice as yarn!

photo 4 My final art batt of the day was a St. Patrick’s Day inspired one. I just through in all sorts of greens (and a few blues) and then accented the greens with a complementary color of orange.  There is so much orange glitter in that art batt that spinning it on the drum carder was insane.

 

photo 1 d These are Cyndi’s feet hard at work spinning my first art batt (the tulip inspired one) into yarn.  Just the little bit she had done before I had to leave the studio looked beautiful!

Until next week,

Zoe B.

 

 

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Send a Valentine to an Arkansas Children’s Hospital Patient

I love Valentine’s Day!  This is the last year my youngest is in elementary.  He will be moving to middle school, which means no more Valentine’s for classmates and no more classroom parties.  I count my blessing that all three of my boys are healthy and able to run circles around each other and drive me crazy daily.

Unfortunately, there are some kids who can not exchange Valentines with their friends. Kids who can not leave the hospital to get to their class parties.  Arkansas Children’s Hospital has put together an amazing program for these kids.Handspun Yarn Heart

Send a Valentine child!

It’s super easy to help and only takes about 1 minute to complete.  Simply chose one of 4 virtual cards, chose a greeting (or write your own), fill in your name  and email, then send.

The hospital will print out the cards and give a pack of 10 cards to each child.  Their goal is to reach 35,000 Valentine wishes for the kids by February 14th.

Click here to send a Valentine to a Patient

FeltedSoapHeart

Please help spread the word so they can reach their goal and make lots of kids smile this Valentine’s Day.

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Five Reasons why Rejection makes you Better

WHAT? Rejected???  NOOOOOO!!!!!

Recently, I applied for a really big craft show.  Big like they get 10K apps and only take like 250ish people.  Big like 90K attendees!  I applied and was rejected.  Yes, it was a crazy long shot. I’d honestly prepared myself mentally for the rejection, but it still stinks.

I’ve put myself out there for some pretty wild things.  Some, I’ve succeeded big time!  Others, I have failed. The point is I tried.  Running a business you can’t just sit on the couch (no matter how comfy it may seem) and do nothing. Life is not meant to be played on the sidelines. You have to put yourself out there.  EVEN if it means running smack dab into a big ole rejection email, phone call, snail mail….whatever!  You have to do it.

In life, it totally sucks to be rejected. I could crawl into bed and not get out or go get drunk over sushi (I might do that anyway). I could just assume my work stinks and go back to work for the insurance industry (blah).  Yes, rejection is not easy, but rejection is not the end!

 Five Reasons why Rejection Makes you Better:

1. Rejection is an opportunity to do something different.

Often, you were rejected because there are better things planned for you instead.  If I had been accepted in this coveted craft fair, I was going to have to leave my family for 5 days. Leave them on their own to get to school, and feed themselves (Lord knows the hubby is lacking in the kitchen skills department). My poor dog would have no one to let her out during the day. The cost of the trip would have been enormous!  Instead, I am focusing on a different event here in town. I get to stay at home with my kiddos and still go do something fun.  When you get rejected, look for the good!  They say rejection is just God’s way of redirection.

2. Rejection is a reason to look at your work and your practices.

You know, you might just not be ready!  As a business and a person we all have to grow up.  You start small, and gain experience with each encounter you have. It’s okay to not be the very best.  We all start somewhere.  Babe Ruth had to pick up the bat for the first time.  Fake it until you make it, fake it until you become it, ask questions and learn so you can grow into it!  I took this rejection as an opportunity to look at how my website runs, what my brand says, and how I can make that better.

3. Rejection is final. Once you know there is no more waiting.

Ugh!  Waiting.  It’s the worst.  I refreshed my email, obsessively for days! It didn’t help the notifications came out a day late.  At least once you get the answer, you know.  No more waiting.  Yay!!!

4. Rejection is way better than regret.

How many times have you not done something (or done something…yikes) and then regretted it?  It can take years to get over regret but in comparison just a brief amount of time to get over rejection.  I’d rather drown my sorrows over a beer, then wonder what if for a year.

5. Rejection is the sour detour on the sweet road of success. Don’t let it be a road block.

In business especially, success is a long road.  Do not let rejection be a road block for you!  Carry on with your head held high. Just because you were told no doesn’t mean you are not on the right path. You just might have got there a bit too early or might need to do a few more things to continue with your journey.

With all that being said….was I sad? Yep! But, I know in my heart that show was not the one for me at this time.  We did go have sushi, sake, and beer though 😉 cheers!!! That made it all better.

I wish you the very best of luck with future rejections, hope you find the silver lining (it’s always there), and to continue down the path to success.  Would love to hear how you handle rejection.  Please leave me a comment below.  ♥