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Etsy Store Progress

Sorry guys, I’m really leaving you all hanging aren’t I? But I’m quite flattered that I haven’t lost most of my followers yet!

I’m doing a lot better keeping up with my youtube channel than I am my blog. So, hey, if you wanna watch and listen to me ramble for longer than necessary about stuff, feel free to subscribe to me there if you haven’t already!

TheAspiePagan Youtube Channel

Most of my time lately has been spent preparing for the January opening of my Etsy store. I’ve been setting up my mini workshop, taking classes at the local Tandy leather to freshen up old skills and learn some new, watching hundreds of youtube tutorials for ideas and inspiration, experimenting with possible designs and working out logistics for practical marketing.

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My Workspace

I’ve pretty much narrowed down what will be my two primary journal styles. I will also be making dreamcatchers with tooled leather centers and possibly some more traditional ones too. I simply adore dreamcatchers and I had to fit them in somehow.

Because I don’t want to limit the future expansion of my product line and because I also don’t want to end up with a random mashup of unrelated stuff, I had to think long and hard about the marketing. I was struggling to figure out how to even tie dreamcatchers and journals together in a way that makes sense. Besides the obvious, but severely limiting dream-journal concept, including the dreamcatchers as part of an overall “leather craft” theme also doesn’t work incase I decide to create leather-free ones as well.

What I know is that I want all my designs to inspire people and to make dreamers out of them. That I even have this amazing opportunity to work full-time as an artisan is an amazing dream come true and I want to inspire others to follow their dreams too. Or to at least to not lose their childlike wonder for the world and all it’s possibilities. So I came up with the following tagline: “Whimsical crafts to inspire the dreamer in you.” I thought it was a clever way to keep “dreams” in there without limiting the definition. Most of my items will have witchy, pagan, or otherwise whimsical designs and themes.

Oh yeah, and sorry too that I’m taking so long to get those book reports posted. It will happen though. I promise!

 

 

I’m still here!

So don’t send out a search party just yet… :p

So where exactly have I been? Oh you know, here, there, everywhere but blogging. Obviously.

I did my Dedicant Oath, by the way, during Harvest Home. Here’s a video of it:

ADF Dedicant Oath

I have not, however, submitted my final materials yet for evaluation. You may notice that the book reports section under the DP tab is lacking in actual reports. I was all happily preparing to submit some half-arsed reports, the kind that result from having read books while falling asleep (because I was so damn tired everyday after work). But I realized that I would only be cheating myself going through with it, so I am now re-reading one of the texts and have selected an alternate text to read for one of the categories because #reasons. You should see book reports popping up here in the next couple of weeks.

In other news, I have officially began the work for starting my business. A name, a DBA registration with my state, a tax number, a business bank account. It’s all feeling so real. But the most exciting part? I finally have the funds I need to purchase supplies for start up. And indeed, the first orders have been placed. SO MUCH TEH EXCITE!

What I need to figure out before officially opening up shop is the logistics of the marketing. I know I’m doing leather crafts and that I want to stick to new-age, pagan, or generally whimsical themes. Hand-carved journal covers are definitely in the plans.  There are other crafts I want to include, but I need to figure out how to put it all together into a branding that makes sense. I’m tentatively aiming for a January opening on Etsy, but we’ll see how that goes.

I’ll keep everyone posted!

 

Time and Money and Life

Somehow I’ve managed to arrange my life such that I feel as if I have less available time than when I was in grad school. How is this possible? #timeywimeywibblywobblystuff.

I’m trying my best to prioritize the most important of my personal interests and activities. That includes piano practice, meditation, gardening, and my YouTube challenge videos. In addition to my Dedicant path work, I have assignments for the Kitchen Witchery course in which I am enrolled. I am paying for this, so that’s motivation enough to keep up. I’m a bit disappointed in myself for taking nearly a month to complete the first assignment when two weeks is the recommended time to spend on each. In my defense, though, energy work was a tough topic to start out with.

I am working part time too. A job I plan to quit as soon as my husband gets a better job. I am hoping very much that this occurs before October, because somewhere in my daily schedule I need to fit in serious preparation time for my Etsy store. I need to brush up my skills in crafts I haven’t pursued in years. Namely, leather craft. I used to be pretty good at it. Of course, I also wasn’t half bad at drawing back in the day either – but I fear that starting again won’t be quite like riding a bike. I want to sell hand carved leather journals (and/or journal covers among a few other things) and although my amateur work I was the talk of my high school so very long ago, I am sure that a marketable item will require better than high-school level skills. I have my tools, acquired a new marble slab since my father lost my old one (the one he regularly reminded me of every time he found it in the garage but can’t find now that I want it) and I have some dinky little kits and leather to practice with. But time, I can’t find time 😦 I’d like a good solid month or two to just practice and get an idea for exactly what I’ll be putting up for sale in the long run. I can’t do much more than practice for the time being anyway since I have absolutely no spare money to buy the supplies I need. Eventually, if not sooner, I’d like to look into my options for the most and eco friendly and humanely acquired (from happy and organically raised cattle) leather and I do not expect this to be a cheap option.

I started out this year really excited about my plans, but it’s starting to look like nothing is going to really get rolling until the end of the year at best. My divinations really weren’t kidding about this being my time-of-waiting. I’m doing my best to use my waiting time wisely. Lots and lots of planning. This way, when I am finally in a position to start, I’ll be able to do so efficiently. Besides my store, I also want to start an ASMR channel. I think I said this before, but my current youtube channel was to be preparation for this (practice, confidence-building, etc). I didn’t expect to get many, if any subscribers on my current channel, but people are subscribing (and I am very very happy for this). But this also means TheAspiePagan may turn into a bigger and longer-term project than I thought.

Speaking of my channel, I’ve uploaded some more videos since I last posted:

YouTube Pagen Challenge Week 9 (Journals)

YouTube Pagan Challenge Week 10 (Moon Phases)

YouTube Pagan Challenge Week 11 (The Sun)

ADF-style Charming of the Plough Ritual.

But back to my time issues: there’s the especially big problem I have with sitting down (or getting up) to do one thing and spending the next hour doing something completely different. I do this all. the. time. This very blog post is one such case. I sat down to write about gatekeepers in ADF ritual and ended up writing this instead. But, hey, it’s still a blog entry, so that’s something.

A Little Bit About Everything

Sorry guys! I know I said you’d hear more from me this week, but the more time I have, the more things come along to fill it up. It’s kind of like money. Maybe you are different, but when I get a little extra pocket change, I often end up wondering how in the world I would have survived with out it, there’s always some “need” that invents itself to fill the spaces of would-be extra.

I am so excited about next year. It’s a big deal quitting school and going off on a completely different path, but I am feeling more and more confident about it as time goes by. The Powers have been telling me that big changes are coming my way since summer and most of my rune and tarot readings since then tell me I am currently in a state of flux, that I need to wrap up loose ends and prepare for what’s next, but also that this won’t be an easy process. Woden especially keeps warning me not to do anything rash. His messages to me have been consistent. Fortunately, Thor, the quiet one who shows up only when I need some serious guidance (usually for major life changes) told me via Tarot (I use my pendulum first to determine if any of the Kindreds have messages for me – so that I know my divinations are meaningful) that things may look bleak now, but that there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel, so I am optimistic.

Currently, I am very stressed. Stressed about not passing all my classes. I have gotten good marks so far, I’ve been an A and occasional B student all my life – but I feel a bit over my head now and there is one class in particular for which I am very worried. Even though I don’t need the credit, I need the financial aid. If I don’t pass all of my classes, my tuition remission will be revoked. Not cool. Not cool at all. But I will do my best and what happens will happen.

Time will pass regardless and soon I will be free of school, extra debt or not, and I have so many plans! Besides finding a “day job” (unless my husband hurries up and gets a new job as an attorney, lol), I will be doing all the things I haven’t been able to do for lack of after school time. I am going to make ASMR videos and definitely open an Etsy store. I am so so so excited about being about to be crafty and creative again. I already have a fun and unique (I hope, I haven’t seen it done yet!) idea for a line of jewelry. I’m also getting back into leatherwork which I haven’t done for a long time. I got a new set of carving tools for my birthday and my father says my old marble slab is still hanging out in his garage. In the more distant future, I am thinking I might try blending and selling my own teas. I’ve been wanting to do this ever since my favorite tea business closed a while back (thinking if I want dependable good tea, I’d have to make it myself, 😉 ).

Lets see, what other random news can I share (yes this will probably end up a TL;DR post for most of you – sorry – but know that its rare for me to write lots at once, so consider this making up for all the shorter posts or lack of posts recently :p )

I went to my grandparents place for thanksgiving. They live nearby (within an hour drive when weather is good) on top of what my parents call “grinch mountain.” It a strange place for an old couple to live. My grandmother can’t drive (she never has) and getting rides to the mall from any of the men up there is difficult. So she’s kinda stranded, poor woman! My grandfather recently got one of those oxygen things to carry around. And yet, they have no plans of leaving their wintery, high altitude abode.

My great aunt (my grandmother’s sister) was there too – I haven’t seen her in forever. They say we met up last when I was a teenager, but I hardly remember. I know that she lives in the south. Both she and my grandmother ended up in Arkansas after their parents moved them to the states from Puerto Rico, but my grandmother didn’t stay in the south. At any rate, I was taken aback by my great aunt’s southern accent – so different from my grandmother’s. Both of them have a Spanish accent too, but the southern influence drowns it out a lot more.

I have to admit that I am terrible about family genealogy. I didn’t even know all of my grandparents’ immediate family let alone my great aunt’s. I have taken more interest in family history as of late, however, and tried to get some basic infos from everyone (It was just 5 of us at thanksgiving, grandpa, grandma, great aunt, me, my husband). My grandpa prefers to sit and listen rather than participate in conversation, but I dragged a little info from him nonetheless. I learned about more awesome people I am related to (Seriously, I am related to a ton of awesome people, and royalty too – now if only I could figure out how many people have to die before I get the throne to somewhere, haha).

I have yet to set up an ancestor shrine, but I have plans. I don’t actually have shrines dedicated to any specific deities or spirits yet except for the cofgodas. I am planning to install some small oak accent shelves on my wall for this purpose (I even put some on my wishlist this year).

For the time being, I dedicate my main alter rituals to one or two deities at a time, except for Mani, for whom I usually go outside rather than stay at my altar. I got him some Sambuca recently and my husband wanted to claim it. He loves anise, but he had never heard about Sambuca before 😮 can you believe it? I let him have some of it and he said Mani is one lucky God. lol.

When I went outside to pour out offerings from one of my indoor rituals, I walked out onto the icy concrete steps and looked up at the sky dismayed that it was so cloudy and I couldn’t see the full moon. I asked Mani if he could see me even though I couldn’t see him and just then I slipped on the ice – both of my feet went completely under me (to the point of no return) and I braced myself for the pain and possible a broken neck – but the next thing I know I am standing safely on the ground again. I decided to take that as a yes to my question. Or maybe it was really good subconscious reflexes that I can’t replay in my head, but I prefer the former 😉

Well, I think that’s all I have to say for now – that wasn’t too long, after all, was it?

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