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The Return of the Sea Lions

The Return of the Sea Lions

For a week I had been hearing a colony of sea lions barking across the Bay and although I had viewed them from the dock I also was eager to observe them from the water however the weather was not cooperating with my plan. The winds had been playing havoc on the waters and the temp was near freezing so I waited impatiently for the weather to be more agreeable for a paddle.

Yesterday was picture perfect!IMG_7837

The sun was shining, the winds ceased blowing, the water was flat and my kayak was beckoning.
Each year the sea lions come for a visit. They just inexplicably appear, stay for a couple of weeks and then depart as mysteriously as they arrive. I find these winged foot mammals fascinating.

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Top Ten Sea Lion Facts

• Sea Lions enjoy relaxing and basking in the sun
• The males are called bulls and the females are called cows
• Males are massive and can weigh from 1,500 pounds to 1 ton in exceptional cases and can also be up to 11 feet long
• Females are smaller with an average weight of 700 pounds
• Female Sea Lions become part of a harem with a male that protects them
• They give birth to pups, which are born on land and can weigh up to 50 pounds at birth
• A Sea Lion is able to dive up to 600 feet for food in the water
• They can remain under the water for up to 40 minutes before surfacing for air
• They can swim at up to 25 miles per hour but generally they only move about 10 miles per hour unless they feel threatened
• The average life span in the wild for a Sea Lion is 20 years1

A link to Pacific Ocean Sea lions:
http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=pacific+ocean+sea+lions&qpvt=pacific+ocean+sea+lions&FORM=IGRE#a
Are you a nature lover? What excites you about the outdoors?

 
6 Comments

Posted by on December 7, 2013 in Open for Discussion

 

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PERSEVERANCE

PERSEVERANCE

THE ART OF PERSEVERANCE

WEBSTER’S DICTIONARY DEFINITION:  PERSEVERE – TO TRY HARD AND CONTINUOUSLY IN SPITE OF OBSTACLES AND DIFFICULTIES

Many skills are required to be successful in sales. Etsy sellers require creative skills, marketing skills, time management skills, search engine optimization (SEO) skills, sales and customer service skills, and social media and technology skills. And yet all these skills pale in contrast to perseverance, which is the one skill that often, makes up for our deficiencies in other areas.  Having perseverance allows us to be successful no matter what obstacles are placed in front of us.087

It isn’t a cake walk to meet sales and marketing challenges head on while wading through the competition and dealing with customer service issues.  And yet many of us know what we need to do and yet we simply don’t do it.  We sometimes spend our time looking for an easy way out rather than using the path of determination and perseverance and doing what we need to do even when we don’t feel like doing it .  We want to achieve multiple sales, lose weight or get rich instantly! We want immediate gratification and we don’t want to do the painstaking, persistent and thorough work that it takes to achieve these successes. I believe that the ability to persevere is the key to success in all walks of life.

Remember the children’s storybook about “The Little Engine That Could?”

Courtesy of RoadsidePhotos

Courtesy of RoadsidePhotos

Talk about determination and perseverance!  Perhaps the best technique to conquer the skill of perseverance is to just start. Sometimes just beginning a task is often the most difficult.  However once you begin, you pick up the drive that leads to your success and accomplishment.  never ever ever give up!

We must learn to persevere in whatever task we take on. I’ve been married for a large number of years and if anyone were to ask “how have you hung in there so long?”  I would of course first reply that being married to such an easy-going, lovable, man makes it easy; however I sincerely believe that having the ability to persevere is also very critical!

In the best of marriages you have your moments when it just seems like too much work and it would be so easy to say “adios my fine fellow” but by persevering through the hard stuff you reap amazing long-term rewards.

We need to practice being determined and persistent.  Whether it is simply exercising, learning a new skill, staying in a relationship or working diligently on our SEO, we need to resolve that we will persevere until the task is completed or until we are satisfied with our results and ready to move on.

Desire may be the key to motivation, but it’s through determination and perseverance while in pursuit of our goals that enables us to attain the success we seek.  Many of us remember being told when we were young that “a job worth doing was worth doing well” followed up with “do it well or don’t do it at all.” Perseverance, in my humble opinion, is the one skill that guarantees your success!

What do you think?

Which skill do you consider to be of importance in attaining success in life?

 
7 Comments

Posted by on April 4, 2013 in Open for Discussion

 

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Random Acts of Kindness

Random Act of KindnessGarden Fairy or Random Act of Kindness?

We enjoyed an amusing surprise this morning after spotting an intruder positioned in our rock garden.  Standing tall stood an iron lily that had not been present the previous day.  After accusing each other of planting this arrangement of non perishable flowers in our garden, and each in turn adamantly denying the act, we came to the consensus that a benevolent and fun loving garden fairy must have stopped by in the night.   The lily adds interest and color to a drab garden and also added some curiosity and color to what could have been a drab morning!

What acts of kindness or generosity have you committed or been accused of lately?

 
9 Comments

Posted by on March 24, 2013 in Open for Discussion

 

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NO BULLY ZONE

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This wood sign was inspired by Maila Moon

Two years ago, for a period of approximately 6months, my granddaughter a happy, loving, kind hearted grade two student was bullied by a classmate.  She was subjected to a number of significant and violent incidents and the bullying was finally resolved by the removal of the bully from her classroom.   But not before she was emotionally and physically scarred by the bully.

Bullies are cowards and they get their power from hurting others.

In my granddaughter’s words “It doesn’t feel good to be bullied.” With the support and encouragement of her parents she used her experience to gain additional strength, determination and empowerment. She began attending a Ju Jitsu class to work on her physical prowess and she also created a bullying video which allowed for emotional strengthening as well.

Maila Moon’s video which she created two years ago was chosen for an award and is attached below. Creating the video and receiving support from all those who love and care for her has helped Maila Moon to recover from this bullying experience and aid in healing her emotional wounds. She has experienced firsthand the harm that comes from being bullied and does not want anyone else to suffer as she did.  At the end of her video Maila Moon asks “When Will Bullying Stop?

Do your part and intervene, don’t be a passive bystander.

Together let’s stop supporting bullying behavior!

Link for video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s5xIbKWlYvU&feature=related

Note:  According to a study by the University of British Columbia, based on 490 students (half female, half male) Canadian Bullying Statistics show that 64 percent of kids have been bullied at school and 12 percent are bullied regularly (once or more a week).

Pushing, shoving, punching, teasing, excluding people from a group, or encouraging others to “gang-up” on selected persons, are all forms of bullying.   In the majority of cases, bullying stops within 10 seconds when peers intervene, or do not support the bullying behavior. So herein lays the solution. We must identify bullying behavior, empower our children with anti bullying techniques and encourage adults to intervene and not be passive bystanders.

We must work together to stop supporting bullying behavior!

 
3 Comments

Posted by on March 22, 2013 in Open for Discussion

 

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DON’T BLEED ON THE WOOD!

DON’T BLEED ON THE WOOD!
An Example of one of the Carved Lintels

An Example of one of the Carved Lintels

DON’T BLEED ON THE WOOD!

Some years ago, following my urge to cut, carve and gouge, I became one of a group of apprentices participating in a Community Center Carving Project. The group project was led by George Norris, a celebrated artist, sculptor and wood carver. I longed to learn carving from a master and our task was to carve intricate details in broad wooden lintels that would be placed throughout the Community Center. George shared many insights, from his rich career of carving with the group, among which was an important lesson: Don’t bleed on the wood as it penetrates the grain and unfortunately there is only one way to remove blood stains from wood and that is by removing the blood stained area, hence the wood itself.

Carvings on Yellow Cedar Posts

Carvings on Yellow Cedar Posts

I learned this important lesson by experience while blood spurted wildly from a hand wound, caused by my ineptness with a lethal weapon aka the number seven carving tool. I mention that it was a number seven so that anyone who is aware of carving tools can appreciate how hazardous this tool can be in the hands of a beginner. Anyone who can’t imagine the damage that it can cause may want to check out my scar, a rather large one, to validate this.

Carving Exercise Block

As you might imagine I yelped a little when I stabbed my own hand, drawing the attention of the master carver who quickly came to my side to observe, not my wound, but the lintel where I had unknowingly leaked some blood. While I stanched the flow of blood as best I could, George quickly drew up a plan to remove the bloodied wood and in haste created an altered carving design to accommodate the removal of the bloodstain. There was no denying that my bloody wound came second to the importance of the lintel being carved.

Artists and artisans often recall with fondness the words of wisdom from a mentor and for me the words I remember most fondly as my first words of professional advice were

DON’T BLEED ON THE WOOD!

What words of wisdom do you recall from a mentor?

 
4 Comments

Posted by on March 13, 2013 in Bits & Bites

 

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Positive and Uplifting

Positive and Uplifting

I am thrilled to share this “very positive” Buyer story

I just sold from my Etsy shop a mirror and shipped it out on Feb. 5th, to Brooklyn, NY the Buyer wanted it shipped to her friends as a gift. It weighed approx. 24 lbs. and was carefully packed in bubblewrap, foam and layers of cardboard.

I always request that the Buyer send me a quick note to say the product has arrived, however this Buyer (like most) didn’t send me a note on receipt of her purchase.

So yesterday I sent a follow up note to see that my product had arrived safely.

IT TURNS OUT THE MIRROR ARRIVED SHATTERED!

Now here’s the incredible part, the Buyer didn’t ask for a refund, send negative feedback, open an Etsy case or anything horrid that I often read about Buyers doing. Her reply to my note was upbeat, said it was unfortunate that the mirror broke but it could easily be replaced and then said how much she liked the frame and how appreciative she was that I had sent it!!!

 Aren’t some people just wonderful!

I want to reward her for being so understanding, forgiving and amazingly incredible so I’m happily mailing her a cheque (that she hasn’t asked for) to cover the mirror replacement. I think she deserves this and more.

As Sellers when we speak of who our target market is, my target market is a Buyer like this, who understands that sometimes things happen, and no one is at fault or intended for it to occur and good karma should always be rewarded, especially when no reward is being requested.

 
12 Comments

Posted by on February 17, 2013 in Open for Discussion

 

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Etsy Time

Etsy Time

045BLACK CROW CURIOS believes in creative reuse by reclaiming and transforming cast off items into useful and decorative home accents.  Beach combing and the inspiration of the outdoors are essential components of the BLACK CROW CURIOS design process.

Take a look around Black Crow Curios, you may discover an item that you just can’t live without…

Click on this link to learn more About BlackCrowCurios an Etsy Shop:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/BlackCrowCurios/about?ref=announce

Visit my online shop at:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/BlackCrowCurios

048043IMG00266-20120807-1011

Etsy Time

How much time are you devoting to your online business?

I am finding that I am spending wayyyyy more time on my Etsy Shop than I had imagined I would. Literally 5 or 6 hours some days. I don’t have an addictive personality, however when I do decide to do something I get 100% involved and I have to be careful that when I ‘power up my computer’ and sit down at my desk I don’t get sucked into the Etsy vacuum and lose myself in the reading, absorbing and applying of what I am learning.

Normally I keep my life balanced. Allowing and enjoying time for family, friends, real job, hiking, kayaking, creating something and yet lately I’ve begun to feel that I am spending more time than I had expected to allot to an online business. Some of this time is very constructive, interacting in the discussions, learning new strategies and applying them, but I need to come up for a breath now and then and determine where best to put my time here, and my hope is that this time will all be well spent, like sowing seeds for a later harvest…

How much time is too much?

Etsy Shop Link: http://www.etsy.com/shop/BlackCrowCurios

About BlackCrowcurios an Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/BlackCrowCurios/about?ref=announce

Happy 2013!

My Etsy shop is new and I don’t have a ‘previous year’ to compare it to, so while my Etsy team members are preparing for their approach to 2013 and setting goals, I’m more focused on my accomplishments and reflecting on what I have learned.

And I have learned and accomplished plenty!

I’ve learned that opening an Etsy shop is time-consuming and comes with an enormous learning curve. I’ve accomplished opening a shop, stocking it with Barn Window Mirrors, Driftwood Boats and Hooks and Folk Art and I am actually making sales from people other than my friends and family. People unknown to me actually felt my product was worth purchasing. Go figure…

In reviewing my successes in 2012 the only thing I know for sure is that I am exactly where I need to be. I enjoy being creative and I required an outlet to sell my product so opening an Etsy shop was the right solution.

So what does 2013 bring?

I learned that if you want an honest critique from your team that is exactly what you will get. If you want compliments ask your friends and family! I have learned many things from the team I have joined, such as my photos are horrible, dark and cluttered and my shop is not cohesive. • So 2013 will see new brighter product photos, a more cohesive look and a paring down of product line. • To increase my shop’s reach I am learning the INS and OUTS of social media. So ‘friend’ me on face book, ‘like’ me on my blog, ‘save’ me on Wanelo and ‘pin’ me on Pinterest.

Basically I am requesting all your hearts and attention…

My Question To You: What have YOU accomplished in 2012 and what Business Strategies work best for YOU?

Etsy Shop Link: http://www.etsy.com/shop/BlackCrowCurios About BlackCrowCurios Etsy shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/BlackCrowCurios/about?ref=announce

Visit my online shop at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/BlackCrowCurios

After some wild winds and big swells some lovely pieces of driftwood were washed up on our shore.  Perfect for Sailboats and coat racks!After some wild winds and big swells some lovely pieces of driftwood were washed up on our shore. Perfect for Coat Racks!
 
5 Comments

Posted by on February 3, 2013 in Etsy Shop Talk

 

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