Follow the Bull!

If you’re coming to the All Arts Market this weekend, I’ll be at booth 309. I’m a basement dweller. Just look for the bull and you’ll be in the right place.

So what’s with the ‘Nandi’ name? Some of you already know that I use that name on stage when belly dancing.  There’s always more to the story!

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I’ll be here this weekend!

This will be my first fair! I figured it’s time to use my skills and make things not just for myself. This is scary, since I’ve never done this before, but can’t let fear stop me or I won’t do anything! If you’ll be in Charlotte, stop by! There will be other great artisans there whose stuff I love!

Just a peek at what will be there:

I’ll also be adding new stuff to my Etsy shop after this weekend.

Gotta go back to sewing!


CrazySexyCrafty: DIY Lightbox

If you’re into product photography, whether you are a crafter selling on Etsy, or taking pictures for a food campaign, you have to have good lighting and a way to control it. Professional light box kits are made just for this, but their not cheap!

There is a way to get professional quality without breaking the bank. In fact, this project cost me nothing!

Here’s my setup:

There several ways to make one of these. Here are a few that I like the best:
From Strobist
From Digital Photography School
From Sellers Assisting Sellers
From Studio Lightning
From Studio 6 or 7 (video)
With PVC pipe (video)

You can use tissue paper to cover the squares, but if you don’t have that, you can cut a white plastic grocery bag!

I also leave the back untaped, so it’s easy to break down for storage. Just pull the side flaps in and it won’t fall. I can also pin a cloth backdrop on the wall and feed it through the back for variety.

Get daylight lightbulbs! They are worth it. You have less work to do when you go into your photo editor. If you still can’t get those, then you must make sure your lights are all the same! Then adjust your white balance on your camera.

This has really helped me take better pictures! There’s still alot of room for my improvement, but I’m pleased with my progress. You can see how it’s going in my Etsy shop.


Never pay for phone calls again?


I’m on a roll!
Free t.v. is new to me, but not free phone calls! Years ago, I got into it when I didn’t have a cell phone, and the friends I wanted to talk to were all out of town. I didn’t want to get a cell phone just to keep in touch, so someone suggested I get a headset and use my computer.

I just recently let go of my cell phone. Nobody was really calling or texting me on it, and paying $40/month didn’t seem right just for ’emergencies’. I’ve been using the land line. I just recently reconnected with a friend who lives out of town, and I would like to be able to makes calls TO that person, without asking them to call me all the time or running up the long distance phone bill on the land line. So now I’m back to using the internet phone.

There are quite a few options. And those don’t even include Skype!

You won’t be able to use these services to call outside the U.S. or Canada (except for Skype!) and you can’t use them to make emergency calls. A land line will do for those.


I talked them down in a retail store!


The other day, I was at the art supply store looking for droppers. I normally don’t buy those kind of things, as I am an avid recycler and always save different kinds of glass bottles and jars, including ones that have droppers in them. I never know when those kinds of things can be used for something else. And I always find another way to use my recycled items.

I needed a few more droppers than what I had in my stash for a craft project I was doing. I found some, and noticed how stiff the price was for something that is essentially plastic. Then I saw that one of the packages was torn, and some of the contents missing. Since I really wanted the droppers, I deciding to try my luck and see if they would sell it to me for a discount.

I asked the cashier if she would willingly sell the package to me, and she said she would give me a 10% discount. What I did next surprised even me! I told her that 10% wasn’t worth it! I would be willing to buy it at $4 (the retail price was $6/five droppers). The cashier found that 30% off made the price $4.19 plus tax. I agreed, and bought the droppers.

I cannot tell you what kind of rush I got from standing firm in my decision to get the best value for something I wanted. To be honest, I think I could have probably gotten an even better price! Since this was the first time I’ve ever done anything like that, I’ll chalk it up to a learning experience. I learned a few other things too:

*Stop overlooking imperfect items-Next time, I’ll be more aware of opened packages, dented cans, one or two broken eggs, and missing items. Stores want to move that kind of stuff too.

*Be willing to walk-If she had said that was the best price she could give me, I would have put the item back with no problem. Sometimes you have to pick another time or day.

*Be firm about what you think the item is worth-I couldn’t believe that all she could do at first was 10% off. I might as well have bought the item at full price in that case! I didn’t say anything about it being poor quality or overpriced, but stating how much I was willing to pay was a much better strategy.

*Be nice, but direct-No need to yell, cuss, scream or insult. Much better to be matter-of fact, and non personal.


Finally debunking the “good debt” myth!

I remember when I first heard the idea that no debt is good debt. I read it in Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover. It completely made since to me, but it seemed so radical at the same time! That’s probably the real reason that I liked the idea. I like doing things that everyone thinks is impossible.

He talked about examples of businesses that didn’t run on credit, but on high cash reserves. Not only did those savvy individuals save their own personal income, they saved high amounts of their business incomes too! What a novel idea!

It seems that people are starting to see the wisdom and the freedom of having no debt whatsoever, as seen in this article. Unfortunately, it took an economic downturn to change everyone’s perspective, but sometimes that’s what it takes.