Crafty Stories

I like to tell stories through the creative arts. I may be slightly obsessed with books, movies, TV shows, yarn and fiber. Wanna hang out?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

How I Fell off the Face of the Planet

Looking for the candle giveaway? It's over here.

Howdy! Today I want to share a little bit about what's been happening around here the past few months (aka, How I Fell Off the Face of the Planet), as well as how I found my way back down to Earth. Please pardon the temporary interruption to the usual yarn-infused posts. :)

Story time!

A few months ago, summer had just started, and I was facing the prospect of having three rowdy kids home all summer while I attempted to work my regular part-time day job AND run Storied Yarns. Every day was chock FULL of To Dos, and plenty of stress.

For my kids, the #1 thing they heard from me earlier this summer was, "Not right now - Mommy's working."

UGH! This was NOT how I wanted things to turn out.

When you run your own business, the To Do list is really never-ending. I struggled to find the time to work on the day job tasks, work on Storied Yarns tasks, and take care of my kids and my household. I was a hot mess; so much so that nothing worked out well, and everything felt like it was falling apart.

Lucky for me, a few months before summer started I made the decision to join Tara Swiger's Starship. In the Starship I've had access to classes and counsel from other creative business owners like me, and I've learned that I can change my business (and really, my LIFE) if I just sit down and take the time to explore what's working - and what isn't working - and map out the steps to make the changes I need in order to get back on track with where I want to be.

So let's go back to earlier this summer. My path from stress to peace basically went something like this:
1. Freak Out.
2. Break down, cry, talk to a very understanding and sympathetic husband.
3. Put 2 + 2 together to figure out that I'm working 40 hours a week to earn about 20 hours' worth of pay.

In case you were wondering, working full-time hours for part-time pay was NOT my idea of a good life. 

4. Explore what's working, and what isn't.
5. Change schedule to focus on day job primarily, with Storied Yarns worked in around the edges.
6. YAY! Peace, yo!

Now, summer is over, and I follow a schedule that works for me: I spend certain hours of the day focused on the kids and the house, and other hours are reserved for work. I haven't turned into June Cleaver overnight, but most of the time I've got clean laundry, clean dishes, and clean floors - which is a lot more than I had back in June. I even get time for a break every day!

I'm not exactly happy that I had to get to such a stressed-out place to make these changes, but I'm glad for the changes nonetheless. That experience has helped me learn that I can handle anything that comes my way. I'm not 100% there yet (I'm still working to transition my existing day job, which is ending soon, to running my own business of a different kind for a day job income - more on that later), but I'm on the path to living the life I want - the life I choose for myself.

I'm still going with Storied Yarns, and I'm hoping that this new schedule will even give me more time to share my adventures here on the blog. I've already found that by not trying to make my business into a full-time job, I have a lot more fun working on it and it helps me feel more creative and inspired. I hope you'll continue to join me in my adventures, and to share with me through the comments!

Thanks for letting me share a little of my behind-the-scenes today! I'll be back later this week to show you what I'm knitting and what I've been cooking up in the dye pots.

NOTE: This blog post has been part of Tara Swiger's Exploration Party - a celebration of inner explorers, led by Tara Swiger of Explore You. You're invited to share your own explorations with us, too! And if you're thinking that there's an area of your business OR your life that could use a little exploration, Tara's new class could be just the thing you need. (Seriously, I don't normally recommend stuff like this, but the Starship has helped me SO much, and this class is like a mini-Starship experience. Also? She makes a lot of Star Trek references, has pink hair, and she's a knitter. She totally gets us.)

Diamond Candles Review & Giveaway!

Update: We have a winner! Congratulations to Cheryl-Anne!

Hello! Guess what? I'm back! I'm going to try to blog more often, though I make no promises about HOW often because I don't want to disappoint you. :)

I thought it might be nice to bring you a present as a welcome-back kind of a gift, so I got you a candle! Well, really I got you a coupon code for a free candle, but that's actually better because now you get to choose your favorite fragrance!

A little while back, Diamond Candles contacted me and asked if I'd like to do a give-away on my blog, and review a candle for myself. I jumped at the chance, because I love to burn candles to make my house smell warm and inviting any day of the week. Plus, Diamond Candles uses 100% soy in their candles so they're all natural, which is a definite bonus. I'll be the first to admit that I don't live a totally environmentally-friendly lifestyle, but I like to do what I can so I like that the (all-American!) soy beans used in Diamond Candles make them a sustainable, earth-friendly product.

I got to choose the fragrance I wanted for my review candle, and it was a tough one! I was tempted by so many - Rosewood, Gingerbread Latte, and Ocean Mist, to name a few - but in the end, I went with a fragrance inspired by one of my favorite indulgences: Cinnamon Tea.

At the end of a long, tiring day, all I want is to relax with a spiced cup of chai or cinnamon tea. I knew that burning that candle would help me relax all throughout my day, and I was right! The fragrance is nicely strong without being overpowering, and the candle smells really good even when it isn't lit!

Of course, the best part about Diamond Candles is that they put an actual RING inside each candle! Since they want the fun of burning a candle to be even more exciting than usual, Diamond Candles hides a ring worth anywhere from $10 to $5,000 inside each candle. When you burn the candle, you can see the ring inside it and after the wax burns down enough you can fish it out!

They take care to protect the rings; they're carefully wrapped in gold foil. After just a few hours of burning time, I was able to use a fork to pull this out of my candle:

I let it cool off for a minute or two, and then I unwrapped it to find this:

If you find "14K" written inside your ring, take it to a jeweler and have it appraised! My ring wasn't a "big winner," but it's still really lovely! I gave it to my daughter, who was just as excited about this whole process as I was. I definitely see more Diamond Candles in our future.

How about you? Do you want a Diamond Candle of your very own? Just enter below! I'll leave the contest up for one week, so it will end Monday, August 19, 2013. The winner will receive a coupon code for the free Diamond Candle of your choosing! This contest is open only to residents of the United States.

Disclaimer: I participated in this review and give-away because I got a free candle for myself and a code for a free one to give away. Diamond Candles sent me my candle for free, but I gave an honest review and the opinions stated in this Diamond Candles review are all mine.