A Collection of Inspirations • Part I

Alright, so this will be ridiculously long, keeping your eyes busy for awhile, but I decided as I desperately need to make some room on my iPhone, so I can hoard more pictures, that I’d share somethings that inspire me, while having them here for safe keeping ;).

Hope you find somethings that inspire you and please feel free to share them in a post below!

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Tastes Like Clay Logo Finalized!

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It took me the better part if the day (makes it difficult when your husband is at work and you have a little monkey pants running into you at the worst possible times ;p), but I finally finalized the design! :) Wish I thought to use acrylics in the first place – would have cut down on all the “AHHH! Nooo! I was almost done!!!” moments ;p Live and learn ;)

Now off to upload and edit out the crappy white bits! Yaaay…boo ;p

T.L.C Launching December 1st!

Hello my Lovlies! I just wanted to let everyone know that I will be launching a brand new line of products this December! Yay!

The line is going to be miniature food, of which some can be worn (think pendants, earrings, keychains, charm bracelets, that sort of thing), others to be displayed however you like, and eventually some small enough to accommodate a 1/12 scale miniature dollhouse! The line is called “Tastes Like Clay”, or “TLC” for short (catchy, huh ;p) and will be handcrafted by yours truly.

Some things that will make this line quite different from my other work is that…

1: I have never done anything remotely close to this before, so those interested can have a chance to see my work develop over the years, right from the beginning! This will most likely lead me into making a tutorial here and there (something else I have never done – should prove to be interesting ;p). Though to be honest, until I feel that I have something to personally contribute, I am just going to start by curating pre-existing tutorials and adding in my impressions/findings in an afterword.

2: As this line cannot be considered original works of art and once I work out some kinks and settle into my groove (ie: settle on techniques, clay combinations and whatnot that give me the effect/look I’m satisfied with for different food types), the pieces will not take me very long to create and therefore they will be a much lower price point than say my other current works. Also, for some things I will (also for the first time) be using molds for some parts; such as the bottom of cupcakes, waffles, etc.). I will never use molds of any sort for any of my original work, but I just really wanted to start creating something that’s just pure fun and could be purchased for $10 or less.

Alright, so without further adieu, here are a couple of photos of the baguette style deli sandwiches that I made! On a side note these are actual the only two food items that I have ever created! Yeah, I know it makes the launch seem a little premature, but I’m confident that I can have a nice little variety/quantity of things in time for my Christmas sale (and the last before my company relaunch in the spring!) at the Water Street Farmer’s Market, in my hometown of Miramichi, New Brunswick, on December 1st (plug,plug)!:

Hope everyone enjoys them as much as I did making them!

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NOTE: The one on the left is a BLT (Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato) and was the first to be created. The second tasty creation (the one in the right), is a lettuce, turkey, tomato, baguette sandwich with an asinine amount of mayo. Yeah, gotta work on the mayo ;p

Alrighty, well it’s past my bedtime now, so off I toddle! Much love and sweet dreams when you get there! Don’t forget to let me know what kind of T.L.C creations you’d like to see!

Wishing You Well,

~Amanda~

How To Live Well 360 By LKR

I just thought that this article, by Laura Roeder, was a really good reminder as to how important it is to truly take care of yourself. I most certainly am guilty of “not being able to find the time” to exercise. My “workouts” consist of house work, running errands (I do tend to park at the end of the parking lot, just to try and make the most of things), and chasing my 21-month-old around ;) It does certainly amount to something, but I do have to make some changes. Perhaps that will be my Resolution for 2013 ;)

Anyhoo, go check out the article! It’s a pretty quick read and who knows, maybe you too will feel inspired to make some positive changes in your life!

3 Powerful Tips For The Overworked Entrepreneur

Richard Branson’s Top 5 Business Tips & More!

Here are 3 quick-read posts created by Richard Branson that most certainly worth a few minutes of your time. If you don’t know Richard Branson is, or just know his name, you are missing out (I was missing out up until very recently – I was one of the many that just knew some general information, but am now starting to read up on him :)). Just for a quick refresher, or introduction (depending on your level of knowledge pertaining to him), he is the founder of the Virgin empire and has got to be the most inspirational CEO/non-conformist out there. So check out these posts and then find some more that you found inspiring and post the links in the comment section!

5 Top Tips To Starting A Successful Business

Take A Sledgehammer To Conformity

Why Aren’t More Business Leaders Online?

SUPER IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT! WynsomeCreations.com Down For 1 Week!

As of last night (Oct. 11th), I decided to disabled my services with 1and1.com (they were where my domain names and website were hosted) and build a better, more efficient website over at GoDaddy.com. Although this is a Guintastic event, as I wait for the http://www.WynsomeCreations.com domain name to successfully transfer over to the new site (which will take about 7 days) the old site can no longer be accessed with that URL. However, www.MompreneurialMusings.com will take you to the new and improved site for the time being! Hope you all love it as much as I do :)!

On a side note, 1and1.com is an amazing website builder/hosting service, but I couldn’t update any text on my site from my iPhone, as Apple hates Flash and my site was flashed based. Boo. This was the sole reason I decided to go “out with the old and in with the new”. To recap, 1and1 is great with terrific customer service and everything, but they are not very Apple friendly and GoDaddy had what I need and for half the cost to boot ;). If anyone has any questions or what have you, DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK!

On a side note, for those interested, you can still check out my former website by clicking HERE.

Take care my Lovlies and have an equally lovely weekend!

Wishing You Well,
~Amanda~

Another Random Business/Art Related Musing – ‘Least It Began That Way

For those of you who don’t know, I am about to be featured in Amazing Canadian Fashion Magazine’s (a.k.a “ACF Magazine”) prestigious, October/November Deluxe Holiday issue! Yeah, it’s a pretty huge deal, especially to me and I am so deeply honored and ecstatic about it. It will be a 3 to 4 page feature showcasing my work and will include an interview that was done with me a couple of days ago. I was first invited on July 5th. Yes, they sought me out, which is why it’s an even bigger, mind-blowing deal, even more so because my current advertising efforts don’t really exceed beyond tacking up and handing out business cards, while out and about. ACF is based in Toronto, so how they happened upon Guin and I is beyond me, but just goes to show that when something’s meant to be, it will be – especially when you put everything you have into something and truly believe in it.

Now many of you may wonder, if I’ve known about the feature for so long, then why didn’t I make a larger announcement about it (I’ve told people offline and have mentioned it on certain Etsy listings, notifying people that they can no longer get that particular numbered edition of Faery Ring, or what have you, because it was on its way to a photoshoot in Toronto)? I suppose the only answer I can give is that, though I feel that I have had a blessed life thus far, it has been filled with various hardships and, aside from an Easter coloring contest at Blockbuster video when I was 10, I’ve never really won anything, and this threw me wonderfully off kilter. I think I also needed to send off my creations and complete the interview to really feel like it was really happening and wasn’t going to be taken from me – though between you and I, I think I’m going to need to actually see my name on the cover of the magazine in Chapters, before it really sinks in ;p I suppose this is all part of why being a perpetual optimist is so important to me. Aside from I think everyone needs to be hopeful and optimistic in this world, sometimes hope, optimism, and my sometimes childlike dreams are all that I had to get me through and make me get up in the morning – before my beautiful, Godsend of a daughter that is ;) I always had my parents, who are amazing individuals and even better parents and my best friends, but being as independent as I am and always wanting to make them and myself proud, by standing on my own, sometimes it made it that my faith in God and my connectedness to this world, we’re the only things to see me through.

I’m not really sure what’s really taking place, that I suddenly feel so compelled to make this kind of post, or even the last one, where I passionately voiced my support and encourage of adoption and whatnot (admittedly, that one was slightly fueled by a couple of adult beverages, but whatever, though I was afraid about someone misunderstanding what I had to say and taking offense that wasn’t intended, nor did I feel implied, I’m glad I said it. It’s important to stand up for what you believe. Don’t shove it down someone’s throat, or harshly judge another’s shoes that you haven’t walked in, but stand up for what you believe in), but I do like it. It’s a bit unsettling, but it feels right somehow. I guess because, though I always try to live my life according to the best piece of advice my father gave me, which was “Let go, let God, and be true to you.”, I feel like I’m being more true to me and God than I ever have been. Even putting God and I in the same sentence so openly has been something that I realized I don’t often do. Not because I’m ashamed of my faith, but because in 2012, if you say that you have an unshakable faith in God, that most people assume that they know exactly what you believe, without bothering to ask (not all people that believe in something larger than themselves are judgmental, bible-pounders, you know). I detest having myself and The Big Guy thrown into a box – especially when it’s crappily constructed and full of misguided assumptions and crap. It’s so unfair, frustrating and usually quite ironic. Ironic, because the people that might condemn me, will condemn me as a preemptive strike, because they think I have nothing better to do but to sit about condemning them. Silliness, I say. The philosophy I subscribe to is, as long as no one hurting themselves or anyone else then what the big hoohah?

“Harm none and do as ye will.” – The Wiccan Rede

“Split a piece of wood and you will find Me. Lift a stone and I am there. I am not in houses made of stone and wood. I am everywhere and all around you.” – Quote from the movie “Stigmata”, talking about God.

Ghandi once said something along the lines of “I believe that there is a religion higher than Hinduism and Christianity, we just haven’t found it yet.” and he was a devout Hindu. These are the some of the things that my faith and philosophies of life are built upon. We are individuals and should be able to express are faith however we feel is most true to us, or how else can we follow it? Faith is not always supposed to be easy. I believe that life, amongst many things, is a series of tests to test our faith in ourselves and whatever or higher power may be (I believe God has many names and facets – “God” is the name I chose to use to simplify my conversations with Him – I don’t even believe He’s a him; again chosen for reasons of simplicity), integrity, and our relationship with our world and its inhabitants.

Be good to one another. Help yourself and another when you can and sometimes even when you think you can’t. Live comfortably and happily, but not excessively. Work to live, but don’t live to work. Be there for your children or don’t have them. Are you working as much as you are to give them a happy life of security, or are you trying to make sure they have a “better” TV, gaming system, or brand name clothing? The life we lead, the things we work for, and the crap we buy, will determine what our children will deem as the “necessities” of life and the way that they should be to properly navigate their way through it. Be careful. Think twice before you buy that “top of the line” (for this week), or work overtime to to get it. Our children need that special thing once and a while to show them what we are willing to do for them and one of the ways that hard work and patience can pay off; but more than ANYTHING, they need our love, time, and guidance.

We all have to stop living in this Great Depression after shock, which caused us all to think we have to work ourselves to death, take ourselves away from our children, so that we can amass as much as we can, because “tomorrow it could be gone”. Eat as many chocolate bars as you can because tomorrow the Great Depression could strike again and they could be made with rags and glass again (yes, it happened). Well meaning intentions. We can’t be blamed, or called bad people/parents for trying to make what we thought was a “better”, more satisfying life for ourselves and our children, but I think we missed the true meaning of the point “tomorrow it could all be gone!”. If it was all gone tomorrow, I would rather know it ended with me spending time with my daughter (she’s a currently 1 and a 1/2), who had a safe roof over her head, clothes in good repair on her back (labels not mattering more than the letters they were constructed with), a stomach full of foods that had actual nutritional value, a teddy bear to cuddle up to (her favorite is Theodore, who belonged to me), some things she can learn something from and just enough for “just because”. I’ll work myself to death for that and nothing more. Those are the Necessities of Life and what we should strive for. It’s not worth it to live excessively and only I and her father can make her think it is. The most important things in this world only cost time and sometimes a bit of gas in the car, yet most of us find ourselves living beyond our means. This all comes from someone who isn’t perfect and has also been a part of the well meaning “problem”. I am however making great efforts to tear it all down and have my family live the way that I think we all should – for the betterment of ourselves and the world we live in. Living beyond our means caused the Recession. We all have to remember that our individual actions can effect our entire nation, our entire world. Maybe that’s what has changed in me. I had a child and, as introspective as I was before, began over analyzing everything and began thinking more globally. I realized that, though my actions may seem to only really affect me and my tangible world (the world my eyes see in front of me and not the larger one, “Earth”, that I’m a part of), because what I do may be common actions and reactions, it will affirm to the person next to me that this is the acceptable norm and continue (or begin) to follow suit and if my actions/reactions were selfish and misguided I will have helped lead our world into some form of devastation. I know, I know, it’s pretty intense thinking for a Saturday, but these are some of the things that I believe in and felt compelled (for better or for worse) to share. After all, I think it’s my job as a person a part of this world to voice my opinion, if I think it’s worthy of another’s consideration. I will rarely ever say that “I am right” (though I often am, bahahaha – just kidding ;p), nor be so arrogant or self-righteous to say that my way/opinion is the right one that the world should follow, but I do think that I am onto something and what I have to say is most certainly worth everyone’s consideration. Just food for thought and perhaps to some, nothing more.

I don’t think that I was put here to convert anyone into anything (I don’t even subscribe to an organized religion to follow – maybe “People Who Give An Actual Crap and Don’t Condemn or Badger People All Willy-Nilly”?), but I do think that I was meant to make people stop, take their heads out of their to-do lists for minute and think about who they are, what THEY believe and hold dear to them and why. I believe that we should all know these things ourselves. I nearly feel arrogant stating such a purpose. I’m a modest person, though no longer afraid to say that I’m good at something – I’m a good artist, parent, and person, though sometimes still a bit materialistic (baby steps ;)) and am always trying to improve, in all ways; which means, I think I’m on the right path, but am not closed to other peoples thoughts and beliefs. We all need eachother, in some way or another. I think that’s the point of everything – to realize that we all need eachother, even if only to find out what not to do.

Well, this post certainly took a most unintended turn! A MAJOR digression and I’m not sure I even did said what I initially set out say – considering it went into spirituality/religion, I’m inclined to think not, but whatevs. Go with the flow, everything happens for a reason and THAT’S what I believe in ;)

Have a beautiful night, or day (whatever it is for you). Better go before I break into politics (they say “don’t talk about religion or politics” – already broke one rule ;p), but fortunately, I haven’t much to say on political matters. I’ve never voted. Never found anyone I really wanted to vote for – they all have something they’re for that I’m against and what I want changed, I’m not sure they have the proverbial balls to change it. My greatest hope when it comes to politics is that someone runs and makes me want to vote.

Sleep well. I hope you find all of what you need and a bit of what you want.

Wishing You Well,

~Amanda~

This Week’s Focus – May 14th to May 18th

Hello, my Lovlies! Long time no write, eh? In response to some of those American snickers, saying “eh” at the end of a question is perfectly acceptable and in no way means that I just run about saying “eh” all willy-nilly, nor do I say “aboot” ;p Actually, while on the subject, due to the fact that I’ve moved about 24 times and thusly, picked up whatever accent I was subjected to, after living in the States for 4 years and being a workaholic and college student, who had no time to talk to “my people”, to this day I still say “about” and “out” like most Americans would. Just a little more “me trivia” for ya ;).

Alrighty, now that pleasantries and trivia is out of the way, onto the subject for which this post was entitled, which had nothing to do with linguistics. I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day!

So, you may have noticed that the timeline for This Week’s Focus is not the traditional full week that it once was. The reason for this is that to further attempt to better discipline myself, “work smarter, not harder”, and better balance work and family, starting May 1st, I put myself onto a Monday to Friday schedule. I will no longer be doing business on weekends. But perhaps more on that later.

This Week’s Focus is going to be officially releasing my newest product line, “Lexi’s Woodland Preserves – Faery Ring Edition”! Here’s a picture:

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Yep, I’ve created something completely new! Isn’t sweet?! :)

These Woodland Preserves are made from 2 kinds of decorative moss that I purchased from 2 different stores, which make up the forest floor. The little pinecones and bits that look like shrubs, trees, and such are things that I actually picked up from my surrounding area and carefully dried. This is a non-living terrarium, so it will have no problem taking international trips! The mushrooms are individually handsculpted, with no molds and their custom color stems and white polka dots glow in the dark! I have mixed glitter into all of the non-glittery clay for the mushrooms caps (some clay already had glitter in it, to which I did nothing) and then embellished them with Swarovski crystals – ooOoo! All of this is whimsically preserved
in an upcycled baby food jar, which actually fed my daughter, Lexi, for which they are named, as she inspired them and helps me pick things for them ;) The tops are not glued on so, not only is the proud owner able to peek in, but also so that, should any debris get knocked loose, you can simply open the jar and remove the debris with tweezers or a Q-Tip! Finally, each of Lexi’s Woodland Preserves are all titled, numbered, and signed by my hand on the bottom of the piece.

They also come with a little poem (as shown below) that I wrote, which I based off of the Faery Ring folklore. This poem, as shown below is included with every purchase of Lexi’s Woodland Preserves, the Faery Ring Edition, along with the blurb about the creation itself and me; also shown below:

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For those who don’t know, Faery Rings/Fairy Rings (click the link for one example of the lore, and here’s Wikipedia’s info on them) themselves are not my original concept, nor are terrariums, but the manner in which I present the combination – in the baby food jar with the traditional decorative cloth used in making preserves – is my (to the best if my knowledge) original concept and I searched high and low to make sure that this claim is an accurate one and again, to the best of my knowledge it is. These are some of the best examples of what sets me apart from other artists in my field – the high quality of my work and the fact that, though I may get inspired by others’ work, I have never copied anyone. All of my work to date is completely from the womb of my imagination, brought into the arms of reality, by my own to hands and I have yet to ever use a mold to assist me in the process. I have also never had an unsatisfied customer, even when my skills were lacking and unrefined.

I have already released these offline, as I had brought the only 2 that I had made, at the time, to a one-day sale (on April 27th) that I was at in Miramichi, New Brunswick, which sold out – yay! On a side note, those 2 Faery Ring Editions that sold, are the only ones that are not numbered on the bottom. I have made 6 more since then and all different colors! I gave the third ever created (similar to the one shown, but with clear crystals) to my mother, as a much loved Mother’s Day gift :).

So, needless to say, the Faery Rings, as well as two other secretish projects, we’re my focus from April 24th to May 4th and focus for May 7th until the 14th (took longer than expected *grumples*, I was working on a custom order of name tags, for a special client of mine.

Now we finally arrive at This Week’s Focus (as you may have noticed, I enjoy the scenic route ;p Actually, this was just me thinking it best to work back to front), which is not going to be actually involving a great deal of business, but just enough. Reason being, I have a greenhouse that has been getting cleared out to make room for my vegetable and herb garden (we bought our house a little less than 2 years and there was only chives left in there when we got it, which I have transplanted – hopefully successfully ;)) and thusly, have yet to plant anything in it. I also don’t really have any experience in gardening, so I’m quickly researching and teaching myself everything that I need to know to make this garden successful and start saving ourselves the $100 a month, that we spend on produce. Yeah, we like our veggies – well Mummy and Baby do (she LOVES broccoli – yeah, we lucked out on that one ;)), Daddy, not so much ;p

In regards to business, I will be working on finishing up the Etsy listing and therefore, officially releasing Lexi’s Woodland Preserves – Faery Ring Edition, within the next couple of days (hopefully by tonight). It is extremely difficult to photograph these creations, which has been the major part of the hold-up in their online release. That and trying to decide how much of their fictitious history I want to include, as it will be apart of that massive project that I spoke of, which is far from being ready to release in any official capacity. But I think, as I have the option of editing things in at a later time, I will probably just do up the listing in the same manner, with the information that I used during their special release, at the sale in New Brunswick. Other than this, I plan to make a few minor changes to the website, which will include a quick snippet as to why I, awhile back, stopped selling my creations on my website itself and now only deal with Etsy and randomly sell offline.

To answer those questions here, I sell randomly and not regularly offline (I once owned a permanent booth that I ran with my parents, at the Harbourview Village Market, in Dartmouth, which we permanently closed just before my daughter was born), as my husband and I are Lexi’s only caregivers and I do not feel we are at the point (scheduling being our arch-nemesis) for me to personally attend regular shows and sales. I do, however, occasionally enlist the help of a wonderful associate of mine, Paula Sepp-Shultz, who owns Out of The Broom Closet, to sell my work on my behalf, from time to time. That aside, for more reason than one (most are obvious, like flexible hours and schedules, that it’s much like being at a show/sale that never ends, and it is available on an international level), though it’s slower and harder to rise to the surface, where everyone can see me and what I have to offer (though this is temporary – heavy advertising is in my future, once I have a few more ducks in a row) I prefer the online world and have decided that my shop needs my full attention (and stock ;)), as this is where and how I will build my online reputation.

So there. Now everyone knows what’s been and is going on and why I’m doing it, which is a load off my mind, if nothing else.

If anything is unclear, or you want to know more, just ask! Make a comment to this post with your queries and I’d be happy to answer them :)

Well, off to study gardening! Got any tips for veggie gardens? Post them here too and help a buddy out ;p

Have a Guintastic day, my Lovlies! Hopefully you’re getting more sun than I am *crinkles nose*!

The Hopefully Green-Thumbed,

~Amanda~

This Week’s Focus – April 2nd – 8th, 2012

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Alright my Lovlies, the focus for this week will be *drumroll*…my Etsy shop! Now, for anyone who wants to pick on me for this being late, technically, I’m not late, I’m early! I’ve already been doing this since Saturday-ish (which resulted in me selling my first Guinny Cottontail of the season – Yay! :)), I just forgot to tell everyone! Bahaha ;p I’ll do better next week, I promise! ;)

Yep, I’ve done such a good job, slugging through all of my other administration (though of course there’s way more, it’s just getting more manageable now *snorts with a smirk*) and personal bits (remember how I said that I was decluttering my house? Well, it’s pretty much all done! WOOT!), that I will be now rewarding myself with finally taking and editing  some photos of released/unreleased work and creating some greatly over-due listings (I’ll explaing what the hold up’s been in one of my next posts)! So, please keep stopping by the shop and check things out!

Well, I’ve got more to prattle on about, however, it is way beyond my bedtime, so off I go!

Hoping Your Having Sweet Dreams Already,

~Amanda~

Are You An e-Hoarder?

I am! Big time.

I have recently mentioned that I have been on a mission to declutter my house (and subsequently my mind) but that’s not all! Oh no, my Lovlies, I am also on a mission to declutter my INBOX! After all, I do live online part-time ;) I am absolutely TERRIBLE for hoarding emails and newsletters. It’s shameful, really – I know because my husband told me so *smirks*. I can’t help it! Some information is just too good to let go of!

So, in the spirit of turfing out the old, to make way for the new, I’ve decided to start posting all the things that I find of interest (like “Craft Test Dummies“, or “DIY Natural“) and in turn, may interest you! My other motivation for doing this is that, not only will I have an uncluttered inbox, without having to lose the information, but this is also a really great way for me to share some of my online go-to places that I use for self-teaching and/or inspiration!

There is nothing better than when one action fulfills many purposes ;)

By the by, I must fess up and admit, this is not actually the first time that I’ve done this. I did it once before on the Wynsome Creations message board, which is actually the sole reason why I don’t just up and delete the dusty site – there’s just too much great information on there (not to mention all of the time I put into it)! On a side note, this all took place before I had my professional website and this both lovely and handy blog of mine. It felt more than great to finally free my up my inbox back then, but unfortunately I forgot to keep doing it *rolls eyes*. Well, no more *slams down fist, with a triumphant and equally determined boom, upon her imaginary I’m-gonna-do-it-for-reals table”*! That’s right! I’m sticking to it this time!

That all said, why don’t you all come along for the ride and do the same? You can start by unsubscribing from all the things that are bogging down your inbox, that just aren’t that relevant to you anymore, or make a blog and share the information with others! Respond to all those “I’ll get to it later” emails (also a good way to reconnect with old acquaintances and maybe even make some new ones along the way!) and declutter anything else that might be standing in the way of you achieving your goals! You’ll thank yourself later for the time you’ve spent finally “getting around to it” :)

Well, I hope you all enjoy and reap the potential benefits of my former “e-hoarding”! And please don’t forget to share it with others by using the social media links!

Did any of my e-clutter interest you, or inspire a new project? Then share it with the entire class! Tell us all about it by leaving a comment on the piece of clutter that inspired you!

Wishing You All Happy Decluttering,

~Amanda~

• PS ~ Check out this newsletter from Laura Roeder (a social media marketing expert and founder of LKR) that first inspired me to declutter my life and stop being an e-hoarder!