I am a winner

Myself and Tim Gunn. Yes That is Time Gunn. One of my Favorte human beings

I was just accepted into a 10 week Entrepreneurship program called Start up Quest partly sponsored by Federal dollars and my local government in South Florida. It culminates into a completion where teams present their “Start up Business” and they are … Continue reading 

Learning how to relax – Waking up to a Florida Sunrise

My last thought last night was to go to bed early and get up at 6 am to meet the sunrise at the beach. I am very lucky I life about a half mile from the beach down here in South Florida.

Me and the Dog at the Beach at Sunrise in Florida

Me and the Dog at the Beach at Sunrise

I did the first part, I went to bed at around 11pm which for me is early. I am usually up to all hours on the computer running my online business. I realize I need to take a step back and find some time to relax. I am sure I spend at least 2 hours a day farting around on the computer because I feel I should be on the computer. I probably send a total of at least 10 hours on the computer and doing various things to run my business. Sometimes I am just staring at this screen and I have no idea what I am doing. I work from home and day after day I plan to take a walk but it never happens. I am always finding something else to click on, some connection to make, something else to do. I realize I need balance to keep myself on track. I love to walk on the beach on sunrise and so does my dog. I would make sunrise at the beach my goal. I set my alarm for 6 and crossed my fingers I would wake up. my dog had other ideas and woke me up at 5:30 to go out. Away we went to the beach a short drive away. When I turned the corner almost there I could tell the dog knew where she was going. She was sniffing the air getting excited. We got there later than I wanted it was already light. I like to get there a little before sunrise. I like to see the sun rising and

The beach is smelling good

The beach is smelling good

they are less people so my dog can run. I let her run for a little bit and run she did twirling sniffing, then I put her back on the leash to

A good day for collecting shells

A good day for collecting shells

walk with me. I was a great morning, beautiful, great day to collect shells. I got home at 7 am to start my day. The dog and  I still have a pep to our step. We will try again tomorrow and at least for a few times a week. That’s the plan, wish me luck.

Beautiful Beach morning see you tomorrow

Beautiful Beach morning see you tomorrow

Ceramic Cat Sculpture Green Tarnish Verdigris Patina

From Scary to Handsome: a ceramic cat gets a make over.

The cat before a little scary

The cat before a little scary

This is my first sculpture that I made over. When I saw him at the thrift shop he was scary with a capital S. He was Halloween all the way but he had a nice shape. I knew he would look amazing with a little bronze and a little aged green patina.

Because he is ceramic with a very shiny finish I first painted him with primer that was a little gritty to give the paint something to stick too , then the modern masters acid blocking primer. I love the acid blocker primer because it is chocolate colored so for an hour or two I imagine having a solid milk chocolate

lion Paw with the chocolate colored primer

lion Paw with the chocolate colored primer

cat or lion paw.  I don’t have any pictures of these steps. I do my painting outside it was starting to rain; I brought my cat inside with the intention to take pictures of his chocolate primer phase the next day. I so excited to work on him as soon I was he was dry I painted him with the bronze paint. Oh well, here  is a picture of my lion paw in it’s chocolate phase. You get the idea.

Cat with bronze and copper paint

Cat with bronze and copper paint

Then the bronze paint, then copper paint for accents, then the aging patina. The sprayer  stopped working mid spray so I was worried how he would come out. He spray doesn’t work right away so I had to wait 15 – 20 agonizing minutes to see how he would turn out I think he is awesome and gorgeous. I love him. From scary to classy for sure. What do you think? Check him out in my shop.

Cat with his green Verdigris Patina

Cat with his green Verdigris Patina. What a handsome fellow. Check him out in my shop.

What I learned from my year in business: Don’t give up, Ever!

I decided to start at the top and work my way up.

Sometimes things don’t work that way. Let me explain: I decided to make beautiful

furniture that I spent a lot of time on and wanted good money for.  I didn’t get the prices I wanted for my pieces. But try try try again. This is what I have learned from my year in being in business for myself. Don’t be afraid to take risks, learn from your mistakes and on’t give up, don’t give up, don’t give up, ever!

I love my Etsy business at my online shop Caribbean Style Decor, my obsession with all things blue, white and shiny; that business is wonderful but erratic $200 one day no money the next day.  I am starting to save for a house I need a steadier source of revenue. I went back to the drawing board and looked the items that brought me the most money, my furniture. I stopped working on my furniture because I didn’t get the prices I wanted for the time and energy I put into refinishing and re-painting.  It is important to pay attention to what the market will bear. I looked over my techniques, I am a perfectionist, my techniques take a lot of time and are

exacting, one table took over 40 hours. I call that one “The Table”.

I sold my furniture in two places a local retailer and on Craig’s List.  I rethought everything and came up with a plan to make My Craig’s list prices profitable. I knew this retailer wasn’t the place to get the best prices for my pieces but they were easy to get into and to work with. I sold all the pieces I had consigned to them and working with that store helped me to figure out where my prices needed to be to sell.

I made up a new set of rules for myself. There were a lot of things I could do to save time and

still achieve the look I wanted. I would spend no more than 8 hours on any one piece. These adjustments would get my prices into the Craig’s list zone.

That’s fantastic news because I LOVE doing the furniture. I love taking furniture ugly ducklings and turning them into gorgeous one of kind pieces.

I have two chairs at home waiting to be worked on. Stay tuned. I’m back at it. …Melissa