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Blog Week in Review

Goodbye, Rocktober! See You Next Year – Week in Review

What a weird Rocktober. So many highs and lows. And not a great month for pets in Red Scorpio Land. First, Frank disappeared, then this week Lola was bitten by a rattlesnake, and yesterday a cat tried to get my chickens! Last Friday was my 27th wedding anniversary with my amazing husband and I didn’t post a weekly wrap up, so this week I will cover everything that has happened to me the last two weeks of Rocktober. Every. Single. Thing. And now, onto our weeks in review.

 

Monday the 20th started out badly with the plumbers coming back to my house unannounced and totally disrupting my day. I didn’t get much done that day, but I saw this super cool pic online. PS: I need this for my dogs.

 

IMG_7748_2

 

I don’t remember Tuesday, so it must have been fine. Wednesday, my family gathered at Sunset Cliffs to mark the 17th year of losing my cousin Brandon. He was an avid surfer, so every year we go to his favorite surf spot and throw flowers into the ocean.

 

Always count your blessings
Always count your blessings

 

Thursday was my birthday and I woke to find these sweet notes everywhere.

 

awwww. so sweet!
awwww. so sweet!

 

Then I posted this classic #TBT pic. This is pretty much me to this day.

 

Party Girl!
Party Girl!

 

I spent my birthday with family, eating subs and watching the Broncos beat our Chargers. And even though my parents were rooting for the Chargers, I was hoping the Broncos would win because Peyton is my QB in Fantasy Football.

My mom dug out a huge bag of really old photos and we all had a great time looking through them. Some awesome shots for #TBT for sure.

 

Birthday wish time...
Birthday wish time…

 

Friday was my anniversary and my husband and I went to dinner at the same place where we were married 27 years before. I usually wear comfy shoes no matter where I go, but that night I wore my fancy vintage Tony Lama boots. Some day I will post a pic of my whole collection.

 

WiR 10311421

 

We had an amazing dinner, shared a carafe of Sangria and basically had a fabulous romantic evening. Awwww.

 

Here's to 27 amazing years!
Here’s to 27 amazing years!

 

Saturday we had a little birthday party and then Sunday, we took a day trip to Mt. Laguna with our little dogs. After our picnic lunch, Greg went for a hike while the dogs and I hung out and I worked on my new planner system.

 

Beautiful Mt. Laguna
Beautiful Mt. Laguna

 

After dinner, I noticed our little dog Lola was not acting right. We rushed her to the vet and discovered that she had been bitten by a rattlesnake. In our backyard. So, double awesome. After spending the day being careful to avoid snakes in the mountains, she gets bitten at home. Not going to lie, the next few days were hella rough. They couldn’t even tell us for sure if she was going to live. Lucky for us, she’s a fighter and pulled through. She was finally well enough to come home on Thursday. Now she is the most spoiled dog in the world. She expects me to hand feed her all meals. WTH.

 

Poor baby!
Poor baby!

 

Last night as I was working with my new studio mate snoring away in her bed, I looked out the window to see if it was dark enough to put the chickens to bed and I noticed the clouds on the horizon were a lovely shade of lavender. I rushed upstairs and ordered Greg to come outside and look at the beautiful sky. When I stepped onto the deck and got the full view of the sunset, I got chills. It looked like the sky was on fire. The clouds were shimmering orange and the horizon was almost violet. Greg and I stood and stared at the sky for a good long time with our arms around each other. I don’t know what he was thinking, but I was just feeling grateful for everything.

 

IMG_7993

 

Now it’s Halloween. the last day of Rocktober. We will go to my parents house and Trick or Treat with my nephews. My niece won’t be there because she is going to a party. Sigh. It won’t be long before the boys are too old to Trick or Treat too.

 

These trick-or-treaters are now 20 somethings.
These trick-or-treaters are now 20 somethings.

 

Happy Friday, everyone and Happy Halloween! Stay safe. Next week is going to be a busy week at Red Scorpio. Got some big things planned for the very near future so stay tuned.

 

 

PS: I’m running a contest starting 11/07/14

details here –> Contest Info

Categories
Blog Blog Business

Make Money While I Sleep? Uh, Yes Please!

“Are you ready to make your creative work more lucrative, stable, and sustainable in the long-term? Join April Bowles-Olin for an introduction to digital products and how they can enhance your creative business. This course will show you how to produce and position viable products for generating multiple revenue streams and passive income. RSVP right here to watch it live and get access to the workbook for FREE. This post is part of the Create Digital Products blog tour.”

 

Let’s start with a little background. I met April Bowles-Olin when I attended her first course at CreativeLive, Build a Successful Creative Blog. I impulsively signed up because my blog was floundering and I needed some help. I also love a challenge, and being in the Front Row was far outside my comfort zone. Thank goodness I had no idea what a Super Star Ms. Bowles is or I would have been even more nervous than I already was. If you watch the course, which I highly recommend to all bloggers and wanna-be bloggers, you will learn LOTS of pro tips and also see me looking like I am going to be sick.

Red Scorpio at CreativeLive
Red Scorpio at CreativeLive

 

That course literally changed my life as I have written about a few times. If you follow my blog then you already know this. If you don’t follow my blog, you really should. There’s a box at the end of this post that you should totally check out.

 

Not only did I up my blogging game, but I met a great group of creatives, in person and over the interwebs, and formed a relationship with April. I began following April’s awesome blog, Blacksburg Belle and she has taught me a ton about running a successful creative business.

Here is My Goal!
Here is My Goal!

I joined April & Mayi’s League of Supers, an amazing source of support, advice, sympathy, empathy and just plain love and friendship. I’ve also participated in a couple of April’s blog tours, so of course I jumped at the chance to be a part of this one too.

The guidelines set by April were simple –

 Pick one of the following topics to blog about:

a) What you’d love to learn from my upcoming course, Create Digital Products that Sell While You Sleep

b) The biggest questions you have when it comes to selling digital or information products

c) Your best-selling digital product and why you think it’s the most successful (if you already sell digital or information products)

d) Why you want to learn how to create and sell digital products

e) The biggest issues you’ve had with trying to sell digital products

Alright well, I want to learn everything and I have a million questions. Because my jewelry is labor intensive, I’d love a product that was easily reproducible. I don’t have any digital products yet, so those don’t apply.

 

IMG_2513

 

Sorry April, but I decided to go off topic a bit and talk about my most important question:

Why Learn About Digital Products From April Bowles-Olin

There is certainly no shortage of passive income “experts”. Just Google it, you will get a thousand suggestions. So why would I choose April’s course over all the others? Well, for starters she is an amazing teacher. She is a diligent hard worker who is going to leave no stone unturned to gather every bit of relevent information on the subject of passive income. She is realistic. She’s not promising any get rich quick schemes. She believes in living your passion. This course is going to teach us how to make money doing what we truly love. Her workbooks are flipping fantastic. She has put in a ton of effort to make this a comprehensive course in creating digital products, from the nuts and bolts of making a digital product that suits your business to the more ethereal and harder to grasp concepts of targeting a market and product positioning. I want to know not just how to start but to successfully sustain a passive income offering, and I trust April to teach me.

 

creativelive with Tara swiger marketing for crafters class july 2014
About to go on the air, watching myself on TV. Surreal.

 

If you are interested in launching a successful digital product, my advice to you is that you purchase this amazing course. Yes, you can watch for free during the live broadcast, and it will be super cool, but if you upgrade to any time access for $49 ($49!!!) not only will you be able to watch & rewatch the course, but you will score some incredible bonuses that only come with purchase.

Please RSVP and then watch November 10-11 to be blown away by the magic that is April Bowles-Olin. Also, I will be in the front row and now that I’m used to it, I don’t look so ill anymore. Although, I do have RBF (look it up) and I just can’t help that.

Check out the entire list of participating bloggers here.

Categories
Blog

Anybody Want Some Lemons?

They say that when life hands you lemons, make lemonade. Providing of course that you have sugar, otherwise your lemonade will be very bad. We’ve had a lot of lemons lately, but we are ok. The latest lemon was an emergency visit to the vet to get my poor little dog Lola treatment for a rattlesnake bite. I was planning on writing my “Week in Review” post but that’s out the window. Please enjoy this oldie but goodie from back in the day. This vodka would go great with a squeeze of lemon…

 

 

(Originally published November 19, 2013)

There are 35 days left until Christmas! And it’s the perfect time to make handmade gifts, so I will be sharing some of my favorite handmade gift ideas. My #1 rule for handmade gifts is “Would I enjoy getting this as a present?” Because frankly, there are some pretty weird and kind of lame craft ideas out there.  This one is very well received.

 

I’m going to tell you how I make it, then you can tailor it to your own circumstances. I happen to have a large empty Vodka bottle on hand (at all times, but that’s just me) so I buy a large bottle of Costco Vodka and pour half into the empty bottle and leave half in its original bottle. There is no need to buy expensive Vodka for this project. Decent Vodka works great. Actually, Costco Vodka is very good and it happens to be the cheapest per ounce, so that is what I use. Put 1/4 cup of cracked black pepper and 1/4 cup of crushed red peppers in each bottle, close tightly and let it infuse for at least a week. I am posting this as the first gift idea because I think the longer it sits, the better it tastes.

 

Decant into pretty bottles for giving, straining out the solids. The Vodka will be tinted by the peppers, so you can make custom labels and call it “Dirty Vodka” or something sexy like that. My life’s theme is black & red, so I make black & red labels and call it “Two Pepper Vodka” with a warning that it is extremely hot. That’s it, couldn’t be easier. I’ve made this for a few years now and I actually get requests for it around Holiday time.

Cheers!

 

PS: don’t forget that there are many wonderful artists offering lots of lovely handmade items for sale this Season and all throughout the year! Consider buying handmade gifts this year and support small businesses! Although I am partial, these are two of my faves-

Red Scorpio Handmade

Shadoan Photographic Arts

Categories
Blog Business

First World Problems – Week in Review 10-17-14

Last weekend was great but the Monday, not so much. And only two more weeks to say “Rocktober”. Sad face! At least the weather has finally cooled off around here.

 

The peace and serenity we felt over the weekend quickly disappeared when we got home Sunday afternoon and were informed that our chronic plumbing problems were flaring up in a big way. Monday, we had to call a plumber out and he broke the sad news that our drain pipe was going to have to be replaced due to a ‘massive root invasion’. Sounds horrible, doesn’t it? We have known this for a while, but usually the plumber can snake the drain out and get things flowing again. This time, the roots broke off the tip of the cable. Time to bite the bullet. I didn’t get any pictures of that so here is a cute puppy.

 

awww so cute! she is actually 12 though.
awww so cute! She is actually 12 years old though.

 

Tuesday was great because I actually got to make some stuff! I joined a fantasy football league this year, after thinking about it the past few seasons. It was my New Year’s Resolution about three years ago (that is the kind of resolutions I make) but nobody I knew wanted to play, so I gave up on it. Then one day I saw an invite on Twitter to join a Crafty Football League and said “yes, please”. My record is not great, but it’s still fun to play. The ladies do a blog hop featuring football themed crafts every year, and you can check my craft out here.

 

WiR 10171411

 

Wednesday I made even more stuff. How exciting! I strung up a new style of necklace for my shop. These pieces don’t have beads, but a simple cording for people who are not as into beading as I am. They do exist, and I would like them to fall in love with my jewelry.

 

Personal Photo Jewelry
Personal Photo Jewelry

 

Thursday, the plumbers came and dug up our front lawn. We weren’t able to use our water from late afternoon Thursday until mid-morning Friday and it was kind of a pain. But I made me think about how lucky I was to have access to clean running water almost all the time. One day without water wasn’t going to hurt me. I didn’t get a picture of that either, but I did notice a super cool cloud when Greg & I were chilling out in the yard around sunset.

 

Jack-o-lantern cloud
Jack-o-lantern cloud

 

Friday, I had a DMV appointment and I was so dreading it, but it actually was a breeze. My appointment time was 11am and I was home by 11:30. Can’t complain about that. The weather this week has been gorgeous and I am VEry happy about that. Happy Friday, everyone!

 

How was your week? I’d love to know. Please comment (:

Categories
Blog

Crafty Football League Blog Hop – Shrink Plastic Charms

This is my first year playing Fantasy Football and it has been pretty fun so far. I’ve been itching to try it, so when Diane of CraftyPod.com sent out an invitation to join the Crafty Football League I immediately jumped on board. And, evidently, each year they have a Crafty FFL Blog Hop. Bonus!

My crafty NFL project is shrink plastic charms. They are super easy and look really awesome. They are very versatile so you can turn them into Christmas ornaments, pendants, key fobs, earrings, magnets, probably a bunch more stuff. Best of all, if you have any #6 plastic take out containers, they are just about free.

 

Trace your image...
Trace your image…

More & more restaurants are switching to #1 and #2 plastic for take out boxes, and that is wonderful because #1 & #2 can be easily recycled, in fact those are the only 2 kinds my recycle bin accepts. If you do happen upon some #6, save it to make shrinkies. You will be helping the planet by not tossing more plastic into the trash and you get to enjoy a super fun and easy craft. Win-win. If you can’t get your hands on #6 plastic, shrink plastic is readily available at craft stores and in the craft department of Target, Wal-Mart, etc.

 

You will need:

  • #6 take out container or store-bought shrink plastic
  • Sharpies
  • Colored Pencils
  • Sandpaper or steel wool
  • Hole punch
  • Scissors
  • Craft heat gun or dedicated toaster oven
  • Fork
  • Flat bottom glass
  • Jump rings, wire, cording, or something of your choosing from which to hang your charm.

 

My team is the Raiders. Yes, I know. It was easy enough to get the Raider logo as well as the Charger Bolt (for my nephew) from the internet. Your original image should be no bigger than 4″ x 4″ and probably no smaller than 2″ x 2″.

 

Make sure your container is very clean. Cut out an appropriately sized piece, making sure there is nothing stamped on it (like a big ol’ #6) and wash it off. If you are using store-bought plastic you can skip this step.

CFFL 1014145
#6 Plastic

You should lightly sand it with fine grit sandpaper if you are using colored pencils or if you want a more opaque look but if you use Sharpies, sanding is not necessary. Tape the plastic to the image you’re tracing. This is a very important step, trust me. Start with the outline and the big obvious shapes, then add in the details. If you are using a Sharpie you will notice that it “marks” areas that you have already colored. Don’t worry about that, you will not be able to tell once you’ve shrunk it down.

 

Check to make sure you dont miss a spot
Check to make sure you dont miss a spot

If you make a mistake you can erase it with a Q-tip barely moistened with rubbing alcohol. Once you are satisfied with your design, trim the plastic down to a neat shape and punch your hole. Or holes, depending on how you want it to hang. A regular office-type hole punch is perfect. The holes will seem huge but shrink down to just the right size.

 

Now to color it in…

 

Place your plastic on a heat proof surface (mine is a metal cake pan covered with foil) and shrink it with your crafty heat gun. You could use a toaster oven, if you have a spare, but I wouldn’t shrink plastic in something I cook food in, and the heat gun works pretty well.

Please do this in a well ventilated area! It is very stinky and not good to breathe!

Before you shrink have a flat-bottomed glass handy (with no lettering on the bottom!) so you can press your piece flat if you need to, and try not to blast the plastic off the table with the forced air of the heat gun. I use a fork to hold it in place, and also I try to heat it from above but sometimes I forget. It is going to curl up so don’t freak out. It should straighten itself out, and if not, you can tweak it into submission while it’s still hot. And it will be very hot, so be careful.

 

 

Here is the result! Store bought shrink plastic may give a soother finish (although I wouldn’t know, I’ve never bought the stuff) but I like this imperfect “wabi-sabi” finish. If you’re feeling extra creative, colored pencils work great as well and are permanent once you shrink them.

You might also want to check out this super cool shrink plastic project

 

Yay!
Yay!

 

 

Go Raiders!!

 

Check out what my fellow Crafty Fantasy Footballers made –


Categories
Blog Blog

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

Last week was a terrible, horrible, no good week, but the weekend was great. Camping in the mountains, the weather was perfect and our trailer was in the shade of some gorgeous manzanita trees all day. I was able to clear my head and get a lot of design work done. I was ready to start this week out on a high note.

 

Nope. Had to call a plumber first thing this morning. Not cool. And I got this. WTH, this is not a fortune.

Fortune cookie, are you even trying?
Fortune cookie, are you even trying?

 

I saw something online, probably on Facebook, that said,

Tweet: The things you take for granted, someone is praying for ~ via @redscorpiomade“The things you take for granted, someone is praying for”. Yep.

 

So I had a bad week. And it spilled over into Monday. I got some cool stuff done today and I am grateful for that. I have everything I need and most of what I want, and I am very grateful for that.

 

Tomorrow is another day...
Tomorrow is another day…

“After all,” as Scarlett O’Hara famously said, “Tomorrow is another day.”

 

 

 

 

Categories
Blog

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week ~ Week in Review 10/10/14

Hey guys. Normally I am a pretty upbeat lady and have lots of stuff for which to be grateful. This was an unusually rough week though, so let the pity party begin!

 

The week started off well. Monday, I posted a story about London, an epic pub crawl and a tattoo. Best part was I easily located the pictures from said pub crawl. It was in the days before digital and most of my photo albums are packed away, so I wasn’t sure I’d be able to get my hands on them. Lucky me, they were in the first place I looked. That pretty much never happens!

My London souvenir...
My London souvenir…

 

The rest of the week, not so great. Tuesday, our mechanic let us know that my daughter’s car needed a complete engine rebuild, amongst other things, and basically wasn’t worth fixing. Awesome. She was pretty sad about it because she had received the car as a 16th birthday present from my parents and she really loved it. I was pretty sad because she is too broke to buy herself another car. Yay.

Quinns First Car!
Quinns First Car!

 

And it got worse. Although our tortoise Frank keeps odd hours and we have a huge yard with lots of hiding spots so sometimes we don’t see him for days at a time, we were getting concerned about his whereabouts. He had been absent from evening snack time for a few days. Our fears were confirmed when we found a large gap under the back fence where Frank likes to hang out. Frank would not intentionally run away from home, but Sulcata tortoises are roamers and don’t really understand boundaries. Also, Frank could get lost in his own yard, even after living here for 8 years, so I knew it would be very unlikely for him to find his way home. And there have been construction workers at the house behind us for a couple of weeks. I talked to them and they claimed they didn’t see him, but I got a weird vibe. Maybe I am just weird. Maybe somebody will find him and he will be returned. That would be super awesome. He’s not like a dog or cat. He has special needs. I just hope whoever has him is taking good care of him.

 

Frank, eating grapes
Frank, eating grapes

 

Wednesday sucked too, when I found out I was not accepted to be a vendor at Renegade Craft Fair in San Francisco. So I pretty much cried all day. I was able to get a lot of design work done, and that made me feel a little better. I will have some cool new stuff in my shop very soon.

New necklaces!
New necklaces soon!

 

Thursday was just ok. Although, I did feel a little better when I heard that Renegade had also turned down crafty icon Rosalie Gale. Really, Renegade? Rosalie Gale didn’t make the cut?? I didn’t feel good because she was turned down, because she is super rad and deserves to be in there. I am just questioning their judgement.

 

And now it’s Friday. I am still pretty sad about Frank, but I am already over the other stuff. We are heading up to the mountains for a weekend of camping, peace, and quiet. It should be a beautiful, brisk fall weekend. The perfect place to clear my mind and get some perspective.

Happy Friday, everyone!

 

 

Anybody have a great week?

I would love to hear about it!

 

Categories
Blog

Tattoo Stories – London 2002

My doodle...
My doodle…

I challenged myself to a doodle a day for the month of October. It’s harder than it sounds. After only a couple of days, I had to resort to my old standbys. This pierced heart with initials, ‘G’ for Greg and ‘R’ for Richelle, is something I doodle a lot. The two droplets represent our two kids. Awwww…

 

First stop, the pub...
First stop, the pub…

My London tattoo story…

In 2001, British airways kicked off new non-stop service from San Diego to Heathrow by offering a deal that was too good to be true; round trip tickets for two for $750. Neither of us had ever even thought about visiting London, but how could we pass it up? We imagined friendly, charming pubs on every corner, lots of beer, and jolly patrons having a party every night. Maybe some sing-alongs. You know, like in the movies. There were pubs everywhere, that’s for sure, but most were full of yuppies drinking Bud Light and Smirnoff Ice, and they weren’t particularly jolly or friendly.

 

our 'local' pub
our ‘local’ pub

During the days, we visited some of the best museums in the world, which was super cool because we are big time museum nerds. Each night we’d try a different pub hoping for a party and end up sipping pints of stout by ourselves while everyone else enjoyed a Corona with a lime or Mike’s Hard Lemonade. Were we were in London or Pacific Beach? On our last day, we decided to go all out, starting with tattoos, then our own self guided pub crawl. We were getting pretty good at taking public transportation so we just rode around on the bus, hopping off when we saw an interesting looking place to stop for a beer.

londonpubs 10061411

 

The tattoo place we found took cash only, so we hit the ATM but due to some sort of glitch, no money came out. We tried again, but since (in theory anyway) we had just taken out our daily limit, it wouldn’t give us any more. We found a tattoo parlor that took credit, and since I knew what I wanted (see above doodle), I got in the chair right away. The tattoo artist was offended when I offered to draw my design. I ended up with a tattoo that only vaguely resembled my drawing. Then for no apparent reason the manager decided he wanted to close an hour early, so no more tattoos after me, meaning Greg wasn’t going to get one. Bummer. Our pub crawl was not going that great either, and it had started to rain, so we decided to grab one last pint and call it a night.

One last chance to have a great night...
One last chance to have a great night…

 

 

The pub wasn’t yet crowded when we got there so we sat alone and sipped our beers as the place filled up.

Empty pub, but not for long...
Empty pub, but not for long…

Eventually, a couple asked if they could share our table, and of course we welcomed them. After an awkward minute, I broke the ice with that old pick-up line, “So do you come here often?” As it turned out, they did not, in fact it was their first time. They were going to a play and stopped of for a drink before the theater. We chatted for a bit before they had to leave to make their show, and immediately two young ladies asked if they could take the empty seats. I tried out a different line this time, “Are you from around here?” No, actually, they were from Canada, in London on a work exchange program. We drank several rounds with them, joined by a girl from Holland who had just returned from a trip to LA where she attended a taping of the Jay Leno show, and a group of guys from Nottingham whose accents were so thick, I could barely understand them. We partied with our new friends until closing time (not that impressive since the pubs close at midnight) then rode the bus back to our room, very pleased that we were able to end our trip on a fantastic note.

 

The next day was a little rough, I must say. Fortunately we were able to sleep on the long flight. We returned home, safe and sound, with wonderful memories of an amazing night, and a super cool souvenir. It’s not how I pictured it, but I love it.

IMG_7473

 

By the way, I have abandoned my doodle challenge, and that is ok. Sometimes you need to know what is not working and cut it loose.

 

Got a tattoo story? Please share in the comments!