Wednesday, February 24, 2010

10 Tips to Work Happy and Productive from Home

While browsing the Etsy newsletter this week, I found these tips from jewelry designer, Patricia Wood of VerreDesign.

Here are the first 5 tips of 10. Most of it I'm familiar about, the only problem is in the execution. I know there's no excuse, one needs to adhere by these guidelines to be able to succeed working from home. Keeping your goals in mind, while maintaining the right business attitude at home is necessary for that sense of accomplishment.

1) Very first thing, always say you work “from” home and not work “at” home. See, hear and feel the difference? Working at home may lead people to think you are available to pick the neighbors kids from school at the end of the afternoon or that friends are welcome any time to chat and have coffee with you.

2) Define your spaces and separate work from home. Have a room or defined space dedicated to working. Don’t do it wherever you happen to be. Set aside some space, preferably a room (it doesn’t have to be big, see here ) to be your workspace. That way, when you enter it, you know consciously what you’re there to do: go to work. It changes the state of mind from “I’m at home” to “I’m at work”.

3) Set up a functional workspace. This is critical to the success of your business. Make sure it contains all the necessary equipment that you need, and why not a wall calendar to write your goals and things to achieve (ex: Erasable wall calendar or Printable organizers). Decorate your workspace so that it is aesthetically appealing and try to keep distractions to a minimum!

4) Set regular hours and stick to the schedule (don’t stay in your pj - get dressed!)

5) Set online times. You don’t always need to be accessible for chit chat, check if you made a new sale in the last 3 minutes, peak in the forums to see what’s new, watch if you’ve been retweeted or if someone new wants to be your friend on Facebook. These are the worst time eaters. So plan you online time and no turning on the computer for a quick email check!

There are links to help you with defining your workspace and setting up your workplace (from fellow Etsians!) If you'd like to see them or read the full post, here's the link:

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Crocheting in Summer

It is mostly summer weather here in the Philippines. The cool months of December and January seemed to have passed so quickly, and its not even as cold as it used to be :(

Now in the middle of February, it is already getting so warm in the middle of the day and by March to April it is expected to be very hot!
I don't think I would be able to concentrate so much on crocheting, so I'll probably save the simple projects for this time. I plan to make a new set of glass cozies for our ice-cold drinks, small bazaar items for gifting and for selling (so I can buy halo-halo everyday!) and maybe finally be able to make my own designed beach ensemble, so I can offer it in time for U.S. summer season.
Meanwhile, here are my recent projects:
*This is my latest WIP. I was working on another shawl, but it was so simple and monotonous, I got tired of it. So when I saw Lily's design, I just had to try it. It was a bit challenging at first, but really easy once you get past the first pattern repeat. I'm almost finished on my 2nd ball of thread. Here was my WIP after finishing the 1st ball:

* A recent FO I posted before, is this belated birthday gift - baby hat I made for my grandniece who turned one last Jan.12.
(these were shots from my mobile phone, Jan.31)

Below pic, is my lovely niece and her baby.
This is the other baby hat I made a while back, which she already outgrew.

* For my cousin's (soon-to-be born) baby boy, I made this hat. (Its almost the same as above, with minor modifications)

And, here's the belated matching gift - I wasn't able to finish it in time for the baby shower. I'd just have to make sure my cousin gets this soon, since this is quite small and maybe will fit her baby only up to two months.

I bought the pattern for this, and you can see the details on my Ravelry project page.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Crocheted coral reefs demonstrate effects of global warming

Margaret Wertheim is the co-creator, with her sister Christine, of the Crochet Coral Reef Project, exhibited in New York and in other states in 2009. (read article in LA Times). Using a crochet technique, she celebrates the amazement of the reef and global warming's devastating effect.

In this video she provides a vivid explanation of hyperbolic geometry which can be modeled excellently in crochet. This is how she draws attention to distressed coral reefs around the world that are dying in droves from changing ocean saline levels, overfishing, and numerous other threats.
Coral reefs are amazing and we can take a peek of its beauty through art in the form of crocheted fiber of many different colors. On the other hand, they also showed how corals look when it goes through bleaching, losing its colors because of environmental stress.(see Wikipedia article).

Watch this TED talk to find out more about the fascinating intersection of craft, nature, physics, beauty, math and global warming.

After viewing this I got inspired to look for patterns to do some hyperbolic crochet. Will add those to my queue ;)

Ravelry's Help for Haiti

This last week of January, I sold a few more patterns included in Ravelry's Help for Haiti patterns. From this I was able to donate $10. more to Hope for Haiti. Even though it was a small amount, it's still good to know it added up to the huge contribution which came from the whole Ravelry community going to different organizations helping Haiti.