She was a dilly of a girl
Skirts swinging around
The wicker basket
cocked on her hip
full of fruits
and roots for dinner.
She was a dilly of a girl
Skirts swinging around
The wicker basket
cocked on her hip
full of fruits
and roots for dinner.
There is something extremely satisfying in creating a thing and having people like the thing you have created. This is especially true for something as intimate as clothing. I mean, every morning, you wake up and decide who you want to be that day and then you don the costume that tells the world about your decision.
When I started making the t-shirts to sell on Cafepress and Zazzle around seven years ago, it was just a way to express a creative side that had been set away during graduate school. It later developed into a way to help pay down my student loans faster. And that part is working! I’ve paid off one private loan and will soon stick a fork in a second. Only $100,000 left to go between my federal loans, private loans, and Parent Plus loans, because student debt is now multi-generational.
Recently, I became curious as to where my designs were being worn splashed across the chest. I mapped the locations and found that not surprisingly, most of my sales where in North America. But I am tickled to no end to see just how far afield my snark extends. [insert evil laugh here] Seriously, someone in Ireland is probably drinking Guinness right NOW wearing something I designed!
So I began to dig a little and found sales to Australia (It figures that THEY get my sense of humor!), all over Europe, China, Tunisia (Really?), and the United Arab Emirates. Check out the Google map and see where fine and intelligent people have purchased my snarky designs for yourself.
Good morning safe drivers! Today’s driving tip from Auntie Thea is about “stopping”, as in the physical action of coming to a full rest, absence of motion, lack of forward momentum, as in “stop the hell right there”.
A “stop” does not mean “slow down and THEN blow through the red light”. A stop is a very simple concept. It means just…. fecking…. stop. Period.
Drive safe out there, boys and girls! I love you and want you to get to where you are going. Remember, kids, life is not about the destination, it’s about not killing a family of four on the journey.
Comments Off on Auntie Thea’s Safe Driving Tips – Coming to a full stop.
I have been selling “print on demand” (POD) t-shirts at Cafepress.com and Zazzle.com for several years now with the goal to use the extra money to pay down my student loans faster. Up until this last year, it hasn’t been a very focused endeavor. I’d create few designs each month and post them with no clear strategy. Just doing it for fun really. To convince myself to do better this year, I developed the Design 365 Challenge and created printables that you can download. The goal is to make a new design every single day. Or at least have 365 new designs by the end of the year. Join the fun and play along at home and increase your own sales!
I started with Cafepress.com in 2005 to sell t-shirt and coffee mugs. I’d sell a few designs now and again, but not a lot. Then last year, I decided to really up my game and spent a great deal of time developing new designs and learning how to market them. All that time and hard work paid off! In fact, I made enough money last year from selling at these two places that I will actually have to pay taxes on the royalties. Um, Yay?
No, really it’s good, it’s progress. I have enough business-related deductions that it should offset things so the hit shouldn’t be too bad. (I like good roads and schools, so taxes are ok, too) Maybe future posts will be about taxes (I’m not an accountant but a procrastinating entrepreneur) and more about the business end of well, business. But today I wanted to talk more about something exciting that I am doing this year… the Design 365 Challenge.
In December I took a few weeks off to burn down comp time I had accumulated at work. I had a lot of free time to think about how to grow my t-shirt shops. One of the things I was working on was developing a set of planner pages to help organize the business side of things. And I came up with the Design 365 Challenge to keep myself honest and to help track where and when I post. I use an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of my designs, keywords, and descriptions. But I hadn’t come up with a good way to track product development and social media posts.
Each Planner page has a free notes space at the top, a monthly calendar with places to show where I create products to sell and where I post to social media. It is has been very helpful to keep the design mojo flowing and it certainly has helped me to get higher on the search index of both Cafepress and Zazzle.
I use HootSuite to schedule social media posts and that has been a life saver. I can plan a whole week’s worth of posts before my husband even wakes up on Saturday morning. Woot!
Check out my other article on how I am using my t-shirt design business to pay down my student loan!
Get the Design 365 Challenge Printables! (Free.pdf files)
So on a recent work trip to Canada, I found out to my frustration that none of my viewing-pleasure subscriptions worked in the Great White North. I was being denied the joy of enjoying the new episodes of Miss Fischer’s Murder Mysteries. Are Doc Martin, or anything of value. It only took ten minutes of regular teevee viewing to remind me why we dumped cable all those many long years ago. So I worked on some work-stuff, worked on some t-shirt designs.
Then I got bored. While perusing my Facebook feed, someone mentioned how I am the Viscountess of Photobombing. While that may not be “technically” true, I do enjoy a good photobomb.
And then, all hell broke loose as it were….
I give you all a taste of how Althea runs amok (and frequently with scissors).
No one could show Althea how to get to Sesame Street.
Benedict Cumberbatch may think he’s champion photobomber, but he’s got nothing on Althea.
Mr. Bean may stumble around and fall into situations. Althea jumps onto planets and stumbles into state occasions.
When asked about her superpower, she replied coquettishly that she has the best one ever… she can transfer the contents of her bladder into anyone with a one mile radius.
And I’m spent!
And then my daughter joined in ….
Who stole the Last Fishstick?
Wait… what was the question?
And along comes summer with all the lazy days spent in pursuits to refresh the soul. The tradition of summer reading is long and for good reason. We spend our days rushing about tending to the need for food and shelter. Summer is time to take a breath, see the sky, and open the mind.
This post is all about summer reading, lounging on the beach, and finding just the right bag to tote those books around in. So toss in your sunscreen, big floppy hat and head into richly textured world of other worlds and lives…
“Diana Gabaldon’s century-spanning Outlander series deserves its avid fanbase. It’s making the leap to TV on Starz this summer, so now’s the time to devour the whole steamy series–including book 8, out in June.” –Mari Malcolm
OK, Who out there ISN’T excited about the Outlander series coming to the teevee? Get your Diana Gabaldon fix right here!
And the perfect compliment for all that glorious Scottish scenery (wink wink, nudge nudge) is the Celtic Triskele in highland perfect greens and purples.
“Half a King has young adults in mind, but doesn’t leave adults behind. In this coming-of-age fantasy tale we follow a reluctant new king through betrayal, hardship, adventure, self-discovery, and some excellent twists.” –Robin Rothman
The perfect accompaniment to a summer romp through history, the “Chivalry isn’t dead” design.
New York Times bestselling author Steve Berry returns with his latest thriller, a Cotton Malone adventure involving a flaw in the United States Constitution, a mystery about Abraham Lincoln, and a political issue that’s as explosive as it is timely—not only in Malone’s world, but in ours.
And speaking of myths and Lincoln, don’t you just love a good internet meme? I mean, just take the one about Lincoln quotes on the internet …
I can hardly keep up with the teen sci-fi drama that moves from book to screen. But this series looks to be a universe that will keep us entertained until the next sexy dystopia comes along.
Science fiction, at least good science fiction, alway tells us more about being human. It informs us and asks many hard questions. The very best science fiction, also gives us the ability to laugh at our own foibles.
Our next President has written a book. It seems to be the Thing to Do. Perhaps we should check it out and see what she has been up to.
Of course, we can expect that there will be some folks in the good ole U.S. of A. that will continue with the major freak out that has been going on since Barak Obama as first conceived…. as a viable candidate for President. At least she’s white, even if she does have lady-parts. She maybe she will only be half as irrationally hated.
So hat tip to all my feminist friends out there…
“This historical novel–based on the life of Margaret Mead–is brainy, but sexier and more fun than you might think a book about an anthropologist might be.” –Sara Nelson
I have a soft spot in my heart for sexy anthropologists, although Margaret Mead isn’t usually the one that comes to mind. But she did have some very interesting things to say about sex.
The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. — Dorothy Parker
“What happens when an ugly rumor takes on a life of its own? Multiple narrators expose how far people will go to be liked and how little the truth seems to matter.” –Seira Wilson
We’ve all been there. Rumors and gossip taking the joy out of the day. Well, let the chaos monkeys fly. Get out there and be yourself!
“I’ve developed a man-crush on Silva’s brainy, brutal artist/assassin/spy, Gabriel Allon, who in The Heist is on the hunt for a stolen Caravaggio masterpiece.” –Neal Thompson
This is the token MAN book. So this calls for MAN food. BACON! Bacon! Bacon! Gimmee salty fatty pig parts and gimme now! I want Bacon!
the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations.
Sometimes reading a good book is the best reward. So we are shopping for a house now, and while $650,000 for a domicile is a wee bit out of our league, it did have a formal library. Want! I figure that if I sell about 1.5 million t-shirts, coffee mugs or tote bags, then I can buy that formal library. So get to it! Buy something! 😀
I like stories where the Princess does her own damn rescuing. Prince Charming is nice and all, but a girl has gotta do what a girl has gotta do.
With all the stories in the news that has our elder sisters and mothers wondering why we continue to still fight the battle for equal rights , it is important to keep moving forward. Be strong, be powerful, be AMAZING!
Ok, let me just say this….. SQUEE! I love the Stephanie Plum stories. I loved the movie, One for the Money
and want MOAR! This series (along with the Discworld series) are the go-to books on tape that we listen to on long road trips.
I think I need to make Stephanie her own cupcake tote bag, but until then, here, have a lemon drop!
I am saving the best for last. I am a late comer to the Discworld series and regret every moment I missed knowing about the awesomeness of Sir Terry Pratchett. His books are funny, insightful, compelling, farcical and deeply moving. My personal favorite is Thud! .
The quote that Pratchett “borrows” from Juvenal is just as apt today as it was in the days of Rome’s glory. Who watches the watcher? Indeed. Who?
If you want to check out all of the bag and totes at Malarkey Pie, go here.
And before you rush out to get your books and tote bags, I want to let you in on the back story here. You may have heard of the student debt crisis that is facing the U.S. right now. Millions of students, eager to improve their lot in life, face the reality that unless your last name is Trump, you will likely graduate from college with sizable student debt. I am no exception
I finished graduate school in 2010 and have since then been working for the State of Oregon in a job that I love. I don’t really love the mounds of student debt that is keeping me from saving for retirement or saving to buy a home. So I started selling t-shirts and other gift items to pay down my loans faster. So when you purchase either on of these books from Amazon or tote bags from Cafepress, you are helping out.
If these designs aren’t your thing, check out these other posts…
Does your mom go by the old adage that “she who dies with the most fabric wins”? ARe you likely to find piles of fabric in a vast rainbow of colors in her closets and sewing room? Are you looking for a unique gift to give your mom on this Mother’s Day? Then check out these top 5 t-shirt designs for your crafty maternal units!
My daughter is starting at Oregon State University in the fall. And gee, wouldn’t you know, I still have student loans of my own to pay off from graduate school. Let’s hear it for multi-generational student debt. I am selling this t-shirts and gifts to pay off my students which you can read about in other blog posts. (here and here). So, help a girl out and get an awesome t-shirt for your Mom at the same time. Or coffee mug. or messenger bag. or tote bag!
I have student loan debt which means that I will probably never own my own home. I will not be able to help my kids with their college expenses. I won’t be able to save for retirement. I will not be able to travel to the European museums like I want to do.
This is what I signed on to when I decided to pursue my doctoral degree. I knew it was expensive and I knew that it would alter my personal and professional landscape for the rest of my life. And I knew that it would be (mostly) worth it. The job track I currently am on fills my heart and soul with meaning and purpose. The doctoral degree made this possible. I love my job, and the people I work with, and the people I serve.
I just wish my country valued education like it should. If Congress upholds it’s side of the bargain, after working in state government for 10 years, the balance of my federal loans will be written off. This is thanks to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program. (http://studentaid.ed.gov/repay-loans/forgiveness-cancellation/charts/public-service)