Dwelling in the Present Moment

Dwelling in the Present Moment

Aloha Everyone
It’s been awhile!I promised a giveaway when I reached 1,000 sales and that milestone has come and gone and I still have not come through so here I am.Life has been as busy as ever,and I feel that I am at a crossroads in my business.I want to share some of what I have been feeling with those of you who have been such great supporters on my journey this past few years(and after I do I will post the details of my giveaway!).In 9 days it will be three years since my trip to Maui where I found the name for my new shop,and Soul Role was born.I have been amazed and humbled by the support and so happy to find that there are many many people out there who are willing to support handmade eco friendly work,even when it means they have to spend more.My shop has grown faster than I dreamed it would and now,going into my third year I feel I need to make some changes to support this growth.I have been doing all this work from my bedroom(aka studio) and I don’t know how much longer I can continue to do this.In order to be more efficient and to continue to produce work I can be proud of I need to upgrade my machines.I need space for all my materials,and space to spread out and give my visions room to breathe.And my husband need to be able to get into his closet!I would love to be able to have some help when my work load gets too big.I would love to be able to have an internship program with my children’s charter school and give some of the local kids here an opportunity to learn about designing,sewing and creating their own business.I would love to sell wholesale to the many many stores that have wanted to sell my line .I would love for local customers to be able to come and browse and have more ready made items available.All of the ways I need to grow as a business require an actual real studio,and without that I don’t know if I can continue.

I have been really looking at my business,and what I want and NEED to be doing in my life.I would love to continue to do this work that has helped me in more ways than I can say.I have looked for grants to help fund an off grid studio that we could build here on our land but there really don’t seem to be.I have never had a credit card in my entire life and have no credit history so banks would not want to loan me money.I have had many people suggest I do a Kickstarter campaign and I have been seriously thinking about doing this.I would love to know what people think about Kickstarter?Have you ever contributed to a campaign?Have you run one,or known someone who has?Would you help me to spread the word?I struggle to think of what kind of rewards I could offer and how that would work.Any ideas?

I have had friends who wanted to partner with me and have things made overseas,and I have really thought about that.I know people who have found ways to do it that are fair and ethical but that is not really what I want to create.I think there is a way to keep it local,and small and still make a living.

So that is where I am at with business!Now- onto the GIVEAWAY!!

To qualify to enter you must first be a fan on Facebook(leave your Facebook name in the comment here on the blog):

1.You need to leave a comment here on the blog post and share your thoughts on my direction.It doesn’t need to be elaborate :) I really value the input.

2.You can get more entries by sharing this blog post(tag my Facebook page so I can see it!) and making sure whoever you have shared with let’s me know in their comment who brought them here!

3.You can get one MORE entry by going to my shop and finding your favorite item,share it on Facebook and makes sure to tag my Facebook page in your post so I see it.

I will be giving away your choice of the following:

Hemp/Organic Cotton Jersey Infinity Scarf in Lotus

Hemp/Organic Cotton Jersey Infinity Scarf in Lotus

Hemp/Organic Cotton Jersey Open End Scarf in Storm

Hemp/Organic Cotton Jersey Open End Scarf in Storm

Reversible Unisex Repurposed Organic Cotton/Soy/Spandex Jersey Hat

Reversible Unisex Repurposed Organic Cotton/Soy/Spandex Jersey Hat

organic cotton/hemp unisex hat

organic cotton/hemp unisex hat

be here now

be here now wall hanging made from repurposed hemp/organic cotton and bamboo from our land

Organic Cotton Sateen Floral Headband

Organic Cotton Sateen Floral Headband

Organic Cotton/Hemp Repurposed Fabric Bunny

Organic Cotton/Hemp Repurposed Fabric Bunny

The give away starts today and ends on October 18 at noon Hawaii Time!

Thank you again for all the love and support over the past years!I couldn’t have done it without you!

Feeling All Right!Let’s Have a GIVE AWAY!

Aloha All~

I never use my blog!I couldn’t even figure out how to log into it!

Anyway,I am very close to 600 likes on Facebook and for a variety of reasons I am feeling extra grateful to my customers and fans and also generous ;)

So,here’s the deal!I will give away one of the following things(winners choice!):

The new limited edition hemp/organic cotton jersey slouch hat in Lotus

Limited Edition Hemp/Organic Cotton Hat

Limited Edition Hemp/Organic Cotton Hat

Or in the natural color:

organic cotton/hemp unisex hat

organic cotton/hemp unisex hat

One of a kind Butterfly Stamped Organic  Lavender Sachets :

Organic Lavender Sachet

Organic Lavender Sachet

OR an Organic Cotton Cloth Market Bag in Garden Print:

Organic Cotton Market Bag

Organic Cotton Market Bag

To qualify to enter you must be a fan on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/SoulRoleOrganics

The deadline to enter will be May 17 12:00 am.

*this is open to my wonderful supportes and  customers world wide.Any customs taxes,fees etc will be the recipients responsibility.

Go here to enter the giveaway:

http://bit.ly/11WYaz8

trip to the post office

I just joined to rest of the known world and got an iphone.I mostly bit the bullet so that I could use it as a hotpsot and have more reliable internet at home which has been a huge issue for me living off the grid.So without further ado,here is a little iphone photo journey of my trip to the post office…

Here she is,my old plantation era post office.The hours were recently cut way back so when I arrived I forgot that they would be closed from 11:30-12:30 and could not pick up my package.Drat!But what better excuse to get out and check out the raging stream that runs right next to the PO?It was DUMPING rain last night,and this is the same stream that borders our property about a mile up the mountain.

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Here is the view looking over the mossy bridge towards the ocean.The stream waterfalls off the cliffs into the ocean just below this bridge though you cannot see it here.

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This is the view on the mountain side(or mauka as we say in Hawaii)of the stream.Look closely..do you see it too??

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I love finding hearts in nature!

And driving back home saying hello to some new calves at a neighbor’s place…

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And almost home…hoping this patch of blue sky holds out for a while!

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I would have left you with a photo of pulling into my place but my sister called and there was no way to figure out how to talk on the phone and take a picture!He he!

And this concludes my little experiment with taking photos with my phone and figuring out how much data I use to post a simple blog update.I wear my next blog post will be totally exciting! ;)

My Handmade Prom Dress and a Ramble into the Past

Since I can’t show the full length version on Etsy,here it is in all it 80’s glory!

My Prom Date and I in all our 80's glory!

My Prom Date and I in all our 80’s glory!

In my junior year of high school I became interested in fashion design and convinced my art teacher that he should let me design and make my own prom dress for my final project .I came up with the design and my Aunt Janet helped me immensely on the dress.It was pretty fancy with boning in the bodice,beaded applique, layers of chiffon and tulle.I think I was the only girl at prom with black on,and I have to say my dress was definitely the best one!Ha ha.

I wish I had some better pictures but am happy to even have this scan my date Jay gave me.As fate would have it,we grew apart after high school.He was a year ahead and went on to art school in MD and was very disappointed in me when I ditched plans to go to art school and instead took off traveling with the Grateful Dead.I saw him last in 1991 when my GD tour friends and I stopped off between shows at my Dad’s in NJ and Jay randomly drunk dialed my Dad’s and I was actually home for the first time in several months ;) He came over and was very loudly telling me how off course I was and to grow up and get over my hippy shit.

Many miles down the road in 1996,I had my almost one year old on my back at the farmer’s market in Hawaii,turned a corner to leave the market and literally ran smack dab into Jay-all decked out in long hair,beads and hippy attire.It was hilarious and I couldn’t stop laughing!Oh the irony.I am happy to say that after all these years we are still friends,though he lives on  Maui so we don’t see each other often.

See what happens when you let me have a blog??Diarrhea of the keyboard!I seem incapable of just posting a picture with a caption ;)

Aloha

Celebrating My Two Year Anniversary on Etsy!

In celebration of two amazing years on Etsy I am announcing a giveaway.

I will be giving away your choice of:

one infinity scarf made with re-purposed organic cotton/soy/spandex jersey in three colors(you may have some choice in colors:

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A set of four organic lavender sachets(I will choose fabrics):

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an organic cotton/hemp unisex rebel hat

organic cotton/hemp unisex hat

Or anImage organic lavender flax seed eye pillow(I will choose fabric)

All you have to do the enter is:

*leave a comment on this blog post with you email address so I can inform you if you have won.

*like my Facebook page and leave me a comment on my wall to let me know you stopped by

https://www.facebook.com/SoulRoleOrganics

To receive additional entries feel free to share this blog post and my Facebook page with friends and have them leave a note in their comment that you referred them.Each person you refer who lets me know will count as another entry.

You have from right now until midnight on Thursday ,10/25  to enter!Ready set go!

Many mahalos for two amazing years!

Aloha,

Nancy

 

Give away is NOW DONE and winners randomly drawn.Mahalo for participating..I wish I could send you all something!

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two years

Tomorrow marks the official day that I opened my Etsy shop , Soul Role.In fact it was the day the name for my new business came to me and I quickly went and signed up with it before someone else used that perfect business name ;)  It was actually a few weeks later that I began to put items in my shop.

(you can read my first blog post on the origins of my business name if you like)

http://soulrole.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/forty/

be here now

be here now

It is hard to believe that two years have passed since I embarked on this new chapter in my life.There has been a lot of change for me personally as well as in my family.Almost six years ago my husband was injured on the job and even after 3 surgeries,months of physical therapy and an excruciating battle with the work comp insurance company  he is unable to go back to his former career and has permanent disability.When I began my ‘little sewing business’ (as so many people like to call it)I was desperate to find a way to earn a living from home so I could still be available for my kids(my youngest was still too young for school). I live about 25 miles from town and between the cost of gas,childcare and the meager salary I could earn with a crappy minimum wage job I really could not afford to get a job in town but with my husband injured and out of work I had to do something.I had been doing a little bit of sewing for some local shops but from 1995 on my whole life had been making babies,feeding babies,and caring for children(not to mention moving onto raw land,living in a home while we were building it etc.). All of my creative energy went into the children and when I found Etsy I was finally at a place  in my life where I did not have a baby,wasn’t breastfeeding or pregnant and soon my youngest would be in school.My goal was to work my butt off for the next year and a half and see if I could actually turn all this pent up creative energy into a full time job at home.

my new cutting table!

Yeah for less kneeling on my floor to cut out fabric!

Two years ago I didn’t know ANYTHING about selling online(SEO..wasn’t that an 80’s band?Tags-sure,the things you hang on clothing,right?)I simultaneously learned everything I could about selling online while also perfecting my photography,networking..not to mention coming up with new designs,making samples,finding people to model just to name a few things!It has been a full on crash course and I have so much left to learn,especially on the business side,but I have been blown away by the support and appreciation people all over the world have shown for my business!Etsy has been a lifesaver to me in so many ways…I have re-discovered my creative roots and feel inspired every day by not only all the amazing artists and sellers on Etsy but also by the people who go out of their way to support small ethical businesses!

Last weekend I hit 600 sales which to me is just mind blowing.I am still not making enough to support my family of 6 but I am getting there.I am so grateful for Etsy for creating this amazing platform to reach customers around the world in a conscious and community oriented way.

Mahalo nui loa!

ps:

I will be announcing a give away tomorrow so stay tuned!

New Life on the Farm!(warning-placenta pictures involved!)

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First glimpse of the surprise calf moments after he was born.Last December we brought our cow Moohawk down to our neighbor’s for a one night stand with their pure bred dwarf bull.Because of his diminutive size it seemed a daunting task for him to do the deed and we did not think he was successful but he proved us wrong.

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Mama taking him away from the birth spot to get him nursing.

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He figured it out right away,and the first suckling brought on some contractions and Moohawk delivered her amazing and enormous placenta!Now,I LOVE birth in any species and was in awe of her placenta.So different than human placentas.While a human placenta is very solid,it seems hers was filled with fluids and she immediately began to slurp it down.The other cows (and our dog Meadow)really wanted to share with her bt she was not having it.She would pick the whole thing up and swing it around to make the others back off!

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The rainbow appearing right above the action was an added bonus,and my heart was singing in gratitude for the blessing of being able to live in the country in Hawaii.This is where I am meant to be and I am so glad my kids can experience life in this way!

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The proud Auntie and “Grandpa” River.

Why I use real people for models,and never THINK of retouching them!

http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2012/06/12/too-fat-too-skinny/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+SociologicalImagesSeeingIsBelieving+%28Sociological+Images%3A+Seeing+Is+Believing%29

 

 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1279766/Former-Cosmo-editor-LEAH-HARDY-airbrushing-skinny-models-look-healthy-big-fat-dangerous-lie.html

 

You may have read this already but I wanted to post it as a constant reminder to myself that there is no way we can ever look like those women in magazines in real life.We are all perfect as we are and the goal should always be to be healthy and feel great in our bodies no matter the shape and size!

The Many Hats

My life is a constant juggling act,and even more so now that the kids are home for summer break.Trying to balance the needs of family,business,my involvement with the charter school conversion…my needs fall pretty ow on the list it seems.

Taking photos always juices me though so here are some from the last two weeks:

ImageHere is a Queen Emma Lily about to burst forth in flower.Makes me think of one my favorite quotes:

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
~ Anais Nin

I think of this quote a lot.I have so much fear to overcome..so much insecurity and self doubt and this quote and image help me to remember to work on overcoming those fears.

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I was outside taking pictures of new headbands in my home made light box when I heard a little noise and found Mana,my 5 year old,sneaking a yogurt under the house.I had told him he couldn’t have one because he keeps eating all the yogurts up and not sharing with brother and sister.It was hard not to laugh catching him all geared up in his pants that I made him when he was one (and still insists on wearing),old machete case sword holder,belts and all!

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My daughter Ela and I went out to one of my favorite spots when I go for my walks down the country road for exercise.When I take my walk this spot is about 20 minutes in,where I am really feeling great and alive.There are usually some super amazing horses in the meadow and they love to come running down to the fence and see me.I usually walk in the early evening so often the light is just PERFECT!Sometimes I really wish I had my camera but actually it is even better to just fully immerse myslef in the moment of majesty.

Here is a better shot of the lovely organic cotton dress Ela was modeling.We had a really fun time!

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Here is my silly husband with a Jackson Chameleon he found on our driveway!

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Father’s Day Hike down to Laupahoehoe Point:

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Mana showing of a big seed form a palm tree and an awapui flower(Hawaiin Ginger).

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My husband insisted on taking some pictures too.I told him no way..no pictures of me!But he pulled the Father’s Day card so I had to relent.I would normally not include a picture of myself b/c I hardly ever like the way I look in photos but this is an affirmation to love myslef the way I am.(note the lens cover stuffed into my bra!).

And finally,yesterday I planned to do some photos in ‘the studio’ with my friend Bonnie…talk about many hats!She is a computer whiz,photographer,origami master(or mistress?),violin teacher,model…what doesn’t she do??It has been so rainy but yesterday the sun came out and so we decided to do an outdoor shoot.Normally we would do outdoor photos in the late afternoon but it was 11 am when we started so we busted out the reflector to tr and get rid of the harsh shadows.I wish I had though to take a picture of the reflector propped up on a folding chair in the grass!Ha ha ha!My many hats:designer,seamstress,photographer,stylist,photographer assistant(ie:reflector position-er!) .We had so much fun and poor Bonnie is such a good sport..it was hot and blaring sun without the reflector and with…it reminds me of the old lady in ‘Something about Mary” who used the reflector to enhance her tanning experience!LOL! I ended up with some sunburn and am hoping Bonnie somehow faired better ;)

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What a glorious day it was!Image

Some days it feel totally overwhelming to wear so many hats and some days it feels like a real blessing!

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our best daddy

 our best daddy

Happy Father’s Day to all the the good men out there!

I feel very blessed that I had such an amazing Father growing up.He taught me so much about living with integrity,honesty and kindness.It was hard to find a mate in life who could live up to the high standard my Dad set but I somehow I found a man equally as amazing as my Dad.

Mahalo to my Dad for always supporting and encouraging me to follow my dreams and be true to myself,and to my husband for doing the same.

our best daddy