Posts Tagged ‘oshinn’

the art of making money beautifully

February 14, 2012

i purchased tara gentile’s the art of earning e-book today.  since i’ve become homeless by choice, with my entire life packed into my car, traveling from one place to another a-calling on friends, i’ve started to do some hard thinking about how much simplicity should be mandatory in a person’s life for them to be able to own their own small business.  how much i need to pare down to be able to work doing what i love.  i have had an etsy shop since 2007, selling on average 1.5 items per month, which isn’t bad for someone just dabbling.  i’ve always thought of money as tara quotes kelly diels:

I’m not terribly motivated by money. Shiny things, yes. Money, no. When I have enough, when the survival mark is made, I lose interest in making any more.

but i’ve repeatedly considered what it would take to be able to support myself.  the numbers are staggering when considered.  for me to pay my 2 bills, allow myself 1 tank of gas per week, $50 per week for food and incidentals, $30/month for dog food- in other words, the bare minimum- i would need $500.  i can’t be homeless forever, so add onto that the exceptional price of $300/month for a magical all utilities paid apartment, and you have a bare minimum needed of $800/month.  with an average of thirty days per month, i would need to make $26.70/day.  if i could sell one hat per day at that price plus shipping, it could work out- provided i could make it to the post office with the gas on my allowance.  but that’s just the bare minimum.  what if i got sick and needed to go to the doctor, or my tire blew on my car?  i would have no buffer.  so if i added $200 in savings to that a month, that would make it $1000/month for all of my expenses.  that brings the total up to $33.30/day.  i can knit one hat a day if i spend four or five solid hours knitting.  but would i be able to physically knit every day for five hours?  what if no one bought hats in a month?  what if five hours wasn’t enough to make a hat that i could sell for $33.30 plus shipping?

this is just to point out that my current hat-selling business is going to have to change, i’m afraid.  haberdashery just ain’t what it used to be.  i’m an obsessive knitter, though, so rest assured there will still be a few tams available for sale at all times.

this is why i turned to tara, and i am hoping that her e-book helps me formulate an idea for a profitable business.  i have a few ideas and i’m looking forward to exploring them.  and i’m looking forward to getting settled somewhere again where i can set my plans into motion.  i’ll let you know how it goes.

we need nature

January 30, 2012
duck footprints by littlehippiegirl
duck footprints, a photo by littlehippiegirl on Flickr.

i believe it is both vital and necessary for human beings to remain in complete contact with nature.  it’s likely no one realizes this because we have been so easily separated from it for so long and have been allowed to tame it to keep it near to us for what we need.  as humans, we are gifted with thinking minds.  but too often we forget that our thinking minds are only a small part of our systems, and that our human body is not different from plant or animal bodies, consisting of the same chemical structures.  therefore, when we are removed from an environment which once was our atomic equal, and placed among the pavement and pesticides of chemicals not matching our own, it damages us.  it is not by accident that even the most unfocused and hyperactive of children pauses to watch a beetle in the dirt.  we are inexorably linked to the earth that birthed us from its oceans, several protein strands ago.

bisquick banana bread

December 30, 2011

i wanted to make banana bread with my old bananas but we were out of flour, so i found this delicious bisquick recipe!  i used jiffy mix, which worked spectacularly.  i baked the bread in small loaf pans with tinfoil over the bread and left it in for 40 minutes instead of the recipe’s recommended 55.  the bread turned out flavorful, sweet and spongy.  it’s delicious.


  • 2 1/3 c bisquick or jiffy mix
  • 1 c sugar
  • 1/3 c vegetable oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 large very ripe bananas
  • 1 t vanilla

mix together bisquick, sugar, oil, and eggs.  beat well.  stir in bananas and vanilla.  bake at 350 degrees for 55 to 60 minutes.

5 excellent reasons you should give a crap about recycling

December 27, 2011

i was told the other day that i recycle because i’m a democrat.

after fighting with my eyebrow, which after shooting up as quickly as it did was dangerously close to getting stuck in an upright position, i replied that people of all political affiliations recycle.

the person i was talking to replied, “yes, but you know, the whole going green thing, it’s such a liberal thing to do.”

when faced with (il)logic like this i am always at a loss for words.  it is one thing for someone to say, “studies show the energy used at recycling plants heavily offsets the environmental benefit gained from recycling.”  this can set the grounds for actual exploration, debate and discussion.  but statements like this are the ones that make me bang my head on the desk when no one is looking because i am sad that in this world people can still think this way.

so if you are a person who does not think about it, here are five quick and easy reasons you should give a crap about recycling.

1. landfills suck.  the more we recycle, the less we shovel into landfills.  landfills, despite containment efforts and standards, are rife with things like human waste, decomposing plastic, and toxic computer chemicals that leech into groundwater and soil.  they are also one of the largest contributors of methane gas to the destruction of the ozone layer.  the less ozone layer we have, the more cancer we get.  and cancer sucks just as bad as landfills.  if we’re pumping this much methane gas into the environment, it makes us no better than all those burping cows that are doing the same with their rumbly guts.  do you really want to be on par with a burping cow?

2. it’s too hard for you to avoid it without being lazy.  i am lazy, you say, and i don’t care who knows it.  well, all right.  while you’re at home explaining your position to your realdoll, the rest of us who have other people directly affected by our actions (spouses, children, family, pets, customers, guys we regularly beat up at the bar) will adjust our round tuits and realize that recycling is really not that difficult anymore.  if you live in a city with a recycling program, they make it easy and put a nice big bin next to your trash bin.  if you can take out the trash, you can recycle.  take five minutes to learn what can be recycled and what can’t, and easy as that, you’re a pinko commie liberal.  just kidding.  you can recycle and hate gun control.  you can even recycle your guns (in some places.  please do not ever place a weapon in a recycling bin.)

if you’re like me, and live in an area where there is no curbside recycling, then proceed as follows: buy a laundry sorter at wal-mart, separate your recyclables accordingly (newspaper/cardboard in one, plastic in another, aluminum in the third), and, next time you head to town to go to the mall or the feed store or the NRA meeting, pause at your local recycling place and dump the sacks out.  not knowing where the recycling center is in your town is no excuse anymore, either; Earth911 will tell you in 2 seconds.  go!

3. it helps raise money for our severely underfunded schools.  sometimes people won’t do something unless it’s attached to the mean, green almighty dollar.  these days, a lot of schools are using the paper retriever program, which pays schools for newspaper, cardboard and magazine recycling.  if you’re looking for a way to give back that requires very little effort, take those old papers you’ve been hoarding in the garage and drop them off at the nearest bin. maybe if you have a newspaper subscription, ou could find a way to use it as a tax write-off.

4. you don’t actually want to wallow in your own crap, do you?  it took a lot of effort to reduce litter, and now it’s taking even more effort to take the next step toward recycling.  but to me, the math is simple.  more consumption = more waste.  more waste = more litter.  more litter = more filth and problems for all of us.  if you have kids, you should be especially mindful of the fact that you’re trashing the world they’re growing up in.  it doesn’t seem like a big deal to most of us until our toddler decides they want to pick up and play with a natty ice can or a plastic bottle full of urine on the way to the park.  some say this is impossible.  i say nay, good people, look closely next time you decide to park at that pull-out along a scenic road.

5. you’re smart. i’m saying this in good faith, so don’t let me down.  humans have the most troglodytic methods of dealing with our trash: dig a hole and bury it.  i think it’s time we moved past this option and used our expanded, eco-conscious, fully functional brains to actually find inventive ways of either reducing our waste or coming up with better ways to dispose of it.

we live in a society of disposable goods, and sometimes it’s difficult to remember that with every article we dispose of unnecessarily, we are adding that much more to our landfills.  try recycling for a month- you’d be surprised how quickly it becomes a part of your life.

high five! fingerless gloves

November 29, 2011

it took me a long time to learn to knit in the round.  and while i’ve gotten to a place where i love it, i have to say that in my heart i am what most would call a quite lazy knitter.  therefore, i offer up to you this pattern for fingerless gloves… knit flat!  and don’t fret, DPN fans- you’ll need 3 pairs of needles to make these, 2 of one size and 4 of another size 2 sizes up from the first.  for this pair in the picture i used size 8s and 10s.

high five!

this is a very simple pattern and is easy to modify to make it bigger, smaller, longer, shorter.  feel free to use your own different stitches.  and send me a link if you post your finished projects anywhere- i’d love to see what you came up with!

you will need:

  • 1 pair size 8 (or whichever) needles
  • 2 pairs size 10 (or whichever) needles OR 3 size 10 needles and an afghan crochet hook
  • 1 crochet hook (size I or J works)
  • worsted/medium (or whichever) weight yarn (separate off 3-6 yards for thumb gusset)


cast on 26 sts.  work in k1, p1 ribbing for 8 rows.

row 9: (rs) kf&b in first 2 sts.  k until 2 sts remain.  kf&b in last 2 sts. (30 sts)

row 10 (and all ws rows of body saving the last): purl.

row 11: k 14 sts, kf&b in next 2 sts, k 14 sts.

row 13: k 14 sts, kf&b in next st, k 2 sts, kf&b in next st, k 14 sts.

row 15: k 14 sts, kf&b in next st, k 4 sts, kf&b in next st, k 14 sts.

row 17: k 14 sts, kf&b in next st, k 6 sts, kf&b in next st, k 14 sts.

row 19: k 14 sts, kf&b in next st, k 8 sts, kf&b in next st, k 14 sts.

you can continue like this to make the thumb wider- just increase the number of sts between the kf&b sts.


row 21: slip 15 sts onto one size 10 needle or afghan hook.


attach the scrap yarn and knit the next 10 sts with another needle.

turn and purl across the back.

turn and knit across.  turn and purl across.


bind off with crochet hook or very loose knitting.


cut, leaving a long tail to sew up thumb.  you can either sew it up straightaway or knit the rest of it and then sew it up.  a mattress stitch works great on this.


transfer the 15 slipped stitches back to the other needle, so they’re all on the same needle in a line.  knit across (30 sts).


continue in stockinette stitch for as long as you would like the glove to be.  on the last ws row, knit instead of purl, and then bind off with a crochet hook.  sew up the side of glove and thumb.

i hope you enjoy!

setting off

November 23, 2011

friends, i am about to embark upon a cross-country journey to take photographs and write about our beautiful land currently encased in ice and fog.  there will be a pattern up before i go for fingerless gloves knit flat; otherwise you are welcome to keep up with my photoblog rubbertramping in addition to this lovely one!  cheers, and i hope everyone is having a great fall.


November 6, 2011

fall is here.  well, not really here in arizona, but in the rest of the world that has seasons, yes.  a time to don hats and scarves, and start making gifts for relatives (which in my case means making hats to sell or for charity while procrastinating on christmas items.)  it’s a very pensive time of year for me.  fall has always been my favorite season, and having lived back and forth from arizona to other places it’s very difficult for me to be here when the rest of the world is curling into autumn’s long slow sleep.  all the poems i have been writing lately have been about fall not coming to arizona.  it was in the 60s today for the first time this year, and the entire desert did not know how to take it.

i am going hiking tomorrow to reconnect with the nature of the desert and hopefully remember that there can be beautiful things here, even if it is not my ideal living place.  i will sit and absorb the vibration that our mother earth gives no matter what the surface environment.

a repellant for mosquitoes

October 28, 2011

in case you were wondering.

“if going into the woods or mountains in summer, you will require a lotion to keep off mosquitos and flies.  many preparations are sold for this purpose, all of which have more or less merit; but the objection to them is that they evaporate rapidly, and have to be renewed every half-hour.  i have tried nearly all of them; but the best preparation i have ever found for the purpose is made as follows: to three ounces of pine tar add two ounces of castor-oil and one ounce of oil of pennyroyal.  this mixture has a good body, an odor like that of a tan-yard, and can be relied on to cure any case of mosquitos this side of new jersey.

one good thorough application will usually last three or four hours, and when it gets so thin that the birds begin to bite through it, the victim must paint himself again.  it is a heroic kind of treatment- that is, it takes a hero to endure it- but it is not half so bad as the mosquitoes, and if you are having plenty of fun, or think you are going to have plenty of it this afternoon or to-morrow, you soon forget all about the smell.”

Camping and camp outfits: A manual of instruction for young and old sportsmen, George O. Shields, 1889

bulky single-crochet tam

October 16, 2011

bringing more patterns over from their old home on quazen!

for this pattern, you will need bulky weight yarn and a K hook.  it’s worked in rows instead of in a spiral, but if you’re more comfortable with a spiral method, please use it; just make sure you mark the beginnings of your rows (i tend to get lost using the spiral method.)

Row 1 – From the beginning stitch, ch 2 (counts as first sc- throughout the pattern the first ch-2 will always count as the first sc).  Sc 5 more times in beginning st, and connect to first sc with a sl st.  You should now have 6 sc in a loop.

Row 2 – Ch 2.  Sc in same stitch.  2 sc in each st around.

Row 3 – Ch 2.  Sc in same stitch.  *Sc in next st, 2 sc in next st.  Repeat from * around.

Row 4 – Ch 2.  Sc in same stitch.  *Sc in next 2 st, 2 sc in next st.  Repeat from * around.

Row 5 – Ch 2.  Sc in same stitch.  *Sc in next 3 st, 2 sc in next st.  Repeat from * around.

Row 6 – Ch 2.  Sc in same stitch.  *Sc in next 4 st, 2 sc in next st.  Repeat from * around.

Row 7 – Ch 2.  Sc in same stitch.  *Sc in next 5 st, 2 sc in next st.  Repeat from * around.

Row 8 – Ch 2.  Sc in same stitch.  *Sc in next 6 st, 2 sc in next st.  Repeat from * around.

Row 9 – Ch 2.  Sc in same stitch.  *Sc in next 7 st, 2 sc in next st.  Repeat from * around.

Row 10 – Ch 2.  Sc in same stitch.  *Sc in next 8 st, 2 sc in next st.  Repeat from * around.

Row 11 – Ch 2.  Sc in same stitch.  *Sc in next 9 st, 2 sc in next st.  Repeat from * around.

Row 12 – Ch 2.  Sc in same stitch.  *Sc in next 10 st, 2 sc in next st.  Repeat from * around.

Row 13 – Ch 2.  Sc in same stitch.  *Sc in next 11 st, 2 sc in next st.  Repeat from * around.

Row 14 – Ch 2.  Sc in same stitch.  *Sc in next 12 st, 2 sc in next st.  Repeat from * around.

Row 15 – Ch 2.  Sc in same stitch.  *Sc in next 13 st, 2 sc in next st.  Repeat from * around.

Row 16 – Ch 2.  Sc in each st.

Repeat row 16 ten more times.

Row 27 – Ch 2.  *Sc dec over next two stitches.  Repeat from * around.  If you don’t know how to do a sc dec or sc2tog, here’s a great video.

Row 28 – Ch 3.  Dc in each st around.

Row 29 – Ch 3.  *Fpdc in next st, bpdc in next st.  Repeat from * around.  The links provided will give you a tutorial if you don’t know these stitches.

Row 30 – Ch 3.  Fpdc in each fpdc and bpdc in each bpdc around.

Row 31 – Repeat row 30.

You can continue row 30 for as long as you need to to make a longer brim, but I’ve found that with bulky yarn, 2-3 rows of fpdc/bpdc ribbing works great.

peace and love!

dear god

September 5, 2011

i found this in an old diary, from when i was 13 years old.

“march 18, 1998

i think tonight i’ll write a letter to god.  it’ll help me deal with my feelings and stuff.

dear god,
i know i’m supposed to honor my mother and my father, but sometimes it’s hard.  and is it okay to say all swear words except “hell” and “damn” and your name?  and why are you so jealous?  and why can i go to hell if i marry the wrong person?  and how do i know if you have accepted me or not?  why do you feel like crying whenever i talk about you?  i have to go now.