Friday, January 30, 2009

Where there is silence...

there is a lot of work.
At least this is true for me.
Over the past few days I thought a lot about subjects to post to my blog which would be of interest to readers, but have not found the time to put my thoughts into words.
There is an overkill of "How To"s or "10 Tips to [fill in blanks]" and I wonder if anyone still reads.
Being busy is a good sign in our sick economy and I am grateful for that.

(Picture: Just a small portion of my work in progress of new tams, besides a lot of custom ordered head gear)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

President Obama -- A new era of responsability

Tulsa World, one of the few democratic inclined newspapers in Oklahoma called the inauguration and new presidency a 'new era of responsability".

WASHINGTON — Barack Hussein Obama on Tuesday became the first African-American president of the United States, and the youthful 47-year-old called on his generation to meet the challenges of war and economic crisis.

We'll save our printed newspaper copy for generations to come as a symbol of political change and citizens' renewed involvement in democracy.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Social Media -- Giving it a try

Purple_Sage on Twitter
As a vivid watcher of cnn news coverage I couldn't help but notice that twitter, i-reports and facebook change the way of spreading news. I had opposed using twitter for various reasons, but giving it a try now.
Nothing to lose except maybe time. But hey, I just will have to organize my minutes and hours even more than before.
I think the hardest part is to decide what I should "tweet" about. But I had the same question when I first started this blog. And things came to me naturally.
I welcome followers and usually will follow back.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I opened a new shop -- Purplesagedesignz on Artfire

To start the New Year right I stopped procrastinating and checked off a few things on my To Do list.
I had started a subscription with this new handmade/fine art/vintage/supplies/multi media/graphics market place last month, but got tired of so many hours spent online when I actually could create new products or live in the "real world".
Today was the day...traraaa!

Interested to check out the site if you are a seller yourself?
Here is some info for you...
Please keep in mind that Artfire is still in BETA, so there may be some tech problems from time to time, but it's cool to get into a start-up enterprise where members can actually make a difference.

ArtFire - Buy Handmade - Sell Handmade

Register on

Friday, January 9, 2009

Quick way to beat the Winter Blues

[Let me introduce myself as a realist, a positive realist.
I am skeptical of too much TALK about positivism. I rather believe in positive thoughts being followed by positive actions supporting the initial energy of the positive thought.
This as an explanation why I favor an active (as in action) approach in general.
I am not very thrilled with " The Secret" which appears to me like a QVC style commercial shallow version of esotherics.
The Laws Of Attraction are real, though].

During my time as a psychology student at the University of Bremen I was intrigued with a theory which implied that facial expressions can affect our mood.
In other words, reverse the causality of emotions and facial expressions.

In simple words: A forced smile can actually make you feel happy (!?)

This older New York Times article gives a short summary of research findings and scientific opinions for further reading.

I tried it. It works for me.
What easier way to conquer the common New Year's Blues can you think of?
You can even go further and act as if you were happy. Go outside when you really just want to hide from the world, put on make-up when you see yourself as an ugly and sick duck, get some work done when you are the least motivated.

Sometimes we need time to wallow in a less than perfect mood, we are humans and we feel depressed at times. When these time-outs last too long or happen too often and interfere with our functionality or life quality, than a pro-active approach is in order.

Remember, start with a simple smile:)
There is nothing to lose when you pull those mouth muscles up.
Maybe it will work for you, too.
(Now go and smile...)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

New CPSIA law may destroy thousands of US small businesses

(copied from this website
as I couldn't have worded it better. Please vote online if you support this proposal.
As someone who used to sell handmade children's clothing for many years I feel for all the small businesses catering to families who prefer handmade or manufactured with natural materials in small scale production numbers.)
Check it out for more ideas and citizen-driven involvement in democracy.
Save Handmade Toys From the CPSIA

A Proposal From the

In 2007, large toy manufacturers who outsource their production to China and other developing countries violated the public's trust. They were selling toys with dangerously high lead content, toys with unsafe small parts, toys with improperly secured and easily swallowed small magnets, and toys made from chemicals that made kids sick. Almost every problem toy in 2007 was made in China.

The United States Congress rightly recognized that the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) lacked the authority and staffing to prevent dangerous toys from being imported into the US. So, they passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) in August, 2008. Among other things, the CPSIA bans lead and phthalates in toys, mandates third-party testing and certification for all toys and requires toy makers to permanently label each toy with a date and batch number.

All of these changes will be fairly easy for large, multinational toy manufacturers to comply with. Large manufacturers who make thousands of units of each toy have very little incremental cost to pay for testing and updating their molds to include batch labels.
For small American, Canadian, and European toymakers, however, the costs of mandatory testing, to the tune of up to $4,000 per toy, will likely drive them out of business. And the handful of larger toy makers who still employ workers in the United States face increased costs to comply with the CPSIA, even though American-made toys had nothing to do with the toy safety problems of 2007. Toy makers won't be the only ones impacted by the CPSIA, the thousands of US businesses who offer clothing, jewelry and other gifts for children --in essence-- the entire children's industry will be as well.

The CPSIA simply forgot to exclude the class of toys that have earned and kept the public's trust. The result, unless the law is modified, is that handmade toys will no longer be legal in the US.

Thriving small businesses are crucial to the financial health of our nation. Let's amend the CPSIA so that all businesses large and small are able to comply and survive!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Good mannequins are like good friends...

or like good employees,
and all of them are hard to find.

I started out with a flower vase, and had a hard time selling any hat, even at rock bottom price on Ebay. Hats don't really show well hanging over a vase.

Then I found Emily on Ebay.
She is made of styro-foam, arrived a little deranged, and has a pretty small head. Too small for adult sized tams. But she accompanied Purple Sage Designz for many months and still models small or child-sized hats.

One of my best investments were around $30 for "The pretty Hippie girl". She looks awesome with her long brown hair and natural look. She has become the "front face" for Purple Sage Designz.

After working with this pretty girl for 2 years I kept searching for more heads. I finally decided on another girl, blue-eyed, tanned, pink lips, but was not 100% happy with her facial expression when she arrived. But, most other fiberglass mannequins look even more stuck-up, made-up or weird. So, she's pretty and okay, and is my "Mod Girl" as in "modern girl".

Eventually I felt the need to show my unisex tams on a male head, too. Once again, it was a long search and I settled for Era in grey. He's a dude and takes fine pictures. I really didn't want him to portray a certain look, ethnicity or type.

(I have my eyes on an auction for another girl model, Afro-American mannequin girl with a nice facial expression. And wigs, yes, I'll need more wigs, too:)

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Beginnings

Sid launched his website at the end of 2008 and added some of his digital art prints.
As with every website incl. a shopping cart it takes time to have a full product range for sale.
I am very proud of his progress since this is his first personal shopping website.
As I am witness to most of his creations coming alive, hand-drawn on a Wacom tablet and edited in Photoshop, his images take a lot of time and attention to details.
Many of his ideas are rooted in his Native American heritage and he can rightfully claim his art "Native American" since he is on the tribal roll (Ponca).
We will be honored if you take a look around at
Red Earth Arts.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Wishing you a peaceful and green 2009

According to a survey broadcasted by CNN "green" was one of the most over-used and mis-used words of 2008. Along with bail-out, Maverick eg.

As consumers and small business owners we need to keep green a meaningful goal and a viable path for future life. Too often movements just deteriorate into marketing terms or hip life styles.
Easier said then done:). It's work and effort for each individual and not the easy way out. But can we really go back to convenience and thoughtlessness?

The Gaza border bombings remind us that we are far away from a peaceful existence on Mother Earth. I hope our prayers will result in ending the war conflicts in every corner of this planet. Sometimes we just cannot do more than pray when things are out of our control.

As far as personal New Year's resolutions, I haven't made any. If we manage to accomplish a fraction of all our positive intentions, we're good.

I still struggle to return to work, advertising and listing. The downtime with my hubby, daughter and visits with my son and daughter-in-law have been a welcome change of pace.

But tomorrow life will just be another work day for most of us and as long as we keep some of the holiday spirit in our hearts, we will be just fine.

Getting back into the groove of selling I have added a green tam to my website.
"A new tam a day" will be one of (my un-announced) goals for the month of January.