Monday, December 12, 2016

Podcast Episode 7 show notes

Podcast episode 7 is up! You can either listen below or subscribe in iTunes. You can search for Cozy Cape Cottage, or click this link.

I talked about:

Knitting - finished:
Hermione's Everyday Socks 11.05.16-11.27.16
Grandma's Favorite Dishcloth  11.29.16-12.03.16

Knitting - in progress:
Campside Quaker shawl 11.10.16-
Phoebe's Sweater, Joanna Johnson  11-21-16-
Sock Yarn Scrap Blanket 06.25.15-
Time Traveler Socks 12.01.16-

All the Vlogmas vlogs!

A Homespun House
Inside Number 23
Yarn Hoarder
Boston Jen's clasp weft join tutorial

Contact links
email -

Music courtesy

Friday, November 4, 2016

It wasn't for me

With no fanfare, and not even any real discussion, I decided that selling It Works isn't for me. I thought about quitting in the beginning when I didn't get a super warm reception from family and friends, but decided to push on through and give it a real chance. In the end, for me, that was about 3 months. About a week before I officially quit, I just couldn't stop thinking about it. Much like the decision to join, once that gut feeling was there, I knew that following it was the right thing to do.

I'm actually really happy with the whole experience. I'm glad I decided to give it a try. I don't have to question "what if?" down the road. I did meet some nice people. I pushed my comfort zone, and I feel pretty happy with the way I was in it too. I was sure to try to make any social media post that related to my business genuine. I didn't go balls to the wall and try to push products or the distributor gig on everyone I know, which is probably one of the things you are supposed to do to be successful, but I did reach out from time to time when I really thought that it might be right for someone. Some people were interested, most weren't, and that's totally fine. Like I mentioned, I wasn't interested myself for over 2 years. Maybe, given time, it would have been like that down the road if I'd decided to stick it out, but I decided that it wasn't worth it for me. I didn't start out with much in the way of "quick wins" or momentum, and I decided that the best thing for me would be to let it go before I was in for too long. It was getting a little difficult self-esteem-wise to separate people not wanting to buy a product with worrying if people maybe didn't like me either, you know? I would feel a little sad if I couldn't "grow" my networks, and I don't like to worry about that kind of thing. I think it can really bring you down if you need to focus on big numbers and needing to convert those numbers to sales rather than just getting to know people, and that's how I prefer to use my social media. That, and a record of projects I've made or books I've read or whatever. Just personal, not business. That's my happy place.

In case anyone is ever wondering, it wasn't hard at all to "get out." All I did was turn off my personal shipments for products as well as for my website....and I think that's it? I did export my customer list and passed that along to my upline so that she can take care of them. Being a customer is actually a pretty decent arrangement, and something I might end up doing myself. I had actually ordered a 90 day supply of the Greens in my last shipment, as well as my face lotion, so I'm probably good for awhile. You get the same pricing as a distributor when you are a customer, so the real incentive to distribute is if you're going to get out there and build a big network of customers and teammates, and in the end, that wasn't me.

Blink and you'll have missed it, but here ends my tenure in direct sales. :)

Monday, October 24, 2016

Podcast Episode 5 show notes

Podcast episode 5 is up! You can either listen below or subscribe in iTunes. You can search for Cozy Cape Cottage, or click this link. (Note: the iTunes link will update in 24 hrs. I was using soundcloud to host my podcast, but I didn't realize that it was only giving me 3 hours....TOTAL! I thought it was 3 hours per month. Sigh - I'm moving over to podbean. Hopefully I've set it up so that the old episodes will still show up in iTunes. So complicated!) Edit to add: NOPE! You probably will need to re-subscribe in order to get new episodes. So sorry about that! #techfail

Links mentioned:

Love the Winter hat
Ease pullover
Strie socks
Gingell socks
Simple Hat

Lola dress
Tinkerbell costume

Sarah Eichorn natural dying class
Wild Haven Fiber Company

Loving Frank
The Wonder by Emma Donaughue
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Mari Condo
The Modern Natural Dyer, Vejar
Natural Color, Duerr 
Harvesting Color, Burgess
A Garden to Dye For, McLaughlin

Contact links
email -

Music courtesy

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

October 2016 Day in the Life

According to my sidebar, I did one of these posts a year and a half ago, and it's also one of my most popular posts! I haven't been moved to do it in a while, but this year, something about it spoke to me, so here we go!

Again, I chose a Monday, but that's just a coincidence. It's still my day off, and I still love that schedule. I woke up around 6:30, which sadly is sleeping in, and even more sadly is hours later than it was a few months ago. Everyone slept all night too, so it was a relatively restful sleep. It's October and a gorgeous fall day. It's cool this morning, but should be nice later.

Feeling a bit like a mad scientist, I crush up some vitamins in almond yogurt (fun with food allergies!), and make some coffee in the french press. Which, can I just say, I think I'm doing fancy coffee wrong. I don't have a teapot, so I have to heat the water up in the microwave, and half the time I don't get to the second cup in the carafe while it's still hot, and I have to nuke it anyway. None of this is fancy. I should be demoted back to drip coffee with the hot plate to keep the second cup warm. I also threw in a load of laundry.

Breakfast is followed by playtime, and I remember that I'd planned to put something in the slow cooker for dinner. Yesterday I pulled out both chicken and a roast to defrost. The roast was still a bit frozen, so I decided on chicken, and, feeling uninspired, I googled. Cilantro lime chicken tacos sounded good, but I didn't have any salsa. Knowing I was probably making a mistake as I did it...I put in tomato sauce instead. I know, I'm ashamed. I didn't actually have any cilantro either, so I put in parsley and wondered if this was even going to be edible. I finished up in the kitchen and unloaded the dishwasher. At this point it is about 9:30

I was surprised to see a familiar face on the tv when I walked back into the living room. A dad of a school friend was on some morning show talking about bike and pedestrian safety. I was glad that I was able to go back to the top of the segment to catch his name and confirm that he WAS who I thought he was. I have such a hard time recognizing people "out of context".

After that we settled back in for some more playing while I played my youtube "watch later" list in the background. I was treated to a podcast episode from Susan B. Anderson. I just love her, and knitting podcasts in general are just so great because you are nearly guaranteed that there won't be anything offensive to little ears. I pulled the sheets out of the washer and threw in the still gross shower curtain liner again with a couple of towels in super hot water to see if I could get rid of the mildew spot I had been trying to address. We have a block window on the back wall of our shower that is super not waterproof, so we have a clear shower curtain hung in front of it. We don't open and close it frequently since that's not the in and out curtain, and I had noticed a couple weeks back that I hadn't noticed a hidden fold and it was looking yuck. Spoiler alert, my plan didn't work.

Naptime = me time. 10 am, and I get set up to do some yoga. A friend saw my complaining that the 90 min P90X workout is just way too flippin long to get through, so he shared the newer version from P90X 3 with me (no, I did not know there was more than one version!). This one is only 30 minutes which is MUCH more manageable with my limited free time. I was surprised that it wasn't a super tough workout, but instead more on the level of a moderate flow class. Other than my lack of flexibility, I could do all the poses with the group, and only nixed the extra stuff like pushups during vinyasa and some of the more difficult yoga trick toward the end - I did manage all of the balance poses though, even crow!

Then I grabbed a quick shower and another #nomakeup selfie. In fact I skipped makeup all day because lazy.

I still had a little time, so I headed downstairs to continue working on a Halloween costume. So many layers of slippery, sheer fabric going through my poor machine. What a pain.

Around noon I stopped to get lunch going. We had leftovers, one with cheese, one sad without. Same serving sizes, and still the small one screeched when the food was gone. Which is nuts. Little bottomless pit!

I got the mail, and my husband is apparently A List now on Southwest. This is great and horrible, because we should get upgraded seat assignments if we can ever get away, and horrible because it means he's logged enough trips to have earned that status.

We headed outside for a bit to enjoy the weather. It was very nice in the sun without our jackets on, but there was just enough crispness in the air that I half regretted not putting them on. Oh well, I knew we wouldn't be out for long.

When we got back inside, it seemed like I was going to get a few non-hands on minutes, so I sat down to frog back a couple rows of a pair of socks. Now that I'm on the home stretch of my other in progress pair, I wanted to get these back to a pick up and go spot. I had started them back in June when I was doing a test knit for Chrissy and I didn't love how they were going so I switched from the pattern to just doing stockinette...but then I didn't like that either and decided to go back to the original plan. So that meant ripping back several rows of plain knitting. Props to the Kroy yarn, I think I only dropped two stitches....despite all this fun going on as I ripped.

3 pm, and naptime again. I mixed up my daily glass of greens. I'm surprised again and again how much I really like this stuff! I like the taste, I like that it makes me drink more water, and I like that I have more energy and have NOT caught the plague which is constantly surrounding me from my coworkers! I've been ordering the "old" version because they are on sale and I'm cheap. :) (Also, Miller glass - #milwaukee)

The skirt is now attached to the costume, and I set about installing the zipper. I hate installing zippers, and am extra nervous about all of those slippery layers and fluffiness. I put on Buffy to keep me company (YES I watch a lot of tv), and it's the horrible, sad episode where her mom dies. Still gets me, every time.

I get the zipper in, hold it up, and have done a crap job. I put it aside for now and contemplate redoing it. One the one hand, it's just a kid costume. On the other, it's an opportunity to practice a skill I suck at. I'll probably decide to fix it, but not today. I head upstairs, continue watching Buffy (alternating with Angel because I'm watching them all in original airing order because my friend Maggie mentioned doing that once) and started the first colorwork rows of my hat. So far, so good!

4:30, and the rest of the evening hours fly by in a flash. It turns out we didn't even have any tortillas, so I popped out to Target when my husband got home to grab those and some other random things, including the crazy pea protein milk I can ONLY get at Target (annoying) (I could also go to Whole Foods, but it's not conveniently located for me, and probably more expensive) and some new shower curtains because I give up. And fell victim to a $5 deal at the checkout line, which reminded me that I forgot to grab that movie as I flew out the door to return at the library. I made a mental note to drop it off before work Tuesday so we don't get fined. I stopped by my parent's house on the way home to collect my other child. We ate dinner, and while it definitely wasn't cilantro lime chicken (how can it be when you are missing 2/5 ingredients!?), it was edible, so that's good. After dinner we watched some Hocus Pocus before bedtimes for about an hour.

After bedtime, my husband and I popped on the Netflix series we are watching (oh my GOD we are going on some kind of screen time diet!!!), Bloodline. We are about halfway through season 2. It's ok, but it's something we can watch together, so that's always points positive. By the end of the episode, I finished the colorwork portion of my hat, hooray! I even learned how to "catch my floats" in the middle sections of the hearts.

10 pm, weirdly on the dot, and it's time for bed for me. Tonight's featured 20 minutes of podcast is an episode of the crafty planner, which is an interview based show by a former city planner. I usually have no idea who her guest is, but the host does a lot of research and asks pretty insightful questions, and I like that. Happily, I fall asleep easily.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Podcast Episode 4 show notes

Podcast episode 4 is up! You can either listen below or subscribe in iTunes. You can search for Cozy Cape Cottage, or click this link. (I'm not sure why episode 4 doesn't show up in the store list, but it did download in my iTunes subscription, so it's there somewhere)

Thank you to 3grrrls and Trinka11 for the sweet iTunes reviews. So exciting and unexpected to see those pop up!

I finished the podster mittens!

Finished - shop sample for the mitten class - still some spots available! We will be using Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride worsted.
I mention the stretchy slipknot cast on

With one project off my needles, I went back and picked up 2 others that have been in progress for quite a while.

Ease pullover by Alicia Plummer, on the needles since February. I want to wear it this fall! I prefer the funnel neck, so now that I'm done knitting the hem, I'm going to divide my last ball to knit the sleeves 2 at a time, and judge the leftovers to see if I can squeak out the funnel neck.

Strie toe up socks by Lara Neel, Sock Architecture. Finished a full color repeat during WI Sheep and Wool. Did a lot of trial and error on turning the heels before just going through all of Lara's calculations as my stitch count is smaller than the pattern sizing due to sport weight yarn. When math4knitters gives you math to do....just do it.

Started Love the Winter hat by Emily Dormier using leftover pink HiKoo worsted from a sweater for my niece, and random stash yarn in white.

I started spinning a new project, my first merino. I'm almost finished with the third bobbin, so I'm looking forward to plying, and to redoing part of the too tightly plied brown yarn from last time.

I talk a little bit about my sewing debacles described in the last post. I've let out some of the seams on my Lola dress and the fit is quite a bit better, but not perfect. I'm also working on a Halloween costume, Tinkerbell from Simplicity 1792. The size 4 measurements should have fit perfectly, but I think I'm going to start again using size 4 measurements at the neck but grading out to size 5 at the waistline for a little more ease and hopes of wearing it again in the future. Luckily (?) the pattern wildly overestimated the amount of satin fabric I'd need.

After the crafting segments, I talk about teaching crochet 101, WI Sheep and Wool, acquisitions

Contact links
email -


Thursday, October 6, 2016

This is why they don't like you

Did you guys know there is such a thing as Instagram strategy? And that, at least to some people, it involves being annoying?

I never really experienced this whole thing of people following you, maybe leaving a random comment on a post, and then unfollowing you about 3 hours later until I started doing occasional it works posts. And I just...I'm so confused! How on earth is this a good strategy, and what are they trying to accomplish?

I'm not naive, I totally get that social media can be an effective marketing tool, and that gaining followers is a goal. You gain followers, you build a relationship, they buy your product because they like you, they believe in you, and they believe in your product. That makes sense, and that's fine. I've been on the consumer end of this relationship for podcasters I like, indie dyers, etsy shops, even some bigger brands, and it's pretty straightforward. Some of these accounts are purely for advertising and I don't expect anything from them other than pretty pictures, but some I do expect a little bit more personal interaction. Maybe not for them to follow me back, but to at least occasionally respond to a comment if I've left one or whatever. I just basically expect people to be straightforward. As I get older, I just don't have time for  less.

Personally, I've been keeping an eye on my follower numbers just to make sure that I'm not losing people who might be turned off by too many it works posts. So maybe I do have a strategy, and it's called "not being annoying." The thing I've noticed most though is a rotation of accounts that are either about growing your social media, direct sales leads, or it works automatons who must be secondary accounts designed to be exclusively sales because there is NO evidence that there is an actual personality behind them....and they follow, unfollow, follow, unfollow....and it leaves me somewhere between befuddled and side eye. This kind of thing doesn't really affect my life in a real way...but I just don't get it! If I was going to try to gain or buy followers (I'm not), first, what would be the point, and second, why would I go to you to get them when your weird behavior has completely turned me off to YOU?

Increasing numbers just to increase them....that's just stupid. I prefer my relationships to be real, thanks! I'll continue to follow and friend people I like, people I find inspiring, products I find interesting, and I hope that others do the same.

EDIT to add that I've already had 2 follow/unfollows since writing this post 4 hours ago. I still don't get it.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Full of Fail

This week was full of sewing fails, file disasters that nearly made huge trouble at work, and that time I got stranded at a fiber festival. I'm not sure I ever really believed in the whole Mercury in retrograde thing before....but I might now!

I typically work 4 days a week - I chose Mondays as my usual day off, and I really love that schedule. When the weekend is over, I still have that ONE extra day to get stuff done. The only real bummer is that there are a surprising amount of businesses which are closed that day, but that's not terrible because I frequently don't get out of pajamas when I'm home! I work enough hours though that I still get paid for holidays. When they fall on a Monday, I get to choose another day to stay home, which varies depending on what's happening at work that week.

So, all that to say that I took Thursday as my day off this week since we were off Monday for Labor Day. I planned to go for a long run, do a whole bunch of sewing, maybe record a podcast, all on deliciously on my own time before the daycare pickup around 5. HA. HAHAHAHA

Where oh where to begin? First off, I didn't want to run at all, because while the temperature was a comfortable 75 or so, the humidity was nuts. I'm not a very experienced or good runner, so the thought of running in soup? No thanks. I ended up doing a DVD at home, but even that wasn't very satisfying. Maybe I just didn't pick a good one for me that day, or didn't push myself hard enough, but it sort of felt like a waste of time. (The one thing that did kind of work out was that I washed my hair with a "no 'poo" recipe that called for first scrubbing with baking soda and then with apple cider vinegar. It really helped my hair feel quite clean, as lately I've felt like I've had a lot of shampoo build up or something. Anyway.)

By that time it was about 10:30, and I was feeling quite stressed that I was wasting my day. I went down to my sewing room, and cleaned up a whole bunch of past project debris that was holding me back from doing anything else down there. It took me SO long after that, but I finally finished the bra I started a couple of weekends ago. I am pretty sure I put the back part of the band on upside down, but it turns out that makes no difference at all because the fit was BEYOND horrible. It was bad. So, so bad. I was essentially swimming in this thing, in all of the ways that a bra can just NOT fit. I don't know where I went wrong. I even made a muslin! Just....the front didn't fit, and there were seriously extra INCHES around my ribcage. It was not a, well, let's tweak it here and there and see if it works. It's a full on chuck it in the corner and be mad at it for awhile kind of fail. My friend said that hers really didn't turn out either. Perhaps not as full of fail as mine, but still not good. She said that maybe for the next go round, if we can bring ourselves to go there, we should try doing the fitting with the foam for the cups, rather than just fabric. That's a pretty good idea, but I don't know when I'm going to feel like going for it again. Ugh, such a bummer. (I was using this pattern, which I feel bad even saying because I was so unsuccessful!)

After all of that, it was about 3:30. I thought ok, let's change gears. I got out a pattern that I've wanted to make for years, the Lola dress by Victory patterns. I have the fabric too, a navy sweatshirt material. I thought a cute sweatshirt dress might be the perfect palette cleanser to a horribly ill fitting bra. I got the pattern pieces all traced and cut out before I had to leave to get the kidlets, so I was feeling like maybe I turned this thing around and salvaged some of the day after all!

And do you think that was true? No. After dinner and baths, I headed back down because I wanted SOMETHING cute to show for my precious solo day. The pattern directions were really easy to follow, and by 11 pm, I had a totally assembled dress except for the neck, wrist and bottom bands. Before going through the effort of putting those on, I decided to try the dress on for fit. I'm sure you see where this is going....

I could get it ON...but I was totally uncomfortable, and couldn't really move my arms without feeling like I was going to hulk the thing apart. Before completely throwing in the towel, I let out the seam allowance on one of the arms (which, ugh, was only 3/8" instead of 5/8" like many clothing patterns! Now is one of the only times I wished I had that extra 1/4"!!), and it was a great improvement. I can probably go through and let out some of the other seams and it should fit ok in the end, but ugh! I cut the same size in the bra and the dress, and ended up with a tight sweatshirt dress and a bra so loose I could have put it on over said dress.

The following day at at work, I'd left just a couple of things to finish off when I left Wednesday night. I thought, surely I'll have enough time to do these things before my 2:30 call to sign off on these plans!

 Yeah. There was some kind of ridiculous file problem which made it so that I couldn't get into the file until 1 pm!! I had an email window open on my other screen about to cancel the meeting, which would have been sort of a disaster to the project timeline, which obviously would have been very bad. Let's just say that when I finally got in there, I was drawing like the wind and there might have been smoke coming from my mouse. In the end, I got everything done that needed to get done and I got the sign off, but MAN was I stressed out!

So that's Friday. Friday night, I made a last minute decision (in hindsight, OHMYGOD stop making last minute decisions!) to head about an hour away to the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival. I dragged my family along last year, and when I brought it up to my husband he seemed pretty enthusiastic about it....ha, wait, nope! So I decided to go on my own, and rather than drive, I caught a bus from one of our local yarn shops with a friend from knit group. She had told me that it left at 7:45 and would leave the fairgrounds at about 5:30, and I thought that sounded fun. A whole day of shopping, watching the sheep shearing, maybe petting some baby lambs, and I could knit the whole way there and back!

And it was a really great day! It was fun to hang out, I spent way too much money buying pretty things that I don't need, and just had a really relaxing day. We headed over to where the bus had dropped us off around 5:15, and saw zero other people waiting.

And that's when I got nervous. You see....I didn't reserve my spot on the bus ahead of time due to aforementioned last minute decision. One of our other friends decided not to go, so I just took her spot. This meant I had no official confirmation, and no contact info in either direction. The friend I was with is one of those rare birds who does not have a smartphone, and also doesn't know her email password and only checks it at home. The shop website mentioned the bus, but again, no times. I tried calling the shop to see if they could hook us up with a cell phone of the owners, but it had closed at 4, so no answer. The woman standing near the entrance said that yes, there WAS a bus, but it had just left at 5. It was scheduled to leave at 4:30, but hung around until just after 5 when they finally left....just minutes before we showed up at 5:15.

In the end, we got home ok because luckily another friend was vending the event, and luckily not staying overnight between the Saturday and Sunday shows, and we were able to catch a ride with her back to the city. Even if that hadn't happened, I'm sure my husband could have come to rescue us, but that would have been about as exciting as coming along in the first place.

All this ramble to say that in the end, really, no harm, no foul on all of it.....but I am definitely staying in bed Sunday. (She says while typing this during a bout of insomnia in the wee hours Sunday morning....)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Podcast episode 3 show notes

Podcast episode 3 is up! You can either listen below or subscribe in iTunes. You can search for Cozy Cape Cottage, or click this link

Thank you to Eva from the charm of it for the shout out!

 I talk about Wild Haven Fiber Company and the upcoming classes - see the full schedule and details for how to sign up here.

Almost done with podster mittens ( Put thumb in backward. Playing yarn chicken with last of the Ella Rae classic wool. Working my way up the flap before I decide if I need to carefully uneven the thumb or just snip it off and re knit with fresh yarn 

Also working on some class samples for crochet 101. Using cotton fleece by brown sheep company. 80 cotton 20 merino in Terra cotta. Should look nice in the shop as a sample. Doing a couple samples, rectangular dish cloth with single, half double, double crochet, a round cloth to teach about typical increases in round, and a big granny square. 

Got my first 3 ply off the wheel! 
Ready to spin something more colorful and traditionally handspun looking yarn

In sewing, I started working on bras

Contact links


Thursday, August 18, 2016

My first taste of Greens

Last night I had a drink / get to know you / business meeting with my enroller / upline / boss (I clearly don't know the lingo!) Erin, and she gave me a couple product samples to try. One of these were a couple of Greens on the Go, one of the most popular products offered by It Works. (There was a facial wrap in there too, which I totally would have tried when I got home had it not been so late and I so tired!)

This morning I had a couple of spare minutes while we were getting out the door, so I decided to start my day with a sample! While it's fresh in my mind, here are my thoughts in the order in which they occurred.

Open packet. Think, huh, this smells like Crystal Light. I like Crystal Light. This is a good sign.

Dump it into my water bottle and shake.

Think, oh my god, that looks disgusting. What have I gotten myself into! How will I ask people to buy this and say it's great if I can't choke it down?! I don't have a poker face, this is a disaster! still smells good, so......

Big drink. Hey! It's yummy! It's not as sweet as Crystal Light, but there is a pleasant berry taste. I gave it a decent shake but not terribly thorough. I can taste just a few undissolved crystals, but one more swirl in the bottle takes care of it. Plus there are bottles with agitators in them for more thorough mixing if that's an issue for you.

Turn to husband. Say, try this. He side eyes it, but gamely takes a swig. Same reaction - Hey, this is GOOD! What is it! I told him it's that Greens stuff I've been telling you about. It has all kinds of veggies and good stuff in it, plus green tea. I'm going to order some next month - would you drink it if it's in the house? He says sure, he would. So that's cool!

Finally, one of the little ones grabs it and takes a drink, not looking at it. She expected it to be water, as that's usually what's in my water bottle, and she said, "Hey! This water tastes like LEMONADE!!"

So there you have it - a totally unvarnished review, straight from the mouths of babes.

Want to try them for yourself? Leave a comment or send me an email! I'd love to hear what you think!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Podcast Episode 2 show notes

While I don't expect to make this to be a weekly endeavor, I've released my second podcast! You can either listen below or subscribe in iTunes. You can search for Cozy Cape Cottage, or click this link. (check out my show notes for episode 1 if you aren't familiar with subscribing to podcasts)

Links I mentioned in the show:

Snappy Stitches, Gingell socks
Susan B Anderson
Sweet 16 Bralette by Pin Up Girls
Stitched in Time by Alicia Paulson
Posie Gets Cozy

A photo posted by Kim Frer (@cozycapecottage) on
Wiksten Tova top
Tilly and the Buttons lining tutorial
Invisible zipper through waistband tutorial
Grainline rolled hem

Thank you so much for listening!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Cozy Cape Cottage....the Podcast! Episode 1

Because apparently I'm starting all the new things, I started a podcast! I have been thinking about doing this for at LEAST 6 months, as I am an avid consumer of podcasts, but it has taken me this long to get up the nerve to do it. (I waffled about it back in January here) I set up the account on Soundcloud months ago, so it's actually uploaded to iTunes already! You can search Cozy Cape Cottage under podcasts and find it, access it directly through this link,, or you could also listen here:

(If you are new to podcasts, Young House Love recently started one, and did a great breakdown of exactly how to set your iPhone up to subscribe and listen to them in this post. )

I'm not sure if or how I will do show notes in the future, but for now, here is a list of links to things I mentioned:

Wild Haven Fiber Company
Wool and Cotton Co
Little Bobbins podcast
Bakery Bears podcast
Homespun House podcast
Snappy Stitches podcast / Mama Loves Wool / Chrissy Graham
Ann Budd Handy Book of Top Down Sweaters
Girl Bear by Julie Williams
Sock Architecture
Simplicity pajama pattern 1285
Woolmakers Bliss spinning wheel 

So yay! I have absolutely no idea what I am doing, so I appreciate any feedback you have! I'm brand new to recording and sound editing, so let me know if the audio is too loud, too quiet, file size is too big, length of the show, you hate the sound of my voice, that I say UM waaayyyy too much (seriously, I know, and I even tried to take a bunch of them out. You're welcome)....There is a pretty good chance I won't be able to fix any of that, but still, good information to have. And if you are a podcaster as well and actually know what you are doing and have advice for me, I'd love that too!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

One of "those" people

I've been thinking this over for awhile, and I've decided to become a distributor for It Works, a direct sales health and wellness company.

I'm just going to go ahead and let that sink in for a minute. In a lot of ways, this doesn't feel like something I would do, but in a lot of other ways, it does. I've written before about my feelings about those sort of parties and those sort of products. While I was thinking about taking something like this on, I went back to read my own thoughts - they are here if you'd like to read them as well:

If you haven't heard of it before, It Works is an industry-leading network marketing company that focuses on all-natural health and wellness products, the most famous of which is their It Works wrap. (I'll share a #truth moment here and say that the wraps are something that honestly turned me off to the company for a long time because they just sounded like a gimmick. However, the wraps are included as part of the package for becoming a distributor, so I plan to find out for myself if they are worth the hype!) The company began in 2001, and has been growing like crazy since then.

So the question I expect I'll get the most - why? Well the short answer is that I'm interested. I'm interested in trying several of the products, and I'm interested in making a little bit of extra money on the side, especially as we move toward building a new home in a couple of years.

I have watched my friends Erin and Andrea skyrocket through this company over the past two years, and something in me finally opened up to wanting to see what I could do too. While I say friends, I should clarify that the relationship is fairly one sided. I came across them both way back on message boards back when I was planning my wedding. (Ever the researcher, I was on there a year or two before my actual wedding in 2007. I think they both got married in 2006, but I may be slightly off there.) Anyway, back then I  was much more a consumer of information than an active participant, which is a bummer since it obviously laid the groundwork for long lasting relationships! It's hard to believe, but I've followed their blogs for over 10 years now! (RIP google reader....I like feedly, but it's just not the same)

I've definitely heard of the pyramid scheme thing, and the get rich quick scams, and the possibility of losing all your money (the investment, yes, I'll get there in a little bit, especially if you have questions like I did. Erin could tell you, boy did I have questions!)  I give you the back story above to say that I think it's dangerous to look at the income projections of companies like this, to look at the people at the top and think that of you sign up, then you will automatically be just like them and just as successful and all that because you never really know their background and whether or not they are just putting on a show or what. However, I've followed both of their stories for a decade, since way before either of them got involved with it works. I know you can never know a person's finances, but neither of them seem the type to go overwhelming into debt to project a certain image, and both of them have built or bought their dream houses this year thanks in no small part to their success with it works. That's incredible. That's real. That's here in my backyard. It's not some crazy dream or facade on the Internet. They are real women whom I've met in real life at one of Erin's charity events. Yes, they both have a much larger social media presence than I probably ever will, so I don't expect that I can attain the same level of success...but if I can achieve even a fraction of that it would be incredible. 

In some ways, it feels like I don't have much to lose. I buy things like vitamins, skincare, heck, even essential oils regularly, and I do tend to switch those brands up every so often, so why not try them through It Works? I like to think I'm a pretty discerning consumer. I don't tend to jump on fads, and I don't believe in spending money for the sake of it. I like to buy and use products I believe in, and I pass on what I've learned in the event it may help someone else solve a problem or reach their goals. For example, I can think of several friends with digestive issues that may be helped by the probiotic. I know some people have trouble getting their kids to eat enough vegetables, so greens might be great for them. (If I'm honest with myself, they would be great for me too, because I don't do as much cooking as I used to.) I know a lot of people looking for great anti-aging skincare, so why not give this a shot? My point is, I wouldn't want to simply blanket my friends and family with an annoying sales pitch, but I am likely to recommend things that they might want to try, whether it benefits me or not.

The gist of the commitment is this - it costs $99 to sign up, which gets you samples of several products and a business builder kit. After that, it costs $20 to maintain and run your unique website storefront where customers order products directly. You are also required to spend between $80-100 per month on products. Another #truth moment...this was the place where I thought aha! That's where the scam is! They just want you to buy things! Well, on the one hand, yes, that probably is true that they want you to buy products....but personally, I can't in good conscience recommend or sell things that I haven't tried, and can't wholeheartedly say that I like. (I was also pretty surprised to read that my personal finance Jiminy Cricket, Dave Ramsey, is not against MLM's as a rule.) For me, that monthly commitment is going to serve as my barometer for this whole experiment. If it turns out that after 3 or 6 months that I'm not making that investment back in commissions, I'll probably chalk the experiment up as a loss and call it a day. If I like what I've gotten, I'll probably continue to order, but just through Erin and not through myself, and at the end of the day I'm out the initial $99.

But on the chance that it actually works out? Well then it's win-win! I have to say, signing up for something like this through someone like Erin gives me a lot of hope that it actually could work out, and turn out to be something amazing. She started just two years ago, and is ranked at Presidential Diamond. I realize that title sounds made up, but what isn't made up is that a Presidential Diamond distributor brings home an average of $16,000. Per month. Again, this is one of those things that won't be true for everyone, but it is true for some. We were chatting about what level the rest of her team is at, because I don't want to be completely dazzled by the off chance potential of $200k per year, and she said that 20% of her team is at Ruby and above. So 20% of the people she helps support are bringing home an average of $500 per month, which, when you back out that $120 or so in product purchases and website fees, is $380 in profit. That's an extra $4,500 per year, which isn't exactly life changing, but is nothing to sneeze at. It's plenty to pay an extra bill or two, and it would be some nice padding to our savings account. But look at those numbers again. If you follow the link to that chart, only 10% of the company distributors are Ruby and above, and Erin's team has doubled that. This tells me that there is something special about her team. Plus she's got 20 or 30 Diamonds on her team which are part of that 20%, so they aren't just stopping at Ruby, and honestly, that's really attractive.

So what changes here? Honestly, probably not much. I've never been someone to post 5 times a day and clog up your feed, and I'm not going to. I'll continue to post about what I'm working on and snippets of my life. I'll continue to talk about things I've tried that I'm liking, and now some of those things will be from It Works. Just like when I was actively running my Etsy shop, I'll pop in a link as to where you can find them, but you'll never get any pressure or a hard sell from me. I'm starting up an email newsletter, which you should sign up for if you'd like to read more. I think I'll send something out 1 or 2 times per month. Fill out the form at the bottom of this post or at the shiny new sign up widget at the top of my blog to sign up. If you are interested, check it out, if not, well stick around for the knitting. There will always be knitting. And if any of what I've said sounds interesting to you, then you should definitely think about getting started with me. It would be so exciting to learn the ropes together! Who knows, in two years we could be sitting in our dream homes like Erin and Andrea! Shoot me an email at if you'd like to chat. :)

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