2 November 2007

Thank you. And help.

spring view in the morning

I’ve held stalls at two [school] craft markets recently, and have another two to go before Christmas. It’s fun. Exhausting, but fun.

When I can figure out the button html, I’ll officially let you know that I have taken the pledge to buy handmade this Christmas, and encourage you all to do the same. I was in Target yesterday buying underwear [the only thing I won’t get from the op shop you’ll be no doubt relieved to hear] and was horrified afresh at the PLASTIC. And the OVER CONSUMPTION. And how it has somehow become MANDATED that every single item of clothes little girls own, even their SHOES, should be pink or purple. And boys should only wear things with advertising or aggressive pictures on them and they should only ever wear brown. Or grey. When did this happen? And how come there are ‘girl books’ now (purple ponies) and ‘boy books’ (bum jokes)?

Sorry /end old fogey rant. Back to ME. And my CRAFT STALL.

The bookmarks sell well, as do the washcloths, baby hats (I sold heaps of veggie hats and my precious acorn hat!), baby socks and playcloths. Oh, and the gnomes. At one market I sold heaps of the tiny gumnut gnomes, while at the next, not one. Soooo unpredictable.

I’ve been sharing a stall with a friend, S, who makes the most exquisite felted scarves, baby wraps, booties and trinkets like book covers, pouches and juggling balls. She’s gearing up to open an etsy shop, as is my other friend Y, who sells handmade soaps, bags and aprons. When they’re up, I’ll link to them and you must all go over there and buy up big.

As for myself, I feel some change coming in my online world. I’ve been nattering away for over two years here in this little space and I love it so. Blogging has taken me places I never expected to go. I look at things from a photographer’s perspective now. My knitting has moved beyond hats, jumpers and cardigans to socks, toys and um, food. I’ve even learnt snippets of funny computer-speak html.

I’ve swapped chocolate biscuits with Jane from yarnstorm, attended a big crafty blog meetup, met several other bloggers in real life, and sent and received gifts and blessings from all over the world. Helped organise a Melbourne blogmeet (but couldn’t get there myself …), held a party, made connections with likeminded souls across the oceans and have become firm, regular, real-life friends with the now semi-monthly crafternoon group and weekend away women. I got a job! through blogging connections. Heck, I even became a PILL.

Gosh, lookatmeIvedoneitall.

I’ve watched other bloggers write books, open etsy shops and generally put themselves out there, while I have thus far remained relatively anonymous. Part of me would love to open an etsy shop to extend what I’m already doing with the market stalls, but I’m hesitant to do so under the name Pea Soup (the market stall and the things I make don’t include any reference to Pea Soup; I have no business card or name yet).

There seems to be a plethora of bloggers out there, particularly in Melbourne, who create their blogs to actively network, promote their etsy shops and give advice about how to increase traffic to their blog. But for me the blog came first and the growth of it has been organic. When I hold a stall I don’t advertise it here en blogge with an invitation to come and buy from me and say hi. Perhaps I should? But that whole lack of privacy thing scares me, I don’t want the axe murderers to know where my children go to school, what their names are and how they play violin/wet their beds/bicker/have a penchant for a spot of air guitar on a Saturday night.

We must all find our own balance.

I’m thinking the answer may be to create a business name that would encompass the market stall and a possible future etsy shop, that is somehow related to Pea Soup, but not googleable.* Kind of like an inside joke for those who read the blog, and somewhere to which I can direct friends and parents but where they won’t find the blog. Or am I doomed? Do I go and delete all the dodgy posts about problem children and marital disharmony now? (Were there many?)

What’s a good name for a small handcrafted business consisting of things mostly knitted but occasionally sewn? I tried pea soup in French (Soupe des Pois) and then Petit Pois, but am now leaning toward Pease Pudding for the pea reference and the fact that it comes from a children’s rhyme and my things are mostly for children. I know it doesn't have anything to do with knitting. Any other brilliant suggestions? Update: Pease Blossom perhaps?

* Besides, there is already a woman selling on etsy under the name peasoup, and she even has a blog called pea soup. I’m not unique. Sob.

** And a big welcome to new readers visiting from Yarnstorm, by the way! My stats shot up to 600 readers a day when Jane revamped her template just as she received all that book publicity.

Oy. That was a long linky post. It was also my Thank You Post to all of you who come here, comment, interact, lurk, read, send, receive and share. Because I’ve never done the obligatory been-blogging-for-two-years, how-I-love-you-all post before.


Frogdancer said...

Pease pudding isn't bad... also pease porridge (because of course your items will be HOT). It's an interesting dilemma...

I think you'd be mad not to link with your friends in Etsy... why not make the most of what it has to offer? (And yes, thanks for enquiring.... apparently I shower in the correct way. It was such a relief to ascertain..)

Maybe with the whole 'pea soup' thing... I'm sitting here before the bell goes for my next class trying to do some free association... I'm thinking warmth, comfort food, winter... gluggy green... well, maybe not the last one. "Pea 'n' Ham" ???? Oops, bell's gone. Got to go and educate!

fiona said...

You are know as 'pea soup' your life and everything that entails is the brand.
To me it makes sense to link that all together.Finding how that sits is the challange!I would love to come and say hi at one of your markets and get a little bit of 'pea-soup' goodness,(still hanging out for some mouldy fruit)i promise i am not an axe-murder!!!good luck with you quest...

Zoe said...

Yes peas!

And Fiona is right. You'll only end up melding the parts of your identity down the track anyway ;) But for mine I like "Acorn Industries"

Leah said...

Foggy Fibres? No idea really, but wow you have had a great bloggy time.

Amy A. said...

I like Zoe's 'yes peas'. Different but the same. Or maybe 'whirled peas' for a sly comment on the state of our planet.

h&b said...

My Goodness - this mirrors my 18month post I put into 'drafts' last night without finishing .. except for the 'shop' bit .. which you should totally embark on.

Because my blog is also organic, the name does tend to 'become you'. I called and arranged to meet another blogger yesterday, and when I called, I said "Hi, it's Leanne here from h&b" ... and after I hung up, I thought 'am I a brand now ?'.

It felt quite weird, but somehow fitting. I am who I blog.

I like how frogdancer related the pease porridge to being 'hot' ;)

yes peas ! is good too...

Emma said...

I know what you mean about keeping the different parts of your life separate. My blog is generic to the extreme, and I confess I don't talk a lot about my thoughts and the deep stuff on it, because it is frequented by my mother and inlaws, and Heaven knows I don't need them to know what I am really thinking!! I save my rebellion and insurrection for other people's comment boxes, where my family won't track me down.

I like the 'petite pois' name, it seems to me to suit your adorable little baby hats. Pease pudding also appeals to me.


Kez said...

I regret in some ways linking my blog with my business - it tends to make you very restrained in what you say. You can't come on and whinge about clients, even in general, because it's not a professional image (and some of my clients read it anyway - including some I'd like to whinge about at times lol). I try not to say things like "we're going away this weekend" because it would be easy to find my address from my business and come and rob my house if you were so inclined...

On the other hand, it's a natural thing to combine the separate parts of your life..

Melanie said...

Hmmm, I think I'd lean towards having everything linked in together, it would probably be better for etsy sales. Move your blog to WordPress and password protect sensitive posts? (Or can Blogger do that now too?) I don't know.

Or if not... how about 'Buttered Toast'?

meggie said...

My offering is "Pes Brose"
I had a wonderful Scottish friend who invented a cocktail he named Peas Brose. OMG it was delicious.
but I see the properties seem to fit your product.
OH!I wish you the very best of luck.!!

meggie said...

Obviously that should read PEAS BROSE.

Laura Jane said...

Soup of the day? maybe soup du jour?
Yes peas - tick
pease porridge hot? - tick

I get the privacy issue thing. But DO the etsy thing with links for sure.

Love your work, trust your judgment.

tut-tut said...

I love reading your blog; I always come away somehow less disgruntled than I was to begin with . . .

maymomvt (or Sarah) said...

I like "Soup of the Day" and "Pease Porridge". "Soup of the Day" seems somehow longer lasting as some day you might not be making kid-oriented things. This post was very fun as I'm now following the links and finding some fab blogs to read. I'm also flattered that you mentioned me!

bluemountainsmary said...

For my two cents worth I would keep it separate. As a reasonably avid reader of blogs I think it is fine to refer to shop updates in etsy in your blog but those blogs which have become full on commercials for their businesses I have got bored with and stopped reading. Yarnstorm and Molly Chicken have got it right I reckon. And Hop Skip Jump here. There are many others of course but they spring to mind.

Yes Peas is great. But I do really like Petite Pois. Would a clear reference to Peas put off potential buyers who do not follow your blog? It well might. Whereas the French name does as someone else noted cover all those delicious wee things that you make.

And sounds very international darling.

blackbird said...

I like pease pudding too -
but I read all this and thought you were quitting blogging, so it will take me a moment to gather my thoughts.

Kim said...

A DAY?!?
I'm so envious.
It becomes clearer to me more and more each day I am purely a legend in my own mind.

Little Min said...

Thank God! For a moment i thought you were going to announce you are giving up blogging.

I'm stumped on the name (although i like petite pois) but i am totally with you on the issue of over-consumption and prescribed colours and TOO MUCH PLASTIC!! Blech!

From fellow fogey...

velcro said...

I like Pease Blossom and its link to Shakespeare which fits in with your love of reading.

As for children's clothing. Yes it is hideous how every single little girl must be outfitted top to toe in pink. Before we knew what gender the Count was I spent quite a bit of time looking for baby girl clothes that didn't have even a hint of pinkness or purpleness about them. However if you shop in Belgium (just a short walk for you!) you can get gorgeous clothes for both genders in all sorts of colours.

Stacey (Sheeps Clothing) said...

I have to agree with Kez and say I wish I had kept the blog and the business side of things separate. It can be a bit restricting in that what you would like potential customers to read is different to what you would like the general blogging population to read. I can't be as rude as I otherwise might be!!
However, since your blog seems really popular, it would be a shame not to capitalise on that.
Sorry, I know I'm not being very helpful!!
Good luck with it.

Badger said...

I thought you were announcing that you were quitting the blog, too. Don't DO that to us!

And I am no help, because all I can come up with is For F**k's Sake, People, It's An ACORN. Which probably won't fit on a business card.

It would be nice to incorporate acorns, though. Have you ever heard that song, "Great oaks from little acorns grow"? Maybe call it Little Acorns Grow?

I like the Peas(e) thing too, though.

This is exactly why I will never go into business.

becandcall said...

if it's any help, and it probably isn't, my 9yo girl prefers her shoes and in fact all her clothes to be black, and she likes the Bum joke books better than the purple ponies. And those miserable Snicket orphans best of all.

the Boy, however, dissolves in delight when presented with agressively merchandised clothing by his aunts and uncles.

And the little girl is irredeemably committed to anything in purple: with sparkles.


(and thanks for the thank you link - see you again on thursday!)

sueeeus said...

I like petit pois best. Or Badger's Little Acorns (sans the $#%##). Yes Pease is cute. Soup du Jour? Sweet Peas? (Back to your roots, baby!) Dolce Pois?

I'd go with the separate blog, for privacy and reasons of professionalism. I'm sure your traffic would eventually blossom, as it has with this blog. It would be too stressful to censor everything you want to post on this blog, and like someone else said, blogs that morph into commercialism get boring and we tend not to want to visit any more. (But I will never stop visiting!)

Mrs Pea said...

Purls, Peas and Pins?

Lesley (El Zed) said...

Split peas?
I like the way you've kept the soupy allusions going. I was wondering what sort of an effect Yarnstorm's link would have. Wow!

Susan said...

Heck, I also (for a heartstopping moment) thought you were going to announce giving up blogging. I've settled down now.
Pease Pudding I like, Soup of the Day as well. Acorn Soup? (apparently edible if you're starving and process the acorns in the right way).
I'm with you on the whole purple/pink/Target/plastic ghastliness.

Anonymous said...

Peas and Thank you?
Yes Peas
Whatever you call 'it', the products will speak for themselves.
Good Luck!

Sarah Louise said...

Well, I'm glad to see it wasn't just me that thought this was a goodbye note. And I'm glad I was proven wrong.

I often wonder about this sort of thing (not that I have wonderful wares to sell, but I have that tiny entrepreneur in me that itches to come out and play...)

A few bloggers that do this kind of thing (I'm a librarian, so help me God, giving references is what I do...)

pumpkinlittle (http://pumkinlittle.typepad.com/bits_and_pieces_of_a_happ/)

biscotti brain (http://biscotti_brain.blogspot.com/)


If I wasn't holding my eyes open with toothpicks, I'd do the linky thing, but I bet you know how to cut and paste...

Good luck. How about Petite Peas? (I'm not crazy about the word Pois.)

Sarah Louise said...

oh, and you must have known how much I needed a picture of your view--it's this esp thing...thank you.



Paula said...

You want a shop name well that is easy...
‘Soup to Nuts’ or ’Nuts to Soup’ if you prefer.
The Etsy shop is free and super easy to set up. I’ve just set one up to test the water there not a lot listed as yet.
Since my blog is fairly anonymous … no family or friends in my real life know about it and I rarely discuss the people in my life on the blog. So, I used a variation of my blog name. MinglingThreads.etsy.com
Inexpensive business card to start with how about Moo via Flickr.

Have fun and enjoy creating your shop.

herhimnbryn said...

Pease blossom is perfect. I'd keep it seperate from your blog, for all the reasons you suggest.

I haven't been reading/blogging for a while ( and am seriously contemplating stopping ), but your posts always make me smile. It's a pleasure to come visiting.

ThirdCat said...

More Peas!
Give peas a chance (I know, peas weak, but I'm a sucker for a weak pun).
Peas and wind (obviously, that's not what I think you are, but can't help offering it so that all can witness my punny genius)...I could go on...

I reckon keep them separate to start with, and then merge them when the time is right.

kt said...

Yup, I immediately thought
"Peas Porridge",
"Yes Peas" is great, as is
Peas and Thank You

And I pulled in the acorns and also thought of "Soup to Nuts".

"Sweet Peas" is nice-such fragrant blooms.

My Beatlemaniac girlie makes me think "Please Peas Me".

"Snap Peas"? "Snappy Peas"? (Too close to nappies, methinks)

Write them down and say them out loud. Have other people say them to you. Hearing things makes you think of them differently, and makes you think of differnt things!

Peas In A Pod.


Melanie said...

Keeping on the soup track, you could choose from a whole menu - vichysoise, French Onion, Pumpkin Soup (maybe a little too like a shop brand), Gazpacho, Tom Yum, Tomato Soup....

Anita said...

I love the suggestions so far. Especially "yes Peas" And Acorn Industries seems cool too!

I was thinking of you and your pending store idea when I was at the store today looking at christmas ornaments. My 9 month old puts EVERYTHING in her mouth. I thought, maybe I should just knit ornaments...avoid the cheap plastic/possible lead problems anyway (because glass bulbs would be horrible in my zoo). And your fruit is so adorable, I bet you can come up with a entire host of ideas for Christmas ornaments.....just a thought.

Joke said...

I vote for Pretty Peas(e).


Stomper Girl said...

No-one has said Sweet Pea yet so there's one from me. See ya Thursday.

Carol said...

Back to the puns - there's always
"Peas Yourself"

Blogless Carol in Oregon

merrilymerrily said...

"Beautiful soup, so rich and green
Waiting in a hot tureen!
Who for such dainties would not stoop?
Soup of the evening, beautiful soup!
Beautiful soup! Who cares for fish
Game, or any other dish?
Who would not give all else for two
Pennyworth of beautiful soup?"
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Victoria said...

Hmm, I dunno, but if you link with your blog you will get more sales, but then again it's good to keep it a bit anonymous too. I am planning to come back and read all these comments, they look very interesting. I don't know much but I reckon your work has a very special you-unique feel to it.

Miss Eagle said...

I give up - but not keen on including pudding!

Blessings and bliss from The Trad Pad

Violet & Rose said...

I'm a bit late with this and seeing 41 comments, I'm not reading them all, so apologies if I say what everyone else says. I became violet & rose for the very reasons you have discussed. And I never talk about my children any more. Apart from perhaps an occasional craft related mention. It's an evolution, and you'll find the way thats best for you. Really glad to hear about your markets and that acorn bookmark is just lovely. Take care.

Jaye said...

I am a law librarian and know way too much about how to find people, so I understnad your concerns about privacy. I wouldn't delete posts as that would ruinthe continuity for readers who wnat to go back. You may want to refer to your spouse, children and good friends with acronyms, nom de plumes or initials? As much as you can, keep your name and names of your family out of the blog, shop and website. Ultimately, I think it behooves all of us to link to each other, but never pass on additional information about each other to random queries. We all have to work to protect each other and keep the fabulous blog information available.

Re: pea soup. Why not add something to it to make it unique: Special Pea Soup? Knitted Pea Soup, Quest for Pea Soup (QPS for short), Pea Soup with Lime? I don't really know what will suit, but just throwing things out there to roll around.

Do link to your friends with Etsy shop. Tell your juggling ball friend that I need some. ;-)

Best of luck!

My float said...

Problem children and marital disharmony? You jest.

Just kidding.

How about "potage des pois"? It's french for pea soup. Or "Piselli"? It's Italian for pea. I'm not sure why I'm translating but it seemed like a good idea at the time!

PS. happy two years...

Amelia said...


am enjoying looking at your blog. i was initially searching for other Melbourne op shoppers. I have started a collaborative op shopping blog - I op therefore I am - and was wondering if you'd like to join?


let me know if you are interested.

kind regards, Amelia