About Me

Darlene Norris photo
Photo by Andrew Norris

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may earn some money if you click on one.

Welcome to A Colorful Yarn! You’re probably wondering about the name…

Well, A Colorful Yarn started out to be a crochet blog. I’ve always been into fiber arts; weaving, spinning knitting, crocheting…if it involved yarn, I did it.

My dad told me my great grandma was a weaver. He said she spun her own yarn too. She had already passed by the time he told me this, which is too bad, as I would have loved to talk to her about her weaving and spinning. Funny how it skipped several generations.

Anyway, the crochet blog never got off the ground, for various reasons. I almost let the domain name expire, but renewed it at the last minute, thinking I might use it after all. And here I am!

“Spinning a yarn” can refer to actually spinning yarn, but it can also mean telling a story. Over the past 64 years, I’ve lived a lot of places (including South Dakota, the west slope of the Rockies in Colorado, a Plain community in Tennessee, and now the Upper Peninsula of Michigan), and had a lot of adventures. Believe me, there are a lot of colorful yarns to tell.

There’s also the idea of a thread (or yarn) running through a story (or a life), tying it all together.Several yarns running through this blog:

Living on Less
Natural Remedies
Gardening/Homesteading
Parenting
Side Income
Bible Studies

One thread that has always run through my life is my love of a quiet simple life. I’d rather be at home than just about anywhere else. The bright lights have never attracted me. Walking along the shore of Lake Superior, watching the waves come in, listening to the birds in the trees, and feeling God’s presence is probably my favorite thing to do.

Because of this my income has never been what could be called huge. The result is that I’ve learned a lot about living on a shoestring. After all, if you can keep your expenses down, you don’t need as much money.

I remember when I lived in TN. (Here comes a colorful yarn!) My house was paid off, and so was my van. Other than utilities, I didn’t have many bills.

My main source of income was selling the rag rugs I wove. I also drove for the local Plain community, and helped them out with stuff like email (they knew people in Bolivia and other places, so email was a great way for them to keep in touch with friends who lived far away). In return, my Plain neighbors provided me with milk, eggs, and fresh garden veggies. They kept me so well supplied that I was able to can or freeze the extra for winter.

My ex and I had sold a business, and I needed to have my taxes done by someone who knew what they were doing. I picked a name out of the phone book, and didn’t realize she was a CPA til until I was talking to her. Worried about her fee, I asked if she ever traded services. She was curious, and asked what I had in mind. The upshot was that I wove four rugs for her, and in return she did my taxes for me gratis.

The funny part was that she couldn’t understand how I could live on so little income! 😉

A couple of years later, in 2006, Andrew and I were married. Andrew is a disabled vet whose sole income is his disability pension from the VA. In TN our home was paid off, so we didn’t have any trouble living on his pension.

In 2008, we moved to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We love it here! But our expenses now included a mortgage, and much higher utility bills. We could stretch his income to cover everything, but it was tight. There wasn’t much left over for anything extra.

So I worked a part-time job for nearly three years, managing an embroidery shop. It was a pretty good job. No nights, no weekends, great boss, nice co-workers, and I could walk to work. I was able to set aside a little money and pay down the mortgage quite a bit. I had planned to keep working another two years and finish off the mortgage.

But last fall Andrew developed some health issues, and it was apparent that he really needed me around more. It was time to stay home again.

Now that I’m somewhat retired, my focus is more on side income. Before my part-time job, I had run several blogs on natural pet care, and I did very well with affiliate marketing, pulling in nearly four figures every month.

But changes to the way Google indexed websites did me in. Nearly overnight my income dropped to less than $100 a month. Discouraging, to say the least! I was pretty burned out on the whole internet marketing thing, which was why I ended up working at the embroidery shop.

Now that I’m back home again, the question is, what’s next? My pittance from Social Security doesn’t really go too far. Plus next year I have to sign up for Medicare, so my pittance will be even less.

Andrew’s disability covers our expenses, but I worry about what kind of income I would have if something happened to him.

There are a lot of people in my shoes. Young moms who need some extra money.

Single moms struggling to make a go of it, working full time, and taking care of kids too. (Been there, done that. I can relate!)

Retirees who just can’t make it on Social Security. Hey, who wants to be a greeter at our favorite big-box store?

After trying network marketing (long story made short: I’m NOT good at it!) and online microjobs (too much time and effort for too little pay), here I am again, back with a blog, and trying affliate marketing again.

What’s changed? In a word, Pinterest. Pinterest is the new kid on the block, and they’re knocking Google off their mountain top.

Who doesn’t goof around on Pinterest too much? Guilty as charged. Pinterest is an enormous time sink for me, and probably for lots of other people as well.

But what if you could make money from playing around on Pinterest? Intrigued? I was. Click on the picture to check out this free course:

Pinterest 101
 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means I may earn some money if you click on one.

Wanna learn more? Visit my Affiliate Disclaimer Page.