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Within reach It's blowing and snowing outside. The world is pretty much shut down, except for the Amish builders who are clambering around on the skeleton of the roof of the house they're building next door.

What a work ethic.

As I watch them at their labors while I sip my recently nuked coffee, I'm grateful that my work is generally at the computer and the elements are nicely kept outdoors. So what to do today?

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I am reminded that today, I promised to help set up Janet's Etsy store. Shouldn't be too hard, right? That was my first error, thinking that it would be easy. There are a lot of spinning plates here – but the reference will be lost on anyone young enough to not know Ed Sullivan. Lots of pieces to put in place. And very little instruction with "Step one, Step two…" and so on.

You can find anything on YouTube, right? I search for "Set Up an Etsy Shop", and happily there are hundreds – maybe thousands of videos at the ready, waiting for me to absorb all the relevant information I need.

Or not.

First, all the instruction videos were presented in a decidedly amateur manner, in a monotone, with nothing but a face and moving lips. If I ever have insomnia, I know what to watch. Most of the videos were created before Etsy changed its format – this time – or the last 12 times.

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Fighting through the process, we finally got the shop started. One listing, one product, not much, but it's a start. Gee, after all that work, I wonder what it looks like.

Finding what your shop looks like – or the link to get to it is far harder than I had ever expected. It's not in the settings or on your merchant dashboard, or even easily accessible in the users' handbook. I finally had to Google the question where they gave me the format.

At that point, once the link was found, I discovered that all the changes I had made earlier had not been saved. *heavy sigh* This time, I scrolled down below the bottom of the screen where the "Save Changes" button was hidden.

monroe snowstorm Pirate

Now that the store was finally set up, it was time to photograph the products to create the listings. THAT, at least, was within my area of expertise – but because of the snow, we elected to turn our living room into a studio. A word to the wise, dogs and studio setups do NOT mix. Once our overly friendly tailwaggers were unhappily sequestered in the kitchen and the studio lights and background was put back together, we proceeded with the photography. Even the Pirate's eyepatch. HArrrrrrr...

The first few products (beautiful costume pieces) are now on line in the new Etsy shop "Tangled Skein Clothier".

Because of the snow, this project was really the only thing I could do that was within reach. Next week I'll do something relatively easy – like climbing Mt. Marcy.

Ok, setting up an Etsy shop really isn't REALLY that awfully hard, and can be worth it. Go to and find out what it takes. But don't quit your day job just yet.

'Within Reach' highlights the food, wine and fun of places 'within Reach' of Lansing NY.  Of course, your reach extends exactly as far as you want it to. I am Monroe Payne, Uncle Monte to some. Come with me as I visit, taste and play in our own back yard, the beautiful Finger Lakes of Central New York.

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