Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Stressin' Myself Out!

As 2009 approaches, I find myself stressing out about all the things I would love to accomplish in the new year. I don't make New Year's resolutions anymore, but do think about things to hope for. I don't think there is anything wrong with being optimistic and hopeful. But if there are too many things to "hope" for, then it seems a little overwhelming.

I really want to do things to help my business be more successful. I am not a business-minded person. I'm not good at keeping track of my materials or figuring out money strategies. I just don't know much about that stuff. So, I'm going to try to learn a few business tactics.

I think what stresses me out the most is taking time to learn the things I need to know. For instance, I've tried to figure out the links in this blog so that they will be "live". Now, as you may know, when you click on what you think is a link, you get an error message. The other thing I've tried to do is make my blog 3 columns instead of two. For some reason, that hasn't worked for me either. I have spent lots of time trying to get computer things to work for me and I still can't do it. It's frustrating because I feel like I have so little time to spend learning.

Anyway, thanks for listening to me vent.

So here are 5 of my goals for my business for 2009:

1. Blog at least once a week
2. Update Etsy shop with new photos, write shop policies and re-write descriptions
3. Read about and implement strategies to help my business grow
4. Get the Etsy Street Team (Missouri Etsy-centrics) up and running
5. Be more consistent in organizing activities for the Street Team

Monday, December 22, 2008

My 15 Minutes

Yesterday the local newspaper ran an article about me and my art. I'm really excited and think it's a good article. Here it is if you'd like to read it:

Tribune Article December 21st

I never thought I'd be featured in the Arts section of the newspaper! Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Checking In

I just posted my blog address on the Etsy forum and thought I'd better write some sort of update.

I would like to spend some time doing some art tonight, but we've planned this holiday gathering and the house is a mess. So I should work on cleaning, but will I? I'm still in the process of organizing the craft cave. It's coming along pretty well. I love my space. I feel so blessed to have my own space to do with as I please!

Ok, that's all for now. Have a good evening.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Beaux Arts Bizarre

The weekend after Thanksgiving two friends and I participated in an art show called the Beaux Arts Bizarre in Columbia, Missouri. It was held in the Missouri Theatre for the Arts which was recently renovated. It was built in 1928 and was purchased by the Missouri Symphony Society in 1988. Events were held in the theater, but there was no denying the poor old building needed some love! The renovations were finished earlier this year and we were lucky enough to be part of one of the first events to be held in the "new" building. It is truly beautiful. It's awesome to see people who are interested in and dedicated to preserving the past, instead of tearing down what is old and worn out.

There were approximately 45 artists at the Beaux Arts Festival - including a couple of members from the Missouri Etsy-centrics Street Team and some Etsians I hadn't met before. It was good to be able to meet some new people and invite them to join our Team.

Our booth was located at the left side of the stage way in the back, next to the brick wall. The guy next to us was Fergus Moore, a potter. He had a booth he had built out of plywood. It was a really nice display for his work, but the wall that was next to our booth was pretty tall. We were very "tucked away" in the corner - all nice and cozy.

Fergus was a nice guy and sensitive to the fact that we might not want to have the big plywood wall crammed up next to our booth. So he located some nice lavender fabric to cover the wall that faced us and told us we could hang whatever we wanted to on it. I thought that was really honorable of him. The wall turned out to really be a blessing to us. We hung lots of things on it, adopted it as part of our display and it looked great. Thanks Fergus...do you think you could follow us around to all of our craft shows so that we can use your wall?

I think as far as attendance goes, the show was a little disappointing. We had good traffic off and on, but not like we thought we would. Though I'm pretty tired of thinking, hearing and talking about our economy, it's quite possible that is what influenced the number of people at our booth. I didn't make much money, but my partners did pretty well and I had lots of fun. It was great to meet people and to get some feedback about my work. We plan on doing it again next year.

If you get a chance, check out my friends' shops: Jolene at LocoMOmomma and Beth at Heartgrooves . Separately we all have Etsy shops but together we go by the name "3 Moms Creative Outlet". Jolene sells crocheted baby things, felted purses and fleece kidswear. Beth sells altered letters, journals, cards, tags and other papercrafts. Our things compliment each other and fit well together in a display. I'm thankful for Jolene and Beth. It's a way we can cut down on art fair costs and provide needed feedback and support to each other.

We also had a "guest Mom" whose name was Amy. Her Etsy shop is: Truetauruslove. Amy makes knitted hats and gloves, felted bowls and felted unique animals. It was nice to have her with us.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Here's the condensed version of my "summer vacation": We bought a house, sold a house, moved, cleaned, cleaned some more, bought some beautiful new bedroom furniture and I helped organize an Etsy Street Team in my area.

In the midst of moving, I painted a couple of things. I did this big leaf painting because I wanted something to put on our walls as we were "staging" our house for sale. I love leaves, but these don't look very realistic (I like them anyway). The big picture inspired me to do a small leaf picture, which is not really like anything I've done before. The whole leaf theme came from this really cool place mat I bought from Pier One. I guess I was kind of feeling like I was hosting an HGTV show or something. I'm not quite as talented as the HG people, but it really is fun to pretend I'm one of them sometimes!

We were very blessed to have found a house that was newer than our other house, had more space, a big back yard and less expensive than the house we sold. How often does that happen?! The very best thing is that the new place has a spot for me to craft. It's in the basement within a storage area (I call it the craft cave). It seemed like a big room until I got all of my things in there. I'm tellin' ya, I had no idea how much craft booty I had until I saw my friends hauling in box after box after box with the words "craft room" written on them. It was quite embarrassing, but it has curbed my supply buying appetite a little...Well, kind of... I'm at least trying to be more mindful of my purchases!

I love the cave and love being in there, working on projects. I'll post a photo of it when it's a little more organized.

I'm currently getting ready to do an art fair in November. It's a juried show that I'm planning on doing with two of my friends. We're still waiting to hear if we've been accepted. If we don't, I'll have lots of things to post in my Etsy shop!

I need to sign out for now. I don't like that I've been away so long, but I'm happy to start writing again. I want to be more diligent in writing for my blog and I want to do some work on my Etsy shop, including being more active in marketing. Check back soon!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Joyful Woman

I haven't really highlighted any shops in my blog yet, so here's one of the first. It's quite appropriate that the first shop I'm featuring is that of the Joyful Woman http://joyfulwoman.etsy.com. The Joyful Woman is Sandra Moore, someone I've known my whole life (literally). Our moms shared the same hospital room when we were born. We attended grade school and junior high together, and lived together for a couple of years in college. She was also the maid of honor in my wedding.

Sandy is one of the most creative people I've ever known. She can do everything: paint, sew, draw, sculpt (snow, ice, stone, foam-stuff), bend wire, make jewelry, papercrafts, and probably a bazillion other things I haven't mentioned. She has always, ALWAYS encouraged me in my creative endeavors. In the "olden days" (before Etsy) she was one of the few people I would make things for because I believed no one else would appreciate my creations.

I have many happy memories of our life together, but a couple I want to share with you are related to creativity... sort of. The first one is: when I was 15, I had a huge attic bedroom. I loved that room and spent many hours there, drawing, writing, etc. I decided I wanted to paint my room, so Sandy and I started coming up with ideas of how it should be painted. One day, as we were painting, we were talking about how much we loved Lance Kerwin and Andy Gibb (if you don't know who they are go here for Lance: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lance_Kerwin and here for Andy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Gibb).

We decided we should invite Lance to dinner and spent a substantial amount of time daydreaming and giggling about how great it would be if he accepted our invitation. One thing we did was paint a heart on my ceiling with really thick paint. Even after we painted over it, I could still see the heart. I never did complete painting that room. 15 years later, when we sold that house, the room was still half painted and the outline of the heart was still visible on the ceiling.

The second memory is from college. Sandy was an art major and I was a communications major. It was Thursday night the week before Spring Break and Sandy had a project due the next day. She had procrastinated in getting it done, so she was kind of desperate for ideas. The assignment was to design symbols for signs in a park. I think this was when symbols were replacing words so no one needed to read to be able to find the bathroom. I just remember being up really late, being slap happy and coming up with some of the silliest ideas. It was so fun just to brainstorm, be silly and creative with my friend Sandy. I miss those kinds of opportunities. Now if I'm up late, it's because I'm supposed to be doing something productive and boring (dishes, laundry, cleaning...). Wouldn't it be so much fun just to stay up late with some creative girl friends, brainstorming about what to make next?

Sandy lives in Portland, Maine now. I guess we haven't lived in the same town since I graduated from college in 1988. She moved to Anchorage, Alaska for 10 years, Topeka, Kansas for a couple of years and to Portland in 2003. Now, she's doing some major butt kickin' (a.k.a "networking") in the Portland Arts Community.

I hope you will check out her shop. She is an amazing artist and I know you won't be disappointed.

Dragonfly Delight EarringsCelebrate the Sun EarringsRich Colored Elegance EarringsSmoky Blue and Silver EarringsCitrus Suncatcher EarringsContemporary Bright Earrings

*earring photos by Sandra J. Moore

Monday, June 16, 2008

I Hate Cell Phones - A Rant in Writing

I mention in my profile that I'm not a fan of cell phones and there are a billion reasons why. Before I list some of them, let me confess that I do have a cell phone. My husband gave it to me for Christmas after I came home one morning at 1:00 a.m. and he wasn't sure where I was. I had been Christmas shopping and knew it was very late, but didn't want to take time out to call him to let him know I was fine. It was selfish on my part. If the tables had been turned, I would've wanted to strangle him if he was out so late and didn't bother to check in. Anyway....

I got this cell phone and there are many things I do enjoy about having one. I like that when I'm out and about and I decide I want a chicken pita wrap with hummus, I can just whip out my phone and call in an order, then buzz by to pick it up. I can call my husband from the grocery store to ask if we need milk. I'm not tethered to my home if I'm expecting an important (or even not so important) call. And, if I'm ever stranded in the middle of nowhere in my car, I can call for help (provided there is phone coverage in that area). So yes, there are things I can appreciate about cell phones.

Today I was standing in the check out line at Target and the woman behind me reminded me why cell phones drive me nuts. She was talking to her mother about her brother and sister-in-law and she was having an argument with her mom - in the middle of Target. She wasn't even trying to keep quiet. She was raising her voice and saying things like: "mom, I love my brother, but I can't stand around while his wife is abusing my nephew! I just won't do it." Seriously, I just wanted to turn around and slap her. I mean, why on earth would she think it was ok to talk so loudly about something so personal? And I've heard other cell phone conversations in my day that I didn't need to be hearing. I don't want people listening to me when I talk on the phone and I sure as heck don't want to listen to their calls!

I also hate being at dinner with a friend or talking with a friend I haven't seen in awhile and their phone rings, so they decide to answer. Unless there is blood and hospitalization involved, why should that person answer the phone? I don't think they should. I mean, what better way to communicate to someone that they are less important than some stupid phone call?! Of course, it's different when your kids are calling to ask you to run home because the kitchen is on fire, or something like that (I'm not totally unreasonable).

I hate seeing moms at the grocery store or on a walk with their kids, talking to someone when they could be talking to their kid. Or people walking down the street with a cell phone"glued" to the side of their head. For all the contributions they make, cell phones are eroding our culture. People don't talk with each other anymore, and don't take the time to listen to what is going on in their own heads.

I guess the bottom line is, if you come to my house or we're having dinner at a restaurant, you need to turn the cell phone off or be prepared to listen to me moan and complain about your pitiful need to always be available to someone. I know it's harsh, but I'm being pushed over the edge!

Monday, May 12, 2008

It Truly is Middle Age

Twelve days ago, I turned 45. I remember when I turned 35, I refused to acknowledge that I was middle aged. But, now I have to face it. Have to admit it, embrace it, love it or hate it, live with it, absorb it, be it...I am a middle aged woman! Who would've believed it? Seriously, I feel like emotionally, I'm in my 20's. I'm a bit smarter now than I was in my 20's, but I don't feel like I have the maturity or confidence of a middle aged woman. It's just hard to believe! I'm not ashamed or depressed about it - at least I don't think so.

It's bizarre to be at a place in my life where there are things I will definitely NEVER do again. Until you are in your 40's, it's hard to see that there is an end to things you'll do or can do. It doesn't even mean that I particularly want to do these things, it's just that I can't or won't. Here's a short list of things I'll never do again (or do at all) or be:

Be a rock star, have anymore babies, nurse babies, go back to school for an art degree, sky dive or ride in a hot air balloon (the older I get, the more afraid I am of things involving heights or the possibility of falling out of the sky like a rock), look like Malibu Barbie.

As one gets older, the list gets longer...But you know, it beats the alternative doesn't it? And no one is guaranteed a certain amount of time. My mom was middle age when she was 25, but didn't know it (she died of cancer at age 50).

I guess it just takes a bit of an attitude adjustment and acceptance.

So, I'm 45 - how am I going to spend my time? Who am I going to help? Who am I going to love? What am I going to do with myself?

I plan on spending my time wisely.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Really?! It Has Been A Whole Month...

Since I last posted anything on my blog? Gee whiz, that is pathetic! Where on Earth does the time go?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

The "Commission"

My friend asked me if I would be interested in making something she could give her mom for Mother's Day. I started one picture, that turned out to be kind of wild/funky and probably not her mom's style. So last night and today, I worked on this one. I'm having a hard time with it though. I like parts of it, but it seems a little flat to me. A little immature or something. I'll have to get my friend Jean to look at it to give me some ideas of what can be done to make it better.

This is going to be one short entry. I'm tired and just want to veg for awhile.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Craft Show Anxiety

Remember how I was so excited about doing the craft show next month? I don't know what happened, but I'm not so excited any more. I still don't know what I'm going to take or how much to take. What if no one buys anything? What if all my stuff is just stupid and I'm wasting time and money trying to start this little business? Blah, blah, blah....I know I'm not the first, only or last person who is freaking out about his/her creative endeavors. Ugh! Self doubt, you would think someone in her mid 40's would be beyond it!

One thing that has been good is that yesterday, I figured out how to set up my own cards in Word and correct some potential printing problems in Paint. I'm going to take them down to Kinko's to see how they print. If they are good reproductions, this will really help me. I can just set things up on the page the way I want them, then run down to have them printed. It's taking some time to get things cleaned up and set up, but ultimately, it's nicer to have this control. I should eventually get some other kind of software program to do some graphic design.

I sold a couple of card packs this past weekend. My dad's cousin bought Peter's Tree and Action Flowers. I'm really excited about it. It's nice to have some business.

Well, I think that is all for now. Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy Spring!

We were lucky to have some beautiful weather today. Very sunny, which is what my brain needs. It has been a dreary winter and my family and I have been passing "cooties" around for about 6 weeks. This week I had strep throat and pink eye and my daughter had pink eye. I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired!

I sold my first ACEO a couple of days ago. I'm excited to have gotten a sale. Here's what my customer bought:

I do really like this. It was fun to make, but I am surprised at how many people say they like it. I guess I shouldn't admit that, but it's true. It's so simple, but maybe that is part of the appeal.

Here is my latest painting:

I like this, but wonder if my drawings are too weird. I'm not sure this is one I would turn into cards, or not.

Ok, I'm realizing this isn't the most upbeat post I've ever written. But it's late, so I think I'll just call it a night. Thanks for dropping by.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Why Did They Have to Go and Do A Thing Like That?

When I was 10, Grand Funk Railroad had a song out called "Locomotion". I loved that song and thought I was hot stuff when my friends and I would do the dance that went along with it. In fact, I remember that for some reason, we got to "perform" that dance in front of the class. I brought my 45, put it on the classroom record player and rocked out with a few others, while the rest of the class looked on.

I thought it was a new song; I didn't know that it was actually a remake of a song that had been out in the 50's or 60's and I was completely unimpressed when I heard the original. We tend to think that our music is/was the best and that most of the newer stuff just ain't so great. At least, that's what I think. Just 14 years ago, I pretty much knew all the popular musicians and the newer music. In fact, I was pretty good at music trivia. These days, I wouldn't recognize most famous people (including actors) if they slapped me in the face! 14 years really isn't such a long period of time to be losing all that knowledge!

Anyway, I work part time in a department store that plays satellite music. It's ok, but I rarely hear music I really like and often hear music I don't like. But the thing that gets me is some of the songs that are remade. I mean, there are just some songs in this life that should never, NEVER be remade. Either because they were bad in the first place and don't need to be resurrected or because they were/are perfect just the way they are.

I know this isn't a new song, but one example I can think of is Bye Bye Miss American Pie. That is a song that was fine the way it was and didn't need Madonna adding any new twists to it. There's some new version of Janis Ian's song At 17 that I think is awful and doesn't at all convey the emotion that Janis did in the original. There are others too, but I can't remember them now. There are artists whose songs should never be remade because they are perfect: Stevie Wonder, Barry White, The Beatles... If there is ever a remake of "Dream On" I will not be happy.

I don't know why I thought this would be a good blog post, maybe I just feel like going on a petty little rant. I also know that it reveals my age and makes me seem like an old lady. But I guess I have to live with that, don't I?

Ok, so it's official (our money has been sent in and received) that my friends and I are doing the craft fair in April. I'm really excited, but I don't have many things to sell. One would think that I would be thrilled to have a legitimate excuse to craft my head off, but I'm actually feeling a little hopeless about it. I have a lot to do, plus I have my real life to take care of and the two don't exactly work well together most of the time.

Sure, I'd much rather make pictures or draw or put cards together, but my daughter is sort of demanding about having her poopy diapers changed. My son has to have some sort of food every couple of hours and wants to tell me stories every 10 minutes and my husband expects to have clean underwear for work (the nerve!) and dinner at night. The cat wants to be fed and petted and let out. My bosses expect me to come to work when I'm scheduled, the bills need to be paid, the dishes need to be done, I need to pay attention to my Etsy chat room friends :) and on and on! So this is what it's like to be a grown up! Ohhhhh.

I just need to come up with a plan and execute it, so that I'll have enough stuff to take with me to the fair. Maybe that should be my commitment for this blog: make a plan and be accountable for it. Now, that's a novel idea!

Ok, gotta go. I'm trying to get my craft stuff organized so that I can spend my time crafting rather than looking around for supplies.

Saturday, March 1, 2008


I've noticed as the days get longer and more sunshine appears, I'm feeling motivated to tidy up a bit. I'm also wanting to make pictures and other fun stuff. I love Spring and look forward to the warm, sunny days.

I never did mention my new Etsy banner. I decided I wanted to try to do my own background (which I did in watercolor pencil). Then I took a photo of it and tried to do the text in Word, then in Paint and it wasn't working for me very well. I keep thinking Word has some graphic design capabilities, but I feel like I'm wasting so much time trying to figure it out. I wouldn't mind spending time on it, but I've got a lot of things I need to do and just want to feel like I'm accomplishing something.

My buddy Ashley of Heart Hugs Designs ( http://hearthugsdesigns@etsy.com ) stepped in and did the text for me. She's really good to me, I just asked for help and she whipped it out in a matter of minutes (and this is a woman with a less-than-1-year-old child)! Ashley designed my first banner too, which I liked a lot. She is very easy to work with and very patient with those of us who struggle with the technical aspects of banners. She has a great shop too, with a variety of products: custom photo invitations, banners, announcements, as well as cards, tags and supplies. You should check out her shop. Not only does she have nice things, she's also a lovely human being (and my first Etsy friend).

Here's the new banner:

Two exciting things I'm working on but I'm having a hard time focusing: I'm going to do a craft show in April with my friends Beth (http://heartgrooves.etsy.com) and Jolene (http://locoMOmomma.etsy.com). It's a small show, but it will be my first and I'm just beside myself, I'm so excited! Etsy has a good article on how to prepare for a craft show, so I'll be using that for reference: http://www.indiecraftfairguide.com/articles/how-to-guide

The other thing is I've talked to a coffee shop owner in town about selling some cards in her shop! Woo hoo! I'll probably start off by putting about 10 card sets in the coffee shop to see how they do. I'll set up a display with my business cards and contact information.

Ok, that's it for now. I want to work on some cards now. Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, February 22, 2008

More New Stuff

It's so exciting to get an idea and watch it evolve on paper or canvas or whatever... I think it's interesting to have an idea in my brain and try to get it on paper. I had a dream the other night that gave me an idea about some flowers to draw. When I finally did the drawing, it didn't really look anything like what I had dreamed about. But I'm perfectly happy with the outcome. So sometimes it's like the end product is just a bunch of happy accidents!

I can't tell you how much fun I'm having with my crafting-I just love it. The problem of course, is that I can easily get sucked into the Etsy addiction and the crafting and totally neglect my other responsibilities. I think if I would treat this more like a part time job with regularly scheduled work hours, then maybe I would be able to maintain more of a balance between this and family things.

I've decided I want to do a series of these abstract flowers and sell them in a variety pack of cards. So the red flower is my newest edition. I'm not sure if I like it or not yet. I want to do a few more things to it and see what I think. I'm also wondering is if I should make them more uniform if I'm going to package them together: should they all be horizontal or portrait, should they all have borders or not have borders, etc. We'll see.

It's ironic that I wouldn't have a Valentine's Day card for my husband, since I like making cards so much. In fact, many, many times, I don't give him handmade cards. I just buy a Hallmark, write something mushy in it and give it to him. This year I bought him a lame card from our favorite discount store (feeling guilty as I tossed it into the cart). I was trying to justify it by telling myself "a lame-O card is better than no card...".

When I got home and started unloading all of my purchases, I couldn't find the card. "Oh Great! I spent money on the lame-O card and it didn't even make it home with me!" I decided God must be trying to bring something to my attention...like, "could you maybe put a little bit of effort in a card for your husband. The man you are spending the rest of your life with. The man who fathered and is a wonderful father to your children. The man who, every day, makes sure you get time to yourself, away from the kids - even though he's just gotten home from working all day too? You remember that guy, don't you?" Yeh, ok God...you're right.

I didn't have a lot of time to make something for him. I decided to finish a project I had been working on and give it to hubby as a Valentine's Day card. It's made out of tissue paper, mod podge (I just love that stuff) and markers on matte board. I wrote mushy stuff on the back. Here's what it looks like - minus the mushy stuff, that's private! :

I really like how it turned out. In fact, my hubby asked me if I planned on taking it back and selling it on Etsy. I'm not. But I do plan on making something similar on canvas board. I'll see how it copies, maybe make some cards, maybe just sell the original. I'm not sure yet.

I went to a coffee shop the other day with my friend Jean. While I was there I talked with one of the owners about selling cards at her shop. She was open to the idea. Now, I just have to figure out what items to take there and how to display them. I'm excited about the possibility of having a display in a retail establishment.

I'm working on getting my packaging together too. I have several cards printed and finally made folders for them but haven't decorated the folders yet. It's amazing what a saboteur procrastination is! If I would just get my packaging together and photos taken, I could have 3-4 new things listed on Etsy and a display down at the coffee shop. Not to mention I have an order for a friend I still need to fill.

As I'm writing this, I'm struck by the fact that there are so many people on Etsy whose blogs reflect the same battles: procrastination, self doubt, "if only I would..."s.

I wish the world was filled with more people who knew how valuable they are to God. Who understood when and where to hold themselves accountable for their weaknesses and who know when it is ok to just be kind to themselves.

By allowing myself time to work on art, I'm learning how to be kind to myself. I'm acknowledging my need and desire to create and I'm letting myself do it. I think the desire to create is definately a gift from God. there are so many ways creativity shows itself, not just in visual arts or music.

Oh no, it's getting late and I feel a philisophical rant coming on...since this is a blog and not my own personal journal, I think I'll stop here and go do something else. :)

Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Things I've Been Working On

This is a picture I did for a friend of mine. She doesn't know about it yet, it's a surprise. She has been encouraging me to be creative, which I think is one of the greatest gifts anyone can give me. She seems to like the things I make, so I made one especially for her.

The hearts and swirls are kind of a new thing for me. I've never really done anything like this before, until after Christmas when I got my new watercolor pencils. Now, I just want to draw flowers, hearts and swirls all over the place! This particular picture was done in permanent marker.

I did these pictures for my son. He loves robots and rocket ships. The rocket ship is similar to the ones I made for his birthday party invitations. I love doing these, they are so much fun.

Both are done in permanent marker.

I love this sunflower! It was an experiment that I hated at first. It's done in tissue paper and mod podge on matte board. It wasn't until I outlined it in ink that I decided I really liked it. It opens up a whole new world of possibilities! I love tissue paper and mod podge. Hopefully, I'll give myself the opportunity to make some more of these and maybe add them to my Etsy shop.

I've added a couple of new things to my Etsy shop, and have a few more things to add. I want to really spruce up my shop and start being more consistent in marketing it. It's amazing that there are people who are able to do Etsy full time. I just am in awe of them. It makes me want to sit at their feet and take notes on every little word that comes out of their mouths! So, I'm working on promoting without being obnoxious. I find it's much easier to promote this than it was my past attempts at selling things that weren't really my passion.

Oh yeh, I also bought myself a postal scale yesterday. Woo hoo! I have real business equipment now!

Don't Blink or You'll Miss It!

I can't believe how quickly the days fly by. When I was working (outside the home), days, weeks and months went really fast. I thought when I started staying home with babies, it would be a little slower, but it's not. I am amazed that an entire day can buzz by when it seems like I just woke up.

I have never been very good with time management. When I was in college I spent hours and hours and hours lying around, daydreaming, listening to music and contemplating life and it's complexities. Now, with two yungin's I can't even have two minutes to go to the bathroom by myself (so it seems). It's just not all about me anymore (duh) which means I can't lie around doing nothing and honestly, I should never have spent that amount of time being so unproductive. I could have had a nice balance of staring into space, being alone with my thoughts and doing homework, being creative, meeting friends, etc.

Now, 20 years later, I still struggle with time management. I have finally gotten past thinking if something is worth doing, then I have to spend hours doing it, or spend hours thinking about doing it. Not all things are worthy of that much time. I also find that I spend so much time thinking about doing things, that I either talk myself out of doing them or don't leave enough time to get them done, even if I did start doing them! I guess I'm just trying to say, I want to be more purposeful (or "intentional" as they say on a certain radio program) in living my life. None of this is an accident - it's no accident that I was created. I have a job to do, but I won't be able to do it, if I allow myself to believe I don't have time to do things or don't have the ability/supplies/space to do what I want.

I have to come to the grown up conclusion that in order to do what I desire, I must sacrifice a few things. T.v. is a big time guzzler. The worst part is that I don't really feel like there is anything on t.v. worth watching...not really. I do like The Closer, CSI and CSI: Miami and Law and Order. But I watch way more shows that I don't enjoy. Not very smart for a woman who wants to do something else!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Projects for the Past Couple of Days

These are the two new pictures I've been working on for the past few days.

Both are on canvas board and colored with the Bic version of Sharpies. I also used some other permanent ink pens that have a smaller tip, to help add detail. I love the pens, they are so much fun.
I think I'm starting to be more interested in a medium that allows me to have more control than painting does. I love watercolor, but prefer watercolor pencils over paints. I don't want to spend so much time mixing my own colors. And since I haven't done it much, I'm not very good at getting my colors right.
As I was writing this I was thinking that perhaps I'm lazy, then realized that I'm just able to get more done with pens and pencils. Maybe when the kids are older I can spend more time with watercolor paints.
I still haven't gotten anything new on my Etsy shop, except one ACEO. I have lots of other things, but still have to work on getting the packaging together. Perhaps I should set a goal that by the end of next week I will have at least 2 of my new card sets listed on my Etsy shop. Ok, let's call it a committment!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Bailey Pooh Dog

We had to have our dog put to sleep today. She was 10 years old and had renal failure. I'm not sure what caused it, I only know her decline was quick. It's so weird to lose animals, they are just so much a part of your family. Since the kids were born, we mainly kept her in the back room off the kitchen. But there are so many familiar sounds that I'll miss: the jingling of her dog tags, the clicking of her nails on the tile, her little woofing noises when she was dreaming (probably about chasing squirrels) and her snoring.

We got her near the Farmer's Market in 1997. My husband had lost his black lab, Isaac, about 6 months earlier. There was a lady in the market parking lot trying to get rid of these puppies (there were 13 in Bailey's litter) and we stopped to look at them. I was just there to admire the cute puppies, Dan was apparently there to fall in love! Bailey was soooo cute. She was little, light brown with dark brown and white swirls and floppy ears. She was a stinker too. Very happy and bouncy. Dan played with her for a little while, then decided to bring her home.

She loved to play ball and to swim. She would fetch a ball as many times as a person would throw it and she couldn't pass up a puddle without stomping through it (kind of like my 5 year old). When we took her on hikes, she would, without fail, find every waterhole, pond, river and puddle in the woods and wade through it, even in the winter! She became very protective of us when my son was a baby. Before that time, she loved every dog and human and cat she came in contact with. We were incredibly blessed to have spent the past 10 years with her.

She was so sweet today. We could tell she was so weak and miserable, yet she still wagged her tail when we petted her and spoke to her. She was a wonderful dog and we will miss her!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Good Grief.....

Would you look at how long it has been since I've written! This blog is starting to have the same feel as my journal: months without writing, then lines and lines of beating myself up for not writing, then a short entry about how tired I am and how I wish I'd take the time to write about all the stuff that's going on...gee whiz it's a never ending cycle!

I actually have been doing some things. I got some beautiful watercolor pencils for Christmas from my friend, Jean. I also got some "artist bonus bucks" from my husband. I wasted no time spending that money and since I had a 50% off coupon from Michael's, I was able to buy quite a bit for my money: a new 12 x 12 papercutter, more watercolor pencils, some sharpie-like pens (24 wonderful colors), some thinner markers, watercolor paper and a couple of small canvas boards. I think there were a couple of other things, but I've forgotten.

With my new toys, I was inspired to crank out a few note cards. The first one is my favorite. It's unlike anything I've ever done before. I got some cards printed from the original and hope to get them together for my Etsy shop soon.

I'm in the process of revamping the Etsy shop. I changed my avatar because I got kind of tired of seeing my face everytime I logged in. I was self conscious about it from the beginning. So I chose one of my art cards because it's colorful and an attention getter (I think).

Even though I don't officially do New Year's resolutions, I am going to try to do better about writing this blog. I also hope to keep up on my etsy shop and add new things regularly.

Thanks for stopping by!