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, "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'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!