Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hope of Things to Come

When I was younger, I would spend time every New Year's Eve, reflecting and writing about the year that was ending and my hopes for the year ahead. This tells you two very important things about me: #1 I didn't have many New Year's Eve dates and #2 I have periods of time where I am very hopeful.

Now that I am 46 (and a half), married (so I have a permanent New Year's Eve date) and have two young kids, I don't have much time to reflect on much of anything. I also have lost much of my short term memory, so I can't remember what I had for lunch let alone what I did in January or the rest of the year. But tonight my most wonderful husband, took the kids out for some family fun and (after some whining and complaining on my part) didn't "make me" go with them. So for one glorious and peaceful hour, I wrote down some of my hopes and goals for 2010. I would like to share some of them with you:

  • Introduce some new products to my Etsy shop. I've been wanting to add some different things for a long time (bookmarks, handmade journals, more tags, calendars, etc) but haven't taken the time to do it. I want to work on it this year.
  • Open another online shop. I have an Artfire account that I haven't put anything in for about a year. Maybe I should give that a try.
  • Make my blog more interesting and look more the way I want it to look.
  • Average 3 blog posts a week. Maybe add some demonstrations or tutorials.
  • Set some sales goals for my Etsy shop and work my hiney off to reach them.
  • Make more money than I spend (or at least break even).
  • Be bold in my belief in God and pursue my relationship with Jesus Christ.
  • Quit procrastinating
  • Love myself more in action and thought (stop telling myself that I'm destined to fail)
  • Be healthy (quit eating so much sugar and start exercising)
  • Clean house regularly
  • Love my family
I know this is a big and challenging list, but these are my hopes. It would be great to be here next New Year's Eve reporting that I made even a little progress in most areas.

Thanks for following my blog and for your encouragement. It has meant so much to me to have people cheer me on as I pursue one of the things I love most.

Have a safe and wonderful New Year!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

I hope you had a very Merry Christmas. My family and I did. We have been spending the past couple of days being "snowed in". In central Missouri, that usually means only about 4-6 inches. I know compared to some of the northern states, that is wimpy snow, but it is snow. It has been fairly relaxed and quiet - as quiet as it can be with kids around. I'm thankful for this time. It seems the past few weeks have been non-stop activity, so I'm ready to be doing nothing.

I'm working on coming up with a list of goals I want to work on for the new year. My goals are always a little too lofty in the beginning, so I need to tweek them a bit. I do know that one goal will be to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night. That will mean going to be earlier than my normal routine of 1 or 2 o'clock in the morning. I love the quiet this time of night, but the lack of sleep is definitely taking it's toll on my mind and body and it's reflected in my mood (which tends to go up and down like a wild roller coaster).

I'd also like to write more regularly in my blog and get more things listed in my Etsy shop. I think I set the goals last year but was only minimally successful. That's one thing about a new year, you get to start all over again. You have hope that you can actually reach the goals that are set. I've got my fingers (and toes) crossed! I'll be back soon with my goals list, so you can see what the plan is. Right now, I need to go to bed since it is past 2:00 a.m. I'm tired and need to get some rest so I can concentrate in church tomorrow!

Good night. Thanks for following my blog!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Where to Go From Here

Tonight I find myself a little confused about what to do with myself, my art projects, my shop, my blog...Hey wait a minute! Haven't I written about this before?! I believe I have. Hopefully, you won't mind going down this road with me again.

I think the challenge for me in this stage of life, (besides trying to do anything that does not involve my children) is getting from where I am to where I want to be, without taking the long and winding road. Sometimes the long road is good, you learn things, you see things you may not have seen if you'd gone the fast track and you get the opportunity to develop patience. But sometimes, the long and winding road is just full of foolish mistakes and wasted time. I realize that all lessons ultimately are good lessons and shape who we are, I just feel like I've spent too much time on the long and winding road and would like to be more focused on the destination.

I'm trying to figure out ways to be more productive in 2010. I need to ask questions about what goals I want to set, are they realistic, how will I get there and am I doing things that will keep me from where I want to be? Am I allowing too many ideas to overwhelm me and to scare me into not doing anything? It's probably good to just take tiny baby steps rather than standing in one place. Eventually tiny baby steps lead somewhere.

I'll think about this some more and get back to you with some goals. Until then, I think I'll go finish making some Christmas presents!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Beaux Arts Bizarre 2009

Last week I participated in the Beaux Arts Bizarre held at the Missouri Theatre in Columbia, Missouri. This is the second year that I've had a booth with my friends Jolene and Beth. The Missouri Theatre is a beautiful old building that was recently renovated. Just seeing all the work that has been done to restore it is awesome and to have a booth on the stage for 3 days is pretty amazing.

I enjoy sharing a booth with Beth and Jolene. It's one of the few times the three of us get to spend time together without children dominating our activities and conversation. Between the three of us we have 7 kids, all under the age of 10 and most under the age of 8. Whenever we do a booth together, we call ourselves "3 Moms Creative Outlet" but individually, we each have our own Etsy shops. Our creations are different, but similar enough to blend and display nicely together. Here are some pics of our booth:

I like doing fairs because it's nice to get feedback about what kinds of things I've been working on. I also enjoy meeting people and talking with them. It's really fun getting to know some of the other artists. But doing art fairs as a way to make money has not been very successful for me. Getting product ready and setting up, taking down, etc. is a lot of hard work. So far, I've done better at a gallery showing and selling consignment at Artlandish Gallery downtown. I don't want to give up on art fairs, but I hope to start figuring out how to make more money than I spend. Maybe in the spring I'll have better opportunities to sell art. We'll see.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Printer Update and Wood Things

I know you've been on the edge of your seats wondering how the printer saga will end. I'm happy to say that I purchased a brand spankin' new printer from Office Depot today. It's a Brother MFC-290C and I believe we are going to be very happy together!

I just wanted to post a few photos of some wooden things I've been painting. I especially love the mirror and candle stick holders with matching napkin rings. Would love to do more of these in the future. These photos were taken at the Beaux Arts Bizarre last weekend. Our booth was on the stage, so we had some "dramatic" lighting. I plan on writing more about the art fair, but for now I would just like to show you some pictures.

These are now for sale at Artlandish Gallery on Walnut Street in Columbia, Missouri. They would make great Christmas/holiday gifts, don't you think?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Printer Dilemma

In October 2008, I decided I needed a new printer. I wanted one that would copy, print and scan. I looked online, researched and found one that was compatible with my budget. I bought it, brought it home, set it up and loved it. The printing was great, the scanning was awesome and I was a happy woman.

Approximately one week after the warranty on my printer expired, so did the printer. It would no longer pull paper through properly and I had no idea how to fix it. I've asked a couple of people if they knew how to fix printers, but it seems to be that it is more economical to throw printers out than to have them fixed. That seems to be the ongoing theme of our disposable culture. I even took the printer apart to see if by some miracle, I could fix it myself. Once I got it all put back together, I tried to run it, but it's out of ink and I don't think I'm going to run out and buy $50 in ink just to find out if all my poking around fixed the problem. I could buy a new printer with 50 bucks!

I've been without a printer for weeks now and I'm ready to have my printing freedoms restored. However, I have a very limited budget and I don't want to buy another garbage printer. What to do, what to do.....

If you have any good recommendations for printers under $100, feel free to share. I know $100 isn't much, but I think I should be able to get something halfway decent for that amount of money. It doesn't have to last until I retire, but it does have to last beyond it's warranty.