Saturday, February 20, 2010

Custom Hand Carved Stamp for Soap Scentsations


After seeing some hand carved stamps I made, my friend Kristi Mott, asked me if I would make one for her. Krisit is the owner of Soap Scent-sations, a lovely online shop with hand made soaps, lip balms and other bath and body products. She was interested in stamping cards to include with her soaps.

This photo shows the design I came up with, based on the design Kristi already uses for her packaging.  I had a great time carving this stamp and would love the opportunity to create more custom stamps. I've found that stamp carving and designing is currently one of my favorite things to do. Seeing the final results is very satisfying.

Take a moment to check out Kristi's shop (she also has an Artfire shop). Her soaps are wonderful. They're pretty, they smell great and they lather up quite nicely. (Lather is important to me, so I thought I'd mention that). Every time I use one, it feels like a special treat. But don't take my word for it, hop on over and order a few bars for yourself! :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A Year in the Life of an Art Journal

In January, I decided to expand my horizons, step out of my comfort zone and join an art journal community. I've never done anything with art journal pages and I thought I'd try this. Sometimes I have a hard time committing to  something (besides my family - thought I should clarify) for very long periods of time, but I'm going to try my best with this.

I'm still learning my way around the blog - sometimes I'm not sure how to leave comments. I also keep thinking there are rules about what I should be doing, but those are only imposed on me by my inner critic (dang her anal little self!) 

Here are my two latest journal pages. The topic is Hope:


 I like how the background turned out and really love the flowers. I think I'm going to have to put some more of these type of flowers on some other art. Probably some plaques and more journal covers. It gives me an excuse to use all the paper I've been hoarding.

If you are interested in checking out this group, you can just click on the badge in the upper right side of this blog. It's pretty awesome to be part of this community.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Google Analytics Looks Like a Treacherous Mountain Range

 I am not a woman who understands many things involving numbers. I've never been a numbers person and most of the time I don't really care (although I firmly believe that if a person is mathematically and scientifically  inclined, he/she can do anything he/she wants to do. I'm a little envious of the math/science crowd, but perhaps that's a topic for another post). When Google Analytics came out, all the people "in the know" encouraged everyone to use it to help determine the activity on blogs, Etsy and Artfire. I added it to my Etsy and to this blog because I wanted to know how much traffic I was getting.

At first, it was interesting. But now....well, let's just say the honeymoon is over. There are so many peaks and valleys in my views that I feel like I'm on some emotional rollercoaster. One day I'll have 10 views, the next day there is one or none. My peaks make no sense to me. Why do I have so many views on a certain day, when I'm pretty sure I didn't do anything. Yet on days when I've made some effort to get noticed, there's nothing but the flat line (like that of a heart that has stopped beating)!

For a brief time in January, my blog never hit the one to zero mark. In fact the views stayed up for quite a few days, but that must have been a fluke. Or maybe I'm not as interesting in February as I was in January. Anyway, I know there are lots of resources for figuring out what all the graphs and numbers mean. I guess I need to take some more time to do some reading and try to make sense of it all. I think it could help me set and meet some goals for my Etsy shop.

What has been your experience with the Google Analytics tools?





Just a random thought: don't you think it's ironic that in order to look up the spelling of a word in the dictionary, you have to know how the word is spelled?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Second Hand Stiched Journal

I've fallen behind in my beginning journal workshop and technically it's over. I think I have a couple more weeks to access the videos and I have about 2 more stitches to try. I'm not sure what it is about making my own journals - there is such a feeling of accomplishment. It might be because it seems like something that would be too difficult to attempt, yet here I am. Attempting and creating books I like.


I did this journal similarly to the first. I painted and collaged a 14" x 17" piece of bristol paper and used a yellow piece of cotton fabric to reinforce the spine. This stitch is the machine stitch (though it's sewn by hand). I used 2 colors of embroidery floss: blue and orange. I also drew some doodles on the spine with some waterproof pens. I love the feel of writing on paper and fabric that has been coated with mod podge. This time I used drawing paper for the inside of the book, instead of cardstock (like I used on the last one).

I can picture making several of these and bundling them together to make a gift set. Wouldn't that be cool? The problem with this kind of thing is that often, even though people love them, they are afraid to use them. I know I'm that way. I can't tell you how many books, craft supplies and found objects I have sitting around that I won't use yet. I mean, what if I use them, then find that I need them for that really special project?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Davis

Yesterday I had to have our cat put to sleep and it was very sad. He was definitely my husband's cat but he also had a place in his heart for me and the kids. He was so handsome and the best cat I've ever had (and there have been many cats in my life). He was 13 - a very old man who had lived a good life. I will miss him.

This is a picture of Davis and my daughter when she was a baby. She really loved Davis too (which she showed in annoying sorts of ways like laying on him and carrying him around like a rag doll). From the time my daughter was a baby, Davis preferred to show his affection for her while she was sleeping! :)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

It's A Done Deal

Okay, I've finished the doodle I posted the other day. I decided to add some color to it. Well actually, a lot of color. I like black and white, but thought I'd try this. I really like how the colors turned out. Here are some before and after shots:


Doodling has helped me to work on something creative, without feeling like I have to make anything specific. It's also something I can do while I'm talking with people, watching t.v. or when I just want to meditate a little. I wrote on another blog the other day that doodling helps me work through problems and worries sometimes. I can draw and think about whatever is bothering me and pray in my head. It's very relaxing.

This was done on Strathmore drawing paper, using Staedtler and Prismacolor pens. Thanks for stopping by and taking a look!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Dear McDonald's

Dear McDonalds,

I'm breaking up with you. I'm sure this comes as quite a shock, but I can no longer ignore the reality of our situation. I've known for years that you are no good for me and that you only want me for my money. But this morning was the last straw.

I tried to explain to you that there was something not quite right with my order - you were trying to charge me more for something I get often.  I was calm, polite and just wanted to be heard. Yet, you wouldn't listen. You kept interrupting and essentially told me I was not telling the truth.

I'm deeply hurt, but know I must move on. My kids will be awfully disappointed-they love you so much. My husband will be quite relieved, but I know it will take months before he believes my relationship with you is over. Don't try to contact me, I have caller i.d. and will not answer your calls.

Sincerely,

Me