Saturday, April 17, 2010

Overwhelmed

For me, one of the challenges of being a stay at home mom, is that I don't want to appear to be on "vacation". I know that people who have been SAHMs or who know women who have been SAHMs, understand that staying home with kids is not exactly the picnic, walk in the woods and/or party that it would seem.

Before I became the "Domestic Goddess" I am now, I thought staying at home with kids was the easiest thing in the world. In fact, I'm ashamed to confess, I couldn't figure out why an at-home mom couldn't get all of her chores done and still have plenty of time to pursue all of her hobbies and dreams. After all, she was at home all day and all she had to do was hang out with kids!!! Yes, that was me. I was that woman - the one who looked down her nose at the the little house wife and her quaint role as wife and mother.

As they say, "paybacks are Hell". I have been at home with my kids for almost 8 years now. My house is constantly trashed, up until recently (when my husband took over the job) my bills were mostly overdue, my sink full of dishes, mile high piles of laundry wait to be cleaned or folded (depending on their location. Laundry to be washed is piled in front of the washer, laundry to be folded is piled on our bedroom floor).  In my most humble opinion, I suck at being a stay at home mom. The only thing I think I'm really good at, is lovin' on  my kids. I hug them, smooch them and tell them I love them quite regularly. But that's it.

So there you have it. Because I was the woman who thought staying at home was a piece of cake, I think I'm extra sensitive and paranoid about how others view my current vocation. And in my heart, I'm always feeling I should be able to at least keep up with the things I need to do, with a little extra time to read a magazine.

And sometimes, because I care too much about what I think others think, I accidentally over commit. Like maybe now. I have many things to accomplish for an art event at my sons school, which is in 2 weeks. I'm also working on coordinating a couple of things at my favorite art gallery. I want/need to clean my house and I would love (LOVE) to be able to do some art today. I feel a little overwhelmed with what needs to be done, yet here I sit, typing a blog post about how much stuff I have to do. This is so typical! I even procrastinated like this in college (ya know, back when I thought everyone else had it so much easier than me). Maybe I ought to get off my hiney now and tackle my to do list (maybe I should actually write a to do list). Then I might not feel so overwhelmed.

Before I go, I have to share with you two of my "favorite" comments.

#1 - I was at a restaurant where the owner was a woman with small kids. When I told her I was a SAHM she said: "you are so spoiled".

#2 - a college kid I worked with at a retail job I had for awhile: "My mom never had the privilege of staying home. She had to work her ass off..."

Thanks for stopping by and listening to me ramble. I hope your weather is as glorious as ours, here in Mid Missouri. Enjoy the weekend!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

More Items Posted

Now that I'm such a photo-whiz (sarcasm here), I've posted 3 more tag sets and re-photographed and re-listed an ACEO in my Etsy shop today. I officially have 35 things to sell in my shop. Wow! That's pretty good for me. I think if I ever had enough items for sale that I was up to a 3 page shop, I'd be delirious with joy!

Here's what's new today:

and...


Well, I'm getting kicked off the computer so the kids can play computer games before they go to bed. Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Photo Breakthrough

There are some days when I feel pretty hopeless - which I'm sure I've mentioned here before. I don't like to keep bringing it up because I don't want to be known as a whiney blogger. However, it's just a fact about me...I often let things overwhelm me, beat me down and I fall into the pit of "woe is me".

But today, I crawled out of the pit for a little while, saw the sun, got some things accomplished and thought I'd better blog about it! A few weeks ago, I told you about a workshop being taught at Artlandish Gallery on product photography (by the lovely and talented Nichelle Lawrence). I didn't really participate in the workshop because I was helping build light boxes for it, but I got to hear some of the helpful tips.

Since then, I've built my own light box, (which is quite cool, if I say so myself), and have been on the hunt for daylight light bulbs. Let me just mention that if you are looking for daylight bulbs and you don't really know what you are doing, don't be distracted by the GE reveal reader bulbs. The pictures on the packaging made me think I was buying the right bulb, or at least a bulb that would work, but I was sadly mistaken. The photos I took with reveal were more of a pinkish color than the normal yellow I've taken in the past.

So today, I walked into Westlake Hardware and decided to actually ask someone for the daylight bulb instead of trying to find it myself. Even after the guy pointed to them and said "they are the ones with the blue on the label", I still almost picked the one with the green label (sometimes I really wonder about myself and my goofy little brain). I happened to have a $5 gift card (I'm on the Ace Rewards Plan), so the bulb only cost under $3. Which is nice, since I've spent about $10 or so pursuing bulbs that were of no help at all.

I came home, screwed in the light bulb (how many artists does it take to screw in a light bulb? It turns out, only one!) and took some photos. I am very pleased with how the photos turned out. No yellow, no pink or any other funky colors. Just fairly clear, normal light. Because I liked my pictures, and because I've made a couple of sales this week, I was motivated to list three new tag sets today. Woo hoo! Maybe next time Nichelle teaches a workshop (hopefully sometime in May), I can listen in on the parts I missed and come up with some cool lighting techniques. Until then, I'm pretty pleased with what I have.


So the two photos above are ones that I hate and ones that I normally take. And these are the ones I'm feeling very proud of today:


I realize I still am no professional, but I feel much better about these product photos. Hopefully, I will stay motivated enough to continue to work on them and not be so easily discouraged. It's fun to have lots of things up in my Etsy shop, but it's not so much fun to work hard and not have good results.

Thanks for stopping by today. I hope wherever you are, Spring is warm and beautiful. It sure is here in Mid Missouri!

Latest Stamp Carvings

Here are my latest hand carved stamps. I think I'm running a little dry on ideas, but at least I'm carving...I guess.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Linoleum Block Cut

I started carving this block during my first linoleum block cutting workshop. I finished it a couple of months ago, but didn't make my first prints until last night (in the wee hours, of course). I like the way it turned out, but think I should've left more detail in the biggest leaf.  My favorite on this cut, is the smallest leaf. No doubt there will be another leaf block coming soon.

I guess I'm going to have to figure out something to do with the bigger block cuts. I think this one would look good on a handmade art journal or as a framed piece. Cards would be ok too. I have some other colors of ink I will need to try out.

Thanks for looking!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Law & Order & Tags

I've been making tags, though I'm not sure why. They're fun and easy and I can do them while I watch t.v. I had over 100 episodes of Law and Order recorded on DVR. If I watched all of those shows and didn't do anything else, well...nothing would be done. It turns out that after several days of watching 1-3 episodes of L&O per day, I couldn't take it any more. No matter how attractive I think Sam Waterson and some of those detectives might be, there was just too much killing going on. So, I deleted all the episodes (except for one) that I had recorded and canceled all future recordings.

I didn't really mean to go into my t.v. viewing habits in this post, but sometimes stuff just happens. Anyway, here are some new tags that are made from rubber stamps I carved. I hope you like them.