Friday, October 24, 2008

Awards and How many times have we said, "I'm sorry it's been so long...?"

My dear friend Pam Carriker, of the Bag Lady's Art, gave me a couple of awards eons ago and I am now passing them on. First, the eternally soul-beautiful Jan Thomasson, of the Polka Dot Barn, whose sweet emails always lift my spirits. Second, the eternally amazing Suzan Buckner, of The Thrifty Collage Artist, who provides so much inspiration for me on a daily basis. And third, the eternally generous Donna Cook, of Bonnie Blue Denim, who so generously shares herself not only with us but also with her world at large. Please visit these fabulous women, you'll be glad you did. (note: especially the Polka Dot Barn, Jan's mom is in the hospital right now and I know she would love your thoughts and prayers)

Have you seen this?

I've seen it on a few fellow bloggers' sidebars, but didn't know what it was and didn't investigate. Well, I finally followed the link. For those of you who are as behind in the information race as I am, here is the meaning of the sign:

It's from a post titled "Blogging without obligation" from Tartx. She starts the entry with "After coming across what seemed to be the 4000th or so post on somebody's blog starting with "I'm sorry I haven't posted in awhile." I decided it is time to rethink what makes a good blog..." She going on to make some good points and I thought I'd share them here with you:

Blogging without obligation:
  • Because you shouldn't have to look at your blog like it is a treadmill.

  • Because its okay to just say what you have to say. If that makes for a long post, fine. Short post, fine. Frequent post, fine. Infrequent post, fine.

  • Because its okay to not always be enthralled with the sound of your own typing.

  • Because sometimes less is more.

  • Because only blogging when you feel truly inspired keeps up the integrity of your blog.

  • Because they are probably not going to inscribe your stat, link and comment numbers on your tombstone.

  • Because for most of us blogging is just a hobby. A way to express yourself and connect with others. You should not have to apologize for lapses in posts. Just take a step back and enjoy life, not everything you do has to be "bloggable".

  • Because if you blog without obligation you will naturally keep your blog around longer, because it won't be a chore. Plus, just think you will be doing your part to eradicate post pollution. One post at a time. . .

It really hit home with me because I seem to be writing that apology on just about every post! I truly love my blog - perhaps more than is clinically advisable - but sometimes life is just a little too full, you know? Sometimes I just want to fool around on a computer game instead of blogging - AKA "vegging out" for a little while. I may steal her tagline, "Blogging whenever I fu*#%ng feel like it since 2006." (I also love swearing more than is clinically advised. Can't do it with the little ears around these days. :-D )

Well, I'm brimming with ideas right now and I've got the dining room all cleaned up because we had company Monday, we're having company Saturday, and Rexy's teacher is coming for a home visit next week. Sigh... I'm terrified I'll make such a mess that it will overwhelm my limited powers of tidiness and then Rexy's teacher will see what a terrible slob I really am. I don't think I can hold out for a week and a half though. Already things have slipped since Monday's company. What I wouldn't give for a studio with a door that closes! There's an article in the newest Cloth, Paper, Scissors Studios Magazine in which the writer describes her ideal studio and it's as if she's reading my mind.

Ahhhhhh, the dream...

~~~ an airy, light-filled room with open shelves at one end so that I can see all my supplies (out of sight, out of mind); a counter that runs the whole length of the building (did I mention it was a building?) with 2 big sinks; a long, comfy couch for naps and friends; Several work tables for different media and one big, table-topped, rolling cart for taking work outside when it's nice out - ooh, and one of those super cool, gigantic easels that you see in the art supply catalogs with so many bells and whistles that it practically makes your coffee in the morning; windows, windows, windows - but still plenty of wall space for art and inspiration boards; double french doors that lead out to the open porch/deck/patio (I can't decide) or a really cool, windowed, sliding barn door...or maybe both! ~~~

What's your dream studio?

Friday, October 10, 2008

And The Winner Is...

Hopefully this still counts as a Friday announcement, since it's (barely) before midnight! I guess I should have used a green background with these pics to coordinate with my blog template. Oh, well. I was in a polka dot mood.

Since I was taking pictures of the event, I decided to use the fancy scissors. Oh, yeah. I'm going all out for this!

Okay, I'm not exactly sure what kind of hat it is; but it looks very Napoleonic. Phil bought it years ago for a costume - or maybe just because he liked it, I forget which - and it now resides practically in the middle of our living room on top of a painted-gold(metallic)-distressed-with-black, Easter Island, tiki-head statue. I'm not kidding. He's very attached to it. I just try to pretend it's not there...

He was so shy about having his picture taken while doing this that I agreed that he could just be a hand model. I was playing with the "lighting effects" control on PSE in case you're wondering about the odd spotlight effect.

And so the winner is...Lorraine of Glimmering Prize!

(PM me on the ZNE network with your address Lorraine and I will pop your new painting in the mail to you.)

Thank you so much to everyone who participated! It was fun! I need to have more contests, I think. I hope I will still know you all when I get to 200 posts. It's a priviledge and an honor to know you.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

And Now News from the Sale Front...

Okay, it's been more than a month - ack! almost 2! - since the Showcase Tacoma sale - finally a recap! I didn't want my 100th post to be about that, so I was waiting. And waiting and waiting...... BTW, make sure and leave a comment on that post to be eligible for the drawing!

(Currently on Etsy)

Anyway - I did fantastic! Well, I sold 15 things. But that's the most non jewelry things that I've ever sold in one place! And......SEVEN of those were paintings! Whoo hoo! And this wasn't the busiest festival, that's for sure. There were times that the only people you could see were other people with booths. I do admit that I had things priced to sell for the most part, but they were no differently priced than I had them on Etsy. Jonah from Maluhia Designs posted a pic of my booth on her Flickr site. (She makes the cutest things out of Japanese fabric!) We all shared a gigantic, 10' x 40' tent; I was third from the end. When I saw this pic I was apalled at how wrinkly my table cloth was! How did I miss that? Sigh...another lesson learned.
It was really gratifying to do so well and to receive a lot of compliments on my work. I think it was that little push that I needed to convince me that this is the direction I should be going in. I also had several inquiries about classes. Coincidentally, my friend Liisa recently asked me if I would be interested in teaching a class sometime. Now, what should I teach?

One thing that helped a couple of times is that I can now take Credit Cards. Have you heard of ProPay? It's awesome! I got some carbon CC slips at the bank - they just gave them to me - and I filled out all the info by hand and then when I got home I just went online and processed them. It's super fast and super easy. And they transferred the money to my bank account very speedily (unlike you-know-who).

(Currently on Etsy, this is the full view of the above pic)

I also managed to successfully avoid spending all my money at the other booths - my usual problem at these things. It was tough, though. A woman two booths away from me, Kayce of NueToMe and World of Whimm and On a Whimm (3 etsy stores!, she's a superwoman - read her blog), has adorable kids' dresses made from recycled adult sized t-shirts (hard to explain, but very cute), and fabulous soft sculpture crowns and mermaid tails. The crowns were especially hard not to buy. Rexy took to them immediately and wanted to try on every color and every size. But I just kept repeating, "Pre-school, pre-school, pre-school..." to myself until the urge died down. (Unfortunately, we couldn't get the $$$ together and so we're going to revisit the pre-school subject after the holidays.)

Yes, I did say "Rexy." I hadn't planned to take her, but we found out at the last minute that a friend of Phil's from college had died and the funeral was that afternoon just a few miles south of the festival. It didn't make any sense to take 2 cars all the way down there - approx 40 miles. My cousin was able to come up and entertain her for about an hour, but my sister who lives about a mile away from the venue unfortunately had to work. So it was just us for about 5 hours. She was an angel. Any 4 year old who can behave well for such an extended period of time in such a cramped space deserves a medal. Any autistic 4 yo who can behave well with a continuous stream of strangers going by deserves two medals!

Anyway, on to more recent things. I was just visiting our friends at FH Design, Kerry and Rachel, and they had been tagged with a food meme. I thought it looked interesting, so I stole it! It's a list of 100 foods from the Very Good Taste blog. Here's the text from the blog:

Here’s a chance for a little interactivity for all the bloggers out there. Below is a list of 100 things that I think every good omnivore should have tried at least once in their life. The list includes fine food, strange food, everyday food and even some pretty bad food - but a good omnivore should really try it all. Don’t worry if you haven’t, mind you; neither have I, though I’ll be sure to work on it. Don’t worry if you don’t recognise everything in the hundred, either; Wikipedia has the answers.

Here’s what I want you to do:
1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here at Very Good Taste linking to your results.
The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:
(I couldn't figure out how to cross things out - so I'm made them in red print instead)

1. Venison
2. Nettle Tea
3. Huevos Rancheros
4. Steak Tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black Pudding
7. Cheese Fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba Ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J Sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot Dog from street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black Truffle
18. Fruit Wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed Pork Buns
20. Pistachio Ice Cream
21. Heirloom Tomatoes
22. Fresh Wild Berries
23. Foie Gras
24. Rice Beans

25. Brawn, or Head Cheese
26. Raw, Scotch Bonnet Pepper (but I may have eaten it cooked once or twice)
27. Dulce de Leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna Cauda
31. Wasabi Peas
32. Clam Chowder in a Sourdough bowl
33. Salted Lassi
34. Sauerkraut

35. Root Beer Float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar (not at the same time)
37. Clotted Cream Tea
38. Vodka Jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried Goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal

44. Goat’s milk (unless it counts in cheese)
45. Malt Whisky from a bottle worth $120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken Tikka Masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea Urchin
51. Prickly Pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. Mcdonalds Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty Gin Martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV

59. Poutine
60. Carob Chips
61. S’mores

62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin (apparently it’s used in toothpaste)
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ Legs
67. Beignets, Churros, Elephant Ears or Funnel Cake (I don’t think of Beignets and Elephant Ears as being the same thing...

68. Haggis
69. Fried Plantain
70. Chitterlings or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and Blini
73. Louche Absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang Souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom Yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a 3 Michelin star restaurant
85. Kobe Beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash (Hungarian)
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo Chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft Shell Crab
93. Rose Harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole Poblano
96. Bagel and Lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee
100. Snake

Well, there were several things I had to look up – salted Lassi? But I was pretty surpised at the number of things I had had. 63, to be exact. Unlike Rachel, I used to be known as the kid who wouldn’t try anything! (As Karma would have it, I now have a child who only eats about 5 things.)
Well, I could go on and on but I 'm going to go have my first cup of coffee for the day instead.