Friday, June 27, 2008

Where has the time gone and who can I talk to about it? (Plus Illustration Friday!)

Gah! I'm afraid CPS is going to stop by and take away my child because my house is so messy! I just don't have time to pay attention to it right now. I'm not sure they'd understand my determination not to die with the epitaph, "She kept a clean house." I must admit that things are a little out of control even by my standards. I suppose this means I'd better plan a party so that I'm forced to clean!

How do you balance your life? Child, husband, art, housecleaning; that's the order of my priorities. It seems reasonable until it turns out that I never seem to have time for number four. I've heard of people doing the "15 minute" plan. ie: they set the timer for 15 minutes and just spend that long on unpleasant jobs. But what if you can't complete what there is to do in 15 minutes? How many "15 minute" time slots do you end up having to do every day? (Yes, this is actually an extended whining session thinly disguised as a cry for help.)

Speaking of Jeri Aaron (as I was last post), check out these adorable water color dresses she's made. I'm absolutely in love with them! They couldn't be any cuter.

I've pulled everything from my Etsy store for the sale this weekend. I've painted a bunch of new stuff and have one still in progress. I made a bunch of cards from prints and got some cellophane card envelopes to put them in. I've made price tags and earring tags; now I just have to attach them to everything. I'm still formulating a packaging plan. I'm still formulating a plan for my display. They are just providing a 5' x 7' space - not 10' x 10' - so I'm having to adjust my thinking to smaller quarters. My fabulous husband made me a 4 foot banner on the plotter at work (plotter is another word for super-fancy-very-expensive-huge-printer) that I will put on the front of the table. I decided to use felt on the table so I got some sticky-backed velcro (or, as they call it on HGTV, "hook & loop tape") to put on the back of the banner. Wish me luck that that will keep it attached!

Giving Credit where Credit is Due

I'm still trying to find my painting style. I've borrowed techniques and styles from Kelly Rae Roberts, Suzan Buckner, Pam Carriker, and Paulette Insall for these paintings. There's definitely something of me in there, trying to get out. I just haven't hit upon the thing that gives me that A-Ha! feeling, you know? I would also like to give credit to Kat Tarra for inspiring me to make charm bracelets again. I used to make them all the time but I underpriced them (I made the bracelet part and everything) and it started to feel like forced labor. I'm faster now, and Kat's bracelets are so cool that I thought I would try my hand at them again.

I'll be advertising!
I bought ad space at Wickedly Chic which will be displayed 2 weeks in August and 1 week in September. (If you've never stopped by this website, check it out - there are tons of cool articles and stuff. Like this one, by Andrea Chamberlin. I was totally laughing, her mom sounds hilarious!) That means, of course, that I will have to fill up my Etsy shop. No more procrastinating and chickening out! You heard it here first! I will have a full Etsy shop beginning in July!

I looked out my window the other day and this is what I saw. How sweet is that? I had to take the picture through the window because I didn't want to scare them off, so it's a little fuzzy.

Full view of Follow Your Dreams - sorry for the fuzzy pic

Illustration Friday!

Lastly, this week's Illustration Friday theme is "Fierce." (Is there a Christian Siriano fan around here?) I've submitted this detail of a painting I painted for my sister a couple of years ago after she fought off some home invaders (yes, I've never been so scared in my life as I was when I first heard about it) and scared them away. I was so proud of her bravery that I painted her a pic of a boxer.

The Boxer, detail - painted in the spring of 2003

(Btw, if anyone knows how to make it so my thumbnail on the Illustration Friday site doesn't look so terrible, please tell me! That 50x50 size is killing me and I don't know how to make it work well.)

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Still Trying to Get into the Groove...

At last! I am finally getting the houses I received in the Row House Swap posted! I want to thank all the ladies who participated and, again, Jeri of Artful Gathering for hosting. It was great fun and introduced me to a format that I'm now in love with.

The ladies from whom I got houses are:

Virginia Madison
Chelise Stroud Hery
Ellen Gray
Elaine Akers
Barbara Hagerty
Lydia Hildebrandt
Jan Love
Susie Cazier
Linda Findley
Mary Wagner
Liane Ceglar

Thanks again for your beautiful work!

I joined another Etsy Street Team - well, I joined it months ago but then didn't do anything with it. I just recently got more actively involved in it, which led me to sign up for a show & sale. I'm a little nervous, I haven't done a show since Rexy was a baby!

Anyway, so now I'm trying to build up my paltry inventory like mad! I went through my jewelry inventory and decided I didn't like half of it. I've set it aside to either take apart to use the components or to put on a "clearance" table at the sale. I've sketched out 3 or 4 canvasses and just have to start putting paintbrush to paint. I redesigned my business card and I'm trying to decide between two versions. I still have to print and cut a supply of them. I'm still redesigning my jewelry cards and price tags - which I will then have to print and cut out, too. I can do my jewelry display setup in my sleep (I used to do this a lot) - I'm still pretty happy with its design - but I have never had to display canvasses and shrines before and I'm racking my brain trying to come up with an attractive idea that I can haul around by myself.

I'm a member of a group called Marmalade Pink. It's a fantastic, supportive group and I thought I'd share some member's products with you:

I was so thrilled to hear from Dana, formerly of Eccentricities Studio, the other day. I had been wondering where she went. It turns out she was regrouping and opening up a new store! And wow! It's a beauty! I can't wait to try one of everything. She's also destashing and selling some of her primitive products and supplies in a different store.

Dana's fabulous soap and sundries store:

Dana's Primitive supplies and products destash store:

So yesterday I left my sweet, pretty, angelic 4yo alone in the bathroom - we're practicing going alone. She was drawing a "story" in her drawing pad with a purple marker. (She's particularly fond of drawing stories about "Rexy going to school" which is breaking my heart right now because we just had the last day of school and the reality of what that means hasn't sunk in with her yet. She just keeps thinking she will see her best friends, Imad and CeeCee, tomorrow.) When I went back in she was leaning over with her face in her lap.

"Are you okay, honey?"

She looked up at me with a beautific grin - and a plum sized circle of purple over her right eye...and more purple on her neck...and her chest...and the fronts and backs of both hands...and completely covering her legs from knee to hip! GROAN...........and you know what? Washable markers stop being washable when they're applied ten layers deep. So the marks have faded to a nice fuschia-violet color - but they're still there. Oh, man...