Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I'm late! I'm late! - but look what I (sort of) found! Plus, Haiku Challenge #4!

By the time you read this post it will be 2 days late (or more, if you read if after tomorrow of course). I sat down at the computer on Monday evening to write my Haiku Monday blogpost; but before I came here I thought I should try to catch up on some of my discussion boards, groups, etc. That was moving along fairly swiftly until I got to my EtsyRain discussion board. Anandi, one of the more active members had posted about a new craft sales site. (She called it "cheating" on Etsy.) The site is called 1000 Markets and it's really cool!

There are no listing fees and all payments are made through the Amazon payment system. After a sale you are charged 5.5% + 50 cents and Amazon doesn't charge you at all. When it's all added up, it's cheaper, definitely, than eBay + PayPal, and although I haven't done the math myself, one of my fellow EtsyRain-ers says it is also cheaper that Etsy+ PayPal. (That may be a record number of commas for one sentence - I knew I was going wrong there but I just couldn't stop myself!)

There is a catch. It is "lightly juried." In other words, you have to apply. They are quite specific about photo quality (which terrifies me, I'm not at all confident in that arena), the quality of your banner and avatar, and even the way you word your profile and store policies. None of that is a bad thing, just nervous-making.

One of the things that Anandi said that made it attractive to me is that she felt like it was a site for an older market - older meaning not 22 years old - and that that made it a site that welcomes a more varied "look." I took that to mean that Etsy has a very specific "look" that attracts a very specific market and that this place might have a wider customer base. I don't know about you, but that's very appealing to me. Interestingly, they also have blogs in each store. Your latest post shows up on your store's homepage. I try not to spread myself too thin, blog-wise, I seldom use the blogs. However, I know that a lot of customers are interested in the artistic process and it occurred to me that this store blog would be a fantastic venue for that sort of thing. It would also be great for little how-tos, or pics of whatever it is that you sell in use in real life (like the Ikea showrooms!).

Anyway, I decided to mosey over and see for myself. Big mistake. I finally tore myself away at 2:30am! I opened an account, but haven't applied for a store yet. I want to make sure I have all my ducks in a row before I apply. I want to make a new banner and avatar, and write up my profile and policy. I did test of all those things - and then I explored other people's stores and promptly decided to scrap what I already done. I think this could a great venue!

On to Haiku!

Via email, Liisa Mannery sent the above pic to go along with her Haiku submissions using the "Change" topic. She was concerned that she had used a previous week's topic, but I say, "Don't stress!" Haiku, and any poetry, is a gift to the reader - I'm thrilled to get it whenever you want to send it!

Here are Liisa's poems, beginning with the bread:

Flabby, pale mass - you
grow in warmth and solitude.
Ah, fresh homemade bread.


Change has many names,
Birth and death are two of them.
Life goes on between.


Fall rocks my senses,
Blazing a trail for winter.
Spring will come too soon.

Sweet SueAnn offered this one:

The song fills my soul
wonderful thoughts fill my head
You move me sweet friend.

From Kayce, these fabulous poems:

A simple comment
from their imagination
fills my week with fun


I watch him in awe
a man of ease married me
He makes me my best

and my subject matter - humanity:

A look, eyebrows raised,
a secret smile you keep close,
what goes on in there?


The past and its scars,
the way a person survives,
shows on each one's face.

And so that brings us to Haiku Challenge #4 which I am going to extend - due to my lateness in posting - through next week. So #5 will be posted Monday, December 8th.

And! our theme for this time, Haiku Challenge #4, is Winter! Go count some syllables!

p.s. If ever you have an idea for a challenge topic, please tell me! Especially if you can make them more original than mine!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Eek! I forgot to post this on Wednesday!

Sigh...My memory is like a sieve.......
This moves me every time I read it. It applies to so much in life.

(Belatedly for) A Day of Sharing Words

Statement of Purpose

I do the work because I want to.
I do the work because I like to.
I do the work because I know how.
I do the work to explore myself.
I the work to engage others with thought, word, and deed.
I do the work because I have something to say.
I do the work because I have seen something beautiful.
I do the work because I have seen something ugly.
I do the work to be the kind of person I want to be.
I do the work to earn money.
I do the work to stay when I must go.

- Cautrell

Monday, November 17, 2008

Words! Words! Words! (and a few free images)

Everyone's blogs are about words lately! Not only Haikus; Donna Cook has a great blog post - that I will partially relate here - about Six Words to Inspire a Nation and Judy Wilkenfeld posts LK Ludwig's Day of Sharing Words invitation - that I will partially relate here.

Free Images
Also, since all my artwork is still in progress, I decided to post some images that you may copy freely. Theoretically if you click on each image you will get it at full size and then you can right click and copy it. I say theoretically because blogspot and I have a troubled past when it comes to images. Tonight, when I first uploaded these pics, I uploaded all in one bunch - and blogspot told me my images had been uploaded. And yet when I came back to the post writing page there was not one image. Who knows where they went? I ended up having to upload each pic individually.


I will start with today's Haikus - belatedly, I admit. It was nice outside on Sunday so we did a bunch of winterizing around the yard all day. By Sunday night (when I would normally do this post) I was so exhausted, stiff, and in pain that I fell fast asleep on the couch. Oops! So here I am at 11:42pm turning Haiku Monday into Haiku Tuesday! I may have to rethink this weekly thing...

The subject this time was "Change"

First, the beautiful and fabulous Teresa from Attic Rat, some of you may know her as Cedar Junction:

change is good
if it improves your situation
otherwise it bites

From the amazing and prolific Kayce at World of Whimm:

boy in pajamas
seconds before the bus leaves
calmly reading books

kids are playing well
errands to run before five
driving screaming kids

(these made me laugh, they totally remind me of my life)

from me:

For once it's welcome.
Change is gonna come to me
And I'm not hiding


Where have those keys gone?
I was getting organized!
Some things don't change much.


Discarded, unloved;
Craft beauty from dirty junk
And proclaim it art

In light of the next 2 subjects about words, I'm going to officially declare the topic for Haiku #3 to be Inspiration.

Six Words to Inpire a Nation
"Seek Justice, Love Kindness, Walk Humbly"

SMITH Magazine and the National Constitution Center ask you to help President-elect Obama inspire America.

In six words, give him guidance. Or offer ideas for his inaugural address. Or share six memorable words for January 20th and beyond.

In six words, a President can say a lot: "Malice toward none, charity for all," "Nothing to fear but fear itself," "Like a thousand points of light."

So give your speechwriting a try. Submit your words before January 5, 2009

A Day of Sharing Words
(From Judy Wilkenfeld at Red Velvet Creations)

LK Ludwig is hosting this day of sharing words. Here's what it's all about...

The idea:
We have words that touch us, move into our hearts and resonate, creating a feeling, taking us some place- past, present, future- perhaps some place we have never been and may never go, but for whatever reasons, the words pulse in our blood. Meeting new words, new poets, new poems, new ways for my heart to beat, is an intruiging concept. Want to go on this adventure with me? It will be easy to travel along.Many of us already do this sharing; this idea is just to help us find each other and hear the words we have to share.

The Date:
Wednesday, November 19.

The Plan:
On your blog, post a poem that moves inside you, touches you, reaches you. (quotes and song lyrics welcome). Include the author (or composer or musician) and source (book, album)- perhaps also the amazon link if there is one. no explanation required, no other revelation necessary.

One last thing:
Perhaps add an image. a photo. a video. a painting. a collage., if you would. Come here to this post. Add a comment with your link.I'll create a typepad page with the links, so others can hear the rhythm of the words, see the image and share in the experience.The Request: If you are intrigued enough, post on your blog about this Day of Sharing Words- encourage your friends to post.

Who couldn't use a few new poems in their treasury or new songs in their hearts?

So I think I'm going to try these two things. I have a little idea for both of them. I'll reserve my poem, etc., for Wednesday; but I'll share my six words now.

(Fair warning: mildly political - but non partisan - opinion to follow)

I'm not sure how inspirational they are for the nation, they're more in the "guidance" category. I feel pretty strongly about this.

"Always remember America is your boss."

I feel like that's a fact that most elected officials seem to forget. In my mind, it doesn't matter how powerful the office makes you, America pays your salary. You still work for me - and my neighbor Laverne - and my 93yo grandfather. Yes, it's a pain in the a** to work for us because we all have different agendas and we're all pretty demanding - but we still pay your salary. Sometimes trying to accomodate the most bosses possible is going to inconvenience you and some of your friends - but that's part of the job. Sometimes trying to accomodate the most bosses possible is going to really pi** off some of the others - taking those lumps is also part of the job. And we still pay your salary. A good employee does not lie to, cheat, or steal from his boss. In return we give you your power - and pay your salary.

(stepping off soapbox now)

One last Haiku...

Change. It is coming.
I don't know what it's bringing,
But it comes gift-wrapped.

Remember, next Haiku topic (#3) is Inspiration.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Short Blog Post? Can This Be True???

I checked out Joseph Cornell, Navigating the Imagination from the library last month. It's the companion catalogue to the exhibition. It weighs nearly 6 pounds! It is so chock-full of information that it's sort of hard to read. It was definitely a labor of love by the exhibit's curator. Unfortunately, due to the denseness of the text, I have not finished reading it - by a long shot - and I just realized it was due Monday. I was really trying to go cover to cover, but now I'm conflicted. Should I take another day, skim through the pictures and return it tomorrow? Or should I just return it today and put myself back on the waiting list? Sigh...I should probably return it today because people are waiting for it. Then I can at least go through the pictures at my leisure next time, right? I just hesitate to let go of it because I waited so long for it to begin with!

My DH found this site, Oobject, on one of his vintage bike sites. It is fabulous! It's just chock full of photos of amazing things, organized by (sometimes wacky and imaginative) categories. Like, for example, Bubble Cars. And they usually have little tidbits of information to share in each category, like, Founding Fathers' Invention Myths. It's a fun little site.
Speaking of my DH, look at the grocery list he gave me the other day:

Pretty cute, huh? Yes, that says "Elephant (to ride)." He and Rexy were making that list together and that was her contribution.
OMG - if you don't already read Yarn Harlot's blog, you'll have to go visit this entry about her caffeine nightmare! She is sooooooooooo hilarious! You don't have to be a knitter to appreciate her. I love her writing and I don't think my once-yearly scarf knitting experience qualifies me as a bona fide "knitter."
Lastly, guess what??? I sold four paintings on Tuesday! And, as soon as I figure out the shipping cost to Canada, another one will sell today or tomorrow! Yippee! Plus, 2 necklaces, 3 pairs of earrings, and 5 cards! Hurray! I know I should be able to just find satisfaction in the process of creating things, but I have to say the validation of selling something is pretty sweet. Don't you think?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Challenge! Haiku Monday #2

First things first. The topic for Haiku Monday #2 is ...............Change! I thought the topic would go well with current events. See this post for details.

Now on to last week's results...

So I arrived here at Sunday night/waaaaaay early Monday morning and realized that I had not written a Haiku! Nothing like a little Haiku action at 2a.m. on a Sunday, right? So I wrote this solemn little thing:

Dark, mysterious,
my companion, my refuge;
I welcome the night.

Hmmm...a little dramatic, maybe.

Then I decided to write a Haiku to go with the painting I painted today:

My coolness has fled.
I’m silly, sloppy, and loud.
Happy in myself.

(FYI it's 10 x 4 x 1.5 with painted sides - background and dots carry over - I'll be posting this on Etsy when I get a chance)

So! A HUGE thank you to the participants. It's been so fun for me - and you, too, I hope! Several people also posted art to go with their Haikus on their blogs. Please check them out! A link is provided for each person.

From Teresa at Attic Rat:

Too much candy gone
Gooey chocolate fingers
My butt will expand

From Pam Carriker at The Bag Lady's Art:

Angels from above
Whisper words of gratitude
silently to me

From Colette at Dreaming Stone:

Gratitude for love
silent and unbounded gift
Coming from above

From Glenda Bailey at Two Cool Texans:

Reaching reaching up
knowing the answers are there
keep on reaching up

From Kayce at On a Whimm:

Passion in a child
A Paleontologist
Feels it in his bones

( a very sweet pic of her son's well-loved dinosaur book was her inspiration)

And 2 from Gina Smith at Lilly's of Londonish:

Love your Etsy art!
Wish I had money to blow;
Then I'd get me some.

(Thank you, Gina!)

and her second entry:

That Haiku was lame,
Not as witty as I thought.
My muse ran away.

Thanks again to you all. It was so delightful to check my email and find Haiku! Thanks, too, for posting about it in your blogs.

Lastly, this beauty, below, is a drawing that my brilliant child did (I have no humility when it comes to my child, I admit. My DH and I think she's the best thing going.). Can you tell what it is? Its first letter is right there, too. It's a turkey! I think it's fabulous. She did that while sitting at the dining room table trying to draw a picture for every letter of the alphabet. How fab is that? Note its little wing. She told me that she liked my bird picture, above, but "It's just missing one thing." "What is that?" "Mommy! A wing!" Then she laughed like I was being deliberately silly. (Guess I'm slow...)

A last Haiku for today:

New Haiku fever
can't stop counting syllables;
a poet is born.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

CHALLENGE!!! Haiku Monday #1

What do you think?

Let's start something!

If you're a longtime reader then you know that I love Haiku. Well, I decided to start a Haiku Monday challenge. Last year (I think...) I had a little Haiku challenge and got lots of great responses. Many people had never written a Haiku before - some still didn't, you know who you are, Jan! (Miss 30 syllables instead of 17, love you for that!) - and were delighted to discover how easy it was. That's the great thing about Haiku, it's totally accesible.

Traditionally, Haiku is about Nature (yes, with a capital "N"). We're not going to be all serious here, though. Your Haiku can be about anything - even nature!

Spring! I dance for thee.

My skirt! With so many holes.

Panties! A good thing.

(both picture and Haiku are from the blog Threadbared)

Here are some guidelines:

If you google Haiku you will find much discussion about the rules and whether you should use them. I say let's just start with the basics and if you break them a little...well, we call that artistic license in this house!

The pattern we'll be using for Haiku is the following:

Line 1: 5 syllables
Line 2: 7 syllables
Line 3: 5 syllables

If you would like some examples, check out this site full of Haikus about lint - yes, as in dryer. My favorite might be the one that ends in "Lint, you complete me."

This is one I did for last year's Altered Art themed Haiku challenge:

Altered art passion.
New beauty made from old things.
It makes my heart sing.

Here's my thought about art and Haiku; while art is totally (completely!) optional, wouldn't it be nice to make a little 'zine full of art and Haikus? The details for that have to be worked out still. Liisa is a 'zine veteran, so I will pick her brain about that part and work out the details at a later date.

In any case, art or no art, all submissions from the week will be posted here the following Monday with a link to your blog (if you have one). In other words, I will post the topic sometime on Monday; accept submissions in the form of a comment or an email all week; create a blog post the following monday announcing the next topic and publishing the previous week's submissions.

(artwork and Haiku courtesy of the kind and generous Margaret Etzler)

So, to begin the process. This week's Haiku/art theme is:


There is so much to be grateful for in our lives, be as mundane or as esoteric as you like. Want to write a Haiku about the squeaky toy that keeps your pesky dog busy while you paint - go for it! Want to write a Haiku about the kind nurses in your mom's post-op ward - excellent! The way the sun shines on the leaves on your morning walk - well, you get the idea. Whatever you want to write about that expresses the topic "gratitude" for you is welcome. I look forward to seeing what you write!

Depression Cooking Ep: 3 - Poorman's Meal

Ok, I'm a little video happy, I admit. But, after browbeating you about voting, I thought I would share this charming video I found on

Real blogposts are coming, I promise!