Thursday, July 06, 2006

First off, I want to try to post the picture that wouldn't @#*#&^ post last time, of one of the little watercolors I did from a lily in my backyard. Remember drawing with crayons as a kid and then putting watercolor over it? How cool it was that the wax acted as a resist? Well, it's still fun now, with oil pastel and watercolor. It looks like this! (left, yay, it worked this time). I will be posting this to etsy as soon as I finish some housekeeping there.

I read a post by dyno, one of the grand mentors of etsy, something along the lines of "To all those who ask, why haven't I sold anything?" Since I hadn't, I figured it would be a good post to read. Yup. It was like a swift and justified kick in the pants. So now I am creating extra photos to upload (closeups of my art, what it would look like in a frame), working on optimizing for the search, more tags, better descriptions. We'll see if that helps.

Tonight I tried a new thing in my newest crafting hobby: quilting. I've made a couple of blankets so far, and while my piecing skills are not too bad (sewing a straight line), and my stitch-in-the-ditch quilting skills are ok (again, straight lines), I have completely shied away from any free-motion quilting. WOW, what have I been missing? FUN FUN FUN! Like drawing really fast with a sharp moving object. excellent.

The other day I tried a technique from a recent Quilting Arts magazine on some scraps I have sitting around. I went and got a big ol' dinnerplate hibiscus from the back garden and used it as a fabric stamp. Then I stitched a few more scraps for a border, took down the feed dogs on the machine and let er rip! wow, that is a LOT of fun. I'm sure it isn't technically very good, but I thought it went really well for a first try. Here's how it looks so far (right). Yep, the fabrics really are almost as screaming loud as they look in the picture. it's not quite as garish as it looks, the flash of the camera really makes the fabric paint pick up this weird neon blue sheen.

ok. that's it for this... I need to figure out how to add myself to the etsy blogging ring...

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

So far not so good

It's already apparent that I am going to need to work on this blogging thing. In the last few weeks I've been nowhere near my computer when I've had any coherent thoughts worth putting down. To be fair, what follows may not meet that criteria either.

We survived our vacation. Parents of small children will nod their heads and know that that is no small feat! It actually went better than expected, Things 1 and 2 did very well during the car trip and behaved well enough that noone (I think) seriously questioned our parenting ability.

First stop was my 15 year college reunion at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. Ithaca NY is not exactly known for its mild weather, but until this year has been deceptively beautiful in June. This time it was 45 and raining. A lot. Oh yes, that's right, it really WAS true that it snowed 3 out of 4 years on the last day of classes. I tell that story, but even I was starting to not believe it.

I told my old friends about my new
Etsy venture, about how hopeful I was that I could find a market for my fine art and do less graphic design. About how it was really discouraging that despite views I had made no sales and had a hard time marketing myself. About how it was a struggle for self-confidence as a 'starving artist' v. a graphic designer where there is a pretty specifc price I can put on the value of my work.

Then I pulled out my postcards to show them. I think the design I did for these postcards is really nice... one side is a full bleed image, the reverse has my contact info, 4 different images and designs. My original thought was to send along a postcard with a sale as a little freebie, something they could put in a 4x6 frame or whatever. This friend oohed and ahhed over the 4 postcards, asked if she keep them, and then says - with NO apparent comprehension of the backhanded slap attached to the compliment - that she knows EXACTLY what she will do them, she'll go home and frame them and hang them on her wall.

Gee, thanks. I'm still (not really) laughing over it, having read a recent and lengthy thread in the etsy about people really being rude about asking for discounts/freebies or just forgetting that we're in this to make a living. (Hey, I didn't ask her for free Johnson & Johnson products - that's where she works)

Next stop was Vermont, where luckily it cleared up and was pretty if not exactly really warm. We went to Smuggler's Notch, which is a very nice ski resort. They have a pretty well developed summer program, with lots of (heated!) outdoor swimming (with slides and tubes and lagoony kind of stuff) that made the whole place very popular with the Things. Grandma and Grandpa on hubby's side were there, plus SIL and her family so there was much joy and craziness. They probably think I feed my Things that many hotdogs all the time, but hey, it was their vacation too. No point torturing them with too many vegetables. One of the coolest things we did (on the way there and back) was to ride the ferry across Lake Champlain. This pic is taken from the boat, shows all the dramatic weather.

I can in fact tell that my real life is settling back to normal because right now I'm watching my voicemail blink with the message from Nancy, our vacation home consultant, wanting to know if we've lost our marbles and would really like to seriously consider a timeshare for "Week 24" 1000 miles away. Caller ID is a wonderful thing.

I had this whole bag of art supplies packed, because (start laughing) I thought I would have plenty of time to make art. Well, I did at least knit a hat with some lovely yarn I bought from another etsyer ( And I was able to chase DH and Things away on a Saturday morning and sit on my porch and listen to the stream and make some small watercolors. I did some experimenting with watercolor and oil pastel (cray-pas, just like from elementary school!). I'm going to try listing the originals on Etsy and see if they generate any interest.

It was especially nice to sit and be in that meditative place for awhile, that place where you lose track of time and just end up feeling happy and centered. That's been tough lately here at home, though it was easier on vaction... After long simmering tension I finally 'broke up' with a good friend. Or maybe she broke up with me. I guess it was kind of mutal. I'm still very sad about it, and just making little sketchy doodles helps.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Onboard DVD players are wonderful things

We are about ready for our roadtrip. Which is to say, Thing 1 is randomly picking up toys and stuffing them into his spiderman suitcase, DH is 'planning and organizing' - i.e. watching television, and I am trying to figure out how to manipulate the template on this blog instead of finishing the laundry.

Doesn't really matter, all you really need for Thing 1 and 2 on a roadtrip is an endless supply of DVDs for the minivan. Have Pixar, will travel. Clean underwear is superfluous, dirty is fine as long as it has a superhero on it.

Since this blog is supposed to at least have something to do with my art, I'll post a picture of how I feel about long car trips. Fine art prints available at my etsy store!!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The last person on the planet... finally starting a blog. It's somewhat ironic, since in my pre-kid corporate drone days I was in charge of design at a big consumer website. You'd think I'd be more up on this stuff, but apparently not so much. Well, let's give it a whirl, shall we?