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.


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