Monthly Archives: September 2010

In the Not Too Distant Future

I have started three separate posts today and have subsequently trashed each one. Maybe it’s low blood sugar or the residual effects of my recent uneasy mood, but I can’t seem to get any combination of words make any kind of sense today.

Etsy has me stressed, mostly because I feel like a stranger in a strange land there. When it comes to eCommerce, my specialty lies in the individual web site. I’m still trying to navigate the ins and outs of selling in this kind of marketplace and discover ways to make Etsy work to my advantage. In the meantime, I have a ‘small fish in a very big pond’ feeling.

I haven’t started a new painting in almost two weeks. I’ve been focusing on pendants because I can make them fairly quickly and easily add them to the shop. I have some more ideas for my Birches series, but I’m also in the mood to try something new. I’ve been kicking around a few ideas. I really should try to regain my focus, start a new painting, and make some new clay canvasses for pendants.

Or maybe I’ll just keep watching episodes of MST3K, staring blankly at my computer screen, and occasionally knocking over bottles of glaze and making a huge mess of my desk…

photo : autumn leaves pendant by yours truly (available on Etsy)

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I Blame Google Analytics

I have been feeling extremely edgy and stressed since last night. I place the blame squarely on the shoulders of Google Analytics.

Eh, that’s probably not fair. I should probably spread the blame around at least a little. I’ll also give some of it to AWStats and that little thing on Etsy that keeps track of the views on everything in my shop.

There!  You’re all to blame, I hope you’re happy with yourselves.

Seriously, ever since I started cramming my Etsy shop with stuff and installed Google Analytics both there and on this blog, I have been obsessed with checking my stats and I’m afraid it is starting to negatively affect my well-being. The worst part is that I should totally know better.

As a web designer/host, I caution my clients against constant stat checking. As someone who wants to be successful (and, let’s face it, has a somewhat obsessive personality), I can’t help myself. All of the advice I’ve passed out over the years just flies straight out the window.

If any of my clients happen to be reading this, please ignore what I just said. Constant stat checking is still unnecessary…and bad, mmmkay?

Maybe I just need to get out of the house…better check my stats one more time first.

photo : blue and green glass pendant necklace by yours truly (available on Etsy)

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365: What I’ve Learned So Far

So, it’s been a month (give or take) since I started my 365 photo-a-day project. I have to say that I’m pretty surprised by my sticktoitiveness (Who knew that was an actual word? Take that, spell check!). I did have one day where I almost had to cheat, but I ended up pulling something out right at the end of the day.

Despite the fact that I know absolutely everything (heh), I have learned a few things from this process.

1. It’s pretty difficult finding something interesting to photograph every.single.day. I rarely go anywhere more fascinating than the grocery store during the week, which makes it hard to find things to photograph. I’m running out of things around the house that aren’t completely boring (Stay tuned next month for an amazing photo of Ruth’s toothbrush!), but I’m trying my damnedest to make boring things at least look interesting.

2. I had forgotten about many of the photography skills that I picked up during my CCBC days when I lived and breathed photography. I’m hoping to employ more than just the old point-and-shoot style of photography that has kind of become the norm for me in recent years.

3. My studio gets awesomely fantastic natural light almost every day.

4. I still have a long way to go on getting beyond my perfectionist tendencies and just letting things be, but I’m making progress. There are some photos in my 365 that I really, really, really dislike. Even though I wasn’t happy with them, I posted them anyway.

5. People actually like my stuff. I think that is one of the biggest (and most pleasant) surprises of all.

6. I wish more of my friends would give the 365 thing a try, if only to keep me entertained. Heh.

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A Winner!

Well, Marie, it looks like random.org thinks you’re pretty swell…and so do I. In fact, everyone who entered the giveaway holds a special place in my heart for various reasons – not the least of which being that you have all been awesomely supportive of me and my work. A couple of you I’ve known for what seems like ever (and I never cease to amazed that you can still stand me after all these years – heh) and others I haven’t known quite as long, but hope to know for many, many years to come.

I want to take a moment to thank all of you for your comments. They were all so nice and I am really very touched by them. I certainly wasn’t fishing for compliments, but I have to say they all helped boost my recently-waning confidence.

Alright, enough of the mushy junk. Back to our regularly scheduled programming…

photo : Maryland State Fair taken by yours truly (thought you would like this one, Marie!)

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Is Anybody Out There?

First off, I want to apologize to anyone who, after reading the title of this post, has that godawful Def Leppard song stuck in their head.

Aaaaanyway, I have come to several realizations this week, not the least of which being that Qdoba’s food is totally disgusting. Blech.

In addition, I have come to the following conclusions about this blog: a) hardly anyone is reading this blog, b) the reason that hardly anyone reads this blog is that I don’t give them much of a reason to, and 3) I should probably do something about that.

The 365 project has kept me committed to posting regularly, but it’s not anything that is really going to draw a crowd or keep one entertained enough to keep it from turning into a restless, angry mob.

Enter the giveaway.

While I do plan to do a lot more writing here, I am also not above bribing people to at least pretend to read/care about my blog. I’m probably also not above groveling, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

The photo that I took of my desk got me thinking about how much stuff is taking up valuable space in my teeny tiny ‘studio’. A lot of the clutter consists of pieces that don’t quite meet my (ultra ridiculous) high standards. Some of them are ‘practice pieces’ that look pretty decent but have a flaw here or there that would keep me from actually selling them. But I need to get rid of them somehow and since they aren’t throwaways, they must be giveaways.

So, I’m going to give them away. Every now and then, when the mood strikes me, I will post something here or maybe in Facebookland that I am looking to give away. I’m not going to make anyone jump through any hoops or anything. You’ll just need to leave a comment or something. See? So easy.

So, today I have this little pendant that I made. It’s cute, but far from perfect (in my estimation). It is watercolor on hardened clay with a polymer glaze and it’s about 1″ in diameter. If you would like it, leave a comment on this post. I’m going to leave comments open until…oh, Saturday night at 8pm, I guess. Then I’ll go to random.org and let them pick a number. The person whose comment number matches the winning number will get a nice little surprise in the mail (okay, it won’t be a surprise, it will be this pendant, but you know what I mean). Sound good? Okay, comment away…brownie points to anyone who has something interesing/witty to say.

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And So It Is Done

(Are you looking for my post on how to re-bind your Sketchbook Project sketchbook? If so, just click here!)

 

Well, I finally finished the daunting task of setting up an Etsy shop. There isn’t much there yet, but at least I made it through all of the initial policy writing blah blah.

Now, I just need to find a few spare minutes to sort through and photograph the rest of the pieces I have on hand so I can fill the shop up a bit more. I am still dubious as to whether the time and energy spent on this will be worth it in the end. Granted, I haven’t spent much time reading up on the best ways to make one’s Etsy shop successful. So, I can’t exactly expect miracles here.

I really do need to stop procrastinating on the whole web site thing so that I at least have an organized portfolio and something to fall back on, if necessary. I just still really feel like my time is better spent actually making art.

photo : little fall birches framed painting by yours truly (available on Etsy)

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