Friday, December 25, 2009
excitement, pushing hard to get things done but feeling confident it would all come together
it all comes together
we're on the move and listening to the dark side of the moon in between carols on the radio
arrive and greetings, eating dinner and feasting on sweet treats
improv gymnastics/dance show by the girls, each time is a "rehearsal" aka work in progress - i watch all versions loving every minute of it
the last bits of tidying up
bernie and peanut sing carols together
thoughtful talks then tucking in
good morning! let's see what santa has brought us
frenzy and fun
off to another gathering at the farm
more laughter & love and once the pack of young ones are whole, let the games begin...
a feast proceeded by grace by my aunt that got my mom and i teary
s shares her big surprise for great. cornbread made from the very corn they harvested at thanksgiving and ground as a team - we applaud, and then we eat
the little ones are so eager for presents it begins after the last plate has been cleared
pure joy, more laughter, more love, such goodness....
playing airplane with my two biggest lil buddies... what a workout. what pure joy seeing k's face saying "do it again" over and over smiling... my love...
home. exhausted. ready for bed. it isn't over yet... but tomorrow is a pause.
l o v e
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
The positive changes that Maria brought to Etsy were many and (not that she'd be reading my little blog but...) I'd like to thank her for her time and service to a company that I care about and belong to. However, somehow the more "pro" Etsy seemed to become the less magic it exuded. It became predictable. Even though Etsy has always seemed to have a bit of favoritism (speaking of which, in a way how can you blame them?) we found ourselves getting to the point where we saw the same items over and over in admin created elements of the site (gift guides, front pages made by admin). I didn't feel sour grapes, it was more frustration because it seemed like an act of laziness more than favoritism. It's one of those deals where you think "I could do a better job than that!" and really, how do I know - I've never done it. There's just so much great work on Etsy, if I had the job of picking front pages I'd be constantly on the hunt for new and unique items to heart and feature. As for the gift guides, repeats of favs are expected but it was a regular thing to see misplaced items in the various categories. If you say "these are all items under $50" they should all be under $50. It's not that difficult to scan a page and see. I know we all make mistakes, and I may be sounding harsh right now, but the frequency of seeing the same "mistakes" starts to lessen understanding and compassion for the one/s making those mistakes. It was a great idea, but if you don't do it right, it just looks sloppy.
(Now I know what you're thinking... who made you the expert on Etsy? No one and I'm not, these are just my own personal reactions to the big new year's news. Every member of Etsy has their own unique perspective on the company and what it should be/do/look like/operate/etc. That just shows how invested we all are, and it's beyond just business, it's personal. How could it not be when so much of the Etsy population is made up of creative people sharing their hearts and souls woven into a blanket that was thoughtfully designed or a work of art painted with passion?)
That being said, I shall continue with my opinion piece on the matter at hand. ;) When the news of Rob's return hit Etsy, he followed up with these two posts that begin to answer all of the questions and concerns of the Etsy community.
Right off the bat I'm tickled pink by these posts. He's here, he's present and he's talking to us AND listening to us AND responding with honesty rather than vague blanket statements or talking in circles. I am particularly pleased to read these quotes from his posts.
"I'd like to know (am asking this for the fine art artists on etsy) if etsy is planning on doing more promotion of 'fine art' on etsy? Are the fine art artists going to have a more defined category and sub categories of art? (MysticSilks)
Yes, we'll be redoing all the category structures. We've spent a lot of time researching this. Etsy has also been talking with art schools and museums to help push this further, and Matt (who was heading this up) can speak more about it."
Communicating with the art world for our advantage? Hooray! Can't wait to hear what Matt says...
- Will there be more open lines of communication with admin? More personalized answers rather than canned responses? (MNHPhotography)
Yes, yes, yes. We have a long way to go, but we're moving in this direction.--
Weekend Deals: Will Etsy still be trying to get us to do the SMARMY SAMMY'S USED CAR BLOWOUT EXTRAVAGANZA type of deals with free shipping, BOGO, and other stuff that simply isn't feasible for most of us? (peaseblossomstudio)
No, no, no. Weekend deals have been scrapped, you won't see them again.
Thank goodness for both of these responses! No more gift guides (mentioned in another quote) and no more weekend deals that reflect poorly on the quality aspect of the site. If individual shops want to have sales that's great but to encourage sellers to slash their earnings for a bit of exposure was, in my opinion, insulting and denegrating to the whole.
Some members in the Etsy forums express concern in Rob's use of words, particularly the term social commerce. I'm not worried by that, to me it means getting back to the people behind the scenes - the creators, the makers, the collectors, the buyers. Also, the people behind the scenes of Etsy, who Rob wants to welcome into the public converstation again, starting here. I believe this is a return to the heart of Etsy, the spirit that made you take notice and want to explore further.
I'm reminded of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares (which my husband and I love) and the many businesses you see that have something special about them but they try all of the other gimmicks in the book and it's the gimmicks that bury them. Ramsay always comes along to find the one or two great elements of the place and focus on them, simplify the menu and get the staff to work as a well oiled machine, as a team. Along the way Chez Etsy got distracted and tried to be something it's not, something that fought against the very thing that made it special to begin with. I'm hoping Rob can come in like Ramsay (perhaps with less cursing, but hey, whatever works for you!) and get this place back on it's feet and better than ever before.
We can't go back, nor should we, so looking forward is the best answer harnessing our strongest assets, our lessons learned and our biggest and brightest dreams. Cheers to a New Year my friends - and cheers to a new Etsy!
Let the games begin - What are your comments on the matter?????
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I've been really getting into the Christmas spirit this year because I've needed it. I've needed the sense of magic, the playful and heartfelt emotions, the pretty lights and familiar songs. I've chosen to ignore any of the commercialism or Black Friday type mayhem that goes along with this season. It doesn't really affect us so why give it any bit of thought? I'm choosing to be nostalgic and carried away and it's doing wonders for my mood and outlook.
Our humble home and lifestyle may frustrate us at times but it's so clear how blessed we are as we laugh and love as a family together. I don't have to look far to be reminded of how lucky we are to have a home, to have oil in our furnace, to have food on our plates, and aside from the seasonal sniffles, we all have our health. Thank God. I don't often share my spiritual feelings in this medium and I won't be much in the future either. But I do thank God for the greatest gift of true love with my husband and best friend and the three blessings of children that make me a better person just knowing them. I thank God for hearing my prayers, for hearing all of our prayers in saving my mother four years ago. I am thankful every day to have her in my life and I am thankful for my father for being there for her always in all ways. They have taught me so much about life and love, forgiveness and growth. They inspire me to strive beyond what's comfortable and known, to push towards goals knowing that my faith in achieving them will take me half the way there. I'm thankful for my dog who has shown me that it's possible to live a life of pure joy! When I see him bounding through the snow retrieving a stick I can't help but hear his soundtrack as "It's the most wonderful time of the year!".
Lastly, I thank God for our special relationship and the blessing of creativity. Our wordless communication through paint on canvas, the acceptance and the spark that is always there, accessible whenever I simply allow myself to acknowledge it. The spiritual reward of painting carries me along and I've mixed finances with my greatest passion but sales and marketing and bla bla bla aside, it's my heart and soul and it was here from the beginning. I cannot help but assume my creator made me this way on purpose. So I paint and I am rewarded and I find that good things come into my life when I just allow myself to be my true self and live accordingly. I feel, I sense, I know that this spirit that I do not assume to understand accepts me, forgives me, believes in me and wants good for me. I am eternally grateful for that feeling, for that knowing.
Whatever one's personal connection to faith may or may not be, there is a universal message that light shines in the darkest times. Be it a star, a candle, or Clark Griswald's outrageously lit up house. I really FEEL that this year in such a personal way, becoming acutely aware of how the season (the lack of light) affects my behavior, my thoughts and feelings, my emotions. This light lifts me up and makes me smile. It's comforting and hopeful. It takes away my fears and replaces them with peace. It reminds me of the light that always shines within me, within all of us, no matter what.
Thank you readers for following me along my journey and for your insightful, funny and wonderful comments. I wish you peace and happiness as we look towards a new year together.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
20% off everything in my LiveFunky gift shop:
Now through January 1 enjoy these great savings on unique artwork and products!
Sunday, December 06, 2009
Thursday, December 03, 2009
In this shot, I think Bernie is thinking very philosophical thoughts. He's a deep thinker. My husband and I would like to make some Bernie videos so you may be seeing more of him down the road. If/when that happens then the whole world will have access to my unique brand of insanity.
As a funny aside, the creator of Bernie gave him that name and it's just too perfect, I had to keep it. When I was a little kid I called Bert and Ernie "Bernie" collectively - my parents say I'd point to the TV and excitedly announce "Bernie!" when they came on Sesame Street. I always thought it was just one of those quirky things kids do but now I can't help but wonder.... maybe I knew? haha Oh I'm just giddy with love for Bernie. Or Bernard. He doesn't care what you call him.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
This is a late night flash photo of one of the paintings I'm working on right now. I've got 12 in rotation - all 12" x 12", covered with texture. I hope to have some more pictures to share tomorrow in natural light of these works in progress.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Saturday, November 14, 2009
The summer came and went and I never went to the ocean. I think this is a first. Now it's November and I'm lusting for a day spent walking on the sand, dipping in and out of the last of the lapping waves as I stroll down a long path of land and sea for as long as my feet want to take me... Watching the birds swirl and dip and listening to their calls. The pulse and steady beat of the steps of my feet, the space between breaks, and the improvisational chorus of everyone else participating in the moment, there, at the beach.
At the beach everyone understands an unwritten code - be and do what you want to do, this is a space we share. If you want to be childlike and enthusiastic build sand castles and hoot and yell catching gnarly waves! If you want to sit in an invisible version of your living room, no one's stopping you from having that rectangle of sand where you set up your massive operation. And if you want to sit and stare out to sea you can and no one will disturb you or ask or wonder why. It's understood why. It's the beach. Heck, in a lot of places you can be naked at the beach - talk about freedom! Even if you aren't in the nude, bathing suits are pretty close to it, right? The rules at the beach are so much different than the rest of the world and that's a good thing (thongs at work, no thanks) but there's nothing, NOTHING like a day spent at the beach.
Just thinking about it puts me at ease...
Till next summer (or hopefully sooner)...
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Friday, October 30, 2009
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
In other news, I'd like to extend a great big THANK YOU to Tsvetelina of www.pearlk2.etsy.com/. I was the winner of this gorgeous bag on her blog giveaway and I absolutely love it! I've already used it packing it with heavy bead boxes and other crafty things going to a friend's house and it handled the load no problem with style. Take a look at her shop or go visit her other sites at www.pearlforu.blogspot.com/, www.facebook.com/pearlforu and www.twitter.com/pearl2k.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Friday, October 09, 2009
Okay, there's no denying it - October is here and not afraid to show it's spooky, mysterious and shifting states. One day the sun is shining in a perfect blue sky, the next day heavy grey clouds hover over the land, blocking out the sun entirely. I had a really productive day yesterday and was looking forward to photographing a batch of products today but the weather wouldn't allow it. It's that time of year when you have to officially let go of summer (it may still be warm out, but there's no denying the falling leaves) and welcome the transition. That has been difficult for me year after year in New England resisting the winter months and the many ways they restrict me. This year I'm going to work on being happy with what the moment has to offer. To be aware of how I react to the change of season emotionally, creatively, physically. To accept it rather than resist it and make the most of what it has to offer me.
The other night the wind was wild and I was all set to work the night away online when the power went out. I have to admit my techy addiction got the best of me and I was annoyed when it became clear power wasn't coming back on any time soon. I lit a candle and began reading. I found the sounds of the night outside and lack of stimulus from the computer and tv to be so refreshing and exactly what I needed though I didn't realize it. Forced peace - if that's what it takes, so be it, right? Anyway, that night taught me once again to roll with it, baby.
A few other notes to mention...
Facebook Fan Page - Join me on Facebook (if you're so inclined). In the Discussion board on my page I have started a bunch of discussion "threads" that are really just category markers for people to add their links to. Jewelry, Bath and Body, Ceramics, Fine Art, etc.
Etsy Traveling Art Journal - http://etsyjournal.blogspot.com/ This project is back in action again and I should be getting Book 5 at some point. I'll keep you updated as I find out more information.
Thursday, October 08, 2009
I think I've found a good way to photograph these new art pendants on my antique wildflower book. I love this book. I've had it since I was a teenager and used it as a reference for painting a floral banner around my best friend's bedroom on a spring break from high school. I also decoupaged color photocopies of the images on my kitchen cabinets when I moved into this house in 2001. This book has been a source of creative inspiration for almost twenty years! The images are black and white plates of wild flowers - some of which are hand tinted (see the background of the last image for a great example).
But back to my pendants... these are the pieces I've been working on the last few weeks. They are each double sided with original, one of a kind paintings/mixed media on the front and back of the 1" x 2" glass pendants. The backs are sealed with several layers of a glass like finish using 3D Crystal Lacquer. Aanraku silver bails are attached and a complimentary black satin ribbon is included with beaded ends. http://www.livefunky.etsy.com/.
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
I am playing some serious catch up over here after having been away for the first two weeks of September (I went to Ireland with my parents - I'll share some pics from the trip soon). Then when I returned, our modem broke and we decided to switch internet providers, so that left us without home based internet access for two more weeks. In that time I worked on inventory, creating a ton of new hand carved stamps and original art pendants. Yesterday we got our new system all set up and ready to go. So now I've got my work cut out for me photographing all of my latest creations and listing them on Etsy. Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying the autumn season. Cheers!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
So that's just what he did and he decided to bring The Rift to the web, available as serial downloadable chapters. When he publishes the final chapter of the book (which will take a while, new chapters will be coming out weekly and he has well over 100 chapters) we'll create a hardcover book of the complete work, hopefully with all of the artwork that Rob had originally envisioned, including and possibly entirely created by our friend Jesse Young www.jessedavidyoung.com.
Lots to look forward to as we develop his web presence. I love working on this with him because I feel like I have a lot to offer, and it's good to feel useful, isn't it? :)
He has a free read on his website to get a sense of his writing style and a taste of The Rift. Hopefully you'll get hooked and come along this journey with him!
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Saturday, August 08, 2009
My canvas is an 8 inch by 10 inch stretched canvas and the frame is a ready made, deep set frame with glass and a mat. I start by taking out the frame points with some pliers and taking out the glass and mat, which I'll use in another project.
(If you're framing an oil painting, cut a hole in the backing paper so the canvas can breathe - this piece it is fine as it is).
I hope you enjoyed this simple tutorial of sorts. I'm looking forward to working on more framing projects now that I have the space. If anyone has any picture framing questions, let me know and I'll try my best to answer them. 10+ years in the business and most of the tricks of the trade are still fresh in my mind.