Monday, June 28, 2010

Magic Monday Goals

As a way to get going on my creative business goals, I will be posting them every Monday and then linking them to My Creative Business Goals blog set up by fellow flyer, Cathy Giles. I think it will be helpful for me to actually write out my goals and then be accountable to the group for accomplishing them. So here we go:

My big goal is to open and run a successful etsy shop. Steps to reach that goal that I am going to concentrate on this week are:

1. Set up website on squarespace.

2. Update social networking sites (blog, facebook, twitter) about the process.

3. Continue to develop brand.

3. Continue to develop lines of inventory.

4. Work on pricing strategy.

That's probably more than enough to keep me busy. I am also working on organizing and decluttering my studio, as well as the rest of the house.

This photo is from our visit to the Emerald Isle back in 2004. It's for Cathy for starting My Creative Business Goals blog.

Ladies View, Ring of Kerry, Ireland

Friday, June 25, 2010

A Long Week

The first week of summer vacation and the temps have been in the 90's. My kids are swimming for our community team and have practice every week day starting at 8 a.m. It is a little adjustment for us. Mainly it means that I cannot do any kind of creative activity until after 10:30. That is, if I am feeling motivated. I must admit that my mojo was nowhere in sight. I tried to fake it, but it was not until yesterday that I felt that spark again. One big problem: I had the hives Wednesday night. I am fairly sure it was caused by a tick bite. I had found one of those nasty things on my foot last week. It itched terribly. Wednesday night I was checking it and must have hit the "hives" button. It started with the palms of my hands itching. Then gradually it crept over my whole body. It was a terrible experience! I also felt very nauseated and thought I would faint. I practically coated myself in cortisone and finally fell asleep. What an ordeal! I looked up hives the next morning and found out that it is really nothing to worry about unless you have trouble breathing. But I thought I might need a trip to the ER. I was glad when I woke up and the itching was gone.

I have been working on new ideas for my crocheted baskets. I have been adding felt to the bottoms to protect them. I am also working on some embellishments. I went to our library this afternoon for some inspiration and hope to get some time this weekend to get creative. The kids do have a swim meet tomorrow morning. Other than that, the calendar is pretty open.

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend.

Purple and orange basket inspired by my garden.

Friday, June 18, 2010

New Zealand Inspiration

What inspires me? Nature, color, texture. Today I decided to write about a very special place. New Zealand. We took one of our school holidays while we were living in Australia to visit the South Island. One of the places we visited was the Franz Joseph Glacier. The walk out to the glacier was full of raw beauty and texture. I felt as though I had stepped back millions of years, watching the earth be formed by the slow movement of the glaciers. I saw the beginnings of new life.

The glacier.

Mossy boulder.

Lovely layers of rock.

Close-up of the glacier.

Scraping the glacier, grinning like the Cheshire Cat.

It was such a magical trip. And I'm not talking about Disney World. I am talking about the real world, the natural world. 

Monday, June 14, 2010

Doe a Deer

She ran across our path and stood in the woods, about ten feet away. She stared at me while I gently talked to her. I admired those big eyes and ears and compared her red fur to my greyhound's fur. She decided to move across the path again. Then she just stared as we walked away.

She was a whitetail deer. I know so many people consider them garden enemy number one, but I do not, and I do love my garden. Perhaps they know of my adoration because they rarely nibble my plants. Or maybe my neighbors have a better buffet.

I do wish I had taken my camera for this morning's walk. But I will always have that image of that lovely doe in my mind.

I did take photos in my garden, as well as photos of my new crocheted bowl.

Old-fashioned orange daylily.

Bee on a sunflower.

Mountain bluet.

Strange bug on Shasta Daisy. 

Scabiosa beginning to open, with seedpod in background.

First butterfly photo of the season. A cabbage white.

The cabbage white in flight!

The hot pink and black basket I created this weekend. 

I started work on it outside and loved how the pink shimmered in the sun.

My child has mistaken my bowl for a hat! Both of my children have this habit.  :-)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lovely Colors

A glimpse of my garden. Orange Helenium and purple Penstemon. I love these colors together.

I have been working on some new ideas for my crochet. I started to realize that maybe there is a reason why I am drawn to so many forms of artistic expression. Perhaps so that I can combine them in new and exciting ways. At least that is my hope. Being inspired is such a wonderful thing!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Testing My Wings

Thank you all for the kind comments regarding my crochet. I feel inspired and motivated now! I am meeting so many amazing artists as a result of Kelly Rae's e-course. I am enjoying that immensely.

I had a couple of projects that I had laid aside a few months ago. Here they are, completed:

A pencil cup holding my i-Pod. :-)

A fiesta of a basket. I'm thinking it could hold picnic table supplies.

I started and finished this basket over the weekend. I used silver rat tail cord. I enjoyed making it because the cord was very soft.

This "acorn" is one of my first designs. I included a squirrel charm from glamourgirlbeads on the cap.

I truly do feel inspired, but I also feel a bit overwhelmed. One of my biggest struggles is with balance. I am a stay-at-home mother to my two children. I have them to think of as well as a home and garden. I want to learn how to stay involved in all areas of my life. It feels as though as soon as I start concentrating on my artistic goals, something or someone is getting neglected. Any suggestions on how to manage everything and not feel completely wiped out? I would appreciate any feedback.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Learning to Fly

Here I am after nearly three months of silence. Once spring arrived, I ran immediately to my garden. I am growing a few veggies this year. I harvested some broccoli as well as snow and early peas yesterday. The peas taste like little green balls of sugar! Yum!

Sunday began Kelly Rae Roberts' online class, Taking Flight. She designed it to help hopeful artistic types (like me, yes, ME!) launch our creative businesses. Our most recent lesson was about blogging and how important it is to document our process and our growth. So I have made a commitment to write at least one to two times per week. I realized that I had only 30 posts since starting this blog back in September 2008. I am looking forward to changing that habit. I want to share more of myself, my goals and dreams.

In my last post, I talked about some crochet projects I had been working on. I photographed them on our patio table this afternoon. As I was displaying and photographing them, I realized what has been holding me back as far as opening an etsy shop. It was that nasty monster called PERFECTIONISM. I thought my creations had to be absolutely pristine and perfect for anyone to be interested in them. I want to change my perfectionism to "high quality and attention to detail". That should be a more achievable goal. Here are my creations:

The first is an oval basket made out of satin rattail cord.

A square basket made out of the satin cord.

An oval basket made with three colors of hemp cord.

A square napkin basket made with natural hemp cord.

A round beaded hemp basket.

A purple hemp pencil cup.

Red hemp pencil cup.

Purple hemp tiny square basket. Right now it is holding my favorite rocks, but it was designed for business cards.

Today is my 44th birthday as well. I feel much better about my life and myself than I did a year ago. This is going to be great year, one of growth and wonderful opportunities.