Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Morning on Etsy

Why does everything take soooooo looooong?

I'm not in an especially gripey mood today, but fer the love of cryin' Pete, why does it take me such a long time to photograph and post stuff on Etsy? Okay, my photography skills are not great. I know that. I'm working on getting better and faster. That will come. The descriptions take forever because I have this thesaurus in my head, and I'm never happy with the first word I choose. Can't do anything about that. But everything! It just sucks the time out of my life! It's weird. I start doing something at 9:00, and I look up a few minutes later, and it's 11:30. How is that right?

On the plus side, I'm done with that, and now I can go work on my Use the Muse project. I'm getting very excited about it.
Excited dance!!!

By the way, your voices were heard and votes counted, and Ginger is going as Tinkerbell (Tinkerdog?) for Halloween this year. That's LIKE a fairy ballerina, right? Pictures when they happen.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Running Out of Time

Time is running out for one of the most important decisions of the year: What is my dog going to be for Halloween?

Her first year, she went as a lobster. She was the absolutely cutest lobster-dog in the world. Okay, she wasn't crazy about the costume, but she was very brave about it until we finally took it off of her and she just gave it hell out in the front yard. That lobster costume had it coming as far as she was concerned. (In her defense, it probably didn't help matters that John and I went as giant yellow bananas.)

The next year, she went as a pumpkin. Didn't much care for the hat, but the costume part didn't bother her all that much.

Last year, she was a very fetching witch-dog. I think she'd resigned herself to the fact that once a year, her parents lose their minds and inflict cute on her, so she actually posed and trotted about like she KNEW she looked good.

So... What is my dog gonna be for Halloween this year? I'm looking for suggestions. Some year I ABSOLUTELY intend to dress John up as the Professor, put on pigtails and short shorts and go as Maryanne, and drape lame on Ginger and have her go as ...Ginger. But not this year.

Ideas anyone?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Good Weekend

Had a great show (couldn't have asked for better weather), sold some nice pieces, and got some commission work. It was nice to have a "win." I've grown tired of getting into wonderful shows, hearing from other vendors about how fabulous the show always is, and then sitting around looking at those vendors and hearing about how "this is the worst year EVER for this show." I was beginning to think, "Is it ME?!!!" Why do I have to be the big show-killer? I admit I got into the art show game at the same time that the recession hit. Oops. My bad. What can you do? Timing.

SO... I know a good show can happen. Now, I've got a lot to think about. I need better booth shots. I know that's hurting me in applications. Problem: I feel like I've got a kinda ghetto-booth. It didn't help that the tablecloths had were wrinkled and the whole booth looked like an unmade bed. Also, I didn't realize until we had finished the entire set-up that I had not pulled one of the tablecloths down quite far enough, so one of the plastic planters we use to raise our tables was showing a little in the bottom when the wind blew and gave that corner a car-on-cinder block aura. So, unmade bed on cinder block. Classy. I'm also bothered by the fact that we're using predominantly black felt displays which are straight out of jewelry display central casting, and if they do not get packed just-so, they get creased and unattractive. Unimaginative and potentially creased display. We have no signage or pictures like the sleek jewelers around us. Sometimes I think I must have a hayseed sticking out from between my teeth. I need to do some research on displays. Seriously.

On the plus side, some of my babies found their forever homes. These are a few. Hope they're loved.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Art in the Square - Georgetown

If anyone finds themselves near Georgetown, TX this weekend, stop by The Art in the Square show and say "Hi."

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Treasury!

My (original) Bodega Bay necklace made it into a treasury on Etsy! Very exciting!

Because I don't know how to put the picture here, I'm posting the link to the treasury.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Deep Sigh

I finished a commissioned piece a few days ago. A woman I met at the Austin Bead Bazaar liked my Bodega Bay necklace, but wanted something a little more subtle. We had talked about a necklace with only one stone, so I was pleasantly surprised when, during our planning session, she expressed an interest in something more elaborate.
This is the original piece. I'm quite pleased with this new one. I hope she is too. The stones are right off the beach in Bodega Bay (in California, where "The Birds" was filmed). Now I really want to go back and get some more. Austin just doesn't seem to have the variety of colors in our local stones. We have a lot of limestone. Meh.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Okay, here 'goes...

Well, the site is a mess.

The title bar is the wrong size, the colors are not fine-tuned, things are all higgeldy-piggeldy, and I still don't know how to put anything anywhere. And yet, it is a fitting start for me (it looks a lot like my bead room) as I steer blindly through this journey of being self-employed. As with everything else, I'm sure I'll fix it later.

I guess a little about myself might be appropriate. I grew up in Austin, Texas and studied theatre in high school and college. Upon graduation, I moved blindly to New York to attend the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. A series of odd jobs (seriously!) followed: manager of a new-age gift store, several years as a product demonstrator - I played with toys for a living - and costume character at FAO Schwarz (the toy store from Big), and a table-to-table balloon hat creator for Caroline's comedy club. I also did some touring in national children's theatre musicals and full-body puppet shows. I got burned out with the touring and paying rent for an apartment in which I so rarely lived, so when my dad offered to match my best salary in NYC to come back and day trade stocks with him, I jumped at the chance. I finished a tour and came back to Austin. We were happy little traders for a while, making money hand over fist, back in 2000, when you had only to spit in the direction of a stock and it would go up. Then, the tech bubble burst (remember that bubble? What a poorly-made crappy bubble), and my dad and I found ourselves basically doing the same job, and only one of us really needed to be doing it. I had started working part-time for a local bead store, so it just made sense that I start working full-time there.

In NYC, I had discovered beads. I was blowing out the insides of eggs and gluing seed beads onto them in decorative patterns for tree ornaments. That's about as far as I'd taken the idea until I was strolling through an outdoor craft fair in upstate New York, and stumbled across an amulet bag. I was agog. You can do THAT with BEADS? Where had this been all my life? That was my beady "aha!" moment. When I came back to Austin, I found some books and began the journey. More on that later. Probably.

I worked as the buyer for the local store (and two others in the state) for a couple of years, while slowly building a jewelry business. Working full-time, doing art shows on the weekends, teaching, and still trying to create inventory meant that I wasn't doing anything to my standards, so I recently made a decision. With the support of my wonderful husband, John, I am going to try to make a go of becoming a bead artist (still feels weird). I love to create and design with beads! I also teach, which I enjoy very much, save for this nasty fear of speaking in public, which I am still working on. Funny, I had no apprehension about performing in public, but when it's just "me," my stomach rolls right over like a submissive puppy. Frankly, I'm a much better teacher one-on-one.

So, that's where I am now. I've got my Etsy site up and running. I've got some shows coming up. I'm teaching more vigorously. ...and now I have this blog, where I intend to spew all of my thoughts and feelings about the process. Certainly not every thought and feeling, because who wants to hear that? I'll try not to be overly verbose (all evidence, obviously, to the contrary), but sometimes my string-of-consciousness method of communicating takes over, and I shall I put it? ... ramble. My apologies in advance.

Okay, it begins...