Christmas Dinner - watercolour
This is the time of year when I start to worry about the fact that I haven't done anything about Christmas yet. I start to make lists and ask people what they would like. Then I do absolutely nothing and more time goes by. Invariably I see the Martha Stewart magazine with the Christmas to-do list calendar and see the that the things I haven't done should have been done in October. Then I start to panick. However nothing terrible has ever happened because of leaving Christmas until the last minute. In fact, the only time I really had a problem was when I had everything ready by the first week of December. The decorating was done, the presents were bought and wrapped. Martha would have been proud. That was the year my son was born on December 14th. I got home from the hospital a few days before Christmas with a giant howling baby and no recollection of what was in all those packages I'd wrapped or who they were for. Childbirth had erased my memory. I had to unwrap and re-wrap everything. So I learned my lesson; leave things until the last minute and don't forget the tags!
-I'd love to put the above watercolour in my store but it's so nicely framed and the jpeg I have of it is so small. I could only make a card sized print of it. Maybe I'll do that.
I like a little chocolate with my collage
Doing a collage is a little like doing a jig-saw puzzle. You've got all the pieces there that you think will go together and sometimes they all fit together, snap, snap, snap! Such a good feeling! Other times you sit and look forever at the pieces and nothing seems to fit. The collage in this picture is Gyro Flowers and I've got a print of it for sale in my shop. It was one of those happy collages that seemed to put itself together. As you can see, I kind of liked it because I put it in my banner. I fiddle with my old banner for a week and I don't think it was as good as this one. Sometimes things that just go together in an intuitive sort of way are the best!
You may have noticed that last week I was a little stressed about blogging and all that goes with it and my lack of knowledge of it. This week I've realized that's silly. I'm not an expert in photo editing and I don't have a fabulous digital SLR that takes great close-ups or special editing software, but I don't need it at this time. Maybe some day when I've sold some art... alot of art... I'll get these things, but for now my little 5 megapixel point and shoot will do. With a little cropping it's not too bad. Here's the same cup as in the picture below. It's made by Becky, my daughter. I think this picture is better, more me and took alot less time. Also real sun light helps alot! From now on I'm only taking pictures on sunny days.
This is part of my new print, "Go out and Play", which I just put in my store. Two posts back, I mentioned that I had my store critiqued. The number one comment was that I needed more art. So that's what I'm concentrating on now. Enough worrying about photos and blogging. I'm going to relax and make more art now. That doesn't mean I won't be keeping you up to date. I'll be posting, I just won't be worrying about it!
I’ve been thinking a lot about blogs this week. This is probably because my friend, Lisa Mason, lent me several marvelous books on blogging. I hadn’t seen Lisa for quite a while and she found me through the internet! I’m always so amazed when I hear from people. I may be alone at my computer, but people are out there!
These are the beautiful books and they are beautiful. The photography is marvelous. However, it is an illusion. I don’t really lounge in this chair reading while the sun streams through the blinds. No, I’m sitting in my unfinished basement scanning and typing. I’m actually scanning one book and Google at the same time trying to figure out how to make this picture look more inviting. I don’t know whether I have succeeded, but an hour has gone by so that’s enough photo editing for now.
Last week I was listening to CBC. No, not while lounging in a chair, while scrubbing the bathroom. I was listening to "Q" with Jian Ghomeshi. Nick Carr, an author/journalist, was talking about how the internet was making us stupid because we scan and process information so quickly that we don’t take the time to think deeply. I would have to agree that our verbal skills are deteriorating. You just have to read Jane Austin to know that. However, we have other skills which are improving. Scanning, juggling, photo editing and whatever it is I do, are new skills for me. I'm learning so much so quickly about the internet that my brain feels like it hurts and I haven't felt that way since I was taking five english lit courses at once in university. I think we’re just evolving. For good or bad, we’re always evolving and I don't have time to worry about it.
My friend, Lisa Mason, is evolving because she’s starting her own blog. www.beliseonpaper.com AND hopefully soon her own Etsy store. "Hopefully" because her art is wonderful!!!
I’ve been evolving because I’ve been taking acrylics. Stupid, thick, fast drying paints that I’ve come to love.
Click to enlarge
I’m going to try to update here more often, but I can’t promise because, as you know, things are constantly changing!
Last week Becky commented that I should be careful not to get computer apnea. In other words, be careful to breathe when you’re on your computer. Ha-Ha, what silliness thought I. Yesterday I ventured onto the Etsy forums. I’ve read some of the forums before but never participated. It was time for me to enter the critique section and see what veteran sellers had to say about my new shop. So I went to the critique section and typed in “Please critique my new store”. Seems logical right? For anyone who hasn’t been on Etsy, you need to understand that there are thousands upon thousand of buyers and sellers. IT’S HUGE! So I type in my little request and in seconds there’s another after it and another and within a minute I’m half way down the page. What’s more the people after me have responses, not just one or two, but some have THOUSANDS. Then I notice another newbie who had asked for a critique type in “WHAT DO YOU HAVE TO DO TO GET A CRITIQUE AROUND HERE!!!. That got a response. I tried again. Newbie Needs Critique! I got a response. Yeah! My heart was starting to race. I quickly read the advice and typed a thank-you post. Then I noticed my post, which had dropped off page one was now back at the front. Some kind of great glitch, I thought. Then low and behold, being back at the front, I got another response! Great advice, so I posted another thank-you. Wow I was back at the top again! So that’s how it works! Every time I type on my own thread I’m back at the top. I also realized that if I responded to other critiques this would perhaps make others inclined to reciprocate. Soon I was manically, responding critique requests and responding to my critiques and bouncing my thread to the top. Kind of like Wack-A-Mole, only your hitting your avatar up instead of a mole down. My heart was racing. I typed furiously. Breathing? Forget it! Soon two hours had gone by and I had to leave. My head hurt as well as my eyes! Then I remembered Becky’s comment. OH NO!, I’m getting computer apnea! But it is fun.
So Becky gives good advice. She's also very talented as you can see by this amazing cat picture she just put on her blog. You can see her amazing art here: www.canadianafterthought.tumblr.com
CranberryCloud, the Etsy store, has been open for five days now. I was so excited to see that two total strangers had listed me in their favourites. I read somewhere on Etsy that you're not supposed to thank them, but if you two read this, "Thank-You!!" I have been amazed at all you can read about running an Etsy store. You could sit at your computer and read all day and then you could talk in the forums to other Etsians all night. Maybe it's because I'm a newbie that I find it all a bit overwhelming, but seriously I could spend so much time on my store that I might never leave my computer. What is a "store feed"? How does "feedback" work. I thought feed was something to give to livestock. I am learning everyday and I do love this whole on-line store idea. Thankfully, I have a large dog who needs to be walked everyday or my feet might become permanently entwined in my chair and my eyes locked to my screen. Oh, and the answer to the question in the title, you probably know, it's 'one bite at a time'. Groan!
The world outside the virtual
There to my left is my cool Etsy button! Click it and you will find yourself in my store! Yes, I am open, but as of today I have only one item for sale. Tomorrow, I will have two, the next day, three, and so on. The way Etsy works is that when you list an item it is shown at the beginning of a buyers search and as time goes on it is bumped back by newer listings, so it's not good to list everything at one time. So although I have a tiny store today, it will be expanding. So check back often!!!
© Laurel Martin 2010