Friday, January 29, 2010

Joining the Technorati

Today, I'm commiting to improving this meager blog. 

I started by reading the article on etsy.com's Storque Blog "How to Start a Blog." 

In the article, I learned the importance of ~
  • Posting everyday (don't disappoint your readers!), 
  • Open and honest postings about more than just your work (give them juicy and interesting details about your life - not just business announcements!),
  • Tips on how to post pictures. 
I also learned about the "Technorati," which, aside from sounding like a very cool, high-tech secret society, is aparently a great way to find and list blogs. 

So, this morning over my daily sugar-free vanilla skim latte from Manna Cafe (my indulgence that I absolutely can't let go of...), I am sitting at work updating my blog, learning how to be a better blogger, and trying to pretend I'm high tech... at least enough so that the Technorati will accept me into their elite blogging society!

I was told that I needed to enter a code... Here it is: PHQF7QWUSH7Y

Is that enough?  Will my blog make it into the technorati's rankings?  Will I ever have more than 1 follower? 

Monday, January 25, 2010

Getting Inspired

"I shut my eyes in order to see."


~Paul Gauguin quotes (French painter, printmaker, and sculptor, 1848-1903)



How I get inspired:

When I start to craft, what I like to do is spread all my supplies out in front of me on my maple-red stained desk-turned-coffee table (by sawing off it's legs - no I didn't do it, I just found it that way on the curb downtown) and then I'll sit back on my futon looking at everything.  Sometimes I go to the kitchen to get an apple and peanut butter to munch on.  Usually I put on an old movie that I've seen 100 times (lately Twilight has been in frequent rotation while I'm crafting), and sometimes I'll lean forward toward the table's pile of fluffy marabou, heavy stacks of peacock feathers like lincoln logs, bins of beads, and deconstructed silk flowers in front of me.  Sometimes I run my fingers over the feathers, petting them like cats.  Sometimes I'll make little piles of like colors. 

And other times, I know exactly what I want to do, and I'll take out the glue and felt backing, and get right to work.

I usually work at night.  I have a night job, so I work by incandescent light at midnight most often.  Many times I light candles or inscence to make my apartment smell more like me and less like my neighbor's foreign cooking...  I want to make a temple to do my work: a sacred space where I move wordlessly.  My red coffee table becomes a beautiful altar where I pray with quick deft hands, smoothing feather stems as I combine feathers to make wings that never existed.

Writing this, I smile at the thought of my table as an altar - my chipped, sawed-off, glue-marked, burned, pocked-faced table.  It is the perfect height for me to kneel humbly there- my knees fit just right underneath it's height.  It is somehow right that this secondhand sacrificial lamb should become an altar --- like the Littlest Angel's gift to God in the book that my Mom used to make us read every Xmas...

Man, I want to go home from work to craft now!  :)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Buttons!

Two packages of beautiful, blacknwhite, bubbly, bountiful buttons came in the mail!  Now, I just need to finish knitting my beret so that I can add them!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Packaging


I am an enthusiastic etsy customer and seller.  I purchase almost all of my supplies from vendors on etsy, and I am proud to have made pretty good sales from my shop there. 

One of the things that distinguishes etsy from other online vendors, like ebay, is that etsy artists are just that - artists.  We sell on etsy because we care about craftsmanship.  Most of our stock  is OOAK, handmade, and completely unique. 

Recently I've purchased supplies from etsy.com vendors, and I have been happy with the quality, but very unimpressed with the packaging.  I think that one of the things that separates etsy from ebay is that etsy artists care about presentation.  Etsy sellers know their customers choose to shop there because they want a unique experience.  Buyers on etsy don't want a Walmart, discount shop kind of transaction. 

The first time I purchased something from an etsy seller, it came in a beautiful, wrapped package with ribbon and a handwritten order confirmation.  I felt like I was receiving a present from an old friend! 

Usually my packages go out with a handmade card with a hand-written thank you.  I always include tissue paper instead of bubble wrap, and I always use nice ribbon. 

As a tribute to nicely packed packages, I created this set in my flickr.com page and joined a whole group just dedicated to creative packaging! 

Steampunkery


This steampunk fascinator was a part of a custom order from an Australian bride for her steam-themed wedding in 2010. 

I finished this one last night as a preliminary design for her.  Great news - she loves it, and wants three of them! 

So, my first Australian sale, my second international sale, and my first steampunk wedding order all at once!  :)

Custom headband



Just finished it!  Hot off the sewing needle! 

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Back to busy-ness as usual!

10 bridesmaid fascinators (split between 2 different wedding custom orders)...

...a custom bellydance headband...

...and TWO more regular online purchases this week from my etsy.com store!

Whew!  2010 is looking good baby!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Artist's Statements

In teaching my high school students to write artist's statements, I am working on revising my own and adding in more about gothic and fantasy stylizations. 

I'm getting back into dance again, and my dance sisters in Ashar have been very inspirational lately.  I think we're having a midwinter breakthrough! 

I also sold two items this week and have two potential commissions coming into my souk - whoot!  I will be a busy girl getting all that ready.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Back in the proverbial loop, so to speak...


After about a month away from my etsy store, bellydancing, costuming, and creating-custom-crafts-for-sale, I'm back!

I spent the last month channeling my inner craftiness outward to the people in my life ---

knitting warm, fuzzy gifts,

writing holiday cards,

using beautiful tissue paper with coordinating silk ribbon to wrap presents,

nesting with Jase---making elaborate, beautiful dinners for he and I,

super-decorating my apartment for the holidays -- lights, tree, and all! 

Overall, it was a fun and rewarding experience to give lovely handcrafted, wrapt, and written gifts and cards.  I noticed also that I managed to avoid the things that usually make me feel so cantankerously cynical around the holidays --- long lines, plastic consumerism at the malls, overly religious cards, cut-throat holiday shoppers, and obligation- or duty-based gift giving. 

Late last week I started work on a hat for Jase - a black and charcoal striped beanie in silk bamboo yarn with a nice stretchy rib.  I was so pleased with the results (which took me about two weeks to acchieve due to experimenting with different needle sizes and patterns for the yarn), that I started knitting a new project - a beret for myself made from the same silk bamboo yarn.   I haven't knitted anything for myself in a really, really long time (years), so this will be fun (and a little challenging because of my crafty perfectionism... which goes into over drive when making something for myself.  I'd rather rip something apart than keep it and not wear it!).  I really want to learn to make crocheted flowers for the beret - wouldn't that be cute!