Monday, September 22, 2008

An Old Idea

The Mid-Life Crisis series is floating around somewhere.  One piece is being auctioned on Ebay, another is for sale on Etsy.  I was going to link to the series which should be on my Website, but it seems that Webmaster Hubby has not put them on the Website yet.

I finished cutting out the bee series, and covered them up until I got Mid-Life Crisis completed.  Somehow, I managed to forget that they were ready to sew.  Instead, I walked by idea board and something caught my eye.  I am surprised it did not catch my eye before now.  The little scrap of paper cut from a magazine has only been there the entire time we have lived in this house.  It may have moved here from our last house.  An idea that has taken at least 11 years to find its way into my head.

Yes, this does look quite a lot like my recent work.  However, the scrap on my wall contains most of the colors I have been working with, but also a fascinating dark robin's egg blue.  While I did not have this blue in my fabric stash (pretty astonishing), I was able to put a transparent wash of green over a light blue fabric.  Two layers of paint gave me the color I wanted.

Now I will go and sew these pieces together.  Then I will determine how to attach those floating squares.  I decided to save all quilting and embellishment ideas until needed.   This is all about color first.  I will figure out a meaning later.

Say readers, where are all of my tips on selling on Etsy?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hesitant Turtle

So, I decided to stick my head out of my shell and see what is going on.

I have decided to start small.  Yes, there are plenty of big ideas in my head, but I'm going to suppress them for a while.

I decided to learn a bit more about Etsy.  How to get more people to my site.  How to join teams, how to get onto showcase pages.  I thought my superior intellect (Ha) could grasp these things.  

What are avatars, widget platforms, virtual labs, team grants?  What the . . . 

This situation is helping me to more understand my first-grade daughter.  How it must feel to be learning to read.  Grasping two or three words in a sentence and missing the meaning entirely.

The more I learn, the less I seem to know.

If anyone has any pointers for an Etsy illiterate, I sure would appreciate it if you would pass on some of your knowledge.

Monday, September 15, 2008


No Message.

I wanted to write about a lot of things.  All of them involved whining.  I do not have the right to whine.  Cancer, oppression,  war, child labor, etc.

I can't complain.

I shall enjoy today instead.  Somewhat volatile weather.  Warm, sunny, cloudy, windy, cool.  Sometimes all at once. 

Tomorrow I shall write of happy things.

Yeah, right.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hocus Focus

Here is one of my new pieces from the "Mid-Life Crisis" series.  Perhaps another detail or two to add.  Then I must sew on the dreaded hanging sleeves.  The most hated part of the job.  I often put it off until I sell a piece or have to hang my pieces in a show.  Then I feel pressured.  But who wants to sew (by hand) hanging sleeves? 

I am somewhat proud of myself in doing this series.  I set a small goal of completing 4 pieces.  Then when the tops were completed, I went straight into the quilting process.  That often is put off for weeks or months, as I want to begin designing something new immediately.  If I can do the hangers next, it will be an amazing feat for me to complete a series before moving on.  Think I can do it?

I must focus.

I find that a hard thing to do.  Since I am able to get back into the studio again, I am like a kid in a candy store.  I want to jump from oranges to reds to blues to yellows to browns to blacks.  I want to get into galleries.  I want to enter shows.  I want a quilt to show up in Lark Books upcoming 500 quilts book.  I want a greater Ebay presence.  I want a greater Etsy presence.  I want more marketing power.  I want to sell from my website.   I want to sell from my home.  I want to create a newsletter (gotta get some news first), I want to create postcards and brochures.  I want to create a marketing package to send to local businesses (health care, salons, etc).  I want to get commissions.  I want to design commercial fabrics.   I want to be a better blogger.  I want to create large, intricate pieces to get into  juried shows.  I want to design smaller pieces that would sell like hotcakes in local stores.  I want to make more money.  I want to donate more pieces to charities.


Like a butterfly, I would just like to light on a flower for a few minutes and soak up some sunlight before I take off again.

I need to focus.  I need to find something I want to focus on.  Where is the need greatest?  Do I look at the big picture?  Is the big picture too big (like an IMAX screen)?  Do I select some related details and let that lead me somewhere?

Does anyone out there feel this way, also?  Did anyone out there feel the same way, but then found their path?

Does anyone know where I can order a set of blinders?  Should I make them myself?  Could that be a new business idea?

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Mini Mess

Thanks fellow bloggers for your input on how you handle your own messes.  

My mess is a bit smaller now.  I cleaned up a few projects that I knew were not going to be completed immediately (if ever).  It really pains me to do that.  I feel that I have failed.  I completed five pieces in a series of brown and blue squares.  I had about five more to be pieced together.  I stacked up the squares and put them away in a drawer.  I do feel better without those laid out on boards on the floor. 

I discovered some pillows and blankets stacked up after we had guests early this summer who slept in our attic.  I still have to put those away.

Several other pieces (the bee series) remain laid out and stacked up on foam board.  I really want to complete them, but I know I have to finish up the "Mid-Life Crisis" series.  I find it very hard to complete any piece.   I love the stamping of the fabric, the cutting of squares and the placement of colors together.  I'm just not much on the quilting part.  The "work" part.  I need to put on some aggressive music and get it done.

I also have drawers of unwanted fabrics.  I have flat file drawers full of 2" squares.  Thousands of them.  I used to have a thing for watercolor quilts.  I have no idea what to do with these squares.  I probably have 20 drawers full of these squares.  Then there are the starched pieces!  I used to do mixed fabric and paper collages (will show photos if requested).  These collages involved the starching of several square acres of fabrics, then cutting out flowers, vines, etc.  So I have drawer after drawer of stiff little vines, veggies, fruits already cut and ready to use.  But I know I will never use them again.  Should I try to relieve myself of these through Ebay?  Will anybody buy them?  I have so many supplies now that do not have homes because of lack of space.  Get rid of the squares and bits, and I will have plenty of space.

So, off I go to do some sewing.  After I get that load of laundry out of the wash.  And take care of those important sticky note messages that are covering my back door.  And I think there is a hairball that needs my attention.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Fight or Flight?

As usual, I was going to post a photo, but did not.  I actually took the photo, but it was so depressing that I deleted it and opened the laptop to post.

The photo was of the staircase to my attic studio.  I was approaching it for the first time in two and a half weeks.  I was so excited to go up and get to work.  I opened the door, walked up a couple of steps, became depressed, walked up a couple more steps and then had to turn tail and flee.

I noticed how terrible my space looked.  How cluttered and jumbled and downright depressing.  Feng Shui experts would have gagged and fainted.  The entry is filled with a pile of empty cardboard boxes from recent mail order purchases.  Baskets of paints wait at the ready to go outside for fabric painting in the sun.  Old magazines clutter the shelving.  Receipts are piled at the top of the stairs, ready to be filed.  I hope none are from the last tax year.  Piles of dyed fabric wait to be heat set (some from last year).  Another pile has been heat set but needs to be washed.  Drawers hang open.  Shavings from stamp carvings cover the floor.


Today is a lovely day -- warm and sunny.  I will do the last of the fabric dyeing today and add to the pile that needs to be processed.  While I wait for the fabrics to dry, I will break down boxes for recycling, vacuum up those shavings and organize stuff.  I can't believe I let it go so far out of hand.

I really want to get to work on some new things, but I know I can't do that just yet.  I want to behave like a child and just go play.  I know I must do the responsible thing and organize.  Sigh.  I really wanted to have a new masterpiece completed within the first hour of my daughter going back to school.

How often do others clean and organize their studios?  Every month?  Every week?  Every day?  Any advice?