Friday, February 8, 2013

The Pep Squad

Now that my studio is much more workable – and becoming more so every day – I feel added pressure to produce, create, succeed... I have no reason to fail now, right? I have every tool, all the time, all the space, right? No excuses...

But I really can’t look at things in that way; so black and white and absolute. That’s what crushes creativity...that thinking creates fear. Fear not only crushes creativity, it crushes a lot of other things we were meant to enjoy in life. It’s the greatest enemy of love and joy and creativity and freedom.

I’m going to have to keep at being my own pep squad - silently cheering myself on when my mind starts thinking I'm losing the game. Forget ‘no excuses’, ‘no fear’ is what I’m focusing on. Every day that I take steps with that focus in mind is a win...for me and, eventually, for my business.

I took some more pics today; things are getting better in that department every day. I was shooting more to test the light than for the composition of the picture itself so they look a little plain. But...this was on a very gray day and I think with the editing I did in Photoshop, they’re acceptable for adding to the shop. That’s way encouraging.

With a few more details and some more effort at composition, miracles (like shop openings) could happen!

These are my babies, my buddies, my studio cats, etc. (also known as Chloe and Gracie). You know it’s cold here when these two share a bed!

Mr. Bee has built a fire in the library/den/thingy room; I’m heading out there to heat up my old bones.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Silver Linings

 I got a slow start this morning. My brain felt a bit thick, foggy, which is not surprising because that coincides with the weather outside...thick and foggy. I hoped the sun was going to come out at some time, but not one little ray found it to our corner of California today.

I’ve been incredibly frustrated these past few days as I’m sure my recent entries indicate. One day last week, I even wrote a blog entry promising pictures later in the afternoon and it never happened. Because every picture I took that day was so bad I couldn’t make them right no matter how much editing I attempted. I’ll never make the mistake of over-blog-promising again!

Turns out taking pictures outside with large, inanimate subjects was much easier than trying to capture smaller, more ephemeral subjects like paper goods - especially white paper goods - indoors. So I was churning a little bit this afternoon.

To forestall tearing out of hair, I called my Wonderful Neighbor Vickie...we both needed a break so she popped over for a visit. We discussed my stumbling block with pictures and she said “you need to give up that perfectionism”. Then I showed her the shots I took this morning and she said “you need help”. See!! It’s not just my imagination or some fear of failure or something. I really am bad at taking pictures.

There is, though, a potential silver lining. It turns out that Wonderful Neighbor Vickie's son’s girlfriend is taking photography classes and might have some skillz; photography skillz! I get to meet her on Friday to pick her brain and discuss solutions. Woo hoo. 

Oh – there was another silver lining, too. Wonderful Neighbor Vickie loves all of my products and bought two before leaving. How's that for enouraging?!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Happy Accidents!

This morning was my quick job at the doctor’s office and then back home for work. Still have a lot to get done, for heaven’s sake!

Making progress on the pictures... I’ve found one thing for sure; taking pictures with my phone is not the best way to go if I’m looking for quality. I mean, that probably seems obvious to a lot most of you but I’ve seen some great photos taken with phones. I thought it might work for me. Just sayin’...

I’ve finally gotten some color products. Pink and red for Valentine’s Day – although I’ve almost missed the window on that holiday! – but I’m glad that those colors will work year round, too.


I’m really liking the dotted-swiss glassine envelopes. They were created by happy accident...I was embossing something else and one of the envelopes snuck in. It looked great so they’re going in the shop as card, favor or gift envelopes. Hope others like them as much as I do.


Tomorrow will be in studio all day - which I’m typically not on Monday or Tuesday – so I’m looking forward to seeing exactly how much I’ll accomplish. Feeling positive on all fronts at this point and I swear the re-launch will happen tomorrow – even if it’s only one product!


Monday, February 4, 2013

Stay Off of My Pink Suede Shoes

We watched a movie this weekend – The Paperboy. WORST. Movie. Ever. Okay, that’s of the 5 worst movies I’ve ever seen. And that includes TV movies, peeps. Man, it was disgusting. I just read a review that called it ‘a sleazy mishmash’. Kay? Don’t pay any money to see it. Seriously.

This is what I saw when I walked into my bedroom after getting coffee this morning:

In case you hadn't heard...I have a little bit of a shoe obsession. I love high heels even though I don’t have many places to wear them. Apparently, I’ve passed this obsession on to Gracie, our youngest kitten. Doesn't she look blissful. Maybe she’s dreaming about pink suede shoes. Stay off of my pink suede shoes, Gracie!

On the shop front: I’ve done the descriptions for my products and they’re in the shop. I’m still working on pictures. I read some things – suggestions, tips, pointers – on etsy this weekend that'll help me. I was somewhat encouraged, in reading through the forums, that almost everyone struggles with this part of the business – it’s just not intuitive for most of us.

Each item is allowed 5 pictures and I think that all 5 should be used, if possible. The pictures are what actually sell the goodies, after all, so it matters a lot. Just keeping at it, hoping to get better each day.

Before I go...looooove this...too rich for my budget, though!