Thursday, April 30, 2009

Spiders and Gourds and Angels Oh My

Today's productivity made up for the lack of it earlier in the week. I felt better so I got more done.

I finished these spider ornaments for a custom order, but if you want one too, I can always make more. I also finished 2 angel gourds and a gourd with an AZ desert scene on it and just put the finishing spray on them.

I had a blast in the Etsy chatroom exchanging twitter addresses with everyone. I have 300 followers now. Granted we'll all be trying to sell each other crafts, but you can't have everything.

A few days ago I dropped my camera as I was going through the sliding glass door. It hit on the doorframe and now the battery door doesn't close quite right but thankfully it's still working! I totally don't have the money to buy another camera right now and it's critical to being an online artist.

It was good to spend time in the garden. And I'm so happy my pink ice plant is in bloom. It's spectacular this year.

Renewing on Etsy

I've always thought if something didn't sell on Etsy in 4 months why renew it? Well, something happened yesterday that gave me a new perspective. A successful seller in the Etsy chatroom says he renews from 5 to 7 times a day. That keeps him on the top 3pages of his main tags. So I've been doing some personal research. I picked one of the busiest categories on Etsy, which is jewelry. I renewed a necklace and waited about 5 minutes for it to show up on the lists. The first time I saw it and it was already on page 3. It never hit page one at all. Then within 3 minutes it was on page 6. Now five minutes later I'm on page 14. It's like putting a leaf in a fast moving stream.

His theory was no one is going to scroll through more than ten pages on the search feature to find something. So if I haven't listed or renewed anything in a week, much less a month, it's like I don't exist at all.

The good side is that people haven't been staring at my item for 4 months and no one bought it. After the first week no one saw it anyway. Unless someone put it in a blog post or featured it on twitter or something. Or posted it in a chatroom.

Now in his case, he sells stained glass, so it's not so glutted and all his listings have the same tags. That won't work for me because I make 20 different things. I can't expect to stay on the top 3 pages of paintings, knitting, crochet, amigurumi, steampunk and jewelry, now can I?

But he budgets $45 a month for listing on Etsy and rolls that over into his prices, so I'm going to try it for a month, but maybe with $30. I don't have a lot of money to gamble right now.

My boyfriend said it was the definition of insanity to keep doing the same thing over and over again that didn't work to begin with. So I said, "That's why I'm doing something different". And he said, "No, it's the same, it's still Etsy."

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Tapo Campground

I need to spend the rest of the week preparing for an archery event in Simi Valley at Tapo Campground. It's an overnight camping event which means bringing the tent, the sleeping bags and all the things that go with camping, but I also told them I'd set up a vending table and do free face painting for the kiddos, so I have to take a canopy, inventory, tables and chairs. But we only have one truck, so I won't be able to take a whole lot with me.

My problem is my attitude. I've had discouraging results at craft fairs, so it's hard for me to work up the enthusiasm necessary to do the prep work. When we feel like we will be successful at something it fills us with good energy and a drive to get things done. In my case the opposite is true. It's not a great event to vend at but it's free, and it's a chance to get my name out there. And there is a 100% chance that I won't sell anything if I don't even bother to set up a table. I just don't want to get my hopes up. Most of these people are my friends and they are used to trading for what they want. They all have other jobs and don't need to sell things. So just by being there I'm going against the grain of what they are used to.
But I've got nothing else going for me so I need to do this.

Once the archers head out to the hills for the event, I'll be alone the majority of the day. So the only chance to really sell is before they set off, and after they return late in the afternoon. So in those down times, I'll work on crafts at least.
The weather should be beautiful. I'll post some photos from previous years.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


An hour from now I'll be at the dentist (groan).

I ended up leaving the Suziblu group because I couldn't figure out how to remove the 500 photos I accidentally posted there. I tried the one by one method, and realized there wasn't enough time in the day. But I read that if I left the group all my content would be deleted so that's what I did.

I'm really looking forward to some quality craft time today, after the dentist, if I'm not absolutely miserable with his dire predictions of dental work to come.

It's a beautiful day here today. No one should be miserable when the weather is this wonderful.

Monday, April 27, 2009

It's So Totally a Monday

I woke up this morning with my teeth still hurting, and then I went to Suzi's Ning site and someone there was on my case about my photos, and maybe it's a small thing but it's like being pecked to death by ducks, as Maya Angelou would put it. The little remarks that all add up to making me feel like I suck.

So as soon as my boyfriend leaves for work I'm going to call his dentist and see if the $200 I'm getting in the mail in a day or two is even enough to get an exam and at least figure out where the problem lies. Or pain killers or something, because I can't work like this.

Plus we have a sick cat and my boyfriend feels like any day he will lose his job, so crafts aren't really big on my mind today. Though I certainly have many many projects that need my attention.

I don't even have it in me to pretend to be happy for his sake today.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Mixed Media

If you missed Suziblu's workshop yesterday you can see a video of it here:

I hope to go to one. Now she lives about an hour and a half from me.
Yesterday I worked on some mixed media. One has a mermaid and one has the face of a woman and some butterflies. But the paper was too soaked to continue last night so I'll do some more today. Mixed media does take a long time to dry sometimes so plan ahead.

I joined suziblu's mixed media ning group yesterday. The badge is over to the right if you want to check it out.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Yay it's Saturday.

I woke up to a beautiful Saturday in S. California this morning. We may go do archery at the range in Pasadena later.

I got some more craft books at the library two days ago. I will never lack for inspiration. Have you been to your local library lately? There is just no way I could buy every book I want, so I have cards for 3 libraries.

One of the books has wonderful cross-stitch designs and it reminded me of all the cross-stitch projects I set aside so I could take my trip. I need to get back in the habit of working on those. I even bought some more embroidery floss in San Luis Obispo, more aida cloth and 3 new hoops, but didn't have time to work on it while I was up there.

And I need to make a beaded necklace for my partner's mother. She's been patiently waiting for it and I've been dragging my feet.

I re-listed some paintings in my Etsy shop yesterday because I keep running into painters on Etsy and the easiest way to see my paintings for them is if I list them in my shop. If you want to see them my shop is at
Have a glorious weekend.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


I no longer have to wait patiently for Suziblutube to come out with new videos. She'd doing the 365 day thing with a new video each day. I tried doing that on Flickr just with self-portraits and after 3 or 4 months I was so burned out I gave up. So we'll see if Suzi can keep up.

She's living in S. Calif. now so the odds of actually meeting her have improved. I'm guessing she's about a 2 hour drive from here. Which isn't to say she wants to meet me. As far as I know she doesn't know I exist. I really need to get a functional video camera so I can keep up.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Making German Bells

I know I used to make German bells long ago in high school, but forgot how. I don't know why I suddenly thought of them today, but I found a tutorial I think if you are a rubber stamper you could decorate your paper, maybe vellum, and emboss it before folding. And adding beads is a nice touch.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Fun Times in San Luis Obispo, CA

Yesterday I bebopped around San Luis Obispo and went to the 25% off everything sale at Beverly's. I got more beads for the barrettes I'm designing and I got some drawing supplies so I could start working on celebrity drawings. I grabbed lunch with my daughter on her break between jobs. Then I worked on the knitted magenta scarf. I decided to add a medium green to it, and then another shade of pink.

Then I caught not one but 2 movies. I saw 17 Again, which was very funny. I usually don't like stupid teenage comedies, but that one was so well done. Then I saw that Russell Crowe movie with Play in it. I thought I followed the storyline till it took a twist at the end and lost me. Then again it was after midnight and my brain had turned to mush.

Now it's morning. And my throat is a little sore. But off I go again.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Shopping for Craft Supplies

I probably wouldn't have spent so much at Michael's today if I had remembered that Beverly's is having a 25% off everything sale from 9 AM to noon tomorrow. Now I realize why Beverly's has had almost nothing on sale the whole time I've been staying up here. I'm not even sure I want to spend any more money at this point, but a sale like that is hard for me to pass up. I'm going home on the 20th and won't be able to go to Beverly's again for maybe another 6 months.

Sometimes I get tired of being an artist. I'd have so much more money if I didn't buy art supplies any more.

First Robin of Spring 2009

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Knitting, Crocheting and Etsy

I made some headway on a magenta scarf I worked on on the train. I finished all the acrylic yarn I have and I don't want to do the next 2/3's in wool, so I'm dead in the water until I either get to a yarn shop, or get home where my yarn stash it.

My daughter finished a fluffy white scarf on her Knifty Knitter loom. I was able to help her figure out how to take it off the loom without dropping any stitches. It's for a friend so she'll be sending that off soon.

She also sold the rainbow scarf she crocheted on Etsy and is making a new one for a custom order. I'm so glad to see her succeeding at her business.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Night in Santa Maria

Now I'm in Santa Maria. My grandson liked his knitted bunny as far as I can tell. Then again he's only 7 months old. Mom stole the scarf and carrot until he's older. Was I that paranoid when I had babies? Probably.

She made spaghetti for dinner. Then we went out for some hot cocoa. It's really windy tonight and smells like a fire somewhere. Luckily my guest bed is in the same room as the computer so even if they go to bed, I should be able to amuse myself tonight.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Three Rabbits

I finished the scarf for the bunny out of green fun fur. It worked up so quickly and looks posh. Maybe tomorrow I'll make the carrot, then wrap up the bunny to give to my grandson. Yay!

I have 2 other bunnies started. One I left at home and the other I have with me in my tote bag. Easter is over and I'm still making rabbits. Haha. You know what they say about rabbits, they keep multiplying.

I actually made it through today without spending any money. Yay me!

Happy Rabbit Day

Today was a super busy day.
I got the knitted bunny all together except for the face. It was a bit tricky figuring out how to knit the tail.

I studied a whole bunch of craft books at Barnes and Noble and my wish list just grew by about 10 books. Both Michael's and Beverly's in SLO were closed today drat the luck. Thankfully Barnes and Noble was open.

I better go get some sleep. I'm completely worn out.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

New Barrettes

Today my daughter bought me an incredible magazine on Gothic Lolita fashion called the Gothic Lolita Bible. Inspired by that I picked up some things at Beverly's to make hair accessories with. I got two barettes done while I was waiting for my daughter to get off of work. The first one was berry colored glitter dot fabric with a rose charm and 2 purple charms, and the 2nd one was turquoise marabou and some black sequined rick-rack and a cameo.

While we were in Beverly's we saw another face painter we used to work with. Either she didn't see us or did, and ducked out. She was in costume so I guess she had a gig today too.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Bunny Time

I'm trying to figure out why my newest post disappears until I scroll down and scroll back up. I don't know if it's a glitch with the new 'monetise' format, or if it's related to another widget on my blog or what, but if anyone can clue me in I'd appreciate it.

In the morning is our big face painting Easter event at the Dinosaur Caves near Shell Beach so I should be fast asleep. But I've been working like mad on that knitted bunny to finish it in time for Easter. And wouldn't you just know it, but the two legs don't match. I could have sworn they were each 16 inches around, but now I'm wondering if one was 15 instead of 16. Or if my tension was tighter on one than the other. I followed the directions I wrote so they should be identical. So now I'll have to try to make another leg tomorrow, and a tail. Then I'll just have to embroider the face. But I'm too tired to do it now and I really want to be fresh for the gig tomorrow. So off to bed I go.

Tiger and Bunny

Friday, April 10, 2009

I'm in San Luis Obispo for the Weekend

My train trip here was quite an adventure. If you want to read about it, it's here.

When I was on the bus I worked on a wire weaving project and when I was on the train I worked on a rice stitch scarf on my wooden knitting needles. The lady across the aisle from me on the train was knitting too. I wanted to talk to her about it but she didn't seem very friendly. Ah well. When I get home I'll post photos.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Happy Easter

Okay boys and girls, I'm off to catch the train to San Luis Obispo, CA. I'll blog again as soon as someone shares a computer with me.
If you are in the Shell Beach area, look for details in your local paper for the free children's event at Dinosaur Caves on Sat. and maybe I'll see you there.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Bunny 2

Today I was mainly obsessed with surviving my dentist appointment. But I did manage to work on knitted bunny #2. It has a fatter body than the first one. I just have to find my yarn needle and take the last few stitches off the needles so I can start on the ears or the arms and legs.
The photo is of the head and the body.

Joann's is next to the dentist so I was able to run in there and get some more beading glue while it was 30% off. I still have another tube, but the top point broke off so I'm not sure if it's going to get dried out now. Also on sale was the jewelry wire and beading needles. It was a bit ominous when the total was $6.66 right before I had to go to the dentist. Hmmm.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Going on a Trip

I'm putting together my trip schedule. It looks like I'll be on a train on Thursday morning happily rolling my way back to the Central Coast of CA. But before I can make my great escape I have to go get a tooth pulled tomorrow so it won't muck up my trip. I'm hoping it's a simple thing and fairly trauma free. Of course my pocketbook will be screaming bloody murder.

Then on Sat. I have the face painting event at a beach near Shell Beach (Dinosaur Caves Park). I love that event.

Sunday is Ostera for me and Easter for everyone else, so I'm not sure what we are doing on that day.

I Want to Expand

There are some things I want to get that aren't sold in every day craft stores, so I need to stop spending money in every day craft stores so I can mail order for what I really need. Since I can't seem to stay focused I'm writing the list here:
1. Round and square button making machines.
2. Slabs of handcarved stamp material. Because shipping is high it's cheaper to order 2 squares at once, which will run me about $40.
3. Silk and dye from Dharma Trading Co.
4. Rubber stamps of my own design.
5. Fabric with my own art from Spoonflower.
6. Hat making supplies from a Milliner.
7. Chainmaile rings.
8. Kiln for copper enameling and supplies.
9. Steampunk supplies, i.e. watch parts, widgets,copper
10. Equipment to do lost wax casting.
11. Kiln for pottery
12. Kick wheel
13. Silkscreen Ink
14. A new video camera so I can make more Youtube tutorials.

As you can see that's quite the list, and I'll never have the money to expand if I don't stop spending it at Michael's and Joann's.

Saturday, April 04, 2009


I got up at 5 AM and my body refused to go back to sleep so I went to Etsy. And within an hour I'd snagged a treasury so I named it Mindreader. Hop on by to take a look before it expires in 2 days. There really are some great metaphysical crafts on Etsy, everything from runes to altar cloths.

Friday, April 03, 2009

There is Still Art

What it all comes down to is art. Even in despair. Even in a mental hospital. Even when all your dreams have let you down, there is still art.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

I should be in bed but...

I got some more yarn to make bunnies with today. Of course the bunny rush on Etsy will be over before I even get them listed. Once again I'm late for the ball. But I think there will always be people that want bunnies.

I found out the Michael's I used to teach at no longer offers classes except for the Wilton Cake Decorating. So even if I'd stayed there, my job would have ended.

I also got some more jewelry supplies. Two dragonflies, 2 sea horses and some findings. I really should start wearing jewelry so people know I make it.

I got some wooden frames to try some painting techniques on. I'm not even supposed to be buying craft supplies. So much for that idea.

I keep reminding myself there are people out there that don't do crafts at all. So it is possible to survive without them.