Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Making Lists Like Successful People.

I saw a pin not that long ago on Pinterest that had a list of all things successful people do. I did not do many of the things on that list. I was a little embarrassed to realize that. I went to find the pin to show here but apparently I did not even pin it. That's how bummed I was. One of the things on the list was to make lists. Obviously whoever made that list is successful.

 I did find this while I was looking. It was something that I pinned not long ago and promised myself this would be my new mantra. After yesterday's post I realized I was quick to forget it. That's probably on the list of things successful people do... remember mantras.

Before I even came across this again I was feeling pretty guilty for venting my frustrations. I am getting to follow my dreams and I am complaining about being scared to make things. What a nerd! I have to get over myself and pronto.

 So today I am going to start making lists. Number one on my list of things to do is dye coffee filters. This tutorial caught my interest and I have had a huge stack of coffee filters waiting to be dyed. I don't know if I will make flowers with them but there are a few ideas up my sleeve.


Courtney recently gave me the idea to make wands so I will start investigating that as well as:
Spray paint seashells
Work on favor boxes I have been avoiding
Wrap a lampshade in fabric

These things all seem feasible.  The coffee filters will not take a long time and will have to dry for a day. Spray painting seashells will take minutes. The favor boxes I have been avoiding will take the longest time because I will probably still avoid them for the better part of the day.  I have a craft date with Robyn tomorrow night so I will use it as an opportunity to force myself to work on it.

That reminds me... Also on my list... finish cleaning studio...

I am going to do this day hard.  I'm going to quit complaining about dumb things and quit worrying that I'm not good enough. Who cares if I'm not. If I work hard eventually I will be. New mantra... I'm going to write that down.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Custom Orders and Figuring Things Out

In the last month or so I have been working on several custom orders. I like feeling like I have homework assignments because lately I have been dragging my feet when it comes to purely creating things for my shop.  I am not lacking in ideas but I may be lacking in self confidence.  It's a struggle I often find myself having especially when I am trying to make something new.  It has taken me far too long to get some new things going and that is getting a little discouraging.  My teachers in school would say to just keep making stuff no matter what the result may be.  I always get so hung up on things being too precious and afraid of messing something up that I forget that I can try again. I can also scrap the idea and move on to something new.  Today my plan was to get a lot of new things started and instead I finished up projects for others and now I feel lost.  

It was fun waiting to find out the baby's name before I could finish this sweet banner. 

I did make my first pot roast in the crock pot so that makes me feel a bit successful. I can smell it now and it is making my mouth water.  Yesterday's shopping trip went really well. I came in under budget after going to three different stores.  I can tell I am going to start hating Mondays.  This week I no longer feel like I am eating scraps. I have also managed to not blow all of my weekly allowance yet but it is only Tuesday.  I promised myself I would not go out to a restaurant and blow it all on overpriced wine but I may spend a little on some ice cream.

I was asked to make ten of these jars for a wedding. These color combos are killing me!
I am running now! Slowly. But I am running! And today I finally broke down and bought real running shoes.  Don't worry, they came out of the necessity fund.  (The fund also used for buying coffee.) I am getting things in order in the non-creative part of my life so why can't I apply that to the creative part?

This color combo forever.

I am guilty of always feeling like I have to have everything figured out right away or I'm doomed to fail. It's nice when someone tells me I don't have to do that. It's like a little gift and I can relax for a second. But only for a second because I really do need to get things figured out!

I was asked to make a dreamcatcher fit for a unicorn's lair. Mission accomplished?

This is so diary-ish. Let me give you something.  I stumbled upon this blog today and it's super beautiful. It's called The Flower Drum and I came across it by following a pin on pinterest.  Fill your eyes up with all the eye candy. 

Still waiting to find out if this passes the test. Fingers crossed.
Fifteen more minutes and it's crock pot time!!

Monday, July 29, 2013


I have always been a lover of coffee table  and DIY books.  Flipping through their pages make me feel inspired for days.  It is a dream of mine to put out a book someday.  I would love to fill it with beautiful pictures of beautiful things and write all kinds of beautiful words about the beautiful things.  That's all I need to say to a publisher and they will give me a book deal, right??

Here are a list of some books I have and love and a list of books I want oh so bad.  If you have some of the books I want oh so bad let me know what you think about them.  Tell me if they are worth dreaming about until I can get my hands on them or if I should keep looking for other books to boost my spirits.

Find & Keep is one of my absolute favorites.  Beci Orpin's world is filled with so much color and cutie pie crafts that will make you smile. Her book will inspire you to put googly eyes on all your favorite plants and make paper puppets of girls falling in love with bears.  What more could you ask for?

Find and Keep
I picked this book up at Cracker Jax and knew immediately I had to have it.  It has many beautiful ideas for interior design. Right now our house has all white walls and I am a little intimidated to paint them.  Homespun Style is giving me lots of ideas for getting out of our white wall rut.

If local to Cracker Jax pick up a copy there or order online.
I am a huge fan of Abbey's blog Aesthetic Outburst.  I think I have read it since the beginning. I first discovered her work while I was in grad school and she really motivated me to get in the studio and make things.  Her book is beautiful and the crafts are tons of fun.  Many of them are great to do with kids so check this book out for fun rainy day projects.  

You Are Awesome

This is another book I discovered at Cracker Jax. I was not familiar with Sibella Court but now I cannot get enough of her.  She's an amazing stylist and this book features many of the thing she has collected over the years.  All the details will make you weak in the knees.  Sibella lives in Australia and owns a shop called The Society Inc. I would love to be able to see the shop in person someday. Meanwhile this book keeps me satisfied.
If local to Cracker Jax pick up a copy there, or order online.

Books I want oh so badly...

I have been dying to get this book from the maker of Hello Sandwich from the first moment I laid eyes on it.  It was originally printed in Japan but is now available in the US.  The author, who goes by the name Hello Sandwich, is an Australian born artist living in Japan. She teams up a lot with the Martha Stewart company and makes the sweetest things I have ever seen.  I discovered her and Beci Orpin at the same time as they have a very similar aesthetic.  Someday this book will be mine and and I may just sleep with it under my pillow. See more sweet things on her blog.

Hello Sandwich
 I have a book from the Meet me at Mike's series by Pip Lincolne and I like it okay but this one piques my interest much more.  I like all the different projects in Make Hey and there is something about the aesthetic that is calling my name.  I do not know as much about this book so I am not as gushy and dreamy eyed but I know I want it. Yesterday.

Make Hey! While the Sun Shines
 This is another in the Meet Me At Mikes series that looks good. I have desperately been wanting to learn how to use the sewing machine that is collecting dust in my studio. The project ideas in this book are all the motivation I need to pull out the instruction book and get to work.

Sew La Tea Do

Some days I get in a bit of a rut and think I'll never have another crafting idea again.  A book like this would be good for those days.  It would also be a great book for doing crafts with kids.  Someday when I have kids, whether they like it or not, they will be crafting 'round the clock.

 Dottie Angel is another blogger who seems to live a pretty dreamy life.  She inspires me by how much she is always creating and making the world around her more beautiful. I know this book will be another one I would sleep with under my pillow. It would give me so many sweet dreams.

Granny Chic
 I'll admit I do not know much about State of Craft but while I was researching the other books this one got recommended to me. I am guilty of judging books by their covers (literally, not metaphorically when it comes to people.) and this one seems right up my alley.

State of Craft
What books inspire you? Which ones do you sleep with under your pillow?

The Weekend Wrap-Up

Good morning!  I hope you had a great weekend.  If you are living in an area where the weather has been cooler than usual I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have. It made me feel like Fall is here and even though I do not want to wish this summer away but a taste of Fall here and there is pretty nice. 

My weekend was a little break from this new world I'm living in.  I spent Friday afternoon crafting with  my friend Courtney. She gave me lots of great advice on how to schedule my days to make the most of what I am doing.  I look forward to these crafternoons as they are a good way to work and stay focused while also getting to talk to a real live human being.  One of the challenges about working at home is that if you are not careful it can be to easy to lose human contact.  My rabbit is sweet but she's not the best at having deep conversations.  

Friday evening my town had a parade.  I was excited to scoop up lots of free candy but I was next to an overzealous kid so I didn't want to be the jerk adult that was competing with child for tootsie rolls.  Next year if I do not have a child of my own I am offering to take someone's kid to the parade because I have noticed they really only throw candy at the kids. Do they not think about the thirty year old who is on a serious budget and just needs a little bit of sugar?

I have decided Saturdays are cleaning days.  I am not a natural homemaker so this is a little bit of a challenge for me but there is no better feeling than having a clean house so I am accepting that I have to work for it.  I deep cleaned two rooms in the house that I have been avoiding for a really long time.  One room hasn't even been touched since we moved in.  It became the room where I shoved everything when I had company over.

Since we were still eating scraps I made a bowl of baba ghanoush for lunch which was yummy but also a little depressing since it was all I had been eating for a week. I decided to trick myself by having it in a heart shaped bowl. It made it 100% less depressing and 120% yummier. I have found the secret to dieting.

Here's where I had a break.  Saturday night I was rewarded for all my hard work with a little get-together at a friend's house.  It was filled with amazing company and every calorie I could possibly pack in.  I think I ate like I hadn't seen food in ages.  

This amazing cake was our desert.  I died!

Sunday was a bit of a lazy day. The weather was so cool, it felt like the kind of Fall morning where you sit around and drink coffee and smell different pumpkin scented candles. My gal pal Janey and I squeezed in as much time together as possible because she may be moving soon and I will be pretty lost without her.

The weekend was perfect. Now it's back to real life.  I do my first big grocery trip today and I am a little nervous but mostly excited for new food in the house.  I have lots of projects to be working on and several to finish up today. I also have a sweet lunch date that I am looking forward to.

If you didn't see it on Friday Katy Seals did a wonderful write-up of her day in the studio.  Check it out here. I have three more scheduled days to share with you and will hopefully have more in the coming weeks. If you are interested in documenting your day, get in touch with me. It's fun to take a glimpse into others' lives.

Have a sweet Monday!

Friday, July 26, 2013

A Day In the Studio Life of Katy Seals

Good Morning!  I am excited to start a new feature on my blog where a different artist each week documents their day in the studio from morning to night for all of us to see.  I am excited to see how they incorporate artmaking into their lives but I also like to see all the other little things they do in the day. It's a neat glimpse inside others' lives.

To kick this off my sweet friend Katy Seals sent me a very detailed list of her day. She has really set the bar high for this project.  If you have read my blog for a while you've seen Katy mentioned here several times. She is a hardworking artist that continues to inspire me.  Keep up with her work here.

And now I will let Katy take it away...

My Studio is the back wash room at my house in Norman, Oklahoma. It is not the best studio I've ever had, but it's something and I'm happy to have that something. I have to be creative with the limited space; when making prints I have used my washer and dryer as my screen print table and constructed a drying rack using string. Working from home can have its perks as well. Such as knocking out daily chores while working on a woodcut.  On Wednesday July, 24th I was working on a sewing project for a new body of work and this is how my day went:


Usually my (studio) days start off around 7:45-8:ish. I feel that NOT being awake by 9:00 am makes me feel like a waste of skin cells. 

I like to wear comfortable clothes and shoes and socks. Even though I'm in my own home I tend to drop things on my feet which could throw off a productive day and send it into a spiral of curses and pouting. After brushing my teeth, washing my face and putting on tinted moisturizer (gotta moisturize) I like to wash the dishes from the day before.  Do I seem like a domestic goddess?

-By this time it is 9:00 am and I'm drinking coffee, eating cereal and chugging water. I felt a bit dehydrated because the night before my boyfriend, Cody, got free tickets to see Flaming Lips/ Kings of Leon for a benefit concert. I wouldn't call it a hangover, just a slight case of the barley flu. 

In this time frame I like to check/ sort any mail (electronic as well ) AND get caught up on all of the social medias (Facebooks, intstagrams, twitters) and celebrity gossip (The Superficial) . Duh. I also feel like during this time a lot of text messages get sent out to various friends and I go around "Likeing" pictures and posts. It makes me feel like a 90's valley girl. 

 -At 10:00 am after some quality time with my electronic devices and coffee surging through my veins I feel ready to be productive. I like studio days that are back to back, so I can dive right back into whatever project I was working on. In this case, I have been revisiting these large scale underwear that I made during grad school and felt like they weren't doing much for my work at the time. The day before I was sewing the "panty liner" into the crotch of this particular pair. I was able to pick back up where I left off.

-After 30 minutes of sewing I remember I promised Cody I would box/tape up some shoes he wanted to return to the internet.  All the while catching up on The Bachelorette (no, no shame at all). 

-Around noon is where I come to a stopping point. I finished the panty liner and have began to sew some of the text onto the panties. 

              -During lunch I like to watch trash television because it is my muse. Plus, Long Island Princesses is so entertaining. Before I eat lunch I like to stretch my back and legs because I get cramped sitting at my desk in the "Zorack" position. My lunch was kinda pathetic and boring looking back on it but I didn't want to leave the house because I was on a role. 

- Lunch was 2 hard boiled eggs, veggies, almonds and some pineapple.

At 1:20 I returned back to sewing..... While listing to Fitzdog Radio podcast with Fred Armisen on. It was a very good episode if anyone is asking. 

2:45 rolls around and I take a greek yogurt popsicle and coffee sewing break. It felt nice to step outside. 

-4:45, Cody comes home and says hello and we have a quick visit about the day, then I am almost finished with the text on the piece so I continue sewing. At 6:00 I finish the text and take my panties outside to get a good look. The text reads "Love is where you find it when you find no love at home, and there's nothing cold as ashes after the fire is gone" from the 1971 country song "After the Fire is Gone" sung by Conway Twitty and Loretta Lynn. 

-7:00ish rolls around and Cody makes us grilled ham and cheese sandwiches and some sweet potato fries. After dinner we watched an episode of The Sopranos (its 2001 at our house). We attempted watching Andrei Tarkovsky's "Ivan's Childhood", which was sad and slow. I'm sure you're thinking I must have the worst taste in all popular culture, but who cares?

            -Around 10:15 Cody and I retire to our bedroom while I finish the last chapter from this awful book I've been reading this summer called "Tiger, Tiger". David Sedaris was talking about it on the "How Was Your Week" podcast and I felt like if it was good enough for him I must like it. It's basically a sad contemporary-real-life-version of Lolita, but you don't feel sorry for the main character, and Jeremy Irons has nothing to do with it.

 -Cody started talking about "goat heads", these spear-like weeds that were indigenous to a field near his elementary school and how his friends would throw them at each other. 

-11:00ish is where I believe I fell asleep and ended my day. 

Here is a video of Katy's finished piece.

I hope this was as fun for your to read as it was for me. I love seeing how other artists spend their days. I will continue to do this so long as the entries come rolling in. If you are an artist and you would like to document your day get in touch!

Now get to work!

(I would like to note that while putting this together Katy just emailed me to talk about The Sopranos because I am currently watching it for the first time, too. We are both in a time warp.)

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Etsy Questions

I just took finished up a photo shoot with two more dreamcatchers and got them listed in my shop.  In the past hour I went from feeling good and excited for what the day had in store to being filled with lots of anxiety and self doubt. Plus I think that first pic is blurry but I can't tell! 

I promised no more whininess for the day so I won't write a diary's worth of feelings.  I just had this mini existential meltdown where I thought about how many people in the world are trying to do what I do and how do you get a leg up? I wish I could know.  

That's all I'm going to say.  I'll internalize the rest and have a small cry while singing the saddest song I can think about and then I'll make myself get over it.

Meanwhile, I have a question for you folks who list stuff on etsy.  I have been struggling with the description part because when I am making a lot of the same thing how can each description be unique?  Are you okay with copying and pasting the same thing for each item or do you try to write something different? I can only think of so many things to say about dreamcatchers until I feel like I'm being way too cheesy.  What do you do?

I promise eventually this blog will not be so "Me" heavy. I have been talking with lots of people about featuring them here and I am excited about what's to come.  Now I'm off to sing that song I was talking about.