Sunday, March 18, 2007

Let It Snow

I flew up to Vermont last Thursday to see my family and to drive over to Connecticut to pick up paintings from a show I was in. I was supposed to fly back to Florida last night but my flight was delayed so much that I would miss my connection in DC. My only choice was to stay until Tuesday morning (yay!).
So here I am, in Hyde Park, VT looking out at the landscape that has been imprinted on my soul, the landscape that my childhood took place in. It happens to be snowing a ridiculous amount, adding to the magical feelings that always come up in me when I am home. This trip gets my juices flowing for my future in New England. My husband and I plan to move to either Burlington, VT or Portland, ME sometime this summer. We need to do some more research about what these cities have to offer two artists. So far it seems that Burlington has a ton of artists but lacks greatly in venues for sculpture and painting. I'm not sure if that bothers me or not since the art world is so global anyway. I know that both Burlington and Portland have a place for a Crafter.
Being home and chatting with my mom has also given me renewed perspective on the difference between my "art" (painting) and my "craft" (jewelry). I know there is argument for those two camps being inseparable but for me they serve very different purposes. My art is where I ask the most important questions in my life. If it is an authentic practice for me, it manifests my mindset, energies, youth, etc. My jewelry is an aesthetic practice, very much linked to my painting but meant to be aesthetically pleasing and fun. My jewelry is also meant to be sold. My painting (as I am finding out from a seemingly negative-but actually quite accurate and fantastic review-in the Stamford Advocate, March 11, 2007) can be disturbing. It is not made for a market like my jewelry is. I could get rejected from every show in the universe and my work would still be what it is. I paint because I have to. I make jewelry so that I have time and energy to paint. I love making jewelry. It is creative and fun but is not as emotionally testing as my painting. It is what I love to do without pain (beyond the work it takes to have a business which can be seen as a certain struggle in itself.)
Actually, the struggle in owning a business is one that I need to practice. Specifically, focusing my efforts primarily on jewelry rather than thinking that I should make more things, other things. I'm full of ideas but I need to limit them if I am going to be successful in the craft world. As my mom would say, I need to use my creative energy within more of a focused practice to find innovative ways to market, organize and allow my business to grow.
For now, I think I might go snowshoeing
Lesson of the Day: Every step of starting a business is a learning experience.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

All or None

The Crushmeister escaped today: through the bars in our window he pushed out our screen to frolic with his buddies...ahh! I thought someone had broken in when I got home from work. And HOLY COW: One day out and he is covered in fleas again. Ybor City is not a good place for outdoor pets.

Note from Craft Land: I added more earrings and some paintings to ETSY in the last couple of days. I still haven't sold a darn thing. I've heard that marketing is the thing to do. I feel torn: should I wait until I have more stuff on ETSY to market or will marketing take so much time to draw a big crowd anyway that I should just market my little crafty heart out? I'm always of the all or none mind which is so silly.

Lesson of the Day: Some things I can just buy rather than make. Sure I think I can make just about anything that doesn't involve electronics but I don't have to (why this is news to me, I don't know). I can actually choose to spend my time making things that inspire me and drop a little extra dough on some nice office storage or a cat carrier.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Moving and Shaking

This is a thrift sweatshirt I recently altered. The kissing bunnies are a bit spooky I think.

Ahh, the Crushmeister (Orange Crush, our new cat, a.k.a. furry captive.)

Moving, whether changing houses, disposition, or focus, hopefully entails eliminating baggage. Stuff is easy: thrift, garage sale, incoming grad student, eBay. What about more intangible baggage: loose ends, broken promises and feelings of abandonment? I could lug them myself (as I am always inclided to do, right before I pull a muscle and pull my hair out.) What if those bags are carried by a guy called Integrity? Will he conveniently lose them on the way to the plane? Will he, in his prideful, carefree way, stop to grab an airport cup of coffee while someone else makes off with the bags? Will Old Man Integrity decide to exchange my Target brand suitcases for Prada as a thank you for employing his services? Does this all mean I skip freely to my terminal? How much does he charge? Could I, in the spirit of relieving myself of five bags, actually be purchasing a new bag?

One thing is for sure, as I sort through my stuff, tangible and intangible, it is freeing to lose things I know I won't need anymore. It frees up space, time and energy. But are we as humans (or Americans) destined to always feel like we have something or things that take up too much space, time and energy? Or do we never have enough? I forget.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Hello March

Hello March. Where does February go anyway? (let alone the first day of March!)

Notes from Craft Land: I have found new fire burning in the belly of Beaded Weeds. For one thing, I was able to sell a third of my jewelry at ART House last week (blog entry "Seed of a Day")!! Yay! I received great feedback from people. I never realized how much girls from ages 7-13 love my jewelry. I should have guessed since I would have loved it at their age. I also was offered a vague but exciting opportunity to be involved in giving a workshop about beads to teenagers at the Polk Museum of Art ( (I'm sorry I cannot make that a link. Apparently my blog host is based on Explorer, not Safari...I'll work on that) . I'm still not sure what the workshop will entail, but I find it to be such a gift from the universe since I plan to someday teach and give workshops on a regular basis. I have also spent some excellet time on ETSY finding other amazing crafters. Check out my favorites to see some fantastical crafters (

That's all from the inspired realm of Craft Land and Cat Land.
peas out!