Frustration

The small details add up.

Spring has finally arrived in Cincinnati.  Those April showers you hear about?  This year, torrential nonstop buckets of rain.  Every time I leave my house to go to work, it rains.  Every time I leave work, either on break or to go home, it rains.  I feel like Eeyore, witheaster, etsy 014-1 my own personal little rain cloud following me around.  Oh, and it gets worse!  Cincinnati is on the Ohio River, as well as the Great (or Little?) Miami, and every road I turn down, especially when I am trying to get to work, and trying to be on time, seems to be flooded, or I am stuck in traffic because all the other ways to get anywhere are flooded so the entire population of Cincinnati (at least my side of town) has to use the road that my house is on to get to work!  Did I mention I’m burning four dollar per gallon gas while sitting in all this traffic?

I am slightly annoyed.

Another small detail:  I have a several designs in my head.  The chain mail weaves I plan to use to make these visions a reality require certain jump rings.  The rings I have will not work for these designs, so I spend a lot of time perusing the pages of my two favorite suppliers, C & T Designs and Blue Buddha Boutique, trying to determine what I need.  However, since I am sitting in traffic, burning that four dollar a gallon gas, I cannot stock up on the rings I need.  I am the diabetic kid locked in the candy store, the recovering alcoholic gazing at the beautiful bottles behind the bar.  I am an artist lacking the proper tools.  And because I am unable test out the designs right now, I feel paralyzed whenever I sit down to create anything. 

Paralysis is bad, very very bad.

And then, of course, there’s the shop.  Nothing is moving.  Items are loved, but no one is buying.  I have been featured in several treasuries, and still, no one is buying.  However, if I wear one of my pieces, it will be bought off my wrist, or someone will order the same bracelet with different colors.  I offer discounts, GEDC1605have sales, donate pieces for auction, I’m even captain of a local team, and yet, no one is buying.  Do I want to dominate the world and be some huge corporation?  Absolutely not!  I just  want to keep on creating and have enough money to invest in supplies so that I don’t get paralyzed.  I don’t even have any desire to quit my day job, is breaking even really too much to ask? 

I am almost out of coffee at home…

And Starbucks stopped making my favorite drink, the Ristretto Bianco, because apparently the pitcher essential to the creation of the beverage has been recalled for safety reasons…

No one in my house seems to know where the clothes hamper is…

And my darling Mr Fix It husband has torn apart his new, beautiful car to install some fancy gadgets and speakers, so the interior, tools, and gadgety stuff is strewn about my house; I am too afraid to clean it up in case something vital gets lost…

My kids keep finding the Easter candy, which I keep hiding, and bounce around hopped up on sugar…

I’m not getting anything productive done and its stressing me out, which leads me to stress more and pace and still not get anything productive done…

I keep trying to get up early enough to run so that I’ll feel less stressed and more balanced, but I don’t seem to be able to hear the alarm clock before 6:15, and I have to be out the door by 6:10 if I am going to get to work on time…

And my husband works too late for me to go for a run in the evening…

So I am updating my blog!  Now, off to iron pants and fold laundry…

The Name Says It All (Contest Giveaway!)

Somebody stop me, I got a new toy:

arsty 010

Meet the latest addition to this Scorpion’s studio- the Ronson Micro Tech Torch.  What does a nice girl like me need with a blow torch, one might ask.  Well, I figured I would have some fun with it (and I have, I finally broke it out tonight), I am always looking for new things to explore, and I have a sudden obsession with adding metal to my work.  As usual, my venture into a new arena in the art and craft world started with finding one thing:  while searching for small, basic alphabet stamps at Michael’s, I came across a set of die cut metal alphabet stamps by Making Memories made just for metal stamping.  Making Memories specializes in scrapbooking supplies, but I have found that some of my most essential tools and supplies are found amidst the cutesy stickers and predesigned album kits.  The Making Memories Tool Kit is one of the best investments I have made thus far; the  craft knife is fantastic, although I have no idea how to replace the blade, if it is indeed replaceable, which makes me irate.  Anyway, I am completely off topic… 

Those metal stamps were the link into the world of metal crafting; the more I googled, the more amazed, inspired, and excited I became.  I love metal; I use a ton of metallic pigments, waxes, accents, jewelry pieces, and accents in the items I create, so the possibility of creating my own metal art thrilled me to a ridiculous extreme.  I am currently researching fine metal jewelry making in order to learn how to create my own hardware and embellishments.  Yes, I find really beautiful, fantastic items at Hobby Lobby or Michael’s, but they are not my own designs; if I were to use a locket or pendant in my art, I would feel like I had stolen something.  With the adoption of my new micro torch, I am given the potential to alter the pre-existing design, create my own designs, and manufacture my own impossible to find hardware items. 

So, getting down to the details of this whole contest/free stuff thing, because I know that’s why you clicked here and put up with my meandering thoughts:

An awesome tool (such as my beloved blow torch) needs its own unique, inspiring name.  I love to name objects, especially tools (“Dremmy the Dremmel Tool, please meet my friend and associate, Hammy the Hammer”): with this recent acquisition, I thought I’d invite others to join in the fun!  My blow torch needs an inspiring, original name- who better that the amazing creative people who find the Artsy Bibliomaniac amusing or inspiring to help me name it!  I am pleading for you to come up with the single most creative name you can think of for my tiny adopted micro torch (Benny the Blow Torch just won’t cut it here!).  To enter, email your suggestions to artsybibliomaniac@live.com.  I’ll pick my top three with the help of my amazing friends, then post a poll.  The most votes wins!  Make sure to email your suggestion by June 21, 2010 if you want me to consider them.  The more creative, the better!!  (Please note:  I’d love some seriously visual, artistic entries- I can post them with my comments and link the creators, giving some love and support back to my peeps- however, please do not submit attachments for the contest- upload any images to your blog, website, photo bucket account, etc, and send me the link to view it.  A starving artist/reader can’t take the risk of downloading a computer decimating virus!!).  As a bonus, if you send in some seriously original, creative, well done eye candy that impresses me (which can be difficult!), I’ll do a write up on your work, whether your suggestion wins or not!  Any press is good, right? 

So, whaddayaget?  Well, I am a little undecided thus far; at minimum, my pretty little Altered Moleskine Cahier Prototype, which you can see here, or an alternate choice of ten dollars off any other item in my shop.  I’ll probably throw in some nifty vintage paper extras and maybe even some excess hardware if you’re lucky!!  It just depends on how awesome the entries are! 

What are you waiting for?!  Help me name my new baby and win free stuff!!

Oh, and you can only submit your own stuff under your own name.  Otherwise, how can I make sure I give presents to the right person?!

Chronicles of a New Seller or How Not to Succeed on Etsy: Part 1

In the spirit of self deprecating humor, I bring you my latest work in progress; a multipart account of my adventures in selling (or trying to) on Etsy!!  Rest assured, this is my own personal therapy through laughter approach, not meant to actually advise anyone on anything.  For actual advice on how to fail spectacularly, try Google.

Unsuccessful Strategy 1:  Spend a Massive Amount of Time “Tweaking”

That means everything.  The shop, the blog, the nemesis I like to call “the business card”.  Open a new shop, close the first shop, switch blog servers, hosts, whatever.  Rewrite all your policies, shipping profiles, announcements.  Around a month in, list one to three items.  Tweak those continuously until the photos have been rotated, removed, and uploaded a minimum of six times.  Rewrite the descriptions until they more closely resemble the Great American Novel, then delete and take the minimalist, Hemingway approach (ITEM:  “You know everything.  That’s the trouble.  You know you do.”*).  Notice still that nothing has sold.  Turn to blogging.  Blog more than you make art.  Turn blogging into your art.  Problem here?  Well, blogs are free.  Blog about everything, make less art, then whine to your blog about it, and above all, do not make a sale!

While you are tweaking in the electronic world, work on those business cards.  See previous post for further explanation.  Needless to say, I cannot face the evil business card right now.

When you are fed up with tweaking against a backlit screen, tweak your workspace.  This is really fun, actually, and I try to do it at least twice a year.  Rearrange the office/studio.  Move furniture.  Maximize lighting.  Minimize lighting.  Restock supplies.  Reorganize supplies.  Buy lots and lots of storage in varying shapes, sizes, and forms.  Take out every supply you own, reorganize and re-file into new containers.  Replace reference materials and/or add to and alphabetize existing reference materials and books.  Remove, rearrange, and replace decorations.  Hang shelves.  In short, create your own perfect workspace…  again. 

While you’re at it, might as well tweak the house!  Now technically, this has nothing to do with art and Etsy and selling and what not, however, I find that I cannot get anything done with a messy, unorganized house hanging over my head.  If I get it cleaned up, I can get down to work, in theory.  The problem is, the two children and the husband make quite the mess, so not only am I exhausted by the time I am done with the house, when I wake up in the morning I am faced with a mess equal to or greater than the one conquered the day before.  Does this prevent me from trying?  Absolutely not!!  Fear me, Dirt!  I wield the sword of the Gator Mop!

Stay tuned for Adventures in Promotions!

*Quote from In Our Time, Ernest Hemingway, “The End of Something” said by Nick

This is some kind of cruel joke…

Yes, seriously folks, it is.  I have these blank business cards; it is supposed to be easy.  Download a template, enter in the right info, load cards into printer, press print, and VOILA!!  Business cards, ready to go!!

Yeah, right.

Nothing lines up right.  Changing the “YOUR NAME HERE” on the template takes an advanced degree in computer science.  I have ten sheets of cards that are off just enough to cut off a vital piece of information, like, oh, the WEBSITE or THE NAME!!  This kind of thing is supposed to be for people like me, right?  Poor and with a tech IQ of ten, right? 

I am about to just toss all of it out the window and go back to good ole pen and paper.  I could write 200 business cards faster than this- and make them neat!!  BTW- using the messed up ones as coupons to send out with orders, so if you get one, goody!!

Now I am off to pound my head against the printer…