Friday, March 27, 2009

Just got home from work

Nothing particularly eventful to write about. It's been raining most of the week but it's not been cold. I actually love rain. My perfect day is a rainy day at home wearing comfy clothes and listening to it fall. *sigh* heavenly :)


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Featured Etsy Blogger for March

I'm a member of the Etsy Bloggers Street Team and we feature a member every month for all team members to blog about. This month it's Design By Nora. Nora has some fabulously cute earrings and some wonderful pocketbooks. The purses are the creation of her talented Uncle Naz who has had his own leather purse business for 30 years now. Without further ado, here are the goodies she has in her shop :

I love these cute little post earrings - what happy colors. She also has these same colors available as star post earrrings. Super cute!

Here are 2 examples of Uncle Naz's beautifully crafted purses. I'm loving this orange color :

And what a great look for spring :

So go over to Nora's shop and see what she has to offer - I'm sure you'll find something fabulous!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Your Dream Job?

So, while I was procrastinating this morning, I came across the questions -

' What would your dream job be?

How much would you make a year?

What kind of benefits would you have?

How is your dream job different than your current job?'

This really got me to thinking. What is my dream job? Am I doing it? What more do I want/need in my life? And most importantly, if it's not what I have now, what do I need to do to make it so? I think we (or is it just me?) get so caught up in thinking that we aren't there yet. That next year or five years or 10 years from now we'll have these things we want. Is it human nature to feel like we aren't satisfied yet? That happiness lies in some future time or place?

To answer the above and to help me learn more about myself....What would my dream job be?

Hmmm, if I had answered that 2 years ago, it would have been to earn a living doing something creative. Well, I'm doing that now. But since I've been a photographer, I still felt success was somewhere ahead in the future. When I get a bunch of wholesale accounts I'll be happy with my job, when I have 20 Etsy sales a week, I'll be happy with my job, when I can afford to buy all the beautiful handmade things I want instead of bargain shopping (clothes, make up, cleaning products, jewelry, lotion, etc - all the wonderful Etsy shop lovelies) I'll be happy with my job. Mulling over these questions this morning though, I'm realizing that maybe all the ingredients are there already. Am I so caught up in the seduction of 'some time in the future' that I don't recognize what's right in front of me? I don't believe in God, but I do believe that the universe sees to it that things fall into place for us. That if we want something and focus strongly on it that it will be brought into our lives. The thing is that we may have this certain path in our head that it's supposed to follow but the universe may see a different path toward the same destination that we haven't thought of yet. We can't see the big picture when things are falling into place, all we can see is that the way we thought it would be by now isn't happening yet.

I was doing my photography full time for several months and then we ( Richard and I ) came to realization that if we are going to be able to make our mortgage payment I was going to have to get another job in addition to my photography. I thought this was the end of the world at first. It was like FINALLY I was doing something wonderful and creative and now I'm going to have to get a second job and all that's going to be left behind. The way the job market is now I just knew I would end up with a job I hate and it would leave me way to exhausted for any kind of creative thinking. Well.....that didn't happen. I actually got a job that I love. It's a retail job at a clothing store but I absolutely love it. I now get a discount on super cute clothes - they aren't the wonderful handmade clothes that I wanted but I still get to expand my wardrobe and dress in a way that says 'me'. It has also inspired me to get a sewing machine so I can alter my clothes some and make them more unique which is more the way I want to dress. This will also give them a bit of that handmade aspect I want. So even though I can't afford to buy my amazing handmade Etsy clothes, I can have a less expensive alternative now.

Back to the questions - what kind of benefits would the job have? Well, having health insurance is right there at the top of course. When I was a photographer for a school photography company, I actually had my own health insurance for the first time in my life (by 'my own', I mean not provided by my ex-husband or by my parents). I was so proud of that health insurance card with my name on it. When I dropped the job and started doing my own photography, I didn't have that little card anymore which was a step back instead of forward. Well, guess what? My retail job also comes with health insurance. That's a huge benefit in my mind and something I would never be able to afford if I was just doing art. This is another benefit of taking that job that I was absolutely against taking. See how the universe works was just making things fall into place for me even though I couldn't see it at the time.

How much would you make in a year? Ok, there's the biggie. I don't want to be a starving artist, I don't want to worry about bills every month. I don't want to leave the house that we moved into and love because we can't afford to make the mortgage payments. I definitely wasn't making enough just doing art to make a substantial contribution to our bills. And when I got this job, it was just minimum wage and barely even made a difference. But after working there for 4 months, I just got promoted to 2nd assistant manager which means a big pay increase - well a about $1.50 more per hour but that's still going to help a lot. Plus I became full time instead of part time so that will also contribute to a bigger check. I just finished my training the day before yesterday and my next paycheck should show big difference. I've done gallery exhibits the past 2 months, so I will have a check from Three Flights Up at the beginning of April. I have some artwork that sold at Bliss Home (the store that carries my work) so that should be a check from them at some point in the near future. Plus the Market Square Farmer's Market will be starting in May and that was an extra $75- $150 a week last year since I set up a booth every Saturday. So maybe things are starting to smooth out financially? I still won't be able to afford handmade clothes but I will be able to hopefully afford handmade laundry detergent and lotion and soap and the occasional pretty jewelry or handbag and maybe even shop Etsy for everyone's b'day presents, etc. That 'handmade life' that was out of reach may be made possible because I have this retail job that I was so against taking in the first place. They're also really good about letting me have days off when I need them (i.e., the Saturdays I need for the Farmer's Market and the First Fridays I need for exhibit openings ).

So the last question is 'How is your dream job different than your current job?' I don't know? Is it different? Maybe this combination of jobs is my dream job. I'll have to think about that one some more. That is a revelation to me and something I'm going to have to get my head around if that's the case. It would mean not putting stock in some future time or waiting until everything falls in place before I'm really happy. It would mean that the future is here and to keep doing what I'm doing is where I want to be. Grasping this would be life changing for me.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A new month is here :)

Soooo. I didn't win the Dogwood Arts competion. Phil Savage's Woodruff's won - he had an awesome photo. I am however exhibiting this month at Three Flights Up. We had the opening last night and it was pretty awesome. I got to meet a lot of interesting people and sell a little bit of art :). I love opening night of an exhibit, it's so fun to just mingle and talk to people about what you do. Getting ready for an exhibit - well , that's a whole other story LOL. It's stressful trying to make it all come together with a deadline. But then you go to the opening and it's all worth it :). I'm doing canvas for the exhibition, well pretty much everything I sell locally is on canvas now. I'm using a company in California - I send them the photographs, they print them on artist grade canvas and then ship them to me rolled together in a tube. I then mount the canvas on stretcher strips and luann board and use transparent layers of paint to give them a distressed, nostalgic look. I really like the way they turn out. Here's what I'm exhibiting this month ( all these are 20"x20" ) :

I did these in a smaller size ( 10"x10" canvases) :