Feelin' Crafty

Archive for January, 2009

365ish

I am really really really bad at most 365 goals. I am good for about a week or so, then I slowly (sometimes not so slowly) stop working on it. This time I am going to try something slightly different. I am going to hae a 365ish category for the blog. My goal will be to try and do something creative each day (much harder than it seems) and document it here. This experiment will probably be a hodge podge of photography, notebooks, cards and collage. Who knows. And if I fall behind feel free to yell at me to get off my butt and get busy.

Here is my first entry….
Beware

Advertisements

Continuing Education

help

Like many crafty people the list of things I want to learn is HUGE! I want to learn not necessarily with the idea to sell, but just with the idea of learning. I am lucky to live in an area that offers lots of opportunities to learn new things. I just wish I had the money and time to take the classes that are offered.

Here is a partial list of what I want to learn

  • To sew
  • Bookbinding
  • Glassblowing
  • Pottery
  • Weaving

Like I said this is just a partial list of what I would like to learn. Plus I want to learn more on the business end of things. I feel like that is where I have the most to learn.

What skill would you like to learn?


I believe

I love the NPR feature This I Believe.  I find it fascinating what people choose to do their essay on, even if I don’t always agree with them. Today I heard a 7 year old give a list of 30 things he believed in (down from the 100 he wrote for a class project) and got me to thinking what do I believe in? So here are a few things I came up with.

  • I believe in the power of laughter
  • I believe that we need to not be so hard on ourselves
  • I believe in the importance of not taking yourself too seriously
  • I believe that there is beauty to be found in flaws
  • I believe that it is okay to cry
  • I believe getting your hands dirty makes you a better person
  • I believe we need to daydream more
  • I believe that it is okay to fail
  • I believe that it is okay to go against the grain if you want
  • I believe that we need to do things outside our comfort zone on a regular basis
  • I believe if you want to sing do it, even if you aren’t any good
  • I believe that we need more Muppets and Dolly Parton in the world
  • I believe we need to walk more
  • I believe that unplugging once in awhile is good for us and should be done regularly
  • I believe that our friends keep us sane and on the right path so we should choose them wisely.
  • I believe that we should sit down and eat with friends and family more often, without the t.v. or other distractions more often
  • I believe that giving your time to help others is important
  • I believe we need to learn to love ourselves, faults and all
  • I believe we need to play more

What do you believe in?

Mr. Roboto


Manditory

I have been working customer service jobs almost non stop since I was 15.  Everything from food service to big box stores to little indie business. Over the last 20 years I have witnessed a large change in people’s attitudes towards the people behind the counter. Several years ago I was helping a customer who looked me dead in the eye and asked if there was anyone in the store who knew more than me.  Just because you didn’t get the answer you wanted doesn’t mean that I am not knowledgeable.  I responded “I am the goddess of books as far as you are concerned.” This exchange only solidified my belief that everyone should have to work a year in customer service just so that you could have some idea of what it is like to be on the other side. Sort of like the countries that have required military services.

Here are a few more examples of things I have suffered through…

  • Being propositioned while working late night drive thru (too many times to count)
  • A woman telling me that her daughter had cancer so she could get a better price.
  • Being told by a customer that he found my picture in a book of foot fetish photography
  • Working at a public library and being asked to come fix a computer that was frozen because the patron was looking at adult sites (too many times to count)
  • Asked by a customer “If you were a woman which gift would you want” when I am a woman, no doubt about it.
  • Being called stupid (numerous times)
  • People getting mad if I refuse to wait on them if they failed to get  off the phone.

Don’t get me started on doing craft shows. The things I hear people say about my art still has the power to amaze me.  Think before you speak people!

These are just a few, but many of these could be avoided if the customers in question had worked a few shifts in my shoes. I have had friends that I stopped going to dinner with because they were such bad tippers.  It wasn’t that they couldn’t afford the tip, they just didn’t think about it. Which in my mind is worse.

I think part of the Rudeness Issue results from many years of prosperity where kids didn’t have to work the grunt jobs like food service or mall jobs during high school or college.  Learning how to deal with people is an important skill that serves us through out our lives. But right now it seems to be a “Me first, then you” sort of attitude.

Now, I don’t think this would make everyone nice to the people who wait on them, but I think it would help. And if it didn’t maybe we could send people back for a refresher course. Yeah, I think that is the ticket.

waitress


Graffiti Love

It is no secret that I love graffiti.  But not all graffiti is created equal. I like to look at graffiti that someone took their time with. Whether it is from a stencil they created

Kiss Don't Kill

Or free form art

Stepping on Gary

Or they use lots of bold color

Soul

Sunflower and Tag

Or they make a statement

I love my life

Lover

What I don’t like is when people start tagging the fronts of business or church doors. Or when all they do is just spray their tag all over town. Here in Ann Arbor we have had the reigns of “Fresh”, “Whey” and “Chu”. Now it is “Duck” and “Swallow”

Duck Yen Charm

Come on people work a little harder. Thanks!


Honey Do

Like many of my fellow crafters I struggle with time and a big To Do List that never seems to get any smaller. (In fact I think my T.D.L. gets it on like bunnies when I am not looking.)  Once you get beyond the hobby stage you need to look at ways to promote your items so that you can sell them and then make more items. You could spend hours linking your stuff in to different style feeds, on to flickr, in forums and on and on and on.  But what does that do for your time to create? For me it slips to nothing and I don’t have gnomes picking up the slack while I sleep.

Make Art

I have many “shops” online that I no longer touch, they just weren’t the right market for me. I keep them open just on the off chance that I might want to restart them. I know the adage “don’t put all your eggs in one basket”, but I also think that by spreding yourself too thin you can also do yourself a big diservice.  Maybe we should start with one and do it well, then branch out. I came to this realization after I set up a facebook business page, but maybe it will be the one I can keep up on. Keep your fingers crossed.


Sleep vs Creativity

Broken Wings

There never seem to be enough hours in the weekend to get everything I want to accomplish done and still have time to veg. I had high hopes for this past weekend, especially since it was supposed to snow tons. I figured I could get a bunch done before I had to dig out my car to go to work. Alas, my need for sleep overcame my need to create. I did manage to cut a bunch of album covers for notebooks and made a few bowls. Beyond that though it was a bust. It is frustrating because I have all these ideas waiting to get out, but for a slew of reasons they are stuck where they are. Grrr.

I did have the first board meeting of the year for the Sunday Artisan Market on, what else, Sunday. I have a great feeling about this coming year. I think it will be the best Market ever. They even asked if I wanted to have 2 Etsy sellers shows. Now, if the rest of the vendors vote for it.