It's been a month since I've posted and, as many of you know, I 've been away for much of it.
The month started with a cross country train trip home to PA to see my mom. She's doing well all things considered. Still able to live on her own, drive etc. I cooked a lot, laughed a lot and learned a lot. (Family stories that you just never get as a kid or even as an adult, until you ask!) More on all that as time goes on. Anyway, that was where the first two missed Fridays went. I was off-line almost the whole time and LOVED it!
|On the return trip, the train had to sit on the siding as a freight train passed. . . and that left us right outside the entrance to Glacier Park at sunrise!|
|Not for everyone but I have always adored the landscape of the Dakotas. This is North Dakota. |
I love the sparseness and the extremes.
The Book: While away I finished a wonderful and inspiring book, The Witches of New York, by Ami McKay. I love a good period piece and this one set in the Victorian era of spiritualism in NY is filled with amazing scenes and characters. Its beautiful, full of magic and dreamy. . . but gritty and relatable and I highly recommend it. I just have to say, where can I get a pet raven?!
The Bug: The last two weeks of March were spent recovering from my trip and from getting sick for the third year in a row, after my return. I don't know what I expect. It's a terrible time to travel with so many people sick and the trip, in all honesty, is exhausting. Physically (it's hard to get good sleep on a moving train) and emotionally with being both home (childhood home) and away from home (Here, where my entire life and future are) all at once. It took the last two weeks to get back to normal and so I let the posting of blogs slide.
The Bit of a Revelation - While away I've thought a lot about time and how I spend it.
I am fortunate, beyond my wildest dreams, that I get to make a living being creative. At the tail end of last year, and maybe this is human nature, I began thinking of how I could make things "better". I'm not even sure what that meant really. But it led to me thinking I should do more of this, or try more of that, or create new online presences etc etc. While away, I realized that I am doing exactly what I want to be doing, Every single day. So why did I think I needed to do more?
I'm still not sure really.
On the train rides I talked to many people from all over the country and what always strikes me is how many (nearly every single person) react the same way when I tell them what I do for a living.
Their response falls along this line. . . "Oh, you can really make a living doing that?"
It's always stated, it seems, with a mix of exasperation and true joy.
It jars me to remember just how difficult that is to accomplish and also, when I set out to do it, that I never thought of it that way at all. It was always just going to be the next thing I do for a living when I sold the coffeehouse.
I was certain of it. Had no doubts. I was determined and willing to put in whatever time it took to make it happen. Never giving up.
The thing is, I never stopped in the last eight years to think about what I would need to do to continue it. I thought about that a lot this last month and the answer was pretty simple.
Follow the exact same path you always have. For me/us that means making and listing new work every single day and just letting it carry us where it will, trusting that the critical mass of listings, the continued desire to improve and the exposure will bring the customers.
In a sense, I'd come to allow the thinking me to overtake the intuitive. It's easy in a world where you can feel so "out of touch" if you are not on social media or connecting somehow when it seems everyone else is.
I kept feeling I should branch out, try new venues or promote my work more. The truth is, we have never done or had to do that and I cannot see why we would take time away from making and listing new work to do so at any point unless what works for us now stops working in the future.
Inspiration is always one reason to venture into those waters, I know, but I've come to think that there is such an overwhelming amount of visual out there to inspire and that too much of it is, for me, not good. If I take in too much I can lose my way because, YES, I want to do SO many things! Try new ideas and go down rabbit holes at every turn. So I try to limit my inspirational online dives too.
All that is to say that I came back seeing clearly that the focus for the rest of 2018 is just this:
Create, create, create!
My shops currently have less than half the stock they "should". That is, in part, because I have been selling items as fast as they make it in there but I have always thought that a shop with 80 items is more attractive to a buyer than one with 20. Especially as the holidays approach. (Yes, I said it, the holidays are NEAR. lol)
A long time ago I used to love to toss around a saying that I picked up in my old, urban/city-hardened art days:
"There are only two kinds of artists, talkers and doers. The talkers rarely make the time to do their art and the doers rarely have time to spend talking about it."
I've always been a mix I suppose and in those early days of my adult life was I was certainly more the talker. I didn't say that type of thing to rouse or poke others, only to light a fire under myself.
It was a reminder.
It's easy to talk about what we want to do and far harder to put ourselves on the line and just take action and do them. Somehow though, when it came to creativity as far back as childhood, I was more the doer, never the talker.
So I am going back to those roots.
My shops and my "Ledgerkeepers" book
That's it. At least for the rest of this year. . . and, honestly, it's quite enough! :)
So I'll be putting off some of those new outlets and inspirations for now and getting back to what got me here and allowed me to become a maker-of-things
And that is, simply
Which I have been doing since getting past the flu bug and below are a few of the newest pieces. :)
Thank you for coming back and I look forward to posting weekly again and to catching up on all of your blogs in the days ahead too!
|I love the idea of using large flowers with a tiny house!!|
|I just wanted to come up with a house that had a mushroom "feel" without being a mushroom.|
|When I was home, I reconnected with the root of my love of ancient Egyptian/Kemetic Art. |
I never tire of making Sekhmet lioness pieces and these busts have been very popular lately.
|A request for a red and gold Anubis led to this. I LOVE the colors and may make more like it going forward too!|
It feels very elemental and warm.