Saturday, December 30, 2006

Where Have I Been?

Excellent question. Thanks for asking...

Um, I've been festivizing like the rest of you. Went out to North Dakota for a week to visit my mom et al. Good times.

Art-wise, not too much happening as I recover from this nasty cold. I have some garment dyeing to do for a friend who makes baby clothes. I got some beautiful beads and baubles as gifts from my sweety... so as I've been laying around blowing my nose, I've also been making jewelry.

My ebay stuff went on hold for my time out of state. But today I decided to switch auction managers to save some cash... so I've been learning the new site and transferring auction stuff. The old one was (previously AuctionWatch). Really a great and easy to use site. I've been with them for years, they were free back in the day. Now there are lots of plans and their fees are pretty low. But, for the amount I sell, I shouldn't be paying for extras. Ebay and Paypal cost enough.

So, I hunted around and found Auctiva. We'll see how it goes. It is pretty easy so far, totally free, image hosting and all. The test will be when I sell something, how well their post sales stuff works.

Yeah... not too exciting really, but I thought I should post something up here. Sniffle. Gotta go blow my nose again...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Arcata Holiday Market Report

It was fun!! I think I need to do this one every year...

It's well run, the lady in charge is awesome and makes herself available all weekend. What a concept. It's put on by the city recreation dept so there are lots of kids volunteering and school bands playing. Just a fun atmosphere.

They had a little food stand run by the kids too. Everything was either $1 or $2. The brownies were awesome and we got two coupons for free coffee.

The Arts in the Afternoon program kids were selling silk scarves they made, which was neat.

I got to see a few friends and made a few trades for gifts.

I made money too! It didn't look good on the first day, but the second day was awesome and overall I did pretty well. Woo. They do need to advertise a little, at least on the community calendars... the crowd was pretty thin. But otherwise, it's a good one.

Ok, I gotta go to officegirl land now, photos and humorous anecdotes to follow...

Friday, December 08, 2006

Damn, I slept too late!

Well, it's my day off from officegirl land. I guess one tends to sleep in on those days. But there are things to be done!! A craft fair to prep for ... and as usual I'm behind schedule. Lately I've been crashing early and waking early and it's been good. But nooooo. Last night I crashed early (rather than working like I should have) cuz I was tired and I figured I'd wake up early like I have all week. Barney kisses me good bye at about 6:30, and lately I've been unable to go back to sleep afterwards. Not today. Sigh. Woke up at freakin 10. What the hell?!?

Anywayzzzz... I'm only taking the time to write here cuz well... computerizing goes so well with my coffee. And I do need to wake up a bit. Luckily I have my Mermaid Power Mug to help me along... Buz brought this from Ireland (I think) and bought it from the artist at a craft fair or something. Isn't it awesome?? The photo doesn't do it justice really.

So what's on the agenda for today? Plenty, friend.

After I'm done dinkin around on my usual sites, I need to print out some business cards with the new phone number and such. Also, I usually make some kind of flyer with my upcoming shows to give out... but I think I'll make one all about my web site. I have this cool brochure too, which I might print up for super spendy customers. They use alot of color ink.

I still need to figure out what clothing needs Mermaid prints and get that taken care of. My studio room looks just about like the photos still... a mess. So it's a little bit of a challange. In the old place I would hang up all the stuff I have and go through them methodically to figure what needs prints (I do a certain ratio of printed to non-printed). But now I don't really have room for all that... so I dunno. I think I'll focus mostly on the children's stuff. I got a bunch more baby t'shirts, man are they cute! I like to print little stars on the onesies too.

That will take the most time. I also need to gather up the rest of the booth stuff... Barney's kid helped me pack the van with the heavy stuff last night (woohoo). But since the move, my goods are spread all over the place. Gotta gather up the lighting and the sparkley xmas lights etc and load it up. Oh and figure out how I'm going to display all this new jewelry, find my little padded boards. Then pack up the clothing and load it into the van as well.

That's most of it I guess... not too bad. Setup is tonight, so I gotta do all this and find some cash change by 5:00. Hopefully Barney will be able to help me haul stuff into the community center, cuz it's a bit of a haul for that one. He has a cool rolling cart at his job that he says will hold all the heavy racks at once. That will rock.

I gotta get the booth all set up tonight, there won't be much time tomorrow. Then tonight, when that's done, bust out some more jewelry and fix the clasps on the pendants I have. Oh crap, I need some jump rings for that...

Oh and I hope to find lots of stuff to barter for at this show too, cuz I'm starting to panic about Xmas gifts. I have no idea what to get people and I'm seeing my entire family this year. But in the past this show has been full of excellent crafts, some unseen before. It's gonna be fun.

Argh. I gotta get moving!

Come by the Arcata Community Center between 10 and 4 this weekend and see my stuff!! It will be raining, so what else do you have to do??

Monday, December 04, 2006

New Studio Space

Yeah, the new studio space is at home now. It is good in many ways... the main one being cost. And it's close. I have all my worldly possessions in one spot. Handy.

I did get a little spoiled at the last studio. The two big rooms with sinks and tables and show space and teaching space. The nice central Arcata location. But, I never could afford it. Not the whole thing alone.

There are some adjustments to be made with the new setup, unpacking still to be done. But here's the scene as it is now...

I have one whole bedroom for my artgirl activities (Barney the Best Boyfriend in the Wholewideworld was all for it. He rocks!) It has big windows, pretty good light. Room for tables, a cabinet and shortly some bookshelves. Most of the dry type supplies like sewing, beads, painting stuff and kits.

There's a huge walk-in closet that spans most of the length of this wall. Holds lots of Mermaid goodies. I've packed away most of the knit clothing, but there's still room for the rayon stuff to hang.

The dye area has to be outside, since we rent. Ha. Luckily there is a big covered carport with water and electricity handy. I made due yesterday with just the dye table and a hose... had to do some things at the kitchen sink for the hot water. But eventually there will be a sink outside with a drain and hot water hooked up. Right inside the door (behind the tubs sorta) are the washer and dryer, THAT's very handy indeed (again, thanks to Barney).

I'm a little worried about how this spot will fair on a rainy day...the covered part leaks a bit. And it was a little cold being outside and all wet.

But the dog thought it was just great having me out there... and the view over the back yard was pretty nice.

What's it all about?? Well?!?

I've been pondering... and perusing. And it seems like I need to better define what this here blog is all about.

(check out breakfast blogger, now THEY have a purpose!)

I've started to cruise around some other local blogs and it's fun! Most of them discuss local happenings. Very interesting. Some are just funny and entertaining. That's good too. And now that a few have found my blog... I feel a little more pressure to perform. So to speak.

I mean, so far, nobody but my parents read it. And someone in North Carolina.

I never thought much about being entertaining or even informative. I started it for two simple reasons -

1. To get more traffic to my online store, and maybe sell some stuff.

2. To have a place where I can blather on about the mundane details of my Mermaid life, interesting only to me. My friends are polite, but really who cares about how the Ocean green came out in this batch? Ok, I guess I figured some customer might find it mildly amusing to see what I'm doing day to day, but who knows.

And why does it need defining? Just for me, really I guess.

Because while I'm writing for past or future customers... then there is some editing of my personality involved. I have mixed feelings about that. While I am proud of who I am...well, I'm me. I'm obnoxious at times and blunt always. I swear a lot. I'm irritated by everything. But, I think of my business as a neutral area. I try to be a-political... I mean, conservatives need pretty pants too right? I despise the consumerism mentality, but I sell a product. So who wants to cut off that relationship? Not I.

If I'm writing just to air my thoughts about whatever I'm doing in my Mermaid world (art and business, that is) then is that just fluffy crap? Sure. Do I need someone to be enraptured with it all? Nope. Not really.

I don't think I'm getting anywhere with this... just thinking outloud. I guess I like the way the blog is working. It's fun to do and my Mom cares about how my new studio is set up. I think.

Just click the link on the right and buy something.


Sunday, December 03, 2006

I'm Doin Stuff, ok??

Really I am.

Ok, maybe I haven't been overly motivated with the holiday slacking and rainy day moods and whatnot. But, I've got things going on... oh yes.

Next weekend is the afore mentioned Arcata Holiday Market, at the Arcata Community Center (next to Health Sport). Yay! I do love the craft fairs. The last time I did this one, there were lots of new-ish crafters along with some old friends... all high quality goods. Many opportunities for Xmas gift bartering. Love it! And I hope to make a bit of cash too, of course. See some old customers, that's always fun.

Anyway, today is dyeing day. I'm not doing too much, just enough to satisfy some recent orders and flesh out the stock a bit. Since I stocked up so much for the North Country Fair, I resisted the urge to spend lots of money on supplies. It's tricky really... need enough stock to do well, but not be stuck with too much afterward. My next show probably won't be until March or so.

I've also been making jewelry. After the bead hubbub, I finally ordered a bunch and have been beading for a week. Woohoo! It's fun! Nothing complex, just simple strings to go with my dye colors. Now I need to work on my display... I think a better display area for the necklaces & pendants will help the sales effort there. Man, the booth is getting full!

I've been getting back into the Ebay swing too. It was too hard to keep up during our time offline, but I'm back, Baby. I've been trying to push my kits and some Mermaid goods before the holiday. I guess it's going ok so far...

I'm working on my site quite a bit. The Info Pages idea is a good one, but the site I chose for them really wasn't all that I dreamed it would be. So, instead, I added info pages right on the Mermaid site as products with $0 cost. That way I can add all I want and catagorize them just so. I like it. I also added some of my crochet patterns... which is how I started out. Making crocheted hats and selling them on campus.

Oh, and I decided to change my Shipping Rates page to the Ordering Info page... so I could add a bunch more info there too. The site's html editor is pretty funky & glitchy, but I managed to figure out those top-of-the-page topic links all my myself by weedling the html. I rule!

Ok, time for some peanut butter toast and then... To Work!