I want to get on the front page of ETSY. It's a pride thing, but I do. I think I'll feel validated if I can see that someone at ETSY likes something enough to put it up there. I know, I should feel validated because people keep buying from me. And I should feel validated when they post positive feedback. And I DO...and it makes me so happy that people like my stuff and stop to tell me so. BUT I WANT TO BE ON THE FRONT PAGE OF ETSY. Sigh. I've decided that rather than sit and mope I'll just keep designing new things and posting them, and one day my hard work will pay off. I've got a couple of new things so far...my monster jingle ball, that was fun to make. (And fun to play with...Laurel and I have been throwing that thing around for days) I also made a bag for my niece's 5th birthday. I've been wanting to do a fabric version of my Candid Memory Portraits, but I just hadn't really had a chance to do it. So I decided that's what I'd do for her, a bag with her face on it. I had planned to do stitched eyes, but Laurel was insisting that I use buttons instead. (She and I went to see Coraline on Sunday so she's currently obsessed with buttons for eyes) I even have these garrishly oversized bright colored buttons that she puts on her eyes and calls herself the "Other Laurel." I love that kid, she's so funny. She can make me laugh no matter what is going on. Even in the midst of getting in trouble she can make a funny face and I can't help but laugh. I'm doomed...she has the upperhand and she knows it! In any case, I was able to get Jess' bag finished AND I got to use some great fabric I've been hoarding for just the right project. I was pleased with the outcome...though I'm looking at it right now, and the more I look at it the spookier the eyes look. I can only hope that Jess hasn't seen Coraline...otherwise it might give her nightmares. Hmmm...I didn't think of that.
I've been working more with my card designs so that my paintings have a more marketable platform to stand on. Laurel's Valentines were helpful because it forced me to sit down and play with some new designs, and make some new templates. The final draft of the Valentines are below. I was pleased with the result, and so was Laurel...which of course is vastly more important. I think she was proud to give out the cards that she had worked so hard on with me.
It was also my sister's birthday this week, and not knowing what to buy her I ended up waiting until the last minute. She's got a bit of the artsy bug as well, so I put together a personalized sketch pad, pencils and a tote to fit it all. I was pleased with the design that made it easy to slip the sketch pad in and out, plus kept all the colored pencils organized and easy to get at. She seems to like it, so that made me happy. And of course I took production photos of it and posted it as a gift set.
When I get a chance I'll make one for myself as well. I'm going to modify mine so that it has room for all of adult stuff...no no no...not ADULT stuff, I'm not a porn star. My sister is only 12...so she doesn't yet carry a wallet, keys, phone, etc. Therefore I will need to make a tote that has a compartment for my sketch pad and a place for pencils...since I prefer to have my pad with me at all times (you never know when ideas will strike you); but it will also need to have a place for phone, keys, wallet, etc and still be useful and organized. Plus, I have this incredible handpainted fabric I bought over the weekend and I can't wait to use it on my new bag! I love it so much I want to wear this fabric...and I might if I ever had a chance to make something for myself!
Here's the almost final draft of Laurel's Valentines. She painted the sky, the grass, the frog and the heart. She was really excited about the layout. The only thing I need to change is the font and we're ready to print them out for her party.
Ok, so the new store isn't ready to open yet. The "little things" that needed to get done before it opened proved to be much bigger than I thought. I always underestimate the amount of time it's going to take to do all the things I need to do. Maybe that's why I'm always playing catch up in my life. I can't imagine a life when I wasn't always running behind, not prepared, getting ready, etc. What would it be like to just be one of those people who has it all together? That must be sort of relaxing to know that the house is already clean, dinner made, laundry washed, folded and put away, kids bathed and in bed and the orders are filled and ready to ship. That is SO not me. My new schedule is baking at night and sewing in the morning. I try not to let either interfere with my kids so I don't bake until bedtime and I try to be up sewing at 5AM. Of course some mornings 5AM is 6:45AM, and Luke wakes up around 7AM. So it doesn't always work out the way I think it will. But I'd rather be burning the candle at either end then to miss out on hanging out with my kids. So the recipe line up for Just Us Chickens is slowly getting solidified. There is an inherent learning curve with new grains. Will they taste good, will they look good, do they bake the same? So far so good. The most surprising favorite so far has been the Chicken Feed Shortbread. It's part of the no Gluten line, but it's always nice when a product tastes good enough that you eat it just because you want to, and not just because it's Gluten free. It's almost like a crispy-sweet cornbread. It has a rustic quality that I really enjoy. At the same time I've been working on more bags for the promotion. I've been having fun doing projects with no purpose. It's allowed me to free up any constraints on colors, shapes, designs, and just have a little fun. Today I played around with some felt flowers and I was pleased with the results of both. I'll post pictures soon.
Becoming Maggie Blue is the journey to becoming the person I want to be. After many years of living a conventional life, we decided to move to Alaska and live on a boat. Currently we're traveling full time in a camper with our two kids, exploring North America. We have no plan beyond going slowly and seeing all there is to see, and taking the time to connect and be together as much as possible in these special years.