Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Creativity Quotes for Inspiration

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
~ Scott Adams

There's room for everybody on the planet to be creative and conscious if you are your own person. If you're trying to be like somebody else, then there is isn't.
~ Tori Amos

You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.
~ Maya Angelou

Art is not a thing; it is a way.
~ Elbert Hubbard

Every artist was first an amateur.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.
~ Erich Fromm
When my daughter was about seven years old, she asked me one day what I did at work. I told her I worked at the college - that my job was to teach people how to draw. She stared at me, incredulous, and said, "You mean they forget?"
~Howard Ikemoto

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Flying Lessons Classmates

I have been participating in Kelly Rae Roberts' creative entrepreneurship e-course for the last four weeks. My classmates are an amazingly talented (and huge!) bunch of artists and creative women and men of all kinds from all over the globe. Here is just a snippet of some of their work.  Enjoy!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Tranquil Inspiration

 Me, Kimberly Wilson, and social media strategist Katy Tafoya

On Friday evening I had the pleasure and privilege of meeting Kimberly Wilson and hearing her talk on infusing a little tranquility into every day and her latest book, Tranquilista.  Kimberly supplied Sprinkles cupcakes and wine, mais oui!

Kimberly is an entrepreneurial spirit of many talents.  As I have mentioned in a previous post, I discovered her podcasts in 2007 (originally named Hip Tranquil Chick, now Tranquility du Jour) and have been a huge fan of her work ever since.  Kimberly founded Tranquil Space yoga studio in Washington DC (and now also Arlington, Virginia), which was named among the top 25 yoga studios in the world by Travel + Leisure, has her own line of organic bamboo clothing named TranquilitT, and founded a nonprofit, Tranquil Space Foundation.  In addition to the free podcasts, Kimberly blogs and has written two books, Tranquilista as mentioned above, and her first book, Hip Tranquil Chick.  Phew!  Not bad for a woman who has no formal business training!  My favorite thing about Kimberly is that she describes herself as an introvert at heart, which I do too, so that gives me encouragement that big things are still possible even without being a natural social butterfly.

After the talk and Q&A portion, Kimberly spent time talking to individuals, and gave me a ton of encouragement and even a new idea for my pendants.  It was such a delight to meet her and I'm so glad I had the opportunity before I leave L.A.  I highly recommend all her products (I wish I could have made it to DC to visit Tranquil Space, but alas, I don't think that's going to happen), including the lovely bamboo clothing, as modeled by yours truly below.  Best thing about bamboo -- gentle machine wash and no ironing!

The book signing was held at a wonderful store in L.A. called Happy.  I hadn't visited Happy before but it's a wonderful store full of unique gifts.  The owner gave 10% off anything in store after the event was over, and I was delighted to find this:

Photo from the Happy website

My wallet has been broken for a while so I could justify the purchase.  I am absolutely in love with it, it's so perfect I feel like someone designed it just for me.

The whole evening was absolutely inspiring and fuelled the rest of my weekend.  I spent a lot of time this weekend working on my creative biz and am looking forward to stretching all of this energy into the coming week.  If you're in need of a little inspiration of your own, I suggest you hop over to Kimberly's website, download some Tranquility du Jour podcasts on iTunes, and check out her books!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Goal Update

On March 13th, I wrote a post about my first business goal -- 50 sales through my Etsy shop by September 13th.  At that time, I had 13 sales already, so needed 37 more.  I'm now halfway to my 6 month deadline, and my Etsy sales total is 26.  That means I've made 13 sales in the past 3 months, so my average sales per month have increased slightly -- it was just under 3 per month at the time I set my goal, and now it works out to just over 4 per month.  I've also sold a few things off Etsy but I'm not counting those (unless it gets to September and I get desperate ;) ).

So I'm still hopeful I'll meet my goal, hopefully the sales-per-month curve keeps growing.  I'll keep Facebooking and Tweeting and creating.  Next on my list is an off-Etsy website. 

What are your three- or six-month goals and plans for your creative biz?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Monkey cake!

Exploring other avenues of crafty goodness:

For a wonderful friend's monkey-themed baby shower, another friend and I made this super-cute, super-easy, and super-delicious chocolate peanut-butter cake.

Comes pretty close to last year's Where The Wild Things Are cake (this was MUCH more difficult! We had no idea what we were getting into with fondant icing...)  Note the same cake plate, I have only one...

Not sure where we got the recipe/directions for that one.  Tell me -- what gamut do your crafty urges run?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Perspiration = Inspiration

Loving this quote and posting it everywhere at the moment!

"If you do creative work, there's a sense that inspiration is this fairy dust that gets dropped on you, when in fact you can just manufacture inspiration through sheer brute force. You can simply produce enough material that the thing will arrive that seems inspired." -- Ira Glass

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Alice in Wonderland Pendants - Sneak Peek!

I am so excited.  When I first started making these pendants, I bought supplies to make round ones and oval ones.  For some reason, every single oval one I attempted was riddled with blemishes and unusable, but the round ones were working out ok, so I figured it was because of the shape and gave up on it.  The ovals sat in my materials drawer and taunted me with their yuckiness.

Recently I switched from acrylic cabochons to glass and so I bought a pack of oval ones just to try again.  I pressed some Alice in Wonderland images yesterday afternoon, looked at them when I got home from work today, and oh happy day, they came out GREAT!  I used a longer chain length for these ones too.  I am so excited about them.

Above is a sneak peek of the pendants I'll be listing on Etsy... I even got brave and took photos of myself and actually left my face in the pictures (at least part of it), horrors.... I hate having my picture taken, I swear I am the most unphotogenic person on the planet.  Luckily a bit of soft-focus in Picasa took care of the worst ;)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Here I Am

I've been neglecting things (Etsy, blog, creating, housework...) a bit.  Feeling a little disheveled and not sure where the time has been going this past week.  This weekend has been one of those where you have to spend $520 on maintenance for a car you hate, you go to two stores and your (and only your) make-up shade is out of stock, and you unwrap a Laughing Cow cheese only for it to immediately fall on the floor. 

Anyway, less complaining...

Last weekend was much happier.  On Saturday (the 5th) two of my wonderful friends and I ran the See Jane Run women's half-marathon in Alameda, CA (near San Francisco).  It wasn't easy, much too warm for my liking (I hate running if it's more than 60F), and the last two miles were the longest of my life, but we finished.  Here we are afterwards with our medals (that's me in the middle!):

After the race (and much-needed showers), we headed to Viansa winery in Sonoma, where my friend is a member so we could taste as much wine as we wanted, for free!  Bliss.

Creatively, I've been feeling a bit overwhelmed this week.  I've been trying to keep up with the Taking Flight e-course and there is just SO much information, it's hard to read and take it all in, but it's all such gold I don't want to miss a thing.  I've also been trying to visit the blogs of other class members and show some support (and have received some wonderful comments and compliments in return).  The e-course also reminded me that I have been neglecting Twitter and I could definitely be doing a better job on my Facebook page also.  Sigh.

I've also been having trouble with the adhesive I use to make my jewelry, which was very frustrating and resulted in a lot of wasted materials, but I think I've figured out the problem.  I have one thing finished (one! but there are a few more near completion), photographed, and ready to list on Etsy, finally.  I haven't listed anything new for ages, tsk tsk.   Here's the owl ring I will be listing shortly:

Hope you all had enjoyable weekends and your cheese didn't fall on the floor.  I will be more productive this week!


Music does funny things to me...

Here's what's floating my boat as I create today - Swing from Zero 7 (there's no video for it, just the lovely song):

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

My favorite.

I'll be back with your regularly scheduled programming soon, but to tide you over, here's my favorite quote/poem/saying:

If you can start the day without caffeine or pep pills,
If you can be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,
If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,
If you can eat the same food everyday and be grateful for it,
If you can understand when loved ones are too busy to give you time,
If you can overlook when people take things out on you when, through no fault of yours, something goes wrong,
If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,
If you can face the world without lies and deceit,
If you can conquer tension without medical help,
If you can relax without liquor,
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,
If you can do all these things,
Then you,
Are probably,
A dog.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Crafty Weekend Recap (and Giveaway Winner Announced!)

Here in the U.S. it was a long weekend, so I took a vacation day on Friday and turned it into a four-day-craft-extravaganza! It was bliss.  I felt like I was bursting with creative energy, I was totally excited to get up each day.

There was raspberry-blueberry-almond-cake-baking:

Much circle-cutting for fabric-flower-making:

A new adventure in card-making (swoon, new obsession), and the aforementioned flower-sewing:

Painting for the Spill It! Workshop I am taking online with Carmen Torbus (a post about this is coming soon):

A couple of other little (unfinished) friends I am working on:

Two Etsy sales!  Yay!!  Here they are packaged up for mailing:

And a winner of the necklace giveaway!  Congratulations Jenny :)