less mucus, more housework

it is tuesday. i am finally feeling markedly better, thanks to some quality time with my neti pot. my head is becoming clearer, and that is a blessing, friends.

i was musing about some of those ideas i threw out there the other day for structuring my blog posts. turns out, i am a hoarder. i hoard ideas and cool stuff, and i hide them under a bushel. this is a problem when you are looking for things to share with the universe, you understand. i shall overcome, of course, and there will soon be nifty things littering my blog posts. promise.

in the meantime, with the clarity that comes of draining one’s sinuses, i am faced with the aftermath of being ill for a week or so, and it is less than appealing. toys are strewn about, dishes and laundry need doing, and it is killing my ‘i’m almost healthy!’ buzz. i often find comfort in the mundane, repetitive chores, but right now, i just want to be still and ruminate on the potential of the coming days…not sift through and restore order to playthings. can you blame me?

and then it hit

i have been hit twice in the last month or so with a nasty head cold. the one that i’m grappling with now makes the first one look puny. and, of course, i have my wee one to thank for the cooties. kind of hard to avoid them when you are blowing snot from her nose every five minutes, or so.

to say i have been a little under the weather would be an understatement. every morning when i wake up drag my sleep-deprived, oozing self into a vertical position, all the nocturnally thickened mucus drains from its cavernous recesses and makes a symphony of disgusting sounds as it’s being evacuated. not all of it, of course. the rest hangs out, waiting for the opportunity to make me dizzy when i: walk around, take a drink of water (which i do a lot. fluids, you know.), sit down, turn my head…well, you get the idea.

i can’t say that the state i’ve been in has contributed to much creativity, i’m afraid.

my shop has been really slow, which is sort of a blessing, as i have been feeling so poorly. on the other hand, it hasn’t done much to foster creative enthusiasm. i just have to learn to be diligent, whether i’m feeling a spark, or not. that is the mark of a true artist. and i’m just not there yet.

i have been following artist lisa congdon’s instagram feed, where she shows what she creates on a daily basis. seeing such dedication to one’s art makes me feel ashamed and inspired at the same time. it is easy for me to tread in lukewarm waters where i don’t make much new stuff. but i have to come to realize that i often wallow there, too, feeling like everyone else is doing better than me…making better stuff, selling more stuff, getting more exposure for their stuff. it is not a happy place to be. i have vowed, in between nose blowings, to spend as little time in that puddle as possible.

so, in this place, ye olde blog, i am working out a schedule that will keep me on track for weekly posts. i am thinking some DIY, some recipes, and some vintage finds. if i’m not creating, i can be connecting with you!

still chugging along

still here, y’all!

boy, i am never quite prepared for the new year…i still have all my bookkeeping to do for tax season, and my workspace is a straight-up disaster. i have a lot of ideas and plans swimming about in my head right now. ideas for new jewelry designs and techniques, brainstorming about what to do with my eggs aside from etsy, and how to focus my efforts into streamlining my work from start to finish.

the whole etsy thing continues to be a heartbreak for me, as i see more and more dissatisfied customers post in the forums about how they were duped by take-your-money-and-run shops, or by fake handmade items. etsy has chased after an audience that was not tailored to its core values. as a result, etsy is now bursting at the seams with resellers, and customers who just see it as another ebay or amazon.

as much as i like to hope that somehow, things will swing the other way, i can’t delude myself into thinking that my work will ever be visible enough there to grow my business.

am i allowed to blog on the weekends?

well, yes, i guess…as long as the toddler permits it. this morning should do fine, as i am up FAR earlier than i typically am, and she is nestled in her bed. (feet to the pillow, i might add…just one of her nightly migrational habits that make us fear the implications of transitioning her to a big-girl bed.)

i can explain my early rising by telling you that i have so much going on in my head these days, that i am amazed i get to sleep at all without a shot of horse tranquilizer to my haunches every night. shall i try to list them for you? most tangible and nearest in the horizon first:

1. craft fair preparation. i was accepted to my first ‘real’ holiday craft boutique a couple of weeks ago. (there were more applicants than spaces, mind you, so i feel somewhat accomplished already.) the event takes place on december 8, and, having never tackled something of this dimension, i am finding myself a little adrift. it does not help in the slightest that i am a perfectionist, and have such delusions of grandeur that i picture in my mind the following scenario: upon seeing the glory of my setup and branding prowess, no one will believe that this is my first time doing it. one of the pitfalls of being a perfectionist, at least in my case, is that i also tend to procrastinate. which is, i suppose, a blog topic all its own.

2. domesticity. i struggle with it. and every time i square up to tackle it, i end up a little overwhelmed. being a planner is not something that comes easy to me. see number 1.

3. motherhood. i have a toddler. i could stop there, and a whole multitude of women would bow their heads in solemn solidarity. but i am thinking of having another one. the journey from point a to point b is fraught with a plethora of stumbling blocks. one of which, being my weight. i have been making some solid inroads toward this goal, but it is time to step up my game. i am aware of this. a second, finances. we are pretty much a one income family, though i am trying my darndest to make this jewelry thing a winner. amongst the many others, the most gut-wrenching (quite literally, i can assure you) obstacle to subsequent procreation is the haunting memory of my first pregnancy, in which you watched me become a shell of a person who spit excess saliva into a cup all day long and puked every night. seriously…do you really want to see what happens when you throw a toddler into the mix? i shudder just thinking about it. yet, i can’t seem to help myself. i am twisted like that.

which brings me to the present, wherein i am nursing a cup of coffee in the growing daylight, and trying to sort through some of this madness. time to pour another cup.

branching out

i have received encouragement to become a blogger from various people, but i always considered myself too busy, ill-equipped, uninteresting, or…you name it.

i was first and foremost a maker, but my penchant for ‘spinning yarns’ was a close second to bud. (fiction comes easily to children when they have been caught doing something they shouldn’t!) my creativity takes many forms, but creating the descriptions in my etsy shop listings give a nod to my writing self. wait, etsy, you ask? oh, yes…i am a maker, remember? i make jewelry with a vintage flair, and i LOVE doing it.

etsy has been an exciting catalyst for both my creative selves, and i have spent the last five years cultivating my shop and evolving my aesthetic. but like all bright and shiny things, it has begun to lose its luster. created as a unique marketplace that fostered the handmade culture, etsy provided a meaningful connection between seller and buyer through features like chat (which etsy removed, to the detriment of all, a few years ago), and the forums, which bear little resemblance to the useful and varied platforms they once were. most recently, etsy erased and redrew its boundaries to include sellers who outsourced their production to factories.

it is a sad state of affairs, and an utter heartbreak to me and many of my etsy peers, who honestly believed that etsy would never succumb to the pressure of bigger business. following etsy’s announcement of their ‘redefinition of handmade,’ the CEO has disappeared back into the woodwork and remained almost completely silent, while millions of small-scale makers grapple with the upheaval of a place we called home.

which leads me to this, the creation of a blog. a place where hopefully, i can begin to process my disappointment and fears…and my hopes and dreams for the future.

are you with me? let’s do this thing.