Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I learn that all photographers nowadays are fake.

An old store

Thanks to this enlightening flickr thread! I agree with the people who say it's just a bigger pool of talent to pull from. I don't have much talent with a camera, but I do like that digital cameras allow me to snap my little photos of everyday life-decaying stores,nondescript greenery, frowning babies, and also allow me to take photos of my items easily. It takes me sometimes thirty or forty shots before I get the five I want to present to the world. With film, that would be expensive, but with digital, I can do it in an afternoon and get back to crafting. That's what technology is for- to make it easier for us to do our vocations.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Blog Potpourri

Dennis Anderson's ginger lemon massage bar smells like sparkling ginger ale. The massage bar part rubbed off quickly, but this bar has good lather and both good in and out of shower smell. A solid bar of soap- what I've come to expect from Dennis Anderson.

Also, Magic Hand's Salt Bar really feels pure, like something you'd use to wash a baby. The salt gives it a nice texture, and it was nice and hard until the end when the last tiny piece crumbled away. Gives the skin a very soapy smell.

Etsy says everyone's views are just fine. Many disagree.

Religious messages in stores and pamphlets? There's a huge difference from merely wishing me a blessed day[slightly annoying, but acceptable] and putting a tract about how everyone who slept in one day and didn't go to church is going straight to hell in my package.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's Earth Day

anchors away.

and so salon publishes a piece on folks who concern troll everyone about how cheap organic lentils are.

Of course, there's a certain tension in business about being green. Sure, a lot of green ways do save money- recycling beads from older necklaces rather than buying new ones, recycling clean packing materials, saving old items from thrift stores to make new items, but at the heart of the green movement is the idea that we all have plenty of stuff, and need to use less resources on our stuff. Less consumerism means less buying, which of course isn't good for business. I think we can find a balance, of course.

In other news, will walmart save the family farm?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Design Works: The Sixth Try is The Charm

the back of it

It took me about five or six tries to create this necklace. My first try involved many swarovski crystals, and some sodalite rounds. It was a good try, but I didn't have enough beads. That's a huge problem with necklaces- they take a lot of beads, and if you have too many different kinds, they can look messy and sort of bead soupy. That was the issue with my second try. I tried to extend it with some sea green czech glass beads and some olive jade, that I rescued from this design:

a leaf

but I didn't have enough, and it started to look bead soup like. On my third try, I tried to use some Greek ceramic tube beads, which had really vivid blue and green colors, at the ends of the necklace, but I didn't like that effect.

no, that's not a nipple

The fourth try involved this basic concept[evolved after a trip to the bead store- after seeing the sodalite teeth, I decided to match more precisely to the color of the pendant, which was the centerpiece for the whole idea of the necklace]- tigers eye, sodalite 'teeth', but no spacers, so that was too short. The fifth try involved glass spacers, but they were black, so it seemed visually too heavy. The sixth try finally got it right with the white bone spacers, and so we have the final product. Of course, actually, it was right on the seventh or eighth try. I had to redo once because of a bead counting error- I wanted the necklace perfectly symmetrical, and another time because of a bead spill.

So there you have it. I'm pretty satisfied with this necklace incarnation.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Farmer's Market Frenzy

As spring comes, the farmer's market boom hits Memphis hard. Yes, some folks bring non local produce to the market, but there's still a variety of local items to be found. Local baked goods, local hummus[really!], local crafts[I used to sell at the Agricenter on Saturdays but it was too slow for me].

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Thousand True Fans

I'm late on the thousand true fans boat, but I'd still like to discuss it. Even though it sounds like the premise of an anime- gain a thousand true friends...I you'll become a real girl...I mean business... but it may have some validity to us crafters. Many people knew of the etsy famous Black Apple who even though most have never heard of her is doing alright with her fanbase.

Of course, as they say, different things are different. It's a bit easier for soapers as people consume soap and will often buy from the same soaper month to month. I like a lot of variety in my soap buying, but I will return to the same 'favorites' as well. Jewelry isn't consumable and you can only have so many earrings, but your true fans act as evangelists to the more casual types. They are the ones who retweet your tweets, advise others to go to your shop, etc. I think that more than the mere 1000 people a year giving you $100 once aspect that that is the true value of true fans.

People fall out of love with things, they move on, but before that happens, they can show your work to people who really are turned on by your art. Different methods work for different people. You don't see a lot of very very personal stuff on this blog as I am really shy, but other people display their daily life. But getting people to engage with your work, standing out from the crowd- that's something we can all relate to.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Rethink Your Rapper Dreams

Artist compensation in a handy infographic. Of course, this has always been true, but this just puts it in stark relief. Better print out tons of t shirts, bands!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Ning's Bubble Bursts

Ning, home of such networks as WeLoveEtsy, is closing off free networks and laying off workers. Even on the rapidly growing internet, you need a way to monetize your product. Grow slow and steady. If you expand too fast, you might just be a bubble...

BTW: perhaps we should focus on companies that actually make things again. Stop giving 120 million to random dot com boom type companies and give 1 million each to 120 companies that actually do things, make things, etc, and I bet the effect on the economy would be a whole lot better for more people.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

On journals

My writing

MAKE magazine asks about how your notebook is organized. First, I pick a journal.

Sometimes I buy a nice journal. This boygirlparty journal is my current one, although it's all pink now because I spilled juice in my bag:

an isbn

but usually I use a simple moleskine :

heart stamp

The journal must have at least some lines, because I like the structure of a lined page. With blank pages, my writing goes all over the place. I may doodle or draw a graph, but since I can't draw, I don't mind the lines. I find graph paper really satisfying sometimes. I like to make little charts using the squares, and of course, that can also serve as lines to direct my writing.

When I actually start to write in my journal, I always date and then start writing. Mostly it's complaining or an extensive list of everything I have accomplished that day. When I was in school, I'd write observations on the lecture that I did not need to memorize for the test, such as how Adlerian therapy could be used in various ways, or to write down books mentioned by the professor. I'll write down story ideas and to do lists. I'll write down quotes, although I do have a special journal for quotes. It's a ringdex- a bunch of index cards connected with a metal ring.

When I'm in the library, I write down the Dewey decimal numbers of the books I am trying to find in my journal. I heard that young folks don't know how to do this, and therefore can't find books in the library.

Anyway, to me, a journal is essential to life. The only problem is what to do with a filled journal. I keep them, but I have so many that space is an issue. I love the tactile feeling of writing on paper, so I'll probably journal forever.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Really, I don't care

I think Hobby Lobby's customer service should have not gone with the we know Christ is the only way to Heaven approach. Why? Because people often go through a great deal of searching and work to find their religious beliefs for themselves. So when you say, Christ is the only way, you seem to be looking down on their religious beliefs, and that feels like an insult to many people.

I understand it can be difficult for those reared in places where religion is a public matter to understand this world view. However, often we must be sensitive to other world views in our customers. Some people see being given a discount as an insult. This is not my world view, but it's an understandable vision of the world that does not in fact harm me. To many, religion is very personal, and telling people what religion they should be is as bad as telling them what sort of underwear they should wear.

Happy Black Girl Day!

It's nice to see a Happy Black Girl contest that is for handmade items! Today, I will praise the creativity of our girls. Our girls are out there creating fashion anew. Folks will say it's too loud, too gaudy, too ghetto, too trashy, unless it is seen on other, paler bodies, then it is fresh, new, a revolution. To that, I say no. It is a fresh revolution on our bodies. Our creativity creates the fashion, creates the dances, creates the recipes, creates the writing, creates the art. Others may be inspired, and their works garner more praise than ours. But I say no. The ones who originate are the creators, the creatives. To them, I light a candle.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Best Forum Trainwreck Ever

Really folks, don't tell us what to do. If I think etsy should fix their technical issues,I'm going to say it, so there.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Handmade Video Ads

I love this Oyin ad. Keep it handmade!