Tag Archives: organization

It’s Here, It’s Here!!

I don’t know whether I’m excited to see if anything sells or if I’m just looking forward to Sunday and it all being over.  It’s Craft Fair!!!

It took forever, but the bath salts are packaged.  There’s Spa Bath with Pure Essential Oils, Cocoa Butter, Meadowfoam & Sweet Almond Oils, Bath Fizzlers with the fresh scents of Green Apples or Peach Daquiris, Cocoa Butter & Honey Bath….and the list goes on.

The Craft Fair is Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm in the Creston Room at the Rec Center.   Stop by and have a visit.  The jewelry and soaps will be there too.  And the bath salts.  Did I mention the bath salts?  I’ve got a few……

 

It’s a Dirty Job…

I love being creative.  I love taking a bunch of different things and producing something new and wonderful.  Something that would not exist if not for my intervention.  Whether it be yummy soap or a fabulous new piece of jewelry, their very existence makes me happy.  I’m happy to say “I did that.”  Strangely enough, though, when it comes to SELLING what I’ve made I turn into a bit of a turtle.  I’ve been told I tend to under-value what I make.  When someone says “How much?” I mumble some price that I’m usually thinking I have no business asking and that the person asking is thinking “Is that all?”  I say this only because I’ve been told this.  Repeatedly.

I don’t know why it is, but it’s quite common for some artists to under-price their work.  I think part of it is because many artists don’t make a living off their art and are just thrilled to sell something.  I think the other part is more insidious.  I think it’s a self-esteem issue.  It’s almost as if some artists think, if even on only a subconscious level, that if they ask a higher price then they’re somehow guilty of hubris.  They may fear that someone will actually gasp in horror and exclaim “You must be joking…it’s not THAT good”.   I’ve finally acknowledged that maybe that’s a problem I need to deal with.

Along with pricing issues, there come the marketing issues.  I’m not good at marketing.  It feels somehow a little dirty to me to be promoting myself.  Because that’s what it’s ultimately about…. while I may be selling a product, on some levels I’m really selling myself…or at least my abilities, particularly with the jewelry.  But I’m going to do it.  I’m going to keep plugging away at coming up with a cohesive marketing strategy.  Step 1…..this weekend’s craft fair.

I’ve made flyers to let people know where to buy my products.  I’m not expecting to sell a lot of jewelry because craft fair buyers, here at least, tend to not purchase more expensive items, but I want the jewelry to be seen.

Brandy printed me up some business cards on that scrumptious copper card-stock, I bought decorations for the table, so I guess I’m ready to roll.  I’ll take pics and post them next week.

So we’ll see if I’m getting it right.  With the packaging, the marketing, the pricing, the product.  With everything.  It’ll be interesting, to say the least.  As for the pricing, the other phenomenon I’ve noticed is people that drastically over-price their products.  But that’s a topic for another blog post.  I’m sure I’ll address it at some point.  Stir the pot a little.  Make a different kind of mess.  *evil grin*.

Guilt Trip

It’s bad enough when we stoop so low as to put a guilt trip on others, and there are few who can honestly claim they haven’t done that, but I think it’s even worse when we drop one of those full-on, “how lazy can you possibly be?”, beat-yourself-up loads of guilt firmly on the top of our own head.  *PLOP*

While many women will claim this is strictly a female phenomenon, I don’t agree with that.  I will agree, however, that women are very, VERY good at this particular brand of self-flagellation.  I know I am.

My guilt comes from the lazy weekend I had.  I made 6, count ’em, 6 plans for Saturday and Sunday and accomplished none of them.  So here I sit, 2 batches of soap, 1 batch of shampoo bars, 1 ring and 1 set of earrings behind schedule.  I know…that only adds up to 5.  I managed to redeem myself somewhat by getting the packaging finished and the jewelry delivered to Cresteramics this afternoon.  (They’re open 9-3 Monday-Friday, on Canyon Street between Mawson’s Sports and Morris Flowers, for those of you who were so patiently waiting.)

I just couldn’t bring myself to get moving.  I realized Saturday that I’d done no blogging on Friday and that just added to my guilt load.  I’m writing about this because I know I’m not alone in falling into these little ruts. These little ruts that can turn into big rut-chasms.  I also know I’m not alone in being quick to beat myself up over this kind of stuff.  So if you’re in a rut, or a chasm, you’re so not alone.  More importantly, it doesn’t mean your a bad person, and it certainly doesn’t mean you’re not a CREATIVE person.  I think you ARE a creative person….we all are.  We just get stuck.  The thing is, if you grab the edge of that rut and just lever yourself up a tiny little bit, you can peek over the side and see that if you just do a little bit (like the packaging and delivery today) you really can get back on-track.

Start small.  Pick a little project that’s been bugging you.  Make a plan.  I cannot stress that part enough — MAKE A PLAN!  Unless you’re independently wealthy, you’re likely not in a position to just do everything on a whim.  I know I’m not.  If I don’t plan ahead, nothing happens.  Life intervenes.  It has a way of doing that.  Stuff happens, people need things, we see other stuff that could be done.  We end up being reeled down a path that was NOT the plan, however loosely-written that plan was.

If you’re the kind of person who can’t do anything new, or anything strictly for yourself before you’ve taken care of all the housework and needs of those around you, then make dealing with all that stuff the first part of the plan.  Enlist the help of those around you in getting that stuff done.  I know I’m saying “stuff” a lot right now, but it really just is STUFF.  We need to categorize it accordingly and put it in its place.  All that STUFF.  Besides, it’s good to get those around you to help because, chances are, a lot of that “stuff” is really THEIR stuff that we take responsibility for, even though we don’t need to.

The next part of the plan is to gather everything you’ll need for the project.  Running out to get something you can’t find or forgot to buy mid-project is another roadblock you don’t need.  Success really is the best motivator, so having everything ready helps you succeed which will help motivate you to do more.  See the pattern here?  It’s all about forward momentum.  It’s all about setting yourself up to succeed.

The last part of the plan is this:  do it.  Just do it….have fun, play, kick that guilt over doing something creative for yourself to the curb, and DO IT.  Go ahead …. I’m going to….first thing tomorrow.  I’m gonna leave this latest rut in my dust and Just Make A Mess.

It’s Working!!

The blog, that is.  When I started this blog, one of the main reasons for doing it was to keep me motivated.  I’m easily distracted and can end up off-task in the blink of an eye.  I get caught up in the planning and never get to the doing.  In short, I needed something that would help keep me going.  That would help get me to FINISH things.

Today was the kind of day that, in the past, would have completely gone off the rails.  I had planned to finish clearing my soap-bench today, but was awakened by a friend who came by to help with some landscaping.  I didn’t know when he was coming and wasn’t really thinking about the possibility of doing yardwork today.  Don’t get me wrong.  It’s not like I had to do much, but I had to be available if he had questions, I had to be there to make some decisions, I had to basically pay attention.

Pre-blog this all would have been enough to scuttle the plans I had for today.  After all, cleaning a garage isn’t really all that appealing and I really wanted to watch the massive hedge in front of my house be reduced by half.  The whole idea of being able to sit in a comfy chair and watch someone else work in my yard while I sipped a simmered Chai tea and ate bonbons  holds a great deal of allure for me.   I’m sure many of you can relate.  But…..

I DIDN’T DO IT!!!

I hauled my lazy, spidey-fearing butt out to the garage and did THIS instead:

and THIS:

and THIS!!

I did it.  I finished it.  One tidy, organized, and clean soapbench, ready to roll.  And all because of the blog and you great people who are following along on this journey of mine.  All because I had a moment of clarity as I stood there debating watching the landscaping;  a moment where the thought that crystallized in my brain was “Oh wow….I HAVE to finish the garage….or I won’t have anything for the BLOG!!”  It’s amazing how much I can get done when motivated.  Yay me!!  And Yay You too!!!

So there’s this mess…

I’m betting everyone who reads the title to this entry can relate to that phrase.  No matter how much of our house, our life, or our yard we get organized, somewhere, lurking, is a mess.  The one you can avoid because it’s not in your face.  The one created by organizing other areas of your home.  We all have ’em.  Our biggest mess at present is in what has become the great Dumping Ground in our life: the garage-shop.

Yup…I’m posting this online.  It’s a motivational thing.  I really want to make some soap for Christmas gifts and I have to get on it now so it will cure sufficiently to be used by then.  What you see under the garland of guitars is my soap-bench.  It’s the area we initially designated for soap-making.  Because I don’t have to go out there very often, this building gradually accumulates the stuff we don’t know what else to do with…or are too lazy to deal with properly.  Once it’s there I avoid dealing with it.  Mostly because of the spideys.  There’s not lots of them or anything, but the ones that might be there are just lying in wait for ME.  They’re going to jump on my head and try to eat my brain.  Like Zombies.  Ok, so I’m a little phobic.

Another part of the problem with this space is that it’s full of supplies, both mine and my husband’s, that could be used in creative endeavors.  If we could get to them.  Often the biggest roadblock is simply a lack of access to what we need.  Having to move a bunch of stuff to get to where I think maybe the stuff I need for my project MIGHT be is pretty much guaranteed to stop me dead.  The Muse hates obstacles and will retreat to her cavern to sulk if she encounters them.

So we got started…we’ll soldier on tomorrow and try and deal with the rest of this mess.  The good new is that when you tackle a project like this, sometimes you find Treasure!!  Arrrr Mateys!!

I unearthed my tole-painting supplies:  signboards, patterns, project packs. I found all the things I used to use when I taught Traditional Tole Painting.  I loved teaching those classes.  The classes were One Night-One Project.  You left with a finished piece.  Tole painting is great because it’s almost no-fail.  I never once had someone leave my class feeling like they hadn’t done well.  (At least I don’t think I did.)

I also found my pattern-book from when I was in the Society for Creative Anachronism…..the folks who do Renaissance Faires.  People get all dressed up like knights and maidens, kings and queens, princes and paupers.  They drink mead, play lutes, and the men swat at each other with handmade swords while wearing armour that smells faintly like hockey gear.  Sometimes not so faintly.  Brilliant fun.

Now I have a dilemma though.  Put together a tole-painting class or make myself a Kinsale Cloak?  Like I needed another project.  *grin*