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Those Darn Unfinished Objects

I set myself up for an ugly February.  I like to set an intention for the month, something to focus on.  I have a two person show coming up in July and not a big enough body of work.  I thought a good plan would be to finish up any unfinished art that I have lying around.  That would quickly produce some work to hang.  So I set my intention as finishing up UFO’s (unfinished objects).  I allowed that whatever I didn’t finish by February 28th just doesn’t get finished, gets put away again or repurposed.  No pressure right?

I am feeling so much pressure.  I’ve hung all the ufos or laid them out in my studio.  I’ve stared at them all month trying to figure out how to finish them.  Each piece has a story or reason why I created it.  A couple of them still hold some interest for me but I’m afraid I’m really excited about the new body / style of work I’m brewing in my mind and I’m having a hard time finishing up old stuff.  So I agonize and torture myself.  I hate that I’ve put so much work into these pieces and now I don’t even care about them.  I tell myself when I finish the old I can start the new.   Why do we do this?

As a means to distract myself from actually getting anything done I search the internet, go to the library, cook new food… In my desperate attempts to procrastinate I came across an article by Jen Daly (in Quilters Newsletter June/July 2012) about making peace with your UFOs.  She listed her quilts and said why they were unfinished.

So I decided to look at my pieces and think about WHY I didn’t finish them instead of HOW I could finish them.   Some of them were unfinished because I thought they were finished but didn’t love them. Some were unfinished because some bright shiny thing came up and drew my attention away from them,  and others I was just plain stumped on.

I worried, as Jen did about the waste of time, fabric and brain cells that went into them.  I started to feel guilty about starting a new project when they were unfinished.  Then Jen goes on to remind me that in making these pieces I learned new skills and made discoveries that I brought forward to my future art.  Maybe I need to call these finished projects after all.  Maybe all they were just meant to be were lessons, not works of art.  Maybe its time to cut them up or hang them for what they are.  Maybe I should give or – gulp – throw them away.  Do I really need that pile of nagging stress in my studio?  Tomorrow is February 28th.  I have a frog to finish and 2 pieces to set aside to turn into covers for notebooks – easy repurposes that I can sell on Etsy.  Good bye old junk!  Good bye unfinished stress.  I’m moving on! 

Writing about Business

I’ve been thinking about the wisdom in my writing about business for you
unsuspecting readers. I’m so very right brained… As you can see I’m a
new blogger and am trying to find my ‘voice’. I thought I wanted to share
my journey and help other right brainers find their way in this crazy
business world but my head is spinning more often than not. I can think
of 50 things I’d rather focus on weekly. I’ve decided it would be more
beneficial if I occassionally linked you up with a site that appears to
know what they are talking about.

That being said- I have a great link for starting your own business that I
wish I had had when I started mine… this site has links for start up
business and also some great free tutorials for learning bookkeeping
(which I will be spending the next few months studying).
http://www.dwmbeancounter.com/ really, check it out!

I think Mondays will be a creative warm up day in the future…

February’s mission

How does this happen? I’m going through my studio gathering up all the quilts that are unfinished, ones I thought were finished but now I don’t think so and the ones I ought to toss but have decided to cut up and repurpose instead. The pile is substantially large. Am I such a scatterbrain? Maybe I am so inspired that I have to start each new project so I won’t lose sight of it.
Currently I’m wondering if I’m going to have to pick both kids up at their bus stops because a couple of moose have taken up residence close to the driveway.
Yep, definetly scatterbrained.

February’s mission – finish and repurpose this pile!

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a creative writing game

Getting creative writing

I’ve recruited my daughter to help me keep my creative writing skills fresh since she loves to write.  On Sunday we played a little game.

First we put some phrases in a little felted bowl.  They said things like “on top of a lightbulb”  and “it crawled out of the sludge”  or “woven into a basket”.  We then gathered our supplies – a notebook, pencil, timer – audible one  and our imaginations.

We opened our notebooks and  set the timer for 1 minute.  One of us drew a slip of paper out of the basket and read the words.  Adele started the timer and for 1 minute we wrote whatever came into our minds.  No putting the pencil down, no stopping early, no editing, just write whatever comes into your brain.  It’s amazing what comes out of the process.  You can set the timer for however much time you want.  We started with a 1 minute then did 2 at 2 minutes and then moved up to 3 minutes and wrote 3 more times.  After each writing we read what we wrote to each other.  You don’t have to read aloud but it’s much more fun if you do!  I thought it was fun to see how different we sometimes wrote and how similar.

We learned this in a poetry writing workshop we did at the public library last year.  I hope we’ll keep this up and maybe I’ll throw one out to see what some of my followers come up with as well!

Here are our 1 minute stories…   they looked so much longer on paper!

‘On top of a Light bulb’

There was a little girl on top of a light bulb eating caramels.  She was told repeatedly by her parents that was a bad idea as the caramels tended to melt onto the light bulb as it heated up.  –Meg

On top of a light bulb, that’s where the idea is, it’s hiding way up there and when the light bulb turns on the idea peeks over the edge and sees if there….. (ran out of time)    -Adele

I’d love to hear if any of you play the game and see what you come up with!

Madame Zalina

Madame Zalina

Anyone want to hear their fortune? a young lady from my stash of quilts.

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I have a 2 woman show coming up in June so i’m going through my UFO’s (unfinished objects) to see what I can finish up for the show.  I found this little frog that I’ve had hanging around for years.  I’ve never really been able to figure out what I wanted to do with it, something isn’t right.  So I put it up on the design wall and after a day or two realized I could salvage something from it if I just hacked off the parts that don’t seem to work for me.  I pinned up a ribbon, have decided on a few elements to add.  I think I’m ready to hack it up!

Sometimes a couple of years hiding in a box helps give a new perspective. I’m no longer tied to the original concept and I can see it with new eyes.  Look for my progress on this one next week along with a finished Lightening Creek quilt!

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The Essential Element

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Today I’m going to talk about another aspect of business that is trying to strangle me if I don’t embrace it.  I’m currently on my third round of antibiotics for Strep Throat in less than a month.  Ugh.  I’m so busy trying to take care of business – figure it all out in one afternoon you know- I’m forgetting to take care of THE essential element of the business, without it there would be no business… Me.

I have good intentions, I say each day that I’m going to do yoga or take a walk but I never seem to find the time.  I’m finding even less time to be sick so I guess I better set some time aside for exercise.  In college I was probably the only student up before 7 am so I would go swim laps for an hour most days of the week.  I remember how it was a great time for thinking, and letting go of stress, and coming up with answers to my art assignments, why is it so hard for me to walk a few miles around the neighborhood, clear my mind and process some information (other than its stinkin’ cold out there)?

I read recently that it’s a good idea to write one intention for each day.  You don’t even have to complete it but you have to state it and strive to complete it.  It’s meant to be a place of focus when you feel your brain going in 15 directions (again).  So tomorrow I will write EXERCISE as my intention.

How are you taking care of your businesses essential element?

Off track

Buggers! I had written out a blog schedule and I’ve already broken it! The end of the week was supposed to be eye candy. Someone else’s art, a picture I’ve taken … So here’s a quick picture and tomorrow I’ll be back to business!

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Sandpoint takes care of its art. It was a cold day so someone gave David Thompson a scarf!

whats on the sewing table

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I’m working on a piece for an exhibit supporting an area in the Idaho panhandle called Lightening Creek.  I am in love with the Northern Idaho dense woods, endless trees leaning to and fro.  My attempt to capture this beauty isn’t really satisfying.  There is a lot of stitching left to go on this piece but it holds no life for me.  yet…

maybe I should add a green polka dotted streaker?

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Have your own website without spending all your art supply budget! I’m not sure I’ve made any sales directly as a result of having a website but I do think it helps you look more professional and it’s nice to be able to direct people to a site to see your work. I’ve spent lots of money on full blown websites in the past. Not anymore!
To get a website you need 2 things. First you need to register your domain name. Second you need to sign on with a hosting company. Go to http://www.domainname.com to see if your business name is available to be your domain name. Choose an available domain name. My website is http://www.blueturtlesart.com – (that is my domain name) I wouldn’t recommend a plural word as I always have to explain turtles are plural to make sure people get the ‘s’ in there. After you find an available domain name you need find where you want to purchase the domain. There are LOTS of sites where you can purchase this. Put it in your search engine! You also need a hosting site. These are often the same place but they don’t have to be. A hosting site is the company that you choose to rent your online space from.
I’ve used a few different hosting sites and happily ended up at http://www.fatcow.com for both my domain name and hosting. The main reason I chose fatcow was that they have an option called MiniMoo where you can ‘park’ your domain. It’s $5.00 a year for one email address and a one page website. With all the free social media out there this is all I need. My webpage has a couple of images of my work, links to my blog on wordpress, my gallery of pictures on picassaweb, my Etsy shop and my contact information (email). I update it with information about current shows and I’m good to go. Registering a domain name with them is currently $14.99 a year. So for $20.00 a year I can have my own website up and running. I’ve been really impressed with fatcows customer support as well. I don’t get any money for telling you about them – although maybe they do have a referral system…
Any additional comments, suggestions, corrections are welcome.

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