Archive for the ‘optimistic’ Category

Monday Marketing – First of the Year!

“Partly Sunny, Chance of Storms”

I have a list………….

Don’t we all? I start one every year – but this year seems to be somehow different. I have a small composition book (like we used to use in elementary school, back in the day, and I got myself organized very differently. I have a page for yearly goals, then a page for monthly goals. I have separate pages for each of the weeks of the month. Right now the notebook is set up though March.

I can at a glance see what I’ve accomplished, and I have a way of listing items ahead in the month they’re due, and I can backtrack to begin working on them. This helps me see the bigger picture much better…..and I love crossing things off my lists.

I think the thing that is also different is that I am feeling so much better than probably the last five years. The weight is slowly rearranging itself, clothes are fitting, the knee doesn’t hurt, I’m getting stuff accomplished (more than I thought), and I feel calm, centered, and productive. A great way to start the New Year!

We are concentrating on our Etsy shop,(small listing on the right side of the blog…) in preparation for moving to the market on Artizan Made.

Lots of new pictures, revising items, getting ready to do a “retirement sale” of older items that have been around the country one or two times. We’ve lived in places where we could have better photography set-ups, but we are making do. Lots of great suggestions and tips from Rachel Biel of The Fiber and Textile List – she is amazing when it comes to set-up, marketing, and all-round general encouragement.

I am looking for a royalty-free piece of music for our second marbling video, finishing up pieces that have languished for years, taking apart a major piece from 2003 and modernizing it with my new skills, keeping up with blogging (I WILL hit 1000 blog posts this year…….) and constantly looking for new venues and ideas.

Here’s to 2017! What are you doing to start your year out right?

Call Me a Cock-Eyed Optimist……

  I’ve always been known as an optimist, and since I only see out of one eye now, it seems that “cock-eyed” is appropriate. I have been mulling over a bunch of words for the year: liberate, enthusiastic, positive, optimistic, focus, abundance, willing. I do want to be more positive, as I have been sinking down somewhat this past year and worrying more. But it seems, as I review everything, that “optimistic” covers a lot more ground than “positive.” I feel that “optimistic” encompasses the whole year in a more vibrant, inclusive way than “positive.”

I’ve marked all my new moon dates in my calendar so I will be sure to write my abundance checks. And there is a bit of mathematics in “optimistic.” For the last three years, the business has been growing each year, a little more. This past year saw about a 75% increase in sales and opportunities, and already the possibilities for this coming year are increasing….exponentially. With the exponential growth model, things start out increasing very slowly, and then grow very rapidly. If I were to actually model business income for the last three years, I would see exponential growth at the very beginning. So I am optimistic that the growth will continue and will pick up pace. I’m putting in the time and doing what I need to, so optimistic really does describe how I want to approach the year.

I am committing to two year-long activities (which is a 100% increase in what I committed to last year – the Free Motion Quilting Challenge). The first is part of Art Quilts Around the World, with a total of six two-month challenges of art quilts for the year. The first one is about completed, and I did struggle with it, but I learned a lot. I’ll do a blog post when it’s reveal time. The second is participating in Dale Anne Potter’s 52 Sparks. This is journaling a response to a specific question and creating a piece of art along with it – each week.

This is definitely breaking out of my comfort zone. I am getting used to writing a lot (hey, I am at nearly 800 blog posts), but I usually don’t try and create artwork to go along with it. As part of “optimistic,” I was thinking about what I could do for art. The idea of “is the glass half-empty or half-full” came to mind, and I’m always the one who sees the glass as half-full. So I thought about doing some sketching of a glass. A very long time ago I used to work in charcoal, and it occurred to me that using charcoal again would be quite the risk, especially as I am not always confident with my sketching.

I noticed a number of things in the sketching. First was extreme tentativeness. I haven’t held charcoal in a very long time. I really studied the wine glass I set out. I wondered about how to capture the light in the glass and the cuts in the crystal. Finally I just started and got a good beginning oval. I left blank some spots where the light seemed to make the glass transparent. I got the basic shape of the top, but my proportions are seriously off on the bottom half of the glass. I really got hung up on how it didn’t look like the glass, that the stem wasn’t as long as it should be.

Then I started using my finger for blending, adding details, and the next thing I know, I have captured some of the essence of the glass. It is definitely fragile, a bit tipsy, and delicate. I found I wasn’t looking at what I thought was wrong with the glass, but what I found interesting and true in the drawing. That is a major breakthrough for me. And I really liked the charcoal. I will continue with that for a medium for a while. Here’s my finished piece:

The use of different media should be something I try this year. Crayons, markers, ink pens, water colors…I have them all, and I don’t use them. I think I need to push myself with something new – maybe a different medium each month.

That said, I think I want to add another year-long piece to my goals, that of creating a 12 x 12 piece each month as part of the online gallery I am in: Galleribba.

I have been busy working on goals and lists and loose ends, but I must say, four days into the year, that I am certainly optimistic about a really good 361 days left.

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