“Getting to know you! Getting to know all about you…”

Alrighty. It’s been almost a week since my last blogposting, and that’s far too long for my taste. I have a lot to update you on, and some observations that I have gleaned via my “travels through the blogosphere”.

Remember how I had to set aside that ebook I had been reading, Creating a Blog Audience by Sister Diane? I had reached a point where I didn’t want to progress further until I felt confident to answer some of the questions she was posing. At a certain point in the book, I realized that I didn’t know enough about the blogging communities that I was posting my blog for– art, craft, and business–and I really needed to do some investigating.

Well, I can say with absolute certainty that’s easier said than done. The blogosphere at this point is rapidly increasing, and the more I felt I was visiting “the community”, the more I realized I was simply scratching the surface… I felt (and still feel) that I had reached the outskirts of a major urban hub, and said to myself, “Aha! My community!” when I actually should have waited and read some more signs to realize I had a long way to go… I think that getting to know the community you are writing for as a blogger is a never ending journey… I could visit blog after blog and post comment after comment, but I’ll never reach the end. 2 or 3 years ago, perhaps, there was a finite nature to the whole experience that implied there were edges to the blogosphere community that one could reach, depending on your interest. Not so much today. It’s like saying, “Get to know your internet!” Hah! See ya in 5-10 years when that’s done…

OBIT  KERR

So at this point, I have endless numbers of bookmarks and doubled my blog subscriptions. And I have 30 open browser windows on my Mac’s dock, waiting for me to get back to read them. I keep finding great stuff!!!  The book did exactly what it was supposed to do: make me think about what it was I was putting out there, for whom, and how it fit in.

And that’s led me to realize there probably isn’t much I can add to the fabric of the blogosphere, really. What can I do but what everyone else is doing–“spins” on information that’s already been explored in depth? How many purse tutorials can a person read? Redoing what others are doing is not what I’d like to do…

So. I’ve decided to continue reading Sister Diane’s book, and hopefully I can progress forward on posting information that’s interesting to a specific overlap of my chosen communities. The book has profoundly opened my eyes to the concept that I need to recognize what my niche is. It’s made me realize that my particular “spice” that I add to the recipe of information that I post needs to be uniquely my own. It’s finding and recognizing that niche that I have to think about. And the more I explore the blogosphere, the more I realize those niches are very very hard to come by.

I find a lot of similarities (in my head) between the blogosphere and reality. In the rush of globalization that’s been made possible by mass and social medias, we’ve moved beyond embracing the whole and turned inward a bit. Our instinct is to pull in and find our diverse uniqueness that separates us and makes us distinct. The Handcrafted/DIY movement is part of that, I think. Our individuality as people was lost in the emphasis on our individuality as a culture, and now we’re trying to get it back through our creative expressions. Yes, we need and strive for social connections, but now we seek them not through our identification as part of the whole (by doing/believing the same things) but through our uniqueness that demonstrates our variation on the identifying culture. We want to belong, and yet we celebrate our distinctiveness.

Being part of any blogging community presents a quandary: belonging on the one hand, being different on the other. Being just enough alike, but not a copy.

So I’m going to move forward. I’m realizing I will never see the larger whole of my communities in the blogosphere, never truly grasp how they all fit together, who are the movers and shakers, who are the followers. And I think that means I will never really know if my blog is distinctive from the larger whole that it’s trying to identify with at the same time.

But I guess that’s ultimately like the business, art, and craft worlds, too, isn’t it? Someday, I may find someone doing what I do and doing it much better, or realize someone’s taken what I thought was my own uniqueness and is using it for their own. “Like business, like blog,” I guess.

But I can’t let that stop me, can I?

A Spoonful of Sugar…

A Spoonful of Sugar…
So Jonathan and I had to find a car by the end of the weekend.  We were surprised by how much the insurance company is giving us, and our bank pre-approved him for a loan.  So we went shopping…
We had owned a cute little 2000 Toyota Echo for 10 years.  We loved it.  It was a cheese wedge on wheels–really spacious interior and a good solid workhorse for us.  We were sad that the damage was proportionately too much for the insurance company to warrant repairs.  We’d paid it off, we were very happy.
And now, to have to find another car when the Echo simply isn’t on the market anymore…  Well.  We started with Toyota.  The Yaris was the next evolution of the Echo, rebranded.  It had been extensively remodeled as well, so that didn’t work.  Jonathan couldn’t get into it without contorting his body like a gymnast…  So we looked for something that he didn’t have to hire a chiropractor to be able to use.
This led us to the Toyota Scion, the Kia Soul, and the Nissan Cube.
And we chose the Cube.  The Scion was too expensive for what it was–a 2004.  The Soul was comparable, but it didn’t have any umph behind it when it accelerates.  And the Cube was our cheapest choice.  And that’s what we did.
And now we have a car payment, our insurance is gonna go up, and the pressure is REALLY on for Relished Artistry to be a success.
Today, I go to the Museum of Art with my dear friend Robin Roberts.  She has passes, and we’ve enjoyed our experiences there together in the past, so I’m gonna have a good, inspiring, art-filled day!  Sack lunch in Balboa Park–what more can a person ask for?  It’s gonna be sunny, breezy, and my heart will be stimulated and motivated!  I’m taking Baked Beans and Hotdogs, cuz that’s comfort food I haven’t had in years.  : )
Tonight, I dive into my next project–another coat made out of velveteen this time–a smaller size because I don’t have much fabric left.  Then back to the stretch-knit tops!  I’m considering pushing the medieval, illuminated manuscript look just to see what that does.  But I know that the Museum of Art has some wonderful examples of Hindu art that I’ve seen before, and that intrigues me as well.  We’ll see.
Live life with Relish!

So Jonathan and I had to find a car by the end of the weekend.  We were surprised by how much the insurance company is giving us, and our bank pre-approved him for a loan.  So we went shopping…

We had owned a cute little 2000 Toyota Echo for 10 years.  We loved it.  It was a cheese wedge on wheels–really spacious interior and a good solid workhorse for us.  We were sad that the damage was proportionately too much for the insurance company to warrant repairs.  We’d paid it off, we were very happy.

800px-Toyota-Echo-sedan

And now, to have to find another car when the Echo simply isn’t on the market anymore…  Well.  We started with Toyota.  The Yaris was the next evolution of the Echo, rebranded.  It had been extensively remodeled as well, so that didn’t work.  Jonathan couldn’t get into it without contorting his body like a gymnast…  So we looked for something that he didn’t have to hire a chiropractor to be able to use.

This led us to the Toyota Scion, the Kia Soul, and the Nissan Cube.

And we chose the Cube.  The Scion was too expensive for what it was–a 2004.  The Soul was comparable, but it didn’t have any umph behind it when it accelerates.  And the Cube was our cheapest choice.  And that’s what we did.

nissan.cube.3.2009

And now we have a car payment, our insurance is gonna go up, and the pressure is REALLY on for Relished Artistry to be a success.

Today, I go to the Museum of Art with my dear friend Robin Roberts.  She has passes, and we’ve enjoyed our experiences there together in the past, so I’m gonna have a good, inspiring, art-filled day!  Sack lunch in Balboa Park, time with friends–what more can a person ask for?  It’s gonna be sunny, breezy, and my heart will be stimulated and motivated!  I’m taking Baked Beans and Hotdogs, cuz that’s comfort food I haven’t had in years.  : )

Tonight, I dive into my next project–another coat made out of velveteen this time–a smaller size because I don’t have much fabric left.  Then back to the stretch-knit tops!  I’m considering pushing the medieval, illuminated manuscript look just to see what that does.  But I know that the Museum of Art has some wonderful examples of Hindu art that I’ve seen before, and that intrigues me as well.  We’ll see.

p3

Live life with Relish!

Weekend Shmeekend

So today is Saturday, and I’m spending time at the computer starting to develop a community for my blog, and eventually my Etsy sight when I finally get it started. I’m going back and looking at all the blogs I’ve subscribed to, and following as many links as I can from those websites to others that may be interesting to me…
I am actually subscribing to more blogs… … I can’t keep up with what I’ve already got! There are so many! And they’re all so good! Many of them have craft projects, or record new and upcoming events and craft shows that each blogger is getting ready to attempt. I am discovering that there are actually different “types” of blogs that I am recognizing…
One is the “Professional Crafter” blog. These are the ones that sell items, books, and outline projects. Many of them are either just starting out, or they are very well established in the biz, like The Crafty Chica.
Another category is the “Journaling Crafter” blog. These are bloggers that record their normal everyday ins-and-outs of their families and adventures and their crafting. Many of them share stories of their personal lives, like Angry Chicken.
Still others are “Cataloging Crafters”, where the bulk of their blogs are about sharing things they have discovered that are really eye-catching for them, and could serve to inspire others. So they are full of links to juicy and thought-provoking stuff! Like one of my favorite blogs ever, Dude Craft.
It’s important to realize that none of the blogs that I’ve found out there easily and clearly fit into any of these categories. And incidentally, these also have the three ingredients that Alyson Stanfield of Artbizblog.com says are necessary for a good blog in the first place: being Informative, Inspiring, and Entertaining.
So that’s what I’m doing today, and let me tell you there are way too many really cool things out there to explore. I am going to try to center my efforts on the “business” side of art/crafts, so hopefully I’ll have a lot to share in my next post.
Until then, an update on my current projects: I trashed the grey, 1950s-inspired jacket, and remade it out of black velveteen, which was the right choice. I found some really cool black “fur” for the cuffs, and I’m incorporating a silk scarf into the coat that will create a beautiful soft bow over the center front closure. I think it’s going to be quite striking with the 1950’s-inspired brushwork all over the surface. I’m excited! Almost done! Here’s a preview!
Until then–live life with relish!

So today is Saturday, and I’m spending time at the computer starting to develop a community for my blog, and eventually my Etsy sight when I finally get it started. I’m going back and looking at all the blogs I’ve subscribed to, and following as many links as I can from those websites to others that may be interesting to me…

I am actually subscribing to more blogs… … I can’t keep up with what I’ve already got! There are so many! And they’re all so good! Many of them have craft projects, or record new and upcoming events and craft shows that each blogger is getting ready to attempt. I am discovering that there are actually different “types” of blogs that I am recognizing…

One is the “Professional Crafter” blog. These are the ones that sell items, books, and outline projects. Many of them are either just starting out, or they are very well established in the biz, like The Crafty Chica.

Another category is the “Journaling Crafter” blog. These are bloggers that record their normal everyday ins-and-outs of their families and adventures and their crafting. Many of them share stories of their personal lives, like Angry Chicken.

Still others are “Cataloging Crafters”, where the bulk of their blogs are about sharing things they have discovered that are really eye-catching for them, and could serve to inspire others. So they are full of links to juicy and thought-provoking stuff! Like one of my favorite blogs ever, Dude Craft.

It’s important to realize that none of the blogs that I’ve found out there easily and clearly fit into any of these categories. And incidentally, these also have the three ingredients that Alyson Stanfield of Artbizblog.com says are necessary for a good blog in the first place: being Informative, Inspiring, and Entertaining.

So that’s what I’m doing today, and let me tell you there are way too many really cool things out there to explore. I am going to try to center my efforts on the “business” side of art/crafts, so hopefully I’ll have a lot to share in my next post.

Until then, an update on my current projects: I trashed the grey, 1950s-inspired jacket, and remade it out of black velveteen, which was the right choice. I found some really cool black “fur” for the cuffs, and I’m incorporating a silk scarf into the coat that will create a beautiful soft bow over the center front closure. I think it’s going to be quite striking with the 1950’s-inspired brushwork all over the surface. I’m excited! Almost done! Here’s a preview!

50scoatfront 50scoatback

Until next time–live life with relish!

“It’s Etsy as Pie!”

Last night I was up way too late for any rational human being, and I decided to start checking out what Etsy was all about.

I discovered the “teams” section, and found two teams that were specific to San Diego. Teams are groups of sellers that band together to promote their work–these teams were local ones in that their commonality as sellers was the fact they all lived in this area. So I was up until 3:00 in the morning clicking through all the different team members, scoping out their stores, looking at their profiles and searching for blogs… I found a LOT! Over 25 blogs and personal websites of just local Etsy sellers…

I found a trend. Most of the sellers were stay-at-home-moms (SAHMs for short–apparently that’s the “lingo”) or jewelry makers. And not that it’s bad at all–good grief I love making jewelry! But it was all so overwhelming at one point… The jewelry itself was all so very distinct and different, and very little of it actually looked simple to make. I am just stupefied that people can stand out from the crowd with so many actually in the crowd!

And this morning I did a search on Etsy by geographical location… and got over 100… I’m a little floored. That’s even more than were on the “teams”. So I think I will have my hands full exploring and looking…

One awesome thing that happened: I found a young lady who is also in theatre, like myself, who is selling her own wares. She puts together her own massage candles, body butter, and bath bombs in her spare time when she is not being a dresser for the Old Globe Theatre. And her stuff looks awesome! The quality of her photographs is so appealing, and her stuff is totally Vegan–I can’t tell you how cool it is! And she just started a little short of a year ago. So she’s new to this, too. I emailed her through Etsy, and she introduced herself, and we’re gonna do lunch sometime, hopefully! Here’s her Etsy store: Chicken Scratch.

So off I go to work on a my women’s coat project. My mother had suggested that I create something that was short, and I’m tired of seeing stuff made only for women that seem to be very tall and thin. I wanted to make something beautiful for someone with a figure like the average woman: a Sz 14 and larger. So I’m gonna. More pics later!

Still