Sunday, October 23, 2011

Marimekko Patterns Walking

My lined tree
Marimekko's Sula
I've been in the studio non-stop for the last six weeks, working like crazy,  my nose literally in the dust, for the upcoming YWCA's Crafter's Marketplace (November 19th and 20th, y'all!)  I find it's easy to forget about things bigger than myself, my studio, my task-at-hand.  So, as with most times that I need a little perspective, I took a walk.  I walked and walked and with my NPR boyfriend, Leonard Lopate saying smart things in my ear, I looked up and out and around.

Gratefully, patterns jumped out at me at every turn: on sidewalks and trees and fences and piles of leaves.  So I snapped them with my trusty iPhone, downloaded them when I got home, and then didn't think much about them.

THEN....this morning...I googled some Marimekko fabrics for quilt ideas for my mother-in-law.  And I was pretty surprised at what I saw....
Marimekko's Tuul

My leaves-on-fence

My sliced tree
Marimekko's Fokus

Was it random?  I dunno...I tend to think not and that there is a bigger picture here that bodes paying attention to.  Reminds me of Gen Xer Douglas Coupland's wise words: "Randomness is a useful shorthand for describing a pattern that's bigger than anything we can hold in our minds.  Letting go of randomness is one of the hardest decisions a person can make."

Here's to letting go...

Monday, October 17, 2011

It'll get easier, but I STILL won't like it.

I've tried to make the business side of things more fun.  I have carved out a little office for myself in a nook, complete with happy turquoise and white chair.  I've switched fully over to friendly Mac technology - laptop, iPhone - they correct for me, make all the scary tech-y stuff a little easier - they practically smile at me.  I have inspirational pics hung around my desk.  Even my pushpins are zippy.

Bull-pucky.  It's sucky.  I hate the business side.  It's like my mind goes blank.  Can't I just make little clay birds and pick out pretty coral glaze?  Nope.  I've just started this little endeavor of mine and there's so much to do!  There's an etsy shop to manage, commissions to get, sales tax to pay, craft shows to get into, a blog to write, tear sheets to create, photos to take.  And it's all new territory.

This year I'm in my first juried show: more new territory.  I've never had a booth before.  How much inventory do I need to make? How do I process credit cards easily and inexpensively? Will anyone buy anything? How am I going to feel when people pick up one of my candles and then widen their eyes at the price?  Or worse, turn their nose up at my work?  Aaaaccckkkk!!!!

I write this on the eve of meeting a CPA for the first time, and I'm sort of plotzing. You know those people who hand over a beat-up shoe box full of receipts to the H&R Block guy?  That would be me. But I want my ducks in a row before my holiday sales set in.

Okay.  I feel better now.  I know this is all necessary.  I know I'm supposed to go, as my husband says, "WITH the grain.  WITH the grain." Once I go through each one of these things, the next time around, they won't be new.  I won't be creating the wheel every time. I will have templates and QuickBooks and a library of good photos.  It will take me less time to do all the have-tos; I'll have more time to noodle.  (I do so love to noodle.)

My non-linear brain can think of all the ways to pay homage to things like pumpkin pie: like this adorable necklace from Emarie Creations etsy site.   Or the real deal, like this delicious looking thing...('s even got STARS on it...)

It'll get easier.  But I still won't like it. :)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Steve Jobs: Dogma Free

In 1987, I went to college with my first Apple.  It was a clunky thing with a disk drive that was so loud that I couldn’t work on it at night because it kept my roommate awake, but it was the coolest thing I had ever owned.  It smiled at me when I pressed the power button.  It was approachable.  It was cute.  It made me less afraid.

From the get-go, Apple made all things electronic, well, friendly.  When I didn’t know how to do something, I just asked my Macbook for help.  And miracle: I got help. I edited my entire portfolio, made a slideshow that looks beautiful when it’s run at craft shows, created postcards and tearsheets from Mac templates, created a blog that doesn’t look like an idiot made it, made playlists to work to, ran credit cards, googled directions when I was lost, took photos of my boys’ first day of school even though I forgot the camera.  

I want to say to Steve Jobs: I appreciate your work.  You had vision and you changed the world and you changed our lives and you helped us live better.  Thank you.

Below is a link to Jobs's 2005 commencement speech at Stanford.  It reminds us to listen to that inner voice, to hear your heart, and to connect the dots: Steve Jobs: Connecting the Dots