Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Leaving on a jet plane

In two days I will be heading out of town, meeting up with my best friend and fellow artist, Julie, at the airport in Phoenix. From there we will drive to Sedona, where we plan to spend a week together in a self-prescribed artist retreat.

I can't wait.

Julie and I have been friends since our kids came into this world (they're now in their early 20's). Initially, we worked together at the U libraries...both having majored in Studio Arts. Then we had kids together. Then, living miles apart, we went through ugly divorces together and raised our kids as single parents.

As we struggled to raise our kids singlehandedly, we dreamed of someday being able to go on a vacation together, just to spend time together and make art.

The time has come.

I'm not sure if I will have access to a computer while I am gone. If you don't hear from me before Halloween that is the explanation.

I'll have plenty of stories and pictures to share when I return.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

First Sale

I had my first Etsy sale! I had my first Etsy sale!
The first thing I've been doing each morning is checking my Etsy shop...I almost thought I was dreaming when I saw there was a sale. (I sold my Follow Your Heart Create Necklace pictured on the right. If anyone else wanted one, I still have more of those beads!)

My excitement is not just about having a sale (and making a few dollars), it's about knowing that someone in another part of the country (Alabama) liked my necklace enough to buy it! That is just nifty.

Yippee! It's a good day!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Take a look at my new banner!

I'm super excited to show off my new banner--created especially for me by Becka Rahn. Becka taught a workshop I took at the Textile Center on how to get your Etsy shop up and running. It was very helpful and provided me with the motivation to get things going. Following the workshop, Becka kicked off a contest for a free banner...and I won. (O.k. I was the only entrant, but I was thrilled nonetheless).

So, Becka designed this wonderful banner for me that incorporates some of my artwork, favorite colors and the spiral. When I saw it the first time I got goosebumps. It's perfect! I will be featuring the new banner now on this blog and my Etsy shop.

And the timing was perfect. I've been very busy the last few nights preparing my new Etsy listings. Last night I got 8 new listings up (all the necklaces I didn't sell at the Art Crawl). Take a look, refer a friend or co-worker.

I will be working on new stuff in the coming weeks. I'm hoping I can fight off this sore throat and spend lots of time in the studio this weekend. Stay tuned for more to come!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Wrap Up

I am recovering from the intensity of the Crawl. Everything went well and I enjoyed it immensely. It was wonderful to have the support of family and friends who came to the studio. Weather for the crawl was outstanding (far better than last spring). I had a good time visiting with the many "Crawlers". I appreciated all the positive feedback I received.

It was hard returning to the "9 to 5" gig on Monday. It's hard to have my head in the game. I want to be back at the studio painting or at least beading.

I am preparing this week a bunch of new etsy listings. You should be able to check them out by the end of the week.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

It's a Wrap

The Art Crawl wrapped up about 2 hours ago. I'll reflect on the whole experience in a few days when I'm not quite so exhausted.

In the meantime, I just want to thank friends and family who made it to my studio (my mom, Denny, Claudia, Nancy, Theresa, Liz, Mel, Stacy, Emma, Barb, John, Katie, Cyrus, Brenda, Becky, Melissa). Thank you to the folks who stopped by and had positive things to say about my work, studio... Special thanks to my daughter, Ana, and husband, Joel...both who helped me set up and sat with me many hours this weekend.

Stay tuned...I'll be back here in a day or two. And then I'll be rolling with my Etsy shop too!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Art Crawl Tips

Just 24 hours till the Art Crawl begins. I'm busy with final preparations...including baking cookies! (I know, I'm a little crazy!)

Here are a few last minute crawl tips:

**Buy a crawl catalogue for a $2 donation. It contains a nifty map of the crawl, artist information, and a picture of one of my pieces (along with work of other artists). You can find the catalogue at any of the art crawl sites.

**Wear comfortable clothes and walking shoes. You will be doing a lot of walking and after a while, comfort takes priority over fashion.

**Generally start on the top floor of a building and work your way down (except at our building--than start with Studio 300). It's easier and less tiring to go down steps.

**Don't count on elevators--some buildings don't even have public elevators.

**Select a few buildings to begin your crawl experience. I recommend starting with the Jax (again Studio 300) where I'm located. Seriously, the Jax has a high concentration of open studios. Also select at least one building that combines living space with art studios. The Northern Warehouse or Tilsner Bldg(near the Jax) are great places to start.

**Although you won't find a meal, you will be offered plenty of treats. Some studios even serve wine. There will also be music and performers in some studios or outside buildings.

**Feel free to chat with the artists. They open up their studios so you can learn about their work and because they would like to hear what you think.

***And finally, have a good time.

See you there!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Catalogue Arrival

I am starting to feel a tad less nervous (that comes and goes) and a lot more excited about the Art Crawl this weekend. It helps when I hear that people I know will be coming. I spent a few hours at the studio tonight--finishing some work on a few paintings. I feel better just getting that work done.

While I was at the studio, the catalogue for the Art Crawl was slid under my door. I flipped the catalogue open to the artist images (of their artwork)--and there was the image of the painting I had selected (the painting I had submitted to the State Fair competition). The images are arranged in alphabetical order. I am dead last...which works because it's easy to find me on the page. The colors of my painting jump off the page. I'm very excited about the catalogue. It's a thrill to see your artwork printed on the page.

I'm going to try to get a little more work done before bed.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Monday, Monday

How come it is when you have the most to do you just want to take a nap?

The Art Crawl begins on Friday evening. This Friday evening. I am nowhere near as ready as I would like to be. This morning I am revising my To Do list for the week and trying to be realistic.

I went to the studio before work this morning and will spend some time there this evening after work. I feel exhausted already. Note to self: take the week prior to the Crawl off, or at least half the week. I am planning to only take Friday off. Bad plan.

This will be one of those weeks were juggling being a wife, mom, social worker and then artist is a bit too much. Something is bound to lose out. I think I just need to tell the people around me that this week I will be a little less of a wife, mom and social worker.

Next week you can have more of me.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Open For Business

My Etsy shop is officially open for business. In the past few weeks I've been doing some of the necessary work in preparation of listing items for sale. Last night I finally was ready to list my first item.

It didn't really go smoothly. I "lost" the listing a few times...listing an item is a multi-step process and on more than one occasion I lost or basically deleted my listing before I was done. There is also no inherent way to save an unfinished listing and go back to it later. (I found a way later). Then when it came time to upload images, I couldn't get it to work. I hit my head against the wall for a good hour before I came to the realization that it was an Etsy problem and not a Risa problem. No one was getting their pictures up on Etsy. So I saved my work, went to bed very late, and then woke up very early this morning to upload my images.

Viola! My first listing was ready to be posted.

I was pretty excited today to see it up for the whole world to see. Tonight I added a second item. In the coming weeks (especially after the Art Crawl), I'll be listing more items.

For now I am listing necklaces that I have beaded. More handmade items and original artwork to follow.

(Pictured above are images of necklaces that are or will be featured in my Etsy shop. Please click on the right side buttons to go to my Etsy shop)