Thursday, October 29, 2009

...and the winner is...

Wilbur Wiggly Arms!

You know I'm a sucker for a name-and-title combo... so although Oliver Octo, Olly, Hugo and
Nomeocto were high up on my list, Mr. Wilbur Wiggly made me guffaw out loud. Lovely, lovely. Rachel M you can shoot me an email or find me through Etsy Convos and I'll be happy to send you a Wilbur of your very own. :)

More soon dear friends, and before I go a heartfelt thanks for all the fun comments. What good sports you are to reach out, that rocks!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

since last we met

It seems a bit false to march back into my blog and not note, if even just in passing, what I've been up to. My sister and I have been living here in Portland, Oregon for over a year. November will mark a year and a half. We've seen the economy tank, and our own situation go through significant changes countless times since moving here.

In Oregon, the unemployment rate is one of the highest in the country, but (anyone who has lived here will understand) there is an underlying sense, in Portland especially, that those statistics are a given here. Portland is a city of entrepreneurs, artists, craftsmen, small businesses, all sticking their necks out to make something in this beautiful town. It is remarkable when it works, and terrifying when it fails. I've been looking for success stories here in town just recently, feeling like this is the right place to be to find people willing to share what worked for them.

In terms of my own economy, I needed a break from the feast or famine of living out of an Etsy shop. About three months ago I began inquiring about more hours at my place of work. It has been a big shift going back to full time, I still feel ebbs of gratitude when I reflect (like I'm doing right now) on this change. Followers of my blog will remember I've mostly been working part-time since opening my shop in the fall of 2007. The change affected my shop more while I was seeking those hours than now that I'm working them, believe it or not. In the build-up to 40 hours I was feeling a big financial crunch, my computer kept crashing or freezing, my camera broke, and orders were getting lost in the mail. It was a nightmare.

The good news is that I'm now blogging for the store I work in as well. Having a retail position in a letterpress studio makes the creative heart yearn for access into the printmaking studio, apprenticeship, firsthand knowledge of both fields. At Oblation, I've found my niche instead in creating for the company a blog and the framework for more online strategies than they ever explored. It has been wild, and lots of fun.

I guess that's another reason why I came back to my own blog. What is working with having a shop? What aspects of this do I actually enjoy? Where is the benefit? I could have closed down at any time during the past year and saved myself a lot of hair pulling. I had hoped that trying new things would answer some of these questions for me, and I feel like it has.

I have wanted, and want, my shop to fund and inspire my creative endeavors. That's it; to fund the work, to inspire more. These are pretty fundamental goals for me, but just pinpointing what they are has been a step forward from chaos and distraction.

So, although I'm tempted as always to branch off into a million directions, for right now it finally feels as though my wishes have come true and things are starting to actually work out. My future goals are to find more time to draw; beyond that to continue to try new things, explore this lovely state, and practice some new crafts like sewing. But for right now it is good to be working, and even better to see results from that work.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Bamboo Village Press on Etsy

Look at all those comments! Thank you for the inspiration, I'll be deciding *tomorrow night* what the newest monster in my shop will be named. I really enjoy having giveaways so my gratitude to all of you for participating... and those of you who have not, there is still another day left. :)

Speaking of things I love, my sister has decided to re-open her Etsy shop Bamboo Village Press. Yay! I feel like her timing couldn't be better; its been over a year since my nephews were born, although we're thinking about moving we are still comfortable and familiar with our current set-up, and reconnecting with a community of fellow artists is *always* a good thing. Saunter on over to her shop and check out her fabric, Gocco printed Journals, and delicate papercuts.

Other links behind Bamboo Village Press are here on Flickr and the story behind the fund, here on the Bamboo Village blog.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

hello hello (and a giveaway)

Well, I would like to pretend that I hadn't just walked away from my blog for the last 4 months (or so) but... yes, I had. Its funny, since beginning to write in 2007 so many life-changing things have happened, and through all of them I've felt I was able to keep writing. But these last months have been such an effort that I was feeling pretty protective. I'm writing now in hopes that, truly, those times are passed.

Otherwise, yes, all the while I've been printing-printing-printing for the day I returned to this sweet blog home. So let's begin...

Visitors to my Etsy shop will notice some "summer" designs have come and gone, while the "winter" designs (dragons, snowflakes, and scarves I love so much) are returning. I still have ouou's Halloween printed card, too, in the shop until Thanksgiving. I'll be breaking some sets into collections in order to still offer the summery designs, these will be in the Mixed Set section this week.

There is also a new Gocco card in town, one in the spirit of Halloween. I've decided to hand-paint these little monsters (who are martians? or sea creatures? or bogeymen?) for a snappy two-tone effect. The reason they're so late to the shop... what do I name this critter? So, on my first post back after a long absence its high time for a BLOG GIVEAWAY!

Please, help me out on a name for this latest Gocco silkscreen card. Leave your suggestions in comments... (nothing outrageous, please)... I can't wait to read them :D The contest is open until next Wednesday, October 28th 9 p.m. est.

Let my readers be forewarned: the judging process will be *subjective*- the one I like the most will become his title. <3 The winner, of course, will get a free set of these cards or a 2 pack of any card in my shop.

Its good to be back. :)