Saturday, July 18, 2009
Washington DC Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approx 2 thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.
After 3 minutes a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule. 4 minutes later: The violinist received his first dollar: a woman threw the money in the till and, without stopping, continued to walk.
A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.
A3 year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly, as the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent, without exception, forced them to move on.
The musician played. Only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32.
He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.
No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before Joshua Bell sold out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100.
This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities. The questions raised: in a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?
One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments .....
How many other things are we missing?
Friday, July 17, 2009
Friday, July 3, 2009
Friday, May 22, 2009
Sunday, May 17, 2009
I was very sick Wednesday through Friday of last week and stayed home from work. I slept all Wednesday and Thursday. Friday I was up, but still feeling bad, so I layed low and rested. Saturday I was feeling good enough to do a little bit of sewing and even go out to run a couple of low-key errands with Ocean. But I didn't have the capacity to work much on the special order bag I've been working on for a while. I did a little, but it got to a complicated part and I decided I'd better wait to continue when I was back to 100% since it took some calculations and precision. So... I came up with the new clutch design. They are really a whole lot of fun to make and don't take a lot of mental brainbusting. And I can have fun with the appliques and design. I made two of them this weekend and cut out/designed 3 more. Cutting out and designing the clutches didn't take a lot of physical exertion. I really do need to finish that special order bag. I know she's not in a hurry, but I've been working on it a while. I finally busted through my sewing block, so I think the progress will be much better. She's a friend and co-worker, so I've been able to share my blocks with her and she gets it.
Other little details that will make a big difference... I found a postage scale on EBay for under $20 and ordered it. That way I can box up each bag as a weight sample and finally calculate international shipping for my Etsy shop! Another little thing, I found the 2" metal tri-glide buckles I had been hunting for messenger bags also on EBay and ordered a batch of 100! LOL! The D rings were working fine, but the tri-glides will add another level of "finish" to the messengers.
For Ocean, we got his mannekin ordered and I believe it's waiting for me when I go back to work tomorrow along with the natural colored organic tees we ordered for him! That will take his SquidInwear t-shirts to a new level as well.
Once I get the international shipping profiles done, my next big project will be to design a press release to send locally and to on-line blogs.
Onward and upward!
Sunday, May 10, 2009
In other news, we finally got all of the photos on my Etsy shop updated! I think it looks amazing! Let me know what you think. I'm sure it will get even better as time goes on. Yay Ocean!!!! I think it is making a difference for sure. I've been have more page/items views and had 2 sales at the end of last week.
I worked on that special order bag a little. Didn't get as much sewing done as I wanted this weekend, but doing the rest of the photos took quite some time.
We also got Ocean's mannequin ordered! We found it on Ebay. He has a black female mannequin but needed a male. We ordered some natural colored organic t-shirts for SquidInkwear too! And, I finally got my garment labels ordered from Jennifer's Jewels on Etsy. She came highly recommended by team members of Etsy's Carried Away Bag Team. So, writing all this out made me realize that we got more done than I thought!
Working on writing catchy product intros on my Etsy product pages had me pull out of my old poetry journals. I used to write a lot and would write in my own rhyming style and not following any formal for or contemporary trends. I think it's giving me the writing bug. The last poem I've written was 2004! I thought I'd share a couple of them with you.
This one below was written March 1997. It's expressing the quest for individuality, navigating the challenges of societal and social pressures and influences and the need for self expression.
Am I, Am.
A warm trickle fighting the flood
cooling the coals within my blood.
A flutter twirling in the gale
blowing the comfort of my veil.
A dim ray sparking ebony
hiding answers eluding me.
A sole whisper above white noise
reaching for hearing life destroys.
The following, written March 1999 portrays finding my voice...
I breath a picture with my words,
An ever-changing memory.
Capture my essence, then it blurs.
My voice is spirit flying free.
Eternal voyage through your mind,
Once I am heard your soul must move.
My origin you'll never find,
For who has dared the Wind's source prove?
Make a great week!
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
We had to play around with what lights to use. We tried to bright halogen spotlights, but the light was still yellow. So we got 2 of those metal clip-on shop lights and 100 watt bright white bulbs... voila! I know nothing about photography, but am amazed at how the light translates in the little digital camera into that beautful light! I have to do very little color/light correction in Photoshop. Usually I have to use a blue photo filter to brigten up the whites just a little more, although it would work great without it. I'm just a fan of very crisp white light.
I still have bout 2 dozen more photos to update on Etsy, but it's coming along! I really feel that this it taking my shop to the next level. I also changed my avatar based on a critique I got from an Etsy Admin. Ocean took one of me with a bag. It's cute!
I didn't get much sewing done at all. I kind of had a meltdown this weekend and really think I was burned out a little. But the burn-out I think came from having too much pressure on myself and too much attachment that Glint Gear take off and start selling like hotcakes now. I need to just chill, take it one day at a time, do whatever I can each day, and let the Universe take care of things.
I still haven't started those bags people at work wanted to see, but I did finish an awesome new design I call the Orbit Bag. It's an OVAL shaped bag! The oval isn't perfect, but I LOVE it. It's quirky and has a Jetson's space-age kind of feel. Ocean took some great photos, but I haven't gotten them ready to post yet.
My focus for this week will be to begin the fisherman style that a lady at work wantd to see and to continue and hopefully complete re-taking and posting new pictures for all of my current products on Etsy. I feel that once I get that done, I'll feel better about the shop and can focus on new stuff and forge forward with new products.
I hope everyone is doing well. Make a great week!
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Who doesn't love Sock Monkeys! I know I do! This will surely put a smile on anyone's face as a gift for themselves or for some lucky person.
Spiritmama is an Etsy Austin team member, and I highly respect and love her craftsmanship and creative spirit. Check it out now!
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
So, my day so far has been productive. I got up with Ocean at 6am, made coffee and his lunch and got him off to work. Did I go back to sleep? NO WAY! I intend to make the most of my time this week! I checked emails, looked at my Etsy shop, caught up on FaceBook... all the computer-type stuff. Then I had to dig out some documents for an 11am call this morning. Someone's writing a book about career change, and I'm one of the case studies since I've changed careers several times in my life. After that, I checked on the Glint Gear fabric that Ocean and I played with yesterday. We did two in gray, yellow, brown and some black.
After that, I put on a load of laundry then start hand painting a piece of Glint fabric I had started weeks ago. Then it's back to the computer to prepare for the call. She's late in calling, so I'm doing this blog post while I wait. After the call, I'll have lunch and then go back to work on painting that swatch. When that's done, I'll continue working on the messenger back I started over the weekend.
Aaaah..... paradise. I might post photos of the projects in progress later. That's all for now!
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Ocean is creating some awesome new tees, and is playing around with WHITE screen printing ink ... bad-a!!! He has posted some new designs recently and is working diligently to get his shop stocked. But the t-shirt process does take some time, so be patient!
I made SEVEN new pyramid pouches. I've posted a few and will post the rest throughout this week. Pyramid pouches are so much fun to make and to give or keep for yourself. One of my customers bought a small one to use as a little gift pouch for a bracelet being given as a birthday gift. And most recently, someone bought one to use as a grab-n-go pouch to throw her keys and cell phone inside to walk her boys to school. The one to the right is one of my new ones!
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Yes, I'm an Etsy addict, and now I've turned Ocean into one. He found some of the coolest shops in products that he loves - knives, masks, jewelry. I'm daily amazed at how much talent is on ETSY! Ocean just bought me the most amazing leather mask on an Etsy shop called Tom Banwell Leather! It's cut out in stars. Check it out here! I can't wait to get it!!! I am astounded with creativity and detail that Tom can create. This is a truly talented artist! If you check it out, let him know you saw him on my blog. As a seller, it's always good to know how people find you. The mask above is the style I'm getting. He has this for sale on his shop. You can click the photo or the links above to go directly there.
I love the quiet time at home and at work when no one is around and I can start the day with ease and peacefully. Today it's raining. A rainstorm woke me up at 5am. I love the rain, but not driving in it. My sweet Ocean drives an amored truck, so he has to be out in it. Let's send him loving light thougts now for safe journies today and every day...
So... what have we been up to in the past week? Well, I finally finished my first messenger bag!!!! Well, I have a couple of finishing touches which I'll complete tonight. It's so fly!!! And I've been working on a special order pyramid pouch. I had to stop production on the pouch last weekend because the paint was not quite dry. It takes a while sometimes for it to fully cure. I posted a few new items, and I've been thinking about what new things I want to make for my Gift Guides Showcase and Spring Showcase this upcoming Sunday. I sold that adorable Green Banjo Bag last night. She's going to Ohio and left today.
Oh... and I'll be offering FREE SHIPPING this Sunday only during the showcases. (But also, if you sign up to follow my blog or subscribe, you get free shipping on your first Glint Gear order! Just email me and let me know in case I miss it. And then put "Blog Follower" in notes to seller upon checkout.
The biggest news of the week is that Ocean has posted his first batch of AMAZING SquidInkwear(TM) t-shirts on Etsy this week!!! I will be featuring him in blog post in the near future once he gives me thumbs up. (He says he doesn't quite have enough product up yet and wants me to wait, but I couldn't help spilling the beans early to give him some more hearts and pageviews!
There are so many products I want to work on! I find myself a little scattered lately thinking, which one should I work on now? It's hard sometimes when you work 40 hours a week and have limited time to do everything you want to do each night! So many ideas! So I have to stop and just choose a couple of items to work on at a time. Last night I started two adorable new cosmetic pouches with Glint Gear appliques. I also have a cute fisherman's-style bag cut out in a beige with a Glint Gear panel on the front flap. It's kind of like a mini-messenger bag. And I have another shoulder bag cut out in chocolate brown vinyl with Glint Gear fabric panels on front and back.
Well, I guess I've rambled enough... I'll be back soon! Enjoy the rest of your week!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Well, over the weekend I got a lot done for Glint Gear. I made some coin pouches, finished an awesome round bag that the hubster and I named together (Pinball Wizard... look for it soon. We haven't taken pics yet), starting making a messenger bag,and painted some canvas in purples and yellows for a special order pyramid bag. Not too bad for me, I suppose!
Side Note: Chip asked me in a comment if I'd be willing to share my process for painting the Glint Gear fabric - absolutely! I need to work on a post for that. On my Facebook I posted a note that talked about it a little with some pictures.
One major theme has popped up this week, and that is of creative resistance. I was even resisting writing a new blog post! I'm curious as to how many of you experience it as well. Is it something we all experience, and if so, how do you deal with it?
What I noticed for myself this past week, is that it's more than just "creative" resistance for me... it's "joy" resistance. I can think about different domains of my life - family, friends, work, art, marriage - and the resistance is pervasive. I can think about something I truly enjoy doing, and this feeling of "yuck" and "I don't wanna" and "why bother" comes over me. It happens every time I think of going on a social event with friends, planning and managing a really fun event at work, having a romantic date with Ocean, and sewing a groovy new Glint Gear piece. These are all things that give me joy and pleasure while I'm in the midst of it. But before I engage, it's almost like I'm about to have my toenails pulled out with pliers one-by-one.
Once I've chosen to proceed, there's a moment of what I can only describe as an odd "emotional pain" right before I commit to that first action. And then I take one small step, then another, and slowly begin. The "crossing over" from resistance to joy can sometimes be intense, depending on how much joy is waiting on the other side. Sometimes it's subtle. It used to take me weeks to work through the resistance to get started. Sometimes it does. Sometimes it only takes days. Sometimes hours. The past week I've noticed that if I focus on what a brilliant singer/songwriter friend of mine, Terry Allan Smith, calls "beginning mind," then it only takes minutes to get through the cross-over. Beginning mind is emptying your thoughts of how it will go and all those fears of disappointment, being stuck or whatever, and just take action. I focus on each step of what I'm doing and just give in to it.
For example, when I'm working on a Glint Gear piece that I know will be time-consuming and have resisted sitting down to sew, I commit to just doing it, empty my mind of all those negative thoughts, put fabric under the presser foot and just start stitching. One stitch at a time... whirrr... whirr.... whirrrrrr. It's a meditation. I give up how I'll do this part or that, and take it one moment at a time. One stitch a time. Giving in to the process fully. And before I know it, I'm so into it that time stands still and my joy is bubbling over. And I always think, "Now why was i resisting this??? I LOVE this!!!"
So that's my theme as of late. Breaking through resistance to feel joy.
What are your thoughts on creative resistance?
Friday, March 20, 2009
I had the true joy of stumbling across Mare's showcase on Etsy, and knew from the moment I saw her work that she is something special. Those who know me know I am addicted to handcrafted artisan glass jewelery. I'm addicted to the yummy colors, and it truly expresses me. I literally have a little over 7 dozen glass pieces not counting earrings or bracelets! I bought 3 pieces from Mare, and we became fast friends. (And she became a Glint Girl and bought several of my bags!)
Anthony's birthday was coming up. Anthony said he had always wanted a custom leather bracelet made with a huge glass piece that would reflect his love of the ocean and water. I had no idea if Mare does anything with leather, but thought it couldn't hurt to ask since Anthony fell in love with her work too. Mare jumped on the project, embraced it and totally blew us away. She "tapped in" to who Anthony was and somehow created THE perfect glass piece that embodies Anthony. I won't say any more... I'll let the photos speak for themselves.
But I highly encourage you to check out Mare's work. Send her an email to say hello. She's a doll and I know you'll love her. She's BIG on customer service and making sure you fall in love with Paytonology. Anthony and I have, and it's now a lifetime of love with Paytonology.
|Etsy: Your place to buy & sell all things handmade|
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Welcome to my blog! This is my first blog (notes on Facebook don't really count...) and my first blog post! People "in the know" say blogging is where it's at, especially when you have a business, so I'm a-doin' it!
As we get to know each other, you'll learn more about me and my creative side, and hopefully you'll let me learn more about YOU and yours! I will also feature other fabulous creatives on here as well.
You'll hear LOTS about my amazing artist husband, Anthony Ocean, who will from this point on be referred to as Ocean. We live in beautiful South Austin. We turned 90% of our house into a studio! The living room with the lovely wooden floors is our main studio, which we have dubbed Liquid Star Studio. (The first person to ping me with why we call it that gets 10% off their next Glint Gear purchase!) Our master bedroom is the media room with the TV, Ocean's massive (and growing) DVD collection, computer and random art stuff. The smaller bedroom is currently being transformed into the "finishing room" for photos of finished pieces, product storage and packing/shipping area. The garage is where we often have fun making Glint Gear fabric and working on large paintings. I even use part of the kitchen counter while making bags!
I will coax Ocean into writing some movie reviews and including those as well for fun. We never ever watch network TV (although we've gotten hooked on some favs we've heard about and watch on DVD such as Smallville, Heroes, Battlestar Galactica & Lost). But we are HUGE movie fans!
As for Glint Gear... about five years ago, I decided that I love making handmade stuff and also wanted to use paintings in a way that were wearable. It took me until about a year ago to create a process where I can create large sheets of painted "fabric" in a way that's faster than just brush strokes and is unique and groovy. I decided on bags and purses because I never cared for the look of "high fashion" bags such as Coach or Dooney & Bourke, (I'm probably saying that wrong), and would have a hard time finding fun unique bags. I actually told my husband in Macy's one day that if he ever bought me a Coach bag, I'd file for divorce! No offense to anyone, but I think they are not attractive. And an expensive price tag, does not a swan make...
As for my sewing ability, it's in my blood! My grandmother was a seamstress and worked in a garment factory in a tiny Louisiana town. My mother is a master seamstress as well and gave me the wonderful legacy of sewing talent and creativity. And I'm SO happy that she did! I LOVE to sew! And I LOVE to paint. (I got her started on drawing and painting, so I'm returning the favor!)
It's been a fun challenge learning to sew with the unique qualities of artist canvas painted with traditional artists acrylic. I am constantly working on developing new designs that work well with the Glint fabric. I take a lot of time to carefully construct each piece up to my high standards. If it doesn't pass my scrutiny, it doesn't make it to out into the world!
That's enough for now! I'm not sure how often I'll post, but I'm really excited about this blog and about sharing all the fun Liquid Star happenings.
Oh, and be sure to check out the Carried Away Bag Team's Bag of Luck Giveaway for a chance to win!