Photos for freebies

Gosh, what some people won’t do for a free pair of earrings! Like having their photo taken when they don’t particularly care for the experience.

Just kidding. This is my beautiful daughter wearing a pair of my “Dr. Seuss” earrings. Thank you, Sadie, for allowing me to coerce you into modeling them for me today. I hope to have other earrings like these, in lots of different colors, for sale online soon.

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The learning curve

Today is truly the first day of the rest of my life. I’m at a turning point. Yesterday was my last day working at the department store where I’d worked for over a year selling brazierres. I really believed that I’d be working there for a very, very long time, while I took online classes embarking upon a new career path. But an opportunity came along that I couldn’t pass up. Now I’m back in the art biz, no more school and no more retail. I’ll be working much longer hours than I was at the department store and making much less money, but I know I’ll be happier. I’m my own boss now and I’ll be doing something I love: art.

It’s scary though. When I’d tried this art business thing before (before I went to work in what I called “The Bra Forest”) I had yet to turn a profit after 2+ years. I can’t seem to think like a “business” person and not like an “artist” person. I have no problem sitting and making beautiful things with my hands. What I have a problem with is turning those things into cash money. I don’t even have a problem letting go of the things I create; I have a problem accepting money for them. I have a problem putting a dollar value on things. I know that this is a problem that many career artists have, especially ones that didn’t earn master’s degrees in art, where they supposedly teach you how to market yourself as an artist.

I want to just sit and make things hour after hour and let somebody else do all the rest. But I’d have to pay them, wouldn’t I. For instance, I don’t know how to take good photos… yet. I don’t know how to sell my wares on the internet… yet. I don’t know anything about making a website… yet. I don’t even know how to put my own “stamp” on the style of this blog, rather than use a pre-made template. I don’t speak HTML or CSS… yet. I don’t know good bookkeeping or all I need to know for tax purposes… yet. I’m willing to learn, even eager, and I hope to use this blog to share what I learn as I learn it. But, people, it’s probably going to be a very, very big learning curve.

Help – I think I’m going blind!

Every year my home town of Milwaukee hosts a huge show called the Bead and Button Show. Every year I go. Every year I pick up some tiny gemstone beads to crochet into necklaces. And every year I look at the more expensive gemstones, like rubies and emeralds and sapphires and think to myself, “One of these years…”  Well this year I fell for some beautiful pink tourmaline beads that are only about 1 to 1.5mm – tiny, tiny, tiny! I’ve crocheted tiny seed pearls before, and also some beautiful lapis heishi (that my crappy photo doesn’t do justice to at all) and they didn’t give me nearly the frustration that these tourmaline beads are giving me.  I can only work on them for about an hour at a time, at the most.  When I start to see double I know I have to put the work aside for a while and rest my eyes.

Also, for some reason the crochet hook seemed to slip under the pearls and the lapis beads much more easily than under these tourmaline beads, maybe because they’re faceted and some of them are almost disc-shaped. Whatever, they’re a challenge.

I knew that I needed a new prescription for glasses, so I went and had my eyes checked, too. (Cool new green glasses are on the way!) But I find that I can work best on these little guys without wearing my glasses at all and just holding them up pretty close to my face.  Did I say they were TINY???! I hope that 1) I don’t seriously ruin my eyesight, and 2) the resulting rope of crocheted pink tourmaline beads is worth it.