Saturday, July 30, 2011

Biz Buzz - You Are a Star

I keep giving tips and warnings about seller sites and traps and comparing your wages to State minimums and I just wanted to give you all a pat on the back this week.

If you have a shop on the internet and you are making sales from you Handmade, Vintage or Supplies on Etsy, Artfire, Zibbet or even eBay, you are:

A talented artist, a clever shopper, a gifted photographer, a great copy writer, handy with SEO.  You make lots of friends and have a lot to say. You know what people like and you keep an eye on what is marketable, trendy and what people are doing and thinking. You have honed your craft well enough that people will come to your place to shop.

Even though there are 800,000 or more shops (stats for Etsy), people have come to yours. They trust you and like your product. You may be busting your butt for minimum wage or less, but people like what you do.

If you have sold ONE thing to ONE person and they liked it, you are a star. If you sold to many, it is it's own reward. Maybe that's why we work so hard to create and please. Maybe that's why we sell some things at a loss, or struggle to make ends meet. Not just because we hate working for the "man" but because we are filled with joy when a thing we created, or a vintage item we've selected, has brought joy to another human being.

Pat yourself on the back. You did a good job.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

More Updates - Good News

You guys are the greatest. I've never seen prayer and positive energy work so well and so fast. My son Kris had good news from his lawyer. He was supposed to have a preliminary review of his Disability case on the 8th. His lawyer was able to push up his final review to August 2nd. He should have it finalized then. Looks like there will not be a problem.

However he found out that he has to get permission from his State to have the surgery in Cleveland. They don't go across states unless they can't get the service anywhere else. And he might have to prove that. Minor compared to what has been happening.

Don't give up the thoughts yet, but you guys are my rocks. Also if you could send a little of that energy to my laptop that croaked, that would be just great. LOVE You all!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Update on Kris

Just wanted to update what I know about what is going on with my son. He is to have his third disability review on August 8th. This time he will have a lawyer with him. He has to pay 20% of his back pay to get the lawyer, and that is just how the stinking rotten system works. You can't get it if you don't have a lawyer and you have to pay an arm and a leg to get one.

Usually Disability goes through the second or third review. Kris skipped step one, because he moved from one state to anther. How and why it works that way, who knows.

I know I've been asking for a lot from you all, but positive energy and any kind of prayers would be absolutely wonderful as he has this next review.

That's all - and thanks for everything.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What Evah! -Yesterday

day one
I just have to carry on about the yard thing. I'm in a mood. I didn't actually finish my post yesterday. I was going to write more, but I forgot to take additional pictures, because I was obsessed with listing Sunday. Here is the progress someone has made with the mess. You can see the difference from Day One. Someone dumped one of the buckets and moved some of the stuff off the sidewalk. Nice job guys!



progress one week later
I know you think this is funny, but if you lived here you wouldn't. They get all angry that the yard is a mess and that we should clean up our junk. Then I point out that it's their stuff and they just say "OH!" Even the toys are left over from other tenants and they don't even remember. They just think, "toys = kids = yours".

I'm sure we'll get blamed for that love seat, that their boys took out of their bedroom. The furniture was taken from our house, left from a renter, and brought into theirs after it sat out in the snow for several months.

Usually that part of the yard is not that bad. But the front yard is another story. Our front yard, their side yard. They fill it with tables as though they were entertaining, and a row of seats as though it's a resort on a private lake. But it is the most horrid furniture one can find by the side of the road. 

This is much neater than usual, but this is the view from our porch and front window. It is like this everyday. That's cat food on the Picnic table that the FIL's father built and he won't get rid of. 

Yes that is an exerciser on the front lawn that nobody uses. It's been setting there for as long as I can remember. Well, actually it moves around the yard when the lawn is getting mowed, but it stays wherever it lands. Also if you look very closely near the road, that is a planter made out of an old car tire, painted white. Usually there are more chairs, but MIL has been leaving them all over the yard and the neighborhood, so the row or chairs is a little depleted. There can be as many as 6 on a good day. 

MIL painted the picnic table for a party. That day she and her clothes were covered with Green. I said, "You're all Green!" She said she didn't know it was oil paint and she didn't have anything to clean with. So she had to go the the store covered in Green paint to buy paint remover. The stones below were covered with green paint too. And yes, that table really torques just like it looks. 

In case you are wondering the rest of the neighborhood does not look like this. See - peaceful and idyllic and mostly we like to look out at this view. 
From our side of the house, the view of the lake and the wildflowers and grape vines, and the neighbors who don't collect stuff and put it on their lawn.

Sometimes you have to look hard to find the roses to take the time to smell, but if you do, you'll be surprised what you can find. That and closed window blinds, will get you great peace of mind.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Life on Mars - Yard Sale

No this is not the aftermath of a Yard Sale. Someone who I won't mention sometimes doesn't get her medication right and she thinks she knows how to clean, then halfway through, she gets fed up and quits. Usually this happens in her own house, but this week she decided to clean out that Old Outhouse that they use as a shed.

The sidewalk you see in front leads to our house. That is the entrance we use most often. We never invite friends and you can guess why. Well other than our bathroom is really scary. We are going to put in a new one very soon. We rent, but from family.

It's even worse out there now, because it rained so everything that was in the buckets has been scattered all over the lawn to get the water out of the buckets. I really have no idea how long it will all sit there. There are 3 adults that live in that house that don't work. Two of them are able bodied but lets say, lackadaisical. That's a nice word for lazy. The crap will probably sit outside our door until Poppy's DH gets sick of it and picks it all up. He is the only one that has a job in that house.

It's been this way for almost a week now. What really amazes me is that she continues to crawl over all the junk to hang her laundry every day. It's almost like she doesn't even notice it. I wonder how they'll all feel if Poppy falls trying to walk to the house and hurts herself or the baby?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

What's Cooking? - Zucchini Pickles


9 qt thinly sliced zucchini
10 small onions sliced
6 ½ c sugar
6 c cider vinegar
¼ c pickling spice in cheesecloth
6 T salt

Optional 4 or 5 hot peppers halved seeded and sliced

In a large bowl or non aluminum kettle, sprinkle salt over all vegetables. Let stand for 4 hours. This will draw out excess moisture. Put into colander and drain.

Combine vinegar and sugar in a large kettle, add spices. Stir over high heat, cover and boil for 5 minutes. Add vegetables and bring to boil. Boil one minute. Remove spices.

Place in hot clean jars, apply lids according to manufacturers instructions. Process for 10 minutes with water one inch above tops of jars. Cool completely. Check seals the next day. Makes 5 quarts.

These sweet Zucchini pickles are absolutely wonderful on top of a slice of cheddar on a Ritz.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Biz Buzz - Fond Farewell and Marketing Tips?

I wanted to dedicate this Bizz Buzz to saying a fond farewell to the Clown that Ran Etsy But You can read about it at the Inc article or the Great Farewell that Etsy Bitch wrote HERE

I would also like to note that with what has happened in Norway, everything we do here seems so small. So many children lost at the hands of a Madman.

I decided instead, to write about something that came to mind after a few events this week. It has to do with your audience. Who are you selling to? I was trying to come up with search terms for my jewelry. Because it was unique, I wanted to come up with some terms that the average person would use to search. I was thinking about my product and I was thinking of all the other handmade product. I'm not including vintage here, because they have a greater chance of people searching for their items than handmade sellers do.

I thought about all the lovely handmade products and artwork, I and I thought about all the nice things that people had said about my flowers. I thought about how we are pushed by ourselves and our sites to create something so unique that it stands out against our competition. And I thought that if it is so unique, how will people find it. If you designed handkerchiefs for Elephants, that would be unique. Maybe useful (they would have to be pretty big) But who would search for it.

It popped into my head, that the people who are looking at my work, or your lovely work, are mostly artists, or people involved with or admirers of the arts. Is that my target audience? Wouldn't it be nice if the average person, or at least a percentage of the overall population would like my work?

I pass QVC sometimes and see things that are not as lovely as our handmade craft, but mass produced, sell by the thousands. I used to work for a company that sold to QVC and it was not our usual lovely inventory. But that's another story.

And then there was something that Poppy said this week. She was listing a biker T-shirt that had previously sold for $250, and she was debating weather to list it auction, or buy it now on eBay. She was discussing how much to list it for and I said was it too much in this economy. She said people with money have money and they don't really care, they buy what they want. She's right you know. We struggle to sell our beautifully hand crafted wares for under minimum wage and someone pays $1800 for a Lego Millennium Falcon still in the box. (I'd rather have it built for that price).

We work our tails off at the craft we love and yet we could take a $1 t-shirt we found a the thrift store and turn a $200 plus profit on it.

My point isn't despair. It is, how the heck do we get the guy spending $250 on a T-shirt to spend a few bucks on our handmade? How do we inspire the "want monster" (I hate that term and wish it would go away and die forever) to absolutely love handmade. What we really need is not a clown but a Marketing Genius to help us out. Barry Manilow will you write us a handmade product jingle for the new millennium? There is more to marketing than just good SEO. SEO does not inspire desire. How about "I'm wearing Handmade Today" "I just hung Handmade on my walls, did you?" "I'm cooking in handmade."

Friday, July 22, 2011

Putting it Together - Spool Knitting

Most of you must know what this is. We used to make these out of wooden spools and 4 nails when I was a kid. You make a rope or tiny knit tube with yarn and this little gadget.

I got this for Poppy's 7 year old. The fascination was short lived so I swiped it thinking I could make some nice neck chains for my Felt flowers. The other night I thought I would experiment with it. I "watched" a Dr Who that I had already seen and worked on the chain. I say watched, because I found that I had to keep my eyes on the craft constantly, otherwise I might not "pick up" all the bottom threads. I've seen some homemade ones that use little paddles instead of posts and I'm wondering if that might be easier to use.

Not only was this more concentration intensive than I imagined, after the 1 hour show was over, I had only 12" of chain done. As I have said in yesterday's post, at an average of $6 an hour for minimum wage (I know, not all states are the same, and I wouldn't want to live in Kentucky), that's not great money. I'd need a much longer piece for what I wanted to do, long and doubled, at least 60 inches. That's 5 times my original piece! At that rate the chain alone would be $30 not including material or other fees involved.

Maybe it was me. I could make it faster, I'm sure! So I tried it again, and again and still the same results, no matter what I did. I'm pretty fast at crafting too. I would probably have to charge at least $35 for that darn 60" rope chain with nothing on it, just to make minimum wage. Would you buy it?

I think I'm going to try some more timing experiments like this. Would you like to see more? Let me know if you can do this faster.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Posted on Artfire - Etsy Fees Vs Artfire at $9.95

Posted in the Artfire Forums I didn't think this was a controversial or negative post. It was just a little bit of brain boggling math that I thought I would like to point out to the sellers that think Etsy fees are cheaper than the proposed $9.95 minimum fee that Artfire will begin charging.

For those of you who aren't involved or have the time to wade through forums here is my post

"Sorry, haven't the time to read through all of these to see if it's been mentioned. $10 a month for Artfire VS Etsy "reasonable" fees. If you want to have your items seen on Etsy, most people list/relist one item a day @ $.20 so that's $6. Many list/relist at least 2 a day $12 then if you sell there are fees as well. How in the World do any of you think that it is cheaper to sell on Etsy? My fees were $50 to $100 a month there. If you are paying less than $10 a month at Etsy, you are not selling anything, I can guarantee it. If you are making an average of $6 minimum wage (give or take in your state) for a 40 hour week $240 X 3.5%, you would be paying $8.40 in fees above your listing a WEEK. So if you are working Etsy as a business, the minimum you should be paying is $45 a month. That is just making minimum wages.

Brain hurting yet. I know mine is. Again, if you are actually paying less than $10 a month at Etsy you are wasting your time selling there, because it's not working for you."

I'm not even saying which is the better deal, because I sell a lot on eBay and the fees are even higher and the buyer expects to pay less. I had an offer of $8 for a $39 apron, when my materials alone are more than that, let alone fees. Etsy fees are higher, but so is the traffic right now.

I guess the wasting time thing wasn't too nice. But at $10 a month, with Etsy fees, you are not selling anything. I never had a month at Etsy where I payed less that $10, even in a slow month at a slow shop. However, most of us don't make above minimum wages at any of our venues. I know I don't. Just Saying...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Life on Mars - A Teeny Cottage Get a Little Teenier

Well We got some wonderful news this week. Poppy and her Baby are NOT moving into the other house, so our house just got a little smaller than it already was. No place to even put the new crib poppy found this weekend (well - not exactly new).

There is this teeny 8' x 10' Bedroom that holds Poppy's bed, a dresser, Most of Poppy's fabric and a closet full of sewing machines where we sew. No room for a baby there. And then there is this really large 10' x 10' (sarcasm) bedroom that holds the Dink's bed and my bed (sofa), my jewelry supplies and a closet full of my inventory and fabric.

Obviously there is no room for a crib unless...... And I was going to get the small bedroom all to myself. But now I get the Even larger living room all to myself, well not really all to myself, BECAUSE IT'S THE LIVING ROOM.

Now I have to get rid of the only furniture I had left from the fire. The sofa and the recliner, so I can move my futon bed into the living room. Did I tell you that some of the bars broke off of the bottom and I had to fashion a sling out of rope so I don't fall through to the floor. More concerned about my jewelry supplies under it than my butt though.

Now that I am out on the Sofa that leaves 2 options for the bedrooms. Either Dink moves into Poppy's Bedroom with all her fabric, and Poppy and Baby Luna move into the bigger room (much more work and rearranging), or Dink shares his room with his baby sister. We left it up to him. Even though we warned him that the baby could be crying all night, he wants to share the room with his sister. She has to leave the room the Key Lime Pie color though, no pink walls. She can have pink clothes and bedding. This will be Hot Pink with Black.

Grandma W just about had a cow when I told her that Poppy is making black clothes and bedding for the Baby. She repeated the word Black so many times I lost count. "Black? really black? I never heard of black for a baby. Black? Black? really? Black?"

I really don't mind sleeping in the living room. Everyone goes to bed about the same time. I was sleeping in the living room on the sofa when I had my own apartment. I toss around too much on a big bed so I need to confine myself. I just need a space where I can make my jewelry. We need to redesign that living space too.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Biz Buzz - No More Artfire Basic

Well there it is, Artfire is no longer offering free sites. Imagine my disappointment. I'm going to close my shops and move to another site. I won't even shop there. Burn in Hell Artfire.

That was an exaggeration of some of the comments to the news (well maybe not too exaggerated) on this Artfire Forum

Can you imagine the nerve of upgrading the site AND asking you to pay to be there? I just can't believe they have the balls to do something like that!!! I mean a lot of basic sellers who don't promote their shops will just have to leave because they aren't getting any sales at all.

I have made a visual tribute to some of the shops that were most offended.


Yes those are the actual items and photographs of their work. I wonder why they are disappointed in sales.

Needless to say that was all Sarcasm. I wish Artfire the best of luck with their revisions as I am keeping my Artfire Pro stores open. I have had pretty good sales, even though I don't do as much promoting as I could and I am really looking forward to the new look and improvements. And as for the kids moving on........

Friday, July 15, 2011

Bits and Pieces - Life in a Pickle Jar

To start, I'd like to say that the winner of this lovely Maiden Jane Tote is Birdhouse Books. Congrats!!!

I wish that I had spent this week at the beach. This picture reminds me of how relaxed my life could be if I lived on the lake. Before I go into my week, I'd like to remind you all that I take the hits that life gives me in stride. I don't cry or get too upset, because I know there will be better days. Life is just life.


I watch the news and see all the people standing in lines for jobs or housing and that makes me sad. Because some people are not prepared to live in tiny houses or worse yet, their cars. We are resilient and I think of this part of my life as just another adventure. 


Now on to the adventure that is my life. 


Monday we were getting ready for my DS to arrive. Moving fabric buckets to make room for his suitcases and cleaning the house and the sofa he's to sleep on. Shedding season and the dog thinks it's hers. 


I told Kris to call the Hospital to make sure that the surgery was still on, as he hadn't received any information from them. They told him that unless they got confirmation from medicaid that he will be having medicaid, they will not operate. 


This is after we had made all of the arrangements because his DR assured him that there would not be a problem and to come to Cleveland and they will get everything done. Kris spent hours on the phone talking to the Dr, the hospital, and social services. 


Basically because Social Services denied him (which they almost always do the first time you apply)  Kris is considered by the State of North Dakota to not be disabled even though they have a stack of papers from his Drs that say he is. They are also aware that if he does not get the surgery, his heart will be permanently damaged. But they say their hands are tied until the appeal to his Social Security case goes through. 


So until he gets approved by Social Security, he has to pray that his heart doesn't get worse. He has a priliminary appeal in August. Hope it gets pushed through. 


Then there was the plane ticket that was donated. I had Kris call the airline and they were so nice. they changed it to an open ended ticket for a year at no extra fee. One good thing.


Now we just have to wait unless the Dr can talk them into taking Kris earlier.


That was a rollercoaster ride. But that wasn't all. We had a cat that was fairly old and he was fighting a bad skin fungus. We were treating him but it wasn't going well. We were actually considering putting him down, but thought we'd give the medicine a chance. Then he disappeared and we thought he just went off somewhere to die. We found out that the crazy old neighbor next door (the one whose son attacked Poppy's husband for listening to Brittany Spears) took him to the vet and had him put down. Then she asked our other neighbor to pay for it because she thought it was her cat. 


So this has been why I haven't been posting so much on this blog, and why I haven't been on twitter much. My head is spinning this week. I'm sure I'll be back to normal soon.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What Evah! - Honeymoon Disaster

Last week I read a blog post about a weekend Camping Disaster on Suds Blog - camping fail. It reminded me of my own camping disaster - on my honeymoon.

Like our marriage turned out to be, our wedding night and honeymoon were filled with excitement, adventure and a lot of "tension". There was to be an eclipse of the moon late in the evening of our wedding day. The wedding went pretty well, but of course we drank too much. We planned on one night at a hotel and then off for a camping and sight seeing adventure. J and I stayed up late to try to watch the eclipse. The room had 2 queen beds, but we planned on sharing one. We woke up in separate beds, having both fallen asleep waiting for the eclipse (it was after all, a long day).

We woke up late and left to prepare for the trip. I had heard of a Great campsite in West Virginia, and I had hoped to go to DC again. After a long drive we got to the site in W VA. It was absolutely idyllic, beautiful, peaceful and relatively private. We stayed for 2 days and had the most wonderful time. But we had a plan to move around so we broke camp and moved onto the next site.

The next site was in W Va too, but a bit closer to our goal. There were sites by the lake, but everyone had set up tents in the surrounding hill, so we thought we would use one of the lakefront sites. We wondered why no one set up there, it was so pretty. Only one little problem, the song "Wildfire" was playing on the Camp office loudspeaker all day long. Just a touch on the other side of reality.

That night, drizzle turned into a full thunderstorm. The rain got pretty heavy and we were forced to stay in the tent. It was so damp and the floor of the tent seemed to be particularly wet. Finally J decided to go out and see what kind of situation we were in. What we were in, was actually the lake. It had rained so much, and the extra water runoff from the hills had made the lake rise. We were sitting in 4 inches of water.

We went to the camp office. They suggested we move to a site on the hill. By the time we broke camp, we were so darn wet and the tent was such a mess that we decided to just go off and find a hotel. We went to the nearest town and got a room.

We wanted nothing more than to shower and get in dry clothes and have a drink. What a honeymoon. But this State was a little different than Ohio. There was no room service alcohol, not even beer, no stores open past 9 pm, and no open bars. Clubs only for alcohol. And even the club in the hotel had a dress code. No jeans and because we were camping, we didn't have anything else. We were also young and naive and didn't even think to ask to borrow clothes.

We left that hotel in the morning and Moved on to our final destination, Washington DC. But that's another story.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

What's Cooking - Poppy's Beer Cheese Bread

I've been having a craving for Beer cheese Bread for quite a while, but whenever I do, I never seem to either have cheddar cheese or beer in the house. I don't think it would taste the same with mozzarella. Ew.

The other day we had almost all the main ingredients, so we looked up a recipe that we could make. Poppy found a great one, altered it to our liking and it was so good it lasted about 1 minute. I think we need to make another. Original recipe was found on allrecipes.com but here is our version.


Ingredients

3 cups flour (not self rising)
2 T white sugar
1 (12 oz) can beer
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 t baking soda
pinch salt
3 T butter melted

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 deg F (or 175 C) Grease a 9 X 5 loaf pan (we use spray)

In a large bowl stir together all ingredients except melted butter. Let stand for 5 minutes. Spoon batter into loaf pan and spread evenly. Pour melted butter over the top.

Bake in preheated oven for 50 to 60 minutes. Toothpick inserted into middle should come out clean when done.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Biz Buzz - Another Life

I have to admit, I was really bummed when I got my Etsy Apron shop closed. It was very inconvenient, but I opened one in only my name, not shared with my DD, after all I HAD completely taken over the shop.

OK, so I was seriously bummed when Etsy shut down all of my shops and eventually BLOCKED my ISP so that I couldn't even buy or browse on Etsy. Well that's not entirely true. I have my backdoor ways to browse, but that's my little secret. And Etsy, just try to figure out which email is mine so that you can block my Finds email again.

I guess the point of all this is that my posts were always geared toward Etsy sellers. Etsy this, Etsy treasury, Etsy that, Etsy SEO, Etsy, Etsy, Etsy. Like the Sun and the Earth revolved around Etsy. Well guess what. it doesn't.

I didn't realize that there was a whole other world of sellers and seller sites out there. I moved to Etsy from eBay, the top seller site. And while I really had to adjust my product line. I'm selling about as much. Oh and what I mean by adjust is offering far less product. I don't have to design something new each week, there is enough traffic for my limited selection.

I've also found other sites that work in a very different way. Like flat rate. I really like flat rate. Artfire, Zibbet and Groove Press to name a few, only charge one monthly fee. I like that. And you don't have to be on, relisting all the time, because relisting only breaks your links, and makes it harder for buyers to find you. I can list multiple items now with no penalty, awesome.

There is another benefit to working on lots of other sites. You get to meet very interesting people. Sellers that don't even sell on Etsy, because they WANT to. Not just because they've gotten kicked off. There are actually nice and very talented people who don't "live" on Etsy. There really is another life. How much have you sold on Etsy this summer? I've sold quite a bit.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Life on Mars - Dear Diary

Dear diary, what a day it's been.
Dear diary, it's been just like a dream.
Woke up late. Wasn't where I should have been.
For goodness sake what's happening to me.
Write lightly, yours truly, dear diary.

Ray Thomas - Moody Blues

If you haven't fully experienced The Moody Blues you should. I think they were the first band to ever list their lyrics on an album, well Maybe Hendrix did, but it wasn't popular to do back in those days. Moody Blues had something to say and it was great, like "the sound of color and the light of a sigh" at least it all made sense when I was taking those hallucinogenics.

Sometimes things get so weird here that I think I'm on a bad trip. Maybe I should have listened to my parents and stayed away from that stuff. This week was so weird if I told you about it, you either wouldn't understand or wouldn't believe it. But on the Plus side.....

We did spend half a Day at the Lake Erie Beach, and had a wonderful Firework show by the neighbors. Here is a little clip.

video

So even though the week was weak, Dear Diary, it ended with a Bang.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

What's Cooking? - Ramen Cole Slaw

I haven't had this in years. I absolutely love it, but so much sodium. I might just make it some day and eat a little bit and leave the rest for the family scavengers.

It was fun looking through my moms old recipe books. Three - Three ring binders full. She typed or copied all of the recipes and put them in plastic sleeves. Some recipes were mine. Made me proud that she liked a few of mine too.

The fun part was that Mom was dyslexic. Even more than I am. Recipes included ingredients like motzerella, jalpeona, and crotons and there were several recipes that called for port as the main meat. Guess she had a problem typing pork.

This is how we made the Chinese Ramen Cole slaw that was popular in the early 90's

Salad

1 large bag Cole Slaw mix
2 individual packages Beef Ramen Soup
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup shelled sunflower seeds
2 bunches scallions chopped

Dressing

1/3 cup sunflower or safflower oil
2/3 cup cider vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
The 2 seasoning packages from the Ramen Soup

Mix all salad ingredients, leaving noodles till last. Mix all dressing ingredients well and pour over salad. Mix salad and dressing well. Break up noodle block and place over salad. Refrigerate. Toss noodles with salad about on hour before serving so they don't get too soggy, but have time to soften.

Trust me if you haven't had this yet, and you like Chinese food and cabbage, you'll be thanking me.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Biz Buzz - Great Ideas Down the Drain?

Twice this week I heard mention of Crafters/Artists getting their ideas in the Shower. I must say that I found it funny, but not surprising, because I always get my best ideas in the Shower or Bath. Usually a nice long bath with some great floral smelling bubbles works best for me. As a matter of fact, if I'm having a creative drought, I will draw up a bath, because I usually take showers.

Once I interviewed for a design job with a leading toy company. I was being interviewed by a panel of the head of all the departments. They asked me how I brainstorm, and I replied "I get my best ideas in the bath".  Well apparently they were not in tune with how wonderful a tool the bath/shower is because they gave me the "OMG she's an Alien" look. OK so maybe I am a bit odd, but wouldn't that kind of imagination be just what is needed in toy design?

That was my first outing in the design world after graduation. I ended up in decorative residential lighting. Those people didn't mind at all that I was quirky. Not the socially affecting kind of job I was looking for, but it was a job.

After hearing that several other of my friends use the shower method, I decided to do a little research. I turns out that this is a very effective method of creating.

Here is a link to 20 Reasons Why the Best Ideas Come in the Shower

And Why your Best Ideas Come in the Shower

While some suggest using a waterproof dry erase marker on the shower wall. I kind of like this idea of a waterproof Notepad I found on an AOL News  post Waterproof Notepad Helps You Record Ideas in the Shower could be the best idea of all.

Notepad in the Shower and Notepad by the bedside help gather those fleeting thoughts that you just can't grab hold of once they have passed. For that matter, I wish I had a notepad in the shower a few weeks ago when I came up with the idea of this post. It took a few reminders from twitter friends to pull it back out of my subconscious.

There is a plethora of posts (I like that, plethora of posts) on ideas in the shower. You can search it yourself to see them all. But the most important thing to remember is if you are having a creative drought, just go to that secluded space and turn on the faucet. Relax and let your mind free to do it's own thing. The subconscious is an amazing thing, and the best tool we have as artists.
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