This Week's Progress

I feel like I would never get a blog post out this week.  Between work and other activities, it's become harder to be able to sit down every other morning to post something...excuses, excuses.

Reading books counts as progress, right?  Good, because I've been better at reading since moving than I every was in Arizona.  It just works better with my schedule.  I wake up in the morning, get ready, make my lunch and then sit down with my coffee and read.  And then at work, during my lunch break, I eat and read.  I finished one of the books I received for my birthday, Blog Inc., on Tuesday.  It was an interesting book, full of helpful tips, but not much I really feel like I can apply here.  This is my artist blog, I'm not really looking to earn money off of it (though it'd be nice).  

The next one I'm reading is Art Inc. in the same format as the previous book.  I have a feeling it's going to be similar to the book I read with my morning coffee, Art/Work.

I finished the Jeweled Cowl Wednesday evening.  I plan to block it and hand deliver it on Saturday.  

And now it's time to chug my coffee and get going to work.  Have a great weekend!

Do What You Love Follow Up

Because I don't have much to show you project-wise, I'd like to address some other topics regarding progress.  In last Thursday's post, I was throwing out the "Do what you love" line and discussing that a bit. I had totally forgotten some wise words from one of my favorite authors and artist, Austin Kleon.  (Seriously, I need to just carry his books around with me everywhere so when I'm feeling off track I can just read something out of it and - BOOM - back on track.) In this particular post, Kleon answers a question from someone regarding keeping your day job, even if it's not what you want to be doing.  He also addressed it today during his Office Hours.  While I based my college career off of "Do what you love" I totally understand his point about it not being able to pay the bills.  And I understand it's pretty cliche nowadays.

I get that if everyone did what they loved, not much would get done depending on what it is so-and-so loved...I know people who love numbers and business who do it all the time.  And they're lucky.  That's something the world needs all the time, business people and accountants and whathaveyou.

BUT!  I do think the world needs Fibers.  Obviously we wear them every day.  But that's a job for fashion designers...right?  I'm more art based...but wouldn't you like to have a unique piece of art in your home?  That's the real struggle for me.  What if there isn't a demand for art like mine?  Wouldn't I be right back to doing something for the money instead of for the love of it?  I'd also like to teach workshops someday, spreading my love of Fibers.

For now, I'm job hunting with keywords that would possibly satisfy my need to work in an environment working with fibers.  I had a perfect one that I applied to, followed up and followed up, and was finally told that the position was filled.  I was disappointed because I felt that I was perfect for the position.  Back to the drawing board.

I think I meant for this post to go somewhere else, but this is where I'll be leaving it for now.  Basically, I really want to keep doing what I love and figure out how I can survive by doing it.

Catch Up Progress

Happy New Year! Alright, it's a little late, I know, but still.  I haven't been good at fitting in blogging into my schedule lately.  I think about it all the time, don't get me wrong.  But sitting down and writing something has been a struggle.

Anyway, enough of my pity party.  What have I been working on?!

All my Christmas knitting was completed way before Christmas.  It was a huge weight off my shoulders.  I've got one or two other little things that didn't have to be quite done by Christmas, so I've still got those on my plate.  Everyone really enjoyed their knitted gifts.  Arlyn and Jenn got their Lucy hats, Shannon, Grandma and Aunt Cricket got arm knitted cowls, my nieces got their slippers and a caterpillar toy, co-worker Kate got her coffee mug cozy, Chelsea got a slouchy hat.  I felt like I was on a roll as far as making things this Christmas!  I also sewed a Schoodie for best friend Andrew to give to another friend.  And I made Dylan a sailor bracelet, and I'm working on a friendship bracelet for co-worker Nick.

As for things knitted for me, I'm still working on my Doctor Who shawl.  I finally figured out the lace pattern the other night.  I hardly have to look at the pattern anymore!  As a result, it's going much faster, and all I want to do is work on it.  I've also pulled out my TV Knitting Blanket again and was working on that (before I figured out the lace pattern in the shawl).  One of Dylan's friends has asked me to make him a hat, so I need to go out and get yarn for that...and Arlyn needs to give me back my US 8 DPNs she borrowed to make her first hat.  I tell you, knitting monsters over here!

I still have plans for that one silhouette embroidery project.  Someday I'll get back to it.  I also have more plans for other projects that I just need to get supplies for...and a better workspace.  Soon!

I got a book titled The Creative Entrepreneur for Christmas from my sister.  I'm starting to work in it a little more diligently than I have in any other creative business book.  I will, of course, go back and put things into my creative journal that I've read about before in other books, but The Creative Entrepreneur has been the kickstart to it all.  Finally!

I have plans to maybe revamp the blog schedule to see if I'll pay a little more attention to it in the coming months.  I'd like to work more on the Facebook page, too, as well as get a logo going for myself and whatnot.  Step by step, it'll all happen.

Casual Friday: What I'm Reading

Happy Friday! So, for this first Casual Friday (I won't be announcing what day it is that I'm writing for after this week...this is just to get this all kickstarted), I wanted to tell you about a couple of books I've been reading lately.  The first one is called Creative Thursday by Marisa Anne.

Creative Thursday

Marisa has written this book to artists seeking a little inspiration in their daily lives and a little push to get started creating every day.  One thing that I absolutely love is that she encourages you, the reader and/or artist, to just pick one day to be creative.  In her case, it was Thursdays and then evolved into every day.  She adds in a lot of tips and questions for you to ask yourself and to encourage you to discover your creativity and make it a habit.  I'm not quite finished with the book, but it's such an enjoyable read, even if it's just a chapter or two a day.

My favorite part of the book so far is Chapter Three: Finding Inspiration.  Marisa gives examples of different ways to find inspiration in your daily life or your favorite things to do on a daily basis.  Another part that I've obviously taken to heart is creating habits.  For instance, I've taken this week to try and form the habit of blogging once a day Monday through Friday, even if it's just a little blurb on the days that I do get to write to you all.  So far, so good! (Wish me luck I can continue this!)

This book is filled with Marisa's lovely and adorable paintings as well as her photography.  Honestly, the book is almost more of a picture book because of the use of large images on the pages.  But that also makes it go faster when reading and doesn't discourage the reader with too much information on one page.

I really recommend that you check this book out because it's such a neat and quick read.

You can find more about Marisa and her book at her website!

The other book that I've been reading is called The Right-Brain Business Plan by Jennifer Lee.

Right Brain Business Plan

In this book, Jennifer has very successfully written about how creatives can create a fun and inspiring business plan without getting too bogged down with all the confusing and frustrating left brain stuff.  I'm not too far into this book, but I can already tell that it's going to help me a lot.  Jennifer has added lots of exercises for you, the reader, to do as you're reading the book.  Some require more time than others, such as making Big-Vision Collages (p. 38), but some can be done as you're reading along, such as visualizing your creative space or business (p. 37).  That exercise really took me back to when I was in my Marketing for Artists class at ASU when we were asked to visualize our studio workspace and what would be included in it.  My vision of my studio after doing Jennifer's Big-Vision Visualization was very similar in my mind to the one I had thought of about a year ago, but with some changes here and there.  I plan to continue working through the book with the goal in mind to hopefully get my small art business kickstarted at the end of it!

I also recommend this book because it's such a friendly, easy, and creative way to think about business plans without getting too wrapped up in all the confusing stuff.

You can find more about Jennifer and The Right-Brain Business Plan here!

That's all I have for you today.  I hope that you have a wonderful Friday and weekend and I'll see you all next week!

What have you been reading this week?

Afternoon with an Artist

I had my first artist play-date today!  A little over a week ago, while eating sushi with Erich and his mom, Colleen, we connected with the people sitting next to us at the bar.  Long story short, I connected with Catherine Newhart. Today, we spend some time together.  I got to see her storage unit studio and its set up (very clever!), looked at some of the books she had on hand, and got some free supplies.  We had a late lunch and coffee later and ran errands.

The three books Catherine pulled out for me to look at were Creating with Paint, Creative Stamping with Mixed Media Techniques, and Creative Embellishments: For Paper, Jewelry, Fabric and More.  All three are by Sherrill Kahn.  I found the most inspiration from Creative Embellishments, however, all three had some fabric/fibers included.

Image from

It was a wonderful time and I'm looking forward to spending time with Catherine again!