Friday, November 28, 2008

post turkey haze



I've been productive today. Finished up a drawing for a friend, and the drawing generated a new stamp! A friend of mine needed a drawing for the cover of a guided meditation cd she's producing. The subject is releasing anger, so she wanted an angry girl. I did the drawing, then decided it might make a cool carving. I'm in a cranky mood today so it was the perfect project! I also created an ACEO from it, I kind of like the blurred look of it. I layered the image - first an imprint in brown distressing ink, then an imprint in blue pigment ink and this is what I got.

In other news, no dog bites this week! The fights are dwindling down, we're sure getting a lesson on reading canine body language. It's something I've been aware of all along as a trainer - but living with dog aggression 24/7 has given me a whole new perspective. We've gotten much better at reading their cues and stopping a fight before they have a chance to fully engage in it. As a result, Lucy (the perpetuator of most of the fights) seems a lot happier and more relaxed. Hopefully things will continue in this direction - preferably with no more broken skin for me!

We have also managed to convince our next-door neighbors to at least allow their dog in the garage at night. These people....I can NEVER understand why people have a dog if they don't want the dog in their house! This dog lives exclusively in the back yard. He does have a dog house and a covered patio, but dogs are pack animals and they really aren't happy being separated from the rest of the family. It's not like they go out there and spend time with him - they claim to love him, but I fail to see how ignoring him shows love. Anyway...the result is a dog who barks nonstop, day and night. Adding to the fun is that he likes to bark right outside their bedroom window..which is a few feet away from OUR bedroom window. He startles us awake (this dog has a HORRIBLE baying howl for a bark, it could wake the dead) all night long and it's been driving us insane.

We talked to them about it a few months ago to no avail. This time, we went over there and said we can't deal with the all-night barking and asked if they'd at least try letting him in the garage at night. I guess they did it, because the past two nights have been silent. I feel really bad for the dog, though. He'd be better off with a family who actually wants him around and lets him in the house. Dogs are part of the family, not yard decorations!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Bliss!

I was featured in BlissCandles' blog today, hurray!! Click here to have a look.

Check out her shop as well - I swear, I can smell the candles just through browsing, mmmmmmm! go visit!!!

On the other-job-front I had a four-dog training session today! Business is picking up a bit this month, that's a good thing. I wish my Etsy business would pick up as well, but it's good that the work is coming in from somewhere, at least. :)
Okay, very tired...goodnight!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

once bitten


Feeling a little defeated today. For some reason sales have ground to a halt in the shop again. I expected things to start ramping up as the holidays began to draw near, I'm not sure what's going on.
We're having a LOT of trouble with our newest dog again. Things had improved greatly and it had been a couple weeks since any fights had broken out. Then suddenly in the past three days, things have gone downhill. She and our male corgi, Dewey, keep getting into fights. One of the worst ones (which I had to break up, as always..they won't stop on their own) ended up with me getting a sizeable bite on my right thigh. Niiiiiice. It happened as I grabbed Lucy and picked her up, out of the fight. Dewey made one last lunge at her and got me instead. *sigh*
Then we've got some family drama that just doesn't seem to want to go away. All of this makes it hard for me to focus my energy on my work - at a time when I really need to be creating and promoting. Alrighty - time to get out of this funk. Going to take my daughter out to get a case for her phone, then hit Joanne (the store, not some unsuspecting woman) for some art supplies. Then it's back home to get some serious work done!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I'm an item!

One of my stamps was featured on EtsyDarkTeam's myspace today!

Here is the link, come see!

Meanwhile, I'm trying to wake up. It's EARLY!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

cramped!


Today I finally carved the last stamp of a 14-stamp order. Whew! I don't know if I'll ever be able to straighten my fingers all the way out again. I'm really grateful for the large order, but I was NOT expecting anyone to order that many at once! I never stopped to think about how long it'd take to get something like that finished. Normally, people order a stamp or two, and I'm able to carve them the same day, or within a day or two of the order. If there are a few orders ahead of them, it might take a couple more days, nothing major. But 14 stamps?? Still, I'm not complaining, bring it on!

Tomorrow I've got to go out and do some marketing for my dog training business, I've been putting it off too long. Marketing for a dog training business consists mainly of establishing relationships with the veterinarians in your territory. The better they like you, the more likely they are to refer to you. I used to be more diligent, stopping in to all my vets once a month, bringing them snacks, making sure my brochure stands were full. The past few months, business has been bad and I've been discouraged. That made me drag my feet about getting out and doing vet visits (which I realize is counterintuitive). The Etsy shop was keeping me fairly busy, so I kept making excuses to not get out and do my visits. It's time, though. Hilariously, business is much better this month. Hopefully getting myself out there will make it even better.
Alrighty, time to make dinner. If I can get my hands to work. Ouch.

Monday, November 17, 2008

off to work I go


The dog training business is picking up a bit this month, which is good - but it's cutting into my Etsy time! I've got some orders to catch up on still, and wish I could just stay home and carve all day. I'll be back this afternoon, though, and will have to work through the rest of the day on stamps once I get here.
Not much more to add today, just want to be sure the blog doesn't just just sit here feeling ignored.
I got new packaging for my stamps - I want them to arrive looking a little more like a gift instead of just a stamp in a plastic bag. Let me know what you think!

Friday, November 14, 2008

disturbed

I really really really hate commercials that show close-ups of people swishing mouthwash. And there are several commericals like that. WHO WANTS TO SEE THAT??? Here, for your viewing enjoyment, a person with their cheeks puffed out, lips pooched, eyeballs bulging...rinsing the crud from their teeth!!!

And...that's all I have to contribute to the world of blogging today. Sorry.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

the sweet smell of school supplies


It's amazing how just organizing your workspace can make you more productive. Today I went to Staples and bought the following items: a full-spectrum magnifying lamp (I have this problem with not being able to carve at night because regular lights cast shadows on the carving, I usually carve in sunlight on my floor), a childish-looking (cause it's for children, but suited my needs) easel desk, a self-healing cutting mat, a small paper cutter (ha - that sounds like a weapon that gives you paper cuts!), a file folder (to hold artwork) and a clear plastic storage container. I came home, got all set up, and carved all day!

Okay, not ALL day, because a friend (more like a SAINT) stopped by and took me out for sushi! I was all productive and proud of myself. Alas - the last hour and a half of work was a waste. I carved a name stamp for someone, and it came out SO cool....and then I noticed I'd misspelled the name!!!!!!!! *slapping forehead very very hard* It's not like you can erase that and re-carve it. Ugh. It was bound to happen one of these days, right?

Meanwhile, two of the corgis managed to chase a rat and "corner" it on top of a chair out in the back yard. The poor thing was balancing along the top rail of the chair with nowhere to go, two dogs hoping fervently to eat it. Luckily, it got away. They did manage to bump it with their noses as it leapt into the air, causing to fly several feet into the nearby bushes. That was kind of funny.
Alrighty...well, here's a Christmas-ey stamp I recently posted in the shop.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

change


My daughter's mad at me because I didn't let her waste a bunch of quarters on crap in a bubblegum machine today. Man, I used to hate it when my mom wouldn't give me change for the bubblegum machine!! Since when did I become so frugal, anyway? Speaking of change, I'm quite happy with the election results. :)
I carved another one of a kind stamp today. The three I've carved so far are still sitting in my shop, so I guess their one-of-a-kind-ness in no way trumps their apparent lack of appeal. Heheheh. I think they're cute, dammit! And how often can you get original, one of a kind pieces of art for such a low price? Hmmph.
Alrighty, I'm tired. By the way, the body part sporting the tattoo in yesterday's post is my right forearm, in case you were wondering. I realized when I looked at it today (the picture, not my actual forearm) that it's a little ambiguous and thought I should clarify. In case you thought I had really puny calves. Or a trunk.
Goodnight.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

scraps


Today I carved a couple of tiny stamps from leftover carving material. I always wind up with scraps that are too small to use for most of the stamps in my shop. Thus, I'm doing a serious of "scramps" - one of a kind, tiny stamps of various subject matter. Each one will be original and won't be carved again. It's kind of fun.

Over the weekend we attended the Day of the Dead celebration in Hollywood, and I met one of my favorite Etsy artists; Lisa of Terramaya. The celebration itself was horrifically crowded and it was hard for us to really enjoy. There were so many wonderful artists, and beautiful altar displays, but to attempt to see anything was an exercise in futility. SO MANY PEOPLE! Each time we stopped to look into a booth or at an altar, we were engulfed in the crowd. Neither of us really cares much for being surrounded and semi-trampled by strangers, so we didn't stay long. I HIGHLY recommend checking out Lisa's shop, though. She's a lovely person and does beautiful work!!

We also got see two more of our favorite artists, Natasha and Kelly of Skellramics. Natasha tattooed my arm last December, and it was fun to be able to show her how it looks now.
And....I better get back to carving. Oh, I voted this morning, hope everyone else did too!! :)

About Me

Hippieville, CA, United States
This is the story of life after losing the "real" job and the house, trying to find the middle ground between making a living and actually living.