( This fabulous lighthouse is at the maritime museum in Rotterdam.)
Although I have loved being on Etsy and have no plans to close my Etsy shop anytime soon, I have started to feel that I want to spread my wings beyond the site.
This is largely related to my new textile venture. In order for my work to be on Etsy I would have to be doing all the sewing up myself. And while I think it is important to know how to make all the components of a product, I really don’t want to be sewing all day. If I learned anything from my time as a silk painter it is that I don’t want to be doing all the making again.
So behind the scenes I am working away at a new site. Part of the site also incorporates a blog but I am undecided yet what to do about my blog. Should I close this one and just redirect traffic over there ? Should I repeat the content in both places ? Do you have any advice based on moving your own blog from one place or another ?
I had another book in mind to review today, but I will save that for next week as this one is hot off the press, or the digital equivalent. I really enjoyed Melody’s first book “Craving Success” about her personal experiences setting up about 20 enterprises. The most popular chapter in that book was called “Flip It ” – and echoes her mantra of “Flip it before you Ditch it”. This really struck a chord with me too as I am part way along a similar process to “flip” what I am doing.
The book is a collection of about 40 versions of doing this – across many different industries – and – at about half way through – I’ve found a lot of useful ideas and things to watch out for. There is also something very encouraging about reading how other people have managed to reformat businesses that were not working in the way that suited them. Perhaps very successful , but no longer fitting in with their goals and aspirations. And it is a reminder that it is up to us to decide what is most important.
If that has whetted your appetite , you can find out more here and also the information on Melody’s first book.
I am also always interested to hear which books you would recommend – of any genre. Feel free to let me know in the comments.
Wednesday is one of those days. Its not the start of the week with a full complement of days to fill. And its not Friday with the weekend right after. Its just there, right in the middle, with the potential to feel a bit flat and colourless. I want to change that and provide a bit of a colour splash – to cheer myself up, if noone else !
You can take the girl out of Holland, but you can’t take Holland out of the girl !
The garden is giving me a helping hand with this today. After endless winter and no bulbs coming through when you’d expect them, the other side of the coin is a flurry of growth and colour all at once. Masses of tulips and all kinds of flowering bushes ( that I do not yet know the names of. I need my garden expert auntie to visit and remind me of them all ! )
Even though the flowers have emerged, the weather still thinks it is the end of winter, so my little photo essay had to be timed in between showers of rain and sleetiness. Come along now spring, we are all waiting for you.
I love the pale pinks and greens of these clematis that are going to come into bloom very soon.
Not quite blue sky but heading in the right direction I hope.
One of the projects that had to be put on hold while I was in Holland was the “textile project”. I did some fabric print tests quite some time ago, and although the results were good, they weren’t quite there, as far as I was concerned. And then Holland came along and it was just too tricky to coordinate it all.
Now I am back in Scotland I am pushing this along as fast as I can. So I’ve just had a sample print back from a new printer and the results are pretty good. The pictures give you a wee taster. Can’t wait to see them made up into cushions !
It would be nice to think that you could just sit down and wait for inspiration to strike, but sadly that doesn’t seem to happen often. It is more likely to hit you when you are busy doing something else.
Of course, it helps to have a few diversionary tactics up your sleeve and one of mine is to pay a little visit to the pandas or the puffins. The pandas in Edinburgh zoo have a webcam and it is quite reassuring to check in on them and to watch a bit of their day. They are never fretting about what to do next or how to “be” . They just get on with the task in hand , of eating mounds of bamboo – or having a little nap. They move quite slowly so I’ve been doing little panda sketches which are bound to pop up in a painting sooner or later.
Another one is the puffin webcam at Sumburgh on Shetland. I spent one summer where I was in Shetland every fortnight and was lucky enough to see the puffins in person from very close by. They are such engaging little birds and also very distinctive to draw. This webcam is located in a little underground burrow, and apparently puffins return to the same mate and burrow every year. This year they have returned and an egg was laid on the 1st of May. With a bit of luck in about 5 weeks there should be a puffling.
Strangely enough, if I stop “trying” and switch off for a few minutes to watch these creatures going about their daily life , before long something will trigger an idea and I will be off again.
Do you have something you do when you are feeling a bit stuck, that just unblocks things again ?
( PS- In case you have just popped in , and wonder what it is “Day 3″ of – I’ve decided try to blog for 30 days (weekdays) because I’d like to change my blog a little and hope that this concentrated focus might help with that. After realising I’d been blogging for 5 years I suddenly felt a bit lost for words and , to be honest, found the format a bit stale – so rather than stop , I chose to pay a bit more attention and see what transpires. )
I had a moment when I stepped back a little from Instagram. They were bought out by Facebook and I feared that the cosy and friendly space would change. It did change a little and there are periods with a lot of spam ,but on the whole it has stayed more or less the same. ( When there seems to be a lot of spam on the go I switch my profile setting to private for a little while, which seems to help a bit ).
Instagram and the whole iphonography idea has really helped me over the last 18 months or so. When I was first in Holland and without a proper base to work from , the one thing I was able to keep going was taking photos with my phone and using Instagram to share them and be inspired by other work.
Recently there have been a couple of very nice additions to my experience there. One was to stumble upon a community called #7vignettes. Once a month, for 7 days there is a theme and everyone shoots something inspired by that. It was set up by an Australian woman ( @interiorsaddict on Instagram ) and there are a lot of Australians in the group – it has been particularly nice to see vignettes showing the opposite seasons to my own. I didn’t manage to post this last time around but plan to do so again next month as it was just so enjoyable, both the shooting and the friendly community.
Instagram has also been great for keeping in touch with the Dutch connections I made over the last year and through this I stumbled upon a little contest that the lovely interiors magazine 101WoonIdeeen was holding. They invited contributions showing some colour in your house – of course, I couldn’t resist. There were over 500 submissions and twenty images were selected for publication in their August issue – I was really delighted discover I was one of the 20 !
I have felt a little adrift with my blog over the last while. There have been lots of things happening but I haven’t felt that I wanted to put “pen to paper” and talk about them. I think partly what has happened is that I have lost my blogging groove a little. Maybe the idea of having kept this blog going for 5 years actually acted as a bit of a barrier. Also, maybe I’ve become a tiny bit bored with the format now. I want to freshen things up, both in style and content. So, to confront that head on I’ve set myself a little blogging challenge to blog for 30 days ( week days that is, as I’m trying more and more to have offline weekends ). I don’t really want to think of it as a challenge though, but more a way to focus a bit on how I’d like to see this blog from now on. I could wait till the start of the month , because I like that kind of orderliness. But that feels like procrastination, so I’m going to dive right in and start today.
Instead of berating myself for things not done, posts unwritten and progress unmade I will take note of one of my favourite phrases “Start where you are”. And when I take stock of where I am , surprisingly, I have managed to do more this year than I had initially supposed. If you are feeling stuck then I suggest you do the same, start where you are, use what you have.
Do you have a favourite motto that you use to get yourself moving again, or to encourage yourself ?
( The image above is of some of the images on display just now at the Jitter Bean Cafe in South Queensferry – a good value and cosy cafe facing the water on Queensferry High Street )