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Seeing the same thing from a different angle.

Category Archives: Not for Profit Work

2013 – Blogging in My Own Voice

Christmas is behind us! I hope whatever you celebrate was very merry, even if all you aimed for was a relaxing Tuesday and the end of Christmas countdowns.

Oldest nephew got an Iron Bear (Iron Man bear) from me.

ironbearxmas

Youngest nephew was also on my list this year. He got a bear hat that he wanted no part of wearing, but he’s not quite two years old yet and his mama says he needs a hat.

g3bear

Princess niece (and do NOT argue with her about that because she is not one of those wimpy, helpless princesses!) was on Mr. Knitter’s list. She has a new pair of ballerina house slippers. They immediately went on her feet!

slippers4lyr

My mother has been a huge source of encouragement, as well as having given Mr. Knitter a big boost in getting needles and other supplies when he started knitting. I hear from her that you’re never too old to enjoy your kids making something for you, so she was also on my list. I made a couple of pairs of wine glass flip-flops from The Crochet Dude’s pattern for her. They slip onto the bottom of a wine glass so that you keep your coaster with you.

wineglassflipflops

And that’s it for our Christmas crafting for this year! Almost. I do have one other gift I still need to get sent out, but that one wasn’t expected by Christmas and is considered more of a “winter celebration” gift.  I’ve also got projects to get back to that were put on hold while I prepared for Christmas. I could happily clear all the other chores and responsibilities from my life and just crochet. Ahh… one can dream!

I’m not making a list for 2013 the way I made a list for 2012.  I have other lists. I share lists with Mr. Knitter. There’s a lot more “doing my part within the collaboration” that goes on these days, and I just can’t make the same kind of list for that. I am setting a goal to hold myself to, though.

I will blog more in 2013. I will blog in my own voice.

I’ve fallen into a rut where I’m not getting posts written as often as I’d like because it’s really taxing to do it. I just don’t have the energy and mental focus when I do have the time. Why not? Why does writing a post here take so much out of me when I am able to turn out posts now and then for another blog? Why does writing a post here drain me so much more than a few hours of online socialization? I asked myself these questions and kept coming back to one answer.

It’s exhausting to maintain an illusion of something that’s not really yourself.

I’ve talked a lot about the importance of an artist being themself with their art. Finding your own style, doing work that is meaningful to you, etc. I’ve tried really hard to avoid using my own voice on this blog, though. I’ve tried to sound more “professional” by making a forced attempt at writing in a way that my old English teachers would find acceptable for striking a balance of casual tone in “serious” writing. The last bell rang for those classes long ago. I’m not writing for them. Sometimes knowing the rules makes you qualified to break them.

I look at how Amanda Palmer writes her blog and think to myself, “Oh, honey… you are not Amanda Palmer!” Okay, that’s true. But if there’s a rule that says you have to wait until you’re a star before you can do anything a star does, that’s a stupid rule and needs to be broken. Stars are passionate people. In that way, I am exactly like Amanda Palmer!

I love the excitement I feel when I read posts by Steph Cortés on the nerd JERK blog.  Her passion for what she does really comes through! I’m pretty good at getting people excited about things I’m excited about, too. I don’t think I’ve done a good job of showing here just how much I love creating. I do that well when writing for blogs where I’m more relaxed about writing style, though.

I will be more relaxed about my writing in 2013, and that should allow me to write more. More writing means you get to see more of what’s going on before we get it finished. I will never be able to blog for Mr. Knitter, though. He and I have very different approaches to our crafts. Maybe I can squeeze in a post now and then about how jealous I am of his knitting skills and my confusion when I look at a box full of double pointed needles.

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Being Thankful

Pies - Episode art for Drabblecast #105

This is a cover art piece I did for an episode of The Drabblecast. The story isn’t about Thanksgiving, but I was looking at the piece last night shortly after going over my mother’s menu for Thursday and realized it does make me think of Thanksgiving and harvest festivals. (If you enjoy pie, odd stories, or especially odd stories about pie, go ahead and give the episode a listen.)

It’s time for Thanksgiving here in the United States. It gets a little easier each year for me to just say, “I’m thankful that I made it through another year!” It sounds a little cheap, but it’s the shortest way to say what I may be most thankful for… that I still have so many new things to be thankful for each year.

It’s not always easy to be thankful. It may be hard to see many of the things happening in the news and still come up with a list of ways you feel your life is better this year. Some people may feel guilty that they can have a Thanksgiving meal when others have so much less. I can’t imagine how difficult it might be to keep being thankful when you’re one of the people categorized as “the less fortunate”.

I’d like to share some of the things I’m thankful for with you.

Last year, I was an aunt to a beautiful niece and awesome nephew. This year, I am an aunt to a beautiful niece and TWO awesome nephews!  I’m thankful for all three of my sister’s kids, and for the experience of  being at the hospital when he was born.

I haven’t been in the best of health this year, but it’s been managed better.  This has been a reminder to me that, no matter how weak I may feel some days, it won’t last forever. It also reminds me to take stock of the way I’m doing things from time to time. Habits can become clutter in one’s life, and having to adapt to health issues now and then means clearing out that clutter. Facing the challenges my health has thrown at us has been an important experience for my husband and myself as a couple. Even some of the hard times can be something to be thankful for.

I’ve grown as an artist. I’ve tried new things this year with my art. My list of projects to do has grown a lot. I shouldn’t find myself running out of ideas for a long while.  Not every piece works out just the way I want it to, but I am happy with my work.

It’s not as easy for me to socialize as it used to be, but I have found a regular group of people I enjoy talking to on the internet. They keep me from pulling too far into my own shell. I’m closer to some of them than others, but I’m thankful for all of them.

I am thankful that one of the best friendships I have ever experienced has grown over the past year.  I finally understand just how much of a treasure That One Friend can be.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

An Overdue Update

My work has been slowed recently by some health issues and urgent treatment to prevent complications. My recovery is a bit slow, but well within normal expectations. This has also interfered with making announcements about my work. Let’s catch up!

I did not win the Disney-Threadless Muppet design challenge, but I did hold my own in a competition where I was new to Threadless and many others entering were more established in the community. I see that as a victory in its own right. The winning design is one I personally liked. Congratulations to Alfonso Diaz!

The really exciting news for me right now is that I have achieved ProSeller status on Zazzle! You can see the ProSeller badge at the top of my Graphic Content store and my Everyday Myth store. It has taken me a little over three years to become a ProSeller, and I’m very happy about it. Thank you for seeing my work as being worth spending your money on.

I have some projects going on right now that the health issues interrupted. I’m getting back into the swing of things so that I can pick up where I left off. I’m doing another cover art piece for The Drabblecast, working on a new design for the Keds shoes sold through Zazzle, and then I’ve already picked out which of the projects on my long list of “Things to Draw” will be next. (Hint: It will be a piece for the Everyday Myth store.) I’m also looking at doing some work for a type of product I’ve never done art for before. More on that as it happens.

Cover Art for Episode 204 of The Drabblecast

Episode 204 of The Drabblecast is up now. This is a Double-Header episode, which means there are two stories instead of the usual one, and I did the cover art.

If you aren’t familiar with The Drabblecast, it’s also called “The Drabblecast – Strange Stories for Strange Listeners”. It’s a free show (they keep it going on hard work and kind donations) and the stories are… odd. Some of them are about aliens, and some are about things that lurk in the shadows. Many of them are both disturbing and hilarious. Some of them are so touching you may not notice after a few minutes that the characters in the story may be zombies, possesed toys, or something too unknown to be named.

I’ve never been a big fan of audio fiction. I would prefer to curl up with a book and read a story myself, rather than having it read to me while I do something else. I have found, though, that I really enjoy listening to The Drabblecast while I’m drawing.

I was in touch with the art director for the show, Bo Kaier, while I worked on the cover art for episode 204. I cannot possibly say enough good things about the experience! While The Drabblecast does pay for stories, episode art is a volunteer project, and I was treated like I was really doing them a favor. I was asked how much time I would need to do this so that I could work around my own schedule. I was assured that I could still back out later if I needed to and it wouldn’t be held against me when being considered for future episodes. There was a real sense of being appreciated for the time and work I was putting into this, and genuine respect for the fact that life sometimes gets in the way.

I’ve listened to every episode of The Drabblecast, working my way through the archives over several weeks, and the show has come a long way since it started. It was good. Now, it’s an awesome podcast with a thriving listener community on the forums. If you want to support an artistic community online, I think it’s a good place to start. You’ll be supporting authors and podcasters, as well as a community that encourgages creativity and discussion about everything from why zombies are awesome to how we can see our own very real history and cultural development in speculation about alien worlds.

Sales Royalties to go to Japanese Red Cross

NOTE: The T-shirt mock up showing the art was removed from this post once I discontinued the product. Thank you to everyone who purchased a shirt to support Japan.

 

The art for this shirt was donated by me, meaning the sales royalties will go to the Japanese Red Cross instead of myself. It’s part of Zazzle’s Japan Relief project. The end date for royalties being set aside for this is April 12th. I will be removing this product from my Zazzle store after that. I love origami cranes and the symbolism behind them. It’s one of many beautiful things from Japan I’ve grown to appreciate in life. I am honored to have the chance to offer a few cranes to the people of Japan right now.