Friday, February 04, 2011

In Neutral

For several weeks I've been re-thinking my goals in life. I went back to selling on eBay back in October to make extra money for Christmas and I'm happy to report that everyone got nice gifts from me because of it. I've been selling there since January 15, 2001 and had a 100% positive feedback record. Today a customer (male) left me a neutral because he felt I overcharged for shipping. An extra $1.38 apparently broke his budget but since I charge a flat rate for all my customers (he lives in Jersey) there are times when it costs less to ship, as in his case. I clearly state in my listings that I will happily refund monies if a customer is unhappy FOR ANY REASON. My husband feels I'm over reacting and in essence I am. What is one neutral out of almost 1500 feedback. It doesn't really change my overall profile but because of my obsessive personality it changes everything!

For almost 12 years I have been putting off a project that will not only benefit my pocketbook but will benefit a lot of people as well. Since I was in kindergarten I always thought I'd become a teacher. I have taught various mediums over the last 40 years that I've been an artist so that seemed to fulfill my need to share my knowledge. But that domain name I've paid for year after year has been sitting there and now I think it's time to put it to good use. has been waiting for 12 years to host my online teaching methods.

When the idea first occurred to me there was not the availability of hosting services that there are now. So I am mulling over how important it really is to continue to produce art for others to buy. Perhaps it really is time to share my knowledge with others so that they can produce art for others to buy. I know that making art is what saved my life when I was going through my fight with breast cancer. It took me outside of my everyday concerns of survival and allowed me to find peace. And oddly, or maybe not so oddly, things have been popping up in unexpected places that have reinforced this notion.

So I write this with an eye toward sharing what I know in a classroom setting that you can pop into even if you're in your pj's and it's 3am in the dark of night. If you'd like to put in your 2 cents worth, go over to my new blog Art Demos Dot Calm (just click on the title of this posting) and vote for what classes you'd like to see demonstrated. I'll be making a decision in the next 5 weeks about whether or not this plan is conceivable.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Just one of those days

I find that whenever I'm at a crossroads in life my thinking naturally tends to become dark and depressive. The more I obsess over negativity the more I attract it into my life. I'm addicted to depressive thinking...just think what I MIGHT accomplish if I thought happy thoughts...boggles the mind just to consider it.

I think the majority of us are mired in negativity. How can we not be? All we have to do is turn on the TV or radio. It's rarely the happy news hour. We hear of death, destruction, earthquakes, fires, missing women and abused children. So how do we take that bad news, push it aside and break through to a happier place? I know of only one way that works for me. I immerse myself in a new project. Usually one that centers around creating something new. Doesn't even have to be of an artistic nature. It can be as simple as changing things around on the fireplace mantle to reflect a change of seasons.

When my Dad passed away in May of 1998 I was devastated. He was such a creative thinker and so full of knowledge. Then I read "When an old man dies, a library burns to the ground." To memorialize him I started a newsgroup in October of '98. It was dedicated to bringing together polymer clay artisans of all levels of talent. Today, that group is still alive and the oldest polymer clay group on yahoo. While I no longer lead it, the woman I passed the reins to has done an exceptional job of keeping it a positive and sharing place.

I also bought a domain where I intended to teach others to work with polymer clay. It never took off. Mainly a money issue followed quickly by my discovery of a lump in my breast. Breast cancer changed my life in ways I could not even envision at the time. Most of them positive but once again the negativity still abounds at times. It's then that I go into my 'turtle' mode. Friends know when I'm 'turtling' because they won't hear from me for days or weeks on end. Most of the time it because I'm re-evaluating my life or the direction of that life.

Over the holidays I once again turtled for awhile and then something happened that changed my mindset and may in time change my life. I saw an ad on Facebook that was promoting an online classes in mixed media called "Mixed Media Melange". I was fascinated but knew I couldn't budget it. Two Facebook friends took it upon themselves to pay for that class and as I blog this I'm awaiting video class #3 to be uploaded. I'm having a great time creating for creation's sake and not as a way to earn money.

This class has stirred up a lot of unresolved issues. The main one being what I started out thinking I'd be when I grew up. An art teacher or a dress designer were top contenders. I was conflicted about which one to pursue but a collage junior decided for me by asking for my hand in marriage. He gave me two beautiful children and almost 40 years to pursue my love of art. I've done just about everything that a creative person could do. Moving from one creative effort to another; lingering on some for years and others for a week or as long as a month. And during those times I've also spent many years teaching others my "art/craft du jour".

So where is this blog post going? Somewhere positive and creative I think. But I'm going to need your help to get to where I think I'm supposed to be but that post is for another day and time. Thanks for spending a few moments while I emptied my mind out on the page...Writing has always been cathartic for me and today is no different.
I'm feeling much more positive about my tentative decision. Stay tuned for details.