Friday, January 20, 2012

Ganbatte ne!

I have been working away enthusiastically in my evenings recently and without distraction or interruption which has been great. I feel much more committed to achieving goals and making some progress with my Etsy shop. It is always a struggle to juggle time between creating new work and also maintaining the shop and the admin side of photographing and listing new pieces.
I desperately want to produce new work at the moment and have lots of ideas, but sometimes the ideas in my head don't want to translate to paper and that is when I hit the brick wall hard. That is when the doubt creeps in and everything I do feels not good enough. I have been having one of these weeks I think and after a couple of hours of not getting anywhere with a new design the other night I was a bit deflated. It was hot, it was 1.00am in the morning and it was when I realized I had not made the bed after washing the sheets and quilt cover earlier in the day. Gathering the energy to stuff the pillows back into the pillow cases, I sat on the edge of the bed and noticed a little white sticker stuck to my foot. My little girl has been receiving cute stickers as a prize for using the potty, so we have a few lost stickers making appearances all over the house at the moment. I peeled the sticker off my foot and read the word, "ganbatte ne" written on it above the little picture of a cute cat. "Ganbatte ne" is a term of encouragement in Japanese used commonly to encourage one another to keep going or keep enduring or trying to do something. It was a much needed little message for me at that hour of the morning.
And so I have changed direction for a couple of days and left the new design alone to concentrate on taking and editing some photos of some bangles I made before Christmas. While photography is not my forte, I had fun taking these shots and it felt like a little progress was made. And so I am moving around that brick wall to move forward saying to my little girl by day, 'ganbatte ne' and to myself at night "ganbatte ne mummy".

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Keeping Cool!

We have technically reached the middle of Summer here in Adelaide, although the hottest days are probably still to come next month. Surprisingly, I have still been full of New Year energy and even set about cleaning out our walk-in wardrobe yesterday in the 39 degree weather. Our kids have also been in good spirits despite being inside a lot on the very hot days.

I had a sudden idea yesterday afternoon to make paper fans with them and they absolutely loved the little project. Their own personal hand fans were just the best fun of the day and they loved it so much they wanted to make some more with their Nanna when we visited her house today. Nanna had the nice coloured paper of course so that was even better fun than Mummy's recycled white pages and also more worthy of a quick photo!

It is so wonderful that in a house with a TV, a DVDplayer, a CD player and the latest addition of an ipad, the kids were most entertained in yesterday's heat running around with cardboard toy boxes over their heads and later on making the simple paper fans (and actually without the air conditioner on)!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Window Shopping Again!

The problem with having a shop on Etsy is that every time I visit my shop, I also end up browsing the home page and discovering lots of lovely items I would love to purchase myself. I think I have bought as many items as I have sold! I love finding artists I admire and then poking around their favourite items to find more of my favourites and I can get lost doing this for hours! I sometimes justify it as research - seeing what is popular and what sells but since my time is so limited in the evenings I think I need to restrict this 'research' habbit to perhaps one evening a week!
I recently found this beautiful mug pictured above by Jill Rosenwald and was very tempted! Unfortunately or fortunately as it may be, she is based in Boston in the US and does not ship internationally! I will just have to admire this one from afar and continue my window shopping.
Tomorrow is my first official evening back at 'work' and I can't wait!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Random Rainbows

I love discovering random rainbows of colour about the place. I spied this pile of magazines perched on the arm of our couch yesterday and had to stop to take a quick snap. While I love playing with colours to see how they look together, sometimes I find these great combinations that have just come together by coincidence. Sometimes it may be the colourful dishes drying in the dishdrainer or the colours of our clothing as I fold them all in a pile. I like to think I have taken mental notes of all these things but from now on I think I might try to take a photo if I can so I don't forget!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Holiday Reading

I have given myself and unofficial "holiday" until the end of this week. While most parents of young children would agree that there really are no holidays, I have chosen to do minimal tasks and have generally been more relaxed about meals and housework. This has been aided by the fact that it has been so hot here in Adelaide there really hasn't been need to wear too many clothes and with all the Christmas and New Year activities, not too much food to prepare myself.

One of the things I promised myself to do on this "holiday" is to read the books and magazines I have been quietly collecting over the past 6 months or so. While I read blogs and news daily on the Internet, I don't often pick up a real book anymore. I used to love reading in bed before sleep but now when my head hits the pillow, I am asleep. I would also usually only ever pick up one book at a time and read it from start to finish but this time I have about five different books on the go at once.

The first book I have actually completed is "My Heart Wanders" by Pia Jane Bijkerk which detailed her journey to Paris and then Amsterdam in search of her wandering heart. It is beautifully intertwined with text and photographs and is really like a picture book for adults. I do warn that after reading this book you may feel a strong desire to purchase plane tickets to some foreign European city! It came to me so beautifully wrapped and signed by Pia herself which makes it that little bit more special.
I have also been savouring my copy of Orla Kiely's "Pattern" book which I really don't want to ever finish. I love hearing about her journey and how her business developed. The photos in this book are again beautiful and inspiring.
I am enjoying flicking though the pages of my first copy of "Elephant Magazine" which highlights trends and talent in visual culture. This came recommended from another blog I follow and I have been itching to see inside it since it arrived.
Next on my reading list is Tess McCabe's "Conversations with Creative Women" - a compilation of interviews with 15 creative women and stories of their different paths in business. I am just at the beginning of this one but really enjoying it so far. It is only printed in limited edition so you have to be quick if you want to read this one.
And the last on my desk right now is "Paper Cutting: Contemporary Artists Timeless Craft". If you want to be completely amazed at all the extraordinary things that can be cut from a single piece of paper, then this is the book for you. Just beautiful!
Well I am off to read some more before my lovely "holiday" comes to an end. I think this will be my yearly retreat and I will be on the lookout for new finds to add to my shelf for next Christmas and New Year holiday!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Reflection and Contemplation

As we cross to 2012, it is always the time to reflect upon the year that was and look forward to all the possibilities a new year offers. The last few weeks have been busy preparing for markets and Christmas and now it is nice to press pause for a short time to contemplate the next steps.
I spent part of the last day of 2011 tidying my messy desk; this is how it usually looks when things are busy and out of control. This is the time I think of all the things I did achieve during the year but more so think about the many things that didn't happen. But now I get a new year to start all over again and that clean desk is full of possibility of what will happen this year.
I am not exactly sure where 2012 will take me just yet but I do have some exciting plans brewing that I hope to share here. We will see. I just hope to do more everyday.
Wishing you all the happiest New Year!