scaling up and shop launch

The past week has been spent exploring Etsy and PayPal business options. I’ve set up shop using “How to Make Money Using Etsy” by Timothy Adam as a guide (from the library), and am reading through the remaining chapters to learn additional tips and tricks. Please check out my Etsy shop at: http://www.etsy.com/shop/MaikesMarvels and let me know what you think. I am pleased someone already favorited one of my cards, and would love to see more feedback.

I’m also expanding the size of my creations with new canvases. Dick Blick conveniently has a back-to-school sale that saved me some money. Here is the Dragonfly Journey collage:
I found the dragonfly on my back porch one morning having trouble getting up, so I perched it on a ledge and it flew away from there.

First I tea-stained the canvas and wrote some travel/journey-related words.

Then I added a collage of additional background words with encaustic paint (beeswax with pigment).

 

Followed by dictionary entries, and compass imagery.

The dragonfly is attached with mounted tape for a raised effect.

The beeswax process is fun and the results tend to be unexpected. I look forward to playing with colors and textures some more. Here’s hoping someone loves my art enough to buy it!

another year older

Know how to live the time that is given you.
~ Dario Fo

I celebrated my birthday this weekend (it was yesterday, August 22). Among wonderful well-wishes from family and friends I was treated to a lovely salmon dinner Saturday evening, and visited the Renaissance Fair in Bristol, Wisconsin Sunday. The weather was lovely and I enjoyed the costumes of all the fairgoers and staff.

A viking

A man on stilts

A witchy person

Dancers and musicians

 

Beautiful sculptures by The Copper Dragon 

Last year at this time I was in London (and visited the quite medieval Tower of London) evaluating an entirely different job opportunity.

I remember fretting all night about where my life was going, weighing pros and cons of a fork in the road, and being concerned with impressing “the powers that be”. It turned out I shouldn’t have worried about any of that as I was well-respected and welcomed.

Fast forwarding to today I realize that losing sleep over my future back then had no bearing on how things turned out. I ended up making an entirely different decision a few weeks later, which has brought me to a place I didn’t envision last year.  Since then there has been tremendous personal growth, a lot of readjustment, and much gratitude in realigning my life to what feeds the spirit while exploring what will help me live with integrity and joy.

 “We write our own destiny; we become what we do.”
~ Madame Chiang Kai-Shek

 With all the twists and turns my business research is taking—and having had a bit of a “hurry up with your life” antsy-ness the past few weeks—it is good to realize that no matter what my worries and concerns are, a year from now things will look much different from what I am fretting about today.  What matters now as opposed to last year is that today I am in control of my destiny, instead of giving a corporate group the power of deciding when and where I get to be somewhere new and evolutionary.

No matter what the situation, one should always remember one’s own power in charting the journey of life, and find cause for celebration every day. What are you celebrating this week?

“What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present
thoughts build our life of tomorrow: Our life is the creation of our mind.”
~ Gautama Siddharta

accepting nonconformity

The past week I’ve been struggling through pricing exercises along with painting a picture of my target market. To give my brain a break I started reading The Art of Nonconformity by Chris Guillebeau. This book was recommended by Princess Lasertron whom I look forward to meeting later this year.

I love the straightforward approach of his writing, and particularly enjoyed the chapter on “smashing through the brick wall of fear”. I especially felt comforted by his statement:

“The quest to overcome fear is lifelong, and almost no one is truly fearless.” 
~  Chris Guillebeau

So as I keep plugging away on spreadsheets in order to make my Etsy shop a reality, I feel better about this unconventional year with an ‘abnormal’ schedule and a non-9-to-5 lifestyle. My timeline may push back and the months slip by faster than intended, but I know that this year truly will be regret-free, and that I am in the time and place I need to be for my own personal growth.

“The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.”

~ George Bernard Shaw

I hope your circumstances are what you want them to be this week and beyond.

mom time

This weekend my mom was in town to see Paul McCartney at Wrigley Field.

We had such a blast. It was a great experience to be on Wrigley Field and listen to thousands of people sing along to iconic songs. This nice review gives a glimpse of the evening.

We also visited New Encaustic Explorations, another exhibit by FUSEDChicago.

The variety of work is so inspiring.

And we sat for a spell in the lovely Rose Garden.

As Sir Paul said when introducing his Here Today song, spending time with loved ones is important.

I hope you get to spend time with your loved ones often.