Saturday, December 31, 2011

I See You, Twenty-Twelve!

Here we GO!
The clock is ticking....

Right now it's the wee, little, pre-dawn hours of the last day of 2011.

And in my head I'm a million miles away in my imagination, planning Big Things for the New Year. Big Creative Things that are all MINE.

Big Things that involve stories and new products and more art and hopefully a little travel. Maybe some surprise endings and vague destinations. Perhaps even some (gasp!) COLOR. And definitely some stepping-outside-of-one's-comfort-zone.

These plans might just require an alias. And the addition of another personality or two. Or three. And maybe some mismatched stockings. And definitely a hat.... And an amulet.

And maybe even a traveling companion. Like a fox. Or an owl. Or a fox that IS an owl. One that wears a top hat and speaks in riddles and might be a foe or a friend or a faux friend or a fey friend, and only needs glasses when he reads....

Or she reads?

Who knows? Who wants to know? I want to know. I can't wait to know.

So here's to Big Plans. Here's to discovery!

Here's to the New Be-a-YOU-tiful Year.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The 'T' Word

I'm writing from the hip today, just throwing stuff out here without too much thought or edits or even the benefit of Spellchek (sorry!). Because it's that time of year again. The one where 'time' is the operative word....

Do you do this?: In my head I envision late autumn / early winter as 'that period during which one holes up and cocoons.' I see myself in my comfy chair, curled in lamplight, with a purring kitten on my lap and a book or project or drawing pad in my hands. And snowflakes dancing outside my windows, of course, turning my garden into a wedding cake. And the whole big beautiful scene wrapped in all the time in the world.

No surprise: The reality of it is just the opposite. (Sigh.)

I'm not alone in this, I know. It's chaos where you are, too, I'm sure. Less than a week until the holiday and I've only just begun to shop. Any baking has yet to occur. There's no snow (yet) and little is expected before the Big Day. The stomach bug has infiltrated our ranks and is gleefully running amok, so in addition to being overwhelmed and sleep deprived I'm now a freakin' germaphobe, washing my hands until they're raw. I don't have time for this.

Not surprisingly, my cocoonish fantasy has gone by the wayside to be replaced by January in all its Snowpocalyptic glory. In my head I see drifts up to the windowsills, a pantry stocked with soup ingredients, that warm and lamplit corner by the faux fireplace where the kitten is already curled and sleeping. And the holiday all cleaned up and tucked in for another year.


What am I doing, wishing the holiday the heck away?!

Let's start again. Ahem.

Here's me now attempting to enjoy the moment while I can and not thinking about germs or gifts that need buying. And one way for me to do this is to focus on wishing YOU the very best of holidays.

SO: I wish for you good health. Safe travels. Good moods and warm smiles. Enough to eat and a safe place to sleep. Sincere hugs. Family and friends to surround you, laughter and memories to cheer and comfort you. A cup of Christmas tea in that Cup of Christmas Tea cup (you know you've got one; we all do). A kitten on your lap or a dog at your feet or both. A good book to unwrap and enjoy at your leisure, one that warms your heart and whisks you away. Eggnog. Layers. Something handmade to keep your neck warm. Money enough to cover your needs. Courteous faces in the check-out line. Eggnog. Preferably with a little brandy in it. Some big-as-sequins snowflakes to put you in the holiday spirit, and some snowshadows to add to the effect (they're blue, did you know that?). Maybe an ethereal soundtrack wafting in the background, like lutes and woodwinds playing The Coventry Carol (oooooh, one of my FAVES). Pine-scented greenery. Red hollyberries. "Five gol-den rings!" Mistletoe. SIMPLICITY. Lots and lots of rest! All the blessings of the heavens. "And a par-tridge in a pear treeeeeee!"

There. Now I feel better. Thank you!

And may you have a most magical holiday, my friend.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Body Clock Conundrum

Nighttime is always the right time for me!
It's past noon and my dishes are still unwashed. And they're not the breakfast dishes either, they're last night's supper dishes. Breakfast for me hasn't happened yet, and it may not happen until far past lunchtime. My nights are my days. I'm messed the heck up....
There's no proof, but I'm fairly confident I was a night owl in utero. I know I was as a teen. And I have been ever since. But the world doesn't operate on Night Owl time, and so I've been trying to recalculate my body clock almost all my working adult life. And all it takes is a long afternoon nap to set it back, or a weekend spent in bed with a cold.
The sad thing is that I work best on Night Owl time. I'm clear-headed and full of energy then and can multitask and actually accomplish something. But when I fight it, I go into zombie mode. Focusing is a problem. I shamble from one project to the next before ignoring all in search of coffee.
I get that I don't have a timeclock to punch at 6 a.m. any longer, and so succumbing to my body's demands should be a no-brainer. In my head it works out perfectly: No strangers at my door or telemarketer phone calls, no neighbors' dogs barking or kids screaming loud enough to be heard through the walls, no sounds of traffic. No TV shows beckon. No yardwork can be done in the night. If I need groceries, the nearby all-night Cub is pretty empty in the wee hours, as is the 24-hour Walgreens or the convenience store on the corner. I can start a project and get a couple hours invested in it before something demands me, before pets need feeding or phones need answering. I don't have to worry that someone I know will drop in unexpectedly and catch me up to my neck in a mess and without my hair combed or my socks matching or my face 'on'.
As awesome as that sounds (....and oh, it DOES sound awesome!....), recalculating my body clock just makes more sense to me. Working nights would put the screws to my chances of babysitting or spending time with James. There'd be no 'let's meet for coffee' or phone calls starting with, "Mom, y'got a minute to talk?" Life would chug along as I slept....
So I guess the trade-off is that the world gets half of me, the half that isn't All Here At Any Given Moment because it's not quite awake yet. And now that I know this, I can look around myself and honestly say, "Hmmm. This explains a lot."

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Two Things....

The pic that is rapidly becoming my Forever Logo. :)
I love my website. Love love love it! :)

James made it for me. I love it especially because James made it for me. He slaved over it, I'm not kidding. He took time away from doing his Own Thing to put it all together and I couldn't be happier with it.

Best thing about it? -- it's the easiest site in the world for a potential customer to find and use. There are no bells or whistles, no freaky Flash stuff to fight with, no annoying music, no little fluttering fairy icons that follow the cursor around. My own parents can go there and navigate it, as can my 'dial-up' friends. It's just a dream.

However, it could use all sorts of updates, MAJOR ones, not the least of which are a shopping cart and links to new work. And I have little idea how to do those things for myself.

James is the Computer Guy around here. He's done programming for as long as I've known him, and he still spends much of his work week glued to a monitor developing company software. I pretty much have to wait for him to find a convenient time to work on my site, but the last thing I want him to do when he comes home in the evening is sit down to yet another monitor and do yet more programming.

And in recent years James has begun doing creative work himself and has constructed his own site to maintain. No surprise, but it could use updates as well, and if any site deserves his attention more, it's his.

No, I take that back. BOTH our sites deserve his attention! But the guy's Free Time is golden; I'd really rather he spend it creating his art and promoting it instead of being my on-call developer.

So with that in mind I just keep telling myself that it wouldn't hurt me to learn how to maintain my own dang site my own dang self. James has taught me a few things, of course, because I asked him to. But it's not easy. In fact, it's close to impossible for me. So I still manage to let things slide until I can guilt James into doing them for me.

I'm still waiting for him to do them for me.

And the longer I wait, the less I care if the updates are ever made. In my head they make little difference, as in all the years my site's been up and running, I've probably only ever made half a dozen sales from it. Granted, I'd make MORE if it was current, perhaps. But still.... A vicious cycle.

Anyway, this all leads me to Now. And Etsy.

After days (okay, weeks) of tweaking, hairpulling, information overload, and -- I'll admit it -- FUN, Mayfaire's little Etsy shop is finally open for business.

And I did it all myself. I did it!

A million digital photos were taken, I swear. And I'd bet two million hours were spent agonizing over whether to crop them tighter or even use them at all. And pressing the 'Publish' button was enough to give me a hot flash, I was that nervous about it.

But then the stats showed me that my shop got an actual 'view.' Then two, then three, then a hundred! And before long I even got a sale. I kid you not, I did the Happy Dance all the way to the Post Office!

Who knows whether or not all the work I did to get the shop up and running will ever pay off for me. All I know is, when it comes to updating myself and my work online, I can DO this. And I don't need James to do it FOR me.

And that makes all the difference.

P.S. Shop my Etsy store at It will carry those products that I don't normally post to my website. You can also visit my website at Thank you. :)