26 June 2007

Sleepless Nights

It's somewhere after 5am and I haven't slept. I've tried to sleep. I started trying to sleep at 11:15pm. Unfortunately, I have leg cramps which have varied in intensity over the past 6 hours from a fluttery feeling in the muscles which is slightly distracting to full fledged digging my fingernails into the palms of my hands leg in a bear trap cramps. This is the 2nd night in a row that I've been kept up with them. It triggered a migraine yesterday and left me feeling crappy all day. All of which is why I'm sitting here at the computer typing instead of sleeping which is where all sane people should be at 5am.

The picture is Ms. Sprout going through the child's gate at our local Children's Discovery Garden. One of her favorite places in the world. We took her Sunday evening after spending abut an hour at a Pow Wow. Sprout seemed to enjoy many aspects of the event but commented several times about how sad the music sounded. She finally asked us to take her away from the singers at the host drum because she said that she was afraid the sad music was going to hurt her feelings. The Pow Wow was sponsored by the local council of Native Americans so I took her over to their information tent, waited patiently for someone who appeared to be an elder to be free, and then asked if he minded talking to a little girl with some big questions about what she was seeing/hearing. They had a lovely conversation in which I participated only as a translator from adult-speak to toddler-speak, etc. When she woke yesterday morning, she wanted to know if we were going to another Pow Wow.

I would not trade these chances to look at the world through her eyes for anything.

23 June 2007

Etsy Mud Team

Fish in Raku
Originally uploaded by sheilasthings
As I've spent the last few days contemplating the closure of the MysticSpiral Etsy shop, I've also been amazed by the progress achieved by a group of potters on Etsy. In 3 1/2 days they managed to create the Etsy Mud Team complete with a blog and a flickr group. (Which is where I found this cool photo of a raku kiln open during firing.)

The EMT Street Team is having their inaugural sale next week. There's a lot of wonderful stuff to see and buy. Details are posted on their blog.

Learning Experiences

I didn't want to let the last post occupy the top spot for too long. There are other, more important exciting/positive developments which are more deserving of my time and attention right now. I'm really glad that I am in a position in my life where I can close the Etsy shop, temporarily or permanently, without feeling as though it is a defeat or a major set-back. The shop **WILL** re-open and when it does, I'll be in a better position to run it well and give it the time that it deserves.

During this time of change, I want to spend some time re-organizing my studio set-up so that I'm in a better position to make the time that I spend working work for me. I need to find a better way of organizing my stock. I want to set aside areas in the studio for photography and shipping so that I can more easily do all of the things that I must do as a one-woman operation. As things stand right now, there are too many things that can (and often do) get in the way of completing the day to day business operations of my studio. I find it too hard to address those things on the fly while I'm trying to get other work done. This time should let me use my experience and hard-earned lessons to put everything in place that I need for smoother operations.

I recently had a really wonderful learning experience. When I started doing bead shows, I thought that eventually I'd work my way up to doing shows like Bead and Button or going to Tucson. Two weeks ago, I found myself unexpectedly in Milwaukee for the Bead & Button show. It was amazing, but also eye opening. I'm just not prepared to have so much riding on one weekend. I'd love to teach at a show like B&B, or to attend and do demonstrations or something, maybe as part of a BoC group thing, but that show represents a significant portion of the annual revenue of the artists who show there and a bad show can translate into a *REALLY* bad year.

I love making beads and what I do in the studio, and I have to sell the stuff because if I didn't it would bury me alive, but I'm not sure how to wrap my head around all of this in a professional context.

21 June 2007

Closing Shop

Anyone who's been reading this blog for any length of time knows that I have been struggling with depression for quite some time. I've recently come to the realization that my medications are not doing the job for which they were prescribed. We're embarking on a new course of treatment, including new medications and getting rid of the ones that aren't working. As I begin this transition, I find myself wanting to simplify those areas of my life that I can actually change.

It is for this reason that I've decided to close my Etsy shop for a few months.