Monday, April 02, 2012

Faster Than The Speed Of Light

Just a quick note to let all (eh, um six) of you know that I haven't forgotten about ye old blog. I've just been printing a lot and working hard on getting the new catalog ready and new cards in the Etsy shop. I've also been doing some letterpress printing for Paper Rock Scissor, an invitation studio in Minneapolis. I love them.

You know what I've also been loving lately? No, not Pinterest. Well, yes. Pinterest. But that's not what I was going to say.

The band Wilco. I've been listening to their new/not so new record "The Whole Love" - I must confess I haven't heard any of their new work for a long long long time.

I used to listen to them A LOT in the mid-1990's. And I was a huge fan of Uncle Tupelo. I guess I got into some other stuff and put Wilco aside for awhile. Until the other day when I saw this really REALLY bad parallel parking job. My husband and I were sitting in front of a restaurant sipping some Rosé and waiting for a table. And in front of us was this exploration in parking that was really REALLY special. When it was all said and done I was singing in my head a little song from Wilco called "I Must Be High". The next day I gave that record a listen. Then I moved on to the new record. Needless to say, I have a lot of catching up to do. One could say it's like finding out about a new/old band. You have an entire catalog of music to dive into. So I've been diving. Diving and Printing.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The HandmadeMN could be you.

The HandmadeMN Giveaway. 

Wait what? You've never heard of HandmadeMN? Well, we are a collective of artists and crafters who sell on Etsy. 

I'm a proud member. I joined last year and have met some really amazing artists and all around nice people. People helping people. It sounds silly I know, but it's true. 

And for the next two weeks there is a bit of a 
giveaway going on. You can win my custom "Love From" note cards. It's so simple. 

Please visit the blog, follow on Twitter
Like them on Facebook

Discover artists. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Procrastination Reigns - The Future of Twenty Twelve

Weekly Planner by MissMegShop on Etsy

Most people begin each year with a
new set of rules. Resolutions they promise to themselves that they will keep this year for sure

I don't keep them and really who does? Usually I don't even make them. (According to a 45 second internet search the percentage of people who keep to their resolutions is only 15%.) Frankly, I would think the number would be a lot less. 

This year I had a couple of things in the back of my mind. Unspoken resolutions, goals, vague concepts of change.These were (uh, are) mostly business related self propositions. Here are a few:

1. Use the letterpress for more than just greeting cards. Make landscape prints and artwork. - I just started today!

2. Start a Blog and stick to it. - Doing it right now.

3. Stop procrastinating. - Yeah right. Why do I set my self up to fail?

4. Work more productively. - Ties into #3

Now here we are, the day after Valentine's Day and I feel as though I really haven't done that much this year. Not according to the vision of Twenty Twelve I had dancing in my head. But there is always hope. I promise to put myself on a tighter schedule. To practice effective blocks of production. Focus on one task for a specific period of time. Watch less Law & Order: Criminal Intent.  No, I'm not kidding. 

The day is long I can get more done than I do. These are big baby steps to my success. 
Come on. This is going to be so much fun. 

So Cheers to you 2012. 
I will do right by you. 



Monday, February 06, 2012

The Etsy Sellers Uphill Battle

My Etsy shop is a constant work in progress. If you have an Etsy shop you know that with every challenge comes a reward. And if you have ever talked with me about my experiences using Etsy I always say, "you get out of it what you put into it." I've had my shop for 3 years now and am just coming 'round the bend to my 1000th sale. I'm elated to say the least but I also know that I have so so SO much work to do.

Right now I'm focusing on adding more items, and of course, the ever evolving challenge of cohesive photography.

For example: I'm really liking the way this photo laid out. It's slightly off center. It's not exactly white on white. Yet, the item stands out. 

My husband and I always talk about the difference between men and women and how they tackle photography. We are both photographers and have very different approaches. We always say that (usually) women work with instinct and (usually) men work with technique.

How many times do I have to ask about F-stops and Depth of Field? Many times and many more to come. Wing Young Huie, an amazing photographer in the Twin Cities once told me, "If you are going to be a photographer you'd better figure out how to use your camera." I scoffed. That's a man's point of view for you. Here are a couple of my photographs (non Etsy, non Vandalia Street Press related): 

My favorite photographs have always been these sort of drive-by shots. My landscape work, my work as an artist is "horizon meet object" photography. Photography in motion. If that makes any sense. So, I guess, yes I've learned how to use my camera. Only in a way that works for me to get the results I want. 

It's the other work - the staged objects, the flat pieces of paper that need to look like someone might actually want to buy it. It's the "I can't be confined by a tripod"
photography that I have to work on.

That is the challenge. How do I mesh instinct with technique? Answers to follow.

Please visit the beautiful photography of Wing Young Huie here.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Where Do We Go From Here?

Well, the obvious answer is up, but up is not always so easy. I've spent the last few days driving wedding cakes around town. Plus there was a horrendous (yet successful) first attempt at setting up a chocolate fountain. Yes there was chocolate everywhere and little Hilton napkins all crumpled and brown, tossed to the side in a panic. I was hoping to set it up within 40 minutes of my arrival, but the fountain was lopsided and the chocolate was solidifying. Solid chocolate does not flow. I tried to balance it over here and over there. It really seemed quite doomed. I was determined not to be pushed around by some odd mechanical parts that act as little hills for chocolate to flow over so I just kept moving forward. Honestly, I kept saying to myself "I will not be defeated!" It's sick I know, but I have much more determination than I've ever had. The old me was gaining strength and really just wanted to walk away - "let it figure itself out". But no, not this time. And two hours later the chocolate flowed like a waterfall of silk down to a moat of even more hot melted chocolate. 

I headed straight to the bar. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Step One: Promote Business

Should I be talking about Vandalia Street Press? It's the main reason I'm starting this blog, and believe me when I say that this is not my first attempt at starting a blog.  Like many people they start 'em but they never go anywhere. I don't know why I'm even saying that. I'm quite sure you already know how these things play out. This is however my most sincere and serious approach to blogging. I even did some "at-home" work shop stuff to purge ideas and interests out of my brain and onto a piece of paper. Turns out I'm into letterpress printing, food, wine, cooking, tacos, private investigation, screen printing, art, driving, detective shows, and printmaking. In addition to the fascinating topics just listed, I will indeed be talking about my little letterpress printing company, Vandalia Street Press. I have big big plans for us in 2012.