Monday, 29 September 2008

Crafting for Cats leads to online shop!

The University library, where I work a day-job to support my art habit, had two resident cats. Tessa has now gone to the great scratching post in the sky, but she was still in good spirits and supervising the workroom at the time my tale begins.

Library staff regularly donated funds from their meagre wages to keep the cats fed and vetted, but when Sandy was diagnosed with diabetes, the vet bills got out-of-hand. One of my colleagues suggested a craft fair to benefit the cats, and Crafting & Cakes for Cats was born.

I had recently begun making and wearing some rather unusual charm bracelets, which attracted the attention of my co-workers, so I thought that jewellery might sell. Thinking small, I made several dozen pairs of cat-themed earrings, and a bunch of cat-themed brooches, most of which sold the first day! During the following week I was asked for additional pairs of earrings and brooches, bringing my total contribution to the cats to over $300!

I was dead chuffed! My confidence was so boosted that I decided to offer my wild & unique jewellery online!

My new shop, Funky Body Décor, is set to launch on 10 October! You can check out pre-launch happenings at its blog, funkybodydecor.blogspot.

Here are a few of the items I made for Crafting for Cats:

Sunday, 28 September 2008

Feeling Great about Art!

Today I finally got around to reading the documents that resulted from the recent panel I participated in, “Mapping the Future of the Arts in Wellington”, and boy am I excited! Participants from all the Arts, including practitioners and members of arts organisations, got together in multiple sessions over the course of a week, to determine the Big Questions that need to be asked and answered in order to effectively grow the Arts in Wellington.

To my surprise, the needs that were identified by visual artists, musicians, writers, performers, and indigenous artists were amazingly Similar!

If artists and arts organisations can work together to create a central hub to disseminate information, offer networking, mentoring, exhibiting, and performing opportunities, and centralise resources and marketing, Wellington City could become, in fact, the arts capital of New Zealand!

Then, while tidying my desktop, I came across a note to watch this video. WOW! I highly recommend that Every artist and artist-wannabe watch it! What a great time this is to be an artist!

Monday, 22 September 2008

From the Sublime to the Ridiculous

After a month of daily arting in July, August came as a dreadful shock! I actually had so much paid work in hand, all of it “urgent”, that I made not Scrap One of art until 30 Aug!!

Now September’s nearly gone, with the Promise of Spring at her heels.

And what have I to show for it? Well, I learned InDesign by my usual method: Trial by Fire. I had a bookcover to design for one client, and a manuscript to typeset for another, and both were required “Instanter”. The bookcover was relatively straightforward, but the manuscript used more than a dozen non-Latin typefaces!

Then I bought an online shop. I had decided to offer my unusual art jewellery for sale, and fell for the “Only Seven Easy Steps” line. Six frustrating weeks later, the site is still not live, and I have serious doubts I will be able to configure an American shopping cart to charge New Zealand dollars. Of course, while setting up the shop, I wasn’t making more art.

That was when I allowed myself to be strong-armed into co-moderating a Yahoo group. About Art. It’s a great group! don’t get me wrong! I just am a bit stressed with other issues.

Like, I need an electrician! There are now Four places in my house where the electric does not work! I also need an arborist! The holly I sawed down and poisoned ten years ago has reached two meters tall, and the sycamore definitely needs desexing. But my neighbours want to chop down the pohutukawa trees on Our property that provide the sole bit of summer shade to the deck and hold the front garden from falling into Their property. Oh, and I need a woodchipper! I have four square meters of brush spread across the deck, which I’d like to clear for sitting on.

Fortunately, it’s time to walk down the hill in the waning sunshine to my Pilates class. There, the tension and frustration will drain from me, and by 6pm I will be a New Woman!

And, with the bus drivers on strike, I will then be free to take the waewae express back up the hill to home, and call it exercise ;-)