Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Last year I spent four days, ten hours per day, at a fairly well attended craft festival. I paid a hefty entry fee and agreed to pay a commission to the festival if I sold over a certain amount of merchadise. Long story short, it ended up being a big disappointment. Not my audience. Win some, lose some, and all that.

I finally added up those earnings tonight, and man, the reality is I spent four long days to barely break even on the entry fee. If you count parking and food expenses, I came away owing the festival money.

Now I haven't done as many shows as some people, but I've been fortunate to normally do better. I guess if there's a lesson I can take away, business-wise, it's to position myself for success. Know my audience. Don't waste each other's time.

Or maybe trying to find the value in this experience is my desperate attempt to apply Pollyanna logic to a bad situation. Either way, here's to reading too many marketing books tonight.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Multi-tasking Happiness (also best burgers in Seattle)

I am in an inexplicably good mood; I blame the iPod.

I'm doing dishes, washing laundry, zipping files, and bouncing around. My favorite line in a song just came on:

He thinks it's all about culture and art
But the truth of it is
that it rips me apart
Marvelous 3 - Freak of the Week

Oh, that line. I worship that line.

If you can't see the video embedded in this post, here's the link: Marvelous 3 (Butch Walker) - Freak of the Week

Jer and I went to dinner and a movie on Friday night over by Northgate Mall. Dinner was at Five Guys, where we had the best cheeseburgers I've ever had the pleasure of eating in this city. And fries with cajun seasoning. They offer all kinds of toppings and cook the burgers right in front of you. The color scheme reminds me strongly of In-N-Out in California, but I guess there are only so many colors to choose from.

After dinner we saw "The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus." The imagery was stunning. Tom Waits was a wonderful devil. I had some questions at the end, but overall it was a very pleasant way to spend an evening. I'm still thinking about it.

Speak of the devil. The iPod shuffle feature just chose Tom Waits to play, "Innocent When You Dream."

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Probably a bad sign

In a meeting today I scrawled a very important action item along the top of my notes. It reads:
ACTION: Stop sighing.

Easier said than done, my friends.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Upload faster

No matter how much faster and more powerful my computer becomes, it always seems to be holding out on me. Dude, I used to use a modem. You'd think I'd be grateful for living all the time in this glorious future, where Webcrawler isn't the primary search engine and my pictures display in more than 16 colors.

Stupid 90's.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Say cheese

I worked an On Focus Photo gig today and am now exhausted. It's fun though, taking pictures. At the end of the day I took about 450. One or two should turn out.

All that squinting through the viewfinder and now I feel as if my brain has turned to mush, so please excuse any strange word choices. Pretty good day though. The Nikon D700 is a terrific camera. I'll never forget the first time I laid hands on one. It was in Shinjuku or maybe Akihibara. One of those huge stores where everything is chained down and covered in fingerprints. It was newly out and the sign said 380,000 yen. Someday, I thought, someday it will be mine.

I did not pay 380,000 yen, for the record.

Anyway, I've been pondering lately: what is the difference between a rut and a rhythm? Both repeat. Both strike a chord. Both follow expected patterns of behavior. Then why does one make me want to bludgeon myself and the other make me want to dance?

Monday, January 11, 2010

So's your face

I took a sick day today. About two hours ago I was full of words and I purposefully waited until it all drained out to approach the internet.

The wine colored bruises are fading. Slowly.

Living in one's head doesn't pay the bills, so back I go. A glimpse of something to forget. No road markers here. Just dirt. Unmarked and -- what was that word they use all the time in the Red Mars trilogy, of which I am on book 2? -- katabatic. Yes, katabatic.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Worst War Paint Ever

I've been in hiding. As mentioned previously, my face boasts several dark purple bruises in a bizarre, clearly man-made configuration. Jer says they are getting lighter, but I don't see it. One of the vague instructions I was left with was to stay out of the sun and/or wear sunscreen. So even though the weather has been unseasonably warm around 50 degrees, I've been locked up inside, making a pot roast, baking a cake...

Vanity, tsk tsk.

We put together our newly acquired fabric wall art kit and hung it in the dining area on Saturday. If you follow that link I chose the Lumimarja Triple in Silver. I think it looks pretty neat against the gray green wall.

On Friday night, Jer and I ate dinner at Naked City Taphouse in Greenwood. Their smoked porter was tasty, my meal was okay, and service was pretty slow. The highlight was seeing one of my favorite local artists featured on their walls: James Taylor. I own quite a few copies of his artwork and got a chance to meet him at West Seattle Summerfest in 2008. (I was selling my own prints as On Focus Photo). Nice guy. Cool art.

Friday, January 08, 2010

My Procedure

I greeted 2010 with a trip to the laser chair at my dermatologist's office.

Without much preamble I laid back, donned a pair of blacked out goggles, and allowed my doctor to repeatedly shock my face with laser beams. This particular treatment was focused on the bridge of my nose, but also included bits around my mouth, a couple of zaps inside the nostril opening and where my nose meets my face -- I am unclear on the technical name of that location.

It smelled a little, stung a little, a cooling agent was involved, and the flashes of light were very bright. Other than that, no problemo.

I had this done to remove some discoloration caused by broken blood vessels. The bridge of my nose has had this forever and I figured, hey, why not see what lasers can do for me? They already fixed my eyes once. Then my doctor noticed a few other spots as well and I said, heck, go to town!

So for the next two weeks I will look like I've been beaten up or badly burned. But then, in theory, all better. In the mean time, I think I should explore how best to use my odd appearance to mess with people.

Like they say, when life zaps you in the face with laser beams, you should try to get free stuff and... something something lemonade.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Over there, look it

I've gotten some great feedback on the textile issue. Thanks! I haven't decided on a method yet, but I am now leaning towards hanging from rings more than ever before. Or maybe I will nail gun it to the wall. Sideways. And say it's modern.

You can't pin me down.

Unless *you* have a nail gun.

As a result of my highly developed web research skillz, I also discovered this Textile Arts site and decided to buy a kit for a 3-piece wall hanging. For those playing the home game, I chose the Lumimarja Triple kit, in silver.

Yes, discerning readers may note this purchase had nothing to do with my original purpose, but um, LOOK OVER THERE.

Hopefully it won't overwhelm the space. With its grayness. And if it does, well, LOOK OVER THERE.

So there's that.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Suggestions for hanging fabric/textile?

My sister gave me a beautiful table runner and several placemats from her travels and I want to hang them in a unique way. Do you have any framing or hanging suggestions?

I was looking at things like securing each piece to the wall with Velcro or using molding or a wood frame to secure them against the wall. Maybe a shadow box but I think that'd be too deep. The pieces are sheer and hand beaded. Have you done something like this or have you seen cool design examples? It'd be great if you could share. Thank you!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Happy New Year -- Housekeeping Edition

Jer and I hung new pewter blackout curtains in the family/TV room yesterday and it's amazing how much cozier it is now -- not to mention easier to see the TV screen. We still need to find a home for the pub table and get rid of the kitchen table and couch, but the room is slowly coming together.

The curtains came from -- my favorite bargain site -- and the curtain rods came from Target's site. Inexpensive and nice looking, you can't beat that.

Now that we've met our house goal I've been talking Jer's ear off about what's next. We will probably consolidate down to one car since I take the bus to work. My car turns 12 this year and Jer's is 9 so we're about due for a replacement. I'm trying to find a good balance between contributing to an emergency fund, car fund, house maintenance fund, and prepaying the mortgage. The answer is always: it depends.

I really want to travel this year. Maybe I will quit being so responsible and save save save for that. The problem with wanting to go everywhere is it can be very hard to narrow down a specific destination.

Most people come up with philosophical resolutions. My resolutions tend to revolve around my savings accounts.