Reflections of 2018Read More
As a career move, I do not recommend becoming an artist.
Let's be honest.
Unless Oprah Winfrey stands next to one of your images and at the very least says how pretty the colors are, so now everyone wants that one picture on everything from curtains to a refrigerator magnet, it's really hard to get discovered.
So, it's important to relish in those small, and what I prefer, organic discoveries (and by organic I mean not from someone related to you).
Recently, I opened a shop on Etsy, selling my nature inspired art on yoga mats, bags and beach towels. I followed all the advice about tiles and tags, SEO and algorithms. Posted great pictures, and then....crickets.
Until that one evening...
Congratulations! You made your first sale!
And it wasn't by anyone related to me
The small stuff may not be worth the sweat, but it sure is worth a happy dance or two.
Browse my Etsy shop, Off561Boutique here
There are two questions I always dread being asked. The first, what do you do? Meaning, where do you work? The reaction I get to the response I give--I'm a Mom. I stay home with my kids, is usually met by an Oh, and then the conversation comes to a screeching halt, like some how my intelligence level has dropped to a two and now we can no longer have a meaningful conversation.
Twenty years ago, my husband and I decided it was more important for me to to stay home and be a mom to our children, and therefore make whatever financial sacrifices that were necessary. However, at the time, if you weren't a corporate power female, then you must be June Clever. Now apparently, staying home and raising your children is all the rage.
When my kids were still young and basically babies and therefore home all the time, the notion of staying home was easier to wrap your head around. But, since they have been in school full time and better yet, almost off on their own, the second question that usually follows the what do you do? question is even better--so what do you do all day?
So I thought it would be fun to tell you what I, a stay at home mom, do in a typical day...
After only getting about four hours of sleep the night before due to a sick dog with a parasite induced digestive problem, and a snoring husband, my day started at 3:30 am. I was woken up by said dog, barking to go out as a result of the parasite induced digestive problem. However, upon running downstairs as fast as possible to avoid any potty issues, I discovered that two of my three dogs managed to get out of their crates (one quite mysteriously) and was confronted by what I can only describe as a poop massacre (if you have either babies or pets, this visual does not phase you). I spent a half an hour cleaning up, replacing dog beds and mopping the floor...twice.
I then crawled back in to bed and wished myself to fall back asleep. I proved to myself that wishes do not come true and was still awake when my alarm went off at 4:20 am.
I got up.
I got dressed.
I went to the gym.
I came home from the gym to find my husband up (not the norm) and all three dogs already outside. I changed out of my sweaty gym clothes, wished my son good luck on the first day of his summer internship, grabbed the youngest dog and off we went to the vet clinic by 7:15 am, where he was to be emasculated. I returned home and decided the floor needed to be mopped again. I straightened up the kitchen, fed the fish, cleaned the filters in the pond and pool and called the vet to make an appointment for the other dogs parasitic digestive issue. I then took two dogs for a walk and by the time we returned it was still only 9:30 am.
Perfect! I had one hour before the vet showed up.
I checked emails, refilled my daughters prescription, looked at her senior portraits and made sure there were no glaring changes needed to this website. The vet showed up at 10:30 am and by 10:55 am I was on my way to Target and the bank. The banked proved to be aggravating. After about 20 minutes of waiting in the drive-up window line, I left.
Since Summer has officially begun, the game has changed a bit for me. I'm a little obsessive about sitting outside in the sun on a beautiful, warm or even hot sunny day, and today certainly qualified. Given the weekend was pretty shitty weather wise and I was probably in need of a power nap given the time I woke up, I was not going to pass this day up. On came the sunblock, and bathing suit and out came me to lounge on the floaty in my pool. It's actually a great way for me to let my mind go free and really gel all my ideas for what is happening in my life.
Unfortunately, all good things come to an end and I thought it would be a good idea to clean up before I went to pick up the emasculated puppy. I left a little early so I could go back to the bank. The dog needed to be picked up by 3:30 pm and the bank closes at 4:00 pm. For sure I thought I would pass a bank branch on the way down strip mall alley, but no such luck. I picked up the dog, listened to the CYS (cover your ass) instructions and gps-ed the closest bank branch. I made it with 10 minutes to spare.
When I got home I had a texting argument with my daughter about what was for dinner. This was all while she was playing hooky at the beach with her friends. When she got home from the beach we argued about dinner in person. I still made dinner and also picked up wings. After dinner everyone, and I mean everyone, immediately dispersed and I cleaned up the kitchen by myself. It's my least favorite thing to do.
And now, it is 8:00 pm. I am sitting here, writing this blog post outside on my back deck, watching my dogs play and acting as the buffet for mosquitoes. I'm thinking about my other blog-site (yes, I have another one I am currently ignoring) and maybe revamping it (so I stop ignoring it). Next I have to go upstairs, finish putting my laundry away and get ready for tomorrow.
What did you do today?
I have been fascinated by the "industry" of blogging for quite some time. What used to be known as keeping a diary morphed in to journaling. That personal and private doodled laden memoir some where along the line transitioned in to a very public blog. Now, millions of people at the drop of a Google search can learn everything from how to properly make a lasagna to predicting whether or not you will suffer from male patterned baldness. And people appear to be making a living at this.
I've got to get in on this game.
However, that brings up a few questions. What makes someone an expert at turning trash in to treasure or keeping their house organized in 5 easy steps? Is a blog based on someone's career where they actually made a salary but then decided corporate life was no longer for them so they wanted to work from home? Or, do their friends just constantly blow smoke up their ass about how fabulous their pine cone wreaths are?
Research was going to have to be done on my part.
So I started pinning "how-tos" on blogging to a Pinterest board on all 3 of my Pinterest accounts. How to start a blog, what to write on a blog, how to make $ with a blog. I even went and took the extra step and started a separate Wordpress blog, a life style blog. I bought a domain name and used a fun template.
Ok, but I'm not an "expert" at anything. I have hobbies, but realistically, I'm a stay-at-home mom that left the quasi-corporate world over 20 years ago when I was working as an in house graphic designer. I am an artist, and I like to take pictures, and people seem to like my pictures, but in the last ten years I've been doing it, I've spent more than I made. Where is the professional in that? I've raised two mostly well-adjusted children, 6 mostly well behaved dogs, I think I am pretty stylish and I am considered the "cool" mom. I like to cook and I collect fish. All of that seems blog worthy, right?
But then I had to ask myself the most important question; Who really gives a shit about what I have to say?
Then it dawned on me, people like me! I've clicked on countless enticingly titled links to useless information and I've paid for online workshops where I fast forward through 90% of it while searching for that one tidbit of useful information. I'm just your average person and there are millions of people just like me, searching and willing to pay to give a shit about what I have to say.
So if you're reading this, come back often. Maybe you'll find a good lasagna recipe or a pretty picture you want to buy.