Wednesday, September 30, 2009

BEST Baltimore Craft has been nominated for The Baltimore Sun Mobbie Award for best blog in the Art/DIY category!

Click here to vote for my blog ... early and often

Please vote for our team blog by clicking on the image above. We all work hard creating and writing posts to keep it fresh and keep you up to date on the Baltimore Craft scene!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Cure for A Crisis of Confidence

Brandy, Chester and Sadie

I have a family of new friends. There are three of them. The matriarch's name is Brandy. She is elderly and has short brown thinning hair, a long, regal nose, bad legs and very sweet, rheumy eyes that don't see very well. She struggles getting around and needs some help, but seems content with her quiet life. Dad's name is Chester and he's getting up there in years, too. He's the strong silent type with black & white waves, thick, hairy legs and big feet. He moves around pretty well but can be slow and tend to tire easily and he just might not quite hear everything. Sadie is the youngest, energetic, friendly and just plain cute with her freckly, pug nose, round eyes,and soft, wavy multi colored hair on her compact frame. She can't help stealing the show. She's a natural attention getter that is barely able to contain her joy when she's with you and likes to snuggle up close, preferably in your lap, when the activity quiets down.

Brandy, Chester and Sadie are my new canine charges each day at 2:30. My daily visit comes with the promise of a brief afternoon outing for a poop and pee break, a little conversation and lots of good strokes! Today they were quieter than I expected and I was reminded that they are just getting to know me, too. So we're on this little journey together. I look forward to getting to know the wise Brandy and Chester and the vivacious, snuggly Sadie.

In a way, they're kind of like my three little bears...except I'm not Goldilocks and I won't run away or eat their chow or break their beds, either!

Monday, September 28, 2009

My Husband Walter

I kept asking my husband if he’d seen my blog? His answers were along the lines of "No, too busy", "Not today" or "Maybe tomorrow".

I was beginning to think he had something against me blogging or that he just wasn't interested. Finally today he casually mentioned over a dinner of pot stickers and rice, that the link I had sent him had gone into his junk mail (This was not a good beginning…) but he had saved it and found his way over to my blog. I was anxious to hear what he might have to say. I value his opinion as not only a fellow designer (he’s an architect) but as an honest critic.

To my surprise (or in retrospect, predictably) he said “You don’t mention me.”

Now, I’m just saying…Walter is a wonderful guy, likable, funny, a great dad and a good life companion, I would even say humble, but don’t you think he might have had some other comment, like maybe “interesting"? I would even have preferred "boring". So what am I to garner from that comment? Not much, as far as I can tell, except that maybe he's not my "target gender"?

And so my dear Walter, be careful what you wish for 'cuz here you are!

The Cape

As fall settles in with blustery days and vistas gradually brighten to russet and yellow before the browns of winter set in, I'm thinking about Wellfleet. I think about the cape a lot. I guess you might say it's my happy place. It's extraordinary in the summer...but crowded with people and cars, so many that I've imagined it just sinking back into the ocean. But fall on the cape is different. Not so many people to share it with and the activities shift from going in the water to hiking the beaches and moving at a slower pace. I want to beam myself there right now. I can just smell the ocean and see the long shadows on the sand.
But truth be told, our time on the cape is vacation, not real life. And life is good here, too.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

If you were 17 Again?

When I got married 21 years ago, these are the four things that we added to our lives that made it easier and more fun: an answering machine, VCR, microwave and dishwasher. Three of those things need no explanation. But the VCR....I love movies and it was a revelation to be able to watch one when we wanted to vs. when it was in the theaters or on TV. I personally dislike the distraction and ulterior motives of tv commercials, so there are only a few shows I'm willing to watch. I love Law & Order. But most often it's movies. Between Netflix and Redbox, there is always one available. To me, movies are like chocolate. Instant gratification. Animated story telling that I get to choose, the equivalent of being read a book, but for adults!
Of course, sometimes I get one that isn't so great. I'm embarassed to admit I watched "17 Again" last night. In my defense, family movies are hard to find. On the other hand, I had no expectations of great movie, so it was better than it could of been.
But here's the real upside; my eighth grader asked me today in the car "Would you have done anything different?"
Here was a golden teachable moment! A chance to offer my child the wisdom (hopefully that's what it is) of my years ! How many times does a parent get the chance to have that conversation with their 13 year old, especially when they're actually interested in listening to what you might have to say? Everyone's answer to that would be different. Mine went something like be yourself, don't worry about being cool, make your own choices, ask for help when you need it.
I'm a lucky mom and that was definitely worth the cost of watching and renting the movie!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Twenty things you didn't know about Shelly Daly of A Stone's Throw.

1. I am friendly to a fault, a Midwesterner from Ohio. This can be embarrassing to my children, but the truth is that I am really shy.
2. I love grids. Grid paper, man made grids, natural grids, grids I make, grid pillows, grid walls, especially black and white checkerboards…I think I might even think in grids…it helps me to organize things. Visiting my house will confirm this.
3. Public speaking will be the death of me…I cannot do it so don't even ask. The best I can do is to sit and read something out loud. I shake, my heart palpitates and my brain seizes to function. This can be limiting.
4. I have so many ideas… that I might try to share them with you.
5. I am a great mom and if this is the crowning achievement of my life, I will be happy. I don't know how this happened but I am grateful.
6. In my next life I want long legs.
7. I have a friend that I believe is an angel sent to me from heaven.
8. I lived in Cambridge, Mass, I hate tv commercials, I love movies and more than once I snuck out of work to go to a movie in Harvard Square.
9. I wish I was a better cook.
10. I have an emotional memory…I remember information by the emotions attached to them. My husband is perplexed by this.
11. I do feng shui, I was an interior designer and I like change.
12. I love love love babies' toes.
13. I have a huge amount of energy and great intuition.
14. I think you can tell it's Saturday just by the quality of light outside.
15. I am a home body and would rather be there than any other place. I hate parties except when I go to them. Then they're ok.
16. I think everything is the opposite of what it seems. Personally, I am a walking, talking contradiction.
17. I never had grandparents, I graduated from high school in 3 years and I don't have any allergies… however I highly recommend a netti pot for your sinuses.
18. I love weather, it always makes me happy to have extreme weather… rain, snow, wind especially thunderstorms. I like winter better than summer, fall better than spring.
19. I love pink. I have always loved pink. Especially fuchsia. I love red, too. I think red is a neutral and goes with anything.
20. I worked in San Francisco for a year.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Doodlage's Doodles

Doodlage's Doodles

Doodlage does good!

I’ve been on etsy now for just over a year. I haven’t really sold much but I keep plugging away. My shows usually do well; I have some wholesale accounts. So I’m not complaining. Etsy keeps me working to up my game, improve photography and enter the world of blogs! But early on, I spent hours online exploring how to snag some online sales. Consequently, I “stopped by” my etsy site way too many times a day! Since sales seemed pretty remote, hearts were my lifeblood. That’s how I met Rashell of Doodlage.

I decided one day I had to let it go, this time suck was not getting me anywhere and it was much more satisfying and productive to actually make jewelry. So I vowed to simply celebrate when I got to 100 hearts and checked in when I had a chance. My hearts grew…until one day, there it was!

Rashell was number 100! And btw, she goes by Shelly (my name) and btw she works with beach stones (me, too!)! I know, it’s not fate, just a coincidence of statistics. But it was cause for some much needed etsy excitement as well as an introduction to the wonderful person behind Doodlage. Shelly is thoughtful, generous, talented and funny. She didn’t seem to blink at my celebratory enthusiasm that might very well have scared another person away! She was perfect to celebrate with!

I just visited her shop today! She still makes her wonderful doodled stones but she also makes beautiful paper cuttings and original color drawing, she uses Japanese paper on clothes pins and creates handmade beads to name a just a few of her treasures. And to top it off, she sells tutorials on photography for 3 dollars! But here’s the best part, I just get this incredible vibe from both her and her work. She really is playing or doodling with no pre text of making it into work. Her “play” is honest and fun and I love it!

Shelly and I still communicate occasionally. I sent her a stacked stone necklace; she sent me a magical doodled stone that I treasure and keep close by for good luck. Of course, my stone arrived in hand printed paper folded in an origami pattern and tied with a hand died silk ribbon. She also very graciously shared her photography tips with me although I still have a long way to go before that’s a simple task! I love Shelly and people like her! Keep on doodling, baby!

Check out her shop and feel the vibe!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Today is the first day

Today is the first day...real day...that I have commited to a blog. I don't know what I'll say, I don't know if anyone's going to listen. But, you gotta start somewhere, that's the hardest part.
I guess I'll just state my ideas for this venue. I would like to grow my small business not only because I love what I do, but because I don't want to get a real job! I used to be a commercial interior designer, but the mommy track coincided with the advent of computer aided design and I fell behind. Which gave me an opportunity to reconsider my future, change careers as it were. I did some feng shui, some residential design but making jewelry is what stuck.
So all things related to building a craft business are of interest to me. Design, production, supplies, pr (especially), packaging, display, organization, inspiration and especially the people.
But right up there on the priority list is being a mom. One son is a sophmore in college, beginning his "launching" process, the other is in 8th grade. Great kids. It's been quite a ride. Changes everything. True love. That topic is always on my mind. School, academics, creativity, socializing, sports and just plan amazement at the people they have become. And we made them, double amazing!
And then there's location, location, location! I live in Baltimore, moved here from Boston but am from Cincinnati. In my ever expanding adult life, I've lived in Columbus, Ohio and San Francisco but I've lived longest in Baltimore and I consider it home. My kids do, too. It's a quirky place, John Waters and all that, but charming and a great place to raise kids. Affordable yet culturally astute with fine museums, a symphony orchestra and DC's nearby.
So, what's on my mind right at the moment is promoting. Promoting my business and my work. Finding retail show options year round and identifying retailers that would be good matches for wholesaling . Time is what I need most, but then there's the laundry, the house.
Ok, enough already!
I've begun and that's what counts.