Self Image and Selling Your Own Work

​Self image has always been something that I’ve struggled with as a person. I’ve never truly felt “worthy” or “good enough” to start my own business in which I sold my own creations. 

Having a Poshmark shop was the stepping stone that helped change that. It helped my gain the confidence I need to open an Etsy shop. (For those that don’t know, Poshmark is basically a “resale shop” for used and sometimes new clothing)

With Poshmark, I wasn’t directly selling my own creations, but I was selling things that I found that I thought were nice. I was able to easily turn a profit, and that was a confidence boost. It helped make me take the big step of opening an Etsy shop and listing my first items.
Not long ago, I made my very first sale on Etsy. I have to confess – I was a nervous wreck when I shipped that journal. I worried that the buyer would be disappointed in it. That constant self-doubt that always rests in the corner of my mind came out at full force.

When I saw the five star review and the feedback from that sale a week or so later, I was so unbelievably happy. A human being had spent her own hard earned money on something that I had made, and loved what she received! 

She could’ve bought from anyone else-there are so many amazing and talented artists and junk journal makers, but she chose me.

I’m not posting this to make sales. I just really want to express how exciting and validating it feels to be able to make things for fun, and have a little business doing what I love to do anyway. I sincerely hope that everyone gets the opportunity to having a similar feeling, whether it’s by selling their artwork, or working in an office. 

If you’ve always wanted to sell your crafts and haven’t taken the step yet, just do it. The feelings you get from your first legitimate sale are indescribable. 

Anyway, I hope that everyone has a nice week. I’ve been really busy with non-art related things and have been neglecting this blog as well, but will be getting back in it soon. I have a junk journal to finish up and a new one to start for a client (Sidenote: I still can’t believe that I get to say that I have a “client”πŸ˜‹). 

I’ll post pictures of both journals in the near future.  Maybe I’ll even find time to list new items in my Etsy shop soon. Thanks for all your support. πŸ™‚β™₯️

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Weight loss progress – 7 weeks. Slow, steady progress.

After moving to my house 2 years ago, I got out of the habit of working out.

I was no longer in walking distance to a gym, and it took me longer to get to and from work, etc. The habit just kind of died after this big change.

I had been making amazing progress before we moved. My arms were muscular. I had a 4 pack, and my legs were strong and muscular looking but curvy (I carry my weight in my hips, legs, and arms so these were all still “meaty” for lack of a better term).

I lost all of those gains over time. With every month that I didn’t work out, my pants started getting tighter. I went up a few sizes… I was no longer happy with my body.

 Just like that day five or so years ago when I started working out religiously the first time, something snapped in me again. I decided that I was going to get fit again. That was about 7 weeks ago, and I’ve been working out at least 4 days a week at least 40 minutes those days ever since.
I began to snack on fruit instead of candy, and continue to drink Seltzer water more than sodas. I avoid eating fast food even more.

After just the first 2 weeks, I started to see just a hint of my upper abs again. This “quick” progress may be due to muscle memory. Ever since high school, I had done ab exercises. That had only ended when I moved into our house.

I quickly had more endurance also. I felt less tired after my workouts, and actually felt energized by them instead.

I have not been weighing myself, because I know that I would get discouraged. I’ve been measuring myself instead.

After the first month, despite seeing my “2 pack”, I did not lose any inches from any part of my body

6 weeks later, I happened to touch my upper legs while I was stretching one morning, and noticed that they felt “harder”. More muscular. You wouldn’t be able to notice in the mirror, though.

I flexed my arms that same morning and realized that the muscles on my arms and front shoulder (near my armpit) are massive compared to how they used to be, though I can’t see that definition yet. My arms are still the same size, but they are harder After a few more months of cardio I hope to be able to see it in the mirror.

Now, 7 weeks after that first day, I still do not see extreme changes, and have not taken my measurements yet. My pants honestly don’t seem to be getting looser, except for maybe around the waist ever so slightly… I did notice yesterday when I saw my back and back of my arms in a sports bra, when I stood at the right angle for the sunlight to hit, there was muscle definition in my back around the outside and inside of my shoulder blades and along the back of my arms.

I am both looking forward to, and dreading taking my measurements on  September 30. I kind of doubt that I’ve lost inches… I know it takes a while to see results, but I really forgot just how long it takes…

I know that I can get there again, though. 

I can’t wait to have the muscular shoulders and defined collar bone again. That was always my favorite section of my body when I was fit. I bought a set of adjustable weights so that I can get my arms back at home. I don’t want to look “model” thin, because I know that I would not be able to achieve this healthily. I want to look strong, because I am naturally muscular.

I heard that it takes 8 weeks to build a habit. I’m one week away. 

I look forward to continuing to make slow, steady progress.

Baby Boy Mixed Media Journal

It’s been a while, you guys! I’ve been extremely busy these last few months. We had a lot of home repairs to get done, and my Poshmark side business has been pretty successful, so I’ve been spending more time packaging sales, listing, and organizing my inventory. Shop here if interested! I have lots of nice stuff!

I finally have been able to take a bit of a breather from that and took advantage of that time to start on a baby journal for my cousin who is expecting her first-born son. She’s the first in my immediate family on my mom’s side of my generation to have a child, and I’m extremely excited for her!

I will post more pictures and will post a flipthrough of the completed journal on YouTube when I get it done. I just have a few more finishing touches to put on it.

So far, it’s my favorite that I’ve ever done. I love the bright colors and the colorful wood bead embellishment on the spine. The bead strings were purchased from Tuesday Morning, and they’re pretty much exactly what I was looking for. 😊

I can’t wait to post a full blog showing you the completed project. For now, here are some pictures of it in progress.

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The stars separating the spine and front cover are from Target. I bought them when they were having their Christmas clearance. I love these kinds of embellishments because they effortlessly cover seams and imperfections while adding a unique touch.

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For the inside, I did something a bit different. I used a sheet of canvas for the inside spine. I don’t like how paper wrinkles on me. The top and bottom we’re edges with cardstock to prevent fraying. That was sewn on… Next time I’ll use a needle made for leather, because it kept catching on the machine. That’s alright, though.😊 I’ll admit that I still need to work on the inside spine. The material still seems to crease – especially when their closed, but luckily that’s a purely cosmetic issue that nobody except for I would notice (and you-now that I told you!). It’s also not as noticable when the paper is sewn in.

If you are interested in purchasing a journal from me, I have some for sale on Etsy. I’d love it if you checked them out!

Within the next few days, I will be using blue multi-colored embroidery thread to sew in the pages, and plan on adding a bunch of pockets, die cut and embossed pieces.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy! I will be posting another entry when it’s finished… And hope that my cousin doesn’t read my blog. If she does, though, Hi cousin!!! :p

 

How I Spend My Free Time – Guilt-Free Lazy Days?

In the past year, I have noticed a pretty drastic change in how I Spend my free time and how I feel comfortable spending it.

I think it all started when I began my little business on Poshmark. From that point on, I’ve become a teeny bit of a workaholic.

But it’s more than that.

It’s gotten to the point now that if I feel like I’m doing anything passive, I’m wasting my time. Granted, this doesn’t apply if I’m with my husband or hanging out with friends. It for the most part only applies when I’m alone.

To me, time awake and by myself must be spent doing one of the following:

  • Working out (improving my body)
  • Working my side businesses -either Poshmark or Etsy (because it provides money)
  • Listening to or watching something educational that teaches me about the world
  • Cleaning (while listening to a podcast)
  • Creating something new

I think that the last bullet is an item that can easily help me wind down, but not always… Sometimes I just want to sit on the couch watching Pretty Little Liars and eating a bucket of ice cream.

I’m personally not sure if my “need” to do something I deem as productive at all times is a good or bad thing… I feel pretty tired today, and although I feel like I should work out or at least do something else that’s productive my mind and body are both very tired today and I just want to lay around and binge on tv. I feel like I could use a rest, but I feel like if I did I will be missing out on something and I know that I’d feel guilty afterwards.

I am going to need to stay conscious about this, because I could very easily see this aspect of myself burning me out… I think everybody needs breaks every now and then, and this feeling of “guilt”when I take a break every once in a while seems like a bit if a yellow flag for me.

Do any of you do this? How do you keep a balance?

 

I’m an Artist, Not a Cam Girl.

I’ve been trying my hand at Livestreaming my art process lately. So far, I’ve been utilizing Twitch Creative since it’s really the only platform I’m familiar with.

I personally like streaming my work, but have been feeling a bit frustrated by this platform. I feel as though the people who watch and/or interact with me just expect me to giggle and be cute for them. I feel like  many of the people who’ve been interacting with me could care less about what I’m working on or saying.

I believe it’s a demographic issue – the site (Twitch) is very male dominated and was originally exclusively a gaming platform.

Just so you know what I do, I have been live streaming the process of creating my junk Journals to sell on my Etsy shop. I just recently began using the face cam and have it pretty small on one corner of my screen, with my work space taking up the whole screen aside from that. I was hoping that i’d get more interaction from viewers if I had the face cam on. It did work, but I haven’t been getting the interaction that I really wished for. 

Whenever people interact with me, they mainly focus on my looks. I don’t mind compliments, but I feel as though most of the people who interact with me only care about what I look like… They’re not interested in what I’m doing or saying… And then yesterday as I was streaming, one person has the gall to start sending me very vulgar personal messages (which pop up on my screen while I’m live streaming, making me flustered). I ended up blocking him.
When I got into bed, I felt really down. Even before this happened, I had been thinking about how much emphasis is put on looks. It’s incredibly frustrating as a woman to be judged on what is essentially the shell of who I am. A lot of times I feel like less than a person. Yesterday I really felt that way…

That being said, I wanted to see if anyone else might know of a live streaming service that caters more towards artists. 

I will likely continue streaming on Twitch otherwise, and will – hopefully – start having followers or watchers who actually care about what I’m doing and talking about that as opposed to just watching me like I’m a chunk of meat.

I’m contemplating the idea of not using a face cam at all.

 Maybe I just had a bad day yesterday.
I’ll try again today or tomorrow. If you read my blog, I assume that you are more than likely interested in me for me- as a person, or me as an artist and crafter…  I rarely post pictures of myself so I know that you guys and girls care about something that is much more genuine then just the way I look.

So if you do happen to watch people on twitch, I’d be happy if you subscribe or stop by to say hi. πŸ™‚ I’m not sure how to get a link to my page, but my user name on twitch is themermaidcove. It would be nice to renew my excitement in Twitch because I feel like it’s such a cool thing to be able to share what I do and to watch people share what they do and to interact with them while they’re working. There’s something really special about that.

Work in Progress: Cinderella Junk Journal/Wedding Guestbook

I’m putting the finishing touches on this “Junk Journal”. I put the word “Junk Journal” in quotations because it reads more as a wedding scrapbook or guestbook than a traditional junk journal.

This one was inspired by a dress that I saw in a vintage store. It had this beautiful blue-gray ruched fabric over tan satin. It reminded me of Cinderella, and I had this idea in my head of making a Cinderella Themed Junk journal.

The cover is made of blue-gray tulle over gold satin fabric. I used a sewing machine to gather the tulle and stretch it over the gold satin. I covered the gathers with white beaded trim that I recycled from an old wedding dress that I used as a costume (see the finished dress on my blogpost called “Dresses Made of Flowers“. It’s the white one at the bottom).

I used a piece of rose embossed pearly scrapbooking paper for the spine and back and added a silver name frame to the front with a piece of pearly white cardstock behind it.

Below is a picture of the junk journal on my (grungy looking but clean) work mat.

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Because this journal looks so fancy, I believe I’m going to list it as a wedding guestbook as well as a junk journal… It would make a beautiful non-traditional wedding guestbook for wedding attendees to sign and leave little messages for the bride and groom.

Like most of my junk journals, it contains some white mixed media paper and many different colors, textures, and sizes of scrapbook paper and handmade paper.

Anyway, I hope to have more pictures later this week as well as a flip-through of it, and I’ll post on my blog when this little book goes up for sale on my shop! πŸ™‚

If your interested in seeing any of my other work, check my previous blog posts, or if you really like them, check out my etsy shop!

I hope that you all are having an amazing week. As always, let me know if you have any theme ideas for me to use for future journals. I have a ton, but I’m always looking for new ideas. πŸ™‚

My Hiccup in Getting Quality Art Prints

So, real-talk: I feel like I’ve hit my first snag since I’ve started selling on Etsy.

I was really wanting to have art prints made to sell on my site, but after doing some research, I realized that archival quality prints are not as inexpensive as I had thought and I’m not sure that I’m comfortable investing the amount of money that is needed to invest in order to get these made… Also the closest physical art print shop is about 20-30 miles away. (Yay for small towns πŸ˜‘)… I was originally intending on going to Office Depot to get the prints, but I didn’t realize until I called them that they only provide office quality prints… They don’t use archival quality ink and the image will not be exactly like the artwork.

To any of my artist counterparts: do you have any advice? Maybe I’m just missing an obvious solution. I just want to make sure that the quality is there in my art prints… If it won’t be, I’ll be holding off on selling art prints on my site.
Anyway, on a lighter Β more upbeat note, the picture below is a small portion of my art studio. I like to collect pretty things. 😊 The book on display is by a very talented illustrator – Katie Daisy. The doll is from anthropologie – by another talented artist named Alice Mary Lynch. The stones are labradorite, rose quartz, amethyst and regular quartz and the deer antler was found by me on a walk through the woods. 😊

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