Sunday, February 22, 2009

Week 7

Week 7
I pop-up more than the Queen!

How's your web presence?
In the name of marketing (not vanity) google your name.
Until recently when I searched my name, there were tons of links for genealogies and the Queen of England.
Now I have most of the links on the first 3 pages!
That's why social marketing was the top priority for this week.

My brain was getting cluttered with computer tasks that I kept putting off. Some have been nagging for months. I much prefer to do tactile accomplishments versus virtual tasks. It's gotten to the point of being distracting in the studio. Assessing the reason for my problems with focusing, I recalled the trick of the successful: delayed gratification. It took constant reminding to do the things I enjoy the least first. Most of them require sitting at the computer.

An urban legend by secretaries is to pick the chair with the smallest seat, because your butt will grow to fit your chair. Armed with the narrowest chair in the house, I set out on lots of computer work.

Sitting Down:

  • Added new content (Tip- This is crucial to encourage return visitors and for search engines to rank the blog higher.)
  • Revised bio and site header (Tip - Before the food allergies took presidence. Now the focus is on the art. I felt it was also important to list my portfolio site, and to mention "Happenings in the Studio" is updated every Monday.)
  • Learned that to drive in more traffic, write articles for WikiHow. Hmm. Now I have to decide on what to write about first. (Thank you mom for this great tip!)
  • New addition to the index- "About Me" (Tip -When looking around other people's sites from the below mentioned carnivals, I learned that this is important for credibility and to get where the writers are coming from.)
  • New addition to the index – "Resolutions 2009" and "Social Marketing"
  • Organized images for the blog. (Tip- Sorted images by putting into folders with the same names of that of the blog's index. From there making folders called "images from web" and "my copyright." This way it will save lots of time when I go back and create ebooks and blurb books.)

Facebook- temporarily removed the feed for my blog because of the drama caused by FB. They are talking about changing their contract with the users so that FB has the rights to anything written on the site. I don't want to lose my posts, so for now the blog is off of FB.

Swapped recommendations with people I respect on LinkedIn
  • I wrote three
  • Two people wrote really sweet things about me (Thank you so much!! I really appreciate it!)
Organized Computer
  • Sorted most of the files on thumb drive, external and laptop. (So far I’ve recycled 5 GB. There were folders inside of folders with obscure names like “artist’s statement” or “Elizabeth Symington,” or "to do list." I drive myself nuts some times. AHH!!! I am so glad that is almost over. From now on I will keep the files in order. I don't want to do this ever again.)
  • Backed up blog and wrote a "how to" post
  • Set up automatic schedule for cleaning out recycle bin and defragging computer
  • Installed McAfee. (Tip-Free for Comcast customers)

Moving Around:

Cousin K’s bedroom makeover (for her 13th b-day present)

Concept- Hang picture frames on the wall with no glass or pictures. Paint inside of them with magnetic paint. Then K can swap out pictures easily by using magnets.
  • Bought paint: lime greenish, medium value purple and super dark purple (almost black)
  • Shopped for curtains, frames, sheets, comforter, magnets

Even though this week was dedicated to computer work, I drove to San Francisco to buy art supplies. That's because mom's car was available and the goal is to set up an etsy store ASAP. This means a need for inventory of Cactus Lights. The huge blue box below is full of cord for more lights.

Bought all of this (minus the couch) plus 2-8’ tree stakes for $24!!!

It was cheaper to drive to the San Francisco Bay Area and shop at Urban Ore and Scrap, than to buy here in Sacramento. Yah for salvage yards/art supply thrift stores!!!

Unfortunately I was pressed for time so I didn't have time to visit. Hopefully next time!

Freelance work of sorts

  • Asked to be a monthly column writer for (For the record, I am super excited!) I looked at the site even more in depth than before and wrote out ideas of what I'd like to write about.
  • Hired as a business consultant to Barbara Parker, who's a color consultant and trend forecaster. We'll be working together to get her business up and running. I've wanted to work with Barb and now I get too. Can you tell I am stoked?
  • Donated art for auction. (It's weird sharing this kind of thing because it makes me sound showy and pompous. The reason I talk about donating art is to give other artists ideas on how to get their name out there. Some artists love the opportunity and others don't take this route because they feel the art is devalued since it's being given away.)
  • Photographed miniature pie magnets and ladies missionary tea (Photos on Picasa)

For More Photos
Check out the Picasa album,
"Week 7 Happenings in the Studio."

Weekly Challenge
How's your planning? Is the carriage before the horse?

Determining the priority of making art and computer work is much like preparing for a store’s grand opening. First the foundation needs to be set before inviting in the flood of customers (it’s good to think optimistic). I had to step back and ask myself is the carriage before the horse? Or is the horse in its right place? Unfortunately things were not in the correct order. I needed to update, streamline and backup the blog and website before diving into full scale art production.

I’m half way through Organizing for the Creative Person: Right-Brain Styles for Conquering Clutter, Mastering Time, and Reaching Your Goals. The book echoes this same mind set except the authors, Dorothy Lehmkuhl and Dolores Cotter Lamping, used bigger words: proactive versus reactive. You can take the time to plan and prepare or you can run around putting out one fire out after another. Proactive sounds like a much better life style, so that’s what I am aiming for.

One tip from the book was to alternate from left brain to right brain activities. This prevents burnouts. Left brain activities involve words, organizing and intense concentrating. Right brain tasks can be creating and socializing.

Another tip from the organizing book recommends to do demanding tasks when you are alert and easy more enjoyable things when you are tired.

It’s good to become aware as to when you are the most creative or productive. For me first thing in the morning are vivid with new ideas and ways to solve problems. I try to reserve this time for me. Then about 4pm, I slow down and look at the clock every few minutes. To keep going I have to do something active or take a cat nap. To maintain a rigorous schedule, like this week’s computer work, it helped immensely to drink tons of water, eat regularly, turn on the space heater, take breaks and go to the gym.

I am thankful I kept a list of what I did on the computer, because often it feels like nothing was accomplished since I can’t touch it. It was a grueling week and not the most enjoyable, but my brain feels less cluttered. Not all of the urgent computer tasks were finished last week, so I’m thinking for this week of doing half computer time and half making art. Yahoo! But first, I am taking the morning off.

P.S. Out of curiosity and consideration to my readers, are the studio updates too lengthy? For the artists out there, do the lists with bullet points freak you out? Is it too orderly? Is there something you would like to see more or less of? Please let me know. It would be super helpful.

Week 8 HITS
Week 6 HITS
Table of Contents for HITS (Happenings in the Studio)


  1. Love the juggling video! How long (hours-wise) did it take for you to juggle like this?

  2. I learned to juggle the summer of '08 at the Oregon Country Fair. I've been obsessed ever since. In fact, for a break today, I juggled at the park.