Tuesday, December 28, 2010

It Worked!

So Much Love To Recieve

Guess what. Nobody noticed! Or if they did then they didn’t let on and gave me gifts anyway. They love me anyway – no matter how I feel about myself. And quite possibly in spite of how I feel about myself just to prove a point because they are cool like that.

My last post was about wanting a certain thing for Christmas and how my self-esteem issues get in the way of feeling like I deserve nice things at all. So I set an intention in order to try to enjoy this holiday more and not become tangled up in my own emotional baggage. My intention is:

This year I am going to make a conscious effort to pay attention to feeling good about receiving. *

Receiving is really all about the love. Taking in the love. My family took the time to think of gifts I would like, went out and bought them with hard earned money, boxed them up, wrapped them ever so carefully (my mom even makes her own ribbon bows!), and presented them with this look of hope in their eyes that I would like them. Add up all that effort and love. That is priceless!! Then repeat for each and every gift.

Would they do that for me if they hated me as much as I hate myself? NO. They. Would. Not. So there, self-hatred! Take that!!! You got a big ol’ LOVE whooping!

It felt great! It felt really uncomfortable! I was squirmy in my seat. I had to keep reminding myself to have a good time. Oh, yeah, right, take in the love. That was the plan. I opened each gift deliberately and slowly trying to take in every electron of love I could handle.

The Result: JOY. Relaxation. Appreciation for how lucky I am. Fun. Happiness. Gratitude. My Love Tank filled up.

This little change in my thoughts about receiving made a HUGE difference in my enjoyment of the holidays this year. That’s all it was. A change in my thoughts. I changed “I am doo doo.” to “I am loved.” and it made all the difference. How simple. How completely complex.

I hope your holidays went well!

- Vickie

*I’m including 2011 in this intention. 

In the photo above I admit I am not as happy as I look. I didn’t want to have that photo taken, but I needed an image for this follow up post. Yes, I do need a scarf at my mom's place. That's a patio door behind me and the cold blows right through it. It's about 30 degrees where I am sitting. :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A (Possible) New Gadget For My Old Baggage

I am ridiculously difficult to buy presents for… unless you are buying me art supplies. Then the list of possible gifts is endless and has been known to include power tools like compound miter saws.

I’m not a girly girl so jewelry, make-up, and most fashionable clothing is out. I can’t use lovely scented lotions because I’m allergic to so many unidentified things. I don’t really cook anymore so kitchen stuff is useless, not to mention my kitchen is already well stocked with cookware and gadgets.

I do not like other people spending money on me. I really truly do not like it. In fact, I really dislike spending money on myself, too. So when it comes time for Mr. M to ask me what I want for Christmas, I get hung up in The Spending Money (On Me) Spiral. He is spending money on me. But it’s OUR money. Therefore it’s partly my money being spent on me. Double whammy.

The double whammy causes me to be completely, totally, cripplingly indecisive if I happen to (rarely) want something that is a little expensive. This year’s indecisiveness is brought to you by our friends at Apple because I really want the new iPod Touch.

“But, Vickie,” you say. “You already have a perfectly good iPod Touch.” Yes, I do. I know. I love it. It works just fine. It has brought me countless hours of joy.

But last week my twin sister, Valerie, got an iPhone. This was the first time I had a chance to play with an iPhone. The screen is amazingly gorgeous. I can actually read tiny lettering on web pages on the iPhone that my failing eyesight can’t read on my Touch. Then I played with the camera, the video camera, FaceTime, and then all the other cool stuff that my Touch doesn’t have.

My brain began to scream, “WANT! WANT! WANT!” My brain began to show me in rapid fire succession all the fun projects that I could do with a new Touch like make stop motion animations, pepper Twitter with photos, make video tutorials, FaceTime with my sister and far away friends, and finally have access to things like VoiceOver so I can have the web and Twitter “read to me” when I need to rest my eyes or cannot tolerate light anymore.

I have been going back and forth with “yes” and “no” to Mr. M on this for weeks, even before Valerie got her iPhone. He has not enjoyed my dance with The Spending Money (On Me) Spiral. Today he required an answer. I balked. I stammered. Both “yes” and “no” fought to come out of my mouth at the same time. So I completely gave the decision to him. Now it’s going to be a surprise if he buys it or not. I am quite sure he will buy it because he is so super nice to me and totally spoils me at Christmas all year. But I am not going to be disappointed if he doesn’t buy it either. Like I said, I have a perfectly good iPod Touch already.

So where lies the rub?? What is my damage?

This is not about the iPod Touch. This is not really about the money. This is about my self-hatred, which lately has been off the charts as I struggle to be productive through excruciating pain and fatigue trying to be “good enough” and never getting there.

Inside, I am being torn in half.

One side really wants the iPod Touch and is excited like a gleeful 6 year old about it. This side is jumping up and down inside my head and squealing right now about playing Angry Birds on that clear new screen.

The other side is just doom doom doom. “You don’t deserve it. Who do you think you are? You have a perfectly good iPod already. No one should ever buy you any gifts because you are a piece of doo doo. No nice things for you – especially nice things that will bring you untold, incalculable hours of fun and joy and let you spread untold, incalculable hours of fun and joy to the interwebs!”

I really need to work on this self-hatred problem. It’s sneaking its way into everything. I deny myself so much good because of it. I deny myself happiness, success, comfort, and the list could go on for quite some length. What ends up happening is that I am also denying you - my family and friends - the gifts I have been given to share because this self-hatred makes me isolate and not share my love/joy/art with anyone. This self-hatred makes me feel like no one could possibly ever want to see what I do or spend one second with me. I fight tooth and nail with it just to post what I do on the web, like this post for instance.

New iPod Touch or not, receiving gifts at Christmas taxes my self-hatred significantly. As the pile of gifts with my name on them grows, so does my anxiety. If these people really knew how horrible I am they would be giving me coal like I deserve!

This year I am going to make a conscious effort to pay attention to feeling good about receiving. I’m going to listen more to the gleeful 6 year old in me. I’m not going to listen to doom doom doom. Receiving a gift is about taking in the love from the gift giver. It’s not about me and my cr@p unless I choose to make it about me and my cr@p by listening to the doom. Doom, you shall have Christmas off! I’m going to keep reminding myself that if I really were as horrible as I think I am, then these wonderful people who love me might have noticed by now and wouldn’t be giving me any gifts at all.

As part of my plan for 2011, the word I have chosen to focus on is HEALING (more on this soon). Quite near the top of the list of things that need to be healed is my self-hatred. I think that might clean up some other messes lurking in my baggage, too.

If you are suffering from the “self-hatred doom doom doom” this holiday season let me know in the comments and we will pull each other through this together! If you have a case of the “I’m not good enough”s this year, I got your back, too! If these are things you have worked through and have some solutions to offer I welcome your thoughts!

Please have a happy and safe holiday!


- Vickie

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Customer Action Shots: Kitty Ornaments

My friend Sandy, of PunkyJane.etsy.com, was kind enough to send me a set of dominoes she thrifted for a mere 20 cents last year. I made her two domino ornaments as a thank you. She requested that I put her new kitties, Muppit and Licorice, on them to mark their first Christmas with their family.

I have not done pet portraits before. She sent me photos of the cats and I did my best. She says they really do look like her cats! Yay!

"Licorice" Domino Ornament :: Action Shot

This year she is using the ornaments to mark their stockings. How clever! I asked her to send me some action shots of my Tiny Works of Awesome in use! Are these not adorable with all the Christmas decorations around them?!

"Muppit" Domino Ornament :: Action Shot

I hope you are having a fantastic holiday time with good food and fun with loved ones. I still have gifts to make and gifts to buy! We have not even put up our tree yet. That simply must happen soon. I adore Christmas trees! I could sit and stare at a Christmas tree all night.

But not tonight... for tonight we party! Tomorrow is my birthday, and I intend to spend it sleeping off tonight's festivities. Then a trip to the craft store, of course.

Have a happy happy merry weekend!

- Vickie

Friday, December 10, 2010

Double Your Fun! : A Giveaway!

I am super thrilled to announce another event I’m doing with my local Etsy Team*, the Rochester New York Etsy Street Team (RNEST)! We are a group of artisans living in or around Rochester, NY, joined in a common cause, creating handmade items that we share with the world in our Etsy shops. This is a fantastic group of folks to work with. They are fun and knowledgeable about the business of handmade. Plus they are seriously generous! There is a giveaway on our team blog every week!

Michelle from The Quilted House and I decided to double-team y’all for the holidays. We are offering a great big giveaway! A full gift ensemble… wrapping included!

I am giving away a domino pendant in one of my favorite designs – the “Home Sweet Home Nesting Bird Collage” Altered Domino Fine Art Pendant.

The collage on this domino pendant is a print of a larger work of art that I made specifically for my domino jewelry. The original is 6” x 3”, about the same proportion as a domino but bigger. I sent the edge of the house layer through my sewing machine and am delighted that the detail of the stitching came through in the tiny print on the domino. The text “home sweet home” is itty bitty text cut out, backed with red cardstock, and glued to the little print. It has quite a lot of dimension for being so small.

The winner gets their choice of black waxed cotton cord, ball chain, or ribbon for the necklace as well as their choice of length for the necklace. Keep reading for the details about how to enter the contest.

Plus, through December 31st, entering the coupon code RNESTROCKS will net you 10% off everything in my Etsy shop! [Shipping deadline for Christmas is December 20, 2010] 

Michelle, as you can maybe tell from the name of her shop, The Quilted House, loves quilting. She loves to create useful quilted items such as qPouches for your music player, gorgeous notebook and journal covers,  and awesome stockings and ornaments that are beautiful and will make you smile every time you use them. Her shop is currently chock full of fun items for the holidays and beyond!


She is giving away a cute little quilted mini gift tote! This little quilted gem is the perfect size to hold a few truffles and a gift card, earrings, a ring box, or the fabulous domino pendant you just won. The recipient can then reuse it the next time a gift-giving occasion arises - the gift that keeps on giving! How cool is that?!

I can personally attest to the precision with which Michelle creates her works of quilted awesomeness. I’ve never seen such neat and tidy seams and hems! Don’t get me started about her folded corners on her line of jotters! Whoa! You cannot go wrong with purchasing a bevy of gifts from her shop!

The coupon code RNESTROCKS will give you a 10% discount in The Quilted House, too!

Ok! So you are saying, “Shut it already! How do I win this pot of gold??”

Go to the Rochester NY Etsy Street Team blog and get the details, which involve the usual things like hearting my shop, following the RNEST blog, and bonus entries for tweeting and blogging the giveaway. The winner will be chosen using the random number generator on Tuesday, December 14th and will be announced in the next Wednesday Wellspring on the RNEST blog on December 15th.

Good luck! I can't wait to see who wins! I get excited about giveaways! 

Happy Holidays!!

- Vickie

*What are Etsy Teams? They are an Etsy.com community feature where one can gather at the crossroads of the handmade marketplace and community, meet people with common interests, and collaborate. The Teams feature makes it easy for you to join an existing team or to create, maintain, and promote a new one. It's also a way for shoppers to browse by theme or location and find shops that might interest them.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Where Did the Last 30 Days Go?

Steampunk Woman Domino Pendant

Busy! Busy! Busy! And none of it was so interesting that it got a blog post! You know, the ho hum of everyday. Maybe I don’t see the interestingness for all the doing that gets in the way. So I guess you want an update on things seeing as it has been a month since we last met? Where have I been? What have I been doing?

A couple days after the show at St. Rita’s last month my dad had emergency surgery. Big, major, scary surgery. It went as planned but there have been a few complications. But Dad is now doing super-duper well after all the surgery and poking and testing. He is staying here with Mr. M and I for a bit. To be truthful, I like having Dad stay here with us. I get to hug him whenever I want and spoil him a little. He deserves it. He’s an awesome dad!

I get a lot of my craftiness from him. He makes things, too, but in a much larger scale. His skill in restoring antique cars and hot rods is stunning. He does it all old-school with steel sheet benders, welding, and paints them himself. You don’t find that much anymore. We have been hatching plans to restore a little MG he has hidden away. Of course, I want to make everything we would need from scratch, but he is experienced enough to know that is not practical if we ever want to finish it. C’mon! It’s a giant art project!! On wheels!

Other than that I have just been making “Tiny Works of Awesome” for shows. That’s my new slogan. Do you like it?

Way more custom orders came in this year than last and caught me off guard. Those are taking a little longer to finish than I hoped they would, but only because I want them to be my best work for my customers, and I am taking care of my dad at the same time.

If you are considering a custom order for this holiday, I encourage you to hop on it very quickly. I am only taking custom orders until December 6th in order to assure on time holiday delivery.

The photo up top on this post is a new work of mine. Trying the steampunk thing. She has a lot of little details like tiny watch parts, beads, washers, mini brass lock nuts, and brass nails. This one sold at my last show, but I am taking orders for more like her. Let me know if you dig it and want one.

Want to shop in person with In My Head Studios? I love to meet people at craft shows! My next show (and possibly the last show of the season):

Saturday, November 27, 2010
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Irondequoit High School
260 Cooper Rd

Rochester, NY 14617

Monday, October 18, 2010

It's About LOVE, People

I know I already gave y’all the craft show update from the St. John’s show on October 11th. But I left out a very big part of the story, as that post was getting long. And this part needed to be separate anyway. You will see why.

It’s no big secret that I’ve been going through a lot lately with pain, intractable chronic daily migraines and now hemiplegic migraines, which brings occasional sudden paralysis to my right side and with it an inability to make art. To say the least, my emotional state has not been great all the time. This has been difficult to accept and get through sometimes. I get mad. I cry a lot. Much lamenting is done about wanting to just quit all this. Yeah. It’s bad.

Last Monday was a big smack in the face about why I keep going despite all this suffering. It’s about LOVE.

I already told you about how I got sick Sunday night and my mom, Heather and Mr. M packed up for me and did the set up Monday morning. That was about LOVE. Specifically their LOVE for me and their belief in my work. Then my LOVE for them deepens because they totally didn’t have to do all that but they did and I LOVE them even more for it.

Fast forward to around noon on Monday. I finally make it to the show. I’m there with my mom and Mr. M at my booth. Lots of people at the show are commenting on how beautiful my work is. People are buying. More LOVE.

Then something strange started to happen. People started to show up just to see me. My twin sister came with her 2 small children; my father arrived; my friend Christi came (who works 70 hours a week and I never get to see her so I was so happy to see her); my good pals Heather and Maggie (who really helped a lot to get me ready for this show); my new friends Jack and Lorraine (who were old acquaintances and now are good friends thanks to Twitter and Facebook); a friend from high school who I have not seen since 1993 (who we caught up with through Facebook and through which he was spammed by me about the show); a totally random coincidental meeting of a youth group leader from when I was maybe 14 or 15 who lives in Charleston and was visiting Rochester and happened to be at the show; and (finally) my mom’s very helpful neighbor who came to help us pack up as Mr. M had left to go to work.

Including my mom and Mr. M that is 14 people total. My booth was a rocking party all day long. People, food, laughter, hugs. LOVE. One person would show up and go and then another would show up so it was spread out all through the day.

Then add all the people who stopped to just look and/or buy my work. And add other vendors who knew me and my work through other people or being online who wanted to meet me. That was weird. LOVE LOVE LOVE. Throw in a couple 55-gallon drums of validation while you are at it.

I was starting to wonder when the “This Is Your Life” cameras were going to pop out from behind a corner. Seriously. None of the other vendors were having loud reunions with friends all day. I wonder if we got to be annoying after a while!

I am getting all misty just writing about this. I think The Universe may be trying to tell me something like, “Good grief, woman! Don’t you feel all this LOVE? You can’t off yourself! Imagine all of these people at your funeral. How could you do that to them? They really really LOVE you!”

So I feel the LOVE. I feel it in my chest so much that literally my heart aches with all this LOVE. And, yes, now I am crying full blown tears as I write. Wah. This isn’t going to appreciate itself, people!

How did I get so lucky? What set all this good in motion? Me? How on earth could that be?

There are not words in this language to accurately express the depth of my gratitude to have this kind of LOVE happen in a time of such suffering and desperation from a loss of hope that this pain will ever go away and I will get my life back. But then again this LOVE has been around me all along. It just happened to kick me in the pants all at once in one day last week. Quite powerful stuff!

Yes, Universe, I am listening. I am spinning string made with this LOVE and how it makes me feel safe, valued and needed and I am weaving it in and out through my ribs and around my heart so I won’t forget it; so it will be my light through the yucky dark places.

Go share some LOVE!

- Vickie

Upcoming 2010 Shows

Saturday, October 23, 2010
St. Rita’s Craft Sale
9:30 AM – 4:00 PM
St. Rita School
1008 Maple Drive
Webster, NY

Saturday, November 6, 2010
Mayday Underground
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Village Gate Square
274 N. Goodman St
Rochester, NY
The first 50 shoppers will receive a free swag bag!

Saturday, November 27, 2010
Irondequoit High School’s Arts & Crafts Sale
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Irondequoit High School
260 Cooper Rd

Rochester, NY

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Craft Show Happenings

Yesterday kicked off the 2010 craft show season for me and I think Rochester, NY in general. “What?” you say. “A show on a Monday?” Yep. It was Columbus Day and many folks had the day off. The turnout was actually quite good! We did really well, I am happy to report!

And I must say that is a good thing because I worked my butt off this week, as did my mom and Mr. M to get ready for this show. My pals Heather and Maggie also worked like little elves for me, too. With all the health issues going on and the memory problems associated with them I forgot to really look at inventory early enough. The inventory box contained a little less than I thought it did. So a slight mad scramble ensued. I cranked out tiny art. Mom sealed the dominoes. Heather and Maggie put on the cord findings for pendants. Mr. M ran ribbons for domino ornaments. It’s nice to have minions really good helpers!

However, the stress of putting in 15-hour days all week got to me and I crashed hard Sunday night incapacitated in bed in pain. Mom, Mr. M and Heather were left with the final packing of all the show items. Thankfully I made good lists so it was slightly easier on them. I wanted to cancel the show if I could not finish it all myself. I’m sick of everyone picking up the pieces when I become ill. But they throw the “Well, if it was one of us, wouldn’t you pack up our show for us?!” Uh, yes. Absolutely. Yes, I would. Hands down. No question. But for some reason, the same just does not apply to me. Hmmmm… Baggage claim! Aisle 3!!

What I really needed was sleep. Mr. M and Mom set up the booth at 8:00 AM by themselves. They are pros at it by now. I slept in and Mr. M picked me up a bit later. This worked out well because this show was a long day, not ending until 7:00 PM. See what a lovely job they did setting up?

Halloween Domino Pendant Display

Craft Show Table Display

Domino Pendant & Domino Ornament Table Display

We have Halloween on one end of the table, Scrabble tile pendants and domino pendants in the middle, then checker and domino key chains, and Christmas domino ornaments at the other end of the table. Sales were a pretty even mix between all of them except the key chains. Not one sold.

I always look forward to the first holiday season show so I can catch up with my craft show buddies. It’s an awful lot of fun to be on the vendor side of the table!

Upcoming 2010 Shows

Saturday, October 16, 2010
Victor PTSA Arts & Crafts Show
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Victor Intermediate School
953 High Street
Victor, NY

Saturday, October 23, 2010
St. Rita’s Craft Sale
9:30 AM – 4:00 PM
St. Rita School
1008 Maple Drive
Webster, NY

Saturday, November 6, 2010
Mayday Underground
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Village Gate Square
274 N. Goodman St
Rochester, NY
The first 50 shoppers will receive a free swag bag!

Saturday, November 27, 2010
Irondequoit High School’s Arts & Crafts Sale
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Irondequoit High School
260 Cooper Rd

Rochester, NY

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Collage Paper Prepping

Lately I have been creating my own papers for collaging. I’ve needed a couple specific colors for some new ideas that I could not find in my scrapbook paper stash. Gasp! How could that even be possible? I know! But it is indeed true!

My process starts with a generous coat of gesso on regular white cardstock. Nothing fancy… just a pack of white cardstock from the craft store. I kind of lay the gesso on thick creating a great deal of texture. This step is best done in batches so I do between four to six pieces of paper at a time. I bought some of those giant plastic carpet protectors so my chairs could scoot on the carpet in the studio. They have turned into great carpet protectors from painty projects (not that we are really attempting to save the carpet in the studio anymore at this point)!

Prepping Paper With Gesso

I don’t know if it’s a throwback from childhood or what but I prefer to sit on the floor when I work. My body is displeased with this however and only lets me do it every so often. But painty gesso on paper calls for the floor! Huzzah! Also, there is not enough room on my worktable to accommodate the drying of four to six pages of paper.

The gesso dries quite quickly and I get to paint them soon. I think today I need more yellow and orange. Maybe some red and green for domino Christmas ornaments. Pink for cupcakes. I will also play around with some glazing and layering for visual interest.

This is a page I painted for a project a few weeks ago.

Collage Paper

Collage Paper :: Close Up

So what becomes of all this painted paper? It gets cut up into ridiculously small pieces for decorating dominoes. I’m talking about pieces smaller than half an inch, mostly much much smaller. Often I wade into dealing with one millimeter by one millimeter pieces. Yep. I do. Why? I’m still looking for the answer to that question.

- Vickie

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

It's Like We Water-Boarded It

We got a Topsy Turvy* tomato plant hanger thingy last year. It wasn't a really successful horticultural experiment then. So we tried again this year with a cherry tomato plant.

I've never seen a cherry tomato plant grow like this. Granted, we did hang it upside down.

It grew straight down for a day or two then decided to turn sharply upward. At this point it began growing at a rate of about three inches a day. I'm not even kidding. It was amazing. Thinking about the rate of cell division going on blew my mind. Just growing up and up and up... but not producing anything even remotely like a tomato flower.

It seemed to be saying, "To heck with you, Gravity. I'm going to grow as big, tall, and gangly as I possibly can under mostly my own support [note some twine we had to add to keep it from falling over and breaking off]. Then and only then will I make tiny tomatoes. Just in time for it to turn cold and my tiny green tomatoes will never ripen. I'll get those jerks back for hanging me upside-down!"

Do you think it was just really stressed by being upside-down? Maybe it freaked out and grew as big as possible trying to get far away from its oppressors reaching out for help in all directions. I have a feeling it just wasn't getting enough sun.

To give you some scale, I can't reach the top tiny red tomato. Erik has to reach and stretch to water it at the top and he is kind of tall. The plant itself, if the bottom of it were on the ground, would be about four and a half feet tall.

I have eaten approximately three tomatoes off this plant all summer. Right now there are a lot of beautiful green cherry tomatoes on it. We had a 90 degree day over the weekend. But the following day was only about 65 degrees so I think our growing season has come to an end. It's getting quite cold at night now.

So a big boo and hiss to the Tomato Fairy this year. Even our right-side up tomato plants didn't do very much. However I shall not complain too loudly as we had more than a bountiful raspberry crop this year to make up for any tomato inadequacies.

* Our tomato plant looks nothing like the plants on their website. I might submit our weird monstrosity to their gallery and ask what we did wrong.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hand Art Therapy Doodle

Hand Art Therapy 8/18/10 :: Close Up

Playing with my watercolor crayons has been helping me regain the use of my right hand after the hemiplegic migraine. Still not quite 100%. I would give my arm an 8 out of 10 and my leg a 6. Traveling short distances around the house without a crutch is getting easier.

Hand Art Therapy 8/18/10

Watercolor crayons are so much fun. I like to use a brand called Caran d’Ache. They go down smoothly and provide good coverage. You can also lay down a really light amount and still get a nice color wash. They are a little pricey but totally worth it. I bought one size up from the smallest set to get started and then bought them from the a la carte rack individually to choose the colors I wanted. Bought one or two here and there and soon enough I had a nice collection of colors.

I am painting with a little water filled brush. It holds water and squirts it out of the brush tip. No need for a water container. This thing is brilliant!

The details were added last with my Marvy Le Plume II markers.

- Vickie

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Etsy Twitter Team: Shop of the Week

Every week the Etsy Twitter Team (ETT) features one of their members’ shops as the Shop of the Week. This week is my week! And with everything that’s been going on I almost forgot!

Even though the process for being Shop of the Week is a first-come first-served sign up it is still a great honor for me. I adore all the members of this Etsy team.

I used to run ETT for about a year and a half. During that time the members and I created a very close knit community of Etsy sellers who use Twitter to make friends and promote their businesses. We have laughed together and cried together. Celebrations for birthdays and for newborn births have occurred. Grief for recent losses have been suffered together as well (RIP Joyce).

When I got the ETT project underway I never expected to make so many new friends! These folks and team duties kept me going with a purpose during some pretty dark times. I am forever grateful to these artists. So to have them help me promote my shop this week means the world to me.

I am no longer running the team. Our very capable Jen from Jenco13 is doing a fabulous job at that. I am still very active behind the scenes helping with blog layout and Team Treasury curation among other things. These artists have given me so much – beyond measure – that I could not just walk away.

Please take a moment to read the lovely words Judy from Wellspring Creations had to say about me and my work on the Etsy Twitter Team blog. Again, I am humbled by the kindness of the arts world.

I hope you will take advantage of my sale this week...

FREE shipping to anywhere from August 16 - 22
at inmyheadstudios.etsy.com


- Vickie

Etsy Twitter Team: Shop of the Week - inmyheadstudios

Monday, August 9, 2010

Can You Feel This Now?

Migraines Through History

Yessiree, It has been one heck of a week. But still at the end of last week and as this week begins I am not losing hope. Nope. Nope. Nope. Not losing hope!

I’m having more troubles with these migraines. I had two migraines last week that caused what looked like a stroke. I could not feel or move my right side. My hand was all clenched up and shaking. So was my leg. Totally scary situation. I spent four days confined to a hospital bed because I could not walk. I needed some pain relief and a lot of hydration.

Right now, a full week later, I have limited use of the right side of my body. I’m hobbling around on crutches. I am learning how to walk and write again. My rehab plan for my right hand and arm is to draw and type as much as possible. So far, so good. Thank goodness for Twitter to keep me busy! Such love and support from all my peeps!

My hand and foot occasionally start to cramp, lock up or get really weak. But it’s improving every day. Last week I could not feed myself. Now I can make a pot of coffee! Going up and down stairs is still difficult. I’m going to have quite the buff left leg for all the weight it’s supporting! Lying in bed is strange. If I lie on my right side I can’t feel the bed under me, which causes me to feel like I am falling out of bed.

My Mr. Man has been waiting on me dutifully. He brings me food upstairs so I can hang out here in my studio instead of being bored on the couch. So we have the art studio on the second floor and the food downstairs. Hmmmmm.... which floor did every one think I would choose to stay on? (Both floors have full bathrooms.) We have worked out some details of getting food myself once Mr. M goes back to work. He bought me a big, shiny thermos for my coffee so I can lug it upstairs without splashing it all over! Pre-made things like bowls of cut fruit and PB & J sandwiches will be in the fridge when I want them.

All of my family has rallied around me during this difficult time. Mom went to the store and cooked dinner when I got home from the hospital. She is a nurse so she made sure that I received top-notch care at the hospital. She was there as was Mr. M most of the time. Someone was always near by.

As frightening as this has been I am not going to let this beat me. Even though it seems like everything just got 1000% harder I am maintaining my stubborn goal of thriving – not just surviving. Yes, I will admit I have had several United-Nations-Meeting-scale pity parties. Who wouldn’t? So just call me “Peg Leg” for right now!

Take some time to tell your working arms and legs (if you have them) that you love them unconditionally and you would marry them if you could. You won’t miss them until they are gone.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Buried The Humble Meter

Jonathan Everitt's Blog Post

Honestly, I kind of don't even know what to say about this wonderful piece by Jonathan Everitt. My “humility meter” has me wanting to duck under the covers. Yikes! Attention! Run away! The fact that anyone is even remotely interested in what I do amazes me every time. I am go grateful for the community I have around me.

Jonathan’s blog called “Originals: An Occasional Look at Cool Creative People” features local artists. Some of the talent he has written about is utterly unbelievable. To be in this kind of local artistic company is awesome! Happy Dance!

Thank you, Jonathan, for all you do to promote our local artsy peeps! There is “shameless self promotion” and then there is something more miraculous… the coming together of people, community, and “The Right People Who Will Shamelessly Promote Others”. I think The Universe lately is putting my right-people in my path. How cool is that?!

Happy Friday!

- Vickie

Friday, July 23, 2010

Attention To Detail?

Or maybe "How To Know You Are Getting A Quality Product From Me".

Also known as "How Anal Retentive Am I?"

Gimme a break! There's like 50 years of yuck all crusty in there! This is a very old domino with great relief carved out dot dimples.

The dots on the regular black wood dominoes don't need much cleaning. The plastic dominoes do need a little TLC having the dimples cleaned out.

[I posted this straight from the flickr/blog interface. Not sure I dig the layout.]

Happy Friday!

~ Vickie

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Willowing and A Video

This video from Willowing really has made an impact for me today. She talks about being “good enough”. Plus she paints a beautiful art journal page. Take a moment to listen to her. She’s delightful, I promise!

“How often do you tell yourself you are not good enough?”

I have lost count. I think I say this to myself a lot. I mean A LOT. So I live in this constant state of “not good enough”, which is not a fun place to be. It makes everything I do seem worthless. It keeps me from getting started on pretty much anything. Why would I want to do/create/be something that will never be good enough?

Would you tell someone you love that they are not good enough? Then why are you doing it to yourself? All the “should”s “must”s and “have to”s … it’s crazy-making!

This kind of self-talk is limiting. It crushes part of my soul every time I say it to myself. It just keeps adding up. I believe it more the more I hear it. It’s not helping spur me onto self-improvement because I feel bad about myself and feel I am not worthy of being a better person. What happens then? Total stagnation.

I find that I end up running around, trying to get it all done, and falling short. I think, “See? How can I be good enough if it is ALL not finished today? See all this evidence around you that is screaming you are not good enough?!” You see, I have actual evidence.

This pattern happens way too much in my life as I deal with disabling pain and fatigue from daily chronic migraines and fibromyalgia. I cannot keep up with the rest of you “healthy” people. And I obviously have a problem accepting that. I have limitations that I have to respect or I get really ill. But to be honest, it makes me quite mad that I have these limitations. I have to remember that I am not my disability or my limitations. I am Vickie. I am an artist. And as a “beautiful exhale from The Universe” I am good enough already (even if the laundry is piling up and the house is dirty).

There is a huge difference between the bad self-talk about not being good enough and the motivation of wanting to improve because I am learning something new and I’m not quite where I want to be with it yet. That kind of “not good enough” creates movement – not stagnation.

I am taking Willowing’s excellent advice and taking deep breaths when I catch myself somewhere other than this moment. During fear, during pain, during limiting negative self-talk. I am giving myself permission to feel better, to be okay with myself wherever I am, and to be open to the possibilities around me. I am working on focusing on the stuff I can do rather than the stuff I can’t do.

How is the “Not Good Enough Monster” affecting your life? Please share in the comments how you deal with it!

Where to find more from Willowing:
Site: willowing.org
Blog: willowinglove.blogspot.com
YouTube: youtube.com/user/willowing
Twitter: @willowing
Facebook: facebook.com/willowing
Ning: willowing.ning.com

Friday, July 16, 2010

Doodles During The Artistic Biker's Ustream

Doodles During The Artistic Biker Ustream 7/15/10

These are some doodles I created while watching The Artistic Biker's show last night. I highly recommend stopping in to see him work on his art journaling. Plus the added benefit is that the chat room part fills up with A-list art journaling web celebrities. I met a few new friends last night!

Where to find The Artistic Biker:

Blog: artisticbiker.com
Twitter: @Blade21292
Ustream Live Show: Thursdays 7-9 PM CST: ustream.tv/channel/the-artistic-biker

Sunday, July 11, 2010

New Etsy Twitter Team Members

Friday, July 2, 2010

What Is Black, White, and Red All Over?

Just had to share this stunning Etsy Twitter Team Treasury with you! Happy to be in such good company!

Click the image below to visit the Treasury and pass out some clicks and leave a comment.

Created by MostFavoriteAunt.etsy.com
Follow Her on Twitter: @MostFavorite

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

We Have A Winner!

"Sophisticated Squares" Handmade Altered Domino Pendant

I’m pleased as punch to announce that Samy was randomly drawn as the winner of my “Sophisticated Squares” Altered Domino Pendant!! Congratulations!!

The Rochester NY Etsy Street Team, a local Etsy Team for Rochester and the surrounding area, hosted the contest. There were more than 60 entries! It was such fun all week to meet new people and get some good feedback about my work.

Samy is also known as PrincessSamy and PSVintage. Delightful vintage goodies fill her Etsy shop. She says to “Think of her as your very own personal shopper, sorting through all of the ‘blah’ to get to the ‘ooh lala’.” Who couldn’t use a little more “ooh lala”?!

Where else can you find Samy? Looky below! Links!!

Shop: PrincessSamy.etsy.com
Twitter: twitter.com/psvintage
Blog: samyinwonderland.blogspot.com/
Facebook: facebook.com/ PrincessSamyVintage

Friday, June 25, 2010

Did You Say “Earthquake”? Huh?

We had some excitement in the form of an Act of God on Wednesday here in Rochester, NY! Many of us in the area experienced an earthquake around 1:40 PM. Yes. An earthquake. Here.

Mom and I were in the studio on the second floor of my house. The whole house started shaking like a rickety shack. It creaked and grumbled and shook like a Polaroid picture. Lamps rattled, water on my table rippled, the blinds swung.

We looked at each other quizzically. My brain quickly ran through several possible causes. Is that a big truck driving by? A plane? A train? High winds? I’m not sure how far down the list “earthquake” was but I can tell you it wasn’t really on my radar. Then my brain shouted, “Earthquake!!!!”

Since it feels like it all happened in slow motion I'm sure it didn't really last as long as I think it did. It lasted long enough for me to say, "Maybe run?" to my mom so we scooted down the stairs and right on outside to the driveway. We didn't want the house to fall with us in it. And since there was no way to know just how bad this might get or how long it would last, we got out. It was over by the time we got outside, which disappointed me because I wanted to feel the earth rumble under my bare feet in the grass.

The weird thing was that none of my neighbors came outside after it. Mom and I stood looking up and down the street. No one in sight. So we kind of shrugged and then went about eating the fresh red raspberries growing by my driveway that are utterly irresistible. (We are drowning in raspberries at the moment out there.)

Mom thought to turn on the radio in her car in the driveway so we could hear the news. It was maybe close to 10 minutes before we heard anything about an earthquake on the radio. However, I fired up my iPod Touch right away in the driveway, got on Twitter, did a search for "Rochester earthquake", and got instant accounts - some from trusted news sources - from a wide surrounding area about the earthquake.

Interesting Observation: My mom went to the “traditional media” of radio and television. I went right to social networks (knowing full well that the info is not always true) and to various online news sites. All of the local websites had info before radio or TV reported it.

We do not have earthquakes here like this one. Close to never. I've not felt one in the total of 24 years I have lived here.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake occurred on the Ontario-Quebec border region of Canada and was a magnitude 5.0. It could be felt in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Vermont, New Hampshire, New Jersey and New York. That’s pretty crazy to me. It was only a 2.something here - have read too many reports with different figures.

This experience reminded me just how suddenly and unpredictably our lives could change for good or for worse at any moment. We got lucky with good. A little scare and a lot of adrenaline, but we are all fine. It was quite an interesting experience that I think I could do without feeling again. Ever.

So I am grateful that the ground is staying still. I am taking the opportunity to tell my loved ones that I love them before the ground swallows them up whole.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A Handmade Giveaway!

I want to thank everyone who has commented and/or emailed me about the piece Kathleen Landers did about me in The Examiner on Monday. So much crafty love coming my way! I’m delighted!

Now I get to spread the love to you! The Rochester NY Etsy Street Team (RNEST) is holding a giveaway on their blog for one of my new domino pendants! How cool is that?!

About the prize:

This altered domino pendant is part of a new line I have launched. I created several pieces of artwork in the same proportions as a domino but on a larger scale – about 6 inches tall. Then I do some pixel pushing magic and print the art very tiny to be put on a domino. An eclectic mixture of color and texture makes this particular domino pendant stylish, classy, and chic.

The wood domino measures 1 3/4 inches (4.4 cm) tall, 7/8 inch (2.2 cm) wide, and 5/16 inch (8 mm) thick.

The necklace:
• YOUR CHOICE of length of black cotton cord (i.e. 16” or 18” or any length you want!)
• Domino hangs on a silver-plated bail
• Necklace closes with a silver-plated lobster clasp

You can see a close up shot of the original artwork on my flickr site.

I love this process as it gives me the ability to create very meticulous work that keeps its detail when scaled down. You can even read the words from the text I used for the larger collage in the smaller print!

So head on over to the RNEST blog and make your comments for entries!

How the contest works:

ENTRY #1: Go to In My Head Studios’ Etsy shop, heart the shop, and then leave a comment on the RNEST blog telling Michelle your favorite item.

ENTRY #2: Become a follower of the RNEST blog and leave a comment there letting Michelle know - or if you follow already, leave a comment saying you're a loyal follower.

In addition, there are at least 6 other chances for extra entries such as answering a trivia question about me, becoming a follower on my blog, Twitter, and Facebook page.

The winner will be chosen using the random number generator on Tuesday, June 22nd and will be announced in the next “Wednesday Wellspring” post on the RNEST blog.

Many thanks go out to Michelle of The Quilted House for organizing the RNEST giveaway and blog post! I love our local Etsy Street Team! So much support and information gets shared in this group. The RNEST Team, in my opinion, is an indispensable resource for Rochester, NY Etsy sellers. If you are from the greater Rochester area please feel free to contact our leader Linda at her Etsy shop for more information on joining.

Happy Giveaway! Can't wait to see who wins!

Monday, June 14, 2010

I've Been Examined by The Examiner

You can’t make art in a vacuum. I firmly believe it takes community. Rochester, NY has one of the finest art communities in the nation. Having made the foray into doing local art and craft shows, I have had the opportunity to meet many fellow local artists. I find this group of people to be excellent networkers, sharers, and cheerleaders. I can’t believe some of the opportunities that have come up for me as a result of all this art love here.

Today I am especially grateful for a local connection I made with a reporter named Kathleen Landers from The Examiner at the MayDay Underground Arts + Crafts show in May. Kathleen has written a deeply humbling story about my artwork and me. She really took the time through phone calls and many emails to get to know me and what fuels my artistic passions. I could not be happier with how her article turned out. Click the screenshot of the article above to go read it.

“Kathleen is a Rochester native who owns her own decorative painting business and displays her work in local shops and art shows. Inspiration is fostered when seeking out area talent and she loves sharing concepts she's learned.” - Kathleen’s Bio on The Examiner

The Examiner consists of local news, events and attractions, real estate, shopping, and more where you can find local top breaking news and perspectives by trusted local experts. The Examiner serves 240 markets in the United States and Canada. The site is broken down into local pages, such as the Rochester, NY Examiner. There is probably a local Examiner for your area.

To keep the celebration going the Rochester NY Etsy Street Team (RNEST) is holding a giveaway on their blog for one of my new domino pendants (pictured below). Check out the post on Wednesday, June 16th for details and a chance to win! Many thanks go out to Michelle of The Quilted House for organizing the RNEST giveaway and blog post!

"Sophisticated Squares" Altered Domino Pendant you could win. The contest starts on Wednesday, June 16th on the RNEST blog.

This domino pendant was created from a larger original work of art I made especially for my line of domino pendants. It is printed on high quality photo paper and ink. This process allows me to create stunning detail on a small scale.

So hop on over to The Examiner post and get to know me better! And don't forget to enter the RNEST giveaway on Wednesday! I'll post about that again so you don't miss it!

Have a happy day!