Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Time is Precious and Germs are Everywhere

Here we are, full swing into the 2010-2011 School Year. I am now experiencing the challenges of working full time and running my own little business on the side. I worked a 9-5 office job before teaching, and there is something about teaching that leaves me incredibly physically and mentally exhausted at the day's end. It has become a running joke that my husband always finds me passed out in the living room when he comes home from work. I fight to stay awake and usually I do not win the battle.

My time to create is now limited to the evenings and weekends. I have had a goal each day to put aside a chunk of my evening to work on Gypsy Lane Designs. After all- I have had a fruitful September so far- with a lot of custom orders, preparations for selling my Alphabet Prints at Scarlet Fiorella and Ali's Wagon, getting ready for my first craft fair, finishing up illustrations for a children's book- as well as getting things rolling with private art lessons, staying on top of my blog, Facebook, etc. Time is precious, and now more than ever, I want to use it wisely! All of this extra work is just fantastic and I feel very lucky to have these opportunities. I want to do it all.

This week, I got thrown for a little loop and I am sick. Germs are everywhere in my classroom, and I find I have gotten sick more often as a teacher. My energy is at a low-point and I am more frustrated than ever that I cannot get everything accomplished that is on my agenda. But I do think my body is sending me a very important message that I have been resisting and ignoring: REST! I am sick for the 2nd time in 2 weeks. I still feel a sense of guilt that there are things still to be checked off on my list, but I have come to terms with the fact that I need a break. Tonight will be a night of REST.

Sometimes you just can't do it all. I had high hopes to be 10000% prepared for the Lehigh Avenue Arts festival, but as I am juggling my schedule and all of the extras, preparations were pushed aside. I even grappled with just not going, as I don't feel ready. I talked with some of the wonderful Etsy folks in the forums, who convinced me to still go to the festival. To get experience even if things don't pan out the way I want. To improvise. I will be printing out a lot of previous samples of my work and setting them up on picture stands so as to create visual interest. Maybe I won't have as many "ready made" pieces to sell, but I simply don't have the time right now.

I think it's important to keep the ball rolling and do as much as possible, but this week I am learning to improvise and rest. I hope it leaves me more rejuvenated tomorrow.

What time management techniques do you use?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Featured Seller: Simply Pretty Prints

My latest featured seller is Sarah of Simply Pretty Prints. Her Etsy Shop is a pretty mix of handpainted and handstamped items for home, garden and more. I think her designs are sweet, simple and refreshing.

"I’ve enjoyed being creative since I can remember. One of the things that sticks out in my memory is regularly spending hours drawing cartoons and sketching things with my best friends growing up."

I asked Sarah about her inspiration for opening up an Etsy shop.
"Working as a design engineer for about 9 years nurtured my scientific and methodical side, but not so much my creative and artistic side. After feeling a little burnt out, I had to find creative outlet, nourish my hobbies, and find some balance. Always wanting to learn something new, I took guitar lessons, painting, dancing, and worked on little craft projects on my own. Eventually it evolved into starting my own etsy shop."
Sarah finds inspiration everywhere, especially in nature. She take lots of pictures when she is out walking and hiking and works from those pictures. Her current favorite item is something she just made, the Hello Love Coffee Mug.

When asked if she has any new ideas for her Etsy shop:

"I can’t stop thinking of ideas and creating new things! This is mostly a good thing, but sometimes makes it difficult to stay focused on my long term goals."

What else can you find Sarah involved in when she is not devoting energy to Etsy?
"I love to do things outdoors, eat and make good food, watch shows or movies that make me think or laugh, hang out with good friends and family, travel, and learn new things! I try to stay active by hiking, riding my bike, and most recently, playing racquetball."

A Popular Item at Simply Pretty Prints: Pair of Japanese Tea Cups

My Favorite Item in SimplyPrettyPrint's shop: Garden Markers

Sarah's recent favorite Item: Hello Love Mug

Monday, September 6, 2010

Endings and Beginnings

Today marks the un-official end of summer and tomorrow is the beginning of a new school year. I had an awesome end of summer working on the mural at Scarlet Fiorella in Center City. Wanted to share a few pics of the final product!