Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I just wanted to wish everyone a spooktacular evening, happy haunting! *grins*

Thursday, October 30, 2008

~*~ Meezi ~*~

I just added a new bear to Etsy, I will also put him on my website tomorrow. The pictures just don't do his gorgeous colors justice. You can visit him here:

Click Here


Yesterday was not a good day. I went out to get new glasses which cost a fortune because I suddenly need bifocals. So I was feeling old and broke. On the way home a teenager in a car behind me decided to take his turn when it wasn't and nearly managed to get me rear ended in my avoidance of side swiping him. While I considered myself very lucky I wasn't hit, I was pretty shook up over that close call! When I got home I discovered I had lost my blue tooth. I never lose anything, so that was pretty frustrating. Luckily I found it on the back seat floor of my car. It must have fallen out of my purse and slid back there. While I was in the car I decided to throw a few things away, and instead I threw my keys in the trash. It's a big heavy ring so naturally they fell to the bottom and I had to dig them out. (Ew!) Then I was working on something that needed to be hot glued. Anyone who knows me very well knows I have a huge aversion to glue, but some projects just simply require it. I have waist length hair and managed to hot glue my hair to what I was working on.

I have also been a bit under the weather since returning from taking care of my Mother-in-law, because I was running out from a very warm building into frigid air about 20 times a day. I had bought a box of Booberry cereal that I found at Target and was feeling nostalgic over because I loved it as a kid. I had a bowl a couple hours before bed. So after I went to bed I dozed off and woke up about 45 minutes later to discover I needed to run to the powder room and ralph my guts out. It was so violent that I broke a blood vessel in my eye and pulled a muscle in front of my ear. (Sorry I know that's not a pretty visual.) But it was the perfectly rotten ending to a perfectly rotten day.

I woke up this morning feeling pretty confident that today would be better. I went through the usual round of websites and things I need to keep up with while I drank my coffee. Suddenly my usual optimistic enthusiasm has just plummeted. Trying to get a business going on the internet is exhausting. The self promotion is neverending and I am weary of it. Etsy in particular is frustating me. I have promoted and promoted and I have had 6 sales since I opened my shop in June. Not a single one of those has been a bear. There are so many people on Etsy and it's easy to get lost in the mix. It seems as if there are a lot of the same people showing up over and over on the front page, and while I think that's great for them...I wish people would mix it up a bit. They have holiday gift guides and not a single teddy bear shows up in any of them. Teddy bears are a great holiday gift, in fact they are one of the classic Christmas gifts.

So I am sitting here and I don't know what to do to generate interest. I post on my blog, which I have come to like doing. I post on Twitter occasionally which I am not quite so on board with because it makes me feel like I have tourettes of the fingers the way things are just sort of blurted out randomly. I post in the forums at Etsy, I post my work on flickr and plumdrop. I have created Mohair Divas, I post on the forums on Lollishops, I have been newly modded on Toy Collector, and of course I have my website...and I am just EXHAUSTED! I miss the old days where I made a bunch of bears, packed them up, traveled to a show and came home with a couple thousand dollars. Traveling might have seemed like work at the time but it was nothing compared to this.

If anyone has any suggestions I would really love to hear them. My Mother always wanted me to be an accountant, after almost three decades of running a successful business in the three dimentional world, I am starting to think she may have been right!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

How Much Right Do We Have?

I haven't made one of those posts in a while. But I think I am going to this morning. I am quite fond of saying that things are a matter of perspective. I am also quite fond of saying that art is subjective. While I stand by those statements, sometimes we encounter things that are questionable. If not to the world at large, at least to our own sensibilities. I think that many times artists tend to draw from something that is or was lacking in their life when they choose what to create. There is certainly nothing wrong with that. We all know that we aren't going to like every thing that every one makes.

Thankfully teddy bears are not particularly controversial. Tonight however I came across something while I was strolling down the virtual highway that made me pause. When I was a little girl I was taught to be respectful of other people. Sometimes I don't quite succeed, but I try for the most part. I think there are certain core elements that make up every person. One of those is their religious beliefs. I know religion is a touchy subject for many people. I am not sure why, we live in a tell all world. We can sit and casually discuss many MANY aspects of our personal lives over coffee, but the minute someone mentions religion people want no part of it. I believe that adults can discuss anything as long as they are respectful of the other person's right to their own opinion. I have no problem telling people I am a Lutheran. I also have no problem with what people believe as long as it's not hurting anyone else.

But I think when we start incorporating and changing accepted religious ideas into our work we are opening up a whole new can of worms. So the person who created the piece that gave me pause was rather surprised that what she had made was getting some negative feedback. She had taken a part of religious history and changed it to suit herself. In so doing she had gone against the very principals of that belief. There were a wide array of reactions, some people were outraged, others applauded her. They said it was great she was making people think. But I didn't see anything to think about other than that she was making a big fuss and dressing up a shameless grab for attention to sell the piece. Sell it she did. I wasn't outraged, but I was left with the feeling that she shouldn't have made the piece because it was blasphemous.

I sat back and thought about it for a while after, I tried to be objective and look at it from a several different perspectives. I understood her motivation for making it. She wanted the world to be accepting. She wanted to fill a niche that is lacking. Ok fine. But you can't change history or the core of an entire religion just to fill a gap in commerce. To think you can is pretty presumptuous. To try to completely change the entire meaning of something that so many hold sacred is unconscionable in my book. I think if I did that with another religion there would be torch bearing mobs on my front lawn. Rightfully so. There was a time in Christianity when religious art wasn't even legal because they felt it negated the whole point of faith.

But after all was said and done, I was left with a question. How much right do we have as artists? Where do we draw the line? Is anything permissible if it's in the name of art or is that just an excuse to make a mockery of something we don't agree with? I guess those are questions that we can only answer with our conscience. But I sincerely hope whatever answer you come up with doesn't lead you to deeply offend a huge part of what a lot of people are. If your goal is to make people think, there are certainly a lot better ways to accomplish that.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Inspiration Quiz

No matter how good of an artist you are, or how many fabulous ideas you have, chances are you have run out of inspiration at some point. As artists sometimes we fall into a rut. There is an old adage that says; "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." But sometimes we have to fix it even if it isn't broke. Artists tend to stay in motion, and if we land somewhere for too long we stagnate.

I have had a new idea (again) and I keep dragging my heels. Sometimes it's scary to take that first step and start a new journey. Occasionally we all need to rediscover our inspiration. I have sat and compiled a quiz to kick start that inspiration. So I am going to post it here for your least I hope you will enjoy it and take a little something away from it!

How do I perceive what I create?

How do others perceive what I create?

If I could make anything in the world, it would be?

What gives me joy?

What are my favorite objects that I own?

What are my favorite colors?

What magazines and books do I like?

What was my favorite childhood toy?

When I make something that doesn't turn out the way I expected, what do I do with it?

What is my favorite time of day?

Who do I admire and why?

If I could go anywhere, where would it be?

Are my family and friends supportive of me and what I make?

After I make something really amazing how do I feel?

What do I daydream about?

What do I want to make but keep putting off?

What could I do to go the extra distance to make what I create even more special?

What do I see myself doing in five years?

What was the last thing someone asked me to do that took me outside of my comfort zone, and did I do it or did I make up an excuse to back out?

If I could change one thing about the world to make it more beautiful, what would it be?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mohair Divas

I am so excited! I made a social network for teddy bear artists! I have wanted to do this for nearly a year and it took me this long to find the right venue. But it's ready to go, so stop by and check it out.

Click right here to have a look and join!

Edit: I already have two members and I just went live with it! Isn't that exciting!

Girls Will Be Girls

So as you all know I was gone this week. I had to go up and help out my Mother-in-law. Poor thing had her knees replaced. This is a pretty rough surgery and something I hope and pray none of you ever have to do.

I rounded out the week by stopping to spend the night with a friend of mine who lives about an hour away. She went through a bad break up and needed a girls night out to take her mind off of things.

I have a lot of friends but not a single one of them lives in this town. I used to have female friends who lived close but several of them moved, a couple passed away and a couple others went on to jobs or other life changing events that demanded all their time. I know women like me, they gravitate towards me in public all the time. Maybe I should simply ask a stranger to have coffee? I am not sure what the protocol is. I keep thinking there must be lots of other women, especially artists who don't know how to find friends and I should make a website devoted to that!

It's hard to meet women when you work at home and don't have children. My husband is the boss, and his company is actually in Denver so I don't even get to meet wives of people he works with. I tried to make friends with people at the gym, but there is kind of a wall people put up when they are working out th at doesn't invite a lot of chit chat. Another friend (who lives in Portland) suggested I join a book club. I thought that was a fabulous idea since I love to read. The problem is every time I tried to go for several months in a row, something came up that day every single time that kept me from going. It was always something big that simply couldn't be put off so I finally gave up.

But I do love the friends I have. So when I stopped to visit my friend on Thursday we made the best of it. We went out to dinner, went to see "The Duchess" which was rather depressing, and then got a bottle of wine and had a nice little girl gab fest on the floor. It was so much fun! I miss having a girl to hang out with. Now I use the word girl but in truth both of us have left our girlhood behind um...well decades ago. But I also believe girls will be girls whether they are 7 or 70! We giggled like high school girls and felt very young and silly the entire time I was there.

In fact when we were at the movies, a woman had come in and sat down with two gentlemen and suddenly she stood up, pointed at us and said rather loudly; "I am going to go sit with them because they look like more fun!"

So to all you lucky ladies out there who have close friends...enjoy those girlfriends of yours! Act silly, laugh a lot and enjoy their company. Men are a wonderful thing, but they will never fill the void a close pal can!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Home Sweet Home

I am back from being gone for a week. It was a long week but a good one. I will be making a more lengthy post later! But for right now...I need a NAP!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Save The Bears!

Ok well more like save the bear artists! We have a team on etsy and we are trying to get our own category. So in an attempt to get us noticed I have made a thread on the forums for us and anyone else to chat in. Please help us get the recognition we deserve! Come and post in our thread please:

Etsy Artist Bears & Friends Team chat

*Note ~ no teddy bears were harmed in the making of this shameless plug for attention*

Busy Busy!

It's been a crazy few days. I decided I needed to redo things. I redid all my pics AGAIN because people thought the last ones I did were prints. I guess that's a compliment.

So I spent all my waking hours over the last 24 hours redoing everything. I am also getting ready to go out of town for most of the week on Tuesday. So between those two things I haven't really had time for blogging. I have a bear cut out and pinned and I am hoping that I will get it done today. But it may not happen, I still have to pack.

So to anyone out there reading patient and I will get caught up soon!

Hugs, Kelly

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Etsy Treasury ~ Masquerade

I was featured in a treasury on Etsy again! Masquerade

The treasury was done by Shadowelements. Be sure to check out her stuff too!

The Spice Of Life

There are a lot of people in this world that are really fabulous cooks. It seems as if they all have that "secret ingredient" that they like to use. It's usually some combination of spices. Every once in a blue moon I watch a cooking show. It's kind of fascinating to watch people put their creations together. But I can honestly say that I have never once felt even the tiniest twinge of jealousy over their abilities. I am not a good cook and I don't like to cook. People seem surprised by that fact all too often. I am not sure why. Maybe they just think it's my womanly duty to cook. I used to have a friend who said all artists like to cook and she was absolutely certain I would be good at it if I would just try. But I don't want to try. I don't like fussing with food.

Yesterday morning I was hit with a mad urge to run through the house gripping several sprinkle bottles of glitter and shaking them with wild abandon all over the carpet. I didn't do it of course because I thought it would be impossible to clean up. But I entertained the notion for good several minutes before rationality set in. I would just like to mention that I love love LOVE Martha Stewart's glitter. It's very fine so it add sparkle without being immediately noticeable. and it comes in great shaker bottles. It's kind of expensive but she has the most fabulous array of colors that you don't normally see.

Last night I spent several hours fancying up all my main pics to give my etsy shop a continuity I was lacking. (You can see a sample of what I did in the previous post, or you can just stroll on over to etsy and see the whole thing, I am particularly proud of my new banner.) As I was doing it, I wished there was a way to add a little glitter to my page. Of course virtual glitter isn't nearly as good as the real thing and I haven't figured out a way to apply it to the virtual world. Although...hmmm...well I digress and that will have to wait til tomorrow.

But as I was again lamenting that I couldn't add that magical sparkle to every single thing in my world it hit me. Glitter is my secret ingredient! It's my spice of choice. I suddenly felt an odd kinship with all those cooks in the world. For one shining moment, I knew how they felt as they add that dash of whatever it is they go to that makes them feel just that much better about what they make. Maybe we all have that special ingredient that we add to every thing we do. It's the thing that takes an ordinary creation and makes it personalized and all our own.

So here is my very first recipe:

Add a teaspoon of glitter
A pound and a half of love
Combine in a very large bowl with a 3 cups of raw creativity and bake at 350 degrees for however long you want.


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

~*~ A Bird In The Hand ~*~

I made a new piece, I love this one! I am having a hard time parting with it! But you can see it on my website or on etsy here:

Click Here

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Kind Fairies

Every once in a while someone will say something to you that is exactly and precisely the very thing you need to hear right when you need to hear it. It's almost as if they are kind little fairies whispering in your ear not to have self doubts. Or maybe kind little fairies whisper in their ears and tell them what to say...either way it's a lovely little kismet-esque sort of event when it happens. It just confirms my last post that words have a great deal of power and we don't even know the effect they have sometimes.

For the last couple days I have been obsessing over my photographs. I think that I take fairly good, clear photos of my work, but I have suddenly been wanting them to be a little more special. I want to bring the observer into the world of the piece I have created, so they understand it fully and feel a kinship with it. I have been trying to decide how to do that.

I was having a chat with a very sweet friend of mine this morning and she said my latest editing on my banners and stuff is as good as Charlotte Bird. That was quite a compliment I must say. If you aren't familiar with Charlotte, I will add a link to her site at the bottom of this post. I had to look her up myself. I would post a pic of her work but it's all copywrited and I don't want to infringe on that. It's worth a side trip to have a look at her amazing images. I could only wish to be so good! She is doing exactly with fairies what I would like to do with the bears. I have thought about doing note cards with them, and I need to work on that. So once I finish the next few pieces I am doing, I am going to get started and see what I can come up with. I have been promised a new camera for Christmas, once I have that...look out world, here I come! *Grins*

Charlotte Bird's Website

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Compliment Campaign

Yesterday I was watching something on the History Channel and they were quoting Socrates. I had to wonder how Socrates would feel knowing his words were still being repeated hundreds of years after his passing. I am sure he would be pretty thrilled. Words have a great deal of power.

It's an election year and candidates are campaigning pretty hard. The thing I don't like about today's politics are how easily words are thrown around. It seems to be common practice to smear the opponent and make promises they don't intend to keep. Why would I want to vote for someone who would go around insulting people? Those types of words have power as well, and they set a bad example and a glimpse of their future practices as a politician. I decided to set out on a campaign of my own. No, I am not running for office, but I am on a campaign to make words count for something.

A while back I went to the grocery store looking dreadful. I haven't been feeling all that well and get fatigued easy so I don't always do myself up as much as normal. (Yes I have been to the doctor and I know what's causing it. There isn't anything to be done about it however.) At any rate I threw on sweats, no make up and ran out the door. As I was checking out a woman passed by and told me I had the most beautiful hair. It made me feel good on a bad day. It's funny how the kind words of a stranger noticing something can really give you that little boost.

I also think it's important to accept a compliment gracefully. It's kind of funny because all too often people will down play the nice thing someone says. I am not sure why we do that. I look upon a compliment as a little gift someone has given you. They took time and went out of their way to do it for you, so to do anything less than accept it would be rude. I always say thank you whenever anyone offers me a gift.

Being a "pay it forward" kind of girl, the next time I was out shopping I saw a woman who was clearly having a bad day. Her body language and lack of smile spoke volumes. She was wearing a really nice outfit though, and I decided to tell her I thought it was nice. As I walked away, her spine had straightened up and she had a little smile on her face. I felt better too, because I had said something instead of just mentally noting it and saying nothing. A couple days ago I was in Target waiting to check out and a woman with three young children was in line. When I got into line the kids were looking at something hanging in the impulse buy section near the register. The little girl looked up and saw me and said; "Oh I am sorry, excuse us." Then she led her little brother away by the hand. Now keeping in mind these children weren't even in my way. I was so impressed. As she was finished paying I leaned over and told her that I thought her children were very polite. She broke into an ear to ear smile and said proudly; "We have been working on that!" On the way out I noticed she had stopped to buy them ice cream. They deserved it.

So that is my campaign. To try to give at least one stranger a compliment whenever I am out in public. My only rule is that it has to be a sincere compliment. I would never give a false compliment. Nor would I want to receive one. On the home front I think it's important to give loved ones a compliment every once in a while too, just so they know we don't take them for granted. I may not win any elections with my campaign, but I don't have use smear tactics either!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


LolliShops is a juried, online selling venue for talented artists, collectors of vintage and art supply vendors

A brand new website is opening up on November 15th called Lollishops. There has been quite a bit of internet buzz about it. It's along the lines of etsy but they are jurying the sellers. I decided to go ahead and apply and I got in! I was pretty excited about it too. I will keep you updated and let you know when it opens. In the mean time you can click the link above and have a look at the site. It's not open yet, but there is a nice splash page. Be sure to bookmark it, I have a feeling it's going to be pretty fabulous!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Saturday, October 4, 2008

~*~ Poe ~*~

I added a new bear to Etsy and my website!

Click Here To Visit Him

Thursday, October 2, 2008

~*~ Halloween Hijinx ~*~

I made another banner to put up on Etsy. This one is for Halloween:

Click Here!
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Current copyright laws allow for all work to be automatically protected when it is created. All original artwork, photos, text, logo, descriptions, and derivative works from Blondheart are not to be copied, imitated or distributed in any way. All rights reserved solely by the artist, Kelly Dauterman.

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