March Meet The Maker (days 11-20)

Continued from last week, the challenge I’m doing on Instagram this month! This’ll be a little shorter than last week, since I skipped two days (#13, Feedback, and #20, Sketchbook).

11_PostRun

Day 11: Post Run

Uh, so, am I the only American who thought “post run” meant “after doing that exercise that is faster than walking and usually means I am being chased by zombies”…? No? Just me, then? RIGHT. Moving on.

Some days it is easier to get to the post office than others! This was a day I needed a Sherpa. I know, I know, you can schedule a pickup. Have you seen the info you need to type in to schedule a pickup? The post office is close enough to me that it takes me less time to load things into my car, drive there, wait in line, hand over my packages (already pre-stamped with labels printed out online via PayPal Multi-order Shipping), and drive back, than it would to type in everything. Not to mention that they don’t pick up until the next day, and I like to get stuff out faster than that.

As I can usually tie a trip to the post office in with any other errands that need to be done that day, it’s not a huge hassle to go to the post office. Plus, my post office people are friendly and some days when you work alone, it’s nice to see that smiling face!

12_FirstSale

Day 12: First Ever Sale

Another hard one, mostly because I’m just as proud of the first time I was behind the cash register of my first job, a small locally owned comics/science fiction bookstore, as I am of the first sale at the yarn store I opened with two friends, as I am with the Etsy shop I opened, as I am with having grown off Etsy onto my own domain. So let’s start with Hanks, then, and then move to when I opened HaldeCraft (there’s a tie-in, I promise). We were so busy the first day we were open at the yarn store that I don’t have a photo of the literal first sale (and technically we also sold a few things before our official opening, at a party we had there the night before). So here’s a picture of me (behind the register, in purple, with arm tattoo) on the first day the yarn store was open. Also in the picture are the first two things I sold as HaldeCraft; I had my first online sale within hours of opening the store, within hours of each other, to two former customers of the yarn store – both of whom are not just customers but have grown to be friends over the years as well.

14_CreativeFriends

Day 14, Creative Friends

I only have creative friends! I was raised by science fiction writers, so almost everyone I knew growing up was creative in that their imaginations knew no bounds. A lot of the writers I know also do other things — they play musical instruments, or they also paint, or sing… creativity isn’t pigeonholed into one place. More than one of my friends sew, prolifically, enough to make their own costumes for Renaissance (most of the ones who sew, also quilt). I also know a lot of Makers, who sell their work in a fashion similar to mine. They do lampwork, or make jewelry, or pottery, or sew project bags, or hand-dye yarn. Speaking of yarn, I also know a lot of knitters, crocheters, and spinners! Most of them do not do that to sell (although they gladly make things for loved ones) but they will do it for as many hours of the day as they can fit in (these are hobbies that can easily be done in the evening when watching TV). Seriously… in thinking about the lovely people I am lucky enough to be surrounded by in this life, I can’t think of a single one who isn’t creative in some respect. Quilting. Baking. Knitting. Crocheting. Gardening. Spinning. Weaving. Writing. Tatting. Costuming. Blacksmithing. Painting. Everything else I’ve already mentioned. Creative friends FTW!

15_Inspiration

Day 15: Inspiration

I get inspired by a lot of things… but mostly by nature. The colors. The moods. The circle of life and death, winter and spring. The variety of the weather. The flora and the fauna. So while I find inspiration so many places – music, books, and other people’s art all set my brain afire – if I’m stumped on something and can’t find my way around a blocked thought, a walk in nature is usually enough to inspire me and get me moving forward again.

16_TimeToRelax

Day 16: Time to relax.

I work hard so I play hard, too – I’m very fiercely protective of my evening relaxation time. It usually looks like this… a little hot tea next to me, a cat on my lap or on the top of the couch in back of me, a little knitting in my hands, pajamas, recliner, and some science fiction on the TV. It’s a good life.

17_Photography

Day 17: Photography

My most recent camera is a Canon Powershot Sx50 HS, and I luuuuurve it. I have a couple of lenses, and a tripod (although I don’t use it much). Mostly I photograph products in my low-rent lightbox (made with instructions I found online, using a box from an office chair I’d just purchased). I change out backgrounds a lot as I tend to buy cheap ones, so they get scratched easily. This is what I’m using now. And for my yarn photographs (to keep everything sort of similar) I use a pitcher I made with my logo on it.

My lightbox is on top of one of my two card catalogs, the shorter of the two (is that kind of a humble brag? That I have two card catalogs?) and I have a couple of clamped lights that are a little bit adjustable pointing onto my products. That’s usually what I do for product photography. If I need to edit the photos at all I move pretty freely between Xara and Photoshop Elements.
I took this photo with what I take most of my Instagram photos with – my Galaxy Note 3. I cropped it and added a slight filter and the frame using Snapseed (all on my phone). Occasionally I will put a camera photo in a Dropbox folder and transfer it to my phone in order to edit it in Snapseed and use it on Instagram.

That’s all for work… don’t let me get started on the nature photography, though – there’s a lot of things to photograph out here in the wilds of North Central Florida! I could talk about stalking butterflies for hours!

18_Shelfie

Day 18, Shelfie

… I have to show my age and tragically unhip-ness… is “shelfie” really a photo of a bookshelf? That’s what Urban Dictionary told me, so that’s what I’m going with.

Here are the paperback (mass market; trades are in with the hardcovers) book shelves, about 90% science fiction, 8% mystery, 2% non-fiction. No, that is not a book store. Yes, that is my house. Yes, I have read them all. 😉

19_Helper

Day 19, Helper

(As an aside, I loved looking through the hashtag last night and seeing so many pictures of pets! Glad I’m not the only one!) My three primary helpers are The Four-Legged Dog, Bitchface the Cat, and The Three Legged Dog. Four Legs is in charge of inventory, supply ordering, and anything that needs to be worried about or obsessed over. Bitchface is in charge of napping, getting petted, sitting in laps, and generally being cranky. Three Legs is in charge of customer service, customer greetings, bringing customers ropes to play tug with when they come to the studio, and getting scratched behind that one ear she can’t reach with her stump.

Not shown is Gramps (AKA “General Woundwort”, the big gopher tortoise who lives in our back yard and is in charge of shipping and receiving and eating grass and flowers.)

Also, I couldn’t get by without a little help from my friends, because The Beatles were spot on. Not all of them who have helped me are in this photo, but I feel that it shows the sense of camaraderie we all have. Whether they’ve helped me by winding yarn when I’m in a time crunch, getting yarn club ready when my hand was broken, being my booth babes at shows, or talking me off a cliff or bouncing business ideas around, I couldn’t get by without my tribe of amazing girlfriends.

See you next Monday for the roundup of this challenge…?

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