Monday, December 12, 2011

Brrrr!

I'm still trying to get acclimated to the colder temperatures since I've been back.  Catching a cold didn't help.
BikeCraft was a success!  I've just updated my Etsy store (use coupon code: facebook for 15% off) and I'm trying to organize my life and thoughts. 

You'd think that after one year of unemployment I'd have figure out what to do with my life.  Or found a job I like.  I'm not sure which is more difficult.  I do know I need to clear out the more clutter from my house and sell more unnecessary items. But I'm really missing my paint brush! 

Looking forward for the new painting action!  New household organization and some hot toddies!  :)

Friday, December 2, 2011

Back in Black

To quote the classic AC/DC:
Back in black
I hit the sack
I've been too long
I'm glad to be back  
Yes I'm, let loose
From the noose
That's kept me hanging about
I keep looking at the sky
'Cause it's gettin' me high  
Forget the herse 'cause 
I'll never die
I got nine lives
Cat's eyes
Usin' every one of them and running wild"

Ok, that might not exactly describe me or what I've been up to, but I am back in Portland.  I've had 6.5 weeks of adventure.  And as the German expat I met on the dock told me, sometimes adventure is difficult.  But totally worth it.

But now I'm back in the "reality" of unemployment ( year one, month 1, day 29) and I really need to make some real life decisions.  {side note: I can NOT believe how fast time has flown by!}

And before you ask, yes, I have been applying for jobs in my field, yes, I did apply for jobs while I was away.  Yes I did apply for an awesome job this morning.  The autoresponse I recieved said this:
**We regret that due to the high volume of applications we receive, we currently only contact applicants who are highly qualified and most closely match our job requirements. Again, thank you for submitting your application.**
 
While away I taught English as a second language for part of my trip.  I absolutely loved it.  Prior to that I did indeed apply for the Peace Corp to teach English, but that application process takes at least 1 year.  That also would not really solve the problem of this house.   This house has become a burden.  Every month I make my mortgage payment I wonder if it should be the last month.  I can't sell it, as the value has dropped 50K+ below what I owe.  I can't rent the entire house to cover the monthly payment.  So I've moved into the garage and have rented out the two bedrooms.  I share the garage with one of my roommates bike repair shop, the washer, dryer, furnace, freezer, hot water tank and kitty littler boxes.  It's interesting.  :) 
 
Where am I going with this?  I wish I knew! I guess I just wanted to say hello and to let you know I did not get eaten by a puma while away.  Tomorrow and Sunday I will be selling prints at BikeCraft and need to get ready!  
 
I leave you with this photo from my trip! 

Yes, I was trying to pry this Spider Monkey off of my, while it was biting. No broken skin thank the kitties!



Monday, September 26, 2011

Summer is Over?


Well, it is for a few days anyway.  I'll be fleeing the country in 17days!  I'm headed to Central America!  All part of my mid-life crisis.  Number 3 as far as I can tell.  The current crisis always seems to be the worst one.  

I haven't turned my back on the art dream, just needed a break from it.  I really enjoyed summer! Swimming, camping, beaching and spending as many hours as possible absorbing as much vitamin d as I could.

And now, fall clean up, packing, and planning for the future will ensue!  Who knows what the future will bring.  Plus the future never gets here.  We only have today.  So let's live it while we can!

xo!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thank you I Heart Art / Etsy and DWR!!

Had a lovely time last night at the I heart art mixer match!  Thank you to everyone who made it awesome!!!
Here's some info about it! 

http://www.oregonlive.com/art/index.ssf/2011/08/i_heart_art_the_portland_mixer.html
http://iheartartpdx.com/mixer-match/

Monday, August 1, 2011

Some Summer!

August is jam-packed with summer goodness!  I'll check back as I can, but I really need to have some good old fashioned summer fun! 

Happy summer!  Happy creating!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Starving Artist Sale! Make me an offer!!

And I really do mean make me an offer.  Everyone has a price in their head for what they'd like to pay for something they like.  So, tell me what that is!  I'm sure we can work it out!  Check out the link!  Starving Artist Sale! 

Send me a message if you are interested and the price you'd like to pay for one!  Nothing will offend me! :) Serena@almostmonday.com 

Thanks!  Oh and happy Friday!!!














Here's some examples!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Kitties have Mercy!

Yesterday was the last class for my Mercy Corp Northwest Business Foundations Class.  If you are in Portland and have a business or are thinking about having one, I strongly urge you to take the class!!  It is filled with amazing information and the teacher and staff are wonderful! 

Some of the information may not have been what I really wanted to hear, but it really was invaluable! 

Thank you Mercy Corp Northwest for loving small businesses! 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Vacation!

Apparently I've been on summer vacation!  Camping, the beach and having a great time!  Just wishing for more sun! 

So, I'd love to hear what you've been doing for your summer vacations! 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Tweet from the Future!

My tweet from the 10 years from now future me: Create more! Travel More! Love More! Regret less! DO IT NOW! #Trust30

More from the 30 day writing challenge:

10 Year Text by Tia Singh

Speak what you think now in hard words, and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said today. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Imagine your future self, ie, you 10 years from now. If he/she were to send you a tweet or text message, 1) what would it say and 2) how would that transform your life or change something you’re doing, thinking, believing or saying today?
(Author: Tia Singh)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Thought is the Seed of Action

Today's post is something a little different for me.  I stumbled upon a website via Twitter (#trust30) last night and was intrigued! It's basically a 30 day writing exercise, tho I have started it at the end of the challenge. If you are interested in reading more about it here is the link!  http://ralphwaldoemerson.me/

I recieved this email prompt this morning!

Personal Recipe by Harley Schreiber

I do not wish to expiate, but to live. My life is for itself and not for a spectacle. I much prefer that it should be of a lower strain, so it be genuine and equal, than that it should be glittering and unsteady. I wish it to be sound and sweet, and not to need diet and bleeding. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Think about the type of person you’d NEVER want to be 5 years from now. Write out your own personal recipe to prevent this from happening and commit to following it. “Thought is the seed of action.”
(Author: Harley Schreiber)

So here is my response for the world to see!  Ok, maybe not the world, but at least a few loyal readers! :)  And I do thank your for reading!


My Personal Recipe!

I do not want to be a Bitter, Negative, Hatful, Discouraged, Sad, Jealous, and/ or Inferior feeling person, now or 5 years from now.
I don’t think anyone sets out wanting to be a Bitter, Negative, Hatful, Discouraged, Sad, Jealous, and/ or Inferior feeling person.  But it happens all the time.  It might start with a small hint of one of those emotions and then snowballs.  How can I avoid having those feelings?  I may not be able to avoid letting those feelings slip in, but I can avoid letting them take over and running away with all hope and happiness. 
For me things like assumptions, over expectations, non-clear communication, not being assertive, and not dealing with past issues are sure fire ways to attain all the emotions and to become a person that I do not want to be.  

Assumptions:  Remember the Odd Couple?  One of my favorite quotes was “when you assume you make an ASS out of YOU and ME.   I remember this from childhood and probably because of the “sware” word.  But it is true assumptions can cause all sorts of trouble!   So I try to ask, rather than assume.   It’s pretty simple when I remember to do it.  

Expectations:  Wow, this is a can of worms!  Expectations of other people and of yourself can be hard to get a grip on.  I’ve found some balance between expecting the worst and non-realistic expectations.  It’s hard, logic comes into play, and for some, including myself; logic is hard to remember when emotions start popping up!  But if you stick to the facts it makes it easier.  

Assertion and communication:  These too often go hand in hand.  If I’m clear about what I want, need and expect from others and myself there should be a clear outcome.  And if there isn’t then at least there a place to start to figure out where there breakdown occurred.  This goes from dealing with employers to boyfriends.  This is what I want from the relationship, how can we make it happen?  Clear communication is a great tool for planning and goal setting.  This is what I want, now what are the steps I can take to get there.  Being clear and honest with oneself and others leaves very little room for misunderstandings, which lead to hurt feelings and eventually resentment.    If my feelings have been hurt, the best way to resolve it is to bring it up to that person.  They may not even be aware that it happened.  A misunderstanding of what was said could be at fault.  I need to give them and myself a chance to work it out.  Harboring hurt feelings leads to resentment and negativity.  Some people think that a person cannot be assertive without being aggressive, this is not true.  Being super angry to be able to stick up for yourself is probably not the best way to go about it.  :)
 
Forgiveness:  Forgive and forget?  Ugh.  Wow this is a tough one, at least for me.  Of course there are different levels of injustice, assuming it was actually an injustice and not an imaginary situation that I haven’t clarified.  For me I can forgive someone but it’s very difficult to forget.  Regaining/re-giving trust after an indiscretion is very difficult. I think forgiveness can happen without trusting the offender, but this may be up for discussion.  Of course this will vary depending on the situation i.e. professional vs. personal relationships.  

I don’t have the key to being a positive & happy the entire time person thing worked out just yet.  If I did, I’d be marketing these steps in an e-book, and I’d be rich by now!   No one wants to feel bad, but some people don’t know how to feel good, and the closest thing they can come to is justifying why they feel bad.  That person did that; this person said this, etc. etc.  

I will not be that person, now or in 5 years.  I want to be in control of my emotional destiny and physical destiny too!   I want to be a positive person for myself and others.  I may have bad things happen in my life and still be disappointed with things that surround me, but that doesn’t have to make me who I am.  I think I am much more than the sum of my experiences. 

Who do you NOT want to be in 5 years?  Or who DO you want to be?  Happy Sunday!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Hiroshige, a Man After my Own Heart!

This was my very first attempt at Japanese Woodblock Printing! AKA moku hanga! I copied a Hiroshige print.  I have a lot of cleaning up to do!  My paper was too wet, but I was impatient.  The red is too strong, and didn't act like I thought it would on the bird.  Will remove it from that area on the block.   4 blocks make up this print.  Hand printed in the Japanese method. I have a lot to learn but will be a fabu time doing so!  I'll repost when I clean up my blocks and reprint with less "chatter" and a little different color.  I took a wonderful workshop by Barbara Mason at the Atelier Meridian here in Portland! 

Here is the original Hiroshige Falcon.

How Do You Throw In The Towel, When You Don't Even Have One?

You don't!  I've heard from a lot of discouraged people this week, myself included.  Maybe something is going around.  Maybe times are tough.  Maybe we all fall into a funk at times.  Things happen, things change, moods take over.  What remains constant?  Art.

Must focus.  Art, art, art.  Art.

ART!!!

:)  Tomorrow is a new day!  Tomorrow art will be made! 

What will you make?! 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Bike Love Show @ Angst

I looked out this morning and the sun was gone...

Nothing like a Boston song stuck in your head for weeks!  Everyone! "it's more than a feeling..."

I was going to post the video but didn't want to startle anyone. 

It's raining again here in Portland.  Yesterday was soooo lovely!   I did my Business Foundations homework, or tried, outside.  Did my daily marketing, some yard work, and rearranged an ef-ton of furniture.  Rearranging the entire house isn't exactly fun, but nessessary.  Granted the house is only 780 square feet, not counting the garage(aka my future painting studio) but I have a LOT of items.  Too many items.  The goodwill pile is growing.

Anyway. I say all that to say, that I'm organizing and de-cluttering my life. From house to brain.  Spring cleaning for the soul, if you will. 

What do you do when you feel disorganized and cluttered?

Friday, June 10, 2011

More Changes Here,There and Everywhere!

Yesterday was a hard day.  I was really struggling with what I'm doing in my life.  Primarily around the business/job area.  Taking these business classes and listening to the negative voices in my head and around me regarding making a living off of art was getting to me.  I may yet decide that having a day job is the best option, and I am looking for that perfect day job.  or I may decide I have a better idea for a business.  But for now, my business Almost Monday and my oil painting need to be the focus of my site/blog energy.  I've been given the greatest gift of time and I should not squander it on doubt and depression.  I've been really productive over that last 6 months and will continue to do so.  But I am allowing myself to enjoy the summer weather while I can!  Any small business is a lot of hard work!!
And I'm not afraid of hard work! 

The changes - My domain name will now point here, instead of directly to etsy.  I'll be using this blogger page as a website until I'm at a place to have a "real" website.  I'll be practicing some different marketing techniques and also expanding my general knowledge of business and art.  I'll be focusing less on unemployedness and more on the making of art and business.  

Suggestions are always welcome!  I love hearing from you!  It makes me know I'm not just talking to myself!  I really appreciate each one of you as you listen to me ramble through my life changes and struggles!

Happy Friday everyone!  I hope the sun fills your yards and warms your heart this weekend! 

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Busiest Unemployed Person Ever!

Summer is almost here in the Pacific Northwest!  This will be my first summer unemployed for longer than I can remember - early ninety's maybe?? I'm excited, sad, and BUSY!!
You may or may not not what I've been up to, so I'll recap!

  • Painting - Have another commission piece that I've started.  Wait till you see this request! 
  • Printmaking - Etsy, print of the month, rephotographing project, typical etsy stuff
  • Print/portfolio Exchanges - Multiple!!! 
  • The Falcon - Still running the Tuesday night painting group - this month we have the lovely Mila! 
  • Drypoint Workshops -  I need to schedule one soon!  Debating of switching venues...
  • The Art of Action - and online course "Wish there was a plan for turning your dreams & ideas into ACTIONS?"  

  • Mercy Corps - Social Media Workshop 
  • PAN - Print Arts Northwest - Just volunteered to be on a committee.
  • Travel - Trying to figure out how I can take a long vacation this fall and travel around eastern europe & down into Istanbul. And also visit a few friends! but if this is going to happen I need to figure it out quickly!!!!

Last but not least, lots of kitty petting and cheese eating!  And yes, I am looking for work as well while I try to figure out how to be what I want when I grow up! 

What are you up to??? 

Thursday, June 2, 2011

June Bug.

I don't know where you are in the world, but here in Portland, Oregon we are experiencing the 3rd coldest and 2nd wettest spring in the history of keeping track.  and it's unpleasant.  I need some good ole sun shine, blue sky and warmth!  Don't get me wrong, I really can't imagine living many other places on earth for many different reasons, but about now, i'm dreaming of a hot climate and blues skys with a tad of tropical sun and sea for good measure. 

Today I'm playing catch up and clean up.  I participated in one and helped in another workshop last week and went out of town.  So needless to say, i'm behind!  on everything!  I've been experimenting at the Atelier Meridian with sugarlift, auqutint, and solarplates and it's been great fun!  I can't wait to post some photos of what I've been working on! Printmaking is an amazing subject to study!  Oh the possibilities!

here's a bit of a preview!


Here's hoping that your weekend is full of sun and fun!  Happy early weekend everyone!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

This and That and the Other...

The Kenton Street Fair was Sunday, I shared a booth with Bike Cozy!  It was my first outdoor fair!  Sorry I cut off some of both of our booths in the photo! 
New kitchen floor to replace the one scratched up by the cops after the burglary! Cat not included. The tape is to hold the seems in place.  It's gone and I have baseboards now too!
looks like a melted crayola box! I love it! and the kitty!

 I also received some lovely mail art from Jessica at Natures my Friend!  Thank you!!! Fun stuff for sure!!

why can't i rotate this!?









Happy pre 3 day weekend week!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Hold Your Horses!

What do you mean you're behind? Don't have enough hours in your day?  You're unemployed!!!!

Gah! Seriously! 
This post is to tell you that somehow, I've fallen behind in my chores, my goals, my posts.  You name it, and I'm behind. 

But I did get my new kitchen floor and I installed the baseboard.  Still needs painting and some filling.  I also got my van running, insurance, DEQ and registration all up to date! That will make craft fairs that much easier.  And camping!

I miss our time together here! I'll catch you up on the craziness soon!

XO!!
Serena

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Slow Boat to China?

Yes, I'm a bit slow posting my photos from Crafty Wonderland, but here they are!  I'm constantly struggling with people who don't understand that these are NOT digital copies, but each one a hand printed original.  I've removed the word "print" from most my documentation and replaced it with Linocut & Etchings.


New Booth!  Lovely fabric and "Original Art" banner thinger!

Redoing the booth set up was really fun, but took tons of time!  My living room was a disaster for a month!  I still need to come up with a better display that holds more and uses more height rather then table space.  This is a 10' wide by 5' deep booth size.

I had about 40 different designs to display, and between 2 - 6 of each edition.  
Magazine rack I found at Portland Fixtures and my little peg board shelf


!

Close up!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Monday Week 26

At least I think it's week 26.  It'a hard to count that many weeks. 
I honestly CAN'T believe so much time has passed.  and QUICKLY!
Spring is sort of here!  Summer is just around the corner and I can't wait for some sun sun sun! 

Looking forward to biking, gardening and all the other activities I missed last summer when I was working 40-70+ hours a week! 

The last 6 months have brought lots of different emotions for me and I'm sure there are more interesting times ahead. 

Future posts to keep an eye out for! 
Crafty Wonderland recap!
Atelier Meridian excitement!
New prints!
New bike!
and more! 

Happy May!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Speed Dating Anyone?

I've never participated in a "speed dating" event. But on Wednesday, May 18, 6:00 pm at the Design Within Reach Portland Studio I'll be participating in the I Heart Art PDX's Mixer Match, Speed Networking, Round Two -Visual Artists and Galleries.  

The short answer is there will be 20 galleries, 40 artists and we will have 2 mins with each gallery to show and talk about our work!  Yikes!  and Yay!
Have you participated in a Speed Dating event?  or an interview process that is similar?  I'd love to hear about it! 

Tomorrow is Crafty Wonderland!!!  Hope to see you there!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Brushes down!

After a few minor changes and additions, I placed Mona in her frame today.  She makes her way to her new home tomorrow night! 



Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Forgive me Leonardo.

My dearest Leonardo,
Please forgive me.  It's hard times out here in the 21st century.  An artist has to do what an artist has to do.  or does she?
Yours truly,
Serena

I was approached to paint my interpretation of a "slutty Mona Lisa" reproduction.  I thought about it for a few seconds and agreed.

Need less blurry photo!
However, once I started painting I felt a bit funny about it.  Embarrassed or slightly ashamed.  Or maybe just irreverent.  This is one of the most well known paintings in the world, done by Leonardo Da Vinci for kitties sake! Shouldn't I be more respectful?  As I kept painting I needed photo reference and in my research found a bazziliontrillion knock offs and reproductions from alien heads to Micheal Jackson in Mona Lisa drag.  Soooo, I decided to embrace it and paint that best damn Mona Lisa I possibly could in the time frame I had.

It's also really hard painting from crappy photos online.  It's also hard to extrapolate breast augmentation.  It's obviously not a direct reproduction, I've made some changes to the clothing that I thought appropriate to her well-endowed and time period.  I have a few small things to touch up, but it's 99% finished at this point. 
Have I stepped on Leonardo's, as well as the feminist toes here?  Probably.  Thoughts?
I'll also post a process blog at a later time.  

Monday, April 18, 2011

Leftovers!!

Oh what a lovely mid day snack I received in the post today!!!  Leftovers!  Thank you Wingtip Press!







And this was just the begining!  Check out the awesome art I received in this wonderfully delicious print exchange!







Bon Appetit!