Wednesday, August 19, 2009

August Goals - Mid-Month "How I'm Doing" Report

I've been following the Modish Biz Tips blog for a while and decided to take up their challenge this month. I just got my mid-month reminder to review and report on how I'm doing so far. Let's take a look at the goals I set up at the first of the month and how much I've accomplished (or not) so far.

So – for the month of August the goals that I listed were:

One – finalize design for this year's special Christmas ornament
Started but incomplete - So far all the ideas are still traveling back and forth between my head and my drawing pad. I can see what I want in my mind's eye but I just have not made the time to do this, but in my defense my "spare" time has been tied up by outside influences for the last several weekends. Can't fuss too much, though, one Saturday was a baby shower for a favorite niece-in-law and another our monthly polymer clay guild meeting which is always a blast and which feeds my clay cravings! We learned how to make faux ivory at this meeting, so I'm now seeing some ivory angel ornaments… Here are a few of the beads I've made with my faux ivory and some of the borderless flower canes that I've been making using the play-doh method of packing that I blogged about last month.

Two – get better photo area set up so I can get consistently good pictures
Completed!!! This one I can actually say has been done, thanks in very large part to the advise of an online friend and fellow polymer clay artist, Lynda of Diva Designs. She sent me a link to an article about setting up an inexpensive lightbox and how to correctly position your lights for best results. As it turns out, I had everything I needed to modify my current setup on hand and now I'm much more satisfied with my pictures and spend a lot less time on the computer "cleaning up" the photos before I can post them. I'm also able to get better clarity by changing a couple of the settings on my camera. A very big Thank You goes out to Lynda.

Three – locate a source for earring display cards or design my own
Started but incomplete. I've decided to design my own cards and have researched several options online. I can do some of the research during slow times here at work but the actual hands-on stuff has to be done at home. I'm also researching various printing services to use once I get my design finalized. I'm just not excited about the results I've gotten from using stock business cards so I'm wanting to locate a source where I can send a digital image and have them print, cut, punch two tiny holes and fold. Again it's just finding the time to actually sit down at the computer and spend a bit of quality time. Any suggestions on who ya'll have used that were good but still relatively inexpensive?

Four – get everything I have completed posted to Etsy, Artfire and Picturetrail sites
Started but incomplete – I've got most of my pictures taken now, thanks to my online friend Lynda. Even have them cropped, resized, saved on my hard drive and ready to upload. Maybe I'll get some of that done this weekend. Plus I added a new site to the list. Based on a recommendation from one of my bead customers, I've started listing some of my loose polymer clay beads and pendants at I'll try it for a while and see if anything comes of it. I figure any exposure of my work is good… right?

Even though I haven't completed everything on my list, I have found that writing down my goals for the month has made me take them a bit more seriously – thank you, Modish Biz Tips, for providing both an excellent resource and a gentle push to get things moving. In checking my calendar, it looks like I have two more weekends in August. Hopefully the report on September 1 will show more completed goals!

And don't forget!! Those who help me along the way by posting suggestions, comments, etc. here on my blog during the month of August will be eligible for a random drawing on September 1st for a handcrafted polymer clay covered pen along with instructions on how to replace the ink cartridge when it eventually runs out of ink. Check back frequently to see what I'm up to!

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