This Week’s Focus

Advice Requested, Art, Pen & Ink, Today's Focus


This Week’s Focus:

Continue updating Etsy listings and complete commission illustration.


  1. Finish commission watercolor and digital file
  2. Add images of art in frames to current Etsy listings
  3. Edit Etsy listing descriptions
  4. Fix all Etsy tags
  5. Take photo of product packaging for Etsy listings
  6. Make new stickers for orders
  7. Add links between Etsy listings
  8. Take and add photos to the Etsy About page
  9. Add a photo to my website About page
  10. Start new ink drawing
  11. Write three blog posts
  12. Upload at least 4 new images to Instagram and Facebook

I’ve been reading the Etsy Seller’s Handbook articles and I’ve realized that the tags for almost all my listings are completely wrong. That anyone has ever found a single one of my items is a sheer miracle. I suppose it helps that I have a few items that are obscure enough that no one else has one. So, when someone searched for “Cholula,” for example, mine is the only one that came up. But I need to fix the rest of them STAT.

There is a lot to do this week. And the kids are both sick, so there’s a reasonable chance I’ll be sick any minute. I’m not counting on this week being very productive. On the other hand, there is a lot more TV watching when these boys are too sick to play.


+Please feel free, feel requested, to use the comments section below if you have any advice or suggestions. Any advice is accepted. All suggestions will be considered.+

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Friday Wrap Up

Accountability Review, Advice Requested, Art, Pen & Ink


Here’s how I did with this week’s tasks:

  1. Add images of art in frames to current Etsy listings In progress. This is taking a long time.
  2. Print copies of latest listing to check quality They looked great! *Hint-hint*
  3. Change website portfolio to 3 columns for better visibility on mobile devices
  4. Move the ‘Shop’ page to end of website menu Changed my mind. Not going to do it.
  5. Figure out why the ‘Connect’ page loads slowly and fix it The image size was too large. FIXED IT!
  6. Add a photo to the ‘About’ page Still need to do this. But I need a good photo. And a haircut.
  7. Complete new ink drawing of phone See above. Soon to be in shop.
  8. Start new drawing (another typewriter?) I’ll do it soon. I took photos of vintage typewriters at Portland’s Grand Marketplace. They have pant loads of typewriters. 
  9. Write three blog posts
  10. Upload at least 4 new images to Instagram and Facebook


Good things that happened:

I’ve got a new commission to create an illustration/ t-shirt design for a general contractor. It’ll be a fun project. And it pays! Although, I’m still trying to figure out how to price this type of work. In spite of a vast number of internet articles on the subject, pricing still feels like a mystery.

I requested and was accepted to become a contributor for the Portland Urban Sketchers blog. And made my first post! Now I have to make a point of Urban Sketching at least once a month. This is a commitment I am very pleased to have made.

I met up last Thursday evening with a weekly drink & draw/craft group. It was fun and I will be going again. They were cool people who were not that hard to talk to- even for me. Well, the drinking helps.

Things I learned:

It’s not as hard to meet new people as I’ve always thought. Maybe it’s Portland, but maybe I’ve just never tried hard enough. Even introverts need some level of social interaction. And all the insecurities that come with being around “new people” are  nonsense. In a good mood, I’m willing to flush them all down the toilet forever.


+Please feel free, feel requested, to use the comments section below if you have any advice or suggestions. Any advice is accepted. All suggestions will be considered.+

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Organizing & Planning for Action

Advice Requested, Pen & Ink, Subject of Thought, Taking Charge, Today's Focus

I’ve had many failed attempts at keeping journals, but the journals with the longest successes have been fill-in types. To maximize my success here, my blog posts are going to be laid out like a fill-in journal with prompts. I’ll type in a statement of the week and day’s focus, followed by a list of current tasks, and a quick progress report. After I get the important facts laid out, I’ll go into a subject of thought. I will not guarantee relevance.

This layout reminds me of Bridget Jones’ diary… Except there will be no accounting of my weight, alcohol units consumed, or fags smoked. Definitely no romance. And less self-hating. I hope. But the important stats will be logged. So in that way, similar.

Here’s the first:


This Week’s Focus: Finalize website, restart blog and work on art

Today’s Focus: Write a blog post that explains what I am doing here


  1. Decide what I am doing here
  2. Decide how to organize these blog posts
  3. Write this blog post
  4. Upload something new to Instagram
  5. Work on a drawing of a vintage phone

Progress: 3 of 5 tasks complete.

Subject of Thought: Organizing & Planning for Action

I needed a tool for organizing goals and tasks in this endeavour. Something more robust than scribbled to-do lists on Steno pads. I searched the internet high and low for goal organizing apps, calendar apps, and planner apps. I even downloaded no less than 3 and spent a good 20 minutes each filling in all my plans, only to find them unusable and/or unfree. Then, I came across Passion Planner and realized all I really need is a good old-fashioned, very well-designed, physical weekly planner. Free downloads = radical.

After spending several hours with my new planner, I began looking at a book I checked out from the library: The Artist’s Guide: How to make a living doing what you love by Jackie Battenfield. It devotes a whole chapter to identifying goals and task planning. I’m quite pleased that I JUST did this. Pretty much exactly as she details it in her book. Sweet validation!


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Sketching Drinky

Pen & Ink, Watercolor

Remember my Weekly Drawing Night Out? Me neither. I’m too hooked on being lazy to leave the house in the evening. So, instead, I have been keeping a sketchbook and I add to it as the inspiration strikes me. It turns out drawing beer is fun.

These are all 21st Amendment beers, which is really an art cheat. The cans are covered with someone else’s art work, so really all I’m doing here is drawing a can and copying someone else. In my defense, these are all pretty high alcohol drinks, so my creativity was impaired.

Image (41)

Image (37)
Also Yum.

Image (34)
Saison is super gross.

Image (36)
Back in Black is my favorite. Lagunitas is also great. After both of these beers, it’s amazing these look like beers at all.

Image (35)
But, truthfully, my first attempt at the Back in Black was not so successful.


Spelling is hard when you’re not paying attention.

Pen & Ink, Sketches

Last night, we had brussel sprouts with dinner. The 2-year-old LOVES them. He won’t touch kale with a 30-foot pole, but brussel sprouts are “yummy!” They also look pretty cool on the cross-section. They don’t help you spell. Every damn time I write words on a drawing, something is misspelled–it could be my own name. Fragg.

Image (10)

Do not sketch while breastfeeding.

Pen & Ink, Sketches, Urban Sketches

I spend at least 60 minutes per day breastfeeding. Excluding nighttime breastfeeding, which is totally unproductive due to zombie brain sleep. This 60 minutes seems like prime time for doing something because it is guaranteed to be cry-free time*. Unfortunately, due to the nature of breastfeeding, I have between one and zero hands available during this time.

Anyway, sometimes when I’m breastfeeding I’m looking at something I’d like to be drawing and I draw it in my mind. Then flush it right out of there because I will not be able to reproduce something from my mind’s eye. Imposible. (That was in Spanish, it is not misspelled.) Yesterday I tried to draw something later that I spent several minutes looking at earlier in the day. This is that thing:

Image (9)

I was sitting in a car on a street in Oakland looking at this. Actually, this is the only part I specifically remember.

Image (9)1

The rest I sort of made up.

*One might suggest that I spend this time “bonding” with my baby, but I assure you, I also spend at least 60 other minutes a day changing diapers, and diaper changing time is always spent gazing into the eyes of my beautiful child blasting him with lovingkindness from my face while my hands work at an inhuman speed tossing soiled diaper into the bin and wrangling a new clean one on before he WIGS out. So, we totally bond.

My neighbor is a Mercedes mechanic.

Pen & Ink, Sketches

My neighbor is a Mercedes mechanic. He always has different Mercedes out in front of his house. This one is always there and he parks it outside on the street. He says he does not worry about the paint because it was made in Germany and that old paint lasts forever. Not like the crap paint we use on cars nowadays. Image (7)

I am at least the 3rd owner of this stroller. But it is rad.Image (8)

When I hear the word camera, I think of Jenna on 30 Rock saying it, “CAH-mer-a,” and swishing her hair back behind her shoulder. Then Liz rolls her eyes and makes a barfing gesture.

Image (5)


New Sketchbook

Pen & Ink, Sketches

Last weekend I made a trip to Blick to get one specific item. It was not paper. I have SO much paper. On the way to that item’s section I passed the paper and sketchbook aisle…

I will say that I made it out of there for under $15, so it wasn’t so bad.

I bought a Canson 6″ x 6″ spiral bound book and a Bee Paper 5.5″ x 8.5″ Pen Sketcher’s book. I like to have these little inexpensive sketchbooks because they don’t intimidate me. If I fill them with ugly doodles, no big deal. This freedom does tend to lead me to make drawings I end up really liking, which makes me wish I had put them on nicer, frame-able paper. Ah, well. I hate that I have piles of very lovely, thick, archival paper laying around completely neglected. Fear of failure, people. There’s also something about the potential of a blank piece of paper that I don’t want to mess with. What nonsense.

I’ve filled a couple pages of the 6″ x 6″ and here they are:

ImageI admit, I have a bit of a problem starting a blank notebook, even a cheap one, for fear that the first page will not inspire the looker to continue looking. (I know, I know.) So, I just accepted the first page-ness of this first page.

ImageThis here is a sketch from a very old and not too crisp photo of my great grandmother, Cora. 

ImageThis style sketch is easy and quick.

ImageI wanted to try a pen portrait with my smallest pen- a 005 Micron.