Friday, July 30, 2010


The season is shifting. I can hear the slow descent into fall beginning.

Not very visible yet.

It is still lush and hot during the day, yet at night I can hear the kadydids and crickets making their organic/mechanical calls.

I am more comfortable with this time of the year, its slower in rhythm than spring, and a mellow, full quality to it. A little more introspective.

I'm liking the back of the garden I'm stitching.

All those wrinkles.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Wrinkles take time...

Have been LAZY lately at least in creative matters. I think its a side effect of the oppressive heat we have been experiencing (like the rest of the country).

Occasionally I have been stitching on the little garden, building the hill. It is made of strips or perhaps paths. After all there are many different approaches to every destination...

Two of the paths are earthy colored velvet and I have been slowly compressing them into lovely wrinkles.

Mmmm velvet.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Rethinking Pricing

My annual attempt to straighten up my ETSY shop is here again.This seems to happen every summer. This year it involves double checking to make sure everything listed is available in the proper sizes and taking another look at the prices.
Pricing my work is (as is common to the artsy set) a fraught process full of insecurity and indecision.
In fact I have sort of sidestepped the entire thing by setting a blanket rule for dyed garments:

Retail Price = 3 x cost of white garment

I figured that roughly covers my time and the supplies needed without pricing me out of the reach of my customers.
A couple of recent wholesale inquiries have made me take another look at my pricing formulas.

I figure that my wholesale price needs to be 1/2 of my retail price.

I then decided to see if my current prices will give me any profit at wholesale, which in turn gave me a different perspective on the prices I set.

Here is a hypothetical example:
This cute little toddler tank, the cost of raw goods here is 5.50 per unit (including shipping).

Using my default price setting formula (3 x cost of goods, 5.50) my retail price for the tie dyed shirt would be 16.50... modified to 16.00 even (because I'm like that) and my wholesale price would be 8.00 per unit.

which sounds OK at first...

here is the test though...

16.00 ~ retail price
- 5.50 ~ raw goods
- 2.00 ~ dye and supplies (roughly)
= 9.00 ~ what I get for it at retail

now wait for it...
/ 2 (wholesale formula of choice)

you ready?

= 4.50

this is a full dollar less than the white goods cost me!
So I'm losing money at wholesale, and I gotta figure my retail price is skewed too.

I figure I'm gonna have to work it backward.
Start with the preferred amount I want to make at wholesale then add in the costs, as so
Lets say I want to make 2.00 per unit, beyond cost at wholesale.

2.00 ~ what I get (wholesale)
+ 2.00 ~ dye and supplies
+ 5.50 ~ raw goods
= 9.50 ~ final wholesale cost per unit
x 2 (wholesale to retail formula)
= 19.00 ~ final retail price

This seems like a good test for me to check my current prices.
I expect some revisions will be necessary...

As I have discussed I'm pretty ambivalent about the tie dyes already, operating at a loss isn't helping.
There is a confidence factor to it too. I am taking a hard look at declaring my work's worth. If the price seems beyond what the market will bear then I will have to rethink all sorts of things...

Friday, July 16, 2010

A Small Hill

The small hill in the garden keeps growing.

The 9 patch is framed and tomorrow it will be gifted to someone who has been a big part of my support system lately.

I have been dancing around a post about pricing all week but it hasn't shaped up yet.

Well tomorrow is another day, a Saturday too!

Monday, July 12, 2010


More bits and pieces gathered at odd moments. I cleaned up my studio a couple of weeks ago and created a little display of them all. I expect that soon they will arrange themselves into some new patterns.

The better part of the evening was spent on organizational tasks in preparation for some new listings on Etsy. Well, that and a long walk around the neighborhood.

My exercise program is developing nicely, it now includes power yoga, hatha yoga, jogging (!), walking and karate. Most of this is stuff I've been doing for years now, but the running is something newly introduced. I'm attempting a couch to 5K program. I signed up for a 5K in September and my goal is to be able to run the entire thing, we will see how I do.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Texture 9 Patch

I think this will be the layout of the final 9 patch.

After the picture was taken I noticed that the lichen square had gotten joggled about and is now askew. I kind of like that and may play with it a bit more.

It doesn't show here but the squares have different depths too because of the various materials they are made of. Another thing to think about as I finish the mounting.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

A Few More

I will have to collect a few more acorns tomorrow to finish my square...

Oncew this ome is done I will have a set of 9.

Friday, July 9, 2010


Another texture square. It is made of lichen I found on some windfall by the side of the road.

I have in mind a 9 patch made of roadside finds. At the moment I have 9 squares, however I may make some more and sub out some of the ones I have presently.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Exploring Edges

The ragged edges begin to look like grasses growng along the slope of the hill, and more have sprouted.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Its HOT here, not Texas hot but still...

I am studying Rasta who manages to take joy in it even though she is wearing a fur coat.
I've begun to take long strolls up and down the hill, leaving little stitch footprints in my wake.
Still contemplating the "perfectly imperfect" and giving myself permission to seek it in this garden.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Many bits are unraveling,

improperly turned edges,

uneveness in fabric weight, puckers.
The land where my little tree dwells is far from perfect.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Design Thoughts

Nandas asked why I chose the number 13. It was driven by way the number worked visually, and because it wasn't an even number. I don't think compassion is expressed by symmetry but rather by balance. As it stands now there is an imbalance, the tears are all on one side.

Now that the hill has grown to meet the tree I am starting to think that the final shape will be circular, it suits the design and there is a simple way available to display it.

I spent some time on this long weekend taming my studio. Once again the space was out of control. I'm starting to notice that organizing my space can help me to organize my mind.

I even think I know where I want to take this little experiment now.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


For the longest time these chairs sat on the front porch and I rarely used them. Larry moved them into the yard and suddenly they are my favorite place to sit outside.
Sometimes I sit and stare, sometimes I read or write, and just lately I sit and stitch.
The tree has wept 13 tears.
They are watering a gently sloped hill.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Gentle Tears

The Bohdi tree is weeping small tears as befits the place of contemplation for my tiny bohdisattva of compassion.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Still Collecting

I'm still finding little items that attract me as I walk (or now run) in the evenings. I'm unsure of why they are following me home but I don't question it too much.

Grasses and more Japanese Maple seeds.
Thanks to everyone who has commented on my bodhi garden, I will resume tilling the soil tomorrow.
This evening Lar's band is playing in Plymouth near the sea and I want to go and dance all silly-like in the evening breeze!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Landscaping in Progress

Hills have begun to form behind the tree, soft curves in green and brown.

Still thinking about compassion, I think as a rule I practice it more towards others than I do to myself and overall my life could use more of it.