Thursday, February 26, 2009

I have this particular problem, can you relate?

I have never been a person who is fond of being on the computer. I'm not a surfer. I don't hang out on facebook. I have a bazillion sites bookmarked and I hardly ever get back to them. I joined last April and slowly slid into despondency.

I faithfully read the forum posts and posted questions. I frequently received sympathetic responses and kind words of encouragement. I set up this blog, specifically for the purposes of networking and drawing others to my shop. Every time I thought I had reached the end of what could be done, someone else came along with another suggestion.

But I just can't keep it all in my head. Even if write it down, I get so easily overwhelmed.

I read a blog post the other day that said that the reason so many web businesses fail is because of poor marketing skills. And I totally agree.

I've bought books on how to market myself.
I bookmarked and read articles written by professional business people on the pitfalls and how to avoid them.
I've taken the advice of friends and colleagues.
I've made a buisness plan and tried to stick to it.

I try to digest it all, in little bites, and I feel like a stuffed sausage. If I attempt to organize my data and thoughts later in the day, like afternoon or evening, I quickly become confused and then frozen. So I tell myself to wait until the morning, when I am fresh, and it makes no difference.

There are many, many people who successfully promote and market their wares. I know, with out a doubt. that I am capable of producing items that others will want to own. I just do not have what it takes to get it to those patrons.

Is there a service that anyone offers that can tailor a plan for someone like me? Is there a person that will help me make a plan that can work for me? Is there a person who I can talk to when I become overwhelmed? someone to hold my hand and walk me through it?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009



I cannot go a day without hearing music, without singing!  I sing in the car.  I sing in the kitchen.  I sing in the  shower!  (What a cliche'!)

I used to be a professional folk singer.  I had brochures, and head shots, and a web site.  I even went to Nashville to record an album of original songs.   I traveled up and down the Eastern Seaboard to different festivals and really enjoyed it.  I made some awesome friends!

But then in the fall of 2002 I got sick.  I was diagnosed with Lyme disease in March of 03.
And I was sick for  four years.  

During my convalescence I learned some hard things about myself.  Like, maybe my walk with God wasn't really as good as I thought.  And this question presented itself;
Am I following the Lord... or am I asking the Lord to follow me?

The first day I thought about it, it was like a thunderbolt had struck!  All those years of me traveling in humanist circles, pretending that shining my light was enough....that I didn't need to present myself as particularly "Christian", that by carrying Christ with me people would automatically know that I was a Christian.

I was going blithely (and blindly) on my way, asking (or rather expecting) that Jesus was happy that I asked him to come along.  What pride!!

And the thing is, as I thought about it more and more, the Lord revealed to me that of all those thousands of people at all those festivals and house concerts and fundraisers, etc, the majority of the time, I was the only Christian I knew about.  There was no one else who I knew who shared my faith.

This was an awesome blow to me.  And it really humbled me.  How could I have blinded myself like that?

The next step was foregoing the music.  I did not perform, even after I was well.  I did not feel that that was what God wanted me to do.  I was to wait on him, in faith, that he would reveal to me the right time.   And last year I was asked to sing for my sister's art forum group.  After much prayer I said yes.  And really struggled with that decission.  But I made sure that the folks there knew about my faith.  I was no longer concerned about "fitting in".

Two weeks ago I was approached by a friend from Scotland who will be performing here in the spring.  He reiterated that he thought I should out there sharing my gift.  And for the first time, maybe in years, I felt the Lord say, "OK, go."

THE VERY NEXT DAY.... I received a phone call from the president of the American Irish Club asking if I would come in March and do a program of Irish songs for them.  I said yes right away!  And, on top of that, I got to witness to her about how the Lord healed me!

Last week I was asked, by a friend, to participate in a fund raiser for a dear friend with cancer.  And I said, "you bet!"

But I will no longer be content to just bring Jesus with me.  I'll be making pretty sure that I'm going with his permission and that I am presenting myself as his servant. 

How awesome is God???  

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

After Much Consideration...

I'm still clueless.

I am an artist. I want and need affirmation. Does that mean I need to sell my artwork in order to feel valued? No.

Creating art is about the overwhelming need to say something. As a fiber artist I need to have my hands around a pair of knitting needles. (Or a crochet hook.) I need to have challenges in design and color play that keep me moving forward. I guess that's why I feel that I've moved beyond crewel, cross stitch, needlepoint. Nothing challenges me like figuring out how to do something with yarn or string and needles or hooks. It has been posited that I am border line ADD. I don't wonder. I know. And the soothing swish of needles and the steady rhythm of moving the stitches from one side to the other keeps me centered and allows me to think more clearly and pay closer attention to what is being said by those around me.

But back to that pesky question about selling.

I am a consumer of goods. I have HUGE stashes of yarn. ( It really is a kind of obsession.) I spend hours most days clicking away. I have been a home maker and stay home mom for most of my life. It would feel so good to contribute in a way that makes me happy. (As opposed to working outside the home at a minimum wage job that eats up hours and gives me no sense of achievement.) I guess, for me, it boils down to me wanting to have a reason to stay home and yet make money. I want to feel useful. I want to help out.

Stay tuned for my next installment: "How I became a painter."


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Manchester Township, New Jersey, United States
My nane is Judy and I've been a christian for more than 3/4 of my life. I believe in redemption through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, that God, the Spirit lives in me and gives me the power to do His will and to live a joyful life. I have a Godly husband, a grown son and daughter. I live on a farm with 3 goats, 2 chickens, 2 horses, a cat, a dog and a python. I am an artist and a singer. I was a full time stay at home mom, the hardest job you'll ever love! I have two handmade shops on Etsy. Leaning on the Promises (Hand Painted Walking Canes) and Beaver Creek Pottery and an Etsy shop for selling Vintage and Antiques. Jersey Pine Pickers I post about my relationship with God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, about the things He teaches me, delights me with and how He uses me.