art | wreck it

Wreck This Journal

hello, hello! i'm more likely to do what i'm told than rebel, so if keri smith wants me to wreck this journal in the most destructive ways, should i do it? or, should i treat it like a precious object as an act of rebellion? i hope you say destroy it because i'd love to:
  • crack the spine,
  • take it out in the rain,
  • drive over it with our car,
  • shred that red ribbon. oh, already did that :),
and most importantly, for the little kid who not only colored in the lines, but outlined them in black in order to achieve 'perfection':
  • color outside the lines.
enjoy your weekend and check out how aimee destroyed a moleskine journal. i'd say she's a rebel with a cause!

xo, cindy

ps something about surfing seems rebellious, so the band surfer blood sounds perfect for this project, no pun intended.

nyc | art in the city

Isa Genzken Rose II
isa genzken 28' rose at the new museum. now that's a rose.

forsythia at the metropolitan museum of art &

evening, by frederick wellington ruckstall. so sexy.

Mrs. Selma Shubart
autochrome of mrs. selma shubart. the museum is not sure who took the photo, but it's either alfred stieglitz or edward steichen. the complicated process used for developing the photo was invented by lumière in 1903 and absolutely beautiful.

I Got Up
i got up post cards by on kawara were sent everyday from 1968 to 1979 and contained the exact time he got up, his address and the address of the recipient. someone said it was like twitter.

the guitar heroes exhibit was incredible. my photo doesn't do john monteleone's four seasons guitars justice, but the cut-outs on the sides were something i've never seen before. you can learn a lot more here.

Temple of Dendur
temple of dendur and someone walking like an egyptian. she really was.

Teenager Portrays Sarcophogus
teenager posing as a sarcophagus. not sure if he really was, but a few high school girls thought he was so funny.

hello, hello! no matter how many times we go to the metropolitan museum of art we get lost, but if you're going to get lost, that's the place to do it!

xo, cindy

weekend | extremes

Orange Bicycle
Snow in the City

hello, hello! thank you for all your words of encouragement for my blogging blues, which are much better thanks to getting out and about this weekend. on saturday we saw a wonderful bicycle outside of erica tanov's shop and by monday there was a flash snowstorm, although just about all of this snow is gone.

we saw some art (to come) and the movie unknown with liam neeson, which was really good. and, speaking of art, erika has just launched a kickstarter project to create her own art residency in hong kong. we're in and you can find more information here.

xo, cindy

life | the bright side

Ginger Syrup

hello, hello! nothing like a little yellow to perk up an otherwise blah week, although the weather has been unseasonably warm giving us a prelude to spring about a month away. honestly, i have not felt like blogging at all and it makes me nervous that my "best" days are behind me. i've never had a spell like this and the 365 photo project has been taking a lot of effort because i've really tried to come up with a good photo each day, but i can't say it's been fun to put that pressure on myself for a self-imposed project - oy!

i did attend a workshop about how to use social networking tools like linkedin, facebook and twitter in your business and the customer profiles i previously mentioned in the etsy post came up, again. so, they certainly seem to be important when it comes to figuring out not only what your customers are looking for and thinking when they consider making a purchase, but where they are. enjoy your weekend!

xo, cindy

ps the ginger syrup from morris kitchen is so good. not too sweet, not too gingery, just right. goldilocks would approve ;).

life | happy valentine's day

Heart Cookie

hello, hello! we have a special food for flowers program this year for valentine's day. scott brings flowers by nicolette camille, i provide the food and then i eat it. no, i'm kidding about the last part, although i did eat that cookie. i'm supposed to make dinner, but i did that last night, so reservations sound better. enjoy your valentine's day, hope it's a happy one!

xo, cindy

ps we watched the grammy's last night and had a play by play going on twitter. there were some unexpected winners, but it would have been better if more of my favorites were nominated like jason spooner. he's terrific and you can have a listen here.

pics | loverly red

Red Jacket
Dueling Cranes

hello, hello! some red for a valentine's day weekend and a gift from npr - you can listen to adele's new album 21 in its entirety here. i love set fire to the rain - gives me chills, especially when played loud! enjoy your weekend!

xo, cindy

work | etsy success symposium


hello, hello! as previously mentioned, i went to the etsy success symposium at their headquarters in brooklyn to learn more about the nuts & bolts of having a successful etsy business. there were great speakers and it was nice to meet other crafty people. although most of the presentations i attended are online, here are some highlights -

etsy stats
  • gross merchandise sales : 2005 - $166,000; 2010 - $300 million!
  • members - 7 million
  • sellers - 400,000

elevator pitch

it's essential to be able to concisely answer the question what do you sell? when it comes to your shop and feel good about it. a carefully-crafted sentence or two about what you create will go a long way to helping people understand what makes your products unique. michelle ward's presentation about ascertaining your awesomeness included some thought-provoking questions on the topic and her worksheets can be downloaded -
  • what do you enjoy about being a crafter and the things you make?
  • what do you want to be known for?
  • what difference do you want to make in the lives of your customers?

customer profiles

april bowles provided a great pdf (download worksheet #1) for this exercise and it was eye-opening. although one of your customer profiles might resemble yourself, it's helpful to think of your buyers based on -
  • physical attributes, age, income, gender, marital status, hobbies, beliefs, interests.
  • what problems do your products solve? and yes, buying jewelry, art, etc. does solve problems.
  • what are your customers thinking when they consider purchasing your products? how can you craft your product descriptions to respond to these needs and make them irresistible?
  • circles are great ways to learn more about your customers. who has included you in their circle and the other people they are following can add a lot to your customer profiles.


a compelling story about your products can help sell them, but get to the point. be sure to address the usual product information, but what is interesting and unique about your products? for example, if you're a painter what was your inspiration for the piece? sharing this kind of information will help make a personal connection with your customer and give them a deeper sense of who you are as an artist.

etsy is a visual marketplace, and since buyers can not actually touch and feel the items, strong product photography is essential. although natural lighting is best, day light bulbs can emulate it and there might be a place where you can set up a small studio or light box. one way to see how your photos stack up, is to create a treasury of products you love and then add one of your own. how does it fit in?

many people neglect to market their shops and get discouraged. they think if they build it they will come is all it takes, and with so much competition for discretionary spending in general, the significance of marketing can not be underestimated. some things to consider -
  • keep your pitches to sites, magazines, blogs short and sweet. make them personal and relevant. danielle maveal of etsy suggested listing a spectacular item in your shop even though it might be expensive to garner coverage.
  • incoming links from other sites (backlinks) to your shop are used in google search rankings to measure site relevance (search engine optimization). guest posts, tutorials, targeted giveaways are great ways to increase backlinks, and sales we hope, but for giveaways be sure to include a reason for people to visit by asking them to reference something in your shop, i.e. what is their favorite product, etc?
  • be sure to tag your photos as google does not capture images in its search results nor does it include links from twitter.
  • the first three words in your product title and description are the most important as is proper tagging.

i would recommend accessing lorrie vesasey's presentation & pdf let's get off our 'buts' because she offers great advice and tons of resources, especially for marketing. opening an etsy shop can be a wonderful hobby where you simply recoup your expenses. or, a full-fledged business allowing you to quit your day job. even though there is no simple answer for success (business takes work), i hope these tips are helpful and please let me know if you have any questions.

xo, cindy

ps noah scalin's presentation about generating creative energy was really fun. he turned creating a skull a day for a year into fantastic business generating book deals, art shows and speaking engagements. i thought his most meaningful tip was - perfection is over-rated!

life | contemplation

new york botanical garden conservatory

hello, hello! i went to the etsy success symposium yesterday and it was great. over the next couple of days, i will be reviewing my notes and collecting my thoughts to share with you guys. in the meantime, some of the sessions are available online. enjoy your wednesday!

xo, cindy

pics | fake light

Corner View
Winter Knits

hello, hello! this week has been all about staying home and puttering around indoors, which is fine with me. so far so good with my 365 project, but there have been a few close calls when i forget to take a photo early in the day and have to adapt to artificial light - ugh. i'm determined to learn to conquer the challenge it provides by the end of the year, and at this point, setting my camera's white balance to incandescent seems to be helping along with using a tripod to reduce camera shake from the low light environment. enjoy the super-bowl & your weekend! charlie's a big football fan and i think he's rooting for the packers!

xo, cindy

ps i've been sorting through files this week and found some interesting things from former coworkers, including a ransom note!

life | hair, four ways

Hair, Four Ways

hello, hello! the other night, i had a dream i was hanging out with justin bieber talking hair and getting his advice on the topic. then, pat benatar, johnny weir and a trapeze artist crashed the party and all hell broke loose. i wish. actually, this is what happens after two days of bad weather and it's official - dear snow, sleet & rain, i am sick of you.

xo, cindy

ps in the mood, got time for a few more inspiring videos from people who make stuff? if yes, the scout has some lovely short films that won't make you tear your hair out.

art | trade it

fabulous painting + photo by erika.

hello, hello! back in december we had a giveaway for the 2011 calendar i made and erika was a winner. we sent her a calendar plus some goodies from nyc and she offered to send us something in return. never could i have imagined she was going to create a painting just for us and it is wonderful! since she mentioned a trade, i extended the offer you guys and thankfully a few took me up on it.

jane sent us a pair of her beautiful photos from spain.

asiye sent a selection of her gorgeous photos from cape town.

although i asked her if she wanted to trade polaroid film + a calendar, jen sent a favorite print from the midwest.

and, krissy sent some of her stash of paper, which will likely be used in a butterfly garland or two. the phrase give and you shall receive is certainly in play here, although i think we ended up on the better end of these trades. the summery feel of the pieces also seems to be perfectly timed because we're experiencing another winter storm, today. since it seems to be covering a good part of the country, safe travels to those of you who are being affected. to those of you who are enjoying warmer temperatures, catch some rays for the rest of us. we could use some extra vitamin d!

xo, cindy