Thursday, October 8, 2015

On the Way to a Haircut

I always have my iPhone in my hand. Not to talk, but to take photos. I use the photos for this blog, for Instagram, and for tumblr. Some of them are also used on my Fine Art America website. It's amazing how nice some of them turn out. But I've always loved taking pictures, but having to wait for them to get developed was bard to take! So yesterday after work it was time to venture out for my haircut. My husband drives me over to Eastern Market and usually waits in the car for me, reading on his iPad and looking around - because there is always something to see. Our car was parked a couple blocks away from our house, and on our way over to the car and once I was in it, I took several photos. The mums are really blooming  this time of year, there was a birdhouse carved out to look just like the real townhouse it was hung up against, and it was an extraordinarily lovely blue sky against the pastel colors of the row of townhouses in front of it. The old fashioned fire escape just stood out more for whatever reason, and the dogs were out with their owners getting in one of probably several daily walks. A pair of huskies really got my attention as we were trying to find a parking space. Because I take so many pictures I am now thinking it might be time to plunge forward and update my iPhone 5S to the new 6S plus. But that will be whole different story - and not one my husband will want to hear about!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Etsy Orders and No Response - What To Do?

I've had an Etsy shop for three years. Since most of my items are custom orders, there is a lot of conversation back and forth until the custom portrait is completed. It is an enjoyable experience because progress of the portraits are sent throughout. I received an order last week for two portraits, and did not hear from the customer for several days in spite of many emails through Etsy and personal emails. So I queried my Etsy team members to see how they handle a no response situation. I was getting ready to refund the payment out of desperation. What I got back were curious and interesting experiences from the group of folks I "work with." Late or no response is usually due to vacations, business trips, or just the fact that people don't always check in on Etsy as much as we do to stay on top of things. The nice thing about digital art is that my work is virtual, so I don't need to mail anything. But some of the feedback I received was quite humorous as well as sad. So, two lessons learned: have a little patience, and realize people have other things going on in their lives! Being a responsible person can be a curse, but as a "shop owner" it is a necessary evil. Thanks for the feedback! It's great to be on a "team" with other shop owners for a whole host of reasons. They all responded right away!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Plated Road Trip - Road to Discovery Tour

It looked like any other trailer on the road, but when we reached it, it was quite different. It had a name and website on it, but I had never heard of So I looked it up and it has something to do with cooking and the audience appears to be for folks who are rediscovering the joy of cooking. I never cared for cooking, and luckily I have a husband who loves not only cooking but also grocery shopping. And if I do cook, I need to follow a recipe precisely - whereas he just throws stuff together and it always comes out right. The idea for is that you order food and it gets delivered to you in just the right amount and portions with a recipe for you to create a perfectly balanced meal. A meal for four runs close to $100.00. I know we won't ever use this service, but I suppose it must meet a need and or is a niche service for those eager to check out another way of doing things. So we didn't exactly join them on the road to discovery, but it interested me enough to learn more about it. Have you used this service? 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Instagram App Layout

I've always loved taking photographs for as long as I can remember. And having an iPhone makes it all so easy. Oftentimes I like to group a few photos together. Picture It! was a software program I used in what seems to be such a long time ago when desk top computers were the only option. I now use Sketchbook pro on my iPad to not only draw digital art, but to piece several items together from different places to create more horizontal projects. But the easiest app by far to use for combining related images together is Instagram's Layout app. I've been fooling around with it for a few months now and continue to stumble upon new features all the time. The options are practically limitless and it is fun to use - for art, photos, or creating collages for whatever reason. If you are in to this sort of thing, it is highly recommended. I could spend all day creating layouts for so many different reasons. It's nice to have experienced a lot of this evolution. Most often I just stumble upon it and am self taught. It's amazing that things like this don't take me long to figure my way around it. As for work related projects... It may have something to do with really liking the subject matter! 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Fall Flowers and Personal Reminders on the National Mall

It's supposed to be in the seventies this time of year. But since it's been very dreary and rainy the last four days, a dry day is so appreciated! And as is our usual routine, we stepped out in the "blistery" and windy, overcast, fifties temperature and made our way to the National Mall. Things are a-changing! The bright and colorful flowers of the very hot summer are turning to the warm tones of a cooler autumn. And nowhere is it more obvious than in the gardens by the Hirshhorn Museum, Arts and Industries Building, and Smithsonian Castle. The yellows, oranges, and reds are everywhere. My parents used to visit us in Milwaukee every October. It was my dad's favorite time of year. Wherever we went, the mums and pumpkins were everywhere. And it was his birthday - so there was always a cake and celebration. Since he passed away in June, it's the little things that tug at your heart the most because they remind you of things you maybe didn't think about very much at the time, or didn't think about at all. So whenever I see the colors of autumn I will think about him, and his favorite season. 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Dr. Billington Farewell Email

I've worked at the Library of Congress since we moved to Washington DC. Before that, my career was thirty years in health care. I saw a lot of people come and go in the variety of positions I held. While at the library, I saw the Librarian of Congress several times - in the hallway, at the Book Festival, at many Library sponsored occasions like the Billy Joel tribute, Jill Biden's children's book story reading, and other notable presentations and programs. Over the last year the press has not been too kind, so the Librarian decided to retire last week - a few months earlier than planned - after almost thirty years in the position. There are a lot of mixed reviews about that. Nonetheless, change is in the air. The final email was written to the staff from the 13th Librarian of Congress on his final day. I've never received a message from anyone in that sort of position. And I am happy to say I actually saw the guy and have an association with a remarkable institution. It must have felt weird to actually call it a day. But it happens to everyone. It was just his time. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Pete's Diner - We Were Missed!

In December last year, I wrote about Pete's Diner. We went there every Monday - after taking a morning walk - since I went to a part time schedule. We received a lovely tin of Christmas cookies from Alice - she knew our order and we knew her. We were very touched by the gesture. Lately Pete's has received a lot of press because the speaker of the house also frequents Pete's for breakfast. Since my work schedule recently changed to Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, we haven't figured out how to fit in our Pete's Diner experience - until today. It's been really lousy weather with rain and threats of hurricanes, so we decided it was a great time to stay in the neighborhood. There were no booths available so we sat at the counter. Perhaps Friday is busier than Monday, the time, and the added press lately all affected the interest in having breakfast or lunch there. Unfortunately Alice isn't there any more, but a very distinguished gentleman serves us with some regularity, although today we had a "new" person help us. However, the gentleman who we know well came over to say hello, and noticed that we haven't been there for two weeks. The idea that he would even notice we haven't been there took us aback, but also reminded us that these are the sorts of things that we would really miss if and when we ever leave the Capitol Hill neighborhood. It feels more like a Midwest vibe than a DC vibe. And that just doesn't happen here very often, and makes it even more special.