Crappy Waste of Government Time Strikes Again!

 

Dept. of Labor Mural by Judy Taylor

Lots and lots and lots of attention about this bit of art news/censorship in Maine with our governor, Paul LePage (the home decorator gone mad!) at the helm (of course.)  Well!  The mural came down, secretly, this weekend and is being stored, secretly, at present.  The LePage staff says they are “protecting it” right now which is laughable because art doesn’t need to be protected.  It seems, they thought, the people needed to be protected from the art.

I am glad the Portland City Council is having second thoughts about receiving the ‘gift’ which is actually like someone giving you a jacked-up fruitcake because they didn’t want it.  Except that this particular piece of artwork isn’t jacked-up fruitcake, like the gubernator would have you believe.  It’s actually pretty good, and it’s actually pretty nice to have 40-hour work weeks and 2-day weekends and OSHA standards and not worry about losing most of my fingers in a sardine factory.

Just sayin’.

 

-A.

Ice Cream Trucks: Scourge of the Earth

Really Bad Copy of an image I took on Daytona Beach years ago

Here comes the warm weather:  yay!  Slowly but surely, the days are becoming slightly less painful.  Now, in late March, if it’s windy it’s at LEAST sunny at the same time.  Or if it’s snowing the ground is to warm for any accumulation.  Huzzah!  But do you know what else is happening?

All around Greater Portland and her extending arms of coastline and roadways our neighborhoods are filling with a very familiar, very obnoxious sound:  the coming of the ice cream truck.

Don’t get me wrong — I, perhaps more than anyone, love the concept of a mobile ice cream delivering mechanism.  I appreciate walking down the street and just as soon as I think ‘Gosh it’s hot out,’ some white, big-windowed van pops out from an intersection and all icy, trans-fat related withdrawal symptoms are alleviated.

But. I’ve. Had. Just. About. Enough. of TURKEY IN THE STRAW.  The Entertainer.  And we’re not talking live recordings of American heritage songs, no, we’re talking serious MIDI compositions of otherwise normal and good songs (albeit slightly obnoxious).  And the hurtle full blast through the neighborhood not once, not twice, but upwards of 10 to 15 times a day in the height of summer vacation.

Some more important things to note:  if there were another type of vehicle that drove ominously slow through neighborhoods, small children running willy-nilly towards it, all the while playing the same song over and over again over a loudspeaker (let’s say, for the sake of argument, Kanye’s “POWER” or anything by Bob Seger… just something so specific and not at all related to the actual purpose of this imaginary vehicle) then sure as SHOOT the members of that neighborhood might call in a noise complaint, raise suspicions about traffic safety, etc. etc.

So, heretofore, I propose the following changes:

1.  Less ice cream trucks.  With more ground to cover and less adults to annoy ice cream truck drivers will be raking in the dough and I will be able to keep my windows open in the summertime without jamming pencils in my ears.

2.  A NEW SONG, PLEASE!  Or, even better, that familiar ‘ding ding!’ of the old timey ice cream trucks that existed back in the day, before we sold out the peace and quiet of our neighborhoods for the sake of our children having more opportunities to get fat.

3.  Awesome racing stripes.  This has nothing to do with anything but seriously, how cool would that be?

4.  Better ice-cream-truck-driver-radar.  Either the same guy is driving psychotically around East Bayside all day in hopes that he’ll find more children than the ones who have already bought three choco tacos from him OR it’s multiple drivers overlapping territory.  I have a hunch that it’s the latter because, seriously, have you ever purchased a TwoBall ScrewBall from those guys?  They’re vicious and super shifty.

5.  More options.  I don’t know when Portland’s going to catch wind of what Brooklynites and New Yorkers already know, which is:  food, no matter what kind, always tastes better when it comes out of a truck.  Falafel, BBQ, cookies, sno cones, samosas, kniches, and on and on.  If it’s prepared somewhere sitting atop wheels and purchased while walking it will taste better. So send the ice cream truck through but mix it up a little with some visits from the corn-dog-mobile and the cheesecake-deliverer in between!

I feel much better now.  All this came flooding forth today after an ice cream truck driver gave me a stupid look when I turned left on to a street they were on.  Hello, jerk, it’s March 26th and it’s still freakin’ freezing out.  Go home and wait until the crocuses are out to start annoying me!  And stop looking at me funny.

What’s the Deal With Treasuries, Anyways?

On the Maine Team forum today, someone asked a very good question about what ‘the secret’ of Etsy treasuries are.  I got to thinkin’ (and typin’) and thought it might be nice to have this information here for anyone who might want to read it.

As a disclaimer, I’ll admit I’ve only been on the front page (or ‘FP’) once before.  And it was at 4am.  So my ‘expertise’ in this area only comes from making treasury after treasury for a spell of about two months in hopes that I would reach the holy grail of Etsydom:  front page for an hour.  OK!  So maybe only people in Europe who were up early got to see it!  But I didn’t make a little headway, no?

Without further ado, here’s everything you need to know (or everything I can offer!) about treasuries on Etsy:

1.  Hits-o-mundo. Have you ever clicked on someone’s treasury only to find that there is an INSANE # of views and clicks and comments?  It’s my theory that there are a network of sellers who really get off on the networking aspect of Etsy.  That’s cool for them, but I have a hunch that their super views are due to a high-level-operation of Facebook statuses, Twitter feeds and ‘Treasury Teams’ which is a group of Etsians who make treasuries regularly (daily!) and religiously click through each others collections.  This is nice and all, but belonging to Etsy wasn’t in efforts to become a treasury factory, in my case.  Plus I only have about an hour a day to waste looking at awesome stuff – while presumably these people have more.

If you want to up your treasury views then be sure to leave thoughtful comments in ‘treasury threads’ (where people only list treasuries) about at least the person before you before posting your own.  Share on Facebook.  Maybe even on Twitter.  But don’t lose your life in search of the elusive FP!

2.  What the heck is a BNR?

A BNR is an acronym for “Buy ‘n Replace” which is a treasury that’s curated by a ‘moderator’ (anyone can be a moderator) in efforts to generate sales for those in the treasury.  These often have high numbers of views, clicks and comments because the treasury acts like a chat forum as different viewers announce who they want to buy (per the rules of the BNR).  Once a viewer buys from a shop in the treasury they have an item from their own shop (they can choose or the moderator can choose) listed in the spot where they had bought their purchase from.

If you want to see what it’s all about click on the ‘Treasury’ link on Etsy and search for “open BNR” for any active BNRs.  Some will come up as ‘closed’ which means the moderator has gone back to the real world after hours of chatting on Etsy.  Fun!

3.  How to get on the front page (FP). So weird — there really is no ‘how.’  I have a lot to say on this subject and let’s see if I can keep it concise.  🙂  The front page on Etsy refreshes every hour with a new treasury selected by an Etsy Admin.  The Etsy Admin will generally choose treasuries based on selections of quality items with good photography that fit the ‘merchandising plan’ for that particular month.  Etsy lists their “From the Etsy Merchandising Desk” newsletter every month a month in advance so you can plan accordingly.  By creating treasuries that fit the themes for the season the Etsy Admin is more likely to search for treasuries fitting the description yours follows.

TAGS!  The Etsy Admin can’t find your hard work if you don’t label it properly.  Use all 18 tags when creating a treasury and be sure to message its participants for maximum sharing possibilities.  Make sure your tags match the key words outlined in the merchandising newsletter!

You can also view what other tags are trending if you click on the ‘Treasury’ link on the front page and look on the right-hand column.  It will list the most popular tags of the day and you can design a treasury based on that if you are concerned with views.

There is also this ‘club’ of sellers that, due to their hard work AND having been on the FP before, are on it all the time.  This makes sense:  they get more exposure, more people want to use them in their treasuries, therefore there is a higher likelihood of them getting on the FP again.  So it’s up to you if you want to include those people in your treasury – do you want to find new talent and hope for the best or use existing superstars and network with them in hopes of getting a little exposure that way?  Choice is yours — all I know is that daily there are many ‘repeats’ and less opportunity for all the other excellent sellers to have their 15 minutes of fame.  Of course, all the ‘repeats’ are freaking excellent artists with great product so it’s fun in the sun either way.

4.  Where do I start when making a treasury? Your treasury needs to be cohesive if you’re planning on making your FP debut any time soon.  Pick two colors or, better yet, pick an ‘inspiration’ item that you can base all your other selections off of.  You want the grouping to look unified, not herky-jerky.  Don’t get impatient if you can’t find the perfect shade of pink to go with what you already have – instead try and find complimentary colors if you really can’t find the one shade you need.  Or find something mostly white!

Treasuries are great for networking – do a treasury featuring mainly members of an Etsy team you belong to (even if it’s not a ‘treasury team’) or a theme of all artists from a particular state or city.  Include a little personal note and copy and paste it in hopes of getting more than just a ‘thank you’ in response.  I once networked with the Vermont Street Team this way – and ended up winning a giveaway on their site later as a result of our connection!

Include a wide variety of items in your treasury.  Don’t do all jewelry, all clothing, or all photography unless that’s the point.  Mixing it up will ensure that you’ve got the variety the Admin is looking for when selecting that next superstar treasury!

~~

I think that’s all for now – I totally forgot I’m super tired and have to get up early.  Happy curating, everyone!

Fictitious Lawsuits

Over craftbreakfast this morning we got to fantasizing about what it would be like if inanimate objects could sue each other.  This is what happens when you put lawyers, artists, and a combination of both in the same room together for a morning!

Conceptualizing t-shirts outlining lawsuits as such:

-Circle vs. Oval 1972.  Circle contends oval has infringed on circle’s copyright of being round.

-1837  Beavis vs. Mousey (lawsuit to be determined, not sure what Beavis would have against a mouse toy but it was the first thing Kristina saw when she was coming up with the two parties).

-and so on.

 

I’ll need to get Kristina to give me a template of how those synopses look in law books.  I think we’ll have a pretty good niche market in the overworked, deliriously tired law school students.  Yesss!!

Honk If You Miss Dinosaurs!

“Honk If You Miss Dinosaurs!”

This is officially not a post, but a sketch.  Because I’m pretty sure that’s the best dang slogan I’ve ever come up with.  Drew a tyrannosaurus and a pterodactyl yesterday and realized my memory of first grade picture books is drastically in need of overhaul.

Will share some scans with you guys soon!