Saturday, November 21, 2009

Simplifying and Streamlining

Let's just quickly acknowledge that I missed posting the last two days for the Nablopomo and move on shall we?

Part of my reason for doing 30 posts in 30 days was to go out with a bang, not an explosive bang, more like a pot clanking bang. This blog will be altered and integrated into a new website with my own domain name soon. I've been fiddling with a website on Squarespace on and off for the past two months, I like the look of it but I wish I knew enough (any!) html to customize it more.

When I first thought of starting a blog 2 years ago, I had in mind that it would be used as a minor marketing tool to sell a bit of art here and there on Etsy. Although when you have a blog, you sort of need to write about SOMETHING, not just advertise yourself. Blogs that are nothing but self promotion are almost unreadable.

My first attempt at a blog lasted one post and was called, "Surrealist Art Mom". My youngest daughter was 5 at the time, Most of my time was still committed to being a mom, attempts to squeeze in art were sporadic so I had an idea to integrate my conventional life with some of my unconventional sensibilities. Surrealist Art Mom consisted of making a different kid craft each post. There were two different examples for each craft project shown, one nice cute craft made by my children and then my version using the same materials. The first post was sugar cookies decorated with food colouring makers. While my kids drew smiley faces and flowers on their cookies, I drew eyeballs in hands and wrote nonsensical, surrealist haiku's on mine.

The next post was to be cardboard tube art. My daughters would be making bunnies and puppies. I planned to do George W. Bush's Proposed Pipeline diorama in a shoebox. But the whole thing came to an end when I knew the key to making my craft successful would be borrowing the little plastic trees and forest animals from my kids play sets, having them strewn about looking dead from on oil spill. I just couldn't do it. I was too concerned about my girls innocent, developing brains being traumatized watching mommy do macabre things with their toys.

I know this blog needs to change, morph into something a little different because the frustrations I felt 2 years ago are gone now. At that time, I had spent the last 7 years feeling like an alien in my life. I loved spending time with my kids, but dealing with the politics of playgroups, preschool and small talk in suburbia felt so constricted. I'm not a joiner but joined and volunteered for half a dozen community groups during that time and was miserable. I wish I had discovered some of the mommy blogs like Fussy or Suburban Bliss back than, I would have felt normal, that I wasn't a freak, just separated from my tribe.

Having this blog and then my anonymous blog helped me get past some isolation. Yes, that anonymous blog is gone, reserved now for my private journals. Even with an alias, talking about my kids and husband and our daily life made me uneasy. It was called Me and My Stupid Diet, which wasn't an apt name as it dealt with my attempts to get myself and my family away from processed foods, all foods from industrial farms and living life as organic localvores. August and September were spent shopping at farms, canning, making preserves, herb sauces, baking my own bread and pretty much making everything we ate from scratch. Rewarding, except for the domestic slavery part. I'm still working on that kink, there HAS to be a way to make it simpler. For those interested, the Food Network created a reality show with 100 Mile Diet authors,
James MacKinnon and Alisa Smith, challenging 6 families to live on a local diet for 100 days. You can watch all the episodes here. The show takes place in my town. My suburban bitchin' shtick won't wash after you watch the episodes. It is beautiful here.

The new site will be my art portfolio and a blog and be my only web presence. One thing I know for sure I will never expect you to read a long winded, dull post as long as this one. Ever. And I didn't even post a single picture today. Sheesh.


paula said...

not sure if this site requires html, i kind of think not, as a friend on etsy wanted a website, knew nothing, wanted my help and i directed him to this. by the weekend he had this:
and yet another artist did this (sorry for the stupid html links i'm too lazy right now to hyperlink.
anyhow. i'm excited for you and the new website elle!
and stop cutting your posts down seriously, your blog is worthy of attention and time by others.

Kim Hambric said...

What a fantastic post. I would have loved to have seen the pipeline diorama.

I do enjoy knowing there are other "misfit" moms out there. The thought of joining the PTA or other school mom organizations makes me want to hide under the sofa. I would love to find a group that encourages artist mothers. I do get the feeling that I am looked upon as a selfish b*t*h at times by those who devote ALL their time and energy on their offspring.

Looking forward to your next online adventure. As they say in blogland -- "Keep us posted".

andrea said...

This post filled in a few gaps for me -- which is good! I related to so much of it, as you know, and I think you're being very disciplined in working it all out as I haven't gotten that far yet. (I need to break my own intewebs addiction and soon!) BTW you will still have a FB presence, right, or are you ditching that, too?

Ellen said...

Paula-thanks so much for the links, those websites look great - love Derek Mcdonald's work too. I already paid for a website on squarespace, just need to finish it and get more art done. I think it'll be good enough, at least for now.

Kim - 'misfit' moms, love the term. Moms of young kids can be the absolute worst in terms of gossiping about other mom's parenting style, committment, etc. (I'm sure I was guilty of some of it too). It's such an excessively child centered culture. It's like if I don't record and scrapbook (bleh) every little event in my kids lives, I'm going to destroy their self esteem by seeming like an uninvolved parent. And we wonder why we're seeing a generation with feelings of entitlement.

Andrea - FB will stay, although I have to admit, since this Nablopomo thing started, I've lost interest in it. I'm sure that will change after this month is over.