Greetings from Finland. Actually, greetings from the Åland Islands – an archipelago of Islands next to Finland. Actualllllly, greetings from the ferry boat between the Åland Islands and Finland, specifically, in the cough syrup purple colored lounge next to the children’s’ arcade. I have never been on a ferry boat large enough to warrant a children’s arcade, but I had never been to Finland before this, so, there’s a first time for everything. Right? Right.
There is a woman sitting at the next table talking about how much she hates her sister-in-law and how she never sees that branch of the family but she keeps tabs on them daily because the sister-in-law keeps a blog, and the woman she is talking to just got a Who Farted look on her face and said, “Guhhhh. One of those!” Only she said it in a British accent so it almost sounded formal. British people are always doing that. Oh, how I wish I was British sometimes!
That, “Guhhh.” reminded me though. I am months past due for a blog post. If you follow me on Instagram you know I’m on social media pretty much every day, I just haven’t been putting much into the blogosphere.
Welp. Maybe now is a good time to play ketchup. Not catch up; ketchup. Playing catch up is what you do when things are as you expect them in the end. Ketchup is when things are messy and smelly and get sticky residue in between the car cushions. There’s been a lot going on behind the scenes. Stuff got complicated…
For one thing, if you looked at the site on a regular computer in the last four months you probably saw that it was formatted a bit wonky – no margins, some backward text, yada yada. That was the front end – the back end was far more messed up. I thought it was some outdated html code in need of repair, but no, it was bigger. Total gut job. Hiring a developer to rebuild cost more than the ad revenue the site brings in six months, so I sat on it for a while and decided what to do. For a while there I thought I’d call it quits, just keep to Instagram and call it a day. But you know what? I want to be here. I want to write more than photo captions. But, with all this time for thinking I decided I want to change things up a wee bit. For example.
I’m not going to spend a lot of time on crafts.
A few years ago I was crafting and photographing three days a week and hoping to push it to five. These days I put all my creative energy into painting. That’s it. Regular unfancy painting. Mostly on canvases. And then I sell them. Sometimes prints, but mostly originals. At last estimate, I’m at a little over 300 originals sold since I opened that shop on Etsy in October 2015. Some of those are just drawings, but it’s a decent pile of work. And I never would have had the confidence to begin the journey had I not received the encouragement from you guys: THANK YOU!
That said, out of that 300, I can count the number of buyers who came from Aunt Peaches readers on my fingers. In short, my readers might like my art, but they don’t buy it. Why is that?
1. Because art is deeply personal and it is unreasonable to expect everyone to like my stuff enough to spend money on it.
2. Because my readers are creative people and they’ll make their own art. And that is awesome!
…But that means a blog like this (in its current state) will not support me. Any time I spend here is time I take away from from something that does support me. In short, blogging about crafts is no longer a luxury I can afford.
So here we are.
I have been ignoring this blog because I don’t want to use creative energy away from something that doesn’t/wouldn’t/couldn’t make me money. Is that harsh to hear? I’m sorry. I’d like to tell you I don’t do this for the money but the truth is I do. I’m a freelancer. I work for myself. I’m financially independent. I don’t have a spouse to lean on. I don’t have an immediate family to pick up the pieces when I fall. It would have been much safer to have chosen a different carrier path, but this is where I am. I’m a painter. I paint. I feel good when I paint. I feel my cells shift when I paint. I’m at my best when I paint. I like myself better when I paint. I‘m a better person to be around when I paint.
So I paint.
Mostly flowers, sometimes other stuff. Hard to say. If that bores you and you want to see someone paint cutesy crafty things on shoes and party decorations, that’s cool. No really, that’s cool! But you won’t find it here. There are hundreds of other amazing websites providing that kind content and the whole of Pinterest is waiting for you. Go get it!
I’m shutting off the comments.
This was a hard decision. I have made some wonderful friends through blog comments over the years and for some time there, your encouragement and kind words were the highlights of my day. I lived for comments. But stuff changes. People hardly ever comment anymore, even on bigger/larger/more successful blogs. It just doesn’t happen. Now I find that for every nice comment there is at least two negative and ten spam comments…and a whole lot of unsolicited advice. Last week a woman left a comment on a three year old photo of my bedroom and told me I needed to buy new furniture to catch a husband. I get a lot of those. The weird part is, I think she thought she was being helpful. This is the part when you tell me to let it roll off, and I do, but you have to understand that when you spend most of your day alone, every act of communication has an impact on your day. The ripples of thoughtless comments from strangers have done far more damage than words can describe these past two years. The good no longers outweighs the bad.
So I’m getting rid of them.
I’ll leave the comments on this post and a few other recents open temporarily, but eventually, everything will close. If you have something you reallllly want to tell me, I trust you will find another way. Sometimes the hallmark of true friends is the ability to be silent together.
I’m closing all advertising and sponsor posts.
This site has never made more than a part-time income, although, there were certainly seasons I treated it as a full time job. I’m no longer catering content to fit some vanilla idealogy of what other people want. Fuck that. I’ll write what I want. I’ll write fuck if I want. I’ll make typos and not worry about it. I’ll be random and weird talk to you like we are friends in real life, but probably a lot more liberal because the conversation will be one sided. It’s my site, my sandbox. What I say goes. Will some people not like that? Yes. Is that my problem? Nope.
I have some wonderful relationships with longtime sponsors like Michael’s and ILovetoCreate.com – if one of them wants to come back, I’m all for it. In fact, I have some back logged blog posts for them I’ll publish in the days ahead. But I’m not taking on anyone new. The sidebar ads are gone. And so are the archive libraries of all sponsored/non-sponsored posts. Don’t worry, the old posts still exist, but the pages with idea indexes were destroyed in the rebuild. From here on in, if you want to see me wallpaper a fridge, just google “Aunt Peaches Wallpaper Fridge” and you’ll get there. It’s easy – I promise.
I’m going to write about what it’s like to run a creative business.
When I was researching what AuntPeaches.com would be about, someone once told me to write the blog you want to read. Seven+ years later, I want to read a blog about running an art business. Haven’t found it. So, I might need to write it myself. It’ll still alternate photos of cats and cute stuff I want to make and do and celebrate, but it’s going to look a little different.
So that’s what I know. I’m changing. The site is changing. If you want to come along for the ride, this is your ticket to board.
We cool? I hope so.
And if not, that’s okay too. Not everyone is comfortable with change. My growing pains need not be your pains. And if that is the case, I send you love and light and hugs and cat videos from afar.
For everyone else, I have a bunch of unpublished posts to get up in the days ahead, and after that it’ll scale back to once a week or so.
Let’s get this party started!