New work at Glass Orchids

New work at Glass Orchids being fired in kiln.
New work at Glass Orchids being melted right before your eyes.

 

My goal for winter was to create new work at Glass Orchids, for the upcoming season.

have to say that I’ve failed miserably at that task this winter.  This winter I’ve been consumed by other tasks, after getting through the holidays I’ve spent my time working on websites for myself and the various arts organizations I’m a part of. I’m also the manager of two of the artisan cooperatives I’m in , and organizing for the upcoming season takes a lot of work.  I admit, I also enjoyed days of laziness which are greatly  needed to refuel for the coming year. 

I’ve got plans for new work at Glass Orchids, so many plans lol…… but first I’ve got to set up for the opening of the cooperatives, do my taxes (which no are not done yet), clean my studio, plant my garden, and then, yes then, create new works!!!

In addition to working getting this site ready for prime time, I also created a new website for one of my cooperatives: Belfast Harbor Artisans. 

 

Getting away from it all

I  just got back from 5 days/4 nights on Monhegan Island. I turned 60 last week and took myself on a short retreat as a gift to myself on this momentous occasion. This was my first trip to what is, apparently, mecca for Maine painters. It was like stepping back in time… children can roam free without fear, I stayed at Monhegan House and there are no locks on the doors; there is a hook so you can lock yourself in for sleeping which is great. I asked about it and they said they have NEVER had any issues with theft etc…   it’s like the land time forgot.

I planned on painting non-stop everyday lol.. yeah sure…. I napped a lot, I finished 2 novels and started a 3rd, and yes I started 7 paintings. Now, I haven’t painted with oils in awhile and found it frustrating that I could only go so far with each and then had to wait for them to dry before continuing. I’ve been using acrylics mostly because I want them to DRY so I can finish.  It’s ok, I now have 7 paintings in process. I’m really only happy with 2 of them but hey, that’s par for the course with artists.

This island seems to have this weird thing where the restaurants don’t serve wine but the tiny shops have amazing wine selections. I did  my part in forcing them to restock. Sitting by an upstairs window, drinking wine, reading a book and watching the sunset… listening to the distant tolling of a bouy bell and the gulls plaintiff cries… .. really heavenly.

I highly recommend this island for those who enjoy quiet. If you are like my husband and can’t rest then NO, don’t do it…. but if you can sit quietly for hours then this is the place for you. There is a lot of hiking to be done and I did  my fair share to get to painting sites. The easy trails are not for the weak ……. I did  manage to tumble down 15 or 20′ on a trail… and didn’t break anything.. wow someone loves me up there. After hiking, painting & falling I felt like I was on survivor….. the path seemed to never end… but I’m  here to type about it so it’s all good.   I am a bit sore….. I think the entire island is uphill. Bring a walking stick.

Most everyone was friendly and I had some nice conversations with total strangers.  I will say that, like  most of Maine, this island is mighty white. I did see a few people of color but not  many.  There were probably more folks over 50 than under as well. although there were a lot of younger folks hiking and probably working there for the summer. I’m not making any judgement about the ages or color of the folks; just observations which I felt might be useful for those planning to visit. There were families with young children and I overheard one little girl tell  her dad she wants to live on the island.

I also got to stop by and visit an old customer Black Duck Emporium and hope to have my work offered there soon again! It was great to see them after many years and actually get to shop in their store. It’s lovely and offers a wide selection of goods from soap to dishes to t shirts.

Like much of Maine, the island is suffering from a drought. I asked a local woman who runs a farm stand about how they water their gardens as she had many. I gathered she has a well which helps, she also has a water catchment system and prioritizes what gets water and what doesn’t. They had beautiful white and orange pumpkins growing in the fields… it was impressive.

Winter can’t be easy there and I think they have about 45 year round residents. One has to prepare for winter and stock up because there is no where to get food or supplies when the weather is bad and no ferry runs.

All in all it was a wonderful experience and I hope to return next year with our own boat, which we can sleep on. Greg can fish during the day and I can paint. Then we can enjoy the local food & wine as the sun sets.  Oh, I had some fantastic fish tacos at the Fish House. A painting of the Fish House will be forthcoming. Life is short, get the tacos & a t shirt.

Pictures of the trip will be added here soon…… I highly recommend a visit!

~Nan

The continuing saga of Google Jail

Well apparently one of my ads for GlassOrchids.com has been released from Google Jail and  has made it through the gauntlet of Google ad approval. I have no idea why it’s different than the ones that have been denied. I’ll let you know if/when I figure it  out. This one seems to be targeting mostly mobile devices. I guess any new traffic is good but it sure isn’t transparent on how Google Ad approval actually works.

Anyway, I’m thinking about what to do next to get more traffic to this site given my striped pajamas. I’ve got two solutions that I’m going to try:

  1. Adding a few pages to my other site NancyDaviesTang.com , and pointing them to this site and then submitting the new pages to get crawled might work.
  2. Creating a mirror site (already  registered a name GlassOrchidz.com.. the Z for zombie version… raised from the dead and all that) and pointing it to this site too.

The second takes much longer to implement so I’ll work on the first one first. I have been known as being stubborn, and I’m not giving up.  If nothing else, my saga should serve as a warning and education to others…..

~Nan

Down Time – What we do in Maine when the tourists go home

It’s Artist Down Time  here in Maine. The time of year when the tourists have fled to warmer climes and I sit looking out the window at 3′ of snow. Often customers at the cooperatives will ask us what we do all winter; we wonder this too…..

Once we close the cooperatives in late October (mostly) we do holiday shows, enjoy our families and then comes the lull in January/February. We make no money in the winter months unless we have successfully navigated the Etsy  or other online waters. There are a few shows between the new year and spring but not many, and generally not great anyway.  Mostly I plan to make a lot of stock over the winter and to get to all those house cleaning projects I’ve put off all summer, but what really happens is I collapse,  the last two winters I’ve experienced severe family illnesses, I try to enjoy the holidays, I do my taxes (OMFG) and come April I’ve created NOTHING.  I’ve spent a lot of time organizing stuff for the coops, researching new products, new galleries, applying to shows, working on the websites, ordering supplies and I’ve even finished a few paintings. I haven’t been in the studio.. except to clean .. for months. I plan to do better, but I always seem to fail.

It’s ok my taxes are done, family is ok,  and I still have April!! I have hope!! Maybe I’ll get some backstock created!! Maybe I’ll get some new products done!! I have designed a few pieces for an art gallery so hey I’m ahead already! A little down time is also good for the soul, helps us to recharge for the crazy season that is just around the corner!

Never enough time

Sure I said I’d be posting my SnapDragons(tm) on the site in a week; that was two weeks ago. There isn’t enough time in a day is there?  I’ve launched my art site NancyDaviesTang.com ,  moved and mocked up my supply website at UGotGlass.com, which is inactive at the moment because again.. there is just NO time. I’ve also launched a sit for my lavender & market garden farm WinterRose.farm I’ve entered two shows one with the Bangor Arts Society and the other with river arts. The former won 2nd place and the latter saw one piece featured in the local paper. Ye ha… I am moving along,  just not getting everything on the list done! Ah well, we do what we can…..

~Nan

It’s not all cake and wine! Relaunch of Glass Orchids!

Banner image for relaunch of Glass Orchids.
Relaunch of Glass Orchids – dichroic glass jewelry made by Maine Glass Artist, Nancy Tang

 

The Relaunch of Glass Orchids 

….has been and ongoing task for about a year now, and I’m getting closer to really having GlassOrchids.Art up and running smoothly.  Recently I’ve noticed a lot of new subscribers to my website. So many that it seemed suspicious. That’s the world we live in now isn’t it? But you know what? I was right. Checked out several of them and they were known spammers. So I’ve disabled subscriptions on the site, deleted them all and removed 100 spam comments that were waiting for me to review.

It is no small task to relaunch Glass Orchids, I’ve had to back up and migrate the entire site to a new host and then deal with all the little glitches that occur when plugins think it’s the old site.  Having run GlassOrchids.com for over 20 years, I now have to try and regain search engine placement, and that’s a whole job unto itself! Learning all the SEO changes and how to  make that work in WordPress vs. an HTML site is another whole ball of wax too. I’ve learned a whole lot though, and I do enjoy working on the site.  I highly recommend a plug in called Wordfence. (and no I don’t get paid to say that, I just find the plugin really helpful.) Watching the live feed of website activity is both fascinating and terrifying; so many bots trying to login and take over!!

Now I can get back to working in the studio creating dichroic glass jewelry and art pieces. I’ve got a Bangor Art Society show coming up in a few weeks and need to make a fused glass wave artwork for it. I’ll post images when it’s complete!

Stay warm folks!
~Nancy

If you’ve arrived  here from outside the site, please visit my home page at: GlassOrchids.Art

Sooooooo today….

I got the blog to show my posts : ) sure sure you think it’s easy…. no no it’s not lol. Anywho, the website she is up and running. Now I’m waiting for my host to add the SSL certificate so you can shop without worry.  That should take a day or so. In the meantime, I’ll be adding more items and trying to get some inventory on here for you to buy.

IDK how anyone gets anything done. Today I amended the soil in my garden beds, searched each leaf of cukes and squashes like the backs of a child’s ear for squash bug eggs and removed them all, killed cucumber bugs with my bare fingers (yes it’s war), sprayed all those plants with an organic insecticide. I dealt with some issues at the artist coop I am shop manager for,  drove my husband over a friends house to go fishing, took a friend to lunch for her bday and to the lake to go swimming, did some grocery shopping, worked on this site and purchased the SSL, did the dishes, fed the cats, fed the chickens,  and am going to fry up the fish my husband caught today, after which I must do laundry for the week.  It doesn’t seem like that should take all the hours in a day but, believe me, it does.  How the time flies…..

It was a glorious day, the weather was perfect and I spent it doing great things with people I love.  It goes fast folks, enjoy every minute…..

~Nan