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Sunday, 19 February 2006
I get my first official website customer
Topic: Putting up a website

I finally got my first official live customer to/from my website last week - someone in search of Maine notecards. Someone not looking for my work by artist name. She had had to make an effort to find what she was looking for. She and her husband had been to Maine this fall with inlaws and fell in love with it. They are from Kansas City. She was looking for special notecards to give the inlaws. She told me she'd found me by googling 'midcoast maine notecards'. I tried the search and saw my site didn't show up til the fourth page of results. There was nothing really relevant before my listing though. I knew my site wouldn't have shown up anywhere close with the search 'Maine notecards'. When I finally confessed to her that she was my first who came via a search for content without knowing of my work, how thrilled I was, and that I was lucky she hadn't tried 'Maine notecards', she told me she had indeed tried that search as well. (See my Maine notecards here.) And here I am even more thrilled - she said there had been plenty of nice notecards that reminded her of the area but nothing was quite what she was looking for, until she finally found mine. What a special endorsement. She also told me yes, she'd be sure to visit my blog. I only hope she doesn't visit the blog right away because of what I just put up there.

In all my excitement about getting her order I felt prompted to investigate further what is involved with taking payments online via PayPal. I've seen where people have this set up to even take donations. So decided I'd start small and just set it up for donations. (Later note: updated Make a donation page.) I did that and then made a blog entry about it, basically an appeal. Now I've been worrying whether that is just too crass, and thinking I must put a little story on top of the donation entry to hide it a bit! I set up my website as a contact point for people, hardly expecting to get orders from it. It had to start somewhere. And now I've taken the PayPal step I will have to figure out how to integrate it with how my products are already set up here. I know this is a patchwork site, but then so is life. There is nothing really wrong with that as long as it works in whatever capacity. Well, several hours later and I've added a crude order/feedback form to my site. The best I can do right now with the PayPal is to have it as an option to pay with once an order comes through. We shall see. You can take a look at my Maine notecards order form and see what you think.

Posted by Catinka Knoth at 8:15 PM EST
Updated: Monday, 30 July 2007 2:11 PM EDT
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Saturday, 18 February 2006
Now Accepting Donations
Topic: Life
I've signed up for PayPal. I haven't yet set it up to take orders but I did set it up for donations! If anyone would like to help me bring my art into the world or contribute to the expense of maintaining my teaching studio, I would greatly appreciate it. An unforeseen expense is that I must find a new living space. My new landlords have realized they cannot make the improvements they want with the apartment occupied. By contributing you will be helping me find a new apartment, continue to offer art classes, and make my art available. To make a donation use the PayPal link at the following page.Thank You!

Posted by Catinka Knoth at 10:48 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 18 February 2006 11:15 PM EST
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Friday, 3 February 2006
Chinese Papercuts - The Year of the Dog
Topic: Seasonal/Holiday

dog papercut

This week in my art classes, for both adult and child, we did variations on the dog theme, in honor of the Chinese New Year which lasts from Jan. 29 to Feb 17 (this year, the year of the dog). I brought in some examples of Chinese papercuts of dogs I'd found online. It had taken me hours to find just a couple. In hindsight, I should have been making my own during that time. It was not until my last class for the week was over that I made one (see above). We ended up spending the time on Western style dog drawings. One student, inspired by the story of Roslyn Stendahl, who kept a daily visual journal of her beloved Alaskan Malamute, has started drawings of her own dogs. Read More...

Posted by Catinka Knoth at 6:23 PM EST
Updated: Saturday, 9 December 2006 5:19 PM EST
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Tuesday, 24 January 2006
In Search of Lucas Samaras
Topic: Art
This evening I was visiting at the studio of Clarity, a couple of collaborative artists who teach and make art in the Lincoln Street Center for Arts and Education where I have a small classroom/studio. We were discussing art and teaching and something about our talk reminded me of the work of Lucas Samaras - yes, they had just started making jars of memories, like a book in a jar or a ship in a bottle. I said Samaras had made a wonderful series of boxes made of pins and colors. The Museum of Modern Art had had a show of these years ago, and a former drawing teacher from art school, Kim Levin, had written a book on him, his art... Clarity would check out Samaras.

I've since googled Samaras for my own curiosity and could find only a few images similar to the boxes I'd seen. I followed most all the links that Artcylopedia offered. It took quite a few tries before finding these pieces at the Tate Gallery, London. I did find a box made of pins at the National Gallery of Australia.

But before I found the good stuff on Samaras, I googled Levin. (I hadn't yet found the right search words for Samaras so I thought Levin would yield something.) Turns out she has been an art critic for the Village Voice in NYC for the past twenty years (I don't keep up on the art world) and has an installation? at the Feldman Gallery,NYC, Notes and Itineraries. Every week she has made the rounds of countless NYC galleries to compile her compact review listings and kept notes and itineraries of these visits on the gallery cards mailed to her. This ephemera of her travels around the NYC art scene is mounted on the walls of the gallery where one can trace her paths through the last twenty years of art's story in NYC galleries.

Posted by Catinka Knoth at 10:25 PM EST
Updated: Tuesday, 24 January 2006 11:49 PM EST
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Sunday, 25 December 2005
My Christmas Tree of 2004!
Topic: Seasonal/Holiday

This year I have not put up a Christmas tree. In recent years it seems I only really bask in a tree's atmosphere the night I put it up. Here in Maine, Christmas seems to be over with a bang at the end of Christmas Day. Many people have been dealing with Christmas rush so long that the moment the day is done, their tinsel comes down and the tree is out the door. (Not all folks, but enough that is is hard to feel the spirit in the air of the twelve days of Christmas, as much of the meaning of Christmas is that it is a shared feeling, a shared story, mystery.

Several years ago I decided to make an artificial Christmas tree from scratch. I wanted it to look a bit like those feather trees they used to make around the turn of the last century. I made my tree with coat hangers, green tinsel garland, and lights. About 3 feet high. I decorate it simply with some fancy ribbon and a series of paper angel ornaments I made years ago for another Christmas when I had no tree. These angels now come out every year rather than the huge box of wonderful ornaments that are sitting in the attic somewhere. I just have such a hard time putting things away that I'm not bringing those ornaments out anymore. The angels are simple enough to put up. Except this year. They too now may remain hidden. You can catch a glimpse of some of them here, as well as my homemade tree as it stood last year.

Posted by Catinka Knoth at 12:22 PM EST
Updated: Thursday, 5 January 2006 3:14 AM EST
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