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Exhausted, but Satisfied.

I work a full-time job doing tech support. It means that eight+ hours every day are already claimed, as I can’t afford to not work a day job. It also means if I want to do anything “extracurricular” it needs to be squeezed into whatever hours I don’t need to be sleeping. I realized I’ve probably been cutting into those a little too much when I crashed right after I got up this morning and needed a nap.

This doesn’t mean that I plan to stop working on my side hustle. This just means I need to be better at planning on what I am going to do, as well as continue practicing using the software I’m using for film editing (Filmora9).

I’m learning film editing for a very specific reason, I’ve launched a YouTube channel, Raven’s Requiem YouTube to go hand in hand with my online store, Velvet Embers Store, and plan to tackle an art project for each video, including everything from drawing to painting to sculpture and crafts. If I get myself organized enough I should be able to get some footage over the next few days, and have my first video up by next weekend (fingers crossed, we have a lot on our plates this weekend!).

In the process of launching this site I also decided that I would offer my services for people who need short ads, YouTube intros/outros or other short film editing services. Channel is here:
Athame Productions YouTube

I am also pondering the idea of making a short film myself, tackling one of many important issues I feel needs to be addressed. More on that down the road, I will need to first figure out what subject is closest to my heart, because there are certainly a lot of them.

For now I’m just trying to learn to be better at promoting myself. That includes starting a page here for the business which is below:
Athame Productions WordPress

Please, if so inclined – go like and subscribe to the YouTube stuff, I would really like to kickstart Raven’s Requiem in particular as it is sister to my store. Oh, and we have made our first ad for the store as well!

Going to try to be more diligent with my blogging going forward. Feels like I just don’t have enough hours in a day!

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Just a Bit of Shameless Self-Promotion

I am slowly getting my artwork up onto my website. It’s taking time to get it all organized, and it’s an interesting experiment checking the traffic. I found out that someone tried to buy one of my paintings three times, while Stripe had assumed that there was suspicious activity on my account and closed it without telling me. I’m kind of sore about the loss of the sale to be honest, but it isn’t like they’ll compensate me. So far, traffic to the site has been good, which is promising. It’s only been live for around 1.5 months.

Anyway, here is what I have there so far in my art section. There’s also a growing jewelry and accessories section which I’m currently working on some things for. Feel free to have a look around!

At the moment the site is only set up to ship to US and Canada but you can drop me a line at velvetembersstore@gmail and we can figure something out.

Lucinda

https://velvetembers.squarespace.com/art/lucinda-acrylic-on-canvas

“He’ll Make a Man Out of You”

https://velvetembers.squarespace.com/art/hell-make-a-man-out-of-you

“Midnight Radio”

https://velvetembers.squarespace.com/art/midnight-radio

“Changes”

https://velvetembers.squarespace.com/art/changes-acrylic-on-canvas-24-x-18

“Achall”

https://velvetembers.squarespace.com/art/achall

“Aodnait”

https://velvetembers.squarespace.com/art/aodnait

“Gaothaire”

https://velvetembers.squarespace.com/art/gaothaire

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I WILL Finish the Book.

I’ve been working on a book since spring. I feel like a million things derailed me this summer/fall, including other creative endeavours, but I’m getting my thoughts organized to go back and edit the third to half book I have so far. I feel like I run out of time by the time I get the things done that I need to do in a day. I wonder if we can petition for some extra hours in a day? No? Damn.

Anyway, here’s a very small excerpt:

Jules realized that in the last year, the majority of her socializing was with her little feline.  She spent more time with Joey lately, but overall she had been a bit reclusive the last couple of years or so and especially early this year.  It wasn’t intentional, she just found herself preferring binge watching subscription television services to

being around people. As a result, she rarely came across a spoiler on social media.  Besides, social media was too full of “fake news” these days.

“Loki, wherever you are right now, if you can do anything about the state of politics here, please do.”

     Loki chuckled to himself.  Little did the naive mortal know, gods had no say in things like this. They long ago resigned themselves to staying out of politics, religious wars had snuffed out enough of their followers to cause many gods to be forgotten.

     Politics in its current state was off-limits.  Besides, there were even deities who said “I don’t know, let’s see how he does!”  Then there were those who didn’t want to see how he did because they could predict it already.

Loki facepalmed and laughed when he heard Odin yelling “YOU’RE FIRED!” in a convincing impersonation of Trump’s voice.  Odin was not going to be on a Saturday night skit show anytime soon.  He was still on the outs with one of the writers for stealing his ideas and not attributing credit.  Though, to be fair, crediting a Norse god for your skit writing was likely to land you in a psych ward in this day and age. People just didn’t believe anymore.

     Loki had built himself a pretty large, and at times fearsome reputation, which he occasionally earned.  It wasn’t always all fire and underpants pranks.  Loki had a soft spot for free-thinkers and jokers, he saw a little of himself in them.  He was never the type to just show up and arbitrarily set fire to someone’s hair, but he liked having that

reputation because it gave him power.  It didn’t necessarily turn people into worshippers, but it often kept them from wasting his time, and time to Loki was everything.  

     He liked being his own god, not having hierarchy to obey. This was the one thing about the ever-increasing godless world that was developing, people didn’t need to see a chain of command in charge of them, they were satisfied with having this at their jobs.  

     For some reason though, they complained more about a hierarchy of humans than they did about a hierarchy of gods.  If only they realized gods could be just as petty as humans.  Worse, even. If humans thought water cooler talk was bad on earth, it was nothing compared to the rumour-mongering that went on in Asgard.  So much tea was spilled, it was like Griffin’s Wharf in 1773. 

©Lisa Patric 2018

Is This How You Movie?

I may be pushing the limits of what is humanly possible these days. I’m okay with that, as long as I’m still learning new things.

So, to back up and explain a little; I’ve had my store for over a year now. It’s seen a little success when I’ve had the time to promote it. That being said, I could probably take a little more time to push myself out there but I also had some health issues in the last year (some still lingering) that put a hitch in my git-a-long. Trying to push past and continue pursuing the dream of being an entrepreneur, learning as many skillsets to help me along as possible.

Pretty recently I had the hare-brained idea to start a YouTube channel as a hand in hand thing to go with my business. I make things, lots of different kinds of things, so it made sense to try and teach others how to make some things too. Well, it’s finally happened, along with an interesting side effect, I have fallen in love with video editing. I haven’t filmed anything yet, as I need to get my lighting properly set up to do so, but it’s coming soon. September will hopefully be a fruitful month for me creativity-wise.

In the process of starting to learn video editing software (no background in it, I’m flying blind as I learn how it works) I decided I should probably create an ad for my store. Now, I work full time on top of all of this stuff so filming myself for the ad was not only impossible, it’s kind of unnecessary, I am not the product, my jewelry, accessories and other things are. So, I used some of the many many photos I had taken for the website, and I made a video. I am actually very proud of it, and as someone who constantly criticizes herself, that’s saying something. I had to learn how to make photos look a little less static, give people information about the website without going too nuts, because it needs to be short. It’s longer than originally intended (I was going to make it like 20 seconds but each pic needed a little time on screen or it would look too breakneck… the finished ad is 44 seconds) but I am so happy with the final cut.

The music is not my own, it’s stock audio from Filmora9, it struck me immediately as I was looking for something to work with my brand, especially with the little spooky bit at the end. I put together lots of different effects and used pan and zoom and other tricks to make it look less like a slideshow than it could have ended up being. I made my own intro/outros for it and then grinned like an idiot for hours.

Here’s the thing. Now I want to start a business making ads for people using everything from their own product photos to footage to stock footage (especially with concept ads, when there isn’t actually a physical product). Really the point I’m making is that it’s sparked a whole new vein in my creative journey that I really need to explore. I’m now considering making a short film, there are a lot of social issues I would like to spark discussion about, and it’s a way to use my creativity to do so. I have a good enough camera, I understand lighting very well, as photography has been a hobby since my pre-teens, the only thing I need to learn is how to edit effectively.

That’s the learning curve I’m currently trying to navigate. I guess we shall see where it goes!

Spring Cleaning.

I tend to try and be civil when I need to be. I was always taught to pick my battles, and I’m proud that I’m able to avoid many of them, even when someone is scraping a battle axe across the floor in front of me.

Sometimes this is difficult to do. Sometimes people’s behaviour warrants confrontation, or even just a good old “hush” with the body language, I mean, when they’re savvy enough to pick up on it. When they aren’t, I just refuse to engage, because honestly it just makes my day easier if I don’t have to fight my way through it.

It’s simple fact that humans are flawed. We all are, it’s just in our nature. There is a difference, however, between embracing that we are flawed and always trying to be better, and embracing our flaws and flaunting them. There is no excuse for being a bad example, especially when we have witnessed firsthand the problems it causes.

Choosing to ignore the falling Jenga tower in front of us after we have clearly been the ones to knock it down doesn’t make it go away. Pretending someone else knocked it down doesn’t make the mess go away either. It’s irrevocable once the deed is done.

What I’m learning is that some people really enjoy knocking down Jenga blocks. They get some weird satisfaction out of doing or saying damaging things to/about others, and nothing I do or say can change that. It bothers me, sure. I can’t do anything to change how that person behaves, though. All I can do is remove my actions/reactions from the scenes they cause and focus on those around me who would rather help build people up instead of tearing them down.

My dad taught me to treat others the way I would like to be treated – but he also taught me to avoid people who just want to dull others’ shine. My life is my own, to add or remove who I choose from my orbit. I don’t have the time or the energy to explain why, and the only people who’ve earned an explanation I wouldn’t dream of removing.

New Leaf

This is a song I wrote/composed/produced/sang back in 2008, but I decided I should start keeping these things on my blog too.

The whole song can be found on ReverbNation:

Lisa Patric – New Leaf

New Leaf

Like anyone I have my limits 
the cracks were hard to hide 
broken heart, battered mind 
from the violence and lies 
When the rubble cleared away 
I was barely alive 

If you leave things lie 
They’ll never change 
start anew 
or stay the same 
broken hearts 
don’t fix themselves 
past is past 
and it’s just as well 
Don’t dwell on things 
You can’t get back 
it’s not worth living in the past 
Shed your skin, start anew 
and always be true to you

Wondering how I let it happen 
Knowing what I know 
I had the power deep inside me 
to let those demons go 
Now I’ve found the way back home 
and god I’ve missed it so

Demons can only be cleansed with light 
let it in, regain your sight 
don’t let grudges carry you 
not worth the pain they put you through 
move on to a better plane 
leave the anger, leave the blame 
cry if you must, but then move on 
the future is now, past is gone

Copyright Lisa Patric 2018

The Package Matters.

Well, at least when you’re talking about merchandise.

Bad packaging can mean the difference between “wow, I love this store” or “are there monkeys running this place??” I’ve experienced it as a consumer as well, where you order a product and it shows up in a baggie or some other half-assed packaging and it does not do the product any favours.

I thought for a while about how I was going to package my accessories and jewelry. I had these neat little coffins printed out before, which are great for something that actually fits in them. I figured I’d bundle them with some pretty cellophane and that would be it. The issue is that most of the jewelry and accessories I make don’t fit in them – so I may just make bigger versions for figurines etc.

I’ve settled with black shiny heat seal zipper bags and some labels I’ve designed which are a lower key version of my logo.

Original logo here ^^

Packaging version ^^

I removed the colour because I’m printing these myself for now (I will eventually splurge and get them done professionally once I sell more stuff!).

I’m kind of proud of how this project is coming along. I needed the packaging to be affordable but also look nice. I’m thinking of also designing some bonus stickers to tuck into the bags but that will have to be when I have more cash to play with. Tonight I print and assemble it all, and finally get some organization of my stock underway.

Slowly Getting There.

Having my own website/store is exciting. It’s also terrifying, and a lot of work when you don’t have someone like Etsy calculating everything for you. I’m pushing through, though. Trying hard to find time to promote my stuff (hardest part isn’t the promotion though, it’s finding time outside of a full time job to work on the art and accessories) is tricky.

It started with necklaces,  now some bat bows. I have started making hair flower clips as well, and have some earrings planned. I am going to delve into some soaps soon, ones made from natural ingredients with fun themes and scents. I also have some of my art for sale on there, and am planning to also add any future sculpture. In the end it will be a meshing of all of my hobbies (I hope).

I just finished another commission – the last of the ones I had piled up – and will now be able to find more time to focus on building stock. Also hoping to get out to some sort of show or two this summer, but we shall see what August brings.

For anyone curious enough to check out how the site is coming along so far – here is the link!

Velvet Embers – Accessories and Art for the Strange at Heart.