Tuesday, November 18, 2008

content no longer relevant

While I have learned not to take it personally when my work is not accepted into a juried exhibition, I have not yet learned to do the same when someone unsubscribes from my blog. Feedblitz feels it is necessary to let me know when someone has unsubbed - and WHY. Why am I wounded to the quick when someone opts out of receiving my updates? God knows I have done the same -- when I am overwhelmed, when I am consistently bored with a blog, or when in fact, I no longer find the content relevant to my life or interests. So why should I take it personally when someone leaves my blog for the same reasons? Sigh... I guess I am haunted by the comment about my content. What is no longer relevant about it? Is it too personal? Does it stray too far from ART topics? Do I show too much of my work in process -- or not enough? Or, after 4 yrs of blogging, have I become redundant? Not thoughtful enough? Too superficial? Second-guessing is an exercise in futility, so I shall move on.
Another day in the studio and a scarf commission. But here is the problem when somebody says "I want THAT one" and it is already sold. They say "make me one like it." But there is no such thing. You can maybe put some of the same elements into another piece (and this is not just scarves, but any artwork - right?) - but it will never be the one they fell in love with that was already taken. So for those of you who do commissions, how do you deal with it? I left a bunch drying - but one of a kind is one of a kind. In the meantime, the scarves are not only a change of pace, they are major avoidance. I have two pieces needing to be stitched and I have not been in the mood. Maybe once my right eye is back to normal, I will be in a better mood to sew. I have been to the eye doctor so often that one of my friends asked whether I was having an affair with him. SNORT. Friday, Monday, and now tomorrow I am seeing the retinologist because I have a swollen macula - a side effect of my Sept. cataract surgery. Fun, fun, fun. Winter has crashed into New Jersey - there was a dusting of snow on the cars early this morning; gone by the time I was up and out. But winter jacket, clogs:-( and gloves are now the order of the day. Bleh. Today, I brought my own homemade soup for lunch - the Caribbean health food place is still shuttered. Meanwhile, back at the house...there may be a freeze warning for tonight, but I can still pretend it is warm as I water my asparagus fern. Look at these red berries: does anybody know whether they are just decorative or are seeds or what? (Can you tell I'm plant-challenged?). Funny that they only appear after I've brought the plant indoors. I mean, what blooms in November?The titanium-sole-plated Panasonic iron I ordered from Amazon arrived today. Sarah Ann Smith raved so much about hers, to which nothing reportedly sticks, that I decided I needed one, too. After all, nobody can have too many irons. Now I just have to decide whether I use it here or take it to the studio. Ok, now I understand why that person ditched my blog. Who on earth wants to hear about irons? Time for some dark chocolate.

28 comments:

Karoda said...

Well to balance out the person who unsubscribed...I'm always thrilled to ready your posts and I think you do a wonderful job at balancing the art and the personal in what is an art quilt/textile blog. And even times when time is tight and I don't have much time to browse around, I make sure to check out your blog. I should subscribe, but I like the hunting and the surprise when there is a new posts. My blog notification is broken so I hunt around now.

Von said...

I love subscribing to blogs.. Its a highlight of my morning when I get to the office and I can spend 10-15 minutes imagining that I'm touching what I am seeing... ok hot iron! LOL Just remember there are far more that subscribe and newbies around the corner.

Sherryl said...

I love your blog!! Whoever it was that left obviously has their own problems and may just be overwhelmed. I would ignore it and continue to give the rest of us our fix.

I am leaving warm, sunny 85 degrees to come freeze my butt off on Thursday??? What ever was I thinking!
See you Saturday..

Sherryl said...

P.S. Bring some of those scarves, I will probably be in the market.

Dale Anne Potter said...

Dont' feel bad.....blogger has added a FOLLOW thing and maybe that person signed up for that.
Blogger has recently added a FOLLOW option, so if you go to your dashboard - you might have followers there.
You can add the FOLLOW widget under your layout settings.

Candied Fabrics said...

And I LOVE to read about irons! So, I wouldn't fuss about the unsubbing stuff.

RE: commissions - It's been my experience that people understand that each piece is unique, but it definitely needs to be discussed with each new potential commissioner. I think they can get a thrill of having something made just for them. I do try get them to explain exactly what they like about a certain piece - the shape of the lines, a particular hue, or what have you, a grouping, etc...The more I do this, the more I think to ask, because it is stressful when you're making something that's already been paid for...

Nellie's Needles said...

There's also Google Reader that gives notice to readers when there's a new post. I now use that instead of Feed Blitz.

I love the content of your blog ... a lot of art, interesting activities and friends, and just enough personal stuff to make you seem real.

About commission work. A young couple asked me a year ago to make them a lake piece just like one that had sold. I've made several that I considered had the elements I determined appealed to them, but I was wrong. They still don't have one. It's been suggested that they go to the gallery and fall in love with another. Problem is, they live in Chicago and gallery is in Michigan.

Connie Rose said...

I, too, love your blog and how your life spills into it. Don't fret about the periodic naysayer, I get one every so often as well and I have the same reaction as you! It's their loss.
Hope your eye is better soon. And keep us posted about that iron!

Gerrie said...

Maybe they liked your kitchen renovation!! I love your blog. It is a nice blend of your art and your life. I used to use Feedblitz, but now I use Google reader. I thought that might be why they had unsubscribed, but content no longer relevant - that is brutal to the artist's ego.

ANNA said...

I echo those who say how much we love your blog!!! I have you in google reader so your updates are always notified. I too understand about the quantity/quality etc of blogging - I had several comments recently about gettign too personal - they thought I was giving too much away. I will keep my current blog only for Textile/Art related stuff (and consequently may not be updated as often as I had planned) and have set up a new blog for ME and Mine where I can ramble/rant to my hearts content!!

Anonymous said...

Rayna, you've many more fans than 'irrelevant unsubscribers'.....they are turkeys, don't let them get you down! Love your quips, your wisdom, your art because it is PURE RAYNA! Don't change. Debbie

Judy said...

Well, you've got the crowd enthused today...or was it yesterday or last night? Anyway, I too am such a fan of yours and your blog. You put a lot more thought into what you write than most bloggers. I like that. Sometimes I don't comment as it seems to require too much thought at a time when I'm simply looking for eye candy and entertainment, but I always read what you have to say...and then I ponder it all! Like Gerrie said, perhaps that unsubscriber was interested in kitchen renos.
Yes, I too hate it when someone requests a scarf or tee just like another that I have done. I always stress that my pieces are one of a kind. I've just finished a tee order for a gal who wanted one just like one that I was wearing. I may have to literally give her the shirt off my back, because I wasn't able to recreate it. That, to me, also causes pressure, and then it is no fun at all!
Please do report on your new iron. I'm always in the market.

xo

Joyce said...

I have Sitemeter and am always puzzled why I get more visits on some days. Really,I think we should blog for ourselves and not worry about who reads it but it is hard not to be influenced.
BTW, every person who sews is interested in irons. They seem to last such a short time and make a huge difference in your sewing.

Judy Sall said...

Rayna, I don't subscribe to feedblitz because I visit your blog almost daily! As for commission work, I do lots, but with tie-dye it's easier to replicate. However, I always remind buyers that no two are alike, and I can use similar colors and patterns, but they will still be unique.
Irons? Well, they are relevant to our chosen field of creativity! And I love your personal reflections, AND your sense of humor! Keep it up... you make my day!

Judy

pam in sunny florida said...

I love your combination blog of art and life. You are a witty writer, at times, and I love the photos.
After my daugther's blog from Senegal-yours is the first I check .

Keep it up

Pam in Florida

SplendiferousFiber said...

Collect your Asparagus Fern berries when they are dark red and starting to shrivel. Throw them where you want more plants. Water when you water everything else, or ignore if outdoors. I've started quite a few more ferns that way. They will overwinter here in the flowerbeds, but I live in the deep south (although I grew up in North Jersey- Bergen County)

Terry said...

Oh my, Rayna. I don't know about this deal where people can subscribe or unsubscribe and then you get to know about it! I don't have such a thing, so I am spared the pain of knowing when someone tires of me. Me, I love your art, I love your soup, I love your kitchen, I love your gallery openings and even tolerate a little "iron talk" once in awhile. That guy that left is missing out, but strange as it seems, there are a lot of folks out there who choose to miss out on the good stuff. Go figure.

Helen Conway said...

I guessing that they got a job as anthropologist in Mongolia and will not have internet access. Or they are getting divorced and their spiteful spouse wiped all their blog subscriptions. Or, they are an undercover narcotics officer and think that you may have seen them buying soup so now they have to sever all contact with you. Or.....

Grace said...

Oh my gosh this is the 2nd time I have heard someone rave about that iron Sarah talked about. Third time and I'll just have to buckle down and buy it. At moment, real tired of spitting Rowenta.

And never mind the unsubscribers....they'll be missing out on all sorts of cool stuff on your blog. I say nananananana!

Sandy said...

I haven't read the rest of the comments to see if anyone had this take, but I was thinking perhaps the content was no longer relevant in THAT person's life/ art. Maybe they subscribed because they thought they would do surface design, but now have found their own way a bit more in their work. So, they may have discovered that another technique suits their work better.
Or maybe they have come to the place where they realise they don't really have the facilities for surface design work...or have moved.
Maybe with the financial climate, they have to go back to a day job and won't have time for 1 reading the blog or 2 putting the ideas into practice themselves.

the comment probably hit you at a bad time since you have been having health issues. Don't worry, there are plenty of us who love to read what you have to say and look at what you make. Don't stop!
thanks! Sandy in the UK

laura said...

A. the Panasonic iron is VERY nice. Grace, you can't beat it for the price.

B. Rayna, your fans speak more clearly than those who leave. I agree with Helen's suggestion that it is the reader that changed - It is not that YOU and what you write about are no longer relevant, it's the reader whose interests have changed. or something.
C. I do hope your eye improves soon.
hugs.

Rayna said...

Oh, my, with all those warm fuzzies, how can I miss? You are the best - and honestly, I love your blogs, too . Thanks, guys. You are probably right - the person's needs have changed. And I notified Feedblitz not to let me know the comings and goings of my subscribers. Ignorance is bliss.
xo

AmyB said...

I'd rather read about the iron than a lot of other things I read most days ;) I love that lime green color! As for the lapsed subscriber, well, a little attrition is normal. In my (professional) world, 15% churn is normal from year to year... this one is just part of the process, and you'll continue to inspire us and attract new readers for as long as you're willing to share.

Natalya said...

love your blog!

Russ Little said...

Quick thoughts:

You are absolutely not irrelevant--occasionally irreverent, but always relevant. Perhaps the unsub was one of your kitchen groupies who's only interested in reading about faucets and back-splashes!

I was laughing for the last couple of weeks over the heated discussion about a particular brand of iron (one that I happen to love) on the dyerslist. So apparently, irons are a relevant topic to many of us. Personally I have dreams of a steam generator.

Commissions. How can I, the newbie, offer advise to YOU? For what it's worth, I just got my first commission for 2 2-yd lengths of art cloth, which will be made into garments. I did a quick little form asking the customer to specify colors and motifs to include/avoid, motif scale (s, m, l), and process (immersion or print, because I'm pricing them differently). I was very clear with him that I can't even reproduce things for myself, much less for others.

Sorry to hear about the eye problems. There's something about repeated trips to the doctor that can be spiritually draining--no matter how nice the doctor might be. I'm just now at the tail end of my year-end doctor blitz and I've had just about enough reminding about my mortality for while. Hang in there.

kathy said...

Rayna, I will gladly take your unsubs place...I just placed my subscription. Don't feel bad...I've had a person take my link off her page!

Kristen Cook Tyler said...

when i looked the iron Panasonic NI-S300TR
up on Amazon, it said, "Customers who bought this item, also bought..." and then it had a picture of your book
"Create Your Own Hand-Printed Cloth", Rayna.
I thought that was so funny!!

Rhonda said...

I will also add my 2 cents about unsubscribing... sometimes if the blog reader feed goofs up, one has to unsubscribe then resubscribe to a blog to get the feed reader to see it again. That happens regularly for me on a couple of blogs. So, it might not be you! LOL
Of course then I echo several other people who said they just subscribed to you (as did I) that balances it out :)