Celebrate!

So many times we get caught in the litany of bad things in our mind. That we are somehow (enter negative thought here.)  Many sources tell you to make them into affirmations in your mind, to replace the negative thoughts. A simple google search will give you a long list of lists of positive thoughts.  But sometimes words are not enough, so plan ahead with activities to do. Making the list ahead of time helps.

For me, using the special dishes, the delicate footed bowl (well actually a martini glass, but it watermelon seemed a better choice than gin) is something that takes my mind off the negative thing and focuses  the now. For you never really have to get through what ever period of time seems overwhelming, be it the week, the day, the hour, the minute, all you have to do is hold on for a second, then another and then repeat.  The problem is getting out of the thoughts in your head and into action. Doing something about it. So when the thoughts start to creep in, Do something to celebrate yourself. It re-enforces those affirmations I mentioned above.

 
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Progress on the Journey

Originally posted

http://www.rennatatropeano.com/growingunique/2013/08/12/if-life-is-a-journey-what-progress-did-you-make-today/SONY DSC

What did you do today that helped you move closer to your goals?

Today I wandered around Barnes and Noble, picking up various books on topics that interest me. How to books on reworking clothes, Watercolor painting books,photography books, etc.  Each one I picked up reminded me of a similar book that I had picked up on a previous visit.  Each book was in its own way about living a creative life.  If you throw in all the other creative choices, such as cooking, woodworking, gardening, writing, etc., these books have a significant amount of the floor space allotted for adult reading.  I realized that there is a difference between reading and learning.  Many of these books that I have purchased over the years have been books that I read, but did not learn.

Where I am making progress in my creative journey is in photography, and this is because of the mentorship program in which I am participating.  The key word is participating. I am using the camera and talking about it with the other participants.

Week 2 Plus Post-I am participating in the Camera Basics, Beyond Automatic Mentorship by +G+ Mentorship Program for Photographers organized and run by the program directors, +Robin Griggs Wood +Ron Clifford and +Tamara Pruessner Each week I will be posting a Plus …read more

Source: My Google+

Moving away from Automatic.

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Originally published: http://www.rennatatropeano.com/growingunique/2013/08/07/moving-away-from-automatic/

For those who wonder why I am spend more time on G+ than Facebook

It is because of the content. No, not a lot of my friends are on G+, but what I  am finding is a lot of people who share interests and passions.  Right now I am participating in a four-week photography mentorship.  It is free of charge and run by a group of people whose photography work I really admire.  This is my weekly post about what I am learning.

Week One- Plus Post

I am participating in the Camera Basics, Beyond Automatic Mentorship by +G+ Mentorship Program for Photographers organized and run by the program directors, +Robin Griggs Wood +Ron Clifford and +Tamara Pruessner Each week I will be posting a Plus Post about what I …read more
Source: My Google+

Designing and Decorating your Internet home- Going back to the beginning.

DSC04255 At the end of my last post, I had a list of questions that would would help sort out the what to do in SEO and creating a internet presence.  If you are just starting, or thinking of starting to get on the web your first question would be why?  While I know there are many reasons why someone might want an internet presence,  this is aimed at authors and artists who are self promoting their product.

 

Are you selling a one time purchase product? Or are you selling yourself as a creator who has multiple products?

This is not a one time question. This is actually a question that you might want to keep in mind every time you create content.  An author with a new book might be focusing on selling that one book. They may have a back list and other works, but the sale of the new book takes priority.   I might want to sell you a large original painting to hang over your couch, but think the better approach is to market myself as a creator.  What ever you decide, the next step is to find a home.

 

Do you want to rent or own?

This is not so much a question of what you pay or do not pay, but rather of who owns the URL. 

What I mean in terms of renting, is setting up shop on someone else’s site.  There are pluses and minuses to this. The plus side is they are usually easy to set up, and come with an advantage of being part of a recognized internet presence.     WordPress, Livejournal, Etsy.com, DeviantArt and Blogger are a few of the commonly used sites.  One of the downsides, is that the url gives you away as a renter, and there are limitations on getting the site exactly as you want it. 

My blog started out at the URL  https://rennata.wordpress.com, a rental.  It is now located at http://rennatatropeano.com/growingunique, an URL that is clearly mine.

 

Do you want the upkeep that comes with the larger mansion, or do you want the simplicity and ease of a studio apartment?

One of the main reasons I brought the two together is that I did not want to have to promote my blog at wordpress, my website, and my online gallery.  I could have just run my entire website on wordpress under my own URL, I think of this as the studio apartment. Easy, with everything all together in one place.  I had reached the point where the blog was just not big enough to do everything I wanted it to do. I wanted a full searchable online gallery, and I wanted all the functionality of the blog, and I wanted something to tie them all together.  The gallery, the website and the blog each have their own controls, and require a bit of maintenance in each place. It is a tradeoff that I chose for the increased functionality.

As I move forward with series of posts, I am going to explore my options on each choice, so I am sure that I will be making changes to each.  This is where they are today, the starting point.

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Designing and Decorating your Internet home.

Breaking Fast This morning found me up at an unreasonably early hour.  I started reading some of the blog posts that  I had marked as “come back to later”.  They were all about creating an online presence.   One of them asked the question, “what do you want from your visitors?”  The answer in that blog was a sale.  I do not deny that I also want sales, but I want more. I want a relationship with my visitors that leads to sales.   Author Steven Saus did a great job of  explaining the difference in his guest blog post,  “The Used Car Salesperson” Versus “The Family Dealership” (you can find a link to Steve’s site under authors and artists).

Some of the blog posts talked about directing or moving people around your website, others spoke about welcoming them in and creating a community.  This reminded me of my still life, Breaking Fast.  It was taken in a room that was perfectly designed to be welcoming, intimate, and draw you in. The moment you walked into this room, you wanted to take a seat at the big crescent shaped table.  The crescent shape let you see and talk to anyone around the table.  The table faced a window that looked out across the lawn to the river.  An incredible Tiffany fireplace flanked the table. This picture does not capture the beauty of the fireplace, the mosaic tiles created a depth difficult to capture in a photograph.

Tiffany Fireplace All and all, it was the kind of room that drew you in and would inspire you to stay chat and linger over coffee or tea.  The tour guide told us that many a great business deal was made here, not in the boardroom. This is what I want in my website, a well designed place of beauty that can lead to lasting business relationships.  How do I translate this perfection of design into my internet presence? The business grew out of the relationship between the host and his guests.  Part of what made this room perfect was that it was designed to be a breakfast room.  It was not trying to be the dining room, the kitchen table, the study, the music room and a place of business as well.  I tried  to think of what part of my web presence could be my perfect breakfast room. My Blog? My website? My online gallery?  I have just brought these all together so that I can have a single “home address” on the internet for SEO purposes.  Taking this analogy a step further, What does that make social media?  My first answer was the door,  but that did not quite work. I decided that they were more like outposts with portals to my home.

When it comes to social media,  I have always thought of Facebook as a large cocktail party, Twitter as an elevator conversation, Livejournal as a conversation in a coffee shop. Flickr is a bit like flipping through someone’s photo albums. Second Life is very much an amusement park with Conference Center facilities.  I am not at all sure what Google+ will turn out to be, but I think they want to be my whole neighborhood.   What I am discovering is that the real question is where do our websites and blogs fit into all this?  Reading the wildly conflicting suggestions for how to “manage” social media,  I could sort them into the used car or family dealership models easily enough, the harder part was knowing which ones would work for both your product and your internet presence.   Are you selling a one time purchase product? Or are you selling yourself as a creator who has multiple products. Do you want the upkeep that comes with the elegantly designed mansion, or do you want the simplicity and ease of a studio apartment? Do you want to rent or own?  Each of these choices would result in a different answer applying.   I shall review my online home, and it’s out lying portals in a series of posts on this topic.

 

This post was originally posted at  http://www.rennatatropeano.com/growingunique

High Contrast

This morning as I wandered the house considering the possibilities for this morning’s photograph, I knew that we were short on time. It was also one of those very gray days with very flat light. I decided to use the light in my kitchen, rather than the natural light. So I set a porcelain basket of flower on my kitchen island. The pale pink flowers were a stark contrast to the dark green counter tops.
I was surprised at how hard it was to get the light setting right.