1) I want you to check out Silver Nutmeg Studio.
I used to post on the Etsy critiques forum quite regularly when I first opened my shop in July and a lot of the feedback I got was great. For kicks I decided to post in a couple of the "...shop above you" threads today and received the critique that my items were common and that the designs could be seen anywhere. My first reaction was to cry, throw something, then close down my shop and retreat into my little niche of academia. But then I thought, okay. I asked for it. I posted in the critiques section - you are freaking going to get critiqued. Then I thought, but wait, that same comment is probably true of over half the sellers on Etsy - how many jewelry designers are selling wire-wrapped briolettes on kidney hooks right at this very moment? Lots. There is so much overlap in jewelry, I think, but every piece has it's own tiny little difference that somebody might be looking for. So I reposted in the thread and received some super kind, uplifting feedback from Silver Nutmeg, and I checked out her shop and guess what? A lot of our designs are really similar. Does that make her pieces common too? Maybe - but they're also amazingly gorgeous and she seems to be doing just fine in terms of sales. So I guess what I learned today is: if you ask for feedback, accept it, but more importantly, stand by your pieces and if you love them, so will someone else.
2) Davis needs a Halloween costume. We are going to the Halloween party at the campus bar next Thursday, dressing up not optional. It should be something we can put together in that time, and not too expensive. Ideas? Last year he went as a brainless student - he found a fake plastic brain, put it in a bowl with a sign saying "selling brain to fund education - like new". Then he used fake blood and liquid latex to make a surgical scar across his forehead. It was a huge hit.
3) We watched this video in my cell physiology class a few weeks ago. Even if you are not into biology, it's worth a look - the animation and music is just beautiful. It shows the dynamic nature of the cytoskeleton (tubes and ropes), how proteins are made from RNA, and how surface proteins are involved in the adhesion of white blood cells to capillary walls. Read more about it here.