This week’s artwork: pages in my big fat journal that I’m also using as samples for my Doodled Faces class. I should be ready to open the class for registration next week.

Since 2004, I’ve been sending out weekly email newsletters, with links to whatever I’m up to right now, and to stuff I find online that might be interesting. I am forever getting emails in response to my weekly newsletter—and lately, they’ve contained the same questions, over and over again. So, here are the answers:

Wait. What? You have a newsletter? Where is it, and how do I sign up?
I run my newsletter through an announcements-only Yahoo Group. That means I can send messages to the group, but nobody else can. I usually send one message a week. Sometimes, I get lonely, and I send two. You can sign up for it here. I recommend using the Individual Emails setting, because that way, you’ll see the pretty pictures I put in each issue. If you put yourself on Digest, the newsletters come with all the images stripped out, and the messages are formatted awkwardly.

Stop sending me emails with weird pictures in them!
OK, technically not a question, but those weird pictures are either products I’ve designed, or my artwork. If you don’t like the ones I send this week, you should use the delete button, because there will probably be different ones next week that you will like better. If you don’t like them for weeks on end, you should probably unsubscribe, because that means you don’t like my work, and that’s all I’m going to send you, really.

How do I unsubscribe from your newsletter?
That was actually the polite version. Usually, what I get is “stop sending me these emails” or just “unsubscribe”. Really, people? Do you not see the unsubscribe link at the bottom of each newsletter? Yahoo puts it there, whether you get it via individual email or digest. Use the link. If that doesn’t remove you immediately, log into Yahoo Groups, and remove yourself from the newsletter group. I won’t remove you manually, because A) I don’t have time to manage group preferences for 4,500+ people; B) your email requesting removal was probably mean; C) you didn’t even bother to look for the unsubscribe link; and/or D) you signed up for it, so you can remove yourself with just as much ease. If you have difficulties removing yourself, please contact Yahoo for assistance.

For the 1% of you who are polite, and ask for help: THANK YOU. I’m sorry to see you go, but I understand that sometimes, I start heading in a direction that is no longer up your alley. You will probably get a very short email reply from me asking you to use the unsubscribe link at the bottom of your newsletter. Alternately, log into Yahoo Groups, and remove yourself from the newsletter group.

Would you send me a list of all the artist links you’ve sent in previous newsletters?
No. I don’t keep a list. I don’t plan to keep a list. If you want to see past artist links, you can go to the Yahoo Group, sign in, and flip through the past newsletters, one at a time. The links are usually towards the bottom. I’ve sent around 500 or so newsletters since I started in 2004. Good luck.

Can’t you just ______?
Fill in the blank with whatever it is that you want me to do that I don’t do now, that would probably make your life easier, but mine and everyone else’s miserable. Here’s the thing: the answer to every question that begins with “Can’t you just” is no, I can’t. Sorry.

Why do you hate people who don’t live in the US?
Seriously, I get this question with amazing regularity, because I often limit things like auctions or artwork to US customers only. Here’s the deal: I live in the US. It’s easy for me to ship all sorts of stuff within the US, and to take care of the shipping details online, so all I have to do is drive by and dump my packages at the post office once a day. The US post office even sends me boxes and forms for free. But to ship things to you folks outside the US, I have to use purchased packaging, and fill out forms, and stand in line—and much as I love you, there are times when I just can’t do it. Sorry, but I’m a one woman operation, and something’s gotta give.

You mentioned using _____________ in the description of one of your pieces. How do I use that, and where do I get it?
With regards to pieces posted on this site: I will not describe how I’ve made them, or offer advice on products and their usage. If I’ve made the piece as a class sample, you can take the class from me to learn those things. If I’ve made it for fun, for a swap, or for personal growth, it’s not something geared towards how-to information. Sorry, but not everything I know how to do is available to share.

With regards to where to get things: Google is your friend. Ask Google. Google will tell you where to buy it.

Why are you so rude?

I’m not rude. I’m very direct. If you ask a question, and I have the time and the information, I will answer, in as few words as possible.

I was once recommended for a job, by the person who held that position previously. What she told her former bosses about me: “She’s smart. She works hard. She knows what she’s doing, and is good at teaching other people how to do things well. She’s not Little Mary Sunshine.” And that’s a pretty accurate description of me. Translated to emails, I sometimes come off as short. On my end, I’m giving the information you need, but I’m not surrounding it by chatter. The alternative: no answer at all, because I don’t have time to chat.

Recently, I got a survey response from one of my classes saying that my posts on the classroom message board seemed so abrupt compared to my voice on the class videos. She thought I was a gentle, thoughtful teacher on the videos, but short in my replies on the board. My response: when you read those responses, read them in the voice you hear on the videos, because the same person is writing them. I write the way I speak. It’s just that you can’t hear me saying the words when you read them, and you assume the worst.

Any questions?