I am now the proud owner of a brand spanking new Wordpress website! I am so excited! I've wanted to combine my blog and website for quite a long time and it's now up and running. I still have a number of items to list, so check back often!
Although I'll be leaving this blog up for awhile, all new blog posts will now be on the new website.
Please stop by, say hello and sign up on Networked Blogs to follow along!
Thought I would share my latest painting with you. This was originally going to be a realistic painting of my own cat, Bailey. But, as always, it seemed to drift to pinks and purples. I think I will do more of these fantasy paintings. How about a fantasy pig? cow?
First, I must apologize for my disappearing act during September. It has been a busy and exciting month for me and my family.
First, and most important, my granddaughter, Brittany, gave birth to a beautiful little boy! His name is Kevin and he's the most precious little thing. He was 7 lbs and 20 inches. He has his mom's dimples and has been the best little baby. This makes me a great grandma for the second time. I am truly blessed. Oh, and yes we are going to make him a Colts fan!! Go Colts!
Also during September, I decided to try Ebay again for selling art. Years ago, I sold on Ebay under the name of Casual Cottage. Some of you may remember my website. I sold handmade totes, quilts, mouse pads and vintage items. I have not sold on Ebay since, but decided to see if it would be a viable venue for selling art. WOW!! I couldn't believe all the changes on Ebay! My former group, Painting Ebay Pretty - P.E.P, was 800+ strong when I left with at least 100 of those actively selling. Now the group actively selling is down to a handful of sellers. So many sellers have left Ebay. I've had listings now for about 10 days and have sold one item. But, I decided to give it a fair shot and "sell" for at least 2 months before I gave it up. If you're interested in seeing what I have on Ebay, you can find me here.
I have also been busy painting. Here are just a few items that I have for sale currently.
This watercolor postcard has the postal information stamped on the back and can be mailed as a postcard or it can be matted and framed.
This was a great find! Vintage chippy white sewing box. I love these!! I've painted some pretty pink roses across the top. It's been sealed and ready to go. These make great gifts for the seamstress who has everything!
Actually, I love Mondays! (since I'm retired). I don't spend Sunday evenings filled with dread anymore about going to a job that I really didn't like....but that's another story.
Today, I'm going to put the finishing touches on an acrylic impasto painting that I've been working on. I painted this in the same colors that I have in my bedroom. That way, if it turned out horrible, I could just hang it there instead of listing it for sale. I'll be listing it later today in my Etsy Shop.
I'm anxious to get started on a new painting.
I just realized that I've used the word "I" 11 times in this post! I (now 12) really need to work on this! :)
When I retired in order to concentrate on my art, I made some major mistakes that kept me from be as successful as I could have been. Believe it or not, working from your home has a few drawbacks if you aren't disciplined about it.
I thought I would share a few tips that I've had to learn that might help my artisan friends.
1) Dress for success!
Is this you?
Now I've never been one to stay in my jammies and robe all day, but I know some do. I think getting up and dressed right away puts us in the right frame of mind for the creating that we need to do each day. Being serious about our art, whether it's sewing, knitting, creating jewelry or art, means treating it as though we're going into an office each day.
2) Focus on you art.
This has been the hardest thing for me to accomplish. Working from home means that every time I go to the kitchen for more coffee or every time I look out my window, I see something that needs to be done. A dirty dish in the sink can literally set me in to a major cleaning mode. Before you know it, I have my coffee and my kitchen is sparkling clean, but I haven't painted a thing. I can look out the window and see that my grass needs to be cut. Next thing you know, my lawn looks great, but I still haven't created any art.
3) Set a Schedule and stick to it!
Creating is not our only job! We've all learned that it's only part of the process of selling our creations. Writing a description, taking pics, listing, promoting, networking and blogging are all needed to be successful. And, if you're successful, you can add packing and shipping to that list! Setting a schedule each day helps to keep it all organized. Decide how many hours each day you want to devote to your art and stick to it. For me, I'm learning that setting a definitive schedule each day for painting, works the best. I will paint from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. Many of you will probably have to work around your family's schedule especially if you have kids. If that's the case, try to carve out specific hours each day for creating....maybe while the kids are in school.
4) Give yourself a break.
It's easy to fall into the trap of working every single day. We all need some time to renew our creative juices. Sometimes the best ideas come to me when I'm not painting.
5) Teaching our friends and families.
If you're like me, you depend on your art to help support yourself. Sometimes our friends and families have to learn that just because we are at home all day, doesn't mean we're hanging on a hook, waiting for them to need something from us. This is your job, your livelihood. Helping them understand this, makes it easier for you concentrate on your art and still have lots of time for them.
Hope some of these suggestions can help you! If you have more suggestions, please share!
Below is a recent article that I wrote for theHandmade Artists Blog and I wanted to share it with my blog readers.
Handmade is ALWAYS a good choice! We all have friends and family that we cringe each time we have to buy them a birthday or Christmas gift. We’ve all spend endless hours roaming the mall looking for that perfect gift. Little do we realize that the perfect gift might just be something that we’ve created with our own hands. Last Christmas I decided to make all of my Christmas gifts for my family. The girls are pretty easy, but the guys were a little bit harder. One of the best gifts I gave was for my 40 year old son. He and his grandpa had been close from the day my son was born. When he passed away, my son was devastated. I went through all of my pictures and found one where my dad was pulling my son around in a wagon in the front yard. I had it enlarged and found a great frame. I KNOW that this simple idea was a gift that he will cherish forever.
I want to share two of the items my son made for me when he was little. This one I’m going to let you study for a moment. Bet you have no idea what this could be, but it’s been on my desk for over 30 years!
The second gift was a Mother’s Day Card that he made in school. Now we all have Mother’s Day cards from our kids, but what made this so special was what he wrote on the inside.
He wrote “I love you very much. You are my favorite mother, and the only mother.” (I think he realized after he wrote “favorite” that he should probably clarify that! The other part of the message that I loved was that he decided that this was the time and place to tell me that his friend Cory, who had been ill, was out of the hospital.
Of course we all receive little handmade mementos from our kids over the years. But something happens as we grow older. We don’t create anymore with the abandoned freedom of a child. Ask a kid to sit down with finger paints and paint a picture. They don’t ask how big, what color or even what topic. They just sit down and paint. I have friends and family that say they aren’t “crafters” and have no talent when it comes to making a gift by hand. Sometimes, you just have to get out of your comfort zone and make the effort. The internet is full of tutorials for quick and easy gifts. I’ve also found some great tutorials on my favorite website, Pinterest. A gift from the heart, made with your own hands, doesn’t have to be intricate or expensive.
If you are just not inclined to make it yourself, then you can always purchase a handmade item. I purchased two or three items last year for Christmas gifts from my fellow artisans. These were items that I did not have the time nor materials to make. One item for my son was made with a scroll saw, which I don’t even own. Handmade Artists, ArtFire and Etsy are great places to purchase quality handmade items. If you want something that is personalized, ask the seller if they can make it in another color or add a name or initials. Whether you decide to create the gift yourself or find that perfect gift already created by an artisan, you will be giving a gift from the heart.
Now, back to that first picture. Have you guessed it yet? Not a clue? Imagine my surprise when he handed it to me….you know, that moment when your kids give you something they made with their little hands and you are at a total loss for words. It was a burrito made from clay! I asked my son why he chose to make me a burrito and he answered, “cause you like burritos, mom”. It was as simple as that!
I think I showed you these napkin rings a couple of weeks ago when I first started painting them, but will give you a little update.
Although these were going to be black and white, I painted them in blue for the first fire. I've learned when painting black on porcelain, it's best to add the black gradually. If it's painted too thickly, it tends to chip off. So here is before the first fire.
For the second fire, I added my first layer of black.
I won't bore you with the next fire, other than to say it ended up taking me 4 fires to get the finish the way I wanted. Here are the completed napkin rings.
I have really enjoyed painting a few items in black and white. It's really a major change for me since I paint mostly in pink.