Thursday, 26 January 2012

Doors open, doors close

Despite his laid back attitude, Gimlet has been causing trouble again. We have had problems in the past with him bringing in dead things. Well now he has stopped doing this, and decided it is far more fun to bring in live things. Mice to be specific. After all, its not much fun outdoors; he is as fast as lightening, they don't stand a chance. How much more pleasant to chase them around indoors where they can hide up under the tv or food cupboards, hours of fun, plus its warm. Bonus, as the teen would say!

Well after about 5 mice in 2 weeks (one on my birthday and he didn't even wrap it) we have all had enough. Well Gimlet hasn't had enough, but despite what he may think, the humans are in charge (mostly). The cat flap has been locked to 'out only'; no more 5am mouse chasing, at least not in the house.

The human doors are changing too. Out with the delightful doors that were here when we moved in:

And in with the new solid pine ones:

It's amazing the difference changing the doors can make to a house. Now just the rest of the decor to deal with.

As for the business of art, each year I tend to have a bit of a plan for moving my work forwards, last year of course it was 'build big studio in garden year'. This year I want to get internet sales. It is notoriously difficult to sell artwork online, but I am determined.

So the internet is the answer and this year it is what I am working on. There is much more to selling online than simply listing the stuff. Photographs must be immaculate, networking and cooperation with other artists and crafters is a must, as is promotion via social networks and image bucket sites. Then there is 'SEO', or search engine optimization for those who actually have a life.  So this week it was time to open a shop on Etsy, a US based site that is the worlds largest market place for handmade and vintage goods.

Here are two of my first listings on Etsy, recently finished mosaics:

Many hours are being spent on the computer... time will tell if it pays off for me!


  1. The red heart Mosaic looks beautiful and just in time for Valentines. Hope you sell oodles of stuff on-line.
    I know with greeting cards - you need to create seasonal /holiday cards for regular sales. I suspect it's the same for gifty things on Etsy & Zazzle plus figuring out how to be found on these sites. Heres to a wonderful creative and prosperous 2012!

  2. They are lovely mosaics. Selling on-line is hard work but I am a firm believer of "you don't know if you don't try" so good luck in all that you do. I didn't even know what SEO was until last year!!!

    Jan x

    PS.... your new doors look lovely

  3. Good luck with Etsy. I gave up, largely because I didn't sell anything ;-) but also because of the reposting business. I feel it's a rip off to have to repost stuff just to make it visible at all. For twelve seconds at least. . . I just didn't get circles and teams either. Doomed to failure i was. GIve it yer best shot, it has probably improved, and there is some really nice stuff on there to try not to want. . .

  4. Well Jon, Etsy seems ok so far. I think the re-listing thing was because their search was so awful it was impossible for people to find you otherwise. I hear it has improved, and I certainly don't intend re-listing, don't have the time! Teams seem to be mini forums for people with something in common, a work practice, location, religion, anything. I have already 'met' some artists and crafters who are arranging a real life meet for those in Essex and Suffolk, so it seems very good for networking. Circles are just like following someone on google + or facebook, you get to see what they list/buy/do in your 'stream'. I have already bought several things on Etsy!!

  5. I missed this post somehow. Your mosaics are beautiful. Be glad he brings in dead things my daughter's cat brings in live birds and mice and lets them go in the house :O(

  6. You should put a collar on this with a stretchy area to it so it can come off if he get's it stuck on a branch so he doesn't hang himself. To that add BELLS not just one bell but a few !! make sure they make noise when he walks.

    YOu will see allot less animals. Not sure why people don't do this.... it worked for me when I had an outside cat years ago. My cat is inside only now.


    1. Thanks Lorraine, I used to do this with the last cat I had, it worked well. Sadly Gimlet is an absolute terror and disposes of collars within about 2 weeks, goes off with collar over the fields, comes back sans collar, leading us to wonder if it is him, as there is a jet black cat 2 doors away and they could be twins!