Friday, 30 March 2012

New cards and a sale

Well, many days I feel like I spend more time on photo-editing and paperwork than I do on any form of artwork, but sometimes the results are pleasing. My photography skills are small and my graphics software use is entirely self-taught, but I muddle along, despite the fact that my favorite setting on the camera is still the one that says 'Auto'.

Any work finished must be photographed, edited/improved and then stored in many digital forms for printing, internet listing, publicity etc. This of course takes hours. 

Whilst photographing my new tags I needed to have them shown in situ (I need 5 different photos of each product for both my Etsy and Folksy shops), and luckily the wrapped box of Mother's Day chocolates I had in the studio did the trick. I also gave mum one of the new cards!


Each of the three designs has three colour choices and they all had to be photographed, and I was pleased to finish the task!

And I am pleased with them, I have already put them out in some of the local shops I sell in, and am planning more (less girly) designs to expand the range.

I also had a sale this week, in a local outlet of this flower mosaic:

I had kept this one in the studio for months as one of my students had assured me she must have it, but then when she saw one of my butterfly mosaics she changed her mind and bought that instead. I didn't mind at all, a sale is a sale but it is nice that her original choice has a new home too. 


More mosaics to look at here!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Fame at last (kind of...)

Well, I have been in print before, featured in such legendary publications as the Sudbury Mercury, and the Leavenheath, Stoke-by-Nayland, Polstead and Nayland Community News. In fact the lady at the make up counter in boots even recognised me. And once the Bury Free Press even sent a reporter to my studio, complete with big camera that made those clicky noises you hear outside the old bailey as the van with the blacked out windows drives off. I held up a paintbrush and pretended to paint whilst smiling inanely. But I was of course, just following directions.

However, this is the first time I have been in a publication that is actually sold in WH Smith and Tesco. Yes that is me in Craftseller, March issue! Wow. It is surely only a matter of time before I am on the Jonathon Ross show wearing shoes so high that I can only walk 10 paces in before elegantly collapsing on the studio sofa. Watch this space, and never underestimate my talent for blatant self promotion...

Meantime, until the rewards of fame kick in, I am sadly forced to continue working...

So it's back to the print workshop for my latest get-rich-fairly-quick plan; linoprint cards with matching gift tags. Three designs on the same block to start with. "Look I made Barbie pink" I said to the workshop technician: "That's pink with balls!" she replied. I don't think I will be using that line in my publicity material, but she has a point. For those less keen on pink with balls, these will also be available in red and purple.

After a happy hour playing with ink, it was time to put them on the drying rack, alongside the other printmaker's work:

I already have some of the finished cards out in a local gallery and just need to edit the photos before I can offer them online too.

Here is a preview of the butterfly one, finished with glitter and sequins. More designs are planned, including some a little less girly and suitable for men and kids, because not everyone loves pink!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Animal Charity Auction!

Always looking for an excuse to put Gimlet on the blog of course... and as some of you know, Gimlet, my lovable and sometimes violent studio muse came from a local rescue centre. I am not the most selfless person, heaven knows, but adopting an animal felt like one of the best things I ever did. The rescue home does everything in its power to look after the animals and make them happy, but still it must be a miserable existence locked in a pen, compared to being with a doting family.

Here is Gimlet on his first evening with us, before he became the spoiled diva that he is now, back when he was actually grateful. (Time between abject gratitude and demanding expensive cat food... about 6 weeks).

Not everyone can adopt an animal, but in a recessions these centres get inundated with animals that people can no longer afford to look after, along with extra food and vets bills.

So when Louise, (a seller on Folksy) asked if anyone could donate a small item from their shops to her auction she was amazed how many responded. Louise is raising funds for her local animal rescue centre (RACR) in Nottingham.

Here is my donation, one of my bird monoprints:

Currently bid well under it's value, if you would like to bid on this, or take a look at the many other items available please click the links below. Up for auction are items ranging from animal art to hand-made jewellery, hand knitted gloves, soft toys and a huge amount of other stuff.

To bid you simply leave a comment on the image on Louise's facebook page, and pay by paypal if you win. It couldn't be easier, and you will help the furry friends as well as grab a bargain.

Racr Rescue Fundraising Facebook Page 

Direct Link to items up for auction! 

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Ikea vs Ebay

I normally work Saturdays and take Wednesdays off, which means I rarely get a whole 2 days in a row to tackle anything major that is not work. So, the boxes labelled 'stuff to sell on ebay' had grown and were taking over my studio, so in a fit of madness I decided to be like a normal person and take a week off.

For an entire week I listed stuff on ebay: unused dress patterns, shoes I don't wear, wii games the teen no longer plays. By the end of the week I never wanted to see my ebay page again, my selling fees were eye watering and the post office were making a profit again, all due to me. I made some money of course, but couldn't help wondering if I should have dumped the stuff in a charity shop and painted something to sell instead...

Around this time boyfriend and I took a trip to Ikea to get the things we needed for our new laundry room. I was nervous, boyfriend hates shopping... But as it turns out he likes Ikea. He laughed at the Swedish names, ate meatballs in the cafe, tried the furniture, had a pillow fight on the moving walkway and tried various storage items on as headgear (see his facebook profile for evidence).

Best of all, in the place where all the ebay stuff was cluttering up my studio I now have a small 'Helgar':

My only hope is that we manage to buy everything we need for the house before Ikea issue us with a lifetime ban.

Back at work after my ebay fest and I finally finished this one:

My ambition to sell more art online got a couple of boosts this month too, with this commission for a mosaic for Sophie, who sent me little tiles from her bathroom, and fabric swatches so I could create an ivory mosaic with touches of gold for her bathroom:

Finally, I was requested by Folksy seller 'Aunty Joan' to make this small garden painting available as a print, which she then purchased:

Both buyers left me excellent feedback, which is what it is all about on the internet, because just like eBay, no one buys unless you have already sold, so those first sales are the hardest to gain. Thank you Sophie and AuntyJoan!