Friday, February 27, 2009

ATC albums!

A while back I made a few tiny ATC albums from sample-size cereal boxes and they were very popular and sold out fast. Since then I've been hoarding (see top pic) every kind of pasteboard that comes through the house that I think has fun artwork on it. Today I actually started working on a full-size cereal box to see what I could fit in it. Turns out I can cut it down a bit and fit two down and two across, perfect for a 12x12 piece of cardstock. Well, I have to cut the top off, but the long dimension is easy. And it looks like I can fit 8-9 signatures into the album, so that will mean over 100 ATC's can be stored in it. Pretty cool! This Count Chocula one will take some time to finish, but he'll look so cool when he's done. I mean, who wants a boring 3-ring binder when you can have a Count Chocula album??

Thursday, February 26, 2009

More Quilted Coasters!

Here's two closeups of coasters I just finished and put up for sale in my Artfire shop. I love making these things. I'm showing you closeups here so you can see how I did my quilting stitches around the outlines of the Laurel Burch cats and, in the case of the Mary Engelbreit fabric, the cherries and the watering can. It's really fun to go slow on these and make them really special. I love how this cat one turned out with the red stitching around his blue tail.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Marketing addendum

That article I was complaining about in the last post is here if you care to read it, Chris and anyone else. And Chris, although I can see your point, you do buy everything I make and you are in my sphere. So? I'd like to think the rules are changing for how sales happen between people, because it's easier now to connect one crafter to one buyer than ever before.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Marketing Shmarketing

I just read part of an article today about marketing yourself through social networks, like Twitter, and it had all these "myths" that basically boiled down to telling you that no, Virginia, there is no Santa Claus; You still have to spend thousands of dollars on marketing to get any sales. And also, the Field of Dreams model is false, too: If you build it, they will not come. I say I read only part of the article. Because I hated it!

So I was very happy to just find out about The Handmade Movement, a website that organizes the Sneak Attack, which basically flies in the face of all the marketing shite that was depressing me in that article. The Sneak Attack is :

"Three days a week at an appointed time, an Etsy shop with few or no sales is announced on this site. As many people as possible then buy items from that shop, resulting in a frenzy of surprise business to the unsuspecting shop!"

How cool is that? And then of course, if you participate and buy stuff from one of these shops, you can get listed later on and be "attacked" yourself. That is just nice. Makes me happy. So go look at The Handmade Movement; the shops currently being attacked are always at the top of the blog in plain sight, and they even have a list of the shops that have been attacked in the past and how many sales they got. Now, I'm not saying this will make you independently wealthy, but it is just a really nice thing that would only happen on the internet with artsy crafters. So there. Yes We Can.

p.s. I've permanently installed a snazzy button designed by Michael Phipps on my sidebar so you can remember to go check for attacks at any given moment (they're usually every couple of days).

super doodle finished!

I did it! I finished it! And I just posted it to the Doodlage Flickr Group. I like my chances. Well, even if I don't win anything, I'm proud of myself for finishing this, and maybe I can sell prints of it on Artfire, if I can figure out what to print them out on. I limited myself to three colors and it worked out well until one of the pens started running out of ink! Panic! So I had to go buy another one and of course they didn't have the same kind, so I had to try and match it and I got one that seemed to match but when I got home I saw it didn't, so I had to add some new divisions on the doodle so that it didn't look stupid. But I really like how it turned out.

Meanwhile, I joined Twitter, which I don't really understand, but I got sucked in. And now I can just type a line and it will go directly onto my blog sidebar under "breaking news" which is extremely silly but if my family is checking, they can see what's going on. But really, it's Chris who's checking on me more than anyone, so I have to keep her updated. :)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My Very Own Business Cards!

Today I finally took the plunge and ordered some business cards. I've been wanting to do it for a while now and I finally did it!! I designed them myself with my own images of my own art, and I knew exactly what I wanted on them, didn't use any template. Then I just uploaded my designs for the front and the back to Overnight Prints, which another arty friend of mine has used and really likes. Wow, I can hardly wait, they will look so cool!!

New Artfire Item: Leetle Tiny Coloring Book

One of my arty friends suggested I do this and I'd been thinking about it for a while, so I did it! It's a little tiny coloring book of my doodles. They are ATC-sized and I've even perforated the pages to tear out if you want to use them to trade. I only ask that people who trade them give me credit for the doodle and point more folks to my store. I made it pretty cheap--$1.50 for 8 doodle pages, because they aren't the originals, but are copies on cardstock. But who doesn't like to sit and color?

I remember coloring those big gigantor posters you can still get at Michael's (not the velvet ones) that had detailed drawings on them. Only I didn't like most of the themes available, like it seemed most of them had fairies or fantasy women on horses. Ew. Not my thing. I do remember an ocean one that was really fun. Anyway, I plan to make more of these, probably bigger next time. I want to make a robot one, and a bigger doodle one. I like more abstract stuff.

Heck, speaking of coloring, I need to color my entry for the Doodlage love contest!! The deadline is only a few days away!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Fabric Winnings

So here's the fabric stash I'm sending to Sonja as my stash-busting giveaway. I hope she will like the selection, there's some really nice ones and most are very colorful. It's about 3 lbs. of fabric. I hope it won't cost a fortune to send to the Netherlands, but I don't think so. We'll see. Hopefully someone is going to the post office today. And then they can also mail my first sale on Artfire!! Yes! Diane from Craftypod bought my quilted kitty coasters. I hope she doesn't mind me saying so here.

So I just recently heard that Laurel Burch died back in September. That's really sad. I hope that her fabrics will still be available, that's the fabric I used for my kitty coasters. And there's some more kitty fabric in this Sonja's stash, the aqua blue in the bottom row. I already have several more sets of squares cut up to make more kitty coasters, I'm just wondering if they are going to be suddenly really valuable because you can't get the fabric anymore?? I wouldn't want people buying my coasters and then turning around and selling them for a fortune on Ebay. Hmm. If you have any idea, leave me a comment.

Okay, I just figured out that Burch died 2 years ago. So I'm a little slow. Or I wasn't paying attention. Anyhow, her products are still being churned out, there just won't be any new designs. So I don't have to worry.

Holy Crafters, Batman! J. just went to the post office and shipped the fabric winnings pkg to the Netherlands, and it was $21!!!! Jeeeeeeez, and it was only about 3 pounds. It shouldn't be that expensive. It just shouldn't. Because I like sending things overseas. But come on, that's a lot. Well, I'll just think of it as my contribution to the blanket donations that Sonja is making.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Headaches

Well, I never got around to making my anti-valentine, so I took that lovely bloody heart button off my sidebar. I'll put up a link when she announces the winners. I still want to see them, even though I didn't enter.

I still have a while to finish my Doodlage Love thingie.

Today was not so fun. Went to the ER with a toasty Toddler. Her temp was 104 and I couldn't wait anymore to see if it was just a cold. She's been sick all week, first with croup and then with a cold and this constant fever that was scaring me. Now Daddy is sick, too. I just have my migraines.

The point? Is that I survived Valentine's Day. J. got me a nice card, and also got a Valentine for Toddler, which was so sweet! And he got me Frango chocolates, which is exactly what I asked for. I even got him something, this fabulous doodle called Love Potion from the Doodlage queen. So the hospital thing wasn't fun, and really the rest of the week there wasn't much sleep involved, but I got through it. It's my toughest holiday. I have chocolate, I have a happy home that is temporarily sick, my husband is still gainfully employed, I just sold something on my Artfire Studio, so hey, all in all, it's good.

Happy Valentine's Day. I hope yours was better with less effort.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

super doodle

Bad lighting, slightly out of focus, but here it is, the entry I'm working on for the Doodlage contest. I like it. But now I'm terrified to color it. What if I mess it up? Aaaaaah! Art fear.

Inside the Mind of an Artist: An Inspiring Place

So first of all, it wasn't Sonja's fault, my fabric giveaway winner who didn't seem to be giving a hoot because she hadn't answered my email saying she'd won a fabulous prize package. She had been emailing me but her emails weren't going through for some reason. So, resourceful as she is, she tried emailing me through my blog and leaving comments. So she really does appreciate being the winner. I've deleted most of her comments, tho, because the rest of the world didn't need her address, just moi.

Now, on to Lenny. Tonight I'm watching this fabulous show on Ovation TV called Leonard Bernstein: Reflections, and it is just so wonderful. I already love his work as a composer, but this is more about his creative process, and he's so smart that he's really good at describing the creative process and how it can be wonderful to be alone creating, that you don't really feel alone when you're in that zone. The show airs again on March 6th, I'd recommend recording it if you can. If you're any kind of creative, it will inspire you.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sly Chicken and Slightly Less Crabby

Okay, so I don't have a headache yet today. Which is a miracle. Because I was up most of the night with Daddy and croupy Toddler. Poor baby. If you've never heard a croupy child before, consider yourself lucky. It's a cough that sounds like they are possessed by a mad circus seal. Luckily we didn't have to do an exorcism. And she seems fine today, just clingy.

I have no idea why I don't have a headache. But I'm sure I'll get one. I know, power of positive thinking. I'm POSITIVE I'll get a headache. And I'm so glad Very Mary left an understanding comment on my post from yesterday, I was really afraid some well-meaning soul would say "I've heard chocolate causes migraines" and I'd have to scream at the computer. If you don't get migraines, don't help us. You don't know what you're talking about, and we've already tried that.

It's like when I was having fertility problems, i.e., not getting pregnant. People would say, "Oh, you should just relax. Take a vacation!" Um, are you a doctor? Yeah, I didn't think so. Ok, shut. up. And give me your credit card, so I can buy an airline ticket to Hawaii to take a vacation from YOU!

All right, I misspoke, I'm still pretty crabby. But this time I have some nice pictures. They are of some ATC's I recently finished. The top one is based on a cute children's book called Rosie Goes For a Walk. Rosie is the chicken. And the whole time she's walking, a fox is chasing her, but she doesn't seem to notice, and she just keeps a' walkin' and looking rawther bored, and the fox never catches her. I like Rosie, she's my kinda chicken.

The other ones are doodles, or zentangles, or whatever you want to call them. I've been doing more doodling and am even working on a big one for the Doodlage Share the Love contest.

Okay, I'm tired. I need to hug my toddler and go to PT.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

I'm So Crabby I Could Spit

Except I don't spit very well and usually end up getting it on myself. Like when I try to spit out the window in a moving car, it goes on MY window. It's rather tragic.

But I'm crabby because of these gol' darn migraines. Last week totally sucked from Thursday onward. Until about Sunday afternoon when I could take some more painkillers and then it was ok but not great. Now, I don't need anyone to comment on how to fix it, I am well-versed in all the cures and triggers and yadda yadda. I just want to bee-yotch about it.

In maybe a week I'll have a day where I don't wake up with a headache and I'll think "Oh my God, this is what normal people live like." It just colors everything, and I have to work so much harder to do things and just even think clearly when I have a headache. Why isn't there a cure for migraines yet? And why isn't it considered a disability? Am I being a whiner here? I mean, crap, I couldn't hold a job and deal with this. I was already having problems in my job before I had Toddler, and the headaches have only gotten more frequent since then.

I have physical therapy and my PT is a very positive person and encourages me that I'm making progress but sometimes I just think, wow, it's always going to be like this, isn't it?

So what do I do? It's not in my control. Really about the only thing I can control is my attitude about it. And some days, or just even part of days, like now, I hate it.

So that's why I'm crabby that the winner of my fabric giveaway hasn't answered my email and given me her address to ship to yet. I mean, it's been two whole days since I emailed her!! How dare she have a life! She's a mommy like me, so I should cut her some slack and not worry about it. But no, I want her jumping up and down like a contestant on The Price is Right, and adoring me for giving her something for free. I want some worship. Oooh, I'm so evil right now, aren't I? Good thing I didn't have pea soup for dinner, otherwise my head might be spinning around about now...

Sunday, February 08, 2009

The Winnah!

Here it is, folks, the winner of my stash-busting fabric giveaway: In a completely random drawing (see blurry screen capture above), #32, also known as Sonja, is the winner. She lives in the Netherlands, so this really is an international giveaway for me. Sonja says in her comment that she wants to use the fabric to make blankets for the children in Almaz Ashene, an Ethiopian orphanage where she adopted her son. That's prettty neat. Maybe she'll send me a picture or two after she's done making the blankets. I'll try to post a picture or two of what I'm sending her once I get it all put together. Anyhow, congratulations, Sonja!

And thanks to everyone else for visiting my blog and leaving nice comments. I really enjoyed this experience, and found some great blogs to go back to and visit, as well as this "Sunday Stash" group to join and follow. I'm not sure how it works yet, but I'll get to it later. I've been out of it the last several days because of a bad migraine that wouldn't go away. All I could do was lie in bed with an icepack and try to sleep. It's not gone yet but at least today I can take some painkillers for it, so I'm hoping to do a few things, like getting this drawing done! Ha, one thing accomplished! Take that, migraine gods!

Friday, February 06, 2009

Art Progression

I am always fascinated to see the different stages in a piece of art, and this is one really fabulous journey, from pencil sketch to raucous psychedelic color explosion. Check out Kat's creation. All right, people, that's it, I have to go to bed now.

Cheesy Sickeningly Sweet Valentine Heart

That I just posted in my Arf shop. I made this a couple weeks ago for another project. And I did a really good job on it, the seam is hand-sewn in pink embroidery thread, and it's stuffed and it has a hanger to display wherever you want to make people jealous. So I put it in my shop for sale. But I think I'll let it inspire me to make my anti-valentine. Hee hee. I just hope someone buys this so I can get it the hell out of my house. :)

Japanese Fabric Giveaway!

Matatabi is doing a fabric giveaway through The Fabric Shopper, so if you want to win some Japanese fabric (it's so kewt!), go there and get the details. Entries taken through Sunday 2/8. You basically have to pick what your favorite fabric is. Which is hard. But I picked Alice in Wonderland. Isn't is darling? I can't resist the cuteness of it.

New Artfire Item!

Okay, so I'm still kind of a zombie from yesterday, but I am/was alert enough to sit at the sewing machine and finish these very lovey Valentine's Day coasters for my Artfire Store. I hope someone squishy finds them and likes them. Maybe I should also make some bipolar Valentine's coasters, with hearts on one side and skulls on the other. That might work for the anti-Valentine challenge. Hmmm. But right now I need another nap. Oh, go see more about these lovelies here. Thanks. And for gosh sakes, scroll down and enter my fabric giveaway! I'm not drawing until tomorrow morning. Come on, I want to see 100 comments! Get to it, people!

Thursday, February 05, 2009


No, these aren't mine, they're someone else's but I wanted an inspiring picture for you to look at. And I am too tired to hunt down whose they are. Obsiously she's really good. There are dogs in each of these Zentangles/doodles. I pooh-poohed the Zentangle site a while back for selling a "kit" but now I want to be nicer to them because they post their past newsletters online and there's always a Zentangle technique for you to try. Of course they have hippie names, but whatever. I did one recenlty called Paradox and it's too fun. At first you think, how the heck is that gonna work? But if you follow the instructions and just keep turning the page, it works and it looks amazing!

Okay, there, I did something productive. Today sucked mostly, because I had a persisitent migrained and had to go in to the neurological clinic and get a cocktail of drugs to put it down. I have Mommy guilt for not playing much with Toddler today and generally beinga blog and for not having the energy for forced nap time, and also for having to pull hubby out of work to take me home after the 2 hour IV at the clinic.

I did work on some valentine coasters this morning before the headache took over.

We watched Jungle Book (the original) for a while at Toddler's request, and she liked that. It's amazine to me that I see new things every time I wastch that. I've watch it about 20 times now.

Okay, I have to go to bed again. My fabric giveaway is still open, so enter it! Link to the post from the sidebar.

Monday, February 02, 2009

I Need to Be Snarky

So I'm doing this project for Valentine's Day:

Part of me hates Valentine's Day. I have had many bad ones, with various disasters, the worst of which was miscarrying my first child. It can't get much worse than that. So I like this challenge, of doing something kind of dark and crabby to celebrate it. I think mine will involve skull stamps that I've carved.

So if you would like to know more about this challenge, read about it at Dabbled, the originator of the idea.

Warning: Small Parts, not safe for children under 3.

I'm crafting and listening to NPR and of course they did a dorky story about Groundhog Day and how everyone has their OWN Punxatawney (you try to spell it!) Phil, and they informed listeners that a groundhog is also called a "whistle pig." By whom? And doesn't that sound like a fun little toy? "Hey, Tommy, look at my new Whistle Pig!" "Be the first on your block to get this fabulous toy!! Provides hours of fun!"

I heard the Mayor of New York was a bit too pushy with their little New York Neddie or whatever the poor hassled rodent's name is, and said whistle pig bit Mr. Mayor. Good for him. Hey, when you've got everybody over and they're all hooting and clapping and expecting this great performance, some kids just don't want all that pressure. Can you blame the little guy? I mean, when he didn't come out, the mayor just tried grabbing him out of his cage and hauling him out! How rude! How American! How very New York. You go, little Neddie.

the Redbubble thing

Okay, yes, another way to sell my work. I hope you aren't getting sick of it. I mean, I'm just trying to spread my talent around. Like butter. On a worldwide piece of toast. So I have a Redbubble thing going on, it's a place where I can put my really great photos and others can buy them in the form of greeting cards, prints, canvases, etc. Redbubble does all the production and shipping, I just supply my images. And so I get a tiny little profit margin. But how exciting if someone bought a card with one of my photos on it! Imagine! Me, an artist! A photographer!

And, by the way, once I figure out how to use my image editing software and do layers, I'm joining Lollypins and you can buy those cute little 1 inch buttons with my work on them. I know, I'm so greedy. Actually I just want to be able to make more stuff. So, I just wanted to warn you. Take cover now.

Another Giveaway!!

I am a fabric pig. I could use another word, but I already used it in I Am Very Mary's blog comments, so I'll refrain. Anyway, what it boils down to is that, really, for me, this "stash-busting" giveaway is about getting more fabric, bwahahahaha!!!! But on the other hand, I have a lot of fabric I don't want, and I'm always very generous in my giveaways, so I'll have fun giving you stuff. Maybe I'll even give away more than one stack o' fabric. Just leave a comment on this post, and the draw date is Feb. 4th. Which I'll probably be late on, because I'm a mommy. And that's how it is lately. Hmph. Tell you what, I'll take comments thru Feb. 4th.

EDIT, 10:30pm 2/4 my time: Because of all the time zones involved, I'll keep taking comments through Friday the 6th, my time, and draw on Saturday. Whatever. I don't want you losing out because you live in a different time zone and only just found my blog. Sorry I didn't think of this earlier. Hey, maybe by Friday I'll have pictures of what I'm giving away! But I doubt it. I promise it won't be crap. I'll include at least a little of the Lauren Burch kitty fabric. :) And some Mary Engelbreit!

Oh, yeah, and if you want to participate and have new traffic to your blog (that's always a fun thing about these giveaways), go read Ginger Monkey's details about this whole business, as she started it (that sounds so juvenile, "she started it!!"). And you can just copy my button. Go on, you know you want to do it. It's more fun than eating a groundhog.

THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. OH, STOP CRYING. GET A HOLD OF YOURSELF. If you really need a fabric fix, go check out The Fabric Shopper.