Tuesday, December 30, 2008

R.I.P. Cobra Mustang, and Art By Jay is back up!

Yesterday our car was totaled. We haven't heard the official "totaled" verdict, but the entire front end of the car was pretty much gone. Well, it was there it was just a lot shorter and missing a body. We were driving home from the post office after resuming our mail since we'd been on vacation. We slowed down for a red light, but then it turned green so we went through it because that's the logical thing to do. I'm assuming the truck coming from the other direction had sped up to beat his yellow light and just not made it. Either way we entered the intersection and then the other guy entered the intersection about a second after us, Jeremy slammed on the brakes, and then the airbags came out (OUCH!) and our car was pretty much gone. The truck was fine because trucks are crazy amounts of durable and I'm thinking that'd be a good choice for our next vehicle because of that fact and I'm very glad the truck and its passengers were fine. They just have a big dent.

Luckily we're picking up our new Mini on Saturday! And we're both alive with only minor cuts and bruises and airbag burns (Once again, OUCH! The entire underside of my chin is one big burn!)! There's always a bright side. Right now we have a Cobalt rental car. Lame car. Can't wait for the Mini and we're very, very glad we decided on the S (sport!) version because being without a car with a little get-up-and-go is not something we enjoy. This Cobalt, while comfortable and quiet and great for a second car, is not good as an only car because it's boring.

Funny thing is, we cannot remember why we felt the need to buy a Mini back in October. We didn't need a second car. We just went to look at it and the deals they were having were really good and Jeremy has wanted a safer car for me to drive in the snow (Cobras and snow just don't mix) and those are the only reasons we can think of for why we decided to order it back in October. Not really "buy a second car" motives. Usually you have a need. But we're very glad right now that we did that. That was a blessing.

Art By Jay is back up! Arts Afire will be back up on Friday. I'm working on some new pieces and I just don't have it in me to put up the store yet. I'm kind of beat down right now. Our Disneyland Christmas vacation was fantastic and we had a wonderful time, but then we came home (which we were looking forward to because we'd been away for so long) and everything seemed to go wrong yesterday. I'm kind of still waiting for the other shoe to drop, but I really don't think there are any shoes left. I have the rest of the week off, I'm just going to relax and paint and not worry about promoting and all that time intensive stuff.

Here's to a new year! Hopefully it's better. :)

Later today: Our Disneyland Vacation and Item of the Day!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Officially on Vacation

My store and my grandfather's store are officially closed for the holidays. Today was the last day for shipments from me before we leave for Disneyland! We'll be back on January 2nd!

For today's blog update, see my personal blog at http://jeremysara.blogspot.com.

I blogged there today. :)

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Almost Done! And Etsy Artist of the Day

I finished my step-dad's drawing last night. It's a reproduction of a Charles Scheeler lithograph that he saw when we were in NYC (either at the Metropolitan Museum or at the Museum of Modern Art). I wasn't with him and my mother at the time because Jeremy and I were off looking at our own stuff, but apparently he couldn't get over how much he liked it--it reminds him of his own plant (not a green leafy plant, but a sand mining plant). So when asking my mother what I could do for Mike that was handmade she mentioned that lithograph. So, here is the finished product:

Pretty proud of it, if I do say so myself. I wasted many a sheet of paper trying to figure out the right proportions, so I turned to my grandfather for help. He confirmed that there was no logical way to draw it because there is no vanishing point on the original. So he has a projector and we set it up on there to get the original lines correct. When I came back the next night to do the lines he had already done it for me! He's pretty much the coolest grandpa ever. Then it took two more nights to get it all finished.

You can see the original down below in the next post or here.

Now I just need to get them shipped off today at lunch time, finish up my grandparent's Christmas gift (which I can't disclose here since I'm sending them here to see the finished drawing), and pack for Disneyland! Jeremy and I are doing Christmas shopping there and back here at home after Disneyland--so we'll be celebrating Christmas after Christmas, though we will have a few small presents to open on Christmas morning from my mom and dad and the gifts we're buying each other on our first night in Downtown Disney.

On to the Etsy Artist of the Day!


She makes incredibly cute greeting cards!

Everyone go and check her out! And if you live in the San Diego area check out her cakes, too! They're really cute and available for San Diego residents.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

First Real Snow


For some reason the plows didn't show up until around 9:30 a.m. It took 35 minutes to get to work this morning. I live 4 miles away.

And I'm wearing sandals because I didn't realize it had snowed so much until I was outside and already running late.

Good day.

Tonight is my work Christmas party. We're very small. Four people. So with spouses, eight people. So we get to go to a fancy dinner. I'm excited because I haven't been to a fancy dinner in a long time and I've never been to this particular restaurant (The Harvest Restaurant at Thanksgiving Point).

My boss is giving us a ride because our car is dangerous in this sort of weather. I'll be glad when our Mini Cooper arrives in a couple of weeks. Better snow car. With snow tires!

I have absolutely no Etsy news today. I have been working on Christmas presents this week. Paintings for my mother, a Charles Scheeler drawing for my step-dad. I'll post pictures as soon as they're done. My husband will be incredibly disappointed if I don't do more of the paintings I did for my mother for my Etsy shop, so similar paintings will be on sale eventually in my store. The drawing however--never again! It looks so simple. Then you try to draw it and it is so out of proportion with itself that it just doesn't work out at all. Ugh. But I recruited my grandfather's help and with some nifty projection machinery and voila! It's almost done. I'm halfway done, anyway. This is the original lithograph by Charles Scheeler:

Looks real simple, huh? There is no vanishing point. It makes no sense.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Last Day for Holiday Sale!!

Today will be the last day for your chance to receive 15% off of all paintings plus a free upgrade to priority shipping!! Take advantage of it while it's here! This is also the last day to buy for guaranteed Christmas delivery without extra shipping charges!

Click Here to Buy This Painting

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Featured, Family Party, and Frustrating Christmas Presents

The semi-alliteration in the title of the entry was not planned--what a happy coincidence.

The grand opening of my Etsy shop is going very well. I'm getting a much faster jump off of the starting blocks than I ever thought possible. I just paid my first Etsy bill with plenty to spare (and to buy a few extra presents at Disneyland next week) from my Etsy sales this month!

And I've been getting a lot of internet exposure and word-of-mouth exposure, as well. For instance, yesterday I was featured by Timothy Adam Designs as the Saturday Super Shop! I'm very flattered because he gets a lot of traffic to his blog and there's quite a large amount of competition for the Saturday Super Shop feature! Check it out!

Click Here for the Saturday Super Shop Feature

Tonight we had our monthly family party and it was really fun! But it always is because we're a fun bunch. This Friday is my grandpa's birthday, so we all getting together at Ryan and Ann's house for a birthday party and to watch The Polar Express. It's going to be fun, again!

After the party tonight Jeremy and I went and spent some time at my grandparent's house to have some quality time with the laundry (we don't have our own machines--we must move) and I asked my grandpa for his help figuring out a drawing reproduction of a Charles Scheeler lithograph that I would like to do for Mike (my step-dad) for Christmas. I have been trying to figure out the proportions and the vanishing point and all that for days but had come to the conclusion that there was no vanishing point and it was completely free-handed and proportionately wrong. My grandfather confirmed this fact. I have to get this in the mail by Wednesday at the latest to make it there in time for Christmas and now, thanks to my grandfather's help, I can get it done! Thank goodness.

Now, it's time to get comfy and watch an episode of the Office with my husband before having to wake up to take him to a 7 a.m. final. Ugh.

Update: The Met Museum left me a twitter about my Met post. They read my Met story. My life is complete.

Double Update: Woke up to take my husband to 7 a.m. final. Got a text when I got homes saying that oops, it's actually on Wednesday. Great.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My Current Favorite

This is currently my favorite item from my store this week. I think it's the gold--it seems very festive to me and I think it would add an extra holiday oomph to a room (and it looks great the rest of the year, too!)

If you feel like you'd like a little extra festivity and glamour in your life, feel free to buy it! You can find it here! http://artsafire.etsy.com

Friday, December 12, 2008

Met Museum Twitter

I got a direct message from the Met Museum today on Twitter. With my name in it, so I choose to believe it wasn't a canned generic response.

One of the best. moments. of. my. life.

True story:

When my parents took me to NYC for my college graduation (because there are art museums there and I was an art history major) the Met was like heaven for me. Blissful. It didn't even matter that my feet were killing me. I was going to see that entire museum no matter how long it took.

Later that night, around 7:30 p.m., my mother asks me how I liked the pop art exhibit with all the Andy Warhol's because she knows I am an Andy Warhol lover. "What?" I ask. I'd MISSED IT! So I look at my husband all distraught and despite how badly our feet were hurting at that point he said, "Do you want to go back while we still have our passes (note: still have them to this day!)?" Me, sheepishly: "Yes."

So we go and hop on the Subway, but because we're stupid tourists we hop on the wrong one! We get off on the right street, but on the OTHER SIDE of Central Park. I asked a cop where we were and how to get to the Met. He couldn't help me. (Seriously?! You're a cop! You should know the city!) So we ask another passerby and she told us that it was on the other side of the park (and she looked genuinely sad for us). It's 8:15 p.m. now. We're at least 5 blocks from Central Park and the museum is on the other side. So we start running and speed walking thinking, "It's just a park, no big deal."

We ran into a lake.

So we run around the lake and finally reach the museum at 8:35 p.m., dash in with our cool little Met button passes and get directions to Andy Warhol. I saw the Andy Warhols that I had missed (now, I had seen others earlier in the day, but I missed this one very important room).

Had to stop at a drug store on the way back to the subway for band-aids because I was in flip flops and now had massive blisters.

Completely worth it.

I would give anything to live in New York City.

UPDATE: Then the Met twittered this post to their followers! OH MY GOSH!!

Holiday Sale!!!!

15% off of everything through Monday (December 15th) on Art By Jay!

Professional large-scale, very detailed, gorgeous watercolors for unbeatable prices!!

Plus, a free upgrade to priority shipping to ensure Christmas delivery! Makes a great Christmas present for the art lover in your life!

Little bit about Jay (my grandfather):

Jay has been painting for over 60 years. He is retired and currently living in Sandy, UT. He has been painting since Fourth Grade when he had a teacher who inspired him. He began with watercolors and then progressed to oils and acrylics.

At the present time his paintings are done in mixed media consisting of watercolors and other water soluble paint. He paints a variety of subjects including landscapes, such as lighthouses, coastal scenes, lakes and streams, fishing boats, mountain and rural farm scenes, castles, etc.

At retirement he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and his painting has been a form of therapy. Because he is limited in the ability to physically participate in activities formerly enjoyed, his painting has filled a void and brought may hours of fulfillment and an increase in artistic ability.

So go and take advantage of this sale since sales are rare!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's so hot right now, and Etsy Artist of the Day: MLO Artwear

This is definitely my hottest item right now. It's been "treasuried" at least 6 times. And was treasuried again yesterday.
Check it out!

I also got in on the treasury action myself this morning. Crossing my fingers for the front page again. Help me out here and give it some love (clicks):
My Spring Colors Treasury

I am very un-motivated and tired today. We have my husband's work Christmas party tonight, which should be fun because everyone loves my husband and therefore feels like they're old friends with me, too, so it's very easy to fit in. Also, everyone who has seen my store on Esty loves my stuff--in fact, one invited us over for dinner the first week of January to help her decide where she wants to hang the paintings she will be buying from me. So I'm taking business cards today. And a white elephant gift (ugliest/coolest stuffed animal ever from Pier 1 Imports--I actually think it's a pillow, which makes it even worse, but funnier) for the white elephant gift exchange, which I am looking forward to because BYU department parties with white elephant exchanges are always hilarious. At least it was for my work, but I worked at the magazine and we were all artists and designers so therefore, creative. Hopefully the athletic department is creative enough to make white elephant gift exchanges hilarious.

I got five skies painted last night in preparation for foregrounds last night. All are for Christmas presents, so they won't be for sale. But I'll make more. I'm going to be making ACEOs in the next week, too, and those will be for sale--I'm excited about that.

On to today's Etsy Artist of the Day!!

MLO Artwear

Miniature Art On a Card

I love love love MLO Artwear's art cards (ACEOs). She has a very wide variety and is an ACEO collector's dream!

She also makes great travel tags to help you find your luggage. These are going on my wish list!

Travel Tags

She has an incredibly eclectic background which I think shows up in her art and makes her even more unique (From her Etsy Profile):

French native, grew up in North Africa.
Studied printmaking, painting and drawing, Masters in Fine Arts
lived in France, Switzerland as well as in Mali, Senegal, Haiti, Egypt, Algeria and Oman and Indonesia, and Alaska.

So I encourage everyone to go and check out MLO Artwear today and purchase some of her incredibly unique and beautiful art!

And while you're there, stop by my place at http://artsafire.etsy.com and my grandpa's place at http://artbyjay.etsy.com.

Countdown to Disneyland: 10 days
Countdown to pre-Disneyland Vacation: 7 days

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


I've been put into a Treasury of Etsy Visual Artists! Please go and check it out! The more clicks, the better!

Click Here for the Treasury!

And I got my peppermint hot chocolate at lunch. Yum!

8:20 a.m.: Why I need to be an Artist, and Etsy Artist of the Day: Courtney Cornett

I start work promptly at 9:00 a.m. Perhaps I should re-phrase that. My works starts with or without me promptly at 9:00 a.m. I am always here at 9:10 a.m. Never fails. I suppose it could be worse. And no one cares but me. I work through lunch on almost a daily basis, just eating my peanut butter and jelly (grape--yum) at my desk. But. This 9:10 a.m. phenomenon (that word is overkill...) proves a point: I need to not have a day job. I mean, I'm pretty good at rolling out of bed at 8:20, taking my shower, doing my hair and makeup, getting dressed and making lunch all within 20-25 minutes so I'm out the door by 8:45 or 8:50 a.m. But then I have to drop my husband off at school on my way to work--which takes 10 minutes. So, if I'm being honest, that usually puts me already at 9:00 before actually heading towards work after going AWAY from it 10 minutes earlier.

So this is why I need Etsy (and soon to be Art Fire because http://artsafire.artfire.com is the coolest URL ever--I had never heard of Art Fire before deciding on Arts Afire, which makes it even cooler) to work out for me. So that I can be my night owl self. I can stay up until 2 a.m. painting and working and not have to get up until 10 or 10:30 a.m. It would be a much better situation for myself. And I know that most Etsy artists get up really early when they get to finally make a go of it as a full-time operation. But staying up later (giving into my natural Sara) buys me the same amount of time, so it's a completely fair trade off.

My office is freezing today and I did not wear a sweater. Joy.

I'm so taking an early lunch and heading to Barnes and Noble for a hot drink to go with my peanut butter and jelly sandwich because today, today I am not working through my lunch. I'm kind of tired of that.

Countdown to Disneyland: 11 days.
Countdown to pre-Disneyland Vacation: 8 days, or 6 work days.

Now it's time for the Etsy Artist of the Day! *Crowd (of one) goes wild!*

Courtney Cornett

There is nothing in her shop that I do not love! It's all so great! But my personal favorite--the nerdy alphabet. She's currently working on finishing the entire nerdy alphabet (her un-nerdy alphabet has already been finished and it, too, is great, but I just really love the whole idea of a nerdy alphabet) and so far--I'm loving it.

Today's Dream: Buy each letter of this and decorate my future child's nursery (which, I'm sorry Courtney, will not be for awhile--but I've bookmarked you. :) Stick around.)

Now, I've run across a few "alphabet" creations on Etsy, so why buy Courtney's above others? Because 1) the illustrations are fantastic, and 2) I have not run into a nerdy alphabet and it's just so much fun!

So go and check out Courtney Cornett on Etsy--you won't regret it!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Toothpaste and Oranges, and Etsy Artist of the Day

I am starving. Probably because I dropped my husband off at school (oh, so cold that early in the morning) and came home and got back into bed until 8:35, so I was obviously pressed for time if I was going to get to work on time at 9:00 a.m. So I only grabbed a clementine (mini orange--delicious) for breakfast, didn't make myself a lunch, and zoomed out the door--only to be 10 minutes late for work.

So I ate my mini orange once I got here and that was a wholly unsatisfying experience. The beauty of a clementine orange lies in it's wonderful sweetness (and easy peeling). The lingering toothpaste (of nearly an hour before actually eating the orange) cut right through that sweetness and turned it into a bitter/sour mess.

So now I'm hungry and unsatisfied.

I recently started following museums on Twitter. I am loving that. Having an art history degree (and going through major college withdrawals because as nice as my job is, it isn't art or art history so I feel very unfulfilled lately) makes me a lover all of things museum, art, and art history so having that little slice of museum in my life is comforting, especially since I live in Utah where there is very little culture beyond Thomas Kinkade (note the sarcasm--that is not culture--he has no light source and he drives me insane). What I would not give to work in a museum. I do not have my Master's degree yet, though. And I won't for a couple of years because, once again, I live in Utah. And I don't want to get my Master's degree from BYU because 1) I got my Bachelor's degree from BYU, and 2) I don't really care for their Art History Master's program. So, I will continue to be a marketing manager while painting at home on evenings and weekends in hopes of finally making enough from selling my art so that I can make that my only full-time job.

I took last night off from painting. I felt like such a slacker. I did nothing but watch Gossip Girl and Heroes with my husband. Which most definitely is not a wasted night because I spent time with my husband who has been very neglected lately while I got my shop up and running and have been putting a promotional plan into place. But I still felt like a slacker. This is why I need a way to make my art my full time job. So that I don't have to feel so stretched and constantly guilty for watching TV with my husband rather than painting. It doesn't help that Christmas presents all need to be done by this weekend and I haven't even started...gotta get on that.

On to my featured Etsy Artist of the Day!

Scheri's Abstract!

At http://scheri.etsy.com, Patricia Scheri sells gorgeous hand-painted pendants. Despite being diagnosed with Fibromyalgia 14 years ago, she still has the perseverance to paint these delicate and beautiful works of art.

I encourage everyone to check out Scheri's Abstract on Etsy!

Monday, December 8, 2008

First Sale for Art By Jay!

My grandpa's store made it's first sale today! I'm so excited about it because I've been wanting him to sell his art for so long! I've had his shop up for exactly one week now and I've been promoting it and everything and finally a sale!! He sold a gorgeous painting of some fishing boats at the dock--it had the most beautiful blues in it! It was one of my favorites.

Today I have been swamped at work. Trying to get the website all finished and set up, getting approval for the new newsletter, writing up white papers and doing research. I'll be glad to get home so that I can relax (read: paint and work some more) with my husband. He took the day off today. So unfair. He wasn't feeling well, but still. So unfair.

But that's okay because in exactly two weeks from this moment we will be entering California for a week-long Disneyland extravaganza! Just my husband and me, 5 days in Disneyland over Christmas. And, I'm taking the Friday before we leave off because I had extra vacation. Good times.

Be sure to check out the Etsy Artist of the Day post below--I'm highlighting vsc83. She has gorgeous jewelry!

Etsy Artist of the Day

Today's Etsy Artist of the Day is Victoria, from http://vsc83.etsy.com

She has a wide range of products available from jewelry to illustrations to cat toys and they're all very well made and very beautiful. Currently, my favorite item from Victoria's shop is this gorgeous necklace featuring freshwater pearls:

It also comes with matching earrings. You can buy them here for a very reasonable price!

I encourage everyone to go and visit Victoria's store today and spread the word about her!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Painting, Etsy Artist of the Day, and Pain

So far this weekend I've spent a lot of time walking to try and get rid of some of the excessive muscle pain I'm experiencing from an increase in weight lifting activity. You know when you sign up for a gym and you get that free personal training session to "introduce" you to the gym, even if you've been going to another gym for years, and it kills you? That is how I'm feeling right now. I'm feeling like I felt five years ago when I got that first free personal training session from 24 Hour Fitness. I couldn't sleep last night because it hurt to move, but I wasn't comfortable in my position. It was a dilemma. So I dragged my husband all over town just for the walking it would provide. And then I came home and napped because I didn't sleep last night. Then I went to the gym and walked.

Didn't help.

So, now I'm painting. The activity that I was planning to do all day long but never got around to. Kill Bill Vol. 1 came on while I was painting. I've gotta say--it has fantastic fight music. Kind of like old school Batman when "POW!" and "SHAZAM!" came onto the screen. Anyway. I'm doing a shades of blue color set, each 10" x 20". Going to be very cool (color temperature-wise and "cool"-wise).

I'm going to start a "Featured Etsian of the Day" on my blog here starting on Monday. If you'd like to be considered, comment here or post on this thread on Etsy.com

Now. Time to paint some more!

Friday, December 5, 2008

New treasury!

Created a treasury today under my grandfather's shop, ArtByjay.

Check it out! Click Here!

To sell the bed? Or not to sell the bed?

So, we just created a guest room because we got ourselves a new bed and mattress which we love (and I previously blogged about it here). So we moved our old bed into the second room and converted it from solely an office to an office/guest room/game room--sounds cluttered. It really isn't. A desk, a TV, and a bed--that's it.

But. Painting on the living room floor is starting to take a toll on 1) my back, 2) my sanity, 3) my cheerfulness, and 4) the cleanliness of my living room. It's a disaster zone in there right now. (Please refer to previous post for the reasons why I personally do not have to help clean the house AT ALL this weekend! Yay!)

So, Jeremy would like to buy me this desk from Ikea for an art desk since you can tilt it and it has a glass top for easy cleaning:

Here's the big question: Do we sell the extra bed in the guest room (it's less than two years old because we're completely irresponsible and when we saw our new to-die-for bed we couldn't pass it up) and turn that into an office/studio? Or do I go all organization-ninja on my front closet (which is HUGE and EASILY fits a large desk in there with chair!) and put the desk in there, rig up some great wall-hanging cabinets for supplies above it, add a couple of desk lamps and use the built in shelving on the side for all my large supplies? It's such a hard decision! Because we might move this summer, in which case we might need the extra bed. There are a lot of "mights" going through my head right now. And if we don't move, I certainly don't want to be stuck on the living room floor for the next year or two.

Any thoughts on the matter?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I need a plan...

So, this Etsy thing is going better than I thought. I need a better plan and a better organizational system for receipts and orders and supplies and all that stuff. Our apartment is just too small...But that can't really be changed right now so I need to go all Martha Stewart and/or Real Simple on my apartment.

By the way, I have a Twitter account. It's pretty darn cool over there. Twitter me up! http://www.twitter.com/artsafire I promote myself and my grandfather there, and I have friends. Good times.

I told Jeremy that I would write his English paper if he would clean the house. That has not been fun. But the house will be even LESS fun because 1) I have been busy painting and stuff so I haven't been cleaning anything and 2) I've been neglecting it because of our deal. So it's a mess again. But I can just sit back and watch because hey, the paper is 1 page away from being done.

We put up our Christmas tree on Thanksgiving night. That also left the house in disarray because we really haven't finished all the decorating yet so it's all still out. But our tree is AMAZING! We got a $50 Pier 1 Imports gift card from our bank just in time for the after Christmas sale. We got $350 worth of ornaments for $60. Which means our tree is gorgeous. I will post pictures of it soon.

I have new listings up in the store! Go check them out:


And check out my grandfather's incredibly gorgeous watercolors while you're there!


Item of the Day:

The painting my grandfather gave me for my wedding. He liked it so much that he painted another and now it's for sale! Click Here!

Monday, December 1, 2008

First sales!

I made a small sale yesterday and then I woke up to two big sales! We are so going out to dinner tonight.

And I was put into two treasuries overnight! Two! I'm so jazzed about this Etsy thing right now!

New blog layout is coming soon because I've decided I hate this one and it makes my eyes bleed.

I opened my grandfather's store today: http://artbyjay.etsy.com Go check it out, give it some love, and buy one of the best quality watercolors you will ever buy!

You can see a sampling of my grandfather's work up above under my Etsy Shop Mini, where you can see my work! Just click on one and it'll take you right to it!