Tuesday, March 31, 2009

March Goals Recap: Definitely a Fail

Remember my mid-month recap? How dismal was that? Well, let's see what I actually got accomplished.

1. Stock Artfire shop with at least 15 items - Still completely empty.
2. 50 items in Etsy shop by end of March - 50 items in ArtByJay, 23 in ArtsAfire. Hey, at least it's progress.
3. Make business cards - They're still designed just not printed.
4. Give The Sampler a try--if only to receive my own free Sampler. :) - Pfft. Yeah right.
5. Spend at least 1 hour painting each night (minus weekends) - I'm making a calendar for this so I can keep track - Woohoo!
6. Sell 10 paintings this month (not including the Mini Painting Greetings that I have planned for this week) - That would be a big no.
7. Finish 3 large paintings/painting sets - Got this one and this one done! So, I'm just going to cross this off to make me feel better because I was almost there.
8. Finish 5 small paintings/painting sets - Got two done, with one more to finish tonight. So...halfway! Hence the half strikethrough.
9. Try new things--like suggestions from comments on this post - Have yet to try new things. I have made a tree set, though, which will be finished tonight. It's not NEW for me because I've already sold my last tree set, but hey, at least I re-did something a customer asked for! So we'll cross it off.
10. Make a new painting for my empty living room wall. - Yes!!

Personal Goals:
1. Yoga - I apparently have a cyst on my wrist--makes downward dog impossible. So this can no longer be a goal for right now. I can only do it occasionally when my wrist will actually support my weight. :( But!! I have been doing Wii Fit and working out.
2. Keep the house clean
3. Stick to the meal plan
4. Watch less TV

So, analysis: I rock at personal goals, but I suck at business goals.

Monday, March 30, 2009

New Canvas Sets on ArtsAfire!!

I've added a new set of canvases to ArtsAfire!

It's two 30 x 40 x 1 3/8" canvases (that's 30" x 80" when hung on the wall!). It's one of my very favorites and I decided I should make a set to sell instead of keeping it all to myself! So, one for you, one for me. :)

Here's what the set in my living room looks like so you can get an idea of how large this set really is:

Wanna buy it? Just click here!

There are also a couple of other paintings available now. This is one of the other sets I finished this weekend:

If you want to buy it, just click here!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Fun Friday and a Fabulous Find!!

The alliteration in that title was pure chance--Fun Friday was the only planned part.

Being an art historian I can't pass up the chance to see if I still hold all that art history in my head after not working in or studying the field for over a year. So when I saw this little art history quiz on How About Orange? I couldn't pass it up.

I'm very happy to say that I still have it. I missed one. And I can't for the life of me figure out which one it is.

So what about you? What do you know about art?

Tomorrow my husband and I remodel our kitchen. We aren't allowed to paint. Cue the grumbling. But we can buy all new furniture and get rid of what we currently have! We're bored and this is cheaper than moving. Today while looking on Ikea.com, where we are getting our new kitchen furniture from, I also found this:

Ta da!!! What this, you ask? And why are you so excited about it Sara? It is a magnetic knife strip. No more knife blocks taking up space. AND! It's only $8.99!! I've been trying to find a simple, unassuming knife strip for the past two weeks but they're all $40 and completely not our style. This is simple. This is our style. The more simple I found, the more expensive it got! Until: Ikea. I just might compose a celebratory rap ballad for the store and make a video and post it on YouTube.

If you want one of these babies for yourself, just click here. Also, a little hint: it pulls double duty as a spice rack over your stove if you have those great little magnetic spice cans--which I will have tomorrow! I am all about efficiency and space saving.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Thursday Shop Feature: Studio Mela (DazeyChic)

One of the first shops I ever came across on Etsy was Studio Mela and I immediately fell in love with her bird and french fry print. Isn't it adorable and wouldn't it liven up a bathroom? It livens up mine. Every morning it's become like a mantra for me. "Today I will be happier than a bird with a french fry!" And I imagine that finding a french fry brings birds a lot of happiness. This is based on my personal preference for french fries (which is obvious by the size of my hips).

She has so many adorable prints for sale! This collage of her prints shows a sampling of what she has to offer:

If you can't decide on a couple of prints to buy you can buy this collage and get 16 of her adorable creations in one!! I'm thinking of scrapping my kitchen themed prints for my new kitchen (Start this weekend! Yay!) and just getting this and making it the center of an eclectic print wall. Thoughts?

One last print before I move onto her other offerings:

This would also make a wonderful first-sight-in-the-morning pick me up!

But she also sells an adorable recipe card set that, though I don't bake unless it comes from a Betty Crocker box, I'm tempted to buy just so I can have something cute to write the recipes (that I will never make) on!

And buttons! And yes, reading is cool. Well said!

What I like about Studio Mela is that these prints are so versatile! I can see them in my kitchen right now, but I can also see using them in a nursery or in my child's room later in life.

I could easily go broke in Studio Mela's Etsy shop.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Have you ever had nothing to say for a week?

That's kind of where I'm at right now...

In the meantime, enjoy this cuteness from Plants & Animals' Etsy shop.

Clover the Monster

Friday, March 20, 2009

Friday Find, Fine Art Friday, and My Color Sense!

If you know me, you know that I love Anthropologie and can't get enough of it. Luckily I have a husband who understands my obsession and actually enjoys the store, too. Man, I got so lucky when I found Jeremy. I went to check out their website today to browse through anything new that they have. I have to have this dress. I pretty much jump on any Velvet brand dress Anthropologie sells because they're always fantastic, fashionable, and comfortable. So imagine my delight when I see a new Velvet dress and it's in purple!! I look really good in purple.

And then this swimsuit is just the sort of motivation I need to go to the gym:


And now, for a little lighthearted fun, go and take this color personality test. Ran across the test over at Lemon Drop Studio's blog and it's really fun. Here are my results:

It's pretty much dead on. I LOVE the blues and whites of the Greek islands, which is what I've always wanted to base my future home on, but I also love greens, oranges, and other al fresco colors. So fun.

And for Fine Art Friday, this week's piece is by Constantin Brancusi. "Bird in Space" (1923). One of my favorite sculptures of all time. It's just beautiful.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thursday Shop Feature: GlamKate

My blog friend Katie (I've been following her mom for quite awhile over at Because Mom Said So and I stumbled upon Katie there while reading about her fabulous and gorgeous wedding dress that I wish I had known about when I got married, but really, I loved my dress too so I'm actually okay with this) just opened an Etsy shop! She sells gorgeous earrings and I find myself wanting every pair!

She sold her first pair today, too! So congratulations, Katie!

These are my personal favorites and I'm thinking I'm going to have to jump on them this weekend before they're snapped up by someone other than myself:

Gold and Green Crystal Earrings

She blogs over at Kai and Katie so you can keep up with her and her shop over there. Even her husband blogs at their blog--which makes me jealous. I secretly wish my husband would blog at our Jeremy and Sara blog. That will likely never happen. That is what is was created for, though.

Turquoise Dangle Hoop Earrings

I began a love affair with coral after my mother went to Italy and talked about all the gorgeous coral there and brought some back. (And ever since it became a popular color of clothing at Anthropologie--loved that! And speaking of Anthropologie, don't her earrings have a definite Anthropologie-esque quality to them?) If you love coral even a fraction of an amount as much as I do, you'll love these:

Coral Droplet Earrings

She has several other pairs to choose from and all of them are gorgeous so I definitely recommend heading to her store to pick out your favorite pair before they're all gone and you have to wait!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Only Problem with College...

is the apartment living. We have a nice apartment, but it's not overly large and so when it gets dirty it looks awful! When I went home to make lunch today I walked in and suddenly realized just how dirty it was as a result of us being sick for the entire month of February and then me blissfully ignoring it for the last week since I've stopped being sick.

I stood in the doorway and said, "Oh, holy hell. Why is there an oatmeal box in the middle of the living room?!"

Answer: Because we just cleaned out and re-organized our kitchen in preparation for our kitchen remodel (yay!).

But still. We left the oatmeal box in the middle of the living room!

So tonight my agenda consists of picking up, dusting (oh my, the dust!), vacuuming, and mopping. The kitchen and the living room.

Tomorrow night I will tackle the bathroom and the bedrooms.

How can I expect to have my life feel organized? How can I expect to feel capable of anything (weight loss, painting, existing) when my apartment has an oatmeal box in the middle of the living room floor?

On the bright side, I get to use my Swiffer products. The Swiffer wet jet cleaning solution always leaves the apartment smelling great.

Update: CLEAN!! :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

ACEOs on ArtByJay!!

I've started listings ACEO prints of my grandfather's watercolors on his Etsy shop! All are available for $7 and ship worldwide!

More and more will be coming over the next week until I get all of his current paintings up. And later this week, a new original will be posted!! It's a gorgeous castle painting so keep your eyes out for that.

Happy Saint Patrick's Day to everyone! I'm part Irish and completely forgot about it. I did wear green to my dentist appointment early this morning to get my permanent crown put on (before I'd even brushed my hair or put on an ounce of makeup), but came home and when I changed for work the thought of green didn't even cross my mind! Luckily no one here seems to remember either, so I'm not being pinched. (I always hated elementary school on St. Patrick's Day because I always forgot to wear green and got pinched a lot. I don't know why the schools decided to condone violence on that day.)

Just for fun...

Here's a completely mindless activity if you're at work and out of things to do, much like me.

"I yelled at a gangster under your bed because Big Bird said to and he's my leader."

Funny thing is, I've never been able to stand Big Bird. He's just unnatural. So I can't honestly say that I'd follow him.

So what did you do according to the rules below?

Pick the month you were born:
January-------I kicked
February------I loved
March---------I karate chopped
April---------I licked
May-----------I jumped on
June----------I smelled
July----------I did the Macarena With
August--------I had lunch with
September-----I danced with
October-------I sang to
November------I yelled at
December------I ran over

Pick the day (number) you were born on:
1-------a birdbath
2-------a monster
3-------a phone
4-------a fork
5-------a snowman
6-------a gangster
7-------my mobile phone
8-------my dog
9-------my best friends' boyfriend
10------my neighbour
11------my science teacher
12------a banana
13------a fireman
14------a stuffed animal
15------a goat
16------a pickle
17------your mom
18------a spoon
19------a smurf
20------a baseball bat
21------a ninja
22------Chuck Norris
23------a noodle
24------a squirrel
25------a football player
26------my sister
27------my brother
28------an iPod
29------a surfer
30------a homeless guy
31------a llama

What is the last number of the year you were born:
1--------In my car
2--------On your car
3--------In a hole
4--------Under your bed
5--------Riding a Motorcycle
6--------Sliding down a hill
7--------In an elevator
8--------At the dinner table
9--------In line at the bank
0--------in your bathroom

Pick the color of shirt you are wearing:
White---------because I'm cool like that
Black---------because that's how I roll.
Pink----------because I'm NOT crazy.
Red-----------because the voices told me to.
Blue----------because I'm sexy and I do what I want
Green---------because I think I need some serious help.
Purple--------because I'm AWESOME!
Gray----------because Big Bird said to and he's my leader.
Yellow--------because someone offered me 1,000,000 dollars
Orange--------because my family thinks I'm stupid anyway.
Brown---------because I can.
Other---------because I'm a Ninja!
None----------because I can't control myself!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Studio Remodel

You know my kitchen remodel from my last entry? Well, I also need to do an art studio remodel of sorts. We just finished getting everything I needed for my art studio and it's basically all set up, but it's incredibly crowded and driving me batty.

My art studio is also my husband's office and is also our game room. It's a very used space. But I know there's a way to both de-clutter and liven it up. What follows are pictures that I am going to take my inspiration from:

Modish did a profile of Rachel's (from Red Velvet Art) space and I absolutely adore her clipboard wall. I would love to have one of those above my art desk for inspiration. And it's easy to change out while still keeping my inspiration organized! And, it doubles as wall decoration. Perfect.

This is Geninne's space. I love the prints above her desk, and I love her desk. Which was the desk I was going to buy from Ikea and then figured I didn't need it. I'm re-figuring that at the moment, though...I also love the large cups/mini buckets filled with her art utensils. That would be very handy and I have yet to find something that would work well in this function. Still looking.

Creature Comforts offers a great Quote of the Week each week that she makes available for download for either desktop wallpaper or printing. Some of these would be great to hang above my desk as motivators and reminders of what I really want to be and want to accomplish.

To find all of these quotes, go to Creature Comforts and click on "inspirational" under her Categories on the right-hand side of her blog. It will pull up all of these quotes (as well as some other great blog entries that fall under that tag).

Basically, I'm going for a brighter, less cluttered space that will make me happy to be in there. To do that, I'm going to need to re-layout the entire room. That is on the agenda tonight. If I can get the house clean and still have time to do that. Otherwise it's on the agenda for tomorrow night. But it's definitely on the agenda. I really need to get to work and I really need to like my space (tidy space = tidy mind) in order to be very productive. Time to get to work!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Kitchen Remodel

Every year when it comes close to renew our lease here at our current apartment we either have to move or remodel a room so we don't get bored. We can usually remodel a room for about $300-$400 depending upon the room. Versus paying an extra $500-600 per month for an apartment since we locked in our apartment rate long before apartments doubled in price around here. Remodeling a room is the financially responsible decision.

Lately, I've been hating on my kitchen. It's cramped and the fact that we've had to bring in an extra kitchen cart/island AND a bookshelf for our microwave and pots and pans in order to have room to store our food in the cupboards (I know, we ask so much) has made it even more cramped. And our dishwasher? Goes by the name of Jeremy. While we can't do anything about the lack of a dishwasher (that is mechanical and not human, anyway), we can throw out everything and start over!

So, we're giving away our kitchen furniture. Even our kitchen table! In almost three years we've probably eaten on it 5 times. We never eat at the table. I don't like my kitchen enough to eat in it. I like what we've done with the kitchen, but I don't like the kitchen as a whole because it's practically useless. And I do like the furniture we have, I just need a change and I need a brighter kitchen than we currently have.

It's all from Shopko and we probably spent no more than $350 on all of it (the cart was priced incorrectly and Shopko said, "If you don't tell anyone, we won't, and you can have it for this price."). So I don't feel bad about getting rid of it. Last night we went through our kitchen and threw out anything that was excess and non-essential. The cheap cookie sheets, the cheap cooking utensils, the excess frying pans that are not part of the nice set we got for our wedding. We paired down our food that we haven't gone through in over a year and was now woefully stale and beyond eatability. We got all of our pots, pans, and food into the built in cupboards. Our dishes will go on our new shelves from Ikea!

Ta-da! We can't put shelves on the walls because our apartments are structurally stupid (and the walls are made of cinderblocks, even behind the walls that aren't simply painted cinderblocks and are actually "finished") but I really wanted some shelving that I could showcase my pretty Anthropologie dishes and other nice Crate & Barrel cookware (yay for wedding presents!) on.

So we're buying two of those new shelves from Ikea. Probably in the honey color...having a hard time deciding between the honey and the white. (I'm thinking the white might be TOO white in our all white kitchen and I imagine honey every time I envision our kitchen. Thoughts?)

We'll stand one up on it's end (as shown in the photo above) on the wall that currently has the kitchen cart/island. That will hold our pretty Kitchen Aid, the decorative mixing bowls that I received as a wedding shower present from my late Aunt Lisa, and some other nice-looking appliances. The other will be laid on it's side (it was on it's side in the Ikea showroom) against the wall that currently has the kitchen table and the bookcase. The microwave (a new stainless steel one--I hate our current cheap white one that I can't get clean no matter how hard I scrub) and our convection oven will be on top of that one. Our dishes and bowls and our very pretty glasses will be on these shelves, too.

Above that I am going to invest in some of my favorite Etsy kitchen-related art prints and have a happy print wall that will definitely liven up the kitchen.

Sellers: Farouche, Sugarloop, Dazeychic, Artistscs28

I think I'll love my kitchen once this is over.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Let's just recap those March goals of mine...

Here is what I originally said: "Because I seem to do better when I'm publicly accountable for things and because I work well from lists, I figured I'd post my list of March goals for ArtsAfire:"

Pfft. Until I became Mrs. Throat of Pain & Silence. And then Mrs. Infection Head. Let's see where we stand now that we're about half-way through March.

1. Stock Artfire shop with at least 15 items - Not a thing in that shop yet
2. 50 items in Etsy shop by end of March - I have 1 new painting...29 to go
3. Make business cards - They're designed...I just need to buy the business card paper
4. Give The Sampler a try--if only to receive my own free Sampler. :) - So not happening! Move to April.
5. Spend at least 1 hour painting each night (minus weekends) - I'm making a calendar for this so I can keep track - New goal--Spend 6 hours each night in bed, sleeping and having a hard time figuring out whether to breathe through the painful throat or through the currently useless nose. I can totally cross this one off.
6. Sell 10 paintings this month (not including the Mini Painting Greetings that I have planned for this week) - Not yet.
7. Finish 3 large paintings/painting sets - Nope.
8. Finish 5 small paintings/painting sets - Realized I don't have any large canvases on hand right now...must buy some first.
9. Try new things--like suggestions from comments on this post - YES!! I tried one new thing and it worked out! Then, I went to bed for a week.
10. Make a new painting for my empty living room wall. - Not yet. But I have it planned.

Personal Goals:
1. Yoga - Sick
2. Keep the house clean - Sick
3. Stick to the meal plan - I have been good about that. Except the night I couldn't stand the thought of swallowing--Jamba Juice all the way on that night.
4. Watch less TV - I've been going to bed earlier...does that count?

So, all in all, epic fail. But, to my defense, I have been in bed. And I have a whole half of a month left. Here's to removing the "epic" from "epic fail."

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Shoe Love

Marais USA!

Thursday Shop Feature: art esprit

I ran across art esprit while I was looking for a variety of Etsy prints recently to create a print wall much like Stelabird's print wall her in craft room. I've wanted to do this in my art studio since we got it all set up--a little inspiration outside of my own artwork to keep me motivated and happy.

I immediately fell in love with art esprit's use of a vintage German song book as paper for her ink drawings!

How gorgeous is this? "Hans - an original ink sketch" Click here to purchase

Her Etsy profile talks a little about her art and how she came to be an artist:
I am a full time artist living and working in New Hampshire since 1988. I have been influenced and inspired by my travels around the USA and Europe, the people I teach in my studio and my two wonderful children. I always wanted to work as an artist, long before going to art school, I guess it was fourth grade when I decided to do just that. The past few years I have been happily working along side my husband, Rainer, who makes each day just a little more wonderful than the one before.

This is my personal favorite:

original art "Odd man Out" - Click Here to Purchase

If you like birds she has quite a large selection of bird prints, sketches, and drawings:

"Hans and Delilah original drawing" - Click Here to Purchase

Her drawings and prints have a great organic feeling to them--as if the drawings just rose out of the paper on their own and were meant to be there all along. She has definitely been added to my "print wall" artists! Hopefully I'll have all my prints selected and I can purchase them soon!

On an unrelated note:

I've started adding ACEOs to ArtByJay! Own a miniature painting print for only $7.00!