Thursday, April 30, 2009

I should suck more often

That's what my husband said. (Get your mind out of the gutter!)

Two days ago I was lamenting the fact that my Etsy shop wasn't just slow like molasses, it was completely void of any activity, like frozen molasses.

Then yesterday I sold 6 paintings and today I sold another one! What is going on? I haven't even been promoting lately because I've been too busy with work and playing Viva Pinata on my Xbox 360. Looks like inflow = outflow is working. Add new paintings, you'll sell old (and new) paintings!

I wonder how Jeremy would feel if I decided I wanted to blow my newly earned money on summery dresses for work from Anthropologie rather than putting it back into my business this time...

The more I see the long dresses the more I think I could get back into the "long dress" habit--except I'd totally have to take them to my grandmother to help me shorten them all.



Update:

Me: "I'm going to buy a dress. We're going to Anthropologie this weekend."
Jeremy: "You can buy whatever you want."

Awesome.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Exactly



That's all for today. :)

Not much worth writing about has happened (besides the 6 paintings I sold yesterday, but I already mentioned that and I'm busy figuring out the custom works and setting myself up for credit card payments at art shows, so, this is the reason I am scarce).

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Weekend Shopping Mini-Spree and Custom Orders!

My boss gave me some gift checks last week to our local mall and I used them this weekend on products to pamper myself with. The whole time I was buying stuff I was thinking, "What am I doing? I shouldn't be spending this money this weekend--this weekend is not an extra money weekend. I should just wait until next weekend." And then I'd remind myself that I was not spending a penny of my own money (except $3 of cash in my wallet) and I'd stop scolding myself. My haul? Here it is:

Nike Yoga Block. I'm can't quite reach the floor.


Aveda Pure Abundance hair potion. Love this stuff. When I sprinkle in onto my hair I feel a cold, trickling sensation. I imagine that's what it feels like for Harry Potter to be Disillusioned in The Order of the Pheonix.


Rosemary Mint body bar. I'm constantly looking for something to soothe my skin and keep it from itching. I have very sensitive skin. So far, this is working and it's a great, relaxing smell that helps get me in the mood for sleeping


Aveda Calming Body Wash. Another attempt on top of the Rosemary Mint body bar to curb my itching and soothe my skin. So far, also working. Also, great nighttime smell.


I also bought a new shirt from Express and it's HUGE. I hate dressing rooms so I always just guess. I guessed wrong this time. I look like a circus tent in it--must trade it in tomorrow for a smaller size.

Other than that I spent my weekend painting my new paintings seen two posts below and for sale in my shop. And I played a lot of Viva Pinata: Trouble in Paradise on the Xbox 360. All in all, a great weekend.

Then today I received two custom orders! One for my "Spring Branch" painting and one for a different color for my new Pure Color series (turquoise)! And, she's buying a few paintings that are already in my shop! Exciting!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Treasury!

I was included (twice!) in this gorgeous "Blue Skies" treasury! Please go and check it out and click through the images! It'd be great if it could make it to the front page!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

New Mix & Match Painting Series!


I have six new abstract painting sets in my Etsy shop! They're part of an affordable new art series that allows you to choose which colors and sets you want to buy, as well as how you want to arrange them. The first Mix & Match set up is solely based on color and texture. I'm working on other canvases that fit into this set as well as other styles for the Mix & Match series.

Each set for $25 consists of four 4" x 4" gallery stretched canvases and can be displayed on their own or combined with other sets from the series to create a larger piece of art. Here are some of the sets currently available in my shop!







Each of these sets is available for purchase separately, with discounted shipping if you want to purchase more than one set.

More sets will be coming over the week and then even more once I get my new shipment of canvases!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I told you I deserved a present! Then I won one!!

Today I got a message from Jan of Jan's Crafty Nest. I had entered her giveaway a few days back and never expected to win because I never win these things. I enter and just get lost in the huge amount of comment and my name never gets drawn. Well, thank goodness for her son and his Winnie-the-Pooh bag! Because he draw my name out of that bag!

She was giving away three separate prize packs and I got the one that I wanted!

Prize Pack #1 - Evil eye necklace - Suna, wildflower tags - GeckoJewelry, mirrors - LookingGlassStudios, butterfly card - KateEschbach, butterfly pendant - C.A., earrings - ThePeachTree, embellishments - EarthCookie


Doesn't it look like a fun box of goodies to receive? I can't wait!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tuesday Temptations: I Deserve a Present

I deserve a present.

1) I just finished writing a chapter on Social Security for our book at work. Only like, 12 chapters to go. This might kill me.

2) I pulled together an awesome roundtable this morning (but note to self: Tuesdays = smaller turnout) for work--thanks a million to my friend Amanda (we grew up together in Minnesota, you can find her on Etsy at after the bump for all your cute baby accessory needs) for coming and talking about nutrition and exercise.

3) I just want a present. Jeremy owes me one and he hasn't delivered yet.

So I thought I'd browse (where else?) Etsy! (Well, an answer to "where else?" would be Anthropologie because that's been my shopping place of choice since I was 14, but today I'm surfing Etsy.)

So here are a few of the things that I'm loving right now:

First off, let's give a little love to my friend Amanda and her new Etsy shop. She just started at Etsy last Monday. She already has several adorable items for babies and while I do not yet have a child (no, I don't know when I'll have one, do not ask, I'm sick of that question--explanation: I live in Utah) I will definitely be buying my kid one of Amanda's hats when I do have one:

Chunky urban newsboy cap, size 3-6 months--Free shipping


How cute are those?

Now. Moving on to something that I could use in an artistic endeavor. Jamie Ribisi is one of my favorite Etsy artists. He's amazing. And he paints with encaustic which I would LOVE to learn how to do. I seriously envy his talent. Lucky for me he sells starter kits with instructions!!

Encaustic Painting Kit sampler set of handmade paint with Hot Mess tutorial


Jamie, you are my encaustic idol.

Speaking of Idol, anyone watching tonight? I can't seem to stop caring...two people go home this week.

And then finally, because this is pure awesome:


Water Bottle Cozy - Monster Shark in Silver Grey by Handamade


Okay. I can't stop laughing about this and maybe I have a stupid sense of humor, but here you go:



What's funny is that farts really can be lit on fire.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Swear/Rant/Panic/Cry/Give Up

Or: Damn it/WTF?! Why don't they have a tech support number?!/What do I do?!/Cry/Oh well, guess there's always next year.

Tonight at midnight is the application deadline for the Ogden Arts Festival. I would've had my application in weeks ago, only I didn't know about the show until this weekend. I've been trying for the better part of this afternoon and this evening to submit my application. I created new logins, I tried to submit myself and my grandfather; it never worked. I can fill out the application but when I hit "checkout" it says there are no shows ready for checkout. So I go to the application and re-fill it out and it says, "Ready for Checkout" and I click "checkout" and it says there are no shows ready for checkout.

I contacted Zapp (zapplication.org--where you apply for art shows) and they never got back to me before they closed for the day. The deadline changed on Zapp to tomorrow night at midnight so maybe it's a site-wide problem, but the rules for the show still say tonight and there's nothing on the forums or official announcements about it. And the show's coordinator didn't answer when I called. I left a message though.

So hopefully, when I try later tonight it'll work. Or, the deadline really has been moved. Or the show will get a ton of e-mails about no one being able to apply today and they'll extend it (if the extension on Zapp isn't really an exception.

I'm hoping I won't have to wait for next year.

UPDATE: Yes! They know and they postponed it. Everyone is having that problem.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

New Painting!

First off, I've noticed I've been having a real love affair with blue paintings lately. I bought some gorgeous blue paints and i can't stop using them. I think I'll branch out into other colors sometime soon. My shop and my personal art collection are both woefully devoid of any reds, oranges, and yellows.

Moving on.

I actually stumbled across the technique I used to paint this painting several years back during a college art class. I painted a three panel final project using this technique. And then I painted over it two years later when I thought I was tired of it. I don't regret the painting I got out of painting over that piece (wonderful pre-textured surface for what I wanted), but I do regret losing the original. This new piece has no similarities in color, but it does follow the basic scheme of what I did years ago.

Untitled No. 3 - 24" x 24" x 1 3/8"


Only this time I think it's cooler.

Painted using acrylics on a 24" x 24" x 1 3/8" stretch canvas. There are roughly ten layers of paint (3 base layers, each manipulated to enhance texture and then allowed to dry, and roughly 6-8 layers of the final surface painting), giving the canvas remarkable amounts of texture to both the eye and the touch. Paint has been allowed to drip down the sides of the canvas, giving the painting a raw, yet finished feeling since the sides have been painted black so there is no need to frame it unless you want to.

Painting is signed, titled and dated by me on the back of the canvas so as not to delineate a "top" or "bottom." It is completely up to you. I painted it so the "top" for me started with the white, but that's just my preference--it can be hung from all four sides. You could even hang it from one of it's corners if you wanted to.

Staging image is not to scale

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Business Cards: Which Would Catch Your Interest?

On a side note before I get into the bulk of my post: Tonight my freshman roommate Janel came into town (yay!) and so I hosted a dessert giveaway (Okay. Complete typo/slip of the mind. Giveaway=Party.) for our college 1911/202 group (the six boys who lived in apartment 1911 and the 6 girls who lived in 202). We're more than 12 now with marriages and all that, but half of us have moved away so tonight it was only 8 of us (1 was sick, 2 had to work, 2 had prior plans, 2 had finals, 3 live in another state, 1 is in another country). Despite the fact that some of us are spread out we're all still really close and I have to say that I have the best friends I could ever dream of having. It is always SO much fun when we get together. Now, on to other news.

I contacted the art festival and asked them about the booth shot since it would be my first show--they said I should just submit a description of my booth and how I plan to hang my paintings. Perfect! Thanks a million to @ArtbyChristi on Twitter for that tip--she had to do that when she entered her first show and she still got selected to be one of the exhibiting artists!

I've decided which four paintings I'm going to submit based upon your votes and the opinions of my friends and family. Though I am submitting one that got no votes because it's currently my favorite one, plus one that I did this weekend specifically for the art show application--it will be available on Monday. The three that I currently have good photos of and am submitting are:



And this is the one I've worked on this weekend that will be available on Monday:



Over ten layers of paint for crazy amounts of texture.

Now. I have a few business cards that I can't decide between. The designs have been sitting here for a couple of months and I'm out of my cheap little ones so I figured it was time to make some better one. Any favorites here?




Thursday, April 16, 2009

Art Show: I Need Your Opinions!

Just realized my last post was post #100. At least it had a funny picture in it. I giggle every time I see it. That giant rubber duck is the stuff children's nightmares are made of, but I think it's hilarious.

Anyway. I found out yesterday about a local art show (!! They're never local!) coming up in June and the deadline is Monday at midnight for applications. Which means I can either spend my weekend scrambling to make a temporary (because there's no way gridwalls will make it to me by Monday through snail mail) booth for the required booth photo, or I can wait until next year. That's a long time to wait...so I think I'll try my hand at scrambling to make a booth. I plan on entering both my grandfather and I (he's too sick to go--with his Multiple Sclerosis it's much too hot for him to stay outside all day in the middle of the summer--but two artists can share a booth as long as the artist or the artist's representative is there, and since I'm the artist for me, and I'm my grandfather's representative, it'd work out just fine) and so Jeremy and I are going up to my grandparents' house on Saturday to: 1) buy primed MDF for the walls (1 x 3 x 6 for $2.42--perfect!) from Lowe's because my grandpa has a truck and 2) have my grandpa help me build it. He's totally awesome with carpentry and coming up with useful and practical ideas for building things. I'm thinking 9 x 9 (since the booths at the festival are 10 x 10 this will appear to be about the same size in the photos) with the panels connected by hinges. Or duct tape (on the outside, of course). Either one.

Duct tape holds anything together, especially if it's only for a short period of time


I'll post pictures when it's done.

The thing is, I'm really nervous. Putting up my art on my Etsy shop was really nerve-wracking because I'd never really shown it to anyone besides family and people who came over to my house and would inevitably see it on my walls. And they all loved it and I haven't received one negative comment regarding my art since I brought it out into the world for all to see, but I'm still really nervous. I'm positive my grandfather will be accepted. He's always accepted. And then he wins prizes. But I've never done this before for myself. But I want to find out whether I have what it takes to pass a juried selection process for future art shows. If I do, I'm totally applying for next year's Edina Art Festival in Minnesota. For one, it's on my favorite street in the entire world. France Avenue. And two, it's an excuse to go home and visit my family!

Here's where I need your opinions. Could you please visit my Etsy shop and give me opinions on which five works you think I should submit for the juried selection process? I have to submit four works and one booth photo. I need help deciding. If you could just leave a comment with the titles of 2 or 3 that you think would be winners (figuratively, there are no prizes at the art festival), I would REALLY appreciate it!




Voting so far:
Untitled No. 1 - 3
Pointillism Flowers - 2
Color Theory - 2
Berry Tree - 3
Winter Blossoms - 4
Spring Branch - 7
Abstract Circles - 1
Bubbles - 3
Windswept Dandelion - 1
Space - 1
Complementary Crashes - 1
Dragonflies - 2
Ocean Tide - 3

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Little Bit of Funny

Giant Rubber Ducky by artist Florentijn Hofman


I'll have more paintings up this weekend. Hopefully. I'm working on getting ready to apply for a local art show, meaning I have to set up a booth to take a photo of, so I can't really make any promises. But I'm going to try to have more paintings up this weekend.

Gorgeous Letterpress Temple Print

Being LDS (Mormon) and living in Utah I can go up to Salt Lake and see the Salt Lake City temple any time I want. It's where I was married (fantastic photo opportunities all over those grounds!).

On our wedding day

It is architecturally gorgeous inside and out. Built by hand years and year and years ago (how they moved those blocks of granite from the mountains to the valley without trucks and mechanical equipment is something I will never understand--I mean, I get the concept just like I understand how the pyramids were built, but man, the work!) it's amazing how perfect it is. Anyway. People who don't live in Utah can't witness the magnitude and beauty of this temple in person, so there are myriads of different prints available for purchase throughout the world. Most are photographic prints. Last night I found what I deem to be the coolest, most original, and most beautiful representation of the Salt Lake temple that I have ever seen.

Last night I found the blog for Australia's Inside Out magazine and two entries down there was an image of the Salt Lake City temple. I thought, "Hmm...weird. This is an Australian magazine...and it's an interior design magazine, not a religious one." They were showcasing Utah web designer and artist Cameron Moll. Who has created a gorgeous letterpress (yes, letterpress!) image of the Salt Lake City temple.

Wait until you see the closeups!


It's all letters!




You can bet I'm ordering one of these! We don't have any photos of the temple in our home (besides our wedding pictures, which currently aren't displayed) and I think this would be a very "Sara and Jeremy" temple print. We're all about the artsy. Plus, the talent and the time and the absolute originality of this astounds me! I would love to look at that every day.

You can buy a 16 x 24 reproduction of the original letterpress print at Cameron Moll's website. If you want to go directly to the order page, click here to go to his Big Cartel page. It's $75 for an unsigned print, $100 for a signed print. Hopefully he'll be offering 11 x 14 giclee prints soon. He got a request for them yesterday and I seconded that request on Twitter.

I think even if you aren't LDS this is still a gorgeous print of a piece of beautiful architecture and it would look great in any home.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

I'm not sappy, but...

I've been finding all these amazing "married"/"love"/etc... things on Etsy lately and I want to snap them all up! The beauty is, it's not sappy married/love/etc... stuff. It's cute and quirky and original stuff. None of that "today is a dewdrop on the ocean of our love" sappy stuff (I just made that up, I haven't actually seen anything that says that, which is good because it really makes no sense).

Like this. I want this. Except I want it to say Jeremy and Sara, June 1, 2006. And I want to put it on a shelf in my living room. Because I think it's 1) cool, and 2) a good conversation piece. For example: "Your living room is just filled with awesomeness. Where did you get that non-sappy marriage date print?"

Cross My Heart print by nella designs

Also, props to nella designs for not capitalizing on the whole Twilight thing and putting Edward and Bella. I mean, I love Twilight, but it can be taken too far.

And this! I generally hate jewelry that has hearts on it. Can't stand it. I lived in fear that the man I married would NOT consult me before buying an engagement ring and get me a heart shaped diamond (nothing wrong with those if you like them--they're pretty--I just hate the shape of hearts--personal preference) so I always worked into conversation that I hate hearts and ovals. No rational reason, just hate hearts and ovals. Whether in jewelry or on paper. But then I saw this necklace today in my Google Reader (best internet blog tool ever) on Chris Parry's blog and despite my first thought being "I wonder if it comes on a circle or a square pendant" I found that I liked it on the heart. Symbolism and all, you know. And I would gladly wear this necklace daily if it had Jeremy's fingerprint on it. I mean, how cool is that? It's just so original.

Fingerprint Pendant from Chris Parry

And lately I've been way into the personalized jewelry idea. Like, simple rings and stuff. I've found several on Etsy that I like.

Domed personalized sterling silver ring from La Belle Dame

I like this one because of the meaning of the infinity symbol.

Stackable Personalized Sterling Silver Ring from Chris Parry

And I'd totally get this one and just have our wedding date stamped into it. What's great about these personalized rings is they don't appear to be sappy at all. So even though there's a romantic meaning behind it, it's not blatant like a marriage cross stitch with that quote I made up. So for those of us that tend to be more private (like myself), these are great solutions while still celebrating our marriages!

I typed up my husband's biology paper last night while he told me what he wanted to say. 3 hours later we were done. I told him he so owed me a present. Perhaps I'll send him this blog entry to give him ideas. He'll probably buy me a paint brush, though. And I'm okay with that!

Monday, April 13, 2009

New Kitchen!

It's finally done! Since we can't repaint, we just bought new furniture and I did new paintings. I re-did two sets of paintings that are available on my Etsy shop for my new kitchen because I love them so much! Here's what the kitchen looked like before:



I loved it, but I got tired of the dark furniture and the lack of efficient space (everything was in odd places and difficult to find). So we got rid of everything. We don't need a table. We never eat at the table. We'd used it about 5 times during our marriage (3 years).

Here's the kitchen now!



Ta-da! Brighter, much more organized, and larger! I actually enjoy cooking now! And it's much easier to keep clean because there are no "catch all" places like the table and the island were.



Another painting set like this one is available for purchase in my Etsy shop--just click here!



There's my awesome magnetic knife strip, the nifty new shelves from Ikea with our pretty dishes and appliances, and my new microwave (dream come true!)!



And lastly, our second set of shelves, our water cooler (best purchase ever--Costco), and a second set of these paintings--you can purchase the set that is available on my Etsy store by clicking here!

And here are some details from our kitchen that I love. I especially love my items from Anthropologie (the bowls, the green colander, the salt and pepper shakers--which are useless! The holes on top are massive.) and my Ratatouille cookie jar that I got at the Disney Store.