Tag Archives: etsy

This Blog Isn’t Dead…

It’s just stuck in a place that is neither humorous.

Nor inspired.

Nor relevant.

Nor the least bit entertaining.

So, sorry for that.

Also, the database got corrupted. So, everything disappeared for a while.

That sucked.

If anyone out there is still checking in here, the best I can offer you is this ($20 Monster and Dragon hats that I am clearing out of my Etsy shop).

And I guess that’s about it. See you on the other side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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A Walk in the Woods

In keeping with my new little project, I offer the next in my series of treasuries inspired by the work of creatives I have discovered in my travels around the Internet.

This treasury was built around this print by Sarah of Wooden Spoon Editions. As always, simply click the image to be taken to the treasury.

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A Treasury for Everyone

I am extremely fortunate to know a lot of very talented people (and I seem to be meeting more and more talented people everyday). As I trudge alone through this vast wasteland devoid of inspiration or creativity (also known as the dreaded ‘creative slump’), they all continue to draw, paint, sculpt, and otherwise carve their marks into the creative world.

Rather than sit idly by, wallowing in the misery brought on by a massive creative block (although, I must admit, I do actually do a fair bit of wallowing), I keep trying to find ways to share the amazing work that other people are doing. For me, the support of others (artists and otherwise) can be a pretty big motivator. And because I have a deeply-ingrained (though truly misguided) notion that others think/work the way I do, I assume that other creatives are the same way. If I can’t create anything myself, at least I can motivate others to keep creating. And that’s something, I guess.

As a part of that effort, I have been working on some Etsy treasuries built around pieces from artists I know and like (and who are on Etsy, of course). The first one that I want to share was inspired by this print by Jane Almirall.

Click on the image to be taken to the actual treasury.

 

Behind the face…


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Exhaustion and Randomness

A long day of Back to School shopping for Sir yesterday has left me completely wiped out. Far be it from me to leave my loyal readers without a regular dose of my insanity and random Ruthiness, however. So, here you go…

  • If you have not yet entered the Big Blogiversary Giveaway, GO! NOW! HURRY! Seriously, you have just over 24 hours to enter and I highly suggest you do. I mean, you could win free ORIGINAL ART (Unless, of course, you hate my art and are trying to make a statement by not entering. Is that what you’re doing? Huh? Is it?).
  • I’m getting kind of excited about my new project. I shipped my first Box Full of Awesome order this week and the best part was putting together the little envelope of ‘extras’ to include. Did I mention that every Box Full of Awesome comes with FREE extra goodies? It’s true, they do! Check out the cool stuff I added to the shop this week.
  • Izzy the Dog Sings a Duet was featured on the We Draw Dogs illustration blog last week. Very exciting! You can see it here.
  • hello seven received a nice mention here last week too! (I definitely needed the ego boost!)
  • I have effectively ended my 365 Project. I honestly have neither the time nor the inclination to continue on with it. Totally lame, I know. I mean, I made it to Day 326. But it was starting to stress me out and the quality of my photos was suffering. So, I’ll just go back to shooting when I feel like shooting. What can I say? I’m a quitter.
  • Speaking of photos, I’m working on adding 4×6 and 8×10 prints of my Love Letter to Northern Michigan series to the Etsy shop. For now, if you would like a size that isn’t currently available, please feel free to send me a message and I’ll get what you need added to the shop ASAP.

I’m sure there’s something I’m leaving out, but I can barely keep my eyes open, so I must begin my pursuit of caffeinated beverages now, lest I pass out and accomplish absolutely nothing today. That just would not do!

photo : one of my favorite illustrations from a 1956 Better Homes and Gardens magazine

 

 

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Inspiration in Your Mailbox!

Last week, my friend and contemporary, Deirdre McCormick, sent me the most amazing package in the mail. It was filled with vintage goodies from her stash and helped me make great strides in recovering my lost inspiration.  I have been in an extended creative slump (I blame summer Seasonal Affective Disorder brought on by the face-melting heat we have had to endure lately – have I mentioned that my studio is often the hottest room in our house?) and, though it still shows no signs of completely ending any time soon, the box full of awesome from Deirdre has helped kick my arse in the right direction.

Now, I am challenged with returning the favor. So, I dove head first into my out-of-control impressive stash of vintage doodads and thingamajigs (many of which, I haven’t seen in years). I realized that this collection, as out-of-control impressive as it is, is languishing. And that’s just not right.

A major portion of what I have was bought during my ‘vintage period’ when I was a jewelry artist. I breathed new life into broken necklaces and earrings, bingo chips (!), and anything else I could drill a hole into or cement to jewelry findings. I was actually somewhat successful in this style…and then I quit. I just didn’t have the same drive or inspiration for it anymore. I was in the middle of a major move and once we got settled again, the fervor had pretty much died. But, I digress.

So, what am I to do with this stash of vintage jewelry, beads, buttons, magazines, knitting books, (whew!) bags, hats, fabric, boxes, postcards, cups, and other randomness that deserves to find some purpose (other than taking up space in my house) and see the light of day again? Well, some of it will certainly end up winging its way to that dear girl in Ohio. Some of it will stay with me (because I can’t bear to part with ALL of it). Some of it will become part of a ‘secret’ project that I am not at liberty to discuss yet. And some of it will end up in the Box Full of Awesome shop on Etsy!

Yep, I opened ANOTHER shop on Etsy. Why? Because I just have far too much time on my hands. Heh.

I have spent the better portion of this week sifting through, sorting, photographing, and posting not only items from my vintage stash, but also a few things from my jewelry-making stash (stones, pearls, beads, findings, etc.). I have come to the conclusion that I have had no desire to make jewelry in at least 5 years and that is the way it is going to stay. So, I am also de-stashing all of those supplies at super cheap prices (less than half of what I paid for them originally).

But, what about this name – Box Full of Awesome, you say. Ahh, that is part of the secret. But, here’s a hint. All of my offerings are meant to inspire creativity – whether that means filling up a box full of supplies from the shop or participating in my secret project (which will be revealed as soon as I find the time to hammer out the details). Every box will be filled with awesome things to help pick you up out of the creative doldrums the way Deirdre’s original box full of awesome did for me.

So, if you’re in a creative slump, hang in there. In the meantime, check out what is currently available at Box Full of Awesome (maybe you’ll find a little piece of inspiration!)…

 

You can also follow Box Full of Awesome on Twitter!

 

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What’s Going on Around Here?

I have (mostly) not abandoned my blog, although it probably looks like it. Honestly, I am desperately trying to play catch-up (and tackle a ridiculous task of epic proportions in my pain-in-the-arse backyard) now that I am back in Baltimore.

I apologize for my lack of, well, everything around here. No Friday Favorites? No nothing? Yeah, pathetic. But I really, really needed a break from pretty much every aspect of my life and that break somehow managed to last three weeks. The only downside (aside from my shameful neglect of this blog) is that my muse decided to stay in northern Michigan (as I wish I could have). So, instead of creating (I haven’t touched my art supplies at all since arriving home), I’ve been focusing on the aforementioned ridiculous task…that, and falling down the basement stairs. Boy, am I sore.

So, for those of you who missed me (What? You didn’t even realize I was gone? Sheesh.), here are a few random tidbits.

  • Friday Favorites will be returning ASAP, now that I am once again in the Land of the Reliable Internet Connection (also the land of freaking Code Red air days and stifling humidity).
  • My trip was not completely devoid of creativity. In fact, I shot (what I think is) a very nice series of photographs while in northern Michigan. I even sucked it up and created prints for sale in my Etsy shop. Please check them out and let me know what you think!
  • I have once again fallen way behind on my 365 Project. Hopefully, I’ll get all caught up by the end of the week. I really can’t wait to be done with it.
  • Mosquitoes only like to bite the back of my left calf. What the hell is up with that?
  • I have really missed reading everyone’s blogs and looking at Illustration Friday submissions. I really need to get back into the swing of things and hope that I can coax my muse to come back east.
  • I chickened out on the gallery thing. I know, I know. Lame.
  • This place is fantastic. Try the Auxerrois  and the fungus wine (sounds disgusting, but it’s actually quite delicious).

photo : lakeside II by yours truly (available for purchase here)

 

 

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What I Like Wednesday : Patti Backer (a.k.a. PatriciaMonkey)

Hmm, it seems I’ve missed a couple weeks of What I Like Wednesday. Oops. No matter, today’s artist is extra awesome, so that should more than make up for my lack of blogging diligence. Heh.

Whimsical. Weird. Wonderful. This is the best way that I can describe Maryland artist Patti Backer’s work. Also known as PatriciaMonkey, she describes her pieces as  ‘a combination of lowbrow and folk art.’

It was her paintings on wood (specifically the big-eyed black birds) that first caught my eye, but her slightly creepy brand of silliness doesn’t stop there. She also has a penchant and talent for reclaiming vintage furniture and turning it into must-have items for the eclectic home.

You can find more of Patti’s work on her blog and on Etsy where she not only sells her quirky artwork, but also offers a treasure trove of vintage goodness.

And now for some of my PatriciaMonkey favorites…

 

 

 

 

photos : by Patti Backer

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What’s New in the Etsy Shop

I am continuing to make strides in updating my Etsy shop. Most of the jewelry has been cleared out, but a few pieces are still up for grabs. At 50% off with free shipping, they won’t be around long though!

I have added some new prints to the shop too (something I’ve been meaning to do for quite a while now). I have a few more coming soon.

Here’s what’s new…

someday sweaters : image size is approximately 5×7″

 

midnight birches : image size is approximately 5×7″

 

six red : image size is approximately 5×7″

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I Feel Random, Oh So Random

Ahhh, it’s been a while since I’ve posted some random randomness and since I’m feeling out of sorts lately and unable to focus on anything for more than about 30 seconds, now would probably be the perfect time to do just that!

  • I am slowly but surely working on the changes I want to make to my Etsy shop. I have a few more jewelry pieces that, if not purchased soon, will be scrapped for parts. Heh. That’s what you get for hanging around too long! The Monster Hats will be taking their leave until the fall season rolls around when they will make their triumphant return with more Owl and Dragon Hats.
  • The other day, while looking over my blog stats, I made a new goal for myself. I want to hit 500 posts before my blog’s one year anniversary on July 24. I’ve crunched the numbers and it should definitely be attainable. I plan on having a big giveaway when I hit the 500 mark. Stay tuned!
  • I’m on Twitter (where I spew randomness daily) and Pinterest (where I have no idea what the hell I’m doing).
  • I have yet to begin working on my Sketchbook Project. I know, I know. I think my problem is that I have too much time to get it done. So, I’ll wait for the deadline to get close and then freak out hope for inspiration (desperation?) to hit.
  • Is it wrong to serve your family ice cream for dinner? Asking for a friend, of course.
  • Hey, D’s mom, I love your comments. Keep ’em coming! That goes for the rest of you too. I depend on all of you to keep my fragile ego intact. Heh.
  • I have to say that I’m really thrilled with (and a little surprised by) the response I’ve been getting to What I Like Wednesday and Friday Favorites. Who knew people would be so appreciative of my blathering on about them? Heh.
  • So, my hippie neighbors across the street are ‘cleaning out’ their house yet again. It wouldn’t be such a disturbing phenomenon if it wasn’t for the fact that these clean outs always involve disembodied heads of some kind. Last year, they had a yard sale where they attempted to sell a paper-mache head with a long stick jabbed through its ears. I glanced out the window earlier and my gaze was met by that of some kind of Frankenstein monster head sitting on the edge of a roll-off dumpster.
  • We really need to move.

photo : crooked house by yours truly

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Winners! Yay!

Well, kids, random.org has spoken and here’s what it said.

*obligatory drum roll*

Winner of the ‘izzy the dog picks a flower’ print is Vicki!

Winner of the ‘izzy the dog sings a duet’ print is Kathy!

Winner of the ‘izzy the dog in the rain print’ is Jeanie!

(Winners, please check your email for a message from hello seven about how to get your print.)

Mazel tov to all of the winners and a BIG thank you to everyone who sent good thoughts our way during the Izzy Ordeal.

So, if you didn’t win and you still really, really, really want an izzy the dog print of your very own, you can find them in my Etsy shop. Some of you will be happy to see that ‘izzy the dog sings a duet’ is now available for purchase AND (since I had some requests) ‘izzy the dog’s journey is over’ will also available as a print very soon!

Also, a portion of the proceeds from sales of these prints will benefit Dogs Finding Dogs who were instrumental in helping us bring Izzy home.

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Etsy Jewelry Sale : Clearing Out the Shop

I’m gearing up for some big changes to the Etsy shop and the first step to is to clear out some pieces that have been languishing there for a while. Most have been marked down at least 50% and some come with FREE standard shipping.

So, if you’ve had your eye on any of these pieces, now is the time to snap them up. When they’re gone, they’re gone!


blue & green glass pendant necklace : $80 $40

orange pendant necklace : $80 $40

serpentine & pearl corsage bracelet : $70 $35 SOLD

multi-colored pearl earrings : $40 $20 SOLD
(these match the bracelet above)

Also, all remaining Monster Hats in the shop will be marked down this week! Stay tuned!

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Randoms on a Sunny Sunday

It’s time for some randomness…mostly because I can’t seem to focus on any one thing for more than about a minute and a half right now. Heh.

  • Izzy is still on the run. We received some leads yesterday and a tracking sniff revealed that the information on her whereabouts was accurate. The search continues.
  • I am beginning to feel slightly human again. Unfortunately, a quick trip out to my backyard this morning had my ears completely plugged and every bit of exposed skin itching . Yes, friends, it is spring in Maryland! Bring on the thick blanket of yellow pollen and non-stop Claritin popping!
  • Okay, so remember that thing I said about getting this blog back on track and trying to bring back some lightheartedness? I know, I know, I’m not doing a very good job of it. So, I think it’s time for a giveaway. I haven’t decided for sure yet, but I think this one might be a big one. I mean, multiple prizes big.
  • You may have noticed that my 365 projects seems to have fallen by the wayside. I’m working on catching up on posting my photos. Hopefully, I’ll be all caught up by today. Apologies in advance for the barrage of posts. Heh.
  • The fact that I finally got off my ample duff and made some prints of my work has given me the motivation to get up off my ample duff AGAIN and make some prints of my work. So, keep an eye out for new prints in the Etsy shop. I am looking for opinions on whether I should offer them as-is or have them matted.
  • Speaking of Etsy, I still have some of my cherry blossom pieces available. Proceeds benefit Red Cross relief efforts in Japan. Also, I’m seriously trying to clear out my old stock of jewelry that I designed back in the day. I’ve knocked the prices way down in hopes of making room for other things in my studio.

I guess that’s all I’ve got for now.

photo : languishing art by yours truly

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Limited Edition Prints : Izzy the Dog

Well, the stats speak for themselves. My readers are tired of missing dog posts and are ready for a return to normalcy. I can truly sympathize and I plan on doing my best to get this blog back on track. Please bear with me.

With that said, here is a post about art (and my missing dog…sorry).

Losing Izzy has been very hard on us and she sneaks her way into everything I do right now. I’ve never been very good at making the best out of a bad situation, but I am really trying now (mostly for the sake of my family’s mental health). So, when I sat down to work on Illustration Friday last week, out popped the character Izzy the Dog.

Like the real Izzy, Izzy the Dog is a cute, friendly, (mostly) happy hound. Fortunately, unlike the real Izzy, Izzy the Dog doesn’t smell like a hound (anyone who has ever lived with a Basset, beagle, or other hound knows exactly the smell I’m talking about – it’s stinky, but it grows on you). So far, I have only finished two illustrations in this series ‘Izzy the Dog Picks a Flower‘ (for the Illustration Friday topic ‘cultivate’) and ‘Izzy the Dog in the Rain‘.

Originally, I had no idea what I was going to do with these illustrations. But, as more and more people assist us in finding Izzy, we have realized that not only do we want to give a significant reward to the person or persons who bring our Izzy home to us, but we also want to give as much as we can to the people who have been helping us. So, I am offering limited edition prints of my original ink and watercolor Izzy the Dog illustrations on Etsy to help boost our reward offering and provide a donation to the agency that is helping us track Izzy.

The prints are very reasonably priced at $10 each. Image size is approximately 5×7″ and each print is numbered and signed.

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Izzy at Large

Izzy the dog is still missing.

We spent the whole weekend doing everything we could to find her. We have distributed nearly 300 flyers with another 300 ready to go out today. We did a tracking sniff with Dogs Finding Dogs on Saturday that gave us a general idea of where she has been and focused our flyer efforts there. We also put down a scent trail leading to our house and set up a feeding station on our front porch. Still, no Izzy.

Last night, we finally got our first leads. The first seems legitimate and we are following up on it today. The second was completely frustrating and heartbreaking.

Sir has been sick since last week and I seem to have caught his illness. Today is the first time in two days that I have been able to sit up long enough to blog. I had a fever of 102° and couldn’t manage to drag myself out of bed. When the calls about Izzy came in last night, Big Sir (who had injured his ankle on the tracking sniff, but was still pounding the pavement all weekend posting flyers) had no choice but to grab our neighbor and our dog Yofi and start searching.

The boy on the phone told us that he had seen Izzy about 2 hours earlier in a neighborhood a few blocks from here. As the search party departed, the phone rang again. The same boy, out of breath now, told us that he had been chasing Izzy, but couldn’t manage to catch her. With the search still going on and daylight quickly departing, the boy called again to tell me that he was still chasing Izzy (and now two other dogs) toward a park in Baltimore City. It was at this point that I finally heard from my husband who told me that my neighbor had run into the boy and spoken to him. Apparently, his story kept changing and he was very interested in finding out how much the reward would be, which leads us to believe that he had never actually seen Izzy and was just messing around in hopes of either securing some reward money or just getting a rise out of us.

And so, with darkness descending, they returned home without our Izzy girl.

As soon as I find the energy, Sir and I will be heading out to post more flyers. This afternoon, we’ll do another tracking sniff in the area where Izzy was spotted.

This situation has taken a serious toll (emotionally and financially) on all of us. Sir has been exhibiting some behaviors that we have never seen in him before and we can only attribute it to his little mind’s (and heart’s) inability to understand this loss. Any time we go outside, he looks around and calls Izzy’s name. It is heartbreaking to witness.

In spite of all this, the outpouring of support has been more than we could have imagined. Our neighbors have really stepped up to the plate – printing and distributing flyers and helping with searches. The Facebook page now has over 100 fans, most of whom are people we don’t even know, but who are helping to get the word out about Izzy. They come from as near as our own neighborhood and as far as Sweden. The Internet is an amazing thing. I just hope it can help us find our girl.

One last thing, I will be making a dedicated post about this, but wanted to get it out there now – I have made a limited number of prints from my Izzy the Dog illustrations and I am offering them at a very reasonable price on Etsy. We are hoping to raise money to add to the reward we are offering and for a donation to Dogs Finding Dogs.

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Illustration Friday : Stir

This piece and others in this series are currently available in my Etsy shop. All proceeds will benefit Red Cross relief efforts in Japan.

sakura : mixed media shadow box (detail)

Initially, I had a completely different idea for this week. But, I guess you could say that recent events have stirred me to action and pushed my work in a different direction temporarily.

This is the first mixed media piece that I have done in quite awhile. It is part of a series of illustrations that I created to benefit relief efforts in Japan. Some pieces have already sold, but others are available in my Etsy shop. ALL proceeds will go directly to the Red Cross.

Please consider purchasing one of these pieces or making your own personal donation, if you haven’t already.

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