Sunday, March 30, 2008

Weekend Catch Up

I have not blogged since Tuesday! It has been so busy this week. Work was busy, I had family come into town, and I had a special event to attend Friday evening. So, today, I can slow down a bit and see how my blog friends are doing and give you a little update. I don't have family pics yet because everyone took pics but me! What is wrong with me? So, as soon as I get some I will share.
Family: My sister Rhea, and her husband came down from Farmington, New Mexico. My mother and her husband came from Chandler, Texas. So, we all decided to get together at our house and have hamburgers on the grill. We kind of made it a going away party for both Cody and Rhea and Jesse (her hubby). Cody goes to bootcamp on April 14th. Rhea and Jesse may very well be moving to the Middle East for Jesse's job. Hopefully, if they do go there, they will get to make a track back here for a final goodbye first. We had such fun over here last night. Though my house is so small and we had, I believe, 13 people in and out of it....we managed to eat delicious burgers from the grill outside and joke and laugh and remember good old times.

Gala: This is a picture of all of us at the American Heart Association Gala! Me, Craig, Joe, and my dear friend and adopted sister; Kim. This was the first time Joe and Craig had been around each other and they just had the best time. We all enjoyed ourselves.

Art: I worked on this altered book last night a little and came up with this page. I've been planning this page for a couple of weeks. I love it. This book is the shape of a house. It was a book about dolls. I have worked on this book for the last couple of years. It only has a few pages done. I am making this book mostly for me. It is an exploration of self. On this piece, I used a transparency of a photo of a door to create the "window" look. I don't know if you can glue transparencies, I used eyelets to attach it. Does anyone know about glue with transparencies?
My workshop for the girls is Wednesday and I'm excited about that. Well, that is your update. Maybe I will blog again this evening if I can get any art done today. Hugs and Happy Sunday.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Blast From The Past

I am so excited that I am going to be conducting little mini "art therapy" sessions for a group of young ladies. This all came about because of my art workshops I am already doing for the general public. It is very hard to communicate how I feel about this. To sum it up.....I just feel that suddenly, everything I have been doing and going through with this art thing makes sense.

So, I decided, the best thing to do would be to start with a creative journaling class. I want to help these young ladies learn how to use creative journaling to express themselves, learn more about themselves and explore creativity as therapy. So, in preparation for that, I have been thinking alot about why creative journaling would be therapeutic. I need to do some research on that and would appreciate any feedback on this topic. I know it is therapeutic to me, but I can't seem to explain why.

I picked up a book today that really inspired me and I feel it will be quite useful and helpful in prep for this workshop. It is the second book by Linda Woods and Karen Dinino, two sisters who wrote/developed first "Visual Chronicles" then...the one I picked up today and left at a doctor's office and have to go and pick up tomorrow "Journal Revolution". Journal revolution revealed to me why it is therapeutic to journal and it gave me lots of great ideas. This is a great book and you need to get it if you love to journal in a creative way.

Anyway, this book made me want t0 dig through my old memoribilia. As soon as I got off from work, I went to my storage room where I keep all my old memory boxes full of all kinds of stuff from my past. That is when I found Senior Memory book. You know, that little book you bought with your senior picture package. I found these entries and had to share them. It helps me to see that it is therapeutic to look back on journal entries from the past. I see things from 1983 that reflect the girl that I still am today. Do you see anything that reminds you of the me I am to you? I thought the reference to "colors" in the first photo/journal entry were interesting...." black and white", purple" Do you have something like this? I would love to see your highschool memoribillia. Do Share!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Mixed Media Time to Grow

We actually got a little sprinkle of rain today. We really need it out here in the West. Yesterday, we had another big grass fire out North of town. Craig and I drove out to watch and our neighbors drove behind us. That is how you know you live in a boring town....we all go to see the big fires. There were a bunch of us parked out on the side of the service road of I-20.
Today was nice. I rested, arted, cleaned and freshened up the house. I was able to finish this piece....I created the background the other day when I did that tutorial on texture and glaze. To me, this is one of my better pieces lately. The texture in the back ground makes me think of the much needed rain. I'm also thinking it is time to till up my garden. "Happy Easter...Easter Bunny--- Bach Bach". That is what my little sister used to say. I think it used to be on some commercial. So now, we all say that when we call each other and wish Happy Easter.

Altered Spool and other things

Didn't I say I was going to do several updates throughout the day yesterday? Well, you see how that went. Oh, the day just got by me. I spent quite a bit of time with my slow computer uploading some this is kind of the update that was supposed to happen yesterday.

First, some pics of one side of my living room. I still need to touch up some places in that area and the top part of living room still needs pics. I found this awsome border (a sample) at Lowes but do they have any? That's a big NO! So, I'm looking for that.

I like how the light coming through the window of our front door reflects on my picture. Can you see it? I'm going with a nature feel.


I posted two new things on Etsy this morning.
This is another altered spool and I think I like this one the best. Go and check it out. The other item is another kitty pic. Go have a looksie! Hugs and happy Saturday.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Finished Collage

Remember the tutorial I did recently on backgrounds? Well, here is the finished product. I called this, "We Could Fly Too". I'm off today for Good Friday! So, I will be adding a few things to my blog throughout the day. I hope you have a great day!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Gorilla Marketing our Etsy

Well, I must say, Blue Jade totally touched on the topic that I was going to discuss this evening. (Please see comments from yesterdays post.) OK hang onto your we go.
Have you ever heard of the phrase "Gorilla Marketing"? I have seen many books about this topic in the business section of the book store, but none of them sparked my interest. I have also noticed several mentions about Gorilla Art in the blog and art book world. I just thought it meant to leave random little pieces of art in random places so you could make someones day! There is a book that further explains this concept by Keri Smith.
My sister Rhea who is working on her MBA (and has experience in marketing) was able to help me wrap my brain around this concept. Let me just insert here her response to my asking her to explain:
"Basically it means, instead of putting all of your money into a great big marketing apply your wits and creative thinking to get your name out there and recognized. Another form is called tagging....where you place stickers with your website everywhere like parking meters, phone booths, etc. places that people always look and would notice something different. Some people get really crazy with it...a few years ago some guys were arrested for placing a neon flashing sign of some sort on a major bridge and the cops thought they were trying to blow the bridge up and got arrested....but it worked because they became millionaires because their name was on national news. Realtors use the term by using ALL of their contacts and all of their contacts, contacts and so on and so forth. Making what you do a part of everyday living where your name is a synonym for Funky Art Queen.

- put your flyers on every bulletin board you see (starbucks, walmart, target, etc)
- leave business cards at tattoo shops and such (like you mentioned in your blog)
- use stickers
- send emails to everyone in hopes of a forward

So do you see how you can combine the concepts of Gorilla Marketing and Gorilla Art to promote your Etsy shop? I think it would be cool to get some ATC's professionally made with your ETSY address on them and just leave them in random places. Or since that is probably expensive, you could leave business cards that can be relatively inexpensive.
Like Blue Jade says, when will we have time for this? Well, I'm thinking slip them in your bills when you pay, put them in the bank deposit envelopes, slip them in a magazine that like minded people might thumb through at the grocery store, post them on bulletin boards at Wally World, oh the possibilities are endless. Please don't put them on my windshield! I hate that...don't you?!!! Give them to all your family and friends, leave it with your tip at a restaurant, keep them handy in your purse for when you run into old friends. Lots and lots of ideas here. But are you brave enough to do it? Let's talk about that tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Exploring Ideas to be succe$$ful on Etsy

Tonight, let's just get out of our boxes and put our thinking caps on about unique ways to market our Etsy shops. To do that, I will share about my experiences and hopefully you will tell me yours so we can crack the etsy code to success. How I market my Etsy right now in two easy steps.
  1. I list on Etsy
  2. I wait

Heehee. But really this is a very passive type of marketing your product. For instance, I listed something pretty early this a.m. Less than thirty minutes later it was on page 3 of art products listed in that time period. So, the liklihood of someone actually having the patience to look at page 156 of the "art" category are slim to none.

  • TAG IT: A more active an(narrowing) approach would be to use tags for those people that are searching for something specific. Is it a cat? Then use "cat" as a tag that way people looking for cat pictures can pull this up to sift through all the other 12,000 art listings and get to you. You can tag, tag tag to be specific and narrow the searchs.
  • ETSY SUCCESS NEWSLETTER: I just discovered today that there is actually a newsletter that we might need to be reading. Go to the link on this bullet and sign up. It's worth a try.
  • BLOG IT: My friend Renea learned this and shared it with me. I guess I am too humble sometimes....but the truth is, I sold something last week just because someone found it on my blog. Share it on your blog girlfriend!
  • Scratch It: You scratch their back they will scratch yours: I'm not the best at this, but I learn as I go. If you don't share with others by commenting on their blogs they won't share by commenting on your blog and they won't come back. Be sincere in your comments. Put links to your favorite artists on your blog. They will likely do the same for you.
  • Business Card It: I have business cards with my blog address on them. I still wonder if putting my etsy address on them would help? I just hate the addresses they give you like lesleyfunkyart53493092-01-105u65u3 (OK, I'm exagerating) but they don't look all that cool. But I would like more input on this topic.
  • UNIQUE IT: Try unique ways to get the word out about your work. Pretend that your business is a real brick and mortar shop. How would you market that? If your market is the crowd that likes "vintage" then maybe you should put something in an antique shop? Maybe I should put my cards in a tattoo shop or a beauty salon? I am not sure about this.....input here would also be good.
  • Out of the box marketing Challenge: For this week, I challenge each of you to come up with a unique marketing idea that we can all use to market our ETSY Shop. I would love to hear your responses.

I posted some new items on My Etsy Shop today. Please take a moment to go and look and pass it on to your blog friends that we discussing Etsy Success this week at the Funky Art Queen's Blog. Hugs and Success to All.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Etsy Success

Tonight, I am going to tell you how to use the Etsy Mini function on Etsy. That will produce a little advertisement of your Etsy shop on your blog. It is very easy.
  • First sign on to your Etsy and get to your shop. Look at the bar on the left side. At the very bottom is a link to "Etsy Mini". Click on that. Fill out the information and enter all lines. Then you will see two boxes of HTML code. You will need the first one for blogs. Click on your CTRL key and C to copy.
  • Then open up your Blog by signing in. Go to customize which is on the top right as a choice to click. After you click customize, choose "add a page element". Then, click on the one that says "HTML/Java Script". First type in the title of your shop. Then press CTRL and V to paste the HTML code you copied earlier to this box. Save and go see your work on your blog.
  • YOu should have pictures of your art from Etsy on your blog. This image should go right to your Etsy shop! Remember to consider where you place this on your blog. You can move things around on your "customize"window.
I want you to know I don't profess to be the expert here. I'm just studying this topic so I can improve and hope to share some gem of info with you fellow bloggers so you can have success too. Something I have been thinking about tonight is the idea that we have to consider our market. Each one of us, though we are all artists, have a different niche. Like me, my work is kinda funky, bright and whimsical colors. I often make jokes about when I do art fairs/booths...regarding how I can tell who will like my art when they are walking by. I always say it is the ones with funky colors in their hair or something edgy about them. Point being, we could possibly do better by finding those who have a taste for our flavor of work. So, I need to think about ways to reach my funky/punky market.
You may be a little more classical or shabby chic...or whatever. Think of ways that you can better reach the people who would be most attracted to your work. I'm going to think about this and I would love to hear some input on this topic. Remember, this is a learning experience for all of us.
Tomorrow, I want to discuss unique ways to market ourselves. Be thinking of that. How can you get the word out about your store? Are you telling your friends, family, and strangers about your shop? Get ready for some ideas on this topic. Hugs to everyone and good luck on your Etsy.

Monday's Etsy Success

This whole week, I'm going to discuss and study how to become successful on Etsy. I invite you to post and discuss this with me. Any tips and hints you have will be helpful. This evening, I will add to this post and I have several things in mind that will be helpful to all of us Etsy girls. So come back this evening. I gotta get ready for my real JOB! Hugs to all. Happy Monday.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Promoting Your Etsy


let's make our own success stories!
I am dedicating this entire week to our Etsy Success. When I say "our", I mean all of my blogger friends and me. I can't remember who, but someone asked me this week, how does one promote their Etsy shop? I can honestly say, I have not promoted my shop that well. I think I have only sold 10 things over a long period. But, I would like to sell more....who wouldn't?

I started out by reading some of the Etsy Success Stories. I read through several of the of the stores has sold 8500 items. Yikes! I better speed it up! Hee Hee. Anyway, I hope that you will look at the articles too and let me know any points that will help. But here is a quick synopsis of some things I picked up from reading those articles.
  • Have a great product that is high quality stuff

  • Keep items fresh and list frequently/often

  • Quick ship

  • Thoughtful packaging....everyone likes to get a present

  • Communicate Communicate Communicate

  • Add personal touches-personal note every time!

  • Interact with Etsy community

  • Relist Relist Relist

  • Thursdays and Sundays are the busiest nights (according to one of the success story store owners) so try lising on those nights.

I'm thinking we should have calling cards/business cards that have our Etsy address? What else can we do to promote ourselves? This conversation is open to all suggestions. Let's study this and figure out how we can be successful on ETSY. Meanwhile, go and check out my Etsy store! New stuff coming soon.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

wHeRe My GiRlS At?

OK, I'm thinking it was the rapture or something.....where did everyone go? It must be extra busy because of spring but I have noticed an absence of some of my blog sistahs! So, I'm going to try and stimulate some activity by making special notes of some things I've noticed with my blog friends.

  1. First, let me say a big thanks to Paula for sending me these lovely ATC's for a small trade I did a couple of weeks ago. Aren't they wonderful? Thanks Paula!

  2. I am dying to know how the cruise went for Ms. Sacred Snatch! Was it a blast? Did you jump overboard? Where are you girl?

  3. I have a new friend who just started a blog "The Queens Drawers"and she has her own rubber stamp line! Yes, she designs rubberstamps!!!!! She bought my "Herding Cats" painting and it is on it's way! Thanks Jo! Go and check her out!

  4. I'm pretty sure Pocket Full of Pretty's is going to be relaxing a bit and possibly arting on Sunday because she has had her grandkids all week! Can't wait to see what she comes up with POST GRANDKIDS/SPRINGBREAK!

  5. Now, about me, I'm going to be painting the other half of the living room all weekend. I will be sore as heck again I'm sure but I can't wait to get it done and share it all with you girls. Now, get to blogging....cuz I miss hearing about you and seeing what you are creating! I have several things in the works....can't wait to show you. Meanwhile, don't forget to check out my blog entry below about my "Spool of Friendship". Hugs to everyone.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Altered Spools

Spool of Friendship
Now Available at my Etsy
I finished this tonight. It is a spool with a special message enclosed on the pretty paper wrapped around it. I used a pretty pink brad and a pink satin ribbon that wraps around the brad to keep it fastened until the person who receives it opens it up.
The message inside is a poem I found by an unknown author as follows:
Where would I be
and what would I do?
If you never met me
and I never met you?
Who would I laugh with
and cry till the end?
What would I do
without my bestfriend?

This is a picture of the inside of paper that is wrapped around the spool. This picture does not do it justice as it was an unusually long photo. I used vintage pictures, gel pens and a labeler to write the poem. I also used some collage elements and some rub ons.

This piece is now available in my Etsy Shop

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Healing Art

A friend of mine asked me a thought provoking and interesting question the other day. "When did you know you were an artist?" It is a hard question but after much thought and a very long email attempting to answer this question....I'm inspired to share this (prose?)with you.

I AM an Artist by Lesley Chandler
When I was very young
I won a coloring contest
Got a pen!
But I did not call my self "an artist" then.
When I was in 2nd grade
I got in trouble for scribbling outside the lines
Boring ole coloring sheets
Lazy Teacher Look Closer!
Still not an "artist" in my mind.
Wrote a poem book
for my Grandma
Decorated with roses and vines
Took much time.
Wrote more poems
Sang songs
When I was older
I sang in a band
2 whole weeks
Hit me with your best shot

When I got married
Time moved on
I crafted
I decorated my home
I helped with school projects
Went to nursing school
got a degree
Work Work Work
Could not find me
kids grew up
didn't need me so much
Bored Again
Art stepped in.

I painted over
wounds in my heart
I collaged in my dreams
I gessoed in some interest
I textured in lots of new friends
I stamped my way into
finding Me again
I said to myself "Self....
You are an Artist"
A Kiss for you Donna!

When did you know you were an artist? I would love to see y our response to this question on your blog!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Mixed Media Workshop Midland Texas

Collage Background Tutorial-
Stamp and Glaze
I had so much fun at the last workshop that I have already scheduled my next "Mixed Up Mixed Media Workshop" class. It is scheduled for Saturday, April 5th from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at the Midland, Texas, Hobby Lobby. We are going to explore several collage background techniques. Here is a sneak preview of one of the 10 techniques to create an interesting background for your collage work. This particular technique is called the "Stamp and Glaze" background technique.
Round (or other shapes) Plastic Cross Stitch Canvas
acrylic canvas
acrylic paints (one color)
glazing medium
heating tool

Use your plastic cross stitch shape to create a texture on your canvas by pouncing your paintbrush into the openings in the canvas. I used a black acrylic paint here.

You can quick dry it with a heat gun.

Next...try stamping on your canvas by applying paint to a stamp that will add texture and interest to your background. If you are in a hurry..use your heat gun to speed up the drying. Remember to hold it back several inches so you don't get bubbles in your acrylic paint designs.

Next, combine about 1:1 parts of acrylic paint and glazing medium to create a see through color for your background that will allow your stamping to show through. (I mix mine up in a little plastic container with a lid so I can use the left overs later) Make sure your stamping patterns have dried before you do anything else.

Paint over the stamped patterns with your transparent paints (glazing medium+acrylic paints). You should be able to see your stamping very clearly through your paint.
Paint over the entire piece and allow to dry. Now you have a beautiful and interesting background to create a work of ART on! Hmmm. wonder what this will be.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

New Art on Etsy

This is my newest piece! I named it "Herding Cats". I did this piece on a 9.5"X9.5" piece of wood. It is a mixed media creation. I placed it in my Etsy Shop today. It would make a bright and fun piece for any room!

OK, I woke up this morning sore as heck from yesterdays redecorating. My shoulder is very sore on the right side and I'm thinking I exercised that side really good so that my boob on that side is going to be a little bit perkier than the other. So I will have to use the other arm today as much as possible...heehee. My legs and butt are sore from getting up and down from the ladder and I'm tired! Wah Wah! Sob! Now, I can't decide if I've got it in me to get back to it or wait until next weekend and give myself the day off. Hmmmmmmm. We will see.

Meanwhile, the weather was very nice yesterday and it appears as though it will be nice again today. Spring is a time of renewal and refreshing. I have really caught the redecorating bug and I see that many of my personal friends and blog friends are in the same mode. My friend Renea at Pocket full of Prettys inspired me to love all things birdie this year. I created this little arrangement on an antique window turned mirror. I found out that Renea bought this same bird the same day I did. Great minds think alike! The little birdhouse was made by my sweet friend Marisa's husband. He stained it and added little shingles. It is lovely to me. I made the little wooden robins egg and the cup was a present from a couple of coworkers from several years back.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Updating Living Room

So, I have been on a mission since about 9am this morning. I decided I was going to get to it and paint my living room. My living room has been lavender and yellow trim for some time. It served it's purpose but it is definitely time for a change. Here are some before pics
My living room is in two sections. The previous owners turned the garage into an extension of the living room so we have two levels. I only worked on the lower level today. But I worked from 9a.m. (trip to Walmart to get paint and supplies) until about 6 p.m. I'm exausted but the results! I'm so excited.....I painted the walls a "firewood" brown. I painted the trim a bright white and hated it so I painted over that with the same brown. I painted the decorative poles that are on top of the dividing wall to the laundry area...brown and I sponged a buttermilk color on them. They look so good. I won't give you the after pics until I have everything just like I want it. I have a piece of art that I want so much for that first wall over the couch. Anyway, even though I am so tired, I am pumped up because of the new look. Can't wait to show you. More work for tomorrow. It will probably take me all week to get all this done.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Tokens of Kindness!

I found the coooooolest thing today! Maybe you have already seen this wonderful idea? I found these at a little shop in Midland, Texas. It is a coin like token that you can pass on to someone else with an act of kindness. The other side has a tracking number so you can track where it goes. ..assuming the person you give it to will also log it in and pass it on and so forth.

It says "follow it's trail" on the back with that number. Mine is AAL449. Then you go to the Kindness Project web site and keep track of where your token ends up. It is just a good cause and I love it.

Read about how this all began in Austin, Texas. You can also buy these tokens on that site. WOW!!! Mine is burning a hole in my pocket. I can't wait to give it away.

Spring Tree Watercolor and Inks

I was looking in the Artful Blogging magazine and I was so inspired by so many of the artist/bloggers. I was really inspired by Marisa Haedike at Creative Thursday (pg 6). I love her use of colors and the whimsical nature of her paintings. I loved her tree with the little blue bird on page 8. I just had to try a tree with a touch of spring colors. I'm pleased with how it turned out and wanted to share it with you. This was created on watercolor paper with my shimmering H20 Watercolors, prisma pencils and gel pens. I think it would make nice note cards. First day of spring is March 20th!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Easter Eggs

Happy Sunday
Today, I worked on some Easter eggs. I had a few wooden eggs and a few paper mache. I enjoyed decorating my eggs and thinking about Easters from my past. My Mom always made us Easter eggs. We always dyed them and decorated them and then.....we hunted for them.! We also had candy eggs and easter baskets with Easter grass. As we got older, she always sent us (and still does) a chocolate Easter Bunny.

My mom (MaMa) was like that....every holiday...she would do some kind of craft and decorations. I remember making countless Ghost Trees for Halloween. We used old branches and made "Kleenix" ghosts and hung them from the tree. She made wreaths for Christmas out of some kind of receipt cards. She decorated the house to the max for Christmas. She always helped us with our Valentines boxes for school and all those Valentines! My Mom....she was a good Mom and still is...No wonder I'm so crafty.....that is the environment I grew up in. Love you Mama and Thank You!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Mixed Media Workshop Day!

Funky Art Queen and Company
Today I did my first Mixed Up Mixed Media Class at Hobby Lobby. We learned about ATC's and several different mixed media techniques. I really think it went well. I had 6 participants and there were 8 of us altogether. Renea helped keep me organized and was a lovely assistant. Thanks Queen Renea! This first shot is of me doing some demonstrations:

I enjoyed meeting the women who attended the class. It occured to me that we can learn so much from each other in settings such as this. We learned from one lady something about "letter boxing" which I find intriguing and intend to look up later. Tell me if you know something about this. It sounds a little like the concept of gorilla art which I have always found to be a fun idea. Gorilla art is when you make up art and leave it somewhere to be found by a stranger somewhere. Here is a picture of all of the participants and the instructor post ATC creation:

My heart is light tonight because I enjoyed this class so much. I met some amazingly creative and kind women and enjoyed seeing the excitement in their eyes when they learned new techniques. One lady took notes. I am thrilled.....Thank You Lord for giving me this day. I know that we are not supposed to discuss religion or politics but this is a significant day/thing for me and I want to thank Him. I also want to thank Renea and Kim for believing in me and for supporting me and pushing me forward on this workshop. I love you both. This is me and Renea or as you know her: Pocket Full of Prettys. I also want to say a special thank you to a new friend of mine. She has encouraged me and pepped me up about all this. Thanks Donna! You are a dear friend. Hugs!

I can't leave without mentioning my new friend Catelyn (Bam Bam) and her friend Savanah (Pebbles Rawks). They were our youngest attendees. They were the energy and fresh aspect on this workshop. Catelyn experiemented and discovered wrinkled metal tape ATC's....very cool and Savanah....she had such a different take on things. I loved their work and I am so glad they attended. Catelyn is the one with pink streaks in her hair.