Friday, December 31, 2010

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Wrapping Up 2010

Reflecting back over the past year..
I has been a very good year!

I've had my share of things that I've complained about...
mostly to do with my computer and internet..
but I've managed, in spite of them.
This was my best Etsy year ever...
and I did it mostly from my dining room table
or my from my recliner.

With my youngest son now living in North Dakota...
and my 'college' son happy with his little 
'efficiency' upstairs...
I'll be turning my basement back into my Studio.
This should mean...
more original paintings in my Shops.

I've changed the looks and the contents of my
Bonanza Shop.
I've removed ALL Rustic Goth pieces from this Shop
leaving only my CMZ Art pieces,
which all have much 'lighter' themes.

My Rustic Goth Artfire Shop
houses my 'melancholy' girls
which will not be found on Etsy or Zibbet.

I'll be adding a lot of new Rustic Goth pieces to my
Fine Art America Shop
which make my art available on Greeting Cards
and on Gallery Wrapped Canvas.

Hopefully, before the beginning of the year,
I'll have new pieces in my Zibbet and Zazzle Shops.

A nice 'Plus' to the end of my year...
my 'Two Hearts' piece was featured on the Front Page of

All in all...I'm looking forward to a Great New Year!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Big plans for the New Year!

It's that time of year again...that I decide which items to 'retire'.
I'll be placing those items in a
'Clearance' Section...
in my Shop..

As I list the brand new items I create...I'll begin to 'unlist'
those items that haven't sold.

I like to try to keep my listings from becoming too overwhelming...
so as I list the new items..
I 'retire' some of the older items..
in an effort to keep my Shop as fresh as I possibly can.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Wishing Everyone A Merry Christmas!

My favorite Trans-Siberian Orchestra Song.
I think it really says a lot about how I feel about Christmas.
I hope you enjoy!

Have a wonderful Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Thinking Christmas....

I'm thinking Christmas...purposefully so!
Jaime and I were talking a while back...she's my one child
who is ALWAYS soooo excited about Christmas way before any of the others.
This year...she got off to a bit of a shaky start.
I think it comes with having an online business that requires so
much work during the Holiday Season.
Even when one is completely caught up on shipping,
packages tend to get 'lost' somewhere in the deep Abyss of the USPS.
She had one International package that was returned twice...
(the buyer did not pick up the package either time)...
for some reason she had to pay $24.00 Customs Fee on it the last time
it was returned...
and still the buyer wanted it re-shipped (on Jaime)...
all this in the middle of the normally hectic Christmas Season work.

She also a very compassionate postal worker...that her
post office was holding a batch of International packages
because she hadn't put the words...'from'  and 'to'  on them.
This after they had accepted them and received postage fees.
That's still being investigated. see...with all this 'drama'  it becomes very necessary
to make myself  'think' Christmas. 
I have to find that 'spirit' that lights the joy within...
so that I don't risk turning into some kind of 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

While I Wonder

Sometimes I feel like I just 'wander' through life 
without a plan or a clue...
luckily I don't feel that way often..
mostly when I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed..
like I have been lately.

Because it's essential...for my livelihood...
to make as many sales as I possibly can everyday..
I put off taking the time to do a little pre-planning and organizing.

Eventually I need to just 'stop' and regroup...
that's where I'm at currently.
I'm getting everything out as quickly as I possibly can...
but I'm not really working on anything new...
just ideas and thoughts
for new pieces for the coming year.

So...I'm wondering which of the older pieces I need to retire...
what I want to do with new series ideas..
I reflect on ideas that I thought were good ones
that didn't go anywhere...
and why.

I wonder what I will do about Christmas gifts for my family...
and what my youngest son will do out on his own.

I wonder about a lot of things....

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Taking An Internet Break

I've been soooo busy with my Etsy Shop
holding 'Sales',
packing, shipping...
just trying to stay 'afloat'...
that I've totally neglected the Season...and the meaning
behind it.

Sooo....I'm taking an Internet break...for at least a week
maybe even until after Christmas.

I'll monitor my shop and emails a couple times every day...
but  since I tend to spend way too much time everyday on my computer
it leaves so little time for anything else.
Forget doing any decorating..baking...or gift making/shopping.

So, I need to pry myself away from my computer long enough
to do everything that needs to be done to have
a joyful Holiday Season.
I've run into similar problems the past few years...then...
before you know it, it's a day or two before Christmas and I'm scrambling around
trying to throw up some decorations...
doing my Shopping at the last minute...
baking a few goodies...
and it's not really that much fun or joyous.

So...I'm scheduling some blog posts...
some Etsy listings...
and taking a step back...
so that I don't run into the same last minute scramble.
This year I really do want to enjoy the Season.

It's a bit too easy to get a little too caught up with my online business...
and I want to take some time to reflect on how
I can spend more time with myself and my family
in the coming year...
I don't want my business to become so grueling that
I grow not to like it so much!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Gift Certificates in the Shop

I've given a lot of thought to whether or not to offer
Gift Certificates in my Shop.
I've heard they don't do well on Etsy.

But...I decided to go ahead and offer a few of them anyway.

I am offering them through email...
quite simple for any last minute gift giving...
and this is how it works..
*Once purchased... I will email you the Gift
Certificate so you can print it. Especially
good when time is of the essence.

*This Gift Certificate is redeemable ONLY
in my Rustic Goth Etsy Shop.

*Each Gift Certificate has it's own unique
code, which appears on the Gift Certificate.

*Rustic Goth Gift Certificates do not expire.

*Rustic Goth Gift Certificate balances do carry over.

*There is not a 'handling fee' on Rustic Goth Gift will not be penalized for using

*Gift Certificates are Not Refundable or Redeemable
for Cash.

*Any balance spent Over the amount of the Gift
Certificate will be due and owed by the user, and payable
via PayPal.

*Gift Certificate amounts can also be used toward
shipping costs.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

I'm Caught Up with Shipping

Okay...this picture is a MAJOR Exaggeration of
how much shipping I had to do...
but when you are doing it by yourself and you get behind
it can often feel like this!

I'm caught up to 5 business days...which is great for me.
Once I get my own printer, I'm hoping to cut this to 3 days...hope..hope!!

The only things that are still behind are the calendars.
I'm still waiting to get those from the publisher.
Hopefully they'll be here so that I can get them shipped right around
the 15th!

Friday, December 10, 2010

I've Been So Busy....

I've finally got 'almost' everything
packed and shipped.
Hopefully everything will reach it's destination before
My calendars should be on their way from the publishers and
I'll ship those out as soon as I get them.

I've ordered new I can get started on some
new paintings for next year...whenever I can sneak some free time.

I haven't had a chance to visit my favorite I'm hoping to sneak some
time as I can...and find out what you all are up to during the Holiday Season.
I still haven't had a chance to put up a few decorations
to make my home feel a little more 'festive'...
maybe I'll try to set aside a little time for that.
I think I'm feeling a little 'blue'...
my youngest son has always lived with me...
and he will be moving out the week before Christmas.
Not just out of the house...but out of the State!

I guess I'll deal with that when it actually happens.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Reaching A Compromise

Jaime and I each have our own Shops
for the most part
our businesses are completely separate.

Her and Mikey are free to do as they please in their Shop..
and me in mine.

But...we still do our little 'brain storming' every week.
What new things can we do?...that sort of thing.

She is of the belief that original paintings and prints are more than enough
to keep her busy...
the 'crafter' in me is constantly wanting to 'expand' my line.
And...I tend to try to 'talk' her into going along.

Now that we aren't doing anymore shows this season...
(and possibly not next season either)
I think I'll let her do her thing and just keep doing what I enjoy doing.
I just need to be 'smarter'.

For one takes me almost as long to do an art cover
or an egg ornament
as it does to do an 11 x 14 inch painting...
and I charge far less.

So...I've reached a 'compromise' with myself.
Next year...I'll concentrate on the paintings and prints...
every so often
I'll switch over and do a batch of covers..
wearable art

See...the 'crafter' in me is 'always thinking'...

Sunday, December 5, 2010

2011 Calendars on Etsy

Today is the last day to get one of my 2011 Calendars
in my Etsy Shop.

I won't be able to guarantee delivery by Christmas
if I have to order them from my publisher
and then ship them out when they come in.

I have posted links on my sidebar
to be able to order the calendars directly
from the publisher
for anyone who wants one and didn't have a chance
to order through my Rustic Goth Etsy Shop.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Winner is...

I found a random generator link on one of my
favorite blogs...
and used it to draw the winner of one of my
2011 Creeper Calendars.

The winner is....
Daphne White!

Please contact me ( with your address
so I can get your calendar to you
as soon as they arrive.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

2011 Calendars

I have a couple different calendars that I am offering this year.
The first calendar is my...
2011 Creeper Calendar

I've shown only a small sampling of my
2011 Creeper Calendar
but hopefully you 'get the idea'.
I've limited the number of calendars to 100...
and they are being printed by a professional printer.

It's a wall calendar and much larger
and easier to use than the
2010 Creeper Calendar.

I also have a
2011 Steampunk Calendar
which is also a wall calendar that includes  both
US (and) UK Holidays.

This calendar took me a bit
longer to finish,
since I decided to do some extra
artwork to each page,
so that I could show the entire print rather than just a portion,
as with so many prints on the Creeper Calendar.

I'm limiting the number of Steampunk Calendars to 50.
With that...and the extra work involved...
these Calendars are a few dollars more than the Creepers. original Pocket Calendar painted art covers.
These are handpainted original 'paintings'
on real canvas.
I'm including a 2011 Pocket Calendar in each of these
covers and the number of
these will be incredibly limited...just due to
the constraints of time.
(Unfortunately I didn't have a pocket calendar for sizing purposes,
until recently...
and I just can't work fast enough to get very
many done between now and the first of the year.)

These can be found in my
Rustic Goth Etsy Shop
for anyone who is interested.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The 'Never Ending' SALE

If it seems like I've got a
'never ending Sale'
going on in my Rustic Goth Etsy Shop...
in a way...
I do.

See...I do make my living selling what I create..
mostly through my Etsy Shop.

And...occasionally I'm fighting to keep this utility on
or paying my rent in increments
instead of in one lump sum...
For the most part though...
it does seem to pay the bills.

What I don't have the 'extra' get myself
a new computer and my own Pro Printer.

So...I have Sales...almost constantly...
because I am 'determined'.

When my husband fell ill...I was selling my art on eBay. that time it was Great!
Put the bottom dollar price as the starting bid...
and sometimes it would go far above what I thought I'd ever get
for my art.
Everyday I listed new paintings...and almost everyday
I sold paintings.

One of the things that gave my husband comfort...was knowing
that he didn't need to worry how I was going to make a living
when he was gone.

Neither of us had any idea what would happen to eBay...or the economy.

But...I'm a bit of a 'fighter'
and I do what I have to do
to pay the bills...
even if it means having one Sale after another.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Etsy Bloggers HOLIDAY SALE

H a p p y H o l i d a y s ! !
The EtsyBloggers HOLIDAY S*A*L*E* is going on from Black Friday thru Cyber Monday!!
That's Friday 11/26 thru Monday 11/29!!
See our team website for a list of all shops having a SALE
H a p p y S h o p p i n g ! !

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

An Upcoming Give Away

My 2011 Creeper Calendar is out!
And...I'm having a giveaway for one 2011 Creeper Wall Calendar!

How it works....

just leave a comment on this post...

I'll use a random generator
to determine the winner
and post the winner on December 1st.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

That time of the year!

It's getting to be
'that' time of the year again...
I'm not talking about the 'Holidays'...

It's that time of the year when I begin
'cleaning house'
in my Etsy Shop.

I like to keep the number of items in my Shop
to a 'manageable' number...

 I've always liked to keep that number to 150 or less..
but since finding 'Etsy on Sale'
200 is a good number...
who knows...
maybe one day I won't be so intimidated by
higher numbers
and I'll get my shop up to 250 or even

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A New Look...

I've given my blog a new look...
sort of.
I selected what I think is a much neater template
and now I'm in the process of
going through everything on my sidebar
and cleaning that up...
so that it looks...
a little less cluttered.

It's been an ongoing process
and I may not get it all done until after
the Holidays.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Featured Etsy Blogger for November

As a member of the EtsyBloggers Street Team
I have been very remiss at my own level of participation. an effort to improve this situation...
let me present
The Etsy Bloggers Featured Member of the Month...

She creates some awesome pieces that she has listed in
her Etsy Shop
and she has a Supply Shop which
can be found by visiting her blog.

Join me in congratulating her for being
featured Member.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Power of Positive Thinking

I know I've mentioned this in a post or two in the past..
but since I do so firmly believe this,
I find myself wanting to post it again and again.

My husband was the 'positive thinker'...
which I really needed
since I tended to be the more negative and skeptical one.

Over the years...I did begin to become a little more positive...
but I still have a long ways to go.

Thank goodness several of my children have more
of their dad's 'positivity'...
positive things just seem to 'follow' those children
whatever they choose to do.
And..during those times they allow a bit of 'negativity' to creep in...
things don't go as smoothly for them.

For those of us for whom 'positivity' doesn't come as easy...
we have to work a little harder...
the rewards are always great enough
to make it well worth it!

This is the attitude I'm taking while I'm determined
not to let myself get too sick
with whatever it is that has me a bit
under the weather.
And...I'll take all the positive vibes I can get!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Real Egg Ornaments

I have the first of the eggs to be listed in my
Etsy Shop.

The top picture is one of my 'Hummingbird' Eggs...
over the years it was always one of those ornaments that sold
The second one a little more 'close to my heart'
as it is an 'Abstract Nativity' painted by my husband.
This was his own design and one of his
most popular ornaments.
This egg was painted in 2004...initialed and dated by him...
but was never coated as we didn't usually coat the eggs until we
had 24 of them ready to 'pour'.
(It was a rather messy we always waited until
we had enough eggs before dragging out everything we needed to do the pour.)

The third and fourth eggs...
Candles and Black Holly
were also painted by him, and are pictured
to show what the eggs look like with a heavy coating of resin.

The ornaments are actually quite durable...about the same
as a glass ball spite of the fact that they are
real eggs.

We began painting the eggs in 1993, while living in Wyoming.
My sister had some geese eggs that she didn't want
to throw away.
For some reason, my husband thought they'd look
good painted up and tried to talk me into painting them.
I put it he painted them.

One thing led to another and he messed with them until
he came up with the idea to coat them with resin.
Then we bounced them off the test their durability...
some broke and some didn't.
For the most part...we were satisfied and took them to a local
craft show...and sold out!

Every year after...from '93 to '03 we did the shows...
in Wyoming and then in Nebraska...
folks came to the shows to see what new egg designs we
had, so they could add to their collections.
I don't even want to think about how many special orders we did
over the years....including a standing order for 100 eggs every year
for one collector.

It seemed like we never had enough eggs to get through a 
Season so we started early in 2004, to get a head
start on the Season...
but we ended up not doing the shows that season...
and then he got sick in 2005.

So....I have a few eggs left that were never finished...
except for the painting...
that I'm listing.
And a batch of new ornaments in various stages
of completion
that I will be listing over the next week or so.

Most will be uncoated...leaving the option of
personalizing them...until around the 10th of December.
Then I'll have to offer only those ornaments that are
ready to ship out...because of shipping times during
the Holiday Season.

Anyway...that is the 'story of the eggs'.

I wasn't going to do anymore of them...since it was something
my husband and I did together...
but I have several dozen eggs that he'd already prepared
for painting...
and it seemed such a shame to let those just go to waste.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Some new paintings in the Shop

I've got some new paintings in my
Rustic Goth Etsy Shop.

These are currently part of my Veterans Day SALE...
and will be available at the Sale Price for one more day.

I'm continuing to work on some new paintings...
the Egg Ornaments
and a few other new pieces that I want to list within the next week.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Maybe I Should Have...

We all know about 'hindsight'....well I'm wondering...
in 'hindsight'...
if we should have gone ahead and tried one
more show.
I ended up with a week-end that I didn't get anything done

Oh well...we made our decision and I'll go ahead
and stick with it.

I'm going to have to get really busy with the eggs...and I've also
decided that I'm going to paint some Art Covers for
Pocket that I can use up
the rest of the unstretched canvas that I ordered.

Hopefully...I'll get completely caught up with
my Shipping
and end up getting a lot of new items done this week.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Short Show Season turned out to be a very
short...'show season'...for us.

After a lot of discussion and all the family issues
we've encountered in recent weeks...
we decided that our 2010 Show Season is over.

It was a disappointment on one hand...
and a relief on the other.

For 10 years...from '93 to '03
my husband and I offered hand painted egg ornaments
during the fall show season.
I even sold a few of them through an internet shop
we used to have and through eBay.

Well...I knew that I had about three dozen eggs that had been
blown...cleaned and painted with a base coat...
hiding in my closet...
so Jaime and I had decided we were going to finish
those and offer them at the November shows.

What we're going to do...instead...
is offer them on our shops
starting the second week of November.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I LOVE Etsy On Sale

I do LOVE Etsy on Sale.
It has saved me so much time
and we all know
'time is money'
so it's saved me lots of money.

Only problem...if I re-list something that sells...
that item doesn't revert back to the original price..
since it is no longer in the 'sale queue' it was
originally placed in...
if I 'forget' to edit it...
then some things end up
'on sale'
even after the sale ends.

This happened at the end of my
"New in Shop" Sale.
One of my bracelets had been re-listed...not changed back..
and sold for half price
hours AFTER the Sale was over.

I will have to be more 'alert'...or ... not re-list
Sale items until After the Sale has ended.

But...definitely on the 'plus' side...
I'll be having a variety of 1, 2 and 3 Day Sales
more often
during the Holiday Season!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween!

I'm sure I'll have lots of little ones
coming to my door
for candy...
they'll all be my grandchildren!

Most of them are now living here...only the older two..
who now have their own outstate.

I don't 'do' the handing of Halloween candy to the neighborhood children
since I spend most of Halloween by myself...
and I just can't get up and down
over and over
to answer the door!

It's a little sad...but it's my reality
and I have to deal with it!

I do wish everyone who is still able
to have fun...
to have a
'Happy Halloween'!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Man in the Moon

I was reading an article on Etsy about
'telling a story'.
It concerned item descriptions...
and what makes an item 'unique'.
After giving it some occurred to me that,
while I intend for each work of art to 'tell it's own story'...
perhaps I should also include something about what
inspired me to create each piece.

So...I started with the

Someone commented on my Facebook page
about what I would do with a 
Lovecraft 'Cthulu' subject.

I really didn't know the I
looked it up in the wiki.

And..I 'accepted' the challenge.

While creating the piece...I thought about 
the demons and fears
most of us face during the course of our lifetimes...
and about 'embracing them' instead of running from them.

So..I guess there really is
'more to the story'
on every piece of art I created...
sometimes it's conscious and sometimes it's not...
but the 'story' unfolds all the same.

It's going to take me more time than I care to think about...
but I will be including those little 'stories'
in my descriptions 
(if I think it 'pertinent' to the piece)
Maybe I'll shoot for 4 or 5 every day until I get them all finished.
And..from time to time...I'll post a blog about
those that I would like to share with you all:)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Gearing up for a Busy Week

Last week I had a family emergency that took me
clear across the State...
driving in the middle of the night..
sleeping until 8 pm when I finally got back home and got some sleep...
and just kind of threw my normal routine
totally upside down.

It was filled with drama...stress...and just plain exhaustion.'s not over yet!

Still I have to work at what I do...or I don't pay my bills...
so I'm really 'gearing' up for a busy week...
trying to work,
visiting with a sibling I haven't seen in a couple of years,
and dealing with my oldest...who is the last of my children to move
back home (not actually into my home..but only a few minutes away).

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Show Season is a bit of a Disappointment

Here are a few pic's from the first local show of the Season.
It was such a disappointment that we still have most of the 'stuff' left and listed
in our Shops.

Our sales were more than half as many as last year's show...
the weather was perfect...
there were no extra events going on in town...
and more people have jobs this year than last...

I'm not sure what to make of it...
or whether to do the last three shows or not.

Maybe we'll do ONE more and see what happens...

Friday, October 22, 2010

New Apps on Etsy

I am so excited about some of the new apps on Etsy
that I just had to share...
especially with those who have an Etsy Shop.

My new 'favorite' is...

This app not only lets me schedule the beginning time...and
ending time for each Sale that I have in my Shop...
it allows me to do it by Sections...
it changes the prices and the titles
for me when the Sale starts...
it also changes the price back and removes the 'sale' wording
in the titles
when the Sale is over.

Oh my gosh...this saves me 'literally' hours and hours of work.
In the past it has taken me a minimum
of two hours...(for a small sale)
to four or five hours...(for a store wide sale)

And...the app is free to use...
though the developers have a donation tab..
which I think is more than fair.

Another App that I often use is
or 'Etsy Love'...
they now have a new feature that allows me to
change the prices by section.

This is soooo handy for those prices that were lowered
before I found 'Etsy on Sale'
and I will be using it in the near future
to put my prints back to their regular prices.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It has BEEN a Week!!

Oh my has BEEN another one of 'those' weeks!

I 'long' for the day when I can afford to buy a new computer...
I think my poor thing is on it's last 'leg'.

I try very hard to keep it 'cleaned up' so that it doesn't just crash on me
before that day...but it needs to come sooner than later.

So my computer was down for part of the week...and then I had a family
emergency that took me out of town for a bit.

Like I has BEEN a of those that I won't mind
putting behind me.

In the meantime...since I really do need to work up the funds for a computer
on top of my regular bills....I'm having several different
'Sales' in the Shop,
going on at the same time.
The painting sale ends tomorrow...while others will end on Friday and
others on Saturday.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

New items in Shop

I have...or will be...listing quite a few new items
in my Shop.

I'm hoping to have all my new items listed by next week-end.