Monday, January 31, 2011

Today is 'Inspire Your Heart with Art' Day!

Today is...
"Inspire Your Heart With Art" Day!

As near as I can tell...the first 'Inspire Your Heart With Art' Day
was back in 2001...
Odd that I'm only now learning about it...
and that was from someone posting
a comment on Jaime's Facebook page.

Pretty much all of my Creeper paintings and prints have
'hearts' in well as having a Print Sale
that I extended through today....
All of the paintings...with hearts...are on Sale too!
I hope I can...
'Inspire someone's Heart with my Art':)

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A new 'Zodiac' Series

It is really amazing what a few days 'off' can do.

I've got a new 'style' painting series in the works...
and I'm working on two new pieces in this style.

I painted seven new ACEO paintings.

I got COMPLETELY caught up.

I decided to do a new 
'Zodiac Goth Girl' series.
(I decided this before I read about the 13th sign...
which I've opted to just 'ignore'.)
Since I can remember there have only been 12 signs...
so I'm sticking with those.

is the first in the series.
I've included all of the symbolism that goes with the sign...

Element - Earth
Quality - Cardinal
Ruler - Saturn
Symbol - Goat

It was just so much fun creating this piece...
I'll be doing
one each month...
February's sign is...
and I hope to have it listed
early February.

Friday, January 28, 2011

January ACEO Paintings

During my 'vacation' ...
I worked first on getting my missing Internationals
remade and shipped...
got all caught up on the rest of my shipping...
painted a few new paintings
I reviewed my Etsy Shop
from Day #1.

I started my Shop with a few prints and a handful of
ACEO paintings.

Over time I stopped doing ACEOs...almost entirely.

I wasn't sure what to do with the canvas scraps left over
from the Art Covers...sooo...
I decided I would start painting ACEOs again.
At least a few new pieces every month.

These are my January ACEOs....
"When You're Gone"

"I'll Put It Away...Until I Need It"

"Fly Away From Here"

"Don't Play With Scissors"

"Stronger Everyday"

"Far Away From the World"


Thursday, January 27, 2011

All That Scrap Interview

"All That Scrap" is a wonderful blog
and the lovely Kristin
asked me to do an interview for her first
'Thursday Artist Feature'...

Talk about bad timing...I put my Shop on vacation
the same week the interview was featured on the blog....
(Sorry Kristin.)

Seems like there are always reasons that I can't put my shop on vacation...
so just had to make a judgment call and 
'save my sanity'.

But...I wanted to share the interview...
even if it is a week late...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I'm Back....

I'm finally back....
wished I could say,
'from a wonderful vacation'...
you know, the kind other people take
when they actually leave their homes and go 'someplace'...
it was a good 'vacation'...just in being able to get
100% caught up!

And...I was able to use a couple of those paint something
very different from my usual 'fare'.
This painting, 'Masquerade' took me a couple of days to complete...
and I really like how it turned out.
It's done in my own 'style' but with very different subject
I'll be doing more pieces similar to this one in the
coming days and weeks.

Here's a painting I did before the 'Masquerade' piece...
it's not as heavily textured...
'...and she thought...'
Grandma..what big ears you have.
A new 'Red Riding Hood' piece.

Friday, January 21, 2011

It's Been a Strange Week!

Anyone who visits my Etsy Shop
probably knows, by now, that I'm "on vacation!"

I Wished I were on vacation...just kicking back and relaxing.
Instead...I've been remaking/reprinting all of the
International orders that never reached their destinations,
as well as everything else that has been ordered since.
After getting so many notes about missing packages...
and with business as slow as it's been..
it just seemed like the best solution for me was
to just pull everything in the Shop and put it 'on vacation',
so I could get EVERYTHING printed,
made, packaged and shipped
all at once!

So...that's what I've been doing.
I won't reopen until ALL of my packages are
on their way to their respective owners.

In the meantime...
I've made some other decisions.

As per my last post...
all of my International packages will have to be
sent Priority mail from now on.
The first class International mailings were just too stressful, on so many levels.
There is really no good way to track those packages and
they are the only ones that I have to actually take to the post office.
Since I don't have a car...that has always been problematic for me.
Either I have to send them with someone else or get someone to take me
and the packages to the post office.
(It all worked fine until Ryan moved to North Dakota. Now I have to wait
until one of my other kids have some time in their own busy schedules
to do it for me.)
Can we see the timing issues in this arrangement???

Anyway....that problem solved...and I do apologize to my
International friends, as there are some items that won't be available
for International shipping (like the Tile pendants or mini prints)

Another decision I made...
I no longer offer bookmarks...
for reasons similar to shipping.
These have to be laminated 
(another thing Ryan did for me each week)
and so I have to wait until I get them from Jaime and then
find a way to get to Staples to get them laminated.
Just too much trouble for me at this time.

I'm cutting back on everything in the Etsy make it a bit more
I've put all of my 'non-character' paintings in my
CMZ Art Bonanza Shop
and I'll be giving a lot more attention to this shop and some
of the other shops that are really needing my attention,
which means that I won't be listing new items as frequently
in my Etsy Shop.

 Hopefully all of the work I've done this week will make my 
life...and my business...a lot easier to manage
when I reopen the Shop next week.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Some Shipping Changes

It seems that the International First Class
Shipping problems I encountered over the Holidays,
just won't go away.
Even my Post Office can't give me an explanation
as to why the packages seemed to have just disappeared.

Most of them get to Jericho NY and then all tracking information stops.
A couple packages took more than 2 weeks JUST to get to NY.

So....I've done away with all International First Class Shipping.

I only encountered one or two problems with the
International Priority Flat Rate packages...
and those were all very trackable.

From this point on...
I don't offer International shipping on
 Scrabble Tile pendants,
and mini prints.

International shipping has been upgraded to
Priority or Flat Rate Priority on everything else.

It's just costing me too much money to redo and reship all
the packages that have already been shipped once.
The post office have offered no help...
and I have to run all First Class packages to the Post Office in person. just makes sense to me
to be able to ship the International packages at the same time
I ship everything else..
and the only way I can do that
is through Priority Shipping.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Very Cool Etsy Apps

In my's important to be

On eBay the only thing one could do was...
list often.
With all the 'knock off' overseas artists that flooded the
market there, that didn't help much.
Within seconds of listing...I was usually pretty much buried.

When I started on Etsy...I didn't realize, for months, that
it was possible to renew a listing.
I couldn't believe how much it improved my visibility and my sales.

So now I try to list or renew about 10 items every day.

The only problem with that was how much it 'kept' me tied to my computer.

Lo and behold...someone came up with an Etsy App
that will schedule my 'renews'...
what a time saver that has become.

Statsy has become another one of my
new 'favorite' apps.

I can now schedule renews for times that I am sleeping or
away from my computer..
and I am getting so much more done!
It is really great!
I love it!!

My other favorite app is
Etsy on Sale...
it lets me schedule sales in my Shop
with starting times and ending times.
A great app but....
I see they are now charging 4 credits per Sale
and credits are $1.00 each....
so I won't be having as many Sales in my Shop.

Friday, January 14, 2011

New Year Resolutions

I'm not nearly as organized as I would like to be
and I'm not one that actually makes New Year Resolutions.

after the mess I found myself in
last month...
I do have ONE resolution that I have to make...
to 'plan ahead' and be much more
prepared during this next
Holiday Season.

I waited...almost too order the calendars
and I only Hope they all made it by Christmas.
The publisher was supposed to print and ship within a 3 to 5 day
which would have been plenty of time..
it took almost 10 days...

Then...I had the calendars shipped to me to reship...
another YIKES!!

I was soooo stressed out over these calendars
that it threw me 'off my game'
and other orders ended up going out late.

Suffice it to all had a domino affect...
shipping supplies weren't coming in as timely as they normally do...
even our printing supplies became scarce and hard to find...
the bails for our scrabble tile pendants
were 'crap'..
(I'm not sure why, since we got
them from our usual supplier and had not had any problems
so we had to drive all over town trying to find bails
that would 'do'...there were no bails in town
so we ended up having to fashion our own.

We had all of this to do...
and I hadn't even done ANYTHING for gifts
for anyone.

So I had to pause long enough to make
something for each of the 18 family members
who would be here on Christmas Eve!
They all got journals or planners
with original art covers...
even the youngest ones
loved their little notebooks..
with the cutest little characters on the covers!

If I don't do anything different this year...
I resolve not to run into this same mess during the next
Holiday Season.

I'm already working at getting my own printer...
I think even before I get a computer...
so that I don't have to pile my work on Jaime
during a time that is sooo busy for her.
And I'll begin to stockpile the art paper and inks in October.

I've switched to Aanraku bails for my pendants...
and I'll be stockpiling those too!

Hopefully I'll learn from this Holiday Season
what NOT to do during the Next one!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

To my Blogger friends...

Thank you for the wonderful blogs you write on a regular basis...
they are so interesting to read.
Sometimes they are fun and make me smile..
other times I shed a tear or two..
I find that I care greatly for what happens in your lives.

I try very hard to read your blogs, at least once a week...
and leave a comment or two.
Sometimes though...'life' gets in the way..and I get behind.
And catching's so hard to do.

But...while I've finally got a moment or two...
taking a bit of a shipping/ painting 'break'..
I wanted to give a "shout out" to some of my new blog friends
as well as some 'not so new'...

I received a
'Kreativ Blogger' Award 
from dtwilight
She's pretty new to please check her out
and give her some 'blog love'.
over at 
 recently 'interviewed' me to be
the featured artist on her blog 
January 20th.
I'll post a link on Facebook once it is up.
'Lady Euphoria'
over at 
has given me
'food for thought'
about things in my own life.

creates some of the most interesting art
I've ever seen.
Oh...and she makes the Best Soaps!!
paints wonderful landscape paintings...
check them out at her blog.
Finally...for this go around...check out 
if you haven't already.
I love reading her blogs.
I have so many other blogs I could recommend...
but I'll save those for another day!
but I'll save those for another day.


Monday, January 10, 2011

Wearable Art Changes

I had a bit of a 'disaster' with my latest Scrabble Tile pendants.
The bails that attached the tile to the chain I received were 'crap'....
I didn't realize this at first...
although one of my daughters said she thought
they were lighter weight than the ones we had been 
using (from the same seller)...

Well...long story short...they started arriving in pieces...
Oh my gosh...
can you imagine my horror and panic!!!

I went directly online and most of the suppliers I normally use
were on Holiday Vacation.

I had to run around town trying to find something comparable...

So I had to 'make do' with what I could find...
something that doesn't set well with me.

I've since switched to Aanraku bails...
they are way more expensive...but I've used them in the past
and have had no problems with them.

But...since they are as pricey as they are...
I've decided to make all of my Scrabble Tile pendants...
'made to order'...
This was I'm not 'wasting' any of the pricey bails
on pendants that just sit in my finished pendant box.

Making to order might add a few days to my shipping times...but I
still think I can ship in the 5 business day goal I've set.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Ringing In 2011

I had a very good Holiday Season in my Rustic Goth Etsy Shop.
And...I'm still working on getting all the orders packed and shipped.

But...since I had to wait for supplies that were late in getting here,
I spent a lot of time also working on some new paintings
for the Shop.

The supplies have been gradually arriving...and I'm
hoping to have all 2010 orders out by Monday.

I made a New Year's Resolution to 
'cut my shipping times in half'.
Instead of 7 to 10 business days....Jaime and I are working
at trying to get this to 3 to 5 business days.
She's going to start printing twice a week...
which means we can ship twice a week!

(Except for Internationals...those will continue to ship weekly...
since I don't have a car...I have to either get someone to take them
to the post office for me...or take me. 
So it works best if I can get those ready for Jaime to take home
on Sunday...then take those when she mails her International orders.)

But...yay!!!...I'm almost caught up...
and I have so many ideas for new paintings...
so I'll be listing heavy in the next few weeks!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Giveaway on a Wonderful Blog

Becky...over at
is having a HUGE Giveaway on her blog.

She's giving away a couple of my calendars...
and a few other items...
as well as some goodies from Dyche Designs..
and so much more.

Check out this wonderful blog...
and become a follower..
her blog is definitely one of my favorites.

The giveaway ends....January 12th!